Current faves: Quarantine week nine, Becoming, food and workouts

Hey, friends! How are you? We just finished up week nine. I literally can’t believe we’re still in quarantine, but I will admit that the days do go by really quickly.

This week has been a lot of the usual around here: working, playing, laundry, exercise, teaching virtual classes and staying home. It’s sort’ve weird to think that some people are heading back to the gym and the office in other parts of the country, but we most certainly are not.

We are, however, taking advantage of all this family time and keeping consistent with a daily family walk or bike ride in the afternoon. And to say that I will miss this daily activity (togetherness) once Dave goes back to work is definitely an understatement. 

Bike ride in the sun - by A Lady Goes West - May 2020

Current faves

Now let’s do the faves for the week …


“Becoming” on Netflix

I was so excited when I found out Michelle Obama had a documentary coming out on Netflix that I watched it just three days after it was released. Mrs. Obama’s book, “Becoming,” was one of the best biographies I’ve ever read and so incredibly well written. And because the documentary is all about her book tour, I figured I would enjoy it too. 

Becoming on Netflix

(Image source.)

Well, I did. Let’s just say this woman is truly inspiring. And we saw a lot of that in the documentary, just as we did in the book.

The documentary gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what Mrs. Obama has been up to since leaving the position of First Lady in the White House. We see her touring multiple cities to promote her book and meeting and connecting with fans around the nation. And people go crazy over her. She is somehow the mixture of down-to-Earth while also sophisticated, intelligent, relatable and inspiring, and she’s always encouraging others to do better and to be better. I love that.

“Becoming,” the film, is about 90-minutes long and goes by so quickly. I actually wish it had been longer, so we could have had more time with Michelle Obama. Hopefully she’ll write another book one day too.

You can find the documentary here. And you definitely don’t need to have read the book to enjoy and get a lot out of it, by the way. 


“Very Nice” by Marcy Dermansky

Now this one is a BIG contrast to “Becoming.”

Okay, I didn’t love this book. The ending was ho-hum, and the writing style was so choppy and punchy. But you know I like to report back on the things I’m consuming, so here you go. And also, I think I may have taken the book too literally and not really understood the entire point of it until the end …

I picked up “Very Nice” off the new release section of the library more than two months ago, and I picked it up mostly because I was drawn to the cover and title. The book is about a wealthy Connecticut family, with a little love triangle thrown in — including a mom, a daughter and a writing professor, who is also a popular author — pretty scandalous stuff.

Very Nice book - by A Lady Goes West - May 2020

The part that I did like about this book is that every single chapter is told from the perspective of a few people in the story. And quite frankly, all of the characters have major flaws and really are not all that likable. But boy are they honest, which I enjoy.

The thing is: The description on the book jacket says the book is brilliantly funny, but I just didn’t get that when reading it. However, once I finished the book, I actually realized the value of it, in which the whole narrative is supposed to be a look at the ridiculous way that some people behave and live their lives in this day and age.

I think it was supposed to be a lesson in looking from the outside in. And when you think of it like that, I guess some parts of it were funny. But still, I probably wouldn’t recommend this one. Nonetheless, it provided a little escape for me during my nightly 20-minute reading sessions before bed. But I’m back to reading nonfiction right now to switch it up.

What I’m currently reading 

I decided to go back to my first love of reading professional and self-development books, and I just received these two …

  • Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (female empowerment, and I started it this week and am already a huge fan)
  • Change Maker” by John Berardi (the creator of Precision Nutrition and a super influential person in the health and fitness coaching space)

You can bet I’ll report back on my learnings and thoughts from both titles once I get through them.


Poppi prebiotic soda

Here I am with another item that I learned about on the show “Shark Tank.”

Dave came home with a small pack of Poppi prebiotic cans a week ago, and we had them finished in just a couple of days. So tasty.

This drink is sparkling, lightly flavored and is so refreshing, And it has some health benefits …

Poppi drink - by A Lady Goes West - May 2020

Poppi has apple cider vinegar in it, so it’s great for your digestion and gut health — which is where the prebiotics come into play. So not only is it enjoyable to drink, but also, some of the ingredients are getting to work on your insides and doing beneficial things.

Dave found Poppi at Sprouts, but you can also find it on Amazon. Highly recommend!


Weekly workout recap

Here’s how I exercised last week …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 30-minute strength workout via the Peloton app, 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 45-minute POP Pilates virtually, 5 p.m., 20-minute cycle, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 30-minute strength workout via the Peloton app, 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute barre virtually, 12 p.m., 20-minute cycle, 6 p.m.
  • Friday: 30-minute strength workout via the Peloton app, 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: Taught 45-minute POP Pilates virtually, 10 a.m.
  • Sunday: Active recovery day (practiced a little bit of POP Pilates lightly)

This week, I did all the things I set out to do: Teach three virtual classes, lift weights three times, do some cardio and have a light/rest day. I haven’t picked up heavy weights or even a barbell in almost a month, and I’m really starting to miss that. Guess I should get back to it! But overall, workouts are going okay right now.

Best reads

A few things from around the web …

  • Allergy relief. I had never suffered from seasonal allergies until a couple of years ago, and my doctor told me it’s because the pollen in the Bay Area has become increasingly more irritating for the average person. If you’re in need of help too, this list has some great natural remedies to soothe allergies.
  • Passing the nut butter for charity. This is a fun little video that I did with some of my long-time blogging buddies, in which we all passed our favorite nut butter. We’re each making donations to a charity of our choice based on interactions with our posts, so help out. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out here.
  • Dream big. This is a short podcast episode with Oprah and Pastor Joel Osteen. Yes, it’s a little fluffy, but it felt good to listen to.
  • Try something new. Definitely check out this round-up of 10 ways to try something simple and new to keep things interesting while you’re at home in quarantine. I’m all for it.

And here’s the quote of the week from the Calm app, which I use to do my daily morning meditations

Follow your heart quote - by A Lady Goes West - May 2020

A Lady Goes West favorite archives …

Tips for taking and teaching virtual fitness classes by A Lady Goes West

The five best books I've read this year (fiction and nonfiction) by A Lady Goes West

Thank you for coming by the blog today, my friends! I’ll see you over on Instagram! xoxo

Questions of the day

What’s the best documentary you’ve ever watched?

What are you reading right now?

Have you discovered any new food or drink items worth sharing lately?



  1. Hi Ashley,

    Thank you for the continued blog posts.
    Love reading them an d following along.

    Have you ever done a round up of your favourite fitness clothing? Especially leggings?
    I am new to leggings and I have 3 pairs now!(thanks quarentine) I wonder what your favorites are. The ones that you could wear all day, every day and never want to take off or wear anything differently.

    1. Hi Sabrina! Thank you so much for reading! I have done a fitness clothes round-up a couple months ago. You can find it here … my favorite leggings are the Lululemon Zoned In tights here …, but I share more in the post. I think the best ones that are the most cost effective would be the Zella Live In leggings here … Yay for leggings! I could live in them! 🙂

  2. Ashley, Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach were speakers at the 2018 Zen Parenting Radio conference in Chicago. They are awesome! Did you know they live in Naples?

    I have read Glennon’s ‘Love Warrior’ (loved it!) and have purchased ‘Untamed’ but haven’t started it yet. I have also read Abby’s book ‘Forward.’

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the ‘Becoming’ documentary. I didn’t want it to end!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Principal J! 🙂 I didn’t know that Glennon lived in Naples — how cool heheh. I’m loving her forward approach, so I can see myself reading more from her. We have a similar style in books it seems! 🙂 Hope you are doing well!

  3. I loved the book Becoming, can’t wait to watch the documentary! I’m currently reading Night Theater by Vikram Paralkar and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James and really liking both! Earlier in the week, I finished reading Long Bright River by Liz Moore and The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger. Both were excellent!

    1. Hi Jessie! You are a reading machine!! Love it! I would love to read the Bob Iger book — thanks for the rec, I’ll need to check that one out! Happy Friday, friend!

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