Easy Upholstery Webbing Spring Banner

How to Make an Easy Upholstery Webbing Spring Banner - An Oregon Cottage

Are you ready to make a super easy spring banner (or garland – have any idea what the difference is?) from upholstery webbing and chipboard letters like I promised after sharing our spring mantel last week? Seriously, if I were to have a specialty here on the blog, it would be quick & painless crafts […]


Eclectic Spring Mantel & Updates

Eclectic 2014 Spring Mantel - An Oregon Cottage

I’m definitely doing some spring decorating this year – I’m ready to wave goodbye to the cold & gray weather and welcome the spring blooms and sunshine, aren’t you? So I shopped the house, crafted a sweet banner, got out a few Easter-themed decorations, added greenery and flowers, and – voila! An Eclectic Spring Mantel. […]


Add Old-House Character with Easy DIY Door Trim

Add Character to a Doorframe with Molding - An Oregon Cottage

One of the simplest ways to add old-house character to a newer house is to add moldings to interior windows and doors that are only painted sheetrock. Well, duh – I’m certainly not giving you any new information there, am I? Why write this, then? To give you the permission freedom to go ahead with […]


Vintage Valentine Mantel: Quick Decor

Vintage Valentine Mantel Update with Sheet Music & Printables - An Oregon Cottage

I’m actually not someone who likes to decorate for every holiday – does that make me a bad blogger? I like to make seasonal updates – adding leaves in the fall, evergreens in the winter, flowers in the spring, and seashells in the summer – more than any specific holiday decoration. The notable exception being […]


Christmas Gallery Wall

Christmas Gallery Wall - An Oregon Cottage

I hope you’re all having a blessed holiday season! Today I thought I’d share some pictures of our revamped gallery wall that is dressed for Christmas with a few easy additions. You may remember what the gallery wall looked like when I first added it, and then after we painted the walls a few months […]


Green & White Christmas Decor {Friday Photos}

White and Green Christmas Mantel - An Oregon Cottage

For this month’s edition of Friday Photos, I thought I’d give you a little tour of our great room decked out in this year’s holiday finery (yep, I just said ‘finery’ – breakin’ out the fancy words today). We don’t have our tree up yet, that will happen this weekend. A few years ago I […]


Chalkboard & Gold Thanksgiving Table Decorations

Chalkboard & Gold Thanksgiving Tablescape- An Oregon Cottage

After I shared how to make chalkboard napkin rings and placemats from thrifted finds, how could I not create a Thanksgiving table with them? And I really found this so fun to create! I decided to combine the chalkboard theme with gold, but just touches of it so it all remains pretty subtle I think. […]


Coral & Green Master Bedroom Reveal

ORC Bedroom Makeover-An Oregon Cottage

Here it is – the final week of the One Room Challenge (special thanks to Linda of Calling it Home for creating this fun challenge that helped motivate me to finally act on the ideas I’ve had for our bedroom for ages). Ready or not…and I’m a little of both, actually! But mainly ready: The goal […]


Lamp Makeover, Pillows & Cabinet Styling {ORC Week 5}

Bedroom cabinet vignette on An Oregon Cottage

Oh, man, I only have one week to complete the master bedroom One Room Challenge I started five weeks ago! I was visiting the coast last weekend, so I have some making up to do this weekend to be ready for the reveal next Thursday. My main project left is the duvet which I’ve decided […]


How to Hang A Plate Wall {ORC Week Four}

How to Hang a Plate Wall- An Oregon Cottage

Welcome to week four of my bedroom refresh one room challenge! Since I realized last week that I wasn’t actually supposed to be showing you the room, but only the specific items I was working on (so that there will be some sort of ‘reveal’ at the end, duh!), I thought this would be a […]


Handmade Gifts on An Oregon Cottage

Handmade Gift Ideas An Oregon Cottage

With the end of the Tuesday Garden Party for the season, I thought it would be fun to look towards the holidays and run a series about handmade gifts. I LOVE both getting and giving handmade gifts at any time of the year, but I always like to highlight them at the holidays because I […]


Plate Wall & Coral Additions: ORC Week Three

White chair: coral pillow & pouf - An Oregon Cottage

Two more things were checked off the to-do list this week for our one room challenge refreshed master bedroom. That’s good. What’s not so good is that one of them is causing me to rethink one of my previous projects, which is going to add another project to the list. Ugh – not good. But I’m getting […]


Thrifted Oil Paintings Gallery Wall and A Basket: ORC Week Two

Thrift Store Oil Paintings Gallery Wall

Week two of my master bedroom one room challenge {ORC} found me scrambling to finish something to be able to share with you! But that’s actually one of the reasons I signed up for this challenge – there always seems to be things that get in the way of acting on the ideas I have had for […]


One Room Challenge: Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Plan-ORC :: An Oregon Cottage

I’m so excited to be able to participate in this fall’s One Room Challenge! Have you heard of it? It’s a semi-annual event that is the brainchild of Linda from Calling It Home where she and 19 other bloggers pick one room to redo in a 6-week period and blog about their progress weekly. I’ve enjoyed […]


Natural Fall Porch Updates

Hydrangea in chalk pot :: An Oregon Cottage

Yes, I might be tired of the rain already, but I am welcoming fall to our porch as well as our mantel! I do love the fall hydrangea colors, don’t you? Especially how they coordinate so perfectly with our front door. So, welcome all to our fall porch updated with easy and inexpensive seasonal natural […]


Gold Burlap Wrapped Candles

Gold Burlap Wrapped Candles :: An Oregon Cottage

Do I have a super simple craft for you guys today! Really, it’s so easy it’s almost not a craft – but it does include spray paint (which you probably know by now that I love, ha!), so I’m going with craft. The reason I’m sharing this with you is the reason I share everything […]


Fall Mantel 2013: Burlap, Gold, White & Iron

2013 Fall Mantle-burlap-iron::AnOregonCottage

Okay, it’s officially fall now (!) so I’m embracing it and sharing with you our fall 2013 mantel – even though my flowers still look good, the weather has turned here (sigh…) and cozy, warm decorating is finally starting to appeal to me. My whole decorating right now is leaning towards a more industrial cottage […]


New Gazebo Furniture

Gazebo Patio Furniture

While we’re continuing to work on painting our trim and walls (the floors have cured and we get to move the furniture back today!), I thought I’d share a fun update to our gazebo. When I posted about our major backyard makeover last fall the gazebo looked like this: While I love our antique ice […]


How To Add Cottage Curb Appeal

How To Add Cottage Curb Appeal :: An Oregon Cottage

As you’ve no doubt gathered, I like a bit of cottage around here. To me a cottage isn’t necessarily a certain style, but more a mixture of a lot of styles – a place where everything you love lives together beautifully. It usually includes at least some classic, vintage, and time-honored decor and architecture. And […]


Fabulous Apothecary Jar Ideas

Apothecary Jar Clipboard

Do you guys remember this thrift store transformation of a ceramic apothecary jar? Or this Christmas sideboard? How about this mantel? Right – so you can probably tell that I’m a sucker for apothecary jars – I love their different shapes, sizes, and most of all – their potential! So I visited Hometalk to see […]


The Simplest Spring Porch Decor

Spring Porch Wreath

There’s a lot out there in blogland showing all kinds of handmade wreaths, painted pots full of faux bird’s nests and fanciful eggs, and lots of fun fabric decorations for spring porches. But what if you don’t have time for that? Or don’t want to invest the time or money (no matter how inexpensively it […]


Diamond Pattern Twine Drum Shade {Wayfair DIY Challenge}

DIY Twine Lamp Shade :: An Oregon Cottage

I’ve been reading a lot about Wayfair.com recently (tagline: ‘a zillion things home’) and seeing some fun projects that have been completed by other bloggers through their DIY Challenges, so I was thrilled to be asked to participate in their current challenge with supporting sponsor, Hometalk.com (Have you signed up yet? You can follow me […]


Small Office Update

Office-workroom Update

Okay, admittedly this office update isn’t huge or spectacular, but sometimes it’s the small things that reap big rewards – and for very little effort – so you know I had to share about it! I mentioned in last week’s post on my thrifted Tiered Pie-Tin Stand that I moved around some things in my […]


Simple Early Spring Mantel

Early Spring Mantel

Do you remember how I went on and on about much I liked this canvas-word art-from-thrifted-painting I made? I think I mentioned that it had become the centerpiece for our early spring mantel, too, and I thought I’d take a minute to share with you how it all came together. I took cues from the canvas and limited […]


Ready For Spring Table

Ready-For-Spring-Table

About the end of February, I’m past all the cozy-blanket-and-warming-fire thoughts and am ready for spring – enough with the cold and gray days! After creating my weird cute little pom pom flowers and the bright green runner, I thought it would be fun to use them for a simple early spring table setting. Since […]


Calm & Quiet Winter Decor

Quiet Winter Fireplace

Happy Friday! I’ve been wanting to share with you our winter decor – just some simple changes I made using what we had (which of course include thrift store finds - see if you can spot the items I’ve mentioned here in the past!). Here we are in the middle of January, a time each year […]


Antique Fair Inspiration

vintage music sheets

Look what I found lingering on my computer: photos from when Brian and I attended a local antique fair (the Coburg Antique Fair, held each September) that I never shared with you. It’s better late than never, though, because as I was looking through them I realized that Antique fairs can be great source of […]


Updated Gift Wrapping System

Easy Wrapping System

Hey all! Way back in 2009 (seems like the dark ages in blog-years, huh?) I wrote about how I wrap our family’s Christmas gifts. Well, since I LOVE this gift wrapping system and how much time it saves me each year, I’ve updated it with better photos and clearer directions with the hope that it […]


Some Favorite Christmas Decorations

day-night-christmas-tree

So…I’ve shared our silver, white and burlap mantel, our decorated sideboard (with thrifted deer), a glimpse of our tree and some ornaments I’ve made, but guess what? There’s more! Ha – nothing like over-sharing, right? But I’ve wanted to share some of my favorite decorations with you all – starting with a view of our tree […]


Easy Book Page Punch Ornament

Book-Page-Punch-Ornaments

Hey friends, have I got a handcrafted ornament you’re going to love today! It’s super quick, super easy, and super cute – can’t beat that, can you? And it goes with any other book page or music sheet decorations you might have made (like these book page rosettes, balls, and paper chains, or music sheet […]


Glitter & Tinsel DIY Ornament {An Anthropologie Knock-Off}

tinsel-glitter-ornament

  Hello all! I’ve got a fun and quick catalog knock-off diy ornament to share with you today that uses the thrift store garland from this photo (the deer was made over here, if you missed it): I was actually looking for tinsel garland when I found this at the thrift store, though I didn’t […]


Thrift Store Transformation: A Christmas Deer & Sideboard

thrift-store-christmas-finds

This season I’m enjoying mixing rustic and shiny with fresh greens on our burlap and silver mantel and our metallic tree with a burlap ribbon. I had a lot of fun creating this sideboard vignette to coordinate using these items plus apothecary jars, a cake stand, and a cute white deer that started out like this: It was […]


How To Make a Wool Pom Pom Wreath & Garland {an Anthropologie Knock-Off}

diy-wool-pom-pom-wreath-garland

Hello all! I hope you are having a great week and are enjoying this first week of December. We’re still adding to our holiday decorations around here and will put our tree up this weekend. I’m also making more pom poms and thought I’d share with you how easy they are to make, so that […]


White, Silver, and Burlap Christmas Mantel

White-Silver-Burlap-Mantel

After the abundance of our Fall Mantel – appropriate with the theme of Thanksgiving, harvest and all – I was in the mood for a quieter mantel (meaning less cluttered – I don’t think I’ll ever tire of sparkle at Christmas!) for the holidays. Two things I knew I wanted to start with were my […]


Christmas Links & Monday’s Menu

Chocolate_Hazelnut_Cake_Praline

Happy Monday – I hope you all had a great weekend! Ours was spent composting all the Thanksgiving decorations (well, the pumpkins and such – the ceramic turkeys were stored for next year…) and dragging out the Christmas decorating boxes. Though my daughter and I had high hopes, we didn’t accomplish as much as we’d […]


DIY Kitchen Remodel: From 80′s Ranch to Farmhouse Fresh

kitchen-reveal-collage

I’m over-the-moon-excited to tell you we are 99% done with our kitchen remodel! AND that we’re not living with this anymore. Can the DIY sigh of relief be heard around the world, do you think? Are you ready? Here’s the kitchen in all her new glory: I’m in love with everything: the counters, of course, […]


15 Awesome Christmas Cookies (And 3 More…)

Christmas Goodies Collage

I’m so excited to share with you this list of our family’s favorite Christmas cookies, candies, and goodies! These have all passed the taste test and most are holiday staples that I make every year. But I’ve also included year-around treats like chocolate chip cookies because they are awesome to have as the “regular cookie” […]


Happy Thanksgiving

thankgiving-bunting

Happy Thanksgiving, friends- I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating the holiday! Btw, I’m loving the book-page banner and how easy it was to make one that said “give thanks” to replace the “fall” banner. The song from this Psalm (100:4-5) always goes through my head on Thanksgiving: Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His […]


Simple, White & Natural Thanksgiving Tablescape

white-natural-thanksgiving-tablescape

Happy day before Thanksgiving! I thought I’d share with you my Simple, White, and Natural Thanksgiving tablescape so you could see that a beautiful table doesn’t have to be: expensive complicated over-the-top take a lot of time Of course it can be, but that’s not what we’re about here at AOC! We like things simple […]


Thrift Store Transformations: Used Books

Vintage books with heart box

We could hardly have a series about transforming thrift store items without talking about vintage and used books, could we? I mean, don’t they usually take up a third of the store? The truly vintage books can be used for things besides only reading them – most folks know how they bring so much to a room, […]


Book Page and Sheet Music Decoupaged Coasters

decoupaged-holiday-coasters

I just love how these decoupaged coasters turned out and I am excited to share them with you – including the steps to make these yourself and a printable for the holiday words I used! Although there’s nothing new about decoupaging coasters, it’s still a wonderful way to upcycle old, outdated coasters into either gifts or […]


Scripted Newsprint Decoupaged Pumpkin

scripted-newsprint-pumpkin

As if rustic turkeys, mercury glass pumpkins, and shelf-styling ideas wasn’t enough, I was inspired yet again by the October Pottery Barn catalog to transform a lowly green plastic pumpkin into an upscale addition to our fall mantel by breaking out the mod-podge. Yep, a decoupaged pumpkin. But not just any decoupaged pumpkin: this is […]


Thrifted Mantel Styling

Fall-thrifted-mantel

This is part two of copying catalog styling with thrifted items – see part one here. In the last few years (thanks to Pinterest and the lovely blogs I read) I’ve enjoyed changing out our mantel for the seasons. I use the same steps in mantel styling that I do for shelves – find an […]


Copy Catalog Shelf Styling with Thrifted Items

Styling-with-Thrift-Items

When I painted the ceramic turkeys and transformed an orange pumpkin into mercury glass, one of my goals was to use them to decorate for fall – on tables, shelves and our mantel, like I had seen in catalogs and magazines. Table and shelf styling doesn’t always come naturally for me and I like to […]


Make Your Own Mercury Glass Pumpkin

mercury glass pumpkin

This mercury glass pumpkin makeover is another thrift store transformation that was inspired by the fall PB catalog. Honestly, I don’t normally get so many ideas from one spot, but this was just one of those catalogs that had me going, “oh- I can find that easy!” or “what a great idea” and so on. […]


Thrift Store Transformations: White Ceramic Turkeys

Rustic-White-Ceramic-Turkeys

Like my fall mantel the inspiration for this thrift store transformation came from the October 2012 Pottery Barn catalog – specifically this guy caught my eye: He’s listed as a rustic ceramic turkey and he’s big – 15″ high – and comes with a big price: $159.00. Ouch. Surprisingly, he’s not available anymore and it’s […]


DIY Outdoor Chandelier Tutorial {Using Vintage and Found Items}

Jelly-Jar-Canning-Rack-Chandelier

One of my favorite projects for our recent gazebo update was making this outdoor chandelier out of objects I already had – including one that was destined for the dump. I invariably feel good when I get rid of things and clean up, but this is one time I’m glad I hadn’t felt the need […]


Fall Mantel 2012

fall-mantel-2012

Hey there! Are you decorating for fall yet? I’m happy to report that our Fall 2012 mantel is done. Or maybe I should say it’s a work in progress, ’cause I’ll probably be adding (or removing) things over the next month. Oh well, for now it’s good. Along with using garden flowers and produce to […]


Fall Decorating From The Garden

Decorating from the garden

I really enjoy the change of seasons and fall decorating is a fun way to celebrate the shift from summer. There are some things I grow in my garden and vegetable beds specifically to decorate with in the fall: White pumpkins. Orange and green pumpkins. Although to be completely honest, I wouldn’t grow the orange […]


Gazebo Inspiration

Backyard with deck

Do you have an outdoor area you could turn into a “room” that would act as a sort of getaway right in your own yard? We inherited a structure in the corner of our huge, rotting deck when we moved to this house that I’ve dreamed of turning into a place in it’s own right. […]


Antique Sewing Machine to Nightstand

antique sewing machine

Last weekend Brian’s folks gifted us with this antique sewing machine that had been used by three generations since his great-grandmother purchased it more than 100 years ago. It had been stored in their basement after being used for its original purpose into the 1970s. When Brian’s mom offered it to me, I couldn’t let […]


Chalkboard Label Jars – A Five Minute, Three Dollar Update

chalkboard label jars

The other day I found a package of Martha Stewart chalkboard labels that I had bought more than a month ago with a 40%-off coupon for about $3.50. I don’t know why I hadn’t used them yet, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I didn’t know where I wanted to […]


The Evolution Of An Entry

Entryway Changes

Note: I originally wrote about our house’s transformation from a 1980′s ranch to a “what-year-was-this-built?” cottagey-farmhouse in a multi-part remodeling series three years ago. I will be updating these posts over the next few months by showcasing the “before and after” of each room and going into more details (Want to make sure you don’t […]


Ballard-Style Mud Room Shelves {A Pinterest Challenge}

full-shelves

We finally completed our mudroom shelves! This room actually serves as both a laundry room and a mudroom and after organizing the laundry side a few months ago, I was anxious to tackle the gardening shelves on the mudroom side. Uh-em…”anxious” here being a relative term since it was a few months ago. But (hopefully) […]


2012 Summer Mantel

Summer-Mantel.12_mark

You might not know this about me from reading this blog (which is all about doing things…) but I’m actually NOT one of those people who like to change things around all the time in their homes. Really. The pillows on our sofa are the same since I wrote about them two years ago. Our […]


Craigslist French Chairs

French chairs before

  I have been searching awhile for French-style chairs. Though I probably should clarify that I mean chairs I could afford, because I know that Ballard Designs sells these similar French chairs on sale for $449.00. {cough} So of course I turned to Craigslist. Only to discover that the used French-style furniture that seems so […]


5 Tips To Transition A Kid Room To A Teen Room

Kid-Room-Banner

There comes a time in your child’s life when you are faced with the moment you’ve been dreading anticipating preparing for: your little baby is a preteen or teenager who has outgrown that little kid room you always thought was so cute. It happens in every child’s life – they want their room to reflect […]


13 Ways To Organize A Workroom WIth Vintage {And Thrifted} Finds

Bulletin-Board-view_blog

Looking through the photos for my article about updating and refreshing my workroom, I realized that I used many of my favorite vintage finds to organize all the little things that are a part of most offices and studios. Most of the things I now use as containers were purchased super-cheap at thrift stores and […]


Workroom Update: Before And After Photos

Use Vintage Items in Workroom

Ahhhh…. That’s me breathing a sigh of relief every time I walk into my workroom now- a room I walk into every day, so you can imagine the impact this has made on me. OK, that sounded way out of perspective – it’s just a clean and more organized room, after all – but what […]


Thirty Minute Laundry Room Spruce-Up

Laundry-after_blog

We’ve recently finished the last few finishing touches on our laundry room (started years ago, but better late than never!) – beadboard molding, floor molding, and cabinet brackets. I still need to paint everything- including the cabinet- to match the painted beadboard. With our track record, I didn’t think I should wait to do a […]


Super Easy Spring Candle Craft

Candle-close-up_blog

I love ten minute crafts, don’t you? These candles I created for our Simple Spring Mantel were so easy to make by wrapping plain pillar candles with burlap. I also used this same idea for our Christmas mantel, except I wrapped the candles in book pages- so you can see how flexible this simple idea […]


Shop The House To Refresh A Bedroom

shop house to refresh a room

Sometimes it takes awhile to come up with the perfect solution for a problem area. Or maybe that’s just me. Whatever. Anyway, this wonderful old dresser and mirror had been gifted to me last spring by a dear friend (when our kids were little I had asked her to think of me if she ever […]


Simple Spring Mantel

Spring-Mantle-2012_blog

Since I loved my winter mantel so much, I haven’t wanted to change it out before now. The daffodils started blooming in our yard this last week and that prompted me to finally give the mantel a new look. I kept the background black window, shopped the house, and did a quick and simple craft […]


Gallery Wall Memories

Gallery wall forks

I mentioned previously that our new gallery wall is full of things that hold memories for us – a print from a place we visited, something from our childhoods, things our children made. Some are just things that I like, but they tell a story, too. Like these forks I found in a thrift store years […]


An Eclectic Gallery Wall

Eclectic Gallery Wall

I’m happy to say that the gallery wall I’ve been working on for a couple of months is finally finished! It’s a bit different than other gallery walls I’ve seen, though I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use a lot of things we already had. To that end, I went looking for […]


A Winter Mantel

I’m loving my simple winter mantel right now. Seriously- every time I walk by I think how much I love it – which is something considering how simple it is. Maybe after all the holiday decorations, I was just ready for something quiet and beautiful. Actually, all of these things were a part of our […]


How To Stencil A Drop Cloth Shower Curtain

Want an easy way to refresh your bathroom? Change the shower curtain. It’s by far the biggest thing in the room, so it usually sets the tone for the rest of the room. Unless the rest of the room is a loud, colored tile– that would pretty much grab all the attention. Unfortunately, shower curtains […]


Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a blessed and wonderful holiday!Love, Jami & Brian           


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- Free Download

I’m so happy to share with you that my friend, Amy, at Raising Arrows is offering a Family Christmas Eve Candlelight Service download FREE to all her subscribers. It is a simple, meaningful way to celebrate Christ’s birth which I LOVE and hope to use with our extended family this year. Amy has a large […]


Book Page Ornament Tutorial: Accordion-Fold Rosette

Fanned bk pg. ornament

Ornaments made from vintage book pages seem to be pretty popular. There are many different kinds I’ve seen, and I made a few this year to add to our Christmas decorations. I like them all, but my favorite is this Rosette Ornament I made with accordion folds. You definitely get a lot of bang for […]


Christmas Tree 2011

We finally finished decorating our tree two days ago. We got it on Saturday afternoon, but had a concert that night and when we got out the lights for it on Sunday, two fairly new strands of 250 lights didn’t work. Two. From sitting in the box in the attic. How does this even happen? […]


Vintage Sheet Music Wreath

Vintage Sheet Music Wreath

Here is my favorite new item that I made for this Christmas season and alluded to when I wrote about our new ornaments and decorations using vintage book pages: a vintage sheet music wreath! Isn’t she something? I really, really like what it brings to the entry area of our great room. Since it tops […]


In A Nutshell Guest Post

I’ve got a new article up over at In a Nutshell, the AboutOne.com blog that helps you manage your life. It’s all about a way our family has attempted to fight the commercialization of the Christmas season. It’s really simple. It really works. It’s a nice tradition, too. Curious? Read the article at In a […]


Christmas Theme: Vintage Book Page Ornaments & Decorations

Feather Tree with book page ornaments

After noticing that most of my Christmas board pins at Pinterest were decorations that used vintage book pages and music sheets, I realized I had a theme going on. I’m not trying to say I’m unique here- seems lots of people with blogs are making decorations with book pages. I noticed that some posts I […]


Christmas Mantel Before and After

When we started decorating for Christmas last week, this is what our mantel looked like. My daughter and I collaborated on it – well, it was mostly my daughter, because I was busy making new ornaments and decorations (more on that tomorrow!) However it got done, I think it turned out nice. Last year we […]


All About Christmas Group Link-Up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the 5 Days of Christmas Cookies this week! Are you going to make Mini Almond Joy Brownies or Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares? Perhaps it’s time to decorate cookies with the kiddos and Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies are sounding good? And for the chocoholic on your list I recommend the Espresso Truffle […]


Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn

Homemade Honey Caramel Corn - Moose Munch Variation from An Oregon Cottage

This homemade “Moose Munch” caramel corn made with honey instead of corn syrup is probably the most popular Christmas treat that we give to our family and friends. I had to share it for two reasons: Everyone tells me their family fights over this holiday treat and they have to make sure it’s equally distributed […]


Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares- 5 Days of Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares

Complete List of 5 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1: Mini Almond Joy Brownies Day 2: Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies Day 3: Espresso Truffle Bars Day 4: Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares (today) Day 5: Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn Let’s see: Rich?  Check. Ooey-gooey? Oh, yeah- right there in the caramel layer. Chocolate? Of […]


Espresso Truffle Bars – 5 Days Of Christmas Cookies

Espresso Truffle Bars

Complete List of 5 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1: Mini Almond Joy Brownies Day 2: Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies Day 3: Espresso Truffle Bars (today) Day 4: Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares Day 5: Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn Let me say right off the bat- these are NOT brownies. Uhn-uhn. No way. They are rich, […]


Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies- 5 Days of Christmas Cookies

Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies

Complete List of 5 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1: Mini Almond Joy Brownies Day 2: Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies (today) Day 3: Espresso Truffle Bars Day 4: Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares Day 5: Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn Remember my list of holiday cookie requirements from yesterday? Based on my favorite criteria: rich, […]


Mini Almond Joy Brownies- 5 Days Of Christmas Cookies

Mini Almond Joy Brownies

Complete List of 5 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1: Mini Almond Joy Brownies (today) Day 2: Whole Grain Cut-Out Cookies Day 3: Espresso Truffle Bars Day 4: Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares Day 5: Homemade “Moose Munch” Honey Caramel Corn I’ve made Christmas cookies every year for as long as I can remember and through […]


Family Traditions: Now and Throughout The Year

family-traditions-banner

At the holidays, many of us are thinking about traditions and the things we look forward to doing with our families- both immediate and extended. Our desire is to make memories that will last a lifetime. Which is wonderful – but let’s not forget about family traditions we can create all year long as well. […]


Ten Thankful Things

I could easily fill a post about thankfulness just with the “normal” things I’m grateful for: my husband my kids my extended family friends our church health work lovely house Well, see, that’s almost ten right there- pretty much a no brainer. But what if I go deeper? Try to remember some things from the […]


Vintage Jars

My in-laws gave me a ton of old canning jars last week with the declaration, “you are rich in jars.” Indeed I am. I seem to always need jars. But when I saw the labels on some of the boxes, I became kinda excited – don’t they seem rather old to you? They had come […]


How to Transfer A Monogram To Wood: The Low-Tech, Non-Artsy, Super Easy Way

monogramed-green-chair

I really wanted to do something special and different with these garage sale chairs when I decided to redo them (see the before and after of the chairs here). Painting them something other than white (my go-to color) was the first step. Covering the seats with burlap (really popular right now) was the second step. […]


How To Wrap A Box With A Lid

wrap-box-with-lid

A couple years ago, I wrote about our family’s easy gift wrapping system. A key component of this system is wrapping sturdy boxes and the lids that come with them separately so that they can be opened without tearing the paper and then be reused from year to year. While the finished box looks complicated, […]


Master Bedroom Paper Floor Problem

In Monday’s post, I alluded to an issue I had last week that involved gluing, crying, tearing, and gluing again. And then I left you hanging. Not very nice of me. I’m sure that some of you have been up at night just wondering what on earth happened. Well, you can rest easy tonight. Here’s […]


A New Floor

Finally! We were able to pull out all the hideous, stained, tannish-white, 20-year-old carpet and replace it with a prefinished, engineered wood floor. I cannot explain to you how happy and relived I am to have that carpet gone. Relived? Yeah- I seriously didn’t know what was lurking in that carpet. It just really grossed […]


Fresh And Frugal Cottage Ideas, Part 2- A Better Homes And Garden Comparison

Fresh-Frugal Cottage Ideas-2

In the first part of Frugal Cottage Ideas, I used a list from the Better Homes and Gardens website to see how our Oregon Cottage does interpreting the “cottage look.” In this second part we’ll look at the rest of the items on the list. So far, it’s been a lot of fun for me […]


Fresh And Frugal Cottage Ideas, Part 1- A Better Homes And Garden Comparison

Beadboard wall-cottage ideas-1

One of my favorite magazines has always been Better Homes and Gardens. I love the accessible decor, food, and crafts. As I was checking out their website the other day, an article that caught my eye titled Fresh and Frugal Cottage Ideas. Can you guess why it might have appealed to me? Frugal and cottage in […]


Favorite Ikea Finds

Ikea is a 2-plus hour car trip from our house, so even though I love it, it had been a couple of years since I had been there. In that time I had seen a number of things in magazines that I had been putting on my mental Ikea shopping list. Plus, I needed to […]


Easy, Custom Duvet/Comforter Cover

My daughter and I bought the material for this project last November. How does this much time go by? Ugh. She’s been very patient, and I finally finished it today. Seriously. She gets major kudos for not bugging me weekly about it, because she was very excited about it. Back in November. Um, well…I think […]


Three Steps To A Spruced Up Outside Entry

I’m embarrassed to say that my front porch looked like this until about two weeks ago: That’s right. Two weeks ago was the first week of March. And that is an old Christmas wreath and a sled (you know, for all our snow…). Hey, at least I took the ribbon and decorations off the wreath […]


Mantel Progress

You guys blew me away with all your insightful comments regarding my mantel dilemma! It’s taken me this long to process all the information from both emails and comments left here- I even had to make a list to keep things straight. But it was Sarah, a reader who sent me an email, who wins […]


Mantel Dilemma

While I’m working on a detailed post about how we retrofitted our cabinets for our over-the-range microwave, I thought I’d ask for your feedback on our mantel. I saw a picture of a mantel with a pair of wonderful black lanterns (in PB catalog? on a blog? I can’t remember…) and thought something like that […]


It’s Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! -Jami, Brian, & kids           


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

Oh, don’t worry, not anything big- just decor changes. It’s almost Christmas Eve after all, I don’t want to rock the boat too much! You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted this picture of our Christmas tree: While there’s nothing wrong with it, we’ve had a white/silver/gold tree for a few years […]


Four Terrific Handmade Gift Ideas

suet bird gift

We had our annual early Christmas with some of my extended family over the weekend and I couldn’t wait to share with you some of the clever and unique handmade gifts they came up with! I think I’ve shared with you before that my siblings and I try to exchange simple handmade gifts in lieu […]


Holiday Decor

I’ve been enjoying looking at people’s holiday decorations around blogland recently and was inspired to post some pictures of my own. Here’s a quick glimpse of our holiday decorations this year: Our mantel is not too different from last year, but it does look more lush, and that would be thanks to my teenage daughter […]


What I’m Doing On Black Friday

The short answer is, “Not shopping.” I gave a long answer last year around this time, complete with suggestions of homemade gifts you could give if you like to avoid all the “black Friday” hubbub, too. Some of them will sound familiar because I’ve gone into more detail on some for the Handmade Gifts series […]


Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the incredible people I am surrounded by in my life and here on this blog. I am also thankful for all the simple and imperfect aspects of my life that add up to this (newly yellow Oregon cottage! Blessings,-Jami P.S. Want to know a […]


Craigslist Table And Chairs

For more than 10 years, we have been “borrowing” a dining table that belongs to Brian’s sister. It’s a mahogany, shiny-topped pedestal table and it’s a beautiful vintage piece, too, so I loved having it to use in our other house where we had a dining room and a breakfast area. We’d use it once […]


My Favorite Summer Planter

I was late getting my planters potted up this year. I try to do it in May, but our weather was so bad and I was busy with our son’s graduation and the year-end things I do with my Preschool class that I didn’t get to the pots. Then it was time for the graduation […]


Teen Daughter’s Bedroom Reveal

BeforeLast week I shared how we were in the throes of a mini-room makeover for our daughter while she was away visiting her grandparents. While it wasn’t as involved at the makeover our son’s room received ( nor was it a surprise) there was still a lot of labor involved. In fact, we are still […]


Daughter’s Bedroom Before and (Almost) After

Our daughter is spending a week with her grandparents and we are redoing her room while she’s away. When we mention this to people, most ask if it is a surprise like our son’s bedroom makeover.Uh…no. Unlike our son, our daughter has definite ideas about what she likes and doesn’t like and we’re way past […]


The Pew Project

Today I had planned to show you the “before and after” of the pew I need to restore. Problem is, it’s still sitting in the garage waiting for someone to do something with it. Anyone raising their hand? No? I guess that just leaves me. Sheesh, where does all the time go? Although to be […]


Collecting Original Artwork and a Video

I’ve always been drawn to amateur paintings at thrift stores and garage sales. Maybe it’s because I can’t paint worth a dime, but I like to think it’s because I find them pretty and I’m “rescuing” them from the trash pile. Not to mention that they are as close to owning “original artwork” as I’m […]


Vintage Mirror Before and After

vintage green round mirror6

I bought this vintage mirror at a yard sale about six years ago. I loved the shape and carving, so I paid $30 – a lot for me at garage sales. But I’ve never been in love with the gold painted finish. Some of the gold was really gaudy in places and the person who had […]


Happy Easter

May you all have a blessed and family-filled weekend! -Jami           


The Floor Failure (Not!)

June 2010 update: It did work!! I just didn’t wait long enough for the poly to dry- after waiting the recommended time before adding furniture, most of the wrinkles were smoothed out and the ones left were just part of the effect. See the room makeover reveal where my son says “the cool floor is […]


Before and After: Lighting {Old Fixtures Become New}

brass lamp

We are in the process of redecorating our son’s room which we are documenting with a video camera to share with you all next week. In the meantime, I had to share some pictures of the solution to the lighting problems in the room. The lighting in this room was either cheap-looking or really dated. […]


Living Room Makeover Continued: The Foot Stool

After doing the first part of the living room makeover, continuing onto the bookshelves, and bringing the entryway into the same scheme, it’s time for the foot stool we use as a coffee table to receive a facelift. Sometimes I’m seduced by magazines and catalogs that have wonderful, chunky wood coffee tables in front of […]


A Clutter Challenge Update

I made some good progress towards my goal of ridding our house of 356 “cluttery” things in 2010. I’ve now gotten rid of almost 100 items! Of course, many of those were old books stacking up. We’ll see how it goes now that our bookshelves are looking bright and airy. Two things in the last […]


Entryway Before and After

Entry Before OK, calling this an “entryway” may be exaggerating it a bit, but it is the place you pass through after coming in the front door, so for lack of a better name this is our entryway. I’ve never really loved what I put here, and in the last months have come to really […]


Makeover: Living Room Shelves

Living Room Shelf 1 After

I documented how I started a small makeover of my living room by changing some pillows and a lamp last week. It’s amazing to me how such a small change made me happy whenever I saw it and spurred me on to continue making changes. So last weekend I tackled the bookshelves on either side of […]


Bathroom Cabinet Improvement?

This cabinet in our main bathroom has a little bit of a history, which I plan on going into detail about when I do the sixth installment of the Remodeling Series. Which I am going to do. Honestly. I just keep waiting for the last thing to be done in the master bath… Which I […]


The Beginnings Of A Living Room Makeover

When we moved into our current house from our little bungalow in the city, it was more than a change of location for me, decorating-wise. You know how people routinely tear out the walls of old houses to “open them up?” Well, I loved all our little rooms in our bungalow and when I go […]


A Simpler, Frugal Christmas Brunch

Every year for 15 years I have hosted a Christmas brunch for any family members who would like to come. When we lived in the city, all my husband’s family would come and there were years we had 15 people. Now we’re a smaller group, but I hold to the tradition. I have to confess […]


An Easy Gift Wrapping System

Easy Wrapping System

Do you stay up to 2 am wrapping Christmas presents? Or spend hours wrapping gifts? Do you buy loads of paper, ribbon, tags and bows at the after-Christmas sales only to see them end up in a recycling bin or trash can the next year? Well, that was my life during the holidays for a […]


Christmas Day

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come,Let earth receive her King…” Merry, Merry Christmas to one and all! -Jami           


Christmas Eve

“For unto us a child is born… I remember putting this nativity up at my grandma’s house, and it’s a blessing to be able to have it at my house now. I loved the realistic animals and the little creche and I felt so special when I was able to help grandma set it up […]


Fun, Easy Christmas Ornaments

The kids and I decorated these ornaments a couple of years ago and they are still one of our favorites. They sparkle and look a lot like store-bought ones. We use them everywhere- on the tree, in bowls, and on greens down the table with candles. All you need are:1. Plain ornaments-we used silver, frosted […]


Butter Mints

butter mints

This little recipe is amazing! I’ve always loved butter mints and never realized how easy (and inexpensive) they were to make. And I get to decide what’s in them! Not only that, these are melt-in-your-mouth good, too. These butter mints would make a cute gift for teachers, postal workers, or just on their own in […]


Our Christmas Advent Tradition

One of the ways our family focuses on the meaning of Christmas (not just the gifts) is to celebrate Advent, taking time in the days leading up to the 25th to remember why we celebrate this day. It also has become a meaningful tradition and fun decoration for us as well, and hardly cost anything […]


The Christmas Edition: Cookies in the Cottage

cookies-in-the-cottage

For today’s “Cookies in the Cottage” I thought it would be fun to list the cookies I’m planning to include on this year’s Christmas cookie plates (that aren’t really plates anymore- I bag the cookies up and put them in small dollar store bags because I think they stay fresher). I’m including my thoughts on […]


This Year’s Christmas Mantle

We’ve started the Christmas decorating at our house- we’ve yet to get the tree, but my daughter and I did the mantle and a few other tabletops and got the Advent things out. I thought I’d share pictures of the mantle because each year I try to add some new things, but still keep the […]


The Anti-Black Friday Post

I’ve been a part of a couple of “Black Friday” surveys in the past week and I’m always the one who chooses “You couldn’t pay me to shop on Black Friday” as my answer.It’s just the last thing I would like to be doing on that day. The crowds. The lines. The fights. And don’t […]


Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my family and friends, including all my blog-land friends. Thanks so much for your visits! May this day find you with ones you love. Blessings, Jami           


Thanksgiving Dinner: Budget Buster?

Does a Thanksgiving Dinner really have to break the budget? I’m sure it can if there are a lot of dishes involved and a lot of ingredients that aren’t normally on the shopping list. But what about the “typical” Thanksgiving meal? I’m thinking of one that would include: TurkeyMashed PotatoesSausage DressingVegetable (ours is Broccoli Parmesan […]


Decorating The Porch

This last weekend, my daughter and I decked out our porch for fall as we like to do each year. We started with the porch as pictured above (good thing this isn’t a close-up, or you’d see how desperately the white door needs to be cleaned and painted). After less than 30 minutes, we had […]


Happy Easter!

May your day be filled with family, friends, food, and faith! (PS. In the corner of the photo you can see the forsythia blooming outside – what a sight of Spring!)