Monday, February 25, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence!!!

Contrary to what some people think, I actually like Jennifer Lawrence. I don't love her (I didn't like her Hunger Games performance so much) but when I watched Silver Linings Playbook and saw the crazy-eyes scene in the diner and the scene where she mouthed off on Robert de Niro (you don't slap down de Niro and get away with it!), my thought bubble was, "Oh dear heavens. Best actress in the bag!"

image from agittated
Look at that face! Clearly someone who knows how to dig deep within her soul! I am not making fun of her! I'm kinda referring to someone else, more celebrated than Jennifer, a much bigger star but with only one facial expression—like she smelled something bad.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh, Jennifer winning the Best Actress Oscar! Am I the only one who thinks Jennifer's fall was adorable? It made her look like she was so overwhelmed at her win that she can't think or walk straight! Love Hugh Jackman (and, just found out, Bradley Cooper, too!) for rushing to her aid.

Even her speech was cute! She was dazed, totally having an out-of-body experience. Kinda reminded me of Gwyneth Paltrow, but cuter. Unlike, say, Anne Hathaway, who obviously expected to win because her speech rolled off her tongue so easily.

Excited to see more of Jennifer Lawrence's work! I hope she doesn't lose her authenticity. Many actors, as they get bigger, protect themselves by building a wall around them—a gleaming, smiling facade. I hope we allow Jennifer to be herself. I mean, she does this:
image from Mashable
She's so real, my heart aches! Love. Her!

Congratulations! You so deserve this!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

From my column photo shoots

In theory, my column in the Manila Bulletin comes out every Friday (did you get yesterday's paper???). In practice, heaven knows when it actually gets published haha. It really depends on the news and the ads. Say, if something really amazing happens (it's always amazing, never tragic, since my column is in the fashion section), then my column gets bumped off. Same thing happens when a big ad comes along.

So to those who buy the Friday paper and see no Behind the Scenes by Frances Amper Sales, please don't think I'm making it all up haha!

I'm putting a few photos from my past shoots:
This is from our photo shoot of celebrity stylist Alyanna Martinez. The column came out in the January 31 edition. You can read it online here. Funny because the title of the piece is "Style & Beauty Authority" but online it says "Beauty & Authority." Wonder what happened there.

This is for the Kate Torralba shoot. We shot this at About A Chair shop and we had so much fun with Kate and Iñigo hamming it up on the chairs. Iñigo is useful haha because he's the one the photographer uses to test the light and focus and stuff.

This column came out yesterday. It was an entire spread filled with all of Kate's favorite things: necklaces, rings, earrings, bags, shoes, perfume, nail polish, makeup brushes, makeup, nail polish! The photos of favorite things only come out in the paper so do try to buy Bulletin on Fridays. 

Strange that this column didn't come out online, though. Wonder what happened there.

This is for my feature on Cristina Gomez, the elegant and refined social editor of Lifestyle Asia magazine. She is sophistication personified! Her shoot was fun and comfortable since we did the shoot at her brother's house. Iñigo had a lot of fun there. This feature isn't out yet so do watch for it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Greenhills shopping trip

Say hello to my high school best friend, Allan John, and his amazing wife, Leah! Leah is a very busy woman during the day, traveling all over the country, but after work, she is a wife and homemaker who's created a beautiful blog about her travels, shopping finds and recipes. Read all about it on The Bright Spot.

Anyway! AJ and Leah had a double date with Vince and me recently at Greenhills since I'm obsessed with pearls and Leah happens to be very educated about them. Leah and AJ are still in their honeymoon stage so they're in the thick of furnishing their home. They were lusting after a Union Jack chest (read all about that here!) in this tiny stall that sells IKEA stuff: 
While Leah was haggling away, Vince fell in love with these laundry sacks. We bought England and Italy. We use them for the kids' dirty clothes and cloth diapers.

Meanwhile, I wanted to get these tin can sets in such sweet and delicate designs. But I was in Greenhills for one thing: pearls. So I resisted. Maybe when we go back next time!

We saw this funnily-named skirt. Any guesses why it's called express??

Haha. I wonder what M Café has to say about this! Anyway, I haven't been to this part of Greenhills forever so I was really surprised to see that National Bookstore had a major makeover.

Look! The old editions of Vince's Life! Hence the discount. You can get these books if you want to save but I highly recommend the new edition. They're edited and updated by Vince and they feature fabulous new cover art!

Leah with my Frances Sales satchel. It looks so nice! Leah carries it well. Sigh. I'm still wishing to reopen the bag business. I'm just too busy to do it now! One day, one day.

Anyway! Like I said, we were here to shop for jewelry, pearls specifically. And Leah says that the Berdori pearls are excellent. Oh my, they certainly were! Leah showed me how to look at lustre, to rub the pearls in my palm, to feel the weight, to check the sizes, to appreciate the imperfections of real pearls. Oh wow. I was overwhelmed!

These are the South Sea pearls. They are waaaay beyond my budget (for now!) but now that I know how much they are, I'm not so intimidated. One client project fee and I can buy me a string of these beauties! Must work hard!

South Sea being unattainable (for now!), we looked at the freshwater pearls selection. Just as breathtaking actually. I want to buy them all!

For Valentine's, Vince gave me a gorgeous set of pearl jewelry: studs and a single strand set in silver. They are lovely! But they whetted my appetite for more pearls! I plan to get drop earrings, a double strand matinee, a rope or the even longer lariat to wrap around my neck, and a bracelet. 

Rings? Not really planning on getting any since I already have a lot of rings. But then I saw these:
I'm in love! Each is in the price range of a designer bag. I'm not really into designer bags but you all know I've been longing for a Tod's D Bag. I even told my Nuffnang friends to give me enough work this year to buy me a Tod's (or two haha). But now that I've seen these majestic rings, I'm thinking I'd rather buy these!

Thanks, AJ and Leah! I learned a lot on our fabulous shopping trip. As soon as I can afford another piece of jewelry, I'll call you. Let's go on a double date again!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Floral print obsession

Every Spring-Summer, the floral print debuts on the runways as THE fashion trend. And every year, I'm always fascinated. But I never actually buy! My closet hardly ever has prints now. Back in my 20s, all my clothes featured prints, stripes being a favorite. Then after I got pregnant in 2010, I found myself wearing solid-color clothes, mostly black and gray. How on earth did I become so boring? It is time I start snapping up clothes with the colorful floral print!

My current obsession: the floral jacket and floral denim.

I actually didn't care for the floral denim. I remember smirking when I was seeing lots of it on OK! magazine, which I used to edit. I mean, really. Floral pants. So 90s! And if it isn't skinny enough, it will look like pyjamas! But Olivia Palermo changed that for me.

Image from Social Bliss

Image from Style.Love.Repeat.

So now I need floral pants, too!

I just find them a little scary. After all, if I don't look good in a floral jacket, I can always take it off. Can't do the same with my pants! But, okay, okay, I will try it! Dare me so I will actually feature florals on Topaz Fashion!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy birthday to the love of my life!

To the man who encouraged my dreams and pushed me to succeed, who believed in me when no one else did...

To the man who wrote me poetry, serenaded me with his guitar, and read bedtime stories to me over the phone long long ago because I couldn't sleep...

To the man who kept asking me to marry him for 7 years, and finally married me, then gave me a beautiful home, and keeps it orderly and fixes all the broken things...

To the man who was and still is so madly attracted to me despite my pimples, white hair, crazy hair, sick days, fat days, flatulent pregnant days, and horrible post-partum days...

To the man who makes me laugh every day and makes our kids laugh every day and is just about the funniest, smartest guy I know...
To the man who gave me my beautiful boys and is such a hands-on father to them and is the only other human being who loves them as much as I do (possibly more since you're more maalaga than I am!)...

Happy birthday, my dearest Vince! Thank you for the love and the laughter!

Gorgeous Keira

I was captivated from the first shot to the very last. Keira Knightley is just stunning in her latest commercial for Coco Mademoiselle.

Love the bedroom. Love the boots. Love the bike! Beige has never been so sexy!
And here's the behind-the-scenes story. Even here, she looks amazing! And that accent. She speaks so well!

I love her short hair. I suddenly want to cut mine short again! But methinks I need to be as skinny as Keira. That's like 15 lbs to lose. Oh my.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On this day of flowers and chocolates...

I got pearls.

Thank you to the love of my life for always making me feel like a queen! Happy Valentine's Day, Vince!

Valentine's giveaway! Adoré and Aqua Fresco for you and your guy


Quick Valentine's Day promo!

Ardent World, Inc. has a new line of fragrances for girls and boys who want to smell really good. They're called Adoré for her and Aqua Fresco for him. Here's the complete line:

That's a lot, right? Two of my readers will win all of that! All you have to do is Tweet!

Steps to win: 
1. Go to your Twitter account.
2. Follow @FrancesASales
4. Tweet this: “Happy Valentine's Day, @FrancesASales! I want a complete set of @AdoreFragrances and @AquaFrescoMen to keep smelling fresh every day!” 
5. Comment on this post with your full name and Twitter name.

Giveaway will run until tomorrow 6pm! Tweet tweet!


Adoré and Acqua Fresco are available at SM Supermarket, SM Savemore, SM Hypermarket, Cherry Foodarama, Daily Supermarket, Ever Supermarket, Isetann Supermarket, Landmark Dept. Store and Supermarket, Liana’s Supermarket, Robinson’s Dept. Store, Rustan’s Supermarket, Sta. Lucia Supermarket, Tropical Hut, City Supermarket (CSI), Liana’s Supermarket Calamba and San Pablo, LCC Dept. Store, Tiongsan Dept. Store, Unitop Supermarket, Robinson’s Dept. Store Iloilo and KCC Mall of Gensan  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Best bedsheets ever! Ever!!!

I've been sleeping in luxury for a while now. Actually, my whole family has been! All because of Butterfly Dreams. Just before Christmas, the luxe linen brand from Hong Kong emailed me to say they wanted to send me bedsheets. I was so surprised! Vince said, "They must've seen our ratty sheets."

Haha, you know, in our defense, we actually have a nice collection of sheets. But I did notice that whenever I post photos of my kids on the blogs, and the kids are on the bed, we happen to always have the striped sheets! And, yeah, those are old.

But now we have brand new sheets and they are the best sheets we've ever lain on. Ever!

We got a queen size set. That includes a flat sheet (350 thread count!) in white cotton, and a fitted sheet and two pillow cases in the signature Swankysuede. We also got a duvet cover (our duvet is from Rustan's, if you're asking) and now it feels like we are cocooned in velvet butter. It is the most amazing experience!

What do I love?

1. The Swankysuede. It's the material the sheets are made of, except for the flat sheet. Swankysuede is hard to describe. It looks like velvet but it isn't. It kinda looks like the furry side of leather but it isn't. What it is is super soft and smooth and it caresses my skin like kisses!

2. The flat sheet is made of high thread-count cotton. That makes it extra smooth and soft. It's edged in satin (ours is serene green to match the Ethan Allen headboard). There are also very subtle butterfly designs all over the flat sheet. My toddler Vito likes looking for them. It's a cute game for him!

3. I really like that the pillowcases are zippered. That way, you don't have the pillow peeking out.

4. Butterfly Dreams is luxurious but the price isn't. Well, it's still more expensive than most bedsheets. My queen set is USD 165 (Php 6,700) and the duvet cover is USD 230 (Php 9,360). But for the quality and the experience, it really comes out as quite affordable!

Okay, to prove to you how exquisite the sheets are, I had them tested by the most discerning people in my life: my kids! You all know how kids are brutally honest and how their skin is so sensitive. But Butterfly Dreams passed their stringent standards! Just look at them rejoice!

I posted Iñigo's photo on Butterfly Dreams' Facebook page haha. It got a lot of likes!

It's so nice that my kids love Butterfly Dreams. Especially since a portion of the profits are donated to Savong, a school and orphanage in Cambodia. Won't that fact give you sweet dreams, knowing you've helped kids while you sleep?

I think every family should get a set or two. Your kids will love them. If you don't have kids, I swear, the sheets are so nice on your skin, they will make you want to make kids *wink wink*!

Sleeping on Butterfly Dreams feels like sleeping on rose petals. Velvety smooth. The kids sleep deeper and longer, too. And what mommy wouldn't like that?

If you want a deeper, more restful, and definitely more luxurious sleep, get a set (or two!) of Butterfly Dreams. While this luxe linens brand is based in Hong Kong, you don't have to order online anymore (although if you want to, order at their website!). Just this month, Butterfly Dreams is now available in Make Room. Soon, the linens will be available in more stores! How wonderful! Must get a set again!