Happy Anniversary Will & Kate!

Happy First Anniversary, Will & Kate!

It seems like just yesterday that I was camped outside Westminster Abbey
standing for 8 hours without a break to rest my legs,
watching people act like total fools....
but oh man,
it was worth it!

I will never forget watching the Queen pop out of the car in canary yellow dress,
William and Harry grinning to each other as they arrived for the service,
and Kate turning and waving to us before walking down the aisle.

The whole day felt like Christmas...
the atmosphere was electric
& I still can't believe I got to witness it firsthand.

For a trip down memory lane,
click back to see the photos from my day at 
The Royal Wedding!

PS. I'm still waiting for us to become best friends...
I know it's been hard with me being in France. 
I'll be back soon though & we can get down to business.

Italian Dream Fest

I shared some of our first moments in Lago Maggiore with you,
but you haven't seen the rest of the pictures....

And you should.

People as nice as you deserve a quick escape to somewhere fabulous
where the food is amazing & the weather is sunny & mild.

Thanks for all the kind notes regarding my grandmother.
The kindness you offer up in life's bigger moments never ceases to amaze me. 
It endears me to blogging in an inexplicable way.

As many of you mentioned, it is hard to be so far away during a time like this...
but I credit my family for establishing in me firm roots
that, regardless of distance, still allow me to feel very connected & very loved.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

The Littlest Angel

Sorry for the quiet week.

We've been spending some time in the country
with our dear friends...
it's been such a sweet week, as I'm sure you can imagine.

I'll tell you all the tales of gorging ourselves, castle visits & whatnot soon,
but today, I'm in the Loire Valley feeling a million miles away from "home."

My grandmother passed away last night after a quick encounter with cancer.

My grandma was 4'10'',
 and had ten children in 11 years...
seven boys at the beginning & three girls at the end.

She sang like a bird,
 ate more candy than might seem humanly possible,
and was definitely the genetic pool that my sarcasm was laddled out of.

Her name was Viola,
and, if you knew her, 
you would have liked her.

For those of us that did know her
and have the privilege to have skimmed some of her unique DNA,
 we're really going to miss her.

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity
to share someone so unique and special on my blog.

It may feel like a travel blog or lifestyle blog most days...
and it probably feels like a digital diary of making out pictures of us at times, too.

I don't really know how to label this blog...
except as a reflection of my life 
and I can't skip a day like today
without including this moment here.

You Pretty Little Ring.

I don't have a house to buy a new couch for these days.

I don't have a car to repair these days.

There aren't any bambinos racking up any college funds for me yet.

No sir.

I'm living the gypsy lifestyle of a DINK.

And isn't the right of every vagrant DINK to buy lovely things?

My thoughts exactly...
too bad my husband isn't completely obliging. ;)

Seriously though-
I could pick out several things to suit my fancy on Anjolee.

Pretty diamond earrings for the everyday...

swanky diamond tennis bracelets to make me feel like a lady...

the perfect diamond engagement rings for all my single friends...

and of course, matching diamond wedding ring to match.

Yes ma'am.

Now I'll just have to convince the other side of this DINK relationship
of my indulgent intentions towards our 401k donation this month.

*As much as I truly do love diamonds, it's fair to tell you that this post was sponsored by Anjolee.com.
Anjolee offers amazing prices for jewelry. I like the site & think the prices are fair. This is my own opinion, but I hope you'll consider them the next time you leave a subtle reminder to your husband sitting book-marked as his internet homepage. 

How Lago Maggiore's Grand Hotel Majestic Changed My Life

Sometimes I gush about the food I've eaten,
type furiously about the sites I've seen,
or plead through these simple keys for you to understand 
the necessity to add certain things in your life.

Today, I'm going to simply let these pictures do the talking...

But what I think you're going to hear is this:

The Grand Hotel Majestic on Lago Maggiore is amazing,
and Luxury Link is the best/cheapest way to stay there.

{I mean... it included two massages, free breakfasts, a 2-course lunch & a room upgrade.}

 And please take note of the ENORMOUS rose bushes on the property.
I felt like a princess getting to walk on a layer of fallen petals 
when walking around the hotel garden. 

{Those are roses, right? Any gardeners out there to correct me?}

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy 

If I Could Wake Up Anywhere: Off The Map Edition

Ok, is it just me...
or does this guest series keep getting better?

Each series is packed with places I want to go. 
It's a sick condition when you are on vacation feeling envious of another vacation.

None the less, who couldn't feel wistful 
after hearing about these gorgeous destinations?

Four of my good blogging buds
talk about places they would like to find themselves.

I love that each of them are a bit obscure and off the beaten path.

{Not like those unoriginal people who constantly cycle through London, Paris & Italy. :) }


When traveling, I prefer to go to the "hidden gems" of the world.

As much as I love the big cities like Paris and Rome,
I would always rather be in a quaint village or seaside town,
or in this case..an Island.

The Aeolian Islands are off the coast of Sicilly, 
and surrounded by volcanoes and blue water.



When Lauren asked me,"if you could wake up anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
 I didn't hesitate with my answer,

As a wife, mother of three children, blogger and e-shop owner of zhush.com,
 running away across the country to a spa in Malibu sounds like a plan.  

From the spa's own site:
 "In one intensive week at our luxury boot camp, 
you will gain physical endurance, shed unwanted pounds, tone up and detoxify
 in a healthy and sustainable way 
all while “getting off the grid” and back to nature." 

Seriously, how amazing does this place look and sound? le sigh.


If I could wake up anywhere in the world... 
it'd be in the all-white, clapboard bedroom of a rustic bach
 on the beaches of northern New Zealand.

Sounds a bit specific, right? 

Well, back in a time long, long ago (otherwise known as college), 
I traveled with my Kiwi best friend to her native country of New Zealand. 

In between visiting wineries, shopping and otherwise being a college kid, 
we visited her uncle's rustic bach on the top end of the North Island.

It. Was. Heaven.

Luckily I realized the value of this memory as soon as we arrived, 
so I tucked away many mental snapshots from our wonderful time there.

 And if I could wake up anywhere in the world? 
It'd be back there, again, in beautiful New Zealand.


If I could wake up anywhere in the world I think it would be Thailand. 

Its where we really wanted to go on our honeymoon
 but silly monsoon season got in the way. 

But I can still dream about it right?


Italian Islands? Luxe fat farms in sunny California? Lonely islands in New Zealand? Tahiti?

Good grief. 

The only thing better than getting to go to one of these places
might be getting to shop for the clothes to pack before leaving!

If you could head off the map
to somewhere "forgotten,"
where would you go?

If I Could Wake Up Anywhere: EUROPE EDITION

Continuing on in the fun from yesterday, 
is the second installment of the game we like to play called:

"If I Could Wake Up Anywhere..."

These {terribly awesome} bloggers all picked European destinations,
and if you've read this blog for more than one day...
you'll know that makes them pretty cool in my book.

When I read each of the first response,
I would nod my head in agreement...
'Yup. They picked it. That IS the best place in the world.'

And I did the same as I got the next one...

and the next one.

All of these are gorgeous settings 
that I'm sure any sane person would be thrilled to find themselves.

Enough with me typing babbling,
let's get to good part: the other bloggers.

I would be alongside the coast of Spain, with my husband, and our babies. 

We would cross the t's and dot our i's of our extended weekend stay
 by indulging in the food and drink of the Spanish culture surrounding us.

I would make sure and connect with my family roots and hunt down any relatives. 

For an added element of fun, my ten brothers and sisters would drop in for a surprise party, 
and we would of course, dance the night away...

My fiance "H" and I have a travel wishlist of places we'd like to visit before we start makin babies. 

No 1 on my list? Mykonos, Greece!!! 

Despite all that unrest in Greece, 
I can't help but to dream of SUNSHINE, beaches, 
small winding streets lined with bright white stone buildings 
and electric blue dome tops. 

And the food!? 
i could eat my weight in meat-on-a-stick, feta cheese, pita bread and tzataiki sauce. 

So H, please take note...
and let's make this trip happen. 

I've been obsessed with all things British for as long as I can remember. 

From my obsessive need to watch every movie Hugh Grant is in
 to having a daily tea and digestives break 
I adore all things from across the pond! 

Now more than ever I desire to wake up in London 
because my youngest sister has been studying abroad there since September
 and she won't be home until next year. 

The little sneak is also trying to find a job there 
so her time their may be even more permanent  

Ah I'm totally going to have to call the Queen 
and tell her to kick my darling sister out of the country. 

For the time being though I would enjoy a trip abroad to visit her 
and get to say, "Hey kids, Big Ben.... Parliament. 

When I had my adventure in Scotland last summer, 
I had no map, no plan, and no idea that The Kingdom of Fife existed. 

I love Scotland, I love the ocean,
 and I love the thought of waking up to a beautiful horse nibbling on grass near a bridge...
so naturally I have to go back and visit (or live). 

I day dream about Fife more than the places I actually visited 
so that obviously means we are kindred spirits. 

 No this is not a tropical escape, 
this is the most pure, refreshing, and crisp air, swiss chocolates, 
the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen {hello, Swiss Alps!}, 
a beautiful lakefront, and charming architecture that makes you feel like home.

 I was fortunate enough to visit this magical place in November 2011, 
and words can't describe my love for this sleepy little town. 

If I could wake up and escape reality for a day, 
I would love to sit on the beautiful lakeshore,
 outside of Mr. Pickwicks Pub 
and gaze at the Chapel Bridge with a beer + my favorite people. 

 Life would be good!


The final round of bloggers will be here tomorrow...
and their destinations?

Well, let's just say they are off the beaten path.

In the meantime,
What European Destination Would You Like To Wake Up In?

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