To, uh oh, those summer nights! My favorite season is slipping away and I can honestly say this summer has been my best one yet. I am really going to miss all those fun beach days, massive pink sunsets, rosé at 3pm, all white outfits, lobster rolls & oysters, sandy feet, dinner al fresco and drives with the top down! As excited as I am for Fall, I just couldn't help but share some of summer's last highlights, enjoy!

"Summer sun, something's begun
But, oh, oh, these summer nights..." 

Xx, Monica


{ Monica Gisele's Desk | Gisele Chic }
My absolute favorite place in my little apartment is here. It takes over half my room but I probably spend more then half my time here! My little slice of heaven, originally created for my days as a graduate student, has now become the happy place where I blog, drink coffee, sign snail mail, write emails, talk to my mother, drool over expensive shoes, pin multiple pins on Pinterest, watch marathons of Real Housewives, and most importantly, find inspiration for all the things I love! Including, for the most part, the pages of Gisele Chic...
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When I was looking for my desk I wanted something glamorous but also utilitarian. I have very little space in my room and needed it to hold as much as possible! I chose white so it could blend in with the all the wonderful natural light, but insisted on the lacquer coating for a touch of luxe! One thing I wish to have found back when I bought my current desk was some more embellishments, like the campaign style hardware, mirror surfaces, gold quatrefoils, or bold gold/silver surface like these! I think every piece of furniture in a room should have character, together they can be cohesive, but one item alone should never stand out! 
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As lust worthy as all the aforementioned desks tend to be, I think the biggest splurge should be spent on a great chair! Mine is cute and saves space, but to be quite honest, not all that comfortable. An easy solution is a nice pillow and soft throw, but in person chair testing is really the best way to go. I love a nice animal print, metallic embellishment or anything representing a furry friend! Comfort is the ultimate ingredient for productivity, second to good coffee of course. 
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As I've said before, it's all in the details! Delectable desk decor is essential! I've tried my best to maintain a clean workspace but clutter is sometime's unavoidable, we my as well keep it chic. Paperweights, boxes, gold staplers, oh my! Flowers are a must - fresh ones are preferable but if you utilize both then you can always have something for in between floral runs or both! The more, the merrier! If you have window space above congratulations, if not then there is no reason not to hang a collage of art prints, a french bulletin board and frames with your best photos of loved ones! 
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One thing I absolutely cannot live without are notepads for to do lists! It may seem old fashioned to write things down but I find them extremely helpful when I'm at my computer or work for several hours trying to get stuff done. It's also very therapeutic for me to cross items off! You can never have too many candles, yet I have too many candles. Trays help so much with keeping all the small things neatly spaced. A Moroccan pouf is perfect for restless feet and just looks great. Topiaries need no explanation. 
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Google calendar will NEVER replace my need for a physical planner! I use both but writing things down is just more tangible! I have several small notebooks as well, but this mini pink 'besties' book, meant for keeping friends' birthdays and party dates straight, is so perfectly sized. The most lust worthy book here is obviously the Smythson. I don't currently own one, but I can promise you my life will be perfect once I do! My current planner keeps me on time and organized, it's such a supple leather and looks great with a gold monogram. I've had my eye on this sugar paper desk calendar, it's not as practical a planner but oh so necessary!
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Lamps might be the last item on this list, but perhaps the most important element of a desk! I found so many wonderful and affordable options (all from Target). This is one decor item I have found to be very budget friendly from almost every major retailer. You can never have enough light, but aside from the practicality there are just so many darling designs! 

" She designed a life she loved " 
... at the most fabulous desk of course 

Xx, Monica


{ Monica Gisele for Terry Snider Jewelry }
One of the things I love most about living in California is the subtle luxury that seems to penetrate the lifestyle. Perhaps it's easily attributable to the combination of a comfortable climate, naturally resplendent landscape and rich culture. Despite the typical flash I see from most Los Angeles based jewelers, I've found that oh so demure elegance here, with the just the right amount of opulence. Terry Snider Jewelry is understated and yet breathtaking at the same time: it truly captures that California casualty that I admire all so much! Enjoy!
{ Rose gold and diamond xx bringlet and Australian opal ring }
I'll admit, I felt a bit like a princess wearing Terry's pieces, so naturally I wanted some pictures at the only true place in Los Angeles fit for royalty, Greystone Mansion. The grounds are my favorite kind of green, with lovely gardens and a view of the rest of the city right down below. In Los Angeles there are many kinds of palaces, most of them much larger and quite frankly much gaudier then Greystone. Perhaps the same can be said for other jewelers as well, but here, I think I may have found an equally subdued piece of luxe. 
{ Long double strand of blue diamonds and Australian opal ring }
 What I love most about Terry's technique is how simply the pieces compliment my overall style. These delicate blue diamonds have just the right amount of sparkle for this adorable bow blouse. I wear so many neutrals every season and so its great to mix in some reliable colors. The Australian opal ring is hands down my favorite piece! I absolutely love how it lights up with the sun and reminds me of those perfect ocean waves. The pavé bezel setting adds that extra oomph. I'm ready for cocktail hour!
{ Triple strand icy white diamond and white gold necklace }
Despite my obsession with summer whites, I am happy for the winter ones too. White diamonds and gold will pair well with soft pink and grey sweaters, but for now, make an excellent addition to my true blues! I'd like to consider this "Kate Middleton white," it's classic, pristine and pretty. I'm sure the royals would consider Greystone Mansion a guest property compared to Kensington Palace, but I bet Kate would choose the Pink Palacemy personal favorite either way! 
{ Longed rubies with antique 18kt yellow gold amulet }
A denim shirt is a constant, reusable staple in my wardrobe and so I rely on colorful and fun pieces to mix it up. Terry's amulet necklace is so St. Barths, resort chic and I just can't get enough! It's just what I need for all my beloved basics; the crisp white oxford, the silk navy blouse, the flowy white summer dress. I love bright colors, but pink is my favorite, sold! 
{ Rose gold blue and white pavé diamond evil eye necklace }
 I absolutely adore this diamond evil eye, because it's such an easy dose of pretty! I wore it here with a dress but realistically it's an item I could wear daily with my skinny jeans and blouses. It's just the right amount of glamour without being too overbearing for day to day, yet has enough to brighten the room at a dim lit dinner. This one's a clear staple! 
{ Labradorite knotted necklace with carved bone and diamond seahorse pendant }
Summer's end or resort wear beginning? I'm letting go of the beach days but keeping those Calypso cover ups close by my closet! The carved bone material is naturally luxurious and exudes that free flowing, relaxed vibe. I'd love to add this touch of the beach to an airy top and loosely structured pants. 
{ Faceted aquamarine necklace and 18kt yellow gold diamond pavé and opal earrings }
I can't get past this color. The only thing better then the aquamarine would be a sea to match. It's quite glamorous with a bright cocktail dress, but would more then perfect with those summer whites I love so very much. Terry makes these stunning opal earrings with tanzanite on one and tsavorite on the other.  Talk about color matching fit for a queen! 
{ Faceted aquamarine necklace }
Standing here down my favorite treelined path, in the most beautiful of baubles, I can't help but think about the fact that I am in Los Angeles, California. A city made famous for it's Hollywood creations, but constantly reminded of it's natural beauty. 

Thank you Terry, for sharing yours. 

Xx, Monica

More Terry Snider Jewelry here

Photos by Sabrina at She's Chasing Sunshine Blog


{ Positano Coast by Gray Malin }
Gray Malin has quickly won my heart with his dreamy leisure photography. He literally nails the simple elegance of some of the most sophisticated cities, colorful pop art contrasts and chic beach destinations. But for me, none are more inviting then his bright and blue scenes off the spellbinding cliffs of the Italian coast. My day dreams are now consisting of all those colorful striped umbrellas, homemade pastas, loudly colorful head scarves and an afternoon apéritif.  I think I just summered incorrectly, let's all take a page from Malin's true blue version of La Dolce Vita
{ Praiano by Gray Malin }

{ Two Umbrellas, Capri by Gray Malin }

{ Capri by Gray Malin }

{ La Fontelina Umbrellas, Capri by Gray Malin }

{ Postitano Beach by Gray Malin }

{ Lido Faro, Capri by Gray Malin }

{ Baia Blu Umbrellas by Gray Malin }

{ Vietri Sul Mare by Gray Malin }

{ Portofino by Gray Malin }

Buon viaggio! 

Xx, Monica