Posts filed under "shopping"

Is This Thing On?

No blog posts in a week? Ah, yes... I've slipped into the black hole of the chaos of my semester. Forgive me. I'm here. I'm just busy! (Who isn't?) So in the void of thought-provoking blogging, here are just some awesome things that I have seen, discovered or eaten since we touched down in France.

CHATEAUX | We had such a great day in the Loire Valley last week. It's such a quick trip from Paris, I think you should definitely make a day of it when you plan your trip to Paris. Hop a TGV from Gare Montparnasse and head to Tours. In about an hour and some change, you'll be there.

Plan to rent a car and hit the open road. Chambord, Ambroise & Chenonceau are the destinations awaiting you. You definitely won't regret this decision. (It'll be an all day event, if you plan to do it right.)

SANDRO OUTLET | If you come to Paris and you're in the Marais, take a quick jump up from the St. Paul metro stop to the Sandro outlet on Rue de Sevigne. I bought some awesome silk pants there (€20) and an amazing white cocktail drew (€40) there today. The sweet girls working there said they get new stock in about ever other day. (I have a feeling I'm about to become so much poorer.)

NOT-TOO-SWEET TREATS | I'm all about pastries, but for some reason I've been drawn to the simpler choices when wandering into the boulangerie lately. Spongey madelines, almond-tinged financiers... these are a few of my favorite things.

BOOT CAFE | While Paris is known for many lovely isn't know for great coffee. Unless you're wanting a tiny espresso in a pretty cafe, "real" coffee is hard to come by. Lucky me for stumbling on a new shop, Boot Cafe, right next to my metro stop, San Sebastien Froissart. The new coffee shop sits where a cobbler used to be (hence the name)....Grab a cafe creme and a piece of the blood orange + pistachio cake to start off your morning in the Marais.

ON THE MARKET | I love Marche Aux Puces as much as the next American, but the trek out to Pore de Clignacourt is a bit of a haul and the prices can be a bit steep. (I can't get stay away from it though.) I was so excited to see the more-local market pop up on Boulevard Beaumarchais over the weekend. I'm hoping it's a weekly thing. (Any locals able to weigh in on this?) So many great "Paris" things...from old street signs to discarded china. I got two really cool books for 0.50 each.

GIVING ME THE LOOK | First, Viola has mastered "the look." She gives it on command and we think it's so funny. We are sadly having to reign it in now because she's taking it a little too far and using her new super power for evil.... But honestly... it makes me laugh.

Also, I'm getting the look. The Paris look. With being pregnant (and huge!) and then post-baby messiness and then nursing chubbiness (am I the only person who gained weight while nursing?) and then 2 year old wardrobe apathy, I had basically given up and given into a wardrobe cycle of about 4 items + 3 scarves. See below for documentation of said repeated items.

Being back here is awakening my old self and I'm actually freshening up my closet a bit. I'm working on the extra pudge I've slapped on, but no place like Paris to make you want to lose weight and wear some great new clothes.

* * *

That's all I've got for now. Keep following the fun on Instagram. Things are getting exciting. If you're looking to spruce up your closet, too, here are some pieces that make me say, "Oh la la!"

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on March 12, 2014 and filed under "France", "Paris", "shopping", "style watch", "viola", paris, travel.

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

Posted on February 21, 2014 and filed under "Paris", "shopping", "style watch", paris.

GIVEAWAY: Ellington Handbags

I'm your normal female

when it comes to my

weakness for a pretty handbag.

I can fall in love pretty quickly...

but I never buy them.

I want to keep my collection

as edited as possible.

One because it sounds cooler to say that,

but secondly -and more importantly-

we live in 750 sq ft.

Nothing that isn't essential

can fit in our home.

So, I am pretty judicious about what I haul home.

Maybe that's why when I say

I have an  Ellington bag

and *like* it,

you'll know it's actually something special.

I first bought it

because it seemed like a great travel bag.

It won't get beat up,

it has lots of pockets,

and it goes from a fold-over

to a tote when I need to cram in

all the excess junk you do

when traveling.

Oh, and they don't cost a million dollars.

My MIA tote came to Iceland with me

and I realllllly liked it.

Come to find out,

these bags are a favorite among a lot of other people, too.

Maybe you'll be the next fan.


I'm really happy that one of you will win

a Mia tote bag worth $179 (just like mine)

thanks to the super cool people at Ellington.

(Thanks, Ellington!)

They nice people at Ellington are also offering

all the Aspiring Kennedy crowd

a FREE large leather pouch

with your purchase of $179 or more

when you use code


(I like the tan one, but there are tons of colors.)

**Update- the pouch won't show up in your cart, 

but will be added to your order. 

Indicate your preferred color in the notes at purchase.

Okay, giveaway open now.

Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*winner will be selected Monday

Posted on January 30, 2014 and filed under "giveaway", "shopping", "travel tips", shopping.

The French Camel

There are tons of reason

I'm excited to get back to France,

but I can't deny that

the refresh to my style

won't be a big one.

I've been wearing the same clothes

for a realllly long time...

pretty much since we last were in Paris.

Not that I'm waiting to

dump beaucoups of cash

in the haute couturiers of France...

But simply because I'm so inspired

by the effortless chic style

of the women in Paris.

I need to absorb some of that...

because the look I have is

miles away from chic.

It's more.... 

wrinkled and snagged.

One item I do have ready

from our last life in Paris

is my camel coat.

photo by

noah darnell

This piece is perfect for Paris

in so many ways.

It's dressy, but quiet.

It's warm, but allows layers.

It's casual, but cleaned-up.

It's one of my favorite souvenirs I've ever bought.

It makes me feel 40% less of an impostor

and almost like a local

wandering through places like the

Luxembourg Gardens.


In the post-Christmas sales,

there are some more great tan coats

currently up for grabs.

Check my picks below

to update your look

with items that are tres cheap.

(Well, at least, at great sale prices.)

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on January 3, 2014 and filed under "France", "shopping", "wear", france, shopping.

le vendredi noir

Since Britain doesn't really have Thanksgiving

(I know, shocker, right?)...

there isn't really a "Black Friday" to follow.

Except if you have access to 

ye olde world wide web

and can shop the sales

from your nifty computers.

I, honestly, haven't thought

for a second

about Christmas gifts this year.

I don't know what I really want

nor do I have any clue

what I want to give to people.

But man...

with deals like today,

it's hard not to get cracking.

Even if there wasn't an ocean

separating me from the shopping madness,

I would never head out to shop today.

But browsing online...

at home...

looking all terrible and bloated

after our Thanksgiving dinner last night?

Well, sure.

I'll play the Christmas elf

and share some of the sales I'm most excited about:

Kate Spade

( 75% on

selected items

like my Logan Square diaper bag-



Little Hip Squeaks 

(25% everything + 7AM door busters. Use code: GOBBLE)

You can also find an amazing Black Friday list of handmade retailers here on

their blog


Gilt Group

(Free shipping on tons of flash sales. I bought

these baby tights

for $10)


(Pretty much 10%- No codes needed!)


( 30% | use code: HOLIDAY)


(I'm a sucker for

cheap DVDs


What about you?

Do you brave the madness of shopping on Black Friday

and I guess, contribute to it, also?

Or do you hang around home

and play your odds with what's available online?



Posted on November 29, 2013 and filed under "holiday", "shopping", holiday, shopping.

Style Me (Mini): Little Picks with Big Appeal.


While I was pregnant with two girls, I only ever bought one of anything. For some reason, the idea of matching wasn't my thing. I went more for "coordinated." With everything that happened, it ended up that Viola has a ton of clothes... and, fortunately, we didn't have a ton of duplicates to have to cry over or deal with. I like to think that Viola is honoring her sissy by wearing them well.

Tyler & I always say that we honestly don't know if our hearts could have taken looking at double this cuteness everyday. Can you even imagine? I do all the time...

Posted on September 13, 2013 and filed under "babies", "shopping", "style watch", "viola", babies kennedy.

It's All Good... All of it.

Luckily, with Amazon-

most things in the world

are accessible in England.

There are exceptions

like tex-mex & cheap dry cleaning...

But for the most part, 

we have all we need & want

at our doorsteps/fingertips.

However, there are few goodies

that I have picked up

during our trip back this time.

Between birthdays & COSTCO runs,

our bags are getting a bit heavier

for the return.

Some of the highlights...

It's All Good

I know you all know about my best bud, the D.O.C. ("Katie Bug")

but my other gal pal is a girl you may know as Gwyneth.

(We just call each other "bosom friend.")

She just wrote a new cookbook

and after seeing


instagram some new recipes

I bit the bullet and paid $17 for it at Costco.

I love it.

The recipes are fresh and simple. 

Go getcha one.

Missoni Hand Towels

They are the cheapest way I can make my bathroom

not look like a college (shared) bathroom.

They're $25 which is a bit pricey,

but not terrible.

A worthy splurge

at a Dallas boutique,


Or you can find similar ones here at

One Kings Lane.

Lululemon Yoga Pants


I once, not too long ago, mocked girls

who ran errands in work out clothes

with perfect hair and other tell-tale signs

of having not actually working out.

Until I tried

these on

and saw my butt in the mirror.

Two days later, it was the #1 item on my birthday wishlist.

I may have turned a year older,

but my hiney just returned to my freshman year of college.

Fist pump.

Bodum Assam Teapot

I've been wanting one of these pretties for a long time.

Three cheers for my in-laws for picking up on the subtle hint

(of me posting about it on the blog!)

and snagging me one for my birthday.

I love it!

Lanvin Ballet Flats

(via ebay)

I wear flats most days

walking around town.

The pairs I wear the most cost me £3 at Primark

and are slick as a... fish (?)

when it rains.

So, basically, every day

I'm hydroplaning and freaking myself out.

Also, my feet ache from having no arch support.

(Weird that £3 won't get you traction or well-constructed shoes, I know.)

So I splurged (kinda) and bought a pair of Lanvin flats on EBay.

They were $150

and I'm already considering this an investment

towards the bionic feet replacements

that were headed my way

with my current footwear + walking combination.

If ebay scares you and you have a 9+ size foot,

there are some cute gold ones  41's on sale at BG for

half price!

And they are also some 36.5 for you tiny footed friends!

* * *

So that's what made my birthday wishlist

and is headed back to London

with us when we go back in a couple of weeks.

Posted on August 13, 2013 and filed under "Nest Dallas", "books", "hot tea", "shopping", shopping.

Aspiring Kennedy: Summer Style

I won't claim to be fashionable...

I just shop with two main goals:

1. To find what fits my body

2. To find it on clearance

Even though those two driving forces

are what guide me to building my wardrobe,

I do pay a lot of attention to what others are wearing...

and I do think I have a good sense for what works

and what is (and should be) a fleeting trend.

{Editor's Note: Though to be honest, I do love some trendiness.}

Maybe that is what building a great look really adds up to:

    2  parts of timelessness    +  1 part of trendy accent   = Well curated outfit.

Who really knows....

Either way, this is what I'm feeling for this summer....

which looks perfect for the amazing weather we are having here this week.

Non-stop sun?

I feel like I'm dreaming.

It's never felt so good to sweat.

Posted on July 9, 2013 and filed under "shopping", "style watch", "wear", shopping.

Get Yourself a Hunskie to A-Thread Apparel.

My freshman year of college,

I mandated a silly rule for myself:

I wasn't allowed to wear pants to class.

So every day

for that first year of school,

I would wear a skirt or dress to class.

I'm not sure why I decided to do this

bit I have three plausible theories:

1. I wore a uniform skirt for my entire life before college

and had become accustomed to sitting in a classroom setting

with goosebumps all over my legs.

2.  I wanted to rebel against all my friends

who wore pajama pants to class every day.

{Thank goodness that yoga pants replaced that as "slouch wear," right?}

3. I'm slightly prissy {read: ridiculous}.

It's probably a combination of all of three of those.

Anyway, all of that shallow psychoanalysis to say

that I really do like wearing dresses.

They make me feel like a lady...

and I think I look better in them than I do in pants.

{As I type that, I realize that was probably the ENTIRE reason I decided to not wear pants that year.}

But seriously,

what girl doesn't look great in a dress?

That's why I'm SO happy that one of you

is going to get the gift of looking great

{while showing off your sexy legs}

after you win $100 from A-Thread.

Because, people, they have some really cute stuff...

and more than just dresses, 

if they arent' your thing.

Remember that dress I blogged about earlier

and then wore on Easter Sunday?

Yep. It was A-Thread...

it was also only $33, 

so it was a flipping good deal.

And to make it an even better deal,

you can use ASPIRINGKENNEDY15 at checkout

to save 15% off any purchases.... holler.

Enter below for your chance to win $100 from A-Thread

Winner will be selected June 3, 2013.

Entering will get you on a-thread's email list for updates & deals!

Posted on May 29, 2013 and filed under "blog world", "giveaway", "shopping".

Pulp Home Pillows are Pretty (&) Cheap.

I'm cheap.

I can't help it.

I love pretty things,

but I just can't justify shelling out top dollar for them.

I mean,

I think Gap at full price is kind of expensive.

And isn't Gap supposed to be, like, an affordable, low-end store?

If I'm going to pay $80 for something,

it won't be on the regular racks of a chain store at the mall.

It will be a hidden gem crammed in a back corner

of a designer sample sale

or outlet store,

thank you very much.

Or I'll shop on designer sale sites


Gilt Groupe


One Kings Lane.

So combine discount shopping

with one of my favorite companies,

Peacock Alley

and a pillow line

 offering you two color different looks

that was designed by one of my best friends,

Beth Dotolo,

and her partner in crime,

Carolina Gentry-

the two brains behind

Pulp Design Studios


Whaddaya get?

Well, I get excited.

I bet you will, too.

These pillows have a reversible band

that gives you two options...

which, in my mind, says =

two pillows for the price of one at half off.

That's some solid math, people.

Go on, check out

the sale, & snag one for your home

and support a fellow blogger!

{Do you read Beth's lifestyle blog

Hello, Splendor? It's good stuff.}

Happy Weekend!!

Splurge of the {Weak}

I'm cheap.

You probably know this about me by now.

It's one of those traits that I'm proud of

when I get something awesome at a low price,

but also hate when my friends roll my eyes

as I gawk about the price of something.

For example,

I love that I get to birth two children

here in the UK for absolutely nothing

through the NHS program.

It warms my heart in way that's hard to explain.

I can't help it.

My mother is cheap.

My husband is cheap.

The financial perimeters

I've always worked in

have been set tight.

Cheap people like myself

typically find our thrills

through sales and discounted merchandise

{Hello, Gilt Groupe & Luxury Link!}

But when I find full-price merchandise

that is amazing and at a good price...

...well, I kind of lose my mind.

So this week, I have two great finds for you.

They aren't discounted or on sale...

not that I have any problem with those two qualifiers.

These items are both full price...

and they are really awesome values.




Most homes need several cool mirrors splashed throughout it.

In our 800 sq ft flat,

we have five hanging up.

The only problem is-

most mirrors are really expensive...

or they are the same ones all your friends have

from Z Gallerie or Target.

I love how unique this is

and that you could totally steal the attention

of a hallway or powder room

for just $165.

When you sign up for their mailing list,

you get 10% off your first order, 

so the price is even better.



A dress for $33?

I don't even feel like you can get a dress

 at Target

for that price these days.

To me, this dress feels like something

Anna from

Rifle Paper

would whip up if she was on Project Runway.

Plus, 5% of your purchase goes to a charity of your choosing,

so that makes it even more awesome.


So happy shopping, friends.

I already have that cute dress coming my way

with plans to wear it over my post-baby body


a certain friend's

Greek Isle wedding this summer.

Now it's your turn to share in the online shopping shame.

Have a great weekend!

Posted on February 9, 2013 and filed under "Pulp Design Studios", "shopping", "wear", home style, shopping.

Patch Hits the Target

A few months ago, 

I was really excited to see

that my once-friend/colleague, Don Carney

was doing a collaboration for Target

from his studio, Patch.

I was lucky enough to get to know Don

while working my old job in the States

and I have to say,

he is a sweet, old soul.

And he always smelled... so yummy. 

I was eager to see his collection debut

(especially after

the amazing work he did with West Elm


but to be honest...

life distracted me

and I forgot about it

until browsing the clearance section

on Target's home tab today.

First of all, the collection is REALLY cute.

I love how the collection blends dark, moodiness

with bright gem colors.

Perfection, I tell you.

Second of all, now that it has been out for a few months

you can get about half of it on clearance.

So, obviously, I did just that.

gold candlestick holder $15 | rug, $12.50 | glass tumblers $6.99 | teal & black pillow $8.74 | geometric triangle pillow $8.74

See what I mean?

Prices are so good on these awesome pieces...

and, in my opinion, the perfect way to spend that

little bit of remaining Christmas cash

that Santa left for you in your stocking.

Happy Shopping!

Posted on January 3, 2013 and filed under "interiors", "shopping", "style watch", shopping, home style.

Juicy News from PULP.

Our flat is really cute

...if I may say so myself.

With it's big bright windows,

white walls & hardwood floors...

it just feel exactly like

a flat in Notting Hill should.

While it may have a winning bone structure,

it has a long way to go in the finish out.

{Editor's Note: Yes, that would be my fault entirely.}

When you live in a rented space,

it's always tough to balance what you want to do

and what you are allowed to do in someone else's space.

After hours of clicking through


wasting nearly an entire tree from sketching out ideas on printing paper,

and wandering aimlessly around IKEA,

I gave up and

decided it was time to call in the experts.

I emailed

Pulp Design Studios

 and begged principal designer, Beth Dotolo, 

to take on our tiny nursery

and our even-smaller budget for the room.

I was just hoping that our space could have a PULP look-

one that would be both clean & luxe all at the same time.

Guess what?

Not only is Beth helping us,

but she's done an awesome job

of staying in our budget

and creating a look that, I think,

is out of this world.



for our style,

for our rental constraints,

and... well, we can totally afford it

which makes me happy.

{Editor's Note: It's all still in the works- but once it's finished, I'll share it with you!}

So what does all of this baby room nonsense have to do with you?

Well, this morning

PULP Design Studios

has had a little baby of their own...


Yes, a store that sells luxe+modern merchandise

that they have designed and produced.

The shop is stocked full of amazing pieces

-both large & small-

that you've seen dotted around their spaces

in press mentions or on

your home board

on Pinterest.

The best part is-

Beth is a fellow blogger (Hello, Splendor)

and there is very little that makes me happier

than to see a fellow blogger grow their dreams.

I love when people in our community succeed

and their businesses thrive...

kinda leaves me with a lump in my throat.

Congratulations, Pulp Home!

{Remember us little guys when you're famous. }

*photography by Kevin Dotolo

FOUR SALE: Ted Baker

Hauling one's possessions for one too many trips

can teach even the silliest of overpackers

to trim down on what they are toting along.

While I do my best to keep my clothes to neutrals & smart layers,

one item that I won't apologize for is a large toiletry bag.

Make-up, straightener, hair products, jewelry case...

it's the only place in my travel wardrobe that offers any variety.

When I passed these bags the other day,

my heart stopped a beat.

A large wash bag from the Rose Bug collection... for £28.



is deliciously large...

you can easily fit a hair dryer & straightener alongside your other goods here.



is terribly chic...

not only does it have a beautiful red & gold zipper,

but it folds over like a clutch.

And the



It's a beautiful vivid satin print

of Ted Baker's spring pattern, Rose Bug.

So, in typical Four Sale fashion,

 I bought one for me...

and four for you.

Canvas shopper £69 | Scarf $110 | Floral Shorts £89 | Sweetheart Dress $310

As you can see,

compared to regular prices for the line

this piece is a steal!

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share the love with all of you!

First come, first served.

Posted on May 10, 2012 and filed under "four sale", "shopping", "wishlist", shopping.

Confessions of a Brat- Paris Edition

Yesterday was Valentines Day,
and I was in Paris, France
with my dear love.

Everything about that sentence is perfect.

I have always loved Valentines Day.

Even though I never spent it with a boy
{until the first year I was married},
I've always reveled in the idea of one day
being all about love.

My parents always pampered us
with a card, some candy
& my mom's yearly dinner 
of heart shaped meatloaf.

After I returned from teaching my off-site class
with an armful of flowers & a enormous macaron cake....

{Editor's Note: If you ever teach in Paris, assign your students
to take you on a "date" around Paris on Valentines Day. 
Maybe one of my finest moments in lesson planning.}

Tyler had arrived from a quick trip to London
 and was waiting for me to start our day together.

He wanted to take me back to Guerlain
and pick out a perfume for myself.

How sweet,
but unfortunately, it was late & the store was closed.

Optimistically and feeling all lovey dovey,
we opted to head towards the Opera
and visit Galleries Lafayette instead.

In case you haven't heard of Galeries Lafayette,
just image Harrods gone French.

It's gorgeous, massive and the ceiling looks like this...

We happily strolled through the main floor 
and upon visiting the Guerlain display,
were disappointed to not find the perfume 
we had originally fell in love with a few weeks back.

We can find something else,
we said in agreement
 and continued on through the store.

As I found replacement treasure 
after replacement treasure,
Tyler repeatedly shook his head no....

I was picking things that he thought were too expensive,
and I was getting frustrated with the guidelines of 
"Pick whatever you want..." except for anything that I actually picked.

Our carefree attitudes soon melted away
and all that was left an annoyed brat 
weaving through displays and plush designer displays
and her dismayed husband trailed behind.

We didn't end up getting anything.

We headed straight on to dinner
via of the metro in silence
feeling completely annoyed at the other.

{Why is he so cheap?}

{Why can't she be thankful for a gift?}

We both eventually got over it
with a distraction of amazing food
& fun night talking to just each other.

The gift expedition was a fail...
and as I thought about it today,
I realized how ridiculous it was 
for me to get so annoyed.

For goodness sake, 
I used to get giddy over this holiday
because of grocery-store confetti and 
heart-shaped meatloaf with ketchup arrows drawn on them...

How could I not have a good attitude now?

I guess when so many things are going well,
it's easy to start picking at some of the smaller things...
which as luxurious as it may sound, isn't something I strive for.

Yes, I think I've adjusted my attitude back to "non-crazy,"
but I don't think any of these items I found last night 
are out of the question for being completely awesome.

Maybe if I can't call them my own,
we can at least enjoy them here on my blog. 

Guerlain perfume | Chanel No. 5 | Goyard wallet | Miu Miu wallet | Yves Saint Laurent scarf

Posted on February 15, 2012 and filed under "TK", "holiday", "live", "shopping", "wishlist".

Rifle Paper Co. Hits the Target.


but how perfect would these notecards look
on any jet-setting lady's desk?

Each card makes me mad with desire
to ride away on my {imaginary} vespa 
to the nearest Italian cafe 
to meet my {real-life} hunk for an afternoon date.

I need some.

You need some.

In fact,
the whole world should just go ahead and get some.

 12 Notecards + Envelopes, $28.
Posted on January 11, 2012 and filed under "shopping", "stationery", "wishlist".

Five Steps to Pretty Living.

marc jacobs earbuds $42 | golda jewelry citrine ring $1,385 | TOPSHOP dress £20 | svpply raw silk pillows, $20-50 | Rolex 

Pick an item,
any item.

Odds are, that if you purchase any of these fancies,
you'll feel like a million bucks in no time.

{Or if you get the rolex, will have spent nearly that much.}

I, personally, got the earbuds for Christmas 
and love them so much.

And that TOPSHOP dress for £20?

 A steal.

I'm packing for NYC.

Our flight is early tomorrow,
and I'll be hitting the ground running.

Have we planned one thing yet?


But that's okay...
we don't need plans.

Just each other,
clear skies,
and an iPhone to capture the fun.

Posted on January 5, 2012 and filed under "shopping", "wishlist".