Easy 10 steps that all teens should do before turning 18!

Turning 18 is an exciting and scary time for everyone. It is scary for the parents who have to let their babies go after 18 years and trust me as a mom 18 years is not long enough. However it is more scary for the person turning 18.

I remember when I was going to turn 18 and I was so excited to finally be out on my own and away from my parents honestly. (Spoiler alert they never stop worrying about you) Anyway I was super excited but also a little scared. The problem I had was I was stupid. Yes I said it… I was STUPID!

I was ready to take on the world but didn’t know a damn thing. Here is what happened to me. I was well hmm a dumb ass. Yes if you have ever watched That 70’s Show this is the part where Red hits me in the head and calls me a dumb ass while threatening to stick his foot up my ass. Unfortunately for me there was no Red Forman to tell me what to do. That is why I am here to tell you what you need to do before you turn 18. I also have a foot available if you need it.

This is me at 18

This is my senior picture so many years ago. Look at me saying, “I got this” even though I had no clue about the real world LOL.

I will be using pictures of my oldest son who is now over 18.

My sons senior pictures

Top Ten Things to do before YOU turn 18!!!

#1. Take a family vacation 

Yes, go on a vacation with your family. This will mean the world to them and even though it may seem lame now someday you will be glad you did that because getting everyone together for a family vacation once your grown up is really hard.

#2. Have a diploma 

Don’t go out in the world with out some kind of diploma. Yes I am a huge fan of finishing high school but if you are one of those people where things didn’t go exactly as planned then do something else like get your GED or some kind of High School equivalency diploma. Even if right now you think that you don’t want to go to college, some day you may change your mind, and it will be better to have this out of the way. Also employers will look at this as an accomplishment which will help you find work and let’s face it you have to work. 

#3 Do something crazy

Now when I say do something crazy I don’t mean illegal. I mean crazy. Have fun with friends for a weekend at an awesome rock concert. Get something pierced while it’s still cool to have it pierced. If you’re a skinny girl with a great belly button then pierce it cause someday honey your body won’t look like this anymore and you will wish you had. Have fun and be adventurous.

This is me with my bestie in High School. We always had a blast!!!

#4. Learn about Credit 

No I don’t mean credit cards. In fact getting a credit card when your 18 is a very bad idea and will most likely ruin your credit. There are tons of quick and easy lessons on line to find out about credit or even sit down with your parents and ask them about credit and some mistakes they made. Once again this is something you will not worry about right now but some day when you want to buy a house or a car or get a loan you will not be able to do any of that if you ruin your credit.  I am sure you know an adult out there who is willing to tell you all about their credit mistakes. Be smart and learn from that.

#5. Explore things you are interested in

 This is the best time of your life where you can explore the things you are interested in and not be shamed for it. If you love art ,writing, or anything creative then explore that now. Get to painting and have fun with it. Once your a grown up and you want to explore this you will see how people will judge you and tell you to get a “real job.” If you find what your creative passion is now then you can continue to use that through your life and really enjoy it. Some people make money from this and some people use it as a hobby but its a great trait to have so learn now. 

#6. Make Goals and List

 Ok this may sound funny but when I was 16 I made a list of what I wanted to be doing 10 years from then, My list is hilarious when I look back on it now. I had marked it at each year such as 18 get married, 19 have kid and stuff like that. Now my list had mentioned I wanted to marry a rich doctor and have 2 kids and live in a huge house in beverly hills. LOL well that didn’t happen, not even a little bit but I had goals. I have goals now to they are just a little different lol. Anyway I think that every teenager should have a list like this, just make your goals better than I did. Use this list to know where you want to be 10 years from now. Even if right now you have no idea what kind of career you want to have that is perfectly fine. Use this list for better goals like traveling to Paris or bungee jumping with your best friend.

#7. Don’t plan a wedding yet

OK so I know this is more of a don’t than a do but think of it as a positive. You have your entire life to get married and have kids so don’t do this at 18. Now I know there are a ton of people out there who will say they got married at 18 and spent the rest of their lives together. Well statistic show that don’t happen a lot. I was one of them. I got married at 18 and had 2 kids by the time I was 22. Now granted I love my kids more then anything and they are my dream come true but the problem I had with my ex husband is that we were both so young when we got married that as we grew up we grew into different people who were not compatible anymore. Just because you turn 18 doesn’t mean you know everything yet. The best advice I can give you is to enjoy your life and not be in a rush. When you get married you need to make sure that you have more than just love to stand on. However I do have some good news for you on this especially if you are with someone who is pressuring you to get married so young. I am not saying don’t be together and hell if you want to get engaged even that is cool, but set your wedding date for a couple years out so you can have the wedding you want and still do other stuff before that . Like traveling the world and getting some culture is the best way to go and if you don’t want to leave your love behind then take them with you and let them get that culture too. It will be fun and you will make great memories and then when you are all done you can come back and get married, 

#8. Get a job

Yes what you hear is true! You need a job to make money. This is the perfect time to get at least a part time job to start saving money or paying some of those bills that your parents have been paying for you. You will get lots of experience and learn new things and you make money. We all like money.

#9. Learn to grocery shop

Yes this is very important. Especially when you are starting out and you don’t have that much money. My parents never taught me to grocery shop. My mom would send me to the store with a list of things she needed and because my parents had money they didn’t buy off brand stuff. This was a big surprise for me when I was out in the real world with a little money and didn’t know how to make it stretch.  I got lucky because my first husband was raised in a home with a bunch of kids and a family who didn’t have a lot of money so he was taught how to shop properly and he taught me. However this was after a few arguments where he was mad when I came home with a can of soup, some candy bars, and soda. Ha-Ha good times. Anyway this is a good tip for you to know, and we did this with our oldest son all the time. We would send him with $20 and tell him he needs to buy food to last the week. He got really good at this. Now he shops even better then I do and sticks to a budget.  If your parents are like mine were, and you need help learning to shop you can always email me at or find someone else who is on a budget to help you.

#10. Walk away from drama

This is by far the best advice I can give you. If you can learn this now you will be set for life. There are always going to be people who are dramatic and want all the attention. They will crave it and try to drag you down. You need to cut yourself off from these people. Either entirely or at least from their drama. When they start whining and being all woe with me then you need to walk away. If you want to get places in life and be successful you need to surround yourself with successful people. Also if you are one of these people who are over dramatic then you need to get over yourself and move on. Nobody likes a whiner. You need to be more like my son and realize that you don’t need to be drug down by others.

I hope that this helps you at least a little bit and yay your almost 18 which is an exciting, scary, fun, and amazing time in your life, Embrace it….

Lots of love

Kaylee Shadows


Surprising ways to show your man you care. He will thank you for it!

Hey everyone, I wanted to bring this up today because I feel like this doesn’t get talked about enough. Yes guys matter too.

Shocking I know!!!

Now I say this because in a lot of relationships you hear about how the man needs to try harder, or be more romantic and sensitive. Well what about them? Men need to feel like they matter just as much as we do.

There is all this pressure for men to stand up and be a manly man, and not have feeling, but that is not true and a horrible way to thing. The reason is because men do have feelings and they can get hurt just as easily as ours can. 

Think back to the beginning of your relationship when you were first getting to know each other. Remember how you couldn’t wait to see them and spend all of your time with them. You would find any reason to send them a text or call them. Maybe you surprised him with coffee or lunch when you knew he could really use it. What about the back rubs and affection you showed him, not to mention having sex like bunnies? What happened to all of that loving stuff you did for him? I ask this because most women eventually stop doing that stuff and then they get their feelings hurt when he stops being romantic.

Now before you start thinking that you are a horrible person let me reassure you that this is normal. Why? The reason this happens in almost every relationship is because we get comfortable and real life sets in. Once you two make a life together things will change. You won’t be wondering when you will see him again because he lives with you. You will probably forget about back rubs because you realize how much your back hurts too. Sex is fabulous but with screaming kids, and work, and daily life chores you get tired and once your in bed you can’t wait to sleep. This is not really a problem until you start realizing that you need romance in your life again and that your man stopped doing that a long time ago.

Before you go and get mad and start telling him he needs to be more romantic, you need to take a good hard  look at yourself missy. When was the last time you were romantic with him? If you realize that you are just as guilty as he is then you should do something about that. It does not mean that your relationship has no hope it just means you fell off track of what’s important. Yes keeping your relationship alive is important because if you stop doing these things for each other your relationship will struggle. 9 out of 10 people who cheat in their relationship do it because someone else made them feel good about themselves, and made them feel desired and wanted. Everyone wants to feel this way, not just women.

Sooooo the next time you feel like your man isn’t keeping up his end of the deal take a look at yourself and see if you are keeping up your end.

For more information on keeping your man happy check out my book “Be His Forever” and make sure to get him a copy of “Be Her Forever” too. 




Remember to always love each other.

Life is short.

Kaylee Shadows


Just Be Nice!!!


Daily Connection Reminder #129

This is heavy on my heart today and I see people who are constantly mean to each other.  This happens the most on line and in social media platforms. Is this because you are not held accountable for your actions since it is over a screen? Would you actually say these words to someone if you were face to face? Are you really that much of an asshole?

Yes that is what it all comes down to and what I want to know the most is why do you feel the need to put down others and make them feel bad? What kind of joy could you possibly get by making someone else feel horrible?

You have no idea what a person might be going through when you use hurtful words or think that your opinion is more important then theirs. Stop with all the cyber bullying and damn it Just Be Nice!

Being nice will get you so much farther then being mean will.

Try kindness and love instead of hate and bullying. Life is short so live it the right way.


Lots of Love



For Better or For Worse… Do you really mean it?

This is a question that crosses my mind a lot especially when I am at a wedding and I hear this as one of the vows. This is very traditional and been around for a long time. What you don’t hear is “Do you really mean it?” Everyone vows to love their spouse for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse… Wait right there. Seriously if things get bad and I do mean the Worst are you really going to stick by each other’s side? Well I recently was introduced to a couple that know the true meaning of this vow.

First off let me tell you why I was introduced to this couple. A friend of mine was super excited because she had just purchased a piece of art and was getting ready to pick it up. She sent me a picture of her awesome find and told me I had to go check out this great artist Andrew Ploof. I went and saw this picture.


I was obviously very impressed and then I noticed a few things on his page about medical issues and different health stuff. Then my friend filled me in on Andrew’s situation. He was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia and is not able to work anymore. For those of you who are not familiar with this it is a neurological condition that affects the muscles in the head, neck and through out the body. When he was diagnosed with this he was not able to work and as you can imagine put him in a great deal of depression. He was unable to care for his family and struggled with that a great deal. In January of 2017 he had a deep brain stimulator put in as he was told this would curb his symptoms and improve his life. You can imagine how devastated he was when he found out that it didn’t help but actually made things worse. He lost the ability to speak and express himself.

That didn’t stop him though and in August of 2017 he decided to try spray paint art after seeing a video on YouTube. He fell in love with it instantly and as you can tell he is very talented. He still struggles with pain and cramps and so it makes it hard for him to do his paintings, but he keeps on going.

After hearing this story and seeing how much he loved his wife and kids it brought me back to this very thought. For better or for worse? I think we can safely say that this couple has definitely seen the worst. I contacted them to ask if we could do an interview on how they got through all of this together as a couple and luckily, they said yes. Please follow me through this interview of how a couple goes from better to worse to forever.


Brooke and Andrew Ploof


Interview with Brooke and Andrew:

Kaylee Shadows speaking

Brooke speaking

Andrew speaking


Hello Brooke and Andrew, thank you again for agreeing to let me write about you on my website.

How long have you two been together?

We’ve been together 8 years

Brooke what was the first thing you noticed about your partner?

I don’t really remember since we have known each other since we were in diapers. When I was little I would tell people, I was going to marry him, and no one believed me, but I have always loved his eyes!

Andrew what was the first thing you noticed about your partner?

We have known each other since we were in diapers, but when we got together I loved her smile.

How long were you together when the diagnosis came in?

We had been together for 6 years and married for three.

Brooke what was your first thought when you heard the news?

Originally, I thought it was a relief to know of the diagnosis because we had been searching for months and didn’t know if it would be terminal. After researching the diagnosis, it turned to what ifs. What if he can’t work? What if he goes into depression and what if he needs to have brain surgery? All of which ended up happening.

Andrew what was your first thought when you heard the news?

My first thought after the diagnosis was Crap! I’m going to be this way for the rest of my life.

What was the hardest part of this for both of you?

The hardest part is him not being able to talk very easy or very well. He can no longer call me beautiful like before. The expression in his voice is gone. Which means when says I love you it comes out plain and almost unmeaningful. I know he loves me but as a woman it is hard to from a very playful and expressive person to almost none at all.  We have learned from a recent doctor appointment the dystonia is in his vocal cords, so we will never know if his voice will change.

The hardest part for me is knowing that I can’t work or do normal yard or house work without being in pain for days.

How did you overcome this struggle?

I don’t feel like we have over come the struggles yet because everyday is a struggle. Financially, physically and emotionally. I do know that we do not give up. We keep fighting.

With me falling in to depression I was watching spray paint art on YouTube and asked my wife if I could try, and now I love doing it.

Do you have any advice for other couples who are going through
stuff like this?

My advice is to not give up. Love each other and you will make it through.

What I can say to other couples that might be going through medical issues is just stay positive and love your significant other. Everything will eventually play out and you will get somewhere.

Brooke what is your favorite thing about your partner?

I love that he has a very funny personality and can make me laugh even though it is a struggle for him now.

Andrew what is your favorite thing about your partner?

Honestly there’s so many things I love about my wife. The main things are how she has stuck by my side throughout this ongoing medical issue of mine. How awesome of a mom she is to our 4 kids.

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me and answering these questions. You two have an amazing story and are a great example of what true love really is.  


You can find Andrews art on Facebook under A.P. Spray Paint Art so please check it out.


Here are a couple samples of work he has created.









This story has truly touched my heart as I wish that there
were a lot more couples like this out there. Love is not always easy but in the
end,  it is worth everything.


Lots of love














How to cope when your spouses family hates you…

woman and man sitting on brown wooden bench

This is an issue that I have dealt with before and I know I am not alone here. I have spent a lot of time and research on how to handle this the proper way if that is even possible lol. I have found some ways to cope with it that I think might help you as well.

For starters let me explain my situation… I am in my 30’s and I am married for the second time. My first marriage lasted 14 years before I finally realized that no matter how much counseling we got or how much we tried we were not meant to be together. However, I was extremely close to his family as they became part of my family too. We shared holidays together and spent a lot of time with each other. My ex-husband was raised by his foster grandparents who took him in and loved him unconditionally. When we got together he couldn’t wait for them to meet me and we bonded pretty quickly. We bonded so well that they used to joke with him that if we got divorced they got to keep me lol. They stuck beside us through our marriage and offered love and support whenever we struggled or had a problem and they never took sides. They did this up until his grandmother passed away a year before we split up. When we did decide to go our separate ways, his grandfather remained in contact with me and still always welcomed me with open arms. He sadly passed away a couple years ago as well. I still have some contact with some of his cousins and his sister who will always be my sister in law because she is awesome. Needless to say, I got extremely lucky with my in-laws from my first marriage.

When I met my husband now he was completely different from my first but what I didn’t expect was for his family to be different to. My husband first wife was horrible to him and I have heard from many of his family members how they couldn’t stand the way she treated him. I figured that since I was different and treated him so good that they would love me and why shouldn’t they love me, I am awesome lol.

My husband was very reluctant to let me meet his family and he kept telling me it was because a lot of them were not nice people. I didn’t believe him, and I thought he was ashamed of me or had something to hide. We were together over a year before I was finally able to meet his brother and sister in-law and to my surprise his brother hated me instantly. I still don’t know to this day why. Now I do know that when my husband and I got together we were both still legally married to our ex’s so there may be some judgement there but our relationships with them were already over. I also don’t see how that is anyone else business or a reason to hate someone.

Anyway, I tried everything I could with his brother to make him like me and it seemed like the more I tried the worse it got. Then I found out his mom would not come to our house for holidays because he was with me and she had never even met me. I finally met her a couple weeks after he purposed. You can imagine my surprise to be hated by so many people who didn’t even know me especially after have such an amazing relationship with my in-laws from my first marriage. His mom finally did come around and got to know me and now we are very close. In fact, she lives with us. The problem still arises though when she wants to talk about her son and daughter in-law to me who I don’t really want to hear about.

Coping has been extremely hard and when I started researching this I came to find that this is more typical than the families who all love each other. Like I said I got really lucky with the first one. A lot of people will tell you to either ignore them or force them to tell you what the problem is. I have found that is not the best way. If it bugs you so much that you just have to know then you can go to the person and demand to know what their problem is, but you might walk away from that feeling really down on yourself and with the fact that they still don’t like you.  Sometimes the reason they don’t like you has nothing to do with you at all. Maybe that person feels like you came between the relationship they had with your spouse. If it’s a parent, it might not be you but that fact that they will never think anyone is good enough for their child. Maybe when you came along it was an eye opener to them that their baby was all grown up. Sometimes people’s personalities just clash, and they don’t get along. Ignoring can cause the problem between your spouse and their family and they can end up resenting you for it. Here is how I deal with these situations. When it came to his mom I made some time for her and me to be alone and this forced her to get to know me and who I really am. As for his brother and sister in-law I stay back and keep my mouth shut. When his mom talks about them I changed the subject. I never expect anyone to pick me over their family. However, I do know that I don’t deserve this because I was never given a fair chance and I haven’t done anything wrong.

I see post on Facebook quite often asking if a spouse should defend their partner from their family and this is a hard question. When his brother posted all over Facebook that I was a waste of space and they were better off without me I expected my husband to defend me. When their mom was in the hospital and his brother asked that he didn’t bring me because it was a family affair. I didn’t really care about that. My husband did bring me, and I stayed in the waiting room. This was before his mom and I had gotten so close of course. I try to make sure that I keep everything fair and I don’t ask him to choose. Yes, this situation is hard, and I wish it were different as I am sure you do also. Keep your head up it will get better.


Lots of love

Kaylee Shadows

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