Current faves: adidas summer gear, Kentucky Derby party, a wellness book, Charlotte fun and more

Hi, friend! It’s May, and I’m coming at you in real time with a current faves post to share what’s been going on in my/our world.

Ashley and Brady on driveway May 2024 by A Lady Goes West

(In this photo, I’m wearing these leggings, these sneakers and these sunglasses.) 

It’s crazy how quickly the days and weeks go by over here. The other day, I was with a couple friends I hadn’t seen in a while and they asked me for an upcoming Saturday that Dave and I were free to do a double date, and when I went back to my calendar, I discovered we have something every weekend until mid-June. Wow.

But knowing how booked up we were, it took me back … Do you ever stop to think about where you were and what you were doing four years ago during this time? (That was right in the midst of the COVID crisis, by the way.) For me, life was tough. Although I was safe at home with Dave and Brady and it could have been much worse … we felt pretty bored, hopeless and isolated at home in Walnut Creek, California. Brady was only two, and needed a lot of entertaining all day, which was up to me to do while Dave worked remotely from my desk in the office of our home. Nearly everything was cancelled and closed, I had been laid off from my in-person fitness job, and I would’ve given anything to be busy and running around town again and … gasp … to have social plans too. The days were so slow during COVID. The weeks and the months were even slower. And whenever I get busy, I think back to that time. Some beautiful things came out of COVID (for instance, our move to Charlotte), but also, it reminded me that I thrive on being with people, contributing to things in person and keeping a full schedule. Perspective is everything. Thus, I stay busy, because it’s a blessing.

And now, it’s time for some faves …

Current faves


Sporting some new adidas summer gear

*adidas sent me a gift card to purchase this gear, but these opinions are my own.

I’m excited to continue my partnership with adidas this year. Our whole family is a fan of adidas’s sporty clothing and we wear a lot of it too. And because I’ve always talked about what I’m using and loving in my life, we’re going to talk about adidas today.

New adidas gear May 2024 by A Lady Goes West

New adidas gear May 2024 by A Lady Goes West

New adidas gear May 2024 by A Lady Goes West-6
I recently ordered a few things from the adidas website for summer worth sharing about …

  • A tennis skirt. This may be my new favorite women’s tennis skirt. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the adidas logo on the front is a cut-out, so you can see the white shorts under the black part of the skirt, and I absolutely love it. The waist-band is very comfy, and I can move freely in this skirt too. I’ve already worn it to a tennis lesson, and it performed great.
  • A cropped tank. I love a racerback tank, because it’s a flattering fit on the upper body. This light and cropped adidas women’s logo tank is made from a great fabric too called “better cotton,” and I can pair it with the biker shorts below or the tennis skirt above.
  • Some cropped biker shorts. Because sometimes leggings are too much for a hot active day, I needed some new bikers, also called short leggings. These women’s shorts are shorter than I usually get, but the fit is very comfortable and I feel good in them.
  • A casual shorts set outfit for Brady. Brady helped pick out this kids shorts set for himself on the adidas website. He’s probably worn it five times since it arrived last week. He’s a clothes repeater, much like his momma. And he loves adidas and wearing matching sets. The fabric of this outfit is durable too, which is much needed for an active 6-year-old.
  • A tennis/golf dress. I have never had a tennis dress or an “active dress” before, and I’m so excited to debut this sleeveless dress both for tennis and just for casual wear. It’s comfy and comes with shorts under it too. It’s designed for golf, but because I don’t do that, I’ll call it a tennis dress. 

New adidas gear May 2024 by A Lady Goes West-5
New adidas gear May 2024 by A Lady Goes West
Good work, adidas! Being that I’m pretty much in activewear every single day, I needed some new lighter pieces for the hot days of summer we’re approaching, so this shipment was timed perfectly.

By the way, we all know that adidas has great activewear and sports wear for everyday stuff, but did you know that adidas also has outdoorsy stuff for any summer trips you may take? Check out the women’s hiking shoes, women’s trail-running shoes, men’s hiking shoes and men’s trail-running shoes to name a few. 

Thanks to adidas for the gift cards, and thanks for making affordable casual pieces for real-life wear.


Attending a lovely Kentucky Derby party

My girlfriend, Tiffany, and her husband, Ryan, hosted a wonderful Kentucky Derby party over the weekend, and this was our second year attending it. Dave was out of town again (he was gone two weekends in a row), so just Brady and I went. It wasn’t the nicest day outside, but the party was still super fun. We chatted, ate tasty food, placed $5 bets on the horses (my choice came in third, so I ended up winning $9), and we all wore our Derby finery. 

Kentucky Derby 2024 by A Lady Goes West

Kentucky Derby 2024 by A Lady Goes West-3

(Here’s my dress, here’s my hat.)

I pulled out this yellow maxi dress and this hat that I already had in my arsenal, and I was happy to rewear both items. We also already had Brady’s outfit from Easter last year (and this year), and he had a yellow floral bowtie that went great with my dress. And the rest of the ladies in attendance took the assignment to dress in Derby-appropriate attire quite seriously. Check us out …

Kentucky Derby 2024 by A Lady Goes West-1

While the actual Kentucky Derby race only takes two minutes, this festive party lasted several hours. My mom came and joined at the tail-end, which was nice too. I’m lucky to have a great group of friends, and they know how to have a good time with a theme.


Reading the wellness book “Built to Move” 

This was the second wellness book I’ve read by author Juliet Starrett, and this one she co-wrote with her husband and business partner, Kelly Starrett. The Starretts are a well-respected San Francisco-based duo, and I first learned of them when I was an editor for the 24Life website, and I edited a piece our group did on them. What I like about the Starretts is that even though they share wellness/fitness/health advice, they don’t subscribe to any extreme measures, nor promote extremes. (I’m NOT into extremes, BTW.)

This book, “Built to Move: The 10 Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully,” is a wellness guide about how to get your body moving better and moving for the long haul. I know that sounds simple, but as the Starretts share in this book, the modern world has set us up to be pretty sedentary. While I did enjoy reading this book, I wouldn’t say it’s as entertaining as some other wellness titles (I’m looking at you, Shawn Stevenson, you always keep it super fun in your books), but the Starretts did present helpful information and share a few personal tidbits (I would have liked more, because personal stories really pull me in). 

Built to Move by A Lady Goes West

(“Built to Move” by Kelly & Juliet Starrett)

This book is set up with a chapter on each of the 10 vital signs for the body, as selected by the Starretts. You have the opportunity to assess yourself, then based on your findings, you can put their suggestions into practice to improve each vital sign for your body and life.

Here are just a few of the vital signs included in the book:

  • Getting up and down off the floor with the sit-and-rise test (Such an important marker of mobility.)
  • Breath-hold test (When pinching your nose, you should be able to hold your breath at least 30 seconds.)
  • Steps-per-day test (The Starretts recommend getting at least 8,000 at a minimum, but they say 12,000 steps is much better.)
  • Airport-security-arms test (Can you get your arms overhead with proper shoulder rotation? Because that matters, not just at the airport, but for life.)
  • 800-gram challenge (This was the BIGGEST takeaway for me from this book: The Starretts recommended that everyone eats 800 grams of produce a day, and although I have produce at each meal, apparently it wasn’t quite enough … this idea has truly helped me increase my fruit and veggie intake to about 6 cups of veggies a day, which is more than I was having before.)
  • Stand-on-one-leg-with-eyes-closed test (This is a great way to gauge your balance, and it’s harder than you’d think.)

In addition to these vital sign assessments and practices, the Starretts hammer home the importance of getting quality sleep, staying moving as much as possible each day (and using a standing desk, when you can) to keep your body nourished and in motion. While I didn’t do every single assessment, I did try a few, and I enjoyed doing so.

So who would like this book? Anyone who wants to feel better in their body. I’d see it as a great gift for someone who is focused on improving their health in a sustainable way, not just losing weight. 

Overall, I learned some good tips in this book. It wasn’t my favorite/entertaining wellness read, but it got the job done, and I felt like it was worth my nightly reading session. Good stuff, Starretts.

Life lately

Highlights around the Queen City (that’s Charlotte)

Bringing my mom to a Charlotte FC game

At a recent Charlotte FC game, Brady got to high-five his favorite player before the game, as the players walked out — and that was so cool for him. That same game, Brady and my mom made it onto the Apple+ TV broadcast while watching from the sidelines. We hadn’t known they were on TV until a friend at the gym mentioned it to me that they saw Brady. This was my mom’s first time to Bank of America stadium with us, and she enjoyed it.

Charlotte FC Sunday game 2024 by A Lady Goes West-2

Charlotte FC Sunday game 2024 by A Lady Goes West-1
Charlotte FC Sunday game 2024 by A Lady Goes West-1

(Here’s my shirt, and here are my shoes.)

We have plans to take some friends to the game this weekend and some other friends to the game next weekend. I love that Brady and I have this activity to do together, and we also get to include others. It’s a lot less crowded than a Carolina Panthers game, and it’s just as fun.

Finishing up my first spring USTA season

This was my first time playing on a spring USTA tennis season, and it was ultra-competitive. I played in six matches throughout the course of the season on Tuesday nights in a 3.0 women’s league, and I didn’t win very often. It was so hard out there, but I feel like I learned a lot and improved my game too. After our last match of the season, my team had a little celebration to give our captain a gift and toast to trying hard, despite the beatings we often took by much more experienced players …

Spring USTA tennis team 2024 by A Lady Goes West

Spring USTA tennis team 2024 by A Lady Goes West-1

(Here’s a link to our team skirt. I only have it in one color, but a lot of the ladies bought it in multiple colors because they liked it so much. It fits great, and I’m in a 6.)

Because of time constraints I’m playing a lot less tennis right now — shooting for twice a week throughout the summer, and I hope to get back into a league in the fall. By the way, a lot of people try to take the fun out of tennis, but my group keeps it in, and I’m here for that. When you’re playing a sport as a hobby, it should be fun. End rant.

On the blog

What’s been on A Lady Goes West

Here’s what we’ve been talking about on A Lady Goes West recently …

All about our first trip to New York City. We loved this trip … “Our first family trip to NYC: Three nights in New York City.”

Sharing our experience going to the Masters. This was such a cool experience … “What it’s like to go to the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National.”

What it's like to go to the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National by A Lady Goes West

What’s in my Amazon cart. Giving you a look at what I’ve been ordering and why … “The 10 most recent items I’ve ordered from Amazon Prime.”

The 10 most recent items I've ordered from Amazon Prime by A Lady Goes West

Mother’s Day is coming. And you know I love to share a gift guide … “The best Mother’s Day gifts for 2024 (and some of them are free).”

The best Mother's Day gifts for 2024 (and some of them are free) by A Lady Goes West

That’s all for today! I hope you have an excellent week, friend. See you back here soon! And a very Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the mommas, mommas-to-be and mother-figures out there. 🙂 xoxo

Questions of the day for you

How’s your May going so far?

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in May?

When was the last time you did something that challenged you?

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  1. We are going to our first Charlotte FC game next Sat with our boys! Do you have recommendations on where to park? I’ve found some places online but if you have a nice close option please share. Have a Happy Mothers Day!

    1. Hi! We park at the Mint Street Parking deck (lot 1), which is the closest you can park, but you need a special ticket for that one we get from Dave — but that lot is also hard to get out of if you leave when everyone else is leaving, because you’re so close. There are a few public garages around the stadium and surface lots that you can easily slide into that are only a block or so away — usually around $30, and you can find those as you approach the stadium. Some people say they park in South End and take the light rail as a little adventure? Sorry I can’t be of better help than that. I will say the games are SUPER fun, and I hope your family enjoys, Joanna!

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