Bear Creek Outdoor Living Newsletter

Bringing the Outdoors to You

Finding Balance and Things to Love this Season


I think I can confidently say that we all long to find balance in life.  I know I do.  I love a well ordered life.

For years I thought that balance meant all the areas of my life deserved my equal and undivided attention.  But then an area would get hijacked and my previously well balanced life tilted sideways and now hung crooked and out of whack.  The tension I felt in trying to make everything work was frustrating. I thought it was me. That somehow I was just really bad at this balance thing.

Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy released a book called “Living Forward.”  There were many challenges in this book that changed how I started approaching life.

However, in regards to balance it was this particular paragraph that stopped me:

“We fool ourselves if we think balance means giving equal attention to everything in our lives.  Balance only happens in dynamic tension.  Balance is giving not equal but appropriate attention to each of the various categories of your life.” ( Daniel Harkavy – Living Forward )

Maybe you’ve figured this out long ago, but for me it was a whole new way of embracing this idea of balance.

Instead of trying to balance everything equally I now approach the things on my plate by asking these 3 questions:

1) Is this something that should be on my plate right now?

2) If the answer to that question is yes: How much appropriate attention will this realistically take in this season?

3) Am I ok with the tension this is going to create? If so, how do I handle that tension in a healthy way in order to stay in balance?

I challenge you to look at the things on your plate right now.  All of it.  Family, Self, Business, Relationships, Community activities.  Are all those things getting the appropriate amount of attention they need in this season?  If not, why?  Is it because there is too much on the plate?  If so, what needs to go from that list?

Take some time to sit down and answer these things honestly.  Remember, we are meant to thrive, not just survive this life.

Keep Leading Well,  Victoria

This leadership and living well encouragement is an excerpt from our Founder, Victoria Mininger. She is an avid writer and loves to encourage and inspire leaders to thrive and lead well.

You can read the full text here: The Myth of Finding Balance: Finding True Footing in a Chaotic World.

You can read more of her recent writings, listen to podcasts she’s shared on or connect with her for speaking engagements on her website:

Here are 5 outdoor things we love this month:

This is the time of year when you are thinking of gifts for that special someone or maybe you just want to treat yourself!

Here are 5 things we love right now to help you Live Outdoors!

  1. Orca Tumblers – No matter if it’s chilly outside, keep that cup of coffee or tea hot with Orca Tumblers. When the summer heat hits, the tumbler helps your drinks stay cool!
  2. Outdoor Heaters – Make your outdoor space an all season place to enjoy reading, alfresco dining in comfort or watching the big games. You can mount one in your space or get a portable heater to move around wherever you might be sitting.
  3. Comfy seating – No matter if you like single chairs, like a relaxing adirondack chair, or an outdoor love seat, adding seasonal pillows and a comfy blanket, you can be cozy even outdoors.
  4. Rolling cart or drink tray – Keep your refreshments close by your seating area, so you can relax and enjoy, even if you’re entertaining.
  5. Shenandoah National Park Annual Pass – Explore Shenandoah National Park any time you wish for year! It’s a great gift for yourself or the outdoorsy special someone in your life!

3rd Thursday of the Month

We are excited to bring you Facebook LIVE with Leslie!Leslie Carter is our Sales and Design Manager and is passionate about serving our customers!

Each month, on the 3rd Thursday at 1:30pm, Leslie will be coming to you live on Facebook to discuss outdoor living topics, share about our process, give you design and style tips, and answer questions.

Leslie Carter is our Sales and Design Manager. She has done amazing work leading our sales and design team. She is passionate about delivering design and furnishing styles that our clients love! She is such a joy and lights up a room, you will enjoy getting to know her and hearing from her!

We hope you can join us each month, but if you miss us, you can catch all the live videos on Facebook or our website.

Want to share your questions and ideas? We would love to hear your ideas for topics – please comment on social media or send us a message.


For Chocolate Fondue

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

Ideas For Dipping

Strawberries, raspberries, grapes, apple slices, bite sized pound cake, cheesecake, or brownies, pretzels, potato chips, graham crackers, marshmallows, etc.


  1. In a 2qt crock pot, add the chocolate chips, heavy cream, and salt to a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until fully melted.
  3. Turn the slow cooker to warm (or low) and serve the fondue with your favorite items for dipping.
  4. Reheat and stir, as necessary – enjoy!

Our Charlottesville homeowner wanted to expand their outdoor living space for family activities and gatherings. The sloped backyard was transformed into a multi-tiered deck and pergola with the addition of various planter boxes to keep the natural space all around them. This client started with an Architect and brought an initial Conceptual sketch, then we worked with them to come up with renderings and their finishing selections to build out their dream backyard.

The space features two 12’ by 12’ decks with a pergola on the upper deck. The decks, landings, walkways and stairs are Trex Transcend Composite Decking in the color, Vintage Lantern. The various flower beds were framed and then wrapped and capped in matching decking for a seamless look. The wooden pergola was also stained to match. The selection of Black Aluminum Railing w/ Horizontal Cable Railing gives the space an elegant look and doesn’t disrupt sight lines to the lower yard.

It turned out absolutely stunning! We hope this is a relaxing and fun space for making memories with their family and friends.

If you need any help to Live Outdoors more in daily life, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know how we can assist you in transforming your backyard with design, building an oasis or shopping for items to furnish and enjoy your outdoor space.

Articles curated or 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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