One day Vanessa Breuer is soaking up the slow, sun-kissed Ibiza lifestyle with her little ones and husband Oddy, the next she’s jetting around the world for a solid month of modelling. Amongst it all, this German-born mumma relishes their intense family bond and the ‘rad’ challenge of raising her free-range daughters (without a parenting book in sight).   

 Your Instagram profile reads: Vanessa Breuer - Mother, Model, Healthy Chef (and wife) ❤  Tell us, is there another role that you dream of adding to your bio?
Actually, there is! My husband and I dream of opening a little guesthouse/hotel, we just aren’t quite sure where yet!!! He wants to have surf, I need lots of greenery around me, not too humid, not too cold... so we are still looking for the perfect spot!
 
You are a mumma to two beautiful girls, Luca and Evie, tell us about their personalities.
Oh, they are so different! From the moment Luca was born she was very strong and feisty. Even the midwife told us she looked like an old soul. It seemed like she had been through everything before and she would get really impatient having to do it all over again. She didn’t like routine and she didn’t like being at home much. She is still very much like that, action all day long, lots of energy, very strong-willed and very funny actually (the way she twists you to get what she wants!).

Evie, on the other hand, came out super peacefully, almost slept an entire 3 months (apart from the nights, unfortunately) and loves to just be at home and cuddle all day long. She is such a sweet little girl. Smiles and giggles and fairly easy to please. If you would compare the girls to cats and dog personalities, Luca would definitely be a cat and Evie a Labrador. Evie is very strong though we actually have a nickname for her “mighty mouse”.
 
When and why did you and your husband Oddy move to Ibiza?
We moved here when Luca was just 5-months-old. She was born in Sydney, but had we actually just moved from California, so everything was still in boxes. Before we settled too much we decided to take the money we had saved and taken some time off overseas rather than really settling and buying a house and paying off a mortgage. Somehow, we ended up on the island! We visited some friends (it was October off-season so a perfect time to explore the island) and within a week we found our dream house. Originally, we wanted to stay one year but it has been three years now and we are still here.
 
What do you love most about life in Ibiza?

Life here is very slow, no one ever seems to be in a rush. You have to get used to it, especially coming from places like New York and Sydney. People that live here don’t seem to be very materialistic (of course the tourists and the big clubs are, but we live about 40 minutes away from that scene so it’s quite different up here) which I really enjoy. It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you do, it seems everyone escaped from something to be here and to give our children a better life.

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What is one of the most treasured moments you have shared with your kids?
I really treasure the little moments with them, like when they come into our bed in the morning and Evie crawls over to give us both a kiss and a cuddle and we have a group hug, or when Luca holds my hand unexpectedly and tells me that I am her best friend and that she really loves me.
Those are the moments that melt your heart and get you through everything.
We know that you are passionate about healthy living.  What’s a typical day’s family meal schedule look like when you’re at home? 

I am very passionate about healthy living but it’s all about being balanced and healthy, rather than being, obsessed with health. I studied nutrition and I also went to culinary school in California to become a certified therapeutic chef. But my attitude changed a bit since having children.For me, healthy living and eating means home-cooked meals, no (or not much) processed foods and trying to eat seasonally and locally.

We usually start our day with a Bircher muesli. I make a big batch beginning of the week, so mornings can be less stressful. Luca goes to kindergarten now, so she will have a vegan meal there prepared by the parents (we take it in turns). Evie is an eating machine so during the day she gets a lot of eggs, avocado, dhal. I tend to make a lot of stews and soups as I can prepare them while Evie is napping. We also eat A LOT of bread and cheese. I am German, after all!
We see you jetting off to New York, Paris, Sydney, to name just a few places, for work; how have your work priorities changed since becoming a mum?
Oh, they totally changed. After Luca was born I wanted to stop and just hang out for a bit, I have been working since I was 14, full time since I am 18. But I started getting offers so I went back. Luca always came first though. Oddy stopped working so he could come to work with me and I could breastfeed Luca. Later he took care of her when I started travelling for work more and more. Then I was pregnant again with Evie and breastfeeding her. So, I haven’t been working all too much over the last years. I am trying to find the right balance. It seems I get crazy bookings in one month and jet-set around the world, feeling stressed and exhausted and next month I am sitting at home hanging with the kids 24/7.

My priority is my family but given the nature of my job, my family has to be very flexible. Oddy is not working which gives me the confidence in doing my job and being away from the family. I don’t think I could do it if he couldn’t be there and someone else was watching them. They are too young. I want them to be influenced by us, we are actually very close to our children and we have a very strong family bond.

Being a parent isn't easy. Some days are more challenging than others, and it's during those moments that you need someone to tell you it's going to be okay. What’s the most amazing thing that you’ve learned in becoming a parent, that you’d like to share with others?
It’s definitely not easy being a parent. Some moments are super challenging, and it is hard to not lose patience, especially when the child is three or four years old and strong and stubborn like ours. But you just have to have empathy with them. Growing up is hard and who knows what’s going on in their minds. It must be so frustrating for them not being able to properly communicate with us like, “I am screaming like I am being murdered because you didn’t do up the shoelace the way I want. Why don’t you understand that that is super annoying!”

I feel like my children taught me extreme patience while also opening my eyes to seeing and experiencing the world differently. By trying to understand why we behave a certain way I have also learned to communicate better myself. Communication is the key, whether It is with your husband, partner, friend or child. If we can communicate so we can both understand each other, then there is more harmony and less room for anger and frustration. On another note, being a parent is so rad, I mean you have a little person that is YOUR little person if you know what I mean. I don’t really read parenting books and I probably do lots of things “wrong” in their eyes but in the end, they are my children and I have to do what feels good to me as well.
 

Vanessa Breuer chats with Love Mae

 Despite having such a full schedule, you always look incredible; can you share with us your beauty and wellness must-haves?
Oh, thank you! Ha ha, I definitely don’t always feel it. Especially lately with my crazy flight schedule and less sleep. But I am a total believer in organic natural skincare. I use a lot of different organic oils in the evening. I switch brands a bit but at the moment I am using Eminence skincare. Overall my routine is very simple – wash and moisturise.

For you, happiness is...
Being in nature with my family. 
Follow Vanessa and the beautiful journey of her family via @vanessabreuer1
 
 

Love Mae's tips for enjoying family life in the great outdoors  

Whether you're lucky enough to be living an island-blessed life like Vanessa, or just enjoy a life surrounded by nature, we want to share some family sun-smart tips with you.

1. Apply a sunscreen, ideally with a minimum SPF30 before you start the day. If you can do this before you get dressed, you’re less likely to miss a spot!

2. We all know this one, but opt out of being exposed to the midday sun and seek shade instead.

3. Don’t forget about your scalp. Hats not only add extra protection to your face, but they help look after your scalp too which is directly exposed and often forgotten about. This is key for little ones with fine hair.

  4. Be prepared; Keep a great cotton or linen shirt in your beach bag, and your sunscreen well stocked; one for the bathroom, car, handbag and beach bag. Never let there be an opportunity to be without Sunscreen

5. Don’t rely on makeup! If you are going to be exposed to the sun (even for a short amount of time) always apply a breathable sunscreen underneath your makeup. It’s impossible to apply enough makeup to keep your face protected from the harsh effects of the sun.

6. Hydrate your skin with a great natural oil after exposure to the outdoors. Jojoba oil is a beautiful oil for faces. For aftersun body care, try Sweet Almond oil with a drop of essential Lavender oil. It's gentle and soothing to use on the whole family after a day in the sun (remember essential oils are incredibly strong and dilution is key!)

Shop Vanessa's favourite Bamboo tumblers here
Love Mae Floral & Pink Tumblers
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