health

ACTION BABY!

So, you’ve written down your goals. You’re not comparing, not competing and you’re taking baby steps. NICE WORK SO FAR.

Today we want to tell you about: ACTION items!!!

We heard recently that you need to look at your calendar and see if your calendar is reflecting the goals that you’re setting...because if your calendar is not reflecting it, that probably means that it’s not going to happen.

So, remember baby steps from yesterday? We meet again. Write down 2 (baby step) things that you can do this week to work towards that goal. You don’t have to schedule your whole month. Just look at this next week and add some actionable items that will help you meet your goals or whatever you wrote down.

See, it’s easy to be all talk and dreams and ideas and color-coordinated lists, but when it actually comes to doing it -- actually taking action -- that’s where we can get tripped up.

If your goal is to work out twice a week -- schedule it now. Find the time now. Schedule it. Say what you’re going to do. Example: I am going to walk on Thursday morning before work for 30 minutes, and on Saturday morning I’m taking the spin class at 10am. DONE.

If your goal is to write more, schedule it. Block out the time. If you don’t, you won’t. Because wishing and hoping that you will accomplish something is VERY different than actually DOING it.

So, today…write down those action items. It’s Thursday, so, look at next week. Just do 2 little things. You will be SO PROUD when you’ve accomplished them, and you will be two steps closer to achieving what you wrote down!

If you feel like sharing, tell us in the comments below what you’re tackling!

Much love and ALWAYS cheering you on…

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J&K

Which Train Are You On?

Welcome to 2019! It’s a new year. Time to evaluate and dream and look to the future. Everyone is all setting goals and setting intentions for the new year -- time to crush it, right? Well, what if you woke up this morning and are not feeling like you got off at motivation-station? What if it feels more like you still have your ticket for the bi-polar express?

Fear not, we have been there.

We know the feeling of having what seems like everyone else on the planet be 100% cheery and on top of the world with this intense and awesome #newyearnewyou energy, and you feel like a freaking alien.

But, here’s the secret. You can start exactly where you are with exactly what you have.

Maybe you have a job you don’t like? Or you have 20lbs you’ve been wanting to lose. Or maybe it’s that you don’t have the friends you hoped you’d have.

For now, we just want to share one super power tip: We want to tell you that you CAN change your life, and our best most practical advice is to WRITE IT DOWN. Even if you think there is no way on God’s green earth that you can make it happen, write it down anyway. Write it on a napkin or a sticky note or on a secret page in your journal...you don’t have to show anyone... just one thing you’d like to see happen in the new year.

It won’t magically fix anything or change anything in an instant, but you will have started the momentum train. And the momentum train is magic.

What you might not realize is that if you’re reading this right now...you are already one foot on the momentum magic train…

Get ready for the ride. Tune in tomorrow where we will share 3 helpful tips for navigating the new year.

You are loved.

J&K

Man Weeps On A Plane

I am on a plane. I’m on Southwest, so I can’t reference my seat number like classy writers do, but I’m on the left hand side of the plane about 5 rows behind the exist row.

I am sitting next to a man. It’s crowded. I’m in the window seat and he’s the unlucky one who got the middle seat. It’s a 5 hour flight. Boston to Denver. The sun is reflecting the prettiest color of orange out my window. A thick layer of clouds beneath me and ahead on the horizon. But then, this fire orange and red—it’s thick. Above it, it’s a bit lighter, then breaking into yellow and a big expanse of blue.

I’ve been working on some ideas on my computer. Lots of work. Me: typing, typing, typing. Spreadsheets and to-do lists. Drinking my wine (thanks SWA drink coupon) and I notice my neighbor reading something. He’s reading something in a different language, so I can’t spy to see what the title is or the words on a page. But, about 10 minutes ago, I noticed something. He started wiping tears from his eyes. At first, I thought maybe he was sick or he was just tired and rubbing his eyes. But, I think he is legit crying. I think those are tears. He keeps wiping his tears. 

It looks like a book he’s reading—a kindle edition on his phone…but something is moving him to tears. And as I sit here, dying to intrude and ask him a million questions, I’m reminded that words and stories move us. They change us. He is probably in his 40s, of some sort of Asian descent (also the writing is in some sort of Asian) and he has been staring at his phone for the last 2 hours...and now he is weeping. 

He keeps wiping his tears. 

As I sit here, I wonder who wrote the story he’s reading? What part of the story is so moving to him? What part of his own story is resonating so much with him that tears stream from his face? Why is he moved to tears? I’m sure he doesn’t want to cry in the middle seat of SWA flight 6387, but he clearly can’t stop. I want to cry with him and hug him…which don’t worry…I know is inappropriate, but still. What is moving him to tears?

I am reminded that our stories matter. Your story matters. No matter how we share them…'cause we all share them in different ways. Some with your kids over meal time, some in songs and on a guitar, some with a neighbor over happy hour, some with millions on a talk show, some with your BFF in high school. It doesn’t matter how, but we need you and your story. 

If you’re writing and think that your story isn’t going to move someone to tears one day, I’d encourage you to rethink that. Or if you’re an artist and you don’t think your art is going to move people, I want to tell you to reconsider. 

I wonder if the person who wrote whatever he’s reading knew it would move a man on a plane to tears. And that by his tears, a (somewhat intrusive neighbor passenger) stranger would also be moved and reminded that words matter. Our perspectives and creativity and lives matter.

Oh gosh, I hope he’s not reading my screen. That would be awkward. Ah heck, what do I know…maybe he’s just got really bad allergies and is reading an email. Haha.

Already in the time it took to write this, the magical shade of fire orange has faded. I’m glad I stopped to study it while it was there. 

I am trying not to miss as much these days.

-Kate

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Getting It Done

Hello!

Is anyone else tired of procrastinating? This kid. ME! Right here. I've got so many things on my to-do list, and I do get a few crossed off here and there...but really, it's the easy ones that I cross off first. Things I don't really mind doing.

Then there's always those lingering items...for instance, here are some worth mentioning:

  • Tax preparation. Receipts, emails with our business managers, personal taxes. the whole shabang. 
  • Returning items to Kohls and American Eagle and TJMaxx. Why God, why?
  • Returning a gift my sister sent to me from Amazon. (I already had it. Bless her.)
  • Cleaning out my makeup bag. This should be fun, but I need to do a major declutter and throw a lot out and I just don't throw out old makeup well. I want to hang on and think of all the wonderful places we could go together...but it's old and smells funky and I should just throw it out. While I'm at it...I should clean all my makeup brushes. Add it to the freakin' list!
  • Clean makeup brushes.
  • Call the NY Tollway and beg forgiveness for a $5 toll that has a $100 penalty on it because they mailed it to our Nash address and we've been traveling for the last 3 months so we didn't get it. WAHHHHHHHHHH. Please be kind NY Toll person that I talk to. 
  • Write a paragraph for a work thing.
  • Reply to unread emails x 100000000000000 (infinity.)

But, I've decided that these things are eating up my brain space with a constant feeling of always having to cross something off my list. SO I AM DOING IT ALL THIS WEEK. Please keep me accountable. I want to use my free time to write, create, and dream...and right now my brain is on LOCK-FREAKIN'-DOWN. You know when people say: set some goals! And you're like, YEAH RIGHT. I can't even think about goals because I have so many things on my perpetual to-do list! It's eating up our brains. Hahaha. Or at least mine. I am crossing those nagging items off this. DOING IT. 

Anyone with me? It's GSD week. (get s%*t done)

What are you getting done this week?

Kate

PS: One thing we DID NOT procrastinate on this week was recording our podcast, and this one is a doozie! THE DATING DIARIES! Just like it sounds. Listen to all of our Girls Just Pod To Have Fun episodes here!

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

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

What A Tree Taught Me

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Got up early for a run & the sun was just coming up (thanks Daylight Savings.) I am loving being in Denver--there is the most charming park near my friend’s house & it was almost empty as I ran down the winding path this morning. I had to stop to take this pic of this tree. There is something about trees that I love. They are grounded. Confident. Standing so tall. They don’t fret over the seasons changing. They understand that loss is a vital part of change and growth. They withstand pain and brokenness. They’re steady. They do not fear the future or whether or not their needs will be met.  And that’s just what you see on the surface. Their roots go down deep and that’s where they find their strength. If there is something that I want for myself during this walkabout season--it’s that my roots will go down deep. That I’ll be grounded in Love. Confident. That I will stand tall. That I will not fret over seasons changing. That I will understand that loss is a vital part of change and growth. That I will withstand pain and brokenness. That I will not fear the future or whether or not my needs will be met. And that what you see on the surface will be only a small part of my roots that go down deep into Love.

-kate

We Have a Podcast! Episode 1: Walkabout

Our brand new podcast: GIRLS JUST POD TO HAVE FUN is available NOW! You can download the first episode here and subscribe here! We are brand spankin' new to the podcast world and we would LOVE your reviews/subscription/feedback.

If you're a none Apple/iTunes user you can also listen to the entire thing online right here: www.jillandkate.com/girlsjustpodtohavefun

If you like the podcast, please share this link http://apple.co/2gMGHZM on social media--it helps us out so much when y'all do that. We also have a free gift for you--but you have to listen to find out what it is :)

Here's a little bit about what the podcast is about:

Do you feel stuck? Did you think you would be somewhere else in life by now? Join singer-songwriter duo Jill and Kate, as they sell their belongings, hit the road, try to re-ignite creativity, and get fun back in their lives. They're taking a journey and they're taking you with them...discussing what to do when life doesn't go the way you planned. They aren't afraid to talk openly about failure, fears, and how to get fun back in your life--they'll even be interviewing "fun-spiration" guests. This podcast will hopefully make you laugh, cry, and inspire you to get unstuck too. 

We've been blogging a bit more about our adventures and if you're wondering what our adventures are all about, you can start by reading here

We've also been finishing up 4 brand new SONGS in the studio. That's right. We're in the mixing process right now but that means that brand new j&k music will be making its way to your speakers in the near-ish future. We LOVE these songs and hope you will too. Not sure yet on a release date but don't worry--we will keep you in the loop.

Side-note: if you're reading this and find yourself in a difficult spot, we want you to know that you're not alone. You are stronger than you think and things do change. They will get better. We believe we're all in this together and we want you to know that we're cheering you on. Also, read this--it might help :)

Alright good people, let's do this. 

Let's all:

  1. Be good to each other. 
  2. Download the new podcast.
  3. Smile.
  4. Believe something awesome is going to happen today.


Much love,
Jill and Kate

Things we're loving:

Peppermint Mocha Creamer
(because hello it's the best thing everrrrrr. especially this time of year. yay all things fall and christmas)

Away Luggage 
(the suitcase pictured below has a charger in it so you can charge your phone while waiting for your flight! BEST EVER.)

Option B
(this book is awesome. buy it. read it. let it rock your world and give you hope.)

PAST BLOGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ:

Vermont, I Love You

Bouncing Around Boston

Download GIRLS JUST POD TO HAVE FUN Here

Vermont, I love you.

First off. Thanks to everyone who has sent us sweet messages, emails and tweets after that last blog. It really means so much hearing from you as we go venture out into the unknown...it feels like you are here with us and that makes us feel less alone. So, thank you. It’s like you’re in our pockets with us and so you get to adventure with us.

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Last week, right after posting that blog, we left for a weekend adventure in Vermont with two friends to celebrate both of their birthdays! YOU GUYS. I’m officially in love with Vermont. How is this magical place still a secret? I feel like Vermont doesn’t have nearly the street cred it should because...it’s quaint, lovely and everyone is kind. And the food. You know my love for food and cocktails and Vermont did not let me down.

Just as a preface, things that are important to me in life, but especially on a vacation are: beautiful aesthetics and surroundings, great food, great cocktails/wine & some sort of physical activity. There will be a lot of the aboveforementioned things in this blog. 

We drove about 2.5 hours from New Hampshire and arrived in the dark so we didn’t have much context for the town, but arrived in Killington where we’d be spending the weekend. I (Kate) got super excited and giggly when I found the town name and proceeded to say: “we’re gonna be killing-it in Killington” and it was probably just as annoying as you think it would sound cause I said it any chance I could. All the other girls are from New England so they’re familiar with the town because it’s where people go ski, but I was new and LOVED my new catchphrase. #killingitinkillington

We arrived and got all checked in. We’d found this adorable mountain lodge online that’s nestled right in town. It had big leather chairs and over-sized couches surrounding multiple fireplaces, a giant hot tub, fire pits and a little cozy bar. We were either on a mountain vacation or on set for a new Hallmark Christmas movie (my literal dream.)

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Obviously, we hit the bar first where I ordered an old fashioned (I know I’m an 85 year old man) but the bartender asked if I’d rather have a Manhattan. I’ve never had anyone ask me that and she proceeded to tell me that it would be the best Manhattan I will have ever had in my whole life. How was I supposed to say no to that?

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She poured our drinks from their pretty fancy glasses into plastic ones so we could go sit out by the fire pit/hot tub area. It was a tad chilly outside but the fire (and whiskey) kept us warm.

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Here’s the first thing that I loved about this place that I want to take with me. Fire pit culture. It’s a thing. People come and sit around the fire and they want to talk. We weren’t sitting there 10 minutes before we made our first new friends and it was awesome. It’s like when you come to the fire pit and pull up a chair you are expected to be kind, cool, and talkative. Everyone making small talk about where they’re from, what they’re doing in the mountains for the weekend...it is really quite lovely. It’s like there's an unwritten rule that you are not allowed to be an asshole if you take a chair around fire pit. People come and go as they please and it’s just casual but personable. Ya know? It was funny because a group of 4 women who were a little older than us came and sat down...they had us ROLLING in laughter. Sort of fun to see the 4 of them and the 4 of us. Anyway, we talked about Nashville, the adventure we’re on and when we told them that we were a duo they didn’t believe us and forced us to sing a line of a song to see if we were telling the truth. Bahaha.

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We got up the next day and ate the hotel breakfast because it was FREE and amazing. Can you say homemade cinnamon and sugar donut balls? And 12 different kind of homemade jams to go on your homemade bread? Heaven. Nothing better than sipping pumpkin spice coffee and eating fresh toast in your sweatpants with your friends...am I right? 

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One of the things we all wanted to do was hike, so after breakfast we set out to find a trail. We knew we wanted something that would deliver awesome views but not something that was going to have us re-enacting any part of 127 hours if you know what I mean. The hike we picked was about an hour each way and so we decided to do it. Ok, it also had an Irish pub at the bottom. That is why we picked the trail. Good people, I cannot hide the truth-- that is why we picked this hike because we heard you can get a nice cold beer at the end of you hike. DREAMS PEOPLE, DREAMS. And by beer I mean cider because I don’t drink beer, but that’s a whole other blog.

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The hike was gorgeous. Fall colors swirled all around us. Greens, reds, oranges...the first half of the hike had a serious incline that got our glutes burning but it leveled off after that. We passed other hikers and again, everyone was all talkative and friendly. We got to the top viewpoint and there were these massive boulders you could climb up and sit on. All I could hear in my head was my mother’s voice telling me not to get too close to the edge. Weird how those things come back so clearly.

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We sat and took it all in. We tried not to wig out about how high we were or how one solid gust of wind could derail us completely. We took pictures and I took pictures for other people. Here’s a small side-note which Jill totally makes fun of me for. Anytime I see a couple or group of people struggling to take a selfie or taking solo shots of each other I will 100% offer to take a picture for them. If I pass you and you look like you’re struggling, I will offer to take that pic for you. It’s my contribution to the world :) Ha!

After spending some time at the top (and taking just a fewwwww pics) we hiked back down and passed these two older couples who were hiking down the mountain like BOSSES. It had sprinkled a little so the ground was sort of wet and we weren’t about to let any of these precious pies break a hip on our watch. No way. They were from Illinois and said that this was on their bucket list and they were crossing it off the list today. Whattttt? That’s incredible. Loved their spirit and I hope I’m climbing mountains, crossing things off of my bucket list in 50 years.

We promised to save them some beers at the bottom and did just that. We ate some nachos and drank some ciders--I sort of want all of my hikes to end in this manner from now on. (I took no pics of said cute Irish pub. That means I have to go back.)

The afternoon was spent in the hot tub, playing cards, napping...it was great. While we were playing cards the bartender even brought us a sample of her signature cocktail for us to test out. Again, is this real life guys? It was a Fall Sangria and it had cider, chardonnay, spiced rum, and a few other things in it….it was so good.

For dinner we went to a place that was recommended to us called Casey's Caboose and boasted a complete gin & tonic menu. Like, an entire page of the menu was just devoted to different types of gins and different types of tonics. It was incredible. Also, they had a cheese plate that had “bacon jam” on it...I don’t even know what bacon jam is but I was a total fan. I ordered the mac and cheese for dinner which I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered in my life but it was the dish that was recommended to us and I am so glad I did! The bowl was bigger than my head and sooooo good. We ended the night around the fire pit again and made all new friends. Seriously, fire pit culture needs to extend to other places.

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I got Casey's Special G&T....highly recommend it. 

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The next morning we lounged around playing cards in the lobby and drinking coffee. We heard about a place with the best pancakes in town and Jill’s main request of the weekend was that she has an excuse to use real VERMONT maple syrup. I don’t particularly like pancakes but was willing to give these “best ever” pancakes a tester...when in Rome ya know? All the hype turned out to be true because when we got there it was going to be an hour and fifteen minute wait! We put our names in and headed out on a trail while we waited...how Vermont of us right? The trail we hopped on was actually part of the Appalachian Trail and it made me think of all of the people that have made the journey on that exact path. It made me feel connected to all those people who’ve done that journey and reminded me how we really all walk the same roads don’t we?

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We worked up an appetite and scooted back to Sugar & Spice for what turned out to be one of the best breakfast experiences of our lives. The pancakes. You guys. THE PANCAKES. And I don’t even like pancakes but, really, they were incredible. Plus, can you even see the pancakes under that ice cream scoop of butter? Ahhhh! I got the special cinnamon and sugar ones and I may never eat any other pancakes again. Literally, so delicious. We had a good laugh because on the menu it said there was an extra charge for “fake syrup.” Haha.

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Vermont, I love you. You delivered on so many levels. I even bought the beanie. 

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Oh and on our drive home we stopped at this gorge...you know, just breathtaking gorge’s to stop and ooooh and ahhhh over.

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You know that quote about doing what sets your soul on fire. Travel. Music. Storytelling. Beauty.  Literally sets our souls on fire.

Much love,

Kate

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What Makes You Healthy?

Yesterday I was scrolling the socials on my phone and started seeing multiple posts about Chester Bennington. He was 41 years young. The lead singer and frontman of Linkin Park committed suicide. Anytime this happens I feel like my heart just breaks.

How long was he feeling like this? How dark were his last moments? How could we have helped him? Those are the questions that run through my head and heart.

You look at a guy like that and think, why? You seemed to have it all. A successful career. Songs that were listened to. Fans that showed up to shows. It was success in most senses of the word. He had a wife and six kids. Why? What pain is so constant, so grievous that you have to escape it? I think it’s hopelessness and loneliness.

I know mental illness is something that we as a society don’t talk about a lot, but I wish we did. I wish there weren’t stigmas surrounding treatment and therapy and seeking help. Because none of us can escape the dark times. Dark times will find us all, but the only way we make it out of them is through and the only way we make it through is with other people.

Jill and I always say that loneliness is the worst disease. When we are going through a dark time you often hear the lie in your head that you are the only one who has ever felt like this. You are the only one with these circumstances...but it’s not true. That’s what lies do. They isolate. They want you to stay small and alone, but that’s why we as humans have this incredible gift to care for one another. To watch out for each other and to share in each other’s grief, loss, fear, hardship, etc.

I never met Chester, but I did share an elevator with him once about 5 years ago in Vegas. We were both headed to the same venue for an event and were in the bowels of this fancy hotel, both taking the dingy service elevator with a kind security guard leading the way. He was tall, seemed very kind, and for about 5 minutes we shared the same oxygen. I don’t have anything poignant to say about that story, just something I recall.

All of this got me thinking that I want to be healthy and I want you reading this to be healthy too. The headline is far too familiar...someone successful, wealthy, and good-looking has ended their life. By their own volition they couldn't bear the pain any longer that breathing was causing them. So, it makes me think. What are the things that make us healthy? I’m not just talking about eating kale vs. donuts...although physical health is definitely a component. I’m talking about what makes you feel alive? What issues have you not dealt with? What brings you joy? Who do you love...and are you seeing those people enough? Are you in a job that you hate? Do you have something to look forward to? What keeps you up at night? What makes your body feel great? Are you happy? What makes your heart beat faster?

In the entertainment industry, there is sort of this weird thing. Unhealthy people sometimes make great art (write great songs) but at the cost of hiding/running/drowning themselves in numbing the pain that they’re feeling. Call it being a “tortured artist” or what have you. But, it’s definitely something we’ve seen. If you’re writing great songs or putting on a killer show... no matter the cost on you as person, sometimes people want you to keep doing it. Keep drinking. Keep shooting up. Keep doing whatever it takes. Anything to keep up the “product” you now are.

And I just want to say no. Personal health is so much more important. Because you can have the number one song and all the money in the world, but if you are dealing with pain, real pain...none of that will satisfy. Nothing will ever be enough to cover the pain. You have to deal with it. I want to be a healthy person...and I think I can be a healthy person and a great artist. It takes work, but I value myself and my health more than a #1 or a million dollar bank account.

For me, my faith in Jesus has also helped me overcome pain and I think that old adage of a “God-shaped hole” inside of each of us is true. We will try and fill it with whatever we can find...and sometimes something works for a little while..or maybe it even fills the hole for years...but it won’t last. If you’ve never talked to God, you can start wherever you are. If you’re looking for a starting place for purpose in your life, The Purpose Driven Life is a great book. A group of us read it on tour a while back and it was a great guide.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that the news about Chester broke my heart. It also breaks my heart to think that his death was reported because he was a celebrity and yet there are suicides happening all day, EVERY day. Ughhhh….this is just so sad and heartbreaking.

We’ve always said, there is no shame in needing help. Both Jill and I have sought counseling and therapy. We even see a therapist for band counseling and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. So, if you are in a dark spot, please reach out, ask for help...you were not meant to carry all of your feelings alone. It is SO helpful to speak them out loud.

If you’re reading this and you find yourself NOT in a dark spot right now...excellent. Keep up the good health. But, someone in your circle of friends or neighborhood or office is probably not in the same place. Sit and think of the people you know and see if there is anyone you think might be having a hard time. The best thing you could do is extend kindness and a listening ear. Again, a LISTENING ear. Our job is to sit in their pain with them and let them know they’re not alone. Our job is not to give them a “how-to” or to tell them anything for that matter. We listen. We hug. We hold their hands. We hand tissues. We tell them that we are for them and that we’re with them.

I don’t really know how to wrap this up, except to say: You are not alone. We are all in this together. Life is precious and WE NEED YOU HERE. If you want a list of songs we’ve written from our sadness and dark times, you can see that here. We need your thoughts, your smile, your ideas, your work, your inventions, your laughter, your writing, etc etc etc. WE NEED YOU HERE.

Hug the ones you love tight today. Let’s all aim to be the healthiest versions of ourselves.

Love to you all,

Kate

 

Our New eBook + A FREE Chapter

Hey guys! We are SO pumped that so many of you have downloaded our brand new eBook! If you are wondering what this book is all about, click here for a FREE chapter. We want you to get out of the rut of being uninspired or stuck and back to being inspired, energized and rejuvenated.  

The eBook is going away on Nov 1 so make sure you grab it for an introductory price of $7.99! 

Much love,

Jill and Kate

PS. Everyone who downloads the book will get admission to a FREE webinar with us where we will talk all things inspiration, you can ask questions and we can join together on this journey. Download your book now. xo

Lying To Yourself

Are you lying to yourself?

Let’s be honest. We all have those small voices that try to creep up in our heads and tell us lies. If you are pursuing a career, a dream, a family, anything...don’t think for a second that you’re alone in this struggle. We can guarantee you that you are not...and unfortunately even the most confident, put-together person you know has faced these same small inner voices. We heard someone wise once say that no one has a positive, confident, inner self voice. We can’t live in negativity, so what do we do? We re-train the inner voice.

How do we do that?

First, by calling out the lies. Face them head on and then shut them down. If you’re chasing a dream or a new career or if you've been at the same one for 20 years, you might be facing them too so we thought we’d address three common lies that we’ve had to fight through. You might be telling yourself a version of one of these, you might identify with all three, or you might be facing different ones and that’s okay. These are three that we have faced ourselves and want to help you overcome.
 

1. You’re not good enough.

If you’re breathing right now you have probably faced this lie. If you are a parent or student or banker or dancer or “insert ANYTHING here” you have probably heard this still small lie surface at some point.

This lie can be crippling (like most lies) but this one in particular can cut off the oxygen to your self-worth and keep you frozen and stagnant. If you are hearing this in your head or heart, it’s time to evaluate and remind yourself of some truths:

Truth #1: You have blood running through your veins and a heart beating in your chest, so you are automatically enough. For real, you are put here on this earth not as an accident, but on purpose...for a reason...and that, friends, is enough.

Truth #2: Everyone is faking it until they make it. No really. Everyone is learning as they go. And that age-old adage is so right on: “Fake it until you make it.” And the secret there is just by continuing, by pressing in, by putting in the time, you will learn, make mistakes, fail, grow, and succeed. By doing all of that, you’ll be making it. So "faking it" is really just putting on an extra layer of courage because you may have to learn on your feet and just not give into the fear that tells you you’re ill-equipped or not good enough. PS. If you are a pilot or doctor we implore you to not take the “fake it until you make it” advice. Hahaha. Please and thank you.

Truth #3: You are better than you think. Really. Whatever industry you are going after, there has to be some reason you were drawn to it and you are probably better than what you are giving yourself credit for. The one slightly positive note about this little lie that you’re dealing with is that it means you are self-aware. Self-awareness is an incredibly helpful tool to have in life.  So, yay! 

2. You’ll never reach your goals.  

Not with that attitude! This lie is all about mindset. It’s one of the more simple lies to undo and all it takes is some simple, focused time.

Quiet your mind. Grab a pen and some paper if you are a visual thinker. Make a list of your goals. Now make a list of all of the steps you’ve taken to reach them. Chances are you are WELL ON YOUR WAY to reaching your goals. Maybe you’re not seeing the progress you’d like? Or maybe you need to set smaller more tangible goals? Or maybe you’ve never set any goals in the first place and so quantifying “never reaching your goals” is actually true. If you don’t have goals, you’ll never reach any.

Now repeat after us:

I am reaching my goals every day. The small steps I am taking each day are leading me to succeeding.

Now, this will help for a little while. But, go ahead and google positive affirmations on Pinterest. Print them out and put them where you’ll see them. The words we see fill our minds and make a HUGE impact on what we think and how we act. So, find ‘em, print them, read them, embody them.

3. I'm Going To Fail

Ah, the F word. The giant, mother-load of the word. FAILURE. This one word is enough to suffocate all of your creativity, mojo and willpower in one fell swoop.

If you focus on failure it won’t make you fail, it will make you not even try.

Failure feels like the plague or some awful non-curable disease that you’ll be labeled and stuck with for the rest of your days. But the only way to really and truly fail is not to try at all, or to quit because you’re scared.

If you talk to anyone successful, you will find one commonality: they have ALL failed. Failure is a part of learning. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a teaching tool. It’s useful to the process; it’s necessary in fact. Like, super necessary. Failure is such a good teacher. Instead of running from it, embrace it. We’ve had our fair share of failures. From on stage blunders to business deals failing to getting paid $8 for a show that cost us $17 to park. Yeah, do the math on that one.

But, we can tell you this honestly. Each one of the failings has taught us something about ourselves personally or our business...or most times both. When you learn how to lose it’s really helping you learn how to win because you can’t have one without the other. Marcie Allen said this great phrase: "Fail forward." Yes. Failing is moving forward.

So, go ahead and fail. It’s ok. It means you are trying and if you keep trying long enough, you will win. We often say to each other: the only way to fail is if we quit.

You have freedom to try and succeed and to try and fail.

And here’s the thing, if you’re 15 or 50, these lies might keep popping up like whack-a-moles. We’re not sure if they ever go away completely, BUT the faster you learn the tools to combat the lies, the more natural it will become.

There you have it. What tools and tricks do you use to combat these voices? Just hit reply to this email. We can't wait to hear from you. We are all in this together. 

Much love,

Jill and Kate



PS: Remember this GOOD NEWS: You have the power inside of you to change. To face these lies, call them out and kick them to the curb. We aren’t giving you a magic formula. We are passing along tools and tricks we’ve learned from our very own struggles with these lies. We want YOU to thrive, grow and combat these lies so that you can live your best, most authentic, inspired life.

Embrace

We had the opportunity to see a film screening two nights ago called Embrace. After leaving the film, all we want is for EVERY SINGLE FEMALE to see this film. Young and old, it doesn't matter. Click here to see if there's a screening near you.

The film maker (and star of the documentary) Taryn Brumfitt went on a 9 week filmed journey to find out why women hate their bodies so much after she had an unconventional "before" & "after" picture of herself go viral.

She had 3 children, was unhappy with her body and underwent a rigorous training schedule to compete in a bikini body-building contest. After the competition, she realized that all of the effort was not worth it and she ultimately found peace, health & happiness with her body when she just chilled out, lived life and enjoyed food. She started loving her body.

The thing that surprised us about the film is that it's about body image as a whole, not just about weight. She interviews a severe burn victim and a brain tumor survivor as well as many other women around the world. It is so powerful.  

The film was such a good reminder for us and it definitely struck a chord since we faced our own weight shaming issues last year.

We would highly recommend this movie to any female. It will move your heart and change your outlook on loving your own body. 

Thank you Taryn for inspiring us, for leading in such a brave way and for reminding us all that we are enough JUST THE WAY WE ARE.

Join the movement: #ihaveembraced

Much love,

j&k

PS. Just a heads up, there is some nudity in the film given the nature of the topic. Although it is not in a sexual nature, we just wanted to give you a heads up. Here's some info on a parent's guide to the film. 

H2o YO.

As you well know, water intake is numero uno of importanc-o. You’ve got to stay hydrated to keep everything running healthily...especially as we move into spring and summer. So they say.

So, we’ve been experimenting with fun water flavors. A little pizzazz for your H2o. Here are some of our favs...and it's really easy. Just slice up the fruit. Add loads of ice. Then H2o. Sometimes we even put it in a wine glass if we need to trick ourselves into thinking we're fancy (or drinking liquor.)

Strawberry slices + Lemon slices

Mint + Cucumber + Lemon

Lime + Strawberry

What are your tricks for kicking up your water?

We'd love to hear them.

xo j&k

 

 

Take It Back (#31DaysofBlogging)

This blog is a part of a series #31DaysofBlogging … we are going through the year (2015) chronologically.

Well hello last day of 2015…how is everyone feeling?

2015 has been a crazy year. One of the best things to come out of this year for us both personally and professionally has been learning/feeling/carrying the word perseverance.

Perseverance is defined as:  “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”

As we reflect on 2015, there were many dark days, nights and weeks. Nights so dark that the haunting, dark voices spoke loudly calling us to give up, that it was “too hard” or that is was just “not in the cards for us.” Yes, they were hard, BUT two things made a difference:

 

People + Hope.

 

Friends and community came alongside us to gather up the broken pieces and to tell us we will be whole again. Hope that came from on high that reminds us that we have a purpose.

It’s funny because we really should think of 2015 as an awful year...but we don’t. There were so many gifts to receive and lessons to be learned in the dark times. Out initial reaction is to want to be out of them, but when we were knee deep in them, we decided to try and learn. And learn we did. We learned so much about ourselves, God, friends, the music industry...that we are looking back at 2015 as one of the best years. The gifts of learning are truly so great that the hard times pale in comparison. Would we want to live it again? No. But, did we learn more than we ever thought possible? Yes.

So, as we head into 2016 we are urging you to embrace this theme with us: TAKE IT BACK. If you lost something in 2015, take it back in 2016.

 

Take back your confidence.

Take back your gratitude.

Take back your joy.

Take back your dreams.

Take back your wonder.

Take back the control you have over your own mind.

Take back adventure.

Take back loving yourself.

Take back positivity.

Take back valuing others.

Take back your family.

Take back friendships.

Take back your health.

 

What have you taken from yourself? What have you let others take from you? What has been taken from you without you even noticing?

That’s the gift of a new year--a blank canvas of endless possibilites. Do you know exactly what December 31st, 2016 will look like? No. None of us can know that. But we have this gift of life and this year, we can give a gift to ourselves...we can TAKE IT BACK.

We could give you a list of goals/dreams/ideas that we have for us individually and for “Jill and Kate” but we’re not going to right now...we’ll share more details as the year unfolds. But, since we are all in this together, we wanted to tell you about TAKING IT BACK so that you’ll join us! What do you need to take back in your life? What are tools that are going to help you do it? Who are people that have done it before you? These are all ideas that we’ll be exploring throughout the year.

We’d love to hear what you are taking back in 2016!

This concludes our #31DaysOfBlogging...man, that was fun! Probably the most memorable one yet! Thanks for following along, being part of our story, and letting us be part of yours!

Stay safe tonight in all of the celebrating...we are believing in you for 2016!

xo
j&k

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

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

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

We need to talk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much love.

xo

j&k

 

Pomegranate G&T Recipe

I should be posting a cold weather drink recipe. But here's the thing…I'm not a cold weather drink person. All the recipes are all whiskey this, bourbon that and I'm like….where are the light colored- fruity drinks? I know it's freaking cold outside and so my drink doesn't necessarily fit the season, but deal with it…and besides…you have one of these and you will be nice and toasty from the inside out. IMG_3579

 

I made a drink yesterday & posted a pic of it and some people wanted the recipe. So…. here is is…oh and I'm pretty sure this is the only recipe I have ever made up & shared so be kind if I don't do it the correct way :)

Pomegranate G&T:

(G&T stands for Gin & Tonic…just saying…there might be some confused people. Why do I know this? Because I generally am one of those people!)

Ingredients:

1 package Pomegranate Seeds

IMG_3588

1 lime

(even a crusty looking lime will do…I'm not ashamed.)

IMG_3589

Tanqueray Gin (or any gin really)

IMG_3587

Tonic Water

IMG_3590

Directions:

1. In a cup or drink shaker, muddle about 2 tablespoons of fresh pomegranate seeds. If you don't have a muddler, just use a spoon to crush them up--enough to expel their juices. Muddle is just a fancy word for crush--don't let those drink slingers make you feel bad.

2. Squeeze half of a lime on top of the crushed pomegranate seeds. Also cut one slice to set inside your glass.

3. Add a good portion gin. I'll leave that to your discretion. *winky face*

4. Pour tonic on top of it all. The more tonic you pour the less strong your drink will be.

5. Add ice & shake it up in your drink shaker...or pour it back and forth glass to glass to mix up (I can't find my drink shaker fancy thing so glass to glass it was for me.)

6. Get your most fun glass. Drop a few pomegranate seeds & slice of lime for garnish. Hold the ice back with your finger or pour the drink out of your fancy shaker and voila…done and done.

IMG_3579

I'm going to be working on a proper cold weather drink here in the future. But until then… enjoy! xo