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Dress: VICI (similar, similar in black) / Wedges: Treasure & Bond / Boat hat: (similar) / Hoop earrings: Dogeared / Chain bracelet: India Hicks / Sunnies: Wildfox (similar) / Bag: Ellen & James

We are always looking for unique things to do in Vegas when we go every early summer for our girl’s getaway and we haven’t run out of things to discover yet – it’s Vegas after all. With a quick Google search on fun things to do in Vegas or must see in Vegas, The Neon Museum popped up and it was so different! I saw the gorgeous colors, showed the girls and they were all in!

Since it’s already a bit warm out we booked the 10:20 am guided tour for maximum group of 20 (you can only see it on a guided tour) and they provide umbrellas for shade, which was incredibly helpful as we walked around. Also huge thank you to the gentleman who captured this photo of us, I am going to treasure this moment.

It’s an outdoor two-acre boneyard, and you can check out it out during a guided daytime tour or night tour of the boneyard.

Many of the signs at the Neon Museum’s collection was donated from the Young Electric Sign Company’s boneyard, which housed many of Las Vegas’ decommissioned signs, and they are arranged beautifully to enjoy as you take the tour. Vintage neon signs are so fun and unique! It’s great they keep a bit of Vegas history and make it into such a fun little spot for visitors.

On the guided tour, you hear unique history of signs and people who helped create Vegas, and there are signs from 1930s to present times.

If you go at night you can see 11 fully restored signs lit up.Visit www.neonmuseum.org/book-a-tour to see current availability and times.

The post Las Vegas Neon Museum appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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One of my goals this year was to create more videos even though they are time consuming. By the time I’m done I’m glad I did it for memories and documentation, and I thought sharing my closet makeover (the one featured in HGTV magazine) in a video would be fun.

Closet Makeover + Organization Tips for an Efficient Tiny Closet - Blogger's tour - Diana Elizabeth - YouTube

I can’t tell you how a custom closet changes so much, the organization is life changing. I also think about my new desk in my office and how that changes too!

So I guess this means I really need to peek at every space I have to see if I am utilizing it to the best of my ability, saving time and being able to have everything in its place is priceless with efficiency and just peace of mind for someone who loves organization (and stuff) like me.

Though my friends wouldn’t consider me a big collector of anything. I would love to be more of a minimalist but it’s hard with what I do. As a blogger you need stuff :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy the short closet video tour! If you missed the post, check it out here.

The post Video Tour of my Tiny Closet Makeover appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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Jumpsuit: VICI (sold out, similar, hi, low) / Tote: Bloomingdales (sold out, similar, hi, low) / Sandals: Splendid

There are so many perks to getting older – having money to do things, and not being poor. And by poor, I mean remember those days when spending $30 on pressed powder seemed insane, or even $80 on a top when you could easily shop at Charlotte Russe and get an entire outfit with shoes and accessories plus pajamas for that night for that price.

I think it’s because we are pushed into the real world with nothing, or at least not much and starting from scratch. Some of us start more ahead than others but we slowly try to build up good furniture, realize our shopping habits (good and bad) and if we invest in items we don’t need to replace, we can continue to save up for better items and that’s how the ball starts to roll. (If you are in debt, check out this review I did on a book by Dave Ramsey’s daughter about loving your life, and not theirs) Of course being an adult isn’t all fun and games, there’s the responsibility of retirement and that’s what’s been on our mind lately.

Or should I say, Mr. Wonderful’s mind.

Who wants to think about retirement? Not me. One of my longtime girlfriends Emily and I caught up when I was in LA for a workshop and she mentioned how a million dollars isn’t enough for retirement nowadays. I almost choked on my breakfast and I nodded pretending I agreed. WHAT. She’s wise, she’s probably right.

Not sure if I had mentioned it to Benjamin or if he came up with the same notion a few months later but now we’re on this kick that we need to seriously think about retirement. Oh adulting.

I remember trying budgets many times and it was horrible. It felt like a life sentence of no fun and instead of not thinking about money I was obsessed with it and it consumed me so I quit. But budgeting with my husband has always been easy. It’s probably because that’s how it’s supposed to be. We do it every year, usually before the new year to go through plans, changes in budgeting, goals, all that future stuff. This time though, it’s almost halfway through the year and at times feels like halfway through our life, I said, hey tonight do you want to sit down and talk about the budget.

I pulled up our spreadsheet I have on my computer. Because spreadsheets rule. Formulas rock guys.

I think I’m a pretty good wife to offer to give up my frivolous spending I’ve been used to doing. I must also add. while I don’t love budgets, the debt we have is our home we currently live in that we plan to pay off before I’m 40. So I always thought, look, I’m so good at money, I don’t have to budget because I’m not in debt. We have both of our parents to thank for scaring the crap out of us and the thought of debt and every time I go home to see my dad he’s asking how much we’re investing in retirement/stock.

But then you look at real life and you’re like well this isn’t enough for me to cruise around the world into the sunset of the end of my life on a yacht. Sailing lessons cost money. The yacht will cost me money. Shrimp costs money, lobster even more. Then in your head you’re like ok, flank steak and lobster every night x 365 x the years I think I have left… is greater than $1 million. I’m obviously kidding. I’d rather be on a cruise ship and have someone prepare those meals and do my laundry. Now that’s retirement ladies and gentleman, just ask my parents.

I figured out a painless way to budget. I wrote this post a few years ago and it’s still incredibly similar – Why we only budget 5 things. Only those 5 things are broken down into like 25 very specific things on Every Dollar – a free website and app. Oh it’s a Ramsey app by the way. Thank the Lord for Dave Ramsey!

Anyway the normal living expenses like insurance, utilities, blah blah blah I don’t want to be entering every dang receipt I get for the water bill and counting pennies. We take the living expenses and add a $5k cushion and after the large chunk we are putting in investments, the rest is what I handle. And the money I make has been given more responsibility, like when I want home upgrades that aren’t mandatory. Like the bar stools (still debating), or the office closet I’m coveting, or the bamboo blinds for the living room I can’t seem to pull the trigger on.

I’ve decided no on a few things to say yes to others and this has been not fun at all. But at the same time, it makes me hungry.

I had lunch my girlfriend Molly, a wedding videographer and we talk about it all, no topic is off the table when we get together. She mentioned how she’s addicted to saving money and I laughed, what a great addiction. Then I said, Remember when you were young and broke, and you had no money, almost living paycheck to paycheck to make it. Maybe you had a little cushion or you had some backup savings but numbers in the account never looked great? Then suddenly you decide to save more and you look at numbers grow in your account and gets addicting? She had been there too.

It’s like once you get over the sad bank balance due to your own spending habits and wisen up and start saving more, you see your numbers go up and it’s motivating. It’s like there’s nothing more fun than saving money! So I’m focusing on saving at a faster speed, not being just OK with how things are because  the reality is, the future will be here sooner than we know it and I can just taste that surf and turf guys.

– Are you thinking about retirement? How do you get most of your savings tips, from your parents or books? Share some of your advice in the comments, I’d love to hear.

The post Sacrificing for Goals appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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Thank you California Closets for sponsoring this post.

Top: Alice + Olivia / Pants: Anthropologie / Bracelet: India Hicks

You know that Friends episode, “The One with the Secret Closet” where they discover organized OCD Monica happens to have this locked closet full of “feminine products” and by the end of the episode they discover it’s filled with disorganized chaos? Well, this is mine, in my office, my office closet!

I’m going to finally show you, as it is now, eek. This is super embarrassing to me because everything I share is usually clean, staged, all nice and orderly. I wouldn’t dare show you something unattractive that doesn’t leave you inspired, but the truth has to come out because I need help and there’s good news – there’s a solution at the end of this post that shows what my closet could look like with the help of California Closets.

Silvia, a consultant with California Closets in Scottsdale came over to design a customized storage solution – they are free consultations! The most amazing thing, she designed it during our time together and I got to see it right away, which means yes, you get to see it too!

We talked about how I use the space, and she did some measurements. Silvia bounced a few ideas off me and I loved them all! I mean really she had a solution for every problem I had. She saw I had my printer crammed on a shelf and suggested  having it slide out so I can use it and scan it. Also a charging station for a counter – iPad and an area where I can put my batteries. AND keep my wardrobe in there for clothing for the blog posts.

My sewing machines could also have cubbies for storage as well as my camera bodies. And a pull out drawer at waist level for all my camera lenses for easy access! It was like she knew all the ways to organize – and she’s European so you know they pack things into small spaces!

After measurements were taken, with a handy device that confirmed it, Silvia and I went over the different finishes.

I liked the second level, the Lago with the textures, and thought white and gray would be so nice. There are many finishes to choose from, clean simple white to textures imported from Italy and lifetime warranty too! I envisioned a textured white being the majority of the closet, with the textured gray cabinet fronts and brass pulls I could source on my own (my choice) and the installers could install them the day of.

We talked about the way the cubbies would look and some closet examples to make sure we were on the right track.

California Closets’ professional design consultants will collaborate with you so you can create a custom design that meets your needs and reflects your style. Your constant can also help with ideas on how to work within your budget. You can also get consultation on more than just a closet, you can ask for help with pantries, media centers, mudrooms, and garages.

Once you sign a contract it takes 3-4 weeks but you will know immediately your install date so you can plan for it. You just need to prep your space clean so the installers can come and they compete it in one day! If there are outlets to be added, you could do so with an electrician ahead of time, there are plans that can be given to your electrician so he knows exactly where to put it before install.

Silvia also had the most amazing idea of having an electrician come out (we have a great one) and he could install a few outlets for my charging station, the printer, and also the light sources, I could finally have lights in there with a switch of a button!

She put in a few things in her laptop and then –

Wow! And it also rotated so it was 3D and I could see what it looked like. This was like love and first sight. Silvia sent me the links later that day so I could look at them myself and share them. I love how speedy she was because we know when we are eager to get organizing in our life, we want solutions immediately.

If you look at the designs, the top of the closet there is some space where I could put my tripods, wrapping paper, anything long that could be stored up there. I’m swooning and envisioning all the items I own in there, it makes me so happy!

The shelving for the cubbies move. I also made two of the cubby drawers slide out for camera bodies so I could reach for the right ones easily. And the counter height charging station is amazing and also the rest of the shelving up top could hold my work bags and it recedes so it’s not in my face, you can see the image to the right. I couldn’t have even imagined this for my little reach-in closet!

I want! I want!

Check out this full-length closet transformation video, featuring Marie Kondo, have you read her book? I read it in a day and loved it, and I am obsessed with her method – watch her help transform a closet and her process!

California Closets and Marie Kondo Create Order and Spark Joy - YouTube

Aren’t you feeling inspired? I’m so ready to get every space in my house organized and not have a secret closet, haha!

Schedule your own free California Closets consultation and get some great tips and organization solutions  for your space. Thanks for being here and reading!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

The post Designing an Efficient Space with California Closets appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

May is Women’s Health Month! You may recall it was my new year’s resolution to put my health first after a sluggish year prior. There have been a few new habits I’ve added to my daily routine and a few more that are waiting for me to revisit and starting to make it into an actual habit! Let’s be real, it’s a journey to start some new good habits and progression whether slow or quick, is still progression.

I was sent a box full of products dedicated to motivate and help women improve different areas of their life and I wanted to share and review them – maybe you’ll find these as solutions to your daily life and find them useful to meet your health goals.

Eye Health

These are not reading glasses, let me first say that – but they CAN be! These are actually UV blue blocker lenses! If I’m not on vacation or hanging out making memories with friends, blogging is what I’m doing and I love every facet of it – from the picture taking, writing, social and web design. I work late, and a screen is never too far from my face – computer, laptop or iPhone, on average a person spends 6.5 hours on screens each day. Did you know UV blue light can have damaging side effects over time – from the sun, devices and artificial light even light bulbs.

Zenni is an online retailer for prescriptive eyewear and also creates clear protective glasses that block UV blue light. Frames are as affordable as $6.95! The Beyond UV blue blocker lenses (like the ones you see that I have) start at $16.95. You can upload your photo and try on glasses to see how they look on you.

It took a while for me to adjust to wearing glasses again after getting LASIK but these were so lightweight and I like wearing them at night before bed so my brain isn’t feeling so wired from the light.

Open Ear Headphones

Open ear headphones by AfterShokz allow you to still listen and enjoy outside sounds like nature intended, while also listening to music that motivates you! Instead of having one ear with an ear bud in it and having one out so you can hear both, you don’t have to pick with AfterShokz!

I have owned the typical ear buds that stay in place while you work out and when I went to the gym no one could talk to me because I couldn’t hear anyone or notice them (sometimes I liked this) but how many times did I have to remove my ear buds to hear someone talk to me? But when you have a buddy or you are biking outside and still want to be able to chat without pulling out your headphones or maybe you want to be able to chat with anyone at the gym, bud-free listening is your answer! It’s also safer too so you can listen to your surroundings, so important!

Use this discount code DIANA30 to get $30 off Trekz Air until June 30th – and opt outside and don’t miss a thing – a conversation or the sound of the world around you.

Natural scented candle

Soy wax blend candle with natural essential oil blends, you probably have heard me talk about Chesapeake Bay Candles before – at least a few times here on the blog. Hand poured in the USA, there are so many scents usually for holidays or different moods.

You can think of them as wellness candles with motivational sayings, like Confidence and Freedom!

This one smells like an old high school boyfriend mixed with fresh laundry to me. LOL you know that nice cologne that’s young and fresh and just comforting. It just made the air smell so nice and calming to me, you have to pick it up and smell it yourself!

Drink Organic Powders

If you love organic vitamins and extracts and superfood powders, check out Pure Synergy.

They sent over their Organic Beet Juice Powder which is a daily health booster and the Turmeric Extract to optimize wellness and cognitive function, and support a healthy inflammatory response, in other words great for after workout healing of inflamed muscles and aches. It tasted sweet! I mean I love beets but I don’t love them that much that I’d ever say yum I’d like some beet juice. So adding this to any juices or water even is a good way to get those veggies in.

You can add the powder to smoothies or juices to give yourself some extra nutrients. It’s pretty much like getting the nutrients without having to eat the beet or search for the nutrients themselves. It’s so convenient!

Get 15% off your purchase of anything at Pure Synergy with discount code: PureSynergyPartner.

Supportive Workout Bra

After I worked out at OTF I was super motivated and I bought a ton of cute workout outfits – workout tops and new leggings, I was super motivated I even put them on hangers as a set!

So you know those small things that keep you motivated, and the Curvy Strappy Sports Bra by Champion is just too cute and it’s easy to put on – it isn’t like typical workout bras, this has a clasp in the back like a normal bra so you aren’t squeezing the thing on hoping it doesn’t give you back fat (let’s be real). You can adjust it and the shoulder straps too!

There are molded cups for shape (much needed in my opinion when it comes to work out gear) and offers support and a fashion strappy back. When things are cute I’m much more motivated to use them or decide to go on it – I mean the person who invited Glamping, obviously a girl who had to find some fun in camping (I get you sister!) I’m wearing size small.

A book for ambitious women

I have this thing for self-help books. I’ve always been collecting books trying to better myself, learn, take wisdom and apply it to every day life and meet goals. I mean everything from how to get over breakups, to running a business to managing money! I think you can always continually educate yourself and better yourself with wisdom from others who have been there.

If you’re a girl boss, or a woman who is climbing up the corporate ladder and looking for career guidance, check out The Myth Of A Nice Girl by Fran Hauser. This book is for women who believe being nice is a must and still want to be a strong leader.

Fran has held senior positions at some of the world’s largest digital media businesses like AOL, and Time Inc. She talks about how to be authentic and confident and ask for things without being rude – nice girls can rule the world! I can’t wait to start reading this summer – or in the bathtub as I’m trying to slooooow down and have me time!

Hope one or more of these products can improve your health goals! I still have a long way to go, but it’s a slow progress and I have to remember to not be so hard on myself with too high of expectations!

The post Cool new health gadgets and products appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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I wanted to give a more in-depth tour of the patio makeover that I had been working on since the new year. This patio has already gotten so much usage since we completed it starting with my in-laws in town, Easter, hosting a bridal shower, Cinco de Mayo dinner, and lots of one on one time with my best friends and their kiddos.

I painted so much, and many of you know how tedious I find painting. I’ll do it, but I really dislike it, heavily dislike it. For me, watching paint dry is just as boring as painting it!

But, with budgeting and when you do a DIY you have to save money here and there and as my mother-in-law says, If you want it to be done right, do it yourself! Or, ask your in-laws to help because they are also very helpful too ;)

Repaint of cement flooring

It’s been a few years since the patio had a fresh coat of paint. I knew a fresh coat would liven it up – but be aware that you need to spray paint anything far away to prevent spray paint mist to hit anything you don’t want it to (like my deck I had to repaint again!).

I also did the technique of dump the paint directly on the floor and roll it on. But don’t do too much and not on too hot of a day because the paint will quickly dry and then you have to rub out the outline of the already dried paint splotch! True story!

Paint a Welcome Sign

I saw a painted floor on Pinterest that said “Welcome” and I just knew I wanted to do this somewhere around our home, I wasn’t sure where. I found an Etsy owner who could do a custom decal and I created my own script by blending two different fonts – using my graphic design talents to use!

I decided the front door of my photo studio because a rug would make me trip in and out of the studio since it’s on the same level (instead of stepping up into a home). I think it looks so fun!

  • For $19 I got my template made, I actually got a backup just incase.
  • I painted it using a black floor paint from Ace Hardware
  • Use smaller brush for touch up areas (bleed)
Small seating area

I spray painted an old bench I bought from Joss & Main years ago and gave it a nice fresh look – and to think I had it listed on Craigslist for $15! My in-laws saw it last year and convinced me to keep it and I’m so glad I did.

I think of this area as the kiddie table – it’s fun and small. The headboard bed bench I bought from Rust & Roses a few years ago and is still such a favorite of mine.

I get asked a lot about the bench.

New Dining Seating

The project that started it all, it was the dining set I selected to partner with The Home Depot that motivated us to get cracking on our unused patio space. Since our main patio will be undergoing renovation hopefully this fall, I decided the other patio would be the new patio space! So I sold some older patio furniture to make room.

I decided against an outdoor rug because of the foot traffic and the size I would have to get to make sure the entire chair would still sit on the rug when scooted out. I would suggest when you pick out furniture to read how much space you need for it – I thought I wouldn’t need so much pull out space for the chairs but I did and that was surprising – so read recommendations to avoid any panic! Thankfully it worked out.

More details

The overall goal for a theme was The Ivy in Beverly Hills. It’s a garden restaurant frequented by celebs and I found the exact rose print linen on Etsy! I couldn’t believe it but I had to have it! The colors inspired this patio makeover and while I would have loved to have an all white patio, this is not really something that makes sense – and I’d also like to know how people keep their white dust free in Arizona!

  • I painted the trim white around our windows, added window panes
  • Added two outdoor wall sconces from Pottery Barn on both sides of the door
  • Hired our handyman to add a greek key on a plain panel wood door.
  • Painted it high gloss black shade from Benjamin Moore (I forgot the shade but its not a pitch black)

I wouldn’t suggest painting anything high gloss. Or if you do, don’t overwork the paint because it will have texture which is yucky with glare. Use the high gloss foam roller and roll it on thick but where it won’t drip, and then let it dry before adding another coat!

Brick Flower Beds

We have wanted to add real brick flower beds forever. We’ve talked about it not knowing when or how much it would cost. This seemed like a better time than any to add the brick borders and a real brick step!

Our handyman who helped with moving lighting also laid the brick. The cost for his entire handiwork was about $2k.

  • We purchased used clay bricks
  • Added more floral plants and had to add more drip irrigation

By the time you are looking at these images it’s filled with lots of floral plants and bushes already grown! The nature of how quickly our home changes!

And that’s it! If you have any questions please feel free to ask. It’s been nice to not be ashamed of this patio area – the current (was the main patio) now looks bare and sad but I’m OK with that. It’s like I traded one area for another but I find that area in a transition period until we expand. I would love to hear what you think of the new space!

Are you going to do anything to your patio? Did you have challenges? Please let me know what you like about this patio space in the comments! xx

The post Patio Makeover: Reveal and Details appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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Diana Elizabeth by Diana Elizabeth - 1w ago

Dress: Calypso St. Barth (similar, high, low) / Flip-flops: J.Crew
On Melayne: Eyelet Maxi Dress

It feels like my own personal school year is winding down. Most know my summer tour is approaching in a month or two (as in, I escape for the entire summer) but there will be some delays and I might be here more than I am most summers, there’s a lot to do around the house – but I’ll need some weather breaks soon, it’s already 95 in Phoenix!

This past weekend, we celebrated Melayne’s upcoming wedding to Drew in my backyard, see their engagement session I did here. I’m share some bridal shower pics from the photographer who captured the bridal shower with more details on the shower planning process once I get those images. The bride has a gluten allergy so I want to talk about what we served and also hosting a generous crowd of 30 on a decent budget.

Did you have a great weekend? Sunday I organized most of the house, the buffet, drawers that are messy, the linen closet, shelves, I made a bin for giveaway and donations. The piles should be bigger but I’m working on the purging thing. I already gave away lots of shoes and unloaded my beauty drawer, and trying to let things go that I haven’t touched in a year, especially if it’s been two years!

I want to read more this summer, self-help books (I’m a sucker for business, how-too, DIYs and organization). I really want my mind to be more still and less jumbled. I told Benjamin if he can tell when I’m frazzled like usually overstimulated or I have so much going on (like when I was hosting that day) and he says my voice changes higher pitched and I talk three times faster! I mean can I get some credit I do all of this unmedicated, haha!

I have this sign that says, “It’s OK to be happy with a calm life,” and I want to remind myself that. I like sitting on the couch watching a movie or with my laptop designing things. I like listening to my thoughts, allowing my thoughts to drift, even if they are worrisome and pray through it. For me, being calm is being more in tune with life and being able to enjoy those around me. xx  

The post Always Celebrating appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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Thank you California Closets for sponsoring this post.

Top: Alice + Olivia / Pants: Anthropologie / Bracelet: India Hicks

You know that Friends episode, “The One with the Secret Closet” where they discover organized OCD Monica happens to have this locked closet full of “feminine products” and by the end of the episode they discover it’s filled with disorganized chaos? Well, this is mine, in my office, my office closet!

I’m going to finally show you, as it is now, eek. This is super embarrassing to me because everything I share is usually clean, staged, all nice and orderly. I wouldn’t dare show you something unattractive that doesn’t leave you inspired, but the truth has to come out because I need help and there’s good news – there’s a solution at the end of this post that shows what my closet could look like with the help of California Closets.

Silvia, a consultant with California Closets in Scottsdale came over to design a customized storage solution – they are free consultations! The most amazing thing, she designed it during our time together and I got to see it right away, which means yes, you get to see it too!

We talked about how I use the space, and she did some measurements. Silvia bounced a few ideas off me and I loved them all! I mean really she had a solution for every problem I had. She saw I had my printer crammed on a shelf and suggested  having it slide out so I can use it and scan it. Also a charging station for a counter – iPad and an area where I can put my batteries. AND keep my wardrobe in there for clothing for the blog posts.

My sewing machines could also have cubbies for storage as well as my camera bodies. And a pull out drawer at waist level for all my camera lenses for easy access! It was like she knew all the ways to organize – and she’s European so you know they pack things into small spaces!

After measurements were taken, with a handy device that confirmed it, Silvia and I went over the different finishes.

I liked the second level, the Lago with the textures, and thought white and gray would be so nice. There are many finishes to choose from, clean simple white to textures imported from Italy and lifetime warranty too! I envisioned a textured white being the majority of the closet, with the textured gray cabinet fronts and brass pulls I could source on my own (my choice) and the installers could install them the day of.

We talked about the way the cubbies would look and some closet examples to make sure we were on the right track.

California Closets’ professional design consultants will collaborate with you so you can create a custom design that meets your needs and reflects your style. Your constant can also help with ideas on how to work within your budget. You can also get consultation on more than just a closet, you can ask for help with pantries, media centers, mudrooms, and garages.

Once you sign a contract it takes 3-4 weeks but you will know immediately your install date so you can plan for it. You just need to prep your space clean so the installers can come and they compete it in one day! If there are outlets to be added, you could do so with an electrician ahead of time, there are plans that can be given to your electrician so he knows exactly where to put it before install.

Silvia also had the most amazing idea of having an electrician come out (we have a great one) and he could install a few outlets for my charging station, the printer, and also the light sources, I could finally have lights in there with a switch of a button!

She put in a few things in her laptop and then –

Wow! And it also rotated so it was 3D and I could see what it looked like. This was like love and first sight. Silvia sent me the links later that day so I could look at them myself and share them. I love how speedy she was because we know when we are eager to get organizing in our life, we want solutions immediately.

If you look at the designs, the top of the closet there is some space where I could put my tripods, wrapping paper, anything long that could be stored up there. I’m swooning and envisioning all the items I own in there, it makes me so happy!

The shelving for the cubbies move. I also made two of the cubby drawers slide out for camera bodies so I could reach for the right ones easily. And the counter height charging station is amazing and also the rest of the shelving up top could hold my work bags and it recedes so it’s not in my face, you can see the image to the right. I couldn’t have even imagined this for my little reach-in closet!

I want! I want!

Check out this full-length closet transformation video, featuring Marie Kondo, have you read her book? I read it in a day and loved it, and I am obsessed with her method – watch her help transform a closet and her process!

California Closets and Marie Kondo Create Order and Spark Joy - YouTube

Aren’t you feeling inspired? I’m so ready to get every space in my house organized and not have a secret closet, haha!

Schedule your own free California Closets consultation and get some great tips and organization solutions  for your space. Thanks for being here and reading!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

The post Designing an Efficient Space with California Closets appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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In a world full of distractions and endless ways to market to be successful person or business owner, after seven years of being a full-time entrepreneur (from graphic designer to photographer to blogger to reverse and back again on any given day), there are a few thoughts I wanted to share about staying goal focused. I’ve watched the changes in social media, an increase in saturation in one of the fields I was in (photography) and I’m currently in another saturated market – blogging. I have never had any angst about markets being saturated (I’m an early adapter and move quickly to the next thing). But if you let it get to your head you’ll never jump in and try something new! It’s all about how you perceive how you can bring your passion to the table. It’s easy to get discouraged when there’s a lot of visual ways that can make us feel behind, and the journey to success can be filled with high and low emotions and can strain relationships and hearts.

Even as adults with personal life goals or even work goals, we can struggle with the feeling of never being enough or feel like we’re getting ahead. I want to share how I have kept focused on my goals in order to reach them while cutting out the noise, competition, saturation (whatever you want to call it) and most importantly, able to continue having a celebratory heart for those who are doing the same thing as us, and even better than us.

Someone who is achieving their dreams doesn’t take away from me pursuing or successfully chasing after mine.

1 / Define what success means to you

Examples:

  • Making extra money for savings, paying down debt, family vacations
  • Having fun, it’s your creative outlet, and you don’t need the money
  • Making a certain amount
  • Earning a certain title at work
  • Flexibility
  • Investing in individuals, serving
  • Raising your kids
  • Make money so you can save up to go on an international trip
  • Creative outlet
  • Growing your social networking platforms (have a reason WHY this is a goal)
  • What are your goals? Write them down.

It can be a career or personal goal, our definition of success is different. My personal definition of work success may be very different than yours, because of how hard I want to work, where I am in my career, personal life, and how long I’ve been doing this, as well as what I have time for, and what I want to achieve in the future.

Do not feel as though my goals need to be similar to yours, but feel free to use these for yourself as well this is what you desire.

My goals 
  1. Make money – a good living off what I do. This can vary depending on the year. Sometimes what I make is extra and goes to home projects, vacations, or sometimes it’s play money. Last year and this year it’s to make an actual good living that if Benjamin didn’t work, I could float our life – this is just a challenge to myself not because I need to, but I want to see how hard I can work and if I can do it! Setting that goals means I invest in certain activities and pull away from others.
  2. To have work without having to advertise or market my services.  This has been my goal for years. I want opportunities to land in my inbox from word of mouth, SEO searches, already producing strong content that generates attention. I haven’t marketed my services for over a year (as in posting a reminder I am a photographer or reaching out to brands to get paid) – blogging and photography opportunities land in my inbox. Getting here has not come easily, I worked hard hustling for years for this to happen. This might change if I want to get busier but for now, I enjoy this pace of work and life balance.
  3. To always maintain a celebratory heart of gratitude, appreciation, and admiration – towards those in my life, and those who do the same work as I do. (Read this post on how to cleanse your heart).

I always want to maintain a celebratory heart of gratitude, appreciation and admiration – towards those in my life, and those who do the same work as I do.

No amount of success, likes, money, or growth in following will ever compare to a healthy quality heart. I say this from experience. I’ve felt it (friends unfriending, unfollowing), and also heard it. The more you focus on our own success and how you get there will allow you to celebrate others on how they do too. Read this post on how to kill jealousy.

If you are a Christian, you have to watch this sermon from my home church about practicing gratitude and how it can change your entire life from the way you perceive hardship and just daily life. You will not be a toxic person and be able to celebrate others, and also live longer!

2 / Once you define what success means to you, then…FOCUS! Focus on your goals and – forget everything else.
  • Example: I focus on my definition of success which is – am I making money? Then the rest doesn’t matter – how many followers or likes I get. There are so many other accounts that have more everything – likes, followers, engagement, and we can easily get lost in the popularity of it but in the end, I am making money on my posts and that makes me happy. My bills are getting paid, that home project I can justify doing.
  • Example: Co-workers are getting promoted around you or it seems like everyone is running their own business.  But you have the flexibility to work from home and pick up your kids from school which was your goal to spend more time with them. Or you can turn off your brain by 5 pm and be home and not worry about marketing your business. There is a bright side to everything if you can focus on your true goals.
  • Example: Others in the industry seem busier. This might be their bread and butter for the entire family, or they are full-time instead of part-time. The hustle might seem more intense because it needs to be – do you really want to be that much busier? Do you have time?
  • Example: Everyone is going on vacay but you have debt to pay down. You know what’s glamorous? Paying your bills, not having debt, then after you can go on that vacation guilt free. Say no now so you can say yes later – and read this post about loving your life.

If we give time to the the things that don’t matter or bring us closer to our goals, then we are actually wasting time and getting further away from our goals – so spend your time wisely!

Staying focused on my goals also allows me to take time off when I can – pretty much the overall goal of why I’m my own boss. I hustle hard and get my work completed and checked off my list so I can play for a week before I go back into it.

Busy is not a badge of honor to me. While busy is a blessing, there are also perks to not being busy – I try to balance both.

Busy is a blessing, but it depends on what you fill your days doing, is it productive? Up to you to decide and also some people decide that they want more personal time to attend their kid’s events, or rest, or travel. Knowing what you want helps stay focused whether this season you should be busy working and building up something to get somewhere or say no to things that will make you wander from your goals.

Because I know my own goals and seasons (sometimes balance is not attainable, or if only for a short while), when I see what everyone is doing, I can cheer them on and say, I hope you meet your goals too! And this is something I often do – I will ask people how I can help them with their business, can I send referrals, send them books or articles I see that will help them? But remember it’s not just a one-way street, help those who also help you, and you will build not just a friendship but a supportive community.

3 / Avoid Envy by… Remembering what success means to you.

This is important because –

  • It will make you focus on what to put time and effort toward.
  • It will allow you to celebrate others instead of feeling competitiveness or inadequacy.
  • You will find inspiration from those who have the same goal as you and are doing well.

I love social media, I find it completely motivating, inspiring and I love seeing my girlfriends excel and even those I don’t. I watch in admiration, not competitively. I also don’t focus on growing it long term, perhaps sort term but right now I have other areas I am focusing on.

If we give time to the the things that don’t matter or bring us closer to our goals, then we are actually wasting time and getting further away from our goals – so spend your time wisely! You’ve got this, no matter what everyone else is doing, focus on your goals and reminding yourself of them will set you free from distractions in your mind and heart! Good luck! xx

Further related reading

How do you stay focused in a world full of distractions? Do you struggle and what have you overcome?

The post Discovering YOUR Definition of Success: Helps with Focus and Avoids Envy in 3 steps appeared first on Diana Elizabeth.

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Diana Elizabeth by Diana Elizabeth - 1w ago

Today I’m sharing some moments from Melayne’s boho bridal shower I co-hosted with Melayne’s niece who is like a sister to her. These images were captured by her longtime family friend Susie Marie who will also be her wedding photographer! I took Melayne and Drew’s engagement session in the desert you can see here. A long time ago, we’re talking years ago before Melayne ever met Drew, I told Melayne I couldn’t photograph her wedding because I just wanted to enjoy it *wink* Some weddings as a friend you just want to be a guest because it’s so important you are there to enjoy it with your friends. Anyway, last weekend I was happy to host her shower and I’m super excited to enjoy the wedding day with our best friends this fall.

It was nice to focus on hosting and not think about about taking photos so thanks so much Susie for sharing these and taking some pics while you were also a guest! I wanted to share this shower because it was a cute boho theme with a DIY flower crown bar and also wanted to give an idea of what to feed a group of 25 for brunch, especially went bride has a gluten allergy. Melayne found out she had a gluten allergy after taking the 23andMe DNA test!

Though Melayne’s niece Savannah and I were the main visionaries with budgeting and co-hosting, we also had help from Melayne’s family, her mama and sister and our friends bringing things for set up. It was a team effort!

the brunch menu:
  • Unsweetened Iced Tea GF
  • Mimosas GF
  • Mama’s Vanilla Cream Cold Brew GF
  • Tater Frittatas* GF
  • Fruit Salad GF
  • Tater Tots GF
  • Donut Holes
  • Raspberry Coffee Cake
  • Cookies (doubled as party favors) GF*

The items with an asterisk* were the things we actually made from scratch, like recipe. I can’t count fruit salad because well, you just cut it up!

While everything was store bought aside from the gluten-free cookies made by Savannah and the tater tot frittatas which I made from a recipe I found on Pinterest, I had to add some sweets like donut holes and coffee cake. I’m addicted to raspberry coffee cake.

The heart shaped plastic straws were a hit, so many compliments and from Amazon (links below)! I use them daily when I make myself coffee – I believe in having cute things for every day use – not just special occasions, everything you need in life, just get the cuter version haha!

Not everything was GF on the menu, but most of it. I also got a lot of compliments on my melamine plates. Some are from Horchow (same), others were gifted (I often trade house decor with my girlfriend Jennifer) and I also ordered more off Amazon (bikes, bees and more bees, pastel dots and Paris flea market) so I have a mixture of 24 melamine plates! I love them for outdoor parties and not worrying about them breaking.

They are also quite small, just 9″ which helps with portion control if you don’t want people to over eat and you just want to have them sample a lot of different dishes. Like for Thanksgiving I wouldn’t use these!

I layered linens on the half folding tables that Brenna brought over, they were so needed for lots of food and a big party like this!.

A DIY flower crown bar was an idea I had, since it was a boho bridal shower you know you had to have some fresh flower crowns! I went to Trader Joe’s at 8 am on Friday morning, the day before the shower and took my two white paint buckets from The Home Depot in with me. I should’ve gotten bigger pails but it’s OK!

The flower crown bar was a huge hit and every person made one! I also have to thank Fiskars for sending over some new scissors for the occasion.

For 25 women I bought about 7 dozen roses and a ton of fillers, like at least 10 variety of greenery, eucalyptus, baby’s breath, I just figured you could never have too much!

flower crown bar materials

I played some music and put the florals on the flower cart (just realized the irony!) and let the girls take turns making their floral crowns. Make sure there’s enough water in the buckets because lots of flowers suck the water out so quickly especially if you get them the day before, and if it’s a hot day which was our case. A wee bit warm at 95.

If I were do do it again I’d have a bigger and longer because we had so many guests.

I also printed off photo directions I found Pinterest (here). as a visual and left it on the table.

For seating I just huddled all of my outdoor garden furniture around under our shady trees. I would have loved to have rented furniture but the reality with budgeting doesn’t work and I am glad I already have so much seating for occasions like this.

Sometimes Benjamin asks why we own certain chairs – the heavy cast iron blue ones especially since he dislikes moving them and I tell him because they were $150 on Craigslist, that’s why.

I did buy a new 3-piece folding picnic table online, it was on sale for $130 and I bought it from Walmart – although it’s sold everywhere, you just have to find the best deal.

I knew I’d use it again and we did for the Cinco de Mayo party I hosted a few days later. We are hotel/hosting central, party house, not really, but kind of.

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