Just What I Wanted!

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

Thursday, November 30, 2006


These are about the simplest toy ever. You could probably build your own (crappy) set with some string and a pair of aluminum cans. But somehow, when I was a kid, I loved stomping around outdoors with these Stompers under my feet. They made me six inches taller, and turned my feet into loud, clompy hooves! They may seem pointless, but they're just the sort of toy that lets a kid have some fun and use his imagination. $8.79 USD.


This past weekend while out on the town, I happened to pick up a tube of SparX in a little food store, just on a whim. They're little candies made entirely without sugar, but with xylitol instead. Xylitol has been popular throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and other parts of the world, but has only recently been introduced in America. It's a natural sugar substitute that is much better for you than sugar: it actually fights tooth decay, helps improve bone density, can help fight oral infections, and more. These little candies taste great, don't have the weird flavor that other sugar substitutes often give, and are fun to snack on knowing they're actually good for you. $1.42 USD per tube, but trust me, you'll want to get a bunch.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sherpa Coffee Sleeve

If you're a frequent coffee-drinker, you probably go through your fair share of little insulating coffee sleeves around your take-out cups. Those little sleeves aren't really all that effective at helping keep your coffee hot, and using them once and then tossing them just creates lots of extra waste. Get yourself a Sherpa Coffee Sleeve, just like the ones used by the Sherpa of Nepal to insulate their Starbucks triple-grande organic extra-foam caramel mocha macchiato, and keep your coffee warmer longer while reducing waste. $16.95 USD. (Via The Slumbering Lungfish.)

The Handler

Picture this: you're using a public restroom and doing your best to keep germs off your hands. They've installed automatic-flush toilets, and sinks and paper towel dispensers with motion sensors so you don't have to touch anything. Then you go to leave, and the grimy, germ-covered doorhandle stares you in the face. What do you do? Try to use your foor or your elbow to pull the door open? Go get another paper towel and leave it lying on the floor when you're done? No! Get yourself The Handler, a handy keychain-sized pop-out hook made especially for grabbing and pulling things you don't want to touch. The hook is silver-plated, making it naturally and effectively antibiotic, so your hands and your hook both stay clean. $10.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Heated Mouse

If you're like me (and most of my family), your hands are prone to being chilly, and when winter rolls around with its naturally cold temperatures, this can get to be a big problem for those of us who like to use computers a lot. Typing with bulky gloves or mittens on isn't an option, but using this Heated Mouse certainly is! Drawing power via USB, it has a heating element nestled snugly inside it, which will keep your mouse hand nice and toasty. You'll have to keep your other hand warm on your own, or learn some two-handed mousing techniques. ¥2980 JPY (about $26 USD). (Via Gizmodo.)

Be the Coolest Dad on the Block

If you're a dad and you really want to impress your kids, this book is the perfect way to do it. Filled with fun and simple games, riddles, craft projects, brain teasers and jokes, Be the Coolest Dad on the Block is a handy tool to amuse and entertain your kids for hours on end. Great for rainy days, long car rides, or just dispelling boredom. $9.56 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Monday, November 27, 2006


This gift idea makes me sad that it's so expensive, because it's also really cool. Cuboro is a set of wooden blocks with grooves and tunnels for marbles to roll through. By stacking the blocks atop or next to each other, you can create complex, twisty pathways for marbles to roll through. It sounds like a lot of fun, but the starter set has 30 blocks for $119 USD, or about $4 per individual block!

Giant AnglePoise Lamp

It's time once again for Extravagant Gift Monday, the day when I post gift ideas that are really, really expensive and not all that helpful unless you're fabulously wealthy. Let's get things started with this Giant AnglePoise Lamp. While it looks just like the bendy, repositionable desk lamps we all know and love, this one's absolutely huge! It's a useful light source, a cool piece of décor, a conversation piece, and a work of art all in one. It can be yours for the low, low price of £1660 UKP, or about $3196 USD.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Many kids, like me, are allergic to animals and so, sadly, can't have cute, furry pets. However, with today's advances in robotics, it's possible to give allergy-ridden kids a fun, friendly pet to love that won't give them hives or asthma attacks. For instance, give a kid who loves dogs this i-Dog, an alien-looking robotic dancing dog with seven sinister, glowing eyes. Just plug it into a music player and it'll dance and move along with the beat, blinking its eyes at you as if to say "just get close enough and I'll take over your primitive brain, humanoid!" $29.95 USD.

Day of the Dead Purse

You missed Dia de los Muertos this year, but I know you're planning to head down to Mexico and party with the skeletons next year. To do that, you'll need appropriate accessories, such as this cute little Day of the Dead Purse. With its lovely colorful and festive design it'll perfectly complement your giant sombrero. $18 USD.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Felt Fried Egg

I know you all bought yourselves some Felt Food back in June, but by now you must be getting tired of having the same felt meal all the time. Spice things up by adding a gourmet Felt Fried Egg to your plate! It comes in a handy metal shell which you can crack open to reveal the delicious felty egg. $4.95 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Magnetic Photo Rope

Putting your photos on display in frames is so passé, seriously. Photos behind glass with wooden or metal borders, hanging against the wall? Puh-leeze. The new hip way to display your photos is with a Magnetic Photo Rope. with its little powerful magnets it'll hold photos securely in place against its metal cord, and the loop at the top can be hooked over any nail or tack. Get two, get six, get a dozen, but don't get caught still using frames. $12 USD for one, cheaper for more.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dog Poop Soap

Disgust adults and seriously confuse little kids by putting this Dog Poop Soap on your soap dish. It looks awfully realistic but is just regular old soap, and smells like coffee. Use it to convince your arch-nemesis' kids that all dog poop is actually soap, and watch the hilarious antics ensue next time you're at the park. $7.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)


What kids don't enjoy drawing on themselves? Whether it's just some simple shapes or a complex design, adding temporary tattoos to your skin can be a fun activity. Give it an added dose of realism with this i-Tattoo, a kit with three different-colored markers, a vibrating tattoo pen, and 30 unique stencils. Let kids know what getting a real tattoo is sort of like, so that when they're drunk on Spring Break in Cancun getting "KISS ROCKS" across their backs they're not entirely shocked. $14.99 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Claymation Christmas

Now, I'm not going to get in the habit of posting reruns, but this particular item proved so popular last year that I thought I'd probably better feature it again just in case it helps someone else find a great gift.

Here's a seasonal gift that's perfect for people who grew up in the 80s watching televised Christmas specials. Claymation Christmas is a DVD featuring the hilarious half-hour stop-motion animated Christmas special from the same guy who did all those California Raisin commercials (they make a cameo appearance in the special itself). $17.60 USD.

Night Vision Dart Launcher

These are so neat! Mount these Night Vision Dart Launcher goggles on any kid's head and they'll turn into a stealthy suction-dart-shooting sniper. While the goggles aren't true night vision goggles (they're just equipped with small LED flashlights and a green tinted lens), kids will still love creeping around wearing them at night. $19.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mini Power Minder

If you're trying to do your part to cut down on your power consumption, whether it's to save money on your electrical bill or to try and help save the environment, it's always annoying to find yet another appliance that constantly draws power even when it's supposedly turned off. The Mini Power Minder is a pair of outlets. When the device connected to the top outlet is turned on, the bottom outlet is given power as well, and when the top device goes off, so does the bottom outlet. This way, when you shut down your computer (for instance), whatever you've got connected to the bottom plug (like a printer or some speakers) will also be turned off -- and you'll know it's off for sure! $14.95 USD. (Via Treehugger.)

Shocolate Vault

Here's a sneaky dieting aid: this nifty Shocolate Vault jar lets you lock your favorite guilty treat inside and set a timer. If you try to open the jar before the timer runs out, you get shocked! A good way to keep yourself honest about how often you get to eat chocolate, candy, or even smoke cigarettes. £9.99 UKP. (Via Gizmodo.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thermometer/Laser Pointer Mouse

If there's one thing I want my computer mouse to do, it's tell the temperature. And also work as a laser pointer. Oh yeah, and it would also be nice if it would control the little pointy arrow on my computer screen for me, and be easy to stash away in my bag due to its retractable cord. Oh look! The mouse of my dreams is this Thermometer/Laser Pointer Mouse! Finally, a gadget incorporating several functions that I've never ever considered essential to mouseness. $16.99 USD.

Mini Iron

Business travelers and those of us who want to look good while on vacation know that unsightly wrinkles and creases in our clothes are a sure-fire way to make people look askance at us. If we carry this Mini Iron with us, though, we can quickly and easily make our shirts and slacks look sharp whenever we need them, ensuring we're dressed to impress at a moment's notice. $5.94 USD.

Monday, November 20, 2006

S'More Necklace

Everyone loves sitting around the campfire, toasting marshmallows, and then squishing them between two graham crackers with some chocolate. Mmm, s'mores! Now you can have a little reminder of the delicious goodness of these treats by wearing a scented S'More Necklace. Handcrafted with delicate precision, these cute little creations will make you smack your lips and long for summertime and camping season to roll around again. $12.50 USD.

Will Return Clock

You'll always be exactly on time when you put this Will Return Clock up on your wall or door. Your coworkers will glance at it, wondering when you'll be back, and whenever you do get back, it'll be pointing at the right time. Or, try setting it a little bit ahead so that everyone thinks you'll always be back soon. A fun novelty for any office worker. $9.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006


If your friends are the types to always manage to get their hands on the latest and greatest brand-new technologies, then you might know someone with one of those new-fangled iPod portable music players. If so, then this little accessory might make a good gift for him and her: it's the BeatBuckle, a handy belt buckle that doubles as a secure holder for an iPod Nano or iPod Video. Just snap your iPod into the buckle, and your hands can be free to throw in the air and/or wave like you don't care. $29.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

While artists know that merely having good tools doesn't make you a good artist, it's still important to feel comfortable with the tools you have. Buy a budding artist this Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and get them started with one tool that many successful cartoonists have used over the years. Its fine brush tip and rich, intense black ink allow artists to create lines of varied widths, the better to render their images exactly how they want them. A great gift for someone on your list who loves comics and longs to draw like their favourite artists. $18 USD.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Perfect Pod

Many people these days use coffee machines that take "pods" -- little paper filters of ground coffee that get brewed at the touch of a button. I call these people "Pod People". Unfortunately, almost every pod-based coffee machine requires you to buy all of the pods from the machine's manufacturer. If you know a Pod Person, get them a Perfect Pod and they can make their own pods from whatever type of coffee they want, even blending flavours or making tea pods. $39.95 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Finger Drum Mousepad

Do you enjoy tapping your fingers along with a catchy song? Do you imagine a rhythmic beat in your head to go along with any tune you hear? This Finger Drum Mousepad lets you tap out drum solos to your heart's content and hear them played using real drum sounds. Eight different instruments are available (bass, toms, a snare, and cymbals) and you can play along with pre-recorded beats as well as recording your own. $39.95 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

USB Beverage Heater

We've previously featured a USB-powered beverage chiller on this site, becase we know that sometimes you want a nice frosty drink by your computer. However, just as often you want a toasty mug of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or apple cider instead. Next to your chiller, now you can place this USB Beverage Heater which will keep any drink nice and warm all the way to the bottom of the mug. Now you're living in real luxury! $12.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

iGlow Hair Gel

After you've finished bathing in glow-in-the-dark bubble bath, maybe you want to take some of that freaky glow with you. Rather than walking around covered in suds, try getting yourself a dish of iGlow Hair Gel. This luminescent gel doesn't need UV, neon, or black lights to do its thing. A (safe) chemical reaction causes it to glow brightly for 4 to 6 hours after application, making you the hit of the rave. $8.95 USD. (Via BoingBoing.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lego Ice Cubes

Next time your kid's having a play date and you really want to impress the other parents, try mixing up their martinis with some Lego Ice Cubes. Shaped just like the colorful little plastic bricks your kids are playing with at this very moment, they're fun and funky and sure to get a laugh. Just don't be too disappointed when the castle you build melts into a puddle. $7.99 USD.

Snack-Size Deep Fryer

Everyone likes fresh french fries, onion rings, or mozzarella sticks, and when you have a deep fryer, you can make them at home. But regular deep fryers often use a ton of oil, making them impractical to use just for a small amount of stuff. This Snack-Size Deep Fryer, on the other hand, is tiny, just the right size to make a couple servings of whatever greasy, delicious food you desire, and only uses five cups of oil at once. Perfect for a fun, fried night at home. $39.99 USD.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thaw Light

Candles always add a touch of elegance to any gathering, but at some point they all start to seem like the same old thing. There's very little you can do to really spice them up. Different scents, different colors, sure, but that's old hat. Why not get a Thaw Light and watch people's eyes light up. Before using it, just fill the silicone ice mold in its base with water, stick it in the freezer, and let it get completely solid. Then, pop the ice out and place it over the lit candle. As time goes by, the ice will melt back into the mold in the base. How cool! $49.95 USD.


When you have a baby, it's important to try and maintain your hip, easygoing style. That's hard to do when you have to lug a giant, bulky diaper bag around with you everywhere you go, even on short trips where you won't need more than one or two diapers. The DiaperWallet is a cute and stylish solution to this problem. Made with designer fabric to look cool, it holds wipes, diapers, a changing mat, and a wet bag, and has extra pockets for you to carry whatever you might need. $23.50 USD.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Skeeter Bag

If you have outdoor pets, chances are in the summertime they get bothered by mosquitoes just like we humans do. To help them out, you can either regularly douse them in stinky insect repellent, or get yourself a Skeeter Bag. By hooking this thin fabric bag to the back of a powerful box fan and setting it up near your animals, you can easily suck thousands upon thousands of mosquitoes out of the air and trap them in the bag where they'll die, keeping them from bothering your animals. $9.95 USD.

Disc Eraser

Those of you who store sensitive files (finances, perhaps, or angst-ridden teenage poetry) on CDs have probably been faced with the need to securely destroy a CD before. How do you do it? It's difficult and dangerous to try and break a CD by hand. Scratching it up with a pair of scissors might not be effective, and putting it in the microwave, while a pretty sight, isn't very good for the microwave. The Disc Eraser is a simple little doodad that makes it easy to destroy the data on any CD without hassle. Just insert the disc, press down, and slide the slider across the disc surface. The resulting groove destroys every data track on the disc surface, making your data unreadable. Do it a few times in different locations just to be completely sure that you've gotten rid of those embarrassing Mariah Carey MP3s once and for all. $12.99 USD.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Wienerstick

Do you grill? Are you sick of foods getting charred on the outside while still being undercooked inside? Then your technique probably needs work. But one way to help things cook a little more evenly is by getting The Wienerstick, a metal stand that lets your hot dogs or other foods cook while standing upright, and which transfers heat up the rods to the middle of the food at the same time. It makes grilling simple and quick, and if you have several, you can fit a lot more food on the grill. As all Americans know, more food is always better. $22.74 USD including shipping. (Via The Technology and Gadget Blog.)

Onion Goggles

Have you ever read the online newspaper The Onion? It's hilarious! Their writers seem to see the world in a completely different way from the rest of us. Maybe if you wear these Onion Goggles you too can... oh, hang on, my mistake. These are to keep onion fumes out of your eyes when you're doing dinner prep in the kitchen. Okay. Bummer. $19.95 USD.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Nothing's worse than grabbing that leftover casserole from the fridge, opening it up, and getting a big whiff of spoiled, moldy food. Keep track of the age of the items in your fridge with DaysAgo, a digital day counter. With either magnetic or suction bases, these little counters simply count the time since you reset them. Attach them to any container (or anything else around the house) and quickly tell at a glance how long they've been there. $12 USD for two, with free shipping.


It is a shame that babies are often born without gorgeous cascading hair tumbling down about their ears, since a beautiful head of hair is one of life's true joys. Help out some poor bald kid by getting him or her a BabyToupee! Now any infant can look like L'il Kim, The Donald, Bob Marley, or Samuel L. Jackson... and who can resist a lineup like that? $24.99 USD.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Orbiculus Thumbtacks

Don't you wish everyday tasks could be accomplished just by pushing the "OK" button, or dismissed by hitting "Cancel"? Well, they can't, but at least you can make those buttons available on your bulletin board with these Orbiculus Thumbtacks. Designed to look just like the buttons on a computer screen, these tacks add a little graphical user interface to anything you pin up. Get the regular English set for a variety of fun choices, the Russian set to confuse people, or the "Everything is OK" set (every button says "OK") if you're feeling quite positive. $10.63 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Remote Control Beetles

It's always cool to flip through the channels and come across a nature documentary on PBS showing those awesome horned beetles duking it out for control of their area. Now you can simulate those battles right in your own home (which I know you've always wanted to do) with these Remote Control Beetles. With rechargeable batteries and a remote that doubles as a display stand and charger, these little beauties come in three models and can be made to walk in four directions as well as lift and attempt to flip any opponents. $38.90 USD per beetle.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Kids don't like washing their hands, and even when you can get them to do it, they probably don't do it very thoroughly. But when kids push down on the SquidSoap dispenser, a black an orange ink mark is made on their palm, and unless they scrub enough to remove it, you'll be able to tell they haven't washed well. It takes 15 to 20 seconds of washing to remove the mark, which, coincidentally, is the doctor-recommended hand-washing time. $15.99 USD for four.

Sun Jar

Here in the frozen north, the days keep getting shorter, and thanks to Daylight Savings Time ending, it seems like the sun goes down shortly after lunch. For those of us who feel pretty blue when we don't get a good daily dose of sunlight, this Sun Jar might be a worthwhile purchase. It sits quietly on your windowsill all day, sucking up whatever sunbeams it can catch (even on cloudy days!), and then when night falls, it glows serenely, giving you a nice dose of sunlight even though the sun's gone. £20 UKP.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Finger Forks

Do you ever feel rather uncouth at parties when you're forced to use your dirty, nasty fingers (who knows where they've been?) to pick up appetizers? I know exactly what you mean. Touching food and then eating it just makes me shudder. As far as I can see, there are two solutions to this problem: either spend thousands of dollars on costly therapy, or pick up a set of Finger Forks, tiny (clean!) stainless steel utensils that fit right on the ends of your fingers and allow you to spear and eat your food in style. £3.99 UKP. (Via BoingBoing.)

USB Mini Vacuum

Take a look inside your keyboard. Go ahead, I'll wait. Disgusting, no? All those hairs and crumbs and bits of... what is that stuff? Eww. I bet you'd really like to clean that up quickly and easily, right? Get yourself a USB Mini Vacuum, plug it into your computer, and suck all that nastiness right up. Clean your entire desk area while you're at it, you lazy bum. $14 USD.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Glow-in-the-Dark Bubble Bath

This stuff sounds straight out of a superhero-origin story: "At the age of eleven, shy, scrawny Ted Harrison tried a new product he had bought from a shady junk dealer outside of town: Glow-in-the-Dark Bubble Bath. While the soothing greenish light of the bubbles was awesome to look at, Ted didn't know it was actually radioactive! After getting out of the tub, he felt stronger, faster, more sure of himself. The next day, when local bully Tyler Jedd started picking on him, Ted lashed out -- and Tyler ended up sprawled against a tree fifty feet away."

Where was I? Oh, the bubble bath. Anyway, if you feel like submersing your naked body in greenish glowing ooze, this is definitely the product for you. $19.99 AUD.


While visiting the frozen north, I had the opportunity to drive a vehicle equipped with a LightInSight, mounted at the top of the windshield. The photo doesn't do it justice; when you pull up to a traffic light but are too close to actually see the light, you no longer have to lean over the steering wheel and crane your neck to watch for it to turn green... the little plastic lens stuck to the windshield allows you to comfortably see the light without any problem. It's the sort of thing you'll quickly realize you never want to be without. $12.50 USD.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Adjustable Hot Sauce

If you've never tried Dave's hot sauces, you've never had truly spicy food. This stuff ranges from a pleasant tingling mild sauce to the seriously fiery Insanity Sauce (which we've featured before), and boy is it delicious. Now, Dave's has come out with this Adjustable Hot Sauce sprayer. By turning the cap you can determine exactly how hot your sauce will be, and the pump-action spray evenly coats your food so you're sure to get just the right amount of heat in each bite. $9.99 USD. (Via Gizmodo.)

Measuring Tape Tape

I don't know about you, but I am forever curious about the size of things to which I apply adhesive tape. Previously, the only method I had of satisfying my curiosity was fetching my tape measure and carefully noting down the numbers. That all changed when I found this Measuring Tape Tape. Now, I can apply the adhesive tape to whatever I choose and find out its measurement at the same time. This saves me loads of valuable time, and I'm sure you'll find the same for yourself. $8 USD.

Monday, November 06, 2006


For those of us in the northern climes, Winter is just about to arrive, bringing with it freezing temperatures, howling winds... and, of course, lots of beautiful, white, fluffy snow. Snowball fights are always fun, but nothing is more frustrating than running out of ammo in the middle of a furious barrage. This Sno-Baller is an extra pair of hands that'll squeeze together a perfect snowball with a minimum of fuss. Soon your snowy arsenal will be the envy of all who dare approach. Muahahaha! $9.95 USD. (Via Cool Tools.)

Pirate Tankards

Let's get things started with the best kind of gift: pirate stuff! So you've got yourself a nice big pirate ship, sails, cannon, a hearty crew of 80 sea dogs well-equipped with both swashes and buckles... but something's missing. Maybe you forgot the gorgeous, handcrafted Pirate Tankards! A set of these beauties will make your crew's grog-swilling nights the envy of all the other freebooters on the sea. If you're feeling especially spendy, get an entire set of original pirate tableware at the same site. $35 USD per tankard.