Posts filed under fashion

My London | Falling for St. James

I'm not sure what it is about fall in England, but it just feels so homey and .... mine. Maybe it's because it's a city that is shared it hoards of tourist for so much of the year, that these quiet months in between make it feel like you have it all to yourself.

Or maybe it's because we first moved to England at this time of year, and it all feels so nostalgic and sweet.

Whatever it is... I love it. I love the coats. I love the long dinners in pubs. I love the mugs of hot tea that suddenly feel imperative throughout the day. I love it!

On Saturday, we left Parliament where our group was touring and headed home via St James Park. After realising we hadn't had lunch yet, we grabbed a couple of sandwiches and bags of chips/crisps from the snack stand and headed to have an impromptu picnic.

We rented two of the iconic green & white striped chairs (for the first time ever, actually!) and had an hour of just enjoying the break together. To our surprise, the chairs were really inexpensive to rent- only £1.60 an hour. Worth every penny!


With Hyde Park and Regents Park being so BIG, I often forget what great spots St James and Green Park are. Both are the perfect little retreats for a quick break on a busy day in the city.


But the best part of the day was definitely when I was looking back through my phone of the pictures we took. Apparently, monkey see, monkey do! Viola & Harrison are taking the Knight kissing pics to the next level. Ha!


Find all my favourite places in London in my travel guide here.

And if you want to dress for fall like a Brit, here are some pieces that work for cosy days wandering in small villages or a crisp mornings shopping in South Kensington : 

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 16, 2016 and filed under london, kids, life, england, fashion.

The Coziest Christmas Jammies (Giveway!)

Okay, here is a secret. If you're a blogger- you get offered a lot of free stuff. Is that okay to admit? There are so many unspoken rules for blogging etiquette that I don't really know. But, it is my theory, that the good news about unspoken rules is that since they weren't ever announced, you can't get in trouble if you break them.

How the free stuff things works is, at first, so exciting. I used to spend hours taking pictures and writing blog posts for, seriously, $7 bracelet. Most of things that I am offered are cheap and silly stuff that, after a while, is easy to turn down. 

Other stuff is something you need or want, and it gets you to a point of creating a post about some random product that doesn't really fit into your blogging content at all... but you needed new (insert random practical item here) so you sold your blogging soul for a new set of stoneware baking dishes.

But a lot of the times, you're just a sucker for a good story. And so just at the time in blogging when I was saying NO MORE RANDOM STUFF, I got an email from a friend doing a little PR for a new company on children's clothing, Panda & The Sparrow

Now there may be needs that the Knights have, but thanks to Hannah Anderson pjs being sold at Costco, pajamas are not one. So I said thanks, but no thanks.

Then my friend told me a bit more about this company. Two smart women with killer jobs as directors at the hip British brand, Whistles. They're both new moms now making organic clothing for children and starting their own company. Ugh. Heartstrings tugged.

I think replies something along the lines of "Okay. Fine. I'm in. Send me a pair and I'll see what I think when we go to Iceland. No promises though."

Then we went to Iceland... 

And three months later these pajamas are all my kids are wearing. 

I love Panda and The Sparrow because...


1. I love them in matching jammies. It makes bedtime and waking up so cute.


2. They are so soft. After being washed a ton, they are still so comfy for them.


3. I love that they are unisex. I love that Harrison will be able to wear Viola's as he gets bigger. 


4. They are perfect for keeping them cozy and warm... without getting them too hot. Harrison is always so sweaty in pajamas. These sets keep him the perfect temperature all night.

So yeah. I'm addicted to this little line of children's clothing that I didn't know existed a few months ago. Now I love Panda and the Sparrow and have been able to mooch a few extra pieces for the kids. I'm shameless, I know. But here's the cool thing about getting free product: when I really love it, I ask the companies to give some to a reader, too. Lucky for you- the cool ladies at Panda and the Sparrow said yes!

One of you gets the chance to win £120 to spend on this gorgeous line- which is plenty to get a several pairs to match your little ones up... or just kit out one of them in a ton of their stuff. It's awesome. Unsolicited recommendation: I loooove the striped pajamas. They are so good, and at only £20, you can get everyone matching with pieces that can be worn for years!

Entry is simple. Just enter your email and you're entered. A few other bonus entries are available, too, for anyone feeling ambitious.


*Images original to Aspiring Kennedy. Images 1, 2 & 3  by Ashel Parsons


Posted on November 22, 2015 and filed under babies, fashion, kids, shopping.

The Family Joules


Doing a house swap is nothing short than a leap of faith. I was a bit nervous to see, in real life, where I had committed us since it was so remote and I had brought my in-laws across the country to join us. We arrived late at night and so the general impression of the area was... dark?

But when we woke up the next morning, we realized what a perfect place this house was. 

The house had a screen-in porch with rocking chairs on it. They overlooked the back of the property and it was the sweetest place to start the day. We kept ourselves a bit jet lagged, and were always the first to rise. It gave us the chance to spend the mornings alone with coffee and time to read. After a few years in the city without outdoor space, it was a really nice treat.

But our favorite part about the house was beyond the porch.

Outside the porch and down a little hill ran the sweetest little river. That first morning when we sat together drinking coffee, we knew that we hit the jackpot. (And with it being so low, it was even better because we didn't have to stress over the kids playing in it.)


We spent a lot of our time on the trip playing out there. Wading in the stream. Eating raspberries off the bush. Filling pockets with rocks. And all the other things that I wish Viola got to do more of in London. 


(The sweatshirt says "Tallyho!" and I love it.)


While the weather during the day was warm, the temperature would start to drop and hint of the autumn days ahead. It was so nice. (It was the perfect place to break-in some new fall clothing from Joules!)



I love Joules Wellies. They just make something that can look a bit dumpy so much cuter. (Next purchase will be these boots.)


So there you have it. Our successful house swap... and some family pics in the river to commemorate it. 

Thank you Joules for sending over the threads. And thank you, Blair, for taking a leap of faith on our place, too. 

Have an apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower? A villa in Tuscany with a vineyard? A cottage on the beach in Nantucket? A picturesque apartment in Spain? We can always be persuaded to swap our 2bd in Notting Hill for the right spot! ;)



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy



Posted on August 28, 2015 and filed under fashion, kids, travel.

Gladiator Wars


In my closet there are a squillion pairs of ballet flats and booties. (Realistically, about 13 pairs.) However, you'll only find one pair of sandals because, if I'm honest, I typically can use the same pair for an entire summer before they wear out. Thank you, English weather.

However, this year- we have had great weather. And by great, I mean, soul-lifting, shirt-peeling, blazing sunshine! The best news is: it's supposed to be like this for months. I can hardly wipe the smile from my face. (Please, England, don't blow this!) If you have plans to be in the UK this summer/spring- the forecast is looking great.

Last week, my tried & true pair of gladiators started to fall apart. Th sole is becoming separated from the shoe and, while I picked up some super glue to hold it together in the interim... I have a feeling it's time for a new pair. After all, these were only $19 at Nordstrom Rack almost two years ago. They've served good time.

I've been doing some sole-searching while I try to find some replacements... and I have to say: I may have to get crazy and get two pairs this year. One with some sparkle, and another pair that is simple and neutral. I can't decide... and have decided I don't really want to since my feet will most likely be the part of my post-baby body I'll be wanting to draw attention to this summer.


gladiator sandals aspiring kennedy fashion.jpg

            SPARKLY : one | two | three | four | five    |    SIMPLE: six | seven | eight | nine | ten  


Which way do you lean? A little bit of flash? No-nonsense? Or a good dose of both? Either way, in my opinion, it's hard to loose.


*image orignal to Aspiring Kennedy




Posted on April 20, 2015 and filed under fashion, shopping.

The Right Shoes for Europe.

Working with peoples' travels typically brings up many of the same things... affordable hotels, restaurants that are family friendly, airport transfers, etc. But one thing that always gets brought up is packing. What do we wear? What kind of coat is right for the specific season? And, of course, what shoes should I wear?

I'll give it to them. It's an important question. As many of us know, shoes can make or break your day when traveling. I typically wear flats that I've broken in ahead of time. You don't want those blisters arriving the first day of your trip when you have miles of walking awaiting you. Ouch.

And you want to look good in your pictures, too. I get it. Here are a some shoes that I love and that would make Londoners give you the nod of footwear approval. (Plus, they work year-round here for keeping your feet dry.)

ONE  |  TWO  |  THREE  |  FOUR  |  FIVE  |  SIX |  SEVEN


And since the underlying issue of looking "not like an American" is typically tied to these questions, here are my two main tips for looking a bit more local: Don't wear rain boots. (Sorry, but Brits only wear these out in the country when the weather actually demands in- never in the city.) Secondly, and this may hurt American friends, but the tall riding boots you got for Christmas aren't really common here either. Though I will say: if you've broken in a good pair that you love, who cares. Wear them, love them, and take all the pictures you want feeling cute in them. (At the end of the day, the only person that needs to care is you!)

Here's the other important thing to remember when packing for traveling in Europe: while you want to blend in, realize that, as a tourist, you'll be out and walking much more than locals will be in the day. You need to be more comfortable- because while we walk to the tube and to work/school, you'll be clocking miles as you explore the city. Dress comfortable. Pack an umbrella, wear waterproof jackets if you're out all day.... because the only thing worse than "looking like a tourist" is to find yourself out all day soaked, limping with a bloody blister and feeling generally miserable. 



*image original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on February 2, 2015 and filed under fashion, shopping, travel.