fbpx
Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Why have a graduation brunch? When we were planning a party for my daughter and her friend we realized the kids literally had parties scheduled all day long and evening for several weekends and days in a row. You need to coordinate all of these events so that they do not overlap (or don’t overlap by much). A graduation brunch is a great idea because there are usually fewer graduates vying for this time. A brunch also gives opportunities for many fun graduation brunch menu ideas!

Read on for Graduation Brunch Ideas!

Graduation Brunch Ideas

Graduation Brunch Ideas 

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

minted graduation party invitation

INVITATIONS

The first thing you will need for a graduation brunch is invitations. These amazing invitations are from Minted. If you are giving a party for more than one graduate, have a picture taken of the honorees before creating the invitations or use a picture of them from their high school years.

 

clear frame with picture of girl on table at graduation brunch

TABLE DECORATIONS

We rented bistro tables for the kids to stand at while they ate their food. Use simple table decorations that do not take up the whole table. We chose pictures of the graduate in acrylic frames surrounded by confetti. Confetti is inexpensive and the frames can be reused. You can get a set of 5 acrylic frames for $39.95 on Amazon.

mother daughter in front of picture backdrop at graduation brunch

FUN PHOTO BACKDROP

One of the best graduation brunch ideas is to have a fun photo backdrop. We ordered this beautiful backdrop on Etsy. You can find any style you would like and have it customized here. And yes, my daughter is really that much taller than I am!

graduation brunch buffet

DONUT BOARD AND VIRGIN MIMOSA BAR

The honorees celebrated their new schools with donuts decorated in the school colors – green and yellow for Baylor and red and white for Oklahoma. These were a HUGE hit. A friend of ours made the donut board, which we have loaned out on several occasions. If you live in Tulsa, feel free to come and borrow it 😉

We also had a virgin mimosa bar. Make cute tags and tie them on with twine. Our bottles came from Target, but you can order these pretty bottles on Amazon.

graduation brunch buffet

BRUNCH FOOD

Fruit, breakfast burritos, pigs in a blanket, and mini yogurt cups and granola and other toppings rounded out the menu. We ordered the cute little yougurt cups from Amazon. 

jar with notes from attendees at a graduation brunch

NOTE JAR

We set out a jar and paper for the kids to write notes to the graduates. Also do not forget a gift table!!

corn hole game

CORN HOLE

Corn hole in the back yard was also a hit. We ordered corn hole bean bags in the girls’ school colors.

A Graduation Brunch can be a wonderful solution to overlapping parties and other graduation festivities. I hope these Graduation Brunch Ideas help you in your planning. Be sure to savor the day and take lots of pictures!!

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl, additional Halloween and finals), Bible Verse printables and more.

 

 

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables HERE.

More from Almost Empty Nest:

Ultimate Graduation gift Guide
Gifts under $10
dorm room ideas
Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings

Summer Jobs for Teens and College Students: Over 30 Ideas for Productivity and Earnings

Summer Job Ideas and other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

Every parent’s favorite summer activity for their teen or college student is a J-O-B. Nothing like getting them into the real world, collecting a pay check and having taxes deducted from it to help them see the value of their education. A  summer job doing anything whether it is hauling trash, answering phones, entering data, or taking orders at the Burger Barn is a worthwhile experience. It teaches responsibility and gives them references and experience for their future endeavors. Here are some Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students.

The summer of 2021 should have more opportunities than 2020 but it is still uncertain. Some businesses are slowly coming back to life and may not be hiring as much as they did in the past. Others may be coming back with gusto. Pools, water parks, tourism, and anything seasonal should be good opportunities. After a school year of online education, your teen is ready to leave the house!

Summer Job Ideas and Other Opportunities for Teens and College Students

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

Try Self Employment:

Self Employment is one of the best summer job ideas. Any skill can be marketed to neighbors, friends, and friends’ Facebook contacts.

  • Babysitting: Moms and dads may still be working from home and desperately need someone to care for their children, take them to the pool, play with them, and get them out of the house.
  • Lawn mowing: It’s outside and is naturally “socially distanced.”
  • Other yard work
  • Tutoring: Online or in small group settings. If they have an area of expertise, advertise it. Many kids are behind because of online school. Being willing to work with kids, teens, and college students to get their knowledge of a subject ready to go back in the fall of 2021 will be invaluable.
  • Computer or other technical skills (One of my sons spent a summer transferring friends’ old VHS recordings into digital formats. He has now branched into video production, including weddings and promotional videos.)
  • House sitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Providing rides for kids to lessons, camps, the pool, etc. for occupied parents

 

Look into the “Gig Economy”:

  • Grub Hub, Uber, and other delivery and service jobs are good summer job ideas for those who meet the age and other requirements.

Take Classes for Employable Skills:

Online Jobs or “Microjobs”

Online jobs and “Microjobs” are a way to earn a small amount of money or miles or gift cards. They will not make them wealthy, but can give your student something productive to do while binging on “Friends.”

  • Usertesting: Members evaluate websites and receive $10 per site evaluated. I have had my website evaluated several times by usertesting.
  • Survey Police: Listings of survey sites you can join to earn money and other benefits. The site also gives the scoop on each site. Some are not worth your time.
  • Panel Place: A survey site that links you to reliable survey companies.
  • Ibotta: Go through your groceries and take pictures of the bar codes of featured products and the corresponding receipts to earn money towards gift cards. I have an account with ibotta. I don’t use it as much as I should, but I did earn a $25 Amazon gift card in the last 6 months. If you use my link to join, you will receive $10 in your account and I will receive $5 in mine.

Hire your student:

  • Here is an interesting summer job idea! Give your teen or college student a household responsibility, such as the yard, the laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and pay them to do it.

Apply for scholarships:

Take Summer School:

  • Knock out a high school or college graduation requirement. My daughter knocked out 9 hours online last summer.

 Volunteer:

  • Even if they have a job, send them to a hospital, a church, or anywhere that won’t consider it trespassing if your kid hangs around trying to be helpful. Consistent volunteer work is a great college application and resume booster. Organized volunteering in a group setting may still not be available this year. Your student can create their own opportunities by making cards and dropping them off at nursing homes and doing other individual service projects.

Summer Internships:

  • For your college kids, summer internships in their chosen field are a must. If you have a connection in that field, then it is not too late to ask if your college student could intern with them for a week or more this summer. If they cannot find anything, go to summer school to free up space in their schedule later when internships are available.
  • Most internships are applied for and accepted during the spring, so if one is not available this summer, time spent researching what internships would be possible for the next summer and the application process will pay off.
  • Ask to interview someone in a field of interest about their education and experiences. If a real live human is not available, listen to podcasts or read blogs about the profession.

Read “7 Musts Before Senior Year“:

Plan for College

Attend Camp:
  • Fun, sun, bonding, getting along with others, new skills and adventures. I’ve never heard of a camp that allows the kids to stay up all night, sleep all day, and make a mess of their cabin, so even though their duffle and clothes will be full of dirt, they will have an intact sleep/wake cycle when they return.

Attend Specialized Camps and Classes

  • There are camps and classes for everything: badminton, musical theater, cheerleading, sewing, cooking, tennis, creative writing. Don’t miss the opportunity to improve a skill or acquire a new one. 

Test Prep:

Special Projects:

Do you have projects you are “going to get to someday?” Hire your son or daughter to do one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Organize photos
  • Scan photos
  • Video your house as a home inventory for insurance purposes.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Clean out a closet.
  • Hold a garage sale with the items they have cleaned out and allow them to keep all or a percentage of the profits.

Bucket List:

List their textbooks:

  • Get last semester’s textbooks listed on Amazon. Sell them, mail them, collect the money.

Sell Digital Photos:

Start a blog:

  • Blogs give you a forum for your thoughts, teach you to create a website. (i.e. marketable skill), and sometimes make a little money. To begin you will need a host server and domain name. I use Siteground as my server and WordPress to build my site. WordPress is free. I have a custom theme called “Divi” that I purchased from Elegant Themes. I share more about blogging in this post.

Get ready for the next school year:

  • Read the assigned summer book or books.
  • Clean out backpacks.
  • Clean out dorm stuff and pack up for the next year.

 

While a job working for someone else is the first choice of most parents for their teen or college student, sometimes that does not work out. But, there are still plenty of ways to make productive use of time and even earn money during the summer. They can free-lance their skills and time, prepare for standardized tests (which can mean money later on), take classes, volunteer, work online, and many other possibilities. Tell me your summer job ideas in the comments below.

PLANNING FOR COLLEGE CHECKLISTS

Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists - Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off and the Glossary of College Admissions Terms.

Raising Responsible Teens: 10 Solutions that Work

Raising Responsible Teens: 10 Solutions that Work

Raising Responsible Teens: 10 Solutions that Work

Raising responsible teens is the desire of most parents. We want our teens to grow into responsible and resilient adults, able to take care of themselves and be a blessing to those around them. We also want our friends and family to encourage us in our efforts. It is hard to parent alone! Miranda Lamb is a mom who has been there. She is not only a mom, but also a teacher to families who have received a court order to participate in her small groups. Miranda has combined her practical experience and love for teens and their parents into a new book called Responsible and Resilient Teens: 10 Secret Parenting Solutions that Work.

raising responsible teens

 Raising Responsible Teens: 10 Solutions that Work

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar.   

 

Miranda begins Responsible and Resilient Teens: 10 Secret Parenting Solutions that Work by discussing the laying of a strong foundation within the family and with your teens. Working with your teens to be responsible and resilient can only begin once the foundation has been laid. After the foundation has been established, she gives her 10 Secret Parenting Solutions.

The 10 Solutions are:

NATURAL CONSEQUENCES

Sometimes we can let the natural consequences of their irresponsibility do the job for us. Miranda helps us understand what a natural consequence is and when to let it take effect.

USING PHYSICAL WORK TO BUILD RESILIENCE

Miranda gives many reasons for how chores or physical work can benefit your teen. Her family lives on a farm so her teens have ample opportunities to work and build resilience and practical skills. She knows that most of us live in smaller spaces, so she includes a list of suggestions for other work. I chuckled remembering our kids working in our yard, speedily making crooked lines in the grass with the tractor and the time our daughter crashed the tractor into our swing set after trying out the cruise control. The work is not always perfect, but it does help them learn how to do it.

 

HOW TO HANDLE MONEY WITH YOUR TEENS

Money is always a tough subject, but Miranda lets us know that money talks! She discusses how to motivate your teens to earn money and to handle it well.

 

THE HOLY GRAIL OF TEENS AND THEIR ELECTRONICS

Electronics make our teens worlds go round. As parents we are more than accustomed to only seeing the top of their heads as they stare longingly into their phones. Miranda shares how to handle these precious electronic devices and gives various tips and tools for helping your teen live responsibily with them.

 

KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY (KNOW WHEN TO RUN…)

Even though you may want to run away from your teens at times, you have to stay and keep rearing them into functioning adults. However, sometimes you do have to walk away.  Miranda discusses when walking away is the best solution.

 

SPECIAL PRIVILEGES

Something that started as a privilege can evolve into an entitlement. Miranda will help you know when this has occurred and what to do about it.

CONSEQUENCES FROM OTHERS

If we bale our teens out of the consequences from teachers, coaches, and other authority figures in their lives, we set them up for failure later. Unless your name is on the football stadium, you will not be able to call college professors or school administrators to handle bad grades or other issues with their behavior. And you definitely will not be able to call their employer. Miranda has seen the worst of this when kids wind up in court.

 

 DEVELOPING BOUNDARIES

Miranda gives guidance on how to develop boundaries with your teen. She even gives hints on how to involve them in the process.

 

Reading Responsible and Resilient Teens: 10 Secret Parenting Solutions that Work is like talking to a girlfriend who has your back. Miranda encourages and supports you in your parenting journey. She is never judgmental in her approach. While she lets you know that raising responsible teens is not something that will happen without your involvement, she always gives grace and helps you release any guilt you may have about your relationship with your teens.

I give Responsible and Resilient Teens: 10 Secret Parenting Solutions that Work 5 stars and a MUST READ rating for any parent of teens.

 

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl, additional Halloween and finals), Bible Verse printables and more.

 

 

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables HERE.

More from Almost Empty Nest:

Free printable driving contract
How to Teach Teens about Money
Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students

Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students

Tax Deductions for Parents of College Students

 

No one likes paying for college and no one likes doing their taxes. Fortunately there are a few ways to make the process more pleasant during tax time with tax deductions for parents of college students. These college student tax credits can give you a few of your tuition dollars back from the government when you file your taxes each year.

For more posts about Paying for College:

How to Complete Your FAFSA

The Complete Guide to Paying for College

 

tax credits and deductions for parents of college students

Tax Deductions for Parents of College Students

 

There are 2 tax credits and one tax deduction available to parents of college students. They are the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and the Student Loan Interest Deduction.

 

The American Opportunity Credit

The American Opportunity Credit is a credit available to parents of college students who claim their student as a dependent on their taxes. College students who are not dependents on anyone else’s return may also claim the credit.

If your adjusted gross income is below $90,000 for single filers and $180,000 for joint filers, you can take up to a $2500 credit per eligible student on your return. The cool thing about credits (as opposed to deductions) is that they come straight off your tax bill.

Your college student must be pursuing a degree or other recognized credential, be at least a half-time student, and have a social security number to claim this credit.

The other cool thing about this credit is that you could potentially receive CASH BACK. 40% of the credit is refundable for most taxpayers.

 

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit is another credit available to parents of college students. You cannot take both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit on the same return. Usually the AOC is better, but you can only take the AOC for 4 years per eligible student. The Lifetime Learning Credit can be taken for an unlimited number of years. So, if you are still paying for expenses after 4 years, you can switch to the LLC.

Although the Lifetime Learning Credit has a lower income threshold ($68,000 for single filers and $136,000 for joint filers), its eligibility requirements are not as strict. It does not require that the student be pursuing a degree and includes courses to acquire or improve job skills and it can be claimed for one or more courses.

The LLC will not result in a refund on your return. It can only reduce the amount you owe.

 

Student Loan Interest Deduction

The student loan interest deduction is not a credit. It is a deduction, meaning it reduces your income, not your tax liability. The maximum deduction is $2,500.

This deduction can be taken by the person who is claiming the student as a dependent AND is legally obligated to pay the student loan interest.

The person who is legally obligated on the loan will receive a 1098-E from each institution to whom $600 or more in interest was paid during the tax year.

The income threshold for this deduction is $85,000 for single taxpayers and $170,000 for joint taxpayers.

 

Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents of College Students Cheat Sheet

I created a cheat sheet to summarize the information in this post. It is available in The Printables Library. You can access it below. These college student tax credits and student loan interest deduction are complicated in their eligibility, so I encourage you to consult a tax professional. I have done my best to report accurate information, which I obtained from IRS Publication 970.  

tax credits and deductions for college students

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl, additional Halloween and finals), Bible Verse printables and more.

 

 

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables HERE.

More from Almost Empty Nest:

crockpot meals for two
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30

 

Many years ago I read an article about How to Make New Year’s Resolutions. The author said that you should make a resolution in each of these categories: financial, social, intellectual, and physical. Because I was a Christian, I added a spiritual category.

Several years later, after reading Mark 12:30, it occurred to me that every goal, whether physical, financial, social, or intellectual is ultimately a spiritual goal. We are called to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) Our entire being works together in everything we do to honor our creator. This post tells you How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30.

A FREE PRINTABLE 18 Page Workbook is available to assist you as you make your New Year’s Resolutions.

How to Make New Year's Resolutions with Mark 12:30

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions using Mark 12:30

 

Taking time to review the year behind and plan for the year ahead is a process everyone should undertake. As the Christmas decorations come down and we begin to rest from the frenzy of the prior days, sitting down for a few hours with a notebook, a pen, and a warm beverage to plan the year ahead is a gift we should give ourselves. Here are some steps to help you through the process:

Meditate on Mark 12:30.

“Love the Lord your God with all your HEART (relationships with others) and with all your SOUL (relationship with God) and with all your MIND (my intellect and skills) and with all your STRENGTH (my body, my finances, my time, my surroundings.)

HEART: relationships with others. Think about the relationships in your life. What do you need to do to improve these relationships? What relationships do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive? How can you live at peace with yourself and others?

Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”

SOUL: relationship with God. What do you need to do to become closer to God?

        Psalm 119:175:  “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.”

        I can’t recommend enough reading the entire chapter of Psalm 119 as you think on your  relationship with God

MIND: A vast category of learning and expanding. It’s not a category of just eliminating the pollutants, but enriching our thoughts with good books, good ideas, new skills, new people. Learn something new this year and use that skill in service to God and man.

Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

James 1:5:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

STRENGTH: physical goals – the bulk of most resolutions – weight, exercise, diet, finances, home improvement, careers, etc. This category could be called “taking care of business.”

These items are the things that strengthen or weaken our hearts, souls, and minds. If our “business” is out of whack, it strains our relationships with others and with God and keeps our minds focused in the wrong place. If our hearts, souls, and minds are out of whack, we have difficulty accomplishing our strengthening goals.

We may even add harmful habits to distract us from our hearts, souls, and minds. Think about what business you need to take care of. What to you need to do to keep your body healthy? How are you spending your money? Are you taking care of the home you are blessed with?

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Luke 11:36: “Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Ephesians 4:1: “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”

Put your goals in writing.

 The FREE PRINTABLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION WORKBOOK is a great place to write down your goals for the new year! 

 

Run some tests.

  • Is it realistic? Is the goal reasonable and accomplish-able or is it just a fantasy?
  • Is it measurable? Should it be measurable? How will you know if you have accomplished your goal or not? Some goals are easy to measure. Did you clean out the closet and give unneeded items to charity or sell them as part of your financial goals? Others are not easily measured, like relationships. While there are concrete, measurable steps that can be taken in your relationships, in the end, only you will know if you are at peace in your relationships.
  • Is it about bananas? Is it a fad or a narrow dictate from an article or book? I reference the lowly banana because periodically I see an article citing the diabolical consequences of eating bananas. Having spent 7 years attending high school cross country and track meets observing thousands of abnormally skinny kids consume millions of pounds of bananas, I can assure you that banana peels make a mess, but they are not the sole cause of an expanding waistline. Realize that certain items, like health and finances, can not be improved with one gimmicky change.
  • Is it a good use of resources and time? There are things that are not worth your time or resources and can become an obsession.

Make a plan – a real one.

Write it down! All the steps! Write them down!

 Be accountable.   

I’m not talking about bearing your soul to everyone on Facebook; just decide who or what is going to spur you on.

 Finally, be patient with yourself.

Resolve to love the person God created and not the one you wished he had created. Just keep moving forward. You can do it.

A new year is a time for self-reflection and planning. Following the instructions for How to Make New Year’s Resolutions Using Mark 12:30 as a guide will help you keep your plans and goals in perspective of the ultimate goal. May you be blessed in the new year.

More From Almost Empty Nest:

Christmas Planner Template

Christmas Planner Template

Digital Christmas Planner Template

 

I use both paper planners and digital planners depending on what I am doing. This year I nerded out and created a complete Digital Christmas Planner Template because digital planners win every time there are numbers to be added.  Christmas lists and budgets and meals are items that are just complicated enough to need a digital Christmas Planner Template. I can’t imagine adding up my budget by hand or erasing and re-adding the numbers every time a change is made.

If you, however, prefer paper even when numbers are involved, check out Stress Less this Christmas for a link to a beautiful paper Christmas Planner created by a friend of mine.

Otherwise, read on to find out how to completely organize your Christmas meals, gift lists, budget, and more with my Digital Christmas Planner Template.

Christmas planner template

Digital Christmas Planner Template

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 

 

This Digital Christmas Planner Template was created to be used with a FREE AirTable Account. AirTable is a super cool organization system that is kinda like a spreadsheet system, but WAY BETTER!! Cells can be formatted to be checkboxes, multiple choice items, dates, times, text, and more. This is awesome for Christmas organization because you need to plan meals and other gatherings, make grocery lists, make gift lists, decide on a budget, and it sure does help if your lists can talk to each other.

 

The ability for the sheets to talk to each other is one of the coolest things about AirTable.

You make a list of recipients on one sheet, then you are able to choose the recipient on your Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other shopping sheets.

THEN, it gets even better. The gifts will also appear by the recipient on the Gift Recipient sheet.

You can plan your meals by occasion. It does not even have to be a full meal. You could set up a meal for the treats you need to bring to your daughter’s classroom party.

You will then be able to select which meal or occasion every item on your grocery list goes with.

AirTable is also an APP that you can download on your phone so you will be able to take your lists with you everywhere you go. All the information will sync from your computer to your phone app.

Every good organization system needs a place for a “Brain Dump.” List everything you can think of that you need to get done. If you give it a date, that date will appear on your calendar.

This entire Christmas Planner Template works with a FREE AirTable Account.

Prefer Paper?