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 love traveling, home improvement projects, sewing, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.
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As the years have passed, it’s been harder and harder to get together with some old friends, so when we ate at TGIFriday’s last month, I thought I’d throw in an extra fun celebration – just a little celebration of time and friendship.
We met in 2006, some of us completing in the same pageant, one giving up her Miss Arizona USA title, and somehow our lives overlapped and intertwined which brought us together. Marriage, babies and the like has left us with less time (and let’s face it, energy) to meet up nearly every week like we used to. Oh savor the youth ladies – go out with your girlfriends for dinner, the bar, group vacations, outings as much as you possibly can!
I decided to go play with the theme of “Birds of a feather, flock together.” I found stationery from Mara Mi, I picked up on clearance at Aaron Brothers awhile back.
Brought along this fun Polaroid camera and printer for the night too! As you can see, it was a hit!
Here is the little flock (minus one who couldn’t make it).
Please pay no mind to our dessert we devoured! Yum yum! If you have a group of friends who are all close to each other, feel free to take this theme and run with it.
I find the older we get it’s harder to have a group of collective friends who all get along and have individual relationships with each other outside of a group setting so typically friendship groups have formed during younger times (like college and high school), so always cherish the group dynamic because it isn’t easily found!
My best friend since university – Jackie. She drove 3 hours to see me when I was home in Nor Cal.
Last year was a little tough for me. I learned who to draw myself closer to, and away from. My heart got bruised – but I learned to let go, forgive, and trust that space and time can heal wounds. As the years go on, I realize that not everyone is meant to be close to you and some are not meant to carry through life with you forever – sometimes they are there for a while and God puts them there when you really need them, and life and careers can change it, but it doesn’t mean goodbye forever. And sometimes, it does, and that’s OK, because you can still be incredibly thankful for that friend because you know you spent good time with them, and your heart did so every well when you were together. But that was 2013.
This year, it’s almost over in a blink of an eye and I have spent the year surrounded by those who have supported me in ways I never knew I could be supported. These past three months I’ve been spoiled being surrounded by them through visits!
When we’re young, we can make friendships with almost anyone because we don’t really know ourselves very well – and they typically are on the surface because our souls aren’t mature enough to be much deeper. Being social is really like an extra curricular activity which is exactly what you do in your youth – do everything you can to figure yourself out. When you get older, time is put into perspective and you realize time isn’t to be spent with just anyone. Life experiences happen, careers change, crisis occur, babies happen, and you begin to see who lifts you up, who makes time, and also come to the realization you can’t be friends with the whole world.
But the friends who are in your world and have stayed, they become so much of your world. They are the ones you bounce ideas off of, meet up for laughs, travel the world with, ask for prayer, advice, and they hold you accountable to be the best person they know you can be. And those are the people who you keep in your life – the ones who can catch up as though no time has passed at all, who remind you of your spirit when you think you’ve lost it (and your brain), the goals they know you can achieve, and you delight in them and are filled with so much joy because you know a friend that good is worth their weight in gold.
I often get asked by parents about how to get started in the modeling or acting industry because their young children or teen has shown interest. After last week’s chat with a mom I figured I would write a post on how to find a modeling or acting agent. I’m going to be straight to the point and totally honest with my 12+ years of being in the industry.
May 2013 issue of PHOENIX magazine
If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below, I’ll try my best to respond.
Diana Elizabeth says it’s fun and great extra money but again, alway be at peace with who you are and what your capabilities are. It’s a fun thing to do, but also hard work, she wouldn’t do it for free if it wasn’t for the money.
Doesn’t mean you should - or at least not right now. Or not all at one time.
I didn’t mean for that to sound discouraging. You know I believe in pursuing your dreams, exploring ideas, being creative, trying something new – but sometimes that antsy feeling for another project can make you burn out a little sooner than you thought.
Lately, as I have begun to feel better in health, I am constantly thinking about the next thing I want to do. The reality is, I’m distracted by creating distractions.
Being creative brained and having an entrepreneur spirit has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Before you think I’m a great go-getter (thank you I can be), I’d also like to tell you about the times that I completely changed my mind and I’m glad I did.
I laid in bed earlier this week with my heart and mind racing. Then I decided it was time to let Mr. Wonderful in on my crazy thoughts so he could help me make sense.
“What did Nancy Reagan say?” asked Benjamin.
“Um, are you referring to ‘Just Say No’?” I hesitantly answered.
OK, so maybe Nancy meant drugs, but maybe taking on too much is like a drug.
And so, I started saying no. I reevaluated all the things that even though I could do it all, I shouldn’t, or at least not try it all at once. So I started saying no, and though my head felt a little sad about not having more chaos or something to take up my time, my heart felt lifted – this is not the right time. You don’t have to do everything, or rather, you don’t have to try to keep doing everything just because you started (knitting for example). It’s alright to try it, figure out you don’t like it, then stop. It doesn’t make you a quitter, it means you’re refining your life. But just a note to myself, stop and take a rest before pick up the next heavy thing.
Back to that scarf I was trying to knit, well, it’s done.
Thanks to my mom who finished the last block and a half of color because I just couldn’t handle it any more. Just in time for fall!
Have you ever taken on too much or realized you were in over your head? I’m trying to tame to my entrepreneur spirit without completely ignoring it.
Diana Elizabeth still hated sending out that no email, she had to say no, right now. Sometimes our reasoning is just crazy and we need to talk it out to get a better perspective.
We were overdue for a girl’s get together so I picked a time when there was no baseball game at Chase Field to eat at the Friday’s attached to the stadium. The reason being, so we could have a quiet table to ourselves, and also find plentiful downtown parking. Downtown Phoenix is very quiet when there’s no sporting games going on.
Yeah you recognize that face? She’s a former Miss Arizona USA. And I may or may not have taken lots of her photos.
Our waitress was adorable. As the girls trickled in to join our table, she said, “You keep getting prettier and prettier, how do you all know each other?” And we admitted it was from pageants – LOOOOONG ago. Then a memory surfaced between three gals of being at this very same restaurant years ago in 2005, when Brenna won the 2006 title.
Soda cheers to true friendships made from pageant land long ago and making time to catch up!
It’s time to pick out a dessert ladies, hope you all saved room.
You mean we get to pick out any of these fantastic looking plates? Brownie and Oreo madness, yes please!
No spoon wars!
Then we were introduced to a free App called Perfect365 – you take a photo of your face. You then select the type of makeup to add to your face! Since Melayne didn’t have any makeup on, she was the perfect test subject.
Oh dear. Maybe you need to pay extra for the really good makeup looks.
Several hours later, after full bellies, laughs, sharing news, our beds called and we had to say goodbye. We hadn’t been together since early spring in Vegas.
More on our matching necklaces next month!
Diana Elizabeth became hungry by the time she got home and wrote this post – that’s how long they stayed at Friday’s – on a Thursday night. But she’ll blame it on the atmosphere because in there it’s always Friday.
Hi! I thought I’d throw up a quick Sunday night post to say hello from Nor Cal, I’m back home for a week and a half visiting my parents and trying to avoid the Phoenix heat. After this trip I have a week back in Phoenix and then I’m off to NY for a fantastic wedding I’m photographing! By the time I return the weather will be just perfect and I’ll stay put in Phoenix, as far as I know – hee hee.
Paris is almost 12 years old and the first morning it was pretty precious – he forgot I was home! I called his name from the stairs and he kept running back and forth to mom and dad because they are typically the only ones home. He was so confused until he saw me and realized, I was home! He forgot! He was excited all over again as if he saw me for the first time and it was just precious. What can I say, he’s getting a little old.
I got here Friday afternoon, the Phoenix airport was pretty busy – Friday summers are packed because everyone is trying to get out of dodge, typically for just a quick weekend.
I have this thing for not wearing opened toed shoes for flights over 1 hour. The longer the flight the higher the altitude which can make my toes feel super cold! Overseas flights especially, I’m all bundled up! These foldable flats by Yosi Samra in so many different styles, I love that they fold up in your bag.
I never know which gate I am by, I always hope it’s by the LGO, but this time I was happy to see Cartel and got the yummiest iced vanilla latte. I have to admit I am not a Starbucks fan, I find myself nursing the drink all day, it’s just so hard for me to drink! The only way I can drink it is if I order a tall for the milk to espresso shot ratio, just too bitter for me.
About to land in Sacramento – yep, lots of farm land! Did you have any idea? Betcha didn’t!
With all my traveling lately I sure wish Southwest Airlines would sponsor my blog – as if they needed the publicity.
I was happy to find my mom finished my seed stitch scarf. Each row is 99 stitches and there are probably 70+ rows of each skein, I’m bad at guessing, but I’ll also guess that means it’s over 1,000 stitches. I did bind off in the seed stitch so I kinda felt like I was able to “complete” it even though mom did the tedious part I just couldn’t do anymore! I need a break from knitting!
The best snacks come in cute little bowls – now I know where I get it. My mom gave me a little antique bowl of washed strawberries for a snack.
Is that weird that I caption my photos before the photo? I just think it makes more sense when you scroll down, it’s in order. I might be weird.
In other news, I went to church with mom and dad and got to worship with Lincoln Brewster! He’s the worship leader of our church back home – I seriously look so much forward to it every time I go home that I always try to make it to two Sundays that’s how much I love my church back home.
Lincoln Brewster’s new album called Oxygen comes out this Tuesday. He had a pre-sale at church and dad bought three of them, one for me. I wasn’t sure how creative to get with photographing an album so I made my dog sit with it. He looks pretty excited.
Hope you are all having a restful Sunday.
Diana Elizabeth will start seeing high school friends this week! She also has an equestrian shoot this week too.
When I was a little girl, probably in the 2nd grade, my mom cut my hair above my shoulders and I cried the entire time. In college, I went to get my hair cut and the stylist I had been going to for years who knew I loved my long tresses cut my hair right below my shoulders – I put my hair in a ponytail until it grew out and never saw her again.
Of course I think as humans we all have preferences on how we prefer we look – but sometimes you have to think, Is it really because I look better this way or Is this an unhealthy security blanket? I found security in my hair, I can’t explain it, it sounds ridiculous and it wasn’t this way all the time. Or perhaps it was, but I never realized it because I always left my hair long. Security turned into an idol. Now not all women who have long hair idolize their hair. But for me, deep down, I knew there was something wrong. I kept looking at photos of myself and thought, it just looked too long, but why couldn’t I seem to cut more? Why was it giving me anxiety that even when I went for a trim I’d come home and declare, “It’s too short!” ?
I’ve had many idols in my life. Some were things, vanity, other times it was a person, or a goal. My idols have changed and lessoned as I’ve matured spiritually and come to acknowledge them. I know people who have idols of things that I particularly couldn’t ever imagine idolizing (at least it’s not for me at the moment) – idols change and they hold different weight depending on who you are. None of us though are ever free from them.
I had never cut my hair short since that accidental college chop I mentioned earlier in this post. But then I did it this summer – you may or may not have noticed and if you didn’t, you may be thinking I could’ve gone shorter to really make a point. The cut was a cut, one I would have never done before and two months later, I went back and cut it again. I actually walked away disappointed my hair wasn’t shorter – such a change. Something happened after that. There’s a feeling of freedom – I can cut my hair and I can grow it out, what-ev-er. It’s just hair, it’ll grow back. Honestly, I’ll probably let it go long this fall because I think I my fall outfits will look better with longer hair, and I may cut it when it annoys me again. That’s just one recent example of my latest idol. Hair – so silly.
There’s something about letting go and realizing you’re still the same person with or without your idol. Your idol is just a temporary fixation making something more important and bigger than life and God. It’s putting too much weight on something that won’t last forever – beauty, a thing, person, job, car, home, you pick your poison. How do you know if you have one? What creates fear in you if you suddenly lost it? What can’t you give up right now? There’s your answer.
Once you admit it, do something – let it go in your heart, cut the ties. It’ll be so freeing. Chop chop.
Have you ever realized you had a security blanket/idol? What did you do to free yourself from it?
Diana Elizabeth believes if you idolize something, you can let it go in your heart and still have it in your life – with a different perspective. Getting rid of an idol doesn’t necessarily mean you have to say goodbye physically, but other times, you may.
I’ve always been healthy – although accident prone which has landed me several times in the ER over my lifetime. Over the past year I’ve been a little out of it – light headed, forgetful, migraines, fatigue, just really not myself – I even did a sleep test to see if I had sleep apnea because I never felt well rested even after 10 hours of sleep. Thanks to the recommendation of a friend, I saw a naturopath and the diagnosis was - my body was in shut down mode.
I also never knew I could have low Vitamin D living in such a sunny state (lotions, hard water, getting older will do that to you), and that eating good foods at the right time is really what it’s all about. No more 11 pm munching and unintentionally fasting until 2 pm.
This is when my best friends stare at me across the table, eyebrows raised and say, “Di, what have I been telling you?” and I change the subject, to, “Oh my gosh, your hair looks SO pretty today!”
I’ve had friends who have solved their health issues simply by a diet change – taking one thing out and it solved everything. Isn’t that funny how life is like that in general – remove that toxic friend, quit that demanding job, the removal of a single source of pain can change everything.
So I force myself to eat better, drink more water, and be a wee bit more aware that the amazing cinnamon roll won’t give me enough energy as the omelette first thing in the morning. The trade off truly is much sweeter.
Diana Elizabeth now battles the, “I want to do everything now that I am feeling better” bug. Not a completely terrible thing, but she needs to slow it down.
The day after our kayak trip down the Russian River in Nor Cal, my dad set up a little safari ride in Santa Rosa. We drove a few miles to Safari West where we walked around and saw lots of animals before our jeep ride tour.
It was about 45 minutes of walking to see animals in their cages, monkeys, birds, you know, those sort of things.
It was great aside from a 6 year old in our group who spoke every thought he had, and interrupted the tour guide. I did however find him mildly entertaining when he kept saying, “The animal next to the butt?” or pointing out animal’s genitals or screaming when the animal would go to the bathroom. I didn’t say I had the finest sense of humor. Onward.
This giraffe really wanted a weed that he actually nearly tumbled over the gate when his hoof wasn’t stable on the rock. I thought he was going to fall on me.
In the bird area the birds are not shy. This crane just stood there and cleaned himself when I walked in. I almost got turded (it should be a word) on when I tried to take a photo of another bird. The irony.
This gorgeous peacock’s feathers makes me think he’s part tiger, leopard and all sorts of other things!
I wanted one of these red feathers I saw on the ground from this little guy but we weren’t allowed to take any – the safari wanted to keep them for the birds so they could build nests. Would have been an awesome addition to my hawk feather from Ireland!
Isn’t the above bird just gorgeous? I want that guy for a pet. I’ll trade my bunnies for him.
Also, raise your hand if you totally hate pigeons! Now what if your pigeons looked like this little guy down here, the blue pigeon? Yeah can’t hate on him can you?
Jeep ride time. You can even sit up top, just watch for the branches!
So once in the Jeep, you drive into a gated area where animals are hanging out in their animal gangs. They can be super close to the Jeep, get in the way, or walk right up to you – they’re just living in their element.
I purposefully told my mom to cut off my feet as I did not pack an extra pair of shoes after kayaking and had to deal with it.
Santa Rosa is in Northern California, close to the bay for anyone who isn’t familiar with California. Even though I’m from California I don’t know where everything is, the state is too dang big and I swear new cities pop up. You won’t get cell service there by the way, I tried.
Hope you enjoyed the safari with me! What’s your favorite safari animal? I think mine would be that crazy multi-printed bird.
Diana Elizabeth doesn’t remember what the names of the animals were hence the lack of captions, oops, sorry.
Have you heard of Fireproof with Kirk Cameron? It’s pretty much a movie about a marriage falling apart and how one changes and the marriage is fixed – God is the center of the marriage and changes the dynamic of both involved. This was a huge movie – if you ask any Christian about it they would most likely rave about it.
A new updated movie has come out since 2008, called The Song. Similar story line, based upon the life of Solomon, I got goosebumps watching the trailer. I saw it a few weeks ago with Mr. Wonderful and a couple we consider mentors. It was a beautiful, funny, amazing movie. And just like Fireproof with studies and a journal, The Song has their own resources to help couples and churches.
In theaters September 26.
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The movie is a love story with worldly complications, with the desire for fame, money, attention, applause and reaffirmation from the world – struggles we all deal with through different stages in our life. The Song single by Alan Powell is a great song too, it’s played throughout the movie.
I can’t wait to buy this movie when it comes out, and Mr. Wonderful wants the soundtrack when it comes out. The main actor is the lead singer of Anthem Lights and the acting is impressively good – I know you were wondering.
Diana Elizabeth cried, which means it was really good.
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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