Current faves: Hello June, “The Light We Carry,” shorts, life and more

Hi, friend! How are you? Welcome to the month of June!

This week was not great, to be honest. I was a little under the weather for some of it, but I powered through and taught some classes, did some work and also laid around quite a bit. I got a lot of help from Dave and my mom, and I appreciate them greatly. And this past week reminded me how lucky I am to have people to rely on. Not much else to report right now, so let’s get right to the current faves of the day …

Current faves


“The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” by Michelle Obama

This book was such a pleasant read!

I read Michelle Obama’s first book, “Becoming,” a couple years ago, and I absolutely loved it. I remember thinking that she had an amazing writing style that pulled me in completely. Her style is incredibly conversational (which is my preference), and although she jumps around in time frames, she makes it work so well by leaving the right breadcrumbs along the way, so you can follow along. 

The Light We Carry by A Lady Goes West

(“The Light We Carry” by Michelle Obama)

The Light We Carry” picks up after “Becoming” left off, yet it takes a slightly different turn.

While “Becoming” was a detailed history of Obama, in which she shared about her upbringing, her career path, her courtship with Barrack and her experiences in the White House, “The Light We Carry” includes personal stories from her time as First Lady, and it also includes a lot of learnings and lessons that Obama picked up along the way. She wrote this book during the COVID lockdown, from what I understand, and it was meant to be a motivational tale, with inspiring tidbits to keep people going when things seem tough. As she saw it, America was going through a hard time, but we could each do our part to help right the ship.

Even though I know the name Obama sparks division, this book is not a political book. Yes, Obama talks about some of the initiatives she tried to work on as a First Lady, and yes, she talks about some of the injustices and disappointments that took place in America after her husband left office — but mostly, this book is about bringing people together, and it’s about personal development.

While I won’t spoil the book for you in case you want to read it, one idea (of many) that I loved was that of nurturing and creating for yourself “a kitchen table” of people in your corner. Obama is big on female friendship and she talked a lot about working on her personal friendships and cultivating them — and these are people she could sit with in her kitchen and discuss any problem. I think that’s special, and we all should be lucky enough to have that — and it takes effort to create those relationships.

I have the utmost respect for Michelle Obama. And in “The Light We Carry” she talks very specifically about how her approach has been to toe-the-line in the beginning when presented with a new situation, before researching, understanding and then pushing for change in a gentle and positive way. This is incredibly sound advice that any of us could use in our jobs, homes and even personal lives.

While I wouldn’t say this book gripped me quite like “Becoming,” I did think it was an excellent read, and I’m glad I made it through it. I’ve been reading very slowly lately, and this was the first book I’ve finished in a while. 


The perfect light summer shorts

My mom and I went through Old Navy a few weeks ago and picked up some great stuff, and I’ve been debuting a lot of the pieces in my very casual mom life.

Fun fact: If you’re an Old Navy in-store shopper, always check the prices of the items you want on the Old Navy website as well, because if they’re cheaper online, you can usually do a “store pick-up” while you’re there and save on your purchases. I do this all the time.

Ashley and Brady on the trail by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing a small in these shorts. And here’s my hat.)

Let’s get to the perfect summer shorts (shown above). They are a sweat-wicking performance fabric, they have a high-waist, big pockets, and they feel like you could work out in them or wear them to the mall. I’m a fan, and I may need more colors, because it’s definitely shorts season here in South Charlotte, and I can never get enough. I’m wearing a small in these shorts

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


My workouts from last week

Now it’s time to take a look at my workouts from last week.

I share this recap to show you how I try to get diversity of movement 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, 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 5/22

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., played 60 minutes of tennis, 11:30 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, 9:45 a.m., took 60-minute tennis clinic, 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week was an okay one. I taught six classes, played tennis twice and took two completely inactive rest days. I wasn’t feeling great over the weekend and had planned to fit in my solo weights workout, but decided to give myself a break instead. Oh well. The highlight of my workout week was having Dave in my class last Friday, on our anniversary … 🙂 

Ashley and Dave in barbell by A Lady Goes West

Best read of the week

Here’s an article worth sharing with you …

10 types of protein-rich meat and what to look for on the label. Calling all meat eaters. For many years, I didn’t really want to eat meat and probably only had a steak a handful of times a year. But not any longer, I’m actively trying to get more protein and animal protein in my diet and I eat meat several times a week now. When I buy beef, I try to make sure it’s grass-fed (which is better for the animals and better for you), and there are different types of meat with different benefits to look out for. Check out this article of the top 10 types of meat per protein content and what to look for on the label when you buy meat.

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought worth sharing with you from The Chalkboard Mag

How to be happy quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at two posts worth revisiting, including the latest from earlier this week …

Father’s Day. We’re just over two weeks out from Father’s Day. Are you shopping for a dad in your life this year? If so, I’ve got you covered with some ideas here … “The best Father’s Day gifts for 2023.”

The best Father's Day gifts for 2023 by A Lady Goes West

Morning beverage. I’ve been drinking this morning beverage for years and years. Here’s how I do it … “How I make my morning collagen tea latte.”

How I make my morning collagen tea latte by A Lady Goes West

That’s it for today. Thank you for reading A Lady Goes West. Be well, friend! 🙂 

Questions of the day for you

How was your week?

Have you read anything good lately?

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to in June?

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