Favorite things: Shirodhara massage, LE TOTE jewelry, web reads and more

Hi! How’s the week been going for you, friends? There’s nothing major taking place over here — it’s just been business as usual. I don’t know about you, but I love a little excitement in the week, and that just didn’t happen during this one. Oh, I lie, it did: we finished up watching the latest season of “Orange is the New Black” and then started watching “Bloodline.” I had heard from a few people that “Bloodline” is good, and it has two major selling points: filmed in the Florida Keys, where I vacationed every single summer growing up, and features one of my favorites, Coach Taylor (i.e. Kyle Chandler from “Friday Night Lights”). The first few episodes are pretty interesting and it’s a true thriller. After watching the first one I was actually a little spooked when taking Rudy out for his night-time walk. Ha!

This upcoming weekend is full of my regular activities like teaching BODYPUMP, hanging out with Dave, going out to eat and maybe doing some shopping for my upcoming trip to Vegas. But before we head off into the weekend, let’s talk about things I’ve been loving …

This week’s “Favorite things”  

Special treatment at Burke Williams Spa

Sometimes you get the opportunity to try something, which makes you want to research all about what you tried and then you get even more interested in it. Last weekend, I had the awesome chance to go to the Burke Williams Spa in the Westfield Center of San Francisco for an incredible treatment. I received the Shirodhara massage, which is a method from the ancient Indian system of natural medicine, Ayurveda.

In addition to getting top-notch service at the fancy Burke Williams location, which included access to the lovely spa, waiting room, a fresh fruit plate, and a comfy robe, I also spent 80 minutes in a massage room getting the works.

Burke Williams Spa entrance in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what I was in for when I arrived that day. I was expecting a fairly run-of-the-mill massage, and it was anything but. First of all, when I met with Theresa, my friendly massage therapist, she talked me through what was about to take place for my treatment, and the description took about five minutes. She also had me smell three oils and choose the one that I liked the best – she said that was what my body needed the most of. The choices were energy, soothe and calm, and I went with soothe. It smelled great, and it soothed me. (By the way, I couldn’t take any pictures of the room or actual service, so you’re just getting a taste of the setting and spa, and yes, it’s at the very top of the huge Westfield mall in downtown San Francisco.)

For the treatment itself, the room was kept hot, which is not something I’ve experienced before. Also, I was laying on my stomach for the first part and back for the second part. My body was totally doused in the oils, and I got a light massage from head to toe. She focused a lot of my head and feet, which I enjoyed. Then, the last 10 minutes or so featured the Shirodhara part, which is where Theresa poured a long stream of hot oil into the middle of my forehead or third eye. This constant stream ran down my head and soaked my hair entirely. And let me tell you, it was such a cool sensation. I didn’t want it to end.

Lady locker rooms at Burke Williams Spa in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

Ayurvedic medicine focuses on the third-eye part of the forehead, because there are many nerve endings there, and pouring the hot oil over this part can calm the nervous system, induce rest and meditation, reduce fatigue and rejuvenate the body with a rush of serotonin. (It also addresses dosha, which is another Ayurvedic term associated with the three energies that circulate in the body and make up your physiological state.) While I definitely struggle to meditate on my own, I did my best to get lost in no thoughts during this portion of the service, and I truly zoned in and out of consciousness.

When Theresa was done, she left the room so that I could sit in silence and slowly come back to awareness. When I came to, I was totally oiled up and relaxed, and boy it felt good. I can honestly say that I felt more soothed than I have after any other massage. Although my body didn’t get the deep tissue or pressure that I typically like during a massage, my mind got worked on. It sure did.

Decor at Burke Williams Spa in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

I’d love to go back to Burke Williams one day and do this same treatment again or try one of the traditional massages. And for my friends out there who are adventurous or need a major escape from reality — check out the Shirodhara service. The 80-minute sessions run a pricey $215, so it’s a luxury for a rainy day.

Fun fact: You can’t directly wet your hair with the oil on it after your service. You actually have to put shampoo on first. After my treatment was over, I took my time showering up and blow-drying my clean hair in the Burke Williams ladies locker room. But total gross factor — I had to put on my same clothes from yoga earlier that day because I didn’t have anything else with me. Oh well! At least my hair was clean. (Some of you may have seen on Snapchat at aladygoeswest, when posted a no make-up post-massage selfie as I was walking out. So fresh!)

*Burke Williams invited me to try the service for free. While they did not ask me for a review, I felt compelled to write about this. All opinions are my own. Thanks for the hospitality, Burke Williams. There are 10 locations across California, including the one I visited in San Francisco. Find the others here.

Nike Zoom Winflo shoes

On to a favorite that’s a little less meaty, these sneaks were a new addition to my closet right before I left for IDEA BlogFest and IDEA World Fitness Convention in L.A. last month. The pink is so bright, it almost hurts to look at them. I wore these shoes every day of my trip in L.A., and they barely got a mark. There is plenty of cushioning, making them great for cardio workouts, and they look good!

Nike shoe favorites by A Lady Goes West

The style is the Zoom Winflo, and they come in many bright and understated colors. While I wouldn’t wear these for a ton of side-to-side work or weightlifting, they are great for basic cardio and running, jogging or walking, or just as activewear. When I first put them on, because I had been wearing a super light shoe the day before, it felt like I was walking on a cloud with all of that padding. Good stuff!

Everyday bangle

I’ve found my new favorite bangle and it came to me in my latest LE TOTE delivery. (Not sure about LE TOTE, it’s a clothing subscription service, in which you get five items delivered, can wear them and send them back or buy them at a reduced rate.) I’ve worn this embossed cuff-bangle with nearly every outfit for the past week and a half. 

LE TOTE bangle by A Lady Goes West

LE TOTE bangle bracelet by A Lady Goes West

By the way, LE TOTE has an awesome offer running through the weekend, in which you can get your first tote for free with this sign-up code: 7ALTFT16. Once you order, you can cancel within 14 days with no fees at all, or continue along and pay for your second month when it’s time. (Here is the dress shown above.)

Let me just say, it’s fun to get clothes in the mail that you can wear and send back –- because they don’t fill up your closet. Give it a try! (Affiliate link – thank you for using it!) *And thanks to LE TOTE for the complimentary membership.

Le Tote First Box Free

My favorite links of the week

Did you miss the latest on A Lady Goes West

And more from around the web worth perusing …

Happy reading! Have an awesome weekend! 

Learn something new with these #favorites ... 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’s something good from your week?

Please tell me — what are some words you have trouble pronouncing in your everyday life?



  1. I loved your shoes at Blogfest–I remember commenting on them! And that massage sounds heavenly. I always get cold in treatment rooms, and I love the head massages during facials, so sounds like the best of everything to me!

    1. YYESSS! A good head massage is my FAVORITE. In fact, if a massage only included my head, I’d be happy. I’m with you on that, Susie! heheh! Happy Friday!

  2. Your description alone of that massage service almost put me into a trance-like state! Although I can imagine that I’d have to let some trust develop between myself and the massage therapist to feel comfortable with them pouring hot oil on my forehead…
    Happy Friday!
    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

    1. Hi Danielle! I know, it was an amazing treatment. And the oil wasn’t hot enough to burn my skin, but just hot enough. 🙂 Hope you get to try it one day! Have a fab weekend!

  3. That spa is nicer then anything I have ever seen!!! I don’t think I would ever leave! Love those bright shoes, the brighter the better! What do you typically wear for weight training? I’m on the lookout and usually I just go to the Nike out let and buy last seasons shoe but I think I need to focus more on shoes that go with what I’m doing….HITT, Spin (spin shoes I have) and weights (Body Pump, sweat by Kayla , FitnessBlender) Any help would be great!

  4. I’m not a bangle person just due to having small wrists and never being able to find something that fits but that bangle is so cute! I see why it’s your favorite!

    1. Hi Hilary! Hey, bangles can be a little annoying, but for some reason, I deal with it because I love them so much. But I get it. 🙂 heheh Happy Friday, Hilary!

  5. That massage!!! It sounds wonderful. A day of yoga and a massage sounds like my kind of relaxing day. And this is embarrassing but I just learned how to pronounce acai and charcuterie. I was definitely saying something completely different when ordering something with either of these in the name, oh well I can laugh about it now.

    1. I TOTALLY have trouble with charcuterie hahaha. So funny. Thanks for sharing and making me feel better, Patricia. 🙂 We can both say PROTEIN though haha

  6. Ashley – are the Nikes good for BodyAttack? and if not, do you have a recommendation for shoes that would be good for it? I have been struggling to find something that works right for Attack (and also for GRIT – not sure if you’ve taken it?). Thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca, Actually, I wouldn’t wear these Nikes for ATTACK — for other cardio and jogging/running/walking though. I’m going to do a post soon on the best shoes for those particular classes, because I get it a lot. This shoe doesn’t have as much LATERAL support, which you need for ATTACK. And yes, I’ve taken a bunch of GRIT classes. For GRIT Cardio and Plyo, you’d want the same type of shoe as ATTACK. For GRIT Strength, you could wear a flatter shoes (although there is some impact in that shoe too, which makes things difficult). Let me think about this and do some research and get back to you. Okay?? ! 🙂

  7. That massage sounds awesome! I went to Ayurvedic spa yesterday and got a really cool massage/cedar sweat box/dry brush massage to balance my “doshsa”. It was soooooo relaxing. I do actually feel lighter this morning!

    1. Thank you, Heather! 🙂 P.S. How many steps are you getting on average these days? MAN I miss walking in the City to get my daily allowance … heheh

      1. Oh man, it’s hard to say! Unfortunately, I lost my charger for my Polar Loop 2 from the move, so I haven’t been able to track accurately. My phone, however, usually clocks me in at walking 5+ miles every day outside of workouts!

  8. “my mind got worked on. It sure did.” – just LOL’ed at my desk :).

    Sounds like a lovely massage, I have been meaning to book one. What are you doing in Vegas?! Happy Friday!!

  9. That massage sounds amazing! I have trouble pronouncing “Applicable” every single time i have to say it! haha!

    My husband and I just watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix and we watched all 8 episodes in 2-3 sittings and i did not expect it to be so good! I’d highly recommend that one!

    1. Hahah that makes me laugh, Heather. Applicable is hard. So is supposedly, and most people say it wrong. Happy weekend, Friend! Oh and thanks for the show rec!

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