My name is Diana Elizabeth. My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I'm a journalist who went from writing about fashion and reporting on the LA red carpet to a photographer and FORD model. When I'm not behind or in front of a camera, I enjoy blogging about my home projects, and the things that make me happy with camera in hand.

I appreciate old homes, love adding fruit trees to our yard, and I firmly believe making a house a home is a wonderfully fun ongoing project. I'm bravely jumping into the domestic life hoping one day I will bake a homemade pie so I earn my badge. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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Category Archives: Life

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Dress: Aryn K / Scarf: J.Crew (sold out, but I like this one) / Jacket:  J.Crew

I thought I’d do a behind the scenes walk thru of what it’s like to be a brand ambassador.  This post will show you what bloggers who are approached by brands experience to kick off the partnership, and our duties.  You may wonder why bloggers tweet, Instagram, or constantly post on social media.  It is work, but it’s the most fun work I’ve ever done.

Bloggers are selective with the brands we work with, it’s like choosing your friends – you want quality over quantity.

I figured I’d tell you what I did last week as the perfect example.

First, you are flown out to the destination, all expenses paid – it is typically to where the company’s corporate headquarters is based.  In this case it was Dallas where the TGIFriday’s headquarters is located.  Eight bloggers across the country came together.  In my case, I had a 7 AM flight.  Quite early for this Sleeping Beauty.

photo4a Flats: Sam Edelman Felicia Ballerina Flat Fuchsia (sold out, love these, another option) / Jeans: 7 for all Mankind

Side note: I finally found pants that are just as comfortable as my J.Crew Saturday pants.  If you are in the market for quality designer denim, I highly suggest the these.  They are like old worn in jeans.

When you arrive into the new city, a driver meets you at baggage claim by holding a sign with your name.  He gets your bag and you get into a nice car – a Cadillac, a Lincoln towncar, something like that.  I decided to be discrete and take a photo of my feet, cause taking a photo of him looking back at me while driving would have been so weird.

photo1a Leather handbag with gold monogram initials: Cuyana

You are then taken to a nice hotel.  For this trip, it was at the NYLO.  Clearly I could tell I was in Dallas, their state flag was everywhere. I love their patriotism.

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Typically when you check in, there is a gift bag waiting for you from the brand.  My little self just loves this part.

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Then you start walking around and taking selfies of yourself (I’m wearing Kokoon’s Kanga Poncho).  You also take selfies and send them to your girlfriends so they can share in the excitement.

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Unpack, change into my travel hotel slippers.  I totally rearrange everything to make myself at home.  Am I the only one?

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Then I get ready and change into new clothes for the kick off event – our first event was at 4 PM.  One more to show you the bed.  Oops, I just so happened to be in it.

DSC05161 Blazer: J.Crew (sold out) / Jeans: 7 for all Mankind

There is a “party bus” or stretch limo that awaits for the days ahead because it’s much easier to move a group of bloggers around.  So in we went, and headed to the nearest TGIFriday’s!

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And then, the feast begins.  What I was most impressed was hearing the new menu that will be coming out May 14.  All of the appetizers we tried were clean food – that’s right, fresh and no preservatives.  This means it’s like homemade freshness only you don’t have to make it!  Music to my ears, as the kitchen continues to be my least favorite room in the house.

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We had loads of staff attention – the chef came out with every meal and presented it to us, telling us that TGIFriday’s invented the potato skins!  Each dish was presented and explained which makes you feel like you are a food critic about to devour the most delicious looking platters.  Oh, and drink up.  Gulp.  These are non alcoholic by the way, since I get the Asian Glow within two sips.  The bottom right tastes like an orange Creamsicle.  I die.

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That was only a few snapshots of what we ate.  I could barely breathe.  Do you drink?  If so, oh let me show you something… cause I really really wanted it after I saw it.

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And all the girls who love the color pink, especially pink drinks, began to squeal.  Seriously, wouldn’t this be a great IG video? #TGIFridays #HappyHour #mydrinkiscoolerthanyours

After food there is usually a fun activity to get to know each other and a way to feel the culture of the company.  So, after bellies were full that we couldn’t breathe, we headed over to the Dallas Arboretum for an outdoor concert.  Who played?  A crazy amazing cover band.  I dug the Bruno Mars songs!  It’s an amazing park by a lake and it was so picturesque.

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We sat on blankets and chatted.  One blogger is missing below.  Oh, and best unintentional photobomb ever, lady.

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I loved the conversation, just tips on blogging, sharing life, these ladies were the absolute sweetest and I felt so at home.  Then, it became late and we were tired and we had to catch our party bus back to the hotel.

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We sit in the bus on our phones, tweeting, checking email, working basically until we reach the hotel.  That concludes the first half day.  Off to bed for a 9 AM day to start day two which always involves going to corporate.

The bus arrives and takes us to TGIFriday’s corporate headquarters!  I have to admit, I thought the exterior would look more like a GIANT TGIFriday’s restaurant, but I forgot, it’s a corporate office.

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But of course the inside is anything but boring!  We got a little historic tour which was like a TGIFriday’s museum by a woman named Judy who had been working for the company for several decades!

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Oh dear…this cracks me up.  This was 1989.

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Is anyone with me that the 1975 uniforms are darling?  So country farm girl!  I would totally think this would be cute!  And apparently I was the only one.  Can’t help it, I just love vintage.

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Did you know in 2015 TGIFriday’s will celebrate its 50 year anniversary?  And, I’m so glad I was born after 1974 so I didn’t have a time in my life without potato skins.

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The brand immersion begins and we are given our stripes and more goodies as we prepare for a few presentations in the meeting room.

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Then before you start your brand immersion, you have every blogger’s Twitter handles, the hashtags to use, and you have your social media apps open. It’s a meeting you can have and be on your phone at the same time – explain that to your next corporate job meeting, but I’m working boss, marketing!

As a blogger you can sit in the car or in a room in utter silence on your phone.  This is not considered rude – this is considered working.

Then PR is watching our hashtags and trending and monitoring our social media platforms.  It’s working everyone!

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After learning the history of a brand, it was lunch time.  Where should we eat?  How about “Little Fridays”.  Yep, in the office they have a TGIFriday’s!

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The second feast continues.  I ate like I was going to the chair.

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This time we had a different menu because day one was happy hour.  So this time it was lunch/dinner.  A ton of plates are passed around and you take a slice because you can’t possibly have enough stomach space to eat all the dishes they are about to serve.  Yes, that is lobster.  Amazing.  We were also briefed on each plate as it came out.  May 14 everyone, you will all DIE at the food and I will be at the nearest Friday’s to eat this food all over again.  Steak, chicken, lobster, chicken nuggets – all handcrafted.

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Oh but wait.  Being amongst the like minded, you understand that you don’t touch the food until every blogger takes the photo she needs for social media and blogging.

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And you continue to eat…

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And drink. Like I said, as if it were your last day on Earth.  Above are calamari fries.  My mouth is watering now.

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Take pictures, eat, tweet, post all of that.  Then, a video presentation and a bartending lesson by a finalist at the World’s Bartender Championship.

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I did not participate since I did not do sports in high school and I have no hand eye coordination.  Did you know TGIFriday’s invented the Long Island?

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Oh, and they also invented Happy Hour.  The first HH took place at the 63rd and First location in NYC.  That with the invention of potato skins, we have to thank TGIFriday’s for so much.

After the food coma, we thank those who prepared the meals and served us.

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Then we head back to the meeting room to learn more about the brand so we can understand what they stand for and their branding goals to reach customers and how we can help them reach customers.

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Then we get more goodies!  I got a piece of “flair” – I know, they probably don’t like that word since Office Space, but pins really are cool at TGIFriday’s, it was so neat to hear the stories and the awards given out.  The culture is amazing.  The clappers are used by employees when a bell is rung on the first floor.  When that happens, everyone gets up from their desk to head downstairs and claps to celebrate – an event, people who attend management training, that sort of thing.  What a great bunch of people!

My USB has blogging slide shows, an internet badge, and instructions to help us come up with content on our blog.

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After a day of presentations, eating, and fun of course, it was time for us to catch our flights.  So off to the airport in our carriage we went.  My friend Crystal Reagan, is a friend I met from being in Sony Club and I was SO happy to spend time with her some more!  We clicked so well at Sony San Diego. We were trying to find each other through Terminal E before our flights and guess what we found?  We had a chuckle.

Could we do meal three here?  Oh, I think we can.

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I don’t know what it is, but photobombers just gravitate towards any shot I’m in.  At least he’s smiling.

Then after a flight back, I come home and cuddle my bratty bunny London who hates when I touch her.  Too bad, I’m bigger, I win.  Kisses for London.

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You might be wondering why companies invite bloggers to be a part of an exclusive club or why bloggers choose to participate.  While I am still in awe over the blessings I have received since I decided to take on blogging a bit more seriously thanks to two friends (Club MED), I know I am so blessed. I didn’t blog more to go anywhere, get an income, or have any perks, just to share my heart, and encourage others.

For me, I enjoy working with brands for the opportunity to help a company I believe in, and help my readers with their lifestyle.

I worked many years as a marketing girl, I love to write, I want to use my journalism degree, and I use my blog as my own little magazine.  I’m the content editor, writer, editor-in-chief, and photographer (of course!).  My past as a graphic designer and freelance marketing director has helped me dabble with brands and strengthen them. I don’t have to own many businesses, I just get to be a part of many that I love and if you love it, you share it – just like life.

So when bloggers are a part of a club for a company it simply means we believe in the company, it fits within our lifestyle, and it’d probably be something we’d talk about anyway.  We get to enjoy the perks and share them with you in hopes you will enjoy it too, that is our purpose.  We are simply voices who are chosen to share it because the company likes our readers.  Yep, they like you!  Also reviews are always honest, in fact there’s a lot of dialogue behind the scenes with bloggers, PR, and the company about working together for things that would be beneficial for readers, customers, and if there are tech problems (if say a blogger reps a tech company).

I’ve had to pass on some opportunities that just wouldn’t be a fit, some just not for me or you.  That’s it!  Just thought I’d show you a glimpse of what it’s like in the blogging world when invited to work with brands.  It’s one of the most honorable and fun things about it, and also the people you meet from all over the country, or world.

Enjoy your Monday.  Don’t you wish it was Friday?  Well I know a place where it’s always Friday

Diana Elizabeth says don’t forget to enter the Kokoon $150 giveaway.  Comments close at 5pm MST tonight!

Life, Travel

Kokoon-137 Photos by Melissa Louise for Kokoon

After I complained last Friday about my constant audition goings and inability to book anything, I had another audition this week, cause you know, it’s what I do – professional auditioner.

Only this time, my audition was filmed and they liked it so much they’re going to use the actual footage and I just got paid for it.   I’m so thankful and sometimes that little pick me up is exactly what your heart needs to push out discouragement.

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Monday, April 21 is the last day to enter the $150 Kokoon giveaway.  Visit this post to leave a comment to enter.  If you browse through Kokoon’s site and tell me what you’d spend your credit on, I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

Make time this weekend to enter.  You won’t win unless you at least give it a shot.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday morning.

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It’s also Easter this weekend.

I wanted to take a nice photo of Liberty and London for you like the cover of Martha Stewart, but it’s a bit warm outside already and I’ve been gone in Dallas for a blogging opportunity/sponsorship that I figured some photos taken from our Kokoon spring line shoot should work.

I’m holding Liberty, my favorite girl.

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London says hello (below):

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Have a great Easter.  The Son of God who was brought down from Heaven above died for all of on the cross.  That while we are all sinners, by just believing that He was the Son of God and was risen back to life, we now are saved and have eternal life with God.  Jesus is the bridge of the gap between man and God.  John 3:16.  If you’ve never been to church before or you don’t know where to start, google “Non Denominational Christian Church” that should be a great start on a new journey to a new life.

I left my old life behind at 25, I’ll tell you about that one day.

Diana Elizabeth says the bunnies will be getting carrots and enjoying the outdoors over the next few weeks before the 100 degree temperatures set in.

Life

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Some days, instead of a professional model or actress, I feel like I’m more of a professional auditioner.  Audition, open call, audition, audition.  One day I’m a yoga instructor, another day I’m dragging my pet bunnies in a cage for a Petsmart commercial.

A few weeks ago, I did a high kick during my audition because I was so over going to auditions.  For the record, it wasn’t completely out of context.   I was dancing during my audition and well, just decided, this is how freaking happy I am about this audition.  And no, I didn’t get the part, but it was a good high-kick.

The reality of being in this industry is that you go to a lot of auditions and book only a few.  Direct books are few and far between but when they do happen, they are fantastic!  And sometimes, you have to go back after you do a good audition for a callback so it takes a lot of work to be a working actor and model in the industry.

Anyway, just thought I’d share a glimpse of real truth that it’s not all glamorous and just like any job, you get no’s.  Only these no’s have to do with your height, weight, face, hair, and acting abilities – or maybe even high kick abilities ;)

But guess what I did get to do a few weeks ago … I’m on Kokoon’s front page of their website!

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More on this line next Tuesday as they are going to do an incredible giveaway.

But, if you want to start shopping now, use code: DIANA20 to enjoy 20% off your entire purchase through the end of May.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Diana Elizabeth has headshots in her car, ready for a moment’s notice for an audition.

 

Life, Style

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Oh Vegas, I probably need more fingers and toes if I had to count how many times I’ve been.  I’ve seen it in every way possible, and always, there’s something great to find depending on the occasion and where you are in life.  If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me posting like crazy this past weekend.  In fact, all of us were blowing up social media – we’re such natural marketers.

First, a few drinks as we pick up one girl at a time.  A 4.5 hour drive from Phoenix, five of us drove and one flew from the OC.

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And let’s make one thing clear – yes that’s my luggage tag.

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We have arrived!!!!

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We don’t wait in lines. I mean, Jennifer doesn’t because she’s VIP at the MGM and had the hook up for our rooms with included food expense.  Nice!

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Our suite was pretty sweet!  Two showers too, and a huge lounge area behind me which you’ll see we took plenty of pics in that spot!  Also loved the lighting.  I’ll call this square ring lighting since the mirror had light around it.  Makes your eyes look pretty!

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Okay, #6 has arrived.  First stop, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in MGM which has always been one of my favorite places.  Good choices: Chionois Chicken Salad, and the White Pizza.

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When you travel with a group, what we found was it was much easier to do family style – we don’t eat much, and for 6, a bill might be around $100 or less.

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Then, off to Honey Salt Restaurant, a farm to table restaurant (you must make a reservation) in Summerlin, just 25 minutes off the strip, so worth it.  Isn’t it adorbs?

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Our 8 p.m. reservation was a little behind – and I told the girls it was for 7:45 because I just knew we’d run late.  I’m so smart because we arrived on time!  So even though we had to wait, they came out and gave us complimentary champagne!

Toast to 8 years of friendship!

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Jennifer’s Samsung has this adorable Ap where it take a pic and of the person taking the pic to include them.  Hilarious.  It’s also a good thing we can easily entertain ourselves by taking pictures of each other.

Jumpsuit:  Marshall’s / Gold link bracelet: J.Crew / Heels: Steve Madden / Earrings: Forever 21 / Clutch: Louis Vuitton

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I’m sure we entertained everyone inside.  We all met through pageants, one gal was a Miss Arizona USA and another was a Miss Arizona America.  And yes, we still don’t take ourselves seriously – even as we get older.

Finally seated!

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To try: Shrimp & Linguini, Free Range Oven Chicken, Mac n’ Cheese.  I could have licked the butter that came with the bread.

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If you’ve never been to Vegas and you’re a girl, well expect every guy who reps some club to convince you and your girlfriends to go to that club.  If you’re lucky, they’ll comp you a table and a $200 bottle of alcohol.  Ironically none of us are drinkers, but we’ll take at table at the new MGM Grand club Hakkasan to check it out!

You know the scene in Knocked Up club scene? (Sorry there’s a lot of bad F words in that scene).  If you haven’t seen it, she gets denied because she’s old then she sits on the curb depressed with her pregnant sister and says, “I just wanted to dance!”  We laughed because we felt so old in comparison to those newly 21 somethings.  Well, we just want to dance!

Us old ladies got to the front of the line and free table service.  Guess we’re not that old.

You can find cool souvenirs on the tables like so.

Then after 15 minutes half of us couldn’t take the smoke and we went to bed.  Ok, so maybe we are old.

Next day, pool time of course!

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Heart sunnies: Nordstrom / Rosewood Geo Bikini: J. Crew / Panama Hat: J.Crew

Now, off to see a show!  This room had all the on time girls so we took pictures to kill time, as always.

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I love shows in Las Vegas, they are so worth checking out if you’ve never been.  I love the Cirque shows of course (Ka is my favorite), but we decided to head to The Wynn and check out Le Reve, which has been voted the best show three years in a row.  Sommer’s friend from high school is one of the cast members!

Photo Mar 29, 9 09 45 PM Photo Mar 29, 8 55 53 PM (1) Dress: Christin Michaels / Heels: Steve Madden / Gold Plated Necklace: Kendra Scott (no longer available, but I love this one)

Don’t worry, I didn’t break any rules.  You’re allowed to take pictures and there’s no bad seats since the auditorium is a circle.  So incredible!

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We got to meet up with Chelsea and she gave us a backstage tour!  We had so many questions – and she answered them all.  She’s been dancing in the show for 7 years!

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What a show, I’d highly recommend it!  And then, we ordered room service in our pj’s and fell asleep.

The next morning we were a bit slow.  It seems like everyone was in Vegas for March Madness and a good time.  So we lolly gagged outta there said goodbye to our gf Melayne (my Ireland travel buddy) who left to head back to the OC.  One last stop – Dairy Queen!

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We all met doing pageants and been friends for a long time.  There’s been so much growth, appreciation, and I wish I could elaborate in depth what these girls mean to me.  Time makes you change, life stages, ups and downs but to have the same friends by your side consistently who knew you back when who know your core and who can be there for each other, there’s something to be said about those kinds of friendships.  There are many people who come in and out for whatever reasons but what’s most important are the ones who stand the test of time, and these gals are ones that I’ll be happy to stand by, up for, or sit on the curb for when that night comes when we are denied for being too old to be allowed in a club – even though we are already have old souls and we stopped clubbing years ago.

Until next time Vegas!

Diana Elizabeth says it is possible to travel with that many girls – but you must be relaxed and not have too much of an agenda.  And if you know your girlfriends may run late, always bump up the time by 15-30 minutes, for their own good, and yours too.

Life, Travel

balboa 2007 in Balboa, Calif.

Today I’m on my way with four girlfriends and one more flying in from the OC to meet in Las Vegas.  What happened from a suggestion of a Britney Spears show turned to reality of – none of us actually wanted to see her show, turned into a, hey one of us has free hotel night stays, turned into – let’s do a group vacation!

We haven’t done a group vacation for a long while, though we see each other regularly.  The last time was before babies were in the picture.  So it will be shopping, eating, laying out by the pool in so-called grandma swimsuits (I will soon find out what on Earth my girlfriends are talking about), and relaxing.

I’m going to leave my travel gear nearby as spring/summer come around and I have travels on the books – Dallas, France, Nor Cal, So Cal, and Oregon to start.  Yes, I said France. I can’t wait to tell you about it!!!!

I’ve been really overwhelmed these last few months.  So much in fact that I gave myself one of those paralyzing migraines where I couldn’t do anything all day and laid on the couch and slept, wanted to throw up, and my whole body just hurt.  It was one of those days where just going to bed and starting over the next day would be the only solution.  Have you ever had one of those sickness experiences you know is triggered by overwhelmingness of things to do?  I finally had to let things go so I could focus and get my priorities straight.  I fail miserably at being perfect that I’ve come to accept that every failure is an opportunity to learn and be humble.  I need to be a good stewart of the time God has given me so that means doing less and being more in a different area – one that might not pay, but one that has more rewards later.

On another note – if any of you have heard of the famous Jasmine Star, Mr. Wonderful and I will be modeling for her and a fantastic team on Monday.  If you follow her on IG you might catch a few sneak peeks, but I’ll be sure to give you a little wrap up next Friday on everything.  I hope you all have a smashing good weekend!

Diana Elizabeth will pack the car and have all the food goodies for the car ride, like a mom, only she’s the non mom in the group.

Life

A few random home improvement and personal updates.

We went to the Luke Air Show.  I have a post coming up next week on how to take decent pictures of an air show when you go this season.   I think I got my base tan now, Vegas here I come.

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We hung a bamboo shade in our kitchen.  And now I want to add them to my office, Mr. Wonderful’s office/guest room and well, all of our rooms.  Such a nice east coast feel, I think this is an upgrade we need to replace our white wood blinds, but not sure yet, we had some minor complications with hanging them because we live in an old house.

Before:

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After:

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Blinds in Bamboo Tortoise by Select Blinds

We had 4 new trees planted and a bunch of plants.  Whitfill Nursery comes at least twice a year with big orders but I think I might be just about done with our backyard.  Here’s a quick photo of what it looks like now.

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One more to shade the bunny area:

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We’re getting a new glass door installed in our second bathroom (my bathroom), update post coming soon.  So my Anthro shower curtain will be gone and sent to my mother who is crazy in love with it:

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Knitting is going well.  This seed scarf:

WT-seed-stitch-wrap-600-2 See on PurlBee.com

Well I’m still on skein color one, and with 99 cast ons, and five more colors to go, at this rate I should be done by next winter.

Small blue rice basket by Fringe Supply Co. (a new favorite store of mine)

My obsession has now carried over to ordering 2 skeins to make the adult version of this:

fun-kids-hat-2-425 See on PurlBee.com

Yep, I will totally wear it, isn’t it darling?  I should complete that in two years time since I’m backed up on my to-do wish list.  Finding the Gypsy Garden by Knit Collage in Kinari Bazaar was a tough thing, it’s sold out everywhere.  Found it here.  Summer is in just a few months time and I think I will have plenty of indoor time to do projects like this.  And since I’m slow, I think I’ll be done by the time I can wear my creations.

Speaking of summer crafting projects, add this to my new sewing to do list, because I get to sew another laundry room curtain!

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Thanks Liberty.

I decided on my investment purse that will hold me over for the next 2-3 years.

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Oh yes, come to mama.

Diana Elizabeth also wants to add another garden bed due to the suggestion of Noelle Johnson (www.azplantlady.com).  So that will now be in the works this fall!

Home, Life

shauna-113 JAM owner Shauna Jean Kupetz with Shvivee

I met the lovely Shauna years ago through our friend Ricki, and we soon realized how many fantastic mutual friends we now have.  Many years ago I shot at JAM for Holiday Mini sessions.  JAM is an artisan’s boutique where business owners can use the space to throw workshops, do photography sessions, sell their handmade items, you name it!  It’s a place of creation, sharing, and a cute boutique attached too, support local!

I spent a sweet morning with Shauna at JAM to catch up over tea and I knew I had to introduce Phoenicians to Shauna and her lovely little spot in Old Town Scottsdale called JAM.  Stay tuned because I hope to work with Shauna and have a workshop at JAM when my calendar allows.

Tell me a little about how you came up with the name JAM:
JAM is named after my brothers, Jonathan and Max. :)

What is JAM?
JAM is an artisan’s boutique and creative venue located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. A house where the community comes together for inspiration, knowledge and to blend ideas.

I know your outreach is the community and to make it a creative go-to location, how do you achieve that goal?
By spreading the JAM with other local leaders and organizations.  Tapping into their warm markets and utilizing their expertise.

What ways can people get involved at JAM and some attractions?
We have monthly workshops and also monthly events – our website is jamminlifestyle.com and we are on FacebookTwitter and Intstagram too.

What’s your favorite part about running JAM?
My favorite part about running JAM is that it comes naturally to me.  I embed my life into my business and everything flows.  Its magical to be surrounded by so many beautiful things and gorgeous people – JAM is definitely magical & blissful.

Location and Hours:
6938 E. 1st Street, Old Town Scottsdale – 1st St. and Goldwater Blvd.
Tues & Wed 10-6pm, Thurs & Fri 10-8pm, Sat noon-8pm.  Closed Sundays and Mondays.

If you are a local artisan or a business owner, you should stop by and chat with Shauna to see how you can use her space and collaborate!  It’s a lovely little spot!

Diana Elizabeth says check out the mason tumblers, they are cute!

Life

Monday night we attended my sweet friend Ashley and Michael’s wedding at Stonebridge Manor in the East Valley of Mesa.  It was a lovely day, so beautiful outside and a good evening – what a perfect day to get married and for God to use these two individuals to really impact and show such a true testimony of love, faithfulness, purity, and His favor.

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I met Ashley many years ago, we both met through the exes we dated who were friends.  The best thing to come out of dating relationships that don’t work?  The friendships that you get from them that will last!  I have so many wonderful lifelong friends from people I’ve dated and I even love the girl’s my guy friends have dated and stay in touch.  Sorta funny how that works – perhaps it’s not a match made in heaven in the marriage realm, but it sure is a match made in other ways and I’m thankful for them!

Anyway, it brings me so much joy to walk through life with Ashley and see her happy ending unfold before my very eyes.  Over the years we have had chats over morning coffee at LGO, always making time for one another and just catching up on life.  I look at her as a little sister.  She’s not only gorgeous on the outside (see our long time shoot here), but she has a pure heart of goodness – a heart full of fun, free spirit, and a heart that loves Jesus and is obedient to Him, which is far more beautiful than anything else.  So perhaps two years ago or so when I asked her to jot down a list of husband desires so I could pray for him, whoever he was, and her desire for a husband, she wrote me a list, and I stuck it in my bible.  Yes I prayed – but I didn’t think the times that I did could ever create a Michael – because he’s truly a miracle!  Holy heaven above, he’s a perfect match for her so therefore I know many many other special people have been praying for this union and God had it planned all along!

And together, they will be a huge light of God’s love. le sigh.

I remember when I was single (several times) and I went to many weddings alone – three in fact, as a recently dumped girl.  And I sat there, heartbroken but glad I wasn’t with him or him or that weird guy, as I witnessed the vows and love before me.  The invitation to those weddings moved me.  In fact, I became a wedding photographer after my broken engagement many years ago and that opened my eyes to so much.  My clients had no idea they inspired me, encouraged me, and helped with my healing process.

So I thought I’d tell you, those of you who are single to watch other’s relationships, to know that someone will love you so very much to put a ring on it, and you will love them so very much back that you can’t wait for the day to be married to your best friend.  Getting married isn’t a race, it’s not an accomplishment, and it’s not a box you check off before you’re 30.  It’s a lifelong commitment and you need to be wise about your final decision.

I don’t think you should be sad if you aren’t married and you go to a wedding.  Take it from a girl who has been to many by herself and photographed them for years without a boyfriend in mind. Instead, be encouraged, be inspired, be happy to know that there is true love in this world, that God is faithful, He knows what is best, at the right time, and you will know.  Meanwhile, just get excited that one day it’ll happen to you and rejoice to see that true love does conquer.  You are a treasure remember that and don’t let any fool tell you otherwise!  That’s my little encouragement for this week to you, because I get it, I’ve been there, and girl, have I been there.

So let’s share more pics since I got dressed up and talk about my hair and fashion now.  I watched a video by Luxy Hair on YouTube and just did it really quick.  See the tutorial here.

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Mr. Wonderful looks like a politician right?  So cute.

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I am obsessed with my Alice + Oliva dress.  I’ve worn it several times and it was one of those investment pieces I discovered first on Pinterest (dang it that service is not free because you end up clicking on stuff and buying things!).

An oldie favorite turned new favorite has reappeared in my life – my first LV the musette tango shoulder bag.  I bought while in college, which at the time was $450 and my roommates were horrified I would spend that much on a purse (oh how I wish I could go back and have purchased more because you can’t even get a wallet for that price).  And now, 10+ years later, it’s for sale USED for $430 on a website for old vintage purses.  That’s why I believe in investment pieces. No used cheap purse can resell well.  I tuck in the straps and now it’s a giant clutch and I love it!

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I’m going to talk more on Tuesday about my recent closet adventures and spending and donating.  I don’t think investment handbags are for everyone, you have to know your spending habits.  For me, I can’t buy something I don’t love or else it’ll be in the donate bin within a matter of weeks.  So I essentially am a huge money waster in that area, so I have to go with quality, that saves me money in the long run. I know, it sounds like I’m preparing a justification speech to Benjamin.  Hah!

Have a lovely weekend, all of you.

Diana Elizabeth will be going to air shows this weekend with her brother, he comes into town, yippeee!

Life

Lately I’ve found myself feeling insanely stressed out at my very leisurely life.

Why?  Oh, because:

  • I have too many lunches scheduled this week
  • I don’t have as much time to knit
  • I have to put on makeup when I really want to garden all day outside
  • I have another dinner with friends
  • All I did today was socialize

And I shake my head at myself.  Really?

Have you ever felt like your life was just too busy but in reality, you are busy doing the things you always dreamed of doing but suddenly you forgot that and they become things that stress you out?  Long run-on, I know.

I lose sight of why I decided to become a photographer.  Do you?  If you’re not a photographer and say, maybe you’re a stay at home mom, I know you’re busy and can be overwhelmed, but aren’t you happy that you are able to be SAHM and watch your kids grow?  Ask your fellow mom friends who have to work – they’d trade you any day.

So when I find myself overwhelmed I stop and think to myself, yes I’m busy.  I’m busy seeing people I love, and doing things I love, and maybe instead of feeling busy I start paying attention more and soaking in this precious priceless time.

After all, this is why I became a photographer/entrepreneur.  So I can build my relationships, be an attentive loving wife, and when I work on a job, I work really, really hard.

In other news, I’ll now remind myself to never complain about the flow of my week right now, I finished another knitting project.

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Yep, it’s another cowl because that’s what one bundle of yarn will give – or a skinny scarf. Plus, I’m still learning.  This is the seed stitch and I finally had the button making “click” and I was so excited.  I get it!!!!

Now I’ve ordered the materials to make this beauty, the New Worsted Twist Seed Stitch Scarf by Purl Bee:

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I am taking out three colors though because the scarf is pretty long.  Materials cost a pretty penny, I’m looking at a $120+ scarf but I’m so excited to make it this summer (will probably take 25+ hours) and have it for next fall.

I know, when I get into something, I really get into it.  Those gals on Etsy who sell their handmade creations – they are so worth it.  Worth it!!  Go buy a ton from them and support them because I am in true awe.  I am too slow and projects are truly a labor of love.

I’ll stick to basics for now and hopefully by middle of summer do another course and learn a few more fancier knitting patterns.

Happy Weekend everyone – remember to enjoy your life as it is.  And take a good hard look at things around you, if it doesn’t make you happy, consider cutting it out.

Diana Elizabeth needs to make her domestic to-do list again.  The canning has been on her list forever.

Life

BoggyCreekAirboatRides Grateful for time like this with my family.

Time and money – two things we all say we never have enough of, right?  And stuff – we always have too much.

STUFF

  • I put my boots away which is the saddest thing of the year.  Yep, the weather is gorgeous now in Phoenix and we will soon be welcoming summer.  As I put them away in their pretty matching storage containers I noticed 4 empty boxes.  I finally got rid of the boots with heels and donated them. Hurray for less!
  • I sold and donated 4 coats.  I traded them in for one J.Crew one I cannot wait to wear next fall, but it freed up a lot of closet space.

MONEY

  • Spend more to save time.  I set my alarm to 7:20 a.m. to wake up on a Sunday in time to put in my max bid on eBay before the auction ended. I laid there in bed thinking about my already loss of sleep, my max bid, and the trouble and time  I’d have to go through to find another one  I would like as much.  So I added an extra $20 and I won. 
  • I’ve had that “thing” in my shopping cart forever and I’m too scared to check out and pay for it.  I need this equipment to start this new endeavor of mine.  While I will be partially reimbursed for start up costs, I’m still aware that it’s a lot of money.  It’s been sitting there for a week until the store ran out and now I have to find another source – but I will do it because it’s something that will generate income.

TIME

  • The things that I’m scared about, lazy to do out of fear, or just thinking it’ll take too much time….I realized the other night that I need to take opportunities as they happen.  Our culture is a funny one – one thing is popular and then once everyone starts to do it, it goes away and a new endeavor begins. Rationalization: as an entrepreneur, I must stay ahead of the saturation and waves to seek the opportunities of now before they disappear.  Bag up the fear, pony up the cash, buckle down the time and stare fear in the face and say, I’m still going to do it.
  • Sometimes I just don’t wanna.  There are 52 weekends in the year and only so many hours in a day, and I’m getting older, and my days are getting fewer.  Let’s be real, death is a democracy and we all have limited time, so choosing who to lunch, dine, and celebrate with is very important.  We do not have all the time in the world – guard it and give it out in increments.
  • I do what I do for time.  Just a gentle reminder to myself that I’m an entrepreneur not for the money but the extra time I have which is more rewarding than anything else life could ever offer.

You can always earn more money, but you can’t earn more time.  I also am trying desperately to be a minimalist which I think is a nice thought in my head that will never come to fruition.  There’s just too much pretty.

Diana Elizabeth is now blocking off work days and play days for myself on the calendar.  I have blocked off full days for photography and my play days, well they are more about working around the house, gardening, errand running – not sitting on the couch eating Bon Bons unfortunately. ;)

Life

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