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Great Invites for Graduates!

It seems almost too soon for it to be time for graduation already. School seems to take forever to start and yet before you know it, graduation is here.

I remember my own graduation party, it seems like just yesterday I was getting everything ready for the end of the high school journey. I have a huge family so a party was a necessity. We had sent out 125 high school graduation invites it was like doing wedding invitations and everyone RSVP’d it was an amazing time.

Graduation is such an exciting time and no matter what kind of school or degree is earned it is important to celebrate with those we love. Many people think that if you are homeschooling that you don’t have a party or a ceremony but, some of the best graduation parties I have been to were for homeschool graduates They even do special announcements and home school graduation invitations.

Graduation is a time of new beginnings, what a perfect time to celebrate! Whether you have a small group of friends for a dinner party or a huge party like I did, this is the time to celebrate and congratulate the hard work and dedication of the graduate.

Get your invites just right and plan to have a memorable time!

Basic Invites has the best of the best when it comes to graduation invitations. They offer
Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Address Capturing Service – Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all card orders.

Foil – Foil cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs.

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 
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​​​​​​​I am just over the moon with these new tassle was worth the hassle graduation invites. Perfect sentiment for so many!

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How to Lend Safely from the Bank of Mom and Dad

Billy Murphy is a happy recipient of a loan from the bank of mom and dad, an amount he used to purchase his home in New York City. The 32-year-old firefighter had to come up with the house’s down payment but the piggy bank of the family; his parents came through with the rest of the amount.  To make the deal just better, half the loan from his parents was passed on a gift!

His story is not unusual. Katie Larcher, on the other hand, is in her late 20s. Her friends are purchasing their own homes funded by their wealthy parents. In a time when there is a housing crisis, homeownership is becoming a tall order for most millennials. Most of them have made their best efforts at saving, but most of their income is going to rent, bills, and student loan payments. House ownership seems like a far-off dream.

Katie’s mom, Brenda decided to give her a loan to finance her first tiny flat. “Renting is such a waste of money,” Brenda explains. Katie is just another recipient of credit from the bank of mom and dad.

The high debt problem

There has been an ongoing discussion centering on the fact that millennials cannot buy homes, becomes they are financially irresponsible. A few of them might be, but the most significant percentages of young people are actually not getting married, having children, owning cars or homes because they cannot afford to. So yes, the problem is not the expensive coffees and avocado toast either, nope, they are paying off massive student loans.  In the U.S, there are over 45 million educational loan debtors, who owe over $1.2 trillion, each with an average debt of $30,000.

This is why the venerable bank of mum and dad is quickly becoming the only route for most young people to quick homeownership. Statistics show that in 2011, 1/3 of all first time home buyers used a gift (26%) or a loan (75%) to purchase their homes. The amount loaned by parents or given as gifts could be higher because most gifts are hardly ever disclosed to most lenders.

The warning bells

Most financial experts advise parents against lending money to their adult children. There are a lot of negatives attached to it, including fostering dependency, inflaming family tensions and robbing the older party of their hard-earned retirement savings. These ingredients could adversely impact even the healthiest and loving of family relationships.

Loaning your children part of your retirement kitty might seem straightforward at the onset, but later mutate into a straitjacket situation, that impedes on family harmony, if the loanee fails to keep their end of the bargain. There are apparent advantages of getting a loan from parents as they are kind of pre-approved as well , which includes low interests’ rates or none at all making them a very attractive offer. But do keep in mind that the parent is placing their financial health in dire jeopardy by taking that money from their lifetime savings.

However, if a parent has to give that loan, they should rationally consider their decision. It is essential to treat the family piggy bank as more of a “bank” than a “piggy” if you are giving a loan to junior. So how do you do this?

  1. Call it by its name

Ensure that your adult children know that what you are giving them is a loan and not a gift. If the money is a gift, give it unconditionally. Did you know that you can give away as much as $12,000 per year without having to file returns for gift tax?

If it is not a gift, drop the casual attitude and for the sake of your relationship with your children, be very specific with your terms. Establish the parameters for the loan repayments and formalize the loaning process. Leave the boundaries loose, and you might be setting up your family for unnecessary tensions.

  1. Discuss the need

Family is perhaps the hardest place to talk about finances, but if you are loaning out your retirement benefits, then you have to hold that bull by its horns. Keep in mind that the loan might jeopardize your financial health. Many parents will not ask their children questions when loaning them cash, in a bid to not embarrass them.

While there are financial problems that could be private, a jumbo loan request should be tabled, and its need examined acutely. Is it for a business? Where is the business plan?  Act as a bank. Let your children know that this is your life’s blood, not petty cash, and they can only borrow it if they absolutely need it.

Remind them of the consequences that you will face if they fail to keep their end of the deal. You will probably have to forego the holiday you have saved for, for decades. You might also have little left for basic needs forcing you to borrow a high-interest rate loan in your retirement.

  1. Document it

Money and relationships often make for a messy mix so when issuing a loan, draft a document detailing the loan’s structure. Have a promissory note complete with a repayment schedule. Ensure that the repayments are tailored to the existing interest rates since the installments paid will be taxed just as ordinary income is.

Set up an ETF arrangement to ensure that the payments are deducted from your children’s checking accounts and paid to yours. Set the tone from the very start to ensure that other family members in the future, who come to the family piggy bank, play by the rules. Talk to your other children also, when loaning one of them large amounts of money. Be upfront and ensure that you do not disadvantage them when helping out their sibling.

  1. Find an intermediary

If due to your relationship with your children you cannot have a formal loan agreement with them, seek the assistance of intermediaries. Intermediaries such as Virgin Money have no problem at all handling the awkward conversations. They will help you separate business from family ensuring that you are not both debt collector and loving lender.

The intermediary will see to all legalities of lending and repayments as well as tax and any legal issues. You, in turn, will stand a better chance of having your retirement funds back into your account and maintain a stable relationship with your children as well as you help them out too.

The bottom line

Evaluate the risks before lending out money and ask your children to do the same because your well being is their priority. The stakes are so high when it comes to family relationships and money given away in old age. Use the above money and debt management steps, and you will be a better problem solver for your children.

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Fear of the Cover Stitch Machine

I have seen so many posts lately about people who have gotten a cover stitch machine but, they are afraid of using it. Many never even get it out of the box it came in. I have to tell you, that I was a little put off myself, I soon learned it was just as easy as any other sewing machine or serger I have used.

The biggest thing with a cover stitch is learning how to lock your stitches at the end so that the whole hem does not come undone.

My wonderful husband recently bought me a Janome cover stitch to help me complete all of my makes look more professional and to save time. I was so excited and more than a little nervous. I gathered my courage and my scraps, took a deep breath and just did it.

First few times, I did not know how to take out the fabric, I looked up some helpful videos and figured it out very easily. It is different to end the seam, but it is not difficult.

The other thing that people worry about is the threading and to be completely honest it is not a valid fear. Threading my cover stitch machine is as easy as my regular sewing machine, if not easier. You do have to use more thread cones, but that is easy. You will soon learn that you will need more thread storage.

If you are waiting to use it please stop waiting! This is easy and you are going to be hooked in no time flat! Its time to get busy making beautiful hems!

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Increasing Your home Security: A Beginners Guide

For some, there’s nothing more worrying or terrifying than the idea of a stranger gaining access to your home and taking your possessions and it’s even more concerning if you have young children at home too…

But don’t worry, lucky there are steps you can take to make your home look less appealing to burglars and make any attempt at a break in much more difficult. Check out these 5 steps you can take to increase your home security. Today.

Add a little signage

You probably don’t have three rottweilers at home, but that doesn’t mean you can put up a sign that says so. Adding a little signage around your property lets anyone who is snooping around know that getting into your home isn’t going to be easy. Signs like these, are super easy to install and they’re kind to your budget. Consider a CCTV sign, even a neighbourhood watch sign to give the impression that your home is under surveillance, either by your cameras or your neighbours and speaking of neighbours…

Get to know those around you

In the old days, most people were on first name terms with their neighbours and probably went out with the front door unlocked. These days, things are a little different. However, making the effort to meet and get to know your neighbours is a great security measure. They’ll help keep an eye on your property while you’re out or away on vacation and they’ll even notice activity around your property and know if it’s unusual or not. You could even speak to your local police department about setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme.

Lighting (and lots of it)

Thieves and burglars don’t enjoy being in the spotlight. So lighting up your front and back yard will certainly make things tricky for them. Not only will lighting at the front of your property serve as a security measure, but it’ll also make things safer for you if you’re returning home after dark. It’ll also give your home kerb appeal. So consider installing some wall lights on either side of your front door, introduce some outdoor lighting along your garden path and in your flowerbeds and you can even pick up a motion sensor light for a few dollars.

Check your doors

Most thieves enter through the front door – a scary thought, I know – so go and check the stability of your front door and then the back. If it’s quite old and has seen better days then consider getting it replaced with something more modern and substantial. If replacing your doors isn’t an option right now, then speak to a locksmith about upgrading your locks and installing a deadbolt. The same applies to your windows!

Leave them nowhere to hide

Overgrown bushes, wild flowerbeds and dark, tangled shrubs, not only do they look unsightly, but they also provide the perfect place for thieves and opportunists to hide! Make an effort to keep on top of your garden and keep everything trimmed back.

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Welcome Spring Into Your Home

March is already in the middle of spring, as the season which is full of energy and change , spring is always in hurry. Maybe you do not have enough time to touch the spring by yourself, here is some ideas can make you embrace spring in your home , especially if it is framed with springtime curtains.

Various flowers and green plants are great ways to incorporate spring changes inside your home. Unique painting pattern curtains will make the space fresh and natural looking . These curtains are suitable for people who do not prefer bold, colorful curtain pattern, they can try the patterns of natural .

When there is full of bloom, we always see beautiful butterflies around. If you consider of colorful and bright curtains , Butterfly curtains can be your best choice, vivid pattern make your home space romantic and express your personality. No matter in living room or bedroom , these curtains can create the cozy and relax sense .

Let us make the window view refresh according to the season , and make the fresh statement to welcome spring !

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Vintage Sewing for Girls

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2019. This year over 25 bloggers from around the world are joining with me to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. (Read on for Giveaway info) The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day: Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura Friday March 15Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!

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We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

I chose to do a pattern from Vintage Little Lady Patterns. I love vintage looking patterns on girls and even for myself. This is a new designer and the first time I have used their patterns.

I love that they took the pics with this vintage car!

I was excited to sew this great little dress. It was fairy easy and I am sure that even beginner sewist will have success with it. The final result was perfection as my grand daughter is in love!

This is girls dress called Opal and it can be done in all one fabric or you can mix and match any fabrics you like. With so many wovens available I am sure you can find one you love!

With directions that are straight forward and designs that look so amazing. I am sure this designer has a winning combination. Check them out at Vintage Little Lady here!