California

al fresco dining

Great company, old friends, new friends, patio, fresh food, warm night air, bubbles:

Wine Napa

We might look like we are, but we’re not fancy; Farmers market stop, cook up a yummy dinner, light some cheap candles:

Napa Life

…add laughter, good conversation, and voila! – A perfect summer night is born, time together and sustenance. Money spent on experiences, not stuff.

How are you making the most of your time with people around you?

#Travel #SayYesWhenInvited #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad

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career day talk, year two

I was invited to speak at Robious Middle School in Virginia again for their Career Day this week:

Career Day talk

Robious Middle School

(I’m sandwiched between a funny sales guy, a high-energy teacher, and a sweet and sassy fire marshall. Not bad company for a Wednesday lunch:) We were just a few of the 30+ speakers on hand.)

The thought that kids who are between 12-14 years old might think I am the slightest bit cool is pretty great. (Let’s just assume they did.) It was a blast and honor to be at this school. Funny though, I found that once again, more adults (teachers and administrators) thought I was cool, than the kids did. I love having conversations with parents or teachers who say “I want to do what you did/are doing!” or “Um…do you mind if my daughter/son calls or writes to you?”

Um- yes please! Call me! Write me! Send a bird!

One particular teacher this week (who happened to be a writing teacher) was a welcomed and helpful force in my room of 25 antsy kids as I was on my soapbox. She occasionally piped in with something like; “Listen to that kids? Passion! That’s what makes you great at a career! That’s what we talk about all the time.” She was fantastic, she got it, and I am thrilled to know there are still teachers like her out there. After my talk was done, she came up to me and asked if I minded if her 25 year old daughter contacted me. Of course! I’ve heard time and time again from parents of 20-somethings, that they have these super smart and driven young adult children who “just don’t know what they want to do.”

Rest assured supportive, yet concerned parents; This “no idea what to do” is a positive big deal: Your 20-something has officially stepped out of the American Drone Zone. (Wahoo!) They’ve jumped off the gerbil wheel that’s labeled “This is what you do now.” They’ve taken a plunge into a pool that’s full of maybe a tad bit scared but actually really excited fellow troops, who are proclaiming; I don’t know exactly where I want to go/what I want to quite yet, but I know one thing for sure and the automated have-to life is not for me! 

Your kid will be fine. In fact- better than fine. They can think for themselves, they value their happiness, and they don’t want to be like everyone else. That is totally awesome. They will figure it out and be better in the long run for jumping ship into their own ocean.

Some advice I gave the middle schoolers. Can be applied to all humans:

1.) Concentrate on what you’re good at, not what you suck at: Challenge yourself to try things that are hard for you, but if you genuinely don’t like something, if you pretty much still stink at it even though you’ve tried and tried- walk away and focus on your greatness. You will become a master and the opportunities are endless. In short: Stay in your lane. 

2.) Stay top of mind; Keep showing up. Want a job at that place that isn’t hiring? Want to learn from that person or company you think is the bomb? Tell the company why you’d be the best ever at that job. Tell the person you admire why you think they are awesome and why they inspire you. Send a resume, send a video, send a chicken, send flowers, send a note, send yourself showing up at the door waving and smiling. I promise as soon as there is the need for a hire or room for an intern- they will think of you first. In short: “They” will find it impossible not to love you and want you around. 

3.) Never be afraid to ask: Those who ask shall receive. I was mortified as a kid when my grandmother shoo’d me up to various counters asking if the store would still honor an expired coupon, or if they offered any discounts. Embarrassment central when you’re 8 or 10 years old, but you know what? – nearly every single time, I was met with a “Sure! We can do X,Y,Z” response. Just speak up; when you stand up you stand out. In short: You get what you ask for. Seriously. 

Here’s to encouraging ship jumpers! I can’t wait to keep doing it again, and often

What advice do you give?

#DoWhatYouLove #ShipJumpersUnite #CareerDay

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365 days of blue lollipop road; day 35

2.4.14

UPS delivery from California today! A piece of art, made by an old Vermont high school friend who now lives in L.A, just for BLR 365:

How totally awesome is this, and how perfect for Blue Lollipop Road?

Sean “got creative!” (Ok, so he is regularly creative) – but I want you to get creative too! Send your submissions to me:

Diane Peacock
Blue Lollipop Road
PO Box 276
Shaftsbury, VT 05262

or

Diane(@)bluelollipoproad.com

Thanks Sean!

This is where I found my Blue Lollipop Road today. Where did you find yours?

#BLR365 #Art #GetCreative.

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HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY BLUE LOLLIPOP ROAD!

YIPPEE!!!

Today is Wednesday October 16, and this makes b-day number 5 for BLR. Let’s celebrate!

Cupcake anyone?!

She-Daisy Cupcakery Cupcake

This is the perfect time to write about the above de-lish treat (sun drop pound cake with a sun drop glaze and lemon buttercream) that Wendi, Owner of She Daisy Cupcakery gifted me a few weeks ago after she bought a pair of my vintage Frye boots. (Craigslist rocks.) So yeah, I took a treat from a stranger. (I seem to keep breaking all those rules our parents told us to live by.) Wendi was a blast to talk to. She quit a career that was blah, followed her passion to the land of things sweet- and voila a cupcake company! Another good story about a random encounter with a hard-working, inspiring person who followed their heart. I love being able to share about these kind of people here.

Without a doubt the best part of these past 5 years on the Blue Lollipop Road, has been meeting new people, the kindness of strangers, and spending time with those already in my life that I love. What else is there, really?

Ahhh- yes, the people I’ve met along the way, who share similar interests:

Million Mile Joe

Hood River, Oregon travel people

Allen & Judy Kirkwood on Alaska Ferry Boat

Meet Jack Burrows: Blue Lollipop Road

…the cities I’ve fallen in love with:

Chicago skyline from my apartment

Toronto view

…my various office locations:

Blue Benn Diner Office

Coffee Shop Office

Finger Lakes Office

My BLR Chicago Office

Coffee Shop Office

Coffee Shop Patio Office

…the food I’ve noshed on:

Chicago Brunch de-lish

Food truck tacos

Bongo Room Pancakes

Blue Benn Diner breakfast appetizer

…the places that’ve helped me find the way back to myself:

Thank you Argentina! I found myself again

…the signs that make me laugh:

Signs at The Chocolate Barn

Signs In Bathrooms

Upstate, NY Road Signs

Farmer's Market

Funny Signs: Blue Lollipop Road

Funny Signs: Blue Lollipop Road

…the excitement, energy, and adorable kids (and adults) who keep the Strong Mojo alive:

BLR Play It Forward Day 2012

Ben & Sam with blue tongues

The Carter Girls playing mini gold in BLR tees

Blue Lollipop Kids!

Caleb & Carter with blue tongues

Scott & Sierra love blue lollipops

…the adventure from coast to coast and beyond:

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

BLR-Mobile at the Alaska Border

BLR in Bermuda

The original Blue Lollipop Road: Cafayete, Argentina

Henna in India

Bermuda sights

Iquazu Falls, Argentina

London

"Crabbing" in Ketchikan, Alaska

…the lessons I’ve learned:

BLR inspiration

…the special friends I’ve reconnected with:

BLR Play It Forward Day 2012

BLR Play It Forward 2013

BLR PLay It Forward Day 2012

BLR PLay It Forward Celebration Cocktails 2013

…honoring lost friends by giving back to hometown female athletes, so they have the opportunity to go out and see a bigger world too:

BLR Memorial Scholarship recipients Hannah Patterson & Mercedes Chen

(Above left 2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson, and 2013 recipient Mercedes Chen at a recent soccer game:)

…events with good friends in beloved landmarks:

Cubs at Wrigley!

…the strangers out there who’re also on the Blue Lollipop Road:

BLR partners in crime

…the freedom I have found and felt:

Finding freedom on the Blue Lollipop Road

Finding freedom on the Blue Lollipop Road

…the truths I’ve come to know and trust:

Knowing what makes me richer

…the journeys and daydreaming in the sky:

Plane ride to Bermuda

…and on the road:

VA farm country

…the cheesy places I’ve been:

BLR-Mobile at South of the Border

…and the beautiful:

Napa hot air balloon mornings

…the nicknames I’ve acquired:

Nicknames

…knowing that there will always be bumps, so I better strap in tight:

Buckle up on the BLR

…never losing faith in things that I hope for:

I think so too

Things I wish

…and to wherever, and whatever- the road leads to next:

The Blue Lollipop Road

5 years ago today I drove down a road in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and “Blue Lollipop Road” popped ever so randomly into my head as I was brainstorming a best way to share my stories with more than just family and close friends. Who knew this is what it would become! I’ve managed all the above on a shoestring budget and with no plan whatsoever. I didn’t grow up with a trust fund, I never spent my childhood jet-setting the globe with my parents (I barely made it out of the state of Vermont until I was 15), I’ve never taken any writing or computer classes (I’m sure that is very obvious considering my regular grammatical errors and other:), and at the risk of sounding so cliche’- I’m just a small town wildly curious kid, that came from humble beginnings, learned in an heartbreaking incident at a very young age how short life is, and since then have decided that every day is a chance and a choice to live like I mean it. During my journeys on this Blue Lollipop Road, I’ve learned things that’ve absolutely changed my perspective and my life as a whole, I’ve seen places that’ve taken my breath away, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t have been able to in my wildest dreams- all because of this platform. Now that is something to celebrate!

I’ve written and shared here in and effort to keep myself in check and awake about what’s really important, to prevent myself from falling into the drone-zone, and to remember all the things that are possible. I hope by visiting here, you stay fired-up about life, like a kid in a candy store too.

Here’s to the next 5 years, and to going for it all.

What are you celebrating today?

#HappyBirthday #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #ThisIsWhatILove.

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the valley of magic

Hello Napa!

I’ve been in California for a week now and have loved every minute of it. There’s something about the west coast that makes me feel peaceful, healthy, and happy. The Napa Valley has a certain magic for me that I don’t think will never change. One of those magical things is the drive through Sonoma over the Golden Gate Bridge. This time of year the rolling hills in Sonoma are becoming that gorgeous green and the buds on the grapevines are barely showing. The weather is 65 and misty one minute and near 80 and sunny the next. You can sleep with windows open and sip wine and have dinner outside even this early in the season. Ahhh…

Of course I love that mild weather and this magical place means I can go for long walks, long runs, and sit on coffee shop patios to work at dozens of places in flip flops. It’s always easier to get good work done when you’re feeling healthy and inspired so I am happy as a clam house sitting here for this good portion of April. I’m really excited to update that the possible work project I mentioned in this post, is coming together beautifully and has turned from yellow light to bright green! I’m staying unusually protective this go-around about sharing too much yet, probably because I’m still in a bit of shock (good shock) so I don’t want to jinx anything.

We are just a little over 3 months away from BLR Play It Forward Weekend. An exciting summer is coming and I can’t wait for it all!

What makes you happy and inspired?.

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