Just What I Wanted!

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bill of Rights Mug

With today's Senate confirmation of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, it seems possible that many of our rights as citizens may soon be vanishing. This Bill of Rights Mug is a perfect way to demonstrate this: simply fill it up with convservative judges coffee or another hot beverage, and watch your rights quickly fade away. As the liquid cools, or as you drink it, slowly the bill's text fades back into view — phew! $12 USD. (Thanks, Jen!)

Harry Jr.

Harry Jr. looks like a rat's nest. It's just a tangled mess of wires, haphazardly bent this way and that. Thankfully, the wires are quite easy to bend into the shape you desire, and they'll hold objects tight in their grip for you. Now, in one amusingly twisted-looking mass, you can have a place to store all those little things that get lost amid the clutter elsewhere. $20 USD.

Monday, January 30, 2006

PetTree Cactus

Pets are great to have around, to play with, to talk to, and to love. What's especially nice about this PetTree Cactus is that it doesn't need to be groomed, won't get fleas, and its vet bills will be exceptionally low. When you get it, it'll be just a tiny sprout, but keep it watered by dipping the bottom of its capsule in water once a month (any more and you'll kill it) and it'll grow into a nice, healthy cactus. $10 USD. (Via Treehugger.)

Dual-Ended Spatula

Traditional spatulas have one big drawback: that spot where the wooden handle joins the plastic head is prone to trapping bits of food that just don't get washed away effectively, breeding disgusting bacteria. Yecch! This Dual-Ended Spatula, however, has its entire body encased in heat-resistant silicone. No little cracks or edges for food to get caught in here! And you can use both differently-shaped ends to do the most effective scraping job ever. $9.99 USD.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cougar Cheese

No, this isn't cheese made from the milk of lactating mother jungle cats. It's actually cheese in a can! It's not as (ahem) cheesy as that makes it sound, though; this ain't no Velveeta. The Washington State University creamery has been making Cougar Cheese since 1948 in various delicious varieties, and it's prized by cheese lovers in the know. Now you, too, can be one of the elite few. $18 per 30-oz. can. (Thanks, Matthew!)

Sarcastic Valentines

Have you grown jaded and cynical throughout the long, empty years of your life, and want nothing to do with a capitalistic, manufactured holiday like Valentine's Day? You're not alone, even though your life may be devoid of social interaction. The good folks at 16 Sparrows feel your angst, and so have made available this set of Sarcastic Valentines, which don't beat around the bush. Hammer your rage at the shallowness of the world home with bitter phrases like "You look really poetic. Can I be your sensitive artist?" and "This morning I tried to answer my stapler." $7 USD for five cards with envelopes.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sticker Shield

I guess this product isn't terribly photogenic, since they haven't got a single photo of it on the website, but it sounds like a great idea. Don't you hate it when you have to put one of those window decals on your car windshield, and then when you try to remove it, it just tears, leaving torn sticker and nasty sticky adhesive on the glass? Sticker Shield is designed to get rid of that hassle. You can stick the window decal to the sticker shield, which sticks to and peels off the glass easily without any fuss. $4.99 USD for a pack of two 4" by 6" sheets.

Valentine Combo Set

Nothing says "be mine" better than some really cute clothes and a handful of romantic mix CDs. You can get all this in one handy package by ordering this Valentine Combo Set. It's got a sweet red Valentine-themed tanktop and panty set and three beautifully-printed blank CD-Rs with cases. All you need to do is pull out your Barry White, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Gaye, and Rod Stewart mp3s and get burning! $29 USD.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sassy Valentine Card Kit

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching — have you started considering what to send to that special someone in your life? I suggest letting them know how you really feel about them with this Sassy Valentine Card Kit. It comes will all the ingredients you need to put together five truly unique handcrafted Valentines, which will definitely let your potentials know how you feel. $10.50 USD.

Napoleon Dynamite Learn-To-Dance Kit

If you haven't seen the 2004 cult classic film Napoleon Dynamite, you may not understand why this Napoleon Dynamite Learn-to-Dance Kit is such a fabulous product. If you have seen it, then you know how flippin' sweet it would be to have dance skills like Napoleon. With a floor mat with foot positions, a poster with a step-by-step guide, and a CD with LaFawnduh's dance music, this kit has everything you need to perform a fantastic dance at your next electoral rally. $22.95 USD.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jalapeno Lip Balm

Most lip balms are designed to be soothing to irritated and chapped lips, with wussy scents like cherry or vanilla or menthol. My Lip Stuff knows that those other lip balms can't hold a candle to the real good stuff, so they offer no-nonsense knock-em-dead scents like this Jalapeño Lip Balm. With an authentic hot and spicy chili pepper scent, it'll make your kisses strong enough to really leave people wondering. (Hundreds of other varieties are available, too!) $2 USD.

Light Fingers

I always enjoyed playing in the dark when I was a kid. Those green luminescent glow-sticks were lots of fun to throw around outdoors at night, and glow-in-the-dark toys were a hoot. This set of Light Fingers takes glowiness to a new level, with 20 different pre-programmed light show patterns as well as a black light and a strobe light. $19.95 USD.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Armadillo Purse

Accessory pets have been all the rage for more than a year, and we've all seen celebrities like Paris Hilton carrying their armadillos around under their arms. While it's not quite as fashionable as carrying around a live one, this Armadillo Purse will definitely make you the envy of your social circle. $19.95 USD.

Jungle Chocolate

For a tasty treat that's also socially and ecologically responsible, try picking up a box of these delicious Jungle Chocolates. Made of roasted, dried cacao beans mixed and flavored with various other jungle goodies, they're low in sugar and carbohydrates while still being a satisfying, exotic snack. Try all four varieties: cacao with pineapple, with raisins and coconut, with brazil nuts and coffee, or with macadamia nuts. Plus, the manufacturer pays fair-trade prices for the cacao, and all profits are used to help preserve rainforests. You can't beat that! $3.20 USD.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fruit Clock

Nothing impresses kids more than doing cool science tricks with everyday household items, and this Fruit Clock will certainly entertain and enlighten them. When you stick the clock's two metal electrodes into a fruit such as a lemon or an apple, the metals react with the fruit's natural acids to form a low-power battery, enough to keep a digital clock running! Comes with a handy booklet explaining the science behind this reaction. $11.99 USD.

Bonsai Tree in a Can

It's always nice to add a little green to your workspace, but often you don't have very much room. Instead of trying to find space for a full-size potted plant, why not just get this Bonsai Tree in a Can? Tiny, simple, and minimalistically elegant. $12 USD. (Thanks, Vito!)

Monday, January 23, 2006


Lego are great for building houses, cars, spaceships, etc. — in other words, non-organic-looking creations. But what do you do when you want to build fantastical creatures? Zolo is just the right building kit for that purpose. With dozens of unique bits and pieces designed to let you build the creatures of your wildest imaginings, it'll keep creative kids busy for hours. $32 USD.

Swedish Summer Soap

This is a fairly straightforward bar of soap. Like others of its kind, it'll get you nice and clean in the bathtub or shower. Unlike most other soap bars, however, Swedish Summer Soap is completely biodegradable and floats on top of the water! No more fishing around in the murky depths of the tub when you've dropped the soap! Also great for bathing outdoors, if you're into that kind of thing. $3.50 USD.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Carry-On Chopsticks

I'm not sure why these are called what they're called, since I don't actually think they'd let you take them onto a plane with you (y'know, sharp stabby objects and all that). However, the concept is sound. They're Carry-On Chopsticks, a pair of high quality, finished birch chopsticks with metal handles. When you're finished with them, the wooden half unscrews and stows away inside the stainless steel base, effectively cutting their length in half. Then you can toss them in their handy cloth bag and tuck them away for the next time you find yourself without eating utensils. $23 USD.


Everyone and their siblings have got portable mp3 players these days, but whether it's an iPod, an iRiver, or an iSomething Else, they've all got one thing in common: while they're great for listening to your own music, they're not so hot when it comes to sharing your music with others. The Soundbug helps solve that problem without requiring you to carry around either a bulky, decent speaker or a tiny, tinny-sounding one. You plug the Soundbug into your headphone jack, and then attach its suction cup to any flat, glossy surface, such as a window, a desktop, or a bookshelf. Then, when you play the music, the Soundbug sends it as vibrations through the surface, essentially turning it into a giant sounding-board. Hooray! Now everyone can listen to Kylie Minogue's warbling! $23.95 USD.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I-Top Pro

Spinning tops have certainly come a long way since I was a kid. Back then, they did three things: spun, fell down, and hurt like the dickens when my brother threw them at me. This new-fangled I-Top Pro still has those three functions, but has many more as well. It has multiple game modes, such as asking you to try and stop the top when it reaches a certain number of revolutions or giving you a minimum and maximum number of revolutions and challenging you to get the top to spin out within that range. It also displays information for you, like the current number of revolutions or even a word of your choice, on its surface using red LEDs while it spins. $14.99 USD.


This is a really neat solution to a common problem. When you're traveling and you need to hang up some clothes after getting them wet — say, in the rain, or due to a puddle, or from an accident involving an angry clown — often you have no good place to hang them, or no clothespins to do it with. The Flexoline is a stretchable clothesline made of a pair of cords twisted together. You hook the two ends over any sturdy objects up to seven feet apart, and then tuck the corners of the clothing object you want to hang between the two cords, which hold it securely in place. Just like that, you've got a handy clothesline without the need for clothespins! $7.95 USD.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Valentine Spatula

St. Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, and let me tell you, from one gourmet chef to another: there's no better way to make your heart-shaped pancakes than with a Valentine Spatula. This cute little utensil is made from food-grade silicone so it's heat resistant, and is just the right way to tell your loved ones "I'm scraping this bowl clean because I love you." $6.95 USD.

Moon Shoes

For the astronaut-in-training in your life, these bouncy Moon Shoes will help them feel like they're already on the lunar surface as they leap from crater to crater. They'll fit most any kid's feet, and prepare them for a real career of astronautry, 'cause if there's one thing astronauts spend a lot of time doing, it's bouncing around. $40 USD.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cap Light

When it comes to hands-free ways to light what's in front of you, everyone seems to have a different idea, and here at Just What I Wanted, we're committed to giving you, our dear readers, the widest choice possible. Don't like the head-mountedness of the Ear Lite? The Flashlight Friends too oddly anthropomorphic? Maybe you'd rather try this Cap Light on for size. A set of 5 bright LEDs shine brightly right on the bill of your cap, illuminating whatever you're looking at. Great for reading in bed... with a cap on. $16 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Erasable Shower Note Tablet

Some people have all their best ideas while in the shower, but by the time you've lathered, rinsed, and repeated, you may have forgotten that great invention you came up with. That'll never happen again with this Erasable Shower Note Tablet. With suction-cup mounts to stick it to your shower wall and waterpoof crayons to write with, you can jot down any idea that comes to you while you're soaping up. $15.99 USD.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Old Time Candy Store

Remember how you felt when you were a kid and you got your sticky little hands on your favourite candy? Whether it was jujubes, red vines, bottle caps, bit-o-honey or something else entirely, you'll be able to find it at the Old Time Candy Store. Whether you preferred to suck on a Sugar Daddy or chew through a Clark Bar, this shop will definitely bring happy, hyper memories of childhood flooding back. Prices vary.

Egg and Muffin Toaster

Why pay a premium (and spend valueable time waiting) at a crappy fast-food restaurant for a delicious breakfast sandich when you can simply make one yourself at home in just four minutes with this Egg and Muffin Toaster? Just put the ingredients (two English muffin halves, an egg, a sausage patty, a slice of cheese, and some water for steaming) into their appropriate containers, flip the switch and in no time you've got a delicious sandwich all ready to go. $38.95 USD.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Handheld Herb Chopper

This nifty, dishwasher-safe Handheld Herb Chopper is totally hand-powered: fill it with herbs, then give its cord a yank (just like starting a lawnmower) and in a whirl your herbs will be finely chopped with hardly any effort on your part. Tiny and useful, it makes chopping herbs a breeze. A great addition to any busy cook's kitchen. $19.95 USD.

Elvis the Tape Dispenser

While he doesn't wear jumpsuits covered in rhinestones, Elvis the Tape Dispenser is still the king... of tape, that is! He's gyrating his hips like crazy to help spin that scotch tape right off its spool, and he's holding a handy metal cutter in his left hand for you to tear the tape on. Make sure you keep him away from food, though, or he may end up gaining a lot of weight as he gets older. $15 USD.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Zero Blaster

I've always thought smoke rings looked really neat: a tiny little transient object constructed of nothing but smoke and air with the puff of one's breath. However, I've always been strongly disinclined to smoke, so I figured I wouldn't ever be able to make smoke rings. Now, the Zero Blaster is giving me another chance. This futuristic plastic launcher uses a non-toxic liquid to send rings of fog shooting out into the air. How cool! How pretty! How non-carcinogenic! $19.95 USD.

Everest Glitter Ball

I know Christmas is over, but it's never too early to start thinking ahead to next year — especially since now you can get after-Christmas sale prices! Here's a beautiful ornament that I'm sure nobody you know has: the Everest Glitter Ball. It's a glass bulb filled with shimmering silver shards made from oxygen canisters discarded by climbers on the slopes of Mt. Everest. Beautiful and amazing. $10 USD.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dingo Snack T-Shirt

Stories about those crazy dingoes and their baby-consuming tendencies have certainly found their way into our culture. On "Seinfeld," Elaine (in an Australian accent) suggests to someone that "maybe a dingo ate your baby." On "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," there's a band named "Dingoes Ate My Baby." What better way to help your child join in this wonderful cultural tradition than by giving him or her this Dingo Snack T-Shirt! Your baby may not be the brightest or the happiest, but at least you know he's the best wild-dog treat! $18 USD.

Jimi Wallet

I dunno about you, but my wallet is kind of bulky, and the edges of all my cards are getting bent and broken. There's got to be a better way to carry cards and cash, hasn't there? Check out the Jimi Wallet, a hard plastic wallet-replacement case. It's pocket-sized and thin, and just the right size to hold your credit cards, license, and a few bills. And best of all, it's solidly constructed so it won't break or bend, damaging your cards. Neat! $14.95 USD.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


If you want to be the envy of the under-10 crowd, there's nothing you can do that will impress them more than pick up a copy of MouthSounds and get to practicing your boings, pops, whistles and bonks. This book teaches you techniques to create hundreds of sound effects using just your mouth, from a bubbling aquarium to a crashing car to a taxi whistle. The included CD contains recordings of all the sounds so you know just what to do. $11.16 USD. (Via Cool Tools.)

Wooden Oval Platters

Finding the perfect gift for someone who seemingly has everything is a frustrating task. However, you can rarely go wrong with a classy, beautiful bit of home decor like these Wooden Oval Platters. They'd look fantastic in nearly any home, and are made with ecologically-friendly renewable acacia wood. $6.50 to $33 USD depending on size.

Friday, January 13, 2006

View Coasters

Retro is hip, because it's so much fun to see all that nifty stuff from our childhoods either brought back just like it was, or repurposed like these cool View Coasters, laminated ViewMaster reels designed to be used as drink coasters. Encased in a protective plastic shell, these reels will be sure to stay in good condition, and you can still hold them up to the light to see the teeny-tiny images. Fun, attractive, and quite a conversation piece! $20 USD for three.

My Twinn

This is creepy. It makes me shiver with quiet revulsion just looking at it. Somehow, I know that kids will absolutely love it. My Twinn is a company that will use a photo of a little girl and make a doll that looks just like her. Brrr. $139 USD and up.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Minor Emergency Kits

What do you do when you're struck by one of life's tiny crises? When something miniscule goes utterly wrong? What's your response to one of those itty-bitty everyday problems? If you want to be prepared, you'll buy one (or both!) of these Minor Emergency Kits. The first aid kit has all the tiny tools you'll need to fix up that little medical emergency, and the sewing kit will do the same for last-minute clothing repairs. Plus, they're both tiny enough to tuck away in a purse or messenger bag with ease. $5.95 USD per kit.

The First Anti-Coloring Book

Are you an opponent of color? Do you wish this world was entirely black and white? Well, despite its name, The First Anti-Coloring Book isn't really right for you. It is right, however, for kids whose artistic creativity makes simply coloring inside the lines a bit less than fulfilling. Each page in this book encourages kids to think and dream, to express themselves in ways that a simple coloring book can't match. If you want kids who are thoughtful, opinionated, and creative, this is the non-coloring book to get! $8.21 USD.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fizzy Bath Bombs

Sure, you could buy a powdered bath soak, or get yourself some regular old bath beads, but those are so boring. Yawn. Why just soak when you could add an exciting effervescent explosion to your bath with one of these Fizzy Bath Bombs? Just drop the ball into your bath water and watch in glee as it fizzes like a giant alka-seltzer tablet, adding fun bubbles as well as soothing natural essential oils to your bathwater. Available in dozens of styles. $3 to $6 USD.

Design Emulation Kit #1

Ingo Maurer is a noted designer whose works have been shown all over the world, including in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of his most famous designs is Lucellino, a table lamp that is a single bare bulb endowed with feathery wings. And while it would cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars to procure the original, you can pick up this tiny plastic version for significantly less. Simply snap the pieces of Design Emulation Kit #1 out of their plastic frame, hook them together, and plug in a 9-volt battery, and voilá, classy modern design on the (relatively) cheap! $29 USD.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Lighthouse Pepper Mill

Freshly-ground pepper has that extra oomph that old ground pepper just can't quite muster. That's why a good pepper mill is essential in any serious kitchen. Our pepper mill gave up the ghost a few months ago, so now we're using a mortar and pestle, but I'd sure love to replace that with this Lighthouse Pepper Mill. Made of beautiful maple (and with an available matching salt mill and salt shaker), it adds a touch of class to any table. $40 USD.

Tetris Tower

Who here hasn't spent countless hours obsessed with that simple yet addictive Russian puzzle game Tetris? Okay, those of you with your hands down can stop reading now. The rest of you, check out this awesome Tetris Tower. A 3-D, stand-up, tabletop version of Tetris for one or two players. The goal is simple, just like the original version: drop the pieces to fill in complete lines, and get points each time you do. Rock on! $25.99 USD.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monster Plates

Continuing our theme of frightening the wits out of small children, I present these Monster Plates. Bright and colorful, each one features a scary monster glaring menacingly up at you. Try covering him with food so as your child eats, the monster is slowly revealed, inspiring that creeping-horror feeling. $29 USD for a set of four plates.

To Do/To Don't Journals

Lots of people keep a "To Do" list, reminding them of what needs to get done soon. But far too few people keep a "To Don't" list, which would remind them of those annoying habits or unthoughtful behaviors that they always forget to try and eliminate. These To Do/To Don't Journals serve exactly those two useful functions. Don't watch too much TV. Don't ignore your pet when it wants attention. Don't spend time posting to your gift blog when you should be doing the dishes. That sort of thing. $13.95 USD.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mini King Albino

From weird toy company Friends With You comes this Mini King Albino. Nothing more than a squarish white monster with a big toothy mouth, this guy is all about removing discoloration from things. He's the key ingredient in bleach, and he'll help you rid your life of off-color moments. This is one plush that's sure to please any strange kid. $15 USD.

Good Fortune Decorating Pack

From artisans Dub & Sam comes the Good Fortune Decorating Pack, a handy collection of Chinese-inspired items such as beautifully printed paper, mini take-out boxes, fortune cookie slips (with printed fortunes), replica Chinese coins, and a bunch of simple and elegant project ideas. Want to spice up your gifts, add some flair to your thank-you notes, or create some beautiful and thoughtful gifts? This pack will help you do it in style. $11 USD.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pig-Pig Piggipig

While Ugly Dolls may be awful cute in their ugliness and all the rage with little kids these days, their actual disturbingness doesn't hold a candle to Pig-Pig Piggipig and his other animal friends made by House of ingri. Each one is lovingly hand-stitched into an oddly grotesque parody of an animal that is sure to give any small child nightmares. Brr. $60 USD.

Easy Brick Construction Set

We've all heard the rumors about the Masons: they control the world through a secret "shadow government," they were behind some of the biggest political events of all time, etc. Well, now you can prepare your child for a lifetime of secret brotherhood in this exclusive organization by giving him an Easy Brick Construction Set. With actual mortar (that dissolves in water so the bricks can be used again and again) and a tiny metal trowel, your kid will be building miniature Masonic halls in no time. $14.95 USD.