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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L to R: Arizona Weddings, Angela Saban, la Ricki, Juju’s Tutus, Phoenix Bride & Groom, Brenda (Bella Lily), Victoria Canada, me, Stephanie Fay and Lauren Snow (many others not pictured this was end of the night)
Last week was a heavy work week for me, and this week is all social – the life of an entrepreneur. If you’re lucky, your work is around really great company who you consider friends so it hardly seems like work!
Brenda had two preview parties for Bella Lily Bridal last week, industry and another for friends, the final days leading up to the grand opening to the public! Here’s the recap from my iPhone.
We enlisted none other than the dessert table queen herself, Angela Saban who is a talented event designer (see wedding we did together here), and she bakes gluten free desserts and wedding cakes in the Phoenix valley for Angel Cakes Bakery.
I decided it was time to bring out the sequin pants.
Tamara from Petal Pusher brought this amazing bouquet – I love her work!
That’s owner Brenda above in the cutest skirt!
My girlfriend Nicole, former Miss Arizona America lives down the street and brought her gorgeous girls Miss North Phoenix, Miss Miss North Phoenix’s Teen and Miss Glendale’s Teen (Miss America system) to the boutique to browse. I helped backstage zipping the contestants up backstage so I was happy to see them again.
I snapped a pic of the tags we made for the items in the store, I just thought it looked so pretty. The back has a space for the Style No. and the price in pink. Custom tags make such an impression.
The end of Friday night it was a scurry to break down the tables, put away the remaining desserts, take out the trash, and sweep the floors – we had a party the night before the Grand Opening! As I prepared to leave – it was a slow departure let’s be honest, Brenda and I just thanked each other for the opportunity to work together. I also have to admit I’m not a big crier – I’m very selective about what I cry about, I blame my eyes sometimes they work sometimes they don’t, but in this case, we were both overcome with emotion. When you put your heart and soul into something and enjoy it, it’s an amazing feeling of being grateful to be a part of something big, and know you gave it your all.
What touched me the most was when Brenda said she knew that I felt that this was just as much my place as it was hers, I’m glad she knew how much I loved this dream. So a few tears, hugs, good happy thoughts and a little prayer before I left, Bella Lily Bridal opened doors the next day, at 9 am and welcomed 4 brides, two of which found their wedding dresses! I call that a success, now go stop by – you can go in to browse but if you need to try on a dress, make an appointment, it’ll be easier for you.
See the photos of Bella Lily Bridal here.
After many months of hard work, shopping trips, texts, pins, returns and exchanges, Bella Lily Bridal has arrived in the Northwest Valley of Phoenix in Glendale! The store opens to the public this Saturday.
From the birth of the logo to being invited to work on the interior layout and design, this is my biggest and most proudest project to date. The boutique is one of the first in the valley for an open concept bridal boutique, which is popular on the West Coast. The vision was clean, timeless and upscale – I am certain we achieved it. Every color, detail, book, lighting fixture, anything and everything you see was a team effort and had to get two yeses – from myself and Brenda. There were some tough decisions, budgets to honor, but knowing that if you went with your gut on what you love, you can’t go wrong. While owner Brenda Maldonado gives me more credit than I deserve, the style of this boutique is all her – I just had to help refine and pull it out of her.
Please join me in welcoming the latest boutique to the Phoenix Valley, Bella Lily Bridal! Thank you for riding along in this adventure with me until I could reveal all the hard work we’ve been doing. I’m excited to share this space with you.
Brides are booked in the Bella room or Lily room. A Pretty Plum Sugar robe is in each dressing room for modesty purposes as they change from dress to dress. Veils hang from a magnetic strip on the walls for easy grabbing and organizing. There is also a magnetic strip inside each dressing room for dress clips (they tend to be large) and mock veils.
Shoes in multiple sizes also await for brides to try on with their dresses. We borrowed this idea from the dressing rooms at Saks Fifth Avenue.
A full-length mirror and small seat is in every room, and there are two viewing spaces for brides. The platform was custom made by a talented carpenter friend.
Many of the items for the store were purchased at local stores around the Valley and popular online furniture flash sale sites. Brenda and I shared two boards on Pinterest – one was for ideas, all the things we liked and another board was all the things that were purchased – even iPhone photos. This kept us on track so if we decided to make a purchase, we would move the item to the purchased Pinterest board to keep an eye on consistency and not over purchase.
The longer I stare at that side table the more my heart longs to have it! It reminds me of fish scales, or the siding of an old Victorian house.
Dresses hang on light, natural wood hangers. The feeling of this modest space and open air space was to be light and airy. You will notice an absence of black in the boutique – except for the cheeky chalkboard signs.
Brenda wanted to go in different direction from the typical check-out consoles and explained her vision of a desk where contracts could be signed and payments could be made on her iPad. At first I was hesitant since this was very untraditional but I’m so glad we found the right pieces to make it look like it belongs.
It took over a dozen trips to find the perfect pillows and that we did! Metallics paired with neutrals and soft pinks and blues was our color palette – with a few surprising bursts of fuchsia in the right places. What we had to really pay attention to was making each piece was elegant and timeless – one can easily go overboard with too much sparkle or miss the mark.
The incredible wallpaper has a beaded texture and came from Holland. It was an investment, but well worth the impact it makes on the space and no need for hanging artwork on the walls.
Logo, photos, branding and interior by me, a lovely Silver Spoon Studio project. A behind the scenes design of a bridal boutique interiors and branding.
Remember this time of the year, last year? I was on the front website of Kokoon’s store. I was asked to model again for their sales meeting preview party at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.
These are going to be iPhone photos, sorry about that, but it’s hard enough to try to get your husband to take a shot knowing there’s also a flash delay on a point and shoot. Lucky for me, the Kokoon sales reps are always the sweetest and emailed us some phone pics.
This is Amber who modeled for Kokoon’s Spring 2015 line! She is such a happy genuine sweetheart – I was excited to see her again. She opened the show.
This aqua dress also comes in navy and the fabric itself comes in tops and shorts. I put in an order for the navy shorts. I modeled a pair and fell in love, you would too! So for informal modeling, you just walk around and stop and let people take photos of you, feel the fabric and answer any questions they might have. Then when you feel like they have seen enough, you walk to the other part of the room.
I tend to pose for a long time having been a former pageant girl. I like to lock eyes with every person as if they were a judge, ha!
This was also a fantastic night because it was the night I met my new agency. I’ve been acting/modeling for almost 15 years and have moved agencies for growth, career direction, and for several reasons that happen in your life. Several industry friends have moved or been a part of The Agency for a while so the transition seemed natural for me.
I met them on a Friday night, and a few emails over the weekend, I signed with them that following Monday afternoon! It’s so exciting to start this new year with a new agency who supports me and my career ambitions.
I’ve had my eye on moving for over a year, and this time I believe was destiny – kinda that opportunity that I needed to just do it! So you can now find me at The Agency Arizona!
Back to Kokoon, their spring line debuts February 1 on their website. I’ve already placed an order, and I’ll show you my top picks soon!
Six months later I can finally share these images taken by the one and only Jasmine Star back in May at the Saguaro Hotel I blogged about in this post. I’m only going to share the photos of Mr. Wonderful and me modeling and you can see the rest of the concept when Jasmine blogs about it.
Two things you should know – (1) Mr. Wonderful was a good sport as he was completely uncomfortable with the way his hair was slicked back – they were going for a Mad Men look for us. As soon as Jasmine took the last shot, Benjamin messed up his hair immediately! (2) The outfits were switched on us last minute. There was another couple modeling a concept that day and the last minute change made for some uncomfortable sizing but it all worked out. Oh, and let’s make that (3) Jasmine is just as fun and sweet as you imagine her to be. We have several mutual friends in the business and I really don’t know why it took so long for us to finally connect.
Onto the pictures! Thanks to my girlfriend Stephanie, also a very talented photographer, for setting this up!
This shot was completely Benjamin’s idea – LOL. He was pretty excited about this.
Photographer: Jasmine Star / Location: Saguaro Hotel / Set Stylist: In the Now Weddings / Linens: La Tavola / Vendor Coordination: Your Cloud Parade / Floral Design: Butterfly Petals / Hair and Makeup: Babydoll Weddings / Cake: Piece of Cake Desserts
Here’s a little behind the scene video:
I wrote two different draft posts and both were way too cynical or sounded like I was trying to be a philosopher so I trashed them. So I’ll keep this light – because we’re going into the weekend and because life is too short to complain and we need more encouragement instead of focusing the negative things in life (not ignore them, just focus less on them).
This week, and more or less these past 12 months I’ve been shaking the pebbles out of my shoes and gathering balloons.
In other words, I’m getting rid of the things that annoy me and weight me down, and finding the things that lift me up.
Not because people, businesses, items, or anything of the sort are bad – and they are also not easily dispensable by any means. It’s a tough thing when you realize what’s good and what’s not working anymore, the refinement process can be a tough one – especially when you really liked it before. It hurts when you’re the person ditched, too.
A perfect example is Taco Bell, I love the NBG – Nacho Bell Grande! Been ordering that bad but good food for years until I got real sick and swore I just had to break it off. Sometimes I get sad when I drive by, but I know it’s for the better because I’m also trying to eat healthier. No hard feelings TB, perhaps I changed, or they changed, whatever it was, that was my wakeup call, but we had good times.
So in terms of business, and your personal life, the challenging thing is there will be people who weave in and out of your path. Some will leave you with a little bruise on your heart, and some will hug your heart and take off, but hopefully as time goes on, you can look back and just focus on all the good and when you needed them around as you continue on your way collecting more balloons. And some people are just acquaintances so don’t let that bother you if they disappear and don’t end up to anything more than a happy casual hello.
If you’re ever on the receiving end of the punch to the stomach or heart, remember how you felt which will hopefully in return treat and respond to others kindly, no matter what they do or where they are in life – remember you’ve been there once too. And let’s always first focus on ourselves than what other people are doing to us, be happy for others in their success, and not make everything to be a competition, but instead, be inspired by one another. This world is plenty big for everyone to share and be who they are.
For our Christmas shoot, we headed to the desert five minutes away.
I know in Arizona many prefer to shoot in green fields because they are hard to find, but we thought since we live in the desert that we should embrace it and show our family and friends out of state where we live. This can sometimes be difficult for me to admit being from the beauty of Northern California, but I’ve started to treasure the neutral yet magnificent backdrop of the desert.
At Ashford Castle, in Cong, Republic of Ireland – aka French Court on Reign
Christmas break is always the time I pick up on a new show – it’s usually the only time I have to veg in front of the TV. I decided to look up Reign, a show that I heard about two years ago because Melayne and I were at the scene of where Reign is filmed – Ireland! OK, and Toronto I hear. The day we left we watched a partial filming which I should’ve taken pictures of had I known the show would be such a hit!
Have you heard of Reign? It’s based on real history.
Just a bit of passion (it’s not completely clean like Downton Abbey) more PG13. LOTS of bloody slayings – the time period. You can’t watch with kids around.
Have you ever watched the movies Elizabeth or Elizabeth: The Golden Age played by Cate Blanchet? The second movie gives the history a little about Mary, Queen of Scotland which I would recommend you watch if you have time (though know it’s not favorable towards Mary in her older years).
The show Reign is based upon the true story of a young Queen Mary of Scots and her engagement to the future King of France for power. It’s very well explained in the pilot episode. It goes into Queen Mary’s ladies (her group of servants/bffs). There is drama because the Queen of France (future King’s mom) has a right hand man who has visions, and he said if her son were to go through the engagement to Queen Mary, it will cost him his life. Therefore, drama of deaths! And keep in mind, it is Hollywood so there are real-life history mixed with Hollywood entertainment (like Noah, they sure jacked up that biblical story).
There are a few reasons why I love Reign – the location, the story based upon a true story (even the fictitious events) and the amazing costume worn by the Queen’s ladies, oh so Anthropologie/BHLDN-like! Also the gorgeous braided-hair.
The bridge where Mary and Francis often have their chats (see below pic the bridge behind Melayne). This is the way to the town called Cong.
Look how adorbs these girls are! I’m dying.
I think I need a cape now – and more fur.
Most of the outdoor scenes that are the French Court are filmed at Ashford Castle. Melayne and I stayed for two nights at the end of our week long Ireland trip (see pics here). It was our favorite castle for a long list of reasons but on our last day on the way out, we were waiting at the hotel as filming was going on – all scenes we recognized in episode two.
We saw some characters on horses and they went through a few takes crossing over the bridge and through the gates. I wish I had paid more attention to the characters or taken photos of the production so I could say which characters were there. There was a helicopter flying around to capture the bridge scene.
The grounds are gorgeous, and I am hoping Melayne will get married at Ashford - we joked where her wedding could be set up and how she could walk down an aisle. We were hoping for an excuse in the future to return.
Pardon me as I say hello to my new Irish pet, a hawk.
Looking at these photos just take me back and there’s nothing in the world like traveling with one of your best girlfriends.
You can kinda see why they decided to film the show here. I only wish I took more photos as I began to recognize the different areas as I watch the show – which is now on Season 2. You can watch Season 1 free on Netflix, and what’s already been shown for Season 2 on AppleTV/iTunes for a $32 season pass. I bought it so I am now caught up!
Doesn’t this make you want to see the show, or maybe visit Ireland? I’ll go with you!
Hi there! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a creative professional, wife - and follower of Christ.
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