Current faves of the week: Reality star book, white watch strap, TV, workouts and more

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

My week was good! Brady was off of school for spring break, so this was a little taste of what we’re in store for this summer with him home all the time. I didn’t mind not making his lunch every morning and getting out for preschool drop-off, so that was good. But it does mean I have less working time overall. He went with me to the gym each day for me to teach my classes, and so he got to do extra kids’ classes at Life Time, which he enjoyed.

This week, I debuted some new content in two of my classes (so much work, but so fun), and it always feels like a relief to get new stuff out there for the first time. I also had a couple of Beautycounter calls, I worked on the blog, we did a quick park date with neighborhood friends on a nice day, Dave and I went to a little wine happy hour at our country club, and it felt like it was a pretty light week for me mostly. I’m always happy to feel like that.

Ashley and Rudy at the park by A Lady Goes West

Also, we’re very excited that my mom is arriving tonight for her first visit of the year, and we’re celebrating Easter together. She’ll be hanging out with us for about a week, so that will be great. We haven’t had a visitor yet in 2022, and we’re definitely due for one. Yay! 🙂 

Now for the current faves of the week …

Current faves of the week


“Next Level Basic” by Stassi Schroeder

Disclaimer: I sure hope people don’t judge my character based on the books I read. Because I really do throw in some silly titles. This one is included in the list. But hear me out …

As you all know, I like to read at night before I go to sleep, and I check most of my books out of the library, so I go through a lot. And because I check out so many from the library at a time, I feel like I don’t have to commit to a title quite as much. And that’s where this one, “Next Level Basic” by Stassi Schroeder comes in. I wouldn’t buy this. But I was intrigued, so I checked it out and read it. Also, it’s a New York Times Bestseller, so I’m not the only person who wanted to read it.

It was a quick read, and I finished it in a little less than two weeks with reading only a little bit at night. Some background on the author: Stassi Schroeder is from Bravo’s restaurant reality series “Vanderpump Rules,” and she is one of the original cast members. She’s not on the show any longer, but I actually don’t watch the show any longer either.

She used to be known for being a little bit of a mean girl, which I do NOT support. (I’ve had some mean girls in my life, and it’s fun to be on their good side, but not their bad side, you know? No more mean girls for me. Although, in full transparency, I was a little bit of a mean girl for a couple of years in elementary school. But not since then. Uncool.) Anywho, back to the author: She’s super funny, and usually, she tells it like it is.

Next Level Basic book review by A Lady Goes West

(“Next Level Basic” by Stassi Schroeder.)

This book not only talks about Schroeder’s life and her time on the popular Bravo reality show, but she also uses what she’s learned in her twenties in L.A. to provide “basic tips” to readers about life, love and being your true self. While there was so much silly stuff in this book about ranch dressing, perfecting the selfie, day drinking and handling breakups, the real message is that Schroeder is encouraging people not to care so much about what others think. I’m truly into that.

A couple of years or so ago, Schroeder made some tough comments about another cast member that got her thrown off the show, and she’s made a lot of mistakes in her time in reality TV even before that. I totally understand that some people wanted to cancel her, and I don’t support a lot of what she’s said or done. But I read the book, and it was mostly entertaining and I wanted to report it to you. I did enjoy it. And it was a good escape.

This book is not deep, nor is it groundbreaking, but it’s really well written. The topics are fun and light, and the message about owning your true self, as basic as you may be, is definitely a good message.


New white watch strap

New strap! Because my Apple watch strap is on my wrist all day everyday, it’s nice to change it up, so I don’t get bored. I really enjoyed my last clear strap, especially the structure and shape, so I decided to get a similar one in a different color.  Here’s my new one.

New white watch strap by A Lady Goes West

(New watch strap.)

These watch straps sort’ve look like old-school 1980’s chunky digital watches, and I’m into it. I wear my watch all day, including during my workouts, and this strap holds up so well with a lot of sweat and movement. I take it off for showering and sleeping, but other than that, it’s on.

I almost forget what it was like not to wear an Apple watch, but I’ve actually only been wearing one for two years. Do you wear one? I like to see my heart rate, movement throughout the day — and most importantly, I actually do check the time on there. Tracking isn’t for everyone, but if you can handle it without being obsessive, sometimes it’s a useful tool. I can track my movement, but I don’t track my food (as you know).


“WeCrashed” series on Apple+ TV

This is so interesting!

Now, we have not finished this series yet, because it’s still in the process of being released on Apple+ TV, but it’s so good, I had to mention it. It’s definitely on my mind this week.

WeCrashed” has quickly become one of those shows that I look forward to watching each night. This show is based on the true story of the rise and fall of an entrepreneur who started the company WeWork.

WeWork is a huge co-working space company, and I remember when their towers started going up all over San Francisco when we lived there — it was crazy how fast they grew. Dave even went to a corporate party at WeWork, so he felt like he knew the company.

WeCrashed by A Lady Goes West

(Image source: Apple+ TV.)

The founder of WeWork and his wife are totally eccentric people who make for a great story too. They are played by Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway, and these two have got to be nominated for awards for their performances in these roles. If you have Apple+ TV, I highly recommend this series. It’s gripping.

Funny thing is, we pay for a lot of TV services, and I almost cancelled Apple+ last month, because we hadn’t been watching it. Then, Dave heard about this series and now we’re back on it. It’s only $5 a month, so I guess we’ll keep it a little longer. 


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 4/4

  • 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.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class at Life Time, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Took 1-hour hot yoga class at Life Time, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday: Took 90-minute tennis lesson at Life Time, 11:30 a.m.

This past week of workouts was full again! I totally enjoyed making it back to yoga on the weekend, and that was not an official “rest day” but it sure was active recovery. I’ll probably take two days off this weekend to make up for the lack of a full day off last week. I’m feeling good in my classes currently, but I’m always wanting to do more solo stuff that I don’t always fit in.

Best reads of the week …

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

Things to do on your phone other than scrolling. We’re all pretty attached to our phones these days. And while yes, I’d like you to read my posts and engage with whatever I share on social media, overall, I think we’re better off to spend less time scrolling. But this list is all about things you can do on your phone that aren’t scrolling, like texting a friend, updating your contacts, deleting old photos and much more. It’s a good one to reference if you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or something and want to be entertained by your device without using social media. I always need to delete photos and videos, and I’m due for a big deleting session soon.

Quote of the week …

Here’s a quote from a recent meditation that spoke to me:

Change at any time 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) …

Hair loss. One of the most embarrassing posts I’ve ever written on the blog, but hopefully a helpful one for you … “All the things I’m doing to fix my hair loss.”

All the things I'm doing to fix my hair loss by A Lady Goes West

Gym talk. Are you still working out at home but planning to return to a gym or studio? Here are some things to consider … “What are the benefits of a studio vs. a big box gym environment.

What are the benefits of a studio vs. a big box gym environment by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for stopping by, my friends. If you celebrate Easter, have a beautiful holiday weekend!

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

Do you wear an Apple watch or other tracking device?

What are you up to this weekend?

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  1. When you are done with the WeWork show, I recommend the documentary on it on Hulu.
    Same with The Drop Out, great to watch the show, but then watch the HBO documentary on Elizabeth Holmes.

    I hope you have a wonderful week with your mom in town!

    1. Hi Sabrina! Thanks for the tip on the documentary on Hulu — I love real-life stories, so these are great recommendations. Hope you have a great weekend, friend! 🙂

  2. I would love an Apple watch! But alas, I have a Halo view (Amazon), which is actually not bad at all. It does what I need it to for now.

    Have an awesome weekend!

    1. Hi Eve! I don’t know much about the Halo View, but if it does what you need, then great! Always nice to have a more affordable option. Sending you some weekend love. Hope you have a good one too! 🙂

  3. Hi Ashley! Do you by any chance have a review on your apple watch? I am considering investing in one (I am over my Garmin) – so I am trying to see whether it would be worthwhile or not! Hope your weekend has been good!

    1. Hey there, Shelby! I haven’t written a review on my Apple watch actually. But I will tell you I wear it all day everyday, it holds it’s charge through the whole day, I barely notice it’s there, and I use it for activity tracking, and checking texts and emails and other notifications. It syncs with my watch and my computer — both are Apple. The straps are easily adjustable and you can get them cheaply on Amazon too. It’s an investment, but I feel like I use it as much as my phone, so it’s worth it to me!

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