Monthly Archives: March 2014

Valentines for the romantically challenged

Hola Hart Beat. Today I thought I’d share with you a great new podcast that my roommate recently introduced to me. I listen to podcasts all the time (Radiolab is my all time favorite. Ahem, hey Robert Krulwich, why are you such a negative Nancy?) and on and off I’ve been into This American Life.

The podcast that Sam shared with me is called The Poetry Magazine Podcast and is produced by The National Poetry Foundation. The premise behind the show is that editors “go inside the pages of Poetry, talking to poets and critics, debating the issues, and sharing their poem selections with listeners.” It comes out weekly so there’s always something new to hear and after reading a few poems the people on the show discuss what they think the poems mean. The episode that I want to share with you, Hart Beat, is this years Valentine’s Day podcast called “Valentines for the Romantically Challenged.

In this episode there are two love poems under discussion. The first, “Variation on the Word Sleep” by Margaret Atwood, might be one of the most romantic poems I’ve read in a while. And the second, ” ” by Pablo Neruda, is obviously one of my favorites. I especially love the discussion that they have about the different translations of the poem that they come across. Poetry, Spanish translation, and romance all in one podcast?? I think all my dreams have come true.

You can listen to the poems and the podcast by clicking here.

Variation on the Word Sleep
by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver 
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easy as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII
by Pablo Neruda (translated by Mark Eisner)

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

Pillowcases by John Baldessari

Hola Hart Beat. Aren’t these pillowcases great? This spring I decided to give my Brooklyn bedroom a little makeover. I’ve had a lot of the same accessories, bedding and curtains since college and now that I’m 24 I thought it might be a good idea to revamp somethings. I want my room to seem more age appropriate, spring cleaning yo. Since I’m on a budget I’ve been getting most things from BedBath but I found these amazing pillowcases in this week’s New York Times Style Magazine. They are designed by artist John Baldessari and are being released by The Thing Quarterly. I love the photograph and the romantic feeling that it evokes. Since my room is pretty simple I think these would be a great addition. Anyone want to buy me a present?

Girl crush: Courtney Adamo

Oh hello there Hart Beat. As I’m sure many of you dear readers are aware, our girl Joanna posted a great new series on her blog the other day entitled “My beauty uniform.” In her first post of the series Jo (come on girl, we’re friends now) wrote about her friend and “one of the sweetest and most effortlessly beautiful people I’ve ever met,” Courtney Adamo.

Oh Miss Courtney, can I have your life? Can I have it?

I’m sure that Courtney, the founder and co-owner of a baby boutique online aggregator site called Babyccino, is another European form of Joanna Goddard but at this point I don’t care. I am fascinated by her life in London, her four beautiful children, her effortless style, and the work life that she has created for herself.
Oh Courtney, tell me your secrets (and not just about the two hundred dollar face cream you use, I’m on an entry level budget here). Apparently Courtney met her husband while living in San Francisco and then the two of them moved to London for her husbands job. While living in England Mrs. Adamo began a blog with her other mommy friends living around Europe and now that has turned into Babccino.
It’s fine, Hart Beat. We all can’t have our lives together like this. It is fun though to read articles about her life and marvel at her ridiculously clean house (YOU HAVE FOUR CHILDREN). So, on this drab Monday, let’s live vicariously through my newest girl crush.
Article from Design Mom on Courtney’s London house.
Courtney discussing style tricks on Chic Little Baby.
Another article about the beautiful house on My Houzz.
The Adamo family’s favorite vacation place.
This office is so organized. How??
Just some beautiful children playing in a beautiful bedroom.
Photos via the articles listed above.

A great spring health tip

Oh hello, Hart Beat. I’m home this weekend visiting my parents (and their adorable dog) before I start my new job soon. When I got home my mom shared the best health trick with me and I’d thought I would share it with you. This winter my parents have both started drinking a tall glass of water with every meal. I know it sounds pretty dull and intuitive but it’s actually not as natural as it sounds. Everyone knows they’re supposed to get eight glasses of water a day but I often forget to drink while I’m running around the city. Now every time I sit down I’m mindful to drink enough.

The best part? It’s free! Not only does it make eating more enjoyable but I feel like I eat less since my body is also taking in tons of liquid. What do you think, Hart Beat? Want to try incorporating it into your day?

P.S. Another trick of mine is to add cut up lemons and limes to my water and I feel like I’m on vacation all the time. That was a little trick, voila.

MCMC Amara

Hola Hart Beat. Happy first day of spring! Let’s talk about fragrances. Before this fall I had never been a fragrance person, probably because I could never find one that was natural and subtle enough to wear with confidence. This all changed when I was introduced to fellow Greenpoint, Brooklyn resident Anne McClain, the brilliant woman behind MCMC Fragrances.
I’ve been wearing Phoenix religiously (I love the vanilla and cherry blossom combination) and couldn’t be happier. A few days ago I got an email from MCMC revealing that their fan favorite scent AMARA is back for a limited time on their online store. According to Miss. McClaine AMARA is “an ancient Hindi word for roots, Amara draws from the mysterious spiritual nature of Angkor Wat and the amazing sight of trees overtaking ancient temples.” Nice.
The best part about the AMARA fragrance is the story that comes with the fragrance. Read bellow to hear about Anne McClaine’s partnership with the The Humanity Project in the creation if the scent. 
Two years ago I created the Humanity Fragrance with public arts organization Trust Art, a fragrance inspired by a volunteer trip to the Casa de los Angeles in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The idea was to create a fragrance inspired by the feeling of compassion, and see if that sentiment could be carried to the wearer. When Anthropologie approached me about a collaboration, I jumped at the chance to renew the Humanity Fragrance Project with a second edition. Anthropologie was so kindly open to that, and supported me when I embarked on a trip to rural Cambodia, where I volunteered with six friends at the Working for Children Rainbow Orphanage, then visited the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat temples. 

Each fragrance contains a stamped postcard addressed back to the MCMC Fragrances studio, encouraging wearers to tell us about any moments of compassion one may feel while wearing the fragrance. We’ll post the messages here on the blog as they roll in. A portion of the proceeds from the fragrance will go back to the Rainbow Orphanage, to build a new boys dormitory. 
How great is that? So Hart Beat, so fresh. Bellow are some of the best postcards that I found on the blog. I want to buy AMARA just so that I can do this. Anyway, happy spring again, Hart Beat!

Daughter sings a tiny desk concert

Hi. I’ve written so many times to you about one of my favorite bands here on the blog that I hope this isn’t the first time you’re hearing Daughter sing, Hart Beat. I love NPR’s youtube series called Tiny Desk Concerts. I’ve shared a concert by alt-j here before and there are so many more on NPR’s youtube channel. In this video bellow Daughter sings “Youth,” “Landfill,” and “Tomorrow.” I can’t stop listening, Hart Beat.

P.S. Daughter sings “Smother,” “Landfill,” and an amazing cover of “Get Lucky.” 

Happy Friday

Hi Hart Beat, I hope you’re having a wonderful Friday! It’s unfortunately very cold in New York today so I decided to take a leaf out of Tom Haveford’s book and “Treat yo self” today. This afternoon I’m having a lovely lunch date with myself (voila) at Cafe Minerva in the West Village, this afternoon my new roommate (and oldest friend) Samantha and I are going to get our eyebrows done at a place called Boom Boom Brow Bar, and tonight I’m excited to see the newest production of Les Miserables on Broadway with my favorite brother. It’s pretty nice Hart Beat. Come April I’m starting a new job so I’m trying to enjoy all of this time off while I can.

Anyway, I’ve also going to a new yoga studio lately and one of my favorite instructors has a great tradition of reading one Dear Sugar quote to the group at the end of class. I thought you would like it too.

“There’s a line by the Italian writer Carlo Levi that I think is apt here: “The future has an ancient heart.” I love it because it expresses with such grace and economy what is certainly true—that who we become is born of who we most primitively are; that we both know and cannot possibly know what it is we’ve yet to make manifest in our lives. I think it’s a useful sentiment for you to reflect upon now, sweet peas, at this moment when the future likely feels the opposite of ancient, when instead it feels like a Lamborghini that’s pulled up to the curb while every voice around demands you get in and drive.

“You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts.
“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth.
“But that’s all.”
You can read the entire letter and response here. I hope you like the quote and that your Friday goes swimmingly. And PS by the way, The New York Times just published this great article unveiling the true story behind the “First Kiss” video. It’s worth a read.

Spring uniform

I’ve had the pleasure the past couple of weeks speaking with the founder and president of Beiñ, an amazing company that represents small, independent Spanish designers at trade shows and pop-up markets in New York. I love spanish designers and I’m so glad that now there’s a way to find small designers and order them here in the states.

One of the brands currently on Beiñ’s web store is Ecoology. I love their pieces and I can’t wait to order this amazing grey dress to wear all spring and summer long. What do you think, Hart Beat? Doesn’t it look perfect for throwing on and wearing to everything from dates, to business meetings, to dinner with friends?

Oh Barcelona, you’re a beautiful babe.

First kiss

Buenos dias Hart Beat. Have you seen this video? It cropped up on my newsfeed this morning and I knew that I had to share it with you. The short film directed by Tatia Pilieva, called First Kiss, is unbelievably breathtaking to watch. The premise of the video was to have 20 strangers kiss for the first time and the results are beautiful. The video goes along with my idea that no one in New York would be single if people talked to each other on the subway. Happy Tuesday! Now go kiss someone.

P.S. The song from the film is by SOKO and called “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow”