celebrate everyday: day 10


I took this photo at the DMV today:

License Plate Wall

…and I had a shockingly easy, helpful experience. (See?! There’s hope for everything!)

The license plate is always the first thing I look at when I see a car. Still. Since I was little, anytime we drove anywhere, I would look for plates from states I hadn’t seen before, and daydream about where the people inside the cars were going. I would wonder about what these places looked like, and fantasize about going to them someday.

I’ve spent time in all 50 states and 19 countries at this point. Seeing this wall yesterday made me feel that fire inside I love, for adventure and the possibility of everything out there, to see, be, and do. I still believe “travel” is the fastest route to your truth; Putting yourself in any completely foreign/uncomfortable/new environment, staying flexible, and figuring out how to independently navigate is incredibly empowering.

Today I celebrate possibility in the unknown, and all the magic that can happen when you take a step towards life to somewhere new. 

Today is the day. The road awaits. Where are you going?

#StartDriving #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #StepOutside

*Feeling stuck? Overwhelmed? Ready to make a change? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.


holy crawfish boil

They say don’t play with your food, but I couldn’t resist the other day when the first of two crawfish boils began:

Crawfish playtime

Those suckers didn’t have long to live in that bucket before getting boiled up and spread out for the feast:

Bayou Feast

And I thought I got excited about food? Well, this sweet Cajun could give me a run for my food love money diving in the way he did:

Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Could his face be any closer to the table? I love it the pure focus. Three men put down 15 pounds of crawfish that night, and the next night? Another 30 pounds with a different crew at a camp site:

Crawfish Boil

I’ve been to Louisiana before, but boy this time I realize, it is indeed like a whole different country down here. My “No thank you, I don’t eat any fish/seafood” responses to meal-offerings, have left many of these kind, generous locals horrified (but I think secretly glad they can have my share of the clawed crustaceans:) I’ve opted to indulge in the 9 billion doughnuts available at various unexpected roadside shacks we’ve encountered:

Road Food

Here are two of the four we noshed on in the sunshine at the picnic table:


Needless to say we aren’t going hungry this week here in Cajun Country.

How do you feast locally?

#RoadFood #CajunCountry #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad


because today is mardi gras

and my boyfriend is from Louisiana, and it is a snow day here in NC:

Beignet Breakfast

…we made beignets of course. And Chicory Coffee with our eggs for this lazy cold Tuesday breakfast:

Mardi Gras Breakfast

As you can see from the top corner of the photo below, my sweet partner in crime takes no prisoners when it comes to noshing on these deeeeeee-lish French doughnuts:

Kevin's Beignets Breakfast

…he usually has powdered sugar all over his hands, up his arms, on every button of the stove, every drawer handle, and of course- all over his face by the time the whole make and eat process is done. The kitchen often looks like a white powder bomb went off, as if a 2 year old, or the family dog found a 10 pound bag and just shook it all over the place.

A small cleaning price to pay to be able to have these treats if you ask me. I’ll clean up that mess any day to have a snuggly, warm, yummy breakfast like this with my sweet, messy, Cajun partner in crime.

How do you snuggle in on a snow day?

#MardiGras #BeignetLove #Winter


nola, jazz fest, and a beignet addiction

As promised…our road trip to New Orleans!

The weather was perfect for our trek to The Big Easy the first weekend in May. We rolled in for our long weekend on Friday:

New Orleans welcome sign

…dropped our bags off at the hotel and walked (safety first!) with mimosas to to Jazz Fest. Pit stop at Whole Foods for the bathroom along the way, and naturally I couldn’t resist this photo from their bathroom:

Whole Foods Bathroom

Can you see the “dance flo” text? BHAHHH! (I’m easily entertained. Translation; cheap date:)

Onto the festival, with people, parades, and music- oh my!

New Orleans Jazz Fest

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

Relaxing Jazz Tent:

New Orleans

New Orleans

I would’t necessarily think of Christina Aguilera when I think of jazz, but that girl with her big pregnant belly got me dancing:

New Orleans

New Orleans

Great long day at the festival, trolly ride back to hotel, and sunset:

New Orleans

After a shower and prep for dinner, we ran into this crazy fun and awesome parade of a wedding party one block off Bourbon Street, celebrating their nuptial NOLA-Style:

The next morning, completely random tree/sky/building “up” photo as we wandered around:

New Orleans

(If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I became slightly obsessed with sky/skyscraper/cloud photos while living in Chicago, and took a lot of photos there.)

We probably walked 20 miles on Saturday, just wandering…people, streets, and food:

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

…which is a good thing, because we at beignets 3 times that day. Three. Oh the heavenly beignets at Cafe’ Du Monde:



Jackson Square was a fun stop:

New Orleans

…for a balcony glass of vino and a perfect people watching spot at Tableau:

Tableau New Orleans

..and of course, a most random street “band” for entertainment:

Next up was R Bar where we met hometown chef Newton Blanchard, stirring up an enormous pot of gumbo:

New Orleans

New Orleans

This guy pulls to the side of the street, every Saturday, preps this giant serving of New Orleans best that’s ready for the taking “around 6pm” and people flock. No charge, just a donation. We chatted with Newton and sat around outside for a good 2+ hours and stuffed our faces. I mean stuffed:

The Big Easy

My sweet, sweet, boyfriend, who’s straight from French-Cajun Country himself- was in heaven:


(Yikes…I think this is the official first photo of us I’ve posted on BLR. Actually, I think this is the first photo I have ever posted of  my love life here and It’s been nearly 6 years. Clearly I’ve held out for someone who was well worth the wait:)

The food was super hot (temperature & spice) I could barely take little bites, but I had to dig in immediately after Newton served us:

New Orleans

New Orleans

I will say it here first. I have eaten and posted here about a lot of food over these years, but holy moses was this roadside, stirred from something that looked like a shovel and served in a styrofoam bowl with a plastic fork some of the best ever. (Good thing I’m living with a Cajun. I’m sold!)

*Side note the striped can in the background above is my total summer favorite. It’s Radler actually, by Stiegel. Beer + grapefruit extra cold = heavenly delicious and refreshing. It’s hard to come by, so if you can get your hands on a can- do. Then bring me one, please.

After the feast and time with the locals, I played with sidewalk chalk at the Frenchmen Street Market:

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans

…and laid on the ground because it seemed like a good idea at the time and I was already filthy from walking around all day, anyway. I’m not scared of a little New Orleans, funk:

New Orleans

Love me some life on the Blue Lollipop Road!

One last stop for our 3rd round of beignets after-dark and our day was complete:

New Orleans

We made a good samaritan practice while noshing round 3, and tracked down a guy who had left his wallet at our table. He came back, the group next to us cheered, and missing wallet man from Tennessee gave us hugs. All love at the end of a day in The Big Easy with a full belly, a face full of powdered sugar, and the best travel partner in crime by my side.

I’m already ready to go again.

Where are you traveling to?

#NOLA #JazzFest #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad


i’m going to disneyland!

Ok, I’m actually going to Jazz Fest in New Orleans next weekend, but it sort of feels like I’m about to go to Disneyland! Like a little kid on their birthday, I’m super crazy excited. I’ve wanted to go for years, so as a just-do-it kind of girl who doesn’t like to wait for anything, I’m thrilled to finally knock this one off my travel adventure bucket list! (Side note; I’ve been running a little extra to prepare my body for a beignet feast and dance party like you read about.) Best part, we are road tripping down to the deep south- and you know how much I love a road trip. New Orleans or bust! Get ready for some photos and stories here. Travel Di is back in action with the all-new Blue Lollipop Road.

Here’s to BLR 2.0!

What makes you feast and dance?

#Jazzfest2014 #Travel #NewOrleans


365 days of blue lollipop road; day 25


One of today’s BLR’s is by far my favorite of the first 25 days of this project. Check out this submission, by Sydney, Ema, & Nathaniel (left to right) from Louisiana:

How cool is this pic, made from the Comic Book! iPad app?! Love it. Gives me an idea for another BLR creation with people for later. (Yes, that means you’ll have to stay tuned to see what I come up with. I might just recruit you to be a part of it!)

So not only did these super awesome kids pose for this photo, but they sent 2 others too! Sydney & Ema made this one out of bottle caps, clothes pins, and Wikki Sticks:

(I totally just had to Google “Wikki Sticks” to see what they were. I guess I’m not as cool as I thought)…and Nathaniel made this one with his toy trains:

He wanted to make sure I knew that the “R” is made up entirely of boxcars. How cute!

Thank you Sydney, Ema, & Nathaniel for my first kid submissions! Feel free to send in more BLR’s anytime. The more the merrier, so keep staying curious and crafty!

Who else is ready to make a BLR?

Send me your submissions: Diane(@)bluelollipoproad.com

#BLR365 #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #CraftyKids