I really mint it.

The Kentucky Derby
official starts tomorrow.

I plan on celebrating
the Churchill Downs
all weekend long.

And to really celebrate the derby,
what better way than with a
Mint Julep?

We can all be winners together
for scoring the coveted recipe for
The Ritz Carlton, New Orleans,
Traditional Mint Julep.

* 12-15 fresh mint leaves, reserve one sprig for garnish
* 1 ounce peach syrup, like Monin
* 2 1/2 ounces of Bourbon
* superfine sugar

Step 1.

Place mint & 1/4 ounce peach syrup in julep cup
and gently crush leaves with a wooden muddler,
working them up the sides of the glass.

2. Loosely pack the glass with finely crushed ice,
then add bourbon.
Drizzle remaining peach syrup on top.
Sprinkle fine sugar on the mint leaf, and garnish with the mint leaf.

Yield: 1 cocktail

I have never made one for myself. Have any of you? Any "special" tips you can share?

recipe courtesy of the New York Times/ photo from Southern Living

Spoiled. Absolutely. Rotten... and loving it!

Somedays you just get spoiled,
and other days,
you get spoiled rotten.

Today, I experienced the latter.

Yes, I got absolutely spoiled rotten
when this
STUNNING arrangement
of sunken orchids
arrived this morning.

How does a lady accept such a gift?

I bragged to all my friends.
I texted a picture to my mother.
I called Mr. Wonderful,
and reminded him of the art form of sending flowers.
Then I just sat at my desk and smiled
like an idiot
for an hour or so.

This is the beautiful work of
my favorite florist-

These ladies can do to roses,
what Michaelangelo did to paint.
Call them, and let them create something wonderful for you!

How can I adequately express my thanks?

*these photos were taken by Aspiring Kennedy herself, thank you.

It's (not that) Complicated...

It is officially party season.
The tulips have returned, the roses are here,
and the social calendar has bloomed.

While the center of these fetes are often
fabulous book signings, grand openings, and celebrity appearances,
I have to admit:
I couldn't be more excited to go to the dvd release party for
It's Complicated!

I can't hardly remember the plot,
but with Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, John Krasinksi
in a perfect bakery
with gorgeous California as the backdrop-
that wasn't a crucial element.

If everything goes as planned,
I'll be falling asleep to
my own copy of It's Complicated
on Thursday evening after a really pleasant evening
at the party on the La Duni patio.

That doesn't seem too complicated to me...

Burberry VIP

Burberry & Emma Watson
are a perfect compliment
to one other.

It's such a natural fit.

Like a Kennedy on a yacht,

or a Bush twin at a party....

Photos courtesy of Burberry.com

Oh my... Degas

Happy Monday,
mes amis!

Ever since I first saw
Edgar Degas' ballerinas
as a little girl
at the Met,

... I've remained intoxicated
by his delicately dark whimsy.

Silk Ribbons, tuille, french ballet...

Little Black Book Addition

Hello, Splendor has been born!

(you may know her from Nest Interior Design & as my friend!)
has started a new blog
through her lens as a wife, mom, and accomplished designer.

Beth is always coming up with
great finds, helpful parenting tips, and gorgeous home inspiration.

And Aspiring Kennedy will be guest blogging, too!

Congratulations, Beth!
Your friends at Aspiring Kennedy
can't wait to see what is to come at

Missoni + iPhone= True Love

iPhone covers made by Missoni!
Could it be true?

No, apparently not...

In fact,
is nothing like
at. all.
Yet, I can't help thinking that these
look as if they were inspired by
my favorite Italian fashion famiglia,

And for only $24.95,
I am excited to have one of these become
my online item- du- jour!

Prince of Hearts

I grew up in the
hopeful generation of girls
that distantly loved
Prince William.

I had this poster
of his face (above)
hanging in my room
for all of middle school.

He just always seemed so nice
and well dressed,
didn't he?

And I guess the title of "Prince"
might have added to the enchantment.

A few years ago,
I had my childhood dreams
come to a harsh end.

{enter: Kate Middleton}

They fell in love...
and "rumour" has it,
wedding bells are ringing
in the near future.

It's hard to be too bitter though.

They just look so happy together.
Smitten, if you will.

And, we know that pretty babies are in order
so will at least give us something to
drool over in the tabloids.

But just remember, William,
I loved you first.

Snobs Anonymous

Before I post what may
(read: will be)
the most pathetically prissy post of all times,
I really do apologize.

However, I know I can depend on my lovely readers
for good advice
at a moment such as this.

In the midst of planning a trip to Palm Beach,
I am stuck in the middle of a huge decision.

Which hotel should I stay at?


See... It's NOT an easy choice.
I really need your help to guide my decision.
Who has been there, and who can tell me where to go?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

photos borrowed from: Luxuo.com/ TravelandLeisure.com/ Glao.org


I love England...
so, so much.

I have my favorite places in London listed here,
my favorite places in Oxford listed here,
and this page is for all the other glorious places you might want to see.


Why You Should Go:

Brighton is an easy train trip from London
and really is one of the most unique places in England.

You'll feel like you've landed in a bizarre city
where England has collided into Bollywood via Coney Island.

How Long You Should Stay:

One day.

What You Should Do:

Hit up the pier for Coney Island style delights.
Take a tour through the bizarrely delightful, Brighton Pavillion.
Eat fish & chips on the coast.

Oh... I really like the charity shops there, too.
I've found some really good stuff there.


Why You Should Go:

This is one of my favorite places in the sunshine.

Combine small English towns with Shakespeare
and boats that sell ice-cream...
you have my heaven on earth.

How Long You Should Stay:

A day or two...
but if you can arrange it,
go for the annual celebration of Shakespeare's birthday.

The town is alive with parades & flowers,
and it's a great day to see loads of people dressed as old Willy.

What You Should Do:

Visit Shakespeare's birthplace
(conveniently located in the centre of town),
grab a coffee-oreo milkshake from Blue Cow across the street,
and walk along the river until you hit Holy Trinity.

Donations are requested to get to the front,
but if you drop in a pound,
you'll be able to see the burial place of Mr. Shakespeare.

If you have time, 
rent a paddle boat and muck about in the river.

Or grab a chair along the water and snooze in the sun.

For Harry Potter fans,
there is a store that is eerily similar to Rowlings "Leaky Cauldron"
that is next to Shakespeare's birthplace, called "The Creaky Cauldron."

It has potions, wands and even a cafe that sells butter beer.

But make sure to not reference the Leaky Cauldron...
as the owner claims to have been around long before the famous series.


Why You Should Go:

I like York for several reasons...
the first being is that it's incredibly interesting
and the second being how well priced everything is there.

The York Minster, the quirky people & the famed pudding 
make York a great place to spend a lazy weekend.

How Long You Should Stay:

One full day... maybe a second
if you want to trek to Hadrian's Wall,
which I would recommend if you are up that way.

What You Should Do:

Take a tour of York's famed Minster,
meander through the "Bloody Shambles,"

and walk along the city walls (bring coffee to perch at Robin Hood's lookout).

I like to stay at Hedley House.
It's well priced, run by the sweetest staff,
and a 5 minute walk to everything.

{Plus, if you eat there- the food is quite tasty.}


Why You Should Go:

The Canterbury Cathedral is there, of course.
Plus, the town is adorably cute.
It's a day trip that will leave you historically satisfied
while the town's food & retail options will keep you very entertained.

How Long You Should Stay:

One day.

What You Should Do:

Obviously, the cathedral is the most important site.
Thomas Becket was murdered there, 
and it is where the Archbishop of Canterbury presides.

{I especially like the catacombs.}

If you have time, find one of the cute young men off the high street
that are selling boat tours and buy a ticket.
Grab something fun to eat & drink and make merry.

Tiny Tim's TeaRoom is pretty darn cute. 
Grab a pot of tea & some homemade cake there to refuel.


Why You Should Go:

Because everyone says you should...
and you'll always want to until you just do it.

There are bus tours you can take from London
 or, if you want your freedom,
 you can rent a car.

How Long You Should Stay:

1.5 hours...
Though, if you are a big "Aliens-left-rocks" buff,
don't miss nearby Avebury. 

There are tons of rocks in a giant row.
If that's your thing, you'll be left light headed.

Just watch out for all the sheep poo.
It's open grazing around the Avebury rocks.

What You Should Do:

Walk in a circle with an audioguide...
take pictures...
 and head off to Salisbury for a lunch in a pub
and quintessentially English second half of your day.


Why You Should Go:

The combination of the Roman Baths, Jane Austen museum
& great historic town make this the perfect day trip from London...
or weekend retreat.

I think I've only ever seen Bath in horribly wet weather,
and I'm still terribly charmed by it. 

{Read my post on Bath for more info.}

Plus, the trains make it a very easy-to-reach destination from London.
with only an 1.5 hour train ride getting you to the "Bath Spa" train station,
the main station in town.

How Long You Should Stay:

A day or two.

What You Should Do:

See the Roman Baths... get the audioguide 
and spend a couple of hours getting lost in history.

Be fancy and have tea in the pump room.
Why not? You came all that way. Do it right.

Visit the Jane Austen museum.
It's £6, and I've never made it past the downstairs gift shop...
but for diehard fans, it's a favorite.

{You can also visit her house outside of town if you can find transportation.}

Eat at the Raven- a cozy pub in the centre of town,
with great pies from Pieminister.

If you have the money- which I do not-
splurge on the sunset package at the Bath Spa...
just take a look at what it involves & you'll want to do it, too.


Why You Should Go:

You'll feel like you've stumbled on an untouched portion of the earth...
and, of course, because it's completely breath-taking.

Plus, it will make you feel like you are that much closer
to being just like Elizabeth Bennett.

{Read my post about our trip here.}

How Long You Should Stay:

At least two nights, preferably three.
You'll really need to rent a car to get the full experience
and being there for any less would be a bit of a waste.

What You Should Do:

See Beatrix Potter's quaint home, Hilltop Farm
{and eat in the delicious neighboring pub.}

Visit William Wordsworth lakeside home, Dove Cottage
and wander into Grasmere to taste Gingerbread in it's birthplace
at Sarah Nelson's tiny gingerbread shop.

Stay in Ambleside for the coziest weekend you've ever had...
and have a proper start to your day at the Apple Pie Bakery.

I have stayed at this hotel & eaten at the Italian restaurant, Tarantella, below.
I can recommend them both as nice & cozy.

I have also stayed in Grasmere at the Red Lion Hotel
and thought it was really cute and quaint,
though the town is much quieter at night
with few restaurants open in the evening.

(We went to Potted Out for dinner and thought it was really tasty.)

Spend a day in Windermere moseying through shops,
feeding the giant swans,
and taking a boat out on the gorgeous lake.


Why You Should Go: It's got a little bit of everything: cute town, seaside, medieval castles,
and WWII history. It's a win/win destination!

What you'll want to do: Read my post here for the full run down of a day in Dover!

The Happiest Hour

I love going to happy hour.

The Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, $9, The Porch

A post-work drink
to sip away
all the worry of the day.

Kentucky Ale, The Brown Hotel, $0...
if the bartender thinks you're cute.

Today, it seems Happy Hour
is more of a question of "When?"
than it is of "If..."

Pomela & Mojito, $13, at La Duni

Anyone out there headed somewhere fabulous after 6?
Where are you headed & what's your drink?

Show and Chanel

I saw this today,
I died.

Oh Chanel, you do it to me again.

Thanks to Slumber Designs for the inspiration, and WeHeartIt for the images. Love!

Twilight: Pick Your Pleasure.

As a recent convert to
I have had to make a really big decision:
Vampire or Werewolf?

Though I have chosen my side

here are some beauty shots of the boys
to help you make your own choice.

Robert Pattinson/ Edward Cullen
Robert Pattinson- courtesy of Vanity Fair.

My little Nantucket Nugget.

Taylor Lautner/ Jacob Black

Who could resist Jacob's friendship... and cuteness?

Silly, silly Bella Swan.

So where do your loyalties lie,
my dear friends?

My friend makes these pillows.
Just for fun.

Aren't they amazing?

She can make them in any way, shape, or color.

I think I need two of them.

One that would have a K,

and the other, a bicycle.

And yes, they will probably be navy, have some velvet, and
a good sprinkling of gold.

Leave me a comment if you want to get in touch with her.
Aspiring Kennedy can get you on "the list."
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