5 PLACES YOU MUST SEE IN SOUTHERN SASKATCHEWAN

Hello all! It has been a while since I actually wrote something that was not a book review, but I come with some awesome stuff to check out while or if you are traveling in south Saskatchewan.

I really have not gone to southern Saskatchewan other than to visit friends in Regina. So when I was casually just looking at things to do in Saskatchewan (thanks COVID-19) I found some awesome places that I knew I had to visit.

Now that I have some spare time on my hands, I decided to go on a solo road trip and visit all of these places that I wanted to go to.

I will say there is probably way more stuff to do in southern Sask, but I was a girl on a mission to get to all these places in just a few days so here is my list.

1. The Great Sand Hills

In Saskatchewan, there are two super sandy areas. One being accessible by plane that are the Athabasca Sand Dunes. Then there is the Great Sand Hills which are accessible by car.

There are a few hills here I believe, I only adventured the one because it was 33 degrees Celsius out, I am a little fatty whose cardio is horrendous and I was fucking warm.

I will say that the one hill I climbed was amazing! The sand was so soft! It was exactly like some beaches in Cuba.

There was a family there who just came out to play in the sand for the day and I thought that was the cutest thing. It is just one big sand box.

2. Grotto Gardens

This stop is just outside Maple Creek and it is definitely an awesome place to stop. There is a restaurant to order food and a little gift shop to get some local goods. But the best thing about this place is the goats!

There were some other animals there too but I felt like the goats were the main animals. there is a little area where you can go and pet the goats and feed them. There is feed available for 25 cents I believe.

There is a whole goat apparatus here so you get to watch the goats climb up top where you can also feed them by a pulley system. On Sundays they do have goat yoga, which would be awesome to go to, if I didn’t live 4 hours away.

The whole area here is really awesome and beautiful and is definitely worth a stop if you are near by.

3. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

this is at Bald Butte

The number one reason that I was stopping here was because it is a dark sky preserve. I love looking at the stars and if you are away from any light pollution, the night sky looks so fucking amazing! It really just makes you feel small and knowing that the universe is so big is quite emotional ( for me at least)

So the original reason I was coming to Cypress Hills was for the night sky, but once I arrived my literal first reaction was holy shit this place is gorgeous! The park is just massive amount of trees. I was like this feels like BC because of all the trees and slight hills.

this was the view just outside my room

Actually there are two parts of the interprovincial park. There is the centre block and the west block on the Saskatchewan side. The centre block is more like a tourist area. There are Cabins you can rent, lots of camping areas, and a few other things.

The west block has a few notable areas to also check out. When I entered the west block, you are driving up quite the hill surrounded by trees again and many curves and swerves (aka BC like). Overall I will be going back and hopefully spend more than a night there.

4. Conglomerate Cliffs

overlooking the valley standing on the edge of the cliffs

I never thought I would see such a breathtaking landscape in Saskatchewan! But I did. These cliffs are super accessible by car and are just amazing. You overlook Adams Lake and the rolling hills. The cliffs can be found in the west block of Cypress Hills. All I can say is if you have a chance visit this spot, the photos are not doing it justice.

There is also the Hidden Conglomerate Cliffs, which require a hike. I fully intended to go to them, but once I started I soon found out that it was much more of a vertical hike than I was capable of. That with the fear of hiking alone and the warning of cougars (low but still a possibility) I decided that I would come back another time, with others for encouragement and safety.

5. Castle Butte (Big Muddy)

The best way to describe Big Muddy is like this, You know the big red rock that stands alone in Australia? Also known as Ayers Rock or Uluru. It is like that but not nearly as big or square and not in Australia. It is kind of like that. This is really an awesome stop. You are surrounded by rolling hills where you can see the layers of rocks that formed it. You can also climb Big Muddy if you feel obligated to do so. I was watching people coming down from the top and they were basically sliding down on their asses because it was such a steep path. So with that I was like NOPE and just walked around the rock.

So these are all the places that I hit on my small solo road trip. I will say take your time and stop in at other places becuase between all of these places and then back to Saskatoon it was 1500km.

There are a few small towns in Saskatchewan that have interesting pieces of art that the town boasts as their thing. I stopped in Leader, Saskatchewan because they had a huge adirondack chair ( I tried sitting in it but it was very sloped and my sandals were not having it.)

me in front of the big adirondack chair

So here are some places to visit if you are in south Saskatchewan or are just looking for something to go and see. It was an awesome trip overall and I highly recommend all of these spots.

Is there somewhere in south Saskatchewan that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

until next time!

Tushy review (is it worth it?)

First things first… what is a tushy? Well it is a brand of attachable bidet. So essentially it is an attachment to your toilet that shoots water up your butt to clean it. It is suppose to wash away anything that has been left behind on your behind🤣

So if you know me, you know I have no prob talking about my bowels. If you don’t know me…. I will openly talk about my bowels and their movements.

So some back story. For the past 2 years I have had horrible digestive issues. TMI I know but I warned you that I talk openly about this shit… literally. I’ve been to the doctor and had tests done, there is nothing out of the ordinary. So now I just have to eat a ridiculous amount of fiber which doesn’t always happen on the regular.

So with the bidet, it washes away all the mess which is great so I don’t have to wipe and wipe and wipe ( literally taking forever)

Photo by hermaion on Pexels.com

So on to the review. I ordered the bidet full on thinking that I would hate it and regret my purchase. It was a very foreign concept to me and I am not usually up for new things but I was literally at my breaking point cause I always felt “unclean”. So I ordered it in hopes that it would solve my issues in the bathroom.

I ordered the Tushy spa which has the warm and cold water attachments. With this one you can control the warmth of the water which is nice. Not necessary but nice. For the first bit we only had the cold water on because our house is dumb. There were many roadblocks preventing me from having warm water for my butt. However, I am impatient so we got the cold water going and I took it for a test drive. The cold water was a wake-up call for the butthole but not too unpleasant to stop me from using it. Every time I use it you can hear me go “woo” from the bathroom from the shock of the cold water.

So the actual install was pretty easy. There is adjustable parts so that you can move it around so the nozzle is in the centre of the toilet. I likes that once the tushy was delivered you got an email that had a video with instructions in which can be handy.

One thing I was concerned about was the nozzle being clean but there is also a knob that you turn and it has water flow over to clean it. But honestly I thought it would get covered in shit and it really doesn’t. There is a toggle that allows you to move the nozzle so you can move it around to get the right angle for your butthole. Or if you like you can do a swiping motion on your butt, making sure you get everything.

Overall I give the tushy an 11/10. Easy installation, works amazing, makes me feel super clean, and is pretty for a bidet. Also the packaging was very minimal and was all recyclable. I honestly could not ask for a better experience and product.

If you were considering getting a bidet get this one. I think after the conversion it can to 155.00 CAD, which I didn’t think was too bad.

So in the end, Tushy has literally changed my life. I feel so much cleaner after my bad digestive days. So everyone should get a Tushy, they are awesome!

https://hellotushy.com/

WHAT STARTED DEVAN SMILES?

So it is that time for another blog post, and I think the hardest thing about writing blog posts is figuring out what to write. I decided today I would write about why I started devan.smiles.com.

I have been told throughout my life that I am a generally positive person. as I have grown older I would say I am less positive because you know the state of the world (climate change, patriarchy, you know shit that gets you angry.) I also live a very privileged life ( being white and being given opportunities that not everyone has.) I know that I should use my place of privilege to change what I can.

On the flip side, I don’t like controversy. I get really uncomfortable and I am not witty. I am unable to think on my toes and if I get upset I just start crying ( thanks mom for that awesome gene.) I know that even though it makes me uncomfortable, I still need to push back and stand up for the people who don’t necessarily have a voice or are marginalized.

I by no means am perfect at this, fuck it is a constant battle in my head and heart of why didn’t I say something.

But this is why I started Devan smiles. it gives me a space to start acting on that privilege (haven’t gotten too into it yet.) This space allows me to slowly ease into using my voice. I can write about it get, get my facts straight, and feel confident in the knowledge that I have. Then maybe I can take down some fucker that tries to come at me without just turning into a mess of tears and mumbles.

Will every post be about some controversial topic? hell No! it is exhausting taking on all the worlds problems. I can barley handle one at a time whiteout being like fuck it I’m just going to lay in bed till the end of time. SO there will be some when I can muster up the brain power for them. Will I get some facts wrong? YES, it is almost impossible for me to have them straight all the time. Like I said I come from a place of privilege and I can easily overlook something that others might not. So I want it to be know that I want feedback if I have something wrong. Start the conversation so I can learn, just don’t be an ass about it.

So that is why I started this blog. I haven’t really used it for what intended yet, but I will, I just have to build up that courage and write it out!

Ways to reduce waste

A big conversation everywhere is the environment, and in the grand scheme of things it may seem like you doing anything may not help combat the battle to change it, but it does. You may seem like a single person and you doing your part CAN help. I think that 7.53 Billion people trying to make the environment better, Fuck even a quarter of that, can make a difference. Here are some tips to help you do your part to make the world a little bit greener.

Get a reusable straw

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I Honestly never used plastic straws unless it was already in the drink, but I was reading about how drinking liquids through a straw help prevent staining. So I bought a metal reusable straw. It is honestly the most amazing thing ever. I literally use it all the time (mostly if I am drinking out of a can or for a glass of water ( it really helps when being a lazy ass and laying down). One of the reasons it took me so long to buy a reusable straw was because I use to take smoothies in a metal Starbucks tumbler, and at the end of the day there would be shit stuck up the straw (no matter how many times I washed it) and I figured that it was not sanitary. After that happening many times with the “reusable” straws I gave up, but then there were straws that would come with a cleaner. This was just a more durable pipe cleaner that crafts were made of when I was a kid. I was sold! This was going to make my skepticism of the sanitary straw obliterated. So I bought a straw and I am never looking back. If you live in Saskatoon, reusable straws and cleaners can be found at Thrive Juice co, the better good, the Remai Modern art gallery shop, and the bulk barn (which is the cheapest at 1 dollar a straw and 50 cents for a cleaner!)

Don’t get the plastic bags at the grocery store

So I have completely switched over to reusable bags at the grocery stores. This is for the ones that carry the groceries out of the store in and the ones that you would put produce in, yep if it has a plastic bag for it at the grocery store… I got a reusable one. I feel like most people probably have gone the way of the reusable carryout bags, but the produce ones maybe not so much based on my interactions with people at the grocery store. I mostly go grocery shopping once a week so it is easy for me to grab my bag of bags (yes it is a bag to hold all of my bags) and head to the stores. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes I run into the store for one thing and come out with many that require a bag to carry. For this reason alone I just have a reusable bag hanging out in my purse/backpack or I will just shove everything into whatever bag I happen to be carrying. So this is another thing that has changed my life especially since plastic bags can no longer be put in the recycling bins in your home (at least in Saskatoon). I have linked the specific ones that I purchased on Amazon, but if you live in Saskatoon I know that the better good sold reusable produce bags.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B074TDB3XG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Do not use k-cups or t-disks or whatever the fuck they are called

So when I moved out this past year I needed to get a coffee machine but I was the only one out of my partner and me who drinks coffee. Well, I drink about one coffee a day at home, work supplies the rest of my coffee fix, so buying a 12 cup coffee maker really didn’t make much sense for me. While we were packing things up at my partner’s house, his mother said that she had a Keurig that she no longer used and that I was welcome to have it (score!) and she also had reusable pods that I could put whatever coffee I wanted in (double score). The funny thing about this was that my partner was attamit that I not get a Keurig because they are so wasteful and promote single-use products. Which is true but if I didn’t buy it or give money to the company is it just as bad??? In the end, I have the Keurig and use the refillable pods everyday and I walk around a little more guilt-free about my carbon footprint. I have linked the amazon reusable k-cup if anyone is wanted to purchase it.

https://www.amazon.ca/Reusable-RECAPS-Capsule-Compatible-Machines/dp/B015MKXSW4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542739995&sr=8-1&keywords=re-usable+k+cup

Skip the plastic wrap (use containers to hold food)

OMG, this is one that I hold near and dear to my heart! Before I was ever super into environmental stuff I would hide the saran wrap from my family. They loved to use it! And I do not know why. Like they would put food into a container that had a lid but just put saran wrap over it instead of getting the lid. Like holy Fuck this annoyed me. So, I hid the saran wrap in my room. This forced them to use the lids of the gazillion and one container my mother had collected over the years. Now that I don’t live at my parents I cannot say if they still don’t use it or not but I know that I don’t. Even using an empty yogurt container is better than saran wrap (still not great but better). Moral of the story is DON’T USE SARAN WRAP! Fuck don’t even buy it.

Use glass containers

Just using reusable containers is a big one, but I feel that taking it to the next level and using glass containers is even better! But Devan why is glass better? Well as much as you would like to think that the plastic container is great it does pick up smells, it can warp, and I have noticed that a few kinds get this weird melty kind of stuff on it? I have no idea what it actually is but it weirds me out. Also, plastic can only be recycled a few times before they become unusable any more. With glass, it doesn’t lose its quality as it is continuously recycled. This means that you can keep recycling the glass containers/bottles over and over and over again and it doesn’t make a difference in the quality of the product that gets produced. With plastic, depending on the type, you will only get no recycle-ability or only a few times. So overall using a glass container, in the bigger picture, is better. It might not seem like you are making a difference in your household but you are

Bring your own containers when you go out for food

I had honestly read this on some other blog a long time ago but never actually thought anything of it until I was out for supper the other day and had to ask to take food home (this never happens). I told my partner how easy it would be for me to just have a container in my backpack that I could whip out and put my food into and not even have to worry about asking for a take-home box. My Mind was blown and I will always try and bring a container if I go out to eat.

Be cautious of what you are buying

This one is not really a way to reduce as more of to get you thinking about the stuff you may buy and not realize that it could be wasteful. Like anything that is a single use product or something that is covered in plastic. If you become more aware of what you are buying you might try to avoid using some stuff, which also reduces waste I guess.

Use jars for bulk

If you are a person who goes to the bulk store often, then you might benefit from taking a jar, hell even if you don’t go often still take jars! Just get the cashier to weigh them for you and you are golden! It sounds ridiculous but it is so smart, you don’t have to worry about the stupid bags especially if you have a marker to write on the jar. I find that it helps and is a reusable way to go get bulk items…. Even if it is just candy.

Go electronic

This one is a hard one for me because I love to write stuff down and making notes. I also use a day planner to keep myself organized.  However, I have been moving more towards having everything on my phone. I have a shared calendar with my partner which helps a lot. I try to make notes in an app called keep it. This allows me to make lists and is easy to cross off and  I love it. As much as I want to 100% move to electronic note taking and planning I think it will take some time, but as long as I am moving in the right direction.

Stop using brands that promote single-use products


This one goes hand in hand with the be cautious of what you buy and stop using K-cups.  I feel like this one is the umbrella that these fall under. But still, stop using single-use products. I try and avoid stuff that makes me throw it out after one use. It is hard but if you really put your mind to it, it is possible.

Let me know other ways or ways that you try to reduce waste. I always love learning about other ways or new ways to be green!

MY THOUGHTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

So this has been a hot topic for quite some time. Scientists were aware of it since the 1970’s and with the use of computers in the 1990’s, we have just increased our ability of gathering data proving that the temperature of the earth is going up.

With the advances in technology, we now more than ever, have such clear data that Humans, with our advancements, are causing the earth to increase in temperatures. Scientists have said that the earth temperature has gone up 0.82 degrees Celsius since 1880. Now that doesn’t seem like a whole heck of a difference, like we are under one degree. Well if we continue on our path and reach 1.5 degrees, 70-90% of coral reefs will die and if we reach 2 degrees 99% of the reefs will have been killed off.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

Maybe people don’t care about coral reefs like I do, but that still is horrible. another fact is we are losing 413 GIGATONS of ice sheets per year. That is a fuck ton of ice. The water levels have increased 7 inches over the past 100 years. 18 of the 19 hottest years have occurred since 2001! Yes in the past 18 years we have had 18 of the hottest years!

Photo by Jean-Christophe André on Pexels.com

So when you see young people yelling at the UN or taking more action against the government for action alleviate some of the damages we have caused you can see why. We have litteral “world leaders” who think that this is a spoof and there are massive amounts of people who believe the same thing.

So yes stop using plastic bags and straws. Yes try and consume less meat. Yes try to avoid shit wrapped in plastic. Try and reduce your waste. I get it if you think that you are one person how much of an affect can you have? Well if the whole of the population thinks that, we got a shit ton of waste added to our already massive amount.

I know that a lot of people are hesitant about making changes, well what is the harm in trying? So what if the scientists made it up? We end up with a better living environment? Is that such a bad thing?

We are not trying to necessarily trying to save the earth. The earth will still be here long after the human race has killed itself off. We are really trying to save the human race. If we continue earth will become uninhabitable for us to live on which at this point means we won’t have a home.

SO please just try. I am not asking you to completely give up everything but just try and avoid certain things. Just Try.

all of my information came from these two sites

https://climate.nasa.gov/

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/