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Last year, we snapped up $400 tickets to Venice for our anniversary in September.  When I finally got around to looking at hotels, I found out that the La Biennale Film Festival was taking place at the same time.  This meant that the Hotel Danieli was basically sold out, and since we wanted to stay on the island, I needed to find a new hotel.  I focused my search on our favorite sestiere, Dorsoduro, and found Palazzo Veneziano.  For me, this hotel is equally as great (in different ways, obviously) as Hotel Danieli, and I can confidently recommend either one as a great place to stay if you want to be “in Venice.”  (I’m going to cover this next week in my guide to a romantic getaway to Venice, so stay tuned!)  I’m making it a point to travel link up and share this year!

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

Finding Palazzo Veneziano

Our flight landed at Marco Polo at 9:15am.  Customs took about an hour and we boarded the #5 bus to the island.  From there, we hopped on a vaperetto to San Basilio (Zattere also works).  By 12:00, we had deposited our luggage with the hotel and were on our way to grab water and snacks from the conveniently located Conad.  (We love grocery stores when we travel.)  You could walk to Palazzo Veneziano from the train station or the bus stop, but we decided to make it quick and easy with our luggage using the vaperetto.

The service was one of the best things about Palazzo Veneziano.  From the moment we checked until the moment we checked out, we had everything we needed.  On the days when rain is in the forecast, there are sturdy umbrellas available.  When we were planning our airport trip, they were willing to walk us to the right vaperetto stop.  If I was drinking water with breakfast, they offered to make me fresh coffee.  When we wanted to store our luggage for the last few hours of sightseeing, it wasn’t a problem.  The staff was always personable and always at the ready to assist with anything we needed.

Palazzo Veneziano Rooms

We actually had two separate stays while we were in Venice, so we got to see two separate rooms.  (The night before we left, we  decided to head to Prague during the height of the Film Festival to escape the crowds.)  We had a deluxe double room for the first part of our trip and were upgraded to a duplex jacuzzi suite for the second part of our trip.  Both rooms are spacious, beautifully decorated, and have every amenity you could imagine.  Our rooms overlooked quiet side canals, but even if you were overlooking the Zattere promenade, the hotel is set far enough back that I don’t think any noise (if there is any) would bother you.

The ivory and aqua tones of the room are the epitome of relaxation, and I love the silver accents.  (I am still obsessing over the textured wallpaper and textured drapes.)  I love the velvet accents, the four poster beds, and the hardwood floors.  The mixing of textures allows the rooms to feel luxurious with a nod to Venetian flair.

As far as practicalities, the whole room is wired perfectly with more than enough switches to control the lights (from anywhere) and plug in electronics for charging.  (I am constantly charging my computer, two phones, a camera battery, and portable internet.)  There is an armoire with plenty of shelving and a clothing rack for hanging clothes.  We needed a few more hangers than what we had, but it wasn’t the end of the world.  Everything, including bath amenities, is perfectly on brand.

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

Standard Palazzo Veneziano Amenties:

  • In-room safe (vital for passport safety!)
  • Mini-fridge (to keep our water cool!)
  • Small desk (for working – sigh)
  • Chromotherapy in showers
  • Full length mirrors (a first!)

Palazzo Veneziano Suite Amenities:

  • Half bath upstairs
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Large hydrotherapy bath
  • Additional closet space
  • Fantastically, fluffy bathrobes

The water pressure at Palazzo Veneziano is AMAZING.  No joke.  The first shower after a transatlantic flight is one of my favorite small luxuries, and this one didn’t disappoint.  Most newer hotels seem to have weak water pressure, but not Palazzo Veneziano!  Between the strong shower and the jacuzzi, my body was able to easily recover from all the walking we did.  (Bonus: could the marble bathrooms be more beautiful?!)

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

Breakfast at Palazzo Veneziano

We don’t typically eat breakfast, but since we made it a point to get out early for blue hour and sunrise, we were back at the hotel by 9:00 and usually starving.  Our room rate included breakfast, and it was worth it.  Though I didn’t manage to grab any pictures of it, it included a number of hot options, savory options, fresh fruit, and my new favorite almond torte.  I would load up on protein with proscuitto, salami, and add in fresh fruit and torte (of course).  My only regret is that we didn’t take advantage of it often enough.  They usually offer deals that include breakfast – take them up on it!  It’s a good value.  They also have tables in a courtyard.  There’s nothing better than a quiet breakfast in the fresh Venetian air.

Final Thoughts of Palazzo Veneziano

This hotel is truly one of the best deals in Venice.  Seriously.  For the size of the rooms, for the service, for the breakfast, and for the location, it was an incredible value.  The rate may have been good because it is a newer hotel, but it is the cheapest room we’ve ever had in Venice.  (The rate is even comparable to what we paid at the Hilton using Hotwire in September 2010.  That rate is gone.)  Our favorite restaurant is in Dorsoduro.  The best gelato in Venice is in Dorsoduro.  My favorite art galleries are in Dorsoduro.  The Conad is in Dorosduro.  And now, one of my favorite hotels is in Dorsoduro.  If you’re looking for a fantastic stay IN Venice that won’t break the bank but won’t compromise quality, Palazzo Veneziano is a great option.

One Short Note on Staying In Venice

It’s important to note that this is a great place to stay if you’re looking to stay IN Venice but not be in the middle of the crowds of San Marco and Rialto.  I’ve never experienced crowds in Dorsoduro.  I know some people who opt out of experiencing Vencie at all because they’ve heard about the crowds.  This hotel is a great way to miss the crowds and experience the magic of Venice.  Anyone who tells you staying in Mestre or the mainland is the same as staying in Venice is lying to you.  It’s not the same at all.  Just look at the pictures below.  We got up at 5:00 to roam the streets and take pictures of the city before it woke up.  That’s not something you can do if you don’t stay IN Venice.

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

A complete review of our anniversary stay at Palazzo Veneziano in Venice. This new hotel offers luxurious rooms, every amenity you can think of, and a delicious breakfast at a price that wonP I N I T

For more to Inspire your trip to Palazzo Veneziano

(and more Venice tips + tricks):

 honeymoon in venice, hotel danieli, best tours in venice

venice postcard photos – 2015, venice postcard photos – 2016

venetian island postcard photos, venetian night postcard photos

Mummy Travels

&

Wander Mum

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  • Bri @ My Life As... - Oh my goodness that hotel looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • California Globetrotter - That’s so awesome you found such cheap flights! I’m terrible at finding cheap flights, so that’s my husband’s task this year! We drive everywhere, but now it’s time to get to the places that are too far to drive in Europe. #CityTrippingReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Your blog is one of my favorites to follow because of all of your gorgeous images. I’d love to know what you think of this hotel in comparison to the Hilton. Last time I was in Venice, that’s where we stayed. We got upgraded to a room with a view of the canal and had free breakfast. It was amazing, but I got so lost while we were exploring Venice. Navigating the water is a completely different animal compared to navigating streets (or at least in my mind). I am jealous of your ability to get up at 5 am to wander the streets and shoot both the blue hour and golden hour. Getting up for sunrise is always a struggle for me. I am NOT a morning person.ReplyCancel

  • Kasie - That hotel is so GORGEOUS, I can’t believe that room, WOW! I adore Venice so much and can’t wait to go back!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - Wow, this place is absolutely stunning! You’d feel like a princess or a celebrity staying here. And Venice is such a romantic city that you cant’ escape from beautiful views and buildings. #CityTrippingReplyCancel

  • Trish @ Mum's Gone To - Oh my goodness, this hotel is fabulous! I can see why you loved it.
    It’s many years since we visited Venice but we also chose the Dorsoduro and it was a super area. We stayed at the Ca’Pisani hotel and it was wonderful but I think I like the look of yours if I go again!ReplyCancel

Yesterday I posted a quote on my instagram from MLK Jr. on courage.  Courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.  This seemed especially apropos because I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately.  I know I’ve posted on being fearless previously, but I think courage is something drastically different.  I believe that a successful (and examined) life requires us to be courageous.

P I N I T

As many of my readers know, I run a non-profit focused on college access for all students in urban schools.  This job, while rewarding, is subject to local and national politics, policies, and other things that have nothing to do with college access.  I’ve always prided myself on being about the students and immersing myself in the direct service of helping students, but I eventually realized that – in order to have and continue having a broader impact for students – I needed to start being a part of conversations on the national level.

I started submitting conference proposals.  My first year, I put in a presentation letters of recommendation with two of my favorite people (one from admissions and the other a teacher).  We were blunt and honest about the fact that most of the time, adults fail students in this process.  I thought it would make people hate me (I’m sure some do; here’s looking at the woman who told me I was appalling and stormed out of the room), but we received a lot of positive feedback.  Many people rated our session as one of the best they had ever attended at the state conference.

I was further emboldened.  I took that proposal to the national conference, where it was accepted.  We received the usual throat-clearing, but we received rave reviews for our honesty.  In addition to recommendation letter development, I submitted proposals on how to create and leverage a college access village, essay writing, and most recently, the new application for access, affordability and success.

journey of doing - on courageP I N I T

Ah.  The Coalition.  The single most controversial thing in college admissions right now.

It took courage to publish this piece about it in the Washington Post.  It took courage to read the critiques of me (and my work) on our profession’s Facebook group (I did start to opt out of that).  It took courage to take the stage multiple times over the past year to talk about what the Coalition meant for our students – and students like mine – the marginalized, the underserved, the underrepresented.

Yet I did it.

I did it at the Super Conference with three ACACs.  I did it at WACAC.  I did it at AP Nationals.  I did it at NACAC.  I did on a College Board webinar.  And, I ended 2017 with it at College Board Forum.  I didn’t talk about the application, however, I talked about the realities of the challenges facing low-income students.  I’m going to share a few of those realities with you right now, lest you think that this presentation is about an application.  (This is relevant, I promise.)

  • At least 24% of our students don’t know if they will be a first-generation college student (and that’s not to say that the ones who answered yes or no understand what the term actually means)
  • 40% believe that dual-credit is more rigorous than AP because it’s “taught by a college”
  • 69% believe that you should have many activities, rather than one or two where you make an impact.
  • 41% believe that it’s more important to be a club member, rather than a leader.

If you read those stats, you should understand that helping these students understand the college process can’t and shouldn’t start with a college application.  It should start well before then but it often doesn’t.  It’s not about an application.  It’s about a fractured process that isn’t serving students well.  It’s about a knowledge gap that exists in our schools with fewer and fewer resources.

As a result, in the last year, I’ve lent my voice to several institutions and organizations who are trying to work towards equity in the admissions process.  This is a space where my voice is desperately needed because it is underrepresented in the college admissions profession in general.  This is a space where few people will ever understand how devastating (and debilitating) it can be for students when your district sends out the wrong essay prompts to English teachers for a college essay writing unit.  This is a space where people call for rec letters to be dismissed without realizing that’s the only place where I can successfully communicate for my students.  This is a space where adults are comfortable blaming kids for failures without ever looking in the mirror to acknowledge the role that adults might play in it.  (And the only place where people can shut down their offices two weeks in advance of deadlines and feel comfortable blaming kids for not adhering to arbitrary, fake deadlines.)

I am, in many ways, the thorn in the side of the profession.  And I intend to stay that way, regardless of whether it’s popular or not.  I am an insanely zealous advocate for students – all students. It’s fundamental to my being.

So.  Imagine my surprise when not once, but twice in the last year, I have been approached to “choose” who I am going to serve on behalf my students.  The first time it happened, I slept on it, and then gave it a thorough tongue lashing about how my position was the best possible position to inform students and counselors about options.  (Because it is.  I serve more than 16,000 students year in a myriad of settings.)  I felt a myriad of emotions.  Disappointment.  Frustration.  Sadness.  Ultimately, my email served its purpose and everything worked itself out.  The second time this happened, I felt all of those emotions again, but with added rage.  I thought about resigning – no one gives ME an ultimatum.  I thought about quitting.  I thought about slinking off into the January deadlines and immersing myself in student work.

Two things happened, however.  1)  I spent the last few weeks of the month working with our students who sincerely don’t understand the process and it reaffirmed why I need to advocate for them.  2)  A college readiness teacher gave kids the wrong scholarship essay prompts, told students to turn the essays into her (instead of putting them into the scholarship application), and then went on leave with no further direction on how to apply to this very generous scholarship that few of our students even qualify to apply to.

Not today, Satan.  Not today.

I screwed up all my courage and wrote an email affirming my position, refusing to choose, and putting everyone on notice that I was not to be messed with on this.  The response I got back was what I expected, “Sorry, but we are going to require you to choose based on this circumstance…”  Except their circumstance didn’t actually apply to me and I told them that.  I also did my research to find out that it wouldn’t apply to me in the future.  How this plays out is get to be seen, but I can assure you that I’m resting a little bit easier knowing that I didn’t just give up.

Life is hard, friends.  It’s particularly hard for the least among us.  The ones whose voices are drowned out by the people who believe that the playing field is equal, that people just need to “work harder,” and the ones who think that racism is dead and equality has been achieved.  (Please watch this keynote by the fantastically courageous Shaun Harper.)

Be courageous and strong.  Lend your privilege to the least among us.  Stand up and say no when a situation demands it.  The conversations that I have had to engage in for the last year or so are not comfortable.  At times, they are straight up uncomfortable.  They require me to be vulnerable.  They require me to be honest.

They require me to be courageous.

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  • Sarah - Well said, Sara! You know I am one of your biggest fans & supporters! You are doing amazing things everyday and you wouldn’t be who you are without being “a thorn in their side”! Keep it up! <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • Kate - I’m always in awe of what you do, and love the courage and determination you have. You truly are amazing <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I admit I don’t completely understand your post. BUT I do understand that you had the courage to stand up for what you believed to be right. You had the courage to make a decision that would be frowned upon and not back down. That, to me, deserves the utmost respect. I sincerely hope everything works out in your favor for your latest decision.ReplyCancel

It’s unreal how the symbolic turning of the calendar gave much such immense gratitude, but truly I was so glad to welcome 2018.  I might have cried at midnight.  If you want me to explain why, I will not be able to.  I just needed to let all the emotion that has been welling up inside of me out.  I did, and I was ready for January 1, 2018.

journey of doing - welcome 2018P I N I T

The beginning of a new year is always marked by college applications, and this year is no exception.  It’s been moreso than usual since I’ve been the college advisor at one of my schools.  IN the six years that I’ve been doing this, colleges have moved their deadlines, which helps prevent the common application from crashing, but it also creates more deadlines and makes the application process longer for me.  Typically, by now, most applications (but for January 15 deadlines) would be done, allowing a bit of respite.  No such luck this year.

Yet, in spite of all the work, I’m feeling good-ish.  I was finally able to leave the house this week.  I went to a HIIT class and a yoga class.  I started a new calendar.  And, I finished my 101 in 1001 list, thanks to encouragement from Brianne and Stephanie.  Since I don’t journal the same way I used to, I don’t make resolutions.  I tried to do something different last year and choose a word of the year, and it lasted three months.  Still, I liked the intentionality of it.  (No pun intended.)  The word that kept coming back to me for 2018 was balance.  I initially laughed at myself for even entertaining that idea.  I’m terrible at balance, and I think everyone who reads here knows that.

Yet, at some point this week, I realized that balance isn’t achieving the perfect life.  It’s living by one of the quotes I loved in college.

“You have to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad.

Love what you’ve got, and remember what you had.

Always forgive, but never forget.

Learn from your mistakes but never regret.

People change, things go wrong, but just remember life goes on.”

So, all of these things (acknowledging that days come with highs and the lows, recognizing that we’re all perfectly imperfect, and that sometimes the best and only thing we can do sometimes is try), is part of balance.  To that I say…

Welcome 2018

(may you involve balance)

(In the spirt of balance, my 101 in 1001 list is divided up into sections and oddly ended up fairly balanced itself. This wasn’t intentional  First W of the year?  I’ll take it.)

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  • Bri @ My Life As... - Yay! I’m glad you made a list. I really like yours!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - YES to the 101 list, so glad you were able to finish it. I know you’re going to kick ass in 2018ReplyCancel

  • SMD - Here’s to a great year!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I honestly didn’t even think about resolutions this year either because they just tend to be the exact same thing year to year. I love the idea of using a word for the year to focus on and balance is so perfect! That’s definitely something we could all focus on!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel G - Happy New Year to you! Balance matters in life, that’s for sure, and sometimes we only realize how much it does matter when we are WAY off-balance!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - You finished your 101 in 1001 list?! That’s so awesome! Congrats! I still have so far to go and only a year and a half left to complete it. 🙁 I was doing good when I first started…

    I like your quote on balance. I think that’s what I need to find this year. At the very least, contentment. Things are always going to go the way you hope. Sometimes you just have to be happy with the way things did go.

    Happy 2018!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - LOVE that quote! I’m not a resolutions person either, but I love the idea of a fresh start and some good attainable goals. Cheers to an amazing 2018 girlie <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

For More Siena postcard photos

(and other Tuscan Tips & Tricks):

One Night in Siena, Italy, Side Trip to Pisa

Romantic Getaway to Florence, Italy

Fiesole Postcard Photos

journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy
journey of doing - Siena Postcard Photos; photos of Siena, Italy

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As I look back on my 2017 wrap up post, I can’t help but feel disbelief at everything that has happened this year.  In some ways it’s gone so fast and in others, it feels so slow.  This year might have been my most challenging from a professional stand point.  It was marked by personal, professional accomplishments as well though.  The word of 2017 was deliberate, and while that sounded good… I’m not sure how well it worked out.  Let’s see, shall we?

2017 Wrap Up

(Thank goodness it’s over!)

January

This was the first year where we didn’t have the Gates Millennium Scholarship staring us down mid-month.  Given the political climate and what it felt like in our schools post-election, I don’t know that I could have stomached the essays from our kids this year.  It was a hard month as we navigated hard conversations with DACA students, the Travel Ban (and how it affected students vying for scholarships), and remembered the stories from years past.  January also brought around my lofty, deliberate intention for my organization.  Despite the Italy postcard photos, January was HARD.

journey of doing - living with deliberate intention for 2017P I N I T

February

February was the first moment when I realized that 2017 was going to be a big year professionally.  Advisory boards, campus visit programs, conference proposals accepted, and traveling with students – if it was related to work, it happened in February.  I spent most of February on the road (meeting Katie!) in Michigan and Indiana.  In the first month post-inaugration, I desperately tried to just. be. happy.  (I also booked a two week trip to Italy and bought new dresses, lol.)

Albion College in winterP I N I T

March

After being on the road so much in February, I tried to focus on being healthy.  My moods continued to oscillate as quickly as the President because of the lack of urgency from adults and the overwhelming urgency from our students.  We married off one of our staff members, celebrated my brother-in-law’s change of command, and I tried to place as many kiddos as possible.

P I N I T

April

I spent 25 days on the road, swapping out suitcases at the airport three times… the first weekend being in Cinque Terre, which gave me the first opportunity to decompress from the first quarter… and eat a lot of gelato.  We ended our two week vacation in Florence where I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all the incredible things that have been worth the wait in my life.

journey of doing - Worth the WaitP I N I T

May

I found out I that I lost all the photos from our December trip with my mom.  Sorry Mom, no Mother’s Day surprises there!  My first high school class started graduating from college!  We lost a student to senseless violence on his graduation day.  I finished decorating our guest bathroom and spent an extraordinary amount of time wishing I was planning a trip to Cinque Terre.

P I N I T

June

I don’t even know what I would have written about June (leadership, apparently – lol), but it’s not a month that I want to talk about.  Apparently, I shared a lot of about planning a trip to Venice.  Oh.  We also got featured in the Chronicle.  For the first time.

P I N I T

July

The subsequent month of wallowing.  By the end of the month, after a long weekend in London and a wake up call from one of my friends at the AP National Conference, it was time to snap out of it and be a glow worm.

winston churchill - on glow wormsP I N I T

August

My husband played West Wing on repeat trying to get me to rally for the new school year.

September

We spent our 4th anniversary in Venice and Prague after finding a cheap ticket.  The morning after arriving home, I left for NACAC where I co-presented with two amazing women and heard the best mic drop moment with “Wealth doesn’t equal knowledge.”  (THE mantra for 2017-2018!)  I also was quoted in The Atlantic on a piece that would later result in the testing agencies doing the right thing (next year).

Journey of Doing - Just be meP I N I T

October

I discovered an energizing facial routine that could give me my second wind when I needed it.  I briefly experienced fall in Williamstown, MA and drove across the entire state to do law school apps with my kid.  Eric Hoover wrote another story about our kids in the Chronicle, and I dropped the mic at College Board Forum and made people cry.

Sponsored by Smile Brilliant, I decided to give at home teeth whitening a try ! This was so easy and fit into my busy lifestyle perfectly!P I N I T

November

After a glorious day of self care, a work trip that included plenty of friend time, and spending the second anniversary of my dad’s passing surrounded my students, I came home to Dallas to take over a high school when someone walked off the job.  (Newsflash: I’ve been there ever since.)  I spent my free time on instagram wishing I was at the best European Christmas markets.

P I N I T

December

There was a lot to celebrate at the beginning of the month.  Questbridge matches.  Two by two acceptances.  Two to Harvard, two to UChicago, two to Yale, two by two by two.  There were a lot of recipes shared.  I was asked to join another advisory board.  We went to Austin for a wedding before finishing the semester three days before Christmas Eve.  An Alabama special election (and black women, specifically) surprised me in the best possible way and brought hope for 2018.  We will likely end the year in Dallas as I finish applications with our students.

Oh, and I ended the semester in Chronicle, for the third time.

2017 Wrap Up

Usually when I look back at these posts, I feel so much good (like I did with the 2016 wrap up).  This year, however, it is exactly what this year felt like – tumultuous, anxiety-ridden (apparently I’m not the only one), and stressful.  I’m not sorry to see 2017 come to a close.

I will say that I could not have made it through 2017 without reading Steph’s consistent posts about the state of the world.  She helped me feel that I was not alone in my rage, in my frustration, or in my feelings.  She found ways to mobilize humans, encourage the goodness of humanity, and give words to issues that I could not.  She’s one of my very favorite bloggers – and that has been the only constant for 2017.

2018, we’re coming for you.  #Resist.  

P I N I T

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  • Bri @ My Life As... - 2017 certainly has been a weird year. It felt both long & like it flew by. Not to mention the roller coaster I feel most people have been on politically & personally. Here’s to hoping 2018 is nothing like the past couple of years have been!ReplyCancel

  • SMD - Aw, thank you for the kind words. We’re all in this together.

    This has been a tough tough year. You are on the front lines for a lot of it given the nature of your work. It is so fucking hard to see it up close.

    I still can’t get over your loss of photos from your December trip.ReplyCancel

  • cara - I always love these types of posts! I must admit 2017 was definitely a crazy year, and i’m looking forward to 2018!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa @ Loving Life Moore - I think 2017 has been a crazy year for everyone, but I think it’s the gateway to massive change in 2018. Wishing you all the best!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Absolutely amazing year for travel, but hoping the stress will subside more in the coming year. Get it girl <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Lauren - This is a great little year in review! Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!

    xx
    Lauren Elizabeth
    Petite in Pearls ReplyCancel

  • Biana - What an amazing year professionally for you and so much wonderful travel – especially to Italy 🙂 Hoping you have a lot more travel planned for 2018 xo, Biana –BlovedBostonReplyCancel

  • Christine Keane - It looks like you had some up and downs in 2017 but you got to travel to some amazing places! I love love all your pictures from Italy! Absolutely gorgeous! Happy New Year!!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Found your blog through Helene’s link up!

    I think 2017 was hard for a lot of people. There’s so much going on I
    in the world… I get overwhelmed when I think about it, but we #resist and you still seem so positive in spite of it all all!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - It sounds like you’ve had a really full year, and by that I mean full of pretty tough stuff! I imagine you’re still trying to catch up to yourself. I’m glad Steph’s posts have helped you, they’ve definitely educated me. Here’s to a better 2018 all around.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I’m sorry 2017 was so stressful for you, Sara. Hopefully, the tide will be turning in 2018. :-/ On the upside, it was fun getting to look back on your adventures from 2017 in pictorial form. I’m especially envious of all the time you spent in Italy this year. Is there a “secret” you use to find good flight deals?

    Also wanted to give you some encouragement for the work you do helping kids get into college. Granted I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but it sounds like you put your whole heart into it, and I know the kids you are able to help will be better off because of what you do. 🙂ReplyCancel