[Note: As usual, each Emmys Suite gets its own write-up, in the order of my visits this year. So, please make sure to check each day’s column this week to learn about all the fabulous-ness. This is the second of five. (Because these were my first events out of the house since my hand surgery, I had to limit my suites visits to five, so I chose my perennial favorites.) I had an associate accompany me to each suite; Rachel is the contributing writer on this one. Her included remarks are the ones in quotes.]

What a fabulous suite this was!!!  In every way; the perfect lay-out in the downstairs ballroom of the gorgeous Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, an amazing and eclectic array of sponsors, and a group of guests who were all well-behaved, which is a rarity at these events.  I seriously was euphoric when I finally got to collapse on my couch later that evening. And Rachel was amazed at the whole thing. (And you know I never use any form of the word “amaze” lightly.)

The helpful "Secret Room" girls, with a couple of cute interlopers down in front. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The helpful “Secret Room” girls, with a couple of cute interlopers down in front. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Secret Room is made-up of a few partners, who are all easy to work with, but I just adore Amy Boatwright.  This time she was assisted by a bevy of beauties who could not have been more helpful to us VIPs.  Towards the end of the day, someone got the girls all together to take some snaps, and seeing them all lined-up, in their LBDs with their dark hair flowing, one of the other guests asked me if it was all girls from a beauty pageant!!!  So, they win for cutest and nicest personnel ever at a gifting suite.  Big props to them.

Rachel's newly curled hair, in front of the fabulous Majestic Home Goods pillows. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Rachel’s newly curled hair, in front of the fabulous Majestic Home Goods pillows. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I must also laud Majestic Home Goods for making this the most attractive suite ever! They furnished several hospitality areas with their fabulously colorful and comfortable pillows, ottomans, and beanbag chairs. We sat in them to get manicures and have some snacks, and we really didn’t want to get up!

The manicure area.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

The manicure area. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Speaking of manicures, we’re always thrilled to see spa services at a suite. This one provided manicures by Costa Mesa’s Lollipop Nail Studio, hair by Cecy Alcala of Bella By Design in Orange County, and lashes by Christine Reed on Melrose. I believe there were also make-up people, but we came camera ready in that area, so we didn’t avail ourselves of those services.

Now, let’s get to the gifts, which were plentiful!

HoverCam Mini 5. Photo by Karen Salkin.

HoverCam Mini 5. Photo by Karen Salkin.

HoverCam–This one stopped me in my tracks! First of all, the display looked important, and the HoverCam Mini 5 definitely lived up to its appearance. It’s a very petite desktop camera and document scanner. Who doesn’t need that nowadays? It should also be called a “relationship saver” because I know that by clearing-up my journalistic desktop paper clutter, Mr. X will be thrilled. And it’s really simple to use. You just plug it into the USB port and scan away! It scans everything: bills, business cards, every bon mot I ever uttered that I just had to write down on some random scrap of paper; you name it. And it doubles as a WebCam. So, you just may soon see the Karen Salkin channel on YouTube. And then you can blame the HoverCam for that one.

Producer/Director Charles Addessi–This was a different sponsor to find at a gifting suite! Even though the only gift involved was fun movie-themed candy, it was actually my favorite one of all time. Let me tell you why. The man we were meeting, Charles Addessi, is a film producer/director out of New York. As all people from that city do when they meet, we had to talk about where we grew up. Turns out, not only did we both grow up in Brooklyn, but he had the fabulous May Rose Salkin as his high school English teacher!!! His reaction when I said her name was priceless. We talked for a long time about her, and his description of my precious little mo is something I will never forget. He said, “She was always so present.” That is such a perfect description of her. She was present in everyone’s lives, and sharp of mind till the very end. And that Charles could tell that at such a young age, and still have that picture of her in his mind all these years later, is the most precious gift I have ever gotten at any of these suites ever. No lie. Now my gift to him is that I’ll star in his next film! Or not.

Real Chemistry face peel. And take note of the fabulous pink business card on the very right.  I wonder whosw it could be. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Real Chemistry face peel. And take note of the fabulous pink business card on the very right. I wonder whosw it could be. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Real Chemistry—This wonderful facial peel, that I’ve been using for a long while now, was one of our favorite gifts! Rachel said, “It gave me an instant glow.  And it’s so easy and quick!”

Charise Noel Jewelry–Having worn some of the lovely jewelry from this company before, I was thrilled to see a whole bunch of different designs from Charisse. Rachel was impressed at how they “dressed-up the look” of all the recipients, and noted that “the crystals are beautiful!”

Nerium–I’ve been hearing about this skincare product for a really long time now, but I’ve never seen it anywhere. So I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover it at this suite! It’s said to clear-up wrinkles better than any other product out there, and, even though I don’t have that many to speak of, (yeah, right,) I promise I’ll be reporting back on it as soon as my numb hands get better, and I can start using it regularly.

The Downton Abbey collection. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The Downton Abbey collection. Photo by Karen Salkin.

1928 Jewelry–Long known for their beautiful vintage jewelry, 1928’s new Downton Abbey collection is perhaps their most stunning yet.  Their table at the suite was constantly buzzing, with the guests oohing and ahhing over the filigree pieces, one more gorgeous than the last.  (Are you getting the idea that we drooled over this sponsor???)  And the best part is, that although this jewelry looks as expensive as it would in the real-life version of the show, it’s uber-affordable.  Mr. X almost fainted when I told him of the reasonable prices; he still doesn’t think it’s possible.

Sente Medical Grade Skin Care—This skincare company is a real specialist; they make only one product, so I’d venture to guess that it works. Their Dermal Repair Cream is touted to, among other benefits, restore firmness and elasticity. I can’t wait to introduce it to my neck!

Vance Family Soy Candles—Candles are one gift that’s always in season, and Rachel said that she “liked the fact that this company uses only real scents.” As my Royal Fragrance Tester, she also noted how nice they smell, especially the ones that are created to replicate the aromas of certain states. Let’s just hope they never make a New Jersey one!

Dr. Schwab Skincare—Rachel started on this skincare duo right away, and has been going nuts for it! She told me, “I love the serum. It definitely improves the tone of my skin! I use it every day.  And the gently tinted moisturizer feels very light, yet hydrates my skin perfectly.” I couldn’t have stated it better myself.

FanBand. Photo by Karen Salkin.

FanBand. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Fan Band–OMG! With all the many luxurious products in our midst, we went the most nuts over these gorgeous team wristbands! They possibly look so good because they’re officially licensed by the NBA and MLB, so they’re exact replicas of the teams’ various logos. I seriously almost cried when I saw the Mariano Rivera one; he just retired after nineteen seasons with my beloved New York Yankees, and to have something so gorgeous that commemorates him really means a lot to me. If you, (or your kids, or your husband, etc. etc.,) are a crazy fan like I am, and can’t decide between a Rivera or Derek Jeter wristband, more good news is that they’re so affordable, you can have one on each wrist! You go, Fan Band!!!

Nikki Blaine Couture–This designer from Indiana was showcasing some of her upscale dresses. Everyone left with her signature tee-shirt, which will remind us to check-out her designs next time we need a red carpet dress. And in LA, we need them at least once a week! These days, though, I’m actually more comfortable in the tee.

Regeneca World Wide Weight Loss System—As super-busy girls who complain all the time that we want to lose weight, we were really happy to discover this weight loss system. If it works for us, we’ll not only let you know about it, we’ll post before-and-after pics! Maybe even in bikinis. (But I have a feeling Rachel just dropped the bottle when she read that last sentence.) We’ll see who wins that one; both the weight loss race and the bikini-photos-or-not one.

Rejuve Electronic Cigarettes—Okay, here it is; I’m finally writing about an electronic cigarette. As we all know, I’m totally against cigarettes in any form, but the two girls who were representing this company looked so nice that we just had a talk to them. Turns out, they have a kit that’s really supposed to help you stop smoking. It comes with a liquid that contains zero percent nicotine, but I guess it helps the people who just love making the motion of smoking, rather than poisoning their lungs as the smoke goes down. This is really not my area of expertise, but if it saves the life of even one former smoker, you know I’m all for it.

Cheerios (part of hosted a “Baby & Kid Lounge” featuring many activities and appropriate gifts.  That’s one of the reasons that Rachel was the associate who accompanied me to this one; she and her three-year-old daughter Ava are the perfect people to give me the scoop on these products. Here are some of the highlights of those:

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bags—Rachel and I both love these “fabulous” designer diaper bags, but for different reasons. (You’ll laugh at mine.) Young mom Rachel noted that, “Not only is it super cute, but it has everything a new mother could want and need in a diaper bag.” Her favorite part was the detachment to change the baby’s diaper, even though she squealed when she discovered that inside, there’s a “cool holder for baby wipes!” Are you ready for my reason for admiring this diaper bag? It looks like a real purse! I swear, I’ve been taking it to the theater and screenings because it’s big enough to hold the giant ice bag that I need at all times for my injured hands. And no one knows the difference! Who needs a baby to enjoy Petunia Pickle Bottom?!

KCee's Candy Buffets. Photo by Karen Salkin.

KCee’s Candy Buffets. Photo by Karen Salkin.

KCee’s Candy Buffets–The name says it all. They provided a fabulously colorful array of all kinds of candies in various jars, which were mostly sours this time. Kids and grown-ups alike flocked to the table.

Kidecal—I was so happy to meet these sponsors, for several reasons. First of all, I loved every single one of their colorful stickers and decals! And finding out that they can all be personalized was an extra bonus. (And I believe there’s free shipping on all orders, which is close to a miracle nowadays.) I just hope Mr. X lets me put my chosen design on all the keys of our shared keyboard. (I actually think he’ll love them, too.) My favorite substance in life is actually paint cards, (don’t think I don’t know that I’m a piece of work,) and some of these stickers reminded me of them, which, of course, made my mouth water. But what I was most impressed with is that these two women braved the floods in Colorado at the time of this suite, and made it out to L.A. to share their fun wares with us. I really appreciated that, and pray they found better conditions when they got back home. I hope that looking at their own cute products cheered them up as much as they did for the rest of us.

AlternaVites–These crystal powder vitamins, that come in the two kid-friendly flavors of strawberry bubblegum and raspberry cotton candy, have now become favorites of Rachel’s young daughter Ava. It’s perfect for youngsters, especially ones who can’t swallow pills, because they think they are actually having a treat. As matter of fact, it’s also perfect for some of the grown-ups I know!

Little Passports—I left this one totally up to Rachel who commented, “I love the idea of educational items sent monthly.  It’s great to teach my daughter about different countries around the world.” And can’t-imagine-what-it’s-like-to-take-care-of-children-all-the-time I am adding: And it’s definitely easier than having to actually travel with them!

As if all that wasn’t enough, as we left, the girls handed us VIP’s another bag, chock full of more gifts!  That’s actually my favorite part Secret Room suites because when I was little, my family used to make goodie bags all the time for children in hospitals, and other people who would enjoy them. There were many times when our dining room was taken over by nothing but gifts and bags! I loved creating a variety that I thought each recipient would love. That was so much better to me than getting gifts for myself.

Speaking of children’s hospitals, Secret Room’s charity this year was Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s a non-profit pediatric institution that’s known for their world-class medical staff, and operates through the generosity of donations. What a worthy charity for them to choose.



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