Held at the Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, this combo gifting suite and luncheon was as stellar as always. Doris Bergman is the most generous event organizer I’ve ever had the pleasure to be in the company of! And not only that, but her events lend themselves to everyone mingling with each other. For example, I had lunch at this one with three celebs on one side of me, (with whom we enjoyed a lovely convo,) and a nice event security guy on the other. I enjoyed both conversations equally, and appreciated both opportunities.

The beginnings of the luncheon. Let's play "Where in the World is Courney Vance?" Photo by Karen Salkin.

The beginnings of the luncheon. Let’s play “Where in the World is Courney Vance?” Photo by Karen Salkin.

Okay, I’m going to tell you about my celeb luncheon companions first, so that wondering who they were doesn’t distract you the whole time you’re reading about the food and gifts. I was accompanied by my assistant, Curtis, (his comments are the ones in quotes,) and during the lunch portion of the day, we sat a table away from the still-stunning Angela Bassett and her lovely actor hubby, Courtney Vance. We shared a laugh with him when I almost dropped the candle off the small table between us. And we went on from there; I just had to tell Angela how Mr. X is always amazed by her uber-young looks!

A bit into our lunch, they were joined by Academy Award winner Lou Gossett, Jr., who I believe had just been with Angela the day before. He and I had just made eye contact elsewhere last month, so we began talking, and kept it up way after the others left. Curtis and I admired his Jamaican bobsled jacket, and he admired us for knowing about them! And we all admired our lovely waitress, Elizabeth! (But the two guys did it for reasons other than mine, I’m sure.)

I can't believe I had lunch next to Cheech AND Chong! Photo by Karen Salkin.

I can’t believe I had lunch next to Cheech AND Chong! Photo by Karen Salkin.

There were tons of other juicy celebs in attendance, but I was most happy to interact with adorable, always-polite Dancing With The Stars pro, Chelsie Hightower, and—get ready for this one—Cheech and Chong!!!

As always with this eatery, the food was delicious, and because Doris wouldn’t have it any other way, plentiful! For several hours, they passed trays of their signature crostinis in many different varieties. Then we moved on to the luncheon buffet, which featured Caesar salad, penne with grilled shrimp, mediterranean chicken with two sauces and almonds, and fragrant cous-cous. By mid-afternoon, the trays of mini desserts were circulated, and I could have lived on their pot de chocolate alone!

The hub bub in the gitfing area of the event. Do you notice Tommy Chong, stylin' with his new fedora? Photo by Karen Salkin.

The hubbub in the gifting area of the event. Do you notice Tommy Chong, stylin’ with his new fedora? Photo by Karen Salkin.

Even better than our “repast with the stars” was the charity aspect of this soiree. We were all asked to bring new or gently used clothing for kids from the wonderful Wednesday’s Child organization. (When I noticed that I still had new outfits in size 2, I realized it’s time to give up hope of ever being back there again. I hope some skinny young girl will love them the way I did when I bought them!) Curtis asked me to “give kudos to newsowman Christine Devine, (who champions the cause) and Wednesday’s Child.” He added, “People are so involved with animal rescue, but when it comes to our greatest resource, our kids, we often turn a blind eye.  Wednesday’s Child is one of the greatest non-profits around, and Christine does a fantastic job; she even wrote a very moving book entitled ‘Finding a Forever Family,’ which I really enjoyed reading.”

Giving was definitely more rewarding than getting, but since this was also a major gifting suite, we totally enjoyed that aspect to the hilt!  It was the perfect mix of welcome returning sponsors and exciting new ones.  Here are the highlights:

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Guess Watches—We were floored to see this beautiful line of watches here! So many gorgeous styles to choose from, including beautiful Rose Gold ones that are encrusted with rhinestones surrounding the face, and their newest line of cobalt blue bands, which, of course, a blue-eyed girl like me loves.

Silvana K Designs–Everyone was clamoring for the infinity bracelets from this newbie to the suite.  Even better than how good they look is the fact that they’re made form re-cycled copper, and are manufactured right here in Los Angeles.  Big kudos to them!


Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Ooh La Bra–Throughout my years of being a fashionista, I’ve been attracted to bling-y everything.  I really thought I had seen it all, until I came upon these rhinestone bra straps!!!  Each set was more gorgeous than the next!  They feature three styles–halter, traditional, and racerback. I often let my colorful bra straps show, but now that I’ve found these, I may just cut all my tops back to make sure they show!

Lusciouss Jewelry–I think that just about every guest at this suite asks designer Kendra Bridelle to choose a piece from her ever-growing collection for them. There’s so much beauty on her table, including the new silver chandelier-type earrings she was rocking herself, that no one can really decide on just one item for him or herself.

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Whitening Lightening–I showed this teeth-whitening treatment to Stephanie, and she couldn’t believe how “simple, easy to use, and convenient” it is!  She deemed it “insane!”  (That’s a top compliment amongst the college set.)  And after you have your new sparkling pearly whites, you should use their Color Your Smile lip glosses for the final touch.

Nature’s Flavors—I always love to see what this company, which boasts about eight thousand natural and organic products(!) has in store for the suite guests.  The taste treats this time included Bill and Begley’s natural sugar-free and caffeine-free sodas, which Mr. X loves, and coffee, which I’m sure everybody else does!

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Twisted Silver–I’ve been a fan of this jewelry so long that I was wearing one of their necklaces to the suite without even realizing it!  Curtis said that Debra Mitchell, the line designer who was in attendance, was “a great advert for her product because she was well-coordinated and showed the look off beautifully.”  He said the uni-sex bracelet she chose for him is  “very cool; the bicycle chains (it was made of)  gave it a cool tough look.”

Single Dress–This clothing company always brings a whole rack of all different dresses and tops, so that each guest can choose a vert individualized gift, which is so good of them.  This time, they also brought their new item, men’s underwear, that Curtis and I were fighting over!   I just cared that they were were attractive and looked so comfortable (I love wearing men’s underwear around the house,) while Curtis was impressed that they’re American-made.

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

My Saint My Hero–These bracelets, that are comprised of little silver circles on black or colored this rope, are not only attractive, but they each come with a Benedictine blessing.  And who among us doesn’t need all the help we can get?  I was feeling the red one, since it was right before Valentine’s Day, and it trend out this one was specifically designed for Love!  I’m already blessed in that department, with the fabulous Mr. X, but if I ever forget, this bracelet will serve as a reminder.  If they have one for good health, that’s the one I really need to check-out!

Baron Hats--I’ve enjoyed this company’s fedoras before, but this time we got to see their designer, Mark Mejia, weaving upscale straw ones right on-site.  Curtis deemed the ready-made ones they were gifting “very clever” and said, “The younger set would go for them big time.”

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Simply Eartha—This line of “unique home decor and gift items” was created by the daughter of the late sultry singer, Eartha Kitt. The junior Kitt (her first name) wanted to share her mom’s love for words, something she and I have in common about our mother’s, especially since my little mo was the supreme English teacher of New York!  (We also have one sad thing in common, I found out later; both our mothers left this level of life on a Christmas Day.  Now I feel even more bonded to Kitt.)  One of Eartha’s favorite sayings was,”Don’t panic,” which resonates with not just Kitt, but me, too, because I’ve been sorely in need of that reminder these days.  And it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be remembering it while inhaling the delicious vanilla scent of the candle in the jar with the saying.

PK’s Chocolates–This was the perfect gift for this pre-Valentine’s Day suite!  Delicious assorted chocolates in a square red box finished off with a big gold bow.  Mr. X loved them!  He said, “They put together a nice little box of chocolates!” We really enjoyed the somewhat unusual flavors, especially the one titled “Speculoos.”

Photo by Karen Salkin

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Spongelle—These colorful sponges with built-in body wash are always popular items. There are so many fragrances to choose from, in addition to types of sponges. My fave is the Pedi-Buffer, which always comes in handy after a day at the suite!!!

Art by Dano–The last time I met this Emmy Award-winning storyboard artist, he was sharing his fun portrait of the Rat Pack.  This go-round, the VIPs were  receiving a Beatles portrait.  Curtis was really impressed with its timeliness, observing, “Since it was just the Beatles’ anniversary with America, it’s a cool gift item.”


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