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!


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.

My Karl Rove Story

Yeah. I have a Karl Rove story… What, you don’t? Interesting. Anyway, in 2004 I was awarded an amazing internship with the Detroit News. Score! I was the intern/assistant for the Washington Bureau Chief, Alison Bethel during the 2004 Republican National Convention. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life! I got to cover everything and everyone. I had two articles published and a photograph I took was on the front of the website for the Detroit News on the final day of the convention. I got to go to a luncheon with Laura Bush. I got to go to Wednesday Night Live hosted by Dick Cheney and the cast of Saturday Night Live! It was an amazing week, which was getting better and better, which was great, because it started off… rather terribly.

We were staying at the Hilton in mid-town New York. In the lobby checking in was quite a scene… John McCaa, our local news anchor was checking in right ahead of me. Texas delegates were everywhere. I remember feeling such a rush. I was really apart of something. Alison, my boss that I had never met, was in that lobby. We were both on our cell phones, trying to find each other in the crowd, and she started describing herself to me. My phone was cutting out, as was hers. I heard her say she was wearing all black. “That’s my favorite color!,” I proclaimed loudly. Turns out, she was standing right behind me. In a denim skirt and white shirt. “Oh my gosh! I… I…,” I couldn’t stop stammering… Because she was not wearing black. She was black. “I thought you said you were wearing all black!” “Well that explains one thing,” she said, looking me up and down. She had my application for the internship in her hand. “It says here you wanted to work for MTV.” “Yes mam,” I replied meekly. “Why the hell did they give me an intern that wanted to work for MTV?” “I’m sorry?” I was confused, why was that a bad thing? And why the hell did they give her my application that said I wanted to work at MTV, and ‘nowhere else’ thanks a lot internship program. Blow me.”You didn’t want to work for CNN. Or Fox News. Or any NEWS outlet. You wanted to work for MTV and they gave you to me. This is going to be a long week. Do you even know how to write?” So, to say the least, I did not make a great first impression.

“Go to your room, put your stuff down, and meet me at my room in 5 minutes,” she barked at me. “Yes mam.” “And don’t call me mam, call me Alison, I’m not your mother.” “Yes Alison,” I replied, and made a bee line for the elevators to drop my things off in my room.

Lucky for me, I charmed her at the bar that evening. We ended up meeting her friends and taking shots. At 1 am they decided to take the ‘white girl’ to Harlem to dance. We walked in a bar and ‘Crazy in Love’ was playing. I immediately ran to the dance floor and did my best Beyonce moves. Alison found me on the dance floor and died laughing, “What do you know,” she poked her friend Sarah in the side, “That white girl can shake it.”

Okay, okay, back to Karl Rove… It was Friday, the last day of the convention. And I was so hungover I thought I might die. Alison had taken me to a chamagne bar, Flute, the night before and bought a bottle of Veuve. It was the first time I had ever had it. The real deal. She thanked me for turning out to be an amazning intern. I thanked her for publishing two of my stories and giving me the by-line credit… I was in heavan. We talked and patted ourselves on the back and discussed the final day ahead of us. We would fly out Friday night when the convention ended and go our separate ways. Four bottles of Veuve between two of us later, we decided we had better go to bed since we were only going to get like, two hours of sleep.

When my alarm went off, about an hour and a half later, things… were not right. Spinning is an understatement. I started puking. Alison called and told me to meet her in the lobby in 5 minutes.

We got to Madison Square Garden, proceeded through security and made our way to our work station. There was a guy talking at the little ‘press room’ they had set up on the other side of our work station. “Go see if that’s important,” Alison said, nodding in the guy’s direction. I walked over, trying not to puke, and didn’t take notes. Who the hell was this guy? I’d never seen him before. Must be a nobody, I mused, as I didn’t listen to anything he said and tried not to puke on my shoes. When he finished, stood up, took pictures with people, and then walked off, I got up and went back to my ‘office’ {a table across the room} Alison ask if he said anything important. “No. Nothing good.” Alison gave me an odd look and left it at that. The rest of the day was amazing. Seeing George Bush, Cheney, the magnatism of the crowd… meeting the big guns… Anderson Cooper, Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Larry King… it was a week I will never forget. I flew home and was sitting on the couch telling my {then} husband all about it, when Peter Jennings came on, to announce the person of the week. It was Karl Rove. The Architect of the Republican party, is what Jennings was calling him. And son of a bitch, if it wasn’t the guy I was supposed to be listening to that morning. Well Fuck me. #careerfail I blame Karl Rove though. If he had been a host on MTV, I totally would have known who he was.