christmas advent calendar

That’s the modern adaptation of the advent calendar and I think it’s a wonderful concept! It’s basically a countdown to Christmas and having small gifts for each days leading up to the final big present on Christmas Eve. You can make one that gives out:

ice cream

A nice bowl of ice cream on the first day

theatre

Tickets to the theatre for the second day

dinner

A nice dinner outside for the third day

theme park

A trip to a theme park for the fourth day

iberico ham

A nice leg of Iberico Ham for the fifth day

romantic hotel

A night’s stay at a romantic hotel for the sixth day

nature

A day trip getting reacquainted with nature for the seventh day

parfait

Back to a nice parfait for dessert on the eighth day

…and so on up till the 24th day which would be Christmas Eve!

It’s a really fun way to get into the spirit of Christmas and get the holiday festivities going.

It’s also the time to get gifts for loved ones – your friends, family and maybe even yourself. ;)

ikea table

One of the pieces of furniture I kept when I moved to this studio is a small table I bought from IKEA that my friend Jamie kindly painted for me. It has since been sitting at a corner of my living room, accumulating all sorts of stuff (which I have unceremoniously dumped under to take this photo).

I moved into a fully furnished studio but you still need the little touches that will personalize it and make it truly your own.

dali

Well, not the trippy stuff that Salvador Dali dreamt up (although tickets to see them would make a great addition to your own advent calendar). For more practical items (that is, things rooted in the real world) IKEA has introduced advent calendar to Malaysia – a tradition that is celebrated in a lot of Nordic countries like Sweden.

advent calendar

It has great bargains for the 24 days leading up to Christmas Eve – the awesome thing about The 2012 IKEA Advent Calendar is that you can see the deals that are coming up by hovering over the day. Keep in mind that the deal is only valid on that day itself so it’s a great way to buy gifts for loved ones at a good deal.

The best thing about the IKEA Advent Calendar is that you can actually peek at deals in advance so you’ll know what the promotions are on a certain date. The deals are really good too – you know that IKEA already operates at a low profit margin so that you can get quality products at the best deals ever.

trofast frame

I’m personally waiting for their TROFAST pine frame at RM 169 (discounted from RM 249) on the 23rd December. It’s actually categorized as toy storage for children but you can use it to store a wide variety of things – I’ve mentioned that my condo lacks space so all my stuff (various personal souvenirs from travels) can go right into this – it’s a great way to save space! :D

However, for this, some of the prices on furniture are marked down as much as RM 100 – like this queen size Sultan Tarsta mattress pad:

mattress share

…also if there’s something that catches your eye you can always hint to your friends by sharing the deal on your Facebook Wall. ;)

Here’s the link to The 2012 IKEA Advent Calendar so you can help ease your friends Christmas shopping. Heh.

ikano power center

Ikano Power Center is a newly opened shopping mall in Mutiara
Damansara, which I believe is in Petaling Jaya. It’s connected to the
only Ikea outlet in Malaysia (correct me if I’m wrong). I went there
with my gf the day before I flew to Kuching, and didn’t have time to
write it up before now.

ikano entrance

This is the entrance to Ikano Power Center. The interior is quite
architecturally impressive. The lifts (elevators) are the same as the
ones that’s installed in KLIA – the transparent ones with full workings
exposed. The escalators are also fairly novel, a straight incline to
the next floor:

ikano escalator

Here’s a shot of the interior as you enter it:

ikano interior

Anyway, I didn’t feel that there was a lot of places to go to
inside. There’s a Harvey Norman but I’ve been to this chain too many
times in Melbourne. However, we did find one place that we liked – The
Pet Safari! :)

pet safari

This is the entrance to the pet store. The interior is divided into
several sections like small animals, cats (not available when we
visited), dogs, fishes and so forth. I liked the interior layout.

pet safari interior

This is what you see when you step in. I like this photo that I took of these midget hamsters (?):

cute midget hamsters

Me and my gf was wondering why they always huddle around together
like that. There’s one inside a sea shell, does anyone know why these
cute little things exhibit this behavior? It’s like they need to have
snug contact with something all the time. I wanted to get some but my
gf didn’t let me.

ikano bins

I liked the way Ikano Power Center and Ikea have these recycling
bins for plastic, paper and “others” (which is the things that don’t
fit into the first two categories, obviously ;)). Anyway, after that we
went for lunch at…Rasa Fiesta!

rasa fiesta

Everyday is a fiesta at Rasa Fiesta. :) The food court has avant
garde (okay, so I just wanted to see if I can insert this phrase into
the post) influenced walls at the back – it changes color ever so
frequently. Look at the back of this picture of the interior:

rasa fiesta interior

I like the wash basins too:

rasa fiesta basins

It’s like this circular structure with four water outlets. Nice.

ikano ikea

We went to Ikea after that. Ikano Power Center is connected to Ikea via the passage that you can see above.

ikea locker

These are the refundable 50 cent storage lockers that you put your
stuff. We spent a good hour walking around Ikea – I finally see the
appeal of Ikea. You can do anything you want – lie on the beds, sit on
the comfy sofas without anyone tailgating you. It’s nice to look at the
arrangements and plan how you want your future home to be too! :) Now,
we’ll go to the final destination – the Swedish Specialty Shop! =D

svenskt brannvin

This is Svenskt Brannvin vodka. It retails for an amazingly
affordable RM 30 for a 700 ml bottle of 40% vodka. I wouldn’t say that
vodka has a “taste” per se, but it tastes slightly better than Absolut
vodka and it’s very drinkable even at room temperature. I don’t have a
fridge and I chug vodka straight from the bottle in order to sleep, and
this is perfect. Too bad there isn’t an Ikea in Kuching.

op anderson

This is another value buy and it’s what you want to go for if you
want to taste your drink. O.P. Anderson Fine Old Aquavit at RM 22.90
for a 500 ml bottle. It’s 40% as well, and it tastes REALLY good.
There’s an aniseed taste to it that makes it go down all too well. If
you like aniseed candies (eg the chocolate coated aniseed rings),
you’ll love this – aniseed is the dominating character of this aquavit.
Very drinkable even at room temperature and it’s chuggable too (only if
you like aniseed).

op anderson entry

There is this bound and laminated booklet at the shop with details
of the products they offer. This is the entry for OP ANDERSON. There
isn’t one for Svenskt Brannvin…I triple checked the entire book.
Anyway, I was photographing everything and this lead to a funny
incident with security. :)

If I had a bottle of vodka for every time security told me that
taking photos is not allowed inside Ikea, I’ll be sorted for months.
Heh. Anyway, there are “No Camera” signs, but if you want to, just take
them anyway (I own a Nikon 5700 – bulky and no one would call it
discreet) and when security says “Sorry sir, no photos allowed.”, say
“Oh, I see. Sorry.” and continue anyway. I didn’t say I was going to
STOP taking photos, I just said I understood the store policy. ;)

They won’t kick you out or anything like that – most of them were
resigned to the fact that I was going to take photos at the Swedish
Specialty Shop, like it or not. FWIW, they’re just there to tell you
that, and by informing you once in a while about the store policy
regarding photography, they have already fulfilled their obligation,
they won’t go the extra mile and report you to the store manager or
anything. :)

That’s our visit to Ikano Power Center and Ikea. Oh, and please
remember that I write my posts and resize my photos at home (where I
don’t have a net connection) and only post it when I get into the
office. This means I can only answer comments during breaks or lunch,
not directly after posting. Thanks for understanding. :)

ikea

Ikea!

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