Amy Nelson is the CEO of Venture For America, a non-profit fellowship organization that trains recent college grads in entrepreneurial skills and matches them with growing startups across the country. Before joining the non-profit, Amy grew innovative international development organizations in both Cameroon and Cambodia. Talk about impressive. She then returned to the states to earn her MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business, before rising through the ranks at Venture For America. Nowadays, Amy’s top-level position involves a ton of travel and meetings–she shares that she’s “generally booked from 8:30am to 5:30pm and often have evening activities as well.” However, as demanding as it is, Amy says her “job is a dream and I pinch myself daily that I get to do this incredible work!” Below, this inspiring CEO tells us all about her evening routine. 

6:00 P.M. Most days, I pick up my 8-year-old son and head home around 6pm. We settle in and prepare dinner. I hate to cook, so we do a lot of prepared foods and heat-and-eat options from FreshDirect. I am obsessed with their single serve salmon and jerk chicken meals. My 13-year-old daughter enjoys cooking so sometimes she will make things like spaghetti or bake up some dessert. Fridays are always Seamless order-in nights, Saturdays we eat out, and on Sunday evenings my husband makes a proper meal. We don’t linger at the table, but we do enforce a “no screens” policy.

7 P.M. I generally hop back online to answer emails and review documents from 7pm to 9pm. My daughter wraps up homework or works on one of her calligraphy projects while my son plays video games. Sometimes we will watch Netflix together – Sugar Rush and Ultimate Beast Master are favorites. On Sundays, we have Family Game Night and play a lot of Clue, Life, Apples to Apples, and Monopoly. Our major indulgence at this hour is Arowhead Mills stovetop popcorn; I make it more nights than I care to admit, heavy on the olive oil and sea salt! I’m pretty strict about not eating after 8pm – I have tried several variations of intermittent fasting and have found that limiting my calorie intake to between noon to 8pm works best for me. I’ve cut out alcohol on weeknights and my sleep and waistline definitely thank me.

 9 P.M. The kids have started getting ready for bed by now. After showers or baths, we read. My son and I are reading the Harry Potter series aloud right now (it’s my second time through, and he’s seen all the movies, but we are loving it anyway). My daughter usually wants to do her teenage thing and text her friends, but we end the night with a good chat before bed. The nighttime routine has definitely become less elaborate as they have gotten older, but I’m grateful that they still want to spend time with their mom!

9:30 P.M. The kids have lights out at 9:30; so this is when I start my wind down. I am a night showerer and my skincare routine has gotten to be a bit much. I start with a cleanser–I alternate between an exfoliating one with Hyaluronic Acid and a more gentle one like First Aid. A few times a week, I use Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel after cleansing to really slough off those excess dead skin cells. Then, Retinol is a must. Right now, I am loving Sunday Riley’s one-two punch of Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes Treatment serum. Good eye cream is critical–I have tried them all and swear by the classic Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream. Then, I get my floss on and wait for my skin to settle a bit before using a deep moisturizer or sleeping mask, usually from Kiehls.

My desert island product, however, is Drink Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial. I use it every weekend and it works wonders for smoothing and exfoliating!

10 P.M. I roll into my bedroom around 10pm, dry brush from toe to head before getting into my jammies, and then either return to work for an hour or read a book. I will slip a CBD tincture under my tongue to relax and mindlessly use my rose quartz face roller for a bit while I read. I just finished The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer and am starting Educated by Tara Westover, which is my book club’s current selection. I try hard for lights out at 11pm, but sometimes it’s closer to 11:30pm if I fall down the Instagram rabbit hole as I’m closing out email. I was worried about the blue light interfering with my sleep, so I bought some Felix Gray glasses to filter it out, reduce eye strain, and help me sleep better. It’s a great company founded by a Venture For America Alum!

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