Bear Creek Outdoor Living Newsletter

Bringing the Outdoors to You

Create your own Getaway with Design

The Southwest Airlines price option named “Wanna Getaway?” begs to us answer with an easy, “Yes!” And with good reason, studies have shown that taking time away on vacation, especially in outdoor environments, can have physical and mental health benefits. Vacations have been proven to lower stress and reduce your risk of heart disease. Taking time to slow down allows you to have a better outlook on life and more motivation to achieve your goals. Research shows that spending at least 120 minutes a week in natural environments is associated with good health. It increases mindfulness and well-being.

These are some of the reasons why we are so passionate about designing outdoor living spaces that are ideal for the way you enjoy spending time outside. We want to help you enjoy the benefits of being outdoors right at home.

Annie Dillard said “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives”.  We want to help you create a backyard space where you can spend your days so that you can experience the benefits of nature for a lifetime.

We would still encourage you to go on vacations throughout the year, but those are just a few weeks or weekends. Creating a place that you can enjoy the rest and rejuvenation of nature by stepping out your back door will bring those vacation benefits right to your home.

Did you know that most people Google about Deck Building in June? Start your Design now so you are enjoying your deck next summer rather than Googling about it! 

When you purchase a Design Package between now and Jan 15, 2023, you will be entered to win a Backyard Bundle which includes a Bonfire Solo Stove and firewood bundle, a Spikeball Set, a Bear Creek Blanket and Bear Creek Hat (over $500 value). Non-winners will receive a coupon code for $30 off their purchase of over $50 at our Outdoor Living Store.

Winner to be announced on January 19, 2023 on Facebook LIVE with Leslie. Winner to be also notified by phone call. Non-winners will receive a coupon code via email after the winner is announced.

Book your Design Package online today.

If you have more questions, schedule a video call and we are happy to help guide you in the process.

  • Make and Decorate Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies
  • Decorate with Poinsettias
  • Shop Local for those on your Christmas List
  • Visit a Winter Market in Charlottesville or Staunton
  • Decorate with Tree Trimmings
  • Put together a Puzzle
  • Host or attend a Cookie Exchange
  • Look at Holiday Lights – Drive through Gypsy Hill Park or Stroll through Boar’s Head Resort or Vertias Winery
  • Watch a Christmas Cactus Bloom
  • Hike the Blue Ridge Tunnel
  • Make a Fancy Winter Cocktail
  • Host a Winter Outdoor Party
  • Build a Snowman
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Bake Homemade Bread

What is on your Winter Bucket List? 

These Spicy Candied Nuts are the perfect blend of sweet and salty with a little kick of spice! The flavors blend together amazingly. They are perfect for winter cocktail parties or make an excellent hostess gift. These can also be jarred with a ribbon for fun co-worker or friend gifts. But we also wouldn’t blame you if you kept them all to yourself, they are so delicious. Enjoy them by the handful or top salads, yogurt and oatmeal or even baked sweet potatoes with this heart healthy and delicious winter treat. They are so easy to make and come together in just about a half hour.


  • 3 cups of unsalted nuts – almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts (use any you like)
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 healthy pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix oil or butter, maple syrup, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cayenne and paprika.
  3. Place nuts in a larger bowl and pour sugar and spice mix over. Toss or mix to coat.
  4. Once coated, pour nuts onto a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Spread until nuts are a single layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for  12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant, stirring at least once at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
  6. Remove from oven. If desired, sprinkle on a little more salt, cinnamon, or sugar to taste, but this is optional.
  7. Allow them to cool and crisp up before storing in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks (or in the freezer up to 1 month).

For our Homeowner in Verona, the project included the addition of a screen porch in the backyard, the creation of a walkway from driveway to front porch with surrounding garden landscaping and the renovation of the side entrance. It creates a welcoming front entry way, gives lasting security to the driveway side door and the inviting back porch to relax and enjoy mountain views.

The screen porch has a Fiberon Good Life Solid Color decking base with Aspen white vinyl railing system and utilizes the ScreenEZE system. The finishes on the side entrance match the back porch to create a seamless and stunning look. The front walkway and landscape might steal the show. Belgard London Cobble pavers make up the walkway and landscape edging with additional irregular flagstone stepping stones to the side yard. The garden elements were selected from Milmont Greenhouses.

We absolutely love how it turned out and we hope the homeowner will delight in their stunning new outdoor space for years to come.

Articles written by Natalie Hall. Natalie is Bear Creek’s Marketing Manager. She is passionate about helping people enjoy the outdoors. She is an avid runner and hiker. She loves simple adventures to explore nature with her husband and three children.

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