food

JLo or Bust? - Day 13 #31DaysOfBlogging

One of the awesome things about the walkabout this year was being able to randomly just decide to go wherever we felt like going. We were over at our friend Betsy’s house one day and somehow started talking about the wonder that is JLo.

Yes, Jenny from the block. Jennifer Lopez.

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Who knows how she came up in our conversation, but one thing led to another and before long, we were on her website checking out her tour dates in Vegas.

Lo” and behold, (get it?) there were only a handful of shows left....we decided we couldn’t miss this, and so we picked a date, bought our tickets, and booked our trips to Vegas for the end of April.

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Now, JLo was what really prompted us to go, and we danced away to Let’s Get Loud and Waiting For Tonight, but we ended up doing so much more. We stayed at an AMAZING hotel called The Palazzo. The hotel is incredible, and really you never even have to leave. There are about a billion restaurants, amazing pools, and of course plenty of gambling. (You WANT to stay at this hotel...book a room at Suiteness.com, the best place to book all kinds of amazing suites!)

Gambling is one of those things that is either super fun or super depressing. See, when you’re winning, it’s the best feeling ever. It’s thrilling. The sound of a slot machine ching-ching-chinging when you hit the jackpot, or the feeling of those chips in your hand when you beat the blackjack dealer. It’s INVIGORATING.

But when you’re losing, it’s the worst. You start to really hate the fact that you got sucked into this to begin with. You see people around you winning, try to lurk near their winning machines (like the lurker in FRIENDS, remember her?), and start to question your whole life.

Life can be like this sometimes. There are ups and downs. There are times when you’re winning and times when you’re losing. There are times when you’re just breaking even and it’s fun just to play. We actually learned a lot from our trip to Vegas, which we talk more about here in this podcast episode, Gambling and Taking Breaks.

A little piece of encouragement for you today:

It’s okay to take a break sometimes. There are times where you get spontaneous and book the JLo tickets, and there are times when you need to just lie on your couch and binge F-R-I-E-N-D-S and eat nachos. Both are fine. Balance is important. So whatever that is for you today, find the balance you need in your life. And if you go to Vegas, put $20 on black 17 for us.

Until tomorrow, best of luck to you…and may you find the balance you need.

J&K

PS. Just in case you were hungry — this will make you more hungry — some of the yummy food we ate while in Vegas! YES PLEASE. Here for it.

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Bouncing Around Boston

A few Fridays ago we decided to take a day trip to Boston. We both went to college just outside of Boston on the North Shore so we are quasi-familiar with the city, but decided to really get lost in the city--no plans, just to enjoy the day and see what happens.

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And let’s just say that it was one of the most spontaneously magical days we’ve ever had... and it included multiple people bringing us free booze. No lie. But we’ll get to that.

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We parked at around 10am and decided the first stop needed to be brunch. We found a tiny little spot that boasted great reviews and so not shockingly it was JAM PACKED when we arrived. There were 2 seats open at the bar so we jumped on them. We both got a version of eggs benedict--which was sort of weird for both of us to order such similar things but...we’re glad we did! It was so delicious.

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We left full and happy and decided to hit the streets. We walked and walked...and it was perfect weather. We stopped in some stores to do some shopping--thank you Nordstrom Rack for always being there for us in a time of need. Haha. We're trying to keep it simple seeing that we just sold almost everything we own...but the season is changing and we realized we don't have all the proper attire! 

The only thing that we did have planned for the day was to meet up with a guy named Will who had reached out to us about doing an interview for his college paper. We met up at a coffee shop and chatted with him about our new adventures, the podcast, and our new music we’ve just finished recording. Will was super sweet and you can read his interview with us here.

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After wrapping up with Will, we decided to wander around some more and shop/see whatever we could. There is just something about seeing a city by foot--it’s such a wonderful way to discover a place...even if you’ve been there a bunch of times...seeing things from that vantage point will open your eyes to new things.

At around 4pm we were a little tired of walking and decided it was the perfect time for a margarita. We used Yelp to help lead us to the best little Mexican place, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, where we grabbed some seats at the bar and rested our weary feet. Since it was only 4 o’clock-ish, the place was relatively empty but that changed quickly. We got some margaritas and chips & guac. This is basically all you need in life, are we right?

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As the bar filled up, we noticed some people waiting behind us and noticed that a few of their party would be able to sit if we scooched down a seat. We offered and they were super thankful. So thankful in fact that they were like, we want to buy your next drink since you were so nice to scooch. {small fun fact...who doesn’t love the word scooch?} We declined, but they insisted. HOW NICE ARE PEOPLE? We made new friends from Wisconsin, drank our drinks, took a selfie with our newfound friends and gave up our coveted bar stools.

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We started walking and asked our friend Meghan who works in Cambridge if she could meet us for dinner and she said yes. Why was this day just so perfect? Spontaneous plans are the best plans. So we walked across the Harvard Bridge and met her...then walked to an Italian Place called Sulmona.

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The place was awesome and our server was the sweetest. Then somehow, when we thought the day was pretty perfect and couldn’t really get much better...the manager/owner brings us a free bottle of bubbly. Not sure if he thought we were someone else (haha) but he said it looked like we were having a fun girl's night & that we needed a bottle of bubbly. What was happening?

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Anyway, it was awesome. But the point of the day was not about free alcohol...it was about enjoying every moment. What we’re learning on our walkabout is that gratitude can be found in every single second of the day--you just have to choose it. And you have that choice to choose joy and gratitude in every moment--it’s up to you.

We loved our adventures in Boston. What a great city. Can’t wait to return and play a show next time. So many dear ones that we’d love to see at a show.

Love you all,

J&K

Road Trippin' Food (31 Days-Day #5)

So, we're on a last minute road trip & when we travel it's almost protocol for nutritional food to be tossed out the window...haha...anything with red dye 5, high fructose corn syrup or bleached white flour all seem to make it into the car.  IMG_4119

And that's just the food we pack to take with us...never mind the chicken nuggets, burgers, french fries & ice creamy treats that we consume during rest stops. Eating in the car passes the time...keeps you awake...I don't care who you are. Eating while driving is a given.

It's just a fact of life. Yes, we could pack nutritional pre-made home-made snacks but sometimes YOU JUST CANT. No time people. (And sometimes nothing compares to Flamin' Hot Cheetos.)

And that's life.

So there you have it.

What are your favorite road trip snacks?

xo j&k

Things We're Digging Right Now

Some stuff we're frequenting or enjoying or overusing or loving right now:

  • Pumpkin Soup. We cannot vouch for any other brand, but the Trader Joe's one rules and it comes in a cute, little box. You just rip off the top, heat it up and it's delicious! And who doesn't love things in tiny boxes? soup
  • Couch to 10k App. We had familiarized ourselves with the Couch to 5k app and decided this fall was a great time to embark on a longer running goal. NO, we haven't signed up for a 10k yet...we're just using it as a training guide. The program is amazing and we are both running further than we thought humanly possible!
  • Paramore. No new concept here but just now listening to their latest record and loving it...it frequents the iPod while running.65967_10150278113904963_185339492_n
  • Jeremy Cowart & Jon Acuff. These are two new friends we met recently . Jeremy is a ridiculously talented photographer (he just shot our friend KC's Xmas cover & Billboard cover) and is also launching a new App called OKDOTHIS later this month. Jon is a New York Times best selling author and has an awesome blog on life and leadership--he's also really funny. But it's not the stuff that these guys do that makes us thankful we met them...they are kind, humble and genuinely nice guys. We need more good men like this. Go follow these guys...
  • Pumpkin Flax Granola. Oops. Didn't even realize that this food item was also pumpkin related. We're a little embarrassed now. But guys, this granola is GOOD. Like, eat all year round good. npa-890072
  • The Good Wife. It's finally on Hulu Plus and we just can't get enough. Kate had watched some previous seasons but we both have been watching it from the start! Who doesn't love Julianna Margulies? We definitely do. Unknown

What are you digging right now?

Be awesome.

j&k

Ode to Popcorn

I love food. I especially love popcorn. I like making it myself on the stovetop...just a little oil, white popcorn and salt. I grew up never watching a movie without popcorn...like never...so it's in my blood. I heart popcorn and popcorn hearts me. I was at Costco the other day and they had a sample of this fabulous treat....Angie's Kettle Corn. I generally only like kettle corn second best to regular popcorn...but this stuff is the best popcorn I've EVER HAD OUT OF A BAG. It's SO good. SO GOOD. Bonus: because it's from Costco the bag is ridiculously huge....as all things are from Costco...hooray.

Anddddddd it only has 4 ingredients.

Anddddddd I just went to their website and read their story. So cool.

It's so good I'm blogging about it on a Saturday night. Haha. I'm so cool. Watch out night clubs and cool hang out spots of America...if you start serving this popcorn I might show up. photo 2

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Kate + this popcorn = Happiness.

Oh wow. Now I'm doing equations. The cool just can't help but leak outta me.

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Goodnight world.

xo

-kate

Californiaaaaaa

'0-Dark-Thirty Drive To The Airport

Last Sunday we hopped on a plane and four hours later arrived in sunny Los Angeles. Well actually it was kind of gloomy Los Angeles because they are experiencing a phenomenon called "June Gloom"...it seems that every morning is pretty overcast & gloomy and then around noon-ish the sun comes out and all is right in the world again.

We were super excited to be out on the West coast for a couple of meetings and for 2 shows. Obviously the first thing we did was go to the Coffee Bean...

After that we headed to visit Kate's college friend and had some lunch. Traveling for work is such a bonus when you have friends that live far away from you...it was a nice time to catch up & watch her 3 kiddos run around. Later that afternoon we got to spend some time with our courageous friend Will Gray who is battling cancer. It was wonderful just to sit with him, hear him laugh and catch up. He was getting ready to go to a treatment facility in Arizona (which if you are interested in donating to help him financially with his treatment you can find more info & donate here) so we were happy to have some time with him before they left.

Tuesday we had a great time playing at The Parlor in West Hollywood. We had a bunch of friends and fans come out to see us and it was A BLAST. They even had a photo booth...best place ever. We had a slight delay in our set because we were waiting for the hockey game to wrap up...go KINGS or something like that :) (.....AHEM....go Bruins)

We loved this shot! Thanks for letting us borrow your pic!

This is Tom Jordan, he played a set after us & killed it!

Wednesday we had a great meeting in the morning and then headed over to the StageIt headquarters...okay with one small stop at SPRINKLES cupcakes (thanks for the gift card Victor!)...we bought so many cupcakes they gave us two free ones to sample from their sugar free line.

OMG. So good....and they had the nicest people working there. We loved visiting the StageIt head quarters...their staff is amazing and we loved being able to play a show right from their offices overlooking LA. Fun fun.

Thanks Joanna for letting us use your pic...she was watching via StageIt.com :)

We then celebrated the day with flaming margaritas at El Compadre...olé :) We ended the day with delicious food  & drinks with friends. Lots of laughter. Here are some more random pics from our trip:

Elevator shots posse.

Random snake man on the street.

Random new best friends Dakota & Kelsey serving up smiles & drinks at The Coffee Bean

Best burger at In-n-out

Chello?

Coffee Bean crazy.

It's a Nico & Robert/Jill & Kate sandwich :)

Double veto in LA with The Fray.

Kate & Nico smizing.

Favorite flower bushes...they are everywhere in LA & remind Kate of her grandma.

Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna. Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna people. SO GOOD, there are no more words.

 

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

Bread.

Ahhh it's 2013. Who the heck can believe that? I can hardly. Moving right along...one of my new years resolutions has been to eat more whole foods (i.e. not processed stuff.) Mainly because I've had some stomach issues and so I thought I would give it a whirl. Also, even though I love with all of my heart those overly-processed foods, I don't think they are necessarily the best for me. Now, don't get me wrong--I have not made a total life change. At the end of the year if I am still practicing these things, I will have then made a life change. Right now I am just sharing my new ventures...but with my sharing you cannot judge me if you see me downing a Snickers bar and washing it down by the most ginormous Frappuccino you've ever seen. I won't judge your eating practices if you don't judge mine. Deal? Deal. Yay!

I have been reading this book, Nourishing Traditions...which is HUGE & full of recipes. Everything takes forever in the book. Like, wow. You always have to be thinking ahead for meal prep which is quite an undertaking for me but I've been just kind of mulling through recipes at my own pace.

In this new mindset of cooking more whole foods & getting away from the processed stuff (which my mom & family members have been doing for a while) I found a blog (Heavenly Homemakers...isn't that just the cutest title ever?) that shares/discusses recipes mostly based on the Nourishing Traditions book. You know how I love blogs & reading people's personal experiences so this was a great find! Thanks Mom for showing me the website.

Wait, speaking of my mom I need to share something. She is the most wonderful, amazing woman on the planet. I mean it. My mom is a mom. She loves taking care of her family and she does it in the most thoughtful ways. She'd write notes on my napkins in my school lunches. She'd leave a chocolate on my pillowcase when I returned home from college. She wakes up at 'o dark thirty to prepare the most delicious & wholesome food for us. She really is amazing. And she loves. She is understanding. I am so thankful that I got such a loving mother. She is always a sounding board for me whether it's about a guy I'm dating, a spiritual conundrum I find myself in or just everyday life...she listens. And my mom believes in me. When Jill and I started playing music together my mom was and I think will continue to be my biggest cheerleader. Ah...okay...I've gotten off topic from bread. Anywho. My mom is awesome and she has taught me everything I know in the kitchen.

Back to bread. So I was perusing this website and found this Applesauce Bread recipe. A quick glance at the recipe and the ingredients didn't freak me out too much and what's not to love about Applesauce & Bread? Applesauce? Good. Bread? Good. (That was a FRIENDS reference btw).

So, the other day I mixed up all these ingredients, put it in my never-before-used bread pan & stuck it in the oven for 40 minutes. Checked it by sticking a tooth pick in the middle...not quite done...5 more minutes in the oven did the trick & there I had my applesauce loaf of bread!!!

I obviously took pictures...cause that's what you do these days.

It looks like a real loaf of bread!!!!!

Woohoo! So that was my first Applesauce Bread baking experience. And I've got to tell you a secret. It was SO easy. I promise you could do it too. Like, I wish I could say that only those with my level of baking experience could do it...HAHAHAHAAA....but no, it's really, really, really easy & tastes so yummy. It's so easy that I woke up this morning and threw another loaf in for my friend.

Okay. So there you have it. Applesauce Bread. Delicious.

Have a really splendid Saturday!

-kate

The Perfect Homemade Meal

(in our humble opinions)

Chips and salsa and guacamole. (Salsa made by Gaby Robbins what what! Guac made by j&k)

Spanish rice. Easy, fast and delicious.

Jalapeno creamed corn. Dangerously good.

Okay, so we don't have a picture of the main course because we kind of forgot to take the picture and then ate it all. Haha. But here's the deal: Angela's awesome enchilada recipe. Do it and you will not regret it.

Ohhh December 18, 2012. 2011* JillandKate blog again and reiterate their deep love for mexican food.

Until tomorrow.

-j&k-

*we got ahead of ourselves. It's still 2011. Phew.