Friday Favorites: Back to business

Another Friday! Here we are! I hope your week has been going along just great. After arriving back in the Bay Area mid-week, Dave and I are basically back to business with life. And while a lot of people in the U.S. will be enjoying a three-day weekend for Labor Day, I’m still teaching classes at the gym on both Saturday and Monday, so it’s just a regular couple of days for me. Except for the fact that we’ll be having a little get-together on Sunday with some friends, which should be fun.

My latest “Friday Favorites” of the week

Is it bad that every time I open up my blog to write this weekly post, my first instinct is always to put pictures of my little Rudy? So true. But really, this post is just a chance to pull out a few unrelated items and talk about them in one big post, and no dog pictures today. Even though I want to start sharing all of the fun favorites I discovered in Maui on vacation, I’m saving that all for next week. Right now, let’s get to some things I’ve been loving lately on the home-front … (By the way, if you didn’t stop by last Friday to see what I had for you, I suggest you check out “Dave’s favorites” as well.)

 My favorite book of the week

True story: I haven’t been reading much lately. While I read a couple of books at the beginning of the year, I took a break for a few months. It seems like every time I lay my head down to read I fall right asleep, so I stopped trying. Well of course, going on a five-hour flight without WiFi gave me the perfect opportunity to get a new book last week.

Big Little Lies book via A Lady Goes WestLiane Moriarty writes a good story. Big Little Lies kept me entertained on the flight to Maui and back, and I was instantly hooked.

I always like to drop into the airport bookstore just before a flight to make a quick reading decision, and I ended up with this book in about two minutes. I didn’t really know what it was about but had seen the cover around before, so went for it. And let me tell you, this book is good. The characters, the writing, the flow, the way the story is told. I love it. I’m about two-thirds of the way through and am totally enjoying the domestic secrets and drama. If you need a new book, check this one out.

My favorite new workout outfit of the week

When I came back from Hawaii, I was very excited to see my latest Fabletics delivery <<—-referral link>> on my doorstep. I picked out these two items, because I was drawn to the color and style, and I’m happy to report that they both fit great.

Fabletics outfit via A Lady Goes West blogI don’t think I will wear these pants to teach Orangetheory though … that would be far too much orange.

Whenever I have a new workout outfit, I like to save it for a special occasion. Well, I’m subbing a big BODYPUMP class tomorrow morning at my favorite gym, so that will give me a chance for a debut of this little number to see how it moves.

My favorite delicious treat of the week

This stuff is good. I had this in my pantry for weeks-and-weeks before opening it up. Well, I’m sure glad I finally did. This hazelnut spread is smooth, tasty and goes well on nearly anything. I’ve mostly been adding this to the top of dates for a quick dessert, but I could even see putting it on toast for a sweet breakfast.

Nocciolata spread via A Lady Goes West favoritesBelieve me, this Rigoni Di Asiago Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread jar of goodness is totally tasty.

Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa and Milk is kosher, non-GMO, gluten free and made of high-quality organic ingredients, so you can be sure you’re eating the good stuff. And the Nocciolata spread is just one product from the Rigoni di Asiago company, which was one of the first companies in Italy to go organic. It looks like you can find their line both online and in markets and various grocery stores. Thanks to the folks at Rigoni di Asiago for sending me a sample, because I’m a big fan.

My favorite links of the week

Did you miss some of the good stuff on A Lady Goes West this week? Here’s what happened …

And here is my current favorite song, which I heard for the first time last week at a concert at Wente Vineyards. The beautiful melody just speaks to me. Check out Rachel Platten’s “A Better Place” and try not to weep! 

That’s it for today, my friends! As always, I hope your weekend is fabulous. I’ll see you back here on Monday with tales from my trip to Maui!

Read more Friday Favorites

If you’ve enjoyed browsing through this post, see below for previous editions or visit the the link-up hostesses, Heather and Katie

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show
  17. The foods I always buy
  18. Sushi, a game and pants
  19. Fitness apps
  20. Delicious and healthy products
  21. Comfort, fitness and function
  22. Beauty, buddha and blog events
  23. Dining, the city and gift ideas
  24. POPSUGAR, sweets and such
  25. A bunch of fun stuff
  26. e-book, food, picnic and tunes
  27. A link, a superfood and a mask
  28. Pants, shoes, food and links
  29. Dining, protein and goodies
  30. Shopping, events and a book
  31. A gym bag, pumpkin and juices 
  32. Workout gear, a top and a massage
  33. prAna, a watch, tea and more
  34. Tasty stuff and gift sales
  35. Decor, bars, boots and a drink
  36. Flowers, music and more
  37. Coqueta, a brush and food
  38. My people and the holidays
  39. Beauty, bling and entertainment
  40. A hodge-podge of goodies
  41. Just a few special things
  42. Tasty food, drinks and moving
  43. A bunch of feel-good stuff
  44. Home, car and fitness finds
  45. Sweets, cooking, beauty and blog
  46. Gold, yoga, photos and more
  47. Celebs, scents, games and more
  48. Food, shoes, stretches and fun 
  49. Purse, snack, plant and more
  50. Fresh, healthy, clean and square
  51. Pilates, sneaks and much more
  52. Quite a few good things
  53. Food, jewels and sweat etc.
  54. Fun stuff and a giveaway
  55. Goodies and a yoga giveaway
  56. Orange, bikes and healthy food
  57. Food, tech, sparkle and more
  58. Clothes, home, a roller and more
  59. Florida, tech, tea and more
  60. Toiletries, gifts and more
  61. Fashion, food and a giveaway
  62. Events, surprises and a puppy
  63. Good stuff and a giveaway
  64. Bling, crunch and pet goods
  65. Fitness, fashion and food
  66. Health, food and grooming
  67. A case, sneaks and smoothies
  68. Tasty stuff and a giveaway
  69. Snacks, gold, clothes and more
  70. A healthy giveaway and more
  71. A fitness giveaway and more
  72. Samples, workouts and more
  73. Dave’s favorite things

*Please note: While this post is not sponsored, there are affiliate links included. Thanks for your support!

Questions of the day

Do you have a fun recent favorite to share?

What are you up to this weekend?

Do you have a three-day weekend?

 Ashley signature

Follow along with me on Bloglovin‘, TwitterInstagramPinterest and Facebook.

Post-vacation thoughts and updates

Hello, my friends! This is my first time coming at you live (well, almost live) in one whole week. While I had some posts ready for your reading pleasure while I was away on my vacation, I didn’t touch a computer for nearly seven days. Outside of the occasional Instagram post, I was disconnected, and it felt good.

I figured I would keep it short today and catch up on a few things before digging into my entire trip recap. But yes, it was full of adventure, and I’m going to give you all the details little-by-little starting next week. I want to make sure I spend enough time on every activity, because they were all so different. But now, let’s get to those random thoughts and updates …

Back to business in the Bay Area

Dave and I got back from Maui pretty late on Tuesday night. While I used most of yesterday to answer emails, unpack, do laundry and get caught up on life before heading to the gym to teach my evening classes, I also used yesterday to reflect. What did I come up with? There’s something pretty magical about vacationing in Hawaii. And vacations are so incredibly good for the mind and body, but getting back to reality is tough. Two full email inboxes, a long to-do list and obligations were awaiting me, which I’m taking on as best as I can. 

Just a snapshot of Hawaii picturesJust a little preview of some of the fun times we had in Maui … and boy was it hot!

But you know what made coming home all that much easier? Being reunited with our little Rudy puppy. Dave and I went straight from the airport to pick up Rudy from a friend’s place, and that little fuzzy guy was so happy to see us. The feeling was mutual. I missed his face, and it’s nice to have him back.

One bad thing about our vacation

I’m sorry to say that there was something seriously wrong with our vacation to Hawaii … It was too short. Far too short. Last year, when we went to Cabo, we stayed for four nights. Well this time, because we were traveling a longer distance, we added a night and stayed for five. It wasn’t enough. Trust me on this: Vacations should be a full week. We need a redo. Like now. I know, I should just be happy we got to go. But still, it should have been longer.

An amazing night of live music under the stars

The night before Dave and I left for Maui, we went to an awesome event at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. A few months ago, Dave had gotten us tickets to this outdoor dinner and concert under the stars, and it was something I had been looking forward to for weeks, which got a little lost in the shuffle once we were planning to leave for Maui at 4 a.m. the next day.

Concert at Wente Vineyards via A Lady Goes WestWine, food and music in the middle of a vineyard? You can’t get much better than that.

This event ended up being even more incredible than I expected, and Dave and I were blown away by the performances of three ladies on the “Girls Night Out, Boys Can Come Too” Tour — (great name, right?). I’ve always enjoyed the music of Christina Perri and Colbie Callait, yet watching them live was nothing short of awesome. Christina Perri has some serious pizzazz on-stage, including stories, dancing and more. I also really liked hearing from Rachel Platten, whom I wasn’t familiar with, and she’s got some pipes as well (and her parents were in the audience that night!). It didn’t hurt that there was a gourmet buffet of food, tasty wine and good company to round out the evening. Good times all around. If you’re in the Bay Area, check out the line-up of summer concerts at Wente, because you won’t be disappointed. 

A break from workouts is a good thing

I went a whole week without doing an official “workout.” While Dave and I did a short and incredibly mild yoga session one morning while in Maui, we didn’t do anything else. And you know what, I like it that way. I always take a few days off of physical activity a couple times-a-year, and vacation is a great time to do it. We’re no worse for the wear, because I’ll back to a normal routine in no time.

Today, I’m working, going to a meeting at the gym, then teaching BODYPUMP and a core class in the evening. I’m also hoping to get back onto a normal sleeping schedule, because right now I’m still on Hawaii time. That ought to do it for now. Thanks to Amanda for hosting “Thinking Out Loud,” which gave me a perfect chance to ramble on with you today! Have a great day, people. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for some “Friday Favorites” of course!

Questions of the day

What’s been going on with you?

Did I miss anything important in the blog world?

Ashley signature



Follow along with me on Bloglovin‘, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.