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How to get the most Relaxation out of your next Spa Pedicure

posted by Noël    |   December 11, 2013 09:00

Recently, I used a gift card that I had been holding onto for over a year, and treated myself to an afternoon at one of the local spas here in Saskatoon. I absolutely love the spa, mainly because it is a time when my world becomes very silent. When I used to travel a lot with my job, I would treat myself to the spa at least once every quarter to unwind and relax. However, ever since I started my own business, I rarely find the time to get to the spa and only push myself to schedule an appointment when I am desperate enough for a treatment. Typically these treatments come in the form of pedicures.

My go-to spa for a pedicure in Saskatoon is Edgewater Spa on Broadway. I've always had nothing but great service there, and am constantly recommending the spa to my family and friends. I think what I enjoy most about Edgewater is the professionalism of the spa staff.

When I go to a spa I am desiring silence and solitude, even if that is only for an hour long pedicure. I am definitely not a Chatty Cathy when I am at the spa. What I appreciate about the Edgewater staff is that they understand this and aren't at all upset when I'm not interested in entertaining a conversation for the next hour or two. I never feel pressured to engage in conversation, and this makes my experience all that more enjoyable. No one to answer to, no subsurface conversations, no noise, just pure relaxation.

I've had my share of energy draining salon and spa experiences in the past. I think that many people feel they need to maintain a conversation with the spa staff, especially when they are having a pedicure or a manicure.

So how do you ensure that your next pedicure experience is a relaxing one? Here are a few suggestions I've put together that have helped me enjoy my pedicures time after time.

  • Speak with the spa staff and explain that you are looking to have the most relaxing experience and are in need of some quiet time during the treatment.

If you're not into being direct, here are some indirect things you could do:

  • Bring your iPod and listen to music with your ear buds.
  • Consider investing in a 'sleeping eye mask' or alternatively close your eyes the moment you have the opportunity to do so.
  • Bring a book or read a magazine.

The best advice that I could give anyone is to be prepared. Know in advance how you would like the treatment to make you feel, and then do whatever you need to do to ensure that it goes your way. Trust me, there is nothing better than leaving the spa feeling relaxed and refreshed. Even if it's taken you a year to use that gift card.

I'd Rather Be Thrifting

posted by Elle    |   December 10, 2013 12:29

Upon simultaneously reaching my mid-twenties and completing my university degree, I took a look at my living space with a new set of eyes that were suddenly both mature and well-educated. What I saw was displeasing to say the least. During my time in school I had continuously placed homework before homemaking, resulting in a space that was characterized by boring, beaten Ikea furniture and decor (or lack thereof).

Being a recent graduate with high loan payments and a low income, I decided that I would try to re-decorate my space on the cheap. At one point in my life this had meant buying basics at Ikea, but I felt that I wanted something a little more unique this time around. I had accumulated a big black garbage bag full of clothing destined for goodwill, so I headed to Saskatoon's second Value Village location in Stonebridge, with the intent to drop it off and take a look through the housewares section for some interesting vintage-esque decor pieces to spice up my living room.

I sauntered down the three or four odd aisles of lamps, dishes, frames, and of course, knick-knacks. I was looking for something I could pluck off the shelf and plunk down on my end table or bookshelf at home. Ten minutes of scanning the shelves left me empty handed. It then occurred to me that I am a fairly creative and crafty individual, and that I mustn't sell myself, or the oddball Value Village knick-knacks, short. I resolved to re-visit each aisle with a different frame of mind. Instead of looking at the items at face-value, I tried to see the potential for my creativity to bridge the gap between the unsightliness of much of what I saw, and what a little paint or refinishing could do.

With this new perspective, items started to jump out at me.

A pastel ceramic fish could easily be painted over in vibrant folk-art style colours. A dingy brown porcelain owl could even more easily be painted a pristine, glossy white. I had apparently simply missed a pair of black horse-head bookends, no revamping required. I discovered so many treasures with this new outlook, that I had to retrieve a little basket on wheels from the front of the store to cart them around in. I was surprised by the feeling of elation that came over me as I trucked my newfound treasures to the cashier. The excitement of having recognized the potential in the seemingly awkward little knick-knacks was only enhanced by the incredibly low number on my receipt.

As I made my way to the parking lot, I was reminded of additional reasons, extending beyond my own personal enjoyment, why thrift shopping is awesome. Reusing items that would have otherwise gone to waste is obviously good for the environment for many reasons. Also, Value Village and many other thrift shops in Saskatoon do a great deal of social good for our community. Value Village specifically, uses the income generated by the sale of donated items to benefit people in our province who need support. Value Village partners with the Saskatchewan Institute on Community Living to ensure that funding, education, health, respite, and housing (among other things) are available to people in our province with intellectual disabilities. Not only did I have way more fun on this shopping excursion than I would have had at a typical home decor store, but I also saved a ton of money, left with several exciting creative projects on my horizon, and did a little bit of good for our planet and Saskatoon community.


How to buy a Free Vacation! Who doesn't like free?

posted by David    |   December 7, 2013 12:45

Things are always better when they are free. Vacations are no different. Almost every bank offers a 'travel credit card' promising free vacations if only we use their card for everyday purchases. According to Stats Canada (2011), the average Canadian household spends about $25,000 on transportation, food, telephone/internet, and clothing per year. This money can be leveraged to earn free vacations! As residents of chilly Saskatoon, many of us are craving a holiday in a hot locale come February. So which credit card offers the best deal for getting us on that warm beach as soon as possible?


BMO Air Miles World MasterCard

The BMO Air Miles World MasterCard gives you the ability to gain Air Miles through credit card purchases. If you already collect Air Miles, this credit card will allow you to 'double dip' on purchases and theoretically gather Air Miles twice as fast. The rate at which you will accumulate Air Miles is 1 Air Mile for every $15 spent.

If you use Air Miles to fly, this credit card gives you an extra discount, allowing you to use 25% fewer Air Miles per flight. This means that you can spend 769 Air Miles for a $400 flight to Calgary or 1575 points for a $612 flight to Toronto. Each Air Mile is worth around 40 to 50 cents, which means you'll be getting 2.5% to 3.5% back on your purchases. If you desire to fly within Canada for free, there is no better rate than with the Air Miles World MasterCard.

However, finding a non-stop flight outside of Canada is next to impossible. The average travel time for a flight to Minnesota is 8-10 hours, as they have you travelling to Chicago or Toronto beforehand. If time means anything to you, and you want to fly outside of Canada, it would be best to look elsewhere for free flights. The deal is still quite good financially, but is a free flight really worth it if it takes you 4 times longer to get to your destination?


Royal Bank Platinum Avion Visa

The Royal Bank Platinum Avion Visa offers 1 RBC Reward Point for each dollar spent with the Visa card. When redeeming points for air travel, each point is worth about 2 cents towards your ticket flight. (The TD Travel Rewards card is comparable to the Royal Bank Avion, but offers slightly less.) An example of travel would be a $900 trip to Hawaii for 45,000 points. So you would receive around 2% back on all your credit card purchases for flights. While 2% is lower than the Air Miles 3%, trips outside of Canada are more enjoyable since non-stop flights are much more readily available. If you want to fly outside of Canada, the Royal Bank Avion is the best card for you.


The Big Question: Where are you going?

The winner in this competition is dependent upon where you're going.

If you want to fly within Canada, your best option is the BMO Air Miles World MasterCard.

If you are more interested in flying internationally, your answer is the Royal Bank Avion Visa (unless of course you do not mind travelling for hours and hours taking painstakingly non-essential connecting flights).

Happy traveling!

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Shop Local

Planning to propose? Tips to help you pick the perfect ring

posted by Trusted    |   December 6, 2013 20:24

Did you know that Bateman Jewellers is the oldest independent jewellery store in Saskatoon? Bateman Jewellers maintains that client relationships are very important to them, and Trusted is sure you have heard owner Cam Kripki say in his well known radio ads "Your jewellery is a lifetime investment; buy it from a lifetime friend." Trusted can attest to the fact that they really do mean it, and we are proud to have them on board as our Trusted Saskatoon Jeweller!

Here, Cam shares a few tips on buying an engagement ring.

Find Out Her Tastes

So, you found the right girl. And decided to ask her to marry you. CONGRATULATIONS!!! There are a few things to think about as you start down the road to engagement bliss.

If you're purchasing the ring without her, intending to surprise her, choosing one will be more difficult because obviously you won't be able to ask her what she wants. Do keep in mind that nowadays, many women prefer to be part of a joint decision to purchase a ring, so if you find it really difficult to know her style and taste, provide a temporary ring and tell her that you'll choose the real one together.



Some of the ways to try and work out her taste include:

Asking her about rings in general. If you're going past a jewellery store, pretend to be interested in a watch. Then casually drop a comment about the styles of rings, saying you like a certain type and asking her what she likes. If you're very good, she won't notice the ruse. If you're not so good, she'll probably tweak but she still won't know when you're going to propose! Other ways of getting her to talk about engagement rings is to make a comment about a friend's engagement ring and to ask her preferences at the same time.

Ask her family for ideas. This will depend on whether or not you want them to know before she does, of course. Another ruse is to have her friends take her into a store to ask her "just for fun". You'll need to have absolute trust in them to keep quiet and to pull this off. It's not a good option if you'd prefer to keep it quiet until the moment of the proposal.

Sum up her tastes from the clothes she wears and her existing jewellery. You're in the best position to know whether she likes plain, fancy, patterns, large or small fashion statements. Is she traditional, classic, contemporary, or way out there? Use what you do know about her fashion preferences to your own advantage.

Is she an impassioned supporter of fair trade and human rights? If so, be sure to look for recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds as part of your choosing process.

Find Bateman Jewellers, your Trusted Saskatoon Jewellers, on 2nd Ave South in downtown Saskatoon, or online.

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