Bug,  shopping

A wee little tea set!

the wee tea set

It seems a little silly and irresponsible to be posting about an expensive tea set that I foolishly bought for Baby Bug a day after I post about my family’s financial troubles but… well, I have no excuse. I shouldn’t have bought it. It was just so cute though.

have a slice! no calories!

It was supposed to be a birthday present. See the candles? How perfect for a birthday! But then it was back ordered and I forgot about it. Then after Baby Bug’s birthday, Oompa emailed me saying it was back in stock and click click click I bought it online before my rational judgement could set in. It really is true that Mommy bloggers are a major sector of the online consumer market. It’s just too easy.

wooden tea set!

So here we are today feeling guilty for spending $45 ($50-something with shipping) on a wee little wooden tea set that Baby Bug does NOT need… How many tea sets does she have now? Three?!!! BUT ISN’T IT CUTE?!!! Doesn’t it just give you a toothache looking at the little flower spoons that scoop up the wee little sugar cubes!!! Oh my goodness, I love this tea set. It is totally worth the fifty big ones I slaved away all night to earn.

having tea is serious businesss

The question is, who likes this tea set more? Baby Bug or me? Hmph. Baby Bug seemed to really like the candles that you can put in and out of the little slices of wooden cake. In fact, they were a bit of a problem because they are REALLY LITTLE! Like tiny enough to put up your nose and end up in the ER with. Not that that happened (it didn’t) but I am aware of their dangerous potential.

having tea

Thankfully Baby Bug is mostly past the putting everything in her mouth stage (and not quite to the putting-everything-up-your-nose stage yet) but I decided right then and there that this is a toy that stays in its box and gets put away after we’re done with it. Mostly because I think it would hurt me a little bit if we lost a piece. I need to re-think this gift. Maybe it is more for me.

Does that mean fun for four kids or more?

It says on the box for ages four and up. OR you could be like me and read that little symbol to say “Fun for Four or MORE!!!” Wooo Hoooo bring on the party! Oh, there are only two tea cups. Oh well. We can share. One sugar cube for you, one sugar cube for me, lah-di-dah-dee. But really I think they are right on this one. The parts are way smaller than I expected.

much smaller than it appears

It would probably be a perfect gift for my five-year-old niece who likes to play restaurant and pretend to be a waitress every day (and don’t get me wrong… she’s totally doing calculus on the side of her order-taking ticket book). But on the other hand I think by the time Baby Bug is five she will be bored with this set in about five minutes. She’s going to be playing with her chemistry set by then, don’t you know? So these age instructions are a bit tricky. I think this toy will be perfect for Baby Bug in a year or two but between then and now it will be perfect for US to play together.




  • JennyC.No3

    I’ve totally fallen in love with the tea set already and my daugher doesn’t turn 1 until the end of next month! It looks like I’ve have to wait a bit more to have my own tea party since the parts are small …

    Cheers and hope you have loads of fun together!

  • coco

    We have it too! We did not need it. We have other tea sets. We have so much fun with it. It makes me happy every time I pick it up off the floor. You can’t say that for many toys It was worth every penny.

  • Michelle in Cincinnati

    I love the little sugar cubes :o) Cracking up about putting the candles up the nose – haha! I know how you feel about “if we lost a piece of the set”…..I have those same feelings about my girl’s American Girl Doll things – oy! If something gets lost, I look and look until I find it! Come to think of it, that also happened the other day with a set of Hannah Anderson mittens that C. lost at Ltd. Too in the mall! I stopped what I was doing, and searched the store until I found it! I mean come on….it’s Hannah Anderson for gosh sakes :o) I’m with Coco….what you paid for her tea set is woth every little sip of tea you take together!!!

  • Starryprincess

    It’s absolutely gorgeous , I would have bought it too.
    Those age things are a guide line for people who don’t know what to buy for kids ‘cos they don’t have any. Aren’t they………..!?! Not us mammy’s who know our children so well.
    Internet shopping ,with virtual money, too too too easy.

  • Shelley

    I’m totally convinced that the toy market is for MOMS first, then kids! I’m the one playing with Sadie, so I better like the toy :) (Yahoo, we’re in the Barbie stage now…I always said I wouldn’t let MY daughter play Barbies, what with their teeny unrealistic waists and huge boobs…) but I’m having a BLAST, and am obsessed with getting more and more Barbie clothes. As far as tea sets go, can you really have ENOUGH? (Sadie has four and counting…)

  • ninabi

    Now I wish my girl was 2 and not almost 22. I want to play with that cute tea set, too!
    Crossing my fingers, making a wish…I wish for….
    a granddaughter!

    The little yarn strings on the teabags- too cute. Maybe I could start buying stuff for future grandchildren?

    Have fun. And tea. Lots and lots of pretend tea!

  • bethany actually

    Annalie has the Melissa & Doug Birthday Party Cake Set, and it has candles too! But the whole thing is bigger–might work better for the under-4 set, if anyone else is interested, or if you feel like blowing another hard-earned $20. ;-)

    I would have ordered the Oompa tea set too. It’s (as Annalie would say in a voice pitched so high only dogs can hear it) SOOOOO CUUUUUUTE!

  • Jummy

    It was the teabag that got me! It’s certainly the cutest tea set I’ve seen and if it provides fun for you AND Baby Bug, then it’s worth it!

  • Grenda

    I have been dying for one of these too. I’ve got the webpage saved in my favorites. Too bad my little one is only 8 months old and still in an orphanage in Vietnam. I may have to buy it anyway and store it in her closet until she is old enough to use it. I’ve already bought a wooden set of pastries on a stand from the UK – talk about expensive, but worth every penny!!! The things we do for our girls!

  • Gramma

    The designer of this set is a genius…knows just what will please Mommy.

    Do our girls ever grow too old for tea parties? Not on your life! We still make cucumber sandwiches and scones when they come to visit…and we don’t forget the raspberry jam and clotted cream.

  • gorillabuns

    i love the tea set and the colors are wonderful!

    don’t worry about spending the money – she’ll have hours of enjoyment without breaking it – so it’ll end up costing you something like 2 cents a day after it’s all said and done!

  • bluejaye

    Becky had a tea party for her 4th birthday. We had apple juice “tea” and peanut butter sandwiches cut out with cookie cutters. I went to Goodwill and bought teacups and sausers for the girls. We filled the cups with candy kisses as their party favor. I still have two cups.

    For the older daughters….they have great tea parties at some fancy restaurants.

  • Amy

    For you, her whatever! I am sure she will love the time Mommy spends playing with it with her. And you can keep it intact and safe for any little grand-bugs!
    Do not feel guilty, it IS adorable and with any luck will be a family heirloom.

    I once bought a set of Little House on the Prairie books for the ‘girls’, ahem, when they were a year old. I always wanted the complete set :)

  • SmockLady

    Not only is that the cutest thing ever, but I have two little girls that really are still little girls and they both would go ga-ga over that set and they are 6 and 8. Maybe it’s just my princesses, but they love their dolls and their dress up and their tea-sets. I am waiting, sadly, for the day my eight year old realizes she is eight and does not want to play tea party with her little sis anymore. My oldest daughter quit when she was about eight, now she’s twelve and wants a cell phone and an ipod and all the small ‘spensive stuff. Sigh.

  • adrienne


    I don’t know exactly how to say this, but…

    Erm… you seem to do A LOT of rationalizing about this purchase.

    The road to financial well-being and independence is not paved with poorly-timed, redundant tea set purchases. You are (by example) Baby Bug’s primary financial educator. The lessons we learn about money in childhood are strongly set.

    What’s wrong with saving it as a fabulous idea for BB’s fourth birthday and showing her how planning and saving can make such a sweet purchase all the more delicious?

    A family trying to discover where $10,000 of their annual earnings disappeared to realized that it came out to about $27 of random daily purchases (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/business/yourmoney/15instincts.html?ex=1355374800&en=723c36266676c675&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss).
    The little stuff certainly adds up fast.

    I only say this because you write a fabulous blog and I want the best for you and your family.

  • OMSH

    I love the tea bag on the end of the yarn string the bes.

    There ARE nights I have specifically worked FOR A GOAL such as this…so, I’m not gonna be waggin’ my finger at you. No sirrreee.

  • Nicole

    First of all I love the tea set…adorable and wooden(heirloom for grandkids perhaps??). Hurrah! There are likely to be many toys that you will like better than Bug but having a girl myself I can tell you that she will grow to LOVE the tea set more & more. I once bought an amazing wooden farm for my kids and I still enjoy “playing” with it more than they do. On a side note someone once said to me that age guidelines are for stupid kids!!

  • Lisa V

    I love that tea set. And I second it being a timeless toy that will be there when you have grandkids, or when Bug is older and you have a friend’s five year old visit- this is a great kid entertainer.

    My children are 6 to 16 and I’ve found out that just having a couple of great toys my children have outgrown is really wonderful to have around for little kids.

    Plus Bug will love it in a year or two. You will get some great play out of it.

  • Ashley

    Hi, I’m Ashley. I’ve come across your blog because it seems every blog I’m addicted to has your “SAJ was here” on it somewhere. So, because I’m nosy by nature here I am.
    I am in LOVE with that Tea Set, it is well worth the money spent, even if you do have to share with Baby Bug. That’s a keeper for years to come, a pass along to grandkids, kinda thing. You may have to ask the company for a commission, I’m betting their sales spike after this post.

  • KP

    SAJ –
    As much as I have enjoyed your blog recently, I feel compelled to tell you that I am appalled by your purchase of this tea set. You have spent $50 for your daughter’s THIRD tea set? How much have you put into her college fund this month? I am absolutely flabbergasted that you have so little sense of the value of money. Especially after your previous post about your family.

    If you truly cared about them, you would return the tea set and put the money into a savings account to ensure your family’s financial future.

    I have also found the comments to your post disheartening. Other than Adrienne, the posters all seem to think that it is ok to spend your money so foolishly. I now understand more clearly how our country is in such financial trouble with people not planning for their futures.

    For context, let me add that I am the mother of a two year old and I have never bought her any toy that cost $50. In fact, I can count on one hand the few that have cost $25. We are a financially sound family, so my purchases for my daughter are not limited by our ability to afford expensive things. But, maybe we are a financially sound family because we avoid buying her unnecessary expensive things.

  • Aileen

    Delurking to say that I wish I hadn’t read this post!

    Now I added Oompa to my list of favorite stores!

    I even created a wish list!

    I have things I want to get with the tax refund check… things we don’t need…

    someone stop me!

  • aileen


    Then stop.

    It’s not that hard.

    If you don’t need it, don’t get it.

    Tax refund checks aren’t really tax refunds anyway. Instead, it’s the government paying back the no-interest loan that you made them for the previous year.

    If you ARE getting a refund, it might be time to sit down and calculate your withholdings, figure out which pretax reductions you can take (flexible spending, some health MMOs and so forth take out money before taxes and can effectively lower your tax bracket), and look if you can get any tax benefits from matching your employer’s retirement plans or adding to an IRA. Then make those adjustments for next year.

    Then place the “extra” money per paycheck that you will get over the next year into the bank (in effect, make that tax loan to yourself) account with a good interest rate (5+% is not unheard of) and actually earn interest on that money (instead of having the government give it back to you with no interest at the end of the year).

    Then on tax day, if you have planned correctly, you will owe nothing and you will get nothing back (that’s the ideal anyway, if you owe a little, you will have squirreled it away and have at least earned interest on it).

    But… and here’s the kicker!

    You will actually have made MORE money than if you were waiting for a tax return.

    Similarly, if you are eligible for one of the rebate checks from the government this year, I would say the same thing.

    Put it in the bank (by a CD, buy bonds, etc). Or use it to make payments against the PRINCIPAL (check your loan details on how to declare this payment) so that you knock down the overall interest you will pay on the life of the loan (and effectively spend less money in interest over the long run).

    Don’t spend it. It’s not free money.

    As we are in a deficit, this isn’t a “rebate” of money that the government has from taxes that have been paid.

    What it is, instead, is an approval from Congress (at the behest of the President) to float a loan (probably from one or both of the two major investors in the US, China or Saudi Arabia) that will then be divvied out the the American people.

    Which will effectively be adding to the national debt and will have to be paid down by future taxes.

    So, it’s probably best to have the money work for you (compound interest is your friend and reduced principals decrease the life and total cost of a loan), since you can’t turn it down (Congress has already approved the package).

  • OMSH

    I, for one, do not find it ridiculous to spend $50.00 on a tea set for a child. I think that all the cheap plastic toys we purchase for $5.00 and $10.00 here and there are ridiculous. I’d rather purchase (1) quality gift than 10 gifts of lesser quality.

    Some of the things I have purchased – wooden, all natural, made in USA things, have cost a good deal, but they’ve given hours of play, and we were able to pass it on in nearly perfect condition to church members – and now, THEY have been able to pass it on in perfect condition again.

    I’d prefer that.
    But y’know, to each their own.
    Not really knowing the state of SAJ’s financial affairs – it seems a tad bit self righteous to tell her how to spend it.