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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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)


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

Easy Recipes, Home


Have you caught the Turkish towel craze?  I did in France at the markets when they were displayed everywhere – 2 for 30 Euros which is quite cheaper than some of these large Turkish towels go for (around $65 each).  I bought two very large and colorful ones for the beach, because we have so many in Arizona *wink*

I wanted smaller ones for the bathroom and found kitchen size – comes in several colors at Cost Plus World Market for $3.99 each.

These would also be great hostess gifts!



 (1) Juice Press / (2) Slow cooker / (3) Strawberry slicer / (4) Compact Egg Slicer  / (5) Salad Shooter

Things I like to do: Eat, sleep, travel.  Things I don’t like to do: Cook, bake, or clean up a cooking or baking mess.

So with that said, when I was single I ate out a lot (isn’t that what dating was for?) and there was nothing wrong with cereal for breakfast and dinner.  Then I got married and realized my duties had to expand beyond the ready-made box pantry and being a Proverbs 31 wife doesn’t come naturally for some of us.  Some excel in sewing, knitting, crafts and such while others excel in the kitchen (yes that was me trying to justify my existence and value).

I found a few things that have helped me tremendously in the kitchen that I thought I would share for the kitchen-challenged.  Things that just make it easier, tolerable, if you will.

  1. We have a citrus farm in the back – limes, grapefruit, pink lemon, juicing things make this easier.  We have a similar one, ours is from Pottery Barn but it makes the process fun when we try to freeze our juices.
  2. Crockpot = Lifesaver.  If you are single you can do away with a smaller one around $50.  Even this crockpot size is a bit big for the two of us, but when you load it, it gets smaller.  Thanks to Tastefully Simple, with minimal ingredients they sell, you can create frozen crockpot recipes (they provide) and I made 20 2-person meals in two hours!  Drop in a few things before work, turn it on, dinner is served when you are back.
  3. From strawberry ice cream to strawberries in oats, slicing is so bor-ing so this heavy duty strawberry slicer comes in handy.
  4. Egg slicer! This one has kept up with our madness.  I must have an egg on my salad or I feel like it’s missing something.
  5. You thought they didn’t exist any longer!  We use our Salad Shooter for grating cheese when I make some wicked mac and cheese.  Who likes to grate cheese?  Ugh, how about your fingers too?  I also do slices of apples when I make bircher museli.

Again, I’m an incredibly lazy kitchen girl, unmotivated.  So my recipes I list are called “Easy Recipes” and the things – just about all the things in my life are conveniences because you and I know if we can’t find that much natural joy in it, we want it done quick – so we can move onto the next thing.  In my case, anything else!



A two ingredient recipe dip?  Yeah – this was put together by my girlfriend Meagan when she hosted us for dinner.  I was amazed at the simplicity and the incredible yumminess.  Let’s face it – slather cream cheese on anything and it’ll make it taste amazing.

Cream Cheese + Green Chili Dip

  • Can of diced green chilies (I prefer mild and in the tiny can)
  • Cream cheese (if you want healthier, try low fat)
  • Add water crackers

No method, just put as much chili as you want on top of as much cream cheese as you want.  Boom.  Now that’s how I snack and like to entertain.  Easy.

Always great to keep these on hand for emergency entertaining!

green-chili-cream-cheese-cracker-dip-113 green-chili-cream-cheese-cracker-dip-112

Easy Recipes, Home


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