• Earth Month Recipes

    Apr 30, 2013

    April has been a month of environmental awareness. As Earth Day has blossomed into Earth Week which is part of many Earth Month initiatives, it’s been hard not to pick up a few pieces of sustainability trivia and some green living tips. Now that that Earth Month is winding down, we’ve pulled together some easy ways that you can make an impact in your every day life.

    If you’re worried about bringing chemicals into your home, check out this blog post to learn more ways to clean your apartment using healthy and safe ingredients, like white vinegar and baking soda. You can also make a big impact by focusing on fresh, locally grown and produced food.  Choosing local resources can decrease your carbon footprint and help sustain our local economy, so why not prepare something local?

    For a night in, here are some easy local snacks for your table: 

    Shopping & Dining Options in Windsor
    When planning a night on the town, there are many local shopping and dining options.  We’ve rounded up our picks for Windsor businesses that support Windsor area farmers and suppliers.

    Windsor Market Square
    Head to Windsor Market Square for farm-fresh produce to buy directly from local farmers. There are close to 40 vendors that supply an array of produce, baked goods, preserves and more.  This year long market is open Tuesday-Friday from 8 am-6 pm, Saturdays 7 am-4 pm and Sundays 10 am-3 pm.

    2109 Ottawa Street
    Windsor, Ontario
    519-253-7374
    More info: www.windsormarketsquare.com  

    Walkerville Brewery
    Take your pick of two locally brewed premium beers from Walkerville Brewery. This is the city’s only microbrewery that also has a number of seasonal offerings.  Take your beer to go or stay and tour the facility’s tap room and community space to learn more about Windsor’s distillery district and history of beer making. Tours are available for $5 a person and include beer samples and a 12 oz. glass.

    Tours:
    Saturday: 12:30 pm, 2 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm
    Sunday: 1:30 pm, 3 pm
    Reserve your spot: 519-254-6067

    525 Argyle Rd.
    Windsor, Ont.
    More info: http://walkervillebrewery.com

    Restaurants
    There are over twenty restaurants in the Windsor-Essex area that source and serve local food. If you don’t feel like preparing your own Earth Day treats, stop by one of these establishments to get your fill while making an Earth -Friendly choice.

    La Guardia
    59 Pitt St E
    Windsor, Ontario
    More info: www.laguardiacuisine.ca

    Mezzo Ristorante & Lounge
    804 Erie St E
    Windsor, Ontario
    More info: www.mezzo.ca

    Smoke & Spice
    7470 Tecumseh Rd. E.
    Windsor, Ontario
    More info: www.smokenspice.com

    For a full directory of Windsor-area restaurants who emphasize serving local food and drinks visit:  http://www.visitwindsoressex.com

    Have you made a commitment to sustainable and green choices for 2013? We want to hear from you, so leave your comments below for the Timbercreek Rental Community online.

    For information on our Windsor apartments or any of the Timbercreek communities across Canada please visit our listings or contact your local office.

  • Finding Local Food is Easy in Kitchener

    Apr 25, 2013

    Kitchener is a great city for sourcing local foods. Given that you can find farmland not ten minutes outside of the city in any direction, residents can have their pick of local foods. Whether you source it from a farmers market, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Share, grocery store or restaurant, it’s easy to eat local in Kitchener.

    Kitchener Market  (300 King St. East)
    An institution in the city, the Kitchener Market has been open for more than 130 years. It is among the oldest consistently operating markets in all of Canada. Along with the fresh, farm-grown foods, there’s also some great international cuisine. If you work in downtown Kitchener, wander over to the farmer’s market for lunch. There’s an awesome International Food Court that’s open Tuesday-Friday. On Saturdays the space turns into a full-on farmer’s market on the lower level and Artisans and Crafters on the upper level.

    Offerings: Fruits, vegetables, bread, preserves, honey, organic products, dairy, specialty foods and cooking classes.

    Upper Level Market Vendors (upper level)
    Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm & Saturday, 7am to 2pm

    Farmers' Market (lower level)
    Saturdays, 7 am to 2pm

    Waterloo Square Market (75 King St. S)
    Kicking off in June, the Uptown Market in the Waterloo Town Square is held on Thursday afternoons.

    Offerings: local produce, baked treats and artisanal cheese. Also features kids’ entertainment and local musicians.  CSA Farmers also have weekly pickups from the square.

    Thursdays 3-7 pm

    St. Jacob’s Farmers Market (878 Weber Street North, Waterloo)
    Visit Canada’s largest year-round farmer’s market on Thursdays and Saturdays.  This is a great place to source Mennonite and farm-grown and produced fruits and veggies during the summer and fall months. Spanning between two large buildings, a sizeable outdoor market and stockyards, there’s literally a bit of everything

    Offering: regional specialities, summer sausage and apple fritters, international foods, local growers, Old Order Mennonite produce and preserves, maple syrup and plants.

    Thursday and Saturdays (and Tuesdays in the summer) 7:30 am - 3:00 pm

    Community Gardens
    Within the city of Kitchener there are more than 18 community gardens maintained by various community garden groups. Why not join in? The plots of these gardens are provided by the city for public use, and you can even contact the city for funding to start your own. For more information, please contact Tim Wolfe at 519-741-2600, ext. 4173.

    Food Link Waterloo Region
    Food Link Waterloo Region is an awesome non-profit that exists to connect residents in Waterloo Region to local food. The organization has a comprehensive online directory that lets users plan to shop and dine on local food. Check out the custom map guide for farms and local food outlets across Kitchener, Waterloo and surrounding community.

    Offerings:  Covers farms, organic food, restaurants, caterers, CSA deliveries, u-pick and wholesale

    Where are your favourite spots to purchase local foods? Do you know of a great restaurant that incorporates local food in their menu? Leave your comments below.

    Want more information about Kitchener and living in this great city? Timbercreek offers rentals in the Victoria Hills neighbourhood, just west of Kitchener’s downtown core. Mooregate Apartments, the rentals at 50, 66 & 80 Mooregate Crescent balance lively downtown living with scenic surroundings of Victoria Park and Kitchener Lake. Click here to email us . Telephone: 888.719.1304

  • Books2Eat Winnipeg

    Apr 23, 2013

    For many renters, a large book collection means heavy boxes and dedicating a lot of wall space to shelving. Fortunately, Winnipeg has a lot to offer the avid reader. Whether you prefer to borrow your books for a short period or buy and sell books based on your interests, there’s something for every bibliophile.

    If you’d like a snack with your new book, Winnipeg has two great hybrid bookstores. The Neighbourhood Bookstore and Café (898 Westminster Avenue) serves up soup, sandwiches, baked goods and fresh Onigiri alongside their used book collection. This is a great spot to buy and sell used books or to find your next favourite read with help from the bookstore staff. For a more specialized food and book selection, head to Mondragon (91 Albert Street). This political bookstore is organized as a workers collective and has incorporated a vegan restaurant and an organic grocery store into its space.

    If you have a specific title or genre in mind, you may want to venture further afield in Winnipeg. Dog-Eared Books (1157 Henderson Hwy) has a broad selection of used books. Despite their low-tech website, you can easily browse their online inventory for a specific title before making the trip. True used book lovers will appreciate the large selection at Flipped Pages Book Exchange. Flipped Pages offers many services to its loyal customers including a rewards program and a “want list” for any specific titles you’d like to have held. Additionally, Flipped Pages offers used board games, puzzles and comic books for more unplugged entertainment.

    If you’re a voracious reader with a quick book turnover, make sure you take advantage of the Winnipeg Public Library. The Millennium Branch is a quick walk from our communities at 33 Hargrave Street and 160 Smith Street, and our 15 Arden Avenue community is located between the Louis Riel and St. Vital Branches. If you’d like a little more structure for your reading, consider joining a Winnipeg Public Library Book Club. Contact your nearest branch for events or select a group by your favourite genre.  If you’d like to host your own book club, the library also has some great titles in their selection of Book Club Kits. The kits come with 10 copies of the book as well as a reader’s guide. Each kit is available for two months to give your club lots of time to read and discuss.

    This is one of the things that you’ve got to love about Winnipeg; it’s a city that has a great local culture. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection of Archie comics or anarchist tomes, you can find them right here. Are you considering making this vibrant city your home? Timbercreek Communities offer rental apartments Winnipeg's bustling downtown core.
  • Green Your Spring Cleaning Routine

    Apr 18, 2013

    Today we’re celebrating the beginning of spring with a seasonal post. Sometimes it can be hard to set aside time for a thorough cleaning but with the changing of the seasons we’re feeling inspired to get cleaning, so we’ve pulled together a spring cleaning post to give Timbercreek residents the scoop on DIY and green cleaning alternatives.

    First off, you’ll need some basic materials to prepare your made-at-home cleaning options:

    • Vinegar  (and lots of it! This is the driving force behind a lot of the natural cleaning recipes)
    • Baking soda
    • Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)
    • Liquid castile soap
    • Laundry bar soap

    If you enjoy the fresh scent of store bought cleaning products, you can also add any of the following to our suggested recipes for a nice smell and extra cleaning power:

    • Citrus
    • Essential Oils
    • Tea Tree Oil

    Bad smell be gone
    In a spray bottle, mix three parts white vinegar with one part water. Spray the mixture away to neutralize odours or surface smells.  Another alternative is to leave a bowl of water with a drop of essential oil in the corner of a room, the smell will fill your apartment; there’s no need for a fancy diffuser.

    Natural toilet bowl cleaner
    Sprinkle a light dusting of baking soda into the bowl, then drizzle with vinegar and scour with a toilet brush. This combination will clean while also deodorizing. Don’t try mixing this in combination with store-bought toilet cleaners, it could create toxic fumes and that’s the opposite of what we’re looking for!

    Tile and Countertops 
    Combine two parts vinegar, one part baking soda and four parts water. Apply to kitchen or bathroom countertops and tile, scour then wipe away.

    Get Mopping
    In a large bucket, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure citrus or essential oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping your floors, the smell of vinegar will clear quickly, leaving behind only the fresh scent of the oil.

    Super Easy Microwave Cleaner
    This steam cleaning trick is an old standby: microwave a bowl of warm water with slices of lemon, cook in the microwave for a minute, then let stand another three minutes and wipe the microwave down with a damp sponge or paper towel. Any cooked-on food or grime should come off easily.

    Carpet Makeover
    To clean and deodorize carpets, sprinkle with baking soda and let sit for at least half an hour. Vacuum thoroughly and you’ll see results immediately.

    DIY Laundry Detergent 
    Though we’ve never had the chance to try it, we’re feeling inspired by friends who have been using this recipe for years. The ingredients required include: washing soda, borax and one bar of simple laundry soap. For full details on this recipe head to DIYnatural.com. The site features simple pictorial instructions and an effective recipe.

    For more information, check out CanadianLiving.com’s Spring Cleaning Made Easy article for a full rundown of tips and resources. Especially interesting is the article on how clearing clutter can help you lose weight – who knew?

    If you don’t have the time to throw together your own cleaning products – there are also some great green brands that you can buy in-store. Styleathome.com has put a number of green cleaners and some Canadian products to the test, check out their article: Environmentally friendly cleaning products.

    Leave us your spring cleaning tips and DIY tricks in the comments below.

  • Living with Roommates: There's an app for that!

    Apr 16, 2013
    So you and your roommate just signed the lease for a Timbercreek apartment! We’re glad to have you in our community of thousands of renters across Canada and welcome you to your new home. We bet that you’re pretty excited about your new apartment and roomateright now, and we want to make sure that things stay that way; it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day roommate stuff.  Of course, these days there’s an app for everything from calling a cab to calculating the digits of pi, so today’s post focuses on the best social finance and household apps/websites for coordinating among roommates or family members.

    OurGroceries

    If you’re the sort of roommates that enjoy sharing meals and trying new recipes together, OurGroceries lets users make and share shopping lists that update in real time. This is a great time saver for shopping and it can also be used as a packing list for road trips or a move. OurGroceries lets roommates connect even if they’re on opposite schedules. Available via: BlackBerry, Android and iPhone.

    OU1
    For those who don’t care much about the money, OU1 relies on social currency instead. This app lets your track things like dinners, favours, lunches and drinks with digital IOU’s.  Repay your favours or show your appreciation by sending a nudge to your friends. This can remind them that you owe them a pint or two and help you make good on your IOU’s. Availablie via: iPhone.

    Splitwise
    This service lets roomies track who owes what on everything and anything. Spot your roomie a twenty on take out? Or have you signed up for cable, but it can only be connected to one credit card?  We recommend that roomies check out this app to make sure you even up. Splitwise tracks recurring bills as well as one-time expenses shared by roommates. The Splitwise team also has a great blog that covers a variety of roommate-centric topics based on surveys and data from users. Their post about the threshold of when to start charging a roommate’s significant other for rent and expenses is both funny and practical. Sign up for an account or just keep an eye on the Splitwise team’s posts for great roommate advice.  Available via: Web-based service, Android and iPhone.

    Chore Buster
    Gone are the days of the dreaded chore wheel, instead, use this service to create a fair schedule of chores. Households are organized by chores and users can specify the level of difficulty or time that each task takes and how often it should be completed. Don’t worry about users having to log in to preview their assigned chores; tasks are automatically emailed as reminders without logging in. Chore Buster helps renters get organized and stops household arguments before they get started. Available via: Web-based service, Android and iPhone.

    Of course, no matter the app you use, it’s important to have discussions with your roommates early on and establish how your household will run. Tackle even the most ‘awkward’ of conversations head-on before something compounds into a truly complicated situation. How do you and your roommate plan on settling expenses and splitting chores? Are you using any apps that make sharing your space and expenses easier? Leave your comments below.

    You and your roommates deserve the best; with properties located in cities throughout Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, Timbercreek has the apartment for you. Whether you’re a student living off campus at university or a busy young professional sharing rent with a friend, we invite you to make a Timbercreek apartment your home. 

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