Freedom

just. start. driving.

We all talk. We say we want this and that, we pretend we’re fully committed, we make ourselves feel good by chipping away tiny line items on our never ending to-do lists, years pass, and we never get anywhere, or at least anywhere close to where we actually want to be.

Squirrel!

Am I talking about you? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me too.

We swirl in this purgatory place of half-committed, because life get’s in the way…of life; money, kids, relationships, laundry, rinse and repeat. We ignore the truth, our true desires, we busy and distract ourselves, we worry, we help other people first, and there we are 10 years later.

As in, quite literally, 10 years later.

Blue Lollipop Road kicks off year #10 on October 16th. (TEN YEARS!) When realizing that upcoming birthday during the past few months this summer, along with looking at what my work life had become, (off track from what I’ve really wanted and been trying to do all these years), I decided to call bullshit on myself, and draw my deepest line in the sand yet. I’m a big believer in accountability and willingness to publicly embarrass oneself. Want to light a fire under your own ass even though you know you have the capability of doing “it” on your own? Tell the world you’re going to do something big. Hopefully your world will continue to call you out regularly until you do that thing. (You better believe if you ever tell me you have a burning desire to do something, I will poke you and give you positive grief until you do it. I expect the same in return, so thank you to those of you who always give it right back to me.)

Vacant Apartment

Vacant Apartment

As you can see from the above now empty living space photos, Elvis (Diane) has left the building. Why? To go where? You’ll just have to keep following here to see what’s next.

Would you believe this minimalist, who cares about a space it is only a space and I can make home anywhere! – threw two temper tantrums during her move the other day? Two! As in crying and throwing fists in the air with frustration looking and sounding like that spawn of Satan child in the Target check out line who’s mom said she couldn’t have the M&M’s. It was slightly horrifying. Thank goodness only one person saw, and luckily he still wants to be around me. Who knew I had fallen so much in love with my cozy comfort zone space and habits. All the more reason to jump into a new controlled fire, to keep that light under my ass burning hot. Want to make things happen? Sacrifice, baby.

Crazy how we all like so much, to stay snuggled tight under our warm blankets of complacency, not nearly as alive as we think we are.

As I sit here in my new fire, 110% committed to my one big career goal that maybe should’ve been completed years ago, but probably couldn’t have had the chance to be as great as it will be until now, those annoying little negative, fearful, I must be crazy, worry gnomes are trying their hardest to get a ticket to my party again. Sorry bitches! Ain’t no room for you up in my celebration station anymore! I just took a blow torch to that cozy comfort zone blanket soiree, so I could stand here awkwardly naked, strong and proud, ready to put back on only the layers that fit completely authentically.

On October 16th I will launch a sparkly new writing project here. I guarantee you’ll dig it, and be able to see a lot of yourself in what’s to come. Happy almost birthday to my sweet baby blue!

I hope you go out today, and get all kinds of naked. Nobody has this life perfectly figured out. All you can do is strip yourself down to your core and hop in the car. Somehow the road is always right there.

#LessPlanningMoreDoing #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #TodayIsTheDay

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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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