Friday, September 19, 2014

A wine slushie recipe

As I was doing my style presentation last weekend at the Charlotte Observer’s booth at the fun Southern Women show, I met so many interesting people who ended up teaching me some new things.

One of them was Jamey Goodman, a very good husband from Vale who accompanied his wife to the show. When I told him I covered parties for the paper, he filled me in on his favorite beverage to serve: wine slushies. I couldn’t whip out my pen quick enough to take notes.


He takes a bag of frozen fruit (he changes up the fruit depending on his mood and the season), throws it in a food processor (or blender) with wine (any kind will work; add as much as suits you), and mixes it together with a few ice cubes if needed. He makes big batches and freezes them in plastic bags.

When it’s party time, he lets the bags sit out for a while until the mixture is slushy, puts it in glasses and adds another splash of wine on top to help thaw it out a little. Jamey, I like the way you think!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Did this influence you, too?

Music has been on my mind this week because I just finished a story about "The Boombox Project," a series of photographs of 1970s and 1980s era boomboxes by New York City-based photographer Lyle Owerko. It's on view Sept. 19-Oct. 19 in Chandra Johnson's pop-up SOCO Gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown.

Here's the story: http://bit.ly/1pjWZDM

Almost everyone who grew up during the boombox craze has a story about how the freedom of a boombox transformed them because as long as they had batteries, they could listen to any music they wanted anywhere.

U2 is also on my mind this week because they are definitely a part of my boombox memories, and they're in the news for setting a music industry record because of the 33 million people who accessed the Irish band's new "Songs of Innocence" album that was released for free and by surprise to iTunes account holders.

In 1981 when MTV began, the company that owned it did something similar by putting MTV on cable channels for free, including the little TV in my family's home. U2's "Gloria" video became my obsession. I even took a pair of jeans, distressed them and drew all over them with paints and pens so they resembled the jeans band member The Edge wore in the video.

Now I understand that "Gloria" is a modern hymn, and it's still one of my all-time favorite songs. I have not seen the video in ages, but thanks to You Tube, here's U2 in all their youthful glory in case the song and the band was a major influence on you, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybYgP48X2DY

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/16/5178591/correction-music-u2-itunes-story.html#.VBn_3_ldXbw#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Today" show fashion expert Jill Martin visits Belk at SouthPark mall

Whether it's through books, magazines or TV, Jill Martin is used to sharing her expert advice.

The lifestyle and fashion expert who is also a TV personality and best-selling author will be in the Nautica department of Belk at SouthPark mall on Sept. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. to meet and shop with customers interested in the Nautica brand.

Customers who buy any Nautica sportswear item receive a free striped tote bag. The first 15 shoppers who purchase more than $50 from the brand receive a copy of her book "The Weekend Makeover," which she co-authored with Dana Ravich.

Jill is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller "I Have Nothing to Wear" and "Fashion for Dummies." Based in New York City, she's also a "Today" show personality and contributor of Us Weekly.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jane Weitzman shares her "Art & Sole"



The Mint Museum Auxiliary has such a great program planned for its annual Fall Membership Meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 23 at Mint Museum Randolph that the group is making it accessible for the public to attend. Why all the excitement?


Jane Gershon Weitzman, who helped build the Stuart Weitzman brand with her husband (their photo is above), is the speaker, and her book, “Art & Sole,” will be showcased. The gorgeous book features 150 photos she curated from more than 1,000 artistic versions of shoes that she discovered or commissioned from artists to display in the 1990s at the first Stuart Weitzman retail shop on Madison Avenue in New York.

Philanthropy is another one of her passions, so she’ll also talk about how she created projects for the company to generate funds for breast and ovarian cancer research and awareness.


Admission is $25 and you must RSVP: http://bit.ly/1qHHESJ.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'll see you at the Southern Women's Show

I'll be introducing celebrity colorist Rita Hazan on Sept. 12 when she makes an appearance at the Southern Women’s Show from 1 to 2 p.m. on the Fashion Stage at the Convention Center uptown.

I’ll also be at the Charlotte Observer booth at the show from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 to help guests pinpoint their personal style, so if you’re there please drop by and say hello! (Here's the link to the page on the Southern Women's Show web site that details all the appearances at the show from Observer writers: http://bit.ly/1xPuBUp)

Sept. 11, Hazan will also meet her fans from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ulta at Rivergate Shopping Center, 13540 Hoover Creek Blvd.

Hazan has a namesake salon on Fifth Avenue in her native New York, and her celebrity clients include Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez.

When I interviewed Hazan by phone recently, she told me she jets all over the globe to take care of her clients’ hair. Because she travels so much, when she entertains she prefers to invite friends over for a casual dinner to just hang out and catch up. “I’m too busy to cook, so I either hire someone to come over and cook, or I ask my mother to help,” Hazan said. “My mother loves to cook!”

Here's the link to the full Q&A with Hazan where you can read more about how she built her brand, that includes an incredible line of products I'm obsessed with that are made for color treated hair:

http://bit.ly/1qNOYLf

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance. The event is inspired by Charlotte Ballet’s upcoming performance of “Dangerous Liaisons.”

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: $60 per person through Sept. 19; $75 after Sept. 19 or at the door. Details: www.ncdance.org/pointetheway; 704-372-0101, ext. 2773.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

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:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/08/27/5132174/5-questions-for-rainey-qualley.html#.U_-nk_ldXbw

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOOjUZR4Zr8

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson