Gowns For Military Brides on This Veterans Day

November 8th, 2013 at 4:33 pm by under News, Personalities

Planning to get married soon? You may qualify for a chance to win a free wedding gown in honor of Veteran’s Day. Maya Couture in Norfolk is partnering with Brides Across America to host a wedding gown giveaway. These are pictures from last year’s event.

gowns197184_10151173277220678_1669335708_n (2)gowns230162_10151173276545678_1773529731_n (2)gowns12821_10151173278475678_1332396373_n (2)

Brides must complete the registration form. The requirements include:

You must be engaged, or had a civil ceremony and planning a wedding within the next 18 months. You or your fiance were deployed within the past 5 years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Korea or Japan and have not had a formal wedding.
You or your Fiance will have an upcoming deployment to any areas specified. All military brides must bring a drivers license or their military ID for verification. Qualifying proof must accompany the bride on day of event:
Copy of deployment papers for you or your Fiance that states the time of deployment and location.

Maya Couture is taking brides by appointment only. Once they receive a bride’s completed registration,  an appointment will be made for the bride to find her dream gown.
Owner Maya Warburton Holihan has been partnering with Brides Across America for six years now, but when she emailed me about it this year she said- after becoming a military wife last year, she has an even greater appreciation for our troops and their families,  especially during deployment. This is a picture she sent me ofher wedding:


Whether big or small, I know first hand-  wedding planning requires  a lot of time, patience, and money. This program can certainly come in handy.
This gown giveaway will be Monday November 11th, at  Maya Couture in Best Square in Norfolk, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Good luck and send me pictures and your story if you win a gown! I’d love to hear from you.

Celebrating Local Teens… With A Purpose!

November 4th, 2013 at 9:38 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized



TWP Peer Leader Shajhea Wilson With Nicole Livas

What an awesome night on November 1, 2013 at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Downtown Norfolk. The Teens With A Purpose annual gala just gets bigger and better! New this year: Celebrity Apprentice star, Omarosa, was the guest speaker.


Omarosa with Nicole

The savvy businesswoman is also a Baptist minister and college professor now. She spoke to the teens and adults about giving back and helping one another. The organization gave out Move Maker awards to teens and adults for persevered despite several adversities in life. The group also acknowledged its board members and sponsors which include WAVY-TV.


I enjoyed emceeing the event for the fourth year in a row now. Noticeably absent was Al Roker who wasn’t able to break away from The Today Show duties.  We tried to keep the program together without his wit and humor and raised money for TWP through a silent and live auction.

photo 1

IMG_7563 IMG_7622

The TWP members shared their talents with guests through music, poetry and dance. If you didn’t make it, but would like to help teens stay on the right track and become productive adults, click here for information on how to donate your money and/or time and talents.

Girls on the Run 5k – Spring 2013

May 12th, 2013 at 8:54 pm by under Health, News, Personalities
WAVY/FOX43 team at GOTR 5k

WAVY/FOX43 team at GOTR 5k

The WAVY/FOX43 team had a blast at the Girls on the Run Spring 5k Saturday (see pic)!

This was my second year as the emcee of the event and I was so impressed by the growth year to year! My history with the organization started by chance. Last year, the emcee had to cancel at the last minute and I was the fill in! I remember the race started behind the MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk. And though the girls were just as excited, the venue was smaller and indicative of a start up.

Not this year.

GOTR of South Hampton Roads has a new executive director and she brought the event to Town Point Park. The venue was fabulous. Zumba teachers were giving free lessons on the stage, runners and their families got some grub at the Pita Pit food truck, and every school had meeting places denoted by signs in the grass.

I don’t know the official numbers but it seems like there were at least double the participants. I saw Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright cross the finish, and I heard Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms also ran the race! That’s right we’re big time now!

I adore this organization because it actually works! All the girls are assigned running buddies to help them complete the course. All of the money goes right back to the girls in the form of scholarships. But more importantly, GOTR gives the kids someone to look up to, someone to talk to and someone to show them incorporating healthy habits into your every day life can be fun.

At the race, our photographer interviewed some of the girls about why they love GOTR. Here is what they said:

“It’s about getting girls up in motion and how to respond to like, bullies and stuff…and the lessons behind it are very important.”

Another girl told our photographer this: “You talk about how to deal with bullies and friends and making the right decision.”

Not to mention some of these girls can really run!

The first female to cross the finish line was Isabella Cooke. Isabella was third overall. Oh, and did I mention she is just nine years old! Isabella ran with her dad and they got a time of 22:30. That’s 7:15 min/mile! After the race, I ran into them and asked her dad if she is into running. His response? “No, but she plays soccer.”

Cross country coaches of Hampton Roads…consider yourself warned!

See the story that aired on the 11pm news! Click here:

Philanthropy… How are you helping the community?

February 14th, 2013 at 8:51 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

The Lenten season is upon us and even if you don’t observe it, it’s always a good time to do a little extra and give back to the community.My job provides many opportunities throughout the year to emcee events and speak to groups.

These pictures are from the United Way Women’s Leadership Council luncheon in the fall when Mrs. Joan Brock was the keynote speaker. She and her husband Macon are major philanthropists in Hampton Roads. He founded the popular Dollar Tree, Inc. She encouraged guests to continue helping out the community and less fortunate with their time and talent and monetary donations.

A young lady named Brittany shared her story of family troubles and how the kindness of philanthropists helped her get out of her situation.

I attended a different United Way luncheon held by the African-American Leadership Society that featured Maurice Jones as the keynote speaker. He’s the former President of Pilot Media who became deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2012. He shared personal stories about how philanthropy helped his ailing grandfather get good medical care and it also helped him attend college.

Hopefully the acts of kindness by other people will inspire others to do the same. There are so many opportunities here in Hampton Roads and everywhere else! Giving back always feels good.

A tale of two winters…

February 4th, 2012 at 9:23 pm by under Weather

With this winter being the total opposite of last winter so far, I decided to review and analyze the data so far.  The information I present to you in this post is from December and January, from the official records at Norfolk International Airport.   Obviously, inland locations have had some much colder nights and warmer days, but this data is more than sufficient for year-to-year comparisons.

Overall, the contrast in the two years is dramatic.  December 2011 was over 15 degrees warmer than December 2010!  We followed that amazing month with a warm start to new year.  January came in over 11 degrees warmer than January 2011.  While we have not set any records on individual days, the consistency of well above average temperatures has been incredible.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the statistics.  For the record, the average high in Norfolk in early December is in the mid 50s.  It lowers into the upper 40s by the end of the month and stays there through early February, then rises back into the mid 50s by the end of February.  Average lows during the winter start out near 40, inching back into the lower 30s for January, before rising into the upper 30s by the end of February.

We all know how cold the winter of 2010-11 was.  We had the 4th coldest December on record in Norfolk, with 13 days producing high temperatures below 40 degrees.   Compare that to this year, when December didn’t have a high temperature below 47 degrees!  In fact, 28 of the 31 days had high temperatures of 50 degrees or higher!  January 2011 had 12 days where the high failed to reach 40. This January produced just 2 days with a high below 40.

This winter, there have been a whopping 29 days of high temperatures at or above 60 degrees.  Last year, we only had 3 during December and January.  On the low side (minimum temperatures), we have only dipped below 30 degrees 5 times this winter at Norfolk International Airport.  Last December and January, we did that 35 times!

As I mentioned, we haven’t set any records this winter and it’s doubtful we’ll finish up as the warmest on record.  Through the end of January, we sit at 8th on the all-time list.  We shall see what the rest of February has in store!

Mike Goldberg

Did You Ride The Tide Yet?

August 22nd, 2011 at 11:22 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

Friday, August 19, 2011 will go down in history in Hampton Roads.

It’s the day The Tide, Norfolk’s light rail started carrying passengers.

At least 30,000 passengers took advantage of the free ride- even if they had to wait in line.

Many got the golden commemorative ticket that you could show at several downtown and Ghent businesses and get a discount. That discount is extended to riders who show a used “Tide ticket” until September 30th.

I hopped on around lunchtime on at the MacArthur Station downtown and rode it to EVMC/Fort Norfolk and back. About a 12 minute ride in a train packed full of people, but it was exciting!

My friend Nicole and I held on for dear life as the train came to a stop. We met some nice people. So many came out all day and all weekend for a free ride and a chance to experience the major change in transportation culture in our area.

By the end of the first weekend, Hampton Roads Transit officials say at least 75,000 people hopped on. Some may not get on The Tide again for a while, but I’m sure I will. It’ll be good for a trip to Harbor Park for a baseball game.

I may even take my bicycle on and ride out to Newtown Road station and bike to my mom or dad’s houses in Virginia Beach. You can still ride for free until Sunday, August 28. Check it out. Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.

Get moving!

June 15th, 2011 at 6:29 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged us all to get moving and take on a healthier lifestyle- and some Peninsula kids are doing just that.

Students from Cary Elementary School in Hampton joined staff and students from ECPI University and Medical Careers Institute, and the Culinary Institute of Virginia for a group dance to  Beyoncé’s  “Move Your Body”.

Last summer, Michelle Obama welcomed chefs to the White House to kick off the “Let’s Move” initiative.

Chef Jonathan Highfield and eight of his students from the Culinary Institute of Virginia were there and partnered with the school when they got back,  to teach them about healthy food choices.

According to Jennifer O’Neal, Community Development Manager at ECPI:

  • Chef Highfield went to the school and visited with the cafeteria staff about what they were doing. He helps provide insight to the cafeteria staff on creative ways to prepare the food.
  • The school has a three-year partnership with Dixon Consolidated Service where the company provides either a fruit or vegetable for all children as a free snack each day. Chef Highfield occasionally goes into the classrooms to deliver the snacks and in many instances uses the opportunity to teach the children about the food, its origins or other uses.
  • Chef Highfield has established health and family nights and teacher programs to teach parents, students and teachers new, creative and easy ways to prepare healthy ingredients.
  • He helped the first and third graders plant a winter and spring garden.
  • The fifth graders took a field trip to the Culinary Institute of Virginia in Norfolk.

With so much talk about childhood obesity and the growing problem amongst adults, it’s great to see people taking the initiative to help keep us all healthy!

**Photos by Josh Evans**


Picture This: Random Images of Day’s End

May 11th, 2011 at 4:10 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

Here I go again.  The first signs of warm weather make me long to record creative paintings from nature’s brush.  Once again, the canvas is Norfolk’s Freemason neighborhood.  I have two beach shots from Newport News. (you’ll see many more of those images in a future posting.)  A number of you have asked what camera records these photos, and I’m still using the Nikon Coolpix L100.   Nothing fancy;  just the tool of a hobby to show some beauty of Hampton Roads through the lens.

Get the flash player here:

The C.A.A. finally gets some R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

February 16th, 2011 at 7:51 pm by under Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

Are you familiar with the Colonial Athletic Association? At this point, you should be. Even The Sportswrap’s Bruce Rader stopped calling it the “Colonial Conference”! This year’s CAA basketball tournament is going to be good and I think we’ll have a couple of teams make it into the Big Dance! Full disclosure, I am a proud graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax.  I’m a  Hampton Roads native and I live back here now and Old Dominion University is one of the CAA teams.

GMU at ODU 1/11

So GMU-ODU games are always weird for me.

Locals see me in my green and gold and look confused.  Even Big Blue shakes his head when he sees me in my Mason gear, but never denies me a hug.

Big Blue & Nicole at the GMU @ ODU game

Also in the CAA, We have a local guy, Denzel Bowles, playing for James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

Denzel Bowles photo Courtesy: Photography/JMU Athletics Communications

He graduated from my alma mater, Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach. I had fun chatting with his mom at the CAA tournament last year.  William & Mary is another Virginia school in the conference.  They’ve certainly had their shining moments and we can’t forget Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Those fans are always, uh… full of energy! And since the CAA tournament is always held in Richmond, it makes for interesting times! I was at the ODU-VCU game in Richmond on February 12th and let’s just say, I was afraid to cheer against the Rams.

ODU at VCU 2/12/11

I took these pictures at Mason’s homecoming on February 5th, which just so happened to be a sold out game against ODU.


ODU whipped us in Norfolk in January, and let’s just say GMU returned the favor on its home court the day before the Super Bowl.

Afterward, this video clip started circulating which helps explain Mason’s basketball history and sportswriter, John Feinstein said in this article: “The CAA is a very good league this season, one that should merit three NCAA tournament bids. “

GMU and ODU are doing well at the top of the conference right now and I’m hopeful we’ll be watching them play well into the March Madness!  The RPI rankings are looking good!  And maybe, just maybe… Mason will make it back into the Final Four like we did in 2006!

Nicole with Doc Nix, Mason's band leader

Besides, who else has a band like  Doc Nix and the Green Machine??

Celebrity party planner David Tutera visits Hampton Roads

January 18th, 2011 at 7:31 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

It was a dreamy showcase of possibilities for brides to be and their friends and families. I’m talking about the Uniquely Yours Bridal Showcase 2011 at Norfolk Scope.

Yummy samples from Patti Cakes, Inc.

In addition to all of the samples a bride to be could enjoy such as cupcakes, cakes, music, ice sculptures, dresses, music, decorations and more… those who stayed for the fashion show got to hear from celebrity party planner and host of “My Fair Wedding”, David Tutera. He served as Master of Ceremonies.

David Tutera & Nicole backstage

What a nice guy! He has a couple of books out now and he says he wants to empower women of all shapes, sizes, ethnic and financial backgrounds.  He knows how to work with the biggest budgets from stars like Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez, to the budgets of everyday folks.

I had the pleasure of introducing him to the huge crowd gathered for the fashion show. How do you like my turquoise dress? Maya Couture let me borrow the one-shoulder bridesmaid’s gown. I love it!

Guests at Uniquely Yours Bridal Showcase

I even snapped pictures of them when I first walked down the runway.

Tutera had to catch a plane back to New York so I also got to announce the winners of the amazing prize packages that included hair and makeup, flowers, lighting, personal training, and more. The grand prize included a honeymoon, wedding rings, gown, tuxedo, reception, and more.  The best part about this show, Pearl Taylor donates money to the Susan G. Komen fund for breast cancer research.

Models backstage at Uniquely Yours Bridal Showcase

She always dedicates the show to her dear friends who are survivors and always has breast cancer survivors model in the fabulous bridal fashion show produced by Isha Foss Events.

Aren't they adorable?

If you’re getting married and looking for ideas, this is a good place to spend a few hours and take in everything under one roof!

By the way, David Tutera may be shooting a segment of “My Fair Wedding” here in Hampton Roads. Wouldn’t that be fab? ;-)