As the work-week nearly comes to a close for most, it’s time to talk about lighthearted content. And that’s what I’ve got for you today. What else do I have? A giveaway! (Before that, I’ve got to take a serious minute to send some thoughts to my East Coast people who faced Hurricane Matthew’s rampage — I hope you are safe and okay!)
Now let’s catch up: I’m back in the swing of things at home after all of my whirlwind travel, but this weekend is chock full of activity. On tap? I’m teaching the brand new Les Mills BODYPUMP 99 release in class on Saturday morning with another instructor. Then from there, I’m off to a two-day fitness instructor training for a new format. I wouldn’t really say that I have extra time to learn a new program, but this one is calling to me, and I can’t say no. Of course, I’ll give you the low-down on that new venture soon enough. Let’s jump right to favorites, and don’t miss the healthy and tasty giveaway!
Latest favorite things
Favorite food: ZUPA NOMA Bottled Soups and a *GIVEAWAY*
You know how everyone has been obsessed with juice for a while, well, what about soup? Not as trendy, right? Yet, recently the folks at ZUPA NOMA offered to send me a sample pack of their brand new cold, ready-to-sip soups, and even though I wasn’t all that excited about the delivery, boy was I wrong with this one. I was instantly hooked when I took my first sip.
It’s totally not like juice – it’s thicker and chunkier and feels more like a smoothie. Thus the texture is super inviting and the flavors are as well. Some are quite spicy, but you can check the spice factor on the handy label before drinking in case you’re sensitive to heat. The flavors include: Organic Yellow Pepper Habanero, Organic Tomatillo Jalapeño, Organic Carrot Coconut Lime, Organic Beet Orange Basil, Organic Cucumber Avocado Fennel and Organic Tomato Gazpacho. Such variety! My personal favorite? Organic Carrot Coconut Lime.
And the nutritional facts are fabulous – organic, low-glycemic, full of veggies, gluten free, non-GMO, no sugar added – real and whole ingredients. The 12-ounce bottles run from about 70 calories to 150 total, with all of them being quite filling. For some reason, I feel so healthy and energized when drinking these ZUPAs. I really do. For some background on the company: ZUPA was just launched in June 2016 and is based in Sonoma, California (the NOMA part, I guess) – in wine country just a hop, skip and a jump away from me in Walnut Creek.
I was such a fan, that I wanted some of you to have a chance to try ZUPA NOMA. One lucky winner (who must reside in the U.S.) will receive two bottles of each of the flavors, for a total of 12 bottles of goodness. If you want to find ZUPA NOMA for yourself, the bottles are $7 each and are available at Sprouts, individual retailers and online. Directions for the giveaway are below, so don’t miss your chance to try!
Favorite recent trip: Blue Ridge, Georgia with the fam
Two weeks ago I spent five days and four nights with my family in Blue Ridge, Georgia at a cabin in the woods. This was our second time meeting in Blue Ridge for a family vacation, and it’s a perfect destination for relaxing and spending quality time together.
Being with my parents, brother, his girlfriend, Dave and all of our collective dogs makes me infinitely happy. My brother, his girlfriend Stephanie, and their two dogs were all kind enough to host Dave, me and Rudy at their house the first night when we flew in from California. And my parents drove up from Southwest Florida so we could all converge in Blue Ridge on a Thursday, and we stayed through Monday morning. While this trip is a major fave, I didn’t take a ton of pictures and was mostly unplugged for the duration, thus the short recap.
We filled up our days with doing a 1,000-piece puzzle, playing lots of fun card games (we introduced my parents to Cards Against Humanity, and it was all kinds of face-hurting laughter), doing a little hike, renting a pontoon boat to cruise on a lake in the sun, eating lots of barbecue food (best we had was at Joe’S BBQ in downtown, so we went there twice), visiting the Mercier Orchards for a cider tasting and straight chilling. One of the nights, I even took a bubble bath and put on a face mask, because one of the bathrooms had a nice tub. Our cozy cabin was super cute too …
Other cool things to note from the trip: I didn’t wear any make-up or do my hair, and I spent the majority of the time in sweats. It was magical! But perhaps the best part of our trip outside of family time was that we didn’t get any cell phone reception in our cabin, so we were pretty much off the grid. I soaked it up! I truly love my family and we have a really good time together, and I look forward to more family fun in a couple months for the holidays. A few more pics …
Favorite recent event: POPSUGAR book party
Last Thursday night, I headed into the City for a POPSUGAR gathering held at Bespoke at the Westfield Center Mall. I didn’t even know the event space existed on the fourth floor of the mall, and it was pretty cool. I arrived just in time to see the line out the door of well-dressed San Francisco women (and a couple men) waiting to get into the book party for POPSUGAR’s founder, Lisa Sugar.
Shortly after going inside, I ran into some blog friends and met some new ones. I spent a lot of time talking to Christina and also chatted with Elyse. I love the San Francisco blogging community, because although everyone has different genres and followings, they are all so friendly and supportive. There were tons of people there, and we were all given some nice gift bags, complete with a copy of the book and a mini Must Have box. I’ve already started reading it and love it, and here’s the rest of the loot …
In addition to hanging out with fellow bloggers, I also came away incredibly inspired. Lisa Sugar started the famed POPSUGAR company, which 10 years ago was just a twinkle in her eye and now has 500 employees. Lisa told the audience about how she achieved her dreams, while keeping it totally real, and introduced her brand new book “Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice & Build Your Dream Life.”
There was also a panel of women experts who gave us more insight into how they got where they are. Overall, I left that event feeling really empowered. I think I smiled my entire BART ride home back to the East Bay. Thanks for the invite, POPSUGAR!
Favorite recent reads: News, Blogging and More
Did you miss the latest on A Lady Goes West?
- Career real-talk: What it’s like to work for yourself vs. someone else
- Return to normal, weekly workout report, a 49ers game and more
And more things worth reading …
- BLOGGING: Even though I know most of you are not bloggers, I wonder if it’s still interesting for you to read about blogging. I don’t cover it often here on A Lady Goes West, but was thrilled to be asked to dole out some wisdom in this article from BGBCommunity. “What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging: 14 Successful Bloggers Share Their Advice.”
- FITNESS: I got certified as a pre- and post-natal personal trainer a couple of years ago, and since that time, the guidelines have changed a little bit on what trainers and doctors should suggest to pregnant women. I explored this topic and interviewed some experts in a piece for 24Life. “New Fitness Rules for Pregnant Women.”
- SELF-CARE: It’s not just a buzz-term. We should all be spending more time taking care of ourselves. And it’s on trend too. “The Most Valuable Wellness Trend of 2016.”
- HOME: This is interesting, and I’ve found out I’m a serious offender.“The Surprising Way You’re Actually Ruining Your Clothes.”
- FOOD: A good article with tips on how to reduce your food waste at home. “The 10 Commandments of Making Your Groceries and Leftovers Last.”
- EMAIL: This one is up for discussion. If you read it, it basically says we should all shorten our emails. I almost agree, but then part of me does not. See for yourself “How to Email.”
Have a wonderful day and weekend!
The prize: Two variety packs of ZUPA NOMA ready-to-sip soup in a bottle, 12 total.
Rules: This giveaway is open only to those who live in the U.S. I will randomly select a winner from the comments on Thursday, October 14.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. You can enter a separate comment for each of the following actions, and each comment is an extra chance to win. If you don’t see the comment field, then click on the headline of this post to bring it up on the bottom of the screen.
- Leave a comment if you follow A Lady Goes West on Instagram.
- Leave a comment if you follow A Lady Goes West on Facebook.
- Leave a comment if you follow ZUPA NOMA on Instagram.
- Leave a comment if you Tweeted about the giveaway (Tweet below).
- Leave a comment telling me something good about your life!
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*There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support! While I was given free ZUPA product, this giveaway is not sponsored.
Questions of the day
What’s something good that happened in your week?
Want to win? Leave your comment below!