Current faves: Florida visit, Beautycounter Black Friday and weekly workouts

Greetings from the Sunshine State! How are you, my friends? If you are in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. We sure did.

We’re so happy to be here hanging out with my parents, as well as my brother, Matthew, and his wife, Stephanie, (and all of our dogs too) in Southwest Florida for the next few days. We haven’t all been together since Matthew and Stephanie’s wedding in April, and so it’s been great to have some hang-out time. The weather is nice, and the air is clear — two things we didn’t have at home in the Bay Area as of late.

Let’s do some faves!


Family Thanksgiving

We had an excellent Thanksgiving, complete with watching the Macy’s Day Parade, a little run around the neighborhood, a big meal at 3 p.m., a family walk and some board games and wine after Brady went to bed. Here are a couple of pics …

Family Thanksgiving 2018 by A Lady Goes West

2018 family Thankgsiving dinner in Florida by A Lady Goes West

2018 Brady Thanksgiving dinner in Florida by A Lady Goes West

Because he was only a few weeks old last year, we’re considering this Brady’s first official Thanksgiving, and he LOVED sampling mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and even stuffing at the dinner table, while seated in his high chair. Now on to the rest of the faves!

Beautycounter Black Friday Sale

Let’s talk about sales on safer beauty and skincare!

Switching topics, my friends, this is huge. Nearly everything from Beautycounter is 15 percent off right now for Black Friday, and you get free shipping on orders of more than $50 too ($60 in Canada). This is a pretty generous sale, and Beautycounter rarely does discounts, so it’s worth looking into if you’re interested in getting anything. The sales last through Monday.

Beautycounter grateful by A Lady Goes West

I know that skincare and make-up is one of those areas where it’s SO hard to make a change because you like what you like, but if you think you’re interested in trying Beautycounter, now’s definitely the time.

And remember, the difference between Beautycounter and the cosmetics and skin-care products you may be buying in stores right now is that Beautycounter doesn’t include harmful chemicals and ingredients that can negatively affect your health — things like endocrine disruptors that mess up your hormones and much worse. Beautycounter has a “never list” of more than 1,500 ingredients they will never use, and that makes Beautycounter products SAFER.

Beautycounter holiday sets by A Lady Goes West

Here are a few of my favorites … (By the way, I currently use the Countermatch line of daily and nightly lotion, which is good for all skin types and the newest product line, but will probably switch over to the Rejuvenating line soon because it’s a little bit more thick and tailored to fine lines — a new problem for my skin!)

  • Overnight resurfacing peel — total game-changer for the skin, you put it on before your nightly moisturizer a few times a week
  • Charcoal face mask — pulls out all the imperfections and feels great, which you can use a few times a week
  • Charcoal face bar — this is super popular for removing make-up and cleaning your face each night, is reasonably priced and is a great thing to start with from Beautycounter
  • Face oils — people are obsessed with these oils
  • Tinted moisturizer — this is my go-to light foundation, and it has SPF 20 too, I wear shade #2

And if you want to buy some gifts for others …

There are a ton of other limited-edition holiday gift sets here too. Let me know what your needs are and I’ll help you pick things out. Happy shopping!


Hard-side luggage (which is on major sale)

I’ve had my eye on hard-side luggage for a couple of years before we finally pulled the trigger and got this set of suitcases before our fun trip to Ohio in October (this set is on CRAZY sale right now, by the way).

I’m so glad we made the switch. I had seen people strolling around the airport so many many many times before and just knew hard-side was the way to go. (I also read an article that said hard-side luggage cannot bring home bed-bugs, whereas canvas luggage can … gross!)

Hard-side Samsonite suitcases by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

Not only do these suitcases fit more than our last set, but they also have roller wheels, which go in all directions — a major necessity when you are traveling with a stroller/car seat/baby/dog/etc. We got these from the Samsung outlet, and you can also find them here.


The most comfortable flats

These are the MOST comfortable flats I’ve ever had, outside of sneakers. I picked these up last week (they are currently on sale), and I plan to wear them all winter long. They give a good click when you walk on wood and tile too, which makes me happy!

DSW shoes by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

By the way, I asked Dave to take this picture for me last weekend when we were still at home, and it was his idea to go stand in the fall leaves outside our house. I’ve trained him well. 🙂 

DSW flats by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018


Banana bread

Believe it or not, I’ve only been in Publix one time during this visit (for those of you who don’t know, Publix is a grocery store in the South, where shopping is a pleasure), but I’m sure there are more stops in my future over the next few days.

Speaking of Publix, my mom made a Publix-bought Dole brand mix of banana bread, and we’ve been eating it for breakfast every day. It’s so moist and delicious, it had to be featured!

Banana bread breakfast by A Lady Goes West


Visiting Rituals in Broadway Plaza

I love to visit new stores with products that are safe and clean (much like Beautycounter), anyone else? A European store called, Rituals, just opened in Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, and they invited me to go check it out last week, so I did. While the store is small, it’s got a lot going on inside, including a huge tree with hand-made cherry blossoms and a real trunk and some beautiful products for the home and bod.

Ritual visit in Broadway Plaza by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

Rituals is a super popular brand in Europe, and they are just getting going in the U.S.. Rituals has a few different product lines with candles, home fragrance, scrubs, etc., and each is based off of rituals from cultures around the world.

I really enjoyed the smells of nearly everything, and I loved checking it out. I brought home a goodie bag and will be working my way through it. The good thing about Rituals is that because it’s a European line, it’s created with the standards of the European Union — which is WAY more strict when it comes to cosmetics and skin-care than the U.S..


Vital Proteins Black Friday sale

There’s a big sale over on the Vital Proteins site. This is the only brand of collagen products that I use daily, and I fully support them all. My favorite is the vanilla collagen peptides, but you can get the regular collagen peptides too. If you spend $50, you get a free 5-ounce canister of collagen peptides, and you also get 30 percent off your first subscription order. Head on over to check out the rest.

Other good sales

Instant Pot is on sale! Who has one? People seem to love it, but I just don’t know if I’d use one.

Nike will always be a tried and true athletic brand — 20 percent off everything for the weekend.

Fitbits are on sale! I wear the Alta every single day.

DSW has 20 percent off everything — and this is where I get most of my shoes, including the flats above.


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: 30-minute CXWORX class, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 25-minute full-body weights workout, 11:30 a.m. (shown below)
  • Saturday: 30-minute Les Mills Sh’bam dance workout at home, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This week of workouts was good because I not only had a full rest day, taught a class, took some classes, did my three weights sessions, but I also did something DIFFERENT. I’ve been telling Dave (and other people) how much I want to dance. Like take dance classes. I can’t really make it to the ones at my gym, and they are crazy crowded, so I decided to use Les Mills On Demand for a short Sh’bam session. It was fun. Even all by myself at home (with Brady and Rudy watching). It made me smile, and I know I’ll do it again. Here’s my review of Les Mills On Demand, in case you missed it.

Here’s the solo weights workout I did during the week …

Full-body quick workout by A Lady Goes West - 2018

Suggested reading

Best links from around the web

  • Medicine ball exercise. I have to admit, I hate using medicine balls. But those weighted things have a lot of uses in the gym. This is an excellent list of moves you can do with a medicine ball to work your entire body.
  • Hard-boiled egg trick. Who else loves eating hard-boiled eggs but hates making them? Me! In fact, I used to always buy them pre-made. This is a useful tip worth trying.
  • Benefits of journaling. Do you need a release? Journaling has many therapeutic benefits for you, my friends. I need to do it too!

Favorite A Lady Goes West archives

Have a fabulous weekend, beautiful people! We’re going to be soaking up the rest of our Florida visit with my family and even some friends. I’ll be on Instagram until we meet here again! xoxo

Questions of the day

How was your Thanksgiving?

How are you?

What’s one thing you are grateful for right now?

What’s something you’ve been saying you want to do for a while? When are you going to do it?

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