Current faves: Holden Beach trip, Matthew’s visit, “Game of Thrones” and more

Hi, friend! How are you? We’re due for a current faves post, and we have a lot to catch up on!

Things have been busy, but mostly good, over here. We’re three weeks into the school-year and figuring things out. This week, so far, I’ve worked, taught some classes, done all the usual mom stuff while Dave was on a short trip, played in a tennis match (my partner and I won our line, which felt great, although our team didn’t win), and I also took Brady to his final swim lesson at Life Time.

Tuesday night tennis winners by A Lady Goes West

For a little back-story: I started Brady in weekly small-group 30-minute swim lessons in June 2021, shortly after I started working at Life Time (he didn’t ever learn to swim in California, because he was never around pools, so it wasn’t a top concern his first three years of life). And when I first started taking Brady to lessons, not only could he not swim, he also wouldn’t even get his hair wet. These days, he’s passed his swim test — making it all the way across the long lap pool — he dives in, and he’s pretty confident in the water. While he still enjoys his weekly lesson just as a good time, it’s been clear to me we need to free up a night in our schedule, so we decided to move on from swimming. That means, we’ll now have Monday nights as our free weeknight, with activities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, after school. I think that should be doable, and it feels good knowing the first weeknight of the week is our one that’s off, you know?

Moving on … with my two girls’ weekends just a week apart, my brother visiting and the pizza party we hosted around Labor Day, the last month has been completely action packed on the weekends. I’m excited to say this weekend should be a little more tame. I have a tennis practice with my team, and Brady has a soccer game, and that’s pretty much it, other than preparing a new hour of Barbell Strength for Monday.

Now, let’s get to the current faves of the day …

Current faves


Holden Beach girls’ weekend trip

A couple weekends ago, I went to Holden Beach, North Carolina for a girls’ weekend trip with my neighborhood friends, and it was so wonderful. I had never been to a North Carolina beach before, and it was such a chill environment. Holden Beach is about 3.5 hours from Charlotte, and once you get there, you truly feel like you’re in a beach town and away from everything else. It’s small. It’s mostly homes on a beach strip. And it’s got a very laid-back vibe. 

Holden Beach babes at night by A Lady Goes West

Holden Beach house by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing this two-piece set in a medium.)

My group is lucky that one of our girlfriend’s parents has a beach house on the main drag in Holden Beach, so that’s where we stayed. You can get rentals in Holden Beach, but there are no hotels or high-rises, which keeps it a less-populated area. 

Over the course of the weekend, we took beach walks, we sat in beach chairs soaking up the sun, we devoured some delicious cheeseboards, we played fun card games, we had serious conversations, we laughed a lot, and we played in the rough ocean waters — getting knocked around and around, which was a core memory for me from this trip.

Holden Beach cheese board by A Lady Goes West

Holden Beach by A Lady Goes West

Holden Beach girls weekend by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing this red one-piece swimsuit, and it’s super comfy for a beach day. I’m in a small, long torso size.)

To be honest, I also loved the car rides there and back, because it was such a great time to hang out and chat. I’m so thankful that I have these ladies in my life, and this weekend trip was a time to celebrate that, and we were also there to celebrate our friend, Andrea’s, birthday, so the whole thing was elevated.

By the way, we went out to dinner at Oyster Rock, about 40 minutes from the house where we were staying, and we had some delicious seafood there. Otherwise, we just walked from the beach, back to the house, over and over again, oftentimes while bare foot.

Oyster Rock party by A Lady Goes West

My friends and I said we want to make this beach trip an annual thing, and I’m all for that. We’re all busy moms with a lot going on, and we made this trip happen with the help of others. I love that so much. Big thanks to Andrea and her parents for hosting our group … we had the perfect beach experience! I couldn’t have asked for more from my first North Carolina beach trip.

Holden Beach girls by A Lady Goes West

(I’m wearing this dress in a small.)

P.S. I made a video about our time in Holden Beach here.


A visit from my brother

Last weekend, we were so happy to have my brother, Matthew, visit us from Atlanta. Even though we’re only 4-hours apart, we don’t see as much of Matthew and his wife, Stephanie, as we’d like. Stephanie wasn’t able to make this trip (she was at home caring for their senior dog), so Matthew came by himself, and it was really great to get some time with him. In fact, Matthew, my mom and I hadn’t been together since Thanksgiving, so we were all due for a get together.

OpenTap pic by A Lady Goes West

Matthew at Life Time by A Lady Goes West

OpenTap pic by A Lady Goes West-1

Brady talked about Uncle Matthew’s visit for days before it happened, and the first thing he wanted to do when Matthew arrived was play Legos with him.

Throughout the weekend, we chilled, we chatted, we took a family walk, we went to Life Time for a workout (this was Matthew’s first time there, and he was wowed by how big and nice Life Time is), I took him to try cryotherapy for the first time too (which he loved), we went to Brady’s first soccer game of the season (which was hilarious), we tried out a new local place called, OpenTap, we had a pizza night at home made by Dave, we played Uno, and we did regular stuff together. I loved it, and I hope we can make another visit happen again soon.


Finishing the “Game of Thrones” series

No one is as surprised as me that I watched “Game of Thrones.” It has a lot of violence, it’s gruesome, it’s a period piece, and it’s not my style at all. But I had heard so many good things about it, and Dave really wanted to see it … so we finally decided to dive in with it. We started watching it a few months ago and made our way through all eight seasons pretty quickly, usually watching three or four episodes a week.

I cringed a lot during many of the violent parts of this show, but I also enjoyed the storytelling, the cinematography and how it was produced like a real movie. It was so involved, from the costumes, to the settings, to the battle scenes and more.

Game of Thrones show by A Lady Goes West

(Image source: HBO.)

I loved the first two seasons the best, but I think all eight of them were pretty good. I’m not sure how I thought the series would end, and I do think … ultimately, it ended in a fairly satisfying way.

There’s not much else to say on this, but I’m glad I decided to open myself up to a sort of show that I normally wouldn’t, because it was truly very good programming. But right now, I’m ready for us to watch something a bit lighter, you know? Another older/popular series we’ve never seen is “The Sopranos,” so we may start that one day soon. What are you watching right now, friend? 

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 9/4

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., played 90 minutes of doubles tennis, 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 9:30 a.m., played in 100-minute doubles tennis match, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 30-minute weight-room workout, 12 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: Played 90 minutes of doubles tennis, 6 p.m.

Workouts from the week of 9/11

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m., played 90 minutes of doubles tennis, 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 30-minute weight-room workout, 12 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: Did 30-minute weight-room workout, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Took 30-minute neighborhood walk, 6 p.m.

I’m doing okay with my movement and workouts lately. My solo workouts have been incredibly short, but at least I’m still trying to fit them in most weeks. Really, no complaints here in the workout department, so that’s good.

Best watch of the week

Here’s a video worth sharing with you …

Freedom Park. For my Charlotte residents, take a look at this quick video I did for Neighborhood TV about my favorite park, near Uptown Charlotte. This is the first park we visited when we moved here, and I love to spend time there. These video projects have been so fun for us to go out and shoot. See if you can catch Brady a couple times in this one. 🙂 

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought worth sharing with you from Tiny Buddha. I love the idea of a “glimmer,” and I’m going to do my best to find more of these in my day. I can think of a few off the top of my head right now. Can you? 

Glimmer quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at two posts worth revisiting …

Best workout sneakers. I’ve talked about this particular style of sneaker for a long time, and I finally decided to do a full post about it … “Best workout sneakers: Why the Reebok Nano X2 is my favorite training shoe ever.”

Best workout sneakers Why the Reebok Nano X2 is my favorite training shoe ever by A Lady Goes West

Wellness on a budget. Because being healthy shouldn’t/doesn’t have to be expensive … “Six ways to save money on health and wellness (wellness on a budget).”

Six ways to save money on health and wellness (wellness on a budget) by A Lady Goes West

That’s the post for today, friend. Be well, and I’ll see you back here soon! 

Questions of the day for you

Have you ever been to one of the Carolina beaches?

Are you watching a good TV series right now?

What’s a glimmer in your life?



  1. Wonderful post, Ashley! So great to see your mom, Matt, and you together. (Along with Brady, of course!)

    Thanks for sharing your adventures with your readers!

  2. Oh my god, you are going to love the Sopranos! It took me a little while to really get into it but it quickly became one of my all-time favorite shows! Maybe I’m biased because my husband and I watched it when I was pregnant with my firstborn so the show always reminds me of that special time in our lives.

    Your beach trip looks like such a fun time!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Sarah! I can totally see how a show can be special based on what was going on in your life when you watched it! We’re definitely going to give it a try soon. Thanks for saying hi! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. You should totally watch The Sopranos. One of my all-time favorites . . . I think I’ve watched it five or six times in the last twenty years. The story, the characters, and the acting is superb. Give it a chance!

    We are currently watching Ted Lasso – if you haven’t seen it before you and Dave would like it! It’s got a sports theme and is a total feel-good show after GoT!

    1. Wow — you’ve watched it a lot! And YES, we’ve done Ted Lasso — but I’m actually thinking of cancelling our Apple+ TV soon — we pay for too many things hehe. Hi, friend! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.