The Voice – Behind the Scenes

 

Copies of this People Magazine were handed out to a small section of the audience, shown on air, and then collected on the way out. Carson announced that everyone in the audience was given a copy. Hmmmm – the magic of television!

 

Oh, how I wish I could go back in time to last week, when I was in sunny CA hiking the Hollywood Hills in beautifully comfortable 70-degree weather.

In the heart of LA, West Hollywood to be exact, there were no signs of the devastating wildfires that blazed north and south of the city. It was strange to be so close and have no real sense of what was going on, so close by. Well, that’s La La Land for you – a place where everything seems perfect, at least on the surface.

So, why go to LA with wildfires raging all around? A seat in the audience of The Voice called my name! You may recall that my friend Karyn and I went to LA to take in the MTV Music Awards back in 2015. Back before this blog existed, I wrote about that experience in my column Matters of Life & Beth.

Celebrity Sightings

I just love LA and, yet again, it met and exceeded expectations. I ran into some of my favorite reality TV stars, we crashed a party for Larry King and dined nearby the music group The Chainsmokers.

Lisa Vanderpump and Jiggy, Tom Sandoval of Vanderpump Rules in front of Tom Tom, lovely little lemons growing on the side of the road, Karyn and I in the spectacular entryway of The Catch LA, the best truffle fries ever at The Catch LA

Inside The Voice

The entire trip was great, but our purpose in being there stole the show. We had great seats at The Voice and were completely blown away by the talent.

They sound better live than on TV. It was hard to believe how much set movement took place during the commercial breaks. There had to have been 50 people on stage at a time ensuring each artist’s setup was perfectly in place.

The hype guy was pretty impressive too. He made sure that everyone in the audience knew exactly what they should be doing from one moment to the next. Stand during performances, sit during judging, stand back up when Carson Daly sends the singer off stage. Keep applauding until Carson exits the stage. I felt like I was in church with all of the up and down.

The Judges

What stood out the most, however, was the judges. Kelly Clarkson is a total class-act. She was fully engaged at all times and so passionate when speaking to the contestant. Shockingly, the other judges were on their phones whenever they had the chance. Never once did Kelly’s phone ever make an appearance. It was a little disappointing to be honest, but I was not all that surprised.

Another thing that made me laugh, was how each judge’s glam squad came bursting out to the chairs at every commercial break. For goodness sake, these people had barely moved. I seriously doubt their hair or makeup needed any touch ups. But inacitvity be damned – these makeup artists have a job to do and by God, they are going to do it! At one point, one of Adam’s team came onto the scene to slightly nudge the ginormous chain that Adam was wearing. This came only after, three other glam squaders had already tweaked the chain into what I’m guessing was the perfect position. Truth – Adam is a bit small to be wearing such a big necklace!

Can’t Wait to Watch!

The entire experience was hilarious and awesome and as I write this, I’m gearing up for Monday night’s showing of The Voice and I can’t wait!

Thank you KB for a great get-away!

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Repost! Fig Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini-So Easy!

fig jam and goat cheese crostini

This is a RePost from December 2016. I just enjoyed these delicious treats as lovingly prepared by my mom and it made think it may be worth a re-post. Enjoy!


Hello Everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous holiday. I sure did and although I’m still trying to come out of a food coma, I realize we have one more celebration that may warrant some creative cooking.

At the risk of anyone thinking 3 Olives & Twist has turned into a food blog; today I offer you one more recipe that you may find useful when ringing in the New Year. Like most foods I prepare, it is quick and easy and, if this year’s Christmas Day reviews were any indication; it’s a winner.

The star of the dish is most definitely the fig jam. I pick mine up at Stop & Shop.  It is the Bonne Maman brand which is actually a fig preserve, but any fig jam, spread or preserve should do.

The combination of the sweet fig jam paired with the tart, creamy goat cheese is the perfect sweet and savory bite. To add just a bit more texture and flavor to this easy appetizer I also add toasted, chopped walnuts which seems to elevate this four ingredient appetizer. As far as hors d’oeuvres go, these are a favorite that seem to fly off the plate as soon as they hit the table.

When I first made these tasty bites, I used the prepared filo cups available in the frozen section of the grocery store. While good, I found them a little difficult to fill and pricey when I wanted to make them in bulk. This year, I opted to use a sliced baguette as the base and found the end result to be even more successful.

If you are looking for a quick and easy appetizer to welcome in 2017, give this recipe a try.

Fig Jam and Goat Cheese Crostini with Toasted Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 thin baguette, sliced. I have mine sliced right at the grocery store – just ask the bakery department.
  • 1 jar fig jam, preserve or spread
  • 1, 8 oz. package of goat cheese. Bring to room temperature to facilitate spreading.
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted.

Directions

To begin, toast chopped walnuts in a dry pan. Be sure not to burn – I pull them off the burner just as soon as I smell the toasted, nutty aroma. Set aside.

Place baguette slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Toast lightly in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven. Generously spread the room temperature goat cheese on each piece of toasted bread. Top with a teaspoon of fig jam. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the fig jam.

You’re done! If the fig jam seems a little loose, pop into the fridge for ten or fifteen minutes to help them set.

Otherwise, serve and enjoy.

Happy New Year.

All my very best in 2017!

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Gift Idea – His & Hers José and Rosé

 

 

 

I love a good theme – costume themes, party themes and especially gift themes. Recently, I thought of a couple’s gift idea that I thought was pretty clever, if I do say so myself. I’m sure I’m not the first to ever put these items together, but I was pretty pleased with the collection when I did. So, I thought I’d share.

It’s so simple!

A José & Rosé Gift Basket

BTW – did you know that placing the acute accent on a vowel, such as é or á is as simple as holding that letter down on the keyboard of your Mac? When you do, your accent options pop up and you can choose which one you need. This is also true on your iPhone. Who knew? Probably everyone but me, but maybe this is helpful to some.

OK, back to my José & Rosé gift idea…

I gathered just a few items for each part of the theme – José Cuervo Tequila, Margarita Mix and Spanish nuts for Him and a nice bottle of Rosé wine, a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates for Her. You could certainly build on these themes and create an even more dramatic basket but, for my recent purpose, three items for each worked well and I hope made a nice impression.

There you have it – my José Rosé gift idea. Simple, fun, good for a his and hers gift together or just one boozy basket for a guy or girl alone.

Olé and Rosé All Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Products – Lumify Takes the Prize

Every so often I feel compelled to take stock of my beauty products. The closer I get to fifty, the urge becomes less “so” and far more “often.” My recent rush came about when I watched myself on television for a couple of book appearances. There is nothing more sobering than realizing you look very much your age.

Every glimpse I take of myself brings me one step closer to more serious measures. Until then, I’ll continue my search for makeup, creams and gadgets that mask age’s harsh reality in a non-invasive manner.

New Beauty Products – The Run Down

Here’s what I’ve been trying and the one product that has surprised me most of all.

Hyaluronic Acid

The moisturizing benefits of this compound piqued my interest despite it’s scary sounding name. Neutrogena is a brand I’m pretty comfortable with, so I decided to try their Hydro Boost gel-cream. It feels great going on and seems to nicely off-set the harsh effects of fall’s dry heat.

Eye Cream

I don’t know if I’ll ever find an eye cream that does what I want it to do (make my eyes look like they did when I was 20). But, DNA’s (Do Not Age) triple peptide cream glides on nicely and is thick enough to make me believe it might actually be doing something.

Eye Make-up Remover

Why is it suddenly impossible for me to remove my eye makeup without residual mascara on my lower lids? I’ve finally invested in eye-makeup remover pads to resolve this. They make the removal of raccoon eyes far easier than the abrasive scrubbing I was doing previously.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C serums are all the rage. I must admit that using Tru-Skin’s C plus hyaluronic acid for just one week has improved my skin tone. I like the way the product feels and smells too.

Jade Roller

This was recently posted on Insta and FB and whether it works or not, I’ve yet to determine. Either way, it feels refreshing and if it de-puffs and rejuvenates as it claims it should, then I’ll continue to enjoy a little facial massage whenever I can.

Cream Based Eye-Makeup

Cream vs. powder? Apparently cream eye shadows can do a world of good for aging eyes. Not only do they hold longer, but they supposedly help disguise wrinkles more so than powders.

Eyelash Curler

I’ve never used a curler before, but as my lashes become lighter and less visible, I’m finding the curler to be a quick way to help my lashes pop once mascara is applied. I so want to do extensions, but just can’t seem to get over the cost and maintenance required – maybe next year!

Makeup Brushes

Oh my gosh! I never gave my makeup brushes much thought until I was told I should be cleaning them on a regular basis. I had no idea how much product buildup was on my brushes until I gave them a healthy soak in my sink. Yikes! In addition to buying a few new brushes expressly for my new cream eye shadows, I’m now committed to a regular cleaning routine.

The Surprise Standout

Lumify

You may have seen the commercial for this new “red-out” eye drop – I did, which caused me to obsessively think about it until I finally bought it. The ad really is quite catchy! I suffer from chronic red-eye. I’ve worn contact lenses for over thirty years and my eyes are severely dry. Typical contact lens drops do nothing for me and other “red-out” drops have caused irritation – in many cases making the red eye worse.

But Lumify has completely surprised me. Not only does it not cause irritation, but the white of my eyes are so white after just minutes having applied. Ten minutes before putting my contact lenses in, I squeeze a drop in each eye and, for the first time in ages, I can look at myself in the mirror and not look like I’ve just exited a 1980s-smoke-filled bar.

Of all the products I’ve recently tried, Lumify takes the prize in having quickly and effectively fixed a problem that always bothered me.

Do you have any beauty products that you’re loving?

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