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 […]

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 […]

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


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


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}


  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


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}


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


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


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 […]

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


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


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 […]

Book Page and Sheet Music Decoupaged 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 […]

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 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


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 […]

How To Wrap A Box With A 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, […]

It’s Christmas!

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


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 […]

Happy Easter

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

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


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 […]

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!)           

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