The $20 or Less Etsy Gift Guide

Instead of tossing elbows with the masses on Black Friday, why not opt for something simpler? Etsy is a fabulous place to get unique, cutomized and affordable gifts, but I’m sure you already know that. With millions of options, though, it can be just as overwhelming and treacherous as a doorbuster deal gone bad. Solution? Check out my Etsy Christmas survival guide below, featuring nine gifts as original as your friends – for just $20 or less.

For the artistic one:

Fox Watercolor Print - $20

Fox Watercolor Print – $20

What does the fox say? Buy me. Amber Alexander has over 374 quirky but outstanding watercolor paintings and prints. Going postal? Be sure to check out her Christmas cards, too.

For the Disney-lover:

Framed Peter Pan Glitter Silhouette

Framed Peter Pan Glitter Silhouette – $10

Never grow up? Sounds like a plan to me. Poppies and posies features mostly framed and matted Disney-themed silhouettes. Each picture is 100% customizable, so the possibilities are as endless as Tink’s supply of pixie dust.

For the wandering soul:

Travel Journal Notebook - $16

Travel Journal Notebook – $16

Lost with wanderlust? Set them free with one of several travel-themed journals from Istria Design. Be sure to write your address on the inside cover so they can thank you with postcards from their globetrotting journey.

For the phone junkie:

Color Palette iPhone 4 Case

Color Palette iPhone 4 Case – $10.99

From Disney to Dr. Who, Captain America to Hepburn, iPhone Case 001 has a little bit of everything. Personal yet functional. With 309 cases to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

For the Harry Potter freak:


Harry Potter Book Rose – $2.50

Book-lovers are bound to go crazy for these precious HP roses by Wednesday Thursby. Get it? Bound? Oh, okay. You got it the first time.

For the dude:

Bacon Soap

Bacon Soap – $6

Fact: Guys use soap. Fact: Guys love bacon. Conclusion: Get him bacon soap. If he isn’t a stereotypical bacon fanatic, then check out some of the other 539 food-themed choices from AJ Sweet Soap and pick his favorite dish for the soap dish.

For the writer:

Pheasant Feather Quill Pen - $8.33

Pheasant Feather Quill Pen – $8.33

The sacred feather of this quill from Whillock hails from the mighty eagle of Middle Earth’s Misty Mountains. Okay, that’s not true at all, but your writer buddy is definitely gonna’ love the Tolkien tribute.

For the gamer:

SNES Ring - $16

SNES Ring – $16

Oh My Geekness! How rad is this ring? OMG deals primarily in nerdtastic jewelry and cuff links. Each item is totally customizable, so you can even order their favorite game for extra bonus points.

For the crazy cat lady:

Cat Ears Ring - $15.06

Cat Ears Ring – $15.06

We all know a future cat lady in the making. Now, thanks to OST Accessories, that abundance of cat hair won’t be the only kitty-themed token they take out of the house.


Poppin’ Tags: The Gamer’s Guide to B-List Games

Atari Game Cartridge Poster by Hollis Brown Thornton

You step into Vintage Stock, the smell of awesome flooding your senses. Cue Thrift Shop. You only got 20 dollars in your pocket, and rows upon rows of dusty old video games are begging to be bought like puppies in a Wal-Mart parking lot. You’re itching to reach for that $26 copy of Dr. Mario N64, but you want to get the most for your money. The answer is simple: B-list games.

B-list games are no different than B-list movies: they’re cheap, short, and not exactly basking in fame. Does that make them any less awesome? “No!” cried a random Netflix-lover from his mother’s basement. One of the trickiest parts about B-list games is distinguishing fun from flops.  So before you blow that grocery money from your mom on Pyramid for NES, take a step back.  I, your gaming fairy godmother, am here to help with my magical list of buck-worthy, old-school Nintendo B-list games.


Paperboy, 1984 – Atari

The objective is simple. Complete all 7 levels by delivering papers to subscribers’ houses while dodging dogs, skateboard punks, and random tornadoes. Easy enough, right? Wrong. It’s about as stressful as babysitting triplets. On the plus side, you get to jam to a kickin 8-note soundtrack.

Cost: $12


Q*Bert 3, 1992 – Gottlieb

Although Q*Bert might be a classic, Q*Bert 3 certainly isn’t. Game play resembles the original in that Q*Bert must change the color of all the tiles by jumping on them while avoiding terrifying enemies like purple snakes and bouncy frogs.

Cost: $13


Chameleon Twist, 1997 – Japan System Supply

The goal is to beat the boss at the end of one of six obnoxiously long levels by sucking in villains and shooting them out like spit wads. Of course, this will rely on your practically infinite Yoshi-tongue. If you like the game, you’re in luck. There’s an even better sequel.

Cost: $16


Mary-Kate and Ashley: Girls Night Out, 2002 -Powerhead Games

Judge me if you will, but once you get past the leather pumps and sugary beats this boils down to an addictive Dance Dance Revolution for your thumbs. Trust me guys, if the premise was disguised in martial arts or something masculine, you’d love it. It’s catchy. It’s challenging. It’s Girls Night Out.

Cost: $4

There you have it. My go-to list of B-list games. Have something to add? Feel free to throw your own favorites into the comments below, and be sure to follow my blog for more nostalgic Nintendo to come!