Could Be Better
The August 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 9
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.
The July 2020 Episode: Part Two with Special Guest Paul Trudel-Payne
Season 3, Ep. 8
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 non-binary 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!
The July 2020 Episode: Part One
Season 3, Ep. 7
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 schtick 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!
The June 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 6
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.
The May 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 5
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!
The April 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 4
In this month's episode, Rob and J. are on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic of course--so we recorded this by a socially distant Zoom meeting. Thus we have two signature cocktails: a classic Mary Pickford for Rob, inspired by the Throwback feature, and J. created a "Social Distance" cocktail, a modified Greyhound. It's the color issue packed with lots of practical, hands-on tips for fixing up the home you're now trapped in. We stretch to find anything to hate once past the pink cover (which gets a pass since it's technically Easter), we love the I Did It! feature since it doesn't involve building a box, and side with the husband (of course) in a couple's makeover article. Grab your magazine and follow along--it makes for great listening while you're sheltering in place! End credits: Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound.com. Signature cocktails: the Mary Pickford and the Greyhound (with extra ingredients).
The March 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 3
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 & Bootchie cocktail inspired by the “give up alcohol” article (as if), and Chef Tim gets sour with the Lemon Tiramisu from the recipe section. 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 bootchie. Whatever that means. Music: Bensound.com. End credits: Tim Lawton. Recipe tasting: lemon tiramisu. Signature cocktail: Dark and Bootchie (rum and kombucha).
The February 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 2
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.
The January 2020 Episode
Season 3, Ep. 1
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?