Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘christmas’
Posted: December 21st, 2013
winerooms

This wine room is in a home on Volkman Road in Millcreek. Nedra Lehrian of RE/MAX Real Estate lists this one.

In the final countdown to Christmas, this week’s House to Home includes tons of holiday gift and decorating ideas. Plus, I visited a growing trend in homes — wine decor that’s attracting a lot of attention. I’ve seen more wine rooms, wine coolers and wine novelties in the past few years than I ever imagined.

It’s a national trend, and with Wine Country all around us, it’s easy to get caught up in it on the regional level. Read the full story here.

This week’s House to Home also includes:

You can click on the articles above, or check out our flipbook right here. Have a great holiday!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 19th, 2013

ElfffI am glad that there was no Elf on the Shelf when my kids were young. Here’s a link to today’s story in the Erie Times-News. My youngest, Ryan, had a fear of elves without any watchful doll to provoke him. As a youngster, he would hold his hands over his ears when certain Christmas music played. “Elves!” he would whisper in wide-eyed horror and shake his head.

I am guessing something at preschool or kindergarten started his distaste for elves. Imagine what he’d have done if we had partaken in the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

And his brother and sister would have found a way to make it a good game. They were a formidable force as youngsters. They advised Ryan to tell me he believed in Santa even if he didn’t because he’d get more presents. Where did that come from?

When Ryan wavered over his belief in Santa, I often advised that there is a little Santa in all of us. He never questioned that. And I thought it was much more endearing than any elfen tales.

Ryan sneered at gnomes too. I liked the Nickelodeon series “David the Gnome.” Tom Bosley voiced the character of David, a friendly forest doctor, and Christopher Plummer – Captain Von Trapp of “Sound of Music” fame — narrated.  Ryan wanted nothing to do with it.

One book I still love as a Christmas tradition is “Polar Express.” The final line of “Polar Express” is:

“Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

I still believe there is a little Santa in all of us. With or without the help of an elf.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 12th, 2013
wreath

A wreath that has yet to make it onto a wall or door — and this is one that has made me laugh for more than a decade.

In the past few weeks, I’ve talked to a lot of folks who didn’t have trees up yet and had already decided to do less for the holidays than years past. A lot of those folks are empty nesters. And I have to say that I look back on the years that we decorated Chez Parker with a tinge of melancholy — but I’m OK with it.

The first year we lived here, I think we had trees in five rooms. Not big trees, but trees. Even the bathroom had a tree. The foyer had a fiber optic tree that I think was down to one leg, but we propped it up in a coffee can.

We put a sports tree in the lower-level family room because the kids hung out down there. We had all the favorite team ornaments and lots of blue and white because all the kids were in Millcreek schools. As the kids grew older and were less impressed with my decorating skills — and helped less and less — fewer decorations went up. Last year, I gave them all a bunch of decorations and holiday dishes, mugs and glasses for their own places.

Now, I’m joining a lot of my friends with fewer decorations in every room. Only two trees are up and one of them won’t light. The thing is — we’re fine with it. My brother and I recalled the years our parents scaled back, and we were the ones running over there decorating like crazy people thinking they must have lost their minds.  They didn’t lose their minds or their Christmas spirit. I think they had the good sense to stop racing up and down stairs with decorations. (My sister once cracked her head open dragging decorations around her house. She celebrated Christmas with staples in her head.) At Chez Parker, I told my husband this is the last year the totes filled with ho-ho-ho will go up in the attic.

And there is a splendid passing of the light-up-your-yard torch that I see — the kids are decorating like crazy this year. And in our neighborhood — and I am guessing a lot of neighborhoods — we have a Clark Griswold who has lights, figures and other holiday stuff in every square inch of the yards — front, back and sides — and house and windows. Even the mailbox is illuminated. Their daughter is in college. And that reminds me of a few quotes from “Christmas Vacation.”

Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?

Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.

And it’s visible from outer space. Thanks to all the Clark Griswolds out there.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 8th, 2013

Poinsettia 12Poinsettias usually die off at Chez Parker shortly after the first of the year.  Not this one purchased in 2012.

It’s getting brand new red leaves, and I did nothing extraordinary to make it happen. Basically, I watered it for the past year and never moved it from its post in the front window.

In July, it still had a few red leaves. After they all died off, I figured it was a goner — the remaining green leaves were a sad yellow-green and sparse. But then it rebooted — the leaves turned a lush foresty green, and it appeared to double in size.

It looked downright healthy. Right after Thanksgiving, we put up the Christmas tree. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Red bracts! We must celebrate with dark beer!  My apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

It just goes to show that anything can happen with plants. One year, I did all that crazy stuff with keeping it in the dark and not even near a nightlight for some crazy 14 hours a day. That plant got some spindly, sick-looking red blooms at Easter and then dropped dead. And yes it was Easter.

So I have no explanation for this one. We gave it fresh air — the windows were always open in the summer. We watered it. We did not feed it. It clearly is at home in the southwest window, and it is sprouting gorgeous red bracts.

I had planned to get a few more poinsettias because I just love the way they look. I am a little afraid that if this one sees another one moving in … well let’s just cross that bridge when we get to it.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 7th, 2013

HTH_120713parker41House to Home takes a look at some favorite stories from 2013.

A lot of the developments I have written about when they were brand spanking new are 10 or 20 years old, and that really stings. At any rate, I have seen some wonderful houses this past year. To see all my faves, click here.

One I have to shout out about is Christopher and Christine Cedzo’s residence — the castle — on the bend of Uhlman and Naeff roads — photo by Matt Kleck at left. I wormed my way into this house because Marnie Mead and Tom New insisted I had to see it. No one knew who owned it, but I was on a mission. So I drove up and left my business card in the door with a note. Thankfully, Christine Cedzo didn’t think of me as a crazy stalker. Instead, she sent me an e-mail, and away we went. What a great family and a great story. Read it here.

Check out all our great articles this week in House to Home:

In case you missed it, the Greater Erie Board of Realtors (GEBOR) honored Mary Huffman as the 2013 Realtor of the Year on Friday during the Realtor luncheon. Huffman has been a Realtor for almost 20 years. She started her career with RE/MAX Real Estate Group in 1994 and moved to Marsha Marsh Real Estate in 2010. Read that story here.

Christine Yamrick invited me to attend the real estate luncheon — it was fabulous — and I got the latest news from all of those who are in the know. Check out the live chat on GoErie.com Tuesday at noon — I will be sharing a wrapup of the year in real estate.

Happy house hunting.

Pam Parker has written about real estate, home improvement and decorating for more than 20 years. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 2nd, 2013

Santa Holding Stack of GiftsStruggling with what to get your hubby, boyfriend, brother or son? Me too. But I have persevered.

My husband has been impossible to buy for. In fact I reached the point where I knew he was going to return whatever I bought — no matter how thoughtful or expensive the gift. I’m not alone. He did that with things the kids got him too. But I stumbled on a new wave of gifts once we introduced him to the digital world. A laptop, iPhone and digital photo frame are among the hits.

Clothes often work — my daughter has been the most successful on that count. She bought him nearly everything they ever sold at the University of Pittsburgh, and he still has the first windbreaker she bought. That was eight years ago.

Onto this year. With five boys and my daughter’s boyfriend in the family, I have some ideas, and here’s an article from www.creditdonkey.com — a survey of what guys want and don’t want. I don’t agree with some of it. You can read the entire piece here.   I picked out a few tidbits to share:

Jewelry — a no-no — I disagree. Every man in this family has bought a watch in the past few years — some out of necessity and some for the bling power. After my daughter bought her boyfriend a watch last year, my hubby coveted one like it. (And I told my daughter not to get one for Kim because I was afraid he wouldn’t like it!) The survey says only 15 percent of men want this. Bling rules around here.

Music and movies — more no-no. I strongly disagree here, too. I wouldn’t want these as gifts, but I can guarantee the Parker boys always have music and movies on their Christmas lists. The survey says fewer than 50 percent of men want this stuff, but bah humbug to that.

Electronics — a big yes: About 81% of men said they want electronics. So we are always on the right track with this one. The youngest Eckert son already got a new phone for Christmas. I don’t know what he will open on Christmas. It won’t be bling.

Gift cards — and who doesn’t like this? Not exactly the thing you would predict, but then again, it works. The survey says 79 percent of respondents love it. My hubby once got so many gift cards to Longhorn Steakhouse, that we ate there once a month. We wore that one out.

Clothing — once again — success.  About 64 percent of men welcome new clothing. My youngest is a Ralph Lauren Polo fanatic. I think he even wears the underwear. And we have a few more Polo fans among the menfolk, so even the cologne is a welcome gift — that would be my hubby.

What to buy

 

Here’s a chart of what men say they want. Never say never. If your man has been hinting around to what he wants for Christmas, go for it. Today’s CyberMonday and it should be a big day for gifting.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 23rd, 2013
town home 1

The living room of David and Deanne Bardo’s town home on Peach Street includes hardwood flooring and triple doors that open to an outdoor balcony.

town home 2

The open floor plan includes a terrific kitchen with quartz counters.

This week, House to Home visits with Deanne Bardo, proud owner of a Union Square town home at 12th and Peach streets. She and her husband and family sold their Fairview home to move to downtown Erie. Read my entire article here.

We could see plenty of activity in that area. Thanks to Deanne for sharing!

This week, our writers check out some terrific ideas:

Black and gold garden book makes great gift – If you have a Pittsburgh fan, check out this great book that Sue Scholz read.
Make fun, easy holiday decorations – Sassy Peacock’s Sabrina Fischer shows us how.
Other stories include:

Greystone Mansion features over-the-top décor
Fire up your backyard
Top 10 kitchen remodeling trends
Working with shades of gray

Pam Parker has written about real estate, home improvement and redecorating for more than 20 years. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 14th, 2013

Ryan and HowieThese are my boys smirking on Christmas morning a few years ago and laughing that they got the same shirt for Christmas. That kind of happens every year — the same shirt thing — because they both look handsome in the same colors and styles, and my daughter and I outfit them accordingly. We know they don’t hang out together. In fact, now they are age 20 and 26 and live in different states. So we often buy them the same things.

If you’re a mom or a stepmom, here’s a quick piece of advice for getting along with your kids. Choose your battles. You can’t be arguing with a toddler, child, tween or teen for weeks on end. For me, safety came first and neatness last — especially when I was a single mom.

And they questioned everything. When I taught my youngest to drive on the interstate, he was exceeding the speed limit. I warned that he would get a ticket, and that would pretty much prevent an early license.  He scoffed that there was no place for troopers to hide. “What — do you think there are tree cops or something,” he said.

Kids must never watch “CSI,” or “NCIS,” or “Person of Interest.”

“Radar,” I said. “Do you think I make this stuff up? Do you think I’ve never gotten a ticket? I’m just telling you they make rules so you follow them. We all have rules.”

And kids don’t always follow them. But the consequences do have influence — especially tickets. Kids learn from their mistakes just like we do. Make sure you have rules and consequences. And remember to reward good behavior — don’t just punish the bad. You need to make kids feel good about themselves every single day. It will make you feel good, too.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 29th, 2012

This week’s House to Home focuses on making small spaces seem bigger. As apartments get smaller, we have some great ideas on how to make them more livable right here. Using windowsills as seating and finding a good hideaway bed can make your small space a wonderful home.

In a “before and after” article, one designer shows how removing a wall in an older home converted two smaller spaces into one more workable room that makes entertaining a lot more fun. Check out “Reclaim unused space for living area.”

Our lead article tells you how to easily give your Christmas tree new life as a winter home for the birds. Read more in this great story by Sue Scholz in today’s House to Home. Check out all the home design stories by clicking on the links below:

Scarves splash color onto pillows

Ladder safety tips

Give bedroom an uncluttered look
Reclaim unused space for living area
Restore order in bedrooms
Realtors share good news at luncheon

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 28th, 2012

Did you get shoes for Christmas? Did you want them? Well, I did. Shoes, according to fashionistas and researchers, hit some record level of sales in the three months leading up to November. A West Indies article in the Trinidad Express — read it here — said women’s fashion footwear grew 3.2 per cent and cross training shoes rose 16 per cent.

The article also included that men are buying shoes for women. ”Shoes have turned the corner in the gift category,” said Robert Burke, a New York-based fashion consultant. “They’ve become the new handbag.”

While I was Christmas shopping, I saw plenty of men buying shoes, purses and much more for their ladies.

I got new sneaks for Christmas, but I also need some new black pumps and other shoes. I found deals at Target.com. I also found some funky comments on gifting shoes. It’s apparently an old wives’ tale that giving shoes as a gift is  a bad omen — the person will walk away from you. Giftypedia and some web forums had some surprising  comments from folks who stand by the superstition. And boots — ohhhh boots — now there’s a gift!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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