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Blog

Sharing a little Aloha and daily inspiration — fashion, beauty, wellness, or whatever fancies me at the moment. A place for me to share my California + Hawaii beach-life, what inspires me as a designer, and my latest passion for clean beauty. Bringing together my lifestyle businesses  – Stacia, Bungalow Fragrance, and Aloha Beautycounter under one thatched roof in a bungalow on the beach.

Aloha,

Stacy

My Summer Essentials

Stacy Johnson

Aloha Means Love...I'm all about anything that says or expresses a little Aloha. Saw this beachy tee on Instagram and knew it belonged to me. Made by the Hawaii-based line Gillia, the tee is perfect thrown over a swimsuit or après beach with some cut-offs sans bra. It's currently sold out on their web site, but still available at Guava Shop online and in their shop in Haleiwa.

I've been obsessed with Spell the Gypsy Collective bralettes and bloomers for over a year now. Can't seem to get enough of these gorgeous floral printed sets. They're beachy, feminine, and bohemian, and too cute to be covered up. Show them off under a muscle shirt or wear as a swim suit.

The perfect Summer slides when you want something a little more chic than a flip flop. Saw these chambray denim slides on Shopbop.com and knew they were a must-have with their minimalist design and frayed edges.

I plan on showing off my Spell Design floral set under Faithfull brand's Summer coverup/dress. Super cute worn off-shoulder or unbuttoned to show off a bralette or swimsuit. Available at my favorite Summer shop, Salt Boutique on Nantucket. Be sure to stop by and check out my Bungalow fragrance collection while you're on island and pick up a Bungalow body lotion too. Lather on after the beach to help show off your glistening tan legs and you'll be transported to a bungalow on the beach.

Happy Summer and see you at the beach!

Aloha,

Stacy

Road Trip - Kailua Town

Stacy Johnson

Who doesn't love a road trip? And exploring a place you've visited before has the comfort of familiarity, but the adventure of discovering new finds. Kailua is just that place for me. Having grown up on the East side of Oahu just around the bend from Kailua, it has always been on my radar. But this is not the Kailua I grew up with -- hipster coffee shops, highly-curated mens' surf shops, and a mega Wholefoods to boot. Back in the day, Kailua was a sleepy 'burb like Hawaii Kai, an extension of the bustling windward town of Kaneohe. Today it's a real hodgepodge of eclectic shops, modern conveniences, and a home town feel where transplants come looking for their piece of paradise to raise a family.

I haven't been back to Kailua since 2014 and even in that short time, new hot spots have popped up which I discovered on my recent trip this month. A Target now resides in the center of town, a stone's throw from the Wholefoods. But it's not just the big guys that have moved in. I recently discovered a little strip of cool shops on Hekili St., the little street that could (reminds me of my 'ol Smith Street days in Brooklyn.) A few of my favorite finds -- Twin IslandsAloha Beach Club, and Nalu Health Bar.

Twin Islands, a company founded by a Kailua brother honoring his late twin, epitomizes the laid back lifestyle of Kailua locals. Their unisex apparel represents the Mokulua (twin) islands off Lanikai beach which grace their uber soft tees and branded surf wear.

Aloha Beach Club, a hipster man's paradise of understated surf apparel appropriate for city and beach. With a flagship boutique in San Diego, this island outpost brings a little style to the once sleepy enclave. Their motto, simple things can, and should, be made well, is apparent in this minimalist mens shop. Perfect for the surfer dude (or wanna-be) who is anti-Quicksilver and doesn't want loud in-your-face prints and logos. Most hipster shops on the Mainland have a coffee bar inside, but in Hawaii, it's a shave-ice bar - The Local.

Across the bustling Kailua Road are three more hidden gems for the fashion set. Olive Boutique, one of the pioneer shops in Kailua on Kihapai St., has been around the longest and has injected some cool factor to Kailua. With bus loads of Japanese tourists coming in armed with travel books with their must-have stops, Olive and Oliver (the mens outpost next door), is the first on their list. The latest contemporary labels from CA and NY are on display next to curated accessories by Baggu, Rifle Paper Co., Voluspa Candles, and Dolce Vita shoes.

And my favorite spot, Kailua Living on Oneawa St., is the ultimate beach house you dream of having in Hawaii. This cozy turquoise heaven is stocked with hand-stamped linens, pillows, and clutches by owner Michele Baginski's Local Living Design, and chic beach coverups and apparel by local designers. The smell when you walk in conjures up memories of your favorite beach vacation -- the scent of coconut and bamboo from Bungalow fragrance by Stacia.

Kawapalai Market, the little beachside corner market, has been around since 1932 and is a Kailua landmark in town. If you need a sandwich, coffee, or a quick shave ice before the beach, this is the spot. Right at the end of Kailua Rd. before hitting the beach to the right towards Lanikai or towards the left to Kalama Beach, the old green country-style building should be your first stop.

And after the shopping is all said and done, what's left but to head to the beach! My two favorite spots are Kalama Beach park, a dog and kid-friendly locals beach great for boogie-boarding. For a more idyllic beach, head in the opposite direction towards Lanikai (where 2 of my 3 kids were blessed by Kahu Silva at age 2!) A boat basin just before Lanikai is the perfect spot to launch a kayak, SUP, or surfboard to head over to the twin Mokulua islands, the Mokes, as the locals call them. My next trip goal is to surf Mokes, a perfect long-board wave.

So is Kailua destined to be the next Waikiki with all the bus loads of tourists flocking in, the sprouting of big-box chains, and the gridlock on Kailua Road? Probably not. I see the growth as progress, and Kailua is definitely a cooler place for it and not just for outsiders to enjoy. The locals (whether haole or not) want modern conveniences for their young families, but still the laid-back vibe of the islands. And Kailua is a slice of paradise with cool organic juice bars, kayak/SUP shops, and a home-town feel. Who wouldn't want to live there?!

What's in My Beach Bag?

Stacy Johnson

Vacation getaway underway! Heading to Oahu for a quick break and packing my essentials. What's in my beach bag? Check out my travel must-haves for a much needed beach retreat.

My go-to surf uniform is the Seea Swami surf suit. I'm a boy-leg kinda girl and at 45 do not like (nor need!) my bikini riding up when I'm working a wave. To fully protect my skin instead of a traditional rash guard, I love the full coverage and its one-piece ease. And who wouldn't want to rock that cool contrast zipper in the back?

How do I keep my beauty essentials, car keys, and iPhone dry and sand-free? I'm storing them in this super chic mini pouch by Aloha Collection - a beach girl's quintessential clutch. In my pouch, I'll be stashing my signature island perfume oil, Bungalow Fragrance, for a quick dab behind the ear after a surf session. Smells like my best memories of Hawaii. To keep my skin protected from the island sun, I'll be doning my favorite coconut-infused SPF 30 daily moisturizer by Surfergirl. At the beach, a thick layer of the clear Beautycounter Sun Stick on my T-zone sure looks better than white zinc and works just as good. And for après surf, every girl needs a pink lip and mine is by Beautycounter - Peony lip gloss.

My daily ritual on vacation is pretty much Beach - Eat - Sleep - Repeat. And beach for me is either a paddle board session at Ala Moana, free diving at Waimea , or surfing Canoes in Waikiki. I'm obsessed with surf leggings! A stay-put bikini top by Seea and surf leggings by Salt Gypsy are my favorite. I'm SPF covered and feel sporty and chic on the water. My beach toys include one SUP ATX board, one custom 9' Hawaiian Island Creation surfboard, and one pair of Da Fins for ocean swimming. The best exercise is exploring the deep turquoise waters for hours in these rad fins that let me zip along with the sea turtles. And after a long day at the beach, it's a quick trip to Zippy's for a plate lunch or bowl of Won Tun Min. So ono!

What's my secret beach - can you guess where it is?

Shake it Up

Stacy Johnson

Who doesn't want to shake up their healthy snack? I've been looking for a great new recipe to transform my boring shakes into something healthy and delicious. Thanks to Robin Shirley of Take Back Your Health lifestyle blog and conference, her yummy Blueberry Hemp Shake has given new life to my dusty Nutribullet!

Here's the quick and simple recipe:

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil

1 1/2 Cup of Filtered Water

1/4 Cup Hemp Seed

1 Teaspoon Honey

a Dash of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Mix well in blender

Add a Cup of Frozen Blueberries and One Banana

1 Cup of Ice

Mix well in blender again...and Voila!

Robin said the key is to blend the first 5 ingredients first, then add your fruit and ice for a second round of blending. And where to find your Hemp Seed and Coconut Oil? At your local Trader Joe's of course!

Happy Blending!

Aloha,

Stacy

 

Bon Voyage

Stacy Johnson

Summer is coming to a close, but there’s always one last hurrah. If you’re looking to sneak in a quick getaway before Labor Day, here’s a few healthy travel tips to make your journey spontaneous and luxurious while pampering yourself on-the-go.

There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish when you’re traveling. Everyone seems to have thyroid and adrenal fatigue these days, brought on by stress, diet, and autoimmune disease. A great way to balance your thyroid function and encourage a healthy immune system,  I’ve discovered the all-natural Ashwagandha root. Known to help balance hormones, whether you have hypo or hyper thyroid issues, Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic superstar. Having gone through thyroid cancer and now on Armor thyroid meds to replace my thyroid function, I’m always up and down like a yo-yo. So far, 2 capsules a day of Ashwagandha has been helping me stay balanced.

 

When I travel, I like to travel light with just a carry-on, so I like my products to be travel size. These pint-size favorites are full of healthy, safe ingredients so I don't feel like I'm sacrificing performance when i'm on-the-go. First up, hydration. Whether traveling on a plane, hiking high-altitudes, or sun-bathing on a tropical beach, our skin needs hydration. My favorite is Beautycounter's Uplifting Rosewater Mist. It's travel-size passes TSA's requirements and fits perfectly in my carry-on for mid-flight spritzing. Cool and refreshing after a hike or beach trip, my skin soaks up the organic rose essence and moisturizing hyaluronate acid. An instant pick-me-up when you're traveling.

When I travel, I like to travel light with just a carry-on, so I like my products to be travel size. These pint-size favorites are full of healthy, safe ingredients so I don't feel like I'm sacrificing performance when i'm on-the-go.

First up, hydration. Whether traveling on a plane, hiking high-altitudes, or sun-bathing on a tropical beach, our skin needs hydration. My favorite is Beautycounter's Uplifting Rosewater Mist. It's travel-size passes TSA's requirements and fits perfectly in my carry-on for mid-flight spritzing. Cool and refreshing after a hike or beach trip, my skin soaks up the organic rose essence and moisturizing hyaluronate acid. An instant pick-me-up when you're traveling.

And let's not forget those lips! Dry, chapped lips are common even in Summer. This little pot of gold keeps my lips moist mid-flight or after a day in the sun. Beautycounter's Lip conditioner in Peppermint is the perfect travel companion. Formulated with soothing and softening avocado oil, shea butter, and joboba oil. And the tingling feel comes from peppermint and rosemary leaf oils - I'm in love!

Summer travel makes sun protection a must. But when you're traveling light without checking a bag, Beautycounter's portable sun stick is just the ticket. The new larger sun stick makes it easier and quicker to cover the whole body. Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, this light-weight, water-resistant SPF 30 sunscreen goes on clean with no chalky residue. I've been on the hunt for a high-performance sunscreen that does not contain Oxybenzone, which is a known hormone disruptor and triggers allergic skin reactions. Unfortunately many of today's common sunscreen brands contain this chemical sun blocker oxybenzone, which is not only bad for our skin, but bad for the environment.

Finally, my favorite pint-size travel companion is my signature fragrance, Bungalow. I'm not a big perfume wearer, so I like my scent to be light, clean and fresh. Made with all-natural botanical-based oils of bamboo, fig, and coconut, the pocket-size roller ball goes with me everywhere. Just a dab at my pulse points will transport me to that bungalow on the beach. And what better way to lounge on the beach? I'm in love with this chic, portable beach towel by Sunkit. comes with an adorable pocket for your beach essentials and rolls up for easy travel!

Happy Travels!

Aloha,

Stacia