GIFTING LOUNGE: GBK’S PRE-ESPYS GIFTING LOUNGE 2017

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GBK’S PRE-ESPYS GIFTING LOUNGE 2017

Many of you know how sports-obsessed I am, so, of course, I’m really into the Espy Awards, and all the surrounding activities.  That means that I was more than happy to be a guest at the GBK Pre-Espys Gifting Lounge last week.  A ton of sports world celebs and I converged on the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for a fabulous time!

Laurie Hernandez.  Photo by Lisa Politz.

Laurie Hernandez. Photo by Lisa Politz.

I’ve never had such a fun elevator ride (up to the penthouse,) as I did with all those giant football players!  (And even an actual Giants one!)  The fun began as soon as we stepped off, into the suite.

My contributing writer on this one is Lisa, who enjoyed the whole day.  (Her comments are the ones in quotes.) Over the course of our time there, we spotted skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk; Olympic gymnast (and, more importantly to me, Dancing With The Stars Champion,) Laurie Hernandez; Heisman Trophy winner, Matt Leinart; and footballer Malik Jackson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was one of the most polite guests I’ve ever run into at any gifting event!  I loved seeing that.

It was such fun discovering many new items there, and also seeing some of my favorites from past GBK suites.  One of the things I appreciate most about GBK events is that they always feed us. We all need to keep up our strength for having so much fun!

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Which brings me to the winner of the day: the barbecue treats from the Central Coast’s restaurant The Rib Line.  They had an entire corner of the patio set-up with their buffet and grill.  It was quite the site to behold.  And I loved that they offered a wide variety of menu items which is very, very rare at a gifting lounge!   Lisa said, “This place has it covered when it comes to deliciousness,” and declared it to be a “lovely meal every step of the way.”  My favorite item was what Lisa called a “unique and luscious” little sweet potato ball that they injected ranch dressing into.  Wow.  Lisa went nuts over the “so tender and flavorful” brisket sandwich, and the “fall off the bone, meaty and flavorful” pork ribs.

The beautiful choices for the s'mores. Photo by Lisa Politz.

The beautiful choices for the s’mores. Photo by Lisa Politz.

And, even in the heat, we were happy to take advantage of their unique make-you-own s’mores bar, complete with assorted flavors of homemade marshmallows and graham crackers!  Lisa also scarfed-up her slightly-alcoholic root beer float.  We were both really impressed that they were thoughtful enough to even remember to have wet wipes on offer!!  Now we’re both looking forward to taking a day trip up the coast to have lunch at this award-winning restaurant.  www.ribline.com

There were a couple of other taste treats along the way, so let’s get to them first, followed by the rest of the highlights of the gifts!

People loved this healthful pizza so much that I could not get a snap of the full pies! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

People loved this healthful pizza so much that I could not get a snap of the full pies! Photo by Karen Salkin, as is the big one at the top of this page.

Cali’flour Foods—Since I absolutely love pizza, and am not allowed to eat white flour anymore, I was especially interested to try this pizza crust that’s made from cauliflower! We sampled it right at the lounge, and Lisa pointed-out that the product from “this cleverly-named company” is “reminiscent of a thin, crispy crust,” and “is so good, you won’t miss the flour.”  It’s so easy to use at home—you freeze the crust till you’re craving some pizza, then just a few minutes in the oven, add toppings, and you can eat pizza without the guilt! (Or, more importantly, sans the unhealthfulness!) www.califlourfoods.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Ricos—The guests all hit the jackpot with this company from San Antonio, the home of my beloved NBA Spurs. (And the just re-signed Manu Ginobili, which is the best news of the week!) Besides being able to sample these nachos right on-site, each guest received a cute sports sac full of Rico concession-quality treats. Among the goodies in there were two bags of their really delicious flavored popcorn, a Nachos-on-the-Go box, a logo t-shirt, and even a giant dill pickle. (I could have just stayed there, eating their cheddar cheese popcorn for the rest of the day!) On top of all that, every VIP at the lounge will get to have their own Nacho Party, courtesy of Rico. Ole! www.ricos.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Dr. John’s Remedies—These pain relief capsules and liquids (that I’m assuming are named after the musical Dr. John’s famous album,) are made from hemp oil. So that’s different.  I’m sure the athletes at the lounge were happy to discover products that will help them with joint pain! Lisa and I definitely were!    www.drjohnsremedies.com

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Zumer Sport—I think you all know by now what a fan I am of this company that makes all kinds of products out of sports ball materials!  Lisa had never seen their wares before, so she was impressed with the “lovely, high-quality” products, especially the attractive keychains “that are made from authentic soccer ball material, and come with a zinc-plated ring.” Now that tennis is over for the next month or so, I’ve turned my attention back to baseball, (which is actually my favorite sport, even though I know that surprises most of you,) so my mouth watered when I saw their giant baseball pillows! I think one of them should be awarded to Aaron Judge, for bringing excitement back to the Yankees this year! www.zumersport.com

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Bio Minerals—This company was offering two helpful products for body health. As girls who want everything about our looks to be great, we were especially interested in learning about the collagen-generator, BioSil, which is said to help strengthen nails and hair while also promoting healthy bones and joints.  Speaking of joints, they also make On Your Game, which helps men with their body pains. That must have been great news for all the athletes on hand! www.biosilonyourgame.com

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Body Boost Men—Since the majority of athletes at the lounge were male, they angled this stretch mark prevention lotion towards them, but the reps explained that it’s just as effective on women.  And it has other uses as well.  It’s designed to keep skin toned and mark-free, and also helps to improve the appearance of existing marks.  Dieters will be happy to learn it’s also a strengthener for post-weight-loss skin, as well. Lisa tried it, and said,“This product sounds great!,” an assessment with which I agree. www.bodyboost-men.com

 Photo by Lisa Politz.

Photo by Lisa Politz.

Liquid Skin Care–I’m sure all the men at the event were thrilled to receive this duo of face products designed specifically for their own  gender from a company out of Australia. And we know how good (and hunky!,) all those Aussie mates look! Speaking of looks, the packaging is perfect for men—neat and unfussy. Each product states just what it is on the bottle, with no wasted words. I know that Mr. X would appreciate that, especially living with me, who uses more words than almost anybody! www.lqd.co.uk

The Cryo Zone rep, working her magic on a guest's visage.  Photo by Lisa Politz.

The Cryo Zone rep, working her magic on a guest’s visage. Photo by Lisa Politz.

Cryo Zone—This company was a big hit with all the guests because we got facial treatments right on site! I’m not sure exactly how it works, but it’s a stream of cold air that was sprayed onto our faces.  Lisa told me she was thrilled “to discover this cold-mist treatment for skin-tightening and joint pain relief,” and said her skin felt rejuvenated after.  I was just grateful that, besides making us look better, it totally helped with the heat of that day. Now we can’t wait to try it at their office—I know this is what LeBron James uses, so maybe I’ll be able to dunk after!   www.thecryozone.com

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

B Opulent—I love this humble jewelry designer! Seeing B there always puts a smile on my face. And looking at his gorgeous bracelets always makes me even happier! Talented and uber-pleasant—now that’s a combo I wish everyone was!

GBK’s charity this time was Focus Youth Center, whose mission is “to provide dynamic and innovative programs that encourage healthy social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development in children, adolescents, and parents.” www.focusyouthcenter.com

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