Just What I Wanted!

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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Silicone Baking Mat

Turn any pan into a non-stick pan with this Silicone Baking Mat. No longer will you have to grease the pan before making cookies or other baked goods, since this silicone and fiberglass board creates a safe non-stick surface that can tolerate temperatures up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, you can use it as an easy-to-clean surface when working with sticky dough, batter, or caramel. $14.99 USD.

Floral Pliers

Every time I open my toolbox, I have the same thought. "Bleah," I think, "my tools just aren't very pretty." Thankfully, someone has read my mind and created these Floral Pliers, which grip things tightly while looking like a beautiful flower garden. Finally, fixing small household problems can be aesthetically pleasing, and the world is a better place. £5.95 UKP. (Via Gizmodo.)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Flip Flap Q Minis

Sure, they've got a weird name, but these Flip Flap Q Minis are the ideal houseplants for people who just can't keep a plant alive. They require absolutely no maintenance whatsoever! When exposed to light, they'll wiggle their leaves up and down -- the more light, the more motion. And since they're solar-powered, you don't even need to worry about changing their batteries. Truly, the perfect way to say "I know you're not even responsible enough to keep a plant alive." £7.95 UKP.

CD Sleeves

Do you have a massive CD collection? Are those bulky cases just taking up way too much room on the shelf? Don't you just wish they were skinny like old LP sleeves? Now they can be! With these plastic CD Sleeves, you can keep your CDs, along with their booklets and back cover artwork, stored safely within protective covers that are only one quarter as thick as a regular CD case. Free up loads of shelf space and still have all your CDs available at your fingertips. $13.99 USD for 100. (Thanks, Steve!)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Pocket Sundial

Retro is in. In fact, the older your stuff, the cooler you are these days. I saw a guy sending smoke signals instead of using a cellphone... man, was he cool. So any image-conscious person would appreciate a Pocket Sundial to carry around and use to tell time instead of one of these boring modern watches. It collapses down flat for easy carrying, and then opens up to let you figure out what time it is. Now that's hip. €41.80 EUR.

3D Globe Puzzle

Kids these days are getting steadily worse at geography. Half of them can't even tell Uzbekistan from Kyrgyzstan, and think Myanmar is a city in Tuvalu! Help them learn their way around this little planet of ours by getting them this 3D Globe Puzzle, which is built out of regular jigsaw-puzzle pieces that build up into a sphere. Challenging, fun, and educational. What more would a kid want? $25 USD.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fishy Pocket Flask

When you're attending a dull event, it's nice to have something on hand to, erm, spice things up a bit. And in these image-conscious times, it's doubly important that that something be decorated with cute little fishes. This Fishy Pocket Flask fills that need perfectly, as it can hold 5 ounces of your favorite liquor and look crazy stylish to boot. $40 USD.

Feather Glass Slip Coasters

Nothing drives me crazier than setting down my martini glass at a party, only to come back for it later and not be able to remember which glass was mine. A bright, colorful, and utterly froofy solution to this terrible problem is this set of Feather Glass Slip Coasters. Simply slip one over the base of each glass as drinks are served, and then all you need to remember is what color you've got. Surely you can manage such a simple task despite being completely soused, right? $8.99 USD.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Calendar Cufflinks

Seriously, how many of you ever actually wear cufflinks? On a regular basis? I think I've worn some maybe once in my life, if that. But somehow, I keep coming across cufflinks that I really want. They just look so neat! These are Calendar Cufflinks, with little spinny bits that you turn to set the date. Then, during the day, if you have an old and feeble mind like mine, you can check your cufflinks to remember the date. I totally want a pair of these, and they'll sit quietly in a drawer until the next time I have to get dressed up all fancy. And when that time comes, I'll be glad I have them. $45 USD.

Mini Catapult and Trebuchet Kits

As most kids learn early, there's nothing more fun than flinging small objects across the room at high velocities. This desire to send things flying never really goes away, and that's why these Mini Catapult and Trebuchet Kits make great gifts. After assembling them (requires a cutting tool and some glue), they'll be just right for sending balls of paper, small erasers, or whatever hurtling through the air to pop your coworkers right on the noggin. $19.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Zap Cap Bottle Opener

Regular old bottle openers are so passé. I mean, who uses leverage anymore? What are we, monkeys? Realize your full human potential by upgrading your bottle opener to this Zap Cap Bottle Opener, which is a complex machine that does a simple task. You just place it on a bottle and, I dunno, push or something and the cap comes off. That's so much better. £9.99 UKP.

Tripod Speakers

Sometimes, you just get sick of wearing those little earbuds every time you want to listen to your mp3 player. Give your ears a break from having tiny plastic bits wedged in them and instead hook your iPod up to this set of Tripod Speakers, which plug directly into any standard 1/8" headphone jack and hold your player upright while providing good sound. When you're ready to pack up, just fold the legs together and turn the speakers into a compact package that fits easily in any gadget bag. $32.75 USD.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Kurt Halsey Functional Artwork

Kurt Halsey draws phenomenally cute simple pen-and-ink drawings that do a great job evoking emotions. This set of Kurt Halsey Functional Artwork contains two great CD sleeves, two cute stickers, and a wonderful greeting card, all for one cheap price. It's only available for a short while, so if you like it, get it soon. $7.50 USD.

I ♥ Feminist Men T-Shirt

It's important for feminists of all genders to stick together and show their support for each other. That's why any woman who finds feminism the most important quality to look for in a guy would appreciate this I ♥ Feminist Men T-Shirt. Simple and to the point, it effectively lets chauvinists know they don't have a chance. (Various other clothing and merchandise items are available with this design, too!) $19.99 USD.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chew By Numbers Kit

When you're a kid, it's important to spend time exercising your creativity, as well as your jaw muscles. To do this, you can either tell stories all day (booo-ring) or get ahold of this Chew By Numbers Kit, which lets you chew gum, then squish the pieces onto a predesigned image to create a colorful, gooey masterpiece. Sure to disgust your friends and family! $12.95 USD.

Dot-It Light

It's small, round, sticky, provides light, and is useful in many everyday situations. No, it's not a radioactive spitball, it's the Dot-It Light, an inexpensive adhesive light that uses LEDs (so it lasts for a very long time) and sticks to any surface without leaving marks when you remove it. Just stick it somewhere and give it a tap, and voilá, you've got some nice illumination. When you want to move it, just pull it off and the adhesive will still be good. $9.49 USD.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nice Dice

Anyone who's into traditional pen-and-paper roleplaying games -- Dungeons & Dragons, for instance -- or anyone who enjoys dice games of any sort knows the value of a good set of dice. These Nice Dice are hand-crafted beautiful resin six-sided dice that come in a gorgeous leather carrying case. Definitely a keepsake-quality set that any high roller would appreciate. $18 USD.

Gimme a Break Bath Salts

Here's a good gift for anyone you know who's overworked, overtired, overstressed -- i.e., anyone you know, period. It's the Gimme a Break Bath Salts from Little Moon Essentials, who've been making bath salts, scrubs, and other (all natural) bath & beauty products for many years and know how to do it right. Just add a handful to your tub and soak away your tiredness. $5 USD.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Arize Toaster

It's time to toss that clunky old toaster sitting in your kitchen. Let me guess: it has a little dial to set how dark you like it, and you can put two slices of toast in, and it has a cancel button in case you decide you don't want toast. Humankind has moved so far beyond that. This is the 21st century, man! Get yourself an Arize Toaster, which is roomy, and has glass sides! And it can sense if your food gets stuck, and shut itself off automatically so stuff doesn't burn! This is the future! Everything's exciting! $29.99 USD.

Manhole Cover Throw Rugs

Nearly all throw rugs I come across on a regular basis are pretty blasé: random patterns of color, solid colors, pictures of nature or wildlife... yawn. These Manhole Cover Throw Rugs, though, really stand out. Designed to look just like authentic manhole covers from cities around the world, they're made from recycled truck tires and add a bit of pizzazz to any room. Available in seven city designs. $23.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Room Moodz Strobe Light

These days, "raves", wild hormone-fueled dance parties with loud, thumping electronic music and dancing into the wee hours of the night, are all the rage among the teenage set. Get your kids started early by buying them this Room Moodz Strobe Light, a cute-looking neon strobe light with a pair of antennae that flash in time to music. Now when their friends invite them to a "rave," they'll know just how to be "hip" and "gnarly" when they arrive. Trust me, they'll thank you. $5.29 USD.

Buddha Bowl

While I lounge on the couch in the evening, relaxing and watching my stories on TV, I occasionally-- okay, I admit it, constantly crave a bowl of ice cream. However, holding a bowl in one hand to eat on the couch can be tricky. This Buddha Bowl makes it easier by offering a contoured handle desgned to let the bowl sit comfortably and securely in the palm of your hand, making it much simpler to do the hold-and-eat thing. $18 USD.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Nothing's more annoying than buying something only to discover that the sticker on it is really stuck fast, and trying to peel it off just leaves torn paper and blotchy smears of adhesive. Getting rid of this leftover adhesive can be a time-consuming chore, unless you have a bottle of Un-Du handy. This natural, environmentally friendly solution neutralizes adhesives temporarily, allowing them to be peeled off with ease, and then evaporates, leaving the adhesive completely usable again. That's just incredible! $8.99 USD. (Via Cool Tools.)

Banana Farm

It's nice to liven up any apartment or cubicle by adding some green plants, and it's even nicer when those plants can bear fruit, providing you with a tasty snack. What better plant to grow indoors in a tiny plastic pot than a banana tree? This Banana Farm will let you do just that. It comes with everything you need: a pot, some soil, banana tree seeds, and a small plastic monkey. Your banana tree will grow a foot in the first two months... and when fully mature, will tower two to 8 meters in height, possibly destroying your ceiling in the process. You might want to move it outside before that happens. $14.99 USD.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

All-In-One Cloth Diaper

If you're an ecologically-minded parent of a baby, and you want to reduce the amount of diapers you're throwing away but shudder at the thought of trying to use cloth diapers, worry no longer: from the smart folks at Tallulah Baby come these All-In-One Cloth Diapers which feature a smart, leak-resistant outer layer around the absorbent cloth, and have velcro closures so you don't need to worry about safety pins. They're simple to get on and off, and wash up in a snap. They're like the cloth diapers of the past only updated and made better. $14 USD.

The ACME Catalog

Have you ever watched the Looney Tunes featuring the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, and wished that you, too, could order all those great products from the versatile ACME company? Well, now you can! The ACME Catalog has all the items that Wile E. ever ordered, from portable holes to rocket-powered pogo sticks, plus many more that he hasn't gotten around to yet. Pick up a copy today and figure out how you're going to catch yourself that delicious-looking bird. $14.95 USD.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Plant-Me Pet

It's about time for avid gardeners to get their spring plantings in the ground so that they'll have beautiful flowers and delicious home-grown vegetables all summer. Gardeners with kids might want to get them a Plant-Me Pet, a goofy-looking toy made of biodegradable latex with plant seeds for eyes. They can be played with for a while, and then, when the child tires of them, planted headfirst in fertile soil, and in a while, ta-da! A plant will sprout. Available in pumpkin, melon, and tomato varieties. $22 USD.

Fluid Friends Towels

Convincing kids to dry off after swimming can be a monumental task. There's nothing kids like better than climbing out of a pool and then sitting around in the chilly breeze, shivering and dripping. One way to convince them to wrap up in a warm towels and dry off is to make wearing a towel more fun! That's where the Fluid Friends Towels come in. No more will your kids sit, sopping wet and covered in goosebumps, when they could instead look like a shark! Or a mermaid! Finally, the kids will be dry and warm, and the world will be a better place. $9.95 USD.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Garden Tweezer

Anyone who works in a garden for long enough knows how much of a pain — literally — it can be when you accidentally grab a thorny or stinging plant with your bare hands. Wouldn't it be handy if you had some long, thin, versatile tool to help you out? The Garden Tweezer solves that problem. It's a 12-inch long pair of stainless steel tweezers that's just right for poking, grabbing, pinching, and pulling at all the plants in your garden. Get a pair for anyone who loves tending to their roses! $10 USD.

Odor-Eater Egg

Today's Easter, the day Christians celebrate Jesus' rising from the grave and hiding eggs all around town for the kids to find. So here's an egg for grown-ups: this Odor-Eater Egg is a handy tool for having around the kitchen, as it somehow magically removes odors from your hands, making you able to chop onions and garlic and not have to, uh, wash your hands afterwards. Thank goodness for that! $11.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006


If you've never heard of Vegemite, you're probably not alone. While it's hugely popular in Australia, it hasn't really caught on quite as quickly here in the states. What is it? Well, it's a salty, malty, and somewhat bitter spread made from leftover brewer's yeast and spices. And you don't spread it on toast the way you would butter; this stuff's best applied as a very thin scraping. Definitely worth a try at least once, and it'd make a great gift for any displaced Aussie you know. $15.95 USD.

ACME Thunderer

When I was a kid, we always had whistles around the house. They were handy for signaling the start of races or when playing cops and robbers. But the tiny cheap plastic whistles we had inevitably broke after a while (which is undoubtedly why my parents bought that variety). If you want to get someone a whistle that just won't break, get 'em an ACME Thunderer, a high-quality metal whistle of the variety that's used in NCAA and NBA tournaments. And maybe get some earplugs, too. $6.75 USD.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Once-Bitten Cookie Cutters

It's fun to make cookies, and they make a nice gift for friends or family, but once you've made a delicious batch, do you really want to give them away? Not without tasting a few first yourself! These Once-Bitten Cookie Cutters will make people think you just couldn't help but take a big ol' bite out of every cookie you made for them. Ha, ha! Or you could use regular cutters and then bite the cookies. Just an idea. $10.95 USD.

Pizzazz Pizza Oven

If you're the sort of person with more kitchen counter space than money, have I got the appliance for you. Why bother putting your homemade (or frozen) pizza into a regular old oven when you could place it on the revolving tray attached to this Pizzazz Pizza Oven? The funny teardrop-shaped part has both upper and lower heating elements, and will rotate the pizza between them at a steady rate so that it gets cooked thoroughly. You can even customize the heating pattern to give a crispier bottom crust or to toast your toppings a bit more. And the rest of us will just have to look on sadly with our traditionally-baked pizzas. $44.82 USD.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Phlat Ball

As long as I'm posting things to do outside as the weather warms up, I might as well mention this one. I saw a television commercial for this Phlat Ball a few days ago, and it looked really cool. You crush it into a disc and fling it, and as it flies through the air, it pops back into a sphere. Pretty cool! It looks like a fun and unique toy that any kid or cubicle-dweller could enjoy. $16.99 USD.

Ultimate Frisbee

I know a frisbee isn't really anything unusual. They get handed out for free at conventions, tossed in the back of a garage and forgotten, and are generally underappreciated. However, if you've never used a real 175-gram Ultimate Frisbee, you don't know what a frisbee really is. This is the real deal, a hefty and solid flying disc, weighted and balaced for maximum stability and control. Maybe it's just my severe case of spring fever talking, but I want to get outside and toss one of these around soon. $13.45 USD.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

EcoSurf Sandal

If you're concerned about the environment, buying yourself yet another pair of leather shoes probably makes you a little uncomfortable. Even putting aside the fact that cows need to die to produce leather, did you know that huge amounts of water are wasted, and toxic solvents are used, in its production as well? These stylish and comfortable EcoSurf Sandals are made from top-quality faux leather using safe adhesives to be as environmentally friendly as possible. They're on clearance now, so get 'em while you can! $12 USD.

Resort Slide Sandals

Today I'm featuring inexpensive but excellent footwear for the upcoming warm days of summer, and I'm kicking (ha!) things off with these women's Resort Slide Sandals. Not only are these colorful and unique, but they feature an extra-comfortable footbed with arch support and textured surfaces to stimulate the nerves in your feet based on reflexology, keeping your feet as comfortable as possible while you're wearing them. $12.99 USD.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Alien II Multi Tool

My wife and I just got ourselves new bikes, and, five miles into our first ride, discovered that the allen screws holding her handlebars in place were loose. Too bad we hadn't had something like this Alien II Multi Tool at the time! With seven different sizes of allen wrench, three different hex bolt wrenches, a chain tool, spoke wrenches, and many more essential bicycle-maintenance tools, it's a fantastic addition to anyone's bicycle bag, and could easily avert an emergency on a long trip. $28.05 USD.


When you're out hiking or camping, it's important to try and squeeze as much of your gear as possible into very little space. Hence, tools with multiple uses are sought after, since they mean only having to carry one item to accomplish many tasks. This LightCap is a strong plastic one-litre water bottle with a solar-charged LED light inside the cap. It charges fully in just four hours, and a single charge lasts for hours. Each cap includes a red low-power LED that will easily last all night providing a gentle glow that won't affect your night vision, and a bright white LED for stronger ilumination. $24.95 USD.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wagon Umbrella

While it's starting to warm up outside, it's still awfully rainy — April showers and all that, don't you know. So while your kids are riding along the sidewalk in their authentic Radio Flyer wagon, keep them dry (or protected from sunburns!) with this Wagon Umbrella. A classy addition to a classic outdoor toy, any kid who enjoys their wagon will enjoy this as well. $12.99 USD.

Plush Passover Plagues

Why settle for plush bacteria and viruses when you can have a set of disturbing dolls like these? They're Plush Passover Plagues, and they come in a bag of ten: a drop of blood, a frog, a louse, a cow, a black locust, a lump of hail, a cube of darkness, a boil on a piece of flesh, a snarling lion's head, and a guy who's very sad about the death of his firstborn. Order now with overnight shipping to get them in time for Passover, and don't forget to smear lamb's blood on the doorpost. $15.95 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006


As a coffee lover, I'm always on the lookout for neat new ways to prepare this rich, delicious beverage. This odd-looking device, the AeroPress, is like a giant syringe for coffee: you place ground coffee and hot water in the top, stir for ten or twenty seconds, then push the plunger down to force the concentrated coffee through a paper filter and into your mug. Dilute it to taste with some hot water, and voilá! A hot, fresh mug of coffee. $28 USD. (Via Cool Tools.)

Movie Theatre Popcorn Oil

Many people agree that movie theatre popcorn tastes better than anything homemade. Want to know why? That's right: it's bad for you! The secret to the delicious taste of movie theatre popcorn is coconut oil, which, when partially hydrogenated, forms trans fats, which can lead to heart disease. But if you're willing to take that risk, or you have the willpower to only use a bit of this Movie Theatre Popcorn Oil at a time, you can get that delicious movie flavor at home. $10.49 USD.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Glide Shower Rings

Have you ever had to deal with the sheer frustration caused by a shower curtain with uncooperative rings? You grab the curtain and attempt to pull it aside, but the rings just wedge themselves against the rod, not moving, and the curtain pulls against them, threatening to rip? Arrrgh. Thankfully, someone out there understood this type of frustration and came up with a great invention to deal with it. These Glide Shower Rings are lined along the inside of their curve with tiny brass ball bearings that spin freely, allowing the rings to coast smoothly along the shower rod with just a gentle tug. $14.50 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Circuitboard Coasters

Even geeks don't like it when you put your drink down on their nice hardwood furniture, you know. If it's humid at all, the condensation can make a ring which could stain the furniture permanently, and then what are you gonna do? It would be ruined. Ruined! But if you'd use these Circuitboard Coasters, everything would be okay, since they'd be stylishly geeky and protect the furniture. Not too bad! $19.99 USD.

Friday, April 07, 2006

What Would Joe Strummer Do? T-Shirt

All kids need a role model to provide them with moral and ethical guidance throughout their growing years. Personally, I can think of no better person for the job than The Clash's founder and lead singer Joe Strummer. Show the world that your kid is truly rock and roll with this What Would Joe Strummer Do? T-Shirt. I don't care if the shareef don't like it, 'cause this shirt really rocks the casbah. £16.99 UKP.

Peeps Marshmallow Maker

Easter is almost upon us, and we all know what that means: time for loads and loads of brightly-colored candy! And what candy says Spring more than those blindingly fluorescent loads of sugar, Peeps? With this Peeps Marshmallow Maker, you can mix up your own marshmallowy substance, shape it into bunnies, chicks, stars and other shapes, and cover it with colorful sugar in whatever design you choose all in the comfort of your own home. As Easter activities go, dyeing eggs is so passé. Making Peeps is in! $26 USD.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Subversive Cross Stitch

Do you enjoy cross-stitch but find many of the available designs just a little too... dull? You're too young to be your grandmother, so put down those precious designs of teddy bears on swings and pick up Subversive Cross-Stitch, a book chock full of designs your grandma won't be making anytime soon. From a "This Place Sucks" pattern to give to a coworker, to a "WTF?" for anyone who knows just how stupid things can get, it's packed with patterns that will keep you amused and busy for many hours to come. Not for the easily offended. $9.72 USD.

Remote-Control Lawnmower

When I was a kid, I mowed way too many lawns. Hundreds if not thousands of hours of my childhood were spent out in the summer heat, swatting away biting flies and getting dust and lawn clippings in my hair and teeth while I rode a noisy lawnmower around in circles. If I never have to mow a lawn ever again, it'll be too soon, and that's why I like this Remote-Control Lawnmower. From the comfort of a deck chair in the shade, while sipping a nice frosty drink, I can mow my lawn via remote control! However, since the mower is only 4 inches long, it'll probably take me a lot longer. Bummer. $19.99 USD.