• 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.

  • Why We Love London, Ontario

    Feb 27, 2018

    It has a Thames River, Covent Garden Market, and Piccadilly Street, but don’t confuse it with London, England. Ontario’s favourite British namesake, London, has a large population of 494,069 people. It is surrounded by woods -- so much so that ‘The Forest City’ is its historic nickname. As one of Ontario’s largest municipalities, London has a ton of landmarks and attractions, and boasts some great activities. Whether you’re thinking of relocating to London, or passing through, here are just a few reasons why we love this great city:

    It’s a Great School Town

    London, Ontario is home to Western University and Fanshawe College -- two great Canadian institutions with beautiful campuses. Because it’s home to a prestigious university and a great college, London is the epitome of a college town. There are tons of students here, not to mention student-friendly housing, a student-friendly bar scene, affordable restaurants and businesses. It’s a great place for young people pursuing post secondary education to live.

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    Prince Albert’s Diner

    You don’t truly know London until you visit Prince Albert’s Diner. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s a famous haunt for all age groups and taste buds. Specializing in (larger than life sized) milkshakes and your typical nostalgic, retro style features, Prince Al’s is a must-visit in the Forest City. Read More.

    Brewery Tour

    Canada’s oldest brewery, Labatt’s, is headquartered in London and they offer tours and tastings year round. If craft beer is more your style, you should visit Forked River Brewery, Anderson Craft Ales, and Toboggan Brewing Company. Learn more.

    Check out East Park

    There’s something for everyone at East Park. Outdoor activities include mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, year-round rock climbing, and Wally World's 7 waterslides.

    Banting House

    The former house of Dr. Frederick Banting, this museum is dedicated to the life of Canada’s famed inventor of insulin. It features Banting Square, which has a glorious garden and numerous sculptures. See more.

    Covent Garden Market

    Covent Garden Market is home to 52 vendors and a combination of indoor and outdoor markets. Twice a week, the outdoor Farmers' Market offers fresh and local food and produce. See more.

    Budweiser Gardens

    Whether you want to catch a game, play, watch shows on ice, or see your favorite performer, London’s premier arena, formerly known as John Labatt Centre, is the place to do This mammoth centre accommodates up to 10,000 attendees. Learn more about it.

    Cycling

    A truly unique adventure can be had by seeking out the city’s bike paths. With 330km of paths winding through some of the most interesting neighbourhoods and historic parts of the city, it’s an easy way to discover downtown London.

    Museum of London

    Southwestern Ontario's leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture, Museum London's collection has more than 5,000 regional and Canadian artworks and 25,000 artifacts.


    Festivals

    London hosts numerous festivals throughout the year including Sunfest -- the second largest world music event in the country. With big draw events like London Ribfest and the London Fringe Theatre Festival, you’ll never be bored. Learn more.

    Storybook Gardens

    Storybook Gardens is a family-friendly amusement park that’s open year-round. It features rides, games, recreational activities, ice-skating, wagon rides, and theatre. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article inspires you to explore London, Ontario.

    For information about Timbercreek Communities in London, with several options conveniently located in trendy Woodfield and others near Western University, please visit our website.

  • How to Cram for an Exam Like a Pro

    Nov 27, 2017

    There’s no doubt about it, exams can be stressful. Make it easier on yourself by adopting some time management and stress management techniques. While some people thrive under pressure, it’s best practice not to leave studying until the last minute. Make a plan and find a balance. Timbercreek Communities can’t take away the pressure of exams, but we can help you learn how to cram for an exam like a pro!

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    Go Somewhere Quiet

    Everyone is different and their study habits differ. Some students require absolute silence to study, while others prefer white noise or even background music. What’s most important is that you find or create a space where you can comfortably focus. You need enough room to arrange your notes and books, the right amount of light, and to be reasonably comfortable.

    Work Hard But Take Breaks

    It may seem counterintuitive, but studying as much a possible may be counterproductive. For long-term knowledge-retention, taking regular breaks is essential. Again, everyone is different, so you’ll need to find the right balance for you.

    Study With A Friend

    Studying with a friend or a group can be an effective tactic. You may have questions they can help answer, and answering other people’s questions can help you solidify your grasp on the subject matter. As long as the study session doesn’t become a social hangout session, it can be very effective. Make sure you stay focused for an agreed period of time -- you can socialize during scheduled breaks.

    Don’t Forget To Eat And Sleep

    It can be easy to convince yourself that you don’t have time to eat well or get the proper amount of sleep, after all you’re too busy studying! To function optimally you need to consume nutritious food, stay hydrated and well rested. Choose foods that improve focus and memory, drink plenty of water, and get the right amount of sleep.

    Caffeinate

    The effects of caffeine fall into the ‘everyone is different’ category. For some people, it sharpens focus and awareness and elevates their mood. For others, it can interfere with normal sleep habits and cause jitters. Observe how caffeine affects you personally, before you use it as a study aid, or rely on it for a cram session.  Even if it is effective for you, there is such a thing as too much.

    Timbercreek hopes these cramming tips help you hit the books effectively! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • School Supplies You Need For University And Where To Get Them

    Sep 07, 2017

    Back to school time is a mixed bag. It’s time to get back to the grind, but also time to see school friends and learn new things. If you want to be truly prepared for university you need the right school supplies. To help you make the right choices, Timbercreek brings you this list of what you need, and where to get it.

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    Laptop

    A laptop is pretty much essential for university. And depending on what kind of person you are (mac or pc) a new laptop is obtainable in a variety of ways. In-store: from the Apple store to Best Buy, Costco, university bookstores and mom and pop computer shops, you can find pretty much everything. Plus there’s the advantage of seeing what you’re buying, and talking to an actual human about the product. Online: from Amazon to the Apple store, Best Buy and more, pretty much everything in a store is available online - and with the advantage of having it delivered to your home. Used: from Craigslist to Kijiji and authorized Apple resellers, great deals can be found on used laptops. Be sure to do your due-diligence, but used machines can often save you half the price of a new one.

    Backpack

    From designer bags to walmart no-name brands, backpacks and rucksacks are everywhere. The trick is finding that unicorn mix of affordability and quality. But don’t think too hard - one of the best and easiest options is scrolling through the stock of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Durable, affordable, and available in a variety of models and price points, it’s a Canadian-made option that doesn’t disappoint.

    Notebooks

    There are a few things the dollar store really nails: one of them is school supplies. While you won’t necessarily get the best pens on the planet, their notebooks are great.They’ve got different colors, sizes, line widths, dividers, no dividers, holes for integration with binders - they’re hard to beat. And they’re cheap.

    Pens, pencils, highlighters

    There’s a whole lot you can get for cheap at the dollar store. But other excellent options include Canadian Tire, art supply stores like Currys, Deserres, as well as long time office supply giant, Staples.

    Printer

    Common office supply stores and online shopping hubs generally stock the largest supply of printers and printer gear (Staples, The Source, Best Buy, Amazon, etc.), but they can also be found at university bookstores and small computer shops. The main point to consider with printers is the cost-use ratio. While cheap up front, standard ink/bubble jet printers have a lifespan of a year if you’re lucky, and laser versions are pricey, while ink and maintenance for all is a costly pain. A lot of times using a local print shop, Kinkos, or the university bookstore is cheaper and more convenient in the long run.

    Timbercreek hopes this list of school supplies and where to get them helps you find what you need for university this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Make Your Own: DIY Frappuccinos

    Aug 22, 2017

    Who doesn’t love a Starbucks frappuccino? They’re totally addictive! They’re also totally expensive and a frappuccino habit can add up quickly. Save your wallet and make them at home! With some coffee and a bit of DIY ingenuity, Timbercreek will show you how to whip up your own frappucinos with ease.

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    Caramel Frappuccino

    With a blender, ice cubes, coffee, milk, and some caramel sauce, you can whip up a pretty convincing caramel frappucino. Toss a cup of ice cubes, 2 shots of espresso, a half cup of milk, a tablespoon of caramel sauce and 3 tbsp of caramel syrup into a blender and pulse for 30 seconds or to taste. Once done, serve, and garnish with whipped cream and drizzle with more caramel sauce. A great addition that will help thicken the drink is xanthan gum. Never heard of it? It’s a mix of fermented glucose and sucrose that is used widely as a thickening agent. It’s available at most healthfood stores.

    Smores Frappuccino

    To make a frappuccino that will bring back sweet summer camp memories, try this Smores Frappuccino recipe. As with all Frappuccino drinks, brew up a couple shots of espresso, or a strong cup of drip coffee and let cool. Have ice cubes on hand, as well as a 1/2 cup of whipping cream, 1/2 a cup of fluff, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar graham crackers, and some milk of your choice. Whip the cream until you get soft peaks, add the fluff and continue whipping until you get hard peaks, add sugar, and put in the fridge until ready. Crush graham crackers (1-2 per frappuccino or to taste), then assemble. Use the blender method described above or pour coffee over ice and top with fluff/whipped cream garnish.

    Unicorn Frappuccino

    While difficult to make DIY style, Stabucks’ rarefied and mythical unicorn frappucinos are doable at home. Brew your coffee, let cool, and have ice cubes in the freezer, as well as a cup of milk, ¼ cup heavy cream, and 2 tbsp mango syrup. For the Blue Drizzle Sauce, blend ½ cup white chocolate morsels, 2 tablespoons blue raspberry sour powder topping or crushed up Warhead candies, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Blend all ingredients, drizzle blue sauce down the sides of your frappuccino cup, add blended coffee, and top with whipped cream and sour powder. It’s tough to get this one exact, but there’s lots of room for creativity and it will taste great no matter what.

    Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino

    This one is pretty straightforward. Start with a base of coffee, ice, and milk. To this add ¼ cup of vanilla ice cream, 2 strawberries (per frappuccino), 2 tbsp strawberry syrup, and if desired, ⅛ tsp xanthan gum for thickener. Blend your ingredients, top with whipped cream, and voila, you’ve got a delicious Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino.

    With the basic frappuccino recipe, and your choice of other flavours like mocha, vanilla, green tea, or cinnamon dolce, amazing DIY frappuccinos are possible. Timbercreek hopes this list helps you save big without sacrificing your favourite drinks! For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Canadian Brands We Love

    Aug 21, 2017

    Canadian style is not just flannels and parkas (not that there’s anything wrong with those). We’re pretty chic, despite the stereotypes. Timbercreek wants to help you show your national pride, and look good doing it, with some Canadian brands we love.

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    Peace Collective

    Peace Collective has a flagship store for their clothing brand on Ossington Avenue in Toronto. Known mostly for their minimalist black and white graphic tees, they are an offshoot of the Peace Foundation.

    East Coast Lifestyle

    East Coast Lifestyle is about being proud of where you’re from. They give people the opportunity to wear their East Coast heart on their sleeve.  Created in 2013 as an undergrad venture-creation class at Acadia University, the brand has moved into the real world in a real way.

    Lululemon

    Since its inception in 1998 (by the now infamous Chip Wilson) Lululemon has seen exponential growth. The athletic apparel company best known for their amazing leggings (and perhaps second best known for its strange and sordid history) has legions of loyal customers. Their flagship store is located on Robson Street in Vancouver.

    Hudson’s Bay Company

    The history of the Hudson’s Bay Company dates back to 1670! It is the oldest incorporated merchandising company in the English-speaking world. Today, HBC is a premium brand and retailer with a flagship store at 160 Yonge Street in Toronto and retail locations across the country.

    Herschel Supply Co.

    Named after the founder’s grandparents hometown of Herschel, Saskatchewan, The Herschel Supply Co. was established in 2009 and is based in Vancouver B.C. Today they are one of the most popular accessory brands in the country.

    Livestock

    Livestock first opened its doors in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood in 2004. It began as a popular footwear store. With four brick and mortar locations from Toronto to Vancouver, it has become one of Canada’s top apparel and footwear destinations.

    Roots

    The Roots beaver logo is as Canadian as it gets. The company has designed and produced high quality clothing and accessories in Toronto since first opening their doors in 1973. Their stores can now be found in most major cities across the country, including Roots Central in The Eaton Centre.

    Sorel

    Now headquartered in London, Ontario, Sorel was originally headquartered in Quebec and made in Canada. Founded by the Kaufman Rubber Company in 1962 they have become a staple brand of quality footwear for Canadians.

    MEC

    Canada’s largest supplier of outdoor equipment, MEC, has 16 stores across the country. They originally catered only to mountaineers but have since broadened their appeal to include outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Their original store is on Broadway Street in Vancouver, B.C.

    Timbercreek hopes that these brands help you show off your Canadian style. To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, 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 Importance Of Tenant Contents Insurance

    Jul 05, 2017
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    Tenant contents insurance is an often overlooked necessity. The Toronto Star claims “contents insurance is something most renters don’t put too high on their list of priorities.” The Insurance Bureau of Canada says that as of 2011 only half of all renters had it. Many renters don’t bother to get it because it amounts to an extra bill. Timbercreek understands the importance of tenant contents insurance, and hopes you’ll take these factors into consideration when it comes to protecting yourself and your belongings.

    It Protects Your Stuff

    One of the main reasons to get tenant contents insurance is it helps you to replace your things if they are damaged or destroyed in your home. While mementos and collectible items may be irreplaceable, most other things we have are. Most people think that their belongings aren’t worth insuring but that’s usually not the case. Imagine coming home after work or a party to find all your clothes gone, bed and sheets no longer there, even dishes, cutlery, spare towels, shoes, gym stuff, laptop, the works?  That’s a big bill to cover. While the likelihood that it would all disappear or be destroyed at once is small, that’s exactly what fires and floods do, robberies too.

    Landlords Have A Right To Ask For It

    Barrie-based paralegal April Stewart says contents insurance isn’t required under Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act. However, landlords do have the right to insist on seeing proof of insurance prior to accepting a tenant or a sublet. This law is almost motivation enough to get it.  Having insurance works in your favour when you are looking for a new place in a competitive market like Toronto or Vancouver. Learn more here.

    You Could Be Liable

    If a fire starts in your apartment through a fault of your own, you could be liable for damage to your apartment, and any others that might be affected.  While it’s the law for landlords to provide smoke alarms for tenants, and have varying levels of general house insurance, that doesn’t mean it’ll cover you if something happens. Consider too that if a fire starts in your apartment that isn’t your fault, but you don’t have your smoke alarm on, active, powered up, etc., then you might be held responsible even though the fire was caused by a purely mechanical or age related problem in your home.

    You probably didn’t know that if someone hurts themselves inside your home, there’s a chance you could be held responsible. While friends wouldn’t (likely) sue for tripping on the carpet, some random person at a party, the internet guy, a neighbour who needs something, a student, or a friend of a friend might. While chances are slim, depending on your lifestyle and frequency of entertaining, being covered for this eventuality is a plus.

    Living Expenses Coverage

    Many contents insurance plans have a provision for extra living expenses (like hotels, rent, food, etc.) in the event of a fire or accident that forces you out of your home. Typically you will get up to 20 percent of the contents amount if there is a fire and if you have to leave the building. Having to find a place to stay in the aftermath is not fun -- another reason to consider contents insurance.  Read more here.

    Timbercreek hopes this article gives you some valuable insight into tenant contents insurance for renters. For a generally small fee you can protect yourself and your belongings, and have some piece of mind. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, 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.

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