Favorite family vacation, a healthy giveaway, POPSUGAR event and more

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. 

ZUPA Noma soups

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. 

ZUPA Zoma soups

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.

ZUPA Noma soups

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.

Blue Ridge Georgia

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 …

Rudy in cabin in Blue Ridge Georgia

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 …

Ashley and Mom at Mercier Orchards

Ashley and Dave on a boat in Blue Ridge

Mercier Orchards jams

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.

Ashley at POPSUGAR event in San Francisco

POPSUGAR event decor in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

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 …

POPSUGAR book and Must Have box by A Lady Goes West

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

And more things worth reading …

Have a wonderful day and weekend! 

Giveaway time!

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.

  1. Leave a comment if you follow A Lady Goes West on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment if you follow A Lady Goes West on Facebook.
  3. Leave a comment if you follow ZUPA NOMA on Instagram.
  4. Leave a comment if you Tweeted about the giveaway (Tweet below).
  5. Leave a comment telling me something good about your life!
Enter to win #healthy @ZupaNoma and check out @apstyle latest #faves #reads ... Click To Tweet

Read more Favorite things

To see more favorites, visit Heather‘s blog or my older “Favorite things.” 

*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!



  1. I have never tried a soup like that. But I love the idea and would love to try them. What an easy way to pack a quick and easy snack or lunch. Your getaway to Georgia sounds so nice, I love spending some time unplugged every so often. My parents are coming in town this weekend so I’m excited to have them around and eat some good food of course 😉 Have a great weekend Ashley!

  2. These soups look de-lish and I’d love to try them. Thanks for continuing to share your favorite new products, Ashley!

  3. Whomp whomp, wish I could enter the giveaway , though I think I’d warm my soup up..lol…Your vacation looked amazing…there is nothing like a nice getaway to catch up with family!!!

    Hope you have a great weekend, it’s our Thanksgiving up here so stretchy pants all weekend long 🙂 Have a great one!

  4. I never had a soup like that, but they sound delicious and you can’t beat the convenience factor! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  5. I follow you on Instagram and Facebook! 🙂 And your vacation sounds absolutely wonderful with face hurting laughter, no make up, and sweats. That would be such a relaxing time. 🙂 Isn’t family amazing?

  6. That soup sounds DELICIOUS! I’d love to try it! I’m a vegetarian, and always on the go between my full time nonprofit job, teaching group fitness and training for triathlons, and would love to be able to drink soup on my commute. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks so much for hosting the giveaway! I’m not a huge soup fan, but I think I’d actually like a cold, bottled version. Would love to try it!

    Your family vacay in Georgia sounds perfect! Sweats + no makeup + unplugged = total relaxation 🙂

    The best part of my week hasn’t happened yet, but it still counts, right?! Right! This weekend my husband and I are going on a staycation to celebrate my birthday on Oct. 10, complete with a 4 star hotel and dinner reservations at a place I’ve been wanting to try on Saturday and a Steelers game on Sunday. Whoo hoo! It’ll be our first night away from our 9-month old…#mixedemotions.

    Have a great weekend! Oh and I follow you on Instagram 🙂

  8. Family time is the best!! It really helps you realize what’s important since we can get so focused on work, chores and everyday responsibilities! The soup looks delicious and so convenient!

  9. Good in my life is that I was able to go home last weekend to celebrate Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. And cooked up a feast for 50 people to celebrate!

  10. I know that my family is the good in my life:) when you have this, you are fortunate:)
    Also—super fun to hear about your family getaway in Georgia—sounded amazing!

  11. Something good about my life – Hurricane Matthew just skirted right past us and we avoided a direct impact of a category 4 hurricane! My family is safe and sound and blessed!

  12. Your vacation with your family sounds perfect. I love having everyone under one roof, being off the grid, and doing huge puzzles. And thanks for introducing us to these healthy juice/smoothies!

  13. Thanks And I follow you on FB and Instagram and Zupa Noma on Insta ?
    Patricia @sweet and strong recently posted…Killer Abs Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

  14. A good thing about my life… I’m just getting over an unexpected health issue, and everything is looking UP!

  15. Might be cliche, but gotta love my family at the moment! I feel like I’ve underappreciated them in the past, but now noticing all the little things. So grateful for their support. Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Neat concept; I would love to try these. Right now, I am feeling the zen and energy after a great yoga workout!

  17. Something good about my life? I have the best friends and family. When I started expressing gratitude I saw amazing things begin to happen.

  18. Something good about my life… I’m feeling very thankful for my boyfriend after having a relaxing, rejuvenating, and FUN weekend together. I love happiness radiates from being around someone you deeply care for 🙂

    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

  19. Oh man, I’d love this stuff! Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

    Something good about my life? I have some pretty cool and fun side jobs, and my full-time job just offered a new opportunity to help continue the physical activity and nutrition initiatives we’ve put in place with our 3-year grant that just ended. So happy to see some lasting changes!

  20. Ahhh, Ive never heard if the soups before. How convenient. My life gets crazy busy with work and college, if there’s a way I can make at least one meal simpler – I’m down for trying it!

  21. best part of the week so far – received a package that I just ordered 2 days ago. still amazes me how fast everything gets delivered these days

  22. There are so many good things in my life right now. My health is better and I have found a group of ladies that do volunteer work to help children in the hospital and that have had to be removed from a hostile situation. It is so gratifying to know you are making a difference where it counts.

  23. What a fantastic idea these are and would be so convenient to take to work with me. Thanks for the chance to win them!

  24. One of the many good things in my life is the fact that at age 52 I still have my dad who is almost 94 and in relatively good health.

  25. This has been a great week! We missed a direct hit from the hurricane and were only without power for 24 hours! Yay!

  26. Something good in our lives? It’s great that we will we welcoming a new bundle of joy into our family before the end of the year!

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