• How To Protect Your Skin This Summer

    Aug 08, 2017

    It’s time to get outside and soak up the sun. It’s also time to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Timbercreek wants to help you protect your skin this summer with these skincare tips.

    Exfoliate

    There is some debate about whether exfoliation during the summer is a good idea. It all depends on how active you are outdoors. If you are spending an extended period of time in the sun, playing sports or hanging out at the beach, you may want to hold off from exfoliating. Exfoliating once per week can help get rid of dead skin cells and help rejuvenate your skin.

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    Non-Toxic Sunscreen

    You need to protect yourself when spending time in the sun. Unfortunately, some sunscreens contain toxic ingredients, such as parabens. They are widely used as a preservative. While they do a great job to help protect the shelflife of products, they can also disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with proper hormone function. Studies indicate that some types of parabens may react with UVB rays when applied to the skin and lead to increased skin aging and DNA damage. Look for paraben-free sunscreen.

    Hydrate

    Severe dehydration has serious health consequences, but even mild dehydration can be damaging, so make hydration a habit. Always carry a water bottle and/or keep one at your desk. Studies show that people feel more alert immediately after drinking water. Drink whenever you get that hazy or frazzled feeling. Sip on a cup of herbal tea at night to both unwind and hydrate. You should also eat water-rich foods. A diet rich in whole foods such as fruit and veggies will increase your fluid intake automatically.

    Cover Up (hats, cover ups)

    The most effective way to protect your skin from the sun this summer is to keep it covered. A breathable, wide-brimmed hat is a good start. In addition to blocking UV rays, clothes can block some of the infrared rays that make you feel hot. You can choose fabrics like linen, or wear a light scarf or a breezy cover up.

    SPF Lipsticks & Moisturizers

    After you’ve applied non-toxic sunscreen, don’t overlook your lips. Your lips need sun protection, too. Look for lipsticks and lip balms with SPF. You can also save yourself some time and give yourself one less thing to remember by choosing a moisturizer that does double duty.

    Timbercreek wishes you a happy and healthy summer. Get out there and enjoy the sun in a safe way with these skincare tips. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

  • 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.

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    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.

  • Minimalist Packing Tips For Camping

    Aug 01, 2017

    Whether you plan to paddle or hike, camping is a great opportunity to take in the beauty of earth, water, sun, and forrest. 2017 is a great time to camp because Canadian National Parks are free in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday. While most people choose to camp in the golden months of summer, it’s just as enjoyable in the spring, fall, and even winter with the right gear. If you want to plan an epic camping adventure, but want to keep your gear to a minimum, this post is for you. From stoves to coolers, tents to layers, the variety of conditions and constant threat of dampness makes packing a tricky prospect regardless of the season. To help you get started, Timbercreek has compiled these minimalist packing tips.

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    Get Current Gear

    It’s sometimes surprising to realize the extent to which technology is applied to camping. Materials, weights, tensile strengths and sizes: it’s all tech influenced, and can seriously aid the packing process. Buying modern gear can be pricey but guarantees a lighter load and maximum functionality.

    Layers

    Packing layers of the right clothing items can reduce your clothing needs. Moisture wicking, lightweight materials pack warmth and functionality into a small package. Leave jeans and cotton shirts at home. Wool is bulky but keeps you warm even when wet. A thin toque will keep your head warm at night. Goretex coats are thin, water resistant, and maintain warmth.

    Stuff Sacks & Compression bags

    Compression bags and stuff sacks literally force things to be smaller. An otherwise bulky sleeping bag, and even tents, can be reduced in size by half or more when crushed in a compression bag.  

    Inflatables

    From thermarests to pillows, inflation is a must. Occupying almost zero space when they aren’t pumped full of air, inflatables are ideal for camping. You can find inflatable sleeping mats (and even full mattresses), pillows, chairs and/or cushions, swimming toys, and life preservers with ease - all of which lighten weight and provide creature comforts.

    Wineskins And Small Plastic Containers

    From water to wine, packing liquids is an age-old camping requirement and packing concern. Modern aluminum and lightweight steel water bottles are fairly common, and keep the weight to size ratio down. Putting bug spray, suntan lotion, liquid medicines, toothpaste, cooking oil, soap, and shampoo into flat plastic or even standard but smaller bottle containers also helps. But more importantly, when it comes to drinks, using modern plastic wineskins instead of bottles reduces size and weight by more than half. This allows for more refreshment in less space -- always a plus on long trips in the woods.

    Timbercreek hopes this article helps you minimize your packing for camping trips. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 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.

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