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!
recipes · Show News · Videos

Video: Our August 2019 Recipe Tasting

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.

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?

Tag for Hate

Tag For Hate: Selling Our Youth Back To Us

Sooo…Pottery Barn unveiled its new “Friends” line this week.

And as we’ve discussed, everyone in the 90’s was watching Friends. It’s just what you did on a Thursday night.

Of course, this line of new products (including a Monica-esque apothecary table priced at a whopping $1,099! Seriously, people, have you ever gone to an antique store, or a yard sale?) is mostly powered by the popularity of Friends on Netflix…which is in turn powered by new viewers (aka those Millenials) “finding” the show for the first time.

This is all wrong, on so many levels, IMHO. Reason #1: Despite the fact that Friends had a gay character–Central Perk barista Gunther, who was a secondary character at best–and a transgender character–the show is wildly, datedly homo- and trans-phobic. The running joke of the whole show is that the guys (especially roomies Chandler and Joey) are such good friends–and share a bar of shower soap–that they might be kinda a little gay…and ewww. Let alone the constant “trannie” “jokes” when Chandler’s father is revealed to be transgender.

Reason #2: the whole series was predicated on this set-up, as I said in one of our episodes: “Oh, paleontologist Ross, you nerd. You’re in love with an airhead who can’t hold down a job. Just stop being nerdy and be dumb with the rest of us.” Big Bang Theory this was not (oh wait…actually it is.)

Reason #3: the show, like the proffered pillow and mugs, was super white. There is ONE purple pillow, however.

Reason #4: this product line feeds into the flawed thinking that the 90’s were a simpler, easier time. Before mass shootings and 9/11 and climate change and FOMO, there was this idyllic time when people with no discernible income (except for that paleontology salary) could afford to live in a massive downtown loft without having to worry about how “woke” they are (not) to the plight of other communities. They could enjoy their privilege without any worries at all! The 90’s had their moments (the music! the raves! the fall of the Soviet Union!) but it wasn’t all coffeeshops and spying on neighbors. (Another running joke on the show that is now very, very troubling.)

I can forgive anyone who watched Friends in its original run and enjoyed it. Or still enjoy it for nostalgia’s sake. I’m Tagging for Hate all those who are watching it now and enjoying it without irony, and enjoying its datedness. Go support your local Good Will or similar charity thrift shop and buy an apothecary table from them instead of feeding into this PB cash grab.

For more tirade on Friends (and another 90’s staple I didn’t like, not even at the time) you can go back to our “Sidebar” conversation a few months ago.

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Agreeing With Top Designers

The water is hot and the ‘bags are already in the cup. It’s time to brew some fresh tea–for TRUTH–with the ten designers offering up their take on “what trends need to disappear forever” in this article on Architectural Digest PRO.

Photo: RealtyTimes.com

Cohost J. agrees with these experts on:

  • Macrame’ – I tried it and returned it to the store. Nope!
  • Matchy-matchy furniture
  • Waterfall countertops – everywhere and now overdone
  • Barn doors – waaaay overdone, and as pointed out, they do not provide any sound barrier so do NOT install one as a bathroom door!
  • Accent walls – I’m iffy on this one. They can work, especially if you’re on a budget or in a rental, but a lot of people use them as their decorating default and then stop there.
  • Cute neon signs – ubiquitous on Instagram, but never seen IRL (at least, in the Hudson Valley. So when I do see one it will be super outdated.)
  • Granite countertops – so 2000’s.
  • Mosaic glass backsplashes – so 2000’s Home Depot.

I’m still OK with:

  • Edison light bulbs – cute! but in the right settings
  • I just don’t know what Robert Couturier is getting at by saying: “Contemporary art collections that have been accumulated with ears rather than eyes.”

This is no shock to our listeners, but I would also add in:

  • hanging chairs
  • indoor swings
  • white on white interiors
  • white and rustic wood and more freakin’ white
  • ghost chairs
  • millenial pink anything

But at least a few of these design pros have validated some of our tags for hate!

Show News · Tag For Love

Tag For Love: Being Invited To Be A Panelist

Cohost J. here–we were recently approached to be part of a super cool discussion about podcasting and marketing, organized by Overit Media, (LOVE that name) which is based in Albany. Why they thought we were podcast experts, I don’t know (maybe because of the name of our show? As you loyal listeners know, we are anything but expert and loudly proclaim it all the time)! Unfortunately Rob will be out of town during the event, but I will carry on as a guest panelist.

“Using Podcasting in Marketing: Why, How & What Works” takes place on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at Overit Media, 435 New Scotland Avenue, Albany NY. Here’s the official info:

“One-third of the population reports having listened to a podcast in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. With podcast growth surging in the United States, businesses are turning to the medium to attract new audiences, to engage current ones, and to be the signal that breaks through their daily noise.

With so much attention being given to podcast as a hot new marketing channel – you might have questions.

  • Should your business have a podcast?
  • How do you get started?
  • How do you measure results?
  • How do podcasts fit into a larger marketing strategy?

Attend this free, informative panel with seasoned podcasters to hear about the highs and lows of podcast marketing with actionable tips on how to get started, what works, and why podcasting deserves a spot in your marketing mix.

Speakers:

  • Jeff Ayers, Death Wish Coffee
  • Scott Jarzombek, Albany Public Library
  • Steve King, A Podcast for Creatives
  • J Dewey, Could Be Better

I am very pleased to be a part of this distinguished group. Hopefully I can live up to their expectations.

Free tickets are available via Eventbrite and I’m told it will be livestreamed and available as video afterward. See you there!

Uncategorized

The July 2019 Episode

In our July 2019 episode, we have a summer surprise! Special guest host Bob Brink fills in for Rob while he recuperates from a solstice cold. Bob, who also happens to be J.’s husband, is a fine wine buyer and hospitality expert. He’s also not a regular BHG magazine reader, but you know what, sometimes an honest outside opinion is refreshing…like the Sandy Bottom, a watermelon-flavored signature cocktail. We talk frankly about hot dogs, toppings (of course), where not to put your child during a magazine photo shoot, more white walls, and the biggest light fixture ever featured (size does matter). Plus: a cameo by the Queen of Tennessee and a return to crafting! So Happy Independence Day, safe travels, and let’s just call it what it is, all right?

Our teaser photo on Instagram: who was in the guest host chair?
The Sandy Bottom cocktail, perfect for summer sipping! This rum-based concoction features watermelon water: just puree seedless watermelon with a few cups of water. We left out the bitters in favor of a little triple sec.
Get creative with garnishes.
Episodes

The June 2019 Episode

It’s LGBTQ Pride Month and Rob and J. search desperately for some signs of gay life in this month’s magazine. Though there’s little to be found on the pages, there’s plenty of love at the bottom of their cocktail glasses (thanks to the strawberry basil smash cocktails, lifted from the recipe section). J. explains why this episode was delayed and shares a very painful housing-related memory. Rob gets tongue-tied over a supergay font but otherwise feels kinda “meh,” especially about all the #whiteonwhite neo-bohemian rooms. However, everything turns out all right in the end thanks to a Tea Dance #lewk for the ages.

This month, we also sampled the white bean dip, open-faced crispy fish sandwiches and the Pimm’s ice pops, thanks to Chef Tim.

Theme music by Bensound.com.

Tag For Love

Tag For Love: The Hudson Valley As Design/Decor Magnet

This is not news. Literally because the New York Times has been saying that “{Insert trending Hudson Valley town} is the new Brooklyn/Hamptons” for at least ten years. Hey, they recently tried to make “the Camptons” happen (a portmanteau of “Catskills” and “Hamptons,” for the uninitiated) as a new moniker.

fetch

Then there’s House Beautiful’s plug for Field & Supply in Kingston (is it truly worth traveling across the country for?) and its cute little map showing only Beacon and Kingston (NOT Milton, Rob, sorry to say). Same issue: a tour of Pennyroyal, a Catskills retreat built by the mother of American interior design. And this month, Architectural Digest references the HV (that name’s not happening either, is it?) dour times, and has two huge features about Dutchess County properties (both converted barns, too.) I’ll go back and count to make sure. Yes, a lot of the love gets thrown at uber-trendy Hudson, but there are a lot of gorgeous Insta-worthy homes scattered around horse/wine/apple country.

So what does this all mean?

On one hand, it means nothing–these are the same plaudits (and cries about gentrification and traffic and “citiots”) we’ve always heard. But to be more Tag-For-Love about it: It means we’re still a design destination for those in the know. After all, the robber barons Gilded Age industrialists fled the confines of New York City and headed north to construct their castles and keeps over a hundred years ago.

wilderstein
My favorite historic mansion, Wilderstein (screw you, Vanderbilt Mansion!)

We have cute little shops, architectural classics, charming downtowns, cutting-edge art museums, and enough space to experiment with design styles in spades!

And we’re lucky enough to live right in the thick of it! The Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to live (and visit) because it truly has it all…including major design cred. I’m just glad the design/shelter world is finally giving us the props we deserve. Beverly Hills? Milan? Ibiza? So over. Tastemakers in the know go to the Camptons.