A sweet organic chocolate giveaway, latest faves and workouts

Hi, friends! I hope you’ve been having a great week. Our week was much of the same: Blogging, workouts, laundry, walks and all the usual stuff. Today, I’m rounding up some of my favorite things as of late, and we’re starting it off with a giveaway. A sweet one!

Organic Ocho chocolate giveaway!

Sweets! You may have finished up all your Easter candy, but I want to give one of you an opportunity to win a big care package of local Bay Area organic chocolate. Yay! True healthy living means indulging in delicious and high-quality desserts on the regular (mixed in with the majority of your diet being real whole foods), and OCHO candy is worth it for sure.

OCHO organic chocolate giveaway April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

By the way, don’t you think local chocolate is such a good gift? I received some tasty Chicago chocolate from my future sister-in-law and her family when I went to her bridal shower last month, and it made me very happy to sample how the Chicagoans like their treats. (Is that a word? Chicagoan?)

So here’s the deal on OCHO candy: It’s made in Oakland here in the SF Bay Area. The name stands for organic CHOcolate, and it’s small-batch, certified both gluten-free and GMO-free. Dang! Oh, and it’s super good. I love all of the flavor combinations, which come in mini bites and bars. Of course, all of my favorites include a combination of chocolate and PB, but the peppermint is pretty awesome too, and I thoroughly enjoyed the care package I received from my friends at OCHO.

OCHO organic chocolate bar giveaway April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

OCHO organic giveaway April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Here’s the deal: If you want to order some OCHO, you can get 20 percent off of your order using the code ALADYGOESWEST — which is good through April 15.

Now for the giveaway …

One lucky winner, who must reside in the U.S., will win a package 10 bars, several bags of assorted mini bars and an OCHO tote bag — and that’s a lot of chocolate, so you’ll have plenty to share with friends! 

To enter …

Leave a comment on this blog post. You may leave as many comments as you like for more chances to win. Here are some reasons to leave a comment:

  1. If you follow A Lady Goes West on Instagram.
  2. If you follow A Lady Goes West on Facebook.
  3. If you subscribe to A Lady Goes West emails.
  4. If you follow OCHO Candy on Instagram.
  5. If you want to tell me ONE great thing about your week or upcoming weekend.
  6. If you tell me that you are participating in the hydration challenge

This giveaway will close on Thursday, April 12. Good luck! And special thanks to OCHO for offering to provide such an awesome package for the winner (and to me).

Taking Brady to childcare at the gym

This is perhaps the largest development in our lives in the last week. Now that Brady is officially 6-months-old (and you heard all about that in the 6-month update), he is allowed to go to childcare at my gym. On the very day he turned 6 months, we went to the gym. And truth be told, I was soooooo nervous about leaving him with strangers, however, it worked out just fine. I kept my podcast on low so I could hear the loudspeaker, and of course, I kept thinking they were calling my name, but they weren’t. 

He stayed in the childcare for 30 minutes while I got my workout in, and then we went back again early this week, and he stayed for 45 minutes, and then for almost 50 minutes yesterday. He was totally happy each time I picked him up. And I’ve decided it’s such a WIN-WIN, as I get my time to exercise child-free, and he gets to spend time with people who are not me, so he gets used to being a bit more independent (he’s a momma’s boy through and through so far, which is fine by me, but I just want to make sure he is also okay with others). 

Ashley at the gym April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Here’s the workout that I completed on Monday and Thursday of this week … it’s a good one, targeting the upper and lower-body and core in a couple of planes of movement, also incorporating stability and strength work. I did some foam rolling, mobility moves and two minutes on the indoor-rower to warm up before beginning this circuit:

I did 15 reps of each move and repeated the entire circuit four times, which took about 25 minutes total, with a short break in between each circuit.

Nonetheless, it feels GREAT to have the gym as an option for my workouts again. I was hoping to be able to take back my old weekday group fitness classes now, but apparently I’m not allowed to have them back, because I waited too long and couldn’t take them right away when my maternity leave ended and could only start up with the Saturday one I have now. So sad, but hopefully some new classes will open up soon, although that doesn’t happen very often in this market — I waited three years to get the BODYPUMP class I had on Thursday mornings at my Walnut Creek gym. Anywho, SOOOO happy to be back in the gym as a solo practitioner, sub and class attendee for now.

Weekly workout recap at 25 weeks postpartum 

Here’s how I was moving last week at 6 months postpartum …

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 30-minute Les Mills GRIT Strength at home, 25-minute walk, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took 1-hour barre class, 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 1-hour walk, 30 minutes of BODYPUMP at home, 11 a.m.,
  • Thursday: 1-hour walk, 12 p.m. (active recovery day)
  • Friday: 25-minute weights workout at gym, 1 p.m.
  • Saturday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

Of course, as I said, the big news from this week of fitness is that I went back to the gym at the end of this week and did a weights workout, putting Brady in childcare. I was scared to stay too long, so I made it quick — but that meant I was very efficient with my time. I also did another GRIT session from Les Mills On Demand (which I talked about last week in this post), taught a class and took a class. I had a full rest day and an active recovery day, and I picked up weights three times. I’m very pleased with this week, and the only thing it may have been missing is yoga — but I haven’t been fitting that in lately and hope to return to it soon.

And of course, we went to baby-at-the-barre class …

Ashley and Brady at baby barre April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

(Outfit is from Fabletics. A recent purchase.)

Favorite meals from the week

Let’s talk food! I got to eat at one of my favorite local spots over the weekend and had all my lunches during the week at home. 

That meal out? It was an ancient grains bowl with grass-fed beef from True Food Kitchen, which is perhaps one of my favorite meals EVER. I often try to branch at True Food, but I just keep coming back to it. Mmmmmm.

Ancient Grains bowl from TFK April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Then there was this stand-out lunch I made at home earlier in the week and repeated a few times. Because I’m a repeater, as you know. 

Brussels sprouts lunch April 2018 by A Lady Goes West

  • Roasted Brussels sprouts, cooked in coconut oil, turmeric and sea salt
  • Two Vital Farms eggs cooked in coconut oil
  • One Hilary’s Eat Well hemp veggie burger
  • A heaping of Trader Joe’s sauerkraut

Yay for lunch, which is quickly becoming my favorite meal of the day. 🙂 

Best reads and watches from around the web

A few good things worth perusing …

  • FITNESS: Short workouts are SO important to me now, so I was happy to contribute my thoughts to this piece on “6 ways to maximize a short workout.”
  • A RESTORATIVE POSE TO TRY: Okay, I love the sound of this, and it makes me think of my daily inversion off the couch I did during my second and third trimesters of pregnancy to help my alignment. Give it a try and see if it makes you feel good.
  • INJURIES: If you get an injury, you need to listen to your doctor and visit a physical therapist as your first line of attack, and then, if you think you can move some portions of your body, maybe you should. Rest is best in most cases though. Like seriously — don’t power through an injury — EVER, but I like Gina’s instructions on how to work out while injured.

To watch …

Favorite A Lady Goes West archives

In case you want to do some more reading. Here are a couple good ones …

This upcoming weekend

We have a mixture of social and relaxation planned for the weekend. The biggest thing is that we’re hosting our first dinner party at our place tonight for 11 people.

I only had 10 place-settings and so had to go out this week and get some more stuff, but we’re happy to have some a big group. While our original plans were to make pizzas in the pizza oven, the pending rainy night has made us turn to plan B, which is just an indoor Italian-themed dinner party. Nonetheless, we’re excited to host!

Other than that, I’ll be teaching Bootybarre, hanging out with Dave and Brady and Rudy and drinking LOTS of water to keep going strong in the hydration challenge. Have a FAB weekend, my friends!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment! 🙂 

Faves, good reads and an #organic chocolate giveaway on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What are you up this weekend?

What’s one good thing from your week or coming up this weekend?

What’s your favorite chocolate combination?



  1. Glad to hear Brady took to the gym childwatch well! It is so stressful taking them the first couple time. We had a dinner out with the fam this week, which so rarely happens with our schedules, so that was really nice.

  2. The best thing that happened this week was spending time outside with the kids. The weather has been all over the place and we are so ready for spring!

  3. taking son to boy scout training and will walk around college campus while he learns. Then who knows Peanut butter and chocolate fav combo fro Ocho and pb eggs

  4. One great thing about this week is getting another week of grad school successfully down! Only 3 weeks left in the semester, which also means only 3 weeks until I leave for Italy – yay!!!

    1. Okay there is a LOT of awesomeness in that statement, Ashley! Way to go!! And Italy? YAY! Where are you going in Italy? I studied abroad in Florence and went all over the country. Florence was my favorite!

      1. We’re staying in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast for 5 days and I’d definitely like to make a day trip visit to Capri, as well as a few others! From there, we’ll be spending 3 days in Rome. I’d love to make Florence and Venice happen as well, but I guess I’ll just have to go back 😉 So excited though!

  5. My 11 year old niece is running her first 5k race this weekend! I’m probably going to exert more energy cheering for her than I would if I were running the race myself.

    1. hahahah I bet you will! That’s so cool! I remember when Dave ran a half marathon and I totally cried the whole time when I saw him and was cheering him on. So random hahahha! Anywho, have a nice weekend, Sarah! 🙂

  6. I follow you on Instagram. I’m always jealous of the pictures of your outdoor walks. It is still too cold for that in Ohio. I need spring asap!

    1. Well you won’t be jealous of our dreary and rainy weather this weekend heehhe! 🙂 Hope you get some sunshine and warmth soon, Angie!

    1. Hi Coéle — congrats to you on that! What a big accomplishment! We haven’t had to do any remodeling of our new home, but one day we make some changes, and I know how stressful it will be, but also rewarding. Have a great weekend!

  7. I love that you got so many workouts in. Way to go, Ashley!! 🙂 Your food out always looks so good. Tempted to go to True Food Kitchen to try it soon.

    1. Hi India! I have NEVER had a bad bite at True Food. However, it’s always busy and it’s pricey — but definitely worth a visit here and there for the good stuff! 🙂 Have a great weekend, lady!

  8. I’m pretty excited about this weekend because we’ve been needing a new couch for a long time and I think we’re finally going to get one!

    1. A new couch is soooo nice to have! However, be careful, if you’re like me, you’ll spill something on your brand new couch in the first week. hahaha 🙁 But for real, enjoy, Dandi!

  9. One good thing coming this weekend…time with friends and our families to reconnect over food and drinks.

  10. I follow on IG! The chocolates look delicious. I enjoyed Gina’s post on working out while injured too.

  11. I follow you on Facebook and Instagram! Going out to dinner on Saturday night with my hubby to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (which was actually last week). Can’t believe how time flies!

  12. I am all about the chocolate with peanut butter too…but pass on chocolate with whole peanuts. Just doesn’t work for me for some reason.

  13. Running the rock + roll half this Sunday!

    Although.. I didn’t really train, gonna still push for it though! 🙂

  14. I’m looking forward to getting back into my workout routine this weekend after getting home from a trip to Hawaii.

    1. Hawaii! Yay! Which island? Yes, and it does feel good to get back to workouts after some time away. Makes you appreciate the endorphins of exercise more! Thanks, Laura! 🙂

  15. I haven’t been feeling tip-top lately, so I decided to make my weekend all about self-care. I’m getting a massage today and a pedicure tomorrow. No makeup all weekend. No exhausting first dates. Just healthy eats, lots of sleep and some relaxing.

    1. hahahah! Oh Court! I hope you enjoy your self-care. It’s sooo important to recharge sometimes! Enjoy the weekend, lady! It sounds fab! 🙂

  16. There is something extra good about organic chocolate!
    (Also, I’ve never had a hemp burger before, how’s the texture?)

  17. I am definitely participating in the hydration challenge! I’m late to the party, though, so I’m a few days behind you. I am following the guideline that you should drink 2/3 as many ounces as your weight in pounds (so someone who weighs 150 lbs should drink 100 oz) which my doctor has suggested to me.

  18. I follow ALGW on instagram. ?

    The best thing from this weekend was the beautiful weather we had Saturday. Enjoying dinner on the deck and watching the kiddos run around barefooted, living their best life, until bedtime.

    1. Beautiful weather (after coming out of winter and rain) just makes everything better! Have a great day, Adrienne. Thanks for saying hi!

    1. A chocolate plant? Why didn’t I visit that when I was there? hahaha! Sooooooo, sending you a HUGE happy birthday, by the way!!! 🙂

    1. You are so sweet, Kersten! Thanks again for the interview, lady! And yes, the hair is WAY better now that my hormones are in check. 🙂

  19. Skipping the gym or a run is so hard for me. I’m training for a half marathon in October, so I have a strict run/cross training schedule. I had to take an exam to get my professional license this morning (I passed!), so I’ve been studying like crazy. Which has meant getting up super early to run. It’s been worth it though. I’m excited that I no longer have to study and can sleep in a bit now!

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