2nd annual blr play it forward wrap up coming soon

As I wait on the photographer for event photos so I can write my big event follow-up, here’s one fun photo that makes me smile:


Don’t tell anyone- but we dipped our blue lollipops in champagne after the game:)

That’s Tommi with me. Tommi has come and participated in Play It Forward both years, she used to be my “Big Sister” when I was on the varsity team. She’s still a killer goalie and a total blast. Tommi represents just one of the amazing alumni women who I love to see during our weekend of events. It’s such a treat to experience reconnecting and laughing together, as if a single day hasn’t passed since high school.

Thank you to all the incredible MAU women’s alumni who came this year. Love and Strong Mojo forever!


this is what the blue lollipop road memorial scholarship does!

As you all know, I awarded the inaugural Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship last year. The scholarship fund was established in 2012 in honor of the spirit and zest for life embodied by two former Mount Anthony Union High School soccer players, Maria Greene and Brandy Brown, who were killed in a car accident in 1994. (My friends- the incredible girls BLR is dedicated to.) The mission of this scholarship is to encourage a commitment to maintaining an active lifestyle, and to support travel for education and self-empowerment. The scholarships were awarded to not one, but two deserving MAU soccer playing students last year because alumni and community members were so generous with donations! These scholarships were a one-time monetary gift, awarded to Hannah Patterson & Raheema Madanay for:

*Participating in a MAU student exchange program;

*Taking a “Gap” Year between graduation and post-secondary education; and/or

*Going on an adventure travel trip intended for personal growth.

Here are Hannah and Raheema below:

BLR Memorial scholarship winners Raheema Madanay and Hanna Patterson

Hannah has shared the story of what she used her scholarship funds for, along with some great photos below:

     Hi, my name is Hannah Patterson. Last year I won the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship with my fellow classmate Raheemah Madany. I used some of the money I won as part of the scholarship to travel to Nicaragua with the Rotary Interact club at my school. This is a service trip taken every two years to the Sister City of Bennington Vermont, Somotillo, Nicaragua. I spent nine days in 90+ weather with about 20 other high school students. During these days our group worked with the Social Commission of Somotillo to help the community in any way we could.
     This included going to a few local schools and working with the kids as well as handing out dental supplies, painting a church, planting over 100 shrubs at the only hospital in Somotillo, delivering over 65 suitcases full of medical supplies to the hospital, helping to build a roof for the newly constructed kitchen in the Mother’s and Infant’s Center, painting a mural at one of the schools and much more. 
     Although doing all of the projects was more gratifying than anything I have ever done before, for me the greatest experience was being able to interact with the people and become fully immersed in their culture. The people of Somotillo were some of the happiest people I had ever seen and it was truly inspiring to see that even without the material items of first world countries, they were much more content than many who live here. Every day local children would come to where we were staying and invited us to play soccer (in which they completely put us to shame), or to come be a part of their community. Whether that was eating in the houses of many different families, listening to music, watching cultural dances, or best of all playing games, they were always willing to show us their lives.
      As traveling is a big part of my life, I was intrigued by a saying that one of our guides shared with us. In essence, once we have experienced this we are now “perfectly ruined” in the sense that we can no longer ignore the poverty that consumes a majority of the world and even in our first world lives we can not ignore the struggles that others face throughout the world. This trip allowed me to experience another culture without so much of a tourist’s perspective, which I have not been able to do before now. Being immersed in the culture gave me a more complete understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the world. I am grateful that I received this scholarship because it allowed me to further my passion for traveling and grow as a person. I am glad to say that I have been “perfectly ruined”.

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson trip to Nicaragua

How inspiring and memorable are these photos? (And yay for some soccer playing fun too!) Love it all.

I’m so glad Hannah said she is now “perfectly ruined.” I felt the exact same way about myself as soon as I stepped off the plane in Germany during my 1994 student exchange trip. To this day my Mother always jokes that I “never came back the same.” She’s right. Once you jump out of your everyday surroundings, experience other cultures (in the US or abroad), and work side by side with people you’d never otherwise meet in your regular daily life- your eyes open to a bigger world than you ever knew existed and you grow in a way you can’t describe. It’s as if when you’re submersed in any “place” outside your comfort zone, you change in an instant and you’re inspired to do, be, and see more. Your confidence grows, you suddenly “get” what really matters, and a drive is born inside you to really live more each day. I took my trip abroad nearly 20 years before Hannah, but it sounds like she had the same type of rich, unforgettable, life altering time that I did too. I can’t wait to see what she does with her next 20 years. I have a feeling there will be wonderful things to come.

Thanks for sharing Hannah! I’m so proud of you. This is a fantastic example of why creating BLR Play It Forward and the Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund has meant so much to me. I truly believe that travel changes and enriches lives. I’m glad it has changed and enriched yours!

Thank you to all my fellow MAU alumni who paid registration fees to participate in BLR Play It Forward 2012 and to all the community members who generously donated to help fund this scholarship! Hannah’s story illustrates my dream coming true. It’s always been my goal with Blue Lollipop Road, to provide an avenue, an opportunity, for young people to see that there’s a whole big world out there- and that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. Your support made this happen! Together we can keep the next generation healthy, active in community, and traveling for education and self-empowerment. I can’t wait to award another scholarship this year on July 13th with all your support again, and to see where the next deserving MAU student adventures, to learn and grow.



I’m happy to share that my friends Sharon and Joe (AKA “Million Mile Joe“) LoCicero have donated once again to the BLR Play It Forward Event and Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship Fund! Since meeting Sharon and Joe in the fall of 2011 during my Honda sponsored road trip and fun in Maine, they’ve been incredibly supportive of me and BLR which I am so thankful for. (Fellow road warriors stick together!) Joe and Sharon are tried and true hard working, sweet, generous New Englanders, and a great example of why I have so much pride for the part of the world I came from.

I had to go through the archives to find a few photos from my time in Maine with them. Here I am at their house behind Old BLUE (Joe’s 1990 Accord with 1,000,000 miles on it), giving a thumbs up to Honda:

Me with Old Blue and a thumbs up to Honda love

…and check out Joe with his blue lollipop!

Million Mile Joe with a blue lollipop!

Here are the three of us after the big parade Honda put on to give Joe a new car back in October 2011:

Million Mile Joe LoCicero, Diane Peacock and Sharon LoCicero

(A bit blurry but I love this one. That was a seriously fun day.)

Joe and Sharon are soon embarking on an adventure of their own that I will write about later this summer. Besides that, they’re coming to BLR Play It Forward on July 13th in Vermont! Yay! That’s right, Joe and Sharon are road tripping from Vacationland to come watch and support my big annual Blue Lollipop Road event. Awesome!

Thanks for the donation and constant support Sharon and Joe! Looking forward to seeing you soon.


hello new england!

I’m going on 1,500 miles in 5 days, racking up the miles on the BLR-Mobile:

Racking up the miles on the Civic

…going from DC to Charlotte, back up through VA, DC again, Maryland, NJ, NY, into MA:

Massachusetts State Line

Why? To get to my New England summer home base of course! To work on a most exciting project with:

Rita's books

…and a few other amazing people.

Big things. Good things. GREAT things are happening and the tipping point has tipped.



small and simple goodness

People ask me all the time how I afford to travel and live the lifestyle I do. The answer is simple: I don’t buy or keep a lot of crap and I never have.

I LOVE this TEDtalk by Graham Hill. Here’s his awesome pad in NYC. (This makes me miss the 430 sq ft apartment I had a couple years ago.) Here’s another one of his many projects: Life Edited. How much do I love those two words together? How much do I love him? Not only is he intelligent, environmentally conscious, and living minimal like me- but he’s adorable too. Sign me up for the president of the Graham Hill fan club!

I’ve always promoted keeping the best and getting rid of the rest. (Are you listening Mom?) As Graham talks about in the links above, The amount of stuff most America own is unnecessary, causes stress, costs too much, and is bad for the earth. Who wants to use their free time to take care of all that junk? Why should we spend years paying off debts from purchases we didn’t need in the first place? What would you do with more time and more money?

I completely agree with owning nice quality possessions. For instance, I own Apple products, use Moleskin notebooks, wear Ray-Ban sunglasses, currently carry a Cole Haan purse, and even have Frye boots. Name drop schname drop. I’m not trying to portray some cool, fancy image. (I mean, I sleep in my car for god’s sakes.) This is simply to illustrate name brand not-so-cheap, but quality (at least in my opinion) items that even I can afford. I’m 34 years old, live on a poverty level salary (and have since I moved out of my parents house at 17) and even I can afford quality things. How? 1.) I research, monitor and buy only when there is a sale or discount. 2.) I buy ONE. (How many things could I possibly use at the same time?) 3.) I use these items EVERY DAY until they are completely used up, broken, or worn out before I buy another. I’ve chased buses down the slushy Chicago streets in my brown Frye boots and owned them for about 2 years wearing them nearly every day; they are in perfect shape. I bought sunglasses that fit and were comfortable for my face nearly 5 years ago. I wear them every day; they don’t have a scratch. I use my Macbook and iPhone most waking hours; they both look like they just came out of their boxes. (I could go on.)

Buy quality things you love, use them every day, take care of them, and don’t buy another until the one you have has completely gone to the grave.

Less crap, less stress, more time (our most precious commodity) more money, more freedom. Boom! Who’s going to spend this weekend emptying out their basement? (Message me if you need help. I LOVE liberating lives: Diane @

Now if Graham ever reads this and wants to take on my dream of a mini barn-house renovation. Or a date…:)


no wonder why tuition is so high these days

Nutella lovers unite!

It looks like Columbia students and I are in the same tribe. (The chocolate loving tribe that is.) Check out this article out today. Heads up all you college coeds: Add some Oreo’s to your Nutella obsession:

Diane noshing on Oreo's and Nutella

…and the university will be busting the budget even more to keep supplies in stock for your chocolate hazelnut cravings.

I say if you’re going to spend upwards of $60k a year for school, the least that institution should provide is an unlimited supply of whatever treat strikes your fancy and keeps you studying. (And smiling.)




Some things are shaping up and It’s looking like I might have a house sitting gig in the Northeast this summer through fall. My first New England summer in 17 or so years? Wahoo! You know this Vermont girl loves some green summer breezes and autumn leaves. Doesn’t get much better than that. (Besides a bunch of trips to Upstate NY Finger Lakes wine country of course.)

Not sure why I didn’t start this house sitting gig stuff long ago. Good thing It’s never to late to start anything.

From my favorite book and a woman (friend and author) I admire greatly:

“I am a modern day nomad. I have no permanent address, no possessions except the ones I carry, and I rarely know where I’ll be six months from now. I move through the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities. People are my passion. Unlike a traditional nomad, when I go somewhere, I settle in with locals long enough to share the minutes of their days, to know the seasons of their lives, and to be trusted with their secrets…

….There has got to be more than one way to do life.

There is.”

I’ve had the good fortune of spending some time with Rita Golden Gelman lately. Lucky me. I have read the preface of her book; Tales Of A Female Nomad, no less than 100 times. Every single time (minus the “on the verge of a divorce” part) I read those specific words I’ve thought- that’s me!

House sitting, house owning, tent camping, car camping, hut sharing, renting, couch surfing, yard, no yard, city, country, beach, mountains, picket fence, no fence, grass, cement – there are no rules, so we all may as well “do” life exactly how we want to.

What are you waiting for?





thanks for lunch, andrew coast guard

And! Thanks once again to Matt Carter of DPI in Wilmington, NC for branding my bumper nearly 3 years ago. I sure have met a lot of nice and interesting people because of a small gifted piece of vinyl! Awesome.


Here’s to Upstate NY, The Great Alaska Highway, and to writing books. Hopefully we will both get one out in the nick of time- so each of our adventures can continue 🙂