My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer and 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 enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.
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Earlier this week after drinking
crack Coke Zero, and having mocha almond fudge ice cream, I laid wide awake in bed until 1:30 am. When Benjamin woke up a little before 6 am, I decided to get up too. Somehow I survived the day and I decided to make some coffee and do my bible study homework.
Because I’m growing things and I’m excited about them, I had to head outside as soon as I could. We had a lot of rain the day before and I LOVE it, I love rain!
I walked through my gates and I saw steam coming from my hammock.
It kinda looked like there was a cup of coffee sitting there, just heating away, fighting the cold crisp air. It was the dew off the pillow being heated by the morning sun.
The steam danced into the air. I just watched for a bit, it was so beautiful as I listened to the sound of morning – the world was just waking.
I took an iPhone video and sent it to Benjamin, it just seemed magical. Is that strange? I suppose seeing something unordinary, or just being alone with the urge to explore the results of what can happen over night, and curious what a new day can bring, it’s just exciting isn’t it?
And then I turned the corner to check on Liberty and the scene just took my breath away – iPhone photo for this one.
See the new climbing jasmine in the back against the wall? I just bought it, it’s pinkish-white flowers and more vine-clinging like, unlike the other jasmine on the other wall I shaped on the trellis. I’m debating if that’s the spot I want it because I’m afraid of them taking over the lime tree to the left – it can get as wide as 4 to 6 feet! I need to make a decision soon, but it’s so tough.
I used zip ties to secure the four sprinkler sprayers. I don’t think I’ll have anything climb up this because it would obstruct my sprayers.
The basils were from a few starters – you should note that in a basil pot you have maybe 5-6 starts in there. Separate them! I put one in first and was like wait a second… so don’t be afraid to pry them apart gently. Marigolds are in there to keep the bugs away. I was going to cluster them in the middle of my box but realized the bugs would just avoid that area. So I just spread them out and will let you know how that works out. I did hear a marigold border is best, but as you can tell, I’d need a LOT more.
Look at that tripod lashing! I first started with 4 then realized 3 is stronger than 4 – look at photography tripods, light stands, it’s just better. So a tripod it became!
Ugh, this view. The spotty grass – that’s from a husband who got a little too crazy with Roundup unsupervised. God knows why and decided to just start killing my turf. There’s no point in getting all upset again over it but let’s say right now he knows he cannot do that again – and no, Photoshop is not an option to fixing it *smirk*
We used raised garden bed corners from Gardeners.com, the 10″ height.
We heavily thinned out the dead branches on the grapefruit tree.
Then we gave the old girl a paint job to lift her spirits. She has a few years left in her.
New leaves and buds are forming so we left a few ripe ones on for guests to still enjoy (leaving them on the tree is like a storage solution).
Since the geraniums didn’t really make it, I had to plant 12 more plants against the jasmine vine wall – as I have been doing annually. I decided a 6-pack wasn’t worth it (too small) and I was tired of planting annuals so I bought these perennial lavenders and said, let’s make the backyard like the South of France! And so, these will grow well and stay put and also survive the summer heat. So worth the upfront cost so I don’t have to plant every year.
Pay no mind to my brick border job – this has been here for 2 years now and banged up with mowing so it’s time to look for a brick layer and get it done as I had intended.
If you’re curious about what I planted for spring, you can see it here – click it to view it larger.
I am taking a chance on squash – one of my best girlfriends went to DC and brought back seeds from her trip to Thomas Jefferson’s estate (he loved to garden) and I used them all for this bed – flowers too! I put them in the most shaded part of my raised bed. A few things I decided not to replant this season: strawberries (birds were terrible), eggplant (too many and I don’t eat them), cucumbers, and malabar spinach (never ate it). We are going to have an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, and I cannot wait. I did artichoke from a seed but to be honest, I found it more fun and pretty than finding them worth the patience of growing. The $1-2 heads at a grocery store were worth it and much larger.
Look at those bunny buns!
What are you planting in your neck of the woods?
They say decorating is never ending – so true. While I’ve been incredibly content with the way our home has come together, when I was offered to collaborate with Build.com, I jumped at the chance to update Mr. Wonderful’s bathroom!
Build.com was so easy to find what I needed and some products have product videos tutorials on how to install the product up! I’m also proud to say Benjamin and I installed everything all by ourself! Changing lights is actually incredibly easy – don’t be intimidated!
The good husband had to deal with a very girly bathroom that was supposed to be mine so I added some nautical touches for him with a thrift store picture and a barometer eBay find.
I decided to mix metal finishes after seeing this image on Pinterest.
I love the champagne bronze/gold look (yes, slightly different than brass) that is trendy right now – but I didn’t want to get too carried away with then having to replace the shower head, faucet, and suddenly go too modern.
I decided to change the knobs, a very affordable cost, at just $3 per knob, a $15 upgrade isn’t bad!
Murray Feiss 2 Light Vanity to replace the crystal one.
And let’s also admire this very fancy Kohler Tissue Holder:
Build.com provided me with a few items so I could experience their amazing customer service and ease of use. All opinions are my own.
Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R
If you’re a chalkboard/sign writing lover, I wanted to share this chalk marker that has two tips – a round tip and a beveled tip all in one! Last month I had a few signs I needed to write on for client Bella Lily Bridal.
Here is an 8 pack of colors, the solid white ones are currently sold out, but the colors are so fun!
My calligraphy online class helped a lot with my writing with a nib, these chalk markers though are so fun! Remember to store them horizontally and not in a cup!
Today I’m getting a sneak peek of the new Container Store in Glendale – it opens to the public this weekend. This is not a sponsored post, but rather a total coincidence that I just bought a ton of acrylic office organization.
My sudden urge to reorganize was after working on Bella Lily Bridal and itching for my space to get a little facelift.
Those two tins on the left are from France, swoon. Picked them up at a confectionary and one at the airport on my way back to the states. When I get to travel I like bringing back things I can use every day so I can think of my memories more often!
I read somewhere that clear objects make spaces look bigger – hence the rise in popularity with acrylic console tables, coffee tables and the like for studio apartments. This white shelf was a former filing cabinet, black, from JCPenney years ago.
It broke, I kept the frame, painted it, then I added two more shelves. Home Depot cuts boards to any dimension you ask!
For those who live in Central Phoenix like myself, the rumor has been put to rest – a Container Store is opening in the Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods shopping center! And Central Phoenix organization obsessed lovers rejoiced.
You like my desk raiser? My desk belonged to my dad when he was a child and it was an icky brown with wood laminate on top. I fixed it, but back then the 30″ height wasn’t as common, or my legs are too long. I went to Home Depot and asked them to cut down a wood rod then brought it home and used my handy tools to make an impression so the table legs wouldn’t slip. If I had more muscle I’d be building a house I tell ya.
Are you an Amazon lover? Prime subscription has me getting packages non-stop. I bought this pocket wall to keep my gifts and things in order.
I love acrylic organization, I have them in my bathroom too, see post here. I used to be an organized hoarder, but I’m trying to get better. The good thing about having a smaller home is you can’t hold as much stuff!
Citrus is ready – and I’m excited to show you how to pick and juice grapefruits (or any citrus for that matter) right from my own backyard.
Check out the guest post feature on Best Friends for Frosting!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how much I dislike cooking. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s like a -2. I don’t even like making a sandwich. I know, so ungodly of me.
Anyway, I discovered Blue Apron thanks to other fashion bloggers who swore by it. I thought, yeah I wish I could justify spending that much for food to be delivered, if only. But here’s the deal – it’s not that expensive. In fact, it’s more expensive to cook for two with all these fancy ingredients than a bigger family so going out almost seems worth it.
Everything comes in a box, all the ingredients portioned out for you, and we do a meal for 2, but we don’t eat much so our portions are for 4! We feel like we won the lottery with this. They also come with PDFs of the steps and it’s so easy with photos it makes me enjoy cooking (I just don’t like the shopping part, hence our grocery delivery).
Recipes on their site are free, this dish in particular I want to make again. We have it delivered once a week and for 3 meals (but often there are leftovers) which works great for us since the other nights we’re either going out to eat or I can whip up one of my frozen meals I created a few months ago.
Just wanted to share for anyone who is like me and is not a fan of cooking or intimidated. You can really cook! This isn’t a sponsored post, just had to share something that really improved my life and health! More information on Blue Apron here.
Hi there! I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. I'm a creative professional, wife - and follower of Christ.
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