What do Angelina Jolie, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Saoirse Ronan, Scarlett Johansson, and I have in common? (Besides our obvious show business success, of course! Them with all their Oscars and great roles, and me in one of my typical co-starring comedy roles in the blockbuster western movie, Brothers In Arms! Haven’t heard of it? No worries—neither has anyone else.)

This is the recent fun situation that we ladies do share: we were a few of the very fortunate show business females to receive the fabulous Madison & Mulholland swag bag in honor of the Oscars! (They got it because they’re—well–them! And I did because–who knows?)

Some of the goodies hidden in the inside pockets of the suitcase.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

Some of the goodies hidden in the inside pockets of the suitcase. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I met this company back in the day, when I attended some of their fabulous gifting suites that they used to throw, and I always looked forward to them. But, after taking a several-year hiatus from this type of event, (because she just didn’t want to do suites anymore,) Madison & Mulholland head honcho Jane Ubell-Meyer realized that she still wanted to celebrate the celebs who used to flock to hers. So, she returned to the genre, big-time, with a wonderful concept this awards season.

She had hefty bags of upscale goodies hand-delivered to A-list talent during Oscars week! I love it! (And I’m sure so did they.)

Jane curated the gifts herself, making sure to include a variety of products, with eveything from fun to useful to luxurious items. I was thrilled to get a small gander at some of the contents. Maybe it will inspire me to resurrect my acting career that I’ve neglected for the past few years to instead devote my time to this little baby that you’re reading right now! The gifts can be the carrot that lead me back into the acting fray, by giving me a hint of what movie stars can receive if they get famous enough!

The contents were so cool that I decided to share a peek inside at a sampling of the goodies with you. Here goes:

bagTravelon Luggage–It all came in their eighteen-inch wheeled under-seat carry‐on, (how many hyphens was that?!,) which is so lightweight that even wimpy I was able to lift it on my own, even filled to the brim with gifts! It has special bags inside to make packing easy, which is a pleasure for messy peeps like me.

yayYarn Pop—A whole knitting kit, with several brands of yarn, came in this uber-colorful tote bag. Sadly, (or perhaps happily…for the people I would have crocheted stuff for!,) my creating-in-any-way-other-than-with-words days are behind me. But this mouth-watering bag itself was my favorite gift! It reminded me of my circus days, which is always fun.

ear.Little Black Box by J Grace Co.—How can anyone not love sparkly-yet-elegant earrings? The ones in the bag are six-carat tear-drop-shaped arrow-cut simulated diamonds on sterling silver posts. And they were presented in an elegant little black box, so the excitement began before we even opened them.

4 Noodle Banners for Kid Show copyDesigner Noodle—I’m really excited about these uber-colorful pool “noodles!” They have matching rafts, which is where I’ll most likely wind-up in the pool, even though I should be exercising with the noodles. The items come in all different fun designs, in categories like “Candy” and “Beach.” And this is a lovely company who actually honors gift certificates, with no fuss whatsoever! That is almost unheard of before, in my experience.

mir.Mirai Clinical Bodycare—This gift was wrapped beautifully, and reminded me of the prettiest Christmas present! I even had to rip the paper off, like an excited kid. Inside was a collection of body care products from Japan, where everyone looks good. But these go even one step further—they offer all-day deodorant protection, to go along with your newly-smooth skin.

unspecifiedGigs Headphones—These powerful bluetooth headphones are “all about that bass.” Really. They’re designed to play-up that feature, which I’m sure the krump-dancing Mr. X and his fleet-footed buddies will appreciate. They fold easily, and are very attractive, to boot. (The headphones, not the krumpers, though I just realized that the same can actually be said of many of them!)

curlCharlie Curls—This is actually the item I’m most interested in!  I have make-up and nail talent, but none whatsoever in the hair department. So, I can’t wait to use this one-move easy-to-use hair roller, which is supposed to make you wind-up with a head full of curls in just three hours! (Its tag-line is “Fabulous curls with just thirty seconds of effort.” And that’s about all I ever have!) If it works, this usually straight-haired gal will be so happy!

margAvion Tequila paired with Powell & Mahoney Margarita Mix—I’ll be saving this dream duo for Cinco de Mayo, which will be here before we know it! Even though I don’t drink myself, I love being prepared for all holiday festivities!

Luxchilas—It’s always fun to discover different kinds of jewelry, and this company’s little woven bracelet, adorned with sparkles, fills that bill. I bet it will look fabu in the summer on the beach.

The stars got even more items than these in their goodie bags, but these are my highlights. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that Madison & Mulholland will do one for the Emmys next! And that I’ll get a TV gig before then, so I can merit the gifts!



  1. Kristine Akins on

    Hi Karen, I want to make you so happy!!! Please let us know how the CharlieCurl works for you.
    You have gorgeous locks, so roll very slightly damp and perhaps with a little setting or conditioning mouse for moisture and hold. You should get some great body as well as terrific waves if a few hours or go overnight for luscious CURLS! Call me or email! Thanks! Kris Akins , founder CC

  2. Kristine Akins on

    Hi Karen, How did the experiments with CharlieCurls go? I’d love to talk to you and see photos. Some customers get it immediately and some have to experiment a bit, but it can work spectacularly! Thanks! Kris

    • Karen Salkin on

      Hi Kris.

      Thanks for checking-in!

      I haven’t used it yet because…I don’t know where I put it!!! I lose everything!

      But, as soon as I find it, (I’ve been looking–trust me!,) I’m going to call you with questions. I watched the tutorial on your site, tho, so I think I have it under control.


  3. Kristine Akins on

    I understand putting things in “lost” places! I look forward to our conversation when warranted :) Very Best, Kris

    • Karen Salkin on

      I found it! I now have your email, so I’m going to email u with a query or 2.

      BTW–How did u know that I have “gorgeous locks?!”


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