Five great things from the start of December

Hi, friends! How are you? We’re doing great over here! Let’s jump right to the faves. And I wasn’t sure if this post was going to happen or not, but it is, meaning we’ve had another two-post week, thank goodness. Because this little fellow has been keeping me busy …

Ashley and Brady at 9 weeks by A Lady Goes West

(How cute are my new studio Keds? So incredibly comfortable too!)

My Mom is back to visit

The best thing I have to report as of late is that my Mom is back to visit us for another week-and-a-half or so. Woohoo! Brady and I picked her up from the airport on Wednesday night, and she didn’t expect us to be inside waiting at the baggage claim (she thought we would be in the car outside) and once she saw us, she picked up into a jog across the airport, with her bags and arms flailing. It was hilarious. 

I asked my Mom to come back for a bit, and of course, she was more than happy to do it. Although, she’s super scared of flying and doesn’t enjoy that part of coming across the country at all — but she sucks it up and makes the trip, and we’re very grateful for that. We have some fun stuff on the agenda for her visit this time, and Dave and I will also be sneaking out to a Christmas party or two while we have a very trusted babysitter staying with us. Moms are the best! 

Our very first Christmas cards

We’re such adults! We sent out Christmas cards! Dave and I had never sent out official Christmas cards before this year, but now that we have little Brady, it finally seemed like the right year to do it. We already had the perfect pictures to use from Brady’s newborn shoot, which you can check out here, and the process of making them was so easy. 

We used Minted, and I couldn’t believe how convenient it was. My friends at Minted gave me a $250 credit, and our order of 100 holiday photo cards totaled just under that amount, using one of the seasonal discount codes. 

Minted holiday cards by A Lady Goes West

Minted holiday photo cards by A Lady Goes West

I selected the design, uploaded and arranged the pictures, chose our text and then even selected that the envelopes come pre-addressed for us — eliminating most of the legwork required to get them out. And here’s what was super helpful — I was able to submit the order for the cards before I even had the addresses formatted in the Minted spreadsheet. That way, the designer could create my card proof and send that to me digitally, while I worked on compiling all of the addresses.

Once I approved the proof and uploaded and approved of the addresses, our cards came within about five days — which was super fast. The quality is excellent, as I selected the thicker card stock, and it’s so worth it.

Minted holiday photo cards and envelopes by A Lady Goes West

I’ve ordered artwork from Minted before and been very pleased, and I must say that ordering Christmas cards was just as satisfying. I LOVE the design we chose and felt like the whole thing was super simple and user-friendly. I’ll definitely be going with Minted again next year. And for those of you who are still waiting to do some cards, I bet you could still get them done in time with Minted if you start soon. And if you use the code JOYNEW, you’ll save 20 percent on your first order.

*This is not sponsored, however, Minted did give me credit to order my cards. Thanks, Minted!

Checking out the new 365 by Whole Foods

Have you ever heard of 365 by Whole Foods? It’s a grocery store, by Whole Foods, but it contains more reasonably priced and more convenient ready-to-eat or cook items, of the same great quality as Whole Foods. The first 365 Whole Foods just opened in Northern California in Concord last week in the Veranda Shopping Center, and I was lucky enough to go to the media preview before it opened.

We toured the space, heard from some leaders on the Whole Foods team and, of course, sampled a ton of delicious and healthy food … like gelato, kombucha, zucchini chips, cupcakes and dairy-free yogurt. Mmmmm.

Urban Remedy samples by A Lady Goes West

Rubicon cupcakes by A Lady Goes West

First of all, the cool thing about this 365 store is that there are three restaurants within it, including Urban Remedy (delicious juices and healthy ready-to-eat items), Next Level Burger (a vegan burger spot), and a taqueria (serving vegan and meat tacos, etc.). Also there are bulk bins, natural organic soda fountains, and all the quality meat and produce that you would expect of a Whole Foods.

The whole point of the store is to provide a little bit more affordability to organic and natural products. And there’s also a membership/loyalty program for customers to save cash and daily deals on products that are only available for a limited-time. 

Ashley at 365 by Whole Foods by A Lady Goes West

I had so much fun exploring and totally want to go back to shop soon now that it’s open for business. Check the website to see where the next 365 by Whole Foods locations are planned on this map. Next up is Russian Hill in San Francisco, Temescal in Oakland and South Lake Tahoe. 

*Thanks to the folks at 365 by Whole Foods for inviting me to the event!

Mommy group outdoor workout

Guys, I taught a group fitness class again! I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to a weekly mommy group with new moms from around Walnut Creek. Well, other than our weekly session with a group leader in which we talk about new mom topics like breastfeeding/bottle-feeding/sleeping, etc., we’ve also been getting together outside of the classroom. I suggested that we could gather at a park and I’d teach a little sweat session, and the ladies were on board.

Ashley teaching an outdoor workout by A Lady Goes West

We met at Heather Farm park, and with our strollers in tow, walked over to a grassy area, where I taught the workout. I brought some jams and taught a 40-minute session including a warm-up, bodyweight moves like squats, lunges, leg lifts and even some barre-style isometric stuff using our strollers as the barre. It was super fun for me to be back leading a workout, and the general consensus from the ladies was that they want to do it again. I’ve already heard from some of them that they were sore the next day. Love that! (As a note, I offered a lot of options for those who were in different stages of recovery, and we didn’t do any major core work — slow, steady and cautious is best for us postpartum gals.)

My latest week of workouts at 8 weeks postpartum

I didn’t get a chance to share my latest week of workouts (from last week) with you yet, so here they are … you’ll see a lot of good walking and some variety with barre, yoga, weights and a boot camp included. I tracked my calorie burn in the boot camp, and it was more than 500. Loved that! Overall, I’m slowly feeling a tiny bit stronger each day.

  • Monday: Took a 30-minute walk, did 30 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took a 1-hour walk, 11 a.m., did 30 minutes of yoga at home, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Took a 30-minute walk, did 30 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: Participated in a 1-hour stroller boot camp workout outside, 9:30 a.m.
  • Friday: Took a 1.5-hour walk, 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: Gym session — walked on the treadmill on incline for 10 minutes, warmed up, foam rolled and did a full-body session, including squats, bridges, shoulder raises and modified push-ups using 10 and 20 pound dumbbells and my bodyweight
  • Sunday: Took a 40-minute walk, 11 a.m.

Best things from around the web

That’ll do it for today! We’ve got all sorts of festive plans this weekend, and I’ll be sure to share them with you over on Instagram until we meet here again. Hope you have a wonderful day, my friends! Thank you for stopping by the blog today!

Some fun stuff from Walnut Creek on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

Did you send Christmas cards? Have you received any Christmas cards? If so, what do you do with them?

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    1. Hi Sara! Seemed like they had a lot of flash sale deals at 365 too, which was cool! Hope you get to visit one soon. Happy Friday! Have a fab weekend! πŸ™‚

  1. Your Christmas cards are SO beautiful! I had every intention of sending some this year, but not sure if it’ll happen. Only think off my Christmas to do list is that we have decorated. lol.

    And so cute you taught your Mom Class a fitness workout. I’m sure the ladies loved it! Happy Weekend Ashley!

  2. I LOVE the design of your Christmas cards, they are beautiful! I’m kind of in the same boat, I never send them out because I think, who wants to look at a picture of my husband and I, haha. Whenever we have some cute babies to add in, I’m sure we’ll start sending them out πŸ™‚ As for the ones we do receive, I hang them along our stairwell where our stockings are hung. It’s right in our living room so it’s nice to see them all the time!

    Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the time with your mom in town!

    1. Hi Ashley! I always felt the same way about the cards. And I love that you hang yours. We usually try to put ours on the fridge, but always end up running out of room! πŸ™‚ Happy Friday, lady!

  3. The Christmas cards turned out so well! It sounds like a super easy process which I will definitely keep in mind for the future. Congrats on teaching again! What a fun way to hang out with your mom group and break a sweat mid week.

    1. Hi Maureen! Yes, it was SO nice to be able to work out in a group setting again. I’ve totally missed it! Have a great day and weekend, lady! πŸ™‚

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