SO in the KNOW | What I’m Learning & Loving in October

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

LM Montgomery

Happy Fall! I always feel like I leave summer kicking and screaming😖, but then around October, I finally settle in and embrace the essence of fall! 🍂🎃🍁 Do you feel that way too? Then, just when I get myself ready for all things fall, I start working on the ENB Holiday Gift Guide 🎄🎅🤶⛪, and I all I can think about is the holidays! 😂

Speaking of the ENB Holiday Gift Guide, I’ve been working around the clock — literally waking up in the middle of the night sometimes (!) — to fill it with practical, thoughtful, and whimsical gift ideas to help you with your holiday shopping.

My goal is to help you get your holiday shopping done efficiently and joyfully this holiday season! I’ll release the entire gift guide (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.

As always, my SO in the KNOW posts reflect what I’m learning and loving in my empty nest at the moment, so today’s SO in the KNOW has lots of great ideas for gifts, holiday helpers, and some great beauty and fashion inspiration for you too! Let’s dive in, shall we?

As always, click any pink text link or image (including the collages) for details or to shop.

What I’m Learning

From holiday guest prep to the latest interesting trend that your kids are embracing, here’s what I’ve learned in my empty nest in October.

How to Clean Artificial Flowers

When you’re an empty nester, and you travel a lot, you come to see the value of high-quality artificial plants 🌿and flowers💐! Right? I buy most of mine from Afloral. Their prices are good, and the quality is stellar! But I have to admit, I never really thought about cleaning them! 😳 Er, not sure I really have! 😮 Recently, Afloral posted a couple of helpful articles about how to clean artificial flowers, and I wanted to pass them along to you.

Oh, and while you’re at the Afloral site, be sure to check out their gorgeous Real Touch Artificial Pines & Cedar wreaths, garlands, and more. You will love them.

Sneak in More Veggies

One of the easiest ways to get more nutrients in your diet? Sneak it in where you barely notice it! One of the most affordable and available veggies out there? Carrots! 🥕 They’re an excellent source of vitamin A, with one serving providing 184% of your daily value! They’re also a good source of Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Potassium, Vitamin B6, and Lutein. (You can read more about their nutritional value HERE.)

AARP The Magazine recently suggested some innovative ways to sneak more carrots into your meals, and I’m trying them all!

  • Tacos – Make delicious veggie tacos 🌮 by tossing chopped carrots with oil & chili powder and roasting them until caramelized. Add avocado, radishes, cilantro, and a touch of sour cream. (Or whatever sounds good to you!)
  • Waffles – Add 1/2-1 cup of shredded carrots to your favorite waffle recipe. I tried this last week! It was surprisingly delicious!
  • Noodles – This makes a great side dish! Spiralize carrots and briefly boil or saute until tender, then toss with butter, Parmesan, lemon zest, and pepper. (Or whatever sounds good to you!)
  • Hummus – Make carrot hummus by roasting chopped carrots with cumin, then blending in a food processor with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.

You can buy chopped carrots, but if you want to save a little, buy the big ones and peel your own. Expert chefs say that Y-Peelers are more efficient than linear peelers. I think a Y-Peeler would make a great stocking stuffer for the foodie in the family!

Trend Alert: Closed Captions

Attention everyone! Closed captions are cool now! Long seen as an aid to, well, the hearing aid crowd 🤣, younger generations are now embracing closed captioning. In fact, a recent survey reported that 70% of Gen Z respondents (ages 18-25) and 53% of millennial respondents (up to age 41) said they watch content with captions most of the time. (Only a third of older respondents reported watching with text.) Younger generations said the captions help them focus on what’s happening on-screen, even with the sound on.

What I’m Loving

1. Amazon’s The Drop Faux Leather Blazer – If you loved the best-selling Amazon’s The Drop Long Blazer that I’ve shared over and over again the past two months, you might want to consider this faux leather version for the holidays! (Especially THIS white one! Wowza!)

2. Monogrammed Soaps – The week after the ENB Holiday Gift Guides go LIVE, I’ll be sharing a post on custom gifts! (As you can probably guess, most of those need to be ordered early.) These monogrammed soaps are some of my very favorite custom gifts to give, and I wanted to share them with you so you could get ahead! They work as a business gift, a host/hostess gift, a gift for aunts/uncles, in-laws, etc. They’re packaged and presented beautifully, and look WAY more expensive than they are. (Which is something I always look for when it comes to gift-giving! 🙌) Also, they’re from Neiman Marcus, so they come with free shipping/returns! Great price point on this one.

3. Target High Pile Fleece 1/2 Zip Pullover – This yummy Target pullover comes in 6 colors and it’s been a big seller already this October! It would be a wonderful gift for a teen, college student, or young adult. It would also be cozy to wear on all of your holiday errands! It’s from Target’s darling Joy Lab line of activewear/loungewear. Click HERE to see the whole line.

4. Box Cutter – Those Amazon boxes full of Christmas goodies will drop on your doorstep frequently over the next two months! What will you use to open them? If you’re still using the side of a dull pair of scissors, you need to up your game (and do a better job of protecting your precious fingers)! This box cutter is genius! The ceramic blade prevents anything but the tape from getting cut.

5. Gimme Brow + Volumizing Pencil – I think this eyebrow pencil acts a little bit like dry shampoo for your brows! Unlike waxed-based pencils, which can stick to the skin, it has fibers and powder particles that attach to the hair for fullness that looks authentic. I lay the tip on its side to draw little flicks and then smooth it with the built-in spoolie.

6. Maybelline TattooStudio Gel Eyeliner Pencil (In “Rose Quartz”) – I saw one of my favorite beauty bloggers use this ROSE QUARTZ Gel Eyeliner Pencil to line her lower lashes, and was amazed at how it opened up her eyes! I tried it and now it’s a part of my daily makeup routine! I line my lower lashes, and also dot it at the inner corner of my lids — and even smudge a little at the outer edge to act as a highlighter and give an instant uplift. I’m linking it for you on Amazon because it was out of stock at my local Walmart and Target, and you may have the same problem. #addtocart

7. Lululemon Ponytail HatLululemon is so beloved by teens, college students, and young adults (not to mention many of their moms!). That means anything from Lululemon would be a welcome site under the tree! 😄 This year, I’ve added several well-priced gift ideas from Lulu to my gift guides. (And I’m giving you a sneak peek today! 🎁🎉) This fabulous ponytail hat comes in 5 color options, and it’s just $38! Here are some other great Lululemon gift ideas I love — all come in multiple color options, and all are selling fast!

8. Redbubble Stickers – My daughter-in-law-to-be is a college professor, and last week, I asked her to ask her students for some ideas for the college section of my gift guide. She passed along several excellent ideas. One of them was Redbubble stickers! They’re vinyl decal stickers that are removable and super sticky. She said her students put them on everything, from laptops to water bottles and more! I pulled this cute, girly sticker set for today’s SO in the KNOW, but there are tons of others — with hilarious sayings, great Gen Z memes, etc. They’d make perfect stocking stuffers for teen & college guys and girls. Browse them all HERE.

9. Tory Burch Logo Earrings – Year after year, I recommend these Tory Burch Logo Earrings, and they’re always ENB Gift Guide best-sellers! (Which makes me so happy!😊) I think they’re the perfect price point for your sister, sister-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, or even a really close BFF. They come in gold, silver, rose gold, or — if you’re feeling splurgy — in a Pavé surround (which Bob gave me for my birthday this year!). Tory Burch always offers free shipping/returns, and they’ll even gift wrap in their signature Tory Burch packaging, which makes the presentation under the tree so special!

10. Spanx Faux Leather Joggers – I love it when I can be on-trend, but super comfy at the same time! 🙌 Wear these with your sneakers and a cute sweatshirt for travel or with booties or heels and a cashmere sweater for date night or a holiday gathering. The structured faux leather fabric looks like real leather, and it has stretch to keep you comfy. Get them at Spanx (free shipping/returns) HERE or at Nordstrom (free shipping/returns) HERE. I love mine!

11. The Battery Organizer & Tester – Don’t be caught short on batteries this holiday season. From battery-operated wreaths to the grandkids’ toys, you need to be fully stocked! This Battery Organizer & Tester stores 93 batteries, and tests them too! It’s sectioned out so you can tell when you’re running low. #brilliant

12. Personalized Coasters – Customize the colors on these happy coasters and give them to new homeowners or newlyweds as housewarming or holiday gifts! They’re from our friends at Joy Creative Shop, so you can use the code ENB10 for 10% off on your entire order. There are cute (non-personalized) holiday coasters that would make darling host/hostess gifts too.

13. Concealer Brush – Apparently, this under $7 Amazon Concealer Brush has developed quite a cult following on TikTok! Since I take my job very seriously, I decided I absolutely HAD to check it out on your behalf! 😂 Oh, it’s good, y’all! It’s so good, I put it in the Stocking Stuffer category of the ENB Holiday Gift Guide! Moisturize your under-eye area, dot your foundation on as usual, then pat, pat, pat your concealer in with the brush. (To avoid mascara smudges, finish that area by blotting with a blotting sheet.)

I hope you feel SO in the KNOW! (Or at the very least that you got ahead on some holiday shopping!) Next week on ENB, I’ll be sharing a Splurge or Save post, which is always one of your favorites. 😄 I’ve found some great dupes that I’m excited to share with you! Then next Friday, the ENB Holiday Gift Guides go LIVE just for my subscribers. I can’t wait! 🎁

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collage of favorite products for october 2022
Suzy Mighell

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  1. I’ve been wracking my brain for a gift idea for the women’s ministry team I lead at my church. The monogram soaps are perfect!!

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