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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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#christmastime #christmassy #christmasinspiration #holidayinspiration #christmascountdown #letitsnow #happyholidays #giftgiving #holidaycheer #alliwantforchristmas #deckthehalls #blogmas2018 #newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #mommybloggers

Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

How To Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family This Holiday Season

How To Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family This Holiday Season - It’s no lie that it's hard being away from family during the holidays. Here’s how we managed to stay connected with long-distance family members.

For the first time in quite some time, both Zack and I will actually be in our home state for Christmas this year! With Zack being in the Marine Corps for the last 8 years and us constantly living thousands of miles from family, it’s been challenging to get back to Maine for the holidays. Unfortunately, many families experience this.

Being away from family, especially during the holidays can be rough. Thinking back on my first Thanksgiving after marrying Zack and moving to North Carolina, I remember it being really hard on me. That holiday season felt a bit less magical due to my family living in Vermont at the time and his living in Maine. And to make it worse, he worked that Thanksgiving and that Christmas which meant I spent the first half of those holidays home alone with the dog.

It’s no lie that those moments are tough, but regardless, we’ve always found ways to make the holidays work as best we could. Here’s how we managed to stay connected with long-distance family members during the holiday season (and please enjoy these adorable photos of Allie from last Thanksgiving!).

How To Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family This Holiday Season - It’s no lie that it's hard being away from family during the holidays. Here’s how we managed to stay connected with long-distance family members.

Use Skype and Facetime to your advantage

Skype and FaceTime should be your best friend when you’re miles away from your family. You’re not physically there with them, but it still allows you to be “present”. You can FaceTime while watching Christmas movies or help your siblings shop for your parents at the mall. Catch up every weekend to see how everyone’s doing and “attend” your family’s holiday parties so you can see out-of-town relatives. You can even open presents together on Christmas Day to continue those usual family traditions. We used to do all of the above with our families when we couldn’t be home for the holidays and it was always a great way to feel connected to our loved ones.

Related: 4 Easy Ways To Maintain A Relationship With Long-Distance Family

Continue all your usual family traditions

This can make you feel like you’re at home. It might be a little difficult since it won’t be the same as doing them with your family, but something as small as having the same candle scent in your home as your parents’ can make you feel a million times better. If there’s a holiday tradition that you know you’ll be missing out on, then turn them into a tradition with your spouse, children, or even your friends.

How To Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family This Holiday Season - It’s no lie that it's hard being away from family during the holidays. Here’s how we managed to stay connected with long-distance family members.

Decorate your home

Even if you don’t have the motivation to do it, do it anyways. A lit Christmas tree, gifts, stockings hung on the fireplace, holiday scented candles burning, lights on the front porch: it can all really help to get you into the Christmas spirit. There are even studies out there that show that the earlier you decorate for the holiday season, the happier you’ll be! So keep that in mind. Don’t be afraid to dig out the decorations early and really make your home feel like a home.

Related: How To Balance Families During The Holidays

Exchange holiday cards

This is a great tradition for any couple or family. And when you’re miles apart, it can be even more special. Take the time to get your spouse (and kids) together for some family photos and take the time to put together a gorgeous holiday card. You can even include a letter home to each of your family members and friends, thanking them for their love and support and highlighting all the best moments and updates from your life throughout that year. They’ll love receiving those updates and the fact that you’re doing your best to keep them included. It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference.

How To Stay Connected With Long-Distance Family This Holiday Season - It’s no lie that it's hard being away from family during the holidays. Here’s how we managed to stay connected with long-distance family members.

Surround yourself with positivity

Social media can completely mood killer around the holidays so don’t spend your day on Facebook, looking at all the happy couples and people with their families.  It’ll most likely make you feel worse. It’s best to stay off social media for the day, if possible. Instead, surround yourself with as much positivity as you can. Spend time with your spouse, host a Christmas party with your friends, watch Christmas movies. Do whatever you have to do to get through the holiday season. The more positivity you surround yourself with, the easier it’ll be.

Do you live away from home? How do you stay connected with long-distance family members?

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XOXO
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