An Egg-ucation.

In case I didn't explain my whereabouts,
I'm currently in Oklahoma...
where, luckily, Tyler's cousin has a farm.

Now, it's not your typical farm.

It's that other kind.

The "Orthopedic-surgeon-and-his-beautiful-Nordic-family
because-they-wanted-to-raise-their-family-in-a-fun-&-healthy-lifestyle" kind.

Totally common.

If I weren't such a prissy wimp,
I'd do it in a heartbeat.

If for no other reason than the thrill of shooting a gun for the first time...

... the farm animals really made me fall in love with the idea.

Especially the chickens.

Sandy (Tyler's cousin) is the resident goddess of the farm. 

She makes her own manchego cheese,
home schools her four blond children, 
brews her own beer, 
& is currently planting a vineyard.

Sandy cracked these two eggs open
 in hopes of giving me a tutorial.

Afterwards, I feel I have no choice 
but to move out to a farm 
just for the luxury of having endless fresh eggs.

Look at the difference in these two eggs:

Both are from the farm's chicken coop
and are great quality eggs that would be delicious.

But isn't the difference in color astounding?

Did you know that many eggs in grocery stores 
are around 3-6 months old
by the time they get to our homes?**


So I guess for all of us
who will only get as close to farm life
as the pair of Hunter boots in our closet...
it's good to remember:

Buy local, 
eat in season, &
relish in the goodness
of fresh, pure food!

*all images original to aspiring kennedy
** this seemed to be common knowledge to others at the farm. i cannot validate this statement.

You Got Buns, Hun.

These buns haunted me on Pinterest for a long time.

They just seemed perfectly impossible to me.
I would always look at it and wonder...
how the heck they could do that.

This illusive, messy up-do
had been plaguing me in 
a very harsh "first world pain" manner,
and I eventually wrote it off as a perk for thin hair.

Until one fateful day.

I walked past these funny things in a bowl, 
picked one up and looked at it like it was a bizarre archeological find.

What is this?
What purpose does it serve?
Why would a factory agree to produce these?

And then the lightbulb went off...
and finally understood the physics 
behind those perfect little do's.

Some may call it a sock bun-
but for those of you who have asked about mine,
it's a sponge donut.

Or something like that.

It's basically an implant for your hair.

I actually don't know what it's called.

But in all it's ghetto fabulousness...
they work like a charm!

I love it,
and it's super simple...
just make a high pony tail, pull it through the ring,
splay your hair around it... and tuck it under. 

So easy, right?

I've been handing them out to my friends
and we love them...
and after such universal success...
 I bought some for you!

I only could find the blonde color first,
and you couldn't tell at all, even though I'm a brunette...
my hair is thick and long so it covered it easily.

So if you hair is a dark blonde
or light brown... either one should work
unless you don't have a ton of hair.





*If you live in the states, 
I'm going to ship these back 
when I'm stateside the week after Christmas
a.k.a... don't plan your New Years Party look over it. :)

It's Christmas!

Merry Christmas, friends!

I'd just hug each of right now if I could.

My heart's bursting with love this morning...
because while I don't normally talk about it,
I feel like the need to say it because it's Christmas.

{"And at Christmas, you tell the truth."}

Christ has come!

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."
                                                    - O Holy Night, Adolphe Adam

Our Christmas Card, 2011.

Regardless of what you believe,
I hope you enjoy the day...
to have time to be with your families,
to eat lots of cinnamon-dusted treats,
or to plot after-Christmas shopping plans.

Enjoy the day!

*image original to Aspiring Kennedy

Friday Faces: Ana Pettus of Ana Pettus Diaries

It's two days before Christmas. 
I can't believe it's already here...
it seems surreal that this time tomorrow,
we will be landing in the states.

My flat is packed up and moved to storage
until we return in the early summer from Paris...
let me tell you, 
constant moving & schlepping your possessions
is the very unglamorous side to life on the road.

But do you know what is completely glamorous?

Do you know her?
Do you read her blog?

This girl is fancy.

In fact, before we connected via blogging-
I actually met Ana.

It was several years ago, 
and I was in the store I used to work for
one afternoon setting up for an event.

Right before we locked up the shop for the evening,
a gorgeous car rolls up and parks out front.

Out of the giant SUV, 
climbed tiny little Ana.
She swept into the store
and in about 5 minutes,
had curated an assortment 
of our store's coolest merchandise 
in a neat stack at the register.

I knew then and there:
 I liked her style.

And I think you will, too.

If you ever want a dose of the fabulous life...
like lunches with designers,
soirees in runway gowns,
& celebrity style beauty products-
read her blog, Ana Pettus Diaries.

You may feel a bit starstruck
with this socialite's daily lifestyle...
it's pretty easy to see how Ana has become
the queen bee of the socialite blogging scene.

Fashion has always been a part of life for me. 

For as long as I can remember, I have supported the motto: quality over quantity. 

At the age of twenty, I saved all of my money working to buy my first pair of Chanel ballet flats...

that I still have today! 

 I hope that my love for style, beauty, fashion,
 and the little things that make life more pleasurable will inspire readers 
and their own individual lifestyles. 

I was born in Brazil and lived in Paris for ten years...
and worked with both Cartier & Hermes in professional roles.

Dallas, Texas 

hello, dream vanity. ana's personal primp space in her dallas, texas home.

I'm an up and coming handbag designer.  I will also host an array of signature fragrances.

I blog to express my personal opinion and share my experiences 

with products in the fashion, beauty, design, and lifestyle industries. 

  If my experiences can save others money and time, I have accomplished my goal. 

I blog from a variety of places: 

the plane on my iPad, my kitchen table, from my bed... 

and even my shoe closet!

I blog whenever I feel inspired!

You will rarely (if ever) find me in color. 

I always wear all black and then have fun accessorizing! 

Being on the cover of the WSJ Journal and Styles section. 

(Editor's Note: Yes! That would be a pretty shocking moment. What a dream!)

Wherever life takes me!

That I personally iron everything!  Sheets, t-shirts, you name it. 

 And, I do it on my own. 

Everything in my house is ironed!

Ha! That personally made me laugh...
I wouldn't have seen that one coming!

Isn't Ana fabulous?

Check out her blog, Ana Pettus Diaries,
or keep up with her jet-setting tweets on twitter...
ooh, or look at the fabulous giveaway I won on her blog this summer.

(For sure the most luxe giveaway in blogging history!)

Dust off your tiara...

sequin ballerina dress, rare opulence. £160 | graphite polish, chanel. $25 | kate spade sparkler gia, endless. $75
 smoky quartz necklace, bauble bar. $36 | 12 day of  christmas drink recipes

It's holiday party time!

Yes, indulge yourself with sequins and glitter...
because no other time of the year will embrace
over the top sparkle like December.

Embrace the random strapless dress you bought on clearance
that has been hiding in the back of your closet...

Pull out those glittery platforms out of the guest room closet
that you once decked the halls with in college...

And for goodness sake,
paint those nails something sparkly!

Super Size Me.

When your pants start feeling mysteriously tight
and you aren't sure why...

Sometimes you may find a few clues
if you just take a peek on your iPhone.

sparkly cupcakes by my aussie-friend-that-i-met-at-oxford-and-now-lives-in-london, meg.
figs on portobello road. 
jamie oliver's perfect roast chicken. success 100% of the time. try it!
dessert at the french institution, le relais de l'entrecote. bon appetit!
morning tea... and shortbread in the highlands at the coul house. (love that place!)
pub food will make you fat and happy. but first & foremost, fat.
this amazing restaurant has become our local italian place. rossodisera- in covent garden, on monmouth street.
mmm... vanilla macarons from laduree. my first love.
The case of the shrinking pants is now closed.

There isn't much else to say other than "Duh."

... Or, maybe, "No duh."

{How can they both mean the same thing?}

With my parents arriving tomorrow, 
Christmas & New Years,
a month in the states,
and a spring time in Paris to follow...

All I can say is:
Bring on the elastic waist bands!

*My friend Chelsi wrote a hilarious blog about my trip to Scotland
and I loved her response to it- baking three pies.

That is my kind of woman.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Skye High

Do you ever find yourself 
in the middle of a perfect moment
and wish you could freeze time forever?

You realize that you're in the middle of something really special.

You try your best to savor the magic of that moment
-to engage in it, as fully as you can-
before time pulls that scene away and replaces it with normal life.

Whether it's with your family all gathered together at the holidays,

or as you wipe away tears of laughter over dinner with friends,

...or, maybe, it's traveling across Northern Scotland at Christmas with your love.

We're holding on to this perfect day for a little longer...
tea time with Tunnock's caramel wafers &
a walk around the tiny fishing village, Portree,
before returning for dinner at the hotel pub.

Life, on the Isle of Skye, is good.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Away We Go: Scotland

And, we're off.

While journeys across islands would sound warm & exotic,
our journey brings us to shrinking temperatures
& windy hills sat in the grey backdrop of Northern Scotland

First stop, a night in Edinburgh.

Where we will stay at The Fraser Suites
right off the Royal Mile,
and relax in the festive city before our real journey begins.

When we are in Edinburgh, I like to...

Have coffee & dessert at The Elephant House- where JK Rowling penned Harry Potter on napkins.

Dream of staying at the Hotel Missoni. The doorman even has a Missoni striped kilt. It's amazing.

Grab soup on a cold day at Chocolate Soup. The hot drinks & desserts are fantastic.

Maybe visit the Edinburgh Castle (at the top of the Royal Mile)
or stop by the Queen's Scottish home, Holyrood House (at the bottom of the Royal Mile).

Shop along George Street in New Town. Can't wait to visit the new Anthropologie.

I couldn't get this close to St. Andrews and not stop by...

We have a day there feeling chilly along the sea.

We probably will warm up at Greyfriar's Pub...

Shop the endless rows of charity shops...

Grab a cone of sticky toffee pudding from B. Jannetta's famous ice cream shop...

Take pictures at the seaside cathedral ruins...

Watch golfers finish up at the famous 18th hole on the Old Course...

and go on a tour of Will & Kate's meeting place,
The University of St. Andrews.

From there, we head to Inverness for the night.

After a couple hours on a train,
we will arrive in Inverness...
way towards the top of Scotland.

When we arrive-
the biggest challenge awaits us:
a rental car.

We've never driven in the UK...
but we will tomorrow!

Off to the country to stay in a country manor, Coul House.

We will spend the evening siting by the fire, eating Scottish winter fare,
and cozying up like our Anglo-Saxon ancestors before us would have.

The next morning,
we continue up to the Isle of Skye.

A gorgeous place that seems like Tolkien's setting for a certain trilogy.

It's a quiet world of waterfalls, craggy cliffs & roaming sheep...
and while it's (obviously) difficult to get to-
it's one of the most amazing places I've ever seen.

{I posted some pictures here from this summer. Amazing!}

We will be staying at the Bosville Hotel 
in the quaint seaside port town of Portree...
wearing chunky sweaters & boots,
eating bowlfuls of Cullen Skink till we can't fit any more in our bellies.

After a night there and a following day roaming the island
(this is all to tour potential hotels for summer programs)...
it's back to Inverness for a BA flight home to London.

And if I'm not a little bit cooler after a trip like this,
there's no hope for me.

I'll do my best to keep you a part of our journey
and blog & tweet along the way...
when wi-fi & 3G allows.

Monday Moods: I feel... like a bear.

Maybe it's the colder weather...

this wolfgang puck potato soup was delicious. the recipe is here. 

Maybe it's the naps & sleeping in...
(or "lie-ins" as they like to call them in England)

Maybe it's the obscene amount of fur-trimmed items
I've been wearing lately...

Or maybe it's the obnoxious bear hat that I have
that never fails to shame my husband & friends...

Oh sorry... did I not tell you? I'm ridiculous.

I'm not sure.

Either way, I am coming out of the cave tonight

I may even shed my winter coat
{aka shave my legs}
for the special occasion...
which, if you saw my shower,
 is a feat of Olympic grade flexibility.

See you there!
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