Current faves: Les Mills event, holiday activities and weekly workouts

Hey, hey, my friends! How was your week? Mine was good. This week was my last full week of teaching my regular class-load for the year, due to the holidays falling in the middle of the week when I’m normally teaching, so I’ll have some extra days off coming up, which should be nice. This week we also had Brady’s preschool concert (more on that below), I got my teeth cleaned at the dentist, we sent out our Christmas cards (finally), I worked quite a bit, and I went to Dave’s holiday party on a boat in the San Francisco Bay. Good times!

Let’s do the favorites of the day …

Current faves


BODYATTACK class with Lisa Osborne

If you’re a Les Mills fan, then you will totally appreciate this. I had the opportunity to take BODYATTACK with the director/choreographer of the program from New Zealand, Lisa Osborne. She’s incredible (a former world aerobics champion, in fact), has so much energy and has helped build up one amazing workout program.

She taught the class with Adam Snow Bramski, another great instructor who has been on a few of the BODYATTACK release videos. They did a mixture of BODYATTACK 108 and 109, and that means a portion of the workout we did has never been done outside of the New Zealand home club where Lisa creates everything. (We’re currently on release 107 in the gyms here.) Wow!

Ashley with Lisa Osborne by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

Also, I’ve never taken a class with so many happy and smiling people working out together at once — we were told there were 250 of us in there all doing BODYATTACK on the basketball court at 24 Hour Fitness in Livermore. There were a ton of instructors and club members, and it was just THE best. 

Les Mills ATTACK group pic by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

I trained to teach BODYATTACK about six years ago, taught it for three years, took 2.5 years off and have been back to teaching it for about nine months. It is SO hard, but so fun, and because there are a lot of options, almost anyone can do the workout.

I loved how Lisa Osborne spoke to us so much about inclusion and making EVERYONE feel welcome in BODYATTACK, even though it can be intimidating. I’m all for it. It was beyond amazing to have that experience with her. I left with a huge smile on my face that remained all day long.

Attack class in Livermore by A Lady Goes West

As always, if you want to try BODYATTACK for yourself and you don’t have a gym with Les Mills classes nearby, you can always do a free 21-day trial of Les Mills On Demand using my special referral link here.


The best shiny puffer 

I purchased this black puffer from Fabletics a few weeks ago and have been wearing it nonstop. It’s QUITE warm, yet because it’s cropped, and I often wear it open, I feel like my body can still breathe.

I originally ordered a small and ended up exchanging for an extra small, because it run’s a little big. It’s currently sold out, because Fabletics stuff goes quickly, but I think they have great outerwear in addition to the workout-wear, just so you know. Even though the one I’m wearing is sold out, this one looks similar and is even cheaper.

Ashley in Fabletics puffer by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

(A similar jacket, my jeans and my shoes.)

I also bought this adorable animal print turtleneck and wore it to a holiday wine tasting party over the weekend. It has the softest fabric and looked really cute tucked into black jeans. I’m an outfit repeater, so that combination will be on me again soon. Three cheers for repeating outfits, by the way.

Holiday fun

So many festive holiday activities lately

Last weekend, I made holiday truffles with my girlfriends. We’ve been doing this annually for several years, and it’s a fun little tradition to look forward to, always hosted by the same friend, Jen.

Truffles by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

We each make our ganache “filling” ahead of time, then we get together to create the truffles, by rolling the ganache into balls, dipping them into chocolate coating and adding the toppings — then we share with each other so everyone gets a variety of flavors.

Most years, I end up eating almost all the truffles myself, but this year, I got gift boxes for some and gave away a few to Brady’s preschool teachers, one of his babysitters and Dave’s work. But yes, I still had some for me to eat — just not as many as usual, thank goodness. They are DARN good. 

Brady’s holiday preschool concert

This was the highlight of the week! Dave and I were 99 percent certain that when it came time for Brady’s concert at preschool, he would stand in front of the crowd and suck his finger nervously. Well … we were mostly right. The concert may have been only 10 minutes long, but I went through a flood of emotions watching our tiny man “perform,” if you will, including crying and laughing. 🙂 

Side note: Brady is the youngest kiddo in school, because he’s in the “twos” class and was the last one to start after his birthday at the end of September. He does his best with his classmates and loves school, but it’s important to note that he’s sort’ve the runt.

Dave and Brady after concert by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

Anywho, at the concert, all the parents and grandparents gathered in the concert hall, and the little ones started coming in and lining up. We didn’t know they would be wearing Santa hats, which was adorable upon entrance.

The youngest kids came in last, with little Brady already nervous and sucking his finger. He got a little confused on line-up and had to be corralled into position, and he ended up front and center. Then, when the concert began, he clammed up and sucked his finger silently, until all of a sudden he did a big body shake a few seconds after the other kids did this same “choreography.” He lifted his elbow once as part of the song too, but mostly he just stood there.

But then the best part happened when he decided to squat for a bit, then take a seat. Meanwhile, all the other kids were standing and performing. But only Brady — the smallest little member, who was wearing a Santa hat almost covering his eyes and a too-big reindeer sweater my mom had just sent him — was right in the middle sitting on the ground. Literally, we died from laughter.

The videos of the whole scene were good too, and I promptly delivered them to family and posted a few on Instagram stories. What’s funny is that I got more direct messages based on those stories of Brady’s concert than hardly anything else all year. (He was not into photos after his performance either … as you can see below.)

Ashley and Brady after concert by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

It was SO adorable, and we were proud of him. What’s even better is that later that day he told me, “Mommy, I sang Jingle Bells with the music.” As in, perhaps he thought he had joined in with the other kids and not just stood there? Oh, it just melts my heart. Nonetheless, he doesn’t seem to be born for the stage, but that’s okay, because he’s definitely got other talents.


Color intense lipstick in “First Date”

I’ve always loved lipstick, but have never worn as much of it as I do now that I have Beautycounter products to rely on.

Fun fact: It’s impossible to totally eliminate the toxins you come across daily with all the products you use and the ones that are in your environment. However, it’s pretty important to choose safer and cleaner lipsticks and glosses, because we ingest a lot of what we put on our lips, so it’s not the place to use questionable products — many of the brands you’ll find on the shelves even have traces of lead. Yuck. (You can check the safety of what you use with the Environmental Working Group’s app here.)

First Date lipstick by Beautycounter by A Lady Goes West -- December 2019

After the Beautycounter Clean Friday sale a few weeks ago, I was able to redeem some host rewards and so I got a bunch of 50 percent off or free products. One of which, was the Beautycounter color intense lipstick in “First Date” shown on my lips above. While I normally wear this red during the holidays, this pink color has been my favorite as of late. Love it!

The Big Clean-Up Sale

Speaking of Beautycounter, the big winter clean-up sale starts today, and you can find holiday sets and other products for up to 40 percent off on the site. Shop with me here! 🙂 

The Winter Clean Up Sale by Beautycounter


Weekly workout recap

Here are my workouts from last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 30 minutes of BODYPUMP and 30 minutes of BODYATTACK practice, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 45-minute BODYATTACK and taught 1-hour barre, 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 20 minutes of BODYPUMP practice and taught 1-hour barre, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 20 minutes of BODYPUMP practice and taught 1-hour barre, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 12 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1 hour BODYATTACK, 8:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 8:30 a.m.

Dang! That was a lot! This was the official launch week of new Les Mills group fitness choreography, and I had to practice and teach the new BODYATTACK and new BODYPUMP. In addition to that, I subbed an extra barre class, attended a Les Mills event and team taught a special class too (on Sunday, which is usually my rest day) — all that added up to lots of group fitness, no solo workouts and no day off from exercise. I definitely remedied that this week, and I’ll be taking it easy over the holiday week too, because I don’t have to teach very much throughout the rest of the year.

Do what I say and not as I do, and always get in that rest day, folks! The good news is that because group fitness is so fun, I enjoyed every single sweat session this week.

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Stress relief. Are you working on your health and fitness but forgetting to address your stress? If so, you’re not alone. Here are three simple and free ways to manage your stress.
  • Goodbye, bikini body. I don’t think I’ve ever used the phrase “bikini body,” and that’s because it makes me cringe. Well, there’s still SO much work to do, but things are getting a bit better when it comes to recognizing that wellness and fitness shouldn’t be about six-pack abs and perfect bodies, but instead about feeling good. This is a good look at the progress we’ve made so far in accepting bodies of all sizes. 
  • Funny stuff. This video about shoving kids in holiday clothes is hilarious, so make sure you give it a watch.

Here’s the quote of the week from my morning meditations … (just leave it to Dolly to give us a good one!)

Dolly Parton CALM quote

A Lady Goes West favorite archives

Five grocery staples I'm currently obsessed with by A Lady Goes West

  • Fitness trends. I need to start working on my list for next year, but here’s a look at what I thought we’d see in 2019 … “Fitness trends for 2019.”

Fitness trends for 2019 by A Lady Goes West

That’s all for today, my friends! Have a great day and weekend, and I’ll see you soon! (And there may be a giveaway coming next week, so check back.)

Questions of the day

How was your week?

Have you gone to any holiday parties this year?

What’s your favorite thing about the month of December?



  1. That Dolly quote, LOVE! Brady looks so cute in his holiday sweater 😀 I’m beyond ready for the holiday week coming up, I am taking some PTO so I have the whole week off work.

  2. Oh the concert story is precious. He may outgrow that… too young to write him off yet on stage performing. Sounds like he Liked it!
    What a neat experience to do the Les Mills live.

    1. Hi Stefanie! True — he has plenty of time to come out of his shell! hehehe! Thanks so much for saying hi, my friend. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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