Holiday festivities, Livermore Valley Wine Country and my weekly workouts

Hi, friends! Wow! I feel like I’ve smushed all of my fun for the month into the last four days or so and have been busy, busy, busy. It’s been absolutely awesome having my Mom here, and yes, she’s been babysitting away for us. I hope you’re doing well too and have also been soaking up the excitement of December. Anyone else a little behind on their Christmas shopping? Ummm, yes. Haven’t started yet over here.

Warriors holiday party at Spin in San Francisco

On Thursday night, I went into the City with a couple of girlfriends to meet our husbands at the Golden State Warriors annual holiday party, this year held at Spin in San Francisco. This was my first time going to Spin, and it’s an upscale ping-pong bar and restaurant, which is huge and has a few locations in major cities, like SF, NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.. The Warriors party was a bit more casual than last year’s dressy affair, and we spent our time there chatting, eating and watching a department ping-pong tournament. We also visited the photo-booth …

Warriors holiday party photobooth pic with Dave in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

Warriors holiday party with Dave in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

Warriors holiday party photobooth with Dave in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

It felt SO good to be out and about chatting with adults and catching up with all of Dave’s coworkers and their significant others, most of whom I haven’t seen since the Warriors championship parade over the summer. Now that Dave’s been working there for more than five years, I know a lot of people.

Oh, and there was a copper tub full of ping-pong balls, which I crawled into for a picture with some of the ladies, and who wouldn’t love that.

Warriors wives at Spin in San Francisco by A Lady Goes West

We were at the party for almost three hours, and the time flew by. My Mom was home with Brady, and had a couple of bottles in the fridge, so I could stay away my longest amount of time from him yet and enjoy the scene. I really had a great time, but was totally ready to go home and see our little guy toward the end of the night. We took Uber both there and back, and it was 2.5 times surge pricing, so that was no fun. Ohhh the holiday season!

Friends wine-tasting holiday party

On Friday night, Dave and I were back out and about at our friends’ house in Walnut Creek for a holiday party, combined with a wine-tasting competition. Our friends, Kylie and Jeff, held this same party last year as well and it’s so fun to have a little competitive element to a get-together. They put out six wines covered in brown paper bags, and everyone had to guess which was the most expensive and least expensive during a blind taste test. I lost. Like totally lost. We all put in $10 and so the winner went home with $180. I went home with a full belly, so that works for me.

Ashley with cupcakes by A Lady Goes West

By the way, I had volunteered to bring a dessert, and store-bought cupcakes were what I came up with in  a pinch. The colored frosting stained everyone’s lips. Good stuff!

Truffle making with my girlfriends

On Saturday morning, I got together with four of my girlfriends for our third annual truffle-making date. We had each prepared our ganache (the inside of the truffle) ahead of meeting, and once we were together, we rolled our ganache into balls, dipped and coated each with milk or dark chocolate and then decorated with drizzles and nuts. Our flavors were peanut butter, hazelnut, cherry, mint and English toffee. My favorite, of course, was peanut butter, and that’s the ganache I prepared. The process gets messy, but it’s not as hard to do as you’d expect …

Truffles by A Lady Goes West

Home-made truffles by A Lady Goes West

I know I’ve shared about truffle making each year that we’ve done it, and it continues to be a festive and fun experience, in which we get to walk away with around 30 delicious home-made truffles to enjoy or give away. I gave away one box of five truffles to my friend, Kicki, but I’ll probably eat the rest (maybe sharing with Dave and my Mom). They are so incredibly tasty and better than any store-bought chocolates I’ve ever had. Plus, they’re made with care!

Visiting Livermore Valley Wine Country 

The fun continued! Over the summer, my friends at Livermore Valley Wine Country hosted Dave and me at a really cool progressive dinner event, when I was quite pregnant. Since that time, I’ve known that I wanted to go back to the region and actually get to taste the wine, especially because it’s only about 35 minutes from us with no traffic. It seemed like the perfect time to do so with my visiting Mom too. So on Sunday, to Livermore Valley Wine Country we went, and we had two absolutely excellent experiences during our time there.

Las Positas Vineyard

First up, we went on a tour of the family-owned boutique Las Positas Vineyard, followed by a cheesecake and wine pairing tasting. I knew that we were having a tasting at Las Positas, but I couldn’t have possibly expected it to be so up my alley as to be paired with one of my favorite desserts — cheesecake. During our tasting, we learned from the tasting room manager who helped us, Curt, that the dairy from cheesecake actually helps you taste your wine better. How about that!

Curt talked us through how to smell the wine, put a good portion on our tongue and swallow, take a bite of cheesecake and then go back for another sip of wine. Talk about a taste sensation! We were all totally impressed with every bite and sip. Chardonnay with peanut butter cheesecake and Cabernet Sauvignon with mango cheesecake were just two of the five delicious and fine combinations. Oh, and we also tried a wine varietal called tempranillo, which I’d never had before, and it was a tasty deep red.

Wine and Cheesecake at Las Positas in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

We had a fabulous time hanging out at Las Positas and even posed for a few pictures in front of the acres upon acres of the vineyard on an incredibly beautiful day. (Brady was with us, but as usual, slept the whole time, so didn’t really make it into a lot of pictures, but I think he still had a good time there too!) Oh and fun fact: we forgot our stroller, so Dave just had to carry Brady’s infant seat around. Parenting fail. 

Ashley and Mom in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

Ashley and Dave at Las Positas in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my new cardigan I’ve been loving and am wearing above.)

Las Positas in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

By the way, they do weddings at Las Positas and have a big ballroom, as well as event space where the barrels are stored, which we were also able to tour. Dave and I both agreed that had we gotten married once moving out to the Bay Area instead of back in Orlando, we definitely would have wanted to be married at a vineyard. Thanks to Las Positas for hosting us! Can we come back for more cheesecake, please? 

Posada Restaurant

You know when you drive up to an unassuming restaurant in a strip mall and it’s busy that you’re on to something good. From the outside, Posada Restaurant doesn’t look like much, but when you go inside, it’s an open space decorated to fit its Southwestern theme, and the super-friendly waiters wear lime green silk ties while serving up colorful plates of food. Love that!

Posada is considered a contemporary Southwestern restaurant, and that’s because its menu features food that has a lot of rubs and flavorings, without as much sauce as you’d expect at a Mexican restaurant. We were all very pleased with our meals and walked out of there with full and happy bellies. 

We started with the shrimp and avocado crostini, then each had our own entree. I went with the mahi mahi tacos and watermelon salad, which is one of the most popular dishes; Dave had the pork tacos; and my Mom had the shrimp and grits from the brunch menu. We also finished up with the chimichanga cheesecake for dessert — yes, our second time having cheesecake that day. Yay! 

Shrimp crostini at Posada in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

Delicious lunch at Posada in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

Chimichanga cheesecake at Posada in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

The best thing about eating at Posada is that we saw the owner, Chef Eduardo, continually coming out of the kitchen and talking to patrons at tables. I totally appreciate that! We guessed that some of the people were regulars, which lets you know it’s a great place to eat. Definitely the perfect spot to dine in between sipping wine across Livermore Valley. Nice work, Posadas! Thanks for hosting us! 

We also stopped at one more winery for a tasting before heading back home to let Rudy out and relax for the rest of the day, after a super full and fun weekend of festivities. 

Overall, it was a nice change to head to Livermore Valley Wine Country and get to experience a family-owned winery and some delicious food. I love that it’s such a quick trip from the East Bay and offers so many beautiful vineyard vistas. We’ll definitely be going back again soon!

Pitt family in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

Ashley, Dave and my Mom in Livermore Valley by A Lady Goes West

My postpartum weekly workout recap

Switching gears a bit (okay, switching gears a lot), here’s a look at my latest workouts …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

At 9 weeks postpartum …

  • Monday: Took a 30-minute walk, 10:30 a.m., did 40 minutes of barre at home, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took a 1-hour walk, 11 a.m., did 20 minutes of barre at home, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Taught and participated in a 40-minute bodyweight workout outdoors with strollers, 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Gym session — walked on the treadmill on incline for 10 minutes, warmed up, foam rolled and did a full-body session, including squats, deadlifts, deadrows and shoulder raises using 10, 15 and 20 pound dumbbells
  • Friday: Took a 1-hour yoga class, 11 a.m., took a 30-minute walk, 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Took a 25-minute walk, 9 a.m.

Overview of the week of workouts

Obviously, the highlight of last week’s workouts was the outdoor bootcamp I taught for my mommy group, which I talked a bit more about here. I loved exercising outside and being able to create a little programming again for some very excited ladies, who were ready to move their bodies. 

I also loved making my return to group fitness as a student by attending a yoga class on Friday. It felt GREAT to stretch, and I’m feeling a bit more mobile and flexible than when I did my first at-home yoga session a couple of weeks ago. 

I’m planning a post soon with more details on my postpartum fitness, so let me know if you have any questions. Overall, I’m getting a bit stronger each week. Yay! 

That’ll do it for today, my friends! Have a great start to your week! πŸ™‚ 

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Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

Do you have any fun holiday traditions with friends?

What would you most like to pair with your wine?

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23 Comments

  1. Wow you definitely packed in a lot of fun over the weekend!

    And sign me up for a wine and cheesecake pairing, that sounds perfect! I really need to start a holiday tradition with some of our friends. I would love to do a cookie exchange or host a holiday dinner party. It seems like the four weeks between thanksgiving and xmas just fly by and we always run out of time to try and plan something. And yes I still have all of my shopping to do to, lol!

    1. Hi Patricia! I know — these weeks are busy, but who wouldn’t make time for a cookie exchange heheh! You could always do a New Year’s cookie exchange too! πŸ™‚ Hope your weekend was great!

  2. You had quite the weekend over there missy! Luckily, you have a cute little reason as to why you haven’t started Christmas shopping yet (I’m looking at mister Brady on this one). Hopefully you can sneak away a bit to shop with your mom in town or even make a little trip of it with her and Brady!

    Have a wonderful day Ashley!

    1. Hi Maureen! Yes, I know, I feel like I definitely have a reason for being delayed this year with Christmas shopping! We’ll get started soon. Hope you have a wonderful day too, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Carrie! Yes! Spin was pretty cool — would be a good place for a birthday party too. And yes, you need to hop out to Livermore to sip some wine! Have a great day, my friend! πŸ™‚

  3. Sooo glad you’re taking advantage of extra babysitting and enjoying time for yourself and with your husband–so important!!! Looks like an awesome festive time–especially those truffles! I don’t know how you share them…I’m pretty sure I’d eat them all!

    1. Hi Heather! It’s been really nice to get out a bit — we needed it! And YESSS to the truffles heheh! Hope you had a nice weekend too, lady! πŸ™‚

  4. So fun seeing my hometown (and beloved wine country) on your blog — loved your SF blogging, but loving the East Bay even more πŸ˜‰

  5. I love the idea of a truffle party! What a fun idea! And holy yumminess with all of those eats. I will take one of everything! I also love your photobooth shots–Alex and I never know what to do in those situations, lol.

  6. That looks like so many fun outings and events! Brady is the cutest! And love the red, white and black scarf you wore to the Warriors party! Is that a recent find? My wardrobe could use a festive touch!

    1. Hi Kara! I JUST picked up that scarf at Nordstrom Rack last week! It’s so cute, right? πŸ™‚ I couldn’t find the link, but it was in the women’s section if you have a NR near you. Good luck!

  7. Would it be too personal to ask for a post on breastfeeding or bottle feeding? I’m a new mom of a 3 week old, and I feel like I can’t leave the house for more than 1.5 hours because my little boy will need to eat again. Seems like you got pumping and milk storage down. I’d love to hear about your experience with that. I NEED some uninterrupted me time!

    1. Hi Jo! Congrats on your little one! YAY!!! I will say that I didn’t leave the house for more than 1.5 hours for the first 7-8 weeks, but I have a good routine down now! I will definitely mention more about this in an upcoming post!! Hope you are doing okay, momma!!!

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