Erin McKenna

When Erin McKenna decided to opened a specialty bakery in 2005, she little baking experience and had never run a business. B…

  • Photo by: Getty Images

    "What's the magic word?" my mother would always ask me when I was a child and begging for something. It turns out mom was wrong. The "magic word" for getting what you want isn't "please"—it's "yeah."

    Related: 7 Summertime Job Interview Mistakes to Avoid

    According to a paper published recently by rofessor Cynthia Rudin, PhD and Been Kim, PhD, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, "yeah" is the most persuasive word for getting a proposal or suggestion accepted at a business meeting.

    Related: Employee Communication Techniques That Work

    "We looked at data from 95 meetings," Rudin tells Yahoo! Shine. "We wanted to examine if persuasive words even exist." The researchers began their study with some skepticism, and were surprised to find that, again and again, the word "yeah" was correlated with success. The researchers did not analyze vocal enthusiasm of the speaker but simply the amount of number of times words were correlated with a positiv

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  • A raise during "slack-off" season? Sign us up!
    by Rebecca Milzoff

    In the summer, women leave work early 50 percent more often than men. C'mon, ladies!

    In the summer, women leave work early 50 percent more often than men. C'mon, ladies!

    Meryl Poster is still scarred by the sunny summer day she wore a trendy miniskirt to work. The cute outfit wasn't exactly inappropriate for her creative job as Miramax's vice president of production, but, she recalls, it still felt like "a weird one-off " in contrast to her generally more buttoned-up style. And sure enough, she had to fly unexpectedly to Montreal for a major meeting. "I felt foolish and unprofessional," says Poster, now an executive at the Weinstein Company. "The one day I took a laid-back approach to dressing, this happened."

    Turns out summer affects all kinds of choices people make about work, from what they wear to the time they clock out--and usually not for the better. In fact, office productivity drops 20 percent this time of year, according to a recent Captivate survey. But here's a counterintuitive suggestion from work experts: Approach the next three months right, and they can actually be your cha

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  • Laurie Rubin, opera singer and author of "Do You Dream in Color?", doesn't let the fact that she's blind stop her. She puts on her own makeup, makes jewelry, and goes skiing. "I go to movies," Laurie says. "Amazing, blind people go to movies."

    More on Shine: Moms who rock: 7 musical mothers singing for a cause

    She says that even as a young child, she knew she was blind, but didn't know what it meant. "It's very hard for somebody who's sighted to explain to somebody what sight is," explains Laurie. When she was four, Laurie began piano lessons. Laurie would sing along and create her own melodies, prompting her piano instructor to suggest voice lessons to Laurie's mom.

    When she was 14, Laurie got asked to sing at Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's inauguration. With her heart beating fast, she says she was afraid she would forget the words, but she got rave reviews with people calling her a "14-year-old singing sensation." "I remember thinking," says Laurie, "if I can do that, I can do

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  • Photo: Thinkstock

    By Lynn Andriani

    Milk Glass Cake Stands
    Consider it a ripple effect of the cupcake craze: Pastel-hued or white glass pedestals for cakes and other baked goods are some of the most sought-after retro items hiding in your china cabinet. Milk glass, which is opaque, generally isn't as valuable as crystal, but if it has a well-known manufacturer's name on the bottom (look for Duncan, Fenton, L.E. Smith or Westmoreland), it could be worth anywhere from $50 to $400.

    RELATED: Boost Your Mood By Redecorating

    Photo: Thinkstock

    Vintage Tablecloths
    When it comes to table toppers, Marghab is the name that trumps all; it refers to linens that are handmade on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Tablecloths, placemats and napkins from the '60s with the Marghab name are always in demand; a recent set of 10 napkins attracted bids of more than $200 on eBay. Jim "Griff" Griffith, eBay's senior manager of seller strategy, also says table linens from the Finnish design company Marimekko, known for its bright prints, are back in vo

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  • Allison Kopach, left, and Jenny Flores in the documentary "There She Is." Photo: Courtesy "There She Is"

    Allison Kopach is a pageant queen through and through. She loves glamorous gowns, heavy eye makeup and pretty much anything that sparkles. She also happens to be a size 20 and can totally work a runway—something she did to great effect two years ago when she was crowned Elite queen at the Miss American Beauties Plus Pageant. This week, a short documentary about her experience, “There She Is,” premiered online, brightening the oft-catty subject of pageantry with an empowering, body-positive tale.

    More on Shine: 'Fatkini' Sells Out! Why the Plus-Size Swimsuit is Summer's Hottest Look

    “I realize that not everyone is going to see me as a queen, and my hopes for the future are that people will learn to accept it just a little bit more,” she said in the film about plus-size beauty. The doc follows Kopach and fellow competitor Jenny Flores to and through the pageant, discussing body image and notions of beauty along the way. Flores shares hurtful tales about a boyfriend who told her she was “t

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