Monday Moods: I feel... scared.

No, but seriously.

I am feeling a little jumpy.

After an eery tour of London's East End...
also known as "White Chapel"
to trace the tale of Jack the Ripper,
I'm sleeping with one eye open.

I mean, 
I may not be a prostitute like all of Jack's victims
{regardless of what impression you may get from my affinity to leopard print}...

RipperVision... Portrayed images at the scene of the crimes!

and it's pretty much settled that the unknown killer is dead 130 years later...

But still.

It was creepy!

We took this Jack the Ripper tour
for £8 per person.

Our guide, Amy, was really animated
and kept the whole group interested for the whole tour....
though, man, that story gets VERY gruesome. 

It took about 1.5 hours 
and showed us some really quirky parts of London
we had never visited.

If this looks familiar, Harry Potter's Diagon Alley was partially filmed here.

While it may have given me the heebie-jeebies,
it also felt like the perfect way to celebrate Halloween in London.

Tonight, I'm hosting a party...
my costume is yet to be determined.

What are your plans?
(And any easy costume ideas you can send my way?)

*all photos original to Aspiring Kennedy

All Treats- No Tricks, Please.

In case you need me this evening,
I'll be at a party at Fortnum & Mason.

{Yup, I love sounding cool.}

The truth is, as much as I feel like F&M is "my" special place,
anyone & everyone is invited to this soiree.

It's the store's Pumpkin Carving Contest
but the thing is...
Halloween in England
is similar to St. Patricks Day in the US.

People like it.
It's fun. 
There is themed junk available for purchase,
but it's just, 
you know, 
not actually remembered until the day arrives.

That's why I've elected myself as the Halloween Ambassador to the UK
and am taking the task of enlarging this wonderful holiday very seriously.

I have high hopes that, someday,
Britain can be a place where children can freely comb the streets at night
dressed bizarrely ghoulish & animalistic,
in effort to bribe their neighbors out of bags of fatty candy
in exchange for the promise not to terrorize them.

It's all I can hope for the world, really.

And the complimentary nibbles & sips that Fortnum & Mason is giving their guests?

Well that makes this place the best stop in London...
until, of course, Buckingham decides to pass out candy.

Tears for Cinque Terre

This week has brought horrific flooding to the Italian coast.

Towns throughout Liguria have been washed away,
homes have been destroyed,
six people have been killed,
and nine people are still missing.

Along Italy's brilliant coast
sits a rare jewel of splendor-
Italy's beloved Cinque Terre.

The five coastal cities have been 
a really special place to me for a long time.

I visited there in college and attempted to ignore the cold
by laying out in the sunshine in a bikini during the beginning of March.

After finishing a buying trip in Milan,
Tyler met me here to tell me about his GMAT score
and the possibilities of where he might could study.

And it was the setting for a really sweet time with dear friends this summer.

{Ironically, I just finished the video last week... if you're interested.}

The Cinque Terre is just an ordinary & amazing place.

I was devastated to read this quote by Angelo Betta, the mayor of Monterosso... 
{the first of the five towns creating the Cinque Terre}...


Apparently, the favorite city Vernazza is the same... 

(A favorite of mine & most other tourists.) 

It's going to take a long time & a lot of rebuilding
to bring this amazing place back to it's full capacity...

to reopening the doors of local businesses...

to being a place where children can play...

and to reforming the community that it once was.

Please keep these cities in your thoughts & prayers 
as they work through the damage, loss, & pains of starting over.

Four Sale- Parisian Flats!

Here they are...
now available to the first four readers who want them.

{These puppies are what Pinterest dreams are made of.}

I have one pair of 37's (UK 4, US 6) 


.... one pair of 38's (UK 5/ US 7)


... one pair of 39's (UK 6/ US 8)


& one pair of 40's (UK 7/ US 9)


From my experience:
I typically wear a 9.5 and the 40 fits me great... 

These are, obviously, horrible iPhone images. Please refer to the photos above for accurate color matching.

The shoes are £15.

{This covers the price of the shoe & the shipping materials.}

Email me with any questions.

*Please consider these carefully before purchasing, as I can not issue refunds. 
**Also, please remember, I am promising these shoes to be adorable- not built by master Italian cobblers. Please don't buy these if you are looking for an investment item for your closet. They are only £15, after all.
*** If you've purchased a FOUR SALE item, and have not received it- PLEASE email me,  
I would like to make right any items that have been lost via the post.

Make Your Life Better- Volume 3

It's me again,
Bossy Pants McGee.

I've got a few items 
on my mind that I need to discuss with you.

After a few weeks on the road
and combing through London & Paris,
I've got a few gems
that I want to pass out from my mental treasury.

Sometimes one of the happy burdens you bear
when living in an awesome city and having people visit you
is revisiting sites over & over {& over} again.

{a.k.a. I've been to the Tower of London five times in three weeks.}

This week, I was taking a group through the Tower
and our Yeoman {"Beefeater"} invited us to Sunday service in the Tower's Chapel Royal.

Um... yes, please.

So we went this weekend, 
and it was one of the most amazing things I have done in London.

Here's the run-down:
You bypass all the long lines of tourists, walk through the gates {free!}
and get to attend the intimate matins service in one of the Queen's royal chapels.

{There are only six of her chapels, afterall.}

Our Beefeater, Peter, & the Vicar were so pleased to see us
that they took us on a private tour through the chapel
to see the burial spot of Anne Boleyn & the off-limits site of Thomas Moore's memorial.


I highly, highly recommend 
seeing the Tower of London in this special way.

When girls get flowers from a guy,
it makes them feel like a million bucks.

Unfortunately for most of us,
 that jackpot may only hit every 2 or 3 years.

The other night when I was walking through Liberty,
I discovered the wonderfulness of their florist, Wild at Heart.

I'd always thought it would be way out of my price range,
but they had some make-me-feel-like-a-lady potted orchids for £10.

The boost it gives to my kitchen is fabulous,
and wish you the same amount of brightness added to your day.

Remember my sparkly orange shoes that I wore in Paris?

Well, you liked them...
so I went out and bought four pairs for four readers.

What can I say... I'm a bit of a people pleaser.

They need to be shot & packaged first, but be on the look out!

{FYI- They are £15 + shipping.}

I keep seeing Facebook statuses about Pumpkin Spice Lattes....
but can I persuade you to ditch the suburbs for a taste of the East?

Head to World Market or any nearby specialty grocer
and buy yourself some masala chai.

I feel in love with it when we were in India,
and the spicy brew feels perfect here in the chilly weather.

Follow the directions, heat it on the stove...
and swap your drive-thru caloric splurge
for a healthier cup of Christmas cheer.

Your taste-buds won't regret it,
and your holiday cocktail dress won't either.

Blogging is pretty awesome.

I could get poetic & gushy on the topic, but there's really no need,
I know you all feel the same way.

We all love blogging because we can connect with cool people
and talk about awesome stuff on a revolving basis.

So what could be better than that?

Actually discussing this stuff in real life with those bloggers.

Going on your first "blate" {blogger-date} is mostly an awkward experience.

The good news is for you:
blogger dates always end up to be way fun 
and it makes blogging even better.

Think about it:
Most bloggers that can put together great posts every day 
are pretty smart, organized, & creative people.

How could they not be cooler in 3D?

Last night I got to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers, Helena,
at one of our favorite spots, Pizza East in London's Shoreditch.

Friday Faces: Piper from One Sydney Road

I'm not sure many of us would be telling the truth 
if we said we didn't blog in hopes of turning the hobby 
into a full-time, lucratively-paying job.

When I got into blogging a little over a year ago, 
it was right as Piper was starting to shift her career 
from the corporate world to the online world. 

Soon after we "met" blogging, 
Piper quit her job & started the online boutique, One Sydney Road
A year later, the shop is doing great- 
and I'm still as impressed as I watch her dreams grow into a reality. 

Not only did I love getting to know more about a blogger I've interacted with for so long, but after reading Piper's comments, 
I realized that Piper is a great resource & inspiration 
for any of us wanting to take our little websites & dreams...
and turn them into an income.

I'm Piper Toth and I enjoy walking in the rain & pina coladas...
oh wait, that might be for something else.

I live in a neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio called West Park 
with my husband & 2 dogs in an old colonial house that, 
and this is putting it nicely, 
"needs a bit of work!"

I actually took the big leap one year ago, 
quit my corporate-made-my-skin-crawl job and went after my dream!  

I started my online boutique, one sydney road, just about a year ago
 and having been working days, nights & weekends since.  
It's definitely a labor of love and a learning experience everyday... 
but I wouldn't trade it in for anything! 

Blogging has quickly become one of my passions. 
 I started blogging to just catalog things I found reading magazines or trolling the internet.  But I quickly became absorbed in the amazing blog community out there. 
 It's hard to believe that I've actually met and become friends 
with people I met through blogging!  

I wish I had more time to blog
 - but I have to confess that I use it as a way to procrastinate - 
instead of working on something challenging for the store, 
I'll end up blogging!

I tend to move around the house when I work! 
 But I typically blog from my desk - it has a great view of our street and our yard 
and with the window open in summer, it's very inspiring 
(or distracting, depending on how the day is going!)


Either in the morning when I'm feeling fresh & excited (and I have my cup of coffee!)  
Or in the evening when I'm feeling creative (or wanting to get inspired)

I don't know if it suits me, 
but my favorite outfit would be shorts or jeans, a tee & sandals or flip flops.  
Nice & easy & still chic.  
In Cleveland though, I only get a few months of that!

Honestly, I think it's how welcoming and supportive other bloggers have been... 
and that friendships have formed.  
When I was working on starting my business, 
I couldn't believe how supportive people were - 
and how they cared about my story and encouraged me!  

Someplace where it's warm all year!  
But seriously I would love to be growing my business, traveling more 
and if I'm dreaming, 
having my husband be able to quit his job so we can work together.  
That would be the ultimate dream!

Well, it's not a surprise that my husband & I love music -
 but you may be surprised to know that we have over 1500 CDs
 that take up almost an entire wall in our living room!
  I'm hoping I can get my hubby to go all the way digital! 

 It's a work in progress :)

A Nice {Bling} To It.

The holidays are great, aren't they?

Superficially speaking,
There are tons of parties...
allowing you to see everyone you like...
giving you gifts & feeding you decadent meals...
and allowing you to wear an amount of sparkle 
that would draw judgement & alarm 
during the previous months of the year.

{Though my friends may warn you I push this limit on a daily basis.}

Since the Christmas lights are being put up 
on Oxford Street here in London,
I'm starting to dream up my holiday wardrobe.

Forget the sugarplums,
I'm having visions of these beauties!

silver lining dress | jack spade iPhone cover  | tom ford, violet blonde |
sparkle flats | earrings | burberry sequin trench | all links available here

Like A Dream

I may have been in Paris this weekend,
but I still haven't gotten out of the fog.

I'm on post-vacation hangover...
everything still seems lit in the soft glow
of the most beautiful city in the world,

Paris is dreamy.

we rented this apartment through my favorite travel resource, airbnb

Paris is especially dreamy in the fall....

The city glows with soft bright colors
and offers carpets of crunchy leaves.

What also makes Paris sublime?

Well, the food does.

Like this salad from the neighborhood favourite, 7 Bis Monceau.
in the 8th arrondissment.

A huge bed of lightly dressed leaves,
crowned with sesame-crusted goat cheese, lightly fried,
and practically tear-inducing...

And of course,
 the falafels from the famous Marais stand,

Oh my goodness. 

Five euros for a handful of goodness.

{Just trust me on this one.}

But this weekend particularly felt like a dream
because I was there with three people I really love...

I must say...
the City of Love was the perfect setting
for our little rendez-vous.

I'll drift out of the fog soon enough...
but in the meantime,
I'm recreating the dream 
through hot mustard and flaky pastries.

{At least, the best I can find on this side of the channel.}

I see London... I see France.

As I have already mentioned,
we are in Paris this weekend with our best friends.

With a weather forecast of sunny, 0% chance of rain, & a high of 68...
we have the perfect setting for a weekend
that builds some pretty good memories...
and some provides some pretty "in seine" photo ops.

{Because isn't that the point of traveling anyway?}

I wish you could come with us.

We really would have some fun, wouldn't we?

We could picnic along the Seine at sunset...
my favorite "local spot" to eat in France.

We could see some art...
some classic, some whimsical.

We could admire Tyler for being so cute...
{Fine, I'll take that one for myself. Just smile & nod.}

We would definitely eat our body weight
in butter, pastries, baguettes, macarons, & steak-frites...
because, well, scientists have absolutely not proven that 52% of the cultural experience
is collected through flour & butter when traveling in through France.

Regardless of what we did,
I know we'd have a good time.

How could you not in a place like Paris?

Wish you were here!

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