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 ‘gifts’
Posted: February 12th, 2014

Valentines day isMen say it’s too commercial, and they spend big on their women. Mostly on dinner, flowers and jewelry.

Beso.com, part of Shopzilla Inc., polled 2,178 Gen X and Gen Y shoppers  and found that 37 percent of respondents call the day romantic, and 32 percent call it fun, but the majority called it cheesy, annoying and commercial. In fact, 4 percent called it an (unflattering word deleted) Hallmark holiday.

Men outspend women –16 percent spend more than $150 while 49 percent spend more than $75! Only 7 percent of women spend more than $150. It gets worse — 25 percent of women spend$1 – $24.  The majority – 72 percent of women — spend less than $50.  The graphic below indicates what men and women spend.

what we are spending

 What do men and women really want?

what men wantMen claim to want trips and accessories, and 19 percent of women and 10 percent of men want trips. We need to buy more trips for one another! 

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 21st, 2014

gift menwomen

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, research is out on who loved what for the holiday gift giving season.

Tada.com polled 6,581 online shoppers, immediately after they checked out from 2,987 online retailers, to find out what they liked and disliked about holiday gifts they received last Christmas.

Spouses and significant others were the best gift givers — parents topped the list for  Gen Y members. 

Women were happier with gifts than men, but women admit they offer hints and lists to ensure success. Gen X and Gen Y  weren’t afraid to return gifts.

Favorite gifts:

In the best and worst presents category, it’s notable that books came up on both lists. Well, duh — you don’t give people books if they want something else. I’m still reeling from socks being on the worst present list. I give socks — almost every year — really cool, fun socks that no one buys for themselves because they are too expensive. And I ask for socks — I got the furry thermal ones in cool colors, and I love them!  If you want to see the entire study, click here

Best present worst present

most likely to return

The folks at Tada.com offer deals and coupons from thousands of retailers. Caroline Jing from Tada sent all the news to me. Thanks, Caroline!

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 18th, 2013

bpb185.02com-christmas-lights-maniLooking for some fun gifts for the holidays? Here are a just a few never-fail ideas for the gals on your list:

Nail art manicure. Nails have gone way beyond just color. Spring for some nail art for someone you love. It doesn’t have to be on every finger. One accent nail can create a great look, but nail art is mainstream. And fun. And it costs just a little more than the traditional manicure.

Shape up the eyebrows. As we age, eyebrows become different colors and unruly. Taking someone to a salon or place where an eyebrow expert helps choose color and shape is one of the nicest things you can do for a gal pal, mom or daughter. Or get a gift card. Ulta’s brow bar is the best. It takes an expert to know how much makeup to use and how to apply it correctly.  Brows frame your eyes. They need shape and color — don’t just let them go. This goes for the guys too.

Body spray samplerSample packs. I once got my daughter a sample pack of perfumes. It was terrific because she could try out a bunch of scents and buy the one she liked. Or not. Victoria’s Secret has a sampler pack of seven body sprays for $21, and they also offer a perfume sampler for $34.  The same is true of face creams, moisturizers and more. If you know someone loves a specific brand, check out the sample packs that let your giftee test out some additional products.


Sample packs are usually discounted by a ton at the holidays, so now is the time to buy them.

Moisturizing socks and gloves.
Our weather is hard on skin, so anything that’s soft on it is genius. Moisturizing socks and gloves sound like the nicest gift ever. This picture is from Sephora and good for up to 50 uses at $36, but almost every retailer has them in some form. You won’t get 50 wearings out of them, though.

Today closes out free shipping day for a lot of vendors, so make it a good online day if you’re buying. 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: 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: July 24th, 2013

PoinsettiaIt’s July 24, and my 2012 poinsettia is still hanging on with a few red leaves. The red ones look pretty sad, but the green ones are quite healthy.

Ordinarily, I don’t pay a lot of attention to Christmas in July — which celebrates that Christmas is six months away. This year,though, I have had numerous people and things calling it to my attention:

We are having a Christmas in July food day in the newsroom. What could be better than Christmas cookies in July?

A Texas company is sending out samples of pecan pie — a holiday item they are promoting in advance. I love pecan pie.

I’m wearing red nail polish and a lot of red to match, so I will just add some green this week.

All this Christmas stuff is even making me think about Christmas gifts. I usually don’t do that until November. My kids will be glad. My husband won’t be happy.

This mid-year celebration has a lot of history associated with it. It dates back to an 1892 opera, a 1932 summer camp presentation in North Carolina and a host of movies, starting in 1940 — all according to Wikipedia. Read about it here.

So Merry Christmas, everyone. We have no snow, but it is a cool 64 degrees this morning.  Enjoy!

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 GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 16th, 2012

The song “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt or Madonna offers a cute twist on what women want for holiday gifts. Here are the lyrics.

Convertibles, yachts, condos and Tiffany’s are out of reach for most men, but Sabrina Fischer, owner of the Sassy Peacock in Erie, offers some great advice to all the guys who visit her stores this week (and her own hubby)!

  • First off, do not wait until Christmas Eve to purchase a gift. It will stress you out and limit your options.
  • Ask her for ideas. She will be thrilled, and you will probably get a list with pictures. You can also ask her mother or a close friend.
  • Gift certificates/gift cards are always nice along with at least one item that you personally selected. Choose services that she would not buy for herself: cleaning services, spa services or salon services. Splurge on a spa day for her and a close friend.
  • Plan a trip for the two of you. Get a travel agent to help! A weekend excursion would be a nice treat for both of you.
  • Diamonds are a girls best friend or any other precious gemstone. Great deals abound this week.
  • Don’t buy her a gadget that you think will help her — especially if it’s one you really want. That is unless she asked for it.
  • Do not buy a piece of exercise equipment — unless she asked for it.

Hurry Santa baby, time’s ticking away!

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: May 9th, 2012

With graduation, shower and wedding season sneaking up on us, we just have to share a gift registry that puts the fun into Internet shopping. MyRegistry.com combines the best of registries into one convenient place. It does some things I’ve never seen: You can add gifts from any store on the Internet, sync store registries you already have and scan bar codes with your phone to add them to the registry.

And it finds some goofy gifts. How about a pop-up hot dog toaster, Star Trek electronic door chime, IRobot Scooba vacuum, ThinkGeek Pop Art Toaster, Kegorator Beer Keg Cooler, LED Faucet Lights and more.

Something for everyone. Happy giving!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 9th, 2011

Cue Mission Impossible music here. Who doesn’t want to see their man dressed like the IMF gang? So here’s a fashion Friday freebie fun opportunity to win footwear from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, premiering in theaters Dec. 21. You can get the look   thanks to the Giorgio Brutini folks who are offering up one free pair of  Giorgio Brutini boots. It’s a $65 value and what a great gift! I’ll pull one name from entries. Reply here, or send me an email at pam.parker@timesnews.com. Enter by Friday, Dec.  16 so you can get them by Christmas — your size.

You know the drill from here: Your mission, should you choose  to accept it, is to win these boots. This message will self-destruct in five, four three, two, one …

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 10th, 2009


Todd the Eastern Box Turtle paints a picture at the Erie Zoo on Nov. 15, 2008. File photo by Ryan Randolph/Erie Times-News

This weekend, the Erie Zoo is hosting it’s annual animal art show with pieces created by the resident critters available for purchase.

If you’ve never seen a real snakeskin print or an authentic turtle trail…you don’t know what you’re missing.

These works of art are very cool conversation pieces that come in just about every color and size you could imagine. There will be a variety of pieces for sale priced from $15-$150, depending on the size of the art. All artwork will include a picture of the artist in action, too.

The show will be held on the Erie Zoo stage on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. Demonstrations will be held in the classroom during the day and there will also be crafts and face painting for the kids.

P.S. If you are a Zoo Member, don’t forget your membership card for a 10% discount!

More information can be found here.