shopping guide no.1 - IKEA

very cute book of home inspiration! $13.99

I thought I would start our shopping guides with a recent shopping trip I took with mom (mor mor) and the kids... over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend no less...

My mom came to visit from Minnesota, and although she went to Ikea before she left, I said maybe we should take the kids to Ikea on Saturday (after Thanksgiving)? YES! (how does she love this place so much...) - so there we were driving the one and half hours to Ikea on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (they call this blue and yellow day!). These days my mom is very upset with Ikea because they are making changes to their food section, getting rid of the Abba swedish caviar and sardines, they long ago stopped selling Felix Lingonberries, and now they have even replaced the Marabou chocolate with their own brand name... are they learning too much from the Americans!? Yes, maybe so... at any rate she is not going to take this lying down, she is going to complain like a true Swede...

These are our favorites from the food section (clockwise from top right): the Jam (sylt) is the best I love the orange marmalade and the kids love the strawberry, mixed berry and blueberry - next is the swedish caviar tradidtional salmon is fine (Abba is BETTER) - the herring is worth it, we like the Matjes but you need to try them all and find your favorite! - the Knackbrod... it's not Siljans but it's maybe even better!? - and last but not least... my favorite, the mustard! truly the BEST and it will make any kid LOVE mustard, also mixed with greek yogurt and dill it makes a great sauce for salmon!

She whispered to me at the checkout "they don't even have Bilar anymore..." it's all gone the way of their own brand. Since this may be hard for many of you, as it is for us, we decided to have a taste test and give you the heads up on what is still worth it and what you will just have to learn live without (unless the ladies of Minnesota all revolt against it, and make them go back to the loved and cherished brands of their home Sverige!). Don't even bother with the chocolate.. NOTHING comes near Marabou!

clockwise from top left: Giflar are tiny cinnamon rolls the kids go absolutely NUTS over... and don't let anybody fool you, the swedish meatballs are the best, I don't care WHAT they're made of! - the Salmon and the tiny shrimps are delicious! - NEVER, never leave Ikea without a jar of Lingon Sylt! we put it on everything... morning oatmeal, the best!!

Last year at Christmas (at my sisters) my mom had the job of meatballs, she makes the best (or so I thought). My mom is a very gourmet type cook, she loves a good recipe, follows it to the T, when I was a kid and the neighbors would come over she would serve Stuffed Peppers! (what the heck!?) anyway... at Christmas, she whispered to me "I just heated up the Ikea meatballs, nobody will know the difference" I just about fell over! So this Christmas, follow our rule, Swedish meatballs, lingon sylt and mashed potatoes and you can get them ALL at Ikea... DONE!

clockwise from top left: santa bags + stickers to make any package look 'finished' - tea candles 40,000 for $3.99 (just kidding) = cheap! - more candles (they have changed slightly from the past but I like the new ones!) - the BEST wrapping paper (and the cheapest) you will find anywhere!!!

And just a few of our favorite non-food items... CANDLES... the ikea candles are the best and they don't have the dirty lead wire inside (that's what makes all that SMOKE) - Swedes would never do that! The best cards and Christmas paraphernalia you can imagine!

So there you go... now run off to Ikea, and the best time is for HOLIDAYs!!