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 ‘valentine’s day’
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: February 6th, 2014

Ferris Wheel Glowing at TwilightYes, I know — in February? Next Friday — Valentine’s Day — is Ferris Wheel Day — a tribute to George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., born on Feb. 14.

My first date with my husband was on a Ferris wheel — at the North East Cherry Festival 12 years ago. So, here’s to George Ferris!

The civil engineer made the first Ferris Wheel at the World’s Colombian Exhibition in Chicago more than 100 years ago in 1893.

According to The Man Who Invented the Wheel, and Paid the Price by Dennis Bell, Ferris was born in a Galesburg, Ill., and his family settled in Nevada where he became fascinated with  a water wheel as a kid.

He later worked in New York City and Pittsburgh, designing bridges, tunnels and trestles. He founded G.W.G. Ferris & Co., with offices in New York and Chicago. His 1893 Ferris wheel was built to rival the 1889 Eiffel Tower —  made famous by inventor Gustave Eiffel at the  1889 Paris International Exposition.

Ferris spent $25,000 of his own money on the Ferris wheel plan and constructed it in 22 weeks. It was about 26 stories tall, survived a hurricane and had nearly 1.5 million patrons in Chicago. Ferris later started smaller Ferris wheel productions but lost a lot of money and died three years later in Pittsburgh at age 37.

Another Illinois engineer, William Sullivan, took up Ferris’ inventive ideas and created portable Ferris wheels at the Eli Bridge Company in 1896 in  Jacksonville. Ill.– it is still manufacturing Ferris wheels.

And all because a kid loved water wheels — Happy B-day to Mr. Ferris.

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 GramPam to one.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 14th, 2013

gabby-douglasFashion statements are red this month — and today’s Valentine’s Day mantra might be “buy something red.” Take a look at the red dresses rocking the runway during The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show 2013 right here. The New York Daily News covers it in style with 27 fabulous fashion ideas modeled by everyone from Gold-medal Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas – pictured above — to Kelly Osbourne.

Today is the perfect day to buy a little red dress. Here’s a link to the terrific selection at Macy’s – for teens to women in styles for career, casual and glamorous evening wear.

Here’s a link to JCPenney’s red dresses – one adorable peplum number from Bisou Bisou is only $35 — how can we choose just one?

Happy Valentine’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: January 19th, 2013

Living roomLook what’s happening in House to Home this week! Add red to a room — it’s often inexpensive, fast and you’ll be red-y for Valentine’s Day with some classy accents. Read the story by Decorating Den’s Marie Feltz here.

Garden writer Sue Scholz shares all the blooms that popped open last week in that heat wave. She had white Christmas rose hellebore, English daisy and other flowers. She wasn’t the only one —  Read her story right here.

We have quite a few additional stories that will get you in the mood to decorate — get the lowdown on all the trends for home decorating for 2013 — great ideas are brimming in House to Home.

Next week, I have a story for you on open houses at two huge homes in Fairview — a builder and interior designer’s home in Manchester Farms and a completely restored (by a local builder) 1800s beauty with a lake view on Dutch Road.

Touchless technology
Make a DIY snow globe
Mixing color among hottest trends for 2013
Counteract dark days with sparkle
Shine On
Around-the-World Interiors

And catch up with open houses this week.

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: February 9th, 2012

When my kids were young, one of the annual Valentine’s Day school assignments was to craft a clever box that would hold valentines. My oldest took this challenge very seriously one year when he decorated a box and mounted it atop his remote control car.

It entertained his classmates and the teacher. It also gave new life to the assignment when my younger kids duplicated his idea in subsequent years.

This is a fun holiday. History.com has the fascinating history of Valentine’s Day. Check it out here. One notable stat from the article is that Valentine’s Day ranks second only to Christmas in card-sending.

I remember buying every imaginable kind of valentine card. Yosemite Sam asked us to be his rootin’ tootin’ valentine, and then there were all the other popular cartoons at the time. There were some memorable sentiments, but the motoring box is a most heartwarming memory.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 12th, 2010



With Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year (yes, this Sunday), you have got a three-day window of opportunity to come up with something romantic to make your sweetheart swoon.

You can go with the old flowers-and-candy or dinner-and-a-movie standbys, but a weekend holiday gives most of us the time to do something a little more special for the ones we love.

Here are a few last-minute Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the bank or require a reservation, proving that romance really is as easy as 1-2-3.

1 sure-fire romantic idea

1. Rent or buy a copy of the first movie you ever saw together as a couple. While you watch it, think back. Recall the anticipation of that first kiss. Remember the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling when his/her hand would brush yours. Relive the days when you couldn’t bear to be apart.

2 heart-y (and easy) meal ideas

Who needs an elaborate, five-course meal or the cleanup that comes with it? Save time for romance with these foolproof Valentine’s Day dinner ideas, sure to please palettes from 2 to 92.

1. Heart-shaped pizza. Buy ready-made pizza crust (in the tube) or use your favorite homemade recipe and shape the dough into a heart. Make one big pizza or create individual pizzas for each family member.

2. Heart-shaped pancakes. Place a heart-shaped cookie cutter in your frying pan. Ladle batter into the cookie cutter (don’t fill too full as it will overflow). When it’s time to flip it, simply slide a toothpick around the inside edges of the cutter to remove it from the pancake. Then use a spatula to turn the pancake. Serve pancakes topped with strawberry sauce and a chocolate candy heart.

3 pink drinks

Sip some sweetness with these pink drinks. And, remember: One drink + two straws = instant romance.

1. Cinnamon heart shake. Blend low-fat strawberry ice cream with skim milk, add in some cinnamon hearts and stir gently. Pour into tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon hearts. — www.kids-cooking.suite101.com.

2. Drop pomegranate seeds into Champagne or strawberries into sparkling wine to tinge your drink pink.

3. Whip up some Berry Sweetheart mocktails with this recipe from “Maran Illustrated Bartending:” Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, add 3 ounces of red cranberry juice, 3 ounces of apple juice, 1 ounce of honey. Stir ingredients. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

4 romantic ideas

1. Create an iTunes playlist of songs important in your relationship (songs popular when you met, your wedding song, etc.). Download the playlist to your sweetie’s iPod and leave it on a table with a note that says “play me.”

2. Say cheese. When’s the last time you had a professional portrait taken of just the two of you? Take your significant other to a local photo studio for an impromptu photo shoot. Walk-ins are welcome at many area studios such as JCPenney, Sears and Portrait Innovations.

3. If you’re computer-savvy, buy a domain name, such as your partner’s name or an anagram with both of your names ( www.jennylovesjoey.com), and create a simple Web site for your Valentine. See which domain names are available and purchase one (about $20) at www.GoDaddy.com.

4. Dust off the wedding video, pop some popcorn and have a good laugh at the outfits and hairstyles from the day you said “I do.” Share it with the kids; they will love seeing Grandpa Joe doing the Pennsylvania Polka with Aunt Trudy.

5 couple-time games

Invite some of your couple friends over and host a game night. Just be sure you team up with your significant other; no “boys versus girls” on Valentine’s Day weekend. Here are a few games that will inspire lots of laughs and spark some friendly couple competition.

1. Hearts. This classic card game will have you playing tricks and breaking hearts. Best with four players. Not familiar with the game? Find out how to play at www.toycrossing.com/hearts.

2. Cranium. This is one of the most interactive and entertaining party board games on the market today. It’s charades meets Pictionary meets Trivial Pursuit meets Play-Doh and it’s a blast.

3. Twister. Get all knotted up and entwined with this 1960s classic. This is one you can play with just two.

4. Apples to Apples. This popular board game of comparisons was named “Party Game of the Year” in 1999 by Games magazine and can be played in several variations (see them at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples). Best with more than four players.

5. Compatibility. Played in teams of two, this board game involves matching picture and word cards. Teams score points for thinking alike.

6 places to go

1. “Some Enchanted Evening” at the Station Dinner Theatre, 4940 Peach St. Love songs, dancing and dinner for $39. Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Call 864-2022 or visit www.canterburyfeast.com.

2. Valentine’s Day Prediction Race. Get your heart pumping and share a little sweat with your sweetie. This fun run/walk starts at Presque Isle State Park, Rotary Pavilion, Sunday at 10 a.m. The distance is a mystery (but it will be between 4 and 6 miles). Call (814) 774-3209 or visit www.erie-runnersclub.org.

3. Erie Otters game. Snuggle up and watch the Erie Otters kick some ice. They take on the Peterborough Petes on Saturday at 7 p.m. and the Kitchener Rangers on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $14.50. Call 452-4857 or visit www.ottershockey.com.

4. Jr.’s Last Laugh Comedy Club. The funny folks at Jr.’s are offering a special Valentine’s Day show on Sunday at 6 p.m. Cost is $30 per person and includes buffet dinner, comedy show, dessert and coffee. Headliner is Ralph Harris, best known for his starring role in the ABC-TV sitcom “On Our Own.” Call 461-0911 or visit www.jrslastlaugh.com.

5. Mayville Winter Ice Festival. This cool (and I do mean cool) festival is held in nearby Mayville, N.Y., and is worth the drive. The main attraction is a giant castle created with blocks of ice carved out of Chautauqua Lake. Bundle (and snuggle) up as you stroll because all events — including fireworks and a snowman-building contest — are outdoors. Call (716) 753-3113 or visit www.mayvillechautauquachamber.org.

6. Tuba concert. Luther Memorial Church will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with a free tuba love song concert. No, not songs about loving tubas, but tuba songs about love. Daniel Burdick, on the tuba, and Erik Meyer, on the piano, will be performing at Luther Memorial, 225 W. 10th St. on Sunday at 10 a.m. Worship service follows at 10:30 a.m. (you need not stay for the scheduled worship service to follow). Call 454-0106 or visit www.luthermemorialonline.org.

7 ways with words

1. Buy the romance edition of the popular Magnetic Poetry Kit (available at book stores) and write a poem on the fridge.

2. Leave a sweet message on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.

3. Write an old-fashioned love note or make a homemade valentine and tuck it somewhere your loved one will find it later — gym bag, lunch box, under the windshield wiper, etc.

4. Play Mad Libs using romantic words only.

5. Use sidewalk chalk to write your names in a heart on the driveway so your partner will see it when they get home. Driveway still covered in snow? Use a spray bottle with colored water and express your love in the snow.

6. Play with their food. Buy some alphabet pretzels (Tops Friendly Markets) or Alpha-Bits cereal and leave them a snack with “I love you” spelled out on top.

7. Share a romantic book. Take turns reading chapters to each other in bed.

8 lovey-dovey movies

We all have different ideas as to what’s romantic, but here are eight can’t-go-wrong choices.

1. “Gone with the Wind”

2. “Casablanca”

3. “Ghost”

4. “Titanic”

5. “An Officer and a Gentleman”

6. “Dirty Dancing”

7. “The Notebook”

8. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

HEATHER CASS can be reached at 870-1821 or at heather.cass@timesnews.com.