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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Lots of love Orlando! If you are reading on iPhone, click here.
Diana Elizabeth says she still doesn’t know the difference between a crocodile and an alligator, she was paying more attention to the crazy shows!
Have you taken the Which Downton Abbey Character Are You? I had a feeling I’d be Lady Mary.
Did you watch last night?
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, you really should. In fact, I’m going to say your life is completely empty without this show.
Then after Downton Abbey, you can watch zombies on Walking Dead like we do.
Diana Elizabeth says she now needs to return to England to go to the countryside.
So last Friday was Valentine’s Day, but more importantly, it was when UA played ASU in basketball at ASU. We were fortunate enough to be given 6th row tickets by a friend and I was thrilled. We are No. 2 in the nation, only losing one game.
My other Valentine, Wilbur! Go Wildcats!
Well, now make that two losses (by the time I wrote this post). Boo.
It was double-overtime, super crazy extra 10 minutes and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. It was one heck of a game to be at, seriously amazingly intense and fun. We should’ve won. No excuses, really. I mean, basketball is our sport. But, I’ll say this smugly, as my college friend Richard Jefferson who is still in the NBA, text me – I guess that just means we’re ranked No. 3. ;) But we’ll still be a #1 Seed in March Madness, neener neener.
Back to Valentine’s Day.
I hope you had a lovely one, just knowing you are loved no matter if you’re in a relationship or not. You are a child of God and you are absolutely loved and adored just as you are.
This week Mr. Wonderful has been gone for work and I’ve been busy entertaining the thought completely rearranging rooms, having Dominos delivery because I’m just too hungry and I need cheesy bread now, and not closing the door when I’m using the bathroom. Ah, the guilty pleasures of being alone for a few days.
I’ve also been going through every drawer and closet asking myself, “Do I love this? No? Then I’m selling it at the garage sale!”
If you’re open on Saturday and want to come by my girl gang group garage sale, here’s the info:
Diana Elizabeth stocked up on some Valentine’s Day candy – it’s pink. Come on.
Updated silhouettes from Disney World
When I saw the little booth in Downtown Disney I knew I had to have one. But, with the wet weather and Benjamin’s hat hair, he said, “Not now.”
Then I huffed and puffed the rest of the night because I’m a total brat. And he realized how much it meant to me. So the next day he found another silhouette artist at the Magic Kingdom Park and told me, “I found one honey, we can go today!” and I was happy.
I think it only cost us $8 each and the artist just had us sit in a chair and look straight ahead for less than 5 minutes.
He must’ve missed my tongue.
If you crazy love Thursdays on my blog, I’ve now set Thursdays to be my posting days on The Heirloom Home. So remember, Thursdays are double doses of Home and Garden here, and mode in depth on The Heirloom Home.
Diana Elizabeth and Mr. Wonderful have silhouettes of themselves when they were little. The wood frames she found from Etsy. She didn’t buy the black ones they were selling because they were plastic. She is also thinking of doing silhouettes of the buns – on her own of course. Weird?
Yep, no kids in our party at Disney World, but was it odd? Not really.
My girlfriend Kate swore, “There’s something magical about Disney, you’ll see,” she reassured me over our regular happy hour dates. I had expressed my concerns about my seven days at Disney World.
The last time I was at Disney World I was around 10 or 11, my brother was 7. The only thing I remember was that the big silver ball at Epcot Center was a ride, and it was my favorite and it was dark and had stars. So revisiting it 20 years later I was happy to discover it all over again, as an adult. Some of you may not have gone since you were a kid too, so let me tell you what the experience is like as an adult.
Favorites include: Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a pan-Asian restaurant at Animal Kingdom -and Jiko an African restaurant located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge – the lamb was amazing (below), you will most likely need to make reservations way ahead of time. Duck and lamb, my two favorites. Also if you can, go to the Beauty and the Beast’s Be Our Guest restaurant, it’s so uniquely fun, I loved it!
2. If you’re celebrating something, wear your button!
My parents were celebrating their anniversary and got about 6 free desserts! You can get your free button at almost any store or information kiosk – just ask around. You can get a First Time at Disney, a Birthday, whatever! You never know what you might get but you’ll definitely be welcomed all through the park with a greeting, it’s so fun!
3. You should stay at a hotel in the Park. So you can take the bus that comes every 15 minutes back and forth – for those naps, if you want to go back earlier, or sleep in, it’s so convenient. And you can also get shuttled from the Orlando airport straight to the resort, your entire traveling to and from is handled.
And if you do have kids, the hotels are crazy entertaining, look at our Cars themed hotel at the Art of Animation Park. The inside was even more themed and so adorable.
I also loved the Animal Kingdom Lodge where you could wake up to a giraffe right outside your balcony.
4. The off season is winter. We went middle of January and lines were 10 minutes or less. No bugs, too.
I asked an employee the best times and she said from Thanksgiving time through March is great, minus Christmas because that’s a popular time to attend. I know that might not work with some of your kid’s school vacation schedule but if I were a parent, I’d pull them out for a week, plan their homework accordingly and go. Unless you think it’s worth waiting 1.5 hours in line for a 1.5 minute ride.
5. Disney’s technology is incredible. If you stay in the park, you get shuttled to the hotel from the airport on the Magical Express – bags included. You don’t even touch them.
And you get a wristband (you pick the color ahead of time) which is your key to your hotel, entrance to the hotel park (if you also have a car) and Disney Park pass, and fast pass. You also get to head into the park and depart the park 1 hour earlier and later than everyone else.
6. You should plan your vacation using My Disney Experience, an App.
You can add people to it, make your dining reservations, fast passes including meeting the characters, and you can move them around just open up the App. You can also use their free wi-fi to do this, it keeps you on schedule and you can plan out your days at the park.
There you go adults!
And then when you get bored at night, you walk around the Art of Animation Studios and you take pictures like so.
The above photo I just want to tell you Blake just kept telling me, “Lean more!” to which I replied that was not possible without me bending my knees. In which he then said, “Lean like Michael Jackson!” Oh, yeah that’ll do it.
And what do you buy at Disney World as an adult for a souvenir? A silhouette! I’m not going to lie when I tell you I had a fit when Mr. Wonderful wouldn’t do it at first because of his “hat hair” and to my frustration he then found another silhouette cutter the next day and was happy to do it.
These will be new return address stamp and stationery y’all. I’ll show you tomorrow what they look like.
Diana Elizabeth had an amazing time at Disney World, truly. It is a magical place, and she had a great time with her family.
There has been so much celebrating this spring – new babies, new marriages, it’s that time of the year and that time of life! So I daringly put on my bright yellow pants from ASOS that I’m still surprised I wear. A little black peplum top, Yani pointed suede pumps by Dolce Vita (on sale now!) and jewelry by J.Crew, courtesy of Mr. Wonderful.
We celebrated one of my good and long-time friends from college, Melissa, her first born will be making his debut soon. His name? Benjamin.
In which Emily pointed out to Mr. Wonderful that while the tike isn’t named after him, he clearly must be a good guy to not take the name out of the running. You know how that name game goes, “Oh, no, we can’t name it Justin, there was a boy in grade school named Justin who picked on me!” Point well taken Emily, so funny!
This is Club MED – for Melissa, Emily and Diana. Over 10+ years of the 3 of us getting together it has been dinner club, traveling, spa days, and just good fun and great conversation. Love these girls so much.
I find that I wear better outfits when I have to go somewhere or on vacation. Em pointed it out it’s because we plan more. I sure need to plan more of my daily outfits.
Look at Max photo bombing our picture in the back. The lovely Camelback mountain, we were in the residences in Camelback Inn.
Diana Elizabeth keeps buying high heeled shoes but she rarely wears them. They are just so pretty.
I’m kinda excited to review the Sony Handycam because you’ve probably forgot it existed. On our recent Orlando trip I gave it to my parents to test it out since my mom loves video! Please stay with me to the end of this post as I have to tell you a personal reason why this Handycam is going to be used in my life and how meaningful it will be.
First thing you’re thinking probably is – why should I get one?
Reason – Even though your DSLR has a video option, you can only record up to a specific time, perhaps 12 minutes before it will slice your recording into different files. So you won’t get continuous recording should you need it. You probably also don’t have enough battery power or memory space to record too much, so if you’re a big time video person, this is for you!
Just as I’m going to stress iPhone photos are not a great way to preserve your memories (especially if you don’t print), neither is a video on iPhone. You might be sharing with friends and family, but make sure you are sharing and preserving for who really matters – your children and the future.
My parents documented my whole life in video back in the 80s when it was crazy expensive and a big old video camera and I am so thankful. I actually cry when I watch them because I can see how much my parents loved me as they interacted with me. Mr. Wonderful has baby videos too which is so sweet because I feel like I get to meet him when he was younger.
Back to the review.
Get this – you know how kids love to see themselves? Photos, videos, mirrors, they are seriously entertained by looking at themselves all the time – it cracks me up.
So, imagine you had a fun day with rides at the amusement park and you can settle into your hotel room and watch all the clips you took – one segment goes straight to the next.
A built in projector! Every young child’s dream babysitter right?
My brother also wanted me to note that the sound was impressive.
Here’s the techy lowdown for the Sony HDR-PJ380 Handycam:
Retails for $598 but you can find it around $449
You can project movies if you hook it up to a laptop or tablet via HDMI and project it. Movie night!
Here’s why I think people should use video:
I’m also going to tell you something else I learned while I was in Orlando. My great grandfather was a teacher for the Last Emperor of China. I just learned that – something I should have known my whole life, so I thought.
When I go home this summer to Nor Cal, I’m going to use the Handycam and ask my parents questions about growing up, my grandparents I never knew, the great grandparents, stories, all of it. I will also take pictures with the Handycam as they show me old photos through albums, and I’m going to find out more about my family past, history, and about my parents that I should know before it’s too late.
That’s why video documentation is important to me.
Diana Elizabeth was waiting for this trip to use the Sony Handycam and so glad she did, her family was very impressed and enjoyed using the projection feature back in the Cars themed Disneyroom.
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.
My dream weekend car, spotted. If you see one for sale, tell me.
Here’s hoping anyway. About a year ago I mentioned to Mr. Wonderful a fun, weekender car. One of those cars we could have and our parents could drive and we could drive around town a few months out of the year. As I explained it, he sort of finished my sentence and we had the same vision! Then I saw it at LGO (one of the FOUR times I went last week), and my heart did a pitter patter.
Isn’t it cute? I really adore it, so maybe one day we’ll find one with the right miles, this color, and in our price range. I am also thinking how my hair would look totally windblown…how do people with convertibles do it? Do any of you have fun weekend cars? I know I sound like a little old retired lady – I am practically living life as one right now, but of course goals must be made and this would be the reward.
In other news, things I’ve learned this week:
Happy Valentine’s Day! I sent out a few Valentine’s to some single gfs of mine as a reminder that they are loved and thought of. If you have some single gfs, send them a sweet text or hello to encourage them that being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t suck, but dating a jerk does. Having dated many Mr. Wrongs, being single is an incredible alternative to the latter. Mr. Wonderful and I will be rooting for my university at tonight’s rivalry basketball game. Go Wildcats!
Have a beautiful weekend, I hope you all find some good rest. xx
Diana Elizabeth will be having a group garage sale soon in Tempe, if you’re interested in knowing where, please leave your email with a comment. It’ll be Feb. 22.
I haven’t been outside much lately – which is terrible because the weather is so wonderfully enjoyable now and I’ll be stuck inside like the bubble kid from June – September (which I also turn down shooting weddings in those months).
The bunny run area has this white wall that’s pretty plain and nothing is growing on it because I haven’t bought anything creepy yet. Creepy as in creeping vines, climbing roses, you know. Mr. Wonderful reminds me just because there’s space doesn’t mean I have to fill it. I was even thinking against the storage wall would work too:
Our handyman built the custom fence, and our white picked fence rabbit hutch is by Advantek.
I found something that I think will embellish the wall nicely and then I can add the creepers – I mean climbing vines.
I am glad we have Liberty and London (yes it must be said in that order because of their namesake), because it does make us go outside a wee bit more than usual.
Since the colder than usual temperatures here have frozen my garden, nothing has been growing much which makes it less motivating to go outside. I am growing lettuce and green onions pretty well though. I’ll give you an update on that soon.
Diana Elizabeth says a house is never done but that’s what continually makes it home-y.
I checked out Case Logic‘s product line and was happy to receive the Reflection DSLR + iPad Backpack, $99. It comes in two colors, and I chose Morel, the lighter color. I love that it zips in half so it’s like having two bags without the need to stack things on top of one another.
This is a 2-part review one with travel equipment that I use and my professional equipment.
Part 1: Using my TRAVEL equipment in the Case Logic Reflection DSLR + iPad Backpack (c/o)
When I travel, this is all I bring - Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.8, 16mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o) and the little flash is included with the NEX bodies. I believe combined, the equipment it weighs less than 5 lbs. This is what I took to Ireland and London. One camera body, three lenses.
It slips into the included padded case then I packed it in the bottom zip compartment as so, and slide in my tablet in the back sleeve.
Close and zip and the top has space for snacks, extra anything, umbrella, a sweater, other travel odds and ends. Perhaps a headphone and chargers.
Part 2: Using my PROFESSIONAL equipment in the Case Logic Reflection DSLR + iPad Backpack
I use a suitcase to transport my equipment from office to car, to location, but perhaps some of you might enjoy hiking or traveling where you can’t really roll a luggage case with you. I’m also aware that I need a rollaway bag because of the equipment, especially for photographing weddings. So I’ll say that I think you’re a little crazy for taking your DSLR with you, because they are heavy, but if you can’t live without yours, this review post is for you.
So I put in my Canon backup camera body with grip and a 100 f/2.8 macro lens (skinny) and a flash in the padded removable pod. I would probably say put in your camera body without a grip, it’ll be a better fit and less wide.
I threw in another flash on the side and tried to see what else could fit just to give you an idea.
It also has a front zip to grab a pen, cards, USB, those little things.
The top compartment you could put your other lenses in there if you could pack them safely because if you zip and try to get to the bottom part, you don’t want them too loose.
Bringing a tripod? Oh look, it goes right here.
I think it’s a swell backpack and my brother thought it was the coolest thing when I showed him a photo online. For more information on the backpack by Case Logic, click here. You could also poke around and see what else works for your equipment. Watch the video here.
Diana Elizabeth says you have no idea how long it takes to do a review on products, take pictures and write about it. Her living room is a crazy mess, but it is fun to see what is out there and test them out.
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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