Model, handbag designer, mom to three, and oh yes, the wife of Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves is one busy woman. One of Alves’ latest projects is as the brand ambassador for INC International Concepts.
Alves told us of why she is excited to be working with the brand: “I thought ‘How can we combine what people already have and do things in a different way without spending a lot of money?’ I like to give people choices that they can wear multiple times throughout the year, not just a one time only item that you can only wear a couple months out of the year.”
We recently sat down with Alves, who gave us the scoop on her favorite holiday traditions, decorating ideas, and gift giving tips. Take notes!
The Vivant: Do you get really into decorating during the holidays?
Camilla Alves: I love dressing up the house and making sure when people come in the house they can feel it. It’s easy to dress up your couch or your bedroom. Your bed, for instance, is a big piece of real estate that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on to dress up. And it’s fun at the same time because you don’t feel as guilty doing it.
Speaking of the holidays, do you have any decorating tips?
When going through the things I bought last year I thought “What was I thinking?” Now I realize that I was really in the middle of the mess of hormones and being pregnant. We had Christmas in our home and I was buying a ton of really small things to decorate. I remember thinking “Oh my gosh the house is becoming a mess!” I couldn’t create the impact I wanted.
The point being that I think it’s better to have bigger statement pieces along with a smaller quantity of accents to compliment them. This works better than adding clutter with too many tiny things everywhere and overwhelming your house.
I absolutely love setting up tables and creating holiday dinners too. Last year I did a really beautiful table. I go to the flower market and test arrangements, I make them the night before and then I take pictures to see how it’s going to look.
You want something to be pleasant to the eye because that’s where everyone comes in and has that family time. I think it’s important when doing that that you walk out of the house and then walk back in. You see it as a new person with a fresh look. It should be appealing and relaxing to the eye. And if you get that warm feeling, you know you did it right.
Do you like to entertain and have big celebrations or keep it small and intimate?
Oh I’m a big holiday person. I love decorating the house and coming up with meals for a lot of family and friends. I really love to cook.
Do you have any favorite holiday dishes?
I learned a lot of great Thanksgiving food down in New Orleans with a friend of ours Miss Katie. Her daughter-in-law makes this amazing rum pecan pie. It is just my favorite pie. I literally wait for it. That has to be one of my favorite things on the menu at Thanksgiving. I would skip the gravy and other salty foods just so I could have extra pie at the end.
Have you shared any of the traditions from your native Brazil with Matthew and the kids?
At Christmas time in Brazil we celebrate on the 24th at midnight. I can’t just skip that. So, we do both days. We do a big dinner on the 24th, but we keep opening gifts to the 25th.
Do you have any gift giving tips?
I always say that if you are going to pick something that you’re not sure the receiver is going to love or want, then don’t do it. Give a card or a gift certificate or something like that. Especially during the holiday season you want your gift to mean something. You should give a present you know that person will love.
What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
I think my favorite gift would have to be something my husband made for me. It was very special.