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 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: Walmart

Brace yourselves, people! Rob here and I’m about to through down a Tag for Love for Walmart. You heard me right, a Tag for Love for Walmart. And if this post gets past J’s editing you’ll learn why.

Walmart, my least favorite retailer (for too many reasons to list here, plus this is about love not hate) launched a new video series called “Love is in the Aisle.” The series features couples on a blind date at Walmart . I know what your thinking: “Shitty first date!” and I agree. But the Episode 2 in the series features two gay men on a blind date. Pat and Andy are super cute as they wonder the aisles discussing scented candles, roasting veggies, and body wash. They also cream over Crème Pies. Need I say more?

This episode of “Love is in the Aisles” is so adorable, it almost makes me want to shop at Walmart. Well. Almost. Maybe. At the very least it has made me think a little more openly about Walmart. Respecting the LGBTQ community has never been the retailer’s strong suit. Featuring a gay couple so prominently is a welcome step forward. The video is getting a lot of attention! LGBTQ news site Towleroad reports the spot has bigots’ panties in a great big knot! Tag for Love!

Episodes · recipes · Show News

The November 2018 Episode

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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.

Cranberry pear quince sauce toasts
Here’s J.’s version of the cranberry pear quince sauce…made with guava paste instead of quince paste. He turned it into an appetizer by toasting baguette slices and spreading on a layer of cream cheese and goat cheese.

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J. also tried turning Carla Hall’s roasted vegetables into an appetizer too.

bourbon cocktails and cranberry sauce
Rob’s bourbon orange cran smash cocktails, made with some of Chef Tim’s cranberry sauce (made correctly with quince paste, unlike J’s).

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Chef Tim tried the cover recipe: pumpkin bread trifle.

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Pumpkin bread trifle with bourbon whipped cream. To die for! Tim skipped the pomegranate arils but did make candied pecans.

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Yum.

Episodes · Show News

The October 2018 Episode

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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.

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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.

 

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Episodes · Show News

The September 2018 Episode

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In our September episode, we plant the seeds for fall with a new focus on decor. (Foodies, don’t worry: check out our YouTube channel for our monthly recipe tastings).  Rob mixes up a signature cocktail inspired by this BH&G issue’s global flair (a Chocolate Spice martini) but J’s excited by this month’s Editor’s Letter: cue another dramatic reading!

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In this Stylemaker issue, white walls reign supreme, purple is a neutral, citrine green and peacock blue are “it” shades, kitchens suffer from visual clutter, and there’s nary an “I Did It” nor a craft project in sight. Plus, we throw more shade in Waco’s general direction. Pour yourself a drink, open your magazine and join us for another intimate conversation about design trends (#tagforhate). After all, it’s just decorating. Signature cocktail: Chocolate Spice martini.

Recipes: Oat-Chia Bars, French Chocolate  Mousse. All music: Bensound.com. End credits: Tim Lawton.

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Episodes

The August 2018 Episode

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In our August 2018 episode, the magazine leaves us thirsty (only one beverage recipe, and it’s plain ole iced tea) so Rob creates his own signature cocktail–the Salty Be-otch–inspired by this month’s paint can lid hues. After sampling another array of excellent foods from Chef Tim, J. confesses that he forgot his magazine…and it’s all downhill from there. Before the pitchers of peach-flavored cocktails run out, we discuss hazardous ottomans, outdoor showers, the #partyboard trend that just won’t die, and monstrous ice cream. Plus, J. has a surprise crush on a featured chef. Say goodbye to your summer of regret!

Join us for a salty rimmed drink on our podcast feed or listen right here:

 

Episodes

The July 2018 Episode: Kinky Hoses

Could Be Better July 2018 Episode

It’s the summer/gay pride issue we were all waiting for (and didn’t get in June). We hit record on a 100-degree afternoon as Rob pours us a berry lemonade martini inspired by the “Burger Bash” feature. Tim serves lighter-than-they-look snacks by the pool before we escape the heat to the cool confines of our recording spot. The lemonade has us in high gear before we even get past the Editor’s Letter and we wind up with our naughtiest episode ever! Listener discretion is advised. We get kinky (with garden hoses and duct tape), go gaga for gardeners, do a few dramatic readings (#phrasing), and wind up on ice with the Throwback feature. (We needed to cool down after the tool section gets us all hot and bothered…or maybe it’s the weather.) Along the way, J. reveals a childhood decor trauma and Rob makes a stand for power bottoms everywhere. Don’t keep yourself on edge (or maybe do, if that’s your thing)–listen and subscribe today where you get your podcasts, or visit http://www.couldbebetterpodcast.com. Happy summer for realz!

Videos

Behind-the-Scenes Video: June 2018 Issue

Go behind the scenes with us when we recorded the June 2018 episode. Here, we discuss the South Carolina garage converted to a beach house, as featured in the June 2018 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine (page 60). But who is the unnamed man in the photoshoot? We also discuss a new product for our new as-yet-only-fantasized-about lifestyle brand inspired by Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James line.

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Visit our YouTube channel for more videos and listen to the complete June episode here.

Episodes · Show News

The June 2018 Issue: The Gay Pride Episode

CBB_June18_1200x1200In this episode of Could Be Better, it’s time for Gay Pride Month, but something’s a little amiss. There’s only one rainbow in the whole issue, the recipes feature low-alcohol cocktails, and the Editor’s Letter leaves us filled with regret. We’re determined to make it #werk, however, so we plow on while sipping this month’s signature cocktail, the Tito’s Smash (courtesy of the back cover…we’re making a real difference, girls). We take a trip back to the mid-80’s for color trends, swoon over Reese Witherspoon’s new Draper James line, tour a garden we’ll never have, and choose between summer tablescapes.

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Plus: peach emojis, hookups who linger for the photoshoot, and the long-awaited launch of our lifestyle brand! (It’s OK to launch a brand with no products, right?) Go behind the scenes and check out video of us tasting rose-flavored recipes while on vaca in Provincetown.

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The Tito’s Smash: muddle grapes, serrano pepper, a sugar cube and lime. Add vodka (we doubled it, of course) and orange bitters. Voila. A Tuesday night party!

Music by Bensound. Credits and baking by Tim Lawton. Welcome to your better life and Happy Gay Pride Month!