Highlands, NC Photo Diary

Over spring break I went to the Appalachian mountains and I'm here today to share a photo diary from the trip. If you are looking for a nice mountain getaway I would check out Highlands, NC for sure. It's so beautiful there and there is literally waterfalls on the side of the road. Also if you are a hiker this would be a great place to visit because there is lots of hiking. So let's get into it! 
Dry Falls

Dry falls is by far the most powerful and raging waterfall we've seen. You can go behind the waterfall too which is really cool because I can't think of any other waterfall that you can actually go behind. 

Dry Falls sign

Dry fall's power has caused some to get injured so you got to watch out and be careful when you get there. 

Dry Falls

Me taking the typical tourist shot of course haha

Gorgeous dry falls

Beautiful dry falls is alive

Bridal Veil Falls

This waterfall is the one you see when you drive up the mountain to go to highlands. It's kind of a mini waterfall but when it rains it gets more raging. 

Bridal Veil Falls

Such a cool waterfall for being on the side of the road. 

Bridal Veil Falls sign

They had to put that sign up for some reason because some idiots were probably trying to do some stupid. But it makes a cool photo. 

Glen Falls

Glen falls is the longest waterfall we saw. It is a two mile hike and there is three different parts of the waterfall that you can see. It's kind of cool because you hike down the waterfall and at the bottom it leads to a little pool. This waterfall is also supposedly the longest waterfall in North Carolina. I could be wrong about that through, I'm not sure. 

Glen Falls

This was the first waterfall at the very top of the hike.

Glen Falls

Me admiring it

Dirty hiking shoes

And of course my shoes get muddy. But hey there's nothing with getting dirty to see some waterfalls. 

Glen falls

This was the last part of the waterfall at the very bottom. I liked putting my feet in the little natural pool. 

in my element

Me in my element

Day two

Whiteside mountain

Whiteside mountain was by far the prettiest hike because when you get to the top of the mountain it's all panoramic views. It's almost 5,000 feet up and what is pretty cool is that you can see where the land gets flat. You just see mountains and then in way far off in the distance it's all flat. It's also pretty thrilling because when you are at the top of the mountain you are just so close to the edge and if there wasn't any railings I would probably be scared to death. 

Whiteside mountain view

A picture from the first lookout point. I thought that view was good but it just got better the more we hiked. 

Whiteside mountain rockface

The incredible rock faces we saw. 

Madison's, Highlands NC

After whiteside mountain we ate at Madison's for lunch. I didn't take a lot of pictures of what I ate while I was in Highlands, but this was one of the meals I ate. It was really good. 

Sunset Rock

The last spot we went to that was pretty cool was Sunset rock. While we didn't see much of a sunset it was still a beautiful spot to hangout. It overlooks the town and the town just looks so small compared to all the nature. 

Sunset Rock

And that's all the pictures! It kind of took me a while to put this all together because I tried to find the best photos. But I hope ya'll enjoy and I'll see you soon with a new blog post. 


Nature is Therapy

Nature Collage

I just have a short post today because sometimes you just got to keep it simple. 

Nature is like my therapy. When stuff hits or I just simply want to relax I go escape into nature to find myself again. Nature shows me that the most imperfect things can be perfect. Nature shows me all the beautiful natural elements of life that should be protected. Nature shows me raw beauty and utter peace and connection. I don’t know if nature can fuel a person but it fuels me for sure and it shows me the beauty in life even when it might not be beautiful all the time. Sometimes all you need is the vast forest and a mind that needs to be emptied. 


A Talk On Mindset/ Some of My Breakthroughs

Motivational Quotes

So something amazing happened a couple of days ago for me. I got my license and I got a raise within the same day. This surprised me and I was so excited. Before all of this happened I never thought I would pass my license test. I failed it three times prior and it was only because I was getting nervous and I was being so negative. Before going into it I was like, "I already know I'm going to fail". And that's the reason why I failed it a couple of times. After all of this I was just thinking about how mindset is literally everything. Like of course you are going to fail if you go into it thinking you will fail. But once I decided to manifest a positive mindset that's when everything changed. I started getting motivated to change and to progress. My problem a lot of the time is that I'm so happy with my current state of being that I almost don't feel motivated to make it even better. But the fact is that you can improve every single day. And even if you are so happy with yourself now you can be even better in the future. Going through this I really realized that mindset is everything. Everything is up to you and it's all your choice. 

When I didn't have my license I felt like a loser because "I couldn't get it". I felt like the world was working against me. Maybe it was? But what I decided to do was to be strong and to pass this stupid test. And once I believed I could do it, that's when I did it. It was also on this same day that I got the raise. Before I got the raise I asked my manager about how much I was getting paid and she told me she would talk to me soon about it. I didn't directly ask for a raise, I just wanted to go over my paychecks with her. Then on that night at work she pulled me into the office and that's when she said she wanted to give me a raise. I was so excited because I didn't think I would get a raise. But then it happened. 

I'm writing this here today to tell all of you that it can happen for you too. It could all happen in one day just like how it did for me. You CAN overcome those obstacles and it WILL happen. Sometimes you just have to be patient and sometimes you just have to change your mindset. Mindset is truly everything. 

The Damage That Plastic Creates In Our Environments

Plastic Pollution

Plastic is a commonly used item in the everyday household and a lot of people have no idea how polluting plastic can really be. Plastic is taking over our environments and it is polluting our planet. UN secretary general António Guterres says, "If present trends continue, there will be more plastic in the world's oceans than fish". This is incredibly alarming because just think of how much fish there are in the ocean. I looked up just how many fish there are and it is estimated that there is 3.5 trillion fish are in the ocean right now. If the amount of plastic exceeds the amount of fish that will cause major environmental pollution and damage to marine life. We can do something about this issue and it's just a question of whether or not we will do anything about it. We can all be more Eco friendly in one way or another whether it may be recycling or just not buying plastic anymore. We can all make some sort of an impact even if it's small. One less plastic item in our oceans means that maybe one less animal could be affected by plastic in a negative way. Maybe just one more animal could be given the opportunity to have a chance at life. 

The Arcadia power blog wrote, "Scientists estimate that 1 million seabirds are killed by consuming plastics every year". Just think of how much fewer birds would be killed if we just started being more aware of our plastic problem and taking action to control what ends up in our environments. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse the ocean crusaders writes on their website, "100000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found". This is a global issue and many animals are dying because of it. Do you want to see another dead sea turtle washed up on the beach? And do you want to see another intelligent dolphin entangled in plastic net? I don't think this can go on any longer because what are we going to do when all the fish are gone and all the water is polluted. This issue needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now. 

To talk about my personal experience with this issue. I am a nature and motivation blogger and I'm all about visiting local wildlife environments. I have seen the environmental pollution first hand everywhere. There is trash in local parks, creeks, rivers, and lakes. I can't even count how many times I've seen trash at falls lake or the neuse river. It's just sad when you want to visit the river and then you see trash everywhere and then the water looks more red and polluted than it did last time. It's sad looking at all of the trash on the ground and knowing that if people were more responsible the trash it wouldn't have been there in the first place. It's sad seeing fish and turtles swim around in contaminated, polluted water. I feel like a lot of people are blind to this issue because they haven't seen it for themselves. Maybe after reading this today just go out and see it for yourself. Visit a local nature area and go see how much trash you can find on the ground just by taking a simple walk. 

One could argue that plastic pollution isn't that big of an issue compared to other things. What they don't know however is that this problem is only increasing through time and it is causing more and more environmental problems. The Huffington post writes, "If it weren’t for plastic packaging, I don’t know that local, organic meat producers and dairy farmers would be able to ship their products to stores". While this is a concern there is other options for packaging. You could use biodegradable corn-based plastic that is more environmentally friendly. There is also other alternatives like glass, metal, silicone, liquid wood, and milk protein. All of these materials would work just the same way that plastic would if not better, plus it's Eco-friendly. Qz.com writes, If we were to get rid of plastic today, the loss of the primary form of food packaging would make hundreds of thousands of people sick". While I do believe that plastic is the primary material used for packaging I do think that there are other materials you could use in place of plastic that would be just as safe. I mentioned some of the alternatives earlier on in this article and those would work really well in place of plastic. Some people bring up how plastic is preferred compared to other materials. The green biz writes, "Independent studies show that plastic bags are environmentally preferable to paper". While plastic may be more preferred that doesn't make plastic somehow okay. Plastic is a non biodegradable material and all of the non recycled plastic ends up in our environments and sits there for millions of years.

The plastic problem in our world is only growing year by year and when are we as people actually going to do something about it? According to greenpeace.org they report, "Of the 260 million tons of plastic the world produces each year, about 10 percent ends up in the Ocean". This is a very sad statistic and while some people may argue that it's not as bad as other things going on in the world but it is still very alarming. According to the arcadiapower blog, "Scientists estimate that 1 million seabirds are killed by consuming plastics every year, as are 100,000 mammals. In fact, 44 percent of marine bird species have been studied to show that such materials have affected them in some way".This problem cannot be ignored and this is I'd say one of the biggest environmental problems in our modern day world. Some people will claim that we need plastic for food safety and that there is no other good alternatives. They are obviously wrong because there are many alternatives. Now it just comes down to the fact of whether or not people want to accept the alternatives and change their way of living. Some people may also want to downplay this issue and say that everyone is "overreacting". I think people are just now discovering how bad plastic is and it is not overreacting. I think everyone is just now realizing how polluted the environment is really becoming and that is why people are upset by this issue. This is not just one fish, this is thousands even hundreds of thousands of marine species getting effected by plastic in a negative way. 

Plastic in rivers

This is something that I wrote for school and I thought I would share it on here because it has a lot of good information and it's very powerful. This is a lot more informational than my regular posts but it's important so I hope you guys enjoyed it. Until next week! Stay mindful. 


“Plastic Pollution Coalition.” Plastic Pollution Coalition, www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/.
Guern, Claire Le. “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide.” Plastic Pollution, plastic-pollution.org/.Power, Team Arcadia. “15 Key Facts & Statistics About Plastic Pollution.” Blog, Arcadia Power, 21 Aug. 2017, blog.arcadiapower.com/15-key-facts-statistics-about-plastic-pollution/.Rodale, Maria. “Is Plastic Really That Bad?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 May 2011, www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/is-plastic-really-that-ba_b_820067.html.NOAA's National Ocean Service, oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/marinedebris/plastics-in-the-ocean.html.“By 2050 There May Be More Plastic in Oceans than Fish – UN.” News24, 5 June 2018, www.news24.com/Green/News/by-2050-there-may-be-more-plastic-in-oceans-than-fish-un-20180605.Chepkemoi, Joyce. “How Many Fish Live in the Ocean?” World Atlas, Worldatlas, 25 Apr. 2017, www.worldatlas.com/articles/how-many-fish-are-there-in-the-ocean.html.Admin. “The Most Common Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Plastic Packaging.” Trending Packaging, 25 June 2015, www.trendingpackaging.com/the-most-common-eco-friendly-alternatives-for-plastic-packaging/.

Closing Initials

My Favorite Vegan Smoothie Recipies

Smoothie Bowl

Hey guys so I'm back and I wanted to announce that I will be doing new blog posts every Wednesday. Lately I've been proud of my Instagram content but not so much with my blog. I used to post on my blog twice a week and now it's like I only do one or two posts per month. So I want to get back into it and crank out some good content that I feel inspired by. So today I will be sharing my favorite vegan smoothie recipes. 

Daily Smoothie

This is the one that I do the most out of all of these and it's so good like the title says. So for this recipe you will need...
-2 bananas
-2 spoonfuls of oats
-A berry mix (I use  strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
-A splash of orange juice

Now you will just add that mix to a blender and you will just blend until it's done

Granola Smoothie Bowl

This recipe is perfect for breakfast since it involves granola. So for this one you will need...
-A cup of mixed berries (same mixture as the previous recipe)
-One banana
-One peeled tangerine 
-A splash of water
-A handful of granola on top

Now you will just add that everything but the granola to a blender and you will just blend until it's done
Then sprinkle the granola on there and you are done!

Berry Swirl Ice Cream

This one is my favorite out of these recipes. It literally tastes like heaven and it's like ice cream but it's completely vegan! So what you need for this recipe is...
-Three or four frozen bananas
-A splash of almond milk
-Splash of water
-Berry mix (same mix I used for the other recipes)

So you will put the bananas in the blender with a splash of almond milk and you will blend until it's done. Make sure you don't over blend because the mixture is supposed to be a little thick. The mixture is also supposed to be a light yellow color.

Then you will put your mixture in a bowl and clean your blender 

After it's clean you will throw in the berry mix with a splash of water and you will blend that until it's done. 

Then you will take out a jar or a bowl(I recommend a mason jar), and you will pour in the banana mixture first and then you will pour your berry mix on top. You can really layer it however you want but this is the way I recommend. It's like a layered taste and it's so good!!

That's all the recipes I have for you guys today. I hope you enjoyed! If you want more recipes that I didn't share on here today you can actually go to my Instagram and click on the healthy eats highlight and I have a couple more recipes on there that y'all can check out. See you guys next Wednesday! 

10 Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Have ya'll heard of Himalayan salt lamps? Well if you have not heard of Himalayan salt lamps they are pretty much natural Himalayan salt rocks with a light bulb placed inside of it.  For Christmas I bought myself a Himalayan salt lamp for more ambiance in my room but then I realized that Himalayan salt lamps actually have benefits. So I thought I would go over the benefits in this post! 

Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits
1) Enhance overall breathing
So to start out there are these things called Cilia that are hairs that line the windpipe. Cilia act as microscopic breathing filters. Based on studies positive ions decrease cilial activity and negative ions increase cilial activity. The negative ions have a more positive effect on your breathing and Himalayan salt lamps actually release negative ions and it is believed that Himalayan salt lamps can actually help you breathe better. 

2)Purify and cleanse air
Himalayan salt lamps can help filter the air by attracting water molecules and other particles in the air and the Himalayan salt lamp actually absorbs the molecules. This is also called Hygroscopy if you want to look it up. This process is known to remove any gross particles and molecules from the air and it makes the air quality better in that area. 

3)Raise energy levels
Positive ions make your energy levels go down but since Himalayan salt lamps release negative ions your energy levels actually go up. Fun Fact: This is why Himalayan salt lamps are commonly used when it comes to energy healing because your energy increases with Himalayan salt lamps.

4)Enhance mood
The negative ions from the Himalayan salt lamp can help increase serotonin in your brain which actually improves your mood and energy levels.  

5)Helps you relax and decrease stress
Himalayan salt lamps omit a soft glow that can actually reduce your stress and help you relax. The glow acts as chromotherapy and actually puts you in a relaxing mood. The glow from the Himalayan salt lamp is also known to balance emotional, spiritual, and emotional energies. 

6)Improve Sleep
When you are overly exposed to positive ions it reduces the brain's blood and oxygen supply which makes it harder to sleep. So by having the negative ions from the Himalayan salt lamp it is proven to increase the brain's blood and oxygen supply and make it easier to fall asleep. 

7)Balance out Electromagnetic Radiation
Whether you believe it or not all of our devices have Electromagnetic radiation. EM radiation releases positive ions into the air constantly. EM radiation can cause fatigue, stress, a weak immune system, and the list goes on. But the nice thing is that Himalayan Salt lamps actually cancel out the positive ions and release negative ions which can prevent static buildup.  

8)Reduce Asthma 
This one goes along with improving your breathing. Himalayan Salt lamps filter the air and remove all the gross particles and molecules from the air. By having a Himalayan salt lamp it is said that it can reduce asthma since the air will be a better quality. 

9)Boost Blood flow
Studies find that negative ions can help improve blood flow and Himalayan salt lamps omit negative ions so the lamps could increase blood flow.

10)Increase Performance
There was a cool study where people had to complete a fourty minute task on the computer and they were exposed to negative ions. After the end of the fourty minutes it was found that when they were exposed to negative ions it reduced stress and anxiety. It also increased their performance. The reason why this happened was because negative ions increase blood and oxygen supplies in the brain and then in turn increase performance. 

Now that's all the benefits! A lot of the benefits were due to the negative ions the Himalayan salt lamp omits. Now don't y'all want to get one, I love them! Who knew a lamp could have so many benefits. Thanks for visiting my blog, I'll see you guys soon!

Why You Should Meditate Everyday


Meditation. I'm sure we have all heard of it and how good it is for us but how many of us out there actually meditate? To make you guys familiar with what meditating is, meditation is pretty much practicing on your breathing and just closing your eyes and letting it all flow. I don't think there is really a constructive definition to meditation because it's really something that you interpret in your own way. I don't think that there is just one correct way to meditate or anything I think that you can do it in so many different ways. So to get that out of the way-

I think no matter how busy you are you can incorporate it into your routine everyday. It really only takes five minutes but you could go for a longer time period. Just do what works for you. I will say the longer you do it for the deeper you go into it. Most likely if you do it for a longer time than five minutes it will be more effective.

Now why meditate?
Mediation Benefits
So as you can see there are many benefits to meditation. Personally I have experienced most of these benefits myself. Now I really didn't get into mediating until December of 2018, so I have only been meditating for around two months now. But in that time frame I have really enjoyed it and it makes you have a deeper relationship with your inner self. I have felt really present and more aware of the things around me and I feel really happy. Now I've always been pretty happy but it's like it just takes your happiness to a new level. It has also really made me realize just how connected everything in this world is. Like for example our connection to other human beings, animals in nature being connected to their environment, our connection with ourselves. I have also been more relaxed and unbothered and I'm just kind of in my own zone which I love. So I have experienced most of the benefits described and I for sure recommend meditating on a regular basis.  

I try to incorporate it into my nightly routine every night. I will say that when you are first getting into it it is hard to be consistent with it but once you get it it will just become natural to you to do it often. I think it is worth it for sure and you could even experience a spiritual awakening from doing it every day. Either way if you get anything out of it you WILL feel happier just by meditating everyday or on a regular basis. So I encourage all of you guys to start doing it. 

I am hoping to post more on my blog soon. I know I don't post as much as I used to but I am mostly active on Instagram. So you guys can find me on there @adventureswithcourtt or you can click the little Instagram button on the side of my blog and it can take you to my page. I post on there around twice a week so if you want to see my posts you can go on there. 
Thanks for reading and until next time have fun!

My Sources