Rule 042 | Growing Up Together Is A Good Thing

It’s the Season Two Finale and The Peppers are a puddle of emotions. Jessie shares a story about her fascination with creative farming, and Gerard insists that getting married early is a good thing. Listen as they recap their most memorable moments of growth, and find out why they're going to miss their Great Love Gang something fierce.

It's time to save-the-date for our next Great Love Getaway! We're heading to Puerto Vallarta in October 2016, and we'd love to have you join us.

You asked for t-shirts and we did our best to deliver some swag... Three cool styles, now available for our gangster buddies UNTIL FRIDAY JUNE 10th!

QUICK BITES:

  • We’re hosting another Getaway in the Fall! Watch the video from our last trip right here, and listen to Episode 35 that we recorded from our Casa at the beach.

  • Great Love Goods are here! Gorgeous letterpress prints and gangster tees are now available… Snag one (or all three!) for yourself, and thank you so much for helping to support the show!

  • Jessie’s upcoming project is called The Perfect Wife, but she wants you to know that there is no such thing. Head over to the site for more info, and stay tuned for a sneak peek very soon.
     

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the first thing people say when they see what you look like in your wedding photos?

  2. Who are the other corn stalks and sweet peas in your field?

  3. Can you think of a defining moment when you've had to choose between growing together and growing apart?

Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

    Rule 041 | Shared Hobbies Lead To Shared Arguments

    The Peppers may share a keen love of personal style, but they still enjoy the chance to kick off their shoes and let loose. Gerard admits that he's starting to feel the Birkenstock-burn, and Jessie is hoping that their summer will be full of bike riding and brunch.

    It's time to save-the-date for our next Great Love Getaway! We're heading to Puerto Vallarta in October 2016, and we'd love to have you join us.

    You asked for t-shirts and we did our best to deliver some swag... Three cool styles, now available for our gangster buddies UNTIL FRIDAY JUNE 10th!

    QUICK BITES:

    • Gerard's current footwear of choice was inspired by everyone's favorite old man from Brooklyn.
    • Jessie publicly declares her newfound love of turtlenecks right here
    • Check out Gerard's Guy Style column if you're looking for some dude-friendly fashion advice.
    • If you're curious about what Jessie does with her wardrobe cast-offs, you can take a peek at her Poshmark closet (and help support our sailing fund at the same time).
    • Gerard has to pick between sailing lessons or new boat shoes, and we bet you can guess what he happens to choose. 
    • Jessie's new podcast project is called The Perfect Wife.me because the perfect wife is not... her. (Duh.) Listen in for interviews with women like Jess Connolly, Erin Loechner, Whitney English + more!
    • The Peppers are hoping to snap more blog photos and write more jokes this summer. 
    • Listen to another convo we had about the challenges of podcasting (and fighting) right from Episode 17 in Season One.
    • Graeme in Seattle was surprised by our blow-up confession from Episode 25. It's sad to say that this was not an isolated incident.
    • The Peppers have tried to link up for a shared project before, but the burned sweet potato fries made the efforts feel futile. (Tune in to Episode 11 for the full story.)

    TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

    1. What is the one trend that you most regret wearing? 
    2. Have you ever felt physically or mentally uncomfortable because of something that you had on?
    3. When it comes to bike rides, are you more motivated by the calorie burn or the chance of a swanky brunch at the end?

    Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

    Rule 040 | Custom Domain Names Make Horrible Baby Gifts

    This episode is a long-awaited answer to the most frequently asked question of our entire podcast... Why the heck don't The Peppers have any kids?! Jessie's little brother stops in as our special guest, and he keeps us both in line as the emotions start to flow.

    Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!
     

    QUICK BITES: 

    • You might remember our special guest from last season when he crashed our closet in NYC, and promptly divulged the story behind one of our dirtiest fights.

    • Jessie tries to be nice when people ask her about having kids, but it’s usually way too tempting to pull out the smart-assery instead.

    • Gerard gets annoyed when people make assumptions about our decision, but Joey reminds us that excitement loves company.

    • The Peppers would have to start sleeping in the same bed again if they had to make room for a nursery.

    • Pre-engagement counseling (yes, that is a thing) was the moment we realized that we saw eye to eye about starting a family.

    • Jessie is worried that her grandmotherly daydreams are never going to happen, but Gerard reassures her that he’ll always be around to pluck her chin hairs.

    • Both sets of our parents have been incredibly understanding about the decision not to have kids, but their own friends have not stopped trying to force the issue.

    • Gerard makes the clear distinction between a decision and a diagnosis.

    • Jessie loses her shit over losing dear friends over such a decisive choice.

    • The Peppers insist that they love hosting families as Casa de Pepper, but parents are better off bringing sippie cups and outlet covers since the baby-proofing has yet to happen.

    • Gerard’s top two celebrity crushes have a baby together, and the wife’s outlook on kids has given Jessie permission to embrace the feeling of a complete family.

    • A shocking admission at the end of the show leaves both Jessie + G with a ton of resolve towards our desire to bless and nurture others.  

     

    LOOKING FOR OTHER WAYS TO MAKE AN IMPACT?

    The Great Love Gang has shared so many wonderful resources with us over in the Facebook group, and we would love to pass along some of the many ways that YOU can make an impact on the lives of children and families who need extra guidance and support:

    • Impacting Hearts - Weekly mentorship for children currently living in a foster home. (Los Angeles / Orange County)
    • Safe Families - Short term foster care and family assistance. (70 US Cities)
    • CASA - An organization that connects volunteers with at-risk youth who need the constant adult presence that many of them lack. (49 US states)
    • Buckner International - Volunteer opportunities for four different types of family ministries. (Texas + Abroad)
    • The Call - Connecting foster care and adoptive families to children in need. (Arkansas)
    • AdoptUS Kids - Raising public awareness and providing resources for both states and families who are hoping to adopt or foster children.
       

    TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

    1. What is your opinion on how much or how little some parents share of their kids online?
       
    2. Regardless of whether or not you are a parent now, can you remember visualizing yourself as a mom or dad when you were little?
       
    3. Have you ever lost a friend because of the addition of kids? (Either yours or theirs.) How did this happen and how did it make you feel?

    We're celebrating the official start of summer AND the end of Season Two at our finale party on May 29th!  

    Find out how to join us right here and we would LOVE to see you then. 

    Rule 039.5 | Talking About Sex Makes It Even Better (Part II)

    Part II of the sex series on Marriage is Funny! Gerard and Jessie share their thoughts on important things like abstinence, foreplay, and experimenting in the bedroom. The Peppers are joined by expert Kate McCombs, and her wisdom continues to inspire the Great Love Gang to be more intentional toward intimacy. (Be sure to listen to Episode 39 for Part I with Kate!)

    Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

    QUICK BITES:

    • Q1: My husband says he isn’t a kissing guy, but I need foreplay in order to have sex. How can I fulfill his needs without making him do something that he doesn’t want to do?

    • Cooking is like sex. Creativity and variety are two ways to be very good at it.

    • AASECT.org is a great resource for finding a sex therapist that you can visit with your partner.

    • Jessie’s adventures in finding a counselor continue to be entertaining. (You may notice that Ep 9 in Season One is starting to sound familiar.)

    • Q2: How can we build up more courage in the bedroom? Is there an easy way to tell my partner I think they are boring in bed?

    • Creating a “sex lab” could be the best way to start experimenting in the bedroom... Check out Kate's article about how to set the mood in your own home.

    • Q3: Is there a right way or a wrong way to suggest the use of toys and tools?

    • Never break the laws of bad sexual etiquette... The pleasure of your partner matters just as much as your own.

    • Gerard and Jessie were sure to park in the back when they drove to the sex shop in Episode 20.

    • Q4: What do I do when my husband wants it and I don’t? Is faking it ok?

    • It’s important to tell our partners exactly when and how they’ve blessed us in order to build up their "cushion" when times are good.

    • Q5: How can I initiate sex when I know my partner doesn’t feel like it?

    • Kate explains the difference between justification vs clarification when it comes to turning down your partner when they’re making a move.

    TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

    1. What is the most surprising thing that your partner has ever done in bed?
    2. When was the last time you talked to your partner about sex? When was the last time you talked to someone besides your partner about sex?
    3. What was the most intimate moment that you had with your partner this week?

    We're celebrating the official start of summer AND the end of Season Two at our finale party on May 29th!  

    Find out how to join us right here and we would LOVE to see you then. 

      Rule 039 | When In Doubt, Just Ask A Sexpert (Part I)

      This week, Jessie and Gerard are chatting with Sex & Relationships Expert, Kate McCombs. They excitedly pepper her with a handful of questions submitted by the Great Love Gang, but you'll also hear a tiny bit about their own intimacy adventures as well. (If you enjoy this conversation, be sure to subscribe to Marriage is Funny on your favorite podcast player, and listen in for Part II that will go live on Friday!)

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      QUICK BITES:

      • You guys blew us away with your 70+ responses to our sex survey! Missed the chance to weigh in? Feel free to share your thoughts right here and we’ll do it again if there’s enough interest.
         
      • The Peppers are currently sleeping in separate beds, and Kate confirms that there’s nothing wrong with a good night’s rest.
         
      • Q1: How can a couple make time for sex when they both want it, but one (or both) partners feel tired or blah?
         
      • Kate (figuratively) drops the mic with a helpful tip about reframing the way you set up a sex date.
         
      • Gerard blurts out his own secret idea for how he setting the scene in order to get busy.
         
      • Q2: How can someone overcome the challenge of painful sex?
         
      • The best lube is made from Good Clean Love. (And that's probably the only thing about us that you’ve never wanted to know.)
         
      • Finding the right Dr. or physical therapist should be the first step towards treating painful sex… Check the National Vulvodynia Association to find a practitioner near you.
         
      • Q3: I like making love, but can rarely get myself to make the first move. How am I supposed to initiate sex when I never feel horny?
         
      • The book Come As You Are by Emily Nagaski is next up on The Peppers “to read” list.
         
      • Q4: I’m anxious about having sex, and we hardly do it anymore. How can I get back to actually craving physical intimacy with my husband (as much as I used to)?
         
      • Q5: How does hormonal birth control have an impact on a women’s libido?
         
      • Q6: What are some ways to try and reverse a low libido?
         
      • Q7: Is there any way to intensify a man’s orgasm?
         
      • Q8: How can my partner and I climax at the same time?
         
      • Kate confirms that eight out of every 10 women need clitoral stimulation in order to achieve an orgasm.
         
      • Jessie and Gerard read YOUR sex-related wish-list in a rapid fire succession.
         
      • In many cases, having a conversation about what you want out of sex can actually feel more intimate than actually having sex.
         
      • Q9: What are some ways we bring up sex with our partner without making things awkward.
         
      • Start small and share things that give you some context for your chats! Kate's website is a great resource and we love her rundown of how to add more empathy to your everyday. 

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Name one thing that tends to "press down on the brakes" of your sexual desire.
      2. What is your favorite (most optimal) time of the day to have sex?
      3. Describe your experience of sex-education (either at home or school) from when you were young.

      We're celebrating the official start of summer AND the end of Season Two at our finale party on May 29th!  

      Find out how to join us right here and we would LOVE to see you then. 

      Rule 038 | Proper Hand-Holding Takes Years Of Practice

      Gerard divulges the back story behind his drinking habit, while the duo invites you to join them in making their signature drink, a Pepper Margarita. Jessie craves a certain kind of physical touch... as long as it means her fingers don't go numb.

      Hard to believe we're nearing the end of another season, but that means we're now accepting sponsors for our next round of the show!

      Contact us directly for more info, and be sure to save the date for our finale party on May 29th.
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • We’re almost to 96 ratings on iTunes! Help us pass 100 this week? We'd love to have your support, and you can head over here for instructions on leaving a review.
         
      • The recipe for a Pepper Margarita: Take 2 slices of jalapeno (seeds removed) and muddle in the bottom of a shaker. Add 1.5 oz of tequila, 1 oz of triple sec and 1 oz of lime juice (from a REAL LIME), shake and pour over ice in your favorite glass with a salted rim!
         
      • Just in case you live nearby and want to try the pineapple-infused tequila that Jessie tried recently… Head to Agaves Kitchen in Long Beach!
         
      • Jessie’s narcolepsy might have been contagiously caught from this character back in Season One.
         
      • The Peppers may have met at a school with strict rules, but that hasn't stopped them from embracing the joy of a nice glass of tequila. 
         
      • Share a virtual drink with The Gang on Cinco de Mayo! Make yourself a Pepper Marg, snap a pic and share with us on social media using the hashtag #GreatLoveGang.
         
      • Jessie admits that she loves holding hands, but Gerard hasn't always believed in the importance of using the right technique.

       

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Who are your top three favorite people to share a cocktail with?
      2. What version of physical touch makes you feel most connected to your partner?
      3. Do public displays of affection make you feel uncomfortable or incredibly loved?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 037 | Avoid Conflict By Color Coding Your Calendars

      Gerard is stressed about his always-crammed calendar, but still wants to find the time for sailing lessons this summer. Jessie learns that there are many effective systems for keeping a tight schedule, and decides to accept the reality of having an optimistic husband.

      Hard to believe we're nearing the end of another season, but that means we're now accepting sponsors for our next round of the show!

      Contact us directly for more info, and be sure to save the date for our finale party on May 29th.
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Follow along with our Las Vegas antics on snapchat by finding Jessie at the username styleandpepper.

      • Submit your sex-questions now! Send them in through the contact form on our page, OR leave an anonymous comment on the show notes page for this episode at meetthepeppers.com.

      • Gerard’s schedule is snowballing and he feels stressed by too much “stuff” on the agenda... The Peppers decide to create a system for staying on the same page with their calendars.

      • Optimism vs. realism when it comes to time management -- Which one wins?

      • The big reveal of Brea Olinda’s Mr. + Mrs. Most Optimistic!

      • Jessie makes a case for building their schedules based on order of priority, while Gerard claims that the podcast feels a little like an albatross hanging around his neck.

      • The Peppers play a game of roulette with obscure references.

      • Jessie is skeptical about taking sailing lessons this summer… She doesn’t want to squelch a dream, but the cost, timing and lack of dock-space seem like pretty big challenges.

      • Gerard wants to become Master Sailors together as their next shared project. Jessie is on-board as long as she gets to dress up like Gilligan's Mary Ann in order to play the part.

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Ask your partner what is currently stressing them out...
         
      2. When was the last time you got so nervous that it made your pits sweat?
         
      3. What are the big rocks, gravel, and grains of sand in your bucket?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 036 | The Lifespan Of A Mattress Is Only Eight Years

      Jessie wants to experiment with sleeping in other beds, but Gerard cares more about earning reward points while doing it. The Peppers commit to filling their year with travel, and they both decide to be more intentional about tucking each other in at night.

      Hard to believe we're nearing the end of another season, but that means we're now accepting sponsors for Season Three of the show!

      Contact us directly for more info, and be sure to save the date for our finale party on May 29th.
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Sharing so many of our favorite things this week, but no money has exchanged hands in the making of this episode.
         
      • Listen to Episodes 23 + 27 to catch up on Gerard’s crazy work schedule and frequent travel situation.
         
      • Jessie admits that there are many benefits to having the whole house to herself.
         
      • We’re still on a mission to get Lester Holt and his wife Carol on an episode of Marriage is Funny... Send him a tweet and let's swarm him with some social media love!
         
      • Jessie’s mornings begin with her fancy french press and a simpler version of this Rocket Fuel Latte.
         
      • Check out The Points Guy and find out how to earn a Southwest Companion Pass for free.
         
      • No cross-county tour for us this summer, but we ARE excited to pop around to a few of our favorite US cities! We want to hang out with you, so let us know if you'd like to host a little shindig.
         
      • Gerard packs his "whole shebang" in his killer travel set from Vessel.
         
      • No one is surprised that Jessie’s meticulous systems apply to her travel snacks as much as her regular eating schedule.
         
      • Tree-huggers will love the Make A Green Choice plan from all Starwood Hotels.
         
      • The conversation about separate beds is sure to ruffle a lot of feathers, but one thing we know for sure is that flipping over in a squishy bed is very inefficient.
         

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. If you could fly with your partner to any place in the world for free, where would it be?
         
      2. Do you know any other couples who sleep in separate beds? Have you ever considered it?
         
      3. How do you usually pass the time on an airplane?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 035 | Too Much Twerking May Get You Into Trouble

      We're back and the Great Love Getaway was a huge success! Listen in for the highlights of our trip: Bear-hugging, fire-dancing, pants-splitting, guacamole-eating, tequila-drinking, pool-dipping... The list goes on and we're already getting excited for next time. In this week's discussion, The Peppers talk about why it's important to daydream together, and they come up with a list of the things that you shouldn't do when looking for another duo to be your marriage mentors.

      Hard to believe we're nearing the end of another season, but that means we're now accepting sponsors for Season Three of the show!

      Contact us directly for more info, and be sure to save the date for our finale party on May 29th.

       

      QUICK BITES:

      • The GLG guests give a recap of the best moments in their own words.
         
      • Watch the full video by Kelly Dlux to pretend like you were there, and start getting excited to join us for the next trip.
         
      • Taking our guests along with us for a dreamlining exercise... Courtesy of Tim Ferris and his book, The 4-Hour Work Week.
         
      • Gerard sets out to start working on his fitness, but Jessie thought he might have been polishing his comedy craft instead. See his inspiration photo here:
      • Becoming conversational in Spanish is still on our minds from Episode 18.
         
      • Jessie is dreaming about having a vegetable garden, becoming the author of a published book, and hosting another Great Love Getaway in the fall... Lofty goals, but it feels good to get them off her chest.
         
      • Being a full-time podcaster might feel daunting, but Gerard encourages Jessie to go for it anyway. You can get a teeny-tiny sneak peek at her upcoming project right here.
         
      • The Peppers are already excited to plan another GLG, and the only problem now will be reigning in the vision.
         
      • “Marriage isn’t something that should be done in isolation. If having us share our stories can give other people comfort or encouragement or a jumping off point for their own relationships, then that’s wonderful -- and this getaway is the in-person version of that.” -G
         
      • Marriage mentors can certainly be a blessing, but digging into life with a strong community of married couples can be just as life-giving.
         
      • Jessie shares three things NOT to do when looking for marriage mentors.
         
      • The differences in diverse relationships create so many wonderful opportunities for learning from each other.
         
      • You may remember Tim + Mimi Keel from Episode 8... We're lucky enough to call them friends, and they've inspired and encouraged us ever since our years at Jacob’s Well.
         
      • The Peppers feel so grateful for their community that has grown since they first got married, but being blessed means that they want to turn around and pour themselves out into other married couples.

       

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. If it really came down to it, would you rather have a six-pack of abs or a six-pack of beer?
         
      2. What is one splurge-y thing that you could daydreaming about having in the next six months?
         
      3. Can you think of one couple you know that might be blessed by spending some quality time with you and your partner?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 034 | Come Up With A Code Word To Avoid Conflict

      An accidental-repeat topic that you won’t want to miss. Gerard claims he has an urgent issue with his in-laws, and Jessie is hoping to protect both Peppers from getting badly burned on the Great Love Getaway in Mexico this week. Catch snippets from our trip on social media: we're @styleandpepper on snapchat/insta and @meetthepeppers on twitter.

      Hard to believe we're nearing the end of another season, but that means we're now accepting sponsors for Season Three of the show!

      Contact us directly for more info, and be sure to save the date for our finale party on May 29th.

       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Gerard compares Jessie’s proficiency for packing to the athleticism of an olympic athlete. Flattering, but highly inaccurate.
         
      • We do our packing much like we do our laundry... As far away from each other as humanly possible.
         
      • Jessie is fanatical about sunscreen application. She has favorites for both face and body, and even uses one that comes infused with bug spray.
         
      • Gerard denies that he has rules for his approach to sun exposure, but Jessie points out that history says otherwise.
         
      • The Peppers find out that taking care of yourself applies to both skincare AND fast food.
         
      • Gerard tries to uncover why he sometimes acts rude when they visit Jessie’s parents.
         
      • A snippy comment after a rough day can end up being the straw that breaks the wifey’s back.
         
      • Hilarious brothers are sometimes a blessing in disguise. We’ll prove it by pointing you toward the episode with little bro Joey from last season.
         
      • The Peppers tend to revert to their childlike selves whenever they visit their families. The Mom’s love to dote, but Jessie insists on pitching in. (And ruining Gerard’s vacations at the same time.)
         
      • Come up with a code-word to avoid conflict, and remember that co-piloting a situation is always the best plan.
         

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

      1. When you’re taking a trip together, do you pack separately or in the same suitcase? How did this approach come about?
         
      2. Have you ever gotten so sunburned that it actually made you sick?
         
      3. What is one self-care habit that you wish your partner would be better at?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 033 | Never Forget That You're On The Same Team

      The Peppers get real about their vows and open up about the challenge of living with chronic pain. Jessie woos Gerard with some baked salmon and a basketball game, but when the going gets tough he throws her under the team bus.

      If you happen to have a friend who experiences or is married to someone who has chronic health issues, would you please consider sharing this episode with them?

      We're happy to pour out our hearts as a way to encourage others, and we would love your help in making sure that this show reaches exactly the right ears. 
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • A General Note: Our marriage isn’t perfect, but our commitment is real. Hear the full run-down in the first few minutes of this week’s show.
         
      • Jessie didn’t get invited to fill our a March Madness bracket this year, and the KU Jayhawks will probably win because of it.
         
      • Becky Murphy Simpson should win an ESPY for her clever YAY SPORTS t-shirt.
         
      • The Sweet Sixteen tournament has nothing to do with the MTV show of the  same name. (Most wives would be way more excited about watching big games if there were fireworks and fancy dresses involved.)
         
      • The Peppers very first Valentine’s Day together set a precedent for our sports watching habits, and now you’ll hear why Gerard has been trying to make up for it ever since.
         
      • Jessie pulls a "Barney Stinson" by wooing Gerard with a home-cooked meal and a half-time make-out session.
         
      • His and hers henleys… Are these still a thing? We should make these a thing.
         
      • The Jayhawks mascot is NOT the same thing as Foghorn Leghorn from Looney Tunes. The Peppers send many apologies to all of our fellow Rock Chalk fans.
         
      • Jessie tries to explain that there is a distinct difference between “not loving a sport” and “hating a sport.”Gerard throws Jessie under the bus when it comes to whether or not she really loves the teams that have his heart.
         
      • Twitter makes it a lot easier to keep up with the commentary, but nothing beats plopping down in a recliner to enjoy your favorite teams. Bonus points if you bust out the killer bean dip.
         
      • Do they still make TVs with picture in picture? We will check into this and report back. (Thank goodness for the ability to watch sports on our special “appy-things.”)
         
      • Listening to Science Mike on The Liturgists Podcast gives some helpful perspective on processing thoughts and emotions.
         
      • Jessie dives right in and describes what she calls The Six Layers of Chronic Pain. Her health challenges have been a part of The Peppers relationship for longer than they’ve even been married, and they're still getting used to having it as their fairly unfortunate third-wheel.
         
      • If you haven't met Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live, you're in for a real "treat" and you can thank us later.
         
      • The book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown gives us helpful language around identifying and dealing with our emotions of shame.
         
      • Jessie learns that noticing patterns within her interactions with Gerard can teach her a lot about how to heal the mishaps. (No matter how annoying they may be.)
         
      • We assure you that Jessie has not actually ever received medical treatment from a man standing on a corner, but we cannot make any promises about the future at this point.

         

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Does your spouse have a special interest that you could blow them away by getting excited about?
         
      2. Have you ever pretended to be jazzed about a sporting event in order to impress a date?
         
      3. What brings you the most comfort when you're feeling sick or in physical pain?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and tweet to us at @meetthepeppers if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 032 | Separate Closets Are The Key To A Happy Marriage

      You might already know our guests Damien + Grasie from their pop-culture status, but The Peppers simply know them as a couple of fun friends who are always loaded with laughs. Listen in as Jessie + Gerard chat with them about improv comedy, mischievous cats, and that one time when Damien got mad enough to throw a chair. 

      CONNECT WITH THE DUO ONLINE:

      Find Damien on Twitter / Snapchat / Instagram - @damienfahey
      Find Grasie on Instagram / Snapchat / Twitter - @grasiemercedes
      (+ be sure to check out her style blog for endless amounts of inspiration!)

      Don't Forget: We are headed on vacation together in April and we want YOU to come with us! A group of our fabulous listeners are joining us in Puerto Vallarta next month, and we can already tell that it is going to be EPIC... We have room for just one more couple, so snag your spot and let's hit the beach.

      QUICK BITES: 

      • The fun in the FB group included words from Mark the mailman, a fairy-godcouple that sent us on our flea market date, and FINALLY the recipe for Jessie's eggplant tacos.
         
      • Save the Date for our big party in Long Beach on May 29th! The Peppers will be celebrating the wrap of Season Two, and we can't wait kick off the summer together. 
         
      • Damien tells us what it's like to always and forever be "The MTV Guy." (Among other things!)
         
      • Consider this a friendly reminder that your husband might be funnier on twitter than he is in real life.
         
      • Being coupled-up has given this pair a serious advantage on the comedy stage. (More proof of our theory that things are better when we're together!)
         
      • This duo AND their friend Dave Holmes recommend iOWest for improv classes in LA.
         
      • The Faheys biggest fight involved a chair being thrown. But other than that, they hardly ever argue...
         
      • A neo-neat-freak admits she has a problem, and that is the first step. 
         
      • The secret to a happy marriage is most definitely keeping separate closets.
         
      • The collective form of the word "MY" applies to parents, weddings, bedrooms and favorite pets.
         
      • Cats are nearly impossible to control. Cute as they may be, having one at home is not for the faint of heart.
       
      Dakota The Narcoleptic Cat

      Dakota The Narcoleptic Cat

       
      • The Peppers share about how their first kitten ruined their first Christmas and simultaneously made them an official "dog family."
         
      • Family frames of reference can have a huge impact on marriage roles, and both couples have let strong connections with their parents be a part of their kitchen duties.
         
      • Snapchat Husband Shaming has to be a thing. Is it a thing?
         
      • Art imitates life when Peter + Lois fight for the toaster.

       

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. If you had to choose one, would you be on Team Dog or Team Cat?
         
      2. Have you ever secretly (or not so secretly) re-done a household chore because you didn't like how your partner did it the first time?
         
      3. Can you think of a time when you have ever felt competitive towards your spouse? (Creatively, professionally, playfully, etc.)

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 031 | Strangers Are Just Friends That You Haven't Met Yet

      It’s been a while... but this week The Peppers are sharing a "quickie" listener-Q+A episode, and it's all about how they navigate friendships as a married couple. Tune in to hear them chat about prioritizing time for their favorite pals, and how to avoid an acquaintance that sometimes makes you feel like less than yourself.

      Don't Forget: We are headed on vacation together in April and we want YOU to come with us! Some of our fabulous listeners are joining us in Puerto Vallarta next month, and we can already tell that it is going to be EPIC... There is room for just one more couple, so snag your spot before registration closes on March 20th.
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Take a listen to Episode 18 to hear us share our play-by-play for making friends with strangers.
         
      • There is tons of fun going on with the Great Love Gang in the facebook group... Come hang out over there!
         
      • We had a blast with The Dluxes last weekend, and it made us SO excited to have them treat our Getaway couples to a complimentary Creative Marriages session in Mexico next month.
         
      • Q1: Do you guys ever have trouble divvying up time between his and her friends? Also, do you feel like you get enough guy-time/girl-time, or do you ever feel guilty needing that?
         
      • Q2: How do you balance time with just the two of us and with other people?
         
      • Q3: How do you deal with your spouse’s friends? Friends from past, new friends, friends you tolerate, friends you love most?
         
      • As promised, here's a link to Jessie’s Pepper Letter about flower + wreaths + faraway friends.
         
      • Anyone up for an in-real-life dinner party? We’re doing some serious daydreaming about this, and will keep you posted as the prepping continues.
         

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. When is the next chance that you and your partner could invite another couple for a double date? 
         
      2. Which of your own friends would your partner choose as their favorite?
         
      3. Have you ever wished you could ask your spouse to stop hanging out with a certain friend?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 030 | Gulping Your Drink Will Get You In Trouble Every Time

      Jessie + Gerard are officially inviting YOU to come on vacation with us in April! We’re taking some listeners to Puerto Vallarta next month, and we can already tell that it is going to be EPIC.

      The Peppers break their own rule from Episode 004 by deciding to air their dirty laundry secrets. When it comes to fighting stains, Gerard is a sneaky son of a bleach, and Jessie turns a little crazy when she hears tiny sounds. The misophonia struggle is real at Casa de Pepper, and this couple learns that desperate times call for desperate drinking measures.

      QUICK BITES:

      • Thank you so much for sharing this show with your friends! We’re hovering amidst the iTunes recommended section for our category, and it’s all because of you.
         
      • Vacation with us in Mexico next month! We have room for two more couples on the Great Love Getaway… Grab your sweetie and come hang out with us in the sun.
         
      • Gerard breaks the rule from Episode 004 and decides to revive the secret deleted content.
         
      • Jessie is a wuss and refuses to use bleach on her clothes.
         
      • You didn’t want the free steak knives from Episode 011 so we didn’t bother asking if you wanted a free microwave too.
         
      • Did you know there are over 300 different colors of white paint? Pretty sure we’ve sampled them all at our local Home Depot.
         
      • Gerard happens to be brilliant at stain removal, but Jessie finally uncovers his ulterior motives (while he figures out a way to expose her torso).
         
      • Jessie is plagued by the hatred of sound -- Otherwise known as Misophonia.
         
      • The Peppers discuss how this sensitivity plays out in their day to day, but are encouraged by the disorder's exposure in a documentary called Quiet Please (and this conversation between the creator and our friend Jessica Mernane).
         
      • Let's all just be thankful that Sadie's puppy-snores do not affect her parents.
         
      • Jessie gives up gum to avoid getting in trouble, and offers to glue Gerard’s feet together to keep him from fidgeting.

       

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Have you or your partner ever ruined a load of the other person's laundry?
         
      2. What is your least favorite sound in the entire world?
         
      3. Which person would be better at picking out the perfect white paint color?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 029 | Salads Aren't Meant To Make You Feel Guilty

      The Peppers are officially inviting YOU to come on vacation with us in April! We’re taking some listeners to Puerto Vallarta next month, and we can already tell that it is going to be EPIC.

      In this week’s episode, Jessie professes her commitment to the grocery store up the street. While she’d rather stroll the aisles than make a trip to the spa, we learn that Gerard definitely prefers the spa, but expects to get his massages from within the comforts of his own home.
       

      QUICK BITES:

      • A Marriage is Funny proposal! What the what?! Help us celebrate with Ashley and her man in the private MIF Facebook group!
         
      • Jessie kicked her commitment issues and joined the frequent shopper club at her fave local grocery store. Listen in for her prioritized list of supermarket criteria, and get her expert instructions for buying the best type of kale. 
         
      • Gerard’s healthy eating goes out the window when Jessie leaves town. How does that saying go? When the wife’s away, the husband eats junk food...
         
      • Jessie would easily drive across town for her favorite fake ice cream. Arctic Zero and a piece of dark chocolate is a nightly ritual at Casa de Pepper.
         
      • Gerard shares a special recipe for something that only HE can create: Guilt Salad. (With extra parmesan and a side of preservatives, please.)
         
      • The last thing Jessie needs before leaving on a trip is another to-do item… As you may have heard in Episode 8, we’re still working on smoothing out our pre-travel send off.
         
      • The Melt Massage courses have significantly upped our back-rubbing game. Now all we need to do is harness a bit of heartfelt motivation.
         
      • Gerard bounces back from a bad massage experience, and now Jessie is stuck bearing the brunt of his trauma.
         
      • Give Jessie a head of cauliflower and a fully stocked pantry, and she'll gladly make you a healthy feast!

       

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. When it comes to grocery stores, are you more of a “wander the aisles” kind of person or do you prefer to make a plan and have your list delivered?
         
      2. What is your favorite way to receive physical connection from your partner?
         
      3. Would you rather have a fully stocked fridge filled with all of your favorite ingredients or a super-luxurious back rub that you never have to reciprocate?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 028 | Magazine Clippings Belong In The Bathroom

      In this episode, The Peppers discuss the merits of being totally fresh faced or having two-week scruff. Jessie reveals her complex system for magazine organization, and they both try to decide if they were conned by the friendliest scam artist ever.

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Good news for our parents…Finally: a clean episode!
         
      • We love hearing about your love and lives over on the private FB group. Share photos, questions, ideas, jokes and have fun getting to know the other couples in our growing fam!
         
      • Gerard needs to start brushing up on his Spanish, because we’re going to Mexico! He might want to start by re-listening to our conversation in Episode 18.
         
      • Travel-fights are NOT happening before the big trip. (We uncover why they happen back in Episode 8.)
         
      • Hair-removal woes are not just for women. Gerard's real question is: To beard, or not to beard?
         
      • Jessie comes from a long line of bad-ass moustaches, and Gerard realizes he may never live up to the hype.
         
      • Back in Episode 16 we talk about why "Lipstick Is The Quickest Way To Keep Away The Kisses"… (This week we learn that a few week’s scruff does the exact same thing.)
         
      • Gerard’s passport photo makes him look like a terrorist.
         
      • Jessie needs a magazine intervention. Do these exist? How do we sign her up?
         
      • Bon Appetit makes things like brussels sprouts and ice cubes feel way more fun.
         
      • The Pepper's Sunday morning routine involves fresh coffee, Meet The Press and the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.
         
      • Sadie’s a superstar! Check out her first HGTV Magazine appearance right here.
         
      • Casa de Pepper is getting a NO SOLICITING sign. Do they make one that says, “Except for Girl Scout Cookies.” in tiny print at the bottom?  
         

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. Do you have strong preferences around your partner’s physical appearance? Does it have anything to do with how they looked when you met?
         
      2. What’s your favorite bathroom reading material?
         
      3. Have you ever bought anything from a door to door salesperson?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 027 | Nosy Neighbors Make The Best Home Alarm Systems

      This week, Gerard violates the first rule of polite company by bringing up politics, and Jessie admits to her recent run-in with the law. The Peppers learn that living in a tight-knit neighborhood has it's pros and cons, and that it's probably time to hide a spare key. 

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

       

      QUICK BITES:

      • Jessie wants to replace Sadie’s collar with something spikier OR get an alarm system to keep the house safe.
      • The Peppers have an enthusiastic block-watcher who is causing over-active imaginations.
      • Gerard calls Jessie out on her TV news obsession, and she realizes that’s what might be causing some of her paranoia.
      • Leaving the house without your wallet means coffee and a protein box for dinner. (Thank goodness for the Starbucks app!)
      • Jessie finally discovers her calling as a professional criminal, but cries in the face of a police officer in order to avoid arrest.
      • When having to choose between rollerblades and an alarm system, the latter seems like a more responsible choice.
      • Voting values can sometimes feel like a divisive split. The Peppers have differing political views, but they still try to treat each other with the utmost respect.
      • Gerard doesn’t always agree with Jessie's electoral choices, but feels strongly about defending her right to make (and keep) a strong decision. 
      • The Peppers LOVE Lester Holt because he loves his wife. Send him a tweet if you’d like to hear him on the show!
      • Jessie will attack you with big hugs and a beverage to avoid letting politics prevent a friendship.
      • Gerard has social media schizophrenia. From facebook to twitter to instagram, it’s all different. (But our podcast listeners get the privilege of knowing the real guy.)
      • Tearing down the humans attached to any campaign is not helpful. Rob Bell says: "In political discourse, vague ominous insults are unhelpful." What is helpful is to say, “What specifically don’t you like about his or her stance on the issues?” Listen to his recent series for heartfelt thoughts on a handful of current policies.

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      1. How often do you watch/read the news? Does it ever affect how safe you feel in your neighborhood?
         
      2. Do you and your partner make voting decisions together? Have you and your spouse ever voted differently? 
         
      3. When was the last time you had to bite your tongue about a hot button issue in order to preserve a social situation?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 026 | Keep Your Marriage Spicy By Heating Up The Kitchen

      Gerard and Jessie are joined by Sonja and Alex Overhiser who share their story of going from a fast-food duo to becoming the bloggers and podcasters behind A Couple Cooks. In this episode, you'll hear us chat about shopping carts full of cereal, adopting a flexitarian eating style, and how to form some serious solidarity around food. 

      Connect with the Overhisers at the following links, and let us know if you have suggestions for a couple you'd like to hear on a future episode of the show!

      Recipes: www.acouplecooks.com 
      Podcast: www.acouplecooks.com/podcast 
      Instagram: @acouplecooks
      Facebook: @acouplecooks
      Twitter: @acouplecooks

      Quick reminder that the registration for our Great Love Getaway opens on Sunday, February 14th! Mark your calendars and sign up to come on vacation with us in April!

       

      Alex's Dinner Party tips from episode 26:

      1. Find a partner! Spouse, friend, sister… Probably not your clumsy little brother, but totally fine in a pinch.

      2. Remember the reason for gathering. Guests aren’t coming to judge, they’re coming to hang out. (Food is important, but quality time comes first.)

      3. No new recipes. Try out the fancy stuff on sweetheart before busting it out to impress guests.

      4. Ingredient check-in. Email guests about their current eating preferences, pick a main dish that you’re excited about and build a hearty list of side dishes from there.

      Sonja's round-up of healthy Comfort Foods: 

      Crispy Baked Fries

      So Cal Pizza

      Healthier Chocolate Milkshake

      Raw Brownies

      Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese

      More quick bites:

      • Getting shamed in the check out line at Trader Joe’s... Is this a thing?
      • Jessie can’t live without this pantry staple, and Gerard freaks out when he finds out that she’s secretly been buying in bulk.
      • Cereal stands in as the "crouton" in this healthy Vegan Kale Ceasar recipe on S+P!
      • Sonja + Jessie geek out over a reality show indulgence, but the inspiration for their kitchen success is much more refined
      • Decoding dietary restrictions for dinner parties is not always easy. Listen in for tips from two couples who are quite familiar with this delicate dance.
      • Alex suggests letting veggies be the star, and Jessie is always getting inspired by the meatless ideas at A Couple Cooks.  
      • Flexitarians need friends too. The Peppers are pleased to know they're not alone when it comes to opinionated eating.
      • Picky partners are pulled apart by pulp preferences.
      • We’re all still figuring out how to navigate eating and cooking choices when our families are regularly confused. (Parents: If you’re listening, we love veggie burgers just a little less than you think.)
      • Jessie spills the beans about loving her greens. (Or anything that grows out of the ground, really.)
      • The Overhisers answer a question sent in by a listener named Jeff. He asked about how to best support his spouse through her healthy eating and weight loss changes.
      • Roasted celery IS delish. Chop coarsely with onion and cauliflower, add turmeric, garlic + salt/pepper. Pop under the broiler for 25 mins. (Add cannelini beans at the end, throw the whole thing onto a bed of fresh greens, toss with balsamic vinegar and you've got Jessie’s favorite weekday lunch!)
      • Turgor Pressure: The pressure of water pushing the plasma membrane against the cell wall of a plant cell. (You might be surprised at which Pepper turns out to be this week's biggest nerd.)
      • Lentils are one of our favorite superfoods! This recipe for Lentil + Artichoke Stew on ACC is a staple at Casa de Pepper. If you’re looking for something that feels a little more splurgey, go for Sonja’s crispy baked french fries without the guilt.
      • Listen in to hear why The Overhisers kicked calorie counting and ignoring the nutrients in order to prioritize a healthy relationship with food.
      • Back in Ep 11, we talk about how much we suck at cooking together, but Sonja + Alex have inspired us to try again! (Will report back on how that goes.)
      • We use a word association game to get to the bottom of why The Overhisers are better together.
      • Sonja grew up training to be a classical musician, and Alex’s creative childhood makes him a little more "freeform" in the kitchen.
      • Great Love looks different for everyone, but our favorite couple that cooks have some pretty beautiful things to say about what it means for them.

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

      • If you could fill an entire Trader Joe’s shopping cart with one item (completely free), what would it be?

      • Have your eating habits changed at all since getting together with your partner? 

      • Which indulgent comfort food needs to be "healthified" next? (Share your answers with Sonja + Jessie in the FB group and we'll try to whip up a recipe for an upcoming episode!)

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

       

      Rule 025 | Valentine's Day Doesn't Owe You Anything

      The Peppers have a unique approach to Valentine's Day that can sometimes feel like a bit of a drag. Find out how we stay connected during a lapse of romance, and listen as we stumble towards a system for divvying up the household chores.

      QUICK BITES:

      • Puerto Vallarta here we come! Start packing your flip flops and get all of the Great Love Getaway details right here. Stay tuned for registration to open on February 14th!
         
      • Each couple that comes with us gets a comp Creative Marriages shoot with our friends Michelle + Kelly -- Come hang out with us and get bear hugged at their launch event on Valentine's Day in Orange County.
         
      • Gerard kicks things off with a very directed question, and Jessie tries to skirt around the answer by picking on his semantics.
         
      • Jessie wants Valentine’s Day to be about celebrating love, not comparing each other to societal norms... No fancy restaurants. No jewelry. (Gerard is elated at the fact that this has now been recorded on tape.)
         
      • Gerard understands there is always room for creativity and growth, and wants to be able to give Jessie something to look forward to. He also wants a backrub, but his fingers will be crossed until then.
         
      • The Peppers realize that the whole point of Valentine’s Day is to feel more connected to the ones that you love... There are endless opportunities to shower your partner with romance, but it doesn't have to stop at special occasions.
         
      • Jessie throws in the towel on dish duty. (After a mere 4 DAYS of giving it her all.) She’s confused about the chores around the house because of Gerard’s change of schedule... except for vacuuming. She’s very clear on who vacuums.
         
      • Gerard engineered a tin can tower that has spurred on some feelings of passive aggressiveness.
         
      • At the root of it, we both prefer deep connections over a dozen roses. (But let’s be honest, Jessie would NEVER turn down her favorite chocolate bar.)

      TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

      • When was the last time you felt romanced by your partner?
         
      • What is your least favorite chore of allllll time? 
         
      • Would you rather celebrate Valentine's Day with a really good back rub or the darkest chocolate that money can buy?

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!

      Rule 024 | Use Caution When Giving Your Real Last Name To Strangers

      MIF Rule 24

      This week, The Peppers are chatting with a dynamic duo that they know you will love! Michelle + Kelly DLux are fellow love enthusiasts, and the husband / wife team behind a new photo series called Creative Marriages

      We are so excited to introduce you to two of our favorite friends, and can't wait to have them share the heart behind their own search for Great Love. In this episode, we talk about taking an intentional approach to a weekly sabbath, what it means to balance social media with being an attentive spouse, and how interracial relationships can be the cause of both blessings and challenges.

      The Peppers AND The Dluxes would LOVE to hang with you over the upcoming weeks, so join us for the Creative Marriages gallery showing on Sunday, February 14th and get excited for the Great Love Getaway coming up in April!

      QUICK BITES:

      • Having an altar-ego keeps things spicy... It can also keep away they identity thieves.
      • In case you’re curious, here is the 90’s throwback coca-cola commercial that inspired Kelly's personal brand.
      • Check out Kelly and some of his hot DJ moves right here.
      • Michelle decides to embrace the Dlux handle after reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
      • Hear the story behind how Gerard and Jessie became The Peppers, and you'll also get some background on Gerard’s corresponding break-down.
      • Kelly + Michelle tell us how the idea for a #DLUXSABBATH came to be... Follow along with the hashtag in order to live vicariously through their weekly adventures!
      • They recently visited the Rancho Bernardo Winery and filled a random Monday with taste-testing and hot tubbing and traipsing around in the rain with friends.
      • Find Michelle on snapchat by searching the username: michellekphoto
      • Find Kelly on Periscope by searching the username: @kelly_dlux
      • Jessie’s snapchat is styleandpepper and our collective Periscope handle is @meetthepeppers!
      • In Episode 9, we talked about our own struggles with social media. (So glad to know we're not alone.)
      • Having an interracial relationship has provided the Dluxes with both challenges and blessings, but their efforts to convey grace (no matter what) is so inspiring!
      • Michelle shares honestly about feeling like her wedding doesn't always match up to what she’s exposed to in her day to day business.
         

      TRIGGER QuestionS:

      • Does your partner have any major fears that you've learned to accept? 
      • How do you and your partner prioritize rest together? What would your own version of a #dluxsabbath look like?
      • Do you believe in the concept of having one singular soul mate on the entire planet?
         
      DLUX2.jpg

      More Dlux Details:

      Kelly is the owner of the DJ/MC company Dlux Entertainment, and is currently pursuing his masters degree in Apologetics at Talbot Seminary. Michelle is a wedding and portrait photographer who you may also recognize as a former Nickelodeon star (on Ned's Declassifed School Survival Guide). They both love exploring Southern CA and volunteering their time on the leadership team at Emmaus Church in Santa Ana. 

      Say hello to Michelle + Kelly on Instagram:

      @creativemarriages
      @michellekimphoto
      @kellydlux
      @dLUXent
      @kelly_dlux
      @streetphotoist
      @roamingnatives
      @broamingnatives

      Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and send us a tweet if you have something to share while you listen!