Answering YOUR Questions + What’s Up Weekend

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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woman standing by her back door wearing a pumpkin tee and spanx faux leather joggers

Hi friends, and Happy Weekend! The weather here in Dallas has been wild! Wenesday’s high was 94 degrees! Today when I woke up it was in the 60s! It’s that season when we have to change clothes twice a day! 😂

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite types of posts with you! Over the past week or so, I took to my Instagram and Facebook Stories and told you that you could ask me anything you wanted! So today is a crazy mash-up post, where I’m answering your questions. I also thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite fall outfit ideas with you. (You know your girl is a sucker for theme dressing, so of course, I have a fun pumpkin look to share!) 🎃😂

woman standing by her back door wearing a pumpkin tee and spanx faux leather joggers and barefoot dreams cardigan
I bought these faux leather joggers last year, and I’m so glad they’re BACK this year! I wore them on repeat last year. They’re great when the weather gets cold because they block out the wind! (I put silk long underwear underneath!)

Under $13 Leopard Pumpkin Tee (Lots of colors available. Use the dropdown menu to see them HERE.) | Faux Leather Joggers (50% off on FLASH SALE right now with code FLASH! Free shipping/returns.) | Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite® Circle Cardigan in Soft Camel (NOW 50% off – limited sizes remain so act fast!) | Similar Black Patent Sneakers | Black/Gold Drop Earrings | Black Elastic Apple Watch Band (Set of 3 – comes with cream and pink bands too.)

Answering Your Questions

Do you have suggestions for heavier wraps for fall/winter weddings? We seem to be invited to so many of those this year! 

I think it can be challenging to stay warm at winter weddings! I would suggest a good wrap. Think a cashmere wrap, a faux fur wrap, or even a faux fur jacket! Beyond that, you might even want to consider wearing a chic cashmere dress. Alternatively, think about wearing separates like a velvet skirt that would work with a cashmere sweater. I hope that helps!

Our 27-year-old daughter and her boyfriend are talking marriage and ring shopping. She’s the more stubborn and argumentative child of our two girls, and so I’m wondering about hiring a wedding planner to keep from strangling her during the process of planning her wedding. Did y’all use a wedding planner? Would you recommend it as money well spent?

Well, I haven’t actually planned a wedding, but I’ve been a mother of the groom once, and next year I’ll get to be a mother of the groom again! My daughter isn’t dating anyone at the moment, so no wedding planning is on the horizon for me at this point! I will tell you from watching friends plan weddings, that a wedding planner is probably a good idea. Apparently, there are three types of wedding planners you can hire:

  1. “Day Of” Wedding Planner – This type of planner will help you through the rehearsal, wedding, and reception by doing things like telling people when it’s their turn to walk down the aisle, keeping things moving at the reception, etc.
  2. A “Keep You on Track” Wedding Planner – This type of planner will walk with you through the planning process and do as much or as little as you want. They usually have well-vetted vendor recommendations, and will be there during the rehearsal, wedding, and reception.
  3. An “All In” Wedding Planner – If you’re planning a wedding that will need lots of logistical planning (like a wedding at an arboretum, a lakefront, or on top of a mountain, for example), this is the type of wedding planner you need.

As you research wedding planners, almost all of them state that they have experience helping with the “family dynamics” that can emerge during the planning process. I’m pretty sure you won’t be the first mom to hire a wedding planner for the reason you shared. I say go for it!

Any ideas about ways I can help include my daughter’s future mother-in-law in wedding prep? We’re in San Antonio, the daughter/future SIL are in Austin and his parents live in Pennsylvania. 

That is so sweet of you! I would start by reaching out and having a FaceTime or phone chat! Start by telling her what a great job she did raising her son and be sure to tell her a few things you’ve noticed about how well he treats your daughter, etc. Make friends! Then I would just keep her informed during the planning process, include her in the wedding dress selection, all of the bridal showers, etc.

Is your hair naturally curly? If so, could you take us through your daily haircare routine?

Peter Frampton in his younger years. (He’s bald now!)

My crazy diva hair is more wavy than curly. If I wash it and do nothing to it, I resemble Peter Frampton in his early days. (Photo for reference! 😂) To bring out my curls I definitely have to use product and blow dry with a diffuser. I’d be happy to do a full post + YouTube video on my current haircare routine if you want one. Let me know in the comments if you do! For now, here’s a quick rundown:

Your lashes look amazing! How do you get them so long and curly and what is your favorite mascara?

Aw, thank you! I’m very into lashes but think false eyelashes look silly, so I really work on mine! Again, let me know in the comments if you want a full post + YouTube video on my lashes. Here’s what I’m currently using:

Do you have good ideas for jewelry storage? Cabinet? Drawers?

Acrylic Wall-Mounted Peg Board | Rubber Necklace/Belt Hanger | Set of Two Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer

I’ve found that I don’t wear it if I can’t see it, so I don’t use a jewelry box or store my jewelry in a drawer. Instead, mine hangs in my closet! (See photos above.) I use THIS Acrylic Wall-Mounted Peg Board for my most frequently worn necklaces, and THIS Rubber Necklace/Belt Hanger for the rest of my necklaces. I organize my earrings by color in THIS Set of Two 80 Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer.

If you follow me on the LTK Shopping app, you can see ALL of my home organizational tools in one product set in the Empty Nest Blessed Shop! If you’re new to the app, tap the search icon and search for EmptyNestBlessed (or just go directly to my shop HERE). Then look for my “Organization” product set. (Or just go to THIS direct link.)

Is this your full-time job?

Yes! I absolutely love my job! Serving and encouraging you all is my passion. I work very hard, but there is a lot of variety in my job, which I appreciate. (I’m not a person who would enjoy a routine-oriented job!) It allows me to be flexible, which means a lot to me as a mom, wife, and friend. You all make it possible for me to do this job I love so much! I’m so grateful to you all for shopping my links and for supporting the brands I love, and I probably don’t say thank you enough. THANK YOU! 💗💗💗

Have you decided on a grandmother name? What were some of the suggestions? I just found out we’ll have our first grandbaby in April!

Aw, congratulations! I wanted a name that had something to do with my real name, meaning fun names like “Glamma” and “Lolly” were out for me. My middle name is Louise, and my family has always called me Suzy Lou! My kids were the ones that came up with my grandmother name, and they were unanimously for it, so who was I to argue! It’s Lou-Lou! 💗👶

You can check out the comments section of THIS post to see some great suggestions for grandmother names from ENB followers!

I’m ready to start shopping for the holidays! When are your Holiday Gift Guides coming out?

If you’re new around here, let me tell you a little about the Empty Nest Blessed Holiday Gift Guides! You’ll see lots of gift guides out there during the holiday season, but there aren’t any others that are customized just for empty nesters like mine. (Unless someone is copying me!)

Being empty nest blessed means you may be a part of the sandwich generation — with college students and young adult kids all the way up to senior adult parents! And, if you’re really blessed, you have grandkids and pets as well! My gift guide will give you HUNDREDS of ideas — for all of those precious ones, and more.

My email subscribers get EARLY ACCESS to my Holiday Gift Guides 🎁! I’ll release them (password protected) to my email subscribers on Saturday, October 29, with public access on Tuesday, November 1. If you’re not a subscriber, you can join my email list HERE.

Got any amazing ideas for items I need to include? Please email me and share!

What do you expect to be the hot gifts of the season this year?

What a great question! Based on early projections and sales, here are a few that are already getting a lot of buzz:

What’s the latest on your Sanibel properties? And how are your parents? If I want to donate to help those displaced due to Hurricane Ian, where do you recommend I do that?

Thanks so much for asking! As of Tuesday, the temporary repairs made to the Sanibel Causeway bridges allowed a convoy of utility trucks onto the island to augment power restoration efforts — so we have progress on restoring power to the island. The insurance adjusters for Casa Ybel Resort (where our condos are located) were onsite on Thursday to begin the insurance assessment process. The resort has hired First Onsite, a restoration company to begin the mitigation process and help avoid further damage to our units.

After a rough ten days, my parents in Ft. Myers have electricity and drinkable water again. (But still no internet.) My brother is with them! The retirement community where they live is in the process of clean up and roof repair.

How kind of you to want to help! Thank you so much. Bob and I have given (and always give in times of natural disaster) to Samaritan’s Purse, because they’re experienced at putting volunteers and supplies on the ground quickly and efficiently, and they do it in Jesus’ name. To see what they’re already doing for Hurricane Ian victims, click HERE.

After sharing the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” That’s the mission of Samaritan’s Purse!

Amazon

woman wearing two piece brown loungewear set standing in front yard
Matchy-matchy two-piece sets are trending!

Amazon’s The Drop Ruffle-Shoulder Supersoft Stretch Sweatshirt (This one comes in 8 color options & fits TTS) | Amazon’s The Drop Supersoft Stretch Rib Cuff Jogger | Similar Sneakers | Gold Huggie Earrings

Did you shop the Amazon Prime Early Access Sale this week? If so, I hope you found my Tips & Tricks post helpful and you scored some bargains!

The ENB Holiday Gift Guide may not be out yet, but you can already find lots of gift suggestions on the Gift Lists on my ENB Amazon page! If you want to plan ahead, two of my favorite hostess/friend gift ideas are up on Amazon! You can check them out HERE and HERE. They’re perfect to take for the Thanksgiving hostess this year! And if you’re the hostess, either one would be a fun party favor for your guests. I sent my Thanksgiving guests home with one of THESE last year.


ENB Best Sellers

Best sellers are best sellers for a reason, right? Here are the items your fellow empty nesters are loving!

Best Weekend Deals

Exclusive Deals for ENB Followers

I’m kind of pinching myself, because two really well-known brands that I’m working with right now offered me exclusive discount codes for y’all! Thanks so much for using these codes and supporting the brands that support Empty Nest Blessed! 🥰

🎉 EASY SPIRIT | Code SUZY20 for 20% off sitewide. (Ends 11/30)

🎉 LANDS’ END | Code PARKA for 40% off full-price styles sitewide. (Ends 11/30) – Right now they’re offering UP TO 60% off sitewide, so before you check out, open up your phone’s calculator and see if the ENB exclusive code (40% off with code PARKA) is better!

AVARA | Click through on THIS link and use code SUZY15 for 15% off sitewide.

JOY CREATIVE SHOP10% off sitewidewith code ENB10.

LEGACY BOX – Ready to clean out and digitize all of those family photos, videos, and more? Use code TIDY for 50% off sitewide!

MIGHTY HEALTHMighty Health is the first health, fitness, weight loss, and wellness app for people over 50! 🙌 There’s a 7-day free trial, and after that, take 60% off with code ENB60. To check out the post about my experience with Mighty Health, click HERE.

Best Weekend Sales

The best sale of the weekend is probably the one at MARK & GRAHAM. If you want to get ahead on your holiday shopping, this is the sale for you! Take up to 70% off select sale styles + take an extra 25% off with code EXTRA25. (See my picks below!)

CHICO’S | 25% off select styles of Sweaters & Denim (Ends 10/15) Then, Celebrate International Leggings Day (It’s a thing! 😂) with $49 on select Leggings from 10/16- 10/18. I just ordered THESE Tailored Ponte Leggings! They look like pants but wear like soft, comfortable leggings!

J.CREW | Women’s tops & more starting at $19.50.

Sequin Pumpkin Sweater (Now just $24.99! Lightweight and runs a little large. I’m wearing XXS, for reference.) | NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg Jeans | Tan Trainer Sneakers | Tory Burch Pavé Stud Earrings

J.CREW FACTORY | BOGO all sweaters & pants with code FREEBIE. I’m eyeing THIS cute Flannel Squareneck Ruffle Top to wear for Thanksgiving!

LOFT Smocked Waist Flounce Dress (30% off with code MORE) | Amazon Faux Suede Side Tie Booties (Comfortable & available in 14 colors!) | Diamond Initial Necklace | Tory Burch Silver Logo Earrings (The price point makes these great gifts for daughters & daughters-in-law!)

LOFT | 50% off 3+ styles, 40% off 2 styles, 30% off 1 style with code MORE.

MARK & GRAHAM | Take up to 70% off select sale styles. So many things in this sale would make great gifts! Plus, take an extra 25% off sale styles with code EXTRA25.

TALBOTS | 25% off regular priced sweaters, pants, and jeans. Discount will appear in shopping bag. Look for THIS Tweed Shift Dress on my Instagram next week. (It’s 26% off right now.) It’s WAY cuter than it looks in the photo below!

THE STYLED COLLECTION | Take 30% off this site for everything from jewelry to home accessories with code FALL30 

WHBM | Celebrate International Leggings Day with $49 Leggings from 10/15- 10/18.

Next Week on ENB

I’ll be bringing you a post on the 5 Outerwear Styles Every Woman Needs in Her Closet (and sharing my favorite source for coats and jackets). I’ll also be bringing you October’s SO in the KNOW post, where I tell you what I’m learning & loving in my empty nest this month.

There won’t be a weekend post next weekend, because Bob & I will be in Waco for Baylor Homecoming festivities! 💚💛🏈🐻

Weekend Plans

Bob has been in Miami on business all week, and I’m so glad he’s coming home this weekend! We’ll be watching football and doing some yard work on Saturday. (And I’ll be working on my Holiday Gift Guide.) On Sunday we’re doing small group surprise lunches with our Sunday School class after church. (You never know which other couples you’re going to lunch with or where you’re going until you get to Sunday School! How fun is that?)

Happy Weekend, sweet friends!

Suzy Mighell

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8 Comments

  1. Hey, Lou Lou!! Greetings from Gigi!! We are currently babysitting the 3 girls in Austin while their mom and dad have a get away after 6 years of marriage! Thanks for the great post!

  2. I have a question for you and the other empty nesters out there…. Do you give your children and their spouses stockings on Christmas? I have always given stockings along with gifts . We have three daughters and two son in laws. But the two oldest are 30 now and trying to have a baby and it feels like they are getting too old for stockings. I like to give them things in it but sometimes it’s a struggle to find ideas for the men. When do stockings stop? I would love to hear what you do Suzy and what your younger helpers think.

    1. Martine,

      Yes to stockings forever! I do give stockings and those little but meaningful gifts are some of my favorites to buy and give! I think the key is to personalize them. For instance, I have a son who loves bacon, and last year I found some bacon-flavored lip balm for his stocking! (https://amzn.to/3EH4RBe) I think stockings are a great spot for funny/gag gifts that are personalized just for the recipient. Look at this hilarious belt bag for men I’m giving AT LEAST one of the men in our family this year (https://amzn.to/3S2WCCv). 😂

      Everything in the Stockings category of my gift guide will be under $30, and most things are WAY under that. (The bacon lip balm is just $5.53 as I type this, and the belt bag I just shared is only $12.78.)

      I hope that helps – so glad you asked!

      xoxo
      Suzy

    2. Yes on stocking stuffers no matter what the age or marital/parental status! Santa has helpers of all kinds in our family, who sneak in to stash their gifts at all times of the night and early morning – the challenge is just avoiding waking whoever happens to be sleeping on the sofa bed next to the stockings (and for that person to faithfully pretend to be asleep and not peek)! Stocking stuffers include things like lip balms, bath bombs, and nice soaps; really good, small chocolates; and little kitchen/bar gadgets like animal-shaped egg-frying molds or whiskey stones. For parents-to-be (or anyone else, for that matter), you could put little certificates in there for things like “two hours of housecleaning/errand-running,” or “IOU for not giving advice unless you ask for it,” or for a meal delivery or two. Lots of options for real thoughtfulness when you go the personal note route – I think I’ll start using that myself, in fact! Our adult children put things in each other’s stockings and in ours, too, which is really fun to see. Nothing at all expensive – just thoughtful and fun. (Okay, there may also have been some very realistic fake bugs a time or two. Naughty elves.)

  3. Susan,

    I love your reply! Such thoughtful gift ideas. Also, true confessions, I just added whiskey stones and animal-shaped egg-frying molds to the “Stocking” category of my gift guide!

    Thank you!!!

    xoxo
    Suzy

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