“I believe that when we surround ourselves with great people, we are much more likely to do great things”. 

I recently came across a beautiful woman named Sande Sainte-Marie. I first saw her stunning face on KKW Beauty IG page. After visiting her website I was naturally attracted to her spirit. Not only is she a survivor of domestic violence but she also a writer, artist, model, mother, mentor, photographer, etc. She is a true Beauty Queen in my eyes. I know you guys will agree with me once you read her interview. Sande is cool, brilliant, sexy, successful, a fantastic mother, & an inspiration.

I am so grateful that she gave me the opportunity to interview her.  Her poetry & art touches your soul in such a loving and peaceful way. I really wanted to ask her like 4 million questions but I narrowed it down to 7. You guys! She is so gracious and gave us many gems to learn from. Checkout her very pretty website

Happy Reading ! 

What are your best beauty secrets and or products ?
On my website, you’ll notice my mantra: Balance, consistency, exploration. In everything. In exercise, diet and skincare. I am a big believer in finding the exercise routines that work for you and fresh, healthy, organic foods. Big tip: treat your neck, decollate and ears the same way you treat your face. In cleansing, exfoliation and moisturizing. And, self care and self-awareness lead to groundedness and satisfaction which, in turn creates happiness and contentment which radiates through your body and your face. What could be more beautiful than personal satisfaction with one’s life?

Which women inspire you/why ?
In my early twenties I began to recognize I had been raised in an atmosphere of women being jealous and critical of other women who were doing well or pretty or accomplished. I decided that as soon as I felt the knee-jerk reaction of criticism I would turn it into admiration. I taught myself to admire young and old women and allowed their lives to inspire me. I began reading biographies and researching women I was attracted to. From Jane Fonda to Madeline Albright, from Christiane Anampour to Frieda Kahlo. Their lives inspired me to find what was authentic to me and gave me permission to struggle and to succeed. I have two daughters. They are 36 and 37 years old. They have come through great challenges and always made decisions to be honest with themselves and to work very hard to choose the right path for themselves. They are funny and smart and wise and have, without trying to, given me backbone and wings when I was weak. But let me also say, I equally admire men. I am egalitarian and do not put women on a pedestal.

You seem very peaceful, do you have any spiritual practices ?
Gosh, thank you, although I have become more peaceful over the years, sometimes I still can feel like a swan on a lake: looking serene on top of the water, but paddling like crazy underneath!
I have always been a seeker. I was raised in a polarizing and scary religious household. Luckily I never could identify with it and knew innately there must be another way. I was interested in other cultures from the time I was very young, and looked to all of the different faith practices that these people used in coping with life. They all had the same universal themes, and the universality of them gave me this motto: I believe in everything. Well, almost. I do not support any fundamentalist ilk of any kind, and I do believe in what the astronomer, Carl Sagan, said: “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”; as well as the Dalai Llama:
“What science finds to be nonexistent, we must accept as nonexistent; but what science merely does not find is a completely different matter…It is quite clear that there are many, many mysterious things.”
I read the Tao the Ching regularly, meditate frequently, and trust my intuition. Intuition is not emotion. It is not analysis. It is a certainty one knows in the depth of one’s body.
A quote I aspire to but fall short of often is this: “I teach only three things: patience, simplicity, compassion. Patience with friends and enemies, simplicity in thought and action“.
Compassion with oneself – this act reconciles us with all beings.” Lao Tsu
Many people like to think that the practice of Buddhism equals passivity. This is incorrect. Sometimes not doing is the action; and sometimes doing is the action. Wisdom is the key to knowing whether to employ one or the other. The Dalai Llama suffers no fools nor evil.
He says, “To have compassion does not mean to accept all behaviors. Do not harm to others, but also, do no harm to yourself.”

What does wellness mean for you? It means wholeness. Wholeness is not perfectionism. For me it is balance in all the quadrants of my life so that I may think and act from a center of authenticity and freedom. Body, mind, heart and spirit. Of course learning the balance is like surfing….. looks easy, takes practice! Waves come along just when you’ve gained some equilibrium.

When and how did you start your modeling career?
I began late in life at 49. It is a rather long story, but suffice it to stay the stars lined up and it came into my life and, well, saved my life. My oldest daughter encouraged me to get into it and at first I went into the old, jeez, I’m too old, blah, blah thing. But a voice in me really wanted to try even though I felt scared. I lived in an area of the East Bay in California that was
sort of near San Francisco. S.F. was not exactly a hub of the modeling world. I told my daughter that if and only if I could apply to a well known agency, well, I could take a rejection from a pro agency.
I went online and saw that FORD had just come into San Francisco. The site said the cutoff age for applying was 42. So instead of going down for an open cattle call I decided to simply send in the requisite photos (no makeup, front and side shots not taken by a professional).About a year before this event, I had a tea-leaf reading by a respected sensitive. She told
me there was a J in my cup and it was very very important.
I sent the photos in on a Friday. Monday morning the phone rang, “Hello, this is Jay from
FORD. We are very interested to meet with you.”
My life began to change. A part of me was in disbelief, but another part of me knew I was meant for this. I am 61 and absolutely treasure my time modeling. It has always been good to me. I love it.

Everyone has low or rough days, how do you look after yourself after a not so good day?
Ah, Care Tactics! Well, back to balance. And developing a history of knowing what works for me when the bullies of depression and anxiety come to my door. They try to rob you of your life force, so we must fight them. I think of the scene in Home Alone when Macaulay Culkin looks at himself in the mirror when the robbers are about to show up and says to himself, “Okay, don’t get scared now.” I tell myself, Okay, here is this feeling.”You’ve been here before and come through in your own way. You are an old hand at ups and downs.

You know what

  1. Exercise. Always, always, always. Even if it is half of what you usually do, you are always
    glad you did it.
  2. Reparent yourself. Shoo away bad voices you were raised with that shame or blame. I find
    when stresses hit, the little child in me can ever so quickly go into “bad me” mode. Be sooooooooo kind to yourself.
  3. Go over a list of times in the past where you felt life was really ungood and how your trust in yourself and in life allowed you to go forward.
  4. Remember that what is true is many wonderful things can happen without doing anything at all. (I tend to try to make things better by over-doing, so this truth really helps me).
  5. At the stage of life I am at, another truth helps me so much: I’ve worked hard to become the person I love and lead a life of satisfaction. I am enough exactly as I am. For me.

She’s got style … She’s got grace

How amazing is it that Raluca lives in Dubai ! She’s a beautiful mother,wife & a cover model!

I love social media, especially because I get to connect with inspiring women all over the world. I am so grateful that Raluca took the time out of her busy life to do an interview with me 🙂


Please give us a little bio for those of us who don’t know who Raluca Rebedea Zenga is.

Hi! I’m a blessed mommy of two, living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (although Romanian-born and married to a famous Italian goalkeeper!). I love photography and art, the Oriental culture, creative writing and modeling, my house on the beach- I can be mundane but what I love best is spending my time with my family:  this is what truly nurtures my spirit and gives meaning to life.


 What are some of you favorite quotes? 

“Be thankful for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.”
“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress.”
“Be the person you want your children to be.”

Any anti-aging advice for the lovely ladies reading this?

Besides choosing natural skincare (without harsh ingredients), nurture your complexion from inside: eat plenty of youth-promoting healthy fats and superfoods yielding antioxidant properties. Coconut oil, avocados, egg yolks, raw honey, chia seeds, pomegranate and wild berries. Cut down on refined sugar, pasteurized dairy and processed foods, your skin will thank you! A good diet reduces overall inflammation in your body and it will show in a renewed radiance on your face!


 Do you have any beauty rituals?

I use an oil-based cleanser to get rid of the impurities on my skin (argan oil, coconut oil or raw shea butter), use a calming rosewater and witch-hazel toner, followed by a hyaluronic-acid serum, eye-contur cream with fruit stem-cells and the final step…a collagen-rich moisturizer. My skin feels quite grateful, especially because I choose only creams and facial serums that are free of parabens, mineral oils, SLS and synthetic fragrances.


 Any advice for the mommy’s that are trying to get back in shape after having a baby?

Oh, this is a favourite. My strongest advice is “give yourself time!”. All those celebrities promoting a picture-perfect body days after delivering a baby…it’s simply unrealistic. Enjoy your baby, think about bonding with him in those precious early weeks, breastfeed if you can…and let your body heal gently. Rebalance your hormones and eat nutrient-dense foods, ditch the junk, the artificial sweeteners, the low-fat-everything, the sugar-caffeine combo. Squeeze in some yoga when you have the time and the energy, start exercising at home. Even 20 minutes do wonders in time. There is no quick fix, be patient with your amazing body that has just brought a child into the world. Give yourself the luxury of a massage once in a while…and don’t be too harsh on your “flabby bits”: they’re part of that amazing time in your life when you had your baby!

 Who is your beauty icon?

I love the looks of Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch, Monica Bellucci…timeless beauties that will inspire us forever.


 What is your favorite mascara?

I’ve been using the Lancome range for a few years, Hypnose in Noir is my favourite. Been experimenting with eyelash extensions to give that extra-oomph when you want some “drama” in your looks! Never underestimate the power of a good mascara to enhance your eyes!

 What is your favorite hair tool?

GHD hair curling iron, to achieve beachy salt-spray waves…for a natural, supermodel off-duty look…or easier, for a surfer girl vibe! Oh, if only we could all be supermodels!!!


 Finish this sentence “Wouldn’t it be great if”

“I could raise my children in a better world, where justice is not the exception, where awareness replaces ignorance, and humanity and kindness prevail upon all evil.”