Genuinely Cool Stuff 5.31.16

Hello friends! I hope that everyone had the most amazing three day weekend and enjoyed a little sunshine and some good memories. I have to admit I spent most of the weekend hustlin’ – I have some really big, exciting things coming soon that I cannot wait to share with you guys! But yes, my weekend was filled up with a matinee movie, volunteering, drinks with friends, picnics and of course the boring stuff (IT support, spring cleaning and running errands). It also left me with plenty of time to hunt down the best tidbits of information from around the web this week! This week’s genuinely cool stuff posts bring us: instruction on how to keep your houseplants alive, a super sweet, spring-inspired D.I.Y. and tips for a welcoming and functional guest bedroom!

Enjoy! xx
5.31.16-01
1. Super helpful tip for freezing and preserving herbs out of season // The Kitchn
2. Because I am a grammar nerd and contranyms fascinate me // Mental Floss
3. A much needed guide for how to not kill your houseplants // Apartment Therapy
4. Love these tips for a welcoming guest room // Almost Makes Perfect
5. Love this blooming monogram D.I.Y. // Lulus
6. Definitely need to stock up on these green living books // Model 4 Green Living
7. A clutz like me can really use this stain remover guide // Hip Domestic
8. Simple instructions for roasting garlic // Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Busting Out the Summer Sunnies + a 25% Off Discount!!!

no diving
As I have proclaimed about a billion and a half times, I am an eternal sun worshipper. I do not lie when I say that I am essentially 100% solar powered so with all the summer days ahead, I am like a giddy little schoolgirl bursting with joy and I am eager to start spending my summer days (more like summer daze) in a lake or by the pool. The only issue with my sun obsession, is the fact that I am Swedish and therefore have incredibly light skin and light eyes – God’s cruel joke I presume. But all this paleness requires that I get all the coverage and protection that I can, but since I hate wearing anything other than crop tops and micro cutoffs, that typically means I just slather myself in SPF 12,000 (or maybe that is just pure zinc?) and always, always make sure to keep my eyes safe from the glare of the sun with a proper pair of sunnies.

proof

To be 100% honest, when it comes to sunglasses I normally opt for some cheapie gas station shades (horrible I know) because most of the shades that are eco-friendly are also exuberantly expensive. That is where the brand Proof comes in! Their shades feature 100 UVA-UVB protection, and are also made from eco-cotton acetate and natural wood, plus they are available at a price that is comparable to any well made pair of shades. These bad boys are also laser engraved on the side and come with the coolest little tie dye baggie inside of a wooden box! If you are still not sold, ย did I mention that Proof also has a program called “Do Good” that donates proceeds to whatever charity they choose at the time (for example in 2010 it was tsunami relief in Japan) so you can help both mother nature and your neighbors.

scrunched face

Oh and the best part? If you want to get in on this magic, you can at a 25% discount! All you need to do is use the offer code “somethingswell” at checkout!
shadeI cannot recommend this brand highly enough if you want affordable, and environmentally friendly eyewear for this holiday weekend and the summer that lies beyond! I hope that everyone has the loveliest of holiday weekends (the blog will be off Monday FYI) and also remembers why we have Monday off. A huge thanks to anyone who is currently, or who ever has served our country ๐Ÿ™‚
iwantproof
I am wearing the Hayburn Eco Sunglassesย in black

D.I.Y. Yarn Back Chair Update

The other day I was shopping through Goodwill on the hunt to find the perfect desk chair. I had envisioned something modern, comfortable, with wheels preferably. As we all know though, Goodwill leads to some creative finds that are not always what you have been looking for. This dinky little chair caught my eye because it was so clearly something that someone had handmade and put a lot of effort into – despite it’s slight wobble and unevenly sanded surfaces. I decided it was worth the $3 investment and that I could find my own way to make it even more unique. That is where the yarn came into play. I have to forewarn you, while this idea looks simple in theory and required minimal materials to create, it was kind of tedious covering the whole center back panel of the chair, especially since I was using hot glue which dries very quickly. However, I would not have done it any other way and I am obsessed with the final result (as is Winston who I need to keep far away from this chair)!


What You’ll Need:
Yarn of any size or color (I used a medium gauge in an ombre color for fun results!)
A hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
An old chair in need of some sprucing up!
Step 1:

Start by dropping a bit of glue at the base of the area you will cover with yarn. You need to work fast here so the glue doesn’t dry, I typically worked by placing glue on the front and back then wrapping the yarn, but if you are more patient than me (there is a high chance that you are) you can do one side at a time.

Step 2:

Again working swiftly here, wrap the yarn around the chair back ensuring that it stays straight and level. Once you place the yarn against the glue it is really hard to shift it and it looks kind of funky if you do, I highly recommend fumbling around with placement before pressing the yarn into the glue.

Step 3:
Repeat steps one and two until you have reached the top of your chair. Once you have reached the top, simply snip the yarn, apply a little more glue to the very tip top of the chair, and tuck your cut yarn behind another yarn, then press into the glue for security. 
The final result! Not gonna lie, I am pretty proud of this chair ๐Ÿ™‚

Pic’s Peanut Butter 4 Ingredient “Ice Cream”

I am a lover of anything peanut butter related, especially since I began my vegan journey and now see peanutbutter as both a healthy protein source and the answer to my salty cravings. Peanut butter is a magnificent beast because it covers all your salty and sweet desires (much like the magic that is pretzels) and that is why when I heard about Pic’s Peanut Butter, which is made from Australian, hi-oleic peanuts which are peanuts that contain a oil content, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. 100% honesty here, the first taste of Pic’s was a magical moment. It tastes unlike any other peanut butter I have ever had, and I was amazed at that the only two ingredients were peanuts and sea salt. This stuff is the work of a wizard in so many ways, for instance the high oil contents means that these nuts don’t go rancid in the way that regular peanuts do and that also means that they don’t get that weird stale taste. As if that weren’t enough, these special peanuts are essentially a super food in that they contain tons of polyunsaturated oils antioxidants and resveratrol (you can learn more here).

So now that I owned this magic peanut butter, I had to make the tough decision to decide what to make with it! I obviously have been eating it on toast every day and drizzling it over my bananas, but I wanted to find a way to really emphasize the unique flavor of the peanut butter in a recipe that won’t overshadow it. This led to my decision to make the ultimate summer treat ICE CREAM! But since we are now vegan, I had to figure out a new version of ice cream I could make without dairy and somehow it worked out amazingly and actually only uses four ingredients! Read below for the recipe!

You’ll Need:
– 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (smooth, I used salt added because it enhances the flavor nicely)
– 4 Bananas (cut into one inch chunks and frozen on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes)
– 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
– 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Once your bananas seem frozen through completely, toss them in a food processor and blend until smooth with the consistency similar to ice cream (it took me about 20 seconds). Then toss in your other ingredients and blend until smooth. Remove the mixture from your food processor and either serve or re-freeze for 10 minutes (if the mixture got a little warm and melty during the blending process).

That’s it! Voila, yummy and healthy and perfect for summer time!

*This post was sponsored by Pic’s Peanut Butter. All opinions are and will always be my own. Thank you for supporting the content that keeps Something Swell going.*

Our Most Used Wedding Gifts and Some Things We Wish We’d Registered For

When it came to registering for our wedding, I was weirdly reminded of packing for college in that I had no idea what I needed to get, and only a vague idea of lots of stupid things that I wanted and didn’t need. Weddings in themselves are stressful enough, and a lot of times I think when couples are registering, they do it as a means to scratch something off of the to-do list instead of accessing their actual needs – in our case Antonio and I were doing long distance at the time, so I just made the list and sent it to Antonio for approval, romantic I know. Plus, nowadays a ton of couples live together before getting married so a lot of the traditional items you would register for, you already own (toasters, bowls plates etc).

With that being said we truly received all of the most wonderful gifts and we are grateful for them all on a daily basis, there were too many to choose from in this post to be honest! On the other hand, there are some things we realllly wish we had registered for. So with that in mind, here is what we decided are the five most used gifts we did put on the list, and the five gifts we wish we had put on our registry!

Our Most Used Wedding Gifts

1. Fancy Pants Coffee Maker
Our Zojirushi Thermal Pot Coffee Maker has to be the number one gift we received. This thing has a timer (which is awesome) so we not only wake up to fresh brewed amazing coffee, the thermal pot actually stays warm for eight hours. That means that when I wake up at 6am and have coffee, it is still piping hot and ready when A wakes up at 9am. We use it everyday and it is so worth the investment.
2. Versatile Duvet Cover
This West Elm Pintuck Duvet Cover is another one of our favorites that we received. I am the kind of person who always changes my decorating style and I realized a while ago that I am not cut out for a specific printed or colored duvet since they are an expensive investment that I don’t want to get sick of in three months. This white, pintuck duvet is perfect because it is textural so it is still interesting, but the white goes with anything! All we do is toss a new blanket on the end of it every few months and it is a whole new vibe.

3. Dessert Tasting Set
This is kind of a random pick, but I got this dessert tasting glassware set as a bridal shower gift and since we entertain a lot, it is one of our most used items. The set comes with a ton of glassware that is great for everything from jams, to snacks, to salt and pepper cellars. The spoons are also great for using as coffee stirrers or jam spoon when we have brunch parties. It is just the most useful set of tiny containers and spoons that you will ever get…and all of it is really cute which helps.

4. Great Set of Knives
I already had a knife set that I had gotten from GoodWill so I hadn’t thought about getting new knives until Antonio twisted my arm. I am the wife so I am obviously right all the time *heavy sarcasm*, but I must admit Antonio was right on this one. This 18 Piece Wusthof knife set is the most amazing, diverse set of knives on the market in my humble opinion. I have never had to squish a tomato or slice of bread on accident, nor have I ever had to struggle in anyway to cut through something tough! These knives are my best friend…if I could sleep next to them I would…but that would be dangerous…so I won’t.

5. Kitchen Aid Standing Mixer
I bake a lot and before A and I got married, we didn’t even have an electric hand mixer to our name – no joke for A’s graduation I made him Tiramisu and I decided to hand whip the cream…it took my best friend Grace and I almost an hour taking turns. I am also a huge fan of multitasking so this standing kitchen aid mixer is my new best friend (sorry Grace…oh and sorry Antonio for registering for the pink mixer). I like to leave it mixing while I clean up the baking mess, wipe down the floors, or make frosting. Also this one came with a bread hook so I don’t have to waste my whole life kneading dough anymore! Win win win ๐Ÿ™‚

And Now, What We Wished We Registered For
(that we purchased for ourselves since, out of necessity/desire) 
1. Pasta Maker
This is something that I never would have thought would be up my alley (especially when we got married and “ain’t no wifey” was basically my life slogan). I am no domestic goddess, but my husband is Italian and his love of cooking is starting to rub off on me. That is why when our friends Rachel and Rupert got a pasta maker we were immediately jealous and decided we should get one as well. In all honesty, we just ordered this one and it hasn’t arrived yet, but let me say that there is just nothing better than fresh pasta and we are eagerly waiting.
2. Quality Vacuum Cleaner
Confession time, our old vacuum cleaner was held together with duct tape and I am pretty sure that it put out more dust than it picked up. Since we have carpet, and a cat and my copious amounts of hair, we have noticed that our house needs to be vacuumed at least once a week. This vacuum cleaner from Bissell has been a real life saver because it has a special setting for both carpet and hardwood and it has a retractable cord, which terrifies the cat, but we love it!
3. Food Processor
Especially since we have gone vegan, this has been really high on our needs list. I am really embarrassed to admit this, but for years I thought that a food processor was the same thing as a blender and never saw the need for one. That was until we went vegan and tried to make chickpea “meatloaf” in our blender. It. Was. Terrible. Hence, our immediate purchase of this food processor that night! It is truly perfect for all of our mousse, salsa, guacamole and spread needs.
4. Wine Of the Month Club
Don’t laugh at me I am serious here. I love wine, and especially when we very first got married, every day was really tiring – not because of who I married or anything like that, just because we had just moved across the country, started a new job and gotten a new house. I have found that there are few stresses that are not gone after a thirty minute run, a hot bubble bath, a good book and a glass of wine. Joining Wine Insider’s is a great way to always have a few bottles on hand at all times is not only great for entertaining, it is also pretty cost affordable because you are buying in bulk.
5. Juicer
Maybe it is just a health kick I started later in life, but since I bought this juicer, it has been one of my greatest investments. I use it a few times a week, and I feel like it is sometimes the only way I get my daily green in.
What are the best things you registered for? Is there anything you wish you’d registered for?