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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 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 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 022 | Take Care Of Your Assets In Case You Become A Widow

The Peppers talk about being transparent with their finances and the importance of finding a good butt workout. Jessie tries to trade in her Christmas gift for something with way more wheels, and Gerard finally agrees that it's time to start using a budget. 

QUICK BITES:

  • Listen for a quick recap of our Epiphany Party from last weekend, including a rundown of the neighborhood royalty that showed up with a trio of gifts!
     
  • Anyone else daydreaming of warmer weather or a beachy drink of some sort? Okay, how about both. Get excited for the Great Love Getaway, and join us for a vacation in April!
     
  • The best couples are even better when they get to "do life" in community with other great pairs... Our listeners have helped us to feel less alone and that's one of the many reasons why we're excited to hang out with the MIF community in real life.
     
  • Jessie tries to trade in her tiny Christmas gift by asking Gerard to buy her something different. Rude, yes... But he surprisingly (and graciously) understands.
     
  • Our gift-giving track record with one another is admittedly ROUGH... Bumpier than a mountain bike trail, with a dangerously high injury level. (Ok fine. We’ll quit with the puns.)
     
  • Jessie cries about Gerard finally listening to her Christmas list.
     
  • With the wind in her hair and blades on her feet, Jessie promises she would not need Gerard to be her blading buddy.
     
  • Jessie cries again about Gerard gifting her with “the thought that counts.”
     
  • A HUGE financial confession makes us sound like total idiots. (If you’re an accountant or financial planner, you might want to switch to a different show at this point.)
     
  • Our buddies at Being Boss recently interviewed Mr. Jesse Mecham and Ms. Jessie Pepper is intrigued by the YNAB software.
     
  • Gerard relies on his “Perceiver” tendencies to make sure we don’t overspend. Jessie prefers to stash her cash for a rainy day, and says that saving up makes spontaneous splurges feel extra fun.
     
  • Kelly Clarkson was not on Gerard's radar in the early-Oughts, but Jessie auto-tunes some sense back into him. Thank goodness.

This episode was a doozy, but we're pumped to invite you to join us on the Great Love Getaway! SAVE THE DATE for April 7-10 of 2016, and start saving your pennies for the best vacation you’ve taken in a while. ;) 
 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  • Who are some of the married couples that make you and your partner feel better together?
     
  • Which makes you feel more loved by your partner:  When they give you a gift you really want OR shower you with quality time?
     
  • Most relationships have one spouse who carries more responsibility with the finances… Did your person take the role in an unspoken way or was it something that you officially decided on together?

Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and keep in touch by joining us in the private Facebook group!

Rule 021 | You Don't Need An Excuse To Throw A Big Party

Rule 21 Party Time.jpg

We're back and we missed you guys more than you know! It's finally time for Season Two, and there are a lot of reasons to party so we're diving right in.

Be sure to listen for our very special guests, and we're sending big bear hugs to the dear friends who are helping us celebrate this week:

QUICK BITES:

  • Would you ever have guessed the most requested topic of all time? Jessie spills the beans and then promises to talk about kiddos in the near future.
     
  • Our Great Love Getaway is coming in Spring 2016! Sign up at meetthepeppers.com to be the first to know about dates and details.
     
  • We finally found a place to live and are loving our little bungalow in Long Beach (especially because the owner has turned out to be our fairy landlordmother). Back in Episode #5, we talk about how it never hurts to ask for a price cut, and recently had a big win by following one of our own rules.
     
  • Gerard has started traveling a lot more with his new job, and Jessie is getting used to being home alone with nothing but reality TV and a queen-size bed to keep her company. #heavenonearth
     
  • Our trip to Guatemala with Unbound.org was a huge blessing, but Jessie’s animal-arch-nemesis kept crawling right up and creeping her out.
     
  • Gerard brags on Jessie for finishing her first triathlon, and then calls her out for waiting to learn her road bike until the last minute.
     
  • Sadie gets major surgery and we end up learning what it’s (probably) like to take care of a drunken toddler.
     
  • Gerard admits to getting 7 bottles of fancy liquor in his Christmas stocking. (Thanks, Santa!)
     
  • Hosting big parties make the Peppers happy, so we use Epiphany as an excuse to throw the biggest bash of the year.
     
  • Gerard is obsessed with ambiance and has learned everything he knows from party expert (and comedian) Todd Glass.
     
  • More backstory (and unexpected challenges) from the wacky costume party that we talked about in Episode 20.
     
  • Jessie’s friend Erin created a helpful guide to use as the day-of timeline for a big party
     
  • Gerard shares the traditional meaning behind why we celebrate the ancient holiday of Epiphany. Prepare yourself for a little preaching.
     
  • Our special guests weigh in on the following prompts:
    • What does Great Love look like within your own marriage?
    • What is it about your partner that makes you better together?
    • What makes up the right mix for your own marriage recipe?

 

Trigger Questions:

  • Which is more embarrassing: Accidentally showing up to a dinner party an hour early or an hour late?
     
  • What songs were your favorite additions to the dance jams of 2015?  
     
  • Describe your idea of the perfect "party ambiance"... Do you and your partner have differing views?

 

Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and keep in touch by joining us in the private Facebook group!

Rule 020 | Champagne Bottles Are Always Meant To Be Popped

The Peppers are celebrating their first season finale with a bottle of bubbly and a bungalow full of new friends on the last stop of their tour.

THIS WEEK’S EPISODE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY AIRBNB! JOIN US BY LISTING YOUR OWN SPACE ON THE SITE, AND NEW USERS WILL GET A $25 CREDIT TOWARDS YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE. 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  • What is your all-time favorite beverage to celebrate a special occasion?
  • What is one expectation that you currently have about the upcoming week? How can you communicate that fairly and gently to your partner?
  • If you could pick the theme of our next Valentine's Day progressive dinner party, what would it be? (Submissions welcome.)

Don't forget... Our Season Two premiere will go live on January 6th, but since that feels like EONS away -- We've made it easy to keep in touch in the meantime:

Subscribe to the show ON ITUNES, SIGN UP FOR OUR newsletter AND KEEP IN TOUCH BETWEEN SEASONS BY coming to hang out with us IN THE PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP!

 

Rule 019 | Make Sure Your Bathroom Works Before Hosting Overnight Guests

Gerard + Jessie switch things up this week by inviting another couple to weigh in on the show... Colby + Chelsea are a sweet Southern Californian duo who make it a priority to invite strangers into their home. After a heartfelt chat, The Peppers left feeling like they'd gained two new friends and are now even MORE excited to list their future space on Airbnb.  

"Something that I'm thankful for everyday is that Colby and I share the values of community and a permeable boundary of the definition of family. Opening our home and heart blesses us and challenges us and changes us for the better." - Chelsea L. 

This week’s episode was brought to you by Airbnb! Join us by listing your own space on the site, and new users will get a $25 credit towards your next adventure.

 

QUICK BITES:

  • Huge thanks to the guests who came out to our taping of the Season One finale!
  • Subscribe to the show on iTunes and join the FB group to keep in touch while we're in between seasons.
  • We made it to CA! Still house-hunting, and the adventures in living with Gerard's wonderful parents are going quite well. (Especially since they have a pool.)
  • When experiencing the world together is the basis of a budding relationship, it seems likely that it would continue to pop up as a reoccurring theme... Colby + Chelsea share about the story of how they met, and why it informs their daily choices to love others.
  • Spare rooms go fast when amusement parks are just a stone's throw away and cute kiddos are an absolutely legitimate selling point when you're listing a shared space for rent.
  • Jessie's dream house includes a nice cozy bed for our future guests and turn-down service complete with wine and chocolate. (She also promises not to use the Ninja Blender before 6am. Ok, fine - 7am.)
  • Crazy Statistic: Two-thirds of the international students in the US never get a chance to set foot inside an American home.
  • Gerard's bond with his host family in Guatemala was rooted in their humor and extensive hospitality. (Hear more in Episode 18.)
  • Not surprising that inflatable tubes and pool floating would surprise-and-delight someone visiting from out of the country.
  • Being considerate becomes the norm when you're constantly having to think of the comfort of others.
  • Chelsea drops a knowledge bomb from Brene Brown: "You can choose comfort or you can choose courage, but you can't have them both at the same time." Opening your home might feel like it takes some courage, but as our new friends explain: It can consistently bring benefits that far outweigh the risks.

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  • What is the most embarrassing plumbing issue you've ever encountered while traveling?
  • If you had an entire extra room of the house all to yourself (and could do whatever you wanted), what would you use it for?
  • What are some creative ideas that you could use as ways to make new guests feel welcome in your home?

 

Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, sign up for our mailing list and keep in touch between seasons by joining us in the private Facebook group!