Local Love: Made in Connecticut Gift Guide

CT Gift Guide Square 1

When I saw Bethany’s Connecticut Wish List inspired me to put together a Made in CT gift guide! So if you’ve got Connecticut pride (or know someone who does), here are a few favorites from the Nutmeg State’s makers:

Connecticut Heart by B.Meyer Studio.

Holiday Candle Collection by Northeast Nutmeg.

“Shhh… There’s Wine In Here” Mug by Glitter & Bold.

Holiday Spice Scented Confetti by The Confetti Bar.

Lapis Blue Graduated Spike Necklace by Kate Stephen Jewelry.

Soap + Lip Balm Gift Set by Treefort Naturals.

Northern Forests womens hoodie by @cinderandsalt

Northern Forests Lightweight Hoodie by Cinder + Salt.

Small State, Great Cheer Letterpress Greeting Card Set by Hartford Prints!

Vanilla Chai Soy Candle by Rayne Home Decor.

Assorted Hand Lettered Gift Tags by Karri Lee Designs.

Chocolate Face Mask top 2

Chocolate Face Mask by Poor & Pretty Apothecary — that’s me!

Don’t forget to place your orders by this Thursday, December 17 to ensure delivery by Christmas. I will be closing up the shop afterwards to make way for a brand-new experience, launching early 2016. Stay tuned. ;)


Last-Minute DIY Gift: Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mug

DIY Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mug feat

DIY Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mug via @poorandpretty

Christmas is just around the corner! If you’re still short a few gifts, here’s another quick & easy DIY gift from my crafternoon: Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mugs. These are great gifts to make for guys, chocolate lovers, friends, or if you’ve got kiddies in school, you can make these for their classmates.

For each Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mug, you will need:

  • 1 mason jar mug + lid – I bought mine here, but you can also find them in-store at Joann Fabrics and Michael’s.
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, but it does give your cocoa a bit more heat!)
  • mini marshmallows
  • tag (free printable below)
  • twine or string

Hot Cocoa Mason Jar Mug via @poorandpretty

Just like those sand art things you probably made as a kid, you’re going to add each ingredient layer by layer. You’ll really only see the sugar and cocoa powder, until you fill up the remaining space with marshmallows.

Hot Cocoa Mason Jar Mug made via @poorandpretty

When you’re ready to make some, take out the marshmallows, shake up your mason jar to mix the ingredients, then use 1-2 tbs of this mixture per cup of milk.

DIY Mason Jar Hot Cocoa Mug - printable tags via @poorandpretty

I thought you might want to include these directions on your gifts, so I made a printable for you! Download a sheet of 12 tags here. I recommend printing them on kraft card stock paper and then cutting them out with a 2¼” circular craft punch like this one Stan bought me for my confetti wall.


DIY Confetti Ornaments with The Confetti Bar

DIY Confetti Ornament with The Confetti Bar - feat

DIY Confetti Ornament with The Confetti Bar - IN

Possibly the easiest and most fun DIY at my Holiday Crafternoon on Sunday was the confetti-filled glass ornament. Jessica of The Confetti Bar brought bags and bags of her handmade confetti so no two ornaments were the same:

DIY Confetti Ornaments at Crafternoon

How awesome are these?! They are so easy to make, so let’s get to it:

DIY Confetti Ornament - supplies

You will need:

  • one cup of your favorite confetti from The Confetti Bar – I used a mystery mix!
  • clear glass ornaments
  • twine or string

DIY Confetti Ornament - open glass ornaments

1. Pull the tops off of the ornaments.

DIY Confetti Ornament - pour out confetti

2. Dump out your confetti!

DIY Confetti Ornament - stuffing ornaments 2

3. Stuff the confetti into the ornaments, using your fingers to push it through. There really is no faster way to do this. We tried folding up paper and using funnels, and both actually slowed down the process. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take very long. ;)

DIY Confetti Ornament - tie with twine

4. Once full, pop the lids back on and tie on some colorful twine or string.

DIY Confetti Ornament - hang on tree

5. Hang ‘em on your tree with all of your other DIY ornaments. (Need suggestions? Try making these Salt Dough Ornaments or Yarn Pom-Pom Ornaments or Paper Crane Ornaments!)

If you have leftover confetti, tossing it on your tree or around the room is encouraged. ♥


6 Yummy Recipes for National Bake Cookies Day

Pft. As if we needed a designated day to bake cookies, right? I hope my coworkers are excited ’cause I’m bringing in some of these tomorrow.


1. Tra La Las / Anginettes / Iced Italian Cookies via Poor & Pretty — these go by many names, but they’re always the same and very easy to make. In my family, they are a holiday staple.

2. Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Crinkle Cookies via Cooking Classy — the name is a mouthful and so are the cookies! I made these for a cookie party last year and they were phenomenal! I recommend eating them fresh out of the oven (so the caramel is gooey) or microwaving them for a few seconds if you’re enjoying them later.

3. Lavender French Macarons via Poor & Pretty — you’ll need a lot of patience to make these fickle little treats, but oh boy are they worth the effort! It took me a few tries to get them right, but I was so happy when I did!

4. Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies via Poet in the Pantry — and you though chocolate chip cookies couldn’t get any better! Carrie of Poet in the Pantry (remember her Butter Rum Cake guest post?) is such an inventive baker. I would love living in her house.

5. Peppermint Bark Petit Fours via A Beautiful Mess — a holiday twist on yet another finicky French dessert, these would be great for holiday parties! I’m not a big peppermint fan, but I know I’m part of the minority here. Peppermint is a definite winter favorite.

6. Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles — Oh, I love Snickerdoodles! Especially when they are puffy! I dunk them in hot cocoa for maximum enjoyment.

Happy baking! What are your favorite holiday dessert recipes? I’d love for you to share them in the comments!


Gift Guide: Her


I’m doing a few more posts than usual this week because I’m so excited about the holidays! Here’s my final gift guide: things to get for women in your life.

1. Baked by Melissa cupcakes, delivered. Seriously. They won’t ship on Christmas Day, but you can have them ship on Christmas Eve and hide them somewhere ;) 2. Echo Touch Warmers Zipper Gloves via Echo Design — so she can keep her hands nice and toasty and still use her smartphone. 3. Camp Director Tote via ModCloth. 4. Etanesh Stripe scarf from FashionABLE — give her something that means something. With every FashionABLE purchase, you’re helping women create sustainable businesses in Africa. I love my scarves5. Snow White Druzy Studs made by Jumkha. I’ve never been big into jewelry, but I’m obsessed with Druzy right now. I also love this Druzy necklace6. Santiago Huckleberry candle by Voluspa — a wonderful slightly fruity, slightly sweet scent. Or get it as a reed diffuser7. Flying Bird Botanical Tea in all sorts of wonderful flavors via Leif Shop. 8. Silver Geo Bangle with Rhinestones from Spotted Moth.

Check out all of my gift guides:

Happy shopping!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.