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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These giant zucchini’s and I have something in common. We’re both California grown! Here I am at our neighbor’s home back home in Nor Cal, showing off some of his garden finds. Steve has become a friend of my parents and they talk about him and his garden often. I finally had the chance to take a peek and loved what I saw!
Pretty lemon cucumber, right? I thought my dad’s colorful Hawaiian shirt would be a great backdrop.
Can you see Steve? He was hidden within the lush tomato vines and tossing tomatoes to my dad.
Just beautiful! There are a lot of potted flowers to attract the bees to pollinate.
I learned that when you clip basil, you should put it in water immediately – so have a can of water next to you as you harvest to prevent the basil from wilting.
I think dad looked like he won a pageant and the basil was his winning floral bouquet. Look what Steve sent us home with!
Oh, and this photo, was completely Steve’s idea, I think he should come with me on my shoots.
Diana Elizabeth ate those tomato cherries as a snack one morning. Add a basil leaf and you’ve got an even more fun snack!
Do you have a small closet? Our home was built in 1952 so my answer is yes. Mr. Wonderful uses the guest room (also his office) closet and we also utilize dresser drawers for other clothes. The hallway closet holds all of our coats, I am so happy that I was able to give many away and downsize. The “DI” in blue rhinestones was a gift from my sweet Nicole many years ago, it makes me happy just to see it. The photo is my mom in a frame, she is actually hiding the electrical panel, but I like seeing my mom every day, Hi Mom!
I took a day to reorganize my closet and thought I’d share some space sharing tips and how to have fun with a small space.
If anything, a little OCD is highly rewarded if you use uniform hangers, it makes things look cleaner. I used to have pink wood velvet hangers but they wouldn’t fit in this tiny closet so I left them at my townhome. These thin velvet hangers are by Real Simple (similar). If I were to do it over again, I’d order the beige color because lighter colors make spaces look bigger. If you want a fun closet, try these hot pink heart hangers - these would be great for a fun gift or special items you want to hang!
I use metal shelf dividers (similar) and found a board leftover from a project and placed it on top to hold more purses. You can pick one up at Home Depot and they will cut it to size for you. I am now using all the space overhead that I can.
Do you use dust bags for your purses? You should, especially if you live in a dusty state like Arizona! Designer purses always come with one and you should always use them, take care of your investments!
I also use metal shelves – also can be found in the kitchen section of stores and I put my shorts above my folded camisoles.
I decided to fold my scarves on the shelf instead of clipping them to hangers.
Not to waste any space, I use this over the door shoe rack - this one holds more shoes I might need to get it one day. These are not all my shoes, I actually have a ton in our laundry room which varies depending on the season.
Right now boots are stored away and all my wedges, flats and flip flops which I wear regularly right now are in our mudroom.
We have a great handyman named Dennis who does a lot of work for us. I wanted a built in dresser like area with a shelf. The basket is holding all necessary travel goodies, travel slippers, pillow, blanket, pills, tons of see-thru zip bags and shoe bags. I love bags, I should probably get rid of some but I’m a bag hoarder. If you ever opened up my luggage you would just see everything in bags.
The shelf is great to leave my panama hat undisturbed and a few cute umbrellas.
These petal hooks are from Anthropologie.
See this hidden hook?
I call tennis shoes unattractive because they don’t fit my lifestyle. I rarely wear them so I put them in a little basket around the corner away from eyesight. For things you don’t use that often, it’s OK to put it out of sight.
When I organize my closet I prepare a box ready for a girlfriend to send her some goodies. I also have to admit – I had those shirts I kept grabbing out of convenience and I hated that I wore so often – so I would just force myself to get rid of it so I couldn’t wear it anymore! If you have items like that, I support you in self control and releasing it so you aren’t caught dead wearing it ever again!
Other bags are for donations – preferably hospice stores or the Salvation Army. As much as I enjoy shopping at Goodwill for the bargain, I prefer to send my donations to charitable places so nonprofits can get money to support the good they do. If you live in Phoenix I recommend the White Dove Thrift Shoppes which belong to the Hospice of the Valley.
Just because your closet is small doesn’t mean you can’t fit a 2×3 rug inside just for fun! You can also place your wedges on top if you want to keep your carpet clean. We are a no shoe wearing home.
Machine washable leopard print indoor/outdoor rug: Madison at Main (c/o). It’s the small things that can make you happy even if it’s a small space.
Right now it’s hot and it’s swimsuit season so my swimwear is hung.
I choose to fold:
I choose to hang:
I know if I see my closet full of pretty things – my eyes go straight to my hangers, I’ll feel better about what’s in my closet and not feel as though my wardrobe is boring.
When you see where things are, it is kind of a “no duh” of what it is. But, I read in a magazine that just having labels will help you sort things faster – and help your husband know where things go. I also can look at a shelf and say to myself, OK, that’s enough basic tees, or that’s enough camisoles. My OCD side loves the labels!
Because my closet is small, I prefer to switch out my seasons. It also works well because every time I pack up or unpack a season I can look at every piece of clothing and ask myself if it’s something that should go back into my closet or be donated. I keep my out of season things in plastic bins under the bed and my boots are stacked in the hallway closet. I also purged many boots after realizing I was a boot hoarder.
I hope this inspires you to clear out your closet, donate or sell items, have a garage sale, or bless a friend who needs your things more than you do! I think of a tiny closet as a tiny purse, don’t overload it!
Diana Elizabeth will now probably go back through her closet and thin it out even more. The feeling of being lighter is always good and the 20/80 rule applies – you probably wear 20 percent of your closet 80 percent of the time.
Along the Canal du Midi
Oh come on, did you really think it was over? Nah, I still have this post and ONE more smashing surprise city tomorrow you won’t want to miss. Then normal *yawn* life presumes.
I thought a lot about my garden readers when I was in France. OK, I kinda thought a lot about my own garden that I had to snap some photos to document for myself what I wanted to create back home.
Bamboo supports were a huge thing, and I have noticed it’s now taken over on American gardening sites as well.
I love how they look, my only hesitation is keeping them in the ground when our crazy dust storms and wind comes around. I also noticed there were several different ways of using the bamboo poles and using them with twine.
Right now we have wood posts similar to the photo below which also looks as if twine seems to work well with supporting basil and tomato plants.
Once our summer crop dies and I can start over, I think I’ll try to get a few of these bamboo sticks in place. If you’re in another part of the country this might be your season to start growing and organizing your garden beds.
I’m going to try the various height 25 set on Amazon. I also like the thicker pole at the top too, so maybe I’ll do some measuring and see how it’ll work.
Various sized Bamboo Poles and Stakes for this look
What do you think?
Diana Elizabeth says it’s too hot to really garden. She goes out in the evenings but then the skeeters get her and she’s not happy. She’ll need to use her OFF! fan clip, it totally works, she once used it during an October wedding.
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!
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.
*Can also be lemon, lime, ruby red grapefruit) Great as a dressing over ice cream, or on biscuits and toast!
I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July!
Diana Elizabeth misses when the bunnies were little.
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.
Yep, we are a no shoe home. Read my post on why here.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
My watercolor illustration was created by the fabulous Inslee. I love her talents!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
Diana Elizabeth is done decorating, but she isn’t sure how to style her corkboard, so that’s on the to-do summer list.
I decided to take updated home photos after I purchased my new heavy duty tripod. Welcome to our kitchen!
I can’t take all that much credit for this kitchen as the previous owner ran a cabinet and flooring company and he did an impeccable job. I will however take credit for all the light fixtures I changed out and the other decor!
The green shelf I found at an antique store and painted it Rosemary oil based paint from Sherwin-Williams.
Our handyman made the above plaque, I gave him the dimensions and I stenciled the scripture on. I recently added the bamboo shades, I love them!
And since the dining room area is connected, here it is. Yep, there’s my $1,000 oil panting. Read that post here.
Overhead lights: Maxim Lighting 35001 Wharf Small Outdoor Sconce in Empire Bronze, $60 / Faucet: Kraus / Barstools: Tabouret / Platter, hand soap, dish towels and oven mitts, dishes: Anthropologie / Horse hook and kitchen rug : Pottery Barn / Green fruit basket: Crate and Barrel / French Shopkeeper’s Shelves: Wisteria / Ceiling star pendant light: Ballard Designs / Espresso Machine: Williams Sonoma
I think I feel totally settled in. The home shopping has dramatically slowed down!
Diana Elizabeth has been cooking more, believe it or not.
I met up with my long time sweetest friend Melissa who had a baby named Benjamin! I love when my friends have babies because selfishly, I get more time with them. They get to stop working for 12 weeks and I get to hang out with them.
That day, nanny was watching little Ben and we headed to neighborhood North Italia in Arcadia. Have you been?
It’s so cute. Last time I went was with her and our “E” in Club MED (Melissa, Emily, Diana) over Labor Day in 2012:
I should have taken one of Mel in her cute little yoga gear.
The manager of North Italia sent us over Zucca Chips on the house. ”Yum!” is the description, and yum! they are indeed.
Mel ordered the Fonduta, I ordered an Italian Farm Salad and added grilled chicken for extra protein.
I think I need to serve my salads on a cutting board from now on.
It was one of our last meals outside before the 120 degree kicks in. Don’t feel sorry for us, we’ve had the loveliest winter in the 60′s to 70s and sunny.
Sorry I should have taken more photos at the restaurant but we were in deep conversation. But since you like photos, I will also add some home photos – because what happened when I returned from lunch was, irrigation!
What is that you ask? Some older homes in Phoenix have this, because we live on a place where it used to be farm property – a citrus grove! So the best way to water is to flood your yard. Water only costs $100 a year. We save way more money without having to use sprinklers.
How does it work you ask?
First, there’s an irrigation line which has a hole in your yard that has a lid. There are guys who come around during your water schedule and they open up the top. They also drive around to make sure no one else has theirs open so the pressure will come out on your property.
Like a river, it flows to our backyard.
How often does this happen? Twice a month in the spring and summer, and once a month in the winter. Winter time is when people seed winter rye (because our heat is so hot the grass just dies! Our summer grass really is bermuda, a weed. Womp womp). So when that happens, we use our sprinklers if we have them and water the winter rye seeds, as irrigation would just move them and we’d have issues.
Once winter rye is established then irrigation which goes once a month is just fine. Sporadic touches of the sprinklers on a schedule helps keep it green.
Our backyard becomes a neighborhood bar for the birds. They start looking for worms.
And, there you go.
I know this is a bit interesting, er, strange. The plants and trees get a deep soak, they do this because in the groves, that’s how trees like it, deep water to really soak in. This was an interesting concept for me being a California girl.
Diana Elizabeth decided to make cloth napkins before of North Italia, they had cute black and white gingham ones – they have since changed but she loved the idea!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a bunny update.
Well, the two still aren’t sharing a cage and they probably never will and that’s fine. They get along outside.
I went to check on the bunnies again while they were outside all day.
Excuse me missy, where did you just come out of?
Liberty’s a blinker. Hee hee.
We fill up the holes, they dig again. Ah what fun – but I think they like the cool cement and they are just bored. I’m just glad they haven’t escaped their little run!
Diana Elizabeth keeps them inside when it’s really hot like 108. They still seem to be OK when it’s under 100, lots of water, a mister and they are just so happy to be outside.
You never throw away any Liberty London fabric scraps. One, because it’s almost $40 a yard, and second, you may find uses for the little swatches.
I know my DIY sewing posts aren’t huge hits, so I’m just going to show you what I did briefly.
Picked up a .97 garden apron at Home Depot’s garden center. Love my Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set, a must have for any seamstress.
Cut a patch of Liberty fabric and sewed it over. I mean I love my hardware stores, but I just thought this would girly it up.
Extra fabric I did some patchwork and made 4.25″ wide and 19″ long strips – two of them. Sewed, flipped inside out, pressed and did another stitch along the edges. Yes, those are pink pinking shears in the background.
Now I’ll match.
Of course I wore it to LGO.
I’ll be ready for this my next time in the garden.
I really need those signs that say, “Out in the garden” for all the times I miss the doorbell.
Diana Elizabeth will also match her table placemats.
Hi! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a writer, photographer, wife, model, and Christ follower. Welcome to my blog!
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