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

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Happy October! Can you believe that fall is here and we are on the downward slope to the holiday season? By the holiday season, I mean all of those wonderful holidays in October, November, and December! I love the sense of gratitude, fun, and joy that seems to permeate these months!

Bob and I have been busy with the finishing touches on our downtown Waco loft (You can check out the highlight bubble on my Instagram profile page!). We absolutely love not having to book hotel rooms before and after football games! It’s been so sweet to have our own (tiny) space!

Here at ENB, we’re starting to work in earnest on our holiday gift guide! Last year’s gift guide had nearly 1000 items in 10 categories!😲 Empty nesters often buy for 3-4 generations. Who are you shopping for this year? I’m shopping for my senior adult parents and mother-in-law, my husband, my adult sons, my two precious daughters-in-law, my daughter, and my little grandbaby as well! (Pause while Suzy takes a deep breath!🤪)

The ENB Holiday Gift Guide will have categories for all of those groups and more! There’s even categories for hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, custom gifts, and items that will help you make your home festive and ready for guests. We’re aiming to get it to you on Wednesday, November 1, with early access for ENB subscribers on Monday, October 30. If you’re not a subscriber, you can subscribe HERE.

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In the meantime, we don’t want to cruise past the beauty of fall! While I’m not a big Halloween fan, I do love all things fall! Be sure to head to Empty Nest Blessed’s Guide to Fall for everything from fall decor and fall fashion to a fun fall recipe from me and one from my assistant, Beth (coming soon)!

Let’s dive into this month’s SO in the KNOW, okay? Here at ENB, everything we do is designed to encourage, inspire, and bless you in your empty nest, and part of that is making sure you’re up on the latest and greatest! (Whether it’s the trending makeup colors or the latest shoe trends—we’re here to serve you!)

Let’s get you SO in the KNOW on what I’m learning & loving in my empty nest right now!

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

What I’m Learning

I thought this was such good information to share in advance of the holiday season!

How to Spot Fake Reviews

It can be tough to know whether those glowing five-star reviews you see for products sold online are real! Here are a few tip-offs:

  • Note the time stamp – If you notice a cluster of reviews posted all on the same day, something fishy might be happening.
  • Watch for identical phrasing – If you notice multiple reviews from different users but they all use the same phrase, like “Wow! This product changed my life!” they may not be genuine.
  • Look for “Verified Purchase” badges on Amazon – This confirms that Amazon verified that the customer leaving the review purchased the product and bought it through Amazon.
  • Click on the reviewer to see their history – Clicking on the reviewer will let you see the other products they’ve reviewed. If they always give five stars or use similar language for different reviews, they may be fake.

How to Block Phone Scammers

You may not be aware of it, but wireless carriers have free filtering apps that identify and block calls that are likely to be scams or spam.

In addition, Apple and Android phones let you silence calls from people you don’t know.

  • On iPhones, follow this workflow: Settings>Phone>Silence Unknown Callers.
  • On Android phones, follow this workflow: Phone app>Settings>Blocked numbers>Turn on Unknown.

Finally, you can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. This blocks most sales calls (excluding charities and political organizations) but doesn’t necessarily block fraudsters.

Fun Fall Freebie

Every month in my SO in the KNOW, I let you know about the monthly freebie from our paper goods aficionado friends at Joy Creative Shop! This month, their Fall Fun Checklist gives you some great ideas for fall adventures, decorating your home, or simply looking to enjoy the little things that autumn brings.

Lemme tell ya, they’re on fire🔥at Joy Creative Shop! In the past month, they’ve been featured by Oprah (gWrap Bag), Southern Living (Modern Classics Personalized Stationery), and D Magazine (Best Personalized Stationery). And they’ve just announced that three of their products are now featured at The Container Store! They’re on fire!🔥I told you!

They just launched their Holiday Collection, so if you’re looking to get ahead for the holidays, you can check it out HERE. I buy my holiday gift wrap from them every year, so my tree is all perfectly coordinated and cute! (Check their gift wrap out below.) Remember, you can always take 10% off your Joy Creative Shop order with the code ENB10.

Not-as-Fun Fall Freebie

Free Covid tests are back. Cooler weather is already bringing a rise in COVID cases with it, so the government has restarted a program that offers FREE at-home COVID tests. Right now, you’ll be able to order up to four tests at and have them delivered through the mail. They’re good to have on hand, right?

What I’m Loving

1. Short Sleeve Sweater

Amazon Puff Short Sleeve Sweater | Talbots Montauk Slacks in Navy | Slip on Ankle Booties | cabi Dream Weaver Necklace | cabi Dream Earrings

This super soft sweater from Amazon is a great find! The puff sleeves create an optical illusion that whittles your waistline, and I was so impressed with the quality that I ordered it in several colors! It’s perfect for this season and pairs well with jeans, skirts, and slacks.

2. Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Now, THIS is genius! This adjustable weight set features 6 weights, so you can easily add on as you get stronger or adjust the weight for different exercises! The handle is 0.5 lbs, and each add-on weight is 1 lb. each. That means a single dumbbell can adjust anywhere from 2lbs to 5lbs. I wish I’d found this before investing in my millions of dumbells in millions of different weights!😩

3. Waistcoat/Vest

In keeping with the preppy trends we’re seeing this season, vests have reemerged as a great option for women! This is a newer trend, and if it sticks around, we’ll be seeing more of it next year, too. If you want to dip your toe in the water, I found an affordable and flattering vest for you to try! (Due to my current sprained ankle, there are no photos yet of me in this vest, but I really like it and hope to shoot it soon!)

I love that it’s fully lined and it has an adjustable strap in the back so you can customize the fit. This is the exact one I own, and there are lots of other design options in either Houndstooth or Jacquard. Click HERE to see them!

4. Fabulous NEW Cookbook

This New York Times Best-Selling cookbook from BIG personality Italian-American Dan Pelosi (aka @grossypelosi) is something we just added to our ENB Holiday Gift Guide! It’s chock full of 101 recipes (many passed down through his family for generations) and accompanied by loads of fun, heartfelt stories. If you’re a foodie, or you’re buying for someone who is this Christmas, THIS is the cookbook you need! Click HERE to learn more.

5. Lululemon Headband

When it comes to gifts for women of all ages, look no further than Lululemon! In my last SO in the KNOW post, I shared the affordable Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag and told you it makes a fabulous and trendy gift for any woman (at $38 and in loads of colors)! It was the best-seller from that post, as well as from my 2023 Fall Accessory & Makeup Trends post!

So, I’m back today with a few more affordable gift ideas from Lululemon! The first is this darling $18 Wunder Train Wide Headband! It’s an ENB Stocking Stuffer best-seller every year, and it comes in loads of colors! It’s super comfy and has velvet on the inside to keep your hair in place without pulling. (Brilliant!)

Here are a few other affordable Lululemon gift ideas:

6. Fabulous Hand Cream

If you’re like me, when the weather cools and you start washing your hands more, it brings on dryness! (Sometimes mine even get so bad they crack!😬) My friend recently told me about Gloves in a Bottle, the hand cream she uses for her excema. I immediately snagged a bottle and have been using it ever since! Oh, it’s good, y’all!

Gloves in a Bottle has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Good Morning America, and Forbes, just to name a few. They’re in 13,000 retail outlets, including 9500 medical offices. Plus, they have amazing reviews on Amazon.

It works by bonding with the external layer of your skin, preventing dry skin by helping your skin retain its own natural oils. It’s not greasy, and it even lasts through hand washing. One application lasts four hours or more and comes off gradually as the outer layers of skin cells are naturally exfoliated.

7. Best Gift for Girls

The Tory Burch logo Kira stud earrings are THE BEST go-to gift you can find for your daughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, mom, and mother-in-law. They’re simple, classic earrings, and the price point is just right for gifting someone close to you. Plus, they come in gold, silver, or rose gold. I own them in both gold and silver, and last year, Bob upgraded me to THESE pavé studs!

8. Fun Graphic Tee

In our family, we have a saying…”Suzy thinks fast, but Bob thinks well!” 🤣 Sadly, it’s totally true! My sweet, introverted husband is a deep, thorough thinker, and I am so grateful for that! His wisdom has prevented us from going with my quick thought and making a mistake many times. (On the other hand, I’m great in a crisis or when quick, decisive action is required.) God was so good to lead us to one another and let us balance each other out.

When I found this $12 tee on Amazon, I knew I had to have it for him! It’s the first Christmas gift I bought this year! I trust he won’t read this post and see it because he loves surprises. (I HATE them!😂) Again, balance.

9. Bombas Slippers Dupe

When we started buying things for our Waco loft, I knew if it was really going to be a relaxing getaway for us, I was going to need two things: a good pair of slippers and a fabulous robe. I was ready to splurge! After hearing rave reviews, the first thing I did was buy THESE fancy and pricey $75 Bombas slippers and THIS delicious robe. Then I found THESE Bombas slipper dupes for $22 on Amazon! So I ordered them. And, y’all, they’re just as good as the Bombas ones! I still have my fancy robe, but the original Bombas slippers went back! To see all 11 colors of these great dupe slippers, click HERE.

10. Happy Box Cutter

It’s nearly Amazon box-opening gifting season! Please tell me you are not still opening boxes with a steak knife or razor blade! Trust your friend, Suzy! A good, safe (cute!) box cutter will change your life! This happy box cutter comes in 6 color choices and is under $8.

11. Fabulous Denim Duster

I simply cannot get over the fabulousness of this chic denim duster! Ohhhh, it’s a find, alright! (Mine’s en route.) I don’t have much to say about it, except it’s really unique! It looks just like any other (short) denim jacket, but it’s a longer trench coat/duster length. It comes in a dark wash, medium wash, and light wash. I ordered the dark wash!

12. Beautiful Marriage Book

Did you know that the divorce rate is higher among empty nesters than any other demographic? I find that alarming! If your marriage has been derailed by unfaithfulness, illness struggles with kids, financial distress, or even an empty nest, THIS is the new book you need to download on your Kindle.

The truth is, everyone’s marriage is derailed at some point by something! Faith-based author (and fellow empty nester) Julie Plagens authentically shares how she and her husband went through a serious disruption to their marriage. This book will make you laugh, cry, and think through the issues you may have brought into your marriage that could be affecting your relationship in serious ways. I highly recommend it! Read more about it HERE.

Oh, and if you don’t own a Kindle but you’ve been wanting one, shop now! They’re up to 22% off right now! You’ve probably heard that next week, Amazon is holding its Fall Prime Day sale! Kindles are one of the items on the Early Deal sale. (Check out all of the Early Prime Day Deals HERE.)

Not an Amazon Prime Member yet? Check out the perks of Prime membership HERE.

13. Sweetest Personalized Gift Idea

These cursive name earrings make a darling gift for girls of all ages. I got a pair for my 20-something daughter, Becca, last Christmas, and she says people ask about them all the time! I think they would make precious bridesmaid’s gifts too! In fact, I think you’ll love everything on THIS Etsy site!

I hope you feel SO in the KNOW this month! Let me know your favorites from today’s post in the comments, okay? xoxo

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  1. So many fun items in this post, Suzy! I would love that short-sleeve sweater and those weights look so nice!!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  2. I think these are my favorite posts of all. When I notice them in my email that is the first thing I go to and I always learn something new.
    I ordered the covid tests.
    The earrings are cute and would make such a nice gift.
    The hand lotion is in my cart.
    Love the slippers too!

    Thanks Suzy!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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