This is an actual day in my life from start to finish

Whenever I feel low on inspiration and put out a call for requests on Instagram or in the Facebook group, one of the most popular topics that comes up is “day in the life” posts. Well, ask, and you shall receive.

I have to admit, I love reading these types of posts from others, but for some reason, I never like to do them on here. I don’t find my life super exciting during the week, but I also know that sometimes we just want to see and hear about the r-e-a-l.

So let’s do it: Here’s a day from beginning to end. This day took place last week on Wednesday, one of two days of the week that Brady goes to preschool. And we’re getting detailed up in here — like REALLY detailed — complete with iPhone pictures taken on the spot to document the happenings, and this ended up turning into the longest post ever. Please enjoy …

This is an actual day in my life from start to finish

This is an actual day in my life from start to finish by A Lady Goes West

Morning: Wake-up, morning routine and Brady’s preschool drop-off

6:45 a.m.ish — I don’t know exactly what time I woke up this morning, because I don’t look at my phone right away (I have a hard no-phone-in-the-bed rule, which I occasionally break on the weekends). But I could hear Dave in the shower, and I saw that it was still dark out under the shades. I felt Rudy wrapped around my head on my pillow (yes, this is how I wake up, and if you have a problem with it, we can’t be friends), so I started petting him and pulled my slumber mask all the way off my face.

7 a.m. — My alarm on my phone went off, so at that point I knew the official time, because it’s set for 7 a.m. every day. Just as it was going off, Dave popped over to kiss me and Rudy goodbye, so he could start his long commute to the City for work. He doesn’t get to see Brady in the morning anymore, now that his office moved from Oakland to the Mission Bay area of San Francisco, so that’s unfortunate. But it does mean that I get a little alone time in the morning, which is fine by me.

7:15 a.m. — I don’t just hop right out of bed any longer. I used to be able to before Brady (well, I used to have already taught a full workout class by this time back in the day), but now I cherish the quiet in the morning too much, so I have to force myself to let go of Rudy and get up. Once I do, I open the shades, turn off the various fans we have going overnight, go to the bathroom, scrape my tongue and brush my teeth. (Not scraping your tongue yet? Get on it. Here’s the one that both Dave and I use every morning and night.) I had already laid out my athleisure outfit for the day the night before, so I grabbed that and hopped into the shower immediately. I don’t always shower in the morning, but now that I’m primarily working out in the afternoon, I like to get do a rinse-off first thing. I showered quickly, got dressed, brushed my hair into a tight low braid (hairstyle of choice, along with a tight bun), and then I headed out to the kitchen.

7:30 a.m. — I’m a busybody and a neat freak, so there are some things I always do first off. For real here: Fluff the couch cushions, put away the pots and pans that were drying overnight, refill Rudy’s water bowl and food bowl, fill up Brady’s milk cup and start to warm it up, refill my own water (then chug a full glass — a morning essential for me to get rehydrated after a night of sleep), and put my backpack and shoes by the door.

7:45 a.m. — I headed back to my room to put just a tiny bit of makeup on. On weekdays, I do a 2-minute routine, including this tinted moisturizer with SPF, concealer, eyebrow pencil and mascara and lipgloss. Once I was officially ready for the day, I let Rudy outside, then stripped the bed and loaded the sheets from our bed with some other white clothes into the washer — but I didn’t start it yet.

7:50 a.m. — Time to get Brady up. He’s actually probably been up for about 30 minutes or so, but he just sits in his crib chatting with his stuffed animals. It’s actually quite awesome. Anywho, this morning, I got him up, got him dressed for the day (I had set his outfit out the night before), put sunscreen on his face and legs, swapped out the water in his humidifier and then stripped his bed too and added all that to the washing machine and started it.

8 a.m. — While I was getting the laundry going, Brady had already collected a puzzle, truck and dinosaurs from the playroom and brought it all into the family room. While he was playing, I brought over his warmed-up milk in his “big boy sippy cup” (which we switched to from a bottle after his 2-year doctor’s appointment check-up and were told it was time to ditch the bottle). I held the sippy cup for him while he played. Yup. This is mom life. I also read him a story during this time. Once the sippy cup was done, I brought over his breakfast, which was a banana chopped up with a slab of almond butter on it. Then we’ve moved to the couch, and I fed him most of his breakfast bite by bite, while we read a story. Rudy watched every single bite hoping something would fall. It didn’t.

8:30 a.m. — Once we played, had breakfast, brushed teeth, brushed hair (a futile assignment on little Brady, as his curls spring back up in no time), we loaded into the car. Truth be told, I’m usually already exhausted by this point, because I have to chase him around to get him into the car and put a million things away that get left in our path.

8:45 a.m. — I dropped Brady off at preschool, put his backpack in his cubbie, put some diapers in his assigned diaper caddy (he was running low at school), signed him in, gave him a kiss and headed off. He is always excited to be there, even if he looks a little nervous in photos. He hasn’t cried once, and he’s been going for three weeks now, two mornings a week.

Sweet Brady at preschool by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

Morning: Solo work time at a coffee shop and a little bit of chores

9 a.m. — I almost always have an exact plan of where I’m going after I drop Brady, but today I was deciding between two coffee shops, and actually went in one direction, then turned around. I ended up at Rooted, a local coffee shop, and I had a fully stamped frequent buyer card this day, which meant I got a free pumpkin spice latte made with almond milk. Yum. The coffee shop was busy, so I played on my phone while waiting and finally got a table outside to work.

Ashley at Rooted by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

9:15 a.m. — Yes! Work time! I opened up my computer, answered some emails that came in overnight, then opened up my Precision Nutrition certification course and started reading chapter 2. There are 20 total chapters and 20 total exams, and I’m planning to spread the work out over the next few months, so am just taking it slow. As I was reading the text, I realized that I haven’t done a “day in the life” post in a long time, so I switched gears and began this post.

I try not to switch tasks too much, but I made an exception this day, knowing I wanted to get this post done before the weekend, so I didn’t have to do too much on the weekend (spoiler alert: I didn’t finish this post and ended up working on it during the weekend, as usual, along with 8 million other things). As I worked on this post, I noticed it hit 1,100 words before I even finished the 9:15 a.m. mark, so realized it was going to be a long one.

Also, embarrassingly enough: Breakfast on this day came along with me: a Larabar and a banana. No, this is not a well-rounded breakfast, and not one that I would suggest. But it sure was tasty and did the trick on-the-go along with my latte. I’ve found that breakfast is a bit rushed for me on days I have to get Brady out the door for school, so my eating waits until later. 

Morning food, bar and banana by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

10:30 a.m. — Once I hit a good stopping point, I packed up and headed home to swap the laundry, start a new load, empty the garbages and then I sat down to finally do my daily meditation using the Calm app. On days Brady is not at preschool, I get the meditation done before he gets up, but let it wait until later on this day. During this time, I also read a chapter from this reflection book I’ve shared about in a current faves post, then I answered a couple of emails and took my daily vitamins. I don’t always come home while Brady is at preschool, usually just saving the time for a work blitz wherever I’m stationed, but today I wanted to keep the chores moving.

11 a.m. — I’m all over the place this day, because after I completed the things I wanted to at home, I decided to get back in the car and head to the library to work for for 35 minutes until preschool pick-up — the good news is the library is on the way to preschool anyhow, so it’s convenient. Why not stay at home? Because I wanted to be out and about. I’m home A LOT with Brady’s sleep schedule, so I feel like I shouldn’t be at home during his preschool mornings — maybe that’ll change as he’s been in school longer. On this day, once I was at the library, I put together some skincare and makeup recommendations for a lovely lady who answered my skincare survey. And I must admit, answering these surveys has quickly become a favorite activity for me, because I get to problem solve. Haven’t filled one out and want to get Beautycounter recommendations? Fill it out here.

11:45 a.m. — I left the library with just enough time to swing by preschool and be waiting at the door right when it opened up, and the little kiddos were released. I went back into Brady’s classroom to find him and the other tiny tots (they are the youngest in the school at 2-years-old) sitting on the floor waiting for their parents to come get them. So cute! I gathered him up and then had to chase him around the courtyard and wrangle him into the car, which is a regular occurrence. Good times!

Mid-day: Our lunches, Brady’s nap and work time at home

12 p.m. — When we got home, because I had already stopped by to do a few things, I didn’t have any major to-dos, other than getting Brady’s lunch ready. He played with some toys while I pulled out his lunch of the day: fresh pumpkin, yogurt and some leftover banana with almond butter. He fed himself messily with his spoon.

Brady eating lunch by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

After he finished eating, we both headed to the couch together to play. He’s so darn cute and sweet, and I love these little moment when we’re just hanging together. Funny thing: We have Sonos speakers right behind the couch, and he knows how to turn on the music, so he does that and then giggles and rolls around next to me. I hopped up from playtime right at the end to wash up a white sweet potato and throw it in the oven for my lunch later.

1 p.m. — We made it to nap-time! Right at 1 p.m., I took Brady back to his room, changed him into his sleep-sack, which we’ve been having him nap in lately, and then we read two stories in the glider, before I gave him his second warmed-up sippy cup of milk of the day. He’s super easy to get down, and so I dropped him in his crib with his favorite stuffed animal puppy and headed out. It always takes him a while to get to sleep, but he always does, and he loves to be in his crib. (Major knock on wood.)

Reading Brady stories by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

1:10 p.m. — I almost never do chores when Brady is napping (nap time = work time), but today I decided to put the sheets back on my bed quickly, before heading to the kitchen to make my lunch. At this point, my sweet potato was almost ready, but needed just a bit more time, so I covered it in a wet paper towel and dropped it in the microwave for 2 minutes to finish cooking, while I prepared my eggs and got the lunch plate ready, with some additional guacamole and seasonings. Easy lunches are key for me!

1:20 p.m. — I ate lunch at the coffee table while watching a couple of Beautycounter videos from some women in my team — I love watching these videos because I always learn so much. Once I was done with those, I switched gears and began reading a chapter from my Precision Nutrition book (yes, the one that I started earlier and abandoned). Once again, I try not to switch tasks so often, but this day had a lot of that.

Sweet potato lunch by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019-2

After I finished eating my lunch, I grabbed a date, made some tea and even moved into my office to work, which is always a win for me. I tend to sit on the couch to work, and I know that’s not an ideal working arrangement physically or mentally, but it’s hard to quit it — Rudy is right there, and it just seems easier to plop down. But I do better in my office. In fact, once I moved into the office on this day, I actually got through the whole Precision Nutrition chapter, case studies, workbook sections and the exam — woohoo. In this chapter, we learned all about how to help and support someone through behavior change — a pillar of good nutrition coaching, which of course, I’ll share more about soon.

3:30 p.m. — My baby monitor died today for some reason during the nap, but I could hear that Brady was up a bit earlier than normal (he usually gets up just before 4 p.m.), so I decided to go in, get him up, change his diaper, and take him into my room to sit on the bed with a book. He read his book (as in, said gibberish and turned the pages) and ate some crackers while I folded laundry. Once I was done folding, we read the story together again in the family room and got ready to head out.

Ashley and Brady at home on couch by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

Afternoon: Gym trip to work out and teach a class

4:15 p.m. — It’s gym time! If it were up to me, I’d get all my workouts done in the morning and then teach one evening class a week (I do love teaching in the evening, because the energy is so good, but my body likes to work out in the mornings much more). However, right now, because of scheduling and preschool, we’re at the gym every afternoon. I teach in the afternoon on Tuesday and Wednesday and teach at noon on Thursday, so it’s all over the place.

On this day, we headed to the gym earlier than usual so I could do a little working out before I taught my class — I’ve been low on resistance training, so wanted to do some of that. I dropped Brady in kid-care, and then I completed the following, while listening to an episode of the “Rise Podcast” from Rachel Hollis, one of my current faves for business and personal development inspiration …

Roman chair by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019


3 minutes of incline walking on treadmill, 4.5 percent, 4.5 mph, no holding on

Working set:

Back extensions holding a large plate, 10 reps
Leg lifts on the Roman chair (piece of equipment shown above), 10 reps
Push-ups with feet elevated on bench, 10 reps

I repeated that working set four times through, building up a good sweat in very little time, then I headed to clock in, change into my barre socks, put on my mic belt and get ready to teach class.

5 p.m. — Time to teach Bootybarre to 17 lovely ladies. My Wednesday evening class is by far my smallest class of the week for some reason, but the ladies who do show each week are sweet and dedicated, and we get a good workout in. I have switched up a few of the sections in the class recently to feature dumbbells while at the barre, and everyone is definitely feeling the burn, which I love to see! After everyone headed out I did grab one quick post-workout selfie.

After teaching barre by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

6:10 p.m. — I cleaned up, clocked out, grabbed Brady from kid-care and we headed outside. Leaving the gym is not a quick process, because we have to visit every bike and motorcycle in the parking lot, then stop to watch the BART train go by. Literally, it takes like 10 minutes to hit all our stops before we can head to the car. I have to remind him he can’t touch the bikes, but boy, he always wants to touch the bikes. Oh, toddlers.

Evening: Brady’s dinner and night-time routine and more work

6:20 p.m. — The good news is that this day we were expecting Dave home at a reasonable time. So as soon as we got home, I grabbed Rudy from inside the house, let Brady out of the car, and we waited outside in the driveway for Dave. (Sounds strange, but it isn’t, I promise.) During this time, Brady pulled out a little carry-on suitcase we keep in the garage and drug it around the driveway — one of his favorite activities. I grabbed a seat in one of the Adirondacks on our front patio area and watched it all go down. Then, finally, Dave pulled up, Brady raced to his car and got in, and I gave Dave a quick kiss before heading inside.

6:30 p.m. — I left the boys outside and went in to prepare Brady’s dinner. On this night, he had a line-up of leftover pizza, black beans, peas, carrots and even a little more pumpkin. I left the plate on his high-chair tray, put all my gym stuff away, and then sat down on the couch to post a feed picture on Instagram. I wasn’t on social media all day, outside of posting a few quick IG stories during Brady’s nap, so it was time to catch up.

This night, a topic came to mind that I wanted to talk about, so I edited the picture, posted it with a caption and spent about 30 minutes engaging with other accounts, answering comments and all of that. Here’s the post, in case you missed it. During this time, Dave brought Brady in to eat dinner, and I could see it all happening in the kitchen, but I sat on the couch with my phone hidden by the cushions, so Brady didn’t see me on it. (Although he probably knew what I was doing, but still, I feel better not focusing on my phone too much right in front of his face.) 

7 p.m. — As Brady was finishing up dinner with Dave in the kitchen, I opened up my computer to answer some emails and do some blog stuff. I got carried away with computer work for a full hour, only stopping two times to hug Brady’s naked body before bath-time and then to kiss his little forehead before he got in his crib. Dave usually handles the full night-time routine when he is home with us, which is great. Dave came back after putting Brady down and reminded me that I should probably hop in the shower, as I was still in my sweaty gym clothes. This is a common occurrence, because I always get trapped on the computer or phone and delay my evening shower. It’s hard, because there’s always more work I want to do, because my work windows are so scattered.

Evening: Our dinner, more work and finally bedtime 

8 p.m. — I finally headed to the shower, and this one was a long one, because I actually washed my hair — a miracle, because it only happens 1 to 2 times a week. However, I knew I would be heading out the next evening for the Warriors season opener game and wouldn’t have as much time to wash my hair then, so I did it this night. I’ve been using a conditioning treatment that has to sit in your hair for a long time, so I even brought my phone into the bathroom to keep track of the time it was marinating. Yup! After the shower, I did my skincare routine (Countertime, baby!), applied my topical magnesium to my stomach (for sleep, of course) and made it back out to the family room just in time for dinner, with a hair towel on my head.

8:40 p.m. — Yes, we eat late. Every single night. And you guys already know this about me. I know FULL well that it’s ideal to eat earlier, but we just don’t make it happen, so oh well. Anywho, as I made it back to the kitchen, Dave was finishing up plating our dinner (yay for Dave doing the night-time routine and making dinner — CLUTCH — but totally makes up for all the times I’m alone handling everything else, often during the evenings when Dave works events and such).

Our usual weekday line-up for dinner is comprised of two Qrunch quinoa veggie burgers each, eggs, sliced-up avocado and a kale and pepper sautéed mixture that I get from the frozen foods section of Whole Foods. It’s a delicious and filling plate of food, and I thoroughly enjoy it. During dinner, we chatted about our days and discussed the upcoming events and weekends. We always talk about being better at eating at our real dining table — but life happens and we eat at the coffee table in front of the TV. Just being real here …

9 p.m. — I cleaned up dinner and grabbed our respective desserts — chocolate milk and a date for Dave, and a warmed-up mug of Organifi GOLD and two dates for me (15 percent off the GOLD goodness with the code ALADYGOESWEST, btw). So delicious, and I literally look forward to this each night. On most nights of the week, once dinner is complete, I close my computer and turn my phone on night mode and lay on the couch with Dave to watch TV for my official “veg out” mode. (We’re currently watching “Million Dollar Listing New York” or “Shark Tank.”) But, on this day, sadly, which I realized I would have to document in this post in effort of full transparency, I just kept working. Dave watched some basketball, while I sat next to him typing away. Not the best way to spend the evening, but I truly like all the things I’m working on, and I knew I would have less time the following day.

10 p.m. — Finally, I shut my computer and headed to bed, as did Dave and Rudy. I love to read for a little bit before going to sleep, and so that’s what I did. I had just picked up this book, “Good Riddance” from the library, and it’s good so far — fiction, yay — a nice change of pace for me, because it’s a light one.

Good Riddance book by A Lady Goes West -- October 2019

10:30 p.m. — I read for about 30 minutes and then it was lights out. I fell asleep really quickly once the book got put away, and I love that. So there you have it! The day is complete, from beginning to end.

Oh my gosh, did you make it all the way through? Wow! This turned into quite the long blog post, but hey, I told you I’d keep it detailed. Let’s dissect …

A few things about this day …

This was not exactly a perfect day. And I am definitely not a perfect person. There are many things I know I could and should do differently, especially because I didn’t really have any official downtime, I ate breakfast on the go, switched tasks a million times and didn’t even turn my computer off until 10 p.m.. But I will say that I completed every single thing on my to-do list this day, played a lot with sweet Brady without any distractions, exercised in a way that felt good on my body, taught a class, spent a little bit of time with Dave, and overall felt like it was a good day — a fairly reasonable representation of what weekdays are like for us right now. Honestly, I feel a little exposed sharing this full-day recap post, but hey, realness is real. And we’re all just doing the best we can, right? 🙂 

I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, my friends! Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

What time do you eat dinner every night?

What show are you watching on TV right now?

Are you a morning or evening exerciser?

What would you be embarrassed to share in your full-day recap?

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  1. I love this style of post, thanks for sharing!
    Actually a major take away for me – skin care routine earlier in the evening! Most nights after work I will walk the dog or do my workout, super quick shower, eat dinner, veg in front of the tv… then when it gets to bedtime I brush my teeth but am tired so neglect the skincare… I noticed you do this earlier in the evening and I think I will try that so that its all done before the couch time!

    1. Hi Iona! Thank YOU for reading and always saying hi — I appreciate you! Yesss about the skincare. Of course, you want to make sure you don’t rub any of it off or expose yourself too much to cooking/steam/environment once you’ve got your nighttime products on — but I agree that I would skip it if I did it RIGHT before bed, when I’m too tired. Right after the evening shower works for me. 🙂 Have a great day!!!!

    1. Good for you, Alaina. It’s a great habit for you to eat earlier — I know one day we’ll have to eat earlier so we can actually eat with Brady. And hey, nighttime snacks are fun too. Hope you have a great day, my friend! 🙂

  2. Thanks for being transparent in sharing your day! All we can do as working moms is the best we can do and I think we are all doing great! We try to eat dinner no later than 6:30 but on nights with evening activities like swim lessons that doesn’t happen. As long as we eat together though, time doesn’t really matter.

    1. Hi Erin! Transparency always works better for me — no need to cover up, right? I love that you guys are eating together — we really need to figure out how to make that happen for dinner one day with Brady! Have a great day, and keep up the good work doing your best. 🙂

  3. Ashley this was such a joy to read! This might sound funny, but I cannot wait to be a fitness mom like you. You work hard at your job, and as a wife and mother. Thank you for writing 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh, you are TOO sweet! I saw your beautiful momma and sis today at the gym, by the way. You will make one AWESOME fitness momma one day! 🙂

  4. Fun to read and thanks for sharing!
    My kids are teenagers now and it’s really hard to find the time for dinners with us all together- evening sports, etc. Trying to figure it out, too:)

    1. Hi Amy! Funny how the stages change and things get hard again! 🙂 Thank you for sharing, and good luck on figuring it out. Have a wonderful day!!

  5. Loved this post! Also, I’m dying to hear your (very preliminary — I know you are just digging in!) review/thoughts on the PN course!! I’m considering the April sign-up! <3

    1. Hi Laura! I will definitely keep you posted on the PN certification — so far so good! It’s a mix of online and book with the exams. Stay tuned for more. 🙂 Have a great day!!

  6. Thank you for keeping it real! I am a newer reader/follower (I am actually not sure how I found your blog!) but have an almost 17 month old son, so I am always curious what other parents’ days look like. Also, what sippy cup are you using?

    1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for reading and saying hi. That’s great your son is not too far behind Brady, so you can see a little preview hahaha! This sippy cup is what we use for the milk — I heat up the milk in a glass bottle for just a tiny bit, then transfer it into this one … 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing! Our day is similar in ways. No need to apologize. We moms are busy and doing the best that we can! You’re very productive and use your time wisely!

    1. Thank you, Jessie! You are right — there’s always a lot to handle as a mom, so you just do what you can in the best way you know how. Keep up the great work, momma. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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