The ring and note that someone slipped into a Salvation Army kettle in Michigan. (Photo Courtesy of the Lamb Family)When Salvation Army organizers sifted through donations from Midland, Michigan, on Dec. 4, they found something more than the typical handfuls of change and dollar bills: An engagement ring and a handwritten note.
The ring was a Marquise-cut diamond in a gold setting, worth about $2,000. The note attached simply read: "Paying it Forward Jayden Style. God Bless."
Related: Boy Donates Birthday Presents to Toy Drive
While a Salvation Army representative told Yahoo! Shine that they routinely find gold coins, jewelry, and other valuables in their red kettles during the holidays—a volunteer in Washington state found a white-gold diamond ring just last week—this expensive donation was different. It was in honor of Jayden Lamb, who died at MidMichigan Medical Center on November 27 after a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. He was 8 years old, a third grader at Pine River Elementary School. He would have been 9 on Wednesday, Dec. 12. And all over the country, people are committing random
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Holiday Gift Guide – Wed, Dec 12, 2012 1:07 PM EST
The ring and note that someone slipped into a Salvation Army kettle in Michigan. (Photo Courtesy of the Lamb Family)When Salvation Army organizers sifted through donations from Midland, Michigan, on Dec. 4, they found something more than the typical handfuls of change and dollar bills: An engagement ring and a handwritten note.Read More »from Paying it Forward, Jayden Style: Random Acts of Kindness in Honor of a Little Boy
Furby -- updated for 2012 -- is one of the hottest and hardest-to-find toys of the season. (Photo: Amazon.com)The hottest holiday toy for 2012 is an old favorite: Furby, a fluffy owl-like robot that sleeps, dances, talks, eats, and constantly "learns" new behavior, is flying off store shelves—and going for big bucks on the private market—around the world.
Related: The Truth About "Hot" Toys
Furby is one of the only toys to make it to the top of nearly every big retailer's "hot toy" list this holiday season; it's a big seller at Walmart, Toys R Us, Amazon.com, Kmart, and Target. The $54 toy comes in 10 colors, and while many stores still have at least a few of them in stock, most colors are sold out online, a Target representative told Yahoo! Shine. The most-popular colors—including "voodoo" purple, teal, and hot pink—are nearly impossible to come by.
"I remember when Furby had its first go around, so it's interesting to see it come back," Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala told Yahoo! Shine. "I don't know which colors are selling fast... but as we receive additional allocations, we'll be sure toRead More »from Furby: The Hottest Toy for 2012
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:38 PM EST
What would your workout be like if men and women switched stereotypes? (Photo: Yahoo! Screen)You know the stereotypes. At a bar, the guys are usually the ones trying to muscle in on Girls' Night Out. At the gym, the women are doing yoga and contemplating frozen yogurt while the guys are comparing protein powders and wondering why they signed up for the yoga class in the first place. And in a relationship? Do we even need to describe who's shopping and who's bored?
Yahoo! Screen has taken those stereotypes and turned them around in their new video series, "The Flip Side," directed by Jay Diaz and featuring a fun -- and funny! -- cast of characters. What happens when men and women trade roles? Take a look.
At the bar:
At the gym:
In a relationship:
Read More »from The Flip Side: What Happens when Men and Women Switch Roles?
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Holiday Guide – Tue, Dec 11, 2012 9:35 AM EST
words that most news outlets aren't allowed to print, prompting parents to call for a boycott of the trendy retail store.In what may be an effort to connect with a younger crowd, Urban Outfitters has laced its 2012 holiday catalog with
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"My whole family will be boycotting Urban Outfitters because of your profanity-laced products," Mary Streetman Lewis posted on the company's Facebook page. "SHAME ON YOU!!!!"
The products themselves aren't offensive: Candles, photo albums, mugs, and other knick knacks. It's what's on them that's causing outrage. One $24 candle, for example, looks like the classic LOVE sculpture, except that the four letter Urban Outfitters' version starts with F and ends with K. (It's available in the "Gifts for Guys that Don't Suck" section of the retailer's website.)
Other profanity-laced products include "Magic S**t" (a slime-like "stress reliever"), hip flasks emblazoned with curse words, and a throw pillow thatRead More »from Urban Outfitters' Curse-word Filled Holiday Catalog Sparks Outrage
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Fri, Dec 7, 2012 2:22 PM EST
Chris Hanmer's Chocolate Almond Cake.Cooking for a crowd this holiday season? According to world champion pastry chef Chris Hanmer, 2011 winner of "Top Chef: Just Desserts," Chris Hanmer, one of the best ways to reduce the stress levels is to start cooking -- or, at least, baking -- early.Read More »from Chris Hanmer: A Top Chef's Tips for Holiday Baking
"The great thing about desserts is that you can make a lot of them in advance," he told Yahoo! Shine in an interview.
"You don't have to do all your baking in one day," Hanmer, who is also the founder of the School of Pastry Design in Las Vegas, Nevada, explained. "My mom and other moms throughout the world have a count down clock. But you can actually push that back a couple of days."
Cookie dough freezes wonderfully, and you can make extra batches a few weeks before the holidays and then bake them up the day before company arrives (scoop the dough into balls before freezing).
Some people tend to fall into a baking rut around the holidays, serving up the same old sugar cookies, fruit cakes, and holiday pies. To add interest to a
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Tue, Dec 4, 2012 6:15 PM EST
Author Carol Cooke says that unskilled parents are the problem, not unmotivated kids.In "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," Yale law professor Amy Chua declared her "Chinese mother" parenting skills superior to those of lazy, touchy-feely "Western parents" and seems to say that pushing children to succeed academically is the best way to guarantee their success later in life. Longtime educator Carol Cooke says that she agrees -- up to a point.Read More »from Forget Tiger Mothers: Teach People How to Be Good Parents Instead
Related: The Opposite of a Tiger Mother? Leaving Your Children Behind
"We all want our children to succeed academically because today, more than ever, education is the key to success. Holding high expectations and communicating those expectations to our children on a regular basis is a point on which Amy Chua and I absolutely agree," Cooke told Yahoo! Shine in an interview. "Our points of view diverge on what comes after that, and the differences are clearly cultural."
In her new book, "America's Answer to the Tiger Mother: How to Raise Successful, Happy Children" Cooke points out that unskilled parents are the problem, not
- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting! (Photo: Getty Images)Now that the palace has confirmed that the Duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton is pregnant, questions abound. Does it matter whether the royal couple has a little prince or a little princess? Do members of the British royal family actually breastfeed? What will the royal birth announcement look like? We've gathered up a few of the frequently asked questions out there right now, and tracked down the answers.
Kate Middleton's Maternity Muse? Lady Di's Pregnant Years Provide Inspiration
Will Kate have a baby shower? Baby showers are an American tradition, not a British one, though no doubt well-wishers will send the parents-to-be plenty of presents. As they did for their wedding, the royal couple may encourage friends to make a donation to charity instead.
Who will be the godparents? Traditionally, the couple's best man and maid of honor are later asked to stand as godparents for the couple's firstborn child, so Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton areRead More »from Kate Middleton: Royal Pregnancy Mysteries, Solved
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Mon, Dec 3, 2012 4:27 PM EST
This former men's bathroom on the Boston Common has been made into a restaurant. (Photo: David L. Ryan/Boston Globe/Getty Images)The location of Boston's new Earl of Sandwich restaurant can't be beat—it's right in the middle of one of the busiest and most-visible parts of the Boston Common, the oldest public park in America. But the building's history may give some diners pause: The stone kiosk where workers will be prepping sandwiches for the lunchtime crowd used to be a public bathroom.Read More »from New Boston Restaurant Located in Former Public Restroom
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Known locally as The Pink Palace (the stone blocks used to build it are rose-colored), the 660-square-foot octagonal structure was built in the 1920s and used as a "men's comfort station" for about 50 years. It was closed in the 1970s and has spent four decades locked up tight, filled with old urinals, decrepit toilets, and rusting pipes.
Related: The 10 Weirdest Restaurants in the World
When the Florida-based Earl of Sandwich company announced that it would be opening a restaurant in the former restroom, reactions were mixed.
"This is a great opportunity to
Twin toddlers can be a handful by themselves. But when you add in a couple of newborns, the potential for chaos—and happiness—is enormous.
Thirteen-month-old twins Grayson and Garin Martin welcomed identical baby sisters, Hayden and Harley, last week. And their parents, Jaclyn and Chad Martin of Weatherford, Texas, are still reeling from the reality of having two sets of twins in a row. (For now, the tired parents tell which baby is which by looking at their hospital bracelets, which are still around the newborns' tiny wrists.)
Related: In One Family, Two Sets of Twins Born on the Same Day
"More than anything I was shocked to hear twins again," Chad Martin told CBS News. "I didn't believe it at first."
Having consecutive sets of twins without having undergone fertility treatments is very unusual. The odds "might be one in 10,000" says Jaclyn's OB/GYN, Dr. Stephen Stamatis, who delivered both sets of her twins at Weatherford Regional Medical Center. "It's pretty rare. It's the first Read More »from Family Welcomes Second Set of Twins in a Row
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine – Mon, Dec 3, 2012 10:09 AM EST
For curious minds, the internet offers near-instant gratification. And, judging by the most-popular "how-to" searches of 2012, Yahoo! users are definitely a curious bunch. You wondered about everything from building a deck (in March!) to buying Facebook stock (before it went public), and plenty of people were looking for tips on tackling common cooking conundrums. Here are a look at the most-searched how-to questions, and the answers you were looking for.
How to make a diaper cake. This baby shower gift/decoration became trendy after Carrie and Samantha lugged one to Miranda's baby shower on "Sex and the City" back in 2002. But apparently they're still popular, and if you want to make one they don't require any Martha-Stewart level decorating skills. All you need are disposable diapers (lots of diapers), wide ribbon, a baby bottle, and a handful of tiny baby toys. For each tier of the cake, wrap folded diapers around a baby bottleRead More »from The Top How-To Searches of 2012