Hello, my friends. What’s new with you? I hope you’ve been healthy and well this week. Because ’tis the season for stressed-immune systems, and we don’t want that.
We’re finishing up another busy week over here, with work, classes, a swim lesson for Brady, sending off our holiday cards, a nail appointment for me and tying up some loose Christmas-shopping ends, as well. This weekend, Dave and I will be going to a holiday party, and that’s about it.
I have some holiday-festive faves for you today …
Brady meeting Santa for the first time
A real favorite!
It never quite seemed like Brady was ready to meet Santa until now. And we are so happy with how his first meeting went, even if it wasn’t quite what we expected.
Over the weekend, we went to a brunch with Santa, and Brady had a chance to get up close with the big man in red. We had talked about how this would go for weeks and Brady couldn’t wait for it — he was so excited. But, long story short: Once the moment came, Brady got nervous and didn’t want to go near Santa or speak to him, and he most definitely wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap. He was able to hand Santa his letter, which stated that he wanted to get a “garbage truck toy with little garbage cans” for Christmas.
Anywho, Santa was very authentic, and he even gave Brady a little penguin plush, which he’s still playing with daily (because you know some new toys lose their luster in a few hours). After we met Santa, we had brunch and then hung out with some of our neighborhood friends (and their kiddos) who were also at the event that day. And it ended up being a really enjoyable family holiday activity.
Recounting the day, Brady said he was “a little bit shy” in front of Santa, and I think that’s an accurate description. At least we got some family photos and candid shots to remember it. So much cuteness from my little guy!
(Here’s the dress I’m wearing in these pictures. I’m wearing a small, and it’s super comfy and affordable.)
Holiday tea at the Ballantyne Hotel
In last week’s favorites post, I briefly mentioned that I had gone to a holiday tea, and I wanted to give a better recap with some pictures in this week’s post, because it was such a nice outing. The tea took place at the Ballantyne Hotel, which I’ve been to a few times before.
I went with my same group of neighborhood friends (who were also at the Santa brunch), and we all wore some headpieces to really get into the whole tea vibe (one of my friends even made her own Christmas headpiece, which was spectacular). I ordered this hat off Amazon, and I’m happy to have it in my arsenal in case I ever get invited to a Kentucky Derby party. Side note: You know what’s great about wearing hats? You only need to make the lower half of your hair look good, because the top part is covered — and I’m a fan of that.
But back to the tea, our holiday tea included a glass of champagne, finger sandwiches, tiny desserts, and of course, tea. For some reason, none of my friends are into smoked salmon except for me, so I pretty much ate all of the smoked salmon sandwiches, and I devoured them, because smoked salmon is totally my favorite. While sipping and eating, we stayed at our table for almost two hours chatting about all things. And then we had a chance to watch the hotel’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which was taking place in the lobby right near where we were seated.
I rarely get out and about to do fun things during the week. And going to this tea did require moving some things around, but it was totally worth it. We hope to make this an annual tradition.
Making Gingerbread houses with friends
Here’s another first for us, which we totally enjoyed.
Would you believe I’d never really done gingerbread houses before? I know, so sad. But we didn’t do a lot of kid-friendly activities in California for some reason, but we’re doing so many of them now, and I love it.
Last weekend, one of my sweet girlfriends from the neighborhood hosted a group of us and our kids to decorate gingerbread houses and hang out.
As is suggested, the hostess had already put together the houses ahead of time, so that they were dry when we arrived (a very important point, when kids will be involved). After some socializing, the kids came in and went crazy with decorating. Brady decorated for about 15 minutes or so, which is longer than I thought he would stick with it. He liked the red sprinkles the best, by the way, and covered nearly an entire side with them. (Red is his favorite color.)
When Brady went off to play with the other kiddos, who had already abandoned the project, I actually really enjoyed sitting there and working on the house myself. I’m not very crafty, but sometimes it feels good to create in this way. Even if a fun, festive, messy holiday way with candy, frosting and good company.
Brady proudly displayed his (our) gingerbread house in the kitchen, and I know he’ll be pumped to do this again one day.
This section of the post is where I share all the workouts I did the previous week. I want to remind you that I do more than the average person, because I’m a group fitness instructor, and it’s part of my job.
Your personal workout week should work with your lifestyle, be diverse and leave you feeling energized. It doesn’t need to look like mine or anyone else’s. It’s yours.
- Monday: Taught 1-hour full-body barbell class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Wednesday: 45-minute lower-body weights workout at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
- Thursday: Taught 45-minute weights/cardio class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Friday: Took 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
- Saturday: 20-minute lower-body weights workout via Peloton app, practiced barre for 1 hour, 10 a.m.
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week of workouts was full, but good. I had a rest day, I taught some classes, I took a class, and I even did two solo workouts (one at the gym and one at home). I could’ve used some yoga, so I hope to have that back this week, but much of my extra time was spent preparing and practicing some new barre choreography. Here’s the workout I did in the gym last week …
A Lady Goes West favorite products
There are certain brands that I swear by in my own life, and so I like to share them with you. If you choose to try them too, and if you use my links or promo codes, you will be supporting me. Thanks for that!
- Carbon38. I’m always wearing stuff from here, and it’s the coolest activewear around. Get 15 percent off your first two orders of $100 or more using the code ASHLEYPITT.
- G2G protein bars. I love these tasty and minimal-ingredient protein bars. You can get 15 percent off your order on the G2G Bar site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Organifi supplements. This is my go-to protein powder brand. You can get 15 percent off your order on the Organifi site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Beautycounter. The best safe skincare and makeup. Send me a message, and I’ll share a 20 percent off code for your very first order.
- Les Mills On Demand workouts. My favorite fitness brand. You can do a whole month of workouts during a free 30-day trial by using my special referral link here.
A good one from the week …
- Wellness trends. I love this list of wellness trends we’re likely to see more of in 2022. Which one are you most excited about? I don’t know if I can choose a favorite. But I can tell you that I love to see the conversation about overall wellness spilling into more areas of our lives. It matters!
Here’s the thought of the week …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives
- Family photos. We took our first professional photos in a couple years in October, and I wanted these to live on the blog, so here they are … “Our 2021 family holiday photos.”
- Virtual fitness. If you’re still working out at home, make sure you’re doing all you can to get the best from your workouts with this one … “How to get more from your virtual and digital fitness classes.”
- Gift guides. Did you catch these three gift guides yet?
Thank you for coming by A Lady Goes West, my friends! I hope you have a great weekend. See you back here soon!
Questions of the day
How was your week?
Are you doing anything holiday festive this weekend?
Where are you doing your workouts these days?