Since last year I started this very unexpected ( especially for me ) obsession with camping, being outdoors and close to nature. I guess that’s what four Chicago winters will do to a person. This trip was just a few weeks ago to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We drove a little over one and a half hours from the city and just like that, no signs of civilization.
Just kidding. In fact, this was a Holiday weekend and somewhat busy. The original plan was to set camp at Starved Rock, but reservations were sold out, so we booked a nearby camp site ( all ahead of time ) and headed to Matthiessen State Parkinstead because I knew they had more waterfalls ( the ones you can swim in) and that’s kind of my thing. I grew up around those.
For food we packed empanadas to go and some other snacks in a backpack. After I took my first dip in the waterfall, we found a big rock where we spread our towels on to dry off and enjoyed a mid-hike snack. Before we knew it, the day was gone and we were exhausted from all the hiking.
For dinner, chicken pot pie from bang bang pie which I didn’t get a picture of because at that point I was more concerned with eating than documenting and also, by dinner time it was pretty dark. Robison snapchatted a photo of me blow drying my hair back at the camp site to all our friends, a scene neither of us will forget and that also is me in-a-nutshell.
ONE I’m not sure if it’s the warm fire or the smell of wood burning but recently, nothing on my list tops sitting by the fire-place with a soft blanked. Problem is, we don’t have one at our place. Now qualifying as a deal breaker before signing our next lease.
TWO Working on lines for me these days require quiet, a cup of hot peppermint tea and paleo cookies.
THREE I’ve been fighting through what felt like the longest cold anyone has had in history. Over a week of bad breathing really knocked this girl down. And guess what? It didn’t feel bad to sleep in a couple of mornings.
RECENTLY : I’ve decided to get out of my comfort zone and go camping with Robinson. Aside from all the stress, constant vulnerability and rejection a life as an actress generate, I lost a dear friend and mentor in a terrible accident this past month. That caused me to wanna reset and re-evaluate my own choices and how I’ve been using my time lately. One of the things she’d always stress when we were together was the importance of seeing the good in things, even when things didn’t seem so good. She’d always tell me that with time, I’d become kinder to myself. But the biggest and most important lessons of them all wasn’t really anything she said. It was what she did, how she did it. Molly was one of the most generous women I’ve met in my entire life. She truly, genuinely cared.
I’ve recently shared the process of getting my new actor headshots and today I’m excited to show the end result. Captured by Gretchen Kelley in studio ( the weather was still a bit too chilly for outdoors ) these are the black and white versions of the final picks between the girls at Simon Casting and my agent.
DEVELOPING a new relationship with food and learning the true value of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. In the last few months Elliott and I have been committed to trying new recipes and ingredients. It’s a huge learning curve but we’re definitely seeing results and feeling good about it.
LOVING the freshness that our newly purchased plants add to the environment. Just gotta remember to water them every other day.
ENJOYING the last breath of winter, but only if it snows. Just like it did last week in Chicago.
This past February I spent a little over two weeks in the most wonderful city in the world, Rio de Janeiro. People often ask me if I miss Brazil and if ever think of going back. The answer is primarily, no. I miss it but not to the point of waiting to make a life for myself there again. With the exception of this place. How could I not? The short two-year period when I harbored a home in Rio were long enough to make me fall in love for life. Over and over again.
One of the infinite reasons why I love this place so much is the local’s dedication to living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and their tireless passion for the place they inhabit. My days would start bright and early with a 7AM work out at the beach, surrounded by the most beautiful landscape you will ever see. There were countless options for healthy, fresh food restaurants to enjoy and even get delivered at your door.