Butter. YUM!
Fresh squeezed orange juice. YUM!
Spiced rum. DOUBLE YUM!!

YOU GUYS! It’s national Hot Butter Rum Day! Have you had one!???! They are magical and taste like winter in a cup! :) :) :) :)

I mean, can it get any better to warm you up on a cold Midwest wintery night?!?!? (the answer is NO!) :) My dad used to make these ALL the time for my Grandma (and sneak in an extra shot of rum of course) so just the smell of these yummies instantly paints many scenes from my childhood! :)

So, grab these ingredients and make one to cuddle up with tonight on the couch as you watch the next episode of Fixer Upper or This is Us with your sweetie! :) (and don’t forget the extra shot of rum to REALLY warm you to the core! :)

INGREDIENTS:
spiced rum
1 stick of brown sugar (or 2 if you plan to double)
A few oranges (for zest and fresh juice)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or less if you want it less sweet, I prefer less)
1 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:
1. Whip the butter, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and about 1 tsp of the orange zest together. Whip together until it’s well combined, a few minutes. It is best if the butter is room temperature! :)

2. Scoop about 2 tbs of the butter mixture into a mug and top with a shot of rum (or more if you wanna drink like Grandma). Top with about 3/4-1 cup of boiling water and a (BIG) splash of orange juice! :)

CHEERS and drink up! :) And be sure to have ingredients on hand for your next party, they are ALWAYS a hit!

HAPPY NATIONAL HOT BUTTER RUM DAY FRIENDS! :)

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I knew the *minute* that Scott pulled out his guitar to serenade his NEW bride that the night would end in mere perfection the way that the day started! I mean…..a SONG?!? From your new husband?!? How can *anyone* not cry and laugh and love that moment?!?!? I think everyone on the boat was crying and smiling at the same time!

With their love for the outdoors, Scott and Alexa created a day that was full of lush greens and outdoor views and river ways and their faith and everyone they loved and adored by their side! :) I think the *only* minute that Alexa didn’t have a smile on her face was when she was crying happy tears during her vows and the toast! The day really was incredible and full of love and happiness and the people they cared about most, so really……IS there anything better?!? :)

And let’s just give a HUGE amazing shoutout to the incredible team that put this stunner together:

Planning and design and coordination : Lizie Anne
Ceremony : Arcola Mills, Stillwater MN
Reception : St Croix Boat and Packet Riverboats, Stillwater MN 
Wedding dress : purchased from Posh Bridal
Bridal accessories : family heirlooms :)
Brides shoes : Christy NG
Hair and Makeup : Julie Swenson
Bridesmaids dresses : purchased from the Wedding Shoppe
Florist : Ashley Fox
Cake and desserts : Mary Moy
Catering : Grand catering
Invitations and paper goods : designed by the groom, printed by Dick & Jane letterpress
Videographer : Harvest Film Co. 

I know, I know………you haven’t seen a blog update since my kids dressed in their Claussen inspired Halloween costumes! :) BUUUUUUTTT I’ve been trying to soak in all (and by all, I mean ALL the Hallmark movies and hot cocoa moments and sledding and decorating and cookie making and wrapping and cuddling and egg nog drinking and Christmas light hunting) Christmas moments! :) I love LOVE LOVE the holidays so every year that my kids get older, I am awed by how fun the holidays are with a little bit of spontaneity and a touch of wonder!

AND, combine my holiday events with the addition of the oh yay studio online store, and this month has been PACKED to the brim! (MORE on this later)! :)

But for now, I wanted to share one of my most favorite things of the holiday season! If you know me at all, you know how amazing excited and eager I am to jump out of bed the day after Thanksgiving to go hunting for our Christmas tree…we hunt and we decorate and we twinkle and we just enjoy the day set aside to get ready and prepare for the Christmas season! :) And every year I try and make a little video of that day…to reminisce and to document and to just genuinely take it ALL in! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! :) I hope your holidays are filled with bright and smiling faces and lots of family and friends!

  • December 23, 2017 - 1:19 pm

    Dawn - Okay Auntie Dawn is crying happy tears now. 💕

You may remember from previous years, just how important Halloween is to me! :) (remember Zeke as a little pear???) And this all stems from being a little kid along side my Mom’s imagination…..I remember dreaming up amazing costumes and proposing the ideas to my Mom with only a “YESSSS, we can TOTALLY make that” and a smile on her face. We’d sit down and create my costume in front of her sewing machine with a glue gun, felt and my ideas in tow…..we made everything from a tube of toothpaste to a Hershey’s kiss and a scarecrow to a deck of cards! :)

So, of course I have this tradition with Zeke as well, its my way of making my childhood, and more importantly the spirit of my Mom alive to him (and Esther)! :)

And this year was ALLLLL his idea! :) I call Esther my little pickle, because….well….she tends to have her own ideas and posses some “stubborn features”! :) So one day, as we were driving in the car, and I’m sure I had just had a little “battle” with Esther over her shoe choice, Zeke told me that she should be a pickle for Halloween since I call her a pickle all the time. I immediately smiled and posed the question “If Esther is the pickle, what should you be then?” And when he said “A PICKLE JAR!” I knew….I just knew that this was going to be another one of those costumes that pushes my creativity, but more importantly offers moments to bring my Mom alive to our kiddos.

I’m sure they will grow up hearing the same stories over and over and over every Halloween (and EVERY other holiday for that matter) but for now, when they are young, I will take pride knowing that I am shaping their first Halloweens with the idea that you can be bold, be creative, and be SO SO SO SO SO confident in your ideas and your talents…just as my Mom would have taught both of them.

Happy Halloween friends…….

oh, and do you think I can contact Claussen and beg for a free years worth of pickles for all of my efforts…it would REALLY cut our grocery bill down with the amount we eat! :)

*ALSO! For anyone who wants some how-to’s about this pickle jar, I followed along with their sprinkle jar costume idea for the majority of Zeke’s costume! :)

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  • November 1, 2017 - 2:40 pm

    Dawn Marquart - You carry your creative spirit to Zeke and Esther. It’s something that money can’t buy and what dreams are made of. Your Mom and Dad would be so very, very proud of you Emily. You are an amazing mother. Zeke and Essie are so lucky to have you. Me too. 🤗

  • December 7, 2017 - 9:50 pm

    Michael Irving - I see your mom in your children. They radiate of her soul. I remember how incredibly creative she was—she left that part of herself with you. Rock on Emily. Julie Irving

  • December 7, 2017 - 9:50 pm

    Julie Irving - I see your mom in your children. They radiate of her soul. I remember how incredibly creative she was—she left that part of herself with you. Rock on Emily. Julie Irving

I arrived after a few hours in a car ride by myself and walked into a giant, open-concept, rustic inspired, barn with a roaring fire place and a group of fun-loving girls. I experienced a weekend of sharing and openness and business strategies and hugs and lots of great ideas as we strategized about building business and accessing the deep passions of our hearts! :) I had a chance to teach a bit about how I have taken my business to the place it’s been and help others try and make some changes to make their dream businesses unfold! I mean, humbling, TALK ABOUT AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY and EXTREMELY HUMBLING…to think that some of my little ideas and concepts can help other ladies achieve success in their own lives and businesses!

A huge shoutout to all of the lovely vendors that pulled together the experience of what was a great great great weekend!!! And the images below are from an awesome styled shoot that gave us the fun to teach and shoot at the same time! WIN WIN! :)
Organizer + dreamer of the weekend : Christine Dopp
Other awesome speakers : Laura Ivanova and Angela from Saffron Ave
Rentals : A La Crate Vintage Rentals
Styling and Floral : Jennifer Joyce Design
Stationary : Mint for Hue
Model and awesome jewelry maker : Cire

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