MY EPIC SHOPPING FAILURE/ WIN AT IKEA

Depending on which way you see it, my shopping trip at IKEA yesterday was a tragic failure, or an epic win. A couple weeks ago, an IKEA rep contacted me and put me up for a challenge - "We'll give you $100 to get at least seven Christmas gifts in IKEA." I'm never one to say no to a challenge. And so I set off, with Mom in tow, to IKEA on a weekend.

Almost right away, I spotted wicked gift ideas. I love IKEA this time of the year. Candles, lights, bright cheery, festive colours everywhere and.... REAL CHRISTMAS TREES. Let's kick off one hundred dollar gift list at IKEA:

1. For the magpie friend You know, the one attracted to bright lights and sparkly objects? Give her [or him!] a star to remind 'em of what a star he/she is... Heh heh. Only $14.90!

2. For your green colleague who doesn't have a green thumb He recycles, he reminds you to switch off your computer before you leave the office and he gives you the evil eye when you want to dump a magazine into the bin instead of recycling it, but he can't freakin' grow a plant. Get him a fake one. ;o) $4.90

3. For your lady boss who eats leaves at lunch Salad spinners are so useful for anybody who loves fresh greens. This baby is only $7.90.

4. For the budding, but clumsy little soccer player You know your little niece or nephew who's kicking everything in sight that's in the shape of a sphere but falling flat on his or her little face soon after? Yeah, get this soft toy instead. $5.90

4. For the marketing girl you can't stand in the office, but you drew her name in the office's Secret Santa If you can't stand how she speaks, and how she looks, at least make sure her desk smells good when you have to walk over. $3.90 a bag, an optional glass vase for $8.90

5. For your girlfriend who has so many stuffed toys, she could open a stuffed toy zoo Get her another from IKEA's amazing array of stuffed toy, that make me, a non-fan want to get one. Plus, IKEA donates €1 for every stuffed toy you buy to UNICEF's Save the Children foundation! Starts at $3.90

6. For your friend whose New Year resolution was to drink less Get 'em these little cups and smash their wine glasses into smithereens. Maybe this will help their alcoholism. Plus, these little glass mugs are adorable! $9.90 for four.

I was so close... one more to go and I'd win this challenge. Until, I spotted a bed and a mattress which would cost me under $350. $350! And I've actually gone to IKEA twice bed-hunting. I would only would have spent $35.50 from the $100 budget IKEA gave me... but what did I do next? I put everything down, bought a bed frame, a mattress, a mattress pad, a quilt, a quilt cover set, a fitted mattress cover.

So instead of $100, I blew $600 [with assembly, and delivery] for a spanking new bed that has already been delivered! I failed the challenge, but I'm getting a totally rockin' night sleep thanks to IKEA! ;o)

Now... I need a new wardrobe.