Current faves: Candlelight Concert series, South End, Vuori workout clothes and more

Hi, friend! Another current faves post coming your way. And happy spring to you.

How’s life? It’s busy over here, but it’s good. This past week, I taught my regular classes, did some work, played tennis twice, took Brady to tennis and swimming and got organized for a quick weekend trip. After Brady’s soccer game tomorrow morning, Dave and I are heading to Atlanta for one night for my brother’s birthday party with some friends, and my mom is hanging out with Brady while we’re away.

Before we get going, have you had a chance to enter my giveaway to win a $300 e-gift card to NOW Foods yet? Head here to check out the post and enter. And thank you to everyone who has entered so far!

Now, I’ve got a good set of faves for you today, so let’s get right to them …

Current faves


Enjoying Queen music at the Candlelight Concert series

Last Thursday night, Dave and I went to the coolest event. I had seen multiple Facebook ads for an acoustic candlelight concert experience in Charlotte, and when I was looking for a present for Dave for Valentine’s Day, I knew this was a great idea, so I bought us a couple tickets. The Candlelight Concert series is a national event that takes place all over in more than 100 cities, spanning many genres of music too, and there were several available dates in Charlotte.

Our event was held at The Barrel Room, which is an event space associated with Triple C Brewery in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte. This night featured the Charlotte Strings as the musical act, and they are a quartet with two violins, a viola and a cello.

The first violin served as the “vocals,” and this group played some of the greatest hits from the band Queen, as well as a couple classical pieces, including one from an opera I saw many years ago, “The Magic Flute.”

Candlelight concert at The Barrel Room by A Lady Goes West

(Still wearing these fabulous faux leather joggers in a medium.)

The quartet was absolutely excellent. While the experience was not interactive, the leader of the string quartet introduced all the songs before they played them and gave the audience background on the creation of the song from the original artist’s perspective, which was pretty interesting. We heard Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Under Pressure,” “Fat Bottomed Girls” and a few more, all played by nothing but strings.

The environment and setting made this event extra special, because the room was fairly dark (it became even cooler as the sun went down outside and the room got darker), and there were hundreds of candles all over (battery-operated candles, of course). Our seats were only about 10 feet from the stage, and it was a small venue, so it was also quite intimate.

We enjoyed about 55 minutes of live strings music from our seats, and I loved every minute of it. So did Dave. This was such a different evening for us, and it was way worthy of getting out of our bubble on a Thursday night. After the show, we walked over to the brewery and had a deliciously greasy (but ultra tasty) meal from a food truck, before heading home.

Triple C Brewery meal by A Lady Goes West

If you’re looking for a different way to enjoy some quality live music, I’d check out a Candlelight Concert series near you. We’d definitely go back and see another one.

Here we are before the concert, because I can’t resist getting a family picture when some of us are dressed to go somewhere and some of us are not …

Pitt family March 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Hanging out in South End with friends

Between work, school and weekend activities, I usually stay in the same area in South Charlotte most days, and I’m fine with it, because I’m always quite busy.

But last week, I went to the trendy South End neighborhood near Uptown Charlotte not once, but two times (this area is about 20 minutes from us with no traffic), and it’s definitely a different vibe than Ballantyne, where we live.

Dave and I went to South End for the candlelight concert, then just a couple days later, we were back in South End to meet some friends at a different brewery for a birthday celebration.

The brewery get-together was at Brewers at 4001 Yancey, and that place is huge and bustling with live music, lots of tables, yard games and even big sunroofs to let the natural light into the building.

Charlotte has a lot of great breweries, if you’re into that type of thing, and we’d really only gone to one before this, so it was good to experience more of that brewery scene on a nice weekend day. I’m not into beer though, so I sipped on fruity ciders.

Ashley and Dave at South End brewery by A Lady Goes West

We had a great time during both outings. And it reminded me/us that it’s good to get out of our usual surroundings and branch out. That same evening, we also went to a housewarming party of a new neighbor, so it was a social day.


Trying new workout clothes from Vuori

Speaking of branching out, I ordered a big haul of workout clothes from Vuori recently, and I’m loving them. Vuori is a California-based brand, and they strive for ethical manufacturing and sustainable practices, so we can add this to the list of retailers doing better (much like Everlane, which I shared about here).

Vuori workout clothes by A Lady Goes West

I’ve been wearing Lululemon and Carbon38 workout clothes, pretty much exclusively, for years. And I felt like I needed to try some new things. An instructor friend at Life Time was singing the praises of Vuori activewear (I already have a leisure romper from the brand), so I took a chance and ordered a bunch of things a few weeks ago. I loved mostly everything, and here’s what I kept from my big order:

I wore the Daily Pocket Legging three times this week, and it’s so comfortable, stays in place and has a cute little drawstring at the front to add some flair. I was really impressed with how my whole Vuori workout outfit held up when teaching classes and doing my own solo workout this week, so I’ll definitely be adding these items to my small rotation of go-to workout pieces I wear regularly.

Here are the leggings, a tank and the sports bra, sprinkled with sweat after teaching a one-hour Barbell Strength class …

Vuori clothes post workout by A Lady Goes West

Next up on my list, I plan to get the Clean Elevation Legging in a small, because I originally ordered them in a medium, and they were a little loose, so I sent them back. I’m into the pale grey camo pattern, so that’ll be my choice for this legging selection when I make it.

Fun fact: When I put my height/weight into the “size chart tool” for Vuori, the system told me I needed a large in leggings and bottoms. That seemed off, so I ordered mostly mediums and a few smalls (based on advice from my instructor friend). And then when my order arrived, I found that I’m actually a small in the leggings and bottoms, so I’d say if you plan to order, size down based on the advice you get from the system-generated tool. Maybe it’ll work for you, but it was quite off for me.

Vuori clothes by A Lady Goes West

Overall, I’m pumped about having Vuori in my arsenal of workout clothes. The prices are super reasonable, I get a discount as a fitness professional, and this is a good brand worthy of supporting with my hard-earned dollars. Keep ’em on your radar!

Let’s move on to the movement …


My workouts from last week

Each week, I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity of movement 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. You absolutely don’t need to compare your movement to mine.

New weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West
Workouts from the week of 3/13

  • 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, 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 45-minute full-body weights workout, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class, 9:45 a.m., took 60-minute tennis clinic, 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Did 35-minute weights workout, 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day (took 40-minute slow neighborhood walk, 10:30 a.m.)

This past week was super full of good stuff. I taught six classes, played tennis twice, did two solo workouts and took a rest day with nothing but a walk. I’m feeling great in all my workouts, and I think that’s because I rarely miss a rest day each Sunday, I’ve been going in the sauna once a week, foam rolling a couple times a week and using my percussive massage gun as well. Recovery matters!

Here’s the short full-body weights workout I did over the weekend …

35-minute weights workout by A Lady Goes West

Best read of the week

Here’s a great fitness article worth sharing with you …

Low-impact vs. low-intensity workouts and the WHY behind each. This is an important topic, and this is one that I’d love to explore more on the blog for you one day in depth. Right now, I’m very into the fact that people are coming around to the realization that you can’t/don’t need to do high-intensity workouts every single day. In fact, if you do too many high-intensity workouts and you already have a lot of external stressors in your life, you’re more likely to mess up your hormones and constantly feel fatigued (because exercise is also stress). High-intensity workouts are often high-impact as well, and impact is when your feet leave the floor and you have to brace for landing, and too much of this every single day can lead to injury. Depending on your goals and abilities, it could be beneficial to add in some low-impact workouts, which can be high or low intensity, but don’t require you to jump or put too much stress on your joints. For instance, running is high-impact and walking is low-impact. Think about your week of workouts … are you doing too much high-impact on too many days a week? Here’s a good article on what each is and why you should consider more low-impact movement in your life.

Quote of the week

Here’s a great thought for you from the Calm app all about comparison. I always need this reminder …

Sunset comparison quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at two posts worth revisiting, including the latest from earlier this week …

Food. All the things I ate on a day and a big giveaway … “What I ate in a day last week (and a $300 giveaway).”

NOW $300 giveaway 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Fitness talk. Have you ever wondered if you should stick with a workout program or find something new? Read this … “How do you know if a workout is right for you?

How do you know if a workout is right for you by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for coming by the blog today, friend! I truly appreciate it! 🙂 

P.S. If you’re in the market for some clean beauty products, you can get free ground shipping from Beautycounter for all orders over $50 through Sunday. Head here to shop, and thanks!

Questions of the day for you

How was your week?

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

What’s your favorite brand of workout clothes?

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  1. I love the workout clothes! They look very comfortable. I am looking forward to getting my long run done! Have the best weekend Ashley.

  2. I have an ultra trail run coming up in July! It’s in the mountains in winter (I’m in South Africa) and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I really enjoyed this blog post – lots of good things included. Enjoy your night away, I am sure it is going to be fun!

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