MODEL. MOTHER. MUSE.
A CONVERSATION WITH THE GORGEOUS VANESSA BREUER
This weekend heralds Mothers Day here in Australia and what better way to pay homage to this wondrous celebration than to share with you an interview with a mother that we here at Chasing Unicorns find forever enchanting, refreshing and exquisite.... Vanesa Breuer. Vanessa is not only an incredibly successful globe-trotting model but also a passionate mother to her two gorgeous “free range” daughters. It’s the simple things in life that mean the most to this down to earth beautiful Mumma and we caught up with her to talk all things Ibiza living, modelling and motherhood.
COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ONE SENTENCE?
Loyal, loving, passionate and stubborn.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE?
When I am at home I spend most of the day in the kitchen, cooking for lunch, dinner, cleaning up etc. I have a tendency to give the house a big refresh and clean every time I return from my travels, and of course, I spend as much time with the kids as I can. Luca goes to kindergarten from 9-2 and Evie still has two naps so when she is awake I will be with her. We usually go into the garden or we drive to the beach, now that the weather is getting better. For work, I always have to leave the island, so I spend a lot of time alone in hotel rooms and on planes. Not so glamorous and definitely not that much fun, but I always try to make the best out of it and connect with friends in various cities or take some time to myself to read a book, or catch up on some Netflix.
IBIZA IS RENOWNED AS A PARTY ISLAND, WHAT IS IT LIKE LIVING AND RAISING A FAMILY THERE?
The “party” bit of the island is about 45-60min away from us so we don’t really feel that side of the island very much. It has its pros- we get a lot of friends coming from all over the world that wants to go out and then they come and visit us after to relax and rejuvenate. I absolutely love raising my children there, I feel very free in the way I can raise them as I don’t have to compare myself to other mothers very much and overall I feel like I can raise them the way it feels right to me. I guess in comparison our life here is quite a rural life, without traffic, car noise or any ‘city’ dangers.
HAS RESIDING IN IBIZA CHANGED THE WAY YOU APPROACH LIVING?
Absolutely! I lived in New York and Sydney previously -both very busy and hectic cities, I much prefer the quiet island life now. I realise I don’t need very much to have a happy life- just time for my kids and enough money ‘to survive’ as we don’t really spend any money on materialistic unnecessary things, you don’t really need them here. Like all the handbags and fancy shoes I used to spend all my money on that I never use anymore. The overall energy on Ibiza is vibrant but slow, people like to take their time with everything. Sometimes I have to wait 30 minutes in the supermarket to pay for my milk because the cashier is talking to the old lady in front of me about her dishwasher, In the beginning, it drove me crazy, now I quite appreciate it!
CAN YOU SEE YOUR FAMILY SETTLING IN IBIZA LONG TERM?
We have just decided to live here for a while longer maybe 4-5 years, then it depends on the schooling available for Luca... she is going to a really amazing school currently and maybe, hopefully, by the time she is 6 they will have approval from the state to continue education there for 6-10-year-olds which would allow us a bit more time. The public schools are not too bad on Ibiza but I think we might get a little bored and need another adventure. I guess it depends if we have more kids or not. We’d also like to get more involved on the island and I’d like to create a kids snack from local ingredients that we could sell there and across Europe but we are only in the beginning stages of this idea so it might take us a while to get fully going.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY?
I love spending time in our garden, exploring nature or just sitting on the beach and watching them play together. I travel so much at the moment just BEING with my family is my favourite activity.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE BALANCING MODELLING WITH MOTHERHOOD?
Like I mentioned before I am away a lot at the moment so it is rather hard for me, but my husband stays at home with the kids so it helps me to push through the hard times when I miss them and feel lonely and have the feeling that I am missing out on all of it. The good thing is after busy weeks away I have the freedom to take a break and spend more time at home, I don’t have to accept every job as I’d rather have more time with my kids.
WHAT ARE THE VALUES AND PASSIONS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE MOST TO PASS ON TO YOUR KIDS?
Honesty, Empathy, Open-mindedness
WHAT INFLUENCES/INSPIRES YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I am all about comfort and practicality, Especially while the kids are young. I won’t spend much money on clothes because they just end up ruining them! I don’t know how mums and dads keep their clothes clean but ours are always covered in stains.
YOU ARE A PERFECT MODEL FOR THE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND NUTRITION YOU ADVOCATE, HOW DID YOUR INTEREST IN THIS EVOLVE?
When I was about 24 I really turned my life around, I was in the hospital with my second kidney infection and realised that I had to take better care of myself. I had an amazing job that I had to cancel because of my health and it was an eye-opener because when I got sick I couldn't work and I had no ‘sick leave’ or anything and no partner or parents that I could fall back on financially. So I got more interested in health and decided to study nutrition. This was also something I needed to do to feel more secure in case one-day modelling didn’t work anymore. During my studies, I changed my way of living quite a lot, I stopped drinking alcohol for a month, I did my first ever ‘detox' and I made sure I ate really well-balanced meals. I always loved to cook but it was nice to discover new recipes and new ways of cooking and eating. After 3 years of studying long distance, I decided it was not the right thing after all- it almost made me too focused on the fine print, like how many nutrients are in what etc, so I decided to go to culinary school instead and I got my “natural chef’ certificate. Healthy lifestyle and nutrition are all about balance. These days I don’t focus too much anymore on what I eat and when, overall I try to eat fresh, seasonal and local produce and no matter what I eat I try to enjoy it!
WHEN YOU GET A QUIET MOMENT, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO THE MOST?
Sit on the couch, put my feet up and read a book.
YOU FEEL MOST BEAUTIFUL WHEN?
My 4-year-old tells me ‘Mummy you look pretty’