The Giving {Family} Tree

When I went to Florida to join my family on vacation earlier this month,
my mom seized the opportunity to book family pictures on the beach.

You know the type,
where everyone wears white or khaki pants
& some sort of coordinating shirt.

While this isn't exactly my scene, 
I am happy to oblige my mom 
by throwing on a shirt & straightening my hair.

So out to the beach we tromped like a special unit of the JCrew army.
where we spent the next two hours flopping around in the sand,
screaming and the kids to get them to look at the camera...
and having our own fun while the photographer siphoned off family members for pictures.

As I look back over the pictures I took during the shoot, 
I feel really fortunate to be a part of this silly family.

While we may appear overly-confident & fling sarcastic comments at each other freely,
the truth is that every last person in my family has a really soft-heart.

Each of them continuously makes themselves vulnerable to others,
keeps themselves open to new relationships,
& deeply cares about how others perceive their actions.

Today, we are constantly fed the thought 
that it doesn't matter how what other people think of us.

We are reminded that we shouldn't live our lives to please others.

We refer to someone who is "sensitive" in a negative light.

And while I agree with that to an extent,
I love that the people in my family 
still care so much about others.

I appreciate the fact that they care about me enough 
to put up with nonsense that they probably have no real interest in
other than the fact that they want to support me.

{e.g. they sometimes read this little blog}

And that's why I ( along with my siblings & our spouses) 
am more than happy to put on matching clothes
and take a million pictures while my hair flaps around like a windsock.

Honestly, it take so little to make others happy,
and usually ends up pretty fun.
I wish I could remember that more often.

Now it's your turn,
what simple thing can you do
to take care of someone else today?

*All images original to Aspiring Kennedy
**Somehow I didn't get any pictures of my sisters. Luckily, the photographer got some good ones.

His & Hers

Check out Tyler being featured on the hip men's fashion blog, Something Legit.

I posted this pic of him at the Tate Modern on *instagram the other day
and, soon after, the site owners, Lauren & Laura contacted me about posting him on the site.

Obviously, I was excited.

Obviously, Tyler was embarrassed. 

Tyler's style has evolved significantly from when I first met him...
his standard uniform of zip hoodies, yankees hat & white converse has come a long way.

{Though I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for that style. I thought he was so hot.}

I'd LOVE for you to click over & leave a comment...
it'd make him feel cool. :)

On another note,
my feature in Heart Home Mag's summer issue
 is now out & live.

Have you seen it? 

You can find my spread on pages 96 & 97.

I really like this one...
it talks about summertime in England, 
which is a fun, crazy... and often, soggy affair. 

This magazine is getting awesome as it develops it's personality & style.

I feel so lucky be part of the contributing team!

*instagram username: aspiringkennedy | ps. instagram is the funnest. screw facebook. :)
**i'm really behind on emails. sorry if you have written & haven't heard back. i'm working on it!!

Pack Your Bags: Jacobite Steam Train

Does a "Jacobite Steam Train" not sound completely dorky?

The answer is to the above question is:


It sounds like train carrying freight in librarians,
bearded men wearing cargo shorts and socks with sandals 
& young snotty-children clutching to obscure toys like rock collections.

I guess if you notice all the grey-hairs sitting around you on the train,
you'll realize your aging social life will sooner find you on an Alaskan cruise
than any bikini-clad summer pool parties reminiscent of MTV Spring Break in Panama City.

Then again, if I'm honest with the person I really am,
I probably feel much more comfortable over there anyway...

So it was no surprise that I was more than giddy to spend a morning on this train
working my way up through the hills of Scotland a few weeks ago.

Because while it may sound lamer than girl scouts without any cookies,
a trip on this old steam train is, actually, totally awesome.

Recognize this view?

It's the bridge that the Hogwarts Express goes over in Harry Potter.

All aboard!

PS. Scotland is really pretty.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Sk-In The Know

Having good skin has always been a bit of a struggle for me.

If I'm honest, it's because I've typically been too lazy to take the time
to take off my make-up & wash my face before bed.

So basically, I wanted great skin without doing anything.

Which, obviously, didn't work.

Last year, my friend Julie forwarded me Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP issue
on her favorite finds from French Pharmacies.

I was planning to go to Marseilles later that month for work,
so I jotted down a list on my phone,
& scooped up a few items when I was there.

Then a few weeks later, the craziest thing started happening:
my skin started to clear up.

Weird, I know.
Who knew face products, when used, actually could do stuff?

I got a little addicted to the idea of not having flaky skin
and patches of oiliness & build-up,
so I started getting into the whole idea.

A year later,
I'm a full out believer
that if you take care of your skin,
it can actually look pretty nice.

I've added a few other things since my trip to France...
my bathroom shelf now includes a few more things 
that make my skin look great today
and will, hopefully, help it looks its best in the years to come!

susan posnick colorflo | avene eau thermal | chanel uv essentiel | bioderma makeup remover | caudalie cabernet face scrub

The one thing I have yet to find is a good night cream.

I know, I know... "La Mer!" 
But you guys, it is SO expensive.
Surely there is something just as good 
that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars?

Or is is really just THAT good?

Tell me what you think below, I'd love your input!

Oh, Hi There.

Hi, I'm Lauren.

I write a blog called Aspiring Kennedy.

I live in England,
but travel around quite a bit.

Sometimes I travel so much, in fact,
that I neglect my blog.

But if you regularly read my blog,
you already knew that.

I've been doing some VERY cool stuff
and seeing some VERY cool things...
here are some instagram pics to give you a peek.

Scotland's Isle of Skye is absurd.
How can this place exist?

It is everything L.L.Bean has ever wanted to be.

But forget dramatic Scottish cliffs 
& seaside picnics with buckets of artery-clogging food.

Today I just want to show you this website,
It's entirely based around fake captions
to pictures of Kate Middleton.

Like this:

I'm in Paris for two more days
and then head back to London.

If I don't write before then, remember:
Even if I can't blog on the road,
I can always Instagram.

(Take the hint! My username is aspiringkennedy) 

So the real question is:
 What have you been up this week?

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Le Flashback

I keep thinking back to Paris today...
what a crazy and beautiful place.

From almost every angle, 
this place looks good.

Obviously, it looks good from the rooftops...

Prettiness pours down the walls...

And no simple apartment looks as chic as a Parisian one...

What other place in the world has coffee ever been so photogenic?

Heck, even their grocery stores
have a little bit of that "je ne sais quoi..."

Anyone else have pretty Parisian memories
floating through their head today?

Little Lussie

A few days ago, 
I was wandering through Scotland
like a local.

Today, I'm sitting on a porch swing 
in the southern heat of Florida.

I'd take a picture to show you...
but my camera lens fogs over every time I try to take a picture.

While these beautiful little Floridian streets
of perfectly manicured lawns
lining pastel colored homes
filled with perfectly tanned people living inside
have a quite stunning effect...

I'm not sure how they compare
to the little village of Luss
that I stumbled upon over the weekend
while working our way up through Scotland.

(Though Scotland doesn't have my mom's biscuits & gravy... and that is hard to beat.)

I love the quaint "kirk" in the town.
("Kirk"= church in Scotland)

I also really love Cadbury 99's.

(Ridiculous soft serve on a cone with a Cadbury flake shoved in it. Yum.)

Seeing them just makes it feel like summer 
has actually arrived here in Britain...

even if "summer" often means
wearing a sweater, jeans & a giant scarf
while the grey skies above you spit out rain.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

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