Monday Moods: I feel... rosy.

The month of May is almost over...
and looking back over the past few weeks,
it seemed like a dream.

Quiet moments in Parisian parks,
sunny lunches catching up with dear friends,
girly parties to celebrate my sister,
and being a part of wedding so perfect, 
it could have made Kate Middleton feel overlooked...

... leave me looking back at the month 
through rose colored glasses.

a morning in marche aux puces

sitting in the backyard of notre dame

sunset picnics on the seine

paris apartment

free sprinkles courtesy of their twitter secret word of the day

lunch at 4510 with hello splendor

poolside pedicures and lunch... fancy nancies

matrons of honor and sisters

Did I Ever Tell You The Story...

... about when a mountain lion ate my dog?

You see...
 my parents live in Dallas, Texas. 

Right smack dab in the middle of the city.

I grew up five minutes from the Galleria,
but the plot of land I grew up on
sits on a giant flood plain 
that (by law) can't ever be developed.

A creek extends through the plain
 creating some gorgeous ravines and
offering some untouched relief from the busy metroplex.

But here's the thing:

As this city grows bigger and denser,
this forgotten area is becoming a bit of a wildlife shelter.

Coyotes are constantly cruising the field,
bobcats and their babies are always tumbling in the hedges,
and snakes slither their way into our pool in the summer heat.

No big deal, right?


But everything took a turn for the worst
when we returned from Italy last year 
to the shocking news that our yorkie-poo, Winston, 
had been eaten on my parents back porch 
by a mountain lion.

a. mountain. lion.

{also know as a "cougar"}
I agree. Winston WAS the cutest thing ever.

No one was quite sure what had happened 
until a tracker, sent by the city, 
found it's enormously huge and scary paw prints
in the flower beds by the pool.

Obviously, we were devastated.

I got a phone call upon landing at O'Hare
and proceed to sob pathetically after hearing the news
{like, the snotty, gasping, ugly kind}
all the way home to Dallas.

A year and half later,
 I'm okay.

To be honest- 
I have no clue how I would exist in England 
taking care of a dog right now.

But even that journey of self-healing couldn't prepare me 
to find THIS at my feet last night
while chatting on the back porch.

A tarantula?

Sick. Ew. Gross. Blech.

Is a tarantula better or worse than a mountain lion?

I really don't know,
but I do know this:

England is free of natural disasters and poisonous animals.

Take me home, country roads.

*all photos original to Aspiring Kennedy

Pint Size Diversions

I skipped my normal Monday Mood this week...
with all these cute nieces and nephews around-
I've been entirely preoccupied.

They're just too cute,
and to be honest,
at times,
they're way more fun than blogging.

I said it.

Now it's out there.

Don't be mad.

But I couldn't be mad at you either
if you sold out for goodness like
watching your niece walk for the first time,
feeding another bubbles,
having a moment with a strawberry shortcake from the Bulldog,
and laughing your way through impromptu, living room yoga.

Aren't you glad I don't have kids?

This post is proof that if I did,
my blog would consist solely of their pictures.

*all images are original to Aspiring Kennedy

Independence Day(s)

Sharing your life with someone else is fantastic.

There is something intangibly good
about the act of committing to spend 
your days with another person.

While I completely adore my life with Tyler,
and am eagerly awaiting his arrival to the wedding hoopla...

 I really must say:

I am loving my days back home by myself.

When Tyler finally shows up,
I'll have to bounce back into my adult self...

Seemingly foreign activities such as 
making my bed, turning down my blaring music, & the addition of protein to my diet
will quickly return to my daily life.

But in the meantime,
I'm living it up.

Does anyone else morph into a
younger & deliriously naive version of yourself
upon returning to your childhood home?

Altitude Sickness

My parents instilled in me many values:

... the value of self-confidence ...

... the value of cooking from scratch ...

... the value of generosity ...

... the value of earning advantage miles ...

Being raised in Dallas,
I'm a faithful American Airlines passenger.

My AAdvantage account was started when I was 5 years old,
and I hit Platinum for the first time when I was 19...

I, typically, love everything about my AA experience.

From the direct service from London to Dallas
to the faint hope of an upgrade.

But, I have to ask:


Too bad my mom isn't condescending, or this ad could still be relevant.
The treatment to passengers
by the flight crew has been so rude 
on my past few flights-
I am appalled.

Whatever happened to the glamourous days of flying?

Because these days, I walk off the plane
feeling less like a jetsetter
and more like a piece of of mishandled luggage.

The truth is, flight crew:
I'm actually your biggest fan.
You serve me dinner
(without asking for a tip),
play the role of in-flight concierge,
and are even trained to save my life.

I completely respect for the work you do.

I'm just left to wonder...

Is it impossible to fly coach
without feeling abused?

FOUR SALE- Wedding Wear

I've got my bags packed
and am ready to head home to Dallas
for my sister's wedding.

I can feel my hair getting bigger by the moment.

In preparation of my journey tomorrow,
I've been stocking up on all the things
that a Texan-turned-Brit needs for her trip home.

While I was out,
I found a pair of lovelies
that I'm going to be wearing 
at the upcoming parties.

Pretty cute, right?
And what made them even cuter?

They were on clearance,
like, big time.

So I got one of each for myself
and four extra for any of you who want one!

I'm headed home tomorrow, 
so I'll take back whichever ones sell with me
to ship once I'm stateside to keep it on the cheap.

What will happen to the rest if they don't sell?

Well, that's the best part about having sisters.



*Please note- ALL SALES ARE FINAL 
(as I purchased these items on final sale.)

**Pictures are taken to show the quality of each item,
but come on- these are obviously not real gold or pearls...
but they are super cute!

***Buyer will be contacted with for shipping information upon purchase.


Candace Bushnell: Making This Summer Hot.

This year will be a year
that I remembered for many reasons.

I moved to England.
I started my dream job.
I contemplated an affair with a Croque Madame in Paris...

and I became obsessed with Candace Bushnell.

Remember last year when I received 

I soooo underappreciated that.

Had it been this year,
it would have been a different story.


True, I'm a little late in the game.
Candace Bushnell's already been a legend for years
for the creation of Sex & The City...
but what can I say?

Endless hours on British public transport
have provided the perfect setting for me 
to get immersed in her books for hours upon end.

In fact, I finished the last pages 
of my only remaining Bushnell book, Trading Up,
  on my way home from London last night.

As fate would have it, I soon learned 
that the new sequel to last year's prequel
of Sex and the City,
goes in store today
at Barnes & Noble.

Just in time for summer,
and just in time to keep my addiction fed.

Britain's Got Talent

Susan Boyle.

David Beckham.

Jude Law.

There's no denying that this tiny island is packed with talent.

So it comes as no surprise
 to watch the twitter world go crazy
after yesterday's announcement 
of the UK's first shelter e-zine,

Led by a stunningly clever and cute trio
from the centre of London's design community
are announcing the premier issue for this September.

After tonight's dinner with Arianna & Carole 
(and my darling friend, Helena),
 at the always delicious Busaba Thai,
now having to wait the entire summer 
for the launch issue in September seems a bit painful!

Heart Home is going to have tons of gorgeous British homes,
loads of quirky & unique features,
and most importantly?

It will have an unabashed, cool, British vibe 
that will inevitably leave you tingling.

Can I get an "amen?"

Monday Moods: I feel... louvrely.

I'm coming home from a weekend in Paris
where the hub has been playing basketball
in the European MBA Olympics.

{Is that hilarious? Yeah, I agree.}

So while he was busy sweating it out
against Cambridge, INSEAD, & London School of Economics...

I got cozy with
Caravaggio, Velazaquez, & Delacroix.

But the most inspiring point of my day?

Walking out of the Louvre
 to a scoop of pistachio from an ice cream cart
and a sunny nap in the Tuileries.

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Why I Love... Graphic Image.

Back in my previous life,
I had a "cool job."

You know the type, don't you?

The only dress code is to look good,
you travel to exotic locations and stay at the best hotels,
you're friendly with buyers and editors,
& you make a hilariously small salary 
that leaves you feeling extremely broke 
among the glossy world you work in?

Yup. If that's the criteria,
then I once had a very cool job.

I think my favorite part of it was the trade shows.

They are so much work, 
but they always brought such adventures and stories.

After a few shows, 
you start to develop a nose for the important buyers.

...Bendel, Saks, Harrods, Barneys...

You start to remember each other from previous shows and meetings,
and it gets easier to be prepared...
but the easiest buyers to spot 
are always from Neiman Marcus & Bergdorf Goodman.

While they might have their buyer's badge hidden in their handbag,
they all carry the same tell-tale object in their hands:

You can spot those giant planners half way down the convention center aisles...
and boy, are they gorgeous.

Graphic Image is a family owned company out of New York 
that sits above the rest of the over-saturated leather market
with their gorgeously unique line 
of luxe everyday items.

I'm sure you've seen their goods before-
but as their website quotes:
"We're the biggest brand that nobody's ever heard of."

It's true.
You'd recognize their handiwork in a heartbeat,
but most people never know their name.

Graphic Image pieces are so lovely 
no label is needed to sway the customer into the purchase.

At stores like Bergdorf & Barneys- 
that speaks volumes.

(Why, yes, I do have one of these!)

Metallic passport covers?
(As if international travel wasn't swanky enough!)

they have my heart.

I'm waiting patiently
until the day comes
when I have my own...
with my initials monogrammed at the bottom
like all the BG & NM buyers.

And the day that happens?
Well, I'll know then that I'm actually cool.

Paris Or Bust.

Every spring, European MBA programs
get together for some friendly "Olympics"... in PARIS.

So, I'm happily taking my place as a WAG
("wives and girlfriends")
and heading out for the fun
as Tyler plays basketball for Oxford.

We won't be staying with the school
(we rented our own apartment in Paris through this site)
and not really missing out on the 12 hour bus ride
(advance Eurostar tickets for £69 r/t).

Besides the obvious reasons you get giddy about going to Paris,
I'm excited to go with Tyler...
he's never been!

We'll be spending the next five days
walking all the sites, eating all the food, 
shopping for more fun things for FOUR SALE,
and scouring all the museums loaded with gorgeous art.

It's hard to think of Paris 
without thinking of all the massively important art.

Which is why I think it's perfectly normal
to want to bring home some Parisian art of own's one.

Perhaps these are a bit less sophisticated 
than the beauties at the Louvre and D'Orsay, 
but I do find them quite clever.




If you could spend an afternoon gazing 
at one piece of art
or one artist's work...
what would you choose?


I love getting emails from readers
that ask me where/what/who I am wearing.

It makes me feel like I'm cool...
until I pathetically try to explain how I stumbled upon the noted item,
and long-windedly resolve that it would be impossible for them to have one, too.

"I found this really cool store in Cyprus 
and they were on sale for 1/2 off."

"Well, it is (insert cool designer here), 
but I had a coupon 
at an employee sample sale 
where my cousin worked."

You get the picture.

So today, while I was buying things 
for my friends off their wish lists
(a.k.a: "If you ever see anything cool for me in Europe 
like (insert cool object here),
will you snag it for me and I'll pay you back?"... 

I had an idea.

I'll buy a few extras and sell them to you on my Etsy site.

That way, you can get in on the action
for the same cool price I get it at.

 I won't be making money,
 just trying to share the love...
and my prime access to European retail.

Kind of brilliant, right?

I'm only going to buy four of any item, ever.

(Because I can't risk buying a ton of stuff you might not like. Sorry!)

It's a fun little concept called:

(You know, because there is only four of each piece.)

I'll let you know when I find something cool
and grab a few extra for you guys.

Like these cute clutches I bought today.

They were really "Marc Jacobs-y" to me...
(well, the pink & orange clutch is. you'll see it in the shop)

And ultimately, they're just too awesome to not share.

* note: sold out! *

Pop-Up Shop

Most of you know-

 I've got a thing for popsicles.

I've been blogging about them for a while now
in hope that they might become the next "thing."

Cupcakes are fine, but we've all had our fill.
I'm ready to trade out for a tasty chill.

(Did you catch that rhyme?)

All I'm asking is this:

Can someone PLEASE make popsicles cool?

If you have the cash, the time, and the style-
I've already planned out 
the perfect plan for a popsicle paradise.

Imagine this:

A silver airstream trailer happily perched
 on a plot of bright green astroturf, 
surrounded a white picked fence
and oozing with kitsch.

The trailer cheerfully greets the masses
through a giant window with red checked curtains
where it hands out frozen delights like
the Ferrer Rocher drumstick,
the strawberry margarita snowcone,
& the blood orange dreamsicle
to it's happy patrons.


All the hard work is done for you.

Now all that's left is for someone to
finance it, build it, manage it, & maintain it.

(Easy peasy.)

Do any of you have a fun menu item 
for this popsicle menu?

(... I double dog dare you to get in on this fun ...)

Monday Moods: I feel... apologetic.

For a long time,
I've ripped on cruises
for being cheesy, unoriginal, and mainstream.

I hadn't been on a cruise since early high school,
and in my mind-
had developed a bit of an snotty attitude 
towards the idea of them.

Well, I take it back!

Our Royal Caribbean cruise
through the Greek Isles was amazing.

We visited so many places in our 11 days,
and it would have been impossible to duplicate that journey
if it were just us traveling on our own.

(Venice, Corfu, Croatia, Crete, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Olympia)

After planning so many vacations by ourselves,
it was heavenly to not have to think about 
where to stay at each new place,
what train/bus/plane to take to get there,
where to find a decent place to eat.

 I had even  forgotten how lovely turndown service can be...

The swan towels are slightly bizarre, but hey, I'll take it.

Royal Caribbean was clean, amazing friendly, 
and the food was so tasty, this snob is forever silenced.

these little pastries are dangerously addicting.

While there may be other trips 
that offer higher exclusivity and swankier crowds,
I would proudly say that our cruise 
was the most relaxing trip we have ever taken.

So I hereby apologize.

Royal Caribbean, I spoke to soon.

Thanks for giving me a second chance,
and sweeping me off my feet.

Have you ever cruised?
Did you love it as much as us?

Cinco De Mayo (This Texan's VDay)

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

(Cinco duh what?)

In Mexico,
it's a day of celebration
of heritage, culture, & democracy.

(Which I know contradicts the below graphic, but I can't edit that from my phone. Lo siento. My tex-ucation failed me when I was creating my post.) 

In Texas, it's a good excuse 
to pile onto a patio for endless hours
gorging yourself on
enchiladas, salsa, & margaritas.

It's quite heavenly, actually.

For Tyler & me, 
it's a very special day.

Our first kiss was on Cinco De Mayo...
after a night of dancing 
at a dance hall in Arkansas called the Electric Cowboy.

Classy, n'est pas?

So wherever you are
- Mexico, Texas, or even England-
pull out your boots and kick it up for a good night of fun!

(and don't forget your stretchy pants... it's all about the eatin')

Who knows-
 maybe tonight you'll fall in love with your "forever."

Make your own Mexican feast with these recipes:

April Binging Brings May Penny Pinching

Looking back at April, 
I would have to describe the month as
well... extravagant.

we really lived it up.

Sadly, this month brings a dose of reality
(and a hefty stack of bills to pay),
so these Aspiring Kennedys are cutting back 
to compensate for the non-stop party
we will fondly remember as "April 2011."

(note to self: it was totally worth it.)

I'm cutting back on the little things...
as they do seem to add up.

Things like buying the whole chicken
versus buying chicken breasts are some ways
I'm finding will save me some big chunks of change.

And I'm also waiting.

Waiting to make sure I've actually used my body wash completely
before buying another container.

Waiting to get home before I grab something to eat for lunch.

Waiting for my lottery check to arrive in the mail.


It's not exactly fun to be on a budget,
but it seems to make the "big" events better 
when they come around, doesn't it?

What are some simple ways you cut back 
when you need to save up?

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