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 Heartbreak & Making Space...

Hurt can blast us from the inside like one dozen sticks of dynamite… Not enough to bring the building down, but just right for taking out the walls on the eighth floor.  

The solemn stillness after an explosion is eerie, and in those times - I find myself holding a breath just to see if I can deepen the silence. 

A few things that I've learned from a life full of surprises:

  1. It's ok to let yourself live with the open space for a bit. 
     
  2. Remember to step gently when you make the first moves amidst the rubble.  
     
  3. Know that the void can be filled when you’re ready, but there’s really no rush until the cloud of dust has settled.

Eventually, I think that heartbreaks can make space for boldness & grace.

The vacuum caused by sadness can suck in some pretty scary stuff, but if we feed it with nourishment instead of numbing, the best you've got will always be more than good enough. 

Hoping that courage and mercy are washing over you in the best way today, and you know I'm always here if you need someone to cheer you on this week! 

XOXO - Jessie Pepper