Happy Friday! Well, looks like we made it through the week after Thanksgiving. It was touch-and-go there at first, but I’m back, energized and into my groove again. Thank goodness. I’ve got a few fun things to share with you today, in my favorite post of the week, “Friday Favorites.”
My favorite new piece of decor
There are endless reasons why I love this first “Friday Favorite.” First and foremost, I’ve been wanting a big conversational decorative pillow, which showcases something local, ever since we moved here. Second of all, I love hand-made pieces, which are bright and show their craftsmanship. Thirdly, I love to have things around my home (which is of course, a shoe-box apartment, not a full-sized home) that carry great memories. Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to the world’s best pillow and my favorite new piece of decor.
I don’t think this picture could possibly do this pillow justice. It’s completely hand-embroidered, taking more than 40 hours to create. Can you see San Francisco up there on the upper-left corner and all the other places Dave and I have visited over the past two-and-a-half years? I die.
What is ever-so-special about this pillow? It arrived in a box to our doorstep yesterday, sent to us from the lovely couple we met while tasting wine in Carmel on Sunday. A token of appreciation and a keepsake for us to remember that great, but short, stay. If you read my trip recap (and if you didn’t, that’s okay, because it’s still there waiting for you), you know that this nice couple was also from San Francisco and Dave was going to give them some Warriors basketball game tickets. You also know that the woman of this couple owned a cute boutique in Carmel, which I had walked by and admired. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they sent us this pillow, which I totally had my eye on in her boutique’s window. And upon some research last night, I found out that the boutique also has a location in San Francisco. It’s called Elizabeth W, and there you can buy some hand-crafted artisanal home-goods (i.e. this pillow) and unique bath and body collections. Basically, all the wonderful and fine stuff you hope to receive as gifts. I couldn’t find this exact pillow on the Elizabeth W site, in case you’re dying over it like I am, but you can find it on the maker’s site, the California hand-embroidered pillow from CatStudios. I can assure you that this pillow is going to make me smile every single time I see it.
My favorite nutritious treat
The nice ladies at LUNA Bar recently sent me a few samples to try in preparation for a big brand announcement. Just this month, all LUNA Bars are now officially gluten free. In my sample pack, I tried the Blueberry Bliss, Chocolate Peppermint Stick and Honey Caramel Peanut flavors and enjoyed them all. I think Chocolate Peppermint Stick stole my heart, but upon looking around the LUNA site, I’m pretty sure Iced Oatmeal Raisin would be my favorite based on the profile. Oh and the taste of the bars? I certainly didn’t miss the gluten. LUNA had some other big news break this week too. They are debuting a brand new flavor, Chocolate Cupcake, which I’m super excited to try.
I really like the consistency, taste and nutrition value of these bars. I also love that the company is all about women’s empowerment. LUNA is known for supporting female athletes, breast cancer research, independent films and so many more lady causes. But most importantly, these bars are healthy in terms of pre-packaged goods. Here are a few stats about LUNA Bars:
- Gluten free
- Low glycemic index (which is important for how the bar will affect your blood-sugar levels and energy after eating)
- Under 200 calories each
- 8-10 grams of protein in each
- 70% organic
- Made with no artificial flavors or preservatives
A bar made for women? A Bay Area company? Great tasting and gluten free? Sounds good to me.
My favorite new boots
If you’re a regular A Lady Goes West reader, you know I have a major loyalty to DSW for most of my shoe purchases. Well, because I haven’t been shopping as much this year, I received an email that my Premier Reward status was in jeopardy. So Dave and I went to the big DSW near our apartment the weekend before Thanksgiving and each bought a pair of shoes, giving me some extra points to get closer to keeping my status.
I bought these Spendid Rodeo booties in black and wore them in San Diego, as well as Carmel. They are super comfortable and oh-so-cute. I love a good bootie, which I can get a lot of use out of in San Francisco while walking the hills and still getting a little lift with a heel to dress up my many pairs of leggings. I even wore these to a Christmas party Dave and I attended last night at a local beer brewery. While I didn’t exactly have space for these in my already crowded closet, I’ve made it work.
My favorite specialty drink
While everyone is dying over Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread Lattes at Starbucks, I actually have a different favorite beverage that isn’t even listed on the menu at most places. The Matcha Green Tea Latte, served warm with soy milk. I’ve ordered Matcha Green Tea Lattes both sweetened and unsweetened and like them equally. Yes-oh-yes, this is a strange and tasty creation.
I wrote about Matcha tea powder once and nothing I made at home ever came close to the deliciousness of the Starbucks drink. Definitely worth a try. But beware, Dave claims it tastes like drinking a plant (another one of his kind assessments of my healthy tendencies). So you have to doctor it up with some Splenda if you’re not into the unique flavor and texture. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t turn down a PSL, but Matcha is my year-round jam.
My favorite links of the week
Here’s some more good stuff from A Lady Goes West this week:
- A scenic course and my 5K PR – Running a crowded Turkey Trot and workouts.
- Thanksgiving adventures across the state – Roadtrip to Southern California and goals.
- Food and Elf4Health – Healthy challenges and food from my day.
- A fabulous coastal overnight – One lovely night in Carmel-by-the-Sea. This is my most-favorite, and I’ll keep looking back at it and my new pillow when I need to think of that gorgeous place.
My favorite dorky, yet imporant, article
And one more link, which did not appear on A Lady Goes West. Some of you may know I used to be a copywriter and writing is in my professional background. That being said, I’m a stickler for grammar and word use. I definitely cringe at some of the stuff I see around the Inter-webs, while keeping my comments friendly. So here’s a good article about some commonly misused words out there “40 Incorrectly Used Words That Make You Look Dumb.” Knowledge is power, people!
Alright, everybody. I’ve got some work to do, a training session and am teaching BODYPUMP tonight. This weekend includes a whole lot of fitness for me and a holiday party with friends on Saturday night. We’re doing a White Elephant gift exchange, and I’m hoping to come away with something good. Now, go off and get festive, party people! Three weekends until Christmas!
More Friday Favorites
- A snack, a purse and a ritual
- A delivery, a bra and a guy
- A sweet, a wine and a read
- A drink, a gadget and a plan
- A time, a bottle and a powder
- San Francisco edition
- Beauty edition
- Beach vacation edition
- Hidden meanings
- Kicks, a book and a bowl
- The very best sweatshirts
- Party hosting and froyo
- Fourth of July daytime activity
- Beauty basics edition
- Workplace edition
- Shopping, sales and a show
- The foods I always buy
- Sushi, a game and pants
- Fitness apps
- Delicious and healthy products
- Comfort, fitness and function
- Beauty, buddha and blog events
- Dining, the city and gift ideas
- POPSUGAR, sweets and such
- A bunch of fun stuff
- e-book, food, picnic and tunes
- A link, a superfood and a mask
- Pants, shoes, food and links
- Dining, protein and goodies
- Shopping, events and a book
- A gym bag, pumpkin and juices
- Workout gear, a top and a massage
- prAna, a watch, tea and more
- Tasty stuff and gift sales
Questions of the day
What are your favorites from this week? Do you have any fun weekend plans? Have you gone to any holiday parties yet?