My name is Diana Elizabeth. My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I'm a journalist who went from writing about fashion and reporting on the LA red carpet to a photographer and FORD model. When I'm not behind or in front of a camera, I enjoy blogging about my home projects, and the things that make me happy with camera in hand.
I appreciate old homes, love adding fruit trees to our yard, and I firmly believe making a house a home is a wonderfully fun ongoing project. I'm bravely jumping into the domestic life hoping one day I will bake a homemade pie so I earn my badge. This is a glimpse into my life and work.
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I remember the first time I bought my first pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans. I was a sophomore in college, it was a splurge back then, but they stayed my favorites until I practically wore out the bottoms eight years later and had to retire them. You know, before I would split my pants in public.
Have you ever split your pants by the way? I have, but at home. After I heard the rip and knew what was going on, I proceeded to be weird and do gymnastic poses to make it rip even more (these were not 7 jeans).
Anyway. My good friend Fawn, a stylist who looks like a sister to me (and former Paris and London travel gf from travels years ago) had an exclusive party at 7 For All Mankind at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale the other night. I brought along my PHOENIX cover model and one of my favorite girlfriends, Farrah after we had some yummy sushi time together.
We both purchased this pair:
I tried on a size too small which may have looked OK, but I would say anything that feels like you just put on a wet suit is probably too tight. So, I opted for the correct size.
Then I bought these which would make you feel like falling asleep in them they are so comfy!
And couldn’t resist this gorgeous top and she came home with me too:
Other things I tried on but sadly had to say no but I’m still thinking about:
Oh dear, I just saw this online and not sure how I missed this at the store!!!!!
All this to say that I won’t need to buy designer denim for a few more years since really, it’s an investment. I have loved many pairs of denim but sadly they don’t make it through the test of time but only 7 denim have.
We also had a fun swag bag which had a branded tumbler which will serve well with my homemade iced vanilla lattes, and a white bracelet which I lovingly and jokingly call our friendship bracelet – Farrah would get it. I also won the $75 raffle and for every $50 you spend you get a punch card – when it fills it up with a handful of purchases, you get another $50 off – my card is now full. So, I’m taking Mr. Wonderful back and we’re going to get him a pair with all of our credit.
Anyway, peek around at 7 For All Mankind‘s line of denim, this is a line you won’t feel embarrassed wearing years from now since it will always be in. The line most likely will not suddenly sell out to Costco or Kohl’s. *wink*
I really need those smocked drapey pants.
Diana Elizabeth is a pants obsessor. She is crazy addicted to pants, and yes, you already know, anything that resembles sweat pants. Terrible. So what.
The other week I hosted a quaint party of 5 baby shower for a girlfriend in my small group. I finally was able to pull out the bunting flag tablecloth I made a while ago.
I knew a few of the gals who were coming are crazy about our grapefruit so I made a grapefruit juicing bar. The table is already butcher block so they can cut right on it.
Did you notice I finally used my gold flatware?
I’m just going to say it – I didn’t make any of the food other than put tater tots and sweet potato fries in the oven. I think homemade while is very delicious and sweet, can be overrated for those who don’t have the food gift or the time. So, off to Safeway I went. I care more about the presentation anyway – could you tell? Plus if I want my guests to have an enjoyable edible meal, I best leave the cooking to the experts. Love the Safeway deli!
Gold flatware: One Kings Lane / Straws and treat bags: Drowning in Paper / Cloth napkins: Made by Diana’s Mother-in-Law and some by Diana (fabric found at SAS Fabrics) / Flag Bunting Tablecloth: Made by Diana (instructions here) / Plastic cups: One Kings Lane / Citrus press: Pottery Barn (similar) / Drink dispenser: Pottery Barn / Teal cart: IKEA / White tabouret chairs: Overstock.com / Grapefruit basket: One Kings Lane
Diana Elizabeth debated on using glass outdoors but she figured being outdoors, it’s so nice to have lightweight dishware, so it was all the outdoor entertaining plastic!
Lately I’ve found myself feeling insanely stressed out at my very leisurely life.
Why? Oh, because:
And I shake my head at myself. Really?
Have you ever felt like your life was just too busy but in reality, you are busy doing the things you always dreamed of doing but suddenly you forgot that and they become things that stress you out? Long run-on, I know.
I lose sight of why I decided to become a photographer. Do you? If you’re not a photographer and say, maybe you’re a stay at home mom, I know you’re busy and can be overwhelmed, but aren’t you happy that you are able to be SAHM and watch your kids grow? Ask your fellow mom friends who have to work – they’d trade you any day.
So when I find myself overwhelmed I stop and think to myself, yes I’m busy. I’m busy seeing people I love, and doing things I love, and maybe instead of feeling busy I start paying attention more and soaking in this precious priceless time.
After all, this is why I became a photographer/entrepreneur. So I can build my relationships, be an attentive loving wife, and when I work on a job, I work really, really hard.
In other news, I’ll now remind myself to never complain about the flow of my week right now, I finished another knitting project.
Yep, it’s another cowl because that’s what one bundle of yarn will give – or a skinny scarf. Plus, I’m still learning. This is the seed stitch and I finally had the button making “click” and I was so excited. I get it!!!!
Now I’ve ordered the materials to make this beauty, the New Worsted Twist Seed Stitch Scarf by Purl Bee:
I am taking out three colors though because the scarf is pretty long. Materials cost a pretty penny, I’m looking at a $120+ scarf but I’m so excited to make it this summer (will probably take 25+ hours) and have it for next fall.
I know, when I get into something, I really get into it. Those gals on Etsy who sell their handmade creations – they are so worth it. Worth it!! Go buy a ton from them and support them because I am in true awe. I am too slow and projects are truly a labor of love.
I’ll stick to basics for now and hopefully by middle of summer do another course and learn a few more fancier knitting patterns.
Happy Weekend everyone – remember to enjoy your life as it is. And take a good hard look at things around you, if it doesn’t make you happy, consider cutting it out.
Diana Elizabeth needs to make her domestic to-do list again. The canning has been on her list forever.
Grateful for time like this with my family.
Time and money – two things we all say we never have enough of, right? And stuff – we always have too much.
You can always earn more money, but you can’t earn more time. I also am trying desperately to be a minimalist which I think is a nice thought in my head that will never come to fruition. There’s just too much pretty.
Diana Elizabeth is now blocking off work days and play days for myself on the calendar. I have blocked off full days for photography and my play days, well they are more about working around the house, gardening, errand running – not sitting on the couch eating Bon Bons unfortunately. ;)
Let us remember these good old days when Liberty and London lived in the same house together and were best buddies.
Because guess what? I now have a rabbit living in my dining room. MY DINING ROOM! Here is Liberty. Also note the way the brass pen curves around my Pottery Barn rug that she already stuck her head through and chewed fraying it like crazy.
And here is London by herself, massive thing without the dwarf gene she is so much larger and heavier.
So what happened? Didn’t we get sister bunnies so they would get along and live happily ever after? Oh yes we did. Then London who I loved so much, and who used to lick me and love on me, we thought she was the calm one – then she flipped a switch. She became cage territorial. She would run back and forth frantically as though I used to beat her every night which then caused Liberty (the small one) to run from corner to corner being scooted out.
Liberty got the pen, London got her cage. They get along, but the cage was getting too small for them both.
Then get this – Liberty who we thought was weird, she’s calm. She’s potty trained, we let her run around the house and she is pretty good. She gets out because she’s trustworthy. Last time I let London out she peed to mark her territory and well, in this barefoot home we won’t do any of that nonsense around here!
Look at her looking all innocent. She’s laying there but she’s licking my PB rug and she’s going to take a bite out of it in t-minus 10 seconds.
Our solution is to kick London out. Just kidding. We’re now looking for bunny condos to house them both inside but Liberty will get the bottom one so she can run in and out when we choose to let her. I won’t bore you non rabbit owners with bunny condos so I’ll save that for The Heirloom Home.
Every day they get their run in the outside area and they love it, but we need to bring them inside for night time. They aren’t happy with us when we chase them around to get them but it’s for their own good.
Anyway, that’s our bun update. Females, they can get so crabby, sheesh.
Diana Elizabeth sometimes laughs and says to Mr. Wonderful, “I can’t believe you let me get bunnies.” He must love her a lot.
I remember when I first started photography back in 2009 and how much I had to learn. It took time, but I was on the fast track of learning with the photography careers peeking, the culture was so much different back then than it is today. Of course, I am in a different place in my career but I so hope that it’s just as exciting, welcoming, into networking as it was when I started.
Things that clean images up:
You should know:
Things you should be doing:
On a side note, you may be wondering what to photograph for free and what to pass. Read this post for tips.
As with anything, if you truly love it, and you want to succeed and make it your living, you need to give your time into it. This also depends on how much you want to get into it – you might be comfortable with where you are and that’s completely fine! There’s no pressure to be the most sought after photographer if you don’t want to be, or don’t have the time. Be realistic about your goals helps you decide how much time and money to put into it.
Diana Elizabeth was thinking about how she wants to be a good knitter, but she’s not quite sure if she wants to be an expert knitter. Does she ever have the desire to knit a sweater? Perhaps not, so that will determine how much learning time she gives. But talk to her again come summer, she might be bored and will want to advance.
I love tea party themed showers! I recently celebrated my lovely friend Ashley and her upcoming nuptials to her Mr. Wonderful this spring. Having been friends for about 5+ years, it’s been an amazing privilege to pray for her, and watch her relationship bloom. It’s when you get to see your friends have their happy ending that makes you praise God and give him all the glory for being the best matchmaker!
I found my fascinator at an antique store though I’m not convinced it’s an antique. I held onto it hoping to wear it to another Del Mar Race but switched my outfit up at the last minute. I’m so glad I was able to bring this out and wear it for such an occasion. Now figuring out how a teardrop fascinator should sit on your head is quite a challenge!
All I know is fascinators should always be on the side of your head, rarely right smack in the middle of it. This tilt seemed to work.
My hair’s getting long again. Time to chop chop, getting it cut today actually.
Diana Elizabeth says looking at her outfits now she thinks she needs to keep some of the more formal tea party ones in her closet, you never know when you are invited to another tea party – or the races!
First, for those of you who know me really well or not, how many of you think I’d be the type who likes to hike or do similar rigorous activities? Pretty obvious no, right? Well, so there was this one guy who ridiculed me for it, as though I was a bad human for not wanting to hike up Camelback Mountain every weekend.
So, I bought my first DSLR and thought, well, maybe if I walked around and took pictures I’d enjoy it more. He was still mad at me for it and now that guy is gone and I still have my DSLR and a new career. I say this as an intro to tell you that maybe if you don’t like something, you can find ways to enjoy it – whether it’s a pair of really cute boots, or a fun colored blanket, whatever it takes to make you enjoy doing something, you should do it!
And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it! Most of the things we enjoy in life can be attributed to the fun little tools and gadgets we have to experience it along the way. Don’t feel guilty about it, because if your heart doesn’t want you to do something, you don’t have to. But if finding incentives to make you want to participate help, let them. You may find that you like it more than you ever cared to admit.
Sometimes I think I sound off too much about relationships because I’ve been in some cruddy ones until I found Mr. Wonderful – and I am. Primarily I am because I see too many of my single girlfriends putting up with similar confusion or verbal abuse about who they are, and there is nothing wrong with you, what you like, don’t like, or what you enjoy. Ok, enough relationship rant.
So anyway, all this to say that I never liked to garden until I found time, and some really stinkin’ cute things that make gardening fun.
First, let’s start with the cutest thing, ever. Wellie soaps!!!!
But wait, look how they are packaged!!!
I think I just died.
I’ve also had my eye on this for a long time.
On another note, I came across this that would seriously freak me out and make me hate game night:
Or maybe I should have had this so I’d be less freaked out.
Let’s say you have little gardeners and you want to encourage their gardening and creativity, this I would have LOVED when I was younger:
Diana Elizabeth says gardening is so relaxing but she sneezes like crazy.
Last Saturday’s garage sale was decent. The same gal always makes the most because she brings the designer stuff in, and she is a purse hoarder, it cracks us all up. Then there’s another gal who always prices her stuff just right to get that good amount in. And then there’s me who announces everything is a buck and I only made a little over $100. Womp womp.
Mr. Wonderful said, “Wasn’t the goal just to get rid of your stuff?” Yeah, but I really wanted more money because gosh darn it, I’ve got things to buy. On the other hand, I got to hang out with my girlfriends on a Saturday which is always fun.
After the sale was done, I loaded up the car and donated the rest of the gal’s things that didn’t sell – about seven bags and boxes to Hospice’s White Dove Thrift Shoppe. I love their store – I love it because I love the organization and what they do. It’s guilt free donating and buying because you’re giving to a cause that we might all one day need.
Hey, guess what I finally finished? My first knitting project!
I don’t deserve to many oohs and ahhs because its fruition was somewhat accidental. I was doing the stockinette stitch (like little hearts) and my scarf kept rolling. No one told me that stitch causes that. So, I decided a cowl was better. I did knit button holes after watching a YouTube video several times. Then buttons from Etsy, ta-da!
I think that’s what you do with creativeness, you somewhat improvise or try to see what else you can do with what you have already created. Nothing always turns out really the way we want at all, does it?
On another note, I’ve been pruning and planting in the backyard. I fell over in a garden bed, like hard core that it left a big dirt mark on my knee that I frantically looked around to see if anyone saw. I hope to show you the progress soon but more details on what I’m doing will be on The Heirloom Home.
Another week gone by, can you believe it? Tomorrow’s March! I hope you find time to relax!
Diana Elizabeth is now onto her second knitting project. She then discovered a new way to slip a stitch to make the ends look prettier. This is after she completed 20 rows of seed stitching that she now wants to rip it all apart and start over. So typical.
I thought I’d write this post to do a little explaining about why we don’t wear shoes in our home – not in any reason to convince you to do the same because I honestly I’m not passionate about this issue one bit, it’s your house and you can do whatever makes you happy! Isn’t that great?
Since I’ve been asked why we decide to go the no shoe route, I thought I’d write a little post why and you can decide if this is a route you want to take one day.
For Asians it’s a tradition because many things are done on the floor – like sitting to eat so for hygiene purposes it makes sense. I’ve grown up always taking off shoes and this is why it makes sense for us to continue this tradition:
So, that’s really it.
My feet itch when I walk barefoot outside even for a second, and I want to keep our home looking clean. I’m a germaphobe. Have you seen the Swiffer commercial where people test it out and clean their kitchen and show the bottom? Well if you watched the people, they wear shoes inside their home so of course it looks dirty on the mop. If you tried it on ours, the bottom of our mop wouldn’t be bad.
How do we ask company to take off their shoes? First I think it’s obvious as people our age should now enter homes and look at the hosts feet and automatically observe. Our friends know our policy after being friends with us for years, but for newbies, we just politely ask, no big deal. We’ve never had push back. Then, we promise our floors are clean.
My parents have slippers available by the door – something we might consider. He says they got them from Walmart, San Francisco Chinatown, they are about $2-$4 and plastic foam like slippers. He also said they use a spray can of Hexol or bactericide on the slippers after use if you can’t toss them in the wash.
We understand the tradeoff for asking those to take off their shoes – we should have clean floors. And, we do, because of our no shoe rule :) And our cleaning lady gets a good applause too.
I made the sign and you could even hang it outside a door or by the shoe mat
I had a friend who stayed with us for five days and she loved our no shoe policy that she implemented in when she returned home. I’ve always done it, even in my college apartment with roommates, rental apartments, no matter where I lived because it was simply a clean thing and worked for us.
I’ve had a friend concerned that it wouldn’t work with her home with so many people going in and out, and worried about the inconvenience. I say if you make it a rule in your home, and ask them to, they’d be happy to oblige. Our family and friends are happy to (or so we think and they still come over and hang out so they must be OK).
So if you ever come over, kick off your shoes and then kick your feet all over the place if you want – because your feet are clean and our house is clean! Weeee!
Do you wear shoes in your home? Do you think you’d ever implement a no shoe policy?
Diana Elizabeth says it starts as an Asian thing but she hears of more people who are doing it lately. Bare, clean feet really rocks and is so comfy, trust her. That means you can always take a nap anytime and anywhere!
Hi! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, wife, model, and Christ follower. I'm just learning as I go and sharing my stories!
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