Current faves: Christmas cards, food event, Beautycounter and weekly workouts

Oh heyyyyy, happy Friday, friends! I’m extra happy we’ve made it to the end of the week, because Dave was gone to NYC this week, and we missed him a lot! But the days went by quickly, full of writing work, walks with girlfriends, visits to the gym, teaching barre, finishing my Christmas shopping and all of that good stuff. This upcoming weekend, we’re hanging out as a family, then I’m spending the day in the City on Sunday for a fitness event.

Now, as we always do, let’s look at what’s been making me happy in food, fitness and fun …


Our 2018 holiday cards from Minted

*Thanks to Minted for giving us 50 percent off our card order this year.

This is our second year getting our holiday cards from Minted. The site has great designs, is easy to use, and features creations by smaller independent artists — which is totally awesome. The Christmas card process was pretty easy for me this year, because we already had many of our family and friends’ addresses compiled in a spreadsheet — it just needed a bit of updating. Then, I chose our design, uploaded the photos, reviewed the PDF proof Minted sent in 24 hours and hit purchase.

Front of Family holiday Christmas cards by Minted by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

The cards, addressed envelopes and some extras came in about five days, and Dave and I worked on getting them stuffed and stamped in one evening over wine and a Christmas movie, and it literally took 90 minutes. We used our family photos, and the cards turned out great.

Back of Family holiday Christmas cards by Minted by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

I’ve ordered a ton of things from Minted in the past and am always really happy with the product. And hey, there’s still time to get your rush Christmas cards or New Year’s cards produced and out the door, if you’re so inclined! ๐Ÿ™‚ Use the code WINTER18 for 20 percent off your holiday card order until 12/17.

Family holiday Christmas cards by Minted by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018


Whole Foods Holiday dinner 

Last Sunday, I left Dave and Brady behind to head to Sausalito in Marin County for the afternoon and early evening for a holiday dinner event with Whole Foods Northern California, at the beautiful Casa Madrona hotel, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. I’ve truly enjoyed working with Whole Foods as a sponsor of A Lady Goes West a few times this year, because I’m a real fan of the brand, and I do a lot of my grocery shopping there too. 

Ashley at the Whole Foods Northern California dinner by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

This event was a little bigger than I expected, with maybe 30 attendees, mostly food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers and media too. We were there to not only enjoy appetizers and a family style sit-down dinner, but also to see all the other gifts you can get at Whole Foods too.

Whole Foods holiday dinner 2018

Meal at the Whole Foods Northern California dinner by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

The food was amazing, the view was stunning, and I loved meeting a few new people whom I sat with at dinner, including two people who were also from the East Coast and also graduated from University of Florida! Yes!

It’s really good for me to get out to this type of thing every once in a while, so I feel more connected to fellow local bloggers and have the chance to be baby free. Thanks for a great time (and great food), Whole Foods.


Top Trending Beauty Brand of the Year

Wow! I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s so cool to see that Refinery29 just named Beautycounter the “Top Trending Beauty Brand of the Year” because Beautycounter is at the forefront of creating products that are safer, and Beautycounter is also advocating to change the skincare industry for the better.

You are going to be hearing so much more about this company, I’m positive. And I’m so happy I decided to join this movement! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Beautycounter holiday shipping cutoff by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

Last chance to order before Christmas

I couldn’t miss the chance to let you know that if you want to order something from Beautycounter for someone in your life as a present, the last day to order for regular ground shipping is Tuesday, December 17 (or December 20 for second-day shipping). Let me know if I can help you make selections!


Healthy Human tumbler and stainless steel straw

I was totally in the market for a new water bottle when the Healthy Human people reached out about sending me a couple to try out. I selected the blue large 32-ounce cruiser tumbler with a 100 percent pure stainless steel straw.

This is my first time using a stainless steel straw and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The first few sips are strange, because the straw is hard and cold, but then you are instantly used to it. Now I’m totally loving it, and it’s much better for the environment too. (Fun fact: More than 500 million plastic straws are used per day in the U.S. alone. Eeek. And one plastic straw takes 200 years to biodegrade.)

Healthy Human cruiser by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

The best part about this double-walled water bottle is that it fits in a regular cupholder, which my last water bottle didn’t, and it doesn’t sweat. It keeps water cold for so long (apparently it keeps liquid cold for 24 hours and hot for 12), and the top fits nice and snug too. I like the way it feels in my hand, and overall, I’m a big fan, and I’ll be using this for a long time. Healthy Human is a great brand too, all about giving people tools to live healthier in a sustainable way. Love that!

Until the end of December, you can use the code ALADYGO10 for 10 percent off your Healthy Human order on Amazon only.


Two things that made me smile this week

Brady … this little dude is my GUY, and although he is moving around like crazy, he hasn’t quite taken any steps unassisted yet. Any day now.

Dave and 14.5-month-old Brady by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

Dave sent me some flowers while he was gone this week, and it was such a nice surprise. With the poinsettias I got last weekend, our Christmas tree, all the other holiday decor, and now this arrangement, our main living area is festive city — just how I like it.

Pretty flowers by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018


Weekly workout recap

And now we’re into the fitness.

Here’s a look at my workouts from last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 22 minutes of intervals on treadmill, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 30-minute full-body weights workout, 12 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 30-minute CXWORX class, 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 45-minute SoulCycle class, 10:45 a.m.
  • Sunday: 10-minute yoga session at home, 12 p.m.

This past week was a good one for fitness. For a long time, I’ve set a goal to lift weights three times a week in official “resistance sessions,” but for some reason, I just don’t feel like forcing myself into that right now — I seem to average out at two sessions most weeks. Instead of doing full-body weights on Friday like I should have to meet the “goal,” I felt like going to a class, seeing some peeps and working on the core — so that’s what I did. I’ve been very much into the shorter workouts too, and Sunday was mostly a rest day, but included a little bit of stretching — which once again — was what the body felt like doing. Sometimes you’ve just got to listen to your bod.

Here’s the treadmill workout I did earlier in the week …

Treadmill interval workout by A Lady Goes West -- December 2018

Favorite reads

Best links from around the web

  • Yoga. I did this free 10-minute yoga video on Sunday for a little stretching, and it felt great on the body. The instructor is not very yoga-like, but the movements were simple and did the trick.
  • Reading. Here’s a good list of books to read if you’re in need of some literary inspiration.
  • Clean beauty. I mean, people are starting to listen up! The cosmetics and skincare industry needs to change. The leader of Beautycounter is totally on a mission to help promote that change. This is a good look at how and why she’s doing it — and this is separate from the Refinery29 article I shared above.
  • Shoulder tension. This list of three stretches is great for anyone and everyone who sits a lot. I want to do them all right now.
  • Nontoxic home. I’m well into swapping out our cleaning supplies and home products for safer, nontoxic versions, and this is a simple list of five products you can start with today.

A Lady Goes West archives

Thank you for stopping by the blog today, my friends! I hope your weekend is wonderful! Be kind to yourself, take a few moments to relax and always hydrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

Do you do Christmas cards?

Have you tried any nontoxic home products? Which ones?

Do you have any holiday decorations up?

What kind of water bottle do you use?



  1. Hi there! I am interested in giving the Beauty Counter products a shot. Are they safe for pregnancy? Would love to chat more about it! Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley! Yessss they are safe for pregnancy! In fact, that’s a time when a lot of women decide to switch to safer skincare stuff. I’ll email you some details in a bit! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Friday!

  2. The Christmas cards look fantastic! I love my BC products! I have a 32oz Hydro Flask and really like it and use it every day… I do wish it fit in my car cup holder though! We are going to a wedding on Saturday and I have a book club on Sunday … still need to read the book- eeek!

    1. Thanks, Jessie! It’s sooo annoying when your bottle doesn’t fit in the cupholder, you should work on that hhheh!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful time at the wedding and book club. What are you supposed to be reading??

  3. I love your Christmas cards!! So cute! I’ve heard wonderful things about minted from other family and friends as well as bloggers, but haven’t tried it yet for myself!
    Glad your hubby is back in town, always way better with the extra co-parent! This week I got all my Christmas wrapping done so now I can just enjoy the season and not be concerned with the logistics of gifts.

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