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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

10 Under $10

My business, HolleyWrap, is a gifting service; so I think about gifts at least 10 hours a day. In fact, I'm so busy thinking about them, I forget to give them. Well, that's about to change.

Like you, I routinely wrap up gifts for special occasions, but why not show appreciation and gratitude routinely? I'm not talking about a lot of time and expense either … believe it or not, $10 or less will still send the message you want.

We have neighbors of all kinds, don't we? Folks that live next door or across the way from us … those that share a cube or sit nearby in the office … and the ones we regularly share space with in the gym, at the theater, in a classroom, or at sporting events. Did you ever stop and think about how important these 'neighbors' are to us? Boy, I have! We count on them every day for support, friendship, or entertainment.

So, why don't we all 'gift' a neighbor this week?  What kind of gift?? Well, actually 'knowing' our neighbors helps tremendously, but some of these suggestions are appropriate for anyone. It doesn't have to cost much more than a postage stamp … and, if $5 to $10 is in the right 'neighborhood' for your budget, check out these ten gift ideas under $10!

1. A hand-written note (as little as 37¢ for a stamp) says a lot more than you might think - so instead of texting, or in addition to a personal 'thanks' spoken across the way, put it down in paper. It makes a ton of difference!

2. A Comfy Cow gift card ($5 - $10) is always appreciated, and in our current weather pattern of hot, hot, hot, a gift of ICE CREAM would make a super nice surprise.

3. BBQ spices are a great choice if your neighbor regularly fires up the grill. Check out the 'Steak Blend Smoked Sea Salt' or 'Bourbon Garlic Smoked Sea Salt' @ Shell-bee's Gourmet Sea Salts & Spices (Kentucky Proud and $8-9 each). One is plenty - especially if you tie a sweet bow around the top!


 4. You can do a lot of damage control with ten bucks at your local chocolatier. HolleyWrap supports 'localFare' gifts - instead of investing extra moola in marketing and packaging for the brands advertised on TV, use those extra coins on really good chocolate … like the varietals you find at Coco's Chocolate Cafe, Cellar Door Chocolates, Muth's and Schimpff's. THINK DARK CHOCOLATE BARS OR TRUFFLES!

5. For those gardeners? In addition to the few hardy plants available for less than our $10 budget, your local garden center can hook you up with gloves, tools or fun containers. Don't forget that bulb planting season is upon us, too. A few tulip bulbs will provide gardening fun now and welcomed color next spring.

6. Does your office mate go right to the coffee maker every morning? Surprise them with a to-go cup from a local brewer. Every neighborhood has at least one coffee shop these days, and they open up by 6:30 am. Plan for the few extra minutes it'll take to swing by for coffee (or tea) and a fun treat that'll greet them at their desk. Here are a few less known Kentuckiana coffee shops: Sister Bean's, Hobknobb, &  Day's Coffee.  

7. To candle lovers, their warm glow is welcome any time of year. You can easily pick up candles from Black Dog Candles or Moss Hill for $10 or less. They'll be locally made and available in several summery fresh scents.


 8. Flying Leap Farm is new on my radar this year. For wine lovers and foodies of all types, the 'Bread Dip Mix' from this local entrepreneur is a fun gift, and it's only $5 … add a little olive oil and a fresh loaf of bread from your local baker and voila - instant happy neighbor!

9. Next time you hit on a super good movie with Netflix™, share the DVD (with those you trust to mail it back, that is). Add a package of microwave popcorn, or you could pop up a fresh batch yourself … either way, this gift is super inexpensive. Movie and popcorn for $2 or less! Here is a popcorn recipe that we love:
  • add 1-2 T olive oil to a heavy 3 qt. sauce pan and set over medium heat
  • add one kernel of popcorn and wait for it to pop - then add 1/3 cup of kernels, place the lid on the pan and shake
  • shake occasionally until the corn stops popping
  • remove from the heat & sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper
  • shake to mix

10. Carbs are apparently back on most everyone's list of occasionally acceptable foods. Do you have a cake, pie, cookie, or brownie recipe that gets rave reviews? Yes? Then share a few pieces, or the whole batch, with a neighbor. Even if they don't want to eat it all themselves, they know plenty of people that would be more than happy to help them out.


Contributed by Amy Holley of HolleyWrap, Louisville's Premier Gifting Service.
Photo Source: Present Dreams   


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