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Laureen Miles Brunelli

Laureen's Work-at-Home Moms Blog


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Back to Work After Pregnancy

Tuesday May 27, 2014
Work at Home With Baby

Going back to work after pregnancy is a major transition, even when you work at home. Yes, you're not leaving your baby everyday as those who go back to work in an office. And yet, everything changes.

A baby is a game changer in every way, as is working at home. If possible, try not to begin both new ventures simultaneously. If you don't work at home already, but plan to start working at home after the baby is born, try to begin before the birth in order to get a better idea of what issues and obstacles you'll face. At the very least, lay the foundations for your new venture during pregnancy and maternity leave.

Read 6 Tips for a Smooth Transition Back to Work


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Quick and Easy Picnics With Kids

Friday May 23, 2014

Picnics With Kids

I love a good picnic. Any kind of picnic, be they large gatherings of family and friends on a holiday weekend or a Tuesday night dinner picnic that breaks the monotony of the work week. This second kind--the quick and easy picnic--may be my favorite, simply because we can do them more often.

I know, you may be skeptical about how easy a picnic with the kids is after working all day. After all, the job of packing food, drinks and everything else often falls on mom. But picnics with kids are only as complicated as you make them.

See my 4 simple picnic ideas for families and then simplify your family's picnics.

So you can take them more often!

More on Picnics


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Here Comes Memorial Day. Are You Ready for Summer?

Friday May 23, 2014

Memorial Day weekend, considered the unofficial start of summer by many, is nearly here. Most schools are in session for a few more weeks, but as May draws to a close, parents realize summer vacation is almost here.

And I am ready for summer.

I'm tired of homework and rousing sleepy kids from bed every morning. I'm tired of driving carpool and nagging about homework. But I'm a little nervous about how my work-at-home dad husband and I will get all our work done. Every summer we manage. We will be putting some of the summer activities from last year in place again.

But every year things change a little. The kids change (mature, we hope), so does our work schedule and vacation plans. But all these will be minor changes next to the ones coming next fall!

Ulrik Tofte/Getty

What’s the Deal With Google Jobs? Are They Legit?

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Google JobsAre Google jobs from home (the opportunities advertised on the Internet and in emails) for real? I get this question from readers pretty frequently. And unfortunately, the short answer is no.

While there are an extremely limited number of legit work at home Google jobs, these jobs are not the ones advertised as the Google work at home kits or opportunities in search engine ads and emails. And unlike your typical work at home scam, you don't have to pay for them.

These work-at-home jobs are for ads quality raters, and while they are for Google they are hired through an outside company. (Read more on an ads quality rater jobs.) And Google isn't the only one who hires for these types of positions. (See this list of search evaluation jobs.)

Google scams, on the other hand, employ one of the most typical techniques for work-at-home scams by associating their product with something trusted, in this case Google.

Educate yourself about scams and check out these real companies with work at home jobs.

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Is Mystery Shopping a Scam?

Tuesday May 20, 2014

This is not a simple question. Being a mystery shopper is one of those work-at-home opportunities that can be anything from an out-and-out scam designed to steal your hard-earned cast to a legitimate way to make extra money. Or, it might be somewhere in between, i.e.,  a waste of time but not a loss of money. So how can you tell?

For many, secret shopping  can be a fun way to get some free products and services and make a little dough. And work-at-home moms  can often bring the kids along. But no one wants to lose money at it. Read on to see more about how to tell if a mystery shopping job is legit.

Read More: Mystery Shopper Scams

Tim Boyle/Getty

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The Not-So-Merry Month of May

Saturday May 17, 2014

May FlowersOr, maybe it's too merry. I should love May. And maybe someday I will...at least that's my fantasy. Where I live, the weather is beautiful.  My roses, wisteria and irises are blooming, and my tomato plants are in the ground. What's not to love?

My calendar! It is absolutely out of control. There is certainly no time to stop and smell the roses.

May, much like September, is the month when the family schedule gets crazy. Mostly crazy in a good kind of way, but it can be overwhelming.

All those end-of-the-school year activities on top of work deadline can be too much. And when you're home (never mind that you are working at home), kids want you to come to as many school functions as there are.

Let's see, what's on our May schedule, besides any number of half days and teacher in-service days? There's the school play, field day, a volunteer thank-you dinner, choral concert, award ceremony, graduation dinner, graduation....you get the idea!

If your May is the same, use these resources to help keep things in check:

Laureen Miles Brunelli

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Business Owner vs. Telecommuting Employee

Friday May 16, 2014

From artist to attorney to Internet marketer, many different lines of work lend themselves to working at home. But beyond the distinction of specific work-at-home careers is the one of telecommuter vs. independent contractor (or business owner).

As we choose exactly how we will work at home, most of us probably work with skills we already have as well as the opportunities presented us. But when getting started working at home knowing the pros and cons of being a telecommuting employee as compared to being a business owner can be an important factor in our choices.

I personally love the sense that I am control of my own destiny that being a business owner  brings. However, I really prefer to be paid on a regular schedule like employees are. So I can see some ups and downs of both.  What do you think? Share your pros and cons.



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How to Find a Work-at-Home Job

Wednesday May 14, 2014

One question I am asked all the time: How can I find a work-at-home job?

And, well, I have a lot of information on the subject, but unfortunately there is no simple answer.  To find a work-at-home job, you're going to have to spend a lot of time and hard work on it. Don't look for a  simple, "guaranteed" opportunities because any work-at-home job or business that makes it sound like it's easy  is likely a work at home scam.

However, to help answer this question I have put together an article with lots of resources regarding how to find a work-at-home job. Take your time with it and click on the links because many of the answers are in those links.

See article: How to Find a Work-at-Home Job.


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How About a Mother's Day Picnic?

Friday May 9, 2014

Picnic with Kids

Check the weather report, and if it looks good, how about a family picnic for Mother's Day? Could be a big affair with grandparents or friends or maybe just a small immediate family outing.

Kids love a picnic and moms do too. But if possible it's better if dad, the kids or someone else take on the planning for this picnic. It's not hard. Picnics with kids don't need to be elaborate, just fun. Below are a few tips.

More on Planning a Picnic:

Moms, does a picnic sound like a good Mother's Day outing to you? It does to me, but we're all different. Some moms might prefer a day at the spa or an elegant brunch. Tell us what you want for Mother's Day.

And read these 4 Things Every Mom Should Do on Mother's Day.


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All About Call Center Jobs

Thursday May 8, 2014

Call Center WorkCall center jobs are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

First, there are virtual (or home)  and brick-and-mortar call centers, then there are jobs at each of these requiring specialized skills:

And within those jobs there are often different types of positions, such as independent contractor or telecommuting employee. The pay structure may be hourly, or it may be by the minute of talk time or by the call.  Hours might be full- or part-time with weekends and late nights or strictly business hours.

So before you start with a home call center job, carefully research to be sure that this company fits with your needs. Read this article All About Call Center Work to learn about all the issues mentioned above. Then, delve more deeply into the subject with these resources:

And finally, dive into the job search using these lists of companies with call center jobs:

Ron Chapple/Getty

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