Friday Favorites: Just a few special things

Today is a special day. On this day, exactly six years ago, my life changed forever. It was on this day, which was also a Friday, that I met a bunch of my friends at one of our favorite downtown bars in Orlando for happy hour after a long week of work. There was a group of about 10 of us, including my older brother, and we were all gathered at a table. I saw a guy walk in, he caught my eye, and I kept a watch on him for a little while, until our paths crossed and I decided to talk to him. Once we started chatting, we realized we lived in the very same high-rise building in downtown Orlando and shared a lot of common interests. We exchanged phone numbers and never looked back. As you may have guessed, that guy was Dave, who is now my husband of nearly three years. We had a chance encounter, which was clearly meant to be. Throughout the years, we’ve always tried to celebrate the anniversary of the day we met, because we’ve been together nonstop from that day forward. And here we are now in San Francisco all grown up.

In light of that, and the fact that it’s a Friday before a three-day weekend, I’m in very peppy spirits today, my friends. Dave and I have a lot of fun ahead, and for once, I’m not teaching any group fitness classes at all. We’re going out to dinner to a new restaurant with two of our friends tonight. And we’re taking a little trip up to Napa tomorrow to do some wine tasting. I must say that wine country is my happy place. Even though it’s only an hour drive from San Francisco, we haven’t been in far too long, so I’m eager to bask in the smell of grapes. However, you came by the blog today for some fun “Friday Favorites,” and so I’m going to give those to you right now. Let’s go!

My favorite domestic accessory

Leave it to my Momma to give me something so-very-domestic for my birthday this year — a polka-dot apron. Her vision behind this adorable item, is not only for me to keep my clothes clean while in the kitchen, but also to give me some extra culinary inspiration. I’m pretty good with cooking when I give it a shot, yet tend to stick to the same basics. But once I put this little number on, all of a sudden my ability to whip up masterpieces with many ingredients should skyrocket. Right?

Ashley in apronThe Martha Stewart Collection Polka Dot Apron displayed in front of my teeny-tiny kitchen.

Hopefully so, because I made a goal to cook one new-to-me recipe every month during 2015, and I haven’t done my first yet. Nonetheless, I love a thoughtful gift, and this is definitely a good one.

My favorite way to picnic

I think presentation of food is important. I always like to display my food nicely on my plate. And when I’m eating with others, hostessing or just putting together a meal for Dave and me, I like to spend even more time to get it looking just right. Who says you can’t enjoy the aesthetics of your sustenance? Dave and I used to be big on making “nibbly picnics” at home, which consisted of nothing but finger foods for dinner. We don’t do it as much anymore, but a couple of weeks ago, we had a few nice spreads two days in-a-row. Here’s a taste of what I put together …

Appetizers at homeA look at a few fancy trays of food I arranged, featuring various crackers, chopped-up apples, pears, salami, cucumbers, almonds, fancy cheeses, roasted cauliflower, pigs in a blanket, hummus, shrimp cocktail, more crackers, fruit, cheese and meat. Good stuff.

Finger foods may not be the healthiest way to eat, but they are certainly a fun way to eat, making it so you can taste all of the good stuff. But truthfully, even at restaurants, I really enjoy making a meal out of appetizers rather then ordering an entree, but we don’t seem to do that very much. Those pretty silver trays up there? Compliments of our wedding registry just a few years ago and still getting plenty of use. 

My favorite new glass

Another gift from my Momma. If you were reading A Lady Goes West back in December, you’d know that I received a cool wine glass at a Christmas party gift exchange and immediately dropped it, shattering all over the hosts’ apartment. Well my Mom remembered that story and came in with a much-appreciated substitution. 

Love my wine glassThis is the Lolita Love My Wine “Wine Tasting” Glass and it surely suits me.

I haven’t used this wine glass yet, because I’m saving it until we move. I don’t know why I do that, but a lot of times I save new things for a while before opening them up. Same goes with clothes. Nonetheless, I can just picture myself in my bigger apartment, in my leopard-print pajamas, feet up on the couch asking Dave to “bring me my wine” all the way over in the kitchen, which will be at least a few feet away more than it is now. Oh, domestic bliss. 

My favorite new piece of jewelry

I love a good long pendant necklace to dress up any outfit. I received this necklace in the December POPSUGAR Must Have box, which was so kindly gifted to me by the POPSUGAR ladies. There were a lot of great things in that box, but this necklace was my favorite thing. Speaking of the POPSUGAR Must Have Box, that’s something else I really enjoy. If you’ve never heard of the monthly subscription service full of curated goodies, check it out today. <<affiliate link!>>

Sparklepop necklaceA lovely shot of the Sydney Pendant Necklace by Sparklepop.

I had a few compliments on this little beauty while home in Florida over Christmas break, so I felt like it was worth sharing. So shiny and dressy. Maybe I’ll throw it on for wine country tomorrow? Who knows.

My favorite links of the week

I’ll admit it, I spend a lot of time online. But there’s a ton of good stuff out there to read. Here’s what happened on A Lady Goes West this week and some additional enjoyable links.

Okay, friends! After some work, I’m heading off to try out a new Pilates-based workout class, attend another laptop training session at the Apple store and start my weekend. If you want to see some pictures of wine and cheese from Napa, be sure to check me out on Instagram. Have a fabulous few days!

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, Katie and Clare

  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
  36. Flowers, music and more
  37. Coqueta, a brush and food
  38. My people and the holidays
  39. Beauty, bling and entertainment
  40. A hodge-podge of goodies

Questions of the day

Do you have any fun favorites to share today? What are you planning to do this weekend? Do you have Monday off of work? If you have a significant other, do you celebrate the day you met? Fill me in!

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  1. Your at home picnics look awesome – I am all about the cheese and meat board! Oh and I am the same way. I hold onto things before using. For instance I got a new Tervis for my birthday (in April) and haven’t used it yet. I told myself I would not use it until I got a new job πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Sara! Okay, scary, because that sounds EXACTLY like something I would do heehe:) Happy Friday, my friend. Oh, and I drink water out of a Tervis EXCLUSIVELY. πŸ™‚

  2. Awww… happy 6 year “meeting” anniversary! I love that you two celebrate that occasion, it’s so sweet! I’m heading over to enter your giveaway now – This week has been busy and I haven’t had a chance to do my normal blog reading!

  3. The apron is super cute! I have aprons but I never wear them. I have to jump out of the way if coconut oil splatters. Dangerous for sure. πŸ™‚ Love how you and Dave met – such a cute story. Enjoy the weekend! I so want to get to Napa Valley one of these days. πŸ™‚

  4. Ohhh I love that apron! You look so adorable in it!
    Since I’m not married to my S.O., we celebrate the day we met in person (we met online).
    Happy Friday to you Ashley πŸ™‚

  5. Love the apron and happy First Meet Dave day!

    I met my boyfriend at work, turns out we went to the same university, worked as graduate assistants on separate floors (in the same building!) during grad school, and we didn’t know each other at all!

    Have a great weekend in wine country!

    1. Jessie! That’s crazy! How funny, but sounds like you were supposed to get together with all those similar and shared experiences. Time for vacay yet?? Go have fun!! πŸ™‚

  6. Aw, that’s such a cute story! I’m so glad you went out to that happy hour after work πŸ˜‰ Oh, Napa Valley! So fun. I’ve never been, but Scott has a few times! I hope to get out there sometime soon. Enjoy the weekend to unplug and off of classes! <3

    1. Thanks, Heather! Yes, you’ve got to make it to wine country one day. It’s beautiful and always a good time. Have a fabulous weekend! πŸ™‚

  7. Happy Anniversary! What I want to know is what did you say to Dave that night in the bar? I’m so bad at starting conversations with people. There’s a guy at my gym I have my eye on, but I’m not sure what to say which is funny because I don’t have that problem with anyone else. On another note, I love your apron. I need one of those! Enjoy your weekend Ashley!

    1. Hi Megan! Thanks! My opening line was about the fact that the happy hour only had 10 minutes left. He apparently liked that line. πŸ™‚ heheheh When the time is right to talk to your gym guy, it will just come to you. I promise:) Happy Friday!

  8. Aw, I loved reading the story of how you and Dave met! It really was meant to be. πŸ™‚

    And you look so cute in your apron! That was sweet of your mom to get you it and remember the story about the wine glass.

    Have a blast in Napa and drink lots of wine for me! Happy Anniversary!

    1. I haven’t been to that one yet believe it or not. We have two spots planned already for tomorrow so maybe next trip. Have a great weekend, Marielle! πŸ™‚

  9. I do celebrate the day my husband and I started dating (24 years ago this February – yes, I know that makes me OLD!). We always take the day off (if we can manage it) and do something special. Enjoy your big plans! I heart wine country too!

    My favorite post this week was my post today about BraveHoods, a one-for-one not-for-profit that gives a hooded t-shirt to a child with cancer for every t-shirt sold. This company was started by a mom whose child went through cancer treatment and I love that they’ve chosen to take their pain and decided to help others. BraveHoods is trying to win a contest to get them $10K via KINDSnacks to give 13,000 BraveHoods away in 2015 and I wanted to do anything I could to get the word out.

    Have a great long weekend!

    1. Hi Melissa, That’s so awesome that you’re spreading the word about Bravehoods. It’s always nice to do a little good with your influence! And, I’m also glad we’re not alone that we celebrate little anniversaries other than the wedding! It’s fun to do. Hope you have a great weekend! I’ll have a glass of wine in Napa for yoU! πŸ™‚

  10. What a great “first meet” story! πŸ™‚ I love that apron too! I have two types of aprons: the “hard core, I live in the kitchen, stained ones” and the cute “special occasion” ones. Good luck with your recipe goal! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Whitney!! hahah good to know. I’ve never used an apron before, so this one will have to do for all occasions. Hope you have a fabulous weekend. Thanks for stopping by to say hello:)

  11. What a sweet story!! Happy anniversary! I love when things are just meant to be like that πŸ™‚ Also…huge fan of finger foods/snacking/meat plates. Can’t stop won’t stop!

    1. Hi Beth! Thank you! The weekend is great so far. I’m glad you’re a fan of finger foods too, it’s just more fun to eat that way. Hope you have a lovely evening! πŸ™‚

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