The Rich Life On a Budget

10 Easy Looks With a Basic Foundation: White Tee, White Jeans

My post, 10 Easy Looks with 1 Basic Foundationwas such a big hit I decided to do it again! But this time, I challenged myself to create 10 wearable looks using a new basic foundation: a white tee with white jeans.

An all-white foundation is no where near as easy to style as black top and black skirt. But I did it and out of this exercise, I found some great outfits to wear this spring and summer.

I started with a white Stella Carakasi long-sleeved tee shirt and J. Crew toothpick Cone Denim white jeansThen I got creative with my wardrobe!


 #1 Add a Sweater Vest 

This Go -Getter Vest by Stella Carakasi (sold out but give the Stella Studio a call, they may have one for you!) gets quite the workout. I love how great it looks with so many basic outfits and the neutral color is not only versatile, but matches my peep-toe booties (similar) so nicely!


#2 Add a V-Neck Sweater 

This beautiful caramel cashmere sweater was a gift from a dear friend. I simply layered it on top of the white tee, then added a pair of J. Crew leopard flats (consigned, similar). I carried my much-loved orange Adora bag for a burst of color.


#3 Add Animal Print

When in doubt, add some animal print to your look. This lightweight, sheer zebra print Cascading Chiffon vest was sent to me by Covered Perfectly. I love the way it moves and flow. It adds just the right sass to a monochromatic look.

I finished off the look with Calvin Klein Dolly pumps and a long silver necklace by Vince Camuto (similar).


 #4 Wear with a Light Color 

Coordinating light colors, like the icy light gray hue of this Stella Carakasi Far and Away Coat, make white look even more crisp and fresh. I added gray Gap booties and a silver statement necklace, a gift from Tamera Beardsley.


#5 Put on a Trench 

I don’t know what I did before I bought this Banana Republic trench coat (similar) about 4 years ago. It’s such a versatile topper. The khaki color looks fantastic with white. The Kate Spade bag and Valentino on a Budget shoes (similar) make this look a go-to for lunch with girlfriends or a client meeting.


#6 Layer a Sheer Top 

When the weather heats up, I will wear this Printed Easy Going Top, part of Stella Carakasi’s Spring 2015 Collection, with a camisole. But until that time, I wear it with my long sleeved tee and a jacket, if necessary.

I wore gray Olyvia shoes from Sole Society and kept the accessories to a minimum. I wanted to let the intriguing metallic graphic on this gorgeous sheer top be the star of the show.


#7 Layer a Poncho

This Luxe Pullover Wrap from Mason Street Design has been a real wardrobe workhorse of mine during this mild winter. I have worn it many times since adding it to my wardrobe last fall.

Gray looks great with white and is the ideal winter-into-spring color combination. My orange Adora bag adds color to my look and my Superga sneakers make this a stylish and casual everyday outfit.


#8 Throw on a Blazer 

I’m taking this basic foundation to a more sophisticated level by adding a blazer. This wool blazer with gold button detail (thrifted), is quite a contrast to the all-white foundation. Black booties and a gold-toned long necklace wrap up the look.


#9 Make it Sporty

A silk camo bomber and Nike running shoes give this basic white tee and jeans a sporty edge


#10 Add a Cropped Sweater  

An on-trend look for spring is to layer a cropped top with a longer top underneath. I added this blue cropped crocheted sweater by Stella Carakasi, a yet-to-be-released piece from their Spring 2015 Collection*, to my basic foundation and wore blue booties from Sole Society.


 There you have it!

10 spring looks using 1 basic foundation of a white tee and white jeans!


Don’t forget the How I Wear My: Booties deadline is Monday, March 2nd. To get details on how to participate, visit the How I Wear My page!


Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: I was given a Cascading Chiffon Vest by Covered Perfectly, all pieces featured here by Stella Carakasi, a Luxe Pullover Wrap by Mason Street Designs and my Adora bag in exchange for promotion. All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own. 

*To get special offers and stay in-the-know about new arrivals at Stella Carakasi (like my blue cropped sweater, soon to be in stock) join their VIP mailing list. And be sure to take 15% off all purchases by using the code RICHLIFE15

The Spa Gourmet

Welcome to Rich Life Travel Friday!

This week, I want to tell you about The Spa Gourmet. I was introduced to husband and wife team, Trip and Cindy Fuchs, through a mutual friend who leases luxury vacation rentals in Sonoma County.

Cindy is a massage therapist with over 20 years experience in her field.


Her husband, Trip, is a personal chef and has worked for some of the best restaurants in Louisiana, where they are both from.


Their business specializes in providing luxurious pampering, brought to you in your vacation rental, your hotel (that doesn’t have a spa on site) or your home.

Cindy invited me to Villa Vernazza, a stunning luxury home located in Sonoma County, to experience The Spa Gourmet first hand. How could I possibly say no to that?

I pulled into the long driveway at Villa Vernazza, and suddenly I felt as though I was back in Italy.


This beautiful and spacious Tuscan-style villa features four bedrooms and accommodates up to 12 guests. It sits on 24-acres of vineyards and open fields in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country.


Inside, there is a large chef’s kitchen where Trip is often found, creating spa meals or his signature fusions of Southern inspired creole cooking and Sonoma County’s highest quality locally sourced food.


The large dining area is ideal for family gatherings, or a getaway with a few couples or a gathering of your favorite friends!


Outside, overlooking a horse ranch with Mount Saint Helena in the distance, is a large pool area with a jacuzzi, bocce court and plenty of seating for guests.

Cindy often gives guests poolside massages but it was a bit too cool and windy for both of us during my visit so we enjoyed the day inside.


I took a moment to enjoy this lovely vineyard of pinot noir, then it was time to experience The Spa Gourmet!


First, I was given a delicious Pomegranate-Ginger Detox Elixir, made for me by Chef Trip. It was refreshing, fruity without being too sweet and a great way to get ready for all the pampering and relaxing. I was able to get The Spa Gourmet to share it with me…and now I will share it with you. It’s fantastic!


Once I finished my Detox Elixir, I was ready to begin my day with Cindy.

Cindy has many talents including teaching others how to meditate at a Northern California retreat and providing relaxing Babymoons for expectant parents.

I asked Cindy to teach me how to meditate as I have long wanted to learn how but haven’t had much success trying it on my own.

Cindy created a peaceful and comfortable area for us in the Great Room of the villa. Once I was seated and comfortable, she gave me some helpful hints for how to meditate and explained that it’s really just about being quiet. There is no pressure to get it “right” (which is how I approached it in the past) but rather an opportunity to slow down, focus on the present and just breathe. I can do that!

The best advice Cindy gave me for meditating is to count as I breathe in, hold it, then breathe out, a method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. I count up to four as breathed deeply from my belly (rather than my chest), held my breath for a count of seven, then release my breath for a count of eight. This 4-7-8  pattern really does work. It keeps  my mind on one thing – my breathing – and it relaxes my body.  I have continued this practice since learning it from Cindy.


Once our mediation concluded, I was shown to a lavender-scented bubble bath in a giant tub, overlooking the vineyards. It was a pinch-me moment!


After soaking for about 20 minutes, it was time for my massage. Cindy chose one of the gorgeous bedroom suites in the villa and set up her table.

Cindy is trained in many different types of massage. For my massage, she used a combination of Shiatsu and Reiki, along with some of her own techniques.

It was the best massage I have ever had, and I am not just saying that because I like Cindy so much. It was both relaxing and therapeutic. Cindy applied just the right amount of pressure. It was blissful!


Once I came back down to earth, got dressed and had some water (it’s important to hydrate after a lengthy massage), I returned to the Great Room area. Waiting for me was a big plate of freshly made spring rolls with Trip’s special sauce. It was the ideal light spa lunch I wanted after a day of wonderful pampered luxury.

What an incredible day spent with The Spa Gourmet!


Cindy and Trip are two of the kindest people I have had the pleasure to meet. Welcoming and easy to be around, this husband and wife team will make your Wine Country vacation luxuriously relaxing. And you don’t have to leave the comfort of your vacation home, residence or hotel!

The Spa Gourmet will customize your experience, from a simple and light spa lunch for two to an elaborate full-course dinner for 12, Trip has the skills, expertise and experience to make it unforgettable and delicious.

Cindy has a team of massage therapists that she has worked with for years who are available for larger groups or side-by-side couple’s massages.

Currently, The Spa Gourmet is currently offering a special Bridal Package. For six guests, she will provide a one-hour massage with your choice of hot stones or hot wood, plus a spa lunch for $179 per person.

The Spa Gourmet serves the Wine Country and the Sonoma Coast area. You may contact The Spa Gourmet at or (707) 494-7374.

And if you’re looking for the ultimate Wine Country vacation rental, visit 5 Star VR and take a look at their luxury properties, including the stunning Villa Vernazza and their multiple beach properties.

Make it a rich day!



Disclosure: All services provided to me by The Spa Gourmet and 5 Star VR were complimentary, in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.