What’s New at Eastern State Penitentiary for the 2012 Season


Photo credit: Albert Vecerka

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site kicks off its 2012 season by opening two dramatic new spaces, presenting four new artist installations, and launching a Searchlight Series to discuss current correctional issues.

Photo credit: Sean Kelley

The Ruins of Death Row takes visitors into the collapsing exercise yards of Cellblock 15, Eastern State’s Death Row. The starkly modern cellblock was the last to be added to Eastern State Penitentiary and held some of Pennsylvania’s most violent, aggressive criminals. Death Row’s dedicated exercise yard has high walls and its own small guard tower. The yards today are among the most ruinous spaces at Eastern State.

Photo credit: Sean Kelley

The Operating Room takes visitors into the long-abandoned surgical space, part of the prison’s once state-of-the-art hospital. Completed in 1910, the sterile Operating Room in Cellblock 3 provided a vastly improved surgical environment over the earlier space used – an inmate’s individual cell. The Operating Room, converted from two single cells and three exercise yards, was part of a larger renovation to turn the entire cellblock into a complete hospital. There were more than 100 surgeries a year performed in this operating room by 1920. Al Capone had his tonsils removed there in September 1929. By the 1950s and 60s, Eastern State’s medical wing was a sophisticated prison hospital, with inmates from other facilities being transferred to the penitentiary for treatment of challenging medical conditions. Today, the space is in a profound state of ruin, but the massive surgical light still hangs in the middle of the room.

Families at Eastern State explores the strange, unexpected, and often heartfelt relationships that existed between family members at Eastern State during its 142-year history. Wardens, guards, and their families set up residence in different parts of the penitentiary. Visitors can step into the ground floor of one of Eastern State’s corner guard towers, discovering evidence of a former residence. Unique personal stories are revealed about a group of brothers who served more than 150 years combined at Eastern State, a warden’s daughter’s wedding inside the cellblocks, and women who gave birth inside the prison’s walls.

The Searchlight Series Eastern State Penitentiary will be partnering with local organizations to present a four-part discussion series relating to crime and contemporary correctional issues. Each discussion in the Searchlight Series will focus on a different contemporary issue and will feature guest speakers from both Eastern State and other organizations. The discussions will be open to the public for a fee of $5.00 and free for members of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site.

The 2012 season also features four new and seven returning artist installations:

New Installations:

  • Lisa Bateman: Next Year
  • Tyler Held: Identity Control
  • Ryan Legassicke: States of Security / Security States
  • Judith Schaechter: The Battle of Carnival and Lent (pictured above)

Returning Installations:

  • Greg Cowper: Specimen
  • William Cromar: GTMO
  • Jordan Griska: Separate System
  • Susan Hagen: Recollection Tableaux
  • Alexa Hoyer: I Always Wanted to Go to Paris, France
  • Michelle Handelman: Beware the Lily Law
  • Karen Schmidt: Cozy

Giveaway: Custom Designer Theme Cake from Ms Goody Cupcake (up to $250 Value)

In the heart of South Philly, among the cheese steaks, canollis and soft pretzels, Ms. Goody Cupcake is making a name itself as the neighborhood’s lone cupcakery. Gigi Andrew, who will be forever known as “Ms Goody,” opened the shop at 1838 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia in late 2011. Since then, she has already baked thousands of cupcakes and other sweet treats. Each day she offers 12 (!!) different flavors of cupcakes, ranging from traditional (red velvet), to unexpected (Elvis-inspired banana and bacon), to Philly-inspired (beer and soft pretzel), to the truly wild (chocolate covered potato chip). As a bonus, Gigi has a deal perfect for families on a budget – Saturday’s cupcakes are 6 for $10! (Limited time only.)

While the shop’s main focus is cupcakes, Gigi specializes in CUSTOM DESIGNER THEME CAKES! Yum! “My passion is baking and decorating,” said Gigi. “I enjoy pushing the limits and creating cakes that are unique, flavorful and fun.” Over the last 27 years, Gigi has made 500+ custom decorated cakes!!!! She specializes in themed-cakes, which range from one layer small cakes, to over-the-top life-sized creations. Her personal favorite themes have included a slot machine, gum ball machine, and an “over 50″ feather and chocolate truffle cake.
Her cakes are perfect for:

  • Baby Showers
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversary
  • Weddings
  • Bridal Showers
  • Holiday Parties
  • Office Celebration
  • Tailgating
  • Any Occasion!

In addition to cakes and cupcakes, Gigi serves coffee, cupcake push-up pops, seasonal pies, cake truffles and cookies. She also enjoys putting a personal twist on classic treats, like her PB&J rice crispy treats. Gigi’s favorite saying is “Life is short. Eat a cupcake!” Stop by and say hi to Gigi and let her cupcakes and cakes bring a little happiness into your life. Visit Ms Goody Cupcake online at, email or call (215) 334-2253. Store hours: Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 7pm, Friday and Saturday 11am – 9pm.

EXTRA DISCOUNT: Stop in to Ms Goody Cupcake and tell Gigi that Frugal Philly Mom sent you for a special priced deal on cupcakes – six for only $10 ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! Valid one deal per person. Discount expires May 31, 2012. Valid only for flavors in stock.


Owner, Gigi has graciously offered a custom designer theme cake for one of you to win! It’s perfect for your child’s or family’s next special occasion! The maximum value of the cake is $250. Stop in and see Gigi’s cake book with hundreds of pictures of theme cakes to inspire you!

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Deal: Dinner is FREE with BEN FM at the 2012 Philly Soul Home Opener

BEN FM wants to BUY YOU DINNER!  at the Philadelphia Soul Home Opener this Sunday April 1st versus the Cleveland Gladiators at the Well Fargo Center! Go to  and use the code ‘BEN‘ and for each purchased ticket you’ll get a food voucher on 95.7 BEN FM. Tickets start at just $13!

Getting Fit at Lucille Roberts: Food Vices

There’s only one thing that could completely derail my healthy eating habits and that is junk food. Sweets and fried foods might be my biggest weakness. The evening is the worst! That’s when I get most of my cravings. It’s so difficult to stay away from the cravings. Many just will advise you to just stop buying unhealthy and junk food all together so it’s not in your home. That’s not really feasible for my family between my daughter’s snacks for school and my husband who has the fastest metabolism. Therefore he eats whatever he wants and still stays fit. Yes, I’m eating healthy but I do love my chocolate, chips, Rita’s, cannolis, fried foods and all that great stuff!

I’ve mentioned before that my Pinterest Board “Working on my Fitness” has been helping me with my motivation. I recently came across something that said “Do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog” and it hit me like a ton of bricks! There’s one thing to emotionally eat but to reward yourself with food is just as bad for you. I’ll be honest, any day of the week I can find a reason to “reward” myself and the evenings is when I’ll think of a reason. I need to knock it off, like for real! It’s true, I’m not a dog. Why should food be my reward? Feeling good should be my reward. Looking fabulous and loving myself should be my reward.

Do you find yourself rewarding yourself with food?

Disclosure / Disclaimer: This post has been brought to you with the support of Lucille Roberts. I received a complimentary product for the purposes of this post. This post reflects my personal experience and opinion, which may differ from yours.

Giveaway: Family 4-Pack to Philly Farm & Food Fest

2012 Philly Farm & Food Fest

A collaboration between Fair Food and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture), Philly Farm & Food Fest will open Sunday, April 1 from 11:00 am – 4:00pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex Hall G. Philly Farm & Food Fest features over 100 regional farmers, food producers, artisanal food businesses and other providers of sustainable goods and services from across our region.

Philly Farm & Food Fest is part education, part celebration, and 100% delicious family fun. Exhibitors will be sampling and selling an amazing array of locally made products such as “zip code” honey, cheeses, cured meats, jams, small batch ice creams, organic flour, baked goods and more.

In addition, kid-friendly workshops like “Do Carrots Really Grow in Dirt?” sponsored by Whole Foods and the “ABC’s of Beekeeping” by Beekeepers Guild will entertain and educate little ones. Adults can participate in a variety of sessions aimed at educating their palates as well as minds like “Guided Tasting of Artisan Cheeses” hosted by Fair Food Farmstand and “Transforming Open Space to Sustainable Agriculture in Urban and Suburban Regions” by Green Space Alliance. There will also be an exclusive wholesale buyers’ reception from 4:30-6:00 p.m.

General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. Group discounts are available for advance purchase only on the website. Tickets are available at

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Deal: CHOOZEDAY at Olly Shoes on March 31st

On March 31st, OLLY introduces CHOOZE shoes in all store locations all day with CHOOZEDAY! The celebration will last all day with 10% off any CHOOZE purchase, a free coloring book and crayons with purchase, the chance for one person to win a $100 gift card and the chance for 15 people to win a free pair of CHOOZE shoes!

CHOOZE are different. Always. The right shoe is never the same as the left allowing children to celebrate their individuality and CHOOZE which shoes they want to wear. CHOOZE shoes are made with 100% vegan materials- every pair includes anti-microbial insoles and canvas uppers that are matched, but never the same. Additionally, CHOOZE invests each year’s profit in micro-finance loans, helping families make the journey from poverty to economic self-sufficiency.

For the nearest OLLY store visit:
To learn more about CHOOZE:

Deal: Monthly Discount Days at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Honor of Its Bicentennial

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University today announced special monthly discount days in honor of its yearlong Bicentennial.

On the 21st of each month, the Academy will offer two-for-the price-of-one admission. The discount offer begins April 21 and ends March 21, 2013. Regular admission is $15 for adults; $13 for children 3 through 12, seniors, college students, and military personnel; and free for members and children under 3.

Why the 21st of each month? It was on March 21, 1812, that the Academy was founded by seven naturalists. Two centuries later, the Academy is the nation’s oldest natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research.

Bicentennial Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, with fun hands-on activities, music, games, crafts, an amazing multimedia light show and, of course, birthday cake. Expect monthly themed museum programs and giveaways.

For a complete schedule of events, programs and tours, visit

Paid Focus Group Opportunity: Food Products

Philly moms, Focus Pointe Global wants to hear from you and your kids! Focus Pointe Global is seeking Mothers of 6-11 year olds AND Kids ages 8-12 for an upcoming focus group on Food Products taking place in late March. Earn $75-100 for participating! Apply by March 28th by taking our eligibility survey HERE.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: This post has been brought to you with support from Focus Pointe Global

Giveaway: Perfectly Posh Lovey Dovey Pampering Set

Perfectly Posh proudly offers pure, pampering products. They carefully select the lines, fragrances, and ingredients offered to you, to let you indulge body and mind. It is a pursuit of Perfectly Posh to give you products that you can be proud to wear and to share.

Posh offers you things made from the very best ingredients on earth. From luxurious shea and cocoa butters, to indulgent and nourishing oils, you can be sure that our products are the highest-quality formulations you can find. Find peace of mind knowing they’re:

  • Paraben-free
  • SLS-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Animal by-product free

They offer pampering that is spa-grade, long-lasting, and a fabulous experience. Perfectly Posh uses tocopherol (vitamin E) as it’s primary preservative, and we fragrance with high-quality perfumes and essential oils. Take care of yourself with products that will please you both mind and body.

If you want to learn more about Perfectly Posh I recommend that you reach out to Peggy, a local Perfectly Posh Consultant. She offers online, basket and in-home parties. If you’re familiar with the parties, you know it makes a fun girl’s night and a great way for you to earn free products as a host! If you’re in the Philly area, make sure to reach out to Peggy to set up a party :)

Peggy has graciously offered a Perfectly Posh Lovey Dovey Pampering Set (see below) for one of you to win!

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Free: Four Piece Deluxe CHANEL LE BLANC Sample Set

There’s no way that I could afford any Chanel products but here’s your chance to grab a free Four Piece Deluxe Chanel Le Blanc Sample Set which includes samples of the Fresh Brightening Foam Cleanser, the Brightening Moisture Lotion (toner), the Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXC (serum) and the Brightening Moisture Cream. These samples come directly from Chanel HERE. The page might take a little time to load but once it does just scroll down past the picture and fill out the form. No registration required. Enjoy!!

*One per customer. While supplies last. Offer available until March 25, 2012.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for the purposes of this post. This post reflects my personal experience and opinion, which may differ from yours. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. Facebook, Twitter and Google are not affiliated with this giveaway.