Category Archives: Coastal Lifestyle

Reel Talk: NO. 07

May 22nd, 2017

7 reasons New Englanders are my favorite - The Coastal Confidence - 1

Hey, Guys! Per your request here is your monthly dose of Mr. Matt. He is here to host another Reel talk, specifically focused on ‘keeping a relationship fun’.

This post was highly requested so I hope you all enjoy it! As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, we love getting your guys’ input!

Anyways let’s jump right into the post! Take it away Matt.

Just like everything else in life, a relationship is work, but it’s work well worth it. 

On an ideal day, you’d hope that everything would run smoothly; but just like work, friendships and life sometimes there’s a bump in the road. But guess what when you hit a bump and get a flat tire, you get out of the car and fix it.  

When Aubrey and I first moved here, we had the hardest time getting our schedules aligned. She would have photo shoots scheduled for our weekend, Sunday nights were dedicated to editing and who knew when she was going to run out the door to yoga or a coffee shop, that girl loves to spend mucho dinero on coffee. 

So, to be honest, we just kept missing each other, so we decided, early on to reserve one night a week; which we call date night! We take turns planning the night, for instance, Aubrey planned a movie and DQ sundae run on Friday, and I have a trip to San Antonio planned for us on Saturday. 

No matter how busy we are, we make time for date night, and Aubrey has to leave her phone behind! Date night has actually allowed us the time to explore our new home in Dallas, eat out at every restaurant (I swear Aubrey plans date nights around food) and explore a new area together. 

Guys, relationships take work, but work can be fun! 

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Making Friends After College

May 17th, 2017

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Shirt (under $40) || Jeans || Bag || Watch || Necklace || Shoes 

This week marks my 1st ‘post-college anniversary’, filling me with a mixture of feelings. I feel sooooo happy when I think about how far I’ve come, in just one year and excited to see where my blog takes me, but I’m also feeling slightly sad. It’s been just over a year, since seeing some of my closest college friends, being in San Diego and having the ‘cozy’ routine of ‘college’.

This year, more than ever, made me realize how important it is to foster and grow friendships; while also realizing how hard it is to make friends after college. Now, some of you might not encounter this issue, but moving to a new location and working from home, resulted in making new friends, for the first time in my life, a challenge.

After talking with my friend Jennifer, I realized this might be a more common struggle than I thought. I guess I just want to share my tips and tricks when it comes to meeting new friends in hopes to inspire you, to put yourself out there, after all the worse they can say is no.
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Basically, I thought moving to a big city, like Dallas would make meeting new people so much easier, but let me tell you one secret I learned, making new friends takes effort and is all about putting yourself wayyyyy out there.

Working from home is great, but it was really hard for me to meet new friends in a new city because well, to be frank, I spend a lot of time at home. I do work with several gals, but most of our communication is via phone, email, facetime etc.

So when I found out Matt and I were moving to Dallas I reached out to about 18 bloggers, in hopes of making ‘work friends’ quickly.

However, people are busy and bloggers are constantly traveling so after coffee-dates fell through, availabilities didn’t match up and a lot of no responses; I kept putting in the energy in hopes of the universe working its magic. Making Friends After College-3288

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Basically:

  1. It takes time – don’t rush friendship, it takes time to meet new people, get adjusted to your new home and probably your new job! So don’t be hard on yourself.
  2. Reach out and send a follow-up email – I am the queen of sending follow-up email after follow-up email, people are busy but don’t be afraid to reconnect with an old friend, business women you admire or gal you meet for five seconds at work.
  3. Be authentic and don’t be afraid to meet-up– meeting new friends can be just as awkward as a blind date, but guys it’s worth it. Be positive and just put yourself out there, whether it’s to network or literally make a friend, just being you is the best you can do. 

Okay, so after being in Dallas for now, almost ten months, I’ve met some amazing friends and have become really open to reaching out, meeting new people and just connecting. I’ve joined a yoga studio, got a part-time job, finally meet some amazing Dallas bloggers and connected with some of Matt’s work friends. 

If you are either worried about making friends after college or if you are feeling stuck while trying to make friends, just know it takes work and time!

Don’t get discouraged, especially when you’re in a new city! xx Aubrey

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Podcasts I’m Currently Obsessed With

May 15th, 2017

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Briefcase || Scarf (old, new scarf listed) || Shoes || Jeans || Shirt 

 I love walking; you’ll find me walking to coffee shops, walking to work, and always walking just to clear my mind. Walking is a great way for me to decluttering my mind and mentally reset; but sometimes when I’m on my walks, I notice my thoughts going straight back to ‘the clutter’. 

The clutter of finances, to-do lists, fires to put out and plans to be excited about; all and all I wasn’t making the most of my downtime until I got into podcasts. 

You know what they say, time is currency, use time wisely, we all have the same about of time in a day; blah blah blah. All this emphasize on maximizing your time was making my R&R time anything but relaxing, so I decided to add some wisdom to my walks. 

Podcasts are great because they keep your mind busy, you absorb a lot of useful content while getting a good laugh in! I now have Matt and my Mom both addicted to podcasts, I initially thought podcasts would be boring and boy was I wrong. 

I figured I’d list some of my favorite podcasts below, and please comment below any you currently like! 

1. NPR – How I Built This

2. Ask Him & Her – The Skinny Confidential

3. Missing Richard Simmons

4. The Lady Gang

5. Awesome Etiquette

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How I Reset

May 10th, 2017

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Sweater c/o || Bike || Purse || Jeans 

I don’t know about you, but recently I’ve been on the go, go, go. Being busy is something a lot of people pride themselves on, but it isn’t always good. Rather being too busy can just distract you from accomplishing your goals.

So when I get bogged down and burnt out from literally busy work, I reset outside. 

At first, I took thirty minutes out of my lunchtime to watch a Netflix episode. I thought this activity would help me reset, settle down and really let go of everything not helping me complete my goals, I thought what a great plan, right?! Except it didn’t work out, I ended up using that 30min to be on my phone, scrolling through

Except it didn’t work out, I ended up using that 30min to be on my phone, scrolling through Instagram, facebook, twitter and snapchat. I was doing the opposite of resetting I was causing more mental unsettledness, during what was suppose to be ‘down time’

So I decided I’d start taking my 30 min breaks outside. Whether that means going for a bike ride through Texas’ wildflower fields or walking through Fenwick back home in New England, just getting outside and taking in the current season is how I was able to clear my mind and reset. 

I’d love to hear how you guys reset and recharge below! Share your tricks and tips in the comments. xx Aubrey

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Mother’s Day Care Package

May 8th, 2017

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merci chocolate || scarf || crab jewelry tray || candle || shoes 

If you don’t already know, mark your calendars because this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Whether you’re celebrating with a Sunday brunch or a good old fashion Facetime, it’s an important day to just say thanks! 

I don’t know about your Mom but since I’m currently staying in Dallas and before this was attending college in San Diego, my mom has officially mastered the art of a care package. No one puts a care package together quite like a mom, am I right?!

Today, I’m turning the tables and sharing the care package I made for my mom with you all! A Mother’s Day care package filled with merci chocolate is a pretty simple and meaningful gesture to show your gratitude towards your mom, and all that she does. So NO EXCUSES LADIES. 

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Okay, so here is what you need to put together the best Mother’s Day Care Package:

merci chocolate – This is by far my favorite chocolate, for a few reasons. First off the packaging, is simple, elegant and really easy to ship. You don’t have to worry about any candy melting together or getting smushed. Secondly, each box contains eight unique, individually wrapped flavors, my favorite one is marzipan covered in dark chocolate, so good. Finally, it’s a win, win because there is a chocolate for everyone inside the box, so if you aren’t sure if your mom prefers dark over milk chocolate; this box has the perfect assortment. 

candle – Now that we have taste covered don’t forget to grab your mom’s favorite scents. I just went to Aruba with my mom so I grabbed a coconut candle to remind her of our trip. 

scarf – Scarfs, and bandanas are ‘the thing’ this year, so when I saw this one, well it just reminded me of my mom, so I added it to the pile.

shoes – My mom has been telling me how she wanted a pair of mules for the longest time. So the other day J.Crew put these babies on sale and I snagged the last pair in her size. 

crab jewelry tray – I had to include a ‘home good’ because moms are all about the home, am I right?! 

Anyway, I wrapped and packaged all the items into a large USPS flat rate box, and it went from Dallas to Connecticut within two days! 

I’m very grateful for my mom, she was my original blog photographer, stylist and expert ironer (which I’m still terrible at) and my blog honestly wouldn’t be where it is without the help from my mom. Whether she’s cooking dinner for us or baking up goodies for the blog, she is always putting my siblings and I first. 

So take a little time out of your day, grab at least a box of merci chocolate and a card, to simply say THANKS! 

Okay, I’d love to hear how you are planning to spend Mother’s Day below. xx Aubrey 

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Thank you, merci®, for sponsoring this post. 

 

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Rejection

May 4th, 2017

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White Eyelet Shirt (under $27)  || Pineapple Shorts (under $30!) || Shoes || Purse 

I feel like you guys deserve to know the whole story and not just the Instagram filtered one. A lot of you guys are either bloggers yourself or trying to start-up your own business, and I get a lot of questions about how to collaborate with brands, how to be ‘successful’ or even how to pitch to a client. 

& don’t get me wrong, I love to answer your questions and help you reach for your dreams, but I also want you to know, rejection is part of the game.

I think Instagram and a lot of other social media platforms glorify entrepreneurship as making your own schedule, living a life of luxury and just romping around from one fancy coffee shop to the next,

A big part of running your own blog or company is rejection. obviously, no one wants to talk about rejection, because well it’s kind of depressing but to be completely transparent with you all, it’s the peanut butter to you running your own business jelly, they really do go hand and hand. 

I always say for that one yes, I received from a brand, there were about twelve no’s before that. To be honest, I think you really have to have a thick skin for this gig, because guys, I’ve heard it all. 

I’ve gotten no’s from other bloggers about meeting up for coffee, no’s to working with brand’s, no’s to images I’ve loved but the brands didn’t like and sometimes I even get ignored, which for me I HATE wayyyy more than receiving a no, it drives me, nuts guys.

Ugh, I hate to call myself this but since I’m a pro at rejection, after blogging full-time for about a year, I figured I could pay it forward and give you guys some tips. 

  • Accept the no, but ask for feedback! – The worst thing you can do is get a no and not even know why! Whenever I get a no from a brand, I’ll ask ‘I was wondering if there was anything specific I needed to work on, to work with your team? Any feedback would be appreciated.’ This allows me to figure out what I can do better next time, while most of the time it’s either a budget or a schedule thing, it never hurts to get feedback. 
  • The worst they can say is no – so you got a no, and it’s bringing down your day but all they can say is no, so pick yourself up and move onto the next potential yes! The longer you stay focused on the no, the more time you are wasting, so learn to accept the no’s at face value. 
  • Overnight success doesn’t exist – one ‘no’ isn’t going to stop you from being successful so don’t get yourself down. Overnight success doesn’t exist remember you need a solid foundation before you can build a skyscraper, so just keep building one brick at a time.
  • Take breaks – rejection is hard, and if your business is your life, hobby, and all you do 24/7 that needs to change. Join a gym, an art class or even get a part-time job (I did!). I struggled with this the most, especially being in a new location, when your blog or business is all you are doing all day, you are going to burn out and you are going to burn out quickly! So make sure to have other things on your schedule, by getting a part-time job I was able to make myself leave my phone, and go out and help people. 
  • It only takes one yes – getting bogged down with no’s is hard but guys it just takes ONE yes, so don’t sweat the small stuff. 

I hope this is relatable for you guys, and I hope it shows you that I too STILL get rejections. Yesterday, I got two big ones and I felt like it’s time to share my experience. I’d love to hear how you deal with rejections below :) xx Aubrey 

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Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business

April 24th, 2017

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Basic Invite Personalized Business Cards || Basic Invite Gorgeous Thank You Cards

I often get asked, how do I grow my following, which basically equals how do I grow my business in terms of blogging. People often want a short easy fix to growing their blog following, Many people ask which #hashtags to use, what time to post pictures on social media channels and even questions about purchasing followers (yuck). 

To be completely frank THE BEST way to grow your business is by always having business cards on hand! Now this may seem silly in the day of digital everything, but the most loyal followers and customers are gained by word of mouth.Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business-0319

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Every marketing teacher, book and even internet articles will tell you that. “word of mouth marketing” is the best, end of story.

 Let’s face it if your friend tells you to follow this amazing blog, your more likely to check it out than if you see an instagram ad. & this is where business cards come into play. 

Matt & I will usually be out shooting, shopping or prepping for a blog post; when someone will ask what are you doing. I’ll usually explain that I have a blog and before they can even say ‘cool, I’ll look it up.’ I pull out a business card. 

Now my business cards aren’t your typical cards. Instead of position titles, office phone numbers and fax numbers; I simply list my instagram and Facebook handle along with my email. 

This makes it easy for them to find me, ESPECIALLY if the don’t have their phone on them when we are chatting. I’d say 98% of the business cards I hand out, end up following me on one of those platforms along with one or two friends. A few even comment on my photos saying where they met me and thanks for connecting! Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business-0193

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You guys build your business the old fashion way and INVEST IN BUSINESS CARDS! I’ve tried a few different stationary companies when it comes to designing my cards as Basic Invite is by far the best. For a few reasons: 

  1. They have many different color options which you can instantly preview online. I’m super picky with business cards because I want them to represent the TCC brand so I was super happy that I could change the colors of each element on the card, making it easy to customize. So basically, no graphic designer needed. 
  2. You can order a printed sample! I’m super nervous about pulling the trigger especially when I want to buy a large quantity, so I liked that I could order a preview, bye bye order anxiety.
  3. I’m really bad with technology, and I loved that they had people I could live chat with! I was having trouble fitting all my content within the printable line, so it was nice to go back and forth via a chat box with a real employee. 
  4. What you see is what you get. My online mock-up looked exactly like the product I received in the mail! So get creative, design something fun and don’t stress about the printing part. Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business-0297
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One last thing guys, while we are talking about stationary can I just say, Thank You cards are essential to growing your business too.

I probably send out three to twelve thank you cards a week, whether it be to brands I’m working with, readers who reached out or even to my friends and family; if you run a business or just want to show gratitude to those who care, buy some thank you cards!  

Trust me, a handwritten note goes a long way, especially in today’s world. & if you are preparing for an upcoming graduation, I’d say it’s about time to make some custom thank you cards; I think I sent out 78 thank you cards to family and friends post-graduation #bigfamilyproblems.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on business cards below! 

Thank you, Basic Invite, for sponsoring this post. 

SERENDIPITY: APRIL 2017

March 30th, 2017

Wow…I actually hate that it’s April! This year is going by way to fast, and I’m here to bring you guys another monthly Serendipity post! 

For anyone new around here, “Serendipity’ posts are where I recap the latest happenings, on the blog and in my life. Think of it as a way for us to sit down and get the details on what’s going on in our lives. 

Anyway, let’s jump in! 

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READ WHY EVERY N.ENGLAND GAL NEEDS A TRENCH || SHOP THE TRENCH (uner $150)  

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Spring in CT – Captured by TCC Crew Member: Alyssa
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READ WHY FIT OVER SIZE IS ESSENTIAL || Skirt ($31.50)  || Skirt

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Newport, RI – Captured by TCC Crew Member: Mollie Surprenant

New England Closet Staple - The Yellow Jacket-6

READ NEW ENGLAND CLOSET STAPLE || The Yellow Jacket

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Polka Dots for Spring-19

READ POLKA DOTS FOR SPRING || Polka Dot Dress ($59)

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READ THE WORST THEY CAN SAY IS NO || Striped Shirt

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READ SEAGULL PRINT FOR SPRING || Seagull Dress 

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READ GINGHAM AT THE GROVE IN DALLAS || Gingham Skirt (under $100) 

LIFE RECAP:


 

I honestly don’t have a ton to report back to you guys. March was a very mellow month for me and somehow it just blew right by.

I will say, however, Matt & I have some fun plans for April. We are actually leaving for a trip to Aruba next Sunday (ah). We’ll be in Aruba for nine days, so if you guys have any recommendations please email me! 

Besides heading to Aruba, I’ve really been focusing on creating valuable content for you guys. I’m by no means, a style blogger, and I’d love to incorporate more New England living into upcoming posts. 

I guess my question is what do you guys want to see, more New England recipes, more New England travel guides or more New England home decor. I love bringing content that is relevant to you all, and I’ve gotten a ton of New England style requests, but I’d love to switch it up. 

To be honest, it can be a little boring filling my feed with pictures of me, but if that’s what you want then that’s what you’ll get. I’m up for anything, so what type of New England living posts do you guys want to see? Let me know! 

Also Happy National Stripe Day! I’m so happy that J.Crew made stripe thing a day, see my favorite affordable stripe pieces below! xx Aubrey 

Happy National Stripe Day:

5 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

March 29th, 2017

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Natural Calm || Pajama Set || Couch (on sale) || Mystic Mug || Coasters || Marble Tray

I feel like as a whole, a lot of us put a good night’s sleep on the back burner…am I right?

I’m 100% guilty of doing this, whether it means staying up late to watch another episode of “The Great British Bake Off”, responding to emails or baking brownies; I find myself getting into bed past 12:00 am almost EVERY night. 

The issue was, I’m a complete night owl through and through. I’d say from 6:00 pm till 11:00 pm is when I feel most awake, energized and motivated. However, once I cap work off at 11:00 pm, I end up goofing off till eh let’s say 1:00 am.

So, these late night shenanigans were starting to get me into trouble; basically, they were throwing off my whole schedule. 

I started missing morning workouts, getting less done during the day and just feeling exhausted around the clock. So at the end of February, I took getting a good night’s sleep off the back burner and the results were amazing.

So after a month of changing up my night time routine and habits, I’m sharing my top 5 ways of getting a good night’s sleep with you all below!  

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5 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep…


 

Natural Calm

Guys this stuff is a game changer. So basically, Natural Calm is a magnesium supplement, that brings a lot to the table. Now I’m horrible at remembering to take vitamins because honestly, it’s hard to see an ROI; however, after just one day of taking Natural Calm, Matt and I (yes, I did make Matt test it out with me) were hooked.

I took it about…an hour before I was planning to head to bed, and I fell asleep quicker and I actually ended up sleeping through the night; which is not normal. I tend to get up at 2:00 am and then again at 4:00 am but getting a real full night’s sleep was HEAVENLY.

Matt said it’s basically like taking NQuil without that horrid NQuil hangover, amazing right!

So I instantly did more research, on why magnesium is so important for us, and how it’s related to getting a good night’s sleep and feeling less stressed, so here is what I found. 

Our bodies need magnesium in order for our cells to make energy, relax muscles, and calm the brain at night. Interesting, right! I also learned that most of us are deficient in magnesium because it’s often found in greens, nuts, and even seaweed; which to be honest, I eat maybe three times a week.

So by integrating 1-2 tsp of Natural Calm into my evening tea, I instantly saw a huge improvement in my sleeping habits and productivity the next day. 


 

Go To Bed and Get Up At The Same Time, Everyday

To be honest, Matt & I are still working at this. We currently go to be around 12:00 am however we are aiming for 11:00 pm, but Matt said his real goal is 9:00 pm (as if)

Going to bed and getting up at the same time is hard and can be a work in progress, but once you have that schedule DO NOT MESS IT UP! That means sticking to it on the weekends too, so pick a time that works for you and stick with it. 


 

Create a Bed Time Ritual 

Doing the same thing every night can signal to yourself that it’s time to get ready for bed. So every night at 10:00 – 11:00 pm I sit down with my cup of Natural Calm tea and respond to reader emails. It’s a great way to end the night because I love hearing from you guys and it’s a calming way for me to end my day.

After responding to emails, I usually have Matt proofread my post for the next day and set it live, however, no matter what, once 11:00 pm hits; the computer and phone go into the office and off for the night. Creating that boundary and time limit really helps establish a ‘mental note’ that it’s time to go to bed.


 

Comfy Pajamas 

Do not underestimate the power of a pair of comfy pajamas. I use to wear sweatpants to bed but realized I was getting overheated and causing myself to wake up in the middle of the night. So find a pair of breathable pajamas that will keep you warm, comfy and cozy all night long. 


 

Golden Rule: No Caffeine After 3:00 pm! 

If you know me, then you KNOW I love coffee. I actually love the smell and taste of it, and to be honest, usually drink it black. & I always have a decaf coffee after dinner, it’s kind of like my dessert. However, I use to have either a regular cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda and I realized it was killing my sleeping schedule.  So my golden rule is NO CAFFEINE AFTER 3:00 PM! This really helps in establishing a natural sleeping schedule as well. 5 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep-5492

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& that’s about all I have for you guys! I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you guys have for getting a good night sleep! & make sure to test out or look into Natural Calm, it’s really a ride or die for Matt & I when it comes to sleeping through the night! xx Aubrey. 

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Thank you, Natural Calm, for sponsoring this post. 

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Menu

March 17th, 2017

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Minted Menu || Straws || Marble Tray  || Free Online Invitations

Happy St. Patrick’s Day guys!

I loveeeeee St. Patrick’s Day mostly because I LOVE corn beef and partially because I totally think leprechauns are a thing. I can remember hunting for leprechauns with lucky charms in my first-grade class, hahaha, just picture a ton of little kids throwing lucky charms in the grass. Ever since then I’ve kind of loved the idea of leprechauns & the Disney channel original movie, Luck of the Irish didn’t help my obsession.

Anway this year Matt & I will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in TX, which I’m slightly sad about because my Mom always makes a wicked good corn beef!

So Matt & I decided to make a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition, since I’m not the best cook we invite friends over for a little cocktail party before ubering over to our local pub to celebrate with some proper Irish corn beef. 

When the idea of hosting a pre-corn beef cocktail party came into my mind, I knew I had to include St. Patrick’s Day themed drinks! So after scouring the internet I found a few recipes I loved and just added my own twist to them. I’ll break the whole menu down below. 

Shamrock Sour Cocktail:


 

SHAMROCK SOUR COCKTAIL
A lucky twist on a whisky sour!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  4. 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  5. 1 tiny drop of green food coloring
  6. lime wedges for garnish
Instructions
  1. Just combine all the ingredients into a shaker and shake, shake, shake! Garnish with lemons or limes for an extra pop of green!
Adapted from Courtney from Pizzazzerie
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

GINGER & MINT LIME FLOATS:


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GINGER & MINT LIME FLOATS:
Cool down this St.Paddy's Day with a little float fit for a leprechaun
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can of chilled ginger ale
  2. 1 cup lime sherbet
  3. 2 springs mint
  4. 2 lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Like an float, I usually poured my soda in first. I started off by pouring Ginger Ale into a cup, plopped my lime wedges and slapped mint into the ginger ale and finally generously gave myself two heaping scoops of lime sherbet.
  2. Stuck a fun straw into the mixture and enjoyed!
Notes
  1. I got this idea from a blogger Michael that I love! Make sure to check out his recipe which doesn't include soda but rather his own ginger mixture!
Adapted from Michael from Inspired by Charm
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

Iced Irish Coffee:


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Irish Iced Coffee
A cocktail for the Irish coffee connoisseur and garnished with iced coffee iced cubes!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ice cube tray
  2. 2 cups of chilled coffee
  3. 1 tablespoons cinnamon sugar trio by simply organic (soooo good)
  4. 1 shot Irish whiskey or 1 shot Bailey's
  5. 1 container of half & half
Instructions
  1. Okay, earlier in the day or the night before, use one cup of chilled coffee and fill an ice cube tray. Freeze the coffee cubes overnight or for at least 4 hrs.
  2. Once ice cubes are ready pop them into your cup along with the above ingredients. Finish the drink off with half and half to your liking. Enjoy!
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

I hope this post inspired you guys to have a little fun tonight! Whether you’re staying in with your friends or headed out to grab your own corn beef, it’s fun to just take the time to celebrate. 

Oh and if you guys are looking to create a menu of your own, here is the template for the one I created. I’ve used minted several times, this isn’t sponsored, just love them they also have free online invitations, so convenient! 

Anway happy Friday! xx Aubrey

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