• 5 Easy Summer Meals We Love

    Jul 31, 2017

    Summer is a special time of year. It's the perfect time to relax with friends and family, enjoy the weather, and eat some delicious food. Since no one likes to work too hard in the summer heat, Timbercreek Communities presents 5 easy summer meals we love!

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    1. BBQ Chicken And Potato Salad

    Grilling good BBQ Chicken is all about the sauce. Don’t just squeeze it from a bottle. You can start with bottled ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, chili and hot pepper sauce -- but then add your own twist with sauteed garlic, butter, brown sugar, celery seed and salt. Nothing goes better with great BBQ chicken than a classic Potato Salad on the side.

    2. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

    Sitting in the sunshine with a freshly prepared Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad is what summer is all about. It can be ready to serve in half an hour, with only 15 minutes of hands on time. Whip up the dressing by chopping garlic cloves and pureeing it with a cup of olive oil. Then it’s all about the anchovies! Add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.

    3. Pho

    Making traditional Pho normally takes several hours, but this quick and easy version can be ready to serve in only 40 minutes! Combine beef stock and water with ginger, onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, sugar and fish sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Place the noodles and sliced beef fillet in a warmed bowl and pour the hot soup over top to cook the beef.

    4. Portobello Burgers

    You won't miss the meat once you bite into these Portobello Burgers! You can cook them in a pan indoors, or outside on the grill. Basting the burgers with a good marinade is crucial. Fortunately you can create a simple and tasty marinade with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and Montreal steak seasoning.

    5. Sushi Handrolls

    Sushi Handrolls are a satisfying summer meal that won’t leave you feeling overly full. They are great to serve at a summer get-together as you can prepare them in advance or simply lay out the ingredients and let your guests build their own! If you’ve never made them before, this recipe will show you how, step-by-step, with pictures! Remember to moisten the edge of the nori with water to seal the cone. Serve with shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) and a little pickled ginger.

    Timbercreek hopes that these easy summer meals help you say bon appetit in the summer heat! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Small Space Home Offices

    Jul 24, 2017

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    The home office is becoming more of a must have than ever. Whether you work from home full-time, telecommute a few days a week, or you just want to have a space to sit and work on creative projects -- a home office is just what you need. Even if you don’t have the luxury of a full spare room to dedicate as a home office, you still have a lot of options. Timbercreek is here to help you explore some cool ideas for small space home offices.

    Floating shelves

    Floating shelves are simply amazing. They provide a simple and clean way to create a workspace without taking up too much space or making your space feel heavy. A folding chair, kitchen chair or even a yoga ball can be the perfect seat when you need one, and more importantly a seat that you can put away when you don’t.

    Don't Overlook Corners

    You don’t need a spare room to create a home office. All you need to do is get a bit creative with how you use your current space. Take advantage of every square inch and leave no stone unturned in your search for free space. Check every corner. A spare corner can be the perfect spot to set up shop.

    Don’t Be Overwhelmed

    The idea of a big, old-fashioned dark wood desk that you can put your feet up on may be appealing in your mind, but can be quite imposing in your home - even if you have the space for it. Opt for light-coloured, modern furniture that won't overwhelm.

    Office With A View

    Whether you are writing a novel or doing data-entry, it’s nice to be able to look up from your computer screen and stare off into the distance. It’s good for your eyes to take a break, too. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. To prevent eye strain, every 20 minutes look up from the screen and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Setting up a small desk or folding table in front of a bedroom window is a great way to give yourself an office with a view.

    Closet Office

    Even if you have a spare room to dedicate to a home office, you may want to consider creating a closet office instead. When your work day is done, simply close the closet door and separate your work and home life. Plus, you still have a spare room for guests or a second bedroom.

    Your friends at Timbercreek hope that these productive ideas for small space home offices help to increase your productivity without overly decreasing your living space.

    To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Our New Sustainability Initiative: Bee Suites

    Jul 20, 2017
        

    There is something serious going on with the world’s bee population. Pollinator bees are endangered and Timbercreek Communities has launched an exciting new initiative to help solve the problem. Introducing - Bee Suites!

    The Issue

    Did you know that bees pollinate fruit, nut and vegetable crops that make up 90% of the world’s nutrition? That means that 1 in 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by the pollinators who spread the pollen that crops need to grow.

    Worldwide bee populations are currently in crisis. They are dying from exposure to pesticides and habitat loss. That’s why Timbercreek Communities has launched Bee Suites, a Canada-wide initiative to help save endangered pollinator bees and the environment. Inspired by the work of Sustainable TO with other bee habitats Timbercreek Communities felt this was a natural fit for our company as providing homes is what we do!

    About The Initiative

    For the Bee Suites program, Timbercreek Communities will build Bee Suites - new habitats for endangered pollinator bees and divert waste from landfills. We plan to build Bee Suites on our rooftops across Canada.

    So what are Bee Suites? Simply put, they are new homes for pollinator bees. They are built from the old debris (closet and cabinet doors, sinks, tubs etc.) created from renovating our residential suites. They are sustainable new homes for pollinator bees and they divert this waste from landfills.

    The Roll Out

    Our first Bee Suite is located at Broadview Mansions, on the roof of the small garage behind 569 Broadview. It was installed during the week of June 26th, 2017, see more here. We can’t wait for our little friends to find it!

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    What To Expect

    Worried about living close to a bee population? There’s no need. Pollinator bees are barely noticeable and keep themselves busy by collecting pollen. They are focused in their work and don’t sting people unless stepped on or pinched. In fact, only 50% of bees (females) have stingers.

    Help Timbercreek save the bees and the environment by showing your support for The Bee Suites initiative. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, please contact beesuites@timbercreek.com.

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  • How to Plan a Great Last Minute Summer Vacation

    Jul 18, 2017

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    Summertime makes planning a vacation painless. School is out, there are multiple long weekends to take advantage of and the weather is almost guaranteed. If you put off planning a vacation this year but have found some free time this summer, Timbercreek Communities has some tips for planning a great last minute vacation.

    Set Your Budget

    Pretty much everything about a vacation is determined by your budget. How long you can stay away, how far you can travel and what you can do once you get there are just a few of the things that depend on it. A last minute vacation is spontaneous by nature, but still requires some planning. Figure out how much you can afford to spend before you go. Keep in mind that hotter destinations, like the Caribbean, are in off-season during the summer making them much more affordable. You can even find some great deals on unsold cabins on cruises a week or two before departure.

    Determine Your Destination

    You may have a list of dream destinations on your travel bucket list but you should also keep an open mind about locations that present themselves while searching for last minute flights. It may not be what you originally had in mind, but spontaneity is key to any great last minute travel experience.

    Make the Time to Travel

    If you wait for the perfect time to travel, you may find yourself waiting your whole life. There may never be a perfect time, you have to make the time you have perfect. Research has shown that travel is good for you, so don’t put it off. Can you add a vacation day or two to a summer long weekend? Even if it’s only for a long weekend, it’s better than nothing. Don't stand in the way of your travel dreams.

    Know Where You Will Stay

    Don’t go overboard with the spontaneity. Picking up and leaving last minute can be a great feeling, but having nowhere to stay when you get there is not. Plus, they will probably ask you at customs where you are staying. If you are planning a longer vacation, book a hotel for the first few days at least. That will give you time to plan your next move once you get there.

    Go it Alone

    It can be hard for family members or a group of friends to be spontaneous at the same time. Don’t be afraid to go solo. Traveling alone lets you make the most of your time, doing only what you want to do. You can stay on the cheap in a hostel and meet new people, or sign up for a tour group if you don’t want to spend too much time by yourself.

    Timbercreek bids you bon voyage and hopes these tips help you make the most of your time off this summer. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: How To Keep Your Pet Cool In Summer

    Jul 17, 2017

    Summer in Canada can be sweltering. Because of their fur, high summer temperatures can leave your pet in distress and unable to cool down. Learn how to keep your pet cool and safe this summer with these tips from Timbercreek.

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    Grooming

    Keeping your pet's coat trimmed can make a big difference to their internal temperature in the heat of summer. However there is a double edged sword here. Dog breeds that have an undercoat (that layer of hair that keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer) can be harmed by cutting. With these breeds it’s better to give a good regular brushing to thin out the animal’s coat. The start of summer is the ideal time to groom your pet for ease of maintenance, and maximum cool. Be aware that too short of a cut can open the animal up to sunburn depending on their exposure to the outdoors and direct sun.

    Water/Hydration

    We've all been guilty of forgetting to fill the water dish for our pets. Pets need constant hydration in the heat of summer in order to stay cool, especially if they’re active. Add a second dish to give you a visual reminder to add more water. Be sure to check your pet’s main water dish daily, and consider putting an extra bowl out in another location of the house for easy access.

    Baths

    While time consuming for owners, and typically not enjoyed by most animals, baths are a sure fire and immediate way to cool down. While dogs tend to rebel, and cats scream bloody murder, in the end they feel better for it on a hot day. Of course some dog breeds are swimmers and love a good dousing (like the Golden Lab). For water hating pets even a little shower with the garden hose can cool them off on a hot day.

    Walk Them At Low Temperature Times Of Day

    While cats and birds and other smaller species will naturally 'hibernate' at high heat times of day, owners can choose when to walk their dogs. In summer it's wise to walk your dog during cooler times of day. Mornings and evenings are ideal for most dogs.  Restricting walks to early morning and late evening will help your pets to stay cool (or at least not overheat) while still getting the exercise they need.

    AC/Fans

    What's good for humans can be good for animals. Air conditioning in the hottest months of summer keeps us and our pets cool and comfortable. Imagine wearing a thick fur coat on even a mildly hot day and you’ll get a glimpse into your pet’s typical summer day. Using your AC or turning on a fan can help your pet stay cool on those super hot, dog days of summer.

    Don't Leave Pets In The Car (With Windows Up)

    Never leave your pet in the car with the windows rolled up. On a hot day this amounts to torture. There's more than one folk tale of a pet suffocating in a parking lot. If you have to go out on a hot, sunny summer day, leave your pet at home. If you must take them, be sure to leave the windows down, and try to bring them a dish of water.

     

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you keep your pet cool this summer. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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