Current faves: Healing, a business book, Vegas highlights, workouts and more

Hi, friend. How was your week?

Mine was about as good as you can expect after experiencing another loss and surgery. And if you missed that news, here’s what I’m talking about.

I’m doing okay, I guess. While initially I thought I was feeling much stronger after my surgery this time last week, the next several days were filled with sadness and moderate-to-heavy cramping and abdominal pain. I even went back to the doctor to get it checked out. It’s a lot better now, and I’m officially back to teaching my classes. But the emotional part is lingering. I’m just so much more sad this time. I found myself unexpectedly in tears a few times this week when I was out and about, so that’s a real thing. 

I would like to thank so many of you who not only left thoughtful comments on my posts about the miscarriage, but I’d also like to thank those of you who reached out directly to me with personal messages. It truly does help to hear from others about their experiences. I’ve been so touched by all of that, and I’ve been so touched by some of my dear friends who’ve sent me beautiful flowers and brought over dinner too.

Beautiful flowers by A Lady Goes West

Badass flowers by A Lady Goes West

I was able to get a regular current faves post up for you today, and that’s because I had already prepared much of this current faves post last week, but never finished it to publish because of everything else that happened. But it’s ready now.

Let’s get to the current faves of the week …

Current faves of the week


“Business is Personal” by Bethenny Frankel

I didn’t know that this book existed, but I took Brady to the library a few weeks ago and did a loop through the nonfiction new releases and found it on the shelf. Bethenny Frankel is a former cast member on “The Real Housewives of New York” and also an entrepreneur, who has sold a couple big brands. She’s entertaining on reality TV, so I was intrigued about what her book would be like.

Business is Personal: The Truth About What it Takes to Be Successful While Staying True to Yourself” by Bethenny Frankel is definitely a business-oriented book. I was hoping for a little more personal information, but I think Frankel probably shared more of that in her previous book, which I didn’t read.

This book is all about business deals, contracts, partnerships and projects that Frankel has worked on, and how she’s gone with her gut to make decisions and become successful. 

Bethenny Frankel Business is Personal by A Lady Goes West
(“Business is Personal” by Bethenny Frankel)

I started this book on my way to Las Vegas for IDEA World two weeks ago, and I got more than 200 pages read on the way there. I finished the book the next night before bed, so I went through it quickly. 

The information is great, but when you read it all at once, there does seem to be some repetition, which you may not notice if you read it in smaller chunks. Frankel tells it like it is, and she does seem very honest, but she’s not a captivating writer. I’d say the writing was average at best, but the lessons were good.

She stresses the importance of getting in the game and not sitting on the sidelines and waiting for something to come to you. She talks about how it’s pretty hard to be a success, and you’ll definitely have struggles and failures along the way. She talks about saying exactly what you mean. Frankel is known for being very direct with her communication, and she does reference that in the book as a major benefit to her in business. And I believe that. She also talks about how you’re only as good as your weakest link in life, and sometimes that’s a relationship, a coworker or even a system that you need to fix. If you don’t address your weak link, you may never be able to move forward. That’s a pretty powerful thing, if you think about it.

There are plenty of other business lessons in the text, but I’ll leave those for you to discover if you choose to read the book. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, it could be interesting to read about Frankel’s experiences in the business world, and you may get something out of it for your personal life too. Once again, a good read.


Fun times, good food and the best backpack

While I shared a very lengthy recap of my trip to IDEA World in Las Vegas, I didn’t get a chance to share some of the behind-the-scenes fun stuff yet, so this is a good time for that.

This marked my FIRST solo trip since summer 2019, when I went to IDEA World in Los Angeles, and I had no idea during that trip what was about to happen in the world (or in my life) over the next year. Isn’t it crazy to think about pre-pandemic? Oh how things were different. And of course, now you know that I went through this trip thinking I was almost 10-weeks pregnant …

Some highlights …

Friend time

Hanging out with my friend, Giselle, who I first met through the blogging world, then in person in 2015 at my first IDEA World in Los Angeles. Giselle and I were roommates and hung out between sessions and in the evening. She’s super sweet, and she’s an amazing health/fitness coach who works one-on-one with people, so look her up if that’s something you need.

Ashley and Giselle at Westgate by A Lady Goes West

Really good food

It wasn’t easy to get good healthy food at our hotel, but we did take an outing to Caesar’s Palace mall to eat at True Food Kitchen, and dang … it was even tastier than I remember. Most of you know, I miss the food in California, and True Food Kitchen was one of my favorites.

I not only had True Food Kitchen one night with Giselle at the restaurant, but I also had it delivered to me at the hotel, on my last night when I was alone. Boy, I wish we had a True Food Kitchen in Charlotte. I had the grass-fed burger with half sweet potato and kale and a tasty non-alcoholic beverage. Mmm.

True Food meal by A Lady Goes West

A backpack

Finally, I bought this new backpack in anticipation of this trip, and I was so excited to finally pull it out. I’ve mentioned (and shared) many times about the MZ Wallace brand, and I had wanted one of their backpacks for a while. They are soft, roomy an even machine washable. It’s definitely a splurge, but I have a history of using my backpacks for many years, and I know this will be the same.

Blue MZ Wallace backpack by A Lady Goes West


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 7/18

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 20-minute full-body weights at home via Peloton, 10 a.m.
  • Thursday: 45-minute HIGH Fitness at IDEA World, 7:30 a.m. and 45-minute Pumped Up Strength at IDEA World, 4 p.m.
  • Friday: 45-minute Barre Above at IDEA World, 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 90-minute barre legs workshop at IDEA World, 7:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: (Rest day) Took a 45-minute neighborhood walk, 6 p.m.

This past week of movement was definitely different, as I spent part of the week in Las Vegas for the IDEA World Convention. I walked so much all of the days I was there and also did some movement in all of my workshops, but I’m only noting the more continuous movement above in my recap. It was so good to get out of my routine, learn new skills and moves and even take some lighter/rest days too. Feeling good in my workouts and so happy to have had the chance to broaden my horizons at IDEA World.

Workouts from the week of 7/25

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 9:30 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: Rest day
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Took a slow 35-minute neighborhood walk, 10 a.m.

This past week was supposed to be a return to my normal schedule. But of course, after I learned about the miscarriage and needed to get the D&E, I took some time off of exercise. I went on one slow walk, but otherwise, a few full rest days were definitely needed.

Best read of the week …

Processed vs. unprocessed foods. This is a very helpful infographic from Precision Nutrition, which explains the difference between minimally processed, ultra-processed and whole foods. In it, you’ll learn why it’s okay to eat some from every category, but you’ll also learn why eating less processed food more frequently can improve your health. Great tips and examples in this one, so it’s worthy of a click.

Quote of the week …

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

Something wonderful 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:

IDEA recap. I spent a lot of time sharing what I learned and what may be interesting to you, so I hope you had a chance to check it out … “What I learned at IDEA World Convention 2022 in Las Vegas.”

Ashley at IDEA World 2022 by A Lady Goes West
Improve your mood. Because sometimes you need to be proactive to feel a bit better … “Five ways to improve a bad mood when you don’t want to be in one.

Five ways to improve a bad mood when you don't want to be in one by A Lady Goes West

That’s all I’ve got for you today, my friend. Once again, thank you for reading, and thank you for being here for the good and the bad. Be well out there.

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

Do you have a favorite chain restaurant? If so, which one and why?

Have you read anything good lately?


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