Christmas weekend 2017 in Walnut Creek and my weekly workouts

Friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend, if you celebrated. Is it just me or is the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day just so confusing? It’s like … should we be working or off? Should we be holiday eating or keeping it clean? Should we be traveling or staying at home? Should we be festive or routine? I don’t know, so I’m doing a mix of all of it! And yes, we’re keeping our decorations up for at least another week …

Christmas stockings 2017 by A Lady Goes West

And in honor of that, I wanted to pop in to share some pictures and stories from our weekend and also share a recap of my latest week of postpartum workouts, but I’m keeping it short today, I promise!

My birthday

Since we last talked, I turned another year older. My birthday was on December 23, and so I celebrated it with Dave, Rudy and Brady over the weekend on Saturday, turning the exciting age of 34. Woohoo. I almost always leave my birthday plans up to Dave if we’re not at home in Florida with my family, because he does such a good job putting them together, and this birthday was no different, except it was different, because we have Brady now! Ohhhh what a difference a year makes.

In the morning, I took a barre class at a local studio (The Bar Method — more thoughts coming on the studio and workout soon, as this was my first time trying it out). Then, I showered up, and we went to Homegrown for lunch in Lafayette, one of my favorite healthy spots. Lunch scenes below … and yes, when you sit near a bright window, it’s totally acceptable to wear your sunglasses indoors …

Birthday lunch at Homegrown 2017 by A Lady Goes West

After that, we came home and headed out on foot to get some holiday lattes at Peet’s and pick up a birthday cake at my favorite local bakery, The Sweet Affair, which is also where we got our gender reveal cake over the summer. We also enjoyed one of the freshest chocolate chip cookies ever while we waited for the cake. Well, actually two cakes. We got two.

Our whole walking outing was a couple of hours, and I loved being out in the fresh cool air without having to rush around or worry about any timelines or appointments, like the weekdays seem to hold. We had Christmas tunes on the jambox the entire time, and the weather was absolutely wonderful and Christmas-like, and Brady slept like a little angel in his stroller.

Birthday hug with Brady 2017 by A Lady Goes West

We spent the rest of the evening at home chilling. I opened some presents from Dave and my Mom, and we had True Food Kitchen take-out for dinner, and then dug into the cakes. It was a very low-key birthday, but just what I wanted, full of time with my three boys!

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, I took advantage of having Dave home to watch Brady, and I went back to The Bar Method for another barre class. I did not enjoy the instructor of the day, but that’s for another post — not holiday related! 🙂 Nonetheless, I still had time for a selfie …

Ashley at Bar Method by A Lady Goes West

After I came home, showered and changed, we walked to downtown Walnut Creek for a late lunch at Tender Greens, and we noticed that so many places were closed — it was like a ghost town in downtown. We guessed that most people were doing family stuff at their homes. Not us though. We did, however, at least wear some festive gear for the day …

Ashley and Brady Christmas Eve 2017 by A Lady Goes West

Brady on Christmas Eve 2017 by A Lady Goes West

In the evening, we drove around a couple of Walnut Creek neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights, made some delicious egg nog drinks and finally, we settled in to watch “White Christmas,” an annual tradition for us. We tried to do our best to stay busy with holiday activities, because I was definitely a little sad we weren’t doing anything festive with our families this year, as we usually do.

Christmas Day

Unfortunately, Brady didn’t do very well in the sleep department over the weekend, and one of his worst nights was Christmas Eve. So we ended up laying around and trying to catch some more shut-eye until around 9 a.m.

Finally, we woke up and got some pancakes and waffles going for breakfast and watched some of the Disney holiday TV special. (True story: I still believe in the magic of Disney, even after working three corporate jobs there when I lived in Orlando and after knowing all the behind-the-scenes logistics of it all too).

Christmas Day waffle 2017 by A Lady Goes West

In the mid-morning, we opened up a few presents and then went to Lafayette Reservoir for a lovely walk. It was super busy there, so we weren’t the only ones with plans to move our legs on Christmas Day. Such a pretty place to do it …

Christmas Day 2017 family walk by A Lady Goes West

That afternoon, we hung out at home, had a delicious dinner prepared by Dave consisting of filet, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and red wine, and then watched some of the “Saturday Night Live” Christmas special.

Also, I insisted that we take a family photo, so we used my new flash attachment that Dave bought me for my DSLR camera to take this picture indoors with a softer light … and yes, Brady wore the same Christmas jammy for 24 hours, so he could be pictured in it on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — don’t judge …

Christmas Day 2017 family pic by A Lady Goes West

This Christmas was the very first time that we haven’t traveled anywhere to be with either Dave or my family, and it was definitely strange. My brother was in Indiana with his fiance’s family, Dave’s family was in San Diego, and my parents were in Florida, and traveling to any of those places was just not in the cards for us this time. I know that not everyone gets to be with their loved ones during the holidays, whether they have to work or can’t travel or even have illness in the family, and it’s not an easy thing, especially at Christmas. So if you were in that boat, I feel for you! I hope you were able to find joy in whatever it is that you did to make the best of your holiday.

I truly love spending time with family and felt like we missed out this year (on Thanksgiving too!) … but overall, we soaked up our time together as a group of four and still had a lot of fun together.

I can’t wait for next year when Brady will understand things a little bit better too, because that will make things even more special. So overall, even though we were missing our families, we kept reminding ourselves how blessed we are to have our little guy and his ornament on our tree …

Christmas ornament 2017 by A Lady Goes West

So there you have it. That was our Christmas 2017 weekend. It came and it went!

My postpartum weekly workout recap

From holidays to fitness, let’s switch it up and look at my latest workouts …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

At 11 weeks postpartum …

  • Monday: 30-minute barre workout at home, 11 a.m., 30-minute walk, 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 1-hour walk, 11 a.m., 1-hour CorePower yoga class, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught and did a 35-minute outdoor bootcamp, 10;30 a.m.
  • Thursday: 1-hour BODYPUMP workout at home, 11 a.m., 30-minute walk, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 1-hour walk, 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 1-hour barre class, 9:45 a.m., 1-hour walk, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1-hour barre class, 9:45 a.m., 1-hour walk, 1 p.m.

Overview of the week of workouts

This past week of workouts was my fullest yet since I’ve been back to working out for just over five weeks, and I love that! I walked a ton every day, never missing my goal of 10,000 steps, once hitting 15,000, and I also did yoga, barre, bootcamp and weights. I also had a rest day, with nothing but a leisure walk.

Perhaps the highlight of this past week of workouts was making it back to CorePower Yoga. I used to enjoy going to CorePower in Walnut Creek for a sweaty yoga class once a week or so, but had to stop going once I got pregnant, because it’s not ideal for a pregnant gal to take hot and humid yoga classes. This was my first time back, and boy, it felt awesome. I hope to pop in here and there for a session as I can, because I always come out feeling so zen and refreshed.

I also tried a new-to-me-barre studio and workout at The Bar Method, and my first thoughts are that I didn’t like it, but I’m going to try a few more times before officially declaring that. I’ll report back more soon.

Overall, I’m getting much stronger and mobile five weeks into working out, and I love the fact that I can tell that I’m making progress. It feels great!

Hope you are having a good day, friends! I’ve got another post coming at you this week, so come on back! Take care! 🙂 

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Questions of the day

How was your holiday? Did you travel?

What was your best workout last week?

Are you working this week?



  1. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas weekend even if you didn’t travel! As much fun as it is to spend the holidays with family, traveling during the holidays is not fun at all. I ended up flying from Chicago to New Jersey on Christmas Day to spend time with both my family and my boyfriends’. Safe to say we decided to not do that next year.

    I hope you have a great night Ashely!

    1. Hi Maureen! Oh man! Sounds like you are coming off of a stressful holiday full of travel. I know that airports are NOT fun during this time, and I didn’t miss having to go through that. Once, Dave and I were delayed on Christmas Eve and ended up arriving early Christmas morning to Florida. Woohoo. hahah! Anyways! Hope you had fun when you were actually not en route on Christmas! Have a great night, lady!

  2. Man its interesting just how different barre classes can be. Not all barre classes are created equally ha! Did you ever get to try Flybarre? They ended up closing the barre studio about a year ago but it was great when it was around!

  3. For about a dozen small reasons we decided to stay home for Christmas this year too. It was kind of strange, but still nice to have our own little traditions.
    I clicked on the flash suggestion! I have the worse time taking photos inside, especially at night… I might need that! Do you like it???

    1. Hi Julie!! Yes — the flash tool SOFTENS the light and provides light around the subject instead of directly on it, so I think it totally helps taking away that harsh coloring. I’m a fan! 🙂 And I’m glad you guys are starting your own traditions too!!

  4. Hi Ashley,

    I was the instructor at Bar Method that you didn’t enjoy the class from. I’d love it if you could elaborate on what you didn’t like about my class. I’m always looking to improve and welcome your feedback



    1. Hi Emilie! Well — wow! Sorry you had to read that here on the blog. I will say that I loved your festive gear and personality infused in the class — cracking a few jokes, etc. However, as someone who was new and only on their second time at Bar Method, I felt like you taught the class to regulars — no intro, barely any instruction for a lot of things. I didn’t see you do barely any demoing of moves either, which I find super helpful — especially being new. I appreciated that you did corrections on people, however, you were a little rough with me on mine — which came to me as a surprise, and you even told me to “relax” and pushed down my shoulders — which isn’t all that welcoming, when you’re new to a class, newly postpartum and slightly out of your element. 🙂 Thanks for reaching out! And as I always say, you have to take a class more than once to know if you like it. I’ve been in five times and will come a couple more before writing my class review. Take care!

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