My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer and model who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. I love sharing my life as a creative professional and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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Earlier this week after drinking crack Coke Zero, and having mocha almond fudge ice cream, I laid wide awake in bed until 1:30 am.  When Benjamin woke up a little before 6 am, I decided to get up too.  Somehow I survived the day and I decided to make some coffee and do my bible study homework.

Because I’m growing things and I’m excited about them, I had to head outside as soon as I could.  We had a lot of rain the day before and I LOVE it, I love rain!

I walked through my gates and I saw steam coming from my hammock.

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It kinda looked like there was a cup of coffee sitting there, just heating away, fighting the cold crisp air.  It was the dew off the pillow being heated by the morning sun.

The steam danced into the air.  I just watched for a bit, it was so beautiful as I listened to the sound of morning – the world was just waking.

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I took an iPhone video and sent it to Benjamin, it just seemed magical.  Is that strange?  I suppose seeing something unordinary, or just being alone with the urge to explore the results of what can happen over night, and curious what a new day can bring, it’s just exciting isn’t it?

And then I turned the corner to check on Liberty and the scene just took my breath away – iPhone photo for this one.

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Gardening, Home + Garden

If you don’t give me photography post ideas, I’m just going to make them up and hope you like them – this is a hint to leave a comment with post ideas on what you want me to chat about.

There are so many ways to get the right kind of white balance, and for the most part Auto White Balance (AWB) has been fine for me.  I tend to adjust my color temperature in Lightroom to get it right.

I had stopped in the offices of PHOENIX magazine to say hello to my friends, check in on my photo assignments (really to see the layout) and chatted about Kelvin temperature balance.  This came up from a shot I took that I wasn’t crazy about but did manage to make it work, then showed some examples of other assignments that had been done using Kelvin – due to crazy light scenarios.

I just wanted to show you the difference.  AWB is on the left, and Kelvin on the right – now this is SOOC, straight out of camera.  I think you will always have to adjust just a wee bit in post but at least you can not have a freak out moment in case the lighting is really off.

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I felt like I should challenge myself to use the Kelvin scale this month with my photos!

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To me it’s just a trial and error depending on how the lighting situation but on the 5D Mark III it’s very easy to adjust so I’m going to keep at it this month to practice using it so I can use it if there’s an emergency lighting situation.

For Photographers, Photography

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For a few weeks I had all of my clothes crammed in my tiny closet, which is a miracle – all four seasons had never fit before.

Since I decided to attempt to have a minimal closet a few months ago (sorry, couldn’t do the 37 pieces like the amazing Unfancy), I did manage to make more room and only have the things I love in there.

What is very evident – my love for neutral shoes.

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I put away my winter pieces under the bed and realized I filled less boxes than usual – this minimal thing is working.  OK, not really minimal, but less hoarder-like is working.  Except for my bags – these are all the season handbags and clutches and I crammed a lot of travel bags up there too.

I thought I would do the seasonal thing but the reality now is that spring is approaching and in Phoenix, it’s going to pretty much be the same from now to October – warm then hot.  So it only makes more sense for me to have all warm season pieces in the closet now. When it hits 95, I can move a the lightweight sweaters but in some cases when go to the movies or in a mall it’s blowing so much AC it’s kind of chilly!

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In my spring + summer closet:

  • 50 mixed tops/tanks/tees/lightweight sweats/blouses
  • 10 pairs of summer denim
  • 8 lightweight pants/joggers
  • 8 pairs of shorts
  • 8 skirts
  • 6 dress pants
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2 swim coverups
  • 2 vests
  • 1 lightweight blazer
  • 6 casual dresses
  • 2 maxi skirts
  • 4 jumpsuits
  • 5 maxi dresses
  • 2 formal dresses
  • 2 jackets

It doesn’t include my loungy tops and layered camis and tanks – those are like basic underwear necessities.  I would say a few pieces are in there for auditions like the dress pants and some blouses.  You  know what I don’t wear much of but should? Skirts, I should donate a few but some are just those special occasion/shower type skirts.

I’ll give you a shoe count another day.  My mom used to jokingly call me Imelda Marcos growing up and I swear I didn’t have close to 1,000 pairs of shoes!  I noticed a few pairs of boots I didn’t wear this past season, blazers too, the riding boot just didn’t make it into my wardrobe at all.  Oh fashion, to keep up would just make you insane so I’m trying to not give too much emphasis on the trends and only pick a few so I am not a slave to fashion.

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I ordered an additional 10-unit organizer to go on the right side so I can get those shoes off the ground.

OK, so I really love shoes, they might be my vice.

Have you entered the $100 Kokoon giveaway? Make sure you do it before the end of this week!

Lifestyle, Style

Earlier this year I did informal modeling for Kokoon’s preview of their spring line at the Hotel Valley Ho.  Do you love jumpsuits?  I do sooooo much – and here’s the Loveboat Jumpsuit.  It has a 33″ inseam.

Because I have a rather small closet, pieces I add to my wardrobe need to be worn several different ways.  This jumpsuit is so versatile, I decided to show you how to style it for three different occasions.  Make sure you scroll to the end of this post to enter for a $100 giveaway!

Going to lunch with a friend

kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-111 Jumpsuit: Kokoon (c/o) / Wedges: Steve Madden (similar, love these) / Clutch: Nine West (similar)

Date night

kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-123 kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-117 kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-119 Jumpsuit: Kokoon (c/o) / Necklace: Sparklepop (like this)/ Heels: Fergie / Leather clutch with chain: Halogen

Lunch meeting

kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-125 kokoon-online-fashion-blogger-diana-elizabeth-126 Vest: Calvin Klein / Jumpsuit: Kokoon (c/o) / Heels: Fergie / Leather tote: Milly (love this too)

Three looks

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It can be great for a lunch, to comfy and casual, to a nice dinner.  The poly/rayon blend feels so great against your skin, like butter!  In fact, being a regular model for the line, every piece is comfortable, that’s what Kokoon is known for – stylish, comfortable clothes.  So my sweatpants/pajama lounging loving self really has no excuse – I can be just as comfortable in adorable clothes.

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I love being able to spoil one of you!  Kokoon wanted to give one lucky reader a $100 credit to their store.  Just leave a comment on this post to enter.  I’d love to know what you have your eye on too!  Check out their site here.

Open to U.S. Residents only, winner announced on Friday’s post.  I’ll close the comments sometime on Thursday night so make sure you leave a comment now while you’re on this post.

You’ll all want to check back in on Friday this one ;)  Good luck! 

Lifestyle, Style

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Let us find the kind of fearlessness and passion that makes us feel alive.

An old high school girlfriend of mine got back in touch over the years and now we text every Sunday to check in to see how we can pray for each other and how we’re doing.  Knowing that you have someone dedicated to praying for you and a specific obstacle or hope for the week is just wonderful.  It’s amazing how old friendships can circle back around in your life, stronger than ever, and also sad to realize the friendships you thought would never change, just somehow do.

I choose to stay positive though and remind myself that if an old high school friend I lost touch with over 10 years ago can become a friend I text every week today and pray for can come back into my life, than certainly all friendships can be rekindled over time.  Sometimes you just let life evolve the way it should. :)

A few things I’ve learned this week:

  • A covered pot makes water boil faster – it is unfortunate I did not practice this sooner. So many wasted minutes in the kitchen.
  • The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin with your mouth.  This is something I’m reminded of from my over commitments, or just over talking like all women can do.  So I’m trying to slow down on chiming in and not blurting out every thought or knowledge.
  • It is worth reading promotional emails – I saved $15 a month on my cell bill just by actually paying attention to an email promotion.  $15 x 12 = $180.
  • Even when mad, there’s a point when you realizing continuing to be upset serves no purpose, so accept it, and try to find humor in it or just move on.
  • Shoe too big?  Use a cotton ball and stuff it in the toe.  Saved one of my favorite pair of heels.

This week has been restful.  Lots of cleaning, organizing, relaxing, slow cooking and catching up with friends over food has been good for my soul.  It’s when I overload my schedule when I start to not enjoy myself, so I choose to have the right perspective and realize how much of a blessing every day is – whether it is packed or not.

I hope you make time to do the things that make you feel alive.

{Photo: Melissa Schollaert}

Lifestyle, Personal

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It’s that time again – *cartwheel* planting time!  I mentioned last summer after my South of France trip that I would use bamboo to make a French-inspired garden!  The day has come.

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See the new climbing jasmine in the back against the wall?  I just bought it, it’s pinkish-white flowers and more vine-clinging like, unlike the other jasmine on the other wall I shaped on the trellis.  I’m debating if that’s the spot I want it because I’m afraid of them taking over the lime tree to the left – it can get as wide as 4 to 6 feet!  I need to make a decision soon, but it’s so tough.

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I used zip ties to secure the four sprinkler sprayers.  I don’t think I’ll have anything climb up this because it would obstruct my sprayers.

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The basils were from a few starters – you should note that in a basil pot you have maybe 5-6 starts in there.  Separate them!  I put one in first and was like wait a second… so don’t be afraid to pry them apart gently.  Marigolds are in there to keep the bugs away.  I was going to cluster them in the middle of my box but realized the bugs would just avoid that area.  So I just spread them out and will let you know how that works out.  I did hear a marigold border is best, but as you can tell, I’d need a LOT more.

Look at that tripod lashing! I first started with 4 then realized 3 is stronger than 4 – look at photography tripods, light stands, it’s just better.  So a tripod it became!

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Ugh, this view.  The spotty grass – that’s from a husband who got a little too crazy with Roundup unsupervised.  God knows why and decided to just start killing my turf.  There’s no point in getting all upset again over it but let’s say right now he knows he cannot do that again – and no, Photoshop is not an option to fixing it *smirk*

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We used raised garden bed corners from Gardeners.com, the 10″ height.

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We heavily thinned out the dead branches on the grapefruit tree.

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Then we gave the old girl a paint job to lift her spirits.  She has a few years left in her.

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New leaves and buds are forming so we left a few ripe ones on for guests to still enjoy (leaving them on the tree is like a storage solution).

Since the geraniums didn’t really make it, I had to plant 12 more plants against the jasmine vine wall – as I have been doing annually.  I decided a 6-pack wasn’t worth it (too small) and I was tired of planting annuals so I bought these perennial lavenders and said, let’s make the backyard like the South of France!  And so, these will grow well and stay put and also survive the summer heat.  So worth the upfront cost so I don’t have to plant every year.

Pay no mind to my brick border job – this has been here for 2 years now and banged up with mowing so it’s time to look for a brick layer and get it done as I had intended.

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If you’re curious about what I planted for spring, you can see it here – click it to view it larger.

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I am taking a chance on squash – one of my best girlfriends went to DC and brought back seeds from her trip to Thomas Jefferson’s estate (he loved to garden) and I used them all for this bed – flowers too!  I put them in the most shaded part of my raised bed.  A few things I decided not to replant this season: strawberries (birds were terrible), eggplant (too many and I don’t eat them), cucumbers, and malabar spinach (never ate it).  We are going to have an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, and I cannot wait.  I did artichoke from a seed but to be honest, I found it more fun and pretty than finding them worth the patience of growing.  The $1-2 heads at a grocery store were worth it and much larger.

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Look at those bunny buns!

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What are you planting in your neck of the woods?

Gardening, Home + Garden

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There’s one more thing I want to talk about that I love having in my back pocket during the reception – a cheap little video light.

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Polaroid Video light, $20

Video Light uses:

  • Polaroid Video light, $20 or any video light that just stays on – is a good idea for the cake who somehow got placed in the corner with no pin lighting, desserts on a dark table that were forgotten about, or to bring your own spot light.
  • You could probably also use the flash on your iPhone too (leave it on of course so it’s like a flashlight).

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I have my assistant Amy hold it at an angle and I just grab a few shots.  We walk around to all the details with it and I open my aperture up wide.

That wraps up my off camera reception lighting series!  If you have any questions please ask.

I’d love to hear if there’s anything else you’d want me to cover – to make Wednesday posts more beneficial to you.

Off Camera Flash Post Series

For Photographers, Photography

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