Current faves: Friend traditions, books, makeup and weekly workouts

Hello, my people! How are things? I hope your week was great! We’re all doing much better over here — thank goodness! It was a busy week, complete with some rain, a cold front, teaching two barre classes, having lunch with a friend, attending another preschool open house, following Brady all over the world as he does his daily laps, working and the rest of the usual stuff. This weekend, I’m subbing a class, going to a fitness event and hopefully having some quality time with my boys during the moments in between.

And now welcome to our regularly scheduled edition of favorites. This is a chance to share a bunch of unrelated randomness just for fun. Please enjoy … 


Truffle making party with the ladies

It’s hard to believe that this was our fourth annual truffle-making party with my East Bay lady friends! We usually do this event right before Christmas, but did it as an early Valentine’s Day this year. One of my girlfriends’ mom has been doing truffles with her group of friends for years and years, and she introduced it to us. Such a cool tradition!

We don’t exactly make the truffles from scratch, but close enough. There’s a local chocolate lady who provides the coating chips and ganache chips, and we each make our ganache using heavy whipping cream and any flavoring we need at least 12 hours in advance on our own. On the day of truffle making, we roll the ganache together into little balls, do the coated dipping, add toppings and then share our creations so that everyone gets a few of each flavor. It’s such a fun process.

Truffle making by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

Most years, I end up eating about 75 percent of the truffles, but I’m proud to say that this year, I boxed up more than half to give to friends. And then I ate the rest … what can I say, I have a sweet tooth, and truffles are SWEET!

Ashley doing truffle making by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

My favorite part (other than the eating) is the decorating portion, and we decorate each truffle to signal what flavor you may find inside.

Our flavors included peanut butter, apricot, hazelnut, toffee, cherry, mint and coconut. Each year we do a slightly different combo, and there hasn’t been one that I didn’t like yet. 

Delicious truffles by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

On the day of truffle making, our group of seven gals had lunch, chatted, prepared our truffles and then each boxed them up safely to transport to our homes. It was such a nice day, in fact, I look forward to this activity all year! What flavor did I prepare ahead of time you ask? Peanut butter coated in dark chocolate, of course. What flavor would you do?


One Fifth Avenue 

It feels good to be back to fiction reading! It’s such a nice escape. And I have to admit that even though parts of it were predictable, I stayed up a bit later than I wanted to on a number of nights reading this book. I like the writing, and I like that it took place in NYC, which is a City I’ve always been intrigued with (although I’ve only visited, never lived there). It’s about a single building and how all of the people who live in it (or want to live in it) cross paths — new money, old money and everything in between.

One Fifth book by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

This is totally a light read, it’s long, but it’s fluffy, and for some reason, I totally enjoyed it. Candace Bushnell wrote the “Sex and the City” books too, and there’s some of that in “One Fifth,” and I checked it out from the library on a whim, basically because I had heard of the author before. It worked out for me. I checked out two new books this week that I chose the same way (I had Brady with me, and he was pulling books off the shelves, so I had to act quickly!), so here’s hoping I’m pleasantly surprised again.


Introducing Beautycounter Brilliant Brow Gel

A new product came out this week — the Beautycounter Brilliant Brow Gel! It’s safe, doesn’t have any terrible chemicals like many other brow gels do (the active ingredient is Sunflower Wax), and it comes in five shades, including a clear.

Beautycounter Browl Gel by A Lady Goes West

Why brow gel? Brow products make up one of the the fastest growing categories in beauty, so if you’re not paying attention to your brows, now’s a great time to start. And brow gel is basically mascara for your brows. It’s a natural looking tint that can make brows look fuller and thicker. It also grooms, shapes and keeps them in place. You can use it alone or with Beautycounter’s Color Define Brow Pencil for added definition.

If you want to know more about the brow gel, other Beautycounter products, the business opportunity or products, let me know and sign up for my Beautycounter email list. 🙂 


Blinged-out microphone belt

Every time I go to the IDEA World Fitness Convention, I look at all the fitness gear for trainers and instructors and never buy anything. Then I get home and wish I had. Well, finally, months after feasting my eyes on a sparkly microphone belt, I ordered this beauty and wore it last week. Love it!

Sparkly mic belt by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

I’m tempted to get additional colors, but because I’m averaging only 2-3 classes a week right now, I think one mic belt is plenty. And if you’re wondering how it’s used, you wear it around your waist like a fanny pack, and put the microphone pack in it, so that it doesn’t move around or get sweated on while you teach a class. We used to have a cordless mic at my gym, but it was a little too sensitive, so we use the corded varieties now.


Weekly workout recap

And now we’re into the fitness portion. Let’s look at my workouts from last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 20-minute treadmill interval workout, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX class, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Practiced barre for 30 minutes, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre class, noon
  • Friday: 30-minute CXWORX workout at home, 11 a.m.
  • Saturday: 30 minutes of BODYATTACK, 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week was getting back to normal, as I recovered from some little physical setbacks the week before. I eased back into my workouts with cardio on the treadmill, then focused on core and isometric training with CXWORX and barre, until I was ready to head back to half of a BODYATTACK class at the end of the week. It’s totally okay to take time off from the gym, but when you go back, take it slow. This approach made sure I didn’t injure myself or get too sore. It worked, because I felt good all week.

Here’s that treadmill interval routine for the next time you need a short session of cardio …

Treadmill workout by A Lady Goes West -- February 2019

Favorite reads

Best stuff from around the web and TV

  • Fyre Festival. Dave and I watched the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix — all about the disastrous music festival that never was — a couple of weeks ago, and I shared about it on IG, but forgot to include it as a favorite. It was SOOO interesting. All sorts of drama, behind-the-scenes corruption and just a train-wreck of a situation. I would highly recommend it. Apparently there is also a version on Hulu, which is a little bit different, and I want to watch that one too. Here’s an article comparing the two.
  • Lemon water. So everyone seems to be drinking lemon water, right? I actually don’t mind lemon water, but it’s not part of my regular routine. This article takes a look at why a lemon water habit is so good for you — and it’s mostly about the water, not the lemon.
  • Daily joyful to-dos. I like this simple list of five organizational things to do each day, according to Marie Kondo. If you read the book, you know them, but this is a great reminder on finding joy in your space and life by being neat and tidy.
  • Lunges. Are you including this exercise in your workouts each week? You should. Here’s how to do them properly and a few variations to try.

A Lady Goes West Favorite archives

Have a great weekend, my friends! Be good, smile at others, drink a lot of water and have fun!

Questions of the day

What’s one good thing that happened in your week?

What are you up to this weekend? 

Have you read any entertaining books lately?

Which truffle flavor would you most like to make or eat?



  1. I love the idea of a truffle making party and have always enjoyed your recap posts about this tradition. I think I would try to make a pb-banana-chocolate combo. Maybe with a piece of a banana chip on top?

    Happy Friday! xoxo

    1. Hi!! I DO want to read that book! I’m on the waiting list to check it out from my library, but the list is long, so I’ll probably have to buy it! 🙂 So glad to hear you like it — seems that is the consensus. Happy weekend!

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