Favorite things: New Balance jacket, little snacks, summer gift box and more

Oh hey friends, have you missed me since we caught up a few days ago? I’ve missed you! What’s been happening in your week? Whether it’s been good or bad (hopefully good), let’s just keep it light today with a few favorites. There’s not much to report about my upcoming weekend — Dave will be out of town, so I’ll be hanging out with Rudy, teaching BODYPUMP, and most likely starting to pack for our trip to Vegas, which starts next weekend. If I play my cards right (see what I did there), I may never change out of pajamas or workout-wear all weekend. I can’t remember the last time I had this little to do over the weekend, and I’m pretty excited about it.

This week’s “Favorite things”  

My favorite new New Balance jacket

This is one of those clothing items that I will wear forever and ever and will never go out of style. I got this swanky New Balance Shadow jacket shortly before I went to L.A. for IDEA World Fitness Convention and IDEA BlogFest. I knew I needed something to keep me warm in the cooler conference rooms, and lucky for me, my friends at New Balance sent me a little package of activewear, and this jacket was included. I wore this multiple times in L.A., and have been wearing it a ton since that time, including on a super fun morning last Saturday for an acai bowl date after BODYPUMP. (Please excuse the sweaty, red-face.)

New Balance Shadow Jacket on Ashley by A Lady Goes West

The cool thing with this jacket is that you can pop the collar up high, or wear the collar wide on your shoulders, to give it more of a futuristic look. While it’s still pretty warm outside, I’ve had some days cool enough to wear this to work. It looks like leather, but it’s not (it’s nylon and spandex). It’s a little bit sparkly, super thick, has a mesh lining and handy pockets. It’s basically the best jacket ever. You could wear it with jeans or with a workout outfit. Thank you, thank you, New Balance Women for giving me this super fashionable staple. (Another notable item they sent me was this sweet vest and others shown below.)



My favorite events of the week

Go USA! I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics this week and of course, love to watch women’s gymnastics the most. I’m so happy that “The Final Five” team — made up of some incredibly powerful and talented ladies — took home the gold. Just look at this step-by-step of Aly Raisman’s tumbling passes on the floor routine. Wow! Go Girls! (Oh but seriously, anyone else feel like every day was spoiled when the news of the winners broke all over social media before we even got a chance to watch the events?)

My favorite little snack

I posted a picture of these mini Larabars on Instagram a few weeks ago, and because they are so cute, they deserve to be a favorite on the blog too. While you can definitely eat a mini bar in one bite, when I’m feeling patient, I take two bites. I love eating Larabars before morning workouts, and when it comes to flavors, it’s hard to choose the best one.

Mini Larabars by A Lady Goes West

They are sweet and dense and are some of the most clean bars around. I picked up this selection of little ones at Yoga conference in Santa Clara. If it had been appropriate, I would have taken home way more. Apparently there is something out there called Larabar Bites, which I have yet to try, but really need to.

My favorite selection of gifts

Are you sick of me telling you that the POPSUGAR Must-Have Box is an awesome gift idea? Well, I’m about to do it again. Last month’s box was awesome, and this month’s is too. Cocktail napkins, an inflatable drink-holder for the pool, a little scarf choker (which may or may not be on my neck soon), brow gel, sunscreen for your hair and a pineapple pin? It’s like walking into a cute little gift store and getting to keep one of everything.

POPSUGAR July Must Have Box by A Lady Goes West

This particular box was summer themed for the month of July and the contents were perfect for staying safe in the sun and adding some flare to an outdoor get together. Good stuff, POPSUGAR. *By the way, POPSUGAR sent me this box complimentary to try out, and you can get $5 off your first box with the code SHOP5.

My favorite links of the week

Did you miss the latest on A Lady Goes West

And more from around the web worth reading (there’s a lot this week) …

  • RECOVERY: Take a rest day every week, folks. And don’t spend every day doing intense exercise. I wrote a post about “Why every workout doesn’t have to be so hard” a couple of months ago, and my favorite group fitness brand, Les Mills, just came out with this post on “How much exercise is too much.” The gist? Overtraining is a real thing.
  • FITNESS: Raise your hand if you have perfect posture. Not me. I often have to remind myself to sit up from my slumped position over the computer, and I bet you do too. Are you sitting up straighter now? Want to know something? Standing up (or sitting up) straight works your abs and makes you look good. In fact, check out this “The no-exercise secret personal trainers use to get great abs” just for reinforcement.
  • OLYMPICS: Wonder what the days are like of world-class athletes? Not easy. I had the chance to find out and write about it. Check out this “Inside the daily routines of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”
  • FOOD: You don’t have to tell me twice. Greek yogurt is the jam, and because it’s low in lactose, even people who have problems with dairy may be able to tolerate it. Read more reasons why you should be eating it in “Health benefits of Greek yogurt.”
  • LIFE/MINDSET: This article is awesome. If you need something to help you set your-emotional-self straight, read it: “Are junk emotions worse for you than junk food?
  • NEWS: Whenever I go to a coffee place, I’m happy when there is a dairy-free version of milk available that I can put in my tea. While I had been getting coconut milk when at Starbucks most recently, I’m glad to see that almond milk will soon be an option there as well. Although the Starbucks almond milk will have some sugar added, it still has less sugar than dairy milk. 

Hope your weekend is fabulous! 

Fitness fashion, snacks and good reading from around the web. Check out these #faves ... 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!

Questions of the day

What have you been loving lately?

Do you like to pack? How early do you pack for a trip?


  1. I completely agree with the results of the Olympics being spoiled before having a chance to watch them – so annoying! I have still been completely addicted to watching them 🙂 Have a great low-key weekend!

    1. It’s not fair for us that it’s not coming on until after 8pm! You know? heheh Glad you agree with me. And hope your weekend is just great too, Ashley! 🙂

  2. Ok, I’m totes obsessed with that NB jacket and I think I have to get one!

    Happy Friday to you! Sometimes the best weekends are ones when we don’t have to get out of pajamas or workout-wear or wear any makeup! Rudy loves your pretty face without any mascara. 🙂 Xoxo.

    1. I could totally see you in this jacket too, Court. And yes, sometimes it’s okay to have a lay around weekend and keep it casual. I look forward to it. Happy Friday, my friend!! 🙂

  3. I agree with you–i would always see who won before watching the primetime!! Ive been loving all of the swimming and gymnastics though! I love larabars but i haven’t seen the mini ones in stores yet!
    I usually pack a day or two before.

    1. Hi Heather!! 🙂 A day or two before is a last-minute pack in my book ahahah. I like to do it WAY early, because I get excited. Happy almost weekend to you, lady!

  4. Being home in the summer I have literally been watching the olympics alllllll day long, but yes the spoilers are no fun! And I love those mini larabars! I wish more companies made mini bars, because sometimes I just need a small little snack. I signed up for Orangetheory tomorrow morning, I’m excited to try the class since reading about it here! Have a great weekend!

    1. Clif Bars have the minis too, and yes, I love the mini bars. Totally excited for you to try OTF! I hope you like it! Let me know. 🙂 Have a fab weekend, Patricia.

  5. I wish I had perfect posture, but I don’t… I really need and want to work it on more. 🙂

    Also the Larabar bites are just the cutest. They are the perfect size for snacking on.

  6. I hate packing, hah! I’m one of those last minute packers who pretty much throws everything into the bag…. Dane loves to fold everything all nicely— weird to me!

    I love Larabars! I actually haven’t had one in years now that I think about it— I miss those things!

    P.S. I know I don’t comment often, but I read every post 🙂

    1. Ohhh yay!! Glad we’re keeping in touch then hehehe. I miss you, Carrie! I bet you are LOVING Nob Hill, so I won’t even ask. Hope we can cross paths soon!

  7. I’m one of the few that likes to know what the results are before I watch 😀 Especially for gymnastics, otherwise I basically pass out from holding my breath! Have a great weekend, Ashley!

  8. Super cute jacket! Yay for packing early! I like to make a list a few weeks out and then a week or so before I start putting out the stuff I want to take, so I can see if I can remove anything :). Less is more 🙂

  9. I immediately purchased that jacket! It is everything I want in a jacket! Thanks for sharing! Also Target sells boxes of mini Larabars if you want to get more of the smaller ones! They come in boxes of ten. The only two flavor combos I have seen are peanut butter/cookie dough and cashew cookie/apple pie. They also have these new Kashi savory bars. I bought the white bean basil ones and they are AMAZING!

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