The Rich Life On a Budget

Off to BlogHer ’14!

I’m off to BlogHer ’14 in San Jose today!


This is my first time to BlogHer or to any blog conference or convention, for that matter, and I have little idea what to expect. I am trying not to know too much because to be frank, the more I learn the more my introverted side gets a little freaked out. Terms like ‘open mic’, ‘karaoke’, and ‘dance party’ keep popping up here and there and it makes me nervous. I start imagining myself hiding out by the hotel’s pool reading O Magazine rather than at the conference. But I know that won’t happen. I’m usually a joiner, even when it means doing something outside my comfort zone. But I draw the line at karaoke.

Besides, there is much more to this three-day conference than events geared toward the fearless extrovert. There will be informative sessions to attend on topics like videos, publishing, monetizing, technology, advertising and more. And there will be some fascinating speakers: Ariana Huffington, Kerry Washington, and The Bloggess, just to name a few.

Yesterday I spent the morning packing. I devoted a good deal of time to making sure I brought everything I want and need to have fun, be comfortable, get involved and stay connected.

What I bring to the long days of sessions is important. My hotel is at least a five-minute walk from the convention center and could be much longer depending on where my room is located. I want to have everything I need at my disposal and I want my hands as free as possible. I chose a small cross-body bag. This Fossil bag is admittedly not the most stylish thing I own, but it’s practical and simple.


Since there is not a lot of space in this bag, I had to choose carefully what I wanted to have with me:

~ Lip gloss

~ Concealer for dark circles, blemish and brown spots.

~ Small mirror

~ iPhone with Mophie battery-boosting cover

~ Business cards from Moo with my photo on them so people have a better chance of remembering me.


 ~ Cash, credit cards, ID

~ Louis Vuitton card case to hold business cards, cash, credit cards and ID.

~ 2 pens

~ My room key, once I get it.

~ Hand santizer without triclosan

~ Mints

~ Small, thin notebook with a slot for keeping other people’s business cards.

~ A few loose Advil and some Band-Aids in the side pocket because you never know when a headache or a nasty blister will strike.

For the room I packed some things I don’t normally take on trips. I brought instant coffee packets, protein and snack bars, sleepy-time tea, and some crackers and nuts, enough for a crowd. I am ready for anything!


I also packed my swimsuit and a couple of O Magazines…just in case!


Have you ever been to an out-of-town convention or conference?

What special items did you bring along?

Make it a rich day!

I’ll be Instagramming while at BlogHer if you’d like to follow along!




P.S. Don’t forget about the Stella Carakasi giveaway going on now. Three winners will be chosen on the 29th!


Festival del Sole: Music, Food, Wine and Wellness

Festival del Sole in Napa Valley has concluded. What a truly magnificent experience it was! I am forever grateful to have been part of it this year. I attended five events over the course of the 10-day event.

Festival del Sole

First I enjoyed an outdoor yoga class, then I spent the afternoon tasting and sipping the best of Napa Valley at A Taste of Napa. Then last Wednesday, my husband Bill and I attended a concert at Castello di Amorosa.


Pinchas Zuckerman and his ChamberPlayers performed outdoors to a packed house.

Zukerman ChamberPlayers

The setting and the performance were both magical.

Castello di Amarosa

I wore what I had planned to and was mostly happy with my decision except for my shoes. Pointy heels, even if they are on the low side, do not play nicely with uneven stone walkways.

Adrienne Shubin - Castello di Amorosa

Luckily I had this guy to keep me steady.

Adrienne and Bill Shubin

I was relieved I dressed up. There were some gorgeously dressed men and women at the performance, making for excellent people watching opportunities.

 Castello di Amorosa

During intermission, Bill and I watched the sunset from inside the castle walls.

Sunset at Castello di Amarosa

It looked like a painting!


After the concert concluded, we headed several miles south to Robert Mondavi Winery for a special dinner honoring Pinchas Zukerman’s birthday.


We were delighted to sit at a table with the pianist, Angela Cheug, who was friendly and engaging. What a talent she is!

Pianist Angela Cheung

Bill and I enjoyed lively conversation at our table while filling up on delicious wine and food (inhaling the contents of the bread basket as it was nearly 9:30 before we ate dinner).


Just two tables away sat Maestro Zukerman, his wife, cellist Amanda Forsythe and Margrit Mondavi. Mrs. Mondavi, who is 90-years-young, got up to speak to the crowd. She is humorous and full of vigor. It was an honor for me just to be in the same room with her.

The evening was spectacular and included impromptu singing by Julia Bullock, a round of the Happy Birthday song for Pinchas Zukerman, and cake served with Moscato that was semi-frozen because that’s the way Margrit likes it.


It was a night I will never forget!

Saturday, I attended my last event, a Wellness Conversation at Bardessono. I started off the morning with a big glass of vegetable juice with lots of kale. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do!

Kale Juice

Dr. Garo Kassabian, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, author and researcher, spoke first. He lectured about the benefits of vitamins and has created a vitamin IV therapy that he gives his clients to give them energy and vitality. Feeling particularly daring, I signed up to get vitamin therapy. I am so glad I did. I felt clearheaded and full of energy for the rest of the weekend. The next time I am in Los Angeles, I will be visiting Dr. Kassabian for another!

 LiftMd IV Vitamin Therapy

After Dr. Kassabian’s lecture, we were given a tour of the garden at Bardessono. Lucy, the property’s highly acclaimed restaurant, prides itself on being farm-to-table, using unique ingredients in creative ways. Have you heard of Pakistani Mulberries? Lime Thyme? Pineapple Tomatillos? Neither had I. Eating at Lucy just rose to the top of my list of things I want to experience, and soon!


Once we returned to the conference room, Dr. Wendy Bazilian took the stage and spoke about the benefits of eating well, moving more and utilizing herbs and spices to promote health.

Dr. Bazilian encouraged us to start thinking differently about eating healthy. Rather than focusing on eating less of the foods that aren’t healthy for us, turn attention to eating more of what is good for us. I think that is a philosophy that can be applied to many other areas of our lives. Instead of trying to banish negative thoughts, think more positive thoughts. Instead of making an effort to sit less, just move more. I like this way of thinking!

Festival del Sole 2014 was such an amazing, beautiful, educational and delicious experience, I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be invited to return next year.

I am leaving Thursday for BlogHer ’14 and will be running around taking care of errands and doing my best not to over pack until then. I hope to have a post up before I depart but if I don’t, I will be posting lots of photos from this huge three-day event on my Instagram feed.


 Before you leave, be sure to enter my Stella Carakasi giveaway going on now. Three winners will be chosen!


How I Wear My: White is right around the corner. Please send your photo and a blurb about your look to [email protected] by the end of the day on August 4th to featured.


Make it a rich day and thanks you for reading!



 Disclosure: My pass and my husband’s pass to Festival del Sole were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.