Wine-tasting party fun, Christmas cheer and my weekly workout report

The first weekend in December has come and gone, and with it was some good and bad. Today, I’m sharing adventures from a fun wine-tasting party, my weekly workout recap and a few other stories.  I’m glad you’re here, so sit back and stay a while …

Wine-tasting party with friends

This was a cool twist on a Christmas cocktail party for a group of friends. My friends Kylie and Jeff, who also live in Walnut Creek near us, host an annual party with a wine-tasting competition element. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect, as this was Dave and my first time going, but we were told to bring $10 a person as an entry fee, which would be given to the winner of the competition.

Ashley and Dave at Wine-Tasting Party by A Lady Goes West

Basically, the night was a regular party, but we were each given a paper to write down our choice as the most expensive and least expensive wine, which we each did a blind sampling of at our leisure at one of two spots in the house. The wine bottles were covered in brown paper and labeled with a number, and we had no way of knowing what was what. All six wines were Cabernet Sauvignon, but each was a different brand and price point. Being the competitor that I was, I got my testing and scoring done pretty early on in the party, but it didn’t help my chances. I thought all the varietals were good, and totally guessed wrong on which was the most expensive. 

Wine-tasting party by A Lady Goes West

The party itself was super fun to catch up with friends I haven’t in seen in a while. Everyone was dressed cute, and I made sure all who wanted one took a “couples pic” in front of the Christmas tree. I like to serve as photographer for everyone, and the girls always go for it, and their guys oblige.

We nibbled on cheese, olives (I brought those!), mini sandwiches, guacamole with pomegranate (a MUST-do addition to your next batch of guac), and of course, more wine. They even had a full bar outside and some spiced apple cider. The spiced apple cider was fantastic. Then, mid-way through the party the two winners were announced (not me or Dave), and instead of doing a tie-breaker, they elected to split the pot and each went home with $110. Not too shabby! 

Later that night, we also took a group photo, which is something I started up last year at a Christmas party and we always do. I’m in charge of getting everyone set up and positioning the camera and starting the timer … you can totally tell I was the last to arrive in this shot. The best part about this was that it took abut five minutes from start to finish, so a couple of the guys were done with it, which entertained us girls very much. 

Friends at the wine-tasting party by A Lady Goes West

Overall, it was a super festive and fun night, with an additional competitive twist. Good work to the hosts and party guests!

Christmas shopping, yoga and food

Saturday morning marked my first Saturday at home in Walnut Creek since the summer that I did not have to get up early to teach an 8 a.m. BODYPUMP class. The original instructor of the class came back after her extended leave, so I had to give the class up. Sadly. I loved that class! But I didn’t mind laying around lazily in the morning. With the extra time, I even attempted to make a pumpkin pancake, which ended up turning into a tasty pile of mush. (I was preparing to take a photo of it for Instagram, but that plan was thwarted when the pancake didn’t flip well in the pan and gradually got uglier and uglier.)

I headed out to a mid-morning yoga session at CorePower Yoga Walnut Creek, and the teacher was Debbie. I really enjoyed her delivery and she put on a class that was not overly difficult, but absolutely perfect. Because the room is heated, you get a good sweat going quickly, and that felt awesome. Debbie spent extra time giving me a massage at the end of class, so I left one happy yogi!

Salmon salad lunch by A Lady Goes West

Later that day, Dave and I went to Lettuce for lunch to get the tasty salad above, then started our Christmas shopping. I got two people finished up and felt pleased with that.

Decking the halls and dinner out

In the evening, we finally pulled out our Christmas decor and got the tree decked out. We put on some Christmas music and enjoyed lighting up the room. I LOVE having the tree and wish we had done it earlier. We’ll only be enjoying it for two weeks before we head to Florida, so clearly it will get to stay up way past the new year. 

Our Christmas Tree by A Lady Goes West

That night, we popped out for a casual meal at Walnut Creek Yacht Club, featuring white bread, fish tacos, a prawn platter and a chocolate tart, which we enjoyed at the bar. This is the restaurant that we go to most frequently, and we even have a little club member card. We’re not entirely sure what we get for it, but we present it when paying. Some food …

Fish Tacos by A Lady Goes West

Chocolate tart by A Lady Goes West

As usual, the meal was great. We were in and out in less than two ours. Our bartender/waiter was excellent, and the scene was just right. And you can’t miss this shot, compliments of Dave. Doing what I do best: eating!

Ashley eating a taco by A Lady Goes West

On Sunday morning, I woke up with a sore throat, which got worse as the day went on. Dave had been sick last week, and I was very happy that I was somehow able to avoid catching whatever he had. But apparently it was just delayed. Sunday featured laying around and watching crappy Christmas movies and trying to hydrate and rest. I napped, ate, napped and did a whole lot of nothing, which is hard for me. Hoping for a quick recovery this week, because ain’t nobody got time to be sick in December!

My weekly workout recap

Moving on, let’s talk sweat. Here’s a look at all of my recent exercise …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday: Walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, 6 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Took a one-hour Vinyasa flow class at CorePower, 6:30 a.m.
  • Thursday: Taught a one-hour Bootybarre class, 6 p.m.
  • Friday: Did a 30-minute full-body weights workout, 12 p.m.
  • Saturday: Took a one-hour Vinyasa flow class at CorePower, 11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

Overview of the week

You’ll see I’ve added the times of my workouts as a new addition. This is merely to show you that I don’t have a regular or ideal workout routine because of all the other things I have going on right now. If it were up to me, I would work out every single day at 9 a.m., right after breakfast. But of course, that’s not possible. And the classes I teach have to be outside of working hours. For most people, I recommend working out as soon as you wake up to ensure that your workout doesn’t get pushed off the agenda in the evening time. But when it comes to group fitness, usually the most energetic classes are at night. 

Back to my actual week. Because I was sick on Sunday, I didn’t fit in my final and third weightlifting session of the week, which I was hoping to do. So I was light on resistance work (especially now that I’m not teaching two BODYPUMPs per week any longer). But I did do yoga twice and do barre once, so there was variety in my movements. 

That’s it from me! Have a great start to your week, my friends!

Wine-tasting party fun, #Christmas cheer and a weekly workout recap. Check out this light read by @apstyle ... #Fitness #Workouts #Wine Click To Tweet

P.S. Thanks to Meghan for today’s “Week in Review” link-up. 

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

Do you think you could guess the difference between cheap and pricey wine?

What time do you usually work out?

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  1. Oh definitely no time to be sick around the holidays, hope you feel better soon! And I highly doubt I would be able to taste the difference between cheap and expensive wine, which is why I stick to my $10-12 bottles ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s such a fun party idea though! And this weekend I loved laying around the house with the tree and garland lit, but the coziness put me to sleep on the couch pretty early Saturday night, lol.

  2. Wow, that party idea is so fun and it looks like a blast! I doubt that I could guess the most expensive wine. I hope you feel better soon! I know the feeling… I HATE laying around and giving my body rest. Literally no time to be sick in December.

    I usually work out right when I get out of work, which is at 1pm. I work a morning shift from 5-1 so it would be nearly impossible for me to work out right when I wake up, unfortunately. But I completely agree with you about 9am. My work schedule used to allow me to work out at this time and it was AMAZING.

    1. Hi Danielle! Oh wow, yes, working out before work would NOT be fun for you. So it sounds like you’re doing the exact right thing by going after work. Hope you had a nice weekend, lady! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh no! Feel better soon, friend! {not that it’s ever a good time, but better to get sick now than when you’re about to leave for Florida. No time to be sick while you’re down here!!!}

  4. Thats a fun idea to guess the prices–i think i’d be terrible at that though! ๐Ÿ˜€ I usually leave my Christmas tree up for a little bit in to January too because it’s so bare and sad when it comes down!

    1. Hi Nicole! Yes — you know everyone wants a photo, and I don’t mind taking a ton until someone is happy hehe. Sounds like you have a good workout routine going, girl. Keep it up! Have an awesome day!

  5. I’m so sorry you’re sick. My husband was sick over Thanksgiving and just got sick again. December is the worst time to get sick, but it seems to happen every year.

    The wine party is such a great idea. You’re so kind to offer to be the photographer. Keep up the good workouts.

  6. What a fun idea for a wine party. I probably wouldn’t have come close in the guessing but I sure wouldn’t have minded trying them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We got our decorations up too this past week and we started shopping as well. It’ll feel great to have it all done.

    I hope you feel better soon. Happy Monday.

  7. This looked like such a marvelous way to get into that Christmas spirit! Nothing better than amazing friends, food, & family! I was so bummed I wasn’t able to make your class on Saturday mornings. Things inevitably came up every weekend. I’d love to stay tuned for anything else though and see if it’d be possible to make a trip up!
    – As long as the drink has the label “wine” chances are I will drink it. Lol.
    – I usually workout about an hour after my breakfast has settled, so around 10 am or so!

    1. Hi Mackenzie!! I KNOW I wanted to meet you. I’ll keep you posted on my weekend classes from here on out so you can come sometime. And I’m with you on wine. I like all wine. hahaah! Happy Friday, friend!

  8. I try and exercise at the same time every day because once I read somewhere that you should make it an appointment with yourself and keep it that way….but now I have 4 kids and I fit it in when I can! Usually it’s at naptime for the toddler or the hour before dinner when I don’t have to shuttle anyone around ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I also have my routine – just trying to exercise at the same time. Only not every day, but 4 times a week. It helps me not to stop and gives the pleasure. Otherwise I would feel so tired because of the job so I wouldn’t be able to work out..
    But I believe that having kids is much harder.. You are super mom, Jen, if you can combine it all together. ๐Ÿ™‚

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