Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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Handcrafted gingerbread house designs on brown paper bags, showcasing DIY holiday creativity. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Hey Besties! 🌟 The holiday season is all about creating those special moments and memories that last a lifetime, especially for our little ones. This year, I decided to add a sprinkle of creativity to my son Braxton's 12 Days of Christmas presents. I'm so excited to share this journey with you!

A Dash of Imagination

Instead of traditional wrapping paper, I chose large brown paper bags as my canvas. Why, you ask? Well, they're eco-friendly and a perfect blank slate for a bit of artistic fun. 🎨✨

Handcrafted gingerbread house designs on brown paper bags, showcasing DIY holiday creativity. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Gingerbread Houses Galore

Inspired by the sweet charm of gingerbread houses, I grabbed my trusty paint pen and got to work. Each bag became a unique gingerbread house, complete with candy cane lanes, sugar-frosted windows, and gumdrop decorations. The process was a creative outlet for me and a way to pour extra love into Braxton's holiday experience.


Step-by-Step:

  1. Outline the Design: I started with a simple sketch of the gingerbread house on each bag.
  2. Bring it to Life: I filled in the details using the paint pen, making each house whimsically different.
  3. Personal Touches: I added elements like little gingerbread families and snowy rooftops for that extra bit of magic.

Handcrafted gingerbread house designs on brown paper bags, showcasing DIY holiday creativity. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

The Joy of Giving

Each bag was filled with small gifts, carefully selected to bring a smile to Braxton's face. From little toys to books and treats, every gift was chosen to light up his holiday spirit. πŸŽπŸ’–

Handcrafted gingerbread house designs on brown paper bags, showcasing DIY holiday creativity. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Final Thoughts

This experience reminded me that sometimes, the most heartfelt gifts are wrapped in simple packages but adorned with love and imagination. It's about creating those special moments that become cherished family memories.


So, if you're looking for a unique and personal way to present your holiday gifts, why not try something similar? Grab some brown paper bags and a paint pen, and let your creativity flow! 🌟🏠


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Monday, November 27, 2023

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Inspirational image conveying the 'Let Them' mindset, emphasizing personal growth and emotional freedom. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Hey Besties! 🌿 Ever find yourself wrapped up in trying to understand why people act the way they do or even attempting to influence their actions? I've been there too. But here's a little truth bomb: we really can't control anyone but ourselves. And you know what? That's totally okay.

Understanding Our Limits

It's a liberating realization – we're not here to decode everyone's actions or guide their decisions. We've got our own beautiful path to navigate. It's not our job to figure out why someone's doing what they're doing – and most times, we never truly get the full story. That's where adopting a 'let them' attitude can be incredibly freeing.


The Power of 'Let Them'

  • If someone's not ready to commit? Let them have their space.
  • Feeling sidelined or ignored? Let them go their way.
  • Been ghosted? As tough as it is, let them exit your story.

Inspirational image conveying the 'Let Them' mindset, emphasizing personal growth and emotional freedom. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

The Emotional Release

This isn't about apathy; it's about emotional health. It's about conserving your energy for things that truly matter – for people and projects that bring you joy and fulfillment. When we stop trying to control the uncontrollable, life becomes lighter and more genuine.


Seeing True Colors

When we step back, people show us who they really are. And that's invaluable. It's like removing the filters from our eyes and seeing things in clear, true light. It allows us to make more informed choices about who we keep in our lives and who we gently close the door to.


Choosing Your Circle Wisely

Our personal circle should be a source of support, joy, and growth. The 'let them' mindset helps us curate that circle more mindfully. It's about creating an environment where you can thrive, surrounded by authenticity and positivity.


Moving Forward

So, as we journey through life, let's embrace this mindset. Let's focus on our path of growth and let others be responsible for theirs. It's not about indifference; it's about making a conscious choice to focus on our own well-being and letting life flow naturally around us. πŸ’–πŸŒΏ

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

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Exploring the dual nature of holidays through the lens of grief: coping strategies for balancing joy with sadness in this poignant season. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


The holiday season is often portrayed as a time of joy, love, and togetherness. But for those of us who have experienced loss, it can also be a time of profound sadness and loneliness. As someone who has navigated the complexities of grief, I want to share my thoughts on how to cope during this emotionally charged season.


The Dichotomy of Joy and Grief

It's a strange feeling to be surrounded by holiday cheer when your heart is heavy with grief. The twinkling lights and festive songs can sometimes feel like a stark contrast to the emotional turmoil inside. But it's crucial to remember that it's okay to feel both joy and sorrow. Life is full of complexities, and it's possible to grieve while also finding moments of happiness.


Navigating Social Expectations

The holidays often come with social expectations—attending gatherings, exchanging gifts, and putting on a happy face. But when you're grieving, these expectations can feel overwhelming. It's okay to set boundaries and take time for yourself. You don't owe anyone an explanation for how you choose to navigate your grief.


Creating New Traditions

After losing my husband, James, the thought of celebrating the holidays without him was unbearable. But as time passed, I realized the importance of creating new traditions that honor his memory while also making space for new joys. Whether lighting a candle in their memory or visiting a place special to both of you, these new traditions can be a loving tribute.


The Importance of Self-Care

Grieving is emotionally and physically draining. It's crucial to prioritize self-care during this time. Simple acts like taking a walk, journaling, or even indulging in your favorite comfort food can provide a much-needed respite from the emotional weight of grief.


Finding Support

You don't have to go through this journey alone. Whether it's friends, family, or support groups, lean on your support network. Sometimes, just having someone listen without judgment can make a world of difference.


Final Thoughts

Grieving during the holidays is a complex experience, filled with many emotions. While the pain of loss can feel magnified during this time, it's also an opportunity for reflection, growth, and even moments of joy. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to grieve, and it's okay to seek help and take time for yourself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com
Hey Besties! 🌿 I just can't get enough of gingerbread-themed decor this Christmas. This year, I set my heart on creating a charming little gingerbread village. And, of course, in true Tiff style, it had to be budget-friendly and oh-so-cute!

A Dollar Tree Discovery

My adventure started at Dollar Tree, where I stumbled upon these adorable little light-up Christmas village pieces. They were just begging for a gingerbread makeover, and I was ready to sprinkle some of that Tiff magic on them. 🏠✨

Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


Painting My Way to Gingerbread Town

I grabbed my trusty acrylic paints and chose "Territorial Beige," – hoping it would give me that perfect gingerbread hue. And guess what? It was spot on! The truck and camper got a few generous coats, transforming them into little gingerbread treasures.

Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


Frosting Finishes

Once the paint dried, it was time for my favorite part – adding the 'frosting'! With a paint marker in hand, I carefully traced around the edges of each piece, mimicking that classic gingerbread icing look. 🎨πŸͺ

Handcrafted Gingerbread village by Tiff, featuring creatively transformed Dollar Tree finds into festive Christmas decorations. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Lighting Up the Magic

The final result? Absolutely adorable! There's something so heartwarming about seeing my DIY gingerbread village light up. It's like a little piece of holiday joy right in our home.

So, if you're looking for a fun and budget-friendly Christmas project, why not try your hand at a gingerbread village? Trust me, it's a delightful way to add a personal touch to your holiday decor. πŸŒŸπŸ’–

Monday, November 20, 2023

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Assortment of festive gifts from Dollar Tree for the '12 Days of Christmas' tradition, including coloring books, candy, and gingerbread kits. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


Hey Besties! 🌟 Today, I'm sharing a little piece of our family's holiday magic. We started a '12 Days of Christmas' tradition during our son's first Christmas with us. It's all about opening a small gift each night leading up to the big day. 🎁✨

Rediscovering Joy at Dollar Tree

Life's been a wild ride these past couple of years. With everything that 2021 and 2022 threw our way, some traditions took a back seat. But last week, as I wandered through the aisles of Dollar Tree, I felt that old spark of holiday excitement reignite. The shelves were brimming with adorable little treasures, perfect for bringing back our 12 Days of Christmas!
Assortment of festive gifts from Dollar Tree for the '12 Days of Christmas' tradition, including coloring books, candy, and gingerbread kits. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

Assortment of festive gifts from Dollar Tree for the '12 Days of Christmas' tradition, including coloring books, candy, and gingerbread kits. | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

A Treasure Trove of Gifts

Dollar Tree is like a wonderland for stocking stuffers and cute finds. Here's a sneak peek at what I picked up:
  • Creative coloring and activity kits and books for those cozy art sessions.
  • A sweet array of candies because, well, it's Christmas!
  • Gingerbread house and cookie kits for some festive baking fun. πŸͺ🏠

The Heart of Our Holiday

I can't tell you how much I adore this tradition. It's not just about the gifts; it's about the anticipation, the nightly ritual of togetherness, and watching our son's eyes light up with each surprise. These moments weave the magic of the season into our hearts. πŸ’–

I'm so excited to restart this tradition and share the joy of the season with our little one. It's a beautiful reminder of the love and warmth that fills our home, especially during the holidays.

Stay tuned for more festive fun and holiday DIYs as we count down to Christmas! πŸŒŸπŸŽ„

Monday, November 13, 2023

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Embracing my 'Soup Lady Era' | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com
Hey, Besties! 🌟

I've got some piping hot news to share—literally and figuratively! As the leaves turn and the air gets crisp, I'm stepping into a new chapter that I'm calling my 'Soup Lady Era.' 🍲 But wait, there's more!


Why I'm Taking a Break

First things first, let's talk about the work break. After pouring my heart and soul into countless projects, home renovations, and, of course, being a mom to my amazing son Braxton, I've decided to hit the pause button. Sometimes, you've got to step back to leap forward, right? πŸ‚

Embracing my 'Soup Lady Era' | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


What's the 'Soup Lady Era'?

Now, onto the fun stuff! I'm dedicating the next two months to exploring not just the world of soups but also a smorgasbord of other creative pursuits. Yep, you heard that right. From classic comfort bowls to exotic blends, furniture flips, Christmas crafts, and homemade gifts—I'm on a mission to stir up some soul-soothing, taste bud-tingling concoctions and creations. πŸ₯„πŸŽ¨πŸ”¨


Why Soup and More?

Soup is more than just a meal; it's a canvas for creativity, a hug in a bowl, and a culinary journey all in one. Plus, it's the perfect way to welcome the cozy vibes of fall. But why stop at soup? I'm also diving into those clerical tasks I've been putting off and exploring new avenues in crafting and home improvement. πŸπŸ“‹


What to Expect

While I'm off the work grid, I'll be sharing my adventures right here on the blog and over on Instagram. Expect recipes, tips, DIY projects, and maybe even a few fails (because, let's be real, not every experiment is a winner). 


A Nod to James

I can't help but think how much James would have loved this. He was always up for trying my kitchen experiments and DIY projects, and I know he'd be right beside me, spoon and hammer in hand. 

Embracing my 'Soup Lady Era' | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com


Join Me!

I invite you all to join me in this 'Soup Lady Era' and beyond. Please share your own recipes, tag me in your crafty pics, and let's make this a communal feast for the soul and senses. πŸ₯³


Final Thoughts

So, here's to the next two months of broth, bisques, blessings, and much more. I can't wait to share this journey with you all. Until then, stay cozy and keep those spoons—and paintbrushes—ready! πŸ₯°


PS: Are these illustrations the cutest?! I think they capture my vibe perfectly!

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

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The Reality of Year Two: Navigating Widowhood with a Weary Heart | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com
Hey, Besties. Today, I'm getting real with you about something weighing heavy on my soul. I'm nearly two years into this journey of widowhood, and friends, I'm tired. Not just the "I need a nap" kind of tired, but a deep, soul-level exhaustion that's hard to put into words.

The Adrenaline of Year One

In that first whirlwind year without James, I ran on pure adrenaline. It's like my body and mind went into survival mode, fueled by a frantic need to "fix" my life. I was getting by on maybe three hours of sleep a night, and yet, somehow, I still had the energy to face each new day. It was as if my spirit refused to slow down, afraid of what would happen if it did.


The Weight of Year Two

But here I am in year two, and the adrenaline has worn off. The reality—that this is my life now, and there's no magic wand to change it—has settled in. And it's heavy, y'all. I've had days where I could sleep for hours, and sometimes, I do just that. It's like my body is making up for all the rest it didn't get in that first frantic year.

The Reality of Year Two: Navigating Widowhood with a Weary Heart | on the creek blog // www.onthecreekblog.com

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Don't get me wrong; I've found pockets of joy and moments of peace. I've learned to accept my life as it is, but acceptance doesn't mean I have to like it. The truth is, I hate that it had to be this way. I hate that Braxton has to grow up without his dad, and I hate that I have to navigate this world without my partner. But here's the thing: it's okay to feel this way. It's okay to be angry, sad, and tired, all while finding moments of happiness.


Final Thoughts

So, if you're going through something similar, know it's okay to feel all the feelings. It's okay to be exhausted. And most importantly, it's okay to give yourself grace. We're all just doing the best we can, and that's enough.


I am sending you all love and light during these complex times.

On the Creek blog is proud to be a part of the T&J Maintenance family - turning houses into homes.