Current faves: Local outings, fitness challenge, beauty, food and workouts

Hi, friends! How are you? I hope your week has been a good one! You’ll never guess what mine included: Teaching group fitness (I launched BODYATTACK 106 woohoo), workouts, chasing Brady around, laundry, grocery store trips, washing 8 million tiny toddler dishes and writing work, just like every other week.

This weekend, I’m going to a local Les Mills instructor workshop to get some continuing education credits, and I’ll definitely share more about it on Instagram. I’ll also hopefully have some down time with the boys. But right now, let’s get into the faves …

Current faves


Taking Brady to Lindsay Wildlife Experience

Sometimes I struggle with activities for the afternoon for Brady and for me, especially if we’ve already done all of our grocery store visits, I’m not teaching a class and it’s too hot to be outside. There’s just not that much indoor stuff to do with a toddler except the library, and we go there way too often.

Well, this past Friday, we decided to switch things up, and we went to Lindsay Wildlife Experience, which is a little wild animal rescue hospital and museum less than a mile from us. A few friends had told me that there wasn’t much to see here, but it was worth checking out for the little ones. And they were right. There’s really not much at all, but of course, Brady had an absolute ball running around, and we definitely killed some hot afternoon time too.

Ashley and Brady at Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

I had to pay $10 for my admission and Brady was free, and we walked around looking at the exhibits for about an hour (and that included looking at every exhibit maybe 2 to 3 times). The reason this activity is a favorite is because it’s so fun to see Brady get excited and enjoy seeing new things in new environments.

He talked the whole time and ran from spot to spot touching everything he could, as did the other young children his age with a mom trailing slowly behind. We saw a lot of birds, lizards, a porcupine, turtles, bees, a bunny, a snake and for Brady’s favorite of the day … two guinea pigs. He mentioned the guinea pigs several times after we left, so clearly those little guys made an impact on him. And no, we aren’t getting guinea pigs. 

Brady at Lindsay Wildlife Museum - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

Brady at Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

Truth be told, I’m not a huge museum person or animal person (other than my undying obsession for Rudy, of course), but Brady makes me do things that aren’t my top choices, and yet I always end up enjoying them. Three cheers for that!


Pumpkin spice cold brew

Switching topics like … have you ever bought a big cold brew coffee before? Me neither. But there’s a time for everything, and this pumpkin spice version called to me in Target the other day. It’s funny, because I basically only drink green tea — I mean, I do like a festive holiday drink or golden latte here and there, but I would never order a cold beverage from a coffee shop. However, I happen to be a fan of these Califia Farm cold brew drinks, and it was a total impulse purchase to buy this full-sized one of the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor.

Califia Cold Brew - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

The verdict? Cold, delicious, not a ton of caffeine and dairy free too — and although there’s definitely sugar in it, the ingredients aren’t too bad, certainly compared to a coffee shop Pumpkin Spice Latte. The taste isn’t overly sweet, with just a mild pumpkin flavor. I really enjoyed having a small glass of this right after lunch all last week until the bottle was gone. Because I’m a sucker for pumpkin, I’m sure I’ll buy one of these again.

Delicious warm lunch bowls

Over the weekend, we actually left Walnut Creek for lunch and went just a little down the road to the town of Danville to have lunch at Homegrown. Now, Homegrown used to have a location closer to us in Lafayette that we loved, but it closed unexpectedly (then we found another Home Grown, which is apparently not affiliated with Homegrown and is in Oakland and is amazing). Long story short, this warm spicy tofu bowl with a soft egg on top was so delicious and was a good branch from our usual weekend meals.

Homegrown lunch bowls - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

I love a good warm bowl with all sorts of veggies, avo, an egg and grains at the bottom too. I do make rice bowls at home, but they never turn out quite as good as the restaurant versions. I guess that’s because I never have as much produce as I’d like on hand, because I’m always so scared of it going bad or wasting it. Anyone else?

Social Media

My second ever IGTV

Yay! I filmed and published another video on IGTV last week, and this time I talked about what I wish more women know about postpartum fitness, with some information on my recovery and tips for other women too. Did you catch it yet? It had some TMI for sure.

IGTV on postpartum exercise tips - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

In case you missed the video and want to hear more about this, you can watch it right here. Thank you for watching! And of course, please let me know if you have any topic requests moving forward, because I’m going to do more episodes. This one was way easier to finalize and post now that I know the requirements.


Flawless in Five makeup event with a free gift with purchase

Want to have a polished everyday look that only takes five minutes and features totally safe nontoxic makeup? Me too. Then the Beautycounter Flawless in Five set is for you, and if you order it right now, you get a FREE retractable foundation brush as a special limited-time gift with it. The retractable foundation brush has rave reviews ($35 value, made from animal-free bristles), and I actually just ordered one for myself, because it helps with even application of cream or liquid foundation and makes it so you actually use less product too.

Flawless in Five with Beautycounter gift by A Lady Goes West

With the Flawless in Five set, you get six makeup products to use as a cohesive daily look, and you get to choose between a few options too, in case you like less or fuller coverage for your foundation or an eyebrow pencil or eyebrow gel. And here’s the best part: The products are discounted when you buy the set, so it’s the best way to get started using Beautycounter makeup. Shop the Flawless in Five set here.

If you also sign up as a Beautycounter Band of Beauty member (which means you get product credit back when you shop to use for future purchases and free shipping on orders over $100), you’ll also get a FREE overnight resurfacing peel with your order, which is valued at $63. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need help.


Les Mills 21-day workout challenge 

Are you up for a challenge to re-inspire your workouts? My friends at Les Mills and Reebok just put together a 21-day challenge with specific workout calendars to help you get stronger and fitter in just three weeks. There are two levels of workout calendars, one for newbies, and one for more advanced exercisers.

There are also two versions for if you have equipment available to you or if you don’t. Then, all you have to do is use your free 21-day trial to Les Mills On Demand to follow along with the great workouts and have fun doing them. Here’s a preview of the workout calendars …

Les Mills challenge workout plan 1Les Mills challenge workout plan

These plans look amazing, and what’s even better is that the workouts are all quality, safe and set to great music. The only way to get all of these workouts in one place is through Les Mills On Demand, so head on over and sign up for your 21 days for free to complete this challenge. Good luck!

Weekly workout recap

Here’s a look at my latest week of workouts from last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

This past week of workouts was a typical one right before the “launch” time around here, in which we debut the latest Les Mills releases. I only had to learn BODYATTACK this time, and that meant fitting in extra BODYATTACK sessions in between taking and teaching my regular classes. I didn’t do any solo workouts exactly, but I did switch things up with a Les Mills Barre session on my own following along the video through Les Mills On Demand, which felt amazing on the body. Had a full rest day too, which is always important.

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Core moves. I feel like most of us know by now that crunches are not the most effective way to work your core. Hovers and planks are. Here are a few awesome variations to try in your next workout.
  • Carb density. Have you ever heard of carb density? I have, but don’t really choose my foods based off of this principle that lets you know whether you’ll get a sugar crash after eating the carbs. This article tells you why the sweet potato is preferable to chickpea pasta in the carb density department. Too bad I ate chickpea pasta for lunch every day this week. 🙂
  • Declining birth rates. This article is from the beginning of the year, but I just came across it this week, and it’s so interesting — all about why birth and parenthood are both so much harder in the U.S. and could be why birth rates are declining. Check it out here.

Here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app that I use for my guided meditations every morning … BE PRESENT, folks. We can’t remind ourselves of this enough.

Calm app quote about moment - by A Lady Goes West -- September 2019

A Lady Goes West favorite archives …

  • Bar-less barre. Les Mills Barre is totally different from the style of barre that I teach regularly. Here’s more on it and how you can try it for free too … “Review of Les Mills Barre workout class.”

Review of Les Mills Barre workout class by A Lady Goes West

Five essential things that truly helped me as a new momma

Thank you SO much for coming by the blog today, my friends. I’ll see you over on Instagram until we’re back here again. Hope you have a great weekend, full of some fun and rest.

Also before we go, some news: I’m going to start sending out a newsletter to you — and it’ll go out in the middle of the week when there isn’t a new blog post that day. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, drop your email here. I’m still coming up with what it’s going to include, but definitely some information that doesn’t make the blog, so don’t miss out — the first one should go out next week I hope. 🙂 

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

Have you tried anything new lately?

When it comes to your coffee shop drinks, are you team cold or team hot? Team HOT over here.

Are you up for the 21-day workout challenge?



  1. Hey there – I am keen to try that beautycounter deal. I live in Australia though – do you know if they can deliver here? I tried on your link and it doesn’t give me the option. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Gilly! Beautycounter doesn’t ship to Australia right now, but we may be able to work something out! I’ll email you separately, or you can email me and tell me what you want!! 🙂

  2. Our weekend is a bit up in the air; my 4 year old spiked a fever Wednesday night and it’s still hanging in there so gymnastics lesson and friend birthday party today and 1k race on Sunday may or may not happen. On top of recovering from tropical storm Imelda that just rolled through (I live in Houston). Hopefully things get back to normal in the next few days!

    1. When it rains, it pours, right Erin? Sorry to hear all this — but as I’ve learned, once everyone and everything recovers, you get even more grateful for your health and safety! 🙂

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.