Hammocking 101-How to Get Started

Hey guys long time no see but I am back with another post. Today I want to talk about hammocking and everything you need to know when you get started with hammocking. So I've been hammocking for a couple of months now and I love it. It's a good way to relax your mind by being in nature, plus it's comfy. 
So all you need to start hammocking is straps, and the hammock itself. For straps I recommend the eno atlas suspension system. I have been using the suspension system since I've started hammocking and I don't have any problems with the straps. They are very durable and you can also hang other things on the straps because the straps have slits in them. The suspension system has held the weight of me and one other person as well as other stuff in the hammock at the same time, so the straps can hold a lot of weight. The straps are around thirty dollars but it is worth the investment because you can trust that you won't fall down unsuspectingly in the middle of hammocking. Now for the hammock itself you can really buy any kind of hammock and it would work. You don't necessarily need to buy an eno right off the bat, I actually use an equip double nested blue hammock and that works perfectly fine as well. I also have another singular hammock that is called hammock in a bag and it's from Bliss hammocks. I use that when I hammock by myself. It's a Brazilian Eco-friendly beachy hammock and it's made out of cotton and polyester and that hammock works perfectly fine for me too. What I recommend is that you think of where you want to use your hammock and for what purpose. So if you camp a lot I would recommend a more durable hammock like an eno. Or if you just want to lay in your backyard for example I would recommend the beachy Brazilian hammock. So just think of what kind of hammock would best suit your purpose and buy a hammock based off that. 

Now once you get the hammock and straps now it's time to set it up. When you first set up at hammock you tie the straps first. There is no absolute correct way to tie your straps but you want your straps to support the weight of your hammock. What I like to do is tie my straps around the tree and knot it three or four times or I use a clip and wrap the straps around one time and then clip the wrapped around part into the remaining part of the strap. I hope that made sense but that is how I secure my straps to the tree. There is also other ways to tie the straps but those ways involve complex knots and everything else so I haven't tried those methods yet. Now once the straps are set up you clip your hammock onto your straps using the little holes on the straps. If your straps don't have holes then simply tie your hammock to your straps and that holds it up too. 

Now the cool thing about hammocking is that you can pretty much hammock anywhere where there are trees. Just to name a few places where I've hammocked, I've hammocked at the lake, in the woods, at a river, and I've hammocked in my backyard. Hammocking is a great way to experience the nature around you without the biggest hike or the effort that other activities take to experience nature. So basically you can sit back, relax, be lazy, and enjoy every second of it. So basically that is hammocking in a nutshell. It's great when you just want to relax in nature and just listen to your surroundings. I love hammocking and I probably do it anywhere from two to four times a week. I usually like hammocking at the river or lake. Those are my two favorite spots to go to hammock because it's pretty and it's peaceful. 

That wraps it up for this post. I hope to post more on my blog soon. Lately I've been more into Instagram and I've been posting around three times a week on Instagram. You can check out my insta @sugarcoatedbears. I post nature photos with lots of motivational captions to go along with the photo. So check me out there if you're interested and I'll see you guys soon with another blog post. Bye! 

How to Become More In Touch With the Planet

It's the truth that a lot of people in this day and age are connected through technology and mostly social media. We just stare endlessly at our screens most of the day and we never really think to go spend time outdoors. We are too wrapped up in a lot of things to even think of spending time outside. Most of us are out of touch with the planet and there are some simple ways to be more in touch. Here are some of them. 

1)Go outside-Going outside is the number one way of feeling more in touch with the planet. When you simply go on a hike or head to the lake you will be more in touch with the planet. When you also go outside your stress and anxiety decreases which is great if you had a stressful day at work or something else is bothering you. By being in nature you are connecting with the outside surroundings in that moment. You can hear the birds chirping, or the rain falling, or the sun setting, you can experience all of those wonders of nature when you are outside. You will be aware of your surroundings and inevitably more connected with nature when you are outside. 

2)Going barefoot-This is where I usually lose people and people think I'm nuts about walking barefoot but going barefoot can make you more in touch with the planet. By walking barefoot you are touching the earth with your bare feet and you are actually absorbing the earth's negative electrons. We need those electrons to balance out the energy in our bodies and so by walking barefoot we are getting the electrons we need. Walking barefoot also reduces disease, and pain in your body. It also makes you more aware of your environment. I have recently started walking barefoot a whole lot more and it makes me feel very connected to the planet. You are for sure more aware of your surroundings because you don't want to step on anything sharp or something that would hurt your foot. It has made me more intentional about the way I walk and I really like it. I want to make a whole blog post on it soon because I've been practicing it a lot but this is just a short description on the concept of it. 

3)Do yoga-Doing yoga is a practice of movement and a little bit of meditation all in one. It really helps you connect to your spiritual self and also the planet too. I used to do yoga two years ago and then I stopped doing it but I really want to get back into it again. It really relaxed my mind and I felt really zen after I would do yoga. While you are doing yoga you really feel a whole connection to the earth and to really everything. You could feel every movement you would do and it was all very present and in touch with your environment. 

4)Go off grid and technology free!-It pays off to spend some time offline and be checked out. When you are disconnected from social media and all the other distractions from your devices you can spend more time outdoors connecting with nature. You will also feel more relaxed because you won't be overwhelmed with all the distractions that come with being connected to your devices. A camping trip is a good example of going off grid and technology free. Maybe try to go camping once or twice a year to disconnect. Or if you don't like camping you can disconnect in another way. Just do what works for you. 

5)Prioritize connecting with nature-When you prioritize your connection with nature you will be more connected because you are going out of your way to make sure you have a good connection. A lot of it is about the effort you put into it. So just make it a priority to disconnect and get outside! 

I hope this inspired some of you guys! I will see you soon with another post. 

A Talk About Happiness

Long time no see guys! I am still trying to figure out where exactly I want to go with this blog but for the most part I want it to be an outdoors and positivity blog because I'm very passionate about those two things. So today I wanted to talk about happiness and what it means to me.

So to me happiness is the most important thing in life. You can find happiness in little things or you can find it with big things. It doesn't matter where you find your happiness but happiness is a key essential to enjoyment and fulfillment in life. Without happiness life is full of sorrow, doubt, and feeling like you're not enjoying life. Life is too short to be unhappy and truly you will get more out of life when you are happy. Now I know for some people it doesn't come easy so small steps are important if you aren't feeling very happy with your life at the moment. Even if happiness is something you need to work on you CAN be happy if you want to be happy. Happiness is not limited and anyone can achieve it with positive life changes. So never feel like you can't be happy because you can do it!!

Now you may be wondering what are the steps to be happy? There is not one set plan on how to be happy but do what works for you. So let's say if you are stuck in a miserable job and you can't seem to get out of it. Try to think of how you can leave your job and what job you can move on to next. Sometimes it's worth it to do what makes you more passionate and happier even if it makes you less money. So whatever the situation is think of what is in your way and eliminate the thing that is in your way, that way you can be happy or closer to happiness.

Once you eliminate everything in your way of happiness you can truly be happy. True happiness is blissful and it's something that cannot be replaced with anything else because it's simply everything. Chase happiness and when you are happy just embrace it and let it shine from within you. Let it radiate from you when you smile, when you laugh, when you talk. Just let it shine!

Now to talk about my story with happiness, personally I have always been a happy girl but it seems like as time goes on I just keep getting more and more happy. Right now I feel so fulfilled with life and I know that it will only get better from here. I have really found my love for nature and the outdoors so I have been going outside a lot. I have been doing a lot of hiking, hammocking, tubing, swimming, and exploring. I am also really glad I have this blog because I really want to inspire people and make a positive impact in people's lives. I feel like even if I'm only making a small impact it is still worth it in the end because I could add value to someone's life. I feel truly radiantly happy and I'm really glad I have reached this point in my life. I will keep sharing and keep moving forward with my life and I'm so excited for this journey.

Sorry if this post is kind of all over the place I haven't written in a while. I hope this inspired you guys, and I will see you soon with a new post!!

Cross Country Camp In the NC Mountains!

Hey guys I'm back with another post. As you guys may or may not know I went to cross country camp at the end of July and I finally have all the pictures sorted and now I'm sharing them. So I was there for five days and it was such a blast. I didn't even want to go home but I will say I'm glad to be home now. While we were there we stayed at a place called Christ School which is an all boys private school and there was around fifteen or so teams that also went to camp there as well. Basically we would run with people who were at our fitness level and there were different events every day that everyone did. So it was a team kind of camp but I also got to meet new people from other schools which was really cool too. For example I met some girls from Tennessee and we ate dinner with them. Cross country camp was just so much fun and worth the experience for sure. 

Day one

We drove up to the mountains on day one and the drive was around 5 hours or so and I was sleeping most of the trip up. We stopped at Wendy's for lunch and kept driving. Then we got there and got our stuff settled into the dorms. After that we were put into our running groups and went for an evening run. Then we hung out and then went to bed. 

Day 2

On day two we woke up and got on the bus to go to Hooker Falls to run. Hooker falls I'd say was the most hilly course that we ran on and the run wasn't too bad but the hills had me so beat. After we were done running we dipped in the hooker falls waterfall and the water was freezing but it was well worth it because now I can say that I've swam in a waterfall. After hooker falls we went back to Christ school for lunch and I think we had some down time and then we had a motivational speaker talk to us about how to always have good races. After that we got in our evening run and then we had dinner and then an event but I forgot what it was. I think it was movie night actually, but I'm not sure. Then we hung out and went to bed. 

Day 3

On day three we went running at DuPont state forest and then after our run we went to sliding rock. Sliding rock was the highlight of the trip for sure because it was so much fun and it was my first time sliding down a waterfall. The mountain water was freezing but it was very refreshing after our morning run. Then we came back for lunch and we had some down time so I went door bell ditching and window ditching with Isabella in our dorm. Then we had an evening run and after our run we went swimming in the creek with our whole team. What was cool is that we found a shovel and a bike in the creek and we took pics with those but the photos didn't turn out super good so I left them out of the photos on here. After that we ate dinner and then had the talent show. After that we just hung out with everyone and then went to bed. 

day 4

On day four we had breakfast and then went running and I actually have a story about this run. The counselors said that the run would be the easiest run of the week and it turned out to be the opposite. So we got to the spot to run and we started running and it turns out we were running down the wrong path and basically we were running up a steep mountain. During the run I fell and my knee and some parts of my left leg were bleeding. I had to run back with a stinging pain for four miles but I made it and it wasn't too bad, it was just painful to run on. So there is the story with that and then we had lunch and we had an afternoon run and we took pictures. After that we had dinner and a dance party later. Then we went to bed after hanging out. 

Day 5

Now on to the last day! We just had a campus run in the morning and then the closing ceremony and then it was back home. It was actually me and Isabella's birthday on the last day there and my coach agreed to let us choose the lunch on the way back home. Of course we picked Bojangles and we were really excited about it. The thing that I get the most excited for when it comes to my birthday is the food so it was a good day. And we just got back home and I opened my presents and chilled. 

Click on the video if you want to watch my dorm ding dong ditch video too! 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope y'all liked all the pictures. It was so much fun and I didn't even want to come home because of all the fun I was having. I'm really glad that I got to have this experience and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life for sure. 

Quitting Fashion Blogging and Re branding My Blog

Hey guys this is something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while but I wasn't sure on how to go about it. So as you guys may or may not know I took a blogging break to think about what I wanted to do with my blog because I haven't really been into fashion blogging that much. I haven't posted anything on my Instagram or blog in two weeks or so and while I was on my break I felt really liberated and it was nice. While on my break I was really thinking about what I wanted to do with this blog and I feel like it's time to re brand my blog. I knew that I wanted to keep my blog but I just haven't really been into fashion blogging lately so I think it's time for some content that I actually feel good about posting. I am kind of tired of continuing to fashion blog when I'm not really into it that much. The truth is that I really enjoy nature and motivation and I would really like to gear my blog towards that. Now I'll explain why I'm doing this...

With fashion blogging it seems like everyone is trying to create this glamorous lifestyle with all this stuff, a big closet, and new clothes everyday and I really don't resonate with that. I feel like when you are a fashion blogger you have to always try to impress all your followers and gain social acceptance and social status and it's so dumb. You are not your status and I feel like as a fashion blogger you base your self worth based on how many likes and followers and comments you have and that is not healthy. I also saw what seemed like every fashion blogger saying shop my outfits, shop this, and shop that but really the truth is that I am minimalistic and I have a hard time with telling people to consume more. I think less is more and you really become so much happier with less weight on your shoulders so saying to buy clothes that you don't need is not my kind of deal. Fashion blogging was just starting to feel like a deep void and I knew I wasn't passionate about it anymore but I would still try to put out posts because I felt like I had to. But you know what I'm going to do me and if you still want to follow my journey then follow along but If not that is totally okay with me. Fashion blogging just isn't my thing anymore and I have accepted that and now I'm ready to blog about what I'm passionate about. 

Now to talk about what my new content will be like. So I will be changing my blog name to Courtney Hardy because it's just easier for people to remember me by that. I have been really inspired by nature lately and I've been spending a lot of time outdoors so I want to post more outdoorsy posts on my blog. I am also all about happiness and living your best life so I want to post motivational and inspiration posts on my blog too. I just want to share my thoughts and adventures with you guys basically. Those things are what I'm really passionate about so I want to post about those things for the most part. I also want to also have an occasional running post because I enjoy running too. With this blog re brand I will also not go out of my way to get more comments and likes on my Instagram pictures, I will just post and be done. Before It would take two hours just to post on Instagram because there was a whole process to it but now I won't be doing that. I will also forget the posting schedule and just post whenever I want to post. I just want to be more natural and show how I actually live my life on my blog instead of trying to make myself look and seem perfect when I'm not. If you also noticed I did redo the style of my blog and I really like it. So yeah that will be my new re brand and I hope you guys are looking forward to it because I am. 

I hope you guys support this change and I'm telling you I'm all about passion in life and doing what makes you happy so I'm going to do that because life is too short to not enjoy what you do. I am happy to say peace out to fashion blogging and I'm excited for this journey ahead! See you guys soon.

What I'm Packing for Cross Country Camp

Hey guys! I'm back with another blog post. Today I wanted to share what I'm packing for cross country camp. I leave for camp on Sunday and I couldn't be more excited. As you guys may or may not know I am a runner and I do varsity cross country, winter track, and spring track. Every year for cross country we always do a cross country camp and I didn't go last year because I was new to the team but this year I'm going! I will be just outside of Asheville and I will be running in a lot of cool places. It will also be nice to have some time off work and time with my friends. 

Now you may be wondering what I will be doing at camp, and I'll be doing a whole lot of stuff. I will be running twice a day with intense mountain training. There will be motivational speakers, yoga, fun activities to do with our team, swimming in waterfalls, and good food to eat. I could not be more excited and since I'll be at camp being busy from sun up to sun down I won't be posting on my blog or my Instagram for the next week. I will miss posting but I think I'll update my insta stories and stuff like that while I'm away and once I'm back y'all will see all the photos. 

I wish I could pack my dog but I can't! I will miss her so much and I just had to take this photo with her because she's precious. 

Now on to what I'm packing! This is a picture of all of the clothing items I'm packing. It will be mostly running clothes because that is the whole vibe of the camp but I'm also packing some casual clothes, my swimsuit, my pajamas, a belt, my birks, my running shoes, two hats, and a towel. 

Now on to other stuff I'm packing. I'll be packing basic toiletries, my blue tooth speaker, my water bottle, my roller, and my wallet. I also want to bring a fan because there will be no air conditioning in the rooms but I can't find the fan so I might be out of luck. I will be rooming with my friend Danielle and if I can't find the fan I will hope that she brought a fan lol. 

So that is all I'm bringing to camp. I can't wait to go because it will be a lot of fun. I will see you guys on the 31st with a new blog post! 

How to Kick Start Your Dream Life

I feel like everyone has dreams about how they would like their life to be. Whether it be traveling or finding a soul mate, everyone has dreams or goals in life. There may be things holding us down from achieving our dreams through like money, people, or fear. You can start living your dream life once you make an action plan on how you will achieve what you want to achieve. I will say if you are here reading this because I want a six million dollar mansion or something than I can't really help you because your dream is out of reach most likely. I am here writing this for the everyday kind of person who is looking for more passion and fulfillment in life. Now here I'm going to explain the types of steps you need to take and what mindset you need to have when it comes to achieving your dream life. I also want to describe to you guys my dream life. So let's get into it.
If you want to achieve your dreams you have to try to be optimistic about life. When you are optimistic about life you can get more out of life and your chances of achieving your dreams are higher if you develop a more optimistic mindset. Now I do understand for some people it's easier said than done but try your best to always stay positive even when life gets hard. You also have to motivate yourself to have a good day everyday even when you are having a bad day. You can always turn a bad day around to make it better if you try hard enough. Just make the most out of everyday to your best ability and you will notice that you will be happier if you live everyday to the fullest. Your chances of achieving your dreams will be higher since you are putting more effort into having a good day. And what I like to say is that when you have a good day everyday you will have a good life. 
You can only start living the life you love once you let go of what is holding you back. Really think about what you want to get out of life and think about what is in your way of you getting to your dream life. You have to be realistic with yourself too to see if your goals are even possible. Now whatever is holding you back from living the life you want to live, let go of it. Letting go is the hard part but once you let go of whatever is in your way you will feel absolute bliss. Once you let go you can finally be close to achieving your dreams. 
Taking action is the key way for you to achieve your dream life and if you don't take action nothing will ever happen for you. Think about how you will achieve your goals and put together an action plan for that goal. Once you have your plan together take action on it and if you are really determined you will likely succeed. 
Now I want to talk about what my dream life is. I would want a simple and happy life. I want to live minimally and work to sustain myself instead of living to work. I want to see things and have new experiences everyday. I want to be connected to earth and always be surrounded by nature. I want to be spontaneous and adventurous but not dumb. I want to be somewhat of a globe trotter and travel the world. I may only travel for a little due to finances but while I'm not traveling I want to live in a nice shack by the lake. I would rather chase waterfalls than chase materialistic things in life. To me experiences are always better than stuff. I for sure want to live by the water too because I love water. I want to have a good day everyday and I never want to regret anything in life. I don't see myself having an ordinary life and working 9-5 chasing the American dream. I want to work as much as I need to to support my minimal lifestyle and I want to go do cool stuff everyday. I don't want a lot of stuff in life I just want to have a lot of good experiences. While it's nice having money it's not everything in life, your happiness is always number one in life. 

I feel like I have achieved my dream life emotional wise but travel wise I have not achieved my goal because I am only a high school student and school is my life as of now. I can't travel right now because I live with my parents and I got a lot of stuff going on but the travel thing will come at a later time in my life. I do live a simple and happy life with no regrets and I am proud of that. I always surround myself with nature because it makes me feel good, and I am always doing some cool stuff. I feel like I have achieved my dream life somewhat and the only part that is missing is the travel part of it. But the cool thing is that It's not missing that much because I went to the Outer Banks this year already and I will be going to the Mountains on Sunday for cross country camp. I usually go somewhere every year so travel is still in my life y'all and I like traveling a lot. 

Recently I've been inspired by people who live in a van or a tiny house because they don't have much holding them down and they can just go wherever they want and see the world. To me that would be really cool just to do that for a year or something. I feel like there would be challenges of living that small but I feel like it would be very liberating at the same time. But anyways I feel like I have talked enough so we will end the post!! I'll see you guys on Friday with another blog post. Take care! 

The Boho Floral Top

Hey guys welcome back to my blog. Today I wanted to share a super cute and casual outfit for summer. I am wearing a royal blue floral top, some pink shorts, some Birkenstocks, and my favorite necklace. The bold colors of the look make the outfit more playful, but then having simple prints make the outfit more chill. To talk about the shirt I got it for only 10 bucks from Target which is a really good deal. My mom picked it out for me and I was like that is literally my style right there so I'm glad we found the top! I do have to say she has a good eye for what my style is. 

To also mention why I'm looking away in all of these pictures it's because it was so bright outside and I couldn't see! I also wanted to try out some new poses because it seems like I always do the same pose in all of my outfit photos. Okay and is it just me or does my hair look like it's getting longer and blonder. I would really like that because I love long blonde hair. I've had short hair for the longest time and I'm trying to grow it out to change it up and to also be able to do more hairstyles with it. 

Outfit details: My top is from Target, my shorts are from Target, my shoes are from Kohl's, my necklace is from the beach, and my glasses are from Coach. 

That's all for today's post. I just wanted to share this outfit that I'm loving! I want to do a more motivational or inspirational post on Friday so we will see what I come up with. Until next time have a good one! 

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