Great Gifts That You Can Afford - From Today Was Fun, Plywerk and Scotch Hands Butter Co.

I know that your budget is tight. You're trying to squeeze in all of the essentials on less money.

So how to get gifts that wow the crowd without breaking the bank?

I've scoured the coolest sites and found some amazing products that are top notch but aren't top dollar. You're gonna love 'em!

Today Was Fun

Not only is the packaging extraordinary, but Today Was Fun Tea is some of the best I've ever had (and I've had a ton).

Take their Green Green Tea, for instance. These triangular silk pouches contain smooth, yet slightly smoky green tea that soothes the soul - and the tummy. It is rich in quality and appearance. I couldn't stop drinking the stuff.

And the packaging is great fun, with funny bits about how drinking this tea causes less carbon and money than a car and that good looking people live on earth. You've got to check it out for yourself to see what I mean.

And really, how awesome a gift is their Happiness tea? That's got to be right up there with greatest presents of all time. Friendship, Inspiration and Love too. Not only is the sentiment there, but these teas are really extraordinary in taste. You'll be on your third cup before you know it...

You can also get the Tea Stack and that way you don't have to choose just one - give 'em the whole shebang!

Their manifesto says it all. Today Was Fun is one of those companies that you will continue to come back to because their stuff rocks and so does their philosophy.


Art is a very subjective thing. It's not something I often recommend for present giving.

However, Plywerk is so freakin' awesome, that I'm making an exception to my rule!

The way it works is:

- you pick a size of wood. There are over 20 sizes - 4x4 to 24x36 - to choose from.
- you can Plywerk your own images or pick from the galleries. There are illustrations and photos to buy, but trust me when I tell you it's damn hard to choose.

These amazing 5x5 works of art are a way more original way to suit up your joint than those generic prints of the eiffel tower, etc. from the home decorating outlet. And they are made from sustainably harvested wood, so even better!

Kim Nguyen's 074 of a awe-inspiring tree is just one of the prints I choose. And this "Made in Oregon" sign is the perfect balance of industrial and urban for your home or office (it's up in my home office, so it's pulling double duty).

But folks, this is just a smidgen of what's available. I mean, you're going to want to buy a bunch for yourself as well as for everyone on your list - just think of how good it will feel to get a jump start on your holiday gift giving!
Start shopping PLYWERK now. You're going to be here for awhile...

Scotch Hands Butter Co.

Being a gourmand has never been easier, thanks to Scotch Hands Butter Co.

These gourmet compound butters are hand crafted in the Hudson Valley using "all natural butter and locally sourced ingredients when available," and are hand packed fresh to order.

There are a variety of flavours to choose from - Wasabi Soy, Habanero, Balsamic Shallot Herbs, Basil Lemon Garlic, Honey-Orange Vanilla and Pomegranate Walnut.

We tried Balsamic Shallot Herbs, Basil Lemon Garlic and Pomegranate Walnut and everything we put them on became instantly restaurant quality.

We slathered our sweets cobs of corn, mixed them in with mashed potatoes and daubed our rare steaks with these incredible butters. It took our ordinary, everyday foods to a completely different level.

And what's so amazing is that all it took was the butter. We didn't have to futz around with tons of other ingredients or seasonings. The butter was all it took.

We had my Mom over for dinner on Saturday and got her to try them. She was swooning for the rest of the night.

I rest my case.

Buy some for your loved ones, but be sure to stow away some for yourself. Once you start using it, you won't want be able to stop.

Stephanie Dickison

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