In case this looks too easy...

People always ask me 
how we travel with a baby.

Well, we just do.

It's possible...
and it's not too painful
at this stage in our life.

In fact, it's actually pretty fun.

But don't be fooled...
it's not always easy.

No matter how serene
our pictures may seem...

well, she's still a baby.

Have a great weekend!

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

My Notting Hill: Talkhouse Coffee

Our friend Reuben is generally very nice...

except when it comes to coffee.

You should have seen the snarl I got when I asked if 
he had served instant coffee after we had dinner  at their house one night.

The death look was given and noted.

So when he says that a place by our flat has really good coffee,
we listen.

Well, actually, Tyler listens
and then takes me....
and then I remember that this was the place
 that Reuben was talking up so much.

Talkhouse sits on Portobello Road,
at the end of the market.

It's a small coffee shop
that discreetly boasts
that it's barista won 3rd in the 
World Latte Art Competition.

(Who knew such existed, right?)

But not only does Talkhouse serve coffee so fancy
that it could make a hipster feel insecure
but the food is top notch.

We reallllly love the St. John's custard donut
and the chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with sea salt.


The lunch options are also really good quality
and amazingly fresh.

If it's nice outside,
snag a seat in the outdoor garden area
at the wayyyyy back of the shop.

(Just keep going, it's there. I promise.)

Enjoy this good, good place.
I know you won't be disappointed.

275 Portobello Road
London W11 1LR

*photos by Noah Darnell

One Lost.

Over the past year,
in moments when I've felt emotions
that I can only express through writing out
or a brief flit of unashamed honesty...
I've typed out the story of my delivery
to share on here with you.

But, to be honest, it's just a lot for a blog post...
and I feel a bit weird 
putting the most painful moment of my life
out on the internet
for anyone to stare at.

If I thought it might help someone 
in any was possible, I would...
but our situation was so tragically unique
that I don't have to worry that it might happen 
to anyone else by me not raising awareness.

If I ever see you in person
and you want to talk about it,
I'll explain it to you then...

But because when I do meet blog readers
and I realize how little I have exactly shared,
I do want to share a few things with you
that can help you understand things a bit more...

First, our daughter was not miscarried, nor was she stillborn.
We didn't find out that anything was "wrong" with her before delivery, 
and we didn't expect anything other than two healthy daughters.

She was full-term. She was born, lived, and she died when she was two days old.

To our surprise, she was Viola's identical twin sister...
and she was prettier than we could have ever imagined our chid could be. 

Today, you would know her as Evelyn...

And the combination of our two daughters
would leave us exhausted, broke, homebound...
and stuck with the feeling that we were
 the luckiest people to have ever lived.

.  .  .

I'm not sure how you're supposed to write
about the first anniversary
of your daughter's death,
but here I find myself trying to do it justice.

I'm sure there are other people who have done it
that could offer an example to me,
but you can't replicate the words of anyone else
when you find yourself in a moment like this.

So, in the name of nothing going as we had planned
and in the hope of everything ultimately working out for good,
I can only offer these words a year out:

I miss my daughter. 

I miss the year that has passed without her,
and I mourn the years ahead that will slip quietly by
without her in them.

But I cling to the hope that God's love is greater
and that this world is fleeting.

In a moment like this, I realize
that what other hope can we have?

.  .  .

I'd also like to say thank you.

Thank for you being there with us.

Not only did you buffer the awkwardness 
of sharing with the internet
that your delivery went terrible and you lost a child,
but you responded in the kindest of ways.

You poured out thoughtfulness through your words,
you eased the hurt with meals and gifts,
you connected with others behind the scenes
to relentlessly show us how much you cared.

You taught me how to love those who hurt,
and I hope to never forget it.

But most importantly,
thank you for celebrating our daughter's life
and grieving our daughter's death.

Your interest and compassion give significance to her life.

As her parents who endlessly grieve such a short end,
there's no greater gift that can be given 
than the one you have offered 
through acknowledging her life and it's value.

From the bottom of my heart,

The Lovely Drawer: Pad Thai

When we moved to Oxford,
I fell in love with Thai food.

I'll be honest:
before we moved over,
I don't think I have ever had it.

Why? What? 

Why was I wasting so much of my life?

These are all valid questions.

And to be honest:
I can't give you a good reason. 

I guess it just hadn't made it to Tejas yet.

But oh me-oh-my... 
I fell hard for some Pad Kee Mao
(from Oxford's Old Tom Thai),
and now Thai takeout
is a weekly happening in our home.

The great news is-
there is an Asian supermarket
about 100 yards from our flat.

So now, I just need to put this recipe into use
and save the cash from our takeout bill
for something special.

Who knows...
it could be save up for a vacation to Thailand
when I can go to town on some authentic deliciousness.

Welcome back, Teri,
and thanks for bringing this amazing dish our way.


*        *        *

Surely everyone likes Pad Thai? Well perhaps if you have a peanut allergy it's not top of your 'to make' list but it's a winner none the less. This recipe is a mixture of handy tips from my neighbour who recently cooked us this yummy dinner and a bit of good old experimentation. Now it's something I'll cook time and time again. 

You can equally enjoy this meal with chicken instead. I know some people get creeped out by seafood. (Personally, I could eat my body weight in the stuff!)

(serves four)

1. Make a marinade for the prawns using the chilli flakes, one garlic clove (minced) and half the coriander (read: cilantro). Marinade for at least an hour but ideally over night.

2. Thinly slice your onion and fry on a medium heat with some vegetable oil in a pan. Mince the other two garlic cloves into the plan and then add the bean sprouts.

3. Meanwhile bring a pot of water to the boil and add your noodles to cook. 

4. Mix the juice of 2 and half of the limes, sugar and fish sauce and chilli sauce in a bowl or jug. Mix well and add to the frying pan.

5. Turn down to a low heat and add your peanut butter, stirring to combine. Then add your prawns and marinade and cook.

6. Once your noodles are cooked, before draining, transfer a ladle's worth into the pad thai pan to give the sauce creaminess. You can add more depending on the consistency you like.

7. Add the noodles to the pad thai pan as well and combine on a low heat. 

8. Pour your peanuts into a blender and pulse until they become small pieces. When your prawns are pink, serve your pad thai with the peanuts sprinkled on top, the rest of your coriander (chopped) and a wedge of lime to squeeze on each.

9. Now you can devour it all! 

*      *     * 

Oh my yum.

Who's having me over for Pad Thai?


. . .

Get a bigger dose of Teri's creativity & aesthetic at The Lovely Drawer.

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Paris Style: First Impressions

I'm a sucker for the style
of Parisian women.

I mean, who's not.

Girls love it.
Guys love it.

It's pretty perfect.

I'm a few days in
and already rethinking
my own closet 
and trying to put together 
some new looks with what I already have...

And then of course,
there's everything I wish I had.

Let's window shop
and put together an ensemble
that could blend us in 
to any cafe scene
or seat on the metro.

Because, afterall, in France
it isn't about standing out...
it's about looking effortlessly appropriate.

(PS. The JCREW pics are final sale with an extra 40% off with code: BIG40.)

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Maui, Hawaii: Cheeseburger in Paradise (Lahaina)

Most people feel the need to check this establishment
off their Maui bucket list.

I'll admit, it's not the best burger I've ever had...
But, it's also not the worst.

(And it's a million times better than 99% of all British burgers. Sorry, UK.)

If you're in Lahaina, you might as well give it a try
and knock it off the list.

While it is, admittedly, a tourist scene,
let's talk about the perks:

The oceanside view is awesome.
Ask for a table upstairs, if possible.

The kobe burger is pretty tasty.
I didn't love the actual beef,
but the grilled pineapple, bacon, avocado, grilled onions
helped make it pretty tasty.

Obviously, I was slightly disheartened to not a find
"a big kosher pickle" served with my burger.

Skip the sweet potato fries... they're just cold and bit blah.

Apparently the Mai Tai's are legendary...
I can't vouch for them
but the glasses + umbrella are pretty cute.

Also, the live music and friendly staff
make it all a pretty decent experience.

If you're in Maui for a week,
I say "Go."

Just, you know, don't expect it to be Shake Shack or In-N-Out,
because you'll be disappointed.

Expect it to be fun place
in a gorgeous food
that also happens to serve some okay burgers.

811 Front Street
Lahaina, Maui HI 96761
808.661.4855 (no reservations)

Paris: Le Premier Jour

Well, we're here.

In Paris,
and it's so nice to be back.

We've been running errands
to get the semester started (tomorrow!)
and getting to see a few bits of the city
in the process.

No Eiffel Tower or Louvre have been seen yet,
but that doesn't mean we've missed the essence of Paris.

It's oozing out of the cafes...

 and the buildings.

It's good to be back.

We splurged and bought a beater stroller
today at Monoprix
that is about 5673 times smaller than our normal one.

Apparently, it doubles as a baby whisperer.

Viola can't stay awake in it...
and it is awesome.

We're referring to it our "the au pair."

We'll be staying in the Marais
and working near Le Bastille.

Any favorite spots
that I need to try out while I'm here?

Your wish is my command.

(Crepe stands & ice cream especially welcome.)

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Blow It Out.

I'll admit something to you...
but just you, internet. 

I only wash my hair once a week.

I know... crazy.

My hair is super thick
(like, it's shocking)
and washing/blow drying/straightening it 
is a three hour ordeal
from start to finish.

And the London humidity makes 
it not too oily or too dry.

(Airplanes and Texas are tough on it, admittedly.)

Since pedicures are really terrible in the UK,
don't include good massages (the best part!)
and are around £40,
I nevvvvver get them here.

But I do splurge ever couple of weeks
on getting my hair blown out.

In fact, I have a lady that comes to my house
and does my hair there...
for £25!

I can't lie...
it's one of my favorite things.

My hair gets done to perfection
in a third of the time it would take me to muck with it...

All while the baby naps
and I drink coffee watching Law & Order SVU
in my pajamas.

Worth every single Kate-Middleton-wannabe penny.

Now you know my guilty pleasure.

(Well, besides the carbs addiction, but you knew about that.)

 .    .    .

Everyone has their weakness.

Their thing they refuse to do...
whether it's splurging to have your dog walked,
having someone come dust & change your bed linens.
 a personal trainer guide your workouts
or even paying for someone else to make & deliver your juice cleanse.

Everyone has a point where they just... don't.

So what's yours?

Spill it.

*photography by Noah Darnell

My Notting Hill: Honest Burgers

I'm not really a meat eater.

Most of the time,
I stick to veggies...
unless it's exceptionally delicious meat.

Like boeuf bourgignon at a favorite French restaurant
or pork barbecue sandwiches when I'm in the South...
or Chick-fil-A nuggets by the handful because they are goooood.

We don't really eat at ton of red meat,
so we save our burger splurges
for the best...
which means we don't eat them in England.

Burgers in England are gross.

I hate to be a downer, but it's just true.

They're nasty (in my Texan snob opinion)
for two reasons:

1. The cows are grass-fed and it makes the beef taste weird.

2. They use breadcrumbs in the patties so it makes them have
a weird, meatloaf-y consistency.

Now, a year ago,
I could have written off this entire
soggy island and it's soggy burger patties...
but I actually, have to allow for a few exceptions.

Now that the US darlings Shack Shake & Five Guys 
have come to town,
it is possible to get a good burger...

AND because Honest Burgers is here.

Since they are British and have created a good burger,
they get an extra gold star.

There are a few locations,
but we go to the one in Notting Hill
on Portobello Road

They offer a really simple menu,
but it's a good one.

Go with the Honest burger (bacon, cheddar, carmelised onion relish)
 + homemade fries with rosemary salt.

Once your tummy starts protruding
with a burger pooch,
you'll singing John Cougar Mellancamp
and swearing to yourself that you were
back in the good ole US of A.

(Except you actually won't be... so don't sing... Just hum.)

*      *     *

189 Portobello Road 
London W11 2ED

+44 (0) 7229 4978

(Other locations available here.)

*photography by Noah Darnell

Aloha (again) from Hawaii.

This time, I saying "Aloha" with a bit of sadness...
as I'm saying goodbye to the wonderful week
we have had here in the sun.

We have explored, played, celebrated,
and eaten a lifetime's worth of fish & hula pie.

My parents were here, too, and it was fun to share this with them.

They brought me with them to Maui
when I was about a year old...
and now, Viola gets to have the same fun
at the same age.

But I'm not just sad because 
it's the end of a wonderful week and wedding...

I'm also sad because
we are flying back to London today...

...from Hawaii.


*   *   *

We are flying from Maui to LA,
LA to NYC,
and NYC to London.


But, it'll all be worth it.

We'll grab our bags,
catch a night's sleep
and hit the road the next morning
for a Eurostar
and 10 days around the South of France
with my new semester.

So while I get a bit of tired head 
thinking about the long travel days ahead,
I get really excited to think
that there are some young college students
about to have their worlds' explode
by studying overseas...

.... and that I get to be there for it.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Sundry Mumsy: A Sketchy Situation

A year ago,
almost to the day,
I commissioned a piece of art 
to be made for our house 
before it was shot for Apartment Therapy.

I paid (too much) for an illustrator
to draw our almost family
to hang in the girls' nursery.

The picture was of Tyler & me
in our standard kissing pose...
but each holding a little baby
in a tiny yellow blanket
and a little gold headbands
in our arms.

I was really excited for it to arrive
and when I opened it...
I was just really confused.

It looked nothing like us.

Tyler had big baggy jeans and huge shoulders.

I'm wearing big, clunky boots that I would never wear.

The best part of it was the cute little pair of babies...

Today that picture
of the unfamiliar couple
holding a pair of twin girls

 sits half-hidden on a bookshelf.

It bums me out pretty much every time I see it.

So when Hannah surprised me with this gift,
my heart swelled big time.

A year later
and I finally have a family illustration
that will make me smile
to have hanging in our home.

I love it.

*    *   *

Thank you, Hannah!

hannah carpenter of sundry mumsy

You can enter to win
a custom illustration
and a lineup of other cool gear
in the giveaway she's hosting.

Check out more of Hannah's crazy creative work
on her cool blog, Sundry Mumsy.

Maui, Hawaii: Betty's Beach Cafe (Lahaina)

I think that breakfast is one of the best parts of a vacation.

Or brunch, for that matter.
I'm an equal opportunist here.

Hear me out...

In your normal life,
when else do you get to lounge around
for the first meal of the day?

In our lives, breakfast is scarfed, slurped and solo
before we rush out the door.

But on vacation,
it's a meal that's shared
and the place to plan the day's adventures.

Plus, it's just so freaking delicious.

When we woke up on our first day in Maui,
the first thing I did was google
"best breakfast in Lahaina."

One of the places listed was for 
and, as we had nowhere else that sounded better,
we decided to check it out.

Oh man.

I'm so glad we did. 

I'm going to be pushing for a repeat visit before the week is over.

Not only is the beach setting gorgeous,
but, hey, the food is good, too!

Their banana & macadamia nut pancakes are the best-seller...
and we loved them, too!

If (and when) they ask if you want the coconut sauce for them, 
replying with a resounding YES.

It's a game changer, in my non-professional opinion.

Also add the huevos rancheros to your "must eat" list.

They're really, really good.

(And that's not a compliment this Texan hands out lightly.)

On the weekends, mimosas & champagne are $2...

Twist up the normal OJ + bubble combo
with pineapple, guava or POG juice in your mimosa
for the same price.

We loved this place.

I hope you get a chance to like it, too!

505 Front Street
Lahaina, Maui HI 96761

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