Let’s be honest. Most of us have a Love/Hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. Academy Award winning acting. Life in the spotlight. Bougie children’s names. Incredibly fit in her forties. Signature lifestyle brand with the awful name. That whole “conscious uncoupling” thing. It’s often hard to know whether to Tag for Love or Tag for Hate.
Announcing her new offices, Gwyneth stands in front of sleek, blonde-wood bookcases with leaning, lower shelves prefect for highlighting magazines, art, or favorite books. Showcase bookcases in the face of KonMari? Love! The shelves are sparsely filled, prompting her to request recommendations from followers on books on design, food, and corporate culture. Seeking fan input? Love!
That green jumper she’s wearing? Oh my goddesses. HATE!
Round and round it goes. Love? Hate? Love to Hate? Hate to Love? Oh, Gwyneth, you perplex us so. With no end in sight it seems best to just go ahead and employ a Tag for Love/Hate. It’s a mindfully selected compromise focused on equilibrium to reduce stress and help reach optimal wellness. We’re sure it’s What Gwyneth Would Do.
Cohost J. here. It’s Daylight Saving Time Monday here in New York, and it sucks. I feel hung over, even though I didn’t drink last night. It’s a three-coffee kind of day. Yes, yes, all our body clocks and circadian rhythms will adapt and catch up, but here in the worst of it, I can’t help thinking: Why? Why do we continue this pointless exercise?
Turns out, Daylight Saving Time wasn’t really created to help farmers during World War I (or whatever story you were told).
Contrary to popular belief, American farmers did not lobby for daylight saving to have more time to work in the fields; in fact, the agriculture industry was deeply opposed to the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918, as a wartime measure. The sun, not the clock, dictated farmers’ schedules, so daylight saving was very disruptive. Farmers had to wait an extra hour for dew to evaporate to harvest hay, hired hands worked less since they still left at the same time for dinner and cows weren’t ready to be milked an hour earlier to meet shipping schedules. Agrarian interests led the fight for the 1919 repeal of national daylight saving time, which passed after Congress voted to override President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades. (Credit: History.com)
Also, it’s not really an energy-saver, either, as we tend to use more electricity to cool our homes later into the evening, thanks to our manipulation of the sunset time.
Those of us who are parents know that one big reason that DST sucks is that it’s hell on kids’ schedules. Our baby was up until almost 10:00 pm last night and naptime was all out of whack. Yes, he’ll adjust too. But again, why are we doing this?
TBH, the “melting clock” above also gets a Tag For Hate. Dali’s original painting: thumbs up. But this (and its clones in every Spencer Gifts since time immemorial) are completely unoriginal. Please don’t buy this.
Inspired by us*, Better Homes & Gardens recently launched a new DAILY podcast called At Home Daily. Though they put out a few episodes since January, they just announced it on their website.
It’s daily, but only two to three minutes long, and apparently meant to be played as part of your daily smart speaker flash briefing. Topics thus far seem to be on their brand but not exactly ours–grandparents, houseplant care, etc.
Part of the reason we started this podcast was to help build a sense of community around home decor, gardening and entertaining using a digital platform. A year ago, they were behind the times (we think) with a definite lack of media projects–a few videos, some slideshow-based web content, etc. We wanted more than that, so we created it. In the past few months, their website has begun posting a LOT more content (regrettably, lots of content recycled from other brands and sites) and now this. So, visible improvements! Obviously they’re making attempts to win the magazine/platform survival war (watch out, Good Housekeeping).
We’ll be tuning in, of course. We wish them well! Though At Home Daily is a also a podcast, our show is entirely different. We’re the outsiders looking in…the readers. And we’re going to keep on keepin’ it real…but on a monthly basis. Speaking of which, did you check out our latest episode?
*totally unproven statement invented by us.
UPDATE: We’ve listened to a few episodes. Not gonna lie…it’s not good. It’s about as dry and void of color and warmth as Rob’s martinis but 1000% less fun. Actually I take that back that comparison because that’s an insult to martinis.
This is the last and final time we’ll tag Chip and Joanna Gaines’ design aesthetic for hate. It’s not that we hate the Magnolia Home aesthetic completely (though it is a bit white on white on white.) To their credit, they have perfected the intersection of farmhouse chic and industrial modern. It’s a look that works in many home and commercial settings. The problem: it’s the ONLY look they offer and its EVERYWHERE.
There’s no doubt about it, “Fixer Upper” was a monstrous hit for HGTV. For many of us, the show had a fresh appeal at its start. By the end of the season one, it was abundantly clear that the Gaines’ would be serving up the same exact look episode after episode. Can you say “shiplap?” The show went on for 4 more seasons! The monotony of Magnolia Home design and décor was mind-numbing. Moreover, “Fixer Upper” came to epitomize the monotonous offerings on home improvement television networks.
Anyone saddened by the end of “Fixer Upper” doesn’t have to go far to get their fix of Magnolia Home. Product lines can be found at Pier 1, Target, and Home Depot just to name a few retailers. (There’s also their higher-end licensing deals (like Loloi carpets). We don’t begrudge them their success (well, maybe a tiny bit.) It is the ubiquitous nature of their design line that’s ripe for hate. Magnolia Home muted off-white tones, galvanized containers, and “salvaged” accents are seemingly everywhere. (And they themselves are everywhere: even the check-out aisles via People and other celebrity news magazines.)
It begs the question: Does a pervasive design aesthetic stifle creativity and individual expression in our personal design choices?
Not too long ago, folks would say “Your living room looks right out of a catalog.” Now, they can say “Your living room looks right out of Magnolia Home.” We don’t think either is a compliment.
Cohost J. here. BHG reposted an article from Real Simple that quoted a study first published by SousVideGuy.com about kitchen and appliances. There’s lots of interesting data in that study (people love their Big Green Egg grills; some people spend $15 on meat thermometers) but the one fact that got my Andrew Christians in a twist is that Keurig is America’s favorite kitchen brand.
Full disclosure: a brand of my family earned their fortune at Green Mountain Coffee, which owns Keurig. But none of that fortune dripped down to me (get it?) so who cares.
I’m not a fan of Keurig machines and K-Cups. Super-simple to use, but to me they crank out crappy, barely warm coffee and most of the Cups are horrible for the environment. Unless you use the refillable ones, which are of course far less convenient–in which case I’d rather just make a regular pot o’ coffee.
To add insult to injury, kitchen and workplace break room counters across the land sprouted all those cheap, ugly K-Cup holders: the spinning racks, the slide-out drawers…another ugh. I want less clutter in the kitchen, not more thoughtlessly-designed junk.
So keep your non-compostable-packaged dishwater pods to yourself. I’m going to brew some “rocket fuel” as my mother-in-law calls my homebrewed drip coffee.
They’re darlings of the design world, appearing in countless pins, mags, blogs, Insta snaps, and, eventually, compost heaps across the world. The latter because NO ONE CAN GROW THESE. Have you tried? I bet you did, because they were (are?) uber-trendy.