Current faves: Books, beauty and workouts

Hi, my lovelies! It’s faves day. And because I appreciate you guys so much, I’m doing a sneaky little giveaway in this post too, just from me.

I hope your week was a good one. I taught four classes (my three regular classes and then I subbed one too), did some writing work, cleaned out my closet and drawers and posted a bunch of stuff for sale on Poshmark and even got a fresh mani, thank goodness. Now on to the favorites …



“Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis

Before we get into the content of this book, I want to say that this copy of the book came to me from a lovely reader, Amy. Amy won my giveaway for a different book on the blog a few months ago, and then when she finished reading “Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals” she offered to send it to me — so nice. That sweet act of kindness may have made me enjoy the book even more. Also, it’s made me want to continue spreading the love and passing this copy along to someone else. More on that below.

So back to the book. I definitely liked this book more than I like “Girl, Wash Your Face.” And here’s why: The book is broken up in a very helpful way — and it’s easy to read. Rachel Hollis has a very conversational writing style, and I can be very judge-y about writing style, so this was a highlight for me. Basically, in the first book, Rachel was talking a lot about the lies we tell ourselves and how to move past them. Whereas in this book, using examples from her own life, Rachel explains how to be more unapologetically you, while also giving you tools to to improve things in your life and go after your dreams (no matter how big or small). Good stuff. I’m glad I read this and definitely pulled out a few helpful nuggets to take away.

Girl Stop Apologizing Book by A Lady Goes West - April 2019

It’s broken up into three sections:

  • Excuses to let go of: “That’s not what other women do.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m not enough to succeed.” “I can’t pursue my dream and still be a good mom/daughter/employee.” And so on. Been there and done that with these, anyone else?
  • Behaviors to adopt: “Stop asking permission.” “Ask for help.” “Learn to say no.” etc. Why are these so hard?
  • Skills to acquire: “Planning.” “Confidence.” “Persistence.” All of which can be learned developed. Yes, they can.

Two big takeaways for me

I liked this tip: To only touch something once. Basically, as soon as you read an email or text, respond and finish that task — don’t go back to it over and over and waste more time. And if you don’t have the time to answer it, then don’t even read it until you do. This doesn’t work in all scenarios, but for smaller things it does.

I also really liked this one: Make a results list, rather than a to-do list. I make a to-do list every single day, and I love to check things off, but Rachel’s idea of only writing down things that have an end result and then only crossing them off if you get the results you were after is a strategic way to think about how to be effective with everything you do. I’ve actually implemented this already and like it.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a good quote from the book …

Be the kind of woman who focuses more on being interested than on other people thinking she’s interesting.

Be the kind of woman who is generous–no matter how much money is in your bank account, you have a wealth of resources to offer others.

Be the kind of woman both your eleven-year-old and your ninety-year-old self would be proud of.

Overall, this book made me feel a little uplifted and inspired, and I enjoyed it. It’s not necessarily a game changer, but I like that Rachel Hollis is all about making women feel better about themselves. THAT is a worthy mission.

Sneaky giveaway: I’d love to send this book to a reader. And along with the book, I’m going to include a fitness journal, some collagen water and a few extra surprises — just from me! To win, you need to do both of the following (1) leave a comment on this blog post (2) like and leave a comment on my latest Instagram post too.


Amy Schumer segment

I love Amy Schumer! I’ve seen her stand-up show live and I watch all of her TV comedy specials, so I was VERY excited to see that she is now a Beautycounter customer, as a pregnant woman who cares about what she puts on her body. Check out this funny 2-minute segment she did with Beautycounter here

P.S. Mother’s Day is around the corner, and if you want to get a mom you love some Beautycounter products, head on over and shop today. I’d recommend this Best of Beautycounter set or the Flawless in Five as a great place to start. And hey, if you want to learn more about Beautycounter, sign up for my safer beauty email list here too.

Dip powder nails with a side of a podcast

It’s been almost a year-and-a-half that I’ve been getting powder dip manicures, and I’m so glad I finally tried this method — it lasts longer, doesn’t damage my nails and looks better too. Also, after trying out a few nail salons, I’ve found an awesome local one that’s my favorite, and my nail gal is quick too (send me a message if you are in the East Bay and need a recommendation). 

Red dip powder nails by A Lady Goes West - April 2019

I know it seems a little “extra” to always have your nails done, but I’m able to go about 3.5 weeks in between appointments, and I usually go in the evening of a weekday, rather than waste weekend time getting my nails done. Also, I look forward to my appointments, because I pair them with something else.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but my favorite way to pass the time when getting my nails done is with listening to a podcast. Once you tell your nail stylist what you want, they don’t need you anymore, so that’s a good chance to spend time on something else — obviously reading or playing on your phone is out, so an hour devoted to listening to a podcast makes the time go by quickly and you leave with some new info. I always try to listen to deeper/meatier topics at this time, because I’m able to focus on them — and listening to podcasts always inspires me. Some of my favorite podcasts are listed in this post, “The best health, wellness and fitness podcasts.


Weekly workout recap

Because I like to share how I’ve been moving …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX class, 10 a.m.; taught 45-minute BODYATTACK class, 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 20-minute weights workout, 10 a.m.; taught 1-hour barre class, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 45 minutes, 11 a.m.
  • Saturday: 1-hour BODYATTACK class, 10:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week I finally did three resistance sessions — it’s a miracle. I also took a full rest day, did my own workout, took classes and taught classes — which makes for a good combination. I’m still not as strong as I want to be, but maybe I’m making progress so slowly it’s hard to notice. Who knows.

Here’s the short weights session I did on my own. You can find these workouts on my Instagram story highlights under “Workouts,” or in this post: Gym inspo: Short weights workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes.

Full-body workout by A Lady Goes West - April 2019

Some things I enjoyed from around the web …

  • Vulnerability and shame. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the Goop podcast, even though some people seem to love it. It’s just not as entertaining or enjoyable as some of my other faves, but I did like this episode with Brene Brown all about leadership, vulnerability and handling shame.
  • Beyonce’s diet advice: I RARELY think that celebrities offer sound health advice, as they are almost always more focused on aesthetics than real health, but this article has some good nuggets of insight on how Beyonce and Jay-Z are trying to eat more plant-based meals. Not all plant-based meals, just more.
  • Too much exercise. I’m pretty sure you guys know by now that I’m TRULY passionate about teaching people not to work out too much. Well, this quick article has a few more details on why overexercising is bad for you.

A Lady Goes West favorites …

Have a wonderful day, my friends! I appreciate you! 🙂 xoxo

Questions of the day

How was your week?

What’s one thing you are looking forward to this weekend?

What was the last workout you did?

What book is on your night-stand right now?



    1. Hi Kaitlyn! Yes, I was interested to read it too and definitely liked it! Happy Friday to you, lady! Have a great day and weekend! 🙂

  1. My week has been pretty typical and routine – nothing exciting, but nothing unexciting. This weekend I’m looking forward to celebrating my husband’s birthday with some friends and a Cinco de Mayo feast on Sunday. My last workout was a not-so-great 2 mile run on Tuesday night. I just wasn’t feeling it but at least I did something! I’m actually reading two books right now which is highly unusual for me – I’m reading Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris as well as a nonfiction called Think Like a Pancreas, since I was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago.

    1. Hi Julie! I’m sorry to hear about your diabetes diagnosis, but it’s so smart and proactive of you to do some reading on the matter, so you can be knowledgable about what’s best for you now. I haven’t heard of the other book, but fiction is always a great escape. Have a great time this weekend for the birthday celebration! 🙂

  2. That book sounds great, I’m finally getting back into reading post baby. I’m also in dire need of a mani pedi luckily that’s on the agenda for mother’s day.

    1. Hi Paige! Oh yay! How old is your little one now?? And it took me a LONG time to get back to reading, because I would always fall asleep heheh! Happy Friday, lady! Have a wonderful day!

        1. Yes, the first year does fly by — but I really love the toddler stage more, so we’ll see if you do too heheh! Have a great weekend, Paige!

    1. Hi Julia! I think it’s a good motivator to read a book like “Girl, Stop Apologizing” — because it may help you to take action in even one little tiny part of life that you need to. Happy Friday, my friend! Have a beautiful day!

    1. Hi India! Happy Friday! Okay, so I went and checked out that quote about writing, and you are RIGHT, I LOVE IT. It speaks to me, I really appreciate that inspiration! 🙂 Yay! I need to try out The Simple Show podcast now too! Thanks, my friend. Hope your day and weekend are amazing.

  3. This book sounds interesting! We have swim lessons with the one year old this weekend that didn’t go well last week. Hoping things go better tomorrow. Have a good weekend!

    1. Oh no, Jen! We haven’t done swim lessons with Brady, and I’m a little nervous about it. Hope this next one goes better for you. Other than that, have a great weekend! 🙂

  4. I love your nails and red color!! So pretty. My daughter has been sick this week with a pink eye, ear infection, cold and cough, and allergies, so I have been taking care and spoiling her with some play doh and minnie mouse toys:)

    1. Oh my gosh, your poor daughter! I’m SO sorry to hear this!! I hope she feels better soon — that’s the worst! Have a great weekend, Latanya!

  5. Hey Ashley! That book sounds intriguing! I’m not super into self help stuff but also just really need some productivity tips haha. Also love all of Brene brown’s stuff and just watched amy schumer’s newer special on Netflix- so funny! Have a GREAT weekend!!

    1. I’m going to try to watch the Brene Brown Netflix special this weekend actually! 🙂 Hope you have an awesome day, Alie! Thanks for saying hello!

  6. This book has been on my radar for awhile so I’d love to read it! Also love that it’s from a reader – my friends and I swap books frequently and I love it.
    The last workout I did was yesterday and it was made up on the spot so really random but good with running, burpees, pull-ups and more!

    1. Hi Liz! That’s so cool you share books with friends — it’s way better that way, and then you can chat about the books too! Sounds like you had a great workout too! Happy Friday.

  7. I’m looking forward to visiting the farmer’s market this weekend. Now that it is finally May, a lot of the local ones will start opening up. I love spending time outside in the sunshine. I also need to plant my little herb garden. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Amanda, you remind me that I haven’t been to a farmer’s market in far too long – and we have some good ones around here. I also love the sunshine! Hope you have plenty of time outdoors this weekend! 🙂

  8. This is one of the many books on my reading list! Enjoy your weekend. I’m heading to the Chicago area for a bridal shower.

  9. Looks like I am going to have to read that book! I am one , that also writes to do list everyday but then I feel like I stress out over the to do list just as much as the things on the list. I like the idea you gave from the book! Im gonna need to try that!

    1. Hi Mandi! Same! I always want to get my to-do list done, but switching it to a results list has made me work more effectively in the short time I have to work. I think you should try it! 🙂 Happy Friday!

  10. That book has been on my reading list for a while! I am glad you liked it which makes me want to read it even more now! I am trying to find a good book to get into but haven’t had any luck yet!
    I am looking forward to being outside as much as possible this weekend! The weather here is finally gorgeous!
    I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  11. How sweet of Amy to send you her book! I love the idea of a book mail chain. It sounds like Girl Stop Apologizing has some amazing tips in it. You mentioned Brene Brown- she has a few great books, mostly centered around vulnerability and shame, which are topics that we don’t ever think about yet impact our decisions so much. If you’re looking for another book to read, her book The Gifts of Imperfection is one of my favorites. I struggle with being a type A personality and perfectionism??‍♀️ So that book helped me see the other side a bit better.
    I am currently reading (and have been for the last several months!) The Magic of Motherhood by Ashley Gadd and the Coffee+ Crumbs writing staff (a great podcast). Hope you enjoy your weekend!!

    1. Hi Morgan! I am hoping to watch the Brene Brown Netflix special this weekend! 🙂 I will look into the Gifts of Imperfection — so thanks for that tip. Also, I should listen to the Coffee + Crumbs podcast — you are full of recs hehe! Have a great weekend!

  12. I read her first book but not her new one yet. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m currently reading A Return to Love. It’s pretty good so far. The last workout I did was a tone it up one using the kettle bell for the lower body. It was a good one. I’m sore today:) have a great weekend!!

    1. Hi Jessie! Yesss — good work — kettlebells are so effective, I love them. Thanks for the rec on A Return to Love. Hope you’re having a great weekend! 🙂

  13. Just finished Little Fires Everywhere with my book club ladies, def recommend 🙂 I think its coming out as a show too!

  14. Love the idea of the nails-maybe I will actually get mine done if they last more than a week!! And I would love to read that book!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.