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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

meet sarah

Sarah Intern goofy face

Sarah is my rock star, mack-daddy, bomb-diggidy Blue Lollipop Road intern. She was born in Alaska, that's why she emailed me in the first place. Our meeting went like this:

She emails me answering my ad; "Hey! Id love to help you with your project."
I call her immediately; "Um- wow, great, can you meet...maybe like- right now?"
She responds; Absolutely. I'll see you at the coffee shop."

(She is there waiting for me before I can even get there.)

We sit down with nothing more than a quick "hey!", we leave the coffee shop 2 hours later after we agree to meet late night and work until ridiculous hours because she knows I am leaving in a week. She then proceeds to keep constant communication and work practically 24/7 for me to help get the new site launched, decide on branding, take photos, tweak photos, brainstorm ideas, show me some tricks and tips on different technology and a whole bunch of other stuff. She's helped with the whole shebang.

This girl is spectacular. She is smart and sweet, adorable and talented, reliable and driven, organized and responsible and most and best of all genuine and fun. This is a stranger I have now only known for a week, but already feel like is my second little sister and I know we'll be friends forever. I am so beyond lucky to have her as my intern and a part of this project that means so much to me. I love how some things just work. I haven't had to explain a thing about myself, the project or anything I have needed help on since the second we met, she just gets it. It's like we are on the same brain wave.

Did I mention she is doing all this work for free?

Below is the two us goofing around before I said goodbye to start my trek. What a gem she is. I will miss hanging with her, but I'm so excited to be able to work with her throughout my journey.

Dear Sarah,

You RULE. Thanks chica. With your help, I have been able to kick off my dream job/trip/project in style and stress-free. This means more than I could ever explain.

Di and sarah goofing around

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

is it really possible to jump out of your pants?

After one last day of madness in the prep for the kick off to the trip, here we are!

I haven't slept in days (that's actually not an exaggeration) and I've been nursing some severe road rash from somehow clothes-lining myself while running last week. (I do not recommend getting no sleep after maaaaybe a few cocktails with some friends at a bon voyage dinner, then trying to run in 100 degree heat the next morning.) After bloody knees, schlepping boxes 3 flights in what's about the hottest June on record in Virginia and pulling all nighters with the best intern in the whole wide world- welcome the new Blue Lollipop Road. Launching this site tonight, coupled with a generous unexpected donation (Thanks Tim- whoop whoop!) and being offered another sponsorship, I have nearly just jumped out of my pants with excitement (even though I can barely keep my eyes open.)

That whole deciding what you want and going for it 110% thing? Yeah, what they say is true; You do get better and better at it and things just fall into place...

Cheers to wearing yourself ragged from doing what you love. I'll take it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Boss Every 7 Days

I've been following Sean Aiken and his One Week Job Project for a while now. He's finishing up his documentary that will feature him working a job a week for 52 weeks. It will be available later this year. Sean promotes and has the desire to encourage us all to match our skill sets with our personalities, values and passions to make our careers. I couldn't agree with him more. His documentary will be a brilliant thing for young people (or all ages for that matter) to be able to watch and learn from.

Thanks to Sean and everyone who has and is participating in this project. Yours is one of the many insightful ones that we'll be able follow and draw inspiration from. It will keep us all confident knowing that whatever is out there that we want, we can go get it at any time.

Bonus; I've been in touch with Sean, and he and I are going to get together when I'm in Vancouver soon during my own project. How fun! Stay tuned for stories about our visit...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thank You

Teeny to huge; Every bit of pay it forward in honor and support of the Blue Lollipop Road Project is appreciated.

Thank you's on the donation and gift side so far:
*Fire boys and their gals
*Greg G.
*Stefani T.
*Jennifer P.

Oh thank you thank you thank you!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

On The Road Again...

...and this time rocking it 110%.

Look what came in the mail today!

Alaska or BUST!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I spy.

I saw the Aha Moment camper last night. I didn't know they were touring the country this summer (Good idea eh?) What a great surprise to see it. I was racing from dinner at Stuzzi to meet my amazing intern Sarah for some work time. (Interns that work hard smiling and energetic for free until 2am are champions and mine could rival the best.) I didn't have time to stop to check it out, but I'm loving that I wrote about this Aha Moment campaign about a year ago and to find that Mutual of Omaha has kept up with it. Check out their page and people. Good stuff and sure makes you think.

Gifts From Friends For Road Trips

Thanks Stef! 

Ok, ok- so one jar is already gone...

Ogre-the-Top Blue

Gotta love a free manicure with haircut purchase. I thought the Ogre-the-top was perfect, to keep in line with my theme for BLR. 

O.P.I has made an entire line of Shrek inspired colors. Who would've thought The giant Ogre would inspire a line of beauty products? 

Ogre-the-Top blue

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blue Lollipop Road Gets An Intern!!!


Drumroll please....
I am so proud and excited to announce Sarah! It took all of about 22 seconds for us to hit it off and I knew she was the perfect intern for this project. I am beyond thrilled to work with her and can't wait to share more about her and what we are working on in the coming days. What a talent and happy mojo. 

This just keeps getting better!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Can You Donate?


I have gotten this question from several people the past couple weeks.

*I have set up and re-checked my Paypal "Donate" button to the top left here (<---- ) and it is functioning and ready to roll. (My apologies Paypal makes you put in your email address, etc.- I have called them several times, that's just their standard.)

*I have set up and re-checked my Google Checkout button and added some fun "Fill up my gas tank", etc. That is functioning properly as well. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page and you will see the button there.

*Look left and see my mail drop for any Snail Mail. If you wish to use the good ol' USPS, you know I love some snail mail! Please mail to:
Blue Lollipop Road
7173 Brooking Way
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

*Look right for Sponsorship opportunities ( --->) and please email or call me any time!

I am so so thankful for all the support and encouragement from everyone- did I mention I am excited too?!

~Diane :)

Everybody Lives In Alaska

Since I have announced going on this trek, people have come from every direction offering up everything from; "OOH! I will be there too! We should meet up", to "My Dad, Uncle Stu, friend from college, long lost Aunt, or this "Earth Mother" woman I know lives there- why don't you call them?"

I am loving this.

1.) Clearly connections can be made to and from anywhere, with anyone. People live on every inch of the earth.
2.) I am starting to think Alaska's population could rival California. I mean- everybody seems to know someone there. (Yes, totally surprising to me too.)
3.) Proving time and time again; humans in general are much more open, generous and willing to take you in than one would think.
4.) I'm finding more and more that even the skeptical, non-traveler folks who think you are a bit off your rocker are all about hosting a weary road tripper.

Denali, lumberjacks and log cabins- here I come!

Monday, June 21, 2010

People Actually Buy This Stuff

I snapped this shot tonight. 

As I walked by, I shook my head and mumbled to myself out loud; "Now who in the world would actually spend their money on something like this?"

Then I had to walk back and take the picture.

I'm thinking this person indeed does "knead" some dough, because they wasted all theirs on this ridiculous shirt!

The Blue Lollipop Road Project

Today I have officially opened an account to save 10% of all money aside that is donated here to me and my Alaskan adventure. 

After I leave Alaska I will give that 10% away to someone else. I will pay it forward to a person who wants to honor themselves to reach a lifelong dream, fulfill a promise they have made, or for a fun project or "thing" they have an idea for, that would fit the carefree and loving spirit of my lost friends. 

I will be posting specific details of this Blue Lollipop Road Project giveaway with the launch of the new site. I figure what good does it do if I just accept money to help me reach my 16 year goal- if I don't go and do the same for someone else? 

Has reading this blog gotcha thinkin'? Good. Keep your thinking caps on and get ready to submit and admit. The longer I live the more I hear that many people out there have the burning desire to do something they've thought about for years, but they just don't know how it's possible. It's possible. Trust me. Now I can be one of the people that helps you get there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sipping Up Saturday Morning

Coffee in hand, rereading some books this morning...

I have written about these guys Mike and Nathan before (A long time ago, I shared that any time I emailed Author, Mike Marriner, he would email back personally. There was a quote in one of his emails that I think about a lot; "You just have to find something to give a shit about."

In prepping for my x-country adventure and fielding plenty of "What's the point of you doing this Diane?"- questions, I wanted to share a line in Roadtrip Nation I just reread:

We've discovered that one of the best ways to explore the world is to simply ask others how they got where they are.

That's one of the many things my trip to Alaska will offer me; To keep educating myself about people. To continue to learn about how others live, what makes them tick and how they got to where they are. I'm looking forward to taking this information and sharing it with you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breakfast Of Champions

How could a soccer playing girl not take a few minutes out of a busy week to watch some World Cup action. 

A breakfast of an egg sandwich and a really bad can of beer rounded out the Friday morning fun. What can I say? Some days it's Manolos and Ferraris and others, it's flips flops and used Hondas. Is it so wrong to love it all?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Heading down the Blue Lollipop Road

Dear Readers~

In a few weeks I will be leaving the East Coast to drive to Alaska. 

This August marks the 16 year anniversary of the death of two friends of mine. (As you know, they were the inspiration for this website.) I'll be driving to Alaska in honor of 16 years of their death and celebration of 16 years of their life. My goal for this trip is to make it to my 50th state to keep a promise I made to them in 1994. 

During my trek, If opportunity pops up along the way to work- I will take it. I'll also be accepting donations and sponsorships. (I've already gotten a couple!) Any money I raise in donations and sponsorships will help pay for my food, gas, and some travel accommodations.10% of all funds raised will be gifted to someone else at the end of my trip. (Stay tuned for details on this. I will be "paying it forward". Very excited about this.)

In the next couple weeks I will be launching a new website, with details of my travel plan, route, how I will be "paying it forward" and things, people and places I will be exploring. Please keep checking back here while this site is under construction. I hope you will follow me on my journey and continue sharing yours with me. 

I have never been happier in my life or more excited to reach a goal. This is the big kahuna for me. I'm so proud to be going in honor my friends and to follow the dreams they've inspired in me. After many years of thinking about a promise I have wanted to fulfill, the timing is just right. 

Thank you for continuing to follow, read and comment here.

Here's to following whatever the Blue Lollipop Road means to you.

Carpe Diem! 
Diane :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Go Julie!

My friend Julie is running the Chicago Marathon October 10th in honor of Grace Oughton and to raise money for Neuroblastoma research at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Julie's husband was among many of the firefighters and other public safety guys and gals who helped start and manage the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation a few years ago to raise money and awareness for this form of childhood cancer. It has been beyond inspiring to see people come together over the past few years in so many efforts to save young lives. 

Hats off to Julie and the thousands of others who have donated and participated in events and more over the years in the name of Grace. Please visit Julie's website and donate. Help her reach her goal of $2,000 for the marathon.

We love and support you for every mile Jules!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"You can actually see Russia from land here"

(I had to!)

Things that happen/things people say when you tell them you're going to drive to Alaska from the East Coast:

1.)"Are you crazy?!, "What are you stupid?! and "Why you are being so rebellious?- Aren't you ever going to grow up?"
2.) "I'm jealous and want to quit my job. Can I come with you?" 
3.) Email your current boss to tattle tale on you. (News flash wanna-be trouble maker; This thing you're on right now? It's called THE WORLD WIDE WEB. Yeah, like as in- anyone can be on it, including current bosses. Um, do you think I'd write something on here I didn't want someone to see? Come on now. Better yet and even funnier, this current boss of mine who you ran to tattle to? He's been a follower of this blog since day 1 and probably been the person most pushing me to do, be and write anything and everything I want. So? even though you tattled, I didn't get in trouble. I know that probably disappoints you. Sorry. You know, if you have that much extra time on your hands- I could sure use some extra help packing...:)
4.) Panic sets in and everyone gets worried. (It's very sweet.)
5.) Ask if you will send them a post card. (Of course I will!)
6.) Name off about 56 of their friends, family members, some random old roommate that lives in X,Y, Z place and how I should "Totally go stay with them! They even have a farm you work on for a week!"

Things that you think to yourself when you decided you are going to drive to Alaska from the East Coast:

1.) This is going to be awesome.
2.) I can't wait.
3.) I feel like I am a fish and I have just found the water.
4.) OOOH! I forgot that so-and-so lives there! I get to see them for the first time in 10 years- yay!
5.) I wonder of all the people who say; "I am totally going to go on X leg of the journey with you" and " I could fly out and see you at X!" - who will actually come.
6.) This is going to be awesome

Please stay tuned and be patient with me. I know I am missing days and disappearing here and there, but promises, promises- when the new BLR launches it's going to be well worth the wait! 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We Took The Sign

What? I mean it says FREE, right?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

You Are SOOO Refreshing Silly Bus!

My friend Justin who is driven, intelligent, impressive lawyer by day, hilarious, creative, energetic, talented, generous, volunteer, musician, and you name it, guy by night- is part of a group called Silly Bus. The Silly Bus guys educate and entertain kids through music. They've been at it for 5 years. Now YOU can help them get a Pepsi Refresh Project grant by voting here. They are more than deserving...so join me in a vote for them!

Posting "hats off" stuff like this here to spread the good word about all the selfless work great people out there are doing, inspires me to do and be more. The fact that I get to be personal friends with generous and selfless people like this is a super bonus for me too.

Thanks for doing great work to inspire all of us kids (big and small) Justin. Good luck. We are rooting for you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's National Doghnut day!

Hit the gym for an extra few minutes so you can participate in the freebie sugary goodness!

Can you believe this was started in 1938? The first Friday of every June celebration was created to honor women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. Love that.

Check out your local store, or find out participating Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts locales.

I'll take a strawberry frosted please. 

I figured this was the perfect day to share my photo of the dozen I halfway- hosed with a friend last year. Mmm....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alaska Or Bust

I have decided I am going to drive to Alaska this summer.

Yep, in my car that needs new tires and an alignment that I can't afford. I will leave from the East coast and drive clear across the country.

Why would I want to do this?

1.) Because I want to.
2.) Because I can.
3.) Because I belong on the road, especially in the summer.
4.) Alaska is the only state I have not spent time in. I've waited 8 years for #50 and I am using it as a good excuse for a kick off to my project.
5.) I'm turning 32 this summer. I refuse to be turning 33 next summer and still not doing what I am great at and using my talents to the best of my ability.
#6.)...and MOST importantly put best by a friend who sent me a one line email this morning:
Life is to short to be sitting behind a desk fighting for someone else's cause. (How can i argue with that truth?)

How am I going to get to Alaska? Especially when my current full-time salary doesn't even pay my monthly bills and I have an apt. and all the rest of that adult stuff?

1.) Very strategically and carefully. Sure, I just decided this last night, but this project has been in the works and in my head for years. The timing is now. It's on.

Please stayed tuned for the launch of a new website, good stories and news. I will be hitting you up for support too. (Hey- there had to be a catch, right?:)

In August, on the 16th year anniversary of my best friends death this year, I'm not going to be talking to the clouds, promising them I am "going " to do this project and live the life I know I want, like I have the past 15 years. I'm actually going to be doing it. 

The alternatives to not doing this project, are the sleepless nights I have been having, the frustrations of feeling empty, lack of passion that's been lurking around me because I'm not living what I know I want, wasting that full-of-life spirit of 3 (yes- I am including myself) and giving up the Blue Lollipop Road forever. I have to be honest and tell you all, I've often considered just letting "it" all go lately out of pure exhaustion. The towel has been there so many times screaming for me to throw it in.

Thankfully after some tears and a conversation I had yesterday, the bonfire of massive flames finally lit under my ass and I told the towel to screw off. 

There will be no towel throwing happening on my Blue Lollipop Road. Not in this lifetime.

Here's to finally being ready, fully understanding where my heart, sense and passion lie, and actually living what I love. I AM going to live my truth, do amazing work, and inspire others to do the same for themselves. I hope you're all with me on this one. 

Can you believe the journey gets even better than this?! WAHOO!!!