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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!...

Our Cross-Country Road Trip | Day 6

Our Cross-Country Road Trip Day 6 | Why Hello Lovely

Start: Flagstaff, AZ | End: San Diego, CA
Distance traveled: 488 miles | Time: 7 hours
States driven through: Arizona and California
Cities seen: Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA.

We’ve arrived!! But I’m sure you all know that at this point. We arrived on Sunday so this update is a bit late, but that’s because it’s been a very stressful week (more on that tomorrow).

So we started the last day of our journey in Flagstaff, AZ. Since we only had 7 hours left of the drive, we didn’t feel too rushed when we woke up. I got some work done from my computer while Zack went out to get the oil changed in the car. We were both up by 7:30am which was super strange considering I’m NOT a morning person whatsoever, but the slight time change has had me going to bed around 10 o’clock so naturally, we’re waking up a bit earlier. I don’t mind it. I actually hope I continue this type of routine after we get settled a bit.

After plugging Miramar into our GPS, it gave us three different routes to choose from. They were all relatively the same distance and time wise so we chose the route that brought us south into Phoenix. I am SO glad we chose this route because it was absolutely gorgeous. I was in complete awe over how beautiful Arizona is. I sat in the passenger seat with my Nikon in my hand continuously snapping away at every cactus and mountain I saw (I literally took over 200 photos). I had no idea Arizona was so mountainous. I’m not sure if that sounds weird or naive, but when I think of Arizona, I picture deserts. Not mountains. So I was pleasantly surprised with how beautiful of a state it was. It was easily my favorite state to drive through on this entire road trip and I’m already looking forward to going back when we see the Grand Canyon.

Our Cross Country Road Trip: Day 6 | Why Hello Lovely

We arrived in Phoenix around 12:30 in the afternoon and, again, I loved this city. I wish we had more time to stop in and explore a bit, but being that we had been in the car nonstop for a week and were only about 5 hours from San Diego at that point, an extra stop was the last thing on our list. So we drove right  through. Once we got out of Phoenix, we finally entered into the desert. Again, I’m not sure if this is weird or not, but I was rather excited to see a desert. I had never seen one before so it was all brand new to me. It was pretty cool to see a new environment like that, but I was over it in about 30 minutes. At that point, I was beyond bored with it.

Every now and then, we’d come across a run down little town and Zack would joke that we’d move there someday. No way could I ever live in a desert. We stopped for gas at one point and the whole time I was paying for snacks, I was wondering where these people lived and how far they traveled to get to work each day. It was crazy to me. And the heat was insane. It was about 105 degrees outside when we stopped and for me, I wasn’t dying or anything, but the poor puppy couldn’t even get out of the car to pee. We brought him out to give him some water and he immediately started pacing and trying to get back into the car. I was annoyed at first, until it hit me that he was uncomfortable. I touched the pavement with my hand and immediately had to pull my hand away. I felt so bad that we hadn’t caught on sooner, but it just wasn’t something we’d ever really had to think about. And it’s not like he was whining or crying either.

I opened the car door for him and he jumped right in without hesitation and laid down in the back seat. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to go to the bathroom on this stop, but he did drink a whole liter of water laying down in the back. We had to go back into the store to buy extra water for everyone because he was drinking it all. The rest of the drive through the desert was with the windows rolled up and the AC on high for him.
Our Cross Country Road Trip: Day 6 | Why Hello Lovely

We arrived in California around 2 o’clock or so. Now for this entire road trip, I sent a photo or a video to friends and family every time we entered a new state. Every. Single. Time. So like all the other state borders, I had my iPhone out and ready to take a photo of the ‘Welcome to California’ sign. The one sign I had been waiting for a few thousand miles at that point. AND IT WASN’T THERE! No joke, you guys. There was construction going on at the Arizona/California border so the welcome sign had been taken down. Zack thought this was hilarious because he knew how excited I was about it, but I was pretty pissed. So many miles of built up excitement just to be disappointed. I was about ready to kill someone. But that doesn’t change the fact that we made it to California.

Our Cross Country Road Trip: Day 6 | Why Hello Lovely

From here, the highway ran alongside the Mexico border which I thought was pretty cool. Again, it was new to me. I had never seen Mexico before or even been this close to the border. So it was somewhat exciting to me. At one point, we could actually see the wall that divides the U.S. and Mexico (which, by the way, wasn’t as big as I had anticipated. It looked rather small from where we were). We were also in the middle of another desert which was a bit different from the last one. This one had less shrubs and A LOT more sand. I’ve never seen that much sand in one place in my entire life. It was crazy to me. But again, just as boring as the last desert.

Our Cross Country Road Trip: Day 6 | Why Hello Lovely

After the desert, we drove through some gorgeous mountains for a while and then FINALLY arrived in San Diego around dinnertime. Anxiety set in about 10 minutes before we arrived at our hotel. It all of a sudden hit me that we were in a new place…on the other side of the country. The furthest I had ever been from our home state or from family. We didn’t have a home or friends. I didn’t have a job lined up. We only had one car. We didn’t know our way around whatsoever. It was all of a sudden terrifying to the point where I almost broke down in tears. Once we got settled into our hotel room a bit, I felt a little better, but the first week was a bit overwhelming. But I’ll share all that tomorrow so stay tuned!

DON’T MISS OUT ON THE REST OF OUR JOURNEY!

DAYS 1 & 2  |  DAY 3  | DAY 4 | DAY 5

XOXO
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