Sunshine state trip, faves and weekly workouts

Hi, friends! I’m coming at you from F-L-O-R-I-D-A. Brady and I arrived on Wednesday evening, after a very long day of travel, including a layover in Houston and a 90-minute drive from the Tampa airport to my parent’s house — wow. It was definitely our longest trip together, and we relied on the kindness of a couple of strangers a few times when my hands were totally full boarding and exiting the plane. I literally did not have enough hands for all the things I was juggling, when it came time to bag up the stroller for gate check.

Southwest flight to Florida by A Lady Goes West

Overall, Brady did his best, which means he was chatty, active (grabbing everything in sight) and smiley and made some friends too, but I counted down the minutes until we were safely at our destination — because traveling alone with an 8-month-old is no joke. No joke.

This was a fairly last-minute trip (I booked it three weeks in advance), because even though I was completely dreading the travel alone, I really wanted to come, so I sucked it up and did it. Not only did I want to spend more time with my parents (seeing them at my brother’s wedding in April was just too short), I also wanted to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her, and it’s today. (Happy Birthday, Mommy!) So far we’re having a great time relaxing and hanging, and we don’t have much on the agenda for the few days I’m here, which is just how I like it.

Now for the faves …

Food

Cauliflower Pizza Crust by California Pizza Kitchen

Last weekend, Dave and I hit up our local CPK to have a delicious and large Sunday lunch and try out the new Cauliflower Pizza Crust, before we went to the Warriors game. He worked, I fanned.

It was beyond tasty with just the right crispiness. I would totally choose it instead of regular pizza after trying it too. Mmmmm! Even though there are several other frozen cauliflower crust options from other brands that you can make at home, they are always a little bit soggy and never quite as good as the real thing. Oh and the CPK one is made with gluten-free ingredients too.

Ashley eating CPK Cauliflower Pizza Crust by A Lady Goes West

We’ve been to the CPK in Walnut Creek so many times and never had a bad bite. 

Our CPK is one of the newer designed concepts, with a big bar, a big menu, lots of sunlight and good service. Also, stroller friendly on the patio, which is something we have to consider now, of course.

CPK Cauliflower Pizza Crust by A Lady Goes West

We started with a watermelon refresher mocktail, some corn chips and guacamole and this super nourishing warm vegetable salad. I LOVE roasted and cooked veggies on a salad and need to do that more at home, because you know I love my warm food.

CPK warm veggie salad by A Lady Goes West

And then a margherita Cauliflower Pizza Crust pie … so simple and fressssssh.

Slice of CPK Cauliflower Pizza Crust by A Lady Goes West

Thanks to the CPK team for hosting us! They also sent us home with some strawberry shortcake, which is the perfect light dessert for summer (although you know carrot cake, red velvet and all things cream cheese have my heart as my favorites).

GIVEAWAY — By the way, I’m giving away a $25 e-gift card to CPK to a lucky winner on Instagram, and it ends today, so go enter!

Veggie beet and walnut wrap 

This beet and walnut wrap is a major food highlight as of late. You guys know that we often go to our same spots for lunches on the weekend to pick up take-out. Well, I decided it was time for a change, so I did a little research and came up with The Lettuce Inn a couple towns away in downtown Concord, known for its vegan options (they also serve some animal products, so not entirely vegan). 

I drove 20 minutes to pick up some food for Dave and for me, and decided on the beet and walnut wrap for myself, which had avo, veggies and the perfect amount of spice. I could eat this wrap EVERY single day and will definitely go back. (It was a tiny spot with only a couple of tables, although it’s right across from a park, so you could totally grab your meal and find seating elsewhere, and while I was there I watched a festival in the park that day with a cheerleading squad — so fun.)

The Lettuce Inn beet wrap by A Lady Goes West

It felt good to support a local shop focused on healthy food, which is always good to do to keep those spots in business. 

Events

Dairy blogger event in SF

*This portion is not exactly sponsored, however I was compensated to attend this event and will be sharing much more about it and Real California Milk soon in a full sponsored post. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about it right away.

The day before I came to Florida, I had a really nice day, and it reminded me I need to get out more. 

I spent the morning in San Francisco at an event for a few health influencers hosted by the Real California Milk Dairy Farmers. We learned about the families who own the dairies in California and how California is the number one producer of milk in the U.S.. So cool!

We also did some food styling and made our own dairy-focused creations using yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese — some of my faves. I enjoyed playing with food and meeting some lovely ladies from around the state, whom I hadn’t met before, like Monica, Jenna and Berniedette and more. Oh, and I enjoyed putting on regular clothes during the week. Yay!

Ashley at the California Dairy event by A Lady Goes West

The event took place the Ketchum Food Studio in the Financial District, and it was an awesome space. Ketchum is a PR firm, and apparently they were the first PR firm to ever have a food-testing studio — lots of good counter space and equipment for sure. A far cry from my set-up at home, but hey — it gets the job done.

Ashley taking photos at the California Dairy event by A Lady Goes West

California Dairy event by A Lady Goes West

I was away from Brady for more than six hours and used a new babysitter, who just happens to be the cousin of a friend and blog reader, Katie. She did a great job, and we totally plan to use her again. I didn’t worry too much at all, now that I’m getting more comfortable with other people watching Brady here and there (it’s been like four times now), and that felt so good. He had some bottles ready in the fridge, and I traveled with my trusty manual pump, of course.

Overall, not only did I like being out with real people in the City during the day instead of just at the gym or with Brady, I loved learning, chatting with fellow bloggers and working with food styling — something I’d love to be better at. You’ll hear a bit more about all the dairy soon, as I’m working on a sponsored post after the event coming soon. But this had to make the favorites, because I’m so happy to be able to get out and do things like this again here and there.

Beauty

Fresh powder manicure

One of the first things on my agenda yesterday on the first day of our visit was to head out for a manicure, as that’s not so easy to do for me at home. I don’t love using valuable weekend time for it, but often have to. (Anybody else? It’s like this: I like having my nails professionally done, but I don’t like the process of getting them done. However, I recently started bringing earphones to listen to a podcast during manicures, and that makes them go by much faster.)

I’m still only getting the SNS powder manicures (way better than gel, because the powder is stronger, lasts longer and doesn’t require a light and apparently you can try doing it at home too, which I haven’t done), so I found a place near my parent’s house to go. Well, don’t you know, they did a hybrid version of SNS and ended up using an LED light to set my nails as the last step anyway. Oh well, they turned out pretty nice, so it’s all good.

Pink nails by A Lady Goes West

My nails have grown so long the last few months (collagen and postpartum hormones, I guess), and while I love the look of long nails, it was actually starting to become a pain, so I opted to cut them pretty short during the manicure. I usually go for reds or brights, but selected a pink for a change too.

By the way, I broke a nail pretty bad during the beginning of my flight with Brady and didn’t have clippers or a file available, so that added to my annoyance that day — you know what I mean — having a chipped and jagged edge nail is the worst.

Sports

NBA Finals game 1 in Oakland

Go Warriors! I was pretty pumped to get to go to game 1 of the NBA Finals last weekend with some of my usual lady friends. (Dave’s little sister, Gwena, drove almost two hours up from Santa Cruz to stay with Brady for the evening, which was amazing too — free babysitting!)

Ashley at Game 1 NBA Finals by A Lady Goes West

It was awesome that the Warriors won that night, and even better that the series is now 3-0 as of today. Tonight’s game is a big one, and I’ll be watching it for sure, which is pretty late on East Coast time. I tell you what, it’s been a great few years to be a Warriors fan.

Fitness

Weekly workout recap at 34 weeks postpartum 

Now on to fitness. Here’s a look at my workouts from last week …

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: Took 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday: Took 30-minute BODYATTACK, 30-minute CXWORX classes, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 1-hour walk, 10 a.m.
  • Thursday: 30-minute lower-body weights workout, 11 a.m.
  • Friday: Taught 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 10 a.m.
  • Saturday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week of workouts was another good one. I taught two classes, took two classes, did a solo workout, had a walking day and a rest day. Lately, I’ve been missing yoga and have been craving some stretching and flexibility training, so perhaps we’ll see the addition of that again soon. Too bad more yoga studios don’t have childcare, or I’d be there. Quite frankly, I could easily do a streaming session at home, but haven’t been making time for it. I really should. 

Suggested reading

Best links from around the Web

  • Food: A new kind of crust? First there was cauliflower crust, which is awesome (see above), and now beet. A lovely reader sent me this earlier in the week, and clearly I will be trying it out soon.
  • Home: Now that I’m a homeowner with a little baby under my roof, I’m more and more interested in nontoxic cleaning products without harsh chemicals. This is a good one on how to clean your dishwasher, fridge, naturally etc.
  • Moms: I KNEW that mom brain was a scientific thing. Moms, read this one, and it will make you feel so much better.

A Lady Goes West archives

Oh, and it’s shorts season for Brady — especially here in Florida right now …

Ashley and Brady at 8 months in red suit by A Lady Goes West

Have an awesome day and weekend, my friends! Be good!

P.S. If you’re interested in joining the A Lady Goes West Book Club, we’ve just started reading “You Are a Badass” and will be doing discussing in this Facebook Group. We’d love to have you!

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Questions of the day

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22 Comments

  1. So we just traveled with Emmie for the first time this week, and while she did great, I am traveling with her solo in a month and already nervous! I might have to check the stroller and just wear her at the airport. Undecided. Sounds like a super fun week for you guys, have fun in Florida!

    1. Hi Susie! It’s SOOOO not scary when you have the hubs or someone else with you. But when you’re alone — it’s scary. For instance, going to the bathroom to change the diaper then to go yourself is a TASK! You need the baby carrier for that. I use my Baby Ktan for flights, bring my Boppy for nursing and for Brady to lay on and a nursing scarf. I also recommend a backpack to have hands free. I also checked my stroller and car seat the first time I traveled alone, so I had less in my hands — but for this trip, I knew I had a layover and wanted the stroller gate checked so I could put Brady down at least for a bit. It was good to have, but a total hassle — I’d probably do it again! Make sure you keep everything accessible as possible in your bag too, because digging around under the seat and holding a baby is TOUGH hahah! Good luck, lady!

    1. Hi Emily! Thanks for the birthday wishes, I will pass them along — and I wouldn’t say the flights went WELL hehehe — but they went off without any major trauma hahah! Happy Friday, my friend! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday to that cute Annie P! I bet having you and Brady there is the best gift ever!

    I for sure need to try that CPK GF cauliflower pizza v soon!

    Love the pink nails. I still haven’t tried the powder myself and have cut back significantly on manicures because my nails grow so fast. But I do love the feeling of a fresh mani.

    Happy weekending with the fam! Xoxo

    1. Hi Court! I feel ya! A good problem to have, and my nails grow fast too, but I feel like nobody notices the grow out as much as you do hehehe. And I mean that for myself — I always notice it and other people say my nails looks nice — perhaps they are just being nice though? But I think it’s good to take a manicure break sometimes — I took about 9 months off of gel and manis for pregnancy, and it was actually nice to have clear coated nails and not spend time at the salon then. Anywho — I will pass along the message to Annie P! Thank you, my friend! Happy Friday!!

  3. Hey Ashley, I think Brady likes it here in Florida (hint, hint). You are amazing. How did you have time to write this blog. Even with all the flight time and the lay over you couldn’t had any free time to write it with Brady. Every thing looks so good. We tried out a new pizza restaurant recently, Five Pie. Specialize in having your pizza ready in 5 minutes. Best crust I have found in pizza restaurants. Happy birthday to your mom. Enjoy your visit. GO Warriors.

    1. Pizza pie ready in five minutes? Now I LIKE the sound of that heheh! Brady seems to like it wherever we go, so he’s adaptable for sure! I’m glad we are getting some sunshine on our visit. Soooo excited for the Warriors win! Did you stay up and watch the game? 🙂 Have a great weekend, Richard!

      1. Watched most of first half then got past my bedtime. Win championship 3 out of 4 seasons. This must be getting to be a bore out west!lol I will share with your readers this week I had a ingrown toenail. Actually had it for quite a while. First primary doctor thought it was gout. Had a week of medication to get rid of it but when it didn’t improve sent me to a foot doctor. Of course I dreaded the thought of getting the toe cut on. But it was the most painless experience I have with a little surgery. Couple shots to numb it and was done in minutes. Of course I couldn’t watch it being done. Take a few days to heal and I will be able to run and spin again painless. I can’t wait. Just thought I would share that with you that an ingrown toenail isn’t as bad as it sounds.

        1. hhahahaha I’m SO happy I have never experienced that — and I’m also glad to hear you are on the road to recovery, Richard!! And you are right — we’re jaded with all these championships hehehe

  4. Hi Ashley! Sorry if you’ve shared this before, but what type of manual pump do you use? Would you recommend it? Thanks so much1

    1. Hi Bri! I have this one: https://amzn.to/2y3m5rA — quite honestly, I like it MORE than the regular pump. It’s SO easy to use, even though I was scared of it at first. I brought it on my trip to Florida too, just in case. Cleans up easily, is light, fits in a small-ish purse and you can even use it WHILE nursing on one side.

  5. Happy Birthday to your mom!! I’m sure she was thrilled you decided to visit 🙂

    Oh my goodness, lil’ Brady just looks so handsome!! You both look so happy! Have a great visit!

    1. You are so sweet, Jessie! Thank you so much! Brady is definitely getting big! And yessss, my Mom is always happy for a visit — especially Brady’s first trip to Florida. Have a great weekend, my friend!! Hope all is well!

  6. I am addicted to gel manicures but despise taking the time to get them done as well. Baby free time is so rare and it feels like a waste but I can’t do bare or my own nails. I had nothing on for the end of pregnancy and first 6 weeks or so post baby and I just don’t feel as good. I’m interesting in this SNS I’ve never heard of it! And Brady seems like a great traveller!

    1. I TOTALLLLY think baby-free time should not be wasted on manicures, so I agree. But we look at our hands so much, they need to look nice hahah! 🙂 I think you should find out about SNS at your salon — they may not list it on their website, but it’s safer and better. Give it a try, Rose!

  7. Good job on flying alone with Brady!! I haven’t flown alone with either child yet, haha. Maybe someday. Your blogger event sounded fun, excited to hear more about it!

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