The Rich Life On a Budget

Visible Monday: Anniversary, Gifts and a Big Announcement!

My husband and I celebrated twelve years of marriage on Saturday.

October 13th, 2000.
It was a Friday the 13th AND it was a full-moon.
Can’t call us superstitious!  

Bill and I didn’t make any special plans. We left our options open; going with the flow.

The day began in our usual way with coffee in bed. We exchanged anniversary cards over mugs of java. Earlier in the month we agreed not to do gifts this year.

Someone, who is not me, did not keep his promise of no gifts and bought me (us) a new camera!

On the left, the new camera. Our four or five-year-old Rebel xsi on the right. 

It’s a Canon 7D with two lenses, one he bought used from a co-worker for a great price. I was so excited about receiving this camera, I teared up. It’s something we’ve both dreamt of owning for well over a year, once we started outgrowing our Rebel.

I plugged in the camera battery as quickly as I could because I wanted to see what this new toy could do as soon as possible.

While the battery was charging, we got dressed for the day. I received a lovely and unexpected surprise in the mail on Friday. Barbara, dear friend and reader who was featured in this “How I Wear My” post, sent me a winter white Max Mara skirt all the way from Italy, where she lives! I was thrilled and wanted to wear it right away.

It fits me perfectly and is ideal for fall as the material is a thick gauge cotton, like denim.

I wore it with an olive green safari shirt (thrifted $5.00), a favorite top of mine,

and my oxfords.

We didn’t go far. Landmark Vineyards is just a stone’s throw from our house and it’s an ideal setting for a picnic. Dogs are allowed so we brought the girls along.

In the tasting room, I purchased a bottle of Lorenzo Chardonnay for our picnic….

while Bill grabbed our favorite table next to the bocce court.

We stayed a couple of hours, people watching, taking loads of photos, eating….

letting the dogs run through the grass…

making friends with bocce players

and just enjoying our surroundings, each other and our dogs.

You can take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage around the vineyards. 

We returned home, did a few chores then changed for dinner in Sonoma. We walked around the square, stopping off at my favorite leather accessory shop, Large Leather. I ordered a small crossbody bag in a cognac shade that Jessica, one of the owners, is going to make for me.

For dinner, we tried Harvest Moon Cafe on the plaza for the first time. It’s just a few storefronts down from Large Leather. It was fantastic! The food was outstanding, the service impeccable and it has a lively, fun yet relaxing atmosphere.

We rarely eat desserts anymore. Sugar is a ‘special occasions only’ treat for us. Since a wedding anniversary falls into that ‘special’ category, we decided to go for it. We had not one, not two, but three desserts!

L to R: Layered homemade sorbets and homemade vanilla ice cream,
S’mores with a layer of peanut butter mousse inside, topped with marshmallow cream,
then toasted with a torch.
Pots de creme….all were delectable but this was my favorite.  

It was an ideal way to welcome in our 13th year of marriage.


I have a BIG announcement!

Something I have been waiting for weeks to tell you all about.

I’m writing a regular feature for the online magazine, Skimbaco.

‘Luxury living on a budget’ will be my focus,
including topics such as wine country lifestyle, fashion and travel.

Please stop by Skimbaco and check out my very first article.

I’d love to hear what you think!

And, I am linking up with Visible Monday.

Be sure to stop by Patti’s blog and see what everyone is wearing today!

Happy Monday!


65 thoughts on “Visible Monday: Anniversary, Gifts and a Big Announcement!

  1. lovesjetlag

    great article Adrienne! Well written and informative, looking forward to the next!
    Oh that skirt is waaaay beyond my most optimistic expectations, it fits you so well, the length is perfect, you could not have matched it better!

  2. High Heeled Life

    Happy anniversary!! Oct. 13th was a busy celebration day .. on this end we celebrated my mother’s 75th birthday!!

    Blog friends always seem to know when we need a little pick me up… that skirt looks lovely on you.

    Daisy and Coco look adorable.

    CONGRATULATIONS on the magazine … will check out your article… wishing you a fabulous week! xo HHL

  3. Lisa

    Happy Anniversary to you and your beloved! Your post is so rich today!
    Love the beautiful photos of your anniversary destination. And the pretty skirt you received; it’s perfectly paired with that top.

    Congrats on your new writing assignment! I think you are perfect for the job!

  4. what's her bucket

    Your anniversary day looks wonderful. And I’m so happy for you and your posts on Skimbaco! I loved the article. Enjoy your camera and I look forward to more amazing photos and enjoyable articles from you. xo

  5. Kathy Leeds

    It looks like you had a great time on your anniversary and both outfits are perfect. I just read your article on Skimbaco and it’s great! I really want to go to that leather store.
    A camera is such a perfect gift and how sweet of Bill to surprise you with it.
    So glad you’re enjoying your oxfords too!
    Happy happy anniversary again. xo

  6. Une Femme

    Congratulations, to both of you on your anniversary, and to you Adrienne on the column! That’s SO exciting!! I love your casual skirt ensemble here, and the winery looks fabulous. Looks like the dogs had a marvelous time too.

  7. Adrienne Shubin

    @Lisa Thank you, Lisa!

    The skirt is such a great addition to my wardrobe. I want to try it with tall boots and a big sweater this winter. I think I’ll be wearing it often.

    I am looking forward to writing for Skimbaco. It will be good for me to stretch my writing skills a bit beyond the blog.

    Thank you for your support and kind words!

  8. Adrienne Shubin

    @Kathy Leeds If you ever come up my way, we can go to Large Leather together. I love that place and always find something else I want to buy, which can be dangerous.

    My oxfords are so comfortable. I find myself wearing the cognac more than the black…no surprise there.

    I’m glad (and relieved) you like the Skimbaco article. I had a hard time sleeping last night knowing it was going live today. Eek!
    Thank you for the kind words! xoxo, A

  9. vintagefrenchchic

    Happy Anniversary! You and Bill look like you haven’t aged at all. A perfect match. And I think I will have to have him talk to my dear husband about gift buying!!

    Congrats on your new writing job too…what an accomplishment. : )

    xo H

  10. kim at northerncalstyle.

    Congratulation Adrienne! You totally deserve that job as a writer! You will be great! So happy for you.

    Also congrats on your anniversary! You looked lovely in that skirt. MAxmara things are so nice. You will have it a long time I am sure.


  11. Satu VW

    Welcome to Skimbaco, so happy to have you in the team! :) And happy anniversary, we only celebrated our 5th this year but hopefully there are many more to come. I love the Californian lifestyle, wish we could just stroll to a vineyard here in Norway…I’ll keep on dreaming!!

  12. knitseashore

    Happy Anniversary! It looks like you had a wonderfully romantic day together. Congratulations also on your new writing project! I live on the east coast, so unfortunately I won’t be able to check out your suggestions any time soon, but they might inspire me to do some local visiting of my own. :)

  13. Adrienne Shubin

    @vintagefrenchchic Bill has always been an excellent gift buyer. Now that we have been together for a while, it seems like we want the same things…camera, vacations, electronics. I used to always want fashion stuff, which is hard for a husband to shop for. But now it’s all about improving life’s experiences in the forms of travel and hobbies.

    I am very excited about writing for Skimbaco. I think it’s going to be good to challenge myself. It’s just the thing I needed and wanted to re-charge my batteries and re-commit to writing.
    xo, A

  14. Adrienne Shubin

    @Faux Fuchsia Bring Mr. FF and baby FF out to Sonoma Valley for a visit. We have all the things you love: great restaurants, wine, shopping…I will show you a great time! And we have a babysitter available for your little one…Tori is a very popular sitter around here with all the moms.

  15. Adrienne Shubin

    @Satu VW Hi Satu! Thank you for the warm welcome!

    I look forward to getting to know you and the rest of the team.

    Five years is a big deal! We took a big RV/camping trip to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.

    It is gorgeous here in northern California. But I still love to travel and get away from it from time to time. I would love to visit Norway someday!

  16. Leslie

    Hi Adrienne,

    Lots of good news here! Congrats on your anniversary, amazing camera, love the outfit.. and looks like you had a wonderful day. How exciting to be a regular contributor to Skimbaco. I’ll look forward to reading more!




    Looks like you had a wonderful weekend. How sweet that Bill got the camera! He is such a great and thoughtful husband.

    Congrats on your new writing adventure…I must take notes for our next visit to Sonoma. :)


  18. Stephanie

    Happy Anniversary Adrienne and congrats on your new writing gig :) I hope you had a lovely celebration and i wish you many more years to come

    Do you wear your Oxfords with socks on or just bare feet?

    xo Stephanie

  19. Jodie aka Mummaducka'sKaos

    Happy anniversary! We celebrated our 17th Anniversary on Sept 30th! I too think our marriage gets better each year. What a trickster is Bill? The camera is such a beautiful gift and great investment in fun times and experiences for you both! It’s a huge size difference isn’t it? I have been trying to find the perfect bag for hauling my big girl camera around in. I don’t think there is a perfect one- as different events/excursions require different bags/backpacks. I am going to head over to read your article, but I already know that if I ever get over to your corner of the world I am booking you up as a tour guide!!!!

  20. Tracy

    Congratulations on your new writing job! I love that you accomplished it through celebrating yourself, your family and your community. Success is sweeter when you become a better person along the way.

  21. Heather Lindstrom

    Hello Adrienne,
    You peaked my interest with your 12 year Anniversary (we celebrated our 12th in September). Congrats! I adore Sonoma and we hope to retire over that way someday, but you had me in tears over the Step-mother with 3 Step-children post. My experience was so incredibly similar to yours…. It gave me chills…. My step-daughters were 13, 15 and 17 when I married my husband in 2000. My experience mirrored yours almost exactly. I left the Bay Area to move to his town of Chico. YES-it gets easier and yet it was one of the biggest challenges of our lives. I appreciate your honesty and it encourages me to share more along the lines of family on my blog.
    Lovely blog! I’m now a follower and so happy I came across yours today.
    Cheers, Heather

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