Current faves: Lots of fun to report, little delights and workouts

Hi! How are you? Happy Friday!

What’s new, my friend? How was your week? My week was good, and it was our first full week of school ever where Brady went all five days — woohoo. This week, I taught my usual five classes, I had a doctor’s appointment, I took Rudy to the groomer, I took Brady to swimming, and the big thing — I auditioned to teach a new program at Life Time and passed (more on that next week, but yay)!

And if you didn’t read the news in the last item from this post earlier in the week, you should go check it out to see what’s got us excited over here.

This weekend, I’ve got a tennis clinic, and Brady has his first soccer practice/game ever. Dave is the coach of his team, and we’re looking forward to this new little Saturday morning activity we’ll be enjoying together for the next few weekends, because I plan to attend everything.

And here’s a quick greeting from Brady, who loves to be back into his school routine, just as much as we love it too …

Brady almost 5 before preschool by A Lady Goes West

Alright, let’s jump into the faves …

Current faves


Recap of recent outings with friends

So much of my life is spent in sweaty workout clothes, teaching classes, preparing for classes, doing dishes, working on my laptop hunched over on the couch (okay, I don’t do that too much any longer and am much better about sitting at my desk), but I also like to mix in some outings. I often report more on the outings than on daily life, because that’s when I take more pictures and have more stories. And that’s where this favorites entry comes from, because it’s several fun outings in a row …

Last week and weekend, I had three fun activities back to back, worthy of a quick mention on the blog. On Thursday night, I went to a wine happy hour with a few of my neighborhood girlfriends. On Saturday night, Dave and I went to a surprise birthday dinner for a friend, which was a total blast. And on Sunday, I went to a nice birthday brunch with a big group of ladies too.

Also, I wore a repeat outfit to all three of these activities. I know I’ve said it before, but I have so many more opportunities to dress up here in Charlotte than I had in the Bay Area in California. I really should do some more shopping, because I’m constantly repeating outfits and feeling like I have nothing to wear. (And when I say this while standing in my closet, Dave always points to all the things hanging with dismay, as to how nothing could be what I’m looking for at that moment.)

I told my girlfriends this already but figured I’d mention it here too: I literally came home with a smile on my face on Thursday night after our wine night because I had so much fun with these ladies. That’s how you know you’re with really good people, when hanging out with them fills you up and makes you feel happy inside. It’s easy to find “fun” friends, but it’s not as easy to find quality friends that really care, you know? (And if you have some already, hold onto them dearly!)

Here’s a look at us during wine night. And once again, let me remind you that I’m 5’8″ and yet I’m the shortest in the group. It’s a new feeling for me, and I don’t think I like it … 🙂 

Ladies at the wine night by A Lady Goes West

(My jumpsuit is sold out, but here’s a similar one. And here are my heels.)

Next up, the surprise birthday party we attended on Saturday night was just delightful. 

My friend’s husband had planned it weeks ago, so we were all doing our best to keep it a secret, and I think we nailed it. We met at La Belle Helene in Uptown Charlotte for drinks and a delicious and fancy meal. The birthday girl, Andrea, had no idea that she was being surprised. A group of several couples were in a private room when she entered, and then the fun ensued. I loved that feeling of watching her be surprised!

And just take a look at the food from La Belle Helene. So good …

Appetizers at the birthday party by A Lady Goes West

Salad at the birthday party by A Lady Goes West

Steak at the birthday party by A Lady Goes West

Desserts at the birthday party by A Lady Goes West

Andrea birthday dinner by A Lady Goes West

Before we went into the restaurant for a surprise, Dave and I got a quick photo. You’ve seen me in this jumpsuit/romper many times before. I even wore it the last time Dave and I went out in Uptown to see “Hamilton,” so I joked that this is my official “Uptown Romper.” I still love it though, and I’m wearing a small in it.

Ashley and Dave before the birthday party by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my romper, and here are some similar heels to what I’m wearing, because mine are sold out.)

Let’s talk about surprises! Do you like surprises? I do! In fact, the first year that Dave and I were together, he threw a progressive surprise party for me at various bars in downtown Orlando. We met different friends from my life, via notecards and clues, at each stop, and my friends even came from out of town and out of state for that. I’ll always remember it!

Since then, my birthday is always a lot more low-key. Being that it’s just two days before Christmas, I haven’t had a fun thing with friends on my actual birthday in years. People are always busy doing their holiday stuff, and I get it. But at least I always celebrate with my little family, and I’m sure that will be the same this year. Dave and my mom always do their best to make it special, and moving forward, I’ll always know my mom will be in town for it — so yay for that times ten.

One more look at the romper/jumpsuit, until I pull it out again for another outing soon …

Navy jumpsuit by A Lady Goes West-2

But back to the fun of the weekend, after the surprise dinner, we all walked over to a bar for one final drink before heading home pretty late. Dave and I got home at 1 a.m., and our babysitter was very much ready to head home. We apologized and paid her extra for showing up so late (we had originally told her we’d be home by 11:30 p.m., then I kept texting her to push back our arrival — whoops). Let’s hope she comes back, because we only have a couple sitters.

The next morning, on Sunday, we had another birthday celebration for Andrea, and this one was a brunch with more of our girlfriends (not all could come for the night celebration, so a second one was totally needed and appreciated, and we also celebrated another friend’s pending birthday there).

We had brunch at Cafe Monte in South Park of Charlotte, and it was really good. It’s a French restaurant with adorable wallpapered bathrooms, a great menu and a cute vibe. I’d happily go back for brunch again soon and maybe add in some shopping at the nearby South Park mall afterward. To be honest, I was very tired this day from the late night before, because 1 a.m. is way too late for me. 

Here’s my spread from Cafe Monte …

All the liquids at Cafe Monte by A Lady Goes West

Smoked salmon benedict at Cafe Monte by A Lady Goes West

And here’s our group of ladies from brunch …

After birthday brunch at Cafe Monte by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my dress, which I also wore in Columbus last weekend. I’m wearing a medium. It’s a bit big, but the small was a little too tight. And here are my sunglasses, and here are my sandals, which are the most expensive piece of clothing/shoes I own, and I bought them for myself after being paid on a very tough writing project, but normally I wouldn’t spend that much.)

In just a few days, I had three super-fun friend activities, and they all warmed my heart. It’s so nice to have great people around to hang out with regularly.

And if you’re in a position where you don’t have a good group of friends, keep trying! I wrote this post a while back with tips on how to make friends, and if you didn’t read it, maybe head back and give it a glance. It’s great to work on your personal wellness, health and fitness, but having connections and a community of folks around you matters for your health too, so it’s worth making an effort to find your people.

Little delights

A few other recent faves worth mentioning

Crew socks. Hear me out. I know they were cool, then they weren’t. But I think crew socks have been back for a while, and I’m into them. I bought this set of crew socks and have been wearing them with my tennis shoes and tennis skirt for my last few tennis clinics. At first, it feels weird to have a visible sock (because we’ve been trying to hide our socks for years, you know?). But dang, do they feel supportive and do they stay in place too. I’m totally liking the look, and I may have to get even more. I even like the way they look over leggings. Here are my crew socks of choice. What do you think?

Crew socks by A Lady Goes West

“Welcome to Wrexham.” This is a delightful show we’ve been enjoying the last couple of weeks. “Welcome to Wrexham” is a docu-series on Hulu about a struggling soccer/football franchise in a small town in Wales called Wrexham. Two big-time celebs, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, decide to purchase the franchise to try to turn it around. Not only do you see a lot of soccer/football in the show, but you also see the most heart-warming interviews with loyal fans of the franchise, as well as funny interviews with Reynolds and McElhenney. We’re all caught up and are waiting the next episode, but this is a really good one to watch if you have Hulu. It’s a good one that Dave and I can both enjoy.

Welcome to Wrexham by A Lady Goes West


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 9/5

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.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: Took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day 

This past week was a really good one, but it would have looked better with some yoga in it. I taught my regular five classes, I went to tennis twice, and I even took a treadmill class, which has been a fun addition to my routine. I feel great in my workouts, but there’s always more I could do outside of the classes I teach. It’s just hard to find the time. 

Best read of the week …

Here’s a light-hearted article that I wanted to share with you:

Fall bucket list. It’s about that time to start getting into all the fall things. This is a cute and light-hearted list with some fun fall-type things you can do at your own home or out and about. Bring on the pumpkin, friend!

Quote of the week …

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

Take care of yourself by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week …

Let’s look back at two blog posts worth revisiting, including a recent one:

Coffee date. Because I often hear from you that you like this type of casual post, here’s one from earlier in the week … “Let’s have a September 2022 coffee date catch-up.”

Let's have a September 2022 coffee chat by A Lady Goes West

Shoes. You know I share my favorite workout sneakers all the time (these), but this post is all about how to choose shoes for different activities … “How to choose the right athletic shoe for your workouts.”

How to choose the right athletic shoe for your workouts by A Lady Goes West

That’s all for today, my friend. Thanks for stopping by the blog! 🙂 

P.S. If you ever have a question or post request, you can submit those here anonymously

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

What’s one thing making you excited right now?

Do you have anything fun planned soon?



  1. How was your week? it was good, working, nothing exciting , nothing bad. lol!

    What’s one thing making you excited right now? nothing exciting to report but ready to book my next FL trip (Dec) to see my family.

    Do you have anything fun planned soon? nope, seeing a movie tomorrow w/ a friend , getting my hair color , i hate the grays and walking w/ a friend on Sunday , oh and hitting gym tomorrow. low key, relaxing!

    love your outfits btw, have a great weekend!!

    1. Hi Stacy! Oh the grays, I know what you mean! They just keep coming back hehe. I think your weekend plans sound just perfect, so enjoy them, lady! 🙂

  2. We’re going to an apple orchard tomorrow which should be fun. Your blog posts are very motivating, and I love reading about your adventures. You’re blessed to have such a wonderful family and a great group of friends. Have a wonderful weekend, and congrats on having your Mom move up to be near you!

    1. Hi Stephanie! I hope your apple orchard visit was fun! Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet words. I truly appreciate you. Happy Sunday! 🙂 xoxo

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