On Tenderness Amidst Trip-ups...

“HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID?!"

"I'm never buying you anything. EVER. AGAIN."

Watching yelly parents in action is something that makes me squirm under NORMAL circumstances, but when I’m seat-belted less than two feet away (within the tiny confines of an airplane cabin)…  You can go ahead and count it as one of my least favorite ways to watch a budding spirit get crushed.

To clarify — This wasn’t some little brat who was kicking the back of my seat or screaming for "MORE JUUUUUUUIIIIIIIICCCCCE!”  

This little guy could not have been more than three years old, and hadn't gotten even a single sip of his soda before accidentally spilling the entire cup on the iPad in front of him. (Ironically eliciting a huge commotion from the parent who shoved it in his hands to keep him quiet in the first place.)

I held my breath while watching the crocodile tears ROLL down those ruddy little cheeks, and did everything I could to keep from wrapping my arms around him in a hug.

He was visibly shaken to his tiny three-year old core, and I could immediately relate to the mix of emotions that follow a big spill.  

(Probably because it’s a weekly occurrence for me, and I don’t have to think back very far.)

That sad little kiddie-cocktail was made up of equal parts devastation and embarrassment, then combined with a dash of bitterness from the loss of one very special bubbly drink. 

I get it, Little Dude... What’s the point of a Bob the Builder Marathon without your Ginger Ale!

The toothpick that really pierced my martini-olive-heart?  His mama continued to berate him for “treating their stuff like shit,” (Earmuffs!) but it didn't really seem like she was treating him very well at all.

Parenting expert I AM NOT, but any adult bystander could be sure that the wrong person was having the temper-tantrum in this situation.
 
Plus, I know that very few problems are fixed by hurling insults at the person who has disappointed us, no?

It got me thinking about the last several times that I had witnessed such unwarranted criticism, and I’m sad to say that I often see women treat themselves with this very same toxic tone again and again. 

Including me.

We all spill. We blurt.
We trip. We cry.
We fall. We curse.
We make mistakes.
We have bad days.

We are not perfect, but still deserve to be treated as the dazzling creatures we were designed to be. 

Just wanted to be today's little reminder that tending to that precious heart of yours is going to mean plenty of grace and rest along the way. ;) 

With Tenderness & A Life-time Supply of Tide Pens,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

We are not perfect, but still deserve to be treated as the dazzling creatures we were designed to be.

MORNING REFRESH  //  Looking for some fun healthy breakfast ideas? Check out Part II of my fun video series with Plum Vida and get inspired to start your day off right. ;) 

On Seedlings & Self-Care...

The list of ways to properly tend to an orchid plant is approximately 23 steps long, and judging by the one on my counter-top, I only made it to the second step. 

(Sorry, Mama. Succulent next time?!)

Most of my leafy little friends stay pretty happy around the house, but the moment I saw the elegant ivory blooms start dropping to the floor, it was clear that the end was in sight... A tiny fuchsia face covered in dog hair and dust - my guilt growing as I realized she wouldn't make it through the week.

There just always seems to be too much to remember with those orchids. 

The work quickly outweighing the worth, and a LONG list of things that I should be doing instead...

(Anyone wanna come over and help me hang art this weekend? SO many fraaaaaames.)

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The thing about precious plants is that they are a bit like our physical bodies, no?  Each species and breed is unique to it's indigenous region, while the idiosyncrasies and innate preferences can make caring for them a real challenge.

GENERAL RULES OF THUMB (green or otherwise):

  • Keep them near a sunny window. Real Vitamin D does wonders for the soil AND soul. 
     
  • Feed them with the best nutrients. Coffee grounds & compost (cookies) - sparingly for you, generously in the garden.
     
  • Leaves seem to glow more when they're clean. Everyone needs a little exfoliation now and again.
     
  • Let them shine in pretty pots. Terracotta is fine for balconies & backyards, but a bit of glitz adds SO much more style inside.
     
  • Movement increases growth. Switch positions so that the branches get stronger as they grow towards the light. (And watch them wiggle with you when you turn on the dance party tunes.)

The main thing to remember is that these bodies that we're born into? They are treasures, you see -- and when it comes to taking care of such precious gifts, the chance to flourish and bloom into our best selves is always worth the work. [Tweet it!]

Tell me: How are you going to tend to your beautiful body today? This weekend, or this season?

I could talk about this topic for days and on end (and we do each month at brunch!), so let me know if you have questions or challenges and I'll do my best to loop them in to our special little chats.  

Leafy-green Love,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Orchids are always watered from the bottom up, while succulents like to be bone-dry before taking a drink. You're welcome, friends. (Thanks, Google.)


SECOND-HAND STYLE // Posted about something near and dear on the blog today, and can't wait to hear what you think about the why behindhow I shop and the handy tips I shared for finding thrifted treasures of your very own!  Are you a fellow second-hand shopper, or is shiny and new more your style?

On Pouring Your Heart Out...

I've always loved thinking of people as vessels (and if I had to choose, then I'd like to be a work of art)…

Pitchers were originally created as temporary containers for various refreshments, and their primary job continues to be holding a drinkable liquid until the glasses nearby need to be filled.  

(Their secondary job?  Fresh blooms, naturally!)

— 

I have this well-deep desire to be overflowing with the most thirst quenching tonic that you could possibly imagine, and pouring this delicious goodness into everyone I meet is all I can think about sometimes...

The source of this love comes from a place that’s truer than true, and I find that because of its freshness and honesty, it can tend to spill out of my spout in many forms.  

It sprinkles itself into the soft whispers of a silly bedtime story…

Let me hold your babes until they fall asleep, so you can go finish your glass of wine, gorgeous.

It gushes in like a grand gesture...

Remember the time you flew across the country - only to turn around and drive the same exact distance to help a friend to move back home?

But most often, It trickles in through the timeless gift of presence… 

I will sit beside you with my hand on your back while you call him to say a difficult goodbye.

There are countless ways we can bless others with our gifts…  Have you sensed any unexpected springs of goodness bubbling up in your life, lately? 

Let’s explore this one step further...

Have you ever noticed what can happen when you leave the pitcher looking all full and fancy and sitting safe up on the shelf?

The water quickly becomes still.  Stagnant, eventually stale.

There is no room left for freshness - no extra space for the splashes of sustenance we’re meant to share with others.

(Am I the only one getting thirsty here?)

The beautiful thing about pitchers is that the more they pour themselves out, the more space they have to be refilled.

Now, for the sake of dipping in to the delicious depths of your own souls, I’d love your help:

What are some of the clever ways you go about refilling YOUR vessel these days?  

Sun-soaked yoga sessions?  Curling up with a brilliant book?  Pool time with your best girls? Time alone for prayer and reflection?  A hot bath followed by napping in a pile of fluffy towels?  

(Toss these all in the same day, and we would be bursting at the gills with goodness, no?!)

As we head into the weekend, I’d love to encourage you to take some time to refill those precious hearts you’ve been harnessing to conquer the world, and if you feel like capturing or sharing with the rest of us - Be sure to use the #pepperletter hashtag so that we can all follow along!

Restfully Refilling Until Next Week's Note,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - In case you're the pinning type... You can now share the message from this week's letter by clicking right here!

On Giving Yourself a Generous Helping of Grace...

One-third of this year has already zipped by (!), and that fact has had me thinking a lot about the tidbits that I looked forward to adding more* of in 2014...

Still totally digging all five of those ingredients, but am also realizing that I'd like to add a heaping portion of gentleness to the recipe.

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Too many moments are filled with haste. 

Waste.

Hugs displaced.  

Not enough grace.


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Although being generous to others brings a lot of joy to my life these days, I have to say thatbeing gentle with myself has been on my mind a lot as well.

You can’t be angry with yourself and merciful to yourself at the same time.
— Joyce Meyer

We mess up all the time, right?

(No? Ok, just me then...)

Even when I try to grasp for goodness, sometimes all I can reach are a few globs of grump. 

Instead of getting mad about a string of mistakes longer than a strand of pearls, I find that giving myself a generous helping of grace is the best way to practice extending gentleness to others.

What ways will you promise to be gracious to yourself this weekend?  

(I’d love to share your ideas in next week’s letter, if you’ll let me!)

In the meantime... Happy Friday, my little Pepitas!

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

*I like to set my sights on a few "fresh ingredients" instead of setting resolutions when each new year rolls around… Check out my additions for 2013 & 2014 to see what I mean!