Holidays at the Hitching Post

Hi y’all!  I wanted to share a little of what was going on at Casa Baca this holiday season.  My family will be coming out to Santa Fe for Christmas and I am so excited to get the house decorated for them!  I’ll admit, it has been a lil’ bit of a whirlwind of paper crafts, hot glue and pine needles, but I am pretty jazzed about our “orange” themed decor around here.  I like the decor to be different every year and since we recently acquired an orange tabby cat named Simon, we ditched the traditional red and green and decided we’d pay a little homage to his warm hue!

I LOVE skinny, scrawny trees.  I must have been scarred when I was little because we only ever had the spindliest “see though” trees.  I was always jealous of my friends that had beautiful full-boughed Noble Firs.  When it came to getting my own trees, I tried that for a while and then had to come back to the good ol’ Charlie Browns.  I just adore how well they show off my ornaments!

Speaking of ornaments, since orange isn’t the most obvious holiday color choice, I decide to make my own danglies out of strips of card-stock.  A little rolling, a little hot glue, voila: quilled pretties.

By they way, these are super easy and super cheap ornaments- a perfect DIY to do while watching your favorite Christmas movie!

Since we’ll be joined this year with extra family members and I wanted everyone to have their own stocking, I decided to sew them!  But, don’t be fooled, these stockings are made of paper and filled with my favorite old-school candies.  Even Simon has one filled with kitty treats!

Here’s the lil’ booger that inspired all this orange.  He’s been eyeballing the Christmas tree but has been very good not to get all “jungle cat” and climb up it!

I went with a VERY simple candle centerpiece this year, accented with citrus and white Amaryllis.

I absolutely love the smell of cloves and citrus…do they make a perfume that is a good match?

My Paperwhite bulbs are ALMOST ready to pop.  I’ve been singing Christmas carols to them in hopes they will be cajoled to bloom by the weekend.  Well at least they are a nice backdrop for my handmade clay manger from Jackelope!

There will also be some serious eats at Casa Baca this weekend.  I am super excited for a tamale making party on Christmas Eve- wahoo!  I am also thrilled to be dabbling with a few recipes from some lovely ladies.  Katixa has shared an amazing Green Chile Stew (with Kale and Quinoa) and Johanna has offered the most bomb Huevos Diablitos recipe (these puppies are made with truffle oil and I can take out a whole tray myself!).  It’s your lucky day, because I am going share with you too!


1lb ground turkey
1 cup green chili, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh kale, julienned
1 zucchini, sliced
1 can corn, drained
1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 cup quinoa
2 qt chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbs gluten-free flour
3 Tbs butter or oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs salt
1/2 tsp oregano

First, make yourself a drink.

In a stock pot, saute onion, bell pepper and garlic with butter/oil; increase the amount of butter/oil if necessary, it won’t hurt it.  Saute until onions are translucent, add GF flour, coating the contents well.  Add ground turkey and brown.  Once the turkey is browned, add salt, cumin and oregano; mix thoroughly. Toss corn, kale and green chili in the stock pot- remember that you have a cocktail- and pour the stock into the stock pot.  Be sure that all contents are well submerged, adding water if necessary.  Let it cook on the stove over medium heat for as long as you can stand it!  At least 1.5 hours, the longer the better.  

Now, if you want to cook the quinoa in the stew, add 1 cup of quinoa 30 minutes before you plan on serving it.  If not, cook the quinoa on the side and cook the stew as long as you’d like, spooning in the quinoa as a finishing touch.

The last time I made this, I added chickpeas and shushitos and really loved it!  Feel free to deviate and add ground pork/beef, more garlic/green chili, potatoes or anything else that sounds good to you.  It’s stew!

Buen provecho!

Thanks Katixa!


1 doz eggs
2T of vinegar
Salty water
1/3 cup mayo or so
1/3 cup good Dijon mustard
Capers, chopped finely (if you have them)
1tsp truffle butter or oil
red chile powder, or red and green if ya wanna be festive!

Put the eggs in a pan with cold salty water and vinegar so they are submerged. Bring to a boil, cover the eggs and turn off the flame. Wait fifteen minutes and run under cold water.
Peel them. Or make someone else do it, this part sucks.
Slice eggs in two and take out the yolks. Save the egg boats.
Mash the yolks with the mayo, add the mustard and the chopped capers, salt it, pepper it, truffle it. Whip it and make it fluffy.
you probably have a pastry bag…perfect time to use it!
You don’t? use a plastic bag with the corner cut out. Fill those egg white boats up with the mixture; kinda like a soft serve ice cream.
When done sprinkle with chile powder. eat all in one sitting, before your guests even know you made ’em. 

Thanks Johanna!

I do have to share one of my favorite gifts to be giving this year…and mention something wedding-y…since this IS a wedding blog after all!  I often encourage brides to purchase beautiful fabric runners to adorn their reception tables.  This way, if they have a crafty friend or relative, they can have the runners sewn together to make a duvet or beautiful quilt.  Well, my brother was married this summer and at the end of the night I snatched up the teal cloth squares that had been placed on the tables.  I’ve been busily sewing a quilt for them mixed with some adorable Japanese linen prints I found to match.

It was an amazing project to work on!  I even pulled out the ol’ embroidery hoop and stitched on their names and wedding date.  I’m hoping this will be a wonderful keepsake for them to remember their wedding day!


Featured on Style Me Pretty ~ Galia and Mike

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that one of my favorite weddings of the season has been featured on Style Me Pretty, a spectacular wedding blog.  You may remember this inspiration board I posted a while back:

Galia and Mike were a dream to work with!  I’ve mentioned before how I love when couples let me just run with the design…well Galia and Mike were fully on board and trusted me to create their day when they said, ““make it pretty, make it earthy, and give us a little Georgia”. Well, here is the real deal….all of the details and DIY ideas that came to fruition for a lovely wedding day!

All photos provided by the ever-talented Kristen Williams of Articulate Photo.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum provided the perfect backdrop for their wedding ceremony.  I created a fabric “Love Birds” banner for them to have…aren’t they cute!

Mike carefully constructed the chuppah which was shaded by a glorious apricot tree.  He even used sweet bird finials to keep within the woodsy “Love Bird” motif!

Galia’s stunning bouquet was created by Margaret Bost of Santa Fe Floral.  It had gorgeous Succulents, Lambs Ear, Calla Lilies, Cymbidium Orchids, Dusty Miller and Gardenias.  It smelled heavenly!

We served Agave sparkling sodas with adorable stripey straws and Gruet Rosé, a local New Mexican favorite!

After the ceremony the couple paraded through the Plaza to the reception location, led by the talented musicians of Savor!  I applaud anyone who can play and instrument and walk at the same time…I can hardly clap on beat!

Now, I mentioned that Mike made the Chuppah, but I must also note that he designed the invitation suite too!  All the stationery was printed on a Kraft paper stock and really tied the look together!

Instead of a traditional guest book, Galia and Mike had their guests sign a Georgia O’Keeffe Poppies poster that they framed and have hanging in their home.  We also paid homage to Ms. O’Keeffe, by having gorgeous black and white images of her tucked in the bookcases at the Anasazi Library where the dinner was held.

Speaking of the Library, the Inn of the Anasazi was the perfect space for an intimate and cozy dinner! The tables were dotted with votives wrapped in Kraft paper and suede cord and small birch log planters (Remember the tutorial here?) The dark wood furnishings and candlelit glow created a divine ambiance for great food and fine conversation.  It was truly a wonderful evening filled with laughter, songs and many heart-felt toasts!

Click here and head over to Style Me Pretty to see more photos of Galia and Mike’s beautiful day!

Ceremony Venue: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Reception Venue: Inn of the Anasazi / Wedding Dress: Watters / Deerskin Belt: Mano Bello / Event Design + Coordination: MARRIED by Jessie Abrams Baca / Wedding Photography: Kristen Williams of Articulate Photo / Floral Design: Margaret Bost of Santa Fe Floral / Stationery: The Groom / Musicians: Savor / Wedding Cake: The Plaza Bakery



Images via Jess Evans

When I look back on my own wedding experience, the one thing I wish I had done was get my make-up done by a professional.  Of course, I was the CA-RAZY bride that chose to make her own bouquet and centerpieces just hours before the wedding and hardly had time to take off the old nail polish, let along get a manicure or pampered with a make-up pro.

Looking back on that, I really do encourage brides to spend just a little extra money to have this done on their wedding day.  First off, it is a really great excuse to “Treat Yo’ Self”, because let’s face it, how often are you gonna be doing this?  Secondly, it is the perfect opportunity to relax, sit still and calm down before your big day.  Let someone powder your nose and delicately sweep your eyelids with pearly shadow.

And….there is a lot to be said for professional make-up.  It stays on longer, looks better in photos and you can do a trial run to make sure it is the perfect wedding day look!

To make up for my amateur wedding day make-up, I had the pleasure of getting my glam on with the ever so talented Jess Evans.  Holy crap, she is good!  She dolled me up for a ladies night out and I never knew it was possible to feel so beautiful! I kept thinking how lucky brides are to have Jess create the perfect look just for them! To top it off, she’s just a wonderful person to be around and would definitely ease any wedding day jitters a bride may have.

So, if you’re looking for a flawless face for your wedding, or want to perfect your pout for a night out, give this lady a jingle!

Oh, and P.S. she can do hair too…or bring a hair/make-up team and get all your ladies in waiting looking gorgeous! How’s that for amazing?!


Amber Glow

Have I got a fun DIY for you!  Have you ever heard of dyeing glass?  Well I hadn’t either until I stumbled upon this tutorial about creating cranberry colored glass by coating it with a mixture of Modge Podge and food coloring! Wh-what? You can make your own colored glass?  Well, boy was I excited because I had just figured that the magic finishing detail for Kim and LB’s intimate autumnal wedding was going to be amber glass votives.

Photo: Ginger Russell Photography

Oh yes, it adds the perfect warm glow and ultimate glimmer to any table!  See below for the how to’s:

I started with about 30 clear glass votive holders.  I made sure they were squeaky-clean and very dry.

Then, I created my mixture of Modge Podge and food coloring.  Now this was the hard part, because I didn’t know the correct ratio of drops for a deep amber hue, so…as I usually do, I decided to wing it!

Here’s the ratio I found that worked the best: (I tripled the recipe for 30 votives)

2 Tbs Gloss Modge Pdge (Very important that it is GLOSS not Matte)
2 Tsp Water
5 drops red food coloring
5 drops yellow food coloring
3 drops blue coloring

Now stir, don’t shake, because you don’t want air bubbles.  Pour a little into your container and swirl the votive around to coat the entire surface.  You will end up pouring out a bit back into your mixture as you want to get rid of as much excess as you can.

Then set all of the votives open side down on a drying rack….this will get messy.  As they dry, the excess continues to drip and you really don’t want the globby buildup to dry that way.  I avoided this by continually wiping the rims for a nice clean edge.

It will take about 24+ hours to dry… and this part is just torture.  I really like instant gratification when it comes to crafts, so I had a really hard time waiting.  It’s also confusing since Modge Podge is opaque at first and dries clear, so I was really anxious to see how they were going to turn out. (You’ll see above the round votives came out very light as they were my first batch.  I ended up swirl n’ coating another layer, which worked fine, and made them darker as you’ll see below) Also, if you mess up, don’t cry, you can soak them in warm water and start over since Modge Podge is water based.

I was so pleased with the way they all turned out; it was well worth the long wait.  I ended up using the round votives in hurricanes with sand that I had mixed with copper and gold glitter.  It looked really great!  For another metallic touch, I wrapped the square votives with a gilded lace trim; they were so beautiful!

For my next project I am going to try this teal glass tutorial, yehaw!


Real Wedding~ Kim and LB

Are you ready for the good stuff?  Here are some fabulous detail shots from Kim and LB’s wedding.  Aren’t they dashing?

Kim and LB opted for some pre-ceremony portraits around the Inn of the Five Graces, a beautiful location with so many gorgeous details!

Wedding Paper Divas provided all of the stationery .  Kim chose a beautiful “Royal Monogram” thermographed invite and menu.  The raised print on the thick cards stock was just luscious! Instead of one long runner, we wanted “place mat” runners that striped across the place settings; so I made custom runners out of silk Dupioni fabric in a rich Sangria Red color.  They brought warmth to the room and really popped off the chocolate Bengaline linens!

How about those hanging flowers arrangements?!?  Oh!  They just made the room look so snazzy!  I loved that we were able to hang them directly over the long tables to really define the space!  I really am a sucker for super long dining tables!

Marisa of A Passion Flower kept the centerpieces rustic in a beautiful wood box, but pumped up the glam with gorgeous flowers like Mokara Orchids, Gloriosa Lilies, Dahlias, Bells of Ireland, Hypericum Berry, Celosia, Flam Callas, and a variety of roses!  What are those crazy green balls, you ask?  Well, Kim and LB hail from Oklahoma where “Horse Apples” grow by the dozen.  Since they were the perfect pop of Chartreuse green, they hauled bags of them to Santa Fe to grace their tables!

Check out this amazing cake, courtesy of the baking prowess and artistry of Maggie Faralla.  It almost looks too pretty to eat!

All photos provided by the lovely Ginger Russell

Ceremony Venue: Loretto Chapel, Reception Venue: Rio Chama, Presidents Ballroom, Florist: Marisa Peluso of A Passion Flower, Cake: Maggie Faralla, Photo: Ginger Russell Photography, Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Event Design:  Jessie Baca Weddings and Events

Next up: Get out your Modge Podge, I’ve got a great DIY from Kim and LB’s wedding coming up!


From Beginning to End

I just love designing a wedding from beginning to end. Often a client comes to me and already has their look in mind, and we go from there; but when a client, says, “I trust you, do whatever you want”, I just get all giddy!  I was lucky enough for this to happen a few times this season, but was especially excited when Kim asked me to create a look just for her!

Kim and her fiancé were planning to get married at the Loretto Chapel and then head to Rio Chama where they would be hosting a dinner reception for their guests in the Presidents Ballroom.  So, naturally after a few brainstorming sessions, I created a “mood board” for Kim with some color palette inspiration and a few design ideas.

We wanted to create an intimate space with rich and warm colors like deep chocolate, Sangria red and bright magenta, popped with Chartreuse green.  Since the focus was the exquisite meal and delightful conversation we created a seating plan of two 30′ long tables and 4′ across which were narrow enough to chat.

Then, I whipped out the ol’ colored pencils for her table sketch and dreamed up the wild idea of hanging flower arrangements form the ceiling.  Rio Chama has perfect beams just for this and since the guest count was teeny and the space was a little bigger than we really needed, I wanted to make the room feel more filled in and extra interesting.

We hired florist Marisa Peluso of A Passion Flower to make the look come to life and she was up for the challenge.  She had one look at my sketch and knocked it out of the park!  Exotic flowers were paired with lovely linens, china and flatware from Classic Party Rentals and you can see, the room was stunning! Copper chargers brought just the right amount of metallic glimmer and amber glass votives captured the perfect glow for a beautiful Fall evening.  It turned out just how I imagined!

Ginger Russell Photography captured the beauty for us and I can’t wait to show you more details! Till soon!