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 love traveling, home improvement projects, sewing, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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My talented Associate Photographer April met up with Alexis and Barry and their two rescue dogs, Cocoa and Maddie to capture some fun, lovable portraits.

Barry is a baseball player who recently relocated to Phoenix and wife Alexis is a former NBA dancer (who has amazing hair, and great taste in shoes) and currently runs an animal rescue organization called The Loving Paw.  They are both ambassadors for Athletes for Animals, and Cocoa and Maddie have the cutest personalities as you’ll see.  Check out The Loving Paw’s product line on Etsy here.

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{Photos by Diana Elizabeth Associate Photographer, April, edited by Diana Elizabeth}

 

My Work

IMG_0911 Sweatshirt: Banana Republic / Stripe shirt: French Connection / Bracelet: J.Crew / Jeans: Paige Denim (similar) / Watch: Tissot (similar)

Have you seen the new look of Banana Republic?  This news is a few months old but I figured I’d still chat a bit about it since the fall line is out.

It’s been years since I stepped into a BR.  To be frank, I wasn’t too impressed with their clothing options any more, I left the corporate world, and Mr. Wonderful has never been a fan of their men’s clothing quality – preferring Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren.  During that time, I had wandered over to J.Crew and declared myself a devotee when Jenna Lyons came on board (see what a creative director can do for a line?) and stayed put since then.

Since Marissa Webb stepped on the scene as the new creative director months ago, I find myself gravitating towards the store again just for another glance.

 

Marissa wears a lot of black stilettos, I’m venturing back to the heels, mainly nudes, but I love these Steve Madden leather d’Orsay flats - also available in gold.

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It was a high pony day.  My eyebrows are growing out nicely aren’t they?  That’s for another post.

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Have you checked out BR since Marissa took over?  Would love to know what you think and if you’ve bought anything.

 

Style

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Last week I caught up with my darling Kate at Kierland Commons – an outdoor shopping area in Scottsdale.  I was craving some French cuisine, so Zinc Bistro was our designated spot – plus it’s located across from Anthropologie, so double win there.  Actually, make that triple because the weather is divine now and we sat outside.

I didn’t see espresso on the menu, but knowing the restaurant was French, I asked, as if I were back in the South of France.

espresso-nice Nice, France

When the little Illy espresso cup came out, I squealed inside.  If you haven’t had a lot espresso in your life, let me tell you how incredibly wonderful espresso is – it’s like an unexpected sweet condensed latte in the tiniest warm cup topped off with a tasty mini biscuit.  The presentation itself makes you feel like a lady.  What I love most about espresso is I can drink it within a few sips whereas I find I nurse my iced lattes for hours (probably meaning I don’t really like the beans).  Plus, it’s what the French do, so you know it’s tres chic.

Here’s one of my espressos I had in Marseille this past summer.

illy-french-espresso-popular Marseille, France

After some Google research, I found everything I needed to bring some of that French goodness to my own kitchen.  I thought I’d share it with you if there are any of you who want to dive into the espresso world. I already have an espresso machine, if you like lattes (which have espresso shots with milk) check out an earlier post I wrote about how to make your own at home lattes here.

illy-espresso-french-what-you-need Ground Espresso Coffee $15Set of 4 gold plated espresso spoons,$13 (in silver) / Signature illy logo espresso cups, set of 4, $35 (another option)

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Don’t forget one sugar cube (white or brown), and a cute little biscotti or biscuit (Biscoff shown here)!  Enjoy!

Easy Recipes, Home

Hi there, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and really chat with you all.  I miss sitting down and really sharing my heart and life with you, so I moved some posts around to make time.

Since I’m done traveling for the most part this year, I have settled back into normalcy, making dinners, doing wifey things, and able to ponder a bit more.  Being busy is great, but sometimes, being still makes you reflect about all that busyness – what’s beneficial for the future, eternity, things of that nature.

Sometimes the mundane things like folding laundry is a drag – our pastor’s wife said during a women’s bible study that anytime we get frustrated over things – husband’s socks or mess, or children for that matter, to count our blessings because there is someone out there who would love to pick up after a husband or children’s toys.  Good perspective, right?  Anyway, I rarely have to pick up after my husband since he’s a neat freak like myself, but as I folded laundry this week, I noticed several missing pairs of socks.  For Polo socks the jockey faces out so you have to match them. I was scratching my head on what was going on with these four until Mr. Wonderful poked his head in the bedroom and said, “You told me to throw away my socks with holes in them so I did.”  However he only threw out ONE sock, not the pair because he likes to save money. Apparently his right foot must be bigger and the one that rubs in his shoe since those are the ones missing.

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Adventures in marriage.

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In other Mr. Wonderful/house news, we got a new riding lawn mower by Troybilt. We have a trusty arborist named Noelle Johnson, also known as AZ Plant Lady (she has a great blog for those who live in the desert) who visits us twice a year, early fall and mid-spring just to touch base upon what we have growing around our property.  She told us about the riding lawnmower which is a neighborhood mower fits through all standard gates if you’re interested, read her post here.  Was this investment a necessity?  We think so with how large our backyard is.  Guess what else we did to save money?

This girl seeded this week after Benjamin made his own race tracks in our lawn, of course.  I’m not quite sure if getting the riding lawn mower has taken time off mowing or made it equivalent with more fun time with Benjamin on it.

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In Arizona because nothing is supposed to live here (remember I’m a Nor Cal girl), we must plant winter rye every fall when temperatures are around 75-ish if we want any grass at all from November to April.  Otherwise, our bermuda grass which is technically an invasive weed, turns to the color of dry hay and that’s not picturesque.  I have been spending the past few days clapping my hands and chasing pigeons and morning doves away from feasting on our lawn – the fun part of the growing process.

In more exciting news, I’m still working with Sony, on a different level.  I was invited to be one of 5 Power Players.  I review latest products, give honest in-depth feedback on their Sony store site so buyers can decide if they want to buy the product.  I’m under no obligation to blog about it or share, but in this case, I wanted to show off the Sony HT-ST5 sound bar we got a few months ago because I found out something amazing about it while we watched the season premier of The Walking Dead (yeahhhhh I love zombies walkers!)

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That’s it right there on bluetooth setting (so you can connect your iTunes from your iPhone), but on TV mode, the sound bar knows when it’s a commercial so it lowers the volume during the commercial break! This came in very useful when I took a nap on the couch too.  It has a ton of different settings from football to music, but if you’re interested just click on the link and you’ll see my review there.  We donated our previous surround sound set up to White Dove - the hospice thrift store.  I am happy to know our things are sold to make money to a good cause we may call on one day as we prepare to exit this world.

Our young married’s small group just wrapped studying the book of Ecclesiastes this week, a book which is quite sobering – kind of puts a damper on a few of life’s thoughts, but at the same time, enlightens and lets you really focus on what matters in life.  Vanity of vanities, right?  Life is fleeting and so complex, but God is in control, and not being attached to this world yet still appreciating life can be a difficult thing to balance. It might sound crazy but I think the less we hold onto things of this world and the less we try to actually put an emphasis in finding fulfillment in things here, the more joy we actually have in our daily lives.

Hope you all have a great weekend, xx.

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