Nashville

Someone To Look To - Day 27 #31DaysOfBlogging

Life can be so intimidating and scary. It can be confusing to know which way to go. When you are chasing a dream, it’s helpful to have someone to look to, someone who has been there before you, walked the road you’re wanting to walk. You need a mentor, an example, a champion.

We have been lucky enough to find a few of these people along the way, but today we want to tell you about one that has had a huge influence on our lives and career.

We first met Jann Arden via Twitter after we covered one of her songs on our blog...way back in like 2010. (You can watch it here, and please disregard Jill’s very DARK hair stage. She learned through that experience that blonde was her true north.)

Jann reached out to us and asked if we wanted to meet up for coffee when she was in Nashville. UH, YEAH. We have been fans of Jann since the mid-90s when we were 14 and her song Insensitive rocked our worlds. We couldn’t believe we were going to actually meet her!

We got together, chatted for hours about music, life, career, and more...plus laughed our heads off because she is absolutely one of the funniest people we have ever met. We all stayed in touch, getting together every time we were in the same town, and then Jann asked us to come open her tour in Canada in 2014. Over and over again, Jann encouraged us in our music career. Whether it was shooting us a text or email, listening to our new music, or telling her fans and followers about us, she was always showing support.

As artists, dreamers, and humans, we could not ask for a better example in our lives than Jann…

...and because she is just the best, we were really hoping to have her on our podcast so you guys could hear more from her too. Well, SHE AGREED! We went to Canada in October and interviewed her for Girls Just Pod To Have Fun before her show in Hamilton. She brought inspiration, wisdom, and of course laughter. If you missed this episode, please go listen!

IMG_4807.jpg

Not only that, but after our interview, she asked us to sing our song Nashville for her audience during her show that night! You can watch that here. Here are some pictures of us getting ready and sound-checking for the show…

IMG_5204.jpg
IMG_5200.jpg
IMG_5201.jpg

So today we just wanted to say thanks to Jann for believing in us, supporting us, and being someone we can look to as we navigate this crazy life. May we all have people like Jann around us, who make us better and bring so much good into our lives….and may we all learn to be those people for others around us too. Love you Jann (and Midi!)

IMG_4810.jpg

Tomorrow we’ll tell you about one of our very favorite shows we played this year, and another podcast guest that came from that experience!

J&K

When A Song Spills Out - Day 22 #31DaysOfBlogging

As songwriters, every once in a while, there is this magic thing that happens. The song just spills out. It’s not always the case. Sometimes we labor and labor over lyrics, melody, chord changes…but when the magic happens, and the song pours out, you never forget it. This has happened for us a few times, and the songs that have come out that way are the most honest songs we’ve ever written. My Love was one of those, Same Side was one of those, and this past year, Nashville became another one of those magic moments.

Nashville had been “home” for 10 years, and while there is so much to love about it, we also had had a lot of heartbreak there. There had been personal heartache and professional heartache, and we were feeling completely depleted. We had worked and worked, given and given, tried and tried, and it always felt like we were coming up short. We had friendships that struggled, relationships that failed, career opportunities that stung, and we felt at rock bottom.

The song Nashville spilled out of us one night in April, and we never even made changes to it after that night.

That is so rare for us. Usually we will edit a song, make some lyric changes down the road, but this song came out as it is to this day.

In September, we got to go into the studio and record it with one of our best friends, Luke DeJaynes. It is probably just one of the most important and personal songs we have ever written and recorded.

If you have ever felt like a person or a place has let you down, especially when you have REALLY tried to make it work, if you have ever felt like you are running on empty, if you have ever felt STUCK and like you just needed SOMETHING to change, we hope you can find a bit of reliability in this song. Yes, we wrote it about a town, but it’s honestly a love letter/breakup song about anything in your life that has caused you heartache. You can click the picture below to listen:

It’s been really amazing to see how you guys have connected with this song. That’s why we write. That’s we share the painful stories…because if we can make any of you listening feel less alone and say, “me too,” we know we are on the right track. Songwriting is so special and sacred to us. Thank you for allowing us into your story.

Speaking of songwriting…tomorrow we’re telling you about when we met our all-time favorite songwriter IN AN AIRPORT…

Much love,

J&K

5k Weekend Wrap-Up

Hard to believe the 2nd Annual #jandk5k weekend was already a week ago! It was a HUGE SUCCESS! We had such a blast. Yes, we were all a little sore the next day, but that's to be expected :) Friday night the weekend kicked off with a team dinner...now the weekend didn't lack just a bit of drama...Friday night's dinner was supposed to be outside in a gorgeous backyard, but at around 11:30am our 0% chance of precipitation turned into 30% and it looked like it was going to be a mix of rain & thunderstorms all afternoon and evening *small, yet controlled panic ensues* SO...we kicked into high gear and moved the party indoors. Everyone made it and we were nice & dry the whole time! We kicked off the party with champagne, ate some yummy Maggiano's for dinner, mingled a bit & then we played an all request show! It was so fun getting to talk with everyone that had flown or driven in for the event!

We didn't party too late into the night because we all had to be up bright and early for the 5k the next morning. We met up about 45 minutes before the race...looking super "team-like" all in our matching j&k5k tee's ;) We had an awesome cheering section and everyone made it across the finish line! Woohooooo! Team j&k is AWESOME!

We then tailgated post-race with donuts, coffee and other treats. It was a beautiful day in Nashville so we all loved chatting in the sunshine and we obviously took about a million pictures.

Then we sent everyone off to discover our lovely town...or take naps...because everyone needed to be rested up for the Acoustic Covers Release Show. Guys, this show probably  made it into our Top 5 shows...ever!!! The room was packed and the energy was amazing. People were singing along to both the covers and our own songs...ahh....it was AMAZING!!!! It was the perfect way to end our 5k weekend :)

We will definitely be doing the 5k weekend again next year...so mark your iCal's ;) We want YOU to be a part of it. If you aren't a runner...that's okay...you have plenty of time to train or we have people that walk the 5k...challenge yourself...you can do it...and besides...we are ALL in this together!

Thanks to everyone we made our 5k weekend so awesome. We love you all.

xo

j&k

PS. A big thank you to Ryan, Carly & Emily for being our OUTSTANDING team for this event...they took care of every detail and took such good care of all of our people who traveled in for the weekend....thanks guys...we couldn't have done it without you!

JK5K2014-6667

JK5K2014-6683

JK5K2014-6682

JK5K2014-6702

JK5K2014-6754

JK5K2014-6749

JK5K2014-6769

JK5K2014-6795

JK5K2014-6800

JK5K2014-6817

JK5K2014-6866

JK5K2014-6869

JK5K2014-6871

JK5K2014-6839

JK5K2014-6840

JK5K2014-6875

JK5K2014-6882

JK5K2014-6892

JK5K2014-6904

JK5K2014-6911

 

JK5K2014-6933

JK5K2014-6941

JK5K2014-6943

JK5K2014-6962

JK5K2014-6992

JK5K2014-6999

JK5K2014-7011

JK5K2014-7027-2

JK5K2014-7036-2

JK5K2014-7037

JK5K2014-7069

 

Just a whole bunch of excitement...

So, we've had an unbelievably pretty awesome exciting past week.

pandora

We got word that our "Heart Of Stone" album has made it to Pandora....woohooo!!!! We have our very own "Jill and Kate" channel...your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to go find our station & listen to it and celebrate with us! YAY!

photo 2

Our last Song On The 17th was inspired by "Nick + Jess" from the TV show New Girl. An hour after we posted it, someone tweeted it to Zooey & she retweeted it and told us she loved it. Stop it right now. The absolute best part was seeing all of our hardcore j&k family out there freaking out with us...cause that's what we were doing...

giggles

Then it just got better...Zooey has a blog with two other ladies called HelloGiggles.com & Blair (who's an awesome blogger/contributor) blogged about our song. Double freak out. We were actually in Kohls when we saw this tweet and immediately had a mini-dance party in the women's section. Hahaha....amazingly awesome.UKTOUR

Then we got to announce that we are going back to England to do our very own #jkUKtour... WE COULD JUST DIE. This is a dream for us and we cannot wait to sing and play and laugh together.

belcourt

We played a writer's round on Friday night with Matt Giraud, Alan Bennett and Chris Rodgers...it was SO MUCH FUN (thanks Carolyn for the pic!) Maybe one of our most favorite Nashville experiences to date. We were all crowded up on a tiny stage and Jill's mic kept falling over, but nothing could stop us from having a freaking great time. Plus, Shay Mooney, half of Dan + Shay, got up and played a song at the end and that was great because we have been following them for a bit and always laugh that they are the boy version of us...nice to meet in real life ;)

HOHA-shirts

As most of you know, we are super involved with Houses of Hope Africa and helped coordinate their #amonthforhope campaign. The shirts that people ordered were delivered and they are amazing. Super cute and SUPER soft. Plus, EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR that people paid for these t-shirts is going straight to helping these amazing kids in Southern Africa. If you ordered a shirt, be expecting it soon!

Ya'll...can you see why we are a little bit on iCloud 900 because of all the fun things going on? Ahhhh... YES.

And it's Monday and we have an exciting announcement TODAY...

What could it be?

LOVE YOU. MEAN IT. REALLY, we do.

j&k

All About The J&K5K Weekend

JK5k2014(1)

We are so excited to host our SECOND annual J&K5K Weekend!  Last year was so fun, we just had to do it again. It's coming up in just under 2 months!

Here’s everything you need to know:

This year will be similar to last year, but not exactly the same! We are getting creative and are really hoping you can come! This will be a unique experience and you don't want to miss it. :)

We have put together 2 fun-filled days of food, fun and music. On the night of Friday, April 11th, we’ll have a team dinner party. On the morning of Saturday, April 12th, we’ll be participating in the Purity Dairies Moosic City Dairy Dash (Click here for more info)! We’ll run/walk/whatever forward motion you prefer and then cool down with a post-race tailgate. Even if you don't participate in the 5k you can still come cheer our team on! We need cheerleaders :) Later on that night, we’ll have an EXTREMELY fun show that you won't want to miss! More on that later.

The packages for the J&K5K Weekend are on our online store!

Can’t make the race and want to support us in spirit? You can still buy the super cute T-shirt!

From now until the end of February, packages are $75. On March 1 packages will be $100. So, don't miss out on saving some $$ by registering early!

THE ENTIRE PACKAGE INCLUDES: 

+ J&K 5K 2014 T-Shirt

+ Friday night dinner party featuring some of our favorite foods, all inclusive. (Alcohol may be purchased separately at time of event.)

+ Moosic City Dairy Dash post-race Breakfast Tailgate (J&K Style)

+ Saturday night Jill and Kate show!

* Please note that we are doing this 5K with the Moosic City Dairy Dash. You MUST register online, separately from purchasing this package. We will be doing the 5K run/walk individually.
Click here to register:
More details to come!!
Can't wait to see you!
-J&K-

All About the J&K5K 2014 Weekend!

 

JK5k2014(1)

We are so excited to host our SECOND annual J&K5K Weekend!  Last year was so fun, we just had to do it again. It's coming up in just under 2 months!

Here’s everything you need to know:

This year will be similar to last year, but not exactly the same! We are getting creative and are really hoping you can come! This will be a unique experience and you don't want to miss it. :)

We have put together 2 fun-filled days of food, fun and music. On the night of Friday, April 11th, we’ll have a team dinner party. On the morning of Saturday, April 12th, we’ll be participating in the Purity Dairies Moosic City Dairy Dash (Click here for more info)! We’ll run/walk/whatever forward motion you prefer and then cool down with a post-race tailgate. Even if you don't participate in the 5k you can still come cheer our team on! We need cheerleaders :) Later on that night, we’ll have an EXTREMELY fun show that you won't want to miss! More on that later.

The packages for the J&K5K Weekend are on our online store!

Can’t make the race and want to support us in spirit? You can still buy the super cute T-shirt!

From now until the end of February, packages are $75. On March 1 packages will be $100. So, don't miss out on saving some $$ by registering early!

 

THE ENTIRE PACKAGE INCLUDES: 

+ J&K 5K 2014 T-Shirt

+ Friday night dinner party featuring some of our favorite foods, all inclusive. (Alcohol may be purchased separately at time of event.)

+ Moosic City Dairy Dash post-race Breakfast Tailgate (J&K Style)

+ Saturday night Jill and Kate show!

* Please note that we are doing this 5K with the Moosic City Dairy Dash. You MUST register online, separately from purchasing this package. We will be doing the 5K run/walk individually.
Click here to register:
More details to come!!
Can't wait to see you!
-J&K-

So You're Thinking About The 5k Weekend?

5k

So, you saw that we are throwing our second annual #j&k5K weekend bash and you want to know if you should take the leap and join the fun? We're glad you asked....cause our answer is YES! 

Here's what you need to know about why you should come to Nashv-vegas for a fun-filled weekend:

  • You get to spend time in the fabulous city we call home..a.k.a....Nashville!
  • You get to be a part of a team...not only a team...but a group of enthusiastic-fun-loving-like-mided folks
  • You get a shnazzy team t-shirt
  • You get to see yours truly (j&k) play a LIVE show
  • You get to make tons of awesome memories with new friends and laugh A LOT
  • You have a good reason to get outside and walk or run

So, if that hasn't convinced you...maybe this picture will drive the message home:

_MG_7131

That convinced you right? Right.

Well, one last thing that will definitely push you over the edge to NOT WANT TO MISS THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB-C6DZhPKg

Right? Right. So... now that you're convinced... first things first...register for the actual 5k race HERE. We will be selling packages for all the fun-filled weekend stuff but you will have to register for the race separately.

Once you're registered, high five yourself....you are on the right track to an awesome fun-filled weekend.

Now, stay tuned...we'll be announcing the package sales soon.

YAY. It's gonna be SO SUPER FUN.

xo

j&k

 

 

Our Nashville Picks (Day #18)

People always ask us where to go and what to do in Nashville. So we thought we'd put a few of our favorites in one blog so we can direct you here when you need a little travel advice! This isn't EVERYTHING you should do, but a few things to get you started.

 

PLACES TO EAT: 

Pancake Pantry: A classic Nashville destination. Great Pancakes. You might think, "How hard is it to make great pancakes? Do they really taste that different than any other pancakes?" We thought this too. We were proven wrong. They really are THAT good. Go early to avoid the line...(especially on the weekends)

Fido: Right near Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village. Great coffee. Interesting food choices. Everything here is good. Breakfast all day.

The Perch: CREPES. Go get the crepes here. There are two Nashville locations. CREPES, CREPES, CREPES.

Loveless Cafe: It's a little far out of town, but the biscuits are worth the drive. Seriously, They. Are. Worth. It. You can even watch them being made right in front of your very eyes...it's magic.

Gigi's Cupcakes: Obsessed. Red Velvet.

The Pharmacy: The burger will rock your world. Also, try the Creamsicle Soda. Like, whoa. Their french fries are also delicious.

 

PLACES TO GO:

Downtown Franklin: Super cool shops, really good restaurants, and an overall adorable atmosphere. (This is especially true over any holiday season.)

Honky Tonks on Broadway: This is a Nashville must-do. There is always good music and a lot of energy down here. Check out Tootsies which is our fav.

Arrington Vineyards: Again, this is a little bit out of town (maybe 20-35 minutes depending where you stay) but is totally worth the trip. The perfect place to spend a spring or fall weekend afternoon. Drink some wine, have a picnic. Watch the sunset. Listen to some live music.

Radnor Lake: For the outdoorsy type. Go for a hike around this lake. It's about a 45 minute walk around the lake. You'll see deer and turkeys and turtles. It'll be lovely.

 

GO SEE MUSIC HERE:

Bluebird Cafe: This place has a TON of history! You might know this place because of the show "Nashville"...it's super cool and a must-do in Nashville.

3rd and Lindsley: There are always good shows here. Monday nights go see The Time Jumpers. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!

The Listening Room: Love that they focus on listening here, hence the name.

The Ryman: No explanation necessary. Epic.

 

There you go. Eat, see and listen...NASHVILLE. We love it. So will you :)

Happy travels.

j&k

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

We had such an awesome Thanksgiving! Thursday was a gorgeous, somewhat COLD morning  (and despite the chilly temperatures) we decided to go for a run! We've been working our way through the 10k training program and had a longer run to do but what a perfect time to do it...since we were planning on gorging ourselves on turkey and all of the other deliciousness! We bundled up and did 5 miles! OMG. It was long. But felt SO great when we were done. Good enough for Kate to frolic in a nearby field out of glee & excitement. photo 1

 

 

We spent the rest of the morning cooking and putting the final touches on the dishes that we were bringing to our friends' house that we were spending Thanksgiving with. We loaded in the car and headed over!

photo 2

We had second thoughts about whether or not we should have buckled in the food...it was that tasty :) Haha! (Yes, that's a purchased Pumpkin Pie from Costco. We dare you to say that your homemade one is better...cause it's delicious. Delicious.)

photo 5-1

This was the beautiful table spread. Our friend Jenny is the hostess with the mostest. She is pretty much Suzy  Homemaker meets Martha Stewart times a hundred. Yup. Her house is adorable and we were pumped to celebrate Thanksgiving with good friends that really feel like family!

photo 5

 

Feast!

photo 4-1

Some of the group!

photo 1-1

It might be the most perfect plate...ever.

photo 4

Besties.

photo 3-1

What to do after eating a HUGE meal? A few rounds of Heads Up of course! Such a fun game.

photo 2-1

Post nap cuddles from Mr. Cutie himself.

We seriously had the best time. So many things to be thankful for. We seriously could not be more thankful for the love and support we've felt from you over the year (s).

Hope you had a magical Thanksgiving or if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, hope you had an awesome Thursday.

LOVE,

j&k

 

 

Where has Spring sprung?

It's Spring and it's still cold. No likey.

And the worst part about all of it is that last weekend Spring was here. We all welcomed it with open arms. We settled into Spring. We opened our homes' doors and cleaned off our patios. We reveled in the fact that bulky sweaters and heavy boots were a thing no more. Flip flops were here. Sunshine was on our faces and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (wow, just had a really hard time spelling fahrenheit) happily was displayed on everyones iPhones. And now we are looking at this:

Ahem? Snow on Tuesday? A high of 43. Nashville, you must have confused yourself with some other city that pulls stunts like this.

Pull yourself together and get warm. We want to bask in your Springness. Cause seriously Nashville in the Spring is the BEST.THING.EVER.

 

Mini-cation

Earlier in the week we got out of Nashville for a few days and escaped to mostly sunny Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. It was a perfect little 2 and a half day escape from the cold that has plagued Nashville otherwise known as winter. And okay fine...it hasn't been that bad here but a chance to see the sunshine & the beach were gladly welcomed :)

We took off on Sunday morning...daylight savings morning...ahhh hem...who books a 7:45am flight on daylight savings morning? We do apparently and let me tell you...we were zombies on the plane. Not even ashamed to say that we were both asleep before taking off and there might have been drooling.

Anyhow...we landed & decided to spend the day in Savannah, GA (the airport is Savannah/Hilton Head) cause neither of us had ever been....it's so cute & quaint. All of the squares with their beautiful gardens and historical land marks...oh and the park & bench where Forrest Gump sat...that was pretty cool.

Upon arriving at the beach we went for runs on the beach (week 7 of #C25K for the #j&k5k...wooop woop!) & found the most perfect WHOLE sand dollar! We were so committed to the run that we almost didn't stop to photograph it but we just HAD to.

Did some shopping and meandering around the island & stumbled upon this gem in a back alley somewhere...no further explanation necessary.

Our last night in SC we stumbled upon the greatest little Mexican restaurant...and it was in a strip mall next to a grocery store....but don't let that fool you...it was AMAZING! The front of the menu boasted that this was the "Home of Jimmy's World Famous Margarita's"....that sounded like a challenge...but what do you know...THEY WERE THE BEST. And Jimmy made them for us. He's the handsome fella behind the bar. The food was so fresh and full of flavor. If you find yourself near Amigos....you must go.

Lastly we stumbled upon this cupcake shop called Sweet Carolina Cupcakes....holy moly...Hilton Head has some amazing food going on. Yum yum yum. These cupcakes were the bomb. (note that we don't have an actual picture of our cupcakes because...well....we devoured them in about 2.2 seconds...not even enough time to photograph the lovely red velvet and cookies & cream delights.)

Anyhow...so that was our lovely min-vacay. Bring on the spring & summer. So many exciting things in the works. The trip left us with one question when we returned home: we wonder if Jimmy would ever think about opening an Amigos chain in Nashville? Hahahaaaa.

Okay--off to rehearse for tomorrow night's show at The Listening Room...Nashville folks: we hope to see you there!

Much love,

j&k

Release Week Wrap Up and Other Ramblings

Oh my goodness...We have had the best couple of weeks EVER....where to even begin? We finished the US tour with Kelly Clarkson/The Fray/Carolina Liar on Saturday (the 15th) in Nashville, TN. This was especially fun for us since we live in Nashville--nothing like ending a tour on your home turf :) And for realsies...we have never had more fun on a tour. We have been fans of The Fray since their first record came out, so every night you would see at least one or both of us side stage soaking up their show. Not only is their music heart-felt and catchy as anything--they are such nice, genuine people. Long talks over catering or scheming the next fun outing will be memories that will last. We are pumped to start the Australian leg of the tour with them tonight! Then there is Carolina Liar....these boys are just the sweetest, most fun people you'll ever meet! They brought such a level of energy & enthusiasm to ANYTHING we did. Whether it was watching them play a show & getting the crowd super pumped or playing basketball in the back of a venue parking lot in the middle of the night...you wanted to be around them cause you'd always be smiling. Seriously...those guys are THE BEST. Love them.

These boys are the greatest.

Okay...so that was the end of tour. The next day we had our album release show, but before the show we showed up at some of our "Thanks To You" contest winners' new digs & played them some songs...it pretty much was a blast...and they had yummy cookies & birthday cake fudge. Life changing. Later that evening was the show at Rocketown. This was such a HUGE day for us. We have been working on Heart of Stone for over a year and we could not believe that the day had come where we were in our home town, playing our release show! The evening was SO MUCH FUN. So many people came out. It was so nice getting to say hi to each of you who came out...you seriously have no idea how much it means to us that people would spend their time/money to support what we do. It was a magical night.

Release Show. Rocketown. 9.15.12 (photo courtesy of someone on twitter--thank you!)

The next day was the Heart of Stone listening party...this was especially a fun night because so many of our international friends were able to be a part of the evening too...(even if that meant waking up in the middle of the night!!!!)...via Ustream online. Even our parents tuned in :) The party was complete with GiGi's cupcakes with our faces on them...cute little popcorn bags and other fun treats. Our friend John hosted the evening and we got to talk about how the record was made, why we wrote certain songs...we even ended the night playing Skinny Jeans live. Woop woop.

Listening party cupcake fun.

Gift bags!

Decorations!

Blurry but excited j&k!

Our host for the evening...our good friend John. Sorry ladies...he's married to our bestie Jenny.

Then it happened. TUESDAY ARRIVED. SEPTEMBER 18th, 2012. Heart of Stone was officially released to iTunes & other distributors. A really fun surprise for us was that our album reached number 39 on the iTunes Pop charts. That was insane...just absolutely insane. And that is all thanks to YOU for buying the album, tweeting it, telling your friends...we seriously could not have made this record without your support. We played a StageIt show at noon so that we could play/say hi/give lots of love to our international besties. BUT, the very best part of the day was that we got to spend a lot of it Skype chatting with more contest winners (we even got to play a Skype show in a high school class room (#FSHS wooohoooo) & playing another house show that evening with the final "Thanks to you" contest winner...they also had yummy brownie/cookie cake treats for us. So delicious. It was amazing to see some of you & thank you for being awesome & for your support.

Our amazing friend acting manager/does everything and anything we need Will showed up release day morning with these!!!

#39 on the POP charts....WOOHOOO!

So then we had Wednesday at home to pull ourselves together and pack for LA, Australia & the UK. Literally...it looked like a bomb had exploded in our house. Clothes everywhere. Hadn't even unpacked from the last 6 week tour...hahaha...it was a disaster. But we managed to pull ourselves together...pack & wake up the next morning at 4:30am to fly to LA to meet up with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to play a little show at one of their locations in Hollywood. This might have been one of our favorite shows...we were outside, the weather was amazing, a bunch of you showed up (even though the timing couldn't have been worse in Los Angeles 5:30pm :( )and we got to drink endless Coffee Bean drinks. YES. It was amazing. We haven't played a j&k show in LA for a long time so it was so super great to meet you guys and discuss how amazing Coffee Bean truly is. Plus, we got to see some of our SoCal friends & eat sushi...which is ALWAYS a plus.

Leaving Nashville.

Coffee Bean show. Sunset & Argyle. (photo courtesy of someone on twitter--thank you!)

Cannot be in LA without a stop at In-n-Out :)

Our dear friends & LA loves...Robert & Nico.

Then the next day we flew to the land down under...skipped an ENTIRE day to get here...but we made it & couldn't be having a better time. The weather has been amazing. Their coffee is killer--they have a precious little drink called a flat white...not sure what's in it but it rules. Yesterday a few of us went and cuddled with koalas & kangaroos...yes...that statement is true. It was so fun. We play our first show tonight with Kelly & The Fray & soon to be new pal Sarah De Bono. Let the good times roll!!!! (Jill didn't go on the koala/kangaroo adventure so Kate is not being picture hog...haha)

Kate & a koala--her name was Trace.

Kangaroo was just chilling.

Kangaroo waving!

Feeding a kangaroo!

Stop it will all of the koala cuteness. Baby & mama.

Hope everyone is feeling good today...we are in the future right now...and it's looking good.

Lots of love...

-j&k-

HBD to the J to the H.

It's June 3rd folks...which means that it is non-other than Jason Halbert's BIRTHDAY! We did a blog last year with pics & we decided to do it again this year. We have the pleasure of working alongside him & this last year has proved yet again why we are so thankful for him! He is our fearless musical leader on the road, a great friend, kick-A running buddy & an example of a fabulous husband and father. Also, he is always inspiring us to take pictures to document our many travels so we decided to put together a collection of those from the last 12 months. We are so happy to know him, laugh with him and j&k are looking forward to seeing what awesome things are in store for JH this year.

Jason...first off.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY...

This is how we see you a lot...

Sometimes you wear a shirt to remind us who you are and what you're doing there...

Australia soundcheck...

VH1 Unplugged rehearsal.

"STRONGER" video shoot rockin' the key-tar.

No clue when this was...some rehearsal in the last 365 days :)

When things really get going you'll move on to this instrument...

Power faces.

Food is an important staple...Cracker Barrel pit stop...hmm...

Chowing down on Koi NYC. Yum.

Music City Hot Chicken Festival, Nashville, TN.

BK & long car rides....good combo.

Just normal breakfast table conversations happening here...

We like to run...Sydney, Australia.

Run club...West Hollywood, CA.

We hauled our butts over that bridge & back...hoo-yeah run club 2012! San Francisco, CA.

We admire all of Jason's modes of transportation....swing....

Mini-car...

Surf board...

Bike...

We also support a creative wardrobe...when you feel like wearing all grey animated uniforms....

And wizard costumes...

And star shaped glasses....

And yuppy yacht apparel...

And bibs...

And neon green suits...

And mostly when you wear your party rockin' LMFAO lovin' gear.

Group shots extravaganza....

These next few pics didn't have a category but thought they were honorable mentions of good times!

Weirdest city ever for a wine bar...Reno.

Dance party on the bus.

Best day ever...Universal.

Jill's birthday....Denver, CO.

Made up game...entertainment for at least 30 minutes.

Free drinks on January 1st flying to New Orleans!

Culture Committee party Jacksonville, FL.

Jay Leno!

Dressing room at SNL. Aben looks thoroughly entertained.

Recording in Australia.

Some coffee shop somewhere in the world...

Best German driver ever. #preoseccoforever

New iPhone photo app DIPTIC...all of us demonstrating the "jet lag"

UK X-Factor.

Stretching it out before our pre-flight to Australia.

NO idea where this was but I bet we were having loads of fun!

Australia.

Until next year....

-j&k-

Here and There....

Hi friends... So, since getting off of the STRONGER tour in mid-April, we've been here & there & everywhere it seems. So let's get caught up on the fun things that have been going on...since bullet points are so fun we thought we'd bust some out:

  • In Florida (where Kate wore her happy shirt...you can read about that here) we did a few songs with David Foster & Kelly. Also performing were Seal, Keith Urban, Ruben Studdard...so needless to say we were pretty excited cause j&k love us some Keith. Anywho...we did the show and for the last song all the celeb performers were singing a song together...and David invited us girls to come out and join them in singing "All You Need Is Love"...so we did...and for a brief moment our little fantasy of a j&k & Keith duet flashed before our eyes.

I like to think that Keith & I (kate) shared a moment in this pic :) Hahaaaa....

  • After Florida Jill headed back to Nash & I headed to LA with Kelly to do some personal assisting stuff...while in LA I got to see Coldplay at the Hollywood Bowl...we all know my insane mad love for Coldplay & the show was incredible. The Hollywood Bowl is such a magical venue & the energy that Coldplay puts into a show is ridiculous. Seriously. Loved every second of that show. Everyone upon entering got these wrist bands with LED lights and during certain songs they would synchronize with their lighting & light up....it was SO cool. Fun times.

Before heading to Florida we enjoyed a little downtime in the studio in Nashville finishing up our album....which we will be releasing info about in the very, very near future...and we are so excited about it...we cannot wait to share it with you guys. Listening to first mixes of songs we constantly think about you guys and hope that you'll like it. Seriously...some of you we mention even by name...knowing that it's a favorite...hoping that you'll like what we've done with it. So thank you for inspiring us to make music & being involved & supportive. We love you guys.

Driving around Nashville listening to mixes...

Lots of love....

-j&k-

Well well well...

If it isn't Monday again. The weeks go by rather fast these days don't they? For me they have been flying. I can't believe it's already March. Want to know what's weird? As I was typing that, the Ellen show was on in the background and she said "I can't believe it's March..." It's so crazy when stuff like that happens. I love it. So I have these incredible friends back in Nashville who gave me the most awesome Christmas present ever. It's a day planner with little notes/cards for every week that I am out on the road so that whenever I need a little pick-me-up from back home, I can open it up and read one of their cards. Seriously, best friends ever award. I'm so lucky.

Anyway, today's card had a quote in it and you know how much I love quotes. So here it is:

"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

I've never heard that one before, but it hit me pretty hard just now. It is pretty easy to get annoyed with little things and be rude especially out here on the road. It's easy to lose perspective and for everything to become a much bigger deal than it actually is. It's easy to become completely self-focused. Sometimes I just want to be complain and be rude and act like a two year old who needs a nap. But I have to remember to suck it up, be strong and act appropriately.

So there ya go. Jill's thoughts for the day. Keep on truckin.

-j-

It Could Never Happen To Me

So I had an experience last year that was scary, traumatic & definitely changed my life. It changed my life because it almost took my life. Sounds so dramatic which I hate cause I'm all about no drama in 2012 but it's true. So here's the story. It was late July...super hot & humid in Nashville. Jill and I had worked two days straight shooting a promotional video (which we are releasing soon...YAY!) & I was headed to a show with a friend that evening. It was a celebratory unwinding from two days of exhausting shooting & long hours. I was really looking forward to watching Bon Iver play at the Ryman. I had some drinks at the show and after the show ended (it was a phenomenal show btw) we decided to walk around  the corner to one of the honky tonk bars to have a couple drinks.

The bar was pretty crowded--we got drinks from the bar & pretty quickly found some seats with some guys (all men that were older than me) that offered to share their table. I'm a pretty friendly person by nature, but put a couple drinks in me and I'm even more chatty. The group of guys were funny, making my friend & I laugh a lot...we were having a great time! I clung close to my friend...who was a guy...to make sure the guys knew that I wasn't interested in any of them...just out to have a good time.

So, in the essence of having fun & a good time...after a little while of hanging with the table of guys, they brought over some drinks...and I took one. We left shortly thereafter...we had already planned to take a cab home & we got right in one, I gave my address & we departed. Roughly ten minutes into the ride I started to feel sick. Not oops I drank too much sick. Like...holy crap...my head is starting to cave in on itself & I started feeling SUPER nauseous. After that, things are completely blurry for me. The last thing I remember saying was "Pull over. I need help."

The next thing I remember was waking up in the Emergency Room three hours later.

Honestly the next few hours I remember almost nothing. I don't remember getting to my house, or being driven to the ER. I faintly remember hearing voices but nothing more than that. Jill and some other friends helped me piece back together the hours that I missed. Apparently this is what happened...

I started throwing up...like violently...unfortunately...all over the cab...after a few stops along the way (for me to throw up) we made it back to my house. My friend who was with me (freaking out) called Jill and asked her to meet us at the cab because I was totally unconscious & he couldn't get me out of the cab. I've never so much as fainted before so this behavior was very unusual. Jill especially thought this was really abnormal for me...thinking possibly I'd just drank too much...but when he asked for help she knew something had to be wrong. Once she got to the cab she started to FREAK OUT. They got me out of the cab (which was a difficult task because I was totally DEAD weight) and laid me on the pavement. The cab driver started pouring water on my head...Jill was slapping my face, yelling at me...but I didn't respond. At all. I faintly remember the sound of panic in Jill's voice. I guess that's what happens when you know someone that well...I could hear the nuance of sheer terror in her voice...but I couldn't respond or process anything at all. She kept yelling and slapping my face...but I couldn't respond.

This is where the story gets graphic...my apologies for those reading that don't wanna know but...full disclosure is generally my policy. You're welcome. I was totally unconscious....but I was still throwing up...and I was flat on my back on the pavement...and because of the vomit...I'd stopped breathing. Jill had to reach into my mouth and scoop the vomit out of my mouth. (I know, I know, super friend award right there.) My other friend was pumping my stomach & another friend was on the phone with 911. They decided to move me to the grass since the pavement was SUPER hot because it was mid-summer and still 80+ degrees out...you get the idea. This was one thing that I remember weirdly...I remember feeling the grass under my arms and remember thinking that it felt funny. But again...it felt like a weird dream. On the grass, my friends continued slapping me trying to just wake me up --making sure I was breathing. Nothing.

At this point the dispatcher from 911 told them it would be faster if they took me to the hospital instead of waiting for the ambulance. Again, they had to transport me (dead weight) to the car and then they drove me to the ER. It took four of them to get me into the car and drive me to the hospital.

Once I was on the table in the ER I vaguely remember them pulling my eyes open asking me if I could say my name, or respond at all...but I couldn't. I remember wanting to...really trying but I couldn't get any words out. I remember hearing a ton of beeping and a lot of hustle and bustle...people rushing around but basically felt in a dream-like haze....I felt far away.

Flash forward three hours...I started to wake up. Feeling totally out of it...and like a bus hit me...I was pretty scared...I woke up with all sorts of tubes, IV's and things that beeped surrounding me. I was relieved to see Jill & my two other friends there. They started filling me in on the details since I had no idea how I'd gotten there or what had happened.

The ER doctors admitted me into the hospital because my levels were so out of whack and they wanted to observe me for the rest of the night. It was around 4am that I was wheeled into the "Special Care Unit." The first thing the doctor asked my friends and me was what drugs had I taken? My friends kept telling the doctor that that was NOT my style. I'm all about having a good time with some drinks but I don't do drugs. It's just not my thing. Once they believed me the next thing they wanted to know is if I took a drink from a stranger? The only reasonable explanation for what happened to me was that something had been slipped in my drink. Within 15 minutes of taking that drink from a stranger I collapsed.

My blood alcohol level was low--so it wasn't a case of having drank too much. The only other possibility was that I had taken some allergy medicine earlier in the day and that my body didn't respond well to the mixing of the allergy meds & alcohol. But, after much deliberation with the doctor, he was certain that something had been slipped in my drink.

I never thought that could happen to me. I think of myself as a pretty responsible adult. I like being in control. I don't consider myself a "partier" and I rarely find myself in a bar--unless it's in a hotel lobby while on tour. But even then, I'm not one to go crazy...

They released me from the hospital later that afternoon. It took some major recouping to feel back to normal. But the thing that was the hardest to get over was the fact that I felt so shocked that it happened. That I took a drink from a stranger. When I started talking about my experience people all had the same answer..."OH MY GOSH...you took a drink from a stranger?" Most people made me feel kind of like an idiot for doing it--which was embarrassing and hurtful all at the same time. But I began to think...how many of those same people have ever done that? You are out...having a good time...almost everyone I know has taken a drink from a "new friend" they meet in the bar. Most times, people are just being nice when they buy you a drink, but there's always the chance that there is another motivation.

Not to say that I haven't learned...because I have...and that's why I'm writing this post. I'll never take a drink from a stranger again. Please don't take drinks from strangers or "new friends." Please don't set your drink down and leave it unattended. The statistics on drugs being put into drinks is staggering. It's happening more and more. It happened to me. It can happen to you.

-I was at a bar 10 minutes from my house

-I was with a guy that I trust

-I was in a "safe" part of town

And it still happened. Some of you reading this might have had something similar happen to you and I'm sorry for that. It's a horrible feeling to be out of control and so vulnerable. I am so thankful that I wasn't alone and that I had loving friends surrounding me and caring for me. Seriously...I cannot imagine if I were alone that night.

This was a pic I snapped of my wrist after I got out of the hospital. Life is fragile. And there are bat-shit-crazy people out there.

Please be careful.

Much love.

-kate-

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

Actually...this should be titled "Tis The Night Before Christmas..." but, it is what it is. So this will be short because well, it's Christmas Eve and there's a lot more to be excited about than a j&k blog...haha! But...we recently saw this bumper sticker in Nashville and had to take a picture because we didn't know if it was serious or a joke. (In case you can't read it, it says "I <3 My Grandog.")

We discussed it for a while and figured it must be a joke. We laughed.

And then alas.....today I was in Target and I heard a lady tell the clerk that her "GRANDOG" was coming to town for Christmas so she needed to buy treats. For. Real. So this is a thing??? This is a thing. And so our question is answered.

No comment.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!! To you and yours! And your Grandogs if you have any!

-j&k-

Goodnessssss.

I am exhausted. Like...wowza...tired. I spent the week in Chicago hanging with my little brothers and dad while my mom visited my sister overseas. And let me tell you--I am NOT a mother, I do not have my own children but man, I LOVE my little brothers. They are 10 and so funny but man...they are sometimes a handful...and I am exhausted! I played pseudo mom--I made lunches, did carpool, was "cool big sister" at times and grouchy "evil big sister" at others...and bottom line is I am WIPED OUT. So this is my official ROUND OF APPLAUSE to any and every mother, father, aunt, uncle, friend, sibling, grandparent or godparent that has ever raised a child or children.

Sit down and have a glass of wine on me.

I'm applauding you from my couch.

Below is a picture of me and my two brothers after they WON their football game!!! Woooohoo!!!! Yes, I made a homemade "TEAM RAPIER" shirt for my dad and me...how freakin' handsome are my brothers?  Sheesh. I love them....a lot.

Hugs & a wee bit of exhaustion :)

-kate