Five easy ways to celebrate the New Year with your kids. (Photo: Thinkstock)Staying up until midnight or partying the night away sounds like a great way to celebrate the New Year -- if you're an adult. But once you have kids at home, welcoming in the New Year takes a decidedly different tone. Here are a few easy ways to celebrate with your kids.
Related: Kissing at Midnight -- The History of the New Years' Eve Kiss
Make a day of it. When it's midnight in Mumbai it's just 1:30 p.m. in New York. Start your celebration at noon instead of midnight, and look at pictures from other countries as 2013 dawns in each time zone.
Have a family party before the grown-up party. You can still have friends over (or go out) to celebrate, but why not throw a party for your kids beforehand? Dress up, drink sparkling juice or cider out of pretty cups, and eat a celebratory dinner made up entirely of appetizers and finger foods (yes, you can still make it a well-balanced meal!). Ring in the New Year around your toddler's bedtime (midnight in London is 7 p.m. on the East Coast) and
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
Five easy ways to celebrate the New Year with your kids. (Photo: Thinkstock)Staying up until midnight or partying the night away sounds like a great way to celebrate the New Year -- if you're an adult. But once you have kids at home, welcoming in the New Year takes a decidedly different tone. Here are a few easy ways to celebrate with your kids.Read More »from Celebrating the New Year with Your Kids
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Fri, Dec 14, 2012 3:53 PM EST
Crime reporter Chris Redford was also fired from KTBS-TV on the same day as meteorologist Rhonda Lee. (Photo: KTBS-TV)A second KTBS-TV employee was fired the same day as meteorologist Rhonda Lee. But while the TV station says that, like Lee, longtime crime reporter Chris Redford lost his job for violating the station's social media policy, one source with ties to the station tells Yahoo! Shine that Redford was fired without warning for responding to a personal attack on his own Facebook page.Read More »from KTBS Crime Reporter Chris Redford Also Fired for Defending Himself Online
Related: 5 Job Mistakes That Went Viral
"He is an openly homosexual man that denounced gay slurs left on same KTBS site," the source, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, wrote in an email to Yahoo! Shine. "The only difference is he did not write on the KTBS Facebook page, he responded on his own PERSONAL FB page and was given NO prior warning."
Related: How Common is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Redford, whose twin brother is a New York City police officer, was defending a straight coworker who was being harassed online, the source wrote. KTBS station manager George Sirven told Yahoo! Shine in
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Fri, Dec 14, 2012 11:32 AM EST
What do you say when your kids ask you if Santa is real? (Photo: Thinkstock)When I was 7 years old, I was a True Believer in Santa Claus. One of my closest friends wasn't, though, and when he insisted that the Jolly Old Elf was a lie, I was shaken -- so much so that, when my parents reassured me that my friend was wrong, I didn't quite believe them.Read More »from Santa Survival Guide: What Do You Say when Your Kids Ask If Santa is Real?
Related: Kids-with-Santa Photos Gone Wrong
On Christmas Eve, we were invited to a party at that friend's house. I stuck close to my dad for the entire day (and bossed my younger brother into following my mom around the house), and we made sure that there was absolutely nothing under the tree when we left for the party. Once at my friend's house, I continued to shadow my parents, to see whether they left the party for any reason. They didn't.
Yet when we came home late that night, the presents were there. And my faith was restored. It wasn't until years later my dad confessed that, when he "ran back inside because he forgot the bottle of wine," he had frantically thrown gifts under the tree and returned to the car
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Secrets to Your Success – Thu, Dec 13, 2012 3:04 PM EST
This isn't the first time meteorologist Rhonda Lee's short hair has affected her job, she says. (Photo: Facebook)When a viewer took meteorologist Rhonda A. Lee to task online for having short hair, rather than for any job-related issues, she defended herself. But instead of supporting Lee or even deleting the offensive Facebook post, Shreveport, Louisiana television station KTBS fired her, saying she had violated the company's unofficial social media policy.Read More »from Meteorologist Rhonda Lee: Was She Fired for Defending Her Hair? UPDATED
UPDATE: Second KTBS Employee Fired for Defending Himself Online
Now, her fans are furious. Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition at causes.com asking that KTBS-TV rehire Lee, saying she was victimized twice, once by the viewer who wrote the insensitive remarks "and again by KTBS-TV."
"Rhonda Lee deserves to have her job back," the petition reads. "Her eloquent response to the bigoted and sexist remarks of viewer Emmitt Vascocu were warranted. Employers such as KTBS-TV should stand by their on-air talent when they are verbally attacked based on their looks, values or merit."
"I would never have dreamed in a million years that I would
- 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
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
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