Freedom

screened in, never boxed

The current Blue Lollipop Road worldwide headquarters office view on this Friday afternoon, after I just kayaked for 2 hours:

BLR Office

I think we too often make the mistake of forcing ourselves into standard time and space boxes that just don’t fit with what really makes us tick in our professional lives.

When we tick, we do great work. When we do great work, we can make a difference. When we make a difference, there’s a little bit of unstoppable magic that happens and other people want to get on board.

Inspire people to get on board!

Don’t stay in a box if you don’t belong there. (And I’m not just talking about offices here.) There are no rules. Find your “space,” own it, and keep doing cartwheels all the way down the road.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #LoveYourWork #CelebratingEveryday

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until next time, nica

I just landed in Houston for a layover after being unplugged and in learning paradise for the last week. It was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to share more here about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. For now I feel a little shell-shocked at the bustle, cement, and amount of messages I have in various inboxes. Send me back to the hammock and salt air peace I woke up to this morning!

Buena Onda Resort

Nicaragua Beach

Nicaragua Beach

My silent plane ride staring out the window was filled with some great views and much reflection:

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Up in the air

Once again, travel to a new place, spending time with new people, and giving back has provided me with perspective like no other. I am so incredibly excited to use all I experienced during this trip for many future life and work adventures.

Here’s to staying outside the drone zone!

#LeaderSurf #AlwaysSayYes #TodayIsTheDay

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get a life! (outside.)

Bright and early this morning and just after writing this last night, I heard something VERY disturbing as I was grabbing a coffee. The TV was on in this public place with me paying no attention until my ears caught a designer on a home show who was being interviewed; “The average American spends 23 hours a day inside…”

Twenty three hours out of twenty four a day, INSIDE?!

What are we doing to ourselves, people?!

This fact is almost as disturbing as a couple others I’ve learned, such as the average American home built in 2016 was something close to 4,000 square feet, and there are an average of 300,000 items in American homes.

I’m about to cry over here.

Holy mother lode guys and gals, these facts and figures are so NOT cool. Are you in Target right now? The mall? Hiding at home with all the windows closed? Please take your hands off the cart, hanger, or remote, and walk outside for a minute. Do me a favor and think of why you are in Target, at the mall, or on your couch. Do you actually need what you’re shopping for? Do you have any bills you could pay where your money could be more effectively used rather than that “I can never seem to get out of Target for less than $200” that I hear all the time? Are you just bored?

Please put me out of business! Remember we declared together (by that I mean I’m pretending like you all agreed) that 2017 is THE YEAR OF LESS CRAP? How about now we add that this year can be the year of more fresh air? The year of more adventure out of four walls with your bestie exploring a new neighborhood, more time to kick the ball around at the park with your kid, extra hours losing yourself on a road trip alone, more fun gettin’ frisky under a tree at the top of a mountain with your shmoopster….oh the possibilities!

Here’s a teeny sampling of my past few months:

In the Mountains

Aspen

Red Rock

Palm Trees

Red Rocks

Colorado

Spain sky

Lake Sunset

I don’t know about you, but this girl sure isn’t staying inside for a minute longer than she ever has to.

Consumerism and isolation are forceful breeding grounds for fear, hate, obesity, misery and all those other things that sound just awful, sad, and not fun.

Life is WAY TOO SHORT to be awful, sad, and not fun…don’tcha think? Yahoo! The bell just rang for recess! It’s time for all of us to go play. Get up, open the doors, walk outside, hug a tree, a person, or both, and find a little more health and happiness on this crazy ride.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #MoveIt #TheGreatOutdoors

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live simple do more

Nerd alert! This text just came in from a client, unsolicited, and it made me jump and dance around my living room:

Clean out live better

THIS is what Blue Lollipop Road is all about…

FREEDOM!

I didn’t ask this client how she felt tonight, I didn’t tell her that she and her boyfriend should watch the Minimalism documentary (even though I dig the film and Minimalist podcast), I didn’t mention anything about the size of house they should buy (they’re currently house shopping), but she sent the above note anyway, and after only a half day of working together.

Thank you’s from my clients like this never get old. They make my heart so full it wants to burst open. Knowing I actually help people transition from suffocation to feeling like they can breathe in their lives and in their spaces is pretty much a dream come true for me in my work life.

LESS STUFF = MORE FREEDOM = HAPPY LIFE.

Yahoo!

Thank you client B, you made my night and then some. I can’t wait to tackle the next project with you!

#TheLifeUnstuck #TodayIsTheDay #Freedom

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micro-apartments rock my socks

After reading this article last week about micro-apartments coming to Charlotte, I jumped out of bed like an excited kid ready to race downstairs to see what was under the Christmas tree. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve mentioned in conversation since moving to the Queen City, that I wished well designed micro-spaces were here.

Ask and you shall receive!

My favorite apartment to date was the 430 square foot one I had in Virginia back in 2009:

Small smart spaces

Small smart space

Small is simple. Simple is smart. Smart is mighty.

I have no idea why I took or saved these shots. Perhaps they were meant just for this, eight years later. The above is what my place looked like every day in all of It’s simple, small, unfussy, glory. No extra CRAP anywhere to take care of/manage or pay for! Ahhh…I love you, freedom! (Not pictured are my full sized bathroom and kitchen.) The units were brand new and my rent was $595/month. At the time I rented there, the developer tried selling me the unit. It would’ve only been $80k to own. What a deal. I should have scooped that spot up in a heartbeat. I’ve occasionally kicked myself for not doing it.

A Charlotte Agenda writer put out this piece today about the new micro-apartments coming soon. I completely disagree with her. The claim of small spaces and everything having to have a place all the time being stressful, is the exact opposite of anything I’ve ever experienced. (Still love you anyway, Agenda!) Everyday I work with clients who hire me because they have too much space, too much stuff, too many expenses…and they’ve reach a point they’re so over it all. I’ve found time and time again that the stressed and buried feelings much of us swirl in, are directly related to the excess of everything in our lives, not because the carefully selected items we’ve chosen, we love, and we actually use are best kept in their specific places at days end.

I’d never try to convince anyone who wasn’t interested, to live in a small space. You do you! I don’t necessarily think big is bad. I do think however, that far too many of us are incredibly wasteful, living smack dab in the middle of a serious drone zone believing we need a whole lot more than we actually do, to be happy.

I’ll see you for the Grand Opening at The RailYard!

#SmartSpaces #LiveSimpleDoMore #LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife

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two words

I guess I’m a writer. My grammar is terrible, I’m still not sure where quotes go, where commas should live, what should be italicized, capitalized, or what sounds good. I just write because I love to and I need to, to keep my sanity. Saying all that, pretend the below is formatted correctly in some kind of poetic form that makes sense:

you’ll never
don’t leap
you shouldn’t
too steep
not now
not you
i wouldn’t
don’t do
no chance
too fast
stop now
won’t last
turn back
go slow
quiet down
i know
these words couldve stopped me
nothing ventured or gained
instead i kept going
free to roam…unrestrained

I saw this commercial tonight:

(Click here for link.)

…while watching the Golden Globes. It came on right after Meryl Streep’s speech which was unexpected, and made me stand up and cheer. LOVE the two words Jeep commercial, LOVE Meryl’s speech.

Hoorah for inspiration and inclusivity!

#StandUp #LoveAlwaysWins #FreeToRoam

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what road will you choose for 2017?

I think I’ll take this one:

Road

…this one:

Feast

…this one:

Spanish treats

…this one:

Sunshine in Segovia

…and lots of others like these, because:

Don't wait

We wake up each day and have one of two CHOICES:

1.) Ignore the clock.

2.) Honor the clock.

None of us can beat Father Time, not even those of us with good looks, charm, buckets of money, or who are strong as an ox. While this mighty beast of a timekeeper has full control, holding his finger on the button that decides whether we are here or gone, the one thing he cannot control is what we do with the minutes we’re gifted.

Don’t wait. There’s never the perfect or right time for anything in this crazy life. The time is now. Make a toast to honor yourself in this new year, and continue to toast to every day.

As Humphrey Hops says…

“You’re right Skinny Pete, it’s time that I do it. What am I waiting for? I better hop to it!”

#HopToIt #LessWaitingMoreDoingHappyLife #RespectTheClock

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the absolute reality of black friday…

…and all “shopping,” really:

YOU CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF WHAT YOU DON’T NEED.

Consumerism

Funny that I’m finishing this book today, on Black Friday? More like perfect, as these now underlined words keep jumping out at me with the same passionate madness that Tom Cruise had that time he jumped on Oprah’s couch.

Have I mentioned how much I abhor Black Friday? A day like this fuels the giant denial fire that so many of us live in everyday. It fuels the debt fire, the stuff fire, the fire of pushing down and hiding away our real lives…because if we get more, more, more…we will be better.

Wrong.

The less “stuff” we have in, on, and around us, the happier life is. Period. This is not my opinion, it is a fact. I would like to be proven wrong, but I have a feeling I’d be hard pressed to find a guy out there with a few hundred thousand in debt, a house full of crap, and a bunch of personal baggage from growing up he’s never faced, who lives in pure true bliss. It’s just not possible. We as humans weigh ourselves down with such an enormous amount of what we don’t need, we actually break ourselves. Ever thought about that?

I hope during this holiday season you take a look around your space and think about what you can get rid of to make room for an extra hour with your friends. I hope you stop and think before going into Target, about what you really need at Target. I bet you’re not nearly out of that soap, lip liner, or rolls of 86 paper towels you’re about to buy. Think about that extra awesome hour you could have playing in the backyard with your kids, that you were about to spend at Target in line getting pissed off about how long they are, just so you could buy a bunch of things that you don’t even need yet. Target is open tomorrow, dooms day is not coming, and imagine- just imagine, actually finishing off one bottle of something before buying another. Imagine putting that “I can never get out of Target for less than $200!”, $200, towards an extra credit card payment that will help pave your road to debt freedom.

Victory!

Do you remember how great it was “doing nothing” yesterday playing football with your sons, watching the parade with your cousins, sipping wine with friends as you chopped and chopped? Do you remember snuggling up having coffee on the couch listening to granny’s stories about that time she burned the turkey? Do you remember laughing until your stomach hurt between dinner and dessert reminiscing with your sister about those really crappy guys you both used to date? Do you remember what you said when you were all going around the table sharing what you were thankful for? Do you remember really missing that person who was no longer around to sit next to and feast with? Do you remember how yesterday was (even in varying degrees of friend and family chaos and drama), all about simplicity and time together? Did we already forget, less than 24 hours later, about the things that really matter?

What kind of gifts are really important for us to give each other, and everyday, not just during the holiday season? I think the answer is time and truth. I encourage us to stop and think about this before we rev our engines and speed off to the rat race of Black (hole) Friday shopping.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #LiveSimpleLiveMore

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