• Trick or treating safety tips

    Oct 25, 2018

    Halloween should feel scary, without actually being dangerous. To help you make sure your kids are safe, Timbercreek Communities wants to share some trick or treating safety tips.

    Mother and Daughter on halloween

    Unmask the Danger

    A mask may add to the look of the costume, but it can really take away from your child’s ability to see what’s around them -- including traffic. Choose hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup instead. Do a test a few days before to make sure they don’t have any skin reactions. Also be sure to wash it all off before they head to bed.

    Reflect on the Costume You Choose

    Light colours are easier for motorists to see. If your child’s costume is dark, add reflective tape to the front and back. Use a white bag or pillow case for trick or treating, and add reflectors to that, too. Also, be sure the costume fits well to avoid tripping. Try to ensure they have a full range of motion. Choose non-flammable fabrics for their costume as many Jack-o’-lanterns or home Halloween displays may use real flame candles. Use LED candles or battery powered tea lights in your own decorations.

    Safety in Numbers

    Younger children should, of course, be accompanied by an adult at all times. By the time they reach 10, some kids may be ready to go out with a group of friends. Make sure the group includes at least 4 or 5 age-appropriate children. Equip them with a flashlight and cell phone. Make it clear not to go near houses that are not well lit, and never go inside any house, apartment or vehicle. Make sure they know not to eat any treats until they get home.

    Route Planning

    If you’re child is heading out with a group of friends, make sure their route is pre-planned. Set boundaries and a curfew, and explain why it’s important to stick to it. It is safest and most efficient to work your way along one side of the street and down the other, rather than crisscrossing the road more than necessary.

    If you and your kids follow these simple safety tips, everyone should have a scary but safe Halloween!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • DIY Halloween treats for your pet

    Oct 16, 2018

    Your pet may not know what Halloween is all about, but they’re sure to notice that you’re snacking on some tasty treats. Don’t leave your pal out of the fun! Timbercreek Communities wants to share some easy DIY Halloween treats for your pet.

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    Peanut Butter Doggy Bones

    Whip up a batch of Peanut Butter Doggy Bones by beating peanut butter, egg, honey, oats, whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and water into a dough. Cut the dough into the perfect shape with Dog Bone Cookie Cutters. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Make the icing by melting almond butter with oil and dipping the cooled biscuits in. They can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

    Kitty Treats

    These kitty treats are simply adorable. Make the dough with applesauce, grated carrots, canned pumpkin, oats and rice flour. Roll the dough into small balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350°F for 7 minutes, flip and bake for another 5 minutes. This video will show you how!

    Pup Cakes

    Pup Cakes are peanut butter, applesauce and Greek yogurt based cupcakes for your dog. Complete them with a cream cheese, pumpkin, honey and yogurt frosting -- if your pooch has a sweet tooth.

    Cookies for Cats

    These Cookies for Cats are made with whole wheat flour, canned tuna in oil, and egg. Cut the dough into fish shapes, and score with a pizza cutter to make diamond shapes that look like scales. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

    Strawberry Shortcake Dog Biscuits

    These Strawberry Shortcake Dog Biscuits will delight your dog with a canine take on the classic berries and cream dessert. They look so good, you might want to share them -- if they let you!

    Timbercreek hopes you love whipping up these Halloween treats for your pet as much as your pet will love wolfing them down!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Thanksgiving: Easy Ways to Become More Grateful

    Oct 02, 2018

    Thanksgiving is the official holiday of gratitude, by why should feeling grateful need a holiday? Science has proven gratitude is good for you. Timbercreek Communities wants to share a few ways to cultivate gratitude on an ongoing basis. Here are some easy ways to become more grateful, every day.

    Family around dinner table

    Keep a Gratitude Journal

    It helps to get our thoughts down on paper. Get into the habit of reminding yourself of all the good things in your life, big and small. Sometimes it’s the little things that we feel most grateful for. Write these things down every day. It could be something beautiful you saw, a personal attribute you have, a feeling, or the simple fact that you are alive and can feel anything at all.

    Visual Reminders

    The biggest obstacle to gratefulness is forgetfulness. It’s easy to forget what is good in our lives, especially when we are overwhelmed and stressed. Use visual reminders to trigger your gratitude. Seeing the people in your life that you are grateful for and love is a great place to start.

    Behave Gratefully

    Behaving as though you are already grateful can trigger feelings of genuine gratitude. These behaviors can include the simplest things, like saying thank you, smiling, or writing letters expressing your gratitude.

    Stick With It

    Consistency is the key. Keep reminding yourself of the good things in life. Posting sticky notes around your home about what you’re grateful for can help. You can modernize this tip by posting gratitude reminders on your phone for random times in the near future.

    Show the love

    Feeling gratitude is great, but the other side of it is expressing gratitude towards others. The thought may make you feel vulnerable, but chances are the other person would be grateful to hear it -- this can create a gratitude feedback loop that feels great!

    Timbercreek is grateful that you’ve found your home with us.

    For information on finding a new home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 7 Elegant Halloween Decor Ideas

    Oct 01, 2018

    All Hallows Eve doesn’t have to be all about orange and black decor and blood and gore. Timbercreek Communities wants to share some elegant Halloween decor ideas for your home.

    Living room decor - Halloween theme

    The Magic of Monochrome

    Embrace the magic of monochrome. Pick up white pumpkins and gourds and cluster them together. Add a little elegance by adding some white chrysanthemums in white baskets into the mix.

    Elegant Mini-Ghosts

    Greet your guests with elegant mini-ghost lollipops arranged in a white pumpkin. Simply cover round lollipops with tissue paper and add ghost eyes and mouths with a black marker.

    Painted Pumpkins

    Let your creativity run wild and paint your pumpkins any way you want. Go beyond spooky faces, think Gingham, white with copper stripes, leaf prints and more!

    Twinkle Lights

    A string or two of twinkle lights, or Harvest String Lights, can transform the atmosphere of any space.

    Flower Petals

    A scant scattering of colourful foliage or flower petals can bring a touch of evening elegance to your table.

    Linen Pumpkin Centrepiece

    This Linen Pumpkin set instantly creates a rustic and elegant centrepiece.

    Understated Spider Web

    A black spider web tablecloth provides the perfect place to display the treats at your elegantly spooky soiree.

    Timbercreek hopes these decor ideas help you have an elegantly adult Halloween.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Elegant Fall decor to add to your home

    Sep 24, 2018

    Fall is the most naturally beautiful season of them all. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you bring a little of that autumn beauty into your apartment with some elegant fall decor to add to your home.

    Bedroom design in fall colours

    Foraged Fall Tableau

    Add some fall to your foyer with a foraged fall tableau. Look for autumn textures and colours. Colourful leaves, pumpkins and gourds in various colours and sizes, and pinecones are a good place to start. You can bleach the pinecones and arrange them in a basket for an elegant look. Whether you forage for them out in nature or online, it’s amazing how a well-chosen bell jar or glass vase can elevate anything from ‘simple’ to ‘elegant’. You can also hollow out a pumpkin and use it as a vase.

    Warm It Up

    A simple, effective, and inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a room is by tossing in a throw blanket and pillows. Elegant autumn decor should feel warm, cozy and inviting. A plaid blanket in colourful fall hues of red, orange and gold will do the trick. Drape it across the foot of you bed for chilly fall nights, or brighten up your living room sofa.

    Wreath It Up

    Adding a simple Grapevine Wreath to a window, door or empty nook can be an easy and elegant way to celebrate the season. You can customize and enhance the look by adding real or faux gourds. Don’t overdo it -- understated and elegant is the way to go.

    Chalk It Up

    Give any space an air of country charm with Chalkboard Art. Inspire yourself with a quote, draw a picture, or do anything you like. All you need is a chalkboard, chalk, and a wooden frame to give it that down-home elegance. Or, you can print this chalkboard art from Lolly Jane and create your own woodland frame.

    Leaf Art

    Hold onto a little piece of autumn by creating some wall-worthy Leaf Art. No artistic ability is required! Simply glue brightly coloured leaves to card stock with a spray mount and arrange accordingly.

    Timbercreek hopes these decor ideas help you bring the beauty of autumn into your apartment.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Best Fall Activities for the Kids

    Oct 16, 2017

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    Fall has finally arrived. It’s a special time of year, full of beautiful colours and crisp, cool air. Don’t let this short season pass you by -- Timbercreek has a list of some of the best fall activities for kids.

    Make Handprint Fall Trees

    Your kids will love making these Autumn Handprint Trees. They’re easy for kids of almost any age to make and require very little preparation. All you need is a sheet of white cardstock paper, a pencil, paint (primary colours), paper plate paint palettes, and some Q-tips. Start by tracing a faint line around your child’s hand and arm - this will form the trunk and branches of the tree. Mixing the paint is a great way to teach your kids about colours. Any kid can make brown, just mix them all together! For the leaves, experiment with mixing primary colours to get the fall shades you want. Use Q-tips, the pencil tip or even fingertips to add dots around the tree and watch it transform into something special.

    Go On A Fall Scavenger Hunt

    Getting outside and enjoying the brilliant colours and the cool air is a great way to make the most of fall. Rather than taking the kids out for a regular walk in the park, why not plan a fun Fall Scavenger Hunt! You can turn it into a chance for them to learn, too! This free printable animal camouflage scavenger hunt features frog cutouts. Your kids can colour them in fall shades and you can hide them in the fallen leaves. Set a timer and see how fast your kids can find them, while they learn about how animals avoid predators.

    Paint Some Pumpkins

    Pumpkins are a big and bright symbol of fall. Carving them into Jack O’Lanterns is fun, but not a great activity for younger kids. Put the knives away and break out the paint! The options of what to paint and how to paint your pumpkins are endless! Add some white to the top, some yellow to the bottom, and leave the middle orange for a candy corn inspired look that kids of all ages can create.

    Make Leaf Crowns

    You and your children will have a royally good time creating these Fall Leaf Crowns! All you need are some fallen leaves, a thin strip of cardboard (a cereal box will do nicely), and glue. All you have to do is glue the leaves to the cardboard and glue the cardboard into a circle! It’s fun and easy and it makes your kids feel like kings and queens!

    Timbercreek hopes that that these fall activities for kids help make your family’s fall even brighter! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipes

    Oct 05, 2017

    There is a lot to be grateful for when fall rolls around. There is Thanksgiving, of course, but there’s also the cool, crisp weather, the changing colours and cozy clothes that come with this special season. Fall is also pumpkin pie season! Timbercreek Communities wants to help you savour the sweet and spicy flavour of fall with the best pumpkin pie recipes. Dig in!

    Perfect Pumpkin Pie

    This Perfect Pumpkin Pie recipe is aptly named. Pumpkin pie can be tricky to make. The crust can easily be too soggy, or too dense, and the custard filling can be too gooey, or too spicy. This pie has a light and flaky crust and a perfectly spiced filling that won’t crack when it cools. This tutorial will walk you through each and every step -- with lots of pictures to make the process as easy as pie.

    iStock-516248809

    Pumpkin Cream Pie

    You don’t have to make plain old pumpkin pie. Mix it up this season and try this Pumpkin Cream Pie. It has all the gentle spice and flavour you’re craving, with a light and lovely cream pie filling. Best of all, it’s easy to make. It requires only 30 minutes of hands-on prep time. The gingersnap cookie crust requires less than 10 minutes of baking, and the filling requires no baking at all - just let it set in the fridge for a few hours.

    Pumpkin Pie with Oreo Crust

    This Pumpkin Pie with Oreo Crust is a sweet twist on the tradition that will be adored by children and adults alike. Your kids will love to help you make it because they will get to crush a bag of Oreos with a rolling pin. Who doesn’t want to do that? Then all you do is pour melted butter into the bag and smoosh it around to make the crust. Fun and easy!

    Chai Spice Pumpkin Pie

    Put a spicy twist on tradition when you whip up this Chai Spice Pumpkin Pie. You can choose to make the Foolproof Butter Crust from scratch, or save some time with store-bought. For the filling, combine pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, nutmeg and black pepper). Beat until smooth and pour into the crust. It needs about an hour to bake and another hour to cool and set. It’s well worth the wait.

    Timbercreek wishes you a sweet, spicy and delicious fall! We hope you give these delicious pumpkin pie recipes a try. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: Safer Ways to Prevent Fleas and Ticks

    Sep 25, 2017

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    Fleas and ticks are not only irritating and unpleasant for your furry friends, they can infiltrate your home and are capable of transmitting disease. Many control and treatment products contain chemicals that can be toxic to you and your pet. How do you balance the risks posed by fleas and ticks with the risks of the repellents? Timbercreek Communities want to help with our best advice for safer ways to prevent fleas and ticks.

    Talk to Your Vet

    Before making any decisions about flea and tick control, talk to your vet. They can help you make the best decision for your pet and your whole family. You may want to consider orally administered products to limit your family’s exposure to toxic compounds.

    Citrus Juice

    Fleas are not fans of citrus. Squeezing some lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice on your dog’s fur can get rid of the blood suckers. Be careful to avoid your pet’s eyes and remember that lemon juice may lighten darker hair.

    Regular Baths

    A warm bath can help get rid of fleas and prevent them from returning. Existing fleas will fall off into the water and fleas are less attracted to cleaner animals. You may want to try a peppermint shampoo for a bit of extra protection. Place your pet on a lightly coloured towel after the bath (to better see any remaining fleas), and use a flea comb dipped in soapy water.

    Clean Your Home

    Regular, thorough cleaning of your home can help control fleas and ticks. Vacuum often and change your bedding and your pet’s bedding, regularly.

    Essential Oils

    Some essential oils like geranium, lemongrass, catnip oil or neem may help repel fleas and ticks, as well as mosquitoes and other pests. Be sure to choose high quality oils that can be applied topically.

    Timbercreek hopes this post helps you make safer choices while caring for all the members of your family. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Outdoor Adventure List

    Sep 19, 2017

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    Whether it’s camping, watersports, hiking, or an intercontinental trip, outdoor adventure is good for body and soul. Adventure is about taking risks, trying new things, and diving in with both feet. Whether it’s across the globe or in your own backyard, adventure awaits. To help you discover your inner explorer, Timbercreek brings you our outdoor adventure list.

    Camping

    Camping is key. From hikes to multi-day backcountry canoe trips, camping brings you back to nature, even if it’s in a car or an RV. Fresh air, sun and wind, water and woods. They cleanse the soul and ground the spirit. And it’s the kind of thing you don’t have to venture too far for. Even city folk can drive an hour or two, set up a tent, and bask in the rejuvenating energy of nature.

    Rock Climbing

    While this point involves considerable skill and also risk of death, it’s a great way to get outside and get your adrenaline pumping. Rock climbing is a sport that involves strength, technique, planning, and courage. It makes you face your fears, try new things, test your skills, and take chances. Best of all, it’s increasingly becoming available in unexpected like indoor climbing gyms.

    Watersports

    Adventure doesn’t have to imply distance. It’s as much a mental state as a physical activity. Doing something you don’t often do, or that can be done close by or in another medium (i.e. water), can instill a sense of exploration even in the middle of the city. Windsurfing, canoeing, swimming, kitesurfing, dragon boating, or paddle boarding: they all remove you from your normal environment and call on different skill sets. They also demand an immediate connection with nature - in these cases - with wind, water, sun, and sky.

    Road Trip

    From RVing to car camping and cross country marathons, road trips are what adventure is made of. Route 66, the Trans Canada, the Dempster highway -- roads are a symbol of freedom, the unknown, exploration, and travel. And cycling definitely counts as well. Multi-day cycling adventures can be just as exciting and promote a more direct and hands-on experience of a particular area.

    Pilgrimage

    A more extensive outdoor adventure, a pilgrimage in the style of Mecca, the Camino de Santiago, or visiting Stonehenge, is an adventure with purpose. With spiritual meaning and physical, outdoor components, an adventure of this sort combines the visceral aspect of moving through a new environment, with the mental component of experiencing new and unseen vistas.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you a few ideas for your own outdoor adventure this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Best Kid-Friendly Fall Activities

    Sep 18, 2017

    To help keep your little ones smiling this fall, Timbercreek brings you this list of kid-friendly fall activities the whole family will love.

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    Nature Walk

    It’s almost always a good time to go for a walk. Even if you’re subdivision bound, there are always parks close by, or conservation areas a little further away, that can make for a great fall outing. Pack a snack or a full-on lunch, make sure to bring water, and outfit your little ones with some sturdy shoes. Also bring bags for the kids to collect nature items - twigs, rocks, leaves, bark - it can all be fun for nature collections or crafting once you get home. As fall temperatures start to drop, be sure to consider appropriate clothing and layers to make your outing disaster proof.

    Picnic

    Picnics aren’t just for summer. A fantastic fall activity, picnics are great so long as you wear and bring the right stuff along. With unpredictable temperatures, pack some hats and coats. Don’t forget to bring all the usual picnic supplies like frisbees, baseballs, blankets, PB & J sammies, drink boxes, and kites. 

    Pumpkin Carving

    While generally reserved for Halloween, pumpkins are a symbol of autumn. Harvested from September through October, they offer families a great range of activities. Going to a local pumpkin “patch” to pick a few for the house is a great afternoon outing, while carving competitions, roasting pumpkin seeds, and playing with pumpkin “slime” are all great ways to enjoy them.

    Leaf Forts

    Jumping in a pile of leaves is a classic fall activity that never gets old. For kids it’s like an invitation to play and explore. Burying, burrowing, making forts, tossing them all over each other in leaf wars: they all make for great outdoor play that can occupy kids for hours. On a safety note, while obvious, check your leaf piles (before your kid jumps in them) for branches, rocks, garbage, and other debris that can be hiding inside after raking and yard cleaning.

    Baking

    A great fall activity for kids is baking. A couple seasonal snack options are apple chips and roasted pumpkin seeds. Slice some apples in thin, full width pieces and place evenly on a baking tray. Sprinkle them with cinnamon, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and even some coarse sea salt, and bake at 340F until slightly dehydrated and/or golden brown. Let dry and refrigerate for a great snack. Almost the same process can be applied to pumpkin seeds. Clean and rinse a big handful of seeds and lay them out evenly on a baking sheet. Add coarse salt and, if desired, a dash of olive oil, and bake until firm and slightly brown.

    Make Butter

    It’s surprisingly easy to make butter and it’s also a great activity to do with kids. All it requires is heavy whipping cream and a whisk. But by using a Mason jar, two small marbles, and a bit of music, you can dance your way to whipping that cream into butter. Shake a jar (or whisk) until the cream thickens. As the fat molecules bind together, a ball of butter will form, separating from the remaining buttermilk. Once a ball has formed, drain off the buttermilk, add some salt, and voila!  Homemade butter.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you a few ideas for how to entertain your kids this fall. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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