Wednesday, April 22

The Woods



I have wanted to write songs for film soundtracks ever since I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie when I was 12. I can still remember feeling so moved by the orchestration of the music, and I used to replay the CD in my huge boom box every day when I would get ready for school! Not much has changed in that regard, I still throw in the Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack in my car when I take long drives. When given the opportunity to write songs as accompaniment to beautiful, scenic videos, I was reminded of those dreams I had as a young girl.


I wrote this song for a project shot in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and as I sat and watched the footage on repeat, with no sound, it was so incredible to be inspired by something that I had never experienced myself before. I had never been to this place, but the epic landscapes, waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets moved me, and I could hear and feel the sounds and music that would become “The Woods”.

All of the amazing original artwork for the EP was done by our good friend Kent Carollo. He is an unreal artist!

We shot in the most beautiful locations, I have gone back several times on my own since filming just to take in the scenery.


I approached Jesse Barrera about producing a couple songs for this project, and he completely nailed the sound I wanted and heard in my head. The ambient, “drippy” electric guitar, subtle piano, driving electric beat, and wide, airy vocals all came together to create this soundtrack-esque song that begged for a pairing epic visual. Fellow YouTuber Devin Graham and I talked for months about the visual possibilities with these songs, and when I got the final mix back of “The Woods”, I sat and listened to it and this story played out in my head. I wrote it all down and shared it with Devin, and he completely got what I was envisioning and had some really awesome ideas as well.


I had my sister Abby play the girl in the video, I kind of saw her as an alternate younger version of myself, and then she meets the older version of herself, who she can become when she gets through the hard times she is going through. To escape, she does what I always did as a kid, she goes out exploring into the woods. 


The message behind the video is that we should draw close to those things that help us discover who we really are, or who we have the potential to become. For me, my connection with the outdoors helps me remember my potential as a daughter of God, as I can marvel at His creations and still realize that of all the incredible majesty in the world, His hand was also evident in creating me. As an individual person, He knows me, loves me, and helps me see who I have the potential to become.


As soon as the EP was complete, I knew that I wanted to release it on Earth Day, to celebrate the beautiful world we live in. I wanted to team up with an organization that would help do some measurable good when the EP was purchased, and I have always loved the WorldWildlife Fund and the great work they are doing all over the world. I decided to donate 15% of the proceeds of the EP to this cause, so that we can all team up to help preserve the Earth and protect endangered species as long as this music is out there for people to buy! I hope to continue to find ways to give back to our earth, as well as to support great causes that are making the world a better place through our music.

Sporting my WWF t-shirt! Such a cool organization and they have some pretty sweet gear up in their shop


I’m so thankful for the wonderful people who allowed me the chance to create something so personal and meaningful, especially Devin Graham, who has always believed in me, not only as an artist and songwriter, but also as a person. So much of what I have learned about dreaming big and pushing myself I owe to him. He played such a huge role in the creation of these songs and videos. I always call him a dream weaver, and he truly is! Also Kent Carollo, who’s beautiful artwork accompanies the music so perfectly and acts as another dimension of the story I hoped would be told. Thanks to Jesse Barrera and the amazing Andrew Dixon for bring my songs to life and helping me share them with the world!
And of course, thanks to YOU amazing supporters, without you, this vision and inspiration would have just remained ideas on paper and in my head. Because of your dedication to my sisters and I, we are not only achieving our personal goals as musicians, but also our personal desires to share positive media and to strengthen belief in family and goodness in the world. I can’t express to you how much gratitude I feel for you, and I can’t wait to meet you all and thank you individually for allowing us to realize our childhood dreams.
Much love,
Hailey

Friday, April 10

Allie's Spring OOTD

Spring is upon us! Hallelujah! Haha :) 

It's that awkward in-between weather right now... where mother earth can't decide what it wants to be. Every day seems like a foggy-maybe-sunny-oh-wait-it-might-rain type of day. 

BUT HAVE NO FEAR! 

These transition seasons are some of my favorites. I love that its not too hot and not too cold which usually lends itself to be perfect for sweaters and long-sleeved blouses (some of my favorite things)


 This outfit is super effortless- I'm all about the black and white plaid/checkered tops these days. I don't know why I love them so much but I do. LOOK WE CAN BE TWINS.


Also black jeans are a must. However, black jeans with holes in the knees are that much better ;) 
One of my friends bought a super cheap pair of black jeans at forever 21 and cut holes in them herself! I thought it was genius- so I did the same. $7 destroyed black denim, people. It doesn't get much better than that.


My shoes? $6 at Plato's closet.
YEAH.
I know...

THIS BAG. You guys. It was love at first sight. It's from Target (of course) and I am OBSESSED with the color. I use it every day!



Earlier this year I randomly watched the Michael Kors Fall 2015 fashion show online. All of the outfits were amazing- but what I loved most was the hair! It was so simple. Just a messy loose low ponytail. So I copied it. And loved it. ;)


To get my hair all messy and stuff, I curled it loosely with a 1" curling iron, and then sprayed it with my FAVORITE stuff (ever)-the John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. I love it. I also use the shampoo and conditioner. I'm all about the beachy waves ;)




I have a hard time taking serious photos...


As far as makeup goes, I did my normal routine (as seen HERE) but this time I did use a grey eye liner (these days I don't usually wear eye liner). For the lips I used my Rose Salve first (which saves my dry lips/hands in the winter) and then topped it off with a light coat of my Burts Bees lip crayon in the shade "Redwood Forest"


The necklace I'm wearing is another one of my favorite things. I wear it every day! It's the perfect length, size, color, blah blah blah. For real. I love it. (similar)

Hope you guys had an amazing Easter Weekend/Spring Break! I know I did. All that Easter candy is gonna be the death of me. In fact I downed one too many peanut M&Ms while writing this post.

OH WELL. No regrets ;)

Have questions or comments? Leave them below! I'd be happy to answer.

Love you all!

xoxo Allie

Friday, March 20

Hair & Makeup Video Tutorials

Happy Friday, everyone!

We have been busy recording lots of new music we cannot wait to share with you, but in the meantime have had fun creating some videos on our second channel, GSLife, based on your requests and what you'd like to see most.

Since many of you have requested to see how we style our hair and makeup, we've posted these three video tutorials to start you out!

Mandi has been getting requests to show you how she curls her hair. Her curls are easy and fast, and you can learn how she does it in this video!


Hailey also did a video for those who have naturally curly hair and just want to enhance it in her video tutorial here:
 

For a natural, everyday look, Allie also teaches her daily makeup routine in her video.


We'd love to keep giving you weekly videos that YOU want to see, so tweet us @gardinersisters or leave us a comment to let us know what else you'd like us to create for you!
Have a wonderful weekend!
-Hailey, Allie, & Mandi-

Friday, March 13

Scents Of Spring


I don't know about you, but I am so ready to shed the sweaters and start wearing sandals! One of the quickest ways to get a burst of spring is through some fresh scents, so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.


1. I cannot say ENOUGH about how much I love the Body Shop. I absolutely love their nature-based products and makeup, especially their body butter, which isn't pictured here because I literally just used it up. Oh my goodness...it has saved my skin this winter and kept me moisturized! I own every single product in the Pink Grapefruit scent, including this delicious body mist



2. This Pink Grapefruit Body Puree smells good enough to eat! Allie used to own it, and every time she would put it on, my mouth would start watering, so I now have my own bottle sitting by my sink. I put it on my hands like 30 times a day!


3. My favorite perfumes are by Burberry, and this Burberry Brit Sheer perfume is a really lovely light floral, fresh scent that I wear almost every day. Sometimes when I spray it on I close my eyes and pretend like I'm walking through a field of beautiful wildflowers. You judge me now...but go smell it and you'll see what I'm talking about!


4. This candle from Bath and Body Works was an extremely thoughtful gift I received at our LA show last year. I love to light it and let the smell of sunshine fill my room!

What are your current favorite scents?
Happy Spring! 
- Hailey-

Monday, January 26

Earth To Emerald - Scarf Camera Strap Collaboration

Photographers and friends! I am so excited to share with you a collaboration I did with Becca, one of my dear friends from college, of Earth to Emerald! Becca makes the most adorable scarf camera straps, and this particular strap is one I got to help her design!
You can pre-order this "Hailey" strap starting today on Earth To Emerald! During the first week of this pre-sale, you can also use the discount code "Hailey10" to take 10% off your order!
As a photographer and videographer I am constantly lugging my cameras around on our adventures without a strap on it, mostly because the stock strap that comes with Canon cameras is just not very cute and pretty uncomfortable. I always get looks from people out on the trails when I'm just holding a big camera in my hand, nothing stopping it from dropping off a cliff if I trip or fall. I needed something functional, but also comfortable for when I'm hiking or exploring and this scarf strap is absolutely perfect! 
As you can probably tell, I absolutely love stripes, and the neutral pattern of this scarf makes it totally versatile with my wardrobe.

 
These straps are a totally cute, functional way to style your photo or video shoots, while tying your outfit together with a trendy accessory.

Be sure to check out earthtoemerald.com.
Get out and explore and take some photos today! 
-Hailey-

Monday, January 12

Cooking with Allie: Chicken Tikka Masala


YOU GUYS.

I got a new cookbook for christmas and decided to try it out this week. You probably already know that my family LOVES food- all kinds of food. We love trying out new recipes and trying out foods from different countries. 
This cookbook is UNREAL. It has recipes that are inspired by the flavors of the world- I can't wait to keep cooking from it! 
Indian food has always been one of my very favorites- and when I saw the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala in here I was like "NO WAY!!! THIS MUST GO DOWN." 

So I made it. 
And I want you guys to make it too.

ITS SO GOOD Y'ALL.


This dish looks gorgeous and made our house smell SO GOOD.


A lil' taste test never hurt nobodyyyy


CAN'T SEE NAAN. (See what I did there?!) haha


CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
from "Global Kitchen" by David Joachim

I N G R E D I E N T S

4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger (<- one of my favorite things ever)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups hot cooked basmati rice

G E T  C O O K I N'  G O O D  L O O K I N'

1) Combine garlic and ginger on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste by dragging and pressing broad side of knife over mixture several times (I just put it in a food processor to make the paste (is that cheating? haha)) Combine garlic mixture, yogurt, and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper) in a large ziploc bag. Add chicken, seal and marinate in refrigerator for 8-24 hours, turning bag occasionally 

2) Place tomatoes in a food processor (I used a blender hehe. same diff.) process until pureed to measure 2 cups. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add coriander, paprika, turmeric, and ground red pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato puree, and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick

3) Preheat grill or broiler

4) While masala sauce simmers, remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken onto 4 (12-inch) metal skewers. Place skewers on grill rack or broiler pan, cook 3 minutes. Turn skewers over; cook 3 minutes or until browned on all sides but still undercooked in center (chicken will finish cooking in sauce).

5) Remove chicken from skewers, add to masala sauce. Stir in salt and garam masala; cover and simmer and additional 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat; stir in yogurt and cilantro. Serve over rice. Serves 5.

(We also served it with naan bread cause its the most delicious thing in the world NBD)

This dish was a hit. My hands smelled like garlic and ginger for like three days but WHATEVS. Give it a shot! You won't regret it ;) You can find the cookbook HERE :)
Love you guys!
Happy Cooking!

xoxo Allie

Monday, January 5

New Year's Goals & Resolutions!

 

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that it's 2015! A new year means a new start. In our family, we always make a list of our goals that we want to accomplish throughout the year and we really work hard to achieve them. 


We have different categories we place our goals in that include disciple, artist, athlete, student, and explorer. There are lots of other categories you can have, but those are the ones that fit best into what goals I have for this year. 



We try to put three goals in each category to balance it out so there aren't too many that would make us feel overwhelmed, and that there aren't too little that we do less than what we're capable of. Categorizing your goals is a great way to keep them organized and keep track of your progress. It's always good to write down your list and put it somewhere you can always see as a constant reminder. 

  
Be specific! Make it so every goal is very straightforward so you know exactly what you need to do. If you really want something, you need to push yourself and put in effort in order to get the outcome you're looking for. 

 

 I always feel so great when I have really worked hard on something and i finally get it done or accomplish it, it gives such great confidence in myself and it makes me want to do more! 


For example, something I want to do this year, is to get more flexible. I'm not just gonna randomly one day be able to do the splits, I have to stretch everyday and put in the work and effort until I'm flexible enough to actually do the splits.
 

Playing the drums is something I really enjoy doing and want to be a professional at! So, one of my goals this year is to learn and perfect all of the fundamentals and techniques of drum set so I can move on to the harder things and eventually be a pro! 
I hope that you will create a list of your goals and really try your best to achieve them! Happy New Year!
-Abby <3