Dish Of Salt: Inside Our Stuff You Must Charity Gifting Suite
First Published: January 18, 2011 7:55 PM EST Credit: WireImage
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Every year as we celebrate the Golden Globes, we know it means one thing - awards show season is in full swing and celebrities are going to be making the rounds at various gifting suites to get their hands on the latest must have products all the way up through the Academy Awards. Over the weekend, I spent two days taking in all the action at Access’ own 5th Annual Stuff You Must Lounge. For every celebrity that stopped by the lounge CVS/pharmacy made a donation to the charities Best Buddies and Lollipop Theater Network. A total of $100,000 was raised. And for every celebrity that stopped by the lounge, I spent a little time snooping into their reactions as they perused the goodies.
“Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet put in all in perspective when I chatted with him after he snagged a pair of New Balance True Balance toning shoes. “It’s always a little bit of an embarrassment because we get such nice things - but this is a good one because it raises money for charity.” Eric joked that he was going to pull a Forrest Gump and take his running shoes for a spin across America.
Earlier in the morning, Eric’s “Modern Family” sister-in-law, Julie Bowen, stopped by to help present the check to Best Buddies and Lollipop Theater and filled Billy Bush in on this week’s new episode where the Dunphy kids walk in on their parents um, getting intimate. “Phil and Claire get caught in the act having sex… not in the way that the missionaries like it,” she laughed. “In real life, I feel like maybe Nolan [Gould] was scarred. We were wearing nude suits but still he was like ‘I’m 11. What are you doing?!’”
We cornered Nolan (the Dunphy’s youngest son) to find out if the sex scene indeed freaked him out. “It kind of scarred me because they made it weirder than it could have been,” he admitted. “You’ll see! They were wearing these tan suits like something you would see on Cirque du Soleil.”
Nolan was super psyched however to pick up a watch from Jorg Gray, the same watch that President Obama wears. He even had it on at the Golden Globe red carpet on Sunday, minus the secret service, of course.
The always-lovely Jane Lynch did a little pampering before she started her shopping. She and her wife, Laura, got their makeup done by an artist from Maybelline. I’ve interviewed Jane dozens of times for “Glee” and I have never seen her look more beautiful. Turns out there was a reason. The artist who worked on her is Ellen DeGeneres’ makeup artist. With similar bone structure and hair coloring she just knew how to make Jane look fantastic. Proving she is nothing like her “Glee” character Sue Sylvester, Jane graciously made the rounds chatting with and taking photos with every vendor in the suite and making sure her wife was well taken care of during their stay. Plus, she’s going to have a very happy 9-year-old at home; Jane snagged a Wonka candy purple card. You call a number and they send you up to 500 pieces of candy!
Jennifer Love Hewitt, who came with her boyfriend Alex Beh, perhaps summed things up best at The Slim-Fast 3-2-1 Plan station. “We are given a really big opportunity because we are on TV and in films and to speak out and have a voice and be able to tell them that things are important. This is such a beautiful lounge, it’s just gorgeous.”
Jennifer also admitted to me that two days before the red carpet she makes a tray of chicken broth ice cubes. Later, when grabbing some jeans from Vintage Revolution she told me finding jeans that fit her is as difficult as it is dealing with the tabloids, “Everyone else they call curvy. Me they call fat.” Trust me, J.Love looks amazing, curves and all.
My allergies were not happy but for two days I think the most popular living creature in the gift lounge was the white Fancy Feast cat who was hanging out greeting the stars. “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Lisa Vanderpump actually tried to convince someone to sell her the cat so she and her dog Jiggy (who was with her) could get married. Ahhh, to be a pampered Beverly Hills pooch!
“Bachelorette” lovebirds Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez stopped by the lounge arm-and-arm and told me they have plans to get married this year and that they’re absolutely considering a TV wedding. As for “Bachelor” Brad Womack’s lovely ladies, I think their response to which contestants they felt were best for him, was very telling - Chantal and Emily. Go searching for spoilers on Brad’s season and I think you’ll figure out why I think that.Roberto played the dutiful fiance and sat patiently as Ali got a manicure from beautician Essie. That was until I stole him away to watch the end of the Steelers/Ravens game. So grateful my new friends at Spin Master toys snuck in a TV so I could watch my Steelers triumph!
I think my favorite moment of the two-day extravaganza was when Neil Patrick Harris turned the personal questions table on me. Everyday in my line of work I have to ask celebrities questions about their relationships, their kids, their thoughts on other celebrities drama etc. Neil took one look at my pregnant belly and busted out with this question — “So are you going to breastfeed?” I nearly fell down laughing at such an intimate question, which I deflected by jokingly asking if he was breast-feeding his brand new twins, Gideon and Harper. “Yes, my nipples are bleeding” he shot back. Of course, it was all in good fun and NPH reminded me that fitful sleep would be a thing of the past for quite some time. Inside the gift lounge the ladies from Little Giraffe had some adorable gifts for NPH’s little bundles of joy and they even had something sweet for my little man (yes, it’s a boy if you haven’t heard).
OK, so that was my favorite moment inside the lounge. The least favorite was watching all these gorgeous celebrities trying on these amazing sky high heels from Ursula Mascaro knowing I won’t be wearing 5 inch heels for a very long time. Seriously… amazing shoes! I was thrilled that when my feet started to swell towards the end of the day and the girls from Pretty Ballerina let me borrow a pair of cute black ballet flats. Comfort is key when you are pregnant. However, you gotta be cute too!
It turns out I wasn’t the only pregnant lady in the lounge. The rep from Netflix was seven and half months pregnant, giving me a glimpse of what I would look like in about 6 more weeks. She was by far the most popular lady in the lounge. Netflix was giving away a lifetime subscription to their service. A Lifetime of movies streaming on your Internet, PC or TV for free. Is that not insane?! The reaction from stars like Gilles Marini, Sean Astin, and Dominic Monaghan was utter shock. Gilles revealed to me that the season finale of “Brothers and Sisters” would be his wedding to Sarah Walker (Rachel Griffiths). What he couldn’t tell me was whether or not it would be the final season of the show. He believes that their fate is tied to whatever happens to “Desperate Housewives” and their negotiations.
Be sure and check out lots more scoop from inside the Stuff You Must lounge on this weekend’s Access Hollywood.
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