Ah…hindsight is always 20/20! Somehow, after the holidays, gift ideas and suggestions kept popping up in various places! Some were on my social media feeds (clearly Siri IS listening!). Some were things my kids gave me or each other, and still others were things friends shared with me.
I’d never want to let a good gift idea go by without sharing it! In fact, I’ve gotten a few requests to keep the Holiday Gift Guide up and active on ENB because people are still hungry for birthday, bridal, and baby, gift ideas! I’ll do that until the end of January. You can find it on the top navigation bar at the right of any page on the ENB website.
Also, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! (Don’t worry, we’re working on a Valentine’s Gift Ideas under $30 post for next week.) BTW, if you’re hungry for Valentine’s ideas now, our Amazon Valentine’s Gift Ideas list is already LIVE on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page!
Gift Ideas I Wish I’d Put on the Holiday Gift Guide
- Portable Cereal Cup – When I found this, I immediately added it to my Amazon College Essentials list! College kids can take their cereal to-go, with no bowl or spoon needed. Brilliant!
- Earbud Cleaning Kit – It’s a little gross (to me at least! 😬), but this clever kit would have been a perfect stocking stuffer for just about everyone in our family!
- Mama’s Ring – I saw this in the Real Simple Holiday Gift Guide in late December and just loved it. What a sweet gift idea for a new mom, new grandparent, or a gift for yourself! I think a stack of these would be so pretty and meaningful. Comes in various metal options.
- Pass-Along Notes to Share the Love – This precious book is full of tear-out notes that you can use to encourage, comfort, and inspire others! Each note includes includes a prayer, Scripture verse, and an inspirational quote. Check out the entire series HERE.
- Fun Stainless Steel Paring Knife – These would make great hostess gifts! They have a 4″ blade and come with a sheath.
- Velvet Brown Bear Headband – This is the cutest $6 gift idea for kids. I found it a few days before Christmas and bought one for my 27-year-old daughter-in-law 😂! She’s a Baylor Bear, just like I am, so I thought it would be a fun stocking stuffer! It came just in time, and she loved it.
- Oversized Microfiber/Sherpa Wearable Blanket – (As seen on Shark Tank.) I would totally wear this cozy wearable blanket, like, every day! Lots of colors available!
- Nana Hats Banana Preserver – Not sure why I didn’t know, but apparently if you cover the stem of bananas they stay fresh longer! 😲 Bob eats a banana every day, and this would be a fun, silly surprise for him to discover one morning! #addtocart
- No-Mess Cake or Pie Server – I wish I’d had this when we tried to cut Jesus’ Birthday Cake on Christmas Eve! Since my daughter-in-law has a side hustle baked goods business, we always seem to have a pie or cake around for any special occasion! No one wants to make the first cut, because it’s always such a shame to mess up her gorgeous creations! This would be such a perfect hostess gift (or a self-gift, just sayin’!).
- Leather Reusable Cupholder & Chain – What an original idea! Lots of size, color, and strap options! Click through to see photos of exactly how people carry this chic accessory.
- Invisible Ink Pens with UV Light – When I was little, I was ob-sessed with invisible ink pens. Remember they came with one pen for writing, and one that you used to color over the invisible writing to reveal the secret message? This is the updated version! These can write anywhere (think tees, skin, paper!) and batteries are included and installed. What a fun idea for a little Valentine’s or Easter gift for your grands!
My Plans for ENB This Year
In my post 5 Quick & Easy Ways to Get Healthier in 2022 – Here’s What I’m Doing, I confessed that last year I suffered from burnout and even thought about shutting down ENB. So many of you responded so kindly and let me know that (1) you’ve struggled with burnout too; and (2) you appreciate Empty Nest Blessed. Your words of encouragement meant so much to me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am going to do my best not to get to the burnout point again this year! I want to stay true to my mission to encourage, inspire, and bless you all with rich, helpful content! But I also want to take time to recharge. I love my job so much, but when you have a job that is all about sharing your life, it can be tricky to find the balance between sharing and time away! Not only that, but I work really hard to be sensitive to the people in my life who are comfortable with my sharing and those who are not!
I’ve always wanted Empty Nest Blessed to be reflective of our interesting and complex lives as women! On any given day, we might be involved in a multitude of things. As I write this it’s 11:30 a.m. and I’ve already worked out, started the laundry, had a meeting, had people come to pick up a table for refinishing, talked to my daughter, made travel plans, talked on the phone with a friend, and texted with a few others! I love the variety of things that go on in the busy and full lives of empty nesters, and I want Empty Nest Blessed to be reflective of that variety! In terms of content, that means I see ENB as more of a magazine-style lifestyle blog. I love fashion, but I think if I only wrote about fashion I would get really bored!
That said, when I get on Instagram, the comparison engine starts, and that can be difficult for me. I feel like everyone is doing everything better than I am! Reels seem to have taken over, and while I see them as a fun part of the entirety of my content, they will never be the primary vehicle for me! This website will always be my home base, but we do work hard to make sure ENB is out there in lots of other places.
- Instagram – Where I share most of my day-to-day life. (Especially on my Story.)
- Facebook – Pretty much whatever is on IG shows up on FB too!
- Pinterest – Lot of fun boards here!
- Twitter – I think Twitter is kind of scary and mean! I don’t really use it the way it’s meant to be used, because I don’t want to get sucked into that. I just use it to promote my blog posts and occasionally to retweet something relevant to our demographic.
- YouTube – I want to utilize YouTube more this year! We’ll see!
- LTK – You can shop my fashion looks HERE.
- Amazon – The Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page is full of gift guides, idea lists, and more. You can check it out HERE. (If you don’t have access to the link, you can always just type amazon.com/shop/emptynestblessed into your browser.
I’m going to continue to partner ONLY with brands I really love, and if I’m not excited about a partnership, I’m not going to accept it. If there is a brand you’d like me to look into working with, or a specific topic you’d like to see me cover, please let me know!
As always, the kindest thing you can do is to share Empty Nest Blessed with your friends and family. That means the most to me!
Have you heard of J.Jill? I’m loving this perfect-for-empty-nesters brand! I can wear their styles to do anything from cook dinner, work, run errands, relax, go to lunch with friends, etc.! I’m working with them on a campaign called “In Your Element” that is about that very thing!
I don’t know about you, but I think of my style as just another way to express myself and be creative. Every day I’m kind of like an artist! What I choose to wear, and how I style it makes me a one-of-a-kind work of art! J.Jill’s styles feature soft fabrics that feel good on my body, rich colors and textures, and relaxed, easy designs that let my personality—and creativity—shine through.
Amazon Good Stuff
Amazon is great, but let’s be real, it’s a behemoth and it can get overwhelming! Let me be your guide to help you make sense of it all. You can always check out the constantly updated Empty Nest Blessed Amazon page – Find everything from links to the supplements I take to the list of College Student First Aid Essentials that I developed in conjunction with Dr. Jill Grimes, author of multi-award winning book The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook. Beyond that, I do try to share links of Amazon finds that I think you’ll love.
A Few Personal Amazon Favorites
- The BEST long sleeve layering tees in tons of colors! The ones I buy are well-priced, and they’re the ones worn by front-line health care workers! (Read that: They wash well, don’t pill, and the color doesn’t fade out.) They’re 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton.
- Cute & girly workout skirts. They have a pocket for your cell phone and one for tennis balls if you’re a tennis player.
- My favorite comfy, everyday bras.
Top Searched Styles on Amazon
Click through to see all of the available colors and sizes for these trending items.
1. Wide-Leg Jeans
2. Mini Bag – This bag has been carried by so many celebs! It’s the cutest! What color should I order for spring?
3. Birkenstock Shearling Clogs
4. Retro Sneakers
5. THESE and THESE Retro Sunglasses
6. Baguette Handbags – These look way more expensive than they are!
7. High-Waisted, Pleated Tennis Skirts
8. Cottagecore Dresses – Sweet dresses! I just ordered one to check the quality out for you! They’re an affordable alternative to the trendy but pricey HillHouse Nap Dresses that are so popular right now.
9. Flannel Shirts
10. Oversized Sweater Vests – These are totally trending everywhere right now!
Happy Weekend! After a busy week of regrouping, Bob and I are going to relax this weekend. We’re finally watching the Harry Potter movies because we were sick of our kids trolling us because we hadn’t seen them! 🤣 I’m also trying to talk Bob into going out to the movies (popcorn is always an inducement!) to see American Underdog.
It’s the story of football’s Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves at the supermarket to being a two-time NFL MVP! Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen it and what you thought, okay?