We’re rounding the corner in February and things are (finally) starting to feel hopeful to me! As of last week, 15% of American’s have received the COVID vaccine, with the figure continuing to rise. Since I have Lupus, I qualify for group 1b, and I’m getting my first dose of the vaccine this coming Sunday!
Also, despite last week’s devastating snowpacalypse in Texas, our weather bounced back this week, with sunshine and highs in the 70s! It certainly aided those who were in recovery mode from the storm damage. Our Texas weather is so crazy🤪.
My heart and mind are longing for spring, and this month’s SO in the KNOW has a decidedly colorful, springy feel to it! I’m pretty excited to share what I’m learning and loving in my empty nest with you today!
What I’m Learning
There’s so much good stuff this month! As always, click any pink text link or image you see (including the collages) for more information.
Netflix Pick of the Month
Speed Cubers is a 40-minute feel-good documentary that the story of the special bond — and competitive spirit — shared by the world’s Rubik’s Cube-solving record breakers. But most of all, it’s a precious story of acceptance, love, mentorship, and true friendship. Bob and I were doubtful at first. But when we finished, we looked at each other and agreed that this short documentary might have been the best thing we’ve watched this year so far.
Fun Pandemic Date Night/Girls Night
Have you ever heard of Cozymeal? They offer fully interactive online cooking classes taught by world-class chefs from around the world! How cool is that? Think tomorrow’s Zoom pasta-making class with Chef Davide right from Rome, Italy, or homemade hummus and falafel class with Chef Roxy taught from Tel Aviv, Isreal. You pay per device, and classes are usually either $29 or $39 per device. I love this for a creative gift idea or a unique activity to do with friends or loved ones who don’t live nearby! My assistant, Casey, who lives in Ohio gifted her boyfriend Robbie, who lives in Scotland, a cooking class for Valentine’s Day! 👩🍳💘👨🍳
Interior Designer’s Flower Favorites
Based on recs from my interior designer and multiple other home design and decor influencers I now follow on Instagram, I have a new, amazing spot to share with you! Afloral is the brand for gorgeous dried flowers and grasses, silk flowers, artificial greenery and plants, and more! I ordered several of their gorgeous pink peonies to use in my new office! (It’s pink and white, of course, with this as the main fabric!)
Don’t you think everybody needs a lifelike bunch of tulips right now? (There are several colors of tulips on sale right now!) Here’s a little sampling of some of the other gorgeousness you’ll find at Afloral. Right now, take $20 off a $100 purchase sitewide at Afloral!
Tula’s New Recycling Program
When it comes to clean beauty, Tula is the brand for me! I wrote a post about several of my favorite Tula products, but I’ve discovered a few more lately, along with another huge reason to fall in love with the brand! Here are my new faves:
- Face Filter Blurring & Moisturizing Primer – I told you about this primer in my recent post about Five Midlife Makeup Mistakes You May Be Making (And How to Fix Them). It uses probiotics, along with licorice & chia seeds to nourish your skin as it smooths and evens skin tone. But my favorite thing about it is the special glow particles that give you a sun-kissed look! It’s really remarkable!
- 24-7 Hydrating Day & Night Moisturizer – Somehow this moisturizer manages to be lightweight so it plumps and hydrates without leaving skin greasy. It harnesses the power of squalane & peptides to give you an amazing glow.
- So Polished Exfoliating Sugar Scrub – An Allure Best of Beauty winner (basically the Oscars of the beauty world!), this gentle, natural scrub is full of probiotics and ingredients like sugar, pineapple, and papaya. If you’re over 50, you know that exfoliation is an important part of skincare! It reveals brighter and smoother skin allowing fresher, newer skin to take its place. I was amazed at how well this gentle scrub worked (and smelled)!
- Claydate Detoxing & Toning Mask Stick – A mess-free mask? Yes, please! This detoxifying mask uses witch hazel and apple cider vinegar to draw out impurities and tighten your skin, leaving a noticeable difference!
- Remember you can use the code 15SUZY for 15% off your Tula Order!
Tula’s clean and effective products are full of probiotic extracts and superfoods, which is enough reason to love them. But if you need another one, look no further: Tula has a new recycling program! Now you can recycle Tula jars and tubes that can’t be curbside recycled for free! All you do is sign up HERE, then collect your empties, box them up and ship them. TerraCycle does the rest, turning your packaging into new materials!
What I’m Loving
One of the biggest home and fashion trends for spring is color! As we’ve spent more time at home during the past 12 months, we’ve longed to bring more colorful elements into our homes to brighten up our spaces. (Not to mention our moods!) This month’s SO in the KNOW clearly reflects that happy trend.
- Ruffle Popover in Crinkle Gingham – Next week on Empty Nest Blessed, we’ll be running down the Spring & Summer Style Trends! Here’s a sneak peek. Gingham is always big for spring, but this year you’ll see it more than ever! This darling pullover comes in three colorways and incorporates several hot spring trends: gingham, ruffles, and puff sleeves!
2. 14K Gold Plated CZ Hoop Earrings – My mom always told me that you can wear fakes as long as they look like you could afford them if they were real! That’s awesome advice! These small CZ hoop earrings come in white gold, rose gold, and yellow gold, and they’re just $12.95! 😲 They’re Amazon best-sellers, have excellent reviews, and they come with a 90-day money-back guarantee!
3. Casual Mesh Sneakers – With over 18K ratings on Amazon, these best-sellers are the perfect casual sneakers! They work well on my wide (C width) feet, and because of the elasticized upper, they also work on my friend Robin’s narrow feet. They come in every color of the rainbow (click through to see!), and they’re lightweight and super comfy!
4. COOK With COLOR 7 Pc Kitchen Gadget Set – Do you love it? Along with pink, this happy copper-coated stainless steel set also comes in black, gray, lavender, mint green, navy, and white. My pink can opener makes me smile every time I use it! 😁
5. Zojirushi 16 oz. Stainless Mug – In the March 2021 edition of Consumer Reports, the magazine reported the results of their tests on travel mugs. The objective? To see which one stayed the hottest (or coldest) the longest. This $25 insulated mug came out on top, beating better-known mugs like the Yeti Rambler, among others! It scored top ratings not only for temperature retention, but also ease of cleaning, spill resistance, and styling. It slips effortlessly into a cup holder, and comes in a wide range of colors! I splurged on the Embr Mug for Bob for Christmas, but I’m thinking I should have just bought him this! 😣😬
6. Pink Disposable Face Masks – I’ll admit it. Disposable face masks are mostly what I wear now! They don’t seem as hot as the cloth masks and I don’t have to yell to be heard! Of course, the pink is darling, but the cute tie-dye options are tempting me!
7. WORX Multi-Function Jump Starter – I read about this in the electronics/tech column in the Wall Street Journal and ordered it immediately! It’s a quick and safe multi-function portable car jump starter that not only charges your car battery, but also has USB chargers for tablets, phones, and other small electronics. It’s small enough to fit in your glove compartment and it has LED lights that can be used as a work light or a flashing strobe light in case of emergency. 🚗
8. 12 oz Ceramic Mug w/ Protective Silicone Sleeve – I love to have a drink on my desk while I’m working. But I’m terrified that I’m going to knock it over onto my computer! (That actually happened to a friend of mine! Buh-bye laptop. 😭) This cute mug is also known as the “Mommy Sippy Cup”😂—trust me, your daughter has heard of it! (Some colors also available in 16 oz.)
9. Dove Deep Moisture Hand Sanitizer – This moisturizing hand sanitizer gel from Dove leaves your hands soft, without compromising antibacterial efficacy! It comes in original or Shea Butter for even more hydration.
11. “Smart” Vase – According to the experts at ProFlowers, in order to maximize the longevity of your fresh flowers, you should change the water every 2-3 days. This unique vase makes that so easy! You twist the bottom of the vase slightly to release and drain old water and then twist again to reveal the stems for trimming. It’s not cheap, but if you’re a fresh flower person, you’ll love it! If you’re interested, be sure to check the coupon box on the item’s page for 15% off!
12. Monogram Jute Tote – What would a SO in the KNOW be without a fun Etsy find?! This darling monogram jute tote is under $20! It would make a precious bridesmaid gift (for all you mamas who are planning weddings right now), or an affordable, thoughtful gift for a friend or family member. Completely customizable style, font, and colors!
13. Fuzzy Non-Slip Slipper Socks – Research shows that keeping your feet warm while you sleep lowers your core body temperature and prevents hot flashes! These are the ones I wear. I like that they have a non-skid sole and they go over the ankle so they don’t slip off at night. 😴
Do you feel more in the KNOW than you did when you started this post? I hope so! What are you learning & loving in your empty nest this month? Leave me a comment and let me know!