Seven Reasons Why Game of Thrones is Perfect

“Winter is coming,” the famous Stark saying is a breath of fresh air to those who are still sweating at 1 am because of the persistent heat and humidity.

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I’ve been waiting centuries for GoT to return. Now I can finally binge the whole series (again) and get sweet relief with new episodes for the next two months. It’s a sad time that Game of Thrones is coming to an end, but it’s still an exciting and fascinating journey to be on.

Here are seven beautiful reasons why Game of Thrones is an amazing series to binge.

1. Winter is Coming

The famous Stark saying is a breath of fresh air to those who are still sweating at 1 am because of the persistent heat and humidity. We’ve been talking about winter and how it’s coming and after six seasons it’s finally (hopefully) going to make an appearance. The white walkers are going to cause some trouble and we’re going to have an all out war with Dany on her way over the Narrow Sea. Cersei is going down.

2. Dragons

I’m not sure if this needs an explanation. Dragons are amazing and this show proves it.

3. Daenerys

Her character development is so incredible. She grew from a meek child into a demanding and strategic queen who knows what she wants. She commands armies and plans attacks and frees slaves. Daenerys is a beautiful human being who deserves the Throne.

4. Jon Snow

The Bastard of the North who turned into the leader of the Nights Watch and also a GoT heartthrob. He died in the most brutal and scream-worthy way and then came. back. to. life. This man will not die. Last season we had a beautiful and satisfying revelation about Jon Snow and I cannot wait to see the rest of that story to unfold.

5. Arya is a goddess.

Arya has become a lethal player in the game. She’s been through so much and witnessed too much to go back to her normal self. With her nightly mantra of her Death List, she’s on her own path of wicked destruction and vengeance and it’s astonishing.

6. Sansa

She’s finally becoming a likable person. Throughout the series, I’ve hated her and I’ve sympathized with her. Like Arya, she’s been through a lot, but it’s shaped her way differently. She’s grown colder and is (slowly) starting to become feared rather than fearful.

7. Binge-able

There are six seasons to binge. That’s a whopping 60 episodes and a little of 60 hours of Westeros and King’s Landing and incredible stories to witness before we begin the closing of one of HBO’s greatest dramas ever.

Six Things Only Summer Camp Counselors Know

I don’t have many friends back home, but I know when camp starts I’ll either make new ones or be reunited with the ones from last year. The camaraderie you create with your summer camp co-workers is real.

Summer is the time when (mostly college) students go to summer camp to teach kids how to survive. Kidding, we are glorified babysitters to a bunch of kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the people I work with and building new bonds with new kids, but there are just some moments when I question why I even work with kids.

Here are six things that every summer camp leader knows:

1. It’s a sweaty mess.

OK, more than just summer camp leaders know that it gets super hot, but the leaders know all too well how sweaty and gross it can be, especially with Oklahoma humidity. That paired with 15+ kids around you all day and it’s a nightmare.

2. It’s tiring.

I’ve been a summer camp leader for four years now. I know how stressful and tiring it can be to entertain kids and do your job at the same time- constantly having your brain  think of new ways to get your group from one place to the other with minimal disturbances from other groups or the directors. I have six-year-olds all day and keeping them in line or even getting them to our next destination without someone pushing someone else is tiring.

3. It’s gross.

Never mind that it’s sweaty, it’s also gross working with kindergarteners. They cough without covering their mouths and they sneeze without thinking about where they’re pointing their nose. It’s snot bubbles and crying all day for me.

4. It’s fun.

I love my co-workers. Moving back home for the summer is one of the saddest times for me because I’m leaving all my friends. I don’t have many friends back home, but I know when camp starts I’ll either make new ones or be reunited with the ones from last year. The camaraderie you create with your summer camp co-workers is real; you rant to each other about your kids and you go over ways to alleviate the stress that they bring to certain activities.

5. It’s worth it.

Through the snot and the sweat and the screaming children, being a summer camp leader is one of the greatest jobs a college student can get. Learning how to work as a team and think on your feet helps in the real world. (At least I hope it will.)

6. It’s rewarding.

So far I’ve taught a little girl how to tie her shoes, and she remembers. It’s the little things like that; and when we go over the bible verse a thousand times and my group is the loudest of all when we recite at the end of the week, that makes working with these kids amazing and oh so rewarding.

Six Struggles Twenty-Somethings Have with Weightloss

I’ve been counting EVERY. SINGLE. CALORIE. It’s become a game to me.

Losing weight is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It’s easy to just call it quits and let your body and your mind waste away with the calories and carbs piling up. Making a lifestyle difference is fun and tiresome but the end result will always be better than the pain you go through with being overweight.

1. No results

Shocker that this is number one, right? Seeing no results is the biggest bummer there is on any weight loss journey. To me, it’s either a sign to give up (of course, it’s the wrong sign), or it’s a sign to work harder (the sign I usually want to ignore).

2. Slow results

I started off losing 10 pounds in 26 days. I was ecstatic. I thought I was going to reach my goal weight in less than two years but now I’ve slowed down to maybe half a pound – if I’m lucky.

3. Soreness

Working out is tough. It’s so fun, though. I love working out. The sweat dripping down my face and coating my hair. It sounds really gross, we but it’s oh so satisfying. You know you had a great workout when you still feel it hours later.

4. Lack of soreness

I’ve been working out six days a week for the past three weeks. The only thing I’m complaining about is the lack of soreness after I work out. During the time I’m in the gym I’m gasping for breath and shaking with how much I’m doing. Five minutes after I finish the machine or leave the room, in general, I’m fine. I think that’s my body’s way of saying, “work out more.”

5. Other people

When I workout I’m slowly but surely thinking about what others think of me less and less. It’s still in the back of my mind, “can they hear how loud I’m breathing?” or “am I walking too hard?”

6. Counting calories

I’ve been counting EVERY. SINGLE. CALORIE. It’s become a game to me. I use the Fitbit app to keep it all together. It’s a pain only when I’m working because I can’t have my phone on me, and I eat from the candy bowl and I have to remember to add it in the next time I have my phone out.

Five Reasons to Visit the Lost Creek Safari

I’m definitely going to go back. I’m planning on getting my family to go too. It’s an awesome time, and for the money, it’s practically a steal

A couple of weekends ago, a couple of friends and I ventured out and visited the Lost Creek Safari in Stillwater, OK. It’s a small hole in the wall where zoos are concerned, but it was awesome. It was interactive and a great time for college students and families alike. We got to pet almost every animal. The keepers were a wealth of knowledge and spouted relative information every chance they got. Here are just a few reasons why you should visit the Lost Creek Safari.:

1. Lost Creek Safari is better than a zoo.

The people that run it seem much more sincere, and they care more about their animals.

2. It’s smaller.

There are more animals to gawk at and fewer miles to walk in between exhibits. The keepers are also around and have friendlier smiles and seem more excited to talk to you.

3. Baby kangaroo.

They have a baby kangaroo that you can hold.

4. It’s cheap.

$5 admission and another $5 to feed them — that’s $10 for a great time.

5. It’s an adventure.

I’m definitely going to go back. I’m planning on getting my family to go too. It’s an awesome time, and for the money, it’s practically a steal

How Counting Calories Has Helped Me Lose Weight

It’s been a true eye-opener to see how much I eat. Even the little things.

Counting calories has never been easy for anyone. It’s a difficult and sometimes grueling job that leaves you exhausted and annoyed. I’ve never honestly counted calories. It’s crossed my mind and I know how to do it. I never thought of doing it to lose weight. I thought it was a guilt thing to not eat so much. (That works too if that’s your thing.)

I started counting, actually counting, my calories less than two weeks ago and I’ve lost four pounds. That’s not a huge milestone, but it’s a start and for someone like me, a start is good enough to keep me going.

It all started when I got my Fitbit (here’s my post about that) and it started telling me how many calories I’m burning and how many steps I’ve taken in a day and just a ton of other information. It was slightly overwhelming. It was also super awesome. I can’t remember the exact moment when I decided to start that leg of my wellness journey, but it was a great call. I’ve been counting calories (religiously) now for twelve days.

It’s been a true eye-opener to see how much I eat. Even the little things.

For example; my work has miniature candies to keep the morale up during the day. Ever since I started counting calories, I monitor how many of those I actually eat. I eat about two a day (depending on the day, sometimes I don’t need any) and I have to count those in my calories. They also have LifeSavers mints for us. I have to count those calories, too.

It’s a habit to just grab a couple of mints and go about my day, but I have to think it through and write it down when and how many mints I eat. Lying to yourself while counting calories doesn’t help you, it’s a hindrance and it defeats the purpose of counting calories.

I’m in the middle of changing the lifestyle that I’ve had for years. I’ve been eating so much for so long. I never cared about how much I ate, I cared about what was on my plate in front of me and how much more was in the kitchen, or what’s the most convenient food I can get in this moment for instant gratification.

Food has always been a highlight of my day since I was little I remember asking my parents “what’s for lunch?” or “what’s for dinner?” because I would psych myself up for whatever meal we’re having. Food shouldn’t be the highlight of someone’s day. There’s so much more in this world to be excited and happy for, but for some weird reason, I choose food.

I have a strange obsession with it. I don’t eat a lot. I munch and I think about the kind of food I want to eat for whatever meal and I’m usually down to go on midnight McDonald’s runs with friends. But my obsession stops now (well, twelve days ago). I still think about food, that’s another beast I have yet to tame, but I think about it in a more controlled way. I know my limitations on what I can actually eat and the sacrifices I’ll have to make if I want something immediately. I’m proud of myself because of that. I think, “I can eat this candy now or I can have more chicken later during dinner,” and things like that.

Since I’ve started counting I haven’t eaten above my calorie outtake. I always burn more calories than I consume. There are some days that are better than others, but I always stay where I need to be.

It’s kind of a game to me now. I may not be eating the healthiest things but I’m eating less of it and I’m getting full on what I eat. It makes me hopeful and proud of what I can do and how it’s actually changing my body.

It’s sad though because I feel a relapse is bound to happen. I tell myself that it’s normal to have a day where you eat at your calorie outtake or above it. It’s not exactly healthy to have a 1,000+ calorie deficit every day (which is about what I have been doing). I’m not complaining because that’s the reason I’ve lost four pounds in twelve days.

To be honest, I’m already starting counting my chickens before they hatch. I’ve calculated how much time it would take me to lose my goal number and I’m excited because it’s a doable goal (when it goes by ‘losing a controlled number each week’ rather than ‘losing a lot of weight as quickly as possible’ it seems fairly easy) and it can be done before I turn 25 (I should hit my close to my target goal before I turn 23, but I’ll stick with 25 to keep my mind from getting stressed out). That’s another reason why counting calories have worked for me. I have proof that it’s helping.

Plateauing is a huge barrier for weight loss, I understand that. I’ve also thought about adding exercise into calorie counting. Right now I’m not planning specific exercise routines or anything like that. I’m working on getting this part of my new lifestyle down and learning to eat less rather than adding more stuff to my plate (so to speak) and dropping everything I’ve worked on so far.

It won’t be easy. It’s going to be a tough journey but this is the most hope I’ve had for living a better life than I have ever had before. I’m excited for my future.

Five Reasons College Students Should Buy a Fitbit Alta

Getting healthy has been on my brain for a while now. I’ve only recently gotten more serious about it. A couple weeks ago I had the closing shift at my job (1:30 a.m.) and then I decided to stay awake with a best friend because we needed * needed * to go to Academy Sports and buy a hammock, that’s a different post for a different time. As I was trying to stay awake until Academy opened ( which was 8 a.m.) we went all over the place (there’s not a lot open between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. in Stillwater, Okla.). One of the places we went to was Wal-Mart. To get to the point, I’ve been thinking about getting a Fitbit for a while now. They just seem like a cool tool that I can utilize.

Fitbits have been pretty much all the rage for a while now, at least everywhere that I see (Oklahoma isn’t the thriving tech capital of the world). A lot of people wear them and a lot of people like them.

Here are my five reasons to buy and use a Fitbit Alta.

1. It’s effective

Being active is never the foremost thought on my mind. The Alta (and most likely the rest of the Fitbit devices) tell you 10 minutes from the hour that you have a certain amount of steps left to reach the hourly goal of 250+ steps. The device sends little reminders that help motivate you to reach the desired goal.

2. It’s fashionable

They have different bands for different lifestyles. They can be cute or they can be strictly for utility.

3. It teaches

I’ve learned a lot about my sleeping habits and how much I actually move during the day.

4. It motivates

Just having it on my wrist makes me want to get up and move.

5. Add friends

You can challenge friends to a step-off and see who walks the most miles in a day or who is the most active during a week. It’s a fun way to get in shape or stay in shape.

Five Stages of Computer Failure College Students Go Through

Even though you may have grown up with technology it doesn’t automatically make you a guru.

I’m a millennial. I grew up with computers and I always thought that I could fix whatever problem I had with whatever electronic. There were a few times where I would root my android phone and add different ROMs to it or my laptop would malfunction and I could fix it via google and my technological intuition.

Today was a bad day for my computer-science-wannabe-self. I messed up laptop yesterday after a stupid decision to reset it after a failed attempt to connect to the WiFi. I don’t even understand what happened or why I did it but something corrupted my version of Windows and now I’m sitting using a borrowed Macbook Air (first world problems right?). I’m starting to calm down from my depressive state of no laptop but it still hurts.

1. Denial

The denial that your computer has the blue screen of death or won’t even turn on.

2. Hope

“I can fix it. I can fix it.” The hope for finding the cure to your broken device.

3. Denial

This step is repeated a few times during the course of the computer meltdown.

4. Expectation and Disappointment

There’s a point where you think it’s fixed or you just stop trying to make it work and you sit there expecting it work again.

5. Surrender

You finally concede the fact that you can’t fix it and you sit there in defeat while planning your route to the IT department and how to not get rain damage on your $1,000 laptop.

13 Reasons Why… College Students Are Excited About Summer

I may be a winter person but you can’t beat three months without classes.

I’m not a summer person normally. The only good thing about summer to me is my job and the fact that I take one or two classes rather than five. Summer is a great time to catch some rays (while also drowning in sunscreen) and for getting cut up and bitten by things that lurk when you’re hiking. Here are the 13 reasons why I’m excited about summer.

1. Summer Job

My summer job is full of people I know and love. I’m a counselor at a day camp my church puts on. We talk care of around 80-100 kids Monday through Friday eight weeks of the summer. Sure there are times where I want to cry and pull my hair out but there are also times where I want to cry from how awesome the kids are.

2. The Lake

One of my favorite places. Lake Tenkiller (the best closest lake to my hometown) has become one of my most favorite places to go in the summer. It’s relaxing and an adventure each visit.

3. Family

Going nine months without seeing my siblings constantly is kind of difficult, of course, it changes when you only spend time with them and it’s for three months. Then I’m ready for the next nine again.

4. Parking

I constantly worry about parking when I’m at school. It’s a pain and it stresses me out when there is no need for stress. At home, I can park whenever and wherever -besides handicap, duh.

5. Summer Blockbusters

Good movies come out in the summer.

6. Barbecues

Getting together with friends and family over a plate of ribs and grilled chicken is a great way to end a weekend.

7. Fourth of July

The pyro inside me loves when things go BOOM! in the night. The buildings around my house have great acoustics for the boom of fireworks, it reverberates throughout the neighborhood.

8. Stressless Bingeing

Everyone starts a show in the summer. Most start a few different series or they re-start old flames. Either way, you don’t have to worry about watching a new series with homework piling up on your desk.

9. Sleep

The few weeks I have before and after my job starts are blissful. Going to bed at 6 a.m. (don’t ask me why) and waking up at noon or 1 p.m. is a great feeling after waking up for 8:30’s or 9’s and so on. I, personally, need a break from waking up in the morning.

10. Cooking

I live in a traditional dorm so I have no kitchen. Being able to whenever and whatever I want is something I dream about.

11. Family Vacation

The past couple of years my family has gone to Florida for vacation. Last year was the only time I got to go because they planned it around my work schedule. It was an amazing time. We had a condo that was within sight of the beach and it was quiet and wonderful and I’m so excited to go back.

12. Pool Parties

I don’t personally own a pool but I have a couple of friends who do and it’s an awesome feeling when they invite me to hang out and swim for a while.

13. Tan

My family does have a history of skin cancer but I still appreciate a good tan.

I Didn’t Drink Soda for a Week and it Taught Me Self Control

I know I can do it, I just have to remember that.

This week’s challenge was simple: no soda and no desserts.

It is supposed to be simple, right? It’s straightforward and easy, there are no “is this allowed?” or the like. I’ve detoxed from soda a few times already but I always go back. Either with once a week, or once on special occasions or (when I’m home) maybe a can twice a day. My mom is an avid drinker of Diet Coke (aka watered down coke) and my dad enjoys a Pepsi -with real sugar- every once in a while. I am coke lover with the occasion vanilla thrown in. So my parents buy soda and they always think of me and what I would like when I come home. Since I’m the only one that drinks that specific soda I feel bad if I do not, but it is all self-control and lack-thereof.

Desserts are another story. I do not divulge myself after every meal but I do like the occasion “scrappy cake” or a sour gummy worms. Going without those this week was a trial. I like having the ability to eat candy when I want.

The actual challenge for me this week is self-control. I knew I couldn’t eat candy or drink soda and it made me want it more.

I went all week without it, I only gave in Friday, which is when we decided to end the challenge. It’s weekday challenge, Monday – Friday, weekends are not a part of it so I did not lose!

We also decided on having three cheat desserts. I’m not entirely sure why but you can’t just quit eating copious amounts of sugar and then stop cold turkey. I used two cheat desserts, one was an oreo brownie thing that I was introduced to by a coworker and it was sweet and chocolatey and now one of my favorite uber-sweet desserts.

I am not going to relent my daily food intake because that isn’t what matters. I just ate two of the stupid Oreo brownies and the rest of the time I ate lots of carbs and found other ways to indulge myself other than sweets.

I learned about self-control this week. I learned that I need it because, for the most part, I have none. I have known that for a while but it is about changing habits as well. Letting myself have whatever whenever isn’t the way to go through the change I’m wanting.

I also realized that I do not partake in dessert all too much when I think about it I want it but if I keep my mind off of it then I can live without it. So keeping myself busy is key to gaining self-control. Thinking back on the week I know that I can go longer without eating sweets. I do not think I am going to make it another “challenge” but it will always be in my head that I can do it and I do not need to eat candy or desserts in general. Sure something sweet every once in a while is fine but not every day. *insert thumbs up emoji*

I Barely Survived A Week Without Fried Food And I Bet You Can’t, Either

Week two of diet challenges, no fried food for a week was easier than no bread.

OK, week two of taking food challenges.

After the failure that was last week (it was also fairly enlightening) we – me and a couple co-workers of mine – decided to go without fried food and candy this week. One of the co-workers decided to just go without chips for the week.

It wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting. There is more than one option for food in the Student Union, or anywhere actually. I could eat baked chips, that was it. No french fries, no regular potato chips. That was my only struggle, trying to find a good side for my main dish. I didn’t need a side but it was a habit to eat something along with a sandwich or whatever it was.

No fried chicken was tough. I ate ramen noodles, grilled chicken sandwiches and TGIF’s hot wings (the frozen kind in a box).

I also ate a Lean Cuisine fettuccini alfredo plate. And more ramen. And more hot wings…

I told my dad about last week and his first question was “do you feel any better?” My answer was a simple, “no.” It was most likely because I didn’t cut out all bread and I cheated a few times. This week I’m asking myself that question. The answer I came up with is… sort of. It might be a mind thing but I feel better than I did before I started. I feel better after eating the “better” kind of chips and not eating fried chicken or french fries at least once a day.

Break down of my week without fried food and candy:

Monday

Lunch: Grilled chicken pesto sandwich with oven baked barbecue chips.

Dinner: Beef flavored ramen noodles.

Snacks: included – beef jerky, Chex mix (which are baked BTW), a chocolate chip brownie and a couple chocolate chip cookies. Obviously not healthy things but it was tasty.

Tuesday

Lunch: Chex mix and beef ramen noodles

Dinner: TGIF’s hot wings and fettucini alfredo

Snacks: included – jalapeno cheddar cheese dip, Tostitos oven baked scoops, vanilla frozen yogurt with hot fudge and cookie dough bites (which I and my friends decided were not candy).

Wednesday

Lunch: Grilled chicken pesto sandwich with baked barbecue chips

Dinner: Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a vanilla coke. So I accidentally cheated on this meal, my friend decided to make me dinner and I didn’t know until she was making my plate that it was fried chicken. It was super tasty but I felt bad because I failed.

Snacks: included – a slice of chocolate cake

Thursday

Lunch: Teriyaki chicken ramen, Tostitos oven baked scoops, and jalapeno cheese dip

Dinner: TGIF’s hot wings, baked barbecue chips and a cherry coke zero (it’s all about that calorie count isn’t it?).

Snacks: included – Chex mix, beef jerky, and chocolate cake

Friday

Lunch: corn dog (nuked in a microwave) and mac and cheese

Dinner: grilled chicken tacos with rice, chips, and salsa. I also failed today… the chips were fried and I loved every crunch. I also had sweet tea. And I had a second dinner five hours later that consisted of McDonald’s french fries and chicken nuggets. I concluded that my “week” was done.

So I failed again, but not as bad as last week. I’m still proud because I thought it was technically easy and I didn’t really miss fried food. Except for Friday, I craved McDonald’s.

My Conclusion

I’m going to try and make this a normal habit in my everyday life. It wasn’t difficult to find alternatives to a meal that is fried and it would be OK to have a “cheat meal” once a week or once every other week.

Fried food isn’t good for you (duh) and I know that if I keep it up it would change me a lot for the better.