Favorite things: San Francisco gala, yoga toys, ice cream and links worth reading

Hiya friends! I’m coming at you with a world of good things today, including what I’ve been up to, my latest favorite products, inspiration, talk of the weekend and more. Shall we?

This week has been a busy one. Teaching BODYPUMP 100, working, doing a training session (I’m using up a small package of personal training sessions once a week and totally loving the extra full-hour strength session with my trainer/friend Will), working some more, teaching Bootybarre and hanging out with Dave and Rudy. This upcoming weekend, we’ll be having dinner out, maybe going on an outdoor adventure and then watching the Super Bowl with friends, of course. Dave’s originally from Maine, so he’s a huge Patriots fan. I, however, like the food table and commercials. You’ll find me in the kitchen or standing in front of the TV during commercial breaks. What about you?

Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards at the Fairmont in San Francisco

Do you guys watch my Instagram stories? If so, you got a major flood of excitement from me this past Friday night. Dave and I were in the City for a cool event at The Fairmont Hotel in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco (just a street away from where we used to live). We got to the event very early after another appointment, so I actually used the fancy bathroom at The Fairmont to do my hair, make-up and jewelry — and change my shoes, because clearly I wasn’t wearing heels on the BART or on the uphill walk to the hotel. We sat in the lobby for a bit chatting and people watching, before it was time to check into the Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards Gala. (Coaching Corps is an organization that makes sure all kids get to work with a coach in sports, regardless of their socio-economic status.)

Ashley and Dave at Game Changer Gala by A Lady Goes West

From there, we went to a VIP reception and met up with several of Dave’s coworkers and enjoyed a sparkly beverage, a speech and cheers. That was followed up by another cocktail hour, before we finally ended up in the grand ballroom around 6:30 p.m. for the program and seated dinner. While the food, drink and scene were excellent, the real reason I wanted to tell you about this event was the inspiring messages that I heard.

There were four professional athletes who were there to honor the coaches that made an impact on their lives, and it was SO MOVING. These athletes weren’t always famous or stars, in fact, many of them had rough starts, and it took a positive role model to shape them and help them to grow into the successful men they are today. While it would have been nice to see a professional female athlete up there, I still really enjoyed everything I heard and learned. The whole deal was televised on ESPN two nights later, and we never checked to see if we made it on-screen, but you never know. We were sitting at the table behind Draymond Green and George Kontos (Warriors and Giants players, respectively) and so perhaps our little faces appeared behind them when the cameras were affixed on them.

Game Changer Gala in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

Moral of the story: Be a coach. Be a mentor. Help others. You never know who will be making millions one day and come back and thank you for all you did for them. Or just do it out of the goodness of your heart expecting nothing in return. Either way, do it.

The Fairmont Hotel view in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

Healthy and tasty Halo Top ice cream

A lot of times the “healthier” low-calorie products are not as tasty. However, when it comes to Halo Top ice cream, well that’s not the case. It’s darn good. I posted a pic of this stuff on my Instagram a while back and many of you said you couldn’t find it in the stores. From the looks of the website, you should be able to find it at Whole Foods, Safeway, Publix or specialty stores. (By the way, you can always ask your local Whole Foods if they would carry it with a request at the front.) My favorite flavor is the red velvet, but all the ones I tried were delish. I would love to try oatmeal cookie next.

Halo Top ice cream by A Lady Goes West

The Halo Top peeps sent me five pints to try, and I finished them in three weeks. Is that bad? I think that is reasonable. I also mixed some dates in there for an extra bite. Props to you Halo Top, for creating a tasty dessert that is lower in sugar than other ice creams and has extra protein too. If you compare the calories, carbs and fat of Halo Top with Ben & Jerry’s, well, Halo Top has a fourth of the calories and carbs. And while it’s not as decadent as a slice from The Cheesecake Factory, it certainly satisfies my sweet tooth, if that tells you anything. 

Manduka yoga towel in my POPSUGAR Must Have Box

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been a practicing yogi for about three years and never had my own yoga towel until now. I tried using a beach towel over my mat, and it just doesn’t work. So I would sweat allover my mat, then scrub it down after each use. Not very convenient. Well leave it to my January POPSUGAR Must Have Box delivery* to take care of that. I got this blue Manduka eQua Mat Towel, and already tried it out at CorePower Yoga this past weekend. It totally stays in place and absorbs the sweat and dries quickly. It goes for $38, so it’s well priced too. I washed it up and am ready to use it again! Namaste!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box January by A Lady Goes West

There were a couple of other items in this box that got me — the happy notes sticky pad by Sourcebooks Inc. is amazing and totally makes my day. As you guys know, I’m all about working on my gratitude these days, and a bright pick-me-up in the form of a sticky is a great way to get that going. (Gratefulness is not easy, but it does a world of good!)

You know I love these Must Have boxes, so head to the site if you want to get one for yourself. The other items — all of which would make great gifts to treat yo’self …

*Thanks to POPSUGAR for the complimentary box. And some of the links above are affiliate. 

Best things from around the web to read

Oh and a little sneaky giveaway for you: Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Jamba Juice. I’ll pick someone next week. I went this past weekend for a Greens ‘n Go smoothie after yoga, and it was delish.

Green Jamba Juice by A Lady Goes West

Have a wonderful day and weekend! And before you go, I’d like to note that there’s some rough stuff going on out there in the world/nation, so we each have do the best we can to get by. Be nice, be strong and keep on keepin’ on.

And by the way, I’m actively taking reader requests for the blog, so email me at aladygoeswest@gmail.com if there’s anything you want to see. I’m here for you, lovelies!

Healthy products, fun in San Francisco, great #links worth reading. Here's the latest from blogger @apstyle ... Share on X

Questions of the day

What’s your favorite account to follow on Facebook for inspiration or laughs?

What’s something good going on in your life?



  1. My husband is a head high school football coach, so I’ll have to ask him if he’s ever heard of coaching corps. We always tell people when they ask us the, ‘when are you having kids question’ that Tom has 80 high schoolers he keeps track of, and that pretty much ends the conversation, hehe. And Love Halo Top, I’ve only tried the Chocolate Mocha, so I need to get my hands on a few other flavors. Have a great weekend! =)

    1. Being a high school football coach must be the most rewarding, yet tough job! I bet he has a million stories to tell! And I LOVE the answer to the question that you guys give. 🙂 Happy Friday, Patricia!

  2. Lately Facebook has been a source of arguments, hate, and craziness. It’s hard to find anything positive on there lately! I do love how instagram is a bit more laid back and friendly these days. I need it!

  3. When I was teaching at an elementary school in the Bay Area, I started a run club and encouraged the kids to do local 5Ks with me. I’ve since moved to San Diego and don’t know what the kids are up to, but I’m hopeful that my love for running and exercising resonated with them to the point where they’ve adopted this lifestyle too!

    1. Hi Emily! Oh my gosh, that’s so awesome you started a run club. Have you thought of the more formal organization Girls on the Run? I bet you’d be great. It’s so important to help others learn to be healthy, no matter their age.

  4. I hadn’t been to Jamba Juice in months and actually got a smoothie for breakfast earlier this week. So good! And I agree w/your post earlier this week, morning workouts are the best!

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  5. I don’t know if it’s on Facebook too, but the @Moviecats Instagram is hilarious. Something good going on right now is coming up on two years with my husband! Gotta take hold of the happy things when you can these days since there always seems to be something hateful or difficult showing up on social media.

  6. Getting a yoga towel changed my practice, I love it! Halo top has also been going down in my house a lot lately. My favorites are red velvet, peanut butter cup, and s’mores!

  7. oooo- I will have to try that smoothie, it looks so good! A Jamba Juice just opened up in our mall, it may be the perfect ending to our stroller walks that have been happening there 🙂

  8. The oatmeal cookie halo top flavor is the only one I’ve tried so far and it’s great!! Definitely try that one next.
    Yay for sneaky giveaways!;)

  9. Ashley, I got my niece and her husband the yoga towels for Valentine’s Day! Big thank yous came my way when they arrived at their house yesterday. Thanks for the great idea!

    1. I LOVE to hear this! It’s such a quality product. And how nice of you to think of them. Hope you are doing well! Happy belated Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  10. Where are you getting the Red Velvet from? The Whole Foods in Walnut Creek? My store doesn’t have nearly all of the flavors.

    1. Yes, the Red Velvet came in the mail, but I did find Birthday Cake at the downtown Walnut Creek Whole Foods, which is also good. Maybe the newer larger WF on Ygnacio Valley Road would have a bigger selection?? Good luck!!

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