Ikea, the ultimate relationship builder


Nick Offerman's Hour Long New Year's Eve

Last year, Nick Offerman’s gift to the world was a 45-minute Yule-log video of the beloved Parks & Recreation actor sipping whiskey in silence by the fire for Lagavulin. This year, he’s back at again, this time for new years with an hour-long video of himself sitting and simply waiting for 2016 to be over (not unlike the rest of us). Not only is the stunt a welcome sequel to last year’s Lagavulin partnership, it’s a testament to the fascinating longevity of Slow TV in the US, which we predicted years ago in The Trendera Files!


Ikea Retail Therapy

Ikea continues to win 2016 by being everyone’s favorite Internet troll. In its latest SEO-driven “Retail Therapy” campaign, the Swedish retailer compiled some of the most commonly searched relationship questions in Sweden and developed a website where each is answered with a corresponding Ikea product, renamed accordingly. The clever pairings range from witty to hilarious: Does your partner snore? Ikea recommends a daybed. Children leaving home? You might find yourself in need of champagne glasses. Trying to get rid of a someone who won’t take a hint? Their garlic press is both affordable and effective (alternatively, we recommend simply trying to build something from Ikea with them). While the jury’s still out on whether Ikea’s products will deliver on its therapeutic promises, we love its fresh, fun approach to product discovery.


The Little Book of Hygge

Consistently ranked one of the happiest countries in the world, Denmark is clearly getting something right, and we want in on it. The secret? According to the internet, it’s hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish term for appreciating a good moment and making the simple and ordinary special, for cultivating a loving atmosphere and cozy, homey experience. Conveniently, The Little Book of Hygge is here to help us live better and adopt more of this Danish sensibility. At 288 pages, the beautifully illustrated tome makes a lovely gift and is filled tips and tricks to bring more hygge—and hopefully happiness—into your life. If you remember one thing, it should be to stock up on plenty of candles.


Lost in Translation Notecards

Speaking of hygge, isn’t it crazy how many wonderful words are either lost in translation or have no English equivalent? For those who love discovering new terms that perfectly capture an idea, look no further than this beautiful note card set from author Ella Frances Sanders. Inspired by her 2014 New York Times bestselling book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, the set features whimsically illustrated cards defining a series of non-English words relating to love and friendship. For example, the Tagalog term killig refers to the feelings of butterflies in your stomach when something romantic or cute happens, while nunchi captures the unnoticed art of listening and gauging a friend’s mood. Just in time for all the holiday feels, the set is a joy to both give and receive.



If you’re like us, you were eagerly waiting for the day someone created an app described as “PokémonGo meets coloring books,” and we’re happy to say that day has arrived. Spectra is rising through the ranks for its addictive yet challenging “camera painting” that has users getting off their couches and traveling far and wide to capture the perfect hue. Inspired by other puzzle and color matching games, Spectra provides users with a series of illustrations to choose from and then instructs them to find the exact match to each color by taking a picture in the real world. In addition to being fun to play, we love how the app encourages us to notice and appreciate all the colors that surround us, from our dinner plates to our pet’s fur.


Clean Energy Fund

Hot off the heels of the Keystone XL Pipeline victory, Leo DiCaprio and environmentalists everywhere are feeling encouraged by Bill Gates’ recent announcement of a $1 billion fund dedicated to clean energy innovation. The Breakthrough Energy Ventures Fund, whose investors are worth a cool $170 billion and include Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, will begin making investments next year and focus on commercializing new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fund will be available over the next 20 years and is “open to anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy.” Needless to say, we commend Gates for his numerous contributions to making our world a better, cleaner place for everyone.

Kristin Castillo