Current faves: Everywhere Belt Bag, volunteering in Brady’s class and more

Hi, friend! How was the first week of May for you? It was a good one for me, full of work, group fitness, tennis for Brady and me, taking a pickleball intro class, getting my nails done, doing one-million chores, mom stuff and more.

This weekend, we’ve got an early soccer game for Brady, a family Kentucky Derby party and a kids birthday party on the agenda. We’ll be very glad to have Dave around too, because he was away three times in the month of April. Although we prefer to have Dave with us, at least he sometimes leaves me with treats when he’s out of town (and I get the TV to myself in the evenings to catch up on silly Bravo shows, such as “Summer House” and “Vanderpump Rules,” which I wouldn’t watch any other time). Here’s the spread he set out before he left for his golf trip last weekend …

Treats for the weekend by A Lady Goes West

Sauvignon blanc, wellness smoothies, flowers and a slice of Publix carrot cake — the essentials. Alright, let’s get right to the current faves of the day …

Current faves


Volunteering in Brady’s classroom

This week, for the first time in his preschool career, I volunteered in Brady’s classroom. To be honest, his school hasn’t asked for parent volunteers too often — and when they sent this latest request out — I knew it may be my first and only chance to really see Brady in his preschool element first hand. It just happened to fall on the one weekday morning when I didn’t have to teach a class, so I signed right up.

I did a short stint mid-week with another one of the moms (Brady’s bestie’s mom, to be exact), while both of Brady’s teachers got to enjoy a special lunch outside of the classroom for Teacher Appreciation Week. I was actually a little nervous about volunteering, because I’ve certainly never had to be in charge of a dozen 5-year-olds before. However … it was so cute and not scary at all.

Ashley and Brady in the classroom by A Lady Goes West

I arrived a few minutes early, and all the little kids were sitting criss-cross applesauce on the rug in the center of the room. They all smiled and waved at me, and Brady ran up and gave me a hug. From there, the kids had their lunch, and the other mom and I were on our own.

During their lunch, I walked around and had the sweetest conversations with so many of Brady’s classmates, who were all eager to share with me about their lunch and their life — asking me to guess how old their parents were and asking me to guess how old they were (5 — they are all 5, so that was easy). Once their lunches were finished, the other mom and I took turns reading a couple books to the kids, and I was so impressed with how well they behaved — sitting quietly and eagerly listening to the words on the pages. It was precious.

Ashley and Brady in his classroom by A Lady Goes West

(On volunteering day, I wore these joggers, this tee and these sneakers.)

While I mostly signed up to see Brady in his classroom, I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed hanging out with all of his cute classmates and seeing them do their thing too. We also got to go out to the playground with them, where they all immediately took off in a run — girls doing girl things, and boys doing boy things. There’s nothing like watching 5-year-olds roam free at recess.

As I mentioned in my coffee chat post from earlier this week, I’m definitely feeling emotional about Brady finishing preschool. And spending this hour or so in his classroom and with his class was super special. I loved it, and I know he loved it too. 


A casual cream belt bag

I’ve owned and used “belt bags” for years, long before they were cool actually (and I prefer to call them fanny packs, because that’s the original and less-cool name they started with). I’ve always loved the laid-back approach of clipping a bag around your waist, so your hands are totally free. Well, these days, belt bags are back in a big way, but most ladies wear them across the body instead of around the waist — still providing a hands-free approach mostly — but perhaps a slightly more trendy look.

A couple months ago, I had a Lululemon merchandise credit to use up, and I decided to finally order one of the brand’s popular belt bags — the Everywhere Belt Bag 1L — (this style was totally sold out of stores for a while). I opted for the cream-colored one, called White Opal (there is also a true white), and when it came, I put it on my shelf out of sight for a few weeks, as I always do.

Finally, a couple weeks ago, I pulled the bag out and gave it a whirl. So far, it’s been going really well. And I can see that this belt bag is more of a staple piece, than a once-in-a-while piece.

Everywhere Belt Bag by A Lady Goes West

By the way, when placing my order, I debated quite a bit about whether to get the 2L size or the 1L size, and I’m glad I went with the smaller one. It fits my iPhone Max 12, my keys, my slim wallet, a lipgloss, a protein bar and a hair-tie perfectly — but that’s about all you can fit.

You can’t fit a full-size wallet in there, and luckily, I haven’t used a full-size wallet in a year, so that’s not a concern for me. (Haven’t switched to a slim wallet yet? I highly recommend it. I have this one.)

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag by A Lady Goes West

(The Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag 1L)

What I’ve most liked about this bag is that it’s small enough to fit into another bag. I have activities where I need all my stuff (like when going to the gym to teach a class), or activities where I need minimal stuff (like going to the grocery store). And when I keep my essentials in this belt bag, I can just throw the belt bag into my bigger bag for convenience. Does that make sense? I feel like I have about five main bags/purses in my rotation on a weekly basis, and if you are in the same boat with me, I think you’ll get what I mean. The changing over of the bags is such a hassle, but it’s a must.

Anyway, I’m pleasantly surprised with my Lululemon belt bag, and I’m definitely finding it quite useful. Also, the color goes with everything. It’s a total neutral, and it can dress up or down. I can see myself making great use of this all spring and summer, especially for some upcoming trips. Tell me, are you a belt bag fan?

Let’s get to the movement …


My workouts from last week

Now it’s time to take a look at my workouts from last week.

I share this recap 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, so you don’t need to compare your movement to mine.

New weekly workout recap by A Lady Goes West

Workouts from the week of 4/24

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., played 60 minutes of tennis, 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Took 50-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, 9:45 a.m., took 60-minute tennis clinic, 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Did 40-minute full-body weights workout at gym, 10 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day (15-minute walk on treadmill, took 1-hour slow restorative yoga, 12 p.m.)

This past week was a good one! I actually went to a yoga class for the first time in many, many months. It was super slow, and we never even stood up, so it was perfect for a rest day. This week, I also played tennis three times, taught five classes, lifted weights alone on the fitness floor, and I even tried a new-to-me barre class at a studio in the Myers Park area, which was quite hard and different than what I’m used to — it always feels good to switch it up.

Here’s a look at my solo weights workout on the fitness floor, once again, focused on the basics …

40 minute weights at Life Time by A Lady Goes West

Best read of the week

Here’s an article worth sharing with you …

32 energizing things to do in May. This is a light one, but a good one. It’s a list of 32 high-vibe things to consider doing in May to take advantage of the spring season, to soak up warmer weather and to spruce up your routine with some extra fun and inspiration. I love the idea of making a playlist for the month (I make a lot of playlists in my life), buying yourself flowers and keeping track of where you spend your time in a time journal. Check out the list of 32 high-vibe things to do in May here.

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought from The Chalkboard Mag

More time quote by Chalkboard Mag

Blog archives of the week

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

Coffee chat. I was absolutely in the mood to write this type of post earlier this week, and in it, I’m sharing an update on a lot of things and chatting about life … “Welcome to a late spring 2023 coffee chat.”

Mother’s Day gifts. I love to put together gift guides, and if you’re shopping for a mom, or you’re a mom who wants to share some gift hints with someone, check this out … “The best Mother’s Day gifts for 2023.”

The best Mother's Day gifts for 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for coming by the blog today, friend! Have an awesome day! 🙂

Questions of the day for you

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in the month of May?

What’s one thing you accomplished this week that you’re proud of?



  1. Your volunteering in Brady’s class is making me feel VERY old! Takes me back to your elementary school days when your mom supported our school. You are following in her footsteps. Great steps in which to follow! I am sure Brady loved having you there.

    1. Hi Principal J! 🙂 Brady was so happy to have me there, and he stayed near me the whole time — I loved it. I hope it’s just as good of a scene if I try to volunteer when he goes to kindergarten! Have a wonderful day! xoxo

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