The Fantasy hits New York shores. (Getty Images)Last night I attended the christening of Disney's new cruise ship, the Fantasy. All I knew going into was that I'd be on a brand new building-sized cruise ship off of pier 88 in New York and that was enough for me. Needless to say, the event was wildly undersold. The Disney folks kept the details of the gala a secret from press. Ingredient #1 for magic.
Ingredient #2: The cult of Mickey. A small crowd of Disney cruise veterans gathered outside the pier in hopes of catching a glimpse of the champagne christening. Several compared notes on past cruises ("Did you do the two day Magic cruise?" "No, we did four days on the Dream.") People really know their Disney cruises.
My fellow guest and resident photographer, Wicked Mint blogger Ryan Green, remarked at the high level of security to get on the ship. For a moment I got nervous I'd read the invitation wrong and the boat was actually taking off for a few days. Not that I'd have minded. Turns out that metal scanner protection wasn't for
Blog Posts by Piper Weiss, Shine Staff
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Parenting – Fri, Mar 2, 2012 5:42 PM EST
The Fantasy hits New York shores. (Getty Images)Last night I attended the christening of Disney's new cruise ship, the Fantasy. All I knew going into was that I'd be on a brand new building-sized cruise ship off of pier 88 in New York and that was enough for me. Needless to say, the event was wildly undersold. The Disney folks kept the details of the gala a secret from press. Ingredient #1 for magic.Read More »from Disney Cruise Line's Fantasy Christening. We Were There!
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | At Home – Fri, Mar 2, 2012 12:57 PM EST
Forget the furniture, imagine taking home an miniature Ikea showroom. Oregon-based architectural firm Ideabox designed Aktiv, a line of prefabricated one-bedroom starter homes in collaboration with Ikea Portland. The firm, which is selling the pre-fab models directly, created the concept, designed the model and then purchased wardrobe, flooring and cabinetry from the furniture giant. You've got the land? They've got the tiny house, appointed Ikea-style.
Read More »from Would You Buy an Ikea House? Tour Aktiv $86,500 Prefab Home
Hooker and Powers during an ABC news interview. (ABC) Last year, Jordan Powers was just another student from Mr. Hooker's class. Now she's his live-in girlfriend.Read More »from Teacher Leaves Wife, Kids for High School Student
James Hooker -- the 41-year-old married father who left his wife and kids for his 18-year-old-student -- might be the worst teacher ever. Last week, he resigned from his job at Enochs High School in Modesto, California over the scandal that's shaken up a community and pit one mom on a crusade to save her daughter from a man she calls a "master manipulator."
Video: Teacher caught on tape bullying a student
Jordan met her teacher as a freshman, but both maintain nothing physical happened until she turned 18 this past September. Hooker claims he saw Powers as "just a student" and had no romantic feelings toward her at first, but when her most recent birthday came around, things changed.
They changed so much, in fact, that Hooker, left his wife and three kids (one of them a 17-year-old Enochs high school student as well) so that he could move in with Jordan.
If this all sounds
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Parenting – Thu, Mar 1, 2012 1:54 PM EST
(Getty Images) Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi made a career out of hard-partying. Now she may do the same with motherhood. The reality star is reportedly three months pregnant and looking to profit from tabloid deals and product endorsement deals, according to the New York Post.Read More »from Could Snooki's Baby Make Her Millions? The Bizarre Business of Celebrity Babies
PHOTOS: Snooki's wild style
Snooki allegedly shopped a "pregnancy package" to magazines, an increasingly common practice among celebrities. In 2009, Kourtney Kardashian earned $300,000 from Life and Style in exchange for exclusive photos and news about the pregnancy, the birth and the post-baby transformation, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Six figures were spare change for stars back in 2008, the heyday for banking on celebrity baby photos. Power couple Brangelina sold the first photos of twins Viv and Knox for an estimated $14 million (the money earned from the record-breaking deal went to charity), the Associated Press reports. That same year, Matthew McConaughey's newborn landed $3 million for his first
Meet Snacker: Disney's newest fairy at the center of a major controversy.Read More »from Disney's Habit Heroes Accused of "fat-shaming"
The zaftig Snacker, along with a bean-bag shaped mob figure named "Glutton" and a ball-bellied couch potato named "Lead Bottom" make of a few of the cartoon villains in Epcot Center's educational exhibit Habit Heroes.
The theme park's interactive experience and corresponding website were created in collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, to teach kids healthy eating habits. But after a soft launch three weeks ago, critics have accused the exhibit of "fat-shaming," and Disney has responded by closing the exhibit as the company mulls a relaunch. And the website is down for maintenance.
Read more: Another Disney character stirs controversy
"It's so dumbfounding it's unreal," Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine, told the Calgary Herald. "I just can't believe somebody out there thought it was a good idea to pick up where the school bullies left off and shame kids on their
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Love + Sex – Wed, Feb 29, 2012 2:44 PM EST
Davy Jones first flagged my heart when he walked into the Brady household in a striped blazer and a British mod mullet. It wasn't long before I'd have my first and only fight with my wonderful grandmother. She wanted to watch Perry Mason, but The Monkees were on Nickelodeon and they were singing Daydream Believer. DAYDREAM BELIEVER. That song still gets me.
Jones, a puckish Englishman, joined the Monkees at 20 years old and became the model for the teenidol in the '70s and the picturesque version of the British rockstar you'd actually take home to mom (or Mrs. Brady). Unlike other teen heartthrobs, Jones wasn't taken down by the fickleness of fans.
He married (a few times) and had four children. He also remained close to his fellow Monkees joining them on reunion tours throughout the years. He also starred in Monkees songwriter Harry Nilsson's London production of "The Point." Race horsing became a big passion, but he continued to make guest appearances on TV and in movies, even Read More »from Teen Idol Davy Jones Dies. Remembering Our First Love
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Shine Food – Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:56 PM EST
Read More »from Fast Food Freebies for Leap Day: Subway, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's One-day Freebies
Here's your free leap day lunch, courtesy of Chick-fil-A.Even if February 29 isn't your birthday, you're getting presents. The date that comes once every four years brings out the generous side of some of the biggest companies in the country. Consumer Reports' ShopSmart Magazine sent us a list of the foodie freebies you should take advantage of while it's still leap day. Here are the most savory:
Get a free cookie if you buy anything at Subway.
Several Chick-fil-A joints are selling $0.29 milkshakes, others are doling out four-count Chick-n-Minis for zero cents. One of the chicken franchises is even giving customers wearing green shirts a free sandwich with the purchase of a side and a medium drink.
McDonald's in Washington D.C.'s Union Station is offering a free McCafe Shake with the purchase of any Extra Value Meal. Customers in southern Virginia and North Carolina get a free coffee all day long
Once your stomach is satisfied turn to your laptop for more giveaways. Go to Facebook.com/entergiveaways and "like" what you see for more
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Healthy Living – Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:20 PM EST
Read More »from The Bride Who Almost Died at Her Wedding: Kirstie Mills' Amazing Story
Mills and Tancock on their wedding day. (courtesy of kirstie-2ndchanceatlife.blogspot.com)
Too sick for a phone interview with Shine, Kirstie Mills responded to our questions over email. Mills is used to working around her limitations, rather than letting them get in her way.
Since childhood, she's suffered from cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung condition that's ultimately fatal. Despite being given days to live at just 21, she decided to wed her long-term boyfriend Stuart Tancock this past summer. Now her journey to the alter is the subject of "Breathless Bride: Dying to Live", a TLC documentary premiering tonight (Wed, 10PM EST).
Unlike the title of the documentary, Mills answers to our questions aren't alliterative. They're candid, honest and at times, layered with frustrated emotions.
Mills' wedding was "fake flowers and a cake that kept." She chose the venue because it would "let her cancel at the last minute if I was too ill."
This is not a story about a wedding but about a marriage that almost didn't happen.
The U.K.-based Mills met her her husband two years back
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Love + Sex – Tue, Feb 28, 2012 7:30 PM EST
On Monday night, booted Bachelor contestant Kacie B. traveled to Switzerland to find out why she was dumped. When she got her answer, she was glad to have the closure, she said. Then she lay on the floor of a hotel hallway and dry heaved.
If only she'd gone to wotwentwrong.com, a new website that lets you find out why you were rejected without looking your ex in the eye. The site launched in the U.S. just before Valentine's day and has become an international sensation in a matter of weeks.
How it works: you log in, enter the name and email of an ex you want answers from and let the site help you craft a request. It's all very dispassionate, which can be helpful if you're prone to dissertation-sized rants. First you choose a template (philosophical, sincere, flippant or cool-apparently it's not too late for that option). Say you choose, philosophical, an automatic quote from Ben Franklin will begin your transaction. The rest of the email is pre-filled in: "I'd really like to know what
- Piper Weiss, Shine Staff | Love + Sex – Tue, Feb 28, 2012 3:58 PM EST"Why does this limo smell like tears?"The first ten minutes of this week's episode we join Ben on a 10 hour journey to Interlaken, Switzerland. It feels like 20 hours.
As we're dealing with airport stress, Ben's going off about the three women he's dating. He ends up recounting in detail each date he went on with each girl as if we weren't there the first time around.Oh hey Ben. You're in 17a? I thought they couldn't get us seats together? No that's fine I was just going to get some shut-eye but...
What's that? I had my headphones in so I couldn't hear you.
You go save us some seats. I need to find the bar car.
I'm going to stop you right there. You know that's not the problem people have with her, right?
Hey look! Swans!
Um Ben? We're here. In Interlaken. Can we please go check in to our hotel now?
Not the way it is.
DATE 1: Nikki
Ben surprised Nikki with her very first helicopter ride and picnic since the other day.
The ride is smooth at first, but then the pilot gets frisky.
Suddenly the helicopter starts Read More »from Bachelor Recap: Episode 9 is Bath Time for Baby Ben!