Category Archives: Love

The One Thing That Makes Our Relationship Work

March 9th, 2018



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Matt and I have been together for almost, ehh nine years, correct me if I’m wrong Matt, but it’s been a while, to say the least. And in honor of Valentine’s Day is this week, we wanted to share a little peek into our relationship with you all. Through thick and thin, we’ve became pros at constantly pushing ourselves to be the best team players we can be. Matt and I get a lot of relationship questions from you guys, between questions concerning intimate details of our relationship, like how we met, which we talked about here. To emails asking for advice on certain topics like engagement timelines which we covered in this post and maneuvering a long distance relationship which you can read about here; we’ve really covered a large realm of topics with you guys over the last couple of years. But today we wanted to cover the one thing that makes our relationship work.

I mean, I think every couple has a ‘thing’ that makes them tick and to each their own but to simply put it, our relationship thrives off of our motto: BE A TEAM PLAYER. I know, I know, this motto seems pretty straightforward but really there is much more to it than that. I mean being a team player and respecting each other’s choices has really created some stories to tell and our relationship to grow. Instead of breaking down reasons why you should be a team player, I had my sister Tessa come up with some questions for Matt and I to answer. Hopefully, these questions and answers will inspire you to carve out a motto for your relationship and allow you to get to know Matt and I a tad better.

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1) Anyone who’s ever been in a group project will know that being a team player isn’t always easy. How do you stay motivated as a team player, in a relationship when you two don’t always agree.

Aubrey: For me personally, I like to think of the big picture. There is something so rewarding about having a goal with your significant other and working together to accomplish it. It’s particularly a rewarding experience because it’s rarely an easy path to success. Whether that goal is buying your first house, moving together to start a new job in a new city or building a business; Matt and I try our hardest to help each other succeed in accomplishing what we’ve set out to finish, even if the road feels like one pothole after another. I must say though, looking back and seeing how far we’ve come, and the adventure we’ve taken is always worth the work.

Matt: Aubrey will be the first to say that when she has an idea I am the hardest critic. I am always honest when it comes to our projects and I will also admit that 99% of the time I am very impressed and love whatever vision Aubrey had planned like the pennants, pantry, bed, the list goes on and on. I am more goal and small task-oriented when it comes to the “big picture” and I need to work on seeing the end product, but that is why Aubrey and I work well because she sees the vision and I accomplish the little steps to get us there.


2) On sports networks, they often recap a ‘play of the game’ has there been one move you and Matt have taken as a team that was a game changer:

Aubrey: Oh, okay I think a big play we’ve taken together as a team was moving in together while relocating to Dallas. It was like two big life moments wrapped into one. The move was a big adjustment for both Matt, who was starting a new job, and for me, as I was just starting to run my blog full-time. There was certainly a lot of hurdles we had to cross together like trying to meet new friends, creating content in a metropolitan area and dealing with photo shoots in the Dallas heat; but I wouldn’t change a thing. It was thrilling to be thrown into a new city neither Matt nor I had visited, together all on our own, and away from the comfort of family and friends.

Matt: Since Aubrey already addressed moving to Dallas as our biggest play, I would have to say the obstacles we overcame would be our “play of the game”. These obstacles include our flooded apartment, car accident, and most recently our luggage being stolen; were all out of our control but we were able to handle them with patience as a team. These were all events that we can say were pretty suckish, but having a team player there to lift you up when you need a hail mary goal, makes all the difference. 


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3) Give an example of a time where Aubrey/Matt stepped out of their comfort zone to be a team player:

Aubrey: I mean, just look at these photos. Matt really goes above and beyond to help me and our TCC Crew accomplish our goals. Whether Matt’s behind the camera taking pictures or in front of it, I always admire his determination to help grow our brand and connect with readers even when it doesn’t come naturally to him. I actually think he enjoys being in front of the camera more than behind it, and honestly, I prefer it that way too. He truly has been a key player in growing this blog and putting himself out there on this platform.

Matt: Aubrey really stepped out of her comfort zone when she dropped everything and moved out to Dallas. She left the comfort of her home, friends, family and New England to be with me as I embarked on my new career. She had to alter her career as well and incorporate new ideas into The Coastal Confidence. Aubrey stepping out of her comfort zone helped her to grow not only as a person but also in managing her business. She had to overcome many obstacles that will help her achieve anything when she returns to New England.


4) What is one quality that Aubrey/Matt possess that makes them a great team player:

Aubrey: Oh this one is easy: Matt is as reliable as it gets, and that’s a quality I really admire. While he can be flighty about certain things when push comes to shove he’s always there and prepared. For instance, I’ve been sick for almost a solid week, and I get almost hourly texts asking if I’m still kicking. He really goes above and beyond to make sure we are chugging along and staying focused on our goals and timelines. Basically, I always know he’s there day in and day out, which makes him a great ally and support system for business and life.

Matt: Aubrey puts others before herself and will always support you in whatever you want to achieve. Aubrey coming out to Dallas is one of the main reasons why I am still here. If it wasn’t for her constantly motivating me and trying new things I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Aubrey always wants to see the best in people which is why she will always push you the hardest out of all of your friends. She will be the first to drop anything to help you and support any decisions you make even if she may not agree with them.


5) Finally, being a team player is all about working together and having fun even if things aren’t going your way. How do you guys cheer each other on after a ‘loss’ or a bad day?

Aubrey: This is such a good question because being a team player means you are around for the wins and the losses. I would say as a whole, Matt is pretty easy to cheer up, whenever he is down I like to bake him up a batch of his favorite brownies and let him recoup with some alone time and video games. Giving him space, time to relax with video games, and room to do his own thing is essential when living together. It also gives me plenty of time to practice my Mario Kart skills on my Nintendo Switch.

Matt: Just Four Words: Trenta Black Tea Lemonade. Bring Aubrey one of these and her mood is instantly lifted no matter the day. 


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& that’s it!

Matt and I are off to visit my sister down in Fort Worth this weekend and celebrate a belated birthday week for Matt and Valentine’s Day, as I’m finally starting to feel better from a cold I was having the hardest time kicking. Anyway, I’d love to hear from you, is there a motto or a theme that keeps your relationship strong? Let us know in the comments below and have a great weekend.

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When and Why To Give Your Relationship A Break

March 2nd, 2018

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Everyone has an opinion on this topic, and as February comes to a close I figured I’d share my experience and thoughts with you guys. I know this isn’t a glamorous relationship topic but in being fully transparent with you, I think it’s only natural to talk or think about taking a break from a relationship you’ve been in, at one time or another. Whether you’re taking a break from a family member, boyfriend, friendship or even your favorite restaurant; I really don’t see anything wrong with hitting the pause button and giving yourself time to reflect. I mean, I feel like life can get so ‘busy’ that you don’t give yourself enough opportunities to take a step back and connect with your present self.  

I get a lot of emails from you all about relationship advice, from questions about engagement timelines to making long distance work, Matt and I have covered a lot over the span of running this blog. We constantly try to connect and open ourselves up to you guys, however, one topic we have yet to cover, is the one time Matt and I took a break. I’m going to jump right into the details and then loop back around with my opinion about when and why to give your relationship a break. Again, it’s always important to follow your gut, but I’m going to jump right in with my experience below. 

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As many of you know, Matt and I met freshman year of high school and started dating at the very young age of fourteen, if you’re new to the blog you can read all about how we met in this blog post, here. Looking back on that now, we were sooo young! I mean I can remember Matt’s parents dropping Matt and I off at a restaurant for our first Valentine’s Day dinner, and giving us a gift card so we had a way to pay the check, at the end of our date. We were too young to work, too young to drive and basically two peas in a pod. We dated all through high school and come senior year we started to independently prepare for college. 

Matt and I had very different ideas when it came to attending college, and weirdly enough we never once discussed attending the same college together. Honestly, I don’t think either of us really wanted to attend the same college or go into the experience as a couple, along with the fact that we both wanted different things out of the journey. We never talked about colleges together, as we were pretty independent on what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. All and all we only applied to a few similar schools, but I decided quite early in the process that I really wanted to attend school either in the south or on the west coast. Matt on the other hand really never looked outside of New England and New York, so that was that, but again neither of us really cared where the other went. 

I guess that’s the one good thing about our relationship that I really appreciate, is overall we are pretty ‘go with the flow’. We do a lot together but we also make it a point to do things that we personally want to accomplish, even if the other can’t or has no interest. I digress, by May, all the cards had fallen into place, Matt was off to St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, and I was off to San Diego. I mean I was pumped and I think Matt was really excited since he got to extend his time on the football field into his college career. All and all we were happy and had a great summer, but we both knew changes were coming. 

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At the age of 18, I left my New England home and moved cross-country to attend college, which was an amazing opportunity that resulted in this blog and a huge boost in my confidence levels. But it also meant Matt and I would be in a cross-country, long-distance relationship, with a three hour time difference, that just sounded plain exhausting. Once August hit and the changes started to become real as I booked a one-way ticket to California, I knew it was time, in my gut, to take a break, and Matt agreed. Which brings me to my first point, when should you give your relationship a break.

I’m a firm believer in you do you, and following your gut, but here are a few situations where maybe you need to put your self-care first and take a break: 

+ Take a Break Before You Break: You know that saying, the relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for all your other relationships? Well going off of this saying, I knew Matt and I had to hit the pause button on our relationship until at least Christmas. I felt like a six-month break would give me enough time to get settled and put my best foot forward in San Diego. I knew in my gut, that I couldn’t be there for both Matt and myself, and as harsh as it sounds, I picked putting myself first. Starting college in a new city, moving in with people you’ve never met, and being a cross-country plane ride away from your family meant I needed to be present and open to the people and the experiences San Diego had to offer. With that being said, I knew I wouldn’t be able to balance giving Matt the attention and emotional support he deserved whilst trying to make a new start for myself, so I decided we needed to take a break before I overextended myself or even worse, things ended between us on a poor note. 

+ If you’re really annoyed with your partner, it’s probably time to hit the pause button and reflect: I mean everyone gets in fights, and everyone has issues; whether we are talking about friendships or significant others but if you find yourself dodging their phone calls, maybe it’s time to reflect. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with Matt, but I knew we would run into this issue if we jumped right into a relationship whilst starting our college careers, and managing a long-distance relationship. College is stressful enough, and schedules can be rough, so I realized it was best to think of myself instead of getting annoyed with Matt for monopolizing my time. I saw so many gals and guys in long distance relationships, get upset or annoyed with the lack of communication or the aggressiveness of the communication. I knew myself, and how poor I am at returning calls, and understood that Matt would get annoyed with me if we jumped straight into this new type of relationship during this big life shift. 

Who Am I? Time for Reflection and Introspection: Matt and I decided to take a break during a period of big changes. Matt was moving away from his family and starting school as a college athlete and I was adjusting to a California lifestyle; each of us as individuals had new life experiences we had to adjust to and conquer. With that being said, taking a break gave us the space needed to reflect on ourselves as individuals and as a unit. If you find yourself losing your identity to a relationship or having nothing that is ‘your own’, maybe it’s time to take a break and use the space to reflect on your goals as an individual. The break gave Matt and I room to grow our lives as independent individuals, whilst reflecting on if we each positively or negatively affected the others’ life. Obviously, at the end of the break if you feel more productive, happier, and just overall better off without the person then your next step is simple. 


Okay, so the above situations are all moments that helped Matt and I decide that it was time to take a break. Again, listen to your gut and don’t overthink it! There is so much social pressure around defining your relationship and celebrating ‘anniversaries’ but honestly, it’s nobody’s business! So if YOU feel like it’s the right time to take a break, great, think it through and open the conversation with your partner! Now I’m going to share a few reasons why I think taking a break helped Matt and I develop a stronger relationship, below!

 + Mutual Respect: By mutually agreeing to take a break we were able to create a better line of communication. I mean we no longer talked every day but we still talked all the time, maybe the longest time we went without talking was two weeks. We also knew we were using this time to reflect on ourselves, this wasn’t a break in order to experience the college hook-up culture or a way to end things without having to say we were ending things. If you know me than you know I just say it how it is, and I knew going into this break that we need to have mutual respect and clear communication, for it to work. The last thing you want to do is string someone along, via claiming you want a break. Again, we used this time away for reflection and introspection, and we both respected that.   

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+ Time Apart Makes The Heart Grow Fonder: By giving us each a chance to explore life as a singleton we were able to appreciate the way the other person impacted our lives on the daily. In the end, we knew we wanted to be back together, just like how you instantly want to tag your best friend in every funny meme. We were happy as individuals but felt like we were living our best lives apart but even better lives together.

+ We Defined Our Choice: Literally, I blinked and February was gone. I like knowing that Matt and I took the time to really make the choice to be together, by taking a break we gave each other the opportunity to choose to be together or not. I mean ending a relationship is never easy but I would hate to think that I stayed in one just because it was comfortable, you know. I love knowing that we took time to ourselves, as young adults, not fourteen-year-olds, and made the conscious decision to show up and be there for each other.  

So that’s my thoughts on When and Why To Give Your Relationship A Break! To make this very long story short, when I was back in New England for winter break in 2012 with my friend from college, Matt showed up at my parent’s house with a Redbox DVD, to meet my friend and talk things out. I don’t know what was more awkward Matt just showing up at my front door at 8 PM on a weeknight, when my friend was visiting, or the fact that my Dad tried to watch the Redbox DVD with all of us. In the end, it’s something we all laugh at today, and is just another big moment for our relationship.

Again, only you can make the decision if it’s time to take a break, just make sure to listen to your gut, have a clear goal going into the break, and maintain an open line of communication. It will all work itself out no matter the outcome, that is one thing I’m certain about. Okay, so it’s your turn? What do you think of breaks? Have you ever taken a relationship break and if so was it for the better? Share your experience below. 

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A Long List of Tips for Traveling With Your Significant Other

February 11th, 2018

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Over this past weekend, Matt and I took a spontaneous trip to one of my favorite cities of all time, San Francisco. If you’ve never been, I recommend you stop what you’re doing and book a quick trip right now. Ugh, you guys, this city wins my heart over with each and every visit. Anyway, after Matt and I had a somewhat rocky start to 2018, which you can read about here, we decided to take a spontaneous trip somewhere we could get to under $300, roundtrip. After daydreaming of warm locations like Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and San Diego; I saw that Southwest was offering a wicked sweet deal of $129 for a direct flight to San Francisco…so I booked it. 

 Matt was at first hesitant about visiting this city, especially since we were visiting during Super Bowl weekend of all times, but I quickly urged him to buy a plane ticket before the deal ran out, and just like that we were off to San Francisco. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with traveling, I really love traveling via airplanes, getting the chance to explore a new city and most importantly experiencing new foods; but naturally, I’m a homebody, so traveling can take a lot out of me physically, as I always overbook myself. If you are a long time TCC reader than you probably remember this post, where I said I was working on taking time off and not overbooking myself, but I mean I squeezed all of San Francisco into a three day trip, and it was totally worth flying home tired and a tad sick, because of it.

Which brings me to my point, Matt and I have over six trips planned and while traveling looks like all fun and romantic in front of the camera, we are also the first to admit that traveling together comes with its bickering matches, hangry arguments and getting lost via apple maps until one of us snaps. I mean while this trip was magical it also came with hectic moments too, like a few Uber rides due to us walking a mile in the wrong direction and an epic trolley chase down in Sausalito because Matt wasn’t about to wait another 30 minutes for the next one to arrive. I mean overall we are the definition of high-maintenance travelers but with each trip, we take together we’ve gotten better and better at managing each other. So today we wanted to share a long list of tips for traveling with your significant other.  

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Before jumping straight into the list, I wanted to share a new favorite designer of mine with you all, called Eva Franco. I discovered her brand over the holiday season at Anthropologie and recently, I just can’t get enough of her new arrivals. I’m all for a romantic skirt come spring, summer, and fall, including the beautiful lace detailed one I’m wearing below. Anyway, check her collection out here, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Okay, so let’s get to these tips, first off by no means should traveling with your significant other be a stressful experience. In fact, I often like to view it as an adventure because rarely will you ever find Matt or I just lounging around. Whether we are going to the Caribbean, Europe or California you bet you’ll see us running around at the crack of dawn, camera in hand. I always like to joke that Matt and I need a vacation from our vacations, at the airport, because we really get the most out of our time at each stop. Which brings me to tip number one… 

1) The Two Types of People at Airports: I would say, no matter the trip time, place or destination Matt and I always get into a bickering war at the airport, parking garage or even better in our home on the way to the car, on the way to the airport. Now, I travel a lot and have been for the last eight years. As many of you know, I went to college in California which meant I was flying cross-country at least eight times a year, so going to the airport for me, is a normal task. I arrive an hour before my plan boards, I’m not stressed out, I’m in no rush and I’ve NEVER missed a flight, yet Matt, on the other hand, is in total meltdown mode. 

 I mean, you would think he was launching a rocket at NASA, he’s running around the apartment five hours before our flight yelling at me to get everything in the car, because we are going to be late. Not to sound “yuppy” here but as someone who travels monthly and often alone, Matt drives me BANANAS at the airport and his negative attitude about flying used to REALLY get to me, but now I just ignore it. So if it is your first time traveling with your significant other, just know that there are two types of airport people: the cool as a cucumber people (me) and the NASA Space Launch people (Matt). I find it helpful to remember that his attitude stems from being anxious and to be honest, my Dad can be the same way at airports; yes it’s annoying and a buzz kill but usually as soon as those NASA Space Launch people are sitting and buckled into their airplane seat, the mood instantly changes, so just pick your battles and enjoy the meltdowns as they come. 

 2) Decide What Type of Trip You’re Taking, Before You Go: Matt and I like to categorize our trips so we know what to expect from each other/pack before we go! Is it a blogging trip? If so we make sure to pack all of our equipment, several bags of outfit changes and block out one entire day to focus on our blog content. Is it a relaxing trip? If so we try to bring books to read, movies to watch and comfortable shoes to slip on and walk around in. Is it a family trip? If so we make sure to pick a time for us throughout the day to catch-up. If we’re traveling with my family that basically means I’m fourth wheeling between the amount of time Matt spends with my brother and dad; so on these trips, we set aside a time (usually at sunrise) to take blog pictures, eat breakfast, chat before going our separate ways for the entire day. 

 Basically talking about what type of trip you’re headed into and what you need to accomplish or do together, diminishes any room for disappointment or letdowns. By having open communication about your expectations for the trip, you’ll have smooth sailing. 

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3) Delegate Trip Responsibilities and Expenses: This tip is key! Let’s say you are traveling to San Diego and are really overwhelmed with hotel choices, activities, restaurants, and transportation; just delegate! I often take on the responsibility of picking the hotel, airfare and transportation and give Matt the responsibility of selecting the restaurant (since he is a picky eater) and the activities. By dividing responsibilities it often decreases stress on ‘the planner’ in the relationship and allows everyone to get excited about the trip to come. I use the same system to delegate expenses, so if Matt is paying for the restaurant bills I’ll pay for all the uber rides throughout the city; which usually equals out. 


4) Always Pack a Snack: Matt and I have learned our lesson about packing snacks the hard way. To make a long story short, one time Matt and I were visiting New York City on an extremely hot day in August. Between going seven hours without eating, due to leaving my half-eaten breakfast on the train and the fact that we were trying to skip lunch so we could eat a HUGE dinner at Becco’s, I ended up fainting on the subway. Which resulted in me having to lie down on the sticky Subway terminal, whilst drinking a lemon Snapple ice tea and eating a salted NYC pretzel. Oh, and if that doesn’t paint a pretty picture for you I was wearing a tulle Anthropologie dress, so basically New York fashion at its finest, whilst lying down on the Subway floor…ew. Moral of the story: Always pack a snack so if you are hungry between meals you have something to eat without breaking the bank. 

5) Something Will 100% Go Wrong, And That’s Okay: Finally, it’s important to know that sometimes unfortunate things happen on vacation and that IT IS OKAY! Really, don’t let one minor hiccup ruin a whole trip for you, I mean I would go as far as saying, every trip Matt and I have taken together has resulted in something going wrong. BUT no matter the situation you’ll get through it. From our Ireland trip where my Dad, Brother and Matt ‘lost track of time’ in a pub and left my Mom, Sister and I at a national park two hours after its closing time in the pouring rain; to last April’s trip to Aruba where Matt claimed he wouldn’t get sun burnt and forwent putting sunscreen on, resulting in him having sun-poisoning for the entirety of the trip. All and all, these memories weren’t fun in the moment but looking back at them they are too funny not to laugh at. 

All and all remember that it’s completely normal to get annoyed, irritated or overly ambitious when it comes to traveling with your significant other. As long as you stay patient with one another, delegate tasks and expenses, and roll with the punches you’ll be able to tackle anything life throws at you. Okay that’s all Matt and I have for now, but we’d love to hear if you guys have any travel tips. If you do make sure to leave them in the comment section below! 

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Thank you to our wonderful San Francisco photographer and tour guide, Inna Elsie

Girlfriend’s Guide to Football Sunday

October 8th, 2017

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Believe it or not, we are just about halfway through fall, and knee deep in one of fall’s many seasonal amenities…football season. Whether you’re watching football curled up on your couch all Sunday long, or getting dressed up in the appropriate colors to cheer on your local college team (Go UConn Huskies); football seems to be an underlining theme of this season.

In the past, I would have complained about the volume of games I’ve recently been pressured to watch, but after moving in with Matt just over a year ago, I’d say my love for football and the entire strategy of the game has evolved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to yell at the TV or cry over buffalo wings when the kicker misses the field goal, but I do get why football fans are SOOO fanatic.

It really is a game of strategy, teamwork, and comradery; aspects I truly love. However some things are just darn confusing, so I’m here with a timeout card, ready to break down the essence of football with our Girlfriend’s Guide to Football Sunday

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 Below our team has broken down the essential guidelines of the game, and some elements you might want to brush up on before next Sunday’s game.

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Okay, before evening turning the TV on, it’s important to understand how your team can score and win points! Here’s a simple breakdown: TOUCHDOWN = 6 points, after scoring the touchdown your team can play the ball for a two-point conversion  = running the ball into the touchdown zone again for 2 points, or bring in the kicker for 1 extra point. Finally, a FIELD GOAL is worth 3 points.

Yellow Flags


A yellow flag means there is an issue on the field, which could be a

Blessing or a curse for your team. Below, we have listed some popular explanations for when those yellow flags go flying.

When your team is at the line of scrimmage you’ll hear the following flag terms:

FALSE START: when a player on the offense moves before the play started.  OFFSIDES: when a player on the defense moves before the play started. And finally, DELAY OF GAME: when the center doesn’t ‘hut, hut, hike’ the football to the quarterback before the play clock expires.

When your team is playing you’ll hear the following flag terms: HOLDING: this is when a player is restraining another player, who doesn’t have the ball, from moving. Holding is the most common penalty in football and is usually called when a defensive player is holding another player’s jersey.  PASS INTERFERENCE:  the defense must give the offense the opportunity to catch the football, so this penalty will be called only IF the defense player grabs the receiver’s arms or holds the receiver in a way in which he’d be unable to make a play.

Finally, sometimes your team plays a little dirty…and if so you might hear some of these flags being called: FACE MASK: when a player grabs another’s face mask and UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: when the referees feel a hit was unnecessary, for example hitting another player with your helmet or being unnecessarily aggressive.

Okay, now that you are well informed with the meaning of those, oh so important, yellow flags; let’s cover two final elements of football that use to always confused me.Girlfriend's Guide to Football Sunday-6

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What’s a Down?

 If you’ve ever attended a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium then you have experienced the crowd screaming: ‘Patriot’s first down’. Yes, it’s fun to jump up and scream with the crowd, but this is also an important part of football to understand.

I find the easiest way to explain this is in baseball terms. Okay, in baseball you have three strikes then you’re out, well in football you have four downs then you’re out. So your team has four chances to move the ball 10 yards, and it’s the job of the defense to stop the offense from accomplishing this and if they don’t make 10 yards in four downs then they lose the ball (aka YOU’RE OUT!).


What’s that Yellow Line?

 If you’re watching the game with your boyfriend and his friends, all huddled around your TV, you might have noticed that thin yellow line. That yellow line is important & to my surprise does not appear at the actual games, but rather just on your TV. To sum it up the yellow line shows how far your team has to go to get a new first down!Girlfriend's Guide to Football Sunday-53

Now that you’re up to par with all your football lingo, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test! This weekend is jam-packed with some timeless rivalries and I hope you spend your time enjoying the essence of football and those exciting moments with your friends. I’ve linked everything I’m wearing to this Sunday’s watch party below, and please leave a comment sharing your favorite football team; I love seeing who you all are rooting for! xx Aubrey

Photos by: Loreal Novoa Photo

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Don’t Overthink Dating

September 29th, 2017

Don't Overthink Dating-46Okay, so every week I check my google analytics to see what posts you guys are currently loving on the blog and every week I see this post from 2014 in the top ten. It was probably one of my first ever blog posts, and I almost regret linking it as the images are eh, the poses are horrid and my grammar is less than up to par, but everyone has to start somewhere right.

Anyway, I felt it was time to update this post almost four years later. After re-reading the 2014 post, I realize not much has changed, I’m still horrible at picking up Matt’s calls and my friends are still begging me to write more relationship posts, so really we’ve come full circle here.

The only difference is that now Matt and I are another three years deeper into our relationship, we now live together, and social media has become a constant in everyone’s life; which has made this post even more essential to write.Don't Overthink Dating-74

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I still stand by the practice of calling over texting, because let’s face it, text messages are more calculated. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m just saying phone calls are good for getting to know each other, where text messages are more edited. Does that make sense? Think of it like snapchat vs Instagram; where Snapchat is like calling more raw, whereas Instagram is more filtered like texts.

Anyway, it’s three years later so I have bigger fish to fry than the importance of calling over texting. Today overthinking dating or even overthinking your OWN RELATIONSHIP has become even easier with social media.

From #couplegoals on Instagram to the easy swiping right on Tinder; dating in 2017 is rough and SO easy to overthink.

For instance, how many #couplegoals do we see on Instagram, I’ll be honest and say I follow at least five accounts just because I like their couple photo shoots, and as a blogger I know all the work that goes into planning such a shoot but as an individual I can see how these shoots can make you think twice about your own relationship.

I find more and more people overthinking their relationship because they are comparing it to others! & by doing that you are basically setting yourself up to fail.Don't Overthink Dating-9

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Whether you’re stalking the guy you’re currently crushing on ex-girlfriend or annoyed with your boyfriend over his lack of Instagram worthy romantic jesters.

Overthinking your dating life due to social media is not a good practice.

My favorite part of my job is creating beautiful images for you guys. Whether that means getting a little too close to the edge at The Cliffs of Moher or spending an hour making 24 perfectly circle pancakes for this shoot, I want you guys to find inspiration in each image and for me, that means going the extra length.

Whether our posts inspire you to whip out a bowl and make pancakes, travel to Ireland or embrace a New England lifestyle of your own; we spend time planning and creating these moments to share.

& honestly, I love sharing photos of Matt and I, on Instagram and my blog, because heck, I love sharing him with you all but that doesn’t mean we are perfect.

We fight over silly things all the time, we draw straws over who’s going to clean the kitchen sink (my least favorite chore) and we are constantly bickering over which cereal to buy each week at Walmart. I like Cocoa Pebbles and Matt likes Captain Crunch, this week I won by the looks of the photos, so progress.

Overall, we have our ups and downs, and I hate to see people overthinking their OWN relationships because they are comparing it to others on social media. Whether it be a blogger, friend or celebrity; don’t focus on how perfect they are as a couple and how you’d like to emulate them, but rather celebrate your own relationship.Don't Overthink Dating-17

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Don't Overthink Dating

Matt and I are very aware of how slippery a slope social media can be, so we have set up some ground rules to take a break from it.

Every night around 7 PM we go on a walk, with no phones. We usually walk for about an hour and just focus on us. Secondly every Saturday we have pancakes and watch TV (usually football), now I can 100% say this usually doesn’t occur in bed because I’m a known spiller, but pancakes are OUR THING.

Finally, we spend a lot of time traveling, shooting and working on the blog together. By having these three things that are unique to us, it’s helped us focus less on others, and what they are doing over on social media and more on us.

So to sum it up. A large part of not overthinking your relationship or date is by not comparing yourself to others. Whether it be a first date, or eight years into a relationship like Matt and I. Everyone has their uniqueness, so focus on the good and eat a pancake or two.

xx Aubrey

P.S; I’ve recently gotten a lot of questions about our new headboard! You can read about how we purchased the headboard for half the cost in this post, featuring my current favorite app…Raise

The Raise Team was kind enough to send over a coupon code for your use. Use CODE: COASTAL to get $5 off $50 for new Raise customers! FYI, this code expires in 2018, so use it while you can! 

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How to make long distance work

August 30th, 2017
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Hey I’ve recently gotten a lot of readers reaching out about one topic specifically, how to make long distance work…in college. & oh have I been there, and done that. For anyone that doesn’t know, Matt (my long term boyfriend) and I have held a relationship for 8 years, HOWEVER, four of those years were via a long distance relationship. I actually attended college in San Diego while Matt attended college in New York, so I’m talking about cross-country long distance, OH BOY. 
Before going any further, like every relationship post, I always encourage you to do what works for you, and I’m in no way saying what I did is the right way, but here’s my experience with the touchy topic that is long distance. 
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& like the OCD college note-taker in me, I’ve made a syllabus to help break the process down.
A) Distance DOESN’T Always Make the Heart Grow Fonder…
First off, let’s debunk one of those old-wives tales, aka, distance makes the heart grow fonder.  I get why people feel this way, and I believe this phrase is completely true for short time periods. It’s exciting going out in the world and having your own experience to bring back to the table, and it’s SO FUN reuniting and catching up like two peas in a pod.
Whenever I’m traveling for a shoot or to visit friends, without Matt, it’s fun and exciting to reconnect after one to three weeks apart; it’s like a relationship cleanse and yes, totally makes the heart grow fonder. BUT two months and up, without seeing each other is a different story. That’s when the debunking comes in because you get into the ‘drifting zone’ and we’ve all been there. How to make long distance work -8104
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B) MOST IMPORTANT: The Drifting Zone…
Definition: It’s basically the point of no return, it’s that moment when your friend is telling you a story and you realize you have no idea who, what or where they are talking about. It’s the moment when you’re not able to relate….
I’m a firm believer that we have all or will all eventually experience, the drifting zone. Whether it be with a friend, relationship, family member or co-worker; some relationships just aren’t meant to stand the test of time, AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! I’ve had plenty of friendships fizzle out, it’s just part of life.
Let me take a step back if you’re still confused as to what the drifting zone is, I’ll break it down further. Let’s say you’re a sophomore in college, look back at your high school friends, I’m sure there are some you’ve just drifted away from. Drifting is easy, and it’s usually a two-sided issue, and the scariest thing about drifting is that it’s the silent killer of relationships. You’ll always hear about the horrible stories of long distance relationships failing because of cheaters, because of a huge fight or because of jealousy; but to be honest, a lot of long term relationships fail because people just end up drifting apart. 
It’s hard having a relationship where your significant other or friend, doesn’t know your college friends, the environment you live in or your schedule/class load. I still to this day, have never been to Matt’s college campus and Matt still to this day hasn’t met all my California friends; which makes some exchange college stories, not as fun or interesting. 
So I get a lot of questions about how to prevent drifting and here are a few easy ways: 1) visit each other, 2) facetime and 3) active listening and engagement (get your friends on facetime, actively listen and engage with what they’re saying…always ask questions!). 
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C) Jealous Jelly Bean…
By nature I’m not a jealous person, sometimes I think Matt wishes I was more jealous because it’s not an emotion I evoke. I always joked with my friends saying, I’m too focused on myself to spend time being jealous…which sounds horrible but is true. I was way too focused in college on launching my blog to be worried about who Matt was hanging out with on a Friday night or a girl he had a group project with. I had zero worries and my roommates always made fun of me for this, stating I was like the man in the long-term relationship. 
I just had a very relaxed approach to long-distance and I think that came from 1) not being a jealous person but also 2) by being confident in the relationship Matt and I have. We are both very (I hate this word) confrontational people, which meant if our relationship was going to blow up…IT WOULD BE APPARENT. We have very loud, strong and vocal communication skills; but I think that’s why long distance worked for us…if someone wasn’t happy they voiced it! 
Anyway, Jealous Jelly Beans are a NO GO for long-distance, and if you’re one of these beans, especially if you don’t like confrontation, then either rethink taking your relationship long-distance or readjust your attitude. How to make long distance work -7905
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D) Conclusion: Keep Me Posted…
This was always and still is my go to line with long distance relationships. Keep me posted, was how I ended every phone call. Making yourself available via phone is really important, it’s kind of like being a life coach; if Matt had a group project, interview or test…I wanted to know about it. 
If you want to make long distance work than you NEED to stay up to date with current events, and constantly check up on them. No one like a friend that sits there and talks only about themselves, make sure to always stay up to date with what’s going on in your friends like and leave yourself open to hearing about it. 
Basically, keep lines of communication mutually beneficial and ACTUALLY LISTEN, because where your attention goes your energy flows! & here’s a NEWSFLASH, long distance takes up both a lot of time and energy so don’t be hasty.How to make long distance work -8010
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Okay, so that’s my long-distance syllabus for the fall semester. Should I do a second one for spring semester? Let me know below, along with any other tips and tricks you guys have up your sleeves. xx Aubrey 
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Why Fenway Is My Ideal Date Night

August 18th, 2017
Date night at Fenway
Matt & I have been quite transparent with you all, when it comes to our love of New England sports. It’s an activity both Matt and I love embracing, and unlike many preppy lifestyle blogs, I’m not talking about polo matches or croquet; no Matt and I are fans of the All American sports aka baseball and football. 
  The reason why we love these two All American sports so much is plain and simple. There is just something SO inspiring about the cornerstones in these sports: trust and teamwork I think that’s why I like watching both sports so much, from truly trusting your teammates to prevent you from an injury-prone tackler or working almost seamlessly together to get a baseball runner out, all within seconds is just REALLY admirable.
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Anway, the level of trust, teamwork, and dedication these players have really is inspirational. Oh, and did I mention, Matt asked me to be his ‘girlfriend’ during the movie Fever Pitch when we were 14 (lol), so Fenway’s always had a fond place in my heart. 
 Overall Fenway night games in August are actually my ideal date nights, come summer in New England.  Whenever readers email me about summer date night ideas, I always recommend baseball games. Some cities even have pretty affordable nights, I know in San Diego you could attend a Padres game for as little as $25, that’s nothing! 
So today I figured I’d go over why going to Fenway is my Ideal Date Night, and below I’ve listed my top three reasons. 
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1) Great Place to Chat 

Unlike a movie theater or play, baseball games are a great date night location because it’s easy to strike up a conversation. Let’s say it’s the first date and you’re nervous about awkward silences, no worries, just head to a baseball game there is so much going on, at all times, that it’s easy to strike up a conversation about anything. I always love doing double dates at Fenway, so many good memories. 
2) Make Memories 
Date nights can end up, blending together, especially when you’ve dated as long as Matt and I have, so by going somewhere exciting like Fenway you’ll probably end up documenting the date and having a more memorable night. I love being able to look back at all of our date nights at Fenway, so we make it a mission to document the nights, which makes them more special than a dinner date.
3) Afterparty? 

You know those dates where after the movie ends you are stuck looking at each other, wondering whether to the extend the date to a second location, or go your separate ways. Well the great part about Fenway is your in BOSTON, let’s say the date goes great you have several bars and restaurants within walking distance where you can extend your date organically, cutting out the awkwardness. 

& if that didn’t sell you on bringing a date to Fenway, don’t get me started on how terrific a Fenway Frank can be. So whenever Matt and I have a chance to slip away into either Fenway or Gillet Stadium, you bet we leave room for stadium food. Oh, and if hot dogs aren’t your thing they have Del’s Lemonade. 
Anyway, Matt and I are off to Ireland tomorrow and I can’t wait to bring you guys along. Make sure to head over to Instagram for more current details. xx Aubrey 
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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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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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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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