On Getting Geared up for 2015...

Waking up on the West Coast as I send this note, and it is OFFICIALLY holiday break in Pepperland!

Fabulous for so many reasons...

1. // I need a vacation. Happily embracing simplicity and rest over the next 10 days... Pool. Books. New running shoes. #happyjessie

2. // We're taking our nephews to DISNEYLAND today! I love being an aunt almost as much as I love being a big sister, so this is EPIC. Also: Mr. Pepper happens to look adorable in mouse ears.

3. // My parents got a new puppy!  (Already a leeeeetle embarrassed by how many Christmas presents we are bringing him... Keep an eye out for pics of that little snuffleupagus next week.)

Taking this time off is a huge priority for me, and I think it will be an important foundation for starting strong again in January.  I just have this feeling that 2015 is going to be incredible, and one of the things I love about December is experiencing that special kind of hope that swiftly lifts us over the threshold of a new year.

In the meantime, let's try to connect in the next few months - Sound good? I'll be popping up in a handful of cities during the first quarter, and seeing your faces in real life would be SUCH a treat.

Here are a few events that I'm excited to be a part of:

  • Noonday Collection SHINE Conference // Austin, TX (Jan 17, 2015) - Speaking to Noonday's Style Ambassadors about the Intersection of Style + Confidence. (My favorite topic!)
  • Altitude Design Summit // Salt Lake City, UT (Jan 22-24) - Teaching a panel aboutRevenue Streams + Pitching the Perfect Blog Partnership.
  • Texas Style Council Conference // Camp Texlake, TX (Mar 20-22, 2015) - I'll be a camp counselor at this weekend away for bloggers & business owners who want to Create a Meaningful Presence with their influence.
  • Craftcation Conference // Ventura, CA (Mar 26-29, 2015) - Four days of hand-on workshops including crafting, food, and creative business classes... Still nailing down the details, but likely speaking about using social media to spice up your business. 
  • PepperBrunch NYC // New York, NY (Ongoing) - Our next event is nearly full, but you can stay tuned here for details on our February get-together! 

I pray that you have a lovely holiday filled with so many blessings, and I'll be back with the last letter of the year a little later next week! 

Silver Bells & A Sweet Noel,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Remember when I asked you to show me pics of your twinkle lights in action? One of my favorite Pepper Girls used the REAL strand I gave her to transform her room into this glittery haven, and I thought you might like to see!

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. ;)