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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Category Archives: Home + Garden

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Citrus is ready – and I’m excited to show you how to pick and juice grapefruits (or any citrus for that matter) right from my own backyard.

Check out the guest post feature on Best Friends for Frosting!

{Photo: Melissa Schollaert / Makeup and hair: Lizzy Marsh / Styling: Angela Saban}

Gardening, Home + Garden

blue-apron-blogger-food-fashion-meal-111 Southern Beef & Collard Green Stew (pdf here)

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how much I dislike cooking.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s like a -2.  I don’t even like making a sandwich.  I know, so ungodly of me.

Anyway, I discovered Blue Apron thanks to other fashion bloggers who swore by it.  I thought, yeah I wish I could justify spending that much for food to be delivered, if only.  But here’s the deal – it’s not that expensive.  In fact, it’s more expensive to cook for two with all these fancy ingredients than a bigger family so going out almost seems worth it.

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Everything comes in a box, all the ingredients portioned out for you, and we do a meal for 2, but we don’t eat much so our portions are for 4!  We feel like we won the lottery with this.  They also come with PDFs of the steps and it’s so easy with photos it makes me enjoy cooking (I just don’t like the shopping part, hence our grocery delivery).

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Recipes on their site are free, this dish in particular I want to make again.  We have it delivered once a week and for 3 meals (but often there are leftovers) which works great for us since the other nights we’re either going out to eat or I can whip up one of my frozen meals I created a few months ago.

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Just wanted to share for anyone who is like me and is not a fan of cooking or intimidated.  You can really cook!  This isn’t a sponsored post, just had to share something that really improved my life and health!  More information on Blue Apron here.

Easy Recipes, Home + Garden

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I love the Dollar Store, do you?  There’s one by a Target I go to which just means double the fun, spend a lot at Target, spend a little but get a lot at the Dollar Store *wink*  I found this floral drawer liner and I bought four of them to replace this crazy bright green one I put in two years ago:

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What was I thinking? I don’t know, but I do know damask it not my thing and has stopped being my thing about seven years ago…

Old lady florals however will last me until I’m 80.  Or at least the next two years – ha.  See the way my drawer bottom has a gap?  I may not have a stocked kitchen but I do have a house full of art supplies and home improvement things so I used the time to also nail everything back together.  It’s my dad’s old desk growing up that I spray painted white and added a stainless steel laminate top.

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Yes that’s an nail emery board that’s a English soldier, got him when I was at the Tower of London, hee hee. Melayne and I were so busy shopping at the Tower of London store we had no time to check it out because it closed that we had to go back the next day to see it.  The souvenirs I buy when traveling are things I often use and so on a daily basis when I see them, it makes me happy.

office-dollar-store-cute-floral-drawer-liner-feminine-home-office-117 office-dollar-store-cute-floral-drawer-liner-feminine-home-office-118 Gold scissors: Hattan Home / Glitter emery board: Forever 21
Gold bow paperclips: Kate Spade / Floral box cutter: Ace Hardware or here

Ah doesn’t that look so much better? I know with all my junk you can barely see it, but I know it’s there!  I love that the back of the rolls there is a grid so it makes it easier to cut straight – like the wrapping paper that has that on the back!

The house has lost a total of like 500 lbs.  Not that I actually weighed any of my belongings, but Benjamin and I went on this purging kick where we went through every drawer in every room, every closet, bin, you name it and either threw things out or added it to a donate bin.  Clothes went to our church’s compassion center, while home goods went to Dove Thrift Shoppe which benefits the local Hospice of the Valley.

As I took everything out of my desk drawers I carefully examined each to see if they should return to my desk.  I now have gold or pink paperclips and tossed out pens, notepads and stickies, all things we have an abundance of, right?

Feels great!  In my mind I think I still need to clean but I think I covered it all, until spring comes and next will be my closet again!

Decor, Home + Garden

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I hosted our ninth annual Christmas pajama party.  I’ve always hosted, it’s just what I LOVE to do!  This year I couldn’t help but want to buy a few new fun touches for our dinner and gift exchange.

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So I’m the Christian who still likes a little Santa with her Jesus.  I will always love Santa, because I think as a creative person, that creativity and imagination was a huge part of my growing up and was a part of why I am who I am today!  But don’t worry, I got a little baby Jesus in the decor too.

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See there’s Jesus!

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I bought each gal a small gift – we don’t have to, in fact the reason why we do a gift exchange is so we don’t have to buy five individual presents. I don’t know about you but I know my list is short, but I want to keep it that way!  But I saw it and knew it was worth giving each girl one…

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This gorgeous ornament from Pottery Barn (no longer available) – because birds of a feather flock together, and nine years is a long time.  Next year will be a huge one for us!

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I bought most of the decor from the Oh Joy! line at Target.  I added a few of my own touches and ironically already had a lot of the same colors – it’s amazing what you already are attracted to!

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Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Decor, Home + Garden, Lifestyle, Personal

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So there was good news, and there was bad news, and the bad news turned out to be really good news.  I forgot what the initial good news even was – I think it was an alternative sun tunnel which I immediately shot down (not the style I wanted to go for in my office – but great for a closet or hallway).  I had a 34×34 Velux skylight installed.

I had our handyman come and sand, and stain the beams immediately so I could put my office back together.

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I really think my office looks happier – maybe it’s just me.

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I just love my area now, no lights necessary until sundown!

I wanted some additional color and texture in my office so I added two rugs – this sheepskin rug from Pottery Barn is so soft under my feet (cheaper ones at IKEA  - faux and real sold out online) and for a pop of personality and fun color, had to have this gorgeous Beverly Rug by Lulu & Georgia.  This was one of my birthday gifts from Mr. Wonderful.

What do you think about leaving the beams in?

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R

Decor, Home + Garden, Lifestyle, Personal

Remember all that new roof talk I started about two months ago?  The past two weeks I have been waking up early, sweeping up dust, listening to a constant scraping or banging above my head, because that’s just life when your home is under construction!

Well here’s what the roof looked like:

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Yeah, that’s wavy.  No, it’s not supposed to be that way.  I also dislike showing you unfinished projects but some of you always beg for the before’s and so here you go!

I knew when I bought our home three years ago that we would need a new roof, but after two bathroom remodels, new furniture, funds ran run low so I waited until it was a better time – like after I got married – just kidding (his money is my money so it’s just the same).

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That is our AC on the roof – in older homes in Arizona they are on the roof, not sure why.  As a California girl I am aware this looks and seems insane.  Please ignore my neglected garden beds – I am accidentally growing tomatoes though.

We went with GAF Camelot II Designer Shingles in Barkwood, it had a little warmer tone in it which went great with our brick.  When it came to getting quotes, we received a total of three, and I researched several different lines so I could compare apples to apples regarding cost.  We went with a friend’s hubby’s company, McBride, and I’m so glad we did because I truly believe in supporting friends.  We have a lifetime limited warranty on the GAF roof which transfers with the house (or really when we are dead because we are not moving ever).

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I picked this shingle because I liked that the size – all neat and tidy looking and had a shake look without it being a shake.  There are all different shapes once you realize how many options you have.  This one just fit our little home so well, I was actually really excited about the roof – we have our handyman coming to paint the drip edge from blue to white since our fascia boards are blue (most homes are white or brown – and now you’re also going to be looking at that now aren’t you?)

The new skylight in my office!

Now I can take decent at the desk IG posts with light.  Yes, that’s a 34″ x 34″ size!  Boom!  Here comes the sun.  That’s a beam in it, I can’t wait to talk more about the skylight details, that’s on Monday!

A funny thing – this accidentally happened.

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I was sitting in my office and heard a crash and thought something fell off the wall.  This is in between all the banging happening on the roof so I assumed something just fell off the wall from all the vibration.  This was not supposed to be a skylight in our laundry room, ps.  The wood was so old that the worker’s leg fell through it when he was walking!  What is not pictured is old insulation all over my poor Sam Edelman heels I had just kicked off.

After this happened, my time spend in the bathroom was real fast as I was afraid someone was going to make a surprise appearance while I was in there – I was honestly a bit paranoid!

Additional perks of owning an old home aside from the cute character is fixing all the incorrect things in regards to fire hazards and coding! The list went on – but thankfully we had a great electrician who came back and fixed all the things we caught.  As somewhat discouraging it was, this is the time to fix it all right?

I can’t wait to show you the office skylight!

Decor, Home + Garden

You may have been wondering about the bridal boutique I’ve been helping with designing the interior – Bella Lily Bridal.  Well, so much has been going on and after owner Brenda and I had a game plan set with where racks would go, a crazy Pinterest board and a bunch of texts back and forth, I received this updated photo.

Walls are up, paint is done, lights are hung – even the sparkly ones and the flooring is installed!

Picking the wall color was a tremendous challenge as the incorrect lighting was in there so it turned everything blue or a completely different color – you know how lighting and time of day does that.  This color we decided on was a last minute toss in – and ended up being the winner.  Ironically the second runner up was a color called Silver Spoon (my graphic design business is called Silver Spoon Studio).

Here is the storefront at night.  I can’t wait to take good photos for her site – and my design portfolio.  Those racks are ready for wedding gowns and we just need to fill it – and the furniture is already picked out waiting in storage to be moved.

Send all your newly engaged friends if they are on the West Side of Phoenix! More info coming soon – but you can follow along on the store’s Facebook Fan Page.

Isn’t that chandelier just gorgeous?  I love it!

This has been a fun opportunity for me. As you can tell I love decorating, if you haven’t seen my home or office.  I’m always looking through catalogs, blogs, and pinning to my Pinterest boards.  In my mind our 1750 cottage home is now at 40,000 square feet – haha.  So this opportunity of decorating the interior of a store, a bridal boutique of all things has really made me happy that someone would trust my taste.   As a business owner myself I know how important branding is so I’m thankful for the trust and opportunity!  When I work with businesses, I do think of each and everyone one of them (whether still using my services or not) as one of my businesses and I care so much about them and want them to succeed so badly.

In 2005/2006 when things were going bad I had businesses closing their doors that I helped launch.  I was really sad that I asked if there were any last marketing efforts or services I could provide on the house to help them not close their doors – that’s how much every client means to me.  This is my third bridal boutique client – can you believe it?  I guess my style attracts them and I’m not complaining!

The color scheme we picked for Bella Lily revolved around these colors:

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I say the word “revolve” because I think just like weddings, you don’t need to pick specific colors like a strict color match.  Instead, pick a color palette, one that evolves similar tones, feelings and go with it.  That way it’s less school team colors and more of an ambiance you achieve.  It also makes your space warmer – if you notice on Pinterest there are adorable offices but there are some who only allow items in their office that match and it just doesn’t give it dimension or warmth. I would hate to not allow something into my space just because it didn’t match a specific color.

The official logo I created:

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The signage is modified because we want the emphasis just on the text so it will look like so:

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Bella Lily Bridal is named after Brenda’s niece who is the apple of her eye.  The anticipated opening is for January 2015, and when the grand opening happens, I hope you will all meet me there!

Branding, Decor, Home + Garden, Projects

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