What Bloggy Boot Camp Taught Me {The Not-So-Serious Edition}

Social Marketing for Women

I will definitely do a serious version, because really, there was a ton of valuable information I took away and I really don’t want to discount all the hard work that goes into BBC.


I couldn’t help but sit there today and think about a few things:

  • It’s a great feeling to hear someone say: “Oh yeah, I follow you on Twitter!!!”
  • Then it’s rather humbling when you realize nobody else in the room freaking knows who you are
  • You should definitely look into starting a domain name collecting hobby.
  • You can apparently take away many lessons from Twilight.
  • There’s no right or wrong, just good and bad.
  • Something you did in the past can really come back to bite you.
  • Everyone is friendlier once they’ve gotten some wine in them.
  • You should definitely make it to the appetizer table early.  Otherwise, you’re left with nuts.
  • Twitter is perhaps one of the single best things ever created.
  • The people on Twitter are actually real.  I even walked down the streets of Atlanta with one of them.
  • Comfortable shoes can still be uncomfortable once you’ve been walking the streets of Atlanta.
  • Yes, what they say is true:  Tiffany Romero really is perfect in every way, but especially when she has a microphone.
I had so much fun at BBC, and really recommend attending one if you can.  You’ll come away a different blogger.

TOS Sweet Critique: Always Icecream

Always Ice Cream2

What:  Always Icecream


Cost:  $4.99 per month to $29.99 per year or $99.99 lifetime membership

Recommended Ages:  Girls 7 to 12

Always Icecream is a play and learn site exclusively for girls!  Through educational games and videos, girls learn about a vast array of things from geography to math!

Girls are rewarded with Always Icecream currency {scoops} and are able to use that currency to buy things from the store, expand their house, feed their pets, and many other things.  There is also quite a bit of just-for-fun stuff to do like create artwork and other items to sell in the store, watch fun {pre-approved} videos, and play games.

The Educational Stuff

Babydoll loves this type of stuff, but she absolutely LOVES Always Icecream.  She enjoys playing educational games and watching educational videos {we had to endure days of the School House Rock Interjection song…}, and having it all pink and girly is a super plus.

The website covers a vast array of educational topics including language arts, basic math, advanced math, science, geography, history, music, art, foreign languages, and computer skills.  I really like the fact that there is religious education on the site, but you can completely avoid it if you want.

Always Icecream has helped Babydoll learn and practice so many things that she really didn’t like doing otherwise, like multiplication and grammar.

Here are a few screenshots of the fun:

I liked the new member challenge:  it gave Babydoll a series of educational games and other stuff to complete and enticed her to do so by awarding scoops upon completion.


As mentioned, Always Icecream uses ice cream scoops as rewards and currency.  One of Babydoll’s favorite ways to use these is in Pet World.

Also, as a parent, you can award points for a variety of things.

Parental Controls

I love the parental controls in Always Icecream; you have uber control over everything.  I also like the fact that I get an email once a week, letting me know what she’s been up to, what her and her friends have been chatting about, and what educational stuff she’s working on and how she did.  I hate getting those types of email every time she does something, so this way is much nicer.

Final Thoughts

We love, love, love Always Icecream!!!  Love it!  Babydoll is on there every day she can, and I don’t feel bad about it!  There’s even a boys-only version coming soon!!!  You can try it for free, so be sure to go take a look!

Also, check out what the rest of the TOS Crew thinks about it!

True Confessions:  I was provided a subscription to Always Icecream for review purpose; all opinions are honest and my own.

Mega Homeschool Giveaway Sponsor: Work at Home Mom Sponsors

I love supporting my fellow work at home moms! Here are the one’s who helped sponsor the Mega Homeschool Giveaway. With Christmas right around the corner this is a great way to get some unique gifts as well as support a work at home mom!

For handmade little boys accessories specializing in bow tie and suspender sets visit Golubchick on Etsy!

Get your personalized fabric and marble necklace from Gone Marbles on Facebook!


For handmade goats milk soaps and other handmade skin care items visit Providence Farms!

Mega Homeschool Giveaway Sponsor: Master Books


Learning Just Became BIG FUN!

Families, schools, and churches can unfold 15 feet of the most interesting history of the world. This easy to follow, color-coded, multi-stream timeline teaches six thousand years of world history to children ages seven through thirteen. These exciting facts and so much more wait inside:

•who were the first emperors of China and Rome

•what discovery unlocked the secrets of a forgotten language

•how modern robotics had its roots in the tea dolls of Japan

•where Christians faced death for the entertainment of thousands

•why the languages of Greek and Hebrew were used to write the Bible

•and how the Age of Discovery meant wealth some, and the destruction of civilization for others.

Understanding how the past has shaped our future will inspire young learners to make history for themselves!

Visit New Leaf Publications to see more about this great homeschool resource!

Domestic Violence Awareness: Know the Signs

A little over a week ago I posted about Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I wanted to encourage my readers to learn about domestic violence and learn how to take action to help those suffering from it, as well as take action to end it.

Why is this so important to me?

What I didn’t mention in that post is that my mother is a domestic abuse survivor.  On and off for much of the time I lived at home I saw her endure physical and verbal abuse.  Some times were less violent than others, but when it was bad, it was really bad.

I won’t go into specifics about my mother’s situation because I don’t think that’s fair to her, but I will say that I learned from her experiences.  I knew I never wanted to be in a relationship like that.  Unfortunately, I became hyper-vigilant and that has stayed with me to this day.  Thankfully, my husband knows my background and is a pro at understanding and dealing with me.

It frustrates me, though, when I find myself falling into certain thought patterns that are a product of living in a domestic abuse situation.  You’re never the same person.

The point is, domestic violence has far-reaching effects.  Some people aren’t able to escape the cycle.  Some people follow in the path, mainly because they don’t have the support system they need and knowledge of resources available to them.

So, what can you do about it?

One of the first steps to helping bring about change is educating yourself on the warning signs of domestic abuse.  You can’t help someone if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The Allstate Foundation and Click to Empower have provided a printable list of signs to look for when someone is being physically, emotionally, and financially abused.  Review these items and familiarize yourself with the various ways someone can be abused.

I should point out that just because someone exhibits one or two of these signs does not mean they are being abused.  What you are looking for is a pattern, something that becomes progressively worse, someone who has changed completely upon entering a relationship, etc.

Next week we’ll talk about what to do if you believe someone is being abused.  These are delicate situations, so they usually require careful planning and preparation.  Usually time is of the essence, though, so knowing what to do is imperative.