The Giving Spirit

Something wonderful about the Christmas season is the giving spirit. Hopefully generosity is at the forefront of everyone’s mind and if you’re anything like us, giving gifts to loved ones is a highlight throughout the year.

Along with giving gifts to loved ones, we also love supporting organizations and companies who are doing amazing work helping others in our own country and around the world. We thought we would highlight a few of our favorites in case you are looking to do some year-end giving and need help deciding where your dollars should go. :)

 

Rescue: Freedom

Our friend Jeremy runs this non-profit and he and his team are doing amazing work rescuing children from sexual slavery all over the world. Click here to read more and donate.

 

Houses of Hope Africa

Near and dear to us, because Kate’s dad is the founder. HOHA cares for orphaned children in Southern Africa. They provide housing, education, access to healthcare, and emotional and spiritual guidance. Click here to read more and donate.

 

The Giving Keys

This is a for-profit jewelry company, but each purchase helps employ a person transitioning out of homelessness. We wear our Giving Keys necklaces all the time and love the conversation starters that they are. Click here to read more and to purchase.

 

J/P Hro

THis is a relief organization helping the people of Haiti in a major way. They are doing everything from medical care to building projects, to providing education. Haiti is the closest country to the US and the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Click here to read more and to donate.

 

Generous Coffee

This is a for profit coffee company that provides an income for local people all over the world. By drinking their coffee, you are helping people in impoverished areas have work to be able to provide for their families. Life changing coffee. Click here to read more and to purchase.

 

People Loving Nashville

A friend of ours started this in Nashville. Every Monday, they hit the streets of downtown Nashville to feed the homeless. It’s simple and it’s making a huge difference in the lives of those in need. Click here to read more and to donate.

 

Alright, those are some of our faves. There are so many organizations and companies doing good work. We’d like to encourage you to give this season. Find some work that is helping others and jump on board...whether financially or volunteering in person. We 100% believe that when you serve the needs of others, it makes you rich.

Sending you love,

Jill and Kate



 

Twelve Twenty-One.

12/21. This date holds some significance for us.

One, because one of our besties had her precious little daughter on this day. Heyyyyy Annie.

Two, because two years ago today an article came out in the Washington Post about us. During our #31DaysofBlogging two years ago, we told the story of our year and shed light on things we had previously not made public. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here. After we posted the blog, some news outlets reached out to us and the Washington Post was one of them.

The story is of us being promptly fired from a male country artist’s tour after we blogged about an experience we had with another male co-worker on the tour. We didn’t use names. We weren’t putting anyone down. We were sharing our story in hopes that it would help other people who had been in similar situations.

Because that’s what’s helpful about hard times or tough situations. If we share them and speak our truth, we are allowing others to say--me too.

We bring this up today because in the last few months a lot has come to light for a lot of people with the #metoo movement. The blinders have been taken off and truth is coming to light. We hope and pray that by enough people speaking and sharing their truth, that the stigmas will change.

The thing that we still find so disheartening is that when women speak up or out about issues, i.e., being harassed, not being paid fairly, etc. they are automatically labeled “troublemakers.” And we are sick of it. Hopefully enough women speaking up and out will make people realize that we are not troublemakers. We are women who are being treated unfairly and have a mouth to voice that. 

Thank you Catt Sadler for standing up for your value and worth. Thank you for having the courage to walk away. To not only speak about your value, but to put action behind it. We need more women with fiery courage like you to pave the way.

We love that the #metoo movement is bringing people together. That’s one of our biggest goals through our music and a value that we build our business on: We’re all in this together.

If you are needing to share a truth, but have been afraid to, we’ve been there too. All we can tell you is that if you can find the courage to speak the truth, there is freedom in that. But, sharing your truth and holding to your truth often will cost you something.

There is no fun way to package that sentence.

For us, we spoke our truth and it cost us our jobs.

Catt Sadler took a stand, told her truth, and she left her job.

For so many other women, it has cost them even more.

But we believe that we are fighting for each other. Every time a woman shares her truth, she’s moving the needle forward for other women everywhere. Let’s keep that needle moving.

Sending you love and courage,

J&K
 

PS. We wrote this song in the midst of all of our getting fired drama. Read the lyrics and let the words empower you.

There will be times you’re mistreated for being a girl

For having two X chromosomes in an XY world

And people will say you can never take them on

Boys will be boys and they’re just too strong

 

But I got two feet and I got one big mouth

I’m not too weak to stand and I’m not afraid to shout

And you can call me what you want, but you can’t shut me down

 

Cause I am a girl

Standing up for every other girl in the world

Who’s been living this underground

I am a girl

Singing this for every other girl in the world

Sing it together now

I am a girl

I am a girl

 

They didn’t like it when I called them out

Telling the story of how they pushed me around

And they’re beating their chests somewhere in this town

So I’m telling my fellow girls to watch out

Watch out

 

But I got two feet and I got one big mouth

I’m not too weak to stand and I’m not afraid to shout

And you can call me what you want, but you can’t shut me down

 

Cause I am a girl

Standing up for every other girl in the world

Who’s been living this underground

I am a girl

Singing this for every other girl in the world

Sing it together now

I am a girl

I am a girl

 

Stand together

Walk together

Make a better world

Stand together

Sing together

Make a better world

Stand together

Rise together

Make a better world

Stand together

 

Cause I am a girl

Standing up for every other girl in the world

Who’s been living this underground

I am a girl

Singing this for every other girl in the world

Sing it together now

I am a girl

I am a girl


 

Siri Hates Me

Tonight I was out driving around doing a little Christmas shopping and I thought of a great blog idea. BUT…I’m very anti-texting and driving, so I will often use Siri to help me write down my ideas while I’m behind the wheel. See, I’d really like Siri to be my friend, but alas, Siri does not feel the same way. I think Siri hates me.

So, I’m driving and here’s how our conversation goes:

Me: “Hey Siri.”

Siri: “I’m listening.” (RUDE)

Me: “Text myself.”

Siri: “What do you want to say to Jill Pickering?”

Me: “This is my blog idea…”

Siri: “Your text to Jill Pickering says, ‘This is my blog idea.’ Ready to send?”

Me: “No, Siri. You cut me off before I was done.”

Siri: “Okay. I won’t send it.”

Me: “HEY SIRI.”

Siri: “I’m listening.” (AGAIN, RUDE.)

Me: “Text myself.”

Siri: “Your text to Jill Pickering says, ‘This is my blog idea.’ Ready to send?”

This went on about three more times before I got VERY irate and became aggressive towards a freaking robot. At this point, I screamed NOOOOO into the phone and also forgot what my blog idea actually was. So, there you have it. Thank you, Siri, for this amazing blog on the 20th of December. May it go down in history.

Jill

Home Remedies

So, it’s the time of year for colds, coughs and flu’s. Woohoo! Just kidding. But seriously, it seems like everyone is fighting the sniffles and we’ve both had little bout of the stuff going around--luckily it hasn't lasted long and we are both in good health now.  

We thought we’d mention some of our cold fighting remedies and the odd things people swear by to help healing faster.

  • Hot Toddy

This is a pre-bedtime drink that consists of tea, honey, whiskey and lemon. If you want to get fancy you can add cinnamon and cloves but when we make ours it’s pretty simple. The whiskey & honey both fight germs and it’s warm so it just makes you feel awesome before you get some zzzzzz’s.

  • Vick’s Vapor Rub

Now you might be thinking the conventional way...but no, here’s the funny part. Apparently when you put it on YOUR FEET, it helps your breathing. Say what? We’ve never tried it but people swear by this. Next time we get a cold, we’re trying it.

  • Vitamin C & D

These guys are like our best friends all year round but especially when cold and flu season starts. Vitamin C is the real rockstar of the vitamin gang, but vitamin D is the hidden gem. It boosts your immunity and helps fight off those colds before they start.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

It tastes so gross and disgusting, pretty much just horrid BUT, we do these when we feel sickness coming on...and sometimes just when we’re feeling laggy. It's all sorts of good for your Ph levels and is good for us...we don't really know why but we just know. Haha.

  • Steam Shower

So basic, but sometimes when you aren’t feeling well, even a shower seems like too much work. Yet, standing in a steaming hot shower and letting the moisture fill your lungs is almost guaranteed to make you feel better.

What are you go-to remedies and tricks for when you’re feeling sick?

Sharing is caring :)

Love,

J&K


 

Cheese Plate Hall Of Fame

Today's blog is dedicated to your friend and ours, cheese. This year we have really stepped up the cheese plate game, both in quantity and quality...and so we thought we'd share a few pictures of some of the best cheese plates we've had this year. Enjoy! 

 Basic, but delicious. We'll call this the  Beginner's Cheese Plate.

Basic, but delicious. We'll call this the Beginner's Cheese Plate.

 This was at Murray's Cheese in NYC. It's all the fixings for a raclette. We'll call this the  N-Y-Cheese Plate.

This was at Murray's Cheese in NYC. It's all the fixings for a raclette. We'll call this the N-Y-Cheese Plate.

 This one is from a restaurant in Killington, Vermont. We'll call this one the  Killing-It Cheese Plate.  It was AMAZING.

This one is from a restaurant in Killington, Vermont. We'll call this one the Killing-It Cheese Plate. It was AMAZING.

 Kate made this one for her family on Thanksgiving. We'll call this one  The Kate Plate.

Kate made this one for her family on Thanksgiving. We'll call this one The Kate Plate.

 Last, but not least, we made this one in Florida for Kate's birthday. We'll call this one the  Nothing Can Beach This Cheese Plate. 

Last, but not least, we made this one in Florida for Kate's birthday. We'll call this one the Nothing Can Beach This Cheese Plate. 

 Clean, simple, delicious. We'll call this the  Just Do It Cheese Plate.

Clean, simple, delicious. We'll call this the Just Do It Cheese Plate.

 Casual. We'll call this one the  Saturday Afternoon Cheese Plate. 

Casual. We'll call this one the Saturday Afternoon Cheese Plate. 

 The finished product of the raclette extravaganza. We'll dedicate this one to our friend JJ who introduced us to the wonder that is the raclette. This is:  The JJ.

The finished product of the raclette extravaganza. We'll dedicate this one to our friend JJ who introduced us to the wonder that is the raclette. This is: The JJ.

 The Charcuterie board at a cozy little restaurant in Denver. We'll call this one the  Mile-High Cheese Plate.

The Charcuterie board at a cozy little restaurant in Denver. We'll call this one the Mile-High Cheese Plate.

 Our friends, the Halberts made this one and it was EPIC. We'll call this one the  Hal-About-That-Cheese-Plate.

Our friends, the Halberts made this one and it was EPIC. We'll call this one the Hal-About-That-Cheese-Plate.

The Things I Like (December 2017)

We wrote this song back in the day called Things I Like. Then a few years later on our old blog, we would post some of the things we were liking at the time. Well, today, we're bringing it back! Imagine we are Oprah and we are telling you our favorite things. 

Here are some of the things we like for December 2017: 

Panera's new breakfast sandwiches: 

 Had one of these guys this morning. They have these new spreads you can put on them...try the sweet maple spread. YUM. Go with the brioche bun. You're welcome.

Had one of these guys this morning. They have these new spreads you can put on them...try the sweet maple spread. YUM. Go with the brioche bun. You're welcome.

Polar Seltzer:

 We pretty much quit soda this year and seltzer saved our lives. There are lots of good brands of seltzer...but Polar is delicious and they also have super cute cans. Beauty counts. :)

We pretty much quit soda this year and seltzer saved our lives. There are lots of good brands of seltzer...but Polar is delicious and they also have super cute cans. Beauty counts. :)

You Are A Badass

 This book will make you feel like you can take on the world...and you can! We loved this!

This book will make you feel like you can take on the world...and you can! We loved this!

Southwest Airlines

 We used to fly American pretty much exclusively. NEXT. Southwest has become our GO-TO Airline and we LOVE them. We change our plans a lot, so their no-change fee policy is everything to us. Also, can you say FREE DRINK COUPONS? And also, free bags. Done and done. We love you Southwest. 

We used to fly American pretty much exclusively. NEXT. Southwest has become our GO-TO Airline and we LOVE them. We change our plans a lot, so their no-change fee policy is everything to us. Also, can you say FREE DRINK COUPONS? And also, free bags. Done and done. We love you Southwest. 

L'Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner Pencil

 People ask us a lot about our eyeliner. Our friend told us recently it's our signature look....who knew?!! Okay...we DO love eyeliner and this is a great pencil for everyday makeup. We use some more high-tech stuff for on stage, but this guy right here is always in our purses. 

People ask us a lot about our eyeliner. Our friend told us recently it's our signature look....who knew?!! Okay...we DO love eyeliner and this is a great pencil for everyday makeup. We use some more high-tech stuff for on stage, but this guy right here is always in our purses. 

We'll do another Things I Like soon...until next time!

Much love, 

J&K

Whenever Possible, Drive Straight To The Ocean

We missed blogging yesterday because it was Kate's birthday and we kind of stayed as far away from computers as possible. No offense to computers, but we were near the beach and it always wins. 

A motto we are living by during this walkabout we are on is this:

Whenever possible, drive straight to the ocean. 

We did it right when we left Nashville. We did it in California when we landed in LA. And we did it Friday as we arrived in Florida to celebrate Kate's birthday. 

It's a place of endless freedom, movement, and possibility...and that's what we're after right now. 

If you have the chance....whenever possible....drive straight to the ocean. 

Much love-

J&K 

Rosemary & Roadtrips

Today we hopped in the car with some friends in Nashville and road-tripped to Rosemary Beach, Florida to spend Kate's birthday in this magical place.

So far, we've eaten tacos, walked on the beach, found where we are going to get donuts in the morning, played games, eaten a cheese plate, and solved most of the world's problems. 

Happy Birthday Eve, Kate....from one of her favorite places!

 Taken after our second coffee stop.

Taken after our second coffee stop.

 A few of us jumping. 

A few of us jumping. 

 The pre-jump...or mid-jump...it's so much better!

The pre-jump...or mid-jump...it's so much better!

 Look at that form.

Look at that form.

 Because Kate cannot be stopped with her handstands!

Because Kate cannot be stopped with her handstands!

There’s Always A Work Around 

A lot of times, things don’t go as planned. Flights get canceled (or delayed...we're delayed at the airport right now!) People change their minds. Your car battery dies. The restaurant you chose for dinner is closed on Mondays. 😐


Big or small, things don’t always go the way we expect them to. BUT...we have a little motto that we like to live by and it has helped us tremendously.


When we were recording our Acoustic Covers album, something in the studio wasn’t working. I think it was the piano. We didn’t have the right cable or something and we weren’t getting any audio out of it.


Our engineer, JD, said something that has changed the way we think about things. He ever so calmly said, “There’s always a work around.”

(Side note: there is nothing better than an easy going producer or engineer. We are very choosy in who to work with in the studio because the vibe really matters. When someone is flustered and stressed, the creative environment is ruined.)

JD is one of these easy going producers. He said those 5 words and they stuck with us. “There’s always a work around.”

He went into his magic cable box and created some special cable using his wizardly ways, and a few minutes later, those 88 keys were making beautiful sounds. No stress, no problem. 

If you stay calm, put your thinking cap on, and most importantly, stay positive...you can almost always find another solution. 

So, remember, when life throws you a curve ball, whip those five words out and find another way. You can do it and so can we!

There’s always a work around. 

Much love,
J&K

Kickin' Off The Birthday Weekend

We are kicking off Kate's birthday extravaganza with a little Snickers Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory!

 Can someone please tell us what this weird light is on Kate's face? #weird

Can someone please tell us what this weird light is on Kate's face? #weird

Her birthday isn't until Saturday, but a December birthday must be celebrated for many days so that it doesn't get overlooked with all of the holiday festivities that always surround it. 

WATCH OUT BIRTHDAY WEEKEND.....WE COMIN' FOR YAAAAAA.

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 Oh yes. There was also an Asian Pear Martini in the mix. #classykate

Oh yes. There was also an Asian Pear Martini in the mix. #classykate

A Simple Way To Cheer Yourself Up

Sometimes, we go to Pinterest and look through the humor section to make ourselves laugh. Laughter is a cure for so much. Honestly, look through these, laugh for about 10 minutes and watch how you noticbly have more energy and a lifted spirit. Laughter is everything.  

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You're welcome. 

Love and laughs,

J&K

Boo, Don't Be A Ghost

I really wanted to post this blog on Halloween because I couldn’t get over how funny that was to me. Oh well…I didn’t get around to writing it, so I am now. 

Recently, friends, I was ghosted. SAY WHAT? Yes, it’s true. I will spare you all of the details (you’re crushed, right? Because you want all of the details don’t you…haha) well, I will spare the deets because I’m a nice person and well, I’d like to stay a nice person :)

But, let’s just say I was talking to a guy for a couple months…we’d gone out a few times (the person didn’t live in the same state as me) and then this person was going on a trip and was going to be without cell service and said "he’d text when he was back in service" AND THEN I NEVER HEARD FROM HIM AGAIN. 

Totes true story. It was the weirdest. Like, just never.again. Nothing. Now, I have no plans to talk about him for the rest of the blog. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I want to talk about you and me and this new epidemic called GHOSTING

Why do we ghost? We ghost because we lack courage, good people. I’m guilty of it too. And don’t think that ghosting is just for dating relationships or those scenarios…it’s not. Here’s a recent example: I missed calling my niece on her birthday and when I remembered two days late, I didn’t want to call. I wanted to ghost because I didn’t want to face the fact that I forgot to call. I was feeling guilt and a bit of shame, but I knew that I didn’t want to be a ghost...so I called and guess what—she didn’t care! She was just happy I called :)

So, what’s the antidote to ghosting? COURAGE. Have courage and don’t be a ghost. We ghost because we don’t want to have the hard conversation or face the uncomfortable truth/circumstances and potentially have to do something hard. But, we can do hard things and doing those hard things will keep you from being a ghost. 

I honestly think there are few things worse than being dropped or ghosted. Leaving someone else to try and answer questions in total silence is just cruel and mean and we should all go out of our ways to not leave people in the dust. If you are dating someone and you want to stop, SAY THAT. If you’re in a friendship where you don’t want to hang any longer, find a nice way to COMMUNICATE that. Don’t leave people in the silence. 

I laughed the other day watching Pride & Prejudice because ghosting was around even way back then. Jane’s suitor, Mr. Bingley, just drops off the face of the planet. He totally ghosts her. But, he comes to his senses (finally!) and goes to her and says one of the best, best quotes of the whole movie: "First, I must tell you I've been the most unmitigated and comprehensive ass."

YES. He owns it. He doesn’t squander his words or make excuses. He straight-up knows that he’s been an ass by ghosting and he isn’t afraid to admit it. 

Let’s all take a good cue from Mr. Bingley and own our mistakes. Let’s own the times we’ve lacked courage. Who have you ghosted that you owe a phone call to? Or an email or text? All it takes is a bit of courage and honesty. No need to make excuses, just say you’re sorry and carry-on.

Mr. Bingley then immediately proposes to her…maybe don’t do that. Hahaaa….

Anyway, have courage, and BOO...don’t be a ghost. 

Love you all!

Kate

Don't Be A Fun Sponge

I heard a great new phrase and I feel like it’s worth sharing. I went to visit some family yesterday while here in Florida, and spent a few hours with an 11 year old younger cousin of mine.


Kids are the best because they come out with some great wisdom if you listen closely enough. My mom asked him what the rules of his house were and he said told us that they just have two rules:

1) You can’t hit someone else....unless they hit you first. (This is either brilliant or the worst rule ever. I haven’t decided. 😂 )

2) Don’t be a fun sponge.

DON’T BE A FUN SPONGE! I asked him to explain that rule and here’s what he said.

“A sponge absorbs water and a fun sponge absorbs fun. So basically, don’t suck the fun out of everything.”

Maybe I'm a simpleton, but I kind of think this is brilliant. I’m into that rule. I can get on board with it. I don’t wanna be a fun sponge when it comes to life. I’d rather add to the fun. I think I will make it a rule in my household someday.

So, that was my little life lesson that I learned yesterday thanks to my cousin Jake.

May none of us be fun sponges (and may we never hit anyone either.) HA!

Until tomorrow, 

Jill

Weekend Vibes

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Weekend motivation:

  • Do what you love.
  • Follow your crazy dreams.
  • Do what makes your heart beat faster.
  • Say yes.
  • Say no.
  • Stay hopeful.
  • Stay grateful.
  • Make waves.
  • Go against the grain.
  • Try again.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Say no to regret.

You might be thinking...all of that sounds like gravy but how do I ACTUALLY do all of that.

We'll tell you:

  1.  Do the next best thing. That means, take whatever step you can. Take the next, best, logical (or illogical) step that you can take.  But the key here is ACTION. Movement. Write that email. Make the phone call. Go for the jog. Lace up your shoes. Clear you calendar. Ask the guy out on the date. Take action. Action creates other action. 

That's a way to start. Now you're on your way. And that's all you have to do. Start. Now's the time cause none of us are promised tomorrow. Go and do. We desperately need your idea. Your passion. Your heart. Don't believe the lie that someone else is already doing it or going to do it...we need YOU

Now go kick some ass. We're cheering you on.

Love,

J&K

Put Your Feet Up

This is just a reminder to you today: Take time to rest. Do whatever you need to fill up, even it’s just a small thing.

Put your feet up.

Take a bath.

Light a candle.

Have a glass of wine.

Read a book.

Hide your phone.

Take a nap.

Take a walk.

Look at the clouds.

Breathe.

 

We’re all busy. Running around. Working hard. Feeling frazzled. Rest is necessary and sometimes you need to give yourself permission to do so.

So, go ahead. Take it easy. You will thank yourself in the end.

That’s all for today. 

Bucket List Travel Places

Since yesterday we told you about some of our favorites things about NYC...a city that we've visited a bunch of times...today we thought we'd tell you about some places we've never been. We are in another airport today. YAY travel! So, we thought we’d tell you our top 3 destinations of where we want to travel and also show you some of the places on our must-go-travel-and-see-soon list (all images taken from Pinterest):

Iceland

Mainly to see the Northern Lights, but recently we’ve been seeing pics from other people’s trips and it just looks magical. The colors, the landscape and ICELAND people. Iceland. It just sounds so freakin’ bad ass.

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Bora Bora

Any destination that is named twice is good enough for us? AMIRIGHT? One of those little huts over the water will do just fine. Snorkeling is one of our most favorite activities and so the thought of being able to snorkel right from you “door-step” just sounds incredible. The color of the water looks insane. Beach + book + fruity drink = hello perfection.

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Santori, Greece

We blame Pinterest with this fascination. The sunsets, the food, the architecture...yes...it all looks so dreamy so it’s now on the must-see list.

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Where are your top places to travel to or visit?

We wanna know.

J&K


 

NYC, Yeah You Know Me

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We absolutely love traveling and exploring new cities. One of the places we decided we MUST go on our walkabout was one of our favorite places, New York City. We're going to re-cap the trip and give you a couple of go-to tips & tricks for making the most out of your NYC trip! Now, we're no NYC pros, so don't get us wrong here, but we've been a time or two, and if you're planning a first time visit, we thought we'd let you know everything we've learned about making it the best it can be.

How to get around:

First and most important travel tip we give anyone when venturing out for the first time in NYC is this: Wear comfortable shoes! The best way to see and explore the city is to walk...and walk we did! In three days, we walked almost 23 miles--that’s almost a marathon! Yes, our feet are a little sore, but the sore muscles are well worth it! However, if walking isn’t your thing--don’t worry, cabs and Ubers are everryyyyyywhere. We hopped in a few along the way when we couldn't take the blisters anymore. ;)

Where we stayed:

We hopped around to a few different places, but one of the new places we stayed on this trip was at The Park Lane Hotel and the location is enough to make you want to move in and never leave! From the moment you’re greeted by front desk, you start to feel the hustle of the city outside fade away and relaxation kick in. The staff at the front desk were warm and welcoming and even let us check-in early. :) The rooms are cozy in feel, but spacious in square footage--generally rooms are teeny-tiny in NYC, but the rooms here had plenty of space. They offer city views and park views and both are spectacular. Our absolute favorite discovery of this hotel was that every night from 5-7 they have a “hotel reception” in the Park Room. Ahhhhhh, the Park Room--what's not to love? We knew we would love the view, but we were curious to see what they had to offer and were absolutely wowed! The Park Room looks right over Central Park and they serve hors d’oeuvres, sparkling wine, beer, beverages and snacks. ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO. Say it again. ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO.  They even have milk & cookies for the younger guests, but who needs that when there's ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO. Got it? Sipping free bubbly and overlooking Central Park--yes please!

 Sipping on some wine in the free happy hour :)

Sipping on some wine in the free happy hour :)

Lunch:

We popped into our favorite sushi spot, Koi, for lunch. The food there is inventive and creative with more offerings than just your standard sushi rolls. Our three favorite dishes are their famous crispy rice with spicy tuna, crispy rice with truffle avocado, and their rock shrimp hand rolls.

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We didn’t even get a picture of the rock shrimp hand roll because we ate it so quickly. Haha...what can we say? We were hungry from all that walking! The food is so good. Our secret tip: order a side of ponzu sauce. Dip your sushi in the ponzu instead of traditional soy sauce for a flavor burst! Other items to order are: Spicy Seared Albacore, Tuna Tartare, Glazed Green Beans (they sounds mundane, but they are so yummy!)

New Favorite Discovery:

We are always looking for new fun things to try, and when we heard about this next spot, we knew we had to go and check it out. Our friend JJ brought us here and it was magical. It’s called Murray’s Cheese Shop and it’s incredible. It’s in the West Village and it’s a shop that is dedicated to all different cheeses and meats...pretty much heaven if you ask us :) Their shop is laid out so beautifully and they have everything you need to make the most killer cheese plate of your entire life. They have classes and tastings that they pair with different wines and beers! They also have a restaurant a couple doors down where we settled in and enjoyed some of the best cheese we’ve ever had. We are already dreaming of returning because really, is there ever enough cheese in your life? No, never.

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Cheap Eats:

If you’re like us, when you travel frequently, it’s fun to splurge on a great fancy meal, but it’s also nice to save some money when you can. While we were walking, we passed a coffee shop called Matto Espresso that said “Everything $2” which definitely caught our attention. We peered inside and it looked like an adorable coffee shop -- what did they mean everything was $2? We decided to give it a go and had one of the best vanilla, almond milk lattes we’ve ever had! They had pastries and cookies--loads of gluten free and vegan items--all for $2. Can you say score? Save your dolla-dolla bills for your sushi -- go with the $2 coffee!

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Another important thing to note about NYC is that they have incredible pizza shops. There’s nothing like grabbing a late night slice after a night out on the town. Warning--the slices are generally bigger than your face, but are so delicious. You can get a great slice for under $3 bucks! There’s even a spot called 2 Bros Pizza that has $1 slices! Yessssssss.

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If you need some zen in the city:

There is nothing quite like the energy you experience on the streets of New York and that’s what makes Central Park such a haven. It’s this vast escape of green that seems endless when you’re inside, yet you’re surrounded by high rise buildings and bustling cabs down adjacent streets. On Saturday morning we grabbed an egg on a roll (another cheap eat--bacon, egg & cheese on a roll will set you back like $5 bucks and will make your heart sing because it’s so delicious) and sat in the park on a bench. The sky was blue and the view was so stunning. People passed with their strollers and happy puppies enjoying the fresh air. It’s truly a wonderful escape if you’re needing some time to clear your head from the busy streets!

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We hope you’ve learned something from our trip to NYC that will be helpful the next time you explore the big apple! Our motto is: if you want a successful trip, look for the small wonders in every moment--that will make your journey not only memorable, but meaningful.

If you haven't heard it yet, we have a whole podcast episode about this NYC trip. It's called People are People and it's Episode 2 on our Girls Just Pod To Have Fun podcast!

Until tomorrow,

J&K





 

More or Less.

Hey!

It’s me Kate. I wanted to share some things that I’ve been thinking about recently. This walkabout has given me a great space to think and ponder about life. At times in the past, life has moved so quickly that I haven’t had time in the moment to process, but this walkabout has been different. Maybe it’s the weekly podcast forcing me to check-in with my head and heart to talk about what’s going on in my head…I don’t know. It’s been different. 

Anyway, I was thinking about the person that I’m turning into to. What I want my life to look like. How I want to feel. I made a quick list of more and less that I wanted. The below list sort of tumbled out. 

  • Less guilty. 
  • More humble. 
  • More in the moment.
  • More dancing. 
  • Less planning ahead. 
  • More letting go. 

Less guilty. I find myself feeling guilty a lot. Little or big things. Guilty feelings for not texting someone back. Guilty feelings for not sending my nephew a birthday card. Guilty for eating that bag of potato chips. Whatever it is, just lots of feeling that I’m not quite meeting the mark. That I'm not enough. But, who made that mark anyway? Where is that standard coming from? I’m trying to learn to extend the same grace to myself as I’ve been trying to extend to others: I’m doing the best I can. Throw guilt out the freakin’ car window, Kate. Let it go. Guilt helps no one.

More humble. I don’t think I’m a super braggy person or anything…haha or at least I hope not! I’ve just noticed in others how attractive humility is. When someone doesn’t consider themselves above others, ugh, it’s just so attractive to me. My friend Bob says: “Humble voices carry the furthest.” Yes, so true. I’ve also realized how badly I want approval from people. I hate even typing that because it feels hella vulnerable. But, it’s true. I want the “attagirl” or the approval from others and I am trying to let that go. All I need approval from is me and God. No one else. 

More in the moment. This was/is my number one goal for this walkabout. To be in every moment. Fully present. Fully feeling it all. Not worrying about past or future…letting expectation fall to the wayside and just BE. It’s a hard thing for me to practice, but it’s a practice…I have good days and bad days…but I'm trying to not feel guilty when I don’t do the best job. 

More dancing. Because, hello? Dancing is fun and I think as I get older I get more reserved or rational or I -don’t-know-what, but I want to dance more. What did Amy Poehler say:

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Yes please. Make me childlike so that when I hear the music, even if it’s in my own head, I won’t be afraid to surrender to the music and DANCE.

Less planning ahead. This goes back to more in the moment. I’m always thinking ahead. When I park my car, I am thinking about how I’m getting out of that parking space. It’s always going. My brain is constantly thinking in the future. And I want to change that. More right now. More what’s in front of me. More what do I see/hear/smell/touch right now. The future will take care of itself, of that I’m sure. And I don’t want to miss it...the it that’s right in front of me.

More letting go. Hurts, fears, anxiety…the big and little stuff. The massive heartaches and times I’ve been screwed over. The small inconsequential hurt feelings. The expectations of “how I thought life would be” and the dreams that haven’t come to pass yet. Letting it go will make you lighter and that’s what I’m after. 

Yeah, so that’s where I’m at right now. What are you trying to have more of or less of in your life? I’d love to hear. 

Much love,

Kate

Pod Goals.

Hey, guys. Jill here. In case you didn’t know, we started a podcast a few weeks ago and we are having such a good time doing it. It’s called “Girls Just Pod To Have Fun”....yes, partly I love doing it because I love saying the name of it. Ha!

But, honestly, I love it. Are you into podcasts? I’ve been into podcasts for a couple years...I was late to the game, I know, but I got to a point where I needed something to listen to on long drives or while working out when music wasn’t doing it for me. I found a few that I liked and then I was HOOKED.

My favorites are mysteries, crime or Dateline-type podcasts. Serial, of course. Dirty John, S-Town, A Killing On The Cape, A Murder on Orchard Street. SUPER LIGHT STUFF! :)

But, really, on a less aggressive note, Oprah’s Soul Sessions, Shauna Niequist’s podcast if you want some inspiration...Strangers if you want some good storytelling, and...Gilmore Guys, if you’re feeling really light-hearted. I COULD GO ON ALL DAY, but I won’t .

Kate and I had talked about hosting our own podcast for a few years, but never really felt like we had a good topic or purpose for one. THEN, we sold everything we owned and totally flipped our lives upside down and decided, what a perfect time!

If you haven’t been listening, you can binge 5 episodes right now. We take you with us from Nashville to Vermont to New York To Colorado to Los Angeles, back to Nashville again and beyond. You can hear us talk to Ben Higgins (what up Bachelor nation), Ally Fallon (This will inspire the crap out of you) and of course, Kate and I talk to each other like it’s our job when we don’t have guests on with us. We tell you the story of how we got to different points in our career and the emotions we’ve encountered along the way. Also, we like to keep it somewhat light, so we talk about things like revolving doors, sushi, and lots of wine. *cheers*

Tomorrow, it’s all about me! (?!) Kate took over the microphone and used her hosting skills to ask me all the questions you could ever want to know about me. What would I bring to a deserted island? What song made me fall in love with music? Who is my celebrity crush? I know you are dying to know the answers to these riveting questions. Well, tomorrow, you can find out.  

Check it out and thanks for letting us make our dream of being podcast hosts a reality.

( PS: If you don't have Apple Podcasts or iTunes, you can listen at www.jillandkate.com/girlsjustpodtohavefun )

PEACE!

-Jill