Sale Away

ONE  |  TWO  |  THREE  |  FOUR  |  FIVE  |  SIX  |  SEVEN


Tyler just hopped on the train to go to Edinburgh for the day to welcome my summer group to Scotland and get them set up for the day... since, you know, I'm not exactly in travel condition. (Which is a bummer, because these summer trips up to Scotland are some of my favorites ever!)

Typically, these short haul trips are an easy thing to do... but when you're a ticking time bomb- it's a bit nerve-wracking. I've promised not have a baby in the next 16 hours, so I'm doing my best to keep my word by laying low today.

And by "laying low," we can all obviously assume I'll be shopping online looking at clothes that I can wear this summer once this human-growing turtle shell is gone from my body. (Or mostly gone, because... you know.) The good news is: most of them are on-sale. Like, reallllly on sale with Nordstroms half-yearly happening, JCrew having additional 30% off their sale and GAP/Old Navy having 30% off your purchase, too.

Just doing my part to be a good wife and all. ;)


*image original to Aspiring Kennedy


Posted on May 26, 2015 and filed under shopping.

Oh, The Places You'll Go... In Utero


I'm officially at that stage of hoping the baby could arrive at any moment... and being totally in denial of what is about to happen while going about normal life as if all is things are totally normal.

It's a weird place to be in, but I'm sure if you've had a baby- you know exactly what I mean.

And if you haven't had a baby... well, go take an hour long bath, go shopping for an entire afternoon at your leisure and eat pizza on the couch while binging on Law & Order SVU.... just because you can and that is awesome.

I'm 38 weeks now and we have days (!!!) left to meet our son. Most people say pregnancy flies by, but I can't really agree. We found out we were expecting him so long ago- it seems like this little baby has been a part of our story for such a while now.

Since I can't imagine that I'll be able to post a baby-free photo after his arrival, and since I can only look back on my other pregnancy as such a significant and special time... I wanted to do a little look back on all the moments and places he has been already. I guess to put all the fun moments of pregnancy in one place.

While it may seem a bit silly (I know!), I value the time I've carried him really deeply. With all that happened last time, I can't help but cherish these days of pregnancy in a special way. Perhaps I see them as more important as they are, but to me- life is life. We're so happy to have shared this special time with him during pregnancy... and can't wait to enjoy the rest of life with him after delivery, too.


ICELAND | Where it all began. How do you say "souvenir baby" in Icelandic?

FINDING OUT | Tyler & I headed out to breakfast while Viola was at nursery. It was a sunny fall day and we were on Cloud Nine with the idea that we were going to get another child. 


DENIAL | Soon after we found out, we kind of shoved the whole thing out of our minds. As crazy as that sounds, it was easier to forget about being pregnant than think about it. during the chaos of juggling grad school, work and life. Plus, we wanted to tell our families three months later at Christmas- so we did our best to just put it out of our minds. for the time being.


UK & IRELAND | Just on the brink of the second trimester, we toured the Lake District, York, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Belfast, The Giants Causeway and Ireland. It was exhausting and awesome.

PROVENCE | In December, we headed down to Southern France and spent several days just being together after a hectic fall of work/school/life. It was such a quiet and great time being just the three of us... well, I guess four. 

ITS A BOY | In the midst of London at Christmas, we booked an appointment for the day I turned 17 weeks. I "knew" it was a boy. Tyler "knew" it was a girl. We went to Selfridges to commemorate the day by buying him a little train ornament.

Despite being so adamant that I knew it was a boy, it actually took weeks (months?) to process that we were having a boy. I have asked to have it double checked in every scan since, too.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS | We went back to the US and told our families the big news. "We're pregnant... and its a boy!" We each had two sisters pregnant within 12 weeks of our baby's due date. Four of the five are boys- so it was fun to let everyone in on the secret and join the baby party.

PARIS, FRANCE | We headed to Paris to celebrate Viola's 2nd birthday. Hopefully (and most likely!), it was the first of many Parisian trips for this young guy.

SCHOOL DAYS | In a stroke of sheer awkwardness, I didn't tell anyone in my course I was pregnant. For some reason, it just felt like a weird thing to drop in amongst normal school chatter. With coming/going just for classes, I obviously wasn't the center of the social scene. Still, the look of shock/terror on my friends faces around 30 weeks when I couldn't hide it any longer was pretty hilarious. Apparently, being tall and shrouded in winter layers allows you to look "normal" for a long time. (Or probably just chubby, if I'm honest.)

PARIS, FRANCE... AGAIN | Amber & I went to Paris for the day as a little last hoorah before my travel days ended. We spent the sunny day wandering around Paris, eating the best food and just enjoying the relaxing day. It will probably live in my memory as one of those golden, untouchable days when everything was perfect.

BABYMOON | Ok, we didn't venture far- but Tyler & I spent two days in Hertfordshire feeling utterly relaxed at Laura Ashley's The Manor. We ate, walked and slept for 48 hours. It was a good (and, if I'm honest, much needed) time for us to spend together to reconnect, talk and just get on the same track before a new baby arrived. 

THE WAITING GAME | The last few weeks, we've just stayed close to home taking the days slowly together. Walks around the neighborhood, sunny dinners in pubs and lots of afternoon cuddled up together for naps. It's been a sweet time. I know I won't be able to imagine life without this baby once he arrives... but just so it goes on the record: this has been a good run. 


The unexpected family of three that we ended up with has become so precious to me, but I have a feeling that once this baby arrives and we grow to four... it'll fill up a place in my heart that I often forget is open. We've been so happy being Viola's parents... and now that joy gets to grow and expand with the arrival of her brother. Bring it on.


How do you look back on your pregnancies? Do they feel like they flew by or the time ticked on for ages? 







*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

*photos at Opera Garnier by Stacy Reeves

*photos around London by Sara Kerens

Posted on May 25, 2015 and filed under babies kennedy, babies, kids, pregnancy.

The Sweet Escape (AKA 50 Days of Grey)

You guys!! I was so encouraged by the response from my previous post about quitting sweets/desserts where so many of you decided to join me in this crazy spell! I wanted to hug each of you. Thank you for being a part of this- doesn't it make it more fun when there are others in it with you? Not only more fun, but easier! 

Let's do this.

I wanted to layout the basic structure of how I am doing the fifty days. Now, this isn't a program. It's not a club. It's not anything that you get a medal for making it to the end of. So feel free to add/subtract from below to make it fit for you.

Oh, and for goodness sake, if you are wanting to do this and it falls over your birthday- please take a day to celebrate and eat some cake to celebrate. (I would!) A blind eye and high five is granted for any needed special days. :) This is supposed to be a good thing- so use it as it is helpful for you when and where you can. 









So... those are pretty much the only rules I'm going with for the purge. Which for my life- will make a big difference. Since it is not a total exclusion of all sugars, I'll have to use my judgement on how some things may fall; however, desserts and other obvious sugary treats are out.

Easy enough? I hope so! 

I'd love to hear what you'll do to make the fifty days fit your needs/life. This is going to be SO fun. Also, feel free to share in on the experience with the hashtag #AKsweetescape so we can all keep track of how it's going and support each other in the weeks ahead.





*images original to aspiring kennedy, by noah darnell


Posted on May 21, 2015 and filed under eat, life.

The Two Shall Become One Appetite.


When Tyler and I were dating, he didn't eat vegetables. Well, he would eat canned corn, canned green beans and potatoes. Otherwise, nope. As someone who loved good food, this kind of killed me... but since we only dated for a hot second before wanting to get married, I didn't really have time to really let it bother me that he didn't love arugula, onions and bell peppers like I did. All produce was an unknown land to that young boy from Oklahoma.

However, he was in love and unreasonable just like me. When I would try to get him to take a bite of something that I loved, he would tell me no.... but with the caveat that, if I didn't bug him about it, he would eat vegetables and fruit once we got married. So I let it go. And I have to tell you, he is a man of his word. On our honeymoon, he flipped a switch and started trying new things then and there... and he couldn't believe he had lived so long without them.

Fast forward eight years... and the boy eats anything. In fact, after living life together our appetites have evolved to a weird mirror image of the each other. He loves the fruits and vegetables that I love, eats meat as more of an accent to meals rather than the main attraction... and in turn, I have adapted the regular addition of milkshakes to my lifestyle.

Since we have moved to England, our diets have changed together again. We've learned to be satisfied by smaller portions and our tastes have changed to prefer the flavors here. When we do semesters in Paris for work, suddenly crusty baked goods, creamy yogurts and slabs of meat suddenly seem like all I want to eat.

I think it's so interesting how people and places can influence your diet. When I was in college living with skinny girls, we'd snack on applesauce and low fat triscuits. When I married Tyler, I ate like a 24 year-old guy. And now, I'm aware how the foods that I'm craving suddenly have become the cravings of my daughter. When I'm into apples, she is, too. When I sustained myself on fruit mentos for my first trimester of pregnancy, she constantly asked for them, too. If I'm on a cereal kick, she is, too. 

I'm realizing how impressionable eating habits can be to those around us... and I feel some weight (literally?) to pass on good eating to my daughter and family. We are what we eat- and those around us, too. For better or for worse.

Probably the easiest target in my diet is dessert- no shocker if you've followed me for more than five minutes. So on June 1- I'm starting 50 days without sweets and desserts.

And speaking of eating habits being contagious.... anyone want to join me? Anyone up for giving up dessert and sugary treats from June 1 to July 20? (No better time to give up the junk than with the arrival of swimsuit season.)

What person or place has been the most influential on the way you eat?



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on May 13, 2015 and filed under eat, life.

Laura Ashley | A Getaway... and a Giveaway

If you follow along on Instagram, you probably noticed that last week we disappeared into country life for a few days. It was magical and quiet in all the ways that you hope for when getting out of town. 

Due to the kindness of a friend offering to watch Viola, we got the chance to skip town for two nights. While we had ambitious plans before we left, once we arrived at the Manor- we just melted into the coziness of the property and didn't leave the grounds once.

I took obscenely long baths each night. I ate afternoon tea in a sunny bay window. I actually got to get ahead on work in a big way. And I watched way too many movies in a giant, fluffy bed. It felt like a great pause before in the midst of a busy season... plus, with it being Tyler's birthday, it was nice to give the man some undivided attention. He more than deserves it!

We stayed at Laura Ashley the Manor- a gorgeous property dating back to 1530! (You know, just two hundred years before the old US kicked things off.) The entire hotel is outfitted in the Laura Ashley style, so it's a very cool English experience watching the old + new collide. 

Check out my post on the LA Blog today with all our trip pictures of the stunning grounds and gorgeous hotel. It's the perfect getaway from London- just a little under an hour on public transport. Its such a nice getaway from the city without having to do the hassle of budget airlines or expensive train tickets! I dare you not to want to spend a night in this gorgeous place

Guess what else? Laura Ashley has kindly offered one of you £100 to spend in-store! Yay! Whether it's time to freshen up your dining room table, update your bedding without feeling guilty or... just spending it all on some new clothes- the choice is yours!

Entry is couldn't be easier as there are lots of easy ways to toss your name in the hat. Enjoy!


*images original to Aspiring Kennedy




Posted on May 11, 2015 and filed under day trips, england, travel.