Varekai x Mac



I saw Varekai on Premier Night a few weeks ago. I got invited by Hoopla, through ABSCBN anchor Ces Drilon. It was an incredible show. I was seated with old friends and colleagues – Ces, Julius and Tintin Babao, Karen Davila. I brought my mom with me.


The Grand Chapiteau at Quirino Grandstand. During Premier Night, it was raining.


Mom and I at Tapis Rouge on Premier Night. Tickets to Tapis Rouge are P10,500 each! But there are different ticket categories, please check out the link.


Just like in all Cirque du Soleil productions, you will sit at the edge of your seat. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. In addition to the stunts and beautiful acrobatics that Cirque is known for, Varekai also has some comic parts. I knew my kids would enjoy this and after seeing it on premier night, I kept wishing for another chance to bring my daughters.

I first watched Cirque du Soleil in the late 80’s in Canada. They were just on the verge of becoming a world famous production then. I never forgot the experience. It was magical. It stayed with me forever. And Varekai did not disappoint. I knew my kids would love it.

Lucky is an understatement. I got another invitation for Varekai – this time from MAC. They offered me two Tapis Rouge tickets (again!). My husband isn’t really into these types of shows. He obviously doesn’t know what he’s missing. I should have shown him this video preview. So I ended up bringing Sophia to the show last night.


Sophia at the Tapis Rouge during intermission. She wore the dress from Rajito. (And yes, I purposely took her photo this way, with shadows.) She loved every minute of it. Even though it was way past her bedtime on a school night, she didn’t doze off.


Didn’t I just say that Anne of Green Gables was one of the best Canadian exports and legacies? Well here are two more — Cirque du Soleil and MAC makeup.
MAC sent me this interview of Cirque du Soleil’s makeup designer, Nathalie Gagne:

Makeup Designer Nathalie Gagné has been fascinated by makeup and its influence on the actor’s craft since her teens. She studied theatre production at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, a community college in Quebec, then went on to become one of the first graduates of the Montreal subsidiary of the famed Paris- based makeup school École Christian Chauveau.

Since Cirque performers have to apply their own makeup, Nathalie Gagné involves them in the actual creation of their onstage look. “Unlike actors, acrobats aren’t used to studying their own faces,” she says. “One of my goals is to get them to do just that, and help them find within themselves what I call ‘lines of force’ that will serve to build their characters.”

Which MAC cosmetics products are used the most in the show?
‘Definitely, the black track gel eyeliner, it is a must. Also, the pigment colour powder mixed with a medium water base. The Creamstick also.’

Which of these products can readers purchase, and how can they use them for a more modified look?
‘Most of the products we use in Varekai are from Mac Pro. The shows Zumanity, Corteo and LOVE have more a fashion look.’

What is the best thing about the collaboration between MAC and Cirque de Soleil?
MAC is willing to develop new and special products for our specific needs. MAC has also a very impressive selection of colors and a wide variety of products! We share many good ideas together more and more. They are as crazy as we are at Cirque du Soleil. Both our companies are similar in many ways.’


‘To create my looks, I work closely with the Costume Designer and Stage Director. My first inspiration will come from the costumes sketches. I will then do a research through magazines, books or any other visual stimulation element and will present the result of my research to the stage director. I will also spend some time watching the artists doing workshops during rehearsals. The way they move, their facial expressions and the character they are developing will give me very good insight on how to design their make up.” –Nathalie Gagne


‘The artists learned to put on their makeup with a «step by step» guide which means outlining on paper every step of the make up, accompanied by photos of the artist illustrating the application of the make up itself. This «step by step» will then become the reference tool for the artist to reproduce his make up himself. After the first encounter, the artist will have a minimum of 3 appointments with one of my wonderful assistants who, with great patience and generosity, will teach the artist some tricks of the trade that will help him do his own makeup.
I visit the majority of our shows twice a year to ensure that the artists do their make up according to the original concept and to work with them or help them if necessary.” — Nathalie Gagne


‘It is always very important to work with the artists, but, at Cirque du Soleil, since 70% of the artists are primarily acrobats or former athletes and do not have that much stage experience, I will teach them how to apply makeup rather than create my looks with them. They have to learn the basics and learn that they have face muscles that they play with those to make facial expressions that will give life to the make up.” — Nathalie Gagne.


For tickets to Varekai, please go to Hoopla.


What Kate likes



Promise, I’m still here and I have not gone mad. I am just really enjoying the reception my blog is getting from my new sponsors. Since I moved to this new home, I allowed my site to receive sponsorships. Like the story of many bloggers, I’ve been devoting a lot of time to blogging. I take my own photos and tell my own stories. I’ve done it for years with very little sponsorships. Now that the new site allows ads, I’m in this phase of being wide-eyed mainly at the access to information given by advertisers. It is such a pleasant coincidence that my first advertisers are brands that the Duchess of Cambridge also likes (I’m always tempted to keep calling her Kate Middleton).


This shows the Duchess of Cambridge in Canada wearing the same Links of London Hope Egg earrings with white topaz that she wore in her official engagement photos. The clickable link will take you to the Links of London site where you can keep checking if it’s already in stock or still on waitlist. I put myself on the list — might as well end this obsession somehow. Photo by Heritage Canada Flickr.


The Duchess, wearing a cream dress by Joseph, a British company, and a Nathalie clutch from LK Bennett. I can’t find a clearer picture but she is wearing another Links of London earrings. Photo by Heritage Canada Flickr.


Sorry for the small photo, from, desperate for a clearer shot of the earrings.


This is the pair, the Duchess. Effervescence Bubble Stiletto Earrings from Links of London, with lavender iolites, priced nicely at $215. The link takes you to the site directly, but I can’t tell whether it’s sold out or not.


In case you miss the “Bubble Stiletto” pair, there is this other version that’s equally as cute and elegant. Effervescence Pearl Stiletto Earrings. This one is still in stock.


Remember this famous dress Kate wore when they met with the Obamas in Buckingham Palace? Let’s not even talk about how quickly it sold out in Reissonline.comus. So instead I had a look at the site and selected outfits that I think Kate might like (or at least I would). Photo: Getty Images via Huffington Post


I noticed she likes ruching and waist-cinching silhouettes. She would look great in this dress. I think anyone would. This is one of those dresses you wish you always had in your closet for any surprise occasion that calls for it. Reiss Lourdes WRAPPED ROUCHED FRONT DRESS with delicate lace detailing and overlay. Lourdes is a sleevless dress with gathered v-neck, ruching on the left ribs and back with definition at the waist. The dress fastens with a concealed zip a the back and is fully lined. Team with heels along with a simple clucth and Lourdes is your ticket to effortless eveningwear.


This is in keeping with the character of her ivory Reiss dress in her engagement photo – which had an assymetrical cut down the front. It also reflects the theme of her other dresses – ruching, criss-cross, low neck, capped sleeves. Reiss Livia TWIST FRONT DRESS Calf length dress with twist front detail. Livia fastens with a concealed zip at the back, has cap sleeves, asymmetric seam detail on the front and an asymmetric neckline with a luxurious ruched overlay that comes down through the front for a flattering finish. Wear this unique and elegant dress with killer heels and a clutch for the perfect up town look.


One word – pretty. Reiss Naomi FIT AND FLARE DRESS With intricate artful detailing on the top, this black Reiss dress is a stand out number. Naomi has a panelled waistband, full skirt and fastens with a concealed zip at the back. Complement this summer dress with some killer heels for a chic and pretty party combination. Front length from shoulder – 93.2cm

Ok, I’m not sure if Kate would actually wear this, she might disappear being that thin and all. But I would choose this, since I have a lot to hide in my figure (ie. 3 kids). I just love the colour and shape(lessness). Reiss Tamsin SILK ONE SHOULDER DRESS Tamsin’s one shoulder feature will make for a bold eveningwear statement this season. This silk Reiss dress is knee length, has pleated overlay detail on the one shoulder strap, seams on the back and fastens with a concealed zip at the side.

I love this black jersey dress. It’s so elegant and timeless. I want. I want. Reiss Austin SLEEVED DRESS WITH FLARED SKIRT

After seasons of wearing monster-shoes and platforms, it is so refreshing to go back to basic pumps like this. This pair again has that stunning royal colour. It’ll definitely level-up even the most simple outfit. Reiss Theo HIGH COURT SHOE Theo is a leg lengthening shoe choice. These Reiss court shoes can be slipped on easily to create a vivid, eye catching colour accent to any ensemble. The perfect choice for Spring. Heel height 4 inches.





Links of London



This is a huge surprise. Links of London is now an advertiser in my blog. Yay! Those of you who’ve been following/reading me know that I have a “thing” for Links of London. I wear a Sweetie bracelet everyday together with a sterling silver friendship bracelet. I’m happy Links is here in my site.


This is my own Sweetie bracelet. I’m slowly building the charm collection. I didn’t get them all in one blow. I figured, I could just get one charm everytime I travel.


Stella received her own Sweetie bracelet during her Christening. It was a gift from her godfather Trevor, my brother in law. Now my sister is helping me build her charm bracelet. There’s a starfish, because “star” is “stella.” And there’s a little daisy too, daisy means “margarita.” The heart came together with the bracelet.


Well, this is old news. But I thought of posting it here, to report to you that the earrings of Kate Middleton in the photo below are still sold out. (EDIT: Apparently not really sold out, keep on reading).


Prince William and Kate Middleton’s official engagement portrait by Mario Testino. She wore these simple Links of London earrings. They’ve now become iconic pieces; and there’s a waiting list for them around the world. They are called Hope Egg Earrings, an important symbol in Russian culture, traditionally given for birthdays, festivals, etc. The egg represents hope and new life.


Hope Egg earrings with White Topaz. This is the exact identical pair worn by Kate Middleton. Made of sterling silver and white topaz. If you want to put yourself on the waiting list just click on the photo. (EDIT: I just clicked on the photo and they have the earrings in stock right now!)


Hope Egg Earrings in Pink Sapphire. This is a pretty option.



If you really want the same earrings as Kate Middleton’s and cant wait, you can go for this, the sterling silver version without white topaz.


Watch Over Me Moon 18 carat gold ring. I love this ring. Wish list!



Watch Over Me Serenity 18kt Gold Necklace. Another wish list!
Inspired by the magical power of the talisman, the Watch Over Me Collection includes elements from nature and centres around an ancient symbol of protection, the evil eye. Jewelry should always be meaningful and infused with emotion. Watch Over Me is both whimsical yet profoundly symbolic, and bound to bring good fortune! The Serenity necklace in 18kt yellow gold, comprises of the olive branch, white gold pavé diamond set crescent moon, full moon in yellow gold with handset diamonds and sycamore they are all symbols of love, luck and protection. The necklace also incorporates the evil eye set in yellow gold is made of topaz and onyx as the pupil with diamonds set around its circumference. It offers protection and is overlooking, warning away evil. The lucky horseshoe doubles as the clasp fastening.

The Everlasting Postcard. I want this because this is exactly the same quote that Lily tells me everyday. But with this postcard, you can personalize it with your own quote and own handwriting. This a return to an old-fashioned tradition and a unique way to show you care. Liquid silver plate postcard is designed to engrave a personal message, in your own handwriting, that can be kept forever. How to order your postcard: Please click the photo to download and print out the postcard order template, complete all details asked for and specify your message clearly on the template using a fine pen.

The same exact Sweetie bracelet that Stella has, shown in photo at the top.



The iconic Sweetie Bracelet. You can personalize the charms and choose from Links of London’s over 150 charms.



Like this duck charm. The cutest inside joke between Ingrid and me. We both have this as a memento from our last trip to Hong Kong.



Vintage camera charm. Patrick got this charm for me. I’m still in the process of collecting more charms for my charm bracelet.



Friendship Bracelet in navy and pink. Mine was black and baby pink. I recommend getting darker colour thread because just like a real friendship bracelet, this has tendency to get dirty – which is exactly makes it more charming.


Friendship bracelet with skulls. I’m really liking this one too.



Links of London USA
The great news is that Links of London currently has a sale – 50% off select items.  And even better news, currently Links of London is offering free shipping, no minimum. Expires 12.31.11. Code: FREESHIP. Offer applies to US addresses only.





Cath Kidston



So have you noticed? I got my first advertiser yesterday – Cath Kidston. I was so giddy, I posted it in Twitter. I had been using Cath Kidston for years now. I used to have to order them in the UK. I have a friend in London who would buy them for me and ship them here.


This was my first shipment from London in 2008. Insane, huh?


At the Standard Hotel in New York.


The one I used while I was pregnant with Stella. I loved the irony. I was wearing an edgy Eairth dress and holding a cowboy print bag. This was in 2008.


In Brooklyn, NY in my Amish widow look, 2010. (Dad, I think I left these shoes in your house. These are my favourite.)


Stella’s bib, a gift from Rossy Yabut of Heima.


Anyway, my heart sank when fakes of Cath Kidston showed up. I was specifically going anti-luxury and anti-big brands that’s why I got those floral “bayongs.” I’m really against fakes and copies of anything. I find it repulsive plus all the other issues that go with buying counterfeit. Plus, it’s so easy to tell a Cath Kidston fake anyway. The fabric alone is substandard, never mind the zipper. To top it all off, an original Cath Kidston is relatively inexpensive to begin with. So why bother getting a fake? Someone even asked me to “authenticate” her Cath Kidston purchase. Gasp!

The good news is, you can now shop for all the Cath Kidston original products you want. Just click on any of the photos below or click on the ad on the right (how’s that for subtle? haha) to bring you to the Cath Kidston site. All the prices are in US dollars and shipping to the US and Canada is not a problem. I know most of you already have a balikbayan box system of shipping things here. Or if you can’t wait any longer, just organize something through Johnny Air Cargo.

Here are some of the adorable items that caught my eye this morning.



Picnic cooler. I’d love to have this for use with the kids, to keep their drinks and snack cool.


Kids’ Provence Rose Mini Rucksack. My girls are Cath Kids fans too.


Provence Rose Set of 4 Side Plates. I’m into mismatched plates. These are just too cute!


Antique Rose Bath Towels. My husband will hurl if he sees this in our bathroom. But I don’t care because they are just so pretty!


English Rose Placement Enamel Beaker. This is just so adorable. I love the vintage feel of enamel cups.


Mini Dot Holiday Bag. I have this bag, given to me by The Bag Hag. It’s similar to the Duchess of Cambridge’s travel bag, but this has smaller dots (and actually a completely different shape). I use this on days I have to lug a few shoes for changing.

So have a look around the Cath Kidston site. A lot of items are on sale. Just click on the photos below.


Cath Kidston US


Cath Kidston US





More National Book Store goodies



National Bookstore
My summer reading from National Book Store (two books for me and five books for Sophia which I didn’t order, but they sent as a present. They must have read this).


The other day I received the best summer loot from National Book Store. I had ordered Katie Couric’s book “The Best Advice I Ever Got” as soon as Katie and her friends tweeted about it – the likes of Maria Shriver, Ellen De Generes and Ryan Seacrest. It got me curious. So I ordered from National Book Store right away. They have a very efficient system. Just ask customer service and they can order any book for you. Or better yet, join their Facebook page.


Before ordering Katie Couric’s book, I had already placed an order for Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter.” Yes she cooks. She did a series with Mario Batali about cooking. She did a travel show. And her website gives some of the easiest recipes. I was excited about the cookbook because, well it’s no secret I love everything Gwyneth. Shoot me.


National Bookstore
The book was inspired by meals she had with her father. But the recipes include her own finds and contributions from friends and family.


National Bookstore
It has snippets of her domestic life. And lots of resource info on eating healthier.


National Bookstore
Lots of anecdotes about meals she’s shared with her dad. I love this about her. You know how much I adore my parents and family.


National Bookstore
The recipes are easy and very doable. But I’m forced to buy fancy vegetables like artichoke – which I like eating but don’t know how to cook. She also recommends vegenaise, a no-cholesterol vegan mayonaise. She’s not vegan but she prefers this over mayo. I also noticed a lot of granola and oatmeal dishes for the kids.


You don’t have to be a Gwyneth fan to like this book. Like I said, the recipes range from fun and easy to scary like duck confit. It’ll be a blogpost if I get to that level. I’ve never liked cooking before. I wish my parents allowed me to be in the kitchen as a child. My brother was daring enough to cook eggs at a young age. Now he hosts dinners with really complicated and sophisticated food. I love his cooking and he loves doing it. It took me forever to appreciate the kitchen. The past couple of years though – with maids and cooks coming and going – I decided to take control, once in a while. And the few times I’ve cooked in our kitchen have turned out to be really pleasant treats for my family. And I’ve even surprised myself that I love the process of cooking. Maybe it’s because I drink while I cook. Patrick eats “too much” when I cook. And the kids rave about the stuff I make – Lily loves “green pasta” which is pesto-based, Sophia loves my shepherd’s pie and potato au gratin, Stella goes nuts over my macaroni and Patrick loves my risotto (I make it the Jamie Oliver way). Lily, who is my most expressive child, said to me the other day, “You are the best Mummy in the world because you cook the food that I love.” (She says Mummy when she’s emphatic, otherwise it’s just Mom or Mommy).

Back to Gwyneth’s cookbook, I’m excited to try her Seafood Paella (Spanish Mama Style), Sole a la Grenobloise (which seems simple enough as it just has butter and lemon), Whole Roasted Fish with Salsa Verde, Sweet Potato Ravioli (I don’t know about making my own fresh pasta but I’ll try), Vietnamese Prawn Sandwiches and Cheesy Stuffed Burgers. This could be the start of a new me. A new mama.


National Bookstore
Another good read, Katie Couric’s “The Best Advice I Ever Got”


Now Katie Couric’s book was a surprise. I’m not a fan of self-help and inspirational books. I don’t have the time and I just cringe at all that. So when I opened it and saw that it was a compilation of notes and essays from her famous friends, I initially thought, “What a rip off. This isn’t a book.” But when I started reading it, I got hooked. I loved reading about how people with extraordinary lives got to where they were, and about how they love what they’re doing. It was a big surprise when I found out that all profits of this book will go to fund Scholarship America – to help kids pay for college. I wish we could do something like that here!

Here are some excerpts from Katie’s book:

Life Is Not a Recipe:
“Whatever you choose to do with your life—whether it’s running a company or cooking dinner—stand for something you know is true. If there’s a recipe for success, it’s staying real and true. Which reminds me: Life is not a recipe. Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules. People think they are. They look as if they are. The say, ‘Do this, not this. Add this, not that.’ But, really, recipes are just suggestions that got written down.”
—Mario Batali, chef and restaurateur

Life Is a Series of Happy Accidents:
“Sometimes you just have to learn to get out of your own way. I know there are a lot of folks out there who are hoping for some words of wisdom or keys to the kingdom or that I might let them in on the Big Secret. So I will defer to Carol Brady, who in her infinite wisdom once said, “Find out what you do best and do your best with it.”
—Jane Lynch, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian

Say Yes:
“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids.”
—Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google

Patrick and I are consciously going back to reading books – real books. Our iPads are full of so much reading material. I must have more than 20 Zinio annual subscriptions. But reading from the iPad and reading magazines on it have sort of turned me a little impatient and distracted. I wasn’t appreciating or retaining information. So now we are buying real books again. And over breakfast instead of swiping our iPads we are turning pages. It feels good.

I highly recommend these two books. And check them out in National Book Store because they almost always have lower prices than the other bookstores.

Feel free to share your summer reading here… I’m curious to know what you’re reading now.

(Re-published from