July
21

Top Five Amazing Beaches in Puerto Rico

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico! Welcome to Puerto Rico! This tropical island paradise is the home of MI OLA brand ambassador Andrea (@mermaid.drea ). When she isn’t in the water – free-diving to 40 feet, surfing, fishing, lobstering or playing in the waves – she’s on land doing yoga and exploring the outdoors. We caught up with this mermaid to get the scoop on her favorite beaches in Puerto Rico. Check it out below!

Our Top Five Amazing Beaches to Visit in Puerto Rico

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR 3

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, PR

I love this beach because it’s where the sea turtles like to hang out in the West! I can literally spend hours snorkeling this beach – – I’ve encountered the most marine life thus far in PR.  Playa Peña Blanca is also a great place to spend the day lounging and tanning on the sand. However, if there is swell, the shore disappears and this place looks like a completely different beach!

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, PR

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

This is also a special spot because it is a part of the “Playuelas” sector, where community members are fighting against the construction of a massive resort, “The Christopher Columbus Landing Resort,” that would destroy this beautiful un-touched land. (For more information about the cause and how you can help “Save Playuela,” click here.)

Sea Turtle Andrea

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)—In Puerto Rico we call these beauties “Peje blanco” or “Tortuga verde.” Sea turtles are such beautiful creatures that when I encounter one I get lost just staring at them while they swim or eat sea grass.

Green Sea Turtle

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Juvenile French Angel Fish (Pomacanthus paru) – Another one of my favorite marine organisms are Angel Fish! This one here is a Juvenile French Angel Fish. You can tell because it has yellow stripes – – when they become adults their stripes disappear and they develop yellow specs.

Juvenile French Angel Fish

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

This is literally a beach bum’s playground!  This is my all-time-favorite go-to beach because when its flat, it’s the best place to kick back and pop open some beers or go practice your free-diving skills. When there are waves, you can spend all day surfing this fun sand bar or just playing in the huge shore break!  Coming to this beach can turn into an adventure.  On the opposite end of this beach, within walking distance, there is a beautiful tide pool called “La Poza de las Mujeres,” which is very popular among the locals. Some locals made the coolest palm tree hut which makes spending a day under the sun a lot better.

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR Scooby Doo

This is our dog Scooby Doo, he is a Labrador who LOVES the beach. I don’t think I had ever seen Pata Pata this calm before, it looked like a swimming pool! There is nothing more relaxing than spending the day just floating in these crystal-clear waters. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR

This day was one of the gnarliest shore breaks I have seen thus far! During the winter I love coming here to shoot the barrels that form on the sand bar and play under the shore break. No matter how rough the waves get, the water is always clear. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR 11

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Playa Tamarindo, Culebra, PR

Culebra is a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. To arrive, you must take a boat, ferry, or an airplane. If you really want to go an adventure, camp on Flamenco Beach. Take your vehicle filled with food so you can cook over a campfire because there are very limited options (especially if you have dietary restrictions because there are only a few restaurants and not many supermarkets).

Tamarindo beach is walking distance from Flamenco. It is a bit of hike because there is a hill you have to go over, but it is another spot I love to dive! This is the best place to see marine life. The beach lies within the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve—and all of Culebra’s sea grass is listed as a critical habitat for endangered species and is protected by law. In other words, there are tons of sea turtle to see here because sea grass is a Green Sea Turtle’s favorite snack. I love coming here because you really get a chance to photograph and appreciate nature. Although snorkel gear rentals are available on Culebra, it’s better to bring your own snorkel gear. Flamenco Beach also has a reef you can snorkel, but during the winter there are huge waves. Tamarindo is located inside a bay so the water is flat all year-round.

Sea Turtle

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

 

 

Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR

Caza y Pesca is located in Arecibo in a sector called “Islote.” There are many fun breaks in this town, but this is one of my favorite surfing beaches because it is where I learned to catch waves! Some of the clearest waters I have seen on Puerto Rico are at the Arecibo beaches like this one. If you like to get barreled, then I suggest you surf Hallows Beach—a shallow reef break. Another one of my favorite surfing beaches in Arecibo is “La Cueva del Indio,” I like it because the wave is very long. The actual “Cueva del Indio” is a tourist attraction where scenes of the film “The Goonies” was filmed and it has a lot of our native Indians, the “Taínos,” hieroglyphics engraved in the walls.

Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR

This day was one of the toughest days for me at Caza y Pesca because the waves were all over the place, there were very strong currents, and it was super windy, but I gave it a shot anyways! I caught about 2 waves and decided to go relax on the sand with my friend photographer friend, Elvin, and have a little photoshoot. Photo by Elvin of MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR 2

Photo by Elvin of MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

June
30

MI OLA in Red, White and Blue

Happy #Friyay! Not only is today Friday, BUT it’s also the kickoff to one of the best holiday weekends in the US – – July 4th weekend!!! Days off, warm weather, sunshine, and more daylight to #GetOutThere is exactly what we love here at MI OLA. This July 4th holiday, we will be rocking our red, white, and blue – – MI OLA style. And just in case you need some bikini inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite MI OLA ‘kinis from our ambassadors and influencers. Go ahead and mix + match to rock your red, white, and blue!

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@amanda_strachan in our Thong tha Thong and Tira Halter

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@sirenwilliams in our Pin-Up Top and Casita Boythong

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@_elodypetit in our X-Back Top and Thong tha Thong

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@amanda_strachan in our X-Back Top

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Lorelei Maillot

 

P.S. Did you know that the red, white and blue of the US flag signifies purity and innocence (white), hardiness & valour (red), and vigilance, perseverance & justice (blue)?!?!

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@lenamahfouf in our Pin-Up Top and Supercheeky Bottoms

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Ambassador @rock3roll in our Thong tha Thong and Premio Tank Rashie

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@lulumercer in our X-Back Top and Thong Tha Thong

 

AND in case you need a little outdoor #GetOutThere inspiration for things to do over July 4th (besides feasting with of hamburgers, corn, watermelon…and a couple of cold cervezas!), we’ve got you covered there too!

Plan a full or 1/2 day hike.

You don’t have to hop on a plane or drive a long distance – – check out the hiking trails in your backyard. For more inspiration, check out our Ambassador #GetOutThere Guides to hiking by our ambassadors: Na Pali Coast, White Mountain, El Yunque Rainforest, Columbia River Gorge, Glacier National Park, Lost Coast Trail, and our beginner’s guide to hiking ‘Hike Like a Girl‘. Or, if you’re nearer the beach than a trail, how about a long beach stroll?

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📷by @scottyj1208, featuring our Striped Boyshort and Pin-Up Top

If you’re near any body of water, go SUP or surf if there are waves!
There is nothing like a great day on the water. Check out our pretty awesome Surf Guides to waves right here in the USA, like Montauk, La Jolla, Rockaway, Deerfield Beach, Tybee IslandLong Beach, and Folly Beach.

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@giuliamanfrini and @misskellieeee in our Serena Zip Rashguard and Lorelei Maillot

 

Now go grab your bikini and celebrate! Happy 4th of July!

March
26

MI OLA: BTS of our Spring Shoot!

 

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At MI OLA, we create the best swimwear with no compromise for fit, style, or function and allow women to do more of what they love (at the beach) with less stress.   We remove the need to adjust your suit, or worry about losing it while you’re surfing, or you jump into a pool, or you reach over to grab your drink.

While we’re making great swimwear, we are also working hard to change the way women are portrayed in the media.   As the wild feminists we are (wink wink)… we make sure that all of our branding and images show women (you!) in a positive, active, inclusive way.   In most fashion photos, women are often objectified and passive.  Some images for other swim brands have women looking passed out on the beach.  Others have women sitting on the beach, watching men surf.  And many others have women writhing in the wet sand on a deserted beach “looking natural” while all greased up, arching their backs with pointed toes to lengthen the legs.

We strive for something different.  We see you (all women) as attractive for who you are and work to capture that natural beauty while you’re being active surfing, doing yoga, playing, walking your dog, etc.   Yes, we are women, and we sometimes arch our backs … but we also do so much more.   You won’t see our women in sitting, watching men have all the fun. We’re getting out there right beside you.

Enjoy a sneak peek of our new collection!

These photos were taken by a talented photographer, Margo Wilson, who modeled for us a few years ago and now is behind the camera.

———

Working with MI OLA is an absolute dream – as a photographer who constantly seeks to capture empowered women. Just a few years ago, I modeled for MI OLA. The messages we were asked to convey through the photos were simple: we were simply asked to be the fun, active, and vivacious women that we are.

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Malia, Stephanie, and Luanna. Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

Those characteristics embody what it means to be a MI OLA woman and, are what inspired me while shooting the latest line in Costa Rica. I was born and raised on the beaches of Costa Rica, so shooting there was literally like shooting at home (one of the shoots happened by the pool at my parents house). Working there allowed me to work with models that I have known for years. I admire Malia (@vandewhale), Luanna (@lulumercer) and Stephanie (@stfiny) because of how driven, talented, and unique they are.

Shooting for MI OLA is all about getting real women, in their natural environment, doing what they do in bikinis that stay on. I felt like I was joining the girls on the adventures typically involved in their daily lives. On the first day, all three girls showed up to the beach bright eyed and bushy tailed for a 7AM photo shoot on a boat. We cruised around the bay and even fished while out there. Unfortunately we didn’t hook dinner, but we did catch some great shots.

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Luanna @lulumercer Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

On day two, I met up with Luanna and her husband during sunset on Langosta beach. Their love is effortless and their chemistry came across so clearly in the photos. Day three was a classic Costa Rica morning with Stephanie and Luanna: we walked the beach with our dogs, followed by watching the surf in the early hours of the morning. On days four and five I shot Luanna both on the beach and in my childhood backyard. Day six was a solo adventure with Malia where we loaded up her four-wheeler with MI OLA bikinis, my photo gear and a stand up paddleboard. Malia got a workout in, while I envied her strength and ability to balance.

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Stephanie @stfiny Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

In total, we spent one week shooting over 15 different looks in five different locations. I got to rock my favorite MI OLA suits while taking photos of the new line I already can’t wait to get my hands on! MI OLA is less glamor and more #GetOutThere and these awesome women made it more than easy to capture that. Be on the lookout for all the new photos and bikinis coming soon!

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March
10

Living the Dream: How I’m making it – Tamarindo, Costa Rica

8 years ago, I moved to Costa Rica after falling in love with surfing.  And I found that everyone I knew back in NYC either thought I had lost my mind, or found the meaning of life.  And most tourists I met who were visiting Costa Rica were dreaming about living there, and were full of questions on how people make it work.  The answer?  Everyone hustles to figure it out.  And then keeps hustling.

Many of the jobs or skills that people have in the US corporate world are not available or useful when you’re living in Costa Rica in a tourist town.  So you’ve got to be opportunistic, and still find a way to enjoy your new life in paradise.  Here is an account of how one of our favorite surfer girls is making it happen in Costa Rica, from Kristen @sambatothesea.   — Chief Bikini Officer, Helena Fogarty

Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea headed for a surf in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Kristen @sambaotothesea headed for a surf in Tamarindo.

 

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun – – and I really can’t believe over four years have passed since leaving NYC:  quitting my corporate job, putting all my belongings in storage (called Mom & Pop storage), and moving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica to surf. When I first moved, I worked for Robert August (AKA Mr. Endless Summer), blogging and running his social media. Working for such an iconic person in surf history was definitely an experience. I loved how most of the time I could make my own work schedule and I was stoked to not be working “in the office” every day.  And I got to surf.  All the time.

Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea photographing a beautiful sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Kristen @sambaotothesea chasing sunsets in Costa Rica with her Chihuahua Gidget.

In my free time, I started to follow my other passion, photography. First, photographing and posting images of Tamarindo on my blog + Instagram was a good way to keep my family and friends updated on my Costa Rican adventure. Then, it became a side job.  Why?  Because I saw way too many ugly postcards for sale in Tamarindo.  I decided to take the #uglypostcarddilemma into my own hands. I made my own, featuring my Costa Rican sunset photographs. They were an immediate hit in Tamarindo and I was stoked to have found a niche in market.

What started with nine postcards has evolved into over forty postcard designs with ~15,000 postcards sold in three and a half years. And selling my photographs via the postcards gave me confidence to pursue photography as a career – which happens to also be a good way to make a living here in the tropics.  Today I’m so stoked to launch something I only dreamed of a year ago – – an online store designed to help you have a little bit of paradise in your home, with sunset prints, pillows, baby blankets (and more to come), aptly named The Sunset Shop.

(P.S. you totally want to keep reading for a special offer just for MI OLA mermaids!!)

The Sunset Shop by Samba to the Sea.

Ahhhh, the magic of sunsets in Costa Rica! Prints of breathtaking Costa Rican sunsets available at The Sunset Shop.

I now spend most of my year in Costa Rica, with the remainder spent in magical Savannah, GA – which is gorgeous, amazing and also happens to be where my family lives. I know, you’re probably thinking why would I ever want to leave Costa Rica or split time? The honest truth? Costa Rica may be a little slice of Pura Vida for vacation, but living here (like I believe living anywhere else in the world) has its pluses and minuses. So what should you expect if you’re thinking of moving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica?

Pros & Cons of  Living the Dream in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Pros:

No need for a beach getaway:  I don’t have the crazy urge to go on vacation like I did when I lived in NYC. Sure, I miss the ease of hopping on a plane at JFK to Europe, but I’m at the beach every day!

Sunsets:  The sunsets in Tamarindo are AMAZING!!! Soon after landing in Costa Rica, I started chasing and photographing the sunsets.

Pura Vidadise print by Samba to the Sea at The Sunset Shop. Image of a gorgeous sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Free mobile background download!

A breathtaking sunset in Costa Rica. Photo by Kristen M. Brown, @sambaotothesea

Surfing:  The waves in Costa Rica are simply magical – – peeling waves, offshore winds, and warm water. Within a 5-10 minute bike ride, I have access to several surf breaks and several others within 30 minutes. Without a doubt, I’ve gotten spoiled here real fast!
(Check out MI OLA’s surf guides to Tamarindo, Avellanas, and Playa Grande)

Surfing Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica.

Wave breaking at Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. Photo by Kristen M. Brown, @sambaotothesea

 

Nature:  Ahhhh, nature. It’s right outside – –  the Howler monkeys at dawn, iguanas, singing birds. I love my daily walks on beach and through the hills in Tamarindo with my little Chihuahua Gidget.

 

The people: My friends are from all over the world.  Tamarindo is a great example of a diverse, mixed community.

 

Cons:

When your dream becomes everyday life, there are definitely things that can wear on you… until you get back in the waves. Here’s the reality that many don’t consider when they dream of moving to paradise.

Pura Vida:  Ahhhh, the small thing called Tico Time. Meaning “latin time” or tomorrow is another day. Pretty much everything here just operates slower than the US. Long lines at the bank, slow internet, and driving 40 miles down the coast takes over two hours!  Convenience and ease is not a focus, like it often is up north.

Sometimes I don’t surf everyday:  Contrary to what my parents think,I don’t surf everyday. I’d love to surf everyday, but my work takes priority and other times the conditions are just not that great. Sometimes a week or more goes by without surfing – – (gasp!) I know!

Cost of Living is high:  It’s expensive to live here.  Costa Rica is not a cheap country. Most tourists are surprised at the cost of accommodations, tours, and food.  And people who live here make a lot less.  Think US prices, but much lower wages than the US.

It’s tropically hot:  The sun is HOT, HOT, HOT! Tamarindo is located 10 degrees north of the equator, meaning that the sun is very strong here! And in April, the temperatures soar over 100 degrees with high humidity.

People come and go:  Tamarindo is a tourist and very transient town. Just as fast as you make a new friend, another one is moving out of town! Some people only come for high season to escape the northern hemisphere winters and others are like me – – how has it been over four years?!

 

Four years ago, never did I think I would still be living in Costa Rica AND working for myself – – a passion that my pre-Costa Rica self would have said was impossible. In celebration of the launch of my shop, I’m stoked to offer you FREE sunset downloads, oh-so-perfect for your phone or computer background! Click here for your freebie, add the downloads to the shopping cart, and use code “MIOLA” at checkout! AND this weekend only, for MI OLA mermaids only, enjoy 25% off her whole shop – – use code “MIOLA25” at checkout.

 

 

 

 

February
10

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Your Outdoor Loving Mermaid

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’ve rounded up some great gift options perfect for your love.  If she is an outdoor, adventure loving mermaid like us, then you’ve landed in the right place! Check out our gift picks below:

 

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Is she an avid mountain biker? Does she love to go on day hikes? The LUXE from Camelback is designed to carry everything she’ll need for a full day of mountain biking or exploring the trails while keeping her hydrated with a 3L water bladder. With a women’s-specific, narrow-gauge silhouette, it’s designed to fit comfortably even when it’s fully loaded – – great for holding a spare tube, and a small bike pump.

Luxe Camelback

Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to biking in the Shawangunks!

 

 

Just because she loves the great outdoors, doesn’t mean she loves sleeping on the ground! Elevate the camping experience with a self-inflating mattress. The Women’s Trail Lite from Thermarest offers an outstanding combination of comfort, compactness and value making it one of the best all-around camping mattresses available.

 

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Check out our #GetOutThere Guides to:
Lake Tahoe
White Mountain
Kalalau
Hike Like a Girl

 

 

Whether she loves backpacking, cycling, or surf trips, make sure she always has access to clean water to stay hydrated with a SteriPEN Water Purifier. In less than one minute, the device’s UV light rays destroy 99.99% of protozoa (including Giardia and Cryptosporidia ), bacteria, and even viruses that are present in water. It also doubles as a flashlight for late-night trips to the river to stock up on water supplies.

 

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Check out our #GetOutThere Guides to:
El Yunque Rainforest
Southern Utah

 

 

A good pair of in-ear headphones can really enhance her workout or even just day-to-day listening. If you’re looking for a gift that won’t break the bank, check out ear buds from FitClip. The Koss from FitClip is sweat-resistant and has a comfy over-the-ear loop to hold them in place. The soft tips create a seal that blocks out external noise, and an inline mic lets her take calls.

 

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Are you two headed on a surf trip? Then she definitely needs a MI OLA suit and rashguard to protect her beautiful skin AND make sure she doesn’t lose her bikini in the waves!

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Check out our Surf Guides from around the world!

 

 

AND because it is Valentine’s Day, how about chocolate that also nourishes her? NibMor’s Extreme Dark Chocolate bar is created using organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade, and gluten-free ingredients and has 80% cacao and raw cacao nibs. Yes, it tastes as good as it is good for you!

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Check out our 10 Tips to Stay Fit while on Vacation!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

December
2

MI OLA Holiday Gift Guide

It’s Holiday time.  Are you stumped on what to get your active mermaid?  (Or what to put on your own list?)  Our amazing brand ambassadors gave us their best-of-the-best gifts, perfect for the mermaid in your life – even if it’s you!

For a little extra Holiday Cheer, check out this video by Sports Illustrated – Christmas Spectacular featuring Rose Bertram

MI OLA’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Mermaids that #GetOutThere

Dear Santa,

All we want for Christmas is…

Gifts under $50

We be jammin! Portable waterproof speaker (in gray) by Scosche, perfect hanging out at the beach or for camping in the mountains.

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Always protect her skin, even if you’re only packing a carry on with SunBum sunscreen in travel size bottles.

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A sweet pair of body board fins by Churchill Makapuu, the original and best swim fins!

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Keep her water cold and/or her coffee hot with a Hydroflask (voted to our MI OLA holiday gift guide two years in a row!)

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Jazz up her MI OLA bikini with some metallic temporary tattoos by Flash Tattoos and Goldfish Kiss.

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A portable solar panel from Grape Solar GoCharger to keep her phone charged and ready for picture taking, Instagram browsing, and messaging her surf mermaids that the waves are on fire at their secret spot, no matter how remote she is.

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Gifts under $200

An ultra compact and lightweight hammock, you’ll love snuggling with your mermaid in the DoubleNest Hammock by Eagles Nest Outfitters which is perfect for two people!

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Fitbit to keep her on track to reach her fitness goals.  Take the quiz to find out which Fitbit is right for her!

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When the waves go flat, hit the streets with the Swallow Complete skateboard by Carver. (Recommend by two of our awesome MI OLA brand ambassadors!)

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Sharkbanz band to keep away those sharks with proven shark deterrent technology.

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Our Dream Wish List

Take her underwater video and photography with her GoPro to the next level with the GP4 Kit for the GoPro! (Recommended by two of our awesome MI OLA brand ambassadors!)screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-05-11-pm

 

The best SUP that allows her to enjoy the most demanding stand-up paddle activities from windsurfing, yoga, fishing, and even camping, the L2Fish from Live Water Sports.

 

If you’re looking to splurge for your mermaid, we love this 7 Day “Castaway” SUP yoga retreat on an island off the coast of Mexico by our very own MI OLA brand ambassador Jessica!

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So there you have it, Santa!  We’d be happy with any tiny little thing on this list.

Happy Holidays!

October
30

What makes us get up and #getoutthere?

We created MI OLA with 2 goals.

1) To revolutionize swimwear by making dreamy, quality bikinis that look fabulous and stay on, and

2) To make a positive impact on the world.

While working hard, listening to our consumers and sweating bullets to make this happen we’ve achieved something even more exciting.  We’ve energized a movement of radical  women, who get out there every day, who are more comfortable in the water than out, and who want positivity…at  all costs. This is our tribe… and this is our Manifesto.

Some of our Tribe.

A few of our tribe.

We jump, dive, run in. No inching in for us or using the stairs.

100% committed.

NO    P L A N    B.

We create waves in the water, kick up the sand, run up hills, climb mountains, hike across valleys and sparkle in cities around the world alike.

Our mermaids and sirens sing with joy as they Chase more. Do more. Be more. Our goal is for all women to embrace a more confident day and self wearing MI OLA

Always dreaming, thinking, imagining. But WE never sit still. Each day WE rise to ‘Get Out There’.

More Disruption.    More Influence.        More Action.

We design our products using innovative materials that last. No tugging. No yanking. No adjusting. No pulling. Everything we make is appealing and functional.  If you can’t use it WE lose it.

We are revolutionizing, re-inventing the swimwear game, so you can do more of what you love.  Less stress. Less fuss. More FUN!

This isn’t a dress rehearsal.  It’s a MOVEMENT.

A lifestyle for women who seek adventure.

A voice for women that fight for freedom.  A vehicle for women to embrace transparency & honesty.

Think for 1 moment how much power you have, and what you can do with it.

Now go and inspire us.

You think we’re not afraid? You bet we are.

We embrace the fear and jump anyway.

WE ARE

October
16

Escape to Pura Vida-dise

You have been patiently waiting, AND waiting, for us to announce the lucky winner of the MI OLA GrindTV Sweepstakes.  A big congrats to Andrea Lloyd from Boise, ID!

So what is lucky Andrea winning?!?! How about:

  • – A free trip to Costa Rica (Roundtrip airfare for two from the U.S.).
  • – Luxury accommodations for four nights at Cala Luna Boutique Hotel.
  • – Two surf lessons for two from Tamarindo Surf Academy.
  • – An afternoon on your own private sailing yacht. You are the V.I.P and the Moonstone is at your command. You can snorkel, jet ski, SUP, or just relax.
  • – A $500 shopping spree to MI OLA, so you’ve got the best bikinis for surfing on your trip.

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Yea, we know. Andrea just SCORED!!!! Given that we have got Andrea covered (literally) with some new MI OLA bikinis, we thought we would help round out her packing list to her escape to Pura Vida-dise.

If you’re visiting a tropical paradise like Costa Rica, here’s what you should bring:

  • – SUNSCREEN (**Important.  It’s available here, but it’s very expensive and if your picky about brand, you may not find it.)
  • – Bug spray (also important!)
  • – Swimwear (like your MI OLA bikinis…)
  • – Rashguard
  • – Hat
  • – Polarized Sunglasses
  • – Shorts
  • – Tshirts
  • – Tank Tops
  • – Sandals
  • – Sneakers/athletic shoes/water shoes – depending on what activities you want to do. You should have closed toe shoes for zip lining or horseback riding. If you’re going on the all day adventure tour, which includes tubing, you will want to bring water socks/shoes.
  • – Bring anything you want to read/watch/play (Books and Magazines are hard to come by here and internet can be slow)
  • – Mini first aid kit (always good to travel with!)
  • – Travel yoga mat (if you’re doing yoga)
  • – Yoga/workout clothes
  • – Camera (If you bring an expensive camera make sure you have it insured against water damage and theft.)
  • Basically, bring anything you can’t live without.   We all know people who have shown up in our town with the mindset “oh, I forgot to pack – underwear, swimsuit, sunscreen, athletic shoes, etc.”… and they have had to do without, or buy overpriced options that were not exactly what they wanted.

Here’s what you should leave at home:

  • – Fancy clothes
  • – Long sleeves and Long pants (If you’re only visiting the beach – if you are going to volcanos or cloud forests, that’s a very different climate.)
  • – Synthetic fabrics – other than to work out in. It’s just too hot!
  • – High heels or wedges (In our particular area, there are no sidewalks, and the roads are not paved.  Walking in heels or wedges can be challenging and dangerous to your ankles.)
  • – Fancy jewelry or accessories or purses.

Here’s some beachy escape inspiration to keep you warm while the nights get cooler! 

(Warning!  You may be unable to resist a trip to the tropics if you click this link.)

September
3

#GetOutThere Guide: Outer Banks, North Carolina

What is better than spending Labor Day weekend at the beach? How about living there ALL Summer long?! Our MI OLA Brand Ambassador Adrienne did just that.  She moved to the Outer Banks, North Carolina this Summer to spend her days surfing, windsurfing, beach bumming…and working at one of the coolest outdoor outfitters, REAL Watersports.  Jealous? Yeah, us too! We caught up with this adventurous mermaid to learn how to #GetOutThere when you’re in the Outer Banks.

#GetOutThere Guide by Adrienne Kina

Adrienne (@yokeens) is an extreme sports connoisseur and mermaid that loves to dabble in Graphic Design and jewelry creating. She grew up in Western New York, so she certainly knows how to handle eight feet of snow! Adrienne loves to live in adventurous towns.  She lived in Colorado, working as a Snowboard Instructor, while also refining her mountain biking and rock climbing skills.
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Adrienne spent the last four Summers in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, living out of a tent, car and a camper, while laboring as an eager bike mechanic, a snarky bartender and a helpful outdoor gear retail associate.  During the past two Winters, Adrienne lived in North Conway, New Hampshire where she thrived in the wicked cold by snowboarding, ice climbing, and hiking.

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This Summer Adrienne fulfilled her life long dream of moving to a beach town; she now lives in Avon, North Carolina, which is part of the Outer Banks. When she is not in the water or at the beach, she works for REAL Watersports, the number one kite boarding lesson center and retail shop in the world!

#GetOutThere Guide: Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Location:
Outer Banks, North Carolina, also known as Cape Hatteras Island or OBX for short, is a 200 mile long barrier island that sits off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. With ocean on one side and the Pamlico Sound on the other, it’s one of the only places where the sun rises and sets on the water. We sometimes get hurricanes, which can be a little bit dicey.  Getting stuck on the island happens because part of the roadway usually gets ripped away!  The treacherous seas off the coast of the Outer Banks, along with the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred, have given these strip of ocean the nickname the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. However, the sun shines the majority of the year and consequently the Outer Banks was recently named as one of USA Today’s “10 Best Island Escapes You Can Drive To”!

Things to Do:
There are so many things to do, from hanging at pristine beaches, fishing, museum hopping, shopping, hang gliding, world class surfing, kite boarding, windsurfing, SUP boarding, jet skiing, boating, kayaking and biking! I personally surf, windsurf and kite board most often, taking long lunches to run to the beach and catch a few waves. The whole island is a beach on one side and sound access on the other, so you can literally walk from one side to the other in about five minutes. This also makes it easy to be the only one on the beach or in the sound at any given time!

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There are fishing piers, lighthouses, no parking fees, great water rescue crews, and dogs are even allowed on the beach. For those interested in kite boarding or windsurfing, the wind here blows almost everyday! The wind blows mostly South West in the Summer and more from the North in the Winter months. Some of the BEST kite boarding and windsurfing in the world can be found here. We have the optimum conditions for all levels (from beginners to experts) in the Pamlico sound – a 20 mile long, waist-deep bay that is easily accessible, warm and shark free. (If you have any questions about the area or better yet want to come learn how to kite board, feel free to send me an email at RealPro@Realwatersports.com and I’ll get you set up!!)

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Check out the below map that shows all the best spots to kite or surf, along with the suggested experience level needed.

  REAL-Riding-Map

There are all kinds of concerts and events always going on, from local farmers’ markets, local bands playing in bars, to the biggest kite boarding competition in the world, the Triple S.  Basically there is always something to do or see while you’re visiting!

 

Getting Here:

The nearest airports are Norfolk International Airport (82 miles North) or Raleigh Durham International Airport (192 miles West). From there you need to make the beautiful drive onto the Outer Banks. Once you get to the Outer Banks, navigating the islands are easy. Try as you might, it’s virtually impossible to get lost here as the ocean makes a pretty good landmark and there is only one main road, Highway 12. For more detailed instructions, click here.

 

Where to Stay:
There are PLENTY of beach homes for rent on the Outer Banks, the common way to stay here. Suggested rental companies are Midget Realty or Hatteras Realty. There are only a few hotel/motel options, as well as a couple cool campgrounds, like Cape Hatteras National Seashore Campground, that put you right in the sand dunes. One of the best places to stay is Watermen’s Retreat, luxury condos that are on REAL Watersports property, so world class kite boarding and surfing are steps from your door!

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Where to Eat:
There is great fresh seafood on the island, with lots of commercial and recreational fishing. Someone is always pulling in tuna, mahi mahi, or crabs. One of the best places to eat is Watermen’s Bar and Grill, that is located at REAL Watersports. The restaurant offers delicious and affordable meals, impressive live music, and a full bar with epic views of kite boarders and sunsets. Plus it’s family friendly! Other places to eat are Lisa’s Pizzeria, Ketch 55 Seafood Grill, and Outer Banks Brewing Station.

 

Best Time to Visit:
Summer (May-August) is the busy season here in the Outer Banks, with the weather being very favorable: 80 degree, mostly sunny days! There is always a breeze to keep you from over heating. We do get some amazing thunder/lighting storms, and the occasional hurricane, but those happen mostly in September. Although there are a lot of people here visiting during the Summer, you can always find a spot on the beach.

The shoulder seasons of Fall (September-November) and Spring (March-April) are also great times to visit because there are no crowds, the accommodation rates are much lower, and we get lovely cooler weather.  Winter (December-February) is a time for the brave, as the air and ocean temperature drops, BUT the surf is awesome in these months. So get a THICK, full wetsuit and dive into the cold ocean to catch some epic waves with no waiting in the line-up!

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July
24

#miolAMAZING – 2 ways you can win with us!

Summer brings out our even more adventurous side.

If you’re an adventurous mermaid, like us… we’ve got 2 ways you can win with MI OLA this summer!

If you aren’t following us on instagram (@miolasurf.)… you should be!  The MI OLA mermaids are #gettingoutthere every day, and this July the team has done amazing things, seen amazing places, and met amazing people!  This is what we like to call #miolAMAZING !!

Here’s MI OLA Brand Ambassador Adrienne @yokeens windsurfing in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

@yokeens

@yokeens

We are all about supporting active women who #getoutthere.   So – on instagram – we are participating in two Women’s Health Magazine hashtag contests this Summer,  #swelfie and #WHstrong. The #swelfie campaign is all about taking selfies in your swimsuit (your MI OLA one, obviously!), and #WHStrong is about showing how you are a strong and healthy woman. Clearly both of these are perfect for MI OLA women!

If you are #gettingoutthere too this Summer, we would love to see it! Post a photo using hashtags #miolAMAZING and tag @miolasurf.   When we use your photo on Instagram and Facebook, you get a 10%  discount at MI-OLA.com.   Bonus karma points for using #swelfie in your MI OLA suit and #WHstrong!  (Psst… we’ll also be holding some rad giveaways on instagram this summer… so follow @miolasurf now!)

AND if you have read this far, then you are in for a treat! MI OLA is partnering with GRIND TV and you could WIN a trip to COSTA RICA!!! Click here to find out more and to enter.

Happy Summer!

@ayeboulet

@ayeboulet

@westbutt

@westbutt

@tobiesunshine

@tobiesunshine

@rock3roll

@rock3roll

@ninanhaiaa

@ninanhaiaa

@bvalorosi

@bvalorosi

@insta_susi

@insta_susi

@jennafettig

@jennafettig

@lp10

@lp10

@meredithdrangin

@meredithdrangin

 

July
3

Happy Birthday America!

95% of the time we love living in our tropical home base here in Costa Rica.

Especially when it’s snowing and 10 degrees in the United States.

Or when we get to product test new bikinis in warm, turquoise water, with perfect waves and only a few people in the line-up.

That being said, there are times that we wish we could teleport to the US for a few minutes, or at least a couple of days. (Hey – I guess we could fly!)  This week is definitely a week we are missing the US: with July 4th this weekend and with last week’s groundbreaking decision on marriage equality. Can we get a heck yes!!!!

Although we will be surfing in sunny Costa Rica this 4th of July, we will be celebrating vicariously with you all via Facebook and Instagram. Hey, someone has to be #gettingoutthere while you feast over that BBQ of hamburgers, corn, watermelon…and a couple of cold cervezas!

This land was made for you and me! Now go grab your bikini and celebrate! Happy 4th of July!

XOXO-

The Mermaids at MI OLA

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February
27

Surf Guide: Avoca Beach, Australia

When we started the MI OLA Brand Ambassador program (less than a year ago), we hoped to meet awesome and active women from all around the world.  And we did.  We’ve met rad, adventurous women living in Norway, Canada, Indonesia, Canary Islands,  Australia, France, the United States and many other spots. We love that our ambassadors are so diverse, from working mothers to young women, like Brand Ambassador Rachel Palmer. From Sydney, Australia, this 16 year-old is super active and loves the outdoors. We recently chatted with Rachel about her home surf break, Avoca Beach. Check it out!

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Surf Guide: Avoca Beach

My name is Rachel Palmer and I am 16 years old. I have lived in Sydney, Australia all my life and I am surfing obsessed! I’ve been surfing since I was 10. I often compete, but I also love free surfing. I also play representative [competitive] volleyball, netball and I do a lot of running. My heart is with the ocean; Avoca Beach is where I learnt and is my all time favorite beach.

Location: Avoca Beach, Central Coast, NSW, Australia.

The Central Coast is a region in New South Wales, located on the North coast of Sydney. There are many good surf beaches all along the Central Coast, including Macmaster’s and Copacabana. In my opinion Avoca is the best! Avoca is a very popular destination situated on a mainly residential coastline of surf beaches, bushland, hills and lakes. Avoca is a long beach featuring a stretch of golden sand bordered by two headlands. On one end is a large rock pool- made of a rocky outcrop, and the other end is North Avoca, also great for surfing.

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Where to Surf: Basically you can surf wherever along the beach looks good to you! Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the ideal swell angle is from the East. The surf is best when the tide is going down.

Here are a few particular spots:

Pines

Pines is a right and left sand bar break. It is suitable for a novice to a pro. Pines can easily be located because it is in front of the four huge pine trees. When it is pumping, the waves are hollow, fast, fun and ledgey. Pines is the one of the most consistent breaks on the beach.

Pines

 

Avoca Point

Avoca Point is a right point break. This area is not for beginners due to the rocks, a little bit of localism and a strong current you can use as a conveyer belt to get out there. It starts working at 3ft and can reach 10ft. If the beach is crowded and you want a more empty line up, this spot is a good call.

Avoca Point

 

Crowd Factor: During winter the line up at Avoca is considerably empty and mostly made up of locals, however during the summer it becomes very crowded. Despite the crowded lineup, the vibe is pretty cruisey. During Spring-Summer, you are also restricted to surfing outside the red and yellow flags for swimmer safety. 

Other Activities:

Some other activities at Avoca include bushwalking the nearby headlands, swimming, snorkeling, or exploring the rock pools and rock shelf. If you are feeling adventurous, you could try taking a dive down to see Ex-HMAS Adelaide, a former Australian warship that was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef.

There is also Avoca Lagoon located in the middle of the beach where it occasionally meets the ocean, depending on the tide. There you can swim, or hire a kayak or pedal boat- this is especially good for families.

If the weather and surf isn’t in your favour you could catch a movie at the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre. It is a picturesque little vintage movie cinema.

kayak
 

How to get there/Where to stay: Avoca is approximately 1-2 hours drive from Sydney along the Pacific Motorway and Central Coast Highway. The beach has a car park next to the surf club, but it is impossible to get a park in summer. There is a wide range of accommodation- houses and apartments to rent, B & B’s, or caravan parks and resorts.

Apres Surf: On the actual beach, there is a fish and chip shop, a kiosk, and a restaurant underneath the surf life saving club. Avoca also has a local shopping area that has a surf shop, and many great places to eat, including Italian and Chinese, and cafes. To go to a large shopping centre you can make the quick drive to the nearby Umina.

I recommend: Avoca Beach Pizzeria and Restaurant, Avoca Thai, Chopstix Avoca, Avoca Beach Surf Lifesaving Club

Water Temp: During Winter (I would say April-September) I would definitely recommend a steamer wetsuit (3/2 full wetsuit), more because of the air temperature. During the Summer (I would say October- March) your MI OLA bikini is perfect- the water is a minimum 20 degrees Celsius (68 farenheit).