• Get Fit In Your Living Room

    Jan 15, 2018

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    It’s hard enough getting to the gym in the sunny summer months, much less in the dark of winter. Good thing you can get in a killer workout without leaving the comfort of home. Even if you have nothing more than your own body and a pair of leggings, an intense workout is totally possible. To help get your heart rate up this season without leaving the house, Timbercreek brings you this list of living room workouts to help you get (or stay) fit this winter.

    HIIT

    High Intensity Interval Training is a system that revolves around short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by less intense periods of pseudo-rest. Nearly any exercise can be used, and while varied, standard intervals consist of 30 seconds of intensity, followed by a minute of low-activity rest. Think 30 seconds of jump squats followed by 1 minute of medium to low level jumping jacks. HIIT gets the heart rate up quickly and keeps it up, without the need for traditional exercises like running or a stairmaster. It's great for cardio and it activates the “Afterburn” effect where calories keep burning long after you’re done.

    Tabata

    A version of HIIT training, Tabata is a fitness system that’s as simple as it is effective. The basics involve 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Start with any group of 4 exercises (let’s say push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks and squats). Do the first for 20 intense seconds. Then rest for 10. Then repeat with the second, third, and fourth exercises. You then repeat that round of 4 anywhere from 4 to 8, or 10 times. It’s fast. Intense. And effective.

     

    Body Weight

    With just the weight of your body, you can get a killer workout. Exercises like squats, lunges (or jumping lunges), jumping jacks, running on the spot, and step-ups improve cardio and isolate your legs, butt, calves, and core; mountain climbers, sit-ups, leg-raises, and crunches target your abs; push ups and planks hit the triceps, chest, shoulders, abs, and back; while all of it, done in sets with no or little rest (as above), collectively get your heart rate up for cardio.

    Crossfit

    A variation on Tabata and HIIT, Crossfit combines an enormous array of exercises into a single system. With core exercises like the clean and jerk, chin up, push up, and squat, crossfit employs myriad (and sometimes tricky) variants (i.e. the rope climb) to get practitioners fit by applying and incorporating exercises from different sports and traditions. Check out their workout of the day.

    Pilates and Yoga

    Less intense options that still offer fitness, flexibility, and mental rejuvenation, Pilates and Yoga focus on holding static postures which simultaneously build strength and pliable muscles. A great option for indoor workouts in winter.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article helps you stay fit this winter in the comfort of your living room. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Decor Cozy and Beautiful in January

    Jan 09, 2018

    There’s nothing like a warm and cozy space to come home to on a cold winter’s night. Your decor choices can go a long way. Accents, colors, blankets, and decor all contribute to the perceived warmth of a space. To help outfit your home or apartment with seasonal yet cozy accents, Timbercreek brings you this list of ways to keep your decor cozy and beautiful in January.

    Greenery

    One of the best things about Christmas is the abundance of greenery. While trees dry out, pine and cedar boughs tend to last. Leave them up on the mantle after the holidays, or make an arrangement in a vase. Try tying a few boughs together into a bouquet and hang it on the wall or place it decoratively on a coffee or side table.

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    White

    White instills a clean, fresh look that while reminiscent of winter, actually does a lot to bring not only warmth but fashionable, bright, monochromatic accents to a space. It just so happens that white is Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year.

    Birch and Wood Accents

    Another fantastic Christmas carryover is wood. Whether birch, pine, or cedar, wood accents are always a cozy addition to a room and normally available well past the holidays. Toss some birch logs into a basket, make a faux fire by piling logs into a pyramid, or get a birch candle for the mantel.

    Area Rug

    Say no to cold floors. It doesn’t matter how thick your socks are, cold hardwood is cold hardwood. Warm up your floors, be they linoleum or brushed concrete, with an area rug. It doesn’t have to be Persian or monstrous. A square of plush softness can do wonders for not only your feet, but the appearance of coziness.

    Lighting

    Another constant key to keeping a space warm and inviting is lighting. Avoid harsh fluorescents and make sure your bulbs are the proper wattage for every fixture. Even the eco-bulbs can be warm with the right lamp shade. Pick up some full-spectrum bulbs to combat the darkness, or try the clear, exposed filament style ones to add ambiance and that cozy orange glow.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article helps you keep your decor cozy this January. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Public Skating Rinks - Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec

    Dec 21, 2017

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    Whether you’ve got weak ankles, wobbly knees, or used to be a pro, winter skating can be a lot of fun. While ice hockey requires a ton of protective gear (and other players), you only need a pair of skates to enjoy a leisurely afternoon glide on the ice. Across Canada, most cities have at least one easy-access public skating rink where families, loved ones, and friends can enjoy a winter afternoon or evening. To get you back on the ice this winter, Timbercreek brings you this list of public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec City.

    Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

    While Nathan Phillips is without question the most popular skating rink option in Toronto, the rink at Harbourfront is an unsung hero. It’s nothing less than magical. With views of Lake Ontario, the Harbourfront bandshell, and the open starry sky, Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink is a stunner. It’s also got Boxcar Social just a hop away for a post (or pre, or both) skate libation. Learn more here.

    Rideau Canal Skateway

    Each winter, the historic Rideau Canal becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway -- the world’s largest skating rink. At 7.8 kilometres long, it stretches from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake. Skating season typically runs from January until late February, with many activities taking place in February during Winterlude. Skating is available in the open sections of the Skateway until 10 pm or 11pm daily, and skates can be rented at select locations. Learn more here.

    Quebec: Place D'Youville skating rink

     

    Open from mid-October to mid-March, Place D’Youville let’s you skate in style in the heart of the city. Glide across a refrigerated rink amid the ambiance of Old Québec, just across from Porte Saint-Jean and Capitole de Québec. With free admission and skate rentals available onsite, this gem of a rink ticks all the boxes. You can also warm up after your skate at Café-boulangerie Paillard. Learn more.


    Timbercreek hopes that this list of the best public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City gets you out for a skate this winter season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Top Holiday Events in Canada

    Dec 18, 2017

    The holiday season is here again. It’s time to dust off the decorations, put up the stockings, and whip out your ugliest Christmas sweater.  From hot chocolate to festivals, mall Santas to apple cider, there’s no shortage of seasonal events to tuck into this year. To help you celebrate the holidays, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of events happening in your area this fall.

    Distillery District: Toronto Christmas Market

    Perhaps the best holiday event of the season, The Distillery District has once again transformed into the luminous Toronto Christmas Market. The popular event is on now until December 23rd.  Don’t miss the glowing sights, the merry sounds, and the decadent tastes of this annual holiday market. A monstrous Christmas tree dots the center of the action, while kiosks selling everything from chocolate covered bacon to St. Nick knick knacks, litter the Distillery’s brick streets. The market is free during the week and just $6 on weekends. Get more info here.

    Blue Mountain: Christmas Gift Show

    Blue mountain comes alive this season with a Christmas Gift Show. This vibrant, fun marketplace celebrates the holiday season in style. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas with over 100 vendors including artisans, crafters, jewelry makers, décor vendors, body and wellness brands, tasty treat makers and more. Learn all about it here.

    Edmonton: Singing Christmas Tree

    Running from December 14th through 17th, don’t miss the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. Imagine a stage decorated with whimsy, a 35-foot singing Christmas tree, and an audience in wonder. With dancing Santas, stunning ballerinas, amazing acrobats, and 150 phenomenal singers accompanied by a live orchestra, this performance is a seasonal sensation.  Get more info here.

    Quebec: German Christmas Market

    Celebrating 10 years of magic, Quebec’s German Christmas Market is “Exquisitely European” and “Exquisitely FREE”!  On now until December 23rd, 2017, this magical holiday wonderland never ceases to amaze. Featuring one-of-a-kind gifts, the market has a festive atmosphere with wooden kiosks and scintillating lights.

    Ottawa: Vintage Christmas Village of Lights

    Come out to the Cumberland Heritage Museum for some holiday celebration this Christmas. Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, or take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through the illuminated village (lit by 5pm every evening). None other than Santa Claus himself will be there! Find out more here.

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    Timbercreek hopes this list of the best holiday events in Canada inspires you to get out there and celebrate the holiday season in style this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Most-Pinned Homemade Holiday Gifts

    Dec 11, 2017

    The Holiday season is here! Show the people you love that you care, and avoid the stress of holiday shopping, by creating a few thoughtful DIY gifts. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you light up someone’s holiday with these most-pinned homemade holiday gifts.

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    Body Scrub

    This thoughtful and simple to make Body Scrub requires only 4 ingredients to prepare. Mix together Epsom salts (or organic cane sugar) and your chosen carrier oil. Add one drop at a time of essential oil, and a drop of food colouring. Stir until the colour is uniform and spoon the contents into your canning jar. You can even download clip art labels to give your gift a professional look.

    Fleece Blankets

    This easy tutorial will walk you through how to make beautiful Fleece Blankets for your loved ones. A cozy blanket is the perfect DIY gift for friends and family members, and hard-to-buy-for folks on your list. It’s also perfect for a first time sewing project. You’ll need a large piece of fleece (about 2 yards), decorative trim to protect and decorate the edges, a needle and thread or a sewing machine -- which is ideal so that you can complete this project quickly and seamlessly.  If you can do a basic straight stitch, you can do this DIY!

    Microwaveable Heat Packs

    Give the gift of soothing comfort this season with these Microwaveable Heat Packs. All you’ll need is some fabric, sewing supplies and corn kernels or grains of rice to fill the packs. Cut your fabric to size. Sew the pieces together inside out (the outsides facing each other). Leave enough of an opening to turn the bag right-side out. Fill the bag ¾ full with corn or rice. Sew the final seam closed. To use it, heat the bag in the microwave and apply to achey areas of the body.

    DIY Lip Balm

    Don't let your loved ones endure dry, cracked lips this season. This DIY Lip Balm requires only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax and peppermint essential oil. In a glass measuring cup in the microwave, melt together coconut oil and beeswax. Stir in the essential oil and pour into decorative containers.

    Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap

    This DIY couldn't be more simple. This Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap can be made in less than 10 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients. Coffee is a great scent loved equally by men and women, so this is a great gift for anyone on your list. It's also incredibly affordable to make at home.

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! We hope you love these most-pinned homemad holiday gifts as much as we do! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Indoor Plants That Will Make it Through Winter

    Nov 28, 2017

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    Indoor plants can be life-enhancing. They clean the air, provide a beautiful splash of colour, and it’s always super satisfying to nurture something and watch it grow. During the winter, keeping indoor plants healthy and happy can become difficult. The short days mean many plants receive too little light to survive and the heated, dry, indoor air doesn’t help either. It is possible to enjoy some thriving greenery all year long. It’s all about choices. To help you keep your green thumb year-round, Timbercreek Communities has put together this shortlist of indoor plants that will make it through the winter.

    Aloe Vera

    In addition to its many medicinal benefits, the Aloe Vera plant is a hardy and attractive succulent that is easy to care for. It doesn’t require a lot of light. It thrives in indirect light or even artificial light. Make sure you plant them in well-draining potting mix designed for succulents as a lack of drainage can cause root rot. Water them deeply but allow a couple of inches of soil to dry between waterings, and water even less during winter.

    Areca Palm

    The Areca Palm is big, bold and impressive plant. It features large fronds, each with up to 100 leaflets. They are easy to care for. The soil should be a little dry between waterings in fall and winter, making them perfect for the dry, indoor air. 

    Jade

    Another hearty succulent, Jade plants are easy to care for and will live a long time with little attention. Again, let the soil dry during the winter and avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. If you notice brown spots on the leaves, or the leaves start to shed, more water is required.

    Peace Lily

    The Peace Lily is well known for its hardy and forgiving nature. They will let you know when they need water by their telltale droop. This tropical plant thrives in shade and low light, and is one of the best air-cleaning plants available. It’s an ideal indoor winter plant.

    Snake Plant 

    Another easy-to-care-for plant that is also a top-notch air purifier is the Snake Plant. It’s named for its long, straight, slender and colourful leaves. These plants can be left alone, in low light for weeks at a time and still thrive! Let the soil dry out between waterings and let them do their thing!

    Timbercreek hopes that you invest in these great indoor plants that will make it through the winter. Care for them and they will help you thrive this winter! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

  • Decorating your Home for the Holidays

    Nov 21, 2017

    The holidays are fast approaching! Deck the halls, the walls and the table with festive holiday decor that is easy and cheap to create yourself. Timbercreek Communities wants to help put you in the Holiday spirit with some ideas for decorating your home for the Holidays.

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    Peppermint Twist

    Adorn your door or any wall in your apartment with this festive and easy-to-make Peppermint Wreath! All you’ll need is some red or white duct tape, a Styrofoam wreath form, floral wire, a few bags of peppermint candies, ribbon, tape and glue.

    Non-Electric Light Garland

    Capture the festive glow of holiday lights without electricity with this Vintage-Look Holiday Light Garland. It’s made by dipping inexpensive bulbs in craft paint to create the illusion of illumination! Wait until the paint dries, glue the bulbs to tinsel, and string it up wherever you like!

    Snow Terrarium

    In just a few minutes you can create your own Holiday Snow Terrarium! This lovely display is made by filling old Apothecary Jars with faux snow, mini-lights and decorative pieces of your choice! You’ll love the warm and festival glow they create in any room, and the glow they give to others when you give them as gifts!

    Put On a Pot of Potpourri

    This recipe for potpourri isn’t a decoration, exactly - although it’s beautiful and full of colour! Decorating your home for the holidays is all about creating a warm, cozy and inviting atmosphere. A big part of creating that atmosphere is the aroma. The smell of cinnamon and spices, vanilla, cranberry, tangerine, and pine gently warming on the stove will tie together the overall feeling you’ve created with the decor!

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! To find your home on one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Where to Buy a Winter Coat Suited for Canadian Winters

    Nov 13, 2017

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    Canada may be best known internationally for brutal winter weather, and it’s not a misconception. It gets super cold here! Even though temperatures across the country often dip below zero in winter months, many Canadians choose fashion over function and find themselves freezing on blustery days. Timbercreek wants you to stay warm and stylish this winter so here are a few places to score a great winter coat suited for Canadian winters this year.

    MEC

    A Canadian retail icon for outdoor wear (and much more), Mountain Equipment Co-op is unsurpassed in the country for quality and selection when it comes to winter coats and apparel. If you visit their website you will find a ton of winter coat styles, weights, colours, sizes, materials, and functions.  Their coats are made beautifully to endure all that winter throws at us. With customer-owned structure, eco-friendly buildings, and ethical practices, it also feels good shopping there.

    SportChek

    A bit of a sporting goods underdog, SportChek offers more than just running shoes and salespeople with ear pieces. Depending on the location, SportChek offers everything from boxing and MMA gear to snowboards -- not to mention a quality selection of winter coats. With all major brands represented, SportChek also does a decent job with prices, especially in pre and off-season times. It is definitely worth a look.

    The Bay

    In the spirit of Canada’s 150th, the Hudson’s Bay Company deserves a spot on our list. Almost all major brands are available at The Bay, with regular and significant sale prices and specials offered every season. Coats are no exception. Check out great coat options for men and women here.

    Roots

    Another tried and true icon of Canadian retail is Roots. They do more than just sweatshirts. From packable down jackets to cotton zip ups, leather coats, composite shells, and more, Roots is a great retailer to consider when shopping for winter wear. While their prices can be in the higher range, their products don’t skimp on quality. Learn more here.

    Winter is coming and Timbercreek hopes that this article helps you find your perfect winter coat this season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Halloween Events Near You

    Oct 17, 2017

    That scariest time of year is back. No, we don't mean tax season -- Halloween! Time to dust off your wizard cloak and prep the light sabers -- it’s trick or treat time. With a lot going on in cities all across Canada, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of Halloween events happening in your area this fall.

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    Edmonton/St. Albert: Boo at the Zoo

    Halloween comes alive this year at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Wear your coolest costume, bring your own trick-or-treat bags, and check out the spooky wonders of the animal kingdom. Hands-on experiments, crafts, an extinct animal graveyard, and a witch's den are just some of the fun activities that will make this Halloween one to remember! Get more info here.

    Edmonton: Deadmonton Haunted House

    Don’t miss this year’s Deadmonton Haunted House. Located at the Old Paramount Theatre, this haunted house is rated 12+ and beware. If you’re taking your child, make sure they’re up for it as the website for the event notes that there will be no refunds for kids who get too scared!

    Toronto: Legends of Horror at Casa Loma

    As if Casa Loma wasn’t creepy enough. This Halloween, the iconic Toronto castle transforms into a theatrical, immersive Halloween experience!  Tickets include access to areas of the castle never before seen by the public. Don’t miss out and learn more here.

    Calgary: Halloweekends at Calaway Park

    Calaway Park is getting all spooked up for Halloween. Dress up in your favourite costume and enjoy tricks, treats and spooktacular rides. Activities include family photo opportunities, face painting and much more. It’s all about getting your family together for a fantastic fall day. Learn more here.

    Niagara: Dracula

    Halloween isn’t only about trick or treating, boo barns and costume parties. If you’re ready for a more refined Halloween experience, check out Bram Stoker’s Gothic thriller at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake this October. “Sexy, funny and scary, this is red-blooded theatre that will leave all your senses on fire.” Learn more here.

    Oakville: Camper Halloween

    On October 14th and 15th, and October 21st and 22nd, trick or treat around the Bronte Creek Campground. Ghosts and goblins will go from site to site instead of door to door. This event also features a guided walk with creepy creatures and howling coyotes. Learn more.

    Montreal: Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal

    Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal is a tour through all the dark ghostly corners of Old Montreal. Running from May to October, it's the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Check out more here.

    Montreal: Harry Potter

    This Harry Potter themed party combines Hogwarts good times and the spookiness of Halloween. It’s hosted by Cégep du Vieux Montréal and will involve beer, karaoke, costume contests, quizzes, and much more.

    Drummondville: Village Haunte

    Just outside Montreal, the town of Drummondville completely transforms this Halloween into a massive haunted village. You'll be chased by actors playing zombies, clowns, ghosts, and monsters over 3km of trails and streets. Runs September 29th until November 4th.

    Timbercreek hopes these events inspire you to throw on a costume and celebrate Halloween in your area. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, 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.

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