Excuse Me?

The one thing I cannot stand {being the stubborn person I am} is someone having the audacity to tell me I can’t do something. Excuse me? I can do whatever the hell I want too, and I will. Try me.

So when someone said to me that they doubted I could quit drinking, naturally, their reverse psychology worked. I was all, um… Of course I could, I just choose not too. I like alcohol, I don’t need it.

See, when I was 18 months old, I told my mother I wasn’t going to suck my fingers or use my blanket anymore.

I took my blanket and threw it in the trash can. We lived in Houston at the time. My mom ran and got the blanket out of the trash knowing her sweet {haha} baby girl would surely be wanting it soon.

That night I went to bed without my blanket. My mom watched me sleep. She said I would take the two fingers I sucked and hold them down by my side. Then my lips would start making the sucking motion in my sleep and my fingers would make their way to my lips. She said every time they so much as touched my lips I’d jerk my entire arm back down to my side.

I never sucked my fingers again, and I never ask for my blanket. Which killed my mom, who still has the blanket to this day.

So bring it on. I’ve decided to take all the money I normally spend on alcohol and going out and I’m going to use it to travel with, because I love to see the world. And I can see a lot more of it if I’m not spending $12/drink.

World… here I come.

And to the person who said that to me, just watch me.

Eight days in I feel great. The satisfaction alone of knowing I am proving someone wrong is worth it all by itself, and yes, there are other benefits. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

xo

My {almost} year as a Stay at Home Mom

Until last September, I had always been a working mom. And I had a really flexible job, which was great, but I still worked summers, during Christmas and spring breaks… I never had weeks at a time off with my kids.

While this year has been incredibly tough, it has been a year of incredible growth. It has also been immensely rewarding. I have been reminded many times that tough times do not define our character they reveal it, and I have been reminded of my true strength and stamina.

I want to say this to stay at home moms… I’m jealous. I know there are a lot of us v. them when it comes to working moms v. stay at home moms. Some moms love staying at home. Some moms work because they have to and wish like hell they could be at home. Some moms love working and should feel no guilt for having a career. And some stay at home moms wish they worked. All of the above are completely normal.

When I was a new mom, until present day, when I compare myself to other moms I always give myself an ‘F’. I sometimes, and most unfortunately, by into the post on Facebook and Instagram. I can’t compare.

What I have learned though, is that as much as I don’t compare to those other moms, I am enough for my kids. Who think I am the best mom ever {because they are not on Facebook and Instagram and have no idea how I actually fail in comparison to everyone else}.

In fact, they usually say it to me daily.

“Mom, I love you, you are the best mom ever.”

And it’s usually for something like cooking turkey bacon for dinner, or some other completely insignificant event.

We are all enough.

Enjoy the little things.

Treasure each moment you can.

Be kind to each other.

Love Trumps hate.

Every single time.

And it takes a whole lot less energy to love than it does to hate.

Save that energy for something else. Like holding open a door for someone. Smiling at the person in line behind you at the grocery store, and giving an accepting nod to the mother looking mortified as her child throws a tantrum about getting on an airplane.

It takes a village.

A village of non assholes.

xoxo

PS, Drawing for the winner of a new special candle is tomorrow, don’t forget to comment on the last post to enter to win.

Design. Build. Adventure. 

I’ve heard there are three ways you can create new brain cells. One is to learn something new. I forgot the other two…

Anyway.

For years I had seen a friend from middle school’s post on his company, Design Build Adventure, and I had always been intrigued.

Here is an example…


I mean… aren’t you intrigued?

I signed up and packed my bags for the high desert of West Texas.

I can’t weld, but I was so excited to learn, and Captain Jack and his crew, Will and Parker, were excellent teachers.

The workshop consisted of consulting with two local artist, Nick and Maryam, who generously have donated part of their land to a playground. It’s called Eastside Playground and you must check it out when traveling through Marfa.

Nick and Maryam wanted a sign for the entrance and a table with benches for kids and parents to sit, play, and gather on.

We had two days to design, build, and make it happen.

The collaboration of the group was magical. Mystical. An experience I’ll never forget.

This is what we made.

Photo credit above to the amazing Nick Terry.

We also made this welcoming sign.


I left with a great sense of satisfaction, although I’m not exactly sure how I contributed other than a willingness to learn and an abundance of enthusiasm for the project.

Thank you Jack and your team, your amazing wife and kiddos, Terry and Maryam, and all who signed up for the class for making this an experience I’ll never forget!

Check out more about Design Build Adventure at http://www.designbuildadventure.com

Seeing Laura Bush

During the 2004 Republican convention I was lucky enough to score an internship with The Detroit News. Anything my boss, didn’t want to cover, or couldn’t cover because she had something bigger to do, she sent me too.

Everything came in the form of invitations, and she would dump everything out and ask me to pick and choose what I wanted to attend. I scored huge that internship. I got to go to ‘Wednesday Night Live’ hosted by the cast of Saturday Night Live, I got to meet all the greats in news, like the late Tim Russert, who called me ‘Lil Red’ on the convention floor, Anderson Cooper, Larry King… but back to Laura Bush.

Alison (my boss) calls me in a panic saying she can’t attend the Laura Bush luncheon, so I need to drop whatever I am doing, run grab the invite, purchase a tape recorder, and get to The Marriott Times Square in 30 minutes.

In a panic, I grabbed a suit, threw it in my purse, ran down the hall to her room, grabbed the invite, got to the street, hailed a cab and said, “Um, take me to get a tape recorder please.”

He looked at me and ask if I wanted to go to Best Buy or something, and I said, no, I need to be in Times Square in less than 20 minutes.

He said we’d have to stop at one of the highly overpriced shops right by Times Square and I assured him at this point, that was fine.

Remember the days before iphones? This would never happen in 2017.

He pulled over, I ran in, grabbed some highly overpriced horrible tape recorder and hopped back in the cab with 5 minutes to change I wriggled into my suit like I use to change clothes in the third grade and we pulled up to the hotel.

I thanked and paid the cab, and grabbed my media badge out of my purse, and jumped out of the car and started running.

Some guys on the street made some crack about where was I headed so fast, should they alert the media, and I turned around, flashed my badge, and shouted, “I am the media!”

It’s the one and only time I’ve ever been able to do that.

Oh, and then I went and saw Laura Bush speak. She was poised, nice, intelligent, and gave a great speech on education.

I wish I had more information about the speech, but the tape recording was horrible, and nothing could be used. But I can report the lunch was fabulous.

You can read more about my internship and my story about Karl Rove by clicking here.

Hotel Ella

Where everybody knows your name… I cannot say enough amazing things about this hotel. It’s… wonderful. The hotel itself is an old mansion in Austin which they have restored and added onto. The staff greet you by name when you arrive, I love all the valet’s but I must say Devon, you are just the best, and because I stay there so much, a couple of the girls who love hearing my stories will actually jump up and down and say, “Ms. Matthews is back, How are you Ms. Matthews?” Megan, Shelbie, Chelsea, you girls rock! 


The pool is outstanding… you feel away from all troubles and worries and any care in the world.


The chandelier  tree/seating area is perfect for working on the lap top, smoking a cigarette, meeting other cool people staying at the hotel, or having a cocktail whipped up for you by one of the fabulous bar tenders at Goodall’s Kitchen, the restaurant on site.


One of my favorite things about this hotel is that they offer free rides from the hotel {you can cab or uber it back}. I think they will take you anywhere within a five-mile radius, but don’t quote me on that. This works perfect for me, because I love to go see my friends play on South Congress, and I’m not going to drive, so I only have to pay for a ride back. So nice.


The other night, no shocker, I was at the Continental Club and… my phone died. Thankfully, they have an ultra hip sister property, Hotel Congress, just up the street. So I just walked up the street, greeted Elliot by name, and ask him to please call me a cab.

“Of course Ms. Matthews! Did your fridge end up working the other night?” He ask.

Good memory… last time I was at the hotel my fridge wasn’t working at Elliot had been sent up and promptly fixed it.

The next morning I was walking out of the hotel and one of the managers stopped me and ask what I did, and ask for the name of my blog. I told him I had just finished up writing the ‘Skid Row’ post and had to get on the road.

“Leaving too soon,” he assured me. “Come back soon, I’m gonna check out your blog!”

So until next time Hotel Ella, the ‘Cheers’ of my world.

*And if you find yourself at The South Congress, look for Andrew at the front desk and Nick at the bar. Nick… who I was about to ask if he remembered me goes, “You’re not still with that Chicago guy are you? Please say no!” The answer was a resounding Hell No. But the Mormon sister wives prevailed!!! More on that in another post. 

ATX{e}ness Part 1

What a crazy week. Jeez. I decided to go to Austin on Sunday and see some friends and interview for a job {freelance writing} and some crazy stuff happened. Like… Got back together with an ex, which, is usually a bad decision, and it was. I told him this clearly wasn’t going to work and I was going to drop him off at his friends, after I checked into my hotel. Which was Hotel 11 on east 11th. I love the east side and east Austin, and this quaint little hotel, with only 11 rooms is precious and in a great location.

So, I go to check in, and the now ex follows me inside. The sweet girl at the desk, Taylor, was asking me how many key’s I needed and I said, just one. It’s just me staying here, and don’t you DARE give a key to this guy, he is NOT with me and certainly NOT allowed up to my room.

This pissed my ex off, so he grabs my keys and goes and jumps in my car and leaves. I am speechless, but when I regain my composure I looked at Taylor and said, Um… did that actually just happen? That’s MY car. She looked at me and out the door, and stammered, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?”

I assured her I was fine, that I at least had my purse with me, and I was going to deal with that later. I shook my head, finished checking in, and went upstairs and took a nap. I figured when I woke up my car would be back.

When I woke up, the car was still missing and I was pissed.

But, I wasn’t about to let that ruin my night, so I  got a cab and went to Cboy’s to hear Charlie  Jones, who happens to be my birthday twin, and his band play. It was fun. They are great. I chated with my friends after they played and cabbed it home. Still no car. Hmmm… I call the ex.

I ask him to please return my car. He refuses. I say, “Um, do you think you can just take my car and not bring it back? I need my car, I like, use it for things.” He told me he would NOT return my car and I told him I would be calling the police, which I did, like, 30 times.

Finally the police show up at my hotel and I get the ex on the phone. Ex is still saying how I won’t call the police and I say, “That’s funny, here, why don’t you talk to them,” and handed the phone to one of the officers. The officer explained to my ex that he needed to bring the car back immediately.

Finally. For JC and all things that are holy, we were getting somewhere.

He dropped the car off 6 blocks away, threw the keys in it, and the police took me there and I got to retrieve it.

Tell me that is not fucked up. That is fucked up.

I’ll tell you about the rest of my week in Austin later. I’m late for twerking and must go for now.

Stay safe out there y’all!

Blue Sparrow Updates

Whew! It’s hard to believe I posted my first post on April 1st of this year. What a crazy ride it’s already been! I was so honored to be asked by FW Weekly to write a blog for them after Eric Griffey had seen just two of my post. He probably deeply regrets that decision now! To see my latest blog post with the FW Weekly, click here. And thank you so much Eric for putting up with me!

I had a gorgeous logo designed by Marcie Finney Designs, who is also the owner of Mustard Seed Jewelry, which I am also happy to offer on my blog.

And having said that… Josh over at Made In Fort Worth is working diligently at giving The Blue Sparrow Blog a make over, and very soon it will be very easy to purchase Mustard Seed Jewelry from this site!

And finally… the last member of the team came on today. Kristen Ballard with FWemedia. I am so looking forward to working with her. Please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply get on your computer {it won’t work from your phone} and sign up to follow my blog via email. This not only helps me, but it will help you be pre-registered for giveaways, and who doesn’t love FREE, yes I said FREE stuff. You still have time to sign up for tomorrow’s giveaway.

#doitnow #pleaseandthankyou

 

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

 

Propane and Propane Accessories

I have worked for my father, who owns his own business in wholesale propane, since 2000. And yes, when everyone ask what I do for a living and I tell them, they always say, without fail, “So you sell propane and propane accessories?” No. We sell propane, no accessories. We sell propane in quantities of 9000 gallons or more, so unless you have a grill from your uncle Jolly Green Giant, I can’t fill your grill tank, so don’t ask. I don’t even own a grill, but that’s another story.

One day I was at Neiman Marcus, buying the only thing I can afford there, mascara {and even that is questionable} and I ran into one of my mom’s old friends that I hadn’t seen in years. Clearly, because she had no idea I worked for my father. “So what are you doing these days?” Miffy ask, as only a ‘Miffy’ could. I leaned over and cupped my hand next to my mouth and loudly whispered, “I sell propane.” Miffy looked perplexed, but that didn’t shock me. So I continued… “Yeah, I started working for my dad awhile back when I was finishing school, again {why go to grad school when you can go back for a second undergrad?} and I didn’t think I’d like it, but I started to really like it, and…” “Excuse me dear,” Miffy placed her hand on mine. “What did you say you do again?” “Wholesale propane.” “Oh!” Miffy’s face relaxed and she started laughing. I thought you said you wholesale COCAINE.” We both laughed hysterically. When I caught my breath I mused… “On second thought… I’d be making a lot more money… do you have a wholesale hook up?” That was years ago… and I stand by my ground I’d be making a lot more money if it was, indeed, cocaine.