FNO!!!!!!!

One year ago I experienced my first Fashion’s Night Out, and blogged about it the second I got home. (I’d link to the post here, but thanks to MobileMe no longer existing I cannot do that.) Anyhow, I had the BEST night shopping in all of Manhattan’s fanciest stores, watching a free Ne-Yo concert, and literally running into Niki Minaj. I’ve been looking forward to the next one ever since.

H&M provided a free bus that transported people to every H&M in the city.
Walking down 5th Avenue gazing at the elaborate storefronts is half the fun!

Last night marked the 4th annual FNO. I have been planning my itinerary for the last two weeks, but the experience I was mostly excited about was the meet-and-greet with Darren Criss (of Glee fame) at Saks 5th Avenue. The second I got off work, Husband, Zoey, and I hopped in a cab and headed to 5th Avenue. We arrived an hour and a half before he was set to appear… and the line was already closed off!

I couldn’t believe it! Completely defeated, I slumped and sulked back to the first floor; I figured if I couldn’t have Darren, I could at least score some free Magnolia cupcakes and a martini. No such luck. We covered all 8 floors of Saks and we got one measly glow-stick bracelet and a perfume sample.

I had the best luck last year! I got to meet anyone I wanted, went home with bags of free samples, a full belly, and feeling tipsy from all the free cocktails. This night was starting to look a little bleak.

Somewhere around the designer purse section, right behind Oscar De La Renta’s meet-and-greet, things began to look up.

I ran into a Blue Man. At first, I was so off guard I couldn’t really register the fact that I was all of a sudden in the middle of the Blue Man Group. (Not too different from my reaction to running into Niki.) Once I came to my senses, the three of us took out our cameras and began following the blue trio past the purse section and up the escalator to the next floor where we found a DJ.

The Blue Man Group began dancing around the DJ, putting on his headphones, and then spinning their own tracks. All of a sudden a random person started dancing in the middle of the floor, and then right. before. my very. eyes. A FLASH MOB BROKE OUT!!!!! I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have wanted to see a flash mob in person! (To be honest, my REAL dream is to be a part of a flash mob, but this is a close second.)

Saks turned out to have lots of other fun activities that didn’t involve hugging Darren Criss. We found an Instagram printer that allowed you to print anything you took on Instagram. Then, we took pictures in a BCBG photo booth. Next, I “graffiti-ed” on a Crayola wall with a marker airbrush machine. I even got to play a fencing game on the Wii with an Olympic hopeful fencer, AND I won! Twice! Yay me!

Instagram #1
and Instagram #2
BCBG Photo booth…not very flattering, but fun!

I won! I won!

Just walking around the enormous department store was pretty fun and entertaining. The DJ’s were playing jams throughout the store, famous designers were walking around scoping out the joint and signing autographs, and there were tons of fun interactive booths! You could get henna tattoos from Rihanna’s tattoo artist. You could even get your nails, makeup, or hair done from professional stylists.

The lines were all too long for us to waste our time, but we enjoyed watching everyone else get free makeovers.
So many pretty things to look at!
These crayons were carved by an artist, and they look unbelievable!

What’s even better is that this was just our first stop! I’ve already put way too many photos on this one blog, so I’ll save the rest for tomorrow! Happy Shopping!

Cheers!

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Do Not Chalk Your Hair

*If you are new to Positively Panicked, Welcome! Also, I have tried a new product called britelites since writing this post. It’s better and easier than chalking. You can check out my review here. Thanks for stopping by!

About two weeks ago, Husband got bit by ants, Texas fire ants to be exact. No big deal…except that he scratched and scratched until there was a gross open cut on the side of his foot. Now, two weeks later, it seems that that cut has become infected, sooo infected that Husband can barely walk, like AT ALL.

He has been trying to ignore it for a few days. We even made plans to spend the day at one of Manhattan’s many beaches this wekend, but when it took him ten minutes to walk the ONE block to Starbucks from our apartment I turned us around and called the doctor.

After some pouting, lots of sweating, a nervous stomach, and a rapid heartbeat, I finally survived Husband’s doctor appointment. Actually, I handled sitting with him much better than I predicted. Husband was of course an excellent patient and now he’s on bed/couch rest for a little while.

I tried to be on couch-rest with him for moral support, but I quickly got bored of watching him play video games, so I decided to do something worthwhile…like color my hair.

Several months ago, I attempted to color my hair with chalk. EVERYONE on Pinterest pins tutorials of super cute hairstyles with fun colors that they did with chalk. My previous attempt at this was a major fail. Since then, I’ve done some research and I found many more tutorials, how-tos, what-not-to-do’s, and so on. With my new knowledge I decided to give it another go.

Spoiler alert: I failed again.

In case you want to learn from my mistakes (AKA coloring my hair with chalk in the first place), continue reading my own steps.

(BTW, I took these pics with no makeup! A major milestone for me and my current, and probably temporary, clear complexion. Okay fine…I had on mascara, but that’s it!)

Hilarie’s How-to Ruin Your Hair With Chalk Tutorial

  1. Purchase soft pastels, you can get these at art stores. I could only find these primary colors at the one art store I went to, but pastels would be much prettier.

2. Grab about an inch of hair and wet it with a spray bottle or just wet the chalk. Some tutorials say not to wet your hair if you are blonde because it will stain. Others say you must wet it no matter what your color. The first time I tried it, I did it with dry hair and the color just brushed right out. This time, I used a spray bottle to wet each strand I used… and 3 days later my hair is still lightly stained.

3. Twist the wet inch of hair.

4. Rub the hair with chalk in a downward motion. Do NOT go against to grain, your hair will break and fall out. Do this until it’s dark and completely colored.

5. You should probably wear gloves. I do not have gloves.

6. Tada!  …and eww.

7. Okay this next step is another controversial step on the hair-chalking tutorials. Some sayyou should use a curling iron or straightener to set the color once your finished. Other tutorials skip this step altogether. Last time I skipped it; this time I tried using a curling iron. I could instantly tell my hair felt super dry and was near impossible to comb. I combed it really carefully from the tips, working my way up, and then curled it for just a few seconds.

after combing it…see how dry and gross it looks?
After curling it.

The end result looked okay, except the color doesn’t suit me. I would not suggest this to anyone, especially if they have dry hair already. My hair felt really dry and fragile for days, even after I used an overnight hair mask.

It’s also really messy. Besides the chalk all over my hands, I got chalk on my tee shirt and all over the floor. I’d love to recommend this because it looks like so much fun, but it’s just not worth the damage.

My dog didn’t seem to mind though…. Poor girl. I now call her “the dog on fire.”

Cheers!

DIY Skull T-Shirt

I do not typically love fashion pieces with skulls, but every so often a special piece catches my eye, and I immediately need it in my collection. For example, this top from Urban Outfitters…

…it was love at first sight.

I spotted this on Facebook one day and decided I HAD TO HAVE IT. It probably had a lot to do with the cutouts all over the back. I am such a sucker for anything with a cutout back.

I ran to the closest Urban Outfitters as soon as possible and rummaged the store for it. Just as I was about to give up I saw one of the employees wearing it! I basically attacked her to find out where the shirt was located. Much to my pleasant surprise, she told me it was on the clearance rack and it was 50% off! Woohoo!

Much to my horrible discovery, there was only x-larges left. I then trekked to the next closest Urban Outfitters, and found the same situation. I had just about given up on my new clothing obsession when Husband gave me some large tee’s he’d recently received from E3 (a video game convention). He didn’t want them, and said I could have them, or toss them.

I decided to craft with them, and craft number one was my own skull cutout tee.

The shirt: pre-craft.

It was a simple project, but tedious and time consuming. I simply pulled up the Urban Outfitters picture on my laptop, drew the holes with a pencil, and carefully cut them out with my best pair of scissors. Voila! It’s a little bigger then a I prefer, and there are a few words left on it, but it will do.

I took the shirt out on the town, and ironically, Zoey happened to have on a skeleton tank top, so we had a little fun taking pictures waiting for the train.

Here’s the shirt in Chelsea Market.

Then, I took it for a walk in Grand Central Station.

This is the best view I got of the front…

I still have 3 more large men’s tee shirts to play with, anyone have another easy craft I can do? I’m all ears…and scissors!

Cheers!

First Facial. Fail.

The old me… before the spa took me down a hundred notches.

I had my first facial today. I booked the facial at a super fancy Upper East Side spa, Aqua Vitae, (through Groupon, of course), and was pretty stoked about getting a relaxing facial. After a full day of 87 phone calls, 504 emails, and 6,755 text messages (all wedding related), 2 meetings at work, a performance for the preschool parents, and saying farewell to fiancé who is headed to LA. I was wiped out.

I’ve never had a facial before, so I did not really know what to expect. I’ve always wanted a facial, but anytime I thought about it, I decided that a new outfit at H&M was a wiser way to spend my cash. Also, I am REALLY uncomfortable laying still in a quiet place with my own thoughts, AND having strangers touch me. My first massage was only a year ago. 

Considering how obsessed I am with my skin, it’s surprising I’ve never forked over the money for a facial. I mean I’ve spent money on every prescription available (acutane, differin, brevoxl, ortho-tri-cyclen, yaz, tazorac, retina-a, a myriad of anitbiotis…seriously. I’ve done them all!). I’ve used proactive (and every similar product), I’ve done light therapy, cortisone shots, EVERYTHING Sephora has to offer, I’ve changed my diet, made every homemade concoction in existence, changed my pillow case every night, drank 10 bottles of water a day, I used only Bare Minerals, and I even gave up wearing makeup for 10 months straight!

Nothing. A few of these remedies helped (acutane helped for a year), but the acne has always returned).

My complexion is definitely the thing I am most insecure about. But, I’ve come to terms with it, and I now understand that my proneness to zits is heredity, and heavily effected by my hormones and stress.

Anyways, so this facial started off pretty much how I expected…lots of oils, creams, exfoliants, and face massaging. The giant steamer in my face was a little uncomfortable, but I survived.

About 30 minutes in, the facial lady starting peeling back layers of some sort of thick papery stuff, and squeezing my nose.

Me: What are you doing?

Her: Squeezing.

K. Miss Smarty Pants.

Me:  Squeezing my nose? (I was starting to have trouble breathing.)

Her: Squeezing out ALL of your blackheads.

Didn’t know this was part of a facial. This woman actually spent over half an hour squeezing out literally EVERY blackhead or zit on my entire face and neck. She used little metal tools, her hands, and needles! It was not exactly relaxing.

At the end of the all the “squeezing”, the owner came in for a consultation. (I still had my eyes covered and goo on my face.)

What followed was so hard for me to swallow. I almost lost my shit. I’ll just share her words, and you can imagine my responses….

“You have very bad skin. You have lots of acne. Your skin is so bad that I suggest you get a laser-light therapy treatment. You really need this treatment. This special facial will cure your really bad acne and skin problems. It costs $250, but I’ll give it to you for $100. You seriously need this. I suggest you come see me very often to take care of your skin, it looks really bad. Why don’t you take care of your skin? You obviously do not take care of your skin or it wouldn’t look this unhealthy. I have many suggestions for you on how to help you acne. We sell lots of products that I’d be happy to show you to help your bad skin…”

I GET IT LADY! MY SKIN SUCKS!!!

I cannot put into words how humiliated and infuriated I felt. This would be the equivalent of a really overweight person getting up the nerve to hire a professional trainer and getting berated over being “fat”. I cannot believe I managed to make it home before I started crying.

I KNOW I do not have a good complexion, but seriously, it’s not THAT bad. I cannot imagine what this lady says to people with actual serious problems. She must just put a bag over their heads and tell them it’s for the best.

I am willing to bet that this was just a bad spa with a mean owner, but I still think I’ll have to build up some self-esteem again before trying another facial. Until then, I’ll stick to the Sephora Staff. They always tell me how pretty I am. THAT’S the way to sell products!

Cheers!

My Last Hurrah

My official bachelorette party began at Tic Tac Day Spa and Salon. I arrived looking fantastic, thanks to my early morning photo shoot.  When I walked in all the girls were already sitting in a “private” room in massage chairs getting their pedicures and drinking mimosa’s. I quickly picked out my  polish colors and joined them, wearing a sash and crown of course.

I was given a manicure, pedicure, and ten-minute massage while enjoying the company of my favorite people. It was all perfect, except for the fact that everyone was whispering about the plans for the rest of the day and night.

This entire weekend has been kept a secret from me and I was about to explode with anticipation. I tried offering everyone more mimosas and doughnuts, and sweet-talking them into spilling the beans, but no one would crack.

After the salon, we took a caravan of vehicles to Houston. We arrived at the Hyatt hotel in downtown with enough time to scarf down a quick lunch. Then, Zoey handed me a sports bra and booty shorts that she stole out of my closet from home, and tells me to put them on…. with a pair of my stilettos…

Excuse me?

All the girls quickly changed into skimpy workout clothes and high heels and then whisked me, and themselves, into an SUV headed to God only knows where. (Well, God and everyone in the car accept me).

Much to my surprise, and delight, we arrived at Pole-la-teez. We had to enter through the back door and sign a waiver stating that we were aware we’d be performing dangerous tricks.

After we all agreed we wouldn’t sue if we fell of a chair while trying to act sexy, we entered the dance room. The room looked like a typical dance studio with mirrors and a wooden dance floors. The only difference was the ten poles spread out down the room.

We were told to choose our own pole and let the lesson begin. She taught us an entire routine full of great moves like the sexy walk, the fireman, and the “hide the kitty”. It’s not as inappropriate as it sounds…especially with a room full of giggly amateurs. It was like a really fun workout-dance class, with a pole.

Before it ended she made me perform a solo for my girls as they threw fake dollar bills at me. It wasn’t the classiest moment of my life, but it was fun and definitely a memorable experience. Plus, the teacher accused me of taking these lessons before…If you read Zumba Brat, you know I took no offense to this and left the class feeling pretty good about myself.

Yup, that’s a dollar bill in my hair

If you ever need a bonding experience for a group of girls, take a pole-la-teez class. There’s nothing we could be embarrassed about after sharing that experience with each other.

We were really excited, sweaty, sore, and bruised after class. Luckily, we had a few hours to relax and restore before spending the night out on the town. Lying around gossiping about boys and racing through the halls on the luggage cart is how we decided to spend our down time. We have behaved this way for the last 15 years and I assume we will continue to act like stupid teenagers well into retirement, whenever we all get together.

They took me to dinner at Fajita Flats, which is a little bachelorette party tradition for some of us. This Mexican restaurant is complete with a juke box, pitchers of warm salsa, strong margaritas, and lots of sleazy waiters….all ideal for a girls’ night.

Once we’d finished our meal, the games began. I was forced into a too-long salsa dance with a waiter in front of the entire restaurant, a fake tattoo behind the bar (where I convinced the bar tender to allow me to make drinks for my whole table), and much more.

We were in full swing after dinner, and beyond ready to hit the dance floors. After leaving the first dance club (it was more body mashing than dancing), we were invited in for free drinks at a smaller nearby pub. Unable to turndown such an offer we entered to find a large spacious dance floor, and a DJ that knew just what we wanted.

We took our free drinks, and spent the rest of the night dancing the night away. At one point I looked around at my amazing friends, and noticed how much we’ve grown. Sure, we still hung a penis piñata in our hotel, and wrote dirty mad libs for two hours, but we really aren’t as young as we were sayyyyy whenever we had our first bachelorette party.

Five girls out of the eight of us out that night are married, two have kids, others are trying, and we all have real lives, jobs, and commitments now. My party included phone calls home, work emails, baby pictures, and breast pumping. And you know… I wouldn’t change any of it.

Life seems to keep getting better the older we get. I am so happy for all of the beautiful, strong, and successful ladies in my life.

I decided to call it a night, and head back to the hotel for swimming, and more girl time.

I was in my bikini before we called the front desk to learn that the pool was closed for the night. We all huddled in one room, ate cake, and eventually passed out from exhaustion.

I woke up spooning one of the girls, still in my bikini, with a spatula full of icing on the bedside table. Perfect. I am pretty sure that’s exactly how you are supposed to wake after your bachelorette party.

It was Easter morning, and everyone left to spend time with their families. Zoey and I lazed around my parent’s house the rest of the day. I got to spend some time visiting my MawMaw, which I rarely get to do, and she asked if I had strippers at my party. Then, she gave me a lesson on fashion faux pas for when I or if I ever decided to get pregnant. (MawMaw is NOT fan of rockin’ the baby bump).

This weekend could not have been more perfect. I know brides say this all the time, but I am right when I say I have the most awesome group of girls by my side. I cannot thank you all enough for making this weekend so exciting and glamorous for me. Natalie, and Zoey, I owe you big time.

To all my ladies, I love you, miss you, and cannot wait to plan another wild weekend with you all. Even if it is 4 years from now, and we all have to have babysitters and botox. We will still run through the hallways in our bikinis and have people tell us to “grow up”, which I am sure we will never do.

Xoxoxo

Hil

My Katy (another bridesmaid) who couldn’t be there because she is living in Japan with husband and precious little girl. Love you and we missed you!