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Lisa Gartner, Times Staff Writer

Lisa Gartner

Lisa Gartner covers Pinellas County Schools, colleges and universities. Before joining the Times in 2013, Lisa covered D.C. Public Schools for The Washington Examiner. Herself a product of Florida public schools, Lisa grew up in Palm Beach County. She attended Northwestern University after purchasing a very heavy coat.

Phone: (727) 893-8707


Twitter: @LisaGartner

  1. What we're loving for July


    Wednesdays are when you are trying to swim from the United States to Cuba but get tired halfway through and are too far from either shore to save yourself.

    And Wednesday, of course, is my posting day. Sorry for all the struggle.

    But why wallow? More than just a Wednesday, it's July 1; a whole new month is upon us, and there's plenty to celebrate. So today I'd like to share with you my favorite things (category: Deal Divas) for the month ahead. Cue Maria....

    These are a few of our fav-o-rite things.... okay, I'll stop singing and talk about summer sandals.
  2. Feel some "Pride In Fashion" at Tyrone Square


    Can't wait for Pride weekend, St. Petersburg? You don't have to - it's already upon us.

    As I mentioned yesterday, shops around the EDGE District (that's Central Ave and surrounding, west of downtown) are extending their hours this evening to offer discounts to shoppers who wear a pride button....

    Ross Mathews will be at the Macy's at the Tyrone Square mall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  3. St. Pete Pride amps up Thursday with shopping deals


    Have you been living under a rock? I am not here to judge. There are some really solid rocks out there. My parents, when they were first starting out, lived under a nice quartz in Brooklyn.

    But I digress.

    Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that St. Pete Pride is this weekend. The parade is Saturday, starting with a block party at 5 p.m. The street festival is Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m....

    Support St. Pete Pride while scooping up great style this Thursday in the Edge District.
  4. Chambray pants: a do or a don't?


    Let's start here: I own a pair of chambray pants. The shop I ordered them from describes the pants as "relaxed through hip and thigh, with an easy, straight leg." I would describe them as lightweight and comfortable. My boyfriend describes them as "the ugliest thing I have ever seen."

    It is very hot and important to remember that it is only June. We deserve a pants option that breathes, and in this sense chambray pants are the anti-legging jean. But are these pants a chic option for summer, or marked-up hospital scrubs?...

    These Anthropologie chambray cargo joggers look cool on her, don't they?
  5. Pineapples: So hot right now


    "Do you still have them?"

    I was mid-outfit-change in a fitting room at Ashe Couture on Central when I heard a woman run in the store and breathlessly ask a question of owner Amanda.

    The answer was yes -- Amanda was close, but had not quite sold out of pineapple-printed shoes that she'd showed off on the shop's Instagram page....

    These pineapple sneaks were hot sellers at Ashe Couture on Central in St. Petersburg. And only $24!
  6. Crave a beer pedicure for dad this Father's Day


    Public service announcement: Father's Day is this Sunday, June 21.

    Another relevant fact: Beer! What up!

    If you're looking for a unique gift for the dad in question, look no further than Tampa nail salon Crave. They're offering beer pedicures, and in fact, you've got a chance today to win two free beer pedis today.

    Just post a photo to Instagram of your dad or dad figure (the contest says "that favorite man in your life") with the hashtag #dadcravesapedi. You also need to follow Crave (@cravenailspa) and Cigar City (@cigarcitybrewing) to qualify. Winner will be chosen TODAY, June 15, so get on it!...

    Nick Leihy enjoyed a Father's Day Beer Pedicure with his daughter Sarina, 8, while she got a "Cutie Crave Pedi" at Crave Spa in Tampa on Father's Day last year.
  7. Get rid of your wardrobe? Sounds crazy, but wardrobe capsules make so much sense


    A few weeks ago, while tra-la-la-ing around Facebook, I came across this headline: "Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe." Men, this is clickbait for me in the way "How Lebron Is Quitting Basketball" is for you.

    So I clicked, expecting a holier-than-thou essay about materialism, or perhaps a first-person essay trumpeting the perks of nudist life (I am certain there are many). But what I found in this Dallas Moms Blog post is something I can't stop thinking about....

    Could you cut down your closet to a few mix-and-match pieces? I'm not sure I could, but I really want to...
  8. What to wear as you root for the Lightning in the Stanley Cup finals


    Hockey is something I think about none of the time, do not throw things at me, okay I am ducking.

    But whether or not you follow a sport, it's exciting when a championship series lands in your backyard. Tonight, our very own Bolts take on the Chicago Blackhawks in a best-of-seven series for the Stanley Cup. And as watch parties pop up, I'm planning to get into the spirit.

    You can pick up gear at the stadium store, or shop the official merch online. But as always, there are deals to be had off the beaten path....

  9. My Outfit Monday: Back to work + Theme Park Style


    This weekend I had a blast celebrating a good friend's bachelorette party in Orlando. Today I am dead. Coming back to work from vacation is a modern trauma that we need to eradicate before it falls on our children's generation.

    Fortunately, I found a pick-me-up in my closet: this wildly vibrant Laundry by Shelli Segal dress that I scored at TJ Maxx last week, marked down from about $140 to $35. It's perfect for today because it's awake in all the ways I am not. It's also very comfortable, and forgiving of the food baby I acquired over the weekend (perhaps I shall name her Shelli)....

    Casually glugging caffeine at Kahwa in my Laundry by Shelli Segal conversation dress.
  10. Your jorts and middle-school orchestral band T-shirt have a time and place but it's not at a theme park this weekend okay?


    When I was a kid my parents woke my brother and I up really early, chucked us in the backseat of the car, and told us we were going to the dentist. Boo, we said. Hiss. We fell back asleep under the blankets my parents had tossed in the car with us.

    The car stopped and again we were woken up. But we weren't at the dentist. We were at Disney World.

    A Florida kid with pretty cool parents (hi mom! hi dad!), I had the pleasure of many a trip to Orlando in my day. Whether we were meeting Mickey at Magic Kingdom or hyperventhilating on rollercoasters at MGM, we were just happy to spend a day doing kid stuff in the sun....

    Sunglasses, fun shorts, and rollercoaster-friendly accessories? She's got the right idea for theme park style.
  11. Happy birthday, blue jeans


    On May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss patented an idea for a working pant that would go on to become a cultural instutition right up there with apple pie, baseball, and resigning office in scandal.

    We're talking about you, blue jeans. Happy birthday!

    And a birthday, of course, is nothing without a gift.

    Levi's is offering 50 percent off its 501 tees with purchase of any pair of jeans....

  12. Why putting off a pricey purchase isn't always a good bet


    "Oh man, I have so much money," is not a sentence I have ever passed a lie detector with.

    I pay my bills, the roof is over my head, the food is good and plenty. But sometimes even I am impressed with my paycheck's ability to spend itself. Lately, it's been a mix of fun reasons (bachelorette weekend for a good friend!) and hit-your-forehead-against-the-wall reasons (replace ALL the car parts!)....

    I went years on years on years before replacing my sneakers. But they ended up not costing a fortune at all, and my beagle approves.
  13. J.McLaughlin honors moms with a gift card giveaway


    Moms are pretty great. They care for you. They support you. They let you live inside of them for nine months and don't make you pay rent for it, even if the pregnancy is taking place in New York City, an unsustainable housing market.

    J.McLaughlin in Hyde Park Village is giving away $25 gift certificates to the first 10 customers on May 9 in honor of Mother's Day. (Public service announcement: Mother's Day is May 10.) They open at 10 a.m., so grab your mom and get shopping - or go solo and surprise her with the gift card and some merch come Sunday....

  14. A white whale no more: second-day hair just as pretty as when it was clean


    It is high time we had a serious conversation, and it is called "What Is Up With Your Day 2 Hair Game?"

    For years, I floundered to style my hair on "Day 2" - the day after you've washed your hair, when you know you shouldn't wash it again. As science tells us, washing your hair every day isn't necessarily good for it, and actually makes it greasier over time. That means my Day 1 hair is a perfect blowdry and flat iron job, but for years my Day 2 game has been ratty ponytails, messy buns that look more hopeless than artful, and re-straightened hair that never lives up to the glory of its Day 1 self....

    On Day 1, you washed your hair and styled it just the way you wanted. But are you on top of your Day 2 hair?
  15. Removing insult from injury, or: How to Conceal Your Unsightly Knee Brace


    Lately I have been wearing a knee brace, and it is for the worst kind of injury: a boring one.

    I don't really know how I messed up my knees. I am not athletic and I didn't save a cat from a tree (I do not even like cats). But here I am, regardless, wearing a black and gray knee sleeve or, on some days, taped-up knees from physical therapy.

    Although I'm thrilled with the pain relief these measures have provided, they are quite ugly, and my fashion goal this week has been covering them up. On Monday, I turned to a flowy brown maxi skirt patterned with beige flowers. I picked it up a year or so ago at a Salavation Army in St. Pete, and it's turned into a favorite for lazy weekends at the Saturday Morning Market....

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Make your knee brace something you're happy to show off, like this Pinterest user did.