We’re rounding the corner to summer, and my heart is longing for some lazy days by the pool and under the beach umbrella, how about you? I love sharing what’s on my radar every month. In May, you’ll find I was all about streamlining my life and travel, and I think this post reflects that!
Here’s to products and services that make our lives easier, simpler, and that give us more time to spend with the people we love doing the things that we love! As always, you can click any pink text link or image you see for more information. (Yes! That means the collages are clickable!)
What I’m Learning
Why Use a Travel Agent?
It’s no secret that more people than ever are traveling right now! With the increased demand and scarcity in supply, it can be tough to navigate the ins and outs of the travel industry. (Let alone try to find a bargain!) Travel expert Samantha Brown released an article a few weeks ago entitled 5 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent Now More Than Ever. So what were her five reasons?
- They save you time on planning.
- You have a real person watching your back.
- They’re the ones who will handle any future headaches.
- They’re there to handle any unexpected situations.
- Often, they have access to discounts regular travelers don’t.
I have personally used Shannon Leyerle of Vacations by Shannon and highly recommend her! She’s an empty nester, an Empty Nest Blessed subscriber, and has been a friend since college. She did an amazing job planning our recent multi-generational Disney trip! I’ve also heard from a couple of ENB followers who have used her and been thrilled! (BTW, this isn’t sponsored in any way! Just passing on a good rec to you, my friends!)
What I’m Streaming
In an era of bad streaming options, I was so excited to find an uplifting 30-minute per episode talk series on Netflix! It’s from back in 2019, but it holds up well! In One on One with Kirk Cameron, the former Growing Pains star joins some of his friends for rock climbing and other fun adventures as well as probing conversations about life and faith. He talks to pals like Eric Metaxes, Phil Robertson, his Growing Pains costars Jeremy and Tracey, and more. I’ve found THIS faith-based series so encouraging!
Next up for me is The Chosen. Have you seen it? Let me know what you’re streaming in the comments, okay? I’m always looking for good recommendations!
How to Stop Credit Card Offers in the Mail
I got a great reader question last month and I wanted to share the answer with everyone!
So, you help with practical things, like reducing catalog mailings. How about all the credit card applications?? I get 2-3 several times weekly. Is there one place to stop them?
Yes! I’m so glad you asked. Those pre-approved credit card offers can be a real nuisance, not to mention a security risk! Here’s how it happens: Your name gets placed on lists that credit reporting agencies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax sell to credit card companies. (But only if you meet the credit requirements to prequalify for specific cards.) Then, credit card issuers then use this information to send preapproved or prescreened credit card offers.
To stop them, go to the official credit bureau opt-out site: OptOutPreScreen.com. Once there you’ll have options.
- Opt-out electronically for 5 years.
- Opt-out permanently, which must be done via U.S. mail. You’ll send in a form that you will find on the OptOutPreScreen.com site.
- Opt-out by phone by calling 888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688).
Please note that all of the options will ask you to provide your name and address, along with your Social Security number and date of birth. Processing time is typically five days or less.
How to Get FREE Covid Tests
Several months ago, you may have heard that, in an effort to make Covid testing more accessible, the government was giving out two FREE Covid tests to every household. You had to go to USPS.com and register to get your tests delivered right to your door. We did that. Did you? We haven’t had to use ours yet, but we take them with us when we travel, just in case!
Now the FREE testing program has expanded, and every household can get eight FREE Covid tests. Again, all you have to do is go to USPS.com to register, and they will be shipped right to your door (Free delivery).
What I’m Loving
The collage above is clickable for more information on any item.
1. Ponytail Baseball Cap – I love it when Lululemon makes adorable, affordable accessories! (I love my stylish and practical $38 Lululemon Everyday Belt Bag! I already own it in black, and I’m about to order it in pink and white too!) BUT I DIGRESS! (Sorry!) This sweat-wicking Fast and Free Ponytail Running Hat has a big back opening for your ponytail, and it’s also just $38. I think it would make a great gift! My assistant, Natalie, gave one to her mom for Mother’s Day. 💗
2. Portable Folding Clothes Hangers (Set of 10.) – These non-slip, lightweight, retractable hangers are fantastic to take when you travel. I take mine every time we go for longer than a weekend so I can hang everything and not have to deal with wrinkles. Click HERE and check out the photo gallery to see how they work. #theyaregenius
3. Crossbody Zipper Wallet Phone Case (for iPhone 13) – this clever RFID-blocking cell phone case/wallet has an all-around zippered pouch on the back that holds up to 8 credit cards, plus a little cash and your car key. It comes with a crossbody strap, which you can fold in half, converting it into a wristlet strap.
4. Heated Eyelash Curler – I own this rechargeable heated lash curler and it’s my new favorite beauty tool! Made by Grande Cosmetics (known for their best-selling GrandeLash lash growth serum), it is really more of a lash lifter than a lash curler. It uses the perfect amount of heat to lift your lashes without the crimp or pinch of a traditional lash curler.
- Learn more at GrandeCosmetics.
- Learn more at Sephora.
- Learn more at Ulta.
- (IT’S THE SAME PRICE EVERYWHERE, but I thought you might have a favorite brand!)
5. Spring Scallop Weekly Notepad – In last Sunday’s Instagram post, I shared a little about my weekly schedule and how I organize it. I keep my main calendar on my phone, and then I like to write it out on this darling weekly planner notepad on Sunday afternoons. Somehow the act of just writing it out by hand helps me to focus on the week to come. Also, honestly, this notepad makes me happy just looking at it. 😄 (Those colors!) It’s from our pals at Joy Creative Shop. I am in love with their entire Spring Scallop collection and they have some great ideas for Father’s Day! You can take 10% off your entire order with the exclusive discount code ENB10.
7. 20 Pairs of Crazy Fun Earrings – My 80-something-year-old mom likes to wear fun earrings to the hair salon because the stylists love it and make a big fuss over her! So, I’m constantly on the hunt for whimsical earrings for her. I ran across this cute earring set and immediately added it to my cart. When it arrived, I snagged a couple of pairs for myself and picked out a few pairs for her. She got the water bottles for Mother’s Day because I’m always reminding her to drink more water!
8. Insulated Coffee Mug with Handle – When you’re a spiller 🙃, like me, an insulated mug with a handle and a lid is a must-have! (Those insulated tumblers without handles just seem to slip out of my hands!) I love this one so much that I bought one in blue for Bob! (Lots of color options and super lightweight.)
9. Identity Protection Roller Stamps – I get lots of packages! After almost cutting myself using a box cutter to remove the address on a package one day, I decided there had to be a better way! Enter this cool roller stamp that is designed to do just that! It has a wide scroll wheel, so it covers up a lot of info in one just swipe (no multiple passes). Comes in a set of 2.
10. Custom Gold-Filled Bracelet – Have you heard of the Little Words Project? In the founder’s own words, she started the company to “inspire and encourage people to be kind to themselves and to pay that kindness forward, one bracelet at a time.” This can be such a sweet way to encourage others (or yourself). We’ve linked to the create your own bracelet, but you’ll want to check out their best sellers HERE.
One personal note: I’m not a fan of the popular trend of using profane language and inserting a smiley or an asterisk where a strategic letter should go.🙄 Unfortunately, there are a couple of those bracelets on this site, which I didn’t realize when I linked this bracelet.
11. Women’s 2 in 1 Running Shorts – These are my favorite shorts right now! I love that they have a compression (not tight or restrictive, just supporting) underneath and loose, flowy shorts on top. They also have a cell phone pocket that’s hidden inside. 🙌 I wear them on walks so I have my phone handy if I want to snap a photo, answer a call, or listen to music on my headphones, but still be hands-free. There are 10 color options, and they fit TTS.
12. Just Rest 90 Day Devotional Journal – This new devotional from fellow empty nester Melanie Redd is like a soothing balm for your weary soul. If you’re in need of peace, calm, and soul rest, take this 90-day journey. I promise it’s just what you need. With short devotionals, ample space for journaling (with good prompts provided), and even prayers and declarations to say out loud, this devotional will encourage your heart.
13. Personalized Mesh Seashell Bag – My daughter gave me this happy mesh shell bag for Christmas, and even had it personalized for me! I wear it crossbody when I walk the beach, and it’s the perfect place for my treasures. This would make a great gift for a beach trip with your gal pals or family members!
14. 6 Piece Set-Melamine Dinnerware – Have you heard of the brand French Bull? They’re known for making perfect-for-the-patio brightly colored melamine dinnerware and serving ware. (Plus more!) These plates are cute, but really they’re just my way of introducing you to the brand. I love that they’re conveniently available right on Amazon! You can see the full line HERE.