As I sit here drinking my green smoothie on this gorgeous Friday morning, I've been thinking about life & the lessons I've learned about growing up.

Angelo and I are very young. I was 17 when we first met and he was 19. We've been together for 7 years. I'll leave it at that, you guys can do the math. :) We've been living together for a year and a half in a craftsman style bungalow with our 2 year pup Layla. We've been engaged for a year and are currently (finally) planing a weekend wedding getaway. We have 2 nephews, 6 & 3, who truly light up our world, we enjoy hosting any type of party where we can serve our guests with yummy home cooked meals, slow Sunday mornings is our jam right now on the living room couch chatting about life, we love to garden, we enjoy making our house feel like a home and we love working hard.

I've always enjoyed being independent and doing things my own way, with that said, I decided to not go to school, instead I opened up my own business at the age of 19. Crazy, huh? Angelo graduated from BU with a degree in business, my brother & brother-in-law ran a landscaping business for a few years and my mother ran a daycare for 15 years in our home. So, I am a lucky gal who has a handful of business experts by my side. Aside from wedding photography, I am also a Motherhood photographer. I document Mother's all over the country and create beautiful books for them, also know as "My Motherhood Story". You can learn all about it here.
My dream in life is to raise a big family (we want 4 kids HA! We'll see how that goes ;)) that is loved dearly; I hope to make an impact on my children's lives and hope to inspire them to be fearless and to lead a life with happiness & love.  I mean, who doesn't want that for their children, right? <3

Angelo is hard working guy. He enjoys inspiring others to work hard, especially our age group, where going to Coachella and going out to bars all weekend isn't the only thing in life right now. That it is okay to want to work hard and set up your life for success even at the age of 26. The first thing people say to us is, "Wow! You guys are so young! We thought you were older! You should be having fun in life right now."  We are actually having a blast in life! We have a clear vision of what we want in life and that is raising a family with a comfortable lifestyle. Aside from wedding photography, Angelo is a wealth adviser. His passion is setting up families with the life of their dreams, guiding small business's to run a happy & successful business and to help seniors citizens live a fulfilling life on a retirement plan. What makes Angelo unique in his field is that he truly cares about whoever he is working with. He has such a big heart! I'm so lucky to be sharing my life with him by my side.

Now that you have a clear background on who are we are...I want to get real with ya for a moment. It has been a bit of a struggle for us to get to where we are.  For some reason it was hard for us to be okay with our little life.

Moving in with Angelo was not easy. It was hard for us to get in a rhythm together. We liked to eat at different times, we wouldn't always agree on the same meal, dividing up house chores was not an easy task, we had different opinions on how we should spend & save our money and so on. It got easier! Much easier. There were definitely a lot of slamming doors before it got easier....but we are finally at a happy place. Soooo I just wanted to share with you some tips that helped smooth things out for us. I know our tips won't work for everyone butttttt maybe one or two will.

Here's a list of changes that made ourselves & our home happy.

  • Doing a little each day goes a long way. We set a timer for 15 minutes everyday to pick up our home. I like to do it in the morning, Ang kind of does it whenever he wants after work / dinner.

  • Binge watching Netflix is only fun once in a blue moon. In fact I just read an article where binge watching is extremely unhealthy for you and your brain...I mean DUH! I can attest to that because we binged watched House of Cards on Sunday and on Monday I was a hot mess; I was so tired, I had low self esteem, I was negative and I didn't want to do a thing. So instead if binge watching we have nights set where we watch our shows together for 1-2 hours. No more than that! And not every weeknight. On the weekends the rules can bend a bit. 

  • We try our hardest to cook at home & to only eat out / do takeout on the weekends or for a special occasion.  It's healthier, we save money and it becomes a special little treat when we do go out. We use meal a delivery service such as Green Chef to make cooking easier. For lunches we either do leftovers, wraps or salads.

  • We try to drink a smoothie everyday. Not good with this? We've used Green Blender in the past. We loved it but decided that is it wasn't smart with our budget for the time being. But we still use their recipes!

  • We put a glass of water out at night and drink it first thing when we wake up. Your body becomes very dehydrated after sleeping for 8 hours. (This has been a game changer for me!)

  • We go to bed at the same time every night during the week. We crawl into bed at around 10:30. We either read, talk about our day or write in a journal.

  • We've been putting our cell phones in another room when we go into bed. This has been one of the best choices we've made in a really long time. We now feel like a couple going to rest instead of roommates. We we're obsessed with our phones and would ignore each other before bed.

  • We have a schedule for our chores. Wednesday is grocery day, Thursday & Sunday laundry day and Friday is cleaning day. I'm still working on laundry....I suck at it. As I am typing there are 5 baskets in the guest room filled with unfolded clean clothes. They've been there for over a week now. AGH!

  • We try to spend time with family and friends separately. I think it's important to visit your parents without your significant other. We also try to go on trips without each other too. I don't know my reasoning behind this... I just think it's healthy to still be your own person even when you're in a committed relationship.

  • Exercise- Angelo is better at this than me, but I try to do something physical each counts ;)

  • Set rituals- Sunday mornings are just for us. We stay in bed a bit longer & enjoy a cup of coffee on our porch, in our living room or in our backyard. We also like to make a hearty breakfast, something different from our usual. When we're feeling adventurous we go for a Sunday morning drive. This is extremely important to us; we both run our own business's so it is really easy for our days to be busy & packed with meetings. Angelo is out of the house a lot and the weeks where I don't see him often I reassure myself knowing that I'll have him all to my self on Sunday morning.

  • Communication- we struggle with this but when we do it, life is goooood.

I hope that this post somehow inspires you! Our tips aren't for everyone, this is just what works for us right now and maybe something will work for you too. Do you have any tips? Comment below! 

-xo Victoria

Images from August 2014 with Allison Koehler. We love you Allie!!