Monday, March 4, 2013

Oscars Gift Lounge Photos


Here are my celeb photos I received from The Oscars Gift Lounge! I look like a smiling giddy kid in these pics! I was just so happy!

Raphael Sbarge from Once Upon A Time

Khandi Alexander from Treme

Sarah Rafferty from Suits

Tucker Albrizzi from The Disney Channel 

Chris Tucker!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oh, The Oscars Gift Lounge

Day 3 (Part 2) & Day 4

We last left off with my ramblings of "will I be able to handle this"????

Can I handle this without freaking out?
(Freakout Face)

I didn't want to disappoint The Artisan Group's Leader, Valerie.

My first celeb pitch went well enough, but not absolutely perfect. During this event, I wanted perfection. I wanted Valerie to not have a single regret about asking me to help rep with her.

After D.W. Moffett left our table and I was able to talk to Val about my pitch... I waited. Some press people came in and immediately went to Valerie.

Throughout this entire event I could not believe the reputation The Artisan Group has. Tons of press outlets, celebrities, sponsors, people working at GBK's gift lounge- all raved about The Artisan Group. They love coming to the exhibit and receiving gorgeous handcrafted items. I felt a little bit like I was a celebrity when people came up and "oohed" and "ahhed" over TAGs products. It was awesome.

So.. back to what I was saying..... some press people went directly to Valerie since they knew her from previous events. They were hugging and talking and of course.. at that exact moment... I turn my head and see a celebrity.

Noel Fisher from Shameless and the new Twilight movie.

and he happens to be gorgeous.

So of course I start stuttering.. again.

This time though, I felt 100% more comfortable. I got this, I thought to myself. He's just another person. Noel made me feel so comfortable that it felt like just talking to a friend. He was so nice, he laughed along, seemed very interested in TAG products and was just an overall joy to talk to. The best part? HE POSED WITH AN ITEM!!!!!!!!!!

I did it. He was my first victory at this event. He was a nice guy, who was super sweet to me, and actually posed with an item for a picture.

This was the moment that I felt yes, I can do this! I will be fine.

90% of the celebs &  press know about TAG. They came up to the table, big smiles, talking about the great gift bag they received at the previous event. How they loved going through the handmade items. One of the members of the press, Margie Barron from Entertainment Today, actually had on our bracelet from The Golden Globes Gift Lounge! We had to take a pic together showing off our Jewels For Hope items!

Cheesey pose, but I enjoyed it! Margie was so nice!

Raphael Sbarge from Once Upon A Time has to be one of my favorite people I have ever met in my life. He is such a genuine person- such a big heart. He came up to the table all smiles. Gave Valerie a huge hug since he has met her at numerous events in the past.

He stayed at our table for some time, taking numerous pictures, including a picture with me! He asked me to take one with him- so of course, I'm not going to say no! I talked with him a bit and Thanked him actually... his girlfriend runs a blog called Things To Love Right Now. Our first ever gifting last year- she wrote about the necklace we included. It MADE our year. I told Raphael that, and he looked so touched by what I said- he appreciated it so much that it made such an impact for us. He was just so sweet, I can't get over it. I am so happy to have met him.

Some more shining moments for me?

I met Joey Lawrence. That in itself is amazing to me. I grew up watching Joey. He was such a nice guy at the event!! As I shook his hand, it took all of me not to say "Whoa!".

Wendi McClean Covey from Bridesmaids loved my Spike Necklace I was wearing (woohoo!)

Pamela Adlon from Californiacation came up to me and said "You are just too cute! I love everything about you" and then told me she loved my spike necklace. Thank you Pamela, thank you.

CCH Pounder said I looked like a Kardashian.

Eion Bailey from Once Upon A Time gave me a double high five and then held it. He is gorgeous btw and I thought I was going to pass out. My heart was pounding a solid 10 minutes after him and his wife left our table. Extremely sweet man, and just so darn good looking. Wow.

I met Harry from Sex and The City (also known to the world as Evan Handler).

Sarah Rafferty from Suits (a show I am a little bit obsessed with) and I talked for like 10 minutes. She's originally from the town over from me. We connected over that, haha. She is absolutely amazing- and so so pretty. I was so nervous talking to her- she was so nice though she made it easy for me to relax.

I met Tony Denison from The Closer and Major Crimes. My mom and I watched those shows religiously and the fact that I stood there with Tony for awhile talking to him just made my day. Such a nice man... as he was leaving the table he blew me a kiss and said "Stevie, So nice to meet you". I wanted to jump in the air and pretend to grab the "air kisses" but thought it would have seemed a bit stalker-esk. I didn't do it, don't worry.

I took personal pictures with 5 celebrities. Oh yea, 5... I know you're dying to know who. Check out the next post, full of celebrity photos!

I got to pose in front of the gorgeous GBK Wall like all the celebrities get to...

I did about a trillion interviews with press people. I was filmed for a lot of them and thought that was pretty cool. Can't believe that I was so calm about it haha.

Here is one I found so far online. Didn't do too badly, if I say so myself!

Let me know what you think!

The event lasted from 11:00-7:00 each day. Which is long in case you were wondering. After the end of day 1, I thought I was going to just drop right then and there. I made it to the bar though, so I was okay. Deep breaths and wine got me through the night.

Day two was just as crazy as day one. So many celebs and press coming through; it was such a fast paced event I am surprised I lasted! All of my "favorite moments" I listed above were from both days. I can't remember what exactly happened on which day- everything is all jumbled together.

At the end of the 2nd day though, I gave a big sigh of relief that I was able to survive. Those two days were so much work- I give Valerie a ton of credit. I absolutely loved it though. So much work, but 100% worth it.  I will never forget this event.

I was so sad to leave the next day. I didn't want to go. But, my whirlwind of excitement was over... and back to Connecticut I had to go.

If you've made it this far through all of my posts, THANK YOU! I hope you enjoyed my trip as much as I did haha.

Stay tuned for one final post though, full of all my celeb photos!!! You won't want to miss them!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Oscars Gift Lounge

Day 3 (Part 1)

The big day. The Oscars Gift Lounge. If you haven't been following my posts lately, this is my 3rd day in California, for The Oscars Gift Lounge. Day of The Gift Lounge begins......

I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning. Excited, Nervous, and Cannot wait to start the day!

I woke up early to do my hair. Because, If you know me, I have a TON of hair. And it takes a lot of time to look so effortlessly perfect haha.

I curl my hair for two hours. I had been practicing hairstyles for weeks before and curling it was what I had decided on. After I finish, I think...

"Hmm.... the curl isn't staying in.... I wonder why?"



I was so annoyed with myself I couldn't even believe it. My hair was a hot mess for the gift lounge. But there was nothing I could do about it. At least it wasn't "poodle"like, which is normally is. But it was not the gorgeous curls I had practiced weeks before. You win some, you loose some.

On to makeup... I had practiced my makeup for weeks before hand as well. I was lucky enough that Seven4 Cosmetics sent me some makeup to play with for the big event (also, a TAG member! Check out her items... I LOVE THEM).

I was thrilled that even though my hair DID NOT come out as planned, at least my makeup looked awesome. Of course, Looking back through my phone I can't find a single picture of just my face. But trust me- it looked hot.


I get to the Gift Lounge and it is a whirlwind of excitement. The hotel floor I was standing in the night before had been transformed into this beautiful gift lounge!

They brought in the beautiful cake they made for The Oscars Gift Lounge. It is GORGEOUS. I wanted to eat it haha. That probably wouldn't have ended well.. so instead I just took a picture near it.

And as you can see in the photo... my hair is not curly.

After walking through the gift lounge... I started getting nervous. Celebs were due to arrive at any moment. I stood by the exhibit, clipboard in hand.. waiting.

and waiting.

I was freaking myself out for no reason. Celebs are people just like us. There was no reason for me to be nervous. But obviously, I was. I mean.. It's me here. I get a little nervous talking to people I don't know- let alone celebrities. So I stood there, gripping my clipboard for dear life.

Now, The Gift Lounge started at 11:00am. Also, starting at 11am was The Wendy Williams Show- which The Artisan Group had some of their items on. So Val, comes up to me and informs me that she is going to go downstairs to the lobby to catch the show. That normally celebrities don't come right at 11:00.... and if I needed anything, to text her. She'll be back in 15 minutes.

No biggie. I thought that was fine... she'll only be gone 15 minutes... celebrities normally don't come right at the opening. I'll be fine.

You can guess what happened.

A celeb came in. Right at 11. I see him come into the room with his talent escort (every celeb in the gift lounge comes through with a talent escort who carries a huge bag of items as the celeb makes his/her way through the lounge). I recognize him immediately since I am a big ABC Family watcher (yes, I admit that. I love ABC Family and always will. Don't Judge Me.)

It was D.W. Moffett.

Valerie was not there. It was just me. And he was coming.

There were 7 other sponsors in our room. So I had time to prepare once I saw him come in. I went over and over in my head what I would say. I prayed I wouldn't start stuttering. or fall.

He made it over to our table and I walk up to him with as much confidence as I could muster. I start talking and immediate stutter. I get completely tongue tied and then just stop and said "You are my first pitch ever for this, So I am very sorry to be stumbling through it." And of course, start laughing because what else can I do at this point. He was SO INCREDIBLY NICE. He started laughing a bit and told me I was doing great and don't worry. I finally make it through my pitch and he decides he doesn't want to pose with any item but just in front of the table.

I felt like I failed. The main goal of this event is to get celebs to pose with an item... not just stand in front of the table.I felt horrible. Val wasn't there... my first celeb ever and he doesn't pose with a single item. I felt a bit defeated. He then came up to me right after taking the photo and said "Stevie, don't worry, you did great. You'll have a good day here".

I did a big sigh of relief when he said that to me. Even though I didn't manage to get a photo for my first celeb, he was just so nice that it made me feel like maybe I could actually handle this. Maybe.

Val came back 3 minutes later... of course, haha. She said The Wendy Williams segment went awesome. I then had to tell her I had a celebrity come through already. She said it was absolutely fine that he didn't pose with an item--- her and our photographer, Igor, said it was okay (Igor is our photographer for both days... he hangs around and takes pics for 4 sponsors for the event. So super nice and really funny guy). Igor said I did a good job with the pitch- since he stood there waiting to take the pic, he heard the whole thing.

I still was a nervous wreck. Even though I did my first celebrity pitch ever, without my mentor around, I still didn't know if I could make it throughout the day. Getting those celebrity pictures is something extremely important to this event... I was sweating, my stomach was in knots, and I wished we didn't have a small break in between celebs so I could just keep going and try again. I didn't want to let Val down. She had faith in me enough to invite me to participate in this event. I really didn't want to disappoint her...........

Wondering what happened next?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Day 3!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Oscars Gift Lounge Set Up

Day 2.

I went to bed at 10:00 my first night in California. Yes, I know, I am like a 90 year old woman. I get that. But I was exhausted from a day of traveling- so 10:00 was fine by me to pass out.

Thursday. Set up day. We had a big day ahead of us. Today was the day we get to set up for the spectacular Oscars Gift Lounge taking place Friday and Saturday. But before set up... we needed some yummy food. We ate at The Sofitel's restaurant a ton over this week- and let me just say, all of the food was just fabulous.

Since I take photos of everything, of course I have to show you my breakfast.

After lounging in the hotel for a bit, Val took me to some touristy spot that you may know of....
Rodeo Drive.

Definitely passed the famous shop from Pretty Woman. I had to use all my might not to go in and start yelling "Big Mistake.... Huge!".... I didn't want to embarrass Val. So I kept my cool. haha

While walking along this street I was just in awe of all the gorgeous shops. One day, I swear, I will have enough money to shop here. One day. Until that day... I'll just awkwardly take pictures outside of stores.

From Rodeo Drive, we went to a yummy cupcake place, Sprinkles. Which actually took us some time to find since both Val and myself are directionally challenged. But the cupcakes were worth it. 100% worth it.

Now. Back to the hotel. Time for set up.

The Artisan Group has 25 items on display during these events. There is a lot to unpack.

You see a couple boxes here... Imagine a million more off to the side. haha It took us about 2 hours to set up completely... Myself, Valerie, and Rachel (one of the fine members of TAG).

Rachel and Myself. BOOM. Awesome set up!

Val and Rachel!

It looks beautiful doesn't it!

I felt so accomplished after this set up. Val and Rachel normally do every event set up. I give them so much credit because it is so much work! I am so happy to be able to see it first hand though- because it really is awesome to see it all come together so perfectly!

After set up, Rachel left for a bit since we were meeting up with her and some other TAG members later on for dinner. So what is it Val and I do in between? Of course, back to the hotel bar.

We were regulars at the bar. Everyone working there was just so nice!

We only had a couple of hours in between set up and going out to dinner. So this little down time was great. Val and I drank and relaxed at the bar and actually got to sit and talk to Gavin for a bit. You may ask... Who is Gavin? Well, Gavin is the head of GBK's Gift Lounge. Yep. He came over to us and had a drink. He is so nice I thought it was great to sit and talk with him a bit. Of course, I don't have a photo of him. I wasn't going to be "that girl" taking too many pictures... even though I normally am. I controlled myself. Aren't you proud?

So back to the room to get ready to meet more TAG members. I was so happy to be able to meet these fine ladies! I have been a member of TAG for over a year, and haven't met many members. This was so great to be able to go out to dinner with them!

We had so much fun at dinner!

These women are all amazing and it really made me smile to be able to meet them in person. I wish I could stay out in California to be honest, haha. If I would be able to move my friends and family there with me- I would go in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, that isn't possible. So, I'll be staying East Coast for now. But these ladies are so sweet it would be great to actually live near them and hang out. 

Of course, during dinner, I was falling asleep because as I started off this post... I'm a 90 year old woman. I couldn't help it... the time difference and everything- I felt like I was going to pass out right in the middle of my meal. But, I made it til the end, and again, went to bed somewhat early... around 10:30- 11:00 I think. Which was a good decision since the next day was THE BIG DAY. I needed my rest.

Day 2: Completed.

Come back for Day 3!