Do you know what it's really like to live in a military family?While the White House's Joining Forces initiative has galvanized civilians hoping to help the families of U.S. servicemen and women, there are plenty of people who have little idea of what it's really like to live in a military family. Sometimes, it's too easy to focus on political differences instead of the people who are actually dealing with deployment-and more.
Dena Provenzano, a Chicago-area mother of four whose husband is a commander in the Army reserves, is dealing with deployment for the third time.
"It is such a challenge when they are preparing to go," she tells Yahoo! Shine. "He left January 4th. You can imagine our Christmas-everybody wanting to come see him, but everyone trying to give us space."
"You feel very anxious because you're counting down," she continues. "You're just trying to make all of these days memorable, but yet everyone is just feeling… there's this heightened sense of him going. It's very stressful on families."
1. Deployments come with plenty of
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | At Home – Tue, Nov 8, 2011 10:19 AM EST
Do you know what it's really like to live in a military family?While the White House's Joining Forces initiative has galvanized civilians hoping to help the families of U.S. servicemen and women, there are plenty of people who have little idea of what it's really like to live in a military family. Sometimes, it's too easy to focus on political differences instead of the people who are actually dealing with deployment-and more.Read More »from Life in a Military Family: 5 Things You Might Not Know
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Mon, Nov 7, 2011 3:00 PM EST
Yahoo! Shine went to the White House for an exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, where they talked about Joining Forces, the White House initiative to support military families. But Yahoo! and Yahoo! Shine readers submitted nearly 5,000 questions, and so we touched on a few other topics as well. Parenting in the public eye can be tough, but both the Obamas and the Bidens have certain traditions that help keep things simple and down-to-earth during the hectic holiday season, and they shared their secrets with Shine:Read More »from Exclusive: Michelle Obama and Jill Biden Share Their Families' Secret Holiday Traditions
During the interview, the First Lady and Dr. Biden also offered up some insight about what it's like to parent while being a public figure. "I don't think that the challenges that we face or that the mistakes or worries or concerns... I don't think it has anything to do with this, right?" The First Lady said, gesturing to the White House and the cameras and the handlers packed into the room during the interview. "It just has to do with the
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Mon, Nov 7, 2011 1:00 PM EST
Yahoo! Shine went to the White House this week for an exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. The conversation focused on Joining Forces, their initiative to support military families, but we had a chance to ask Dr. Biden the question that has Washington abuzz: Will Ashley Biden have a White House wedding?Read More »from Exclusive: Ashley Biden to wed in Delaware, Dr. Jill Biden tells Yahoo! Shine
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden's daughter, Ashley, accepted Philadelphia physician Dr. Howard Krien's proposal in September after dating for about a year. Last week, during an event in Delaware, the Vice President kept proudly calling Krien his "future son-in-law"-and Washington's social circles caught fire. Courtney Diesel O'Donnell, Dr. Jill Biden's communications director, confirmed the rumors earlier this week.
"Ashley recently got engaged and the Vice President, Dr. Biden and their entire family are thrilled," O'Donnell said in a statement.
Ashley Biden, 30, earned her master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Love + Sex – Mon, Oct 31, 2011 10:30 PM EDT
Ashey Biden gives her dad, Vice President Joe Biden, a kiss after receiving her master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice in May 2010. (Photo: Charles Fox/AP)The rumor started thanks to one of the Vice President's infamous slip-ups, but the happy news has officially been confirmed: Ashley Blazer Biden, the only daughter of Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, is engaged.Read More »from Ashley Biden, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden's daughter, is engaged
The lucky guy is Dr. Howard Krein, a Philadelphia-based ear, nose, and throat doctor who specializes in facial and reconstructive surgery. He and Ashley Biden, 30, a social worker, have been dating for about a year; Krien popped the question in September, the Huffington post reported.
On Friday, during an event in Delaware, the Vice President repeatedly referred to Krien as his "future son-in-law," sparking chatter about the engagement. A spokesman for Dr. Jill Biden confirmed the rumors on Monday.
"Ashley recently got engaged and the Vice President, Dr. Biden and their entire family are thrilled," Courtney Diesel O'Donnell, Dr. Biden's communications director, told CNN.
Also on Shine:
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Oct 28, 2011 11:30 PM EDT
Women taking newer birth control pills that pair estrogen with the synthetic hormone drospirenone, like the popular Yaz and Yasmin pills made by Bayer, have been found to have a 75 percent greater chance of getting a life-threatening blood clot than women taking an older formulation of the pill, the FDA says.
In a new study released Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a look at the medical histories of more than 800,000 U.S. women who were using various contraceptive products between 2001 and 2007. They found that, on average, women taking Yaz were far more likely to experience a blood clot than women taking birth control drugs with older, more well-tested formulations.Read More »from Certain birth control pills pose a greater health risk to women. Is yours on the list?
All birth control pills contain synthetic estrogen, but different drug companies combine estrogen with other different types of a synthetic version of the hormone progestin. These combination pills work by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus in order to prevent sperm from reaching
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Fri, Oct 28, 2011 7:19 PM EDT
The new, limited-edition Heinz ketchup with balsamic vinegar (Photo: Meredith Galante/Business Insider) Heinz is taking ketchup upscale, launching a new version of the classic condiment blended with balsamic vinegar.Read More »from Heinz offers foodies a fancier ketchup spiked with balsamic vinegar
The company's biggest fans get first dibs on dipping their French fries, though: The limited edition bottles will be available only via Heinz's Facebook page starting on November 14. The balsamic ketchup should be available in select Walmart and Safeway stores by the end of December.
"This is the first time we've offered a product for sale via Facebook in the U.S.," Jessica Jackson, group leader of public relations and communications for Heinz North America, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The company's Facebook page has more than 830,000 fans.
The new version made its debut in the United Kingdom back in March, also through Facebook, where critics declared it to be "a roaring success." Heinz decided to put the eight-sided, black-and-silver labelled glass bottles on supermarket shelves there, and started wondering if the product would work well in the United States as
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Thu, Oct 27, 2011 8:31 PM EDT
Mattel's Barbie I Can Be Pet Vet doll (Photo: Mattel.com)One of the problems some parents have with Disney's Princess Tiana and other dolls of color is that, even though their skin tone is some shade of brown, their hair is usually still classic Barbie, glossy and straight. Even Addy Walker, the African-American American Girl doll who escaped from slavery in the 1860s, has longer-than-waist-length, barely textured hair.Read More »from A Barbie with natural-looking African-American hair? How to make it yourself
If you're looking for an African-American doll that's rocking a pair of puffs, twist-outs, or braids (and you can't afford to spend a fortune on one), you'll probably have re-style it yourself-and that's where this awesome post from Black Girls with Long Hair, by NikG of Beads, Braids, and Beyond, comes in.
She takes a couple of standard Barbies-the "So In Style" Grace and Chandra dolls-and sets about transforming their long, straight tresses into bouncy, kinky, curls. So, Grace went from this:
So In Style Grace doll (Photo: Amazon.com)
Grace with her new 'do. (Photo: Black Girl with Long Hair via BeadsBraidsBeyond.blogpost.com)
For those of us with curly girls at home, the idea of giving our kids a doll that really looks like them is pretty
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Thu, Oct 27, 2011 3:39 AM EDT
President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Colorado Denver on October 26, 2011, about his new plan to lower the cost of paying back student loans. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images) On Wednesday, the Obama Administration announced that they were taking steps to ease the burden of student loan debt for college students via executive order, without seeking Congressional approval. But the plan may leave out hundreds of thousands of people who took out loans before 2008, and are still struggling to pay them off.Read More »from Obama moves to ease student loan debt, but will the new measures really help?
The President's new plan is part of a series of executive actions "to get the country back on track, because we can't wait for congressional Republicans to act," Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said during a press conference. In the U.S., people owe nearly $1 trillion in federal and private loans-more than they do on credit cards.
[What would you like to ask Michelle Obama or Jill Biden? Shine is taking your questions to the White House]
Talking to an audience of about 4,000 students at the University of Colorado-Denver that same day, President Barack Obama emphasized education and advancement instead of politics.
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Wed, Oct 26, 2011 6:39 PM EDT
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden, pose in the in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, after launching Yahoo! Shine is heading to the White House for an exclusive interview with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, focusing mainly on military families in honor of Veterans Day, and we want to ask them your questions!Read More »from What would you ask Michelle Obama or Jill Biden? We're bringing your questions to the White House!
Submit your questions at answers.yahoo.com.
Are you wondering how the draw down of of U.S. troops in Iraq will impact the "Joining Forces" initiative? Curious as to whether there was a particular military family whose story inspired them? Want to know about Dr. Biden's own experiences as a military mom? Submit your questions over at answers.yahoo.com and we may be able to include them in the interview!
Shine Senior Editor Lylah M. Alphonse has gotten the go-ahead to touch on a few other topics, too, including family life in the White House, parenting, fitness, food, and entertaining, so feel free to submit questions on those topics, too.
The exclusive interview will air on Yahoo! during the week of November 7, so be sure to check back for the link so you can
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:31 PM EDT
It's official: Doctors with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that 11- and 12-year-old boys also get the controversial HPV vaccine Gardasil, which is supposed to protect against cervical cancer.Read More »from HPV vaccine now recommended for boys. Would you have your son get the shot?
HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus, is a group of viruses spread by skin-to-skin and sexual contact. While there are more than 100 strains of HPV out there, only about 15 of them cause genital warts and cancers of the vagina, vulva, anus, penis, and throat as well as cervical cancer. Vaccinating boys before they become sexually active should prevent them from passing HPV along to their future sex partners.
But parents have balked at the idea of vaccinating young kids against a sexually transmitted disease, and medically unconfirmed reports of adverse reactions to Gardasil haven't helped the cause. According to Anne Schuchat of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, only 44 percent of girls have received one HPV vaccine, and just 27 percent