On New Year's Eve Stephen was off work, during the day we went to Walnut Creek to exchange his Fitbit that randomly stopped working. I've purchased it for him at Nordstrom, as an engagement gift and I'm so happy I bought it at Nordstrom. The manager just apologized about the watch and gave us a new one. I just love when there's great consumer service!
I got myself a new skirt, a shirt, a pair of pants and found two bras on Victoria secret. The best of it all, it was all on sale.

When we were done shopping in Walnut Creek we went for a walk with my host family's dog and a dog they were watching over the holidays. The reason I wanted to take them for a walk was because the dog they were watching stayed with us last year and he's just one of the cutest dogs ever! Wish he was mine... almost though dogs are a lot of work!

We celebrate New Years at our neighbors place with some of Stephens friends. I had a good time but I told Stephen that I can wait for the day we have a house and can do a New Years dinner and later drink some champagne and ring in the new year!

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Since I'm now living in the states I guess I have to give up celebrate christmas on 24th like we do in Sweden. So on Saturday the day before christmas me and Stephen woke up and got ready to leave to pick up his mom from the airport. Katrina, Stephens mom, flew in from Southern California after celebrating christmas with Stephens dad and brothers.

After we picked her up we drove over to Brentwood to have a little delayed birthday party for Katrina who had her birthday earlier that week. I made Salmon, veggies and potato casserole and I believe it turned out pretty good. For dessert I made a homemade ice cream cake that turned out just as great as the food.

We opened a few gifts on the night before going to bed just for fun and Stephen kept telling it was just because it was Swedish christmas.

On Christmas morning Stephen had to work but came back around noon. I had just a lazy morning with his mom and sister. Watch christmas movies and ate some breakfast.

I had a really great Christmas, it was my third christmas away from home but my first with my new family. And I'm so happy to be a part of the Yslas family. I feel like a lucky girl. I got so many gifts and I'm so thankful.


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The weekend before christmas I went to San José with Hanna and Nathalie to get the last gifts. We went to this big shopping mall, it was the same one as in San Francisco just a lot bigger. After the sun set we went to this shopping street, which was the reason we went all the way to San José to shop, that was all decorated with christmas lights. It was really cold outside so walking down the street with all the lights made it feel like christmas.

I got hold of some gifts for Stephen and his family but also a jacket and a shirt for me, guess ou always need to get yourself a little gift!

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This morning when I woke up I found three post it's that was stuck on the side of the bed saying I Love You So Much. Stephen had put them there when he left early for work. It really made my day. It's amazing how such a small thing can make such a big different. It's the little things in life that matters!

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Since I'm staying in Oakland for christmas I wanted it to feel a little bit like home. So I decided to do some christmas baking with Stephen and his family.

I decided to do the shopping the day before and that was not the best idea. I went to nordic house to get some Swedish syrup and vanilla sugar since I believe that it will make a big different in taste and after that I went to IKEA to grab some gingerbread cookie dough and Glögg. I wanted Stephen, Leo and his mom to get the real Swedish feeling. When I got to IKEA they're telling me that they are NOT selling the dough this year, like they did my past two Christmases here, my world falls apart. I mean christmas baking without making gingerbread cookies? That's not gonna happen!! I asked three different employes at IKEA to absolutely be sure that they didn't sell any. So I started thinking where can I get dough? I didn't have time to make any since it needs to rest at least one night in the fridge. And this was around 1 PM on Saturday before I was leaving for the concert. So I called nordic house, the dannish bakery and googled all kind of places, but no one could sell me some ginger bread dough. Later on I found that trader joes was selling something that might be like ginger bread dough.

I couldn't more than hoping for the best so the next morning I woke up early (in case I actually had to make the dough myself anyway and let it rest in the fridge for as many hours as possible) and went to trader joes to check on the dough and it was sold out!!!!! But this sweet employ called the store in rock ridge for me and they had a bunch she said. So I drove over there, not a long ride at all, like 10 minutes.

We decided to do the baking at Stephens moms place since out kitchen is the smallest ever. We made my favorite christmas candy that is so easy to make, you just use the Falurågrut crisp bread and break it apart so all the "pillows" are separate and then you melt chocolate and mix it togheter and later let dry on a bakingpaper. We also made snickers cake before it was time to try out the dough. I was really hoping for the best because I was so excited.

The package said do not eat the dough, but I really didn't care, I mean that's a part of the tradition right? To eat as much dough until your stomach hurts. The ginger bread dough was originally made for just putting on a baking sheet (it was cut up in small squares) into the oven for about 10 minutes and then it would be like a normal cookie. But the dough tasted just like the swedish one and it was pretty easy to use, the only thing that happened was that the cookies floated out more than the dough I'm used to which lead to not as pretty cookies. But they tasted the same and we decorated them with frosting so it all turned out great anyways.

It turned out to be a great day with some baking and we ended the day with pizza, not as Christmasy but still good.

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Hi

After my friend went back home to Sweden I got to rest a few days after being the tour guide before it was time to celebrate Thanksgiving, an American Holiday(almost). It always happens on the fourth Thursday of November every year at least in America. Stephen worked early and was off around noon so he's mom picked up up in Oakland around 8 AM so I wouldn't have to wait for Stephen. We hang out and just had a good time and had dinner toghter when Stephen was done working. Thanksgiving is not really anything special is just a day where people normally have the day off and they will spent it with friends and family and eat the food that is the traditional Thanksgiving food , like turkey. Back in the days it was to show blessings for good harvest and probably even more detailed history behind that. I actually thought only United States celebrated thanksgiving but I learned that so do Canada, Liberia and some parts of Caribbean Islands. This was my third time celebrating Thanksgiving but my first time with Stephens family. The feeling around it all is a little bit like Christmas. 


Last Saturday me and Hanna went to San José to see the Triple Ho Show, it's a show that a radio station is hosting every year around this time of the year. The reason I got intercede in this event was because Zara Larsson was going to preform so i got very excited because it was the first time I've heard about her coming to the Bay Area. The tickets got sold out in minutes but lucky me Stephen got on hold of two tickets. 

So when we got to the arena where the show took place we found are seats and were so excited for it to start, it was a guy who opened the show with two songs and when he was done, not even half of the audience had found their seats yet because they were probably walking around buying food and souvenirs, it was time for Zara. 

I understand they let her go first since she was the least famous person but since the audience wasn't feeling it yet it was a little boring to watch, I mean Zara was great but I probably had higher expectations. 

After Zara was Hailee Stainfeld, Megna Trainor, Brittany Spears, Back Streetboys and then Justin Bieber. I'm very happy I went and got to see all the artists perform. probably the only time I will see them, the only one I probably watch again is Zara. BUT the whole setup of the show was a joke. Two people om my row fell asleep!!! Because in-between the artist they had noting going on, not a host just a dj playing music. And trust me he was playing the same song over and over and over again just like on the radio station. The show was from 7PM to 11.30(ish)PM the artists sang about 2 hours together the other 2,5 hours we were just waiting. When it was time for Justin Bieber it felt like we had been waiting for so long, around 50 minutes, that I was over it. At least I had good company but I still wouldn't recommend the triple ho show to anyone. 

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I just love San Francisco, I will never get tired of doing all the tourist stuff here over and over again whenever someone visits me. Caroline have been here for five days now and we're having such a good time. We went to Berkeley and watch basketball on Friday night, I was impressed by Caroline not being more tired. Hanna and Nathalie came with us, unfortunately it wasn't as fun as I thought it was gonna be. But we only paid 9 dollars for the tickets so it was whatever. We treaded ourself with some CREAM afterward, CREAM is an ice cream sandwich. You pick twi kind of cookies and one flavor of ice cream and they put it together as a sandwich. One of my favorite dessert places.

The weekend we spent in the city doing some shopping and a lot of touristy stuff like, Fisherman Wharf, Cable cars, Pied 39, Union square, souvenir shops, Lombard street and a lot more. We have done so much stuff already but still have lots to do. The weather has been on our side as well, sunny and warm. Today the fog is all over the Bay Area and it's raining. Stephen took Caroline to Alcatraz since I've been twice and didn't feel like going a third time.

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A week has passed and it's been great! I spend Friday afternoon with Leo, we didn't end up going to the city but the weather was super nice so we just walked around in Oakland before we headed to first Friday. I didn't buy anything except food. Not unusual tho! Like always I go with the safe card and buy the same food over and over again. I need to learn to try new things but I'm always afraid of disappointment! At least I tried a new kind of ice cream called Italian ice. It was kind of like a slush but in solid form like ice cream. I know sounds wired but was actually really good. Stephen met us up later at night and we stayed until they closed! It was a great start of the weekend.

Otherwise this week United States got a new president, my heart was crying when trump won. There's been a lot of protesters in Oakland and other parts of the country. I keep dreaming that Hillary wins but keep waking up and realizing it's just a dream. I guess America wasn't ready for a female president.
Everyone keep living their life's but you can feel there's a sad atmosphere wherever you go!

Stephen and I finally went on a real date together on Tuesday, we went to one of my favorite restaurants tomatina and afterwards we went to my favorite frozen yoghurt place. Lucky me to have him soiling me like that! It was great to sit down together and just have some time the two of us.

Tomorrow my friend arrives from Sweden and the first thing we will do is to go watch collage basketball at cal. I'm really excited and I'm hoping that she won't be too tired!

I've been trying to workout as much as possible and I got to do some classes at the gym! I need to try motivate myself to workout on my own but it's just so much more fun to do classes. What I really wanna try though is to run the stairs next to the lake where we live. But it's always a great idea in my mind but I never take actions... maybe I can convince Caroline to come with me, that might keep me more motivated!
Tonight I'm gonna do my favorite class body attack which is always a great way to end the week before the weekend is here. I also started November first to do the 30 day plank challenge. My core mussels are really weak so I think it's a great challenge for me. I'm on 1 minute now and it's really hard, I don't think I'm gonna be able to do 5 minutes by the end of the month but at least I will be a little stronger. I will keep you updated!

Tomorrow I'm gonna clean , so laundry and workout before Caroline arrives at 2.50 PM!

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Hi,

I know it's been forever since I wrote something. A lot of things has change in my life and right now I'm back in California visiting my boyfriend Stephen. The last few weeks in Sweden before leaving for vacation I spent with friends and family. Stephen also came to visit to see Sweden for the first time and meet my family. It was really a great time and I'm so happy my family liked him and that we got to travel around Sweden together. He stayed a little over two weeks and we had time to visit Stockholm. Gothenburg, Strömstad, with a quick stop in Norway, Falkenberg and where I grew up Åmål. Even though he visit late summer we could still enjoy the weather and we went swimming in both the lake and the ocean.

Stephen left beginning of september and I had my flight back to California late september. After Stephen left I didn't work, so I just had a good time before going back to the states.

When I arrived I totally surprised Stephen, all this time he thought I was flying in on a Friday but I came Tuesday the same week. Hanna picked me up at the airport and drove me to Stephens apartment where I just knocked on the door. And guess if he was surprised... he almost started crying. Couldn't have been a more successful surprise.

So now I've been here for a little over 5 weeks and I'm so so happy to be back and spend time with everyone I haven't seen all summer. My host family that I lived with the last two years had a baby a few weeks after I arrive so I got to meet him the other day and he's so perfect and so little. Jackson and Parker has grown so big as well. I can't believe how times flies sometimes.

Otherwise I spend my days being pretty lazy, I signed up for my favorite gym so I do classes as often as I can and I really enjoy it. I put up a goal and I hope I can reach it before the end of this year.

So far I've been on one trip and it was with Stephen we went to Southern California to visit his dad and brothers. We spent a whole day at New Port Beach and then we had a lazy day with shopping and good food with Stephens brother Frank and the same day we were leaving we went to Universal Studios. I've been before but it was the first time for stephen since 2002 so he was very excited. And there were lots of new things since I went in April 2015 actually. So we had a great time, and the best part is that we bought a season pass so we can go as many times we want to until october 2017. So if we won't go back to southern California before I leave in December we defiantly need to go next time I come visit.

Tomorrow I'm probably going to the city with Sthepen's sister Leo, before we will meet up Stephen at something called First Friday. First Friday is a street festival every first friday of the month, they have some cool venders and lots of good food. Always a great place to visit. Also tomorrow is one week before my friend Caroline from Sweden comes to visit me. Can't wait.

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Yesterday I was sailing for the first time, or I wouldn't say I was sailing because I was just sitting there enjoying. Too new to even have the guts to try it. But it was a lot of fun, we were out for about two hours before we headed back and had some BBQ and fruit. It's my friend Caroline and her family that have sailboat so me and Felicia were happy to be invited to her boat. I wish I was better with doing things like that on weekdays, it's like I always think I should do everything that is special on the weekends even though the week actually have seven days. I need to enjoy the weekdays more than I do.

That's why I'm going camping today, hopefully it won't rain too much. We haven't decided where we are going yet but as soon as we are in the car we will decide. It will be a mini vacation for one day. I'm excited though.

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