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 ‘holidays’
Posted: December 24th, 2013

SantaErie native Jaime Schember, daughter of Joe and Rhonda Schember, works for a company that really tracks Santa and lots of other stuff. But she’s home with her family today in Erie, and she shared her blog with all of us. Welcome home for the holidays, Jaime, and thanks for sharing as a guest blogger for Her Times. Jamie Schember

5 Reasons Why You Should Call 1-877-HI-NORAD On Christmas Eve

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was on their smartphones trying to figure out when Santa would arrive…

I’m not kidding. Starting December 24th, thousands of children around the world waiting patiently for Santa will call 1-877-HI-NORAD to get live updates on where he is at that very moment. Seriously.

Here are the 5 reasons you (or your kids) should call the NORAD hotline to find out where Santa is on Christmas Eve:

5.) Awesome people are waiting to answer your call

More than 1,250 Santa Hotline volunteers–including members of the American and Canadian militaries and their families, civilian employees of the Department of Defense and community members–will use the latest Avaya customer experience and contact center technology to tell people where Santa is.

4.) Companies lend NORAD their latest technologies to help track Santa

NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) uses the most sophisticated technology available to track Santa! Kris Kringle experts monitor data gathered from radar, satellites and Santacams to measure everything from the weight of the gifts he’s carrying, to the number of pounds he gains as he eats cookies and drinks milk on Christmas Eve. The Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) has extensively tested Avaya’s customer experience products and certified them as being able to handle this most critical of Christmas Eve tasks.

3.) NORAD Tracks Santa started by accident because of a typo!

In 1955, an ad for a department store’s Santa hotline mistakenly listedthe number to the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. The colonel answering the phones Christmas Eve didn’t want to disappoint the children who called, so he and his team provided live updates on Santa’s travels. A tradition was born. How awesome is that?

2.) They have Secret Santa Files

Go to NORADSanta.org to get questions about Santa (some of which, frankly, have even perplexed me) answered. For example, ever wonder how Santa can travel the world in 24 hours? What goes into his cutting-edge sleigh? How does he get down chimneys? NORAD knows.

1.) Kids find out when to go to bed

Santa is known to arrive between 9 p.m. and midnight, and only after children go to sleep. The only thing left to worry about is whether you are on the naughty or nice list …

Jaime Schember is the Corporate Social Media Manager at Avaya. She is based at Avaya’s Headquarters in Santa Clara. Previously, she worked at Nortel in marketing for the 2010 Olympics.

Posted in: Uncategorized
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 20th, 2013

green dresssparklySaturday on Facebook, I asked if I should wear a black sparkly dress to the Barber Ball or a red ruffly one. Red won out in Facebook comments, but I wore black because my husband’s vote trumped all. Why did it look better? Sparkles — and holidays are made for sparkling. Just a note here — I bought the NY & Co black dress at Gabe’s for under $20. I bought the red one a few years ago at a consignment shop for less than $10 — it’s an American Living brand dress from JCP.

Looking for some of your own sparkle?   Here are a few ideas from head to to:

Put some shine in your hair — I have sprayed on de frizzers that add shine after my hair is done, and I’ve used olive oil as a pre-treatment before washing my hair. Both work really well — experiment before you try it for a big day.

Buy a sparkly top or bottom … or dress. Everything is on sale right now just about everywhere. If you’re not keen on the actual sparkles, go for a metallic fabric in silver, gold, gray, brown, blue or anything that suits your coloring.

Use some gold eyeliner. I bought some Urban Decay brand eyeliner at Ulta, and it is fabulous! I wear it over charcoal, and it looks terrific.

Step out in some brocade — it’s back and it sparkles.

If you’re not into sparkles, and a little black dress is more your fashion statement, there is nothing wrong with that. Especially if a little black dress really makes you feel your best. But if you want to perk up your mood, don’t be afraid of a little color. For years, I did the LBD for almost everything. I thought it made me look thinner — black is slimming. Within the last few years, stylish outfits sport lots of glitz and color. Go for it. Even if you just move to navy — it is also slimming.  I have two navy dresses that both have sparkly jewels around the necklines. I love it.

This weekend’s outfits will include that green number on the top of the page. I bought one for my daughter and one for me. It’s a Calvin Klein, and it was on sale at Peebles for under $20. The black top is a consignment find at Sassy Peacock.

Enjoy the season.

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 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 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: September 16th, 2013

Jake and Neverland PiratesArr! I watched “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” on Disney Junior with granddaughter little Miss Mia Parker yesterday, and it reminded me that International Talk Like a Pirate Day is coming up on Thursday – Septembarr 19.

You can talk Pirate on Facebook right now if you change your language status in your account settings to English pirate ratharrr than plain old English.

Who knew this could be such fun? International Talk Like a Pirate Day got its start with a bunch of guys who played racquetball together in Albany, Ore., in 1995. John Bauer and Mark Summers wrote to syndicated columnist Dave Barry, and in 2002, Barry wrote this column. A holiday was born. Here are some of my Facebook pirate favorites, and thanks to Karen D. Fischer who told me about it:

Here are some of Facebook’s Pirate replacement terms for normal lingo:
’bout a shot o’ rum ago near Erie — beats “a few minutes ago.”
So does a few grains o’ sand ago
Arr! beats “like”

be eyein’ this with pleasure replaces “likes this.”
Befriend a matey replaces “add friend.”
What be troublin’ ye? That’s ye status!
Other favorites:
Blabber t’ yer mates
Update your Plunderin’
Hoist Portrait/Bewitched Portrait
Fire a Query
Things closer to Me heart
Bottle o messages
Grog fests
Shenanigans log
Spy it all
Wants to make this known by more souls (shared a link). Arr!

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. Arr! 

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 24th, 2012

Facebook pays it forward. A few weeks ago, Realtor Nancy Placidi of Coldwell Banker Select Realtors sent me a message on Facebook that Sarah Miller, of Walmart had helped Toys for Tots — in a big way.

Miller, a mom who works several jobs, helped Toys for Tots secure a grant for $2,000 when Placidi posted a plea for help for the nonprofit that gather toys for more than 8,000 regional children. Here’s a link to the story by Victor Fernandez that appropriately sits front and center on our Erie Times-News’ local page. Merry Christmas, everyone.

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