[Note: Despite just recovering from pneumonia, I managed to make it out to five gifting suites celebrating the 2014 Oscars. Each one gets its own column because I don’t want any of you to miss even one item I’m telling you about. So, please make sure to check back several times (and look at last week’s posts) to learn about all the fabulous-ness. This is the third of five. My Contributing Writer on this one is Stephanie Sedayao. Her comments are the ones attributed to her by name, and also the ones in quotes.]

This was the absolute best suite the Harris twins ever put on!  The rest of their events have always been fabulous, too, but they outdid themselves on this one.  And in the rain, to boot!!!

It was held once again in the Penthouse of the Luxe Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the patio is one of the big features of the venue.  But, because of the rain, they had to move many of the sponsors inside, and even some to a couple of other actual suites.  We visited those latter ones first, and when we saw their cozy surroundings, we were wowed.  We wound-up spending even more time with those people than the ones upstairs because we got to sit in comfy chairs and couches, and even on beds, while we chatted away.  The whole event was beautiful and one that I’m thrilled Stephanie got to experience.

It was fantastic from the get-go. As we approached the lobby elevator that would take us up to the Penthouse, the brothers were right there, to start us off with a bunch of little gifts, like Dorothy’s Candies and Udder Cream, which put everyone in a great mood to begin with.

The stilt walker was so tall that she got cut-off!  Sorry about that.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

The stilt walker was so tall that she got cut-off! Sorry about that. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Making that area even more festive was a clown, (Jason Lassen, gifting his book, The Hollywood Clown, which Stephanie already read and says is “an inspiring story,) a stilt walker, and a popcorn machine! If there’s one thing that can brighten any day, no matter the weather, it’s a circus atmosphere. (Just ask Betty Boop and her Grampy!) I was in one when I was a teenager, and I will never forget the joy on the faces of the audience members. And that’s what I felt like at the Wow Creations Oscar Suite—the smiles on Stephanie and my faces never stopped all day.

Also, I must note that I have never seen so many attractive people in one place since I was a club promoter! The sponsors were a gorgeous group, which lent a certain cachet to the event.

There were so many groovy gifts that we just have to get right to the highlights, of which there were many!

Don't get married to the painting in the middle (the predominantly red one)--it's now MINE! Photo by Karen Salkin.

Don’t get married to the painting in the middle (the predominantly red one)–it’s now MINE! Photo by Karen Salkin.

IndiExhibit—This sponsor is always among my favorites. They did a really fun thing this time around; instead of giving everyone the same group of gifts, they had a giant display board featuring everything from jewelry to artwork to purses to headgear. We had a hard time deciding on just one each! (Good thing this group was uber-generous and also gave us gift certificates to use another time!) While I chose a beautiful still life oil painting, done in mostly reds and blacks, courtesy of artist Lynne Reichhart, Steph chose a “younger” gift of a little painted coin purse. She said, “The pouch is ‘spooktacular.’ Pop surrealist artist, Abril Andrade Griffith, did a wonderful job of making this coin purse edgy and cute at the same time.”

BrVelle Candles—My Royal Sniffer, Steph, said, “These handmade candles smell fantastic! I loved the green tea scent; I would most definitely burn it every morning. It’s perfect for someone who isn’t into strong fragrances (like my boss, Karen!)” Wait—moi?! She is correct, though; because of my asthma, I’m scared of most fragrances, even the ones I love. But the vanilla candle from this company is just right! I really appreciate a candle company who understands that less is more.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Radar Watches—Steph gushed, “These watches are really something else—they have an endless array of interchangeable bands, and there are even some faces that light up! They look high-tech and sleek,” and are perfect for all ages, as proofed by the fact that she and I were into them equally.

Nutty Canine—Steph was impressed that “the Puppa Nutter Peanut Butter Snack is all natural. It’s perfect for you and your dog, with the only ingredients being peanut and golden flaxseed.” The lovely personnel from this company assured us that, since those are the only two ingredients, it’s safe for people, as well. An amusing story about that: Last year, Mr. X and I went to a party that was previewed to be have “a lot of food.” When we got there, we saw only pizza, which is nice, but how many slices can one eat? So I was thrilled when I saw a delicious-looking casserole on the stove. I asked the hostess where the plates were so that I can have some, and she told me in no uncertain terms that it was for the dog guests, not the human ones! I was so relieved that I hadn’t eaten any yet, and asked, “You mean I almost just ate dog food?!” She replied, “No—it’s just chicken and rice and vegetables.” So, in other words, she could have let me have some, but she’d rather hook-up the canines. Nice. So when she and her dog come over to my house, I’m going to eat my Nutty Canine peanut butter right in front of them both…and not let them have any!

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Fego Gioielli Jewelry—This is funny; out of all the beautiful jewelry on this designer’s table, I was most attracted to the Labradorite Quad Stone “Academy” Danglers! (That’s their quotes, not mine.) And this was a suite for the Academy Awards! So, obviously, my taste in earrings is spot-on! (Okay, I have to admit that they looked great on the designer, Melissa Fego, who also has long brown hair, so I just had to copy her.)

Beverly Hills Cosmetic & Laser Center—We can’t wait to use the gift certificates that we got for a facial at this office. Judging by how beautiful the skin on the company rep at this suite was, we’re sure we’ll be in good hands. Stephanie added that she was “so sweet too!”

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Vance Family Soy Candles—Stephanie must have smelled every candle in the place! She exclaimed, “Oh, the smell of the chocolate candles is remarkable! The Orange Liqueur Truffle one is definitely a scent everyone would love in their home. It’s sweet and not too strong—ideal for everyday use.” We both loved that each one comes in different sizes. She reached right for a full size one, while mini-loving me was most attracted to the sampler set of all the various chocolate aromas in perfect travel proportions.

Bainbridge Organic Distillers—They were featuring their Organic Doug Fir Gin in a totally attractive bottle. I’m not kidding—the burnished silver, raised-letters label made me wish I drank! If the gin itself tastes as good as it looks, imbibers should be really happy. (How shallow am I?! I care about the looks of even inanimate objects!!!)

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Photo by Stephanie Sedayao.

Insta Knot–This is a brilliant idea, one I’ve never seen anywhere else. Stephanie explains it best: “Not quite sure how to tie a tie knot? No problem! This does it all for you—just attach the already-made top-knot and attach it with a clip—genius.” She should write for the company!

Paper Shower—Steph said of these portable items, “Need a quick way to freshen up? The Paper Shower is a fantastic way to get that fresh feel. The dual pack comes with a moist towel to freshen up and a towelette to dry off.  Perfect for anyone on the go, travelers, at the beach-goers, athletes—everyone!”

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Zumer Sport—Stephanie remarked right away on what great gifts this company has for sports fans. They were featuring drawstring sacks and men’s toiletries bags that are made from real sports ball material! Being a former volleyball player, Steph loved the ones made-out of volleyballs, (duh,) while I spent my time thinking about how all my basketball guy pals would go nuts for the ones made from those orbs. Or how, if I ever get to meet my hero, Roger Federer, I’d love to give him a tennis ball one. If he doesn’t already have one, that is.

Vibrant Health—Steph could be a copywriter for this health company! She said, “The Green Vibrance Superfood has over twenty-five billion probiotics in one daily dose. All the vitamins you need in a teaspoon once a day? Perfect!” I better try some so my brainpower can be as strong as hers!

My Body Skincare—Steph got the low-down on the Tinted Sun Shield, while I just admired the looks of the people showing it to us, and hoping their product would make us look like them! She shared that it’s “great for those who love being in the sun, yet want full protection from those harsh UV rays. It’s also a makeup primer—perfect way to start one’s day.”

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Perfect Tan—They were gifting a bronzing mousse that’s good for the face and the body! I rarely see one product that works for both. Even non-tanner-needing, already-dark-enough-in-her-own-skin Stephanie was impressed that it “seems to be a perfect instant self-tanner. And it’s for all skin types and colors, so how fab is that?!?” If we come out looking as beautiful the girls who were repping this product, I’ll buy a barrel of the stuff! (And let’s not forget the easy-to-use application mitt!)

Lovesque—They were gifting jelly bracelets in several colors with your choice of charm on it. Steph deemed them “so cute,” and added that they’re “perfect as an everyday accessory—cuteness and comfort all in one.”

Home Baked Beanies—They were gifting “cute for any age” head-wraps that Steph said are “adorable, and sure to keep heads (and ears) warm and cozy, while still looking fab.” And, if you like, the company can make them smell like “delicious” cupcakes!

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Pamper Me Organically—I never knew that little Steph had a skin issue until I read her rave review of these organic products! She said, “The lemon skin butter is killer—I tried a little bit on my sensitive skin and it stayed smooth and soft all day long. The shea butter anti-wrinkle cream is another wonderful item that kept my skin feeling silky smooth, as well. I love how it’s all organic, especially because my skin usually reacts harshly to everything else!” I was just busy admiring the work that went into making the outside of their goodie bags so attractive! It’s so nice that they went that extra mile.

Pura Botanica—We were both impressed that these skin and hair products are free of sulfates, parabens, synthetic preservatives, fragrance, and phthalates. So, what do they contain? Just nature-derived ingredients. And in such classy-looking packaging, too. They were gifting their new travel kits, which anyone would be proud to have inspected at the airport!

DB Bourbon Candy—This company did all the alcohol gifts at the suite one better, and put the bourbon into luscious chocolate candies! Everyone was exclaiming over what a great combo this was!

Glisodin—I’m anxious to try these skin vitamins, but not for the obvious reasons. One would think I’d be the most happy about the anti-aging properties, but no—I can’t wait for the anti-inflammatories to kick in, because of my swollen hands!

Gary Red Brand Apparel—Stephanie liked that the tee-shirts they were gifting had “a great saying everyone should keep in mind: ‘Touch the heart, open your mind.’ Something we should all remember.” I say amen to that!

ParaVi Vineyards—This was an adorable gift—a single-glass bottle of dessert wine, covered with…chocolate! How much better can dessert get?!



  1. Lynne Reichhart on

    Karen, Thanks so much for the shout out for my painting ‘Red in Silver’. I so glad you liked it!


  2. Thank you Karen, for this great, fun, and thorough article! It was great meeting you and I’m so glad you liked my candles :-) – amy

  3. Jason Lassen on

    It was great meeting you Karen! I’m so happy to hear you and Stephanie had fun at the event. Despite the weather, I think everyone had a great time, I know we did. Tell Stephanie, I’m glad she enjoyed the book.

  4. I visited your site & found that it is very informational for everyone. You have done really a great job. Thank you very much!

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