Current faves: Brady’s first soccer season, a drink, a party and workouts

Hi, friend! How are you? Yay for the end of a short week for me! Dave and I are flying out to Orlando today for a birthday party weekend for two friends (unless Tropical Storm Nicole has other plans). And my brother, Matthew, and sister-in-law, Stephanie, will be there with the group too, so it’s even more exciting.

We’re leaving Brady behind with my Mom, which is a first for us, and we know they’ll have fun together while we’re away. And this marks our second-to-last trip away for 2022, after quite a few fun trips this year.

This past week was short and sweet. I taught just four classes, did some work, went to a short cryotherapy session (more on that soon), voted, got my hair done (my hair appointment was supposed to be last weekend, but I moved it to attend a group fitness training), went to tennis and had a parent/teacher conference with Brady’s teacher, which went well, and that’s about it. I also packed and organized for our trip away (because as much as I love to travel, it always takes work on the front-end and back-end to get ready).

But today, it’s all about the faves. Let’s go …

Current faves


Brady’s first soccer season success

This was a cute and fun experience for us. But, honestly, we didn’t love that Brady’s first soccer season consisted of practices/games on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. (so early!), but now that the season is over, I’m really glad we did it.

Brady was part of the Charlotte Soccer Academy Kickstarters program, which is just for five-year-olds who had never really played a team sport before, and it was very much entry-level and very casual.

Heading into soccer by A Lady Goes West

Dave was the coach of Brady’s team, and he had six little children under his supervision. He didn’t really think of it as “coaching,” but more of “wrangling,” because these kids were all over the place.

They were small, cute, always a little bit confused and very full of energy. I don’t think we’ll repeat this program, but we are going to look into putting Brady into another soccer league (also through Charlotte Soccer Academy) in the early spring, so he can always have a team sport on his calendar.

End of soccer season by A Lady Goes West

(Here are my leggings, and here is my sweatshirt.)

Three of Brady’s class friends were also part of the league, so there were always a couple of moms I could talk to on the sidelines, which made those 8 a.m. start times more fun for me too. The one-hour session consisted of a 30-minute practice, followed by a 30-minute game, by the way, all held at McAlpine Elementary, which isn’t too far from us.

Brady looked forward to soccer all week and would often tell people when we were out and about that “he was a soccer player” just so they knew. He loved to run around the field (sometimes nowhere near the ball) and he did end up scoring a couple of goals throughout the season (although we didn’t keep score, because everyone is a winner in this league).

I can tell he’s going to enjoy being part of a team, and I can tell we’re going to enjoy watching him learn and grow.

Brady with water bottle by A Lady Goes West

But for now, we’re happy we don’t have to be out of the house by 7:40 a.m. on Saturdays any longer, so we can have at least one more day to chill at home before rushing off in the morning. Hopefully his next sport has a slightly later start, you know? 

Dave and soccer team by A Lady Goes West

Brady and Dave during soccer by A Lady Goes West

Overall, it was so entertaining to watch Brady play and to watch Dave be his coach. Brady got a medal to end his season, and he was very proud to receive it. This league was the perfect start to Brady’s sports career.


The most delicious drink

A little slim on content this week, but I picked up this festive version of Harmless Harvest coconut water, and I felt like it needed a share in today’s faves.

I found this drink at Whole Foods. It is absolutely delicious and refreshing, and it was the perfect pre-tennis snack between my barre class and tennis clinic this week. This brand isn’t cheap, but I found it on sale and picked it up. I’ll definitely grab another one soon.

Harmless Harvest chocolate peppermint by A Lady Goes West

(Still wearing this trusty tennis skirt for every clinic.)


Celebrating a leader

My studio manager at Life Time, Cathy, has officially retired from her position after many great years of service.

Last weekend, I attended a surprise party to celebrate her, and it was really fun to see so many of my instructor friends in regular clothes outside of the gym. I’m so very grateful that Cathy took a chance to hire me back in April 2021, when nobody was hiring in the in-person fitness world. Being a part of Life Time Charlotte has been a huge deal to me in my time here in Charlotte, and I love it.

Cathy is an awesome lady, and we all learned a lot from her. Thank you, Cathy! This definitely needed a spot on the faves! 

Ashley and Cathy by A Lady Goes West

(Here are my favorite ripped black jeans.)


My workouts from last week

Here’s where I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity in my week, and how I always take a rest day (almost always). But remember, I do a little bit more than the average person, because I’m a group fitness instructor. 

New weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

Workouts from the week of 10/31

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class with a medicine ball, 8:30 a.m., taught 45-minute combo class with weights, 9:45 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m., took 20-minute medicine ball class, 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: Took slow 50-minute neighborhood walk, 11 a.m.

This past week was so full of movement! I literally already failed on my end-of-year goal to do a personal workout each week, because I didn’t fit one in this week. But I did teach seven classes, go to tennis twice and take a rest day with nothing but a slow neighborhood walk. My workout week this current week will have a lot more rest because of my trip, so every week is different around here.

Deal of the week

Get 10 percent off Les Mills Smart Tech equipment with the code ASHLEY10 until November 21

This awesome promo code is about to expire, so don’t miss it!

Do you need some weights to use for your home workouts? If so, I’d recommend Les Mills Smart Tech equipment through and through, because it’s such high quality, and you don’t have to do Les Mills workouts to use it.

If you want to invest in this equipment (or give it as a holiday gift) you can save 10 percent off your order of anything from the site, with the code ASHLEY10. There are never sales on this stuff, so even 10 percent off really matters. This code is good through November 21. (I even made a video about how I use the equipment here, if you want a closer look.) 

Les Mills Smart Tech discount by A Lady Goes West

*I’m an affiliate for Les Mills and I have been for five years. I taught Les Mills group fitness classes for 10 whole years before moving to Charlotte, so I’m a real fan of the brand. And when you use my Les Mills links, you support me, and I appreciate it.

Best read of the week

Here’s a light read that I thought was interesting:

Stress-management apps. This article has a list of stress-management apps available to download onto your phone, and it tells you what each of them is good for. Yes, sometimes we need to be away from our phones to manage our stress, but personally, I love to do my daily meditation through Headspace — which is one of the apps on this list. There are several others that can help you with other parts of your stress-management journey, like through breath-work, meditation and much more. Stress management is always a good thing to think about and have top of mind during the last couple months of the year, when we need it most.

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought for you:

Sitting around waiting for something? Maybe it’s time to live the life you have in front of you right now …

Be happy quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at two blog posts worth revisiting, including a recent one:

Cheaper alternatives. I usually choose the real thing, but in some areas of life, I’ve found some cheaper alternatives … “Three affordable imitation items I’ve been loving over the real thing.”

Three affordable imitation items I’ve been loving over the real thing by A Lady Goes West

Meditation. Because, as I just mentioned, the last couple months of the year are definitely a good time to focus on your mindfulness … “How to start meditating and why you should start.”

How to start meditating and why you should start by A Lady Goes West

That’s it for today, my friend! Go say hi over on Instagram to check out our Orlando adventures. Have a great weekend! 🙂 

Questions of the day for YOU

What was the best thing that you did this past week?

What’s something you’re looking forward to in November?

P.S. Sending some love and appreciation for all our veterans out there today too!



  1. Have a great time with your friends! How nice to have your mom to watch Brady and have that one on one time! Hopefully start times for soccer will get better, those early ones are rough. I think as they get older the start times are later? We played at Crestdale middle school but can’t remember the soccer league name. It’s our little guy’s 5th birthday so looking forward to celebrating him!

    1. Hi Joanna! Yes, it’s been so awesome having my mom here to help with Brady so much already — and he loves hanging out with her! I do think the sports start times move back a bit as they get older — even 8:30am would feel better than 8am, you know? Happy birthday to your little guy — enjoy the celebrating! Thanks for saying hi! Happy weekend!

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