First Day(s) of School

Today, Viola went to her first morning of nursery. We walked her out the front door and down the steps... And 15 feet across the street to her nursery.


The sweet little nursery, literally, sits at eye level from our kitchen and living room window. Standing in our kitchen, you can see the kids playing and we can hear them singing and playing with our windows cracked. It's perfect.

Plus, it took her all of thirty seconds to forget we were there and start popping bubbles with the other children. Phew.

But it's also MY first day of school and no, not teaching. I'm a student again! Today I've been at orientation to begin my MA in Digital Humanities at Kings College London.


So yes, I'll be doing family life with a full-time job and full-time school for the next year. Exciting and exhausting days ahead.

I would love to hear from you about doing life + graduate work. I know I'm definitely not the first person/mom/wife/employee to tackle this, so please- let me know. I have a feeling I'll need to channel all the inspiration possible.  

Apparently, my kitchen window isn't the only spot with a view. I was staring down at London Fashion Week happening in Somerset House next door out our lecture window. Couldn't help but go over during a break to see the fun in person. Side note: I don't get "fashion," but I love good style.



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

**excuse wonky formatting. Published via iPhone. 

Posted on September 16, 2014 .

Pack Your Bags: Barcelona Metro

I sometimes get lazy when traveling.

"Lazy" in the sense that I don't want to take the time

to learn the public transportation routes,

and I'd rather just walk endlessly

 to where ever it is that we are headed.


In Barcelona,

to reach the famous Park Guell-

you either have to pony up for a taxi

or hop on the metro.


(It's a haul out there!)


We opted for... both.


Taxi there (about €15 there),

and then metro back.


I loved the metro!


It was super easy,

super cheap,

and not overly chaotic.




If you're looking for some of the big sites

in Barcelona,

here are the stops you can find them at

-and what line they are one via their color-

for quick reference:




(all are nearby and about equidistant)



(be prepared for a 20 minute walk up to the Park from here...

there's a small bus that can take you up to the top!




(Yes, both lines have this stop.)



DRASSANES (southern end), LICEU (middle), CATALUNYA & CATALUNYA (northern side)











Oh, and one more Barcelona-transport fact:


You can't take the metro to/from the airport.


You'll either need to take the shuttle bus 

or a taxi...


If you can spare the €25 for a taxi,

it's nice to get the door to terminal dropoff!


(Since most cities are so much more expensive than that, 

we jumped at the chance to have a car take us.)


But if you want info on the airport shuttle, you can

check here

for more information on tickets & times.



*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on February 5, 2014 and filed under "barcelona", "spain", "travel tips".

My Notting Hill: Book & Kitchen

Just off the craziness of Portobello Road, there's a small street that I particularly love. It's just a stone's throw away from the madness of the market, but it's a tiny sliver of quiet & bliss: Allsaints Road.

It is just... so cute. It has small independent pubs & restaurants dotting the tiny colorful street.

We used to love to go the Pelican (no longer there, sadly) for yummy pub meals and for the sweet staff that always treated Viola like a doll. But on days when it's just me... well, I like to go to a place that's a bit quieter and entirely quaint:

Book & Kitchen

This tiny shop is half bookshop... half, you guessed it, kitchen! It feels like a place that would make Kathleen Kelly smile.

The giant windows pour in sunshine and the tiny back deck is the perfect place to spend alone with a good book or a wandering thought... or you know, shame eating a piece of cake. (I'll never judge you for that, you know that.)

Even though it has a a significantly smaller offering than the large chain book stores, this place gets my vote for the best bookshop in London. They have a children's nook that is so cute and cozy. When Viola gets older and starts enjoying books for more than licking, I have visions of spending chilly afternoons down there with her. Oh yeah, and the staff is crazy nice, too.

You're gonna love it here.


Book & Kitchen

31 All Saints Road

London W11 1HE


Photography by

Noah Darnell

Posted on February 4, 2014 and filed under "London", "books", "notting hill".

My Notting Hill: New Series

There are many great things about Dallas,

but let's be honest-

it's completely different from London.

While it suits many people's fancy

to have suburban convenience (hello, Costco!) 

and a calendar stuffed with sunshine,

I march to the beat of a different drum.

What can I say?

I'm a sucker for hauling my groceries endless blocks

and living in a tiny space

all for the sake of culture.

*      *     *

Starting tomorrow,

keep your eyes peeled for a fun new series

that I've created

with the help of my friend, Noah.

We've cruised my neighborhood

and picked some of my favorite spots

here in Notting Hill 

to share with you.

Part of me hates to share such "gems..."

but the other part of me just 

can't wait 

to give you some great new spots

and a peek into our life here in Notting Hill.

I'm sharing my favorites with you,

now do the same for us:

What's a favorite local find

near your home?

I'd love to hear about them!

*images by Noah Darnell

Posted on February 4, 2014 and filed under "notting hill", "travel tips".

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
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.

*winner will be selected Monday

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