Friday Favorites: Flowers, music and more

Well a very happy Friday going out to you. First of all, let’s get to the storm issue here in the Bay Area. Yesterday, nearly everything in San Francisco was closed. We had rain and wind, and Dave and I were without power for almost three hours in the morning. We were home all day due to the closures, but it didn’t really seem that bad outside in our particular neighborhood. Let me tell you something, you don’t realize how much you rely on power, until you don’t have it. No hot tea with your breakfast? No WiFi? No light in the dark small bathroom? No way to charge your phone? Oh how the list goes on. Somehow we were able to make it through those trying times, although a few tears were shed. And as expected, Dave’s work holiday party was cancelled, so we didn’t get to do that last night either. Nonetheless, once the power was back up-and-running, I had plenty of time to blog and to create a workout for you guys, which I plan to share next week.

Now, every single Friday, I like to share my “Friday Favorites,” and today is no different. Let’s get cracking!

My favorite delivery of the week: Flowers

Fresh flowers. Yes! I received a knock on the door on Tuesday, and it was a friendly fellow from BloomThat, a new San Francisco-based start-up offering “ridiculously fast flowers” via a website or app. Dave had a display of fresh tulips sent my way in congratulations for a lot of hard work I’ve been putting into all my fitness endeavors as of late. It was super sweet and a total surprise. He’s pretty good to me …

BloomThat flowersHere’s the very pretty Pixley arrangement that was hand delivered to me this week.

I actually didn’t want to take the flowers out of the lovely burlap wrap shown above, but I did, and I also tried to add the bow to the vase to keep the magic alive. The flowers are still displayed nicely in our living room for all to see (well for the two of us to see). And having them there reminds me how much I love having fresh flowers at home. I rarely get them unless there is a special occasion, and I certainly don’t buy them for myself. Once we move into a larger and lighter place, I hope to stock up on a fresh display of buds more frequently. It sure brightens the mood, as well as the room.

My favorite new music app: Spotify

Okay, I’m a little late to the party here, but I’ve finally started using Spotify, and I love it. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been teaching more freestyle bootcamp classes, in which I create the workout and provide my own playlist. That means I need to be up on the latest tunes out there and put together music that will drive a good workout. Although I’ve been teaching group fitness for more than six years, all of those years were spent teaching Les Mills formats and licensed music has always been provided to me. While having the music given to me is easy, I’m actually really enjoying finding my own.

Spotify on phoneGroup fitness instructor tip: Download the playlist to be “Available Offline,” then turn your iPhone on Airplane mode before you plug it into the stereo and begin class. That means no interruptions.

I signed up for the free 30-day trial of Spotify Premium, and because providing music is now part of my line-of-work, I’ll continue with the $10-a-month service. I’ve had so much fun looking up the music I need, but it’s majorly time-consuming. For some of the high-intensity work in the bootcamps, I’ve been using a lot of Dubstep and EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Maybe I’ll share a playlist or two soon, because I know many of you like to have good tunes to work out to. Oh and speaking of music, check out this post I wrote a few months ago on how Music makes you work harder when you exercise.

My favorite new toiletry: Naked Dry Shampoo

This week, I received a lovely complimentary care package from Herbal Essences as a Klout Perk. Inside was some sample-sized hair products and a full-sized dry shampoo from the Naked product line. I’ve mentioned before that I live for dry shampoo. For someone who works in fitness and gets sweaty nearly every single day, there’s no way I can wash my hair after every workout. And that’s where dry shampoo comes into play.

Herbal Essences Dry ShampooHow cute is that message in a bottle? I put it on my shelf. And all the fluff in the box? I wanted to keep it, but of course, it had to go.

I’ve tried quite a few brands of dry shampoo, and this Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo is the best smelling yet. I’m loving the hint of a little grapefruit and mint. If you’re a fan of dry shampoo, check this one out. Oh, and if you’ve never used dry shampoo, it’s so easy. Just spray it at your roots, rub it around and brush your hair. So fresh and so clean without any washing involved. Trust me!

My favorite YouTube video

I know you guys have heard “The 12 Pains of Christmas” song. Well, that little jingle makes me laugh every time I hear it. And this weekend, Dave and I came across a music video for it, which does not appear to be the original, but is still pretty funny. Enjoy!

My favorite reads of the week

The Internet has a lot of good stuff going around and some of it exists here on A Lady Goes West. Hey, you’ve got to be your own biggest fan, right? Let’s take a look at what happened this week on the ole’ blogger:

And two more great links … I’m very excited to share that A Lady Goes West has been featured as one of the “Top 20 San Francisco-based Bloggers” on TripAdvisor’s FlipKey site. And I’m also excited to be quoted in this piece on The Active Times about “Get Fit in 2015: Expert Tips for Getting Fit in the New Year.” It was a good week!

That’s all I’ve got for you today, guys! Tonight I’m teaching BODYPUMP, tomorrow morning I’m teaching BODYATTACK, and on Sunday morning I’m teaching an outdoor bootcamp. I sure plan to have a little fun in between all of that group fitness. I hope you have some fun too. And we have to make it count, because not only are there only two more weekends until Christmas, but this is also Dave and my last weekend in San Francisco until the New Year. Wow!

Read more Friday Favorites

If you’ve enjoyed browsing through this post, 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
  31. A gym bag, pumpkin and juices 
  32. Workout gear, a top and a massage
  33. prAna, a watch, tea and more
  34. Tasty stuff and gift sales
  35. Decor, bars, boots and a drink

Questions of the day

What is something that you’ve discovered lately? Do you have anything good planned for the weekend? When was the last time you received flowers? What for?

Ashley signature



  1. Oh my gosh, the flowers!! That was so sweet of Dave and I love the packaging. Even if my house is a mess, fresh flowers in a vase change the whole mood of a room. Gorgeous! They have little bouquets you can pick up here at the marche for a few euros (and florists are one of the few places actually open on Sundays) in just about every color you could imagine. A quick aside about YouTube — ever seen the Awkward Gym Moments videos? I laughed so hard I scared my dog the other day. And congrats on the press! You deserve it!

    1. Hi Diane! Ummm YES! I LOVE Awkward Gym Moments, in fact, I need to pull out some of my favorites in next week’s post. Thanks for the reminder. And I often laugh so hard that I scare myself. hahahhaa. Happy Friday:)

  2. It’s funny that you mentioned that you didn’t want to take your flowers out of the burlap that they came in because that was my exact thought when I saw how cute it was was the little tag on the outside! I’m working toward getting certified to teach group spin and was planning on using spotify for my music since I’m obsesed with that app but didn’t even think about having to put it in airplane mode so thank you so much for that tip! It would have been really embarassing if my phone went off over the speakers while teaching! Eeeeeekkkkk!

    1. Hi Tricia! Yes, it would have. And you have to make sure you download the whole playlist before it’s time for class, otherwise you’re not in good shape there either. Good luck with your certification. Hope to read about it! Happy Friday!

    1. Thanks, Heather! To make matters worse, our hot water was out too, which makes for a very rough shower. All is normal today! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

  3. Your tulips are absolutely beautiful! I’m with you on your love for fresh flowers. They get a little pricey, but they sure are a nice touch to a room.

    I should try out that Herbal Essences dry shampoo. I love dry shampoo too, but I’ve never tried that brand. Is it super powdery and white or does it spray on pretty nicely? I’ve tried a few that make me look like I have white/gray hair because it’s so white. Haha.

    Glad you guys are safe from the storms. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi Ashley! I just use it at my roots and have had no build-up problem at all., it’s clear. Just make sure you don’t spray too much. Happy Friday! πŸ™‚

  4. Congrats on being one of SF’s top fitness bloggers! So cool, and very well deserved πŸ™‚

    I haven’t really done or discovered anything of note lately, but I did receive flowers from my work colleagues for the new baby. I don’t receive flowers very often, so it’s always a treat.

    1. Hi Emily! Thanks! It’s not a fitness accolade, but no biggie hehehe. Flowers are definitely a treat, and that’s super nice of your coworkers. Hope you and the little ones are doing well!

    1. Hi Rebecca! That is awful!! I actually went through a hurricane in Florida, back when I was home with my parents in Punta Gorda. We were hit by Hurricane Charley pretty badly, but I was able to go back up to Gainesville to start my fall semester, so only had to be without power for a couple of days. Natural disasters are no laughing matter. Hope you have a good weekend!

  5. Ahhhh the storm!! Glad you guys made it through okay — we lost power for about five hours, and I hightailed it to a friend’s place in the Outer Richmond to have electricity ha! You’re right, I had no idea how lost I’d be without it. What a weird day in SF!

    I LOVE BloomThat (what a sweet surprise) — I worked with them at my old job and they’re great people/the flowers are amazing. Also a big Spotify fan here, I did the free trial and got totally sucked in. Worth every penny each month!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend!!

    1. Hi Lauryn, It’s so funny, because for some reason I thought apartments would not lose power. Guess I was wrong. You guys had it worse than us. Hope you have a lovely weekend too!

  6. Those flowers are beautiful! I live for dry shampoo and have been i nthe market for a new kind. I’m finishing up the last of the powder kind I have but it makes a mess. I want a new aerosol kind. I want that perk πŸ™‚ I still use itunes for my group classes but I hear good things about spotify I’ll have to try out the free demo. I want more remixes that are hard to find on itunes.

    1. Hi Renee! Definitely give Spotify a try for making playlists, because the search function is awesome. There’s even an area to look for workout music. Hope you have a good weekend!

  7. That was so sweet of Dave to get you flowers! I can see why he’s so proud of his wife. πŸ˜‰

    I’m glad to hear that the worst of the storm was just a few hours without power for you. It is crazy how important you realize it is when you’re without it. Even just a few hours feels like an eternity!

    1. Hi Sarah. You have no idea … it was so weird. We just kinda sat there in the dark with nothing to do hehehe. So glad it was short-lived. Hope you have a great weekend!!

  8. I just love tulips. They have always made me smile. What a cool delivery service. We are so lucky here in SF — even when power outages strike! πŸ˜‰

  9. Awww, now that’s a great man right there to send you flowers! And I think it’s so funny all of the stories from bloggers I keep hearing about the crisis of being without power for a few hours. Growing up and living in tornado alley (Northwest Arkansas), I’ve seen my fair share of severe thunderstorms and tornado weather which has sometimes even had my house and parts of my city without power for up to 24 hours. It’s just normal for us!

    1. Hi Kaylin, Oh I know. But the thing is — never once did I expect to be without power, so it was shocking hehehe. I used to live in Florida so we had some outages especially with big hurricanes. Yet this three-hour span was such a surprise it made me realize how much you rely on power. Tornado Alley sounds scary though!! Hope you have a great weekend, with power! πŸ™‚

  10. Those flowers are super pretty!

    I was so worried about everyone back in the bay area! Power outages definitely aren’t fun, but I’m glad people are okay!

    I feel like I need to try out dry shampoo if I’m gonna turn into a morning workout-er. *-* Will check that brand out! :]

    1. Hi Farrah! I was skeptical, but once I started using dry shampoo, I’m obsessed. It gives your hair a nice fresh smell somehow. And yes, you cannot wash your hair every morning, so you need an interim solution. And we’re all okay here in the Bay! Thanks for stopping by. Happy weekend to you:)

    1. Hi Bethann! Oh yes, today seems to be a bit better out there in the weather department. Hope all is well with you! Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by to say hello.

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