Current faves: Family, food, fun and weekly workouts

Happy Friday, my friends! What’s shaking? 

How was your week? Mine was okay. Sadly, all of our visitors left, so the house has seemed a bit quiet, but I had a lot of work to do and subbed an extra class, so it’s been busy enough to keep my mind occupied. This weekend, I’ve got a workout and brunch date with a friend, and Dave and I are heading off on a little day date on Sunday.

But because it’s the end of the week, I’ve got a round-up of some things that I’ve been loving lately, as well as my recent workouts, suggested reading and more. Here we go …


A weekend with my family

This is a favorite, favorite. I absolutely loved having my mom, brother and sister-in-law all staying in our house last weekend. This was the first time that they’ve all been out here to visit us at once, and it was so fun. The first night, we hung out at home and had take-out for dinner, the next day we went on a hike, did some party prep and then went out to dinner and dessert. Our regular babysitter came over after Brady went to sleep, and we went to downtown Walnut Creek for burgers and fries at Broderick, followed up with some ice cream at the San Francisco Creamery. Yum!

Family weekend in Pleasant Hill - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West

(My jeans are new and are the same brand that I’ve been loving lately.)

My mom, Matthew and Stephanie helped a ton with getting set up for Brady’s party too, which was awesome — because there was a lot to do to host nearly 50 people. (More about Brady’s first birthday party here, in case you missed it.)

The weekend went too fast, and we said goodbye to Matthew and Stephanie on Monday morning, then goodbye to my mom on Tuesday morning. The house felt pretty empty this week, but like I said, I’ve been keeping busy at least. Anyone else get a little down after family leaves?

And it goes without saying that having my mom here for more than three weeks was just amazing. You guys know that, because I already mentioned it multiple times. I wish more than anything that she lived closer, but am so grateful that we get to have such long visits.

Outside of Brady’s party and our dinner out, the other highlight with the fam was the walk that we did on Saturday morning around the Lafayette Reservoir. Dave stayed behind at home to mow the lawn and do some yard work, but my mom, Matthew, Stephanie, Rudy, Brady and I all went on the walk together in one big group. It was beautiful weather, and we chatted as we strolled around the lake leisurely for about an hour. Good times — and the perfect rest day activity!

Lafayette Reservoir walk - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West

It was so special to have them all here to celebrate Brady. And because that party got a whole post, it won’t be a favorite today. But like … it’s a favorite! 🙂 

Family at Brady's party - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West


Organic canned pumpkin

I have been on a pumpkin kick for a couple of weeks now, along with so many of you too, I’m sure. It started with pumpkin spice lattes, moving on to pumpkin candles, and now it’s canned pumpkin. I’ve made a few breakfast dishes (sharing one soon!) and also let Brady nibble on raw pumpkin too, so I’ve been going through the cans quickly. I just love it and so does he, which is great. The flavor is comforting and so versatile. Haven’t picked any up yet this season? You’ve got to! What would you make with yours?

Organic canned pumpkin - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Chickpea snacks

I feel like I may have shared these before, but I recently bought them again and was reminded that they are such a tasty snack. Biena Snacks are made from chickpeas, the ingredients list is minimal and pretty clean, and they have the best crunch. I like to pull out a handful and mix in some raw almonds as well, for a little trail mix action in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.

Biena snacks - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Leftover cupcakes

There were about 15 cupcakes left after Brady’s party, and I’ve been working my way through them each night for dessert. We ordered chocolate and red velvet, and I really can’t pick a favorite. The cupcakes are from Whole Foods, but are made by local Rubicon Bakery. So good! I would highly recommend.

Brady's first birthday cupcakes - September 2018 by A Lady Goes West


Celebrity sighting

I can’t believe I never mentioned this! Last week at Target, I had a celebrity sighting. Do you guys watch the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”? We do! It’s really good and has had two seasons so far. Well, I saw one of the main characters, Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), shopping at Target in Walnut Creek in the medicine aisle, and he had his little dog in the cart. It didn’t seem like anyone noticed him, so I went over to him and told him that I’m fan of the show. He said they were currently filming season three all over the Bay Area. I knew they filmed here, but didn’t know they would ever be in my very own town. So cool! Perhaps I’ll see others. Oh and what did he look like in person? Young and adorable. He had a baby face and very silky smooth looking skin hehehe! 


Weekly workout recap

Switching topics like ….

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

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour Orangetheory Fitness workout, 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute barre workout at home, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 30-minute full-body weights workout, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 45 minutes, 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day (1-hour walk, 10 a.m.)
  • Sunday: Rest day

Last week’s workouts started out with a return to Orangetheory. (Wonder what that is? Read my overview here.) I haven’t been to the studio since coaching there more than three years ago. Wow! It was a GOOD workout, and it felt great to run on the treadmill and get into the orange zone. I also did some weights in that class, then picked up weights two other times throughout the week as well, so I met my resistance goal. I had two rest days and two lighter days too. 

This week, I subbed BODYPUMP, which was my workout highlight, of course. I taught release 100, and it’s a tough one. So many push-ups. Ugh!

Ashley after teaching BODYPUMP - October 2018 by A Lady Goes West

Suggested reading

Best links from around the web

  • Kitchen tip. Are you hand washing your dishes correctly? Use this tip.
  • Leg muscles. A few reasons why you aren’t seeing progress in muscle growth in your lower half. Notice that sleeeeeep is on there. Yup.
  • Breathing and metabolism. This is an interesting post from a lovely lady I had the pleasure of meeting at an event in SF a few months ago all about how your breath can directly impact your energy levels and metabolism.
  • Home-made PSL. I love getting the pumpkin spice latte here and there, which you guys know, but it would be nice to make a healthier version at home. Here’s one to try.
  • Food waste. Food waste is a big deal. I always clean my plate, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes let veggies get past their due date and have to toss them. This is a simple article with some tips on how to reduce your waste footprint.
  • Gym bag hygiene. A reminder to clean your gym bag. Okay, I need to do this. Like right now.

A Lady Goes West Favorite archives

Thank you for reading, my friends! I’ll see you over on Instagram until we meet back here on Monday for something new and different I’ve been working on lately!

Questions of the day

What’s something that you’ve been loving lately?

What are you up to this weekend?

What’s the best thing that happened in your week?

Have you ever had a celebrity sighting? Who and where?



  1. V disappointed that you have not mentioned your celebrity sighting until now, but I forgive you. So cool! I don’t want the show but am still pop culture obsessed so I would have been excited to see him.

    I’ve been adding that same TJ canned pumpkin to my vanilla protein shakes and it makes it so rich and creamy and fall-like for me down in this not so fall-like weather.

    One of these days I would love to be the person mentioned in your blog that you are having a workout or brunch date with. #goals

    Happy Friday to you, friend!

    1. Hi Courtney! I meant to do an IG story of the celeb sighting right away — but (a) I looked like death, which I guess hasn’t stopped me from videoing before, but this time is did (b) I was with my mom and Brady and we were rushing around from place to place and then I ended up forgetting. It won’t happen again. Please accept my apologies hehehe! 🙂 And YESSSSS to a workout and brunch date in the future for us! It WILL happen!! 🙂 Happy Friday, my friend!

  2. I knew I saw ‘Justin’ at my gym the other week! And my friend saw ‘Jessica’ at the WF by my house! Love that show!

  3. I just bought my first cans of pumpkin today and I can’t wait to stir it into my yogurt and oatmeal! Also hoping to bake something with it and make a pumpkin turkey chili at some point. Hooray for pumpkin season!

    1. Hi Allison! Yay for pumpkin! Okay turkey chili with pumpkin sounds about as fall as a meal could get hehehe! Yum! Have a great weekend, lady!! 🙂

  4. Wow- what beautiful family time! I totally know what you mean about that down feeling once they leave. I go through a post-family-leaving depression for a couple days where EVERYTHING reminds me of them! Those cupcakes look adorable & scrumptious & I just did OT for the first time this year– such a fun workout 🙂 Always love your updates, Ashley!

    1. Hi Mackenzie! It’s a good thing to have family that you love and miss when they are gone — but it’s not easy to see them leave! 🙂 And good work on doing OT, lady! WOOT! Was it strength or power or endurance?? I like strength the best!

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