SO in the KNOW | What I Learned & Loved in February

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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When you’re an empty nester, you don’t want to get “stuck” and stop learning and growing. Not on my watch, baby! That’s why, every month, I share what I’m learning & loving in my empty nest. My heart’s desire is that you’d leave here with a new tidbit of knowledge or a new product that excites you! YEP! It’s my goal to get you SO in the KNOW. Let’s do it!

Although winter is having trouble giving up in some of the northern states, spring is springing up all around us here in the south. So be encouraged, Northerners! It’s on the way, we promise! In today’s SO in the KNOW post, we’re looking forward to that. So many of the things I learned and loved in February are geared toward warmer weather!

As always, click the pink text links or any image (including any of the collages) for more information.

What I’m Learning

February may have been the shortest month of the year, but I learned so much! Here are some highlights!

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Spring & Summer Style Checklist

What to Wear in 2024

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How to Have Meaningful Conversations With Your Adult Kids

Build Your Relationship!

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8 Great Things About Empty Nesting

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The Midlife Makeup
Mistakes You May Be Making

Plus, How to Fix Them!

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Solutions for Sun Damaged Skin

Has this happened to you? Overnight you develop a brown age spot that you’re absolutely sure was not there when you went to bed! 😫 This happened to me! I talked to my dermatologist, and she told me that it was likely sun damage from back in my teens that was just now manifesting! She zapped my spots with the laser (ouch!), and the skin was like new within a few weeks. To prevent further spots, here’s what she suggested: (I’m linking to my preferred products, many of which I started using on her recommendation.)

Burner Email Addresses (This is Genius!)

The next time you need an email address to sign up for a spam-triggering freebie (like the Airport Wi-Fi) or a quick first-timer discount at a brand, consider using a disposable email address. Get a temporary address at, where, as you might imagine, the email lasts just 10 minutes.

Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time

So many of you let me know how much you enjoyed my recent post on 5 Ways to Prevent Jet Lag When You’re Over 50. Experts say it’s harder to overcome time shifts the older we get! Daylight saving time is coming, and on March 12 at 2 am, many of us will be “springing forward.” I don’t know about you, but even that one-hour time difference always throws my circadian rhythms into turmoil for a couple of days. (BTW, I found out when I was researching this that it’s “Daylight saving time,” not “Daylight Savings time,” as I’ve always thought! 😄)

Did you know that on the Monday after daylight saving time starts, there’s a 6% average increase in the number of car fatalities? The time change has also been linked to an increase in the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and workplace injuries!

Last year, a bipartisan group of senators drafted the Sunshine Protection Act to eliminate daylight saving time, but the House failed to bring it to a vote, so the time change is still with us. 😝

Experts say to speed your adjustment, start your morning with a dose of sunlight, either by heading outside on a walk or sipping coffee on the porch for about 30 minutes. You can also use a UV-free light therapy lamp if those options are not possible.

According to my friend, fellow empty nester, best-selling author, and ENB subscriber Dr. Jill Grimes, it’s important to choose a light therapy lamp that is UV-free and that releases 10,000 LUX intensity. THIS is the one she recommends.

What I’m Loving

1. Lands’ End Convertible Dress

Last year, I ran across some spring and summer dresses at Lands’ End that ended up being some of my very favorites of the year. The quality was so good, and the styles were really unique! When I ran across this Cotton Convertible Tie Waist Midi recently, I was immediately smitten! The tie can be worn in the front or in the back, and I love the way it defines the waist! (It also comes in Plus Size!) Lands’ End has so many great high-qualty casual dresses for spring and summer in Regular, Plus, Petite, and Tall, and they’ve always got a sale happening! You can check out their entire selection HERE. (Use the left sidebar to filter by size range and dress style.)

2. The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness by Robert Waldinger, M.D., and Marc Schultz, Ph.D.

Have you heard about the famed Harvard Study of Adult Development? It followed a group of people through the decades, offering the authors rich data to conclude that the indisputable key to a good life is…good relationships! As the authors write, “they keep us healthier and happier. Period.” Buy the book on Amazon HERE. Download on Amazon Kindle HERE. Listen to it for FREE with an Audible Plus Trial Membership HERE.

3. Joy for All Companion Pets

Did you know that older Americans face a growing loneliness epidemic? Now, tech companies are finding ways to help. (LOVE it!) According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. has the highest percentage of older adults living alone on the planet. To make matters even more concerning, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has warned that social isolation contributes to numerous health problems, including dementia and depression. While not a substitute for human contact, virtual pets like the ones from Joy for All can help bridge the gap. How cute is this golden pup? Other dogs and cats are available too! Click HERE to check them out and watch the amazing videos of these dogs interacting with seniors! This would make a great gift!

4. Darling Spring Handbag

I’m working on a spring style roundup for y’all that will hopefully be ready next week. Spoiler alert! One of the big style trends this year: Anything colorful and bright! Another trend: 3D clothing! (By 3D, I mean anything raised or textured. The sleeves on this top from Chico’s are the perfect example!), ! All that is to say, this adorable, well-priced crochet floral handbag from Amazon should be a serious contender for your fun spring bag! (I already ordered!) It’s a cute, mini size (8.27” x 6.3”), which makes it perfect for your phone and a sheer summer lipgloss! (What more do you really need? 🙌😂)

To see more of my favorite Amazon handbags, check out the “Handbag” section on my Amazon Shop HERE. (I just ordered THIS 3D bucket bag!)

5. Cute Bag Tag

A pink monogrammed tote with a pastel bag tag sitting on a spring floral doormat

Bag Tag | Custom Tote (Design your own HERE) | Spring Coir Doormat (Under $23!)

I worked with my daughter-in-law to order a sweet bag tag for my granddaughter’s diaper bag. I loved what we created, so I ordered one for myself! They’re just $14, and I think they make the cutest baby gifts. Personalize the color and add as much information as you want (or don’t want)!

6. Espadrille Sneakers

An absolute fashion must-have for spring and summer 2023 is a great white platform sneaker. (By platform, I just mean a thick sole, as opposed to a thinner sole like THESE Keds, for example.) When I ran across THESE espadrille sneakers at Walmart, I nearly flipped! They look expensive, and the textured style is perfectly on point for this year. They’re well-priced and so cute! (Plus free shipping/returns.)

7. Hyaluronic Acid Sunscreen

We all know how important Hyaluronic Acid is when it comes to keeping our skin plump and moisturized. Now, Neutrogena has combined HA with SPF 50 to do double duty! I wear this facial sunscreen every day on my neck and hands! (I typically use THIS sunscreen on my face under makeup, but have used this HA sunscreen on my face if it’s super dry.) It goes on weightlessly and keeps my skin supple and hydrated the entire day! It’s a fabulous drugstore beauty find!

To see more of my favorite suncare products (+ self tanners), check out the Sun Protection section in my Amazon Shop HERE.

8. Lancome Mascara

Okay, I’m kinda obsessed with mascara. Have you noticed? 😂 I thought I had really found the holy grail of mascara, until…I published THIS post about the LTK Influencer favorites for 2022. That’s when I learned about Lancome’s Lash Idôle Lash Lifting & Volumizing Mascara. Y’all, 150K LTK influencers are rarely wrong! I will tell you that this mascara will not clump, smear, or flake off. (Lemme tell you, if it makes it through my day, with my contacts going off and on, my daily nap, and more, it’s a good one!) It’s not the cheapest mascara, but it’s FANTASTIC.

9. Personalized Flower Girl Necklaces

My son and his fiancée asked all of their attendants recently, and I thought the idea they used for the flower girls was precious! I asked if I could share it with you, and they kindly gave me permission. If you and your daughter are planning a wedding, this is a sweet idea! They gave them THESE Personalized Flower Girl Necklaces. They come with customizable cards that they used to ask them, and there are options for other special people as well. View the entire collection HERE.

10. Firm + Flexible Hairspray

This flexible hold hairspray has been a game changer for me, y’all! It doesn’t leave my hair crunchy, and doesn’t leave a residue. It’s light, holds well, is buildable, and it even offers UV protection. 🌞 It’s expensive, but it lasts forever! Get it at Amazon HERE or Sephora HERE.

11. “Pack This” List

I’m all about a helpful organizational tool! This very thorough packing checklist has been a huge help when I pack, and it works well for Bob’s business trips too. The pad has 60 pages, which is plenty for even the most active empty nester traveler! Best of all, it’s just $7! (Some color options are slightly more. Not sure why! 🤷‍♀️)

12. Magnetic Phone Battery

Dead phone? Don’t you hate it when that happens? Refuel with this nifty power bank! It magnetically attaches to your device, and the kickstand puts the screen on display while charging. It comes in such pretty colors!

13. Tummy Control One Piece

I ordered this swimsuit, and it is so good, y’all! It has great tummy control, and the ruched detailing along the torso makes it even more flattering. The backside is modest without being matronly, and I love the universally-flattering halter top!

To see more of my favorite Amazon swimsuits, check out the Swimwear section in my Amazon Shop HERE.

I hope you feel more in the know than when you started this post! What was your favorite thing I shared? Is there something you are learning and loving in your empty nest right now that you can share with our little community? If so, please leave a comment and give us the scoop!

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    1. Shannon,

      I know! Lands’ End, right? They always have a sale going on, the quality is always good, and you won’t see the style everywhere! So many things to love about them! Let me know what you think, okay?


  1. Hi Suzy!

    Great post! I just wanted to mention something about the Lancome Lash Idole mascara. I used to work for Lancome and use their products exclusively for my skincare and fragrance. I would never, ever buy their products on Amazon because they don’t use third party retailers, and you cannot guarantee that the product is authentic.

    The Lash Idole mascara is definitely one of the best mascara’s I have ever used! And the only mascara that I use!😃 But I would only buy it from a department store,, or Sephora. Not even from Ulta, they aren’t always a registered Lancome retailer.


    1. Debbie,

      Thanks so much for your comment! People should definitely purchase the product wherever they feel most comfortable. That’s why I usually try to offer two options. Lancome’s Idole mascara is a great product, and it’s widely available!

      Thanks so much for bringing this up, and I’m so glad you like the mascara as much as I do!


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