Current faves: Spa day, tennis anniversary, Trader Joe’s finds, workouts and more

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

My week was pretty good, I guess. I was a little grumpy a couple days this week though, and I never quite pinpointed the reason. Anywho — this week, I taught four group fitness classes (with two more today), I took Brady to swimming and to tennis, I played tennis twice, I worked on the blog, and I went to a wine happy hour with neighborhood girlfriends last night too, which is always a good time (and was much needed — due to my mood during the early part of the week).

The next few days are full of social activities for me. I have another girl’s get-together tonight with the moms from Brady’s preschool. Then tomorrow, we have a kid’s birthday party. And on Sunday, we have another kid’s birthday party, with some work and class prep mixed in throughout the weekend. I’ll be over on Instagram stories sharing some glimpses of the fun, so catch me there.

By the way, for those of you who have been trying to get your hands on a 40-ounce Stanley tumbler, like I mentioned in this post about the best gifts I received for Christmas, the tumblers are back in stock with new colors here. Grab ’em while they’re hot!

But in the meantime, let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


Visiting The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Charlotte

This was such a treat! For my birthday back in December, my neighborhood girlfriends pulled together a very generous gift card so I could visit The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Charlotte.

I had never been to the hotel or the spa before, and I was very excited about this opportunity to get some pampering in such a luxurious setting. What a great gift! (Thanks, ladies!)

Ashley at the Ritz by A Lady Goes West

(I’m still wearing this super-comfy sweatsuit I’ve shared about before. Here’s the top, and here are the bottoms. And here are my trusty white sneakers.)

This past Sunday, I had an amazing 60-minute stress-relieving massage, and then I spent a good portion of the day at the spa. I’m going to write a whole post about this experience, but I wanted to mention it here too, because it was surely a favorite.

Ritz Carlton gift card by A Lady Goes West

I hadn’t had a massage in almost a year, and I needed it. I made a video about my spa visit here, so check that out, if you’re interested!


Celebrating one year of playing tennis

Last week marked a whole year since the first time I nervously stepped onto the court for my very first adult beginner’s tennis clinic. I’ve come so far in a year!
During the last year, I’ve learned what it’s like to start something brand new and be a student — unsure of myself and constantly making mistakes — forgetting things as I go and finding myself progressing, regressing and back again. Also during this time, I’ve made tennis friends. I’ve learned tennis lingo. I’ve missed a lot of balls. And I’ve made a lot of bad hits. But I’ve also stuck with it, and I’m proud of that.
One year of tennis by A Lady Goes West
(Here’s my top and here’s my skirt — I have the top in two colors and the skirt in two colors, and I wear these often.)
One year later, I definitely have more confidence on the court, I always has fun (whether I do well or not), and I also always rock a tennis skirt, because tennis clothes are half the fun of being a tennis player.
And although I didn’t need another activity that takes place at the gym, I’ve never regretted spending so much time there, now that I’ve added this real hobby to my life. And as long as it stays fun, I’m going to keep playing.
One year of tennis by A Lady Goes West
In case you missed it, a few months ago, I wrote a post about my experience starting tennis as an adult and you can read that here.
Also, I’ve been loving taking Brady to his youth or “red ball” tennis lessons. He’s done four of them now, and it’s really cute to watch. He’s enjoying learning the sport too!
Brady playing tennis by A Lady Goes West


A few great Trader Joe’s finds

I don’t go to Trader Joe’s as often here as I did in California, mostly because I feel like the Trader Joe’s here is always so busy (there’s only one here).

Well, the other evening, Brady and I decided to brave the rain and crowds to not only stock up on our favorite Trader Joe’s items (hello pepitas salsa, the best salsa in all the land), but also to do some browsing and pick up new stuff.

Here are a few of the things we picked up, tried and loved …

I had this organic coconut water smoothie between teaching a class and taking a tennis clinic, and it has the best creamy texture and delicious coconut taste. So yummy! Fun fact: I froze it for an hour before leaving the house, so when I drank it mid-morning, it was still a little slushy. 

Trader Joe's coconut smoothie by A Lady Goes West

We used this green goddess seasoning on veggie fries and on butternut squash cubes in the last week, and it has a mild, but excellent flavor profile. I don’t know if I can describe it, but it’s pleasing.

Trader Joe's GG seasoning by A Lady Goes West

I never buy breaded chicken, but I thought these little organic nuggets looked good, and they were. Dave and I ate these one night with veggie fries, and I even dipped my nuggets in honey just for fun. I will totally buy these again.

Trader Joe's chicken nuggets by A Lady Goes West

And those are some of my Trader Joe’s highlights from my recent visit. I’ll share more when I go again. Happy eating!


My workouts from last week

Every week, I like to share a recap of my previous week of workouts. I share this to show you how I try to get diversity of movement 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. You absolutely don’t need to compare your movement to mine.

New weekly workouts by A Lady Goes West
Workouts from the week of 1/29

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 40-minute solo full-body heavy weights session, 9:30 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class, 9:45 a.m., took 1-hour tennis clinic, 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Took 90-minute tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week was full and very similar to recent weeks. I’ve been going strong with maintaining my one personal strength workout a week, as well as teaching my five classes, playing tennis and taking a day (or two) off. This is a good routine for me right now.

Here’s the solo workout I did, focused on heavy and slower movement, because I do a lot of faster endurance-strength movement in the classes I teach …

Solo strength workout in the gym by A Lady Goes West

Best listen of the week

Here’s a podcast that I thought was interesting and worth talking about …

Questions to ask yourself and to ask your people. During my workout this week, I listened to an episode of “The Goal Digger Podcast,” which is a great one for entrepreneurial motivation and business tips. This particular episode was about five specific questions to ask yourself and the people you work with or hang out with in order to get deep and truly benefit from the conversation — questions pulled from a business mastermind that the host recently attended. While I think the whole 40-minute show is worth a listen, here are the questions for you:

  1. What are you thankful for?
  2. What is exciting you right now?
  3. What is working for you right now?
  4. What are you struggling with right now?
  5. What do you need help with right now?

So powerful! I would highly recommend asking yourself and someone else these questions.

Quote of the week

Here’s a really good thought that popped up in the Headspace app last week after one of my guided meditations. In the age of social media, it’s hard not to compare yourself and your life to someone else/else’s. While those thoughts happen, it’s really important that you can let them pass without fixating on them …

Let it go quote by A Lady Goes West via Headspace

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at a couple posts …

Museum of Illusions. Have you ever been to any of the 30 locations around the world of the Museum of Illusions? Here’s our take on the one in Charlotte … “Review of the Museum of Illusions in Charlotte.”

Museum of Illusions in Charlotte 8 by A Lady Goes West

Books. There are always great new health books coming out, but these are some of my all-time favorites from the last few years. Have you read any of them? …. “Five health books you should read one day (my TOP health and wellness books).”

Five health books you should read one day (my TOP health and wellness books) by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for coming by the blog today, friend! I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend.

Please leave a comment, send me a direct message on Instagram or Facebook, or email me at if you have any post requests/feedback/comments or questions. I appreciate you! 🙂 

Questions of the day for YOU

How was your week?

What is exciting you right now?

What are you struggling with right now?

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  1. The week was a good but crazy one for me and the hubby. We only have a super bowl party on Sun and some catch up around the house tomorrow. And that’s what we need to recharge! Have a nice weekend!

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