Current faves: The cutest cardigan, good times in Atlanta and workouts

Hello, my friend! And welcome to the first post of December 2022 on A Lady Goes West. I can’t believe we’re into the last month of the year, but I’m excited about all the things to come. We have a bunch of holiday activities, as well as my birthday, coming up in the next few weeks.

This week was busy, and it flew by. I taught my usual five classes, I went to two tennis clinics, I worked, I took Brady to his swimming lesson, and I even went with my mom to a walking holiday home tour event near Uptown (Charlotte’s downtown), which was just great.

And in even bigger news, we signed my mom up as a member at Life Time, which is incredible. She took some classes this week (one of mine, shown below), and she’s completely thrilled to be a member. I’m thrilled for her too!

Ashley and Ann at Life Time by A Lady Goes West

This weekend, Dave and I are going to our country club’s holiday gala (which is a Great Gatsby theme, so we’ll be decked out in shimmer), and we have a birthday party for one of Brady’s friends. We’re also finally taking family pictures, which are probably going to be done a little too late for us to get holiday cards out this year. Oh well, we’ll get ’em next year! As I’ve said over and over again, time is flying!

Let’s get to the faves …

Current faves


The cutest colorful cardigan

I know some people are all into ordering clothing from Amazon, but I hadn’t really tried many things until recently. I ordered this colorful cardigan a few weeks ago, and it’s so different from anything I see in stores. I wore it while we were in Atlanta, and it’s so comfy and cozy. It’s almost an animal print pattern too, and you can’t beat the price.

Colorful cardigan by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my colorful cardigan in a medium.)

I ordered a medium to keep it loose, and I wore a little white tank under it, but it could have been fine with nothing underneath. Although I love a steal from Old Navy (or Amazon, now), I try not to spend too much on “fast fashion” pieces like this, but this cardigan is worthy of a spot in my closet. Also, this cardigan was a little wrinkly when it arrived, but after one wash, it was all set to rock. Find my cardigan here.


A great long weekend in Atlanta for Thanksgiving

While I already shared some pictures from Thanksgiving, I didn’t give it a real recap. Here’s a little bit about our weekend …

My mom, her dog Bentley, Dave, Brady, Rudy and I all drove in my car to Atlanta to see my brother, Matthew, and his wife, Stephanie, as well as their two dogs (and cat and fish).

We had a lot of traffic heading there on the day before Thanksgiving, but we made great time back on Saturday. It’s usually just under four hours, but it took us more than that both ways due to the holiday.

While we were there, we ate a lot of good food, we consumed a lot of wine and dessert, we watched “Spirited” (a new Christmas musical on Apple+ starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell that I found very enjoyable), we played two hilarious nights of “Cards Against Humanity” (Matthew and Stephanie have a bunch of the extension card packs, which made me think we need them too), we went on a couple walks (once on a trail and once in the neighborhood), we went bowling (Dave won, but I was the leader up until the final frame), and we straight-up chilled around the house in our lounge-wear. Of course, we also celebrated Thanksgiving, which was really nice. And Stephanie cooked the whole delicious meal, so it was very stress-free for the rest of us.

Family on the trail by A Lady Goes West

Thanksgiving 2022 by A Lady Goes West

Pinder Family Thanksgiving 2022 by A Lady Goes West

Bowling with Brady 2022 by A Lady Goes West

Overall, it was the perfect low-key weekend with just enough activity, but not too much, and a major emphasis on family time. We have so much fun with them, and I love it when we’re together.

I couldn’t possibly be more grateful to have my family in driving distance these days so we can make holidays happen. Brady is a huge fan of his Uncle Matthew and Aunt Stephanie and has already asked when we can go back and see them again, so this is a true favorite! 


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 11/21

  • Monday: Taught 1-hour barbell class, 9:45 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught 1-hour barre class with light weights, 9:30 a.m., took 1-hour tennis clinic, 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 30-minute Les Mills GRIT Strength via Les Mills+ at home, 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Rest day
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Took 45-minute slow neighborhood walk, did 10-minute yoga via Peloton at home, 6 p.m.

This past week was a lot lighter on workouts, because I took a few days off around Thanksgiving when we were in Atlanta, and I’m good with that. I don’t mind a few days off, and neither does my body. I’m back in action this week with a full schedule though.

Also, I hadn’t done Les Mills GRIT Strength in over a year, and I forgot what a terribly tough HIIT workout that is. It’s only 30 minutes (because true high-intensity interval training sessions should be 30 minutes or less), and it’s incredibly challenging. I felt great afterward, but I don’t see myself doing it again any time soon. If you’ve still never tried any Les Mills+ workouts, use my link for a free 30-day trial to the service here. You won’t be sorry you did.

Best read of the week

Here’s an article that I thought was interesting:

Your questions about sleep answered. You know I love to talk about sleep! I love sleep, and I’m a pretty good sleeper. Other than the first year of Brady’s life, I’ve mostly had a decent sleep routine, and it’s definitely a routine. We have a white noise machine, I wear a slumber mask, we keep our room cold, and I try to avoid technology about 30 minutes before I fall asleep. But many years ago, I would spend a lot of time not asleep and wishing I was, so I know how terrible that feeling is. This article is all about ways to improve your sleep and help you feel a little better about those sleepless nights too. It’s definitely worth a read!

Quote of the week

Here’s a thought for you:

Difficult things quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at these two gift guides I recently published:

Gifts for guys. I think this is a seriously comprehensive gift list for the men in your life, and I hope you think so too … “The best gifts for men for 2022 (gifts for him).”

The best gifts for men for 2022 (gifts for him) by A Lady Goes West

Gifts for ladies. I really enjoyed making this gift guide, and I hope you enjoyed checking it out for ideas for your personal wish list or ideas for someone you’re shopping for … “The best gifts for women for 2022 (gifts for her).”

The best gifts for women for 2022 (gifts for her) by A Lady Goes West


That’s it for today, my friend! I hope you have a fabulous first weekend of December! Stay hydrated. 🙂

Questions of the day for YOU

Do you have any holiday parties on the agenda this month?

What’s your favorite thing about the month of December?



  1. I’m totally ordering that cardigan later today, so cute! Favorite things in Dec other than Christmas are the birthdays! Our oldest turned 8 today, how?! And since our youngest recently had his birthday we have joint parties so they’ll have fun bouncing around with their friends. My parents also have their birthdays and we’ll be celebrating one when we’re home for Christmas! I saw your pic of Brady’s dresser filled with his things and it made me laugh. I’m a neat freak and the boys are constantly filling up the kitchen counter, dresser, etc with their things! Right now I’m looking at the paper, markers, little pieces of cut up paper etc all over the floor. But our youngest is into drawing like his brother and I tell myself one day we’ll have a spotless house and miss this!

    1. Hi Joanna! Wow, that’s a lot of birthdays this month — so fun! And yes, the kid clutter is a real thing — we mostly have Brady’s clutter in his room, with a little bit in the playroom, and I’m much more flexible with it now than I would have thought hehe, and yes, we’ll miss it one day. Hope your weekend is going amazing! Thanks for saying hi, friend!

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