The Rich Life On a Budget

One Trend, Two Generations: Ponchos and Capes

Tori, my stepdaughter and I are back with another post in our One Trend, Two Generations series. This time we’re wearing ponchos and capes!

The poncho and cape trend has been in fashion for years. Tori and I love them because they are so easy to style and they keep you warm and comfortable. Plus, they are a very forgiving trend. No need to break out the shape wear when you’re draped in a poncho or cape!

Recently, our friends at Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley started carrying their gorgeous capes, shawls and ponchos online. Have a look at the new Capes, Shawls and Ponchos collection (you might recognize the models on their new page!).


Tori is wearing the Mercedes Poncho from Ecuador, named after owner and matron of the Anda family.

It is 100% acrylic so it’s washable and very, very soft. The medium gauge knit will keep you warm, too. It’s like wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket while looking stylish. For added style and warmth, Tori wears her Milano hat with her poncho, worn without the removable feather plume.


I’m wearing the Gil Cape from Kuna. Kuna is a Peruvian company that makes high-quality garments with carefully selected natural fibers. The Gil Cape is made from Baby Royal Alpaca fibers making it incredibly soft and giving it a light sheen.

The owners of Montecristi Panama Hat Company gave me this cape a few months ago as a thank you gift as my husband and I did some modeling for their website over the summer. A frustrated model in my teen years, I would have modeled for nothing and am so grateful for this special gift.


Tori gave her poncho look some edge by wearing faux leather leggings and black booties with a chunky heel.


I thought my cape deserved some extra glamour. I started with a head-to-toe all black outfit – a black turtleneck, Stella Carakasi leggings and tall boots – and accessorized with a Louis Vuitton satchel, gold-rimmed Ray-Bans and a gold tassel necklace. This look combines warm comfort with glamorous style and would work for day or night. The Gil Cape also comes in a deep black shade.


Tori and I love the folded collar and button detail of the Mercedes Poncho, giving it a little extra character. The knitted bands add dimensions of color and texture. The Mercedes Poncho also comes in black.


I plan on wearing my cape frequently this season. It keeps me warm, the color is rich and versatile and it’s so luxurious! Next time, I want to style it casually with jeans and perhaps an off-white, lightweight sweater and a cool winter hat.


Do you wear capes and ponchos?

If so, how do you style yours?


To celebrate the addition of the new online collection, the Anda family of Montecristi Panama Hat Company of Napa Valley is generously offering my readers 20% off any item on the Capes, Shawls and Ponchos page.

Just enter the code PONCHO20 at checkout. Offer good until midnight, PST on November 28th, 2014 (Black Friday).

How I Wear My Badge

A quick reminder that How I Wear My: Sweater is right around the corner! Deadline for submission is December 1st. Send your photo (600 pix or wider, please!) and outfit description to

Find out more on the HIWM page and stay in touch by liking How I Wear My on Facebook.

Be sure to see who is wearing what today on Visible Monday!


Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: I was given my poncho/cape as a gift from the Anda Family of Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley last summer. Tori wore the Mercedes Poncho for the post and was given the Milano hat to keep. All opinions expressed here are my own.

G3 Women’s Conference

Last week, I attended a life-changing, rejuvenating, eye-opening and overwhelmingly inspiring three-day conference for women in the town of Sonoma called G3 Women’s Conference. G3 stands for Gather, Grow and Go and is for any woman of any age and at any stage in her life. If you’re reading this, that probably describes you!


Set in the charming and serene MacArthur Place Hotel, a short walk from the Sonoma Plaza, the conference far exceeded my expectations.


Speakers included dynamic women from the Sonoma community and from out of the area, some from as far away as Canada. Topics included work-life balance, entrepreneurship, finance, health, writing, positive thinking, self-image, leadership and of course, being a woman in today’s world.


Lisa Lilienthal was one of the speakers who touched me with her presentation. As a successful professional with a physical disability who is raising a son with Downs Syndrome, Lisa gave us insight into what it’s like to live in a world where judgment, assumptions and marginalization run rampant. Lisa urged us to break those cycles, give people with disabilities the benefit of the doubt and not be so quick to categorize and discount their abilities. It made me realize I often assume things about people with disabilities before getting to know them. I appreciate and admire Lisa’s transparency and her willingness to tell her very personal and unique story.


Several companies were represented at G3 Women’s Conference, as well. Ann Paolini from The Real Real gave an interesting presentation on the business model, success and vision of the company. And they offered us a $50 gift certificate that I am planning on using very soon. Exciting!


We engaged in many activities, both interactive and solo. While I don’t want to give away all the goodies in case you plan on attending the next G3, I will tell you that one of my favorite activities was creating inspiration boards. Instead of simply cutting out images and words from magazines and pasting them on a poster board, we were led through a thoughtful meditation by Anne Marie Sebastiani who got us into the moment. She gave us special instructions throughout the exercise to help us focus on what we truly want on our boards, and in our lives. I love the way my board turned out. I brought it home and now it’s hanging in my office.


Listening to captivating speakers and engaging in enlightening and creative activities weren’t the only items on the agenda. There was time for exercise, socializing and great food and wine. We had a lovely picnic at Sebastiani Winery sponsored by Sonoma Market….


…and a tasty and entertaining dinner at Ramekins. Those who were up early for a workout could choose from Barre class, yoga, or a hike around scenic Wine Country.

G3 Dinner

Photo by Debbie Markam

The three G3 founders - Michelle Dale, Anne Marie Sebastiani and Piper Abodeely – are approachable, energetic, knowledgable, insightful, inspiring and joy to be around! They worked very hard to create something they are passionate about and it shows. I think I can speak for others when I say that these women and their conference influenced attendees in truly positive ways that will have long-lasting effects.


G3 is committed to supporting women beyond the conference. The learning and growing continues with +G3 Circles, which are small groups that meet once a month to keep the momentum of growth going. Circles meet in person in the Sonoma area and via teleconferencing for those living elsewhere. +G3 Circles are open to those who have attended the G3 Conference.


I took so much away from the conference, it was hard to filter it all down to just a few:

~ Connecting with women of a like mind who are supportive, dynamic, and authentic is inspiring, invaluable and important to me.

~ Taking risks – to gain personal growth, expand my career, and make meaningful connections with others – is the way I will reach my full potential.

~ I have the power within me to be my best self.

The next G3 Conference is March 11-13, 2015 at MacArthur Place Hotel. Tickets are on sale now!

I plan on attending and hope to see my readers and friends. For more details, visit the G3 website. And stay up to date on all things G3, like their Facebook page. Be sure to take advantage of the early bird rates being offered now.

Make it a rich day!



Because I often write paid promotional material on my blog, I feel compelled to tell you that I was not compensated in any way, nor was I asked by anyone to write this post. I paid full price for my conference ticket and it was worth every single penny and every single minute I took away from my family and work. I simply want all women to know about and attend this event. It will change you for the better!