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 ‘family’
Posted: January 31st, 2014
kids

Back row: Andrew, Christopher and Matthew Parker. Front row: Howie, Kelly and Ryan Eckert — in a family photo — an old one!

As we close out the first month of January, here’s what I’ve learned from the Eckert Parker bunch in no particular order:

Granddaughter Mia — fruit snacks taste much better than they did 20 years ago. I remember some waxy gobs of flavorless goo. And Princess Sofia on the Disney channel is a lot of fun. A blanket and a staircase can make for interesting sleeping quarters. She fits on a step — we don’t.

Ryan Eckert — when you find your passion for a career, the world opens up opportunities. Our finance major is having a great senior year.

Matthew Parker — our new assistant principal will go from classroom to administration, and we are so proud. His wife, Mo, recently lost her dad, and it’s been a tough road in recent years. But these young parents of Mia are fun to watch — and they will bring a new little Parker girl into the fold in April.

Howie Eckert — He hasn’t been home in more than a year, but Erie weather has followed the good doctor to the shores of Virginia where his corner of the world was under a state of snow emergency. Frozen pipes can’t keep this transplant down. He’s learned to cope with an unprecedented 10 inches of snow in a place that never sees snow.

Andrew Parker — Also a Virginia resident, Andrew and his wife, Devin, are getting hit hard with snow outside Washington D.C. These kids have adapted well to big-city life in a much more expensive environment. We are proud.

Kelly Eckert — Our CPA, a big-city girl, is finding that cars don’t always last 10 years. It’s my fault — in the Strosser family, we kept cars till they fell apart. Well, Kelly’s is getting there.  Sorry, little girl.

Christopher Parker — Family will always be there. Always. When one door closes, another one — a better one — usually opens. Chris is always there for all of us. And vice-versa.

February will be a great month. Two of the kids have birthdays, and it’s a month for Valentine’s Day. The fam keeps moving forward.

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 6th, 2013

Mary HUffman 3Mary Huffman 2The 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.

A graduate of Gannon University, Huffman is married to Clint and the mother of two sons, Ryan and Connor.

GEBOR president Jim McGoey praised her community involvement with efforts for Habitat for Humanity, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network and more. Huffman is also a well-known cake decorator, who often baked special cakes and cupcakes for the nonprofits that she works with.

A graduate of McDowell High School, Mary was a star soccer player, leading scorer and MVP during her senior year. A former soccer coach for Erie Youth Soccer, she has served as president of the Erie Admirals Soccer Boosters.  Her son, Ryan, a senior at McDowell, made the All-District 10 Team chosen by the Erie Times-News.

Huffman served as president of GEBOR in 2007 and is a consistent multi-million dollar producer. She is also credited with creating a newsletter for local Realtors.

When she was named Realtor of the Year, Huffman expressed surprise and emotionally thanked her husband and family. She joked that her son had recently turned 18 and could become a Realtor. She credited the idea to the Marsh Team — Marsha Marsh and her sons run Marsha Marsh Real Estate.

Congratulations, Mary Huffman.

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 4th, 2013

Saint NIcholas

Close Up of Sheet Music

Up on the rooftop. Click. Click, Click.

Last year, I wrote about celebrating Saint Nicholas Day, and this year — I am at a it again as an empty nester.

First a little history: The legend of Saint Nicholas is that he placed gifts in shoes that children left outside their rooms or by the fireplace the night of Dec. 5. Then the kids awake the next day to surprises. I’m going to have to put some extra effort into doing things for adult kids and GrandParker Little Miss Mia. No one lives at home so there are no shoes to put out.

My parents never did any of this, but I heard about it at St. George Grade School. I thought it was great fun, so I did it with my kids.

Before I went to bed on Dec. 5, I would put candy, jewelry, festive socks or even video games into their shoes while they slept. It also served as a wake up call to either buy them new shoes or get out the Fabreze or Windex to clean their shoes up. I also missed the date a few times and did it late — often no one was the wiser!

I’m shopping FTD and overnight mail ideas this year. There isn’t much that fits in a shoe that adult kids would want — well except cash  :) Or bling. Or new shoes for Little Miss Mia and my Kelly. I think I should speak to Santa Kim (my hubby) about celebrating Saint Nicholas Day. And remarkably — it falls on Fashion Friday this week!

I don’t have little kids anymore, but we do have a Nicholas who visits with my daughter. Enjoy Saint Nicholas Day!

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 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: November 29th, 2013

Attachment-1Need some gift ideas?

How about these cool outfits in the photo at left? At the Welcome Club Fashion Show last week, Minnie Lawrie, a former Miss Philippines, led models on the Lake Shore Country Club runway in winter styles from Coldwater Creek located in the Millcreek Mall. Kathy Findlay is in the background. Cute stuff!

Ulta, at the Millcreek Mall has something for everyone. I spent hours in there last week, and I will return today. No matter what you want to try in makeup, hair and beauty stuff, this store has it. Visit the website for coupons if you missed the coupons in the Erie Times-News.

I got my husband an old-fashioned hot shave at Headcases,
1508 West 38th Street. $25. I already gave it to him. Headcases owner Adria is an Athena Powerlink recipient, and I serve on her marketing committee.

And on Sunday in Her Times , you’ll find some great ideas in scarves.

Happy shopping!

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
Posted: October 8th, 2013

MIAW_2013_1Mental Illness affects one in four families, and it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. How do you find out more?

NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) of Erie County offers the following FREE sessions (please register — see bottom notes for how) to help families recognize and deal with mental illness:

Tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the First Niagara Community Room, 801 State Street.  A panel shares how to recognize the common signs and symptoms of mental illness, what you can do to help a loved one in need, how mental illness impacts one in four families, and much more!

The panel includes Moderator Sheila Silman, NAMI Board President and Director of Supportive Housing and Forensic Services at Erie County Care Management. Panel members include: Holly Silvester, therapist; Anne Drozdowski, family member; Tim Palus, interim director of Behavioral Health Services at Millcreek Community Hospital; and Tanner Youkers, case manager at Lakeshore Community Services.

October 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Barber National Institute, 100 Barber Place

Thursday, October 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Corry High School, 534 East Pleasant Street

Speakers representing NAMI are Michael Fiscus, Program Coordinator; Steve Krivonak, Community Educator; and Dave Wooledge, Instructor of NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer Program.

Register, please

Call the NAMI office at (814) 456-1773 for the panel discussion.

Call Amy Will at (814) 480-6818 at the Barber National Institute to register for the Barber Institute sessions.

For more information regarding NAMI, visit www.namierie.org.

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 and stepmom to three.

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 22nd, 2013

turtles

But who is counting? I love Halloween. There were a few Halloweens when the kids were young that we carved up some pretty awesome pumpkins. When I saw these at left — Cowabunga, dude! It’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — I had to post them. Looks easy and it’s all from Halloween Cottage on Facebook. They used glow sticks instead of candles. Now that’s clever.

Turtles take me back. We watched the TV show, the movies, had Turtle Halloween costumes, a tent and pajamas. We still have a few Christmas ornaments that survived.

The picture of the glass block is also from Halloween Cottage. Again, it looks easy, and glass blocks are available with the holes already drilled in them at some craft stores. So insert some lights, add your decorations, and voila — you have a classy jack o’ lantern look without getting pumpkin goop on you.

I’m sure there is way more stuff on Pinterest, but my skill level in crafty things does not go much beyond the Cowabunga 2-step.

Enjoy the season. It’s cool enough today to bring out the fall fashions for dress, home and garden. I’m all into it after pickleball — still playing outdoors — fresh air and fabulous friends.

glass block

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

Posted in: Uncategorized