We're well into fall, but I figured it's never too late to share my family trip to Yosemite from the summer. Plus, it sure still feels like summer here in Los Angeles with temps in the 90s last week!
As you know, Mother Earth is always a huge inspiration for my designs so this trip was extra special that I got to breathe in the crisp, clean air while hiking up mountains with my family. T-Boz, Left Eye, Chilli, I love you girls but some waterfalls are worth chasing. See for yourself from my pics!
This was on our way up the Mist Trail. That perfect rainbow was sitting pretty between the beautiful river rocks.
I'm never without some sparkly rings. Yes, even on rigorous hikes.
We made it to the very top of the Mist Trail! Do you see where the powerful rush of the waterfall starts at the top? We were there! And pretty rainbow makes another star appearance on the right.
My dad and I proudly hiking back down after reaching the top. I was so proud of him and my entire family for that matter. My 6-year-old niece had to be carried down by my brother-in-law but she deserves the princess treatment after a steep hike.
Our sweet cabin in the woods. It was the perfect resting place to kick up our feet after a long nature day. And most importantly, we were able to build a campfire to make delicious smores.
I have an entire hard drive full of pictures from Yosemite from all the hikes that we went on and our Father's Day Brunch at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, but I hope you find yourself at this magnificent park some time in your lifetime so you can see for yourself how awe-inspiring it is. May the powerful rush of the waterfalls purify you. May the clean air heal you. And may the campfire smores satisfy your sweet tooth.
It's the holidays, you guys! And scientific research has proven that ALL the zodiac signs want jewelry as gifts. And this season, the Misa Jewelry team is making it very easy to shop for your favorite Libra, Sagittarius or any other zodiac sign.
(Yes, we are unapologetically huge fans of astrology. We hope you are, too!)
Find out now what the perfect Misa Jewelry is for each zodiac sign! (And don't forget: If you want it delivered by December 24, place your domestic orders by December 13.)
Aries (March 21 to April 19)
Aries is the ultimate Fire Sign in all of astrology. Being first, front and center is a big deal for your favorite Aries. DO light her inner flame with the Fire Coral Moonstone Necklace -- not only is it a part of Misa's newest collection (Aries is a trendsetter!), but that moonstone pendant falls on the most important person and body part of all: the heart. Let it take center stage by wearing it solo or make it a star-studded show by layering it with more Misa Jewelry necklaces like the Journey Treasure Lagoon Necklace and Mini Horizon Necklace.
Taurus (April 20 to May 20)
The Taurus in your life is a rock, wow. Represented by the bull, we find that the curved-branch artistry of the Timber Guard Ring is reminiscent of the protective horns of that symbolic Taurus bull. Like a Taurus, this ring wants to cling to what is theirs, and it's the perfect stacking ring to Misa's Compass Ring or even your own one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
Gemini (May 21 to June 20)
The Gemini twins deserve not one but TWO ring gifts this season (and perhaps every season)! There's no better pick than a double stack of two Compass Rings. As the sign of communication and responsiveness, Gemini is not directionally challenged, per se, but depending on which twin you're talking to, you'll go this way or that. Let the Compass Ring (or the other one) guide you.
Cancer (June 21 to July 22)
The sensitive Cancer is ruled by the beautiful moon, arguably our favorite muse in the sky. Meet the new and popular Morro Moon Ring: The dome-like shape of this moonstone gem represents the tough exterior of a Cancer, but deep inside, your best Cancer is emotional and full of good feelings.
Leo (July 23 to August 22)
Oh, what joy a Leo can add to your life: It is not unlike the sun rising and shining on you every single day. You might find your favorite Leo basking in the sun without a budge. Plus, the delicate rays of the Sunrise Ring also remind us of the wild mane of a lion, the spirit animal of every Leo.
Virgo (August 23 to September 22)
She is the harvest queen, and like a water lily blooming from Earth's dirty, murky waters, the Virgo still emerges from the ground up in modest vogue. This is the inspiration behind Misa's Water Lily Necklace. The Virgo is the sign of hard work, self-improvement and purity, and this necklace is representative of nature's beautiful progress.
Libra (September 23 to October 22)
It is so fun shopping for a Libra! A lover of all things beautiful and artistic, jewelry is the ideal gift for a Libra. It's tough to choose just one piece from the Misa Jewelry collection, but it's the Opal Eternity Ring that comes out winning. Not only is she pretty, this charming Eternity Ring shows off balance -- the best-looking thing in a Libra's life.
Scorpio (October 23 to November 21)
Chances are: Your favorite Scorpio is super-intense! And the more you get to know your favorite Scorpio, you fall in love with each layer uncovered. You might spend a lifetime getting to know your passionate Scorpio, and we believe the dramatic Labradorite Cove Ring represents the mysterious depth of that love.
Sagittarius (November 22 to December 21)
Nothing is more nourishing to a Sagittarius than a good ol' journey. Misa's Journey Treasure collection is made for every optimistic, freedom-loving Sagittarian in your life (hopefully, you have many!). We are particularly keen on the Journey Treasure Cave Ring, which features rich-colored gemstones like amethyst -- purple being Sag's most powerful color.
Capricorn (December 22 to January 19)
The ambitious Capricorns in your life are always seeking achievement, always evolving. No better ring for a Capricorn's forefinger than Misa's Evolve Mermaid Ring to show off how far along they've come. Each gemstone is a milestone in steadiness and manifesting one's own destiny. The circular shape of the ring also pays homage to the Capricorn's ruling element: the Earth.
Aquarius (January 20 to February 18)
Aquarian people are often unique and a little quirky. A new ring in the Misa Jewelry collection is the Constellation Eternity Ring, and we trust that your best Aquarius will appreciate the unexpected beauty of this ring. The diamonds in this band appear sporadically, not unlike the stars in our own galaxy. We salute the sky gods for Aquarius' progressive and independent spirits.
Pisces (February 19 to March 20)
Two swimming fish represent Pisces, but in Misa Jewelry land, it represents two rosecut diamonds in the shape of a water bay -- one for each ear. The Half Moon Bay Earrings is a highly intuitive way to pay homage to the romantic and mystical Pisces in your life. Each earring honors a different desire in a Pisces life, because what a Pisces does best is dream, dream, dream!
I take in inspiration from all over to design my jewelry. That might mean I have multiple (style) personalities, but you don't have to suffer from the same affliction! The Misa Jewelry team has put together this light-hearted quiz so you can discover your Misa Jewelry style by personality. (It's surprisingly accurate.) Please share your results with me in the "comments" section below!
1. You're on a spontaneous weekend getaway: What is your must-do activity?
A. Take a long hike with your dog.
B. Get dressed up to dine at the hottest new restaurant.
C. Swim ALL day!
D. Wake up to the sun rising and immediately read your horoscope.
2. Your Instagram account is most populated with images of:
A. Flowers. Whatever grows on trees.
B. Stunning architecture.
C. The coastline.
D. All the sunsets. Especially the pink ones.
3. You're thirsty. You're drinking ...
A. A green juice.
B. A martini.
C. Sparkling water.
D. Rosé all day.
4. You're hungry. You're eating ...
B. Foie gras.
C. Sushi and oysters.
D. Moon pie.
5. How would your best friend describe your style?
A. Natural and earthy.
B. Cutting-edge and modern lines.
C. Ethereal and flowy.
D. Out of this world!
If you answered:
You are a Natural Woman, and we have a lot of Misa Jewelry to help you feel like one (a la Aretha Franklin). You prefer to be one with nature and its trees, its roots, and its baby animals (especially birds! Check out the inspired Lava Beak Ring). You've been green-juicing since the womb. You invented the flower crown, didn't you? You're actually camping right now and stumbled upon some Wifi in the woods. If you're getting married under a big beautiful tree, we suggest the Dew Drops & Ti Leaf Rings to pronounce your Happily Ever After vows. The Diamond Branch Ring is an all-time MJ bestseller, and Misa herself wears the Timber Guard Ring to hug her engagement ring.
You are a City-Chic Girl! Misa's studio is in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, and she is often inspired by the historic architecture of the city. You are modern and sophisticated, and your week isn't complete without a night out on the town (or three). Your manicure? Perfect always. The Marquis Ring and the Tapered Baguette Ring emanate haute couture -- without the hefty price tag. As a wedding band, you'll appreciate the design symmetry of the Opal Eternity Ring and the stark simplicity of the Vega Ring. Anything from the Compass collection -- like the Bangle or Earrings -- will pay homage to your constant use of GPS in your black SUV.
You are a Mermaid! If you could, you would prefer to live underwater. You're definitely not shy about getting your hair wet at the pool. The Journey Treasure Collection, available in Mermaid and Lagoon, is Misa's way of celebrating the beauty in nature's water. The Fire Coral Ring is your everyday ring, and Misa's newest Shima Reef Opal Ring is on your Wish List -- both rings are inspired by the intensely gorgeous coral reef system. If you HAVE to be out of the water, you're eating oysters and octopus, while wearing Misa's Oysterette Earrings and Tentacle Ring. And your way of paying tribute to the foreverness of the ocean is to slip on the Wave Eternity Ring.
Sun, Moon & Stars, oh my! You are inspired by the beyond. You prefer to look up -- or look down at your hands and see jewelry that is inspired by what's above. You believe in astrology, and together, are warmed by the idea of birthstones (order the Union Ring now with two birthstones significant to you!). Wearing the Constellation Double Strand Necklace makes you feel like a star. Top your ring stack with the golden rays of a Sunrise Ring, or give your lobes a little twinkle with the Stardust Earrings. And what you love about Misa's one-of-a-kind Moonstone Cove Ring is it celebrates YOUR individuality and our moon's.
Or, maybe, just MAYBE, you're "E. all of the above." ;)
Owning my own business is no easy feat, but doing what I love to do while making a business out of it is the most gratifying accomplishment. As we all get ready for our Labor Day weekend getaways, here is my reflection on my labor of love: making jewelry.
Most may think of jewelry as fashion accessories, but to me they are much more than just adornments. They mark very important moments in my life – some blissful and some sad, but all beautiful moments. For instance, my Lava Drop Lariat necklace always takes me back to my very close (and hot) encounter with an active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The magnificence of Mother Nature took my breath away as a child and she’s consequently my main inspiration of my jewelry line. My 18K yellow gold Snoopy pendant that my mom gave me when I started Kindergarten to ease my nerves of making new friends still comforts me well into my 30’s. My Compass Opal Ring reminds me of my adventurous grandpa and our exciting fishing trips we took together. Like the compass on his boat that always guided us in right direction, I know my grandpa is always keeping me on track even after his passing. My engagement and wedding rings fill my heart with bursting love for my husband and bring a huge smile on my face thinking about our fun, dance party wedding day. Jewelry is a timeless keepsake and the big bonus is it comes in a fashionable package.
2) Art is self-expression
Before I started Misa Jewelry, I was working in finance and then for a Major League Baseball team (such a normal path to jewelry, right?). Although I LOVED my coworkers and my bosses, I always felt that the job I was doing was not supposed to be my life’s work. I found myself always taking art classes after work and on the weekends. I took many local classes from soap-pouring to candle-making to sewing pajama bottoms with senior citizens. I realized soon enough that I was spending hours in these crafting classes not only because I was bored at work, but I was losing myself at work and desperately needing an outlet for self-expression. And now with my jewelry line, I have the opportunity to pour my heart and soul into each jewelry design, and in turn, my sweet clients can express themselves through my designs. Such a wonderful circle of life this is.
4) Make people happy
Another reason why I started making jewelry is pretty simple: WHO DOESN’T LOVE RECEIVING JEWELRY? I remember where every piece of my jewelry came from because I remember feeling very touched receiving it or buying it. Whether you’re celebrating an event or person in your life, jewelry is always the perfect gift.
5) Jewelry is forever
Do you load your car with bags full of clothes and shoes to donate after a massive closet cleanout every year like I do? Do you ever have precious jewelry pieces in those bags like I NEVER do? That’s because jewelry is truly lasts for more than a lifetime while clothing and shoes suffer damages and trends. In fact, the wear-and-tear of jewelry actually make the jewelry more meaningful and on their way to heirloom status as they get passed on to future generations. Jewelry is forever.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Which piece of jewelry will you be packing for your trip?
I'll be making a personal appearance at the Four Seasons Resort Maui and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai! If you too will be on the beautiful Hawaiian islands of Maui and the Big Island, I would love to meet you!
On Friday evening, Jason and I came home from work, plopped on the couch and we both telepathically said to each other, "We need to take a trip." Telepathic powers come in handy when you're too exhausted for a vocal exchange. Thanks to the internets, we booked a pet-friendly room for Saturday night and on the road we went to the California central coast the next the morning!
No central coast road trip is complete without a beautiful drive through Paso Robles wine country. Most wineries in Paso Robles are very pet-friendly, so while we humans enjoyed our wine tastings, our furry baby Shima enjoyed getting ridiculous amounts of attention. Thank you to Eberle Winery and Niner Wine Estates for the extra Shima love. For those of you planning to take a trip to Paso, Eberle has wine cave tours guided by their friendly staff and Niner has a lovely restaurant for a lunch stop.
Moonstone Beach was just a stone's throw away from Paso Robles and home to the most breathtaking sunsets. It was also apparently home to thousands and thousands of these wondrous blue jellyfish washed up on shore. Don't they look both prehistoric AND futuristic? Style points, jellyfish, for being so timeless.
Sharing laughs until our stomachs hurt, having great talks, singing along to good and awfully-good music and rolling around in the sand with Shima were exactly what we needed after many weeks of long work days. No telepathic powers needed.
And Happy Earth Day! Thank you, Mother Nature, for creating such magnificent places for us to visit.
Catch a glimpse of my Downtown LA studio, where I love to create and let my adorable dog Shima be the boss of me.
Many, many special thanks to my talented friend Joel Kuwahara for this beautiful video. Thank you to Candace & Kumi for making me laugh and trying on all of the Misa Jewelry rings during the shoot. And thank you to Jeff for the iced latte and tea delivery!
Here we go...my fave Oscar looks! Some are a given; some may be shocking.
Lupita Nyong'o adorned in over 6,000 pearls is no surprise on the top of my list. This Mexico-born, Kenya-rasied stunner in Calvin Klein Collection truly wears her gown and does not let her (heavy) gown wear her. And bonus: if she ever gets sick of this gown hanging in her closet, she can make 6,000 pieces of jewelry with it.
Emma Stone, pin a rose on your nose for being absolutely flawless this awards season. This limey-gold Eli Saab Haute Couture gown is perfectly style with her diamond cuffs, coral lips and Gatsby side-swept updo.
We're so used to her covered in shabu-shabu meat and incubating in an alien egg, but Lady Gaga brought her Hollywood glam with this custom Alaia (and a whatta?). I would, of course, wear this dress sans red rubber gloves, but that's why we're gaga over Gaga. As a lover of all things marine, I also loved the fire coral-looking decor in her hair.
Margot Robbie looked like she time traveled from Grace Kelly Land. What a vision in her cropped do, Saint Laurent gown and vintage Van Cleef & Arpels statement necklace. The necklace was created in the 30's for the Duchess of Windsor, and this is why I always tell my clients to protect and wear your jewelry with love. Perhaps Margot will be wearing it decades from now!
Perforated princess Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture was one of my favorite looks of the night from head to toe. Her dress was pretty from the front and wow in the back. The dramatic draping paired with her dramatic side-part were absolument magnifique.
Cate Blanchett shares my woman crush #1 spot with Julianne Moore, and she continues to hold her spot with looks like this Martin Margiela Couture gown. With all the dress details on the red carpet, she truly stood out in this minimalist beauty styled with a not-so-minimalist turquoise statement necklace.
Dakota Johnson in her red-hot Saint Laurent gown was a fitting homage to her steamy-hot role in a little PG film she currently stars in. The twenty-something beauty looked confident and comfortable in a sea full of red carpet veterans.
The Academy's Best Actress lot is a group of five gorgeous, talented women we deeply admire. Yes, the Misa Team is VERY much looking forward to finding out what gowns each of these ladies will don on the big night (Sunday, Feb. 22), but the Oscars is about the performances, no? (We have to remind ourselves, too!) Upon screening each actress's film, we couldn't help but feel that there was a perfect MISA JEWELRY ring for each woman portrayed. And we thought it would be fun to share! Let us know if you think the selected MISA rings fit each female performance.
Marion Cotillard, "Two Days, One Night" -- Marion's character has a nervous breakdown at work -- we've all been there, ladies, am I right? The thing is, she's ready to go back to work, and NEEDS to go back to work to support her family, but her 16 co-workers would all receive a sizable bonus if Marion was kept off the payroll. In one weekend, she must visit each co-worker at her solar-panel factory to make her plea, and hopefully, by sunrise on Monday morning, she will be able to report to work. Thus, the SUNRISE RING.
Buy the SUNRISE RING now!
Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything" -- Oh, wow, this one. It's complicated. What you need to know is that the theme of marriage is strong in this film, but ... there are TWO men in Felicity's life, both equally important and vital to her ongoing spirit, and we thought the UNION RING fitting for her, and we would suggest that she select not her birthstone, but the birthstones of her two gentlemen for this best-selling MISA ring.
Buy the UNION RING now!
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice" -- She's got early-onset Alzheimer's. The difference between classic Alzheimer's and Julianne's Alzheimer's is age -- Julianne is still a Pretty Young Thing, and she can and will wear tight-fitting Givenchy gowns to accept her awards (current-day fact). Indeed, we picked the FIRE CORAL RING in honor of Julianne's gorgeous red mane, but also to remind her character of the "fire" still burning inside. Also, it's our favorite stacking ring, a nod to Julianne's stacks-on-stacks of awards.
Buy the FIRE CORAL RING now!
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl" -- Rosamund plays a wife gone missing (she's the "Gone Girl"). She's depicted as the Perfect Woman -- tall, blonde and pristine -- and in fact, was the inspiration behind the best-selling children's-book protagonist, "Amazing Amy." As the movie progresses, we come to discover, she is, in fact, amazing -- at framing her husband (Ben Affleck) for her purported murder. She obviously gets the ROSECUT TIARA RING. We tip our own tiara to Rosamund and her vicious cunningness.
Buy the ROSECUT TIARA RING now!
Reese Witherspoon, "Wild" -- Reese plays real-life memoir author, Cheryl Strayed, a woman coping with a divorce and the death of her mother. To attempt to save herself from her own destructive behavior, she decides to hike 1000-plus miles along the multi-state Pacific Coast. We selected the TIMBER GUARD RING not only to "guard" Reese from her own worst enemy (herself), but also from going "timber," like, over a cliff.
Buy the TIMBER GUARD RING now!
Congratulations, ladies, and may the best lady performance WIN!
Do you have a group of women in your life that just never ceases to inspire, empower and support you? Well, I'm so lucky to say that I do. And in celebration of these incredible women, I decided to throw a fun mani party last week for us to get together and try on some Misa Jewelry rings, lots o' Misa Jewelry rings, at the gorgeous Olive & June salon in Beverly Hills. There were enough diamonds to go around for all the lovely ladies and of course some bubbly on a school night. Thank you all so much for coming and getting some well-deserved pampering with me!
Delicious cava beautifully chosen by sommelier Danielle Francois. It was the perfect drink of the night to accompany the sparkly Misa Jewelry.
Oh what I would do without these wonderful friends of mine... Thank you always for the love (and inappropriate laughs), Cat of Cat Wright Style and Racked LA, Steph of Rustic Wedding Chic and Ashley of Huffpost Weddings!
My best girl of I-don't-know-how-many-years-now choosing her fave nail color of the night. Julie of Julie's Kitchen is not only one of my best friends, but she always inspires everyone around her and opens so many doors for her friends. You're truly the best, Jules.
Olive & June's Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Julie's Kitchen's Julie Lee, Smitten Studio's Sarah Sherman Samuel (this hot mom-to-be came even when she's just days away from her delivery date!), 100 Layer Cake's Jillian Clark and Kristina Meltzer, The Chalkboard Mag's Suzanne Hall, Rustic Wedding Chic's Steph Hallett, Cat Wright Style & Racked LA's Cat Wright, Huffpost Weddings' Ashley Reich, Angeleno's Laura Eckstein, Sonya Dakar's Mimi Dakar, Fiore Beauty's Jaimi Brooks, Lila West, Time Out LA's Ramona Saviss, Sisilia Piring, Jane Houle, Samantha Shaw & Shelley Som (many photos above are courtesy of this sweet gal!) -- thank you ALL so much for coming! I know how busy you all are as business owners, editors, stylists and writers that I'm SO touched by your genuine support.
Sommelier Danielle Francois, thank you for pouring the most beautiful cava, aka liquid gold. I'm so grateful.
Endless thanks to my Misa Jewelry girls: Lien Ta and Talya Jacqueline. This mani party would have not been possible without these two. In fact, my mind would be mush without these two. I love you two.
I hope you had a blast as much as I did! Being in a room full of creative, kind, motivated women was already a highlight of my year. Can't wait for the next one. Party on!