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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My mom and dad brought me some of my old diaries from Northern California that have been sitting in my room since I left for college at the age of 17.
Did you write about politics in your diary when you were 10 years old?
No offense to anyone who has different political views as I really don’t care much about it, but can we focus on the fact that I could transition so quickly from the POTUS to 90210? Genius.
I’m sure you wrote about boys, like I did. This was me when I was 7.
Or the frustrations of even owning a diary at 10 years old.
Or a blog.
I have fondly named these diary entry shares on Instagram as #diariesofdianaelizabeth (Find me @dianaelizabeth_). I wish I could pay my elementary school self to write my blog posts.
Have a fabulous weekend!
Diana Elizabeth says this was the early stages of blogging. She just knows it.
I liked the NYC subway poster, but that area just didn’t seem like it was being used.
So I had our handyman build some custom shelving in that area. I’m still trying to style it, so be patient, I just wanted to show you the shelving.
There’s nothing like custom. It matches the rest of our custom laundry room shelving our handyman Dennis built.
Oh, that’s for our bunnies, their little indoor home. And if you missed my insane Instagram post about my boots – I have over a dozen, I’m still trying to find space for them all.
We get our bunnies tomorrow!! I’m super excited. Expect an explosion of photos of really cute buns soon.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!
To contact Dennis of Lowan Handyman Services, LLC send him an email here.
Diana Elizabeth would put shelving on every wall if she could. Vertical storage!
These are my BFFs in the photography business. I thought I’d write about them to just give them a shout out but to also encourage you to find your own close buddies in the business that you can bounce ideas off of, ask to cover for you, celebrate with, send referrals to, and also grow together.
The three of us are real life friends, when we get together we of course chat about what brought us together to begin with – photography, but we dig deeper into real life. Both these girls were at my backyard wedding reception and I love them dearly!
Of course I have other wonderful fantastic friends in the photography business and they are super important to me and it’s important to have many peers in the industry – the goal of this post is I want to encourage all of you to have some close friends that you can really be open with in your industry.
You should not attempt to be a photographer alone, as it can be incredibly frustrating to go at it by yourself. By having friends in the industry you’ll have some interesting issues you’ll want feedback on how to proceed, and a ton of questions. The photography industry is very welcoming and open to sharing so go out there and find your photography BFFs!
Finding peers in the industry
The main thing is feeling like you can add wisdom without just taking it. You want to share with your peers and have good conversation. If you feel like you might be taking too much from the other, you might want to consider asking them to mentor you instead. I’m not kidding when I tell you that you really do want to pass along referrals to these friends, you follow their work, and your friendship is based upon real friendship, not what you do for a living (sometimes this takes time).
As with any industry, if you peg someone as your competitor, you’re basically the first to proclaim that you’re not going to be an asset to the industry and you will have a tough time making friends. Remember there are 52 weekends in a year and you can’t take every wedding your way – there will be weekends you are booked and you can refer, and they will refer back to you. There is plenty of business to go around.
Finding a mentor
Having a mentor who is experienced in the industry is great too if you’re just starting to get your feet wet. (This is also my shout out to thank my friends Ryan Nicholson and Stephanie Fay who were great at answering any of my questions – I appreciate you both!)
However, know that you should always respect a photographer’s time. You may not understand that now with all the questions or advice you are requesting, but you can ask for mentoring, just be willing to pay for it and tell them. Innocent questions can turn into long winded questions so be respectful, because one day you’ll be asked by up and comers and you’ll love to help, but you’ll also know you are super busy marketing your business or editing your jobs.
Always consider taking a photographer out to coffee or lunch (and say so) if you really want to meet up with a photographer who doesn’t offer mentoring. Or even if it’s a peer in the industry who you respect and you know you will be asking them a lot of questions that benefit you (in that case, it’s less of a friendship meeting and more of you wanting information so please be real and honest), offer to pick up the tab. It’ll be much appreciated.
Also don’t forget thank you’s and even gifts are nice when a peer sends you a referral that you actually book – it’s good to show appreciation if you want more sent your way. Always be gracious, but be real.
Every year I buy new pajamas – I use a Christmas pajama party as an excuse. I was determined to jump into the adult onesie trend but after searching tons of animal themed ones, I really didn’t think I could do it.
Then I found the one I wanted. I bought this adorable Camille Women’s Nordic Print Onesie – because I love the fair isle print and it said it was heavy weight.
These I thought these were cute too:
Comes in practically every color you could imagine.
I learned that if you want a onesie with covered feet, you need to search for adult footie pajamas. I know. Things you probably should not have in your vocabulary.
Would you ever wear an adult onesie? Rather, have you?
Diana Elizabeth hopes it won’t be too complicated going to the bathroom. Hm.
I’m so glad we invested in the Shelves that Slide, adding to the functionality of our kitchen cupboards. The company is local in Phoenix and they are amazing! I was tired of not knowing when we’d run out of something so I thought a little painted chalkboard screwed behind the door would be nice to keep things a bit more organized.
I didn’t list everything in there such as condiments but just what we’d like to have on hand all the time. Don’t judge, I like Jell-o.
I used a chalkboard marker for the more permanent things, hence the nice handwriting. It’s harder to rub off. We use old fashioned chalk for changing the numbers.
Yes I did that all freehand, in high school when I was on the dance team we used to make signs and posters for the football and basketball games. For some reason all the dance and cheer girls had similar handwriting. You just train yourself how to write. Every year before the school year started I would study a handwriting or font and mimic it, deciding that school year, THAT was to be my handwriting. Strange I know. And you wonder why I became a graphic designer and I am picky about fonts.
Don’t forget to cure your chalkboard – as in rub chalk all over it and use an eraser. That way whatever you write the first time doesn’t leave a residue. Similar to that on my fridge, oh, gotta love stainless steel. Sorry folks, I’m not one to accurately stage things, just keeping it real.
Diana Elizabeth tried to photoshop the prints on the fridge away and that looked horrible. Worse than it looks now? Yes. She can photoshop faces, not fridges, friends.
Have you ever thought about why you live where you do? I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.
I have come up with 3 main reasons why people live where they do or move:
Mr. Wonderful and I have toggled between #1 and #3 over the years. But never #2.
Where I am in life now, with no kids and just a husband, our priorities are a little different than everyone else’s. We can most definitely stay until we have kids, then I think the most inevitable time will come when we’ll want to blow our brains out from going insane, and know we really do need one set of grandparents around to help with our sanity. So Northern California or the middle of Illinois ladies and gents? The answer is a given. Also where I’m from, the public schools are ranked 10-8 which is why it’s the premiere town to live in and property value is high. This talk also does not confirm children. Although now it sounds like I’m fighting it doesn’t? Oh dear, I sound so lost.
I’ve been passing time away lately looking at homes back in Nor Cal online. This is where I’m from – right by a lake, lots of mature oak trees, the country. My parents live in a very much newer home, but if you know me, I want old. I want old, character, and to remodel.
This one is very cute.
This one, with a metal roof (seriously!! So awesome!) is on 1 acre and has a flowing stream on the property. I can already see myself painting the red an artichoke green or pure white. I love the stone work. ONE ACRE PRIVATE LOT!!!
This is by no means any official announcement or prayer request – although it really is on my heart to settle this. Also if you do know me personally, don’t ask about it, cause it’s one of those things I think is similar to when people date way over the normal time limit and people ask when you’re getting married (and you really don’t have control over it). I’m not saying that this is in motion, and I wouldn’t put it on this blog without telling my good friends first, so no freaking out my RLF (real life friends) OK? :)
I am trying to examine what happened – just an innocent conversation with a friend made me think. Then this urge to move and I’m wondering what is the root of this urge? Has something just clicked and my sudden change of heart is due to God showing me something? Only time will tell.
Am I alone in feeling this urge? Have any of you? What did you do about it? Did it go away? I see so many of my friends moving closer to their parents. Why do you live where you live? I’d appreciate any direction or thoughts on this.
Meanwhile, I pray to stay content where we are. But desires of the heart that just come out of nowhere, and I mean nowhere, are absolutely puzzling. I suppose this urge and change of heart is what will happen with children should we decide to enter that stage – a true miracle that would be!
Diana Elizabeth feels like a totally different person since this urge came on. She is really hoping time will settle it and of course, if it’s God’s will, it will happen. Meanwhile, she just wanted to share her heart and random thoughts out there.
Did you ever have one growing up? I think I did and it was just a sweet paper flip. I’m also pretty sure curiosity took over and I opened them all before Christmas.
Self control is hard to come by when you’re little.
I know some families keep the tradition which is fun. I scoured around and found adorable ones whether you need a new advent calendar or want to start a new tradition. You can order these now so they’ll come in time for December, or you could even make one!
Diana Elizabeth found some darling ones at Fortnum & Mason in London but it wouldn’t fit in her suitcase. Wah.
Marla Wootan is one of the sweetest, giving, and lovable people I know, which doesn’t surprise me that my Ireland and London travel companion Melayne, is the same. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in terms of personality and looks, for that matter.
Marla’s mother was an opera singer, and she well, played the piano by ear until she was forced to learn by reading. And that singing voice of hers, which sounds like a twenty-something jazzy little melody is down right soothing. I listened to her latest album – which is the reason why I flew out to capture some images for it – hadn’t been finalized. After I heard the first song play, I said, “Marla! This comes out of your mouth?” And not in that rude way, but honestly shocked that I knew someone who could sing so beautifully.
She’s caught the eye of an industry pro and the rest, well, we’ll be watching her singing history unfold.
Isn’t Crystal Cove so lovely? Every time I come back to California my heart just beats a little faster and throbs a little more to tell me perhaps it’s time I return home.
Diana Elizabeth wore her Hunter wellies so she could walk along the beach – the day was clear without a cloud in the sky!
It’s fall, and I love scarves. This is an old video that’s been circulating for a while, but maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t. Either way, a great video on a creative way to tie your scarf!
Diana Elizabeth says she better do it about 5 times because it’s much harder to do it on yourself than on someone else when you watch a video.
How many times have you been asked to get up off the comfortable couch so someone could show you something on the computer?
Now you don’t have to thanks to the Sony Internet Player with GoogleTV! It’s on sale for $150. Be warned, I’m about to get all techie on you.
The neat thing I found with GoogleTV is that you can search everything just like you would at a computer and also web browse on your big screen!
GoogleTV pretty much turns your big screen into a computer, which is great especially if you use Gmail, which let’s be honest, who doesn’t?
Google Chrome is on the menu bar along with other necessary Apps like NetFlix and YouTube for your entertainment! You can also download additional Apps in the PlayStore.
The nifty dual sided remote which knows which side you are using when you flip it over really comes in handy for web browsing and password entering.
It connects to your wi-fi and you can surf while doing a picture-in-picture and still watch TV if you so wanted.
Download PDFs, whatever you need to show anyone – just make sure you download an App that can open your files.
See? I never had to leave my couch.
If you get it, don’t forget to pick up two HDMI cords since the cords never come with devices anymore, sorta like batteries for toys. Don’t get mad Christmas day when you open toys and don’t have batteries.
Here’s the thing – you can’t mirror your Sony tablet to the computer (like you can with your iPad/iPhone through AppleTV) UNLESS you have a Sony Bravia TV. This shouldn’t even be an issue if you never need to mirror or give a presentation of some sort through your iPad unless you’re a small business owner and have PDF slides like myself. You can however use the “throw” function for certain apps from your phone but most of those apps are already available on GoogleTV. The good news, Mr. Wonderful had a Sony Bravia flat screen before we were married which has been sitting in our storage so we are now going to put it up in our house!
Diana Elizabeth now has too many options on how to surf the web – tablet, iPhone, GoogleTV? Thank goodness the fridge can’t move so she will force herself to get up and walk around!
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.
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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