The Blog

Modern Hippie’s Detox Lemonade

Did you have too much fun this weekend? Are you fighting a cold? Or do you just want a drink that is both tasty and healthy for you? Look no further than this easy recipe for detoxifying lemonade.

The key ingredient in this concoction is Apple Cider Vinegar. Even though it’s one of those “trendy” super-substances at the moment, ACV has been around long enough to prove its worth. A simple Googling of the term “Apple Cider Vinegar benefits” yields countless articles and suggestions for using the strongly flavored liquid. I’ve tried it as a hair rinse, in various food and drink recipes, and even for natural cleaning. My favorite use by far is this tasty lemonade.

This recipe also employs the use of lemon juice. A great way to keep the scurvy away, lemons (and therefore lemon juice) are full of Vitamin C. Lemon juice is also a natural disinfectant, known to kill bacteria by some chemical process that I can’t pretend to be familiar with.

I’ve also substituted lime juice and it tastes just as yummy. It’s great if you’re in the mood for a different flavor as well.

I cannot tell a lie – I have considered adding alcohol to this due to the simple but delicious taste. I do believe that would defeat the purpose, but if you must I would recommend a vodka or gin. The tart notes would easily mask the taste of the alcohol, leaving you with a drink that is both lighter in calories and tasty.

As for the frozen fruit, I’ve made this recipe several times and by trial and error I recommend mixed berries. The mixed berries add a nice flavor to the lemonade and provide the additional detoxifying effect of the antioxidants in the berries themselves. I tried strawberries and mango as well, but neither gave the type of flavor that I was looking for.

Want to make this recipe at home? I’m warning you-it’s addicting! Even though it is very much winter here at my home in Central Virginia, this lemonade brings me to the warm days of summer. It would be the perfect addition to a hot day at the lake.

Here’s your recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ounces water
  • Frozen mixed berries to taste

Toss all of your ingredients into a glass and shake it! If you have a cocktail setup- this may be the perfect opportunity to use it. Pour the concoction over ice and voilà-the perfect detoxifying lemonade.

Did you try it out? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


On Intuition

What does it mean to feel “led” to do something? On the spiritual level, I’ve heard of feeling led by direct communication from a higher power. This has never been a reality to me. I’ve never heard a directive spoken into my ear from God, g-d, the universe, anyone. I have, however, had overwhelming moments of intuition. This is the closest I understand to the concept of being led by the universe.

The latest moments of intuition have been throwing me for a loop. Sometimes I will feel strongly that I should apply for a job, I will feel the intuition alarm go off when I’m in a bad situation, or even feel an intuitive twinge regarding the outcome of a football game. But recently I’ve been feeling led to set myself up to live in a place that I never thought I’d want to live. I feel so strongly led to be in this place as soon as possible the sensation is almost overwhelming.

Since this sensation is so strong and I truly don’t understand why I logically would want to move to this place, I’ve been meditating on the concept of intuition. I respect intuition, but I also subscribe to reason because I feel the two should remain close if not intertwined in decision-making. One without the other can make for either rash or heartless decisions.

Good old Merriam-Webster defines intuition as “a thing one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” Holy hell, it’s spot on. I have no prospects in this place, no family, no friends. Yet I feel like I should be there. I feel that if I look for my dream job, this will be the place where I will find it. I feel that when my boyfriend looks for a residency, he will find it here. I feel that when it comes time to explore moving , this is the place that will work out.

Of intuition, friends, I can only tell you that it has been right most of the time. I felt the same intuitive pull when I selected my kitten from my local humane society and he has been one of life’s sweet spots. I felt it when I met my boyfriend for the first time and he’s the love of my life. I felt it when I saw the listing for the house I now live in on the internet. Although I don’t understand it, I trust its significance in my mind and my life.

Hike It: Nature Conservancy’s Fortune’s Cove Preserve

A few of my favorite features of a hike are solitude, terrain features, and views. I love the meditative quality of being alone with nature coupled with the reminders of nature’s majesty. Fortune’s Cove offered some serious solitude, fun ascents, and pretty glimpses of the valley.

Hidden off of 29 North in Lovingston, Fortune’s Cove is part of a 755 acre plot of land owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy. Although somewhat difficult to find, we eventually stumbled upon the official sign and knew we were in the right place. The parking lot was small and pleasantly not crowded – only one other car was in the lot when we arrived and was gone when we returned from our hike. One note about this trail is that animals are not allowed, a rule we noticed fellow hikers were not respecting.

We decided to take the upper loop trail, listed on Nature Conservancy’s page as being a 5.5 mile loop with more steep inclines than the lower loop trail. The trail starts with a 1700 foot climb right off the bat with very few switchbacks. This climb continues until the trail splits off into either the white trail (lower loop at 3.7 miles) or yellow trail (upper loop at 5.5 miles). The signs were frequent and very easy to follow, leaving no question as to where we were headed.

Nature Conservancy Fortune's Cove

We didn’t see a single other person on the trail, a welcome experience having hiked some of the more popular trails in the region. The website indicates several locations to catch views of the valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. We only passed one spot on the loop trail where we caught some decent views removed from tree cover. I think if we had hiked in the summer, we definitely would’ve had more limited views. The “view” sign at High Top Mountain is pretty misleading, the only thing you will be able to view from the top is the huge cell tower that dominates the summit. On the positive side, you will likely have full cell service for the entire hike.


This trail was definitely longer than 5.5 miles. We clocked approximately 7.7 miles on a GPS watch from the beginning of the trail to the end. Be prepared with a snack or a lunch if need be. Another word of warning: if it recently rained or snowed in the region, a lot of the trail can become slippery. I’m usually pretty surefooted and I slipped several times.

Overall this wasn’t my favorite hike in the Central Virginia region, but it was a good longer workout with a lot of tough inclines. Another plus to this trail: Mountain Cove Vineyards is less than a half mile down the road and Virginia Distillery Company is less than 10 minutes away. Both are fantastic options for locally made treats post-hike.


Maybelline Big Shot Mascara Review

I received this product free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


The Packaging

Probably the only thing I enjoyed about this product was the packaging. It’s cool and kind of bullet-shaped and the gold and royal purple tones hint at exclusivity and good taste. The mascara wand was a fun (albeit unnecessary) shape with a pretty standard brush head for mascara. Unfortunately, this is probably the only thing I like about Maybelline’s Big Shot Mascara.


The Product

I am brutally honest with my reviews because I feel that in today’s age of social media marketing it is commonplace for companies to pay or incentivize reviewers so that they’ll say nice things about a product that aren’t necessarily true.

That being said, I truly disliked Maybelline’s Big Shot Mascara. I don’t care for the feel of waterproof mascaras in general and Maybelline’s product was no different. The texture going on was very sticky-almost like I was brushing liquified plastic onto my lashes. I will say it gave me some volume, but not enough to ¬†make up for all of the negatives. I felt uncomfortable instantly and that feeling remained with me for the entirety of my workday. I noticed an itching sensation about midway through the day which made me wish that I could just pull the mascara off of my eyelashes. But for the sake of the review, I kept it on through the rest of my workday and a cycling class.

When I attempted to remove the mascara, I noticed that my eyelashes were falling out. Anything that makes your eyelashes fall out cannot be good for you. I use Garnier’s Micellar Water to remove makeup and it’s usually extremely effective, but for this mascara it didn’t do a thing. Only when I brought out my coconut oil did the mascara yield to a remover.

Given the feel of the mascara and the hard to remove nature of the product, I began to question its toxicity. I found it extremely frustrating when I began to research the ingredients list of the Big Shot Mascara because (big surprise) the majority of the ingredients are considered harmful and carcinogenic. I’m certainly not an expert, but when I find an Acrylate (a carcinogenic chemical used in acrylic nails) near the top of the ingredient list in a mascara I definitely become concerned.

To Conclude

I would not recommend purchasing the Big Shot Mascara at all. I personally value knowing that my product is made with non-carcinogenic ingredients, so this was a huge mark against Maybelline. I also think that it was a bit too harsh as it made my lashes fall out and felt super plastic-y. Spend a few extra dollars on a product with fewer carcinogens and better effectiveness, your body will thank you.

The Lesson 2016 Taught Me

I wanted my first post on A Modern Hippie to mean something. I wanted to write a thoughtful piece that would inspire thought and set the tone for what I want this blog to be. I think I found my inspiration and I hope it inspires you too.

2016 was dubbed the year from hell by many and my personal 2016 experience ran along the same vein. I experienced loss, difficult change, failure, and health struggles in frustratingly sequential order. I spent the majority of 2016 in an intentional haze trying my best to push back every emotion and push forward in the process. I usually try to find some kind of lesson in things that hurt, but in 2016 I just couldn’t bring myself to do so.

As I lounged on the couch with my boyfriend and our kitten the first day of the new year, a realization hit me like a ton of 2016-shaped bricks. In pushing back every emotion, I had also forgotten to cherish the small positive moments. I began to acknowledge the finite nature of everything in life, how much of it I had missed by sitting in my intentional haze. I began to focus on the feeling of sitting with my boyfriend and my kitten. The next few days, small happy moments stood out to me and grew in significance. A kiss before leaving the house for work, a good laugh with a coworker, a cool breeze on a run. There is beauty to be found in everyday moments, a beauty so significant that it makes life worth living. The value of the beauty stemming from existing in the present moment is the lesson that 2016 taught me.

I think of losing my childhood pet, my dog Bubba. As unrealistic as it sounds, I always assumed he would be there and never confronted the idea that his existence in my life was finite. I think back and wish I would’ve taken more pictures, committed more moments to memory, spent more time present. Now, memories and pictures are all I have. I remember the haze that surrounded me during hikes through beautiful mountains, blinding me to quality time in nature and with my boyfriend. I remember conversations with good friends I wish I was more present in. I am confronted with the awareness that everything that happens can never be experienced the same way again.

There is no shame in appreciating what you have and prioritizing your time to allow for presence. Perhaps if I had been more present in my frustrations in 2016 I could’ve learned my lesson sooner.

I also learned that it’s not too late to begin presence, to begin cherishing what fulfills you in life. Start today, start now. Remember the finite nature of life as you respond to painful situations. Hold the moments and the people you love dear. Dedicate time to who and what you cherish. There’s nothing worse to look back with regret. That’s the lesson 2016 taught me.