Melissa and Doug Coupons, Free Shipping, and Codes

What kid's toy room isn't half made up of Melissa &Doug toys. The classic wooden toys are a must have for moms...but they can be pricier than other, lower quality toys.

Check out these Melissa and Doug Coupon Codes to save you money! (Check back often as we continually update our Melissa & Doug offers)

Week of 3/25/13

Free Melissa & Doug binoculars with purchase of $45 

Free Shipping on all Melissa & Doug orders over $50 with Code: FSFIFTY (Regularly $60)


Working Online - So how much money am I really making?

I've blogged extensively about my online money making adventure - but there's one question that people always ask when they seem semi-intrigued enough to actually take the plunge themselves. 'Can I make real money writing online?' The answer is yes! I was among the skeptics when I first started this little writing adventure more than two years ago. But from the day I made my first .08 I was hooked.

For a year and a half my PayPal account saw growing earnings every month. Since my second baby was born in May, however I have had signficantly less time to write and let's just say time is money. The good thing about writing for Examiner.com however is earnings are residual - meaning you can keep earning money on articles you wrote months, even years ago as long as there's still an audience searching for it online.

So let's get to the meat of it - in January 2011 I had my highest earning month ever...up from .08 I made in November 2008.  Here's a breakdown of my two main online income sources:

Examiner.com: $4,099.00
Ehow.com: $727.03  

Making memories with my kids: priceless
I should point out that when I received my monthly payout in January from Ehow.com I had not written for that website in over a year. All $727.03 was passive residual income. eHow no longer pays their writers. Just a few short months after this payment, the website contacted writers with buyout offers. I accepted the offer and my article library now belongs to eHow and no longer provides me with that nice monthly residual income.

I continue, however to write for Examiner.com. Until January 2011 my earnings went up every month - but this became my peak. After January things got a little crazy in my life - we moved out of state, lived in temporary housing while we bought a new house and sold our other one, I was pregnant, had a toddler and then of course in May had my son. So here's what my monthly online earnings have looked like from February to August 2011 (I haven't received my September earnings yet).

February Examiner.com: $2,403.54
                     eHow.com: $ 542.80

March Examiner.com: $2,161.82
                 eHow.com: ENDED

April Examiner.com: $1,982.46

May Examiner.com: $1,716.34

June Examiner.com: $1,182.01

July Examiner.com: $1,164.26

August Examiner.com: $2,061.14

As you can see, I never did get anywhere close to that $4,100 level again, but I have had days where I've earned hundreds on just a few articles. My highest earning day was in April where I made a whopping $700 off just 5 or 6 newly published articles!

These days my monthly Examiner.com income hovers closer to $1200- $1500 with only an hour or two of writing a day (that's the extent of coordinated naps). But, I don't think that's too bad - if you consider my hourly rate. Besides, I'm not only paying a few bills...it's helping pad the savings. 

Since my writing time is so little I'm now working on coming up with more passive residual income sources that don't require so much daily effort to earn money. Of course, these will take weeks, months, if not a year to make a significant impact on my monthly earnings - but it may not take nearly as long as I expect. Afterall, I did go from making .08 a month to making close to $5,000 in just over two years times!

Click here to learn about working online for Examiner.com. Apply today and start writing about what you're passionate about.


Diary Free Breastfeeding Diet Ideas - For babies with sensitives tummies

Click for details from Amazon.com

Let me just start off by saying I love cheese. I could live on cheese. But I'm nursing and my son's little belly just can't handle dairy. Around 2 months old, when we got his reflux under control we realized his stomach issues weren't over yet. That's when we realized that dairy seemed to be upsetting his stomach. He'd have out of control gas and he was in obvious pain.

The pediatrician recommended I cut out dairy from my diet since the most common food allergy in kids is to an antibody in cow's milk.  Diary can pass through breastmilk to babies. However, it's not really possible to 'pump and dump' because dairy can last in your system for up to two weeks. The suggested giving it two weeks and then have a 'big dairy day'-to see if that was the reason Blake was so fussy.

I gave up the dairy and was very strict about it at first - I saw a noticeable change in Blake after about a week. Then on that big dairy day he was back to Mr. Fussy Pants. So I'm back to my dairy free breastfeeding diet.

In the three months I've been dairy free I've found the hardest part is remembering to check labels.
When you have two kids you tend to just eat whatever is fast, convenient, and in front of you - thank you to all of those who've suggested I check and make vegan recipes, but honestly that's just not practical when I'm trying to get lunch on the table between preschool and naptime.) But if I can't eat cheese, yogurt (my go-to breakfast), pizza (my go-to dinner), put milk in my tea (my go to morning drink), cream cheese..yada yada yada..what do I eat?
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