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. Here I share my home life, work, and efficient lifestyle solutions.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy home decor, sewing and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life, travel, and work and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

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Category Archives: Travel

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Peek-a-boo from Tucson! Benjamin and I were invited to stay at Westward Look - Tucson’s first resort built in 1920, sitting on 80-acres in the northern part of Tucson (exit off I-10 and Ina Road). Westward Look is a Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa and boasts a AAA 4 star rating.

Famous Old Hollywood guests include John Wayne and Vivien Leigh and regular guest Dean Martin!

westward-look-tucson_0119Flannel: Marshall’s (similar) / Tank: Alexander Wang

We arrived after dark and quickly unpacked and changed to head over to see some friends when we heard a knock at our door – chocolate nachos which had chocolate mousse! It was divine – I was thrilled to share it with our friends after our BBQ – it was a hit.

We woke up early to this lovely view from our balcony – a little garden and a tree turning color, be still my heart! You know how much I love gardens, don’t worry a tour is coming up in this post. Benjamin saw a bunny in there, little sneak! We had a quick breakfast (aka cereal style) to make our couples massage appointment that was set up for us. This is one of three pools at Westward Look.

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Isn’t our place adorable? It had vaulted ceilings, a large sitting area and a spacious bathroom – with another sink outside of the shower, love that!

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Check out our view when we walked out – the photo really doesn’t to it justice -

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I’m no stranger to Tucson, this city is my alma mater stomping grounds where I spent four amazing years of my life as a UofA Wildcat!

Desert Trails

The resort has a lot of scenic trails between the rooms – with over 80 acres, you can take a morning, afternoon or evening stroll just going around the property. We decided to walk to the spa because the weather was absolutely perfect!

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Pants: 7 For All Mankind (similar) / Booties: similar

After our amazing spa massage – and take our word for it because we are regular spa massage clients – we both looked at each other and said, “That was wonderful!”

We were so refreshed and relaxed we grabbed some lunch at my favorite spot in Tucson – Beyond Bread (order the Betty’s Brie on sourdough bread – if you order it on baguette you’ll have a hard time eating it), took a quick nap, and then decided to explore the property some more – as you can tell I have more pep in my step! We spotted a roadrunner too, I wish I was fast enough to have snapped a photo, but here’s a link to one on Wiki if you’ve never seen one in person before.

westward-look-tucson_0112Top: Anthropologie / Faux Leather leggings: similar / Booties: similar

Walking, or skipping along the resort trails is like going through a desert botanical garden – I spotted this on a cactus – don’t they look like little pineapples? Benjamin did some research and said it was cactus fruit on a fishhook barrel cactus.

I may or may not have dared him to eat one…he may or may not have accepted my dare…

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History with Coca-Cola + Museum

In the 1940s Westward Look was the hot destination for Hollywood directors, producers and cinematographers – remember western movies were a big thing too!

You know how some people like new development homes, while others like historic homes? Benjamin and I lean towards historic, which is why we really enjoyed Westward Look. It was built in the 1920′s as 15 cottages, a “dude ranch”- and as the years went on and a change of owners, the property was given the name Westward Look from a poem by English writer Arthur Hugh Clough, a closing line in the poem read, “Westward, look, the land is bright.”

The original Watson house is off the main lobby and you can walk through and see a few galleries – including this awesome Santa Coca-Cola painting with a neat story -

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The two girls above serving Santa a Coca-Cola are the two girls belonging to the Nason’s (past Westward owners). The artist Haddod Sundblom was a regular winter visitor to Westward Look – he was also an incredible artist who created icons of advertising including the Gerber baby and Aunt Jemima in addition to the Coca-Cola Santa.

Heading further up the stairs of the former Watson house is a little museum of desert artifacts.

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We headed back toward our room to see the Chef’s Garden and this is the regular type of scene you see that connects the rooms – the trails have little spots with a table or bench.

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I call this the cactus high-five!

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Chef’s Garden

Behind our room we had a lovely view of the Chef’s Garden, a huge organic garden at the resort that supplies two restaurants with veggies, fruits and more. Don’t you love the farm-to-fork/farm-to-table approach?

You know me and gardens, they are my happy place. I found a cute grapefruit tree – this one was red and I was pointing at a large grapefruit!

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Some of the cabbages were as large as my head and leaves as long as my arm! It was amazing, I pretty much had garden envy. Time to get to work.

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GOLD restaurant

We experienced an amazing dinner at Westward Look’s hotel restaurant, GOLD. As huge foodies who will eat almost anything, we were incredibly in awe of the menu and labeled this as one of our top favorite restaurants we’ve ever been to.

IMG_9070Jacket: Micheal Kors (similar)

Our appetizers the chef prepared included grilled and chilled Mexican shrimp, and Schmaltz fried potato lake – with sockeye salmon and fried quail eggs. Benjamin ordered grilled Atlantic salmon (he’s part Grizzly Bear), and I ordered the Thai coconut lemon shrimp.

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I was so very sad when I was full – I wanted to keep eating. Looking at this now I wish I could have had more. The presentation was beautiful and it was lip-smacking good.

Then we took a 10-minute walk because really, we were that full. We had to walk off our meal – haha! Then we came back for dessert, a berry cobbler.

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Happy four year anniversary to us.

Thank you so much Westward Look for inviting us to celebrate and treating us like VIPs, what a lovely experience we had! We unplugged and really felt like we were able to relax and have quality time together.

westward-look-tucson_0137Scarf: Store in Ireland (similar, and this) / Cardigan: Zara (similar, love this) / Booties: similar

Until next time!

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Southwest, Travel

Just a quick snippet if you wanted to check out Grand Canyon West! It’s been a while since I’ve done a travel video so excuse my rustyness I wasn’t planning on it!

I do however plan on video in Thailand for sure! Anyway, hope you enjoy a quick tour!

Southwest, Travel

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My longtime girlfriend from Seattle/Vancouver came down to Arizona for the first time ever so I thought a road trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona would be a nice adventure for the two of us even though I’m not a huge road tripper (or maybe I am and I’m just trying to pretend I’m not).

Lie Shia (lee-shh-uh) and I woke up at 5 am, got ready super fast, tossed our bags in the car and headed to Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk, the side closer to Vegas. When we hit the road it was dark and as we were out of Phoenix, we pulled over and took this sunrise shot.

Good morning Arizona.

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This reminds me that dad has a sunrise and sunset calendar which makes me laugh. I joke there’s barely a difference, how can one tell? And now that I look at the above pics, I think I can.

Joshua Tree National Park

The Joshua Tree National Park is so cute – you’re just driving along and suddenly you see an abundance of these prickly trees. The rumor – at least on Wikipedia says the trees got their name from Mormon settlers who thought the trees looked like they were praying with their hands up to the sky in prayer to God like Joshua in the Bible.

All I can say, if you’re going to jump around these super sharp trees, make sure you have accurate head clearance. Bad accidents can happen trying to pull a stunt like this, just saying.

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I finally got to wear my color block seed seed stitch wrap scarf I knitted a few years ago (I think I removed 3 colors). It’s like a big blanket and it felt like it took years to knit! I do think about my outfits when I travel – sometimes a bold color in a muted scene can make it pop. If you’re a knitter, also check out the cashmere ombre wrap pattern here. I have my eye on this pattern next.

On the way to the Canyon

When we bought our tickets (Lie Shia kindly paid for me, thanks girlfriend!), it’s about $75 or cheaper depending on the season. It includes a stop at this interesting cowboy town with a magic show – it’s really like a bathroom break and a random stop to take a photo like this.

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After that, we got on the next bus  to head to the real destination – the glass skywalk! As everyone exited the bus, it was like a scene from the game Lemmings – they all started walking to the edge, there are no rails or fences, it’s almost like a, hey everyone, come over here and let’s just see who is smart enough to not get too close.

This is my second time at the Grand Canyon, the first was about four and a half years ago with my parents. I was taking photos and my mom kept holding onto me as if the wind would suddenly pick up and I’d fall in. Gotta love moms, even if you’re in your thirties you’re still their baby.

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Lie Shia on the other hand kept getting really close to the edge. Like this:

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And this:

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When she got on that rock it moved by the way, it rocked a little and I screamed. The fact that the rock is declining into the canyon, um, no thanks.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk

The skywalk is run by the Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, Arizona. I’m all about supporting the Native Americans and I love their history and culture, it’s so fascinating! I also think Native Americans are some of the kindest, sweetest people.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass bridge suspended 4,000 feet above the Colorado River.

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The above is a stock photograph they gave us.

The employees are so sweet, this guy took my camera and took our photo of the two of us on the bridge and put my camera in a locker for me and gave me the key.

You may notice we’re wearing booties! The glass is expensive and of course think of how gritty and scratched up the glass would get with shoes that might have rocks stuck in them or dirt. You’re not allowed to bring a purse, cell phones or camera with you (they claim too many people threw things over the edge) – but don’t worry, there are free lockers and great photographers taking your photo and worth the price.

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Like so! For $60 you get all of the high res digital files – and you can see it immediately. I don’t know how they do it so quickly but it’s incredible. I also overheard a single photo printed is $16 if you want to go that route but I’m pretty sure we got about 15+ images for $60. Sometimes, it’s just worth it! You know this, photograph is worth it ;)

Here we are, look how high above the Grand Canyon!

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I felt  like I was so busy taking photos I didn’t actually take it all in. Then I laugh and remind myself, I have photos to show I was there. I think I’d just walk a bit slower and just stay on it much longer next time, but it’s one of those things you just try once and you’re good if you get my drift. Definitely worth checking out.

Here’s a quick video:

Then we walked around and saw mud houses and nature tents (not the PC term at all). And I just take pics like I live there.

Good morning *yawn* so what’s on the agenda today?

Sorry, I know this photo is now going to make you yawn. But doesn’t yawning sometimes feel good?

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“Who’s there?”

Guano Point

The last stop that is part of the ticket is seeing the Grand Canyon atop an old Guano Mine. You get to see the canyon on both sides of you which is pretty cool. You can hike to the top of the rocky hill or go around (almost).

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I like to sit on very stable, unshakeable rocks. Here’s the Colorado River where we get some of our water. No matter what people say, we are not scared about running out of water – or going through a drought like California. We’re all good!

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Let’s talk about this Grand Canyon – is it worth seeing? Yes. But is it like everyone says, you see it, you’re amazed and within a few minutes you’re kinda over it? Yes. I know, terrible. But you go, you are fascinated realizing it’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Then you drive around and realize it looks the same from all sides, but it’s still incredible.

 Sedona

Of course I have to show off Sedona, where Mr. Wonderful and I got married. L’Auberge de Sedona is where I feel at home, it’s just the loveliest place no matter what time of the year you go. Here I am walking to the spot where we got married.

We sat down and had lunch inside the newly updated restaurant which is stunning. I suggest if you are in Sedona to save your appetite and eat lunch by the creek or the restaurant at L’Auberge.

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The hotel recently went under new renovations – here’s part of the hotel lobby. I can’t believe they could actually improve on something that was already so gorgeous. The final cabin renovations are almost done and on the site they look so lovely.

Lifestyle, Personal, Southwest, Travel

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