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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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#newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #onlyin207 #mainemom #abmlifeissweet #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #documentlife #momiform #mommybloggers #summerinfant

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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#snowday #winterinmaine #letitsnow #wintertime #newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #onlyin207 #mainemom #abmlifeissweet #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #documentlife #momiform #mommybloggers

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!...

10 Elements Of A Kick-Ass Blog

10 Elements Of A Kick-Ass Blog | Keating & Co.

As someone who wants to take her blog to the next level, I spend a lot of time analyzing my blog to see what exactly works and what doesn’t.  I have so many plans for my little blog and I want it to be the best that it can possibly be.  I want it to grow a lot this year and be bigger and better than ever at the start of 2017.  I have spent the past year working on this blog full-time and have learned so much about building a great blog and what it takes to grow.  Everyone wants their blog to be awesome so here are ten things you need in order to have a kick-ass blog!

Awesome content.

It all begins with some kick-ass content.  Your blog should offer valuable content.  Maybe you’re providing a service or you’re helping a specific group of people with a problem.  Maybe you’re just offering advice or sharing your life with the world.  Whatever it may be, make sure your content is awesome!  And of course, don’t forget to proofread!

Thorough research.

Do not post content that isn’t 100% accurate.  Always double-check your facts!  If I’m unsure about something I’m writing about, then I always take the time to look it up first.  You don’t want to put yourself in a position where your readers are questioning your trustworthiness.

An ‘about me’ page.

The first place I go when I come across a new blog is their ‘about me’ page.  I want to know more about the person behind the blog and what exactly the blog is about.  I’ve always struggled with writing a good ‘about me’ page, but there really isn’t a right way or a wrong way to do it.  Stick with the basics: Who are you?  Where are you from?  What do you blog about?  What do you have to offer?  These are only a few of the many questions you can answer on this page!  Tell your readers anything you want them to know (and don’t forget to include a photo or two!).

Networking. 

I cannot stress this enough.  Network!  I love networking and being social so this one is typically pretty easy for me.  Take some time out of your day or week to connect with others in your niche or in the blogging community as a whole.  Make friends, ask questions, find a mentor.  This will be so beneficial to you in so many ways!  My blog friends and readers are constantly helping me out with any issues I may be having and they’re super supportive.  Some of my connections have led me to freelance positions and guest posting opportunities.  It’s great.  It builds my blog/business and I make amazing friends in the process.  I don’t know what I’d do without this community!

Consistency.

When I consistency, I mean it in many different ways.  First, you have your posting schedule.  I admit, I’m sometimes horrible at this.  Life happens.  But you all can always expect at least three posts from me each week.  I’m trying to get back into making it five every week, but it’s a work in progress!  Create a posting schedule that works for you and stick with it.  That way your readers know when to expect a new post.

Next there’s consistency throughout your blog.  Color scheme, fonts, the way your blog posts are formatted, the way your Pinterest-friendly images look.  Everything doesn’t necessarily have to be identical to one another, but it should all flow together nicely so that nothing looks super out-of-place.

Lastly, there’s consistency in your branding as a whole.  My branding is consistent throughout all of my social media channels: my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  Same logos, same profile pictures, same color scheme and fonts.  Everything is the same which makes it so much easier for others to find and recognize you no matter what platform they’re on.

Social shares.

Share your content with the world!  I share my content to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest on a daily basis.  I also share to Instagram as well as Facebook groups.   And of course, you should make it easy for others to share your content as well.

A great blog design.

I say it all the time.  I’m such a visual person and I know I’m not the only one.  You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to take your blog to the next level, visually.  My awesome blog theme is by Eclair Designs (past themes were by 17th Avenue Designs) and I think it only cost me about $45 through their Etsy shop.  Super simple and cheap!

User-friendly blog layout.

Speaking of a great blog design and layout, it should also be user-friendly.  Set up your blog as if everyone who comes to it is lazy.  I totally do not mean that in a bad way, but let’s face it.  Who wants to spend 15+ minutes trying to figure out where the search bar is?  Or how to contact the blogger?  Exactly.  No one wants to do that.  It’s frustrating and the last thing you want is for your readers to get annoyed and click off your blog.  Your readers should be able to come to your blog and easily find whatever it is that they’re looking for whether it’s your search bar, your ‘about me’ page, your contact page, archives, etc.  Sometimes it’s hard to look at it from the reader’s perspective so I’m constantly asking others to check out my blog to make sure everything works well for them.

Big, clear images.

Again, this goes along with having a blog that is visually appealing.  Sometimes I take the photos myself while other times, I use free image sites like Free Images or Pexels.  Either one is fine!  Just don’t steal your images from a Google search or upload small, low-resolution photos.  And definitely don’t avoid images altogether.

An easy comment system.

I’m a huge fan of Disqus.  I love it.  It looks nice on my blog and it’s super easy to comment quickly and easily.  It’s even very easy to install and respond to my reader’s comments.  Some choose to use the built-in WordPress or Blogger comment system, but I hate commenting on these.  I never get notified if someone comments back so I’ll comment on their post, they’ll comment back and then the conversation ends.  I want to be able to keep the conversation going!

What tips do you have for creating a kick-ass blog?  What else can I can be doing to make this blog even better?

XOXO
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