I did publicly declare my ill-feelings towards Christmas only recently, but I do like finding interesting things to give. (From the safety of my own home.) Inevitably in my searches, I find plenty of things that I would like, too. So, here’s a list of products that have caught my attention and that may provide some inspiration, given the time of year…

Paint the Pond Jamtown Pack – $42.95 at Dragonfly Toys
Music and art in one? Yes! Devin’s music teacher gave him the frog to play with one day when we arrived early to class, to try to entice him out of his shell. She had a big one and a little one, and they sound fantastic. You stroke the ridges on the back with a stick, and it sounds like a real frog croak.

StickyGram magnets – $15 for a sheet of 9
If you use Instagram, this is a great idea. StickyGram makes your Instagram photos into magnets. Simple! Based in the UK, they offer free shipping worldwide, and I received my order quite quickly. Devin loved them so much that he pulled them off his bed frame during a nap and put them under his pillow.
Last date to order in time for Christmas is the 9th of December.

Jack n’ Jill Natural Toothpaste – $5.85
I have to be honest – I’ve only bought this once, and it has long since run out. (I just don’t like it when shipping is more expensive than what I’m buying…) But, Devin loved it. We tried the strawberry flavour, and there is also banana, blackcurrant, blueberry and raspberry.

Waldo Pancake tin – £6 at Really Good Shop
I am greatly amused by this. If ever there was a tin to represent my sense of humour, this would be it.

A Coloring Book for Big Kids by Phil Lewis – $19.95
This is saved on my wishlist. I am a big kid, and I want it.

Sega Toys Homestar Spa bath planetarium – US$105
A star projector for the bath. It can float upwards or downwards, and has two other domes for different moods. How great would this be for adults and kids? With the $45 shipping fee, though, it is a bit pricey.

Crochet rattle ball – $8.50 at MiracleFromThreads
For babies, cats, crochet-loving adult women who maybe spent a chunk of time browsing baby items on Etsy…
(The answer to the unspoken question is, no. I’ve just got a raging case of cluckiness.)

Rainbow Jelly Lego Men Soaps – $6.50 for 7 at Bubble Lane Soap
It’s a pretty good bet that if you have kids or know people with kids, you probably know someone who loves Lego. Actually, the kids aren’t even necessary. If you know people, you probably know someone who loves Lego.

Ladies Oaxacan Lace Blouse – $75 at Little Tienda
I love Mexican embroidery, but I don’t own anything like it. This Australian shop also has oh-so-nice serapes and girls’ dresses .

All About Me by Philipp Keel – $11.80 at The Book Depository
Basically, a book of questions to answer. “The wide-ranging questions–from short yes/no’s to open-ended ones that probe your psyche–are personal, direct, and addictively fun to answer.” I’d get one each for Jene and I. It could be interesting…

Merry Spending.


“But those toddlers… they don’t know how to play with us!” “They’re too young!”

Devin’s at a stage where he doesn’t really play with toys. He wants to do what the adults are doing, and since he’s currently cohabiting with five adults, he has a lot to choose from. I suppose if I were to name toys that he does play with, they would be the ones that he pushes. He has a lawn mower, shopping trolley, walker (I should really pack that away somewhere) and a wheelbarrow. Grandma and Pop bought him the mower and wheelbarrow because he loves ‘helping’ them outside in the yard. He also has a little shovel which today he apparently used to help dig up a tree.

The mower drives me completely insane. Despite the fact that we deliberately assembled it incorrectly so that it wouldn’t make the ‘realistic’ engine noise (made by a little plastic clicker), it’s still very loud. I try to keep it outside, but it often sneaks its way back in. The shopping trolley – not much better. He gets frustrated and throws it, and that is annoying, too. The trolley itself is good, though – it’s metal, red and blue and yellow. Devin started playing with it at Uncle Pete’s toys, and we figured, hey, a shopping trolley that isn’t pink and is $30? Sold. I took it with us to Target one day – things were going well for the first, oh, ten minutes. Then I had to get a big trolley to carry both Devin and his trolley.

So, Devin might not be terribly interested in toys, but I still am.

Uncle Goose blocks – $62 + canvas bag $11 @ Flying Fox Studios

I’ve been wanting these blocks for a long time now, and I also think the Chinese and hieroglyphic sets would be nice. It actually took me a while to find a way to potentially get them – Amazon is notorious (at least to me) for not shipping things to Australia, and these were no exception. The online Australian stockists I found had them for at least twice the US price (making the total cost with shipping well into $100). Eventually I found them here for an acceptable price. They will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine.


Wooden lock box – $68 @ My Wooden Toys

This is one of the most perfect toys I’ve ever seen. Devin would love it. I don’t know what else to say about it.


Small Cubebot – $25 @ Areaware

I like this for the fact that it’s a robot, but it’s not plastic or metal like pretty much any other toy robot. Not that they’re bad – I just really like wood.


Le Toy Van Shanghai Warrior Pirate Ship – $110 @ Gifts 4 Kidz

Well, this is obviously a little out of his age bracket (and our budget) for now, but one day…


Rainbow nesting blocks – $50 @ Eco Toys

You know, it feels awkward for me to post these things, because I realise how ‘fashionable’ it is lately to buy only wooden and/or educational toys for children. I guess I just want to convey that I have been this way inclined for as long as I can remember, and the fact that my tastes are on trend (for now) just makes it easier to buy things I like. (I remember being thrilled in the early 2000’s when the floaty, peasant look was in fashion and I could buy cheesecloth tops and long skirts everywhere.)


Fruut storage sack – $38 each + tree – $295 @ Happy Little Hippos

I am a pretty tidy and aesthetically-driven person, and I’ll be honest – the thought of mismatched tubs and baskets of toys around the house makes me grimace. Well, it’s not just a thought – that is the storage situation for Devin’s things at the moment. I’m not sure if I would choose this solution, actually – at the very least, I would never be able to afford it all. (I nearly died when I saw the price.) But I thought it was good idea.


Automoblox C9 red sportscar – $50 @ Happy Little Hippos

This is another thing I’ve wanted for a long time – since before he was born, I think. It requires assembly by the child, which is always great.


Micki tin cookware – $40 @ Happy Little Hippos

Devin loves sitting on the bench watching us (well, let’s be honest again – most often Jene) cook, and he’s frequently transfixed by cooking shows. These with a little stovetop and some wooden and felt food – awesome. I also like that these are not painted or decorated, which leads me to this…


Sparkle T toast time – $20 @ Happy Little Hippos

I don’t want to go into a discussion about gender roles and stereotypes, but let’s just say I’m not happy with the fact that most roleplaying toys, unless they are guns, are aimed at girls. Big W sells little toy kettles and toasters but, yep, they are all hot pink. Devin gets excited about our toaster and kettle, and I almost bought the toy kettle, despite it’s pinkness (it’s not like he knows the difference), but decided that he gets enough thrill from being allowed to push the button on the real one when someone wants tea or coffee.

I got excited when I saw this, but then realised that with it’s little flowers and love heart lever, it was yet another domestic toy targeted to little girls. And I’m not saying that that alone would stop me from buying it – I’m just saying, it’s annoying.



Hug-A-Planet Earth and Moon – $70 @ Urban Baby

Maybe I just want this for me.


FunDough essential oil play dough – $10 each @ The Hip Infant

I don’t really like when Devin wants to play with play dough, because it means he will want me to touch it, too, and I hate having smelly play dough hands. This would solve the problem.


Since I never know how to finish cleanly, here is a picture of Devin and his lawn mower.