Work holiday party, rain, truffle making and my weekly workout report

Well that was a festive weekend! With a holiday party, a race, making truffles and Christmas shopping, the past two days were full of good stuff. I’m sharing all about it today, as well as detailing my weekly workout report, like I usually do. Welcome to this little space of the web and enjoy!

24 Hour Fitness holiday party at Casa Real

On Friday night, Dave and I went to my work party for 24 Hour Fitness at Casa Real events center at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton. The venue was super nice, and I could totally see it being a great spot for a wedding. The lobby was decorated with a big Christmas tree, and that’s where cocktail hour took place.

24 Hour Fitness holiday party by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my split-sleeve dress, which is on sale and I love! Similar shoes, purse, necklace.)

I enjoyed introducing Dave to a bunch of my coworkers, and we even hung out with one of his coworkers, who just happens to be married to a 24 Hour Fitness corporate employee as well. We circulated the group, chatted and stayed for the nice welcome speech from the CEO. However, we elected to leave during the station-style dinner, knowing Dave had an early wake-up the next day to run a race. Blurry selfie before we departed …

Holiday party smiles by A Lady Goes West

That was fine for me too, because I had to get home to prepare my dark chocolate ganache for truffle making the next day with my lady friends. We were home before 9 p.m., and in our pajamas catching up on Better Call Saul (which I didn’t like at first, but now really enjoy) by 9:15 p.m. Now that’s what I like on Friday nights.

Supporting Dave in the Walnut Creek Half Marathon

When Dave came home from work about five weeks ago and said he was going to sign up for his first ever half marathon, I was a little surprised. While he runs regularly and plays soccer, he had always said he didn’t really have the desire to do a distance race. Well, it took one of his friends running the New York City Marathon to push him over the edge, and he and another coworker signed up for the Walnut Creek Half Marathon

Dave didn’t really follow a particular training plan, but did his long runs on the weekends and got up to 11 miles in one shot before the race, so I knew he would be fine. However, the day of his race was cold and rainy. Very rainy. Rudy and I dropped Dave off at the start in the dark just after 6 a.m., and the race started at 7 a.m. The path of the race just happened to go right down the street where we live, so Rudy and I bundled up under an umbrella and waited out there (it was mile two, so early on) to see the group of runners pass. We got the chance to see Dave run by and cheer for him, and he even threw me his jacket, which he clearly didn’t need after the race got going. 

Mile 13 at Walnut Creek Half Marathon by A Lady Goes West

The funny thing is, I totally started crying when I saw him. And I cried again when I saw him at mile 13. I’m not sure why, but it was an emotional day for me in the rain hehehe. I ran a half marathon many years ago in Orlando (the Disney Princess Half, to be exact), and I know it’s a tough race, but I don’t think I was crying because he was running more than 13 miles in bad weather. I guess I was crying because I was excited he was running and perhaps was projecting some other stuff onto the situation. Who knows. But we laughed about it later.

Rudy and I went to Civic Park in downtown to hang around the race expo in the rain until Dave was about to finish. Instead of waiting at the finish line, we found a good spot right at mile 13. And boy was I happy when I saw Dave come around the corner. He ended up finishing the race in 1 hour and 48 minutes, which is pretty darn good for his first one, because that meant he kept a consistent pace of miles just over 8 minutes. Good work, Dave!

Dave after Walnut Creek Half Marathon by A Lady Goes West

We saw Dave’s coworker at the finish line too, but quickly retreated home after a short chat, because it was cold and wet! Oh, and there was no way I could keep Rudy totally dry, and at one point I had to put him on the ground to pull my phone out of my jacket pocket, so he ended up completely muddy. We were all a mess …

After the Walnut Creek Half Marathon by A Lady Goes West

Dave and Rudy after the rain by A Lady Goes West

Making chocolate truffles with the girls

Later that afternoon, while Dave was at home attempting to rest and recover, I went over to meet some girlfriends for a salad lunch, followed by our second annual truffle making celebration. As mentioned earlier, we each made our ganache ahead of time, and had each selected our favorite flavors. Then, once together, we all made our own, shared some of each flavor with each other and did our own decorating. So much fun!

For a full tutorial on the process of making truffles, check out this post I wrote last year: how to make truffles. But here’s the overview …

First we form the truffle balls using our pre-made ganache (I made peanut butter with dark chocolate of course), putting powdered sugar on our hands to help keep the chocolate on the ball and off the skin.

Making truffles by A Lady Goes West

Then we dipped the chocolate truffle balls into chocolate coating (either dark, milk or white). All the while, we were sipping on mimosas, laughing and trying to move quickly in the dipping process, which isn’t as easy as it looks and has to be done while the coating is still hot to work properly.

Dipping truffles by A Lady Goes West

Truffle making with mimosas by A Lady Goes West

Then we decorated with color, sugar icing, nuts, caramel and sea salt. The colors and decor of each truffle are meant to signify the flavor, so we all did similar designs on our truffles. The decorating is definitely my favorite part (outside the eating!). Here are the almost finished truffles before being boxed …

Making colorful chocolate truffles by A Lady Goes West

It took about two hours total, and then we packed them up, feeling quite accomplished. We each left with about 25-30 truffles total with a mixture of all the flavors — peanut butter, caramel with salt, blackberry, cherry, hazelnut and toffee. But of course, we couldn’t end the party without taking a cute pic displaying our goods. 

Chocolate truffles with the ladies by A Lady Goes West

Soon after the pic, we cleaned up and all went on our merry ways. Such a perfect to-do! 

Christmas shopping and eating good food

Sunday was a pretty uneventful day for Dave and me. We ventured out to do some Christmas shopping (which went well), then we had lunch at Lettuce in downtown Walnut Creek. I had nearly the same salad that I had last weekend, and it was delicious. Here it is, along with some fall leaves …

Salmon salad by A Lady Goes West

From there, we went to a jewelry store to buy Dave a new wedding band, because his tungsten carbon one spontaneously broke in half! Whoops!

The rest of the day was spent doing Sunday things at home, as well as a short gym trip for me. And I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the gym on a Sunday evening, and it was surprisingly busy, but mostly dudes. I listened to The Model Health Show podcast and did some weights, including the back extension machine, the Romain chair, chest presses, deadlifts and rows, followed by a quick stretch and foam roll.

We finished up the weekend with Whole Foods sushi for dinner and vegging on the couch. I’d say the weekend was full, but had just enough downtime and rest to make me ready to take on another big week. We have a ton of stuff going on the next 10 days before we hop on a jet plane to F-L-O-R-I-D-A!

My weekly workout recap

Let’s talk fitness. Here’s a look at all of my recent movement over the past seven days …

Weekly Workouts by A Lady Goes West

Weekly Workouts

  • Monday: Took a one-hour CP1 yoga class at CorePower, 5:30 p.m
  • Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class, 6 a.m.
  • Wednesday: Did a 30-minute CXWORX core workout at home, 12 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught a one-hour Bootybarre class, 6 p.m.
  • Friday: Did a 30-minute full-body weights workout, 7 a.m.
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Did a 30-minute full-body weights workout, 5 p.m.

Overview of the week

There are a few things different about this past week of workouts. First of all, on Monday, I took a CP1 class at CorePower Yoga, which is basically a much slower beginner-type yoga than what I normally take there. It was gentle and not sweaty and also not heated. That was a good start to the week, which continued with the addition of CXWORX, which is a Les Mills core program you can learn about here.

Although I’m certified to teach Les Mills CXWORX, I haven’t taught it in years and haven’t even done it much lately on my own either. That meant it was super challenging when I did it at home on Wednesday during my “lunch break.” Other than that, I took a rest day on Saturday instead of Sunday, and overall had a pretty light week for me. The best part was that I was able to pick up weights three times, which is always my goal. I would have loved to have taken or taught a second BODYPUMP this past week, but I just couldn’t fit it in. 

That’s all I’ve got for today! Have a great start to your week, my friends!

Holiday parties, truffle making, races and a weekly workout recap. Check out this fun read by @apstyle ... #Fitness #Workouts #Truffles Click To Tweet

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

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

What’s your favorite holiday tradition to do with family or friends?

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  1. Another magnificent weekend! GO DAVE!!!!! And in the cold and rain, no less! What an accomplishment! And l love that you and Rudy were there to cheer him on πŸ˜€ You seriously clean up with the fun events, good food, and great activities. I’m over here like… I cleaned out my closet! Have a great week, Ashley!

    1. Susie! Cleaning out the closet is a GREAT thing. It makes me feel so accomplished, so don’t sell yourself short for completing that hahah! Hope the rest of your weekend was nice too, friend! Happy Monday!

  2. Wow can’t believe his ring broke! I thought that was the point of that kind of ring. Great job on the half! That’s an amazing time for a first timer!! Love your slippers in the truffles pic, haha. I actually made cake balls over the weekend and dipping into chocolate is not as easy as you’d think! Glad you had a great weekend.

  3. Oh I love the truffle making party idea! My sisters and I usually all bring some cookies home at Christmas time to add to my mom’s cookie tray. It’s always nice to have an assortment of treats. And sooooo my husband recently broke his tungsten ring as well. He banged it on the tile in the shower and it cracked, I thought it was supposed to be super durable…..

    1. That’s SO funny about your hub’s ring, Patricia. The rings are supposed to be nearly indestructible unless they hit at the very right point. So clearly, that happens more often than we all thought. He got a titanium ring this time around, so hopefully it will remain intact. Hope your weekend was lovely, my friend! πŸ™‚

  4. Kudos to Dave for completing the 1/2 and with an amazing time. I have 2 planned for the spring(Feb &March) but just can’t seem to get motivated to really train. So hard with the holiday but it will happen. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pic of you guys after the race. Looks like Rudy is giving Dave a congratulatory kiss of approval-either that or he just like sweat πŸ™‚ Looks like a great week. Safe travels to Fl for the holidays.

    1. Oh cool! I bet you’ll hit your training hard just after Christmas, right? πŸ™‚ And yes, Rudy LOVES to lick sweaty people, so he was doing a lot of that when Dave was finished running hehehe. Hope all is well with you, lovely lady! Have a fabulous week!!

  5. Wow, I love that Dave kind of signed up for that race spontaneously, and his time is AMAZING. It’s fun/hard to run in the rain, and he looks like he powered through so well! Ooh, and I would love to eat one of those beautiful truffles. <3

    1. Hi Emily! I know, I’m proud of him too! And the truffles taste even better than they look. SOOO good! I hope your weekend was lovely, my friend! πŸ™‚ Happy Monday!

  6. Congrats to your husband! What a great job! I think the race was near my house in Concord too. Maybe I’ll do the 5K next year and I think they also have a relay. do you have recipes for the truffles?

    1. Hi! So we get the chocolate from Chocolate Creations in Concord, and they provide further instructions. Ganache is just heavy whipping cream, the special chocolate and whatever flavor you are doing. So it’s not just regular grocery store items if that makes any sense!

  7. I cry when I watch friends run races too and I have no idea why. It must be a thing.

    Those truffles look amazing. I love the idea of everyone making a type and then sharing all the different kinds.

    I’m happy you’re going to Florida. I know you must be excited to see the family and be at home.

    1. You have no idea! I haven’t been to Florida all year which is the longest I’ve ever gone!! And I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one weeping at a race hahah

  8. Oh no thats the same kind of wedding band my husband has–i hope his doesnt spontaneously break! Those truffles look TO DIE FOR!!! I’d want the peanut butter ones all for myself—haha! I make a few of my grandmother’s christmas cookie recipes with my mom sisters and niece every year. It’s a great way for us to remember her and also to kick off the christmas season!

    1. That’s so sweet you guys do that! Don’t you love a good holiday tradition? And with those rings, they are supposed to be totally rock solid, unless they get hit at the exact right point. So strange! Hope your weekend was great, Heather! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh man, those truffle balls look amazing! I’m surrounded by all these fun treats – fudge, chocolates etc. Maybe I need to sign up for a half marathon, ha!

  10. Congrats to Dave!
    That Christmas tree is absolutely gorgeous and i love your dress too!
    OMG- those truffles. Yes, please!
    Have a great week πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jen! I’ll pass that along to him. And I wish we had a place big enough for that lovely Christmas tree. Ours is a bit smaller. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great week so far, gal!

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