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

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell

Happy Summer! Probably like you, we’re in the midst of our summer travel! We’ve already taken a Mexican Riviera cruise, checked on our condo rebuild in Sanibel Island, and visited our son and daughter-in-law in Illinois! Still to come, visiting our daughter to see her perform in Montana, and a multigenerational trip to Baha Mar in the Bahamas!

Every month, I share what I’m truly learning and loving in my empty nest, and true to form, this month (as always), it reflects what I’m doing, learning, thinking about, and buying! Let’s get you SO in the KNOW, shall we?

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

What I’m Learning

Things do seem to slow down in the summer (which is what I love about it), but I don’t want you to miss some important information that you might otherwise. (Like, um, if you didn’t have me…😎) Thank you for being here, and for shopping with my links! I’m so grateful to you!

Postage Increase

Starting July 14, the price of mailing a letter ✉️ is going up by 5 cents. (For a total of 73 cents.) So you might want to stock up on those “Forever” stamps before then to save some money. (Especially if you have a wedding or another big event coming up in the near future.)

Watch Ads, Save Big Money!

Speaking of saving money…💰

chart about saving money on streaming services by watching ads

If you’re a bargain hunter, but you want to stream shows on one of the popular streaming networks, you should know that there is a way to do it for less! But you have to sit through a few ads (an average of 4 minutes per hour, with up to 10 minutes for Hulu 🙄). The handy dandy chart I made will help you see the potential savings!

Big Sales…Loading

Think Christmas in July and get ready to save with four giant sales coming up in July! Click through on the links below to check out the info on each sale!

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE

Find out when you can shop (it’s based on your level in their rewards program) HERE. We’ll be covering this sale in detail, but you can start browsing what’s going to be on sale and making your wish list NOW!

AMAZON PRIME

Get ready for giant PRIME savings on Tuesday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 17! Learn more HERE. If you’re not a PRIME member yet, you might want to hop on that HERE!

TARGET CIRCLE WEEK

We’re pumped for savings of up to 50% off during Target’s Circle Week, Sunday, July 7, through Saturday, July 13. Shop thousands of deals across shopping categories at their local Target store, on Target.com. or inside the Target app. It’s only for Target Circle members, though, so if you’re not a member (FREE), sign up HERE.

WALMART DEALS

Save up to 50% off during Walmart Deal Days on thousands of items across back-to-school, tech, toys, outdoor, travel, and more! The deals go live on Sunday, July 7, at 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT and the sale ends Thursday, July 11 at 11:59 pm ET. No need to join any special programs to save, but Walmart+ members do shop 5 hours early on July 7. Learn more HERE.

Plant ID—Right on Your iPhone!

This past weekend, when we were visiting my son and daughter-in-law in Illinois, we spent the most delightful afternoon at The Morton Arboretum! (Started by the Morton Salt family.) Connor and Abby showed us how to use our iPhones to identify the plants and flowers we saw, just by snapping a photo of them! Check out the images and captions above to learn how.

What I’m Loving

1. The Perfect Summer Dress

✅ Shirtdress – Wear it to the office or in a cool setting with a denim jacket!
✅ Eyelet – The summer classic!
✅ Flouncy Skirt – For a touch of femininity.
✅ Tie Waist – Bow it, knot it, or replace it with a belt for a more tailored look.
✅ Fits TTS and comes in regular, petite & plus.
✅ Pair with sneakers, cute low-heeled metallic wedges, or flat sandals.
✅ Accessorize it with a white and gold stack, a pearl Apple Watch band, and mother-of-pearl earrings.
✅ Use code EXPLORE to save 40% on this oh-so-perfect summer dress!

Check out my Instagram post about this dress HERE. (Please be sure to note the portion of the video when my bra was showing! 🤣) Also, I’d appreciate it if you’d follow me on Instagram! You can do that HERE.

2. Reapplication Nation

Let’s be real. Experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours when you’re out in the sun. (More often if you’re swimming or sweating.) That’s fine when it comes to lathering up your legs or arms, but what about your face? If you’re already wearing makeup or you’re super sweaty, it can be an issue! Enter mineral sunscreen powder. It’s translucent SPF 30 and will cut the shine on your face as an extra bonus! You can use THIS pricey one by Colorscience, or THIS slightly less expensive one by Supergoop, or do what I do and use THIS affordable one by Hawaiian Tropic (same ingredients)! I dust it on the tops of my hands before driving too!

3. Phone Wrist Strap

Honestly, sometimes all you need is your phone! (Big fan of Apple Pay, here! 🙋‍♀️) Beth loves this hands-free case with a detachable strap. Check out all of the design options HERE.

4. Sweet Summer Reading

I love a frothy summer beach read, but it can be challenging to find a book that doesn’t offend! 🫢😳 I just finished Becca Kinzer’s Dear Henry, Love Edith, and I’m about to start Love in Tandem by the same author. Want to check out my favorite books? Tap HERE to head to the “Books I Love” category on the Empty Nest Blessed Amazon Shop.

5. Sand Buddy

Want to keep the sand off your drink and your phone? THIS is the drink and phone holder you need! Keep your drink, keys, phone, sunglasses, and more out of the sand safely with this inexpensive Sand Buddy. Personalize it for FREE or don’t, your choice😊. Click HERE (or see below) to check out color options!

6. First Aid Kit Must-Have

I was nursing a foot injury on my last two trips, and it was important for me to be able to ice to reduce swelling. At home, I use a reusable ice pack wrap that I put in the freezer after use, but I knew that wouldn’t be possible when I was traveling. Since ice is readily available in hotels and at restaurants, I knew I needed an ice pack that I could fill with actual ice while I was on the go. THIS is what I bought, and I couldn’t be happier with it! Now that I’m better 🙌, I put it in with our travel first aid kit. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to do a post on the contents some time!)

7. Comfit Compression Socks

These socks have been a huge blessing as I’ve been recovering from my foot injury. They’re made with light cushioning and a bit of compression! Tired or injured feet 👣 rejoice! They’re moisture-wicking and the ergonomic design provides just the right amount of arch support. If you’re dealing with any kind of foot issue, from plantar fasciitis to a stress fracture, I think these will help! They helped me! (And there’s a money-back guarantee & FREE returns/exchanges if they don’t!) Use code ENB2024 for 20% off!

8. Silky Sun Drops

Supermodel and Kora Organics founder Miranda Kerr created this lightweight mineral SPF serum, which blends incredible will without disturbing your makeup and leaves a soft glow that is so pretty that you’ll be motivated to add more layers throughout the day!

I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now, and I totally agree! I like the Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Powder Sunscreen I mentioned above (#2) for outdoor activities like hiking, beach, etc. because it dulls the shine. But if I’m going to an outdoor event where I still want my makeup to look fab (think wedding, pool party, etc.), these silky sun drops are definitely my pick! (Also, my desk faces a large window, so I use it throughout the day even when I’m home.)

9. Mosquito Repellent Bands

This 10-pack of DEET-Free Mosquito Repellant Bands from Amazon has over 23K amazing ratings! I just ordered them for our July 4th pool party! I heard about them from a friend, who says they really work.

10. Tote Organizer

This handy dandy felt tote organizer is one of my Amazon travel essentials! (To see the rest, check out THIS post or the Travel Essentials category in my Amazon Shop.) It fits perfectly in my Barrington Gifts St. Anne Monogrammed Tote, and works with my other totes as well. With spots for everything from my snacks and my tissue packs to my earbuds and my iPad Mini, it helps me quickly grab what I need when I’m on the go!

11. Shelling Essentials

If you love shells as much as we do, this shelling essentials kit is a must-have! (And if you’re heading to the beach with the grandkids, you really need it!) The 4-piece kit includes a shelling scoop, a sand sifter, a beach bucket, and a crossbody shell bag for your treasures! 🐚

12. The Perfect Shoe for Summer

This viral mule-style shoe is the shoe of the summer for 2024! Is it any wonder why? The heel height is 2.4″, but the chunky block heel makes them manageable and easy to walk in. The see-through styling is so on-trend this season and the styling makes these wearable with anything from a flowy midi skirt to a great pair of slacks. I think the Honey Beige color is the most versatile. They’re super difficult to find, but I found them at Macy’s (and immediately placed an order)!

13. Bob’s Find

After an, er, rather unfortunate event…involving sand getting into the docking port of a certain fisherman’s phone, said fisherman ordered this set of two water (and sand) proof pouches. He knew his phone was waterproof, but he hadn’t thought about the sand. Now he faithfully puts his phone inside when he’s around water OR sand! At 8.3″, it fits most cell phones, and the phone is fully useable (including face ID!) when it’s inside! Ah-mazing.

I hope you feel SO in the KNOW! Let me know in the comments what you loved from today’s post, okay?

Thank you for sharing my content!
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9 Comments

  1. Wow! Thanks for all this info. I especially like the idea of the powder sunscreen. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I keep a solid stick of sunscreen to apply to my hands when driving and I put sunscreen on my face each morning but never thought of reapplying it there because of my makeup. This is a great idea.

    Your summer sounds amazing. Continue to enjoy it.

    1. Juliet,

      That powder sunscreen is so handy! I stash them everywhere! Have a great weekend and stay sun safe!

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! I truly appreciate it!

      xoxo
      Suzy

  2. These are truly great ideas for making summer enjoyable! You are such a terrific resource of information!

  3. Aw, Lesa,

    Thank you! That means a lot to me. Please share Empty Nest Blessed with your friends and family! It’s truly the kindest and most helpful thing you can do for me!

    I’m grateful for you, and so appreciate your comment!

    xoxo
    Suzy

  4. Hi Suzy and Beth!

    Great and wonderful post! So many cool products!

    I tried the plant ID and that is so innovative and amazing ! I had no idea so thank you and your son and daughter-in-law for passing it along! It will be fun on my walks to identify unknown plants or flowers.

    I loved the eyelet dress you so adorably modeled, the Sheec socks (for my plantar fasciitis and love the no show), the mineral sunscreen powder and the mosquito repellent bands. All of these (except for the dress) will be very helpful on my walks. Thank you for featuring such creative, innovative and pretty items that help me feel my best! And I can look cute in the dress after my walks. Did you get a petite in your dress or a regular?

    As always, you and Beth do a superb job and I feel so fortunate to soak up yours and Beth’s knowledge and helpful tips and advice! Enjoy your future summer travels and best wishes to Beth on her son’s wedding this summer! And if it has already occurred, congratulations to all!!

    1. Rita,

      What a sweet comment! Thank you so much. I am thrilled that you enjoyed this post. There was a lot in it, for sure!

      I’m 5’5″, so I’m not a petite. I do sometimes order petites in Talbots, though because they seem to work better for me overall. I ordered this dress from Land’s End in a regular.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave such thoughtful comments!

      Have a great weekend and enjoy your July 4th!

      xoxo
      Suzy

    2. Hi Rita,

      Thank you for the sweet comments. We just returned from our son’s wedding and it was amazing and beautiful!
      I am so glad you enjoyed this post. It is one of my favorite posts to work on every month.

      Sincerely,
      Beth

  5. Hey, Suzy!
    You always find the most fun and innovative products to share with us!! Thanks! I’m definitely going to check out your reading list!!👍🏻
    I don’t have a pretty bangle to use for my phone, but I do have something called a love handle, which lets me loop the phone over a finger and also makes me feel more secure when holding it while using. Definitely not as pretty as your suggestion, however!😊
    Hope you have a great Independence Day holiday🇺🇲…our getaway plans got scrapped, but for good reason…daughter #2 is having baby #2 a little early, and I’m Gigi to the rescue for watching their son!❤️😍
    Blessings to you!

    1. Betsie,

      What a wonderful reason to scrap your July 4th plans — a new grandbaby! Congratulations to your entire family!

      I’m so glad you like my SO in the KNOW picks, I love serving you all by finding the items I think will bless, encourage, and inspire you! Thanks for noticing! That means a lot to me!

      xoxo
      Suzy

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