Heather’s Story

 

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Mesothelioma. You are familiar with the word, but are you familiar with what mesothelioma is, does, and what causes it?  April 1st-7th is Mesothelioma Awareness Week and I’d like to bring it to the forefront.

As of two weeks ago, I only knew that mesothelioma was linked to asbestos.  The only way I knew that much was from all the years of lawsuit ads that play regularly on television.  Nor did I know about the common products that may contain asbestos.

I recently was introduced to the Von St. James family, a family that are experts on the disease.  Heather Von St. James, was diagnosed with mesothelioma right after giving birth to her daughter.  She also was given a grim prognosis.  Those that are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma rarely beat the disease and it is common to not pinpoint the signs of the disease during the early stages. On average, mesothelioma takes 35-50 years to appear after exposure to asbestos.  Heather was diagnosed at 36 years old, which is extremely young for mesothelioma.

Watch her story below, it has a happy ending. (hint: she is a survivor and is thriving)

Now being introduced to mesothelioma through Heather, I wanted to share her insight directly on Goddess Huntress.

GH/ Your story and outcome are so moving, Heather. It must be so surreal and blissful to have the life you have now.  Positivity is your greatest gift.  How did you maintain your positivity daily as you were going through treatment?

HVStJ/ It wasn’t easy but when it got tough, I would pray and pray some more, I would beg God to give me the strength to get through. Sometimes it was to get through the day, sometimes it was to get through the next minute. I would look at my daughter, this innocent little girl who didn’t ask for a sick mom. I looked forward to the future with her. I saw what she could become, and my attitude would play a big part in who she would develop into.. that right there was reason enough to stay positive.

GH/ Your exposure from asbestos was from your father’s work in construction.  If someone thinks they may have been exposed to asbestos, can they be tested for it?

HVStJ/ Unfortunately there is no test. I wish there was, as it would alleviate a lot of worry. There is such a long latency period between exposure and onset of symptoms that most people aren’t even aware they were exposed until it is too late. It is one of the many horrible things about mesothelioma.

GH/ What are some other common products that may contain that we may not know about?  How has your living environment changed?

HVStJ/ Duct tape, brake pads, joint compound and certain speckling pastes and caulking. It is also in some cement products and roofing products as well.  The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s web page has a good list of products.. www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

My living environment has changed a lot. We moved into an old house, and have done a lot of work to either encapsulate old asbestos or have it abated. We have done something to pretty much every part of the house from siding, and roof, to remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms. I know now that no asbestos containing products used on the new parts of my home.

GH/ You are so beautiful, I bet positivity is your biggest beauty secret.  Any way you can bottle that up and put it on store shelves? Ha!  Willing to share a clean beauty secret of yours?

HVStJ/ Aww!!! Thank you!!! My secret? Good genes and a GREAT photographer!! In all seriousness, I was a salon professional before I got sick, so I’ve always been interested in the beauty aspect of things. I’m a total make up and skin care junkie and love products!! I believe looking good; in turn it makes me feel good. I used to go to chemo dressed to the nines and in full make up. I might have been sick, but I was darned if I was going to LOOK sick!  It’s all in the attitude. :)

Sage advice…Positive attitude.

Learn more about mesothelioma and treatment at mesothelioma.com

Goddess Worship: Natasha White

So, I met Natasha White this May.

My ladies (who you met in my Mexico post last week) and I were at Virgin Unite, Sir Richard Branson’s non-profit foundation. We got to meet great local foundations and bounce off ideas to improve their results.  While I was in the middle of a session, my biz coach Laura pulls me aside and quietly says, “I have someone I want you to meet.  She wants to be in fashion”.  Laura leads me into the the room and there is Natasha beaming ear to ear with her energetic glow and her sparkly eyes.  Immediately I thought, “Oh, I love her already!”  And the rest is history…

Natasha has lived in foster homes her whole life, 10 foster homes to be exact.  She has had some stints at shelters. Natasha’s experiences can really mirror scenes from a made-for-tv movie, and I’m not going to put those experiences down here.  She really has lived through a lot physically and emotionally.  In the transition from the foster care program into independent adulthood, Natasha dabbled in unproductive independence.  She had no desire for school. She was not motivated.

Then things took a grand shift in Natasha this year.

When I met her at Virgin Unite in May, she bragged to me that she just got her GED.  She wanted to be in fashion, but didn’t know how and where to begin, yet she was so enthusiastic..  So we sat together and created a list of schools to check out, fashion websites to immerse in, retail places to work, ideas on how to get free drawing and sewing instruction (oh, if I only had YouTube tutorials when I was in art school).  We gave each other hugs, exchanged numbers, and planned to grab lunch in the next couple of weeks.

Before we had our lunch date in June, I get a text from her elated that the Art Institute is considering her application.  Um, what? This girl works FAST!

Well, you guessed it.  She was accepted and is currently in their fashion program.  She pays her own tuition and has moved in with one of her former foster moms whom she has a great relationship with.   She is taking care of her former foster mom as she has fallen ill.  While tuition is a big strain every month, she manages to pull it off.  She really blows me away.

She now brings her sketchpad to our lunch dates to showcase her work.  I couldn’t be more happy for her.  This girl is going places.  Oh, and my friends have snuck her into a big name fashion show this past September (love you guys!).

Natasha is truly courageous and fearless.  I am in complete admiration and honored to count her as one of my friends.

So, I must ask our GH beauty for a tip…

Natasha, what is your favorite natural beauty trick/remedy?

“Oh! I love African black soap.  It makes my skin so soft, especially my feet.  It has shea butter. I can’t be without it!”

She’s pretty inspiring right?  Leave her a note in the comments below!

Goddess Worship: Amie Petersen

You read my profile on Dena Cali Holistic Beauty.  Now meet the woman behind Dena Cali Holistic Beauty,  Amie Petersen.  She’s pretty remarkable.

Amie Petersen is a renaissance woman of sorts.  She’s an entrepreneur, an actress, model, singer, and a crusader for women living with cancer.

Before branching out with Dena Cali Holistic Beauty, Amie started off her foray into business with a very successful line of wigs and hair extensions in 2002.  Dena Cali Luxe hair extensions are 100% virgin human Eurasian hair and do not undergo toxic processing like many other extension/wig lines.

Along with her business savvy, she is opening up many women’s lives.

In 2005, Amie’s mother was diagnosed with cancer.  The news of her mother and many others close to her shifted her whole perspective on life.  Amie, also known as Dena Cali, decided to create The Foundation For Living Beauty, a non-profit organization located in Southern California dedicated to enriching the lives of women with cancer and cancer survivors.  Members of FFLB, a.k.a. “Living Beauties”, have access to support groups and education workshops on nutrition, cancer prevention, and alternative medicine.  FFLB runs wellness retreats with massages, makeovers, healthy menus, yoga, art therapy, energy healing, and lifestyle consultations to uplift and empower the women from cancer.  Amie and her well trained team really hold such a healing and loving space for the women.  Here is a beautiful video about the foundation’s retreats:

The Foundation For Living Beauty Annual Wellness Retreat in Ojai, California

Not only do the Living Beauties get an internal uplift, Living Beauties are treated to lots of beauty.  They each get to choose a hairstyle to keep from Dena Cali’s selection of wigs, get gorgeous with a makeover, and strike a pose for the camera for their own professional photo shoot on FFLB’s “Day of Living Beauty”.

The Foundation of Living Beauty will be holding Day of Living Beauty this year on October 16th at Privé Salon in Los Angeles for 30 of their Living Beauties so they may see themselves looking beautiful again.

Amie truly provides for others with every loving fiber of her being and she is truly taking them to new heights they have never experienced before.

Here’s another tidbit on Amie.  I went to high school with her, we graduated together.  She once taught me how to do the “butterfly” and the “tootsie roll” in the girls bathroom (if you are unfamiliar, click here and here).  She has always been a beautiful, caring, and fun being.  And she’s got moves y’all.

So, I must ask our GH beauty for a tip…

Amie, what is your favorite natural beauty trick/remedy?

“I love to put epson salt and lavender oil in a hot bath to create a spa feeling at home.  Stress relief plays a big part in keeping our bodies healthy and the hot bath is also great for eliminating toxins.”

Want to be a part of The Foundation of Living Beauty?  Click HERE to donate, volunteer, apply to become a Living Beauty, and even purchase an official FFLB bracelet.

 

Brunch With A Beauty: Tawni

This past weekend I enjoyed brunch with my good friend Tawni, her boyfriend Rodney, and my Polaroid cam.  Tawni and I used to rock out in our cheerleading skirts in high school together.  Now she is all grown up and the East Coast Beauty Director of Nordstrom.  She is up to some big things and I can just listen to her talk makeup all day long, it is music to my ears.  This girl knows her sh*t. I’m always learning at least 5 new things each time I’m with her, along with snorting laughing.  It never fails.

While we were brunching on brioche french toast, broccoli rabe, roasted potatoes, and vino, I surprised my beauty maven with Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in color Passionate.  Kjaer Weis is a line of cream blushes, lip tints, and eye shadows developed by makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis.  Each formulation is at least 95% organic and free of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic colors, and fragrances! The luxury doesn’t just stop at the formulation, it is beautifully echoed in the sleek, modern packaging.  The metal case fans open and shut and provides you a mirrored reflection for applying on the go. The metal case is packaged in a stunning textured red box that echoes paper jewelry boxes from yesteryear, so precious.  Along with all this goodness, the metal cases are refillable!  Refills are shrink wrapped in paper carton.

Tawni raved about the tawny rose color, its feel and moisture, and its packaging.  She was one happy babe!

Mmmm, now that I am recalling that brunch, I’m getting hungry.  Cheerleader brunch, anyone?  I’ll bring the lip tint!

Goddess Worship: Lady Gaga

I rocked a little Gaga this Halloween weekend…all healthy makeup, of course!

Eyebrows:  Requa Activated Charcoal (applied with wet brush)

Upper Eye: Josie Maran Natural Wonder Argan Powder Palette in Think. Daydream, and Trance, Josie Maran Argan Eye Shadow in Embrace, Requa Activated Charcoal (applied as eyeliner with wet brush), ZuZu Luxe Eyeliner in Raven

Under Eye:   Gabriel Cosmetics Eye Liner in Navy

Lashes: Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

Cheek: Revolution Organics Freedom Glow Beauty Balm in Sunkissed

Lip: Hemp Organics Lipstick in Crimson and Gabriel Cosmetics Eye Liner in Navy (Yes, eyeliner used as lipliner)

Hair: No product!  Just bobby pins and club soda cans!

Update From Our First Facebook Giveaway Winner

In April, goddess.huntress. held its first giveaway for Facebook fans.  The prize was GrowOut Shampoo from Belegenza and the winner was Maggie.  In addition to GrowOut Shampoo, Maggie received an extra bonus of RoMANce Deep Conditioning Treatment and Taffy from the generous team at Belegenza.  Upon reading last week’s goddess.huntress post on Belegenza, Maggie indulged us with a review of her winnings on the goddess.huntress. Facebook page that must be shared with you all:

Congrats! I have been using my Belegenza products for about 3 weeks, I love them! The biggest difference I’ve noted, while using Belegenza’s GrowOut Shampoo & Strengthener, is a significant reduction in itch, dry, flaky scalp. I also accidentally got some of the product in my eyes and was kind of amazed that it didn’t burn and make me look like I had pink eye, unlike some shampoos have-not sure why that is, but I was pleased! I have also used Belegenza’s RoMANce Deep Conditioning Treatment 3 times. The conditioner doesn’t weigh down my hair or leave a greasy residue on my scalp. Belegenza’s Taffy styling product is wonderful. It gives me styling versatility without a heavy or crunchy feel. I don’t blow dry my naturally wavy hair and Taffy helps control the frizzy bits while increasing the curl. I simply love it! Thank you again, Goddess Huntress and the fine people at Belegenza, for introducing me to this line as the winner of the first ever g.h. giveaway contest!

Wonderful words. Wonderful products.

Thank you, Maggie.

Makeup Artist: Kristen Arnett

 

Discovering her passion for makeup at 13, Kristen Arnett fell in love with makeup’s power of transforming beauty and lives.  Skip ahead a few years and she is developing makeup collections for a large brand.  Soon after, she becomes a freelance makeup artist and an Education Director for the International Makeup Artist Trade Show. Soon after that, she moves out to Milan and establishes herself as an international makeup artist.

 

You may have seen Kristen Arnett’s artistry on the Milan and New York runways, Project Runway, or have caught her makeup tips and demonstrations on television.   Let’s just say she has a lot of big names under her belt and the list keeps on growing. She also contributes her talent to many charitable events, boosting women’s confidence with makeovers and tender loving care.

 

Along with this cache of work, Kristen asserts a strong belief in natural makeup, namely natural makeup that is effective. Engaging women on “healthy beauty”, Kristen transforms women’s beauty regimens to healthful regimens with private lessons, education, and personal shopping.   Kristen offers these services along with special occasion makeup through AKA Natural Beauty, a collective of East and West Coast makeup artists that she cofounded.

She believes firmly that women should know what harmful chemicals are going into their bodies with makeup application. Kristen educates women globally on products and cosmetics that are healthfully absorbed into the body and also contributes to her blogs with natural product reviews and suggestions.

With all her experience and opportunities to play with so many great products, goddess.huntress. had to ask,

“What is the one product you can’t live without?”

Her answer:

Click here to purchase

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer with 15 SPF

“This product does everything I need a tinted moisturizer to do.  It has an SPF 15 for protection from damaging rays during the daylight hours, provides moisture and evens out my skin tone with a natural cocktail of ingredients.”

You heard it from a master.

Visit Kristen Arnett’s website here

Visit AKA Natural Beauty’s website, blog, and book services here