• Petiquette 101: Dogs in Hot Weather

    Aug 07, 2017

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    Many pet owners treat their furry friends like children. But while dogs are much more resilient and self-sustaining than human infants, many pet owners forget that for animals, heat can be a killer. Especially in Canada where we often contend with temperatures into the high 30s and even 40s. And unlike human babies, dogs don’t actually need to accompany owners everywhere. To protect your dog from the elements this summer, Timbercreek brings you a list of tips to keep your canine comfortable and healthy in the heat.

    Don’t Leave Them In The Car

    While the leave-the-windows-down mentality has merit when leaving pets in cars, the better idea is to not bring them at all. Leaving dogs in hot cars with searing sun and no airflow is pretty much like putting them in an oven. If you must, bring a small water bowl, park in the shade, leave windows down, or if wherever you go is pet-friendly, take them with you.

    Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

    Dog water consumption increases in the heat just like for humans -- but way more intensely for your pet because of that whole body-covered-with-fur thing. Dogs release heat through panting, and a small amount through their paws, which also increases the impact of airflow (or lack thereof, i.e. cars) in their immediate vicinity. Keep your pet’s water bowl full, put a second bowl in another location in your house/apartment in hot months, and bring one and a water bottle for the car when travelling.

    AC

    Though an eco and energy consideration, air conditioning is more than just a human luxury in summer months. Dogs benefit just a much or more so than we do from some climate control when the thermostat hits 35C. Even if just at night for a good sleep, switch on the AC to give your fur-covered friend a break from the heat.

    Fans

    If you don’t have AC, use a fan to cool your pet down in oppressive heat. Set it up near a window to generate airflow, and put one by your dog’s bed at night to offer some help to deal with the heat.

    Limit Exercise/Exertion

    While dogs need to go out regardless of the season or temperature, limiting their exertion in hot months is a great way to keep them from overheating. Walk your dog at low heat times of day - morning and evening - and if you have to play fetch, reduce the number of ball throws.

    Grooming

    Make sure your dog’s coat is appropriate for the season. For shedding breeds, coats maintain themselves, but a good, regular brushing helps remove that fluctuating under-layer. For fur-growing dogs, keep their coats trim and, where it doesn’t make them look overly rat-like, as short as possible.

    Timbercreek hopes this list helps keep your pet cool and healthy in the heat. 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.

  • The Style Guide for Men

    Jun 20, 2017

    iStock-543360184Some people say that clothes make the man. We wouldn't go that far, but taking a little interest in your personal style can certainly have an impact on how others see you and boost your self confidence. It can be difficult to know where to start, so Timbercreek Communities has put together a style guide for men. Try it on for size!

    Streamline

    Most people have a tendency to hang on to old clothing items “just in case” they'll need them later. You won’t. If you haven’t worn it during the past year, chances are you won’t wear it this year either. Do some late season spring closet cleaning and throw out or give away anything you haven’t worn in over a year. It will de-clutter your closet and free up space for the new or old items that you actually wear.

    Step Into Some Colour

    Fact: there are more shoe colours than brown and black. So go ahead guys, have a little fun with colour! If you are uncertain about what colour shoes to wear with what colour pants, this handy reference chart takes the guess work and memorization out of the equation.

    Gym Shoes Are For The Gym

    Speaking of shoes, remember this: gym shoes are for the gym. Sure they’re more comfortable but nothing dresses you down more quickly than trudging around town in gym shoes. Invest in a comfortable walking shoe. Your feet and your fashion sense will thank you.

    Scope Out A Fashion Show

    If you’re looking for some guidance to step up your style, you don’t need to fly to New York, Paris or Milan to attend a fashion show. Flip through a slideshow of images from a men’s fashion show online, or browse some street style photos. You might just be inspired by the latest trends.

    Clean Your Wallet Out Regularly

    A big, bulky wallet is bad for your back, uncomfortable to sit on, and cumbersome to carry around. It can can also throw off the lines of your clothing. Just as you do with your closet, make sure you clean out your wallet regularly and lose anything you don’t use. You’ll feel a little a lighter and more streamlined.

    Timbercreek hopes this style guide for men helps you look and feel your best. To help find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Business Casual Men's Attire & Dress Code Explained

    Jun 05, 2017

    The term business casual is hard to define. From dress shirts and chinos to t-shirts and jeans, there are many interpretations of the term. For employees of companies that still require that men wear weekday suits to the office, business casual may mean no-jacket Fridays. Many businesses today have flexible dress codes, while some have no dress codes at all. If you’re unsure of what your version of casual men’s attire looks like, Timbercreek has some questions and considerations that will help you out.

    iStock-507900682Is It Business?  Or Is It Casual?

    Many feel it's a faux pas to assume any outfit with a blazer qualifies as business casual.  As Restart Your Style points out, business casual is still a dress code for business.  As such, dressing up a casual outfit isn't the goal: making semi-formal business attire more casual and comfortable is. Check out more here.

    Jeans Don't Count

    John Mayer popularized the blazer-over-hoodie-with-jeans look in the mid-2000s. While the ‘put a blazer on it’ mentality certainly upsells some looks, for many, it just doesn’t cut it as business casual. While jeans are great, and many office environments today promote them, if you're going to wear them to work it’s best to stick to a high quality pair. Opt for new, dark, unripped jeans, and leave the hoodie at home -- unless you skateboard for a living.

    Programmer Chic

    In the tech industry, home and "remote" work are on the rise. If you work remotely, and rarely meet with clients and colleagues, there’s no need for a closet full of office attire. For the rare times you do have to venture out, it’s good to have some clothing to wear that matches the style of your colleagues or clients,whether that be dress pants or jeans depends on them.

    Google Grade

    While Google isn't the only company doing it (Twitter, Facebook, and Apple for example), they set the bar for the ping-pong office. With foosball, video games, yoga, DJing, and scheduled play among many strategies to improve performance and promote employee culture, dress codes have followed suit. In fact, one of Google’s philosophies is that 'you can be serious without a suit.' Learn more here.

    No Single Answer

    One traditional definition suggests "business casual for men means wearing a pair of smart pants [i.e. slacks, chinos, or dress pants], a collared shirt, a sweater or blazer, and relaxed but elegant shoes." “Another author wrote in the Financial Times that ‘ordinarily business casual for guys seems fairly clear. It is a pair of chinos, a blazer and a good shirt, no tie.’" But the reality is, every industry is different. The traditional approach may apply to careers in finance and government, but in software development, advertising, design, and any kind of freelance work, the rules have changed. One key point to remember however: when interviewing, meeting a client, attending a performance review, or otherwise making an impression, it never hurts to dress up. Read more here and here.

    Timbercreek hopes this list helps you understand casual men’s attire. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 10 Natural Ways to get over the Midday Slump

    May 16, 2017

    Lunch is over and the end of the day seems very far away, you’ve hit the dreaded midday slump. You can reach for sugary snacks or caffeine to push through, but they can make the crash even worse and aren’t great solutions to the problem. To help you power through your busy day, Timbercreek Communities has 10 natural ways to get over the midday slump.

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    Stretch

    These quick and simple stretches, that you can do at your desk, will help you fight fatigue. They will send some oxygen to your brain, relieve stressed muscles and give you bit of a boost when you need it.

    Power Up with Protein

    Instead of stuffing yourself with carbs when you hit the midday slump, power up with protein snacks. Keep some raw nuts, trail-mix or beef jerky nearby to power through the afternoon.

    Lighten Up

    Getting exposure to natural light is crucial for maintaining our energy levels. If you can’t work by a window, try heading to a coffee shop or talking a short stroll outside.

    Make a Splash

    Go into the bathroom and splash some cold water on your face if you need to wake yourself up fast.

    Stand and Deliver

    Rather than sending an email to your coworker, try walking over and talking to them. It will give you the chance to stretch your legs and take a much needed screen break.

    Screen Breaks

    Staring at a screen all day can cause eye strain and fatigue. Every 20 minutes, take a break at stare at something 20 feet away while blinking your eyes for 20 seconds.

    Walking and Talk

    Instead of taking that one on one meeting sitting down, take it to the streets and walk as you talk.

    Catnap

    Sometimes, nothing but a nap will do. It’s not slacking off, a 10-20 minute power nap can leave you feeling more alert and actually boost your productivity.

    Fuel Up

    Eating a healthy breakfast can help you avoid a 2pm crash, especially when you combine that with a smaller, less carb-heavy lunch.

    Meditate at Your Desk

    Just a few minutes of meditation can boost your energy and reduce your stress levels. Give it a try and see how you feel.

    Don’t let exhaustion steal your day! Timbercreek Communities hopes that these 10 natural ways to get over the midday slump energize your afternoon.

    For more information on Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

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