In this episode: Deception! Lies! Big baskets! Secrets revealed! But even those might be another deception. As Rob pours Kentucky Derby mint juleps made gayer with lavender and berries, J. digs up memories of a childhood dinner gone horribly wrong. (This is the Food Issue, after all.) We discuss what charities really want (NOT your #KonMari non-joyful items), how no one wants Grandma’s silver trays any more, an instant classic color scheme, and another hot male gardener. (Brace yourselves for that one.) Plus, a house that’s nautical but not, kitchen countertops that Rob and J. both tag for hate, and the best I Did It yet. Signature cocktail: mint julep. Recipe tasting: five flavors of cold-oven chicken. Music by Bensound.com. Please, don’t make your mother cry.
If you listened to our April 2019 episode, you heard us discuss the “New Neutrals” article, about redefining what a neutral color is and how to make any color a neutral (in theory.) That led us to a sidebar conversation that didn’t quite fit into the main episode (hello, tangent!) but did show our more pop culture side. We’ll be back with our May 2019 full-length episode very soon!
And in case you forgot what it looked like:
Shocker: She’s Got A Preference For Pink!
Kids these days… In our April 2019 episode, we become art critics, in that it’s the Art of Color issue and we’re highly critical. How many Tags For Hate can one episode handle? Apparently pink is here to stay (baloney is so on trend right now), beige is back (thank you Gen X), anything can be a neutral, and the most exciting thing about spring is cleaning your toilet. Oh, and the Could Be Better Department of Outdoor Living really needs you to turn in the paperwork attesting that you’ve decorated your deck or patio with an outdoor rug. We also share a few secrets: the recurring nightmare Rob had as a child, J’s middle name, and which featured room is really a sex den. Our takeaway lesson? Take time to smell the irises in the neighbor’s yard. Signature cocktail: Ginger-Rhubarb Raspberry Punch. Chef Tim’s Recipe Tastings: Spiral Ham With Orange and Garlic, Buttered Sweet Pea Rice, and Rhubarb Tart. Music by Bensound.com.
This month we make sure you’re a real trendoid by dissecting our most (and least) favorite so-called trends from BHG’s Trend issue. We’re dubious about ’70’s glam (curate it, please), all-in on mural wallpapers, and totally over a certain color–this time, even the #houseplants get in on the action. Rob is only here for the zoodles, while J. does something unconventional and has to get something off his chest. And which of these trends did we totally call in our January live episode? Remember, we’re not shoving trends down your throat–we’re only gently strongly suggesting them. Signature cocktail: “Matchamacallit” inspired by the matcha-mint “shamrock” shake. Recipe taste testing on our YouTube channel: red lentil soup and hen-of-the-woods tart. Music by Bensound.com.
Welcome to Season Two of Could Be Better! If a certain #1* magazine is still pumpin’ out issues, we’re still pumpin’ out episodes. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Rob brews up a red signature cocktail to get your blood racing: a Mid-Hudson Mule. They do pack a kick, because it takes us about three sips to start talking dirty about the February issue. Though lacy envelopes don’t do it for us, we do fall for a white-on-white room (don’t worry, it’s a guest space so it’s OK), a kitchen makeover, an I Did It feature (at last, hallelujah), and hand pies. Cupid’s arrow misses the mark on windowsill gardening, and one space may send Rob to therapy. Will your favorite looks get a tag for love, or a tag for hate? Listen in and find out! Signature cocktail: Mid-Hudson Mule. Recipe tastings coming soon to our YouTube channel: coconut curry short ribs and hand pies. Music by Bensound.com.
*If you discount two AARP publications, Better Homes & Gardens has the widest subscription base in America. So it’s actually #3 in the US but c’mon…AARP magazines?
To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we recorded our January 2019 episode live at the Crafted Kup Coffeehouse in Poughkeepsie New York! And because we had a captive audience (and a timer!) we touched on a few highlights from the BHG magazine, instead of letting ourselves ramble for hours. Guests got to see the pages with us in a slideshow–which you can also check out below! We also asked for listener submissions for what we called the “You Did It!” section. To wrap up, we discussed a few design trends for 2019 and the Colors Of The Year. With lots of audience participation, you’ll be able to hear which trends are in–and which ones are over before they begin.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support us, and for listening all year long. Special thanks to Tanner and everyone at The Crafted Kup, Adam and Ryan from Dead Radio Podcast, Amy Dittmar for cupcake creations inspired by the magazine, Chef Tim Lawton for party foods (also pulled from the January issue of course), Joe C. for the “Tag for Hate” shirts, Joe W. for keeping time. Recipes: Spicy Beef Sloppy Joes, partyboards. Signature cocktail: spiced pear prosecco cocktails. Music by Bensound.com. Subscribe and listen for Season 2 wherever you get your podcasts!
Happy holidays, bitches! Here’s our gift to you, a special bonus episode to tide you over while we take a little Christmas break (there’s a lot of eggnog and pom-ginger shandies to drink). We’re also putting this out there because we won’t have a new episode later this month since we’re talking about the January issue (which already arrived in our mailboxes) during our LIVE episode taping on January 18th.
In this bonus ep, we un-sidebar the Editor’s Letter sidebar from the December issue, which we also sidebarred from our main monthly episode too. Then we discuss two big ways to make your Christmas decorations more personal and #moremeaningful. Both involve a little crafting, so be warned!
As promised, here’s a pic of the grapevine wreath J. made with greens from his family’s Thanksgiving centerpieces, plus juniper cuttings from the yard. Seeded eucalyptus and asymmetry are very in this year! True story: J did receive help from a totally frazzled AC Moore employee who was the only one working the sales floor. Despite the crazy happening that store, she walked J. over to the grapevine wreath aisle (which was the only one J. didn’t walk down in his solo search). Another bonus for this project: remove the greens when the holidays are over and use the grapevine form to dress up the door for other seasons!
Oh, the irony! We’ve been looking forward to the December issue all year, and then when it arrives (super-late, for Rob) we get…more pink. Can we please declare a new It color for 2019? J. and Rob unwrap a holiday surprise when Santa reveals the hottest seasonal decorating trend: not using red and green. Stuff your stockings with thumbprint cookies, pom-poms, pom-ginger cocktails, water bottles (sooo romantic!) and clothespin dolls–if you’re lucky to get them at the craft swap party. J. shares another childhood trauma (it involves glitter) and Rob gets a little tearful (with laughter). Yet in the end, the guys make peace with this season of giving–10,000 spoons and butt butter for everyone!
Look for this month’s recipe tastings on YouTube! For December, Chef Tim made the ginger shrimp sheet pan meal and the thumbprint cookies. Signature cocktail: Pom-Ginger Shandy. Recipe tasting prep and end credits: Tim Lawton. Theme music: Bensound.com. End credits music by Lenny B and Madison Park. Merry Christmas, y’all!
In our November 2018 episode, we switch things up and hang out at J’s house, where green is a neutral. We tried hard but we could not find many tags for hate in this issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine! Maybe it’s because we both love Thanksgiving so much. Maybe it’s because the issue was mostly about the food (though we did do a fun recipe tasting at J’s house–watch it soon on this site)! Never fear, we managed to find plenty to talk about: more white walls and big art, pumpkins of all sizes and shapes (#phrasing), trends we actually like for once, and dramatic facelifts (the furniture kind, not ours). But how will Rob, aka Mr. Tablescape, react to the big tablescaping how-to feature? Make sure to listen all the way through for a special announcement about our first-ever LIVE event! Signature cocktail: a bourbon orange-cran smash. Recipe prep by Chef Tim Lawton and J. Dewey. Music by Bensound.com.
J. also tried turning Carla Hall’s roasted vegetables into an appetizer too.
Chef Tim tried the cover recipe: pumpkin bread trifle.
In the October 2018 episode of Could Be Better, we try to be a little nicer, a little more helpful, and a little less judgy. But that’s no fun so we quickly devolve to our usual cocktail-fueled opinions. Though the cover of this month’s Better Homes and Gardens mag has us hopeful for autumn color–and the Halloween features are on point–our time machine has us trapped in the horrors of 1970’s design. Dark colors, spider-thin staircase railings, and ghostly-white walls play up the witchy vibes, but Rob never gets any trick-or-treaters so it’s all lost on him. J. admires another big wallpaper pattern (shocker) but can’t get past all the pom-poms. But hey, it’s just decor. Why not embrace imperfection, warts and all? Signature cocktail: The Pum-mosa, made with cava and Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial.
Food prep by Tim Lawton. Check out videos of our recipe tastings on our YouTube channel. Camerawork by Michael Hall. Music by Bensound.com. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Could Be Better Podcast.