Current faves: Books, TV, food and workouts

Greetings, friends! It’s safe to say that this past week was much better than the last for us. How about for you? I was back in the gym, taught my usual classes, subbed an extra Bootybarre class, met with a friend for coffee, had several conference calls for freelance projects and for Beautycounter — and all of that kind of stuff that typically makes up the week. Also, Dave’s parents arrived on Wednesday night, and they’re with us through the weekend, and so they’ll be soaking up grandparent time with Brady and helping Dave and me out too. That means we’ve got a dinner date on the agenda for the weekend, woohoo!

Before we get started on today’s current favorites edition, I have to laugh sometimes at the contrast between subject matter on the blog. In the beginning of the week, we usually focus on something a little more serious, helpful, educational or at least I hope it is … then we get to Friday, and well, you get “The Hills.” You’ll see. Let’s do it …

Current faves


“The Last Romantics” by Tara Conklin

My mom sent me this book, “The Last Romantics” by Tara Conklin, as a present, and it got put at the bottom of the stack because I had some other titles checked out from the library that I needed to get to sooner. Well, I finally opened it up and finished it in just a few days. I only read at night before going to sleep, and this one was so good it kept me up a little later than usual on several occasions. 

The Last Romantics book by Tara Conklin by A Lady Goes West - August 2019

The title of the book is just a bit misleading, because this isn’t exactly a love story — it’s a family story. A family with a lot of secrets, a lot of problems and a lot of love too. The story follows the family through several crises as the years go by, and somehow, with a lot of switching back and forth from location and decade, it’s still easy to understand without getting confused. I loved how every character matured, found themself and ultimately had the life they wanted by the end of the book. And I must admit, I totally cried as it was winding down. Dave was out of town on the night I finished the book, so I had Rudy to comfort me. I don’t read a ton of fiction, and this book was completely worth it. I highly recommend!


“The Hills: New Beginnings”

Where are all my friends at who watched every episode of the original series “The Hills” many years ago? Yes, me too. I loved that show, and yet, I somehow, was hesitant to watch “The Hills: New Beginnings.” But, when our besties Grant and Bre visited us a few weekends ago, we decided to get caught up on the season as a group (minus Dave, because he won’t watch this type of show), and now I’m hooked. It’s definitely a “reality” show, in which you can tell when there are voiceovers during scenes (staged, yes, and also, they have product placements too, which are incredibly awkward hahah), but the cast members get to do interviews, and we learn more about their lives. I mean, this isn’t quality TV, but it sure is more enjoyable than I expected. And there are some new characters too, including Mischa Barton (who was on “The O.C.”, which was another one of my college favorites). Basically, I have a lot going on in my life and have very little similarities to any of the people on the show — and that’s what makes it so fun to watch.  You know? No need to be embarrassed about enjoying crap TV, folks. ๐Ÿ™‚


What I’ve been enjoying

Healthy treats from Pressed Juicery

I got a Facebook ad over the weekend with a promotion at Pressed Juicery to get a small freeze or juice for just $2, which is a major discount. Because of this, Dave, Brady and I went down there and shared a couple things. Pressed Juicery freezes are made from fruit or veggies, so they’re definitely not ice cream, but still so delicious. Brady only wanted a few bites, because he’s really not a fan of extreme temperatures, so I think it was too cold for him. I also got an orange turmeric juice, and it was super tasty. You’ve got to hand it to social media advertising for this one …

Pressed Juicery treats by A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Brady enjoying Pressed Juicery treats by A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Olipop sparkling tonic

This is a brand new drink that’s only available in California right now, but it’s delicious. And it’s fizzy, which makes it very pleasing to consume. I bought it at Whole Foods, and it was on sale for $2 a can. It’s full of prebiotics and plant fiber, so it supports your gut health. Yes! Apparently it’s being billed as a healthy alternative to soda, but I don’t drink soda, so that wasn’t the draw for me. I just like fizz, and I don’t like added sugars, so this drink works out well, especially because it’s good for your digestive health. (It’s also vegan, Paleo and non-GMO, and I like the name.)

Olipop drink by A Lady Goes West - August 2019


The cutest CALIA by Carrie Underwood outfit

I’m loving the latest outfit I shot photos for for the CALIA by Carrie Underwood/Dick’s Sporting Goods project I’m working on this year. I’ve already worn this outfit twice having only had it a couple of weeks. I’m not big into conversation tees or tanks, but this one speaks to me, it says “Break Free, Break Boundaries.” Love that!

CALIA break free outfit by A Lady Goes West - August 2019

The leggings are really fitted, and I had originally received a small and decided to swap up for a medium, and they are perfect. They are 7/8 length and have a cute pattern, with a tuliped bottom. The “Break Free” flow tank is modal, cotton and spandex and has an open back, and I’m wearing a small. Then, the sports bra underneath is one of my favorite sports bras currently, appropriate for low and medium impact, and it has a fun detailed back, and I’m wearing a small. 

Here’s a sneaky little giveaway. I’d love to give away the size small leggings in the style I’m wearing above (the size small still has the tag and has never officially been worn). Leave a comment on this post if you want them sent to you, and I’ll throw in some Beautycounter samples too! xoxo


Weekly workout recap

How I’ve been moving lately …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 10-minute weights workout, 5 p.m. 
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 1-hour BODYATTACK class, 10 a.m.
  • Saturday: 30-minute full-body weights workout, 10 a.m. (shown below)
  • Sunday: 45 minutes of BODYATTACK practice, 10 a.m.

This past week started out slow because Brady and I were both sick, so we couldn’t go to the gym. I was back to teaching and workouts by Wednesday though, and I fit in an awesome solo full-body weights circuit that I loved, and I’m sharing that one with you below. I haven’t been doing solo weights workouts in far too long, and it felt great. 

30-minute upper and lower-body workout by A Lady Goes West

If you want more solo weights workout inspiration, head to the workouts story highlight on my Instagram or check out this post … “Gym inspo: Short weights workouts you can do in less than 30 minutes.”

Best reads

From around the web …

  • Seat at the table. I love this short and sweet statement about surrounding yourself with good people who lift you up, particularly women who aren’t catty. PREACH!
  • Comparison game. This article is long, but I HIGHLY recommend reading it if you are someone who tends to compare your life, your body or anything to other peoples’ lives or bodies and then you get down on yourself. 
  • Makeup tips. There’s a really cool Beautycounter set called “Flawless in Five,” which includes a few items of non-toxic makeup to get yourself looking ready to go in five minutes. This quick video shows some awesome makeup application techniques. If you want to know more about Beautycounter, sign up here.

And for the quote of the week from my morning meditations …

Calm app quote from Brene Brown by A Lady Goes West

A Lady Goes West favorite archives

What are the benefits of a studio vs. a big box gym environment by A Lady Goes West

Hope you have a great weekend, my friends!

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

What show on TV are you loving right now?

What does your favorite conversation tee say?

P.S. Planning to work out this weekend? Why not give a Les Mills class a try in the privacy of your own home using a free 21-day trial of my favorite streaming service, Les Mills On Demand? Here’s my personal link to give you that free 21-day trial and get moving!



  1. Yeppppp, The Hills and Laguna Beach were my faves! Haha. My crap reality obsession continues with the Bachelor/Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise….;).

    1. Hi Kaitlyn hehehe — I loved Laguna Beach too. And you know what, surprisingly, I don’t watch any of the Bachelor shows — but I get my fair share of Bravo in its place. Happy Friday, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love the leggings but loving the Brene Brown quote even more! (But would still like to own a pair of the leggings hehe) Thanks for bringing a positive spot to the internet world ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Martha! You are SOOO sweet, thank you so much for saying that. And yesss that quote from Brene Brown needs to be on all of our fridges heheh. Happy Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  3. I used to watch those same shows as well! I hope you have fun with your in-laws in town! That fiction book looks interesting and those leggings are so cute! Enjoy your weekend:)

    1. Hi Jessie! Thanks so much, it’s always nice to have visitors, especially when they help with Brady! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend, lady! xoxo

  4. Yep loved the Hills and watching the new one… would definitely recommend Very Cavallari too… Kristins husband is hilarious!

    I’ve had The Last Romantics on my list for a while and will need to get to it, right now I’m reading City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Okay, I tried one episode of Very Cavallari (the first one), and wasn’t a fan, but I bet it’s gotten better — I need to record it! I have City of Girls on my list of books to read – we are twins hahaha! Have a great weekend, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I would love a pair of leggings! And speaking of tv reboots – I saw that 90210 is coming back (for better or worse, haha!)

  6. Girl!!! I would love those leggins! How cute! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love the shirt, I may have to stop at dicks this weekend to grab it!!!!!! Im glad your week was so much better than last week!

  7. This weekend I’m going to watch my trainer from Burn Boot Camp compete in the Burn Athlete Games! Looking forward to checking out the experience. I don’t have too much else on the agenda which is absolutely lovely after a whirlwhind summer of travel and bookeed weekends ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Well that sounds fun, Ashley! I really do hope to try a Burn Boot Camp one day if they ever come to my neck of the woods! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend relaxing!! xoxo

  8. Cute leggings! I love that this brand is so affordable but also has a great range of cute, high-quality items.

  9. The leggings are so cute! Iโ€™d love to enter to win! And the Beautycounter goodies ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I read that โ€˜Seat at the Tableโ€™ link and itโ€™s such a great reminder – thanks for sharing great articles and links each week!

    1. Hi Liz! Ohhh that article is worth reading again and again — definitely have some friends in my life that I need to evaluate hehhehe ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Deidra!! Who is your favorite person to watch on The Hills? I happen to get a big kick out of Spencer! haahah ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a great weekend!

  10. I am currently reading Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s so good! It’s much better than the fiction book I swiped from my husband lol. I’ve seen Carrie Underwood’s brand but haven’t given her clothing a shot. I think I may stop and browse when I see them in store! Olipop sounds super cute and I’d be interested to try if they make their way to the south! I don’t watch too much TV and I have so many shows to catch up on on Netflix. Just started Seven Seconds and it’s good!

  11. I’d love to enter for the leggings – so cute! The book sounds like a good read – I may need to pick that one up after I’m done with the few I have from the library right now. Enjoy the weekend!

  12. Loving those leggings! Weโ€™re headed to NYC this weekend for a Mets game and some much needed city time.

    Currently watching Mindhunter on Netflix and itโ€™s very much like the true crime podcasts I enjoy listening to on the small screen!

    Just finished โ€œI liked my Lifeโ€ by Abby Fabiaschi and it was really good. Adding your review to my queue!

    1. Hi Lindsey! Hope you have a great time in NYC this weekend. And I haven’t heard of “I Like My Life” so thanks for the tip on that!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Thought of you this week because I work from home & my LO got sick (so no daycare). And it was so hard! Iโ€™m glad youโ€™re on the other side. Enjoy your date night!

    1. Hi India! I’m so sorry to hear that … I hope your little one is better soon — and I hope you didn’t catch it! It’s not easy all around. ๐Ÿ™ xoxox

  14. love the leggings! I am rehabbing from an injury and super crazed not to be able to do my usual workouts lately.

    Have you watched Grace and frankie on netflix yet?

    1. Hi Tracy! I haven’t seen that show, but I’ve heard it is good! Thanks for the reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had a great weekend, and take it slow and easy as you recover, so you can come back stronger!

  15. Thank you for the link about comparison. That is a challenge for me, especially with instagram! Those leggings are super cute and you are so sneaky with your hidden giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Me too, Amy! Instagram can be TOUGH — but you have to know that you’re only seeing a highlight reel. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had a great weekend, lady!

  16. Love the leggings! Would love a pair!

    I have been loving Handmaids Tale on Huluโ€™s. Itโ€™s intense but good!

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