Once a month I open up, give you a life update, and share my heart with you. I wish I could sit down and have coffee with each one of you, and we could have a good long chat in person. This is the next best thing! So, In the spirit of those old SNL “Coffee Talk” skits with Mike Myers as Linda Richman, let’s have cawfee, and let’s tawk! Here’s what’s on my heart this month.
Cozy up and Read, Y’all
We’ve had a little taste of fall in Dallas this week with lots of rain and temps around the 70s. Honestly, it makes me want to stay home, put on something soft, and curl up with a good book! Does cooler weather make you want to do that too? I got lots of positive feedback from you back in June when I shared my summer reading list back on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page, so I decided to update it with all of the books I’m planning to read this fall. If you have any recommendations for me, I’d love them! I actually just finished a powerful book that was recommended by Stephanie, an Empty Nest Blessed reader and friend who works in the funeral industry. It’s called Healing the Empty Nester’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas for Parents After the Kids Move Out. It was written by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., one of America’s foremost grief counselors. If you’re a new empty nester who is struggling to adjust to the empty nest, or even if you’ve been an empty nester for a year or more and you’re still wrestling with your adjustment, this book will really help you. Thank you, Stephanie!
BTW, when you go to the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page, you can click the little box in the right corner beside each book to read my comments about each one. Also, if you want to see what I’m reading at the current moment, you can always look on the right sidebar of my website, where I always have a clickable link of what’s presently occupying the space on my bedside table.
Giving Myself a Gift
Once I got past the initial grief of the empty nest, one of the biggest challenges I faced was learning to give myself (guilt-free!) permission to focus on many of the areas of life that I set aside while busy in the child-rearing years. In my efforts to be a “good mom,” I neglected self-care. Honestly, I think I saw it as too self-indulgent. Oh, I did what needed to be done in terms of my health and beauty routine, but I never took the time to do things like getting my nails done. Were you like that too?
I’m here to tell you, I’ve come out the other side! Although it felt uncomfortable at first, I’ve gradually learned to get more comfortable doing things just because I enjoy them! One of the things I’ve started doing is using the DownloadCherry app (only available in Dallas) to order up in-home manicures and pedicures for myself whenever I want! (Yep, it’s kind of like an Uber for nails – hahaha!) I reached out to the folks at Cherry, and they generously offered a discount code for Empty Nest Blessed readers. (Thank you, Cherry!!!!) To try the service for yourself, type DownloadCherry in the search box on the App Store. Once you’ve installed the app, use the promo code EmptyNestBlessed to get $10 off your first service. This is not a sponsored post, I just love this service and wanted to share it with you!
What I’ve Been Streaming…and LOVING
Well, I finally jumped on the Downton Abbey train, and now I’m completely obsessed! I’m streaming it for free on Amazon Prime. Did you know that if you have Amazon Prime you have access to it too? Just download the Prime Video app in the App Store, sign in with your Amazon password and start watching on your tablet or phone. Alternatively, you can watch on Amazon.com, on the Prime Video page.
This award-winning series by Julian Fellowes takes place over the course of 12 years and centers on an English estate. It focuses on the efforts of the Earl of Grantham and his family to hold onto tradition during a time of rapid change and growth in England. Of course, the acting is sublime, and the scenery is breathtaking; what I didn’t expect was that it would be HILARIOUS! (Dame Maggie Smith has the best lines!)
I’m now firmly convinced that good manners, kindness, and a strong cup of tea can solve just about any problem in life.
Oh, and also, I speak with an English accent when I dream now, just sayin’. 🙂
A Movie for Your Next In-House Date Night
Yesterday at Bible Study two friends were joking about a scene from the 2015 movie The Intern. I’d forgotten how cute that movie is, and I’m going to see if I can tempt Bob away from football this weekend to watch it with me! In it, a 70-year-old widower (Robert De Niro) decides that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and decides to head back to work. He snags an internship at an online fashion site, where he has to learn the everything from the updated lingo and tech to modern employee relations. His ageless charm, wit, and wisdom make him popular with his co-workers, and he becomes a trusted confidante of his boss (Anne Hathaway). It’s pretty adorable! To watch, you can rent or buy it from Amazon or stream it on Netflix. (Rated PG-13.)
What Do YOU Want me to Write About?
One of the best compliments people give me about Empty Nest Blessed is that I write exactly the way I talk! I do my best to be authentic, and to write about a wide variety of topics—because I’m interested in a wide variety of topics! (And I’m pretty sure you are too.) I know not everyone wants to read about everything I cover, and that’s okay! I’m so grateful for each of you, and I love it when you open up and share your ideas and your hearts with me. I honestly feel like you’re my friends, and I take the responsibility of being your friend very seriously.
Some of my most popular posts were written because you asked me to write them. (Examples are my recent post about what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to empty nest grief and my older post on how to pray for your adult children.) Please keep your ideas coming! You can always leave me a comment or email me.
I love a good dress! This one is swingy and flowy, and it makes me feel so girly. The tie in the back ensures a perfect fit, and it’s an ideal dress for fall—especially if you live in a warmer climate. In these photos, I styled it with my favorite wedges, but I’ve also worn it with these cute ruffle-back booties (in taupe) on cooler days.
Also, I just had to ask my photographer to get a closeup shot of my emoji necklace, because I knew you would love it! It’s only $32 and would make a precious gift. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that it’s my favorite emoji. #totaloveruse
I’m excited about next week! On Monday, I’m telling you all about our trip to Walt Disney World last week, and I’ve got some tips on how to “do” Disney as empty nesters. I’m also bringing in a surprise Disney expert to give some professional tips and do a Facebook Live with me! Later in the week, I’m going to do another installment in my Tackling Your Tech series. (Read the first one on being smartphone savvy here.) This time we’re going to talk all about Instagram. (It’s now the fastest growing social network with 1 billion monthly users!)
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Photos by Megan Weaver.