Current faves of the week: NYE fun, new bag, new pants and my workouts

Hello, hello, my beautiful blog-reading friends! How was the first full week of 2022 for you? Mine was definitely not how I want the whole year to be, I’ll tell you that. We all started out the week somewhat sickly (even Rudy). So that was fun. And it included a lot of screen time, as you can imagine. I absolutely hate to get subs for my classes, but I had to do that to keep my germs out of the gym. It killed me to do so, especially during the first week of January, when the classes are full of newbies.

And truthfully, I debated on whether or not to say this on the blog, but I did test positive for COVID. Even though I’m double vaccinated and boosted and a healthy person, I got it too (after almost two years of avoiding it). Somehow, Dave and Brady did not and both tested negative, but they still stayed home (and yes, I wore a mask in my own house). As far as my experience with COVID, I had bad flu-like symptoms the first day, then I improved the next few days and felt mostly normal about four days later. It was primarily a cough and fatigue, with a little headache too. I believe it moved through me very quickly, thanks to my vaccines and strong system. But to be totally honest: I felt somewhat embarrassed/uneasy about testing positive and was considering not mentioning it here for some reason (even though it’s not something to be ashamed of). But I made a promise to you to keep it real. This is real.

Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to finishing up my quarantine and returning to life early next week, because I’ve been extremely careful and laying low and am a little stir crazy. Also, I will say we were able to see first-hand how stressed the health-care system is, and I’m grateful for those who are serving on the front lines. It’s not good out there, folks. Take care of yourselves and be cautious! Now that we’ve got that out of the way …

Welcome to our first current faves for 2022. I’m ready to change the subject, so here we go …

Current faves of the week


New Year’s Eve fun with family and friends

We haven’t done a whole lot on New Year’s Eve since before we had Brady. Well this year was different. My brother, Matthew, my sister-in-law, Stephanie, and a small group of their/our friends all came up to Charlotte to spend the holiday this year, and we had an excellent time. (Also, I feel like I introduce Matthew and Stephanie with their descriptors every time I write about them, but they’ve been on the blog a lot this year, so hopefully you know who I mean by now.) (And another also, this group all did COVID tests before they arrived in Charlotte, and were all negative, because I know what you’re thinking.)

We went with them to The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for lunch. We’d heard good things about this place, and it was huge, with a ton of outdoor seating, and it was quite family friendly, so we will definitely go back with Brady one day. Then, that evening, we had some drinks and apps at our house, before the group went out to dinner at The Porter’s House, which is a delicious steakhouse Dave and I had been to once before not too far away.

Ashley and Dave on NYE by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Brady on NYE by A Lady Goes West

We were so lucky that my mom stayed around and was still here during NYE, so Dave and I could go out to dinner with the group (and leave Brady at home). We were also able to join the after party for the ball to drop too, at their VRBO nearby. Plus, it meant my mom got to hang out with the group when they were at our house, and she hadn’t seen a lot of these folks since the wedding we all attended in Orlando over the summer.

This was our last big fun night after a great season of activities. Also, it was great to have my mom here for almost two weeks over the holidays, and we all had a wonderful time together. She is safely back home in Florida now. (I wrote more about our first Christmas in Charlotte in this recap here, in case you missed it, detailing some of our holiday week.)


Finally wearing my faux leather joggers

I already shared about the faux leather joggers I bought a few weeks ago in this post, but I finally put them on for the first time on New Year’s Eve. They are definitely not a light pant, but they have that super-comfy jogger feel, and I loved wearing them. I’m wearing a medium in them, and they fit just right. Here they are in play below …

Faux leather joggers on Ashley by A Lady Goes West

(My pants and my jacket.)

Also, after NYE, I washed them inside out on cold in a gentle cycle and hung them dry, and they came out perfectly. Can’t wait to wear these again, and I’m glad I pulled the trigger on them, even if they didn’t seem like a necessary item in my closet.

Also, not that anyone is asking or wants a jacket like the one I’m wearing above, but I got it from Amazon here, and it was the perfect NYE top. Not something I would normally need in my arsenal, but good for being quite festive/extra. I’ll probably wear it next NYE too.

My new “gym bag”

Okay, when I say “gym bag,” I don’t mean the actual bag that I bring into the group fitness room with all of my gear to teach a class, nor do I mean the bag that I bring to hang on the treadmill or weight rack with my stuff when I’m working out. I mean the “gym bag” that I use to keep my change of clothes, my makeup, hair brush and various toiletries, that comes into the gym with me, but actually lives safely in a locker while I’m there.

This is my new big bag that carries all of my stuff for showering, changing and carrying on with my day, and it will primarily be used for the gym and any future trips I may take. I put this bag on my wish list this year, and Dave got it for me for my birthday. I hope to use it for years to come, like I did my last one (yes, my last “gym bag” was like seven years old, because I keep stuff I like for a long time). How about you?

MZ Wallace chevron bag by A Lady Goes West

New MZ Wallace chevron bag by A Lady Goes West

(My new bag.)

I’m normally someone who waits a while before using new stuff, but I decided to put this bag into rotation right away. And the week after Christmas, when I returned to the gym, I already had this bag on my arm. I like that it’s soft, it fits a ton of stuff, and I can use the shoulder strap or the long cross-body, if I need my hands free.

This is my second bag from the MZ Wallace brand, and I already have my eye on another smaller one for the future, because they are just so darn functional and cute. Shop my new gym bag here. (It also comes in two other colors here.)


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. 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

Because I haven’t posted a “current faves” in a couple weeks, I’ve missed sharing my latest workouts over the holidays. But I can tell you for sure that I’ve had a lot more rest days than usual, and I’m okay with that. Here’s last week’s line-up …

Workouts from the week of 12/27

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class with weights at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 45-minute solo full-body weights workout at Life Time, 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class with weights at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
  • Friday: Took 1-hour hot yoga class at Life Time, 9 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week of workouts had two full rest days and a full-hour yoga session. My body enjoyed all the extra rest I took in December (and in the beginning of January), and I plan to keep up with at least one rest day and one yoga session, as I can. Also, you may notice I had four days in a row with weights, but these four workouts were mostly different types of lifting weights. Barbell is muscular endurance, barre only has a short weights portion (a lot of mobility too), my solo session was more targeted strength (shown below), and the combo class was also endurance. Figured I would explain that, in case you’ve ever wondered.

Short full-body workout at Life Time by A Lady Goes West

Best read from the week …

Here’s an article I read this week that I felt was worthy of sharing with you:

Optimizing your email inbox and emailing habits. If you find yourself being a slave to email, or if your email inbox is a total mess, then this is a good one for you to read. I tend to fall into the “answer all emails within 24 hours” camp, and I need to be better about letting things sit that aren’t priority. Lots of great tips in this one about batching your time too.

Deal of the week …

Are you looking for a healthy and tasty snack full of protein (18 grams) and minimal ingredients? I can’t say enough about these G2G Bars! They are mostly found online on the G2G site, and they are stored in the fridge. But you can take them on-the-go for about a week. I’m constantly snacking on these.

Use my code, ALADYGOESWEST, for 15 percent off your order. You can’t go wrong with any flavor, but I like Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Almond Oatmeal Cookie the best. Shop G2G Bars here.

A Lady Goes West archives of the week …

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

Goal setting. I’m sharing my personal goals and some tips for you on how to set and stick with your goals too … “My goals for 2022 and how to start your 2022 off right.”

My goals for 2022 and how to start your 2022 off right by A Lady Goes West

Back on track. Because breaks are good and breaks are totally normal … “How to get back on track after a break from your healthy routine.”

How to get back on track after a break from your healthy routine by A Lady Goes West

That’s the post for today! Thank YOU for coming by A Lady Goes West, my friends. I hope you have a great day and weekend. Stay hydrated. Stay well. I’ll see you soon!

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your first full week of 2022?

What’s one thing you’re excited about this January?



  1. Happy New Year to you guys! Sorry to hear you got Covid and everyone was not feeling so great. There is a doctor in Charlotte who posts some very informative info on Covid and quarantining in your home. Check out her videos for her opinion on that. I found out about her by accident when reading an article on eczema, she specializes in that. I enjoy her posts on nutrition, supplements, Covid, grocery shopping, etc and thought you might too! Dr. Ana Marie Temple and on FB her page is called Family Wellness Tips.

    1. Hi Joanna, thank you SO much for recommending Dr. Temple. I just watched one of her YouTube videos and followed her — she seems to have a well-rounded approach. I really appreciate that. As you can imagine, we’ve been getting a LOT of conflicting information on what to do, including from our two doctors. Yuck! Hope you and your family are well, lady! 🙂 xoxo

  2. I currently have Covid and so does my baby. We got together with vaccinated family at Christmas and we tested too. It was probably a day too early in someone’s viral load. My sister tested positive the day we left. (She had just been boosted the week before. It wasn’t at full strength.) Thankfully everybody else’s vaccines and boosters kept them from getting sick (I am vaxxed/boosted as well but I am immunocompromised so I didn’t expect mine to work as well. And obvi the baby isn’t vaccinated but had some antibodies from me). It has been annoying but not awful and I think this was the version of Covid to get if we were going to get one! Hope you feel better soon. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad-it’s everywhere right now! I am insanely cautious and got it.

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m so sorry you and your babe and your family all got it. But it’s starting to look like most of us are going to get it right now. I’m glad you didn’t get too sick. And you are SO right, I’d rather get THIS version of COVID then something more serious pre-vaccine. Wishing you some healthy and healing vibes, and thank YOU for sharing with me! 🙂 xoxo

  3. Happy New year!
    I really hope in 2022 the shaming with Covid can dissipate. Lots of Vaxxed and boosted people getting it after, like you said, 2 years of NOT getting it.

    My brother tested positive after 4 days of negative tests, very mild symptoms, and he lives with me and I did not get it!

    I hope you feel better and I always appreciate your honesty on this blog.

    Any good shows in your sick screen time?

    1. Hi Sabrina! I was just talking to Brady’s doctor today about how strange it is that people in the same house may not spread it, even if not actively trying to prevent it. Sadly, I haven’t watched a ton by myself while enjoying screen time (a lot of kid shows for Brady). But, if you have Amazon Prime, I did watch the Pink documentary (Pink the artist), and the Bieber documentary (about his 2020 NYE concert), and both were good. I love artist documentaries. Okay, thanks for saying hi, lady. Stay well! 🙂 xoxo

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been sick! At this point pretty much half of my friends and family (including myself) have tested positive at some point, glad your symptoms were reasonably mild! Look after yourself and have a lovely weekend! x

    1. Hi Iona! Yes, I’m glad I didn’t have it worse. What a strange time we are living in though, you know? You stay well out there, my friend! I appreciate you!

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