Three things that are totally making me happy right now

Hi, friends! Sending all sorts of Happy Friday thoughts your way. And if you’re about to launch into a long weekend for Labor Day in the U.S., then here are three cheers for you!

I hope you’ve been having a great week up until now. We saw the temperatures increase back into the 100s here for a few days, which was not fun. And my hand nearly fell off from writing thank-you notes to all of the sweet and generous people who have sent baby gifts to Dave and me (terrible problem to have, right?). Another couple of highlights were when I met a friend for a sweaty and fairly aerobic walk around the Lafayette Reservoir (Rudy got to come along) and a mid-week dinner date with Dave to True Food Kitchen (I picked the restaurant, obviously). Overall, a good week. And just look at Rudy’s little teeth in this pic …

Ashley and Rudy at Lafayette Reservoir by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s a similar tank, my sunglasses and a similar hat.)

Before we get started with today’s favorites, if you’ve been meaning to donate to help the flood and disaster relief efforts in Texas, here’s the Hurricane Harvey Relief website, full of ways you can provide support. And off we go …

#1 Fit and Fertile on the POPSUGAR Fitness site

I was so excited a few weeks ago, when the POPSUGAR Fitness team reached out to me and asked if I would write an original piece sharing my story about healing my body and what I learned about the relationship between fitness and fertility, (all of which you can read about in detail in my ebook “Fit and Fertile“) for their site.

I loved being able to get this piece out there to a wider audience, so that more and more people and women can know about this important topic in the fitness industry! 

Ashley's piece on POPSUGAR Fitness about fertility by A Lady Goes West

In case you missed it, here’s the story: “Can You Be Too Fit to Be Fertile? One Fitness Instructor’s Story of Healing and Discovery.” Thanks, POPSUGAR!

#2 Delicious Ben & Jerry’s One Love Ice Cream

Oh look she’s talking about ice cream again … eye roll. Yes, I’m a creature of habit and have taken on an insatiable craving for ice cream since getting through my first trimester of pregnancy. And for all of you special and patient readers who haven’t gotten too annoyed with me yet, the ice cream pictures and chatter continue today. But with this recommendation right here, well, it’s worth the mention, believe me.

Ben & Jerry's One Love ice cream by A Lady Goes West

I love to try all the healthy new ice cream varieties, and eat them a lot, but I also like to eat the completely not healthy varieties of ice cream, because sometimes that’s the whole point of dessert.

Every Sunday, Dave brings me home a new pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and it’s usually one of the same small rotation of flavors, like red velvet or strawberry cheesecake. Well this past Sunday, something new appeared. At first I was skeptical, because it didn’t sound as decadent as I normally would like. But it is now my new favorite pint of ice cream around, because the banana flavor mixed with caramel, graham cracker and fudge is beyond delicious. Bob Marley’s Limited Batch One Love is the name, which has a little ring to it, wouldn’t you agree? Do yourself a favor, ice cream lovers, and try this one out. It literally makes me smile. Is that bad?

#3 A super fancy Miele appliance and event

Okay, so you know you’re an adult when you start getting excited about appliances, but hear me out with this one: A few weeks ago, shortly after Dave and I got back from our babymoon to Santa Barbara, I attended an event hosted by Miele USA appliance brand at a local appliance center. Glamorous, right? But the thing is — it was. There was valet parking, a red carpet entrance, a step-and-repeat for pictures, fancy finger foods and even a cooking demo by popular Top Chef‘s Casey Thompson, who just happens to be based nearby in Napa. Recognize her?

Chef Casey Thompson at the Miele event by A Lady Goes West

The event was being held to celebrate the opening of a new “Miele Innovation Center,” which is basically a store-within-a-store showcasing all of the high-end Miele appliances for potential buyers in Pleasant Hill (the next town over from me in Walnut Creek). I honestly didn’t even know how to pronounce Miele when I went to the event, but I learned a ton about the company while I was there and came away a fan. The head honchos from the company’s German headquarters were in attendance too, and they were all very tall and well dressed and gave some nice remarks to the crowd.

While there, I learned how Miele rigorously tests all of its appliances, like ovens, stoves, fridges, dishwashers, wine coolers, vacuums and washers and dryers and more, as well as has proprietary German engineering standards. I also learned that they design their products to last at least 20 years, and all of that testing and quality is what makes the price point a little higher than your average appliance. Basically, it’s good stuff, and it looks good too …

Miele Complete C3 canister vacuum by A Lady Goes West

And here’s the best part: The Miele people are so darn nice, that they let me pick out a vacuum cleaner as a thanks for coming to support the event. And in order to figure out which one would work for me, I used their online vacuum quiz to get the best match for my needs. How cool is that? I took the test, and it showed that a canister was the one for me — the Miele Complete C3 Alize. And it just happens to be a shade of one of my favorite colors — cream! 

Miele canister vacuum by A Lady Goes West

So I had never tried a canister vacuum before and had certainly never used anything as high-quality as this Miele deal. It’s so powerful, well-designed, light, quiet and basically useful for any type of space. Dave and I are BIG fans of our new toy — although I must admit there is a smaller and furrier member of our family who does not like the new addition at all. And I won’t call him out by name, for the sake of his privacy.

Nonetheless, we’ve effortlessly vacuumed the stairs in our townhouse, our wood floors, and even the interior of our cars with this one contraption (and I’ve never owned a tool good enough to really clean out a car, and sometimes find myself at the gas station pay-per-minute vacuum just to get the job done).

Sorry for being a dork, but this new vacuum makes me one seriously happy gal, particularly as I continue to tidy, organize, clean and nest as my pregnancy nears its end. Woohoo! Thanks to the Miele folks! 

More of my favorite links from the week 

Always a reading machine, here are a few things I loved from around the Web …

  • BODY REALNESS: My blogging friend, Gina, opened up about some surgeries she recently had, including having her breast implants removed and getting her abs fixed after two pregnancies. Super honest post, which I loved to read. The comments are great too!
  • WELLNESS: This is interesting for all you lovers of anti-inflammatory pills out there. That medicine could be messing up your muscle growth.
  • FITNESS: Don’t forget about your back, people. I was happy to provide a little bit of input for this article on exercises to improve your rear view.
  • FOOD: Who isn’t excited about Whole Foods dropping their prices? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a few products showing how Whole Foods stacks up against Trader Joe’s now.

And I hope you didn’t miss any of these posts from A Lady Goes West …

Also, congrats to Courtney and Patricia, who won copies of “Blogger to Author” from last week’s giveaway in this post.

And if you’re planning to check out the Labor Day deals this weekend, looks like Gap is offering 50 percent off (best place to buy maternity activewear, if you ask me!), and Macy’s is offering free shipping and 15 percent off too! Shop away!

I hope you have a great weekend, my friends! I’ll see you over on Instagram until we meet here again. πŸ™‚ 

Just a few fun things to read and smile about on A Lady Goes West ... Share on X

Questions of the day

What are you up to this weekend? Do you have an extra day off?

What’s something honest and open you’ve read recently? Share the link!

What’s one thing that’s making you happy this week?



    1. Hi Court! Yes! I really hope you like it! And if you don’t, I mean … it’s ice cream, so you’ll still SORTA like it hahah! Happy Friday, gal! Enjoy your long weekend!

    1. HAHAHHAHA OMG — just watched it!! Loved it!! That is so funny hahahah! Get that yellow binder!! Thank you for sharing this little giggle for my morning, Maureen. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Carrie! You’ve heard right. Walnut Creek is insane. I love it here, but I mean, how do we have temperatures 30 degrees higher than you when we are so darn close? Take me back to the City hahahaha! Happy Friday, gal! I bet you are up to something fun this weekend. ENJOY!

  1. OK I think I NEED to try that One Love ice cream! It sounds amazing.

    I also sing praises about Miele vaccums. My mom always had one growing up – she received hers for her wedding and it worked well for 30+ years! She ended up getting one of the canister vaccuums for me for my wedding shower last year and I love the thing. It’s so quiet and powerful and definitely built to last.

    I do have a long weekend and I’m headed to NY state for a wedding! Have a good one!

    1. Hi Traci! So cool! The vacuum lasted 30 years? That’s pretty amazing! My last vacuum was NOT nice, and so I can totally tell the difference now that I have a nice one. Glad you are a fan too. Hope you have SOOO much fun at the wedding! Labor Day weddings are popular for sure. Happy Friday, lady!

  2. WOOHOO! Congratulations on Fit and Fertile being #1 on Pop Sugar!

    One thing that’s making me really happy lately is just realizing that God is working everything for good in my life, and I don’t need to worry.

    1. Hi Emily! You are so darn positive, lady! That is a GIFT! Hold onto it! I LOVE IT! And keep spreading all of your joy. Thank you for being here and saying hi and always making me smile. Happy Friday!

    1. Hi Susie! She was super cool in person and very fit looking too, if I may say hehehe. I wish I could cook like her — although then Dave wouldn’t do all of our cooking, and that wouldn’t be fun hahaha! Happy Friday, lady!

  3. Congrats on being featured on Popsugar! That’s so awesome. And I wish I could send you some of our cooler temperatures we’ve been having lately. Usually August here is HOT and humid, but it’s been in the low 70’s all week, so weird.

    Tom’s first football game is tonight, so my life will revolve around football this weekend, lol. Happy Friday Ashley!

    1. Hi Sarah! Happy Friday! hahahah! I know! Sunday dessert surprises are my favorite! Screenshot that to share with your man ahhaha! Hope you have a fab long weekend, lady!

  4. Woah does that ice cream flavor sound dreamy!! This weekend I have a long run with the team Saturday morning and then I’m hoping to sleeeeeep on Sunday because we just had a full week of 5:45 am practices and I’m so ready to not wake up before the sunrises haha. Monday is my last day of summer break and my team is having a pool party after practice so that should be fun πŸ™‚ ! Even though I may feel blah when I first wake up, seeing the sunrise and having the whole day open after our extra-early practices has been nice. I also really enjoyed taking my calculus studying to a local cafe! Such a nice change of environment.


    1. Hi Meah! Happy Friday! I actually love early morning workouts like you’ve been doing, even if the getting up part is tiring! You really do get SO much more done all day. Props to you for making it through all week of them. And studying at a cafe is way more fun than studying at home hehee. Enjoy your weekend and pool party, lady! πŸ™‚

  5. Congrats on the Popsugar post – as you know, I downloaded and devoured the book the very morning it available. Excellent read, and I’m not one bit surprised that they felt the same! πŸ™‚

    We have friends coming into town from Philly, so we are hoping to log a few more hours on our boat before it’s time to put her away for winter. Ice cream just might have to happen, too!

    As for the Miele appliances, we LOVE our Miele washer and dryer! I’m gonna dork out for a second here, too, because very few things bring me more joy than how crazy bright white their “whitest whites” cycle leave my close, lol.?? Though our love for Dysons bleed deep, one day I WILL have a Miele canister vac just like yours!☝?

    Enjoy your holiday weekend, friend!?✨

    1. Hi Lindsay! Ohhhh I’d LOVE to have the Miele washer and dryer hahha — dorking out for important appliances is fine by me. And also, that’s so cool you get to enjoy a few more trips on the boat before winter. Have so much fun, my friend!! πŸ™‚

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