Hi, my friends! How are you? This was a busy week after our trip and it’s rolling right into a busy weekend. You see, my girlfriend and bridesmaid from Orlando, Judy, is set to arrive this afternoon and we’ve got a lot on the agenda. You can see more about Judy’s last visit here.
Truth be told, I fully attempted to have a blog post up on Wednesday of this week to make it another three-post week, but I had to utilize all of Brady’s naps for my monthly freelance assignments, and thus … here we are with just a Monday and Friday post. I’m trying for you — and more on the topic of productivity and mom life soon! (I’m also taking post requests and reader questions, so leave them in the comments or send me an email.)
In addition to the busy-ness of the week, poor Brady came down with his first ear infection and sore throat, which stemmed from a cold and travel, most likely. I took him to the doctor, and he’s on the mend with some meds and is as happy as ever. Poor little dude — he sure put on a brave face though. But hey, enough about him :), it’s the end of the week, so let’s do some favorites …
Visiting our besties in Columbus
My favorite, favorite is our trip to Columbus, Ohio.
We left on Thursday morning and came back Sunday night, and boy, it’s a long flight from here — more than four hours on the way there and almost five hours on the way back. It was well worth the trip. We hung out with Grant and Bre and their three little kiddos in their new home in Dublin, Ohio, which is a suburb of Columbus. We filled our time there perfectly, doing a ton, but also leaving plenty of time at home to just chill with the kiddos and Brady.
On the first full day, we all went off to check out their gym, Life Time, which is a very popular health club chain that I’d never visited (but is building a location in Walnut Creek, so maybe I’ll be a regular one day), and it did not disappoint. It was huge and fancy, with every amenity you could ask for.
Brady went into childcare, while the guys did the sauna, and I attended Bre’s TCX class. She has been teaching group classes for the last couple of years and it was so awesome to finally see her in action. Loved the class too — it was hard!
We went out to dinner two of the nights, and the second night was in the Short North area of downtown Columbus, which is a pretty cool neighborhood with bars and restaurants and stores. That night, we went to four different restaurants ordering drinks and appetizers at each spot. It was so fun.
We also went to The Ohio State University campus for a tailgate and for half of the game. We got last-minute tickets and ended up going in and staying through the band’s amazing performance — their band is really entertaining, by the way. I love watching marching bands. Anyone else? Brings me back to my music days!
And on our final day, we hit up Costco, went on a dual-family stroll and celebrated Dave’s birthday by doing a big steak dinner at home, with Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert and a rousing rendition of happy birthday from the entire group.
The highlight of the trip was hanging out and catching up with Grant and Bre, and I really loved how cute their kids were with Brady too — they loved him and their oldest son even read him a story and kept offering him toys too. So sweet!
Brady had an excellent time and other than one bad night of sleep (which we can probably attribute to the change in time zones and a stuffy nose, which then turned into his ear infection, I guess), he was a total trooper everywhere we took him. Clearly, it’s much easier to plan activities and travel without him, but he did his very best, and I’m proud of him!
Side note: Everyone we encountered in Columbus is very friendly, the airport is nice, and the fall season is just gorgeous there!
Ohio trip clothes
A few items I got some questions about …
This fanny pack/belt bag — YES — so much yes!
So I tried cryotherapy! Have you heard of it? It seems to be all the rage, and I think we’ll start hearing more and more about it. Basically, you go into a small stand-up cold chamber of freezing air for three minutes and when you come out, your body gets some amazing benefits — from anti-inflammation to eased muscle stiffness and soreness, to overall pain relief and much more. The chamber we went into was 160 degrees BELOW — WOW! And yes, that’s pretty uncomfortable — in fact, I had to march in place and tell jokes with the gang in order to survive.
I had a rush of energy and my body felt great for the next maybe five hours or so, and I think that’s awesome. The other members of our group had varying degrees of benefits from the chamber, but I do know that a lot of performance athletes and big-time fitness buffs have been flocking to regular cryo sessions to help their muscles recover, so they can go hard again soon, so it’s legit. I LOVE trying new things like this, and I’d love to do it again soon in my neck of the woods.
Pumpkin oatmeal bake
I wasn’t kidding when I said that I’ve been eating this exact same creation for breakfast for the last three weeks. In fact, I made a pan of it again on Monday and have been eating it all week. Get on it! 🙂 Here’s the recipe from earlier in the week.
Dang Foods keto bars
No, I’m not keto. And no, I don’t think keto is a maintainable way to live. Don’t know what keto is? It’s a diet VERY high in fat, devoid of barely any carbs and minimal protein, and it forces your body into a state called ketosis. People rave about its ability to help you shed fat and clear your head, but once again, it’s not something that you can do for the long haul. The good news is that there are companies out there who make GOOD food and want to help people who are trying out these types of diets.
Dang Food sent me their brand new keto bars, and I really like the taste of two of the flavors and the texture and macronutrient profile of them all. They are not the absolute most delicious in all the land, but they have protein (9-10 grams per bar) and fat and not too much sugar and only 5 grams of net carbs, so they are fairly well composed. And the ingredients list is full of things you can pronounce and identify, which is always a good sign. I give these bars a thumbs up, in case you see them in the stores and are wondering. Chocolate sea salt is my fave, and I wasn’t too into the lemon.
Give me all the lotion post-trip
When I came back from a very long day of travel and a fun weekend of a lot of junk food and not very much sleep, let’s just say my skin was in need. Beautycounter to the rescue! I used this Countermatch recovery overnight cream, then followed up with this Countermatch adaptive daytime lotion — that combined with chugging water had my skin back to normal in no time. This stuff works, my friends, and it’s safe, non-toxic and made by a brand that is trying to make a difference.
Weekly workout recap
Switching topics like ….
Here’s a look at my workouts from last week …
- Monday: Practiced BODYPUMP for 30 minutes, 10:30 a.m.
- Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX workout, 10 a.m.
- Wednesday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP, 9:30 a.m.
- Thursday: Rest day
- Friday: 1-hour weights and cardio TCX class, 9:30 a.m.
- Saturday: Rest day
- Sunday: Rest day
Well, hello rest days! Due to my trip last week, I took three full days off from the gym, and that’s totally okay. Amazingly, I was able to get in my three resistance sessions for the week, which is good, although none of them included a solo session focusing on heavier weights. The workout highlight was definitely taking the TCX weights and cardio class at Life Time Fitness in Ohio taught by Bre. So fun and so tough!
Best links from around the web
- Mothers. Read this. This is such a valuable article about postpartum depression and how it needs to be addressed more readily. I’m SO thankful I didn’t suffer from PPD or from the baby blues, but if I did, I hope that I would have found help. This article also brings up the idea of the matrescence phase of growing a baby (much like adolescence is the phase of growing up) — LOVE it. A very beneficial read.
- Group fitness thoughts. I think this may be old, but it’s funny. I love this list of things that go through your head in a group fitness class.
- Healthy food options. I know we don’t all have access to super fancy healthy restaurant chains, but many of us do have access to a Panera. Panera has some new menu items, and this article gives you some tricks on how to order a healthy meal when you’re there.
- Beware of fragrance. The word fragrance is basically unregulated in the U.S., and so many of our perfumes and home products are including toxins under the term “fragrance” on the label — and these toxins cause cancer and can disrupt our hormones. It’s awful. Here’s a look at what you can do about it and what you should avoid.
A Lady Goes West Favorite archives
- Breakfast. Have I shared this one enough yet this week? Try it! “Superfood pumpkin oatmeal bake breakfast recipe.”
- Workout. Here’s a short workout to try out. “A busy girl’s three-move total-body dumbbell workout.”
- Career. I like to share this one every once in a while. “Career talk: What it’s like to work for yourself or someone else.”
Thanks for stopping by the blog today, my friends! I hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Questions of the day
What are you up to this weekend?
What’s your favorite healthy lunch place to eat?
What goes through your head in group fitness classes?