Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My first ever carbonara!

This post is brought to you by Nestlé All Purpose Cream.

I'm a pretty good cook. My husband says that's one of the reasons he married me. But you know what? I've never cooked carbonara. The major reason is I prefer red sauce to white sauce. But now that I have kids, I figured I shouldn't impose my culinary preferences on them. Since my boys love pasta, they should try all kinds of pasta and sauces. I mean, all the pasta they know is spaghetti with tomato meat sauce! And, I'll be honest, they don't seem excited anymore when I serve them spaghetti. 

And that's why I decided to cook my first carbonara!
I found a carbonara recipe online and I liked that the ingredients weren't so intimidating. Just bacon (my family's favorite!), ham, cheese, milk and cream. I confess that I have never cooked anything with cream before. That's the territory of my sister, Jacqui, who swears by Nestlé All Purpose Cream. She says that it makes everything she makes extra creamy, adds a great texture, and makes food malinamnam. So for my first ever carbonara, I'm using Nestlé All Purpose Cream!

Half a kilo of noodles (I used spaghetti noodles so that it's familiar to my kids)
1 can evaporated milk
250 ml Nestlé All Purpose Cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
200 grams sweet ham (since my family loves bacon, I didn't use ham and just added more bacon!)
200 grams bacon
6 cloves of garlic, minced (the recipe called for a whole head but my kids don't like garlic)
1 onion, minced
1 tsp white pepper (you can use black pepper but I prefer white so that it looks nicer, no black spots on the white dish!)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Chopped parsley as garnish

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to spell my name

My first name always gets massacred. Francis. Franzen. Princess. Pansit. My last name is pretty simple but it's spelled as Salas, Sanchez and Sally. I'm exasperated but I'm used to it because I grew up with people wondering about my maiden name, too, which is Amper. Amper is not so common so people turn it into Amber, Ampere, Unfair. So I'm quite used to people not remembering my name. Then there are also a lot of people who can't forget my name because apparently it's unusual.

Frances Amper.

I think it's a pretty name. An intelligent name. I love my former name. I love it so much that when I got married, I didn't change my name. My husband is Vince Sales and his wife—me—is Frances Amper.

I also married at 30 and have built a career with that name so I didn't want to change my name. But on our first anniversary, Vince said he'd like for us to share the same last name. So, because I promised to love and obey, I changed my name to Frances Sales.

I use Frances Amper Sales professionally. Because of that, I guess that's why people address correspondence to me as such: "To Ms. Frances Amper-Sales."

My last name is just Sales. It isn't hyphenated. When you hyphenate a last name, that means you use the whole thing, so if we must be formal, I'd be addressed as "Ms. Amper-Sales." On invitations and letters addressed to us as a couple, the correct address is "To Vince Sales and Frances Amper-Sales." But my last name isn't Amper-Sales. It's just Sales. No hyphen. So you can write on the envelope, "To Vince and Frances Sales."
This is correct because Amper is my middle name.
This is incorrect because my last name isn't Amper-Sales.
Frances Sales.

In normal, ordinary life, that's the name I use. When I introduce myself to my kids' friends, teachers, to my husband's friends, I'm Frances Sales. In the last couple of years, I've dropped my maiden name, however. I now just tell people—whether I work with them or not—to address me as Frances Sales. It's simpler.

I like my name now because it rhymes. Someone even asked me if that was a stage name I invented. Haha, it's my real name, folks. I really married a Mr. Sales and I married him for love not because I wanted a name that rhymed.

Was it difficult for me to become a Ms. Sales, to let go of my father's name and take on my husband's name? Well, in the beginning, yes. I'm attached to Amper. I mean, I've been attached to it all my life! But I like that I changed my name. Here are my reasons:
  1. To my surprise, I actually loved that my new name made me feel like I am one with my husband. We're a team. That's what married life is all about!
  2. I liked how symbolic it was to drop my maiden name—it didn't just usher in a new life as a married woman; it also reminded me that I was leaving my family. By changing my name, I felt like life was going to be better because I'm a new person now. I have a new name! 
  3. When the children came, I was happy I shared their last name. We were all the same, in the same team, one family unit. My new name told my kids that I belong to their papa, I belong to them, and that they all belong to me. 
  4. I actually like that my name rhymes!
How about you? Did you keep your maiden name? Did you take your husband's name? Do you like your married name? Did life change when you changed your name? Tell me! I'd like to know!

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Meet Topaz Horizon, the nail polish from Girlstuff

Summer is nearly over but I still can't get over the fact that I have a summery nail polish color named after my blog! Thanks so much, Girlstuff Forever! I'm so enjoying all these photos of the #BloggersEliteSummer Collection having a fun summer:

I also enjoyed it when nail art and nail polish enthusiasts posted their fabulous nails over on Instagram:

I'm so in love with the Girlstuff #BloggersEliteSummer Collection but I'm definitely most smitten by my bright and creamy yellow polish, Topaz Horizon! It's soooo ME—bright, bold, can't ignore and yet comforting and friendly.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos from the photo shoot of us bloggers (Nikki Tiu of AskMeWhats, Jackie Go of Go Jackie Go!, and Cristina Decena of Strutting on Sunshine).