[Note: I went to ten, count them, ten, Oscars Weeks events! Only one was a waste of time, but the other nonet were great, and each was unique. As physically-challenging to me as it all was, it was worth it to have so many wonderful stories to share with you. So, each Oscars Suite and party gets its own column, in the order of my visits to them, (with many of the celebrities being discussed in the next Celeb Sightings one,) because I want you to be able to concentrate on each and every aspect I’m telling you about. I don’t want you to miss even one second of the fun, so please make sure to check all nine days worth of stories to learn about the entirety of the fabulous-ness! This is the eighth of nine.]

[Note #2: Lucia McCarthy is the Contributing Writer on this one.]

As Lucia stated, this was a very different kind of suite. It was all high-energy, all day long. There was constant club music pumping-up the crowd, and each celebrity was announced with much fanfare as they arrived. The escorts were in white, rather than the usual black, and everyone was in an upbeat mood.

All photos by Karen Salkin.

It was held in a Hollywood studio that was new to me, Ben Kitay. There were a few giant warehouse type of rooms, and every time we thought we had finished meeting all the sponsors, another area popped-up!

A lot of suites have the same old working actors as VIPs, (nothing wrong with that,) so I was thrilled to see a real luminary, (not to mention a loyal fan of my former show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue)– Olympian and World Champion ice skater, Tai Babalonia. I’ve known her for almost twenty years now, and I swear, she looks exactly the same as she did then!

There were so many highlights to tell you about, so let’s get right to them.

The IndiExhibit—This group of colorful artists, led by the intrepid Shannon Justice, is the reason I went to this suite to begin with! I try to never miss an event that features them and their uber-pleasant personnel. They make the perfect starting point to any suite they’re in because they make everyone feel special and comfortable right away. And they did something so clever for this suite! Instead of making the guests tote around lots of gifts with designs that are perhaps not one’s exact taste, they gave out adorable little crocheted bags with loads of gift certificates! That way, everybody gets each item personally designed just for them! Loving it. I can’t wait to use the one for a tarot reading; maybe Jennifer Sieck will tell me what gifts this organization will come up with for the next round of suites!

Ms. America Pageant—This one was right up my alley; I love beauty queen stuff! The actual pageant will be on June 23 this year, and they’re accepting applications for all females who are over twenty-six. (That lets me out! But maybe I can be a judge. After all, I do it every day in real life!) To remind us how glamorous it all is, they were gifting gorgeous crystal necklaces to match the tiaras that were on display.

Be Your Own You—This is not only a line of adorable fashions for girls of all ages, but it’s an organization that teaches self-esteem to the same group. Their motto is “Because you deserve to shine in your own unique way,” a message I whole-heartedly endorse. It reminds me of this family story: my mother laughed at everything I did when I was little (and rightfully so, if I do say so myself!,) but her proper old school uncle always told her to stop because she would make me “nervous.” Thank goodness she didn’t listen to him because I grew-up knowing that making people laugh was the perfect thing to do with my life. Where would I be if my precious mom had tried to stifle me?!

Lookie Lous—Lucia dubbed this a “cool concept!” It’s sunglasses that are reading glasses, (as opposed to the usual distance ones,) which is different. And they look great as a headband, too. L offered that they come in “great colors,” and don’t “push hard on the temples, which is so nice.” I really hadn’t realized just how many people, of all ages, need reading glasses! And they can keep disguising that need with these fashionable finds.

Rock N The Trend—This is some of the most clever jewelry I’ve ever seen! It’s all made out of guitar picks! Every single item—earrings, bracelets, necklaces, you name it. Some have designs, like actually pretty skulls, and some is still recognizable as the picks themselves. And it all made me want to be a musician, rather than go out with one! (Unless it’s Paul McCartney, of course. But then, do I need left-hand picks?)

Real Chemistry—After not taking care of my skin for these two weeks that I’ve been reeling from pneumonia, I can’t wait to try this three-minute facial peel, to start on brighter skin right away!

Simbi Haiti—This is what Lucia said about these colorful bracelets/hair ties, with a charity component: “Love these! So simple, clever, and chic.  Plus the best part is that they don’t leave a kink in one’s hair. And when I’m running out the door, I just throw one on my wrist, and I’m accessorized and helping the people of Haiti with jobs and clean water.” What’s not to love?!

Hugg-A-Planet—Here’s a serious surprise: The one gift I tell Mr. X I want every Xmas is…a globe! Alas, he says they’re too big for our shrinking house. But this company makes them in pillow form. Now I can tell everyone that I’m “on top of the world,” and mean it!!!

Fusion Pets—They were gifting their K-9 Fitness Packs, which include the perfect harness, leash, and belt combo for running with your dog, hands-free. It almost makes me want to go out and get a big dog to run with! I don’t know which part would be harder for me—getting a new dog, or trying to run!

Smart Mom Jewelry—These are the coolest accessory for hip moms of all ages. They’re basically solid teething rings, in really cool colors, that you wear as a pendant! May as well get the kids started on fashion early!

Hair Twisters—These are fabulous! I love hair innovations. There are several different designs of these gadgets that some might call “hair ties,” but they’re so much more. Though I loved the smaller silver ornaments that would be fabulous peeking out of the body of the hair, my ten thousand pounds of tresses would look better (and tamed) in the super-ling colorful ponytail wraps.

Good Works Make A Difference—We loved this wrap-around bracelets, some of whose sale proceeds go towards helping underpriveleged students. All of them were attractive, so to compromise, I went with basic black, (which is weird because I adore colors,) while Lucia chose a multi-color one.

Michele’s Popcorn—We were so excited to get these delicious gourmet treats! In addition to dark chocolate-covered popcorn, they were gifting bags of a healthful snack mix. We should have disguised ourselves to go back for seconds!

Barnabas Clothing—This tee shirt and jeans company donates a portion of all sales to a charity in Kenya. So you can look good and be good, at the same time!

Boob Glue—I love the name; and no, it’s not paste to get your dumb boyfriend to stick closer to you! Lucia describes it as “easy peasy glue” which is used to stick the boobs up and in to give you a cleavage overdose, or up and apart to smooth an overly endowed bust line. Either way, I can’t to wait to see what it can do with my big mamas!

San Diego Zoo—The only time I had ever been to the venerable San Diego Zoo was when I was a dance major at UCLA. I stepped down wrong while I was there, blew-out my knee, and seriously had to give up my plan to be a professional dancer. I never wanted to go back again, until I saw the live animals they were showing at this suite, like a baby kangaroo!!! They also gave-out bags with multiple children’s gifts. Lucia said of them, “This was the most adorable surprise.  The pint-sized Zoo Keeper outfit will make the best Halloween costume, and the teeny aviator sunglasses polish the look perfectly!” A bonus was the “super-cute” teddy bear fanny pack. Wait—I thought that one was for

Funkins—Lucia said, “I anticipate there will be a lot of ‘oohs and aahs’ from the children” who were gifted with these cloth napkins that feature adorable dinosaurs, monkeys, alligator illustrations, and the like.  She added, “Plus the parents will be thrilled with the improved table manners from the joy children get wiping their mouths all over these characters!” Maybe I should get a few for Mr. X.

LeChat Nails–This was a clever little duo of nail polish in the same shade; only one is normal polish and the other is gel!

Smarty Pants Vitamins—These are vitamins disguised as gummy candies. They have weight-loss ones for grown-ups, as well, so you can get healthy in many ways at once.

Tat’z Nail’z—Lucia said, “These are a very fun concept; they’re personalized images on your fake nails! Ours were of Marilyn to celebrate the Oscars.” I believe they have to be created at a salon, but they can make them for toes, too!


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