Two weekends ago our family had a very fun Christmas shopping outing to Ikea. Ikea opened a store in Portland five years ago, and I have been eager to visit for quite some time. I always plan one fun shopping outing for our family during the holidays, this year I decided we would drive into town and spend the day at Ikea. I had heard about their yummy Swedish meatballs and huge showrooms and I was excited to check it out.
Ikea is such a fun, huge store, I was glad they had a map! After getting our bearings, and taking in the huge store ahead of us, we made our way to the cafeteria. We tried the BBQ ribs, Swedish meatballs with potatoes, cream sauce, and lingonberry jam, and some chicken and very yummy fries. We also tried their lingonberry drink, which was interesting and similar to a very light cranberry flavor. Since it was a holiday outing, we let the kids splurge on dessert, Sarah tried the most delicious looking chocolate overload cake, and Joe tried the Swedish apple cake, they both looked so delicious I will have to try to find a similar recipe.
After our lunch, we made our way to the showrooms. It was so much fun seeing all the decorated rooms, staged with all sorts of interesting items, including books that were written, in what we imagined, was Swedish or some other Scandinavian language. It was so inspiring to see all the different room configurations, they all showed wonderful ideas for making the most of small spaces. Sarah and Joe got some great ideas for their rooms, and future college apartments, it was fun looking in all the different storage compartments. Gary and I got great ideas for our living room and office, we are always trying to dial in our media storage and paper clutter. The showrooms had lots of good solutions.
I was really impressed with the complete mini house set ups, showing how you could set up house in under 600 square feet quite nicely. Gary and my favorite room was a kitchen set up, being someone who loves to cook and bake, our kitchen is lacking in storage space for all the pots and pans I use, as well as pantry storage, we saw some beautiful ideas. Certainly some inspiring goals!
Here is a picture of the kitchen we thought was pretty wonderful, love all the cupboards, and the double ovens!
I do not like to put my focus on material items, but it is fun to dream, and get ideas for one's home, and we had fun checking out all the different furniture, and colors, pictures, gadgets and what not.
It took a couple of hours or more to look through the showrooms, and then we were ready to find a few treasures to bring home.
Such a fun selection of items to shop through!
As we finished up shopping and made our way to the checkout, we noticed this huge fan in the ceiling, I thought it was pretty interesting, the whole building is just huge.
We got a kick out of this giant add for their hot dogs, notice the "*not actual size" in the lower corner, we had to get a picture. :)
Here are the goodies we ended up with.
I knew I wanted to buy a lambskin, I had heard they sold them at a reasonable price, and I have wanted one in our home since the children were little, I was happy to find a cozy one. I also found this fun serving tray with wood slices pictured, I love rustic wood designs, I thought it would be pretty to set out my gingerbread cookies. I found a very inexpensive potato ricer that will be fun. We also brought home a jar of lingonberry jam, and this great candle lantern along with a big supply of tea lights!
I just used my new tray at the youth Christmas party we hosted over the weekend, I served bacon wrapped bread sticks, they were set out very nicely at first, and looked like branches on the wooden tray, they were such a hit I hurried to get a picture before they were all gobbled up. :)
We found some cute paper ornaments, and two very cute woodland and Christmas sets of cookie cutters, we can't wait to try these out with our gingerbread and sugar cookies this week! We also found a cuddly blanket and a very interesting round whisk we thought would be fun to try out.
Sarah brought home a very cute Carrot doll and Joe picked out a classic black alarm clock for his room.
We got a cute hedgehog book, and a Swedish baking cookbook I am excited to use.
They also had a Scandinavian grocery section, so we thought we would try out some spicy holiday soda, some of their coffee, some rye crisp bread (I love rye!), some of the lingonberry juice, and of course a pack of Swedish fish to share. It was fun looking through all the different groceries, we also brought home a bag of the Swedish meatballs and cream sauce to have later. We were happily surprised at the checkout when they discounted the price of our lunch from the total, they had a weekend special going on, so that was really wonderful!
All around it was a very fun day, we all enjoyed it, and look forward to visiting again.
This week we are finishing up our Christmas gift shopping, and decorating, and doing our Christmas baking, I love the smell of gingerbread!