Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cheryl Tiegs in Charlotte March 3

Ageless beauty, supermodel and Sports Illustrated swimsuit legend Cheryl Tiegs will be the special guest at the grand opening of Fahrenheit  restaurant at the new SKYE condominiums at 222 S. Caldwell St.

Tiegs, who was just featured in the Sports Illustrated  50th Anniversary issue, will be there at 4 p.m. March 3 to congratulate her friend and Fahrenheit Chef/Owner Rocco Whalen of Food Network fame

The press release about the opening notes that the restaurant is Charlotte’s first and only rooftop restaurant, located on the 21st floor of the mixed-used development. It's 8,600 square feet includes the “sky bar," one of the focal points of the restaurant, featuring glass walls that open up to the roof area with 360- degree views of uptown.
The interior design features distressed wood tables, quartz columns, modern light fixtures and private dining facilities with the latest technology that seat 60. 
Its rooftop garden will grow many of the restaurant’s specialty herbs, including lemon-thyme and Thai basil.

The press release also offers some details about the lifestyle choices Tiegs makes that help keep her healthy, happy (and gorgeous we must add) at 66. 

She stays balanced and fit by hiking, meditating, practicing yoga and eating healthy. She swears by eating small meals throughout the day and avoids “white” foods such as bread and pasta.

Another thing that brings Tiegs and Whalen together is that she's the spokesperson for Cambria, a family-owned business that makes an American-made product that looks like natural stone. Whalen is such a fan it's what he uses in all his restaurants, including Fahrenheit. For details, go to

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Savor the Sixties on April 9

Savor the Sixties is this year's theme for the Levine Museum of the New South's signature annual fundraiser on April 9.

Tickets to this event always sell out quickly, so I wanted to go ahead and get the word out.

From "Mad Men" to Motown, guests will get to explore the culture of the 1960s and its history-making moments through cuisine, entertainment, decor and more.

Honorary chairs are Renee and James Bazzelle,and Lisa and Phil Dubois. Event chairs are Mason Smith and Kippy Thompson.

It’s from 6 to 9 p.m. April 9 at the Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh St. Tickets are $100; $85 for museum members. Details:

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Friday, February 21, 2014

A Celebration of Hope

The 11th annual Celebration of Hope Gala, a fundraiser for the March Forth with Hope Foundation, is 6:30 p.m. March 1 at Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge. The black tie event has a jungle theme and includes a reception, dinner, silent auction and dancing.

The nonprofit was founded by Stuart and Shelby Stout in memory of their daughter, Hope, who lost her battle with cancer 10 years ago. Proceeds help families battling life-threatening diseases.

Tickets are $250. Details: 704-844-9994;

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Promise Circle Party

Monkee’s of Lake Norman is hosting a Promise Circle Party on Feb. 27 at the boutique at 624 Jetton St. in Davidson.

It includes samples of wine from the Jeff Gordon Collection and nibbles from Toast Cafe. Ingrid Vandebosch, the wife of NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, is scheduled to be there to tell guests the details about joining  the Promise Circle of the Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Foundation. The photo above is of Ingrid with her husband and daughter at a recent Family Opera event she chaired.

The Promise Circle has three chapters across the country in Austin, Washington and Charlotte. The volunteer group of women work within their local communities to advocate for children with cancer and their families who are helped by the foundation.

For details about the Promise Circle, go to

For details about the event, go to

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Monday, February 17, 2014

HRC Gala

More than 1,500 guests are expected to attend the 19th annual Human Rights Campaign North Carolina gala on Feb. 22 at the Charlotte Convention Center uptown.

Jay Biles, Christopher Jones and Paige Long are heading up the black tie event that’s a celebration of the North Carolina LGBT Community. Special guests include actress Sophia Bush, recipient of the gala’s Equality Award. Also being honored is Peter Paige, co-creator of the ABC Family series “The Fosters.” The evening’s speaker is Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Tickets are $225 per person and can be purchased until noon on Feb. 21. Details:

Friday, February 14, 2014

I love you. Thanks so much.

One of my favorite web sites to check out is the Daily Mail UK ( It has stories you don't normally find in our press, and lots of stories you do find on American web sites, but with much better photos.

If a story on an American web site has one photo, the Daily Mail UK will run at least 10. For example, if you see a photo of Alexander Skarsgard in US Weekly doing something photogenic such as breathing or walking down a street, flip over to the Daily Mail and you can see tons of photos of him from the same event but from all different angles. Here's a photo of Big Al, which is what we would call the 6 '4" actor if he was born in the South instead of Sweden:

Wait, what was I writing about?

Now I remember.

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Daily Mail has a story about a London-based company called Swiftkey that makes an alternative keyboard app to use with mobile phones by its English-speaking users.

The company analyzed data to find out which words are typed into phones and tablets the most. The researchers discovered that love and politeness still rule the world. That's always good to hear.

Here is Swiftkey's complete Top 10 list of the most common phrases typed into mobile devices:

1. I love you.
2. Let me know.
3. How are you.
4. I don't know.
5. Thanks so much.
6. How about you.
7. See you then.
8. Sorry about that.
9. How's it going.
10. I miss you.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tea for three

There is a couple in town that I think the world of because they are so smart, funny and sophisticated. I've known them for years, but we just recently figured out that we're both proud pet parents of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

I made over their photos of their precious princesses Diva and Grace, and I was thrilled when they gushed over the photos of my sweet girl.

I was so excited when they invited my dog and and me over for tea. My Cavalier and I cleared our social calendar and began planning our wardrobe and hostess gifts. My dog is very particular about which accessories she will and will not wear, but because it was the weekend before Valentine's Day, she did let me tie a pretty red bow around her neck for the party on Saturday.

We were nervous on the drive over to their beautiful home. Actually, I was nervous. She was asleep.

As soon as we arrived and saw our smiling hosts and met Grace and Diva, it was clear it was going to be a fun afternoon.

Here's a photo of my dog making her entrance:

Our hosts could not have been more welcoming or gracious. We chatted for a while, then our adorable girls ran around the backyard for a bit. As we sat down for tea, Diva and Grace were generous enough to share some of their treats with my dog.

It wasn't long before the girls dozed off by the fire. We all talked about our love for the breed and laughed over stories of their antics. When we got ready to go, Diva and Grace made sure we left with a box of their favorite yummy treats.

Here's a photo of sleeping beauties Diva and Grace awaking from their nap to say goodbye to us:

It was a truly glorious afternoon and I appreciated the invitation so much. We are already planning another get-together for the spring.

Our tea for three Cavaliers was a reminder to me that often the smallest gatherings can be the most meaningful.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hot ticket April 22-26

Because tickets for the Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend sell out quickly, I wanted you to know that they’re on sale now for all the 30 plus events that are part of the 25th anniversary of the fundraiser that takes place April 22-26 at various locations around town.

Tickets range from $35 to $375 each and are available online only at

Get them while they last.

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lame game, super party

I do think the Charlotte Bobcats are a fantastic hockey team, but other than that I don't really know anything about sports. I love a party though, so I was excited when one of my favorite couples invited me to a big Super Bowl bash in their home.

I woke up the day of the game not knowing which team I would root for. Then I read my Charlotte Observer and was reminded that former Carolina Panthers coach John Fox, who lives in Charlotte, is the coach for the Denver Broncos, so I became an instant Broncos fan.

I immediately headed out to Party City to buy some fun things to bring to the bash. I had to stop a male customer to find out what the Bronco team colors were (orange and navy - two of my favorites!)

For the hosts, I picked up some adorable beer koozies made to look like referee uniforms so they could tell which drinks belonged to them (that idea was a hit).

I bought an orange bandanna for my dog to wear ( her father was going to be at the party so it was also a family reunion) and a Mardi Gras bead-style orange necklace with a referee whistle that my husband actually agreed to wear. For myself, I bought some orange poms poms because I love to "sparkle" (a classic pom pom 101 move). I couldn't wait to sparkle every time the Broncos scored.

Back at home, I made one of my go-to easy, breezy party dips (a chutney cheese dip from the original Charlotte Latin School's Cooking with Class cookbook).

I shopped my closet and put together a casual party outfit that included a navy blue Cynthia Rowley top I bought at Belk that has a fox on the front (my nod to Coach Fox) and paired it with an orange blazer.

I was set!

The party was awesome. The food was incredible and I met so many interesting new people. I even met a local celebrity, Woody from The Woody & Wilcox Show that airs mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on 106.5 (

I really showed my sports ignorance to Woody with a dumb question I asked him, but he's a super cool guy and he didn't tease me too badly. As we were standing there talking, I asked him which team he was rooting for. He didn't even answer me, he just pointed to his hat and shirt, both with a Denver Bronco mascot on them. That was embarrassing! In my defense, I had just learned the Bronco team colors. Knowing the mascot too was pushing it for me. I had to laugh at myself though.

As those of us who watched the game know, even if you were rooting for the other team, it was a complete bore following half-time. I never even got a chance to sparkle.  Not once. I went from hoping my team would win to hoping they would score even a few points.

Oh well.

As the French say, "c'est la vie, c'est la guerre" (that is life, that is war).

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson