Vanessa Favia grew up in small town Indiana and moved to Chicago to earn a degree in marketing. Upon the recommendation of her sister-in-law, she and her husband Frank moved to Hinsdale with their son in 2015; her daughter was born one year later. Favia, who spent a decade in sales, now splits her time between motherhood and volunteer commitments. She and her husband support various causes that are close to their hearts, including the Chicago Children’s Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Onward Neighborhood House. She also volunteers at her children’s schools in Hinsdale, as well as the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club.
Mantra? Always look for the bright side of things. There is good in every person and situation.
Best grooming tip? Aim for seven hours of sleep. And a great manicure can always brighten a day.
Guilty pleasure? I have quite the sweet tooth. If I have to choose just one, chocolate.
Favorite foods? My husband makes pasta and sauce from scratch. It’s pretty amazing.
Music you love? I’m still a small-town Indiana girl at heart, so I typically listen to country. But from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, it’s all Christmas music.
Best advice ever given to you? Follow your passion and don’t be afraid to dream.
Best advice you’ve given? Kindness works in almost any situation.
Earliest memory? When I was five years old, my parents woke me up one day with a surprise trip to Disney World. It was my first time on an airplane, and the first time I saw the ocean. That’s a wonderful memory.
When you wake up, you? Most days, I wake up to my smiling kids jumping in my bed. It’s the perfect way to start the day.
Before bed, you? I’m a bit of neat freak, so I typically clean up the house from whatever craziness my kids got into that day. Then I relax and spend time with my husband, and I always check on both kids right before I go to bed.
What’s on your bookshelf? I don’t have as much time as I would like to read for pleasure these days, but my most recent read was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
You can’t live without? My family and friends. They keep me grounded and fill my life with love.
Love to escape to? Both my parents and my husbands’ parents are retired and have homes in Florida. We try and spend time at both places every year. It’s a great escape from the long, cold winter.
Advice you would give to your younger self? Don’t stress over the small things. Keep your eye on the big picture.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? When I’m running around during the day with my kids, I’m typically in jeans and a T-shirt or sweater. At night, I usually wear a fun dress with heels.
Can’t leave the house without? My phone and my sunglasses.
Transportation? I spend my days driving my kids around in an SUV. But I grew up in a car family so I’ve always loved fun cars. My dad’s favorite hobby was building and working on cars, and he built a 1936 Ford hot rod which originally belonged to my grandfather. He still has it to this day. That car is very special to me.
Driving music? When I’m alone in the car, I typically listen to country music. When I’m with my kids, which is most of the time, it’s usually the soundtrack of whatever their favorite movie is at that moment.
Place to eat? Nabuki is one my favorite places in town, especially for a girls’ night. When we have the kids, we usually go to Giuliano’s, Grill 89, or Fuller’s.
Shop? As a busy mom, shopping in a store isn’t an ideal situation. I do most of my shopping online at wherever I can find great deals.
Best thing about country? This community is such a wonderful place to raise a family. The schools are amazing, it’s safe, and there are so many great young families who have become important people in our lives. We love it here.
Worst thing about country? Sometimes I miss the excitement and energy of the city.
The Perfect Day is? The weekends are my favorite days. My husband is home and we normally don’t have a schedule. I love being able to sleep in and enjoy the little moments we have as a family. Sunday dinners as a family are sacred, and I hope it stays that way even as our kids get older.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? I try to be a bit more stylish and take more risks when I’m heading into the city. My heels are a little higher, and my outfits are a bit trendier.
Can’t leave the house without? Lip gloss and trendy handbag.
Transportation? When we are in the city, I enjoy walking everywhere. Chicago is such a beautiful city. But if I am not walking, I’m usually in an Uber.
Driving music? I try not to drive when I’m heading into the city. But when I do, I like more upbeat, fun music.
Place to eat? Le Colonial, Joe’s Seafood, Coco Pazzo, and Erie Cafe are a few of our favorites.
Shop? If I’m able to make it to the city without my kids, I love to shop at Bloomingdales, Intermix, and Nordstrom. If my kids are with me, my shopping experience is a bit different— American Girl, The Lego Store, and Dylan’s Candy Bar.
Best thing about town? The energy, the restaurants, and the variety.
Worst thing about town? The traffic.
The perfect day is? A long brunch followed by some casual shopping. Then a few hours at the spa followed by a nice dinner.