Painting, hiking, eating and my weekly workouts

Another good weekend in the books! I sure hope you guys had a great one too.

Friday: Getting artistic with paint and wine

On Friday evening, Dave and I joined a couple of friends at Canvas and Cabernet in downtown Walnut Creek. I’ve wanted to do one of these “wine and painting” nights for a long time, and we bought tickets about a month in advance. 

Canvas and Cabernet fun via A Lady Goes WestWhat am I holding in my hands? Oh you know, just some boxed red wine.

For $45 a person, we enjoyed a three-hour step-by-step painting class, which included all the supplies we needed to create a masterpiece, as well as plenty of time to socialize with our friends, and of course, drink wine. At Canvas and Cabernet, while wine and beer were available for purchase above the ticket price, you’re also allowed to bring your own beverages for a reasonable corkage fee of $20. So Dave and I brought a small box of wine to enjoy.

Canvas and Cabernet has its craft down to a science. The lead artist/teacher stood in front of the class on a little stage and explained a small bit of work we needed to do on our canvas in very easy-to-understand instructions. Then, she would step off the stage, turn up the music, and let us work on our own. After a few minutes, she’d get back up and repeat the process. Therefore, there was built-in time to chat with your neighbors, sip on your wine and paint. About halfway through the class we took a “drying break” for 30 minutes, in which most people left their spots and walked around the boutique or refilled their beverages. While we were skeptical of how our paintings would turn out, in the end I think we all did a pretty good job.

Painting progression at Canvas and CabernetIt’s amazing to see how it all progressed on the canvas, as we kept adding layers and colors, using different types of strokes.

I’d guess there were about 40 people in the class and only three were men. So Dave and the other guy in our party were certainly good sports. Believe it or not, Dave actually enjoyed it much more than expected and told me he’d be willing to go again to do a different painting. Score!

Fun at Canvas and Cabernet in Walnut CreekWe failed to take a “normal” photo during the entire night, outside of this one I shared on Instagram. So this is what you get. The finished product was called “Lover’s Lane,” and is supposed to be a couple walking down a romantic path. Can’t you tell?

After we finished up our creations, we walked across the street to a Pyramid Alehouse and Brewery for a quick and late dinner before saying goodbye to our friends. During dinner, we displayed and admired all four canvases, and it’s funny how they each looked a little different based on our artistic interpretations. 

If you’re looking for a different night out with friends or your significant other, I’d highly recommend something like this. I hadn’t painted anything in years, and it felt good to do so. And hey, you get to walk away with an awesome souvenir. In fact, we already hung our paintings side-by-side in our guest bathroom for all to see.

Saturday: A lot of work and a little play

On Saturday, Dave had to work at the first Warriors playoff game of the season (they won!), so he headed off shortly after breakfast. I used the free weekend time to complete some household chores and a short and sweat-free low-intensity workout at home. I also took a quick trip to Nordstrom Rack and Marshall’s for what my Mom would call a little “retail therapy.” I know I was busy and moving around all morning, because I had hit 70 percent of my daily steps (thats 7,000 steps) by mid-day. Not too shabby!

On Saturday evening, we took a nice stroll to downtown Walnut Creek to enjoy some Mexican food at Maria Maria restaurant. 

Dinner at Maria MariaWe started with chips, salsa and guacamole. Then had a spinach and mango salad, followed by steak soft tacos with rice and beans. 

The restaurant was huge, and we had a nice table outside. While our dining experiences outside of San Francisco have been less than stellar, this one was pretty good. The food was fairly tasty, the service excellent, and the price not too bad. I’d go again just for a margarita and guacamole. Suffice to say, we walked out of there pleasantly stuffed.

Sunday: Sunshine and rest

On Sunday, while Dave went out for a run in the morning, I took advantage of my rest day and stayed in my pajamas on the couch watching a cheerleading competition. I know, how strange. I was never a cheerleader, but for some reason I find these types of events captivating. 

In the afternoon we headed out for a picnic and hike in the sunshine at Briones East Bay Regional Park. It’s days like these that make me love living in our new neighborhood in the East Bay even more, because just a few miles away in San Francisco city proper, the temperatures were about 20 degrees cooler! It was pretty hot, but we were able to stay in the shade for much of the stroll up the hill. We even saw cows.

Ashley and Dave at Briones ParkIt wouldn’t be a hike, if we didn’t take a selfie. And look at that pretty view from our picnic spot. Such a nice day!

In the evening, we made dinner at home, watched TV and prepared for a big week ahead. And that was that!

My weekly workout recap

Now, as we do every single Monday to stay on track. Here’s a look at all of the ways I got moving over the past seven days …

Weekly Workouts from A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday –Did a 30-minute CXWORX core workout at home with weights and a resistance tube, taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class, foam rolling
  • Tuesday – Did a 20-minute online yoga class at home, taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Wednesday – Taught TWO one-hour BODYATTACK classes, foam rolling
  • Thursday –Did a 10-minute online yoga class at home, taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, foam rolling
  • Friday – Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class
  • Saturday – Did a 30-minute CXWORX core workout at home with weights and a resistance tube, did a 10-minute online yoga class at home, foam rolling
  • Sunday – Rest day

What was good about my week of workouts?

While this past week looks like it was super full of workouts, there was plenty of variety of intensity and movement, and quite frankly, I felt absolutely great. I taught four BODYATTACK classes, which is a ton of cardio for me and one more class than usual. I also taught two BODYPUMP classes, which gave me the chance to enjoy two long strength-training sessions. I also did two core workouts at home using weights and three short sessions of yoga. I’ve decided that splitting yoga up into small segments throughout the week gives me more benefits than doing one longer session, so I may keep this up. Overall, I had plenty of stretching and rolling and a full rest day to make this a great week of fitness.

What could have been better about my week of workouts?

This past week was probably a bit cardio heavy, as they seem to be lately due to my teaching schedules. I would have gone to the gym on Saturday for a heavier weight-lifting session, but of course, I couldn’t get sweaty because of the keratin treatment I had done on my hair on Friday. Thus, a short core workout and yoga session were all I could do, with the window open and a cool breeze blowing directly on me. I really would like to see myself get some more weight-lifting done during the week, but it just hasn’t been working out that way. Not a huge deal, because things are always changing.

Alright guys, I’ve said enough. I hope your Monday is just lovely! See you soon, my friends.

P.S. Congratulations to the winner of the CanvasPop photo-print, Jennie W. Thank you to everyone who entered. I loved all of your comments and will be bringing you another giveaway very soon.

Questions of the day

What did you do this weekend?

Do you usually take time to stretch before or after your workouts?

What’s something fun you’re looking forward to in the next month?

Ashley signature



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  1. Haha I love watching the cheer competitions too! They just suck you in! Sounds like you two had a great weekend. I’ve never tried the wine and painting place near us but feel like it might be time! As for teaching two full BODYATTACK classes in one day, you are a rockstart! What a big day of cardio! This weekend we headed out for a great hike and spent some quality time with friends. It was great! We are looking forward to two trips home in May! What are you looking forward to?

    1. Hi Jenna, I felt totally fine during each of those BODYATTACKs on that day. I was so surprised that I wasn’t tired during the second one. I guess that class conditions us even more than we know. And I’m looking forward to a trip to Florida in May! But that’s about it! Glad you got out for a hike as well this weekend. Spending time outdoors is a great way to relax. Have a great week!!

  2. Sounds like you had an awesome weekend! I wanted to go on a hike so bad but it was too muddy and never completely stopped raining. The painting thing looks fun and I really want to make my boyfriend do that one of these days. Happy Monday!

    1. Hi Carissa! It was so fun, and like I said, my husband enjoyed it way more than he thought he would. Too bad about the rain in your neck of the woods. Hope you have a good week though! 🙂

  3. I definitely don’t take enough time to stretch after running. I need to get better at that for sure. It’s interesting to me you had to pay a corkage fee! There are so many painting places around here and they encourage you to bring your own and never charge you. Your painting turned out so well, though! I loved it! This weekend I spent a lot of time outside, did some yard work, had some fun with friends. It was perfect.

    1. Hi Heather! Well this is the Bay Area and everything is more expensive here, hehee so I was fine with a $20 corkage fee. Glad you had a nice weekend outdoors and hanging with friends!! Happy Monday. Have a great week, my friend! 🙂

  4. Your weekends always look so fun! I need to start branching out more now that I’m back from Europe. Also need to look into those short online yoga classes. Those would be good for me to keep my cranky leg happy.

    1. For sure, Megan! And yes, we try to do a lot over the weekends, since Monday through Friday are WORK, WORK, WORK! Before I blogged as regularly we used to do even more on the weekends, believe it or not! hahah! I hope you are happy at home and back in the right time zone. Welcome back!

  5. I was so happy to have a weekend of gorgeous weather perfect for walking and being outside. Vitamin D in pill form only gets you so far! Over the next month, I actually don’t have anything huge, just lots of little stuff throughout, but then Alex and I are going to the Outer Banks for a week with his brother (and fam) and a bunch of their friends. It will be interesting, but at least even if it gets overwhelming, I can retreat to the beach!

    1. Hi Susie! I’ve always wanted to vacation in the Outer Banks area! Sounds like a fun time with friends! And yay for nice weather for the both of us this weekend. Here’s to a happy Monday and great week! 🙂

  6. I have been dying to try one of those wine and painting classes. However, I do not have one single ounce of artistic-ness in me, so I’m a bit scared to see what my painting would look like – especially after a glass or two of wine! ; )

    1. Hi Lisa, The friends that went with us were planning to hang theirs in their garage. But we’ve proudly displayed ours inside ahhah! I think you’d love a wine and painting night, perfect way to start decorating your new house! 🙂 Happy Monday!

  7. Sounds like a great, balanced week of exercise! Where do you get your online yoga videos from? I have been trying to incorporate yoga but an hour class is just too much!

    1. Hi Amanda! I hope you had a great weekend. I just started using this site called The Yoga Collective, which has an annual membership. I’m thinking of doing a review and giveaway of it, so stay tuned. However, I know POPSUGAR has free short yoga videos, which I used to use in a pinch. Have a great week!

  8. You always have the best weekends! This looks like a ton of fun. I’ve done 2 painting and bottles classes so far, and they’re so fun to do! I have to sign up again soon 🙂 Hope you have a terrific week lady!

  9. Looks like a great weekend!! You all did a great job on your art 🙂 This weekend the dog and I went and visited my parents, went on an extra long walk, and prepped ALL the food last night. My bf is out of the country on business for a few weeks, so I predict many Netflix and book reading nights ahead.

    1. Hi Jessie! Thanks for the love about my piece of art hehehe. And nice work getting your food prepped, going for a walk and visiting the ‘rents. You did a lot! I hope you enjoy your alone and downtime with the BF is away. Any good books? I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book right now, and I like it so far. Have a good week!!!

  10. The margs at Maria Maria are so good – glad you went there! If you need other dining out tips around here (since you said you have had less than stellar experiences so far) let me know! I know some gems 🙂 Also, I love that blue top on you!!

    1. Yes, Hayley! The dining scene in Walnut Creek is NOT what we were used to in SF. Please share some good ones … 🙂 hehehe Hope you had a great weekend!!

      1. We actually love Maria Maria! For other good WC places I’d recommend Corners, Sunol Ridge, Sasa, Vanessa’s and Eleve.

        1. Hi Stella! Thanks. I like the looks of Eleve and have bee wanting to go there. I appreciate the suggestions!! Hope you have a great week! 🙂

  11. I will admit I never used to take the time to stretch before or after my workouts in the past, but training for this marathon has taught me just how important it is. I usually stretch a little bit to get warmed up for my workouts and now I have made a habit of foam rolling after them, I even foam roll again before I go to bed most nights. I think that little bit of stretching makes all the difference.

    1. Hi Hilary! Yes, dynamic and mobile stretches are great for before the run. And static stretching is great for after. As far as foam rolling – it’s good ANY time you do it! Nice job! Hope your training is going well! Have a great week!

  12. I love Pyramid! Their Apricot Ale might be my favorite beer on this planet.
    I’m horrible about stretching on my own, I love when group classes take the time to schedule it in at the end… even when 80% of the people start leaving during that time.

    1. Hi Courtney! I know! I usually tell my members to stretch more after class is done. We usually have to rush to let the next class in, but stretching is important! Hope you had a good weekend, lady! 🙂

    1. Hi Sara! I was pretty nervous at first when I did the first few swipes on the canvas. Didn’t want to mess up heheh, and really, you could cover a lot of messes with all those colors. Hope you had a great weekend!

    1. Hi Lauren! Where’s Duck? Yay for weddings! I am in a wedding in May and can’t wait! I LOVE weddings. And a very happy Monday to you! 🙂

  13. Ah see! Some of the restaurants might not be as good in the burbs but you can’t beat the easy access to great hiking. There are so many beautiful trails in the East Bay. Your picnic looked so nice!

    And Canvas and Cabernet looked like a blast too. I can see why it’s called Lover’s Lane, although it is a little hard to make out the couple. 😉

    1. Hi Sarah! Yes, definitely some lovely hiking spots around here! I really want to do the big Mt. Diablo course at one point. Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

    1. Hi Alyssa, If your activity is anything like mine, they do a great job of making it SUPER easy. Like one little portion at a time hhehe. Hope you have fun! And happy Monday to you! Yay for the new site! 🙂

    1. Hi Pragati! Yes, I’ve had the guac at Rocco’s Tacos in Fort Lauderdale before. Very good stuff! And yay for Disney! I haven’t been in far too long. Hope your week starts off great, doc! 🙂

  14. I love, LOVE, love that Dave went with you AND had fun!! Your paintings turned out great. I’ve wanted to do one of these painting classes too, except I don’t drink wine, and I’m terrible at art. I’m sure I’ll go sometime anyway! 😉

    1. Hi Brittany! I know, it was awesome he enjoyed himself. And they make it very easy for you, so anyone can paint! You should go to one! Bring fancy coffee instead of wine! 🙂 Have a great week!

  15. Your teaching schedule is cardio heavy and mine is very lacking! That’s the hardest for me to squeeze in these days. That and lifting actual weights as opposed to using my body weight in Pilates. It’s hard to find balance as an instructor! Looks like a lovely weekend! Followed you on Instagram from a fellow Bay Area resident. 🙂

    1. Hi Laura! I know! I used to skew heavier toward weight-lifting depending on how many BODYPUMP classes I was teaching or other classes I was taking, so things are always changing. It is tough to fit it all in! Greetings fellow Bay Area resident!! I hope you have a great week!! 🙂

  16. I do my best to stretch after my workouts. I’m definitely getting better about making sure that I do it, it’s taken a long time for that to happen though! I love the painting class. I did my first one a few weeks ago. I was hesitant because I’m so NOT artistic, but it was a blast!!

    1. Hi Sue! I bet you did awesome in the painting class. They seem to make it very easy for participants (or at least they did in mine!) And nice work with the stretching! Hope all is well with you, lady! 🙂

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