Current faves: Friendsgiving, healthy food, fashion, beauty and weekly workouts

Hi, friends! It’s that time again for a look at a random selection of favorite things in the fitness, food, fun and beauty world. I know you’re busy, but take a moment for this one, because it’s light and quick.

I hope your week has been a good one. This week went okay for us. Poor Dave has been gone SO much for work and games lately that it’s been a little rough around our house, as I try to navigate getting all of my own work done, as well as being with sweet Brady all day without much of a break (and at times, Brady isn’t all that sweet). The nap times and evenings are spent glued to the computer in a frantic rush to be productive, which just seems to be the norm for me right now. But other than that, the good news is that I got a new car, we transitioned Brady into a new big-kid (convertible) car seat (we got this one), and I hit the gym each day for various enjoyable workouts, as well as teaching a class. 

This weekend, I’m subbing a barre class on Saturday, and that’s about it for the day. (Fun fact, I used to teach at 11 a.m. on Saturdays for about eight months since January, if you recall, at a gym slightly further away from our house, however, that class, combined with travel time and Brady’s nap times, started to take up our whole Saturday, so I ended up giving it up, which now means I have the freedom to take other classes or sub on Saturdays now. Yay!)

Also this weekend, Dave is working, and we have family photos on Sunday. I’ll share a sneak peek of them on the blog for sure, and we’re hoping to use them for holidays cards or maybe a canvas or two for the walls of our house if they turn out well. Brady’s not a huge fan of photoshoots, so we shall see … 🙂 

Alright, let’s do those faves!


Friendsgiving fun

Last weekend, we got to kick off the holiday season with a Friendsgiving party with our group of great friends, who we have a rotating dinner party with every other month or so (going strong for the last four years almost). The hostess of the night was Clare, and she has such adorable table decor, as well as delicious food.

The girls gathered in the kitchen for wine and appetizers, while the guys hung out outside around the fire watching sports, then we all met at the table for a traditional meal with all the fixings. And I forced Dave to snap one blurry photo for me, because I was excited to be out of workout clothes …

Ashley at Friendsgiving by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

We ended up staying at their house past midnight, which was WAY late for us, but so fun though.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? I like stuffing (the good kind) and sweet potato casserole. And pie. Lots of pie! Oh and wine and bread. I could take or leave the turkey.

Friendsgiving table setting by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

Friendsgiving table by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

By the way, Clare served us warm butternut squash soup in those pumpkin jars on the table. I mean, talk about being extra. Nice touch.


New workout gear

As someone who spends their days in activewear, goes to the gym a lot and teaches group fitness classes, I don’t shop for workout clothes as much as I should. In fact, I wear the SAME things over and over and over until I wear them out. 

Well, I finally picked up a few new pieces of workout apparel recently, and so far those pieces have been making their debut at the gym and on Instagram and Facebook, so I wanted to share these two items here …

Ashley stretching on track new outfit by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

This high-neck tank with sheer detailing is so cute I could see wearing it outside of the gym, and it has a lot of breathability. It comes in other colors, and I may need to go back for more. I actually wore it with a denim jacket later that day, and it literally looked like a regular shirt — but shiny.

These slightly patterned black leggings are my new favorite workout pants for sure. They are shiny, fitted, high waisted, and I love the detailing. High waisted and tight fitting are two things I look for in workout leggings, and these pants have both. I have no problem investing in workout leggings knowing how much I wear them.

These shoes aren’t new, but I’m still loving them.

Overall, getting some new workout gear has made me happy to get dressed for the gym lately, so three cheers for that.


Clean fragrance

I used to be a perfume hoarder. I loved trying new scents and always had a rotation of a few designer ones, including some body sprays too for other occasions.

Well, times have changed. I’m still clutching one of my favorite conventional perfumes close to the chest (Flowerbomb, anyone?), even though I’ve learned how it has several toxins in it and may not be the best for me. So you can imagine my absolute delight when I came across this Good Chemistry perfume while waiting for a prescription at Target recently.

Good Chemistry perfume by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

Totally reasonably priced, comes in body sprays or a regular perfume, no parabens, no dyes, vegan, no phthalates, and the fragrance comes from a mixture of essential oils. The sugar berry scent is so fresh and fruity and happy, I literally smile when I smell it. Apparently it’s an exclusive line to Target. I recommend!

Beautycounter Overnight resurfacing peel

Big surprise! Another beauty fave from my favorite beauty company. When I joined the Beautycounter world as just a customer, I started hearing chatter about this “overnight resurfacing peel” product but never tried it until recently. OMG. Game changer. Hands-down amazing.

Basically, you wash your face as normal at night, then apply a little bit of this peel to your skin and it gives the BEST tingling sensation. You let it sit for five minutes, then apply your nightly moisturizer over it and go to bed. In the morning, your face is tight, clear, moist and just … like … amazingly better, without having to actually get a peel, which I’ve never had.

Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

I will definitely be using it the night before our family pictures. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more consistent skincare regimen than I do know with all of my Beautycounter products, and my face is appreciating it. And you know all of the Beautycounter stuff is safe, with no toxins, and the company does so much good!

For instance, if you purchase a set of mini face oils (a best seller and comes in a little gift box) during the holiday season, Beautycounter will donate one set of mini face oils to a woman undergoing cancer treatment at UCLA. It’s called Shop One, Share One. Let me know if you’re interested.


Holiday kombucha

Somehow I never got my hands on this holiday celebration kombucha last year from Health-Ade, because it was hard to find. Well I stumbled upon some in Sprouts this week and was pleasantly surprised with the taste of it. It has a bit of a chocolate aftertaste too, which is festive as can be. I would definitely recommend it if you see it.

Holiday Health-Ade kombucha by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018

Falafel salad from Heritage Eats

After a SoulCycle class last week, I walked down to the new Heritage Eats fast casual restaurant in Broadway Plaza of Walnut Creek with a friend and ordered some take-out for Dave and for me. I got the Mediterranean bowl made into a half rice/half salad bowl, and it had some crispy chickpea falafel and all sorts of veggies and the most delicious sauce. I’m on a real falafel kick lately. So good! There are more locations of Heritage Eats around the Bay, and the menu is mostly meat, but there are some tasty options, like this falafel, which is meat free.

And I mean, everything tastes better during nap time … 

Heritage Eats meal by A Lady Goes West -- November 2018


Weekly workout recap

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

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX class, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 20-minute solo full-body weights workout, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 20-minute GRIT Strength workout, 11:30 a.m., 1-hour walk, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 45-minute SoulCycle class, 10:45 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This week of workouts was pretty similar to the last, because I’m a creature of habit and have been following mostly the same structure. I try to do resistance workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with easier and lighter days on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Seems to be a good mixture for me right now.

Suggested reading

Best links from around the web

  • Travel health. We’ve been on so many flights this year, and the last round of them got us all sick. This article has some worthy tips on how to stay healthy when you travel. I ordered these supplements to take before we travel for Thanksgiving.
  • Push-ups. One of the best workout moves around that basically anyone can do in some form, with absolutely no equipment. Here are some excellent tips on perfecting your push-ups. And this isn’t an article I’ve shared before, because I know I share a lot of articles on push-ups.
  • Dry brushing. Do you do it? It’s on my list of things I’d like to add to my routine, but haven’t made the step yet. It’s good for your lymphatic system and has some potential aesthetic benefits too.
  • Healthier treats. These primal peanut butter cups sound delish. Perhaps I should go ahead and purchase a food processor ones of these days so I can make this kind of treat. But then again, I also like store-bought treats. 

A Lady Goes West Favorite archives

Have an awesome day and weekend, my friends! Be good!

Questions of the day

Where was the last place you traveled to?

How was your week?

Did you get out and vote in the U.S.? I did!



  1. What a gorgeous table setting for Friendsgiving! Your outfit is cute too. Good luck with family photos. It can be so stressful but I’ve learned over the past 3 years of attempting them is as SOON as you stress, they sense it and it creates a worse time. This year it rained during ours, I just went with the flow and let the do their thing, and the photos turned out beautifully! Hope Dave’s travel schedule slows down. Such a hard thing to be the sole caregiver with no break during the days!

    1. Thank you, Heather! Great advice on the family photos — it’s supposed to be a fun thing, so I’m also hoping not to get stressed hehhhe! At least I know Rudy the pup will behave in them hahah! And yessss I need a full-time nanny I think. Or another me! ahhah! Happy Friday, my friend!

  2. The table setting is too cute. We are hosting Friendsgiving this weekend and my setting will not be anywhere as cute as that! I am a huge Beautycounter fan as well! I love the surface peel and following it with the brightening oil!

    1. Hi Kacee! Oh yay! So glad you’re a Beautycounter fan! I wish I hadn’t taken so long to start using and buying the products when I first heard about the company. Have so much fun with your Friendsgiving party! I’m sure your table will be great!!

  3. I love your random selections of favorites posts. And I almost always buy or look into the things you post about. #copycat

    I just found and bought that holiday booch too! Mine is still in my fridge. I’m being weird and “saving” it. There was only one left at the Whole Foods when I spotted it so I feel like I should wait until December for some reason!

    My random favorite at the moment is the bright blue toe nail polish I just got put on during an unusual weeknight pedicure appointment. It is very bright blue and it’s called Pool Party. So it could not be more out of season. But I was immediately drawn to it and it made me smile when I read its name and I felt those were reasons enough to get it.

    I have Monday off of work so woohoo! Happy Friday. Xoxo.

    1. I actually saved my holiday booch in the fridge for about 5 days, which is a long time for me when it comes to kombucha hahaha! I LOVE the name of your toenail polish — I also like a weeknight pedicure, which I used to do before Brady and when I was working — it felt extravagant hahaha, although it’s totally not! So exciting you have a three-day weekend, lady!! 🙂 ENJOY!!!

  4. Hey Ashley. Can’t wait to see your family photos. I am sure Brady will be the highlight of the session. I would like to brag that I never got sick from a flight but came home with the flu from our cruise in January. The table looked I like it was fit for a President dinner. The silver water was neat. I voted. In fact I worked at the polls. It was the hardest one I have done. Been doing it since 2004. Record number of voters. You may heard having recount for three offices including governor and senator. Hope the fires stay away from you.

    1. Hi Richard! That’s awesome that you worked at the polls! Good for you for supporting the right to vote! And we have SO much smoke in the air from the fires right now, it’s scary and awful! 🙁 Hoping they get them under control soon! We can’t even really be outside right now unfortunately — just glad that they aren’t a threat to us though. Hope your weekend of football is fun!

  5. I love that you guys all come together for a rotating dinner party. I might have to suggest that to my friends! Thanks for the recommendation about that holiday kombucha…I’ve heard a lot about it but haven’t tried it myself! Hope that you have a good weekend!

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, it’s a great way to make sure that you get together with your friends regularly, and you share the work of hosting all around. You should start it up for sure! Happy Friday, my friend! 🙂

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