Fun happenings and firsts from the last couple of weeks

My friends, how are you? I hope you’ve been having a great week. Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving in the U.S.? On the holiday, Dave and I are doing a Turkey Trot with some friends in Walnut Creek (walking it with the stroller and Rudy, of course), and we’re having a very small Thanksgiving meal at home with Dave’s little sister, Gwena.

But even before that, we’re getting the holiday season started this upcoming weekend with a Friendsgiving celebration with our crew, and Brady can’t wait. Me either!

For today, let’s chat about some fun things as of late and my other favorites …

Brady’s first trip to wine country: The Napa Valley Film Festival

Thank you to the Napa Valley Film Festival for offering us a free experience!

So, we took Brady to the Napa Valley Film Festival, but of course, we didn’t get to see any films. A while back, I got invited to the five-day Napa Valley Film Festival, and obviously, I was very interested in the opportunity. However, I quickly realized that with a newborn, we wouldn’t be able to attend any screenings or evening events or galas — seeing as he can’t be away from me for more than a couple hours at a time right now, and we’re not ready to find a babysitter. When I looked at the schedule, I realized that we could, however, check out one of the art and wine sessions on a Sunday afternoon, so that’s what we did. 

Napa Valley Film Festival media pass by A Lady Goes West

(Wearing one of my favorite cocktail rings, which you can only partially see in this pic.)

On the last day of the festival, Dave, Brady and I headed up to St. Helena to pick up some media passes and eventually end up at the Long Meadow Ranch at Farmstead for the Art & Wine Pavilion. Brady slept on the way there like a little angel, and when we got there, I woke him up to nurse him in the car before we went inside (yes, we were parked when that happened). And by the way, I was also quite anxious about feeding him somewhere other than my house for the first time, and I had a big sweater on, which made it really easy to do underneath!

After he was fed, I put him in my very favorite baby wearer and we headed to the courtyard area behind the Farmstead Restaurant to explore the scene. The event was pretty small and low-key, and there was an excellent acoustic band playing, some local artwork displayed, family wineries pouring their best and a few food samples as well. Brady slept the entire time in the carrier on my chest and never made a peep. However, a bunch of people came over to ask us about the little stuffed animal I was carrying around, with his fuzzy-ball hat showing.

I had actually been a little nervous about taking him into public like this for the first time, but it went perfectly! And let me tell you what, it felt SO GOOD to be out enjoying some wine and adult time.

Napa Valley Film Festival art event by A Lady Goes West

A few highlights …

  • Lady and the Vine locally made jellies crafted from wine — we bought two packs
  • Trying turmeric-flavored bread — yummmm
  • Earth & Sky chocolates — super delicious flavors
  • The live band — made me want to go to a wedding and dance the night away
  • Tasting some wine — not too much though!

Overall, it was a very small event with just the right amount of people and happenings, so that we could see and do it all in less then 90 minutes. Yes!

Anyway, back to the festival — I wanted to check out at least one of the Napa Valley Film Festival events just to show some support for the region. While the fires did a lot of damage to greater Napa, the tourist area of Napa is certainly open for business with very little change, so it’s good to get that word out there to people who may consider visiting.

Pitt family at the Napa Valley Film Festival art event by A Lady Goes West

The festival itself has been taking place for a few years and draws a bunch of celebrities, and of course, awesome filmmakers and actors, wine, parties, galas and even culinary demonstrations. The line-up of films looked great, and I surely hope to able to attend the festival next year and actually see some films. But nonetheless, I’m grateful that we had the chance to take Brady to wine country and see that he did awesome out and about. Woohoo!

Ashley and Brady at the Napa Valley Film Festival art event picture by A Lady Goes West

Disclaimer: I was elected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER, and the content and opinions expressed are all my own.

Brady’s first jewelry shoot: NBA bling 

Even when I plan to write a post about things not baby-related — just to make sure some of you don’t lose interest — I find myself bringing everything back to Brady. Sorry! Anyways, this is a quick one, but a good one. As you know, Dave works for the Golden State Warriors, and they won the NBA title again this summer. And just this week, Dave finally got his hands on his second championship ring (the Warriors also won in 2015).

Baby Brady at six weeks with NBA ring by A Lady Goes West

He brought the ring home, and of course, didn’t take it to work the next day, so I decided to try it on for size, along with his original ring. I couldn’t help but also take some photos with these heavy rings sitting on Brady while he slept too hehehe. And no children were harmed during this shoot. I promise! Go Dubs!

Brady’s first lunch outing: A delicious spread at Urban Plates

Even though people kept urging us to give it a try, Dave and I didn’t take Brady out to eat with us until he was five weeks old, and on that weekend, we took him out to eat twice. (I guess I have been nervous that he would have a crying fit, and then we’d have to leave — which will likely happen one day.) Anyway, the first was a casual dinner at the lobby restaurant of a nice hotel, which is walking distance to our place, and the second was a huge lunch at Urban Plates in Pleasant Hill. 

My friends at Urban Plates know that I’m such a fan, and they invited Dave and me to come in and order whatever we wanted on a lovely Sunday afternoon on the house, and so we gladly accepted.

Delicious Urban Plates lunch spread by A Lady Goes West

I can honestly say that I’ve never had a bad bite at Urban Plates. It’s not a sit-down restaurant, it’s fast casual, and the portions are huge, which I’m a big fan of. Both Dave and I ordered big salads, which we were able to watch being prepared. Then, we each picked out a drink and dessert and found a table outside. Brady slept in his stroller, and as usual, never even made a noise. (Such a good boy!)

I went with the herbed salmon salad, with the most delectable green goddess dressing, and Dave went with the chipotle BBQ salad with chicken. I had the apple cake for dessert, and Dave had the pretzel, peanut butter and chocolate cupcake — and lucky for me, he only had a couple of bites, and I got to finish it. Yes! We don’t always get dessert after lunch, but when we do, I finish it all. 🙂 

Ashley eating at Urban Plates by A Lady Goes West

Anyway, I always send people to Urban Plates for either take-out or dining in, because I really think there is something for everyone on the menu — salads, sandwiches, soups, hot plates, little pizzas and more. Healthy stuff. Sweet stuff. Kombucha on tap. You name it. My kind of place! Oh, and there are about a dozen locations in California, so keep your eyes peeled. We’ll be back soon for more, of course!

Thank you to Urban Plates for the free meal and for the place to park our stroller for a bit.

Best reads and other favorites …

  • FOOD: I know this is not a new list, but I love the reminder of what fruits and veggies we should be trying to buy organic if we can. Of course, it’s best to buy all organic, but that’s not always possible. I usually buy conventional avocados and bananas, because fruits and veggies with thicker skins are shielded from a lot of pesticides. Check out this list of “the Dirty Dozen” to avoid.
  • MOTHERHOOD: I couldn’t love this article any more. A lovely reader named Maryann sent this to me on Instagram, and I immediately read it and sent it to other people. If you’re a new mom or you know a new mom, please read this. It’s so touching, I cried when I read it the first time. “What do new mothers do all day.”
  • POSTPARTUM: I have absolutely LOVED all of the comments, emails, messages and feedback I’ve had on this post I published earlier this week about our first six weeks with Brady in our life. You guys are the best!
  • HOLIDAYS: I’ve been wanting to order personalized stockings for forever, and there was a big sale at Pottery Barn last week, so I got four of these. They came in already and will probably be hung as soon as Thanksgiving is over!
  • WORKOUTS: My doctor cleared me to work out again on Monday, so on Tuesday through Thursday of this week, I did some light barre-style exercises at home. I started with 20 minutes, then added five minutes of duration on each day. I’ll be taking it nice and easy for a while, but it felt darn good to sweat! Woohoo!

Alright, my friends! Thank you for stopping by the blog today! Have a fabulous weekend! 🙂 

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P.S. Thank you to everyone who entered the superfoods giveaway. Congrats to Amanda F. for winning! I have another super healthy and awesome giveaway coming next week. Stay tuned!

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend? 

What’s your favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving? (I like pie. All sorts of pie!)

14 Comments

  1. Oh good luck on the FB live tomorrow! You’ll do great!

    The wine festival looks so fun, and wine jellies, YUM! One of these years I visit my sister in CA I really want to go to either Napa or Sonoma and enjoy some wine. We have a lot of vineyards near us in MD or VA that are gorgeous in the Fall but we have yet to make it to one. And I’m also all about the dessert at Thanksgiving! My parents are visiting so mom and I are making apple pie together on Wednesday, I’m so excited 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    1. You totally need to see wine country! Napa, Sonoma, whatever — they are all awesome! And yay for apple pie — of course, I usually buy dessert, but I know making it yourself is quite satisfying heheh! Happy Friday, Patricia!

  2. I remember being so relieved when I felt like I could get out more with our little guy – it sounds like you’ve had so many fun outings! We’ve (so far) never had any really disastrous meals out. I think it’s all about timing it so baby isn’t exhausted and going places that are reasonably baby-friendly. My son is one now and he’s generally happiest if we go somewhere with outdoor seating so he can watch the birds and cars.

    1. Hi Christina! Great advice! I feel like outdoor places and meals would be best for us right now, as long as the weather is nice. And getting out feels good! Happy Friday, lady! Enjoy your day and weekend. 🙂

  3. This weekend I have a 7 mile run on the agenda and then I’m not really sure yet! On Sunday afternoon, we’re babysitting my boyfriend’s twin sister while their parents are at a fundraiser for her school. (She’s disabled thus why a 24 year old is being babysat). I’m sure this weekend will include some Stranger Things as well!

    1. Hi Maureen! Good luck with the seven miles! That sounds SO long to me, now that I’m not much of a runner hahah! And how nice of you and your man to babysit. Enjoy your weekend, lady! 🙂 I need jump on the Stranger Things bandwagon!

  4. How did you come up with Brady’s name? 🙂 my dog is actually named Brady – after Tom Brady because we are from Boston (LOL) beautiful name!

    1. Hi Hannah! I’ve always LOVED the name Brady and when we were throwing around ideas, Dave came up with it. No special reason at all — however his middle name, Oliver, is my Mom’s maiden name, so that’s special! 🙂 But actually, Dave likes the Patriots — but that’s not connected hahah

  5. I wanna get those wine jellies for Christmas gifts! Which flavor was your fave?! So glad you had a good time and Brady cooperated! I haven’t been to urban plates yet but I think that’s where we’re gunna go for lunch in a couple weeks after our 20 week ultrasound. It looks SO good and will be a fun way to celebrate after finding out the gender. And go Warriors!!

    1. Hi Alie! We didn’t try all of them, but the Fig & Port is seasonal and is the most popular — support the local biz! I highly recommend! And that’s SO exiting you have your 20-week appointment — I was SO eager to make sure everything was okay at that appointment. Are you going to do any special sort of way to find out? Or just have them tell you on the spot? Go Warriors!! 🙂

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