My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a journalist, photographer, graphic designer and FORD 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 love traveling, home improvement projects, sewing, gardening, and John Mayer and Twilight. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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I took a noon flight from Phoenix to JFK and JFK to Nice, a 9 p.m. flight red eye.  The 8+ hour of flying had me landing after 11 a.m. which was perfect to start the day.

A little about Nice

It’s France’s 5th biggest city with the second busiest airport.  You can fly directly into Nice, and since Italy is 1 hour away (Nice is south west, next to Monaco), you will find a lot of Italian restaurants and influences.  The iconic blue chairs line the coast so you can take a seat and take in the view, and there is a large pavement area that follows the seafront for casual walking, bike riding or running if you should want to do those activities.  Old Town is a place to discover historic tall buildings, narrow streets, where boutique stores are located on the bottom as residences live up top.  There is a large market area which is typically set up for selling spices, vegetables and flowers, and on Mondays turns to French antiques and collectibles.  In the evening the market area showcases artisan shopping and plentiful restaurant seating to enjoy the cuisine in perfect weather.  To learn more about Nice, visit their website here.

Are you ready?  It’s gonna be a long one, here we go!

Day 1 – Italian lunch and rocky beaches

Here’s the main plaza which we walked through to get to the beach, Old Town – tiny boutiques and Massena Street – more well-known stores.

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How’s this for a splash pad with a view eh?

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Before we hit the beach, we had an incredible Italian lunch at Attimi.  Since France is so close to Italy – only 1 hour away so there are many Italians and influences in France – lucky me, I got to eat French and Italian food!

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Then it was beach time, I even changed into my swimsuit.  Ahhhh.

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Wait a sec…that doesn’t look comfy at all!  We sure are lucky to have sandy beaches in the States, aren’t we?

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The tourism office of Nice gave me a sweet souvenir, I finally understood it after the beach visit.  Salt and pepper shakers in the shape of the rocks on the beach.

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Hm, shopping instead you say?  Just ask for Old Town, it’s quaint yet very large in size and oh so charming.

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My sweet friends, Crystal (mommy + family), Vivienne (travel photog) and Amanda (health + fitness).  Not pictured because she hadn’t arrived yet, Kristen (travel vlogger).

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That night for dinner we ate at Luc Salsedo, where you basically just pick chicken or beef (or vegetarian) and tell them anything you dislike or are allergic to.  The chef has a new menu every 10 days and he just whips something up for you!  It’s a surprise dinner!  I wish I had that kind of creativity in my kitchen.

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We had some of Nice’s very own famous Socca chips.

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Believe it or not, this fruity drink didn’t even have any alcohol in it.

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This pretty and delicious thing was stuffed in a flower of a zucchini!

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Day 2 – A Spectacular View of Nice

Woke up in this darling three star hotel, Grand Hotel Florence.  Hotels include a great breakfast in the morning you shouldn’t pass up.

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They even house some bees at the top of the hotel that make some honey – I’ve never been stung so I gave my camera to one of the nice and brave employees so I could show you.

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A little market shopping at the flower and vegetable market.

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Then a spectacular, famous view of Nice from the top of Castle Hill (Colline du Château).  It’s free, open to the public and a huge park and botanical garden.  The little French children have no idea how blessed they are, truly.  I stood there listening to them speak French and kick balls around, my heart just smiled.

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Back through Old Town to enjoy the narrow streets and bright facades.  This architecture is called Sardinian.  I’ll just call it perfection.

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A delicious lunch and wine tasting at Compagnons de la Grappe who has an impressive wine cellar, having a bottle of $50,000 wine!  So, who wants to go back and celebrate?

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A little time to rest then back out for dinner!

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The flower and veggie market turns into a night of shopping of accessories and other goods. Chairs and tables from restaurants as the French take their place.

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Acchiardo Restaurant, is run by a 4th generation of the same family, since 1927.  I also learned that night during conversation that it is not custom to ask for takeaway (leftovers to be boxed up), as that’s not something that makes restaurants happy, because they believe the meal is to be enjoyed there and fresh.  Plus, you can always go out tomorrow for another delicious meal.

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Oh, and the brothers are um, pretty handsome as you can see. I insisted on taking a photo just to show you. The French are just as beautiful as their buildings. You’re welcome.

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Day 3 – Bus tour, museum and lunch with a view

Hopped on the Hop on Hop Off bus, I always love bus tours because they show you everything you really need to see. (Nice Tour here).

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Stopped in the Chagall Museum, a collection of 250 works.

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Then a little walk through another market north of Nice, called (I think) Liberty Market or the like.

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Stopped into Arleqeuin Gelati Italiani where the owners spoiled us with endless tastes of gelato and sent me off with a lemon italian soda.

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Waited for the quietest tram in the world, you have to watch out because you might get run over if you run across the tracks.  Be careful!

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A divine lunch with a view, and the most comfortable breeze at Blue Beach Plage Restaurant.  I felt like I walked into a Ralph Lauren Polo restaurant.  All the men had white polos and sneakers on.

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I had to take a photo sitting in one of the famous blue chairs that overlook the ocean.

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All of the South France bloggers together!  What a life!

Take a peek into my latest France home investment.  Ah ok, so it’s a 5-star hotel, Le Negresco and the owner, an older lady lives there on the top floor.  I don’t know why but I think of the movie Clueless.

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Oh sorry, I was just practicing a welcome to my mansion pose.  Check out this amazing carousel restaurant that is attached to the hotel.

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Sooooo…this is art, so I’m going to just say that’s going to justify postsing this racey little piece of artwork.  Hey, marble sculptures are nude so cut me a little slack because this is very cool.  This sculpture made by Paul Pacotto rotates and there’s a light in the corner.  As it rotates, the shadows change.  Just watch it and notice that it changes.   If he had a museum I would definitely spend all day in it!  I would really love to buy one of his pieces.  This was in a glass case on display in the hotel.

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And then, we had to say goodbye to our sweetest Caterina (who speaks Italian, Portuguese, French and English and also used to live in San Francisco) who showed us around, took us everywhere, and translated on our behalf.  My heart was so sad as I just absolutely loved her.  We had to catch our car to Aix-en-Provence, as the Rail Europe was still on strike and our train was cancelled leaving ulterior methods which wouldn’t have been as quick as a private car.

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Goodbyes have always been so difficult for me, but, we had to say them.  We hopped in our car for a 2-hour ride west.

See you tomorrow in Aix-en-Provence, you’re going to love it!

Have you seen my 3 minute video tour of France?  Click here.

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o) + Canon Powershot S100

Diana Elizabeth looks forward to visiting Nice again, what an experience – you can lay out on the rocky beaches by the way, there are chairs that are available for rent.

France, Life, Travel

Give me 3.5 minutes, I promise this will relieve any stress, inspire you, and make you want to book a flight.  Let me take you on a quick tour of the South of France! Make sure you watch in HD!


{On mobile?  Click here.}

Bonjour!  I really do miss saying that.  I also miss having the TV on and listening to French, even though I understood zilch.

I’ve got one heck of racerback tan on my back from a day on the canal, and a whole lot of memories and photos to edit to recap what I’ve experienced.  I came back Thursday night, 10 pm, after hours of traveling, really all day.  From 9 a.m. car pick up from Montpellier to the airport, into Paris, JFK, then finally Phoenix, I fell asleep thanks to half of a Xanax and didn’t find myself jet lagged one bit on Friday.

Friday I got my iPhone screen repaired (it shattered the first night, thank goodness for the screen protector that kept the glass together), post office, shopped for Mr. Wonderful’s birthday, and wrote a few thank you notes.

I was sent on this trip by the Department of Tourism agency of France, click here if you want to make plans to visit to France.  Thanks to Cellular Abroad for providing overseas wi-fi so I upload and post to social media. Many thanks to Air France (with Delta) for the transportation to the beautiful country. Also thank you Rail Europe for the transportation between some of the top French cities.

Over the next few days or weeks, I will be sharing the experience because that’s what I’m here to do – to encourage and inspire you to take some time off and explore France in so many different, unique and fabulous ways.

For now, as I go through 1900+ photos, check out the video as I take you on a tour, then get super excited because I’m going to show you France like you’ve never seen before!  Check out my fellow blogger buddies I traveled with!

Crystal – Mommy Blogger
Kristen
 – Travel Vlogger
Amanda – Health & Fitness Blogger
Vivienne – Travel Photographer
Dave – Marketing Manager & Tech Guru
Carol – Travel Writer

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Diana Elizabeth is still getting over a little cold she picked up on day 3 of the trip.  It could have been worse, but now it still lingers just a bit.  She’s still grateful that it stayed under control.  A little nose blowing wouldn’t stop her from having a good time!

France, Life, Travel

family Photo by Ryan NicholsonThe Roadway Studio Project (click to check out travel dates)

The outtakes of story telling were actually way more comical of my brother laughing his head off or imitating his screaming as a child when I beat on him when we were much younger, but this shot was for mom and dad.

My brother and I did not always get along, of course there was that typical growing up picking and beating on one another thing, but then there was the adult stage when we still continued to not get along by choice.  Like when I really acted like a selfish absorbed only child, or tried to witness my newfound Christianity to him only to start yell at each other in the car, his Mr. Know-it-all engineering attitude about my mission trip on building a home, and well, his stubbornness of being just a plain old insensitive male that lead us to not talk for almost a year.  There was even the time when I was in So Cal on a shoot and wanting to have dinner with him that he just left during the middle of my shoot for whatever reason and wouldn’t respond to my text messages.  As angry as I remained, my parents even yelled at me on the phone that night blaming me as the older sibling and my responsibilities that if we didn’t change, we’d, “never be good brother and sister.”  But I had enough, and I came to completely accept that maybe we would never have that typical fond sibling relationship, we were just too different and that’s just how life goes, not exactly as you had planned.

Our story goes on as so, with Blake remembering more of the details than I do – apparently he keeps tabs while I instantly forget, or maybe out of self absorbedness never paid any attention and was continually absent minded – I can’t blame it all on him, can I?  When Mr. Wonderful and I decided to get married just six months after our first date, I text my brother and said, “It would be really nice if you could make it.”  In honesty, completely being OK if he didn’t because I didn’t see him showing up at all.  It was a small wedding guest list of 23 in Sedona.  (See our wedding here) but he came, and he said, “I need to be there for family photos, right?”  and the reality is, the thing that brought us back together was my husband.

My brother will even admit it – he wouldn’t be talking to me today if it weren’t for Benjamin.  I don’t have any pride in that area so I’ll take it. Our common bond – Benjamin.

That’s one of the many things I love about my husband and I noticed his character when we were dating – his ability to relate to anyone.  No matter where they are in life, what they do, what they believe in, he can bridge gaps.  He is so relatable and welcoming to all that I think my friends love me more because of him.

I write this post because I think family is important but can be completely imperfect.  Time, maturity, or some one can always bridge the gap so never give up hope.  For that reason, because my mentor and friend Ryan Nicholson was in town for The Roadway Studio Project I think for $95 this one shot is priceless.

Mr. Wonderful really should have been in the middle.

Diana Elizabeth knows there are some out there who compares families to their own, whether negatively or positively.  She thinks that to accept that life here is imperfect, don’t put expectations on people, relationships, or how you want things to be, but never give up trying.

Life

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In most places across the country, you can enjoy Fourth of July outdoors – not in Phoenix, oh dear.  That’s one thing I miss so much since I moved from California – the ability to enjoy a summer.  Oh well, just gotta get away!

Here’s a fun shoot my talented friends and I did.  Melissa Schollaert photographed this little set up by Angela Saban in my backyard.  Makeup and hair by Lizzy Marsh.

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I made these blankets from fabric I found from SAS Fabrics in their random piles of cotton fabric. I just knew they would come in handy, I can use them every day too!  I made one with just the red and white stripes, and the other with the white and blue stars.  The back of the fabric is back with a pre-washed drop cloth.  I did a creative messy sewing edge to join the fabrics together so the edges are messy  but won’t fray past the stitching and ran a few single lines down the blankets. These are two separate blankets laying on top of each other. If you can’t find stars and stripes, consider polka dots, stripes, or even solids so you can use them year round.  Red, white and blue are so classic, and my awesome alma mater’s school colors!

Star shaped bowl from Pottery Barn, but it was for Christmas, until I realized it could be used for patriotic holidays!  Floral plates from Angela Saban’s personal collection she said she found them at Home Goods.  Ceramic berry basket from Anthropologie (small, large).  My silver grapefruit jam spreader is a souvenir from London, purchased from Fortnum & Mason.  Fringe towel from Pottery Barn, see this patriotic kitchen towel.  Square outdoor plates from Target.

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Want to make a citrus curd?  Recipe courtesy of Angela Saban of Angela Saban Designs and Angel Cakes Bakery - she styled the shoot.

Grapefruit* Curd Recipe

*Can also be lemon, lime, ruby red grapefruit) Great as a dressing over ice cream, or on biscuits and toast!

Ingredients

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tsp citrus zest (lemon, lime, grapefruit)
  • 1 cup fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, grapefruit – keep same)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Pick some fresh grapefruit if you have it in your yard!
  2. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
  3. In a saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and the sugar until blended.
  4. Turn heat to medium and whisk in citrus zest, juice, and salt.
  5. Continue to whisk constantly for 8-10 minutes or until mixture thickens.  Note: About 170 degrees, do not let is come to a boil or it will curdle and be ruined.)
  6. Immediately pour mixture through the sieve, pressing it down with a rubber spatula into a bowl.
  7. Let mixture cool down to about 140 degrees.
  8. Whisk butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces.  Do not allow butter to melt into the mixture, but whisk it until it is combined or use an immersion blender.
  • Cover curd with plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate or our into sealed jars while still warm.
  • Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks after opened, and also freezes well.

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I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!

{Photographed by Melissa Schollaert / Styled by Angela Saban / MUA Lizzy Marsh}

Diana Elizabeth misses when the bunnies were little.

Home

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Almost two years ago, I was thisclose to quitting my photography career.  This would have been insane, I was doing pretty well, but I was overwhelmed.

I was losing my passion for photography and I thought, oh great, now what will I do if this is all over?

I realized the problem was – I was doing too much, and too much of the same stuff. I had done so much during my first year out of the entrepreneur gates – I was constantly booking, marketing, posting, and blogging. I rarely had a day where I wasn’t meeting a connection, shooting, or editing. I was religiously reading photography blogs, attending workshops every few months, growing, learning – as every serious photographer who wants to build a serious career out of photography does.

I worked weekends, worked late into the nights because I loved it, and then, and finally, it all caught up to me.   I was drained – emotionally and creatively.  I would almost cry when a shoot was approaching, and then I realized I was busy, but busy doing things that I was no longer passionate about, which in turn, made me feel like I was a hamster on a wheel going nowhere, and what I really wanted to be was a wild stallion able to run free and change direction just like the wind.

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This is what I had to do to save my sanity, mind, and photography career:

  • I stop shooting everyone who had a business for free.  Even though I wanted to help, and some were good causes, I had no time left to rest.
  • I stopped shooting in exchange for credit lines.  They don’t pay the bills, and I realized I didn’t need to expand my portfolio or make connections – connections come with publications who respect the time and talents of a professional.
  • I stopped reading photography magazines.  I threw them straight in the trash or gave them to budding photographer friends.  Reading them only made me feel like I was constantly behind.
  • I stopped (temporarily) following wedding blogs or other photographers just because I needed a breather to create on my own and not feel inadequate. (Read this essay for more: “Why I hate Wedding Photography”)
  • I also stopped reading business magazines, anything that made me feel like I was constantly running a race.  My mind wanted to explode.
  • I had to remind myself to stop comparing myself to others.
  • I redecorated my office.  I took down a lot of my work so I could lessen the pressure  I had on myself to constantly be doing photography. I wanted to enjoy it again without feeling the pressure that if I wasn’t doing it, I had to be thinking about it.
  • I started to make a list of what subjects I enjoyed photographing, and what I didn’t.  That included photographing babies, that went on the no list and I made a friend who does it well and I refer to her.
  • I taught up and coming photographers because seeing their excitement reminded myself why I fell in love with photography – it helped tremendously.
  • I stopped booking weddings.  I turned down a ton of inquiries, even those who had the sweetest emails. I passed along the referrals.  I still do weddings, but for six months, I said no.  I needed the break.
  • I now have many requirements before I agree to work a wedding.  This includes a first look and a wedding planner.  If I’m going to do a job, I want to make sure I enjoy it , it is structured, I am able to perform my best during that time, and the couple is a perfect fit.
  • I stopped writing for online photography sites.  I was overwhelmed with the weekly articles.  I stepped away and took a break.  Months later, I was approached by another site and I had enough rest to return to instructing.
  • I decided to stop shooting a specific subject and consider other areas – corporate, editorial, and so on.
  • I increased my pricing so I could shoot less frequently but still make the same amount.
  • I learned how to say no.
  • I learned that it’s OK to not have the same success as every one else.

I think it can be so easy to fall in love with something, want to do it for a career because of that saying that puts the pressure on the entrepreneur spirit – Do what you love.  Because, if you aren’t, that must mean you’re just plain miserable every day.

But if we’re not careful, taking on too much to do what we love can make us miserable.

By setting boundaries, limiting my bookings, and knowing that I didn’t need the so called opportunity for a credit line, I was able to free up time.  Time to rest, time to enjoy life, and the time I always wanted to have which is why I became a photographer in the first place.

That time has been long in the past, but it was a tough experience to over come, a sheer feeling of panic that if I wouldn’t be able to over come the feeling, my career was over.  Now crazy back in love with photography, you’ll only see me doing what really moves me.

Have you ever been overwhelmed by what you do, photography or not?  Did you ever get over it or did you quit?

Diana Elizabeth says it’s OK to change direction because life is always about discovering what the next thing that will challenge you.  Being burnt out is normal, it’s not failure and walking away from something that isn’t a fit any longer is better than staying and being miserable.  

Photography

pedicure-infection-toe Waiting at the podiatrist’s office for my toe infection

I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed sharing this info, so here goes.  In the beginning of the year, I got an infection on my big toe (the right foot).  It was instant, in fact that night the side of my toe was glowing red.

I went to a podiatrist and was given 10 days worth of pills – to be taken 3 times a day.  That’s 30 pills.

Side effect warnings – diarrhea and yeast infection (a pill like that kills infection so that really cleans out your body).  So I had to take a probiotic.

40 pills over 10 days just because of a bad pedicure.  Oh, and this was over a family trip to DisneyWorld.

Side note: I did speak to the salon owner, only because my friends insisted I should tell her because she might not know.  She told me she had recently taken over the old staff which had never cleaned their tools before – even though they used the pedicure plastic liners which make it look clean!  Instead of an apology, I received a, “Thanks for telling me so I can regain control of my staff. When you come back, I’ll show you our back room now and how clean it is.”  Chances I’ll be back, -100.

So I’ve gone back to doing at-home manis and pedis, and while it does take more time, I think I’ve found it’s easier, and I’d much rather take the time than open myself up to getting another infection or even Mursa or flesh eating bacteria.

If I were to ever do it again, I’d say save yourself $50 bucks for a mani/pedi combo and take the time to do it at home in front of the TV while watching a movie.

Here are a few favorite things I love for at-home manis and pedis:

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Foot RaspNail buffer / Callus Eliminator  / Revlon Cuticle Nipper / Cuticle remover

Favorite polishes:

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NARS Trouville /Sally Hansen Dries Instantly / Sally Hansen Double Duty / Butter Trout Pout / NARS Dovima

NARS and Butter are my favorite lines of polish – the Butter in Trout Pout is my absolute favorite!   I use the Double Duty as a base coat, the the Driest Instantly top coat is AMAZING!  It looks like you have gels on and it only takes a minute to dry.

Have any of you had any back run-ins with salons?  I am terrified to go back that I just don’t want to risk it.  Any good polishes I should try?

Diana Elizabeth used to paint her nails every Sunday night in high school.  She had a zillion bottles of polish!

Style

choosing-life-without-kids Somewhere along the Canal du Midi in France

I have a confession to make.  I am one of the few girls while growing up, never, ever said, “When I grow up, I want to be a mom.”  I thought that phrase was kinda strange, something universal that would just happen like, “I just want to get married,” or “I will die one day.”  It was just something that you would do, but didn’t need to profess as a life goal.

I was a pretty crazy ambitious teen growing up – lots of those good positions for the college resume, leadership positions, activities, yearbook page number reference by my name, you know.  My priority was having an awesome career, then settle down (but not until I was 29 because I wanted my 20′s to myself to have fun, explore and have an awesome career), and children I guess when they would come because that’s the grown up thing you just had to do.

The older I became I began to realize just how hard it is to select your spouse (and yes girls, you get to choose back so make a good decision!), and now that life is cushy and enjoyable with a great career, nice home, my Mr. Wonderful, and two bunnies, and a baby shower invite almost every other month for the past five years, I’m asking myself, So, do we have to do the next thing everyone else is doing?

We, I have more complications that I’ve known about since I was 15, maybe one day I’ll feel like writing a post on it but the meanwhile, it’s not something we can’t overcome, and that still wouldn’t prevent us from still wanting to start a family by various methods.  So money isn’t the issue, the desire is the issue.  I can’t help but admit at times I feel like I’d be a bad human for not being a mom – is it normal and OK to not have that desire?

Then I came across this video.  If you can’t see it, click here.

Women who don’t have children spend 60% more time abroad – yes please!

I’m convinced because Mr. Wonderful and I don’t have children that we’re able to love on others more right now.  I LOVE being Auntie!  Our friends were visiting and they noticed Benjamin answered a question so patiently and thoroughly – laughing at their response they typically give.  Since we aren’t asked 50 billion questions every day and it’s pretty quiet around here, I guess that helps.

I had a friend I met up with and she said, “Aren’t you afraid of being an old mom?”  Um, news flash, as another friend said to me, “You’ll always be old to your kids.”  My response, “No, I’m Asian, so I’ll look younger even if I started at 40 than all the other mom’s in the PTA.”  People worry about the strangest things, don’t they?  Side note – if you haven’t read this awesome blog post/letter from stay at home mom to working mom and vice versa, read it here.  Even though I’m not a mom, I sympathize and understand as most of my best friends are moms who stay at home and work.

Of course this post isn’t an announcement written in blood as we are still young, but official to declare, I’m perfectly fine where we are in life and to not have that desire to have a family.  I guess I’m starting to understand that when those little girls were saying, “I just want to be a mom,” is the same as me saying, “I just want to travel the world.”  It’s a desire of your heart and priorities and everyone can have different priorities in life and that’s more than OK because you wake up every day living your own life.  But, if God changes my heart, it’ll be very apparent, so I just hang out and do other things I feel like the Lord is calling me to do, and be.

Anyone else out there who doesn’t know if they want children?  Have you ever thought you wanted something only to change your mind?  Or what about the other typical life stuff – like owning a home, getting married, the things that most people do that seems “normal”?  What are your thoughts on societal pressures?

Diana Elizabeth doesn’t know what God has for the future so she’s open minded but she and Mr. Wonderful know that first the desire and change of heart has to happen and when that does, they’ll just know.

Life

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Come on in and take a seat!  I believe I have enough seating for more people since I last updated you on the living room, see a previous shot here.   Crazy to think that we didn’t have that little seating area until we began hosting small group at our home.  I’m so glad sometimes get togethers make you think, hm, maybe I need some more seating.

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Yep, we are a no shoe home.  Read my post on why here.

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The little side table was a wedding gift from our handyman Dennis. If you live in Phoenix, you need a Dennis.  This was a Pinterest inspiration!

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I bought the brass screen from Craigslist for $7.  The owners told me they bought it from a Malibu mansion many years ago.  I am crazy about it!  The little wood dog is a vintage toy I found for $5 at a hospice thrift store.  When you pull it, his legs move.  So perfect for all the little kids we have over.  Under the crochet blanket my mother made in the basket, are tons more of toys for kids.

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Life imitating art?  I think so, doesn’t that look like London and Liberty? I bought the painting from TJ Maxx, it’s a hand painted oil painting.  Then I knew I needed a pair of Dwarf Hotots.

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Our coffee table was made by my dad for my mom for one of their anniversaries long ago.  I immediately took it and my younger brother is still not happy about it.  First born rules.

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I also added the two prints above the TV, ordered the reproduction from One Kings Lane, got them custom framed and matted at Aaron Brothers.

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All the blankets you see were made by my mom.  The granny square one is a hit on Pinterest, sorry no pattern as my mom creates from just looking at something or whipping it up out of creativity.  I think I get a lot of that gene from her.  Mango wood cabinet in the back is from Wisteria, it holds many family heirlooms from our wedding, a beautiful quilt from Benjamin’s great aunts, and a throw made by his grandma and all of our photo albums, which are a lot!

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48

This was the first thing I made for my home. It’s a scripture that reminds me that I have been blessed so much in my life by God, and while my parents have been generous in providing for me, God has blessed me with a family like that.  I am also aware of all the things that God has provided for me so I am expected to be entrusted to protect and use the things he gives me to honor and give glory to Him, and also use those things to bless others for His Glory.

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And that’s it!  If you have any questions on where we got things just ask, I hope I do’t leave anything out!

Grey side chairs:  One Kings Lane / Side table: One Kings Lane / Pillows on grey chairs: Handmade / Honeycomb lamp: Joss & Main / Ottoman: Restoration Hardware Baby / Burlap side stool: Target / Tripod floor lamp: Pottery Barn (similar) / Couch pillows: Pottery Barn / Basket by fireplace: Ballard Designs / Large clock on Fireplace: Pottery Barn (similar) / Track lighting: Pottery Barn / Swivel drum sectional floor lamp: Pottery Barn / Area rug: Ballard Designs / Ceiling fan: Universal Lighting / Etagere: Ballard Designs / Frames above TV: Aaron Brothers / Prints above TV: One Kings Lane – Sign up today on OKL for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more. > / Architecture Prints: Estate Sale at Scottsdale Marketplace / Gold frame mirror by front door: Wisteria / Area rug by front door: Ballard Designs / Wall hooks: One Kings Lane / Curtains: Pottery Barn / Double Curtain Rod: Pottery Barn / Shutters: Shutter Shaque

Diana Elizabeth loves to open up the windows and curtains while Mr. Wonderful prefers it like a movie theater – which works well in summer, but she would love a glass house!

Home

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Remember last summer when I had a crazy empty office because I just felt like I needed to revamp myself for the new direction I was going in – blogging.  Here’s what my office used to look like.   It was still great.  I then showed an update last fall here.

But I got a new vintage hand-painted dresser from England so I had to do an update post.  And I also learned you should take interior shots with all natural light.

Oh dear, time to redo every shot of my house this summer.  So here we start with the office.

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My watercolor illustration was created by the fabulous Inslee.  I love her talents!

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I put a Pottery Barn curtain rod up, and bought curtains from Target.  To be honest, I’m still not sure about the curtains and it’s been over a year.  I’m still looking for something else, but it’s at the bottom of my list.

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My wonderful Ricki stained this piece for me.  So much of my organization and domestic abilities are attributed to Ricki pouring into me and encouraging me.

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The desk was my dad’s.  It had old yucky wood laminate on the top and I bought a stainless steel top that had adhesive on the back I found years ago from watching an HGTV show.  Don’t forget to buy the trimmer, you can’t do without it.

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Life is about the relationships you make.  Just a few favorite shots and people, more are on my corkboard that I see everyday.  I miss my Yun Yun so much (she’s in the white frame).

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As always, any questions just ask.  If you’ve done a post sharing your space please share!

Farm house dining table: Ballard Designs / White desk: Vintage, Dad’s / Bird chandelier: The French Bee / Hand painted English dresser: Antique Gatherings / White chairs with blue damask fabric: Restoration Plantation / Jute rug: Pottery Barn / Bulletin board: DIY Staples board covered in white duck cloth and upholstery nails / Key hole door knobs on closet and wall knobs: Anthropologie / Cubby Organizer: Pottery Barn / French door installation contractor: Steven D Chochran, Inc. / Handyman and Painter: Dennis of Lowan Handyman Services, LLC / Curtain Rod and clips: Pottery Barn / Curtains: Target / Ladder shelf: Sweet Salvage, refinished by Ricki / Clock:Magpie Lovely / Vintage architecture frame: Scottsdale Marketplace / Modern gold clip lamp: Land of Nod / Pink greek key chairs, chair sketch reproduction prints + blue ottoman: One Kings Lane – Sign up today on OKL for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more.  / LOVE sign: Made by Girl / Pillows: Target (diamond), Pottery Barn (dog), Ballard Designs (custom initial) / White laser cut magazine holders: The Container Store

Equipment used: Canon 5D Mark III / 35mm f/1.4 L / Wireless Shutter Release Remote / Manfrotto 190XProB Pro Tripod / Manfrotto Ball Head with Quick Release

Diana Elizabeth is done decorating, but she isn’t sure how to style her corkboard, so that’s on the to-do summer list.

Home, Photography

I would much rather shop in my sweats on the couch, or at my computer in the office than go to the mall.  It’s just something I’d willingly pay the $50 minimum for free shipping, or the $7.95 shipping charge.  Anyone else crazy online shoppers?

My UPS man recognized me at Safeway.  I think that’s a sign I have deliveries to our home a bit much.

Here are a few Internet purchases and a story for each cause, why not.

kate-spade-mrs-ring Kate Spade Mrs. Ring, adjustable

I have this thing about traveling with really expensive jewelry internationally. I just don’t think it’s safe and I have heard stories from people who knew someone who got their ring finger cut off for real – because they wouldn’t give up their ring and thought it was a joke.  This was a story from the Caribbean, and I was just getting ready to go on our cruise there so I was sure I wanted to get a different ring!  I also am not info being flashy overseas because safety comes first, and I really like all my fingers.

photo2 Coral dress from Sosie

I did that strange thing where I bought two of the same thing in different colors. I also bought it in cream, it would be a lovely pool cover up as well.  This is Mr. Wonderful’s cousin 462nd times removed. I don’t understand the removal thing, so forgive me.  I just know somehow they are related and these love birds had a sweet backyard wedding.

photo3 Fol-D-Rak lightweight garment rack

Alright so this is a scene from my laundry room a few months ago when I did the Kokoon Spring line shoot.  Laine came in and unfolded this garment rack and I was in awe.  It’s like under 7 lbs and folds up into this tiny thing you can put under your arm!  It was sturdy too!  So I figured I’d list it for the times you may need a pop up rack for a shoot, garage sale, or just extra space.

pardon-my-french-excuse-my-french-shirt-top Pardon My French Shirt

I designed this in a size medium since I like things a little more billowy.  A little cheeky for France, right?  Have something else to say on a shirt?  You can design your own! Use code CG14FB until June 30 to get $5 off.

Diana Elizabeth loves online shopping.  She thinks she saves money but the accessibility to all the goodness online probably means no.

Style

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