Love at Work.

By: Jen Shoop

I love the green beans you grew from seed, now on the counter, in those red bowls from your mother,

The field cherries from our garden, too, that have sat uneaten in a neighboring ramekin for two weeks straight,

The ones you told me were a backyard fruit once in vogue, perhaps in the 1800s, as they were easy to grow and harvest, yet we both find them mealy and bland despite repeated attempts at enjoying.

I love the way you echo through my daily chores and counterspaces. Proof that love is a modest thing, never making a fuss about the furnishings. We’re just as likely to find it on the Duplo-strewn floor of the basement, tired parents with children crawling over us, as we are dressed to the nines sitting in a Paris cafe. Love is looking for us everywhere.

There are vining plants on the far side of our home, and I noticed the other day that some of their tentacle-like protrusions have begun to twine themselves into the window screen of our dining room, and you said —

“I’ll have to take care of that,” filing the task away into the invisible expanse of responsibilities you carry out carefully and without complaint or recognition.

None of these quotidian exchanges have ever felt like plain, spoken word to me. You transform them into a kind of recitative — something beautiful and sung.

Love at work again.


*Recitative is “a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms and delivery of ordinary speech. Recitative does not repeat lines as formally composed songs do. It resembles sung ordinary speech more than a formal musical composition.” Source.

+A letter to my husband: Do you remember when we used to take our time?

+The time my husband handed me an envelope containing the world.

+Driving along the Potomac River with my husband.

Shopping Break.

+Love a neutral ballet flat you can wear with everything.

+Last week, I went on a brief getaway with my parents and Mr. Magpie (just the four of us!) and wore one of my favorite Agua Bendita dresses ever while there, which I purchased two or three summers ago. This Tuckernuck dress is SUPER similar in color and silhouette. Just a classic shape to wear in more traditional settings.

+But also — a plug for Agua Bendita. I own three or four of their dresses and they are just spectacularly made — the quality, the silhouettes, the lining, the stitching, the details. They are pricey but worth the expense in my opinion. I wear them season after season. This orange one is currently 50% off and just beyond. This one is also gorgeous for a formal occasion.

+Ordered this two-piece set in olive on the rec of my chic friend Lauren!

+These jeans are in my cart.

+These Dansk pitchers were just restocked in limited edition colors. This pitcher was introduced in 1955 (originals are apparently highly sought-after!) and has been out of production for 50 years! An iconic buy for under $100, and a great gift idea for a design enthusiast. If my SIL didn’t live all the way in Norway, I would buy this for her in a heartbeat — just the kind of thing she’d LOVE. But a pain to travel with… 

+Byredo makes THE best perfumes. I’ve been wearing Mojave Ghost for the past year and I’m still not tired of it. I also love Blanche, especially just out of shower, or when I need a clean/crisp feel for the day for whatever reason. Anyway, they have a great purchasing experience where you get three mini spray bottles in different scents to see what you like. I also love these for travel! I just reordered a set for myself because I’d totally depleted them on recent trips.

+This is my best friend when I am inevitably chilly in my studio during the work day. She’s the ideal desk sweater!

+Gotten so much wear out of my yellow Naghedi this summer, eyeing the olive green for fall.

+The perfect wedding guest heel.

+Wardrobe workhorse. Under $100 and infinitely re-stylable.

+Cire Trudon candles are my favorite splurge candles — the scents are so complex and transportive, and whoever handles their copywriting is a veritable poet. (“Why yes, I do smell spanish moss and mystery!”) Really want to try this grapefruit scent. Feel like it would be a great one for kitchen area! These make spectacular gifts.

+Chic cropped trench — 50% off!

+VC&A-inspired clover bracelet.

+A spectacular LBD.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Previous Article

Next Article