SO in the KNOW July | What I’m Learning & Loving This Month

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Despite the focus on fall fashion, summer is going strong in most parts of the country! I hope this summer has meant slowing down a little bit, enjoying time with family and friends, and maybe even some travel. That’s what summer is all about, right?

Travel is a big deal to empty nesters, and most of the travel Bob and I have been doing this summer has been wedding-related! Our son got married two weeks ago, and it was a sweet, sweet time! So many of you have asked for wedding-related content and photos, and I get that.

As any good parent of adult kids knows, though, we shouldn’t share anything without our adult kids’ permission. This is especially true in the case of something as intimate as a wedding! I’m waiting for permission from our couple, and will share what I can when I can. (Just know that our bride was stunning!)

The Rehearsal Brunch Bob and I threw the day before the wedding was dreamy! Honestly, it couldn’t have gone any better, and I felt so grateful that I had spent the time and energy to consider every single detail of the event. I can’t wait to share it with you!

8 Great Things About Empty Nesting

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Early next week, we’ll be sharing our last Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post. (See my other NSale content HERE.) Beth and I thought it would be fun to share a “Makeover Your Man” post, highlighting the trends you might want to nudge 😂 your man toward right now! Don’t worry, no shorty shorts in this post 🩳🤣 — just ways to help the men in your life gently update in a comfortable, handsome, gentlemanly way!

Late next week, I’ll be giving you all the details on the Rehearsal Brunch. The photos are back from the photographer, and they are awash in all of the English Garden Party 🌺🌼🌸🌹🌷🌻 goodness I was aiming for when I planned the event! I’ll be sharing everything from the invitations to the party favors and more. 🤸‍♀️💃🎉

If you’re not an Empty Nest Blessed subscriber, you might miss it! You can sign up for my email list HERE. (Also, if you know someone who would enjoy that post, please send them this link!)

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while now, you know that every month, I share what I’m learning & loving in my empty nest. We’ve gotta keep learning and growing as empty nesters, and I want to do my part to help you stay in the know. Let’s do this!

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

What I’m Learning

Travel “Shoulder” Season

As I said earlier, most of our travel this year has been wedding-related. (I went to the Seattle area three separate times to work on the Rehearsal Brunch!) Bob and I are ready for a real break, and we’re taking one in late August! For empty nesters, the opportunity to travel during “shoulder” season can mean big savings. great weather, and fewer crowds. 👍

Every part of the world has its own shoulder seasons, which is the travel period between the peak (or high) season in an area and the off (or low) season. In many regions, summer is peak season, and winter is off-season, making spring and autumn “shoulder” seasons. That translates roughly to March–April (early May in some places) and late August or September–October (early November in some places). 

Need ideas? There are last-minute deals out there! Check these spots:

Bob & I are headed to the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas in late August, but before that, we’ll be heading to Virginia to see our daughter. We’re so ready to get away! Are you heading somewhere during shoulder season? Let me know where in the comments, okay?

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Take Inventory

If you have senior adult parents, they may have shared some sweet stories with you about the origins of some of their treasured belongings. My parents have! Thanks to a couple of new apps, you can record these treasured memories and save those stories for future generations. Here are three digital memory bank apps to try:

  • Thingealogy – Snap an item’s photo, hit record, and tell its history. The audio is automatically transcribed, and other fields let you record the item’s value and who it should be given to.
  • Elephant Trax – This app is good for tracking what’s tucked away in storage. First, you order custom QR code labels through Amazon. Then add photos and scan labels as you pack. Each box is assigned a QR code, so the app can tell you where the treasures are hidden.
  • Sortly – Designed for small business inventory, this app can also help catalog personal belongings. It has tagging and categorizing features that make it a good choice for big collections of pricey objects.

The Best Direction App

After its 2012 launch, Apple Maps quickly routed itself right into hot mess land! In fact, it was so bad, some travel experts called it “potentially life-threatening.” 😳 Apple issued a (rare) apology to iPhone customers, fired the head of Apple Maps software, and spent years (and a fortune) trying to fix it.

Now, according to user-experience experts, it’s fixed! They say that whether you’re trying to find transit directions or driving directions, Apple Maps suggests creative, faster routes, and even manages the unpredictability of traffic and subway outages better than either Google Maps or Waze. And it does it with a cleaner, more intuitive design. I’ve switched!

What I’m Loving

ecommend ordering at other sites.

1. Ruffle Trim Top

This cute ruffle trim top looks a lot like many of the other, ahem (!), more expensive tops you’ve seen me in this summer, but for a lot less! It’s under $23, and it comes in 19 colorful patterns. If you’re heading somewhere tropical like I am in the next few weeks, you might want to grab one or two! See them all HERE.

2. Bangle Charm Bracelet

The week of the wedding, our beautiful bride and her mama gifted me with this precious Bangle Charm Bracelet. Mine said, “Mother of the Groom.” She also gave them to her bridesmaids, and she custom-made some for other special people who were involved in the wedding. We all wore our bracelets all week and throughout the wedding itself. I’ve barely taken mine off since! It was the BEST wedding week gift, and I just had to share it with you! If you’re planning a wedding, consider these bracelets!

3. Fun Compression Socks

Compression socks can help increase circulation and reduce the risk of swelling in your legs. They’re ideal for those who are at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and clotting on long-haul flights. They’re also good for those who have jobs that require them to be on their feet, and anyone else who is trying to prevent varicose veins.

I’ll be honest; most compression socks are not very attractive! But brands like Comrad and Bombas have stepped up and delivered designs that are fun and cute! After checking out both, I decided to share these from Comrad. They’re available on Amazon and come in 18 lively patterns! Check them out HERE.

4. Brightening Eye Cream

This best-selling fragrance free vitamin C eye cream contains real gold! It brightens and visibly lightens undereye circles and crow’s feet. I’ve noticed it improved my concealer application and it’s reduced the look of my dark circles.

5. City Lips Plumping Lip Gloss

July 29 is National Lipstick Day! (It seems like everything has a day 🤣!) In honor of that, my friends at City Beauty are having a BOGO sale on their City Lips lip plumpers! From July 28-July 31, you can buy one City Lips and get another City Lips FREE with the coupon code GLOSSUP. (Must add 2 City Lips to cart in order for coupon code to apply.)

I love this product so much that I wrote an entire post about it! The skin on your lips is thinner than the rest of the skin on your body, and after reading the science behind City Lips Plumping Lip Glosses — along with the testimonials—on their website. I became a believer and a loyal user! If you’re not ready for injections, check out City Lips Lip Plumping Glosses! (During this BOGO sale, it’s the perfect time!) This summer, my favorite shade has been the one pictured above! It’s called “Tinsel Town.” and it’s a pale pink shimmer. See them all HERE.

6. Soft Cream Blush

This buildable gel-cream blush is a viral sensation! It leaves that soft, dewy, natural finish we’re all looking for when it comes to blush. Cream blushes are ideal for women over 50 because they blend seamlessly into the skin, providing a soft and subtle flush of color. This natural finish is more flattering on mature skin because it doesn’t emphasize fine lines or wrinkles as powder blushes can. This creamy blush comes in 11 shades. I have warm undertones, so I use a coral shade called Peace-Peachy Pink. See all the shades HERE.

7. Loop Quiet Ear Plugs

One of the dates Bob and I have really enjoyed in the empty nest is going to concerts! Have you done that too? We’ve seen Mercy Me, Toby Mac, Frankie Valli, Elton John, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, the Eagles, and more! In a few weeks, we’re headed to see Earth, Wind & Fire along with Lionel Ritchie, and we can’t wait!

But as we’ve gotten older (and more concerned about hearing loss), we’ve realized that the extreme volume at concerts actually lessens our enjoyment of the experience! After researching the best earplugs, we settled on these Loop Ear Plugs. They’re super comfortable (and easy to clean) because they’re made of silicone, and they’re easy to get in and out. People swear by them for long-haul flights and snoring husbands too! 🤣 They come with 4 adjustable sizes of ear tips and a carrying case, and there are 9 color options. See them all HERE.

8. Salad Slicer Bowl

I’m always on the lookout for a cool kitchen helper, and this veggie dicer is one of the best I’ve found! The top/cutting guide doubles as a strainer, so you can wash and slice all in the same container. I use it for lettuce when I make salads and for spinach that I add to my smoothies. See all of the cute color options HERE.

9. Cooling Sheets

These Bedsure Cooling Sheets are the sheets I bought to use at our Waco loft! We’ve been trying them out on our bed in Dallas because the Waco loft isn’t quite finished. (Soon!) They have nearly 50K 5-star reviews on Amazon! They’re “cooling” because they’re made of rayon bamboo. (Rayon is the end result of processing the bamboo plant.) The description on Amazon says they’re made from a “twill weave that makes the bed sheets stronger than cotton and smooth like silk.” I would have to agree! They feel like an affordable luxury, and they really do keep us cooler at night. Click HERE to read more and check out all 16 color options.

10. Natural Teeth Whitening Strips

I’ve shared these dentist-formulated Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips before, but people always ask me about them, so here they are again. 😁 It’s appropriate because I used these the week before the wedding so my teeth would look white and bright on the big day! They’re enamel safe, won’t cause sensitivity, are non-toxic, and microbiome safe. (That means they protect your body’s good bacteria and detoxify the bad bacteria.)

This package contains 7 treatments (You won’t need any more to do the job!), and right now, Amazon is offering a $4 off coupon. Learn more HERE.

11. Cute Baby Gift Idea

brown backpack diaper bag with colorful personalized tag

Itzy Ritzy Backpack – Diaper Bag | Personalized Bag Tag

Looking for a unique baby gift that will be sooo appreciated? (And want it on sale?🎉) Check out the Oh, Baby! Collection at Joy Creative Shop! Think darling thank you flat note cards, folded thank you notes, personalized stationery. Now through July 30, Joy Creative Shop is having its Joyful in the July Sale! Take 15% off sitewide with code JOYFULJULY.

Need another good idea? I ordered a cute personalized diaper bag tag for my grandbaby Lily’s diaper bag at Joy Creative Shop too! Check out the entire Oh, Baby! Collection HERE and the bag tag I ordered HERE.

12. Non-Slip No-Show Socks

For years, I’ve been on the hunt for no-show socks to wear with my Allbirds! (Sneakers just look cooler that way, let’s face it!) I tried multiple options with no luck. Enter Wernies! These are low cut enough so that they don’t show with my Allbirds, but thanks to the 3 silicone grippy strips in the back, they don’t slip down! 💃🤸‍♀️🎉

They’re Amazon best-sellers, and with nearly 70K 5-star reviews, I can see why! Check them out HERE.

13. Cutest Travel Razor

Packing for a beach vacay? This compact razor I use when I travel has a mini handle but a regular-size head – with moisture strips! It comes with one blade refill and a convenient carrying case for under $10! (To see my other travel essentials, click HERE.)

I hope you feel SO in the KNOW! Thanks for letting me share my finds with you!

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Collage of favorite products for July 2023
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    1. Juliet,

      Thank you so much! That means a lot to me, and I’m so happy you found it helpful! Thank you so much for following Empty Nest Blessed and taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the post!

      Have a great weekend!


  1. We are going to New Hampshire and Vermont to see the beautiful fall colors in october of shoulder season. Can’t wait! Also can’t wait for all the wedding details!
    Stay cool….I’m suffering the same heat as you here in the Dallas area!

    1. Cassie,

      That sounds amazing! I’ve always wanted to do that trip, since, as you know, we don’t have fall in Dallas until, like, December or January!🤣

      I will share wedding details as I can and I’m so happy that you’re excited to see them! THat means a lot to me!

      Hugs to you and thank you so much for following me and for leaving this comment! I’m excited about your trip!


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