Current faves: Wine country event, life and weekly workouts

Welcome to our weekly “current faves” post, in which I do a little bit of chattering about life, share some great reads from around the web for you, go over my latest workouts and whatever else has been making me happy lately in food, fitness and fun. It’s a big hodge-podge post, and that’s why we do it on Fridays to start the weekend off right! Hope you enjoy …


What’s been going on in the A Lady Goes West home

I’m so happy to say that after a rough several weeks, it seems that we’re all finally better from various sicknesses and ailments in the A Lady Goes West home. We’re a healthy group usually, so it’s been very strange for Dave, Brady and me to be sick — but that’s behind us! Thank goodness. I feel like it lasted forever.

We were pretty busy this week, but did take some time on Wednesday night to show Brady around the neighborhood for Halloween. More on that below. This weekend, Dave will be working at a Warriors game, I’ve got some work to do, and we’ve got an early Friendsgiving party with our usual dinner group of couples too to kick off the holiday season. I’m also picking up a new car, as my current lease is up. Woohoo! Now, let’s get to the faves.


Livermore Valley Wine Country blogger event

Guys, I hosted an event, and it was a lot fun! It was a few months ago that I signed on to help invite some lovely local blogger ladies to a fitness and wine event in Livermore Valley Wine Country to help generate a little buzz for the area, and it seemed like so far away.

Well with the busy-ness of all of our visitors and travel and Brady’s 1st birthday party, the event snuck up on me. I actually had a few blogger friends who had to cancel at the last minute, but ended up inviting some other awesome ladies, and we had a full roster. The perfect roster, actually — nice and diverse — with each of the ladies having slightly different interests, spanning from fashion to food to health and more. Here are some shots from the day …

Livermore Valley yoga pose at McGrail by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

Livermore Valley vineyard hike at Murrieta's by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

(I’m wearing a new workout outfit! Here’s my top, you already know my fanny pack, and here are some new super shiny leggings and light shoes.)

We rode in a limo bus around the Valley, did yoga outdoors at McGrail Vineyards on the most gorgeous bluebird day, followed by a wine tasting inside. And then we moved along to Murrieta’s Well for a hike through the vineyards and a lunch and tasting in the barrel room, where we learned a ton about how wine is produced.

Ashley having lunch at Murrieta's Well by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole day was sitting around the lunch table and just sharing stories about our lives, blogs, Instagram and life in the Bay Area. Such a good time! I’m so glad we did it! Here’s our group …

Ashley and bloggers at Murrieta's Well by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

Everyone posted some awesome shots and videos from the day, so I think we successfully shared the message that Livermore Valley Wine Country is totally worth a visit. 

Brady’s second Halloween

I kept thinking it was Brady’s first Halloween, but he was actually 4-weeks-old last Halloween and was barely fitting into newborn onesies at the time, so I popped a pumpkin hat on him for a picture and that was the extent of the holiday. Well this year, he was big enough for a full costume and got to wear that costume not once, but two times. Yay! First up, was during a morning session at My Gym …

Ashley and Brady at My Gym Walnut Creek by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

Ashley and Brady at My Gym by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

We tried out our local My Gym (a kids play center) along with a girlfriend and her daughter, and it was a good time. There were some group activities for the kiddos, complete with singing and sitting in a circle, then there was also free play for the kids to explore the various gymnastic-type play stations for the duration of the 45-minute session. Brady was on the move a lot, but didn’t really seem to get it quite yet, so I’m not totally sure if we will join right away or wait for him to be a bit older. That session totally tired our poor little guy out, but he was a champ and stayed in costume the whole time.

But the day wasn’t over yet, because he actually got to put his costume back on in the evening for a short trick or treating session around our neighborhood. The neighbors loved to see this little fellow ride up to their front doors — especially because there weren’t a lot of other treaters in our ‘hood. I literally was dying with the cuteness overload the entire time. Such a monkey!

Brady in his monkey costume for Halloween by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

(Brady loves his new flyer tricycle he got from friends for his birthday, because it grows with him and will eventually turn into a real tricycle one day. For now, he gets pushed around the neighborhood and sometimes pretends to steer, but one day he’ll be in control heeheh.)


New gold Fitbit strap

My original black Fitbit Alta plastic strap finally broke over the weekend, and I went three full days without wearing my Fitbit. I really like to rely on it to make sure I get in my daily 10,000 steps, and I also like to make sure I got into the deep sleep cycle too. I’ve just become accustomed to having it on my arm — even though I feel like I can naturally tell when I’ve had enough movement in the day after wearing it for so long. Well … it’s back on my arm now with a new strap. Yay!

New gold Fitbit strap by A Lady Goes West -- October 2018

(My new strap.)

During those three days off the activity-tracking grid, I did take a moment to order a new strap from Amazon. And guys, it may look fancy, but it was only $7. Truth! And it came on Amazon Prime. I don’t know how long it will hold up, but it is comfy, has a nice magnetic closing feature, looks good now and is a nice change of pace, because I was definitely sick of staring at a boring black plastic strap on my wrist for the last year. Three cheers for the ease of ordering from Amazon!


Weekly workout recap

And here’s a look at my workouts from last week …

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: 30-minute Les Mills Barre workout at home, 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 30-minute GRIT Strength workout, 11 a.m.
  • Saturday: 45-minute outdoor yoga class, 10 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This week of workouts was definitely a lot lighter than recent weeks — I had two rest days and two very light days too. I did two tough workouts, with BODYPUMP and GRIT, and two barre workouts with much less intensity. It was also super nice to get back to yoga after months and months away from it. Feels great to breathe, stretch and flow. Have you done yoga lately? Boy, it feels great on the bod! I think I need more of it in my life.

Suggested reading

Best links from around the web

  • Presence and space. I really like the idea of “taking up space” in your life, especially for us women, who tend to do the opposite. Shonda Rhimes (the popular TV producer) is quoted in this article a few times and one of the best quotes is when she said: “‘I always think that’s the most important thing—to feel like you belong in every room you’re in.” Love that and so many more things covered in this one.
  • Self-care stuff. There are all sorts of fun “self-care” things available to buy now, like weighted blankets, mini air purifiers, oil diffusers and more. This is a fun list of a few you may want to ask for for Christmas.
  • HIIT. Doing interval training is a great way to get in shape and get more fit, but you may be wondering what the time-frame is that you need to go hard compared to rest. This article gives us a range for those hard intervals, which is a decent guide, although it’s not the only range, of course.
  • Sleep trick. I’m a sucker for sleeping hacks, and here’s a really cool way that U.S. Army folks use to get to sleep quickly. Try it!
  • Healthy dessert. You know we LOVE our dates in this house (the fruit, of course, but also the outings), so I’m all into these simple and easy ways to make desserts out of dates.

Favorite A Lady Goes West archives

Hope you have an awesome weekend, my friends! I’ll see you over on Instagram until we meet back here again on Monday.

P.S. I completed my first month of working with Beautycounter! If you’re interested in learning a bit more about Beautycounter, which you know I’m loving, sign up here on this email list, and I’ll give you some more details on the company and products and keep you posted on the upcoming holiday sales too. I’m having so much fun introducing safer skincare to those of you who have reached out already, by the way. It’s such good stuff!

That’s it! Bye, peeps! xoxo

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

Did you dress up for Halloween?

Have you read anything good lately?

Do you wear an activity tracker?



  1. GRIT Strength is my all time favorite workout! I haven’t done it for a few months now as I’ve gotten further into pregnancy and had to make so many modifications I felt it wasn’t really worth going anymore. How do you like Les Mills Barre? I tried it a little while back and I didn’t love it and it wasn’t really what I was expecting. I’m super inexperienced when it comes to barre in general, but I was surprised by how much choreography and ballet/dance moves there were. It doesn’t help that I’m extremely uncoordinated but I guess I was expecting more stationary moves. It was fun to try something new, though.

    1. Hi Julie! I love the feeling AFTER GRIT Strength, but I don’t love GRIT Strength — I wish there was less jumping. As far as Les Mills Barre, I’ve done it 4 times, all the first three releases. I think that they are starting out with it WAY too ballet focused, I bet as it goes on longer, they will make it more accessible like a regular barre class. The language and turns and stuff are way too much, I’ve also struggled a bit with it, and I have at least some dance experience and teach barre — so I know it’s too hard for the mainstream public. Here’s hoping they make some changes! 🙂 Happy Friday, lady!! DEFINITELY no doing GRIT while you’re pregnant heehhehe it will be there for you when you’re ready to go back!

  2. Hi Ashley. We stayed home Halloween so we could treat or trickers. Since we got the NBA package have watched more of the Warriors. Can’t get over the season Curry is having. He reminds me of a player from my college, Indiana State, Larry Bird. Then played for the Celtics. Love Brady’s Halloween costume. Has his own tricycle. In a few months he will be peddling it faster than you can keep up. Sunday night we are going to Pete n Shorty to listen to our handi man sing and play a music instrument. We just found out he did this. Have a great weekend.

    1. I’m so glad you’ve become quite the Warriors fan! 🙂 And I know who Larry Bird is heheh! I can’t wait to jog next to Brady riding his tricycle on his own! Enjoy your weekend, Richard!! 🙂

  3. Ahh what an awesome time in wine country!!! I have been craving a trip to Napa/Sonoma, but I should change it up!! I have never been to Livermore- this convinced me to check it out next. Seems like it was all a blast. I’m excited to check out those links too. Always love your updates, Ashley!

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