The Good & The Bad



I get to be in England. My favorite place.
I get to have dim sum with Helena at the Drunken Monkey.
I get to go to Oxford, eat at The Eagle & Child, and have a MooMoo's milkshake.
I have a 0.06512 chance of bumping into Kate Middleton.
I get to try on my new glasses while I'm there.
I get to see Billy Elliot in London & The Tempest in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
I get to see Tyler after being apart for 5 days.


I have to pack up our place here and it makes me feel like a hoarder.
I have to pack up my clothes into 2 tiny suitcases and it makes me feel like a hoarder.
I have to pack up all my gummy candy from Germany for 5 whole days and it makes me feel sad.

Yes, I agree.
The good definitely outweighs the bad!

I am England bound tomorrow for a long weekend 
of sight-seeing, catching up with friends,
and to recharge my soul a little
with some familiar faces & places.

*image via

Straight to the Heart {Home}

As you might remember,
I'm a contributor to the UK's beloved 

I write a quirky little diary of my life as an expat.

{Yes, as a matter of fact, it does make me feel pretty cool.}

The spring issue came out last week
and I have been clicking through it's pages 
whenever I have a free moment.

 I have to say...
they did a really great job.

It's all spring-y, English-y, & happy...y.

Honestly, reading it made me a bit homesick for England.

When you have a little bit of time,
flip through the new issue- I bet you'll love it, too!

A few of the highlights from reading it were...
drooling over the recipe for an Orange & Pistachio Cake (pg 24),
getting inspired to rent an English cottage for our upcoming break (pg 132),
& Tina Bernstein's floor level day bed decked out in Missoni prints (pg 98).

I hope you'll go check out the magazine,
and stop by page 124 to see my piece!

A Girl's Guide: Paris In The Spring

I'm not great at a lot of things.

We'll go ahead and put water-skiing at the top of that list.

Amidst the pot-purri of things I do poorly,
there is one redeeming factor:
I am really good at picking up style & trends in new places.

For example:
Move to England- Buy opaque tights + flats, pair with above knee dress.
Go to Dallas- Curl hair in loose ringlets + add wedged platforms.
Head to Italy- Pair white stretchy shirt + low rise jeans & neon yellow thong.

I'm kidding about Italy.
Well, I'm half kidding.

So in Paris what do I do?

Get a beret and a bicycle?

Non, mon cheri.

The look here is so much lovelier than that.

This year, as we all know, it is ALL about colored jeans.
If you don't have any yet, you're already behind.
Go. Now. Buy some.

Zara has every color of the rainbow available for great prices.

Get a bright pair to make your summer tan stand out.
Get a soft blush color for happy hour on the patio with the girls.
Get a cropped pair of a basic color for everyday fun.

The main thing is:
 just buy some.

In the meantime,
you can find me walking the streets of Paris
camouflaged like a local in one of my new pair(s).

Jaeger White Blouse £70 | Zara Basic Jeans €29.00 (instore only,) | Tory Burch Purse $325 |
Carla Bruni, Quelqu'an m'a dit $9.99 | Gorjana Chloe Studs $35

Bright Lights

Amidst the grey skies of London & Paris,
I'm starting to see spring break through.

It feels so nice. 

The bright sunshine
and the shorter hems
 silently promise that, soon,
warmer days will be here to stay!

But the best promise of the good weather to come?

The bright bursts of colors that keep finding me.

Oh, April in Paris.... 

coffee break in amsterdam
the ceiling of the opera garnier by marc chagall
stained glass shimmers at da vinci's burial place, amboise.
cheesy bursts of color on a picnic in switzerland
bright windows in the loire valley
sitting in the sun at les invalides.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

A few of my favorite {scenes}...

What is today?

Monday, Wednesday? Thursday?

As I write this I have no clue.

My days are one big to-do list right now
of projects, emails, grading & planning.

{Editor's note: add "look at calendar" to to-do list.}

I'm just trying to start at the very beginning
and work my way down.

It's a very good place to start, afterall.

I have no complaints.

Being busy is, most of the time, a good thing,
but after all the thinking...
I just need to clear my head a bit.

And the best way to clear my head?

An escape to the country?

Clear my head by shopping?

Not today.

Today I need to close the laptop,
grab some popcorn (french splurge!)
and watch a movie that I love.

Nothing could be better...
say, "Hey! Alligator!"

*all images are sourced through my pinterest board, scene superior.

Gimme More Gimmelwald

This blog started out the same way most blogs do...
randomly babbling about whatever crossed my mind.

These days, I've heard it classified as a "travel blog."

It probably won't always be that,
but for now I'm jotting down our travels as quickly as I can.

I do this for two reasons...
the first is, selfishly, to help me remember.

If I don't have a diary like this,
our adventures start blurring together.

The second reason is to help inspire you.

Maybe it gives you a nudge towards booking that summer vacation,
maybe it inspires you to re-do that room with a little mediterranean flare,
or maybe it gives you a 2 minute vacation every day.

I used to work in an office in the industrial area of Dallas. 
I really enjoyed mental breaks like that during the day
to remind me that, yes, there was life beyond the drama & budgets within an office.

But for our latest adventure, I have you to thank.

and I took you up on it.

It was incredible.

If you haven't heard of this little slice of heaven,
well then, let me do the honors.

We left Interlaken Ost station for Gimmelwald.

It takes 55 minutes. We used this site to tell us how to get there.

After a train, a bus, & a gondola,
we stumbled out of the platform into snowy Gimmelwald. 

We ate a little picnic of sandwiches & creamy cheese.

Then we explored the tiny, sleepy town nestled in the alps.

We also saw about six small avalanches pour down on the hills around us...
which was a bit unnerving for us Texas folk.

We wandered around on top of the clouds,
with no one else there to bother us...

{Except a few furry locals.}

We were pretty much on Cloud Nine... 
in a very literal sense.

And how did we bridge the gap between this heavenly experience
& normal life back down on the mountain?

Why with naughty warm drinks, of course!

For those of you that recommended Gimmelwald, thank you!

I might travel a lot and have some things to recommend... 
but I know that all of "you" have exponentially more to travel advice than me!

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Swiss Bliss

Dear Switzerland,

Thank you for having us to ski today.

We enjoyed it so very much. 

All day, we couldn't stop talking about what a wonderful place you have.

Your cousin, Colorado, has some great ski resorts...
but I have to tell you:
 I think you might have better.

There are just so many great features that we loved,

like the gorgeous craggy peaks & bright blue skies...

your cozy mountain top chalets offering drool-inducing items 
like fondue, apple strudel with custard, & hot drinks....

and my favorite: the sun chairs we lounged in to enjoy the 60 degree temperature.

You even have polka music playing over the speakers at the ski lifts.

I might just have a new favorite place to ski.

Yours Truly,

Aspiring Kennedy

P.S. I hope we didn't embarrass you with our dorky helmets.
We just like to be safe and stuff. 

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Pack Your Bags: Alpine Skiing

By the time my friends in the States are going to bed,
we will be getting up at the crack of dawn here in France.

The grogginess and regret will end 
as soon as our train pulls out of the station towards the Swiss border
... and I can fall back to sleep.

We are going skiing in Interlaken this weekend...
which is a first for me on a few levels.

First time skiing in Switzerland...
First time skiing in Europe...
First time skiing without real ski clothes!

Oh well, it's supposed to be in the mid 60's at the base of the mountain...
so it doesn't sound like it will be too chilly up on the mountain.

{Spring skiing is so much better than winter skiing. Fact.}

Have you been skiing in Interlaken before?
Any tips? Any cozy chalets not to miss? 
Help me maximize my three nights in Switzerland, s'il vous plait!

I'll be posting absurd pictures of Alpine Splendor to facebook while I'm away...
come join the party.

{Are all facebook pages that fun? Because I kinda like all the people who post on mine.}

Sometimes It Is Okay...

Sometimes you might find yourself grumbling 
on what should be the perfect day.

You might be feeling the lack of sleep while visiting the Loire Valley...

You might be distracted by the massive to-do list awaiting you
 while trying to enjoy a glorious site...

You might find yourself feeling begrudgingly broke
while shopping along a parisian market...

and, sometimes, that's okay.

Because, the truth is, life is beyond the pretty veneer
of beautiful pictures & glamorous settings.

In fact, having a happy life 
really doesn't have anything to do 
with either of those things.

But sometimes, 
when you start wallowing in your own grievances,
you need someone to call you out
and remind you that life is, actually, really good.

Maybe this reminder can help you like it helped me!

*images original to aspiring kennedy

Marion Cotillard- FOURSALE

Women here in France have such great style.

Where some people might attribute "messy hair" to Pinterest,
I credit the streets of Paris.

There is just an intelligently-disheveled look that I like very much.

Floppy buns tied messily into hair,
with faces shining simply with lipgloss.

Corduroy coats with toggles up top,
and opaque tights with worn flats below.

All together it creates a look that feels like Hermione Granger gone indie....

And it's awesome.

The girl that does this best {in my eyes} is Marion Cotillard.

Sure, she can look pristine on the Red Carpet....

She can look stunning in advertisements....

But my favorite look,
is the look that I first started liking in "The Good Year."

Perfectly simple. Perfectly French.

And how can I channel her loveliness? 

Well that might be impossible, 
but you better believe I'm going to try.

Miss Dior Cherie, $80 | Bioderma Make Up Remover €15.25 | TopShop Striped Dress, £15

And today, I'm offering a FOURSALE of my favorite French cosmetic product....
BIODERMA Crealine H2O Make-Up Remover.

I bet you've heard of it, haven't you?

I first learned about it from Gwyneth on GOOP
and have been a believer since I furiously ran out and bought some.

This pink-capped bottle is legendary here... 
and only here, as it not widely sold outside of France.

It's like putting water on your face, it's seriously so gentle.
No stinging eyes. No oily residue. 

Just a perfectly clean face.

I went to grab a bottle for Helena the other day,
threw in a bottle for myself...
and thought that some of you might want some, too.

It's seriously fantastic... and the bottles are really big.
{I just finished off a bottle after 1 year.}

As always, first come... first served.

{Update: SOLD OUT.}

Weekend Revelry: Flashback

My mom sent me some pictures 
last week while we were traveling on our Mystery Trip.

They are pictures from when I was younger,
visiting many of the same places.

After looking at them,
I had the strong realization
that somethings really never do change.

Enjoy some entertainment at the expense of my pre-adolescent fashion.

Happy Weekend!

purple jean shorts & partial-pigtails. you betcha.

red scrunchie. hunter green anorak. navy cotton striped play pants... & bulky pink nikes. oh yeah.

fashion trends may come & go... but chipmunk cheeks are eternal.

If only my mom could pass down that embroidered sweatshirt of the Eiffel Tower. If only.

One final look of me in a gold track suit with leather sandals
and my mom in a visor.

You're welcome.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Salzburg: The Hills Are Alive!

Our last stop landed us in Austria.

While rushing through Amsterdam & Germany,
I started to regret adding this extra leg to our trip.

It seemed like we were one destination too many,
and I couldn't really remember what Salzburg had to offer.

Upon arriving,
time stood still.

The last two days in Salzburg are seared in my mind,
and will, most likely, be the most impressive memories from the week.

We wandered the city in awe...

ate our body weights in 'schnitzel with noodles' & 'crisp apple struedel...'

visited Mozart's home...

frolicked through the snowy Austrian hillside...

... & tucked in a corner of the cafe at the Sacher Hotel 
for a slice of their famous torte.

But honestly, 
my favorite part of our time in Salzburg, 
was going on the Sound of Music Tour.

Isn't that terribly cheesy?

Well, it gets worse...

It was actually my second time to take the tour.

The first time I went on it, it was okay...

 I only booked it for us since Tyler had never done it,
and it really is a big part of visiting Salzburg.

But it ended up being an awesome day!

Tyler even had fun, too.

Though he couldn't hold a candle to the amount of trivia I had on hand...
I even might have corrected our (awesome) guide, Matthew, a few times.

I'm serious about my Von Trapp Trivia, I tell you.

Very serious.


Our Trip to Salzburg:

Stayed: Near Mozartplatz at the cozy Aldstadthotel Kasererbraeu, Kaigasse 33. 

This hotel was perfect for us. Great prices, good location, friendly staff, 
and free access to their (slightly dated, but kinda awesome) steam room & sauna.
 The hotel also has an old movie theater inside it that plays current movies every night.

(I believe it used to be "the" theatre in Salzburg, where all the movie premiers were held.)

Ate: St. Peter's Siftskeller. Said to be over 800 years old, this restaurant is carved into the mountain,
and, while a bit on the fancy side, has some really affordable options. We love this place.

(The restaurant is about 50 ft from the cemetery that inspired the "hiding from the Nazi" scene in the Sound of Music.)

Sacher Cafe- Though originally from Vienna, the Sacher Hotel has a hotel in Salzburg.
Spend an hour in their cafe indulging in their famous cake... it's pretty tasty.
Coffee is good, too.

(Also, this is where Julie Andrews stayed during the filming of the Sound of Music.)

Saw: The Nonnberg Abbey (where the real Maria lived & scenes are filmed) 
offers a good overlook & walking trail above the city.

The home Mozart lived in during his teenage years. It's €7 (including an audioguide). 
The museum is so-so, as it mainly focuses on his family members.

Did: The Sound of Music Tour. Yes, it's cheesy... but if you like the movie, just try it.
It's €32 per person for a four hour tour. We booked through Panorama.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy
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