Thanksgiving Roundup

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Jason and I will be spending the day in Houston with friends. I am going to miss my family though, my parents, nana and aunt in Washington and my sister in Korea. Also, sad that Teresa & my pie baking tradition has to be on hiatus this year. 

Who else has the tradition of going around the table to say what you're thankful for?  There is a ton of things I'm very thankful for this year, not least of which is this blog, thanks for reading!

And now, some pre-Thanksgiving entertainment for you to click as you're basting that bird or baking a pie!

Beautiful labels for leftovers and they are free to download.

If only cool people like this could photobomb wedding photos when I'm shooting!

Anjelica Huston is awesome

An interesting perspective on gender roles in Hunger Games

Why I Won't Shop at Walmart

"Oh, you're too good for Walmart?" is the response I generally get when I've expressed my preference to never shop at a Walmart. I promise you, my aversion to Walmart has nothing to do with thinking I'm above it. Who doesn't like great prices? But Walmart's prices come at a higher cost and as we are on the eve of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the season of shopping, I wanted to take a moment to speak out. 

Did you know that many of Walmart's employees are living below the poverty line?

This study, released in May by congressional Democrats, found that just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin was costing taxpayers $900,000 a year. It's summary states:
When low wages leave Wal-Mart workers unable to afford the necessities of life, taxpayers pick up the tab. Taxpayer- funded public benefit programs make up the difference between Wal-Mart’s low wages and the costs of subsistence.
So while you're saving at a Walmart register, chances are your tax money is going to help Walmart employees stay afloat. 

To me, it isn't just about money, it isn't about taxes or welfare, it's about the principle, it's about people who are struggling to support their families and a corporation choosing do do nothing about it. 

Here's a story of Walmart employees encouraged to donate goods to be given to other Walmart employees unable to provide Thanksgiving for their families.  The article states that Walmart doesn't contribute on a corporate level. 

"A half century ago America’s largest private-sector employer was General Motors, whose full-time workers earned an average hourly wage of around $50, in today’s dollars, including health and pension benefits" says to Richard Reich, former Secretary of Labor,  in this great article on his blog entitled "Why You Shouldn't Shop at Walmart on Friday".

Currently, around the country Walmart employees are attempting to take a stand, striking for better wages and I choose to support them by not shopping at Walmart. 

*If you shop at Walmart, no judgement is intended, I merely seek to share my perspective on an injustice I see. I realize there are other companies I could put on blast for similar practices, but I felt the need to write this post as I continue to see Walmart in the news not only for it's employees attempts to strike for better wages but also  it's CEO's stepping down after that whole bribery in Mexico scandal, and continued alligations of poor factory conditions where their products are made

Myles: Four Months Old!

Guess who turned four months old? My child! I can't believe he is the same baby as this tiny skinny-mini. He is around the 90th percentile for height and weight now, big boy! Four months is my absolute favorite age so far. As our pediatrician said, "Four month old's are like crack." Pretty much. We spend most of our time sitting around acting ridiculous so we can see him smile and listen to his hilarious laugh. Here are a few of my favorite things about his emerging personality:

- He loves to eat (obviously) -- we are excited to give him solid foods in a few months
- He has never liked to be constricted so he is thrilled that he can now push himself up, stand and bounce in his saucer, and hold himself perfectly straight on our laps.
- He thinks his dad is the most hilarious person on earth. Pretty much everything he does cracks Mylo up. 
- He has started babbling and "singing" a lot during the day and in his crib when he is trying to go to sleep. We of course think he's very advanced. ;)
- He is not much of a cuddler but loves to have his soft blankies right on his face when he is going to sleep. He loves cozy things just like his mama. 
- He adores spending time with his Grammy and Mimi (my mom and MIL) while I'm working -- he has a huge smile in the morning when he comes out and sees they are at our house.

Rafa wanted to get in on the fun, I found him sleeping in my photo shoot after I'd put Myles down for a nap.

Jenny's Favorites: November Addition

Here are the things that have kept me amused, happy, clean and well through the month of November, while living on a tour bus.

1. I've been wearing this TNA hoodie from Aritzia practically every other day on the tour. It works really great to layer under a jacket.

2. When I do get a night off of the bus, it's fun to take a nice bath with this amazing natural soap, made by women in Zanzibar.

3. I sent my mom Nunu Chocolates for her birthday, made in Brooklyn.

4. I've been carrying a yellow Moleskine notebook to encourage myself to journal the old fashioned way.

5. A couple of people on tour swear by Wellness Formula vitamin supplements  and introduced me to them when I was starting to feel like I was catching a cold. Perfect for making it through cold season, especially if you're living in close quarters. 

6. I've been on a 90's nostalgia kick and bought myself a scrunchie. I'd forgotten how awesome they are.

7. I can't stop listening to Youth Lagoon, if you watched our latest tour video, you'll recognize the song "17" as the one near the end that you'll be humming the rest of the day. Love love love this. 

This month I finally got around to Gone Girl, I have to admit, I was putting it off because whenever I hear "thriller" I think it's going to give me nightmares, not the case with this, it's definitely physiological and is a perfect airplane/tour bus read.

When We Were on Fire is a wonderfully honest memoir about surviving 1990's Christian culture. If you ever wore a WWJD bracelet, you might relate. This one really resonated with me.

I'm half way through the mystery The Cuckoo's Calling (by JK Rawling's alter ego Robert Galbraith) and really enjoying it thus far.

9. Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes- I wouldn't recommend face wipes over washing your face, but they are great for lazy nights or if you've attempted to wash your face on a bus in stop-and-go traffic only to come out of the bathroom with wet pants and bruises on your forehead from ramming the mirror.

10. Shout out to my wonderful mother in law who knew that kitty slippers would be the perfect way to make a tour bus more homey for me.

Cozy Cat PJ's

I've been wanting to buy all sorts of cozy things lately with the cold weather settling in. I linked these adorable cat slippers on the Friday Roundup last week. How cute are the above cat pajamas from the latest Nordstrom catalogue? I want them. The leggings and sweatshirt are made by Cozy Zoe. These moccasins and bunny pajama pants are also super cute from Anthropologie. What do you like to wear when the weather gets frigid?

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Friday is here! Hope you have some fun plans for the weekend. Here are some links to get us started:

Love these parents, what a fun idea. 

Wonderful, inspiring commercial, if you haven't seen it yet. 

The best US cities for shopping. 

I'm dying to visit southern Spain, these photos are awesome. 

Crazy innovative camera and incredible photos. 

This holiday cocktail looks DIVINE, everything I love in one drink.

Sephora favorites are back-- great gift set for the holidays.

It's totally slipper season, I'm loving these ones. Meow.

I'm a big fan of Angelina, this speech is incredible. 

(Yummy cocktail from Smith and Ratliff)

The New Bachelor

If you're a fan of the Bachelor this is hilarious! Jesse Tyler Ferguson stars as the first gay Bachelor, too funny.

Tour Video

Here's a bit of tour life, directed by Jason.

Golden Hour

Any good photographer will tell you that golden hour, the hour around sunset, is hands down THE BEST time of day to be shooting. Here are a few reasons, and a few photos to show you why you might want to consider taking just 10 minutes out of your reception to snap some more photos.

1. Amazing Photos...before, and even right after the sun has set, you'll get the most dramatic, warm, defused light of the day and great color in the sky. 

2. Time alone...typically sunset happens at a point during the reception where it's easy for you two to sneak out for a moment. At this point in the day, most couples have been surrounded by friends and family for hours and are ready to have a few minutes to themselves.

3. A different look...if you're changing your dress, hair or jewelry for the reception, this is a great chance to capture that. Or, even if you look the same, the light alone is enough to give these photos a different look than the rest of your photos, giving your wedding photos more depth and variety. 

Seven Topics To Never Bring Up In Conversation

Stop everything and listen to this charming, hilarious and fascinating discussion between This American Life's Sarah Koenig and her mother MRS. Matthiessen (and don't you dare call her Maria). Mrs. Matthiesen has seven hard and fast rules regarding topics that should never be brought up in conversation, not because they are taboo but because they are just downright boring. These topics include how you slept, your period, your dreams, route talk (how you got from point A to B), your health, your diet, and money. I'm definitely guilty of bringing up all of these topics on a weekly basis! During the show, Sarah sets out to prove her mother wrong by finding a fascinating story on each subject. It's well worth listening too.

Bus Time

It's 3:25am and this is what we are doing...

Sometimes, life on a tour bus is like a slumber party. 
Not pictured: Jason, who is hiding in the bunk. 

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

I hope you had a great week. I'm in New York for a bit longer, and hopefully will get to enjoy the city for a bit in-between working.

I picked the above photo honor of Veterans Day this week. Isn't it crazy to see black and white photos in color? It brings them to life in an a way. You can see more here!

This wee the New York Times did a great article on my friend Mary.

Odd use for toilet seat covers...

Amazing places to see (#11 is one of the coolest spots I've been)

Men who love Love Actually

Hilarious gift idea for a parent

Smartest U.S. Cities

Christopher Robin's home is for sale

I'll leave you with this hilarious Insta-video from our intern Mitchell who's on tour with us...

Awesome Stuffed Animals: Hansa

How cool are these incredibly real looking stuffed animals made by Hansa? The company strives to make their plush, handmade, animals to look as close to nature as possible. I love them!

New Video!

WAY back in June, Jason directed and I produced a music video for The Plain White T's and it's finally   been released! 

This was definitely a labor of love and I'm thrilled with how it turned out, seeing your crazy ideas come to life the way you envisioned is really rewarding. 


Dry Soda Cocktails

Have you tried "Dry Soda" yet? It's all natural, low calorie, is less sweet (although made with real cane sugar), comes in unique flavors and best of all is made right here in Seattle! They have a tasting room in Pioneer Square that I need to try out.

Not only is this stuff delicious by itself, they have tons of recipes for cocktails made from their sodas up on their website. I haven't tried one yet but the two below look awesome.

Paris in the Rain
Gabriel Ellzey | Bon Bon Lounge - Spokane, WA 
1 1/2 oz. Magellan Gin (or gin of choice)
3/4 oz. St. Germain
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1/4 oz. Green Chartreuse
1/4 oz. Creme de Violette
Lavender DRY Soda
Serve: Collins Glass
Garnish: stalk of Rosemary
  • Combine gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and Green Chartreuse into cocktail shaker.
  • Break off a small portion of Rosemary and add to shaker.
  • Shake ingredients and double strain into ice-filled collins glass.
    Top with Lavender DRY Soda and drizzle Creme de Violette.
    Garnish with Rosemary.
Sparkling Cucumberita
2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
3 oz. Cucumber DRY Soda
Serve: Large Margarita Glass
Garnish: Cucumber and Lime Wedges, Crushed Ice
  • Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients, except DRY Soda, and shake vigorously.
  • Put 2 oz. crushed ice in prepared glass, then add margarita mixture and Cucumber DRY. Mix lightly.
  • Garnish with lime and cucumber wedges on the side of the glass.

Welcome Baby Kian!

Last Friday Patrick's best friend since childhood, Matt, and his wife Lisette welcomed their first baby (and Mylo's new BFF) to the world! We got to meet him on Sunday and he is sooo cute! At 9lbs he still seems itty bitty to me now that my "little" baby weighs in at 16.5 lbs. They grow up way too fast. Matt and Lisette named him Kian James, which we love as Kian was one of our top names as well. Welcome baby boy!

On the Road, pt. 2

Hello again from a tour bus! Since my last post, we've been to Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Penn State (aka the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania), Boston, Buffalo and Syracuse.

We're currently en route to New York City for three shows and a couple of days off. I'm definitely looking forward to being in the city and have been slowly adding to a mental shopping list: fingerless gloves, boot socks & leg warmers, a really good lotion- since Northeast weather has made my skin super dry and, most importantly, a birthday present to send to my mom!

I'm still really enjoying life on the road! It's been fun to see friends along the way and I love the predictability of show days and getting to rest and explore on days off.

Photo of me by @nickmahar from an inromptu rooftop shoot in Chicago. 

Here's the last few weeks of tour life via instagram...

I actually got to spend a little bit of time with Jason today in Syracuse. 

I have a laundry in Michigan!  Before I came on tour, I was a little worried I'd be living in dirty clothes, thankfully we're able to send out our laundry fairly often.  I've never lived anywhere without a washer & dryer so laundromats are still a novelty. 

Ed Sheeran joined us in Buffalo to hang out for the day and even jumped on stage to sing "Same Love" with Mary Lambert. Here they are rehearsing. (via @joelrclare)

We had a great night off in Columbus, Mary Lambert invited everyone to her room to watch a contestant on The Voice sing her song! It was really special to get to share the experience with her. (via @missjpeg)

While I was kicking it with most of the band and crew having a couple of days off, Jason jetted to New Orleans and New York with Macklemore & Ryan, including going to one of the strangest award presentations ever-there were babies involved, babies. ( via @jkoephoto)

In Chicago, I got to have a lovely evening with some of my favorite ladies. Even through we're all on tour together, most days everyone is super busy working so it's nice when we actually get to relax and hang out.  

Boston was a really really really fun show. (via @jkoephoto)

The perils of living on a bus- sometimes you wake up an a new city, excited to get into your hotel but bus driver parks too close to a curb and you can't get your bag out! Thankfully my dilemma was quickly fixed. (via @honnabriggs)

To see more fun from the road as it happens, follow me @jennykoekoe and the friends I borrowed some of the above photos from on Instagram! 

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! We are going to take it easy this weekend, see family and just hang out. I'm definitely missing Jenny while she is on the road. Follow her Instagram here for updates from the tour.

Here are some links to kick off the weekend!

This mom is dedicated, holy moley.

Careful, this story made me tear up.

Cute hair tutorial for the weekend.

Cool photography idea, real life Instagram.

This looks simple yet delicious.

10 true things about the first year of parenthood.

I'm thinking I need a big, cozy sweater now that winter has set in.

Musicians reading mean tweets about themselves.

Amazing photos of tribes that are nearly gone.

If you're a Harry Potter fan, this is pretty amusing.


2nd and 3rd Month Favorites: Baby Gear

I'm a little late on this but wanted to share some our favorite products from Myles' second and third months.

Little Giraffe blankie - Myles is obsessed with this blanket. He literally wants it covering his entire face when he goes to sleep. Little Giraffe products are pricey but very well made and oh so soft. We love the bath towel as well (thanks Jenny!).

Little Sophie the Giraffe - Mylo loves this simple toy and it's a great one for learning hand-eye coordination.

We tried to use the fancy swings and such but Mylo just likest to sit in this simple Monkey Seat from Target. I never even put the batteries in it to shake, he just likes to chill and watch me make dinner or fold clothes.

Britax B-Agile Stroller - We have loved this stroller and travel system! The stroller is very light and easy to maneuver in restaurants and shops or at the farmer's market. The only tip I have is to not purchase the Britax "Chaperone" car seat (so huge!) but the Britax "B-Safe" instead.

Medela Pump in Style, Medela Bottles and Boon Grass drying rack -  Now that I'm back at work, we are feeding Mylo pumped milk and have loved the whole Medela system. I have some other bottles but he mostly uses the Medela ones since they lock into the pump. We use the Boon drying system in the kitchen, which I think is adorable.
American Apparel Hoodie - We have two of these and he loves them. Unlike other sweatshirts with scratchy zippers this one is soft and plastic. He looks so little in this picture, it's a snug fit now.

Trumpette "Skater Socks" - I've LOVED these adorable little socks that look like Vans. They stay on 100% of the time and wash well.

Myles adores his play gym. I put it together about the time he turned one month and he has used it every day since. He is now able to reach for and even grab the little toys, it's been fun to see him learn to play with it.

PS. Our first month favorites.