A few late summer favorite things

Hi, friends! Happy Friday! How’s your week been going? Mine has been fine! Between workouts, work and beginning to get our nursery in order, the days have been flying by. And I’m also happy to report that this very pregnant gal is enjoying much more moderate temperatures in Walnut Creek lately. Thank goodness. Now, because it’s the end of the week, I wanted to share a few things that have been making me happy …

Fresh flowers in the home

I’ve had flowers in the house a lot recently, after never having any in sight for months and months. I bought some to have around for my ladies brunch a few weeks ago, and we had all sorts of flowers around before and after my first baby shower when I was visiting Florida, and then when I got back home from my trip, these beauties were in the kitchen from Dave …

Rudy with pretty flowers by A Lady Goes West

I think I say this every time I have flowers, but I really should buy them more often. Such a good way to brighten up a room! I also want to get more greenery for our house for air purification purposes (apparently it’s good to have plants in your bedroom too, say all the sleep experts), but it seems I even killed a succulent once, so we’ll see. What’s your favorite kind of flower? I like bright ones, like daisies, sunflowers and roses.

Reading fiction books

I’ve been a reading machine this year. I’ve finished SO many books. I’ve read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Alisa Vitti’s “Woman Code,” “The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Health Pregnancy,” Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs,” and Pamela Druckerman’s “Bringing Up Bébé.” What you may notice is that all of these are non-fiction books. And by the way, I would recommend them ALL for different reasons. I took away so much from almost all of these books.

Good fiction book by A Lady Goes West

However, when I was home in Florida, I decided to bust out a fiction book for the first time in a long time, and it was so enjoyable. I received Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” as part of a free POPSUGAR Must-Have Box a couple of months ago, and I was so excited to dig in. It felt nice to get lost in the story and picture a movie star character living a glamorous life throughout the years, with — as you guessed it — seven marriages, and with some twists and turns in the plot, which kept me totally interested. In fact, I would fight to stay awake just a little bit longer each night to read more.

It was totally enjoyable and flew by in an instant — perhaps much faster than the textbook-like Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy and child-care. I’m going to make it a point to read more fiction from here on out. Any suggestions on good books that aren’t too serious for me to add to my queue?

Trying out Model Meals

One of my reader/friends recently mentioned in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group that Model Meals, a healthy ready-made meal delivery service, was launching in the Bay Area. And don’t you know about a week after that the folks at Model Meals reached out to me to see if I wanted to try the service. Easy answer: Yes! And by the way, Model Meals aren’t just for models, the mission is to create happier healthier people, by modeling how to live and eat cleaner. Love that!

Model Meals delivery by A Lady Goes West

They gave me a $75 credit to order a few meals for the week, and I had to place the order by Saturday morning to get them all delivered on Sunday afternoon. The deliveries happen on Sundays and Wednesdays each week. The coolest thing is that I got a text message when the meals were en route, and Dave was actually the one to retrieve the refrigerated box when it was dropped off. 

The meals are INCREDIBLY healthy. I’m talking Whole30 compliant, soy free, dairy free, gluten free and all local and organic. And while that may initially make you think that flavor is missing, that’s not the case. I truly enjoyed the taste of all of the meals. And even though they appeared small in the box, they were quite filling. The instructions for each is somewhat different, but for most, all you had to do was remove the plastic top and heat the meal up in the oven in it’s container or on the stove-top in a pan. (There were not instructions for microwaving on the packaging, but if you were at work and needed to nuke them, I’m sure that would suffice.)

Model Meals BBQ chicken meatballs and parsnips delivery by A Lady Goes West

Below is what I ended up with — this was $64 worth of food, and there was a $10 shipping charge, for a total of $74.

  • BBQ chicken meatballs and parsnip grits (so good)
  • Eggplant marinara and sautéed greens with cashew cream (absolutely loved this)
  • Beef machacha bowl with runny egg (spicy and bursting with flavor)
  • 2 Sweet potato and apple breakfast bake (very tasty, but my least favorite)
  • 3 RxBars (always yummy)

So here’s the deal, Model Meals delivers in Southern California and Northern California. If you want to try it out, you can get $25 off your first order if you use my referral link. And if you end up ordering with it, I’ll get a little dough in my account to put toward my next order too.

I must say, in addition to loving that these meals were ready in just a few minutes after reheating, I loved having some variety for my lunches this week, all in the name of health. Good stuff!

*Thank you to the folks at Model Meals for providing complimentary meals in exchange for my honest review. Yum!

Links from around the web

A few things to catch up on …

Hope your weekend is fabulous, my friends! No travel, no showers and nothing crazy on the agenda for me, except a super cool workout plan for tomorrow. See you soon! Be well! 🙂 

Just a few fun and healthy favorites by @apstyle ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What’s one thing that made you smile this week?

What are you up to this weekend?

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24 Comments

  1. Happy Friday Ashley! In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume was really good! It wasn’t exactly fluff and there is some seriousness to it, but I really enjoyed it and several of my co-workers have now read it too and all liked it a lot.

    Have a great weekend. Xoxo.

    1. Hi Courtney!! Okay, I think I would LOVE to read a Judy Blume book, because I LOVED her stuff back in the day — it takes me back hahaha. And fluffy reading is fine with me, and so is a little bit of seriousness. I will check it out!! 🙂 Hope you have a happy Friday, friend!

      1. Yes for sure check it out! I too loved her back in the day but this is only her second or third adult novel and it was reallllly good!

  2. I just added “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” to my to-read list. A book I just read that I loved was “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. This weekend, I want to spend part of it by the pool since summer is winding down.

    Have a great day 🙂

    1. Hi Maureen! Oh neato! I read Big Little Lies last year, and I liked it. I liked all of Liane Moriarty books, and I’ve read a few. You should definitely soak up some last-minute summer pool time while you an. Enjoy, lady! 🙂

    1. You do need some flowers in your place. And because your place is smaller, you need less flowers — it’s a win, win! hahah! Have so much fun in Tahoe, Carrie! 🙂

  3. I been reading so much this summer, especially mystery type books. I just finished “Sharp Objects” from the author of Gone Girl, it was so strange and twisted but SO good! I can’t believe they didn’t make that book into a movie too.

    It has literally been rainy and gloomy here almost all week so I’m excited to spend some time outside this weekend!

    1. Hi Patricia! Good for you — reading is such a great escape and/or a learning experience. I loved Gone Girl surprisingly, even though I’m not really into mysteries. So maybe I’ll look into Sharp Objects. Thanks for the tip. Enjoy your weekend, lady! Are you back in school??

  4. I’ve been on the hunt for some good reads, so I’ll definitely have to check some of those books out! This week getting to enjoy slow, big breakfast after cross country practice has definitely made me smile. This weekend I hope to go shopping with my friends and might be going up to visit my Granny K. She’s pretty excited about the new Dunkirk movie since she remembers the actual event from when she was younger, so I really want to take her to see it.

    xxMeah

    1. Hi Meah! Dave went to see Dunkirk a couple of weeks ago with a friend! I hope your granny likes it! 🙂 And big slow breakfasts make me smile too ehhehe. I would definitely recommend all of the books I’ve suggested! Let me know if you read any. Happy Friday! 🙂

    1. Hi Katrina! Happy Friday! Flowers are a great way to brighten up the home, for sure! Hope you have some glowing in your space right now, lady. Have a great weekend, and thanks for saying hi! 🙂

  5. I love my salt lamp. We have two dogs and I notice the lamp helps big time with the smell in our bedroom (they sleep in there with us). Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I am SO glad you told me about Model Meals, so I knew to say yes when they reached out. YUMMMMY! The meal pictured above are the BBQ chicken meatballs with parsnips. It was BEYOND delicious!! YAY! What’s been your favorite meal from MM?

  6. I’m always on the hunt for some new books! I’m just finishing up The Couple Next Door…it’s really good…similar to Gone Girl. My mom came in town to visit this weeke which has been nice to have extra help!

    1. Hi Marielle! OMG — LOVE a good momma visit! I can’t wait to have mine out to visit when the baby comes. And I like Gone Girl, so thanks for the rec on The Couple Next Door! Hope you have a great weekend, my friend! 🙂

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