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 know I’m supposed to write something personal today but for some reason I found more urgency to share this than to talk about myself. I have a few more personal posts before the new year and I think by then you’ll have just about enough of my random thoughts. Anyway…
Fortnum & Mason, London
I hope this post doesn’t reach you all too late, but if you’re visiting for parties or dinners, don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine, offer to bring the dessert or salad, or come with flowers. Just don’t arrive empty handed, no matter what the hostess says.
Ideas for quick and easy hostess gifts:
Tip: Go to a specialized local boutique. Often they will happily gift wrap at no charge and it’ll make it pretty (meaning no $ spent on wrapping or a bag) and possibly include a card!
Diana Elizabeth insists that it’s the thought that truly counts.
One catalog must’ve told their friends that I am a hardcore shopper. So I have been included on every catalog’s mailing list. Like, every single one ever made under the sun.
This was just from one day. It wasn’t even a 3-day weekend.
This was like a dozen in one day.
So, I found www.catalogchoice.org and you can sit down with your mail for maybe a week and enter each catalog to request getting off their mailing list. I did this a few years ago when I lived in my townhome and it worked. It even gives you a status update on if the company has received your request and processed it. Oh, and it’s free.
You can also enter multiple names if you need to take care of several different people in your household. Or in my case, maiden name and new married last name.
In just 2 days time, I requested to be removed from 25, and at the moment, I have requested removal from 64 catalogs. Told you, every.catalog.ever.made.
Diana Elizabeth says she’d like to have the mail slot cover that says “NO JUNK MAIL” but she’s pretty sure that wouldn’t work.
I headed out to Buckeye which is about 40 minutes west of Phoenix to shoot a girlfriend of mine and her growing family. Mr. Wonderful has always helped me with their shoots which has been so helpful to get the little ones to look our way.
It’s fun to watch boys being boys.
Another baby on the way. Due on her birthday!
Diana Elizabeth says it’s always a bit trickier with little ones, but they are so fun to capture – if you can jump into their world, you’ll get some great images. If you want to learn about her Capturing Kids workshop, click here.
Oh dear, J.Crew has a cashmere sweatpant. Put those two words together and I’m dying. However, not quite sure I could muster up the strength to buy these, though they are certainly lovely in blue.
Sorry about my attempt to speak like I’m English, been watching a lot of Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime. Got the Mr. hooked which is thrilling for me since Season 4 starts in January. How splendid!
Diana Elizabeth says don’t judge her if she does get them. Mr. Wonderful bought a sweet anniversary gift that must be exchanged…perhaps this would be the new gift? We’ll see.
I’m just gonna walk you through this because I don’t know how else to explain it.
Seeing boxes like these almost every day has been normal – and not the type of normal Mr. Wonderful has been enjoying. However, those flash home websites are like crack cocaine. Someone needs to uninstall the Apps and unplug my internet.
These two huge boxes came on Tuesday and the FedEx guy tells me, “Careful, they’re heavy.” I knew they had to be my new gold flatware. I ordered 12 sets. But 12 sets, two boxes? That heavy?
So I open the box and take one out. Aren’t they beautiful?
But wait, this little set box is so heavy.
I examine the box set I’m holding and look down.
*Rubbing my eyes* Did I read that right? Service for 4?
I dig into the box and I see 5 more in the box.
Don’t forget the box under it, another full box of 6.
Do you know what this means? I didn’t order 12 sets, I ordered 12 times 4!!!!!!! Service for 48!!!!!!
So as I anxiously waited for Benjamin to come home to tell him so he could have a good laugh, I debated the options – keep them all and have a huge party, we’ll never need disposable flatware again, sell some on Instagram, or give them away as gifts. I rushed online to check to see if I missed any description that had said it came with a set for four, but it wouldn’t come up since the sale is gone. I wonder if I’m the only one who had this surprise problem. Thankfully, One Kings Lane let me do a return so I decided to keep one box, so I have a set of 24.
A set of 24 is so heavy. So I used those .50 IKEA towels and put a piece of felt at the bottom of this heavy duty basket I found at an antique store for $12. I think it used to be a bike basket.
That’ll keep them dust free as I find a place to store them. Maybe the 49ers will make it to the Super Bowl again this year so I can have a Super Bowl Party.
Things I learned this week:
Diana Elizabeth certainly loves gold!
Our buns have arrived, as of late Saturday night.
Originally going to be named Fortnum and Mason after my favorite store in London, Kylie (who has a seriously funny blog) of Kirkland Kritters Rabbitry breeds the Dwarf Hotot rabbits told me they were in fact, both does. Hm, so after some quick thinking, I had to change the name.
Meet Liberty and London! Named after another favorite store of mine in London – go figure. You just wait until I get chickens, I have those names picked out too!
This is little Miss Liberty, she’s the smallest out of the two. She likes to come to me when I tap the grass.
This is London, she’s not really a dwarf (she didn’t get the gene) but she’s just as adorable, and this is probably not the most flattering angle of her eating:
Here is London cleaning her face. Oh it’s so hard being a white rabbit, I show signs of dirt so easily…
She’s the curious one who figured out she could go under the outdoor hutch.
Then stopped playing under it after she got stuck under an old twig as she was backing out. I know, I’m mean for snapping a photo before I helped her.
It’s hard to get pictures of them not because I’m chasing after them, but they keep running up to me out of curiosity. Photographing rabbits is just like children, quick shutter speed to capture them at a moment’s notice and on AI Servo.
In other news, I should do a separate blog post on this, but I figured I’d at least mention it if you’re continued reading this far, I’ve started another blog. Ugh, I know, what the heck am I doing. To be honest, I’d rather blog about home stuff right now because that’s what I’m living. I’ll explain more soon, but if you think I have awesome interior taste and you care to know what I’m doing around the garden and home especially, and bunnies, my more in depth home and garden blog is called The Heirloom Home. I post randomly, no schedule. You can subscribe via email to get the posts emailed if that’s easier or find me on Facebook and it tells you when a new post goes up.
And an update on the whole moving back home to Nor Cal. Negative. I told Benjamin to wait until my parents came in for two weeks to ask my dad for his wisdom. When we asked my dad joked along the lines of, “If you want me to live longer, stay here,” to “I miss you, but not that much” followed by chuckles. My dad is just hilarious. But in all kidding aside, he didn’t think the transition would make sense until we both found jobs in Nor Cal and that we had a really good thing going on here. My mother of course would love for us to move with with them (which in that case I’d much rather stay in Phoenix than live at home with my parents at this age). I trust my dad’s wisdom and so it looks like we’re staying folks, at least for now until God starts opening doors for us to move back home. All is well. Thanks for listening to me ramble.
Have a great weekend!
Diana Elizabeth wasn’t sure if she could or should do another blog but with the overload of home and garden stuff going on, she had no where else to put it. So, why the heck not.
The Sony Xperia Z Tablet, an Android tablet (so not Windows) is now on sale! So add them to your Christmas wish list, or add it to your shopping list if you know someone who would love it under the tree.
Read my review on it here. I gave away my iPad to my mom, that’s how much I love my new tablet.
You can use this tablet in the pool, reading in the tub, or just have peace of mind that you won’t need a bowl of rice to air out a wet tablet should it be dropped in a toilet by a child (I still don’t understand how that happens). I used my squeegee holder to prop up my tablet to show you how fearless it is with water!
ON SALE NOW – save up to $100 instantly, visit the Sony store.
Diana Elizabeth says it’s too good of a deal and too awesome of a product not to share.
Disclaimer: I am part of the Sony Club Blogger Program by Sony Electronics where a group of selected bloggers have been given the opportunity to test and review Sony gear.
I found something to make me like doing the dishes just a wee bit more. It’s .5 points up from a -1.
If I don’t have to touch the ickiness, that helps tremendously. A pretty pair of dishwashing gloves is amazing, but I don’t like seeing them sit along the kitchen sink so I found a way to hang them by adding a grommet to the backs.
Just grab a Grommet fastening tool kit for $10 at Ace Hardware. Make sure you pick one large enough to go over a hook you purchased.
Takes five minutes.
I found if I put them on the bottom that looks better.
Place the wood under and the little hole cutter on top of where you want it to be. You take a hammer and pound the top down on the included wood block.
If it doesn’t make a clean cut, just use scissors to complete the circle cut.
I like the big smoother side of the grommet on the outside. You’ll see when you stack them together.
Take the anvil on top and start hammering it in. It will slowly widen the other grommet under and will fasten them together.
Hang them behind a cabinet door under your sink when not in use!
I love having a grommet kit around. I’ve modified things so I can easily hang them. You can also get silver grommets instead of brass – I just love anything that resembles gold.
Diana Elizabeth had a little hole in her last pair of gloves so she had to buy new ones because her fingers kept getting wet! So she had to do this again.
I spent $40 the other day on new batteries for my Radio Poppers.
Yep, that’s all I got. It’s just enough that I need in addition to my extras for a single wedding. Then I recently saw RadioPopper actually sells the CR123A batteries for a great price – $10 for 4 or $15 for 8! Next time…
My point is, as a professional photographer you need to be prepared as best as you can. This post will just be about batteries – I have a future post on PhotoTuts+ that goes into everything a photographer needs for additional insurance measures.
I also want to preface this by saying that photographers are human – things happen. I’ve actually not been in the right position (where I preferred to be anyway) for the official kiss, and I’ve also had my memory card get full right when they new couple walked down the aisle. I told my clients immediately and we reshot – no big deal. I also have awesome laid back clients and the retakes were way more stunning than the real deal could have ever been.
But I think with batteries, we can at least control a bit beforehand, as much as we can.
My rule on batteries:
Even if a device can show you the battery is so-so by flashing lights and such, I don’t want to take my chances that anytime during an important evening I have to run over and change it. Sometimes you just do if it’s used a lot, but if you have shot enough and you know how long a battery will last for an evening, that’s your best bet. Hope that helps some of you – doing so will at least give you one less thing to worry about.
Diana Elizabeth never knew she’d have so many batteries around in her life.
I’m just being honest. Not that I don’t get dressed, but I don’t really get dressed up. So when I do, I’m chasing down Mr. Wonderful to document it so I have something to share on Tuesdays. I know, Tuesdays are hard for me, beauty/fashion days for a model. But, honestly, I’m not really a model model.
I eat. And I don’t care what I eat and I don’t work out.
I’m getting dressed again tonight, Mr. Wonderful and I celebrate our two year anniversary! Wahoo!
Diana Elizabeth says two years has flown by so quickly, it’s such a reminder how life is a vapor.
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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