Category Archives: International Travel Guides

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence

May 21st, 2018

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey YandowWhether we are talking about food, movies or even bathing suits one thing is for sure, I know what I like and I stick to it, end of story. Call it being stubborn, boring or self-aware, in the end, I always choose the food I know I’ll like, no vegan food here, the movies I know won’t give me nightmares, and the fit of a suit that will make me feel confident and covered on the beach. I mean trends are great for inspiration and adaptation but feeling confident is all about having the right fit, am I wrong? 

For the longest time, I never shared pictures of myself in bathing suits on my feed or on this platform because I’m a conservative person by nature. I like midi skirts over minis, I’ve never owned a crop top I haven’t returned and I live by a good turtleneck for most of the year. So in previous years, whenever swim season came along I always dreaded finding a new suit, because there wasn’t a ton of options for one-piece suits in general. Until this year…

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

I’m going to be truthfully transparent in this post because I think finding your confidence on the beach has way more to do with knowing your own body and knowing what works for you, fit wise, more than anything else. So let’s break down my body, shall we? I’m 5′ 2”, size 6 and around 125 pounds, give or take a few pounds depending on the week. I carry most of my weight in my derriere and have proportional but petite limbs. Which brings me to why I like a one piece. 

The main reasons why I like a good one piece is that it contains my backend business to put it lightly. I use to feel so self-conscience about my butt hanging out, especially with the low rise bottoms that were usually paired with my two piece swim sets. Honestly, I could care less about the status of my stomach but was oh so obsessed with the concern of my bathing suit bottoms falling off! I mean I was like a serial flasher at the beach, from just simply jumping off the boat or getting hit with a big wave somehow someway, I felt embarrassed. 

Now once, I hit college and found myself spending more time at the beach in San Diego, I turned towards one-piece swimsuits. By college I knew my body, I knew what I was anxious about before heading to the beach and I purchased swimsuits accordingly. I mean this small switch in mindset about purchasing bathing suits on fit over trend, made all the difference for me and finding my beach confidence. The moment I found a one piece that allowed me to be active and move without concern, was the moment I felt my most carefree and myself on the beach. 

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Let’s say your stomach is something that concerns you, style this classic red peplum tankini top or let’s say you want to keep your bellybutton incognito like Taylor Swift did way back when…just try out this high waisted French inspired swimsuit. Or maybe you want to show off your rock solid abs, take this one piece with side cutouts for a spin. You get my point, but now more than ever we have almost unlimited choices when it comes to swimsuit fits so why not take advantage of it and try something different. 

Before heading on my most recent trip to Costa Rica, I decided to give their Playa collection a spin. I loved how this specific collection showed off skin in the back while still covering up the majority of my butt. Not only was it a little sexier than your average one piece but it also had high cut legs which make my little 5’2” legs look a little more 5’6” in person. I kid, I kid. Okay but really, in the end, it comes down to finding flattering fits so take some time and check out some of the bathing suits I’ve linked below. I’ll be damned before I hear another gal pass about a beach trip because they aren’t beach ready. I mean I’m never beach ready, in fact, I’m headed to McDonald’s right now to get a quick lunch before working some more, but I’m always ready for the beach. Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why I Felt Insecure at The Beach, And How I Found My Confidence | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

I’d love to hear from you now, what is something you’ve felt insecure about and how do you turn the tables on your insecurities to feel confident at the beach? Let me know below and love you all. xx Aubrey

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Quepos, Costa Rica Vlog

May 9th, 2018

From the moment I found out we’d be heading back to Costa Rica this year, I knew I had to vlog the trip for you guys. Tessa was kind enough to capture moments from our trip so you guys could feel a part of the journey. I’ll be the first one to admit that vlogs aren’t natural for me and by that I mean sometimes I get so wrapped up in a moment that I forget to vlog it myself, so I’m soooo grateful to Tessa for also vlogging some shots on her camera for us. 

If you want to hear more about the excursions we went on and our recent trip, make sure to check out the following posts: our day in Manuel Antonio National Park, our Quepos Costa Rica fishing excursion and how to bet over packing. Anyway, We are so excited to bring you guys more videos soon, so make sure to subscribe to our channel here and check out our last video upload here!

My Quepos, Costa Rica Vlog Essentials: 

 

Pajama Set Sleepwear

May 4th, 2018
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
If we’re being transparent here I spend more time in my pajamas than the average person. Whether I’m having a ‘casual pajama day’ while working from home or just slipping into my pajamas at 6 PM after a busy day of photo shoots, I value nothing more than being comfortable and cozy while at home. In fact, if you’ve visited my house it’s more likely than not that you’ve seen me open the door in my pajamas. It’s a horrible trait of mine but I can’t let a door go unopen. Now usually the pajamas I’d be hanging around in were the most unflattering pajamas known to mankind. I basically looked like Cousin It, as you’d find me collecting old XXL college t-shirts to wear to bed along with my go-to pair of dark grey sweatpants. I looked like a walking blob, so when I started to pack for my trip to Costa Rica a few weeks back, I knew it was time to invest in some pajama sleepwear
 
I decided to invest in new sleepwear for a few reasons…first off I knew I needed something lighter to wear to bed while in Costa Rica. Between dealing with 100% humidity and temperatures in the high 80’s, I knew I needed to leave my sweatpants behind and wear something respectable that wouldn’t scare the thirteen other people I’d be traveling with. Honestly, my tees were getting way too old and a little holey anyway, soooo I made an executive decision to forgo any wardrobe malfunctions and find some affordable pajama sets.
 
 
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
 So fast forward to two days before the trip when I’m frantically online shopping, and searching for a lightweight pajama set when I stumble upon the above set on sale for just $20.99. I think to myself perfect and order a few pairs, one for myself and one for my sister just in case she’s stuck in between a rock and an old holey pajama place. Not only was the price point affordable but the quality of this pajama set was just as good. In fact, the moment I got back from my trip, I went as far as to order another two pairs of pajamas for our upcoming summer travel. 
 
I knew I wanted to share my pajama set epiphany with you all, so early Wednesday morning Tessa and I woke up extra early to sip on a fresh pot of coffee and watch the sunrise. You guys know I’m not much of an early riser but having this peaceful moment with Tessa on our bedroom patio before the start of what would be a jam-packed day was ideal. We sipped our coffee in our matching pajama sets and watched as squirrel monkeys swung from the trees and birds of paradise flew towards the shore.
 
 
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Pajama Set Sleepwear | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
If you’re heading on a group trip soon or just looking to up your pajama style, I’ve linked some of my favorite prints and affordable pajama sets currently available below. 
 
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Fishing in Quepos, Costa Rica

April 30th, 2018

vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence

I mean, where do I begin with this post. I guess let’s start from the beginning, with how I ended up fishing in the first place. If you read my blog, which I hope you guys do, then you know last week I went to Costa Rica with a large group of thirteen. It was composed of my family, Matt’s family, two of my cousins and Matt’s sister’s boyfriend CJ. Way back in December when my Dad and I first starting planning the trip, and booking excursions, like our day in Manuel Antonio National Park, which you can read about here, we reached out to Matt’s family to see what activities they’d be interested in. Instantly CJ and Jessica responded with inquiries about fishing options. Both CJ and Jessica love fishing, from ice fishing in New Hampshire to fishing tournaments around New England, they were excited to take their fishing skills international, and I’m usually down for whatever might result in dynamic blog pictures.

On top of his love for fishing, CJ explained to me that Costa Rica’s warm Pacific water provides an ideal environment for fish like Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin and most importantly the Roosterfish. Again, I really didn’t care about fishing and to my knowledge, it seemed like it would be a leisurely activity so my Dad and I signed everyone up for the excursion and then things got interesting. 

Rooster Fishing in Costa Rica | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-0389
fishing in Costa Rica Quepos Costa Rica Vacation Style in Costa Rica Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines beach dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence

Again since we were such a big group of thirteen we ended up needing three boats. Boat one was assembled by my Dad, my Mom, Tessa and I. We instantly called ourselves the leisure boat or as I like to call it the blog boat. Boat two was assembled by my brother, my two cousins, and Matt. We thought this would be the helpless boat, as neither my brother nor Matt knows how to fish, so this boat was relying on Olivia and Bernadette, my two cousins to get all the fish. Boat number three was assembled of CJ, Jessica, Matt’s parents and Ryan (Matt’s brother). We called this boat the competitive boat because both CJ and Jessica are competitive fishers and we thought for sure they would have the most success. So we all boarded our boats and went our separate ways, and it was all downhill from there. 

So back to my boat, the four of us boarded our boat and our captain, who speaks only Spanish thank goodness for my AP Spanish years, asks me what fish we are after. My Dad instantly says Roosterfish as that was the fish CJ and Jessica were most excited to catch, due to the fact that it was regional to Costa Rica. Little did we know what we had just signed up for. I mean stay with me here it gets good. Boat number two requested to go fishing for Mahi Mahi and boat number three requested to do both.

Okay, fast forward two hours into our five-hour fishing shenanigans, aka the moment I was starting to relate to the Life of Pi book in all the wrong ways. Sitting on our boat with our three fishing lines out to sea with no bites, no shade, and gigantic ocean waves was making me crispy. And guys I was literally crispy so sunburnt and dehydrated, to say the least. The four of us rotated taking breaks from our non-active fishing lines to shoot some blog photos, while our boat was rocking and rolling with waves fit for the movie Castaway. Finally three hours into fishing we caught our first bite. We get our cameras ready to see the fish but again the joke is on us because these fish are big, beautiful and strong. Long story short, It took us over an HOUR to reel in the fish…I repeat an HOUR! Okay now we are on hour three, we finally see the fish get our picture taken with her release her back to see. Around this time I mentally decided to retire from my fishing career. 

vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
gingham dress Costa Rica travel guide fishing in Costa Rica rooster fishing in Costa Rica Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
fishing Costa Rica gingham vineyard vines dress preppy style preppy summer style New England style The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
rooster fish rooster fishing in Costa Rica Quepos fishing fishing in quepos Costa Rica The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

But our captain says we must persist so Tessa and I head to the front of the boat and snap more pictures before arriving at our next reef to fish at. By hour four we are the definition of a hot mess. The waves are getting rockier, the sweat is unmanageable and the sun is set at high noon. As Tessa and I were huddled at the front of the boat looking for shade we synonymously get hit by a few big waves. Tessa and I are officially done and are trying to figure out how to get this boat to shore when I couldn’t hold it down any longer.

 Just like that, I turn around and threw up everything I had eaten for what felt like the last four days. It was rough, it was gross but we ended up catching one more Roosterfish, which Matt attuned to my chum #gross. Anyway, we ended up catching and releasing two Roosterfishes which is almost unheard of within our five hour time fishing. Apparently, you could go out fishing for a Roosterfish and end up with nothing at all.

We were happy our sweat, throw up and dedication resulted in at least two beautiful fish. As soon as hour five struck our boat headed back in towards the docks and the four of us were exhausted, sunburnt and drenched in sweat as we waited for the other boats to pull in. Low and behold boat number two pulls in with my brother, Matt and my two cousins. They ended up catching a total of 23 little fishes as the group decided to skip the entire concept of Rooster fishing and settle on more of a booze cruise than my Life of Pi adventures. Actually head over to Instagram stories to see the fish Matt caught vs the fish we caught, I mean our experiences could not have been different. I was on deadliest catch and he was on below deck, to put it nicely. 

vineyard vines beach dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
Costa Rica fishing in Costa Rica the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence
vineyard vines dress vineyard vines gingham dress preppy New England style Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence

Even though I don’t think I’ll be jumping on the opportunity to fish anytime soon, it was a memorable day, to say the least. Oh and I felt like my outfit was on point for the excursion. I wore this tiered gingham vineyard vines beach dress on top of this bathing suit, oh and don’t forget a big floppy hat for sun protection. Without that hat, I would have turned into one gigantic sunburn. All and all Quepos Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been and I honestly can’t wait to share more pictures with you guys soon. 

Okay, now I want to hear from you! Do you guys like fishing and if so where is your favorite place to catch fish? Let me know in the comment section below. 

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An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation

April 26th, 2018

An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-7

OUTFIT DETAILS

JumpsuitSunglassesEarringsNecklaceShoes

I’ve always been a huge fan of personality tests, and I know I’m not alone here. If you’ve never taken a personality test before stop what you are doing and take this test real quick. The first time I ever took a personality test was for one of my management classes in business school and to say it’s enlightening is an understatement. I’ve actually had the same personality type since I took the test way back in 2012, and each time I reread my personality description it’s like hitting the nail on the head. Now whether you love personality tests like me, or hate them like Matt, it’s good to know what makes you jive and what burns you out. Which brings me to basically the nutshell of this post, how this INFJ maneuvered a week-long group vacation. 

If I’m being honest with you all I have always hated group activities. I mean, going to camp as a kid was a hard pass for me, in college, I attended the bare minimum of group activities required of me and I even avoided group sports, which is why I loved the swim team. I love being around people but I don’t necessarily ever want to be the center of attention or have to compete for a group’s attention. I mean it’s just not me. I hate the craziness of groups and I really value quality time with people over quantity. And if I’m being transparent  I just don’t think I get that quality time I need with people in a big group. I guess to sum it up my best friend in the entire world lives in San Francisco and even though I basically see her maybe once a year, she’s still my best friend because we always make room in our schedules for that quality time. We’ll call each other to just catch up and just have that present one-on-one time. I mean Jennifer sometimes knows more about the happenings in my life than anyone else because we both jive off of authenticity and present moments, not late night drinking confessions. 

An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-8
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-3
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-6
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-4

Okay before I get down and dirty with how I survived a group vacation, ‘champagne problems’ I know, but let’s chat about this outfit. The weekend before heading to Costa Rica I ran into J.Crew to return a bathing suit that didn’t fit and ended up leaving the store with wayyyy to much stuff. But what’s new!  When I walked into J.Crew I instantly fell in love with this retro pink jumpsuit, effortlessly styled on the mannequin and had to try it on. Matt has the most brutal fashion advice/criticism and I was shocked when I walked out of the fitting room and he LOVED the look. With Matt’s surprising approval and finally fitting into a jumpsuit that wasn’t too long for my 5′ 3″ body, I purchased the jumpsuit and paired it with these cat-eyed sunglasses and nautical ball earrings. It was probably my favorite look of all vacation and I think you can tell that by the energy of these photos. 

Okay now back to this group-vacation breakdown. Now, when I first found out that my dad decided to do a large group vacation I was raising the veto flag and waving it hard. For the longest time, I thought I avoided big groups because of social anxiety but really I avoid them because they just burn me the heck out. I jive off of getting to really know people one on one, hearing their thoughts, what they stand for and my favorite talking topic their life plans. I mean I love a strategic future more than anyone you’ve ever met. But my dad was pretty set on having a huge group vacation, so I used a few of the following tricks to keep my energy levels up and my attitude positive. 

An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-9
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-2
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-2-2
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-5

+ Have An Alone Day: I always say I’m an introverted extrovert. I always seem to be thrown into a decision-making position in the group, whether it is picking a restaurant, making the plans for an excursion or even something as simple as booking the hotel or checking people into airline flights. Somehow someway, I always end up with the power to make the decision, maybe that’s because by nature I’m a decisive person, but nothing drains me out more than having to make decisions for a large group of people who don’t want to make a decision. 

So halfway through the vacation, my sister Tessa and I decided to part from the group and have an alone day, and to be honest, it was probably one of my favorite days of the vacation. Having quality time with Tessa one on one, having space and clarity to create amazing video content and recharge my battery, was exactly what I needed to finish off the vacation strong. I did the same thing in Italy when I went with Jennifer for three weeks. While in Italy I passed on one of the excursions and took my laptop to a local cafe to sip on cappuccinos and watch the Lizzie McGuire movie ALONE. Maybe that’s weird but it was exactly what I needed to feel re-inspired. 

+ Do What Makes You Jive: I honestly work seven days a week from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I rest my head on my pillow and I LOVE IT! I mean I love every part of the process, from shooting the content to writing the content to actually getting to share it all with you all, I LOVE IT. I’m the happiest when I’m working, and for the first three days of vacation, I tried to ‘take a vacation’ from my job which was a rookie mistake. 

I did all the correct steps, I put my Out Of The Office reply message on all my contact forms and decided I’d check out for the full week…which ended quickly. By the third day of vacation I felt completely burnt out, I was literally over vacation and craving work. Weird? Maybe, but ruining The Coastal Confidence is what gives me energy so I quickly ended up diving back into work.

Of course, I wanted to fit in with the group and go out late for late night bar shenanigans but I just can’t do that on the daily. For people like Matt and my dad, who are strong extroverts, bar shenanigans are life to them but for me being at a bar is draining, I’d much rather be outside on the patio responding to your DMs or calling photos from that days shoot. Doing what makes you jive doesn’t mean your anti-social it means you’re putting yourself first. 

+ Try And Carve Out Alone Time With Individuals on The Trip: Again this one was essential for me to survive a week-long group vacation. Whenever I’m in a group bigger than six I just check out, I don’t even do it on purpose it’s just my personality. So I used moments like car rides, walks, or late night snacking sessions with whoever was in the kitchen, to get that quality time I really wanted. 

I mean did I get a chance to get to know everyone on vacation, no. In fact, I think I saw Matt like once the whole vacation, and that was for a photoshoot, BUT I did get to spend some quality time with people I rarely get to see. If you’re an introvert heading on a big group vacation maybe try to plan lunch dates or breakfast runs with the people you really want to get to know, hopefully, that tactic will give you the quality time you need. 

An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-2
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-3-10
An Introvert Guide To Maneuver a Week-Long Group Vacation | The Coastal Confidece Aubrey Yandow-4

Okay, that’s all the tips I have for introverts heading on a group vacation. In the end, I had a blast on vacation. Now, would I do another large group vacation over 10 people again, of course. The trip was so much fun and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, but I’m curious what personality are you?

Leave a comment below with your personality type or if you don’t want to take the test your horoscope sign below. I’m a Gemini which basically sums up my introverted extrovert personality, to the tee. 

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Photos by Tessa Yandow

A Day In Manuel Antonio National Park

April 23rd, 2018

Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow

Matt and I are finally back in Dallas after a whirlwind of a week in Costa Rica. If you were wondering what the heck we were doing there, we were actually on a combined family vacation! The vacation included both my family, Matt’s family and a few extended family members… because more is merrier, right? All in all, we were a group of thirteen exploring the county and taking in its culture one restaurant at a time. 
 
To give you guys some context, our families decided on rented a house together in Quepos, Costa Rica which was an area neither of our families had visited yet. We decided on this location after hearing how it was renowned for its diversity of wildlife and active fishing community. Oddly enough,  I’ve been to Costa Rica a total of five times now, and I’ve still never covered any of my trips or travels to Costa Rica on The Coastal Confidence platform, until now. When I first found out I was heading back and my sister/videographer/photographer/god-sent, Tessa, would be my roommate I knew it was time to capture that Costa Rica content. & oh boy did she agree.
 
My sister and I had the best time exploring Costa Rica and capturing its beautiful wildlife and scenic sights for you all, I’m already giddy about the upcoming posts hitting the blog over the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we kicked off our trip with a walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, and we took the camera with us to bring you all along. 
 

Vineyard Vines Flutter Sleeve Eyelet Dress Costa Rica The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5230
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park-5411

Our group got into Costa Rica late Saturday night and woke up bright and early on Sunday to visit Manuel Antonio National Park before the crowds rolled in. I always recommend heading to National Parks, actually any park for that matter, on the earlier side, especially if you are interested in seeing wildlife, as they are often more active and social first thing in the morning. When we decided on this tour we knew we had to hire a tour guide, so we could learn more about the history and animals of the region. The National Park is, of course, available to visit without a guide but our guide went out of his way to show us the unique creatures of Costa Rica. I mean, he was able to spot out animals almost invisible to the human eye, like that little frog in its home featured above. Yes, he spotted that frog and pointed him out so casually, and if you can’t see the frog in the above tree picture, zoom in!    
 
Before I get too ahead of myself, let me tell you a little bit about Manuel Antonio National Park. This beautiful National Park is located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, which is just darn beautiful. The park is filled to the brim with flourishing rainforests, white-sandy beaches, and is home to some of the most diverse wildlife around. I had heard, from Google reviews obviously, that the park was known for its vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, but was shocked how many different animals we actually got to see up close and personal.

Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park-4933
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-4970
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5329
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5205
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-4903

At first, I was really unsure of my wardrobe choice, I mean I wasn’t sure how difficult this walking tour would be and my sandals, while comfortable, are the least practical footwear for a hike. Although I’d gladly risk a wiping out in order to capture that great content though. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable and leisurely the hiking tour was. You could bring young children, elders, or just people like me in unfavorable hiking shoes with no problems what so ever. We walked along a gently pebbled covered path within this tropical forest that allowed us to get closer to Costa Rica’s wildlife then I’ve ever been before. 
 
Not only did we see both the two-toed and three-toed sloths, which Costa Rica is known for, but we also saw the endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys and the buck didn’t stop there. From poisonous frogs to rare bird species the park’s multiple terrains allowed us to get a real feel for Costa Rica’s animal population. Oh and don’t get me started about the beach hidden inside of the National Park. I’ve NEVER seen a more beautiful beach than the one hidden within the Manuel Antonio National Park. From pure white sand to crystal blue water, I couldn’t resist a swim. Post outfit photo taking of course. 
 
Now let’s digress a little bit and talk about this outfit! The moment I saw this dress, I knew it would look beautiful against the lush backgrounds Costa Rica has to offer. With an all over eyelet design and the feminine detail in the flutter sleeves, made this dress the ideal dress for vacation wear or for anyone’s upcoming graduation! I know this dress will be a staple of mine as we head into New England summer especially as it’s perfect to wear during the day and easy to transition into the night. 
 
I’m going to break down a lot of my travel style hacks over the next couple of weeks but one that I live by is traveling with accessories that can be dressed up or down, like this hat and tote. You’re going to see several blog posts with these pieces being styled in different ways from evening wear to lying on the beach in a bathing suit, traveling with versatile accessories will make your outfits pop. Anyone else agrees? 
 

Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5469
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5311
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Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5297
Costa Rica Wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow-5481

Overall we spent the better half of Saturday morning exploring the park in what seemed to be 100 degrees. The sweat was rolling so when we finally made it to the beach the cool breeze and scenic views allowed us to cool off and go for a dip. I had packed a bathing suit inside of my tote, and thank goodness I did. I slipped it on underneath my dress and dove into the crystal clear water for a break. It was the best way to start off the vacation and it’s was actually my favorite travel excursions I’ve done so far in Costa Rica. Maybe because it’s the most leisurely and I’m all about taking life slow and capturing nature when on vacation. 
 
Okay, so I’d love to hear from you! Have you been to Costa Rica? If so what part and what excursion was your favorite? I can’t wait to hear from you guys and continue to bring you along. 

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Ireland Itinerary

September 10th, 2017

Ireland Itineary - The Coastal Confidence

Shirt || Skirt || Shoes || Necklace

The day has finally arrived. Today our crew is breaking down our entire Ireland itinerary, we’re chatting about what we liked, what we didn’t and how we explored The Wild Atlantic Way

Okay, so in honor of getting to the point, I’m going to break down how we spent each day along with linking the corresponding blog posts and vlogs. So let’s jump in. 

Sunday: Day 1: Kerry Airport 

  • Activity of the day – SLEEP

Our crew landed in Ireland on Sunday mid-day. We originally flew from Hartford CT to Dublin and after a six-hour layover boarded a very small plane to the south of Ireland. 
We landed in Kerry about 1:10 PM and the adventure started from there. We rented a small van, as six of us snuggled into the car with the fear of driving on the wrong side of the road. All and all my dad handled the driving and did a splendid job. 

Once we reached the hotel, about 45 min south of the airport we all went straight to the bar for some much-needed caffeine. We spent the night hanging around the resort, I’d be bold enough to say that Sheen Lodge Falls was probably our favorite hotel throughout our journey. 

The staff was wonderful, it’s just a 5 min drive to the bustling village of Kenmare and they had complimentary Nespresso machines in each hotel room, aka my heaven. 

I would highly recommend staying here if you’re looking for a relaxed and almost Vermont feel. The rainy days and cozy fires throughout the hotel made me want to slip off my rain boots, after a long and wet day of traveling.Ireland Itinerary-7302

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Monday (Day 2): Town of Cobh and The Blarney Stone

  • Activity of the day – Kiss the Blarney Stone

Breakfast was included at every hotel we stayed at, so come 9 AM all six of us met downstairs for breakfast. Within two hours we all piled into the van, and sped up the street towards Cobh. 
Altogether the drive from the hotel to Cobh was about an hour and a half, I know that’s kind of long, however, I thought we might as well see the town due to its proximity to The Blarney Stone. 

You can read more about our visit to Cobh and The Blarney Stone in this blog post, along with watching our travel vlog of the day here

The one thing we left out of both the vlog and blog post is where we ate. We decided to have a rather late lunch in Cobh at Jacobs Ladder, before heading to Blarney’s Castle. The food was great here, and the waterfront views made it even better. 

All in all, it was a very long day. We ended up back at the hotel around 9:00 PM and had a small bite to eat before heading to bed. Ireland Itinerary-7349

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Tuesday (Day 3): Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park 

  • Activity of the day – Ring of Kerry 

One of the main reasons why I decided to stay at Sheen Lodge Falls was its proximity to Killarney National Park. It was really only a 15-20 min drive to the park which made it easy to explore and gave us some down time from driving. 

All and all, the park took us about four hours to see thoroughly. It’s basically one very long and windy road with several areas to pull-off, park and explore. How much time you spend in the park is completely dependent on how much time you spend exploring!

We got a little muddy from all the hiking we did while at the park, so before heading out to dinner we went back to the hotel to change. 

Finally, we headed out to the town of Kenmare and ate at, PF McCarthy’s Bar which was one of our most loved food destinations throughout our trip. You guys can read more about our visit to The Ring of Kerry in this blog post, along with watching our travel vlog of the day here

Wednesday (Day 4): Up the Wild Atlantic Way 

  • Activity of the day – Travel

On Wednesday we made our first move up the Wild Atlantic Way to the Burren National Park. Overall, Gregans Castle Hotel was our LEAST favorite. The rooms were very nice, but the real reason I would not recommend staying here is my experience with their customer service specifically my interaction with the manager Simon.  

Overall, I felt like the price of the hotel was TOO HIGH for the package we paid and that the manager’s style of customer service is HOSTILE, to say the least. 

Ireland Itinerary-7331

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Thursday (Day 4): Cliffs of Moher

After a rather hectic Wednesday, we spent our Thursday exploring the cliffs of The Wild Atlantic Way. The Cliffs of Moher have been on my bucket list, so finally getting to see them was 100% worth the bad experience of the day prior. 

In honor of keeping this post on the shorter side, you can read more about our visit to The Cliffs of Moher, in this blog post, and watch our travel vlog for the day here. 

Friday (Day 5): Dingle 

  • Activity of the day – Traveling/Visiting Dingle 

This was one of our busiest days yet in Ireland. We started off the day driving to Dingle, which I was dying to explore. To be honest, I really wanted to see this town after watching the movie Leap Year, anyone else remember that movie?!

Overall, I wish I had skipped staying two days by The Cliffs of Moher and spent two days in Dingle. The town was everything you’d picture an Irish seaport town to be like. It very much had a New England vibe and not to mention I saw a sign saying it was Ireland’s food capital. 

The sign must have been right because the food was out of this world. We went to The Half Door for their famous lobster bisque and Murphy’s Ice Cream after for obvious reasons. 
All in all our time in Dingle was limited, aka just an hour and a half; but if I ever make it back to Ireland this is where I’d want to go. We spent the rest of the day, traveling up the coast of The Wild Atlantic Way, we stopped at Galway for some pizza at Dough Bro’s and kept driving until we made it to our last and final stop…Ashford Castle. Ireland Itinerary-7353

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Saturday (Day 6): Ashford Castle 

  • Activity of the day – Boat Ride, Falconry, and Clay Shooting

I know it might not seem like it, but I’m trying to keep this post concise, so if you’d like to read about our time at The Lodge at Ashford Castle and our experience with falconry check out this blog post!

Overall, I’d highly recommend the hotel and its activities, we captured our whole day on our last and final vlog, so don’t forget to watch that below, it’s by far my favorite vlog yet. 

Finally, we left Ashford Castle around 5 PM on Saturday and took our van on its last adventure, an hour and a half ride to DUBLIN! 


Sunday (Day 7): Dublin

We flew out of Dublin on Sunday, and within 7 hours we landed safe and sound in Connecticut. Overall, we didn’t see much of Dublin however the boys did do some nightlife exploring and reported back with two thumbs up. 

& that was that. 

Overall our trip was packed and filled to the brim with Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and terrains. It truly is a beautiful country, and this post marks the last of our Ireland content. 

I hope you enjoyed this past week of travel content and leave any suggestions of places you’d like us to explore next. xx Aubrey

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Falconry at Ashford Castle

September 8th, 2017

Falconry at Ashford Castle-8284Yellow Rain Jacket (on sale)! || Skirt from Talbots || Shirt from Talbots || Sneakers || Bag || Camera

The way I plan most of my trips now, since blogging full-time, is through story telling. That might sound weird but I always think of TCC readers and what they’d like to see and what stories they would like to hear; before finalizing any details of my trip.

Just like if you were to sit down with your friend and chat about your most recent vacation, I want to bring you guys along for the best moments and stories of our trip. So when planning I knew I wanted to bring the very British storyline of Falconry to TCC Readers. It’s something that’s always interested me, and the whole experience felt very much like a moment from the Netflix show ‘The Crown’. 

Let’s just say once again I felt like I was in my element. I was lucky enough to be traveling with my family whom I knew had no fears of birds, as we’d be getting up close and personal with these amazing Falcons. I feel confident in saying this activity of our trip was probably the most memorable and enjoyed. Falconry at Ashford Castle-8324

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Falconry at Ashford Castle-8437

It was actually our final day in Ireland and it started off at Ashford Castle, specifically the Lodge at Ashford Castle. I actually really loved staying at the Lodge and if I could do the whole trip over again I would 100% stay there longer. 

Tessie, my Mom and I all woke up at 7 AM and got ready for an early breakfast, before heading straight out the door; as we had a traditional boat ride planned for 9 AM. The boat ride was in a small four person handcrafted boat, crafted and driven by Frank as he taught us all about the history of the castle and the Guinness Family Curse.

Once again, I’m a huge history buff, so you bet I had to hear about Ireland’s most prominent family’s curse. You’ll have to google it, because it really is quite interesting and this historic family once owned the beautiful Ashford Castle that you can stay at today. 

Whenever I travel to an area I’m unfamiliar with, I’m huge on booking tours with local residents as it really is the only way to effectively learn and remember the history of the land. & if a tour isn’t available I’ll usually turn towards Youtube before or after my travels to learn about it. Overall, if you visit the castle I highly recommend hiring Frank, for a boat tour. Falconry at Ashford Castle-8630

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Falconry at Ashford Castle-8529

Next up we met up with the boys after their epic round of rifle shooting. I only say it’s epic because they had been looking forward to it the entire vacation. To be honest, I think their aim was less than epic but I’ll keep that between us. While they were shooting Tessie and I headed back to the room to shoot some videos and edit pictures. 

It’s really important for me to balance work while traveling. Since our crew is so small, I really don’t have the luxury of checking out during vacations. I’m the first to admit, that being on 24/7 is one of the things I love about my job. It’s a go, go, kind of industry and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

If you’d like me to do a post on how I manage my blog while traveling…let me know below! Falconry at Ashford Castle-8673

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Anyway at 1 PM we all embarked on our last journey of the vacation…Falconry. We took out two birds with a guide and flew these majestic animals around the castle premises. It was so exciting getting to work one on one with a real falcon and learn more about their talents and skills. 

Animals never cease to surprise me, and I was lucky enough to have both Matt and Tessie around to capture my time with the falcons. Oh and of course, I had to dress the part, I went with a tweed skirt from Talbots and my yellow rain jacket. I was trying to channel Katie Middleton style, did it work? Falconry at Ashford Castle-8677

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After falconry we headed back to our rooms, squeezed in a few emails and packed up for Dublin! We flew out the following day, and I must say, thank goodness. After a week of jam packed sightseeing, photo taking and video recording we were all spent. 

While there are still a few more things on my Ireland bucket list, I’m feeling pretty grateful for all that I was able to see and accomplish with my family in this short time period. 

& don’t worry we’ll be bringing you our full travel guide on Monday. xx Aubrey

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Cliffs of Moher and Travel Vlog

September 6th, 2017

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Yellow Rain Jacket (ON SALE!) || White Dress (on sale!) || Rain Boots || Matt’s Jacket 

I’ve been so excited to share this blog post with you guys, it’s one of my favorites so far from our recent trip to Ireland. In this post and vlog, you’ll see our crew exploring what I believe is the most iconic landscape in Ireland…the Cliffs of Moher. 

As our group of six made it up the Wild Atlantic Way from Kerry, our next stop was the Cliff Coast. This section of Ireland is full of iconic and dramatic cliff views, that honestly took my breath away. It was astonishing to me that a country covered in gray skies and rain storms could be so green. 

Seeing the Cliffs of Moher has been on my bucket list for a very long time, so I was giddy with excitement when the day finally arrived. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

So when the day arrived, I woke up early, jumped in the shower and did my hair and makeup. Notice in the vlog below how I say not to cake on makeup due to the rain, well I believe I totally jinxed us with the weather. Initially, it said it would slightly rain so I wasn’t too concerned with my hair, makeup, and outfit of choice…but boy was I wrong. 

Anyway, it was a bit of a rocky start to the day as our boat tour of the cliffs got canceled along with our hotel forgetting to tell us that they never booked our walking tour…which, by the way, started outside in a parking lot. Unfortunately, after sitting 30min outside in a rainy parking lot, our hotel emailed us saying ‘oops’, I just about had it so we decided to screw it and take ourselves on our own tour.

As we drove onward towards The Cliffs, I was 100% in my element. Yellow rain jacket was on, a wool scarf was keeping me warm and I was ready to take on the world. The joke was on me because the moment we stepped outside of the car and into the viewing area of The Cliffs of Moher it started to POUR. 

I mean pour to the point where my white linen dress was COMPLETELY see through…and once again I was the official flasher of Ireland, only this time in a white see-through dress. MY LIFE GUYS. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

It was one of those moments in life where you just had to laugh. We literally were slipping and sliding all the way up the Cliffs of Moher, Matt took a few diggers and I got shocked by an electric fence, all of which was captured on camera by our video photographer/my sister Tessie. It is by far the funniest vlog because it just shows you life happens, and the weather is the weather. 

I can’t tell you how many times it’s rained on me during a photoshoot, but rallying always results in the best and most authentic pictures and in this case video. 

Even in the rain the cliffs were beautiful, and I would 100% recommend it, and make sure to get there early (10 AM ish) to beat the crowds. After the cliffs, we went to a pub to dry off and ended up deciding on visiting the Burren Perfumery. Andrew (my brother), Matt and my Dad dropped us girls off to tour the gardens and sniff our hearts out. 

It was really interesting seeing how long and diligent the perfume process is and when we were all done with the tour we stopped for a cup of tea. It was quite relaxing until the boys forgot to pick us up and we had to wait outside the closed perfumery in the pouring rain for an hour. 

Little side note, but I feel like I should do a whole post on how to manage traveling with men or bad planners in general. Does anyone else agree? Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Anyway, after a crazy and very wet day I was excited to take a hot shower, re-blow-dry my hair and watch the hilarious footage of us on the cliffs. It was a very cozy and warm way to end a damp and somewhat hectic (with plans falling through) day. 

One of my favorite parts of the entire Ireland vacation was getting to bunk with Tessie; especially after the new Taylor Swift song was released. We got ready for an oh so interesting dinner with that song on repeat, that night. 

Finally, I hope you guys are enjoying the vlogs!!! We only have two more Ireland posts to go, so we’ll see you back here on Friday for our final stop…Ashford Castle

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Ring of Kerry And Travel Vlog

September 4th, 2017

Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Skirt || White Turtleneck || Vest || Belt || Lipstick || Hunter Boots 

As I stated last week, when planning my first trip to Ireland, I had a vision of traveling up the Wild Atlantic Way. I knew I wanted to start in the south at the Ring of Kerry and make our way up to Galway, so I kept all of that in mind when booking hotels.

Our first hotel we stayed at was probably our favorite, Sheen Falls Lodge right outside the town of Kenmare. The hotel was beautiful and had a relaxed country aesthetic, with a roaring fireplace and french toast that I dreamed about each night.

With lots of activities, like fly fishing to rifle shooting, to pick from and a bustling town just up the road; this hotel was perfect for my VERY active family. Overall my main reason for picking this hotel was due to the fact that it was close to Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry. 

So on the third day of our trip, I woke my family up quite early and made everyone pile into the car to explore. I will say, driving the Ring of Kerry can be a tad scary, the roads are ridiculously windy which you might have noticed in the vlog below. Thus I would recommend visiting the park early, to avoid crossing paths with tourists bus and overflowing parking lots.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

We arrived at the park at 10 AM and had plenty of time to jump out of the car and snap pictures. It was really fun just exploring the different terrains and taking in the views. Ireland has been the most scenic country I’ve visited so far.  

I decided to wear this skirta vest, and white turtleneck, oh and don’t forget my infamous Hunter Rain Boots. I’ll say my rain boots were by far my most worn item on this trip, second to only my yellow rain jacket. 

In hind sight wearing a skirt to the Ring of Kerry wasn’t a smart idea. I thought the park involved walking through paved trails but realistically it involved climbing over trees and through muddy creeks to see natures beauty like the Torc Waterfall; which I loved but wasn’t dressed for. 

I kept joking with my family saying I was the official flasher of Ireland because I probably flashed more than a handful of people with the fashion decisions I made. 

All for a good Instagram, am I right!? 

Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

From the Ring of Kerry, we went straight to Killarney National Park; which overlaps with the Ring. I had a few things in mind that I wanted to see within the National Park specifically the Muckross House and Gardens. This mansion was beautiful and was actually owned at one point by the Guinness Family’s daughter.

Could you imagine owning a mansion in the middle of a national park, talk about a view? The mansion was beautiful and while we didn’t have time to go inside, we did make time to see the Muckross Abbey. Now I know this might sound weird but I’m a sucker for old graveyards. 

I hate all things spooky, so you’d never find me there at night or alone, but there is something so historic about reading the names of people who lived in the town so long before us. A lot of old tombstones even write how they died and how they embraced life, giving us all a glimpse into the past. 

So we spent quite some time at the mansion grounds and Abbey before hopping back in the car and heading to our final destination…food! 
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Ring of Kerry, Ireland Travel Guide | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

We were starving by the time we got back in the car so we headed straight to the town of Kenmare, for some Pepsi and food. After a hangry fight over where we should eat dinner, my Dad desperately wanted lamb chops and the rest of us wanted spaghetti; we decided to go authentic with an Irish pub. 

We ate at, PF McCarthy’s Bar which was one of our most loved food destinations throughout our trip. You must leave room for dessert if you eat here though, who would have thought a pub would have good dessert but the apple crumble was everything. 

& that about wrapped up our third day in Ireland. Don’t forget to check out our 2nd official TCC Crew Vlog segment. & please let us know if this is something you enjoy. xx Aubrey 

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