What’s Up, Weekend? Y’all how can it be May? Here in Texas, restrictions started easing up today as we moved into Phase 1 of “reopening.” As things begin to open up a little, people seem to feel somewhat hopeful, but many are still feeling concerned about venturing out. I get it! We’ll continue being careful, but it’s so lovely to think about maybe going out for a patio meal at one of our favorite restaurants this weekend. We’ll see! Be sure to watch my Instastory to see if we venture out!
Here’s some good stuff to know this weekend!
Mask Up, Y’all!
After doing a bunch of research about masks this week (THIS was the best article I read), I bought a couple of good quality washable cloth masks on Etsy. (You know I love supporting small businesses on Etsy, so after checking out what was available on Amazon, I headed over there instead.) They weren’t cheap (and the shipping…), but they checked all the boxes of what the CDC says we need to look for in a mask:
- Fabric type: The very best is two layers of high-quality, heavyweight quilter’s cotton, with a thread count of 180 or more. A double-layer mask with a simple cotton outer layer and an inner layer of flannel got good marks as well.
- Filter Pocket: Adding a layer of paper towel in between two layers of fabric could make your homemade mask more efficient. An engineer at an air purifier firm ran his own test and found a single paper towel filters 23 percent of 0.3 microns, and two paper towels filtered 33 percent.
- Washable & Durable: Since you’ll be washing your masks frequently, you need a durable, well-made mask.
- Breathable: The thicker your mask is, the more it filters out, but the less breathable it is. That’s just the way it goes. My main concern was making sure ours were cotton and linen, to cut down on the sweat factor!
- Snug Fit: You don’t want gaps on the top, bottom, or sides, so I opted for a mask that was made with a fabric to cover the nose and sit flush to the face around the edges.
The ones we bought were available in several solid color options (dusty pink for me, steel blue for Bob!), and shipping was fast.
Zoom Tips & Tricks
Have you been doing a lot of Zoom video calls? I’ve done a virtual Birthday party, Bible Study meetings, and more! I’m pretty used to being on camera, so when an Empty Nest Blessed reader reached out this week and asked me to share some tips for looking your best on those Zoom calls, I decided to share them with you all as well!
- Good lighting is essential! Position yourself facing a window that gets good natural light. If you have a window behind you, it will over-expose the camera, and your face will be shaded. The best light in our house is in our bedroom, so that’s where I film everything from YouTube videos to Zoom calls!
- Don’t worry about what’s behind you! If it’s unsightly, or cluttered, opt for one of Zoom’s customized backgrounds!
- Utilize Zoom’s “Touch Up My Appearance” soft-focus feature. For instructions, click HERE.
- Position your camera slightly above eye level, so you have to tilt your head upward a little bit to look into it. That will reduce any neck wrinkles or double chin issues!
- Wear a solid color top that you feel good wearing. Need help finding out your most flattering colors? Click HERE. What you wear on the bottom is your decision! Need some ideas for what to wear, check out this specially curated collection of “What to Wear from the Waist Up” items at Nordstrom.
- Add a little extra blush and lipstick. I’ve used this blush for years! I like it that it’s highly pigmented, so it doesn’t fade out over the day. This inexpensive and bright lipstick is what I always use for Zoom calls! It looks good on pretty much everyone!
Home Maintenance + Gardening
Bob and I worked in the yard last weekend! The weather was lovely, and we planted caladium bulbs and these pretty impatiens. It was so good to be outside and garden! The weekend tee I’m wearing in this photo is from a year ago, but I found and linked a similar one that I like even better! On my bottom half, I’m wearing skirted crop leggings (aka “skeggings” )! They feel girlier and a little more modest than leggings without a skirt, and I like that I can wear a tee or sweatshirt with them without being concerned that my rear end is covered! Mine are old, but I linked similar, and you can find lots of different styles HERE.
The other thing we did last weekend was to demineralize our shower head. If the water from your showerhead is shooting out in all directions, or your flow has become almost nonexistent, the holes in your showerhead are probably clogged with minerals. Ours was! Here’s how we did it:
- Fill a plastic bag with vinegar
- Attach the plastic bag to the showerhead, so the holes are immersed in the liquid, and secure the bag to the shaft with a rubber band or two.
- Allow it to soak at least 15 to 20 minutes or overnight.
- Remove the bag and run the shower on hot to flush it out.
Our shower flow is so much better!
In last weekend’s post, I told you that I was partnering with my friends at City Beauty for a Mother’s Day giveaway! Many thanks to all who entered! The winner is Kenda D! She won one City Lips Clear (I use it as a serum for my lips at night!), along with one City Lips colored gloss and one matte lipstick of her choice!
If you entered but didn’t win, you can still take advantage of the 25% SITEWIDE EXCLUSIVE discount just for Empty Nest Blessed readers at the City Beauty site! Click through with THIS link and use the promo code EMPTYNESTBLESSED at checkout to get the discount.
Mother’s Day & Graduation Gift Ideas
I shared some Graduation Gift Ideas in THIS post. For my Amazon Graduation Gift ideas, check out the “College Essentials” section if you have a high school grad or the “Gift Ideas for Young Adults” if you have a college grad.
Best Weekend Sale
I am not even kidding you that when I heard about this sale, I stopped what I was doing, marched into Bob’s study, and announced to him that it was going to be a very expensive weekend for him! I told him to get ready and get mentally prepared . He was all like .
Without a doubt, the best weekend sale is the unprecedented sale at LILLY PULITZER! Take 30% off $100+, take 40% off $250+; take 50% off $500+. (Free shipping/returns)
On my Instagram and Instastory Friday, I featured this top that can be worn four ways! (It’s perfect for travel, or if you’re a spiller, like I am!) You can wear it frontward, backward, or inside out frontward or backward!
This weekend, I’m definitely ordering:
- This puffy sleeve tee in pink (I already bought the print!)
- This swing dress
- This fit & flare dress
- A couple of these 7″ inseam shorts (they also have 9″ inseam shorts and one pair of 10″!)
- These earrings
OTHER AWESOME WEEKEND SALES
Many brands are preparing to reopen their stores gradually. Chico’s was the first national apparel retailer to set a reopening date (May 4). Chances are, their other brands, WHBM and Soma, will follow the same schedule, and other retail stores will fall in line. Chico’s is reporting double-digit growth in the past six weeks since, with the largest category increases in activewear, loungewear, and sleepwear. (No surprise there! ) Chico’s is finishing strong, offering 25% off your entire purchase this weekend with code 25869.
Thank you for shopping with my links! It means so much to me! Blogs like mine are small businesses, and visiting EmptyNestBlessed.com and shopping with the links I share supports my small business. I’m so grateful to you for supporting Empty Nest Blessed, sharing it with your friends, and enabling me to do this job I love.
BODEN | 15% off SITEWIDE (exclusions apply) + free shipping/returns. Their new catalog (Yes, an actual paper catalog!) came this week, and I haven’t stopped drooling over the colorful, sunshiny styles! Specifically, they have the best jersey knit dresses for summer! Check out these three styles:
I’m leaning toward the styling of the Amelie, but I love the clean lines and contrasting piping on the Eleanor!
CABANA LIFE | DON’T SHOP YET! They’re offering 15% off SITEWIDE in their “Protect Us” sale with code PROTECTUS this weekend, but I wouldn’t shop now! I’m partnering with them on Melanoma Monday (Monday, May 4) to talk about the importance of sun protection, and I’ll have an exclusive discount that’s even better! I love Cabana Life’s colorful designs and UPF 50+ fabrics. As someone with an autoimmune disease that’s triggered by UV rays, sun protection has always been a huge deal for me. Watch for a blog post on Monday and accompanying social media posts where I’ll be sharing my personal story. Here’s what I ordered from them last weekend:
- Navy Geo Sleeveless Shift Dress
- Preppy Palm Off the Shoulder Ruffle Dress
- Batik Cap Sleeve Swing Shift Dress
- Navy Stripe Sleeveless Terry Tunic
- Coral Geo High Neck Bikini Top, Coral Geo Side Ruched Bikini Bottom, Coral Geo Ruched Embroidered Rash Guard
J.CREW FACTORY | 30% off 2 items; 40% off 3 items; 50% off 4 or more items. Their new arrivals just dropped, and you will love them!
KATE SPADE | 50% off everything in their Mother’s Day Gift Guide with code FORMOM. (Gift yo’self!) I’m crazy about this phone case that lets you add a photo on the back! (Free shipping/returns)
NORDSTROM | They just announced another sale this week, offering up to 50% off thousands of regular-price items for women, men, and kids! The sale ends on May 3. (Free shipping/returns) I’ve scoured the Nordstrom site, and found a few select items I wanted to share with you:
- If you’re done with shorts in your life (Hey, some people are!), these linen joggers are such a fresh, cool style for summer!
- Looking for a flattering drape-collar blazer that will go with anything? (Perfect for Zoom and in 6 colors!)
- These tie-waist pants in black will be a classic wardrobe update right now.
- This camo utility jacket has such a flattering waistline. (Check out the back!) It also comes in leopard!
- There are so many cute sandals and low-heel wedges in the shoe sale! These Sam Edelman espadrilles will go with everything!
- Looking for sunglasses, a hat to hide your roots, or a cute summer handbag? I love this woven raffia clutch for under $30!
For all women’s clothing items on sale, click HERE. Then use the items on the left side of the page to sort.
For women’s shoes on sale, click HERE. If you have a few brands you love, scroll down on the left side of the page and click on “BRAND,” then check the boxes by your faves to see what’s available. For all women’s accessories, click HERE.
Also, they just came out with the cutest denim skirts, y’all! They’ve incorporated the same “lift & tuck” technology that they use in their jeans, and I, for one, am here for them. (Free shipping/returns)
SAM EDELMAN | New styles added to sale! (Including the world’s most comfortable ballet flat: the Felicia!) I own them in about five colors, including this leopard print and this red suede. I love this comfortable and stylish brand! (Free shipping/returns)
What are you up to this weekend? I felt a little burned out this week, so I’m going to try to rest and enjoy the outdoors. I bought myself a UPF 50+ pop up tent so I could be out in the sun, without the sun damage! The weather is supposed to be in the 90s here in Dallas, so the pool is calling my name!
SHOP MY LOOK