BLR Lifestyle Tag

abandon ship!

I mean…abandon crap!

It’s Saturday afternoon. We’ve just finished up another project helping a client take back control of their life, and I’m finally having a few quiet minutes at my desk. Shocker I’m thrilled to have some time to read articles about lifestyle and minimalism that have popped in my inbox recently. I’m adopting the following as the quote of my month of February. It makes me cheer and imagine high-fiving all the soon-to-be clients I will repeat it to:

“Never underestimate the importance of abandoning crap you don’t need. It has the power to change your life dramatically.”

We got this sweet card in the mail from a client we worked with a few weeks ago:

We helped this client abandon a LOT of crap. No, her lifelong items bought with hard-earned money were not garbage, but they were things she no longer needed/wanted/used, and they were holding her back from moving on to the next adventure in life she wants to be on. So? We said peace out, crap! as we waved goodbye and thank you to the donation truck and driver from AMVETS.

(Did I mention how much we love our clients and they become like family?)

Circling back to today…

I just texted one of the realtors I work with and told him the first thought that popped in my head the instant my eyes opened this morning was I wonder if the donation truck has picked up the items from the house yet. The house I’m referring to is the one we prepped for market ready this week. Photos are being taken on Monday, and the house is officially up for sale next weekend. Most people on a Saturday morning would be waking up thinking of coffee, a honey-do list, kids sports games to get to, or who’s turn it is to cook the bacon. My 24/7 thoughts are constantly trying to come up with more ideas on how I can help those around me abandon more crap, so they can seamlessly get to where they’re trying to be.

Can you imagine trying to wake up and get dressed and out the door to your job, or get your kids off to school after walking into your closet looking like this?

If you can’t find your socks, how can you find your sanity in this busy life?

The above photos are from the Blue Lollipop Road collection of before and after. In this case, the “after” aren’t even fully complete, but you get the idea. The before are the reason I wake up thinking about abandoning crap and donation trucks. They also make my head hurt thinking of how stressed I’d be if that was the closet I attempted to dress myself in on a daily basis. No wonder why everyone in America is beeping and angry by the time they reach the Starbucks drive through at 7:30AM Monday – Friday.

IF YOU HAVE LESS CRAP. YOU HAVE LESS CRAP TO MAINTAIN.

Doesn’t that sound so freeing?

ABANDON THE CRAP AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I promise, it works, and we can help you:)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up thinking only about bacon…

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #KnowYourInventory

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join me tomorrow: downsizing

Luxury Home builder, Toll Brothers has asked me to come for a 3rd time to host a downsizing seminar for their prospective and recent home buyers. Tomorrow (Saturday February 8, 2019) I will be at their Regency at Palisades location, just outside of Charlotte, NC. I was at this property last year and LOVED it. During my first visit, I asked the ladies in the office, Is this where our parents move to have more fun than we do?! Pool, golf, club house with chef’s kitchen, tennis and bocce courts, massage therapist, fitness center, and more…and all on site? Yes, please. This community is designed for an active lifestyle. (Didn’t you know 60 is the new 30?)

So what happens tomorrow? I will casually sit and have a conversation in the gorgeous open living room/kitchen/dining area one of the model homes. I’ll advise on how to declutter a lifetime of “stuff,” and plan for a path to more freedom and fun. The Palisades homes are not tiny homes, they’re between 1,700 – 2,400 square feet. Downsizing doesn’t mean living in zero space, it means living simple so you can DO more. It means clearing the chaos from your life, so you have MORE time, space, and money. It means stepping out of the Drone Zone, and getting unstuck.

Are you ready to make a change?

You know I love to talk. Come sit on a couch with me and let’s chat about your next chapter…

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #Downsize

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holiday priorities

If this is supposed to be the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, why can’t we just stick with the parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting, and leave the shopping madness behind? I watched this TED Talk last week, and thought it was perfect for a post today, the day when we’re all supposed to rush like crazy, scouring various retail websites for 24 hours to spend money many of us don’t have, buying crap nobody really wants, so we can take advantage of all those online “deals.”

Year after year, when I see ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they make me want throw my shoes at the TV, the billboards, and my computer. We all talk about how “things” are not important, that people and time are. We greet every Tom, Dick & Harry from the street, our offices, and the grocery store, with huge smiles and “Happy Thanksgiving!” during the 3rd week in November… and then? We forget what’s important just like that. (Please snap your fingers here.) Before granny has passed the cranberry sauce, we’re racing out the door to the mall elbowing that woman next to us in the aisle for the last coffee mug with snowflakes on it set, or we’re opting out of an in-person conversation with our brother we only see once a year, so we can log on and fill up our virtual shopping cart with gifts, putting us farther into credit card debt.

Did we seriously already forget what we’re really thankful for, before we even had a piece of pumpkin pie? Again?

Gallup reports that Americans will spend an average of $885 on Christmas this year. That $885 is not just $885. Add in your time running around trying to find something, anything that person X might want, sitting in traffic cursing at people in parking lots who don’t move quickly enough out of that space you want, fighting crowds like you’re trying to get to the front row at Lollapalooza, and the stress monkey you turn into as you freak out about whether or not person X will even like what you bought them. Now add in items that will end up as waste in the the landfills, and the interest we will accrue on our credit cards over the next 12 months for those purchases.

A Merry Christmas, indeed.

Notsomuch.

The actual COST of what we buy is far more than what a price tag reads.

Before you call me Ebenezer Scrooge, you should know that I fully believe in and promote gifting of time, and/or experiences…at any time of year; Coffee, dessert, lunch, drinks, or dinner out with your bff’s. A gift card for your mom to get a mani/pedi or massage because you know that selfless woman would always feel guilty buying a spa service for herself. A weekend away for you and your sister to have some fun. A special “skip” day for you and your 10 year old to have pizza in the park and hang out when everyone else is at work or school. A hot date night out with your honey- get gussied up and go out to a restaurant you never would otherwise try. A day with me to help your parents, your recently divorced aunt, or your new mommy friend purge all the stuff in their houses that makes them feel buried. (Who can argue with these effective and enjoyable ideas?!:)

I can see the rolling eyes of parents with 3 kids under the age of 12 right now as they read this. Yes, you are probably the only ones who should be speed-racing in a furry to wrap toys and games for stacking under the Christmas tree while your sweet little nuggets still believe in Santy Claus. A living room full of boxes, bows, and screeches of joy from the young ones on December 25th is a cherished and beautiful thing. But for the rest of us adults:

Can’t we all just give each other the gift of a little more time together?

I’m guessing that person who loves you would be thrilled if you spent the money sending yourself on a plane to see them, instead of sending a fruit basket:

Christmas In Madrid

*Photo credit goes to my selfie arm in a sister and mom sandwich. Spain, holiday 2016*

My Christmas wish this year is that we all say THANKS a little more, do more GIVING of ourselves, and we remember to show love throughout the year by SHOWING UP when someone might need us. That is the best kind of gift we could ever give, my friends. (Ok I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I also wish for those delicious cheese straws my friend Sandy makes, too.)

Here’s to more time sharing laughs over pumpkin pie and cheese straws.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #ExperiencesNotThings #TheYearOfLessCrap

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it’s time to initiate a controlled burn

I came to a coffee shop this afternoon to write about a few books I studied on physical and emotional clutter this weekend, but upon my arrival, this text popped in, so I had to pivot:

Quitting Is For Winners

Yahtzee!

Another human who has stepped out of the Drone Zone, and I was able to help. (The Drone Zone is that place where you stay…even though you don’t want to, while you live, work, or play, as a silent, hurting, walking zombie, who’s soul feels crushed every minute of the day.) Sounds dramatic, but it is real. I warn people about hanging out with me personally or professionally, because I’m usually the one to say something like Then why the hell are you doing it?! Let’s make a plan and get you the heck outta dodge! I expect the same from people who give a hoot about me. Often there are tears, or someone gets pissed at the other for being brutally honest, but everything evens out. The truth is one tough, and not so delicious cookie most of the time.

Humans are killing themselves. LITERALLY KILLING THEMSELVES, because they feel stuck, and unsupported in making change. Just last week within 2 days, I heard about 3 (THREE!) friends of friends who committed suicide. THREE you guys. The sadness that runs through me for all the people that love those people makes me want to throw up.

I don’t have the answer….but I’ve always thought that at the most simple level, if you’re walking this earth on any given day feeling just blah, thinking that someone or everyone at any and every minute would judge you for quitting or changing (your job, your wife, your hobbies, your friends, etc.)- any of us (this includes us “happy,” productive ones who have oodles of friends and family), could quickly end up in very, very dark places.

There’s no better feeling to me, than guiding someone (friend or client), to run fast and furious out of their Drone Zone, and seeing them fly. The person above reached out to me several months ago. She was suffering in her job, but felt obligated to stay. She had well given it her all, and yet still felt guilt (totally normal) about leaving. I assured her that nothing was worth torturing herself, but if she wanted to keep pushing, to just please make sure when it crossed the line of soul-crushing to call me, and I’d be right there to help her game plan a respectful and healthy exit.

And I was, and she did, so we met this weekend. And then she quit her job today. And I am so damn happy for her.

Hide your children, your husbands, and your friends before I get ahold of them…because if they tell me they’ve tried their damndest, or just don’t want to whatever anymore, I will stand on the front lines, and skip with a bunch of balloons straight down the Blue Lollipop Road to Quitsville with them, then launch them into whoever or whatever we find that’s a better fit. I refuse to not speak up when I see someone suffering.

If all of us bruised beauties were brave enough to share just how twisted times in our own lives have been, maybe we could save someone else’s.

I believe.

Speak up, stand up, and let’s all push to close the door to the Drone Zone, forever.

#RespectTheClock #Listen #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone

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happy 10th birthday blue lollipop road!

Holy moly it’s TRUE! We just turned TEN this week!

I still remember the instant the name “Blue Lollipop Road” popped into my head. I was in the Outer Banks of North Carolina happily driving down the road the day before a friends wedding. At the time I was engaged myself. I couldn’t wait to start writing and sharing stories about my travels. I also wanted to create a way to help others find more freedom in their lives because so many people constantly shared with me that they felt stuck.

Here we are 10 years later and I get to help people simplify and better manage their time, space, and money, so they can have the lifestyle they want.

Oh happy day!

I went for a solo walk last weekend on the beach in South Carolina. It was right after a crazy storm. The air was so incredibly humid- as if I was on a tropical island. I was in heaven. Here’s a photo:

Kiawah Island Sunset Beach Walk

I walked so long it became pitch dark by the time I turned around. I may have gotten a little lost, but I loved every minute of it.

When’s the last time you were so in love with what you were doing you got lost in time?

At one point as I wandered through the warm night shallow waves, I posted a different photo of the sunset with this, on Instagram:

Ever stop for a minute in your days and think about what you would do if you didn’t have any more? I do. All the time. Maybe too much. The good thing is, I celebrate everyday like I’m doing right now, during my no filter sunset beach walk. Don’t like something in your life? Change it. That’s the BLR Lifestyle. We all have far too little time to waste any of it. Respect the clock. What are you waiting for?

For 10 years now, plus far more I’ve been inspired to keep reminding myself and others around me, that we don’t have to wait for anything; approval, perfect timing, or permission.

The Big Red Lollipop

(Isn’t this the coolest? It’s a life sized red Blow Pop sculpture! Not a blue one, but I like it. I took this photo in San Antonio, Texas Thursday night during a delicious client dinner at Battalion. I thought it was perfect timing for the BLR birthday week.)

Life is so simple, and we complicate it. Aren’t the best times spent with people instead of things? Isn’t a meal shared with interesting conversation and laughter, the best kind of medicine? Don’t you think it might do your body good spending a night out looking up at the sky, instead of staring up at the television?

Not much sticks around for 10 years. My engagement didn’t last after the launch of Blue Lollipop Road (thank goodness, because I’ve finally found my right person!), my friend who got married that weekend in the Outer Banks is now divorcing, and there have been a zillion other ups and downs since then. What sticks for me though, no matter what swirls around in this crazy life, is that everyday is a chance and choice to change what’s not working. We are never stuck unless we don’t have our health. The things that weigh us down or break our hearts are not worth keeping us stuck, as days tick by.

I hope I get to continue sharing my stories and doing the work I love for 10 more years, another 10 after that, and more. I hope the same for you.

Call Me, Maybe?

(Yep, they still have a row of phone booths in the historic San Antonio, supposedly haunted Menger Hotel.)

Ready to get kicked out of the drone zone? Call me, maybe…

#GetUnstuck #LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #StartDriving

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less stuff. more freedom. happy life: downsizing!

Spring has sprung (finally!) and I’m on a roll with downsizing and minimizing mania. All the clients I have right now are my absolute favorite kind; the ones making big changes and getting rid of the things that are weighing them down and holding them back from doing what they really want to do.

We are purging homes full of things that bring stress, no longer have use, or are unnecessary. We’re getting lives either back on track or starting new chapters.

DID YOU KNOW IT’S NEVER TOO LATE?

Baby…you’ve got all the choices in the world!

One of my current clients is 52 years old, and has raised kids who are now off on their own and thriving. She’s caught grief from family and friends about her major downsize and move to the big city from a teeny one. Are they jealous, or just projecting their fear on her? Either way, she’s happy as a college kid about to graduate, so I’m over here jumping out of my skin thrilled to help her. It’s not easy peasy to grow up and stay in the same town most of your life, then make a jump for the big guns with both feet in…but it is so possible.

Work Time Diane Peacock

(I love being cheesy in anticipation of these blog posts to give you a good laugh. That’s me in action last week during a 16 hour day. Nice and glamorous, exhausted and dirty. Just how I like it.)

At first, my clients grumble about starting these seemingly overwhelming projects, but when we get rolling and this happens:

Purging Blue Lollipop Road style

…the lighter, more free feelings rush in, and oh the celebrations we have!

Here’s what I can tell you for sure if you’re thinking about downsizing:

1.) You’ll wonder why you didn’t “do this sooner.” (A direct quote from every, single, last client I have ever worked with.)

2.) Your kids don’t want your stuff. (Sigh, I know your heart is broken, but the China cabinet from great granny is going to get sliced in half and painted white or Agreeable Gray at best. Likely to be used to put a flat screen TV on. More likely to be thrown in a bonfire. Happens all time. Right now your kids are out with your grandbabies and the dog at a craft brewery, eating dinner off paper plates from a food truck. Yes, even on a Tuesday night.)

3.) You will not for one single minute ever remember, or be miffed that you donated or sold whatever item you thought you might die without. (That old winter coat, the couch, or that ceramic plate you served Johnny’s 1st birthday cake on.)

Since I was a wee-little stubborn girl, I’ve always thought that retirement and living simply “later” was a most ridiculous concept. Work your fingers to the bone for years on end, save up all this money and time in hopes that it will be served on a silver platter back to you while you still have your eyesight, and THEN go enjoy doing things you love with the people you love?!

Silly! Let’s downsize and retire NOW…no matter how old we are.

Let’s make smart choices buying only what we absolutely need, use, and love. If we are living a little too big and bleeding out money, let’s assess, reel it back in, and pivot in a new more efficient direction. Let’s stop and prioritize things like health, friends, family, and whatever else makes you scream, Yahtzee! Downsizing Seminar

Toll Brothers has invited me back again to speak about downsizing at one of their new communities! Come join me this Thursday night if you are in the Charlotte area. If you’re far away, you can invite me to where you are and I will gladly road trip (you know I love those!) to talk to your group about my Less Stuff More Freedom Happy Life movement.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #RespectTheClock #MoreExperiencesLessStuff

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this is how two vermonters celebrated today

Ben & Jerry’s FREE CONE DAY! I had to get a photo of the 40th Annual poster on the window as we waited in line:

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

Not surprisingly, the place was packed, but the line moved fast. The wait gave me just enough time to play around with a magnet board meant for the kiddos:

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz and Chocolate Therapy, please!

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

(See what we did with the cone wrappers there?:)

It’s nearly 8PM now, so this glorious ice cream give back event will be over by the time I press publish, but don’t worry, it’ll be be back again. In the meantime, grab yourself a pint of your favorite flavor at the grocery store. You can cozy on up with your buttercup, and listen to the great story of Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield, and how they started their delicious frozen empire on NPR’s How I Built This.

We love you, Ben & Jerry! Thanks for loving us back and showing it.

#DoGood #GiveBack #CelebrateEveryday

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celebrate everyday: day 31

1.31.18

I help clients get unstuck. That means I work with people to create the LIFESTYLE they want. Typically this is after (ahem) sh*t has hit the fan and change is forced from not so fun situations. (Death, divorce, debt.) When we’re unfortunately split open to the core, there seems to be an odd magical lightbulb that goes off which makes us stop and think a little more about what really matters.

I LOVE MY JOB.

Really good things can come from change. Like these garbage bags:

Donations

Today I celebrate hyperlocal donations to people in need from those who have too much.

What’s in the bags? Books, movies, games, music, towels, and linens. They all went to a local battered women’s placement office and shelter.

I’ve donated probably millions of dollars worth of client items since starting my business. One mans trash is another mans treasure indeed. Leaving it all behind and running towards the life you really want can be scary, but those things you say goodbye to, can make a huge impact on someone else’s. Everybody wins.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #LoveYourWork

*Ready to get unstuck? Call me! (804.339.6514) I can help.

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