Today I’m sharing more highlights and photos from Santa Barbara Wine Country blogger/influencer group trip that was coordinated by Emily Martin of The Jetsettting Fashionista and Emily Martin Communications & Events along with Lacey Fussel and Lisa Gerbac of Muse Wine Marketing

I wrote about Part One of this 48-hour adventure in wine tasting, fabulous food and sightseeing Santa Barbara’s wine region earlier this month, which you can read here.

I left off with our jeep tour around the ranch and vineyards at Gainey Vineyard. After the tour, we headed to the Foxen Canyon area, a picturesque region in Santa Barbara Wine Country with rolling hills and oak trees.

Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

Fess Parker, the actor who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s, bought over 700 acres in Foxen Canyon in 1988 and decided to start a family business he could pass down to his children. That business was a winery that got its start with a five-acre experimental vineyard of Riesling grapes and is now one of the most well-known and most-visited wineries in the area.

Fess Parker’s son, Eli Parker, whom we met the previous evening at their Epiphany tasting room in Los Olivos, became the assistant winemaker in 1989. A few years later, he was the head winemaker. In 2005, he turned over the winemaking reigns to Blair Fox and is currently the Brand Visionary.

Fess Parker Winery is a gorgeous property. I love the comfortable and relaxing feel to this winery, built in 1994.

We were led to their stylish seating area with the two-way outdoor fireplace.

The table was set and waiting for us and the weather could not have been more perfect, just right for lunch al fresco.

Just beyond the patio is a picnic area and vegetable garden that will soon be overflowing with summer veggies.

Winemaker Blair Fox enjoyed lunch with us and talked about Fess Parker wines.

While I do favor white wines, I thought The Big Easy was fantastic. This blend of 74% Syrah, 16% Petite Sirah, 10% Grenache is not overpowering, and rather soft and very drinkable.

After lunch, Blair took us on a tour. First stop, one of their vineyards named Rodney’s Vineyard after the deceased son-in-law of Fess Parker.

Next, we walked though the patio area and into the winery.

There, Blair discussed the winemaking process in the barrel room where he ages and ferments Fess Parker wines.

It was a lovely experience learning about Fess Parker Winery from their winemaker and enjoying delicious food and wines. It’s such a beautiful and peaceful property, definitely worth a stop when visiting Santa Barbara Wine Country. Be sure to check out the Fess Parker memorabilia in the tasting room.

The Town of Los Olivos

After our visit to Fess Parker Winery, we headed to the charming town of Los Olivos which is located in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley. Restaurants, boutiques, antique shops and wine tasting rooms await visitors in this quaint village.

We would be visiting three tasting rooms, all within a short walking distance of each other.

J.Wilkes

Our first stop was J. Wilkes tasting room. Jefferson Wilkes began J. Wilkes Wines in 2001 with a long career in the wine industry in Santa Barbara Wine Country. He passed away in 2010 yet the brand has remained and continues to move forward, producing wonderful wines full of character and at reasonable prices.

Our tasting was led by the winemaker and brand ambassador at J. Wilkes Wines, Wes Hagen. Wes is a wine industry leader with a lengthy resume of accomplishments that include researching, writing and having approved the last three AVA’s (American Viticulture Area) in Santa Barbara County: Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon and Ballard Canyon.

Wes talked to us not only about J. Wilkes Wines but he shared some of his vast knowledge about the history of wine that impressed our entire group. You can watch his YouTube videos about the history of wine. As a wine and history lover, I find this information fascinating!

Bien Nacido and Soloman Hills Estate Tasting Room

After our tasting at J. Wilkes concluded, we went next door to the Bien Nacido & Solomon Hills Estate tasting room. Bien Nacido Vineyards is one of the most well-known and prestigious grape producers in California.

They produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Syrah grapes to both sell to high-end wineries and for their own label.

We tasted a variety of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs during our visit. My favorite was the 2014 Bien Nacido Chardonnay.

Dragonette Cellars

A couple blocks from Bien Nacido Vineyards is Dragonette Cellars tasting room.

Brothers John and Steve Dragonette, along with friend Brandon Sparks-Gilllis founded Dragonette Cellars in 2005 after working together in a wine shop in Los Angeles.

The Dragonette Cellars team focuses on creating high quality wines from small lots of Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.

We enjoyed gathering around the table and listening to the story behind Dragonette Cellars while sipping their outstanding wines.

Stay tuned for the final part in this three-part series on Santa Barbara Wine Country!

Disclosure: The wine tasting experiences were part of the blogger/influencer trip and I was not charged. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.

Follow:

As I approach 50, I’m focused on taking care of myself now more than ever. From lowering stress levels and making sleeping a priority to leading a healthier, more active lifestyle, I aim to feel my best in every way. Incorporating good nutrition and regular exercise into my daily life are essential to a healthy lifestyle so I am embracing both these days and quite enjoying it, surprisingly!

Today I want to share a few healthy eating ideas I learned about by taking the Clean Eating Chef Series at Ramekins Culinary School. I also want to tell you about my new home gym!

Clean Eating Chef Series

The Clean Eating Chef Series included three evening classes, meeting once a week. The series was divided into breakfast, lunch and dinner categories.

The class was taught by Chef Hollie Greene and Mary Sheila Gonnella. Chef Hollie is founder of Joyfoodly. She is a cooking instructor, Wellness in the Schools consultant, and a Professional Expert for the California Healthy Kids Initiative. Chef Hollie’s website is chock full of healthy recipes and lots of food prep and cooking tips, many of which are shown in short videos.

Mary Sheila Gonnella of Occidental Nutrition is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Educator who focuses her practice on helping people suffering from problems relating to high blood sugar. She also incorporates Ayurveda into her nutrition consulting and is an expert in fermentation.

The class was designed as part demonstration and part hands-on instruction.

For the demonstration portions of the class, students could easily watch Chef Hollie and Mary Sheila at work on overhead tv screens.

We were each given a packet with all the information and recipes we would be learning about that evening, as well as a work station and apron for the hands-on portion of the series which included prepping, cooking on portable stove tops and eating! It was quite fun!

Healthy Meal Ideas

The three classes were packed full with information and recipes. We made a lot of food each night. For the breakfast class, we focused on dishes that would not raise blood sugar, satiate your appetite, give you energy, nutrition and sustenance and taste great!

The first dish we prepared was Breakfast Pho. Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’) is a Vietnamese broth-based soup. Mary Sheila and Chef Hollie showed us how to make our own Immunity Broth – either in a pressure cooker or a crock pot – using chicken bones, spices, seaweed, and vegetables. Once the broth was cooked in their pressure cookers and drained off, we each had a bowl. We chose what ingredients to add to our Breakfast Pho. Hard-boiled eggs, black rice and Russian kale were just a few of the foods we could add.

The Breakfast Pho was tasty and comforting and full of nutrients.

We also made Avocado Bowls. We started with a halved avocado then picked the foods we wanted to top it with from an array of choices that included walnuts, sauerkraut, roasted Delicata squash, Gomasio (sesame seeds and dried seaweed) and a seed mixture. I now have this dish for breakfast – usually just the avocado, sauerkraut and Gomasio – at least three mornings a week.

One of my favorite segments of the class was learning about Ayurvedic spices from Mary Sheila. She talked to us about our Dosha, the three Ayurvedic body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each body type is helped by certain spices. Mary Sheila created spice blends for each Dosha that we could select and take home. Based on the descriptions, I think I am Pitta. I took the Pitta blend home and sprinkle it on my meals from time to time.

Another fun hands-on dish we made is Nori Hand Rolls. The finished dish looked somewhat complicated to me, but they were incredibly easy to make!

We were given a bamboo rolling mat, nori (dried seaweed sheets), a plate of prepared veggies and tofu, some small bowls of aioli and pesto that we made in class earlier, and nutritional yeast. Chef Hollie showed us where to place the food items – as you can see from the photo – then how to roll up the Nori into hand-held rolls. I’ve already made these at home a couple of times. They are fun to make as appetizers for guests or even with your guests.

Chef Hollie also showed us how to properly cook chicken breasts on the stove She then turned the cooked chicken breasts into a delicious chicken salad she loaded into roasted Delicato squash halves. So tasty and satisfying. I was stuffed!

The series included how to make sauerkraut too. Mary Sheila teaches her clients and students about the digestive properties of  fermented foods. It’s fascinating!

I have not made my own sauerkraut at home yet, though it really is so simple. The most important part of preparing sauerkraut for fermentation is mashing it up. It needs to be almost liquified. This takes time, patience and muscle. Maybe I will incorporate it into a future workout!

There were so many other dishes we learned how to make in this series. I wish I could tell you about all of them!

If you’re in the Bay Area, consider taking one or more of the classes Chef Hollie and Mary Sheila will be offering this summer:

“Easy Weeknight Farmer’s Market Dishes” is a hands-on class on June 1st taught by Chef Hollie Greene

“Shopping + Cooking Smart for Back to School Meals” is also with Chef Hollie Greene and hands-on on August 3rd.

“Fermentation 101” is taught by Mary Shiela and is hands-on. This class is on July 6th.

Also visit each of their websites for more information (Joyfoodly and Occidental Nutrition) and the Ramekins class calendar for even more fun and delicious classes.

My New Home Gym

Late last year, my husband asked me almost every day what I wanted for Christmas. I kept telling him I have everything I need and not to worry. But gift-giving is something we all enjoy and I knew he wouldn’t agree to a gift-free holiday season.

I thought about it and one day I told him I wanted a treadmill. And that I wanted to put it in our formal dining room. I thought for sure he wouldn’t want to give up an entire room in our home just so I could have a treadmill, but he surprised me and said it was a great idea. I was elated!

I shopped around online, read reviews, checked measurements, cost-compared and finally found one I liked: the Sole F80 Treadmill. I could not be happier with my Christmas gift!

I have spent countless years trying to implement a consistent exercise routine that I actually enjoy, and now it’s finally happened. The treadmill arrived on December 18th. Since that day, I have used it between 3 and 6 times per week for no less than 30 minutes at a time. I made an agreement with myself when it arrived that I will never spend less than 1/2 hour on it, once I hop on, and I will use it at least three days per week. Right now I am using it three times per week for one hour. I walked/ran 12 miles last week!

I bought a shelf that straps into the treadmill dashboard. It holds an iPad and even my laptop so I can watch Netflix and read blogs.

Since we sacrificed an entire room in our house for the treadmill, I figured we may as well make it a full home gym! I bought a BOSU Pro Balance Trainer that I use for balancing, crunches and lunges. A foam roller for stretching my back and rolling on my IT band. And I brought the old recumbent bike and my free weights in from the garage.

I also bought a weight bench. I knew I needed one when I was doing bicep curls while sitting on our coffee table!

For the last couple of months, my hormonal issues have subsided (yay, no more hot flashes!), I sleep better, have more strength my lower body and I feel clear-headed on most days. I am also less cranky and my emotions are steadier.

Eating well and exercising really do affect your wellbeing and it doesn’t take years to feel and see the results. I am grateful to have these tools and valuable knowledge to help me continue to improve my health and overall wellbeing.

 

Disclosure: The Clean Eating Chef Series class at Ramekins was complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

Follow:

Santa Barbara Wine Country: Part One

When most people think of California Wine Country they usually think Napa and Sonoma Valleys. But there are more wine regions in California than you may think. I had the pleasure of spending time in Santa Barbara Wine Country as part of a blogger/influencer trip coordinated by Emily Martin of The Jetsettting Fashionista and Emily Martin Communications & Events

Emily, along with Lacey Fussel and Lisa Gerbac of Muse Wine Marketinghosted several bloggers for a 48-hour adventure tasting great wine, fabulous food and taking in the sights in Santa Barbara Wine Country.  I was delighted to be included and couldn’t wait to visit a California Wine County I had yet to experience!

Thankfully, Bill was able to join me for this fun weekend. We left early the morning of the first day. We planned to arrive with enough time to have lunch and do a little sightseeing in the area before checking into our hotel and meeting up with our group.

SOLVANG

We decided to visit the charming town of Solvang. It had been many years since we spent time at this Danish-settled village with lots of windmills, pastry shops and flower gardens. We arrived late morning and walked around the village,  working up an appetite for lunch.

Since I knew we’d be in the car for several hours, as well as walking around exploring, I dressed comfortably, but of course I still wanted to look stylish. I wore jeans, light gray suede booties, a long-sleeved top by Covered Perfectly and a Stella Carakasi jacket from the Resort 2017 Collection.

We checked out three or four restaurant menus before deciding on Bacon & Brine. It had such an an appealing and interesting menu with lots of locally grown and sourced fare.

We ordered the Fried Brussels Sprouts and they were truly the best Brussels sprouts we have ever tasted. You would think with a name like Bacon & Brine they would be covered in delicious bacon but they weren’t! Instead the Brussels sprouts were fried in sesame oil and topped with ponzu sauce and sesame seeds. I’m going to try making them at home sometime.

MARRIOTT SANTA YNEZ VALLEY

After lunch we drove the short distance to our hotel, the Marriott Santa Ynez Valley. With a friendly and welcoming staff, large and contemporary lobby and bar area, and well-appointed guest rooms, it’s a lovely and convenient place to stay when visiting this wine region.

I thought this little alcove area in our room was so cute and ideal for getting a few things done on the laptop between outings.

We had a knock at the door soon after checking in, and were greeted with a lovely surprise! A tray of snacks, a bottle of wine and some water for our room. What a lovely treat!

Once we got settled and unpacked, we dressed for the evening. I wore my Karen Klein dress, suede booties with tights and a leather choker.  Soon it was time to meet the group and head to the darling town of Los Olivos.

EPIPHANY CELLARS 

Epiphany Cellars is located in downtown Los Olivos and is part of the Fess Parker family of wines. Epiphany focuses on Rhone varietals, most from the Santa Barbara Wine Country. We expereinced a sit-down wine tasting with Eli Parker, son of Fess Parker, founder of Epiphany Cellars and the label’s Brand Visionary.

The outside of the tasting room is quaint and charming while the inside is hip and chic with a retro Mad Men vibe.

I love the orange furniture against the light flooring and walls, as well as the metallic accents and lighting. It was such a fabulous setting!

Epiphany was founded originally as a creative outlet when Parker was winemaking. These days, as Brand Visionary, he’s left that role and given it to Blair Fox, who is the talented and well-known winemaker for both Epiphany and Fess Parker labels.

As an enthusiast of mostly white wines, I loved this 2014 Inspiration from Santa Barbara County. It’s a drinkable and lovely blend of 50% Viognier, 25% Marsanne, 13% Roussanne, 12% Grenache Blanc. Ideal for summer sipping on the patio!

Bubble Shack

Adjacent to Epiphany is the Bubble Shack. Siblings Ashley Parker Snider and Eli Parker created this special tasting room for their line of bubbles. Ashley and Eli collaborated to bring sparkling wines to their customers. Their Fesstivity Blanc de Blanc and Brut Rose from Sta. Rita AVA are their first releases.

While we weren’t able to experience the Bubble Shack during our visit, it’s certainly on my list of things to do next time!

BALLARD INN & RESTAURANT

After our visit to Epiphany Cellars concluded, it was time to eat! We went to The Ballard Inn’s restaurant, The Gathering Table. What a romantic and relaxing atmosphere! Candle lit tables, a roaring fire in the dining room’s fireplace, and only 12 tables in the entire restaurant. Chef Budi Kazali, named CCM’s Ultimate Chef, has been the owner of this beautiful property since 2004.

I sat with Emily and two other influencers at the end of our long table. We decided to order several plates to share – cheese fondue, fresh oysters on the half shell, a salad and hamachi. Delicious, fresh and flavorful!

Not wanting to miss out on any desserts, we ordered three to share. All three were delectable but I loved their bread pudding!

GAINEY VINEYARD

Photo Courtesy of Gainey Vineyards

The next morning, we had breakfast in the hotel before heading to Gainey Vineyard for a tour and tasting. It was such a gorgeous winter day with sunshine and blue skies.

I was excited to see that Gainey has such an expansive and picturesque ranch with vistas as far as the eye can see.

If you look closely, you can see the Santa Ynez Mountains in the background were capped with a bit of snow.

We would be taking a tour of the property – not by foot but by jeep. What an adventure! Cloud Climbers Jeep and Wine Tours provided the jeeps and the skilled drivers. I love the yellow color of the jeeps – my favorite!

Our guide and driver was Michelle. She was so friendly! Doesn’t this seem like such a fun job to have?

We stopped by a vineyard to learn more about Gainey Vineyard.  It’s a family owned winery that was established in 1984. Gainey makes small quantities of high-quality wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling,  and Cabernet Sauvignon Wines.

The Gainey family owns three properties in two appellations – Santa Ynez and Sta. Rita Hills – and is able to produce enough fruit to produce 18,000 cases of estate wines each year, meaning they don’t buy grapes from other growers.

Driving up and down hills, through some mud and over rocks, we explored a good portion of the ranch. When we came upon a rustic barn, we stopped for a break and some photo opportunities. The Gainey’s use this barn for events, like weddings. Wouldn’t this be such a great place to get married?

It was a lovely and peaceful place to walk around. The day was sunny but a little cool – it was wintertime after all –  so I wore a sweater poncho, a long-sleeved tee, jeans tucked into tall cognac boots and my wool Australian Outback hat. For jewelry, I wore a beaded necklace with a tassel necklace from KayandStar (similar).

I ventured into the barn with Amy Lieberfarb who is a friend and fellow blogger, also from a Sonoma Valley. Amy has the blog Sip on this Juice and does the wildly popular weekly wine discussion on Twitter called Sonoma Chat (#sonomachat).

Photo Courtesy of Gainey Vineyard

Once the jeep tour was complete, we went back to the winery and visited the barrel room.

 

Once there, we had the chance to sample a few more Gainey Vineyard wines right out of the barrel!

Stay tuned for Part Two of the Santa Barbara Wine Country adventure!

Have you ever visited Santa Barbara Wine Country?

Disclosure: My hotel room, meals (except for Bacon & Brine) and wine tasting experiences were part of the blogger/influencer trip and I was not charged. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

Follow:

Welcome to March’s How I Wear My, the 68th post in this long-running monthly fashion series!

With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, Jill of Everything Just So and I thought it would be fun to focus March’s “How I Wear My” on any accessory or item of clothing that could be considered a Lucky Charm 🍀 whether you attribute actual luck to it, or it just brings you joy every time you wear it.

Let’s get right to it and see how March’s participants style their Lucky Charms, starting with my How I Wear My partner, Jill!

Jill of Everything Just So

“I consider this Hermès scarf a lucky find. The pattern is called ‘Faubourg by Night’ by Benoît-Pierre Emery and I found it several years ago in perfect condition at Ann’s Fabulous Finds. I love the pattern and the different tones of gray and beige on black, as well as the scarf’s contrast hem. I, of course, wore the scarf with my trusty L’Wren Scott sunglasses, which were another lucky find, this time from eBay.”

Malia of Style by Malia

“My Chanel Brooch is a success symbol to me. I set a goal for my business in 2016 and this was the reward for achieving it. Now every time I need a bit of courage in business I wear it.”

Yvonne of Funky Forty

“I love wearing bracelets as lucky charms. Often I wear my little Tiffany bracelet but recently whenever I wear yellow, I wear this favourite newish charm bracelet of mine made by my favourite jeweller here in Zurich.”

“I can’t wait until Spring and Summer really come as then I will be wearing my lucky bracelets matching to each outfit.”

Rena of It’s All Fine. Whatever Tickles the Fancy.

“My good luck charm in this outfit is my moto-style knit jacket that I bought some time last Spring. It hung in my closet for quite a while before I first wore it and now a week doesn’t go by without it being worn. While this jacket may not be a typical ‘lucky charm’, it does make be feel fairly invincible when I wear it so I consider it a wardrobe talisman.”

Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge

“There are certain pieces of jewelry that are so special to me and I wear them often. I have 2 Alex and Ani bracelets that my sons chose for me last Mother’s Day. I also have my ‘Lil Sis’ heart bracelet that my ‘Big Sis’ gave to me for Christmas a few years ago. Her matching ‘Big Sis’ bracelet has an open heart which fits my heart inside of it.

“I also love the powerful message that I get every time I am struggling and I look down at my Mantra Band that reminds ‘You Got This’. I purchased this bracelet and a matching one for my friend Amy when both of our husbands were deployed. And of course, my Jord watch which I acquired from one of the first blogger giveaways I ever won! And my locally-made silver cuffs which sport my blog tag lines ‘On the Edge’ and ‘Rediscover Your Edge’. I love that I can stack all of my special arm decor together!”

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style

“The necklace I am always wearing and you often see it in my pictures. It is a gold necklace with a gold heart. I got it as a present from my boyfriend when we were together six months. This year we celebrate our 25th year together!”

Elizabeth of Midlife Eating Disorder

 “I did a quick head shot wearing my favorite piece, my pearl necklace. It marks the transition for me from boho hippie chick to a more sophisticated style. I guess I have finally grown up, admittedly not without a lot of kicking and screaming. I do like pearls against stark black and wish I could pull off a dramatic dark lipstick with it. Maybe next time but with sunglasses on!”

Ana of Mrs. American Made

“I have a special necklace from 7 or 8 years ago that my son picked out and bought for me from one of his teachers who makes jewelry. I thought it was super sweet of him and he chose the one with my birthstone.

“On the back clasp I attached a tiny gold key from my mother. I wore this necklace every day for many years, but a few years ago I started incorporating other ones into my looks, mostly for the blog. But this one is still the ‘special’ one. I have to add that I wear this with some gold tear-drop shaped earrings from my daughter 😉 not shown here.”

Nicole of High Latitude Style

“As a kid I was taught the fashion rule that green and blue cannot be worn together. Another one was not to wear red, white and blue together. Guess why? I love this lapis and malachite necklace that breaks the green and blue together rule. My husband designed it as a real surprise for Christmas in the early 90s. I like to wear it with pieces in similar colors.”

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen

“This unusual necklace was a gift from my mum-in-law when she visited Chile a few years ago.  She bought it at a local, traditional market, from a stall where they hand made the necklaces.  She doesn’t know what it’s made of but the caramel coloured stone is so beautifully smooth.  Buying jewellery for other people can be tricky as it’s such a personal thing but she thought it would be my style and she was spot on. It’s one of my favourite pieces and I wear it a great deal.  It’s the kind of necklace that you can wear with so many things – dressed up or down.”

Colette of Styled Comfort

“When I wear this brushed gold-colored long pendant I always think of my mother She will be 90 years old in April and gave this pendant to me a few months ago saying ‘isn’t this sort of necklace back in style again?’ Some things never go out of style. This pendant is around 40 years old and still looks great and stylish. Just like my mother :)”

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living & Style

“I am wearing a necklace that I have had for many years. It makes me think about all the times I have worn it and all the good luck I have had in my life. It is a one of a kind, made in a little boutique in a very small rural town near where I grew up. I wear it so much I am afraid I will wear it out.”

My Look

For my Lucky Charm look, I chose my black pashmina which has been with me for about 25 years.

I wear it almost daily when the weather is chilly and I will never board a plane without it. Despite having left it behind countless times – in movie theaters, restaurants, friends’ cars and homes – it always comes back to me somehow. I’d say that makes this useful item quite lucky!

I wore my black pashmina with flared jeans, a lilac flounce sleeve top, black choker, simple high-heeled black pumps and a Louis Vuitton clutch.

I hope my lucky pashmina and I can stick together for another few decades!

Thank you to all the stylish participants for sharing their stories about their Lucky Charms! See even more Lucky Charm looks on Jill’s blog, Everything Just So.

For April, we are taking Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017 out for a spin! Please join us for “How I Wear My: Greenery,” 🌿showing ways in which you style the shade that Pantone describes as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green.”

Send photos to us at [email protected] by April 3, 2017, and be sure to include a description of your outfit, which we will use directly in our posts.

 

Follow:

TRANSITIONING INTO SPRING STYLES

Can you believe there are only a few more weeks until spring is officially here? I am excited about transitioning into spring styles! There are so many gorgeous clothes, shoes and accessories to pick from this season.

Here in Wine Country, we’re already experiencing the winter to spring transition. One day the forecast calls for a heavy wool coat, big scarf, tall boots and an umbrella and the next I’m contemplating short sleeves and sandals.

I’ve been itching to wear my new In Style Cropped Pants in the Dune color from Stella Carakasi. The weather finally let me scratch that itch, briefly, and I was able to style these beauties in two ways.

For my first look, I styled my new pants with a Stella Carakasi boatneck top, a cascading vest (Stella Carakasi from their 2015 Collection) and tall black boots.

Along the lines of culottes, these 100% Tencel pants have very wide legs with buttons down the sides. Here, I unbuttoned the last button to show my tall boots a little.

Along with side buttons and a partial elastic waistband, these pants also have pockets, which I love!

For accessories, I layered two necklaces – one from KayandStar and another I bought in Carmel last fall. It was gray and drizzly outside so I wore my black hat from Montecristi Panama Hats in Napa Valley to conceal my frizzy hair.

For my next look, I wore my Karen Klein Cinched Top with a Janet Harrer geode pendant necklace (similar) and Kate Spade bag (no longer available).

I love the way the top has a drape across the front, attaching to one sleeve and gathered at the shoulder.

I took a chance with the weather and wore sandals. These block heeled sandals go with everything and I am sure I will wear them often this spring and summer.

I realized while putting this post together, that not only am I wearing pieces from three Bay Area designers – Stella Carakasi, Karen Klein and Janet Harrer – but the majority of pieces I’m wearing are from female-owned businesses: the aforementioned three, plus Montecristi Panama Hats and KayandStar. I do love supporting women in business!

SPRING STYLE EVENT 

More than a fashion show, the Stella Carakasi Spring Style Event includes fabulous spring fashions from Stella’s 2017 Resort and Spring Collections, yummy noshes and beauty gift bags from Whole Foods Gilman in Berkeley, and a special guest: Novelist Alysia Helming, author of Protogenesis.

Learn more about this exciting event and secure your free ticket here. My stepdaughter, Tori, and I will be strutting our stuff on the runway. We hope to see you there!

 

REMINDER!

March’s “How I Wear My” is happening this week! March is the month of luck so with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, we’re asking “How I Wear My” participants to style an outfit featuring their “Lucky Charm”.

It can be a piece of jewelry, clothing, or an accessory. Not superstitious? Send us an outfit that includes an item of clothing that brings you joy, recalls a fond memory, or just gives you a fabulous feeling every time you wear it.

Be sure to tell us a bit about why your item is a charmer. Photos due by the end of the day on March 6, 2017. Send them to us at [email protected]

 

Disclosure: I was given the Cinched Top by Karen Klein and the In Style Cropped Pants from Stella Carakasi. All opinions here are, as always, my own. 

Follow: