• 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.

  • Petiquette 101: Seasonal Pet Health Hazards Associated with Fall

    Oct 24, 2017

    We all want to keep our pets safe. There are many seasonal pet health hazards associated with fall. These dangers can lead to serious injury or worse. Luckily for pet owners, most of these hazards can be easily avoided. To help keep your pet safe this fall, Timbercreek has advice for how to avoid the most common fall pet hazards.

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    Leaf Piles

    Leaf piles offer hours of fun for kids and adults, but the piles can pose hidden dangers to pets and humans. While seemingly soft and delightful, they’re still airy piles of mostly, well, air. And with most of them residing on the street, they often house stones, pieces of metal or broken glass, dirt, and potentially large stones and concrete debris -- not to mention other animals (alive and/or dead!). Though seemingly harmless, keep an eye on your pet as they sniff around leaf piles.

    Cars

    As kids go back to school, university students return to town, and 9-to-5 workers get back to the grind after summer holidays, traffic increases. In addition, the decreasing daylight that comes with fall means lower visibility in the evenings. Cyclists, pedestrians, and cars all have a harder time spotting animals on the road. For your pet, that means increased danger - especially if they’re outdoor cats, dogs that are used to being off-leash, or pets that have a tendency to run away. A quick walk before bed or a cracked door to get the mail can be the ideal opportunity for your pet to dart out into the street. Keep a watchful eye on your pet this season.

    Off-leash Parks

    Off-leash parks are usually safe public zones for dogs, but they still require caution from pet owners. Even the most urban of parks have wildlife like squirrels and raccoons, and parks close to water may have turtles, fish, and potentially even skunks. It’s key to keep a close eye on your pet to avoid canine calamity and/or troublemaking.

    Seasonal Plant Dangers

    The Chrysanthemum is a classic fall flower. It can be toxic if ingested (the flower, stems, or leaves), and may cause Ataxia (stumbling), skin inflammation, Ptyalism (increased salivation), nausea/vomiting, and diarrhea. Other plants producing blooms with a toxic potential for dogs and cats include meadow saffron/autumn crocus and clematis. Mushrooms also appear in fall and some varieties are toxic. If you walk close to forested areas with your pet, have a look around the area for fall mushrooms and the other harmful plants we mentioned above. Learn more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article helps keep your pets safe and sound this fall. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Fall Boot Trends We Love

    Oct 23, 2017

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    There are a ton of fall boot trends for 2017 and we love them all. From a resurgence in 90s styles, to bold colours, and new takes on timeless classics, fall’s here and boots are hot. If you’re ready to find your perfect pair, Timbercreek has put together this list of what’s trending in boots this fall.

    Combat

    Badass 80s and 90s boots styles are back. Combat boots or army boots, in particular Doc Martens, are lining shelves this fall for women and men alike. Marc Jacobs, Frye Veronica, Alexander Wang, Dr. Martens, Timberlands, and good old legit army surplus boots are all the rage. Best part is: they’re comfortable and they kickass. Learn more about the trend here.

    Sparkle

    Sparkly, glittering boot styles appeared six separate times on Fall 2017 runways throughout New York, Milan and Paris. They came in all manner of colors, heel heights, lengths and silhouettes. Some were '80s-infused, while others came with patent leather toe-caps or dainty bows and detailing. Sparkle is definitely in this fall. Learn more about the trend here.

    Heel Art

    Big heels are hot this fall and they’re available in a range of styles. You can find something unique you love -- like wood or block heels, colored, and even snakeskin-covered (faux, of course) heels. Everything from glitter to velour and custom artwork is making its way onto boot heels in 2017.  Learn more about this trend here.

    Red

    Red is one of the biggest color trends for the year. It has dominated fashion shows this fall, especially when it comes to boots. From high to low, leather to velvet, boots are blazing red this season. Learn more.

    Urban Cowboy

    This iconic fashion (and lifestyle) theme never seems to get old. And for 2017, cowboy boots take on a fresh look with a combination of different variations. From ankle boots to mid-thigh high strutters, vivid colors, and exotic needlework -- urban cowboy is where it’s at this fall. Explore the trend here.

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    Great boots can make a statement. Stay on trend with these fall boot trends Timbercreek loves. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, 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.

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    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.

  • How to Host a Thanksgiving Dinner

    Oct 02, 2017

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    The countdown to Thanksgiving is on. Whether you prefer stuffed turkey or tofu, mashed potatoes or roasted, there’s really something for everyone on the table. And from table decorations to wine, there’s a lot to consider when you host Thanksgiving dinner. Timbercreek has a few great tips to help you host a memorable holiday meal this Thanksgiving.

    Timing

    Pretty much every list of how to host thanksgiving starts (and finishes) with timing. Not to be pessimistic, but if the food isn’t ready for dinner, you’re doomed. If you’re serving roast Turkey (or even Tofurkey), timing is everything. The Turkey itself takes hours depending on weight. And then there’s all the side dishes -- we’re talking everything from mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, carrots, green bean casserole, corn, and/or squash. If you opt for scalloped potatoes or gratin potatoes you’ll add a whole other level of complexity to your timing. And then there’s the pumpkin pie. Our best advice is to carefully plan your menu and start cooking early -- the previous day if possible. Make anything you can before the day. Oh, and accept all the help you can get! If someone asks to contribute, ask them to make one of the side dishes.

    Table Setting and Decoration

    Gourds, gourds, gourds. While knobby and odd looking, these little suckers are sensationally seasonal. You can find them everywhere from grocery stores to Walmart in October. They are the perfect decorative accent for Thanksgiving. Pair them with few well placed candles, some colorful placemats and napkins. If your guests offer to bring something, ask for seasonal flower arrangements.

    Wine

    Red wine is made for Thanksgiving. While winefolly.com includes a rose and a sparkling white on their list of best wines for Thanksgiving, reds overwhelmingly win the day. Look for Beaujolais, Granache, Carignan, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese. You can’t lose when you go with red.

    Beer

    Stouts and heavier IPAs are perfect for Thanksgiving. They tend to be “warmer” and more substantial. Many craft breweries also offer seasonal beers to celebrate Thanksgiving. Give Great Lakes Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale a try.

    Seasonal Teas and Coffee

    You have to have options for the non-drinkers in the house. We’re not talking about Budweiser Prohibition. Go with seasonal teas and/or coffee: i.e. pumpkin spice, chai, and fruit teas with a medley of nuts or cinnamon, in addition to classic chai pumpkin lattes or flavoured coffees. Learn more here.

    Fire Smell

    There’s nothing like the smell of wood fire. It might be the most popular smell of fall. If you have a fireplace, light it up this Thanksgiving. If you’re one of many who don’t, try collecting some pine needles, dry leaves, or pick up some cedar incense or (lightly) scented candles. There’s nothing like walking into a home or apartment and getting hit with the aroma of Fall.

    Conversation Topics

    Good conversation makes any celebration better. It can be tricky to avoid the “So what do you do for work” or “How ‘bout that Trump” small talk. If your celebration involves guests who are strangers to each other this year, look at converstationstarters.com

    Timbercreek hopes this article helps you make the most of Thanksgiving this fall. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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