Shopping at Gekås, Ullared

During our week in Jens’s hometown, we did pay a visit to Gekås in Ullared to stock up on household supplies and any other random needs. The awesome thing about this place is that you know that you would get best prices for whatever you buy there so you just need to know what you want to buy.

Gekas Ullared

I wanted to film and/or take pictures during our visit this time because I thought that it would be interesting for anyone who loves supermarkets (hi jie and goryee!) BUT Jens was like, “Janice, we only have a few hours so you need to prioritize”. So I tried my best to multitask but judging from the length of the video and the amount of photos taken, my time and attention was mostly on shopping hehe.

Gekas Ullared Inside

Swedes have a lot of jokes about this place but to me, at long as I am saving money on stuff, I am happy. I could totally imagine Goryee telling me the price difference to up the shiok factor but I did take a walk around a regular supermarket after to check out the prices of the same stuff we bought at Gekås and was feeling very pleased about our good buys.

IMG_6762

The important thing about shopping at this place is to have a shopping list so that you avoid getting overwhelmed and anything extra you see along the way is a…bonus.

Pizza Candy

I don’t know if I could go so far as to say that they sell everything there but it sure feels like they do. They had everything we needed from household supplies to sports clothes to cheap socks to…a pizza made of candy?! I would have probably bought this for Andrew and Caity if I could give it to them but since I can’t so…here is a picture of it instead?

Gekas Ullared Shoes

They have other outlet stores in the area if you feel like you didn’t shop enough at Gekås and dining options to fill your tummies. You will find out what we ate and what happens to Jens after a shopping trip when you watch this video.

Till the next time!

Shopping at Stockholm Quality Outlet

Today’s post is about our visit to the Stockholm Quality Outlet. Funny enough this is one of the rare times we go shopping together even though we have been friends for so long but I think we make good shopping buddies!

We started off the day by fueling our tummies with meatballs and potato mash at IKEA.

Didi at IKEA

We did not have high expectations of the outlet mall since Sweden is not known to be a shopping paradise. Hence I would say that it was just a place we had to go at least once to see what it is like.

Stockholm Quality Outlet

Didi has been the guinea pig this trip (since I am as much of a tourist in Stockholm as she is) but we did have a lot of fun exploring new places together.

Outlet Shopping 1

Most of the brands at the mall did not appeal to us but I think it is a good place to buy household supplies IF you are into branded goods. For me, IKEA is good enough so no need for Tefal or Le Creuset.

Outlet Shopping 2

It is a nice place for kids though, with something to entertain them while their parents shop.

Playground

It was suppose to be a cloudy day but it ended up being super sunny and nice so we could have fika outdoors.

Fika Wayne Coffee

Anyway, we did not get anything from the outlet mall in the end except for food but thankfully there were other megastores in the area for us to check out and we did end up with a mini shopping haul.

Shopping Haul

I must say that shopping with your girlfriend is always more fun! We even stopped in the middle of the road for a photo opportunity with the beautiful flowers.

Spring Flowers

We ended of the day by filming a mini shopping haul video for fun so here is our first attempt at vlogging:

Shopping Haul

Till the next time!

Hello Curved TV

I thought it would be fun to blog about the latest addition to our apartment which is the first big item that is a…non essential. Previously when shopping for the apartment, Jens always reminded me to focus on things that we really needed versus what we wanted. He is really good in that sense because I get so easily distracted by random things.

Now that we have all our “essentials” like our pots/pans, sofa, bed etc in place, we can think about what else we would like in our apartment and I guess a TV was the most obvious choice because we have 100 TV channels included in our rental lease and an empty TV shelf in our living area.

Media Markt

We went to three stores – Elgiganten, Media Markt and Webhallen before we came to a decision. It was good that Jens could speak to the different salesmen and get some advice on which TV to buy.

Samsung TV 3

At Elgiganten, the salesman was pushing Jens to get this “bra pris” (good price) Ultra HD TV but we found that the staff we met at Media Markt gave us a more balanced perspective on what to look for in a TV.

A fun fact for anyone looking to buy a TV is that a lot of shows are not made in Ultra HD yet so you won’t get to enjoy that functionality till that happens.

Samsung TV 1

Thanks to Pricerunner, we ended up going home with a 55″ Samsung Curved Smart TV from Webhallen at the best price and saved about 3000 SEK (approximately 462 SGD)! I think we secured the last piece of this model at the store because I don’t see the deal on Webhallen or Pricerunner anymore so we were really happy about it. It was also really big (and heavy) but I am glad it fit into Jens’s car perfectly.

Samsung TV 2

We were both so amused because we started our shopping trip simply looking for a decent sized TV that displayed good graphics. We really didn’t care for all the frills but ended up with a TV that was full of frills just because it came at a very good price and was in fact even cheaper than a normal, flat, non “smart” TV.

I still don’t quite understand the point of a curved screen apart from the fact that it looks quite cool but no complains really. As you can see, I was more excited by the fact that I could fit inside the TV box while Jens was busy setting up the TV.

3D Glasses

Another fun thing is that it came with these 3D glasses that I don’t foresee us using much.

Samsung TV

So tada! Here it is and here is one of the TV channels that I watch. This is Disney Junior that is dubbed in Swedish and I guess that is where my Swedish level is at right now.

To any future guests, we now have a sofa bed and a huge TV that would make for a rather comfy stay in my opinion. The one person whom I know would probably appreciate this the most is Jean, hahaha!

Anyway, yes I did just write an entire blog post on a TV but only because it is quite exciting for me as my brother was always the one who looked after the electronics at home. I know I called the TV a non essential but now that I have one, I have to consciously tell myself to switch it off or I will end up watching too much.

Till the next time!

Asian Food in Stockholm

Food is such an important part of the Singaporean culture and I am so thankful that I have a friend here who shares the joy of eating spicy, flavourful food. I got to know Irene through a Swedish class in Singapore and because she moved over to Stockholm earlier than me, she knows the city much better than I do.

We met up in the city on one of her off days and we had lunch at Pong, an Asian buffet restaurant in Stockholm.

Pong Asian

For S$15 you get free flow starters like salad (both asian and western types), a variety of hot dishes to go with rice or noodles, an assortment of sauces and some fruits to complete the meal. I would say that it is really worth it for the quantity of food you get but in terms of flavour, it is definitely more catered for western tastebuds. Because we don’t get any spicy chilli to go with our food, adding peanut sauce (jordnötssås) is really comforting for me because it reminds me of…Gado Gado. Hahaha!

After walking around town for a bit, Irene brought me to this really awesome Asian supermarket and even though I didn’t plan to buy anything, I couldn’t resist grabbing some stuff.

Here is what S$43 got me:

Asian Food 1

It honestly isn’t much but it is nice to have some Asian food at hand. My favourite buy so far has got to be the sambal chilli sauce which is something like our Macdonald’s garlic chilli but spicier. I haven’t tried the red chillis yet but I hope they are spicy!

The only other thing I have tried so far is the kimchi and it is a bit of a let down because it doesn’t taste like the kimchi my mum usually buys. Plus Jens thinks it looks like a science experiment!

Finally, I made my first Asian dish in my kitchen and it was this Butter Chicken Paste that Davis gave me before I left. Thankfully it was really easy to make and I think I managed to whip up a decent dish that looks like the picture.

Butter Chicken

I have since made kimchi fried rice too with leftover rice and meat but no pictures of it because it is not very photogenic.

So yes, while this is nothing like the hawker food we get at home, this is the closest I can get to feeling closer to home. Anyone with (easy) food recipes for me to try please let me know!

Till the next time!

Tips to survive an IKEA shopping trip

We have been really blessed to find an apartment pretty quickly in Stockholm in a nice area just outside of Stockholm central. For those of you who do not know much about the Swedish housing system, it is pretty much a nightmare that consists of weird queuing systems, black market, first/second hand contracts and so on.

Anyway, the apartment that we leased for a year came unfurnished apart from a kitchen table and four chairs. This means that we had to get our own furniture and where else would we go other than…IKEA! The awesome thing is that the nearest IKEA store is just less than 10 minutes away by car from our apartment.

Shopping at IKEA sounds really fun and exciting, which it is to a certain extent (don’t get me wrong), but it is also quite overwhelming and exhausting in reality because of the plethora of options and the maze like way that IKEA structures their store.

Anyway, I thought that it would be fun to put together a list of tips on how to survive an IKEA shopping trip.

1) Create a shopping list online.

Before the trip, it is very useful to look up the IKEA website, check out each section in detail and save items to your shopping list. This would give you a good idea of what you are going to buy and how much you are going to spend. I am not sure if you can do this on the Singapore website but once you are done making a list, you can send it to your email so that you can access the list while shopping in the store.

I really appreciated the fact that you could check the availability of the item at the store online and also source for the “best deal” without having to run around the store.

2) Feed the tummies

IKEA 3

The good thing is that IKEA’s food hall serves yummy and reasonably priced food. We have been to IKEA twice so far and even though we went to the place after lunch on our second trip, we had fika first before shopping.

This Swedish social institution actually does grow on you and IKEA has a pretty neat deal where you get a cinnamon bun (kanelbullar) and free flow coffee/tea for S$0.80. The Singaporean in me is very pleased with such awesome deals.

For non-shoppers like Jens, having a nice sugar rush from the sweets would definitely make the shopping trip more bearable.

3) Bring some muscles

IKEA 2

I must admit that it was very helpful to have Jens carry and look after the stuff while I weave in and out of the aisles to pick up the items from our shopping list.

Yes they do have trolleys for your items but when it comes to the bigger items like the bed, table, sofa etc, it is always helpful to have some muscles and extra help. I must say that I think I am growing some of my own through this process, hahaha.

4) Take a nap

IKEA 1

Who knew that choosing a mattress or sofa could be so exhausting? We were particularly clueless about mattresses because there was a mix of continental and Swedish beds. Continental beds are what we are more accustomed to in Singapore where you just choose a mattress and lay a sheet over it. In Sweden, their beds are a combination of a mattress bottom and a top mattress.

We ended up seeking the help of the bed specialist who got us to lie down on the mattress and then she slid her hands under the top mattress to show us the support we needed. In the end we took her recommendations and I got a medium mattress while Jens got a hard mattress.

5) Stay focused and have fun while at it

IKEA 4

We took on our second trip like a challenge where we raced to find the items we wanted and stay focused on what we really needed. It is always fun to reach the end where you are picking up your items from the storage area because it means that you are out of the maze and are closer to checking out and getting some hot dogs and ice cream.

IKEA 5

Overall I am really pleased with everything that we have bought so far and am glad we didn’t have to break the bank to furnish the apartment. It was also good that Jens picked up on the announcement that they were offering free shipping during Easter weekend for beds so we managed to save some money on delivery.

Slowly but surely our little home is coming together pretty nicely.

Till the next time!