Current faves: Ride of a Life Time, a great book, fun, workouts and more

Hello, my friends! How are you?

I’m doing well! I’m finishing up a pretty easy week. I taught my usual five classes, debuted some new barbell material, took a new-to-me yoga class and a new-to-me super-short intro Pilates reformer class (more on why below), worked and that’s about it. I’ve had my work/projects very much under control the last couple of weeks, and it has felt awesome. But things always ebb and flow, so I’m sure I’ll get underwater again soon.

Right now, we’re enjoying some warm spring weather and will be spending some time outside this weekend at a couple of pool parties (’tis the beginning of many pool parties, and I’m pumped for that).

We’ll also be heading out to brunch on Sunday for Mother’s Day. I’m wishing a very happy Mother’s Day to all the current and future mommas out there — sending you LOTS of love for all that you do! And if you’re having a hard day on Mother’s Day for various reasons, I’m sending some EXTRA love to you. And some extra love to my momma, because she’s the best, and as you guys know, she’s the resident assistant editor for A Lady Goes West, so we appreciate her around here. 🙂 

Now for the current faves of the week …

Current faves of the week


Ride of a Life Time event at Life Time

This was fun! I hadn’t taken a class or worked out with Dave since before COVID in California, when we went to a SoulCycle class with friends in December of 2019, for real! Although he has taken my class as a guest at Life Time twice in the last year (more of that to come).

Now that Dave is officially a member at Life Time, I hope to bring him with me semi-regularly. On Saturday, we attended the Ride of a Life Time, which is Life Time’s annual fundraiser for the Life Time Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network. We did a 45-minute cycling class, which was a mixture of performance and fun cycling. The music was loud, the lights were going, and we got into it. 

I didn’t actually take many pictures of the whole event, but I did take some video, and you can see the little video I made about it here.

Ashley after the ride by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my workout tank, which is cropped, but very supportive.)

After the workout, we hung out with some fellow instructors for a bit and had refreshments, then we grabbed Brady (who had been doing arts and crafts in the kidcare), and went on with our day.

I think we have more family Saturday morning gym trips in our future. Dave always works out at home, so it’s a nice change for him to be around people. And it’s a nice change for me to have him come along.

Little delights as of late

Dave and I had a dinner date last Saturday, which we hadn’t done since February. We went to a nearby Italian place and sat at the bar, which we always do. Our food was delicious, and it was great to get out. The night before, I had gone out to drinks with my neighborhood girlfriends, so I did two nights out in a row — a big change from the low-key weekend I had before this one.

At our dinner on Saturday night at Zinicola, Dave and I split some glazed Brussels sprouts, a goat-cheese-ball salad and pappardelle bolognese, along with bread and beverages. We opted to pick up a slice of carrot cake from Publix on the way home for dessert, because the restaurant only had tiramisu, and that’s not my dessert of choice. Publix carrot cake never disappoints, I tell you that. It’s my go-to dessert, and I have it quite regularly. I often give Dave a bite or two, so that counts as sharing. But otherwise, it’s all mine. And I never plan to live a life that doesn’t leave room for that, processed sugar and all.

Ashley out to dinner by A Lady Goes West

Before we left on Saturday evening, we had our babysitter take our family picture. Brady was already bathed and in his jammies, so he played with his sitter for a bit before he got into his bed, after we left. I’m grateful he’s such a good boy for sitters, because it makes going out easy. He never complains and is usually just happy to have someone else around to be his audience. (But yes, we do have our daily struggles with him in other areas, as all parents of young children do.)

Family picture before dinner by A Lady Goes West

(Here are my white jeans, and they are super soft, and I’m wearing a medium. Here is my off-the-shoulder-top, and I’m wearing a small. And here are my new heels, which are comfy. Also, here’s my clutch purse, which I’ve had for forever, and it has my initials on it.)

Greetings from Brady before school

I used to take Brady’s picture before school every single morning, but we got off of that regular ritual once it was cold and we wanted to head straight to the heated car. Well, on Monday, I snapped a picture because he had some flowers in his hand for his teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week (each kid was supposed to bring a flower for each teacher, so they could have a big display).

There are only three weeks left of school after this, which is totally crazy! The year has flown by, but he’ll be going to his same school next year, which will be his first time staying at a school for a second year because of COVID closures and our move.

Brady with flowers by A Lady Goes West
By the way, I made another video about some things I’ve been loving lately, and you can check that out here, and you’ll see his flower dance in it, as well as some more real-life stuff.


“The Meaning of Mariah Carey” by Mariah Carey

My friends, I loved this book! I know that Mariah Carey had a co-writer who helped her craft this biography, but still, it felt like Mariah was telling me her life story herself in her own voice, each and every word. And she certainly hasn’t had an easy life, even as a super-rich, super-successful mega star.

This story begins with Mariah’s childhood, which was terribly traumatic for her. She grew up in a mixed family with a white mom and black dad and darker siblings, and she never felt like she belonged. She was treated poorly by others and by her own family, and she never had a lot of stability growing up. But she had her music, which eventually took her places. Yet, what’s crazy is that as successful as she became, her family kept trying to drag her down and keep control of her. And at times she crumbled under the pressure of being the money-maker for so many, many people in her life.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey by A Lady Goes West

(“The Meaning of Mariah Carey” by Mariah Carey.)

Mariah talks about her childhood, her rise to success, some of her career missteps, her public breakdown and so much more. I read this book for long chunks of time at night staying up late on several occasions, which is the sign of a great book.

What I loved the most was where Mariah shared song lyrics she wrote for her popular songs that directly related to things going on in her life. It makes me want to listen to Mariah Carey on repeat. We all know she is talented, but learning the backstory is so interesting.

I think Mariah was very open, but this book wasn’t quite the intimate tell-all that Jessica Simpson or Demi Moore wrote, and those remain my favorite celebrity biographies. But Mariah’s book was totally worth reading. Well done, Mariah and writing team. 

Fun fact: “Always Be My Baby” will FOREVER be one of my favorite songs in life. Anyone else?


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 4/25

  • 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., took 45-minute core/cardio class at Life Time, 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught 45-minute barre class with light weights at Life Time, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class with weights at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class at Life Time, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Took 45-minute cycle class at Life Time, 9 a.m., took 45-minute walk, 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: 90-minute tennis lesson at Life Time, 11:30 a.m.

This past week was super full of movement! I taught five classes, went on a walk, had a tennis lesson, and I even took two classes.

And here’s the why on me trying extra classes each week: There are several class formats at Life Time that I’ve not tried yet, and in order to be able to speak about all of them to my members, I need to try them out myself. It’s been almost a year that I’ve worked at Life Time, so it’s time to branch out. Last week, I tried out two cycling formats in a sampler class (the Ride of a Life Time event), and I also tried a functional core program, which I loved. And I tried two other new classes this week, which will show up on next week’s workout recap.

Once again, by taking other classes I get inspiration, and I get to work on myself a bit, which is always good. I know, no rest day again, but I swear there’s one or two coming back this week for sure. My tennis lesson day will be switching soon, so I can go back to resting on Sundays in a few weeks and everything will sort itself out.

Best read of the week …

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

How and why to use your hand for portion sizes. I’ve talked about this method of using your hands to measure your food before, and while I don’t consistently use this, I do have it in the back of my mind and would use this more diligently if I had a current body transformation goal. While some people like to track their macronutrients with an app, I don’t, and if you’re not into that either, this could be a more informal and less stressful way to measure your protein, carbs and fats with each meal to make sure you’re getting a good mixture for you and your needs. This is a detailed article on how and why to use your hands for portion sizes, so enjoy, if it’s something that interests you and works for you. If not, skip it. 🙂

Quote of the week …

Here’s a quote from one of my recent meditations on Headspace that I wanted to share here too:

Embrace the moment quote 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) …

Spring clean.  I hope you liked this one from earlier in the week with a few wellness tips I’ve learned over the years … “Four things to stop doing this spring (spring clean your wellness lifestyle).”

Four things to stop doing this spring (spring clean your wellness lifestyle) by A Lady Goes West (1)

All about habits. This is a useful one to go back to if your habits need a refresh and you want to feel more grounded … “Add more good to your life with anchor habits.”

Add more good to your life with anchor habits by A Lady Goes West
Thanks for coming by the blog, my friends. I hope you have a great day and weekend!

Questions of the day for YOU …

How was your week?

When was the last time you tried something new?

What’s one of your favorite songs of all time?

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