Latest favorite things in food, home and life

Hi, my friends! Well hot dog, a three-post week! That hasn’t happened much since Baby Brady came into the world almost four months ago. And it’s been even longer than that when anyone has been cool while using the term “hot dog.” Am I right?

Okay, if I haven’t lost you yet, let’s jump right in. While I won’t say that I have any free time (the babe keeps me quite busy all day, every day), I will say that this past week seemed a bit more manageable when it comes to life and to-dos after last week’s crazy move.

Ashley and Brady in the nursery by A Lady Goes West

We’ve been in the house for a week-and-a-half and are feeling quite comfortable here. So far, we’ve ordered a couch and two area rugs and that’s it (including one for the nursery above, because boy, it echoes when he cries!). We’ll be taking our time to pick out just the right stuff, and will hopefully have the main living areas filled up in the next couple of months (and will share pictures, of course). It’s so cool, but also so scary that we own this place. Now, let’s do some favorites!

Favorites from the week …

Brady’s first visit to Dave’s work

Dave has been eager to show Brady off to his coworkers, and we finally made the trip this week on Wednesday to his office. Well, the beginning of it didn’t go so well. Brady and I got there right on time, and Dave came out to get us, and just as we were carrying Brady in, he erupted into a major crying fit. Like major. He was inconsolable. A diaper change and a nursing session didn’t even help, which is weird, because he’s pretty social and usually seems to love to go on outings. So, we opted to put him back in his infant seat and stroller and walk to lunch nearby before meeting anyone.

He fussed during the first five minutes of lunch and then fell asleep, while Dave and I had some delicious Asian food from a vendor in the Swan Market in downtown Oakland, including miso soup, marinated green beans, a ginger salad and a salmon and avocado hand roll …

Swan Market lunch in Oakland by A Lady Goes West

Then, we decided to do the office tour while Brady was sleeping like a little angel. So he doesn’t even know he’s been to Daddy’s office, but he has, and everyone has seen him. ๐Ÿ™‚

Visiting Daddy at work by A Lady Goes West

(Still soooo pleased with our infant carrier and stroller choices.)

Overall, it didn’t turn out exactly as we had planned, having wanted him awake and out to meet people with his baby blue eyes open, but in the end, it was still a great visit. Babies will be babies, and we loved showing him off!

Keeping the feet warm in red

I’ve really upped my online shopping game recently, and that’s because it’s been rainy, or we’ve been too busy to head out. Well, one of the first things on my list other than house stuff and Brady stuff, was slippers. Our house has wood-ish floors throughout every single room, including the bedroom, and it gets cold in here during the winter months. I scoured around and finally settled on some bright red slippers with a slightly firm bottom.

New favorite red slippers by A Lady Goes West

(Loving my new slippers!)

They arrived two days after I ordered them, and I have NOT taken them off my feet while at home yet, except when sleeping. The inside is so soft and inviting. And they have just enough traction that I don’t slip, but don’t feel like actual shoes and feel like slippers. If you like them and plan to order, please note that the bright red could rub a pinkish color on a white couch, so be careful, or go with all the other more muted hues here. But the look of the red is so worth it to me!

My return to the CXWORX workout

Do you guys even know what the CXWORX workout is? I NEVER talk about it anymore, but CXWORX is a 30-minute core group fitness program, which I am certified to teach but haven’t taught in forever. It’s another one from the Les Mills company who makes BODYPUMP, and you can read more about it here. (Fun fact: One of my most popular posts ever from so long ago.)

Returning to Les Mills CXWORX by A Lady Goes West

(Home workout scenes.)

Nonetheless, I stopped doing CXWORX regularly a couple months before I got pregnant, then didn’t do it at all while pregnant or recovering, because of the focus on the core (hovers, standing twists, oblique work, etc.), so it’s been a hot minute. I finally did CXWORX early this week while following along my instructor videos online, and it felt SO hard. I was able to hold hover moves on my toes for a portion of the sets, but not all of them. (And you can read all about my postpartum fitness journey here.)

I absolutely LOVE the feeling of finishing a CXWORX workout, even though you spend much of it on the ground or in a kneeling or prone position. My core was sore the next day! Woohoo! Now that I’m almost 17 weeks postpartum, I’m finally comfortable challenging my core and CXWORX is a great way to do it, so I plan to do it again here and there at home. All you need is a weight and a resistance tube, or just a tube like this, so it’s a good one for travel too. You can access it on Les Mills On Demand.

Super tasty Quest products

Last month, my friends at Quest Nutrition sent me a huge care package of protein powders and bars. Dave and I went through all of the bars pretty quickly, because they were delicious. And that being said, I must admit that I have been relying on prepared bars a bit too much these days for an easy one-handed snack while I hold Brady, but I will also admit that I’ve enjoyed every bite of Quest bars that I’ve eaten. 

Perhaps my favorite is the new birthday flavor classic Quest bar. It tastes like a funfetti cake in protein bar form! 

Delicious Quest protein bar by A Lady Goes West

(My fun pink sneakers seen below the bar are super comfy.)

And the Quest protein powder is the best tasting protein powder like ever, because it basically tastes like a milkshake — all of the flavors do, but I’m partial to both peanut butter and strawberries and cream. But here’s the deal with Quest products: they taste amazing, are gluten and soy free, but you don’t want to have them every single day, because some artificial ingredients are included, but the macros are definitely on point, so a lot of fitness people swear by them as the gold standard (low carb/high protein equals a macro-counter’s dream).

Because I always like to share my real thoughts with you, I figured you should know that this stuff passes the taste test for sure, but you should get most of your nutrients from real whole foods, when you can. (Also, I go with a plant-based protein powder for my more regular usage when lifting weights more frequently, which I’m not doing quite yet, and I also opt for whole food bars too — because I’m more of a clean food eater than a macro counter, if you know what I mean.) But darn, Quest knows how to make some delicious products, and I’ll be getting more for sure. Thanks for sending, Quest!

To read, watch and enjoy from around the web

  • FUN: For some laughs: this hilarious “health food friend” video is soooo spot on, especially if you know people or follow people who always seem to jump on the latest healthy food trends and they never even seem to know why they are doing it.
  • BREAKFAST: Need some breakfast inspiration? Hope you didn’t miss this creamiest warm almond butter oatmeal breakfast bowl recipe I posted earlier this week.
  • FITNESS: Just another reason to try group fitness or work out with a friend. This article tells you that science says working out with other people will improve your performance, and of course, motivation. Thanks to Christine for sharing it in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group.
  • HEALTH: If you’re a fan of sparkling water (I am!), you may want to read this interesting piece on what it could mean for your teeth.
  • FOOD: I get a lot of questions about why I eat so much sauerkraut and kimchi. The first reason is because I like the taste, the second reason is because both foods are fermented, which mean they have good bacteria, which helps your gut and body perform optimally. Here’s some more information on why you should eat fermented foods. But remember, only eat the ones you enjoy eating. Life is too short for crap food, even if it’s healthy, and see the video in bullet number one, if you need a reminder.

Thank you for reading the blog today, my friends! I hope your weekend is a good one! I’ll be teaching a Bootybarre class, hanging with the fam and having some visitors over to check out the house and meet Brady too.

Speaking of Brady, let’s leave off with a picture of him in his angelic sleeping state … which we’d love to see more of at night. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sleeping angel Brady at 16.5 weeks by A Lady Goes West

(Almost 17 weeks old and living his best life.)

Latest favorites in fitness, food and fun over on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend?

What’s something good you’ve read lately worth sharing? Place the link below!

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26 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, poor Brady, and you guys! Isn’t it awful when they cry for no reason and you just don’t know how to help them? Glad he was able to fall asleep and hopefully you can make another trip soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. OMG, Heather! We felt so bad for him, because he even had little tears falling. Nonetheless, he was totally fine after his additional nap eheh:) Happy Friday, momma!!

  2. Aw that list picture of Brady! And totally agree about the Quest bars, they’re so tasty but definitely can’t eat them everyday. I need to get my hands on one of the Birthday Cake bars because I’m slightly obsessed with sprinkles, lol. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hhehehhe yess I see you’re chatting about sprinkles today on your blog eheh! I like funfetti and sprinkles too, but it’s not always done well. For instance, The Cheesecake Factory celebration sprinkle cheesecake is not so good. Fun fact for your Friday, Patricia! ๐Ÿ™‚ heheheh

  3. Totes agree about the Quest bars. Nothing beats the taste and they are more satisfying and filling to me than almost all of the other bars I eat like Lara and RX. But for reasons similar to yours, I do not make them part of my daily routine. I do always have some in stock in my cupboard though.

    Happy Friday, Lady!
    xoxo.

    1. Agreed! I like RXBars and Larabars for the healthy factor — and those taste good too — but not quite as good as Quest. Happy Friday to YOU too, Court! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope your workday is short and sweet!

  4. I’m so with you on Quest bars too. They are a nice treat, but the ingredients list is pretty long and they don’t really satisfy me. They kind of make me crave more sweet things due to the artificial sweetness! But, the cookie dough one is just too darn good to pass up occasionally!

    1. I recently tried heating up a Quest bar — and that’s even tastier heheh! They are darn good, but yes, not for every day. Happy Friday, Carrie! Hope your weekend plans are looking good!

  5. Hi Ashley! I love that Brady has his little hands folded to make him look even more angelic while sleeping. I’m a big fan of Uqest bars (and other protein bars!) for on the go snacks. So much better than takeout but I couldn’t eat them all the time. I haven’t tried the birthday cake flavor but I may have to pick it up almost as a dessert type bar.
    This weekend I think I’m going to bake chocolate strawberry cupcakes. I’ve been wanting to for a while and this weekend seems like a great time to whip them up. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Maureen! Yum! You’ll have to let me know how your cupcakes turn out and what recipe you used. Now that I have a bigger kitchen, I feel compelled to bake more heheh! Happy Friday, babe!

  6. That last picture of Brady is too cute! I had totally forgotten about CXWorks, but I used to take it at my old gym all the time. I always felt like I accomplished so much in that 30 minutes! Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. Brady is so cute! Congrats on the new house! My son had a HUGE blowout on the way to meet my mother-in-laws co-workers….like all the way up his back and out the sides….and the extra outfit i kept in my diaper bag was probably the ugliest outfit we had (I thought,hey, itโ€™s just for emergencies, right?) Great first introduction right there lol

    1. hhahaha so funny, Deanna. But not. We have a crappy onesie in the diaper bag for emergencies too heheh. I’m sure they thought he was adorable at the offie in spite of his outfit! ๐Ÿ™‚ Those blowouts … rough …

  8. Little Brady is too cute!! I love the Quest peanut butter protein powder – so good once in a while! Glad to hear you are getting settled in the new place! We bought our first house last summer and slowly filled it up as well. Sometimes you just need to be in a space for a while before you know what you want to put in it :). We did get a big sectional and I love it- it took 8 weeks to be delivered though… now we sit on it every day!

    PS: If you are looking for an extra pair of slippers, LL Bean makes my favorite pair- they are definitely worth the price.

    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/18664?feat=503422-GN3&page=women-s-wicked-good-moccasins&csp=f

    1. Dave has LL Bean slippers, and I’ve bought them as gifts before too! I LOVeeee the warranty and quality of LL Bean products for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yesss for waiting for the right stuff, our sectional is still four weeks away hheheh! Happy Friday, Jessie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. First time reader of your blog! Love your site.

    I am a newish mommy (my daughter just turned 1) and I am expecting her little sister in June (crazy town). Anyway – if there is one thing that is going to change for you – it is the term “hot dog”!!!! Baby might be too little now, but just wait until you’re watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat!

    When I read “hot dog” in your post, I immediately translated it to the jingle version in my head. lol

    The joys of mommy hood. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hi Carly! Ohhhhh I can’t wait to have to watch cartoons and kid shows all day. (Sarcasm) heheheheh! Congrats on your little girl and your new babe on the way. Thank you SO much for stopping by the blog to read and say hello! Hope to see you around here again! Have a great weekend!

  10. Thanks for reminding me about cxworx. I used to love this workout! Havenโ€™t done it in forever though, since i got pregnant with my first actually. And I didnโ€™t know you could get the videos on demand, that is great.

    1. Hi Nina! The Les Mills On Demand thing has only been around maybe a year or more, and I actually don’t do it, because I have my instructor videos, but I know a lot of people who are just participants love to use the On Demand. Let me know if you try it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I was scared to read the article on sparkling water hehehe! I like it too much! But if you read it, it’s not that you can’t drink it, just things to be aware of. Happy weekend, Dixya! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Love CXWorx! Such a great workout! I’d love to get certified to teach it one day. I’ve been following your blog for a while and I’m excited to hear more on your return to working out and teaching after baby, especially CXWorx.

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks so much! Teaching CXWORX is pretty tough, but you get VERY strong if you do it consistently. I miss being in CXWORX shape heeheh! Hope you’ve been having a great weekend!

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