I finished up the week preceding the MTV Movie Awards with a stop at GBK’s upbeat suite at the always-exciting W Hollywood.

Ray Liotta. All photos by Karen Salkin.

I spied some interesting celebrities there, including Ray Liotta, (who seemed to be charming everyone he met,) Chelsie Hightower, (who got screwed out of being on Dancing With The Stars this season,) Castle‘s Tamala Jones, (with whom I almost did a movie a few years ago, but, surprisingly, I wasn’t available when they needed me,) and Jason Ritter, who has yet to be reminded that he saw me in a porto-potty when he was just a kid, which gave his father years of amusement; he mentioned it every time he saw me after that!

Of much more interest to me than the celebs was the food, of course! Sky’s Gourmet Tacos once again provided a royal buffet which everyone was raving about all day. I was so relaxed at this suite that I made time to chat with the lovely owner, Barbara Burell. It was great to bond with someone who’s much wiser than I.

I had another bonding experience with Tina V’lanomelle, the adorable girl who’s done my nails a couple of times now with colorful, sparkly Kiss Nail Dress’ jeweled strips. I may actually try to replenish them myself in the next few weeks, so I’ll tweet how that goes. (@KarenSalkin)

The many charities, all of which I’ve written about before, were: Guard A Heart, (guardaheart.orgMy Life My Power, ( Steps4Paws, ( Lopez Foundation, ( The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, ( Lambda Legal, (  and YES! Beat Liver Tumors (   I’ve checked into them all and can say that from what I’ve experienced/read/been told, they’re all worthwhile, so you should look into their good deeds, as well.

But a gifting suite is also all about the gifts, so here are my faves at GBK:

Viva Diva Wines—This fun company was the Presenting Sponsor, and had a bar set-up so that the guests could sample their flavored Moscato wines on-site. Mr. X and Lucia, (and even I, to a small extent,) have tried several of them before and have become fans, so I knew how happy all of GBK’s guests were. You can read more about what they have to offer in my Mother’s Day Gift Ideas column at the end of next week, so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

Sol Republic Headphones—This company has an interesting concept: customize your own on-ear headphones! You choose the color for the headband part and the cord, and I believe you can pick a logo, as well. I went nuts when I saw a UCLA one, and it turns out they have a whole series of collegiate choices. But no matter where you went to school, I say UCLA is the best one!

Infinite Jewelry Designs—These ladies were the nicest! And talented, too, because one of them designed the attractive leather cuff bracelets they were gifting, which are made out of Louisiana alligator skin! That’s different. If the hand I wear mine one starts craving Creole food, I’ll know who to blame!

The special cookie that Cookie Connection created for the event.

Cookie Connection—Not only are these cookies plump and delicious (that sounds like I’m describing myself!,) but they serve a charitable purpose, as well, by donating to Orphans in Liberia. A big handsome football-er-looking guy created this company, which has stores in Sacramento right now. But I predict they’ll be coming this way (to L.A.) pretty soon, and will be the next big thing. So, get in on them now, people!

SKLZ Training Aids—The pack of three mini exercise bands will come in handy while krump dancer Mr. X rehabs his knee. There are three different strengths in the group, which is great as you get stronger, (something I should look into!,) and they’re perfect for travel. Maybe now he’ll come to New York with me this month. Yeah, right–I think that might take a maxi band to convince him!

Big Truck Brand Caps—I loved these guys!!! And besides that, we got to be proactive at this booth because we chose the color cap we wanted, and which patch to put on it. We even got to pick the thread to attach it with! The best part was watching the big country type of guy sit at the sewing machine working all day. They could have just mounted the whole scene as a performance piece and sold tickets! It would be better than most of the little theatre stuff I see. And the hat would be included in the price of admission. Just think about it, Big Truck guys!

KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn—This popcorn company (duh) provided a bar with four of their top flavors so that guests could create their own bag of deliciousness. I can’t bear different flavors touching, so I went with the just the rocky road, which was mighty tasty.

Sabra—Everyone was happy to see the snacks provided by this hummus company at the suite again. I’m dip-o-phobic, (a term I just this second made-up to explain why I can’t eat open food that others dip into,) so I was glad to see their cute little containers to take home for private consumption. I never mind dipping with Mr. X, though, (doesn’t that sound like a new reality show?,) but I was still happy to have my own cup of the delicious hummus because I’m a slow eater and a big batch would be gone by the time I was ready for my second bite!


1 Comment

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