GIFTING LOUNGE: GBK’S 2019 ESPYS GIFTING LOUNGE

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GBK’S 2019 ESPYS GIFTING LOUNGE

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the one at the top of the page.

I’m so glad that GBK held their recent gifting lounge, which was in honor of the ESPYs, at the La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood because that was my introduction to the venue. GBK has always opened my eyes to new places, and I so appreciate their variety.

The event took place on the rooftop, both outdoors on the sunny artificial-turfed patio, where the bar and perfect buffet were set up, and in a long party room, where all the gifts were. Despite the high heat that day, everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves. We all bonded over the summer conditions, which the very in-shape athletic guests did not seem to be bothered by at all.

Norm Nixon and Karen Salkin.  Photo by Roz Wolf.

Norm Nixon and Karen Salkin. Photo by Roz Wolf.

Speaking of athletes, there were lots of sports celebs at GBK’s lounge on this day before the ESPYs. I spied several, but the one I really enjoyed speaking with for a bit is former Laker, Norm Nixon, (who has been married forever to performer Debbie Allen! That actually impresses me more than his successful basketball career—I love a longtime show biz couple!!!)

My contributing writer on this one is Roz, who also enjoyed the entire experience. She said, “The  rooftop location afforded us a fantastic view of the nearby hills of Hollywood. It was like walking around in the clouds, where air is fresh and rarified. Speaking of rarified, we noticed many great-looking guys and gals steadily joining in the fun. I especially enjoyed seeing so many athletes and their toned bods. The inside-outside set-up of the lounge provided a lot of legroom for everyone to flex and feel very comfortable together.”

Part of the lovely buffet. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Part of the lovely buffet. Photo by Karen Salkin.

By the way, I must laud the La Peer Hotel itself for the delicious food!  It was all spot-on for the health-conscious guests, especially the vegan and vegetarian choices.  The generous buffet included two different kinds of hummus; a cheese and charcuterie platter, which featured Marcona almonds and dried fruits; and not one, but three creative salads. And, for those of us who needed our sugar fix, (I’m definitely raising my hand on this one,) there were the most scrumptious brownies and cookies. And I totally appreciated that each dish had a sign, telling us just what it is! In addition to all that, their pleasant rep from the hotel gifted everyone a gift certificate for a one-night stay which includes dinner at their restaurant, Viale Dei Romani. If that eatery’s chow is as fabu as this buffet was, I know where Mr. X and I will be heading if our AC goes on the fritz this summer!  www.lapeerhotel.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Now here are the highlights of the rest of the gifts, every single one of which was new to me, as well!:

LA Smash Cakes—I love the tagline for these cake piñatas—“Make your next cake a hit!” Because, it turns-out, it’s not made of actual cake; it’s all just chocolate! The ones I saw at the lounge were so gorgeous that I’d rather bronze them, (to keep them forever,) than smash them to bits, but I think that most others will love doing just that, especially because they’re filled with more candy. And, unlike regular piñatas, you get to eat all the broken bits! What a fun treat this is—it will truly be the hit of every party!  www.lasmashcakes.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

IFGfit—This one was the find of the lounge! Roz deems this “very stylish” tee-shirt, which helps one’s posture, to be “revolutionary” and a “brilliant idea.” That’s because of its invisible anti-slouching technology, (which gives this apparel the designation of “FDA medical device!”) Mr. X actually has one, (he’s a krump dancer, so he’s hunching-over for a good part of each day or night,) and he said this shirt really helps stop that bad tendency! He said he can feel it correcting his posture without being annoying. And the shirts are so attractive! I know way too many people who slouch, and I’m always having to stop myself from pulling their shoulders back.  Do you think giving these shirts to them would be a more subtle hint?  www.ifgfit.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Silent Mode—We were fascinated by this item! I’ve always had trouble meditating because I can’t calm my mind down enough. (I think regular INAM readers have already figured that out!) And this product is designed to help with that situation, which is good because I feel that everybody  should meditate! Roz explains the entire concept to us: “You cover your eyes with the included noise-and-light-reducing, large, soft, and very comfortable headband. Then you connect to the accompanying app on your smartphone, and dial in the level of meditation or relaxation you desire. You can choose a five-minute focus period or a ten-minute relaxation or even just a twenty-minute power nap!” Guess what? I’ll be choosing them all!!!  www.silentmode.com

The kit, with a before-and-after on the sneaker bottoms. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The kit, with a before-and-after on the sneaker bottoms. Photo by Karen Salkin.

ReShoeVn8r—Tennis player Roz says, “This is one of the most unique ideas I’ve seen lately. I know first-hand how filthy your tennis shoes can get, so I can attest to that this very easy laundry system for sneakers is perfect for everybody, especially the sports crowd.” The helpful kit includes the cleanser, a special brush to use with it, a petite laundry bag, and a pair of shoe trees to keep the shape of your kicks after laundering them. With white shoes being all the rage these days, this should come in handy for all athletes. And hipsters! www.reshoevn8r.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Beauty Pulse—This skin care line that features CBD in its products was gifting a Madagascar Pear body cream which Roz sampled on-site, and admired that it is “goes on really smoothly” and “is non-greasy.” Each guest also received an under-the-tongue tincture in a choice of mango chai, cappuccino, or butterscotch flavors. I appreciated that in each gift bag was a card explaining the benefits of CBD. Who knew there are five types of CBD?! I don’t think anyone, outside of the Beauty Pulse peeps! www.beautypulse.shop

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Shanti Hot Yoga—We loved speaking with the rep from this yoga studio in Culver City. She explained that even though the name says “hot yoga,” they have classes in warm and normal temperatures, as well. I’m sure all the body-and-health-conscious guests in the lounge were happy to receive a gift certificate for a month of unlimited use. With a gift like this one, Roz says, “The heat is on for a better body!” Clever.  www.shantihotyoga.com

Photo by Roz Wolf.

Photo by Roz Wolf.

PFB Vanish—This solves a problem I didn’t even know existed!  Roz explains that this company’s roll-on is “a really cool product that helps to soothe skin irritations caused by shaving, including bumps and ingrown hairs.” The rep told us that the product also lightens dark spots, which Roz greets as “welcome news, because she feels that “the summer heat certainly doesn’t make body skin care any easier.”  www.pfbvanish.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

GBK always chooses a charity to benefit from a portion of the proceeds, and this time it was Etta, which provides programs and services to enable people with disabilities to live full and independent lives. Their reps were at the lounge, telling guests about their upcoming casino night, which Roz says “looks like a lot of fun and is certainly for a good cause.” They gifted everyone a set of lovely note cards, which are painted by their differently-abled clients, making them the most cherished gift in my eyes.  www.etta.org

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