Episodes

The August 2020 Episode

It’s August 2020 and we’re back with another fact-filled episode of Could Be Better! Do you know what the watermelon emoji means? Do you know what color makes Rob go ga-ga for paint can lids? Can you guess what culinary tip J. has been keeping from Rob for years? What is the kids’ favorite song and parents’ least-favorite song? Find out the answers to all of these puzzlers in our August episode! Plus: more hot male gardeners, pickling with the gays, and defying the architecture of your house in your decor. So pour some big-batch rosemary lemonade (our signature cocktail, spiked of course), grab your magazine and read along with us! Music by Bensound.com and the Zinghoppers.

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The July 2020 Episode, Part Two with Special Guest Paul Trudel-Payne

It’s a summer surprise: not one but TWO episodes of Could Be Better! In Part Two of our July 2020 episode, we talk with award-winning interior designer, real estate expert and podcast host Paul Trudel-Payne. He hosts the awesome In Your Mind podcast, which we’ll be on in a few weeks. We review a section of the July 2020 issue of Better Homes and Gardens with him, talking paint can lids, the color green, Southwestern style, and some budget-friendly home updates. Whether we are into these things or not…well, listen and find out. We also talk about a nonbinary backyard–because gender is over! Make sure to listen to Part One for our full opinion-packed tour through the magazine. Theme music by Bensound.com. Thanks again to Paul for joining us for a fun conversation!

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The July 2020 Episode: Part One

It’s July, it’s summertime, and after months of quarantine/shelter in place/safer at home you deserve a little treat–so we’re bringing you TWO episodes for July. In Part One, we do our usual shtick and go through the magazine offering up our unsolicited opinions (spoiler alert: there are tags for hate and tags for love). In Part Two, hear our conversation with our very first guest, Paul Trudel-Payne, an actual award-winning designer who hosts his own podcast! (We’ll be on a future episode of his show, In Your Mind.) Part One brings us some Independence Day crafts (not doing those, sorry), yet another all-white house, a gorgeous garden that stresses us out, and some Upstate and Chill. (It’s a thing: Google it). Signature cocktail: Cherry Ginger Coolers a la Moscow Mules. Theme and interstitial music by Bensound.com. And make sure to listen to Part Two with our special guest for more shenanigans!

Episodes

The June 2020 Episode

This month is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and it’s “How To Decorate Your Patio” time again! Despite the pandemic and protest marches, we are still here doing what we do: obsessing over a home shelter/food/crafting magazine as if it were the end-all, be-all of American experience. But we know we are not saving the world, and that this is all just design. If it makes you happy–and you are privileged enough to have a home to decorate, more power to you. Unlike the magazine, we are not changing our format, though we lament the replacement of the Throwback with the new Stylemaker back page. We taped this on what came to be known as Blackout Tuesday, and oh! the irony! of a paint can lid section devoted to WHITE paint! More white walls are only slightly offset by a rainbow-hued napkin and painted rock tableau. We puzzle over the plans for a kitchen makeover with both a peninsula and an island, and ponder the implications of building a big black box in your front yard. Happy Pride Month, everyone! Signature cocktails: strawberry mint lemon-orangeade cooler, and a “Lilac’s Lament,” a lilac-infused vodka drink with nectarines. Music by Bensound.com. End credits by Ramon.

J’s signature cocktail, inspired by the strawberry mint lemonade recipe.
Rob’s signature cocktail, a lilac-infused vodka with nectarines and lemons.
Episodes

The May 2020 Episode

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!

J’s classic vodka gimlet with lots of lime. Glass by Shag (Josh Agle).
Episodes

The March 2020 Episode

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.

Lemon tiramisu!

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).

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The February 2020 Episode

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.

Rob in red, J in a CBB shirt, in the green basement “recording studio.”
Episodes · Show News

The January 2020 Episode

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?

Episodes · Show News

The December 2019 Episode

The December 2019 cover, also a throwback.

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.

Boozy egg nog for the win!
Episodes

The August 2019 Episode

We’re in the summer doldrums (but savoring them) so we’re going shirtless for this episode!

Have you ever heard of a shirtless podcast episode? Neither had we.

It’s summer, time to live it up! Why not enjoy a few stone fruit margaritas (inspired by the August issue’s articles on peaches and plums, and how to throw an ice cream social) and hang out half naked with your cohost?

This month, we dive into beekeeping and hot beekeepers (new fetish alert!), why you should invest in your laundry room, and OCD pantry organization. The Color of the Year makes a return after a nine-month hiatus, the Editor’s Letter has us nostalgic for mid-90’s life in Chelsea, and a basement reno leaves us scratching our heads. Plus: we go gaga for a new feature but it’s Tags for Hate on this month’s wallet-busting I Did It. Oh yeah, and it’s the family issue.

A Stoned Rita Moreno: peach and plum puree’ does the cha-cha with the usual margarita ingredients (tequila, triple sec, lime juice) with a pink Himalayan salt rim.
Savory stuffed waffles, layered with basil, tomatoes, bacon and cheddar, topped with red pepper jelly.

This month’s signature cocktail: the Stoned Rita Moreno (aka stone fruit margaritas). Recipe testing: savory stuffed waffles. Recipe prep by Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound. Did we mention we’re shirtless?