GIVEAWAY | Anorak Attack.

 

If you go to London parks, you have a good chance of seeing people grazing on picnic spreads spilled over blankets. And in these scenic moments, when you spot a cheery print in the sea of faded blankets and makeshift ground coverings, you've probably spotted the cute British brand, Anorak, in their element.

 

I first fell in love with the Kissing Rabbits print during a picnic with my friend Meg last summer in Hampstead. So when Anorak offered for me to check out their line, I said "Yes!"

 

And they have been sooooo nice for picnics, and popsicles... and any moment that you don't really want to sit on the dirty ground, really.

Also, the Proud Fox sleeping bags! Aren't they adorable? Viola and I spent the early evening "camping out" with some books and s'mores. I couldn't believe how much she loved playing in them, crawling down to the bottom, and cuddling up on the pillow to read. 

I love these pieces and have a feeling they'll be a staple on any outdoorsy outing this family takes for many years to come. 

Now then, who else wants them, too?

 

Enter below for your chance to score

a fox sleeping bags and a rabbit picnic blanket.

 



Winner will be chosen August 2.

Posted on July 30, 2014 and filed under giveaway.

That Time Our Plane's Engine Exploded.

 

Last Saturday, we woke up in the darkness, booked an uber, and headed out to the airport to hop a plane to Denver. It was an early flight, but we wanted to maximize our time with Tyler's sister. So at 7:00, we boarded AA #2498 direct to Denver.

 

Viola cozied up in my lap, fell asleep as our plane taxied and soon after our plane took off. We got above the clouds and everything seemed normal. the flight attendants started shuffling ice around and asking our drink orders. Right before we leveled off, a giant explosion happened in our left engine and our plane started falling. Everyone knew at the moment that our left engine was gone. The flight attendants ran to their seats, everyone grabbed the arm rests, and the entire plane was silent as the plane jumbled through the air. 


The next ten minutes were terrible. The cockpit never came on to walk us through what was happening. The plane glided and dropped, and the cabin pressure was all over the place. We were descending... but in the weirdest way I've ever felt. The plane sputtered through the sky, Tyler and I said that we loved each other, held onto Viola, and prayed that God would take away any pain that we might feel. 


After we were about halfway down from where we started, the captain came on and told us that, yes, we had lost our engine and we would be making an emergency landing back at DFW. There would be emergency vehicles waiting for us, and they thought they would be able to safely land the plane.


It took about fifteen more minutes to get the plane down. As we landed, there were firetrucks and ambulances lining the runway. As we touched down, the whole plane cheered. People cried. And Viola woke up from her deep sleep joining in the applause. At the oblivion of the danger, I couldn't help but sputter out a few sobs of relief.

deboarding the plane. get us outta there.

deboarding the plane. get us outta there.

It was awful, but we ended up being fine. Thanks to the AA crew that got us out of the danger. But man, it sucked. I haven't felt fear like that since the delivery room in my emergency c-section. The type of moment where you can't even breathe because you know that everything that once seemed normal would most likely be gone. 

 

After a few hours of shuffling for a new plane and crew (apparently, after that type of trauma, the flight crew has the option to take paid leave and go home, which ours did), we boarded another S80 and hooked it to Denver. We made it. 


So there you have it. People always tell me that I make travel look too easy. I don't think that I do, but in case you wanted a real tale from the trenches, there you have it. We won't be flying anywhere without a giant knot in our tummies for the months ahead. (But, yes, we will still be flying! Back to England and Iceland in the weeks ahead.)



 

(Also, The Hundred registration closes on Wednesday. Grab up one of the last remaining tickets. This weekend is going to be too good to miss.)

 

 

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under travel.

Some Changs Could Do You Good.

 

This post is sponsored. Thanks for supporting Aspiring Kennedy and clicking through! The occasional sponsored posts help my justify the obscene amount of time I spend blogging to Tyler. So thanks! :)

 

Dallas, while my hometown, may have many great attributes, but I can't promise it oozes with culture in the same way that places like Paris or Rome might. But hey, if all the world was like Paris or Rome, we probably wouldn't appreciate them as much. One thing that can't be ignored about Dallas culture is that we prefer it on a patio. The great weather here makes it easy for relaxing hours spent out on a patio of good drinks and nibbles. 

While standard fare might be margaritas with chips + queso, it's nice to have other options. That's why I was really excited when PF Changs invited us to try out the new sushi +  small plates they've added to their menu.

Tyler & I went for a Friday afternoon date. Let's review, shall we? 

Edamame hummus with plantain chips? Sounds weird, but it totally works.

Dynamite Scallop Roll (aka a scalloped topped spicy tuna roll). Again- another winner. The rolls were massive, too. 

An Asian take on carnitas? Brave to try with Texans, but I can't lie: the carnitas bao were yum.

And of course, some Saigon summer rolls added in for good measure.

So there you have it- PF Changs has officially made it onto my short list of places I could waste an awesome afternoon away on the patio. To be honest, I can't say that I would ever sub out my beloved Crispy Honey Chicken for the small plates during lunch or dinner, but would I order several of them during drinks with friends on the patio? Oh, yes.

This post was sponsored by PF Changs. Thanks so much for clicking through and helping support Aspiring Kennedy. I'd treat you all to yummy sushi as a thanks, if I could!

Posted on July 21, 2014 and filed under eat, dallas.

Picture Perfect: London

 

We weren't exactly planning to be in Texas for four months over the summer… Life just happened a bit differently than planned- as I've come to learn it often does. While my summer plans are now focused on beating the heat by the pool, catching up with high school friends over breakfast, and hitting up the obscene summer sales (like Nordstroms!), we once had plans of picnics in Hyde Park, strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and getting to see various friends that were coming through London.

 

But one thing I'm especially bummed about? Well, I'm really bummed that we aren't in London while Stephen Jerkins is in town. See, if you're from Nashville, you've probably heard of him. If not, you may not know what ridiculously good/cute/cool pictures he takes (like these). We had big plans to shoot a really fun series together. (Why is it so hard to find good photographers in London? They're as rare as a JIFFY cornbread or a Reeses Blizzard.) Now that I'm planted here in Texas through August, that once-fantasized session is no longer happening.

 

My misfortune is now your luck. Stephen has graciously agreed to taking some pictures of my friends, but I've asked (read: conned) him into offering it to any other lovely people that may live in London, read this blog, and want some awesome pictures. And he's offering an awesome deal: £100 for an hour shoot + 25-30 digital files with printing rights. He'll be in London July 31 & August 1 with time to shoot.

 

So go on, you cute London people. Take advantage of his talent and the chance to capture this special moment of life living in the best city in the world. Do it, take some gorgeous pictures in front of Big Ben, and make me really, really jealous.

 

(I'd actually be pretty happy for you… I guess.)

 

Contact Stephen directly at stephen@stephenjerkins.com if you're interested. And don't forget to tag me in your IG from the shoot to make me feel especially terrible. ;)

 

 

*images via Stephen Jerkins

Posted on July 18, 2014 and filed under photography, london.

A Hundred Reasons.


A couple weeks ago, we announced The Hundred. What we didn't tell you at the time was how awesome it was going to be, because, well, we didn't know at that time how it was going to grow. We have been working our faces off to get this weekend to be as awesome as we can possibly make it. I'm exhausted from late nights, I'm frazzled from how much more work it has been than I anticipated, but I'm also amazed at how this little weekend has grown.

 

This weekend has started as a way to get together with bloggers that I love and welcome others to join us. We wanted to create a time for bloggers to get together, share what they know and be generous with each other. I just can't believe that would happen in such a big way.

 

We have the classic British brand Joules sponsoring the weekend, along with Minnetonka Mocs and BUNGALOW Magazine. We have some of the most talented (and butt-kicking) people volunteering their time to be there like National Geographic, PULP Design Studios and Curt Steinhorst

 

Countless gifts are arriving for the attendees from companies like Heidi Klein, West Elm, Maison Miru, Design Darling and Knotty Tots Mocs. Each day going to my mailbox feels like Christmas with all the pretty packages waiting for me. And we have Etsy heroes like LIttle Dovie, Meg Made and Fancy Face using their talents to make the weekend so much prettier.

 

For those of you that are joining the fun, we are so glad. We look forward to sharing in the FUN that is shaping up.

 

For those of you that can't be there for the weekend, we'll miss you. We wish we could share the speakers online, but we just are a bit too short-staffed to function at that capacity at this stage.

 

And for those of you still on the fence on if it's worth your time & money? Well, I think you should come. I promise- for the lucky people that get to come, it's going to be a monumental weekend for their blog and/or small business. Hurry up and grab your spot before its gone.

 

For all the Dallas readers who just want to come for a fun night out- join us on Friday night to hear Kendi Skeen from the adorable (and famous!) fashion blog, Kendi Everyday. There are a limited amount of tickets still available!

 

(And thanks to you… This thing wouldn't be anything without readers like you cheering us on.)

Posted on July 15, 2014 and filed under blog world, dallas.