Happy Friday! How was your week, my lovely friends? Mine was good! Back to the usual writing, momming and group fitness teaching flow after we said goodbye to our besties super early on Monday morning. I have a fresh set of current favorites for you today, so let’s do it …
Friends and Family Sale time at Beautycounter
Yes! It only happens a couple times a year, and it’s back. The Beautycounter Friends & Family Sale is going on now through Monday. This means that almost everything is 15 percent off on the site, which is a huge steal. Unfortunately, the brand new Countertime line isn’t included in the sale, nor are the already discounted regimen sets, but all of my other favorites are. And everything is non-toxic and even safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
The Friends & Family Sale is actually how I bought my first round of Beautycounter products more than a year ago and became enough of a fan to join as a consultant. 🙂
Have you been wanting to try Beautycounter skincare or makeup? Now’s your chance, and a little goes a long way — even just one swap for a safer product in your routine is better than not switching anything (baby steps!). Here’s my list of favorites and what I’d start with …
- Charcoal face mask treatment
- Overnight resurfacing peel
- Rejuvenating night cream
- Charcoal face wash bar
- Cleansing balm (So many uses for this one)
- Dew skin foundation (I wear shade 2)
- Tint skin foundation (I wear linen shade)
- Lipgloss (Bellini)
- Sheer lipstick (Twig)
- Color intense lipstick (Red and 9-to-5 are my colors, which you always see on my lips)
- Mattifying powder (Sets your makeup so well and goes on clear)
- Eye makeup remover
- Counterman toner pads (Dave’s absolute fave)
Please let me know if you have any questions at all. You can place your order directly using my personal Beautycounter link here. Thank you SO much for choosing safer and supporting this awesome brand.
Visit from our besties, Grant and Bre
We’ve been pretty good about having an annual visit with our friends, Grant and Bre, over the last seven years since leaving Florida. Dave met Grant and Bre while playing soccer back in Florida many years ago, then Dave introduced me to them — and the rest is history. We all used to live in Florida, now we live in California, and they live in Ohio. Last year, we went to see them in Columbus with Brady in tow, and this year, they came to see us without their kids (they have three!).
We have SO much fun when we’re together, and this latest visit was up there as one of our best (perhaps with our Vegas adventure coming in a close second). Needless to say, we were pretty tired when they left, but in the best way possible.
Here are the highlights from their visit …
- Bringing Bre to my barre class. She hasn’t taken a lot of barre, and she liked it! She was surprised by not only how much I sweat during barre, but also how full my noon (not usually a popular time) class gets. Bre is an instructor too, and I took her group fitness class when I went to Columbus last year, and she was awesome.
- Watching Brady play with Grant and Bre. At the beginning of the visit, Brady was really shy around them both. And by the end, he was taking his book up to Uncle Grant and asking him to read to him over and over again. It was adorable!
- Introducing Grant and Bre to their very first crowded and crazy SoulCycle ride, followed up by an overpriced healthy brunch at True Foods Kitchen. It’s a standard activity for us, and they were fans of both things. Brady was at camp this morning, so it worked out perfectly.
- The very best day in wine country. More on that below!
- A fun San Francisco evening out, including drinks at Local Edition and dinner at International Smoke, which is Ayesha Curry’s restaurant. It was one of the best meals ever — lots of flavors and unique dishes. We loved it, and we followed it up by dancing at a club (hadn’t done that in a while!) — such a good time.
- Hanging out in our pajamas watching TV. Grant and Bre share my taste in TV shows. The three of us (Dave didn’t join for this), watched all of the episodes of “The Hills: New Beginnings” together throughout the course of their visit. I was ready to hate this show, but I must admit, I’m hooked. Anyone else?
- Popping a special occasion bottle of fancy champagne with them on our first night and doing a photo in front of our favorite blue wall at home. And we went out to dinner in downtown Walnut Creek to Teleferic Barcelona after this and brought home dessert from The Cheesecake Factory. (What can I say, we went big on this visit.) Photo is courtesy of our babysitter, of course …
- Pizza night at home! Dave and I do pizza night every Sunday, and we try to keep that tradition up with our visitors too. We had appetizers, red wine that we purchased the day before in Napa, and soaked up our last night together before they left, sitting outside under the moonlight. Good times!
Let’s get to some more details on our trip to wine country, which was our best day of the trip … I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — wine country is my happy place. It’s almost always sunny and warm. It’s relaxing. And I mean, you get to drink wine, hang out with good people and just soak up the scene.
Fabulous tasting experience at Cuvaison Napa
This was my first time at Cuvaison, and it won’t be my last. I had tried Cuvaison wine when they sent it to me months ago, so was eager to visit the winery in person and experience even more. Apparently Cuvaison is one of the older family-owned independent wineries in Napa, which opened in 1969, and it’s huge too. Just look at the setting …
We loved the Cuvaison estate-grown sparkling Brut Rose and the Chardonnay Hedon too (okay, truth, we loved all our wines and our big cheese plate to go along with it). Our table was overlooking the vineyard, and we absolutely loved the laid-back setting for tasting.
The building is actually pretty modern, and they had the coolest huge wooden door leading out to the patio where we sat, which we all remarked on several times. We bought a couple bottles while we were there, and Grant and Bre joined the membership, so it’s safe to say we were real fans.
The most gorgeous tasting experience at Viansa Sonoma
This was my third time at Viansa if that tells you anything about how much I like this place. It’s centrally located between Napa and Sonoma, and it is perhaps the most gorgeous setting of all the places I’ve been — there was even a wedding taking place when we were there this last time. And the wine is great! Also, this picture of us cracks me up … (boy band album cover?)
Viansa seems like a little Italian village, quite a contrast from the modern vibes of Cuvaison, and they even have a deli and market inside, which we patronized during our visit. We sat on one of the overlook huts on the valley and soaked up the sun, view, cheese plate and various wines.
The Viansa Reserve Chardonnay is awesome, and we bought two bottles of that, as well as the Viansa Reserve Pinot Noir. And Grant and Bre joined the membership here too — do you see a pattern here? We only wanted to do two wineries, so I think we chose the very best for their first time in wine country.
Thank you so much to both Cuvaison and Viansa for hosting our group on the house. We loved everything about our experiences!
Weekly workout recap
Switching subjects like … how I’ve been moving lately …
- Monday: Practiced BODYATTACK 35 minutes, 15-minute upper-body workout, 5 p.m.
- Tuesday: 30-minute CXWORX, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute BODYATTACK, 4:45 p.m.
- Wednesday: 15-minute lower-body workout, taught 1-hour barre class, 5 p.m.
- Thursday: Taught 1-hour barre class, 12 p.m.
- Friday: 45-minute SoulCycle, 9:30 a.m.
- Saturday: Rest day
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week was a good follow-up to the week before, which had a lot of classes and workouts. I took two full rest days this week, had lighter days and only taught three classes. I also did two very short solo workouts, so I’m feeling proud of that. Definitely a bit light on resistance training though, but that’s okay.
From around the web …
- New mom advice when you live far from family. It’s not easy to be a new mom, and it’s especially not easy when you live far from family and close friends. One of my blogging friends wrote this piece for The Every Mom, and she was kind enough to ask for my advice based on my experience, which is featured. Hope you check it out.
- Ask better questions. I think most people need to work on their listening skills and their question-asking skills. I love this post about how to do be a better conversationalist. Food for thought!
And for the best quote of the week from my meditations app … an oldie, but a goodie and one worth remembering.
A Lady Goes West favorite archives …
- Technology use. Okay team, have you taken a moment to check how much you are using your phone and which apps get most of your attention? If not, you should. This post tells you how to do it and what I found out from my usage … “My top 15 apps on my phone I use daily for work and play.”
- Snack time. Because you don’t always want to make your snacks from scratch …”Top 10 simple and clean store-bought snacks.”
Before we go, Brady wants you to know he sat in a red reading nook at the library this week …
Thanks for visiting the blog today, my friends. I appreciate you. Be good out there!
Questions of the day
What was the best thing that happened during your week?
What was one thing that you want to improve on for next week?
Have you checked your app usage yet?
P.S. Planning to work out this weekend? Why not give a Les Mills class a try in the privacy of your own home using a free 21-day trial of my favorite streaming service, Les Mills On Demand? Here’s my personal link to give you that 21-day trial.