Friday Favorites: A gym bag, pumpkin + juices

Happy Friday, friends! Looks like we’ve almost made it through another week. And that means, it’s time for another edition of “Friday Favorites.” So sit back, relax and enjoy this varied selection of fun things I’m loving lately …

My new favorite bag: Live Well 360 Tote

Let me tell you a little story about a bag that has made my life easier. As a backpack-toting-gym-clothes-wearing-city-slicker who braves the streets of San Francisco on foot, if anyone needs a good bag, it’s me. I’ve been using the same lovely white North Face backpack for the last two years and was definitely feeling like it was time for a change. The timing was absolute perfection when I had the opportunity to review a Live Well 360 bag through my ambassadorship with Sweat Pink and Fit Approach and receive a complimentary bag. While I could have selected any of the three other bigger bags with all the bells and whistles from the company’s line, I gravitated to the Tote. Why? It looked like it would fit nicely under my arm. And boy, it does.

Live Well 360 Tote bag via A Lady Goes WestShown from top left to right: The interior lining of the Tote, me using the Tote for the first time and the Tote’s front view when empty.

I first used the bag last week on a dreary Saturday morning as I headed out to teach BODYATTACK. During my walk, I was juggling my iPod and earphones, a clump of choreography notes I was trying to review, as well as my iPhone. Normally, I have to hold everything until I get to my gym, because it’s such a pain to do that one strap on, one strap off, reach around to get in your backpack (and yes, if you know what I mean, you know how annoying that is). Well, on this day, I could reach right in my Live Well 360 tote under my arm with no problem and drop off items into individual pockets as I didn’t need them anymore. While already happy with the look and feel of the bag, that one small convenience truly started my love affair. My new bag has now been allover the City on my shoulder for the past week. It’s just so wonderful, I’ve named it Trixy the Tote Bag. Trixy is here to make my life a little bit better.

Now, let’s get to the bag details, because they really matter. These bags are not cheap, and you pay for the hand-craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into production. I researched a little bit about the company, and Live Well 360 is based in Santa Monica and appears to be run by a husband and wife duo. I love their motto “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And that tells you that they couldn’t find quality gym bags in the market, so they created their own line.

Live Well 360 bags are durable, handmade and created from something called ballistic nylon body, which is so tough that the company offers a major guarantee that these bags will hold up. There are three other souped-up bags (more like duffels) available, which all come in multiple colors and two of them can also accommodate a yoga mat. But I was confident the all-black Tote was right for me.

Details on the Tote bag:

  • Dimensions: 17″ L x 6″ W x 14″ H
  • Nine pockets
  • Soft seatbelt shoulder straps
  • Satin nickel hardware
  • TSA compliant
  • Very cute fabric-lined jewelry pocket on the inside
  • Pockets for your water bottles
  • Bright signature liner inside the bag
  • Only comes in black
  • Retail price: $127

As you can see, not your average gym bag. And the good news is that if you’re interested in ordering a Live Well 360 bag, you can get 15 percent off your entire order just by using the links I provided. These are not affiliate links, just discounts, given to me kindly by the Live Well 360 and Fit Approach team. Right now Live Well 360 bags are sold in select yoga studios, but not in any retail stores. Oh, and they offer free domestic shipping.

Moral of the story? I’m living well with my new Live Well bag. And if you see me smiling on the streets of San Francisco, it’s because Trixy the Tote Bag has made me one happy camper.

My favorite seasonal treat: Trader Joe’s pumpkin yogurt

I only go to Trader Joe’s a couple times a month, and lately, the yogurt shelves have been fairly empty when it comes to one item. So I was quite pleased to see my favorite seasonal Greek yogurt pop up on Sunday during my last visit to TJ’s. I bought a couple, and I’ve enjoyed them greatly. Who doesn’t like pumpkin? No really, who?

Trader Joe's Greek pumpkin yogurtOne little tub is full of 18 grams of protein, yet could probably pass off as dessert (especially with those 23 grams of sugar included). Yum!

I’ve had a few other varieties of pumpkin Greek yogurt this season, and I like this one the best. And it’s the cheapest. I would say I wish they carried it all year, but then we all wouldn’t have the chance to obsess over pumpkin during its limited-time run. I’m basic. What can I say. Not heard of the term “basic” as I used it today? Let me refer you to this New York Magazine article, which describes how a basic gal is doing exactly what is expected of her, for instance, liking pumpkin. Shoot me. At least I lift weights.

My favorite new juice: Uber Fresh

It seems like fresh juice companies are popping up all the time now, and I’ve had the opportunity to try out quite a few here that have all started in the Bay Area. However, recently, I had a special experience with one such company and felt it was worth sharing with you.

Uber Fresh juices via A Lady Goes WestShown above from top left to right: the lovely care package of six juices given to me complimentary by Uber Fresh; Jenna, a fellow blogger, me, Alice and Kevin from Uber Fresh, and some more shots of the juice.

Let me tell you a little bit of background on this one. A lovely lady from Uber Fresh reached out to me weeks ago wondering if I’d be willing to try Uber Fresh juices and when would be the best time to meet. Several emails later, we had set a date to meet in the evening at a cool coffee shop in the City, along with another blogger. I didn’t really know what to expect, but during that meeting, I was not only introduced to the growing Uber Fresh juice company and its products, but I was also introduced to the history and purpose behind the company directly from its founder, who was there for the meeting. That’s right, Kevin, who you see in this photo above, began Uber Fresh about a year ago. Why? He saw the need, and he wanted to make a good product. He’s from the Bay Area, but had been working in New York City for a while and fell in love with real cold-pressed juices, which are readily available allover the Big Apple. When he returned to the Bay, he couldn’t find much outside of Jamba Juice and was determined to start his own quality line. These days a few other juice companies have also come about, but Uber Fresh is a little different. 

Here are some of the details on the juices, for those of you who care to know: 100 percent organic, non-GMO, no pesticides, 100 percent juice, locally sourced, raw, pure, cold-pressed and never processed. The unique selling factor of Uber Fresh juices is that the juices are truly raw and never come into contact with heat. That’s a big deal in the juice world. It means production is harder, and the shelf-life is shorter. Uber Fresh makes its juices in the wee hours of the morning in a facility outside of San Francisco to fulfill daily deliveries, and the team only makes as much as has been ordered. Nothing is wasted. Uber Fresh bottles will not be sitting on the shelves of grocery stores any time soon, but you can order them online or by phone straight from the company. And I must mention, another thing I like about Uber Fresh is that although the company sells juices in packs for cleanses (a six-pack runs $54), they don’t seem to push the cleanse, rather they just promote juices as a healthy addition to your diet. I agree.

In the past two days, I’ve had all of the juices in my pack and Recharge — a juice combining beet, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger — is definitely my favorite, but they were all incredibly fresh and tasty, none of that weird veggie taste that you may expect. If you’re a cold-pressed juice lover, I suggest you give Uber Fresh a try <<affiliate link!>>. If for no other reason than to see Kevin and his hard-working team do well. They’re good people, and they’ve got a good product.

My favorite links

Some of the good stuff from A Lady Goes West this week …

And that’s it for today! Now, I’m off to take in this lovely Friday. This weekend will include a lot of group fitness because I’m teaching today, tomorrow and Sunday. Sunday should be interesting, as I’m leading a brand new big outdoor bootcamp class in a park, and we’re expecting upwards of 60 people. More details to come on that. Have a great weekend. Get out there and do something adventurous! 

Read more fun Friday Favorites 

Are you a fan of these “Friday Favorites”? If so, see below for previous editions or visit the the link-up hostesses, Heather, Clare and Katie

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show
  17. The foods I always buy
  18. Sushi, a game and pants
  19. Fitness apps
  20. Delicious and healthy products
  21. Comfort, fitness and function
  22. Beauty, buddha and blog events
  23. Dining, the city and gift ideas
  24. POPSUGAR, sweets and such
  25. A bunch of fun stuff
  26. e-book, food, picnic and tunes
  27. A link, a superfood and a mask
  28. Pants, shoes, food and links
  29. Dining, protein and goodies
  30. Shopping, events and a book

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend? Do you have any material items that make you happy? What are some of your favorites from this week? Do you juice?

Ashley signature

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    1. Fresh juice is all the rage here in the Bay Area. I’ve never done a cleanse, because frankly with my workout schedule I can’t fit in the days to do it. Hope you have a good day!! 🙂

    1. Hi Diatta! Oh that is awesome! There’s nothing better than time with family. Hope you enjoy:) And thanks for stopping by the ol’ blog today.

  1. Great blog, I love your balanced approach to fitness and eating, that you are SF based like me, and I can’t wait to read more! I’ve never been a fan of juicing because I love to eat my food instead of drink it and I’m not a believer in cleanses, but it was super interesting to read about this local company. I like the just-in-time zero waste policy. Seems to be up in coming in food, which is great! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Jill!! So great to e-meet you. Thanks for stopping by, fellow Bay Area gal. No, I’ve never cleaned either and prefer to eat regular food, but these juices are great additions to meals for a little extra nutrients. I look forward to staying in touch!! Have a great weekend!

  2. Love that tote! LiveWell360 really knows what they’re doing. I’m so impressed with the quality!

    Super jealous of all your juice bars! That trend hasn’t really made it to my neck of the woods yet. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Juicing is sooo popular here. I’ve never done a cleanse, but I sure like fresh juice. And I saw you got a Live Well 360 bag too, we’re lucky, because they are great bags!! Happy Friday to you, Kim. Thanks for popping in to say hello.

    1. Hi Katie! Yes, we’re having lovely weather right now … usually in the 70s during the day and a bit colder at night. But sometimes the wind kicks up too much for shorts! I bet it’s cold in your neck of the woods! Happy weekend:)

  3. I love a good tote bag and Trixy looks perfect! A water bottle pocket is a must. 😉

    I usually buy one juice a week to sip on so I’m not sure about buying in bulk but it would be great if they started offering Uber at grocery stores. I really like that they don’t waste anything too! I can’t stand to hear about companies that are wasteful.

  4. Material things do make me happy! I’ve been really focused on investment pieces lately and it’s so nice- I got myself a new workbag and boots this past month and I’ve already proved they were so worth it!

    1. Hi Katie! Thanks for stopping by to say hello. I like to get investment pieces too. I usually spend a lot on my jeans, purses and a couple basic clothing items. And I think a gym bag is important enough to fall into the worthy of investing category, especially for someone like me who works in fitness. I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

  5. I LOVE the bag! I’ve been rotating totes to take to the gym, but after an unfortunate spill, I definitely need a new one with a designated pocket for my water bottle. That’s for sure.

    Can’t wait to check out Uber Juice in SF, too!!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi Lauryn! A spill is no good. The pockets in my bag are definitely going to prevent that. And yes, you’ll like Uber Fresh! Have a great weekend:)

    1. Hi Kelly! Oh yes, it’s fits a lot. I used it today to go teach BODYATTACK and brought three different beverages with me, all in different compartments. Love it! Hope you’re having a great weekend:)

  6. That bag looks awesome! <3 and oh em gee, Trader Joe's. ;_; I miss that place so much, it's pretty much one of the things I'm putting into consideration for my "future relocation criteria.

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