Wednesday, February 24, 2010


You know what that stands for? Save Our Furniture. Because potential furniture destruction always exists whenever a party rages. You know what I'm talking about: moisture rings covering your precious wooden heirlooms.

Coasters are the ticket. But so many coasters are, well, lame. They're ugly, or bulky, or just seem stuffy (sort of like covering living room furniture in plastic). These coasters, however, are cool. Just a shadow of those lame coasters. Seriously, they are shadows, but usually of a different variety than the actual glass. In this case, it's a shadow of a soda can, complete with straw (there's also a coffee mug version, although I believe it's currently sold out). As guests imbibe, these coasted will confound. And they're flexible and in basic black, so no lameness here.

At just ten bucks a four-pack, these make a swell hostess gift. So, Save Our Furniture at

Monday, February 22, 2010

Office Frivolity

Remember the olden days, when companies lured you in to their hallowed halls with free sodas 24/7 and arcade games in the lounge? Well, wake up, because those perks are long, long gone. You and your friends are lucky to be gainfully employed, and don't you forget it. But that doesn't mean that there's no office fun to be had.

Like this portable air hockey set. Yeah, ok, it totally sucks compared to the full-sized model that was repossessed last year and hauled from the premises. But it has a fan, is battery operated and can be easily hidden in a cubicle, then busted out once the boss takes a breather. 'Cause hey, you might be lucky to have the dumb job, but the job's not lucky enough to have you stay on it if the cat's away. Gotta get those thrills where you still can.

Find this lilliputian arcade version at At $30, it can entertain your office space confined buddies for hours of company time.

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Go to Find A Tadpole and read about a killer kiddie gift.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Drawing to a Conclusion

Life is stressful. Many people advise meditation, but sitting still and trying to quiet my mind usually leads to an anxiety attack. I find that a focused activity, such as drawing, really does the trick (and trust me, the Toad is no artist).

If this de-stresser works well for a hoppy amphibian, it'll work wonders for friends and family. But first, the right tools are required. Many say pencils are the ticket, but I like the voluptuous quality of ink and color. Thus, these amazing Faber-Castell artist pens. They're designed with pliable brush tips that move quite a bit like paint brushes, but with the control and precision of, well, a pen. And they're available in handy "wallet packs" of shades of grey, landscape colors (pictured), and something called Terra (imagine Vermont in the fall). They're just a pleasure to draw with, easy to transport, and allow for inventive cross-hatching and shading. After a drawing or two, pulse rates plummet and breathing is easy. Whether the product is easy on the eyes is up to individual proficiency levels.

A caveat: these are NOT markers for kids! Children will not appreciate them and they will be ruined in short order. So give a set of these and a lovely portable pad to your favorite stress ball. Order from You might even end up with something nice to hang on your wall.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Name it Stanley

As in Stanley Steamer. With such a heavy emphasis these days on healthy food prep, a steamer is a must. But, with most steamers, comes hot metal, burns and awkward food removal. Until this thing's arrival, anyway.

Ok, its name isn't really Stanley. It's actually called a FoodPod, and it's made from food grade silicone. To use, the happy dieter stuffs it with the food of choice (the picture boasts broccoli) and hangs or lowers the thing into simmering water. While it looks vaguely like a rubber chicken or some misplaced internal organ, Stanley here is really the height of culinary practicality. And for a friend or lover bent on reduction, it's a kitchen must-have.

Stanley comes at a decent price, too: around fifteen bucks. It's available at one of the Toad's favorite sites, Give this silicone steamer a home today; Stanley adds personality to any kitchen.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crabby Bouquet

So Valentine's Day is over, leaving me with a half-eaten two pound box of See's Candy and one fat ass. I did not receive flowers (then again, I didn't ask for any, so no complaints there). But for the people who did, this vase is an excellent after Valentine's gift.

It's the crabby bouquet. Literally a vase with a "fiddler" crab on it, ready to hold those soon-to-be-wilted icons of love. Yes, what makes flowers so precious is that their beauty is fleeting. That also is what makes them annoying; just when you think you have the flowers looking perfect, they have to go south on you. Constant work. Thus the crab. It's there whether the flowers are in their glory or not, making an affirmative statement for crustaceans everywhere. Stick a thistle in it and you've really got something.

Check out Mr. Crab (and a host of other, less volatile vase choices) at He'll add a pinch of levity to all your arrangements.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lemon Bar O' Soap

Los Angeles flora is always confused. It's the middle of February, and the citrus trees are mistakenly pumping out lemons and limes as if it were high June. My Meyers are multiplying with no end in sight.

But not everyone in the country is blessed with such wonky weather. Most of those poor souls are freezing to death and possibly dying of vitamin D deficiency plus scurvy. That's where these awesomely realistic lemon bar soap bars come into play. They look real and smell pretty convincing, but they're made of lovely glycerin and goat milk soap formulas, to soothe winter blasted skin. Imagine one in your arctic dwelling friend's kitchen, evoking lazy days of summer, cookies, and lemonade. The sunny yellow will lift anybody's cold weather blues. She'll thank you.

Find these little lemon bars of soap at And, as an added bonus, you could send some real lemon bars, too, just to keep more senses alive until spring arrives. Try them from

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Greasy Valentine

It should be fairly obvious by now that I'm somewhat obsessed with dry skin. A scaly epidermis might be unavoidable this time of year, but we should all fight the good fight. After all, flakes are not sexy or comfortable. And what better a Valentine's gift than smooth, sexy skin?

Although this isn't a beauty blog, some products are wonderful enough to garner a Toad recommendation. This Goe body oil is one such product. If you think about it, finding a truly great body moistener is always a problem. Lotions go on well, but seem to lose their efficacy fast. Body oils are simply a greased up mess, leaving one like an oiled hog for the rest of the day. But Goe is quite different; it's a solid body oil. It squeezes out of its tube as a soft balm, then gets warmed between hands before smoothed everywhere. There's no nastiness in this product, like parabens or petroleum based formulas; just tons of different types of excellent oils. And it smells like a light, lovely tropical breeze (but not in a heavy sort of way. Toad does not like strong scents, and she loves this).

In terms of Valentine's Day, Goe is ideal for massage. And who knows where that could lead. Find it at and get ready to slip and slide.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gimme Candy

As if the last half-assed Valentine's Day entry wasn't bad enough, I'm about to subject you to even MORE V-Day goods. Here's the secret: it doesn't matter that it's bad for you, or that you're on a diet, or that it makes you feel sick, because everyone loves candy.

More specifically, everyone loves See's Candy. Yes, there are fancier brands out there, imported from la-di-da and featuring hand milked butterfat and organic nuts from sustainable plantations. Yes, I suppose it's possible to go all self-righteous and be responsible with the chocolate goodies. But I'm telling you that See's old-fashioned, no-nonsense, slightly salty candy is superior. The mouthfeel is exquisite, the taste lingers on the tongue. And, when you buy your love a box this big, it'll linger for a long, long time. This is a honking big box of chocolates, enough for many search and destroy missions in front of the TV, either looking for or attempting to avoid the cherry cordial. Just looking at the picture makes my mouth water and my fingers itch to wrap around this box of joy and cart it off to a quiet corner. Sugar time!

Pay no attention to the gasps and protests. Candy is good for the soul. Order this almost everlasting supply of it at And notice: I spared you the obnoxious and useless heart box! The Toad is always considerate.

Valentine's Bullseye

Valentine's Day is such a groaner. There's all this pressure on couples, all this humiliation for singles. Really, no one ends up delighted. Plus, it's possibly the worst night all year to try to eat out.

So what's a man to do? Since many men go the often boneheaded (not to mention self-serving) route of buying lingerie for their sweeties, I thought I'd at least give a fun, funky, and quality option. This Suki brief, for instance. It's available in red as well as black. It provides fuller coverage for fuller girls (who don't want ALL their business hanging out). And it's by those lingerie geniuses, Agent Provocateur. This means it's a pricey pair of panties, NOT something to throw in the machine on full power. The wrapping job alone from Agent is almost worth the cost: beautiful pink boxes with sweet smelling tissues, wrapping in slinky black ribbon. A totally demure covering for the not-so-demure covering nestled inside.

And if you get in an argument, at least the Suki brief highlights a clear kicking target. Just kidding. Check out Suki and the other panty options at

Monday, February 1, 2010

Soft, Not Scaly

I've seen many sites pushing the crocodile bag this season, but I don't need one because my entire body feels like a big crocodile (hard, scaly and bumpy, NOT very Toad-like). And if I'm feeling this disgusting, chances are friends are, too. The Toad feels a gift coming on...

Normally, I'd push for a scrub/mini-massage at the local Korean spa, but that's sort of pricey and an indulgence. What's just the ticket is a body scrub, performed in the privacy of one's own bathroom, at night, alone, with preferably low light. For this purpose, I choose Carol's Daughter Sweet Honey Dip Chocolate Brown Sugah Scrub. First off, it lacks things that are bad for a body, like parabens, artificial colors and scents, and petro-chemicals. Second, it's sugar rather than salt based. While either crystal will work for sloughing off stuff in the buff, salt is far more likely to sting those delicate areas, particularly if freshly shaved. This should be a pleasant experience, not torture! Plus, it smells so good. Like dessert. And men and women both love the smell of dessert.

A big tub 'o scrub runs about $34, but will last the rest of winter. Find it (and other scrubs) at And think soft, never scaly.


Like it or not, sports season is in full swing. And even if you hate every single minute, every "down" and "out" and tushie-shaking cheerleading twit, you might still have to watch it. Or even be invited to a party, to which you will be expected to bring a gift.

The Toad thinks this handy dandy chips and dips bowl set is just perfect. Just imagine: you saunter into the party, homemade (or purchased, Toad won't tell) dips and gourmet chips in hand, this bowl set ready to rumble. The Toad's amphibious mate, of male gender, finds this gift "silly." You know why that is? Because, as a sports watching male, Toad doubts he's EVER placed chips or dip into any receptacle, nor had to transport it to and from the kitchen to the media area. His biggest beef was that the dip bowls interfered with the chip capacity. Toad says: get off that sports watching ass and refill your chip bowl already. Jeez.

Anyway, these bowls are stylin'. And good for playgroups of kids, too. Find the set at Because it's always the season for multi-tasking snacking.