Sweet Friday favorites and a sweet giveaway

Hi, friends! Welcome to summer! This past week, we enjoyed the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, called the Summer Solstice, and it’s now the officially the summer season. For a lot of people, the Summer Solstice is just another day, but for some more spiritual folks, it marks a time when we should all take a moment to scan our lives and think about what’s working and what’s out of alignment. The change in seasons is the perfect time to eliminate what’s not serving you and then focus on enjoying the flow of what is working for you. So think about that! πŸ™‚

But for now, let’s keep it light with my latest faves and a sweet giveaway just for you!

My favorite article of the week: My story on Mindbodygreen

As a writer and avid reader, I hold some websites up as the gold standard for quality, and for the last few years, Mindbodygreen has absolutely been the best health website on the Internet. And that’s why I’m so darn excited that I was able to write an original piece and share my story on the MBG site.

I had about a week’s notice that my article would appear, and yet, seeing it published was even better than I had anticipated. Here’s my piece: “The 4 Things I Had to Do to Get Pregnant While Working as a Group Fitness Instructor.” 

Story on Mindbodygreen by A Lady Goes West

I woke up on Tuesday morning to see the article on the homepage of MBG and see a bunch of posts tagging me, which is awesome. Not only am I happy to appear on my favorite website, but I’m also glad that my story is now in front of a bigger audience, meaning more people who are struggling with the fertility and fitness issues I struggled with can now have some hope and helpful tools to recover.

I received a ton of private messages and a bunch of new sales of “Fit & Fertile” after the article went live too. Woohoo! Overall, this was definitely the highlight of my week!

My favorite healthy snack of the week: Bare Snacks chia coconut bites

Clean, easy and healthy snacks are my jam. My friends at Bare Snacks recently sent me a few bags of the brand’s brand new chia coconut bites to sample this week, and I’ve successfully finished multiple bags, because they are SO darn good. They go down quickly!

What should you know about these made-in-San Francisco bites? They are perfectly baked to crunch perfection, have only a few ingredients, are gluten free and contain the beneficial superfood, chia seeds.

Tasty Bare Snack coconut and chia bites by A Lady Goes West

I could definitely see adding some of these chia-filled bites to a yogurt parfait or even to the top of a piece of toast as some extra crunch. But quite honestly, I’ve been eating them straight up and loving it.

You can find Bare Snacks new chia coconut bites at your local grocery store, or check the search here. By the way, I am giving away a few bags of Bare Snacks over on Instagram, so head to that post to check it out and enter, because it closes today!

My favorite tasty treat of the week: Smashmallow premium marshmallows and giveaway

A few weeks ago, I went to Sonoma for a press event and came away with a gift bag containing all sorts of goodies from Sonoma County. One of the items in there was a bag of Smashmallow premium snackable marshmallows, and the packaging was so intriguing that I tried them right away. Boy was I excited at what I tasted!

The marshmallows are square, not round, and have a very pleasing texture, as well as a rich taste. I immediately checked the label to see that these babies were made from organic sugar, simple ingredients and are gluten free. Yay!

Smashmallow giveaway by A Lady Goes West

I love to have a small sweet bite after lunch and dinner (if I’m not having a large serving of ice cream, of course), and Smashmallow bites have been perfect for that, because you can eat four of them and still be under 100 calories.

So far, I’ve been trying all of the flavors, and I think that Strawberry & Cream is my top choice, but they are all good. What I have not done yet is try to make a s’more with them, and I have a feeling that would be the best s’more of my life.

And because you guys are the best, I love to do giveaways and I figured you could use something sweet — here’s your chance to win one bag of EACH flavor …

GIVEAWAY TIME: Win some Smashmallow!

I’m giving away one bag of each flavor to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open only to those who live in the U.S. (Sorry!). To win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post. The more comments, the more chances to win. To leave a comment, click on the headline of this post, then scroll to the bottom and enter your name, email and comment. By the way, your email will not be shared publicly, but I’ll use it to contact you if you win. Sound good? This giveaway will close on Monday, so act now! And here are all the things you can do to comment …

  1. Answer this question: What’s something sweet that happened in your week?
  2. Follow A Lady Goes West on Facebook
  3. Follow A Lady Goes West on Instagram
  4. Follow Snackapade on Instagram

My favorite links of the week

A couple of good things I found on the Internet this week …

  • BALANCE AND DIET: I’ve been talking about balanced 80/20-ish eating and living for a long time, because I don’t want to live a life without wine, birthday cake and white bread (and random treats with sugar like Smashmallow). And while you probably think it’s easy for me to eat a lot more carbs now and not worry as much about food because I’m pregnant and not really trying to be super fit, that’s actually not true. I still care about feeling good inside and outside, and I know healthy food makes me feel good and perform well. But I also know that my heart and soul feels pretty awesome eating ice cream and pizza, with gluten and real cheese. This post from fellow blogger and RD, Alex, is all about how she has also decided to stop being obsessed with eating clean and live her life too, and that often means eating things that are not vegan, plant-based or dairy-free, etc. Amen, sister.
  • FUN: Not really a link, but I’m loving the show “World of Dance.” So much talent!
  • FITNESS AND EXERCISE: It doesn’t matter how many times trainers explain that crunches are not the only way to work the abs, people still love crunches. I think it’s that burning feeling you get during sit-ups that makes you think you are building a 6-pack. Well, the truth is that there are more effective ways to work your core, but if you love crunches, then do them (but remember that abs are also partially made in the kitchen and based on your overall diet). I teach crunches in BODYPUMP classes, but that’s basically the only time you’ll find me doing them. However, because I know so many of you LOVE to crunch, make sure you’re doing it right. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when crunching.

And here’s what happened on A Lady Goes West recently …

Good luck in the giveaway! And as always, thank you for reading the blog today, my friends. You guys are the best. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚ 

Sweet favorites and a sweet #giveaway by @apstyle. Check it out ... Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

What’s one sweet thing that happened in your week?

What’s your favorite sweet flavor profile?



    1. Hi Bethany … I think that sometimes putting labels on yourself can make things even more difficult for sure. Balance is hard, but once you find the ability to have it — you never look back! And you will ALWAYS tend to sway more to one side or the other, and that’s totally okay, because it will eventually equal out if you listen to your body. Have a great Friday, lady! πŸ™‚

  1. Congratulations on getting your article published, how exciting! One sweet thing that happened this week was the official start of summer and mostly sunny days…although now it’s gray and raining here in PA again.

  2. My daughter made me breakfast on Monday before work since she woke up for school but there was no school

  3. Sweet favorites! My kind of post πŸ˜‰ I am all about finding and baking sweet treats but living and living a balanced life. And CONGRATS on the MBG article, that’s so amazing.

    My family is visiting this weekend for a wedding in Annapolis MD, so that’s my something sweet this week πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

    1. A wedding and family in town? YES, ma’am! Soak it up, lady! I know you miss them living away from them, so enjoy every moment! Happy Friday, pal!

  4. I follow you on facebook and instagram and something sweet that happened to me this week is I for once didn’t have any plans and got to relax!

  5. Congrats on getting your article published! That’s pretty cool!
    Something sweet that happened this week: My hubby graduated form PSU with his bachelors!!!! He worked fulltime and went to school part time for SEVEN years! I am so proud of him! I was an emotional mess at his ceremony!

    1. OMG, Brandy! I CANNOT imagine working and going to school — that’s incredible. Cheers to HIM and cheers to YOU for supporting him! πŸ™‚

  6. WOOHOOO!! Ashley, that is so amazing that MBG picked up your story. What a blessing. And I have heard of Bare Snacks; they look really yummy. (I’m not entering the giveaway; I just wanted to comment! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Emily! πŸ™‚ Bare Snacks are super yummy! And they are getting much more popular, so hopefully they are in your stores now. Have a great Friday and weekend, gal!

    1. No way!!! Where are you moving?? Good luck! I know what it’s like to pack up and move very far — it’s tough, but totally worth it if you have a great opportunity. πŸ™‚

  7. That is really exciting about your article!! Congrats lady! Hmm…something sweet that happened to me this week….my husband was off work today and I was able to take a nap, haha….that is a rare thing these days!!

  8. Something sweet that happened this week…………..When my 3 year old Grandson holds my face and plants a BIG kiss on me and tells me “He loves me to the moon and back” (has been something I have told him since the day he was born)

  9. One thing that happened this week- I auditioned to teach a class at my yoga studio. It went really well!

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