My Dissatisfied Soul

Last night I had something happen.

 I realized  through an onslaught of tears (which is actually my normal way of processing things) that I am dissatisfied.

I didn't realize that I was, but I have definitely been acting like I am. It's a deep rooted weed and it's been squirming its way to the surface. Tonight I saw it. And let me tell you…it wasn't pretty.

I generally would call myself a positive person who is content and grateful with her circumstances. Satisfied. But recently this snarky, glass-half-empty/everything-bad-happens-to-me, not-grateful attitude has taken (secret) residency. You'd think maybe just in one area but as I cried and assessed…it's everywhere and I didn't even realize it.

The thoughts of dissatisfaction went something like this (some of these are embarrassing for me to even type…it's not my finest moment…but it's real):

"I wish my kitchen was bigger. I wish I had more space to entertain people and host parties. My kitchen is so small and crowded." Dissatisfaction. "I wish our songs would get played on the radio. I wish it weren't so hard. I wish more people would pre-order our albums and come to our shows." Dissatisfaction. "Ugh, it's really not fair that everyone seems to be finding 'the one' or already having kids with 'the one' and I'm still single. Why can't I find a good man? I'm so alone."  Dissatisfaction. "I'd love it if my wardrobe was bigger cause this whole 'I never have anything to wear bit' is getting old. Everyone has seen me in these clothes. People probably are wondering why I don't but new clothes. I should buy new clothes." Dissatisfaction. "I've been eating really healthy and working out a ton and don't feel like I"m seeing any results. It's not fair. My pants should be fitting better by now." Dissatisfaction.

As I was thinking tonight of all of the complaints in my heart and the dissatisfaction, I was overwhelmed. I cried and cried because it hit me that the dissatisfaction was robbing me of SO MUCH. This is what my dissatisfaction is robbing me of….I thought of those little orphans in Africa and adults who run those homes.  I was thinking about how they would kill to have A KITCHEN…that's right…they don't have one…they cook on an open fire. How they would be blown away by the ability to have clean water at a moment's notice in their sink…hot and cold…a stove to cook on. Guys…I'm still crying as I type this. I'm ashamed. That I have cupboards full of food to eat. Nourishing, healthy, life-giving food. A refrigerator to keep my food fresh…yet all I could focus on was that it's TOO SMALL.

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Next, I thought about how many people pre-order our albums and all the wonderful people who show up at our shows. Who take the time to say nice things to me…people that wait in the cold to get a good seat to see us play…people who wait in lines to talk after a show and who share their stories with me. I thought about how even though it's hard to be independent artists, we have control over our careers. We get to call the shots and make the decisions. We get to record what/when/how we want to…we don't have a bunch of suits telling us what to do.

I thought about "being alone"...I have good friends in my life. I have friends that would drop anything if I said I needed them. Friends that I see often & that I do life with. Dinners and lunches and coffees and birthdays and cry-fests and deaths and you name it, my friends are there. I get to work with my best friend every day. I have family that are all just a phone call away--they send me notes and gifts for no reason except to say that they were thinking of me. They travel and make an effort to see me. (And a mom that will read this blog and immediately call me and say: "I read your blog. I'm so sorry you were crying. How's your heart today?" <----- True story.) Oh silly child I am. I am not alone.

Again, my heart goes to Africa. I am complaining that I don't have new clothes and the kids there have taught me to be more than that.  They wear the same thing all day-every day. Normally they wear said items to the point of "so many holes that it's no longer staying on them" clothes. That's a whole new level.  I have so many options. None of them have holes..other than jeans that I buy WITH holes in them on purpose! Crazy. All of my shoes fit my feet comfortably. I have options like running shoes and fancy shoes and everyday shoes. If I close my eyes I can see the little feet of the kids I've played with who are wearing shoes about 3 sizes to small for them. Blistered and bloody.  I have clothes that keep me warm when I need to be. I not only have a winter hat but about 8 to choose from in all different colors. Guys…I mean…insert the emoticon of the monkey covering its eyes right now cause that's how I feel. I am still crying as I type. I have so much to be over-flowingly grateful for.

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Don't even get me started about dissatisfaction with one's personal self. I get it…we live in a youth, beauty, size 0 culture but at the end of the day, I have a healthy body. I am not fighting disease or illness. I can get up and down out of a chair. I can walk and run. Why am I dissatisfied? I eat food that is nourishing to my body. I eat food that tastes good. I am healthy. But I'm dissatisfied because I don't fit into a certain pair of jeans.

After the crying subsided a bit I had this thought: I think God wants to give us good things. I really do. But I think we need to open our hands to them…and what I realized is that I'm so busy clenching my fists because I'm so darn dissatisfied with everything I already have, I'm missing out on things. What if God were trying to give me good things and I'm just down here pounding my fists with all my dissatisfaction?

Ugh, guys….I felt such profound sadness. How could I miss this? So many good things and all I had to show for it were clenched fists of dissatisfaction. I told myself (and God) that I don't want to be dissatisfied any more. I want to have open hands. A satisfied heart. I want my first thought to be that of gratefulness. It's easy to get caught up in dissatisfaction. It was for me. Maybe you know what I'm talking about…maybe you feel it too.

This was definitely a wake-up for me.

Here's to no more closed fists.

xo

-kate

 

Finally…THE Make-Up BLOG!

One of the sweetest things that people say to us is: "I LOVE YOUR MAKE-UP. What products do you use?? Tell me how you do it!!!" Hahaha…gosh you guys are kind.

So, I'm finally making good on my promise to finally write this blog. I, Kate, do our "work make-up" most of the time. I have to say that I am by no means a professional and if I explain how I do things it's 100% just doing what works for me. I am not a pro, I am learning each day...

I learn by watching people. That's the only way I really learn most things in life. I've had the privilege of watching people like Ashley Donovan and Nichole Lim…they are the professionals, people. Follow them to learn tricks of the trade and REAL, professional advice.

I've always been obsessed with make-up and "girly" things. I went to a Mary-Kay party when I was 11 and was HOOKED. I love trying new products and love anything with little-to-no fuss.

Now, on to the fun, scrappy things I've learned and the products I love :)  Again, this is how I get ready for a show or a photo-shoot or a glam/work event. Most of these products are pricy. I choose to spend money on these products because they are an investment in my work and career. This is NOT, I repeat NOT what I do on the daily. I a) do not have the patience to do this each morning and b) I like to be a little more "real life" in my everyday routine. I'll post another blog to show you guys my every morning 5 minute or less glam routine.

I am going to go in order of how I apply them to my face.

Step 1: I start with primer. I switch between these two. Note that they are both oil-free. This is super important for me because I have had bad breakouts and have acne-prone skin. So, choosing products that won't clog pores is VERY important. {sidenote: if you are looking for an awesome skin regime to help your skin be glowing all on its own, check out Renee Rouleau. I believe in her products whole-heartedly and use them morning and night.} Using a primer helps give you a clean slate for your makeup to sit on top of. The Smashbox one feels really good. If we're doing anything on camera I try to be sure to use the photo finish.

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Step 2: Next is foundation! I mix these two or three gems. Again, they are all oil-free and offer great coverage. The Laura Mercier is definitely a thicker, heavier coverage. You want the foundation to give you a good base for your face but you don't want it to look like a mask. If you want to invest in foundation, go to a store that specializes in make-up and have your skin matched. The worst is when your face is one color and your foundation is a whole different color. And let's be honest. It happens. #abaseforyourface <---- New favorite hashtag!

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I apply the foundation with a foundation brush and sponge to blend. Scroll down to see the array of brushes I use. If you don't have a foundation brush, just use a sponge--or even cheaper than a sponge...your fingers. The key is blending. Make sure you blend the foundation under your jawline into your neck--this will help blend your look and make it seem more natural. Also, make sure you blend around your temples and hair line by your forehead. You want it to look natural. (The Mat Velvet foundation is a little too drying for my skin to use all on its own, but if you have super oily skin you might want to try it. I just mix it with the others.)

Step 3: Got to love concealer! I use this to cover any problematic blemishes, cover dark circles under my eyes or to even out any red blotchy skin. I love this Laura Mercier concealer because it has two shades in the same pallet. I use a lighter one around my eyes…sometimes I even put concealer on my eyelids. Again, I think the goal is make your face a blank slate to build on. So, by using foundation and concealer you can create a blank page to work with.

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(Sorry for the very used picture of the concealer. Real life y'all.)

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I also have this concealer pallet from Make Up For Ever. I don't use it a ton. Not sure why…it's just not my favorite. The green is helpful for neutralizing redness. For instance, if you have a bright red zit, it's helpful to dab a tiny bit of the green on/around the redness. Then cover the green with one of the other fleshy colors. Now, don't go crazy with the green or else you're going to look like you're auditioning for Wicked. Not cool.

Step 4: Set it. Set it. Powder. Powder will be your best friend for two reasons. One, it keeps all the foundation and concealer in place. And two…it keeps you from being shiny. I mean, you want to shine…but not in that way. The powder will keep everything in place. When you get a little shiny after a few hours…re-apply a dab of powder and you're ready to roll. This High Def powder is awesome. I couldn't tell you the fancy reasons why it's superior to others…cause I don't really know. What I do know is that it's just awesome. A little goes a LONG way here. Don't over use.

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Step 5: It's all about the eyes. Eyeshadow. Eyes are the window to your soul. I LOVE these Naked pallets by Urban Decay. They are great, great, great. So many colors. So many different looks you can create. I have the original and Naked 2. I'll give you the step by step of what I do for Jill. This is a go-to look that she likes. I use Half-Baked in the inside corner of her eye to the middle. Then I use Hustle from the outside corner, and blend into the Half-Baked. I take the Hustle to about mid-level on her eyelid. And by "mid-level" I mean about half way between her eyebrow and lash line. (Maybe I'll do a video tutorial to show this sometime because my word descriptions might not be so clear--sorry!) Then I take a darker color like Blackout or Creep and smudge it in the corner of her eyes. Sometimes I even draw it out if she wants a more dramatic cat-eye. I finish by dusting a little lighter shadow, like Virgin or  Bootycall underneath the brow. (Guys, side note…who names these shadows and why are they all sexual? I do not understand this.) This is to highlight the brow--be gentle with highlighter anytime you use it on your face. You don't want to look painted or like there is a GLOWING WAND OF LIGHT UDNER YOUR EYEBROW. Gently highlight.

Don't be afraid to play with shadow colors. Grays and black are perfect for a smokey eye. Colors are fun too. A small rule of thumb: if you use a crazy eye color or make it super dramatic…go lighter on the lip color. If you do a super bright or dramatic, strong lip color maybe go lighter on the eye colors. I did not invent this rule…it's just word on the street.

 

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Step 6: Fill in the brows. Brow-shadow. Jill is a perfect example of someone who needs zero brow filling in. She has the darkest, most perfect eyebrows. Mine on the other hand are a little spotty. They've got some bald-spots gaps. So, I actually use an eyeshadow to fill in my brows. I use Buck. I believe I learned this trick directly from Ashley. So yeah…I just fill in a little to darken them and fix the gaps. Follow your natural brow--don't re-invent the wheel here.

Step 7: Jill's favorite. Eyeliner. There are several different kinds of eyeliner. I prefer a creme liner verses a pencil. Maybe if I invested in better pencils I'd change my mind. But, this is what I use. Don't be intimidated by a brush to apply the liner. You can do it! I do a line above the top lash line and try to bring the the end out ever so slightly (a little more exaggerated if you want a cat eye.) Then I line the inner-rim of the lower lid. This black up against the white of the eye makes your eyes pop. I then take a little on the brush and line under the lower lash line. Then sometimes I take a little of the charcoal or black eyeshadow and smudge it with the liner underneath the lower lash line.

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This stuff means business. When it says "waterproof" it means this: it's never coming off unless you use a make-up remover and then even after that it will be a struggle.

Jill's best quote about eyeliner is: "The secret to my eyeliner is yesterday's eyeliner." Don't worry. The t-shirts are coming ;)

Step 8: Lashes, baby. Mascara. I use and have used this brand of mascara for years. Yearsssss. Please, Maybelline never stop making it. I love it so much. It's $5.49 at Walgreens and I get compliments all the time about our lashes. Jill curls her lashes before applying but I generally don't. Call me lazy. My biggest pit-fall with mascara is wanting to be thrifty and use the mascara for months and months. When it starts to get dry,  just go get another one. There is no point trying to use old mascara--it's flaky and smells funny. I find when I fly a lot my mascara dies sooner. Not scientifically proven or anything…just my 2 cents.

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Step 9: Blush. Bring some color and life to your face. This I will tell you is Jill's LEAST favorite thing I do. She always cringes and thinks I'm over-doing it. Childhood issues I'm sure. Anyway. Here's what I use. 2 NARS colors that I vary between are: Desire & Sin/Casino. The duo pallet is great if I'm traveling light cause it has a bronzer  & blush together. I will not be talking about how to contour your face. I don't really get how to do it so there's no point in me attempting to tell you.  All I will tell you is that I suck in my cheeks to make a fish face & dust the bronzer color along the part that sticks out. When applying a color I purse my lips up (stick your lips out like you were going to be kissed) and then apply the color to the apple of your cheeks….the round part! I always draw the colors in an upward direction to blend with my bronzer. Start with a little and build. It's easier to go little by little than start big and have a TON on your face that you need to get rid of.  Desire is such a bright pink that a little goes a lonnnnng way.

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After I blush I put a little highlighting/shimmer along my cheekbone. I either use a NARS color called…ahem, Orgasm or this MAC cream in Pearl. Yes, it's called orgasm. Shocking that another make-up color would be overtly sexualized. Name aside, it's a beautiful color. Just a light dusting above your blush/bronzer with this stuff is the perfect finishing touch.

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Step 10: Make those lips shine! Lipstick. I am not great at picking lip colors. Once I find one I like I tend to use it until it runs out. I use 2 lip pencils and carry a couple shades of lipstick with us when we travel. Sometimes I fill in the entire lip with a pencil and cover with gloss. Sometimes I just outline my lips with the pencil. I've found the lip pencils help keep the color in place. sephora-collection-8593-423241-1 Unknown Sephora_R17

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Step 11: Set it all! It might seem weird to spray your face with something wet after you spent all this time perfecting it. Hold the bottle a few inches from your face and give yourself a good spritzing! Seriously, you'll want some of this. This keeps your face from melting or sweating off when you are under lights or if you need your makeup to hold up for hours and hours.

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Step 12: Body-bronzer! Can I get an AMEN for this product? It's the best. If you are a little whiter than you are wanting to be, mix this bronzer called Laguna with some lotion and in an instant you will look like you've been sun-bathing in the South of France for the summer. It's magic and awesome and I hate when I run out.

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 There you have it ladies and gents. Kate's make-up 101. Remember: make-up isn't what makes you pretty…but that could be a whole other blog. Let me know if you have any questions!

Love you all lots…and thanks for all the kind words about my make-up…you know how to make a girl feel special!

xo

kate

 Here is a close up of the countered eye-liner brushes I use. I love them.

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Below are the brushes I use:

-The top yellow one I use for blush

-The big yellow one for powder

-The black one (next to the big one) I use for the bronzer on my face

-The rest are eyeshadow brushes

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Here are some close-ups of make-up I've done for us :)

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11 Things You Didn't Know About Us

1. Kate's had Ecoli twice.

2. Jill's ambidextrous.

3. We both ran our first 5k on July 4th, 2011.

4. Kate's biggest driving pet-peeve is when people don't merge appropriately.

5.  Jill's pet-peeve is when kitchen sponges get really smelly and mildewy.

6. A {secret} dream is to have a morning talk show similar to Hoda & Kathy-Lee someday.

7. Kate hates roller-coasters.

8. We both graduated from high school early.

9. Kate has an obsession with the military, military airplanes and/or most planes in general.

10. The first guitar Jill was ever given was given to her by a nun named Rosemary.

11. The first day we met each other was JANUARY 11th, 2003.

 

 

 

 

A Note About Song On The 17th

Hi friends, Who can believe that 2015 is here and it's already the 17th of the month? Holy wow.

We've been doing Song On The 17th (SOT17) for 6 years-ish and we have decided to give it a little break. Don't go crying your eyes out or start sending us hate-mail…we will resurrect SOT17 again…we're just taking a bit of a hiatus from it.

New Years are for trying new things and we want to be constantly stretching and growing. Sometimes to grow you need to cut back a bit…so that's what we're doing..cutting back :)

If you're really sad…go back and scroll through our hundreds of YouTube covers and songs. It'll entertain you for long enough that you won't even miss it ;)

And obviously we'll still be posting videos of songwriting, covers and other random adventures…don't you worry.

Thanks for understanding...

Much love and excitement for the future!

xo

j&k

WHY Eleven?

Some of you have asked…why did your single come out on a Sunday? Normally new music comes out on Tuesday and your single, Rocky Road, came out on a Sunday. What gives? Well, glad you asked. We wanted our single to come out on Sunday because of the date….the 11th. See, Rocky Road is our first song to release from our new album ELEVEN coming out this year.

There is no song called eleven on our album…and no, there aren't even 11 songs on the album. But, we made the album during the 11th year working together and we thought that was pretty cool.

IMG_4788{Us in the studio with Dave}

 

Last year while we were making the album we kept saying…isn't it crazy that we've been working together for 11 years? It came up all the time. 11 years of singing together. WOW. So, when we were trying to think of a title for the album we kind of liked Eleven. We liked the one word. We liked that it named this chapter in our story. These songs are a collection of thoughts and feelings and a lot of them represent the last 11 years of our journey. These songs tell stories.

So…confusion solved. Everyone is on the same page right? ELEVEN. Woohoo!

So, have you downloaded the single yet? It's kind of happy and sad and will hopeful make you hopeful. And maybe it will make you dance. Cause life is better when you dance.

Love you all.

xo j&k

PS. Click HERE to download your copy.

Rocky Road

 

Hope For 2015 (31 Days-Day #31)

IMG_4296 It's the last day of the year.

2014 is done. Gone. Over. In the past. And 2015 is before us.

What are you doing to celebrate?

Whatever you do we hope you laugh and maybe dance a little. Cause laughing and dancing is light. For some of us, 2014 has been filled with pockets of heaviness. So, tonight we're going to dance and laugh, dance and laugh and maybe dance some more…that's the way we want to bring in 2015. Friends, dancing and laughter.

We have blogged about it before but every NYE we write a letter to ourselves to open the next year on Dec. 31. It's maybe the most fun thing we do all year. It's a good time to write down where you want to be next year…what changes you want to make, what goals you want to achieve…it's CRAZY how much changes in a year.

We have lots to be grateful for this year…and we have lots to be looking forward to next year.

Thank you for being a part of this year with us. Thank you for coming out to shows. Thank you for sending your tweets/FB messages/Instagrams :) YOU are a part of our everyday life...

Let's go into 2015 together with hopeful hearts. Hope in our hearts. Laughter in our conversations. Fresh air in our lungs.

Much love...

j&k

PS. Please, please, please….be careful tonight. Call a cab. Call an über. Call a designated driving service. Do not drink and drive. Repeat: do not drink and drive. Your life matters.

 

 

 

Don't Do The New Years Diet (31 Days- Day #30)

With all the hubbub of a new year and the pressure of new year's resolutions and changing your life at the stroke of midnight, we'd like to share some friendly advice that was shared with us...  DONT START A DIET ON JAN 1! Anne Lamott wrote this incredibly insightful Facebook post and we thought we'd share what she wrote:

This is the Anne Patricia Lamott Anti-Diet that I posted at this time last year. This year, I post it with an added urgency, as the new Viking Diet is upon us, the latest and hottest It diet, and since you may feel vulnerable and somewhat battered after the last few days/weeks/years of festive family get-togethers, or estrangement, you will be susceptible to its promises. And yes, young Canute, if you are enjoying the noble Viking lifestyle, raiding your neighbor's grain stores and salted venison lockers, this may in fact be the perfect new diet for you. Are you giddy with relief that Whole Foods carries so many foraged vegetables, and moose meat? Then step right up. Help bail out the ever-struggling diet industry, while you're at it. But otherwise?

We need to talk.

I know you are planning to start a diet next Thursday, January 1st, I used to start diets, too. I hated to mention this to my then-therapist. She would say cheerfully, " Oh, that's great, honey. How much weight are you hoping to gain?"

I got rid of her sorry ass. No one talks to ME that way.

Well, okay, maybe it was ten years later, after she had helped lead me back home, to myself, to radical self-care, to friendship with my own heart, to a jungly glade that had always existed deep inside me, to mostly healthy eating, but that I'd avoided all those years by achieving, dieting, binging, people-pleasing, multi-talking, and so on

Now when I decide to go on a diet, I say it to myself: "Great, honey. How much weight are you hoping to gain?"

I was able to successfully put on weight during my last book tour by eating room service meals in a gobbly trance in 13 different cities. So that was exhilarating, as I may have mentioned several hundred times that I have had the tiniest, tiniest struggle with food and body image for the last--well, life time. Hardly worth mentioning.

And then, after book tour, I accidentally forgot to starve myself in December, or to go back to the gym, which I've been meaning to do since I had a child, 24 years ago.

So I am at least five pounds up--but thankfully, I do not currently have a scale, because as I've said before, getting on a scale is like asking Dick Cheney to give you a sense of your own self-worth every morning.

I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act, volunteering random thoughts about my butt.

By the same token, it feels great to be healthy. Some of you need to be under a doctor's care. None of you need to join Jenny Craig. It won't work. You will lose tons of weight quickly, and gain it all back, plus five. Some of you need to get outside and walk for half an hour a day. I do love walking, so that is not a problem for me, but I have a serious sickness with sugar: if I start eating it, I can't stop. I don't have an off switch, any more than I do with alcohol. Given a choice, I will eat candy corn and Raisinets until the cows come home--and then those cows will be tense, and bitter, because I will have gotten lipstick on the straps of their feed bags.

But you crave what you eat, so if I go for 3 or 4 days with no sugar, the craving is gone. That is not dieting. If you are allergic to peanuts, don't eat peanuts.

So please join me in not starting a diet January 1st.

It's really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It's okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and to pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. Horribly, it's yet another inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there. It's within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it's true.

Maybe some of us can try to eat a bit less, and walk a bit more, and make sure to wear pants that do not hurt our thighs or our feelings. Drinking more water is the solution to all problems.

I'll leave you with this: I've helped some of the sturdier women at my church get healthy, by suggesting they prepare each meal as if they had asked our beloved pastor to lunch or dinner. They wouldn't say, "Here Pastor--let's eat standing up in the kitchen. This tube of barbecue Pringles is all for you. i have my own" And then stand there gobbling from their own tubular container. No, they'd get out pretty dishes, and arrange wonderful foods on the plates, and set one plate before Veronica at the table, a plate filled with love, pride and connection. That's what we have longed for, our whole lives, and get to create, now, or or on the 1st. Wow! And God bless you all real good, as my pastor always says.

Anne said it all and we really don't know what else to say. We are all about being healthy…if you need to get healthy DO IT. But, don't do it because you think at the stroke of midnight your willpower and mind-set will change in a second. Take small steps to being the healthiest version of yourself. Maybe it's not physically at all, maybe it's getting emotionally healthy. Don't pressure yourself with big goals. Small steps. We're all in this together.

Much love.

xo

j&k

 

BTS: Dressing Rooms (31 Days- Day #29)

A question that we get asked a lot is: what do the dressing rooms look like? What's backstage like? Having toured in many different ways i.e. minivan ---->bus...tiny clubs ------>arenas and everything in between...this is something that people ask us alllll the time. So, we thought we'd dig through years of touring pics and try and give you a real look. Sometimes it's a smelly sports locker room, sometimes it's a cozy room with colorful drapes and couches…other times it's a closet with 2 folding chairs and a couple bottles of water. Most rooms have this in common: no windows. And you might think that behind that security guard and black curtain there is a magic world of champagne fountains and fairy god-mothers delivering fairy dust and chocolates…we haven't found that yet. We'll let you know when we do. Its mostly bare hallways. "Well-used" furniture.

Anyway…here are some snap shots from various dressing rooms throughout the years. Now, there may or may not be lots of selfie-in-the-mirror shots…and before you go thinking we're the most vain people on the planet…just know…sometimes we arrive at a venue at 8am and don't go onstage until 9pm or 10pm. That's lots of time. Plus, most of those 8am arrivals we are looking a little rough from sleeping on the bus or driving all night so by the time we are all made up--we wanted to document it…it's a big transformation, people! ;)

xo

j&k

 

IMG_2517Say what?

IMG_2548Someone turned our "Jill and Kate" sign and wrote just "Jill." Color me offended. *winky face*

IMG_0713Loading docks are the new hallways.

IMG_1536Back of a tour bus = impromptu dressing room.

IMG_2044We like to call this "hobo-chic."

IMG_2522Bored & "...lying on the cold hard ground…" circa Taylor Swift.

IMG_5709At The Bitter End in NYC. Dressing room is literally a big closet and has stickers all over.

IMG_5922Trailor/camper dressing room.

IMG_1942Dressing rooms are better with friends in them!

IMG_2011Sa-sa-sa-selfie.

IMG_2087This was a fun room. Jill is too cool for school.

IMG_5535Red Rocks in Colorado. The venue is awesome & this was literally a wall in our dressing room.

IMG_1794Ay-yo.

IMG_1801Black drape curtains covering lockers behind us.

IMG_1916This was in a dressing room at CTV when we were in Canada…they asked us to sign it! Fun. Fun.

IMG_2045Always good to see this in your dressing room…while you're changing :/

IMG_2056Showing off the new JANN ARDEN phone case :)

IMG_5113Shenanigans with Nicole…so fun…and a little messy.

IMG_5883Hotel room = make-shift dressing room.

IMG_0172This was in the UK. The dressing room actually had windows. Except for we literally just watched rats run back and forth….so incredibly GROSS.

IMG_1495Brown wood paneling.

IMG_2202A closet dressing room where our friend Kristyn was getting ready--literally a closet :)

IMG_2930Mirrors up.

IMG_6342Lesley helping with Kate's hair. Lesley was THE BEST dressing room setter-uper. Even if the room was a dump…she always made it livable :)

IMG_8357At the O2 arena…make shift dressing room = a hallway.

IMG_0119Never a good sign when "dirty anus" is written on the dressing room wall.

IMG_1771First show on the Jann Arden tour. Setlists, make-up…it was so tiny in there.

IMG_1805Hallway to the first arena we played OUR OWN SET AT.

IMG_1923Treadmills are sometimes in dressing rooms. That's about as close to "using it" as we got.

IMG_2104Again, dressing rooms are more fun with friends….Kristyn and the Canadian Country Duo Autumn Hill :)

IMG_2109TV station dressing room aka lobby. Chris & Jill. Take note of the venti coffee and Jill's squinty eyes.

IMG_6044Dark painted walls. Jill warming up.

IMG_6442Bathrooms and plastic chairs.

IMG_8232Water & pizza…talking set list strategy.

IMG_2279Old living room was a dressing room for our video shoot…here's Lesley again helping with Kate's shoes. She's the best.

 

 

IMG_6041Green walls…singing with our friend Reva warming up for a show.

IMG_7260Wembley arena hallways at our last Kelly gig. Signs are always helpful because sometimes every room looks the same.

IMG_8516In the UK, this was the basement of a venue. It had the most RANDOM stuff in it…

IMG_5357Bare walls but smiling faces…and wardrobe hanging behind.

IMG_9047Room with sinks.

IMG_5638Again…dressing rooms are better with friends.

IMG_2178Flowery couches, wine and a mess!

IMG_1079Apples..bare walls.

IMG_2562Bright lights…and Lesley. Yay!

IMG_2686Cinder block painted white walls….perfect for push-ups. And there are those dang black curtains.

IMG_3105Sometimes there are weird wood/locker things in your dressing room…perfect for weird photos.

IMG_3129Shnazzy carpet…perfect for napping…or crashing.

IMG_8677This was a dressing room at Dancing With The Stars…getting our hair did. It was a trailer.

 

IMG_1095Ignore the HUGE pile of clothes behind us. Sometimes you got to get up.

IMG_1844Orange walls and smiling faces.

IMG_2598Wall of heroes on the wall. Guitar hero drum-set that was not ours and some sass.

IMG_8104Sometimes there are cool things like this on the wall of dressing rooms. Goofy faces are optional.

IMG_8164See above. ELLEN!

IMG_8166Ignore Kate's weird face and awkward pose. This was at Ellen and we like to think this was the exact dressing room that Ellen scared Taylor and she fell on the ground.

IMG_8883Green checkered walls at The View!

 

 

 

Wine (31 Days - Day #28)

The holidays are a great opportunity to try some new wines. Here are a few new ones we hadn't tried before. (Ps. These are non-fancy reviews of wine. We know nothing about the proper "educated" terms…just clarifying before we got started.)

IMG_4366Come on, red velvet wine…made by Cupcake? Can you say…WINNER! It's not too heavy or sweet…tasted kind of like a merlot. And how festive is that label? Perfect for a holiday table. Next year guys. Next year.

IMG_4506Oooooh…loved this Chardonnay. It's not very sweet. It's like it says on the bottle…crisp & clean. So delicious. Made by Kendall-Jackson.. which we love their Reisling but hadn't tried this one.

IMG_4525In the airport I (Kate) found this wine bar & tried a taste of 3 different white wines. They serve them with the description of each underneath. I liked the first 2 but the last one wasn't my favorite (even though the description was something along the lines of buttercream.)

IMG_4521This was my favorite from the tasting…it's from New Zealand. Woot woot. I loved the passion fruit and citrus flavors…never tasted anything like it before. LOVED it. I got a full glass of it after the tasting was finished. What? Don't judge. I had a LOT of time to kill in the airport. Plus, I was reading. Reading a book + a glass of wine... might = perfection :)

Do you have a favorite new wine you've discovered recently? Sharing is caring.

xo

j&k

 

5 Things To Watch or Read: Go. (31 Days-Day #27)

I love hearing what you have been watching, reading (and listening to)...because I'm always more inclined to watch, read (or listen to) something that comes recommended to me rather than just trying to find something myself. Laziness? Perhaps. Honestly though, how much time have you wasted browsing through Netflix categories only to get overwhelmed and turn on F-R-I-E-N-D-S re-runs? Just me? I didn't think so. And when it comes to books, I am the worst. I pretty much only read things that people suggest to me. So I thought to myself, on Day 27 of blogging, why don't we have a little interaction where we recommend things to each other. Here are 5 things I have been watching, reading, or listening to lately. Please tell me 5 of yours too! It can be TV shows, Movies, Books, Podcasts, Funny YouTube videos...really whatever you please!

Here we go:

1. BROADCHURCH (TV Show): This UK drama/mystery series on Netflix is SO GOOD. There are only 8 episodes and I watched all of them in the past week. There is a season 2 coming soon! The acting is outstanding and the storyline is so compelling. I don't want to give anything away, but check it out.

2. SERIAL (Podcast): This is really the first podcast I have ever listened to. My brother called me and said "You HAVE to listen to this." So I started it and could not stop. The word "Podcast" has always felt a little intimidating to me, but now all I can think about is finding another one like Serial. It's FREE and you will not be able to turn it off.

3. IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) BY MINDY KALING (Book): I sort of stole this from Kate because she read it first and kept talking about how funny it was. She was right. This is such an easy read and Mindy is so funny and likable. It's a nice light-hearted piece that has nothing to do with murder. (My first two suggestions do. Trying to lighten things up a bit here.)

4. AN IDIOT ABROAD (TV Show): Here is another Netflix series that I find both hilarious and educational. Apparently, I have a tendency to watch British shows, but really that's not much of a shock considering how much I love the UK and all of you wonderful people over there. :) This is a reality travel show of sorts, but with some pretty funny twists that make it different than your average travel show. It's a little quirky, but check it out and tell me what you think.

5. FRESHPET HOLIDAY FEAST (YouTube Video): And this...just because...how can you not think this is hysterical?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhg7Xm4FXAY

Now please share with us 5 of your favorites! And let us know what you think about these! 

Hope you're having a great weekend.

-Jill (and Kate)

 

Rocky Road Single Cover! (31 Days-Day #26)

Guys...our new single is ALMOST HERE! Even if you've heard our acoustic version of Rocky Road, this is totally different. We are so stoked about it! So we wanted to share with you the single cover...we are too excited to keep this stuff in, so little by little we'll be revealing things about this new album to you.  If you haven't Pre-Ordered, you still can! Your pre-orders are helping us make this album a reality, so THANK YOU! Honestly, your generosity and support are such an encouragement to us. We can't believe we get to do this and that you are on this ride with us!

Oh, if you've pre-ordered or if you do soon...you will get this song in your inbox VERY soon!

Much love...

-j&k-

JK_Rocky Road-01

It's Christmas! (31 Days-Day #25)

Who can believe that Christmas Day has arrived? Wow. The year has flown by. They say the older you get, the faster the time goes….yikes…we think they might be right.

We wanted to wish each of YOU (yes, you) the most wonderful, joy-filled Christmas! We hope that you are surrounded by loving friends and family and that you can take a moment to relax and breathe.

And, we know that sometimes holidays can be hard. You might want to throw a chair though a window if you hear "it's the most wonderful time of year" again. If that's you this Christmas…that's okay. If you are having a hard time…that's okay. You can be honest. You can be quiet. I (kate) would be lying if I said there weren't Christmases that I didn't cry my way through. One Christmas I was going through a breakup and literally sat and stared out the window, past the Christmas tree full of lights and wanted to bury my head in a pile of blankets. I cried and I cried. That's actually when I started the song "Don't Feel A Thing" that ended up on our Songs On The 17th Vol. 1 album. I think back then I tried keeping it all inside…not sure why, I just didn't want my problems to bum other people out. But, I think I've learned now being honest with pain is the best way to bring healing…and not only to yourself but to everyone. Now when I'm feeling something I really try to say it out loud and be honest. Because, I think that's ok.

Not meaning to be debbie downer. We hope and pray that this Christmas season you are joyous and life is AWESOME. But, if you're not…we want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We've said it once, we'll say it a thousand times…we are all in this together. Maybe we could all reach out today to someone? Send someone a text or blow their minds and CALL them. Write an email. Think of someone that might not have many people around them celebrating today. Tell someone that's having a hard time not to get over it but that you are getting in it with them. We think that would be an epic way to spread holiday cheer.

God gave us Jesus…Emmanual…"God With Us"…so that we wouldn't be alone.

We are SO thankful for each of you. Honestly, you don't know how much you mean to us.

Love, love, love.

Jill and Kate

PS. Merry Christmas to you. 3 free songs can be downloaded at: https://soundcloud.com/jill-and-kate

Christmas Eve! (31 Days-Day #24)

Well we have both had super awesome days in our respective homes. A fabulous Christmas Eve loaded with family time. New Hampshire has had wild weather with a coastal flood warning and Colorado has snow on the ground and is COLD. We are both still holding out for a "White Christmas"…we want snow people! Hope that you all have had a great Christmas Eve celebrating with family & friends.

We heard about this song today for the first time…umm… hello? How had we not heard this before today? It made us laugh. Oh, 2014, you're a riot. OMG. LOL. xoxo Hahaha…texting…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmhfdQlOiy0

Hope Santa brings you everything you are wishing for!

xo

j&k

The Most Fun App This Christmas - (31 Days - Day #22)

Okay. Get ready to laugh. A few friends of mine showed me this app the other day and I have been doubled over in laughter ever since.

It's called "Crazy Helium Booth" and it's so much fun. It warps your face and your voice sort of just like regular photo booth, but I think it's the voice element that makes it that much better. Forgive me if this is old news, but it's new to me and I am quite enjoying it.

Here is one of me:

[video width="480" height="640" m4v="http://jillandkate.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/1419283460_new.m4v"][/video]

Download the app...(It's FREE...at least the version I got is free...you can buy  a version without the ads if you feel so inclined) and it's just so fun...and just so funny. Enjoy it with your family and friends!

HAPPY Holidays. :)

-j

Fav Songs/Albums of 2014 (31 Days-Day #21)

As 2014 is coming to a close we thought we'd highlight a few of our favorite songs & albums from this year. We'd love to hear what some of your favorites are too :)

Ghost Stories-Coldplay

Chandelier-Sia

Stay With Me-Sam Smith

1989-Taylor Swift

Hozier-Take Me To Church

Ed Sheeran-Thinking Out Loud

Waves-Mr. Probz

Cool Kids-Echosmith

All Of Me-John Legend

Happy-Pharrell Williams

Ain't It Fun-Paramore

xo

j&k

For The Love (31 Days-Day #20)

Wanted to give you an update on the precious little faces at Houses of Hope Africa (HOHA.) If you are a new reader, HOHA are homes for orphaned children in South Africa and Zimbabwe that we are involved with. (Kate's dad, Bill, started the organization.) They provide all the basic needs for a child to thrive…but they also do more than that. They provide a home for them. Besides all the basics of food, clean water, school fees, etc. they are also telling these kids that they are part of a community. They are loved. They have a purpose and a God who loves them. They have a place to come back to when they're grown--they are family. We normally try and do a benefit concert each holiday season but have found this year that this time of year is cray cray. Yes, we just said cray cray….but really…there is so much going on. So, we will be moving our benefit to a different time of year…we're thinking Valentine's Day-ish…maybe call the event "For The Love" :) Do you like that idea? We'll keep you updated as we plan more and we'll get you details as soon as we know them.

But, we did play a house show here in Nashville on Thursday night. Kate's parents have friends who knew we did house shows and asked if we would play one for them & their friends and have it benefit HOHA. We LOVED that idea. So, we did exactly that. Played in a living room (which btw, the house had gorgeous hardwood floors that made for fabulous acoustics), Kate's dad flew in to talk about the specific fundraising goals, and we raised awareness and money for these awesome kids. Right now we are raising funds specifically for the 16 kids at the Zimbabwe home. It takes about $35 per child/per month to cover their food, clothing, school fees and medical care. If you are looking for a tax-deductible place to donate this holiday season we'd love for you to get involved. These kids have taught us so much about joy and strength. Click here to donate.

Here are a few pictures from our last trip earlier this year.

xo j&k

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