Current faves: Happy birthday Brady Oliver Pitt, a book, a show, workouts and more

Hi, friend! Today is our baby boy’s 5th birthday! It seems like such a milestone in his little life, as well as in ours for getting here. I’m planning a 5-year update on Brady soon, because I haven’t written a post exclusively about him since his 4-year update last year, and we’re due for it.

Brady on a slide by A Lady Goes West

Before we begin: To all of my Florida readers, I’m hoping you’re safe and well after the storm. I will always remember what going through Hurricane Charley was like on Friday, August 13th, 2004 in Charlotte County, and I never want to repeat that experience. I’m sending you some positive healing and swift rebuilding vibes after a truly terrible natural disaster.

Now back to business: Brady’s school is cancelled today due to a tropical storm warning in our area, so other than hitting the gym so I can teach my class, we’ll be hanging out, celebrating and preparing for his big birthday bash tomorrow. Fun fact: We planned an outdoor party with a bounce house, but because of the remnants of Hurricane Ian, we’ll likely be switching to our alternative rain plan in our garage, and I’m crossing my fingers we can pull it off.

This past week was a good one in our world here in Charlotte, outside of nervously watching the storm footage from down south. We started it off with a dinner guest. One of Dave’s previous coworkers from the Orlando Magic was in town for a golf tournament, so he joined us for a pizza party, and it was great to catch up. Then the next day, my mom arrived, and she’s officially here for good, and it couldn’t have been better timing because it means she was out of Southwest Florida before the hurricane came through. She’s staying with us for the next week, and then will be moving into her own place once her stuff arrives next week.

Other than that, this week, I taught my usual classes and subbed an extra barre class, and a sweet friend came as my guest to try my class and hang out, which I always love. I also taught a brand new hour of barbell, and I’m happy to have that out there, so I can spend less time on class preparation the next couple of weeks, until it’s time to do it all over again. In addition to all that, I had a Beautycounter meeting, I went to tennis, I got my nails done, and I helped my mom move a few things into her new place and more. It was a full week, and the fullest part is still to come this weekend.

Ashley after tennis on a Tuesday by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Tiffany at LifeBarre by A Lady Goes West

This weekend, of course, we have the big party, and I’m taking Brady somewhere special just the two of us. If you want to follow along with us, check out my Instagram stories. But for now, let’s move into the faves for the day …

Current faves


Finishing “My Friend Anna”

Well, friend. Oftentimes, the book is way better than the movie. But in the case of “My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress,” the Netflix docu-series on the same topic, “Inventing Anna,” is actually way better. (I wrote my thoughts on the Netflix series here.)

I checked out this book from the library, and I’m glad I don’t own a copy. There were many things I didn’t like about it, but at the same time, I read it pretty quickly, and I truly enjoyed reading it. So you could say I have very mixed feelings. I was so excited to read this book, and I really dug in, but parts of it felt strange and empty, and parts of it felt inauthentic. Let me explain …

The author, Rachel DeLoache Williams, is a photo editor at Vanity Fair, who met, became friends with and was then conned by Anna Delvey, the fake German heiress who swept through Manhattan a few years ago pretending to be someone she wasn’t. This book is Williams’ side of the story, and she talks a lot about her life, how Anna became a part of it, and then she also talks about how she was conned out of money by Anna. After getting very frustrated with Anna, she helped the police bring Anna in for this and other crimes. The book ended with Williams testifying in Anna’s trial and ultimately learning the final verdict.

My Friend Anna book by A Lady Goes West

(“My Friend Anna” by Rachel DeLoache Williams)

Many parts of Williams’ story are different from the Netflix show (Netflix admits that many parts of its story were adjusted, rearranged or made up to support the storyline), and so I was disappointed when reading the book that things weren’t as they were in the show. This isn’t really Williams’ fault, but I didn’t like that. I found myself wondering who to believe, and you really want to trust the author of a story. Maybe it was how the character of “Rachel” was shown in the series (which was not a positive portrayal), but I went in skeptical of her as a person.

I got the feeling that Williams was trying too hard in the book. She talked in great detail about little things unrelated to the story, and she used really big words that were obscure and unnecessary almost like she was trying to sound smart. But I could tell from her words how embarrassed and hurt she was by the fact that she was conned by someone she trusted. That’s not something I’ve ever experienced and hope I never do. It must feel so awful. 

Well, in closing, “My Friend Anna” is not as good as the Netflix series. But the story itself is just so captivating, and even with its faults, the book is a definitely a good read. Yet, I almost wish I had read it before watching the series. So if you’re planning to do both, I’d start with the book, and let me know how that goes for you. 

Overall, not a super favorite, but a current favorite worth mentioning. You know what I mean?


Watching “Dopesick” on Hulu

I hadn’t heard about this true story docu-series, “Dopesick,” until Dave and I watched a portion of the Emmy’s awards ceremony a few weeks ago and this series received a ton of nominations.

We decided to look it up (having been on a docu-series kick lately, as you may have noticed), and we went for it. This eight-episode series is gripping. It’s maddening. It’s sad. It’s so hard to watch.

Dopesick by A Lady Goes West

(Image source: Hulu.)

And it’s all about the opioid epidemic in small-town America, and how the drug Oxycontin produced and marketed by Purdue Pharma truly ruined hundreds of thousands of lives. The drug was a lot more addictive than Purdue’s marketing stated, and the series followed some people who became addicted and how that affected their families and communities. 

It’s really a terrible tragedy how it all went down. I did some reading on what actually happened to Purdue after a big court case against them for misleading claims, and it appears as though the family that owned and ran Purdue at the time, the Sacklers, was and still is one of the wealthiest families in America — even after all they knowingly did. Yuck. Nonetheless, the series was so well done and very captivating, but it’s also gritty and raw and hard to watch.

Little delights

Just a few little things worth sharing …

  • Brady and I bought our Halloween costumes this past weekend, and we’re going to match. This is the earliest we’ve ever been prepared. Props to us.
  • My brother, Matthew, and my sister-in-law, Stephanie, are heading up for Brady’s party this weekend, and we’re so pumped to have them here to celebrate our little man.
  • This week in my tennis clinic, my pro said that I had a “breakthrough” and I’ve been riding the high of that compliment for days. Shortly after she said it, I messed up a ton, but I still felt happy about her comment in the moment.

Those are the faves!


My workouts from last week

Here’s where I share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity in my week, 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. 

New weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

Workouts from the week of 9/19

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 45-minute Strength Conditioning via Les Mills+ at home, 10 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class with weights, 9:45 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 20-minute full-body weights via Peloton at home, 10 a.m.
  • Sunday: 45-minute slow neighborhood walk, 10 a.m.

This past week was a great one for workouts, because I spent time doing my own solo strength workouts two times. The highlight (other than teaching, because that’s always the most fun), was the Strength Development workout I did on Les Mills+. It was so good and hard and focused on less repetitions and heavier weight, which I always enjoy, but I don’t make time for as much as I should. I’m going to do more of the Strength Conditioning workouts (there are 12 in the series), and I’ll report back as I move through them.

Les Mills Strength Conditioning by A Lady Goes West

By the way, if you want to try Les Mills+, I have a free 30-day trial offer for you here. I did the workout with my trusty Les Mills Smartbar (shown above), and I’m so glad I have the right equipment to lift weights at home, even if I don’t do it as much as I’d like. 

Discount of the week …

Beautycounter has been offering a really good new-client deal for the last few months, and it’s ending today. If you’re interested in some nontoxic makeup or skincare, and you want to shop with me and save 30 percent off your first order, head here and use the code CLEANFORALL30 before this deal is gone for the year. Fill out this survey if you need help picking out what’s best for your skin, or just send me an email or DM. Thanks, friend, for the support!

My new favorite item is this very neutral lip conditioner in the shade twig. I’ve been wearing it every day!

Skin conditioner by A Lady Goes West

Best resource of the week …

Here’s a resource that I wanted to share with you:

A positive follow. I spent some time watching the annual Beautycounter LEAD conference videos this past week, and the keynote speaker was personal development coach, Brendon Burchard. He was excellent and so motivating. I loved so many of his insights into living a big and fulfilling life and asking yourself the same questions every morning to stay focused and aligned with your goals. If you’re not yet following his work, you can find him on Instagram and Facebook.

Quote of the week …

Here’s a thought I shared on Instagram that I wanted to share here too:

What other people think quote by A Lady Goes West


Blog archives of the week …

Let’s look back at two blog posts worth revisiting, including a recent one:

Protein powder. Thanks for your support on this sponsored post all about protein powder … “How to use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake.”

How to use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake by A Lady Goes West

Loosen up. This is a post that is worthy of revisiting if you’re on the strict side with your food and fitness and find that it’s not serving you … “How to learn to be less rigid to find your real health.”

How to learn to be less rigid to find your real health by A Lady Goes West

That’s everything, my friend! Take care, and see you back here soon! 🙂 

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

What’s one thing you’re planning to work on next week?

Have you ever lived through a natural disaster?



  1. How was your week? it was a bit stressful but manageable (never lived thru a natural disaster, thank god) hope you and fam are safe this weekend w/ the hurricane. I saw Inventing Anna, and liked it and glad you gave a review about the book, i wont buy it. I bought Kelly Ripas book, live wire, its really good!

    What’s one thing you’re planning to work on next week? to work out more (i skipped alot this week) so other than work…i plan on hitting the gym mon/wed/Sat and see my trainer in between.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hope you guys have a great fun weekend, celebrating his b’day and hope the rain doesn’t ruin it!

    1. Hi Stacy! I’m glad you are safe! Such a scary time — and this hurricane was bigger and worse than many of the others that have come through Florida. Thanks for the tip on Kelly Ripa’s book — I LOVE a real-life celeb bio, so I’ll put that on my list. And don’t worry about skipping some workouts, that happens, and as long as you get back on this week, you’ll be golden. Take care, and thanks for saying hi, as always! 🙂 xoxox

  2. Happy birthday to Brady! Hope you guys have a great time with family/friends celebrating your little guy! Glad your mom is safe and was able to move before the storm!

    1. Thank you, Joanna! I feel like Charlotte is hunkering down for a big storm, so let’s hope we don’t actually get too much bad weather! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  3. Hey! It seems like the only place you lived where Hurricane Ian hasn’t impacted is SF Bay Area (where I live). Here’s hoping your friends and you in Florida (Orlando/Tampa Area) and in the Charlotte, North Carolina area are hunkering down safe and sound.

    1. Hi Benjamin! You are right! No hurricanes in the Bay Area, but we did go through a couple of earthquakes and a ton of poor air quality from forest fires, so I guess it all evens out heheh. Hoping this weekend here is nothing but some heavy rain, but we shall see. Be well and take care, friend! 🙂

  4. Happy birthday Brady! I’ve never had to experience any natural disaster but living in South Africa sometimes feels like a disaster in itself. We’re currently going through stages where we have no electricity for hours at a time, what is known as loadshedding. I am glad your mom is safe and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. Hi Shelby, I know about your power outages in South Africa, because our best friend Grant’s family lives there, and he explained to us — sounds very annoying, but I guess it has to happen. I’m glad, at least, you haven’t had any hurricanes or anything more scary! Thank you for saying hi, friend! 🙂

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