Hi, friends! Happy Friday to you (assuming that you actually read this post on Fridays when I publish it, and if not, happy whatever-day-it-is to you). How are you? How was your week? What are you looking forward to this weekend?
I had a very busy week this week, full of activities every day and even every single evening too, which is a lot for me. I worked, taught three classes, took a new-to-me-style class that I may end up adding to my line-up, had a Beautycounter meeting, co-hosted a Beautycounter virtual skincare party, did some car shopping (after several dealership visits, I finally got one, and it will arrive in a couple weeks, yay), had my post-op appointment at the OB/GYN, and I even hung out for a bit with some ladies from the gym, which was so nice.
Needless to say, the week flew by, and I’m looking forward to a less action-filled couple of days this weekend. Tonight, we’re taking some family pictures with a photographer (which we haven’t done in three years, and I’m crossing my fingers they turn out okay), and tomorrow, I’m subbing a barbell class. But as soon as that class is done tomorrow around 10:30 a.m., I’m free until Monday morning, so I can relax a bit. While Brady naps on Saturday, I plan to sit on the couch with a PSL and watch the latest episode of “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,” because I look forward to the show all year. Anyone else watch it?
Wow, that was a long intro. Let’s get into those faves for today …
Dave’s birthday weekend
Last weekend, we celebrated Dave’s 40th birthday, and we had a great weekend. On Friday, Dave went golfing, and it was a super-fast round, and he was done earlier than expected. He sent me a text while I was at the gym that he’d actually be free for lunch. So I washed up in the sink (I bring clothes and shower at the gym most days, but of course, I didn’t bring any stuff on this day), and Brady and I went over and joined Dave at First Watch for a birthday lunch.
True story: You guys know I love First Watch so much, but the wait times and the portion sizes sure have been heading in the wrong direction lately. We still go though. And I had the avocado toast with smoked salmon on top during this trip. It was tasty. We left there full, as we always do.
On Friday afternoon, we had a little family birthday party for Dave, complete with presents, music, balloons and even a Publix cookie cake with cream cheese frosting. Normally, I’m not excited about cookie cakes, because I like regular cake, but I wanted to get something different for Dave, and this cookie cake was incredibly good. I would absolutely get one again. Publix bakery is legit, and I’m happy we have it in our lives for holidays and events.
Also, we took this self-timered selfie to commemorate the party … not our best, but here it is. 🙂
After we got Brady fed and in the bath, our babysitter arrived, and Dave and I went out to a nice dinner together for his birthday.
This was our first time at both places, and we enjoyed them. The Porter’s House is a white-tablecloth steakhouse, and it came highly recommended. Our food was delicious (Dave had the steak, and I had the salmon), and I can totally see us going back there for another nice dinner, when the occasion comes up. They even brought out a big slice of cheesecake with a candle in it for Dave’s birthday — unprompted — and that’s the kind of special service I like to see.
On Saturday, we did some normal stuff during the day, like work and chores, then we had some of our neighborhood friends over in the early afternoon, and we went with them to the Zac Brown Band concert at PNC Pavilion. This was our first concert in 20 months, and we love concerts and have missed them. The last concert Dave and I went to was at an old theatre in San Francisco to see Guster. Guster is a New England band that Dave introduced me to when we first started dating, and we’ve been to so many of their shows since. Live music makes me so happy.
The PNC Pavilion where we saw Zac Brown Band is about 30 minutes from our house, and it’s a totally outdoor venue, which is my favorite kind. We had pretty decent seats, and we even brought Publix subs to eat for dinner, because the venue lets you bring in your own food (and one sealed water bottle, which is pretty cool).
Zac Brown Band played all of their hits, and they even played a lot of popular covers, so we were singing along as much as we could. However, I don’t feel like the members of Zac Brown Band have very much stage presence, and I had to keep mentioning that to Dave (I like to see a little more movement and flair, but they sort’ve just stood there and sang). They sounded great in person just like they sound on their records though.
Nonetheless, it felt so fun and normal and celebratory to be in that scene again after so long. We loved it. And you know going to one concert makes you want to go to more. So we’ll be looking up the next good shows in the area to get tickets to.
That was two big nights out for us in a row, which we haven’t done in forever. It was a lot of fun, a lot of good times, and it made it a really nice birthday weekend for Dave. He deserved it!
Off-the-shoulder animal print top
Last weekend, when we went out to dinner, I finally had a reason to wear this new top that I ordered from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I loved it. Now, I am wearing a size small, but I probably should have ordered a medium, because I would like the “off-the-shoulder” portion to be a bit looser on me.
Beautiful fall weather
Well, after complaining about the heat and humidity for months, I can finally take a deep breath and enjoy the beautiful fall weather we’re having in Charlotte. It’s chilly in the morning, moderate, breezy and sunny during the day, and chilly at night. It’s perfect. I’ve been trying to get out for more walks. And we’ve been taking Brady out on his balance bike a lot too in the afternoons. It feels great to be back outside. I don’t know how long this will last, but I’m here for it.
This part needs a bit of a disclaimer.
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.
And in order to stay injury free, you should pay attention to the gear you use during your workout. Are you wearing the right shoes? Check out this post to find out … “How to choose the right athletic shoe for your workouts.”
- 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: Took 1-hour yoga class at Life Time, 10:15 a.m.
- Thursday: Taught 45-minute full-body weights/cardio class at Life Time, 10 a.m.
- Friday: Took 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Saturday: Practiced barbell workout at home for 1 hour, 11 a.m. (using all of my new Les Mills Smart equipment, which is amazing, and I will share more about soon, but see below!)
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week of workouts was excellent, because I was back to business after almost a week off from my miscarriage/surgery. I also finally fit in a full-hour yoga class, which felt awesome. I took a full rest day, I went on a couple slow walks, and I picked up weights several times. This was a good week of movement.
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 couple of good ones from around the web
- Food trends for 2022. I can’t believe we’re already seeing 2022 predictions posts, but we are. This is an overview of the Whole Foods Annual Trends report for 2022, and it’s pretty interesting, showcasing the flavors, foods and practices that are expected to be popular next year. Two that stood out to me were, #1, “reducetarian” (which is sort’ve what I am, someone who is mostly plant-based, but will eat high-quality pasture-raised eggs and the occasional dose of grass-fed meat), as well as, #2, the proliferation of “buzz-less spirits” with more alcohol-free craft beverages becoming available, which is pretty cool for those who can’t or don’t drink.
- A gymnast’s conditioning routine. There are so many good moves in this 10-minute conditioning routine that the Olympic gymnasts like Simone Biles and MyKala Skinner do before they head out on stage for their “Gold Over America” tour. I have to give this a try, and I may steal a couple moves for the classes I teach too. I used to include the hollow-body hold (so hard) in my virtual classes all the time and have nearly forgotten about it lately — changing that now.
Here’s the thought of the week …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives
- Tea. I look forward to my tea every single morning … “How I make my morning collagen tea latte.”
- Advice. I love writing these posts and am due for another. Head to this post to ask an anonymous question, if you’d like it included in the next edition … “Ask-me-anything A Lady Goes West Advice Corner: first edition.”
Thank you for coming by A Lady Goes West, my friends.
Questions of the day
How was your week?
What are you up to this weekend?
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?