A wonderful weekend and a fitness giveaway

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was great! Let’s get to a quick recap of the goings-on and then talk about fitness, because I’ve got a big giveaway today for your chance to win a year-long premium membership to the Grokker streaming service for all-access to workouts and cooking demonstrations!


Ladies happy hour on Friday night

On Friday evening, I met a few gals for some cocktails on the patio of Maria Maria in downtown Walnut Creek. The weather was beautiful, there was a great guitar player stationed right near our table, and we enjoyed chatting about girl-type things. After a couple of hours, Dave picked me up, and the two of us headed to our usual Friday night sushi spot, Miraku.

Friday night drinks and sushi via A Lady Goes WestScenes from the evening include white wine al fresco, lady friends, live music and fresh sushi.

Relaxing and enjoying an easy Saturday morning

Let me tell you, it felt so good not to have my alarm set to wake me up before 6 a.m. on a Saturday. As I mentioned last week, I’ve finally decided to stop teaching classes on the weekends for a while. Although I love to teach, I also felt like I needed a little breather on Saturdays for the time being.

Therefore, on Saturday, I got up when I felt like it, played with Rudy, took my time hanging around in my pajamas, and it was perfect. I did a few short workout sessions at home via the Grokker service (which I’ll tell you more about below), before I showered up so the Pitt family could go off on a mission.

With Rudy in tow, Dave and I went to Jamba Juice to sit outside for some smoothies, then we went to Petco to purchase a traveling case and some toys for Rudy. We have trips coming up the next two weekends, and the little Rudster is going on both of them. We also swung by Target for a few extras. A big day in the ‘burbs! (Wow, did I really just say that?)

Double-date night at Corner’s Tavern

On Saturday night, Dave and I invited some of our friends over to our place to hang out for a bit, then we all went to Corner’s Tavern for dinner. I had heard good things about this restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek, and it did not disappoint. The setting was good, the service was good and so was the food. I’d definitely return. Especially to get the brussels sprouts appetizer, fancy cocktails and carrot cake for dessert. Good stuff!

Dinner at Corners Tavern in Walnut Creek via A Lady Goes WestI selected the smoked salmon on a bed of potatoes as my entree, and before that we all shared a zucchini and goat cheese salad, deep-fried brussels sprouts with parmesan and warm bread and butter, finishing off with some incredibly moist spiced carrot cake for dessert.

Corner’s Tavern was much more “San Francisco” than many of the other restaurants we’ve been to in Walnut Creek thus far, and so we were big fans. We were also big fans of our company that night, who not only provided plenty of laughs, but who also didn’t mind me photographing our food. I love double-dates.

Catch-up, yoga and an Italian meal on Sunday

On Sunday morning, Dave headed out to golf, so I stayed home with Rudy and did a few chores, caught up on blog work and even went to the gym for a yoga session. In the evening, Dave and I went on a rare Sunday-night outing to dinner to use up a Groupon that we were gifted to Montecatini, a fancy Italian restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek. Yes, that means we went out to eat three nights-in-a-row this weekend, which is a lot for us. But everything we ate was delicious, so it was worth it. Now for that giveaway …


Grokker at-home workout review and GIVEAWAY

I was lucky enough to be selected by the team at Sweat Pink and Fit Approach to try out the Grokker streaming healthy-living service and share my favorite videos in a collection. You can check out what I picked, along with the favorites of a few other wonderful Sweat Pink ladies here — you’ll see that we’re all working on achieving #1MillionMinutes of sweat.

Grokker review and giveaway via A Lady Goes West blogThere are many perks of doing yoga at home … unfortunately having a puppy who wants to be involved in everything isn’t one of them. 

But what is Grokker you ask? Grokker is a web-site full of healthy-living videos and open discussion forms, covering the topics of yoga, a full-spectrum of fitness and even cooking. Here are the highlights …

  • There are more than 1,000 yoga-related videos all the way from teaching you how to master headstands, to how to ease your lower-back pain with yoga.
  • There are more than 1,700 cooking videos, some hosted by celebrity chefs, designed to help you create new dishes at home and master cooking techniques.
  • There are more than 800 fitness videos, with workouts ranging from barre all the way to sports conditioning and cardio kickboxing.
  • You can search for videos by duration, topic, expert, equipment-needed or focus. Videos range from under five minutes to well over an hour.
  • The web-site is busy and has a ton of content, so expect to be a little bit overwhelmed at first. When I first visited, I knew my goal for the day was a short yoga session, so I was easily able to narrow my search.
  • You can create your own collections, rate videos, ask questions to the creator of the video and follow “experts” to see what they recommend for you.
  • One of my favorite parts is that the service tracks all the videos that you watch and can give you a report of how many minutes you were active on a calendar.
  • There are free videos available, but the better videos can only be unlocked with a paid premium membership.

My favorite videos include short yoga sessions and barre workouts, as those are what I really like to do at home to supplement my work at the gym. I plan to spend a lot more time digging around Grokker, because I bet there are tons of cool cooking videos I could use to spruce up my skills in the kitchen. (And yes, Dave would be pumped about that!)

Now, I’m super excited to be able to give away one full year of premium membership to a lucky reader of A Lady Goes West. This giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where you live. And this is a $120 value. The contest will close one week from today, and I’ll select a winner on Monday, August 3.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a friend who is in need of this awesome resource for fitness or cooking inspiration at home? Share the love and let them know about this giveaway! And if you don’t win, you can always sign up for one free month of the premium service using the code: LOVEGROKKER.

My weekly fitness and workouts recap

Now, as we do every Monday, let’s take a minute to see how I did with my recent workouts 

Weekly workouts via A Lady Goes West(Photo credit to Leah Bentley Photography, 2015.)

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday – Rest day (Day-trip to Santa Cruz!)
  • Tuesday – Practiced one hour of BODYPUMP at home with weights
  • Wednesday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Thursday – Taught a 45-minute BODYPUMP class and a 30-minute freestyle core class, foam rolling
  • Friday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class and a one-hour BODYPUMP class
  • Saturday – Did an 18-minute barre workout, a 19-minute barre workout and a 15-minute yoga session at home via my collection on Grokker
  • Sunday – Attended a one-hour gentle yoga class 

What was good about my week of workouts?

A full rest day, yoga, some short barre workouts, two sessions of cardio, a core workout and three sessions of resistance training … now that’s a good week. I’m so glad I’ve finally been able to pick up weights more than a couple-of-times a week again. It feels good! Overall, this past week had great diversity, including two days of low-impact work over the weekend to counteract all the tough stuff I did while teaching during the week.

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

Not too much. I think I fit in a lot, and I also took it easy. Thanks to Grokker for the help.

That’s all I’ve got for you today, my friends. On my agenda? Work, teaching at Orangetheory Fitness, more work and teaching BODYATTACK. Have a good one! And don’t forget today is the last day to enter to win some Les Mills Good Protein, so head on over and put your name in the hat.

**Disclaimer: Please note that this post is sponsored by Fit Approach and Sweat Pink on behalf of Grokker. While I was given a few free months of premium service to Grokker and compensated, all the opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting my sponsors!

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

How many times do you eat out each week?

What type of videos would you most like to watch on Grokker?

Ashley signature



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    1. Hi Krissy! Then maybe you need this service for the inspiration? 🙂 Hope you had a nice weekend, eating all of your pretty food! 🙂

  1. We have been eating out way too much with all of the travelling and crazy schedules that we’ve had. I can’t wait to eat at home again, but I don’t know if I remember how to cook!

    1. Hi Susie! ahahha! I sure like not having to do the dishes though … but yes, back to the healthy at-home meals starting today! Hope you had a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Megan! It sure was a good weekend! Hope yours was too. And yes, you’d love a little pup like my Rudy. Even though you’re not a dog person, he’s hard to resist heheh!

  2. I love your blog! I just started reading it! 🙂 I would love to do more yoga online! Do they have prenatal classes? I would be all about that!

    1. I can vouch for the prenatal yoga on Grokker, Julia! I’m in my second trimester and am really appreciating them, especially since there aren’t any classes near me right now!

  3. I usually end up eating out on the weekends… Friday night through Sunday morning. Which I love, but by the time Sunday night rolls around I’m feeling a bit blah and just want to make my own food at home. Hope you have a great day! : )

    1. Hi Jamie! I feel ya! I love to go out to dinner, but not too much. I’m happy to be back to eating at home today. Hope your weekend was relaxing!! 🙂

  4. Great week of workouts, Ashley! Do you find that you get as good a workout when you are teaching body pump (as opposed to practicing/taking a class)? I usually eat out 2-3 times a week but this week will be more like 6-7…gotta love all the summer fun :)!

    1. Hi Khushboo! Hi there, lady! That’s a great question, and I would say I get a good workout whether I’m teaching or not. For BODYPUMP, the weights I have at home are perfect for all but the squat track, so that one I go a little less than I would if I were teaching. For BODYATTACK, I probably get a better workout when teaching, because I don’t always do it FULL OUT at home when practicing. 🙂

    1. Hi Carrie! I know! One of those technical difficulties overnight, but I got it back up and ready to go. Sorry about that! And yay for live music and Mexican food. Hope you had a great weekend!!

  5. Happy Monday Ashley!! Good for you for taking Saturday’s off. It’s honestly so nice to not have to work on the weekend when lots of those around you don’t. Grokker sounds amazing – taking the guess work out of an at home workout? I need to give this a try!

    1. Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for saying hi! And yes, I had a great time doing short barre workouts, which were all very different. Good luck in the giveaway. Hope you had a nice weekend!

  6. Grokker sounds like a great service. Three cheers for getting your Saturdays back! There really is nothing like that relaxed “I don’t have to wake up for anything” feeling on the weekends. Good for you! Also, I love how Rudy made an appearance in your workout pics. Between Roadie and my two cats, there’s always SOMEONE by me any time I’m on the floor. So funny!

    1. Hi Heather! Rudy seems to make an appearance in nearly every picture these days. And I like that! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, my friend! 🙂

  7. Looks like a great weekend, Corner’s Tavern looks yummy :). My weekend was good, chores, vet appt, made some strawberry-banana yogurt pops. Oh Rudy, he just wants to do downward dog too :), my dog always plops down in the middle of my mat, silly pups!

    1. Hi Jessie! Yes, Rudy is actually totally in the way during yoga. But it sure is cute. heheh! Your yogurt pops sound yummy — the perfect treat for a hot summer day! Happy Monday, my friend!

  8. Grokker seriously is one of the coolest ‘video workout’ sites that I have found, and I just found it this morning through Fit Approach. Wow. 🙂 It has almost everything you could imagine. You could never leave your house and always get a workout in… 😀

    You and your husband look really cute together! I <3 the pictures of your dinner dates. 🙂 They look fun.

    1. Hi Emily! Oh cool, glad you’ve had a chance to look around Grokker. There are so many videos I want to watch! I should set a daily appointment to try something new on there! Hope you had a nice weekend!! 🙂

  9. I would definitely use the Yoga videos. I just ended my membership to my yoga studio because the prices were getting to be crazy!

    1. Hi Rose! I feel ya! Yoga studios can be very pricey, so I’ve enjoyed being able to do yoga at home for “free”! Thanks for entering! Have a lovely Monday and week! 🙂

  10. I love the idea for shorter workouts at home on the weekends. I usually run, but with the heat we’ve been having lately I just can’t seem to make it out the door haha.

    Also, I try to take a yoga class at my work gym, but sometimes my workload just doesn’t allow me to step away during class time. However, this service would help me insure I get a yoga session. Definitely important for when I start my half marathon training in a couple of weeks!

    1. Hi Amanda! Yes, you’ve got to have a plan for cross training when it comes to race prep, and these videos would help. Thanks for entering, and of course, I hope you have a fabulous day, lady!! 🙂

  11. Lately I have been eating out almost every day. It’s bad. I just can’t get back into the swing of meal planning. Ahhh!
    Grokker looks like a pretty good plan!

    1. Hi Lindsey! No big deal, I’m sure you’ll get back into making food at home soon! At least you’ve saved yourself some dish cleaning, right? 🙂 Happy Monday!

  12. Hey Ashley,
    That service sound great! I love that they incorporate so many different workouts, plus cooking demos! And yay for yoga!
    We definitely ate out more last week (while we were on vacation), but I am looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and getting things back to “normal”. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, that’s a given on vacation that you’ll be eating out much more! There are some good eats in Savannah too! Enjoy your day too, lady! 🙂

  13. I would love to try one of the kickboxing workouts! I travel a lot for work so I love work outs that I can do in my hotel room from my computer or ipad.

    1. Yes, totally, Jess. That’s what’s good about streaming workouts, is you can do them anywhere you have an internet connection. Hope you have a lovely Monday! 🙂

  14. I would love to try all different varieties of videos, I don’t have a gym membership right now so I am always up for something new!

  15. We had a fabulous weekend! I have never heard of Grokker – it looks awesome! I’d definitely use it for all the yoga. We typically eat out once a week – Friday or Saturday nights. Looking forward to seeing your little trips with Rudy! I hope he’s a good little traveler 🙂

    1. Hi Melissa! I hope he is a good traveler too. He’s not too sure about the case we bought him though — trying to get him used to it and he doesn’t want to go near it ahha oh no! 🙁 Happy Monday to you!

  16. I have been having a hard time fitting in yoga this summer. If there were classes on line I could do after the kids go to bed, that would be great!

  17. You always have the most mouthwatering and delectable eats! I have never tried Grokker however I am a huge fan of fitness videos, as they seem to provide that extra motivation and push to get you going. Now that I think about it, I don’t really eat out that often. At most may 2 times a week, since my mom is an amazing cook and we just prefer to spend the money on buying high quality ingredients instead! However once I am off to college I’m sure I will have to get used to eating out more often!

    1. Hi Niki! Oh gosh, yes! I would eat at home all the time if I had my Mom to cook for me too! Enjoy that situation, lady! 🙂 And yes, I feel like videos and group fitness classes get me to work harder than when I’m coming up with my own thing on the fly. Agreed! Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend! 🙂

  18. I would love to check out the yoga videos. With a new baby and using up my child care at the gym for work, it’s would be a great option to have at home!

  19. I wish I could take my dog on trips! She’s not very social so she’s a lot happier staying at home. My weekend was pretty low-key… I went shopping and mostly hung out at home. Went on a beautiful bike ride yesterday so that was fun 🙂 I have been eating out once per week lately. My guilty pleasure is Thai food. I love pad thai! Have a good week!

    1. Hi Sam! We weren’t sure if our little Rudy would be social or not, but it seems as long as he is near people, he is fine. Glad you got some shopping and a ride in this weekend. Happy Monday to you! 🙂

  20. I have been looking for something like this! I really want to have video workouts that I can use whatever equipment I have either at home or the gym. This looks great:)

    1. Hi Brittany! Thanks for saying hi! Yes, it’s so nice to be able to do a variety of workouts anywhere without having to come up with anything on your own! Have a great night! 🙂

  21. Three nights in a row! You must not have kids 😉 We usually only eat out once a month for dinners but go out for lunches more often. Although most those lunch trips are to Whole Foods 🙂 I’ve been loving Grokker too! Actually my son and I just did a kids yoga session together tonight. It was great!

    1. Hi Giselle! Yes, of course life changes when you need a babysitter to go out! I guess we’ll enjoy our extra dinners out until then eheeh! And I’m always down for Whole Foods for lunch. Yummmy!! 🙂

  22. I would love to watch the yoga videos at home, so I can do a nice practice before bed right at home!

    1. I think there are even “bed-time” yoga videos on Grokker too, Diana. That would be perfect. Thanks for entering! Have a lovely day! 🙂

  23. Looks like a fun weekend! Grokker sounds like a great resource to use for working out at home. I am in school and time crunched often to get a workout in, so this would be perfect. I am working on adding more yoga into my workout routine, so I would really like to use those videos.

    1. Hi Taylor! Yes, the short videos are the best for getting in a quick session in between classes and work or whatever. Thanks for entering! Have a fabulous week! 🙂

    1. Hi Lindsay! hahah! I’m paid to be there in the gym, so that helps a lot when it comes to workouts. 🙂 HIIT is great for quick and effective workouts. Thanks for entering!

  24. I’d love some ab workouts. It’s the hardest part of my body to tone. I get tired after like 10 crunches too ughhhh.

  25. Thank you for this giveaway! I am a big fan of Grokker already and I just love, love, love fitness videos from their experts. Once again, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Denise! Thanks for saying hi! Yes, of course, cooking at home is the less expensive and healthier option much of the time, so it’s good you keep those meals out to a minimum!

  26. I love the idea of yoga workouts at home. There are not a lot of online videos for that. And I totally have the same problem with my dog when I workout or do yoga, she’s 100 pounds and loves to just lay on top of me, haha!

  27. I want that sushi in my life! <3!

    I've been super curious about barre workouts, and since the closest one offered near me is a good 2-3 hours away (and my very-nomadic lifestyle up ahead…), this would be lovely! 😛

  28. Lately we’ve been eating out too much. I can always tell when we’ve gone out to much, I feel yucky and bloated 🙁 I am dying to try Grokker. I really am one of the perfect candidates for something like this. Two unpredictable kids which means I may or may not get to the gym. To have an database of a ton of different workouts would be awesome! I would love to try the yoga ones and maybe some strength or HIIT workouts!

  29. Hi Ashley! I just started reading your blog and found your little niche of the Internet from other bloggers posts from IdeaWorld and BlogFest. First off one of these years I’m making it a goal to be able to attend myself! It seems life changing. And secondly, I am so glad I found your blog! I can see the passion you have for writing and sharing with other bloggers your knowledge and I ABSOLUTELY love it! Especially your tips for a better blog!

    I have been trying to expand my knowledge of different types of fitness workouts to be able to share with family and friends who need a little extra push and would love to do more with barre!!

    1. Hi Marieanna! Thank you SO much for saying hi. I’m so glad you’ve found my blog too, so we could connect. That’s wonderful that you’re inspiring those around you to get healthy with new workouts. And watching videos on Grokker would certainly give you a lot of stuff to work with. Have a fabulous day! Thanks for entering!

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