{SS}: Tell us about your typical day.  

{Vanessa}: My typical day starts at 6am when I get a good 30-45 minutes of quiet time before my toddler wakes up. I make coffee, shower, get dressed and do my makeup. Once she’s up she wants to play with her toys while I convince her to quickly eat and get dressed before I start work at my home office at 7:30am. Husbands gets her off to school around 8:30/9am and I spend the rest of my day working. My word day ends around 4pm and I get to do 1 thing (grocery shopping, bills, dishes, work out) before going to pick up my daughter from school. Then it’s home, play, dinner, bath and get her to bed. Then my hubby and I eat (usually around 9:30pm) while I enjoy a glass of wine and relaxation.

{SS}: What is your biggest hurdle as a mom, a career woman, student or community organizer?

{Vanessa}: Finding a good balance between work, family and me. I really try to do something, even if its minor, for myself every day. It helps me feel in control of my life and happy. Having a home-based job with 7:30am-4pm hours has really helped me find that balance.

{SS}: What do you do to mentally prepare yourself to overcome those hurdles/daily struggles? 

{Vanessa}: As stated in #2, I try to do at least 1 thing for myself every day – go for a run,  get my nails done, read a magazine, watch one of my shows (current favorites are Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, Grey’s Anatomy or Chicago Fire & PD), garden or just enjoy a cup of coffee outside. Sometimes it’s just the little things.

{SS}: What is the thing that you are awesome at – the thing that makes you happy and you know you are the best at it?     

{Vanessa}: Gardening really makes me happy. I may not be best at it, but definitely the best in my family. I love seeing the flowers/plants grow and mature and how it makes the entire back yard more homey.

{SS}: What do you do to make you feel beautiful, confident and ready to take on anything?

{Vanessa}: Exercising and eating well always make me feel my best and it also helps my clothes feel great on me too. I always feel best when I’m in shape.

{SS}: What is your power outfit or accessory (the thing you know you look and feel your best in, whether its for work, staying at home, playing, etc.)?    

{Vanessa}: I have a power suit that I LOVE! It fits great and I always feel great it in. And it’s not black!

{SS}: What would you like to tell yourself on the days where you feel like the hurdles are too high to get over? Or what is your favorite quote/motto?

{Vanessa}: "Hope and hopelessness are both a choice. Why not choose hope?" This was something my friend coined while going through cancer. She had the best attitude despite everything she went through over 14+ years of 8+ recurrances of cancer. Anytime I feel over whelmed or defeated I think of her and this quote and pick myself up.

{SS}: Who inspires you and why?

{Vanessa}: My husband inspires me! He’s always trying to be better and improve himself. He’s super creative and never stops trying. He loves adventure and really enjoys life. I’ve usually been so serious so he’s helped me develop my goofy playful side more.

{SS}: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What would you like to have accomplished?

{Vanessa}: In 5 years I see myself growing professionaly with the non-profit organization I’m with now and possibly having another child. I also have a handful of projects around the house and garden I want to accomplish. The house projects are endless but I love it so much.