Friday Favorites: POPSUGAR, sweets and such

Hello, everybody. And a very happy Friday to you. I hope you had a great week. Mine? It was pretty darn good, outside of a few hours spent attempting to serve jury duty. Now, lets jump right in to today’s “Friday Favorites” with one of the highlights of my week.

My favorite thing on the world wide web: Me on POPSUGAR

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you already saw the big news. This week, I had a piece published on my very favorite website POPSUGAR. I’ve talked about my love of this amazing magazine-website-resource many times and was absolutely elated to have my original work on there for all to see. The article, “Should You Lose Your Shoes During Your Next Workout,” first appeared on this blog in July. Yay! Speaking of POPSUGAR, last night I attended a special event for bloggers they hosted, and I’ll be sharing all about it next week.

My favorite guilty pleasure: The Cheesecake Factory

Okay, I know, I know. I talk all the time about the fabulous restaurants in San Francisco, so how could I possibly like or even stand to patronize The Cheesecake Factory, a big ole’ chain. Well, that’s easy. The cheesecake. I’ve tried nearly half of the dessert menu, and after many years of digging into a slice or two every once in a while on Saturday nights, I found a new favorite. White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut. It’s on a blonde brownie crust, and Dave and I discovered it this past Saturday while sitting at the bar at the Factory after having a disappointing meal at a fancy restaurant in a different neighborhood.

Loving the Cheesecake Factory via A Lady Goes WestFrom the top left: The view of The Cheesecake Factory in Union Square; the cake display; one amazing slice of White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake and Dave and I excited to dig into our late-night desserts.

I mean this cheesecake is to-die-for. Just go try it. Trust me. I don’t need to say anything else about this other than that. We also had Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake, which is one of my standards, but the White Chocolate truly took the cake. Pun very much intended.

My favorite weekly sweat session: Saturday morning BODYATTACK class

It’s not easy to be the teacher of a weekly Saturday morning group fitness class. Not only do I have to be prepared with one-hour of choreography each week, but I have to make sure I’m rested, energized and ready to lead my participants through a challenging workout, no matter how I feel that day. There are times I want to stay out a little later on Friday night, or maybe I feel like hanging out on the couch and having a lazy Saturday morning in my pajamas. Not so much. I get up, I have breakfast, I listen to my music for class and I march the 1.1 miles to the gym in my sneakers and sweats. Without fail, every single class is awesome and so much sweaty fun. We run around the room, we grunt, we laugh and we nearly collapse at the end, because that’s what Les Mills BODYATTACK is all about.


Just about 20 red-faced BODYATTACK athletes smiling for the camera after class.

Even though this is the smallest class of the week that I teach, it’s a great group of people who roll out of bed and join me, when there are tons of other ways they could be spending their free weekend time. That’s commitment right there. Thank you to all my many wonderful members, because you make it worth the effort!

My favorite new pasta sauce: Sauces ‘n Love

On Tuesday, when I returned home from work I had a big box outside my apartment and inside were some ice packs and three jars of pasta sauce. The folks at Sauces ‘n Love sent me their gluten-free, 100-percent natural ingredient, no-added sugar, vegetarian sauce. I received Pomodoro Basilico, Sugo Rosa and Alfredo. If you read my “What I Ate Wednesday” posts you know I eat veggie pastas at least twice a week. That means I’m always open to trying to new sauces to spice things up, especially if they are of the super healthy variety. And you know you’re eating something healthy when you can pronounce and easily identify every single ingredient in the sauce. 

I tried the basic Pomodoro Basilico red sauce on my typical veggie pasta dish, and it was super fresh and tasty. It seemed light, but also flavorful, with just the right amount of basil. In fact, I ended up using it two nights in a row and finishing it up. Dave tried the Alfredo sauce on some whole wheat pasta and ate it two nights in a row. He said, and I quote, “It was so good, I wish my meal wasn’t done. Man. Mmmm. Wow. Yes, I’d have that again. And you can quote me on that.” I also took a big bite of his creamy concoction and was floored. I mean it was better than what you’d expect at a nice Italian restaurant. With excitement, we’ll be digging into the Sugo Rosa next week, (which is supposed to be their version of a vodka sauce).

Sauces n Love Pasta Sauce via A Lady Goes West

From top left: The three sauces; an open container of Pomodoro Basilico; a veggie pasta dish featuring the Sauces ‘n Love classic red sauce in action and some more sauce.

Big convenience factor as well. You can pop these jars in the microwave to heat up the sauce, which is how I did it for Dave’s batch. The list of sauces available is pretty diverse, and they’re sold at Whole Foods. If you’re like me and you eat a lot of pasta-type dishes, have you ever thought of buying the fancy sauce? Sauces ‘n Love retail anywhere from $5.99 to $9.99, so a little more than the regular stuff, but sooo worth it in my book now that I’ve tried them. It’s a cute name too, wouldn’t you say?

Giveaway winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Avant-Barre class giveaway, Nicole. She has been notified by email. Make sure you keep reading because I have another giveaway coming up soon open to everyone!

And with that, I’m off to enjoy my Friday. On the agenda I have a coffee date, a little work, a BODYPUMP class and a casual dinner with Dave at our neighborhood sushi spot. Have a good one!

Other entertaining Friday Favorites

Take a look at all of my previous “Friday Favorites” posts below. And for even more, visit the the link-up hostess, Heather

  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

Questions of the day

What’s the best part of your week? What are you doing this weekend? Do you have a favorite pasta sauce?

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  1. I’m finally getting my hair done and having a girls night tonight! Can’t wait! I have an early 845 spin class on Saturdays and I have to say even though some days I hate dragging myself there, it is always worth it and sets the day off on a positive note!

    Looks like some GREAT friday favs!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. A new hairdo to start the weekend is always awesome. Too bad it will get messed up in spin the next day ehhee. I like to keep my blowouts done for as long as possible but it’s so hard with daily sweat sessions! Happy Friday!

  2. Congrats on your PopSugar feature! That’s awesome!

    I’m totally with you on my love for The Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake and desserts!! I have yet to try that new flavor you discovered, but it sure sounds amazing. Next time I’m there, I’ll go for it! What is your all time favorite cheesecake from there? Mine is the Adam’s PB Fudge Ripple. YUM.

    P.S. Maybe you did this intentionally (and totally cool if you did), but just wanted to give you a heads up that I don’t think you have any sort of comment reply notification. I didn’t have mine set up forever and never realized it until a reader told me. 🙂

    1. I think the White Chocolate is now my new favorite, but Adam’s is up there too. I think you have to click a box when you comment that you want to receive notifications, but I’ll look into that. Thanks for looking out! And happy Friday!!

    1. It’s funny because we would NEVER go to The Cheesecake Factory in Orlando, relying on dessert from Dessert Lady (which was still there on Church Street when we lived downtown). But now, it’s a bit of an addiction. Whoopsie! Hahaha, Have a great weekend too, Heather. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Congratulations on getting your article featured! I remember that one- it was really interesting! Now every time I see a pair of Vibram’s, I think about what you wrote. 🙂
    Maybe one day I’ll give up my regular running shoes so that I can work on strengthening my feet.

    I especially love taking a Saturday morning BODY ATTACK class because it’s the only time I can actually work out earlier in the day and it feels so good to start off with a good sweat. However, the class here gets really packed and I can barely move so I stopped going. :/

    I guess that’s one more reason to come to SF on a Saturday morning! 😉
    Which I promise will definitely happen. I’m traveling for 2 weeks starting on Sept 26th but as soon as I get back, I will be looking to you for a good workout!

    Have a great weekend girl!

  4. Congrats on having your article picked up! That’s awesome!!

    Hope you have a wonderful week and a very sweaty BodyAttack class tomorrow morning 🙂

    Oh, and PS: I’ve been known to enjoy Cheesecake Factory once in a blue moon, but don’t tell anyone 🙂

  5. Congrats on the article being published on PopSugar!! I’ve always wondered if I could get an article published on there myself–I’m a big fan. And the highlight of my weekend has GOT to be going to see some weiner dog races tomorrow at a local festival. I kid you not, weiner dogs! Should be interesting.

  6. Yay! :D! Congrats on having a piece of your writing published on PopSugar! :] That’s awesome! Can’t wait to read about your experience at the blogger event! :]

    That pasta sauce looks delicious! <3

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