Current faves: A book, smoothies, inspiration and weekly workouts

Hey, friends! How are you? I hope you had a good week and are staying healthy. Everything was business as usual over here, with work, Brady, group fitness and all of that. And BTW: The blog got a tiny facelift on the homepage this week, so I hope you like the minor changes to design. 

This weekend (as long as classes are not cancelled), I’m launching the new BODYPUMP 113, preparing to launch the new BODYATTACK 108 early next week, and that’s about it. Let’s get right to the faves. Shall we?

Current faves


Mixed reviews for “Mrs. Everything”

Someone told me about this new title, “Mrs. Everything,” so I put my name on the waiting list for it at the library and anxiously awaited my turn to read it.

I had already read a couple books by the author, Jennifer Weiner, before and enjoyed them and figured this would be no different. Also, this book received a ton of accolades after debuting, so it was quite talked up …

Mrs. Everything book - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

(“Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner.)

Truth be told: Once I got into it, I actually didn’t look forward to reading this book every night, like I would have hoped. But I kept at it and was pulled into it.

The story was long and it took a while for things to unfold, and it felt a little sad at times. The narrative follows two sisters throughout their lives, as they each take several twists and turns trying to find their own paths, each going through some trauma, of course. I was hooked enough to pick it up every night to move through the story, because I definitely wondered where it was going to go. But honestly, I didn’t have a big connection to the characters like I wanted to have. 

However, here’s the twist: Once I came to the very end of the book — not only did I cry — but all of a sudden I had an appreciation for what the author was trying to do with this story. She was trying to show that the way a woman is “supposed” to live her life, doesn’t always line up with how she wants to live her life. This idea is certainly something that’s always present in our world. And even though we’ve come a long way from the 1950s when this book began, we still have a lot of work left to do. That’s a strong message.

Closing thoughts on this one: It’s got a real point, and it’s a good book, but I didn’t LOVE it. But everyone else seemed to be completely blown away by it, so perhaps it’s worth a read if you’re in need of some fiction. 


Two delicious things as of late …

Here are two of the most delicious things I consumed in the last week, and they both happen to be liquid …

#1 Daily Harvest cacao and avocado smoothie

This is the cacao and avocado smoothie from Daily Harvest, and it has the thickest and heartiest texture of all the smoothies I’ve ever had. I didn’t want it to end, because it was so tasty and filling and full of good ingredients and fats. Well done, Daily Harvest.

Cacao and avo smoothie by Daily Harvest - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

In case you missed my review of Daily Harvest deliveries, you can find it here. Also, if you’re interested in trying out Daily Harvest for yourself, you can get $25 off your first order on the Daily Harvest site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.

#2 Genius Juice whole coconut smoothie

This is not just coconut water, this is like coconut chunky milk, and in the best way. Dave bought this for me for the first time a while back after seeing the brand, Genius Juice, on “Shark Tank” and I’ve had it again since then because I loved it so much.

Genius Juice - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

It’s like the most creamy and tastiest bottled beverage ever, perhaps running in a big head-to-head competition with the cacao and avocado smoothie from above. And it’s made with real coconut meat. Yum! They have other flavors that I’m going to have to get my hands on soon.

You can find these drinks at Whole Foods. They aren’t cheap, but the healthiest, freshest and most quality food and drinks never seem to be. 


Watching Beautycounter’s LEAD conference

Every year, Beautycounter holds a big conference for consultants who hold the title of director and above. This year’s conference was cancelled due to some travel concerns around the coronavirus, so instead, Beautycounter offered a one-day online LEAD experience for us all to enjoy at home. And I was able to watch all the videos over the weekend.

Make it your business with Beautycounter by A Lady Goes West

It was SO inspiring. Not only did we hear from the women in charge of Beautycounter, including the creator Gregg Renfrew, but we also heard about some awesome brand new products and innovations coming in a couple months. But perhaps my favorite part of the whole five-hour online event was hearing the stories from women who have joined Beautycounter on a whim (even though they were not interested in sales) and completely changed their lives — through growing their business skills, improving their confidence, finding support with a community of like-minded women, and of course earning income, all the while sharing products from a company that is truly doing good. You can’t beat that. It feels great to be a part of something like this. I was all fired up after watching the conference.

This is something I never would have considered doing before, and I literally love it, and this conference reminded me why I care so much. And here I am earlier this week on a call with some of my Beautycounter friends chatting about what’s to come … (Go Gators!)

Beautycounter call - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

More praise for the brand …

Also this week, Beautycounter was named FastCompany’s Most Innovative Beauty Company for 2020, beating out all the bigger brand names, because of its transparency, ethical practices and clean products. Pretty amazing!

Your chance to try it …

If you’ve been wanting to try Beautycounter and you’re a brand new customer, you can get free shipping on your order over $100, if you register on the site with your email here through Sunday, March 15. Beautycounter is doing this as a little incentive to get more people on board with safer makeup and skincare. And if you need help picking out what may be right for your skin, fill out this skincare survey, and I’ll get back to you with some recommendations. 


Weekly workout recap

Here’s how I got moving last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour mobility and weights session, 9:15 a.m., practiced POP Pilates for 45 minutes, 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Taught 1-hour POP Pilates, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre, 12 p.m., practiced BODYPUMP for 30 minutes, 5 p.m.
  • Friday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 12 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1-hour BODYATTACK, 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Instructor practice session: 1-hour BODYPUMP, 30-minute BODYATTACK, 2 p.m.

This past week had something new! I will talk more about this in detail, but I worked with a trainer this week, and it’s something I plan to do once a week for the next couple of months. I’ve been in need of branching out from my classes and practicing for my classes, and so I finally decided to make it official with the help of someone else. Overall, I’m looking to get stronger and more well-rounded outside of the group fitness studio. More to come on that, but we can say that this past week of workouts was full of diversity of movement, and I felt good.

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Reusable bag hygiene. Hopefully you’ve already transitioned to using reusable tote bags for your groceries. But now comes the matter of cleaning those bags. Truth be told, I haven’t been good about this. Here’s why and how to do it.
  • Lower back relief. If you have lower back pain, you’re not alone. It’s super common. This looks like a really great way to work out some of that tension on a foam roller.

And here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app, which I use to do my daily morning meditations

Walking away quote - by A Lady Goes West - March 2020

A Lady Goes West favorite archives …

My top 10 pieces and where I buy my workout clothes by A Lady Goes West

Our favorite simple and healthy toddler eats by A Lady Goes West

That’s it for today, my friends! Have an awesome Friday and weekend!

Questions of the day

How was your week?

When was the last time you tried something new?

What are you up to this weekend?

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  1. Hey Ashley! I read mrs. Everything too and thought it was soooo cliche and stereotyping and predictable etc etc, and then I LOVED the ending too! I felt like she was celebrating womanhood and all that we go through. I just read Eleanor oliphant and LOVED it. It’s a few years old but I highly recommend.

    Also this week I tried a coconut smoothie drink from Trader Joe’s and it was divine! Similar concept- coconut water mixed with coconut meat, sooo creamy and sweet and delicious! If you shop there you may want to try it!

    I’m surprised your gym hasn’t closed yet. It’s probably just a matter of time unfortunately. Do you get your hubby back now that NBA is postponed? Have a great week Ashley!

    1. Hi Alie! Wow — I’m so glad you had the same reaction I did to Mrs. Everything. And because we must have similar tastes in books, I’ll look into Eleanor Oliphant — I haven’t heard of that. As far as what is going on here — yes, my husband is working from home for two weeks (WHICH NEVER HAPPENS), and all his games and events have been cancelled as well. It’s terrible for the industry workers relying on the event and game income, so I feel bad about that. But the silver lining is that Dave will have more time with us and with Brady — so I’m definitely happy about that. EXCEPT, we had to cancel a trip we had for next weekend, which was our first getaway together without Brady we had ever planned. Darn. And classes are still on at my gym, but like you said — I feel like that will change soon. Hope you stay well!!! 🙂 xoxox

      1. Yeah I feel terrible for all the lost revenue and workers and especially small businesses. We’re in for a hard year ? and SUCH a bummer about the trip cancellation!! That sounds so disappointing!! Let’s all hope and pray this gets under control soon. Take care of yourself and your fam!!

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