Happy Friday to you! Who is happy that the weekend has nearly arrived? This morning, as usual, I’m up early to teach a BODYATTACK class. Then, I’ll be wrapping up some work and heading to a hair appointment. The frizzy mess on my head needs a little taming, so I’m going to get another keratin-smoothing treatment today. That means no sweating for me this weekend, as my hair has to settle. I see a couple of rest days in my future.
And tonight? I’m super excited about my plans for the evening, because Dave and I are going to a little shop in downtown Walnut Creek called Canvas and Cabernet with some friends. As you may be able to guess from the name, we will be drinking wine while painting on canvas. I’ve wanted to do one of these types of activities for a while and can’t wait to test out my painting skills.
The rest of the weekend is pretty up-in-the-air, outside of Dave working at a Warriors playoff game tomorrow during the day. (Go Golden State!) Without further ado, let’s get to the latest weekly edition of “Friday Favorites,” and there’s a sneaky giveaway in here too, so play along if you want to win.
My favorite new piece of art
I have always been a fan of photo-print canvases (not to be confused with the blank canvases we will be painting on tonight!). Not only do Dave and I have a few on our walls, but I’ve also given these as gifts a couple of times before. So of course, when the nice folks at CanvasPop reached out about sending me a canvas print and doing a giveaway on the blog, I had no problem saying yes. I sent in a picture and received a 16 x 20 high-quality canvas print, which was delivered to me in less than a week. It’s sturdy, well-done, and the colors are perfect. Because I like it so much, I haven’t even decided where we are going to hang it yet, so right now it’s sitting out in the living room on top of a bookshelf. I really need to hang it up and give you guys a house tour soon.
Wait a second, who is that girl with light hair standing next to Dave? That’s me rocking some blonde hair nearly two years ago. This is an older picture from a trip to Florida for a wedding, but one that we both liked.
I love having lots of pictures on the wall, especially big and colorful ones like this, because they make me think of happy times and enjoyable memories every time I walk by. Let’s just say, I’m super pleased with the service and outcome of what I got from CanvasPop. And if you’d like to order something from the company as well, there is a full line of canvas and framed pieces available that you can customize to your liking. You can use the promo code ALGW35 for 35 percent off your entire order. This code is good until the end of April, so act quickly.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: Now, CanvasPop would like to give away one 16 x 20 canvas print with a .75 depth to a reader of A Lady Goes West (more than an $80 value!). To win, all you have to do is leave a comment below on this post. Any comment will do. I’ll randomly select the winner on Sunday night around dinner time on the West Coast, so this is a quick and casual one. But for extra good luck, you should probably follow CanvasPop on Facebook or A Lady Goes West on Facebook, and leave a separate and additional comment letting me know if you do either of those. Just sayin’ …
My favorite fitness gear
I think I need some to invest in an additional dresser to store all of my workout wear. Being that I wear activewear every single day to work in gyms (or work from home), I have a big collection of pants, tops, sports bras, jackets, etc., yet it’s never enough to sustain me. I still find myself repeating things over and over again, especially on days in which I wear more than one workout outfit. Therefore, this past weekend, Dave and I took a quick trip to the Livermore Outlets and stopped in Under Armour and Nike.
I snagged all of this stuff for just over $200, which is actually quite a steal for high-quality items. I also did something I never do, which is that I took the tags off and wore some of this right away to teach BODYPUMP on Tuesday night. I usually save stuff for a few weeks with tags on (I don’t know why I do this, but I do), so I was proud of myself for debuting it right away. It all fits great, moves well and will be put to good use.
My favorite chocolate treat
When I want a dessert, I do not reach for a square of dark chocolate — like not at all. I reach for an entire cheesecake. But I must admit, I recently tried some chocolate bars that are quite satisfying and much more decadent than what you would think by the looks of them.
Check out these Alter Eco, Organic Chocolate, Dark Salted Burnt Caramel Bars. You can buy these online or at your local health-food store (i.e. Whole Foods), so keep your eyes out for them, if you’re into chocolate.
I discovered these because I won a cool giveaway on Whitney’s blog, which included a bunch of new healthy food products that were debuted at Natural Products Expo West, a big food convention in Southern California that took place last month. My favorite things I’ve received so far have definitely been these bars from Alter Eco Foods. These aren’t your average candy bars. In fact, there are levels of real cocoa in chocolate products and apparently 70 percent is good, which is what these bars have at a minimum. These bars are also organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, Fair Trade Certified and have no artificial flavors. Nonetheless, the healthy aspects aside, I really like the taste and texture. No bitterness. Lots of flavor. And I had these both last weekend. Salty and sweet? Yes, please.
My favorite seasoning
Okay, this isn’t new, because Lawry’s Seasoned Salt has been around forever. But I bought some a few weeks ago and have been using it as my number-one seasoner. I’ve been sprinkling Lawry’s on veggies, rice, pasta and even on eggs. Now I know some people have a problem with seasoners like this because they could contain traces of MSG (even though the product claims to have none), but honestly — I feel like you pick your battles. I do the best I can, and a little seasoning doesn’t scare me.
I must admit, there have been a couple of meals in which I overdid it with this orange goodness though. But a heaping helping of Lawry’s is still a great sensation on the tongue, even if a little much at times. Hey, if you need a bit of spice to jazz up your meals, may I suggest this affordable classic?
My favorite video of the week
The other night, Dave and I were watching all the most popular YouTube videos. (Yes, we can be losers at times.) During that laugh-out-loud session, we came across the most amazing black-and-white video of a girl singing an older alternative classic. Please do yourself a favor and enjoy this one — “Creep, Vintage Postmodern Jukebox Radiohead Cover” by Haley Reinhart. I think this gal was on American Idol and didn’t win, which is amazing because she’s got some major talent. In addition to that, I just like the whole scene.
My favorite links of the week
There were some good things going on around here on A Lady Goes West this week …
- Weekend and workouts — A sunny weekend recap and my weekly workouts
- Who would have thought? — Fresh goals and a fresh fast-food experiment
- A food diary — What my daily meals look like in pictures
- Some randomness — Today’s thoughts on fitness, food and fun
Keep in touch with me over the weekend on Instagram, my friends! Have a great couple of days!
Read 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
- Decor, bars, boots and a drink
- Flowers, music and more
- Coqueta, a brush and food
- My people and the holidays
- Beauty, bling and entertainment
- A hodge-podge of goodies
- Just a few special things
- Tasty food, drinks and moving
- A bunch of feel-good stuff
- Home, car and fitness finds
- Sweets, cooking, beauty and blog
- Gold, yoga, photos and more
- Celebs, scents, games and more
- Food, shoes, stretches and fun
- Purse, snack, plant and more
- Fresh, healthy, clean and square
- Pilates, sneaks and much more
- Quite a few good things
- Food, jewels and sweat etc.
Questions of the day
What’s your plan for the weekend?
When is the last time you did something artistic?
GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Do you want to win a free canvas print? If so, let me know by saying hello or leaving a random thought in the comments below. And leave a separate comment if you like us on Facebook. This giveaway closes Sunday night. And it’s open to anyone in the U.S. or Canada.