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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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Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

Allie Goes To Sea World

Over the weekend, Zack’s work hosted their annual holiday party…at Sea World! Whaaaat?! How cool is that?! I had never been to Sea World and Allie obviously hadn’t either. So we were super excited to go. Originally we were going to spend this past weekend at Disneyland. We had purchase 3-day park hopper passes last Christmas for the 2017 season, but after going in October we were horribly disappointed in it. We were clearly very spoiled growing up with Disney World. So Disneyland just wasn’t worth it to us. We literally just spent the day walking around. So rather than spending a day doing nothing at Disney, we decided to spend the day at Sea World with some people Zack works with. We got free parking, free admission, and a free dinner. How could we pass that up?

We started the day bright and early at 7am and were out the door by 8:30. We first went on base for a free breakfast hosted by the USO for military families. We got a free breakfast, a few gifts, a free turkey for Christmas dinner, and Allie even got to meet Santa! So pretty much this past Saturday was absolutely amazing. Busy. But amazing. And I’m proud to say she did not cry when meeting Santa. So that was nice. I didn’t want her first Santa photo to be of her crying!

By the time breakfast and our Santa meet and greet were over, it was about 10:30am which was perfect timing because Sea World opened at 11 o’clock. We got there right as they opened the gates and pretty much had the park to ourselves for a couple hours. No joke. The park was practically empty until about 1 o’clock or so. It was lovely!

Like any outing, we started our day at Starbucks. Coffee is always a must. Especially when it’s too early for alcohol. Since we had a vast majority of the park to ourselves, we took that time to show Allie the penguins and then spent a good 20 minutes sitting in front of the sea turtle tank. Allie LOVED this. You wouldn’t think a 6 month old would be this into an aquarium, but seriously this was her favorite part of the day. Since no one else was there, I was able to sit her right on the bench in front of the tank and she had it all to herself without being in other people’s way.

She thought it was the coolest thing watching the fish and sea turtles swim by. A couple times she even tried to touch them as they came closer to her. I’m already looking into other aquariums in the area that we can take her to since she clearly loves it. She could have sat there all day and been perfectly happy.

Once we were done with the sea turtles it was just about Allie’s nap time. We found a nice quiet area where I could feed her and get her changed while Zack hunted down a bar. Since our entire day was free, we splurged on a couple margaritas and beers for some mommy and daddy time while she slept. Unfortunately, the day threw off her naps a bit so she didn’t nap long. But that was more than okay with me because I really wanted to show her the reindeer and the Christmas decorations and everything else that was happening. As long as she’s happy and in a good mood, I love having her awake.

We also spent some time with Zack’s Gunny and his family as well. I see them here and there, but not often enough to where we’re super close friends or anything like that. They have five beautiful kids so it was really nice to spend time with other parents. I feel like that’s one of my biggest struggles right now. I have zero friends here who also have little ones so it makes me really lonely sometimes. I’d love to start surrounding ourselves with other married couples with kids so that I have that support and someone I can go to when I need advice or even a babysitter. So it was a lot of fun having that adult time and spending time with people we actually have things in common with.

By 4 o’clock, we were all ready for dinner so we headed over to the holiday party. There were so many more people there than I had anticipated. We couldn’t even find a table where everyone could sit down (granted we did have a group of 10 between our two families). But the food was delicious and we had a really good time. I ate a ton of potatoes and stuffing in addition to a salad, turkey, ham, cupcakes, bread and everything else they had. We even got a few gifts to take home as well.

Once dinner was over, we explored the park some more and grabbed one last drink for the night. The entire park was light up with Christmas decorations which was super pretty. There was a Christmas shop in the middle of the park so we stopped in there and bought some super cute stockings for our home. I also really wanted Allie to have something from her first trip to Sea World so I got her this super cute ornament of a penguin holding a present. They were also offering free personalization so we got her name put on it as well. Now she has something from her first trip to Sea World AND her first Christmas.

I am so glad we chose Sea World over Disneyland. We had so much more fun at Sea World with her. There were rides she could have gone on at Disney, but it was so crowded that we just didn’t want to waste the day standing in lines. There were also next to no characters walking around that day either which was super disappointing. With Sea World, it wasn’t nearly as crowded and Allie was much more into the fish and animals than she ever was with the characters and everything at Disney. This was a perfect outing for her and I’m already looking forward to going again before we move back home.

What your favorite family-friendly things to do in San Diego?

XOXO
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