Every Holiday season is stressful, with the busyness between meeting up with friends, family and even those Christmas work parties. The feeling of being stretched out thin is inevitable—with the help of these 9 tips, I hope your holiday season can be as stress-free as possible.
Skip all the lines and circle the parking lot, and shop online. Not only is everything you could ever want at the tip of your fingers—but it also conveniently arrives at your doorstep. Frequently online shopping allows for gift-wrapping options. Take full advantage of that service!
Try to alleviate stress by planning fewer get-togethers and easier ones to host—even better yet, try to avoid hosting altogether and be a guest. If you are hosting, go to the fancy dining and centrepieces, and opt for guests to bring their dish, potluck style and keep decor to a minimum.
Only Buy for the Kids
Purchasing gifts for people can be a huge challenge, from deciding what to get everyone to the financial burden. Skip the adults and only buy for the kids of the family. Children will appreciate the gifts more, and it is more fun to buy and watch them open them. Speaking of gifts, opt for gift bags and tissue paper to save time wrapping.
Minimal Christmas Decorations
A Christmas tree is all you need to set the Christmas mood. Try not to go overboard with too many decorations. If you want to change things up, make your own decorations, from popcorn garland to paper snowflakes—get the whole family involved.
Prepare in Advance
Preparation is your best defence to combat holiday stress. Up until Christmas, pre-bake and pre-cook as many things as possible for the big day. Make lists, plan all your meals, and stock up on extra snacks for drop-in guests. Consider getting some chocolate boxes and small monetary gift cards to have on hand if you’ve missed a gift here or there.
Stock Up in November
The end of November is quickly approaching, so hopefully, you already have some things stockpiled and prepared. Surviving the holiday season means gathering everything you need before the holidays are in full swing—stock up on the essentials like gifts and beverages before the store madness begins. You can easily do this before the start of December.
Call People vs Christmas Cards
Instead of taking time out of your busy schedule to write and order Christmas cards—give those essential people in your life a call before the holiday craziness begins. You may not have talked to friends and family for a while, now’s your chance, even sending off a Facebook message might spark a delightful conversation.
Make Plans in Advance and Re-confirm
Plans are the key to a successful get-together. Make plans days or weeks in advance with your expected company. Re-confirm several times if certain people require it, and re-confirm a few days in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Plan Ahead for DownTime
Regarding schedules, incorporate some quiet downtime into your busy schedule—whether a walk together or alone, a fun family activity like skating or building a snowman, or a drive around the neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Nothing in life is perfect, and if you expect everything to run smoothly and go as planned, you are sadly mistaken. Don’t let the little things get in the way of your enjoyment of the holidays. Keep plugging away bit by bit until it’s over.
There you go. I hope you are ready to combat the holiday season with these 9 helpful tips. All we can try is our best and make it through to January.
If you need a home to celebrate the holidays in, contact your local REALTOR®.
Summertime is here, which means one thing…it’s time to get outside and enjoy all Saskatoon has to offer. There are many places to eat in Saskatoon, and choosing one to meet up with family and friends can be challenging. Here are five local restaurants to try in Saskatoon that will win anyone over.
Bannock Express is a locally owned indigenous restaurant. It started as a Farmer’s Market stall and now has a restaurant on Avenue B, shared with Botte Chai and Dulce Bakery. The menu features bannock-centric offerings, which all look delicious. If you need to cool down this summer and are downtown, the menu also features various lemonades! The Co-op also sells the restaurant’s signature bannock—so stop in there if you can’t make it downtown. Inside the business is a pinboard that encourages people to donate and provide meals to feed the less fortunate.
Ace Burger began its life as a food truck and transitioned into a restaurant that is located on Broadway. The patio is perfect for summertime meetups with family and friends to enjoy great burgers, hot dogs, poutines, chicken sandwiches and out-of-this-world fries. Modern and cozy vibes fill the space. On your way out, pick up an Ace Burger shirt and hat! They also offer take-out—a nice break from cooking on a hot Friday night.
Odla is another restaurant gem found on Broadway. The owners of Farm One Forty started the place with their holistic approach to farming and food. The menu consists of high-end meals made with products from local farmers and producers—featuring a vast list of wines and unique cocktails. The atmosphere is casual, yet sophisticated. Check out their patio to relax and enjoy a fantastic meal. If dining in isn’t for you, they also have an extensive selection of “market items” that you can purchase to cook or reheat meals at home.
Korean & Japanese Fusion
Sticks & Stones has a delicious menu with an array of Korean and Japanese fusion eats. It has a casual, yet modern vibe, conveniently located downtown. Stones is the perfect place to enjoy a warm bowl of Ramen and a tasty ice cold drink—exclusively open in the evenings, offering table reservations or ordering online.
Thirteen Pies is open only in the evenings and is located downtown. The pizza is self-described as “Brooklyn style”—definition: it has a thin crust and is foldable to go down quickly. Their white sauce pizza is terrific, the drinks are divine, and the atmosphere is an upscale pub. If you are wandering downtown on a summer night and are looking for some late-night eats, pick this place—they offer delivery too.
From sushi to pizza, there is something for every taste bud in Saskatoon. Even better is supporting local businesses, producers, farmers and families. I hope that a few of these places spark your interest and you try them out this summer!
If you need help finding real estate close to any of these hot spots, contact your local REALTOR® today!
Open houses can be a bit of a controversial topic in the real estate world. Some professionals insist that they are necessary, others want nothing to do with it, and some are in the middle, having open houses occasionally. Holding an open house when selling your home can have some great benefits, but they also have disadvantages. Being aware of the advantages and limitations of open houses can help you decide what you want and what risks you want to take on.
Pros of Open Houses When Selling a Home
Attract Buyers at the Start of the Homebuying Process – Buying a home is not a process that everyone is familiar with, and open houses can be an easy first step. Especially for first-time homebuyers who may not know where to get information or whom to contact when looking for a home. Open houses can be a way to attract new buyers, which is helpful for any home seller.
Additional Exposure – Exposure is the name of the game when selling your home. Having a solid marketing plan to get as many potential buyers’ eyes on your house is the key to getting a good offer. Open houses can be an excellent way to get additional exposure and advertising.
Reduce Pressure on Buyers – Open houses are often very low-pressure environments where buyers can tour the home with little to no pressure. Some buyers like to analyze a home in detail without having a time constraint or someone showing them around.
Show Off Your Advantages – If you have put considerable time and energy into upkeep in your home, an open house is a great way to show off those features. Visitors will appreciate the unique features of your home or just the general upkeep. This could help your home stand out on the market or over other listings in your neighbourhood.
Cons of Open Houses When Selling a Home
It May Not Sell Your Home – The percentage of homes that actually sell due to an open house is less than 2-3%. While you may get a good turnout, open houses aren’t necessarily going to attract buyers who are at the offer stage yet.
Attracting Unqualified Buyers – Anyone can attend an open house, whether they are financially capable of buying a home or not. Not everyone that attends the open house will be qualified to put an offer on it.
Possible Theft – The reality of an open house is that you will have strangers coming through your home, and you don’t know their intentions. It’s always a good idea to put away any valuables or objects you don’t want to lose.
When considering whether or not to host an open house when selling your home, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for you. An open house can be a great opportunity to better market your home to buyers. Still, it isn’t for every seller, and it’s not necessary for selling your home. If you are unsure, talk to a local real estate expert about your situation and goals. And, of course, you can always contact me if you have any questions or need any advice!
Well, Saskatoon, it looks like we’ll be spending another summer close to home. With the real estate market as hot as it is right now, it’s evident that some people are taking the opportunity to upgrade their living situations. Imagine finding a home with a great outdoor space—kids’ playset included. Or what if it has a pool? How amazing will your summer be with access to your very own backyard oasis?
If it’s possible to change your primary residence to suit your desired lifestyle better, that is a great option. If you are unable to find your family’s perfect home, what can you do to improve your outdoor space? The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to enhance the outdoor area you do have while you are waiting to move!
Furnishings: Need a place to relax and enjoy your outdoor space? Purchase hardy outdoor furnishings that stand up well to our climate.
Heat It Up: A fire pit or fire table can turn your outdoor space into an inviting gathering place. Adding a heat source to your outdoor space will also increase the amount of time you can enjoy it.
Spruce Up Your Gathering Space: If you have a deck, consider sanding and restaining it to freshen it up. If you have a patio, use a pressure washer to make your blocks look new again and take care of weeds or grass growing between the blocks.
Light It Up: Not only can lights transform the look of outdoor space, but they can also add nighttime safety and security.
Add a Water Feature: A water feature can be a great focal point, easy to install and maintain and come in many affordable options and sizes. Choose from tabletop fountains to large rock features. A successful outdoor space takes all senses into account, including sound. And there is no sound more relaxing than moving water!
Make a Walking Path: Use mulch, stones slabs, or paving stones, to lead to a bench or chair in your favorite spot.
Create Privacy: There’s nothing better about living in Saskatoon than the friendliness of familiarity you’ll feel with your neighbours. But sometimes, you just want to relax without worrying that Wilson next door will hassle you the moment you open the patio door! Adding a fence can help create privacy from neighbors and boundaries from other areas of your home. In urban climates, you may want to add a privacy wall to your deck or patio as well. Creating privacy will give your outdoor space a sense of coziness.
Add Potted Plants: Simple, yet effective, adding potted plants adds an extra touch of green into your outdoor oasis, whether you’re working with a full backyard or cozy condo balcony. Plus, if you’re thinking about selling, it can be an easy way to boost your home’s curb appeal for sale, too!
Create a Shady Place: When the sun is too hot to handle, have a place you can go to escape. A pergola, canvas pole tent, curtains, or a taut piece of canvas will do the trick.
No matter what your outdoor space may look like, there are plenty of ways to boost its appeal while you are waiting to move. And if you find it still just doesn’t feel right, we can always, of course, speed up the timeline and start your home search sooner!