Just What I Wanted!

Daily gift ideas for the inspiration-challenged. Simplify your shopping!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm still writing!

While I'm done with Just What I Wanted, I'm not done writing about gadgets and technology. My work here attracted the attention of the editor of UberReview, a professional blog about gadgets and technology. As a result, I've taken a position there as a part-time writer. I'll be posting regularly about nifty tech stuff that catches my interest, and while not everything will be as affordable as the gift ideas I've posted here, hopefully some of it will still be great for buying for yourself or loved ones.

My first post is up: NukAlert Keychain: You Can Never Be Too Safe. Please add UberReview to your blogreader or visit the site on a regular basis to catch more of my writing!


Sunday, December 31, 2006

...and I'm spent.

With that, my time here at Just What I Wanted! is done. I've posted about 580 gift ideas in the last fifteen months, with help from friends, family, random visitors, and, notably, the wonderful Jen. I've spent countless hours scouring the web for interesting and unique and sometimes stupid gift ideas, and tried my best to write informative and (sometimes) funny posts about each one. I've written over 50 thousand words for this blog, and now I'm spent.

It's been loads of fun and lots of work, and I'm glad that I was able to help out so many of you with your gift-shopping. Thanks for reading!


Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan

While everyone loves cupcakes, the standard no-frills cupcake shape is so boring and passé. Snazz your next party up a little by baking a bunch of cupcakes shaped like ice cream cones with this Ice Cream Cone Cupcake Pan. It's nonstick, so despite the beautiful waffle-cone details on the cupcakes, they'll still slide right out. Top with a generous glob of frosting to complete the ice cream look, and you've got a sure winner on your hands. $32 USD. (Via GiftZen.)

Heat Indicator Spoon

How many times have you sat down to a nice bowl of soup or stew or oatmeal and taken a bite, only to scald your tongue and cheeks when the far-too-hot liquid entered your mouth? It's happened to me more times than I'd like. But no more, my friend! From now on, this Heat Indicator Spoon will save me from the pain of burning my tender inner mouth-flesh and the embarassment of allowing a bunch of soup to dribble down my chest. It turns white when stuff's very hot, and turns to blue as it cools. Just pay attention and learn what color's right for you, and then you'll always know when your soup's safe to eat. $9.50 USD for 3. (Via Gizmodo.)

Tetris Magnets

If you're like me, occasionally you go through a period of intense addiction to that old simple yet fun videogame Tetris. When you're seriously addicted, you begin to dream Tetris and think constantly about playing more. These Tetris Magnets will allow you to feed your addiction by playing a little Tetris right on your refrigerator or other metal surface when you can't get to a computer, console, arcade, or portable music player. Like that ever happens. $9.89 USD. (Via Fresh Fodder.)

Stain Detector Light

If you want to look like a snazzy detective while checking your carpets and furniture for those invisible stains and spills, this Stain Detector Light will do the trick. Looking straight out of Law & Order or CSI, it's a tiny handheld fluorescent blacklight that will illuminate those pesky stains invisible to the naked eye, allowing you to either clean them up with some high-powered stain remover, or throw out the offending item if the stain's just too tenacious. For extra fun, take it with you next time you stay in a cheap hotel! $6.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Solar LED Light

This handy pocket-sized device will be able to provide a nice, bright light for you as long as it's been exposed to a little daylight recently. The Solar LED Light is an ultra-bright white LED hooked to a battery that gets charged via a tiny solar panel. On the opposite side is a handy mirror which you can use to signal for help when stranded on a mountaintop, or check your teeth for poppy seeds after lunch. $21 USD. (Via Treehugger.)

Inkless Metal Pen

Sorry about disappearing for the last week. Holidays, travel, and families kept me quite busy! But now, to close out the year, I have no fewer than six great little gift ideas for you! First is this Inkless Metal Pen, with a stainless steel body and a point made from a mysterious metal alloy that writes just like pencil lead without wearing down nearly as quickly. In fact, it could possibly last decades before it runs out, as long as you don't lose it sooner. $29.38 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wasabi Peas

If you know anyone who likes spicy foods but hasn't tried these, it's definitely time to get them a can of Wasabi Peas. These are regular green peas dried and coated with spicy wasabi, the hot Japanese condiment. They're salty and crunchy and spicy, and, most of all, delicious. A somewhat unusual snack that's worth a try, and that you might find yourself seeking out again and again. $7 USD. (Thanks, Gunther!)

Desktop Air Conditioner

A perfect companion to yesterday's desktop heater, this little device keeps you nice and cool when it's hot outside. The Desktop Air Conditioner doesn't use wacky chemicals like window air conditioners, and doesn't produce bunches of heat as a byproduct -- it works by blowing air across a frozen bottle of ice that you place inside it. Low-tech but still effective, and a great way to avoid heatstroke while stuck at a hot desk. $19.79 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Friday, December 22, 2006


Here's a unique and attractive decorating idea: why not write out your favorite quotes, thoughts, or lines of poetry in pleasant fonts on the walls of your home? Wallwords prints decals for whatever quote you desire, in many different fonts and sizes, so you can convey exactly what you want. Plus, they have other wall-mounted graphic decals available so you can put together inspirational, relaxing, or dynamic scenes that are just right for your living area. $29.95 USD for a ten-word quote, custom pricing available. (Thanks, Vito!)

Desktop Heater

With these chilly winter days upon us, it's important to keep warm. If your computer doesn't pump out enough heat on its own, you might want to pick up a Desktop Heater. It's not USB-powered, but it's small and sleek and will keep you nice and warm through the cold hours spent typing and mousing your life away. It also has a non-heating fan mode so you can use it to help keep cooler in summer. $39.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Circuit Board Ornaments

It's probably too late for this year, but if you want your tree next Christmas to be the geekiest one around, get some of these Circuit Board Ornaments to replace your boring old shiny bulbs. Plus, they're a nifty way to keep old circuit boards from just ending up in landfills, so you can feel good about helping the planet. They're available in five different shapes, shown here: bell, star, snowman, tree, and... van. Ah, the old Christmas van. £2.49 UKP.

LED Hourglass

If you need to measure a specific amount of time but don't want the soothing, pleasant steady flow of sand from one glass chamber into another, or you're an android who loves all things electronic, perhaps you want this LED Hourglass. The advantages it has over a traditional hourglass are 1) you can specify exactly how long it runs (up to an hour), and 2) it beeps and flashes when it's done, so you don't miss it. $19.99 USD. (Thanks, Gunther!)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vinturi Wine Aerator

Wine connoisseurs all agree that wine should be allowed to "breathe" (i.e. sit exposed to the air) for a while before you drink it. But most of us lead busy lives, and we're not necessarily "with-it" enough to remember to open and pour the wine half an hour before we want to actually drink it. The Vinturi Wine Aerator is designed to solve just that problem: you pour the wine through it, and it draws air in and mixes it with the wine in just the right amount to thoroughly aerate it, giving it a more pleasant taste, aroma, and feel without all the waiting. $34.95 USD.

Ball of Population

In 2006, the world's population officially passed the six billion mark. To commemorate that historic event, you might consider getting a Ball of Population. It's a ball of squishy rubber people, each with their head attached to the others. Fun to squish, throw, or just look at. $3.99 USD.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Steady Sticks

If you know anyone who enjoys picnicking, camping, or just lounging around outdoors, and who is a wine drinker, this set of Steady Sticks will be a handy and stylish addition to their outdoor-dining experiences. Just stick them securely into the ground and they'll helpfully hold your wine bottle and glasses safely for you, keeping the pesky ants away and keeping you from spilling your syrah. $30 USD.

Big Feet PJs

If you've never known the joy of having foot-covering pajamas, then you're missing out on one of life's great pleasures. They're not just for little kids anymore! Even grownups have realized that wearing a snug, warm one-piece pajama with feet to keep your toes warm is a smart idea on cold winter days. These Big Feet PJs, despite their name, have regular-sized feet. They're made out of thick, soft fleece and are designed to keep you seriously warm. Great for a lazy Saturday morning or an evening in front of the fireplace or the TV, and you can even choose one with an unbuttonable bottom! $44.99 USD.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Every now and then, someone comes up with a new, innovative version of one of life's basic tools that just makes you think, why wasn't this done sooner? These probably aren't like that, but they're still cool. Take regular paper clips and make them cute little symbols and shapes, and you've got Iconoclasps. Made of sturdy metal with rubberized non-slip padding, they'll catch people's eyes and brighten up their day. $4.99 USD.

Log Pillow

When I think of pillow fights, I generally picture happy people with big fluffy white pillows. But if you're a pillow-fighter and you're serious about your duty, maybe you need a more serious fightin' pillow. Get this Log Pillow, shaped like a hefty wooden club, perfect for smacking your laughing opponents right in the gob. Plus, when it's all over and everyone else is unconscious slumped against furniture and walls, you can lie down and sleep like... a log. $34 USD.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


If you're a boy scout, or you just want to always be prepared no matter what cuisine you encounter, you might want to carry around a pair of Forkchops when you're going out to eat. With a fork and knife on one end and a pair of chopsticks on the other, these handy multi-purpose utensils have got you covered whether you're faced with a big ol' steak or a bowl of pad thai. Available in 19 different colors or a six-person place setting. $5 USD.

Play-Doh Cologne

For the creative type on your wishlist, the person who's been busy creating artistic masterpieces since he or she was a tiny child, this scent will bring back nothing but truly fond memories. Crafted by the aroma artists at Demeter, it's Play-Doh Cologne. Conjuring up images of lazy childhood afternoons spent sculpting wacky people and crazy objects, it's sure to make anyone's eyes open wide with wonder and nostalgia. You might want to buy some actual Play-Doh to give with it, just in case the recipient feels an uncontrollable urge to play. $18.99 USD.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


This is a nifty little invention, and while it's not a fancy electronic gadget, and it won't change the world, I bet nearly everyone could find a use for it. The Booksling wraps around the cover of any book and provides a handy penholder and bookmark all in one, so you can always keep your place and your writing implement close at hand. $5.99 USD. Plus, enter FREEPICO at checkout to get a free PicoPad. (Via Gizmodo.)

Credit Card Case Clock

This handy little device has two functions: it's designed to both tell the time and hold credit cards for you. It's a Credit Card Case Clock. It looks snazzy with its brushed steel case and transparent LCD display that shows the time, the day, and the date, but here's my question: if it's full of credit cards... how can you see the clock face? Oh well. £9.95 UKP. (Via Gizmodo.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Pinhole Camera Kit

Want to give a photography hobbyist something new to experiment with without going broke buying expensive photography gear? Pick up a copy of this Pinhole Camera Kit. In just a couple hours of careful assembly, you can build a high-quality pinhole camera made of thick black paperboard and a pair of plastic spools for advancing the film. Then with any 35mm film, you can play around with making unique pinhole photographs. $25 USD.

Hemp Bushwhacker Hat

For the stylish adventurer who's also concerned about the environment, this Hemp Bushwhacker Hat is made entirely from renewable hemp fiber. It's comfortable, keeps the sun off your head, and looks great, too. If you enjoy hiking the Andes, blazing a trail through the Australian outback, or just taking long walks on sunny days, this hat will complement both your outfit and your lifestyle nicely. $36.50 USD.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Things That Go Japanese Board Book

In today's global marketplace, where it's as easy to get in touch with someone across the world as it is the person next door, it's important for people to learn to communicate in other languages. If you have a baby or small child in your house, maybe you should consider getting them this Things That Go Japanese Board Book, with text in both Japanese and English. Nothing is more useful when you're visiting Japan than to be able to shout "helicopter!" at the waiter when you need his attention. $3 USD.

I See France Underthings

Unless you're used to constantly going commando, chances are you enjoy wearing underclothes. They're snuggly and add an extra layer of warmth in these cold months, plus, if you buy the right ones, look really cute when you're wearing nothing else. These I See France Underthings are all adorned with cute, unique, interesting designs to complement your personality. From a little skier cruising down your curves to the flowery downpour shown here, there's something for everyone... but hurry! They're having a huge sale and supplies are limited. $6 USD and up. (Thanks, Kristy!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It's handy to have a place to toss your pocket change at the end of the day, but most piggy banks look stupid, and make you slowly drop your coins in one by one, which takes forever. This one, named Coink, looks snazzy and modern and has a nice big funnel-shaped deposit hole so it's easy to dump your change in. It's a piggy bank for grownups! $36 USD.

Ping-Pong Paddle Bag Set

Nothing says "sports professional" like showing up to a match with your gear all stowed in a stylish bag designed to keep it safe and secure. Serious players always keep their stuff carefully packed away when not in use! That's why this Ping-Pong Paddle Bag Set is a worthwhile investment. Next time you're going over to a friend's house to play ping-pong, imagine the intimidation factor you can cause by whipping out this elegant teal case adorned with a smiley face that just screams "I'm here to kick butt." Comes with three ping-pong balls and a paddle, also with a smiley face. $20 USD.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Real Wasabi

If you enjoy Japanese food, particularly sushi, then you've probably tried the spicy paste called wasabi. What you may not know is that most so-called "wasabi" is actually an inauthentic mixture of horseradish, mustard, corn starch, and food coloring. Real Wasabi is a unique rhizome that grows in the mountains of Japan, and has a unique flavor and a smooth finish. This gift set includes two pairs of chopsticks, two wasabi dishes, and a container of powdered wasabi. Just add water to make it into that familiar spicy paste, but with an added authentic kick! $19.99 USD. (Via Josh Spear.)

Self-Watering Flowerpot

Is your green thumb actually a very light shade of teal? Do you have trouble keeping even fake plants alive? Maybe what you need is a Self-Watering Flowerpot, which takes some of the difficulty out of plant maintenance. Just add water every 7 to 10 days, and the pot takes care of actually delivering the water to the plant in the meantime. $28 USD.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stocking-Stuffer Roundup

Christmas is only two weeks away, and for all of you who celebrate, you've probably put off buying stocking-stuffer gifts until the last minute, like me. To try and make things a little easier, here's a roundup of a whole bunch of small-sized gifts that deliver a big bang, perfect for packing someone special's stocking.Whew, that's a lot of small gifts! Now, stuff those stockings!

Flashing Thumbtacks

It's handy leaving notes for friends, coworkers, or relatives tacked up on bulletin boards or the fridge, but if they don't notice the notes, it doesn't do anyone any good. Try calling a little more attention to those notes by using one of these Flashing Thumbtacks to attach it! They're actually adhesive, so they can stick to pretty much any flat surface, and when you push them all the way in, they flash brightly using their built-in battery and LED. $3.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fossil LED Watch

Retro fashion somehow defies the laws of trendiness and manages to stay hip even today, which makes me wonder: how long until older current retro-hip fashion becomes the new retro-current retro-hip fashion? Anyway, this Fossil LED Watch uses those brightly glowing red LED numbers that we all recall, fondly or otherwise, from our childhoods, and looks snazzy doing so. It's minimalist-cool and its leather band and chunky stainless steel body would look good on anyone's wrist. $39.95 USD.

Bumbo Seat

Attempting to securely prop your baby into a sitting position is doomed to failure, but it's important for babies to practice sitting up. It helps them develop muscle control and lets them look around and participate in whatever's going on. The Bumbo Seat is a deep, comfy seat which holds a baby upright and allows him or her to practice sitting without the danger of falling over. It's safe, hygienic, and handy! $39.95 USD.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hot Dog Toaster

If you love hot dogs — and really, who doesn't? — then this little device will certainly make your life easier. The Hot Dog Toaster has slots for two hot dogs and two unfolded buns, and it'll toast each of them perfectly in a matter of moments. This will simplify breakfast, lunch, dinner, and your midnight snack! $39.95 USD.

Flo Faucet Deflector

This simple and useful gadget is a great addition to any bathtub, solving a frustrating bathing issue that bugs us all at one point or another. Simply clip the Flo Faucet Deflector onto your faucet (no installation required, since it's just a spring-loaded clip) and rather than pour straight down along the side of the tub, the water will cascade outwards from the faucet about a foot, making it much easier to use for washing and rinsing. Plus, it has a built-in button controlled bubble-bath dispenser to allow kids to easily add loads of bubbles to any bath. $14.99 USD.

Friday, December 08, 2006

USB Eye Warmer

Wrapping up our giant USB heating spectacular, we present this USB Eye Warmer. It's a comfy eye pillow with USB-powered heating elements, including the never-before-seen innovation of an integrated heat-level control dial. If you're feeling overwhelmed or headachey, strap this puppy on and give your eyes a little warming up. Just don't turn the dial all the way up or you might do permanent corneal damage. ¥1980 JPY (about $17.22 USD). (Via Gizmodo.)

USB Warmer Slippers

Here at Just What I Wanted!, we're devoted to keeping you abreast of all the latest advances in USB heating technologies, which is why we have declared today Gifts To Keep You Warm At Your Computer Day. Our first offering is these USB Warming Slippers, which keep your toes toasty while you're sitting at your computer via the magic of USB heating action! Anyone with chilly feet would appreciate these. $33.17 USD. (Thanks, Gunther!)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gangster T-Shirt

Do you want to roll with the gangsters, but you're too white and nerdy? Holla some shouts out to your home-boys by wearing this Gangster T-Shirt. Better than a blue hanky in your left pocket... or is that a red kerchief tied around your right calf? This shirt lets gangsters know that you, too, are from the streets. $16.89 USD.


Surely you have a sickeningly cute pair of lovebirds on your holiday gift list, and you're not sure what to get them. While it's almost painful to encourage their disgusting loveyness, a pair of these Smittens would be funny and adorable at the same time. They're mittens designed for hand-holding, so two people in love don't have to have any pesky fabric getting in the way when they're taking a romantic walk through the snowy countryside. $32 USD.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

It's the breakout environmental documentary of the year, and highly recommended by people across the globe, treehuggers or not. It's Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, which tells the real story about global climate change, and is a great gift for those already concerned about the environment and those who aren't yet but should be. Give one, give many, and maybe enough people will care enough to make a real difference. $17.99 USD.


As everyone knows, parents with a small baby get no exercise. Babies like to sit quietly in one place all day, so their parents just lie around losing muscle tone and getting out of shape, never having to lift a finger. It's nice that all babies are incredibly easy to take care of, but it's dangerous to not be in good shape, so this Strollometer will help encourage parents to get out and try out that brand-new stroller. It measures speed, trip time, total trip distance, air temperature, and more so they know exactly how well they're doing. $39.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gloomy Bear

For those with a morbid sense of humor on your list, Gloomy Bear is a pink vinyl figurine that is both adorable and rather disturbing. His cute little pinched ears and soft rosy color are at odds with his empty, soulless eyes and the blood dripping from his fangs and claws. Perfect for anyone who likes to freak people out a little bit. $16.95 USD.

Janie Dry Stick

If you're a fan of both light-colored clothing and colorful foods, chances are good you've managed to accidentally stain your shirt in public at least once. Why use caustic bleaches or chemical spot-cleaners when you could just grab your Janie Dry Stick, rub some of its natural stain-removing powder into the stain, wait a few moments until it's dry, and then brush it away with the included brush. A quick, easy, and effective way to get rid of stains as soon as they occur and avoid embarrassment in social situations. $5.50 USD. (Via Core77.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Klever Kutter

Give one of these to everyone (uh, except not little kids) first thing on Christmas morning and you'll save them all a lot of package-opening hassle. This tiny little Klever Kutter has two razors tucked away where they won't cut you but they'll quickly cut through just about any packaging you care to open, whether it's paper, cardboard, plastic, shrink wrap, or much more. Plus, they're really cheap! $1.96 USD.

Papa Pack

While I've featured both The Goodfather CD-ROM and The Baby Bandolier here in the past, not until now have these two great tastes that taste great together been offered in a single whoppin' gift pack for brand-new dads. Separately, the two items would cost you $75, but now you can get both items in the Papa Pack for a total of ten bucks less. Help a dad-to-be learn all that he can about raising his new baby with the funny, useful information on the Goodfather CD-ROM, and then let him tote his baby's belongings around in style and comfort with the handy Baby Bandolier. Only $64.95 USD! (Thanks, Dr. MOZ!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006


If you grew up in the eighties and you liked really cool stuff, chances are good you'll be familiar with the giant multi-lion-robot-humanoid hero Voltron, who defends the universe against the forces of the evil King Zarkon and Prince Lotor of Planet Doom. Now, for the first time, the entire cartoon is being released on DVD, and the first two sets are available for your viewing (and nostalgic!) pleasure. $17.87 USD. (Thanks, John!)


If you know a kid with a large open field, chances are they'll love getting an Aerobie as a gift. These are extremely lightweight, seriously aerodynamic flying rings — like a Frisbee™ taken to the next level. Anyone who enjoys playing outdoors with friends will appreciate one of these! $9.85 USD.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Private Preserve

Many wine enthusiasts know the problem that faces them when they decide to open a bottle of wine. Do they try and drink it all in one sitting, or let it sit in the fridge overnight, getting steadily worse-tasting because it's exposed to oxygen? For those people, a bottle of Private Preserve will provide a solution. It sprays a mixture of heavier-than-air inert gases into the top of the bottle. They settle on top of the remaining wine, creating a barrier that doesn't let the oxygen come in contact with it, so it can't react and spoil the wine. Now opened wine will keep well for days longer than usual! $9.95 USD.

Inside-Out Ball

Everyone loves playing with a ball. You can toss it, squeeze it, roll it, bounce it... but this particular ball has a whole bunch of neat extra features which come factory-standard and pre-installed for your ball-playing enjoyment. It's called an Inside-Out Ball because you can turn it from a regular spherical ball into a spiky sea urchin by turning it inside out. Plus it is very squishy and glows in the dark. All that for the low, low price of $2.75 USD.