• Our July 4th Long Weekend Cocktail Guide

    BBQ’s, fireworks, and a festive cocktail. Sounds like the perfect long weekend to us. We asked some of our favorites mixologists for their go-to recipes for summer libations to help add an extra bang to your holiday. Cheers!Tucked away of the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills is one of the town’s most beautiful bars— the scene is as good as the cocktails and here’s their summer must-have.

    The Prickly Pear Margarita

    2 oz tequila blanco
    3/4oz prickly pear syrup
    1oz lime juice
    7 sage leaves
    1 jalapeño slice

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker with sage and muddle. Add jalapeño slice and press ONCE. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass.

    Garnish: Prickly juice salt

    Glass: Single Rocks

    Photo and recipe courtesy Peninsula Beverly Hills.

    For some Southern flair we asked Tito from Couchon Butcher in New Orleans for his tried-and-tested party quencher.

    Water-Meli Cocktail

    Ingredients:
    1 1/4 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka

    2 oz fresh watermelon juice
    1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
    Ginger beer

    Combine Tito's Handmade Vodka, watermelon and lime juices in glass with ice. Stir to combine. Top with ginger beer and serve.

    Garnish: Lime Slice

    Glass: Double Rocks

    Photo and recipe courtesy Titos.

    If your guests are beer drinkers, a summer favorite of Boulevard Brewery is The “ZON.” Flemish for “summer,” the ZON is light, refreshing and crisp (with a hint of orange) and the perfect brew for your BBQ. See more here.

     

    For an entirely different twist on summertime celebrations, check out this cool way to serve a cocktail. Photo courtesy Pinterest.

    As always, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at social@johnnywas.com

  • A Summer Wardrobe Must Have: A Gorgeous Kaftan

    Kaftans are nothing new on the fashion front; they’ve been worn by various cultures across the globe for thousands of years. From Marrakech to Mumbai, this breezy tunic has been a wardrobe staple thanks to its effortless silhouette and endless fabric options—it’s the perfect hot weather cover up. “Aside from its colorful history, it’s also the perfect shape for most body types,” says Theresa McAllen, who dreams up some of your favorite kaftans for the 3J Workshop collection. “It is great as a beach coverup but can easily transition to dinner,” McAllen adds. Below are our top styling tips for lounging, loving and making the kaftan your go-to boho style statement from day to night.

    Dress it up: The longer the kaftan, the dressier it can go. Think back to all of those gorgeous pics of Liz Taylor in her ornately embroidered floor skimmers. Either choose a strappy high-heeled sandal or a low, sparkly slide (note: don’t forget the perfect, bold pedicure). When it comes to jewelry, dress up your look with a couple of chunky bangles and boho wrap bracelets or a bold earring. Since kaftans often have ornate designs or stitch work on the yoke, we suggest skipping the necklace.

    Lounge Time: If you want the perfect poolside coverup, the kaftan should always be your first pick. Look for a length that is mid-thigh to just above the knee, and with slits on the side so you’ll get in and out of that low lounger with zero snags. If you’re teaming it with a bathing suit, look for quick dry fabrics like cotton or a lightweight linen. We love our Patchwork Kaftan.

    Layer it up: For casual daytime looks, layer a mid-length kaftan with leggings, skinny jeans or a plain slip dress. Keep your shoes on the light side with a strappy sandal or slide. In summer months or weekend brunch dates, go bold with colors and embroidery. Or, for a more work-friendly look, pick a solid hue with more subtle embellishments. We love our Calmar Short Kaftan.

    Small Carry Alls:

    A kaftan can look quite oversized because of its loose fit, so keep your purse on the petite side to balance out the silhouette. Go for a clutch or small bag and one that compliments the color of your cool cover-up. Since you are already wearing a bold statement piece, the goal is to keep the rest of your look understated and chic. “I love wearing kaftans because they always have the spirit of vacations and travel but we can integrate them into our daily lives,” adds McAllen

  • A Few Good Men: Happy Father's Day

    With Father’s Day coming up on June 18th, we are celebrating a few of our favorite creative males—dads and sons who give to their families and society—and ask what moves, motivates and makes them better men. Here’s our top three:

    John Robshaw, textile master and all-around design guru, is specific about his childhood memories and credits his stylish dad with inspiring his work ethic and aesthetic.

    “I think of my pop in his red corvette with his Gucci driving gloves circa 1975… which he has given to me. If I wanted to drive the car in high school, I had to wash and wax it—not such a bad deal!”

    Robshaw’s textile collections go beyond the realm of gorgeous but it’s his serious dedication to impoverished children, artisans and others less fortunate that runs deep throughout his business model and makes him even more gracious than his work. Read about his views on karma and smart ways to help those in need here.

     (Images courtesy of John Robshaw)

    Photographer and explorer (and one of the coolest guys on the planet) Chris Burkard, loves spending time with his two sons and catching waves.

    His new award-winning movie, “Under An Arctic Sky,” features six surfers traveling to the frozen shores of Iceland to find the perfect wave. Their trip takes a life-threatening turn when the worst storm to hit the country in twenty-five years arrives. In theaters soon and check out the trailer here.

    Sculptor E. Spencer Schubert plans on hanging with his kids and having them all get their hands dirty this Father’s Day. Known for sculpting everything from Jesus to Jay-Z, Schubert is a firm believer in having his kids involved in his craft and the work involved. “It’s how they spend their summer. They learn what I do and also get an appreciation for creativity that you don’t get from the normal summer experience.”

    This Father’s Day, Spencer’s kids will be watching him put the finishing touches on a commission to be dedicated this September - a sculpture honoring the service of the West Des Moines Firefighters.

  • Day Tripping With Johnny Was: Plano, TX

    Big things are happening in Texas with our latest Johnny Was retail store opening. We are hitting the town of Plano and its newest development, Legacy West, a new, beautiful open-air shopping, and lifestyle concept.

    Stylist and blogger Alex Carreno say, “Plano is for shoppers,” and we couldn’t agree more. Her take: “It was refreshing to be in a city where nearly everything I needed was within walking distance.” Be sure to visit her blog to see her must-dos in the city and try her favorite cocktail, the Hibiscus Margarita is found at Legacy West’s Mexican Sugar.

    Some of our top shopping stops included the gorgeous Sephora and quick test drive at Tesla.

    True Food Kitchen is a favorite stop when we head to Legacy West. Check out this Instagram Video of how they make their famous Poke Bowl with delicious, simple ingredients.

     

    Plano native Lauren Scruggs speaks highly of her hometown, “I grew up in Plano, so the city has such a special place in my heart and holds the sweetest memories!” We agree! And so do many others. CNN named Plano the Best City in Texas and Money ranked it the #3 for Best Cities in The United States. For more on Legacy West and Plano’s hot spots, check out their cleverly written blog.

    (Images courtesy of Lauren Scruggs Kennedy and Alex Carreno)

  • Cutting Out the Middleman with Hugo Tea

    About six years ago, Tyler Beckett, the Official Tea Master of Hugo Tea, decided he wanted to “cut through the cloudiness of tea.” The goal was to make tea more direct—from farmer to maker to drinker—a rarity in the tea industry.  “I grew tired of hunting for brands that were directly sourced,” says Beckett. “Some teas go through as many as seven or eight companies before reaching your cup.” So, he planned a trip to a tea farm in China, which lead to a life-changing adventure and career path. Welcome to Hugo Tea.
    Determined to start a company that was based on transparency, Beckett sourced tea leaves directly from two farms in China. It also didn’t take long for him to become enamored with the community that lives and sustains itself around the tea farm.
    “The tea farm supports the village and vice versa—Hugo Tea is truly an example of farm to table in the classic sense and that’s what I always wanted,” smiles Beckett, who has the leaves shipped to his hometown of Kansas City, where they are blended and packed by tea specialists.

    Beckett is also quick to point out the health benefits of tea. “With true tea (non-herbal) you’re basically drinking plants compounds and their benefits with the added perk of caffeine, all in an easily digestible format.”

    Another buzzy benefit is L-Theanine—an amino acid not found in coffee—that has been proven to provide longer lasting energy benefits than your average cup of coffee.  It has also been shown to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine (feel-good neuro transmitters in the brain), and even improve memory.  Bottom line: you’ll be buzzed without the caffeine crash, remember where you put your car keys, and maybe just a little bit smarter. Cheers!

    Hugo Teas range from traditional Green Tea to Vanilla Chai to Berry Rooibos Herbal.

    To check out the Hugo Tea adventure for yourself, visit www.hugotea.com.

  • Memorial Day Mindfulness Tips

    Memorial Day is a holiday of reflection and contemplation.  It’s also a time to be grateful for the calm in your life before the craziness of summer arrives.

    We’ve interviewed two yogis who we think keep their Memorial Day Mindfulness and have keenly learned to live in the present.

    Wendy Zoog
    Photo Courtesy:  Stephanie Manning

    The present moment is real - I often struggle with looking into tomorrow or behind in the past. In order to experience the present moment, I like to tune into these three things: they are easy, sweet and simple.

    1) Your Five senses ( yep you know them: see, hear, feel, taste & smell ).  Look around you—notice the beautiful landscape, taste the coffee in your mouth, feel the chair under you, smell the fresh cut grass, listen to the sound of the lawn mower. Be aware of all of them!

    2) Notice your breathing—is it rapid? Try taking a slow five-count inhale and a slow seven-count exhale. When you are aware of your breathing you are fully present ! Don't ever forget it!

    3) Notice your thoughts.  They are going to come and go (inevitably) but they are just thoughts —-let them pass. If this seems challenging, go back to your breathing.  When you listen to your breath, you are unable to think about anything else.

    Awareness of these three things not only grounds me but enables me to be fully present. When we have the ability to become present we are able to give and receive so much more.

    Yogi and Kore Movement Founder, Jennifer Glass, sees Memorial Day as the perfect day to practice living in the present. “By living mindfully, you're living in the present moment—cultivating a happier well-being by truly feeling and experiencing Memorial Day. This Memorial Day, pay purposeful attention during the time you're spending with family and friends creating new memories.”

    Jennifer recommends choosing gratitude. Be mindful of the specific reason you're grateful. Take pause throughout the weekend to reflect on all the reasons you're grateful for the brave past and present Armed Forces who have impacted the freedom we all get to experience this weekend.

    How you can extend mindfulness to others this holiday weekend:

    • Pause with your family to take a "mindful moment of gratitude" and each talk about specific reasons you're grateful.
    • If you're an instructor offer free mindfulness lessons, yoga to those who previously or currently serve.
    • Lead a meditation class themed around mindfulness and gratitude.

    At Johnny Was, we always choose the present.  There’s no better time to embrace the ones you love and be grateful for the gifts of the universe.  Peace & Enjoy!

  • What's in Store? Our May Johnny Was Playlist!

    If you’re a regular in a Johnny Was store, you’ll probably notice that we change up the vibe with each new collection—that’s fairly often since we have beautiful fresh in-store deliveries every month. During May, it’s no surprise that we’re in the mood for spring—look for vases of bold yellow Gerber Daisies, our new collab with jewelry designer Logan Hollowell and luxe favorites from all our collections. What you probably can’t see, is that each month we also create a custom playlist to accentuate the feel-good mood. Below is an upbeat, we-heard-it-first list that you may want to check out for your own spring fling. Happy shopping, happy dancing, and happy Spring!

    The Naked and Famous

    Everything But the Girl

    Tom Petty

    Rolling Stones

    Bob Marley

    Vance Joy

    Fleetwood Mac

    Steve Miller Band

    Stevie Nicks

    Sheryl Crow

  • Celebrating the Most Important Lady In Your Life

    Sure, you already know that May 14th is Mother’s Day…the day that moms everywhere get celebrated with brunch and presents. At Johnny Was we like to salute all types of mamas; whether you’re an aunt, godmother, pet owner, mentor, or a maternal figure in someone’s life; they are all important and life-changing. As the saying goes, babies are born from the womb, maternity is born from the soul.

    For some nurturing wisdom, we reached our to Zhena Muzyka, a mother of two, who started the business Zhena’s Gypsy Tea when her son, Sage, now 16, was born with a life-threatening birth defect. Years later, the business became a multi-million dollar enterprise that not only paid for his medical expenses but also empowered the female tea leaf pickers in India and Sri Lanka whom she employed. Nowadays, Zhena is a celebrated author, public speaker and runs Enliven Books, (http://simonandschusterpublishing.com/enliven/ ) a division of Simon & Schuster, that specializes in holistic tomes. Her ultimate mission is to inspire people to find their life’s mission and make the world a better place through humanitarian and environmental initiatives—all with her own infectious sense of humor and caring.

    Happy family (clockwise from top left): Gerard, Sage, Zhena and Mia

    What does being a mom mean to you?

    ZM: For me, it’s the role of my lifetime. My kids are my everything and, ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a mom. I’m even mothering in other relationships; I mother my friends, my employees; I just love the archetype.

    What are some of your mom secrets?

    ZM: There’s no golden rule and I ask myself at least once a day, “am I doing a good job?” For me, it’s been about discovering who my kids really are, and realizing that I don’t have that much influence on that. For instance, my son Sage really doesn’t enjoy school and that was hard for me to accept because, as most parents, I want my child to be a high achiever. I’ve had to learn what type of person he is, an old soul who loves art, photography, and music. My daughter, Mia, who is seven, is wild but has this encyclopedic knowledge of animals, that even blows away our local vet!

    Do you have strong family rituals?

    ZM: We have a family altar in our house. Right now, it’s got a buddha, a Guan Yin (known as the Goddess of mercy in East Asia), a Ganesha (the Indian god of wisdom), and a ton of rocks because Mia collects them, flowers from the garden and incense. We do seasonal altars and everyone adds something. Other things are our family mission statement; we write it up and everybody signs it. Basically, it says to slow down, notice what we like about each other and do good work.

    What about our other favorite mom, Mother Nature?

    ZM: One of the most important things for me, and for my kids, is to learn where your food comes from, and we’re lucky living in California that we can meet the farmers who produce the food we eat. We go to the farmer’s market every weekend and also have a composter in our backyard which I make the kids get out and turn. Another thing I like to do is always offset our carbon footprint when we fly—it’s worth it for me to pay that little bit extra to do a little good.

    For more info on what you can do go to www.terrapass.com/ or www.cooleffect.org

    What’s the best way that you’ve learned to take of yourself as a woman and mother?

    ZM: I would say my daily Transcendental Meditation (http://www.tm.org/ ) practice is the key to my sanity. Even this morning I was feeling stressed, running around trying to get Mia to school and I had an important conference call for work. When I was done, I did a quick 20-minute meditation and it makes me feel like I have a little more space in my day. It changes the voice in my head from “you’re never going to catch up” to “you’re never going to catch up but that’s OK.”

    So this May 14th, take the time to celebrate yourself and all you do. Whether it’s a walk in nature, dinner with family and friends or a luxurious facial, we support and love it all. xo Johnny Was

  • How to Clean Up Your Diet

    After months of chilly weather and rich food, May is the perfect time to spring clean your fridge and your diet. The most common signs that your body could use a little lightening up after months filled with cocktails and comfort foods are sugar cravings, trouble sleeping, lethargy and bloating. Now, we’re not suggesting you go on a complete culinary makeover, you can make some gentle tweaks, and—here’s the good news—with the temperatures climbing you’ll probably find that you naturally want to switch your pasta dinner for something lighter. To help jumpstart your new plan, we asked vegan chef and epitome of glowing health, Sinae Kim, a chef at Food Flo in Los Angeles for easy tips on what to do, as well as one of her favorite recipes—it’s an easy one, we swear. Bon appetit!

    JW: What’s your food philosophy?

    SK: Simply put, just eat real food, and that means consuming foods that are as close to their natural state as possible because that’s when they have the highest nutrients and are easiest for your body to absorb. Of course, all bodies are designed differently and we all need different things, but I believe that a diet that is mostly made up of plant foods is the best way to maintain good health.

    JW: What are foods that everyone should try and work into their diet?

    SK: Incorporating raw foods is a great way to boost your overall health. Also, fermented foods are a great way to nurture the digestive system (think Kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles or probiotic yogurt). I also like to use a lot of nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains but always try to soak them, as this makes them easier to digest. Also, switching from regular salt to Himalayan sea salt is a great trick because it aids the metabolism

    JW: What are things I should try and cut out of my diet?

    SK: If you can, cut out or reduce refined sugar and white flour. If you have a sweet tooth, I like to sweeten things with raw sugar cane juice, and also to eat naturally sweet things like dates and other dried fruits when I get a craving.

    JW: Sugar isn’t my thing, but chips are, what can I do about that?

    SK: If you are not ready to trade your potato chips for kale chips, at least switch to baked snacks. If you have a craving for a certain type of food, there is always a healthier alternative.

    JW: OK, give us an easy recipe that we all can make!

    SK: Sure, here’s my version of a pesto sauce, that I like to put over kelp noodles.

    Kelp Noodles

    —1 bag noodles

    —1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    —1 tsp agave

    —1 tsp olive oil

    Pesto

    2 C fresh basil
    1 clove garlic
    1⁄2 C cashew (soaked in water for at least 30 minutes)

    1⁄4 C hemp seeds
    1.5 Tablespoon lemon juice

    1.5 Tablespoon olive oil
    1⁄4 C halved cherry tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste.

    Instructions :
    Cut kelp noodles in half and rinse well. Soak in warm water with baking soda for about 10 minutes. Drain noodles; add tamari, olive oil, and agave.

    While the noodles are marinating, blend all the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Add sauce to noodles and tomatoes and mix well by hand. Garnish with fresh basil.

    For more great recipes or healthy eating ideas, here are some of our favorite cookbooks to check out.

    Clean Eats by Alexandro Junger M.D.

    Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi

    Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simple Satisfying Plant Based Recipes by Angela Liddon

    Photography by Reuben Reynoso.

     

  • Day Trips With Johnny Was: Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte, N.C., is topping our list as the perfect destination for art, culture, food and scenery. The new Johnny Was store, at the city’s South Park Mall, is loaded with southern charm and fresh, airy looks that are perfect for the season. Let’s take a day trip!

    The first stop is the Charlotte Sign at The Green. With distance pointer markers of different “Charlotte” cities around the world, this is a definite must-do (and must photograph) on your agenda.  The Green, a so-called “Pocket Park,” is surrounded by the city’s most famous museums—The Mint Museum and The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The park also celebrates literature from around the world with cool sculptures like oversized bronzed books and quotes by famous writers in a truly magical setting.

    Other art works worth checking out? The Firebird Sculpture in Downtown Charlotte is considered a “jewel in the crown of Charlotte’s public art.”  As the story goes, Andreas Bechtler, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s benefactor, purchased the sculpture after seeing it at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2006.

    “When I saw the Firebird, I knew it was outstanding and would be great for the museum,” Bechtler said during the unveiling. “The Firebird is joyful, uplifting and engaging. It makes you feel that life is good.”

    At a staggering 17-feet-5-inches tall and weighing 1,433 pounds, the sculpture is hand decorated with more than 7,500 pieces of mirrored and colored glass, casting different reflections with the passing sun and shadows.

    Another cultural highlight; the Charlotte Ballet is celebrating it’s outgoing artistic director with a special performance entitled

    INSPIRED WORKS (JUNE 1-3, 2017).  This will showcase a fusion of all the ballets of outgoing director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, who created the lineup from audience and choreographer favorites.

    Lastly, no day trip is complete without a cappuccino break. Amélie’s French Bakery & Café is famous for its french pastries, lavender lemonade and, our personal pick, the mixed berry tart.  Check out the locations for Amelie’s here.

    So grab your camera, walking shoes and expect a day trip filled with art, music and sweet treats!

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