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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Such a Sweet Phenomena

I belong to a an online community called Collective Bias where I have met a lot of wonderful people, including the person I'm talking about today. Her name is Tiffany Manley and she is a homeschooling mom with a lot of talents.
Tiffany and her family currently live near Birmingham Alabama after living in Washington state for about 7 years. She has been married for 10 years and has a beautiful daughter she refers to as Babydoll.
She has named her online persona 'Sweet Phenomena' and I can see why. She is sweet. She stumbled into homeschooling because they moved so much when her daughter was going into the second grade and they were having a 'flux' year with moving and getting situated. She struggled the first year but this year she seems to have it figured it all out. Her website has a lot of homeschooling tips and is a place to go for a lot of homeschooling information. It's very organized.
Of course, like everyone else on the planet (well, almost the whole planet) Tiffany has a personal facebook page and one for Sweet Phenomena as well so there are many ways to keep up with her.


I do have to admit, while looking around there is something else I found that totally mesmerized me. She's also an extremely talented cake maker/designer. Take a look at her website called The Sweet Emporium. Just take a look at this cake, isn't it gorgeous??? This is one of many on that website. There are so many beautiful cakes. I'm amazed at the creative talent. Heck, I can't even decorate a cupcake to look pretty, nevermind a 3 tiered cake like this!


 I found this picture on Tiffany's Facebok page and just thought it was so pretty. Simple and sweet.
I've enjoyed getting to know Tiffany a bit better and I hope you will take some time to get to know her a bit more too. Certainly if you homeschool your child, her site is a perfect place to go for all kinds of information.


Merry Christmas to Tiffany and her family, and to you too.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Take a pledge with Brave Woman #CBias #BraveWoman

You know how you can just be surfing the net one day and come across something that you wish you had found 20 years ago? I was recently led to a website called Brave Woman. It's a website to help women get out of violent situations, including domestic violence.

20 years ago I was in such a situation. My 1st husband was an alcoholic, and, let's just say, he was not a happy drunk. I was young and 'stupid' and didn't know how to get out of it at the time so I went through, what felt like, a long time of terrible emotional abuse and some things I just can't talk about 'til this day.

I have to wonder if I had found a website like Brave Woman, if it would have given me a place to turn that I would have felt safe turning to. It's got a community where you can talk to others in situations like yours and can put you in touch with people, in your own community who can help you.
Eventually I did leave him, with a 7 month old and a baby on the way. They are who gave me the strength because I could never imagine them going through these horrible things.

There is a pledge you can take, Facebook page you can sign up for and follow them on Twitter ( @Brave_Woman )too. I'm going to lead my 21 year old daughter to this website too. Although I have brought her up to be strong and never 'take anything' from anyone, this will be another great tool for her. It says 1 in every 4 women experience domestic violence. I don't want her to be one of them...ever.







This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias all opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Teaching my son how important it is to donate, using Coinstar #CBias

This was a very busy for our family. My husband was in a parade, we had grocery shopping to do, we had Christmas shopping to do, and we had to get it all done in one day because my hubby had to work on Sunday. So where, in all of this could we find time to donate any money to any charity? And how could we afford it this time of the year? Well, thanks to Coinstar and all the loose change in buckets and hanging around the house, we found a way.
Before we left the house my son, who is 12 found a bunch of change and looked at the Coinstar website with me to see where the closest one was and we found one in the Walmart we were about to go to. Then we noticed that you could donate your change to different charities. He was immediately drawn to the 'Change Making Change' charity because it was geared toward kids his age, who wanted to make a difference.

When we got to the Coinstar machine at Walmart 'Change Making Change' was not an option unfortunately, so he chose 'Feeding America'. At his school they were just talking about hunger in America and he was telling me that he was shocked to learn that kids actually live without 3 meals a day. He said it made him feel because he complains about having a peanut butter sandwich before bed instead of a bowl of cereal because we might be out of milk. (funny how kids associate things, isn't it?)
When we got home he looked up Feeding American on the internet. He noticed a banner on the side of the website that said $1 = 8  meals. "Hey mom, we just donated more than 64 meals with the change we had laying around the house. If I find more change can we go back and donate more?"
Amazing, isn't it? How a small thing can change the way someone looks at others, as well as their own lives?
Take a look at our Google+ story about our donation at the Coinstar machine in Walmart.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias but all the opinions and knowledge gained during this campaign was totally mine, and my sons.