Dia de los Muertos Wed-Spiration

Dia de los Muertos is the Day of the Dead which falls on the day after Halloween, and is a Mexican celebration of family and friends that have passed.  As a San Diego native this holiday has been celebrated here for decades, and a Day of the Dead wedding in So Cal would not be far off for the unconventional bride-to-be!   I am in love with Green Wedding Shoes Blog for wedding inspiration, and this featured wedding offers vibrant and beautiful colors and a surprising twist on a Fall Wedding.

I found this Dia de los Muertos Wedding Invitation on Minted, which is where I got our wedding invitations too!  I will have to post more on Minted later, but they do have some fab designs!  This particular design is perfect for a Day of the Dead Wedding, and in fact matches this featured wedding’s color scheme.

The flowers featured in this Dia de los Muertos Wedding are rich in abundance with marigolds, mums, dahlias, succulents and a few peonies in her bouquet.  These arrangements are pretty affordable for the budget conscious bride, and I would definitely play it up with a mixture of high and low vases on the tablescape.  The gold accents accentuate the rich colors, and of course you cannot forget the skulls! We can help you create your Dia de los Muertos Wedding come to life on any budget!


Bridal Party Gifts: Origami Owl

At a recent Bridal Show I discovered Living Lockets made by Origami Owl, and thought these would be great Bridal Party Gifts!  Either from the Bride to her Bridal Party, Mother & Mother-In-Law, or Bridal Party to the Bride!  They are clear Lockets filled with charms and plates that you get to personalize and design with different chain styles.  I fell in love with the rose gold locket and chains, looked so pretty on skin and rose gold is so often overlooked!

I loved the idea of picking a charm that is the color of your wedding, one that is personal to you, and one that is specific to the person who will be receiving the gift.  There are so many options to chose from, and the lockets are really well made.  Perfect for any wedding keepsake!

Get in touch with Hayley Lewis for all your Origami Owl needs, you never know, you may even want one for yourself or have someone in mind for Christmas!

origami owl

Origami Owl

Healthy Turkey Chili & Cornbread

During the week we rush through our meals like a race to the weekend, and sometimes it can be hard to make healthy choices when you are on the go.  This is the easiest and most delicious Chili I have ever had, and in fact this quick recipe has been a family Halloween Tradition.  My momma would make this Chili & Cornbread recipe every Halloween before we would go Trick- Or-Treat!

Not only is this Chili hearty, it can feed a large family or keep during the week as leftovers.  I have made Chili from scratch before, and searched high and low for all the spices in the store.  Don’t waste your time!  The only spice packet you need at the grocery store is Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit. All it is is the perfect amount of spices you need to make some amazing Chili!  This packet usually comes in a box like shown, or in a small brown paper sack in the Spice aisle at your local grocery store.  I have lived in 4 different states, and I have never had trouble finding it.  You can make it Hot & Spicy by adding the Cayenne Pepper (totally recommend), or leave it out completely.


The only alternatives to Carroll Shelby’s Directions:

  1. Use Ground Turkey instead of Ground Beef
  2. Add in 1 Can of Red Kidney Beans (drained)
  3. Saute 1 Diced Whole Onion in the pan when browning the meat
  4. I find that I rarely have to strain the meat before adding the tomato sauce and water since the Turkey isn’t fatty like Ground Beef
  5. Only add the Masa if you don’t like runny and watery Chili ( I always add the Masa and a little Water)

For the Cornbread:  Save yourself some time, don’t even bother with Jiffy, and pick up Marie Callendar’s Cornbread Mix.  Just add Water, Stir and Bake for 30 Mins!

You can serve up your Chili in a bowl with Shredded Cheese on top, and some of my Family prefers their Chili with Sour Cream on top as well.  I love to cut a piece of Cornbread in half, lay it at the bottom of the bowl, pour some Chili on top, add Cheese and you will be in Chili Heaven!  If you don’t give this Chili Recipe a try, your taste buds will be sorry!

Oliver Wedding

When every girl dreams of her wedding day, she imagines a magical experience complete with the perfect groom and the perfect day.  While planning a wedding can be stressful, our wedding day was nothing short of perfect.  It was better than I could have imagined, simply because I was marrying a beautiful man that I gave my heart to.  On that day I felt pure bliss.

I planned the entire Wedding, down to the mints and the peonies in my bouquet.  With the help of family and friends on that day and the days leading up to our wedding, my dream became reality.  A HUGE Thank You to all of these special people we love!!!

On 08.03.13 we held the Big Reveal at La Valencia Hotel in front of their romantic picture window, and proceeded to take bridal party photos on the hotel’s grounds.  We were wed at Mary Star of the Sea in La Jolla, CA., and the Reception followed the Ceremony at The Powerhouse in Del Mar, CA. The Reception site overlooked the Pacific Ocean, and we were lucky enough to have a picture perfect day.

Vendor Details Listed Below.

dress -Darcy Oliver Design

la jolla-Darcy Oliver Design

wedding gown-Darcy Oliver Design

justin alexander -Darcy Oliver Design

Mother of the Bride-Darcy Oliver Design

Bridesmaids Gifts-Darcy Oliver Design

Navy Garter and Sparkle Shoes-Darcy Oliver Design

feather boutonierre, j crew neckalce-Darcy Oliver Design

reveal, la jolla-Darcy Oliver Design

bride, groom-Darcy Oliver Design

Bridal Portrait, La Jolla-Darcy Oliver Design

Peony, Rose, Orchid Bouget-Darcy Oliver Design

Bridal Party-Darcy Oliver Design

Bride, Groom-Darcy Oliver Design

flower wreath, ring bearer-Darcy Oliver Design

flower girls-Darcy Oliver Design

Bridesmaids-Darcy Oliver Design

ceremony decor, church wedding-Darcy Oliver Design

Aisle-Darcy Oliver Design

First kiss, flower girl-Darcy Oliver Design

Vintage getaway car-Darcy Oliver Design

wedding-Darcy Oliver Design

Powerhouse, del mar-Darcy Oliver Design

sign in, seating chart-Darcy Oliver Design

cake table, gold, pink-Darcy Oliver Design

cake banner, french-Darcy Oliver Design

sweetheart table-Darcy Oliver Design

decor, centerpiece-Darcy Oliver Design

menu sign-Darcy Oliver Design

gold sequins-Darcy Oliver Design

gift table-Darcy Oliver Design

cake cutting-Darcy Oliver Design

Bridesmaids and Groom-Darcy Oliver Design

Beach Wedding-Darcy Oliver Design

Beach-Darcy Oliver Design

Sparkler, kiss-Darcy Oliver Design


Photography: Teale Photography

Videography (Posting Soon!): Love Like a Movie

Photo Shoot Venue: La Valencia Hotel

Ceremony Venue: Mary Star of the Sea

Reception Venue: The Powerhouse

Flowers & Decor: Darcy Oliver Design

Cake: Lemon Grove Pastry Shop

Wedding Gown: Justin Alexander

Groom’s Tuxedo: A Better Deal Tuxedo 

Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm Occassions

Flower Girl Dresses: Seahorse by Watters

Catering: Porkyland La Jolla

Hair: Shannon Hay

Live Music: Anthony Adams

Vintage Car: Haynes Chauffeuring 

DJ: Sunset Mobile Music

Maid of Honor Necklace: Prisonher

Cleopatra Makeup Inspired by Liz Taylor

Halloween is just around the corner, and this year for our Halloween Party I was Cleopatra inspired by the gorgeous Liz Taylor.  When this film came out, it was a BIG DEAL!  Liz Taylor’s makeup as Cleopatra inspired the runway in the 60’s, and continues to inspire the runway today.  If you are going to be Cleopatra this Halloween, you must attempt Liz Taylor’s Cleo look!  Easier than it looks, here are the Products and Tips that I used to transform into Liz’s Cleo Look!


I loved the eye-catching Blue Eyeshadow highlighted with Gold Glitter that made her lids sparkle! The Egyptian Eyeliner was going to be a challenge, but the opened arrow looked so awesome, I had to give it a try!

Here are the makeup selections I used to get the Cleo Look, and one thing I do not have in the mix is Surgical/Medical Tape that is skin safe. Why you ask?  A sharp line is crucial for the open arrow Egyptian Eyeliner.  I have the Surgical Tape on a dispenser, which is often mistaken for Scotch Tape in my house… Tear off a couple of inches and place the tape near your temple at an angle from the outside corner of eye to the end of your eyebrow.  You can practice where to place the tape by taking your eyeshadow brush handle from the outside corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow.  You will use the tape as a guide with the Stila Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, from the outside corner of your eye to the end of your eyebrow.  Carefully lift the tape and move it down to create an arrow/pie shaped space between your first line.  Draw another line along the tape, and connect the two lines at the top.  Don’t be afraid to get the eyeliner on the tape, that’s the point!

Cleopatra Makeup

The Blue Eyeshadow I used is Kat Von D’s, and I always dip my eyeshadow brush in the water to make the pigment really pop, and it lasts longer as well.  Use a Gold Glitter Eyeliner and dab on the gold glitter on your lids and let dry.  Use Stila’s Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Pen on your lids for a precise line, and the soft Pencil to create the winged line and on your waterline as well.  I love Sephora’s Eyelashes that accentuate the outside corner of your eye and your Cleo Eyeliner!  To make your eyes pop and to get that Cleo Glow, NARS Concealer is amazing!  If you highlight from your temples to a triangle under your eyes, any dark circles or bags will recede from view and you will glow, darling!  Highlight the inner corner of your eye, just a dab above your upper lip, and a smidge on your chin.  Blend and Blend.  Use a sultry bronzer on the hollows of your cheeks, and a deep blush on top of your cheek bones to your hairline.  Give your pout some lovin with MAC’s creamy nude lipstick, and ta-da! you are Cleo Ready!



Homemade Super Green Juice, No Juicer Required!

If you are considering trying out a Juice Cleanse, but don’t want to spend upwards of $150 for a 1 to 3 Day Juice Cleanse like a lot of brands out there, then I have a solution for you on the cheap!  The additional bonus is you know exactly what is going into your juice, and no artificial sweeteners or concentrates are added.

I did a little research and found a lot of people in the same boat, and like me did not have a juicer!  Oh no!  Well, not to worry your little head, a juicer is not required to make Super Green Juice.  I tried making a few other juices like Beet & Carrot Juice, but honestly I was not able to make one that didn’t taste SO earthy.  The Beet & Carrot was not my favorite after drinking the Super Green Juice all day, and frankly I couldn’t stomach the smell.  I’ll just eat my beets, thank you.

The fab thing about the Super Green Juice is that it is actually delicious, and very similar (if not better) than the fancy juices sold at Whole Foods.  So here’s the skinny about Super Green Juice, it  is high in Iron and Vitamin K along with tons of antioxidants to fight free radicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis.  Kale is the main ingredient, and this is where we get most of the wholesome goodness, the lemon gives us the citrusy taste and Vitamin C, the Cucumber refreshes and hydrates us, the Green Apples give it some flavor and consistency, Bananas give us Potassium, while the Mint is also refreshing and makes your breath smell, well, minty fresh!  The Unsweetened Almond Milk helps keep us satiated during the cleanse, and the water helps mix it all together!

My experience was pleasant overall, and found that I was not bloated, felt lighter and brighter, but I did reduce my workout routine during the cleanse so that afterwards I drank 16 oz. of Super Green Juice and didn’t feel like I wanted to eat everything in sight!  The downside, but the natural point of the cleanse, is that you have to frequent the bathroom like nobody’s business.  In between the juice if I felt hungry I would heat up 2 cups of hot water, squeezed lemon and a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper.  This concoction acts as a probiotic and keeps you fuller longer.  I continue to make Super Green Juice as a meal replacement once a day, not only because it helps the digestion process, but it tastes so yummy!

Super Green Juice Ingredients

1 cup chopped kale

1 cup diced cucumber

1 fresh squeezed lemon

5-6 frozen banana slices

1 half of green apple, diced

5-6 chopped mint leaves

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk


  1. After all ingredients are chopped and diced, add the leafy ingredients to the bottom first and then the bulkier ingredients and liquids last.  My layering process in the blender was : Kale, Mint, Cucumber, Apples, Bananas, squeeze the lemon over top, and add Water & Almond Milk.
  2. Put the Blender on HIGH and Liquefy until all ingredients are evenly blended and no chunks are present, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour into a 16 oz. Glass and Enjoy!

Haunted Halloween Party Decor

Last night we had a successful Halloween Party after we transformed my sister’s home into a Haunted House!  The main key was not only creativity, but lighting was crucial for optimal spookiness!

Between the black lights, strobes, and colored bulbs, you can’t go wrong.  We sectioned off areas for one colored bulb to shine, and set the strobes on main attractions.  Don’t forget your ghosts and ghouls, cover everything with spiderwebs, and voila Haunted House success.

DIY Lady Gaga Meat Dress Costume

In honor of my little sister’s birthday and our crazy love for Halloween, this DIY Lady Gaga Meat Dress Costume was fun to make and a major hit downtown Nashville for some Halloween fun!  You will definitely get some looks wearing this fresh meat ensemble.

We watched a DIY Video Tutorial, and a couple notes about the fabric you can purchase from Joann’s:

  1. We didn’t find that Mummy Blood Fabric, but look for any marbleized fabric, plus a red fabric to throw into the mix!
  2. Don’t be afraid to tear the fabric, rip it!
  3. We didn’t have a mannequin bodice, so your sister works just fine…just remember she isn’t a pin cushion!
  4. Have fun making your own creation, and remember….if you use your sister, remember she will have to be able to take the costume off, so don’t sew her into it until HALLOWEEN!


Here is the DIY Video Tutorial we watched!

Spicy Date Night Hand Pies

Many of us know that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so do your man a favor and make him these Spicy Date Night Hand Pies! Pack up your picnic basket with these flavorful pies, a side salad, and a nice Pinot Noir or Malbec (or both), and plan out a nice little spot to take your date. Last night I picked up my husband from work and took him to Fiesta Island for a sunset picnic, and he gave these little hand pies two thumbs up!




For the Puff Pastry: Do yourself a favor and pick up two to three boxes of Pepperridge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets in the Frozen Foods Section.  You could make your own, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Before making the meaty filling, unwrap the puff pastry and place the frozen and folded (do not unfold until they are thawed out) on the counter to thaw.

For the Meaty Filling:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cups chunky salsa (I used one glass jar of chunky salsa from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tbsp of chopped black olives
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cholula hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In a pan, brown chicken until cooked, about 5 minutes
3. Pour in black olives, mix and then add the salsa, stir, cook about 5 minutes more
4. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste, set aside
5. Unfold the thawed pastry dough on parchment paper
6. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out rounds (I got four rounds out of one sheet)
7. Place a pinchful of shredded cheese on the round, and  a heaping tablespoon in the center of each round
8. Fold dough over filling to make a half circle
9. Crimp ends with a fork or hands
10. Place pies on a greased baking sheet, or ungreased Silpat
11. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water
12. Brush each pie with egg wash
13. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden
14. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack
15. Enjoy!


Dripping With Decadence

From Park to Palace, there was a significant difference in wedding themes displayed at the Hyatt Rengency La Jolla Bridal Show this past weekend.  For the more glamorous bride, there were options that were dripping with diamonds or dripping with enchantment.

They brought on the glitz and glam with sequin tablecloths and hanging crystals in this wedding vignette.  A touch of vintage class was represented through the French inspired furniture and elegant place settings.  I love how all the floral arrangements went from White & Modern to soft and feminine throughout.
For the soft romantic, these gorgeous pastel hues glow in the candlelight. This just-picked look from my English garden look goes hand in hand with an elegant place setting and extreme mood lighting.
If you’d like to make your guests feel like they have entered an enchanted forest, this beautiful table arrangement with orchids to boot would make you a believer!
This romantic and whimsical combination is the best of both worlds, will someone please pass the anise poke crudités?