Friday, December 26, 2014

Music Friday: In Olivia Holt's Holiday Release, 'Snowflakes,' Some People 'Shine Like Diamonds in the Sun'

Welcome to another Christmas edition of Music Friday, when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we present Disney star Olivia Holt performing her holiday release, “Snowflakes,” an inspirational song about how we’re all unique and beautiful in our own way.


In the first verse, the 17-year-old sings, “Some people spend their whole life in the clouds / Some ride the wind and never hit the ground / Some will shine like diamonds in the sun / Heaven sent down each and every one.”

She uses diamond and snowflake imagery to deliver a powerful message about how we should embrace the qualities — and flaws — that make us different than the rest.

“Snowflakes” was first heard in 2013 on Disney’s Holidays Unwrapped Christmas Album, which featured performances by a number of popular Disney Channel favorites, such as Debby Ryan, Ross Lynch, Bella Thorne and Zendaya.

Three weeks ago, Holt released a beautiful, new acoustic version for Disney’s Playlist Sessions. The official video currently boasts more than 188,000 views on YouTube.

The Tennessee-born and Mississippi-raised Holt is best known for her starring roles in the Disney series Kickin’ It and the Disney Channel Original Series, I Didn’t Do It.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of a long list of Disney teen stars who have become successful pop stars, Holt recently signed a deal with Hollywood Records. Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jonas Brothers and Justin Timberlake are just a handful of Disney alums that have vaulted to top the music charts. Holt reported that producing her first album was a “heart-pounding experience.” It’s scheduled to release in 2015.

We know you will enjoy the video of Holt’s acoustic version of “Snowflakes.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Performed by Olivia Holt.

Some people spend their whole life in the clouds
Some ride the wind and never hit the ground
Some will shine like diamonds in the sun
Heaven sent down each and every one

We are snowflakes
Floating till we find our place
From a distance we may look the same,
but we're beautiful in our own way
We are snowflakes

Will I sparkle, will I drift or will I dance
Will I melt when I touch another's hand
Will I learn for my mistakes when I fall
And remember when I get to feeling small

We are snowflakes
Floating till we find our place
From a distance we may look the same,
but we're beautiful in our own way
We are snowflakes

And all I can do is do my best
What it is that makes me different from the rest
And nothing more,
and nothing less

Then snowflakes,
Floating till we find our place
From a distance we may look the same,
but we're beautiful in our own way
We are snowflakes
Mmm, yeah, snowflakes
Mmm, yeah...

Image: Screen capture via YouTube

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Are You Ready for the Most Romantic Night of the Year? Christmas Eve Ranks #1 for Marriage Proposals

Hey, guys. Tonight is Christmas Eve, and not only is it the most magical night of the year, it’s also the most romantic. Did you know that more men deliver marriage proposals on Christmas Eve than any other time of the year?

restaurant, couple and holiday concept - smiling man proposing t

According to a survey by Brides magazine, nearly one in five marriage proposals (19%) takes place during the month of December. reported that 39 percent of marriage proposals occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.

The U.K. web site was even more specific, ranking Christmas Eve (12/24), Christmas Day (12/25) and New Year’s Eve (12/31) as #1, #3 and #4, respectively, for marriage proposals. Valentine’s Day (2/14) rated #2.

While May and June remain the most popular months for weddings, the winter season seems to be the best time for getting down on bended knee and popping the question. Experts believe that the winter engagement phenomenon is attributed to two factors: the romantic nature of the season... and convenience.

The festive season seems to bring out the best in all of us. It’s a time of giving, and a time to cherish our families. And, certainly, there’s no better time to propose than when all the family is in town to celebrate with the newly engaged couple.

Other interesting takeaways from the Brides 2014 American Wedding Study include the following:

  • The average engagement ring costs $5,002; the average wedding rings cost $1,727;
  • 59% of brides-to-be posted a picture of their engagement ring after receiving it;
  • 46% say most of their friends learned about their engagement through social media;
  • After telling close friends and family about the engagement, 71% of brides-to-be changed their social-media status to “engaged”;
  • The average length of an engagement is 14.7 months;
  • 64% are using social media site Pinterest to aggregate inspiration for their big day;
  • Today's average bride is 28 years old and her groom is 29;
  • Almost all couples incorporate wedding traditions into their big day, including cake cutting, first dances, toasts... and wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue;
  • Couples spend $508 on gifts for each other. A timepiece is the top gift for the groom and jewelry is the top gift for the bride.
  • Couples will also spend an additional $760 on gifts for parents ($262), bridesmaids ($308), and groomsmen ($280).

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Widow Offers $21K for Bridal Jewelry Dropped Into Salvation Army Kettle, Hopes Rings Can Be Reunited With Owner

In the true spirit of the holiday season, a Boston woman offered $21,000 for the bridal jewelry dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle a few weeks ago — and made a special request that the rings be reunited with their original owner.


Recently, we featured the story of an anonymous woman who honored her late husband’s joy of Christmastime gift giving by selflessly donating her engagement ring and wedding band to the Salvation Army. She hoped the proceeds from the jewelry could buy toys for needy children.

“In all seasons, my husband was a giver,” said the note that accompanied the jewelry. “I especially remember his joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need. To honor his memory, I donate this ring."


Accompanying the jewelry in an envelope was a 2003 appraisal stating the engagement ring’s value at $1,850.

The widow was confident the three-stone engagement ring would yield far more than the amount stated on the 11-year-old appraisal. "I'm hoping there's someone out there who made lots of money this year and will buy the ring for 10 times its worth. After all, there's no price on love or the sentimental value of this ring. But money will help the kids."

The woman’s wishes were more than fulfilled when another Boston-area widow — and former Salvation Army bell ringer — offered $21,000 for the engagement ring and wedding band. Instead of taking possession of the rings, she requested that they be returned to their original owner.

“I want to be involved in this because it’s about the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving,” she told Salvation Army officials. “My wish is that the rings can be returned to this woman who gave them up in memory of her husband for the sake of children at Christmas.”

Like the rings’ owner, the second benefactor wished to remain anonymous and was motivated by the memory of her beloved spouse.

“I miss him dearly, but my husband would be happy that I am doing this,” she told the Salvation Army.

Even though the Salvation Army is dedicated to fulfilling the sentiment behind its donations, it’s not clear if the original donor will come forward to reclaim her rings.


“We certainly hope [she] has been paying attention to all the stories that this has generated and we hope that she’s been gratified,” Drew Forster, spokesman for the Massachusetts Salvation Army, told The Boston Globe. “Maybe she [will] come forward in light of this new information. But we have not heard from anyone at this point.”

Donations made to the Salvation Army are typically used to provide funding for food pantries, soup kitchens, social services and educational programs for children, families and seniors.

“We are just blown away by these gifts and the way it has captured people’s imaginations,” Forster told The Boston Globe.

Images: Screen captures via New England Cable News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Aussie Quiz Show Contestant Flubs $100 Question on 'Millionaire,' Mistaking a Snack Food for a Romantic Jewelry Keepsake

Competing to win a fortune on Australia’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” tour manager Whitney Beseler stunned a national audience and host Eddie McGuire when she flubbed the simple $100 question — mistaking a snack food for a romantic jewelry keepsake.


Beseler sat in the "Millionaire" Hot Seat Wednesday night when McGuire read the first question on the way to $1 million: “Which of the these is not a piece of jewelry commonly worn to symbolize a relationship between two people?”


Fans of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” know that the $100 question is often so simple that even a small child could answer it. In this case, the available answers were "A: Engagement Ring;" "B: Anniversary Ring;" "C: Wedding Ring;" or "D: Burger Ring."


What should have made the answer so obvious is that the fact that Burger Rings are a wildly popular burger-flavored, onion-ring-shaped snack food with a devoted following throughout Australia and New Zealand.


After hesitating for a moment, Beseler said, “Uh, I think I'm going to go with B on that one, Eddie, the anniversary ring.”

When the studio audience gasped, McGuire asked Beseler to have another look at the options, hoping the young woman would recognize and correct her embarrassing mistake. But, Beseler confidently locked in her original answer.


McGuire repeated the question one more time, and finally Beseler realized her blunder. “Oh my God, Eddie, that's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to me,” she said. “Can we cut and start again?”

But a redo was not in the cards.


Later in the show, the host brought Beseler back onto the set to offer her a rare consolation prize: a bag of Burger Rings.

More than one million YouTube viewers have seen the video of Beseler’s nightmarish appearance of “Millionaire.” Beseler has become an instant worldwide celebrity, but not in a positive way. She’s been the target of a relentless barrage of cruel and unflattering comments on social media.

The former physical education teacher told an Australian television station that the harsh criticism has inspired her to turn this experience into a way of educating and helping children understand and deal with bullying.

She acknowledged that the Burger Ring incident on “Millionaire” will be following her for a long time. "If my future [fiancĂ©] doesn't propose to me with a Burger Ring, he's obviously got no sense no humor," she told 9News.

Check out Beseler’s viral appearance on “Millionaire,” below.

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" screen shots: Channel9; "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" promo image: Supplied; Jewelry images:; Burger Rings images: Supplied.