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 …
“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 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. 🙂
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 …
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.)
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!
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 …
- 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.
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.”
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 …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives
- Places to work out. There are plenty of places to choose from to get your sweat on. Here’s a little pros and cons list … “What are the benefits of a studio vs. a big box gym environment.”
- Day in the life. Because it’s always fun to see what life looks like for others … “What a typical weekday looks like for me right now.”
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!