Turn Your Crappy Furniture Into Shabby Chic Fast And Cheap

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Chalk paint is popular right now. Chalk Paint appeals to those who love shabby chic or distressed style of decor.

I don’t write DIY posts often. The main reason is money. You need supplies to craft and complete DIY projects. Most of us don't have the supplies we need lying around.

A lot of us are struggling. For someone like me after 17 years of marriage my furniture is old. If money is an issue, you do repairs or fix up your old stuff.

I see a lot of bloggers posting about a Spring refresh and I am over here looking at my house thinking I need one too. A refresh could mean new couch pillows and lampshades or redecorating your entire house. That’s on you.

But I cannot afford to buy new stuff. Our kitchen table is from Walmart. The varnish on the chairs and the table legs were too shiny, and they chipped easily. At the time I needed the kitchen table I couldn’t afford to buy the one I wanted, so I settled. 

Do-it-yourself projects are my idea of fun. I watched YouTube videos and read blog posts from professionals that distress furniture. I wanted to do this right. If I screw up my table, I won’t be able to use it anymore so I didn’t want to make any mistakes. Which I did. So here I am telling you what I learned.

Let's talk about chalk paint first. Chalk paint needs no prepping. Whatever you’re painting needs to be clean. You need not strip it and you need not sand it. You can paint almost anything with chalk paint. Chalk Paint is cheap and they sell a quart at Walmart for Under $10. Chalk paint goes a long way a quart can paint a lot of furniture.

Chalk paint will leave brush strokes on furniture. Many of the blogs I read said if you hate brush strokes skip chalk paint or use a sprayer.  I decided if I distressed my chairs and table then the brush strokes would be ok. Another reason I picked Chalk Paint is there are no VOCs which means you can paint indoors. Chalk Paint is also very forgiving and if you make a mistake, you can fix those mistakes. Chalk Paint dries quick.

Buying Chalk Paint on the cheap can be tricky. I wanted a specific color and I couldn’t afford to buy it. I had to settle for a different color. Now if you’re good at mixing paints, you could mix your own. Remember the ratio in case you need to mix more paint later.

After watching all the videos I knew I had to use a natural hair paint brush which will be problematic. Natural hair paint brushes leave brush strokes and they shed hair. Once you pull that hair it will take the paint with it. Consider doing one coat with the natural hair brush and a second coat with a smooth roller. The roller will waste a lot of paint but it will make the paint look so much better. Consider getting a natural hair stencil or detail brush to get in the grooves and nooks and crannies. My chairs had spindles which can be hard to paint. 

The stripper would not coat my table evenly.

The stripper would not coat my table evenly.

I wanted to discuss chalk paint. If you are staining any part of the furniture sand or strip before painting. Do your research. There are chemical and natural liquid stripping agents but that may not be the best way of doing things. I picked a spray one that seemed easy to use and natural with no fumes. It was lies. All lies. The stripping agent made a huge mess, and it took forever. Sanding would take me perhaps half an hour and then I would vacuum and dust up the residue.

Liquid stripping can take a long time. Apply it. Wait. Then scrape it off. Do a wash. I used water myself. Then wait for the wood to dry. It took hours. I still had to sand the table because it did not remove all seal. The stripping agent melted stuff and made a huge mess. The moisture can damage the wood too. Be careful. Even my thick plastic Playtex gloves melted. I should have never used a chemical stripping agent. Sanding would have been faster. Easier. Cleaner.

Fill in dings and large chips before you stain with wood filler. Let the filler dry and sand. Then stain.

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Another big mistake I made was I used a brush that was for stains to apply my gel stain and it was a hot mess. I found that an old cloth diaper made of Bird's-eye was a hundred percent better for the second coat. I recommend you go to town with an old soft cloth to apply gel stain. Go with the grain. 

Distressing is so easy. Pick the spots you would touch and wear the furniture down. A light stroke may lighten the paint up which can be a nice effect. If you want the old paint to show a few strokes with a medium grit sandpaper does the job. The process goes by fast. Do not get carried away.

Before I started this project, I painted our picture frames first. That is when I figured out it's easier to do one or two coats with the brush then use the roller. Most projects only need two coats but I dry brushed a third coat for detail. 

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You need to seal your piece. Many recommend wax for chalk paint. The issue with waxes is it’s not permanent! Wax needs an application every few months that is a lot of maintenance. A dining table where people are spilling things and wiping them up wax is not the best method. Use a polyurethane sealer. I used a sponge brush it made it easy. Two coats and your good.

So long story short is chalk paint worth doing? Yes. You can finish your project in a day. Be aware it can take a few days if you're stripping and staining part of the piece. In my case I have kids need I say more? 

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So here are some of my final thoughts and tips.

Don’t paint an item you’re not sure about. A family heirloom or piece you had for 25 years and you love it do nothing to it. Can you remove chalk paint? For sure you can but you may hurt the wood when removing it. So only paint something you can bear to part with.

You don’t have to buy Annie Sloan chalk paint. Walmart has chalk paint for under $10. Or join Michael’s rewards club you get a 40% off coupon. Sixteen ounces should be enough to do a kitchen table. Don't spend more than $15 on the paint and stain. Google what you want and find the lowest price. Stores that let you use coupons like 25% any item can make it possible to buy fancier paint.

If you will stain try sandpapering. It's not that hard at all. Sanding won't take as long as a solvent for smaller pieces.

 Consider using a chalk spray paint if your nervous about using a brush and not on a tight budget. It’s more expensive but if you have the money to spend, it will make your project go by fast and it’s easier.

 If you have children and have no help with these projects, you will get sidetracked. This is a commitment and whatever you are painting won't be something you can use. It can take longer to get this done if your kids keep bugging you and it can test your patience. The result is worthwhile though if you need to spruce up your home.

Hang onto things like empty plastic food containers. You can use them to hold wet brushes and mix paint.

The dollar store is a great place to get some of your supplies but I would avoid buying a plastic dropcloth. Every single one I tried ripped to shreds. Old newspaper works well and if you get a paper, it's free.

Wear thick gloves if you use any solvents or stains.

Enjoy your project. Painting and staining was hard with no help but I felt great.  I did this all by myself and that made me feel like I accomplished something.

Happy crafting everyone.

It's not perfect but we like it.

It's not perfect but we like it.

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No I Am Not Crazy I Just Don't Like Star Wars

If you follow me on social media, this post may surprise you I don’t like Star Wars. I  told the truth. I dislike pretending I like something I do not.

On Twitter and Instagram, I post about Disneyland. Star Wars this part of the Disney Empire now. Empire get it? If you say you dislike Star Wars people act like you are crazy. Many people dislike Star Wars.

The real reason I post is my husband is a huge Star Wars fan. He has A Yoda, BB-8, and an Ewok tattoo. That is hardcore. He likes Star Wars, so I share Star Wars posts for him and my followers.

Because I don't like Star Wars that does not mean I have to bash Star Wars. People say nasty things to people that dislike Star Wars. Immature and rude people say spiteful things to someone because they dislike a film franchise.

I am sick of the entire franchise. Not because I prefer Star Trek either. I prefer Star Trek and I also love The Orville. Science Fiction is not the issue. I rather enjoy Science Fiction.

I don’t like Star Wars because I grew outgrew the films. As a kid I watched all the Star Wars movies several times over with my father. Star Wars aired on television a few times a year, and when I was a kid, not everyone had several TVs in the house. You viewed what everyone else did.

When I met my husband, I don’t recall having detailed Star Wars conversations. Yet he knew I was familiar Star Wars. He was aware I have seen the movies many times, and that I had a neutral outlook about Star Wars. 

When the craptastical prequel movies arrived, my kids played videos so many times I wanted to vomit. The prequels were bad. They did not add to the franchise. Jar Jar Binks need I say more?

My aversion to Star Wars developed over a decade. My husband and I had debated the Luke and Leia kiss. He denied that kiss ever happened. We jested in good fun over that.

Life would be simpler if I liked Star Wars. When you live with a diehard fan, and you hate the stuff they love most it sucks.

The Force Awakens is a stand-alone film.  If you haven't seen the old movies, you can keep up with the new episodes. I can’t even muster interest. If I don't see The Force Awakens how am I supposed to even understand The Last Jedi.

I tried to give A New Hope a second chance. My husband bribed me with guacamole, and I wanted to watch it. I spent most of the movie bored to the point I could not even pay attention. I also thought many scenes were cheesy, so I laughed a few times, and my family did not share in my amusement.

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There’s only so many times they can jump in the Millennium Falcon and blow crap up. Then have someone turns evil and betray everyone. The same tropes occur again and again. I don’t find it to be entertaining at all. 

Come on the Land Cruisers are so cheesy it's funny.

Come on the Land Cruisers are so cheesy it's funny.

The last movie I saw was Ghostbusters. Solo: A Star Wars Story will not be my first movie in over a year and a half even if my husband loves Star Wars. I can support him and not watch the films. 

I'm just over Star Wars. People keep asking me questions about Star Wars Galaxies Edge too and while it's nice for the fans, I'm not too enthused over it. I loved Big Thunder Ranch. While I dislike Star Wars, I won't rag on the movie or the land. I have better things to think about. I don't dwell on these things often. 

I'm sorry this  is  funny.

I'm sorry this is funny.

Star Wars comes up though. Being a Disney blogger, having a family that works at Disneyland, and having an avid fan for a spouse. I tire of getting the third degree when people realize I am not into Star Wars. So yes, you can be a nerd, a Disney blogger, the spouse of a Star Wars fan and not like Star Wars. And that is ok. 

You should not have to justify disliking something or finding fault with something just because everyone else thinks it is good. Star Wars included. 

On a side note, I love Chewbacca. If Disney shot a Wookie movie, I would be first in line. Not liking Star Wars should be that big of a deal. Live long and prosper everyone. Erm I mean may the force be with you. 

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I Have had Enough Of The Grammar Police

There is a dark side to blogging. Google blogging there are many articles on blogging. What you won’t find is advice on how to deal with criticism as a blogger.

A common sentiment is if you cannot handle criticism don't blog. We all will experience an insult that bothers us. Most of the time we ignore those negative remarks. 

It is okay not to not like a post but you are crossing a line when you insult someone. You call that person stupid when the insult is about grammar. The gist is the writer has poor comprehension skills. Seems like an assault on ones intelligence to me. 

Read this post by linguist Steven Pinker, if you're a grammar nut. He says breaking the rules is ok. 

The problem with nitpicking grammar is people don't speak that way in real life. English can be an awkward and challenging language. It's illogical to expect a blog that's sole purpose is to publish helpful and engaging content to read like a scholarly article. That is where one would expect perfect grammar.

Most blog posts reflect the authentic voice of the blogger. Unless YOU ARE, not YOUR a perfectionist, most people would bore if I tried having perfect grammar. 

Yes, blogs get trolled yet I find that when most people don’t agree with you on your blog, they close the page. Commenting on a blog is becoming a thing of the past because of social media. People share posts, and their friends read it and return to Facebook or wherever the link came from to analyze it. 

How I feel when I find a grammatical error after hitting publish.

How I feel when I find a grammatical error after hitting publish.

Let me make two things clear as a blogger, you should proofread your post which most of us do. I read each post many times. Here is the thing the grammar police may not realize that we used editing software. The writing style is not up to their persnickety standards.

I understand posts with bad grammar are difficult to understand or read. Write a letter. Submit your letter to Grammarly and Scribbens. Try After the Deadline and Word. These programs never agree on anything, including commas. Commas can be confusing. 

I have an auditory processing disorder and am dyslexic. Yet worked my ass off and maintained a 4.0-grade point average and always made Dean’s list. I’m Writing the way I learned it from my English Professors! Grammar trends change all the time like fashion.

I guess you sense my anger. I am pissed off, and I waited days before I said anything. See my dear sweet husband posted one of my links in a Disney Group on Facebook. As a new blogger I don’t have a large fan base. I don’t have many friends or family. Bloggers such as myself rely on the support of those around us who love us to help us promote our blog. I can’t go to every single Facebook Disney Group and post my links. It’s against the rules. When I am short on time or my traffic is slow sometimes my husband helps me. So he shared my link with a Disney Group to help promote my blog.

Now my husband's mother died the next day. So lessening his load, I checked his Facebook. We are trying to sell things on Facebook Marketplace. We need the money now, and if we ignore a message, then we won't sell anything. So neglecting Facebook notifications is not an option.

I saw the notification for his post in the Disney Group. Many disliked the post because I told people paying for extra service in the post were a waste of money. A remark on my grammar caught my eye. That remark had multiple replies. A group of women tagged each other in the post they were taking turns reading my post and bashing my grammar.

That was enough.

Say I posted a picture of myself in a bikini, and I said: "look at my new bathing suit." Then some random strangers talked about how fat and ugly I was. This is body shaming. Or trolling right? Perhaps both. People usually agree it’s not OK to body shame so why should my grammar be different your still INSULTING me. My grammar is not fucking perfect. Why is it not fucking perfect? I didn’t go to Harvard. I’m not a literary genius, and nobody cares that much.

If I am dropping the F-bomb multiple times that means I am pissed off. There are blogs and websites littered with pop-ups. You get rid of those and pop-under ads appear. They have 25 freaking ads in the sidebars! Or at least it seems as if they do. The content obscured by ads. Words bleed together because someone forgot to hit the space-bar. Transposed letters are commonplace. There are several misspellings. These are blogs that are making five figures a freaking month. Between ad revenue, sponsored posts, and affiliate sales! No one's commenting on their grammar. 

Little people like me. Well, we don't matter that much I guess.

I guarantee you take one of my posts and run them through an editor app like Grammarly it would show no critical errors or the software was wrong not me. There may be minor errors, but overall no significant glaring errors. It is the critics that find fault with my writing and say how horrible the grammar is. Then troll me over grammar. Get a goddamn life. 

I posted what happened in the Disney group. I briefly said others were slamming me in my favorite Business Facebook group, and the consensus was Grammar Police are assholes.

The grammar police can be inconsiderate people. Think about it they want to talk poop on someone for not using a comma or YOUR instead of YOU ARE, or YOU'RE! Who do they think they are? They are the ones sitting on their butts judging others. Saying this to a persons actualface means it's on. 

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It takes courage to put yourself out there. Insulting strangers online takes cowardice.

There are people with real problems. Grammarphiles worry about run-on sentences and readability, please. It's important but not everything. It is a blog post on saving money at Disney Not the New Yorker. 

The perfect editing software for the average person doesn’t exist. Most bloggers use multiple programs to catch what the others missed. Many do not understand how many hours we spend working for free. 

I was getting paid for posts. How much longer do you think it will last if people in Disney Groups are bashing my grammar. My grammar is not bad compared to many other websites.

I resolved that I would stand up for myself. I do not read what people post about me. But once you interfere with my livelihood, I will not stand for it at all. Consider this you are not the only one reading it. If you're super nitpicky and know my content is not horrible shut up. Are missing commas was it worth scaring off readers. Would anyone stand in front of a coffee shop where they dislike the coffee warning people not to go in? Well, that's what you're doing when you bash someone on the internet. It is scaring away their potential readers.

Poor grammar signifies that either the person did not bother to edit their work, or the editing software overlooked something. You need to get over yourself.

It’s freaking ridiculous that I had to waste my time effort and energy on this.

When you insult me and make fun of me, it makes it so that anyone who sees that may feel influenced by what you are saying. Perhaps I suffer from a learning disability. Which I do. You cannot always know why the errors exist in anyone's blog post. 

You have nothing better to do. Take the time to consider that it might it’s just rude to call people out publically. 

The next time you feel concern over someone's grammar stop caring so much and get a life?

If you dislike my grammar, you are welcome to leave. 

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The Truth About Making Mom Friends

I hate not being able to solve the problems of my Readers. One of the primary purposes of a blog is to offer a solution to the problems that lead a person to a blog post. 

As a blogger, I share and read other blogs. It’s part of my job. Sometimes keeping my hands away from the keyboard is hard. Because what I read is making me want to speak out. However, netiquette and professionalism taught me not to.

One post seen weekly is about Mom's finding their tribe or making mom friends. It is to the point now where I cannot stand these types of posts because while they are well-intentioned for a lot of moms; they are not helpful at all. Leaving me feeling deceived.

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Sometimes these posts suggest why you lack mom friends. Claiming you're a soft touch or not trying hard enough. Sometimes these reasons are valid. Many overlook one significant barrier with friendship, and that is money.

What's left unsaid is sometimes you will never find your tribe or make mom friends. Suggest that someone put yourself out there will earn you an eye of an eye roll. If someone is looking for help to make mom friends online she did and it didn't work. How is this helpful?

Sometimes we are not what the other mom wants. Much like romantic attraction we seek desirable qualities in our friends. We need common interests. 


We live a different lifestyle than others. Some mom cliques live in a cul-de-sac or on the same street. Where almost every family has stay at home parent or the other parent works one good job. Money is not an issue. They can take a vacation every year. Each parent has a nice newer model car. Mom can afford to get her hair nails done. She has a gym membership. A trip to Target for diapers and Windex, she can pay without a silent prayer that her card works. What I am saying is they are middle class or upper middle class and don't struggle like many of us do.


She can go to Starbucks or wine and art classes with the girls because she can afford it. Money makes it easier to go out with friends.

There are moms that pay for one haircut a year. Plenty of women donate hair for a free haircut because most of the time even Great Clips is too expensive. She rents a two bedroom apartment she can't afford even though what they need is a three bedroom. Their clothes came from the clearance rack or are hand-me-downs. Many moms lack enough time to wash her face or comb her hair today so a messy bun or ponytail it is. She and her spouse share a car. So she walks her kids to school. Ot rides in mom's little Taxi in a rush to drop the kids off so she is not late dropping her spouse off at work again. Many these families one parent works two jobs, or both parents work, I know families where both parents worked two jobs each. How can the Clique Moms relate to living a life where you and or your spouse work 18 hour days and have different lifestyles?

What if the other moms invite her to the movies? She has no money. So she can't go. Money is an enormous obstacle.  If one of the other moms offers to pay for her ticket, consider this she cannot afford to have her husband miss work. Suppose he misses work so she can go out. How long will the other moms pay? 
 

We never have a moment for ourselves let alone envy someone else. Time is another obstacle. The SAHM, WAHM, the single moms, the mom whose husband is working 18 hours a day we are too busy to take care of ourselves. Sometimes that is the reason we don't have mom friends because we don't have time to invest and support the friendships. People may say you're unwilling to give time. Spare time is a luxury many of us lack. It's draining to listen to your friends problems. We need a break.

You may never make friends with those moms. Even if you try. They live on the cul-de-sac or same street. Have the same Coach or Dooney and Bourke purse, they drive SUV's or Minivans, and they dress well. It's a generalization but its realistic most schools have groups of mothers who are friends that have many of these materialistic things in common. They have bonded. They may never feel the need to add another mom to their group because they felt nothing is missing from their lives like friends. 

Some of these moms never even see us or sometimes our kids. They are the ones that invite everyone but us. All they see is messy hair, a dinky car, and stained clothes and think we have nothing in common. Or she's the hot mess mother of the class. 
 

We live different lives and have little in common. Your struggle is their nightmare. It is hard to build a friendship when from the outside we are opposites.

Sometimes we focus on those mothers too much we don't see the other moms. Whatever the case is sometimes we judge people and just don't try. What matters are having something in common, and when people judge by appearances alone, they can't see everything. Impressions matter. We never outgrow that do we? 

We can like the same music, books, and tv shows and will never know it. I lived down the street from where the Real Housewives of Orange County filmed for over a decade. I have lived this. My husband even used to wait on Vicki. Living in Orange County, you see many people let money and appearances matter that much. Some moms can't look past the superficial. 


A lack of chemistry with the other moms could play a role. Perhaps you haven't met the right mom yet. Sometimes you’re just a victim of lousy circumstances I feel like if I lived in a different area, I would fit in better. Here in Orange County, and some of those OC clichés are true. We are not middle class, so I don't fit in. I am a Roseanne in a sea Kathy Bowman's. I'm a renter at the end of a dead-end road apartment complex surrounded by homes that are 750k or more. No matter how hard I try, I don't fit in because I can't afford to and that is ok. You shouldn't have to change who you are for acceptance. It's trivial that people cannot get past appearances. 

 

The real victims are the kids. I acted as Room Mom for several years, and our kids hear a lot more than the parents think. What is tragic about this is a parents opinion alters their children's perception of them as well? I heard kids flat-out say things about a mom or dad and their child faces ridicule for it. I had a set of twins in my room for years that had terrible food allergies. The kids say things to them sounded like what the moms would say when they complained about excluding foods that could make the twins sick.

Many of us have no mom friends so don’t be sorry for it. I know loneliness sucks, and it is tough.  Be creative. Some of my biggest supporters are moms I will never meet. If that means joining a mom group and just being a lurker. Do it as you care about these people and feel a connection then do it. Posting in mom groups or even lurking can help.

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So it's ok if you never become part of a mom tribe or your mom tribe is just you and your sister. If your best mom advice comes from Lorelai Gilmore, I say solidarity sister. If a fictional person says things that help build you up then take time to watch that show, so you feel a connection to something. It is the connection that matters. Friendship is the emotions or conduct of friends; the state of being friends. A contact on a social media website can be a friend. Your tribe may be out there on Instagram or Facebook and you have not found them yet. 

If something helps build you up never overlook that! Mom friends will not necessarily help you be a better mom. 

The sad truth is many of us in life will count our true friends on the one hand. We overlook that sometimes family are our friends. If my husband and I did not have such a solid friendship that is the base of our relationship I'd went crazy years ago. Many overlook that our other half is our best friend. 

You do not need a tribe or mom friends. What you need is a connection. That connection need not be another mother or someone you see daily. Never forget that. The happiest people I know have a handful of friends. Remember that. Its quality, not quantity. 

Party Planning Made Easy With Basic Invite

When I was approached by Basic Invite to collaborate on this sponsored post, I took it as a sign this collaboration was meant to be. I am so behind on all of my correspondence. 

When approached by Basic Invite to collaborate on this sponsored post, I took it as a sign this collaboration was a sign. I'm behind on all of my correspondence. 

I am working over 80 hours a week and running a household. Since I’ve worked for myself, I am working more hours now ever, and I’m having a hard time balancing everything.

In fact, I’m having such a hard time when I got sick around Christmas I forgot to send out cards and thank you notes. Every time I remembered that I forgot (sorry Grandma) I forgot again. Right now I feel terrible about that.

Right now I have a Sweet 16 party and anniversary to plan. I need to create invitations. Do I want to customize the colors decide whether not I want foil because Rose Gold is trendy right now? Basic Invite has over 180 different color options I can customize the invite the way want it to be down to a tee. 

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Basic Invite has an address capturing service. You do not have upload the addresses. Share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and request your friends and family’s addresses. When a person submits the address, it's saved to your account and used during the design process. 

Recipient address printing is free on all Christmas card orders. You don't address the envelopes. 

I don’t have to label the invites which are great because my handwriting looks like hieroglyphics. I will pick one of the brightest of the forty envelope colors, so my invites stand out in the mailbox.

It's perfect that Basic Invite has birthday invitations. The Sweet 16 invitations I was looking for and for other occasions which I needed invites and cards for. I’m way behind. I have a lot of birthdays anniversaries and events coming up this year. When you get sick you get so behind, and you can’t do much when you’re in your sickbed but you can use your phone to order invites, and Basic Invite will send you a sample.  


Ordering a sample means you can check out the quality of the paper before you commit to ordering. The price points are great they start at under a dollar per invite.


I had been looking to order a Sweet 16 party invitations, so I was more than thrilled when I went to the website and I realized that I could choose from many designs and can insert any photo I want. I could change the font. Or change the background color. What blew me away was the colors are very detailed. There are eight shades of yellow.

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As far as color selections go, I don’t have to settle for what’s closest to, but get what I want. The color selection is outstanding. 

The thing is about invitations for something like a Sweet 16 Party is we overlook is the invitation itself. Guests keep these invites as a souvenir to remind them of the event, so I want to make sure that the actual invite is just as perfect as the event itself.

I’m glad I found out about Basic Invite because I’m sick. My doctor told me I would be sick for the next two weeks and not to expose myself to the public. I can’t just go down the street and meet with someone at a print shop and go back-and-forth until everything is perfect. Basic Invite's the best service for me because I can do all the work online from a computer. Basic Invite will send me the sample then I can place my order.

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It's wonderful that Basic Invite approached me because I did not know how I would get all of this party planning done. The invitation makes a strong first impression on the guest; it has to be a great invite. 

With all that Basic Invite has to offer I can make anything I need an invitation, a thank you note, stationary or even a business card. Basic Invite also offers free wedding websites, and they are gorgeous. 

I am a fan of Basic Invite, and I plan on using them for all of my invites and cards this coming year. I hope you will too. Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51. 

How far in advance do you like receiving a party invitation? Tell me in the comments section.