Current faves: Trip to Raleigh for an NHL game, little things I’m loving and more

Hi, friend! How are you?

Well, let’s get right to it. This week was okay. I did all the things I normally do, and I stayed busy with work, classes, mom stuff, tennis, etc., but I also had some mixed emotions. This past Tuesday, February 21st was my supposed-to-be due-date for the second loss, and this day/time/feeling hit me a lot harder than the first one, because it was so real to me at the time. I keep thinking what my life would look like right now if that had worked out and I had a newborn. But, it didn’t. And all I can do is move forward. I mention this to remind you that we’re all carrying things. And I hope that whatever you’re carrying — you have support around you and you have positive ways to cope. 

But now, because it’s Friday, I want to change the tone and get to the faves of the day …

Current faves


One night in Raleigh, North Carolina for an NHL game

Last weekend, Dave and I made the 2.75-hour drive to our state’s capital, Raleigh, for an overnight trip. On the day we left, we had a babysitter with Brady for part of the day, then my mom was able to come over and stay the night with him, which worked out great. This was our first time away since Thanksgiving, and it was really nice to have a change of scenery, even if it was very brief. We were gone from our house for almost exactly 24 hours.

Through his work, Dave got invited to the NHL’s Stadium Series outdoor hockey game at the NC State Carter-Finley Stadium, and that was the reason for our trip (they built a hockey rink in the middle of the field for this event, which is so cool). However, we were also able to fit in a nice dinner out ahead of the game and do a tiny (very tiny) bit of exploring around Raleigh in our time there. 

We visited the capitol building in downtown, we walked around downtown, and we had an incredible dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar in Raleigh’s downtown. (It was pretty chilly this night, so it gave me an opportunity to wear my new winter coat, yay!)

I can’t remember the last time Dave and I were walking around an urban district on the way to dinner. Which is funny, because for years of living in downtown Orlando together and in two San Francisco neighborhoods, so many of our weekends were spent strolling urban areas doing just that. 

Ashley in Raleigh capitol by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave in Raleigh capitol by A Lady Goes West

Back to dinner: Barcelona Wine Bar came up on a Google search, and they didn’t have any open reservations, but it looked like a cool tapas spot, so we gave it a try. We arrived quite early (6 p.m., which is very early for us), and we found the last two open spots at the bar. We only had an hour for dinner, but in that time, we enjoyed the vibe, the music, the drinks and the most delicious food we’ve had since we left San Francisco, hands down.

We had bacon-wrapped dates, an arugula salad, meatballs, potatoes with cheese and the tastiest and chunkiest dipping bread for all the sauces. I literally loved this meal. Apparently Barcelona Wine Bar is a chain, and there is one in Charlotte, so we’ll absolutely check that out one day and hope for the same experience.

Barcelona bites by A Lady Goes West

Barcelona tapas by A Lady Goes West

After dinner, we went to the NC State football arena, and it was absolute pandemonium. The event was sold out (that means 57,000 people were there), and we had no idea what we were walking into. It was incredibly loud and crowded and people were everywhere just trying to get into the stadium. Amazingly, even though it seemed like a complete mess, the hoards of people filed into the building much faster than you’d think.

We were lucky enough to have special seats in an indoor suite area, so we went right up there and stayed the whole time. Good thing too, because even my winter coat wouldn’t have kept me warm sitting outdoors in the stands for the whole game on that cold night.

Stadium Series in Raleigh by A Lady Goes West

Stadium Series hockey in Raleigh by A Lady Goes West

Without giving an entire download, I will say I really enjoyed watching my first ever hockey game. It’s so fast-paced, there’s a lot going on, it’s sometimes hard to follow the puck, and players are subbing in and out so frequently, you really can’t get bored. I also loved watching the Zamboni smooth out the ice.

While we were there, Jake Owen performed a few of his popular country songs. And Lovely the Band also performed. That was a surprise, because I didn’t know there would be these mini concerts within the event, and I love live music. Our seats were far from the action, but I was happy to be warm and have space to roam, so it was a good trade-off. 

Leaving, however, was a total mess, and it seemed like all the 57,000 people in attendance were trying to get Ubers at the same time. We probably walked about two miles trying to get picked up, before we ended up sliding into a crappy hotel for warmth and a beverage from the bar. Even though it was a little stressful, I found the adventure of it a bit fun (and thank goodness we didn’t have Brady with us).

The next morning, we walked from our hotel (we stayed at the AC Hotel in the North Hills neighborhood) to a totally delicious coffee spot and had lattes and the best breakfast sandwiches ever at Jubala Coffee. Then, we drove back home to see our little man.

Our drives there and back were easy (well, Dave drove, so they were easy for me). And even the car rides were nice, because it had been a while that we’d had uninterrupted time without Brady (who tends to talk the whole trip). So overall, this getaway was excellent.

Jubala Coffee in Raleigh by A Lady Goes West

Don't worry sign by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my sherpa, my henley top, my white sneakers and my purse.)

We need to go back to Raleigh and do more sightseeing and eating one day, because I liked what I saw from our short visit.

Also, this trip reminded me we need to do a better job of exploring the Carolinas now that we’ve lived in Charlotte for two full years. We don’t have more overnight trips on the agenda at the moment (outside of returning to Atlanta for my brother’s upcoming birthday), but I’m sure we can find some.

I made a little video about our time in Raleigh here, if you want to check it out.

Little things

A few unrelated things that I enjoyed from the week …

“Full Swing” on Netflix. Dave and I have been watching this docu-series about professional golfers, and we’re eating it up. The personalities of some of the golfers are so good, and even though I’m not a golf fan, this makes me want to be one. I love how Netflix has been making these series about real athletes, because you learn a lot about sports and what it takes to be successful. We enjoyed “Break Point” about tennis, but “Full Swing” about golf is way (and I mean way) better.

Full Swing show by A Lady Goes West

(Image source: Netflix)

Special Beautycounter gift box. This week, I received a little surprise delivery in the mail from Beautycounter as a thank-you for my work and to celebrate Beautycounter’s 10th birthday in a couple weeks. This gift box is full of cute clean beauty things like plastic wine glasses, beaded bracelets, lipstick and lipgloss, napkins, notebooks and more — it’s sort’ve like a party in a box. It’s been more than four years that I’ve been using Beautycounter skincare and makeup and selling it too, and I loved getting this fun box for my efforts.

BC party in a box by A Lady Goes West

Perfect grey tuck-in tee. I recently shared about a white henley top from Everlane that I’ve been loving (also pictured in my Raleigh recap above), well, Everlane strikes again. I also got this plain grey basic tee, and I debuted it this week, and it fits like a glove, especially tucked into high-waisted jeans. This is my third color in this pima cotton style top, and I’m so happy I have the grey one now too. I’m wearing a small, and in the past, these shirts haven’t shrunk at all. These shirts are the basic kind of item you can reach for over and over again.

Basic grey tee by A Lady Goes West

And those are the faves!


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 2/13

  • 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 1-hour personal training session with full-body heavy weights, 9:30 a.m., played 1-hour of tennis, 11 a.m., taught 45-minute barre class with light weights, 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 45-minute combo class, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 45-minute barbell class, 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Did 45-minute full-body solo weights session at neighborhood gym, 10 a.m. (shown below)
  • Sunday: Rest day (30-minute family walk, 5 p.m.)

This past week was a good one for movement. I taught my regular five classes, I played tennis twice, I did a solo workout, and I worked with a personal trainer, which was great. I hadn’t worked with a trainer in two years, and I enjoyed focusing on my form and doing a few movements that I don’t do in my own solo workouts and I need to do. I was sore the next day, which rarely happens, and I loved it. I’m not going to be doing this moving forward, but I had a free session to use up at Life Time, and I used it with my trainer friend — and I’m so glad I did.

Here’s the solo workout I did in my neighborhood gym. This workout is focused on heavy and slower movements, because I do a lot of faster endurance movements in the classes I teach …

45min full-body workout by A Lady Goes West

Best listen of the week

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

Manifesting. I had heard good things about “The Mel Robbins Podcast” so I tried it for the first time last week, and I listened to an episode about manifestation. In it, the host (Mel Robbins, of course) explains that manifesting isn’t about picturing yourself where you want to be and putting a beach house on your vision board. Instead, manifesting is actually about picturing yourself successfully doing all the steps to get where you want to go along the way — seeing yourself on the journey, not just at the destination. It was really interesting, and if you’re into the topic, give this one a listen.

Quote of the week

Here’s something worth sharing from the Headspace app …

Joy quote by A Lady Goes West

Blog archives of the week

Let’s look back at a couple posts …

Spa day. I enjoyed sharing about my experience at The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Charlotte in this post, and I hope you enjoyed reading it … “Review of The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Charlotte (and what to expect when you visit).”

Ritz Spa locker room by A Lady Goes West

Nutrition and performance. Are you on team-eat-before or team-eat-after? Here’s what you should know about both methods … “Fitness corner: Should you eat before your workout?

Fitness corner Should you eat before your workout by A Lady Goes West

Thanks for coming by the blog today, friend! Take care of yourself. 🙂 

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. 

Questions of the day for YOU

How was your week?

What’s something on your mind right now?

What’s one piece of clothing you always repeat?

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  1. We haven’t been to Raleigh yet but would love to. I have a list I keep updating of new things to see/do in the Carolinas. Hoping to tackle some of them this summer, especially the beaches which I’ve heard are beautiful. When I have to look a little more put together but don’t want to be too dressy I’ve been wearing straight leg pants. I can still pair it with a nicer looking tee (like the one above) and be comfortable because that’s the key!

    1. Happy Friday, Joanna! We haven’t been to the Carolina beaches yet either, and apparently you need to book places to stay many months (even a year) in advance, so I’d get that research going soon! 🙂 xoxo

  2. I love your dinner outfit – so pretty! I’m sorry about the hard things you’re going through. Life just seems unfair sometimes but like you said, we just need to keep moving forward ♡

    1. Hi Shelby! Thank you, friend. Yes — we are all dealing with so many things, and in the grand scheme of life — I’m very grateful and lucky for what I have. But yes, sometimes stuff sucks heheh. Hope you are having a good day and weekend, and I appreciate you saying hello! 🙂 xoxox

  3. Hi Ashley, just wanted to say that I am thinking of you during this week/time of your due date for your baby and hope you’re doing ok. So normal to have all the emotions during this period. Be kind to yourself, Courtney x

  4. I am glad you were able to get away for the 24 hours, especially with a hard emotional week.

    I am THRILLED you loved Barcelona. I am friends which their corporate chef/CEO, Adam and they are actually an amazing employer! Same company as barTaco.
    They take their staff to Spain to learn!
    Seriously when you eat there you are supporting a good restaurant group!

    1. Well that is such a cool fact about Barcelona, Sabrina! Thanks for sharing — now we really need to get to the Charlotte location. Thanks for the info! 🙂 xoxo

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