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  • Adri Sandoval

Cute, Quirky, Fun, Functional: Genuine Fred Adds Whimsy to Your Day

Updated: Mar 6

It's a bleak world out there. I don't have to tell you why - you know. You're out there like the rest of us dealing with traffic and other people and anxiety about everything.

Just everything.

It isn't always easy to maintain a positive attitude when you're wading through the day-to-day muck of life. But we can do things for ourselves and others that inject a little whimsy, quirk, or just cute into our day and maybe brighten it up a bit. Here's where I'd like to introduce you to Genuine Fred.

There's a lot of necessary, boring tasks we have to do as adults, but Genuine Fred makes it easy to crack a smile when you're doing something like sitting at your desk, washing dishes, or cooking because you maybe shouldn't live on chicken nuggets your whole life. (Not saying you CAN'T - just maybe eat a vegetable every once and a while so you can say you did.) The quirky design of their products reminds us that sure, we have to deal with a lot of stuff we'd rather not, but it doesn't have to be a total drag. Tackle your pile of dishes with a sponge that encourages you to "clean up your act." Make cooking fun when you measure your ingredients with cute nesting cups that fit your "farm kitchen" decor.

Not only are these products super cute - they're functional in the very real, lame, messy world we're living in. Bonus: the prices are pretty great for a perkier day.

Genuine Fred can liven up your life with functional essentials that will put a smile on your face every time you use them. These are some of my favorite Genuine Fred products that lighten things up when I have to be an adult.

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These magic sprout bookmarks are one of my favorite things. I use them daily, and because I am currently reading like four different things at a snail's pace, my bedside table looks like a tiny magical garden. I have both these mushroom bookmarks and the little green leaf bookmarks. They're made of silicone, which makes for soft, flexible, and surprisingly sturdy and easy-to-clean sprouts. They make it a little easier to crack open one of the many books I have on human behavior and famous women.

It can be hard to find the motivation to cook after a long day. If you're on a first-name basis with all the people at your local Taco Bell and they have your order memorized, it might be time to dust off a pan or two and make a meal at home even if you're tired. These extra adorable measuring cups can make cooking a little more cheerful when you bust them out and are measuring the milk for your box of mac and cheese. (No shame - I like mine with a lot of buffalo sauce.) Chicken, egg, and chick nest together, so they take up minimal space in your cabinet or drawer. Also, the measurements are embossed, which is great. Painted-on measurements always wash off after a while and then I have a hard time figuring out which size is which.

When there's something to celebrate, it's fun to share a drink with friends. What isn't fun is when you grab a buddy's glass and take a swig before you realize that you're sipping someone else's backwash. Yuck. Problem solved with these drink markers. These snoozing kitties curl up around the base of your glass so you don't forget which is yours. The only backwash you'll imbibe is your own. Thanks, kitten.

Prefer dogs? Or maybe you can't decide and need sleepy kitties and snoring dogs? Check out the Winer Dogs version too.

Did you know that there's a word in Finnish for drinking alone at home in your underwear with no plans to go out? "Kalsarikännit." After a rough day out in the real world, you may want to open a bottle of wine, take off your pants, turn on the TV, and chill - and that's totally fine from time to time. As they say: "It's not sad if it's intentional." If you're drinking responsibly and not going to finish that whole bottle of wine, you'll want it to keep for your next kalsarikännit. Stuff this little banana (or any of the other fun bottle stoppers from Genuine Fred) into the bottle to keep air out and wine fresh. Crack a smile when you crack the bottle back open before you sink into the couch. These stoppers are made from the same soft, sturdy, easy-to-clean silicone that the Magic Sprout is made from, so they'll last and can be used again and again and again.

Many of us consider our pets a bright spot in our lives even when nothing else seems to be going right. You're probably able to smile at your pet even when you have a hard time smiling at all. Our cats might be confused for little demons, the way they tear up furniture and kill house plants, but I'm pretty sure they're cats and I love them.

These keychain-and-tag-matching sets will keep you smiling even when you're not around your furry companion. A glance at your keys will remind you that there's a ball of fluff waiting to smother you with love (or cover you with scratchies) the moment you get home. I especially like this particular set. With no context "I'M A CAT!" is pretty funny on its own. And exactly the kind of thing a demon in disguise as a cat WOULD say.

One more for the animal lovers out there. Dogs always seem to know when we're down, or feeling hurt. My tiny 15-lb fluff bucket will come to my rescue if someone pretends to hurt me. In moments when I feel alone, I have the reassurance that someone - even someone who likes to eat cat poop in my bed - loves me.

This sweet bowl and mug set is a physical reminder of the bond you share with a dog. That statement, "I Heart My Human" will be true morning, noon, and night forever and ever. If you have a cat there's a slightly different version with a little more sass that's just as true and you know it.

I honestly don't mind hand-washing dishes most of the time. But the last thing I want to do after a busy day is deal with dishes - and I hate having to wake up to a sink full of chores too. These sponges provide firm but fun encouragement to roll up those sleeves and get a-scrubbin'. Genuine Fred's Subversive Sponges have cross-stitch style statements you can display in a "frame" that will keep them from molding up in the sink. Things like "Not gonna wash themselves" and "Dishes be damned."

There is also an "R rated" set with stronger sayings for those of you that REALLY, REALLY hate dishes.

When the world is stressing you out, it can be nice to sit and relax with a hot cup of tea. Genuine Fred has a number of interesting infusers to sit in your cup and keep you company while you sip your favorite brew. This little pig looks super happy to be a part of your evening wind-down ritual, but there are also sloths, dogs, cats, llamas, and more friends to make your solo tea time a tea party for two - you and your cute, helpful infuser buddy.

It's nice to have something to make you smile with you at all times, but other grownups who just don't get it might look at you weird if you carry around a stuffed animal or blankie. I have a hoodie I rarely leave home without and when it's 104F out people give me weird glances but it's FINE.

These keycaps smile back any time you use your keys. They'll help you identify which key you need when you need it - so I don't keep trying to shove my sister's house key into my own door because they're the same silver color.

Total honesty: I do love these keycaps but they were too big for my own keys and I had to replace them because I couldn't put the whole key in without taking my key off the ring. If I'd been carrying around keys I use less often, I would've kept them.

It can be relaxing to just sit and watch birds (perhaps with your cute tea infuser.) Birds live their life free of the stresses of traffic, work, and taxes. Lure more birds to your yard or balcony when you hang this bird-size tire swing from a nearby branch. Birds don't need the enjoyment a tire swing brings humans because, again, they don't deal with the stress we do. But you can convince them to hang out on it anyway by filling it with birdseed. If you, like my teenager, are convinced birds are government drones, maybe skip this one.

This tiny dumpster fire will sit on your desk and hold pencils, pens, and other things you need to do whatever it is that you do at your desk when you're not playing Jezzball. The little flame-shaped notecards are included and can be used to write notes of encouragement, thanks, or passive-aggression at anyone and everyone. When they're all gone, the fire is out, and you have an ordinary dumpster full of pens and pencils.

Sure. It's a dumpster fire out there. But there's still something to smile about if you look for it.

Turn off the news, get off Reddit, and surround yourself with things that will make you smile from time to time. There are many more things from Genuine Fred you can use in your day-to-day that will inspire a better mood. Check out everything they have to offer at Amazon.

GiftyGoody is reader-supported. When you shop through links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.


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