Monday, July 08, 2024



Easy Herb Propagation Techniques | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

Is your garden begging for more greenery but your wallet saying, "Hold on there!"? Well, I've got some fabulous news for you! Propagating your own herbs isn't just for the green thumbs or expert gardeners. Today, I'm diving into the "lazy gardening" technique of sticking herb cuttings directly into the soil—a simple, cost-effective method to expand your garden.

Easy Herb Propagation Techniques | on the creek blog //

Why Propagate Herbs?

Propagating herbs is not only economical but also incredibly satisfying. It allows you to multiply your favorite herbs without spending extra bucks at the garden center. Whether you want to enhance your meals with fresh flavors or add some green to your space, this method is a perfect choice.

Herbs That Love to Root in Soil

While many herbs can be propagated by water, here are some that thrive when their cuttings are planted directly in soil:

  • Mint: Known for its aggressive growth, mint is a perfect candidate for direct soil propagation. Simply cut, stick it in the dirt, and watch it take off!

  • Rosemary: This fragrant herb roots well in well-draining soil. Ensure it's kept moist, and you'll have new plants in no time.

  • Thyme and Sage: Both herbs root easily when planted directly in light, sandy soil.

  • Oregano: Similar to thyme, oregano cuttings adapt well when planted in moist, fertile soil.

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Herbs in Soil

  1. Prepare Your Cuttings: Select healthy, non-flowering stems from your existing herb plants. Cut about 4-6 inches from the tip, making sure to cut just below a leaf node.

  2. Prep the Soil: Use a pot with good drainage filled with a mix of potting soil and sand or perlite. This ensures excellent drainage, which is crucial for root development.

  3. Plant Your Cuttings: If you have it on hand, dip the cut end into rooting hormone. This step is optional but can help encourage root growth. Make small holes in the soil with a stick or pencil, place your cuttings inside, and firm the soil around them.

  4. Create the Right Environment: Water the cuttings well and cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a mini-greenhouse effect. This maintains humidity and warmth, speeding up the rooting process.

  5. Care and Patience: Place your new plant babies in a spot with indirect sunlight and keep the soil moist. In a few weeks, check for roots by gently tugging on the cuttings. If you feel resistance, congratulations—you've got roots!

Easy Herb Propagation Techniques | on the creek blog //

Wrapping Up

With these simple steps, you can turn a single plant into an entire garden of aromatic herbs. It's a sustainable way to keep your kitchen stocked with fresh flavors all year round. Plus, who doesn't love a bit of greenery to brighten up their home?

Happy gardening, and remember, every little leaf is a step towards a more sustainable, lush life!

Friday, July 05, 2024


A Year of Intentional Gardening | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

You know I'm always about turning a drab space into something magical, right? Well, this year, my garden is getting that slow, magical touch, and I'm here to share the journey with you. 🌱✨

This season, I decided to take things at a leisurely pace with my garden. Not because I planned it meticulously, but rather, life happened, and my usual spring planting slipped through the cracks. By the time I realized it, it was already June! But you know what? It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

A Year of Intentional Gardening | on the creek blog //

A Year of Intentional Gardening | on the creek blog //

A Slow Start

I began the season lazily, missing the window to start many of my seeds. In the end, I had just one successful tomato plant and one pepper plant, plus a few others gifted by my parents. It wasn't until mid-June that I kicked into gear, experimenting with older seeds I had stashed away and embracing every volunteer tomato and pepper that nature sent my way.

Therapeutic Gardening

This year, gardening has become my therapy. It's not about the harvest or filling my pantry—it's about nurturing each plant and enjoying the growth process. My mint box has thrived under my care, with little sprouts getting extra attention and love.

Embracing Uncertainty

Sure, I'm a bit worried about my harvest timing. My pumpkins might be racing against the frost, and my fall decorations could be delayed. But there's something incredibly rewarding about nurturing these plants from unexpected beginnings. Those volunteer plants? They've become stars in their own right, reducing waste and maximizing the bounty of my garden.

A Year of Intentional Gardening | on the creek blog //

A Year of Intentional Gardening | on the creek blog //

Lessons from the Garden

This slower pace has taught me to appreciate the moment and the unexpected gifts that come with it. It's a lesson I'm trying to apply beyond the garden, too—taking time to consider all options in life and work before making decisions.

My Advice to You

For anyone feeling hesitant or late to the game in any aspect of life—not just gardening—I say go for it. Life is too short for what-ifs. Starting a garden late in the season? It's a risk worth taking and definitely not something you'd regret when you look back.

So, here's to taking it slow, embracing the unexpected, and making the most of every moment. Because, after all, isn't life our biggest DIY project ever? πŸ› ️🌱

Thursday, July 04, 2024



From Paint Snob to Paint Slob | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

Today, I'm taking a little trip down memory lane. Remember when I was super picky about paint brands? Yep, I was quite the paint snob. But guess what? Things have changed! While I admit some paint is better than others, I've realized that nobody will notice if I use $1 acrylic paint for projects like painting a picture frame. Let's dive into why sometimes any paint will do!

From Paint Snob to Paint Slob | on the creek blog //

The Early Days

In the beginning, when I first ventured into refurbishing furniture, my go-to was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, arguably the best chalk paint available. However, its limited availability meant driving over 30 miles just to pick up a can—talk about commitment!

I also fell hard for Fusion Mineral Paint, which I still adore due to its built-in topcoat—perfect for someone like me who struggles with finishing touches. Yes, I once drove an hour each way just to get my hands on this paint!

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint can indeed make a difference, especially for specific projects. Specialty paints like Fusion Mineral or Annie Sloan offer unique advantages, such as easier application and better durability for furniture. However, they have limitations, such as higher costs and fewer color options.

From Paint Snob to Paint Slob | on the creek blog //

The Industry Secret

Before the trend of specialized "cabinet paints," many DIY enthusiasts and professionals simply used regular latex wall paint for cabinets—and it worked just fine! This shows that specialty paints offer certain benefits but are not always necessary.

Pros & Cons of Specialty Paint:


- Specialty paints often come with additives like built-in sealers or primers.

- They can save time and effort in the prep and finishing stages.

- Often better for specific surfaces or uses, offering more durability.


- Higher cost.

- Limited color choices and availability.

- It can be overkill for simple or small projects.

From Paint Snob to Paint Slob | on the creek blog //


Being open to experimenting with different types of paint has taught me that flexibility can lead to creativity and unexpected success. Whether you're touching up an old picture frame or tackling a full furniture refurbishment, the right paint might just be the one you already have at hand. Life's too short to sweat the small stuff—embrace the unexpected, and sometimes, the less expensive options lead to the best outcomes!

Call to Action

I'm eager to hear about your paint adventures! What's your go-to paint for projects, and have you ever discovered a surprising favorite? Your paint stories and tips are valuable not only to me but also to our entire community. Share them in the comments below!

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Embracing a New Chapter: Learning to Live After Loss | on the creek blog //

Every summer brings with it a bittersweet reminder of a past life—a life where my late husband, James, and I were on the cusp of realizing all our dreams. It was during these warm months that we received James's devastating cancer diagnosis. As the world around us blossomed, our plans for adopting our son and building our future together seemed to shatter irreparably.

Life has a peculiar way of unfolding. It's been over two and a half years since we lost James, and with each passing day, I've trodden a path of profound personal growth and healing. This journey, although laden with grief, has slowly morphed into a canvas of strength and independence—a version of myself I had never known before.

Recently, I ventured on an overnight hotel stay with my son—our first since James passed. As I watched my son's excitement, a pang of melancholy mixed with a deep sense of accomplishment. These small steps are monumental milestones in our new life, each a testament to our resilience and ability to find joy amidst sorrow.

It's true; I often wonder what life could have been like. Imagining weekends packed with family adventures and spontaneous trips, the laughter-filled air, and the joy of shared experiences. Yet, here I am, learning to navigate this world as a single parent, finding solace in my newfound independence. It's not a path I chose, but one that chose me, compelling me to grow in ways I never anticipated.

I won't say it's easy. There are days when the weight of solo parenting and decision-making feels overwhelming. There are moments when I wish I didn't have to know this life of loss and forced independence. Yet, these challenges have sculpted a resilience in me that I never knew existed. They've taught me that I am capable of venturing into the world on my own, finding joy in solitude, and embracing the spontaneity of life as a single mom.

As I continue to forge this unexpected path, I'm learning to love the life I've been given, not just the life I had planned. Our adventures may look different now, but they are no less significant. Each step forward is a piece of the puzzle in understanding and embracing this new chapter.

To those walking a similar path of loss and rediscovery, know it's okay to mourn the plans that never came to fruition. But also remember, within each of us is a resilient spirit capable of rewriting our story, finding beauty in the ashes, and learning to live—and love—again.

Embracing a New Chapter: Learning to Live After Loss | on the creek blog //

Tuesday, July 02, 2024



Why I Thrift: Unleashing Creativity and Saving Money | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

As someone who's always dabbling in new projects and reinventing spaces, I've decided to bring a special series to our blog—a weekly thrifting adventure. So, as I dust off my thrifting gloves and step back into the treasure troves of thrift stores, I thought, what better way to kick things off than to share why I'm drawn to these havens of potential.

Unleashing My Creativity

As a creative soul, I'm all about putting a personal spin on everything I touch. Thrifting gives me the canvas to express this creativity without the high stakes. I can pick up an old chair, a worn-out table, or even quirky decorations and transform them into pieces that not only tell a story but also reflect my unique style. The thrill of the transformation process is like no other, and knowing I didn't break the bank adds to the satisfaction.

Why I Thrift: Unleashing Creativity and Saving Money | on the creek blog //

It's Cost-Effective

Let's talk numbers! While it's true that pricing can vary, I generally find that thrift stores are treasure chests of budget-friendly finds. My strategy? I go for the underdogs—the pieces that are a step away from being discarded. It's amazing what a little TLC can do; often, these items become the highlights of our home. With prices being generally lower, it's exciting to see what I can revamp next without worrying about the financial risk.

Why I Thrift: Unleashing Creativity and Saving Money | on the creek blog //

A Nod to Sustainability

In today's world, being eco-conscious is more crucial than ever. Thrifting allows me to embrace sustainability actively. By rehoming and repurposing items, I help reduce waste and give new life to things that were once destined for the landfill. It's about making the old new again and doing my part for the planet, one thrift find at a time.

Why I Thrift: Unleashing Creativity and Saving Money | on the creek blog //

Low Investment, High Reward

With five cats ruling our roost and a quite active household, things inevitably get broken or worn out quicker than you can say "thrifting"! Thrifting is a low-risk investment for me. If an item breaks or gets ruined, it's not the end of the world because I didn't invest much in it. This doesn't mean I see our things as disposable—far from it! It's about practicality and peace of mind.

So, why do I thrift? It's simple, really. Thrifting fits perfectly with my lifestyle and values. It's a blend of creativity, sustainability, and savvy budgeting. As we dive into our weekly thrifting series, I invite you to explore how you, too, can integrate thrifting into your life. Who knows what treasures you'll find?

Stay tuned for more thrifting tales and tips! And remember, every item has a story waiting to be told. Will you be the one to tell it? 🌍✨

Monday, July 01, 2024



Embracing Change: Why I'm Choosing Unbranding | on the creek blog //

Hey there, Besties! 🌟

As we dive back into our journey together, I'm thrilled to share a transformative approach that's reshaping how I connect with you all—welcome to the era of unbranding on On the Creek!

What's the Big Deal About Branding?

In the world of blogging and social media, branding is seen as the golden rule. The idea is simple: find a niche, pick a consistent theme, and stick with it. This could be anything from a specific color palette to a particular writing style or a focused topic like home improvement or thrifting. The goal? To create a recognizable identity that attracts and retains a loyal audience who knows exactly what to expect.

Why Branding Has Been King

Branding helps to establish credibility and authority. It makes a blog or social media profile instantly recognizable, which is crucial in a sea of endless online content. For a blogger, a strong, consistent brand can be the difference between being a memorable voice in a niche community and just another webpage.

Embracing Change: Why I'm Choosing Unbranding | on the creek blog //

But Here's the Twist...

While branding can be powerful, it can also be restrictive. It can box creators into a single dimension, limiting the exploration of diverse interests and the natural evolution of personal or creative growth. This is where unbranding comes into play, offering a breath of fresh air for those of us who thrive on change and variety.

What is Unbranding?

Unbranding is about stepping away from the rigid confines of traditional branding. It's a dynamic approach where flexibility and spontaneity lead the way, allowing me to explore many themes and styles without being tethered to a specific brand identity. Each collection of posts on my Instagram will be a new adventure, showcasing varying designs, themes, and stories that reflect the changing tides of my creative passions.

Embracing Change: Why I'm Choosing Unbranding | on the creek blog //

Why Choose Unbranding?

This journey is inspired by life itself—unpredictable, ever-evolving, and rich with new inspirations daily. Just as we evolve, so should our creative expressions. Whether it's a newfound love for a bold font, a sudden shift to minimalist aesthetics, or a deep dive into rustic home decor, unbranding allows these passions to surface naturally and authentically in our shared space.

The Beauty of Creative Freedom

By embracing unbranding, I'm not just changing the layout of my posts or the style of my visuals. I'm adopting a philosophy that celebrates growth and change. It's about letting each series of posts reflect where I'm at that moment—be it revamping a corner of our home, uncovering gems at local thrift stores, or turning our garden into a haven of tranquility.

Embracing Change: Why I'm Choosing Unbranding | on the creek blog //

Join Our Unbranded Journey

I invite you to join me on this unbranded path as we throw the conventional playbook out the window and let our creative spirits soar freely. With each post, we'll explore different facets of our lives and interests while staying true to the heart of our journey together.

Stay tuned for what promises to be a captivating mix of stories, tips, and inspirations that will keep you coming back for more. Let's make our blog a testament to the beauty of change and the endless possibilities that come with embracing our true selves.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

 Hey Besties! 🌟

As the new beginnings of spring creep in, I'm catching that familiar itch to revamp and renew—this time, setting my sights on a fresh home remodeling adventure! πŸ› ️✨

I've decided to kick things off with our oh-so-cozy second bathroom. It's quaint, yes, but it's also the perfect starter project before diving into the bigger challenges. Just like starting with a sketch before a full-blown painting, right?

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

Reflecting on the journey so far, it's almost surreal to think that my late husband, James, and I had transformed our entire home from a foreclosure find into our personal haven back in 2015. Here we are, nearly a decade later, and I'm buzzing to sprinkle a little more of 'me' into these walls. πŸ‘πŸ’•

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

Now, about my decor style—oh, how it's blossomed! From a pristine canvas of whites to rich wood tones paired with whites, and now? Well, now I'm all about blending what I fondly call 'cottagecore chic' with vintage, cozy, grandma vibes. Imagine a potpourri of styles that somehow dance together in perfect harmony. That's what I'm envisioning!

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

For our petite bathroom, efficiency is key. My game plan? Introducing a pegboard for hanging towels—functional yet stylish. Above this, I'm thinking of some charming wallpaper to inject a burst of personality into the space. πŸŒΌπŸ–Ό️

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

I've been trawling through Pinterest, gathering a collage of inspiration that sings to my soul. (You'll spot some of these mood-setters scattered right here in this post!) They capture the essence of what I'm dreaming up: a space that's not just a bathroom but a little nook of nostalgia and warmth, a true reflection of me.

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

So, stay tuned as I take you along on this remodel journey. From thrifty finds to creative twists, we're about to turn this tiny bathroom into a testament of time, love, and a sprinkle of Tiff magic!

Let's roll up our sleeves and breathe new life into old spaces, transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary. After all, isn't life our biggest DIY project? Let's make every corner of our homes reflect our hearts and stories.

Cozy Cottagecore Bathroom Inspiration | on the creek blog //

Catch you on the flip side, and let's make some magic happen! πŸ”¨πŸŒŸ

Until next time, keep crafting your personal fairy tale because every nook and cranny of our homes can be as unique and vibrant as we are!

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

cottagecore inspired brand kits | on the creek blog //

 Hey there, Besties! 🌟✨

Today, I'm diving deep into a topic that's not just close to my heart but practically a piece of it - graphic design. Oh, how this journey began! Picture a seventh grader, wide-eyed and filled with dreams, dabbling in website design. That was me, and let's just say the passion hasn't dimmed even a little. It's been a whirlwind of colors, fonts, and layouts ever since, and guess what? I'm absolutely living for it. πŸŽ¨πŸ’»

Now, after years of mixing, matching, and sometimes mismatching (we've all been there, right?), I feel like I've hit the sweet spot with my blog's colors and fonts. It's like finding the perfect recipe that makes your soul sing. And because sharing is caring, I'm beyond thrilled to pull back the curtain on my brand kits. πŸ’Œ✨

But hold on, let's chat for a sec. What's a brand kit, you ask? Imagine it as your design fairy godmother. It's a magical toolbox that holds all your brand's visual elements - colors, fonts, logos, and more. It's what keeps your style consistent, recognizable, and oh-so-you. Whether you're sprucing up your blog or sending out emails, your brand kit ensures everything screams 'you' at first glance. 🧚‍♀️πŸ› ️

So, without further ado, let's wander through the whimsical world of cottagecore-inspired brand kits I've lovingly crafted in Canva. If you're all about that rustic charm, soft pastels, and a touch of nostalgia that feels like a warm hug, you're in for a treat!

cottagecore inspired brand kits | on the creek blog //

The Dreamy Meadow Kit

Imagine your brand frolicking in a meadow at dawn, the first light kissing the dew. It's a palette of tranquil creams, sage greens, and soft earth tones, paired with fonts that sing songs of the earth – think Chloe and Moontime, each letter crafted with a touch of whimsy.

cottagecore inspired brand kits | on the creek blog //

The Rustic Homestead Kit

Next, we step into the warmth of an old-time kitchen, with hues that tell tales of sunsets on the farm and rich soil between fingers. Fonts like Abril Fatface and Montserrat stand like timeless wood beams, solid and welcoming, a foundation for stories yet to unfold.

cottagecore inspired brand kits | on the creek blog //

The Vintage Garden Kit

Delicate and with the grace of bygone eras, this kit evokes the spirit of a Victorian garden in full bloom. The colors: blush pinks, mossy greens, and a whisper of aged parchment. And the fonts? Poppins and Glacial Indifference, each a nod to the juxtaposition of modern clarity and historical allure.

cottagecore inspired brand kits | on the creek blog //

The Enchanted Cottage Kit

Lastly, for the souls who see magic in the stars and hear whispers in the wind, this kit is for you. It's an elixir of dusky mochas, creamy ivories, and the richest of terra-cotta, all coming together like a spell. The fonts, Black Mango and Quicksand, are the final enchantment, casting your brand's story in the most captivating of lights.

Creating these brand kits has been a journey of love, inspiration, and a little bit of magic. And the best part? Canva has made it delightfully easy to bring these visions to life. Whether you're a seasoned designer or just starting to explore the vast universe of graphic design, remember that your brand is your story. And with the right tools, you can tell it in the most beautiful way possible.

Until next time, keep creating, dreaming, and being the amazing you. And remember, in the vast canvas of life, you're the artist. Paint your story bright and bold. 🌈✨

Tuesday, March 12, 2024


Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones | on the creek blog //
Hey Besties! 🌟 

Today, we're diving deep into the world of gardening, but not just any old gardening tip – we're talking about plant hardiness zones. Now, you might be thinking, "Tiff, what's all the fuss about a bunch of numbers and letters?" Well, let me tell you, these little digits are like the secret code to unlocking the full potential of your garden! 🌿✨

Ever wandered through a nursery, fallen head over heels for a plant, and brought it home, only to watch it struggle no matter what you do? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But here's the plot twist: it's not you, it's your zone! 🌍

What's a Plant Hardiness Zone Anyway?

Imagine Mother Nature has drawn up a map, not of countries or states, but of temperatures – specifically, the coldest ones. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 13 zones based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Each zone is a guide for what plants will thrive there. It's like having a cheat sheet for your garden! πŸ“š

For my fellow green thumbs in the Northeast Ohio area, we're chilling (quite literally) in Zone 6a. That means our winters can dip down to -10 to -5°F. Brrr, right? But also, yay, because knowing this helps us pick plants that will say, "Thank you, ma'am, may I have another?" to our winter wonderland. 🌨️❄️

You can see what zone you're in right here!

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones | on the creek blog //

Why Zone Knowledge is Power

Knowing your zone means you're gardening with wisdom. It's the difference between a "hope and pray" garden and a "look at her thrive" garden. Want perennials that come back year after year? Zone knowledge. Dreaming of a fruit tree that actually bears fruit? Zone knowledge. It's all about putting the right plant in the right place.

How to Use Your Zone

  1. Read Those Labels: Next time you're plant shopping, check the label for the zone info. If it fits your zone, you're good to go!
  2. Research: Found a plant online that's stolen your heart? Do a quick zone check before you commit.
  3. Experiment: Gardening is all about learning. If you're really in love with a plant that's a bit out of your zone, give it a try in a protected spot or container. Who knows? You might just find a way to make it work.

Zone-Crossing Tips

  • Microclimates: Your garden might have spots that are warmer or cooler than the rest. Use these to your advantage!
  • Protection: Sometimes, a little extra mulch or a protective cover on those coldest nights can make all the difference.

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones | on the creek blog //

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it, besties – the down-low on plant hardiness zones. It's not just a bunch of boring numbers; it's the roadmap to a garden that's as thriving as it is beautiful. Dive into your zone, get to know it, and soon you'll be gardening with confidence and grace. πŸ’šπŸŒΈ

And remember, every garden is a story of growth, resilience, and a touch of magic. Let's make ours a bestseller.

Sending all the love and green vibes your way,

Tiff πŸŒΌπŸ’š

P.S. Want more green thumb tips? Stick around, and let's grow together!

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