• Off-Leash Petiquette: The Unwritten Rules Of Off-Leash Dog Parks

    Apr 24, 2018

    A haven for dogs big and small, off-leash parks give our canines much needed freedom and socialization. They also give owners a way to release the hound in a semi-controlled environment. They aren’t, however, a free-for-all. Off-leash parks come with unwritten rules; ones that make the experience better, safer, and more fun for humans and canines alike.  For a rundown of how not to act when off the leash, Timbercreek brings you this list of ways to keep your pet in check at the park.

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    Don’t Bully

    Dogs are pretty good at policing themselves. But little ones can have a tougher time stopping bigger ones from romping all over them. And sometimes, it’s the little ones that get in the face of bigger dogs. Be aware that while the alpha order works itself out a lot of times, owners need to take responsibility for their dogs not bullying others. Learn more.

    Watch the Jumping

    Dogs get excited. It’s what they do. And when they do, they either bite, hump, or jump. And while they all can be kind of cute, when it comes to other dogs - and worse - other people (even at an off-leash park) jumping isn’t cool. It can mean little dogs get hurt, your dog might lose an eye, or some random owner might get a German Shepherd in her face. Learn more.

    Watch the Humping

    While sometimes comical or cute to watch, its best to keep your dog off the backs of others at the park. Learn more.

    It’s Not All About You

    Remember: off-leash parks or areas are just a part of a shared social zone. You and your dog don’t own it. Others use it. Just because it’s designated off-leash doesn’t mean non-pet people won’t use it or walk through it. Keep an eye on passersby, share the space, and watch that your hound doesn’t make a snack of them.

    Bags are a must

    Bring a bag people. While everywhere is a potential toilet for a dog, just because it’s outside, and an off-leash area, doesn’t mean it’s a free poo zone. Remember to stoop and scoop!

    Be Cool

    At an off-leash park, you’ve gotta relax and let go. Dogs get rowdy. They run. They jostle. They steal each others’ toys. Don’t get too uptight about it all. Trust that you’ll get your frisbee or throw-thingy back and sip your latte. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you navigate off-leash dog parks. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • How To Practice Yoga, On A Budget

    Apr 23, 2018

    Yoga is a close second behind cats as the most searched topic on the internet. And while yoga may be a simple, modest practice at heart, it can come with a steep price; one that many average practitioners can’t afford. To help you get your OM on without burning through your cash or karma, Timbercreek has a few tips that will help you keep up your practice on a budget.

    Yoga at Home

    Doing yoga at home is kind of the best solution when you're on a budget. It’s free and you can progress at your own pace without judgement or pressure from handstand-happy instructors. However, like going to the gym, doing it yourself can be tricky. Not everyone has space for yoga. And while you don’t need tons of gear, you can’t really do it on a bare floor. Plus there’s the whole motivation thing. Half of the entire reason people go to gyms is they won’t workout when left to their own devices. It takes getting out sometimes, and also other people for support. So, while yoga at home is a great option, be aware of the pitfalls. You can also turn to YouTube yogis for free classes, programs and motivation -- check out Tara Stiles or Yoga with Adrienne. Read more.

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    Yoga in the Park

    In the late spring and summer months (even into the fall), park yoga can be a hit. Next to yoga at home, park yoga is perfect. Its cheap, easy, has low gear needs (grass is soft), and there's tons of space for your flying crow pose. Keep in mind that there’ll be people gawking. Learn more.

    Community Centre

    Your local community centre might offer yoga classes and drop in sessions for little to no cost. They generally offer classes and memberships at a fraction of the cost of your local gym or studio.

    Friends and Favours

    Yoga teachers are everywhere in 2018. With this comes the potential for low-cost private classes. Or invites to group classes taught by newly minted instructors looking for experience. You can even comb Craigslist for teachers. Try bartering. Or offer an instructor something in return for a class or two. See more.

    Group Practice

    One of the best motivators and ways to practice on a budget is to set up a group. Find like-minded folks, or see if you can convince your friends to start a yoga day at someone’s house. Meetups and other online communities are also great resources. Learn more.

    Volunteer

    Volunteering has long been a way to get a foot in the door where you want to work. Poll the myriad studios close to you and see if you can offer to help them out in exchange for free classes. All the better if you have a specialty skill they can make use of.

    Timbercreek hopes this list helps you get your asanas in without breaking the bank. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Bachelor Space Planning, Separating Your Room From Living Area

    Apr 17, 2018

    When it comes to apartment decor, working with a small space can be a challenge. When there's only so much space to fill, its best to combine design and functionality, and to carve out distinct areas of the space for different uses. If you want to plan out a beautiful bachelor apartment space, Timbercreek has some ideas that will help you divide and conquer small apartment.

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    Bookcases

    The #1 choice for dividing a room into sections creatively is bookcases. There are myriad styles and options to choose from -- from see-through to solid, half height to full ceiling. They can be modular and mobile, or custom built for your apartment.  Learn more.

    IKEA Wardrobe

    A see-through IKEA wardrobe works nicely as a room divider. Look for one that has a few bells and whistles like drawers and shelves and levels so it looks a little less like a rolling hanger and more like a dream organizer. Overall it’s a great divider, and functional too.

    Paper Screen

    While at first glance, a paper screen is a student-like answer to adding size and separation to a room, its actually a great option for anyone in a small space. They come in a huge variety of styles, colors, and price points. Generally at the lower end (especially in comparison to shelving and custom installations), they’re a quick and easy fix for separating rooms in a bachelor layout.

    Steel Mesh Wall Garden

    A bit more permanent, this option entails wall mesh which is essentially a metal grid of squares, mounted 90 degrees from a wall, about 1-2 feet out from it. Be careful to attach it either to the ceiling or floor. The mesh provides a visual separation in a small space and when combined with hanging plants it offers some eye (and air) pleasing greenery.

    Hanging Garden

    A more DIY green wall approach is a garment rack garden. Grab one from Walmart, and instead of using it for clothes, outfit it with hanging plants. It adds division, lets light through, and offers a “living wall” vibe, bringing a splash of green to your space. Learn more.

    Couch

    An efficient and budget conscious option is using your couch and/or TV as a room divider. While not all apartment layouts allow for it, placing your couch between your bedroom and TV gives a bit of separation, especially when combined with a bookshelf, screen, or other aforementioned divider. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes these ideas help you carve out your space without breaking the bank. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Plant Your Apartment Herb Garden

    Apr 16, 2018

    An herb garden is a perfect edible DIY project. It's amazing that it needs just a sliver of space to exist but will offer you months of fresh herbs to enhance your recipes. With both constant temperatures and consistent light (hopefully), indoor gardens have less to contend with than their outdoor counterparts, and can produce year-round results. To help you plant your own DIY herb garden, Timbercreek has a few tips.

    Start out Safe

    Where you locate your garden isn’t just a sun-question. Make sure it’s in a place people (including yourself) won’t bump into it, knock it over, or just take up valuable counter space. Outfit your garden in a spot that’ll be protected, so as not to get annihilated by a grocery bag, backpack, cat paw, or dish.

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    Structure

    The simplest option is loading up a number of individual pots with herbs. A better approach is the rectangular plastic or tin trough-type containers that hold a number of different plants together. With this, the soil benefits from the combined species and they can all be watered at once. Another possibility is a bookshelf-style garden with multiple levels holding different pots. They all work. The key here is being creative with your particular space.  

    Good Sun

    You’ll need to know how much sun your plants will need, and what they’ll get based on your windows and orientation. Most vegetables do best in 6+ hours of full sun. Some greens and herbs are happy with less. Surrounding buildings or trees can block the sun, and your orientation usually means there are very specific sun-soaked hours. Check to make sure you hit the minimum for the type of plants you want before you buy seedlings.

    Gearing Up

    You'll need the basic garden essentials:

    1. Pots: The size can vary depending on what you're growing, but make sure there's enough depth for roots to fully develop. Shoot for 8" in diameter.

    2. Soil: Generally easy to find at garden centers or hardware stores. Pick up a mix that's formulated for containers, not the garden soil variety.

    3. Plants: Farmers markets are a great local source for herb and vegetable seedlings. Again, hardware and garden stores normally have a decent selection as well.

    4. Extras: A trowel, watering can, mister (old windex bottle), and fertilizer. Learn more.

    Start with Seedlings

    No matter what you're growing, buy your herbs as seedlings, not seeds. Growing plants from scratch is actually way harder, especially with a small space and the average person’s time constraints. Go for established toddler herbs and veg from a farmers market or nursery. You'll get edible results much sooner and with less work. Learn more.

    Best for Beginners

    Basil is a great starter herb. It grows well, smells great, and tastes even better. It also lets you know right away if you’re watering enough - a good tell-tale for the rest of the garden. Other excellent starter herbs are chives, scallions, cilantro, mint (which grows like crazy, so be aware), as well as leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula). Small tomatoes and hot peppers are good options too. Learn more.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you plant a killer indoor herb garden. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Why Montreal is a Great City for Millennials

    Mar 21, 2018

    Montreal is a great city for millennials. If you were born between 1978 and 1994, Timbercreek wants you to know why now is the perfect time to call Montreal home.

    Affordable Rent

    Unlike some of Canada’s other major cities (like Toronto and Vancouver), Montreal boasts quite affordable rental rates. The average rental in Montreal in 2018 costs approximately $950, a stark contrast to a city like Toronto where most one bedrooms go for $1800. Finding a home that works with your budget is easy, and not spending your entire paycheck on your apartment is totally doable. That extra cash comes in handy because the city lacks nothing in terms of great food and entertainment. Boasting a ton of outstanding restaurants, cafes, bars, and events, Montreal is a vibrant city that never sleeps. It’s perfect for millennials who don’t either.

    Great Neighbourhoods

    There are so many great neighbourhoods to call home in Montreal, we could write a whole article on just that! Timbercreek has several residential communities across the city that are ideal for millennials. Our communities are located in some of Montreal’s most sought after neighbourhoods. Our favourites include Mosaique which is located in downtown Montreal in the heart of the entertainment district, near Place d’Armes metro station. It’s an amazing neighbourhood to call home because it is always buzzing with great public events and concerts. It’s also close to beautiful landmarks and architecture like Place d’Armes Square, beautiful Notre Dame Basilica, and colourful Palais de Congres. It’s even a stonesthrow to great shopping and entertainment at Complexe Desjardins. Our community at Le 1436 Mackay, in Ville Marie, is a great home base for young people pursuing their postsecondary and graduate education. It’s located in downtown Montreal, close to McGill and Concordia. It’s also close to great restaurants and cafes, and incredible shopping on Saint-Catherine Street and Sherbrooke Street. Another excellent community for millennials is The Horizon Tower on Avenue des Pins. Located a short walk from beautiful Mount Royal, this property is conveniently located in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile neighbourhood near McGill. The area that boasts great restaurants, art galleries, exciting nightlife and serene nature.

    LGBTQ-Friendly

    Did you know that 20% of millennials identify as LGBTQ? Montreal is incredibly LGBTQ-friendly, making it a great place to call home. The Village, Montreal's gay district, is one of the largest in the world. It’s jam packed with clubs, restaurants and bars. Centrally located between St-Hubert, Ontario, Papineau and René-Lévesque Boulevard, it is right in the heart of the action. Its main street is Saint-Catherine. In the summer the street is transformed into an amazing pedestrian-only area (from June to September). You can’t miss it as it is draped with colourful boughs of balls (pink and rainbow) hung high above the street.

    World Class Education

    Montreal boasts some of Canada’s finest universities and colleges which attract students from around the globe for postsecondary and graduate level education.You can study almost any subject in this amazing city. The most notable institutions includeMcGill UniversityConcordia UniversityUniversité de MontréalUniversité de QuébecÉcole PolytechniqueLaSalle CollegeVanier College, and HEC Montreal

    Music, Nightlife & Festivals

    Montreal is famous for outstanding music, nightlife and festivals. Unlike other Canadian cities that basically hibernate in winter, Montreal loves to party all year long with huge outdoor events like IgloofestMontreal En Lumiere, and Nuit Blanche in the winter, just to name a few.  In warmer months, there’s even more to check out and every weekend packs something fun like Osheaga, the Montreal Jazz FestJFLPiknic ElectronikPride MontrealTaste MTL, and the Montreal Beer Festival.

    Montreal is an amazing city for millennials. Timbercreek hopes this list showed you just how great it is to live in Montreal. For more information aboutTimbercreek Communitiesin Montreal, please visit ourwebsite.

  • How Often You Should Wash Everything In Your Home, According To Science

    Mar 20, 2018

    Cleaning your home is no joke -- you should do it right or what's the point? But what's right is not always clear. Timbercreek wants to help you make your home sparkle, so here's the truth about how often you should wash everything in your home, according to science.

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    Starting with Sleep

    Where do we spend 20 some-odd years over a lifetime? In bed. Science says wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week. Most bacteria on sheets comes from interior dust, but add in dirt, oils, and sweat from a human during sleep and you can promote skin irritation, dandruff, acne etc. Wash your sheets in hot water every 1-2 weeks to be safe.

    Doorknobs

    Doorknobs accumulate a lot of bacteria. Think of how often you touch them. Now think of what you do before you touch them. Now think of how often you clean them? Science says? Doorknobs actually don’t need super frequent washing. However, doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen gather more bacteria. Disinfect them once a week. Shoot for once a month for the rest of the house.

    Sinks

    Even if they look clean sinks are gross. Disgustingly (though not surprisingly), bathroom sinks accumulate fecal matter. Also, E.Coli, Salmonella, and other food bacteria can contaminate the kitchen sink. Especially if you’ve been handling raw meat or eggs. Science says? To be safe, aim for a daily sink wipe down.

    Rugs and Floors

    Rugs are natural accumulators of grime. Dirt, dust, food, pet hair, allergens, pollen like to get cozy in rug fibers. Between that and the nooks and crannies of the average floor, you get a massive potential for build up.  Science says? Vacuum weekly, and give hard flooring a good wash once every couple of weeks.

    Bathrooms

    Bathrooms: the ultimate bacteria host. E Coli can be found within six feet of the toilet and in the sink. It’s key to thoroughly clean your toilet and sink at least once a week.  Bathtubs aren’t far off, but can be done every two. Shower curtains should be disinfected weekly to avoid mildew and odors.

    Towels

    Bath and kitchen hand towels get loaded with bacteria. And if your towels don’t fully dry (like, pretty much always), that bacteria can grow. While a lot for the average person, science recommends swapping out bath towels every other day. Kitchen towels can be washed weekly, unless you used it after handling raw meat.

    Kitchen and cleaning sponges

    Kitchen sponges accumulate billions of bacteria on every square inch. And though most of it isn’t harmful, science recommends dropping them into boiling water or the microwave for 2 minutes every couple of days. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you manage your cleaning routine and stay healthy in the process. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Unplug this March Break

    Mar 08, 2018

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    Living life without access to digital devices can seem impossible sometimes. Impossible and kind of great. Without a bright screen and an interface between you and your actions, life suddenly gets awkward. Like, “what do I do now? Unplugging from the Matrix, leaving your devices behind, and disconnecting from the digital routine of life can equal an unforgettable vacation. To help you find peace and maybe even enlightenment, Timbercreek brings you tips for how to unplug and relax this March Break.

    Devices, Be Gone

    Most of us only have one phone, a cell, so it means a lot to turn it off or not check it. But there’s tons of data on the physical and psychological benefits of reducing screen time. Put away your ipad and laptop and restrict your phone to family and/or emergencies only. Otherwise, see if you can check out what’s happening in the real world. Read more.

    Email Vacation Notice

    Be unavailable. If you use Gmail, click “Settings”. Scroll to “Vacation responder”. Click “Vacation responder on”. Type “I’m away” in the message line. Click “save changes”. Log out. Close tab. Quit browser. Shut down laptop. Stand up. Go outside. Look at sky. Smile.

    Read

    Reading calms and slows the mind. It offers a seamless, singular experience. It’s not multitasking (like reading an email while answering a phone call while writing a note while playing Angry Birds), it’s single-tasking. Check it out.

    Go for a Walk

    Walking often gets a bad rap. It’s slow, it takes time, it points out the limits of shoe comfort. But it’s also amazing. Our physical activity tends to oscillate between sitting, being at the gym, or running. Walking is only a means of moving between these three. So doing it as a thing in and of itself is a great way to unplug. The slowness makes you look around and see stuff, think, and breathe. And it’s still exercise, which is good for body and mind. Learn more.

    Do Something for Yourself

    Do something nice for yourself. Something you wouldn’t normally do. Get a mani-pedi or a massage, or splurge on a spa day. Treating yourself and doing it in a way that’s original (or at least rare for you) will help rejuvenate your weary mind and body.  Read more here.

    Try Something New

    Explore, experiment, investigate. Just do something new. Go to a part of town you’ve never checked out. Choose a restaurant in a nearby town. Look up an eventbrite happening and go to one last minute. New experiences help refresh the mind and give us new perspective. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes that these tips help you unplug this March Break. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • For Cold Winter Days: Sew a DIY Teepee Play Tent

    Mar 07, 2018

    Kids love enclosed play spaces like tents, forts, boxes -- anything that’s cozy, compact, and good for private play time. If you want to raise the bar on playtime, sew a DIY Teepee Play Tent! To help you craft your own teepee, Timbercreek brings you this how-to guide.

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    Before You Begin

    Before you buy your materials, it's good to know what you're getting yourself into. For a toddler-sized teepee, the dimensions will be roughly 36″ x 36″ and 5′ tall. For a larger size, you just have to buy longer dowels and account for the added fabric. The project requires a bit of sewing, but it’s easy to do both by hand, or with a regular sewing machine.

    Materials

    You don’t need a lot for this badboy. Just four lightweight wooden dowels (easy to find at Home Depot),  a painter’s cotton canvas drop cloth, 1 1/2 yards of printed cotton fabric (for the entrance), and either a needle and thread, sewing machine, or staple gun.

    Frame Set Up

    Get your dowels (get 6 foot lengths of ¾” width dowel from Home Depot), and tie them together about 9” to a foot from what would be the top. Spread out the bases evenly to get the proper width for the interior.

    Fabric Walls

    From here, there are two ways to go:

    Method #1

    Drape the drop cloth around the dowel frame. With a pencil, mark lines along the outer edge of the dowels. You can use just the one side of the frame as a mold for the other 3 sides.  After marking, cut the four triangles from the drop cloth.

    Door

    For the door piece, take one of the precut sides. From the bottom to about 1 foot from the top, cut a line right down the middle. This will be the entrance. Cut a section from the printed cotton fabric that’s the same length as the door slit, and cut in the same length door line to match. Sew this piece onto the panel, and along the entrance slit as decoration.

    Sides

    Sew together the 4 sides leaving space at the top for the dowels to pop through. It doesn’t have to be super pretty. Remember, that A) it’s for an infant, and B) the sewing will be hidden on the inside of the structure. Still, use light thread color for max finish value.

    Method #2

    Instead of cutting or sewing at all, go old school. Wrap/drape the entire length of drop cloth around the dowel skeleton. With the right amount of material, as long as you place the folds over the door area, the entrance almost makes itself. If too tight, you can do the same as #1, cutting a hole or slit in the doorway to create the entrance. Use a staple gun to attach the canvas together (in a circle around the top, with a few well placed staples along the bottom, or in a line up the doorway-front side of the teepee).  And voila. Teepee. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes this helps you build the perfect DIY teepee for your little munchkin. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Fun Family Day Ideas

    Feb 13, 2018

    Family Day, a day for the little things, like hanging out with parents and grandparents, playing with your kids, seeing cousins, and otherwise making time for those most important people in your life. It’s also a small miracle during February, the “cruelest” month of the year, when Easter break is still months away. With this in mind, Timbercreek brings you a list of ideas for things to do on Family Day weekend this year.

    Snowsports

    Whether it’s skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing or tobogganing, skating or snowmobiling, there’s a winter activity out there to suit every locale and taste.  And yes, snowman making and snowball fights count too.

    A Walk in the Park

    Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get outside. Every city in Canada has a quality park (or collection of them) worth strolling through on family day. Lace up your boots, throw on a parka, and get outside.

    See a Movie

    Perhaps #1 in the collective mind for a family day event, going to the movies is the perfect holiday hang. Get a jump on this popular activity by buying tickets online. Click here to find out what’s premiering in February.

    Art for Art’s Sake

    Whether you hate art or love it, galleries are guaranteed at the very least to be cool buildings to explore. They generally boast interesting architecture, history, art, fun and often free activities for kids, and a restaurant or cafe where you can grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Concert

    While tricky to find genres and bands that satisfy the entire family’s musical tastes, a concert is a great way to enjoy some culture with the family. The symphony, an opera, or a ballet performance are also good options.

    See a Play

    From indie theatre to Fringe festivals, musicals to mainstage productions, a theatrical performance can be a fun way to spend an afternoon on family day.

    Movie Marathon

    Whether you’re a Trekkie, prefer The Wars, love the Matrix, or Finding Nemo, a movie trilogy is a killer way to entertain the entire family in one room.

    Family Cook-a-thon

    From smoking to grilling, braising to brining, there’s nothing more satisfying, time consuming, or fun for the whole family than cooking. Don’t just pick something easy -- explore slow cooking, making something from scratch, baking, or a new-to-you cuisine.

    Do Absolutely Nothing

    Family Day is a great opportunity to rest, enjoy the little things, and spend some time together. You don’t have to do anything special to make the most of the long weekend. Sometimes a quiet chill-out day is all it takes.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article gives you some ideas for how to spend your Family Day this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • February Home Checklist

    Feb 12, 2018

    February is a good time to get your home in order and tackle tasks and chores that will help you keep your life and space running smoothly. To help you keep your home fresh and tidy, Timbercreek brings you this February home checklist.

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    Clean Up Your Entryway

    This time of year, the front door is a magnet for mess. Salt, snow, mud, dirt, wet, and grime all converge like the plague. Get a wet weather mat for your dirty boots, and make space in your closet for snowsuits, heavy jackets, and accessories. Then give the floor and walls in the area a decent scrub. These are the first (and last) things you see in the house, so a tidy area makes a huge difference to the feel of your space.

    Recycle E-waste

    Collect all your old devices and accessories -- phones, ipads/tablets, TVs, DVD players, cables, batteries, headphones, and adapters -- and take them to your locale e-recycling depot. While not yet a mainstream part of regular city recycling pick up, it will be soon.

    Declutter your e-self

    While not specifically a home cleaning event, everyone has a pile of digital waste. Files, emails, notes, reminders, calendars, images, documents, old receipts -- it’s endless. With no real pressure to backup aside from losing all your data, it’s a clutter-creating epidemic. Take a couple hours to delete and back stuff up.

    Clean Out Your Freezer

    Cleaning out your freezer can seem like a thankless task. While annoying to do, cleaning out and even defrosting your freezer has multiple benefits. Unused frozen food takes up tons of space. Freezer burn is real and tastes bad. Freezer frost builds up over time and can cause odors and fridge leaking, not to mention reducing freezer space. The best way to clean out this often neglected part of the fridge is to take everything out, discarding anything you won’t use, unplug, toss in a pot of boiled water, steam, defrost, wipe or scrub, and voila.

    Paint an Accent Wall

    Winter blues got you down? Inject some colour into your space and your life with an accent wall. It’s an easy way to make a big impact. It might not seem like it, but winter is the perfect time to paint. Best part is, painting such a small area allows for experimenting with wild colors. And if you don’t like what you did, it’s just as easy to repaint.

    Book Summer Activities

    From campsites to resorts, flights to hotels -- stuff books up fast. Get ahead of the curve by diving into your summer vacation plans early. You’ll save on cash too. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you reinvigorate your indoor space this winter. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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