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
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Posted: March 31st, 2014

2nd placeIt’s time for the 10th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest sponsored by Charmin. Laura Gawne and Susan Bain, who operate the www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com, annually ask  readers to create wedding gowns using toilet paper, tape, needle, thread and  glue. You can win $2,000!

Feeling inspired? You have until May 13 to submit your design — just the photos. The contest judges creativity, originality, beauty and the use of toilet paper.

Judges choose 10 finalists and open the contest to online voting. And the top 10 get a trip to NYC to show off their dresses.

The photo above is 2013 second place winner Susan Brennan, of Orchard Lake, Mich., a Detroit Pistons cheerleader. I chose her because she was the grand prize winner in 2011 and 2012.  She used 11 rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft, packing tape, scotch tape, hot glue and needle and thread.

3rd placeThe 2013 third place winner was Carol Touchstone, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pictured at left. She used 30 rolls of Charmin, Mod Podge glue, Scotch tape, clear packing tape, double-sided tape, white glue and needle and thread. She received a $500 prize.

Visit www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com to see more dresses and the designers.

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: March 26th, 2014

saving for collegeMillcreek Township School District needs to find $4.4 million dollars to balance its budget, and it looks like Superintendent William Hall wants to eliminate the Montessori classrooms at Grandview and Belle Valley and continue free tuition for the Otters.

The full story is here – thanks to Erica Erwin. But hold on a minute. Jennifer DeLude Lachapelle, a parent of two Montessori students, shares the Montessori side of the story on a Facebook page — Montessori in Millcreek.

Cutting the classrooms leaves the students and their parents looking for another educational option for next year. Good luck to all the Montessori parents who meet tonight at 7 p.m. at Grandview Elementary School with William Hall to discuss options.

On the flip side, Hall recommended that MTSD continue its program to allow Otters players to “attend McDowell Senior High School without paying tuition in exchange for tickets, advertising and other services provided by the team,” according to an article on GoErie.com by Erica Erwin.

“I think we’re showing that it’s worth it, and that we do benefit from it as a district both in terms of (public relations) and in terms of having those kids do things throughout the district,” Hall said in the story. The full story is here.

I love the Otters, but if you’re $4.4 million in debt, giving away tuition in exchange for public relations, tickets and advertising seems a wee bit odd from my perspective. I bet the Montessori parents agree on that one. I get that it’s a nice thing to do, but justifying tuition in exchange for advertising? Hmmm.

In October, 2013, Victor Fernandes of the Erie Times-News reported the costs for the program and the low redemption rate of tickets to Otters games. Read it here. And in July of 2013, Erica Erwin wrote about state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s analysis of the program. Read it here.

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: March 6th, 2014

womens_day_2013-1055007-hpThis is the Google doodle from 2013 that celebrated International Women’s Day. We celebrate this year on Saturday, March 8. It has been a national holiday since 1918 in some countries. Here’s a link to the official site.

Moira Forbes wrote a great piece in Forbes magazine about how women are making progress in business. For example, women now lead some huge, high-profile companies including HPYahooLockheed Martin, General DynamicsBAE and General Motors. Read her article on 10 reasons to be excited about women’s progress here.

Forbes also pointed out that Janet Yellen is the first woman Federal Reserve Chairman and a lot of women are hitting the Forbes billionaire’s list which includes Christy Walton, of Wal-Mart; Lillian Bettencourt, of L’Oreal; and Alice Walton, of Wal-Mart — all in the top 20.

Want to learn more about International Women’s Day? Follow #womensday and @womensday on Twitter or follow on Facebook at  facebook/internationalwomensday.  And discussions abound on LinkedIn/internationalwomensday.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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: March 2nd, 2014

Big Sale sign in red over white backgroundLooks like we are in a deep freeze for at least three more days, but we can all shop. It’s never too cold to shop. Here’s what’s happening now.

DotsDots will close

The 25-year-old retailer, with stores in the Liberty Plaza and on Buffalo Road in Erie, will close its doors permanently. According to store personnel, the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. About 360 stores will close across the U.S.

In Erie, discounts of 20 to 35 percent are already underway. I was there Saturday — clothing is 20 percent off and jewelry and perfumes — up to 35 percent.

Store employees said the Liberty Plaza store had always done well. Hopefully, that means new retailers will open in that location. Everything will be sold — even the lighting fixtures.

Every month offers deals and steals, and CreditDonkey suggests some tips worth remembering. Click here for the full article, but I picked a few of my faves from CreditDonkey.

Dig into seeds and plants
AnitaHome and garden shows are in full swing, and who doesn’t want to bring some spring home right now as 12-degree weather embraced our area this morning? And it felt like 0 degrees. CreditDonkey says free shipping and discounts of up to 50 percent are out there on garden goods. I like it. I’m in the mood to smell some dirt, and thanks to my Facebook friend Anita Lemmon for this gem of a photo at left from Gypsy General Store on Facebook.

Dish on silverware and china
CreditDonkey points out that Christmas is behind us and wedding season is months away. It could be a good time to dish and buy dishes!

What the Donkey says to avoid purchasing in March:Share "What Not to Buy in March: What to Buy (and Not to Buy) in March" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterWhat Not to Buy in March: What to Buy (and Not to Buy) in March"

Spring clothes were on the Donkey’s list — But. I. Don’t. Care. It’s all I’ve bought. I visited Dots and bought a springy flowered peplum, and I bought a nautical Old Navy dress, thanks to Christine Eddy’s article in Her Times. Read it here. I’ve bought spring shoes, and I am buying a raincoat. Therapy — I consider buying spring clothes therapy on these frosty days and a relief from cabin fever.

Gym memberships – The Donkey advises to wait for warmer weather when gym memberships might lag — another tip from Credit Donkey — the best deals are at the end of month.

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: March 2nd, 2014
Four of the 100 Women Who Care

From left. Kelley Glass, Joan Martter, Kathi Umpleby, and Peggy Glass are among the Women Who Care at Fairview High School where 81 women raised $8,100 in one hour for Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

When Joan Martter called me about her idea for 100 Women Who Care, she caught my attention and fast. The entire article about this group and many more women who have founded grass roots efforts to help others is in Her Times today in the Erie Times-News. Read it here.

Here’s an update to that story. Joan Martter, 60, secretary at Fairview High School for 17 years, and Kathi Umpleby, took an idea that invited 135 Fairview women to bring $100 checks to a one-hour gathering. In that hour, 81 attendees pitched donation ideas. In the end, they voted to combine their checks into one donation of $8,100 to Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

Read all of the great articles in Her Times. And if you have an idea for an article, send it to us.

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: January 20th, 2014

clockI received an email today that asked, “Is Your Success Lacking?” It offers “7 Senseless Habits To Drop,” and I am sharing it all here quoted directly from motivational speaker and author Shawn Anderson.He claims that seven senseless habits can prevent success in life, and I think he’s onto something so here’s his take on things we need to do:

HABIT #1: Hanging out on Facebook.
“Facebook is a fun way to kill time,” Anderson says. “But that’s what it does: it kills time. Time that could be used to create, inspire and build.”

HABIT #2: Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“Filling our heads with unedifying TV doesn’t do a lot to help us achieve a better life,” Anderson comments. “Instead, exchange an hour of TV time to build your own dream rather than a celebrity’s dream.”

HABIT #3: Staying up late.
“The surest way to be unmotivated on a Monday is to stay up late on a Sunday. Want to feel energized? Watch a few more sunrises.”

HABIT #4: Spending money you don’t have.
“Having the freedom to do what you want in life starts with not being chained down by financial obligations. Give your credit card a rest.”

HABIT #5: Working at a job you hate.
“Nothing saps the life out of you more than working at a job you hate. Find something else.”

HABIT #6: Hanging out with negative people.
“If you have people in your life who drain you of all that is positive, ask yourself ‘Why in the world are they even in my life?’”

HABIT #7: Pointing fingers.
“Take a massive leap forward and take responsibility for where you are in your life. It’s not your boss’s fault…or your spouse’s…or the government’s that you’re not where you want to be. It’s your own cause-and-effect decisions that have you sitting where you are.”

“Why would we ever want to live a life that makes us unhappy?” Anderson says. “We read everywhere about what we need to do to be successful. But I believe if we just change a few of our habits, we’d be much closer to leading a life we love.”

The author of six books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Anderson is also the Founder of “Extra Mile Day.” On November 1, 2013, 444 cities across the United States made the declaration to recognize the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we “go the extra mile.”

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 6th, 2013

mantry

The folks from 800razors.com sent me some great, guy-gift ideas yesterday. I’ll get to the razors, but first — some other clever stuff:

Mantry.com – is billed as the modern man’s pantry. For a monthly subscription of $75 plus shipping, Mantry sends a box of American made foods from really cool vendors to your door in a crate.

I know this sounds pricey, but the products sound awesome, and reviews are great. Right now, a $100 order gets you free shipping. The crate alone is pretty cool. The web site is not particularly easy to use. Hit Media to get the info you want because What is Mantry is not informative, in my opinion. The Twitter page is loaded with photos of all the products. Go to @mantry and you will see pix of some of the neat products. Mantry is also on Facebook. For even better info, here’s a review of the “Bacon Nation” box in the blog Ramblings by a Suburban mom. She’s been reviewing Mantry for more than a year, so you can read her reviews back to last year. The stuff in these boxes sounds just plain fun — and deelish!

Birchbox for Men – it’s the alternative to Birchbox for Women — almost everyone I know subscribes to this one. The male version gives guys lots of stuff with a subscription that starts at $20 per month.

MysteryTackleBox.com, This one’s not high on my list, but if you have a fisherman to buy for, this one has subscriptions for only about $15 a month.

Now for the razors. You gotta love a company that says they don’t sell those “crappy razors.” I hear ya. The 800razors.com site offers American made razors for $9.99 a month. You get a handle with 4 high-quality 5-blade razor cartridges. We spend a fortune on razor blades at this house. This one might be worth checking out, and I thank them for sending all the great ideas for guy gifts. Entrepreneur/founder Phil Masiello got some great reviews. Here’s one from the Washington Post.

Happy 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 mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 1st, 2013
Cookie Monster

Legend has it that Cookie Monster started National Cookie Day.

It’s that time again! National Cookie Day is Dec. 4, and the The Frankie and May Cookie Contest is already underway. First the contest — then National Cookie Day.

Readers submit photos and recipes of favorite holiday cookie creations for a chance to win a $150 Frankie and May  gift card! Here’s how it works:

  • Entrants upload photo and recipe until December 6
  • Photos/Recipes will be voted on December 11-16
  • The top 3 cookies will be chosen based on the most amount of votes
  • Cookies will be made by the bakers at Frankie & May and then tasted at Frankie & May by local food writers and bloggers the week of December 17th.
  • Winners will be announced on GoErie.com the week of December 23rd. Photos of the top three winners will be displayed on GoErie.com.
  • First Place winners will receive a $150 Frankie & May gift card. Second and Third Place winners will receive a $50 Frankie & May gift card.
  • It’s easy — just fill in a form. Snap a photo and upload. Last year, The Frankie and May Cookie Contest was a big hit, and you can see all the delicious entries – 50 recipes right here.  The winners were:
  1. Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie – now when I saw this as a first place winner, I wondered how a chocolate chip cookie could beat out some of those other recipes. Well it has four kinds of chocolate …  and nuts. Ho ho ho — and oatmeal. You must read this decadent recipe. I need to make these.
  2. Second place by a nose – Rudolph’s Red Velvet Surprise Cookies. They have quite a surprise inside — cheesecake. Did I mention that I am salivating?
  3. Butterballs rounded out the top three winners. Who among us doesn’t love these morsels?

Judges included our fave Erie Times-News foodies Marnie MeadJennie Geisler and Andrew (Beard vs. Food) Kochirka.

Here’s a video of our food experts analyzing data and cookies. Yumm.

Legend has it that Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame proclaimed National Cookie Day in the all things Muppet book The Sesame Street Directory in 1980, according to a great article by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway at Examiner.com. And Shoemaker-Galloway offers a collection of 25 Killer Cookie Recipes Perfect for the Holidays. I like her collection for one simple reason — some are easy enough for me to bake. Bar cookies are this girl’s forte. Mix ‘em, shovel them in a pan, bake, slice, and the Eckert and Parker kids eat them by the handful.

You gotta love Cookie Monster for a sweet gift in December. “OMM-nom-nom-nom…

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: October 31st, 2013

adriaWhat should you do with all those leftover candy wrappers? Make a chain … or a dress. In 2012, we interviewed Adria Roberts, then a student at Strong Vincent High School. She and her boyfriend,  Steven Comi, – and countless others — collected Starburst Fruit Chews wrappers so that Adria could make her prom dress. The photo, by Adria’s sister appeared in Her Times, and the teens wore some big glasses and Starburst corsages to add to the wardrobe.

Adria and Steven are busy pursuing degrees at different colleges. Read the entire Her Times article here.

Gum wrappers have a long history as chains. The Guinness World Record holder is Gary Duschl, of Virgina Beach, Va. He has his own website at Gumwrapper.com. He started his chain in 1965, and he’s still going. The site says the chain required $123,356 worth of Gum, and it’s Wrigley wrappers only. He’s been the world record holder for 18 years, and the chain measures more than 14 miles. He added that you can make a Starburst chain. He also demonstrates how to make your own chain. View his additional videos on candy wrapper purses and more.

Lots of clever ways to remember Halloween with recycled wrappers.

Happy Halloween! 1384238_10151906170047367_650287073_n For more great Halloween stuff, click on GoErie.com. Or check out the Facebook page by clicking on the jack o’ lanterns — the GoeErie image today.

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: October 9th, 2013

Movie PopcornWell I am certainly late to this party, but what a party it is: wine flavored popcorn.

A New York City popcorn company — Populence (the web site is under maintenance, so if it doesn’t work, don’t pop your cork) – teamed with Kim Crawford, a winery out of  New Zealand to develop two popcorn flavors: Pinot Noir Chocolate Drizzle and Sauvignon Blanc Kettle.

And what should you pair with the popcorn? Wine! Kim Crawford Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 and Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

While fruit of the vine flavors popcorn, the vegan, gluten-free popcorn has no alcohol content.

And who came up with this idea? A woman, of course! Maggie Paulus, originally from Florida, founded Populence in NYC in 2011. It’s all over Facebook and Twitter @PopulenceJimmy Kimmel weighed in @LateNightJimmy, and I learned about it from my October issue of InStyle magazine.

Paulus was educated at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but turned to dressing up popcorn with seasonal favorites that include caramel, raspberry, chocolate, cheddar and other flavors. The store is a hit, and so are the wine flavors. You can get a gallon of popcorn for $35 on the website and for $28 at the NYC retail store.

And just in case you prefer other packaged foods, Foodbeast suggests steak-flavored Ruffles or Pepperidge Farm’s goldfish-flavored Mac and cheese. Or you can read about 200 other articles about foods that taste like other foods. Reminds me of the old “tastes like chicken” (Wikipedia dedicated a page to the phrase) — what some folks say about frogs’ legs. Hmm.

ABC News food blogger Lauren Effron noted that this isn’t the first snack to have some adult beverage flavor. Pub-Corn, out of Kansas City,  manufactures non-alcoholic beer and cocktail-flavored popcorn. Cary Silverman, of the University of Missouri, invented Pub-Corn in 2008. Current flavors include pina colada, beer and Irish creme.  It is $3.49 per bag.

I think I need some popcorn!

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 GramPam to one.

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized

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