Ep3: Unspoken Rules of Indian Food of our podcast, Grandma’s on Tour, is up!


This week Kels and I talk about passive aggressive Swedes, payday on Thursday, curry on pizza (gross?!?) and not wanting to be touched after eating Indian takeout- don’t miss it.

Also we’ve got an email, so make sure to send in questions/comments/suggestions to us at:
grandmasontour@gmail.com

Let us know your thoughts; oh and be sure to subscribe!


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You can now find my roommate Kels and me on the iTunes Podcast app, every weekend (and possibly a weekday- tbd). We had been talking about starting a podcast for awhile, and here is our first episode!

Find out what life is like for both of us in Stockholm as expats, let us know what you think, and make sure to subscribe!

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Happy New Year everyone!

Over the holidays I was visiting family and friends back home in Sarasota, Florida for 10 days and wow did it go by fast! I hardly had time to settle into a groove before it was time to pack up my things again. Nevertheless, it was amazing to be home, and I’ll put up a few posts this week on what I did while I was there. Let’s start with:

Harry Potter World!

My best friend Andrew was kind enough last year to gift me with a day at all the Disney parks with him as my Christmas present (he goes all the time, so he’s the most incredible guide!) and this year he took me to Universal Studios. I went to college in Orlando (UCF- undefeated this year!!), so I’ve been to Universal and Islands of Adventure several times, but I hadn’t been since they introduced Harry Potter World. I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I was!

When my parents and I moved from London to Sarasota in 1999, my mom had picked up a copy of “The Philosophers Stone” (aka sorcerer’s) and read it to me at night before bed. We kept up that tradition for the next two books, and then I continued to love reading the series on my own. The park they’ve created is nothing short of amazing, and if you’re a fan, you simply have to go at some point!

Andrew, Tyler and I drove up early, and after getting into the park, we made our way to the Universal side to Diagon Alley and each bought wands. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but the park has all these interactive areas that you can do cool tricks with if you buy them, and it definitely made the day more fun. We drank butter beer, rode on the Gringots ride, and then got in line at Kings Cross to take the Hogwarts Express(!!) to Hogwarts (located in the other park, Islands of Adventure).

The Hogwarts Express drops you off at Hogsmead, and then you make your way through the town to the castle. I was so blown away by the attention to detail, it was insane! We decided to carb up on nachos and beer before a lengthy two hour wait for the ride inside the castle, but it was so worth it!

Afterwards, we went back to Citywalk outside the parks and had burgers and beer at NBC Sports, before Andrew drove us the two hours back to the Gulf Coast.

I’m going to make the obvious pun here, and say it was nothing short of a magical day!

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I'm nothing if not a procrastinator, but I finally got around to editing all the film Ashley and I shot from our trip to Prague last month. She was traveling around Europe for 10 days from NYC, and before she came to Stockholm for the weekend, I went and met up with her in the Czech Republic.

We drank lots of beer, ate plenty of carbs and had the best time! Check out our video, and let me know what you think!

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Wow, does it pay to go through your inbox!

As someone who is perpetually guilty of having 15,734+ emails in my Gmail account, I drive any sane person crazy when they look at the home screen on my iPhone. I've just never been one to keep up with it (or unsubscribe from newsletters).

But a few weeks ago I felt this wave of organizational inspiration wash over me, and I decided I'd go back through and try to sort out the mess. I couldn't be happier I did, because I ended up finding an email from one of the publishers at Thought Catalog, from back in July. One of her staff writers had seen an article I wrote this past summer for Harness Magazine and had forwarded it to her publisher, who in turn emailed me asking if they could possibly republish it on their own platform.

I wrote back right away (almost 5 months late) to let her know that naturally, I would be thrilled if they republished the piece, and hoped that she was still interested.

Now two weeks later, my piece on The 5 Questions Women Should Stop Asking has been republished on Thought Catalog ; if you missed it the first time or want a refresher, go ahead and check it out! I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Special shout out to Marisa for finding my piece, and Jessi for agreeing to publish it! I couldn't believe someone wanted to publish it in summer, and I'm even more flattered that someone wanted to again!


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You guys, excited is an understatement. I never win anything. Honestly, it never happens.

A month or so ago I saw an ad pop up on my Instagram newsfeed about the Google Developer Challenge, and I was intrigued. What's this, I thought? Turns out Google partnered with an online University called Udacity, which offers "nano-degrees" in programming, VR Development, iOS development, and several more to offer scholarships to these courses. The one that caught my interest was the program on Front-End Web Development, something I've been considering going back to school for.

I thought to myself, why not? I'll apply, and see what happens, and the worst thing that will come of it is that I won't get in. I submitted my application along with resume and background with web development (ie. virtually none), and sort of forgot about it for the most part.

Well, earlier this week I was scrolling through my inbox, and low and behold, I saw:

"Kayla, you have been accepted into the Google Developer Challenge Scholarship."

Cue my excitement! I could hardly believe it considering they had thousands of applicants, so I was amazed I got in. So now over the course of the next 6 months, I'll be spending about 10 hours a week outside of regular work on this program, and by the end of it I should have a pretty solid grasp on building websites, create a web-based game, and more.

Wish me luck guys, the class starts on Monday, and I have a feeling it won't be easy!

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No laughing- I'm not claiming to be a youtube guru. That being said, my first crack at a youtube video is up and ready for the world to see.

While Cornelia and I were in Berlin, I literally filmed EVERYTHING. I had downloaded a bunch of special video apps (getting frames from 30 to 24, ya what's up youtube pros, I know a thing or two), and made sure we had plenty of "B-roll" for filler.

Here's my very kindergarten version of a youtube video- I'm hoping to look back in a few years and cringe. What's that saying, "if you aren't embarrassed of your first attempt, you waited too long?"

Ya, let's go with that...

So ladies and gentleman, without further adieu, Berlin Fall 2017. Cue up plenty of laughs, lots of beer (and curry wurst for me), plus a montage of the two of us making fun of each others walks. It was an epic weekend to say the least!

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I heavily debated posting this. In fact, I've gone back and forth since Monday (it's Thursday evening), thinking to myself, "I'm one of the lucky ones."

"It's not nearly as bad as the things that have happened to some of my closest friends."

"People will think I'm looking for sympathy."

If I'm honest with myself, it's the last one that has truly prevented me from posting. Because the last thing I want is sympathy. What I want is for things to change. What I want is to not see that NEARLY EVERY FEMALE I know has posted about this. What I want is to not live in a society where some men think they are entitled to a woman's body, simply because they feel like it. As if it's there to take if they please.

So here goes:

I'm 18 years old, a freshman in college, and suddenly I am very drunk. I'm at a Military base in the south (USA). I won't go into details about which branch of the military because it's not important. One of my college roommates had been talking to an old flame of hers who was in the military and she wanted to go visit him. She asked me if I was up for it, and I thought to myself, why not? I could use the weekend trip, and I had a feeling it would be a great time. We booked cheap flights, hopped on the plane and landed in a nondescript town where he met us.

When we got to the base, we were both super excited. Hot guys in the military! Drinking! Yay! Upon arriving I passed a guy in a hallway, and the look he gave me is forever engrained in my memory. He looked at me the way an animal looks at its prey. He looked at me like he was entitled to me; as if he could have me if he wanted. Like it was his decision to make.

I tried to shake it off, but I made a comment about it to my friend and the guy we were there visiting. After a bit, I felt like maybe I was overreacting and we brushed past the whole thing. We met one of his friends who was really nice, and then we all proceeded to get drunk. Very drunk.

My memory from that night is hazy in part from the alcohol, but also because I've tried so hard to erase it from my mind. My friend and her guy crashed early, and the guy I had been talking to said he had to go meet his friends quickly but would be back soon. So I sat on the couch and waited. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, there he was. The guy that gave me that look. The one that had made me feel uneasy, and for the first time in my adult life, fearful.

I woke up to him inside of me, and in sheer panic. To him telling me this is what he'd been thinking about all day since he saw me. His hand over my mouth and all of his weight on top of me, making it impossible to move. I honestly can't even remember if I tried to. The only thing I remember thinking was that it would be over soon. That if I just laid there and took it, it would be over quickly.

What makes me SO F*CKING ANGRY is that it isn't nearly as bad as some of the stories my girlfriends have shared with me. That I've been drugged in a nightclub THREE TIMES, and lucky enough to be with people who found me before it was too late. That somehow, there are women out there who have dealt with something a thousand times worse. Simply because they are female.

We live in scary times where politics are whack, racism is flourishing out in the open, and women in the United States are losing access to vital things like birth control and resources like Planned Parenthood. But despite all of this, I'm hopeful. Campaigns like this are created, women around the world share their story, and attention is brought to such a GLARING CRISIS.

I didn't post this to gain sympathy or anything of the sort, but to share my story so hopefully, a fellow woman out there knows she isn't alone. So that you know that a man taking what isn't his, is not your fault. So that people don't belittle an issue that so many of us have clearly lived through.

Me too, babe. Me too.


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What a weekend! Between the concert on Friday, walking miles and miles around the city yesterday and feeling the effects of a weekend of drinking this morning- we’re ready to get back to Stockholm.

I’ll upload a bit more when I get home, but here are a few moments from the last few days with Cornelia.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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The “Carry On” by Away, and the worlds best cinnamon bun

Happy Friday friends!

I’m just finishing up a pre-flight beer at Arlanda airport here in Stockholm, and am taking off in a few to Berlin. Poor Cornelia flew there this morning at 6am and has been killing time finding brunch places and trying to check into our hostel(with no luck).

I grabbed a fika with my family friend Christina who got into the city this morning from London. Her and my mom were good friends when we lived in London, and Christina’s daughter Sasha and I had many a play date when we were kids. It was amazing catching up with her and hearing how her family was, and she even suggested we meet at one of my favorite places in Stockholm, Vete-katten! Their pastries are honestly to die for.

So now I’m sitting here getting ready for my flight, and actually charging my cellphone from my suitcase- how awesome is that? I ordered one of those “Away” bags last week after mulling over the purchase for awhile, and I can already tell I’m going to love it. As someone who is always running out of battery, the ability to charge my phone anywhere is life changing! (Swear this isn’t sponsored, I sucked it up and paid the $225- worth it).

Tonight is the Future concert and then who knows what, but I’ll keep you posted!

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It's finally cold enough to wear hats! Also, admire my homemade (ie. instant) latte skills...

Happy Tuesday everyone! Isn't it amazing how quickly the weekend flies by? I swear, it feels like it gets shorter and shorter every week....

This past weekend, my roommate Kels was away in Canada visiting her family, and I took full advantage of an empty apartment. Meaning I lounged around it for the better part of the weekend, and just enjoyed being at home. The weather was cold and rainy, perpetually overcast, and just the way I like it!

Our heating in the building hasn't been turned on yet, so it was full of fuzzy socks, sweat pants and hoodies, cuddled up on the couch with Netflix. Cornelia and I had initially planned on going to the gym on Saturday morning, but when she got to my place by noon, an hour of TV turned into a whole afternoon, and I think it was just what we needed!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling refreshed and ready for this (short) work week, and it's been a great start so far! Now it's taking all of my energy not to daydream about this upcoming weekend- can you tell I'm excited about Future and Berlin?

I hope you've all had a lovely start to this week!

"Lördags-godis" (Saturday candy), and my beautiful cousin Cornelia helped make it an amazing Saturday on the couch!

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So about a month ago, I bought tickets to a concert in Berlin. Not just any concert though, we're talking about tickets to go see the rapper FUTURE.

I'm aware that many may laugh, but I can't help it, I'm obsessed with his music. The man's got a voice that I can't get enough of, and I knew when I found out he had a European tour that I had to get my hands on tickets!

Now here's where the whole 'flying to Berlin for a concert thing' starts to take place- I was supposed to go to the Czech Republic the week he was going to be in Stockholm.

*cue horror music*

I wasn't going to let that stop me, and when I looked to see where he would be during the weekend instead, it just so happened to be Berlin. Well, it was settled really. I hadn't been to Berlin since the first time I went backpacking in Europe (around five years ago) and so it was a good excuse to cross that off the list again. And I mean, it's FUTURE.

So I booked the tickets, booked a flight with my (now ex-) boyfriend and didn't think much more about it. That is, until we broke up, and suddenly I had two concert tickets, a flight, but no one to go with.

After a glass or two of wine at my cousin Cornelia's house we had decided she'd join me, and today she booked her flight! We decided to do the trip backpacker/budget style, so we've booked ourselves a hostel in downtown Berlin, and we'll be hanging out, listening to rap, and having a girls weekend October 13-15. Stay tuned for pictures from that in two weeks!

Any recommendations on what else we should while we're there? :)

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Cha Plu Leaf with Smoked Rainbow Trout

(roasted peanuts, trout roe)

Have you ever indulged in an eight-course meal? It's an unreal experience, and honestly, I don't think I've ever been so full in my entire life.

I've had plenty of five and seven-course experiences before, but eight was something entirely new, and the place that served up the menu was FARANG , a Stockholm institution. It's self-described as "pan-Asian," and everyone agrees to order the same menu (of I believe three to four) since the food is plated to share. The atmosphere is industrial yet luxurious, and the food was honestly nothing short of exceptional.

We went for my co-worker Lykke's farewell dinner (she's going back to University), and I couldn't recommend this place enough. Keep in mind I was in the throws of testing out being vegetarian when we went, but couldn't resist crispy pork or soft shell crab... If you're observant you'll notice that I only got pictures of 7 of 8- I was too busy eating to photograph the roti bread and Mussaman Curry we had, and honestly a bit embarrassed at how many photos I'd taken!

If you live in Stockholm or are ever visiting here, you simply have to give it a try!

*Please excuse my subpar food photography skills- you get the picture, it was f*cking delicious*

Sashimi Vietnamese Style

(Asian herbs, black rice vinegar dressing)

Softshell Crab

(Green mango, mint, pomelo, green 'nahm jim', peanuts)

Crispy Pork with Palm Sugar Caramel

(crispy fried braised pork, rice vinegar, roasted onion)

WORDS CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW GOOD THIS WAS (I had to get a close up)

'Morning Glory', Salt & Pepper Tofu

(watercress, bok choy, crispy fried silken tofu)

Ox Cheek 'Seremban'

(long braised ox cheek, aromatic chili broth, mint and bean sprout salad)

'Phanangan Bounty'

(young coconut ice cream, salted caramel, crystallized chocolate, whipped coconut)

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Is there truly anything better than a roast on a Sunday evening?

Of course- it's not having to wait all afternoon while it cooks in the oven! After having taken a long walk with my cousin Cornelia on Sunday afternoon, we headed over to her mom's house for a little family night dinner. Rather than any of us slaving away all afternoon cooking, we picked up one of those rotisserie chickens, some salad and breads and cheeses, and threw together an impromptu feast.

Ulla had just gotten back from a week long yoga retreat in Croatia (dreamy right?) and brought back, wine, different types of honey and the most to die for goats cheese- to say we feasted would be an understatement!

Naturally we decided that this has to become a weekly tradition, so next Sunday Cornelia is hosting us for tacos. Stay tuned!

Happy Thursday everyone!

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...To my room mate and I in our new apartment!

I didn't think it was possible to be in love with a building, but here we are, a month later, and it still hasn't hit me that I live here. Don't get me wrong, I've lived on the water many a time before but this place is truly something special. Our apartment is right at the end of the building, and right at the end of the street, so we've got corner views for dayyyysss. Also, a sick view of a construction office floating on water, but I'm sure that will eventually (hopefully) be removed.


Breakfast in bed on a Saturday- does it get more luxurious? I've also worked from home in bed...safe to say I spend a lot of time here!

I truly hope I never get over this view!

I feel slightly ridiculous every time someone new comes to our place , and inevitably gasps, and I can't help feeling as if somehow I shouldn't be living here? But what can I say, this is me/us now.

What do you guys think??

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Last week, Kels and I finally heard back from an apartment we had submitted a bid for- and we had been approved!

This place is absolutely incredible and completely brand new. With 70+ kvm, she and I will be living quite literally ON the water, and much closer to the city center than we had been previously.

I seriously cannot wait to get moved in this weekend and share more photos with you guys, but here is at least a sneak peek of what our back yard will look like.

Oh, and for those living in Stockholm who will understand the struggle- yes, it has a washer and dryer!

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Don't you just love/hate the whole "this year X years ago..." on Facebook? On the one hand, I think it's amazing to see what I've been up to over the years- some of the events that pop up are awesome!

Then are those other times, where it reminds me that at some point, I was much happier than I am right now, or I that in that moment that was captured on film, I was absolutely loving what I was doing.

One of those bittersweet moments popped up last week- it was the day five years ago my neighbor in Geneva, Stephanie, and I drove to Annecy, France on our day off. We packed warm camembert sandwiches and rented paddle boats. We spent the whole afternoon out on the most incredible lake, surrounded by the French Alps, and afterwards ate ice cream and drank beer.

It reminded me of how much I adored my life in that moment. How out of nothing, I had created this exciting life in a new country, with new and amazing friends, in one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen. It reminded me that I don't want to settle for anything in this life and that I need to make sure I have more moments like that day!

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The band, Villa River Cat

This past Saturday, I slept in till 10 am and drank coffee in bed in front a bit of Netflix. It was one of those eat-peanut-butter-out-of-the-jar-with-a-spoon-type of mornings. With the windows open, I enjoyed being snuggled up under the covers, hearing a slight drizzle just outside the window. In other words, it was the perfect Saturday morning.

Peanut butter and a spoon; match made in heaven!

I met up with Josh later in the afternoon, and on our way back to his apartment we stopped by ICA to pick up groceries for the crockpot dinner we had planned to make (link below, since it was AMAZING). On my way to meet him, Kels called me and mentioned a folk festival going later that night, and that a friend of ours was scheduled to play with his band. I mentioned it to Josh while we were cooking (and drinking Desperados) and he was in!

A few hours later, we were on our way to Farsta (outside of Stockholm) with a beer in hand and met up with Kels, her boyfriend, and his friend to make our way to the festival. The FB event had said it was a 10 minute walk away, but naturally we had taken a round about way, and got there almost an hour later...

Good thing we had left enough time so we arrived right when they got up to the stage to play. William's band was amazing (sorry Instagram friends for all the Instastories that night, but also- you're welcome), and beers were only 20kr a piece ($2). I'd call that a success!

Kels, and a questionable brand of vodka / the best item clothing I've seen in a long time

Views on the walk home!

Ours were not nearly as photogenic, but this recipe (and the pictures) are incredible

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For the last two weeks, my coworkers and I have been hitting the gym most mornings before work- and let me tell you, it's so nice to get a workout over with first thing in the morning! Sure, it's incredibly painful to pull myself out of bed hours earlier than I would like, but once I've laced up my sneakers and am walking towards the train station, I immediately know I've made the right choice (even though every morning I contemplate calling off!).

The nice thing about working out with my coworkers is that on top of getting along great, we all need to be at the same office, at the same time, making it easy for us all to be on time. After our workouts, we eat breakfast together in the office, and it's just genuinely a great way to start the morning.

It also helps make the gym a bit more bearable of a place, because lets face it, working out alone (especially as a woman) can really suck.

Between overcrowded weight rooms, and people taking gym selfies, it can be a pretty stressful place. Working out in a group allows you feel part of something, and helps me at least feel less likely to be singled out by others.

Or so I thought...

Last Thursday, it was just Kajsa and I in the morning, and we decided to do focus on legs/butt, doing not only machines but hitting the squat rack for several intense sets. While we were in the middle of the second round of leg press, out of nowhere, Kajsa hears two guys (who are there every morning and are definitely total meatheads) say:

"If they want any shot of getting an a**, they had better add some weight to those reps..."

*queue an awful sneer and laugh*

Kajsa waited till after our workout to tell me what they had said, and it's honestly a good thing she did; had I heard the two of them, I would have gone OFF!

My initial thoughts were:

A) You will quite literally never have a shot with this a**, so don't concern yourself

B) You can kiss my a**

And after I simmered down, it just made me sad. Not for myself personally or Kajsa (we are both a healthy and normal weight) but for people in general at the gym. My thoughts on anyone at the gym is GOOD FOR YOU!! You are quite literally taking steps to better yourself, so who gives a flying F*CK what you look like?

This type of behavior is not only incredibly childish, it's also destructive and has the power to make someone who may already feel totally out of place at the gym, feel awful. This isn't to say it's only men who indulge in this sort of behavior- I've heard many women snicker an sneer at others, and it's just so so SO petty.

Let's be better than this, and let's make sure the gym is a safe space for everyone.

And if I ever hear those two losers say anything about me or someone else within my earshot at the gym, I will most definitely be giving them a piece of my mind!

*End rant*


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Happy Monday everyone!

This past Friday I spent several hours in Hammarby Sjöstad with coworkers, helping assist with a work photoshoot. We have a few exciting things coming up in fall that we went ahead and shot, as well as a few scenes I had requested for our social media channels and campaigns coming up in the next few months. Even on site without editing, the images were looking pretty fantastic!

Naturally, I can't show anything we haven't publicly announced but here a few behind the scenes shots of collections we already sell, and of the crew during the shoot. Spending most of a Friday on set is a pretty fantastic way to start off the weekend!

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