I Tried to Live Like a French Girl for a Day and Felt Tres Chic
Don’t you wish you were in Paris right now? ME TOO. So much so that I decided to pretend I was in France for the day, without having to pack a single bag, dig out my passport or fly thousands of miles (or spend a gazillion dollars for that matter). If I wasn’t able to bring myself to Paris, I’d bring Paris to me. From what to wear to what to eat to what to listen to, here’s how I celebrated my Francophile-ness in my own home (and you can too!).
1. Get dressed like a French girl. You might be tempted to lounge around the house in sweats and a tank, but seriously, would a stylish French lady EVER be caught wearing that even in the privacy of their own home? I think not. Put on your most on-fleek, yes-I-could-be-in-Paris-right-now outfit. You could go classic (think striped shirts, a scarf on your neck and a pair of slim pants) or get some tips from our 15 New Ways to Nail French Girl Style for a more modern spin. There are some looks that are totally TD.
2. Smell like a French woman. The French love their perfumes, so for your day of embracing all things francais, you should dab on a scent that conjures up Paris. The world’s most famous perfume — Chanel No. 5 — is TOTALLY French, albeit old-school. Other classics include Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs, Guerlain Shalimar and Yves Saint Laurent Opium. I went with my old stand-by from high school days, the aptly named Paris by Yves Saint Laurent. It’s a mix of mimosa, orange flower, rose, moss, sandalwood and amber, and it totally takes me away to the city of lights (and being 16!).
3. Enjoy the sweet sounds of French music. The French have a unique sound, especially their music from the ’60s. I pulled out a few iconic French singers for my day of living French, including Serge Gainsbourg (his songs with Brigitte Bardot are ah-mazing!), France Gall and Francoise Hardy. I also threw on more contemporary sounds from the likes of Stereolab and Stereo Total. Additionally, if it’s more up your alley, you could enjoy some modern sounds from Daft Punk, Air, Phoenix or Justice.
4. Do a French-inspired DIY. A super chic (and easy) project to tackle is our ascot scarves tutorial, or do some decoupage (we’ve got some sweeeeet suggestions here). I spent my day of celebrating Frenchness working on my embroidery ode to Brigitte Bardot, where I filled in the rose that the GORG French starlet of yore is holding in an old vintage pic.
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5. Drink some French wine. You gots to! On a beautiful day like this, I grabbed a lovely rosé. But really, any Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy or Champagne will do!
6. Eat all the French foods! Okay, maybe not all of them. Not only will you get a tummy ache, but some things just aren’t that tasty (we’re talking to you, escargot and frog legs). But I’m alllllll for the cheese, macarons, croissants, crème brûlée, cheese, Salade Niçoise, boeuf bourguignon, steak frites, cheese and even more cheese. To really get the taste of France, I bought some brie and a freshly baked baguette and snacked on that. For dinner, I made a totally delish bistro style beef stew, and we had a few super yummy macarons for dessert. So, so yum!
7. Watch a French movie. I dare you to watch Amélie and not want to book a plane ticket to Paris, like tout de suite. It’s oh so irresistible and oh so French. To get in the mood, you might also wanna watch movies that honor three of France’s most famous women, like Coco Before Chanel, La Vie en Rose (about Edith Piaf) or The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. If you’re feeling like going old school, check out Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim or Luis Buñuel’s Belle du Jour. (Photo via Miramax)
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8. Get Some French Inspo from Instagram. Following these peeps will have random French pics pop up on your Instagram feed all day long! I spent some time following some new French faves like Lindsey Tramuta (@lostncheeseland) for drool-worthy food pics; Joanna Lemanska (@misscoolpics) and VuTheara Kham (@vutheara ) for iconic images of Paris; Anne Hidalgo (the mayor of Paris) and all the chic ladies on our 15 French Girl Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow list.
What’s your fave way to celebrate that French lifestyle? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
(Featured photo via Getty)
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