Life talk, a food event and a new barre studio

Hi, my friends! I feel like I have so much to say for the end of the week, so saddle up! Oh, and happy Friday, to all of you fine folks out there.

First of all, it was super hot here this week, and quite frankly, a little tiring getting back into the swing of things after last week’s vacation. I had two doctor’s appointments and a standard pregnancy-related blood-glucose screen (eww, so not fun), taught a couple of Bootybarre classes, worked, went into the City for a new studio opening and attended an evening event in my neck of the woods too.

This weekend, Dave and I have a meeting with our doula and some other low-key plans. Then, in the middle of next week, I head off for a 7-day trip home to Florida to hang with my family and see all of my dearest friends at my first baby shower. Woohoo! I can’t wait!

Moving on, let’s get updated on what’s been going on over here …

Taste Our Terroir event in Livermore Valley Wine Country

Can I just tell you that I had to ask one of the other media members in attendance at this event how to say the word “terroir”? Apparently it’s French, you say it “ter-war,” and it means the natural environment where a wine is produced. Good to know! Anyway, the Taste Our Terroir event is hosted each year by Livermore Valley Wine Country, and I was very happy to be invited to check it out this year, in spite of the fact that I couldn’t actually drink any wine. So sad. But still, wine country is always pretty scenic … 

Ashley in Livermore Valley Wine Country by A Lady Goes West

(Smiling at 28 weeks pregnant among the vineyards in Livermore wearing this non-maternity baby doll dress, sunglasses, my favorite watch and my favorite clutch.)

The event itself takes place over four days and includes fancy meals, pairings and tours all over Livermore, which is just about 45 minutes from me in Walnut Creek and not part of the perhaps more well-known wine regions in Northern California, like Napa or Sonoma. Because Dave and I had just gotten back from our Santa Barbara trip, we opted to visit just one of those events during Taste Our Terroir — the Wine Country Progressive Dinner — which took place on a Saturday night for more than three hours.

We met at a winery, loaded a bus with some other folks, and then went from appetizers at Steven Kent Winery, to a very delicious two-course dinner at Cafe Garre (where a loud wedding was taking place at the same time), finishing up with dessert and port at the cozy Charles R Vineyard, where the SWEETEST owner of the place gave us a welcome toast and walked around to everyone’s table to chat. Of course, there was wine at every location, and Dave had the chance to enjoy it all. I however, stayed hydrated with some local Livermore iced tap water. Mmmmmm.

Watermelon salad by A Lady Goes West

(A delightfully refreshing watermelon salad as the first course of our seated dinner.)

I was also happy to see that my super fun SF blogger friend, Kat, was there, so we got to hang out together throughout the night. 

Overall, the food was excellent, and while I can’t comment on the wine, I will say that I do want to go back to Livermore Valley to try out some of the wineries once I can drink again in a few months and learn even more about the region, because I’ve rarely met a winery that I didn’t like!  

Lamb dish by A Lady Goes West

(Mouth-watering lamb and polenta with veggies as the second course for our seated dinner. I never eat lamb, but this was so moist and GOOD!)

Thanks again to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association for hosting Dave and me for the delicious event! We’ll be back soon!

The Dailey Method in downtown San Francisco

I love to try new classes, and I especially like to try new barre classes, since becoming a Bootybarre instructor myself last October. This week, I went into the City for a lunch-time class at newly revamped The Dailey Method barre studio in the Financial District of San Francisco, which is now under new ownership and totally redone. The Dailey Method is a chain, and the franchise owners who own the downtown location are a married couple who also own the Mission-Castro spot. 

The Dailey Method by A Lady Goes West

I’ve tried Pure Barre, Pop Physique, FlyBarre and many other one-off barre studios, but this was my first time trying The Dailey Method. I liked it! (By the way, I used to write a ton of class reviews, so if you want to see if I have written my thoughts on a particular class, check out those reviews here.)

Not sure if I will get around to a full review of this class, unless I can take it one more time, but I will tell you this: We kept our spines in neutral and not tucked, which I WAY prefer to the unnatural posture of tucking. And we started with core, arms, legs, thighs, glutes, finishing off with more core and a short stretch. The instructor was also the owner of the location, and she was in immaculate shape, was a skilled teacher and got down on her hands and knees to offer corrections to nearly every student in the room, which was amazing. She also helped me with some pregnancy modifications, so she won me over early on. 

As far as stuffiness — I would rate The Dailey Method MUCH more welcoming than a Pop Physique or Pure Barre, both where you really need to know the lingo, have the right outfit and be ready to give up your personal space in a tightly packed fancy studio. It seemed a bit more laid-back, while offering the same caliber of quality. And a good sweat, of course! Here’s me after class …

Ashley at The Dailey Method by A Lady Goes West

(Fun fact: Dave calls this my “bump shirt,” because it really shows off the bump with those unforgiving horizontal stripes. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, from Lululemon years ago.)

The workout itself was good (lots of burn in the thighs, oh my!), and the location in downtown is super convenient for anyone who works in FiDi and wants to hit up a lunch-time or after-work burn session. Not as much cardio in the particular class I took, but the strength and flexibility were definitely there.

Thanks to The Dailey Method for inviting me to try out a complimentary class! I hope to be back for more soon!

Great reads from the Web 

A few good things worth scrolling through …

  • GIVEAWAY: A giveaway for a video baby monitor and some new mom tips in this one. I’m LOVING all of your comments on the post, and if you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time! Do it now! 
  • FUN TIMES: Pictures and stories from our babymoon in Santa Barbara. Take me back!
  • TECHNOLOGY: Push notifications on your phone. Do you get them? Are they ruining your life? Here’s a great article on why you should turn them off. But don’t skip A Lady Goes West posts!
  • PETS: Getting a dog makes you more active, and you don’t have to tell me twice. I’ve written about why dogs are good for your health before, and now MindBodyGreen is telling us that too. I’d just like to say that my little Rudy is seriously the light of my life, and I can’t imagine what life was like before his 10 pounds of white fluff existed in mine. His sits on my lap sweetly as I type this statement.
  • HEALTH: A list of items that can tell whether or not you are living your healthiest life. Although, while currently pregnant, I can’t say yes to all of the things in this article — nonetheless, I agree with many of the ideas. Get your hormones in line, people, and if you need help, you can read my book “Fit & Fertile,” for tips on how I was able to do it!

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’ll see you back here on Monday for a fitness-related post and giveaway. I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂 

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Questions of the day

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  1. I’ve been getting more invites than ever to events that I definitely cannot attend, like Bourbon tastings, now that I am pregnant. Where were these invites before!!!?? Have a great weekend, Ashley!

    1. Hi Susie! Ohhhh I KNOW! I feel like I’ve said no to SO many alcohol-related things! But of course, this pregnant time is a BLESSING, but it’s totally okay to complain ahhaha! I feel ya, my girl! Happy Friday!!!!

  2. Ashley! It’s has beeen very hot hot here as well, and it does drain your energy!!!! Also, congratulations and blessings on your nearing baby shower. You look so beautiful and excited.❤️

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you so much! I do think I’m more affected by the heat as a pregnant person — it totally takes it out of me! Thanks for your sweet words lady! Hope all is well!

    1. Hi Carrie! Well for you in the City, it’s not that much closer than heading to Sonoma, but, always good to try a new scene. Wente in Livermore is supposed to be a great spot too. Happy Friday, my friend!

    1. Hi Emily! I definitely will! I love living in California, but am ALWAYS missing my parents in Florida, so it will be good to get home. Happy Friday, my friend! 🙂

  3. That watermelon salad looks a lot like an appetizer my dad and I split when we went out to dinner earlier this week. So good! I’m also not a big lamb person, but oh my goodness did that look so succulent and delicious. This Saturday I’ll be getting up super early for a running event and afterwards going out to breakfast with some people from my cross country team. We’re also having a party for my sister who’s moving away for her new job. Sunday’s another early morning since I’m leaving for a sleep away cross country camp.


    1. Hi Meah! I agree — I wasn’t excited about lamb, but it was our only option, and I totally enjoyed it. I still wouldn’t choose it on a menu, but it’s always good to branch out sometimes. As far as your weekend plans — the early bird gets the worm, lady! Go for it! How nice that you have a running group too! Yay! Enjoy it al, lady!

    1. Hi Christina! Barre classes have a bad rap for being stuffy — so it’s worth mentioning heheh! Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello. Hope your weekend was awesome!

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