Friday Faces: Jillian of Cornflake Dreams

I love this new series... 
partly because I'm excited to introduce you to new blogs
that you are definitely going to love,
but mainly I love this series for the selfish reason
that I get to snoop in the lives of people
that I wish I could know in real life.

These questions help me feel more connected to the blog
that I read on a daily basis...
(or try to when I'm not flitting around like a fool)
and make me more endeared to the bloggers behind them...
like Jillian of Cornflake Dreams
who might just be one of the nicest girls I've {never} met.

hello there- it's jillian from cornflake dreams  and i am thrilled to be on aspiring kennedy!
 i adore lauren's travel posts and i'll admit that i am a little jealous 
i have no immediate plans to move across the pond! :)


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What I Miss.

I'm a little hungry still after dinner.

I ruined my dinner by scarfing down 
a (third) macaron
that was headed to be thrown away
around five this evening.

{Real classy, I know.}

A few hours later, my stomach is ready for round two...

...or was it three?

Our cabinets are pretty bare bones at the moment,
and in my state of dismal hunger
(read: dramatic)
I'm hallucinating that some of my
favorite American staples were lining the shelves...
especially these bad boys.

Back in my Dallas days,
my friend Kellee & I would plow
through one of these bags without regret
while our husbands chatted late into the night
on everything from Seinfeld 
to men that wear tight pearl snap shirts 
with dragons on them.

I'd take a bag of these
& my friend to hang out with me.

What would be the perfect addition to your day?

Tea With The Queen

How many times have Americans joked
about going to Buckingham Palace for 
tea with the Queen?

I mean, personally, I've heard it 
at least 100 times 
since we moved to England.

The worldwide total would be a number 
that rivaled the number of girls (and their mothers)
who dream of winning Prince Harry's heart.

Seriously though,
it's a silly statement 
the notion of having tea
at Buckingham Palace is simply ludicrous.

Except for the fact, 
you actually can have tea at Buckingham Palace.

{Who knew?}

While the Queen is away for the late summer 
exploring her castles in Scotland,
Buckingham Palace opens to the public
for a 1.5 hour tour of the state rooms.

Apparently, visiting the palace 
must be a well-kept secret 
within the English geriatric community...

as 90% of the guests were females over 75.

{I suppose a girl's dreams of being a princess are timeless.}

This summer, the Duchess of Cambridge's dress was on display.

I got to see it even closer up than 
from my abbey-side perch 

It was displayed in the Ball Room
that the wedding reception was held in,
and designer, Sarah Burton,
was featured on video 
discussing the design features
 of Kate's iconic dress.

Most of us have been to the White House or a castle on a trip at some point,
but I have to say-
no home I have ever seen
begins to rival the opulence of Buckingham Palace.

That place is no joke.

{Though no pictures are allowed inside so you'll just have to trust me.}

Bravo, England.

Not only do you let a commoner marry into the Royal Family,
but you let schleppy folk like myself
tour your home
and have tea on your back porch.

the cafe overlooking the garden. too gorgeous to explain.

we had to break the rule, and order a mid-day cappucino.... just for the crown.

Made me feel right at home...
in fact, 
I could get used to living in a place like that.

The other great thing 
was the gift shop in her backyard.

the nicest yard sale...

Seriously, look at the crowd here. It could rival an Alaskan cruise.

The store offers some really great merchandise:
china, lotions, soaps, towels, ornaments & chocolates.

I bought myself really posh
 (but disappointingly unused by HRH)
shower cap.

{I'm not kidding.}

The walk out the to the back gate
felt like a stroll through Central Park.

Pinkies up!

If you are looking for a place 
that almost feels as fancy & nice as Buckingham,
head to my friend, Debby's blog
and check out my feature for fall!

Debby's blog is great,
and I highly recommend it for your daily blog reads!

For more information on taking your own tour of Buckingham Palace,
check here for openings & dates when the palace is open to the public.

Pre-ordering your tickets is recommended and simple.

First Day of School

Today I went back to school...
not as a student,
but to teach.

I started off the class,
went rolling through my material,
and when I was about 75% finished with my lesson
I checked the time...

It was 8:07 am.

I had been teaching for seven minutes.

It was time to slow down & pace myself...
and, luckily, I did.

The rest of the class went fine & was actually very fun...

Though I'm sure all the veteran teachers that read this
could school my efforts... Teach me your ways!

While getting up at 6 was the opposite of enjoyable,
I had forgotten my pleasure in constructing an outfit
for the first day of school.

So here is what I wore.

Like, literally.

I somehow managed to find every piece on line.

Anthropologie sweater | h&m black jersey shirt | vera wang landyn flats | milly hobo bag | h&m slim trouser | kate spade, twirl

Ok fine,
except the pretty Vera Wang shoes.

I've never seen them except on-line. 

I actually wore leopard mary-jane flats,
but I've had mine too long
and they are extinct from the interwebs.

Going back to school was so much fun.

I kept thinking of "You've Got Mail" and the idea of a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils,
and just in case you love that movie
as much as I do...

Notting Hill: Happy (late) Birthday to me!

Last month, 
I got spoiled by celebrating my birthday with my parents
with the perfect day in Tuscany.

Tyler had planned to take me out for my birthday
but because I've been traveling so much since the big day,
we had to postpone it.

(Fact: I've slept in 21 different beds in the past 6 weeks!)

After getting back to London last night
(and moving into our new place),
 Tyler woke me up this morning 
with a surprise outing to Notting Hill!

I absolutely love Saturdays there...
the market is up
and full of all the quirkiness & oddity 
that completely strike my fancy.

We started the day off right with
 chocolate-filled Italian donuts (or "bomba")
at our favorite morning stop, Arancina,
that is located conveniently en route to
the Portobello Road Market.

Once we had appropriately carb-laoded,
we pushed our way through the crowds 
into the throbbing heart of Portobello Road.

no make-up needed for saturdays at a market!

Delicious produce & food stalls 
that cause me to loiter and stare 
for awkwardly long periods of time.

If there are onions grilling, 
just count on me stopping and standing...
and drooling.

the namesake produce

Since it was my "birthday,"
Tyler told me to pick out something that I liked.

Something that we could keep in our house
that would always remind me of my birthday in Notting Hill.

So I looked.

And looked...

nothing seemed right.

Till at the end,
I found a perfect crystal table set
for salt, pepper, & mustard (yippee!)
that was made in the 1890's. 

It's now sitting bubble wrapped and safe in my flat...
where it will sit until I get our place unpacked-
but take my word for it:
it's a keeper.

And with moves like those,
so is this guy.

A few pointers:

The market is open on Saturdays.

To reach the market,
take the Central Line to Notting Hill Gate.

As you leave the station exits,
take the stairs towards "Portobello Road."
Follow the crowds around the block
and up the neighborhood into the heart of the market.
It will be about a ten minute walk from the tube station.

If you are traveling to London,
and would like to know more about 
Notting Hill's Portobello Road Market,
email me at

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Style Picks: One Day

 Have you seen One Day yet?

Whether it was the heartbreaking love story,
Jim Sturgess looking dreamy,
Anne Hathaway looking hilariously dorky,
or my bias to the London & Edinburgh backdrop...

I'm not so sure.

But I am sure that if you haven't seen it
you need to grab a girlfriend, 
some tissues & your favorite bag of junk food from a gas station...
and go see it tonight.

I don't want to have to tell you again.

It's just that good. 

Today I'm in Edinburgh myself,
and this place has me constantly thinking of the film.

So in honor of love & gorgeous style-
here are my own style picks for a look that is perfect for
One Day... & Night.

Two looks
- that are totally British -
and completely perfect for one day (and night) here in the UK.

Jimmy Choo whirl flats | rich & skinny toffee jeans | J Crew fisherman cardigan
T by Alexander Wang tank | pearl earrings | M.Patmos leather & wool jacket | Hunter Boots 

Monday Moods: I feel... small town.

Being fancy can be fun.

Dressing up in gowns,
& traveling with your girlfriends
are all certainly are lovely.

While those glittery things keep me constantly dreaming,
it can be the simplest of things that get me giddy.

After paying for our lunch yesterday
 at a pub next door to Beatrix Potter's farm,
we were invited by the bar tender 
to the marrow contest
 he was headed to judge.

A... Marrow Contest?

Apparently, a Marrow is a mutantly huge courgette/zucchini.

{Like huge as in last year's winner weighed 115 lbs.}

But beyond gigantic vegetables that could outweigh a teenager....

and vegetables dressed up in funny costumes...

and colorful vegetables grown by local school children...

and a cash-prized prize for 
accurately guessing the weight of marrows...

... there was, most importantly,
a delicious tea time
served by sweet people
who were happy to share their yummies with us.

So while it might seem a little hokey
and, undoubtedly, a little random...
I'll gladly take it.

Friday Faces: Marissa from The Boot

I'm excited to start this new series,
inspired by a post a few weeks back
that had us all start talking about who we are...
outside of our blogging-selves.

Each Friday get to know your favorite bloggers a bit better
through the new Aspiring Kennedy series
Friday Faces

To kick off the series,
welcome Marissa from the dreamy Italian journal

Marissa is one of those bloggers that you just know
you'd actually want to hang out with in real life...
and until we can go crash her gorgeous life in Italy,
we'll have to settle for hanging out with her on-line.

Who are you?

I’m Marissa Bognanno, 25. 

Where do you live?

I call two places home: the sleepy suburb of Medfield, Massachusetts over the summer 
and the lively Italian sea town of Barletta, Italy the rest of the year.

What do you do?

I teach private English lessons to adorable Italian kids and Zumba in town. 
I also do some freelance translating and of course, I like to consider the blog a job too.

Why did you start blogging?

I began blogging to document my life in Barletta, and to let everyone know back home what I was up to.
 Now, it has evolved into so much more. I have made actual friends in the blog world 
and wake up every morning with a drive to create, interact, communicate. 
The blog is one of my many passions.

Where do you blog?

Here is the little desk area from which I blog. 
I look out onto our balcony and watch ladies hang laundry and pigeons land on rooftops. 
It's pretty inspiring.

When do you blog?

I love blogging in the early morning, while drinking my espresso and listening to podcasts. 
Basically when I’m alone and not distracted.

What's been the most shocking moment of your blogging career?

I think it was the day I realized that people are really nice. My mom pointed it out to me. 
She said, “Do you realize how nice the people who comment on your blog are?” 
The comments I receive make me happy and humbled on a daily basis. 
I’m still waiting for my first hate comment - that will mean I’ve really made it! 

What look suits you best?

The standard jeans and t-shirt look is so sexy and classic to me. Plus it can be dressed up or down according to the shoes; heels for Friday night, flats for Saturday afternoon, flip flops for a lazy Sunday.

Where do you want to be in five years?

I want to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, 
but with more money, a nicer house, and preferably Manu as my husband. 
And if that doesn’t work out, as long as I have Manu and my health, I’m sure I’ll be fine. 

meet marissa's italian stallion,  manu.

What is one thing your readers would be surprised to learn about you?

When I was little I danced with the Ballet Theater of Boston in the Nutcracker 
for several years and I also did a ton of musical theater.
 My dad is a great singer and my mom did tap and jazz while she was pregnant with me, 
so you could say I caught the entertaining bug early on.

I love that girl.  If you want more, head to Marissa's blog, The Boot, 
or connect with her on twitter.

Right at Home: Heart Home Magazine

Some days are big days in your life.

Some days aren't.

Today was the former-
with the launch of the UK's first shelter e-zine,
also brings the debut of my new column!

I'll be joining the ranks of some very talented Brits
who are brilliantly exploring the balance of
the modern design & traditional English decor
that England such the hotspot for design.

The Masterminds: Carole,  Daniel, & Arianna

What will I be talking about?

I'll be penning my diary of daily life in the UK...
as I see it.

In the home.

On the high street.

At the dinner table.

All the quirky and wonderful oddities 
that make life in England the unique place it is.

So brew yourself a cuppa
(that means "cup of tea," by the way),
grab a comfy blanket,
and settle in to read the enormously, cozy, premier issue of

(And make sure to stop by page 40!)

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