OK, this is a controversial issue–and I’d call it a “tag for ambivalence” but Rob resisted my attempt to use that new tag (even though I let him invent a new “Teach Me!” tag)–see our May 2020 episode for more about that–but some people were made for quarantine. My friend Tom, as pretend-anti-social as they come, says he was born for this. One plus: you have plenty of time for contemplating how you could improve your home, no matter how “finished” or not you normally find it.
Of course, this is not the time to embark on a major reno–unless you’re my neighbor Lori and her family who were cleaning out their entire house on Saturday in advance of adding another story to their house. Go Lori. But if you’re itching for a change without major construction, here’s a link to some lower-key home decor projects.
Personally I’m eyeing our hall closet, with its winter gear and board games, for a cleaning and reorganization. And the food pantry, since we found a tub of six-month old salsa in there which should have been refrigerated (see the May episode for an explanation on how that happened).
In our May 2020 episode, we are still under a “Safer At Home” mandate in our home state of New York and so we recorded this episode via Zoom video conference once again. We each make our own signature cocktail: J. does a classic vodka gimlet, partially inspired by the lemon curd tart on the cover of the May 2020 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, while Rob pulls a recipe for ginger punch from the mag’s new Stylemaker column. May means Mother’s Day so we cover a few ideas for a special Sunday for ya mom, and Rob invents a new tag to discuss certain magazine features. Of course, depending on where you are in the country, you may have to stay socially distant from your mother. Especially if, like Rob’s mom, she mispronounces the word “peony” because you may be tired of correcting her. We notice a few changes at work in the magazine, including transitions from our usual tableaux and paint can lids, and need to mourn the loss of other features. But we’ll get over it. There are more important concerns in the world right now, right? Like “why does my husband want a door from our shower to the balcony?” (PS we have a theory about that one.) Music by Bensound.com. End credits by Tim Lawton. Stay healthy, dear listeners!
In this month’s episode, Rob and J. are on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic of course–so we recorded this by a socially distant Zoom meeting. Thus we have two signature cocktails: a classic Mary Pickford for Rob, inspired by the Throwback feature and made with homemade grenadine, and J. created a “Social Distance” cocktail, a modified Greyhound. It’s the color issue packed with lots of practical, hands-on tips for fixing up the home you’re now trapped in. We stretch to find anything to hate once past the pink cover (which gets a pass since it’s technically Easter), we love the I Did It! feature since it doesn’t involve building a box, and side with the husband (of course) in a couple’s makeover article. Grab your magazine and follow along–it makes for great listening while you’re sheltering in place! End credits: Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound.com. Signature cocktails: the Mary Pickford and the Greyhound (with extra ingredients).
In our March 2020 episode, we discuss the latest trends in home design. Or the latest popular things that are about to be overexposed. At least the houseplants are paper this time. Another plus: lots of green and nary a pink! Rob invents a Dark & Boochy cocktail inspired by the “give up alcohol” article (as if), and Chef Tim gets sour with the Lemon Tiramisu from the recipe section.
Also: caning, ferns, a Queer Eye-adjacent article, and a kitchen that makes J. proclaim “this is my favorite thing ever in this magazine!” Listen up, trendoids: things are about to get boochy.
Whatever that means. Music: Bensound.com. End credits: Tim Lawton. Recipe tasting: lemon tiramisu. Signature cocktail: Dark and Bootchie (rum and kombucha).
On this month’s episode of Could Be Better, we indulge in some speech therapy practice as J. heads towards recovery from a brain hemorrhage. Can you say “editor’s letter” without blending the sounds together? We warm up with a ginger-liqueur cider but say “tag for hate” on another outdoor entertaining suggestion. We’re in for the chocolate spice cake skewers, though. There’s a lot of food in the February issue but we do have paint can lids in mint green. A less polarizing pastel? We decide. Also: indoor gardening, another white room, and a retro 1950s room straight out of the ’70s. Get your magazine, follow along and practice your speech therapy! Signature cocktail: ginger-pear cider warmer. Music by Bensound.com. Credits by Tim Lawton.
In this episode, we field a few pressing (not really) questions from readers (not really, the editors did that) instead of the usual “New Year, New Me” features. This month we have lots of dark paint colors instead of the usual white, including a purple/blue that Rob tags for love and J. tags for hate. Yet paint can lids are in scarce supply. We range from tips on cleaning (when should I clean?) to tips on landscaping (native plants all the way) but end with a throwback feature that is too retro red for us. Signature cocktail: a Sacred Sipping Chocolate Martini. End credits: Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound.com. What’s your problem?
Cohost J here. `I finally got around to seeing the latest Addams Family movie, because it’s one of my most favorite franchises ever (the first two live action movies from the 90s are in my top 5 list). Imagine my surprise and delight to see that the entire plot of the new The Addams Family movie centers around interior design and one overbearing interior designer/TV hostess! Margaux Needler, voiced by Allison Janney, is the host of Margaux’s Design Intervention, and she wants everything to be the same. In fact she’s trying to sell units in an entire town called Assimilation, New Jersey…except that the Addams clan doesn’t fit in.
She offers Morticia a free home makeover, and–spoiler alert–the house does wind up pink, but its evil spirit winds up shrugging off the Margaux-esque hue pretty quickly, and Morticia stands by her funeral home-Victorian style.
Tag for love on this iconic property hinging entirely on interior design! Can you tell who this villainess reminds us of, in her quest for every home to be the same style?
Since we are days away from a new year, everyone in the design industry is making their predictions for the hot colors of 2020. And these are definitely NOT hot colors, in that once again, for ANOTHER year, we have a lot of pastels and washed-out colors. Case in point, paintmasters Benjamin Moore, who give us not one but TEN pastel shades. Except for Cushing Green and Blue Danube, I for one would be hard pressed to find a spot in my home which would accommodate these colors.
And for the record, First Light is the color of the year, following up on last year’s Coral Reef.
Guess how I feel about this! Haven’t we done this, for, like, five years now? Is there anything new out there? How about a return to Gen X beige for a change?
It’s December once again and we’re in the holiday spirit…and into the holiday spirits with Rob’s family recipe for egg nog. We have a few glasses and dish up our opinions on the latest issue of BH&G. There’s a lot of Christmas and not many of our usual features, like I Did It or paint can lids. Instead we get lots of snow-white rooms warmed by holiday colors, even some non-traditional hues which is nice. Tag for love! Tag for hate on the oversized 5th grade play decorations. Sorry we weren’t into what you wrapped in a bow. Signature cocktail: egg nog. End credits by Tm Lawton. Music by Bensound.com.
This month, we try out the savory stuffed waffle recipe from the August 2019 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and Chef Tim goes for a sweet option too. This month’s signature cocktail is a “Stoned Rita Moreno” – a peach and plum (stone fruit, get it?) frozen margarita. Bonus: we do it shirtless! Listen to the full August 2019 episode on your podcast feed or here for more shirtless silliness! Recipe prep by Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound.com.