Actress Maria Bello: “One of my favorite things in life is pink peonies! Whenever I have a birthday, my entire house fills up with flowers from friends and family. Looking around the room and seeing all those flowers, I feel so blessed. They remind me that I’m loved, and that I’m loved because I do love. They’re really a reflection of who I am as a friend, a daughter and a mother. Especially as parents we tend to judge ourselves. We always feel we never do the right thing, or that we never do enough. But seeing all those flowers on my birthday, I think, ‘I’m doing pretty good. I have a lot of love in my life.'”
Golden Globe-nominated actress Maria Belly currently stars opposite Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhall in the thriller Prisoners, in theaters now. She’s also the mom to 12-year-old son Jackson. A longtime activist, Maria is the founder of the Haitian NGO We Advance, which is based in Cite Soleil, one of the poorest and most dangerous slums in the Western Hemisphere. You can learn more about Maria on her website. If you’d like to make a donation to We Advance, please click here.
Interior designer Kimberly Rider: “There’s a vista point close to my home in the Bay Area that’s the perfect spot for watching the sunset. You can see the sun’s warm glow on the Pacific Ocean as it sets, and sometimes you see it through fog or clouds. The experience is so dramatic and peaceful. Whenever I get the chance, I love to end my day by watching this sunset. Seeing all that natural beauty makes me realize that I’m merely a small piece of a much bigger picture. Nature has a plan and all I need to do is breathe and allow the next day to unfold. It’s such a wonderful reminder to take a step back and let go. It helps me to be open to the beauty that is always present in everyone and everything we touch.”
Kimberly Rider is an interior designer based in Marin Country, California. She specializes in eco living and is the author of Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living and the Healthy Home Workbook, which offers tips on how to incorporate ecologically sound design into your home. You can learn more about Kimberly on her website.
Personal trainer Thomas Roe: “One of my favorite things in life is to share some of the amazing advice I received from my best friend and father, Tom Roe. Not a day goes by without me thinking of his encouragement and words of wisdom. As a fitness trainer and endurance nutritionist, I’m always trying to help people achieve their goals. But wanting something and achieving it don’t always go hand in hand. That’s where my dad was so great. He always encouraged me to do my best, and to do the right thing even when it was hard. I remember him telling me dozens of times, ‘Thomas, I can’t want for you.’ I’ve repeated that so many times to my clients and it’s so true. To this day, he fuels my desire to be a better man and to live my life to the fullest. So if you ask me what one of my favorite things in life is, it’s to share my dad’s wisdom with others every day of my life. He was an incredible man and it’s my way of honoring him.”
Thomas Roe is the owner of T Roe Fitness in Santa Monica, California. A former college football and track athlete, he’s been a top personal trainer and endurance nutritionist for more than twelve years. He’s been featured in People magazine, as well as on Modern Mom, Pop Sugar, eHow and Livestrong. His dad passed away on his birthday in 2004. You can follow Thomas on twitter @TRoe_NoGymFit.
Publicist Sara Vahabi: Sunday morning brunch with my close friends and family! Gone are the Friday night anticipation and the Saturday rush. I’m surrounded by the kind of unconditional love you feel when you’re with people who love you no matter what. During the week, it’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You’re always planning the next thing and thinking ahead. But during Sunday brunch, I’m fully in the moment. I feel easy and peaceful. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than surrounded by people who have my best interest at heart and accept me just the way I am. It puts life in perspective and reminds me of what really matters: family, friends and lots of laughter. It’s a luxury I cherish dearly.
Sara Vahabi is a Los Angeles film publicist at Karen Fried & Associates, specializing in awards campaigns. Her work has helped garner more than 11 Academy Award nominations in the past two years. She’s also worked on the awards campaigns for the foreign language submissions from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Palestine and the Philippines to mention a few. You can follow her on twitter @saravahabi.
Ceramics artist Antonia Campanella: “My dad always told me there are three types of people in the world: People who watch things happen, people who make things happen and people who wonder what just happened. He told me to always be someone who is “making it” happen. I ended up being an artist and I love the thought of the ‘art of making.’ Whether it’s cooking my mom’s sauce and meatballs from scratch or actually making the plates I serve them on, I love the feeling of creating and making things. It usually puts a smile on someone’s face, least of all my own. And I need it after spending my work day worrying about my pots drying too fast!”
Antonia Campanella is a ceramics artist who uses printmaking techniques, slip casting, hand building and the wheel to create one-of-a-kind pieces. You can see her beautiful work at her Etsy shop.
Photograph of Maria Bello by Larry Busacca ©2013 Getty Images. Photograph of Kimberly Rider by Deborah Taylor ©2013. Photograph of Thomas Roe courtesy of Thomas Roe. Photograph of Sara Vahabi by Ulrica Wihlborg ©2013. Photograph of Antonia Campanella by Jill Sutherland ©2013.