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It's a fact: Athena Calderone is a curator of all things gorgeous. Her breathtaking home decor, delicious recipes, and eye for style inspired her to create EyeSwoon, a hub for home and food inspiration. Now, It Girl Calderone will be taking us to New York's need-to-know spots and introducing us to the coolest people around.
Two years ago, when Natalie Joos shot me for Tales of Endearment, EyeSwoon was just a mere concept. I was simply playing around on Tumblr, trying to find my voice, and not quite ready to share, when during that shoot at my Amagansett home Natalie gave me a piece of cherished advice — be unique in telling your point of view. Thank you, Natalie!
Natalie’s own brilliant and unique brand Tales of Endearment, an inspiring site about everything from love and vintage fashion to friendship and music, was born out of boredom. Talking about how it came to be she says, “When the crisis hit my casting business, I was left without work for four months. For lack of professional occupations my creative juices started flowing and I decided to do a blog. I wanted to write more — I studied journalism — and I wanted to show other people how much cool vintage I was finding everywhere. The core of my brand is positivity. I love laughs and I try to translate happiness to my pages and in my photos. I don’t take myself too seriously and neither should any fashion person for that matter. Fashion, clothes, getting dressed is fun.” I couldn’t agree more!
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Now that Natalie has invited me into her domain, as I impose my foodie ways on her, it feels like everything has come full circle! The first few times we discussed doing an EyeSwoon "snoop" feature together Natalie said, “but I don’t cook!" Every time I saw her socially I would nudge her on it a little bit, here and there. Recently Natalie shared that she had begun making veggie soups — playing around with pumpkin and squash soups with a variety of red and orange peppers. “I add pepper and salt, some nutmeg and cloves, and sometimes fresh parsley. I only make it in the winter because it’s quite spicy!” In that moment we made a date to swoon together.
So, here’s the thing, when I got to Natalie’s she hadn’t bought any ingredients! So, we trekked to the market in Williamsburg together on a little adventure. As we walked through her neighborhood we discussed her food habits and lack of cooking inspiration. She told me, “I love food and eating well, but when it comes to cooking it myself I’m too impatient. I don’t want to spend time in the kitchen. I love making soups because they are easy, fast, and filling. And, if you make a big pot it lasts for a few days!”
At first, I thought, uh oh, is this what EyeSwoon is about? Quickly I realized how essential it is to get a different point of view from someone whose interests lie elsewhere and may not have the time, or interest, in creating elaborate meals or dreaming about food the way I do. But here’s the thing, Natalie is still creating a meal simply cooked with love in her home! A healthy soup she can eat over the course of a few days, knowing what’s in it, rather than ordering take out food. So indeed, this is a new perspective but still swoon-worthy and inspirational!