My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer, model, and former journalist who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. This is where I share my life daily, as a creative professional.

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, sewing and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

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Category Archives: Personal

PhiPhiIslandSource

I figure I should elaborate more about Thailand – the when, why, and how the trip came to fruition.

Thailand has never been on my radar. I would say it wasn’t in my top 5, but maybe the back 5. I have so many places I want to go, and some I joke are just the trendy places to explore but made it on the list anyway. I had however heard everything wonderful about it – no one has ever returned from Thailand saying anything bad, including my parents, I just hear amazement and things about the kind people. So, when Rachel was over and we discussed traveling somewhere internationally next year, a Groupon to Thailand popped up and we were sold – I went to Ireland on a Groupon too (more on Groupon vacations later in this post).

Where we’re going: Bangkok, River Kwai, Ayutthaya, Phi Phi Don Island and Phi Phi Leh Island (where Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach was filmed – top 10 island beaches according to Conde Nast Traveler), and a brief stop in Krabi.

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We’ll be going in April so I’ll refrain from talking about it until closer to the date about what I’m packing and what we have planned, but I’m going to do something that might shock you.

I’m going to pack all of my stuff in a backpack. No roller suitcase for this trip.

Shauna suggested I pack minimally, I’ll bring sunblock, bronzer, basics. I’m going minimal, hair up, blogger bun style! I’m so excited to try something different. Thank goodness Rachel is on the same page.

This is my second Groupon trip. It’s a good value – a flight, hotels, some have a tour guide. Here’s the thing I want to encourage if you buy a Groupon trip – detour. Ireland was amazing because Melayne and I talked to locals and every day we just decided to drive up and go exploring – one night we came back to the hotel at 1 am because we detoured so far north to the British territory, but it was worth it! Then we also added a few days in London. This Thailand trip is costing us more because we’re detouring to the Phi Phi Islands but who cares! If anything a Groupon vacay will force you to go – it’ll inspire you to go, and you can afford the add ons and detours.

It’s a 16 hour flight to Thailand with a several hour layover in Beijing. I’m dying that we’ll be landing in Beijing. I want to run outside the airport and I’m going to be glued to the window hoping to see the Great Wall of China. That trip, it might have to be next. I want to spend at least a week in a country when I travel to fall in love – sample stops don’t work with me.

Exploring is so fun – people can assume those who wander are not content with their lives, running away, or just trying to fill parts of their empty heart – it’s not that way.

I am so content with my life, career, I love our little quaint home, friends, and Phoenix even though I joke it can drive me nuts but I feel my heart expanding and mind challenged when I travel.

I can only explain the travel bug as a longing - a healthy one. Like when I knew I longed to get married, when I longed to own a home, or the longing and desire to start a creative business. If none of those help you understand – perhaps you’ve felt the longing to have babies. While I haven’t experienced that longing, we can share the feeling of longing. Thanks Fawn for explaining this normality in me.

On social media the photos that inspire me are not fashion outfits, perfectly placed coffee with a donut, but travel photos and spectacular views! My heart bursts out of my chest when I see them. Boom! Mr. Wonderful who has traveled a lot and for great lengths of time in his early 20s wonders what happened – I attribute it to being a photographer.

Thanks to my friends for their help with planning this trip - Ryan who is a travel blogger – we were in Sony Club together as bloggers (he lived in Thailand for a while, he now lives in Mexico), sweet Shauna who was there for 3 weeks and took the time to chat with me on being polite in Thailand and how to get around, to Kristin, the other half of Brandon Kidd who inspired me with the trip she took with her hubby recently. I feel ready and you’ll be surprised at a few things I’m going to attempt while there.

If you have any advice on Thailand, I can’t take enough of it, please share. Also, I’ve never packed with a backpack before, any suggestions for those experienced in this area?

Asia, Lifestyle, Personal, Travel

The answer always changes for me – ever since I became a full-time entrepreneur. At first, I was a little embarrassed that it would change so often, but then I realized, if it changed and I was actually making money, who cares what you’re doing? It’s far better doing something that fills up your time and bank account than trying to do the same thing if it’s not working. If photography is slow, I do graphic design, if graphic design is slow, I blog, it all rotates depending on the economy and the opportunity.

A tip to figure out what you do

At Mom 2.0 Summit I attended in Phoenix, we were told to write down a list of everything we did and who we were. Yes, this is me telling you to do that – if you were confused on what to actually concentrate on. After you fill up your page, go back and circle the things you want to be known for, write about – for blogging.

Let me give you an example – me.

Wife / Christian / Model / Actress / Former Journalist / Writer / Photographer / Graphic Designer / Traveler / Seamstress / Gardening Enthusiast

I bolded what I wanted to be known for. Then, you write this in your bio on your website/blog. It helped me with the several websites I have, the graphic design LLC, photography LLC and the blog which had started as an extension of my photography LLC but has become it’s own income as well. Those three things are now what I do – (1) marketing and graphic design, (2) photography, (3) blog. And yes, it’s all working – one area may be stronger than another, and some days it’s all three and I want to bang my head on a desk but instead I praise God for work.

My graphic design boutique Silver Spoon Studio needed a facelift. This is a WordPress site using a Genesis Child’s Theme. Putting this together in 48 hours I started to thank God I have been an html nerd since I was 15 in high school. A week after I gave this site a facelift, I landed a large account, and so like they say – luck is when preparation meets opportunity. 

 

 

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My main site – finally got a facelift. I know, you’re thinking, you had a main site? I did, then I took it down and had it forward to the blog. But now that I know what I do and what I want to focus on, the main hub needed to be up. www.dianaelizabeth.com

When marketing and visuals collide – you get me. That pretty much became me in a nutshell.

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I share this with you to encourage you that if you are in a rut in rebranding or deep down you know you need to rebrand or focus on showing the world what exactly you do – even if it’s just today or the next year, do it.

Sit down, make your list, take the time and just do it. You only have to do it once and then you are done, for a good while anyway, promise. Once you do, feel free to leave your link below so I can check it out!

{Photo by Melissa Schollaert}

Lifestyle, Personal

Have you read that book? I didn’t read it, but I watched the movie long ago. I sort of don’t remember it well, maybe I should look it up this summer.

One of my best and long time girlfriends Rachel came to visit for the weekend – yes, even in this 110+ degree heat, which means, she really, really loves me.

We went bargain basement shopping at Last Chance, because anyone who thinks they are too good for LC, is way too good for me – who doesn’t love a bargain or the fun? We watched movies, and ate at the best Phoenix restaurants, these Cokes arrived and I was like hey, look at that – eating at Postino with my hubby, my soulmate, and my friend, Rachel. What a fun Coke-incidence !

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We also watched Ant Man in 3D, Mr. Wonderful’s movie of choice. I love Paul Rudd, he’s such a cute actor and I think of him from Clueless.

Oh, and Rachel completed the Western States run, yep, 100 miles. She’s amazing. Next, she’s going to run 175 miles over three days – she does get to rest in a hotel between. She’s going to live to be 100.

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We went to church and the guest pastor was from Sacramento. After the service I went up to him and his wife to say hello, and found out that the pastor and I actually went to the same high school (not at the same time) and that the small start up church is held in our old high school – Granite Bay High!

Then, I asked what they were doing for dinner and asked them to join us.

Have you ever done that? It’s the best, inviting strangers to become friends and have a great conversation over a good meal – Zinc Bistro to be exact. I was craving some French cuisine. A seemingly quiet dinner can turn into one of the most refreshing, encouraging and fun meals – sharing stories, I left thinking, I should invite people to dinner more often!

There was more shopping, I am going to make pillows like this once I can find the right couch for my office. I looked at world maps…

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Then, Rachel and I also decided to book a trip internationally.

Thailand!

Lifestyle, Personal

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