It’s Christmas eve and I’ve been so blessed with family and friends to surround myself with. This year should be extra especial, as I get to have the perfect little Christmas with my US family and later head to Brazil to ring in the new year with my Brazilian family. But what truly made this holiday extra special was a little challenge I’ve decided to participate in this year. I was invited to do an act of kindness.
Elliott and I brainstormed together and came up with an idea to help that would be within our means and at the same time could make a real difference in someone’s life, even if just for a day. I feel a little embarrassed for taking so long to come to the conclusion that such a small gesture could transform my perspective in life as a whole. But I’m glad I eventually got here. It’s so important to sometimes stop what keeps us so busy in everyday life to look around. You’ll find that you’re not alone in any struggle. But you’ll also find that it’s within your power to change your point of view while helping others. That’s what happened to me. Happy Holidays, everyone.
( farmhouse )
GATHERING pine tree branches at my in-laws backyard for our Christmas eve table decor.
DREAMING OF a white Christmas. Just like in Home Alone. Probably not gonna happen considering the amount of snow we already got before Christmas but it doesn’t hurt to hope for one.
SENDING OUT holiday cards has become a serious tradition at the Robinson household. The 2013 version involves lots of snow and a little year review.
TRYING new cookie recipes including melt-in-your-mouth Scottish shortbread and chocolate + doce de leite filling.
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Awhile back, I invited those of you who live near by to come see The Goddess, a play I had been working on. We closed in November and I’ve since been experiencing dressing room withdrawal. We were a very large cast of 17, extremely focused and easy-going group of actors. Goddess was a glamorous period piece, Hollywood in the 50’s fashion. You can probably imagine a lot of our time backstage was consumed by hot-rollers, bold lips, and cat-eyes.
Not the easiest but indeed the most fun. Putting on a show brought us here, but the energy exchanged during the daily get-ready ritual brought us close together, which I’m sure reflected positively in the work as a whole. Of all expectations involved in being in a play, I couldn’t quite picture that the wait to get back on-stage would be filled with so much warmth.
These past few weeks have been a little busy for me. Aside from all the holiday prepping, I’m also getting things organized and ready to leave for Brazil for New Years. My goal starting today is to slow down ( or so I wish ) and fully enjoy the Holiday season before Christmas slips by. Aside from packing summer dresses and swim suits ( it’s the peak of summer down south ) I’m really looking forward to some family time both in the US and South America.
One of my favorite new traditions is our holiday card. Last year, we did a 50’s homemaker inspired theme and received some great compliments from family and friends. I honestly think we set the bar high and it’ll be tough to top it this year, but we’ll try. Perhaps I’ll share the new photo here or instagram and you can tell me which is your favorite. It’s so fun to look back at these holiday cards. We love doing them. I’m also looking forward to our big secret santa extravaganza party with friends in Indianapolis next weekend. But for now, I better get back to my checklist. Any cool holiday traditions to share? I’m so curious.
Amélie is one’s of those movies I’ve always known I would enjoy but for some reason I can’t explain, took me too long to watch. Despite the huge popularity it gained in the US, I had also heard the movie was a great source of inspiration for someone who is tackling screenwriting and whoever said that is an Einstein. I’ve been writing, slowly but surely. Back to the movie though, it breaks many ground rules of screenwriting from the start. Descriptive narration is constant. The main characters hardly ever speak to each other and fantasy blends in with reality unapologetically. It’s just brilliant.
When still a child, a few tragedies happen in Amélie’s life. Two consecutive deaths in the family are enough to transform Amélie into a very shy and recluse young lady. One day she finds a box buried under the bathroom tile full of treasures from someone’s past. Instead of leaving it alone she decides to go on a journey to find the original owner and that’s when her life begins taking a clever turn.
Adult Amélie is played by Aubrey Tautou and I couldn’t help but observe that even though she’s a grown woman, living on her own in Paris, there’s a childish quality to her behavior that follows her everywhere. Even after falling in love she still carries that innocent but mischievous look on her face that is so intriguing. I honestly could never look at this character and think of her as the woman she is, with her grown-up job, her vintage apartment and her peculiar friends (or lack of them). That’s what’s so fascinating about Amélie. She gives us permission to look at her and really see the vulnerable child inside, while most of us spend our lives trying to camouflage what’s left of it.
( photo )
PACKING for a road-trip to Indiana where Elliott’s family gathers for Thanksgiving every year. Also on my checklist before heading south : plan this year’s table setup, snacks + candy grocery shopping, create playlists for the car. Then we can hit the gas.
CATCHING UP on my reading after a nearly three month commitment to a show and no spare time to open a book or magazine. Right at the top of my pile are three volumes of French author George Sadoul’s Histoire Générale du Cinema about the history of world cinema. I got the Portuguese version because sadly, the series was never translated to English.
BAKING a deliciously moist banana bread recipe to share at the table with my loved ones. The secret ( from a castmate ) is banana bread mix from Trader Joe’s and two bananas for extra moistness. In the past I’d have been opposed to this but I’ve learned that not everything delicious has to be made from scratch.
LOOKING FORWARD TO doing absolutely nothing for at least a day or two during the holiday break. It’s so easy to get caught-up in being productive and forget that my mind needs rest too. Time is a limited commodity and sometimes I just need to unplug and enjoy idleness.
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Last year a little before summer began to fade, I asked my husband to snap a few shots of me in a bikini while at my in-laws pool. I had recently flown in back from Brazil, meaning I was eating like there was no tomorrow and we were on our way back from the perfect weekend getaway. When I looked at the camera monitor to see how the photos were coming out, I nearly had a breakdown. I saw something I’d been avoiding for months.
It was a version of myself I did not care for. Far beyond my ideal weight, I couldn’t help but feel very, very angry for the lack of respect for my own well-being. Oh yes, I cried. I also jumped in the pool, clothes-on because I’m dramatic like that. Now, before anyone starts making assumptions, I’m not talking about a serious case of obesity, an eating disorder, peer or media pressure. This is about me, an average size girl who lost track of her continuously terrible eating habits. And if you don’t believe me, I put on belly weight only, and some face. Easy to sneak-in.