Our go-to for everything current when it comes to fashion and fun is usually spinning records as a day DJ on the island of Ibiza this time of year. But, like the rest of us, the virus has her staying closer to home at the moment. With three adorable little girls and an active husband, her favorite summer finds have to be fun, entertaining, and stylish to suit the whole crew. From roomy carry-all bags to boating essentials, these are a few things that celebrity stylist and fashion editor, Courtney Kivela swears by this season.


In-Town Escape

After five years living in Nashville, and wanting to get into paddleboarding here, I’m finally doing it (Thank you, Coronavirus!). For my birthday this spring, I got two paddleboards and a kayak, all inflatable (you know it’s crazy times when Court gets a kayak)!  I haven’t conquered the kayak yet, but the paddleboards have been getting tons of use.

We take them to a great spot on Percy Priest Lake- the location of Nashville Paddle Company (currently closed due to Covid-19), leave everything in the car, and go out on the lake and make a family flotilla with the boards.  We have our cooler, music and little speaker clipped on.  Even our dog Barley comes, wearing her newly owned life vest so she can swim safely. Fun times!!



The Mask

Since it’s a required accessory none of us can be without, having a face covering with flair is paramount! I can’t get away from sequins, so of course, I had to have one from local designer, Any Old Iron.  Mine is black with white stars, but they come in different colors and patterns- all five of us have one, including the kids- sized perfectly for their smaller faces.  It makes me feel like such a rebel walking into the grocery store!  And they pass the Covid-19 test- no air in or out. I plan on collecting all of the patterns before they’re sold out.



The Cooler

This Corkcicle model was a must-have for me.  Done and done.  I have it Seafoam but the other colors are cool as well.  I love how they don’t really look like coolers.



The Hat

This straw lifeguard hat from Los Olas is a beach necessity, not to mention long summer days spent poolside, around the neighborhood or on the lake near Nashville.  The wide brim even covers my shoulders.



The Candle

Because we all need candles in our lives- even if you think you have too many, you really don’t if your collection doesn’t include this one from CIRE TRUDON in REGGIO. It’s nearly impossible to decide on which scent, as they’re all beautiful.  These beeswax candles date back to 1643, and their motto is “Deo Regique Laborant” – “They work for God and King”.  Enough said!



Insect Repellent

My instinct to pick this cylinder container of Citronella Sea Salt Incense by Skeem Design was to find art rolled inside.  Instead, to my delight and thrill of seeking out cool unusual finds, are long lawn incense sticks- just push them into the ground and light for bug-free fun. PS: the smell is fabulous!



The One-Piece

I am so picky with one-piece swimsuits, so when I came across the Bound by Bond-Eye Australia, I had to have it.  Aside from the super-cool ombre colors, the tubular fabric is quite unique. It’s also crazy flattering, considering that one size fits most body types.



The Bag

Wayuú Mochila woven bags are always faves in my book. I picked my first one up on Harbour Island, Bahamas years ago and recently scored my second one on Kiawah Island.  They are timeless and chic as well as hand-woven and fair-trade.



Music On the Go

I actually bought the Clip-on JBL speaker pre-COVID (i.e. pre-quarantine and pre-paddle boarding), and it is my favorite little gadget.  The sound is stellar, and I now take it everywhere.  It’s water and sand resistant and tiny enough to throw into a shorts pocket.



Summer Road-Trip Destination

My philosophy has always been “When choosing a travel destination, my passport will always win” until there would be a time it wouldn’t win (i.e. currency exchange rate, cost comparison, you know NORMAL reasons for staying stateside”.  Never in a million years did I think my passport would lose to an entirely different reason! The COVID Era.

Hence, while looking for our 2020 summer travel destination, Kiawah Island, SC popped up.  We were totally thrilled to book (at very last-minute) a beautiful villa smack on the Atlantic.  It was honestly nothing short of bliss.  Our view was spectacular- panoramic with huge windows and blue ocean- easy to imagine being at some far-away destination, the villa was perfect- we were also very lucky to get the inside scoop on all things Kiawah- where to eat, what to do and the sources, from our fabulous villa owner Maxine.  Which we couldn’t have found on our own.

The beach is wide and sand-bottomed; there were bikes on the beach, boogie boarding, sand dollar findings, alligator sightings, and really, really amazing food.  Not to mention easy social distancing and strict mask rules.  We all cannot wait to visit there again!  Staying stateside is really great!  I’m thrilled to add Kiawah Island, SC to my forever hotlist.