Porch Sitters

There’s nothing like West Virginia in July and this weekend was no exception.  Another 4th filled with

Amazing food & drink

Grilled Pizza!

Fresh Churned Ginger Ice Cream

Freshly Minted

Freshly Poured

Patriotic Birthday Cake

Summer in full bloom

Pasural strolls

Bonfires blazing

 Good ol’ fashioned bell slinging

I had a great teacher!  Sadie and I grew up together and now she’s living in Oakland working as a personal trainer at Cliff Bar.  She’s an amazing yoga teacher and is currently training for her next Russian Kettlebell Challenge cert (i.e. insanity).  We always make a point of sweating when we are together. 🙂

Sadie gave me a (not-so-relaxing) post-workout stretch.

And last but not least, lots of porch sitting!

Thanks to everyone who made it a delicious, fun, active, and entertaining weekend!


  1. Sarah

    Hi Faith! I really enjoy reading your blog – so many fresh food ideas and inspiring posts! I’ve been really interested in starting some kettlebell training (it would be on my own – no gym membership right now) and was hoping you could offer some advice (i.e. good vs. bad instructional videos, weight recommendations, etc.). I’ve read a few things that suggest that kettlebell exercises can be dangerous and lead to injury if you’re a beginner – thoughts? Thanks!

    • gracefulfitness

      Sarah! I just realized that I hadn’t responded to this comment, SO sorry! Completely inexcusable.
      I recommend that you read my post “To Kettle or Not to Kettle” for my detailed thoughts on ‘bells. I too was/am super skeptical about them, with my biggest concern being the potential danger to your elbows and shoulders. I’ve been working out with them off and on now for nearly a year and I’ve found them to be an great tool to get a full body workout. But form is essential! It’s inexcusable in my mind that gyms can offer all levels kettlebell classes because it takes a lot of time and a lot of “breaking it down” to get perfect form.
      My biggest recommendation for you is to start slow. 15-20 minutes is plenty and you don’t need a thousand reps to be effective, even 5 swings can be a workout! It’s tempting to start light too but in order to actually get the momentum of a two handed swing you need a hefty weight, for me that’s 15-20 pounds. If I am doing one handed movements, particularly overheard (shoulder danger zone) I use a 10-15 pound weight. This is lighter than many instructors would recommend but I feel like it keeps me safer.
      If you’ve started using a kettlebell I would love to hear your thoughts!

  2. Emma

    Nice photographic summary! Would love to see any other choice shots you got of the birthday girl. Great to see you!

  3. At sometime in the future you’ll look back on days like this and remember just how wonderful it was to be alive at this time. Hope you have many more just as beautiful as this one.

  4. cameron

    yay Oakland!! I’m from Oakland and I have friends who work @cliff- always happy to hear hometown love! I hope she likes it- it’s such a great place! glad you had a great weekend!

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