Festive Cranberry Hand Pies

Finding comfort in the traditions of the holidays is truly where I find some of my greatest joy.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away and my trip to Publix still not completed, I find time to sit and think about the dishes I'll prepare and the ones that are most special to me. I can't imagine a Thanksgiving meal without the French sage stuffing I grew up on, the best cranberries around and some good old traditional pie, because my Nana's pie crust is truly the best. Oh, and the pie crust cinnamon rolls my mom makes with the leftover dough, which inspired our most popular Rollings of Cinnamon apron.

festive holiday hand pies

Mixing old traditions with new keeps things ever-interesting, so when my friend Erica at Yes Ma'am Paper Goods said she was making Cranberry Hand Pies for our photoshoot with Heidi I had already decided these little guys were going to be at the top of my menu this holiday.

A little behind-the-scenes, we set up this shoot to capture the essence of our collaboration project this year, our Family Recipe Card + Cloth. I think this may be my favorite product of all-time because my own family recipes are so special to me and these are just the most meaningful gift I can imagine. The stories we've heard from the folks who have purchased the gift set already are truly remarkable {and I can't wait to share after the holidays so as not to spoil any gifts!}

We wanted to shoot something visually beautiful and the burst of red cranberry for holiday captured this essence. We also wanted something a little traditional but a little on-trend and most importantly, something the kiddos + adults would love equally. Success my friends. You MUST make these - they're the perfect blend of savory and sweet in an oh-so-fun grab and go size.

Today, the recipe and some images from the shoot were featured over on SMP Living, along with some fabulous hand-lettered Thanksgiving tags from Erica that you can download. Pop over and get the recipe and take a peek below at a few more images from the shoot!

thanksgiving cranberry hand pies
pie crimp
Thanksgiving cranberries
Thanksgiving dessert
baked hand pies
Serving up Thanksgiving
kids thanksgiving food
thanksgiving recipe
kids thanksgiving desserts

Photography: Heidi Geldhauser | Custom Family Recipe Card + Cloth: Collaboration By Yes Ma’am Paper Goods + Heirloomed | Hand Lettering: Yes Ma'am Paper + Goods | Original Recipe: Bon Appetit | Table Linens + Aprons: Heirloomed | Wooden Feast Board: WoodKith


I'm not the best at keeping secrets {if you follow along on my Instagram, this you already know ... #sneakpeek} but thankfully I don't have to keep this one any longer. Thrilled to be part of the #MEETOURMAKERS series from one of my truly favorite brands, FRYE.

FRYE MeetOurMakers

I got the chance to share my studio and some of our designs in a series of photos + a video for the campaign that celebrates designers, makers, artisans and their craft. I love a good behind-the-scenes look and meeting some of the other Atlanta makers and entrepreneurs that took part in the series was truly the best. Take a look over on The Love List for the full story, and over on the FRYE Instagram to see our maker video.


Now, I'm no stranger to boots, being from the South. But THESE boots have been a part of my style staples for as long as I can remember. Some well-worn, others with a little more shine, if you meet with me chances are I'm either sporting boots, a hat or an apron. And that's just what I love most about them - they can effortlessly take me from carpool to meetings to the studio or warehouse and back to chasing my three littles. I can pull them out year after year and they never go out of style. It's a collection I keep adding to, and now with my post-kiddo commitment to a new capsule collection AND the new FRYE store at Ponce City Market one I'll certainly be updating even more frequently.

Thought I'd share a few of my favorite FRYES. In my closet currently on go-to rotation ... Harness 12RPaige Tall RidingBilly Pull On.  I've included a few I have my eye on for Fall as well.

Hope you'll pop over to FRYE's Instagram and check out some of what Atlanta had to share.

Big thanks to this super group for including me in this truly special opportunity ... Cool Curator: Jess Graves @ The Love List / Writer: Laura Scholz / Photographer: Caroline Fontenot / Videographer: Ben Brinker

{Thanks to Caroline for capturing a little behind the scenes that day. These boots chase my littles around the studio daily so this is a pretty accurate look!}

{Thanks to Caroline for capturing a little behind the scenes that day. These boots chase my littles around the studio daily so this is a pretty accurate look!}

Why I Embrace Messy Styling

Because my work is a simple reflection of how I live my life, my self-professed "messy styling" approach is the only way I'd have it.

As a mom of (now) three little ones three and under, a small business owner and serial entrepreneur, a wife and all the other duties that come along with - time is certainly a luxury and one I don't take lightly.

After my last photoshoot, which had a lot more food styling duties than I am typically used to integrating, I truly realized just how messy I need to be to get the kind of shots I want. After a lot of research Pinning and a new "Well Styled" Board, making my shot lists, gathering props and my grocery list and some great advice from my longtime photographer friend Heidi, I am totally digging everything about the messiest shoot to date.

cheese board gathering

To me, messy styling means the photograph has movement and depth. It leaves you not with a stark feeling of emptiness, but feels social, lived in and totally alive.

Here are a few tips & tricks to messy styling:

Plan! Set the Scene Beforehand

Envisioning what you have in mind for the photoshoot ahead and time will help you ensure you have everything you need to pull off a messy shoot. For example, while we were shooting our feast boards, I realized that I really wanted this to feel like we had hosted a fabulous, casual gathering of friends and I needed some hands in the scene to give it a little life. Hands to pour wine, dip a cracker and feel like we were truly sitting around the table. These hands were the missing element that truly brought this shot to life.

Over Prep on Props

Just when you think you have gathered everything you'll need for your photoshoot, keep adding more. Doing a quick prep set up before your shoot or sketching out composition of a shot or two will help you to see how you're filling your space and what holes you may have. Make sure you have a happy balance of shapes, textures & tones to balance out while still allowing the main thing in your shot to shine. But, if there is something you think you may need, be sure to pack it just in case.

Then again, you never know what little accent will add the finishing touch to your shot. Here, it was a few things that really helped make this shot feel authentic. A bite out of a cherry, a wine stain on the cloth, giving the honeycomb a little time to sit and ooze, and a few scattered wine corks all helped to bring the party to life.

messy styling

Keep it Casual

Because by my definition, "messy" doesn't mean it looks like chaos, it means you have purposely planned it so you can keep things causal, not pay attention to every detail (the devil IS in the details for this girl) but still totally pulled together at the same time.

In interiors and personal style, I tend to use neutrals to accomplish this look. It's easier for me to grab from a wardrobe of blacks, whites, camels & nudes because they all pair together simply and quickly for any occasion with no competing prints, patterns & colors to coordinate. And, even when our house looks like a tornado just went through, picking up is easy because I've scattered large baskets around to dump blankets, toys, bows and pacifiers into at a moments notice.

A messy styling trick I love to use is two-fold. One, having a large amount of one thing to make a statement. For example, the crackers. We just got a huge package of these beauties and kept piling them up and up, spilling over and falling around until a little pile had formed in and out of the bowl that was meant to contain them, making a solid statement in the photo. It gives texture, perspective, makes you feel like there was ample food to go around and keeps it welcoming, like there are so many you can just dig in and nibble all night long as you chat. I love the message.

pile of crackers


Really Do Make a Mess

Really do make a "mess." Don't feel like you have to work to hard to visually tell the story, just make it beautiful and give it some room to let it happen and be open for interpretation.  Like with the blackberries. These are so rich in color and full in visual texture in the photograph, especially against the wood of the feast boards and the light colored muslin cloth. Having them neatly stacked or contained just didn't make sense, so we piled them on and let them spill everywhere, like someone dug in and left them where they fell. The bottle opener isn't perfectly placed next to a bottle of wine. You get the picture. Someone grabbed it, opened a beverage and set it down and left it - going off to enjoy the party and leaving the next guest to have to hunt for it. Nothing wrong with that, that's authentic and casual and messy but it just makes sense.


I'd love to know some of your favorite messy styling shots, tips & tricks!