Erin McKenna

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

  • Dawn Halfaker, a platoon leader platoon in the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, was on a routine combat patrol near Baghdad when one single moment dramatically changed her life. In the darkness of an early-morning drive, her group drove directly into an enemy ambush.

    Two weeks after the attack, Halfaker awoke in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and learned that she'd lost her right arm as a result of the ambush. "I just remember looking to my right side and seeing this big white bandage where my arm used to be just thinking that my life was over," she recalls. "Not only did I lose my arm, but I'd lost my career…everything that I'd worked toward. The first few days after I woke up were really, really difficult. As I got a little healthier, the reality started to set in of, 'Oh my gosh, this is the rest of my life. This isn't going away.'"

    Halfaker decided that wherever her path led her, she wanted to find a way "to serve." Today, she runs her own company, which

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  • Michelle Phan became a famous YouTube beauty guru with no formal training

    Over the past five years, legions of devoted young women have made YouTube beauty video bloggers, aka vloggers, like Michelle Phan superstars. Every month, more than 1 billion people check out YouTube, which has a core demographic of 18 to 34-year-olds (more millennials watch YouTube than watch any cable network). Those seeking advice and inspiration for their grooming routines no longer need to pay for expensive blowouts or go to a beauty counter for tips. YouTube experts share their mastery of makeup techniques and hairstyling, provide specific product recommendations, and walk you through even the most complex looks with step-by-step videos.

    Style-conscious fans have an ever-growing appetite for beauty tutorials, and many YouTube vloggers now have had hundreds of millions of views—and they're making bank. "Beauty is definitely a big part of the YouTube ecosystem and creators like Michelle Phan are showing how they can make a living from these kinds of videos," YouTube spokesperson Ch

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  • The are many ways to score a job, but nearly all of them require networking. Our experts offer real-world advice on how to make the right connections.
    by Lauren Sherman

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  • "You should never give up on your dream," says Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, an artist, performer, and Sesame Street puppeteer. You can only really measure success by what you contribute to the world, explains Leslie. As Sesame Street's Abby Cadabby and other characters, Leslie is making a difference in kids' lives each day.

    More on Shine: Choose a career you love

    Leslie started cartooning and drawing when she was a child with a big imagination. She even told her sister that she was moving to Sesame Street, because she knew she belonged there. But when Leslie was 11, her brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. After, she says her family dynamic changed, making the arts even more important to her.

    Leslie went to college at San Francisco State, where she designed a major in Child Development Through the Arts. She worked as an artist and performer before fulfilling her lifelong dream of joining Sesame Street in 2006.

    Shortly after, she came up with the idea for "fairy-in-training" Abby Cad

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  • By Raechel Conover,

    In case you're wondering, there are simple answers for what to buy in July. The Independence Day holiday is a turning point and once past, retailers start setting their sights on fall, which makes July a good shopping month to snatch up deals on mattresses, paint, jewelry, grills, and more. July is also National Ice Cream Month, as well as the height of the summer fruit and vegetable season. If you want to be really frugal and enjoy fresh produce for months to come, stock up now and freeze for later. Not sure how? Check out our Freezing Food to Save Money blog post.

    Swimwear prices are starting to drop.

    Related: Cheap air conditioner reviews and recommendations

    Furniture and Mattresses. Come August, the second semi-annual wave of new furniture models will hit stores. To make room on the showroom floor, furniture retailers must rid themselves of current inventory. Look for big discounts on furniture this month.

    As far as mattresses go, just like Memorial Day and Labor Day, the 4th of July h

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