Old Navy Swings into Spring

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A Few Words Before I Go

Hello, dear friends.  I pulled my hair out in an effort to come up with a clever title.  This one sounds a bit ominous.  Anyway, put your hankies away - I'm am not going away forever - just for the Summer. 

The Mister and I had a fabulous cruise planned to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  I think you have an idea of what happened to those plans.  If that's the greatest casualty my family endures as a result of this nightmare of a pandemic, I will take it with a smile.

This year I will spare you my lengthy to-do list for the months ahead.  We all know that I  burn more calories procrastinating than actually tackling the tasks. 

Today's post includes some books that will be released this Summer, some new shows that I am looking forward to, and some of my favorite things. 

By the way, several readers asked me what kinds of trees are in the front pots.  We've bought them for the past three years, and they lasted into the Fall blooming with tiny purple flowers.  The Mister and I can't remember the name.  Most days, we're lucky if we can remember our own names.  So if anyone knows, please leave it in the comments.

These books are going to be released this Summer and are on my TBR list.  

Don't tell the Mister, but he may be getting this one for Father's Day.

If you appreciate a razor-sharp thriller, pick this one up.  
I am halfway through, and it's hard to put down.
Fun fact: Nicole Kidman bought the rights.

Here are some new Summer shows that will be keeping me from my household chores.

A remake of The Right Stuff.

My buddy, Jeanne, is watching this and loving it.

I am a huge fan of true crime stuff.

Can't wait!

The Mister is hysterical ... he's a regular Jerry Seinfeld.  He likes to send the girls snapshots of "funny" things that I do.  For some reason, my toothpaste tickled his funny bone.

A week later, he presented me with this gem.
Don't tell him, but I kind of like it.

This little bottle is a miracle worker.
I didn't think my nails would ever come back to normal after 15 years of acrylics.  But thanks to Nail Tek, they are well on their way.

One of my favorite beauty bloggers said that this drugstore brand is as good as any of the expensive brands.  I agree.  My oldest (a total Sephora snob) just started using it too.


My #2 gave me this Vitamin C serum for my birthday, and I love it.  My skin feels smooth, and it smells great.
You probably won't recognize me in September.


I've used this eye cream for years.  Another very persuasive beauty blogger talked me into another more expensive brand, and I didn't like it as much as this one.

I had the hardest time trying to find my go-to body moisturizer, Gene's Vitamin E Cream, so I ordered a few new ones to try.  This one was my favorite.  It's not as rich as Gene's,  but it's fairly close.  It absorbs quickly and has a pleasing smell.

I love this hand cream so much, I even give it as gifts.
It's a lifesaver now that I am using so much hand sanitizer.

For the past six summers, I was terrified of ticks and Lyme disease. 
Little did I know, that was easy street compared to what we're up against these days.  Anyway, every May, I order a couple of sets of these all-natural mosquito and tick repellents.  They do an outstanding job, and they smell like peppermint.  

Our duvet is warm and toasty, which is great during the Fall and Winter.  I ordered this lighter duvet last week, and we're very pleased with it. 

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my Mister has been a busy bee working on house projects.  
We were looking for planters for outside the barn.
The Mister found these wine barrelswhich he had to cut out the top, waterproof the inside, and stained the outside. 

5-star review for the Mister!!

I wish all of you a healthy, happy, and safe Summer for you and your loved ones.

Feel free to email me - I love hearing from you.
I will also be posting on Instagram.

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. A very eye catching headline, Katie - I thought you were giving up blogging! Glad to hear you aren't. A pity about your 30th wedding anniversary cruise but I am sure you will find great ways to celebrate it anyway. Thanks for joining #WowOnWednesday.

  2. Hi Katie! I hope you have a great summer vacation and come back with more great ideas for us! I’m a big fan of your shopping suggestions!

  3. Always look forward to reading your blog and will miss the belly laughs that usually ensue. Have a wonderful summer��

  4. I laughed out loud at the toothpaste thing. It does look intriguing. I picked out two of the books for summer reading for which I plan to do a good bit of. We will see. I have many many things I need to do around the home.

  5. I’m going to miss your blog this summer :(
    We will catch up over episodes of Dirty John Betty!

  6. As always I dread to see your farewell post for the summer. Miss you already! Yes, big Kudos to The Mister on the barrels. They look great. Enjoy your summer, and Happy Anniversary!

  7. That toothpaste picture, ha! It is so funny how different people are in their technique to get toothpaste out. That gadget makes your toothpaste look very sophisticated.
    Happy 30th Anniversary. Have a safe, wonderful summer :)

  8. Put the toothpaste gadget in my cart. Going to check out some of the books and you suggested.

    Curious where you were going on your anniversary cruise. Another industry that has been so hard during the pandemic.

    Will miss your blog this summer. Enjoy the next several months and I look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

  9. We also had to cancel our cruise this summer, to celebrate our 40th anny....oh, well, we still have one planned for Feb and hope that one runs!! Your flowers look so pretty and i look forward to some summer reading!! Enjoy your summer - I hope to be coming your way as soon as everything opens!!

  10. Have a great summer - I was going to be in the north shore Boston area for a wedding in July, but while not officially cancelled, it looks like a no go. I started taking Biotin (gummies) for my nails and it’s been a miracle. No more splitting.

  11. Happy Summer! Hard to believe that June is right around the corner. I hope your summer plans involve visiting the girls. Say hello to the Mister and the girls and Jonathan and enjoy your summer!

  12. I hope you enjoy a wonderful summer. I will miss reading your posts! Ps. I love Nail Tek as well! Cheers to a happy healthy summer!

  13. Great list as always! I will miss reading your posts this summer but I hope you have a happy one. Fingers crossed when you come back in the fall, this pandemic will be over and things will be back to normal!! Take care, friend! See you on IG!

  14. Enjoy your summer Katie. We will miss you!!

  15. I will be referring to your list many times over this summer. Sorry about the 30th cruise cancellation, I guess all these cancellations is why 2021 will be busy for so many. I have a funny story about a 10th anniversary trip my husband and I were supposed to take...we were getting ready to book the trip and organize child care around the same time as I was planting my vegetable garden in the spring. I kept find chunks of cement as I toiled in the soil. The next day I went out to check on my garden and more chunks. Something told me to look up...I did, the back side of our chimney was falling apart. We called the chimney people before we called the travel agent. The chimney was going to cost exactly the same as the trip...that was our disposable income that year so the chimney won. Every time we're feeling a bit sentimental and romantic for anniversaries past we drive by the old house and stare at the solid chimney we had replaced. I'm thinking you and the Mister should have bride and groom masks created so you remember your 30th...although I don't think any of us will ever forget this! Take Care.

  16. Have a wonderful, safe summer!!!! I always love all the info I get here--from books to beauty products to a toothpaste 'squeezer'...lol Will look for you in fall-although your header had a murderous overtone. lol xo Diana

  17. Wishing you a lovely Summer Katie...I shall miss you...always love your recommendations....always!

  18. Hi Katie! Your small topiary trees look like Duranta or Sweet Memory as they are also called. I have a bush & a large topiary & they do very well in our So. Calif. beach location. Enjoy your summer!! Katie from Huntington Beach

  19. Enjoy! Also, watch Defending Jacob on Apple TV if you can. It’s really good.

    IG: @bookbimbo

  20. I just finished A Good Marriage and like it so much that I immediately started her previous book. And you know I'll be all over that HBO documentary. Have a great summer, Katie!

  21. See you on the 'gram over the summer. Will miss you here!

  22. Thanks so much for the list of books and movies. I hope you have a wonderful summer, but know you will be greatly missed. Your blogs have helped me to get through many dark days! Take care!

  23. Have a wonderful summer! I'll catch you on Instagram.

  24. Have a great summer! If you are a fan of The Split on Sundance, Season 2 is starting up this week. Looking forward to your recommendations in the fall. Have a Happy Anniversary. We will be celebrating #43 on June 4.

  25. You really had me going with that title. So many bloggers have closed up shop, and I was hoping you wouldn't be one of them. I guess I'll have to wait til September! Can't wait to check out all your book suggestions.

  26. We go through lots and lots of mosquito and tick spray here. I also tend to add more minced garlic to our dinners and dishes as I have heard (and think it's working) at keeping the ticks away too. Not so much that it makes our food taste bad or anything but I do think to use it more often.

  27. I always miss you when you go but I will do I get it! The older I get the less I want to invest into the blog and I too am cutting back this summer to just a couple posts a week instead of the normal three. We gotta do what we Gotta do dear friend and life is too short to let the blog consume us. But oh well how I will miss your wit, your good taste and your astute and brilliant product choices! I hope you have a beautiful summer dear friend and I hope you find ways to celebrate those 30 years of bliss!

  28. I love reading your blog and will miss you the next few months, but I completely understand! I hope you have a glorious summer!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. HI katie, Yep you got me on the title too! Do you watch Mindhunter? It's a bit gritty, but it's so good. I read the book that the series is based on. Fun fact, the young FBI profiler is the voice of the lead boy character Frozen. Actor's name is Jonathon Groff.
    My Father in law is a retired dermatologist and his favorite brands our Eucerin, Oil of Olay (rebooted formulas) and Neutrogena products for SPF.
    Have a wonderful summer! Will look for you on Instagram.

  31. I will miss your (always fun and informative) posts this summer. Happy celebration of 30 years.
    The patio tree in your urn is duranta (at least that's the Latin name they use in sunny California.
    Have a great summer.

  32. Katie I miss you already. Thanks for the fun, educational, entertaining and uplifting reads. Again, love your sense of humor. Have a fabulous summer and can't wait for your fall installment. Cheers! Anne

  33. I am jealous of your husband's interest in his home and his energy. The wine-barrel flower containers are terrific! How do you fit all those plants in your black metal flower pots at your front door? The shape is so narrow that I never can fit much in mine.

    NOTHING NEW TO REPORT...........I've ordered some GARDENING BOOKS to keep me STUDYING!

  35. Well, Katie, your property annuals look terrific, love the barrels! Your list for viewing and reading looks great (love Patrick Adams in Suits, so the Right Stuff caught my eye). Speaking of eyes, eye roll on not being able to find Gene's! I started using that stuff on your recommendation and love it, don't want to switch. The smell reminds me of a combination of A&D ointment and Desitin. It's so weird, the things that the stores have been out of .....
    Enjoy your summer as best you can. I'm really getting tired of trip planning to Kroger's and WalMart. There's gotta be more.....but this is not a time for throwing caution to the wind. Take care, stay well. ♪♫See you in September♪♫

  36. Well, I know several who need that toothpaste holder. And, those barrells are just beautiful! He's quite the handy man. We're having a Pergola built right now and they sure would be lovely decor for it. :o)) Enjoy your summer and we'll look forward to your return!

  37. I hate to see the blog end for now! I know you will enjoy your cruise. I have bought a Smith Island cake as seen in your birthday post for the two birthdays coming up this weekend. It's being flown in from the East coast (I'm in TX) because your post inspired me!! See you soon and will miss the updates.

  38. Thanks for the book suggestions and upcoming shows. Have a wonderful summer, you will be missed. Look forward to seeing you on Instagram........Stay safe, stay well!

  39. As always, great suggestions! Bought those sheets you recommended months ago and they are still as great as the day they arrived. AND THE PRICE...WOW! I am so grateful you pointed me in that direction! Have a great summer and looking forward to your return. be safe. be well.

  40. Thanks for sharing your great suggestions with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Enjoy your summer break!

  41. Thanks for sharing before you take your summer break. Have a good time and enjoy the books and the shows. #HomeMattersParty

  42. You have lots of great stuff in this post, Katie! The toothpaste made me laugh because that drives me and my husband both crazy when the kids do that! Haha. I hope you get that special anniversary trip even though it may look different than planned! Thanks for linking up with me.


  43. So, I’m over a week late seeing you off on your summer vacation. I read the post on my laptop from which I cannot comment (insert frustrated face). Each time I’ve grabbed my iPad since I’m quickly distracted by the latest news flashes. Then there are the stops and starts as I hunt and peck on the iPad keyboard display (yes, I need a real keyboard for then why do I need a laptop or visa versa) that end in tossing iPad aside and swearing to come back to it later. And, so here we are. Your summer vacation is probably half over and here I am still pecking away with two fingers, lots of errors but determined to get it right even if it takes all afternoon. Congrats on your 30th anniversary! Thank you for the wonderful book and TV recommendations. Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason. Yes, please. Did you see him in the first season of The Wine Show? Fabulous. And, on that note, happy summer and I’ll see you on IG where I’m a lot more adept. Thumbs over index fingers every time. xo

  44. Sorry you're leaving for a while just when I get back to blogging, but hopefully you'll have many good stories to tell. Have fun!

  45. Have a wonderful summer Katie....and don’t worry about accomplishing that to do list. We like you just the way you are. Janey

  46. Gosh Katie I will be sad to see you go for the summer as I just start re-reading - but enjoy! Looking forward to reading in Autumn all about it. By the way, you always have the most original and interesting 'recommends' on here. The amazon toothpaste squeezer is simple genius and I have to get one. Plus have been looking for a nail strengthener for years that actually works! With the retinol eye cream, if you get time before you departez en vacances - do you find a retinol eye cream thins the skin or just lessens lines? Much love from blighty - Joanne.

  47. Katie,

    I see you have posted that you are back..but I can’t pull it up. Are others able to view it?Seems theare is a for sale sign in front of your beautiful home...Wish. Could read the post!!!

  48. Katie, just checking to see if you were back. I hope that your summer was wonderful all things considered. And that your 30th wedding anniversary was a great celebration. I don't see a new post as referenced above by Janey & Co, if what se says is true I hope that the house sold/ or sells fast and that you are off on a new adventure. Take care

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