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 off 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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It’s strange to think that the Sacramento area has farm land. I’m only reminded of this when I’m about to land and I see this from the sky.
Now as you head into Granite Bay about 3o minutes northeast of Sacramento, this is really what you see. This is where I’m from. I miss Nor Cal so much, the greenery, the oak trees, the lake, oh man.
There’s this little town called Auburn which is just darling and the town next door. I’ve already in my mind nestled in there. But Mr. Wonderful says he’d have to make way more money for us to ever move back. But isn’t that strange? I swore I would never want to live back home but there are moments when I really do miss it and I wouldn’t mind moving home.
Sometimes though, I can’t imagine living anywhere else because of my friends who are like family, but I do often say out of the blue, “I miss my mom and dad,” much more often than ever. Is this a thing that happens with age? Cause I never missed them in college. Funny how times change, right?
That pretty sums up how much I miss them.
Diana Elizabeth will be going home for a week soon, she can’t wait! Walks to Folsom Lake with Paris and seeing old friends and enjoying the beautiful weather! And of course, spending lots of time with mom and dad.
Sometimes the soul just needs refreshing and that’s exactly what last weekend was for me at our women’s church retreat. This was my first time going to a women’s retreat and I’m not sure why it took so long. Perhaps because instead of camping away in the middle of Arizona, we were at the Fairmont Princess, a comfortable place – I’m just being honest. I can’t center my soul when I’m too worried about a spider jumping at me when I’m at the camping toilet.
I was looking over my notes from the two-day retreat and came across this: Be a woman of peace, not chaos since God is a God of peace and not of confusion.
Isn’t that something? I always liked the saying, Peace isn’t the absence of turmoil but God’s presence in the midst of it.
And another thing I learned were how words are so powerful. We can heal and uplift just as much as we can cut and hurt with our words. As women we are especially bad with this, I blame it on the hormones.
I figured it’d be a good idea to share the things we should ponder before opening our mouth:
And I’d like to say that should include those passive agressive social media updates. There’s something to be said about a woman who uses fewer words.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I also added to the right hand sidebar of the blog my blogging schedule of Monday through Friday and how each day will have a particular theme. Structure is so good for me. If you’re reading it in an RSS feed, here it is:
Diana Elizabeth says if any of you are reading this from 10-12 pm PST, watch her LIVE here.
I didn’t get dolled up to ride my bike, I just wore that for the day – linen pants (similar) to keep me cool and an eyelet top from Anthro (similar) because during the summer here, you need as much aerification in your clothes so you don’t pass out or drown in your own sweat.
We were taking out the garbage and clearing out our little storage shed (that really could be turned into a guest house, maybe one day), and we saw our bikes there. We had maybe 20 minutes of light left, so we hoped on and ride around the neighborhood.
No, we didn’t wear our helmets this time. Honestly, look at that top knot bun, you think it was gonna fit?
Of course my dad sent me an email about it, haha!
Anyway, this same night I was closing the curtains around 1 am and noticed how intensely the moonlight shone through our windows. I stood there and peeked through our blinds into in our backyard and saw the shadows created from moonlight! So exciting, so beautiful, and I just stared up in wonder in complete awe of how small we are, and how big our God is.
Diana Elizabeth is looking forward to this weekend – a women’s retreat with her church with some of her best friends, JM, Meagan and Jackie (her college bff flying in from LA!) Should be a wonderful time to grow closer to the Lord together.
Hot because it’s summer, messy because it is, and yeah, that’s my office currently. I took almost everything off the walls because I need to clear things out and find new inspiration. You could say this is an outward expression of what’s going on inside, but that you already know since my announcement. You can see my thought process on my office board here on Pinterest.
Mr. Wonderful is terrified, I think he only hears a cash register cha-ching going off in his head. This is what happens when it’s summer out in Phoenix. I’m summoned inside to work on sewing projects and redecorate. I have a box full of chotchkies from my office I can’t wait to donate (you can see the huge box in the living room around the corner) and I want new chairs for the space too – I’m going in a new direction!
I’m debating about temporary wallpaper, and I can’t even commit to that which is a problem in itself. But, I do need all of this to be done before mid-June when I host a little shower here at the house so I need to make decisions quickly.
Just wanted to share what my nights look like, lots of surfing the net for new furniture, inspiration, and well, I look forward to giving you the reveal once it’s done!
Diana Elizabeth realizes how much “stuff” can accumulate over time, and if given enough space! And yes, that’s her serger that is safely back home after a nice repair. And, the summer time hobby has begun.
I love Bill Murray and Edward Norton, and with a quarky Bruce Willis, I had to see this Wes Anderson movie and been meaning to blog about it. Since it’s summer and it’s movie going season, I’d highly suggest this movie to rent!
I couldn’t stop laughing at the creativity, dry humor, and especially went visually ecstatic over the way the shots were set up for every scene. If you’re a photographer, I am positive you’d appreciate this movie, I could have watched it on mute just to study the way the shots were composed.
The only thing that I could have done without was with the shot of the 12 year old’s kissing. I actually think they were younger but that was so awkward, as it was meant to be. If you laugh at the preview, I you’ll definitely love the movie.
Diana Elizabeth was happy to see some movies coming to theaters that look really good, especially the Tom Hanks one about the true story of pirates. Mr. Wonderful says he might get too upset over it because it was real.
Another magnificent piece made by my mom, out of her creative brain inspired by the Anthropologie Heirloom Throw.
When I saw the original blanket at Anthro, it made me stop dead in my tracks and my heart started beating so fast. Then my heart sank when I saw the price tag, $198. My mom looked at it, snapped a few photos and said she’d take care of it.
These blankets took my mom a while to get done, she has a lot going on but she did it! And she made me two! I know that with all the time she took, the labor and materials, the value is most definitely more than $198 each, but this is a REAL heirloom throw for me and my family of two. Thanks mom, you’re one the bestest most creative wonderful mother ever! I love you and your creative brain!
The light version with florals attached at the end:
This one is a tighter crochet blanket. My mom also wove the florals into the blanket for this one which I think was more time consuming.
I think my mom did an even better job! My mom and I believe imperfect is wonderful, so you can crochet whatever comes to mind, no rules. Again, my mom is a visual learner so she doesn’t have a pattern, sorry, I just have to say it because I get the sweetest messages asking. Remember, there are no rules, just use your creativity!
If you want to see another blanket my mom made that was a huge hit on Pinterest, click here. You can see it thrown over our couch in our living room.
Diana Elizabeth can’t crochet like her mom, she’s very impatient and doesn’t “get it” yet.
Some people fear change. Some prefer to never change and some even fight it even when it should happen.
As a creative, change is my lifestyle. I’m constantly changing my surroundings to change what inspires me, to change the direction of my life, and I’m very much open to change when my heart and mind tells me it’s time. Time to learn new things, time to evolve – as a person and creative. Managing a business as an entrepreneur is challenging. If I want to continue loving what I do, I’ve begun to realize that change needs to occur – a few things I need to stop, so I can focus elsewhere. Can you imagine what you’d miss out on had you not decided to change or go in another direction?
Some people don’t get it. They think people like us are either unfocused, overly ambitious, or never content. I can’t really answer that because really, no answer will ever make them fully understand. I think it’s outgrowing the things that have already made you into the person you are, and wanting to try more things in order to stretch your creativity, curiosity, or it can be as simple as growing up and heading into a new chapter. Don’t be hard on yourself fellow like-minded creative friends, you’re not living to please anyone else.
I absolutely love photography, but I found that a part of my life continually kept creeping into my blog posts. It was the every day ordinary life of what I do on a daily basis. Since marrying Mr. Wonderful, I have been encouraged to try new things. I’m becoming bolder about cooking, gardening, and home design. I’m asking questions so I can learn, and through it all, I’m finding my most joyful moments are when I’m fixing up our little old home or out pulling weeds in the yard. No doubt about it when I look at my career that my talents I’ve collected along the way have always been brought into the next endeavor. I didn’t know my passion for writing would lead me to major in journalism, start a career in it and that the design hobby since high school of building websites and playing with photoshop would make me open up a small graphic design boutique, which then would lead me to a corporate marketing job which would then teach me how to market my own photography business and design my collateral pieces. And little would I know writing would be weaving itself throughout all of my creative positions, and now photography will compliment the basis of my creativity, my writing, as I yearn to share more. You never fully quit doing what you love, but you can pull back a little and concentrate on something else you’ve fallen madly in love with.
I hope to take this site to be more of a lifestyle blog with an emphasis in photography. I’ll be using photography as a means to show you my life as a wife who is on the road to the domestic life (and nothing has been mastered if anything ever will). I will always, always be a photographer no matter what I do, just like I will always be a writer no matter what I do – it just seems as though I’m returning to my first love.
If you’re a creative who is wondering if you should or can change to another creative career, I’m reminding you that you can. My thought is this – no matter how my career evolves, I still have my degree and experience I can always return to. I’m loosing nothing by evolving, changing and focusing my time. In fact, I gain more time and freedom. I have more time to see my friends, build up my dreams, serve my husband and craft!
I’m breaking the rules about photography blogs (you know, the idea that a photographer simply showcases their work and not their life). The truth of the matter is, I’m not shooting weddings every weekend or portraits every week – and I’ve strategically made it that way. This blog will show more of me, more of my everyday life which is why I renamed it to “Portraits of Everyday Joy”. I want this blog to be a gathering place for ideas and inspiration, and share my gardening, our home, a lifestyle, my fashion, some modeling, and the randomness of experiences all which are the joy that’s in my little life here on Earth, as well as showcase the work that I love doing, which is photographing and teaching you.
I certainly hope you’ll enjoy this journey and new change with me.
Diana Elizabeth has had many talks with creatives changing direction. She especially loved she heard the phrase, “I’m going to pull a Diana,” which meant, a new direction, a new ambition a new path! Don’t feel pegged to stay as one thing your entire life – a lifetime is too long to keep doing the same old thing!
Is this me, or what?
I discovered Miss Inslee from Lauren Snow, a Phoenix makeup artist (she worked on my recent bride Emmy). Lauren’s illustration looked so much like her that I had to know what I would look like too! And with a little shift for this blog and a few changes on the way, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to commission her to draw me.
Here’s what’s pretty awesome:
I know it sounds silly to think, Hey, it looks like me! When that’s what I wanted, but I wasn’t quite sure if I’d look overly glamorous or who knows. Mr. Wonderful said, “It’s so beautiful honey!!! Is it weird if I kiss and hug my phone?!” Thanks again Inslee!
Diana Elizabeth loves her outfit too, she should buy one just like it.
Hey look at this sweet spot in my house for lighting. The shutters angled up and bounced the light off the ceiling and onto my awesome burlap Target stools.
What a perfect spot to show off my Alt for Everyone Goodie Box. My online blogging courses starts today. It’s the online version of ALT SLC and all the other cool cities. I find it more convenient with my schedule as I don’t have to fly anywhere, find a hotel or go to social parties because right now I’m an old lady and I want to be in PJ’s by 7 pm.
A sweet box came yesterday and I wanted to share what was inside because these small businesses spent a lot of time and materials to give to us bloggers and I appreciate it.
Handmade bee and soy wax crayon block letters by Childhoodlist.com. They are super soft and good for the environment!
A camera bag full of other goodies by BlueQ! You’ve probably seen a ton of their products in little boutiques.
Sweet notecards by Pixel Impress. Love calligraphy details and sending snail mail!
I’m super excited to wear this adorable necklace by Zelma Rose.
Alright, off I go to learn the fun stuff and legal stuff about blogging and all that jazz. I hope you’ll see a difference in my blogging!
Diana Elizabeth is thankful for businesses who sponsor items in gift bags because she understands the time and talent it takes to donate their services. Yes publicity is the tradeoff, but it’s still a risk. Thanks to all the businesses included in the Alt for Everyone Goodie Box.
I’ve been posting so much but not really telling you what I’ve been up to lately. I thought about telling you everything but then I figured by doing so I might stress you out. But somehow, through it all, I have not complained, had a freak out, but just triumphed through with a smile. But, there’s so much I want to tell you that’s been going on so I’ll just highlight a few wonderful things that I’ll be elaborating on soon.
#1 One of my bests had a baby and I was there to see the C-section
You probably saw the quick image I posted on Facebook. Tomorrow I’ll post about how to capture a birth-story for those who expressed interest. Three years ago I saw Jen’s first baby delivery which was an unexpected C-section and very unexpected because I’d have no idea I’d be in the room with her as that was going on – her husband gets a little woosie. So since this C-section was scheduled, I was prepared!
#2 I hosted a 2-on-1 Wedding Workshop at my house
I had thought about hosting a live workshop, but never really got around to it. Sometimes, you put on these things, e-courses included just praying that one or two people will enroll so you don’t feel like a total loser. It’s hard to put yourself out there repeatedly and not be sure if it’ll be well received and this was one of those things. Alan and Poly have taken several e-courses of mine (and had met in one of my courses and became like best photog friends) and they wanted to learn more about being professional wedding photographers to make a good, stable living off it and so out they flew all the way from Florida! We spent all day going through a structured day of presentations on marketing, everything I knew, relationship building, portfolio review, and even had a styled session by Angela Saban waiting for us with live models! That post goes up this Friday with a video by Love Story Films. I’m happy to now offer 2-on-1 mentoring so you can grab a buddy and come out to get all the mentoring you need with exclusive attention. I don’t know if I could go any larger because I really do care about that teacher, student ratio.
#3 Our yard has been under major surgery this past week
We just installed a sprinkler system. We have irrigation (flooding of the yard) in our neighborhood since that’s how we do it in Phoenix, at least in the older home areas. In the spring and summer we have irrigation twice a month but come winter time, it’s once a month and we have to do winter rye because well, everything just dies here in the summer so we have to replant life. So sad, I know. Anyway, it looked like a gopher attacked our front and backyard. The sprinklers will be great when we plant the winter grass instead of pulling out hoses and sprinklers which was such a pain to move continually. We have also had another delivery from Whitfill Nursery, a new lime and a pink lemon tree (see the little fruit that looks like a watermelon). The apriums are ready (mini apricots) and I finally tried my Cuisinart Stainless-Steel ice cream maker and did a sorbet which Mr. Wonderful said tasted “earthy” and then decided he liked it. The birds who I’ve been inviting into our yard are suddenly pests to me as they nibble on my strawberries and apriums that I have to get bird netting and hoops to keep them out. I’ll show you what it’ll look like when the box arrives. This urban-farming thing in Phoenix is huge and it’s been fun to just try new things, if it doesn’t work, you can always get a new one. I find the magic is really just watering.
In other news, this blog will get a wee bit of a face-lift change by Ribbons of Red hopefully by the end of this week and following that, a few upcoming announcements on my end on what I’m doing with my career and life. More writing, more thoughts, and as always, more sharing.
Diana Elizabeth is looking forward to summer slowing things down. Time to take new photos of the home to show you what’s been going on!
I’m Diana Elizabeth, named after Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. Lover of all things home, J.Crew, Anthro, and Team Edward. I'm a wife and devoted follower of Christ. I'm just learning as I go through life and sharing my stories!
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