My cure for burns… and eczema relief



Two nights ago before heading out to dinner with Ito and Janina, I tried looking half-human after a day of lounging around at home. It had been raining. I hadn’t gone out with friends in a while. I thought, why not wear a green dress and curl my hair? So I started with my curling iron and did the usual… burnt my finger accidentally. If you’ve been reading & following me for a while you could conclude that I have bad luck with heated hair gadgets. My hair got burnt while getting ready for a shoot in Lipa using a large curling iron. My flat iron exploded in my hand a few months ago, due to faulty wiring. Thank God I haven’t been seriously hurt.

I knicked my finger with the heated iron last Friday. It felt so painful. Then I remembered that I had some Mustela products sent to me to try. The packaging was bi-lingual in French and English. I was in a panic. I read “Recovery Cream” and figured this was the right one. I took a chance and opened Stelatria. I couldn’t believe it. In an instant, the burning sensation was gone. I applied a thick coat and allowed my finger to absorb it. I felt so much relief (which is what you really need right after a stupid burn). The thing worked! It was amazing.


Stelatria Purifying Recovery Cream. I dabbed this on my burnt finger and it relieved and healed me.


My booboo with Stelatria on it. I think everyone who is prone to minor burns – anyone who cooks or uses heated hair gadgets should have Mustela Stelatria on standby.


Mustela is a 60-year old French brand that specializes in infant and mother skincare. It is committed to using natural ingredients, free of paraben, perfume and colourants. I first tried Mustela Bebe while in Toronto. And I liked its nappy cream and lotion. Now, Mustela is in the Philippines. Scroll down to see where you can buy them.

Stelatria comes from the Mustela Dermo-Pediatric line. It can get confusing because there are a lot of Mustela products. There’s Mustela Bebe (basic skin care and protection) and the Dermo-Pediatric (problem/sensitive skin). There are also pregnancy and sun protection lines. Stelatria claims to accelerate skin tissue repair – like irritations of babies around the mouth and small dry patches on eczema-prone skin. It reduces itching, tightness, redness and can improve the appearance of scars. Its active ingredients are copper, zinc, manganese and what they call Bio-Ecolia. You can read more about Stelatria here.


Stelatopia Emollient Cream was recommended by friends for Lily’s eczema breakouts. We are using this now.




I don’t know what triggers little Lily’s eczema attacks. Poor girl gets dry pathes in the crease of her elbow and knees. I used to use a dermocorticoid cream for a few days. Now with Stelatopia, we can control the itch and avoid skin breakage. She’s more comfortable with it.

I am no doctor nor scientist, so please always always check with your pediatrician before trying anything on your baby or child. I’m not here to diagnose or give prescriptions. All I’m saying is Stelatopia has been helping Lily with her mild eczema. But whenever it gets really inflamed, then I go back to one use of a dermocorticoid cream (prescribed by her doctor). However as much as possible, we try to stick with the more natural products. If I were to believe the claims and studies of the product, I should stick to Stelatopia. Apparently a study in 2007 shows that you can reduce the need to use dermocorticoids by up to 100% when using Stelatopia. More info on Stelatopia.




Stelaprotect Face Cream is for infection-prone skin and Stelatopia Milky Bath Oil is a daily bath care for dry skin with atopic tendencies (eczema) especially during flare-ups.


Mustela Bebe bath and care lines


Mustela Bebe Hydra-Stick for lips and cheeks


The Soothing Comfort Balm works for us. It’s the perfect chest rub for my kids at night. It helps them breathe and sleep well. It’s a good aid for when they have a cold. It contains natural ingredients like shea butter, honey extract, scents of pine and rosemary, linden and chamomile. It is “Terpenes-free” (no camphor, menthol, eucalyptol) which is potentially neurotoxic and shouldn’t be used on kids under 3 years. These Terpenes are banned in France.


Mustela is available at:
Ayala Trinoma 1st Level (beside Cafe Mary Grace)
Robinson’s Manila 1st Level Midtown Wing (beside Topshop)
Pure Beauty 2nd Floor Serendra
All Rustan’s department stores

Soon To open in:
Glorietta 4, 3rd Level near Mary Grace
Shangrila Mall, Level 4, in front of Mothercare
Megamall A, 2nd Level, in front of Esprit
All Landmark Department Stores

For prices and availability:



Moleskine and Crane & Co at National Book Store


Got some awesome goodies from National Book Store this weekend. They are carrying Moleskine’s new line of bags and stationery. Very sleek and modern. All in black. I was also amazed to find a huge collection of Cranes & Co stationery by the front of the store in Power Plant Mall. I love hand-written notes. I love beautiful paper. It was so much fun browsing though all the new items carried at the store. I was making mental gift lists for Christmas… yes, don’t panic, it’s “-Ber” months.


My new Moleskine Tote. Perfect for a laptop and magazines.


The special feature of all Moleskine Travelling products is the molded base. It allows your bag to stand. And it serves as extra protection.


The resilient, water-repellent exterior is made from matte black polyurethane on a woven support, propped on a molded base that gives the bag extra stability. The black nylon handles are comfortable for carrying in-hand or over-the-shoulder. The interior is completely lined in black terry fabric that attaches to Moleskine multi-purpose cases (sold separately), and also includes an “In case of loss” label sewn inside. It has one zippered pocket for corralling smaller items, and the bag is designed to carry any laptop computer with a screen size of up to 15-inch. Source: Press kit.


Moleskine Utility


Moleskine Backpack

The collection was designed by Guilio Iaccetti who is known for “Moscardino,” a multi-purpose utensil now included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There are five models, designed by Iacchetti: the Messenger with a special double flap closure, the Utility which can be carried in the hand or on the shoulder for everyday city use or short trips, the Reporter, the smallest bag in the collection, the Backpack with adjustable shoulder straps and side pockets and the Tote.

Moleskine’s Travelling and Writing Collection are in National Book Store Greenbelt 1, Power Plant Mall, SM Mall of Asia and Trinoma. To see the entire collection of Moleskine products and get updates, visit
Moleskine in the National Book Store Facebook Page.


My lovely “D” monogrammed note cards.


I’ve been a fan of Crane & Co ever since I couldn’t afford it (when I was a teenager). It was something I aspired to have. But $20 for stationery was a bit much for a 13-year old. So when I started earning my own money, I made sure to have Crane’s for special occasions. There are almost 200 designs – from cards for personal correspondence to thank you notes and greeting cards, made of 100% cotton paper, the same material used in printing currencies, passports and banknotes.

The Crane’s & Co range is at the Power Plant and Greenbelt 4 branches of National Book Store. Check out the Crane & Co page in Facebook.




My signed books from National Book Store



I’m so thrilled to welcome National Book Store as a sponsor of this blog. You can find their ad on the right side of the screen. I’ve been a loyal shopper for years. And now our partnership is official. I always find the best prices of books there. Because it’s a huge chain, they are able to get better prices for books. I’ve been a fan since I met the founder of the store, Mrs Socorro Ramos, who told me of the humble beginnings of National Book Store before the war.

And I also love that they accommodate orders (even advanced orders) for books. They’ve had some interesting events and book signings. You can keep track of their activities by “liking” their Facebook page. I’ve been very fortunate to receive a few signed copies of books from National Book Store. The newest one is by far the most interesting.


“Finding Sarah” by Sarah Ferguson. I can’t wait to read this. A lot has been written and said about this woman. It would be interesting to read her side of the story.


I was so thrilled to see my name handwritten by the former Duchess of York.


Yes, it’s really her handwriting.


And just to make sure, I checked again. It really is her handwriting. Haha. Thank you Miguel Ramos and National Book Store!


I love surrounding our home with books. For the most part we try to keep them organized. We try.


The kids love books as well. This is Sophia’s current reading box. There is a bigger shelf which she shares with Lily and Stella. Right now she loves Magic Tree House. Funny, we “discovered” the Magic Tree House by way of their research guides first. She was obsessed with the Titanic last month. It was filled with awesome facts. Her other research guides include Tsunamis and Rainforests. I was so thrilled with all the info she was getting aside from learning in school. Then I found out from a Twitter follower that Magic Tree House is actually a series of fictional stories set in real historical events. All along we were focused on the nonfiction guides. This doubled her fun! (The Manga Messiah book was a gift. It’s the Bible in Japanese anime – combines her interest in drawing animation and bible stories).


I’m sharing my other signed books from National Book Store. David Archuleta signed this for me and my daughters. Confession, we don’t really know who he is. When Sophia saw that he signed this for us, she thought I knew him personally. Days later she said her friend in school had photos of him in her bag. I told them the story is about this young man’s journey to fame – how he tried and gave his best along the way. Last weekend, Sophia auditioned for a solo part in her school musical. I was amazed. She’s never taken voice lessons but she has this incredible singing voice – very tender and sweet. Soprano. She’s not an extrovert/performer. So the fact that she had the will to try was a big thing. Could it have been the David Archuleta book? The theatre teacher talked to us, “She’s never taken voice lessons huh?” Then I said, “No. But she really wanted to audition. So we took her here.” (Proud mama. The fact that she had the guts to sing alone and practice for days. She’s a quiet girl. Showing up and trying was as good as getting the part.) The teacher encouraged us to get her a voice coach. We are still thinking/talking about it. Right now she’s committed to ice skating.

Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw.”


Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell’s new book “Summer and the City.”


Lauren Kate’s “Passion” from her best selling series Fallen. Very popular in the young adult fiction genre. Lauren Kate fans will freak out that I have this. Soon to be a movie.


So thrilled they sent me this. I didn’t get to meet Preston Bailey when he did his rounds here in Manila. A lovely and huge picture book filled with inspiration and ideas for entertaining and party set ups.


And Nigel Barker’s “Beauty Equation.” This is so cool. Again, I didn’t get to meet  him in Manila. So it was awesome to receive this in my door step.


All these books are in National Book Store. If you want to order any book, just let them know here. My autographed and personally dedicated books are gifts from NBS. And these are things I love and treasure. (I’m hoping one day I’ll get signed books from Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Chua and Martha Stewart, hint hint. Haha).

EDIT: You can also get signed books through National Book Store but only at exclusive events whenever they have authors on tour. And on very rare occasions only. Sorry. But you can keep track of the events at their facebook site.




Cath Kidston and traveling



I’ve barely unpacked from my India trip last week and had to pack for a three day trip with UNICEF.  Packing and unpacking is my least favourite activity. I’m never a light packer. And in India I tried to hoard fabric and stuff. So our bedroom looks like a stockroom right now. I’ve committed to cleaning up everything today. I’m looking back at what items I brought to India. A few of you asked about my wardrobe… Note that I am not the most practical packer.


Some of the things I brought with me to India…


I knew I would wear K & Company‘s new collection as soon as we did the photoshoot. Lovely colour-blocking in 100% cotton. When in India, wear natural fibre. Avoid blends and polyester etc. Too hot. I’m most comfortable in dresses, so it’s not a problem for me to travel in dresses. Plus we had a vehicle at all times. The only walking we did was in actual sites. And even if I had to walk all day I could still do it in cotton dresses. Footwear is a different consideration.

I brought a big fan from Beabi. I love these things. So light and so big. You get the biggest wind. Been using these fans for the longest time. You can use them as a sun shade too. But because the heat in India was unbearable that day we went to Fatehpur Sikri, I used an umbrella/parasol instead.

Before leaving, everyone warned me to bring socks for the Taj Mahal. I brought these BioFresh socks with anti-slip rubber dots in the bottom. It comes in a pack of three. Inexpensive. So I figured, I’d just throw them out after the Taj. They are available at the Biofresh online shop.

All books will tell you that you can’t wear shoes to the Taj as it’s a sacred site. Some travellers also warned me that it would be risky to leave the shoes in the shoe area of the Taj because sometimes it gets stolen 🙁 So I came prepared. I brought these foldable ballet flats (they come with a bag) I got from the Gap, thinking I’d just pack away my shoes and keep them in my purse.

As it turns out our tour guide got us disposable shoe covers. So we didn’t have to give up our shoes or wear socks. I got to keep my high platform wedges on. Yup, I wore crazy shoes at the Taj… thinking of my visuals before comfort. More on that in my next story.


For my next trip, I used my new Cath Kidston overnight bag. The same exact one used by the Duchess of Cambridge.


I had to bring a lot of my gadgets – laptop, ipad, DSLR, compact camera, chargers and more. I also brought my own coffee and French press because I didn’t know what to expect there. And I need coffee to function well. Instant coffee isn’t real coffee, haha.

I was pleased to use my new Cath Kidston bag. It was a gift from the cool people of Cath Kidston in the UK!! And it’s the same bag that the Duchess of Cambridge used on her trip to Canada! Same shape and design, in a new colour called Spot Slate. They had just launched it in their new Autumn Winter 2011 catalog, and they said I was one of the first ones to have it. Cath Kidston’s Spot Overnight Bag retails for $110 and is available to us here in the Philippines by clicking that link.


The Cath Kidston overnight bag of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as seen in her trip to Canada.


My Cath Kidston overnight bag as seen in NAIA Terminal 2. Ha!


I love it! Thank you Cath Kidston! It’s so roomy, perfect for weekend trips or sports. I will use it as my UZ bag as when I do shoots, I bring a gazillion pairs of shoes. The oil cloth is easy to clean. Now I want the Spot Wheeled Holdall to go with this. My Samsonite wheelie broke on me in India. Ugh.



Winner of luxury eyewear from SPEX




Versace eyewear from SPEX Greenbelt 5


This was a fun raffle. We got 920 Facebook likes and many more Tweets (I can’t count the tweets and retweets). After reviewing the comments here in Disqus, I found quite a number of duplicates so we ended up with 671 comments.

According to, the lucky winner is the 32nd commenter. Congratulations Julie Christy Chua!

Next contest will be very very interesting…