Current faves: Halloween 2023, “The Eras Tour” film, a fiction book and more

Hi, friend. Happy November! How’s life? Buckle up, because we’re into the last two months of 2023 just like that. I love these last two months of the year, and I’m going to do my best to stay present in every single moment, because I know time will fly by.

We’re finishing up a fairly good week over here. Dave started his new job, I taught six group fitness classes, I played tennis three times, I worked on the blog and other projects, and we celebrated Halloween (more on that below). This upcoming weekend, we have Brady’s last soccer game of the season, dinner with our neighbors, a Carolina Panthers football game, and that’s about it.

Now, let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


Our third Halloween in Charlotte

This year’s Halloween celebration took place in two parts. We went to a Halloween party a couple of weekends ago, then we dressed up again for a neighborhood get-together with friends, followed by trick-or-treating on the actual day of Halloween earlier this week.

Our Halloween this year was super chilly, which we didn’t mind at all. While we’ve been to bigger parties the last couple of years on Halloween, this year, we kept it really small with just three other families, and that’s the way to do it. The kids played, the adults chatted, then we went around as a group to visit some houses. Our neighborhood gets a lot of trick-or-treaters, and this year may have been the most I’ve seen yet. 

Halloween 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Halloween 2023 by A Lady Goes West-1

We let Brady choose what he wanted to be for Halloween, then I got Dave and me matching costumes, all in one quick shopping trip at Spirit Halloween. Fun fact: I usually sell our costumes on Facebook marketplace after we’ve worn them, so I can recoup a little bit of the investment. 

Halloween 2023 by A Lady Goes West-3

Halloween 2023 by A Lady Goes West-4

I used to be pretty indifferent about Halloween, but it’s become super fun in the last three years of living here, that’s for sure.

Since Tuesday, Brady has been counting the candy he got trick-or-treating over and over again. My favorite candy is the 100 Grand bar, but you don’t see that one very often. What’s your favorite?


Seeing Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” film with friends

I may go see “The Eras Tour” film again, because I loved it so much. I mean, I really loved it. I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for a long time, and I’ve been to two of her in-person concerts, and she’s incredibly talented. I love her music so much. And I don’t just listen to her music for fun, I also use it often in my barre classes, because her song structure lends itself so well to creating combinations and repeating them.

I picked up this new sequins jacket specifically to wear to the film, and I have a feeling I’ll get a lot of uses out of it …

Swifties before the film by A Lady Goes West

Taylor Swift concert film by A Lady Goes West

But over and above all that, “The Eras Tour” — a filming of Taylor Swift’s complete concert in Los Angeles, minus just a couple numbers — was excellent — all three hours of it. Watching the film on the big screen made me feeI like I had a front-row seat at her actual concert — in way better seats than I could have ever swung if “The Eras Tour” had come to Charlotte and I was able to attend.

In the film, we saw up close, we saw the aerial view, we saw the fans, and we pretty much saw it all. I love how Taylor Swift and her team choreographed every element of the show (and the film) so perfectly. It was such a spectacle, and I feel like everyone in the movie theater was having a blast. For many numbers, we stood up to dance and sing, and it was totally the vibe in the room.

While I went into the film with my favorite Taylor Swift songs in mind, I came out with an era from her past I need to explore more: “Folklore.” I haven’t listened to that album very much, and I think it’s going to be on repeat for me for the next couple of weeks.

Swifties by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my pink sequins jacket. I’m in a small.)

If you’re even a little bit into music, I’d go see this film. Like I said, I may go back for round two, just because I can. And with concerts getting so expensive these days, a film is certainly a more affordable way to see a show. Say what you want about Taylor Swift, but she writes/performs amazing music, and she knows how to entertain. Go Taylor!

By the way, I made this little video about life lessons we can all learn from Taylor Swift.


“After I Do” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’ve enjoyed all of the Taylor Jenkins Reid books I’ve read so far, and “After I Do” is another good one. These books are super easy to read, the narrative flows nicely, and the subject matter is usually not too heavy. 

This book is about a married couple, who begins to grow apart, having been together since college. They come up with a plan to spend a year living separately with absolutely zero communication to decide if they want to save their marriage or not. During that year, we follow Lauren, the lead character and wife in the marriage, on her journey to find herself, while also finding out how she truly feels about love and marriage.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid by A Lady Goes West

(“After I Do” by Taylor Jenkins Reid)

I didn’t devour this book quite like I did “Carrie Soto Is Back,” but I still liked reading it. It was realistic, and it touched on a lot of real-life stuff like relationships, families and the introspection of deciding who you are, what you want and what you need in your life.

Taylor Jenkins Reid just nails easy-reading fiction to me.

I just started “Daisy Jones & the Six,” also from Taylor Jenkins Reid, and I’ll report back on it soon (my special blog-reading friend, Courtney, sent me her copy, yay).


Catching up with Florida friends on our Orlando trip

I already wrote a whole post about the awesome time we had at Disney, which you can see here. But I wanted to shout out the fun we had — in just a short window of time — catching up with three sets of Florida friends, outside of Disney property.

We had coffee with one set of friends and their kids, then we had brunch (one of the worst brunch experiences service-wise ever, but that’s besides the point, because we got a laugh out of it) with another two sets of friends, all in downtown Winter Park — just north of Disney.

Orlando friends 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Orlando girlfriends 2023 by A Lady Goes West

(Here are my shoes, here are my sunglasses, and here’s my purse.)

We had such an amazing circle around us when we lived in Florida, and I love that we can pick right back up where we left off — after all these years of living far away.

There were plenty of other friends we weren’t able to see in this short trip, but we hope to see them next time.

That’s it for the faves. Let’s get to the movement …


My workouts from the last two weeks

Now it’s time to take a look at my workouts from the last two weeks.

I share this recap to show you how I try to get diversity of movement in my week (with a focus on lifting weights), 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 10/16

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., played 90 minutes of doubles tennis, 11:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 9:30 a.m., played in a 75-minute tennis match, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Took 50-minute mind/body class, 1 p.m., taught 45-minute barre class, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class, 9:45 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

Workouts from the week of 10/23

  • Monday: Rest day (walked seven miles around Disney)
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class, 9:45 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Did 40-minute weight-room workout, 9:45 a.m. (shown below)
  • Sunday: Took 30-minute neighborhood walk, 6 p.m.

These past two weeks were a little different, because I had more time off of exercise than normal with our trip to Orlando. I missed my solo weights workout one week, but then I fit it in during the other. Here’s what my one solo workout looked like last week …

Back in the weightroom by A Lady Goes West

Best read of the week

Here’s an article worth sharing with you …

The meaning of the grasshopper. Just like we talked about finding glimmers in your life with moments that spark joy, you can also look for real-life symbols of other things that can provide meaning. This is an interesting take on what it could mean when you keep seeing grasshoppers show up in your life. It could symbolize that you’re ready to take a big leap in your life, luck is on your side or even that you should embrace freedom and take some risks. Now I’m off to look for a grasshopper …

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought worth sharing with you from James Clear

Do not spoil quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at two posts worth revisiting …

Disney fun. I loved writing this post, and I hope you saved it if you ever need help planning a Disney trip … “Our first family trip to Disney (with tips on visiting Magic Kingdom Park and more).”

Our first family trip to Disney (with tips on visiting Magic Kingdom Park and more) by A Lady Goes West

Books. Have you read any of these health and wellness books? … Five health books you should read one day (my TOP health and wellness books)

Five health books you should read one day (my TOP health and wellness books) by A Lady Goes West

That’s all I’ve got for you today! Hope you have a great start to November. 

Questions of the day for you

Did you dress up for Halloween this year? If so, what did you dress up as?

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

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  1. I Loooooove 100 Grand (and Whatchamcalits)but I stopped buying nestle and I was THRILLED to see they sold a ton of their brands, 1000Grand, Crunch, Butterfinger, BabyRuth!!
    So this year I bought bags and bags of 100 Grand

    At the Eras tour movie, was it cool to stand up, sing as if you were in the concert?
    Because I kinda really want to do that! especially at a theatre that serves wine!

    For books I LOVED Evelyn Hugo! It was my favourite over Daisy Jones, but liked it as well and the Amazon Prime tv show for Daisy Jones
    Have you read Hugo? I’ll have to pick up Carrie Soto next!

    1. Hi Sabrina! I loved the Evelyn Hugo book too! And YES, a lot of people were standing up and singing during The Eras Tour film — I truly may go back again and relive it hehe.

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