23 Things to Know Before Throwing a Seriously Awesome Outdoor Party
Summer is officially upon us, and while that means twice the daily dose of deodorant and weather so hot your ice cream melts before you eat it, it also means the outdoors are now ours for entertaining. Of all the different types of shindigs and soirees, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this sunny season than with a color-packed garden party. We’re bringing you 23 ways to throw a seriously awesome garden party, so grab your friends for some finger food, refreshing cocktails, floral decor and get ready to savor the season.
3. Fruit Infused Water: Substitute soda for these refreshing fruit and herb-infused water recipes. All that’s required is some quick chopping, and a night in the fridge to let the water absorb some flavor. (via Eat Yourself Skinny)
4. Watering Can Planter: Tackle that whole effortlessly chic vibe by placing a pretty bouquet in a basic watering can. This centerpiece idea takes hardly any time to complete and will look right at home as a rustic, outdoor table decoration. (via Kara’s Party Ideas)
7. Vegetable Centerpiece: This idea really gives a new meaning to the whole farm-to-table movement. Buy a large metal planter from a garden-supply center, line the bottom with sprouts and pour in enough water in to keep them moist. Throw in some cleaned and prepped veggies and this just became your new favorite serving platter. (via Martha Stewart)
9. Potted Parfait Cupcakes: Psych out your guests by serving them some potted soil for dessert. When they figure out that the pot actually consists of a chocolate cupcake, crushed Oreos, chocolate pudding and fresh mint, they’ll totally forgive you. (via Best Friends for Frosting)
11. Pink Lemonade Swirl Bundt Cake: When we think of a summery celebration, we think of lemonade. Rather than serving it in its standard liquid state, mix things up a bit with this perfectly pink treat. (via Crazy for Crust)
13. Flower Straws: Paper straws are pretty. But paper straws with flowers attached to them are amazing. All you need is some pretty paper and scissors to make this colorful craft come to life. (via Craft and Creativity)
14. Terra Cotta Pot Cake Stand: For a simple cake stand that stays true to an outdoor theme, grab a terra cotta pot and base, paint them your fave colors, flip them upside down and serve! (via Tara Dennis)
15. Garden Party Printables: Maybe you love a DIY as much as the next gal, but we know you don’t have time to do it all yourself. Print out these free templates on cardstock for a few sweet garden-themed decorations. (via Ever Mine)
17. Updated Finger Sandwiches: Finger food is the way to go when throwing a summertime get-together. It’s easy to eat while socializing and it means less clean up for you! These unique finger sandwich recipes, such as carrot and cheddar, will give guests something to talk about long after the party’s over. (via Huffington Post)
18. Hanging Glass Vases: Tents are essential if Mother Nature decides to rain on your parade, but they can definitely add a clunky element to an otherwise perfectly curated garden party. Dress it up a little by attaching some flower-filled glass bottles to twine and tying them to the metal beams of the tent. (via Eat Drink Chic)
19. Painted Stone Place Cards: Go natural with these earthy place cards.You can create these with just a paint pen in ten minutes, and they can be used to help keep things from blowing away, too. (via BHG)
20. Baby’s Breath Floral Crown: Want your guests to feel floral from head to toe? Whip up some of these baby’s breath flower crowns for your favorite ladies to sport during the event. Turning these into simple brooches or corsages with a little bit of ribbon would also be a fun, slightly quicker option. (via Rustic Wedding Chic)
Are you planning a summer garden party? What ideas do you have in mind? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com