BLR Tag

slow down, cowboy

Hi there. It’s been a while. Almost 3 months, actually. As I’ve been busy working with clients to help them better manage their time, space, and money, (lifestyle), I’ve been guilty of not taking enough time for myself to do what I love the most…be right here. Pretty ironic, eh?

Let’s talk about QUALITY over quantity.

I spent years traveling alone. I’m a big huge fan of solo time. Silent time. Ahhh…the time when nothing is beeping or dinging. That place where you can just breathe, and become more of yourself. Quality time. Think about it, how much quality time have you gotten with yourself, your work, or your family, lately? These days, we even take our phones to the bathroom. Hello, 24/7 plugged in, even when (ahem) are bodies are trying to unplug themselves. Sheesh.

It’s a little much.

Welcome to the spinning club. The place where you snap at your partner, don’t run outside and play with the kids anymore, where your pants are getting tighter because who has time for the gym, and by the time you pick up that magazine you wanted to read front to back, you realize the date says November, 2018 when it’s May, 2019. We are overwhelmed, and have no idea how we got there. We are so burned out, at both of those candle ends, we want to just snap it over our knee.

Pass the tequila! Nah, that’s not a good idea.

I learned long ago, that whenever I start feeling like a total brat, and I want to punch someone, or something in the face, I need to get the hell outta Dodge. Dodge for me means my apartment/city/routine. I’m not the kind of gal who punches people or things, so when the mighty beast fist starts clenching, I know it means…pack your bags, sister, and run for the border.

When’s the last time you wanted to punch someone or something in the face? Do you even have any idea about what you might need when you’re about to lose it on that poor grocery store clerk for simply asking how your day was?

I’ve been at a lake for a few days now, on a private road that’s not even state maintained. The only sounds have been birds, and an occasional boat. Heavenly. I’ve showered daily, but only put a bra on to go to the grocery store, and I really have zero desire to go back to the rat race. Not because I don’t love going to the gym, helping clients, connecting with friends, working my tail off, attending swanky events, sporty events, and educational events, or wearing bras…but because I know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into that gerbil wheel that makes us all a little crazy from time to time.

So what do we do when the peaceful breaks at lakes are replaced with honking horns and stress levels boiling to a million degrees when the rat race start gun goes off?

We just stop. That’s what we do…

…and start again when we have our quality head screwed on straight.

#LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #KnowYourInventory #LiveSimpleDoMore

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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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less stuff. more freedom. happy 2019

I had a BlackBerry Pearl when everyone else had an iPhone, until I moved Charlotte because I loved it. (Nerd!) I don’t look nearly as cool as the other girls and guys in their all matching ultra planned out fresh new get ups at the gym because I still wear old soccer, and other favorite shirts I love that I’ve hacked up with scissors:

…and I drive a car that’s 15 years old and has 260k on it, because I love, love, love it. I’ve never thought of myself as way ahead of the curve or super trendy, but turns out I am! I’ve only and always ever kept/owned things that I love and make me happy.

This Marie Kondo life-changing trend of joy and magic sweeping the universe since her book a few years back and the tidal wave obsession her advice has created over the last couple weeks since her show Tidying Up starting airing on Netflix has me saying, REALLY!?! like Seth & Amy. When was it EVER a good decision to keep/have any things (or people) in our lives that don’t bring us joy? I thought everyone got that memo long ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to think this make sure joy sparks when you see/touch/feel everything you own mayhem happening will have me seeing less eye rolls from clients when I remind them you only have only 4 burners on your stove so how many frying pans can you really use?! and more high-fives & fist pumps as we purge, baby, purge the excess crap that’s burying them, en route to their freedom. But! For a gal like me who’s been living on her bright blue lollipop soapbox proudly labeled LESS STUFF, MORE FREEDOM, HAPPY LIFE…for years, I’m starting to wonder if I need to morph myself into an adorable tiny zen Japanese woman to get people to truly tune in.

Seriously though, if this cute little doll faced woman is what it takes for the world to start thinking about how they actually feel each day, and what they really want out of life, then address those most important to-do’s…I shall bow to the queen of “tidying.” Keep it up, sister!

While Marie jet sets the globe sparking joy in homes rolling t-shirts and filing papers, I’m going to keep lighting fires under asses of people that are ready to start fresh by setting their whole “place” up in controlled burn style flames.

GO TEAM DIANE MARIE! (Marie is actually my middle name:)

It’s a new year, and high time to sort out, kick out, or throw out any and all that makes you feel stuck, suffocated, or like crap. If you need someone to light your ass on fire, call me! (Seriously…call me at 804.339.6514, email Diane(@)bluelollipoproad.com, or send a message on my contact page.) I will Marie Kondo (ahem, Diane Peacock), the flip out of your life.

No more waiting.

We chose to spend the holidays in the Caribbean, because we’ve committed to wasting as little time, space, and money as possible, so we can do things like this.

How are you going to find more freedom in 2019?

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #BLRLifestyle

*I was asked to host another downsizing seminar here February 9th, so if you’ll be in the in the Charlotte, NC area, please join us! More info. to come soon!

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it’s never too late

I had a great lunch today at Charlotte’s brand new “55 and better” community, Overture Cotswold! I left behind a free consultation certificate, in the form of a jar of blue lollipops of course:

Happy Blue Lollipop Jar

The Overture staff asked me to come talk to new and perspective tenants and I jumped at the chance. I love this building and their concept of apartment life kicked up a notch with amazing amenities. What’s not to love about simplifying your lifestyle at any age, especially once you’ve raised kids, taken care of the lawn for 20 years, replaced the water heater a few times, or looked around wondering why you have 3 spare rooms that never get used?

As I spoke with this group, I told them most of my clients say the same 3 things:

1.) I didn’t realize I had so much crap. (They laughed.)

2.) I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

3.) I feel so much more free!

If you’re considering a lifestyle change including a whole lot more time for friends, family, travel, and fun…consider an option like this. Did I mention they have weekly happy hour in the club room? Walking downstairs in your sweatpants to have a little toast and social time with your neighbors at the end of the day sounds good to me!

60 is the new 30. There are no rules that say you have to stop dancing just because you have a few wrinkles.

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #LiveSimpleDoMore #ImNotOnVacationILiveHere

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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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and then she crawled on the floor

I don’t know how swanky your job is, but mine often looks like this:

Pantry Clean Out

Since my last post, nearly 2 months ago (how the heck does 2 months later always happen?), I have been BIZ-EEE. If I had small children, they may have been starved by this point. I really don’t know how moms and dads do it all. Hats off once again, to all you parents in the world for keeping yourselves clothed and fed (let alone other small humans), while you work, and do a zillion other things.

The above photo shows me attempting to pull myself up from the dark pantry bottom shelf floor of a client home last week. Those clients took their 2 young kiddos off on a cross-country road trip to their new home in Texas, and I wrapped up everything for them in North Carolina. I’m often the last one to walk through, the last set of eyes on each corner or drawer, and the one who hands the keys in, to a place where lots of memories were made. I love my job.

This past several weeks during the spring client move madness, I haven’t slept much, and social time has been fairly limited. Balance? Not really. It’s been go, go, go, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My friend Aaron:

“I’d rather work 80 for myself, than 40 for someone else, any week of my life.”

I agree. The hustle is not glamorous, but at the end of the day if I’m still smiling and helping people get to the life they want, that’s all the fancy I ever need. Thumbs up!

Pantry Clean Out

Here’s to showing up, getting dirty, and knowing you make a difference.

#LoveYourWork #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #AlwaysLookingUp

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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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still celebrating everyday? Heck, yes!

And just like that…poof! There goes another month. Time flies too fast.

I spent the first month of 2018 celebrating and sharing here, and the second, not sharing here. Don’t fret my loves, I’ve still been having a lots of fun! I’ve been celebrating things like helping to get client donations to women and children coming out of domestic violence situations:

Donations for Domestic Violence Victims

(Doing good feels so good! Thank you to so many people who volunteer their time to help others!)

…waking up in beautiful places and sipping coffee on balconies:

Kiawah Mornings

…uber windy chilly afternoons on the beach:

Beach Girl

…breathtaking sunsets:

Beach Sunset

Beach Sunset

…purging and packing for cross country client moves:

Moving

(Remember, PURGE BEFORE YOU RELOCATE! Why in the world would you want to spend your hard earned money on moving a bunch of stuff you no longer need/use/want? There are so many more fun ways to spend your cash, like on cheese, the waterpark with your kids, coffee, a concert with your lover, or that mani/pedi you need to take a few minutes to yourself, for:)

Now let’s continue the celebrating with throwing a surprise birthday party for a friend:

Party Cocktails

(Like bubbly? Fill a flute 80% Prosecco or Cava, and the rest with grapefruit. Fresh grapefruit is best, but bottled will do, too. Yum!)

…onto events that promote inclusion, diversity, health, wellness, and human rights!

All Gender Restrooms

Condom Couture Charlotte

Equality now and forever! (You do you, girl, boy, or whatever word/term/name/thing that suits you/you feel like you want to rock out.)

…a little bit of road trippin’ for Carolina Blue basketball:

He's Not Here

…and food! Oh how I love cooking and feasting with amazing people…one of the best ways to spend time:

Chimichurri Cauliflower

Chimichurri cauliflower!

Crunchy French Toast

Crunchy french toast! Roll your egg-battered bread through corn flakes and voila…french toast kicked up a notch. Especially with Schoolhouse Maple syrup, made by my friends. It doesn’t get better than this, and sugaring season now. Mmm. (Yes! You can order some here.)

2 months down in 2018, 10 more to go, and some really fantastic things are on the horizon. This Blue Lollipop Road party isn’t going anywhere, so be prepared to keep those sunglasses on, because the light is shining bright, baby. Whether you celebrate in quiet or out loud and proud, it’s all about taking a minute to appreciate simple things…every…single…day.

Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#EverydayAdventures #LifeOutsideTheDroneZone #RememberCelebrateLive 

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