life

Behind The Scenes with Podcast Guests - Day 6 #31DaysOfBlogging

When we decided to start our podcast, we made a “dream list” of guests we would love to have on the show to interview. GUYS, almost all of them said YES! We only have a few left on our original list that we still would love to have on the show, but we realized we need to UPDATE THE LIST with some new dream guests!

Honestly though, each and every one of these guests were amazing to have on the show.  One thing we loved is that we did each and every interview IN REAL LIFE. That’s pretty rare for podcasts these days. That was part of the beauty of the ability to travel this year. We joined people in their living rooms, dressing rooms, basements, offices….and sometimes in whatever hotel or Airbnb we were staying in at the time.

We thought it would be fun to give you a little bit more of a behind the scenes peek into some of the interviews we were fortunate to have this season. Here’s a little tidbit we remember that we think you might enjoy.

Ben Higgins

The night before the interview, we went to Ben’s coffee company’s (Generous Coffee) launch party. We had SO MUCH fun at the event and may or may not have celebrated with a few margaritas that may or may not have ended at a karaoke bar singing karaoke with some new friends. This was good times, sunshine. Yet, we did not make it to bed until ummm after 3:00AM, and the margaritas, along with the altitude, along with very little sleep, made it a wee bit of a rough morning for the ‘ole J&K. We held it together and decided that the perfect thing to bring to a morning podcast interview were DONUTS! So, we took an Uber to a donut shop, then to Ben’s house, and he made us some of the best coffee (thank you Generous Coffee) ever. That totally cured us from our somewhat hungover state, and we had some good laughs about it on the episode, which you can hear here. (Also, shout out to Mr. Higgins for being our first ever podcast guest. He set the bar for sure.)


Ally Fallon

Something funny about Ally’s episode is that we were in Nashville at an apartment that we were subletting, and Ally and our other friend Betsy came over — we got talking and catching up so much that we almost missed our window of recording! Ally had SUCH WISDOM about life and comparison — it’s still something we think about frequently. She is just so great, and her new book is a MUST READ. You can hear her episode here.


Whitney English

We always have epic times with Whitney. She’s a friend of ours that adventures with us and we love that about her. She is always down to road trip, meet up at some conference or event, or just hang out wherever and talk about the deep things in life. After this episode, we had some amazing bacon at First Watch that had pepper and maple syrup, and for some reason, that bacon really sticks out when we think about this episode. HA! Whitney is wise, deep, and one of the most genuine people we know. Listen to her episode here.

Charles Esten

This episode was recorded at Chip’s house in his basement. We are such big fans of Chip’s whole family. When we recorded this episode, Chip’s mom was there visiting for his big Opry show that was the next day. We were so grateful he still took the time to chat with us even though he had so much going on. He’s just such a great human, you guys. Before the episode, we chatted in Chip’s kitchen with his wife Patty and his mom, and we talked a lot about the 4 Things Totes that we had with us, discussing how hard it is to choose 4 words to put on those bags! Listen to our episode with Chip here!


Miles Adcox

We headed out to Onsite in somewhat rural Tennessee to meet up with Miles to record this episode. We met him at his office and then drove over to a separate building adjacent to the Onsite property. Well, it’s only about a 2 minute drive, but there was a truck that had caught on fire right by the entrance to the property. It was scary to see! People were there, keeping it under control, but we took a long way around to go record the podcast, and on our way back, we passed the truck again and it was completely burned out. Luckily no one was hurt, but it was quite a sight. Not a great day for that truck driver. Miles shared his wisdom with us and you don’t want to miss this conversation.


Hunter Hayes

We arrived at Hunter’s house in Nashville with a huge greeting from his adorable dogs. Guys, they stole the show. They wanted to hang with us and be right in the mix. At one point, one was right up on the couch with us...we think she wanted to share about what she did when life didn’t go the way she planned! Hunter is one of the most down to earth genuine guys around, and his dogs are pretty darn cute too. Listen to his episode here.


Ginna Claire Mason and Mary Kate Morrissey

This was our first backstage interview of the season, and the ambiance was just so incredible. The girls had their dressing rooms so magically decorated and they were just THE best hosts. They had wine and popcorn for us all (coconut water for them) and we felt right at home. From the minute we walked in the stage door, these girls felt like old long lost friends. MK gave us a little stuffed avocado (yes, it sounds weird but true) that we have brought with us everywhere since. These girls are THE BEST. Listen here.

Jann Arden

Before we recorded with Jann, she asked us to come up and sing Nashville during her show that night. We went and soundchecked and then came back to her dressing room to record the episode. We laughed and laughed because the toilet kept running in the bathroom next door. Jann is just so funny and we were hoping we could keep it together. Her dog Midi joined us for the episode too. Our conversation with Jann was like many conversations we’ve had with her before, but we were lucky enough to record this one so we can have it forever. Love her so much. Listen to Jann’s episode here.

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!

Pod Goals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PEACE!

-Jill

Big News. Big Changes.

Hi friends!


How are you? We are doing just fine--thanks for asking :) No really...we are and we have some major news for you. We want to share it with you...and it’s finally time. Hoo-freaking-ray!

Have you ever felt stuck? Like, really stuckkkkkk. Not a temporary “funk-stuck”---but in a really, really, thick stuck-ness? (Very technical term.) Well, if you’ve ever had that feeling, we feel ya. Cause that’s where we’ve been. And I hesitate to say “been” like it’s past tense...because we are still kind of in that...but we are taking active steps towards getting unstuck, like woah, and we’re going to tell you what that means.

Last year we wrote an eBook about finding inspiration and one of the exercises we suggested is to “change up your routine or shake things up” when you’re feeling stuck. So, being people who don’t like to give advice unless we’re willing to take it, we did. Like, we reallllllllly did. You ready for this? Here’s the short story:

  1. Jill sold her house in Nashville where we both were living.
  2. We sold almost ALL of our belongings.
  3. We are going on an adventure (and you’re coming with us. Please don’t leave us. Ha!)

WHAT? Have you guys lost your ever-loving minds? I’m envisioning your brains squealing to a halting stop right about now. Say what? Yup. We did it guys. Sold every piece of furniture. Sold every piece of artwork except for one painting. Had a garage sale. Gave approximately 2 full car loads to Goodwill. We each kept a few bins of “keepsake memorabilia” in storage, but other than that, we are FREE. We are now each traveling with one suitcase, carry-on roller bag, a backpack, and a purse (and of course our guitars!). And it feels amazing. So freeeeee! We’ve really taken the minimalism thing to the next level...haha! (Thanks Marie Kondo)

Now, let’s back up to how we got to this decision.

In May of this year we recorded some acoustic covers. We had such a good time recording our Acoustic Covers Vol 1 album in 2014, that we decided to do more. Our awesome licensing company in LA was also excited about having these new songs to pitch for TV/Film because covers are SO HOT RIGHT NOW...or so sayeth the cool kids.

So, we decided the theme was going to be “throwbacks” and we sat down to try and make some of these favorite songs our own. We started with the upbeat, life-giving anthem by Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Want To Have Fun! We began messing around with the song, and low and behold, this EPICALLY sad, slow, tear-at-your-heart, make-you-refill-your-wine-glass-5-times version comes out. We sort of just looked at each other with blank stares. Then there were a few tears. Because we had this realization: we weren’t having any fun anymore.

We wanted to...but we just weren’t. We still knew that we loved music. That we loved songs. We loved writing. Singing. Harmony. Melody. The way music just reaches down deep inside of you...we still loved it...but we weren’t having any FUN anymore. In all of the hustle and bustle...the trying to make it work...we lost the element of fun. It was work. It was struggle.  And if you know us at all or have been following us for any amount of time, you know that we LOVE fun. Fun is life, guys. And we just weren’t having any. We wanted the lighthearted, the laughter, the spontaneous....and it just wasn’t happening.

The last few years have been a hard blur of sorts. We lost one of our dearest to cancer. We lost jobs. We lost money. Loss was a common theme. Not sure what it was, but we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump of stuck-ness. However, we weren’t ready to be done either.

We DEFINITELY don’t feel like it’s over. So don’t go thinking this is a “the end” blog because we know and we hope you know: the only way to fail is to quit and we have about ZERO plans of quitting so...yeah. Just needed to put that out there :) People like you have kept us going and keep us going. Your emails, meeting you at shows, hearing you respond and relate to our songs and our blogs. You guys bring meaning to us and inspire us to keep making music, writing, and sharing life with you guys. 

We’ve had an incredible career so far and we are honestly so grateful...and we’ve definitely had bouts of success. It’s not like we’ve totally failed. But, the last couple years have been so stressful...and mostly stressful because we’ve been trying to make money from music and like any indie musician will tell you, it’s tough. For the past couple years we have invested, invested, invested in every aspect...and we have seen the return on investment in almost every area, except for financially. And we’re still believing that one day that will turn around--we 100% believe that we will make livings off of our music and songwriting, etc. But right now, it’s not happening. We’ve been so fortunate to have other awesome jobs to help us pay the bills, and we still do.

Anyway, we just sort of found ourselves in this spot where we’d played the big stages, traveled the world, lived the big dream...but also, nannied, eaten beans and rice, and gone into debt from making investments in our career. We invested everything we had and got to a point where we had to decide. Stop? Change? Quit? Keep going hoping for the best? 

So, one day in June, Jill said out of the blue: what if I sell my house and we can pay off some bills, chase some fun, find some inspiration, and kick-off a new season. We needed to get unstuck and shake things up. Chase the things that are life-giving. My immediate answer was: YES. And so twenty-something odd days later, the house was on the market and 10 days after that, it sold. Sayyyyy whaaaaaaat? SOLD.

Honestly, and this is hard to say, but neither one of us thought that life would turn out like this. At this point in our lives we both thought we’d have songs on the radio, be touring more, be winning Grammys (hello 7th grade dream), have “established” careers and so on. And on personal levels, we thought maybe we’d each have awesome husbands right now...maybe have each had some kiddos….but that’s just not the way things have turned out. And of course we struggle with comparing our lives to our friends, peers, and strangers our age. 

But, life doesn’t always go the way you think it’s going to go and maybe you’re reading this also thinking that you thought you’d be somewhere else or life would look differently. And you know what...that’s okay. Why? Because we’re all in this together. And it’s never too late. Ever. And where we are, and where you are, in life, is right where we’re supposed to be. We truly believe and trust that this is true. We also believe it’s possible to make change. Don’t believe the lie that says you’re stuck, it’s over, things will never change, etc. It’s just not true.

One thing that we’ve talked about FOR YEARS and you all have told us to do FOR YEARS, we are finally going to do. This new adventure season is the perfect time to do it. Friends, will you go on this adventure with us?

We give you: GIRLS JUST POD TO HAVE FUN (coming this fall!)

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Ahhhh that’s right. (Also, doesn’t everybody have a podcast now?) This is our podcast about fun and what to do with life when it hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would. This podcast will be following our journey (it’ll be a journey because we really don’t have many plans yet or know the outcome of anything) back to finding the FUN in life....interviewing our fun friends, having serious talks and ridiculous talks...all while recording it for you.

Here’s something we talk about in our first episode, but it’s crazy you guys. When you move, movement happens. Change begets change. The day after we decided to sell Jill’s house and go on this adventure, we had told a total of zero people. But, literally the day after our decision, our phones both buzzed with a text from our friend Luke who is a ridiculously talented producer. His text said he wanted to produce 4 songs for us and that he had a hole in his schedule freeing him up to work most of August and September. We’ve been wanting to work with him for ages, but he’s a really busy dude. He’s produced stuff for Walker Hayes, David Kroll and so many other awesome artists. So, we did it. The last 6 weeks before closing on the house we recorded 4 new songs! We made HAVING FUN a priority and IT WAS SO FUN. (Scroll down to the bottom of this blog to see more pics from the studio.)

So, we are also going to be releasing NEW MUSIC too. It might be those 4 songs or we might go back and record a few more, but really...those 4 are almost done and we think you are going to love them. We LOVE them.

So, our first stop on this new adventure is New England. Because, obviously. New England is where we met and started this whole shindig circa 14 years ago. New England is where we both graduated from college. It is also where Jill is a straight-up native and her parents still live in a house that is a quarter-mile from the ocean (all the praise hands!) New England is where some of our best friends still live. So, last Friday, September 29th, we loaded up Jill’s car (mine is staying in Nashville so we have wheels when we’re back) and we hit the road. We drove all day, spent the night in Virginia, and made the rest of the drive Saturday. We literally drove straight to the ocean and it was pitch black, but we had to see it. We had to document the end of a hard, stuck season and feel the 40-degree ocean air fill our lungs with hope, newness, and an excitement down deep in our bones. We took this picture and had to use the flash because it was PITCH BLACK. But look at the excitement on our faces! Look at it, guys. It’s real.

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People have asked us what “our plans” are, and frankly, we don’t have many or any that are set in stone.  Except to be in the moment and to be present as much as possible. To chase the things that are life-giving to us. To experience freedom and joy again. To re-ignite our passion for what we were made to do: sharing stories through making music. When you don't have plans, it leaves room for anything to happen. And we are up for anything. We can't wait to find out what it is.

So there you have it. We told our friend Bob our “plans” (ps. what’s a word for non-planned-plan, cause we need one) and he said, “Oh, it’s what the Australians call a “walkabout.” Yes, perfect. Of course the Aussie’s know what’s up: A walkabout. So we want you to join us on this walkabout for two reasons:

  1. We like you and we’d like the company.

  2. We will test out this theory for you. We will see if you can really get yourself unstuck and turn your life around. Therefore, if it turns out really badly, you can learn from us and not do the same thing...haha. But if it works...it’ll be proof that you can get unstuck and chase fun yourself too.

So, let’s do this thing. Podcast, coming soon. New music, coming soon. FUN, coming soon. Change, coming soon.

Thank you guys for being in this with us. We’re in it with you. Let’s go.

Jill and Kate

First day headed into the studio..

First day headed into the studio..

Working on a song. That's Luke in the middle and  Seth Earnest  who co-produced these songs with Luke. He is a GEM. So creative. So humble. 

Working on a song. That's Luke in the middle and Seth Earnest who co-produced these songs with Luke. He is a GEM. So creative. So humble. 

Jill in her happy place.

Jill in her happy place.

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It's A Trap

I’m just going to ramble here for a second. Stay with me...or don’t...I’m literally just thinking out loud...and by out loud, I mean on paper...and by on paper, I mean on my screen. Good Lord, I’m already rambling. 

So, it’s Sunday. I woke up early, all on my own, and I essentially have the entire day free. Aren’t these kind of days totally awesome? They are rare and wonderful and I just don’t want to miss the good glory of it. So, I woke up at 7:27am and the only thing I *have* to do today is meet wonderful friends for dinner who are flying in from out of town. That’s happening at 6pm.

That means that I have approximately 10 hours before I have to leave for the dinner... and let’s say 9 hours of TOTAL FREE TIME ...giving myself an hour to get ready...which is a lie...I’m going to spray some dry shampoo in my hair and probably do my makeup in the car because that’s how I roll. 

So, that leaves me with 9ish hours to do whatever I want. So let me recap and bring you up to speed on what I’ve done:

  • Went for a 3 mile run...aka...week 8 of my couch to 10k training...I’m really on week 10 but didn’t feel up for running for 45 min today. Yack. 
  • Got back, ate some cereal & had coffee and chatted with a friend who is staying with me who used to live here but now she lives in Denver. (I am including so many unnecessary details but I can’t stop...)
  • Wrote in my journal. (wouldn’t you like to know…)
  • Paid some bills. (on a Sunday, I know...why Kate, why?)
  • Made lunch...really more of a brunch...but whatevs. Egg white omelette with chicken sausage, broccoli, onions and tomatoes...with a side of guacamole.
  • Showered. Even shaved my legs. Winning. (but didn’t wash my hair because of earlier said dry shampoo use. Dry shampoo is life and if I washed my hair as much as Jill did that would be my full time gig. Just washing and drying my hair would’ve taken half of my day. It’s nuts. Ahhh, again with the non-useful info. Sorry.)
  • Threw in a load of laundry. 

AND THIS BRINGS ME TO RIGHT NOW. It’s 1:51pm and I’m just not sure what to do with myself. I have a “to-do” list that I could definitely cross some things off of...doesn’t everyone always have a proverbial list of all the things I should do in my free time but never really do. Like cleaning my car, or organizing my closet, or sorting out my pile of “I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-you-papers” that have been piling up since March. Part of me wants to GSD (get sh$t done)  and the other part of me wants to lie on the couch and watch Bloodline and if I’m honest--maybe have a glass of wine...but I find this internal voice in my head telling me I should go, do, be, see, work, cross-off, hustle, etc. Instagram is not going to instagram itself you know.

Why is it so hard to rest? To say, I am enough. I have done enough. I can lie here on the couch and chill. Why do we feel so guilty about that? Also, I’ve already gotten a few things done today. Exercising, laundry, journaled, paid bills...I should be able to say to myself, “good job self. Look at what you’ve done. Go do whatever you want now. No need to cross off or document or do anything with jazz-hands.” 

All of these thoughts led me to sitting down at my computer to write this blog...and if I’m honest I wrote it for 2 reasons. One, because I get my best thinking out on a keyboard in words--it’s my way to process, to filter out all of the noise...and two, I wonder if deep down if I wrote it, then I’d feel another wave of accomplishment allowing me to finally rest. THAT’S CRAZY MAKING KATE. Gah, I should be able to rest, not because I’ve done anything, just because I’m human. 

I think with social media, we see peers going and doing and seeing and accomplishing and sometimes I’m like--cool, i’m just going to be here on the couch guys. Or sitting by the ocean, looking at the water for hours, doing nothing. And boy, that’s got to be okay. I am working on my inner dialogue. My inner voice that tells me I need to keep up. BUT IT’S A TRAP. You can’t keep up. You just have to go at your own pace. You are your own pace-setter for the race that you’re on. 

And all of this can be summarized into what I am really trying to focus on: be present in YOUR moment and don’t be anywhere else. UGHHHH. That’s so hard for me. I’m a 7 on the Enneagram and so I am always looking for the next adventure or exciting event...and I miss stuff, you guys. I miss it because I’m not always present. I literally may need a tattoo on my hand that says PRESENT...that’s how quickly I forget. When I park in a parking spot, I am thinking about  the best way to get out of the parking lot. Say wuuuuttttt? Truth. 

OOfta. If you’re still reading. Thank you. Ha...this was my way of processing and to process I normally do a lot of rambling...this was maybe even an excessive amount of rambling...even for me. 

To summarize: don’t keep up with someone else’s pace--it’s a trap and be present in YOUR moment and don’t be anywhere else. 

Alright. I’m off to go watch Bloodline. Love to you all. Thanks for being in this together with me. We really, really are, all in this together. 

xo

kate

Who Wants To Have Fun?

Hey!

So if you’ve been following along the last few days via email or on our social media, you will have heard this exciting news that we have to share: WE RECORDED NEW ACOUSTIC COVERS!

Woohooooo! We are so pumped. At live shows and on our socials you guys have been pretty vocal about your love for our first acoustic covers album, so we thought...WHY NOT DO MORE? We are so living on the edge, folks. Hahaha…

Our first Acoustic Covers album had a theme. They were all female pop songs that we loved. If you haven’t listened yet...you can listen to them here! Our #1 streamed song on Spotify is Baby One More Time...yes, you read that correctly! So, we obviously wanted to do a theme for these next covers and we landed on THROWBACKS. Who doesn’t love a great #TBT y’all? We do. So, that’s the general theme for these new covers and we are SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR YOU TO HEAR THEM. Like--they might be some of our most favorite work that we’ve EVER recorded.

So, you want to know what our first release is going to be? We have been leaving hints on our socials...some of you guessed….both correctly and incorrectly, but we LOVED all of your guesses...and by far our favorite guess/suggestion was that it was going to be Smelly Cat from FRIENDS. Hahaha. Best. Idea. Ever. Why didn’t we think of that??

So, without further ado...our first release is: GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN. And you know why we picked that one? Because, GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN. Hahaha...ok, maybe it’s not that simple. Here’s the backstory about why we landed on this song.

There are SO many unbelievable songs out there that sometimes it’s hard to narrow down which songs to cover. But, as we started looking at songs, we wanted to take popular throwbacks and put our own twist on them. Put our very own j&k stamp on them. Some covers are fun to make very similar to the original...but, with most of these new covers we wanted to make them totally different and totally our own.

We have always loved this song...with its carefree attitude and synth glory...and when we started singing the song & messing around on the acoustic guitar...this slow, sort of epically heartbreaking song came out. The song is harmony-driven and since we slowed it down it makes you think of the words in a different way than before. This song sort of unlocked something in both of us. We went to record this happy song and somehow this sad song came out. Weird how music teaches us something about ourselves that we might not even know yet.

For us, we realized that we aren’t having as much fun as we want to be having. That may be that balance has gotten a little bit out of whack--the pressures of being an adult human have maybe encroached on the ability to let loose and have fun. You obviously need balance in life and it can't all be fun-tea-la-la, but we think that we’ve gotten a bit out of balance. Funny how this song opened our eyes to that. It was sort of several layers underneath in both of us but singing this song (over and over again) brought that to the light.

Not sure if you are like this, but sometimes it’s the music and lyrics of someone else’s song that just causes something inside of you to break open and come alive. Who knew that Cyndi Lauper would have that effect on us? Haha! It was a good wake up call and we have made some changes because of it. We’ll be sharing more about what we mean by that in the days and weeks to come...but...for now...we are just excited for you to hear the song! Oh, what’s that you say? You want to see that single artwork for GJWTHF? (Yes we’ve resorted to typing GJWTHF because typing out Girls Just Want To Have Fun over and over again is taxing, people!)

So here it is:

The photo was shot by the incredibly talented Pockets Of Film photography. 

We can’t wait for you to hear it. YAY. YAY. YAY.

Thanks for the excitement and for being the best fans/friends two girls could ask for. Keep your eyes on our socials...we'll let you know when it hits iTunes & Spotify, etc.

Lets.Do.This.

j&k

 

 

Failure Is Your Friend (Part 3: 3 things We've Learned in 13 years)

 

This is the final segment of the blog series today: Three things we’ve learned in 13 years of being independent musicians.

Here is our #3:

3. Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

 

Let’s start with the failure part. Failure is not a sexy word, but guys, WE HAVE FAILED SO MUCH (and we will continue to fail as we continue to grow.) You might remember our blog about how we went to law school and told a bunch of law students about our biggest epic fails. We had a long list of them! Failure exists and you will experience it. But, it’s not the end! It feels like it sometimes, but often it’s just the beginning.

Sometimes failure can be your greatest asset.

We look at our last year and in some ways we felt like we had failed along the way. Or that we were failures. Getting fired, wanting to give up, feeling adrift. But what we got out of those experiences went way beyond our expectations. We were able to share our experience with so many people, stand up against body shaming, and meet people along the way who have changed our trajectory in a big way. Don’t look at failure as the end. See it as the beginning of something new.

When it feels like you’ve failed, instead of focusing on what can’t be anymore, ask these 2 questions:

 

1. What can I learn from my failure?

2. What does this make possible?

 

Asking yourself these questions will change everything. It opens up a new world of possibilities. The only failure that you can’t recover from is giving up. Pretty crazy right? You can only be stopped, if you stop.

And now onto success...wow. When we started out, we thought success maybe looked like becoming the next Dixie Chicks or Destiny’s Child (who doesn’t secretly want to be #QueenBey?) Or having a huge smash hit on the radio? Or maybe having our own reality show? It hasn’t looked like that for us. We have had, and continue to have, our own unique story and our own unique successes. The amazing part is, we could have never dreamt them up.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...traveling the world as backup singers. We NEVER even thought about being backup singers. Like, we didn’t consider it once. Ha! Then all of a sudden, there we were, at the Daytona 500 in front of 250,000 people singing backup for one of our favorite singers, which led to over 6 years of touring as backup singers. Didn’t see that one coming.

We didn’t know that success would look like...

...playing house shows in your living rooms and backyards that would be some of the most rewarding shows we could ever play. The connections we have made with so many people have been truly encouraging and enjoyable.

We never imagined success would mean...

...we’d be on tour opening for one of our favorite artists ever, Jann Arden, traveling around Canada singing our songs and then getting to listen to her sing her songs every night. We had “pinch me” moments all tour long. We still do when we think about it.

We didn’t know that success would mean...

...that in 13 years we’d have relationships in our lives that have kept us breathing when we’ve wanted to stop, filled us with hope and laughter, and given us our greatest memories. Nothing beats that kind of success.

If success had looked how we thought it would look, who knows if we would have ever had these incredible relationships and experiences or if we would have even made it 13 years at all.

You have your own story...it will likely not look like anyone else’s. Don’t limit your success to looking like someone else’s success. It can and will be so much more special and unique, because it’s yours.

So those are 3 things we’ve learned in our 13 years on this crazy journey. To recap:

 

1: Be thankful for small beginnings.

2: Never sacrifice a relationship for an opportunity.

3: Success will likely not look how you think it will look and failure doesn’t mean you’re finished.

Maybe you thought we’d write about how we learned to use ProTools or what kind of vehicle is the best to tour around in. Maybe you thought we’d write about how the internet has changed how we do business or what microphones our voices sound best on...how to record an album independently in your basement. Or what it was like performing on Ellen for the first time! How and what REALLY goes on behind the scenes at SNL. Not this time around. Yes, we have learned all of those things and will share them with you soon, but these are three of the most important things we’ve learned along the way.

Thanks for being part of our story..and if you’re reading this, count yourself as a part of our success. We are counting you with grateful hearts.

Let’s all get started on the next 13 years: thankful, holding relationships close and loving failure!

Much love,

j&k

Great (or Not-So-Great) Expectations

It's funny how whenever I have moments that seem to rock my world I hear Oprah saying..."That was your Ah-Ha moment..." Well, I had an "Ah-Ha" moment the other day.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was scrolling through Instagram...as you do....and bam. It saw me. These words jumped from the screen like a knife to the gut.

photo(Thanks to Mark Howerton {husband to our friend Kristen Howerton} for posting this little gem.)

I immediately freaked out and said out loud..."Wait. What? Really!"

I started talking to friends about this and saying...is this true?

Do you agree with this?

HOW COULD THIS BE TRUE? How have I missed the boat on this important life lesson because all of my friends said a resounding "Yes. That is total truth." OMG.

I could not stop thinking about this sentence. Expectation. Heartache. Where the heck had I gone wrong? As more conversation developed, I realized a few things:

I consider myself a pretty upbeat, positive person and last week I would have told you that I have mostly high expectations about life (and that that was a good thing.) That those high expectations were because I am a positive person who believes in a good positive, mental attitude. Wrong.

Well, folks. I am giving up expectations. High ones. Low ones. ALL OF THEM. This is because as I look back over my life and think of my greatest heartaches (with guys, friends, family or career)...I would say almost ALL OF THEM are because I had high expectations and if it didn't go exactly according to the plan in my head, I'd be disappointed. Even if I didn't show that disappointment on the outside there was generally an inner battle going on trying to control it all.

As I talked with friends, we realized that having low expectations or high expectations can both be equally disappointing and can end in giant HEARTACHE. I don't know about you, but I am trying desperately to get rid of excess heartache in my life.  I always thought that people with low expectations had a negative attitude on life and were kind of "Debbie Downer-ing" their way through it all. I don't think that anymore.

Somehow I got "having a positive attitude" mixed up with "high expectations" and I'm trying to change that.

Whatever situation comes I am trying to not have expectations...just a positive attitude. Saying, whatever comes up, whatever happens, whatever I'm looking forward to--I will try to not control it in my mind with expectations. I will walk into it with a positive attitude and be in the moment but without the expectation in my heart and mind.

Because...I think having expectations is how control freaks like myself sometimes cope when things feel out of control. I plan everything out so there is not possibility of being hurt. I guess that's what it boils down to...avoiding hurt. Well, folks, that ain't happening. I'm trying to give up the control and the expectations that come along with that.

Anyway. Just my thoughts.

Sending lots of love and a positive attitude :)

-kate

Processing

Morning. I've been wanting to blog the last few days and for some reason I just haven't done it. Trying to figure out why. I think sometimes there is so much going on in my head & heart that I get overwhelmed and I just can't get anything out on paper (who uses paper anymore...I mean my computer.) If I were a car I think I'd be on the side of the road with steam coming out of the hood of the car. Well wait, maybe that's a bad example...cause that would mean I'd be broken-down...and I don't think I am...I'm just overwhelmed. But not my traditional overwhelmed feeling.

Normally when I feel overwhelmed it's because things are coming at me so quickly & I have so much to do that I am tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. But that's not how I feel right now. It's kind of the opposite. I am getting plenty of sleep most nights. There's a lot of stuff going on, but we're pretty organized. We've been building a team around us and so we aren't having to do as much of the "business side" of "Jill and Kate"...which is SO WONDERFUL.

When we were on the road with Kelly we were busy. Traveling all the time, rehearsing, home for a few days here and there, etc...and it was AWESOME. Loved it. Now, I am home a lot more and traveling a bit less so it's just an adjustment for me. I would say I am almost equally as busy, the "busy" just looks different.

So, why am I overwhelmed? Because I have time on my hands. I have time to think. And process. Which is great, but when you aren't used to that rhythm it can be a little paralyzing. The "norm" used to be go, go, go and evaluate when you are on the brink of a nervous breakdown. No time to evaluate when you're in it. Currently, I have time and I'm trying to think through things. How am I doing? Am I doing the things in my life that make me happy? Am I content? Am I doing things that matter? And all of those questions and soul digging are good, it's just been a lot for me.

A friend and I were talking yesterday and she said that she's been reading Brene Brown's books and something she says in her books is that perfectionists and over-achievers have a hard time with down time because the over-achieving and perfectionism is a coping mechanism...the coping mechanism is a way they get out of self analyzing. Ugh, that's so me. I own two of Brene's books...started reading one of them years ago and it was too much for me. It spoke to me a little too directly. Maybe I should pick them up again. That might help.

Anyway...I kind of want to wrap this up with a "nothing to see here folks.....just me writing my thoughts and trying to process..."

xo

-kate

 

 

 

 

 

Gloom

*Sometimes my best therapy is just writing. Putting one song on repeat in my ear buds & writing...writing so fast that my fingers feel like independent beings from my body. This is what I did below last night. Today's repeat song was: "Bridges" by Broods. * I need sunshine and good news.

I'm tired of the gray, cold, depressing weather. Cause it is really depressing me.

I know that there are cities and countries that have worse winters but I'm talking from my perspective only. I am done with the gray. My soul feels it. It's heavier with each passing  dreary day. The cold gloom. It's making me sad on the inside. It feels defeating.

I am gonna be honest...I feel bad typing this. Because in my experience when you live a life known on social media there is only one side of publicized life so sometimes it seems like a slap in the face to say that I'm going through a hard time in the midst of all the awesome things happening in my "life."

Maybe I shouldn't type this? Maybe I should just post happy and positive blogs. More sunset pictures.

But that's never been me.

Maybe a contributing factor to why I'm feeling down is because I committed to a 30 day super restricted eating plan...and I should know better...I DO NOT do well on those. But who does? The first week was fine. Second week decent. This third week feels like hauling each foot through wet cement. I mean, no sugar, no carbs, no starch, not even fruit 6 days a week...thank goodness for the "fun day" on day #7...or else I would no longer be functioning or I would have murdered someone ;) I also have been wayyyyyy more emotional isn't that fun...i.e. I cry about every 3rd hour or so. I can most of the time laugh at myself which is a positive I guess...but even that...I've been sooooo sensitive lately. Yeesh. The upside is...I'm proud that I'm doing something that has required such self-discipline.  But let's be honest...Kate thrives on sugar and bread...I lived on a carb only diet for quite some time...that's more my "normal."

Yesterday I asked if the writers of the song "I want candy" were on a restricted eating plan when they wrote it? Because that song has been on repeat in my head a lot. Haha.

Also, this season has been an extremely busy one. And when things get busy they can also get hella stressful...which I try and do my best to not be stressed but still...Jill and I are kinda doing this music thing on our own. Well, that's only partly true, we have a few people who help us almost daily and without them we would be just sitting in our house, writing music and playing it for the walls. So...I am extremely thankful for them. And our parents...they are 100% sold on us doing this crazy music thing. They really believe all of the hard work will pay off.  But man, sometimes it's scary thinking about all we have to do, all of the opportunities we're given, all of the responsibility we carry....we are independent artists doing it full time. Meaning, it's all on us. There are pluses and minuses and for whatever reason we are on this specific journey for a reason.

I sometimes forget that I am still chasing a dream and it's scary as hell sometimes.

Even as I write this blog I laugh cause "blogging" is taking a nose dive right now. Apparently blogging isn't as popular as it once was. Blogs should be short and concise....to the point. I'm certainly nailing that aren't I? Haha :)

I know I should end this blog  with a big, long paragraph about how I appreciate you...the reader, the fan...but I hope you know that already and I hope I have the freedom to be honest with my rant...my gloomy, dark days.

xo

-kate

 

Did Joy Williams Change My Life?

Can someone you've never met change the course of your life? I think so. Well, because it happened to me.

In the fall of 2002, (yikes--that sounds so long ago) I was a junior at Biola University in southern California. I was a Communications major with an emphasis on media studies. Media studies was the closest thing to being on a stage and in the entertainment industry that I could "study" so that's what I picked. I knew that I loved performing...loved being on a stage...and that I loved music but never knew how or what I was going to do with all of it.

My roommate at the time had told me that she was thinking about going to a music program on Martha's Vineyard.  I immediately thought of people studying the violin, and opera singers in fancy white gloves playing the hand bells...but no, this was different...this was no ordinary music school. It was a school where you took classes on songwriting, performance, studio recording, etc. I liked the sound of that.

So, my little brain began to turn its wheels. Was this crazy? Do I want to leave all my friends in sunny So-Cal to go to an island in the dead of winter in New England? Would I even get accepted if I applied? I would be calling myself an "artist" if I went? Do I have what it takes, etc, etc, etc. I was restless. Nothing seemed to settle within me. The deadline for applying was soon approaching and I would need to record a demo of myself to send along with my application. That.seemed.impossible. Overwhelming. Terrifying. I'd never recorded a demo.

As I walked into our administration building, I noticed that on the quad outside they were setting up a teeny, tiny little stage. I didn't pay much attention and walked in. I swear my head was completely filled  with the question: Should I go, should I not go? Do I go? Do I stay? Ahhhhh. Questions. Wheels turning. All the time. I walked out of the building and standing on that little stage singing her heart out was a blonde singer with powerhouse vocals by the name of Joy Williams. Yes, the Joy Williams that is now half of the Grammy winning, harmony slaying duo called The Civil Wars.

I froze. I stood on the quad and tears just began streaming down my face. I immediately knew that I had to go to this music program. I had to sing. Watching her on that stage, something just sunk into my bones. Literally in an instant I knew that I had to go to this music school or at least get rejected trying.

And the rest is history. I went into a tiny little TV production studio and had my friend Brent Kredel record my demo. Got accepted. Went to that crazy little music school and met this other crazy girl named Jill. We've been doing music now for 10 years. Whoa.

So, can a person you've never met change the course of your life? Yes. I never met Joy, but her being on that stage, that day, dramatically changed the course of my life.

Weird right?

Has someone you've never met changed the course of your life?

-kate

 

Cheerleader

Neither of us were cheerleaders in high school. Jill played volleyball and basketball and well, my tiny school in South Africa did not offer cheerleading as a sporting activity. But I think I want to be a cheerleader now. No, I don't want to forfeit music and go try out to be a Cowboys cheerleader (but aren't they the best ones, really?)...I want the people in my life to think I am their (personal) cheerleader. We were driving across the country years ago and we listened to a couple women who were speaking on different issues to pass the time and one of them talked about how women can often be driven by comparison, insecurity, jealousy, etc. She said if you are ever short on friends...be a cheerleader and you will never lack for friends again. This was probably seven or eight years ago that I heard this woman talk about that idea but it has stuck with me.

What if we all were cheerleaders?

What if you have a friend and you know that without a shadow of a doubt they will get behind whatever crazy idea you are doing and cheer you on? Your unique fashion choices? Doesn't matter--they'd cheer you on and send your pic to People magazine and nominate you as a "fashionista to watch." Your idea to sell all your belongings and live in a storage unit downtown? You'd know they'd help you sell your stuff and drive you downtown--cheering you on along the way. You think you're the next President of the United States--they're making buttons for people to vote for you. These cheerleaders wouldn't give you laundry list of how you're not qualified or tell you that a lot of people out there are more talented than you or that the idea will never work...these people would just cheer you on.

I just wonder how much more awesome life would be if that were the case. I wonder if jealousy and insecurity would just start to diminish. If there would be more bold and creative movements and ideas because people knew that even if their idea totally flopped they'd still have people cheering them on.

We were just at a conference in Austin with our friend Bob Goff...conference sounds too formal...it was really just a big group of friends that all became family and hung out for a few days talking about how love does stuff. Anyway--something that Bob said over and over again was "Tell people who they are. Tell them what you see in them." When I heard him say this it reminded me of the cheerleading idea. It made me want to change--it made me want to cheer--to tell people who they are, what I see in them, maybe even when they can't see it in themselves.

While I was thinking about this idea I realized I have a friend like this. I have an ultimate cheerleading friend. She has never once done anything else than cheer for me. We live very different lives. She is a math teacher, I am a musician. She has lived in the same place her whole life, while the longest I have ever lived in the same place is 6 years. She is an amazing athlete and basketball coach, I know very little about balling (yes, I said balling-HA.) We met in college and have been friends for almost 10 years and in that time she has been a total cheerleader for my life. She's been to countless shows...and not just the fun ones...she has shown up to the worst venues with approximately zero people attending...okay maybe one person if you count the bartender...and after we finish our set she is literally clapping, cheering and high-fiving us like we just finished playing Madison Square Garden. When I call her and tell her about my latest royal dating FAIL...she cheers me on. She tells me that she's proud of me and that the right guy is out there. She knows that I am passionate about orphans in Africa and so she put her butt on a plane for 14 hours to fly with me to see the need in real life. It wasn't enough for her to hear  about what I was into...she wanted to see it for herself. Ugh...you guys...I'm tearing up as I write this. I am so thankful for a friend like her. She is not driven by insecurity or fear, she tells me who I am. She cheers me on.

I don't think I've been as much of a cheerleader to her as I could've been. Surely not as much as she has been to me. But I want to be. And I'm gonna try.

What if we got to know our mailman and told him or her what an awesome job they were doing? What if you finally told your sibling that you never got along with or had much in common with that you wanted to know more about what they're into...and cheered them on.

Make a ist of the people in your life and find ways to tell them who they are. Look them square in the eyes and tell them what you see. Cheer them on. Be their cheerleader. 

xo

kate

Stories

I’m reading a book right now about the stories of our lives. How to live a better story. I'm not finished with it yet but I'd highly recommend it. "A Million Miles In A Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. It definitely makes you question the story you are living out with your life. Are you living a good story? Are you living a boring story? Are you wishing your story looked like some other story? What does your life story look like? I’ve been thinking about my story a lot recently. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m 30 or that it’s getting colder outside, but I feel like the wheels in my head have been turning a lot more. I sometimes find myself daydreaming and watching people around me like I am the narrating voice on Grey’s Anatomy just watching this all play out in front of me.

Is this where I thought I would be in life? The quick answer is "no"....but the long answer is "kinda." I always knew that my life was going to be different than the “norm” ...whatever that “norm” is. Probably because my earliest memories weren’t anything close to normal. By the time I was 9 years old, I had gone to school on three different continents and had changed schools at least 4 times. I completed the first grade in German. I flew alone internationally when I was 13. Johannesburg, South Africa to JFK. Then I had to change airports in New York...not terminals people...airports. Looking back I’m not sure why my parents agreed to letting me galavant across the waters alone but I assured them I’d be fine and I was. My dad being the ever so thrifty man that he is told me to try and find a shared ride at JFK to LaGuardia...he said, "last resort if you need to get a taxi, do that, but otherwise try to find a cheaper shared ride." So that’s what I did. Landed at JFK, got my bags, and headed my 13 year old self out to the curb to find a shared ride to LaGuardia. Anyway...all that to say, my earliest narrative of my life was a far cry from the “norm.”

I think the thing that makes me think most about my life’s story now is that I feel like it is still so far from the normal narrative of other 30 something women out there. If I’m being honest, every so often I am really insecure that I’m unmarried and don’t have at least 1.5 children. It just seems that’s what you do. Most of my friends are all married with 1.5 or more children. I sometimes feel like I'm really behind in life.

I wouldn’t change it though. I think God has me just in the spot where I’m supposed to be. My story is unique. It's unlike anyone else's. In dark days I wish it didn’t take such sacrifice.  Or sometimes I wish that insecurity and fear that comes with that feeling that I’m the only one on this road would be less. I pour myself into my career. But it’s not just a career. It’s my story. It’s my life.

xo

kate

*I wrote this on the plane the other day and have since finished reading the book...you should definitely read it! Here's a visual of the cover of the book:

million

Saturday Morning Observations

Sometimes things get so chaotic and crazy in life that stuff like this starts to happen:

  • The trunk of your car becomes a storage facility. Initially it begins with things to donate or return to a store and then it just begins to pile up with all sorts of goodies from the past few months. Empty boxes, trash, the extra sweater you brought with you but never wore, etc.
  • Your laundry hamper becomes a drawer...one that you frequently remove clothes from (with clean or dirty clothes...it doesn't matter.)
  • Getting to sleep is always approximately 1.5 hours later than when you go to bed.
  • Hair washing can always be stretched one more day if you have enough baby powder & dry shampoo. Or a constant rotation of hats/scarves or bright enough headbands to distract from the rats nest going on up there.
  • The book on your nightstand acts more as a coaster than any enrichment for your mind.

Can anyone else relate?

j&k

Apparently, seahorses are real.

The other day we were talking about something or other and somehow the topic of seahorses came up... I was talking about a school field trip as a kid and something about seeing a dead sea horse in a jar & that you could make a wish on them because they weren't real...

Kate was all "A'hem...whaaaaaaaat? No, Jill, No. Unicorns aren't real. Seahorses are real."

I had no idea! Someone told me as a kid that they were fake and for 20-some years, I've believed that. Wow.

It's like the How I Met Your Mother episode where Barney never learned how to use a screwdriver...and Ted never learned how to pronounce "chameleon" and he kept saying "Cha-Ma-Lee-On..."

I guess it's true that everyone has something they missed out on learning earlier in life. I mean, there's a lot of information out there, folks! You can't know it all. (I am totally trying to justify how stupid I feel right now...haha.)

Is there something you realized as an adult that you never learned as a child...and maybe you should have learned much earlier?

For now, I'm going to go celebrate the fact that seahorses are real. And hey, you never know...maybe unicorns are too!? (Jk, jk. Or am I?)

Let The Sun Shine

On late Sunday night we were able to fly into Los Angeles to spend a few days with friends. A lot of you have been following our dear friend Will Gray's battle with cancer. If you haven't read his ongoing story, it is one of unparalleled bravery, strength and courage. You can read his story at www.GoTeamGray.com We flew out because he was given some news about the progression of the cancer and we wanted to be near him and his wife Angie. A few friends have also flown in and yesterday we were outside for most of the day...some friends that we haven't seen in a while and some that we see often. We laughed. We shared stories. We ate yummy burritos. We opened a couple of bottles of wine (at the appropriate time of course...) and enjoyed the simplicity of friendship, fresh air and the glorious California sunshine.

Will & Angie came and sat with us for a bit and it was wonderful. Will continues to be a bright light in every second of life. He cracked jokes, spoke words of wisdom and was brainstorming the next big thing. Totally Will. Totally amazing.

Life will always bring us different situations and we have the opportunity to learn something. This situation has just further instilled in us the beauty of living every moment. To let the people in your life know they are loved. To not stress out about silly, insignificant things. To breathe. To love. To be.

We are overwhelmed with love for our friends. We are overwhelmed with thankfulness that they are in our lives.

We are two hopeful and grateful hearts in California.

j&k