The Rich Life On a Budget

Bloggers in Napa Valley: Friends, Food, Wine and Hats

After four months of coordinating, our Bloggers in Napa Valley trip got off the ground last Tuesday. With my luggage crammed with enough clothing for a month (light packing has never been my forte), I headed out Tuesday morning to the Sonoma County Airport to pick up Tamera of Tamera Beardsley, who flew in from Orange County.

Our small airport allows those waiting for passengers to get right up to the tarmac. I was thrilled that I could watch Tamera exit the plane. I had a feeling she would be the most glamorous person on board and I was right! We hugged excitedly as soon as she passed through the gate, then loaded up my car and drove in the direction of our next destination: Napa Valley!

Tamera at the Sonoma County Airport

We drove over the hill and into the valley through the charming towns of  Calistoga and St. Helena before reaching our first destination, Redd in Yountville. Heather, Kim, and Jennifer would be meeting up with us for lunch and our trip would officially begin!

Redd Yountville

Once we all showed up at Redd and got settled at our table on their beautiful and relaxing patio, we began to get re-acquainted. But first things first. We all wanted to order a glass of what Napa Valley is best known for….wine! And toast to the commencement of our trip.


Heather of Style Mind Chic Life had driven down from Chico and Kim of Northern California Style had driven up from Los Gatos.


This trip makes the third time that Tamera and Heather have seen each other.


Jennifer of A Well Styled Life, who none of us had met before, drove in from Contra Costa County. She instantly connected with the group and had us laughing in no time with her keen sense of humor.

Bloggers at Redd

Kim and I have gotten together four times since last summer. I sometimes forget I originally met her through blogging.


While we waited for our meal and sipped on our lovely wine, we got caught up on each other’s lives as best we could over lunch. Jennifer recently returned from a fabulous vacation in Mexico and Heather was on spring break from her job as school psychologist.


Our food arrived and exceeded our expectations. I ordered the mushroom risotto with truffle oil, spinach and parmesan. It was spectacular!

Redd Yountville

After we finished lunch, we headed up the road to Montecristi Panama Hats, a shop I visit whenever I am in Napa Valley. I have quite the collection of hats since meeting the family who owns the shop last year.

Jennifer found this gorgeous gray hat that compliments her blonde hair so well.


Kim struggled with the decision of taking home a white Panama hat or one in a natural shade. She ultimately chose a white one and wore it for the remainder of the trip. It suits her so well!


We all thought this straw hat with a pastel green band looked great with Heather’s outfit. There are so many choices at Montecristi Panama Hats. They have a hat for everyone’s taste. They even carry a wide selection of hats for men.


I brought home this straw hat with a leather chin strap. I love it and am sure to wear it often this spring and summer. It’s ideal for keeping the sun off my face and out of my eyes. I also picked up a fun hat for an upcoming fundraiser that I am volunteering for which has a Kentucky Derby theme.

Adrienne Shubin Hat

Once we finished trying on practically every hat in the shop, we decided on our purchases, then asked the owners to take a few photos of us.


Lunch at Redd followed by hat shopping at Montecristi Panama Hats was the ideal way to spend the first part of day one of our three-day trip.


We traveled on to downtown Napa to check into our chic and luxurious hotel, Andaz Napa.

Bloggers in Napa Valley

More on that and our other activities in future posts.

Be sure to visit Patti’s for Visible Monday.


And make it a rich day!



Tria Age-Defying Laser: Eight Week Update and a Q & A

For the last eight weeks I have been using my Tria Age-Defying Laser five nights a week and am continuing to see fantastic improvements in my skin.

In my last post I shared my initial progress photos and all the reasons why I love my Tria. Today I thought I would not only share my recent progress photos, but also answer some of the many questions I have received since publishing my first Tria post.

Let’s begin with my Week Four photo, taken shortly after my last post. Here, my forehead is beginning to feel more taut and appears to have been lifted a bit, making me look less tired and not so ‘frowny’. My childhood scar on my left cheek next to my nose is becoming less noticeable, and the flesh on my face is plumper. My skin continues to feel smoother and the skin tone looks a little more even.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Week Four

At Week Five, I had been on level 3 for several days. Level 3 is a ten-minute treatment, up from the four minutes I had been doing on level 2. I do notice that this level makes my skin pinker and it feels more burned, as if I had a sunburn. Thankfully both the redness and the discomfort fade by morning.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Week Five

I often will grab a hand mirror and do my level 3 treatment while watching the evening news with my husband before bed since it’s a 10-minute session.

Tria Age-Defying Laser - Level 3

At Week Six, I noticed an even smoother forehead. Like many people, my deepest wrinkles are across my forehead. I use them as a beacon of sorts to monitor my progression. I also notice a more plump chin area.

Tria Age-Defying Laser Week - Week Six

And finally my latest photo, taken this morning at the Week Eight mark. I notice diminishing lines on my forehead, a bit more plumpness in my cheeks and shallower smile lines.

I also notice that I need to be more careful about re-applying sunscreen now that the sun is more intense and longer days are upon us. Using sunscreen during the treatment process is very important as your skin becomes very sensitive and your dark spots will darken if not protected.

Tria Age-defying Laser - Week 8

Since my initial post about my experience using Tria Age-Defying Laser, I have received a large number of inquiries about the device. I thought a Q & A would be a great way to publicly answer some of the great questions I received.

 Q: How old are you? What are your primary skin issues?

A: I am 46-years-old. My primary areas of concern are the creases on my forehead, my nasal labial folds (smile lines), dark spots on my jawline, a childhood scar near my nose on my left cheek, acne scars, and lines around my eyes.

 Q: Will the Tria Age Defying Laser harm my vision?

A: The Age-Defying Laser is designed to be used to treat skin around the eyes and you won’t be able to harm your eyes or vision.  The device has special safety sensors to ensure the laser will not fire if it is not in contact with the skin and gliding across to new areas. As a rule of thumb, place the device and treat only where you can feel bone beneath the skin; you should not treat your eyes or eyelids or aim the device directly into your eye.

 Q: Does the Tria Age Defying Laser cause skin cancer?

A: The Tria Age-Defying Laser has FDA clearance for safety and suitability. Non-ablative fractional lasers were cleared by the FDA in 2003 and have been available in physician offices since. At this time there have been no known reports of cancer associated with the use of non-ablative fractional lasers.

 Q: Can it be used both in summer and winter?

A: You can use the Tria Age-Defying Laser year round. You may get color or tanned in the summer months due to increased sun exposure, but this is not connected to the Age-Defying Laser. Tria suggests using an SPF of at least 30, daily, in order to prevent and shield from the damaging affects of the sun. If you experience a sunburn, Tria does not recommend treating with the Age-Defying Laser while your skin is red and/or irritated.

 Q: Can I use it if I have rosacea and will it help my rosacea condition?

A: The Age-Defying Laser was specifically designed to reduce fine-lines and wrinkles, however, many users have seen an overall improvement to the texture, tone and clarity of their skin. For good measure, you should consult your physician before use if you have a preexisting skin condition such as rosacea.

Q: Is it safe to use along with my Retin-A regimen?

A: You can, but it is important that you do not begin both treatments at once. If you have already been using Retin-A, Tria recommends waiting until any redness, dryness, or flakiness subsides. This is to prevent any interference with the Age-Defying Laser and make clear what results are coming from the laser treatments. Tria does not recommend that you begin a new skin treatment, whatever it may be, at the same time as beginning the Age-Defying Laser

Q: Once I have completed my 12-week program, may I continue to use it?

A: Treatments are 5 days a week for 12 weeks. Users should take at least 1 month off from using the device, between 12-week treatments

 Q: I have read some reviews about problems with the device charging. What’s the status of that issue?

A: Tria has let me know that they have identified an issue with a small percentage of power supplies (which is the plug that goes into the wall).  This does not impact the device itself, but it does prevent the battery from consistently charging. They have a new power supply that remedies the charging issue. If you experience issues charging your device, you can contact their Customer Care department at 877-567-6231 or [email protected] and they will send you a replacement power supply.

 Q: How much dryness and redness should I expect?

A: I have experienced very little dryness. Occasionally my skin feels a little rougher than normal but that only lasts a couple of days. I have had no flaking except around my nose, which is an area I do not treat with the Tria ( but I could if I wanted to). My redness has been minimal and has always appeared after my evening treatment. When I wake up in the morning, it’s gone – save for a little pinkness. I apply Tria’s serum directly after my treatment before bed, which soothes and calms my skin.

Tria just repackaged their cleanser and serum. Not only are they now more sleek looking but they contain twice the amount of product than the older models did.

 Tria Age-Defying Cleanser and Serum

Q: Do I have to wear more sunscreen than I usually do? What kind do you use?

A: I do wear more than usual, even on cloudy and rainy days. I apply more frequently especially now that we are well into spring and the days are longer and brighter. I use Coola SPF 30 organic sunscreen. The people from Tria sent it to me and I love it, although it does give me a bit of a white tint. I simply apply some foundation on top if the white tint is bothering me.

Q: Is it really worth $500?

A: I think the Tria Age-Defying Laser is worth its price tag for a few reasons. A laser treatment at the doctor’s office will cost about $900 to $1000 per treatment and most people need about three treatments total. And there is no down-time with Tria. I also think that the Tria Age-Defying Laser is much more effective than topical anti-aging creams, oils and serums which are often expensive and can really add up but not deliver the results they promise.

Q: Does it hurt?

A: While it is not without discomfort, it does not hurt. It feels like many tiny pin pricks at once. It’s not exactly pleasant but not intolerable either. I actually like it because I know it’s doing something!

Q: Do I have to start on level one? Can’t I just get right to it?

A: Tria and I advise that users start on the first level. It’s a great way to get yourself familiarized with the way it feels and how to use it. It also prepares your skin for the next level. I think if I would have had more redness throughout the treatment program had I skipped level one.

Q: Do you feel it tightened up your skin on your face?

A: I do! I used to feel that my brow was heavy, sort of weighed on my eyes and gave me a frown. It feels like my forehead has been lifted up a bit, a difference I not only see but feel. I also notice more fullness in the flesh of my face, especially on my chin.

Q: Do you use it on your jawline and neck?

A: Yes, I use it on my jawline. And no, I do not use it on my neck. Tria is not designed for use on the neck area.

Q: Do you travel with your Tria? 

Tria Age Defying Laser comes with a darling travel bag to keep your Tria device, charger, cord, user guide and your cleanser and serum. It’s easy to travel with and keeps everything you need for your Tria in one place.

 Tria Age-Defying Laser Kit

I hope that Tria and I have been able to answer the questions you may have about the Tria Age-Defying Laser. If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments or contact me via email at [email protected]. I will have another update at the end of my Tria treatment in about four weeks.

You may purchase a Tria Age-Defying Laser at Tria and at the following retailers: Amazon, Sephora, Selfridges and Bloomingdale’s.


 I will be back soon with lots to tell you about our Bloggers in Napa Valley trip!

Make it a rich day!




Disclosure: Tria gave me a Tria Age-Defying Laser to review and keep. All opinions expressed about Tria Age-Defying Beauty are my own. I use affiliate links in this post which may produce commission for The Rich Life (on a budget).