Friendsgiving fun, shopping and my postpartum return to working out

Hi, friends! Happy Thanksgiving week! I hope those of you in the U.S. are enjoying a short work week with plans for some festivities. Dave and I will be walking in the downtown Walnut Creek Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, and then feasting on a traditional meal at our house with his little sister, Gwena, who is coming up from Santa Cruz. We’re also planning a quick visit to wine country this weekend, as well as putting up our Christmas decorations. Hooray!

So today, I’m popping in to share some good stuff from life lately, as well as some fitness talk. Finally, after seven weeks and three days away, I made my first trip back to the gym. It went great!

All smiles at our second annual Friendsgiving

First off, for the fun stuff … we had such a great time attending our second annual Friendsgiving this past weekend, with our group of couples friends, who get together about once a month for our rotating dinner party. The friends who hosted Friendsgiving this year, Clare and Nick, did an amazing job cooking up a true feast for us — including a deep-fried turkey and all the extra delicious sides. And this marked my first real social outing since having Baby Brady, outside of activities with Dave. Such a beautiful setting too …

Friendsgiving table by A Lady Goes West

The ladies hung out in the kitchen munching on cheese and crackers, while the guys hung outside and worked on the turkey, once the Warriors game was over. Then, we all met at the table for a full sit-down dinner, which was followed by dessert and a rousing game of Catch Phrase — boys against girls, and sadly, the boys won.

Perhaps the best thing about the Friendsgiving party was that Brady came with us and was a total angel. He slept in his infant seat for a bit in the kitchen, then got passed around among friends. He barely made a peep, and also had his pretty blue eyes open for a good portion, just watching us. We were so proud of him!

Ashley and Brady at Friendsgiving by A Lady Goes West

Dave and Brady at Friendsgiving by A Lady Goes West

As always, we took a self-timered group picture to commemorate the night, as well as some couples pictures! Love this group! And just look at the dogs … 🙂

Group of friends at Friendsgiving by A Lady Goes West

Pitt family at Friendsgiving 2 by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave at Friendsgiving by A Lady Goes West

Refreshing my closet and shopping it up

Seamlessly transitioning subjects here … I went for a very long time without buying any clothes and was able to get through my whole pregnancy with minimal purchases, which was pretty easy for me, because I didn’t have to go into an office every day.

Well, that phase is over. I’ve been doing quite a bit of online shopping lately to fill out my wardrobe and upgrade my beauty tools, because I went for so long without getting anything new (it seems like most of my purchases the last few months were all for Brady and the nursery, of course). I guess it’s a new-mom-treat-myself type of thing, but it’s been happening. I’m SO pleased with everything I’ve bought, so I wanted to share with you …

  • This cardigan is the best piece of layering outwear ever.
  • These leggings are so good for wearing with chunky long tops, and the high waist is KEY for looking slim and trim.
  • I did a bunch of research before deciding on this hair dryer and this straightener, because I MUST find a way to dry and smooth out my hair faster, and both are awesome.
  • I bought these on an impulse, and they work like a dream. And I love supporting this woman-owned company, which I found out about by watching “Shark Tank.”
  • And this cold-shoulder top, because everyone needs a pink blouse with open shoulders.

I may or may not do some more shopping online for Black Friday, and if I do, definitely Nordstrom, because they make it so easy to return.

And for the big news: My return to fitness

Seven weeks and three days away from the gym!

After I got clearance from my doctor last week to begin working out, I did some light barre-style exercising at home with super tiny weights during the week, when I couldn’t get out to the gym. That meant, all of my movement was low-impact and fairly isometric — nothing too functional or powerful at all.

I actually feel like the barre movements felt pretty good to me and not foreign at all, although I found myself feeling slightly less coordinated and out of breath quite easily. I did my workouts while Brady was napping and followed along some of my instructor videos for Bootybarre.

Then, both days over the weekend, I went to the gym! It was so cool to pack my gym bag, grab my headphones and head out. Both days, I walked on the treadmill on incline for 10 minutes while swinging my arms (the key is to NOT hold on to the rails in order to really benefit from the incline), then I did some mobility moves to open up my shoulders and hips, and I also foam rolled (of course). On my first day, I did a bunch of pulling exercises like deadlifts, bridges and flyes, etc., using 10 and 15 pound dumbbells. I originally set out to do four sets of 15 reps per move, but ended my set after three sets, because I could tell I had done enough. The weirdest thing is that squatting felt very awkward. I clearly have a lot of work to do!

After my first workout, my legs felt a little shakey, and I was QUITE sore the next day. That’s why, on the second day at the gym, I worked on the muscles that weren’t sore, by doing step-ups, tricep kickbacks and shoulder raises, using 8 and 10 pound dumbbells, also completing three sets of 15 reps per move. So, these full-body weights sessions were quite short — clocking in at less than 20 minutes for the resistance portion.

Ashley at the gym by A Lady Goes West

Until I can figure out a child-care situation and get my teaching schedule back up and running at a reduced degree, my trips to the gym will only happen when Dave is home in the nights or weekends for now. My goal is to slowly build up my strength again, while being super careful not to do too much.

For the time being, I’m not doing any big overhead movements, nor any crunches or plank movements that would cause me to strain my core (although, lucky enough, I do not have any ab separation from pregnancy, thanks goodness). Even though I could easily jump back into these things, I know that it’s just not a good idea quite yet. Nonetheless, I’m excited to begin getting back into shape. Woohoo!

My first postpartum weekly workout recap

And here’s a detailed look at my first week back into working out …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

At 6 weeks postpartum …

  • Monday: Took a 45-minute walk, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took a 1-hour walk, 10 a.m., did 20 minutes of barre at home, 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Did 25 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m., took a 30-minute walk, 12 p.m.
  • Thursday: Did 40 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m. (It rained, so no walk!)
  • Friday: Did 40 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m., took a 20-minute walk, 12 p.m.
  • Saturday: Gym session — walked on the treadmill on incline for 10 minutes, warmed up, foam rolled and did squats, deadlifts, bridges, flyes and bicep curls using 10 and 15 pound dumbbells and my bodyweight
  • Sunday: Gym session — walked on the treadmill on incline for 10 minutes, warmed up, foam rolled and did step-ups, tricep kickbacks and shoulder raises using 8 and 10 pound dumbbells

Overview of the week of workouts

Oh my gosh, I’m back to working out! Let’s just say I see some major soreness in my future. This past week of workouts was full of a lot of low-impact and easy movement, which is just what I need as I ease back into things. Overall, I got my steps in and my heart-rate up almost every single day, which is a win.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! Whatever you’re up to this week, I hope it’s amazing. You can catch up with our little family over on Instagram, until we meet here again. I have a giveaway coming for you next week too!

P.S. I’m taking over the FitFluential account’s Instagram Stories on Saturday, so check me out!

Questions of the day

What are you up to for Thanksgiving?

What are you most grateful for this year? (My answer: B-R-A-D-Y!)

When was the last time you were sore and what was the workout that made you that way?



    1. Going back to the gym and getting out with friends on the same day — I mean, what awesomeness for a new momma, right? 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, lady!

  1. Congrats on getting back into the gym! And it’s so great that you are listening to your body and making sure to stop when it’s done. You look AH-freaking-MAZING so definitely no need to rush it.

    1. Hi Courtney! Thank you, my friend! It’s HUMBLING to start back into fitness, that’s for sure, but I’m glad to be doing it! 🙂 And YAYYYYY for your entrance into the blogging world on the blogger side!

    1. Hi Maureen! Yes, it was totally amazing that he didn’t have any fussiness at all at the party — clearly he likes to get out of the house hehe. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too, lady! 🙂

  2. YAY for being back in the gym!!! That must feel good to release some endorphins before the holidays hit. I love how you guys do your Friendsgiving tradition– such a cute one!

    I’m heading to Tahoe for Thanksgiving 🙂

    1. Hi Carrie! Of course you are off to an awesome spot for Thanksgiving, it seems like you guys are always on the go heheh! Have so much fun! Say hi to Dane! 🙂 And YESSSS for being back at the gym!

  3. The Friendsgiving looks like so much fun! And so glad you were able to get back into working out. It’s definitly a different kind of sore when you haven’t worked out in a few weeks.

    I need a new coffee pot and will definitly be looking at all the Nordstrom deals online this Friday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Patricia! Seriously — it’s pretty humbling to start back in the gym world! But I’m glad to do it. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, lady! 🙂

  4. This year has been quite a roller coaster of emotions. I am so thankful for this pregnancy and a healthy growing Yoshi! ANd to have friends like you who I’ve gotten to meet. It has been a crazy, extraordinary year!

    1. Hi Susie! This has DEFINITELY been a roller coaster of a year — I’m with you on that. I’m SOO happy we got to see each other in the flesh earlier this year. Happy early Thanksgiving to you, beautiful soon-to-be-mommmmma! 🙂

  5. First of all congratulations on your first week working out! It was quite packed even if low intensity so you must be really proud of yourself!
    To answer your questions:
    Where I’m from we don’t celebrate thanksgiving. But nonetheless I’m most grateful for getting a chance at another baby (due January!!). And the last workout that made me really really sore was pole dancing. Soo worth it!

    1. Hi Nina! Congratulations on your little bundle due in January, that is amazing! And I’ve always wanted to try a pole dancing workout — it looks tough! Hope you have a great week, lady! Thanks so much for saying hi! 🙂

    1. Hi Nikki! Thanks so much for saying hi! Yes — I know it’s good to be taking it slow right now workout wise, and I’ll be back in fighting shape when it’s time. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, lady! 🙂

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