Current faves: Orlando wedding, a great book and workouts

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

My week was good! I taught my usual four classes (two in-person and two virtual), worked, took Brady to his second swim lesson, and did all the regular things we do each week. This weekend, I’m subbing a class. And other than that, we’re keeping things low-key, because next weekend, we have another set of visitors staying with us for a few nights. Summer 2021 is a busy one and a good one so far. Alright, let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


Spending time with friends and family in Orlando

This time last week, we were waking up in Orlando, and we have a lot of history there.

For those of you who don’t know, Dave and I met in Orlando, we were married in Orlando, and that’s where we lived before we moved to San Francisco. It seems like forever ago that we were downtown Orlando residents, living in a high-rise, unmarried, kid-less, dog-less and doing our thing together without too many worries. We both lived in Orlando for a while, and we had a huge set of great friends, we had good jobs, and we loved our lives. Going back to Orlando brings back all sorts of memories, that’s for sure. It was a fun and happy time. However, we truly learned and grew so much from our big move out west and the eight years of amazing (and tough) experiences we had in California as well. No regrets for either place!

During this visit to Orlando (we hadn’t been in almost three years, oh my goodness, because that’s our longest stretch since we left), we stayed with our friends, Jess and Amanda, for the first night, and we see them every single time we go into town. They are the sweetest, and Brady loves playing with their oldest son too.

While Dave went off to golf with the wedding party during the first morning, Brady and I hung with the friends, and we even went to brunch with them in Winter Park at The Briar Patch. It was such a great morning, catching up, eating good food and enjoying some Central Florida sunshine. From there, Brady, Rudy and I went to the hotel, got situated in our room, then made our rounds to say hello to some people. 

Avo toast from The Briar Patch by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Brady on Park Avenue by A Lady Goes West

(This matching set was perfect for a warm Florida casual day. Here are my shorts, here is my top, and here are my flip-flops. You. know I’m loving matching sets right now.)

Later that day, my mom drove up from her house in Southwest Florida and joined us for the weekend, and we had so much fun just running around the hotel and hanging out in our room with her. My mom didn’t attend the wedding, but she had a chance to see everyone before events, which was a good time for her. She also watched Brady and Rudy, while Dave and I went to the rehearsal dinner and when we went to the wedding. They were well taken care of, and Brady got to stay up extra late with Grammie, of course. 🙂 

Here’s my whole family together before the rehearsal dinner …

Family before rehearsal by A Lady Goes West

Family before rehearsal dinner by A Lady Goes West

We also had a chance to have lunch with one my dearest friends, Judy, who lives in Orlando and came to the hotel to see us. I’ve known Judy since high school, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding, and she’s one amazing person. She even made the trip out west to see us not one, but two times, in California! One lunch wasn’t quite enough Judy time, but I know I’ll see her again one day soon, now that I live on the East Coast.

On to the wedding …

Ashley and Dave and Brady before wedding by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave at wedding by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my dress, which was so comfy for a wedding! And here are my earrings.)

Quick note about the wedding: The wedding was so well done. The bride works in the events industry, and it’s very clear she’s a pro. Everything was planned perfectly, and we loved it. In case you’re into wedding planning talk, a few things that I loved: They had everyone meet 30 minutes before the ceremony to walk to the ballroom together, which was a great way to make sure everyone was on time. They asked everyone to put their phones away, with no pictures during the ceremony, which meant we were much more present. They took all the wedding party pictures before the ceremony, so all of the wedding party was able to attend cocktail hour (and most of our friends were in the wedding party, so we liked this). At the reception, they had a photo-booth for guests to take pictures and text themselves a digital copy. They gave away glow sticks and light-up glasses to wear on the dance-floor, which was super fun. And this is the sweetest thing — after the final song, they asked everyone to leave the reception hall, and the bride and groom stayed behind for a private last dance — which I think is the BEST wedding idea ever, knowing that the bride and groom are usually rushed from one thing to the other without a moment to truly soak it in. Nice work, Jessica and Alex!

Wedding photobooth by A Lady Goes West

After a lot of fun, we flew home on Sunday, a little tired, but totally filled up from good times with good people. And we have just under a week of our routine until our friends Phil and Kicki visit us from San Francisco, yay!


“The Ride of a Lifetime” by Bob Iger

This book, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company” was one that I knew I wanted to read as soon as I heard about its existence. And I wanted to read it for a couple of reasons …

First of all, most of you may know that I worked at Disney two times. My first job out of college was as a communications coordinator at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World Resort. From there I moved on to be a cast services coordinator at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which was MGM Studios at the time). After that, I left Disney to get a bunch of outside experience at a PR agency, and I went back for my second stint as a communications manager for the entertainment line of business, working at the company’s Main Gate corporate office in Lake Buena Vista, outside of Orlando.

My love for Disney runs deep. And even though I don’t work for the company any longer, I have so many great memories from my time there. I had some excellent management training there. I worked with some amazing people (big shout out to my three favorites from my Disney time, Natalie S., Jason R. and Wendy A. — even though I’m sure none of them read my blog haha). I really learned a ton. It’s an awesome company, that’s for sure. But outside of all that, I have always been intrigued by the life of big-time business people who have such huge responsibilities and influence. Bob Iger, as the CEO of The Walt Disney Company for 15 years, is right up there.

While this business book may not sound all that exciting, I have to admit, I ate it up. I read it so quickly — really over the course of just a few sittings. And it read so well. I don’t know if Bob Iger wrote it entirely himself or had a ghost-writer, but it was well written, it flowed extremely well, and he used some great language. I mean, just so good.

The Ride of a Lifetime book by A Lady Goes West

(“The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company“)

Iger gets super candid too …

He only talks a bit about his personal life, explaining some of his childhood and mentioning a few tidbits about his family, but mostly, this book is all about his career at ABC and Disney. He talks about huge mergers and acquisitions that he helped make happen via personal relationships. He talks about having to deal with tragedies that happened in the world and happened at Disney. He talks about actual meetings and conversations with real-life business leaders and executives, and he names them by name.

I won’t get into all the details of the book, but I will say that throughout it, Iger walks us through his career growth, and walks us through his methodology behind his big decisions as CEO of the Disney company. With all of his experience, he narrows his leadership style down to a few principles — shown within his story. And here are a few of his top priorities for leadership:

  • Optimism
  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Decisiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Fairness
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Integrity

I was actually so surprised by all the details, facts and figures and honesty that he shared about behind-the-closed doors of the Disney C-suite world. It was a lot, and for some reason, I was very much into it.

I know this may not sound like one of my usual health and wellness books. It wasn’t. But I like to branch out, and this is one that proved very worthy of branching to. Even if you aren’t in the corporate world, I think you could get something out of this book. I talked it up so much that Dave is actually reading it now, and he’s not a fan of reading at all. Well done, Bob Iger!

Side-note about Disney: I really want to take Brady to Walt Disney World this year … let’s hope we can make it happen when the weather cools off.


Weekly workouts 

Quick disclaimer: This section of the post is where I share all the workouts I did the previous week. And please remember that my workout schedule works for me, and it may not work for you. Your workouts should make you feel good and leave you feeling energized. If they don’t do that, it may be time to reassess what you’re doing regularly.

I tend to do a little more than the average person, because I work as a fitness instructor, but I also do a lot of active recovery to counteract my workouts and keep my body and mind in good condition.

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour full-body barbell workout, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took 45-minute lower-body weights workout at Life Time, 9:45 a.m., taught 45-minute virtual bodyweight barre class on Motus, 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Took 1-hour yoga class at Life Time, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute full-body weights class at Life Time, 10 a.m,. 
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: 15-minute cycle on Peloton bike at home, 6 p.m.

This past week was a little different with workouts, because I mostly took the whole weekend off, outside of a super-easy and light cycle on Sunday evening after we got home from our trip. I’ve been fine with missing workout days this summer due to travel and visitors, because those activities are doing me just as much good as sweating. 

Promo codes

A Lady Goes West favorite products

There are certain brands that I swear by in my own life, and so I like to share them with you. If you choose to try them too, and if you use my links or promo codes, you will be supporting me. Thanks for that!

  • Carbon38. I’m always wearing stuff from here, and it’s the coolest activewear around. Get 15 percent off your first two orders of $100 or more using the code ASHLEYPITT. 
  • G2G protein bars. I love these tasty and minimal-ingredient protein bars. You can get 15 percent off your order on the G2G Bar site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
  • Organifi supplements. This is my go-to protein powder brand. You can get 15 percent off your order on the Organifi site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
  • Beautycounter. The best safe skincare and makeup. Send me a message, and I’ll share a 20 percent off code for your very first order.
  • Les Mills On Demand workouts. My favorite fitness brand. You can do a whole month of workouts during a free 30-day trial by using my special referral link here.

Best reads

A few things from around the web 

Here’s the thought of the week, which I posted to Instagram a couple of weeks ago …

Stop and take a deep breath by A Lady Goes West

A Lady Goes West favorite archives 

10 things for your Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021 wish list (under $100) by A Lady Goes West

How to find inspiration (and why you should care) by A Lady Goes West

Have a great day, my friends! Thank you, as always, for coming here to read A Lady Goes West. 🙂

Questions of the day

How was your week?

Have you read anything good lately?

Where is the last place you visited?

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  1. Hi Ashley! Glad you guys had a great time in Orlando! That book sounds so interesting for me and my husband who is a business owner for the first time. Thanks for the rec! We just returned from our trip back home, first time since before COVID. So fun but of course never enough time. We also had a little trip to FL and hoping to squeeze in some day trips to the beautiful NC beaches we haven’t visited yet. Have a good week!

    1. Hi Joanna! How nice you had a chance to travel home — I bet it felt great to see some of your people. We also need to try out the NC beaches one day soon. Have a great week! 🙂

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