Current faves: So much fun with our besties, big beauty sale and weekly workouts

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 …

Current faves


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. 🙂

Beautycounter friends and fam sale

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)
  • Sunscreen

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.

Mooitts before SF dinner -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Mooitts at Lafayette Reservoir -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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.

Ashley and Bre at barre -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

  • 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.

Mooitts after SoulCycle -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

True Food brunch drinks -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

  • 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 … 

Mooitts before WC dinner -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Ashley and Dave blue wall at home -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

(My dress and shoes, which have been two of my summer favorites on repeat.)

  • 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!

Pizza night -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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 …

Ashley and Dave at Cuvaison -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Tasting at Cuvaison -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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.

Mooitts at Cuvaison -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

(Sadly, my dress is sold out. But I’m wearing Bre’s sunglasses and am obsessed with them.)

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?)

Mooitts at Viansa -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Tasting at Viansa -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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.

Mooitts at overlook at Viansa -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

Viansa views -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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 …

Weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West

  • 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.

Best reads

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.

Baby steps quote from Calm -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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.”

My top 15 apps on my phone I use daily for work and play by A Lady Goes West

Top 10 simple and clean store-bought healthy snacks by A Lady Goes West

Before we go, Brady wants you to know he sat in a red reading nook at the library this week …

Brady at the library in WC -- A Lady Goes West - August 2019

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.



    1. Yesss — I need Dave to write out the exact process — but here’s what I can tell you. We buy the frozen dough from the deli area of Whole Foods (it comes in a ball in a bag). He works on the dough, adds some olive oil to it. Then, we get a big ball of real mozzarella cheese, put that on top in chunks, add some caramelized onions (made in butter in the pan) and sliced-up peppers and a TON of basil leaves and of course, pizza sauce (usually an organic kind in a jar, store bought), then cook it and eat it. hehehe Hope that helps for now! 🙂 The dough is really good and his pizza-making skills too!

  1. Ooh the art of conversation! I love the article you linked. The last suggestion of learn to practice restraint is definitely my weakness. I get so excited to relate to the other person that I end of taking over the conversation ??‍♀️

    On a side note, I finally took the plunge and trialed Les Mills and am loving it! I am only able to workout at home rather than a gym— it is really hard to find an online workout that actually keeps me motivated. Plus I like the variety in workouts that they offer. Thanks for sharing your link to Les Mills! Enjoy the start of your week!

    1. Morgan! My friend — I am WITH you, I’m always SOOO ready to jump in when I’m talking to someone hahaha — have to hold back a bit! 🙂 So I feel you there. And I’m SO happy to hear you are enjoying Les Mills? What has been your favorite so far??

      1. I’m surprised to say it, but I actually liked Body Combat! I did the New to Les Mills program and recently started the postpartum workouts, even though I’m 18 months post baby. I have found that one very helpful in re-engaging my core and pelvic floors muscles. I had been doing a Pilates course online and found I started to have low back pain and other issues related to pelvic floor so the postpartum course has been a nice re-education. I still haven’t tried all of the programs Les Mills offers, but I’m really enjoying the cardio and change from Pilates.

        1. I seriously LOVE to hear that you are being smart and cautious and doing those important post-partum core exercises — props to you. And I haven’t even done the new LM program, Tone, yet. I hope to try it soon! Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

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