a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Oct, 2009

birthday gift ideas and a cute little store in Westboro

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro|Easy ways to make kids happy|Oh! Things!

Sarah had TWO birthday parties to attend today. And yesterday, weary and ill, I took Sarah down to Westboro Village to shop for gifts.

I was feeling mentally drained even before I started. And I had a devil of a time figuring out what to buy as birthday gifts.

Don’t kids have everything nowadays? These little girls are 8 and 9 now. When the girls and I go shopping for birthday gifts I can’t help but picture bedrooms already brimming with WebKinz and Barbies and who knows what. Why add to the pile?

There’s always books (I love buying books for kids) but there’s no bookstore nearby. What about consumables? I’d love to steer Sarah to the chocolate shop or the candy store and buy $20 worth of loot, but I figure that might be not appreciated by the parents.

Is this or is this not the age where kids start moving away from toys? It’s tough.

Anyway, all of this was swirling around in my head as we browsed. There are a number of great little shops in the village, including Mrs. Tiggywinkles, one of our favourite toy stores. But we decided to pop into a newish store called Quichua World Market first.

Oh man. I’m glad we went, because that’s where we found this sweet little beaded purse ($9.95)

Beaded horse purse

We also picked up a friendship bracelet for only $2.00. A pretty nice little thing for a horse-lovin’ gal, don’t you think? 

But I got totally sidetracked by some really fun robot and animal hats which come in both adult and kid size. Here’s a puppy:

Making winter less dreary with a fun hat

I couldn’t resist buying myself a pair of raccoon mittens:

Raccoon mittens

And we went back today to buy Emma a bunny hat:

Bunny hat
Aren’t they cute?

I know we were supposed to be shopping for others but I think this was money well spent. And just in time! Have you seen the forecast? Brr.

(Quichua World Market is located at 325 Richmond Road in Westboro.)

9 Responses to "birthday gift ideas and a cute little store in Westboro"

1 | Betsy Mae

October 24th, 2009 at 9:05 pm


I LOVED every item you took pictures of! Too bad I’m so far away.

2 | Susan

October 25th, 2009 at 6:15 am


That store does look great, and my kids have already asked for those hats for Christmas.

Not that this was the main topic of the post, but as to kids’ gifts at parties – we went to a birthday party for a 6-year-old a while ago, and it was a toonie party. Everyone was asked to tape a toonie to the birthday card, then the birthday boy could buy his present with the contributions. I thought it was a great solution to the gift problem, and I will likely encourage my kids to do it when their birthday rolls around.


3 | Alison in Ottawa

October 25th, 2009 at 6:56 am


I have moved to books (occasionally games) for all birthday parties my girls are invited to (ages 4 and 7) unless we know it is someone that likes Lego. Then we buy Lego. You don’t even have to buy full sets, you can buy just specailty parts on re-sellers on bricklink, so you can ive only lego people, lego trees etc..

4 | andrea

October 25th, 2009 at 8:36 am


Susan: I like the toonie party idea. It’s a nice way of asking for cash without asking for cash! ;)

Alison: Lego is great too, but yes, you have to know if the recipient has Lego at home to start. Playvalue has a ton of Lego (have you been to that store?) as well as Playmobil too. (We love Playmobil. If I had a spare room I would build a table and designate it Playmobil world.)

5 | Stacey

October 25th, 2009 at 3:31 pm


Here, on the west coast, twoonie parties have become popular with my kids friends, but they ask you to bring two twoonies… one goes to the child, the other to the charity of the birthday kid’s choosing. It is very easy for “shopping”, and the children all learn a bit about charity and donating at the same time.

6 | Nadine C.

October 25th, 2009 at 11:57 pm


I’ve passed by that store a few times with my daughter and it does look like a very nice place, we just haven’t had the time to pop in yet…
About birthday presents, we have been quite lucky lately that my 9 year old has friends who tend to like simple crafts supplies and books so we have not bought a barbie or any expensive popular toys in a very long time. Lately she has been invited to “no presents” parties ; the birthday girl chooses a charity of her choice and every kid may contribute some of their piggy banks funds to a jar as they come in. Instead of a loot bag they might get a thank you card from the charity or a small bulb for planting ! The best part is that they spent more time enjoying the birthday and less time googling all the other presents!

7 | Hellcat13

October 26th, 2009 at 9:46 am


I love the raccoon mittens! I’ll have to check out the store the next time I’m in Westboro. Awesome!

8 | Rebecca

October 26th, 2009 at 7:56 pm


okay, is that cow hat beside the picture of the puppy you showed? omg I want it! (for me, sad?)

looks like great stuff. I love finding unique gifts. But isn’t it frustrating finding the *perfect* or most unique gift for someone but you kinda know that they just won’t appreciate it?

So many stores, should make a trip to Westboro to do some shopping…

9 | Joy

November 23rd, 2009 at 1:05 pm


Just wanted to mention that there is a Quichua World Market open at the Hazeldean Mall!

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  • SJM: My father sent epic care packages when I was at Uni - one per term. It included a 6 pack of beer and lots of food. This was when postage was much chea
  • andrea tomkins: I KNOW. It's crazy that we are now the parents of an adult. I can hardly believe it myself most days! :)
  • Allison: What!!??!! How is your daughter in university?!! That just cannot be!!! So glad to hear she is adjusting well and having fun and enjoying her classes
  • andrea tomkins: Great ideas Joy! Especially the POST-its! They're actually an expensive purchase for a student, so they'd make a nice addition to a care package.
  • joy: cute and fun - I would love to receive things like this! How about notebooks, magazines, post-it notes, seasonal treats, lip balms, gift cards for fav
  • andrea tomkins: Ooh! Good one Alison! A good (long!) phone charge cord could be welcome as well.
  • Alison in Ottawa: Another pair of ear phones. My daughter can never keep track of them.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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