The 8th Summer

All summer I've seen memes and blogs and pictures on social media that remind Moms you only have eighteen summers with your little ones, make them count

Sometimes, the summers count you.

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Favorite Find: Ibotta

I have made nearly $200 this year with iBotta.  It's easy.  It's free to use.  And after you earn $20, you can cash out straight to your PayPal account.  Just for buying groceries.  Now, you do have to purchase the products they have in their que.  And some weeks, there is more of what we like and others not.  But I will say, The Penny Hoarder was right that iBotta pays you back.  You can earn bonuses and for real:  save and earn some cash.

If you want to join, please use my code:  kxtylcf

Leader Reads: How to Lead When You Aren't In Charge by Clay Scroggins

I'm a leader.  But I'm definitely not in charge.  This leadership book provided so much insight into not just how I see myself as a leader in my organization but how God sees me.  It helped me pace my plans and provided a blueprint for helping me shape not just how I lead others but how I see and lead myself.

I've always admired Clay's tenacity and storytelling and miss his weekly sermons.  I'm thankful that he was able to share his insight so keenly, clearly, and humorously with me.

I highly recommend this book for anyone - leader or not - struggling to find your fit professionally.

... leaders who consistently leverage their authority are far less effective in the long term than leaders who leverage their infuence.
— Clay Scroggins, "How To Lead When You Aren't In Charge"

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Adult Reads: The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson

It's absolutely thrilling.  Over 500 pages and I couldn't. put. it. down.  Y'all ... I love anything political, presidential, thrill ride, could happen, and this book HAD. IT. ALL.  It's a must read for your summer reading list.  So. Intense.  I don't think I've read a book like this in years!

Seriously ... James Patterson hits is BIG with this collaboration ... I can't wait for the movie!


The President Is Missing confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view . . .

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years.
— from AMAZON


Favorite Find: Shopkick

Legit, though.  Earning points for walking into a store and scanning crap?  But honestly, download the app.  Turn it on.  Walk into these stores that you are already going into.  And while you are there, scan a few of the items.  You will be shocked at how quickly your points accumulate.  And sometimes, there are items you were going to buy anyway (like those Bomb Pops that I got a kickback on with iBotta, too). 

My $50 Walmart Gift card covers school supplies (or a good chunk).  And now, I'm saving points for Amazon giftcards for Christmas?  Um, yes!  I mean, why not?  It's quick.  It's easy.  It's free. money.

So, download the app (use code BLUE094594) and start kicking! :)


Mama Reads: Girl, Wash Your Face

Okay, like five people recommended this book to me over the past six months.  And finally. I was able to just sit down and devour it.  Devour is probably a proper adjective because I read this book like it was a huge piece of chocolate cake sitting on my kitchen counter while my kiddos were napping and I didn't want them to find out I was eating something they would want.

Rachel Hollis is authentically funny and mercilessly real.  She came into my life right when I needed her and told me that it was okay to just. be. me.

I *highly* recommend this book for all Mamas. 

decide that you care more about creating your magic and pushing it out into the world than you do about how it will be received.
— Rachel Hollis, "Girl, Wash Your Face"


Favorite Find: Ebates

I should've listened to my mother.  For years she's been getting kickbacks for online shopping.  And I've just ignored her.  But earlier this year, we decided to try some little things that could help us save/earn a little extra cash.  For real, though.  With all the online shopping I do, Ebates is AMAZING.  We've already earned almost $50 just this year and haven't hit any major online shopping events - Back to School, Birthdays, Christmas.  The $$ deposits right in my PayPal along with the other online $$ tools I've been using (Poshmark referral code LHWADDELL, Ibotta referral code kxtylcf)

And they offer deals throughout the year for higher percentages back - sometimes up to 10-15% on your purchase.  It's easy to use on your mobile device or regular computer.  I highly recommend!  

Interested in joining Ebates?  Use my *CODE* to join

Teacher Reads: Ron Clark's Essential 55

Ron Clark is America's Educator, right?  Certainly he is one of my inspirations.  I love watching his lectures/talks/speeches and hearing his stories.  I love his candidness and authenticity.  But mostly, I love that his passion remains.  In his first book, endorsed, of course, by Oprah, Ron Clark lays out 55 Essential Classroom rules.  I know, that seems a bit daunting.  But give this book a try - whether you are a first year teacher or starting your 17th and need a little reboot.  It's a great place to find some inspiration.

“Always make sure there are seven things in your life at all times: laughter, family, adventure, good food, challenge, change, and the quest for knowledge.”
— Ron Clark, "The Essential 55"

Ron Clark
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Leader Reads: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

It took me several months to read this amazing book.  Not because I didn't love it but because I was so busy.  And that busyness is at the heart of what Sheryl Sandberg discusses in Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.  While this is a "leadership book", it is also a must read for moms who feel the guilt of getting up and going to work every day.  I began reading Lean In as I started a new job in school administration.  There were some longer days.  Some later nights.  And, to be honest, a little bit more guilt about our new lifestyle.  But.  We made it.  I highly reccomend this book for all women (and men) juggling life.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.
— from "Lean In", Harvard Business School definition of leadership

Lean In
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Life Lessons For My Little Loves

1.    Boyfriends do not get husband privileges.

2.    Just because he smells good doesn’t mean you can lose all your senses.

3.    Be cautious.

4.    Be gentle.

5.    Be honest.

6.    Be authentic.

7.    Sometimes, just. be. still.

8.    Pray.  Daily. For everyone.

9.    Be smart.  The world respects smart women.

10.    Just because you are smart doesn’t mean that you have to lose your femininity.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

11.    Throw caution to the wind.

12.    Allow your heart to be broken.

13.    Break someone else’s heart.  But not too many times.

14.    Dance.

15.    Be kind.

16.    Be fair.

17.    Lose your senses about a boy.

18.    Love hard.

19.    Love strong.

20.    Love fierce.

21.    Love yourself.

22.    Read the classics.

23.    Read a trashy romantic novel every once and while.

24.    Daydream about those trashy romance novel scenes.

25.     Realize that books and movies are made up.  Real life isn’t like that.

26.    Understand that if you wait long enough for the right person, real life is way better than those romantic novels and movies.

27.    Learn to cook.  More than just sandwiches and frozen waffles.

28.    Learn to change a tire.

29.    Pay for the date.

30.    Date a man that won’t let you pay.

31.    Call your Dad.  He loves you.

33.    Trust your sister.  She’s one of the few you can trust.

34.    Learn to write thank you notes.  And do it.

35.    Call your grandparents.

36.    Laugh.  Laugh a lot.

37.    Find a friend who isn’t the coolest but who is super cool to you.

38.    Do your own laundry.

39.    Save your money.

40.    Eat lunch (or dinner) in a restaraunt by yourself.  At least once a quarter.

41.    Read everything.

42.    Stay up on the news and politics.

43.    Don’t let friends borrow money & expect to be repaid.

44.    Learn to drive a stick shift.

45.    Take an art class.

46.    Get too much sun.

47.    Drink too much beer (when you are of age).

48.    Journal.  And journal.  And journal.

49.    Take a picture of yourself on every birthday.

50.    Don’t tell everyone your secrets.

51.    Eat healthy and establish healthy habits.

52.    Learn to love running.   When you are 35, it will be the only exercise that really works.

53.    Eat the damn cupcake.

54.    Celebrate everything life has to offer.

55.    Be careful about over indulging.

56.    Know about Pop Culture.

57.    Don’t only know about Pop Culture.

58.    Study history.

59.    Create. Create. Create.

60.    There is a difference between real friends and your girls.  Know that difference.

61.    Your value is not determined by your looks.

62.    Your value is not determined by your profession.

63.    Your value is not determined by your net worth.

64.    Your value is not determined by your possessions.

65.    Your value is not determined by your friend group.

66.    Your value is determined by your character.

67.    Pay for someone else’s dinner.  Annoynmously.

68.    Indulge.

69.    Order appetizers.  When you have the money.

70.    Be resourceful.

71.    And cheap.

72.    Drink coffee.

73.    Have an opinion.

74.    Be learned on the things you have an opinion about.

75.    Don’t settle.  In anything. For anyone.

76.    Marry a man that cooks.

77.    Don’t smoke.  

78.    At least once a month, spend the entire weekend in your pajamas watching crappy TV.

79.    Hike.

80.    Drive around with the windows (or top) down singing at the top of your lungs.

81.    Have a song.  Or five.

82.    Have a playlist of go to songs - they won’t fail you.

83.    Get the waffle cone.

84.    Vacation with your friends.

85.    Travel.

86.    Be a life-long learner and explore the world every chance you get.

87.    Don’t be afraid to fail.  You will. I promise.

88.    Care too deeply about something.

89.    Care too deeply about someone.

90.    Find yourself.

91.    Wash your hands.

92.    Wash your sheets.

93.    Clean up your messes.

94.    Make big messes.

95.    Read the poetry of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost and Walt Whitman.  For fun.

96.    Write stories.

97.    Never, ever doubt that -

98.    You are kind.

99.    You are smart.

100.    You are important.