Make us your home page

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

Email: lgartner@tampabay.com

Twitter: @LisaGartner

  1. Summer florals: not your grandmother's florals


    This morning I was chatting cube-side with Divas Stephanie and Kameel when I realized, suddenly, that they looked fabulous.

    Under crunch time for a reporting project, I have been running out of the house with wet hair and jeans, so this was an observation I did not make without notes of premeditated crime. I DIGRESS.

    What Steph and Kameel's outfits had in common was a trend I didn't realize was a trend until it was sitting, chatting, right in front of my cube:...

    Divas Stephanie and Kameel shaking me awake to summer florals. Steph got her dress at Ashe Couture during the St. Pete Sunrise Sale.
  2. 30% off as Twice closes shop


    So, here's the deal.

    eBay has swallowed Twice. Or something. The website that sells second-hand wares announced this week that "eBay is acquiring some of our key technology," meaning that "Twice is winding down."

    Recode.com reports that eBay's acquisition of the online consignment shop is its first since splitting from PayPal. Although the price tag for Twice remains a mystery, writer Jason del Ray shared some details of the purchase:...

    A selection of Anthropologie items on Twice's website. Take an additional 30 percent off all listed prices until 3 a.m. Eastern.
  3. The Divas hit the 42nd annual Sunrise Sale in St. Petersburg, and not a shoe was safe


    There are few things for which I will get out of bed before 7 a.m.

    If my apartment was on fire, I like to think I would get up.

    If Ryan Gosling was outside my window all, "You are so beautiful, like an orchid in the rain, please be mine right now," I guess I'd be like, "Sheesh, Ryan, keep it down, I have neighbors, and you need to respect my space, but OK hold on a second," and then I would stand up, and I would go to him....

    "Get in loser, we're going shopping." - Katie
  4. I fit everything I needed for my 3-night vacation into a laptop bag - and so can you


    Readers of Deal Divas may recall that, last week, I was on a great quest. I had vowed to fit the necessities of a three-night vacation into a personal item. Not a checked bag, not a carry-on bag, but a personal item.

    Did I succeed in my quest to pay zero dollars in baggage fees to Allegiant Air by shoving everything into a backpack?...

    Just about everything I brought to Chattanooga last weekend. The colors all went together, so I could bring fewer accessories.
  5. Avoid Allegiant Air's bag fees with these packing tips


    Lately, Allegiant Air has been making headlines for emergency landings and passenger strandings. That rhymed, so what if I'm a little geeked about it, moving on, okay....

    Fit everything you need for a weekend away in your personal item - like this small backpack - and avoid Allegiant's $50 carry-on fee.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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....

    Is pineapple the dream trend you've been waiting for? Then by all means, go all in with this quilted nylon and leather Kate Spade purse, $298. Not ready for that kind of commitment? Click through the slideshow for more subtle (and affordable) pineapple punches.
  11. 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.
  12. 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...
  13. 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....

  14. 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.
  15. 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.