Category Archives: New England Travel

Blueberry Picking in New England

July 11th, 2018

 

Blueberry picking is a longstanding summer tradition for my family and I; and to be honest, nothing is more rewarding than grabbing an empty pail and heading into the fields. On this particular day, the Rose’s Berry Farm crew was kind enough to let me squeeze in some last minute scavaging time for ripe berries before shutting down for the afternoon, due to heat. I climbed the blueberry hill with Tessie until we came upon the plumpest and fullest blueberry bushes we could find.

Now while raspberries are my official favorite summer berry, blueberries are a close second and are ideal to pick, because well frankly, there is SOOO much you can do with them. From blueberry pancakes to muffins, a large bucket of blueberries can go a long way and can really curb that sweet tooth appetite. 

To sum it all up, on today’s TCC Network Video I’m bringing you all along to what I believe is the best place to go blueberry picking in Connecticut, Rose’s Berry Farm in South Glastonbury. Oh and the best part about this berry farm is that if you visit on Sunday’s you can get breakfast as well, I mean who doesn’t want a plate of blueberry pancakes post berry picking?!

blueberry picking in Connecticut the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
where to pick blueberries in New England the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
where to go blueberry picking in Connecticut The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Roses' Berry Farm Sunday Breakfast The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
berry farms to visit in Connecticut the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

Anyway, as I said earlier the farm did have to shut down early due to a heatwave which is why I was so glad to be wearing my eyelet flutter dress currently on sale. This dress handles the heat like a professional while helping to preserve my style even though I’m feeling ever so sweaty. You might remember this dress from our Costa Rican Rain Forest excursion, which you can read about here. All and all, I’ve had this number for a few months and If you’re looking to add a white sundress to your wardrobe I strongly suggest this number

All and all I hope this video inspired you to explore your local farms and make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel if you want more quick local New England guides like this! 

 

berry farms to visit in Connecticut the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
berry farms to visit in Connecticut the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
berry farms to visit in Connecticut the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
berry picking in New England the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

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The Best of Connecticut’s Scenic Summer Routes, Fourth of July Road Trip

July 6th, 2018

Top Scenic Drives in Connecticut The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

I can’t believe this week marks the first of July, and with so much going on, and with big travel plans in the works, I’m looking forward to taking a step back and enjoying the best scenic routes Connecticut has to offer. This past weekend,  I was bogged down with the summer bug, so I’m extra eager to make the most of the beautiful weather we’ll see and hit the open road to explore. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed,  I like to get outside of myself and hit the drive the quaintest of Connecticut’s Scenic Summer Routes with Matt or Tessie. 

This past weekend, my uncle, Mike, was kind enough to lend Tessie and I his vintage buggy car, for a little road trip to Old Wethersfield and The Wethersfield Cove. Before heading out Tessie and I  packed the car full of our favorite snacks for a quick picnic and stopped by a farm stand on the way to snag these budding sunflowers for some pictures.

Top Scenic Drives in Connecticut The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
New England road summer road trip the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
New England road summer road trip the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
New England road summer road trip the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
Vintage Buggy Car New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Taking time to reset and explore the best of Connecticut’s scenic summer routes is a godsend for me during this busy time of year. My job requires me to be on and creative basically twenty-four/seven, so packing a few outfits and just getting in the car to see what we stumble upon is my ideal choice when dealing with writer’s block or when feeling unmotivated. So I figured maybe sharing my favorite routes to drive and explore might help you the next time you need to escape and drive a little bit. 

If you’re up for wood-shingled homes and beautiful coastal views, then you best head south on Route 154. You’ll drive by some of my favorite coastal towns and communities like historical Fenwick, known for being the summer oasis for nonother than Katherine Hepburn. Once you take a spin around Fenwick, last seen on the blog here and here. Continue on Route 154 until you hit the Old Saybrook, my ideal pit stop for great seafood, shopping and New England culture. Then jump back in your car and see where the open road takes you next. 

If you’re hungry head take the scenic route 1 to scenic route 27 through downtown and historic Mystic CT. Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, ice cream or seafood, Mystic has you covered. Just give yourself plenty of time to explore the off-roads of Route 1 and Route 27 too, as you’ll be sure to pass stunning homesteads and gorgeous historical homes, you’ll want to pull over to take a picture. 

Finally, if you’re in that country kind of mood. Roll down the windows and head towards Route 49 & Route 14A. You’ll ride up and down large hilltop farms decorated with historic stone walls, grazing cattle and summer corn tassels that stretch for miles and miles. Oh, and depending on the time of year you may come upon fields of gorgeous sunflowers soaking up the rays of summer.

Vintage Buggy Car New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
New England Coastal Scenic Drives The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Best of Connecticut's Scenic Summer Routes The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Connecticut Scenic Coastal Drives The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
New England Coastal Scenic Drives The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

I hope this post inspired you guys to hit the open road this weekend and enjoy your time with friends and family. Now I’d love to hear from you guys, what’s your favorite summer route to take? Leave a comment down below! 

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A Day At Groton Long Point & Jack Roger Giveaway

June 27th, 2018

A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

 I am so excited about today’s post! First off, I’d like to thank Country Club Prep for making this exciting giveaway possible but before I go into any more details on that, let’s jump into a little behind the scenes and what a day at Groton Long Point looks like. I get countless questions from you all, about my favorite picturesque beach towns in Connecticut and I’d have to say Groton Long Point is at the top of my list. No matter what time of day or day of the week, each time I visit I’m guaranteed to look out into the ocean and see sailboats gliding through the sound. Literally nothing prettier than that. 

Before heading down to Groton Long Point, I decided to dress the part and pair my Jack Roger sandals with this Kiel James Patrick, Nautical Chinoiserie Shirtdress. I was instantly drawn to this dress because of its crisp white and blue sailboat print. I pulled the look together effortlessly with a pop of color on my lips and air dried coastal hair. All in all, it was going to be a good day. 

A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A Day At Groton Long Point The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Shoot days can always be hectic but since we only had plans on shooting one outfit look this day, my Mom and I decided to make an outing out of it. We stopped at my favorite bakery on the way to Groton, to grab a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich…my go to road trip snack and an iced coffee. It took us about an hour to drive down to the shoreline and once we arrived we were greeted with even prettier weather.  

From there, we parked the car and walked around the whole point until we found the perfect spot to take our picture. Originally I wasn’t planning on taking pictures in the water but the sailboats were just too idyllic to pass up. We spent about three hours walking the point, shooting this dress and enjoying a relaxing day in Groton Long Point. We even went as far as to bring you all BTS (behind the scenes) with us! Just click on the video below to watch our whole photo shoot day unfold. 

Kiel James Patrick Dress The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Kiel James Patrick Dress The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Kiel James Patrick Dress The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Kiel James Patrick Dress The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Kiel James Patrick Dress The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Okay, now from the moment I found out that Country Club Prep and I were greenlighted go for this giveaway I knew I wanted to head down to Groton to shoot the giveaway images and share why Jack Roger sandals are a staple in my New England wardrobe. In fact, I can remember vividly purchasing my first pair of Jack Rogers. I was interviewing with colleges down in North Carolina and on arrival realized I had forgotten to pack my one pair of kitten heels I owned for the interview. So an hour before my interview my Mom and I jetted over to the mall to discover the brand, Jack Rogers. I purchased my first pair of Hamptons Jack Rogers at the age of seventeen with cash that I saved up from my summer job, and still, have that pair of platinum sandals today. In fact, it’s actually the exact pair I’m holding in the pictures above.  

Long story short, Jack Rogers played a big part in making me feel confident and classy for those interviews, and getting to giveaway a pair to you all now is a dream come true. It’s super simple to enter just head over to this Instagram post to get all the details. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and make sure to subscribe to our YOUTUBE CHANNEL to see new videos every Wednesday and vlogs every Saturday. Good luck and make sure to enter the giveaway here! 

Exploring Bowen’s Wharf

June 25th, 2018

Exploring Bowen's Wharf | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow-7419
Exploring Bowen's Wharf Rhode Island the coastal confidence

Nothing is more soothing and exciting than the hustle and bustle of Bowen’s Wharf come summertime. In fact, if you asked me to describe Newport, Rhode Island to you, the first thing that comes to my mind is the historic wharves and all they have to offer. So, I was ecstatic when Tessa and I had enough time on our previous trip to Newport, to clock out early and enjoy a leisurely ‘linner’ at Bowen’s Wharf.  

The stunning 18th-century brick wharf buildings, bring you instantly back to Bowen’s start as a thriving seaport in colonial New England. Today the once commercial seaport buildings, are filled to the brim with shops, artwork, and delicious food, which is much more up my alley. The weather was beautiful when Tessa and I were visiting, so our first stop was at the Coffee Grinder to pick up two iced lattes and an apple turnover. We snacked on the apple turnover and our lattes from the comfort of these green Adirondack chairs as we watched the sailboats load and unload tourists. 

what to do in Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence
Exploring KJP's Flagship Store New England
Exploring Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store New England
Exploring Bowen's Wharf Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

After we finished our lattes we headed to the main reason why I was so excited to visit Bowen’s Wharf, Kiel James Patrick’s Flagship Store. I’ve always been a huge fan of the KJP brand and their New England presence, so getting to walk into their flagship store and see their entire line of products was surreal. To be hoenst, I ended up having the hardest time deciding what to buy, I’ve always wanted KJP’s Oyster Rockefeller Ring for the longest time but ended up splurging and getting a dress  on my visit. 

Next, we strolled through the many art galleries along the wharf. I love collecting art while traveling and out of all the art galleries I’ve seen, no one understands my aesthetic like Newport, Rhode Island. The galleries were filled with nautical themes and gorgeous sailboat models, I couldn’t help but to write down a few artist’s names to give to Matt for potential Christmas gift ideas. Because you know it’s never too early to get your Christmas shopping in, I kid. 

Finally, we headed to Diego’s Mexican Restaurant, which was recommended to me by my cousins Rachel and Michael who went to school in Rhode Island. All and all, I was so glad they recommended this place. Tessa and I swallowed the nacho plate whole and feasted on a burrito for each of us, to boot. It was the perfect place to watch the sun creep into the water and enjoy the chaotic foot traffic the wharf sees daily. 

Exploring Bowen's Wharf Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Kiel James Patrick Flagship Store Rhode Island
Exploring Bowen's Wharf Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Exploring Bowen's Wharf Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

When heading to Newport, Rhode Island please make sure to take a pit stop, and recharge at Bowen’s Wharf, it really is a classic New England spot. With amazing views and plenty of fresh seafood restaurants, it’s a great way to start or end your day in this seaport city. Oh, and if you’re interested in a real New England experience, look into taking a sailboat ride from the wharf, [sail-newport.com] here! I use to do this annually with my family when I was little and it’s something I always look back on today! I promise it will be so much fun.   

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Being Patient With The Process

June 18th, 2018

jackie kennedy style dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
goat island lighthouse Rhode Island the coastal confidence
jackie kennedy style dresses the coastal confidence aubrey yandow
jackie kennedy style dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
brooks brothers dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow

There is A LOT going on in my life at the moment, which sounds so dramatic but it’s a lot of really exciting things, that I can’t wait to open up and share with you all soon! But until then I wanted to sit down, clear my mind and kind of vent about the all too real-life lesson, these big ventures have taught me, but to put it simply, these experiences have truly taught me how to be patient with the process

You know how people always say patience is a virtue, well they weren’t kidding. By nature I’m a pretty patient person…well my Mom, might disagree but with most things I am. I mean, I could never be a teacher but on average if I’m doing something I enjoy I’m pretty content at putting in the hard work or time for the ultimate end goal. Yet as our ventures get bigger the process takes a heck of a lot longer and requires a lot more energy, which is starting to leave me with feelings of unrest and anxiety, more than anything else. Now, overall the whole experience is so odd to me because I’m normally not one to rush ANYTHING, I like to sleep on decisions, run things by Matt; but at the end of the day moving forward and seeing progress is something that pushes me forward. Which brings me to this post, how do you stay motivated, productive and excited about a venture that is so up in the air? 

being patient with the process the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
being patient with the process the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
Being Patient With The Process The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
homes on newport Rhode Island the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
Being Patient With The Process the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

I mean in the last thirty days Matt and I have come a long way in this venture, which mind you, we’ve been talking about for an entire year, but we still have a very long way to go and at moments it can still leave me feeling like, ‘what the **** is my direction here’. Now, I, fortunately, have a pretty good gut, which seems to inherently lead me into all sorts of ventures, and while this one has truly tested my patience, I know deep down that this one could be the most stunning, exciting and exhilarating adventure yet. 

Now, I might be digging my own grave while writing this, as we are actually waiting on some big news about the project today, but I just felt like now was the time to sit down and talk this out with you guys. You know they say the best things in life are worth waiting for, and I’m really hoping that’s true as Matt and I have been waiting on a decision that’s been postponed three times, since NOVEMBER, yes NOVEMBER 2017, but I think the universe has a funny way of making things work out. I mean, if the decision had gone through in November there would have been no way we’d have been able to move forward with the venture but after hearing some big news over the last thirty days, we are finally in a position to bring this venture into formation. 

For the longest time I was impatient with the process, wanting to jump the gun and gamble whether we’d be able to commit, but for once the timing feels really right and I guess all we can do now is continue to be patient with the process. After all who knows, the decision they make today could put the whole process to a roaring halt, and send Matt and myself, back to the drawing board, but either way, I’m deciding right now to continue being patient with this process in hopes of reaping the rewards. 

brooks brothers dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow
brooks brothers dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow
brooks brothers dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow
brooks brothers dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey Yandow
jackie kennedy style dresses the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

I’m learning day by day to be patient and enjoy the process, especially since once the light goes green it will be mayhem from there, but I kind of thrive in mayhem is that weird? Anyway, I know no matter what there is a big change happening for Matt and I, just around the river bend, and if it took me four backbreaking patient years, to build this brand then, I know that only good things could come from the eight-month wait Matt and I have been patiently navigating. 

Now let’s talk about this outfit real quick, this dress is everything and it’s a wicked good deal right now so grab one of your own here. I digress, I’d love to hear from you guys! Did you ever experience a time when your patience was tested? How did you maneuver enjoying the process and was it worth it in the end? I love hearing from you so leave your experiences down below. xx Aubrey 

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Summer Wedding Guest Dress

June 15th, 2018

wedding guest dress the coastal confidence aubrey yandow

wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

OUTFIT DETAILS

Gal Meets Glam DressShoesBagEarringsNecklace

Tis the season for weddings, especially here in New England, and while I’m not personally attending any big weddings this year, I figured I’d play dress up and show you my go-to event outfit. Whether it’s a wedding, polo-match or brunch at the Ocean House I love getting to dress up and style dresses that I normally wouldn’t wear on a daily basis.

Okay, now when purchasing a dress for an event I always try to purchase styles that can be dressed up or down depending on the type of event I’ll be attending. I do this so that I can get maximum usage out of a more expensive dress by wearing it to a variety of functions. In the end, an elegant midi dress is always a good choice, and if you’re unsure of the dress code never feel awkward reaching out to other attendees to gauge what they’ll be wearing. Or as I always say, better safe than sorry. 

gal meets glam dress collection the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
gal meets glam dress collection the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
gal meets glam dress collection the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
gal meets glam dress collection the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

Okay, now take some time to look at your calendar and compare the events you’ll be attending this summer. Are they formal, casual, indoor, outdoor or color themed in any way? Once I get a feel for my events, I try to go with the concept of quality over quantity and purchase a dress that would work for most occasions. Ideally, at the start of the summer event season, I usually set aside a budget to purchase one to kill designer dress that I can rock and style all event season long. Which brings me to my most frequently asked question…where do you find a good summer wedding guest dress? For me personally, I have a few designers and brands that I return to year after year and they are: Shoshanna, Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers and my newest obsession the Gal Meets Glam Collection. All of these designers vary in price points but in the end, all of them make impeccable designs, fun patterns, and timeless silhouette.

The other thing I look for in an event dress is some sort of pattern or texture. Summer is the ideal time to embrace color and floral patterns into your style. So when I found this elegant Gal Meets Glam dress hanging in Nordstrom, I knew I had to purchase it. From the muted browns and pinks to the elegant smocking at the shoulders and bust, I knew this design and silhouette would be ideal for summer in New England. Personally, as long as I have a dress that I feel confident in with breathable material I’m happy. Oh and recently Gal Meets Glam dropped her second line of dresses and I’m dying over this satin wrap dress! It’s just perfect for evening events that I might just have to splurge. 

wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
wedding at the Newport mansions the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

Okay now I’d love to hear from you guys! Do you have any big summer weddings happening in your future? Or are you like Matt and I with a summer full of work events. Either way, I’d love to hear what designer you like to sport, below! xx Aubrey

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A New Englander’s Guide to Newport, RI

June 13th, 2018

OUTFIT DETAILS

Floral Shirt DressShoesBagSunglassesBelt

Newport Rhode Island In The Summer The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Coffee Grinder Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence
Coffee Grinder Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence
Bowen's Wharf Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence

It’s June in New England which means one thing and one thing only, it’s officially road trip season! Actually, I think an element that makes New England unique in and of itself, is how easy it is to jump into a car and explore picturesque New England towns without breaking the bank. Last weekend, my sister/photographer Tessa, and I decided to capture one of our favorite New England cities, Newport Rhode Island! 

I honestly don’t know where to start, Newport has so much to offer, but let’s just start with a little background, shall we? Originally found in 1639, Newport is filled to the brim with American culture and deeply rooted in colonial history, architecture, and hauntings if that floats your boat. Newport isn’t just known for its colonial history, if you fast forward to the Gilded Age, you’d find Newport in it’s peek. Around this time tycoons of industry, such as the  Vanderbilts,  adopted this seaside city to be the location for their summer ‘cottages’. Now, these cottages were nothing short of extravagant Versaille like mansions, in fact, we bring you along for our tour of Rosecliff Mansion in the video above.

None the less, between a rich history and delicious seafood, my sister and I decided to break down our ‘official’ New Englander’s Guide to Newport, RI for any of you interested in visiting this summer or fall! The video above shows you a play by play of our travel suggestions for 48 hours in Newport, so make sure to check that out, BUT to help you out we’ve also listed all the links to the places we’ve visited and extra recommendations below!

Okay, let’s get to it and make sure to leave a comment below with any additional recommendations! 

The Attwater Hotel Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

The Attwater Hotel Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Attwater Hotel Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Attwater Hotel Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Attwater Hotel Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

To Stay: 


 

If you’re planning a trip to Rhode Island, I would highly recommend staying at The Attwater Hotel in downtown Newport, From its intimate sizing to its nautical decor, we truly enjoyed every moment of our stay in this centrally located boutique hotel, We were lucky enough to get a room last moment that perfectly accommodated our needs. The room layout gave Tessa and I enough space for us not only to work and store our photography equipment for our Newport content but also a separate bedroom to unplug and relax, I mean, I did a whole room tour in the video above, so you guys can get a sneak peek inside of the atmosphere The Attwater Hotel has created.

Now if I’m being honest, my favorite part about this hotel was not the bedroom, but rather the shower. I’ve been gearing up to do a little home renovation and their shower gave me all the inspiration. Tessa was cracking up because I took about 1,000 pictures of it to keep for inspiration and to show my family and friends, and let’s just say so far everyone has approved. Besides being obsessed with their decor, the fresh hot coffee they had in the lobby all day long, and the sweet staff that directed us in the right direction for our photoshoots, made our stay all that more enjoyable. Tessa and I had a busy 48 hours in Newport so being in the heart of downtown and being able to walk to shoot locations like Bowen’s Wharf, Bellevue Ave, and the historical downtown area, from the comfort of the hotel lobby, made all the difference. 

Anyway if you don’t already know, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Now, this is the first Lark Hotel property I’ve stayed at but Tessa and I are excited to capture more of their New England properties throughout the summer and fall! If you’re headed to a New England destination station this summer check out Lark Hotels on their website or Instagram

A New Englander's Guide to Newport, Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

A New Englander's Guide to Newport, Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A New Englander's Guide to Newport, Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A New Englander's Guide to Newport, Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
A New Englander's Guide to Newport, Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

To Do: 


 

+ The Mansions: visiting the Newport Mansions are a must. I don’t want to giveaway to much details but the lifestyle these Gilded Age social lights and business tycoons lived, seems straight out of the Great Gatsby. In the video above we actually bring you along with us on our tour of the Rosecliff Mansion. Not only is the Rosecliff Mansion one of my favorite mansions in Newport to tour, but it’s also the backdrop to a few famous movies you might recognize!  

All and all the price is about $17.00, per mansion tour, so I highly recommend purchasing a two or five house ticket pass if you are headed to Newport for the first time, as the passes actually don’t expire and having the passes on hand with you during your stay will save you both money and hassle in the long run. 

+ The Topiary Garden: Totally underrated if I do say so myself! You can learn more about our visit to the topiary gardens in this blog post! 

+ Shopping on Bowen’s Wharf: I mean, shopping right! I love taking a stroll down Bowne’s Wharf for some summer inspiration. Whether I’m popping into KJP’s Flagship Store or taking a peek inside the sailboat-filled art galleries, I always seem to leave Newport with a few more bags than I arrived with.

+ Berry Picking: Rhode Island has the best strawberries and now that they are in season Tessa and I made a quick stop at Sweet Berry Farm on the way home from the Topiary Garden! Not only did we pick some delicious strawberries but we also got freshly made ice cream, at their farmstand to boot. 

+ Dinner Downtown: We headed back to the hotel, to grab a quick coffee before changing our outfits for dinner! The fact that downtown Newport was walking distance from our hotel, made late night food runs a must. 

+ Visiting A LightHouse: Every good New England summer getaway has to end with a lighthouse photo! Tessa and I decided to bike over to Goats Island to get a picture with the iconic lIghthouse whilst watching the sunset over the Newport Bridge. It’s the perfect Instagram shot if you ask me! 

Places We Ate: 


 

+ Coffee Grinder Newport 

+ The Red Parrot

+ Brick Alley Club

+Diego’s

+ 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grill

+ Del’s Lemonade


 

& that’s our A New Englander’s Guide to Newport, Rhode Island! I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if there is another New England seaside city you would like us to review next! xx Aubrey 

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Visitng The Green Animals Topiary Garden, in Rhode Island

June 10th, 2018

The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

If you follow me on Instagram, and if you don’t you should be, then you already know that this past weekend Tessa and I headed to Newport, Rhode Island, for a little adventure. Now we’ve been to Newport a few times before and had done a lot of the typical tourist attractions like touring the mansions and taking a plunge at first beach; sooooo when we made plans to visit Newport again, we wanted to explore an attraction neither of us had seen prior. Long story short, that’s how we found ourselves at The Green Animals Topiary Garden

The Green Animals Topiary Garden is a little north of Newport and does require a twenty-minute car or uber ride to get there from downtown, BUT it was so worth the drive. From the moment I walked onto the property, I felt like I was being transported into a fairytale, or at least to Europe, as the gardens reminded me of the beautiful castle grounds Matt and I explored in Ireland last August. Now, none the less, Tessa and I spent about two hours within the garden’s walls capturing the unique and humors topiary structures, along with exploring all the nooks and crannies the garden had to offer. 

Brooks Brothers Shirt Dress Summer Style The Coastal Confidence
The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
brooks brothers Mary Jane Pumps The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport Rhode Island The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

This day, in particular, was actually a busy one for Tessa and I, as we were actually filming our Newport, Rhode Island travel video guide for our Youtube channel! Oh and speaking of Youtube make sure to follow us over there and keep your eyes peeled for the travel video coming out on Wednesday! Okay, I digress, we originally had no intention of shooting outfit photos here but after stepping into the garden we instantly felt like the topiary structures were too cute and rightfully deserved their own special post. I mean, am I wrong? 

Between the smells of freshly cut grass and the fairytale-like environment, I literally twirled my way through the garden thanks to this tropical print shirt dress. In fact, at one point in time, Tessa told me I needed to ‘stop living my best life’ and give the twirling a rest for photo sake but I honestly couldn’t help it. I felt like a movie-star in this perfectly crafted shirt dress from Brooks Brothers! Now if I’ve said it once then I’ll say it again, but nobody crafts a dress quite like the Brooks Brothers team. Each dress I try on from them is perfectly structured and cut to make the subject feel both classic but with a warm feminine twist. Please please please take a second to check out some of their dresses for yourself. In fact, a lot of their designs are being featured in their current annual sale, I’ve linked a few of my favorite ones here, here and here, and you guys can thank me later! 

Visitng The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Jackie Kennedy Rhode Island Style The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Topiary Gardens To Visit The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

brooks brothers classic dress style the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
Brooks Brothers New England Style The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Now let’s get back to the garden! Just a friendly FYI you do have to pay in order to enter and tour the topiary garden and historical Victorian home built, in 1872. The home is gently placed at the base of the garden and has a beautiful view of Narragansett Bay. The price is about $17.00, and this attraction does count as one of the ‘Newport Mansion’ ticket attractions. Now I highly recommend purchasing a two or five house ticket pass if you are headed to Newport for the first time, as the passes actually don’t expire and having the passes on hand will save you money and hassle in the long run. 

All and all I really had a magical time, I’m a sucker for boxwood so you could say I was really living my best life. Now I can’t wait to share more of my trip and our official Newport Travel Guide with you all on Wednesday, but until then I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been to a topiary garden? And if so where was the garden located because I really want to drag Matt to a few of these gardens to get him inspired for our future home. I mean, a girl can dream right!? xx Aubrey

New England summer style the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
The Green Animals Topiary Garden
brooks brothers floral shirt dress the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
Jackie O summer style the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow
brooks brothers summer style the coastal confidence Aubrey yandow

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5 Pizza Places to Visit in Connecticut

April 20th, 2018

5 Pizza Places to Visit in CT Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence Pizza in Connecticut
5 Pizza Places to Visit in CT Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence Pizza in Connecticut

I was inspired to create this post, last week when Matt and I were in Dallas. We were chatting with some friends and they wanted to know, besides seafood, what was the best dish to order in New England. Valid question right and  I quickly realized no one does pizza like New England, well besides Chicago, so I told her to give me a week and I’d report back with a whole list. 

Once I finalized my list, I decided I might as well share it with all of you and all I can say is, I miss New England pizza. Breakfast, lunch or dinner; pizza is always a valid food option for me and I hope this inspires you all to test out a few new places. Anyway, I’m just going to jump right into it!

I ranked the following 5 pizza places to visit in CT in order of how I’d visit them. I rated them based on 1) pizza crust thickness, 2) topping options, 3) ambiance & 4) quantity of parking/seating. 

Okay here we go:  

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana // New Haven, CT

During the summer of 2015, Matt was living and working in New York City, while I was living and working in Eastern Connecticut, which meant we got to see each other on weekends and holidays. So come Friday, we’d often meet to hang out at a halfway point, New Haven. Before that summer I never really spent much time in New Haven but grew to look forward to my Friday night drive to New Haven and the delicious Italian food that awaited me. Whenever I picked up Matt from the train station he was always beyond famished so we usually headed straight to Frank Pepe Pizzeria. This historic pizza place first opened it’s doors in 1925 and has been a New England staple ever since. 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thin crust baked to a slight crunch sliced up into thin servings, providing you with the perfect excuse to order more than one pizza pie per visit. 
  • 2) Topping Options – Pepe’s has every topping you’d ever hope for but if you want to try an innovative pizza, order the White Clam. The White Clam Pizza is just crust, olive oil, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and fresh littleneck clams basically a seafood lovers dream. 
  • 3) Ambiance With several locations scattered around Connecticut, and now Boston, I still always make the hour drive down to the original pizzeria in New Haven. Having first opened in 1925, there is something special about eating the pizza at this quaint location while squeezing into the modest wooden booths. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – Limited parking & seating. Street parking is available as well. 

Pizzeria Sassano // Glastonbury, CT

Oh, gosh, I’m ready for the raft that will be my Mom when she finds out I let this top secret pizzeria go live. This is her FAVORITE spot to grab pizza, and I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best representation of what Italian pizza actually tastes, looks and smells like. It’s on the more expensive side of pizzerias BUT this is the REAL DEAL. Bon Appétit

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – This pizza is as fresh as it can get. From the doughy and deliciously chewy crust to the hand peeled tomato-based sauce, this pizza takes the cake for having the freshest ingredients. 
  • 2) Topping Options –  Rich Italian toppings are available for your pizza order. We strongly suggest taste testing either the sausage or meatball pie, both are seasoned to perfection and capture the essence of Italian meat. 
  • 3) Ambiance  – To be honest, I usually call in an order and take it to go, since I pass the restaurant quite often on my way to Route 2. However, if you preferring dining in, the ambiance is quaint and BYOB! 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & limited seating, however, I’ve never had to wait. 

Hope Pizza Restaurant // Stamford, CT 

I’m a sucker for Greek style pizza, to be honest, it’s actually my favorite food to order out on the weekends. Close your eyes and imagine doughy thick crust, garlic infused tomato sauce, with the heaviest serving of golden and crispy cheese that brings the whole pizza together, on top. I mean pair it with a Coca-Cola and I’m in heaven, but Greek pizza isn’t for everyone as it’s the heaviest of pizza options and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Anyway, if you love Greek pizza check out this place: 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thick, borderline deep dish, with generous square, cut slices.
  • 2) Topping Options – Whenever I eat Greek style pizza I can’t help put to order a vegetable pizza. There is something so delicious about a heavy dosing of cheesy bread and grilled vegetables. And for Matt, we always order the classy gooey cheese pizza.
  • 3) Ambiance  – Very casual ambiance, I often like to order take out from Hope Pizza Restaurant. I think Greek pizza is best enjoyed at home, outside, with a Coca-Cola in hand amongst friends. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & seating, which is key.


First & Last Tavern // Hartford & Middletown Locations Are My Favorite

First and Last will always have a special place in my heart because it is where Matt and I use to go on double dates in high school. To be exact we would always meet other couples at First and Last for a pizza and movie Friday Night Combo. So many good memories, at the Middletown location. But before Matt and I, my Dad use to take my siblings and I to the first in last location in Hartford on the weekends. We’d go visit my cousins in Wethersfield, pile in the car and head to get pizza. I use to love that you could watch the chef’s cook the pizza from start to finish at this location, and I still love to visit it with my dad and family today. 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thin crust with widely cut slices, makes this pizzeria the best place to visit with a large group of people. The pizzas are big and meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, so order a few pies, sit back and enjoy your night. 
  • 2) Topping Options – By far some of the best toppings around! I usually pile it high with sausage, mushrooms, and spinach. Oh and sometimes I ask for extra cheese, don’t tell Matt. 
  • 3) Ambiance  – Matt and I always go to First & Last Tavern for date night so I’d say the ambiance is cozy, but still high end. Basically come as you are, whether you are all decked out for a show at The Bushnell or just stopping in for a pizza while running errands, First & Last Tavern is fit for every occasion. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – Limited parking & seating, expect a wait but it will be well worth it. 

Alforno // Old Saybrook, CT

    • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – The pizza crusts, while on the thinner side are equally chewy and crispy from having baked in the 600-plus temperature of the custom-built brick oven, Alforno is known for crispy crust with a delicious taste. 
    • 2) Topping Options – Alforno does have amazing pizza topping options, but I was equally impressed with the amount of non-pizza menu options to choose from. From high-end meat dishes to stocks, sauces and fresh pasta, including ravioli, being made in-house; Alforno is a restaurant for lovers of all Italian food, not just pizza. 
    • 3) Ambiance  – With a relaxed and casual ambiance this restaurant would be perfect for a date night or a quick catch up with old friends. Just make sure to bring your appetite with you. 
    • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & seating, which is key.

Okay & that’s all I got for you guys. 

 Let me know your thoughts and I’d love to hear which pizza places in CT is your favorite. xx Aubrey

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History & Cultural Heritage of New England

January 19th, 2018

History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

New England is deeply rooted in history and cultural heritage, which has made capturing it on the TCC all that more fun. I mean, from the pilgrims that came ashore in Massachusetts to the summer homes of America’s infamous business moguls and heirs of the Gilded Age in Newport; New England is bursting at the seams with untold stories and colonial homes to be explored. The historical towns of New England, with each passing photoshoot, have proven to be deeply rooted in the start of our nation and the hopes of a new life.

To be honest, I always use to take these old colonial homes for granted but now I see them as a way to bring a little piece of historical insight, and perspective, into what living a rural New England lifestyle meant for colonial Americans. Between cooking on a hearth and tiny stairways, I can’t even imagine the number of daily struggles, these New Englanders had to endure. Anyway, I’m lucky enough to live close to several historic districts with homesteads to tour and fires to be stoked. 

History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

One of my favorite colonial homesteads to visit is that of an American hero, Nathan Hale’s. The Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut was home to one of the most renowned patriots of his time. Nathan Hale was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, both a Yale graduate and a colonial elite, his homestead allows you an insight like no other. Tragically he was hung before the British in 1776 at the age of 21, for his work as a Continental Army spy, and is famously known for saying “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”. 

I’ve always admired how New Englanders go the extra length to preserve the history and cultural heritage of such homes. A ton of care goes into maintaining historic properties and still to this day The Nathan Hale Homestead is open to the public for tours and hearth cooking sessions, giving visitors a glimpse into New England’s history. So I often find myself in the car with my youngest sister and TCC photographer, Tessa, driving to the town greens of the oldest New England towns. 

From Old Wethersfield’s quaint town green, established in 1634, to Litchfield’s busy town green, established in 1720; there is no short of inspiration and architectural ingenuity on the town greens of small Connecticut towns. I often stroll down these greens to take images for our Instagram and get inspired by the untold stories and successes of our founding colonial families. 

History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
History and High Culture of New England | The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

To this day, I’ll always be inspired by the history and cultural heritage of New England. It’s something that really adds perspective to my life and it’s the main reason why I love New England so much. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited most of Connecticut’s historical homesteads and town greens but I’d love to hear from you all. Are there any town greens we need to explore or colonial homes in your town that are just too good to pass-up? 

I love hearing what parts of New England inspire you, so leave a comment below with a place our Crew needs to head next. We love bringing you all along for the journey and we can’t wait to capture even more of New England as Matt and I gear up for our move back to New England hopefully this year. As always we’ll keep you posted, but until then have a great weekend. 

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