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for more Venice Italy photos (and tips and tricks):

 honeymoon in venice, venice travel photos

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This week has been a BEAST.  Monday started out good enough, but it went downhill from there.  I felt like I couldn’t make any progress.  I felt like everything was going wrong.  I felt extremely behind.  And I was just FRUSTRATED.  I felt like I was battling inside my head ALL.WEEK.  Butttttt… I made a commitment this month, so let’s skip to the good stuff.

  • Last week, I shared my professional success in 2017, and that afternoon, I found out that both of my proposals to the AP National Conference were accepted.  Washington, DC, here I come with all my favorite people!  I’m going to change the narrative around college for low-income/underrepresented students if it kills me.  (Speaking of that, here’s a picture of Jocelyn and I… right before presenting at the United Way Ignite for Change event this week.  I’m the worst selfie taker ever, but I love this girl.  She makes me laugh all the time.  We got so lucky when we found her!)

ignite for changeP I N I T

  • I got to go up to one of our schools this week and talk to a kid about my experience at University of Redlands.  It was the highlight of my week.  I also got to see my favorite teacher and another sweet kiddo who I’ve been corresponding with via twitter.  That amazing kiddo was also admitted ED2 this week to Claremont McKenna.  That was a good day.

journey of doing - kate spade kedsP I N I T

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  • Glitter shoes have basically become my favorite things ever.  They go with jeans. They go with dresses. They go with leggings.  They allow me to run all over school without getting blisters.  I can wear them almost anywhere without issue.  They allow me to feel a little less scruffy.  I’m a fan.  I’m even more of a fan when they are on sale.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Albion College in winterP I N I T

  • I’m headed to Albion again on Sunday.  I’m super excited for the adventures of taking another group of kiddos out of state for the first time.  I don’t think there’s going to be any snow to dive face-first into this weekend, but I’m sure there will be more memories to make.  I’ve got a specific request from my advisor to take pictures of the kiddos with Ace the mini pony.
  • We got a new mattress last weekend!  It was delivered two days early which caused a lot of stress, but I’m glad that it got done.  We were thinking about getting a Sleep Number (super sale right now if you’re interested), but we both realized that we didn’t need to spend that kind of money yet.  I’m still getting used to it, but I’m sleeping HARD.  That, my friends, is a blessing right now.

What’s up with you this week?!        

linking up with amanda, karli, and christina

journey of doing - Friday Favorites: Bloggers that Keep It RealP I N I T



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  • Donna - Congrats on your proposals being accepted!! Love those glitter shoes…I need a pair of those for sure. Have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Um yes, absolutely do keep me posted when the glitter shoes go on sale! I need them in my life.ReplyCancel

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph - New mattresses are major adult excitement.ReplyCancel

  • lauren - ooooooooh love those glitter shoes!!ReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - Those glitter shoes are so cute! I think I definitely need a pair!ReplyCancel

  • Kasie Chelanne - It sounds like your week was jam packed! Congratulations on your proposal being accepted! You’re doing such wonderful work!ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - I’m so glad you love your new mattress! We bought ours like four years ago and neither of us have ever loved it, we should have just returned it lol. Hope Albion is going well!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - So glad to hear about your proposal being accepted! Yay for representing underprivileged kids! You go girl! 🙂

    Also, totally in love with your glitter shoes. I may need some. I hate wearing tennis shoes, but those looks adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Favorite Spring Staple Wardrobe Pieces » journey of doing - […] Keds – I’ve already extolled my love for these glitter shoes, but I’ve been wearing them a lot lately.  (Trying to replace my tennis shoes + skinny jeans […]ReplyCancel

Well, now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, I can share the surprise on the blog!  I surprised my husband with tickets to Europe yesterday for our 3rd annual Italian adventure.  We had been going back and forth about going because of the state of world right now, but we both agreed that Italy would be a safe choice.   I still wasn’t convinced, but Friday I got a fare alert on a great flight from Dallas to Europe.  I put it on hold to think about it a little more. On Saturday, I realized that if I didn’t take the opportunity to relax, recharge, and reconnect with my husband… it was going to be a long year.  Self care is real right now, friends.  SO.  I booked the tickets on Saturday night and had to keep it a secret until yesterday!

journey of doing - 2017 Italian AdventureP I N I T

Italian Adventure – Where are we Going?

I’m still working on these details, but I think we will definitely return to Florence (and stay at the St. Regis Florence).  I’ve been toying with the idea of making Florence our home base for a longer period of time and making day trips to some of the smaller Tuscan towns.  I’d love to visit Siena, Montepulciano, and get into the hill towns.

We’re definitely going to stay in Cinque Terre again.  I’ve been checking out the AirBnB options – has anyone ever used this?  Fill me in on everything we need to know if we do!  I’d love to go a little further up the coast and visit Portofino.

And, I have yet to experience staying in Venice proper.  I’ve stayed on Isole delle Rose, Guidecca, and the mainland… I would love to stay in the heart of Venice and spend a few early mornings and late nights roaming the canals when we feel like we have the streets to ourselves.

journey of doing - 2017 Italian AdventureP I N I T

Italian Adventure – What are we going to do?

  • Cooking classes.  We really loved making pesto in Cinque Terre last year, and my mom and I took a cooking class in Florence in 2010.  I’d love to take a few more on this trip.
  • Wine tasting.  Despite studying abroad and three trips to Italy, I’ve never done a wine tour.
  • Tours.  I’ve never taken a proper tour of Florence.  This is definitely on my list.  There’s also a driving tour into the Tuscan countryside driving a Fiat500.  I’d like to do one of the evening tours.
  • More pictures.  I’ve become a lot more critical of my photography and I’m still trying to capture the perfect images of Italy.  One of my “bucket list” items is to photograph a city from sunrise to midnight using ambient light.  I’d love to do this in Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terre villages.

journey of doing - Italian Adventure 2017P I N I T

Italian Adventure – Your Thoughts?

I LOVE scouring blogs for ideas.  Whether it’s restaurants, tours, hotels or things to experience, I love to source my information from other bloggers. Now I’m flipping our Italian adventure planning to you:

  • Where would you go?
  • What would you do?
  • Can you suggest anywhere we should go?
  • Any place you want to see or know about?

Be sure and check back on Saturday for my Venice Italy photos from our April 2016 adventure.  (If I’m being completely honest, editing those pictures probably convinced me to pull the trigger!)

journey of doing - 2017 Italian AdventureP I N I T

Wanderful WednesdayP I N I T

Linking up for #WanderfulWednesday

Isabel, Marcella, Vanessa, Lauren

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  • Jordan - What a great surprise!!! I’ll be in Rome in June and am so excited 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Best wife ever!!! Good for you for taking some time for the two of you. Butttt, can we tag along?ReplyCancel

  • Amy Mac - What a great surprise! I always want to surprise my husband with a trip but I can’t keep a secret. We also live in Europe so there are tons of easy trips but I still can’t pull if off…impressed you could! 🙂 Enjoy your trip! I haven’t spent much time in Italy, only in Venice, but I can tell you that you really feel the magic after everyone leaves in the evening! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - That’s so exciting that you booked your Italy trip! We got a brief taste of Italy last year when we went to Europe, and I can totally see why you want to go back time and again! We’ve had friends that have done cooking classes and couldn’t stop raving about it, along with the wine tours! I can’t wait to see where you end up going, and to see all of your beautiful pictures as well!ReplyCancel

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph - Fabulous! When do you go?ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Very exciting!! You’re going to have such a great time. Can’t wait to see all your photos.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - I am sooo jealous of your trip. I would love to go to Italy. If I ever do, I am coming back here for suggestions. Enjoy your trip. And the best surprise!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Elizabeth - Visit the Puglia region! Granted, its the only part of Italy I’ve been to, but it was beautiful! We loved the UNESCO world heritage related tours we did and learned the process of making burrata and had some of the freshest seafood we’ve ever experienced.ReplyCancel

  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels) - if you’re in Florence visit Siena. also when in Venice you might head to Verona too:) #wanderfulwednesdayReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - Your trip sounds so amazing! I love all of those places. 🙂 I’ve never done a cooking class in Italy, so that’s definitely high on my list for our next adventure.ReplyCancel

  • Bryna | Dotted Line Travels - What a great surprise! On top of the great destinations you have listed, I’d definitely visit San Gimignano and Siena. I wrote about it in my blog recently!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - Ahhhhh can I say how insanely jealous I am! What an amazing and sweet surprise for your husband <3

    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I’m so impressed you managed to pull off that surprise! I’d never be able to keep that quiet. I’m excited for your return to Italy! It certainly is beautiful. Personally I adored Assisi, but it’s a bit far from where you’re going. I thought it was absolutely stunning, though.ReplyCancel

  • Tania @ Larger Family Life - I love, love, LOVE Italy with a passion. So much so that I, along with DH and most of the kids, have decided to learn it. Ever hopeful that we may have a holiday home there one day – well, we can dream!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I totally know what you mean when you say you aren’t sure about traveling with the state of the world being as it is. I am seriously concerned about leaving the country. I read an article this morning about how border control can not only access our phones but copy the information as they see fit. The only way you can keep your privacy is to delete all of your information off of your phone before you travel (which might look suspicious) or leave your phone at home. 🙁 WHY!?!?!? It makes me so sad and scares me so much.

    I did want to respond to your Airbnb concerns, though. Basically, Airbnb is wonderful! After trying it, I’m sure you will love it! Often it saves you money and gives you a more “homey” experience than hotels can give. Plus, you are affecting the local economy which always makes me feel good. I love giving back to the “little” people. (Though how “little” can they be if they can afford to rent out a home for a bit?) Sometimes, Airbnb hosts are strict (no parties, no this, no that, make sure the dishes are cleaned and the sheets washed, etc…) but sometimes they are easygoing and even provide you with free food or advice to make your stay even better. 🙂 If you have one bad experience, the next might be completely different. Just keep an open mind and good communication and you should be good to go!

    Anyway, I don’t have any advice for Italy, but I look forward to seeing all of the images and information you bring back from Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Venice. I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to return to Italy. You can be sure I will be using your posts for advice when I eventually plan that trip. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass - I was in Venice April 2016 too – and I totally fell in love with the city. We stayed in Venice, Hotel Abruzzi (I believe was the name), and old refurbished monastery.

    I would go back in a heart beat. I was only there a few days, but absolutely loved just wandering around and eating gelato. Mmm. Exciting that you’re headed back. I definitely want to visit Cinque Terre someday!ReplyCancel

  • Friyay: Progress for the sake of progress » journey of doing - […] booked the first connecting leg of our Italian adventure.  We’re officially flying into Pisa!  Cinque Terre, Tuscany… the possibilities are […]ReplyCancel

  • Urgent and Frivolous » journey of doing - […] so eager to start planning our Italian adventure, but I’ve just been slammed with work for the last two weeks.  I’m also trying to […]ReplyCancel

Warning:  This post is completely superficial and contains shopstyle links that may earn me a few pennies towards a future adventure.

I’m not going to lie. The unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend have me feeling COMPLETELY ready for spring. It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve done any shopping and yesterday morning, I found myself browsing all my favorite websites to check out what’s coming.  With the promise of an adventure on the horizon, I’ve pulled together a collection of my favorite spring dresses for Italy.
journey of doing - Spring Dresses for ItalyP I N I T

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Spring Dresses for Italy

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I don’t typically wear long dresses. But these dresses have me swooning and imagining long leisurely dinners at sunset on the Vernazza harbor.  I purchased a Rachel Pally dress for the L.O.N.G. flight to China and I’m completely obsessed with how soft it is.  (I’m still kicking myself for not buying the one Amanda wore in Arizona – it was on super sale!  I wish I had pulled the trigger on it!)  I can imagine wandering the streets of Florence wearing this navy dress with my husband before slipping into the Golden View for chianti and jazz.

I’m imagining sipping bellinis and listening to string quartets serenade San Marco long into the evenings in Venice.  This striped number or even the brocade floral dress would take me back in time I’m sure.  With short, casual stripes, I can imagine making pesto in Cinque Terre again, enjoying the warm as I roam Manarola. Maybe I’ll stop to enjoy an ice cold limoncello on the walk back this time.  Maybe I’ll take in the Accademia or the Uffizi in Florence for a few hours to escape the crowds during the day.  Or maybe I’ll just sit on the steps of the Piazzale Michelangelo and watch the sun set over the Ponte Vecchio.

Oh yes, all these spring dresses for Italy have me feeling some kind of way… nostalgic for trips past and excited for adventures anew.  Now, I just need a plan.

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journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos
journey of doing - Florence Italy Photos

for more florence italy travel photos (and tips and tricks):

florence travel photos – 2015florence travel guide, st. regis florence,

st. regis florence river view, pizzale michaelangelo, and honeymoon in florence

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