Current faves: Hello from Ohio, life, a great fiction book, TV and workouts

Hi, friend! What’s new? Greetings from Ohio, and welcome to the month of September!

It’s been a whirlwind over here, because I got back from Nashville on Sunday evening from my girls’ trip, and then Dave, Brady, Rudy and I headed out for Columbus, Ohio on Thursday afternoon. We drove here, which marked our longest ever road-trip as a family, and it went okay, and it took just under eight hours. (By the way, if you didn’t read about my Nashville trip, it was totally amazing, and you can see the blog recap here, and the video recap here.)

This Ohio trip came up only a few weeks ago. Shortly after my miscarriage, I took a look at everything I had coming up and decided I wanted to throw in more fun and adventure. That’s just what we did. We asked our besties (Grant and Bre) if they had Labor Day plans, and they didn’t, so we said we were coming up. We didn’t mind inviting ourselves at all, nor did they mind us doing it either. About a week after that, Grant sent us a detailed itinerary on all the things we’d do during the trip. And this is why we love these folks. They knew just what we needed and wanted. I love having things to look forward to.

Before we left for Ohio, this short week was super eventful. I worked, went to tennis, took Brady to his preschool open house, and I taught a few of my regular classes, but I also got a sub for my evening class so I could go to a concert with Dave in the middle of the week. We went to the Dispatch/O.A.R. concert, and it was so good. I love nearly all live music, and we had seen Dispatch before. These are rock bands, and their songs are super chill. I bought these tickets for Dave for our anniversary back in May, and the concert seemed so far off then. But now it has officially come and gone.

This weekend, we’ll be going to the Columbus Zoo, hanging out with our besties and their kiddos and doing a lot of what the Columbus area has to offer in just three nights and three days. And, we’re going to be seeing my brother, Matthew, and his wife, Stephanie, because they’re on their way up to go to the Ohio State game. We didn’t even know they’d be here when we planned the trip, so it’s a bonus! I’ll be checking in on Instagram stories, so say hello over there.

Alright, let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


“In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle

This book was so good, and I devoured it in three sittings.

Someone suggested “In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle to me, and I was on the waiting list at the library for it for a while. I had been trying to get through another novel when this one arrived and finally decided to abandon the last book and head over to this one.

This book is an easy and quick read, and it made me very emotional at times, and from the second I started reading it, I was glad I switched. I’ve decided I will no longer force myself to read/finish books that I’m having trouble getting through.

In Five Years book by A Lady Goes West

(In Five Years” by Rebecca Serle)

This fictional tale is about a very routine-oriented workaholic goal-getter female in NYC who has her life laid out for her. But she has a dream about herself five years in the future, and it’s totally different than what she was on track for. The rest of the novel is about how things in her life unfold to head in that new direction — but there are a lot of twists and turns and tragedy along the way. The ending was not at all what I expected, and I liked that.

I totally cried on the plane on the way to Nashville and at home in my own bed while reading this book. Even though there were some parts I didn’t totally agree with, I just enjoyed the narrative, the writing and the escape. I’d definitely recommend this, if you like realistic fiction.

Apparently, the author, Rebecca Serle, has two other really popular books called “The Dinner List” and “One Italian Summer,” which I may pick up one day soon.


My animal print purse strap

This is a fun one. A purse strap!

I bought this animal print purse strap almost a year ago, but I didn’t pull it out of its plastic bag to use until my girls’ weekend in Nashville.

How did I end up with this strap? Well, I noticed a lot of ladies at my gym had these cool purse straps, so I asked someone and they told me to check Amazon. Who would’ve thought you can change out your purse straps? You can! And there are so many strap patterns to choose from.

New animal print purse strap by A Lady Goes West

I put the strap on this purse, which I wear all the time, and it worked perfectly. I loved having a pop of color and pattern over the black shirt dress I wore during the daytime in Nashville while we were shopping and having lunch.

And I could also put this purse strap on my black crossbody bag. Using this made me think of what other straps may work with what I’ve got — such a simple (and cheap) way to switch up your bag situation, right?


“Bad Vegan” on Netflix

When Dave was gone on a work trip last week, I had some time to myself in the evenings. And while I usually use that time to work, I decided instead to watch a Netflix docu-series special I had heard good things about.

“Bad Vegan” is not at all about food or veganism, it’s a true story about a vegan restaurateur who meets a guy who convinces her she is earning her place in a special transformative afterlife. Because of this relationship, she loses it all while trying to pass a series of tests to show her worth, and a very crazy store ensues.

Bad Vegan by A Lady Goes West

(Image source: Netflix.)

I mean, it’s weird, and it’s almost hard to believe, but it’s a totally true story. In fact, the actual restaurant or “bad vegan” is interviewed and shares her full account of how and why she believed this man. There are four episodes, and I was totally pulled in and watched them all over the course of two nights, which I never do.

I’m very much into documentaries and docu-series right now, if you can’t tell. And if you are too, add this one to your list. It’s just about as crazy as “Inventing Anna” and “The Tinder Swindler.”


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 8/22

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., took 90-minute walk with friend, 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., taught 1-hour barbell class, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Took 1-hour treadmill/balance class, 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: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day 

This past week was good! I took two nice rest days while in Nashville, I had a walk with a friend, I subbed an extra barbell class, and I returned to Ultra Fit at Life Time, which is the treadmill/balance class I’ve been going to for a few weeks. It’s so hard, and I love that I’m switching it up. I didn’t fit it any yoga, but I’ll get back to it soon.

Best read of the week …

Here’s an article that I wanted to share with you:

Home safety tips. I’ve always wanted to live in a two-story house, but now that I’ve been in one for a year-and-a-half, it is a little nerve-wracking to think about Brady on the stairs so much. He’s fallen down them once (amazingly, he didn’t get hurt, but it was so awful), and I’m constantly reminding him to go slow and hold on. I sometimes worry I’ll trip too. But other than that, there are other little accidents that can happen at home, and I hate thinking about the potential of them. I thought this article from an ER doctor on how to prepare to avoid some emergencies was a good one worth sharing with you.

Quote of the week …

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

Dull your sparkle 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:

Nashville fun. This trip was fantastic on so many levels, and here’s the recap, with details on why we went, what we did and how it all felt too … “One amazing girls’ weekend in Nashville.”

Supper Club in Nashville by A Lady Goes West

Specifics. This post is all about little things I’ve done in the last couple of years that have been beneficial and positive for my life … “Specific improvements I’ve made in the last year for my health and life.”

Specific improvements I've made in the last year for my health and life by A Lady Goes West

That’s all for today! You can catch me over on Instagram stories, until I’m back here with a report next week. I’ll have that post for you later in the week. Enjoy your (hopefully long) weekend, my friend!

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

Have you read anything good lately?

Are you doing anything special for the Labor Day weekend in the U.S.?

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  1. Have a great time with your friends! I also like docu series and will have to check that one out! I recently watched one that was shocking/ disturbing (they usually all are right?!) called Keep Sweet Pray and Obey. It’s about Warren Jeffs and what happened. Netflix truly has so many crazy docu series. Have a fun weekend!

  2. I’m very into documentaries right now, too! I suggest The Most Hated Man On The Internet, and also The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist. Both on Netflix.

    This weekend I want to watch the Woodstock 99 one – yikes!!

    Have fun in Ohio!

      1. We watched that too, I forgot! My hubby is an ND grad and we lived near the campus when this story broke out. So terrible this happened to him. It reminded us of a movie we watched not too long ago. Click bait, so good! Great movie with a twist in the end.

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