Halloween in Suburbia

I have never been one for celebrating Halloween. All the effort to choose a costume and be creative was way too much pressure for me. For my husband and children, this is the highlight of their year and in suburbia there is much planning to do to get ready for the big day. Which blocks are the easiest to navigate with the best decorations, best candy and minimal hill climbing to avoid complete candy melt down. The front of our house is quite the scene. There are three skeletons, 15 pumpkins (many destroyed by our very aggressive squirrels), hay bales and gravestones.  The kids are so proud and I am embarrassed.

This is the first year we were actually  invited to a grown-up Halloween party.  Of course, my husband wanted us to have themed costumes.  He had to be a gladiator because the costume came with a wig. Being a bald man for most of his life, a chance to have hair is a source of some serious excitement. I decided to be a counterpart to his gladiator by dressing “Romanesque”. I chose a costume that was found in the search engine when you typed in “female gladiator”. It was definitely not authentic or well-researched in any way. I chose a blond wig (my chance to have long hair) and a costume that would be flattering.

I took the opportunity to go to the Smashbox counter at Nordstrom in Short Hills and had the most amazing makeup artist, Marlene Ortiz. She created a look for me that I would never be able to replicate at my party the next week. She took her time and was so creative and I received a million compliments on her artistry. My daughter, who sat with me through the grueling 1.5 hours of artistry, was fascinated and jealous and insisted on having eyeshadow put on herself at the end of the session.

Brenda and her daughter Sarah in costume

Brenda and her daughter Sara in costume

Marlene convinced me that buying Smashbox’s Halo powder was the way to go when I didn’t feel like wearing foundation and if I wanted to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 33% in a very short time period. I bought it hook, line and sinker. The Mac false eyelashes were a required purchase since they were already on but I am in love with them and wondering how I can make them a part of my daily routine.

At the party, the two hostesses, Jessica & Amy, did a job not to be believed. The decorations were outrageous, not a stone left untouched not to mention the food table. I have enclosed images of a few of my favorites that had everyone hysterical and too afraid to try them until the tequila shots were brought out. I won’t reveal here what the fortune teller had to tell me, but I do know that I must move to New York city soon and live in a small apartment with my three children to be near my publisher!


Eyeball Cake Pops

“Eyeball” Cake Pops

Brain Paté

“Brain Paté”

"Elvira's Tampons"

“Elvira’s Tampons”


About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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