AWorld of Words

Northern Living - - NORTHERNERS - BY MARAH S.D. RUIZ

I love where I live be­cause it is in the cen­ter of ev­ery­thing.

Frances Amper-Sales is truly one of those lucky ones who was able to sur­round her­self with the things that she loves. A writer at heart, it is only log­i­cal that she worked her way up the ranks of the pub­lish­ing in­dus­try and be­came the edi­tor of a celebrity mag­a­zine. How­ever, she left that world she loved (and still loves) for an even greater love—her sons.

Still, the writer in her couldn't be quelled. Though she is now a full­time mom, she still finds time to run two blogs and con­trib­ute to a va­ri­ety of pub­li­ca­tions.

Frances is mar­ried to a fel­low writer, Vince Sales. They were blessed with two boys, Vito and Iñigo. “When we were younger kasi, we'd look at other peo­ple our age who were par­ents and they all looked mis­er­able! So Vince and I put off [hav­ing] kids be­cause we were con­vinced chil­dren are hor­rid crea­tures,” is her ex­pla­na­tion on why they be­came par­ents at an older age.

THE WORK-FROMHOME MOM

Frances main­tains a news­pa­per col­umn called "Be­hind the Scenes," which fea­tures so­ci­ety's no­table women. She also reg­u­larly con­trib­utes ar­ti­cles to Ya­hoo! and other mag­a­zines. But it is her blogs that con­sume most of her free time.

"I earn from blog­ging so I at­tend events and meet clients who spon­sor con­tent on my blogs," she says, ex­plain­ing that there is more to blog­ging than writ­ing. "[But] I also still write a lot!"

Frances ad­mits that since be­com­ing a mom, her sense of fash­ion has evolved. She has had to forego old fa­vorites such as tight dresses, short skirts, high-neck tops and dresses, del­i­cate ma­te­ri­als, dan­gling ear­rings, chunky neck­laces, and six-inch heels.

"My clothes have to be tough and be breast-feed­ing-friendly. They also have to be com­fort­able and not friv­o­lous," she says of her wardrobe ad­just­ment af­ter hav­ing two very ac­tive boys.

She claims to have found the so­lu­tion that would al­low her to still be stylish with­out be­ing too friv­o­lous— wrap dresses. "They are dressy enough for any af­fair. The deep V-neck­line al­lows me to pop out a boo­bie if my baby gets hun­gry. And they're usu­ally made of silk jersey so they don't crease! Plus the prints hide food stains, milk stains, and other kid-re­lated messes!"

THE TOPAZ BLOGS

Frances has two blogs, Topaz Hori­zon (www.topazhori­zon.com) and Topaz Mommy (www.mom­my­topaz.com). As a frus­trated news­pa­per colum­nist, she started her blogs in 2005 as pub­lic venues for her thoughts. She named the blogs af­ter her birth­stone, and as such, they still re­flect as much of her per­son­al­ity as they could.

She keeps her blog per­sonal by writ­ing about her fa­vorite shows, books, fash­ion finds, trips here and there, and of course, her hus­band and kids. "I usu­ally just write what I feel like writ­ing. My blogs are still my on­line jour­nals."

Since her blog took off, brands have con­tin­u­ously in­vited her to events, of­fered to spon­sor posts, and even sent her good­ies. But due to her jour­nal­is­tic train­ing, she has come up with an edi­to­rial pol­icy of only fea­tur­ing brands that she ac­tu­ally sup­ports and uses. "Even if a big spon­sor comes of­fer­ing me big com­pen­sa­tion for some­thing I do not use, I refuse."

Frances claims that good sto­ry­telling is key to a good blog, "You can be the best gram­mar­ian and speller in the world but if you can't tell a story, you can't cap­ture an au­di­ence."

I'm a writer by pro­fes­sion. Here

I am with my son Iñigo af­ter in­ter­view­ing Judy Ann San­tos

for a par­ent­ing mag­a­zine.

My fam­ily! I'm mar­ried to writer Vince Sales, and we have two sons, our pride and joy, Vito and

Iñigo.

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