Colorado, and the Russians

My BFF Jamie, that currently resides in Austin, is going back to the land where she belongs. Caalifornnniiiiaaaaaaaa, here she comes. Which, makes me super sad that I am not going to be able to jump in a car and see her in three hours. Now, it’s going to take much more planning. But that’s okay, San Diego is not to shabby. All that being said, we decided we needed to take a road trip before she departed.

Like most all things Jamie and I, Colorado was chosen on an impulse, booked and we were off. I love Jamie for her free spirit and sense of humor. She’s funny. And she doesn’t take herself to seriously. Two qualities I really admire in a human. At the end of any day and any situation, if you can sit down and find something and someone to laugh with, that’s pretty awesome. That’s my Jamie. And she loves doing bits. I mean… does it get any better? It does.

Jamie loves to do accents. I can’t do accents. I either sound Russian or Australian, usually a combination of the two. I know what you are thinking… Impressive. When we got to our resort in Vail and were taking in its awesomeness, we discovered two people on the patio below us. We couldn’t see anything but green shoes. I should mention that we had consumed a few drinks. And as usual, we think we are hilarious.

Jamie, or Olga, starts speaking in her Russian accent, about how we just got off the plane from a long flight. And how tired we are… And then I chime in, “but we must make good use of tickets from plane. Must find man, with, you know, a very large… bank account.” Then we die laughing. Jamie, er, Olga, decides we should go fishing for such men. Naturally, it makes sense to try the guys right below us.

I go looking for a notepad and pen, and we manage to scribble this…

img_6301
Then we decide to go ‘fishing’ for ‘large bank accounts’ You might wonder how one goes about this… Maybe this visual will help.

img_6303
See, you take the note, grab your fishing pole {in this case we used my phone charger} and voila. Drop lure to men below. Now, as you can imagine, you’re not always going to have good luck. These guys didn’t even bite. I can’t imagine why… But us Russian sisters who make great meatloaf don’t give up that easily. No, we took this bit to the streets of Vail.

We were off to lunch at the yummy Sweet Basil. Sweet Basil is right above Mountain Standard and they are owned by the same peeps. They are both divine, but if you are at the Mountain Standard, you must try the Corned Pork Shank. You will thank me. We didn’t order it, because we were morons and stuck with the salmon, but everyone else there was eating the Shank. And raving about how good it was. I’m going to go ahead and take everyone around us’ word for it. Not eating that shank is my biggest regret of the trip… Am I right Jamie?

Back to the story… Sorry, I get off track a lot {I’m sure you’re thinking ‘No Shit!’ Just know that I am aware you are thinking that, and I feel like the apology totally makes up for it. Plus my stories are totally worth it, so deal with it}. So, we are sitting on the patio at Sweet Basil taking in the view, when I notice a man sitting below us with a very shiny, very large… gold watch. He was obviously very proud of his watch too, because he kept propping his wrist up on the guard rail separating the restaurant from the sidewalk, which was far too high up for this ‘wrist propping’ to be natural.

img_6168-1

And this guy is clearly an asshole because he didn’t order the right thing. And he’s not a girl trying to watch her weight, so he should be eating the Shank. What a jackass. We immediately start speaking in our accents and ask the waitress for paper. I sprung into action.

Sure it’s bad lighting, but you get the point. The waitress was intrigued. Especially since we hadn’t been Russian when we ordered our food and subsequent drinks. As were the customers around us. “What are you doing?!” Ask the lady and her friend behind us. Jamie explained about needing to make good use of plane ticket as I weighted the note down with a rubber band and aimed for his table.

The note missed. The second one hit his table, and even though tables around us applauded, Dumbass didn’t notice the spitwad looking note next to his water. Third attempt hit the ground again. “Damnit!” I exclaimed loudly. Then I got up.

“What are you doing?!” Not even Jamie was prepared for what happened next. I walked down, picked up the note, and handed it to mister Dumbass, and kept walking. This is the note that finally made it to his table.


Naturally he found it hilarious. Even morons have a sense of humor. He came up to meet us.

And we introduced him to our friends.  You can tell how excited he is.

Then he ask us if we were really Russian. This guy… Is a smart one. Actually, Sean turned out to be a really nice guy. He works for Chipotle, and I spent over an hour talking about my love of tacos and asking for free food. I’m still waiting on that free burrito Sean. Don’t think I forgot about that.

Wendy Colonna, Austin, and Music, and John Branch too.

I guess if I am going to say anything about Austin and music, I must first mention John Branch. I met John Branch in high school. He was in a band called Spiritual Hum, and it contained my first real life band crush, lead singer Rob Honeycutt. John, being the nice guy that he was and is, let me go on, and on, and on, about how cute I thought Rob was. He would just nod along noting every once in a while that I was not alone, that every girl had a crush on Rob.

Anyway, that was, in like… 1993. John has moved on from Spiritual Hum and now plays for so many bands I cannot keep up. He is a master. And, he is still my friend. I love seeing him play whenever I can. Golden Dawn Arkestra {GDA} is my favorite that he is in {that I know of. Like I said, I can’t keep up with him these days. The other day I was on the old Book of Face and saw he was playing with Leon Bridges…}. Anyway, Golden Dawn is amazing, and if you love to dance, you should check out a show. They are collectively, I dare say, the most talented group of musicians playing together in Austin. I could go on and on, and will… Later.

Because I have known John for so many years I have been fortunate enough to meet and hear some of Austin’s finest musicians. Their talent blows me a way. By meeting and getting know this talented group, I found out about The Austin Daze, and Russ Hartman. Russ needed help transcribing interviews and I jumped at the chance. Through Russ I met and was exposed to more talent, which is how I came across Wendy Colonna, a singer songwriter from Lake Charles, LA, who now lives in Austin.

I had first heard Wendy’s name back in 2012 when I did a sprint triathlon in Austin. I was with my friends Haley and Emily, and I was about to puke. Emily nudged my arm and said, hey, that guy looks like your type. I turned around to see a tall, tattooed, pretty-boy with a man bun, in overalls and noted that he was my type, and ran off to puke.  I heard over the loudspeaker something about local celebrity Wendy Colonna about to enter the water and how Austin had just recently celebrated Wendy Colonna Day that April. And then I puked more. Then it was my turn to get in the water.

We finished the triathlon {barely} and loaded up and went home. Emily and Haley were talking about how much better they had done than in previous years, and I noted I did much worse and was happy I didn’t drown.

We made it back to Fort Worth and I was meeting friends and my then husband at Fred’s, where ironically,  John’s band Mudphonic was playing {Mudphonic consist of John Branch, Alex Marrero, Topaz McGarrigle, and Greg Rhodes, all in GDA as well. Talented group I tell you}.  Anyway, so I am telling John I was in Austin at the Danskin Tri, and he asked me if I knew Chad Pope. “Nope.” I replied. “Oh, I thought you might, he’s from Fort Worth too,” John said. And that was that.

Life is funny… and it turns out Chad Pope was the tattooed boy in overalls behind me at the Danskin. He was there to support his then girlfriend, Wendy Colonna.

In 2014, when I started helping Russ at The Austin Daze, I ask if I could interview her, and I did. It ended up being a series of emails back and forth as we could never seem to be in Austin at the same time. I had done my research and knew her songs from her most recent album Nectar, and that they were being played in Starbucks. I also knew that she had written a song for a little known brand Coca Cola, and you can watch that video here.

What I didn’t know, is that when I actually was able to meet Wendy two more years later, I felt like I was meeting a part of me. I felt like she was my new best friend. I liked her instantly, and fell in love with her music. I have a feeling I am not alone in thinking this. She connects with you on an intimate level with her music. It’s strong. Powerful. Moving. Relatable. She is a powerhouse. An amazing singer songwriter and storyteller. On my recent trip to Colorado {more on that later} Wendy played on a loop for several hours as Jamie and I sang along. You can click here to hear her album.

I will keep you posted on when she will be back in Fort Worth. She usually plays at the Live Oak when she is in town, but she most recently played an intimate show at my house, and we have discussed doing more of these types of shows in Fort Worth, as they are some of Wendy’s favorites, and mine now too.

Do yourself a favor, and listen. Just start with ‘Dirty Things’ and listen through ‘Mother Forgive Us’ and then you can leave a comment here thanking me.

You’re Welcome.

A little R+F Love

Real friendships are the best. You know you have a real friend when you tell them you are going to start selling Rodan + Fields, and instead of encouraging you, they tell you 50 reasons why you shouldn’t. Including that I am, 1. Not a dermatologist and 2. What the hell do I know about skin care? That same friend saw me four months later and ask me if I had recently had Botox.

Most of my friends know that I love me some Botox. But, as I get further and further away from my twenties, I seem to need Botox more and more. It was driving me crazy. After spending almost $400 in January, and not being overly thrilled with the results, apparently some of us metabolize it differently, causing it to not last as long or be as effective. Well, that’s awesome news. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I kept seeing a friend of mine who use to be a make-up artist for a big line at Neiman’s posting about Rodan + Fields. I also had an old neighbor who also loves Botox ask me if I had tried Rodan + Fields {R+F} and my curiosity was more than peaked.

In January I bought the line. I started using Soothe because my skin is so sensitive. After a month, my skin was much less red and irritated. It was also super smooth. I started using the Redefine regimen with the eye cream and really started noticing a difference the second month. The third month I started using the AMP MD system along with Redefine regimen. Hello results.


This crazy little, now patented tool, is amazingly awesome!!! I know the doctors say it much better, but it basically creates these little pricks followed by pathways in the skin {no, it doesn’t hurt} and that makes collagen surge. The collagen fills the wrinkles, making your skin not just ‘appear’ younger, but actually diminishes lines and wrinkles. It’s… the coolest thing ever. Until, I tried…


Acute Care. Acute care has the same active ingredient that my little friend Restylane has. Hyaluronic Acid. And yes, it is amazing. I have seen the results on my friends, and now I am seeing the results on myself. And unlike Restylane, I can put it on my crows feet, my forehead, or any line{s} I want to fill. It’s… freaking amazing. And, um, way cheaper than Restylane, and… my skin feels amazing. When you get Restylane, Hyaluronic acid is used via the needle. Rodan + Fields uses Hyaluronic acid in a proprietary way, in Acute Care. Through the cone-shaped design, the Hyaluronic acid is sealed into the wrinkle and works the same way as the needle. Pretty. Freaking. Cool. Um, Yeah.

Back to my friend that came to stay with me that I had not seen since my last round of Botox, slash first month of R+F… First of all she gives me a big hug, which, is not unusual, but then, she pulls me back, and goes, “Wow. Your skin really does look amazing. You look freaking young. You look my age.” We are 10 years apart. She continues, “Damn! Did you just get Botox?” “No.” I replied and smiled, just using that crap you warned me about.” “When is the last time you got Botox?” She demanded. “Right before I saw you in January!” Mind you, I saw her May 26th, when I would normally be desperate for another round of the ‘tox.

I had also just gotten my head shots back from the amazing Haley Naegele of Lady Bean Photography, and Laney, my friend and aestheticism, was looking over them with a fine tooth comb. “You look really young in this one. And this one. And, WOW. You look really young here.” And Laney does not just hand these compliments out, trust me.

And it’s not just little old me blabbing about Rodan + Fields though… The doctors who created Rodan + Fields, the same doctors that created ProActive, have also peaked Forbes interest. See the full article here: R+F in Forbes. And what is super cool is that Bridget Cavanaugh, who is featured in the Forbes article,  is my ‘boss’ which means that she trains me and my team. Which, is super cool and fun. And something a lot of other people selling R+F, do not have the benefit of. Read about her for yourself.

Here is a picture of Bridget, from the article… not to shabby.

This month I am giving away a free ‘Summer Essentials’ to anyone who signs up as a PC {Preferred Customer} on my website. That is a $64 retail value or $54 as a preferred customer. What does this mean? It means you get 10% off all products and free shipping. You have the option to have products shipped to you every 60 or 90 days, but you always have the option to not receive products or change your order or cancel at any time. The products also feature a 60 day money back/empty bottle guarentee, so if you are not satisfied, all you have to do is ship it back within 60 days. But I promise, you will be super satisfied. And anxiously awaiting your next shipment. Plus… I know, I know, there is actually more… I also make my own sugar scrub {because, let’s face it, I’m awesome} and if you become a PC, you will also get a free jar, a $25 value. Yes. That is really happening. That is a ‘Summer Essentials’ bag valued at $64 plus my own sugar scrub, valued at $25, so that is $89 for FREE. Hello summer. So…


To find out which regimen is right for you, simply click here, and in the lower right corner you will see the doctors ‘Solution Tool’. Click on that, answer the questions, and you will know what regimen is best for you. Cheers to happy youthful skin! alexismatthews.myrandf.com