Thursday, August 28, 2014

Turn on the radio for Rainey Qualley

I had a lot of fun interviewing Rainey Qualley, the stunning daughter of model/actress Andie MacDowell and model/musician Paul Qualley.

Here's a link to the story:

I didn't realize that she was pursuing a career in country music in her new hometown of Nashville until I started doing some research before our interview. Before I started listening to some of her music, I promised myself that I would do it with an open mind and have zero expectations.

My personal verdict? She has a great voice that has a bit of depth to it that's compelling and she writes her own songs, which is not only smart but shows her level of talent. And yes, she's absolutely gorgeous which never hurts. I'm surprised she hasn't made a bigger splash yet, but I have a feeling she's on her way.

Her newest video for her song "Turn Me On Like The Radio" is on You Tube now. When I first watched it, I wasn't sure I liked the costume and premise of the video because it wasn't like the usual country videos I see. But as the video's story unfolded I found it to be charming, funny and sexy, but in a sweet way.

Now I think it was smart of her to do something that isn't expected, plus I think it shows off her confidence, sex appeal and acting ability. It's directed by actress Erica Dasher and I think she did a terrific job. But the bottom line is it's a catchy tune that sticks in your head.

Watch it and make up your own mind, but my prediction is we'll be hearing lots of Rainey Qualley songs when we turn on the radio. Here's the link to the video:

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Pointe the Way

The Corps de Ballet is hosting Pointe the Way, an evening of cocktails, food, live music, dancing and auction items with proceeds going to support Reach, Charlotte Ballet’s nationally recognized outreach dance scholarship program for children.

It’s from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance uptown.

The event is inspired by Charlotte Ballet’s upcoming performance of “Dangerous Liaisons.” On the menu are French hors d’oeuvres and dessert from Georges Brasserie. Plus there’s wine from Hahn Family Winery, beer from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and the event’s signature drink, the Tutu-tini. The Cross/McMullen/Williams Trio featuring Gena Chambers will perform and there’s a sneak peek of Sasha Janes’ “Dangerous Liaisons,” which opens Oct. 9.

Tickets are $60 per person through September 19; $75 after September 19 or at the door. Details:; 704-372-0101, ext. 2773.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daddy-Daughter Date Night Sept. 12

10-year-old AnneLeigh Twer, the first Junior Honoree of the W.I.S.H. Society (Women Inspiring Strength and Hope), spent her summer helping to raise money for Wish kids.

One of her fundraising efforts is on Sept. 12, when she’ll join Chima Brazilian Steakhouse uptown in hosting the group’s first Daddy-Daughter Date Night.

The evening includes dinner, dancing and dessert with proceeds going to benefit Make-A-Wish of Central and Western North Carolina.

Twer’s hope is to raise $6,000 – enough to grant the wish of a child suffering from a life-threatening medical condition. Tickets are $70 for a daddy and one daughter; $100 for a daddy and two daughters. For information on how to register if you want to bring more than two daughters, and to reserve a spot, go to

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Friday, August 22, 2014

International Open House Aug. 24

International House is hosting an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 at its new home, the Midwood International & Cultural Center (MICC).

From 5 to 6 p.m, visitors can meet the center's tenants, including the Light Factory, which has moved from uptown. From 6 to 7 p.m., there's Bosnian folk dancing, Indian classical dance, Puerto Rican folkloric dance and a Japanese chorus.

The address is 1817 Central Avenue. Details:

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Charity League Open House

The Charity League, which was founded in 1921 and is the oldest active charitable organization for women in Charlotte, is hosting an open house 7-9 p.m. Aug. 28 at FABO Coffee Art Bar, 8428 Park Road.

The nonprofit hopes the event will encourage women interested in volunteering with its programs that help children. People who want to become members are crucial because the nonprofit has no overhead, salaries or paid staff.

I’ve covered the nonprofit for years and it’s a terrific, multigenerational group of women who do so much to better the lives of children in our area, so I encourage you to learn more at

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Amazing Aucuba

My absolute favorite greenery to decorate with in the summer is Aucuba. That's because my favorite summer colors are lemon yellow and lime green, and both are represented in this pretty evergreen that is hearty and lush.

I took this photo this morning of an arrangement of Aucuba I made for my foyer on June 1. Yes, June 1. That's another reason I love Aucuba so much in the summer: it's easy breezy. I do have to make sure it stays watered, and occasionally I prune a dead leaf or two. The one downside is that you have to be careful where you place it because after a while it secretes a sap. My arrangement is on a glass topped table so as long as I keep on eye on it and clean it up as soon as I see the sap, it's fine.

When I finally change out this arrangement, probably at the end of summer around Sept. 21, these cuttings will have gone to root and I can plant them in the backyard and have yet another patch of beautiful Aucuba to enjoy throughout the four seasons.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Friday, August 15, 2014

Free mini MoonPie with purchase

I've been running around finding items for the Style section's fall fashion story and one of my stops was Splurge boutique (

While I was in there, I noticed this basket filled with mini MoonPies.

When I asked about it, co-owner Laura Shwedo laughed and told me so many customers want to know if they can buy a MoonPie. She always tells them that the MoonPies are there for them to take and enjoy. Some of them still hesitate to take one. We really are so polite in Charlotte, aren't we?

Then we joked that maybe the store should offer them as a gift with purchase: Buy anything in the store and you get a free mini MoonPie!

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson