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
Posted: April 22nd, 2014

HoughEven if you don’t “Dancing with the Stars,” this season is inspiring for one reason: Amy Purdy. The 34-year-old is dancing better than most of us could, and she has two prosthetic legs.

At 19, she survived a form of bacterial meningitis that resulted in organ failure, loss of both kidneys, her spleen and her legs below the knees. Her father donated his kidney to her.

According to Wikipedia, Purdy later became an award-winning snowboarder. She won a bronze medal in snowboard cross for the U.S. in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.

Watching her dance with professional Derek Hough is just incredible. Here’s a link to what happened last night. Funny man Drew Carey was eliminated, but Hough and Purdy are going strong. They earned 38 points from the judges and are second only to Olympic gold ice dancer Meryl Davis and her DWTS partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy — who received four 10s for their tango.

Davis’ ice dancing Olympic gold partner Charlie White and his professional DWTS partner Sharna Burgess are tied for third with “The Wonder Years” star Danica McKellar and pro dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy – he is Maks’ brother.

It’s halfway through the season, and competition heats up from here. With all this talent, the grand finale should be fascinating.

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: April 20th, 2014

Easter Basket with Easter Eggs

Every Easter, my husband gets into the eggs — eggstra special egg banter, that is. Here are some of his faves used in sentences for your enjoyment.

We are eggcited to see family today.

My stepdaughter-in-law is eggspecting.

Cadbury creme eggs are not eggstravagant treats.

There is no such thing as eggstraneous chocolate.

I will need eggstreme eggcerise to burn off the eggcelent chocolate eggs I consume.

Some things eggsacerbate the pain in my knee.

A coconut egg is eggsactly what I want.

It’s eggsasperating when we don’t hear from some family members.

I need to eggsamine the peanut butter pies.

Eggstract those jelly beans from the bottom of the Easter baskets.

I was afraid we’d have to eggscavate to find the daffodils when it snowed last week.

If the sun shines, it will eggceed  eggspectations today.

Dinner will be eggsceptional. My sister makes lamb.

My brother eggsagerates how much work it is makes German Potato Salad, but since I made it this year, I can verify that it requires an eggstraordinary amount of  time.

We eggsemplify a modern family. We have six kids between us, two of my stepsons are married, and we have one grandchild. And one on the way.

When my husband reads this eggcerpt, he is going to eggsclaim that I eggscluded a lot of words, but I have to stop. I have eggshausted my list.

Happy Easter everyone!

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: April 19th, 2014
Cadbury

Part of what was in the Easter care package I sent my son in Virginia. Can you tell what he likes for Easter? Kind of looks like a house, doesn’t it?

Cadbury egg cookies

Cadbury mini-egg cookies

I know you’re thinking what do Cadbury eggs and houses have in common? Well at our house, they go together quite well, and apparently in Canada also. Here’s a link to a Huffington Post story that discusses Cadbury eggs are among the top 15 things we want to eat on Easter Sunday. If you don’t  want the candy — you can make cookies — with mini Cadbury Eggs – here’s the recipe. 

Last year,  I introduced a lot of folks to Cadbury eggs and the fact that my kids have loved these gooey morsels ever since they were tots. Click here for last year’s blog.

Happy Saturday, and Saturdays in this blogger’s world mean houses. I have been to countless open houses in past weeks, and I discovered a lot of condos for sale in one block of homes. Read my column in today’s House to Home. It’s Georgian Court condos abound.

Also in this week’s House to Home:

»  Easter cactus blooms – Easter cactus delivers vibrant color
» Control weeds naturally – How to use natural substances on your lawn
» Add edibles to your garden – fruit and veggies not that hard to grow
» Container gardens grow color - Popular container gardens are easy to grow anywhere
» Spring clean with easy-to-use websites – How to sell your junk with apps and websites
» Rock around the basement – a basement redo to love
» What homes will look like and include in the future.
It is Easter weekend, and we don’t have open houses, but we do have a lot of new listings and new prices. And, here’s the flipbook — you can page through House to Home on your tablet while you’re cooking — I am boiling eggs right now. Or if you are eating Cadbury eggs.
Have a wonderful Easter!

Pam Parker has written about real estate and home decor in the tri-state region for more than 20 years. She 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: April 18th, 2014

Sock insurance

Here’s a quote from a company that made me look for more info: “Lose a sock, and we’ll replace it for free! That’s right, our socks are insured against loss — and dog-based dismemberment, sock-puppet experimentation gone awry, and other assorted misfortune.”

You gotta love that … and this company’s cool socks are about $11 per pair. With a name like Sock Insurance – you have to see some potential for a great business. It is one of a host of companies under the umbrella of Betabrand – a company that promises tops, bottoms and “everything else” for men and women. The black dress yoga pants are intriguing. Click here to see them.

Betabrand is a crowd funded company with a thinktank of great ideas that made it to market. Pretty impressive stuff and worth a look. The site offers plenty of opportunity to get involved with your own designs and vote for others. Take a look at this San Francisco-based company — click here.

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: April 17th, 2014

audreyIn the category of “Is that creepy or cool,” Dove Chocolate has us all asking, “How did they do that?”

Audrey Hepburn, the iconic film star who died in 1993, is in a commercial for Dove Chocolate. It’s not really her, of course. It’s a lot of special effects, and it has that weird feeling of animation and reel life. From Youtube, here’s the commercial — see for yourself. Click on the video above and see the Los Angeles Fox News analysis of the commercial.

The commercial kicked off  in Europe last year, brainchild of an advertising firm. Think “Mad Men.” It  is set to the music of Hepburn singing “Moon River,” which was written in 1961 for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Moon River” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. I remember Andy Williams singing it. Here’s a video from Breakfast at Tiffany’s where Hepburn starred with George Peppard.

The commercial is getting accolades and criticism — read one critique hereSo how did this happen? News reports indicate that Hepburn’s family approved the use of her image. Her sons Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti said their mom was a chocolate fan. Ferrer’s father was actor Mel Ferrer, and Dotti’s dad was Andrew Dotti, a psychiatrist. The family also approved the Gap commercial a few years ago that used a clip (to promote black pants) from Hepburn’s scene in “Funny Face.” 

If you have “Moon River” stuck in your head today, so do I, and I guess we can all thank Dove Chocolate. I think that’s eggsactly what they had in mind these few days before Easter.

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: April 16th, 2014

graduation capI think we have just completed our last FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) — after six kids and 10 years. Pop the champagne cork!

I know families who are just beginning this process. Bless you, and before you start evaluating where your student will attend school or start a career, remember — not everyone should go to college. Not everyone is cut out for college. And kids can get great training for careers at career schools in a much shorter term. Here’s my take on teens and careers:

1.You know your child. Encourage, but don’t take over in decision making. Your teen has to figure it all out. Help, but remind yourself that next year the regimented school days will be over. Your teen has to figure out what and where they will be all day, every day for the next year and the year after that and then some. No one can predict the future, but you and your teen have to have a plan.

2It’s difficult to determine a career path at age 18. Kids don’t all learn to tie their shoes at a magic age. Career decisions are no different. Some kids just know what they want before they earn a high school diploma, but others change their minds. More than once — possibly for years.  You have to let them do it and support them.  When they change their minds — on schools, careers, jobs, classes — make them do the legwork. Don’t. Do. It. For. Them. Just don’t. Been there, done that with six kids. All but one kid changed career plans at least once. Let them do the research and move forward. Examples: Three changed majors, and one wanted to change schools. We told them all to go see advisers and find out what they would lose and what they would gain. And what it would cost. Success in all cases.

3. If you have an athlete looking at sports scholarships — be careful. Your teen needs to spend the next four years or more training for a career — not just advancing his or her high school sports career — unless they can turn it into a career. Most parents and kids make good choices — a school that matches career needs — not just athletic ability. But some folks lose sight of the career when the carrot of  reduced debt for four years is dangled as a huge benefit. And sometimes it’s not as huge as you might think. Make sure your teen is ready for the pressure of college and athletics — they’re not in high school anymore. Not all kids can handle it. There are wonderful success stories out there, but if your student signs up for an intense 5- or 6-year degree that will require year-round schooling, remember what the college goal is: a career.

4. College tuition, fees and room and board cost thousands of dollars per year. The lowest tuition might be under $10,000 per year, and if your teen lives at home, he or she might get out with $40,000 in debt in four years, but that’s not the norm. It’s usually more. And that’s just the tuition. College is serious business and serious debt. Many kids benefit from waiting a year to attend school or finding other careers that require career schools  – a much cheaper option than a 2-year or 4-year degree. Don’t think that college is a rite of passage and just let your teen sign up and see what happens. Be smart — have goals.

If you are stressing about your teen’s future, stop. Kids are amazing at figuring out things on their own with a little help from parents, teachers and others. Everyone needs guidance, but don’t go crazy with control. Enjoy watching your son or daughter become an adult. None of it is easy, but it’s so rewarding — especially when they’re working in careers they love. Sigh. We are almost there with all six. Your kids will do it, too. Just be patient.

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.  All six kids attended post-secondary education. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 15th, 2014

SharktankIf you need an idea on how to make a presentation, you can learn it all in an episode of Shark Tank.  Big tip: Know your numbers and your competition. And know the questions — it’s always the same. In essence, be prepared — tell the kids.

In a Forbes interview, one of the best deals Barbara Corcoran says she made  on Shark Tank was Daisy Cakes out of Pauline, S.C. Here’s a link to the Forbes article.

I watched that episode, and what was impressive was that Kim Adams Nelson, now 51, and owner of Daisy Cakes since 2009, truly had a homemade family operation. It’s now a very successful business. Even more impressive is that the company tried to use a commercial kitchen to prepare its cakes after her appearance on Shark Tank. The quality suffered, and the entire operation moved right back home to Pauline, S.C.  Read a 2013 interview with Nelson on Huffington Post here.

Another of Cororoan’s huge successes that I loved was Ava the elephant, a talking medicine dispenser. Inventor Tiffany Krumins, a cancer survivor, went on to develop thermometer stickers. Krumins was voted among the top 50 Mompreneurs of 2011 by Babble.com. She has been featured on Entreprenuer.com along with Bank of America and many other sites. The product is now in thousands of stores throughout the country.

Even the entrepreneurs who failed often end up as successes because of the exposure they receive on Shark Tank. Great ideas abound out there, and you’ll see some of them on Shark Tank.  To read the most recent article on Shark Tank, visit Parade.com.

Pam Parker has written about real estate and home decor in the tri-state region for more than 20 years. She 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: April 14th, 2014

Daffodillllies

Finally the daffodils — but pollen is on its way, as well — a vortex of pollen. I heard it yesterday — pollen is exploding because spring started so late. That means a lot of pollen all at once, and it is dubbed the pollen vortex.

Sheesh. Well, at least there are some things we can do. I haven’t had a really bad year in years, but this could be the one. An ABC News report suggested nasal sprays, even saline nasal spray can offer some help. Singulair was always one of my best defenses, and it is named as an effective medication. It is also known as montelukast. It is effective for allergies and asthma.

Pollen

Oralair is a pill that dissolves under the tongue — a new one. It acts like allergy injections do for those allergic to grass pollen. Here’s the news from the FDA. It must be given at the physician’s office for the first try, and the FDA says it needs to be taken four months in advance to be totally effective. I think we might all be late on this one. Other drugs include over-the-counter antihistamines or steroids — not a fan of that idea, but if allergies make you miserable — there is help out there. Here’s hoping it won’t be a wicked-bad allergy season. So hippity hoppity — sunshine and Easter are on the way.

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: April 13th, 2014

Yep, I am sitting on my porch writing this today. It is 66 degrees, and the birds are singing. Speaking of 3559a31d-cd93-4cdb-a3f2-8d7799b00435porches, get a load of these from Architect Magazine. This house was an award winner for the Hufft Project — a Kansas City and New York collaboration where designers showcased their stuff and sent me an e-mail about it.

This Springfield, Mo., house is appropriately called the the Porch House — it started out as a farmhouse that ended up with 10-foot cantilevered canopies. Click here to see more of the story.
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Closer to home, you can admire the porches on the the historic home I visited for my column in House to Home on Saturday.

It has an incredible backyard with an enclosed sunporch and multiple screened in porches overlooking a pond. The historic home at 5333 Lake Pleasant Road includes 3,535-square feet. Built in 1867, it’s been in the Shattuk family for seven generations. It is listed at $395,000. Read my article here. For more info, call Mary Smrekar of Coldwell Banker Select at 453-4578. HTH

If you missed House to Home yesterday, you can catch up with all the articles below:

» Add a touch of magic to your garden by Sue Scholz

» Eggsactly what you need for Easter

» Shooting birds with the BirdCam Pro

» How to grow strawberries
» Experts’ tips can help your lawn bounce back

Check out our Open House locator right hereAnd, here’s the flipbook — you can page through House to Home on your tablet!

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: April 11th, 2014

470xauto-825367232-TR9IIuatd470xauto-824437305-TNfNTsvmrHere’s a contest to love — it features 25 real women of all shapes and sizes showing off their personal fashion statements. JCPenney sponsored it in Redbook Magazine. Check it out here.

The magazine invites us all to vote through May 12 for a favorite.

The winner gets a $500 shopping spree and a feature in the September issue of Redbook.

Here are just a few of my favorites. Seems I’m liking pink and black — but the 25 finalists wear it all. And many of them live in snow country based on the pictures. I just couldn’t bring myself to post anything with snow in it! Check it out on Twitter at @RedBookMag  and #RBKBestDressed.

Happy Friday!

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

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