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Feel-Good Friday: Rain Boots & Family Visits

Happy Friday! The weekend is officially here and I could not be more stoked. It was a really busy week at work and I was feeling a bit under the weather, which didn’t help matters. So now I am more than ready to kick back and relax with a puzzle beer. Cold, cold beer. (Name that TV show!)

And since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for me to list some of the fabulous things that have made me feel good this week.

My new rain boots. I bought these boots when it was downpouring nearly every day in NYC a few weeks ago, but they didn’t arrive at my doorstep until the storms had passed through. Figures. So I was actually really excited when I looked up the weather this morning and saw it was going to rain all day. Only because that meant I finally got to don these puppies!

I think these boots are absolutely adorable. I love the pattern and well, rain boots always trigger my inner child. How can they not? They give you the perfect opportunity to go puddle jumping! But I’ll puddle jump even without rain boots…

That was from freshman year in college with my roommate at the time, Lizz. T’was a good night indeed. But yeah, the boots I have now are awesome and I got them at Target for a very reasonable price. No complaints here!

Pandora. I just love this site all the time. As I’m typing this, “Hey, Soul Sister” from Glee Cast is blasting. What a feel good song. I heart Blaine Anderson (I just had to Google the character’s last name because I automatically think “Blaine Warbler” all the time). In Glee news, did anyone see the premiere? I’m so happy that Blaine transferred schools. Kurt and Blaine make my heart smile.

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Family. A lot of changes happened this year within my immediate family. My older brother started his second year of medical school, I moved to NYC permanently, my little brother started his first year of college, and my mom and step-dad are now in a house of just them and our pets. So. Weird. Luckily, all of us are coming home for a reunion this weekend and I could not BE more excited! Family game night, here I come!

Friends. I bet you think I’m talking about my real-life friends, don’t you? Or my blog friends? Wrong again! Although I love my “real-life” and blog friends, my TV friends have gotten me through this week and the illness I’ve been suffering through. Nothing like a little Ross and Rachel drama, Joey one-liners and Phoebe quirks to keep me feelin’ happy. I most recently watched “The One with All The Thanksgivings” and I die every single time Monica puts the turkey on her head!

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Such an amazing show. If you don’t love it, I’m not sure we can be friends. If you do, I promise I’ll be there for you 🙂

Your turn! What’s made you feel good this week? 

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Thankful Thursday

Today I’m in a really good mood. Just full of smiles and ready to tackle the day. And after reading lots o’ blogs this morning, I decided to take a cue from Ali and tell y’all why I’m so thankful for my life and the people in it. So, my friends, here’s Thankful Thursday, Samantha style.

I’m thankful for…

1.) Waking up early.

That’s right, people, I’m doing it! I got my booty out of bed at 6:30 this morning, which is a new record for me! Yesterday I was up and running six hilly miles at 7 a.m. and this morning I conquered four more slightly less hilly miles. My legs would curse me out if they had lips, but then immediately praise me for pushing through the tough spots.

2.) Writing as a career.

It’s just something I love to do and I’m so grateful for graduating with a degree in journalism and creative writing. I’m determined to put it to good use and am thankful that I’ve had so much support from people toward reaching my dreams.

Throwback to copy editing freshman year of college.

3.) My family.

My mom, dad, step-dad, step-mom, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters have all been completely supportive about my upcoming move to NYC (three days!). They’re confident that I’ll land a full-time magazine gig soon, which helps deter mental breakdowns.

4.) Running.

It’s been keeping me sane these last few months throughout the stress of graduating, finding work, moving, and planning my best friend’s wedding.

5.) Glee.

I’ve been rocking out to Glee during my runs lately and their tunes just put me in a good mood!

Total Gleek right here.

P.S. Have you seen “The Glee Project” yet? If not, go watch it online right now! I don’t really watch summer shows, but this one is definitely on my must-see list.

6.) My best friend.

I’m so excited for her wedding this Saturday!!! I’m going to miss her so much while she’s in Oklahoma and I’m in NYC, but I know that not even 1,700 miles can put a damper on our friendship.

7.) My boyfriend.

Dustin’s been really supportive and dealing with all of my craziness lately, listening to me vent and encouraging me to go after my dreams. He just officially finished college yesterday (yay!), I get to see him this weekend and I’m excited to see where this summer takes us.

Last summer's getaway to the Poconos.

8.) Chocolate.

I’ve been eating a little bit every day lately. It’s delicious and I love it.

9.) Mani/Pedi dates with my sister.

It’s a tradition of ours and it felt so good to catch up with my little sister last night while we got our nails done. I needed them done for the wedding anyway!

Fingers...

...and toes!

Off to work I go!

What are you thankful for today? 

Working Out with Glee

Lately, music has been dominating my days. I just have that urge to listen to tunes all the time, whether I’m in the shower, at work or pumpin’ iron. I find myself often tuning Pandora to my Glee channel (my co-workers might be getting irritated), especially because I’m still so happy with all of the Golden Globes that the Glee cast went home with Sunday!

Before I headed to the gym today I created a Glee playlist to see if they could keep me moving during my entire sweat session. Turns out, they can! The medley of songs I put together were a great concoction of fast, upbeat tunes to push me, and a few slower ones to let me recuperate.

Turns out I’m not the only one who wants to sweat it to Glee, either. If you’re in NYC, check out the Glee workout at Crunch Fitness. The instructor, Carol Johnson, dresses up as one of the characters every week and the class dances — and sings! — to the songs in a week’s episode. I can’t wait to check it out!

Below is the playlist of Glee songs I used — enough for about an hour-long workout. The mashups turned out to be my favorite, just like they are when I watch the show. I’m going to keep mixing and matching though, and I’ll keep you posted whenever I make good changes!

If you’re not as big of a Gleek as I am but still like the songs I chose, I also included links to the regular artists of each song. Enjoy!

Bad Romance Lady Gaga

Gives You Hell All-American Rejects

My Life Would Suck Without YouKelly Clarkson

Safety Dance Men Without Hats

It’s My Life/Confessions MashupBon Jovi and Usher

4 MinutesMadonna

Borderline/Open Your Heart Mashup Madonna

Express YourselfMadonna

Like A VirginMadonna

Halo/Walking on Sunshine Mashup Beyoncé and Katrina and the Waves

Me Against the MusicBritney Spears

Stronger Britney Spears

Teenage DreamKaty Perry

Forget YouCee Lo Green

Start Me Up/ Livin’ On A Prayer Mashup Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi

Marry YouBruno Mars

Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind Mashup The Supremes and En Vogue

Any Way You Want It/Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ Mashup Journey

You Keep Me Hangin’ OnKim Wilde

Just the Way You Are —  Bruno Mars

What are some of your favorite Glee songs?

Life Despite Ed: The Importance of Friendship

The world becomes a lonely place when suffering from an eating disorder. The disease prides itself on separating you from your friends and family. It only cares about keeping you isolated because well, that’s how it thrives. During the recovery process, it is imperative that you find a friend you can lean on.

Perhaps the worst part of recovering from anorexia is the fact that it is a mental disorder, which means I can never fully recover. Instead, I’ve learned coping techniques that I turn to in times of struggle. I write down my feelings on paper, distract myself with something I enjoy doing and, most importantly, find someone I can talk to when things aren’t going well.

The power of having someone to talk to in times of need is a priceless commodity. But finding a person I can trust to share all of my thoughts with is something that can be difficult. Especially as a college student living on campus, it can be quite difficult to find someone of the same age to talk to without fear that they will share my information with all of their friends. The thought that every piece of information I share with someone could eventually be unveiled during a drunken Saturday night is something I have to take into account when deciding who I confide in.

Lately, I’ve decided that the person I could trust the most is one of my housemates. He is someone who has been through similar mental troubles in his past, and therefore has been able to give me advice that I really take to heart. Talking to someone who’s experienced this before really made me feel better. I know he will always be willing to talk to me whenever I need it.

When I chose to confide in my housemate, I took into account the fact that I didn’t just meet him, but rather have known him for years. After all, it doesn’t make sense to spill my life story to someone I’ve known for less than a semester. They would feel more awkward than anything and would probably have nothing beneficial to say.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust the college counselors on campus either. It’s not my intent to bash them or say they’re inadequate because that’s really not what I think. However, it must be acknowledged that they aren’t like the traditional counselors found in a local community. Yes, if you really need to, a college counselor could be helpful. However, keep in mind that their only job isn’t to help just you. They are responsible for talking to hundreds, maybe thousands, of college students who all have different problems. Most college campuses don’t have counselors who specialize in eating disorders either, so they aren’t the best outlet to turn to.

College counselors don’t partake in one-on-one meetings very often either (in my experience), therefore forcing students to attend group sessions. This would be fine if everyone in the group was there for the same problem, but that often isn’t the case. Students could be there for alcohol problems, relationship troubles, test anxiety and other college life stressors. Therefore, the meeting can’t possibly have the therapeutic effect that it should. I was very troubled when I learned that I couldn’t receive personal counseling. I wasn’t scared to share my story with other students, but I wanted them to at least be in the same position I was in. How would an alcoholic understand the position I am in? And how could I possibly do the same for him or her? It just can’t happen.

It definitely is tough to approach a friend with all of this personal information. But a good friend will be more than willing to sit down and listen. After all, isn’t that what friends are for? It’s not just about the parties, the social hours, and living the good life. Friends are there for you in times of struggle, and fighting an eating disorder is when you need your friends the most.

It reminds me of the song “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. You just call on me brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you’d understand. We all need somebody to lean on.

 And if any of you need to talk, just remember, you’ve got a friend in me.

– Post written by Mike Kraft and edited by Samantha Shelton

For all you Gleeks, here’s the Glee version of “Lean on Me.” Enjoy!