On Tenderness Amidst Trip-ups...


"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 Expectations & a Bit of Encouragement...

Have I ever told you about my Fancy Aunt?  

She took me to lunch at one of my favorite spots last week, and while we chopstick-sword-fought each other for the last bits of vegan sushi, she shared about a recent situation where her expectations were seriously smashed. 

While she explained that setting "the bar" low (or leaving it altogether at home) seems like the only way to prevent this from happening, I began to wonder: Could adjusting my own pie-in-the-sweet-blue-sky standards be the best way to avoid future disappointment or regret?  

I’ve always thought that expectations make great kindling for the dream-fires of our creative brains, but am ALSO aware that they can cause big piles of disappointment to pop up on the landscapes of our lives.  

(They become especially dangerous when we rely solely on others to satisfy the desires of our hearts, but that’s something we’ll have to talk about another time.)

One of the best books I’ve read all year is called Start by Jon Acuff, and I love that he writes about how it’s nearly impossible to dream without having crazy expectations.

"Expectations of the future can inspire you to reach for things that feel impossible in the present... But after the expectation has played it’s role, after you’ve squeezed every last drop of encouragement out of it, I want you then to let it go."

Makes a lot of sense, right? 

I’ve found that the first part of his mantra is a handy approach when we're striving to do great things, but it’s the last bit that I’m trying to focus on lately...

Tomorrow, I start a brand new decade of life (!) and while my heart feels particularly hopeful about the goodness and joy that is yet to come, I'm reminded that loosening my grip on a few ideas will allow those new lovely treasures to filter right in.*

Turn your longing into a lasso for those big darling dreams,
let the leverage launch you toward them with abundance & ease.
[Tweet it]

I’m so thankful to have YOU as a part of this year's journey, and can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store! Knowing that these little messages bless you in even the simplest of ways is the BEST birthday gift a gal could ask for, and of course - I'm always SO honored to hear what you’ve got on your heart. 

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Loving this lady's recent account of expectations & heart... That Erin sure is a keeper, isn’t she?

*Kind of reminds me of how our pitchers work! Still one of my favorite letters to you. :)

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

On Styleability & Surprises...

TEN tops on the floor, and a bedside chair wearing enough skirts to clothe a troupe of Rockettes.

Lipstick tubes marching like tiny-shiny soldiers (Reporting for duty!) and an arsenal of jewelry strewn across the bathroom counter.

Rushing around to get ready and focusing SO much on pulling myself together that the important things (like coffee and kisses) are left cold in the kitchen while I zip out the door.

If you can keep a secret, I’ll come clean and admit: Even Style Experts run into their own hang-ups from time to time, and this dreadful scene DOES play out in my closet on eventual occasion... Please tell me I'm not the only one with denim draped over the back of the door? 
Expressing ourselves by clothing our bodies can have such an incredible impact on our day-to-day confidence, and yet - it’s also a great big purply-plaid point of contention for nearly every woman I know.

(Tough to do well, but miraculous when it’s mastered.)

I started my business as a personal stylist four years ago, and am still a little amazed when I see that even the most elegant women struggle with the same thing from time to time. We all have doubts and downfalls and desires to be the best versions of ourselves, and there is a LOT of pressure from the world to do life with a perfectly polished set of fingernails the entire time. 

The good news is: we are fluid creatures.  The ability to edit and change and grow and flourish are all at our fingertips, and watching a woman transform her slumped shoulders into a sassy swish across the bedroom floor will show you that anything is possible in a matter of minutes. 
There are certainly days when I miss the profoundly special moments of being a personal stylist, but I also love the chance to watch the magic happen from the sidelines as Hilary walks her girls through the steps to discover their own creative cocktail of clothing.

Y’all, I feel so lucky to get a lot of face time (the real-life kind!) with this chica, and can’t even tell you what a jolt of goodness you can expect from her at every single turn.

That same proud-sister feeling that I get when YOU go out and do great things is swelling to the ceiling as she presents something that enhances the lives of so many women, and I sincerely hope that you'll watch with me so that we can see the daily expression of ourselves become more effortless and enlightened together!

With a Bit of Borrowed Grace & Gumption,

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - Toss on some sunnies and a sweater, and get a little pre-Fall sunshine today for me, will you?? 

SLEEP SAVVY // is something that I would never claim to be, but I'mtrying so hard to get better!  Do you have any tips for getting a great night's sleep that I can try on my quest?  Always love your helpful suggestions, Sweeties!