My friends! How are you? I’m doing pretty good, in spite of that whole not sleeping very well thing, but you don’t need to hear that one again. This week has been a busy one, with my last mommy group meeting, workouts (read more about my postpartum fitness journey here) and all sorts of other to-dos I will explain further below.
Brady is becoming even cuter and sweeter and more chatty (so chatty!) as the days go on, and he’s definitely also getting the majority of my attention, which makes all those to-dos harder to do. But, I wanted to pop in today to share some news, ask for some help, chatter about some faves and offer a giveaway. Ready? Here we go …
The big news
OMG! We bought a house! It has been a total dream of ours to buy a home in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area, and after much looking and struggle … well, we did it. Some of you may remember when I opened up in this post to explain that we searched all summer while I was pregnant and put in eight offers on homes in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill, only to be outbid every time (the market here is unlike any other and all houses go above asking price with multiple offers in just a matter of days). Well, we briefly started our search again in December, and two offers later, we’re the proud owner of a home in Pleasant Hill, which is directly next door to our current town, Walnut Creek. We closed on the house on Tuesday, and we move in next week. Woohoo!
I can’t wait to share more about the house, show you some pictures and finally get settled into a place that we own. I haven’t lived in a house since I was with my parents between summers from college, having been in apartments in a college town and then big cities ever since … most recently a three-story townhome for the last three years right near downtown Walnut Creek.
So, next week, because it’s moving week, and we’ll be attempting to pack, move and unpack with a needy dog and a less than four-month old baby on minimal sleep, I likely won’t be in communication that much. But I hope to get back to a regular posting cadence the week after that, which will hopefully be twice-a-week thing around here. I’m thinking of posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, rather than the Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I had been doing for the past year, but more on that next …
I need your help — it’s survey time
It’s been almost three years since I’ve done a blog survey. And while I constantly ask the people in the A Lady Goes West Friends Facebook group what they want to see on the blog (and they are always so helpful!), I figured it was time to ask the masses what you enjoy. As you know, my life has changed significantly since I started the blog, and my topics and experiences have changed too. And to make sure we’re still connecting, I want to know the kinds of posts you like to see, and I want to know what kind of things you want me to stop doing or reduce. I’m here to serve!
In addition to that, because I check in so much more on Instagram and Facebook, I feel like we stay in touch a lot, and I want to know if you like that communication too or want to see more of it on the blog. For instance, you’ve seen this picture of my favorite meal from Tender Greens on the socials already …
I’ve put together a quick 10-question survey, and I’d so appreciate it if you could complete it for me. It would mean a lot to me. It’s super easy to do, so just click here and answer the questions, and don’t worry, it’s anonymous and no one will see the answers but me. I know you are super busy, so even if you can only answer a few questions, that would be great.
If you don’t like surveys, feel free to leave blog post comment or email me ashley at aladygoeswest dot com, to let me know your thoughts on the state and future of the blog. Thank you in advance, my friends!
Latest favorite things
It’s been a while since I’ve shared my favorites, so here we go …
Brand new collagen creamer packs and a GIVEAWAY
I don’t have to tell you all how much I love using collagen peptides for its skin, gut and joint health benefits, especially now that I’m postpartum. And you can read more about what I’m doing to have a healthy postpartum recovery here.
Well, my friends at Vital Proteins last year launched a collagen peptide creamer for your coffee and tea (I use it in my morning tea), and it’s dairy and lactose free, has no added sweeteners or sugars and is made with coconut milk. I absolutely love it. And I’m not alone, because it was so popular it had to be backordered for a while.
And just this week, Vital Proteins released the single-serve to-go packets of that same collagen creamer in both the coconut and vanilla flavors. Each packet has 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of collagen, and this is high-quality stuff, and it’s sooo good for you too. I happen to love the coconut, but the vanilla is good as well.
Now for that giveaway: One lucky winner will get a box of the collagen creamer packets, in whichever flavor you want. Thanks to Vital Proteins for sending me a box and for offering to send one to the winner too.
If you want to get your hands on the collagen creamer and you don’t win the giveaway, it’s available now on the Vital Proteins site.
The giveaway: One winner will get a box of 10 collagen creamer packets, valued at $29. In order to win, you must leave a comment on this blog post. And you must reside within the U.S. or Canada. This giveaway will close next Friday, January 19.
Mommy group and mommy friends
For the last seven weeks or so, I’ve gone to a weekly mommy group meeting on Tuesdays in downtown Walnut Creek at the John Muir Wellness Services, and I’m SO glad I did this. Not only did I learn a lot about newborns, mothering, parenting, etc. from the group’s counselor, but I also got to hear from other new moms who share such similar struggles as I do during this time.
It’s been an active activity for me too. If you recall, I taught an outdoor stroller boot camp to some of the ladies in my group two times, and I always walk to the meeting on the Iron Horse Trail, which means lots of fresh air and steps. Woohoo!
We’ve covered topics like sleep (I’m trying out the tips I learned from the counselor, and so far they are helping marginally), the post-baby body (it’s supposed to take a full year to truly get back to where it was before the baby), breastfeeding, bottle feeding and most recently, relationships and how to connect with and communicate with your spouse when you have a new baby around.
I would highly recommend that any new moms out there who have access to a mommy group do it. It’s been great for me. And the best part? You can change and feed your baby during all of the sessions, and you never have to be embarrassed if your baby cries. (And for the record, Brady slept through almost every session and never had to be fed or changed … score!) This guy …
Well, in addition to going to a weekly mommy group, I’ve also kept up with my weekly walk with two of my girlfriends, who also happen to be moms. We’ve been doing these walks since I was pregnant, and we talk about everything under the sun — including babies and momhood.
Our day-time get-togethers often include babies in strollers for a couple of us, but I knew we were in need of a different kind of outing. So last week, I suggested we get together for a night out. Yassss! There was a big group of us who left the babes at home with our hubs and met for a drink at Sasa and then moved on to dinner at Oyama for sushi both in downtown Walnut Creek. And the 49ers roll is my jam …
It was such a fun night! So much fun that we decided to make it a monthly thing, and our next evening get together will be in February. Can’t wait!
Moral of the story? Friends and social interactions are super important and good for the soul, no matter how busy you are. And when you’re a new mom, talk to other new moms … it totally helps.
Best links from around the web
A few things worth sharing …
- I love to read about wellness trends. And my favorite sites, Mindbodygreen and Well and Good, put out their lists of what will be hot in fitness and wellness this year. Both are very interesting, and I look forward to trying out some of the trends myself.
- HIIT or high-intensity interval training is not going anywhere, but you cannot, I repeat, cannot do this type of super hard exercise every day. Here’s some great research on what HIIT does for the body.
- Hope you didn’t miss this long post about how I’ve approached my postpartum fitness journey.
- Such a great article about being introspective. Love it!
- Speaking of goals, here are a few worthy ones I think are worth considering for 2018.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Thanks for considering the survey. And thanks for being you! Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back around soon. 🙂News, help, good reads and a collagen giveaway on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet
P.S. Don’t forget to enter the collagen creamer giveaway by leaving a comment on this blog post. To leave a comment, just click on the title of the post, then scroll to the bottom of the post and enter your name, email and comment. Your email won’t be published, but I’ll use it to contact the winner. Good luck!
Questions of the day
Did you take the survey?
What’s your favorite thing to do with your friends?
What’s something good going on in your life right now?