Posts tagged #love

11 Years & 5 Knights

Remember me? I’m the blogger who used to blog here. That’s okay. I always say- if my blog looks good, my house is a wreck and my kids are unfed. The truth is, life has been so intense the last month and my family needed my undivided attention.

So what could possibly be so important that it would pull me back into blogging and even with the energy for a new video?!

Well, only 11 years of marital bliss, obviously.

And, obviously, that is said with sarcasm after what I declared as “the hardest year of our marriage-physically” to Tyler.

After a painful end of pregnancy with some killer sciatica, a toddler who hates to sleep and loves to scream at night and a lot of work in between... we are both just walking into 2018 in need of a nap.

But to celebrate another year of marriage, another year of saying “we will,” another year of becoming more and more of the same person, and another year of our fast-romance-turned-marriage maturing  into a real, bonafide family. 

After filling our tank with unleaded when we actually have a diesel car, which can be (in our opinion) credited to a recent visit to the US combined with little sleep in our family’s jet lagged days since, we had to have our tank drained and then keep the engine running for 5 miles. So, we tossed everyone in the car (my mom included) and headed to Richmond for cupcakes at Hummingbird.

It was random, it was fun, and it was a great glimpse of life for us now. It just felt right to record a few moments of it and tuck it away in a video for later years... like a little time capsule of a day in the life of the five of us. (Oh, and my mom, too. She’s in town and makes a little cameo!)

Cheers to you, Tyler Knight. I knew you were the real deal when we decided to stop being good friends and jump into getting married.... and you’ve only proved me right every day since. In all of our naivety and stupidly, God was really kind to pair us up. I’ll feel thankful for that for the rest of my life.




*video original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on January 8, 2018 and filed under tyler, marriage, family, love.

In Defense of the (Holiday) I Love

Valentines Day is the least popular holiday to publicly like. Sure, celebrate in private if you must- but for the sake of everyone around you, opt for a cynical and eye-rolling attitude of February 14.

The thing is... I LOVE this day. And this isn't coming from a girl who has spent her life showered with chocolates and serenades by suitors every Valentines. It's from a dorky girl who never had a boyfriend and now is thankful for a quiet pub dinner out with her husband to celebrate.

But the reason I love Valentine's Day is that is pushes me to say how much I love people around me. My husband, my kids, my friends.... and no matter how that is displayed (from cards to cupcakes), it feels good to indulge in the sweetness of caring- and being cared for- by others around you. 

My parents always included us in their Valetines Day celebrations... from my mom's heart shaped meatloaf to my dad buying all of his daughters flowers. We were included and felt so loved. I love sharing that inclusion with our kids now, too.

So I say... bring on the red velvet cake and chocolates. I'm happy to spend the day with a shower of glitter and cheesiness enjoying the people I love.

And you know... a few flowers around the house don't hurt either. Even if you *cough* might have bought them for yourself. 

Happy Valentine's Day! I love this blogging community and the friends I've made through being here. I hope you all feel valued and appreciated today!



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on February 14, 2017 and filed under holiday, kids, life, love, home, england.

Allons-y: The Paris Commute

The past few weeks in Paris have been so busy, but so nice. I haven't been blogging a ton because I have lessons to plan, babies to love on and places to go. We've had some visitors, a trip to Normandy and so much fun in between.

Our family is thriving right now. One of the main reasons is our amazing au pair, Kristi. She's my former student and having her with us has been a total game changer. She's wonderful and we are going to miss her so much! Knowing that the kids are going to be having fun with her while we are teaching or taking the students out makes the day really enjoyable for us. 

Each morning, we head out and walk to teach together. (Tyler is a regular adjunct professor for our program, so he gets to go to classes with me each day.) Our walks each morning have been one of the things that we love the most about this semester. It feels like a little date... and while it may just be a 30 minute walk, it is some of the best quality time we've consistently had in a long time. 

And so, of course, I filmed it one day for posterity sake. So that, maybe somewhere down the line when the days are a bit more chaotic and the setting a bit less glorious, I'll be able to look at this and enjoy the memory.



 

*video original to Aspiring Kennedy, edited by K.Keese

 

Posted on April 4, 2016 and filed under paris, travel.

Piccadilly Street Party

Earlier in the week, I had plans to end our fun afternoon out celebrating our anniversary with a walk up through Soho so that we could buy cupcakes from our favorite little bakery. But then that morning, I started thinking realistically about how much time we would have and realized we wouldn't have time to make it up that way. So instead, I spent about ten minutes mixing up a batch of some extra chocolatey cupcakes from Betty Crocker, popped them in the oven while I made breakfast and tidied up the living room. Later, I spent a few minutes topping them with small mountains of chocolate icing, dusting them with bright sprinkles, and packing them in a little box down in my bag to take with us when we left.

After we left Floris, we walked down Jermyn street to Piccadilly Circus. it felt like one of those perfect London moments. We were there, the sun was setting, the lights were beaming and it just felt so nice to be together. (And our friend, Ben, who had rendezvoused with us after work.)  So there the three of us stood- shoveling cupcakes in our mouths underneath Eros on a Friday night. We talked about random stuff, Ben showed us where he used to work, and the guys rolled their eyes at me wanting to take cheesy pictures. And then we had a few more cupcakes! That, amigos, is my kind of street party.

So here's to you, Tyler. The man who has shared your home, name and life with me for nine years. While these cupcakes only took about 45 minutes of my life, from start to finish, you've got all the rest of it. Happy 9th Anniversary!

Have an everyday happening that you want to turn into a fun celebration? Join in on Betty Crocker's cute #iCAKEyou campaign that pushes you to make someone a proper cake to celebrate them. Here's how it easy it was to make the ones I made for us.

You'll need:

Box of Betty Crocker Tempting Chocolate Cake Mix | Tempting Chocolate Icing | 230 ml of water | 125 ml vegetable oil | 3 eggs | cupcake liners | optional, but really actually necessary: sprinkles 

STEP ONE: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together for a couple of minutes until everything is combined.

STEP TWO: Drop cupcakes into lined cupcake tins. (My tins made about 18 cupcakes in total) and bake at 160C (325F) for 18-20 minutes. 

STEP THREE: Remove cupcakes from tins and let cool. Ice tops with frosting. Add sprinkles immediately after frosting each cupcake to help them stick better. 


Thanks, Betty Crocker, for inviting me to participate in this fun campaign for the past three months. Not only have I loved having boxes of cake mix & icing arrive to my front door, but the challenge to celebrate those around us has been really fun. 



*This series was sponsored by Betty Crocker. Opinions and fervent regard for cake my own.

*Images by Ben Clube, original to Aspiring Kennedy.

Posted on January 15, 2016 and filed under eat, london, tyler.

Making Some Scents of It All

As you may have seen on Instagram or Snapchat (or maybe not), last week Tyler & I celebrated NINE years of marriage. What? How? Not sure. We got married young- I was 22 and he was 24. We're familiar with the yearly arrival of our anniversary, but we both agreed- nine years felt really official and old. It was one of those milestones you watch cousins or teachers hit and it confirms that they are, indeed, old.

Oh well. I'm constantly reminded that age isn't a bad thing, and this was reinforced when Tyler & I went to Floris on Friday for a really special anniversary celebration. 

Before I dive in on our day there, let me just give you a quick background on Floris, in case you are unfamiliar with them. Floris is a London perfumer who has been in the same shop on Jermyn Street since before America was a country. In the private rooms set back behind the bustling store front, it has been mix up the custom scents of the British Kings & Queens for centuries. The product line is very edited and many of the fragrances have been around for hundreds of years. Floris holds a Royal Warrant as the private perfumer to Queen and the Prince of Wales- though if you ask them about her perfume, they'll kindly tell you they are not allowed to discuss her private blend.

Floris invited Tyler & I to come have custom scents made for our 9th anniversary. While the bespoke service has been around for ages, having couples come in together is new. In fact, I think we might be one of the very firsts. We felt so special making history in a place that has seen so much history itself.

A few days before our appointment, we both received a gorgeous box from Floris with an empty, engraved perfume bottle inside along with an invitation to make a bespoke fragrance with Nicola, their master perfumer. 

I could spend way too long recounting the process that we went through with Nicola, Floris' world-class bespoke perfumer, but I'll try to keep it reasonable. He walked us through Floris private library of base scents of the four main categories: floral, citrus, woody & oriental. As he talked and dipped testers from each bottle, I sipped tea from gorgeous china and popped Charbonnel et Walker truffles. 

After we went through probably 50 different scents, we narrowed down to our two favorites. The biggest surprise was that Tyler and I each had chosen, of all the scents, one of the same scents for our final two. 

After that, we tried our two finalists on our skin to see how the fragrance worked on us. I ended up choosing an orange blossom scent infused with blackcurrant. Tyler choose one from sandalwood.

Then Nicola guided us through the "organ" where various "notes" sat ready to be added to make the scents our own. Little vials with small droppers held various elements such as bergamot, vanilla and amber that could accent the base scents to our preference. Mine got a bit sweeter with almond and brighter with grapefruit. Tyler's got a bit fresher with bergamot and smokey with birch.

The final step in the process was to name our fragrances. I named my "Praha" after our honeymoon in Prague; Tyler named his "Neuf" for our 9th anniversary. 

I'll be honest: When we arrived at Floris, I knew we would have a great time. It's a gorgeous shop and the opportunity to have our own scents hand-poured with a master perfumer was a once in a lifetime gift. BUT... when all the work was done and Nicola handed me that bottle, I was surprised at how emotional I was.

The only feeling that I can compare it to was when I saw our wedding invitations printed with our own names on it. Sure, you've seen wedding invitations before- but when they're made for you and have the names of those you love on it, it means something different. And somehow, even though I've smelled a gazillion perfumes, smelling one that had so many of the smells and memories associated with them in a bottle felt a bit the same way. 

We hugged everyone goodbye, walked out through the store and stood in the spitting rain on Jermyn Street. We kind of stared at each other in amazement at what we had just done. It was the perfect London way to celebrate our anniversary: creating a perfume to wear that reminds of past memories to take with us in the years to come.


What a special memory that we can take forward and share everyday. Getting custom scents made is maybe one of the sweetest things we have done together, and I highly recommend it for any couple that is wanting to celebrate the past by creating something to enjoy for the years to come. 

If you're headed to London, stop by Floris to pick up a bottle of their perfume to take home as a souvenir. It's a quintessential London moment browsing their Jermyn Street shop, but if you can- definitely book in for an afternoon to have your own scent made. I promise, you won't regret it. This truly is one of London's finest gems and one of those rare shops that has survived through the years because it does something so special.

 

Floris Perfumers | 89 Jermyn Street | St. James, SW1Y 6JH

 

Find more of my favorite places to visit in my London travel guide.


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*images by Ben Clube, original to Aspiring Kennedy

 

Posted on January 12, 2016 and filed under london, shopping, tyler.