The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: Let the Joy Begin.

About three years ago, I started an experiment. The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles. It was a mash-up of several motives, including my desire to have an outlet to write (yet a fear of keeping up a full-time blog.) But mostly, it has been motivated by one simple word.

Joy. 

Short and sweet, right? Yet, such a heavy word. And one of my favorites. Joy can encompass so much. It’s not happiness; you can be sitting in the earthly pits of Hell and still be joyful. It’s a daily choice.

As I was preparing for this year’s PM season, I contemplated what effect it has actually had over the past several years. Because again, my goal is not to fill the interwebz with my ramblings. Has it made an impact?

And then, for the second year in a row, my friend Sonya found the red cup first and sent a photo with a note about how it reminded her of me. And in fact, my friend Jen said that it’s her “goal to make it into one of Heather’s blogs” (YOU DID IT!)

Indeed it has had an impact. Not to remind people to think of me; but to remind us all to stop and think. About something. To reflect during this holiday season. To live in the moment and enjoy the life that is right in front of us. To be joyful, whether you’re on top of the world or climbing out of the deepest hole.

So here’s my challenge for this year: Be present. In your own life. In someone else’s life.

And share it. With your friends. With a stranger. Here.  The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles are going to live here now, and I want you to be a part of it. So send me your stories. Your experiences. I’d love for you to write a guest post. Let’s go on a PM date. Let’s live life together! Because if we don’t, then what’s the point?

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Halloween Recap and a Recipe.

For some reason I was really into Halloween this year. Which is weird. I mean, I’m not anti-Halloween, it’s just never the first holiday that I worry about celebrating. I went to a costume party for the first time in I don’t even know how long (probably college), I even made fun themed snacks that involved me dying my food green and drawing faces on the cups…

Vanilla pudding…a little mint extract and a little green food coloring. Topped with crushed oreos. Easy Peasy.

But more than anything, I was SOOO excited for my first trick or treat as a homeowner! Sandy tried to ruin it a bit, but it was still a success. I had a lot of kids stop by! I invited some friends over and we ate chili and cider while we passed out candy…it was a great, fall night. Also, the cider I made was suh-weet. So of course…here is the recipe…

5-6 whole cinnamon sticks
1 whole orange, cut into wedges with the peel
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. whole allspice
3 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 gallon+ apple cider (I bought a gallon and filled my crock pot as full as possible; I added the leftover and continued cooking once we had consumed some)

Throw it all in the crock. Let it cook on low for a few hours (or about 8 like I did…) Your house will smell amazing! And the warm goodness will be like fall in a cup. Make sure you strain it to remove all the spices before you serve. We had rum on the side as well for those who wanted to add it…a little extra warmth is never a bad thing 🙂

I wish you could smell this through your computer…heavenly.

How did you celebrate Halloween?

It’s November!

Happy November 1!  Can you believe it’s here already? The countdown to the holidays is beginning and, per usual, I’m nowhere near ready for it. But, as it’s still fall, there are many more fun adventures to go on! Let’s take a little look back at October…

These guys got married (and I got to be a part of it)

Photo from Kim Morales

I saw this guy in concert (one of my FAVORITES)

Had a beautiful lunch break here on one of my final days of travel

We had some pretty intense pumpkin carving

We dressed up like this for Halloween

Photo from Lindsey Sherwood

And like this…

Things I’m looking forward to in November:

– PEPPERMINT MOCHAS. Find out why here. More on this soon.
– Another wedding for great friends.
– The start of the holiday season (decorating, baking, traditions, all of it!)

How is your fall going so far?