Category Archives: Serendipity

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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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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5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

November 3rd, 2017

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break OutsideDress (sold out, similar version without zippers linked) || Coat (ON SALE) || TIghts || Boots ||  Necklace

You guys, it’s here, well not quite but it’s right around the corner…it’s ALMOST the busiest time of the year. It’s not only busy for retail employees but for basically everyone. From workers (the TCC Crew is jammed) to students (finals and term papers); to say this time of year is exhilarating is an understatement but don’t let the craziness of this holiday season wear you down. 

& while I’m 100% one to dive headfirst into overloading on work, I have to say recently I’ve discovered a new trick to rejuvenating my work ethic. It’s super simple, but recently I’ve been stepping outside for my 15 min schedule breaks and it’s been a game changer.

As many of you know, I work from home which is both a pleasing and a curse. Personally, I thrive on deadlines and structure, so I created a scheduled workday, from the minute I get up until 5:30 PM I’m go-go-go and because of this I often found myself skipping lunch and limiting my productivity.

One day I was so run down, I knew this had to stop, so I decided to start including three fifteen-minute breaks throughout the day. These breaks were mainly meant to reset my eyes from the constant glare of a computer screen but quickly developed into much more. Over the last few months, I’ve been stepping outside for my three breaks and to be honest it’s resulted in a HUGE improvement in my productivity. 

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5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

The goal of our TCC Crew is to bring you content that inspires you towards living a New England lifestyle, which of course means being the most productive version of yourself, so we had to share why these outside recess times improved our workflow, along with 5 reasons you should take YOUR coffee break outside. 

 

1) Produces a Clear Headspace: I often find that taking a 15 min break, in your workspace limits your ability to reboot. Ideally, when the time has arrived for me to take my break, I make sure to get outside and change my scenery. Whether that means going for a walk or running to Dunkin Donuts; by getting outside an interacting with people outside of my workplace, provides me with a new sense of determination and clarity. 

 

2) ‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy’ – Elle Woods:  Now, I’m not a fan of running, in fact, I’m not quite sure if I could even squeeze in a full mile during one 15 minute break, but what I do know is that I spend each of my breaks moving. I’ll spend that time outside running to a coffee shop, walking around my yard or if it’s raining walking on a treadmill. By moving my body and getting my blood pumping, I can really feel those endorphins kick in and any stress I had previously start to release. 

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5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

 

3) Speaking of Stress: Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with my inbox. When I first started blogging, I really disliked when bloggers would say their inboxes were stressing them out. Personally, I figured a full inbox meant lots of collaborations and thus a highly profitable business. However today, I realize that my inbox is 20% official collaborations, 20% reader questions, and 60% emails I need to politely decline. 

 

A huge chunk of my time is spent going through my inbox and saying ‘no’ to companies, brands or even events that just don’t make sense for the TCC brand. Saying no to brands, even huge brands that we personally love, but just aren’t the right fit is hard, can be really hard. So by getting outside and turning my data off, it gives me time to process the no’s we’ve given and received. Not only does it give me time to process but also allows me to refocus on our brand’s end goal. Going outside creates a buffer between admin-work and creative work

 

4) A New Perspective: My favorite Gilmore Girl once said ‘Perspective is the most important thing to have in life.’ and I literally couldn’t agree more with Lauren Graham! A change in perspective and scenery is really important in gaining new insights. A lot of what our TCC Crew creates and writes about is by getting in the car and going. Whether that means traveling to a new town in New England, to feature in our TCC Newsletter or by even asking readers’ their opinion; these tiny acts and outside perspectives, honest to God, shape our brand every day! Get outside and refocus, re-shift and reprioritize your perspective! 

 

5) Just breath:  Okay this might sound weird but there is nothing I love more than stepping outside and breathing in that crisp autumn air. I’m the first to admit that working at home often means getting cozy with my laptop, under a mountain of blankets and with the thermostat set at a solid 72 degrees; doesn’t that just sound perfect?! 

While it sounds perfect it often puts me in a lethargic mood, so my last reason for taking your coffee break outside is to re-energize your body with fresh air. I know it might be a little chilly outside, so grab your jacket and maybe a scarf (learn how 5 ways to style a scarf here) and hit the road. Trust me your creative juices will start flowing. 5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

Okay, that’s all I got! I’d love to hear from you guys. Do you like taking your breaks outside? Let me know your thoughts on this post below! xx Aubrey. 

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PUMPKIN CARVING Q&A: Editing My Instagram Photos & More

October 30th, 2017

Subscribe To The TCC YOUTUBE CHANNEL 

You could say our videographer got a little ambitious this past week! Since last Wednesday our Crew has published over five videos, and I have to say we really dove head first into this youtube thing! We are so grateful to have our videographer, Tessie, as part of our TCC Crew, and we can’t wait to see what the future has to hold. 

With that in mind, we knew we wanted to use video to further connect with you all, and what better way to do so then via Q&A! So I sat down last weekend on Instagram Stories and asked you guys to submit your questions. We got questions sent in from all platforms and went with the first ten we received. If you didn’t see your question or want to be included in our next Q&A segment, make sure to list any additional question in the comment section of this video. 

Anyway, grab a cup of hot cider, or a pumpkin to carve and let’s jump right into this Pumpkin Carving Q&A. Oh, and if you are wondering when we’ll be uploading new videos, look forward to a new video EVERY WEDNESDAY, so make sure to subscribe. Okay, let’s slide right in. xx Aubrey 

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Importance of Self-Care this Fall

October 13th, 2017

Importance of Self-Care this FallCold Shoulder Velvet Dress (SIZE UP!) c/o  ||  White Heels || Purse (old similar linked) || Lipstick

This time of year is by far the busiest for me in all aspects of life. It’s the most exciting and important time to create relevant content for our TCC readers, which results in my calendar being filled to the brim. 

On any given week, from now until January, you’ll see my calendar is filled with events to be attended, holiday parties to be danced at, football games to cover, and networking events to attend. In fact, I just wore this dress to a blog function I attended last week! 

To put it frankly this time of year is my favorite because I thrive when I’m overbooked and running from this meeting to the next. It’s a tad weird, I know but having a lot to accomplish in a short time span, really makes me go the extra mile and get creative. Which is odd, because I was never good about working under pressure. 

Anyway, as our crew warms up the engines to go full steam ahead, we are for the first time ever preparing new content almost seamlessly. With new New England travel newsletters, every Sunday (sign up here), expanding our Youtube channel to weekly videos and working on new ways to make TCC the ultimate New England lifestyle guideline; The Coastal Confidence is finally performing at full capacity and I couldn’t be happier. Importance of Self-Care this Fall-2090

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However with all this excitement and new projects to take on, I constantly end up putting my own well-being on the back burner and each year I end up crashing and saying to myself, Aubrey will you ever learn. 

Last week, was insane I worked an additional 20 hrs at my part-time job, spent two full days shooting content one of which was a day filled with fire ants (read more about that here) and had a project that needed to be finalized, delayed. It was one of those hectic weeks, so I decided to work extra hours, skipped the gym and buy food instead of making it. 

& oh boy, am I feeling the consequences this week. 

I woke up the other day with a fever, a long to-do list and a froggy voice to boot. All because I decided to take on too much and literally run myself dry, ugh. This is a yearly reality check I usually get way closer to the holiday, but it reminds me that my number one job is to be healthy.

This time of year can be very exciting but also demanding on us mentally and physically, so I urge you to take time for self-love and self-care. If that means saying no to an additional shift, a friend visiting or grocery shopping; in order to stay in bed and watch Hocus Pocus, so be it. Importance of Self-Care this Fall-2140

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I know whenever I’m getting overwhelmed or feeling pressured, the first things I cut from my to-do list are self-care things. For example: applying makeup, going to the gym, cooking dinner, phone calls with friends and me-time; all of these above things are activities that keep me sane and by cutting my me-time, I end up sacrificing my health. 

I’m a person that needs a lot of sleep and I’m horrible at saying no if someone is sick and needs coverage or if a brand has an event they want me to attend, but sometimes it’s okay to be behind on your to-do list and say no to taking on extra activities. 

I feel like sickness comes on quickly during this time of year, as one moment, I’m feeling really great about taking on the extra work, and by the end of the week, I’m sick in bed with a fever. So for this upcoming season, I’m challenging myself to carve out more me-time by doing the following: I subscribed to a new gym closer to my apartment, I blocked days in my calendar dedicated to catching up and I blocked off this whole weekend for nothing other than catching up on Netflix. 

The reason for the upcoming season is giving, so make sure to carve out some self-care time in advance in order to put your best foot forward in the exciting weeks to come! I’d love to hear your self-care go to activities below, xx Aubrey. 

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Fall in Dallas, Bucket List

October 4th, 2017

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Corduroy Shirtdress || Tassel Flats || Belt (old similar listed) || Bag 

If you don’t already know, Matt and I split our time between New England and Dallas, Texas. It’s an odd match for sure, but Matt’s currently here for two years and since my work is mobile I can spend half my time with Matt, and the other half in New England. To be honest though, during this time of year and especially in summer I prefer New England, but with that being said, Dallas does have a lot to offer come fall. So I figured I sit down and share some of my go-to activities when I’m in the big D (as they say).

Since this could be Matt and I’s last fall in Dallas, we are trying to check off as much as possible, on our long bucket list. Today I figured I’d share a glimpse into our Fall in Dallas, Bucket List. Below, I broke down all my favorite places to go, unique things to see, and food to try; while here in Dallas for Fall. I hope this inspires you guys to embrace autumn no matter where you are.

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Fall in Dallas, Bucket List:
1) Texas State Fair // September 29th through October 22nd. Make sure to try a corn dog, they are delicious.

2) Witnessing the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl // October 14th Don’t forget to wear your hook em’ colors!

3) Watch a dozen hot air balloons take flight at the Plano Balloon Festival

4) Visit the pumpkin patch at Autumn at the Arboretum, and take lots of pictures.

5) Go to a Dallas Cowboy Game

6) Attend the outdoor, Dallas Farmers Market

7) Eat one slice from all five fall pies located at Emporium Pies
8) Take a picture In One of Texas’ Many Country Fields

9) Watch a game at the most expensive high school football stadium in America, Allen TX.

10) Take a train ride on the Texas State Railroad to a pumpkin patch.

11) Visit the original Six Flags over Texas, for Fright Fest.

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This time of year just slips by us so quickly, and while I’ve already loaded up on Bath and Body Works Candles to remind me of this season all year long, I figured making a Fall in Dallas, Bucket list would hold me accountable in putting down the laptop and head outside.

From the not so brisk 72 degree fall air, to the hushed talk of football round the clock; Dallas might not have a conventional fall. You won’t see any apple orchards and forget about seeing any leaves but Texans have their own way of celebrating this season via college football.

So if you find yourself outside of New England and a tad sad you don’t have leafs crunching as you walk and apple orchards in every town, take some time to experience the fall around you. Ever region embraces this time of year differently and it’s good to get outside of your comfort zone. Trust me.

Anyway, I’d love to hear where you are spending this fall. Leave a comment down below and include where you are and what your favorite local activity is! xx AubreyFall in Dallas, Bucket List-1401

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5 Best Corn Mazes to Visit in CT

October 2nd, 2017

5 Best Corn Mazes in CT - The Coastal ConfidenceIt’s that time of year, the once vibrant green corn stalks are now officially a golden crispy brown which can only mean one thing…corn mazes are ready for fall. One of my favorite memories of New England fall is going to visit my Auntie Paula in Somers, along with my brother and two younger sisters, to make our way through the gigantic corn maze on Scantic Valley Farm. 

We would usually park our car at her house, grab some apple cider, slip on our wool gloves and march into the maze one by one. Corn mazes were a tradition for our family, sometimes it ended in hot cocoa, sometimes it ended in someone crying because they got lost and sometimes it ended in us fighting over which way to turn, but come thick or thin the four of us marched into a corn maze year after year. 

Now, I still go to corn mazes with my siblings today but I also love going on double dates, girls against guys obviously, or even with a group of friends. It’s actually a great way to get outside, work your brainpower and most importantly it’s always a competition and I LOVE a good competition.  

So today, I figured I’d list what I believe are the best mazes in Connecticut. 

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5 Best Corn Mazes to Visit in CT:

1) Scantic Valley Farm Corn Maze – Summers, CT: Open September 23rd through October 29th, this 8-acre maze is Hocus Pocus themed! After the maze, Scantic Valley Farm has much more to offer like, a scenic hayride, pumpkin patches worth picking, and delicious CT Grown foods to satisfy your appetite. 

2) Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm Corn Maze – Moosup, CT: This twisting corn maze is open to the public from September through October. While I personally hate all things spooky and scary, my friends love attending their night maze. I’m a hard pass on getting lost in a maze at night, but if you’re interested it is open October 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th from 6 PM to 9 PM flashlights required. 

3) Preston Farms – Preston, CT: This year’s corn maze is all about trains, and boy is it tricky. I’ve officially gotten lost in the maze. I mean so lost that I just broke all the rules and jumped out of the maze via not an exit, after two hours of wandering around and being gone astray. I would say this one is by far the hardest.

4) Castle Hill Farm – Newton, CT: This farm celebrated its 90th year this past weekend, making this maze a yearly tradition for many New Englanders. With 30 stamp locations spread out throughout the maze, it’s your job to hit all the spots before your rival does; which might take some time as this maze spans over seven acres. 

5) Foster Farm – South Windsor, CT: If you’re a UConn student, gather your roommates and head to South Windsor, this year’s corn maze at Foster Farm is UConn Husky themed. This farm not only has mazes but also has an area where you can pick your own pumpkins and purchase mums for the season. 

Okay, that’s it. I’ve already been to three out of the five of those corn mazes so far this year. I’d love to hear which corn maze is your favorite within New England, leave all suggestions below! 

xx Aubrey

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5 Ways to Bring Autumn Inspiration into Your Home

September 27th, 2017

5 Ways to Bring Autumn Inspiration into Your Home-0675

Shirt (size up one to two sizes!) || Plaid Skirt (old, similar linked) || Shoes ||  TCC Pumpkin Mug 

I truly believe the best part of owning your own apartment, condo or home; is the opportunity you have to get creative with seasonal decor. I grew up in a home decorated to the tee, with each passing season. To say my mother was inspired by the seasons is an understatement…if only you could see our house come Christmas, it’s Spectacular inside and out. 
 
So when it was my own turn to decorate our apartment for fall, I knew I really wanted to bring the natural aspects of autumn into our home. I wouldn’t say home decor comes naturally to me, but rather it’s something I’ve learned diligently over time. So keep decorating with each passing season and I promise something will click.
 
I believe the hardest part of home decorating comes from carving out your own sense of style, it takes some practice but I particularly like to keep things looking stately and understated. I bet you never heard those words paired together, but for me, it’s all about bold pieces of furniture and natural pieces of decor. 
 
Anway, I figured our crew would throw together a quick guide to help you feel inspired. Below I’ve listed 5 ways to bring autumn inspiration into your home…
 
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1) Mums 
 
I love decorating my home with mums for a few reasons, but my reasoning behind purchasing this plant is that they are a hard plant to kill. Mums naturally take very little water, so if you forget to water them here or there; you’ll be okay.
 
Secondly, they look beautiful inside and out. I love seeing all the New England front doors garnished with mums, but I personally love having them inside too. I currently have one as a centerpiece on our coffee table, one quaintly placed on my bar cart and a third in my office. Bringing greenery inside is an affordable way to bring autumn inside. 
 
2) Dishware 
 
I seem to have a ridiculous amount of dishware specifically fall themed, and while I don’t usually use this dishware year round, it really does make the home feel cozier. Some of my favorite fall dishware items are: TCC Pumpkin MugPendelton Plaid PlatesAcorn Place Cards for my annual fall fest and copper mule glasses to sip hot apple cider out of. Having special dishware I pull out, year after year, come fall, really warms up the kitchen table. 
 
3) Cozy Faux Fur Throws 
 
I honestly live by these throws. My mom gave my brother, sisters and I a throw of our own a few years ago, and I just couldn’t help but invest in more. So I think Matt and I have a total of two faux fur throws in our home. One throw elegantly covers the couch and the second is at the base of our guest bed. Nothing says cozy fall nights in, like this throw. TRUST ME IT’S THE BEST!5 Ways to Bring Autumn Inspiration into Your Home -0574
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4) Candles
 
Not only does candlelight bring in the perfect warm autumn ambiance, it also brings the rich fall scents to match. If you know me then you know, I light Bath and Body Works fall candles YEAR ROUND. The candles really set the mood, and my favorite scents are cider lane and sweet pumpkin, just in case you were wondering! 
 
5) Natural Toned Vases 
 
I always find that the decor in summer is usually white, blue and bright while autumn embraces a much more natural feel. When decorating for fall look for natural toned vases, trays, and decor. Some of my favorite looks are wood traysmetal vases, and copper. These natural earth tones really are understated making them super easy to take on and make them your own. 
 
Okay, that’s that. Matt and I have been busy decorating for fall and I hope you guys are taking time out of your busy schedule to do so as well. It’s such a fun time to get creative and really budget friendly. Even purchasing a few baby pumpkins here and there will do. xx Aubrey 5 Ways to Bring Autumn Inspiration into Your Home-0670
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Applying to College and Picking a Major

September 20th, 2017

How to apply to college and pick a major-9553Sweater c/o || Vest c/o || Purse || Shoes || Jeans 

I can vividly remember six or seven years ago submitting my Common Apps to fifteen colleges in total (oh boy). I had colleges in Boston picked out, colleges in Virginia and of course a few randos like Denver, San Francisco, and San Diego; and life just kind of sorted itself out for me. 

Recently I’ve gotten questions from younger readers asking to break down my experience with applying to college and deciding on a major, so this one goes out to you guys. 

Also before we start, you can read more about my college experince hereHow to apply to college and pick a major-9530

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Applying to college was a process I LOVED. I enjoyed touring the schools, I loved taste testing the food in the cafeteria, and I especially loved buying my college gear at the end of the tour. I was 100% on board with the entire process. 

So, being type A, I was prepared way ahead of time. When I applied for college there was a check-list and mine was checked off across the board. My SAT’s were done (I took them three times, once I even took them behind Matt when I had a nasty sinus infection and let’s just say…it was interesting) my essays were written and my Common App was all filled out. How to apply to college and pick a major-9634

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When November 7th came, I was ready in advance so submitting my applications for college, was basically stress-free.  In hindsight, I was very lucky to have applied to all fifteen schools because in total I only got into, seven of them…so just under half. My number one school at the time was Wake Forest, which didn’t play out for me but my second choice was San Diego for obvious reasons. 

I figured this post would be a good time to be brutally honest about the college application process…How to apply to college and pick a major-9651

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The truth is, you don’t know what’s going to happen. So it’s ALWAYS better to apply to more schools to give yourself the OPTION of choosing. I’ve seen way too many peers crushed when they only applied to schools they were ‘guaranteed’ to get into but didn’t, and I too experienced that. 

I can also remember applying to a ton of schools, all different ranges and the day before the deadline for Babson (which by the way is a very prestigious business school for entrepreneurs) my dad said just apply. So I wrote a mini essay about my love of New England and Red Sox and didn’t think twice. 

After getting a few no’s from schools that I ‘qualified’ for I got a letter from Babson saying I was in. I was shocked, I was under qualified, put zero effort into the mini essay, because I thought there was NO WAY I’d get in, and bang I did. 

So the one thing I took away from applying to college is ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, so give yourself options and apply to a range of colleges. 

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The other popular question I’ve received recently, from those of you looking to pursue a college degree is how to pick a major. 

I’m going to come right out and say, I was very lucky. I always knew I wanted to do marketing/business, to be honest, I think I decided on it way back in fifth grade and from then on it never switched. 

For me it was as easy as picking a topic that I loved and wanted to learn about, however, there are what feels like thousands of majors to choose from today, so don’t get discouraged if nothing catches your eye right out of the gate. 

Your first year of college can be dedicated towards core classes, so use that time to meet with teachers, department heads and prospective mentors in fields you’re interested in. 

I’d also recommend keeping the following in mind when deciding a major: 

  • What do you want to do post-college? 
  • How will this degree/training help you get there? 
  • Is this something I’m interested in? 

The questions above should help you pick the right major for the right reason. I can’t tell you how many friends went to the school of business of accounting, for the sole reason of a large paycheck. In the end, many of them had to switch majors, because going into something for the idea of money…isn’t the best plan. 

So keep your ears open and your motives pure and you all will be fine. 

Okay, I’d love to hear what college you guys went to and which major you picked! I love learning about you guys, xx Aubrey 

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How to come up with content, for your blog

August 23rd, 2017
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The other day I was driving with my dad in the car, and he asked me a very important question. He asked me ‘how I keep coming up with new blog posts and when I think I’ll run out of content.’
 
Now content can mean many things, but in today’s Instagram focused world, I think people put too much value on pictures over written content. Today we are hitting the pause button on image based content and chatting about written content, which is really what allows readers to get to know us and even see themselves as part of the crew. 
 
Anyway, when my dad asked me this double ended question I knew I had to address it for fellow bloggers out there, whom might be struggling with creating content, so here are my two cents.
 
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Coming up with three to five new blog posts a week can be very daunting, especially when first starting out, but firsts things first make sure you have your designated ‘niche’ or theme to your blog. 
 
Whether you’re running a lifestyle, baking, travel, DIY or cat blog; it doesn’t matter what your theme is but having that theme picked out will help you brainstorm relevant content ideas. This step is really important as your content is essential to your brand messages, so make sure the product you are creating fits the bill. 
 
Now, I’ve been blogging for over four years and within my niche, I’ve totally felt writer’s block or a lack of direction. It’s completely normal and I think it’s something all bloggers have had to face, and whenever this strikes, I grab my laptop, get my tush out the door, and visit a New England town. 
 
Actually, on the day these images were shot, I was feeling quite uninspired. I was feeling tired, worn down, uncreative and it was raining, so I was feeling rainy day blues. Overall it was just blah, but I got in the car drove down to Westport and went for a walk. 
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One of my favorite things to do when writer’s block hits is going outside and looking at New England homes and waterfronts. It’s something that really inspires me and often gets me fired up again about New England living. The idea of running out of content is scary, however, it’s never been something I’ve worried about because my blog is about my New England lifestyle and just like everything else in the world, my lifestyles change over time. 
 
Your blog should reflect you and your journey, so as long as you’re still living life and experience it…DOCUMENT THAT and instantly you’ll have content. I think documenting your trips, life choices and style was really how blogging all started, and it’s by far the easiest way to never run out of content. 
 
So if you’re stuck on what content to produce or worried about running out of content, get out of your space and live your life…and trust me inspiration will strike. xx Aubrey
 
Photos by Carter Fish
 
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Is Sorority Rush Worth It?

August 9th, 2017
 

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Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for another taboo topic, highly requested by the TCC community. As always I’m happy to throw in my two cents and experience, however, I will start with a disclaimer. EVERYONE has a unique perspective on this topic, so just because my experience went a specific way doesn’t mean it’s the standard. 
 
Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on sorority life and the process of rushing below. Also feel free to give any rushing tips in the comment section, for younger TCC readers interested in the process. 
 
Okay, let’s jump in. 
 
 Let me first start off by saying I was a part of a sorority in college; so I went through it all: rush, new member training, recruitment (well not really) and many many many mandatory events. 
 
So here is where I stand on sorority life as a whole: neutral 
 
I get a lot of emails asking if I would recommend rushing, and for me personally, it really didn’t have an impact on my overall college experience. If you specifically asked me, ‘would I rush again, if I could go back?’…well, yeah I probably would. However, to be fully transparent, sorority life wasn’t something I really identified with, even though I went into the process, thinking it would be. 
 
 
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So let’s break it all down, starting with my rushing experience: 
 
Step 1: Rush:
 
I can still remember going with my mom to J.Crew to pick out my green recruitment dress, still hanging in my closet today. I was sooo excited for the opportunity that came with rushing, it was never something I worried about or felt pressured to do.  
 
In the end, recruitment was a neutral experience for me. It was neither bad nor particular fun. Kind of like going to school after a perfect summer, you drag your feet all the way to the entrance, but once you’re there chit chatting with friends, you completely forgot how much you dreaded it. 
 
In terms of being a PNM (potential new member) and going through the rushing events, it was oddly nice. I met some amazing people and the environment was exciting.  I would stand by the rushing process and say it’s the perfect opportunity to put yourself out there and meet new people. You are likely to meet people you would have never otherwise met. 
 
Personally, I never experienced any of the rush horror stories you sometimes hear. My only negative association with the process was that it was long and tiresome, as you are constantly going between events and that can be exhausting. 
 

Overall Feeling of Rush: Neutral


 

Step 2) New Member Training (Pledging):
 
So let’s say you decide to pledge, what comes next you might ask? New Member Training. 
 
I LOVED New Member training, I got to meet so many new faces; many of which made delicious cupcakes and helped me with my course work. I got to go to events like Bingo, Pottery Painting, Movie Parties; and I was given the opportunity to learn about my sorority and its history. 
 
So cool! All was fun and super low maintenance, nothing like the craziness you hear on TV. 
 

Overall Feeling of ‘Pledging’: Fun and Exciting


 So now you are a member, what comes next?  

Step 3) Member Duties:
 
Sorority Meetings:
 
Like any organization or club on campus, you have to meet!
 
I’d say about 90% of meetings are about how we are spending budget, what merchandise is being designed and how we can better connect with other organizations on campus. Whether that means walking in 5k’s, raising money for a charitable cause, partaking in talent shows, intramural sports or attending other club events. 
 
Overall the point of being in a sorority is to really be there for your campus and fellow students. 
 
Events:
 
A big part of sorority life was hosting events. From hosting campus wide events, in order to raise money for our chosen cause, to hosting events with other sorority and fraternities; a big part of Greek life is mingling with other groups and members of your own sorority. 
 
Really a lot of energy and work went into all events whether it be a dance or renting out a movie theater for the newest Nicholas Sparks movies; there was always a group of gals behind the scenes making everything picture perfect. So overall I have to give ‘snaps’ to all the college girls that spend late nights planning such extravagant festivities. 
 
Retreats:
 
Like any institution, we have retreats; where we mix into groups of people we don’t necessarily know (mind you some sororities are 100+ people, so it’s hard to know everyone) and open up. 
 
It really is meant to connect and bond with your fellow group members; just like how the rock climbing club goes to the mountains for the weekend or the sales team goes to Atlanta to compete, spending a large quantity of time together; really does help you connect with others. 
 
Formal Recruitment: 
I personally never participated in formal recruitment. I was only eligible to take part in two recruitments however I was studying abroad during both given time periods. 
 
While I never participated in the experience, I actually heard a lot of positive things about the two-week madness that is formal recruitment. 
 
So those are the four elements of sorority life that you seem to rinse, wash and repeat. & here are my thoughts. 
 

Overall Feeling of Member Life: Meh


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I’m going to elaborate here because this is where you need to consider if Sorority Rush is Worth it. 
 
The Worst of Times: 
 
Everyone always talks about rushing being the ‘worst part’ of sorority life, but honestly, for me, it was keeping up with member life. 
 
In college I was: taking six courses a semester, working an average of 15 hrs at our college gym, working on two degrees, all while launching the Coastal Confidence. So did I have the patience or right mindset to sit at a retreat for 7 hours or go to a weekly meeting that could last up to one – two hours, NO. 
 
You know the saying… ‘WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES, YOUR ENERGY FLOWS’…well I honestly gave sorority life zero attention. I was more or less focused on my own thing; which I’m sure if you asked anyone in my sorority they would agree. I was the definition of MIA. 
 
I just didn’t consider the time and energy that goes into making these organizations flourish. However, if you love, running events, fostering community or group organizations; you’ll love sorority life. But for me as a whole, I don’t think it was worth it. I’ve never been one for group organizations, I’ve always been slightly selfish with how I spend my time; if there was no ROI or if it wasn’t something I was passionate about, I just kind of wrote it off. 
 
Okay, but now let’s talk about the good…
 
The Best of Times: 
 
When you asked if I would rush again, if I had to do it over…the answer is YES. 
 
Simple for the following reasons, the people I met. I was able to meet seniors, juniors, and even my roommates. I was lucky enough to have a role model G-Big and Big, and a passionate Little. I was able to meet the gals I’d end up living with for over two years and I was able to meet people in Connecticut at alumni events. 

Through and through, I’d say it’s an amazing way to meet new people and start up a conversation. For that alone, I’d do the process all over again. 


 
Okay, that’s my experience. What are your thoughts? 
 
Are you in a sorority? Do you have any thoughts or tips on balancing sorority life? I’d love to hear your thoughts below. xx Aubrey 
 
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