Hello, my friends! How are you doing right now?
Dave, Brady, Rudy and I are waking up at our friends’ house in Orlando. We got here last night. And this morning, we’re heading to a hotel for the rest of the weekend to enjoy festivities for a wedding for a super-sweet couple, Alex and Jess. My mom is meeting us at the hotel and will be staying with us to hang out with Brady and Rudy, while Dave and I attend the rehearsal dinner tonight and wedding tomorrow. We’re excited to see a bunch of people we love this weekend, including my brother and his wife, Stephanie, who will also be at the wedding (my brother is actually the best man). After all the fun, we’ll be back in the air en route to Charlotte on Sunday. It’s been a busy summer for sure.
(You’ll often find me wearing a matching set these days, because I’m very into them. From the picture above, here’s the top and here are the shorts, and I’m wearing an extra-small in both. And here’s another set I bought and plan to wear today in Orlando, with a top and shorts, and I’m wearing an extra-small in both these too — because this brand runs large.)
This past week was a good one for me, and it went by quickly. I taught three classes, worked, continued getting through training for the new program I’m going to teach at Life Time, and I did all the things one has to do to prepare and pack a family for a long weekend away. We also had our guest bedroom shower fixed for the second time, because the water has not been very warm for the many guests we’ve hosted the last few months (with more on the way at the end of the month, YAY!), but it should be ready now. Alright, let’s get to the faves …
Brady’s swim lessons
Okay, okay, Brady was definitely due for swimming lessons, at his current age of 3-years-and-9-months-old, but we’ve been waiting for the right time to do them. Well, he took his first lesson this week, and it was adorable. He loved it!
When we lived in California, Brady was literally never around water or pools (other than the tiny kiddie pool we inflated behind our house for some of the hot and quarantined summer 2020). Nonetheless, I knew we needed to get Brady into swimming one day, but there were no immediate plans for water activities back then.
Now that we’re in Charlotte, Brady is in the pool at least a few times a month. We joined our neighborhood club and have access to a great swimming pool whenever we want. Brady loves going there, and has spent most of his time with floaties on in the kiddie pool wading and playing. We keep our eye on him, but still, it’s about time he learned some real pool safety.
Even though Brady likes splashing in the pool, he has not shown any interest in learning to swim, even maybe showing some signs of being scared of deeper water. When I found out that Brady could get group swimming lessons right at Life Time (indoor pool situation shown above), where I teach classes, I went ahead and signed him up — a little worried about how it would go.
I was unsure how much he would be willing to do during his first lesson, but I talked up how fun it would be to swim, and we called it his “swim team practice,” which is an idea he could really get behind — being a little competitor. On the day of his first lesson, I dropped him off with his swim instructor and walked over to the parent area to sit. From my position, it looked like he had to be convinced to get into water on the little platform where the other tiny swimmers were standing, but once he did, he was great.
(Here’s Brady’s cute rash-guard, which we put on him every time he swims.)
He stared right into the eyes of his instructor, followed directions and held on tight, as each of the three swimmers took turns crossing from one platform to the other (about three feet away) with the help of a floating device and the instructor. It was adorable to see, his little arms and legs barely making a splash in the water as he tried to paddle and kick.
I was so proud of him for getting in there and trying his best, so proud, in fact, that I actually cried a little during the lesson. And you may think that’s ridiculous, but it’s what happened. His lesson was only 30 minutes, but he told me how much he loved it, and he can’t wait for “swim team practice” next week too! I can’t wait to watch it. 🙂
Watching “Friends: The Reunion”
Raise your hand if you used to watch “Friends”? I sure did. And raise your hand if you still watch reruns when they come on? Me too, sometimes. Even though this infamous series is a little cheesy, it’s just one of those special shows that a lot of people can enjoy — and there are so many good lines to recite during life’s happenings.
That’s why, when Dave and I heard “Friends: The Reunion” was finally a real thing after all these years, we were excited to watch it. But then we waited a few months to jump on the band-wagon, as we usually do.
We finally watched the reunion a couple of weekends ago, and it was so enjoyable. While the whole special was very much pre-planned and no big secrets were revealed (you know those big stars wouldn’t have agreed if it wasn’t done this buttoned-up way) — you could just tell how important it was for the lives of the actors involved to be back together on stage, as well as how important it was for the lives of so many people who were part of the show to see this reunion happen. If you like “Friends” I would highly recommend watching this reunion, which is on HBO Max. They show so many favorite moments from the show, talk about the humble beginnings of the series and much more.
(Image source: HBO Max.)
Fun fact: After watching the reunion, I went down a Google rabbit-hole to learn how much money each lead actor in the show made when they appeared on the show. And then I also learned how much they each make each year on residuals of the show from every time it airs. Crazy stuff! Nonetheless, the show and the reunion were both feel-good and heart-warming entertainment.
Watching “Framing Britney Spears”
After placing this documentary on my must-watch, must-read list a few months ago, once again, I waited a very long time to finally watch it. Of course, we didn’t actually have Hulu access, so that was the first thing holding us back. Second of all, we rarely watch anything longer than an hour (outside of “Friends: The Reunion” shown above).
(Image source: Hulu.)
A couple of weekends ago, we pulled the trigger on “Framing Britney Spears” The New York Times special, and it was oh-so-interesting. There’s been so much talk about Britney lately and so much has come out about how she’s been treated and handled over the years. And some big things were brought to light in this documentary for sure (for instance, she’s never been close with her father and never wanted him in charge of her court-mandated conservatorship either). Other than that, the sexism, the double-standards from the press and the constant invasions of her privacy were awful to see.
Like many of you, this documentary made me sad, and it made me mad. I loved Britney for so many years and never questioned her downhill spiral. But maybe I should have. She was treated so poorly by the public and the press and by people close to her, that the world sort’ve drove her into this place.
Fun fact: I actually met Britney in person at her concert in Las Vegas five years ago during a meet-and-greet, and she seemed very strange and medicated — although she was very nice to us — I know now that she probably was both of those things, and maybe not by personal choice on either account.
I sure hope she gets out of this one day and can come back even stronger, if she wants to come back at all. I won’t say this documentary was enjoyable to watch, because of the subject matter, but I will say that it was enlightening. If you’re a Britney fan, you should definitely watch it.
Introducing the cutest Countertime Carry-On Set
Does anyone else check your bags when you travel, mostly because of your skincare products? Yup, me too. (And for my hairspray, of course, because I always bring that.) But we don’t have to do that any longer, because my favorite Beautycounter regimen for dry and aging skin, Countertime, is now available in a TSA-friendly set, which comes in a cute reusable pouch.
This little set just launched on the Beautycounter site this week, and it would make a great gift, or it would be a great way to try out Countertime for the first time.
You can also refill these little bottles and use them over and over again. Three cheers for sustainability and clean skincare. Find the Countertime Carry-On Set here.
Quick disclaimer: This section of the post is where I share all the workouts I did the previous week. And please remember that my workout schedule works for me, and it may not work for you. Your workouts should make you feel good and leave you feeling energized. If they don’t do that, it may be time to reassess what you’re doing regularly.
I tend to do a little more than the average person, because I work as a fitness instructor, but I also do a lot of active recovery to counteract my workouts and keep my body and mind in good condition.
- Monday: 20-minute full-body weights, 15-minute cycle via Peloton, 11 a.m.
- Tuesday: Took 45-minute lower-body weights workout at Life Time, 9:45 a.m.
- Wednesday: Took 1-hour yoga class at Life Time, 11 a.m.
- Thursday: Taught 45-minute full-body weights class at Life Time, 10 a.m,. taught 45-minute virtual bodyweight barre class on Motus, 3 p.m.
- Friday: Took 1-hour barre class at Life Time, 10 a.m.
- Saturday: Practiced barbell at home, 15-minute cycle on Peloton, 12 p.m.
- Sunday: Rest day
This past week was pretty much back to normal after our Jamaica trip, except I had two days off of teaching for travel and the Fourth holiday. I worked out six days, took one full day off and varied my intensities, durations and focus. I’m enjoying a good mix of gym and home workouts right now. No complaints in the workout department at all.
A Lady Goes West favorite products
There are certain brands that I swear by in my own life, and so I like to share them with you. If you choose to try them too, and if you use my links or promo codes, you will be supporting me. Thanks for that!
- Carbon38. I’m always wearing stuff from here, and it’s the coolest activewear around. Get 15 percent off your first two orders of $100 or more using the code ASHLEYPITT.
- G2G protein bars. I love these tasty and minimal-ingredient protein bars. You can get 15 percent off your order on the G2G Bar site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Organifi supplements. This is my go-to protein powder brand. You can get 15 percent off your order on the Organifi site with the code ALADYGOESWEST.
- Beautycounter. The best safe skincare and makeup. Send me a message, and I’ll share a 20 percent off code for your very first order.
- Les Mills On Demand workouts. My favorite fitness brand. You can do a whole month of workouts during a free 30-day trial by using my special referral link here.
A few things from around the web
- The 80 percent full method. I’m pretty sure I don’t do this for every meal, but because I’m such a fan of everything that Precision Nutrition puts out, I wanted to share this infographic with you about how and why to eat to 80 percent full. The tips, like eating mindfully and slowly, are ones that we should all try to follow, even if we sometimes take a few extra bites past full. Been there and done that.
- “Snunch” boxes. I have always been a fan of grabbing the Starbucks protein box for an easy on-the-go meal when traveling. I love eating snack meals where you put a lot of things together, and apparently there’s a name for that at lunch — “snunch.” This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to put together copycat Starbucks snack boxes. Love it. Side note: Last time I was at Starbucks, they actually swapped out the fresh fruit for dried fruit in my protein box, and I didn’t like that.
Here’s the thought of the week, which I posted to Instagram a while back and felt like sharing here as well …
A Lady Goes West favorite archives
- Books. I read a lot of nonfiction, and these books stand out as ones I liked the best … “The five best nonfiction books I’ve read in the last six months.”
- Back on track. This post is an older one, but it’s still got some great tips … “How to get back on track after a break from your healthy routine.”
Have a great day, my friends!
Questions of the day
How was your week?
What’s something you are looking forward to this weekend?
What’s one way you plan to take care of yourself this weekend?