Category Archives: Serendipity

3 Tricks To Getting Off The Grid

March 26th, 2018

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Now by nature I’m a very much ‘on the grid’ person. I need to micromanage everyone on the TCC Team, just ask Tessa and Cecilia, and I’m constantly checking up, checking in, and checking on progress. Which now I realize was a huge waste of my time, but I’m the type of person that sends to-do texts to them at 12AM, who nitpicks every part of our site and overbooks myself to the point of overwhelming myself. I mean, I leave voice memos of things to get done and have five different to-do lists going at once on my phone (to-do Cecilia, to-do Youtube, to-do digital, to-do blog, to-do home). It’s funny because I’m good at managing other people’s time but by doing so was wasting an enormous amount of my time. Anyway, I decided I needed to disappear more, falling off the grid and just taking a day off.

I’ve needed a day off more than I’d like to admit lately, and recently I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me step back and fall off the grid. I’m a Gemini, which means one day I’m type A and need to manage everything myself, and the next day I’m totally chill and delegating to my fullest. But if I’m being honest with myself as we head into the busy season of blogging, I’ve decided that I need a balance of being on and off the grid, for the sake of the TCC Crew and my sanity. I wanted to share the tricks I’ve learned and implemented with you all in this post, in hopes of inspiring some of you to fall off the grid with me. 

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Do you guys watch Park and Recreation? If so you might remember the episode where Ron hires Tom and Donna to get him ‘completely off the grid’ well that’s how I felt last month. If you haven’t seen the episode stop what you are doing now and watch it, it is actually one of my favorites. Anyway, while I don’t have a Tom and Donna to help me, I did implement these three tricks, to help separate myself from the craziness of the job and the demandingness of the blogging business.  

#1 Deleting My Email App From My Phone: This trick has worked wonders but was really hard for me to pull the trigger on. One of my favorite parts of the job is getting emails, it’s like getting a letter in the mail. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a bill or a thank you card, I loved seeing my phone light up at all hours of the day with emails. I loved it so much, I would stop what I was doing right in my tracks to check and respond to all emails. I mean, I was a soooo effective at answering emails but ended up getting nothing else done. I was always pulling late nights due to not having my blog posts done or photos edited. Hi, I’m Aubrey and I’m addicted to my email inbox, NO JOKE. So I did something crazy, deleted my work email from my phone, ahhh. It hurt a little bit but was huge for my work flow. I have three dedicated email times, 9 AM, 2 PM and 8 PM. These are the only times I’ll pull up my Gmail account and if something is urgent, the TCC Crew knows to send me a text. Not only has this helped me fall off the grid, but it’s also helped me cut down my working hours behind a computer from 9 hours a day to about 4.5 hours a day. To sum it up: Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me!

#2 Top Seven To-Do List: If you’ve read the book, The One Thing, than you already know where I’m headed with this. In the book the author instructs readers to create daily to-do list with no more than seven things to accomplish in a day; AND at the top of the list you should label your ONE THING! That is the one thing you MUST complete in the day before turning off, but just because it is at the top of your list, doesn’t necessarily have to be the first thing you do when you wake up. 

Basically, the idea here is that you should save your ONE THING for when you’re ‘feeling it’, does that make sense? Stay with me here, it’s kind of like going to the gym, some people can wake up and instantly go to the gym and run four miles; but some people no matter how much coffee you give them can’t get into a morning workout…aka me. So instead of trying to fit a triangle into a square, schedule your to do list in order of your mojo. I for instance, write my blog posts in the morning because it’s the hardest thing for me to get off my to-do list, writing doesn’t come easy to me and I’m always procrastinating, so I get this mundane task off the list first when I’m calm and save my ONE THING for night-time when I’m most alert, active, and FEELING IT. 

By compressing down my to-do list to just seven things and reorganizing how I complete them by my mood, has really helped me to getting my work done within an eight hour work day and stepping off the grid. Again, this process has helped me stay ahead of the game, which frees up more time for myself and leaves me feeling more accomplished at the end of the day, knowing that I’ve completed what I must for the success of the TCC brand. 

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#3 In The Words of Arron Burr ‘Talk Less, Smile More’: I mean, guys sometimes it is just not worth going down the rabbit hole. My job is a very public one and you wouldn’t believe some of the emails, text messages and DM’s I get; I mean people can be odd. I went into blogging with the principle that I would respond to ALL READERS messages, but honestly feeding into such negativity from ingenuine readers is such a waste of time. It’s funny how quickly I’ll want to respond to the rude comments, to the text messages from acquaintances who are constantly letting me down or just defending myself and my content to complete strangers. 

I mean responding to those messages instead of responding and spending time with loved ones is silly, even if it means not everyone gets a response. This year I’ve gotten really good at talking less, and just smiling more. If you have an issue with a picture, with my content or just aren’t being genuine then, it’s not worth working the extra hours of planning a politically correct, nice, and kind rebuttal in order to please unappeasable people. I would say by talking and engaging less with negative comments has cut down the time I spend on social media platforms, but has also provided me with more time to talk to you guys, the actual readers of this blog. Win, Win! Now apply this to your life, so if you have a friend that’s never happy with you or someone on social media that irks you every time they post, just delete them straight out of your life, like Arron Burr Sir. 

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By using the above three tricks to getting off the grid, I’ve been able to scale back on the hours spent behind my computer and my phone, and has allowed me to spend time where I actually want to be…the beach. Getting outside and taking in New England’s beaches is by far my favorite thing to do in spring and summer. Flash back to last week when my Mom and I were visiting Charleston, we finished our content shoot day early and decided to celebrate by making a quick stop to Sullivan’s beach. I was so excited to pull out my new Lilly Pulitzer arrivals and just breath in that crisp sea air. I wore this blue and white, Lilly Pulitzer off the shoulder dress, and watched as the lighthouse turned on its light for the ships at sea. Even better we actually saw some dolphins, it was the perfect end to a busy workday. 

If I of all people, can make time to get off the grid, detach from emails, detach from busy work and detach from time-consuming people than you can too! Anyway I’d love to hear from you guys, do you have any tips for getting off the grid? If so let me know below.

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Ways To Find Inspiration in Life and in Business

March 12th, 2018
 The words, “I’m just tired” have been coming out of my mouth non-stop for just about the last three months. I want to sit down and talk to you guys about ways I find inspiration in life and business during unsure times. If I’m being honest with you all, these past few months have felt like being on a very long episode of Punked, minus the good part of getting to actually meet Ashton Kutcher at the end. To break it down, since December, I’ve been hitting one little bump on the road after another. Normally I’m good at overcoming these hurdles, but three months into it I’ve gotten a little crispy with the whole thing. As always, I’m so grateful for good-health and my TCC Crew, but recently I’ve felt these continuous hiccups are starting to have an effect on my overall happiness. 
 
I mean, our stuff gets stolen in San Francisco, and I’m very good at finding the positive viewpoint in these situations which for me at the time was that, we still have the images. I was okay with the setback because I found an upside, until I get an email two weeks ago from the very talented photographer, apologizing that her hard drive had crashed and all the images were gone. I mean, that’s one example of the bumps I’m talking about, by no means are these serious situations but it just felt like I couldn’t catch a break and that no matter how hard I worked, the TCC Brand and my job just wouldn’t work out. It was these little fires after fires that started to take a tole on me, my job and the TCC brand. 
 
I honestly lost inspiration and almost felt as if the universe had just given up on me. Has anyone else ever felt that way? I mean, if I don’t do my job no one will so it became really hard to manage my crew, respond to emails, publish content on time, respond to friends via text messages whilst dealing with so many setbacks. I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t working hard enough, if I wasn’t good enough or if it just wasn’t meant to be. I was having the hardest time grasping at inspiration when everything around me felt like it was burning down. Through it all, I kept telling Matt, I’m just tired. Obviously running this blog, and expanding it via upcoming projects and new TCC Crew Members is my passion in life. I LOVE what I do, I LOVE connecting with you all, and I LOVE showcasing New England lifestyle; and I’m so thankful for everyone that has helped me over the last couple of months, but through it all I’ve really found a new outlook on our brand, the blogging industry and how to find inspiration in life and business when everything around you is going to s***. 
 
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Whether you are a creative (which is what I consider myself), entrepreneur, student, influencer or innovative; we can all find ourselves feeling burnt out or as my sister likes to say DONE. Personally, I believe creativity and inspiration are essential to each other, as without inspiration you wouldn’t create and with out someone else or something else being created you wouldn’t become inspired. Inspiration can come from anywhere, it can come from books, music, nature, ‘signs’, architecture, motion pictures or even sitting in a flower shop. Inspiration is all around us, but when our minds are constantly putting out fires, it can be hard to find our way, so below I’ve listed things I do to get outside of myself and find inspiration when it all seems too much. 
 
+ Go For A Drive: New England is the ideal place for a road trip so whenever I’m feeling stuck, angry, agitated or just overwhelmed; I get in my car and drive around. Whether I end up exploring a new town or visiting the shore, it always seems to bring me clarity. Nothing makes me happier than listening to good music and taking in the spring, summer or fall air through the sunroof. I’ll admit I often end up driving towards the shore like Essex, Old Saybrook or Haddam but sometimes I admit I end up at Friendly’s to get a monster mash ice cream. 
 
+ Listen To Music: Music is a big way I find inspiration, and I’m a huge fan of making playlists to fit each and every mood I have. I have a playlist for just about everything including a creativity playlist and an inspiration playlist. I often need inspiration when it comes to writing blog posts, and I often rely on this playlist to set the mood and calm down my thoughts. 
 
+ Meditating: I often find inspiration by getting outside of myself, but sometimes getting inside yourself works too. Recently I’ve been using the app Headspace to meditate from anywhere between three to ten minutes a day, and it’s really made a difference. I can often get down on myself when I hit all these bumps, thoughts like I should be working longer hours, that I’m not made out for this job, or that I need to be making more money; can become consuming, so giving my mind a break and rewiring my brand to look at the big picture helps me get reinspired about TCC mission. 
 
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+ Connect with History: Sometimes I get so sucked into technology with my career, that it’s really good to get perspective and my favorite way of doing that is by connecting with history. I love learning about New England’s history and the incredible people and stories it has to tell. In fact the other day I was doing just that in Durham, and stumbled upon the home of Moses Austin 1761, and after reading up on him, I learned that he was an American businessman with the first land grant to settle Texas. Yup, who would have thought that the original founders of Austin Texas came from, Durham CT, but they did and his colonial home where he made all the plans for the settlement stands today in Durham, CT. I mean, that’s incredible and if that doesn’t give you perspective about instagram followers, I don’t know what will. 
 
+ Travel: My last resort for inspiration is to travel. On average I find New England very inspiring but something about the muddy season of February and March has me urging to explore, so after so many hiccups I decided to plan a spontaneous trip to Charleston with my mom over the last week. It was exactly what the doctor ordered and again was a great way to refuel my inspiration tank and warm up my soul. 
 
+ Signs: I’m a true believer in signs and they are often my prime source of inspiration and perseverance. Whenever I feel like I can’t go on anymore, I often get the best sign or inspiration from the universe; I mean, call it what you want: god, spirit guides, the universe, but I do believe there is something greater out there offering a helping hand to each of us here and there. I mean yesterday I was honestly at my wits end, so tired, so much to do and just stuck on the process to take for an upcoming project; and then out of nowhere I literally bumped into a stranger who specialized in exactly the topic I needed council on whilst I was walking in the park. I mean, what are the odds, especially since I normally never even talk to people in the park. I guess what I’m saying is be open to all sources of inspiration, whether it’s something someone said on the radio or the fortune you got inside your fortune cookie; whatever the sign is if it inspires you in some way run with it! 

 
 
Okay, I can’t wait to continue to share more images from my recent trip to Charleston and I hope this post helps you find inspiration when your down. Anyway let’s talk about this Eva Franco skirt now, I mean how fitting is it for spring. I paired it with an olive t-shirt, to bring out the green hues in the skirt’s embroidery, and paired it with these Carrie Forbes handwoven sandals. I honestly love love love Eva Franco’s spring skirts, I know a lot of you request me to do a skirt video similar to my winter skirt video seen here, and I bring that to you all as soon as I stock up on some of her new arrivals. From embroidery to feminine tulle, I get giddy whenever I see her new arrivals at Anthropologie
 
Anyway, that’s all I have for you guys this Monday. Leave a comment below with how you find inspiration and have a wonderful week. 
 
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Letter from the Editor & San Francisco Vlog

February 28th, 2018

What a month guys. If this month has taught me anything it’s that sometimes you just need to be humble and ASK FOR HELP. I’m not always keen on asking others for help, because I reallllly hate imposing on others, but this month has slapped me in the face and taught me in the most transparent way possible, that when obstacles start to pile up it’s OKAY to reach out for help from a friend, coworker or family member. I learned that sharing my burdens with others, not only helped me process the hectic events happening around me but it also gave me perspective while bringing us closer as we maneuvered the ups and downs together, as a team. All and all this month really put me in my place and showed me that sharing your burdens with those around you can be just as important as celebrating the success. Oh, and it also taught me that when stuff starts to hit the fan these are the moments you’ll look back on and just die from laughter. Anway, let’s jump right into this month. 

Let me quickly recap with you guys, some of these obstacles that Matt and I had to overcome in the past month. They include but are not limited too: a flooded apartment, a car accident, our luggage and camera equipment getting stolen during our first day in SF, my phone and computer dying on the same day (oy), and finally our San Francisco photographer’s hard drive breaking…resulting in us losing basically ALL the images from San Francisco entirely. I mean, it was a lonnggggg month. Let me start by saying I’m thankful that none of these issues are life threating and I’m so grateful that we can easily replace most of these objects, but it was still hard dealing with one incident after another after another.

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To be transparent with you all, I had to step away from the blog and my social media for a bit and you may have noticed that last week. I always want my social media content to be uplifting, and I felt that the best thing for me to do at that moment, was to take a step back and breath. I was really crispy when I found out that all the images we worked SO HARD to shoot in San Francisco, seven blog posts to be exact, were completely gone. It basically felt like I couldn’t catch a break and I was exhausted; leaving me in a humbling situation that resulted in me having to reach out for help. I needed financial help from my parents to help maneuver some costs, I needed moral support from my friend Jennifer to help me continue on with my trip to SF when so much nonsense was clouding my mind, and finally, I needed help with TCC work which made me grateful for each member of my crew: Tessa, our videographer and photographer, Cecelia, our operations manager, and Matt! Without these people, I would have never been able to continue on and recover and reshoot an entire vlog in one day. I mean, not to brag but my TCC Crew is what dreams are made of right now, and I can’t wait to share more of their talents with you all in the future. 

Okay, so now it’s time to hear from you! Have you struggled to the point where asking for help was the only option? What was it like stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for help? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I hope you guys enjoy our vlog! It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here, so enjoy. xx. 

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Guide to Driving in the Snow

January 21st, 2018

Guide to Driving in the Snow | The Coastal Confidence

OUTFIT DETAILS

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This post has been long overdue, I mean with the number of snow-covered roads New Englanders have already navigated this year, I feel like this post had to get published sooner than later. While I’ve been openly accepting and appreciating the beautiful snowy scenes, this winter has thrown at us, I’ll never be laissez-faire about having to drive, in the snow. I initially wanted Matt to write this post because he has a lot more experience when it comes to driving in winter conditions, but due to his busy schedule (he’s too much) I’m here to share the notes he provided me with.

Driving in the snow will always be my least favorite winter activity, I mean I would rather walk to the supermarket than drive if snow or ice hits. Yet, sometimes you have to pull on your big-boy snow boots and get in your car and go. When I was chatting with Matt about this post he shared some amazing tips and tricks on how to get you from point A to point B, in the safest way possible. So here is our guide to driving in the snow!

+ Check Your Local Conditions: First things first, Matt always urges me to check driving conditions the night before any early morning meetings when snow or below zero temperatures are on the radar. Will there be snowy roads? Icy roads, from melted snow that refroze overnight? It is important to understand the conditions you are driving in and most importantly inform others, that you are heading out in bad weather and when you think you’ll be back. It’s so easy to get stuck or skid off the road in poor conditions, so make sure to let others know where you are going and when they should expect to see you back.

+ Clear Snow Off Your Car: I mean this is an obvious one if you live in Connecticut because you can actually get a ticket for driving with snow-covered car roofs or windows. Nothing is scary than being behind a car on a day after a snow storm to see a huge chunk of snow sliding off their roof and onto the road or even worse the hood of your car. Before heading out just clear snow from the roof, car lights and windshield wipers and windows.

+ Driving Tips: It takes longer to accelerate, decelerate, turn and maneuver when driving in snow, so drive slow and give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B. When driving make sure to use low-beam headlights to avoid light reflecting off the snow and give at least eight seconds in following distance, between the car in front of you and yourself. Accelerate slowly, giving your tires time to grab the snowy roads and move forward with control; alongside breaking slowly and lightly overtime to stay in control and prevent spinouts due to sudden stops.

+ Don’t Stop & Won’t Stop: If there is a lot of snow on the road, stopping can become an issue. Snowy Road conditions can leave you and your tires with little to no traction on the road, which can make starting up from a full stop quite tricky. When it comes to breaking, just keep the heel of your foot on the floor and break with the ball of your foot to apply steady pressure; whatever you do resist from slamming on the gas or your breaks. Slamming on your breaks will lock up your tires, thus preventing your tires from gripping the snow and coming to a stopping point.

+ Drive With a Shovel: If you know you must go out in the snow, grab a shovel, flashlight, and a small bag of salt to place in your car in case you get stuck in a snowbank. Getting stuck in snowy road conditions is not a fun time but having a shovel to help free your tires and salt to provide traction, will make the experience a tiny bit less horrid.

+ Stay at Home: Ideally if it is snowy and winter advisories are out, I would highly recommend staying home. Driving in the snow is no joke, so if you have the choice to stay put, take that option. Work from home, stay safe and wait until the roads are safely plowed before venturing out into New England’s winter wonderland.

Okay, those are the tips Matt and I have for you all today. I would love to hear any tips you guys have below. Also, I can’t believe we’ve already had so many snow days this early in Winter, I feel like this is going to be one chilly season, anyone else agree?

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Why You Need Renters Insurance

January 17th, 2018

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Oh boy. 

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to just sit down and unload the current situation Matt and I have found ourselves in. To be honest, it feels good to hit the pause button on New England content for a second and fill you all in on what has been the craziest start to 2018. Our TCC Crew jumped head first into 2018, aka our year of travel, by booking three trips in the next three months. Remember when I talked about using our vacations days and being over-ambitious in this post; well I 100% overbooked our schedules BUT I was happy that we were finally using our vacation days and making the most of what is going to be an amazing year. 

Anyway, on January 3rd I flew back to Dallas and decided to take a ‘half-sick day’. I knew our crew had a busy three months ahead of us and after being sick through the entire holiday season, I really wanted to take a day to myself. I simply wanted to watch Christmas movies, relax and rejuvenate my mind, body, and soul. I proceeded to turn my email auto-response on, told the crew I was sick (aka playing hooky) and got back into my pajamas to watch a whole bunch of Christmas movies. I made some hot tea, curled up onto the couch, put Christmas in Connecticut on and was ready for a peaceful and tech-free day. 

The joke was on me though guys, just 10 minutes into Christmas in Connecticut, I called Matt because our fire alarm was going off. Why did I call Matt? Mostly to complain because our fire alarm goes off almost monthly for ‘testing’, but as I’m on the phone with Matt I peer out of my window to see a downpour of water coming from the unit above ours straight onto the balcony.  

As I looked up at the amount of water coming down from the above unit, all I could say was…Matt this isn’t good.

After hanging up the phone I quickly gathered Eloise (our cat) and headed outside to notify the office. Matt was on lunch break so within 15 minutes he met me outside of the apartment, to go back up and investigate. I waited with Eloise in the car only to hear a frantic Matt screaming EVERYTHING IS UNDER WATER. Our entire apartment, minus our newly furnished bedroom, which you can see here, was calf deep in water. Let’s just say this was the least relaxing sick day, I’ve ever taken.  

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Now looking back, Matt and I were extremely fortunate that I had been home for the flooding. We were able to get Eloise out of the apartment and into a dry place, whilst moving our expensive items like TVs, computers, flash drives, photos and sentimental things to a dry place (aka our bedroom). Basically, the pipes in the apartment above us broke, leading their sprinkler system to go off and flood their entire apartment, and our apartment got the aftermath as water came in from the ceiling completely destroying things like our couch, rugs, chairs, blankets etc. I mean the water was pretty nasty and ended up staining a majority of our furniture. 

Overall, Matt and I were so lucky that nothing that couldn’t be replaced got damaged and we were wise enough to have invested in renters insurance; which brings me to our post today. I honestly thought renters insurance was silly. I kept telling Matt things like: we don’t need it, I’ve lived in apartments before and nothing has ever happened, and basically every excuse in the book to talk him out of it. However Matt refused to budge on this issue and we ended up investing in renters insurance and honestly looking back, THANK GOD FOR MATT. 

With the help of our insurance company this issue has been quickly resolved and dealt with but without them, we would have been in a serious loss. So Matt’s going to take over and give you a few tips and tricks as to why you need renters insurance:  

Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence
Why You Need Renters Insurance for Your Apartment | The Coastal Confidence

Why you need renters insurance: 


 

Many people like Aubrey don’t see the importance of insurance until a loss occurs like a flood, fire or car accident, and once this happens frankly it’s just too late to recover all of your damaged items. Your everyday items like your phone, laptop, clothes, and home decor values add up and you will quickly realize that after a loss. We are very thankful that we invested the $100-150 into a renters insurance policy because everything that was damaged from the loss will be paid for, providing us with the funds to repurchase the items. 

Another thing Aubrey didn’t consider when considering insurance was, where do you stay or eat when an incident does occur? Now, if you’re lucky enough to live near family, maybe you can bunk up with them, but with no immediate family in the Dallas area, Aubrey and I were out an apartment and in need of a place to stay. Again, thankfully we invested in renters insurance because they too provide us with funds to stay in a hotel and purchase meals until our apartment is habitable, which ended up being over two weeks in our circumstance. 

First and foremost, it is very important to talk to your landlord or apartment complex about their insurance policies before signing your lease, because many places only offer liability coverage within your agreement. This means that you’ll have coverage for the property itself but none of your personal items would be covered in the event of a loss. This is something that many college students including myself didn’t realize until our computers and TVs were stolen from our dorm room. It was our fault for just expecting the college to cover our personal property and not take the initiative of finding out what insurance policy we had while living at college. If your apartment complex’s insurance doesn’t cover PERSONAL PROPERTY or LOSS OF USE then invest the $100-150 into a renters insurance policy. No matter how you roll the dice, it’s not easy enduring a loss, especially if your personal and sentimental items end up damaged but having an insurance policy is a safety net that will make you rest that night knowing all of your items will be financially covered.


 

All in all, I hope this post inspires you to take a second out of your busy week to consider your insurance policy. Trust me when I say it’s literally the last thing I want to do, but looking back I’m so thankful Matt nagged me into signing the contract. On an exciting note, Matt and I are moving back to our unit today, and I can’t wait to have a kitchen again. Please leave a comment below if you’ve had a similar experience or any other insurance tips and tricks. 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Use All Your Vacation Days in 2018

January 5th, 2018

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

I will always be a high-strong and slightly over ambitious person when it comes to running The Coastal Confidence. I honestly think the fact that I can admit that is a huge step in the right direction. Naturally, I’ve been known for not delegating enough out to crew members, while double-booking myself, as I desperately try to cram in as many photoshoot sessions as possible, while in New England. I often feel like I don’t want to burden others, so I just shove more and more onto my plate until my plate shatters, and boy did it fall apart over the holiday break.  

I was in New England from December 15th – January 2nd and my over-ambitious personality thought I’d be able to fit in eight video shoots and twenty-four outfit shoots within that time period. Honestly, I was just straight-up delusional. The holiday season should be a time spent with family, friends, and community; instead, I spent my holiday season jamming in photoshoots between holiday parties, NYC adventures and Vermont ski slope runs. 

I was waking up at 6:00 AM for photoshoots with my sister Tessa and editing photos until 1:00 AM; I was quite literally running myself into the ground. I over-extended myself and it left me with not only a 72-hour stomach bug (on Christmas Eve) but also a nasty cold. Overall, my ambitious habits left me sick for basically my entire trip home and I’m actually still sick writing this post now. My crammed in schedule resulting in my trip home, being the definition of a let-down. Our crew ended up only filming four videos and twelve outfit photos, which was pretty disastrous for my ego. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Ending 2017 on that note was not ideal but 2018, brings a fresh start to the table and most importantly new perspective. Not being in New England 100% of the time has made my job increasingly hard, but this year instead of cramming in as much as possible, while in New England; Matt and I are going to use each and every one of our vacation days and bring you along for…let’s call it the year of travel.  

We’re going to actually use our air miles to bring you guys along to our favorite cities! Travel has always brought a cloud of anxiety for me, in terms of creating blog content, so while the written content will be true to New England, the pictures might be a little more travel-focused or out-of-the-box; and I hope you guys enjoy it. Anyway, to get to my point, if you’re a workaholic, a type A boss, or just a destructively overambitious person like me…listen up because here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Use All Your Vacation Days in 2018: 

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

 # 1 Recharge – I know from firsthand experience that when you overwork yourself, you often end up causing yourself the unnecessary mental stress and often become even less productive and in my case sick. Ideally you would think that working non-stop makes you a go-getter but actually, it can reduce both your productivity and quality of work; so give yourself a break and come back to work refreshed and recharged. 

# 2 Perspective – I mean this point is reason enough to use all your vacation days. Having perspective is really important especially in the blogging industry. It is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing, why a certain image didn’t get that many likes or why you didn’t nail down a specific partnership; all of these things are completely situational but when you live, eat and breath your job; situational things can start to feel personal. So giving yourself a break can really help you see the BIG PICTURE, and focus more on the purpose of your job instead of the nitty gritty of it.  

# 3 Inspiration – Take your vacation days and go see something, someone or somewhere that will fuel your inner fire. Whether that’s visiting a new city, a friend in a foreign place or a country you’ve been dying to attend; get out there and live life. Whenever I feel like my content has gotten stagnant, I try to book a quick flight to the cheapest city nearby. Traveling really adds a breath of fresh air into my soul and my brand. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Your Vacation Days | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

# 4 Mental Health – Recently I’ve gotten into the app Headspace[headspace.com], if you haven’t heard of headspace before, basically it’s an app that provides guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training to you daily. I started the app back in December and I’ve really gotten into the idea of giving your mind down time and space. In fact, after using the app for just two weeks I noticed a difference in my overall attitude and stress levels, making me realize that vacation days shouldn’t be used to just sleep and recharge your body, but also to give the mind a break. Let your mind wander, read a book, do a puzzle, see a movie; giving your brain a vacation day is key to boosting creativity and new ideas.  

# 5 Reflection – The start of a new year can be exciting and inspiring but taking your Vacation Day can be too. Use your time off to reflect on your goals, where you are in life and where you want to be. Connect with yourself and put systems in place to achieve those goals that you’ve temporarily placed on the back burner, then head back to work with a new game plan for your career and life. 

I hope this post inspired you to put ‘the grind’ in perspective. Sometimes all you need is to take a break and get outside of yourself, in order to really have a breakthrough. 

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2017 Yearly Rundown

December 31st, 2017

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Silver Dress c/o|| Leopard Faux Coat (ON SALE!) || Silver Shoes (ON SALE) || Earrings  

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018! The start of the new year is always an exciting time, as it feels like the start of something new. While I’m naturally an overly optimistic person, which often means I love looking to what’s next, I find it necessary to look back at what we’ve accomplished. With the year closing, we’ve experienced some highs and lows, along with some pretty big changes that we’d like to recap exclusively with our TCC Readers.

The Highs:


 

This Weekly Newsletter – Getting this newsletter off the ground and running has always been a HUGE GOAL of mine. However, consistency was always an issue, as I would often end up publishing the newsletter later if at all. So I have to give a special thank you to our TCC Crew Member Cecelia, our weekly newsletter would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for her.

Expanding our Crew – This year we added TWO new members to the crew! Our TCC Operations Manager Cecelia and our TCC Videographer Tessie. By adding these two new members to our crew, together we’ve finally been able to create content that would have otherwise been impossible.

Working with Dream Brands – After running this blog since 2014, exactly four years ago now, our crew has finally gotten the chance to collaborate with some of our favorite brands. Getting to creatively collaborate with brands I’ve always looked up to, as both a consumer and marketer, feels like a “pinch me” moment.

The Lows:


 

Moving – I don’t really want to say moving to Dallas was a low because Matt and I have had so much fun here, but it does mean that our crew is constantly scattered; which can make producing content that much harder. We’ve really learned to love those good old Facetime Conference sessions and I look forward to the day where we are all located in New England.

The Business Side of TCC – This year I really struggled with separating my brand content (creative) with my brand collaboration and business side. It’s hard to negotiate and determine your collaboration agreements without either feeling narcissistic or undermining your worth. This was something I really struggled with, so Matt stepped in as our TCC CFO. His role on the business side has really helped our creative crew stay focused on creating and leaves Matt to communicate with brand’s, which can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Some Pretty Big Changes:


2018: TCC Brand Expansion – This is a BIG year, let’s call it a make it or break it year for the TCC Crew. I honestly can’t say much more than that. I’m a top secret creative, I don’t like to share anything until I’m 100% sure we have the green light. So all I can say, for now, is look forward to some content that’s raw, uniquely New England, and something that hopefully will positively affect our New England community. Can’t wait to bring you guys along.

2018: Travel Time – This year is going to be a big year for us, travel wise. With three trips already planned, our crew hopes to bring some international inspiration to our readers near and far. 

2018: Moving? – In 2016 Matt and I relocated to Dallas Texas for work. Now that it is 2018, our two years relocation time period is almost up, which means this could be a big year for us with a location change. While moving can be stressful, I can’t wait to see where we might end up and whether we rent or buy, WHO KNOWS! 

 

Overall, we wanted to end the year on a grateful note! Our crew is so grateful for each and every one of you; between the kind messages you send our way, to getting to finally meet a few of you in person, our main goal for 2018 is truly connecting more authentically and in real time with all of you. Happy 2018 guys, and below I’ve recapped some of our favorite moments from 2017, wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year! xx Aubrey. 

January:invest-in-yoursel

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Scenic Route Photo Run - The Coastal Confidence - 2

In January, Matt and I were starting to feel settled in Dallas. For a while I struggled with working from home in a city that I knew no one in, to be honest, it was really lonely. In January I branched out and ended up getting a part-time job at one of my favorite retailers, to meet local Texans. This change really uplifted my mood and allowed me to connect with people I’d never otherwise have met. January is the perfect time to branch out, meet new people and further invest yourself in your local community. 

February:How We Surprised Matt with Super Bowl Tickets- The Coastal Confidence - 2

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In February my parents were kind enough to help me surprise Matt with tickets to the Super Bowl! Matt has always been a football fanatic, and with the Super Bowl being in Houston on his birthday weekend, the cards just kind of fell into place and we were able to find tickets two days before the big game on Craigslist. You can read about the big surprise and our time at the Super Bowl in this blog post

March:My College Experince -40

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APRIL:Eating Healthy on Vacation-7868

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In April my family, Matt and I, went to Aruba for Easter. Both Matt and I are so fortunate to have both the time and ability to travel with ease. To be honest my job and content can feel a little stagnant, so having time to relax is key when it comes to recharging your batteries to get your creative juices back. Make sure to check out our recap of our Aruba trip here, here and here.

MAY:Lakeside Style-3614

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JUNE:72 Hours in Westin-5159

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June is always a jam-packed month for our TCC Crew, partically because it’s my birthday month and because New England’s lifestyle truly takes on a life of its own come summer. Matt and I packed June with Texas roadtrips like Austin, Gruene and San Antonio; before heading back up to New England to capture the coastline. 

JULY: How to stay cool and stylish in the summer heat-0573

How I edit my blog photos-0884
How to create a media kit for your blog - The Coastal Confidence

AUGUST: How to make long distance work -7699

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In August, Matt and I planned a last moment trip to Ireland. Visiting Ireland was actually on our 2017 Bucket List,  you can see everything we had on the bucket list in this recap post for 2016. So basically, we jumped at the opportunity to visit Ireland once the flights had dropped. You can view our Irealnd trip here, here, here and here

September: Falconry at Ashford Castle-8673

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My Closet Staples, for Fall in New England 2 - C

OCTOBER:5 Best Corn Mazes in CT - The Coastal Confidence

AUTUMN ESSENTIALS-0822
Brooks Brothers' HOCR style
 Girlfriend's Guide to Football Sunday-53

NOVEMBER: November Bucket List-8705

Thanksgiving Travel Tips-6965
Thorncrest Farm & Milk House Chocolates-5851
Scallop Hem Cape along with Mistletoe and Holly-1879
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's-2-12

DECEMBER: 7 Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Fella-3426

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Season of Giving: $400 J.Crew Gift Card Giveaway

December 20th, 2017

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Wool Coat || Shirt || Shoes (on sale) || Skirt

In honor of Christmas being just around the corner and the season of giving being in full swing, our TCC Crew has decided to give away a $400 J.Crew Gift Card, to one of our lucky readers. Simple because…you guys deserve it! 

2017, has been a wonderful year for our crew, not only have we tackled new mediums like Youtube and Instagram stories but we grew physically, as we added two new members: Cecilia our TCC Content Coordinator and Tessie our TCC Videographer. So during this season of giving, we wanted to whip something special up to say THANK YOU, to all the TCC readers that allow our crew to get up every day and capture the best of New England living. None of this would be possible without your support and inspiration. 

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Now, we tried to keep entering requirements to the bare minimum so scroll down to the end of this post to enter! I promise it is super simple. But before entering, I wanted to get you all excited for the upcoming holiday festivities and looks you can style from J.Crew with or without the winning gift card. 

This holiday season, my siblings and I were in dire need of a holiday outfit for our Christmas card. We only had a few days left to shoot the pictures before we all headed back to college campuses and full-time jobs, but I was having the hardest time finding an item that would have that Christmas sparkle and fit all of our styles until I saw this skirt. From tulle skirts to iconic trench coats, J.Crew is always my go-to for party pieces and New England staple pieces, and really who can turn down wearing a tulle skirt. 

Anyway, I hope this giveaway motivates you to stock up on some wool sweaters for the winter we have ahead, and stay connected with us throughout 2018. Truly some of my fondest memories from 2017 have come from reading your friendly messages and running into a few of you on the streets of New England. I honestly can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for all of us, and I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season ahead filled with gingerbread men and good times with friends and family. xx Aubrey 

$400 J.Crew Gift Card Giveaway: 


 

The giveaway ends Friday night (12/29 at 11:59 PM EST). Here’s what you need to do: 

 

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His & Her Stocking Stuffers

December 12th, 2017

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We are now in the thick of holiday festivities, and it’s important to check your Christmas shopping list twice. Year after year, I usually square away my big holiday shopping during online Black Friday sales, but one element of gift giving always escapes me…the stocking stuffers. Figuring out non-expensive but thoughtful trinkets to fill your significant other’s stocking can be hard, so today I’m here to help. 

I know for a fact Matt needs help finding stocking stuffers, he basically reminds me every day, so hopefully, this video will inspire him, and you, to think outside the box and score thoughtful stocking stuffers. Oh, and don’t forget to keep stocking stuffers reasonable. I usually try to spend between $50-$100 on the entire lot of trinkets, use this stuffer hunt as an excuse to challenge yourself to find name brands for below brand costs. 

I always have a few stores in mind whenever I go stocking stuffer hunting: Nordstrom Rack, J.Crew Factory, and Amazon. These stores are great places to find stocking stuffer essentials like socks, earrings, pajamas, and books all under $15.00. Anyway, I’ll break down everything I placed in the stocking below, and make sure to check out the video above for a closer look at the goodies. 

His Stocking: 

+ Spiced Apple Toddy Candle 

+ HOMEGROWN: COOKING FROM MY NEW ENGLAND ROOTS

+ Munson’s Chocolate 

+ Cat Stax Game

+ J.Crew Holiday Sock Pack

+ Bacon Shirt 

 


 

Her Stocking: 

Champagne Toast Candle

+ Munson’s Chocolate 

Sugarfina Santa Candy

+ Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette

+ Pom-Pom Hat 

+ Polka Dot Socks

+ TCC Connecticut Mug

+ Tula Travel Sized Products


 

Okay GIVEAWAY TIME, I’m so excited to be treating one of you lucky gals to everything showcased in the Her Stocking, along with a few extra items! The giveaway will end 12/17/2017 and the winner will be selected on 12/18 at 8AM below, make sure to follow the directions carefully and I can’t wait to ship out this box of goodies to one lucky TCC Reader. xx Aubrey 

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7 New England Holiday Traditions

November 20th, 2017

7 New England Traditions I'm Thankful For-Floral Swing Dress || Waist Belt || Heels (old, similar linked) || Purse

 What an exciting and busy week ahead for all of us. If you follow me over on Instagram, then you already know I’m currently flying home for Thanksgiving. This week can be slightly hectic, to say the least, so I wanted to sit down and whip up a mindful blog post for you all.  

I know most of you are probably en route to friend’s or family’s houses and running around like crazy getting last minute items for your own Thanksgiving day feast. This is a jam-packed week, we have Thanksgiving Day, not to mention Thanksgiving Day football along with Black Friday shopping and traveling to boot. All in all, I wanted to take a second and write down 7 New England Holiday Traditions I’m Thankful For, before all the Black Friday content consumes. 

Okay, The Coastal Confidence is a New England lifestyle blog that aims to help you guys embrace all the charms and traditions of New England living. While this might mean different things to different people; I wanted to take time to share 7 traditions that really make New England home for me, during this holiday season. 

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7 New England Traditions I'm Thankful For-

1) Seasonal Inspiration – New Englanders have a way of embracing seasonal textures, colors, and tastes and allowing them to inspire decoration within and on the exterior of the home. New Englanders really go above and beyond to decorate with seasonal and local items that bring to life an ambiance like no other. Each year, usually on Black Friday, my family and I go all out with decorating our home. My Mom goes above and beyond filling the inside of the house with holiday figurines. While my dad climbs up onto the roof to deck the halls. By the end of the night our home, inside and out, is literally glowing with holiday inspiration. 

 

2) Taking our annual Christmas Photo – Each year, my Mom has my siblings and I take our annual Christmas card picture with Santa. Yup, all four of us drive to the mall, sit on Santa’s lap, and get our annual family Christmas card done. We’ve been doing this exact photo set-up since birth, and it’s my Mom’s only holiday request for us each year. I will say it’s a comical sight, seeing all of us in our twenties dressed up on Santa’s lap, maybe I’ll share this year’s card with you all over on instagram

 

3) Seeing the Holiday Pops – Are you even a New Englander if you haven’t seen the Holiday Pops from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This show has been a New England tradition since 1973 and it’s the ideal way to cap off a visit to Boston during the holiday season.  

4) Picking Up a Munson’s Advent Calendar – I have to admit this is a newer tradition for me, but a tradition I want to keep. Matt and I started purchasing Munson Advent calendars for each other last year, and it was a hit. It’s a delicious way to support a local New England business while putting on some winter weight, I kid, I kid. 7 New England Traditions I'm Thankful For-

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5) Publick House Historic Inn at Christmas – The Publick House is one of my favorite New England restaurants to visit, during the holiday season. This wide plank-floored restaurant in Sturbridge MA brings Yankee hospitality to life. Founded in 1791, The Publick House and inn is worth the drive to visit. In fact, I’m already planning on making the drive up next week, with my sister Tessa.   

6) Bright Nights in Springfield, MA – On November 24th, This Friday to be exact, Bright Nights in Springfield MA will open for its 21st season! With that being said, visiting Bright Nights has been a holiday tradition literally for 21 years. I have pictures of myself attending the event with my cousins Allison and Katie, at five years old. Fast forward to today, I have images from Matt and I visiting the event way back in high school. This Christmas Light celebration has a special place in my heart and I really make an effort to go each year, no matter what.  

7) Sleigh Rides in New Hampshire – New England communities really go all out come Christmas. Some of the fondest traditions are brought to life, like a holiday sleigh ride. My neighborhood often got together to pitch in money to hire sleigh riders to give rides for an evening however when that ended, I found this local farm in NH that hosts 30-minute horse-drawn sleigh rides lights and holiday scenes. While I haven’t been to this specific event personally, I’m already making arrangements to attend this year. 7 New England Traditions I'm Thankful For-

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All and all this post has me overjoyed for the upcoming holiday season. Truth be told I’m watching a Hallmark Christmas movie as we speak, and can I just say those movies get better and better each year! 

Anyway, I hope this post inspired you to embrace holiday traditions and I’d love to hear of any you have below. xx Aubrey 

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