Dia de los Muertos Soiree

sugar skull decor-darcyoliverdesign

Our annual Halloween party this year was inspired by Day of the Dead! Instead of a spooky and haunted themed party, we hosted a Dia de los Muertos Soiree! While our Soiree was all in good fun, we were inspired … Continue reading

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

While we all want to munch on all the Halloween candy we can get our hands on, you will most likely feel guilty afterwards. Like most things, candy in moderation is okay, but for those who do not have a sweet tooth or want to serve up something healthier put your Pumpkin Seeds to good use and whip up some Baked Pumpkin Seeds! With just a few easy steps, you can pop these seeds guilt-free. Happy Halloween!
baked pumpkin seeds, vintage glass, pink, recipes-Darcy Oliver Design


  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. strain all of the pumpkin guts off of the pumpkin seeds & rinse thoroughly
  3. prepare a baking sheet with foil or use my favorite, a Silpat
  4. in a mixing bowl, add a teaspoon of EVOO and stir
  5. now add your favorite ingredients to the mix!
  6. I add sea salt & garlic powder to taste, and a dash of onion powder – mix well
  7. pour the pumpkin seeds on the sheet and spread out
  8. add more salt and garlic powder to the pumpkin seeds (lightly)
  9. bake for 20-30 minutes, watch your seeds so they don’t burn!
  10. use a spatula and spoon into a bowl, enjoy!

pumpkin seed steps, recipe, strain, bake-Darcy Oliver Design

jack o lanterns, halloween, pumpkins-Darcy Oliver Design

Haunted Halloween Soiree Decor & Costume Ideas

Our 5th Annual Halloween Soiree was a success this past weekend, and here’s a look inside the Haunted House and all the ghouls and gals that joined us! Between the webs, fog, Ouija Board, and spooky lighting, you can take these tips and incorporate them into your Halloween decor! Click on the Images Below to View the Whole Haunted Halloween Soiree Gallery!

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!


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!

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!



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!