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  • Welcome to my blog!

    At 15, I became an International Ford Fashion Model. In the fashion industry, I experienced the best and the worst that the world had to offer. My life was full of travel, money, and people - but spiritually, I was running on empty. After I accepted the Lord, my life was forever changed and I realized there is more to beauty than meets the eye.

    I am now a fifty-three year old woman, the mother of four grown children, and have been abundantly blessed with TEN grandchildren. My husband is a retired pastor and we are working on our Bucket List. I've had a number of health challenges along the way, BUT... I've recently decided to get healthy and make some lifestyle changes to be the best I can be -- spiritually, physically, and mentally. I'm still working on Living Beautifully and I'd love for you to join me on the journey.

Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. You only understand if you’ve been there. The pain. Standing hurts. Walking hurts.

The podiatrist said, “It’s common in runners and people who are overweight and wear bad shoes.” Since running isn’t in my vocabulary, I’m assuming he put me in the second category.  He said, “No walking around barefoot, wear the splints at night, and here’s a list of shoes you should be wearing.”

My daughter was staying the night. When she walked into my bedroom and saw me all laid out with both of my feet in Plantar Fasciitis night splints she said, “Mom, you look like Frankenstein.” I certainly hollered like a monster from the stabbing pain when I got out of bed and stood up each morning.

At Physical Therapy, I was given exercises to help. Painful stretching exercises that included rolling a ball under my foot and stretching out the ligaments that were torn, painful, and swollen. The fun just didn’t end.

I stopped wearing “cute” trendy shoes, because I noticed the Asics shoes made such a big difference. The Vionic Orthaheel Sandals and Relax Slippers are my favorites. The house shoes are so comfortable; I sometimes (okay, often) forget and leave the house in them. Occasionally, I notice a flare up when I vainly try to wear a pair of “normal” shoes or spend any time barefoot. I’m willing to give up my vanity to be pain free. It’s a small price to pay. You can click on the photos to see the products on Amazon. 🙂 You’re welcome!


Since I don’t have a medical degree, and this is my opinion — I advise you to see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. But if he says that you have plantar fasciitis – ask him about your shoes.

 

**I own all of the above shoes. I only recommend products that I love and use. In full disclosure – I am an amazon affiliate and receive a % if you make a purchase. 

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Click here: My Beauty Counter Website

I’m trying to start making the changes necessary to live a healthy life in every way. A big change I made last year (when my daughter, Lindsay, twisted my arm) was switching to non-toxic skin care and beauty products by BeautyCounter. “Since your skin is your largest organ,” Lindsay said, “You need to be careful about what you’re putting on it.” Apparently, we’ve completely switched the parental roll. 😉 Drum roll please…. I LOVED the BeautyCounter products and am now working as a consultant for them.

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Lindsay and I at a BeautyCounter event. You can follow Lindsay Esparza on Instagram @LindsaysBeautyCounter

 

 

 

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I thought I was protecting my family by buying antibacterial soap for them to wash their hands. I’ve been using it since it first came on the market. A couple of years ago, I heard that some of the ingredients in it might be harmful. Now, the FDA has banned 19 of the chemicals used in them.  We need to go back to washing our hands with plain ol’ soap & water.

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From a recent New York Times article, “Studies in animals have shown that triclosan and triclocarban can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism, and health experts warn that their effects could be the same in humans. The chemicals were originally used by surgeons to wash their hands before operations, and their use exploded in recent years as manufacturers added them to a variety of products, including mouthwash, laundry detergent, fabrics and baby pacifiers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the chemicals in the urine of three-quarters of Americans.”    New York Times article 9/3/2016

“There is no definitive research on whether triclosan adversely affects human health, but animal studies suggest that exposure to it and similar chemicals has the potential to disrupt hormones in the body, trigger allergies and be associated with some types of cancer.”  Scientific America Article

For Scientific America, Rob Dunn wrote, “It turns out that although we know that washing our hands prevents a range of illnesses and are incredibly eager to buy products marketed to kill germs, we don’t actually take the simpler measure of washing hands in the first place. A study of nearly eight thousand individuals in five U.S. cities found almost half of the participants failed to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. In this light, no mystery salve is necessary, no miracle cure, special wipe, or magic. We need to wash our hands, because soap does the body good, at least in all the ways studied so far. It is not fancy. It is not expensive or heavily marketed and yet it works, as it long has, even though as of yet, no one can conclusively, unambiguously, tell you why.”   Rob Dunn Scientific America Article 

 

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In October of 1979, I went on a “go-see” for a magazine named Jours De France. Upon arrival, I was ushered into a room with a wall of windows and sunlight streaming through. A rack of clothes was in the center of the room, and models were in various states of undress as the stylist handed them designer clothes to try on. I was introduced to Frank Horvat, the photographer. Frank sat in a chair silently watching the commotion. I stood waiting for directions.

“You,” Frank said pointing at me, “try on something.”

The stylist handed me a pink dress and I slid it down over my head.

“Turn around.” Frank ordered.

I did as I was told.

“She’s the one.” He told the stylist. His eyes lit up when he smiled.

I showed up on the appointed day – along with two other models, and a full crew of hair stylist, make-up artists, and fashion coordinators. They loaded us up in an RV and drove the 12 miles to Versailles. On the second day, we went to a chateau in the French countryside. The settings were perfect, the clothes exquisite, and Frank, the photographer, was patient, kind, and encouraging. For those two days, I felt truly beautiful. That perfect feeling was preserved in the photographs.

Looking back, I was a gangly teen on her first professional modeling job. I had no idea I was working with the world-renowned photographer, Frank Horvat. His work had appeared in Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. When I look at his blog and his lifetime collection of images – I so admire his gift and wish I had paid more attention to the man behind the camera.

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I’ll be honest. When I hear charcoal – I think BBQ. My daughter did a mask on me and initially it made me look like a chimney sweep. Charcoal draws out impurities. My skin felt wonderful afterwards.

The mask was from BeautyCounter – Click here to view it: Charcoal Mask

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As a former model who spent years with TOO much makeup on my face – I realize that means I had a lot of toxins sinking into my skin. When I decided to make a change – my first purchase was BeautyCounter lipstick because I didn’t want to be eating, consuming, and swallowing chemicals, lead, etc.. – that were in popular brands. So if you are worried about your makeup – I would advise the first thing to switch out should be your lipstick. My favorite BeautyCounter colors are twig and plum.     Here’s a BeautyCounter Lip Sheer link to browse: Click Here

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oscar-denneyelsa-prockMy Grandpa Oscar Denny (with my Grandma Elsa)img_4238-1My Grandmother — Stella MillerBillie Ann Denney with Sadie

My beautiful young mother, Billie Ann

My grandfather died at 62 from cancer. My grandmother died at 62 from cancer. My mom died at 62 from cancer. I’m 53 and for a long time, my kids have been trying to get me to make lifestyle changes because they want me to stick around. Some of my problems are genetic and some are self-induced. I have rheumatoid arthritis, I’m overweight and my blood sugar is borderline high. My high cholesterol is cause for concern as are the mushrooming colon polyps that I’ve repeatedly had removed. I ruptured and re-ruptured a disk in my lower back that causes my sciatic nerve to throb. The dermatologist has removed a couple of pre cancerous spots and to top it off my liver enzymes aren’t what they should be. My brain cyst would be far too complicated to explain here. ***For bonus points–Throw in menopause, facial hair and a thyroid on permanent vacation.
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So what’s a girl to do? I’m trying to start making the changes necessary to live a healthy life in every way. A big change I made last year (when Lindsay twisted my arm) was switching to non-toxic skin care and beauty products by BeautyCounter. “Since your skin is your largest organ,” Lindsay said, “You need to be careful about what you’re putting on it.” Apparently, we’ve completely switched the parental roll. 😉 Drum roll please…. I LOVED the BeautyCounter products and am now working with Lindsay.
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I’ve updated my website and have launched a new ministry – writing on Living Beautifully After Fifty–Aging Gracefully: Spiritually, Physically, and Mentally! I’ll be writing on everything from deodorant to devotions, and grandparenting to pleasing God.

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I know there has been much written about antiperspirant vs deodorant. Is Anti-perspirant bad for you? Studies have been done and when you google it, so much information pops up that it’s hard to know who to believe. We all sweat and body odor is a byproduct of that bodily function. So what should we do? I’m the only one in my family still using an anti-perspirant.  I. AM. GOING. TO MAKE. THE. CHANGE!! I have lots of options – Primal Pit Paste, Tom’s of Maine, and the one my amazing-natural-make-your-own-everything daughter lovingly made me – it’s Lemon-geranium scented.

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Lindsay makes “no melt” healthy deodorant. She writes, “Did you know your under arms absorb 100% of what’s put on them?”

Her quick and easy recipe below:

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You should follow Lindsay on Instagram — click this link:  Lindsaysbeautycounter

 

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Three years ago, after my husband, Ron, and I both had back surgery, our doctor recommended that we have “aqua therapy.” It was soothing doing our exercises in the warm salt water pool. We enjoyed exercising in the water so much that we eventually joined a local gym that had an aqua aerobics class. After a year and much improvement, we decided to concentrate on walking, but I do miss the water.

A few weeks ago, I went swimming with all my Southern California grandkids. Most of them enjoyed it!

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Recently, while visiting our son, Zac, and his family in New Mexico, they invited us to swim at the aquatic center in their town. We had a great time splashing around with little Fox and the beautiful 37-week-pregnant Katie.

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My daughter, Ashley, and I headed out early this morning to the Irvine Farmers Market at Mariners Church, corner of Bonita Canyon & Turtle Ridge Road. The hours are posted as 8am – 12 noon (Rain or Shine).

If you want from “farm to table” for your family – this is the place to go. There were a great variety of vendors with goods from succulents to squash and orchids to olive bread. We ran into my daughter, Lindsay, and I was able to treat four of my grandkids to a “Super Juice,” which totally made their morning – and mine. All in all, a good time was had by all and we had quite a cart of goodies to load into the car which we will certainly enjoy this week.

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