• Sabrina Irvine

A Night Out in YXE: August Edition

I'm a firm believer in the importance of regular date nights for any married couple. In some ways, I think they help to maintain a level of romance that otherwise might feel absent. I tend to view date nights as routine maintenance for any relationship. As a busy Mom of four, I find very few opportunities to genuinely connect with my husband in our home. Perhaps our lack of opportunities to connect, could be credited to the excessive volume level of our tiny humans....or maybe it's just the nature of our consistently busy schedules. Whatever the reason, I will never underestimate the necessity of alone time with your spouse in order to escape the dreaded autopilot mode young parents often face.

How long has it been since you and your spouse went on a date? There are many excuses couples make to skip regular date nights, here are a few of the ones I hear most often. "We don't have anyone reliable to watch the kids" or "I am totally out of ideas for date night." If you fall into either of these two common excuse categories than this blog is definitely for you.

This past weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to head out on the town for a much needed date night. When you have kids, a date night involves a bit more prep work. While I do miss the pre-kid days of spontaneous dates, I have found we actually explore new places when we are forced to make a specific plan in advance. The first thing I do when planning a night out, is to hop onto the Little Einsteins Website and book our family in for a babysitter. The online booking service through Little Einsteins is so user friendly, even my husband can book our childcare.

I love everything about Little Einsteins and I jumped at the opportunity to represent them as an Ambassador. Are you new to Little Einsteins? I'm so excited to share my promo code with you for your first booking in Regina or Saskatoon (code: momsabrina). Use my promo code to try their services without a membership fee for your first booking. When I booked childcare for our most recent date, I filmed a video of the booking process (which you can find on my Instagram page @joyinyourcircus).

Now that Little Einsteins makes finding childcare for date nights so simple, I tend to invest more time planning out our date night. We have our favorite restaurants and venues but it's always great to experience new things on our date nights. In the past, I would have been extremely reluctant to try anything cultural that was out of my limited box. I guess you could say, as I age I'm becoming more and more open minded when it comes to food and experiences. 

Last weekend, we headed to downtown Saskatoon to check out Sticks and Stones (which is located on 2nd Avenue). This restaurant is owned and operated by Top Chef Canada Winner Dale Mackay as a component of the Grasswoods Restaurant Group (which also features: Ayden Kitchen & Bar, Little Grouse on the Prairie, Avenue, Ayden Catering and Prairie Feast Festival). Sticks and Stones has been on my radar for a while after hearing raving reviews from friends. Our only disappointment was that we hadn’t made time to check it out sooner. I can honestly say our experience exceeded my expectations. One thing I would suggest, is to book a reservation in advance (iif you're crunched for time). While we didn't make a reservation, they had such a great system for notifying you via text when a table opened up for you. My husband and I enjoyed a walk around downtown until a space became available. Was it worth the wait? ABSOLUTELY!

The food and drink menu  is unique, and I strongly suggest heading online before you arrive to browse the many different options. We shared four orders of rolls and each one was mouthwatering and beautifully crafted. Our four roll selections were: The OC, Spicy Salmon, T&T and Avocado Cucumber. We even had a few of those awkward moments of waiting to see who was going to take the last roll (they were just that good).

I was impressed by the Covid precautions taken by staff, I didn't in any way feel that the safety measures implemented distracted from the restaurant's warm and inviting vibe. I constantly saw staff sanitizing their hands and staff waiting patiently for customers to walk through the restaurant common spaces (to ensure social distancing is maintained in smaller areas). Sticks and Stones also offers a digital menu I found to be a nice touch in their effort to reduce touched items. The level of cleanliness and sanitation was very well appreciated by all patrons in the restaurant.

After an amazing meal at Sticks and Stones we headed to grab a sweet treat from one of our favorite local YXE shops called Homestead Ice Cream (which is located on Victoria Avenue). This adorable Ice Cream Parlour has become a staple in the City of Saskatoon in 1978. The first thing I noticed upon our arrival, was the outdoor ordering station as well as a separate place to pay and wait to collect your order (all while maintaining social distancing). The staff were all friendly and things moved in such a smooth manner that it made for a great experience.

I would suggest heading online to view their menu prior to arrival (as I like to be prepared...must be the Mom in me). If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you definitely won't be left disappointed by the wide array of different options Homestead offers. There is something to satisfy every possible desert craving imaginable. I have made a point of trying something different each time we visit (for research purposes...obviously!)

After leaving Homestead Ice Cream, we probably should have headed to the gym for an intense cardio workout...but we headed home for the night. Upon arriving at home, I immediately noticed toys were cleaned up and my three youngest were fast asleep. My son Jaxon was totally engaged in an intense card game with our awesome sitter Jenn. When we book a sitter through Little Einsteins, I never have to worry about what we will find when we arrive at home. I came home knowing my kids were well taken care of and had the best time on their night off from Mom and Dad. Let me tell you a secret, I used to feel bad when we left the kids with babysitters to head on a date night; however, my mindset has dramatically shifted over the years. I came to the realization that my kids needed the break from us, just as much as my husband and I needed a night out together. Book childcare for your next date night and see just how easy it is to take some time away to refresh and reconnect with your partner.

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