Current faves of the week: A celebrity memoir, girls’ night, the best mug, workouts and more

Hey, friends! How are you? How was your week? 

We’re over here finishing up a pretty good one. I taught six classes, worked, took Brady to swimming, went to a tennis lesson and did a lot of back-end stuff on the blog (which you’ll see more about below). This weekend, we have two neighborhood day-time parties on the agenda (a little girl’s birthday party and a going-away party), and I’ll be preparing a brand new barbell workout to teach on Monday.

Also, another thing worth mentioning: I went to a dermatologist appointment to get my skin checked. I hadn’t done that in three years, so I was definitely due. I think I spend a lot more time in the sun living in Charlotte than I did in the Bay Area, which is good — but it just means I need to be extra careful with sun protection. Everything was fine with my skin, but I’m sharing this as a friendly reminder to get your skin checked too.

Fun times with Brady by A Lady Goes West

Now, for some blog housekeeping …

Blog housekeeping

A few things to share:

  • The blog redesign/facelift is underway, and the name will remain A Lady Goes West for now. I should be rolling out the new look and feel in the next week or so, so look out for that.
  • I spent a lot of time this week doing some back-end blog stuff. I’ll be recategorizing posts so that they are easier to find on the redesigned site, and I also spent a lot of time scheduling my older posts to re-share on Facebook. Here’s where I need a favor from you: If you don’t already like the A Lady Goes West page on Facebook, it would be awesome if you did. Click here, hit like, and when you see one of my posts pop up in your feed, give it a thumbs-up to support. Thank you, my friends. It’s tough out there on social media, and your support really does matter.
  • Finally, I also spent a little time linking outfits to my Like to Know It page, which is something that a lot of people use to easily grab links from influencers on social media. If you use this app, you can find my profile here, and I’ll keep adding to it, so you can always find my fashion links there. I also have been adding my linked outfit pictures to the “Fashion” story highlight on my Instagram profile. These are little tasks I never feel like I have time for, and I’m glad I’ve just started tackling a few, with much more to come.

Okay, that covers that. Now for the current faves of the week …

Current faves of the week


“Unfinished: A Memoir” by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

I really enjoyed this book, and you guys know I love to read celebrity memoirs. This one, “Unfinished: A Memoir” by Priyanka Chopra Jonas, is brand new and just recently came out last year.

Have you heard of Priyanka Chopra Jonas? She’s a former Miss World, and she’s also a movie and TV star, who just happens to be married to Nick Jonas. I listened to an interview she did on a podcast a few months ago and so I knew she had a memoir coming out. I checked it out from the library and made it through the book in a little over three weeks, which is pretty fast for me, because I only read a few pages a night.

Chopra has had a huge career, and it’s always interesting to read about how celebrities get started and what their lives were like before they made it big. Chopra came up in Hindi and Bollywood movies, in her native India, and she talked a lot about that process, as well as what the pageant world was like, all the while being super close to her big and supportive family.

Unfinished by A Lady Goes West

(“Unfinished: A Memoir” by Priyanka Chopra Jonas.)

While I knew of her, when I was reading the book, I realized that I have probably never watched a movie or a show that she’s appeared in, which is funny.

Now the real deal on this book? It is not at all juicy like some of my favorite celebrity memoirs, like the ones from Demi Moore and Jessica Simpson, that I just ate up and devoured in a few short days. But yet, it was still a good read. The writing was fine, the storytelling was good, and I feel like it had a decent flow. However, the ending seemed a little rushed. We left it with updates on all of the new projects that Chopra is working on and how she’s settling into her married life with Nick Jonas. I did want a little more, but I guess that’s why the book is titled what it is, you know?

Moral of the story? If you like a celebrity book, this one is solid. There’s not a lot of real, raw details, but it’s just enough to keep you into it. Now what should I read next?


My new big red mug

I think I mentioned about five times (which is a lot of mentions for something like this) that I needed a new big mug, and I was having trouble finding a good one. I broke my last two mugs, and I couldn’t find anything that was cute, but also really big. Big mugs are not easy to come by.

Well, I searched high and low and finally found a new big mug, and this mug is super big. It’s thick, red, heavy and such high quality too. The description says it hold 28 ounces, and to give you some perspective, the average mug has a little more than half of that, so it’s really big. 

The best new mug by A Lady Goes West

(My new big red mug.)

I use two green tea bags to make my morning collagen tea latte (directions for making that drink here), and the bigger the mug, the better. Here’s my new mug, and I highly recommend it.

But seriously, my mug is an essential part of my daily life, because I use it twice a day, and I hope this one lasts a long time. Do you need to upgrade your mug situation? It sure is nice to have a new one, and it’s added a little delight to my mornings all week.


Another girls’ game night success

Last weekend, my neighborhood friends and I got together to celebrate a birthday and do another game night. We played the same card game as last time (Splurt, found here), had delicious food and drinks and a lot of laughs too.

I had to share this night in my current faves, because it was so fun. These fun times are not lost on me. Because remember when we were all locked down at our own homes and we couldn’t see people? That was not fun. But this was.

Girlfriends by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Brady in the jacket by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my sequins jacket, in case you’re ever in need of something like it. Here are my jeans too.)

Also, I had a chance to re-wear the sequins jacket I had originally bought for New Year’s Eve. We all dressed with a little festive flair for the birthday girl, and this jacket was perfect. Brady tried it on too. Good times. 🙂


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. 

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

Workouts from the week of 3/14

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class at Life Time, 9:45 a.m., took 1-hour tennis lesson, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class at Life Time, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 15-minute full-body weights workout at home, 8:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Took 90-minute tennis lesson, 11:30 a.m.

This past week of workouts was full! I actually fit in a very short weights session at home and had movement every day, without an official rest day, but I did have a light day. I was excited to go to my Sunday tennis clinic after being gone for two weekends, but I’ll be missing it this upcoming week — which means I’ll be sure to fit in a real rest day. During my super-short weights workout at home, I did hip thrusts, assisted pull-ups and push-ups, three things I’m always in need of working on and haven’t been making time for lately. Once again, there’s always more I should be working on, but it is what it is. I feel good, and that’s fine for now.

Best read of the week …

Here’s an article I read this week that I felt like sharing with you:

The power of “no.” Yes, the word “no” is a complete sentence, and this can be hard for us sometimes to remember (we love to say “yes,” and we hate to disappoint people, right?). I enjoyed this article that is all about helping you to look at where you’re spending your valuable time each day, so you can really understand where you need to make changes and potentially turn things down. Because whenever you say “yes” to something, you’re usually saying “no” to something else. What can you say “no” to that will give you more time for you? Totally a worth exercise!

Quote of the week …

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

Need a reminder tweet for IG by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week …

There are so many posts on the blog worth revisiting, so let’s look back at two good ones (one recent, one older) …

Music. This post is a reader request and something that I hope is helpful for fellow group fitness instructors … “How to create a playlist for a workout class + a barre class playlist.”

How to create a playlist for a workout class + a barre class playlist by A Lady Goes West

Books. I prefer nonfiction over fiction usually. How about you? Here are some book recommendations … “The five best nonfiction books I’ve read in the last six months.”

The five best nonfiction books I've read in the last six months by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for stopping by, my friends! Hope you have a great day and weekend!

Questions of the day for YOU …

What are you up to this weekend?

Have you read anything good lately?

What can you say “no” to moving forward?



  1. I’ve started reading Atomic Habits, and while it’s full of really good, useful advice, it’s not the easiest read. So it’s taking me longer than I expected it to!

    1. I also felt like it was a tedious read. The info was SO good, but it’s not the most enjoyable book. Good luck getting through it — hope you pick up some helpful advice. Happy Friday, Shelby! 🙂

  2. Hi Ashley! As always I love reading your weekly faves! And can I thank you for mentioning you got your skin checked? I have been getting mine done regularly in the last few years and I went in February and was diagnosed with a Stage 1 Melanoma so thank goodness I get checked. Just a huge PSA to everyone to get your skin checked regularly and make sure it is full body as this was an area that I never really look at (top of my butt!) Luckily it is all gone after some minor surgery and am grateful everyday that I have been so regular in my check ups! I do live in Australia so the sun is way harsher here but skin cancer can happen anywhere. Have a great week 🙂

    1. Hi Courtney! I’m sorry to hear you had that happen, but it’s soooo very common, so good of you to get checked and get it taken care of. Thanks for reading and sharing with us! Hope you are doing well now! 🙂 xoxo

  3. I always enjoy reading your posts – so upbeat and I always feel happy after reading them. I had a first fitness event for me on Saturday – a mock weightlifting meet at my gym. Squats, bench press, deadlifts and hip thrusters. It was a lot of fun. A large turnout, about 50, and it was great the way everyone was cheering for others. And now I have a baseline weight for future meets. Hope your weekend is great!

    1. Hi Martha! Dang! That sounds like a VERY tough event, and props to you for doing it! How cool that you had people cheering you on! 🙂

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