I hope you’ve had a good month! I know y’all know this (since I won’t shut up about it!), but the biggest thing we had going in March was Bob’s hip replacement surgery. He’s recuperating well, and I’m going to miss him when he goes back to the office next week! Another big thing that happened was that our daughter came home for her last spring break ever. (Welcome to the real world, baby!) She graduates in May and already booked two musical theater gigs back-to-back, so she’s employed through mid-November. (No small feat for a musical theater major!) We’re so proud of her! I’ll share more details on where she’ll be performing in a few weeks when she’s able to make it public. Finally, our son who lives in Austin came in for a long weekend, and we loved seeing him. He left straight from church to head back last Sunday, and I totally embarrassed myself by starting to cry as I hugged him goodbye!
I’ve got so many cool things to share with you this month! Let’s get to it!
What I’m Learning
Too Many Choices – Did you know that Albert Einstein coined the phrase “operation paralysis?” It means indecision in the face of too many choices. It’s why he opted to wear the same thing every single day! Far from inducing joy and freedom, most of us find too many choices somewhat anxiety-producing. The challenge for businesses from Netflix to Chili’s is to provide just enough choices to excite, but not too many to overwhelm. I get it! I find too many options make me stressed. Do you? I’ve just added The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwarz to my reading list up on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page.
Speaking of That… – If you haven’t visited my Amazon page in a while, you need to do it! You’ll find lists of my favorite drugstore products, gift ideas, and incredible Amazon fashion finds. I add to it pretty much daily, so you might want to bookmark it for future reference! Also, be sure to check out my recent post on all of the Amazon Prime benefits you may be missing. It was one of my most popular posts this month!
Date My Grandma – Have you checked out the hilarious and completely adorable six-part series called Date My Grandma on the AARP YouTube channel? Grandkids (accompanied by their parents) interview three potential suitors for their grandmas, then pick a lucky “winner” and help plan the date. #amustwatch
How Long to Plank – If you include planks in your workout routine, you’ve probably wondered about the ideal amount of time to hold your planks to reap the most benefit. According to Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of PhilanthroFIT in NYC, the answer is (drumroll, please!)…three planks of 60 seconds each. If you’re new to planking, start with shorter sets and work up to or hold a plank for 10 seconds, relax for five to 10 seconds, then re-engage for 10 seconds. Repeat each set three to six times.
Loneliness – A recent study from Cigna Corp. found that about half of Americans are lonely. It also showed that loneliness is worse for health than obesity or inactivity and is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day! Many have argued that technology is the cause, keeping us from face-to-face communication with others. But tech can also be part of the solution, with apps like Join Papa, which summon “grandchildren on demand.” College students show up for shopping, chores, or chit-chat. (BTW, if your college student loves spending time with seniors, this might be a good part-time job option! Click here for more info.) Another tech option that’s been in the news lately is ElliQ, an interactive robot companion specially designed to give older adults opportunities to stay sharp, connected and engaged.
What I’m Loving
Click on any of the items in the collage above or the images below for more information.
1. Spanx Swim Transformation Tube – If you read my Best Bathing Suits for Beach Babes Over Fifty post, you probably remember this unique item! This “swim accessory” can be worn 13 ways! Use it to turn a bikini into a tankini, extend the bottom of your bathing suit into a skirt, or transform your top into a bandeau and more! Check out the photos on the left sidebar of this page for a few of the ways to use it!
2. Voloom Volumizing Hair Iron – After hearing about this from another blogger, I read some of the (outstanding) reviews and bought this unique tool! I’ve been using it for a week or so, and it’s made a huge difference in my hair! It’s designed for short to medium hair and really does add volume right from the root. It’s not cheap, but I no longer need expensive volumizing sprays and texturizers. Check out the how-to video on this page! #doesnthurtthatitspink
3. Italian Leather Bow Bag – If you’re shopping for a white handbag this year, look no further! This gorgeous bag is 54% off, and the tie at the top can either be fashioned into a bow or a knot if you prefer. This luxe bag is a steal because everything at Mark & Graham is an additional 20% off this weekend!
4. Wardrobe Wisdom – Carole, one of my precious Empty Nest Blessed followers from England, told me about this book, and I bought it immediately based on her recommendation! Y’all, it’s wonderful! Royal Lady’s Maid Alicia Healey tells you how to shop, pack, decide what to wear, and care for your clothes. Throughout the book, she shares real-life tales of her life as a 21st-century Lady’s Maid. This would make a great gift! #ifyouloveddowntonthenbuythis #forsure
6. Elite Eye Serum – This eye serum is full of Hyaluronic Acid, vitamins, and green tea extract to plump up and smooth out your undereye lines and wrinkles and restore moisture to that thirsty area. I’ve been using it at night, and I love it. It stays on instead of just evaporating away like some eye creams.
7. Zella Low-Profile Socks – These breathable socks have a low-profile (Translation: you can wear them with your slip ons and no one will ever know!), and they stay in place! #problemsolved
8. Arnicare Gel – If you’ve never used Arnica before, you need to try it! A homeopathic gel made from the Arnica montana plant, this fast-absorbing gel relieves pain, soothes sore muscles, and helps bruises and burns heal faster.
9. Veil Mineral Primer – This oil-free, weightless SPF 15 primer is the one my makeup artist recommends. It conceals redness, minimizes pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, and keeps your makeup fresh all day. I’ve tried lots of other primers, but this one really is the best. If you want to try it but don’t want to invest in a large bottle, try the mini size. (I love it so much, I buy the value size! Hahaha!)
10. Travel Steamer – I don’t travel without this steamer! It has great reviews on Amazon, and it’s under $20. It’s the most convenient and fastest way to get the wrinkles out of your clothes when you’re in a hotel room or a cruise cabin!
11. Maybelline Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick – Maybelline has just launched a line of six universal lipsticks! Honestly, I’m not sure how they can all be universal, but I’m definitely going to snag one when I’m at Walmart this weekend! #research
Happy Weekend! Do you have big weekend plans? Now that we know where our daughter is going to be performing through November, we’re going to be busy making lots of travel plans and reservations this weekend! (Not to mention the fact that, with Bob’s new hip, he’s ready to get up and go!) All of our travel talk has me hot to shop for some cute travel looks, so I’m sure I’ll be online shopping too!
Coming up next week on Empty Nest Blessed, I’m telling you all about how you can design your own one-of-a-kind jewelry for giving—or getting—this Mother’s Day! I’m also going to give you the 411 on where to shop for your spring & summer travel getaways, and I’m going to do an entire post on easy, breezy dresses that will keep you cool for summer—at great prices. (You won’t believe where I’m gonna have you shopping!!!)
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