Category Archives: Coastal Lifestyle

The Engagement Timeline

July 20th, 2017

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Vineyard Vines Dress c/o || Shoes || Purse || Matt’s Pants  c/o || Matt’s Shirt || Matt’s Belt

Last month, I sent out an Instagram story asking for you guys to submit any and all relationship topics. 
 
I was overwhelmed with how many of you guys, submitted some hard hitting questions, which lead me to create some amazing content, like this post about why sharing a hobby, is essential and this post on 5 tips to maintaining fireworks in a long-term relationship
 
Overall Matt & I aim to bring you guys relatable and valuable content, so we decided to tackle your relationship Q’s head on. Oh, and just to clarify, just because we are answering these questions, doesn’t mean we know it all or that our relationship is perfect; we just aim to bring you valuable content.
 
Anyway, I digress…
 
When I was sorting through the questions, one question stuck out to me, and by the way, we backlogged some questions for future content so if we didn’t answer your question just yet, don’t worry.
 
The question that stuck out to me was the following: ‘I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years now and I am currently not so patiently waiting for my ring, opinions?’
 
P.S: to the TCC reader who sent in this question PLEASE email me an update, when he does propose.
 
Okay, so this question is a question, I get a lot but indirectly. I know a lot of people are going to have different opinions on this question, so I was tempted to not answer, but what the heck, I’ll share my opinion.

 

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Okay, as many of you know Matt & I have known each other for 8 years (long-timers). However I’d say we are pretty non-dependent on each other, Matt went to a school in NY & I went to school in CA, and life went on. Even though we live together in Dallas, I’ll spend weeks at a time in New England shooting content and we really aim to give each other time to do our own things.
 
Yet, since we spend a lot of time together, hanging out with friends, working on the blog and planning collaborations; it appears we spend 100% of our time together. Which is 100% not true, I’d say we spend about 60% of our time together because I like spending time with Matt, I’d even go as far as to say we are the best of friends.
 
If Matt wants to do something, great go for it. If I want to do something, great I’ll be doing it. We don’t HAVE to do everything together, yet because we’ve been dating for sooooo long and are always together, I constantly get the ‘engagement’ question (basically on repeat).
 
‘When do you think you’ll get engaged’ or even worse ‘when is he going to propose’ I really hate that question because my answer is always: NOT ANYTIME SOON.
 
To be honest, I really don’t know why, but getting engaged isn’t even a thought that crosses my mind.
 
I get so many questions about engagement timelines and if Matt’s going to propose, I even got a DM yesterday asking if I was wearing an engagement ring in a recent post (lol).
 
Let’s all agree that engagements are EPIC, like who doesn’t love watching people get engaged and go through the wedding process, but it’s just not on my timeline.
 
Whenever I say that people then follow up with the second question, similar to the question above focused on figuring out THE ‘engagement timeline’ and this is my opinion on this topic: 1) be on the same page with your partner & 2) DO YOU.
 

 

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So let’s talk about point one:


 
1) be on the same page with your partner:
 
To the TCC reader that asked for my opinon, I’d say stop waiting and bring up the converstaion.
 
Okay, maybe it’s an awkward conversation, especially if you’ve already hinted/are waiting for an engagement ring, but I’m a New Englander through and through and if there is one thing we are good at and it’s being blunt.
 
So just go for it, bring it up, talk about a ‘plan’ could it be in 1 year, 5 years or not even on the to-do list yet. Talk about it, because nothing is WORSE than being on two totally different ‘timelines’.
For me personally, it’s not even on the to-do list, there are just so many things that Matt & I have yet to accomplish professionally, that I don’t even have time to think about adding anything else to our plates.
 

& I’m happy with the status quo right now, so don’t expect any engagement Instagrams from me anytime soon, guys.


 
2) DO YOU:
Okay, this one is important guys, I’m only 23 and already my Facebook is filled with relationship status being turned to engaged (ahh).
 
& I totally understand how you could get engagement FOMO, ESPECIALLY if you have been in a relationship for a long duration, like 6 years, which is a wicked long time.
 
BUT, listen to your gut on this one.
 
Getting engaged ISN’T like the ice bucket challenge, just because two of your friends have taken the plunge DOESN’T mean you have to be tagged to do it next.
& also remember everyone is in a different situation, so don’t pressure yourself into something you’re not ready for. For instance, I wouldn’t want to be engaged until I knew Matt & I were in a settled location and knew I had accomplished certain goals for my TCC brand.
 
Granted maybe that criteria means I’ll get engaged later than my friends and maybe that means other people who have been dating for a shorter time, get married before me; but I really don’t care.
 
So just do you!
 
& if you feel engagement is the next step for you and your partner, then open the conversation, because who knows maybe your significant other has goals on their timeline they want to accomplish before popping the question.

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Overall I guess the consensus is, there is NO one engagement timeline or rubric. To me, it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve dated, how much money you’re making or your age; to decide if you’ve passed the engagement timeline.
 
It all has to do with your gut, at least that’s what I think.
 
Anyway, I hope that was helpful & I’d love to know your opinion on the ‘engagement timeline’ below! xx Aubrey

 

& guys don’t forget to sneak a peek at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, it opened to the public today!  

Photography by Beckly 

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How to create a media kit for your blog

July 19th, 2017

How to create a media kit for your blog - TCC Crew

Shop my favorite media kits, here

Matt & I have received endless questions from fellow readers and bloggers, wanting us to share tips and tricks on what it takes to blog full time. I always welcome these types of questions because I was once in your shoes, so NEVER feel awkward when it comes to reaching out. 

The blogging industry can be confusing and like a bad indie movie, hard to figure out. So I wanted to take some time to share one essential piece you’ll need to create, for your business, if you decide it’s time to reach out to fellow bloggers or brands.

Let me first start off by saying, I personally waited to take on my first paid collaboration until I had a steady blog following and an Instagram following of about 20,000-ish. Before that time I was strictly blogging for myself and getting to know brands as a fellow brand and not a marketer.

You have to really think hard about when you feel comfortable taking your blog to the next level, however, this post isn’t about getting a collaboration, it’s about creating a media kit that makes your brand shine. 

How to create a media kit for your blog - New England lifestyle

How to create a media kit for your blog - The Coastal Confidence
How to create a media kit for your blog

So shall we jump in? 

When I’m collaborating with other bloggers or brands, I’ll always send over my media kit. Which to put it frankly is a two-page PDF which sums up, The Coastal Confidence. 

However before you even sit down to make a media kit, I recommend blogging for a substantial amount of time, as you’ll need to showcase your work, brand mission, and statistics; which takes time to figure out, finalize and grow. 

The truth is, media kits are quite simple, they’re basically just a resume for your blog! But since a lot of blogger’s don’t touch on the topic, I can see how it can be daunting starting from scratch with little guidance. 

So, Matt & I took some time over the weekend, to break down our media kit & share some of our favorite media kit templates, with you all. When I first started blogging, I created a media kit, like you would a resume, on Word.

However, today, as blogging becomes more and more popular; you’ll start to see media kit templates popping up everywhere. The template I use today was personally coded for me; however, there are some more affordable options, that stand the test of time. For fashion bloggers, I love the look of this media kit, for a home or cooking blog, I love the colors and theme of this media kit, and finally, for travel bloggers, I love this media kit because it has sample slots to show off your travel photography work.

To be honest, if I was hunting for a new media kit I would go the Etsy route. You can view all media kit templates here, and I’d say the average price seems to be between $10 – $15.

 

So now that you have your media kit template let’s chat about the do’s and dont’s of media kits! 


 

DO: 

  • DO include images – Images say a lot about your brand, you work quality and your site’s aesthetics, so make sure to include images you are proud of. Select images that really uphold your blog’s ‘niche’, categories and tone. 
  • DO include your logo – I would 100% include your blog’s name and logo at the top of the media kit, this is important especially if companies print out media kits to have on file. Make sure to make it easy for them to find you!
  • DO include a paragraph about yourself – let’s face it, not every blogger or brand you’ll collaborate with, will have had the time to read every single post on your blog. So make sure, to sum up who you are and what you’re all about. I find including a backstory about yourself on your blog, helps start collaborations off on the right foot. 
  • DO include your blog’s statistics – 
    • This section could be a whole post in itself but it’s really important to provide value to whomever you want to collaborate with. 
    • Some things I’d recommend to include in your site statistics section: 
      • Monthly Unique Visitors – I would recommend using Google Analytics to get this number.
      • Average Time on Page – I would recommend using Google Analytics to get this number.
  • Oh, and don’t forget to include your social media following
  • DO include a little bit about your readers – I would recommend using Google Analytics to accomplish this, but it’s important to let brand’s know who your readers are. For instance, male vs female, age group, country location, langue spoken, etc. This will help the other blogger or brand decide if a collaboration is a good fit.
  • DO include your contact information – You never know what might happen, so make sure to include where they can find you on all social media platforms, along with an email & (if you want) phone number. 

Okay, so those are some of the do’s to consider when making a media kit, now here are some of my personal DON’Ts


 

DON’T: 

  • DON’T fake it till you make it in statistics – This is really important guys, a lot of companies will ask for images of your most current month’s google analytics, and that’s not a conversion you can fake. So make sure to keep your numbers legit, or else it will be hard to explain why your google analytics don’t match what you’ve listed, however, it is normal for analytics to change month-to-month, just keep it real. Always remember blogging is a LONG-TERM career path, nothing happens overnight (read more about that in this post) so make sure you’re honest with whomever you’re collaborating with. 
  • DON’T include your price list – Okay, this DON’T is really a personal preference, but for me, it’s a HUGE DON’T, for the following reasons. I have a price list separate from my media kit to send over to companies interested in collaborating. The main reason why I separated these documents was that I use my media kit for, WAY MORE than just locking down collaborations. I use it to show people how my site functions, I use it to gauge growth (which means I’m sending it out to interns, TCC employees, etc), I use it to send to hotels or restaurants if I’m traveling and want to shoot at their location, I even use it to send to other bloggers I’m interested in collaborating with. For me, it’s a good way to introduce myself to people, and I feel like including the prices would be ‘awkward’  and irrelevant in those situations. 
  • DON’T think longer is better – this isn’t a contest to see the exact amount of things you’ve accomplished in your life. Keep your media kit SHORT! My media kit is broken down into: one page filled with writing and images and the second page filled with statistics, my brand motto and pictures. That’s it. Keep your media kit short and to the point, because honestly, no one has time to read all the nitty gritty. 

Okay, that all we have for you guys at the moment. I hope this post clarified some of your deepest and darkest, blogging Q&A’s. Oh, & Matt and I have been working really hard on our weekly newsletter relaunching in August, so make sure to subscribe here. xx Aubrey 

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How I came up with my blog name, & tips on creating your own

July 12th, 2017
How to create the perfect name for your blog-9456Flutter Sleeve Dress c/0 (similar color on sale here)|| Sunglasses || Shoes || Bag
 
How to come up with a blog name, seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind lately.
 
This is a reoccurring question that I see popping up on all my platforms. Whether it be Instagram comments, DM’s or even an occasional tweet, so many of you are reaching out for inspiration, which I LOVE to partake in.
 
However, from the few chats we have had, I think people seriously feel the pressure when considering what to name their blog. 

& I totally understand that! 
 

It’s not easy picking one name, usually just one to three words, that sums up your entire site. Oh, and not to mention, deciding a blog name can become even more difficult if you are wavering between niches.  

So I figured I’d write this blog post, so together we can openly discuss what works and what doesn’t when figuring out a name. 
 
I want to start this post off by talking about my personal ‘blog-name’ journey, or so to speak. 
 
It all started with the idea of a ‘coast to coast blog’, thus the word COASTAL. This all happened circa 2013 and at the time, I was living in San Diego while attending USD and often traveling home to New England for summers, holidays, school breaks and family occasions. 
 
What I found interesting was that both coasts were so different yet so intrigued with each other. Interesting right!?
 
 
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People on the West Coast wanted to learn more about our wicked cool coastline, as they pictured classic New England; while my New England friends wanted to know how my Malibu Barbie lifestyle was going on the West Coast. 
 
Each coast completely different, yet each slightly infatuated with each other. 
 
I can remember everyone saying: good luck in Cali, I’m visiting you in Cali, you’ll have so much fun in Cali; only to arrive in San Diego, to learn that, only people outside of California refer to it as Cali
 
LOL.
 
Each coast so different, in terms of lifestyle, but each wanted to be included in the others’. 
 
Sooo I decided to start a blog to capture that. I wanted to capture New England for my college friends and San Diego for my high school friends. It was honestly as simple as that.
 
I started with an idea of a bi-coastal lifestyle.
 

My step 1: I wrote down the word COASTAL. That was ‘my thing’ back in 2013. 


 

My Step 2: Adjectives


 
Secondly, I wanted an adjective to describe a principle the blog would expel. I didn’t want it to be too trendy; so I had my friends and I sit down and write adjectives on a piece of paper, I only picked words starting with ‘C’ as we were studying alliteration at the time in my marketing 300 class, lol.
 
So I wrote down the following on a word document.
  • Colonial
  • Charming
  • Classic
  • Classy
  • Confidence
  • Confident
  • Colorful
  • Charming
  • Cozy
Honestly, I let my California friends help me finalize the perfect adjective and we decided on confidence. They felt it was very New England aka me!
 

My Step 3: Finish it off!


 
I still felt like something was missing so… I went with adding a ‘The’ in front.
For some reason,  I just felt like it ‘matured’ the name a tad, if that even makes sense. 
 
Overall, that’s my brand name story. 
 
It wasn’t something I picked up one day and it just organically happened. For some reason, it was one of the easiest parts for me, in terms of building my brand.
 
I’ve had several people ask me if I’d think about changing my name to something even ‘more’ New England; now that I define my blog as ‘New England lifestyle’. I’ve gotten requests like N. England Coastal etc, but I believe in sticking with one name, because it’s your brand story! 
 
& evolving is GOOD! So don’t be afraid or put to much pressure on having one perfect name, till the end of time. Just go with what your gut is saying now and your name will grow with the brand you created. How to create the perfect name for your blog-9639
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Okay, so now some of my favorite blog name tips: 


 

 

1. Alliteration – I don’t know why but I LOVE similar sounding blog names. I bet if you write down your top ten bloggers at least half will have alliteration. Don’t ask me why, but brand names with alliterations are just so darn catchy #dunkindonuts.


 
2. Keep it Short & Sweet – The shorter the better, especially as word of mouth marketing is HUGE in blogging. Having a long or cumbersome name, won’t help you if people keep can’t spell it when searching for you online. 
 

So keep it short and keep it sweet. 


 

3. Root the name in ‘your thing’ – Niches are REALLY important. & having a name that shares a bit of your niche off, is essential.  

For example, if it’s a baking blog, include baking terms in the name, if it’s a home decor blog, include ‘home’ themed words. Show us your brand’s personality in the title, PLEASE!


 
4. Make sure it’s available as a URL – for me this was BIG. I wanted to have a name that I could build a site around. Having an awesome name but a completely different URL is confusing, so make sure you can buy your URL either off of GoDaddy or WordPress.com. 
 

This tip also helps to eliminate, showing up to the party with the same name as a fellow blogger. Awkward.  


 
5. Test the market – When I was finalizing my name I was between the word Confidence or Classy; so I went around asking all my friends, what they thought. A huge group of my friends said to avoid the word Classy, as there is already a big New England Blogger with the word Classy in her title. 
 
Which makes sense right! By having a different name it will help you long term in the SEO sector. For example, if I told someone to google me as The Classy Coastal, and they typed in classy coastal new England blog, into the search bar other bloggers instantly popped up. 
 
So by testing the market and getting that little input from my friends, I already have a better shot of sending people to my site while differentiating myself from other bloggers in the region. 
 

Does that make sense? 



Anyway, that’s my story and those are my tricks! I’d love to hear 1) what you named your blog, & 2) why you named it that in the comments below! Can’t wait to learn more about your amazing brands. 
 
xx Aubrey How to create the perfect name for your blog-9462
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Tee Time Together: Why Sharing a Hobby is Essential

July 9th, 2017

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Matt’s Pants c/o || Matt’s Shirt c/o || Dress || Shoes || Scarf

I’ve always been a huge fan of the all-American game of, golf.

Actually, let me specify, I’m a fan of playing and dressing the part, but NOT a fan of watching it.

Anyway, it’s a classic game, the color pallet is ‘je ne sais quoi ‘, and who doesn’t like a sport that includes a cart! Win, win & a win. 

While I’ve always been a huge admirer of the sport, I never really took a swing at it (no pun intended) until this past year.

Once Matt and I moved to Dallas we decided it was important to really have a hobby, that we could work on together. 

Now don’t get me wrong, Matt spends plenty of time playing golf with ‘the boys, butttt it’s fun to get out on the course together! So once a month, with the aim to improve our skills, or I guess I should say the limited skills we have, we roll up to the golf course with the aim of working together. 

Whether that means going to Top Golf and working on accuracy or just hitting some golf balls for 30 min at the driving range, it’s fun and really essential to embrace a hobby together, plain and simple. 

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Now, don’t take this post the wrong way, it’s UBER important to have your own thing!

So Matt has his work, video games, and sports, and I have my blog, part-time job and interns. We both have things and people that we are passionate about, that we can bring to the table and share with each other.

However having something that we like to do together; is JUST as important.

Sharing a hobby or a skill that you can master together, really builds ‘teamwork’ skills.

Blah, I hate even writing that, but it’s true!

Sports really do help to foster comradery and communication, which if you really think about it, is essential to having a solid and supportive relationship.

Right? Don’t we all want to have a partner that is a good teammate! Basically, sharing a hobby, is a fun and easy way to get on the same page while goofing around the golf course.

Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship

Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship
Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship

So whether your hobby is: shopping, movie-going, traveling, attending events together (sporting, concerts, lobster feasts and polo matches) or even something as simple as listening to podcasts together; having a designated hobby together, is all you need.

& it’s also way more fun to have a partner to celebrate your accomplishments with, like when you score your first birdie, which for me is something to celebrate!

Comment below if you have any hobbies you and your better half, partake in. I’d love to hear what you’ve accomplished together & Happy Monday. xx Aubrey 

Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship

Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship
Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship

Photography by Beckly 

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The Approach

July 7th, 2017

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Shirt || Jean Shorts || Shoes || Purse || Sunglasses || TCC at Home Store

Life is all about, what I like to call, ‘the approach’.  
 
I’m serious though! I’m always telling my friends, Matt, sisters and basically anyone that will stop to listen, that how you approach a person, is basically a pre-set to the outcome. 
 
I’m talking about going into a conversation with an open mind and flexibility, rather than a set goal. So many people struggle with this, and don’t even realize it, so I’m here to help. 
 
You could say my job is tied in with the art of communication, and guys, it really is an art. 
 
Whether it’s writing a blog post, negotiating with a brand or even talking one-on-one with a reader, I’ve gotten pretty darn good at polishing my communication skills and learning what works. 
 
But let me tell you one thing that doesn’t work…entitlement.  
 
A lot of people ask me about my college experience and how I became a blogger, and to be honest it’s because I was open-minded and flexible when approaching people, SIMPLE AS THAT. 

 

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I would walk into professors’ offices and just have a conversation, I would ask people about their days. because…WHY NOT. I would go into every conversation (or try to) with a ‘whatever’ attitude & this is key.
 
I never expected people to help me and I never demanded or felt entitled (ew gross) towards their time, skills or connections. 
 
We all have that friend, let’s call her ‘dear’ that no matter what, the moment ‘dear’ texts you, they need something. Whether it be a ride to the mall, notes from yesterday’s class or a study buddy; they go into every conversation entitled, closed-minded, and looking to get ahead (blah). 
 
& you know what, we all have love/hate relationships with these kinds of people; heck maybe sometimes we are these types of people, but in the long run, you NEED to refine your approach. 
 
Why? you might ask, well because how you approach people is half the battle. Being abrasive, aggressive, pushy and frankly rude; for no reason is well RUDE. & people pick up on these things. 
 
All day every day, I get DM’s, emails, tweets,  and comments asking for things. But let me tell you one thing, there is a big difference in how I react to brand’s asking for free work, haters upset about spelling mistakes or even people who demand free products, never to showcase it; from those people that reach out to say they loved a blog post and later down the line reach out for help.

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Let’s Talk About Fireworks

July 3rd, 2017
5 Tips On Keeping Fireworks In A Long Term Relationship-5Dress c/o || Shorts  c/o || Shirt  c/o || Hat || My Shoes || Matt’s Shoes
 
In honor of 4th of July being tomorrow, let’s talk about fireworks.
 
I’m not talking about the fireworks I saw launch over the Connecticut River while sitting on my parent’s boat last night. I LOVE those kinds of fireworks, but today I’m talking about the fireworks in a relationship.
 
Matt & I have known each other for over 8 years, and I get questions all shapes and sizes from you guys when it comes to relationship advice. Some are about engagement, some are about moving in together, but most of them are all about how to navigate a long term relationship.5 Tips On Keeping Fireworks In A Long Term Relationship-26
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Let me start by saying, relationships are just like everything else in life, work! You need to be an active participant in one, to make it work. Whether it’s a friendship, romantic relationship OR even a work relationship; if you don’t show up then it’s never going to work, so be present.
 
Besides being present, below I’ve listed some things that have personally worked for Matt and I, when it comes to keeping the excitement and fireworks in a relationship.
 
1. Date night
It’s important to have a designated date night. Now it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, sometimes date night means going to a concert, but sometimes it means binge watching the entire season of Stranger Things. Don’t blame monetary reasons for ‘not having a date night’, it’s about quality time, not money spent. 
 
So make time each week to dress up, eat together and focus on fun! 
 
2. Traditions
Have traditions to look forward to, for Matt and I that means photo shoot Saturday’s, Black Friday shopping together, going to Denny’s spontaneously and watching Live PD at least once a week! 
 
Having silly but unique traditions help root relationships. This even works for friendships, my friend Jennifer and I made sure we went grocery shopping and to Starbucks every Friday at 3 pm, when we lived in San Diego. 5 Tips On Keeping Fireworks In A Long Term Relationship-55
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3. Have your own thing 
This is important. If you don’t have something that’s your own, then you’ll literally have nothing to talk about.
 
Get out there and do things on your own, so you have something to bring to the table. Make sure you are doing things, that you’re passionate about and excited to share with others. 
 
So Matt has his work, video games, and sports, and I have my blog, part-time job and interns. We both have things and people that we are passionate about, that we can bring to the table and share with each other.
 
It keeps things interesting. 
 
4. Share a hobby
Have a shared hobby. I’ll talk about this point more next week, but recently Matt and I have taken on improving our golf game, and it’s been such an exciting and fun time. It’s something we can work on together, I hate to use the words ‘team-bonding’ but it’s kind of along those lines.
 
5. Always keep it light 
Honestly, keep it light. When you are out and about, have fun. Don’t bring up topics that will cause riffs or push any buttons. Leave the tiffs at home and enjoy life. 
 
I’d love to hear from you guys! Do you have any advice for keeping the fireworks and fun in long term relationship? If so share below, and have a safe and fun 4th guy!
 
Off to the pool with my sister, xx Aubrey5 Tips On Keeping Fireworks In A Long Term Relationship-48
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4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes

June 28th, 2017

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Recipe & Photos by: Jamie, from Treats & Trends

The Coastal Confidence has always been about embracing the charms and traditions of a New England lifestyle; specifically through New England travel guides, home decor, inspirational posts, and seasonal style.

For the past four years, I’ve only showcased topics, I feel I’m personally ‘skilled’ at. So while I enjoy ‘baking’, pumpkin spice muffins (from the box) and fudge brownies that I’ll have to throw away, after accidentally using olive oil instead of vegetable oil (oops); I just figured better leave the baking to the experts. 

Our crew has a large spectrum of topics we’d love to cover, that, to say nicely. we aren’t so ‘accomplished’ in. & I knew I had to search for blogging experts. to teach both you and I a thing or two.  

I made it our crew’s goal to collaborate with a baking blogger we admire and basically Instagram stalk on the daily; to showcase her favorite seasonal recipes to TCC readers!4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes-20

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I’m especially excited for this new recipe series, as I’m dying to sharpen my very rusty baking skills. 

Anyway, believe it or not, 4th of July is less than a week away! So my friend Jamie, from Treats and Trends, is sharing her patriotic party dessert with us all!

From the recipe to the decor, Jamie really knows how to add seasonal inspiration into her desserts. Her mission is to always make desserts as cute as they are delicious; and she nailed these 4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes, to a tee!

 Not to mention we both have a love for finding the cutest and most affordable, kitchen decor to really bring the experience together; because let’s face it the devils in the details! 4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes-3

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This weekend, I’m actually flying home to see my family for the 4th of July and already Amazon Primed all the items I’ll need to repeat this recipe. The cupcake part is always a go with me, but the frosting is always my downfall, so wish me luck! 

I’d love to hear if any of you are baking a special something for 4th of July, if so leave what you’re baking in the comments below! Besides cupcakes, I know my family will be chowing down on some strawberry shortcake, it’s the yummiest of traditions! 4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes-3

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& if you love Jamie’s 4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes; make sure to check out her cookies and cream cake made with firework Oreos, recipe here, it’s actually a thing of beauty! xx Aubrey 

4th of July Funfetti Cupcakes
Serves 12
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For the cupcakes
  1. 1 2/3 cups flour
  2. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
  5. 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/4 cup sour cream
  9. 3/4 cup milk
  10. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup red, white and blue sprinkles
For the buttercream
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  2. 3 cups powdered sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  4. 1 tsp. almond extract
  5. 1/4 tsp. salt
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or place paper baking cups onto a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar (mixture will be gritty) then chill in the fridge for 2 minutes. Remove and stir in the egg, sour cream, milk and vanilla extract until combined. Gradually add in dry ingredients and stir until no lumps remain. Gently fold in the sprinkles, but don't over mix because the colors will start to bleed. Divide evenly among cupcake liners (makes a dozen normal cupcakes or 9 with the larger baking cups).
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes (or more if they are larger), until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
For the buttercream
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Turn off mixer and add powdered sugar, heavy cream, almond extract and salt. Mix on low for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high and mix for an additional 2 – 3 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with additional red, white and blue sprinkles.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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Blogger Inbox: The Follow-Up Email

June 14th, 2017

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It’s been about a year and a half since blogging full time (wow) and I figured I’d just touch base with you all. I feel like a lot of you ladies either have a blog, want to start a blog or even just feeling, well, overwhelmed with how to start. 

From talking to you guys over email, on Instagram DM (which I love) and through blog comments; a lot of you guys are killing it, via your blogs’, but often you guys are reaching out to me because you feel stuck, stagnant or even ignored by the industry or brands. 

Here’s the truth or at least my truth when it comes to reaching out to brands in the blogging industry; SEND A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL! 

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You’d honestly be shocked if you saw how many times I’ve sent a follow-up email, and received an email back within the week apologizing for the delay. My rule is to wait 4-7 business days, and if mum is the word, send a short and sweet follow-up. 

Something along the lines of: ‘Hi, I wanted to touch base on my previous email, and see if your team had any questions. I look forward to chatting soon!.”

Short, sweet and just a friendly reminder, because guys we are all human, and I’m 100% guilty of missing an email here or there. 

I even had a collaboration fall into place today, after sending a follow-up email. As long as you are respectful and nice, there is nothing wrong with touching base. 

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Personally, I’ll hear a lot of bloggers say they are tackling their inbox, and when I first started blogging, I was super frustrated that I didn’t have an inbox exploding with emails.

Now looking back, I can see that tackling an inbox is way more than just receiving emails; it’s also sending follow-ups, touching base and being present! Which takes time and can be easy to forget. 

Which takes time and can be easy to forget. So if you have free time tonight, take some time and reach out to those loose ends. You know the worst they can say is no! xx Aubrey 

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Serendipity: Turning 23 & Birthday Week

June 1st, 2017

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Someone told me the other day that being 23 is basically the equivalent of freshman year but for ‘adulthood’. Just let that soak in for a second. 

Weird right? But it actually makes sense, because for my birthday I asked for gift cards to Anthropologie so I could buy a headboard. #adulting. 

Anyway, now that I’m officially being hazed into adulthood, I figured I’d touch base with you all through a serendipity post, and share five things I learned this year! 

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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GO ALL IN: 


 

Shortly after turning 22, I decided I would go ALL in on blogging. I knew I always wanted to blog full-time but actually doing it was another story. I just went for it, blindly to be honest with you all.  Trust me when I say, it wasn’t always easy, and it was often stressful when it came to budgeting a brand, living on my own and figuring out how to finance certain projects’ but looking back my brand has 100% grown the most this year. It’s one of those make it work or your screwed situations, and let’s all admit working under pressure is a sure fire way to get things done (plus or minus a few meltdowns). 

POSITIVE MINDSETS ARE EVERYTHING: 


 

This past year I’ve been all about ‘karma’ and keeping a positive mindset. Working on your own brand can be stressful, so why focus on the negative. I wake up every day and try to make the best out of the worst because making the worst out of the worst and wallowing is just for LOSERS. If Kim K can keep a positive mindset on her robbery in Paris, you can keep a positive mindset when you get stuck in traffic or someone shows up late for a meeting.

 By keeping a clean, positive, upward and onward mindset, I’ve been able to accomplish so much more. I’m still trying to convert Negative Nancy, aka Matt into a positive mindset mood, because no one likes a hater. 

EVERYONE DESERVES A BIRTHDAY WEEK: 


 

 If you follow me on snap chat then you know, I celebrate Birthday Week. What does that mean, you might ask? It means a whole week of checking off that good old fashion bucket list. My birthday falls 6 months after New Years so it’s a great time to reevaluate those New Year goals and check some off the list. For instance, Matt and I are headed to San Antonio this birthday week. Take the week and make time for you, even if it’s trying a new recipe, restaurant or workout routine. 

PUTTING YOUR FOOT DOWN, IS OKAY: 


 

I really mean this one! Blogging full time meant this was my full time job and I had to learn how to put my foot down, especially when it came to working with brands. Remember your time is valuable, and don’t let anyone push you around. A lot of the time I would spend several hours working on content for a brand only to find out they all of a sudden ‘didn’t have the budget’ or had to cancel the campagin. It’s sad that people and brands aren’t always transparent but it’s important to hold your ground. 

Stick to your guns, put your foot down and own your business. This was something I really struggled with because I really don’t love the finance side of this business, but the number of times people have tried to ‘con’ or ripe me off has taught me to be clear, professional and put my foot down when it comes to contracts, expectations, and salaries. 

HELP THE NEXT ONE IN LINE:  


 

This line is from the song Humble and Kind but one of my favorite experiences this year has been expanding The TCC Crew and working with aspiring bloggers, entrepreneurs and savvy ladies. It’s really important to share the tips and tricks you know with others, and by expanding my team I’ve been able to share my New England dream with so many others passionate about our community. 

So whether you’re a student, older sister, hustler or super health nut; spend time helping others eager to learn or looking for guidance, it’s the biggest motivator and even inspires the content I create here. 
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Anway, it’s my birthday so I’m clocking out for the rest of the night! Off to chow down on some BBQ, West Texas style. xx Aubrey 

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7 Tips on Moving to a New City after College Graduation

May 31st, 2017

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Outwards and onwards, am I right?

The other day I was chatting with my last intern, Logan, check out her blog here, and we were talking about how weird post-graduation can be. More specifically we were chatting about whether it’s better to look for jobs locally or just screw it and apply for a dream job, in another city. 

Hmm, good question right!? & maybe this is something you are currently struggling with, and trust me I get it. It can all seem so daunting. So I’m here to give you 7 tips on moving away from your hometown after college, 

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1. Remember it’s not permanent. – I think so many people put pressure on having to move away, but really it’s all always temporary. Let’s say you move and you ABSOLUTELY HATE IT. Worst case scenario right? Then you apply for a transfer, look for a job closer to where you want to be (now that you have corporate experience you might get that job) and just know nothing lasts forever. Matt & I are in Dallas for only two years, so even though I wasn’t thrilled about the location, I went because guess what two years goes by sooooo quickly. 

2. Starting from the bottom – It’s hard to get a job when you are fresh out of college with no experience, so don’t sweat it if nothing is falling in your lap. Now is the time to travel, experience new regions and get outside of your bubble. Don’t stress yourself out about getting the perfect location right off the bat.

3. Don’t sweat the logistics – Don’t worry about the small stuff, it will all fall into place. Moving even down the street is overwhelming so it’s natural to get stressed out about moving to a new city or region, but you can tackle the logistics one issue at a time.

4. Finding an apartment – the biggest question I get asked is how did Matt & I find an apartment in a city we’d never been to. Here is where Google comes in, I knew where Matt’s office was located so I went to Pinterest and Google to look up the towns around his office. I found a town I liked with a cute historic district and looked up apartments from there. Matt asked around at work, and someone recommended the apartment complex we live in now. 

5. No strings attached – now is the time to try a new city and aim for that dream job, because you have no strings attached. No kids, no house, no mortgage; just you and maybe a pet or two. If you had to pick up and move, now’s the time to get it out of your system. 

6. View it as an opportunity – so much about moving away from your hometown can be daunting but Matt & I view it as an opportunity. Every weekend we aim to discover a new city, town or tastes of Dallas. This weekend we visited local rescue horse farms, and just took in the rolling hills of west Texas. View moving with positivity and excitement.

7. Be Grateful – the fact that you’ve graduated college and are on the hunt for a job is something to be grateful for. Some people don’t have the opportunity to go to college and some people will never have the opportunity to move, so view your situation with gratitude and things will start to fall into place. 7 Tips on Moving to a New City after College Graduation-4974

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I hope this post helped either calm your nerves about moving, or inspired you to consider it. Be patient with job call backs, it’s a slow process and I can remember my friends sweating it out to the end. Just keep plugging along and enjoy! xx Aubrey 

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