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Not my usual wedding or family session post, but instead today I bring you good tidings of great Christmas Cookies! I’ve been baking all sorts of goodies the past few days and thought “why not share my tasty creations with everyone?” Especially after the feedback on my personal social media pages was crazy! So, now I give you my top three Christmas Cookies and their corresponding recipes. Enjoy!

Leg Lamp Christmas Cookies Tallahassee Photographer

The biggest hit was definitely these Leg Lamp Cookies, inspired by the classic movie A Christmas Story. In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. During the movie, Ralphie’s dad wins a “major award” in a contest, which ends up being a lamp in the shape of a leg wearing a fishnet stocking. So in an ode to that epic tale, I made Fra-Gee-Lay Leg Lamp Cookies! I deviated slightly from that recipe (which called for a tube of sugar cookie dough) and opted instead to use this tasty basic cut-out sugar cookie recipe, decorated with sparkly black gel and finished with a Reese Big Cup serving as the lamp shade.

Christmas Cookies Tallahassee Photographer

What Christmas Cookie extravaganza is complete without Red Velvet? My take on this tradition is Red Velvet Cake Truffles, covered in white chocolate, drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with festive nonpareils. These are a staple in my holiday baking, people always request them. I get requests from friends as far away as Virginia and New Mexico for these!

Oatmeal Cream Pie Christmas Cookies Tallahassee Photographer

And the last Christmas Cookie I made this year, Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies. These are so buttery, chewy and wonderful. They’ll take you right back to your childhood but make you feel more like an adult because they’re a touch classier. I’m a sucker for all things marshmallow

And I’ll let you in on a secret, I use gluten-free flour for all my baking and everything turns out just as delicious. Just ask anyone who took a bite, moaned and said “Oh my gawd” when they enjoyed any one of these three Christmas Cookies. Regardless, full of gluten or not, these are all super tasty and I wanted to share the recipes with you since I can’t actually mail a cookie to each of you. Enjoy!

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Tis the season to start thinking about Christmas Gifts, and if you had photos taken this year (because you should have them taken every year!) then I’ve got a list of creative ways to incorporate your photos into your gifts. There are so many cute and personal ways to show love and appreciate to friends and family members that you’ll love giving these gifts and they’ll love receiving them!

Christmas Photo Gifts Tallahassee Photographer

  1. Foil-Stamped Wall Calendar
    This foil-stamped 2017 wall calendar is press-printed on ultra thick paper and renowned for its textured eggshell finish. The 11×14 print is designed for simplicity – including space to customize with your favorite photo. ($30;
  2. Custom Photo Art
    Proudly display your home state with a custom wall collage. (from $29;
  3. Ceramic Tiles
    With sizes ranging from 2×2 all the way up to 12×12, the options are almost endless for turning your photos into tiles that you can decorate your walls, counter-tops and any other tileable surface with! ($4 for a 2×2;
  4. Playing Cards
    Hello Poker Night! Every game feels lucky with your own personalized playing cards. A quick and easy gift that pleases players of all ages. ($24.99 for one deck;
    Christmas Photo Gifts Tallahassee Photographer
  5. Photo Holder Block
    “Why use healthy trees with so many already fallen?” That’s the question we asked ourselves in handcrafting this Walnut Print Block, made of fallen walnut affected by the twig beetle. Seemingly considered wastewood, we set out to give new purpose to this timber’s otherwise storied past. Our go-to desktop accessory, this limited edition block pairs perfectly with our Square Print Set. ($18;
  6. Photo Puzzles
    This custom photo puzzle makes for hours of fun! Pick your favorite photo and let the puzzling begin. (From $24.99;
  7. Wooden Photo Box
    These customized boxes (made out of different types of wood, pick your favorite) is the perfect spot to hold photos, mementos or trinkets. (From $75;
  8. Notepad
    I have several notepads with photos on them. One on the fridge, one of my desk and one on my nightstand. They’re so handy for jotting down thoughts, grocery lists and daily to-do’s. Plus, a custom message makes leaving a note extra special. (From $12.99;
  9. iPhone Case
    Turn your favorite Instagram and Facebook photos into custom iPhone phone cases. Use their easy-to-use builder to make your personalized tech accessories. ($40;
  10. Float Frames
    An ideal accent to any wall, the Float Frame touts effortless style with its sleek brass-coated bolts. Choose your photo to be printed on premium archival paper and create a statement piece worthy of your most favorite space. Arrives to your doorstep fully finished and ready to hang. (From $65;

Christmas Photo Gifts Tallahassee Photographer

Because a gift is more meaningful when it’s personalized with your own photos.

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  • Amy - Wonderful ideas for photo gifts!! Will definitely be using some of these this year!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - This is fabulous! You just gave me ideas for client gifts as well! Thanks for your beautiful and thoughtful post. 🙂ReplyCancel

I have been in love with the Bloxham Annex near Cascades Park since I first laid eyes on about a year ago, and it’s been in the back of my mind as a location since then. So when I started thinking about Holiday Mini Sessions and where I could shoot them this year, I knew the white architecture of those buildings would offer the perfect backdrop!

Holiday Mini Session Tallahassee

Mary and I connected through our local TuesdaysTogether Rising Tide Society group. She was in need of holiday card photos. Good timing on her part because I was still available on the day she inquired about! When she told me it would be herself, her husband and their adorable pup, Syndey, I couldn’t wait to meet them!

Holiday Mini Session Tallahassee

She rocked a blue romper and Kurt was styling in his burgundy pants. And of course, Sydney looked cuter than possible in her momma-homemade bow – which Mary made in the car on the way to the shoot! Good job, Mary! It’s super fancy for having been whipped up during a car ride!

And the light was perfect for the surroundings! A beautiful, knarly Live Oak, a pop of turquoise on a swing, which happened to match the blue railings on the white architecture. I’m a sucker for white backdrops as much as I am for pops of color. I’m so glad they trusted me and climbed the stairs, because as soon as I clicked the shutter I knew that would be my favorite photo from the session. And I love the walking photo of them too. I love all of them – let’s get real.

Holiday Mini Session Tallahassee

They are just perfect together. I love the way she looks up at him when I told him “Say ‘I love you’ to her.”

Happy holidays you two (well, three including Sydney), thanks for trusting me to capture your love on film!

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Searching for a gift for your brother, dad, boyfriend, or husband can be a tough task, but the editors at Real Simple have done some of the hard work for you and selected a bunch of options for the great guys in your life.

Tallahassee Wedding Photographer

Whether he is an enthusiastic sports fan or more of an urban trendsetter, we have got you covered with plenty of options to choose from. If music is his thing, how about a warm beanie with built-in Bluetooth headphones? Or, if he is a George Lucas film buff, thrill him with a set of socks that feature characters from the Star Wars franchise. And if you are hoping to find something suitable for his office workspace (desktop Skee-Ball, anyone?) or a present to help him savor his time off (super-soft merino wool sneakers), we have got options for those, too.

Tallahassee Wedding Photographer

What about the other men in your life, like a good friend, a former boss, a welcoming neighbor, or even the dog walker, you ask? The editors have come up with some gift options suitable for those guys as well. No matter what you are looking for, this gallery will surely inspire you with present ideas beyond the basic and boring tie.

Tallahassee Wedding Photographer

That said, if a tie is what you are looking for, don’t let us stop you! We have even included a knit tie in the mix to make sure our selections for men are completely well rounded. Relax, we have got your gift-giving needs covered.


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What do you do if your future Mother In Law (MIL) is making your wedding planning a nightmare?

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Have you ever had a “whine and cheese” session with an engaged girlfriend about her nightmare future mother in law? Or perhaps it’s your fiancé’s mom that scares the bejesus out of you when you think about what it’s going to be like to plan your own wedding. Especially if she’s the type of person that makes a simple family gathering for Thanksgiving a nightmarish process.

You can’t avoid her completely because, let’s face it, she’s your fiancé’s mother and technically a wedding VIP. But there are ways to make things a little better, and you’re going to need your fiancé’s help!

Tallahassee Wedding Photographer

Set boundaries from the beginning.

If neither set of parents is helping plan (or helping pay) and you don’t want them involved, make that clear from the beginning by kindly letting them know you’ve got it all under control. You only have to give as much detail as you want to give. But don’t let it create a rift in your relationship.

Give her something to keep her busy.

If you don’t want her involved in the wedding planning and she’s gung-ho to get right in the middle of it, figure out what exactly you can let her take over that won’t really matter to you and let it be her “baby.” Invitations are a time-consuming pain in the butt but if she’s willing to stuff and mail them, let her do it.

Pick your battles.

Try not to complain to your fiancé about every annoying email you get from your future mother in law, but if something is over-the-top, don’t hesitate to forward it to him and discuss how to handle it. Try not to get into a war with your fiancé’s mother over something that is, honestly, only one day in the thousands you will spend married to each other.

Don’t talk badly about your fiancé’s mother to his friends and family, even if they initiate it.

Not every cousin may love Aunt So-and-So, but the last thing you need is for that cousin to repeat your own snarky remark to her mother and have it get back to your future Mother-in-Law. Let them say what they will, but don’t agree and don’t contribute. Just file away what you’re hearing for research purposes. It may come in handy later.

Try to initiate some wedding-related tasks with your fiancé’s mom if she’s dying to be in the mix.

Bring her along when you shop for china — you don’t have to actually register for anything she suggests. If she really wants you to register someplace specific because of her friends who will be sending gift, play along. It won’t kill you to pick some over-the-top gifts if she wants to buy them or knows her friends will. If she actually does know flowers better than you, bring her along on your consult. Just remember you don’t have to take her advice.

Tallahassee Wedding Photographer


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  • David Abel - Great tips, the wedding can be such a stressful process for the couple!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Swann - Wow! This is such a helpful post for new brides and grooms! Boundaries are so important in every relationship – but definitely this one!!ReplyCancel

  • Britney - These are great tips! I think picking your battles is one of the most important ones. There were a few things that I thought, “you know what, if that’s what you want to do- then go ahead!” 🙂 These are great tips for any family member or close friend who is “helping” with your big day. It’s also good to set boundaries now, because the wedding is just one day. There’s a whole lifetime of unwarranted advice and opinions that come from both sides.ReplyCancel

    • poppiestudios - Yes, girl. All about setting boundaries early-in and establishing expectations sooner rather than later.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - The dreaded mother in law… haha! This is a great article on handling situations gracefully, always good to remember on a busy wedding day!ReplyCancel

  • Edwina - These suggestions are perfect! I love the suggestion to have the future mother-in-law send the invites!ReplyCancel

  • Aimee - This is all great advice! A way to keep the peace but still have the wedding you dreamed. I think it’s sweet when people want to be involved in all the planning because they are so emotionally invested in the couple. It’s great!ReplyCancel

  • Alexandria - SUCH GREAT TIPS! I wish I had read advice on how to handle X situations when wedding planning a few years ago. I’m so glad this is out there for future brides to read!ReplyCancel