Please be good to me Mr. French Press.

Hello there. I’m sitting in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to kick in. Seriously, I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. Not in an I’m-really-sick-and-can’t-move sort of way, but in one of those, oh-my-gosh-i- can’t-see-straight-i-think-i-might-fall-over-if-i-get-out-of-bed sort of ways.  Please coffee, I need you.

I went on a girls weekend trip to a lake house in Alabama this past weekend. It was a really great time. We went tubing and water skiing (I didn’t ski, but I did hold on to a tube for dear life and have the sore muscles to prove it), played trivial pursuit (I happen to rock at South and Central American travel trivia, even though I’ve never been to any of those countries), sang songs together, and just talked about life. It was awesome. And much needed.

Now it’s back to the world of Jenny & Tyler things. I’m trying to tie down loose ends for our fall tour so that we can really announce these dates and details to you guys soon.

All in all, not much to report here. Just want to say hi. Now come on coffee….

-jenny

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I love this light

I’m on a posting kick. I don’t even have things to say and I still feel like writing to all of you. I’m sure that will change in October when we go out on the road again, but I’m going to make a good effort to keep blogging consistently.

Today has been a good day. Tyler finished editing all of the songs late last night (or should I say early this morning?) so we slept in! It felt so, so good. This afternoon we went grocery shopping, had a bagel, and watched that movie Men Who Stare at Goats. It’s a really hilarious movie. But not in a laugh out loud way. I think the whole premise of the movie is just ridiculous and that’s what makes it funny.

Now I’ve got curry simmering on the stove (I admit, I cheated and am using a store bought curry paste) and the sun outside the kitchen window is shining through the trees just so, creating the most beautiful green and yellow light.

And have I mentioned that it’s not 100 degrees here? Mmmmmm…..so nice.

-jenny

Good morning….

I am drinking my coffee. French press this morning. It’s a perfect morning for coffee. It dropped down into either the lower 70s or the upper 60s last night so all of the windows in the house were opened to let the cool air in. We even opened our tiny attic windows and slept without the air conditioner running for the first time in a while. I love the fresh air. I’m hoping it doesn’t get too hot today. This whole not-feeling-sticky-and-like-I-need-to-take-three-showers-a-day feeling is nice.

Okay, so last night we had a little fiesta here. I am not fantastic at making Mexican food, but it’s actually super easy to make fajitas at home. I marinated some chicken in a mesquite lime marinade and we grilled it along with some corn on the cob. We had bell peppers and onions too and Tyler made some flour tortillas. If you don’t mind flour tortillas instead of corn these are really easy to make and much better for you than store bought tortillas. I think the recipe Tyler uses calls for water, salt, baking powder, and flour. Not much to it.

Anyway, skarrkmaster wanted to know about the homemade guacamole, so I will tell you how it is made. I actually don’t follow a recipe. I take 3 avocados, slice them up, scoop out the good stuff, and mash them together. Then I add a bunch of chopped fresh garlic. Maybe a clove or two. I cut a lime in half and squeeze in the juice from one half. It’s really good to add some chopped up cilantro and green onions, but I don’t always have those things. I just sort of taste the guacamole as I go to see if I need to add more garlic or more lime. Oh, and I salt and pepper it too. I’m a bit of purist—meaning I love the taste of just the plain avocado so I tend to go a little light on the other stuff. But it is so so so yummy. And so much better than the guacamole you buy at the store!!!!

Well, now I’m feeling hungry. Time to start working.

-Jenny

Who else is playing on the record? How nice of you to ask.

Today we are at Paul Eckberg’s studio. Also known as the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Paul. It’s a good time. Paul is an incredible drummer.He’s drummed for lots of awesome artists.

So I was telling you about Mac Powell singing on the record the other day, and today I thought I’d tell you about the other lovely musicians we have joining us.

So here we go….

Our good friends Avi Amon and Grace Hoover take turns playing ridiculously amazing piano parts. I’m not exaggerating. They are ridiculously amazing. You should maybe check them out. I don’t think that Grace has any sort of website, but Avi does. Just click here.

Ben Stein, a childhood friend of mine (we even went to senior prom together) lent his phenomenal bass skillz. Luke Myers, our favorite barista (he makes a mean almond latte) and fast friend rocked the drums. My big brother Tom Appel (we have a mutual love for cheese sticks and all things fried) makes an appearance on the electric guitar, as well as Don Chaffer of Waterdeep fame. The string section consists of Hitoshi Yamaguchi, cellist extraordinaire, and Ruthie Gianakon, the Vanderbilt violinist.

And lets not forget our choir of misfits: Paul Zimmerman-Clayton (who is also co-producing the project), Lauren Rodriguez, Katie Gordon, Erin Faith Moniz (also provides backing vocals on the last track of the record), Nathaniel Schweinberg (amazing freelance graphic designer), and Joel Rakes (Tyler’s former roommate and my first kiss in junior high, listen to his music here).

We are so blessed to have such talented friends and to be able to work with some really inspiring folks.

In other news, I think it’s about time I learn some new adjectives so that I can stop over using words like amazing and awesome. For reals.

I think that is all.

OH–and I’m really looking forward to a dinner with friends tonight. Fajitas, corn on the cob, homemade guacamole. I may be posting recipes again. Yummmmmmmmm……

-jenny

Carrying the banner!!!

Okay folks, we have some big news. Some of you are familiar with this news. That is you know exactly what I am about to say (or do you?). Either way, it is still big. And important. And exciting. Thus making it newsworthy.

Mac Powell makes a guest appearance on the new album.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or should I say he lends his voice to a particular song? The song is called Carry Me and Mac joins us on the bridge. He is amazing. I heard a rough mix of the song this evening and had tears in my eyes. It’s truly beautiful. I know, I know, I’m biased. But I’m allowed to be, after all I did write the song.

So let me tell you a thing or two about me and Mac Powell. Or I guess it’s just me. He has no knowledge of being involved. For my sixteenth birthday my parents took me to see Third Day in Gulfport, Mississippi. It was the Come Together tour and I was what you might call a super fan. I had my Gomer t-shirt and everything. We had 6th row tickets. I remember sitting in the coliseum, waiting for the band to come on and just being beyond excited. It wasn’t my first concert, but it was THIRD DAY!!! I had a poster of the band, signed hanging on my wall. For me it was THE concert. The band came on and I remember standing there, just completely awestruck. My sister grabbed my hand and we rushed to the foot of the stage (is that right, the foot of the stage?) with a bunch of other kids and stayed there dancing, swaying, and singing along all night. It was such an incredible experience. And the thing about it—it was truly a worshipful experience. The band played a few worship songs—You are so Good to Me, God of Wonders—but mostly people were singing along and worshiping to songs like Love Song, Consuming Fire, Come Together, etc. And it really seemed like the band was worshiping too. I was 16 and I remember really sensing the presence of God in that place.

About a year and a half ago we had the opportunity to open for Mac up in Hockessin, DE. He was playing an acoustic show at a local church and they needed a cheap opener. We jumped at the chance. I remember being so nervous about meeting Mac. I walked up to him and said, I just have to tell you, I’m a serious fan of yours so I apologize for any overly fan-like things I might say or do. He smiled and said, so you know God of Wonders then? Of course I did! So he invited Tyler and I up on stage to sing it with him. I was shaking the whole time. I would concentrate on making my hand stop shaking and then my legs would start. It was crazy. And so so so cool! After the show we got to talking and I realized that Mac is just a normal, genuine guy. He offered us his phone number and said to call him if we were in Atlanta.

When Carry Me (the song Mac is singing on) was in its writing stages Tyler said, you know who would be perfect on this song? Mac. I thought he was crazy. Turns out, sometimes all you have to do is ask.

So friends, there it is. Our wonderful news.

I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO HEAR THE NEW ALBUM!!!!!

-jenny (&tyler)

Raspberry pie!

Warning: this is a food post. I am sharing recipes. If you enjoy food, you might want to continue reading.

So on Thursday night I had a hankering for pie. It just happens to be summer berry season, so a wonderful berry pie sounded amazing. I love raspberries. Raspberry pie it was.

It’s really, really easy to make raspberry pie. The most time consuming part is the crust, and even that doesn’t take long once you get the hang of it.

Crust (this makes a double crust):
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups flour
a bit of salt
3-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Mix the flour and salt together, cut the butter into the mixture with a knife until you have little crumbles. Add the water a tablespoon at a time. Basically, you want to use as little water as possible, but you don’t want a dried out crust. It needs to make a nice round ball of dough, not too sticky, but easy to roll out. Divide the big ball into to smaller balls. Roll out one to use as the bottom crust.

The filling of the raspberry pie!
4 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
a bit of cinammon
1/3 cup flour

Mix all of the ingredients. Don’t forget the flour! If you do, you will have runny, soupy pie. Put the filling in the crust. Roll out the second ball of dough and place it on top of the raspberry filling. Cut a few strips in the center of the pie crust, making a little star.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.

So so so so so delicious! I think it’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream but I didn’t have any ice cream so I made whipped cream instead. So easy too! Just mix some whipping cream with a little vanilla and sugar at a high speed for 10 minutes or so. Yum!

I wish I had pictures of my finished product to show you.

This is making me want to eat a piece….for breakfast!

-jenny

Hello, hello.

So it’s crunch time. Tyler has been spending 17 hours a day editing tracks for the new record. I have been booking shows. We are trying to find good ways to promote this thing! Tracks go to the mixer Monday. Hopefully we’ll be picking up CDs in Ft. Worth in late September. And then—WE RELEASE THE NEW BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TO YOU LOVELY PEOPLE!!!!

Get Excited! I am! Woohoo!

I posted some of the cities we are coming to this fall in the posts below. We’re trying to add a few more cities to the list—somewhere in Arkansas, Minneapolis, Orlando, FL, and hopefully a stop in Georgia. Someday we will make it out west!

We can’t wait to see you guys!

Can you tell that I’m excited? I am drinking some caffeine so maybe it’s adding to my sunny mood. It’s not sunny outside today.

Okay, I must get back to work. Hope you are having a good afternoon….

-jenny

October cities!

We’re excited to tell you that we will be visiting the following cities this October:

Columbia, KY

Wilmore, KY (Asbury University)

Huntington, IN (Huntington University)

Normal, IL

Deerfield, IL (Trinity International Univeristy)

and hopefully more! We will let you know the details as we know them!

-Jenny & Tyler

Frightening T.V.

Given the opportunity I like to have a t.v. on in the background while I’m doing my work. Maybe it makes me feel more connected to the real world? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s not the best idea. Usually it consists of Gilmore Girls playing in the background or something that’s accessible via hulu.

This weekend we are house sitting for my brother and sister-in-law and they have cable.

Last night I had Law & Order SVU playing in the background and let me tell you…I was legitimately scared when I went to sleep last night.

This afternoon my television selection is scary in a different way: America’s Next Top Model. Seriously. I thought this would be chill, but it’s actually quite frightening.I may have nightmares.

-jenny