Posts filed under blog world

Get Peddling. | London Blogger Meetup

 

London Blogger Meetups! If you've read this blog for a while, you may remember that I used to be decent at hosting little get togethers on the regular. Then I got too busy, but this winter I've been really missing the in-real-life aspect of being online. It's too long since the good old days of icing biscuits and eating pizza with other nice Londoners- but I'm SO HAPPY to announce that on February 11th, we are back in business!

 

LONDON BLOGGER MEETUP 

FEBRUARY 11 | 18h - 20h

 at 

PEDLARS NOTTING HILL  

128 Talbot Road | Notting Hill W11 1JA

 

Maybe you're new to the city and looking for some friends, maybe you're not new to the city and still looking for some friends, maybe you're jumping in the blogging scene and wanting to meet other bloggers, maybe you only read blogs but don't actually blog yourself. Whatever category you may think you fit in, you're invited. The goal of this night is all about nice people getting to know other nice people for the sake of making people on the internet a little less online and a little more real-life.

 

I'm REALLY excited to have the event be at Pedlars which is, honestly, one of the kindest neighborhood spots in Notting Hill. They're all about community and see the value in bringing people together. When I asked them about hosting a Blogger Meetup, they didn't think twice about it. Not only is the merchandise so cool (like this Fish & Chips print!), but they also are a team of people you'd actually want to be friends with. Plus, their coffee shop makes an incredibly tasty latte. Just saying.

Okay, so gushing over. I love people. I love people that love people. I'd love to meet you people.... so please come out for a nice little night out! No admission tickets. No entry fee. Just come as you are, awkward and solo or with a group of friends. Only nice people here! (The only request is that you comment below if you're coming to give us a good idea for a headcount.) 

 





Mothers Day | I'll Be Better Next Time...

Second-time moms. What do they know? What do they realize they don't know. What do they vow to do better? What have they forgotten since having another one?

Well, I think anyone who has had a baby (hopefully) has gained an understanding that no kid is the same... and that the benefit of the doubt should be extended to every parent out there. We are all doing the best that we can with the kids/resources/abilities that we have. So obviously, the day-to-day of how that plays out will look REALLY different between each family... and even between specific children within those families.

Since I'm not sure anyone is actually an expert in the realm of parenting, I thought it would just be great to get one piece of advice from some moms that I really like.

The question is simple: What's ONE thing you did better the second time you had a kid.

And, well, this is what they said:

HANNAH CARPENTER  |  SUNDRY MUMSY

What I did better the second time I became a mom... I better understood what was involved. With the first, I knew nothing about taking care of a baby or how my life would alter with it's arrival. Merely changing diapers broke me out into a full on sweat. The second time, I learned to chill the heck out and go with the flow. And I did a lot better with that umbilical cord thingy!


GRACE PATTON  |  CAMP PATTON

The second time around I was more acutely aware of how quickly my favorite frog leg and pterodactyl screech stage passes and was sure to soak it up and push aside the temptation to get back to normal life. I lowered my daily living standards because I knew that everything would eventually fall back into place when it should. And the second time around I was sure to wait lots and lots and lots of weeks postpartum to try to slither into my pre-pregnancy jeans which made for a much happier baby mama ;). 


JESSICA GARVIN  |  LITTLE BABY GARVIN

As a first time mom, I felt an immense amount of pressure to not only be doing everything right, but to also be doing everything. I look bad and laugh a little at how hard I was trying: making my own baby food and dragging my infant to music class. I used to say I thought she was bored because she would just lay there and look around, but then my own mom reminded me, "Oh she would let you know if she was bored!" With my second, I became much more laid back and called it a win so long as everyone was smiling at the end of the day. Or most days!


BRIDGET HUNT  |  TALES OF ME AND THE HUSBAND

Having another baby taught me to let go... a lot. I remember my mom saying "If only all babies could be second babies." I get now what she meant. You learn to relax, you're more confident in yourself and your abilities to mother. You discover that their cries don't always mean that something wrong. Sometimes, they just need to cry in your arms. Their world is so new after all! After feeling such an intense vulnerability and fear after the birth of Parker, it was nice not to feel that quite so keenly when Anders came. Mothering becomes more and more comfortable with each passing child, and it's a very welcome discovery!


I loved these! I respect so many of these different moms- all are so different, but all do an amazing job parroting their children in the best ways they can. 

Now it's your turn- what is something you did better on the second time as a mom? (I'm taking notes!)



Posted on May 8, 2015 and filed under blog world, holiday, kids, family.

Pack Your Bags: Keukenhof Tulip Festival

I can't think of many things that I welcome more than spring. The warm weather and bright skies after months of grey just... well, wake me up after a long season of watching The Good Wife and eating comfort food inside. But I can tell you now, the beauty of spring in Holland made me want to strip the tights off my body and prance around in all my pale glory.

I will say, while the site of those thousands of tulips were amazing, getting out to see them wasn't exactly the easiest thing I've ever done. So, here's a few things to help you if/when you visit Holland's famous tulip festival, Keukenhof.

 

WHEN IS IT: The dates shift from year to year, but it will always be- hold your breath- in the spring! The dates for 2015 are March 20th through May 17th. And while it may be "spring" earlier on in the festival, it will still be pretty chilly in the end of March and start of April. Mid-April will give you the perfect balance of seeing the tulips at their finest, as well as avoiding certain buzz kills such as... you know, snow during your visit. 

 

 

GETTING THERE: To get there, you'll need a bit of patience. If you want to get there the cheapest way, there are shuttles that run to the site from the airport. This entails a train from the main station to the airport, and then queuing in a (potentially) massive line to get on board a bus. (Note: We went on what ended up being the busiest day by x4 of the season, so our experience may be a bit outside of normal.) 

The shuttle costs (as of 2014) €23 when you buy a "Combo Ticket" which gets you transportation + admission to the park. This is the most cost-effective option, so make sure you buy this before you leave the station. 

Get more information on the site via their journey planner.

 

 

WHAT TO DO: The park is enormous. We only gave ourselves a few hours to spend there before closing, and didn't make it to half of the park. If you want to see it all- get up early and plan on spending the day out there. There are several sections to Keukenhof, and each takes longer than you may think. 

Don't miss out on the food, either. You'll find fresh waffles being sold in carts, generous cups of strawberries crowned with whipped cream, and all the other yummy treats that would make your day complete.

Don't miss the opportunity to ship some of Holland's gorgeous bulbs back to your home while you're there. The prices really aren't steep and you'll have the chance to bring a piece of the beauty of Keukenhof home with you. 

 


 

Traveling to Amsterdam? Find more of my travel tips for Amsterdam here!

 

 

FOLLOW ASPIRING KENNEDY ON BLOGLOVIN

 

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

 

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under europe, travel, blog world, pack your bags.

What Dreams Are Made Of...

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all the other good things that I haven't written here over the past two weeks. We got back from the US three days ago. Because of the short amount of time we were in the States, I decided to take some time off from blogging + social media so that I could enjoy the time there. Fun and merriment was had by all... and Mexican food, donuts and all the other forbidden fruits that I shouldn't have been eating were enjoyed. I hope your holidays were full of much of the same!

Since then, we flew back to London, have been dealing with jet lag like nobody's business, and are all three fighting off some nasty cold/throat junk. Viola wakes up so much from coughing after going to bed, and-without fail-dials out a special request just for "Mama!" having me come in and lay by her in long(er than I'd like) intervals.

On about my fourth time to go in there last night, I forgot to bring my phone with me. (Rookie mistake, I know.) So I was forced to lay there in the dark with her with only my own brain to keep me company. As I settled into the quiet, I started to imagine what kind of person she would grow into. I prayed over her and begged God to show grace to her. I watched as her chubby hands pulled my arms close around her body. My mind got to start dreaming about things and for the first time in months, I felt my brain tickling with creativity. 

And I realized how many good moments I'd been missing like those in lieu of the visual graffiti on my social media channels and email. Moments that I've overlooked because I'm reading a completely annoying and forgettable Buzzfeed link or falling down a rabbit hole of bizarre hashtags. After thinking about it for a minute, it made me feel a bit sick to my stomach. Yuck.

So here's to a New Year. I've seen so many post that they are "simplifying" or doing "more of less." I like those ideas. While I'm not sure I can promise a resolution of any sort- though, if I'm honest, it should definitely be quitting sugar- my hope for 2015 I can focus on where I am and do those moments better. Be less diluted and more intentional- in my work and in my relationships with others. Trim the fat. Give more to the people that deserve it. I'm not sure I can physically do more than I've done in the past six months... but I can start by saying "no" more often.

And yes, I'll also need to sever my iPhone from my body. 


 

I loved seeing resolutions posted on my Instagram feed and photo from New Years. It is so refreshing to see people making changing and evaluating what areas in their life they can move away from and do better in.

 Has anyone successfully carried out your resolution 5 days into 2015? If so, snaps for you. ;)

 

FOLLOW ASPIRING KENNEDY ON BLOGLOVIN

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy by Noah Darnell

Posted on January 5, 2015 and filed under kids, blog world, everyday living, family.

Just Start.

Bloggers get a lot of emails from readers. It's great to move beyond the comments field and connect with people. I really like doing it when I have the time! (And thanks for emailing- it's such a nice compliment!)

The email topics can vary, but I think most bloggers would say we get the same repeat of the same subjects. For me, I seem to get requests for London & Paris recommendations, advice for traveling with a baby, questions on how I got my job, and... how to start & build a blog.

This one is hard, because there is no magic recipe for building a successful blog. What is successful anyway? Traffic, sales, brand building? The goals for site growth are so varied, that it makes it impossible to write out a plan that anyone could duplicate for achieving their own dreams. With that said, there are traits that I think all good bloggers do and habits they practice... but there isn't a specific formula. (Though I do like this post and this one.) It's hard to "find your voice" and get your niche. I still struggle with what direction I want to take my site. 

Here's one thing that I do know. Your blog doesn't haven't to- and won't ever be- perfect when you start it. Don't wait around to make the perfect site, because it won't ever happen. Just start where you are now with the resources you have now. You can change and mature your blog or business later, but don't loose today just because you're comparing yourself to those who have been in the game for several years. My first years in blogging looked a lot less fancy, but were so enriching and valuable. 

Beyond just the content, the actual site was very bare bones... and the aesthetic took time to evolve. For example, just look at the various headers I've had on my site. 

 

You don't need to spend a thousand dollars on a pretty blog to have a popular blog. Learn to build good content first.. the rest will come in time. I promise, no one will ever hold it against you for what your blog once looked like. So stop waiting, and jump in!

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy.

Calligraphy by the gorgeously talented Tara Jones.

Posted on December 3, 2014 and filed under blog world, everyday living.

London Bloggers Brunch

 

If there's anything I can tell you about myself it is this: I am definitely the LEAST impressive person in my group of friends. Point proven this weekend at the London Blogger Brunch when my friend Teri had us over for casual morning.

Except it wasn't casual, at all. It was amazing. And delicious.


Beyond the gorgeous food and decor, the highlight of the morning was getting to put faces to the (screen)names of so many people I've only previously known online.


Ah... good food, fun times, nice people. After a week of feeling beaten down by being online, I left this morning reminded how sweet the people who invest in creating spaces online can be. Thanks for the fun day, Teri. Mornings like that make blogging worth it.

 

Have you ever met someone in person that you only knew online and NOT liked them? Honestly, it's never happened to me. Maybe I just like everyone? But I kind of think it says more about the type of people who make themselves available to people through this community.

 

 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

 

Over the Moon: LUNAFEST.

 

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Thanks for reading, clicking and supporting LUNAFEST. It's a pretty awesome thing.

 

Right now, Luna Bar is hosting a film fest around the country that focuses on women "game changers." It's called LUNA FEST. Have you heard about it? I feel like I've seen so many tweets chatting about it, and I love that! Not only does the film fest celebrate women filmmakers, but it also has raised $2.5m for breast cancer research. 

I was invited to attend part of LUNAFEST hooplah, but unfortunately- the old Atlantic is keeping me away. (It looked pretty fun, too.) The event was focused on game changers.... and I couldn't help think of how many women have stepped into my life at just the right moment. Maybe they didn't change the game for me, but they flipped my world upside- in the best way.

Friends, Mom. Aunts. Camp Counselors. Professors. Co-workers. Bloggers. Midwives. Expats. 

They're the women that cheered me on through good times. Awkward times. Exciting times. Tough times. Normal times.

I'd like to thank many of you, too, for being there in life for me at those needed moments. You've changed the game for me, too, but your kindness and friendship. Maybe it sounds silly 

And thanks to LUNA Bars. As silly as these corporate events may sometimes sound, I really do love them for their ability to fund people doing something worthwhile together. Thanks to them for sponsoring LUNAFEST. (Maybe next years invite will come with a plane ticket.) :)

Check out the event page site for your local LUNAFEST. You're invited and they want you there. Go for it. Or just watch their happy video trailer below. It'll pump you up.


Okay... my mushy time is over. Now it's yours.

Leave a women who was a game changer for you below. Let's hear it.  ... and if you, too, lived on the lemon Luna Bars in college. I was addicted!

 

 

 

*image via. video original to LUNAFEST by LUNA Bars.

Posted on September 25, 2014 and filed under blog world, photography, life, everyday living.

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, everyday living.

THE HUNDRED.

 

I've been really bad at blogging lately,

but it's not because I've gotten sucked into the Target Blackhole

or any of the other traps of spending time in America...

 

There's been something distracting me lately,

but now I can finally share it here.

 

(Phew.)

 

I'm proud to announce 

THE HUNDRED 

to you.

 

Erm, sounds great.

but, yeah, what is it?

THE HUNDRED is a weekend in Dallas

this August 8-10 

hosted by Grace, Bridget, Megan and myself

in partnership with Joules & Minnetonka.

 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

 

The weekend is for people that are looking to build friendships and skills 

that will translate into a better life offline.

 

We've worked hard

to find a gorgeous hotel, delicious food, cool speakers

and a lot of time for fun

at the most affordable price we possibly could.

 

We're so excited about everything that we can hardly stand it.

 

We hope you join us

and become one in THE HUNDRED.

 

(Oh, and guess what? The first 20 spots are extra cheap.)

 

 

 

*all image via

Posted on June 23, 2014 and filed under blog world.