On Feeling Grateful for my Pepper Girls...

Tupperware (and tummies!) loaded with leftovers.  

Inboxes stuffed to the BRIM with bargains.

Anyone else feeling full of so many things today?

My own love-tank is overflowing from lots of quality time and cuddles over the past few days, and our cozy home is being decked for the holidays as we speak... 

But before I get back to the twinkle lights and tinsel, here's what I REALLY popped in to tell you today:

I could not have done this year without you, Darling.

The chance to write from my heart and share hugs through the screen has continued to bless me, week after week.

I'm very thankful for so many things, but the fact that you open these notes and read my words is something that makes my heart skip two beats.


Watching this tribe grow from just one little sister to a full fledged family is something that still feels so especially surreal, and I can't wait to uncover the best bits waiting for us up ahead!

Until then -- I'll trust that you can feel the the warmth of this thank you from the bottom of my very-full heart, and I pray that you know how much the gift of your presence truly means to me!

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

On Piling Our Plates With Purpose...

I was at a holiday party a few evenings ago, and simply could. not.stop. stuffing my face with cheese.  

(There were at least a dozen kinds on display and it felt imperative that I try them all.)

Not even a SPECK of hunger stirring in my belly before I got there, and yet I was instantly transfixed by the towers of tasty options.

Silky bits of brie on a perfectly toasted slice of baguette.
Super-stinky gouda sandwiched between dried apricot and a crispy wafer.
Creamy mozzarella on toothpicks with basil and tiny tomatoes.

Those salty, paper-thin slivers of parmesan perfection? 
They needed NO help in being shoveled straight into my mouth.

As I perfected my second (full!) plate like a true asiago artiste, I was struck with a familiar pang of guilt when the next bite reached my lips…

What am I REALLY craving that this mountain of snacks will indulge?

Comfort? Delight? Fulfillment? Pleasure? 

Here’s my best guess:

We fill our plates because we crave satisfaction, but unless there is substance to the things we consume -- Our insides can quickly become empty again. 

Fullness is only found when we rely on the right things to satiate us.

So HERE comes the season for scarfing down treats and compiling to-do lists the size of twenty pound turkeys.

With entire tables full of things to EAT and DO and BUY and WRAP and FIND and CLEAN and FINISH at this time of year, it can be hard to know the difference between the splurge-worthy and the skippable, yes?

Instead of obsessing over creating “The Perfect Holiday Plan”, I'm aiming for a simpler approach…

Piling our plates with meaning leaves less room for junk.
Your heart is healthiest when fueled by goodness & love.

Sending you wishes for a weekend full of festivities and friends (and at least a LITTLE bit of feta), and I’d love to have you share your ideas for a purpose-filled plate here in the comments below!

XOXO - Jessie Pepper 

Ps. - My favorite way to find cheese-centric gifts for every person on your list… It’s definitely become one of those "two for you, one for me" kind of sites! ;)

P.Ps. - Looking for a literal way to fight off the high-calorie cravings at this time of year? I hardly ever leave the house without these snacks in my bag, and love coming up with creative ways to use the extras. ;)

On Sharing Your Sweet Hearts...

Each time I get a rung higher on the ladder of years, the view expands and my perspective of beauty and adventure seems to grow.  

I look around at the world through lenses of love, and can see that pouring into others is a true expression of the person that God created me to be.  Writing these love notes to you each week is the closest I have ever come to having a band of sisters to be a part of, and while it feels like SUCH an amazing gift - I know that eventually, it could morph into something quite different from how it looks now.

(Not going anywhere just yet, but you know I love to dream about the next best things!) 

Trying to make sure that my head and heart are on the same page because they deserve to be prepared for whatever else is next in store.  Instead of sharing buckets of words with you today, I’m going to request one BIG favor as a leeeeetle birthday gift:
 
If you could ask a big sister or mama or mentor just one thing today… What would it be?

(Please play along -- I’d love to get to know your own sweet heart a little more!)
 
I may not know exactly how you feel, but I know what it’s like to have emotions like tidal waves.

I may not have the most poised answers, but I know that holding out for the heartfelt can deliver big blessings.

I may not be a fairy godmother, but will happily pile generous helpings of grace on that pretty little plate of yours.

I may not be the bravest soul, but I’m a big fan of flooring it past fear.

I’m certainly nowhere NEAR perfect, but I believe that confidence comes from truth, and I know with all my heart that you were created to go out into the world and do great things. ;)

From Swirling Golden Leaves & Gusty Days,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

On the Cha-Cha's of Change...

We’re working our booties off, right?

Hustling to have it all.  Building an empire of beautiful things.  

Getting the chance to have a career that I love feels like such a big blessing, but I’ll be honest: I’ve been known to get caught up with grooving to the wrong song every now and again.

I crank up the volume on getting shit done, and start shimmying my way around so many things.

(Too many things? Yes, probably.)

Feels like I’m doing just fine until I realize that I’ve gotten caught up in the exhaustingly exciting new ideas that pop up in my mind everyday.  

(How rude of them to start busting a move on my dance floor without asking?!) 

As much as I’d like to join in on the jam-fest, there’s just too much choreography to keep up with each one.

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This week I’ve been learning about ways that we have the capacity to affect the character of others, the ability to have influence, the chance to incur change. 

I SO badly want to learn how to hold the who higher than the what in my life, but I have to admit that I don’t quite know what that looks like just yet.  

I DO know that YOU are the kind of gal that I want at my dance parties, and I'm already standing in your circle ready to bust out my back-up moves on your cue.

(As long as you’re ok with a lot of enthusiastic snapping and jazz hands.)

I'm SO ready to shake it off together, Chickadee. Tap me in when you need me, and I'd love to help you dance in circles around those big darling dreams! ;)

Cha-cha-ciao for Now,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - "HELLO, FALL" means HELLO, laid-back layers and snuggly sweaters and getting our homes ready for holiday hosting! GOSH, I love a new seasonal switch (if you couldn't tell by this week's goodies on S&P)!