Saying No In Order To Say Yes


At the Making Things Happen conference last October, a lot of things changed inside.

Those changes have continued to develop in our hearts and we’re slowly but surely trying to make them happen in our lives. But implementing change takes time. Change is never easy. And it very rarely comes quickly. One of the best lessons I learned at the conference is that saying “no” just means you get to say “yes” to what matters most.

I’ve been a little MIA lately, but for wonderful reasons. Here are a few of the things that have received a resounding YES in my book! From top to bottom, from left to right.

  1. Good meals. We’ve finally implemented a monthly budget and though eating out happens less, good meals and good food is always a priority for us.
  2. Clients. The wedding season has officially begun. We had a sweet engagement session last week and a wedding in DC later this week. We’ve gotten together with past clients. And I’m most excited about the back end work we’re doing in our business in order to give our clients an even better experience.
  3. Creativity. Running a business can be very hard. There’s so much more to it than just taking photos. It’s so easy to let the business side of things become all consuming. Vitaliy and I have been carving out time to continue investing in our creative muscle.
  4. Marriage. I love this guy! Vitaliy and I are constantly trying to find ways to invest in our marriage. We’re both currently seeing a counselor which has done wonders for us both personally and as a couple. I’m also reading a wonderful book called Intimacy Ignited. I’m only a few chapters in, but I would highly recommend it so far.
  5. Coffee. Life should never be too busy that you don’t have time to go grab a good cup of coffee with someone or to simply enjoy by yourself. I only started drinking coffee this past year, but it has quickly become one of my favorite indulgences. I normally drink it black thanks to my husband who’s a purist, but I recently tried the famous Mint Mojito Iced Coffee from Philz. It was everything I was told it would be!
  6. Time with friends. Vitaliy and I have been working hard to downsize our calendar commitments so that we can either enjoy a night at home or a spontaneous dinner party with friends. It’s been one of the hardest and best changes we’ve been working on!
  7. Family friends. It can be very hard not living close to your family. It requires your friends to become like family. Oddly still, even some of our closest friends live a few hours away. Time spent with them and their little ones is always cherished.
  8. Vitaliy and I have now been living in the San Francisco bay area for over 8 years. We’ve only recently started making a sincere effort to explore and get to know this beautiful place we now feel is home. It’s been fun getting to know it better.
  9. Thank you notes. If you have not read the book One Thousand Gifts, you must do it as soon as possible. I’m now enjoying the 1000 Gifts devotional which has had an even stronger impact on me and I’ve officially started my own list of 1000 gifts. Each morning I wake to write down my previous days blessings. I’m also trying to learn to be thankful for both the good and the bad. So right now, I’m digging deep to find the good out of this pinched nerve in my neck. I am slowly seeing it change me. Vitaliy has joined me and started his own list too.

There’s a little peek into our life as of late. Join us on Instagram for more frequent peeks!

Thursday Ramblings: Awesome Clients, Flash Mobs, and Jimmy Fallon

Y’all it’s Thursday which is practically Friday in my book. And Thursday means it’s date night and I am so ready for some down time with my husband.

Not my business partner, but my husband. Last night we had to prep for our tax meeting which took place this morning so you know I am even more ready to let loose. Running your own business is no joke! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am beyond grateful to wake up and do something that I love. Not to mention, we work with the very best clients anyone could ask for. A friend recently asked me if our clients were really as amazing as I make them sound. You make it seem like you guys are BFFs, she said. When you have clients whose family and friends create flash mobs at the reception, how could you not want to become BFFs with them? Yes, that really happened at Anthony and Nicole’s wedding. Our clients really are that sweet and that fun, I told her.

In other news, is anyone watching Jimmy Fallon these days? I’m completely obsessed. I’m now requesting Jimmy Fallon lunch breaks. Earlier this week Vitaliy and I did precisely that. We made lunch and sat down to enjoy some much needed laughter. I had to put down my plate when I watched this lip sync battle because I was laughing so hard. But our favorite skit to date is this Obama-Putin conversation that we’ve had on repeat at our house. In light of all that’s going on in Ukraine, sometimes you need a little laughter to stomach the difficulties.

Well friends, that’s a little Thursday ramblings from me. I’m off to round out my day and close up shop. Any good videos you want to share for a lunch break laugh-fest tomorrow? Have a great night everyone!


The Refine Workshop

Rooftop restaurant at W Hotel in San Diego

This month has been a blur. The days are flying by and I have found myself not applying my “less is more” motto to my scheduling.

But every opportunity has felt too good to pass up. Including our current trip to San Diego for Alison Howard’s Refine Workshop which just wrapped up yesterday. Alison is a luxury wedding planner based in San Diego who has years of experience to speak into the lives of those just starting out or wanting to take their businesses to the next level. As usual, Vitaliy and I chose to divide and conquer which is how we try to do most things in our business. I attended the workshop and Vitaliy photographed the event.

While I’m not a wedding planner myself, I was thrilled at the opportunity to take a look into another aspect of the wedding industry in order to challenge myself in new ways. And to be quite honest, one thing I took away from the event was how much photographers and wedding planners have to offer each other. I learned so many things that could apply to my own business and I can’t wait to get home and start implementing some of the new ideas and changes we want to make to Pictilio in order to create an even better experience for our clients.

Alongside Alison, we also got to hear from Tim King of Tim King Photography, Cathy Olson of Love-Inspired, and Kylie Carlson from the Wedding and Events Institute. Alison brought together a great crew for her very first workshop. And while the speakers were top notch, there is nothing I find more valuable than the people sitting alongside me. I love attending workshops because of the relationships built with other attendees. And this was such an intimate group that it made the process of making friendships even easier. I can’t wait to stay in touch and see what everyone makes happen this next year. But right now, I’m going to close this computer and go explore San Diego with the man I love most.

Missed you, friends! xo

A little rooftop cocktail hour at the W Hotel in downtown San Diego ending the first day at the Refine Workshop.