A Walk in The Park.

 

It has been so (oddly) wonderful here in London the past few days. Every time I walk out the door, I can't help but scheme up something to do to take advantage of the amazing day.

Yesterday, I drug Tyler & Viola out of the flat for a walk through the park. As soon as we got outside, it wasn't hard to keep convincing them into the idea. So off we scuttled towards Kensington Gardens. Since we moved, it's literally a five minute walk... which is pretty awesome, in my opinion.

Less awesome was the line to get into the Princess Diana Playground. Oof. We decided to forgo our original plans and opt for Plan B: letting Viola run like a wild animal around Kensington Gardens while we chased after her in a squat-run. (Almost as fun as sitting on a park bench and talking while she plays in the sand, but not quite.)

Cynicism aside, it ended up being such a fun afternoon. Leaves were crunched. Shoulders were ridden. Ducks and swans and swans were flirted with as Viola kept leaning forward and making kissing noises at in hopes of getting some lip action. (Sadly, the sentiment was not returned.)

You know what else is awesome? Reading week. I have no classes this week. Thank you, British schooling system. I suddenly have time to catch up on life, watch Law & Order re-runs and blog to my heart's content. High fives all around. 

 

 

 

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 29, 2014 and filed under england, london, life.

You say Pyjama. I say Pajama.

 

First things first: In Britain they spell "pajama" with a "y." So, yes, like pyjama. It looks weird to me every time. Even after years of being over here. 

Second topic to discuss: Recently my friend mentioned the act of folding up your pajamas and leaving them under your pillow. I thought this was the strangest thing I had ever heard of, but then the breakfast table of friends surrounding me made me realize I was the odd man out on this tradition. How have I gone my entire life without hearing about this daily ritual? Is it just an England thing? Do people in America do it, too?

My mind is blown. Moments like that make me realize that there are, most likely, so many other things I am completely unaware of in life.

One thing that I do know is that I love good pajamas. HUSH makes my absolute favorites (in fact, I'm wearing them right now!). I also love Ted Baker's collection (maybe only available here in Britain?) and GAP. Mmm... all this talking about getting cozy is making me excited to curl up in winter weather with a movie and some peppermint tea.

(Or just to take a nap. Honestly, I'd take either.)

 

 

*images via Middle Child Complex

 

Posted on October 28, 2014 and filed under shopping.

To Viola. XO George.

 

I know a lot of us are familiar with the Instagram darling, Target Does it Again... but have you seen it's WalMart counterpart, Woah, Wait, Walmart

Two of my college friends are actually the brains behind the site & popular IG account. You'll see them modeling clothes and finds on a daily basis that will really make you rethink the Arkansas-born retailer. While I was resistant to like it as a Target loyalist, I have to say: I've been impressed... and inspired.

While we don't have WalMart here, we do have ASDA- their UK arm. And while Target has Mossimo and Exhileration, ASDA has George.

Since we are moving flats in a couple of weeks (don't even ask- it's just too crazy to even acknowledge), I'm challenging myself to think outside the IKEA box and design a room for Viola entirely off items from the George line. So here you have it, a nursery for Viola by George. (Until Prince George can give her own apartment within the royal residences, obviously.)

ONE | TWO | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN

I based the design off the wallpaper I found- it's £8 a roll! I mean, that about $150 less than the roll of designer wallpaper I had been crying over recently. 

I have to say, I like the end result. Since our second bedroom also shares the purpose of "guest bedroom," I like that the look is playful without being immature. We'll see if I can actually muster the brain power to put this look into an actual reality after we move in!


Check out Woah ,Wait, WalMart? on Instagram to get in on the daily finds. I promise, they'll win you over with their affordable finds, too.

 

 

 

*artwork orignal to Aspiring Kennedy

*sponsored by George

Posted on October 15, 2014 and filed under home, shopping.

Get a Move On.

You know when life gets busy and you want to just freeze from all the pressure. The only thing you can do is just keep moving.

So that's what we are doing. In the midst of chaos, we are MOVING. In two weeks. What? I know. It's craziness to the millionth degree, but our landlord needed our flat for a family member and we had to make a quick jump to find a new place.

 

Luckily, our new place is great! I'm really so excited to get in there, shave off a good ten minutes from my commute (while still enjoying the best our neighborhood has to offer!), and have an apartment with a beautiful updated kitchen and a REAL fridge. Yes, our current flat has a fridge the size of a dorm fridge. The glamorous European lifestyle, y'all. 

While there are so many great things about our new place- that I'm sure I'll share with you in time- I've still got to figure out how to get all of our stuff from Home A to Home B. I'm too caught up in the logistics of life to mourn leaving our current home.

The home that we dreamed of our girls in, the tiny kitchen that I spent countless hours cooking in, the home we brought Viola to, the table that welcomed friends over dinner, the walls that saw some really happy times and some really sad times. It's the home were we became a family.

But here we stand... in the moment of normal life just before everything changes. (Again.) The tides of life seem to turning over again. And who knows what other changes it will bring our way!

Plus, our new address will practically make us neighbors to Will & Kate, so... you win some, you loose some.

 

 

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 13, 2014 and filed under life, london.

The Lovely Drawer: Quinoa Crusted Fish & Chips

 

Quinoa? Crusted? Fish and Chips? Yup. You read that right! Teri has taken perhaps the most classic of British staples and put a new twist on it. Not only is it a healthy twist, but it totally works... and totally will keep your heart from racing at full-speed like a normal portion of greasy fish + chips will.

Plus, the ingredients are really simple, so it's a great meal for cooking healthy on a budget.

Way to go, Teri. You amaze me again! Check out more of Teri's amazing creativity and craftiness on her really beautiful and totally slick blog, The Lovely Drawer.


QUINOA CRUSTED FISH & CHIPS

Fish and chips is usually the first thing that pops into my mind when you say 'British seaside’. It conjures up images of families huddled on a bench, coats zipped up, soaking in the blistering cold sea air and the pebbly beach in front. There might be a distant fairground or arcade tune as background music and there will probably be an argument with a greedy seagull eyeing up your food. Ok this may be very stereotypical but perhaps there’s more than a shred of truth in there. There’s no recreating that battered cod and greasy chips in any other scenario. It just doesn’t quite do it justice but I came up with a slightly more nutritious version that’s kinder on the heart and you can enjoy it in the warmth of your own home. You still have to cover your chips with the obligatory flood of vinegar until your eyes water though. That’s an order.

 

Ingredients (Serves 2)

 

2 fresh cod fillets

Roughly 2 Cups of uncooked quinoa

Sprinkling of Paprika

2 lemons 

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

Cornmeal for dusting

Garlic salt

1 garlic clove

3/4 Cup frozen peas

Handful of mint

1 Cup Greek yoghurt

Handful of chives

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

 

TO MAKE

1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking tray.

2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. (I softened them slightly in the microwave to speed up cooking.)

3. Prepare the fish by squeezing half a lemon on top and seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle with some of the olive and rub into the fish. 

4. Pour the quinoa into a bowl and add garlic salt. Then dip each fish fillet into the quinoa to coat it. Transfer to the baking tray. 

5. Bake in the oven for about 25 mins. Check the fish along the way and if the quinoa looks as if it’s getting too dark in colour then cover with foil for the rest of the cooking time.

6. Meanwhile cook the peas. Then pulse in a blender with the mint, lemon juice from half a lemon, garlic, salt and pepper and a very small drizzle of olive oil. Pulse until the consistency is mushy but not yet a liquid.

7. Then make the lemon and chive sauce by mixing the chives, juice of half another lemon and a pinch of paprika into the greek yoghurt. Chill.

8. Drizzle the sweet potato chips with olive oil and cover with cornmeal.  Heat some oil in a pan and fry in batches. The cornmeal should give the outside a crispy coating.

9. Then assemble the whole meal when the fish is cooked. Make sure the fish flakes away as you’d expect. Serve with the remaining lemon in wedges for squeezing eat in true British style with malt vinegar and ketchup! 

 

 

 

 

*images original by The Lovely Drawer for Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 6, 2014 and filed under eat, the lovely drawer.