Which Fitness Chain Has the Best Gym Membership for Your Budget?

Despite years of adding “lose some weight” to my list of New Year’s resolutions, I have yet to join a gym.

Not to make excuses (well, let’s be real — everyone who wants to avoid the gym is making excuses), but I’m incredibly indecisive when it comes to spending money on myself.

Except when it comes to food.

But getting in shape requires making a decision and a commitment to putting in the work. And it takes an investment — in time and often in money.

With so many options out there, how do you pick the best gym membership for you?

Our Guide to Finding the Cheapest Gym Membership

Let me start by saying choosing a gym is a very personal decision.

Size might be a significant factor. Location might be also important to you — maybe if you pass the gym along your normal commute, you won’t be going out of your way.

Well, to help make your decision a bit easier, we compiled information from six national workout chains so you can compare availability, costs and features.

Some gyms provide free trials, so be sure to take advantage of those offers before signing up for a membership.

Writer’s note: Individual membership costs are published as listed online as of May 17, 2019, and they are subject to change. Rates may vary based on location and current promotions.

1. Youfit Health Clubs

Where: Youfit Health Clubs has more than 100 locations in 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

How Much: The base membership fee is $ 10 a month. The premium tier (known as “Lime Card” access) costs $ 21.99 a month. When you sign up for the base membership, you’ll also pay for first and last month dues. Initiation fees vary depending on the membership package.

What’s Included: Depending on location, these clubs include top-of-the-line equipment, free weights, group fitness sessions, express circuits, personal trainers, tanning beds and childcare. Premium members can also bring a free guest with them for every visit and can visit any YouFit location.

Try It: Get a free guest pass for one-time use.

2. Planet Fitness

Where: Planet Fitness has over 1,800 locations in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada and the Dominican Republic.

How Much: Monthly dues are $ 10 for just one location or $ 19.99 to use any location. Annual fees are $ 39.99 and the start-up fee is $ 1. The $ 10 membership has no commitment.

What’s Included: These gyms include cardio and weight-training equipment, plus fitness training programs for all members. Some locations include massage chairs and tanning services. Many locations are open 24 hours a day.

Try It: Find the location nearest you.

3. Crunch Fitness

Where: Crunch Fitness has more than 300 locations for its regular gyms and 30 locations for its Signature gyms (which include more classes, upgraded amenities and more). Its gyms are located in 30 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and four Canadian provinces.

How Much: A base membership is $ 9.95 a month, a Peak membership is $ 21.95 a month and a Peak Results membership is $ 24.95 a month. Enrollment fees vary from $ 10 to $ 49.99 depending on your membership level. The annual fee is $ 78, prorated at $ 6.50 a month.

What’s Included: Depending on what type of membership you choose, you can take advantage of multiple perks at this gym, including a training orientation with a fitness expert, group fitness classes, online video workouts, tanning and Hydromassage. The Peak and Peak Results memberships can be used at multiple locations.

Try It: Try a free one-day trial.

4. LA Fitness

Where: LA Fitness has more than 675 locations in 27 states, Washington D.C. and Canada.

How Much: Monthly fees start at $ 24.99 for single-club access or $ 29.99 for multiple clubs within the same state. Initiation fees are $ 89.

What’s Included: Gyms include state-of-the-art equipment and cardio areas, group fitness classes, indoor heated pools, whirlpool spas and saunas. Some have kids’ clubs, juice bars and basketball and racquetball courts.

Try It: Find your local club to request a guest pass online.

5. 24 Hour Fitness

Where: 24 Hour Fitness has over 400 locations in 13 states — California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, New York and New Jersey.

How Much: Monthly fees start at $ 29.99, but can vary based on location and membership level. Members pay a one-time initiation fee, which starts at $ 29.99, and there’s also a $ 49.99 annual fee.

What’s Included: Gyms include studio and cycle classes. Most facilities also have an indoor lap pool and a Whirlpool. Members can take advantage of personal and group training. Get access to digital workouts you can complete at home without stepping foot in an actual gym. Parents of children ages 6 months to 11 years can drop their kids off for supervised fun time at nearly every location.

Try It: Use this three-day free pass.

6. Anytime Fitness

Where: Anytime Fitness has more than 4,000 locations in all 50 states and 36 countries across six continents. (That’ll likely soon change, as the chain recently announced plans to expand to Antarctica.)

How Much: Membership starts at $ 29.99 per month, but prices vary depending on location and current promotions. According to Anytime Fitness’s spokesperson, the average membership is $ 40 a month. Members also pay one-time initiation and key activation fees, which vary depending on the franchise.

What’s Included: Members have access to cardio machines, weights and strength training equipment, as well as classes and wellness programs. Some locations offer tanning and personal training. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Try It: You can get a free seven-day pass.

Other Alternatives to Popular Chain Gyms

If none of these chain gyms suit your fancy, you could always join your local YMCA or set up a home gym to get your workouts in.

You could also incorporate fitness into your daily routine by trying one of these nine inexpensive gym alternatives. Running is one of the options on that list; this post on tips and tricks for finding discounted running shoes can help ease your stride.

Or you could lace up those shoes and march right into the gym!

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She sympathizes with the struggle of getting in shape. 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Best water parks in the world


Water parks are great for making adults feel like they’re kids again, and for making kids have a ton of fun. The whole family can splash around in the pool or set their pulses racing by enjoying the water slides. There are plenty of water parks all over the world, and we reckon we’ve discovered the best of the best. Check out these amazing water parks found across the globe.

Typhoon Lagoon – Florida, USA

Disney isn’t content with taking over the movie business and is pretty high up on the list of amazing water parks too. Typhoon Lagoon is considered the best water park in the United States and given the competition that’s pretty impressive. There are water attractions aplenty as everywhere you turn offers you thrills and spills.

Not only can you get your heart racing with the slides but there are wildlife attractions to bring you face to face with some amazing marine life. Shark Reef is where you’ll want to head to meet those animals, but that’s not all, there’s also a giant raft ride on Gangplank Falls. Then as if that wasn’t enough you can even take surf lessons in their wave pool.

Typhoon Lagoon

WetSide Water Park – Hervey Bay, Australia

Water parks bring in thousands of people every year, and for a relatively small fee, you can go inside and have the time of your life. One thing that sets the WetSide Water Park apart from the others is the fact that this Australian attraction is completely free for anyone wanting to visit.

It won’t cost a cent to enjoy most of the park which is based around educating people about water and the wildlife that lives in it. There is a small cost for those who want to ride the wave machine on a board, but for $ 6 you can’t really have an issue.

Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia

Indonesia has become a hotspot for backpackers in recent years, but there is plenty here for families too. Waterbom Bali has some of the most original rides found anywhere in the world, and the park really pushes the boundaries. You can enjoy the Water Blaster, where you take aim and fire water balloons at riders, or get competitive against a friend on the Twin Racers ride. There’s, of course, a lazy river to take in, plus Asia’s steepest slide.

Waterbom Bali

Siam Park – Tenerife, Spain

There can be no real dispute that Siam Park in Tenerife, Spain, is the greatest water park in the world. According to TripAdvisor, it has been the top water park in the world for five years in a row. There are plenty of adrenaline pumping slides and rides for people to get their pulses racing, but there’s so much more.

To contrast the thrilling attractions there are family-friendly areas and even some spots for peace and quiet. There are over 30 rides for guests to enjoy, meaning you’ll probably end up not doing any twice in one day there’s so much choice. Siam Park also has its own wave pool, and even holds a world record for the largest ever man-made wave.

These are some of the best places in the world to get wet and wild at a water park. If you can’t have fun or enjoy yourself at these amazing locations then perhaps water parks really aren’t your thing.

The post Best water parks in the world appeared first on Worldation.

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Relive the top 10 best ‘Game of Thrones’ moments before the finale

It’s hard to believe, but “Game of Thrones” is ending after nearly a decade on the air. The world’s biggest show had its ups and downs along the way, but there’s a reason it riveted millions of fans around the globe. Ahead of the series finale, celebrate its top 10 moments across all eight seasons….
Entertainment | New York Post

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Beyond the Silicon Valley app economy: Tech’s best new ideas are not from California

As the most-hyped Silicon Valley IPOs like Uber and Lyft stumble out of the gates, the app economy fueled by billions in venture capital is looking vulnerable. And many of the best new ideas in tech are not coming from California.
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Memorial Day is next weekend, and if you don’t have plans locked down, we think you should throw a party.

Hear us out.

This is your chance to assert yourself as the host with the most of the friend group. Essentials like a gas grill, a beer brewing kit, and a 4K TV are all you need to keep guests entertained, and there are a ton of TVs on sale this week. Don’t worry, most have free two-day shipping.

Sale TVs from Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and PCMag range from 40 to 86 inches, but our favorite deal is this 65-inch from Samsung that’s just $ 597.99 — nearly 50% off its original price.

Here are our favorite TV deals for this weekend: Read more…

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Take Your Pick: The 20 Best Fruit Farms Across the United States

Nothing quite compares to that zesty burst of flavor that you get from luscious strawberries, juicy raspberries, tart cherries, succulent peaches, earthy greens, and crisp apples, especially when you pick them yourself. No matter where you live in the United States, chances are that there are some great “u-pick” farms right in your own backyard. There’s no need to head to a restaurant for farm-to-table freshness when you can try your hand at picking your own produce at some of these beloved locations across the country.
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The Best Vegan Shoes for Work

Since it’s now been a couple of years since we last shared some recommendations for non-leather shoes, it’s time for another roundup of the best vegan shoes for work. (Prior to that post, we also recommended six brands for the stylish vegan professional, for both clothing and accessories.) The brands below offer many casual styles, but they also provide office-appropriate options that include flats, pumps, oxfords, loafers, boots, and booties. What are your favorite vegan shoe and accessory brands? Are you able to buy them from mainstream sites/stores or do you have to get them from more specialized places? 

{related: the best cruelty-free beauty products}

Here are five brands that offer some of the best vegan shoes for work: 

BC Footwear

pictured above: one / two / three

Available at Nordstrom and Amazon, as well as BCFootwear.com, these shoes are cruelty-free and PETA-certified as vegan. In addition to not using leather for the main part of each shoe, the company also ensures that all components (linings, etc.) are not made from animal products — and that includes the glue, which is free from casein, gelatin, beeswax, etc. BC Footwear uses uses materials such as microfiber, bamboo, hemp, and high-grade polyurethane, and shoes in its Recycled collection (currently, only two styles are categorized that way) are made from scrap materials from production. The pictured shoes range from $ 79–$ 89.

Sudo 

pictured above: one / two / three

Sudo doesn’t have a lot of specific information on its website regarding its production, etc., but it does note that the shoes it makes are “all vegan.” A rep for the company told me that Sudo closed its Boston brick-and-mortar store last year — but it still sells its shoes online, and many styles are available. The pictured ones are $ 69–$ 96.

Ahimsa  

pictured above: one / two / three

Ahimsa shoes, which are also available at Amazon, are made in Brazil in the world’s only 100% vegan shoe factory, where almost all production is done by hand, and sustainability is a priority. The company’s vegan leather is made from polyurethane, and the website addresses the inherent environmental concerns on the vegan leather page. Ahimsa also makes a small selection of accessories. The pictured styles range from $ 85 (Amazon price) to $ 139.

Novacas

pictured above: one / two / three

MooShoes.com, which we mentioned in our last post on vegan shoes, sells cruelty-free shoes and accessories from brands like Matt & Nat, Birkenstock, and Olsenhaus — but they also have their own brand, Novacas (which, translated literally, means “no cows” in Spanish). The shoes (and bags) are ethically produced in European factories and are designed as “updated styles of classic favorites.” The pictured styles range from $ 130–$ 140.

Veerah

pictured above: one / two / three

Shoes from Veerah are cruelty-free and responsibly sourced (the sustainable materials used include apple peels, plastic bottles, and cork), and at least 1% of proceeds go to charity. Besides the shoes themselves, the brand sells unique, removable “accessories” for them, including fringe, ankle straps, and brooches. Depending on your office, they may not be work-appropriate, but they could work well as little desk-to-dinner additions. Veerah’s shoes are pricier than the brands above, and the pictured styles range from $ 268–$ 288.

What have you found to be the best vegan shoes for work? What shoe materials do you choose to avoid leather?

The post The Best Vegan Shoes for Work appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Scouted: I’ve Been Sleeping on Brooklyn Bedding’s Hybrid Mattress for a Month. It’s the Best Sleep I’ve Ever Had.

Yes, it’s time to sleep on a real mattress, one designed and engineered to support your body and back for years. And while it’s an investment, it’s one worth making: You’ll be spending more time on this thing than you will in your car, on vacation, or on your couch. Budget for it accordingly.

Choosing your mattress is a big deal and requires careful deliberation — it’s also important to choose high quality and comfort in a surface on which you’ll be spending about a third of your life. Like sleep personality Nancy Rothstein told me back in March: “Before heading off to buy a new mattress, the first thing people need to do is look at the value of sleep.” That’s been on my mind since I’ve been sleeping on Brooklyn Bedding’s new Bloom Hybrid mattress — hybrid meaning it combines the versatility of foam with the steadfastness of coils.

It’s by far the most comfortable thing I’ve ever slept on, and my partner and I normally spend our first few minutes in it writhing in bed-comfort bliss — it’s probably adorable. But seriously, I enjoy this bed in three distinct ways. First is the entrance, the moment I lie in it and all my weight leans into its enveloping and comforting support. Second is the sleep. The common fatigue of restless nights is a thing of the past for me now. And third: Waking up is reinvigorating. I bounce up and out of bed and have been relying less and less on snoozes (this morning was only two!). As long as I can help it, I’ll never be going back to a mattress that’s anything less than this level of perfection.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Demi Lovato Thanks Best Friends Who Were There in Her ‘Darkest Moments’

Demi Lovato dedicated an Instagram post to the best friends who were there for her in her most challenging times as she shared a photo from their recent vacation in Bora Bora on Tuesday, May 14.

“Thank you for never leaving me in my darkest moments, for always drying my tears.. even when they’re from watching Moana,” the 26-year-old added, tagging pals Sara Elizabeth Mitchell (a.k.a. hip hop artist Sirah) and Matthew Scott Montgomery.

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#ThreeCourseMeal… just me and my best friends living our best lives.. Thank you for never leaving me in my darkest moments, for always drying my tears.. even when they’re from watching Moana.. thank you for being loyal, honest and so grateful for every little thing.. like crying because we swam with fish/sharks/stingray and coral reef. I’m so lucky to be best friends with two incredible souls who are so talented and creative because it inspires me daily. And you’re so supportive of me and every little thing I do.. You’ve traveled across the country to visit me and stayed with me at my house for days on end when I’m struggling to make sure I’m okay but most importantly you never abandoned me like others did when I was going through shit.. you were there to listen, without judgement and only love and I can never fully express what that means to me. You’re the greatest friends I’ve EVER had and our future together is so bright. I love you both more than you can imagine!! Thank you for this past week 💗 @sirahsays @matthew_scott_montgomery ps. I’m both yalls biggest fans 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

A post shared by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

“Thank you for being loyal, honest and so grateful for every little thing.. like crying because we swam with fish/sharks/stingray and coral reef,” she added. “I’m so lucky to be best friends with two incredible souls who are so talented and creative because it inspires me daily. And you’re so supportive of me and every little thing I do.”

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato at 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2017 held at The Forum on December 1, 2017 in Inglewood, California. David Acosta/Image Press Agency / MEGA

Lovato, who survived a drug overdose in July 2018, said that Mitchell and Montgomery are two of her most steadfast supporters. “You’ve traveled across the country to visit me and stayed with me at my house for days on end when I’m struggling to make sure I’m okay but most importantly you never abandoned me like others did when I was going through s–t,” she wrote in the post. “You were there to listen, without judgement and only love and I can never fully express what that means to me. You’re the greatest friends I’ve EVER had and our future together is so bright. I love you both more than you can imagine!”

“Thank you for this past week,” she concluded. “PS. I’m both yalls biggest fans.”

Since the overdose, the “Confident” singer has sought treatment twice and has gotten a tattoo to celebrate six months of sobriety. “Demi is determined to stay motivated and sober,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in April. “She knows at the end of the day everything is reliant on her own decision-making process.”

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‘Killing Eve’ Wins BAFTA Award For Best Drama Series

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA celebrated the stars of the small screen Sunday night.

BBC-produced spy-action thriller ‘Killing Eve’ won three BAFTA awards – for best Drama Series, Leading Actress for Jodie Comer and Supporting Actress for Fiona Shaw.

Patrick Melrose, based on Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels, received the award for best Mini-Series, while
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Redditor’s Spongebob Makeup Proves Memes Are the Best Response to Criticism

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10 of the best UK B&Bs for vegetarians and vegans

Not a sausage in sight – well, only veggie ones – at the B&Bs we’ve selected to celebrate the start of National Vegetarian Week

A gothic house built in 1859 and set in 80 acre grounds, this Lake District guesthouse has 18 rooms, with views over the Vale of Esthwaite, Windermere and the fells beyond. Inside rooms are wood panelled, with antique furniture and print-heavy decor; outside the grounds include orchards and an organic vegetable and herb gardens, used in the veggie continental or cooked breakfast. Beyond the gardens, walking trails head up to Tarn Hows (one mile), or the villages of Ambleside (six miles) and Windermere (nine miles). The guesthouse also hosts classical and contemporary jazz concerts and all-inclusive yoga retreats (from £295pp for two-nights).
Doubles from £95 B&B, yewfield.co.uk

Continue reading…
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Our 14 Best Vintage Buys – Thrift Store Clothing & More

If you’re a regular reader of the Gentleman’s Gazette, I’m sure you’re aware of how much we adore anything vintage related to menswear. We decided to share with you our top vintage items that are definitely worth every penny.

Vintage DB navy overcoat, brown corduroy, tan shoes, burnt orange and gray scarf from Fort Belvedere
DB navy overcoat, brown corduroy, tan shoes, burnt orange and gray scarf from Fort Belvedere

Overcoats

Raphael has a paletot, a double-breasted British warm, fur coats and all of them are vintage. They were really inexpensive and really warm and he was often complimented when he wore one of them. Preston echoes that sentiment, as well. He has two colors; one is a camel hair color, the other one is navy. He got them both in second-hand shops for a fraction of the price of what you would get for a new overcoat so they were both really steals. They’re both longer than typical overcoats you would find today and that keeps you warmer.

Vintage Rolex Watch
Vintage Rolex Watch

Watches

Vintage watches can be an excellent find but it comes with a caveat. You have to know what you’re looking for and also in terms of making sure that the watch can actually run, you can get it repaired if you go to a competent watchmaker but you have to consider several factors when buying a vintage watch. The number one thing most people underestimate is maintenance. Just having a watch cleaned costs you $ 250, at the minimum. If you go to the official Rolex dealer, it’s $ 700, maybe even over $ 1000. So if you buy this watch that is cheap but doesn’t run, it may end up costing you a lot just for repairs.

Sven Raphael's ring collection
Sven Raphael’s ring collection

Rings & Jewelry

Raphael loves rings while Preston, on the other hand, simply did not get in the habit of wearing them. As for cufflinks, you can find a lot of it, even on eBay. So if you know what to look for and the pictures are good, you can find all kinds of vintage jewelry for just a couple of dollars. The story and personality behind each vintage jewelry make it all the more interesting. Plus, It’s going to cost you a fraction of what you would pay for a brand new one.

China & Silverware

First of all, most people don’t want to have it anymore and rather than eating out of plain IKEA plates, it’s nice to have beautiful China. They are rather inexpensive; you can get gold plated edges for the price of an IKEA plate or even less. Having statement pieces like that is not only fun; if you happen to have company, you can actually break out some awesome vintage China that you’ve got and your guests are going to think it’s that much more special too. You don’t have to go for those earlier Victorian styles; there are those with a mid-century modern feel as well.

Vintage Ties
Vintage Ties

Ties

Preston got a few of his vintage ties with micropatterns from Goodwill for only a dollar or two. Luckily, for him, his relatives and friends had some great vintage ties that were given to him. So, if you know who to talk to, you can get them for free! Raphael got most of his ties from Goodwill and he used them for inspiration to design Fort Belvedere ties. One little tip here, just pay attention, oftentimes, they’re stained or they have moth holes. If you go to a vintage store, they charge you $ 20 for a tie and sometimes, that’s not worth it because the thread is coming apart. So definitely make sure to inspect it. Also, tie it because vintage ties are often a lot shorter so they may not work for you.

Vintage waistcoat
Vintage waistcoat

Waistcoats/Vests

Especially in England, you find them a lot. What’s great with odd vests is that you could probably get them resized fairly easily, you don’t even have to worry about sleeve length which is a big plus! They usually have adjusters in the back so you can easily put them on. You just have to cover your waistband, basically, and they’re just a great way to change the look of your suit or your sport coats and some people even wear them without a jacket.

A traditional Chesterfield in a modern space
A traditional Chesterfield in a modern space

Furniture

A lot of the furniture that Raphael and his wife got is vintage or semi-vintage. They bought a Chesterfield sofa from Craigslist from Phoenix and had it shipped over and at the end, it cost them 15% of what a new sofa would have cost in the area. So not only was it a bargain but it actually fit better into the style of their home decor. The same is true for rugs. A lot of people now don’t like rugs and you can find some patterns at IKEA or like Big Box stores but there are really cool Persian rugs, sometimes for $ 300. They help dampen the sound, keep your room easier to walk on, the temperatures more comfortable, and overall, they can look good if it’s part of your style.

Decor & Lighting

Raphael is also fond of vintage paintings, lightings, and chandeliers. A gilded bronze chandelier, which sells for a few hundred dollars, will stand the test of time while a cheap light from Home Depot, will cost you the same but it’s made of a composite material that will just age very poorly.

Antique show in Brimfield
Antique show in Brimfield

Brimfield Flea Market Finds

If you are into vintage at all, the best place to go to is a flea market called Brimfield in Massachusetts. It is ginormous! There are hundreds of vendors. Raphael went there with his wife for a whole week and they would go every day and still didn’t manage to cover the entire market. You can find super cheap stuff, super expensive stuff, very unique stuff, clothes, jewelry tweed jackets, and it’s just overall a fantastic experience.

Vintage Hats
Vintage Hats

Hats

A great thing about vintage hats is the quality of the felt and they have a lot more colors. Hat bands can easily be replaced with your color of choice if you know a local hatter. By doing so, it changes the look of your hat entirely. The other thing to consider is most of them have these leather sweatbands inside. You could always exchange them and put in new ones. If you want that 1930s Fedora style, on eBay, that can be really pricey because that’s super popular. Other hats, on the other hand, are a lot less.

Just so long as you can pay attention to the pictures if you’re shopping online or just doing a thorough check if it’s in person, make sure that it’s in good condition and you’ll get a lot of use out of it. If you go with a bowler hat or a top hat, you have to try them on because they’re in a stiff shape so if the hat is size 60 or 7 1/2 and that’s what you usually have, it may still not fit and you get a really bad headache if you wear them because they just push on your brain.

Vintage English madder silk bow tieVintage English madder silk bow tie
Vintage English madder silk bow tie

Bow Ties & Pocket Squares

Raphael is also a fan of vintage bow ties and pocket squares. He once went to an Estate sale in Minneapolis and he stumbled upon a rich collection of bow ties from Paul Stewart that were printed in England. If you go to Google Maps or just look elsewhere, even word-of-mouth, find some of those little hole-in-the-wall establishments that you might not normally look for, they might have some great finds especially if they’ve got something like a bargain basement.

full canvas vintage rowing blazer made in England with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere
full canvas vintage rowing blazer made in England with red knit tie by Fort Belvedere

Jackets & Suits

A vintage suit often has interesting details, silhouettes, styling, and on top of that, it has the advantage of a heavier fabric that just drapes better more naturally so even if it doesn’t fit 100%, it looks very neat. They are usually made of hard-wearing fabrics compared to the modern suits produced today. So if you are a fan of thin and flimsy suits, maybe vintage is not ideal for you.

Preston in Warm Weather Black Tie
Preston in Warm Weather Black Tie

Evening Wear

Back in the day, people had more use for those garments so you see a greater variety of tuxedos, dinner jackets, and tailcoats.

What do you think of our selection? Share with us your favorite vintage items in the comments section below!


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Trump’s tariff tactic is the best way to finally make China stop cheating

China’s Communist rulers have no one to blame but themselves for the reported breakdown in trade talks with the Trump administration. Remember last December, when President Trump met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to talk trade? Xi looked Trump in the eye and promised to stop cheating. Not once, but 140 times….
Opinion | New York Post

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The Best Social Reactions to Royal Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

The wait for baby Sussex is finally over.
On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, welcomed their first child, a baby boy weighing 7 lbs. and 3 oz. On Wednesday, the couple made their first appearance together as a family in Windsor, later revealing in an Instagram post the baby’s name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Read More: See Photos of Meghan Markle’s Maternity Style
The name choice comes as a surprise as British bookmakers saw the most bets placed on more traditional British royal names, like Albert, Arthur, Alexander, James and Phillip. However, the Internet has already started having fun with the name, many making references to the titular character of the Archie Comics series and the CW show it inspired, “Riverdale,” whose main, red-haired character is named Archie Andrews.
Read on to see more social reactions to baby Sussex, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

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and y'all thought you were the biggest Riverdale stans. Welcome royal baby Archie, earl of Riverdale.
A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on May 8, 2019 at 9:47am PDT

i'm baby
— Archie Comics (@ArchieComics) May 8, 2019

Archiekins!
— Netflix US (@netflix) May 8, 2019

Best. Crossover. Ever. #Riverdale goes ROYAL.

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Best places in the world for seeing amazing wildlife


The world is a magical place filled with amazing sights and creatures. Some of us are lucky enough to have nature on our doorstep but others are not, and the only jungle they see is of the concrete variety. There are places all over the world that are amazing to visit wildlife and here are some of the best of them.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

There is a hugely diverse array of animals on this tropical island and few humans ever come into contact with them. In fact, it is largely only visited by biologists who study these animals, everyone else more or less has to stay away.

There are some amazing animals to be found there including exotic birds, mammals, and reptiles. It is possible to visit the islands, but people who are not natives are unable to buy a one-way ticket to these amazing islands.

Best places in the world for seeing amazing wildlife

Borneo

Every year there are more and more species of animals being added to the list of inhabitants and the last count was well over 400. The island is the third largest in the world and is home to the Sumatran rhinoceros, Asian elephant, and a dwindling number of orangutan. Bird lovers can come here to take in the hundreds of different varieties, but there’s more.

There is a mountain to climb to get a bird’s eye view of the island, and if you take to the waters, you can enjoy watching the marine life flourish below the surface. You can even watch the sea turtles laying their eggs on the beaches if you time it right.

The Pantanal, Brazil

The Amazon rainforest gets plenty of plaudits for being one of the best places to see wildlife in the world, but there is somewhere in Brazil that’s arguably better. The Pantanal gives wildlife lovers the chance to see some of the regions most celebrated animals up close.

Tours come in the form of river cruises, which means you can wade through this wetland by boat, taking in the wonderful jaguars, giant otters, tapirs, and anteaters in safety. There’s no need to fight through a dangerous jungle, and you get to see an abundance of wildlife, it’s a win-win.

Best places in the world for seeing amazing wildlife

Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Tigers are the biggest of all cats and also arguably the most striking thanks to their distinctive pattern. Being able to see a tiger in the wild is an experience that few people in the world have had. They are so elusive, but there’s more to this tiger reserve than stripey cats.

It is the home of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and you’ll find all of your favorite animals from the tale here. There are sloth bears, leopards, Indian wolves, Bengal tigers, and even jackals. While it’s never guaranteed when it comes to wildlife, your best chances of seeing tigers is between March and May because the forest dries out and tigers stay near water.

There are many places all over the world to see wildlife, even in your backyard. To see some of the world’s most exotic animals check out these places and we reckon you won’t regret it.

The post Best places in the world for seeing amazing wildlife appeared first on Worldation.

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Beauty Of 5: The Best Lip Stains For Lightweight, Longwearing Lip Love

Carefree is the way to go

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Lipstick is by far my favorite part of beating my face and I love to try it all—the nude, the bright, the bold, and the unusual. When I’m not experimenting with wild colors, however, I love the option of a subtle flush of color. That’s where lip stains come in. Lip stains are great for those no-makeup makeup days when you want a pop of color to enhance the beauty of your natural lips. Keep reading to find five of the best lip stain options for cute, comfortable, on-the-go wear.

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Best Shoe Deodorizer For Stinky Feet

Over time, shoes tend to take on an unpleasant odor especially when we wear them regularly. Discover these quick and easy techniques to use to eliminate unwanted stinky feet and how to keep your shoes smelling fresh in the future.

What Causes The Unpleasant Smell?

In general, though, these odors are caused by a mix of oils secreted from our skin along with bacteria feasting on them all in a mix of perspiration, gross, right? To get rid of them though, you won’t want to use the same technique that we laid out in our previous odor removal video. This is because leather won’t respond as well to liquid as fabric would. Similarly, using a spray made from an essential oil might be effective at neutralizing odor but generally speaking, you’ll want to keep your leather goods away from liquids as much as possible.

Organic Lavender Sachet
Lavender Sachets will only mask the odor and not actually eliminate it

Odor Masking Shoe Deodorizer

This is just simply covering up an unpleasant odor with a different scent instead of actually neutralizing that bad odor in the first place. Therefore, using perfumed deodorizer balls and other similar implements might cover up some of that nasty odor but they won’t actually get to the root of the problem and in fact, many of these deodorizer balls don’t smell that great, to begin with, and even if you were to opt for a more natural solution here, like using a sachet of lavender, for example, you’d only be masking the underlying odor, not eliminating it.

What You Need To Eliminate Shoe Odors

So what would be a better next step then? Simply put, it would be using a solid material that acts similarly to how vodka does with fabric which is to say a material that encapsulates and draws in offending odors.

Baking Soda & Activated Charcoal

Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is often used as a household cleaning agent and deodorizer in addition to a baking ingredient. You may, for example, be aware of the trick of keeping an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to eliminate any food odors that might be happening there. Meanwhile, charcoal which is produced by heating wood or other natural substances in the absence of oxygen can further be activated through various scientific processes which are too complex to touch on here. All that you really need to know is that this activation results in a charcoal that has many small pores which will readily absorb odors.

These materials can be used individually as is the case with bags of charcoal that may be inserted into your shoes or they can be used in combination, as is the case with many available odor fighting insoles. One note here with both of these materials, just don’t be tempted to use any loose powder forms of either as they’ll probably just end up gumming up your shoes over time.

Cedar Shoe Trees – The Natural Shoe Deodorizer

Shoe trees are wooden or plastic forms roughly shaped like feet that are inserted into your shoes to help them maintain their natural shape and size. We recommend that you use shoe trees made from cedar as they’ll wick away any moisture remaining in your shoes after wearing and they’ll also eliminate odors given that cedar is naturally antimicrobial.

So with the odor fighting trio of cedar, activated charcoal, and baking soda, you’ll be well on your way to fighting any odors that might crop up in your shoes and you’ll be able to keep them smelling fresh in the future.

Stop Moisture From Building Up In Your Shoes

The best way to do this is to not wear the same pair of shoes multiple days in a row. You should be able to rotate which pair of shoes you wear each day which is just one of many reasons to build up a reputable shoe collection.

Which of the techniques were you most surprised by? Do you happen to use any of these odor-fighting materials in your shoes already? Share with us in the comments section below.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The Best Memes From the Met Gala 2019

The Met Gala is always a breeding ground for Internet fodder, and this year’s camp theme proved the perfect catalyst for a number of fashion memes.
With a theme that encouraged bold, over-the-top and, at times, ridiculous looks, the Internet gladly took to turning designer wares into kitschy memes, comparing Kim Kardashians’ custom Thierry Mugler look to a croissant and Katy Perry’s Moschino chandelier to Lumière from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” among others.
Read more: All the Red Carpet Looks at the Met Gala 2019
The Met Gala pink carpet also produced a number of topical memes, referencing HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Marvel’s “Avengers.” Florence Welch, dressed in custom Gucci, was compared to the Night King from “Game of Thrones,” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s green gemstone brooch was compared to the time stone that his character Doctor Strange protects in the Marvel Studios franchise.
Read on to see more memes from the 2019 Met Gala.

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This concludes our Met Gala broadcast. See you next year 💫
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The 6 Best Home Improvements You Can Make in Allergy Season

Prepare yourself for seasonally elevated pollen counts as well as all-year-long allergy triggers like dust and mold by taking care of a few home maintenance tasks and adding some useful equipment to your shopping list.

The following article is paid advertising created in partnership with SupplyHouse. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

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Peter Frampton: I want to go out playing my best

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The Hunt: The Best Dresses for Work

collage of dresses for work

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Pictured at top: one / two / three / four / five

It’s hard to beat the classic sheath dress for work — it’s a blank slate that you can dress up for an important work event with a blazer and sleek heels, but also dress down with a cardigan and a funky flat or a sandal. What I look for in a great sheath dress for work these days includes:

  • thick enough straps or sleeves that there is no chance of bra straps showing through — look for lingerie snaps inside dresses to keep your bra in place, or ask your tailor to add them if you have a problem with falling bra straps
  • a work-appropriate length that isn’t too trendy — usually within an inch of your kneecap 
  • a fit that is tailored and polished but not “bodycon” — no one wants to work long hours in skintight clothing!
  • pockets, which can be great (because, well, pockets!) but often add a lot of bulk and detract from the sleekness (I still almost always want pockets, but that’s me.)
  • sleeves, which can also be a double-edged sword — sleeveless styles will inevitably layer better underneath cardigans and blazers. That said, sleeveless looks are not appropriate for every office — so know your office culture if you plan on wearing a sleeveless dress by itself.

Finally, note that on some sheath dresses you may have to rip your vents for the skirt — if there’s a little X sewn into the bottom of the vent, that probably isn’t supposed to be there. Readers, what are you looking for in a sheath dress these days — what makes the best dress for work in 2019 in your eyes? Which styles and brands do you wear the most?

Curious for past roundups of sheath dresses? Here they are from 2018, 201720162015201420132012, and 2011. For other sizing issues, you may want to check out our roundup of bespoke dresses, which you can order to fit exactly to your measurements.

There were so many good ones this time that I thought instead of focusing on just a few random dresses, it might be fun to look at the general offerings at each store. (Don’t miss our Hall of Fame listings above, though, for a bunch of other styles that have been around for ages!) So here are some of our picks from the usual suspects for the best dresses for work…

The Best Dresses for Work at Ann Taylor

collage of the best classic sheath dresses from Ann Taylor

Pictured above: one / two / three

All of these dresses come in regular, petite, and tall sizes, all of them are machine washable, and all are available up to size 18. They’re $ 129-$ 149 (but keep an eye out for 40-50% off sales!) at Ann Taylor. Personally, my top pick would be the first dress — I like that the back is totally covered and it’s seasonless stretch (unlike dress #3), but I think the neckline is a bit more versatile than #2.

The Best Dresses for Work at MM. LaFleur

collage of MMLF dresses for work

Pictured above: one / two / three

MMLF keeps putting out classic dresses that are reliable for work. (I heard recently that their sizing changed recently — what say you, ladies? A friend was complaining about having to return size 6s for 4s due to vanity sizing.) #2 has always been our pick for a Hall of Famer in the past — nice high V, totally covered neckline, machine washable, and available in a ton of colors — all for $ 145. #1 looks very similar to me but has a slightly wider V-neck and a slightly straighter skirt — and it’s available up to size 3X, which is great. Alas, this one is dry clean only, and sells for $ 240. #3 is one of the classic MMLF styles, and — huzzah! — it’s got pockets. It’s $ 195, comes in a zillion colors up to size 3X, and is machine washable.

The Best Dresses for Work at J.Crew

collage of J.Crew dresses for work

Pictured above: one / two / three

By my count, the newest dress to the dress party at J.Crew is the first one pictured above, made of a bi-stretch cotton and with some nice serious darts down the front. It’s available up to size 24 (as well as petites and tall sizes), and comes in five colors, some of which have a matching cropped blazer. The second and third dresses have been around for ages and are definitely classics at this point! They are all priced $ 148-$ 188 full price, but keep an eye out for 30-50% off sales. 

The Best Dresses for Work at Boden

collage of dresses for work from Boden

Pictured above: one / two / three

Boden, as always, has a ton of cute dresses for work — and so many of them have sleeves and pockets, huzzah! The first one above is a nice take on the scallop trend (and comes in a ton of colors), whereas #2 and #3 are both classic styles at Boden and have pockets; #2 is machine washable. All three are under $ 150 at Boden.

A Few Other Dresses For Work…

collage of different dresses from Nordstrom

Pictured above: one / two / three

Obviously, we couldn’t include every dress for work that’s getting good reviews right now — but here are a few additional mentions. The first one pictured above first came on my radar last year at last July’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and has been going strong since, getting tons of great reviews in all its various colors. It’s definitely more of a statement than the other dresses we’re featuring here. The second one above is a bestselling style at Eloquii that Nordstrom now carries as well; Nordstrom has several colors, as does Eloquii. Finally, #3 is the most expensive one we’re featuring today — it’s $ 445, from BOSS. I always think of this sleeveless dress as being the “basic BOSS sheath,” but I keep coming back to the one pictured above — the sleeves and the slight A-line shape make it feel really fresh to me. 

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!

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Real Talk! Keira Knightley’s Best Parenting Quotes Ahead of Baby No. 2

Real talk! Keira Knightley became a mom in 2015, and the actress has been getting candid about her kid ever since.

That being said, the Pirates of the Caribbean star kept her lips mostly zipped about her little one until after she arrived. Knightley and her husband, James Righton, didn’t formally announce that they were expecting, but instead displayed her baby bump in several haute couture gowns during press for The Imitation Game.

The model did joke with Ellen DeGeneres, though, that she might go into labor during a December 2014 episode of her show.

“My plan is to get it out,” the Teddington, London, native said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the time. [I’ll] drop it out, keep working. Pick [the baby] up, that’s my plan. That would be wonderful for television, but not so good for me.”

Knightley revealed that she and her husband are expecting their second child when she stepped out in Paris in May 2019. The actress showed off her budding belly in a white and tan off-the-shoulder dress on her way to a Chanel party.

The debut came six months after she bashed Duchess Kate’s post-baby public appearances in an essay for Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies).

“We stand and watch the TV screen,” Knightley wrote in October 2018. “[Kate] was out of hospital seven hours later with her face made up and high heels on. The face the world wants to see. … Hide. Hide our pain, our bodies splitting, our breasts leaking, our hormones raging. Look beautiful. Look stylish, don’t show your battleground, Kate. Seven hours after your fight with life and death, seven hours after your body breaks open, and bloody, screaming life comes out. Don’t show. Don’t tell. Stand there with your girl and be shot by a pack of male photographers.”

Knightley and the musician made their relationship public in April 2011. They tied the knot in France in May 2013.

While the Love Actually star may be mum’s the word about her pregnancies, she has lots to say about her daughter over the years. Keep scrolling for a look at her best parenting quotes since welcoming Edie.

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Best beaches for people who love to surf


Ever since people began standing on boards in the ocean, surfing has grown into one of the biggest adventure sports in the world. The best thing about it is all you need is a board and beach! Not everywhere in the world with a beach is great for surfing, but these are the best.

Pantin, Spain

This beach is one of the most famous for people who surf outside of Asia and the Americas. It has held the Pantin Classic Pro since 1988, and its rocky bottom increases the difficulty. The beach is a spot for experienced surfers, but one that must make it onto your bucket list if you love your thrills to go along with your surfing spills.

Pantin, Spain

Bingin Beach, Bali

It’s not all about the surfing when you go to an exotic location, and some of your time will be spent relaxing. Bingin Beach in Bali is a great place to both surf and relax as it’s a nice quiet beach with plenty of breaking waves. You’ll be surfing right over the reef, so when the tide is high make sure to look down below for some stunning views.

Newcastle, Australia

The Gold Coast is perhaps one of the most famous surfing hotspots in Australia, but head to Newcastle if you’d like great waves with less of the crowds. There are several beaches along the coastline in Newcastle, and each one comes with its own set of unique conditions.

If you want an all-year-round challenge, then Newcastle is really the place for you. There’s the added bonus of cheap accommodation that typically won’t set you back much more than $ 25 per night. Once you’re done in the water, there’s plenty to see in this historic Australian city to add to the memories.

Pipa, Brazil

Want to head somewhere that has world-class waves but none of the backpackers getting in the way? Pipa in Northern Brazil is perfect for keen surfers who just want to spend time with their board and the water.

You won’t have to worry about battling for waves here, and the great thing is once you’re done surfing the chilled out town is just 10 minutes by foot away. Beginners and experts will have fun here and if you keep your eyes peeled you just might spot a dolphin or two looking to join you.

Pipa, Brazil

Weligama, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has become a hotspot for surfers in recent years. It’s easy to see why when you get there as the cost is cheap and the waves are ideal for just about everyone. Beginners can have great fun closer to the beach, while out to sea there are some monster waves for experts. If you’re looking to brush up on your skills, you can take on the smaller waves yourself, or get some tips from one of the 500 surfing schools along the beach.

If you’ve been looking for a new surfing spot, then check out these places dotted all over the world. They offer something for everyone, and you won’t be disappointed by the surrounding areas once you get there.

The post Best beaches for people who love to surf appeared first on Worldation.

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NYC’s best power lunches, according to true elites

For half a century, New York’s prime movers converged over Power Lunch — a daily conclave of the high-and-mighty, who mingled and table-hopped between tastes of foie gras and California Cabernet Sauvignon. The ritual was born at the original Four Seasons, in the Seagram Building. When it closed in 2016, most New York social chroniclers…
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‘Avengers: Endgame’ snags best opening weekend

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Scouted: The Best Travel Coffee Table Books That Let You Explore The World Without Leaving Your Home

About twice a month, the Daily Beast Travel section features some of the best (and most beautiful) coffee table books that focus on travel in a series called Just Booked. We’ve rounded up the eight you should have with you to showcase and appreciate the beauty that is all around you, from brutalist architecture to intricate library ceilings to the most influential maps ever created.

Theater of the World: The Maps That Made History by Thomas Reinertsen Berg, $ 35 on Amazon: “The book gets its name from Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius’s atlas Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World). Like Ortelius, Berg has built upon generations of work and woven it into a digestible dive into everything from cartography to illustration and mapmaking. While not as hefty as some of our past selections, this mid-size book may be the most likely to cause you to lose a guest in its pages.” –  Read More Here

California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture by by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell, and Pierluigi Serraino, $ 31 on Amazon: “One of the best at documenting the explosion of this style in California after World War II was the photographer Marvin Rand. The book overflows with Rand’s gorgeous images capturing the aesthetic in all its simple So Cal glory.” – Read More Here

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Chiefs’ Hill: Working hard to be best person I can

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill, who will not face charges of child abuse, said his focus “remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be.”
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This under-$15 skin care brand at Sephora is basic in the best way possible

This under-$ 15 skin care brand at Sephora is basic in the best way possible


This under-$  15 skin care brand at Sephora is basic in the best way possible

Every now and then, a new skin care line comes along and—for lack of a better word—disrupts the beauty world with some innovate aspect. A few years ago, it was The Ordinary (under its umbrella brand, Deciem) did just that, thanks to its combination of straightforward products (in often single-ingredient formulas), stark, minimal packaging, and affordable (like, really affordable) price ranges.

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Looking to target the signs of ageing? Try our AM skincare recipe… . ▪Kaolin Clay – A gentle white clay that works to effectively absorb excess oils and remove toxins from the surface of the skin. Apply after cleansing 1-2 times a week. . ▪Hyaluronic Acid – A powerful hydrator, it works beneath the surface of the skin as a magnet for moisturise helping your cells retain as much of it possible, for plumper, healthier looking skin. . ▪Q10 – An antioxidant working to protect the skin from environmental damage while working to tackle the signs of ageing. . ▪Vitamin C – Another antioxidant, working to brighten and even the skin, whilst boosting collagen production which gives skin it’s plumpness and elasticity. . ▪Squalane oil – A natural skin oil that works to hydrate and protect skin. 100% plant derived, this oil is lightweight and non greasy. It’s also non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores and can also help regulate excess oil production. . ▪Collagen – A face serum that tightens the skin and targets fine lines and wrinkles.  Collagen is a natural skin protein that helps to support skin firmness, suppleness and elasticity. . ▪Caffeine – An under-eye serum which is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant derived from coffee.  It can help to reduce puffiness, dark circles and prevent skin damage from free radicals which can make dark circles more pronounced. . Got a skincare question? #asktheinkeylist and our team will be happy to help. . . . . . . . #asktheinkeylist #aging #protectskin #glow #skincare #skincaretips #skincareadvice #skincarehelp #skincarejourney #beautifulskin #glowingskin #radiantskin #newlaunch #serum #affordableskincare #skincarecommunity #amroutine #squalaneoil #hyaluronicacid #vitaminc

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Now, The Inkey List, a U.K.-based brand, has emerged with 19 different skin care products, ranging from the usual suspects, like vitamin C and retinol, to innovative, buzzy ingredients like Polyglutamic Acid (a peptide that can hold up to four times the water that hyaluronic acid can). The Inkey List is quickly becoming a favorite in beauty circles, thanks to its ultra-simple approach to skin care—and its single-ingredient formulas.

Rather than create complex, hard-to-understand, multi-ingredient formulas (whose downfall is often that one ingredient out of the several in a product might be an irritant, but it becomes hard to pinpoint when there are so many), the brand focuses on creating the simplest product offerings possible, making it nearly impossible to be anything but transparent with consumers. Why? Well, when the ingredient list is this short, it’s hard to hide things. For example, check out the ingredient list for The Inkey List’s Squalane Oil (spoiler alert: it’s just Squalane).

The best part is that everything in the collection, which is now available at Sephora, is under $ 15.

Browse some of our favorite offerings from The Inkey List below.

The Inkey List Vitamin C
The Inkey List
The Inkey List | $ 9.99


The antioxidant is great for brightening skin and evening out skin tone over time.

The Inkey List Squalane Oil
The Inkey List
The Inkey List | $ 11.99


The ultra-hydrating oil is a must-have, especially for dry skin types.

The Inkey List Retinol Serum
The Inkey List
The Inkey List | $ 9.99


A great starter retinol, if you’re new to the vitamin A derivative.

The Inkey List Glycolic Acid Toner
The Inkey List
The Inkey List | $ 10.99


If it’s visibly smaller pores you’re after, a glycolic acid toner will be your new BFF.

The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream
The Inkey List
The Inkey List | $ 9.99


A shot of caffeine, inside and out, can solve any problem, tbh.

The post This under-$ 15 skin care brand at Sephora is basic in the best way possible appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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10 of the world’s best hotel spas


If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing break, you can’t do much better than a luxury spa hotel. However, not all spa hotels are made equal; luckily, we’ve put together 10 of the very best.

Thalasso del Forte at Forte Village Resort – Italy

A stunning spa with five pools at the heart of it, this spa uses thalassotherapy and traditional Indian healing techniques, alongside beverages from a herbalist-manned health bar to create a holistic approach to wellness.

The Spa at Canyon Ranch – Arizona

If you want a side of fitness with your spa experience, this incredible 80,000 square-foot ranch is the place for you! Medical professionals help to create a custom fitness program to complement your treatments, and even offer a sleep lab to analyze your sleeping patterns.

Canyon Ranch

Spa at Chiva Som International Health Resort – Thailand

There are an incredible 200 spa treatments on offer here, and staff ranging from acupuncturists to naturopaths. They offer fitness programs alongside relaxation, and there is even a training chamber which claims to increase your ability to burn calories.

Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – French Polynesia

Nothing screams (or quietly whispers!) relaxation and luxury like Bora Bora, but to really indulge, book a spa treatment in your own bungalow. Or for a stunning view, the Kahaia suite in the spa itself has an outdoor terrace, which overlooks Mount Otemanu.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Wellbeing and Thermal Spa, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz – Switzerland

There are so many reasons to visit this spa hotel, from the incredible views of Lake Constance and the Alps, the accolade of being the leading medical spa in the country, and the first ever Swarovski glass-covered steam room!

Spa at Rancho La Puerta – Mexico

The oldest spa in North America, there are no frills on these treatments; instead, they focus on tried-and-tested classic treatments such as herbal wraps, rather than gimmicky offerings.

Wellness Spa at COMO Shambhala Estate – Bali

The focus here is on holistic wellbeing, and your treatments are customized to your own personal needs. Traditional Balinese healing and Ayurvedic practices are at the heart of the spa, and it sees many celebrities and pro-athletes as guests!

Remede Spa at St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort – Puerto Rico

With a beachfront location, you can choose to have your treatments in a thatched-roof cabana by the water. Many of the ingredients used are from the local El Yunque Rainforest, and you can unwind with private yoga sessions.

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

Aman Spa at The Connaught – England

Based in London, this is a stylish hotel with award-winning spa facilities. The ionized pool is very popular and treatment use ingredients based on your “Ayurvedic dosha,” or your personal makeup. It is the very first Aman Spa outside of an Aman resort.

Spa at the Chedi Andermatt – Switzerland

Another Swiss entry, this modern, minimalist spa has an incredible hydrotherapy zone, 100-foot indoor pool and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows for guests to bask in the stunning views.

So where are you going to head? Or should we say, where are you going to head to first! With so many to choose from, you’ll want to add them all to your bucket list.

The post 10 of the world’s best hotel spas appeared first on Worldation.

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These Companies Will Help You Find the Best Life Insurance of 2019

Finding the best life insurance company for your needs isn’t as easy as choosing the next Netflix series to binge watch. There are a lot of factors people should take into consideration when searching for a plan.

First of all, what type of life insurance do you need? (And if you’re thinking, “Holy moly, there are different types?!” don’t worry, you’re not alone.)

Second, consider your specific conditions and lifestyle choices. Are you a smoker? Do you have a family history of a terminal illness? Different life insurance companies treat people with various habits, conditions and family history differently. You need to make sure you’re being treated fairly and finding the best deal.

Don’t be intimidated by the jargon, the options or the decisions related to your passing away. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know to find the best life insurance in 2019.

Types of Life Insurance

Keep in mind that numerous sub-categories of life insurance exist. However, there are two main types you should know about: term and permanent. Which is best for you?

Term Life Insurance

If you purchase term life insurance, you’ll only pay premiums for a set term, usually 10 to 30 years. Your primary objective is to ensure that a specific sum of money, the death benefit, will be given to your loved ones should you die during that term.

Pros of Term Life Insurance

It’s your most affordable option. We Penny Hoarders love to save a cent here and there! With a term life policy, you pay fewer fees and receive fewer benefits than with a permanent policy.

Also, rather than paying premiums for your entire life, you only pay for a set period of time. As a result, you end up paying a smaller total over the years.

If you want to, you can usually convert your term life insurance policy into a permanent life insurance policy. If money is tight at the moment but you want life insurance, a great option is to buy term insurance now and convert it into permanent later.

Most companies allow conversion within a certain amount of time after buying your insurance, but this time frame differs for each life insurance provider.

Cons of Term Life Insurance

A term policy doesn’t have any cash value. You’re only paying for the death benefit, or for the amount of money your loved ones will receive once you’re gone. If you opt for a permanent policy over a term policy, you’ll receive more benefits than just the death benefit. Granted, that’s a big reason that term life insurance is so affordable, but be aware of what you’re missing if you go with the cheaper option.

If you live past the set term, your family won’t get any payout when you do pass away. Granted, once your term expires, you can always sign up for a new term or switch to permanent.

Many people choose term life insurance so that, should they pass away unexpectedly, their family will have money to take care of expenses. Once your term is over, there’s a good chance you’ll have fewer expenses — you may have paid off your house and car by then, and your kids will have finished college. As you get older, your need for life insurance typically decreases; that’s why a lot of people prefer to opt for term life insurance.

However, that’s not always the case. If you have doubts, it’s time to look into permanent life insurance.

Permanent Life Insurance

Term life insurance is only valid for a set amount of time. Permanent, on the other hand, lasts for your entire life. This means that you’ll pay premiums for the duration of your life. There are two main categories of permanent life insurance: whole and universal.

Whole life insurance provides financial consistency, while universal life insurance provides financial flexibility.

Whole Life Insurance

A whole life policy provides death benefits to your loved ones once you pass away. Unlike term, however, whole life insurance also has cash value.

Pros of Whole Life Insurance

You’re set for life. Whether you die at age 30 or age 90, your family will receive death benefits. Whole life insurance doesn’t have the time restraints a term policy does.

Whole life insurance policies have cash value. You’ll pay your monthly, quarterly or annual premiums, just as you would with term but a portion of these premiums goes into an investment account that accrues interest. You have a lot of options for how to use this cash value.

At any time, you can trade in your plan and forfeit coverage to receive the cash. You can take out a loan, withdraw a partial amount and even use the cash value to pay your premiums. (That last one is pretty cool!) Oh, and your cash value is tax-deferred.

Cons of Whole Life Insurance

The main downfall is the price. Because you’re paying for a longer period of time in addition to paying for cash value, whole life insurance can cost significantly more than term for the same death benefits.

The big question is… Is the price worth it? Once again, if you think you’ll have paid off most of your assets by the time you pass, you might want to go with term life insurance. If your financial situation is a bit more up in the air, whole life insurance could be better for your family.

You have to pay fees if you trade in your coverage for the cash value. You knew it had to be too good to be true, didn’t you? You don’t get all the cash you’ve accumulatedyou have to pay fees. The amount you’ll pay in fees depends on the company.

Your loved ones won’t see the cash value. This is worth mentioning, because it’s natural to assume your family would receive the cash value that’s accrued when you pass. In reality, if you haven’t spent that money by the time you pass, the insurance company will take it back. Your family still only receives the death benefit.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is very similar to whole, with three key differences: The amount of your premium payments can change over time, you can change how often you pay your premiums and your death benefits can change.

Pros of Universal Life Insurance

A universal life policy is a great choice if you think your financial situation could change significantly before you pass. For example, maybe you realize 20 years into your plan that your loved ones will need a little more assistance than you originally thought after you’re gone. You can increase the death benefits!

You can update your plan without having to get a new policy, which is a huge relief. If you have term life insurance, you have to either convert to a permanent policy or buy a new policy once your term expires if you want new terms.

If you have whole, you can forfeit your coverage for the cash value and sign up for a new policy if you want to. With universal, you can make a ton of changes to your policy without going through the hassle of getting a new plan.

A Con of Universal Life Insurance

Keep in mind, universal has most of the same cons as whole life insurance. There is one more main thing to consider, though.

Of the three main types of life insurance, universal has the most variables, making it the most confusing. If you aren’t exactly a life insurance pro, this could be intimidating. I definitely recommend seeking advice from a third-party professional before choosing a universal plan or making any changes to it.

The 7 Best Life Insurance Companies for 2019

Photo of a little girl helping her mom who is working on a computer from their home

There isn’t one magical life insurance company that’s best for everyone. (Although that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?)

Different people benefit from certain companies and policies. To make things easier for you, we’ve used a simple methodology to find the seven best life insurance companies out there.

Methodology

We took three main factors into account in our search for the best life insurance companies: financial strength, customer satisfaction and premiums.

Financial Strength

Life insurance is a long-term purchase, so you want to be confident that the company you’re buying life insurance from will last longer than you do. Also, it’s vital that they’re financially sound enough to keep their promises to you and your family.

I’ve taken AM Best’s financial strength ratings into account. AM Best is a third-party credit rating company that rates life insurance on a letter grade scale, the highest being A++ (superior).

All of the companies on this list are rated either A, A+ or A++. Ratings of A- and A are considered excellent, while A+ and A++ are superior.

Customer Satisfaction

Financial strength becomes a lot less impressive if other aspects of a company are subpar. That’s why customer satisfaction is such an important thing to take into account.

I’ve evaluated these companies’ customer satisfaction by looking at their J.D. Power ratings. J.D. Power is a marketing research company that surveys customers, then rates insurance companies on a 1,000-point scale based on those survey answers.

After scoring the companies, J.D. Power labels each company as “among the best,” “better than most,” “about average” and “the rest.”

Premiums

All you Penny Hoarders out there… you knew I’d have to take your personal finances into account, didn’t you?

When it comes down to it, a lot of the largest life insurance companies offer very similar plans. In these cases, some people simply choose the option that’s most affordable for them.

This factor was a bit more subjective than the others, because your premium payments can depend on a variety of factorsyour age when you buy insurance, your health and your habits, just to name a few.

The Best Life Insurance Companies Overall

Company AM Best Rating J.D. Power Ranking Premium Best for…
State Farm A++ 825 Average Term life insurance
Northwestern Mutual A++ 812 Low Whole life insurance
Protective A+ 791 Low Universal life insurance
Mutual of Omaha A+ 792 Average Burial insurance
Transamerica A+ 751 Low Smokers
Lincoln A+ 778 Low Millennials
Voya A 744 Low Those with a family history of cancer

The Best Term Life Insurance Company: State Farm

  • Financial strength: A++ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 825 (among the best)

Do you already use State Farm to insure your home, car or health? Then you can save money by purchasing your life insurance through them, too. Yep, State Farm rewards you for buying multiple types of insurance with them.

However, even if you don’t use State Farm for other types of insurance, it’s still a fantastic choice for term life insurance. J.D. Power has ranked State Farm as the life insurance company with the highest customer satisfaction for five years in a row.

You can select a 10, 20 or 30 year term for $ 250,000. The policy is renewable up to age 95 and can be converted to a whole life program.

The Best Whole Life Insurance Company: Northwestern Mutual

  • Financial strength: A++ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 812 (better than most)

My favorite thing about Northwestern Mutual’s whole life insurance? It’s highly customizable. No two people’s needs are the same, so why should everyone have the same whole life insurance plan?

The company has a lot of optional add-ons (called “riders” in the insurance world) for a life insurance policy. For example, a waiver of premium rider is available so that, should you become disabled while you have insurance, Northwestern Mutual no longer requires you to pay the premiums. This is just one of many riders, and Northwestern Mutual offers more riders than most of its competitors.

You also have a number of payment options. You can select a policy in which you pay your premiums until you reach an agreed-upon age. Or you may choose to pay your premiums for a certain number of years until your balance is paid off, ranging from 10 to 30 years.

The Best Universal Life Insurance Company: Protective Life Insurance

  • Financial strength: A+ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 791 (better than most)

Good news: When it comes to price, Protective Life Insurance is probably your best universal life insurance option.

Protective stands out because it offers something called Custom Choice UL (Universal Life) Insurance. Universal life insurance is already known for being customizable, but this policy kicks things up a notch.

At first, the Custom Choice UL policy looks like term life insurance. You choose a set amount of time you want your premiums and death benefit to remain stagnant.

When the time frame ends after, say, 30 years, your premiums stay the same. However, your death benefit amount slowly decreases. Once your balance hits the minimum of $ 10,000, the death benefit stays at that amount and your premiums will start to increase.

The Best Burial Insurance Company: Mutual of Omaha

  • Financial strength: A+ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 792 (better than most)

When you buy burial insurance, the death benefit is specifically intended to help your loved ones pay for funeral and burial costs. (You’d be surprised how much it costs to be put in the ground or cremated!)

There’s an age limit when you’re buying burial insurance. Mutual of Omaha’s minimum age requirement is 45, while many companies’ don’t start until age 50. If you want to get a jump on things, Mutual of Omaha is a great choice.

Because it’s primarily intended for funeral and burial costs, burial insurance death benefits amounts are much lower than death benefits for other kinds of life insurance policies. With Mutual of Omaha, you can get a policy ranging from $ 2,000-$ 40,000. Most of its competitors’ payouts have a much lower threshold. For example, Royal Neighbors of America and AIG cap at $ 25,000.

The Best Life Insurance Company for Smokers: Transamerica

  • Financial strength: A+ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 751 (the rest)

If you’re looking for yet another reason to quit smoking, here’s one for you: Life insurance costs substantially more for smokers than for non-smokers. The older you are when you buy life insurance as a smoker, the more shockingly high that price will be.

(Pro tip: If you’re comfortable with waiting to purchase life insurance, quit today and start shopping for insurance next year. Most companies classify you as a non-smoker if you haven’t smoked for at least 12 months.)

Thinking you can just lie on your application and say you don’t smoke? Well, that’s called insurance fraud, and I don’t recommend it. Plus, many companies require you to take a medical exam, so you could easily be caught.

Thankfully, Transamerica can make things easier for you than a lot of life insurance companies can.

Smokers probably won’t be able to find lower prices anywhere else! Transamerica has strong financial stability. While its customer satisfaction ranking is just so-so, the score is still better than the scores of many competitive companies.

Note: Banner Life Insurance offers competitive prices for smokers along with Transamerica, but it hasn’t been ranked by J.D. Power, so it didn’t make it onto this list. Still, it’s worth getting a life insurance quote from both companies!

The Best Life Insurance for Millennials: Lincoln Financial Group

Young woman drinking first morning coffee and reading news in the kitchen of her apartment
  • Financial strength: A+ (superior)
  • Customer satisfaction: 778 (better than most)

You might think it’s unnecessary to get life insurance if you’re in your 20s or 30s. If you don’t have a mortgage, spouse or kids, why bother buying now?

Well, the younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be! If you select 30-year life insurance coverage at age 25, you’ll be covered until you’re 55, and there’s a decent chance you’ll get married, pop out a couple kids or buy a home before age 55. If you purchase life insurance before you think it’s necessary, your payments will be much lower than if you wait!

Lincoln Financial Group is even more affordable than its competitors, with better financial strength and customer satisfaction to boot.

For example, using QuickQuote, I received an insurance quote for a 30-year, $ 250,000 term policy for a 25-year old woman in good health in California: $ 18.77 per month with Lincoln.

Foresters Financial cost $ 19.69 per month, and Mutual of Omaha cost $ 20.86.

A buck or two may not seem like a notable difference. However, if you pay an extra dollar per month for 30 years, you just spent an extra $ 360!

The Best Life Insurance Company for Those With a Family History of Cancer: Voya Financial

  • Financial strength: A (excellent)
  • Customer satisfaction: 744 (the rest)

It’s understandable that rates differ for people who have been diagnosed with cancer or who have beaten cancer. But guess what? Even if you just have a family history of cancer, this will affect your rates. If anyone in your family was diagnosed before age 60 and/or died from cancer, this will probably affect your life insurance premiums.

Not every type of cancer will affect your premiums. Certain types of cancer have been linked to genetics, and others haven’t. Your sex is another factor. For example, if you’re a woman whose father had prostate cancer, this likely won’t affect your rates… but it could affect your brother’s rates.

But all isn’t lost. Voya Financial is here to help! (You may be familiar with the company ING, but you should know they recently changed their name to Voya Financial.)

Voya Financial is known for placing less emphasis on a family’s history than most other companies do when determining rates.

If something as dire as cancer is part of your family history, then you should still talk to insurance agents and get life insurance quotes from multiple companies. However, there’s a good chance Voya Financial will offer you some of the bestif not the bestpremiums. Plus, its financial strength and customer satisfaction is higher than most of its competitors.

Who knew there was so much to consider when choosing the best policy?

Thankfully, if you choose one of these seven top life insurance companies, you’ll set yourself and your family up for success.

Laura Grace Tarpley is a freelance writer and an editor for FluentU. Follow her on Twitter @lgtarpley.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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We’ve Got You Covered: Our Picks for 2019’s Best Car Insurance Companies

Car ownership comes with unseen costs. Everyone’s least favorite: the dreaded insurance.

Car insurance companies often get a bad rap, partially thanks to reviews from disgruntled customers. That makes it hard to determine the best auto insurance for you.

What does “best” car insurance company even mean?

The answer differs widely from consumer to consumer. If saving money is your biggest concern, you’ll probably value cheaper premiums over all else. If you’ve had bad experiences with customer service, you’ll want a company known for its superior service and reliability.

You may also want to consider other factors, like whether an insurer covers drivers with poor records or offers discounts for teen drivers with good grades.

Best Car Insurance on a Budget

Auto insurance rates depend on a variety of factors, including your age, location and driving track record. Therefore, the cheapest car insurance varies from driver to driver.

Here’s a list of companies offering budget-friendly car insurance.

Erie Insurance Group

You might not have heard of Erie Insurance Group. That’s because, as of February 2019, it’s only available in 12 states plus the District of Columbia. But compared to other insurers, Erie’s rates tend to be lower, particularly in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In addition to offering competitive rates, Erie Insurance Group came at the top of the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

If you live in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, DC or New York, check out Erie to see if you could save money.

Average Rate: $ 1,052 per year

Geico

You probably know Geico from those commercials with the annoying British gecko. But that gecko’s claim about saving you 15% or more on car insurance could be true for you.

Geico is the second largest insurer in the U.S. and is available in all 50 states. Of those states, drivers in New York and Utah could save the most with Geico.

In the J.D. Power U.S. Claims Satisfaction Study, Geico ranked about average in most categories, and scored five out of five in the Rental Experience category, which focuses on customers’ experiences with getting rental cars while their own vehicle undergoes repairs.

Average Rate: $ 1,067 per year

American Family

Coming in at the third most affordable insurance company, American Family is also available nationwide. It ranks average in the J.D. Power U.S. Claims Satisfaction Study in all categories.

If your biggest concern is cost, it’s definitely worth getting a quote to see how it compares in your area.

Average Rate: $ 1,099 per year

Best Car Insurance Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is measured by many factors. To determine the most reliable car insurance company, we turned to the aforementioned J.D. Power U.S. Claims Satisfaction Study.

The study rates insurance companies based on seven categories: repair process, overall satisfaction, the initial claims reporting process, the process of getting an estimate, rental experience, claims servicing and settlement.

Here are the top three, in order:

Erie Insurance

As well as being the most affordable car insurance company, Erie scored top marks in the J.D. Power study, beating out many of its better-known competitors. It received five out of five in all categories except repair process, where it scored four out of five.

Overall Satisfaction: 5/5

USAA

USAA offers insurance for active duty military, veterans and family members of those people. It came in second place in the J.D. Power study with top marks in all categories, except estimation process, where it received four out of five.

Overall Satisfaction: 5/5

Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual came in third place in the J.D. Power study, receiving dings in a few categories. For first notice of loss and estimation process, it scored four out of five. The repair process scored three out of five, and rental experience was two out of five.

Overall Satisfaction: 5/5

Best Car Insurance for Teens

Women on tropical island road trip with retro car enjoying the sun and the sea

Teen drivers typically find it hard to get affordable insurance. A new driver’s lack of experience and maturity places a black mark on them, which equates to higher premiums.But there is hope out there for young drivers looking for decent insurance coverage.

State Farm

State Farm offers a variety of discounts for young drivers. The Good Student Discount offers discounts of up to 25% for drivers under 25 who maintain good grades in school. You can also get a driver training discount for taking driver’s ed classes.

The Steer Clear safe driver discount uses an app to record your trips, and you can also watch safe driving videos and take quizzes.

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance is good for teen drivers as well as more experienced drivers. The Youthful Driver Discount is for unmarried drivers under 21 who live at home.

The Youthful Longevity Discount is designed for drivers who spend multiple years in a row under an Erie policy, whether their own or their parents’.

Finally, the Driver Training Discount gives cheaper rates — discounts range from 5% to 20% — to drivers under 21 who complete an accredited driver training course.

American Family

American Family offers a Teen Safe Driver program that can net you a nice discount on your premiums. The program uses an app to track driving behavior and suggest ways you can become safer behind the wheel.

After 3,000 miles or one year in the program, you’ll get a 10% discount on your insurance premium.

Best Car Insurance for a Bad Driving Record

If you have a bad driving record, chances are you find it hard to get affordable car insurance. But don’t despair: Some auto insurance providers do offer affordable policies even to bad drivers.

Geico

If you have a history of reckless driving, Geico could be your best bet. For drivers with a history of speeding, reckless/careless driving or running a stop sign, Geico could save you around 20%.

Progressive

For drivers with a DUI on their record, finding an auto insurance company that will take a chance on you can be tough. Progressive may be your refuge. This insurance company is also a good option if you have an accident for which you were at fault on your driving record. You could save 30-40%, depending on your exact situation.

Insurance Company Average Monthly Premium* J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study Rating Good Student Discount Safe Driving Discount Car Safety Equipment Discount
Erie $ 1,052 5/5 No Yes Yes
Geico $ 1,067 3/5 Up to 15% Up to 26% Yes
USAA $ 1,468 5/5 Yes Yes Not specified
Amica Mutual $ 1,352 5/5 Yes Yes Yes
American Family $ 1,099 3/5 Yes Yes Yes
Allstate $ 1,718 3/5 Up to 35% Yes Yes
State Farm $ 1,372 3/5 Up to 25% Yes Yes
Progressive $ 1,241 3/5 Yes Up to 31% Not specified
Liberty Mutual $ 1,472 2/5 Yes Not specified Yes
Farmers $ 1,249 4/5 Yes Not specified Not specified
Nationwide $ 1,404 3/5 Yes Yes Yes

*Average monthly premium rates were determined by ValuePenguin.com, which obtained quotes from the largest car insurance companies based on the example of a 30-year-old driver.

How to Choose the Best Car Insurance Company For You

Consumer Reports recommends shopping around to get the best deal, even if you already have insurance. Doing so will show you the variety of available options so you can make the best decision based on your needs and budget.

Your best bet is to get in touch with the company and ask some questions pertaining to your situation. Here are a few important questions to get you started.

What Types of Claims Are Covered?

The minimum mandatory coverage varies depending on where you live. The first place to check is your state insurance commissioner’s website to see those minimum requirements. For example, in Ohio, where I live, only liability insurance is required by law.

But you might choose to buy more than the minimum requirement in order to more fully protect yourself and your assets.

Ask your insurance agent what they cover. If you stick with basic liability insurance, make sure you read the fine print to see the types of claims it covers. Ditto if you add things like physical damage coverage or anything above and beyond the minimum.

What Is Excluded?

Just as you need to know what’s covered, you should know what’s excluded. For example, some policies may not cover you if you’re in a collision with an uninsured driver, if you’re a victim of vehicle theft, if you collide with an animal or if your car is damaged in a natural disaster.

Ask for a list of what’s not covered so you can determine the likelihood that these exclusions will affect you. For example, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you’ll want to make sure your car is covered for natural disasters. If you often drive on country roads, you’ll probably want to be covered if you hit a deer.

Can I Choose Who Performs Repairs?

When your car sustains damage, some insurance companies will choose the auto repair shop that will fix your car. This is usually due to an agreement between the repair shop and the insurance company, where the shop cuts the insurance company a deal for sending customers their way.

Usually this works out fine, but if you have a preferred mechanic you might not appreciate being told where to get your car fixed. Or, if you have a high deductible, you might want to get a second opinion on price before committing to a repair order.

What Are the Costs?

With any insurance plan, the most notable costs are the monthly premiums. But your deductible could cause you some serious financial issues in case of an accident.

A high deductible means you’ll need to pay more out of pocket for a repair before your insurance policy kicks in and covers the rest. If you have enough in savings, you could get away with a higher deductible and lower monthly premium. But if your safety net is lacking, opting for a lower deductible and higher premiums could be a smarter choice.

What Additional Coverage Is Offered?

Liability insurance typically only covers damage to other people or property when you’re at fault. Under liability insurance, repairing your own car could be on you. For that reason, you might consider additional coverage to help cover you in a variety of different scenarios.

Comprehensive coverage protects you in cases where your car is damaged by an event other than an accident, like an act of Mother Nature.

Collision coverage pays to repair your car after an accident, typically whether or not the accident was your fault.

Uninsured motorist protection covers you when you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. Without this type of protection, you would be liable for any damage to your vehicle, which could end up costing you big.

Personal injury protection, also called “no-fault” coverage, helps pay for medical and other costs no matter whose fault the accident was. It can also cover things like lost wages and transportation to medical appointments. Some states mandate this type of coverage, while in others it’s an optional add-on.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance

You have multiple ways to make sure you’re getting the best rate on your car insurance, no matter which company you choose.

Bundle Your Insurance

It pays to go with the same company for all your insurance needs. Most insurance companies offer discounted rates when you bundle things like home, auto and personal property insurance.

Drive Safely

It can pay to be a responsible driver. Most insurance companies lower your rates the longer you go without an accident. Others use technology like apps to measure your driving behavior and offer a discount for using the app to become a better driver.

Pay in Full

You might be able to get a discount by paying your annual car insurance premium in full. It’s worth considering if you have enough in savings and want to spend less overall on car insurance. If you can’t afford to pay in full, ask if you can get a discount for enrolling in an auto-pay program.

Driver Training

Many insurance companies will offer a discount if you complete driver training courses, regardless of your age.

Car Safety Equipment

Things like anti-theft devices, airbags and safety technology found in new cars could get you a discount. Make sure you mention these when getting a quote.

Choosing the right car insurance policy can be a stressful experience, but it pays to shop around and consider all your options before signing on the dotted line.

Catherine Hiles lives in Ohio with her husband and their two children. By day she manages a team of writers and graphic designers, and catches up on her own writing in her spare time.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Boutique beat: 20 of the best UK music festivals for 2019

Our pick of this summer’s smaller festivals features cool sites in the countryside, as well as art, crafts, yoga – and great sounds

Returning to Gilcombe Farm (a couple of miles from Bruton village’s train station), for a fifth year, Shindig still aspires to be a party with friends rather than a full-scale festival. There’s an onsite pub, local stalls and several smaller performance areas rather than one main stage. The lineup so far includes Estelle, Huey Morgan, Benjamin Zephaniah, DJs Kenny Dope, Nu-Mark and Audio Bullys, plus circus, comedy, wellbeing activities and workshops for children and teens including breakdancing and djing. Festivalgoers are also encouraged to Get Fruity, the theme for this year’s fancy dress.
23-26 May, adult £154.45, teen (13-17) £79.90, under-12s free, shindigfestival.co.uk

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This Week’s Best Dressed Celebrities Went All-Out in Bold Patterns

Though minimalism is still enjoying something of a heyday, fear not, those of you who love a bold pattern: Many of the best-dressed celebrities this week are refusing to ride the less-is-more wave, instead opting for adventurous, striking looks on the red carpet. In lieu of the ever-popular leopard …

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The world’s best food festivals


Food festivals may well be one of our favorite things on earth. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day exploring the different sights, smells and tastes at an event solely evolving around offering you delicious food?

There’s hundreds and thousands of different food festivals located around the globe waiting to fill your mouth with exciting stuff, each specializing in a particular type of food or cuisine. If you’re a big foodie and love to travel, then perfect…You have come to the right place! Here’s a list of some the world’s best food festivals to tantalize your taste buds.

Warning – may induce severe hunger. Our mouths are literally drooling.

Wildfoods Festival (Hokitika, New Zealand)

This festival is located in the small town of Hokitika on the west coast of New Zealand, and offers visitors some rather odd things to eat, to say the least. From seagull eggs to insects, this event specializes in eccentric foods that attempt to blow your mind in how something sounding so gross can actually be delightfully delicious. This one’s for you if you have an adventurous taste palette and don’t squirm easily.

Wildfoods Festival

Salon de Chocolate (Quito, Ecuador)

Although there are plenty of renowned chocolate festivals around the world, Quito is perhaps considered the best. Thousands of visitors gather each year to get a taste of some of Ecuador’s tastiest high-quality chocolate. There’s also plenty to see and do with cookery classes and competitions. This one’s for you if you love chocolate – so that’s pretty much everyone then?

Dumpling Festival (Hong Kong)

AKA The Dragon Boat festival. This holiday date takes place on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month, with restaurants, locals and tourists coming together as one to feast on tasty dumplings. The festival takes to the streets, offering up the best-tasting variety of dumplings made from glutinous rice and plenty of different fillings. This is for you if you’re looking to explore and celebrate a National cultural heritage.

Vegetarian Festival (Phuket, Thailand)

Mostly taking place on the island of Phuket, this festival is part of a nine-day Thai celebration for the promotion of mind and body detoxification. Locals take to the streets to celebrate, conjuring up some of Thai’s tasty vegetarian dishes using soybean and protein substitute products instead of meat. This one’s for you if you’re not a meat-eater and want to find out some fantastic new Asian recipes.

Pizzafest (Naples, Italy)

Did someone say pizza? Yes please. Pizzafest is one of the world’s biggest pizza festivals, taking place every year in Napoli’s Caracciolo in which over 500’000 visitors will come to eat more than 100’000 pizzas. The celebrations include recreations of historical recipes and pizza-making competitions. This one’s for you if you’re feeling extra hungry. Dig in!

Pizzafest

Bacon Festival (Sacramento, California)

The Bacon festival offers the very best of bacon – all from farm-bred organic hogs and made with the very best natural ingredients. There’s plenty of strange dishes on offer – bacon ice cream, bacon salad, and bacon cocktails. It’s also advised that all of this is washed down with the very best beverages from the local breweries. We’re not gonna say no to that now are we? There’s even a Kevin Bacon tribute band that plays. This one’s for you if you want to have some good old’ fashioned community fun.

 

Food festivals are the perfect way to try some of the regional grub. There seems to be more and more cropping up each year so keep your eye open for what ones that may be near you on your travels. Top tip – go when you’re feeling extra hungry. You’ll be in heaven.

The post The world’s best food festivals appeared first on Worldation.

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The best shell bags out there, because you know you want one

I’m calling it: there is nothing in the sartorial world that is more wanderlust-enducing than a shell bag. There is something about the tinkling noise of shells and the texture of raffia that instantly brings lazy beach days to mind.

A natural extension of the shell jewellery trend from last summer, it serves up an equally nostalgic feel, you can totally imagine having made your own from pukka shells collected on the shore. And if you’re into that sentiment, then beaded bags will also bring you joy.

Shells were everywhere on the catwalk for the spring/summer 2019 shows. Risk-taking designers and brands such as Jacquemus, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta adorned their accessories with shells during fashion month, and it was love at first site.

Meanwhile, Insta-worthy brands like Marri London and Aranaz put their own twist on the classic basket bag thanks to giant gold-plated and delicate shells, and you can always count on the high-street for budget-friendly options too: we’re looking at you Mango and Zara.

But for all its souvenir appeal, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a holiday-only trend. The shell bag lends itself remarkably well to occasion dressing, and it’s the perfect finishing touch to a wedding guest outfit.

Don’t believe me? Look at Gucci’s mermaid-worthy crystal embellished shell bag or KAYU’s rattan clutch bag. WALD Berlin is also launching its own line very soon and it’s looking pretty spectacular.

That doesn’t mean you can’t put a casual spin on the trend either. Pairing it with a linen bermuda shorts suit and ugly sandals will give you a fresh, urban look, or you can keep things classic with a knitted top and trousers, Riviera-style. Either way, this is undoubtedly the bag of the season, and I can see it easily making its way into my autumn/winter wardrobe too.

Shop my edit of the best shell bags below.

The post The best shell bags out there, because you know you want one appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Stassi Schroeder Celebrates Her Book Release With Her Best #OOTD Yet

Like any human being with a pulse and their mom’s cable login (I’m sorry, Spectrum in New York City is a scam and that’s all I have to say about that!), I have watched a lot of “Vanderpump Rules.” This should really go without saying because I am a woman of taste, but Stassi Schroeder is …

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Cities with the best live music pubs


We all go on vacation to do different things. Some like to hike. Others like to rest and put their feet up on the sun lounger. Some are big-time adventurers, and others are historical buffs. However, one thing we share in common is that we all want to have a good time. And what’s the universal way for us all to have a good time? What’s the best way for us all to unwind? Listen to the music of course.

Across the world, there are cities known for their exceptional live music. Whatever the genre, whatever the sound, these cities host an exciting array of live music nights at some of the world’s most renowned venues with the world’s most prestigious musical acts.

Take a look at some of these cities considered to have the best live pubs and bars. Do any of them get your feet tapping?

Photo: Unsplash.com

Dublin, Ireland

Most likely to hear: Folk, singer-songwriter, instrumentals.

It’s the quaint local pubs that make Dublin a must-go-to for live music. There’s a real sense of community across the night-life in Dublin, and the sense of harmonising fun is electric. You’ll soon be up singing, swinging and swaying yourself — the perfect place for unwinding to beautiful acoustics with a drink in hand.

Berlin, Germany

Most likely to hear: Electronic, punk, dance

Berlin is a city where it seems anything goes. It’s a real cultural hub where culture and music are never afraid to push boundaries. Berlin nightlife is one of a kind, and you’ll find pubs, bars, and clubs playing a whole host of underground dance and rock music. The city is perfect if you’re looking for thumping club bass and dark electronic beats.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Most likely to hear: Blues, soul, jazz, funk

Often considered the live music capital of the world, New Orleans is the renowned birthplace of jazz. The music scene is not just alive at night, it’s heard all day long, from street-musicians, to live pub nights, to astounding jazz event nights. New Orleans live music is part of the city’s spirit, and it oozes class.

Photo: Unsplash.com

London, England

Most likely to hear: Hip-hop, punk, jazz, alternative

London’s music scene is thriving. Venues from traditional pubs, swanky bars, to large arena clubs all seem to value younger underground artist across a wide range of genres. The musical hotspots are dispersed around the city, with local hubs including Camden, Soho, Shoreditch, and Brixton that all flourish with eclectic sounds.

Paris, France

Most likely to hear: Classical composers, jazz, indie-rock

Paris is known for drawing in crowds of young creatives with a passion for making it big in the international music scene. This means the city is alive with a whole host of musical sounds including upcoming DJs, hip-hop artists and more traditional musical styles like jazz and blues. Paris has a real avant-garde party feel.

If live music is what you’re looking for out of your next vacation, consider these cities as the place to go. You’ll hear an assortment of genres, whatever the sound or whatever the mood. They won’t disappoint, and they are sure to entertainment you from sunrise to sunset.

The post Cities with the best live music pubs appeared first on Worldation.

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The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed

Today is the day that all taxes are due. So how do you digitize your taxes and claim your deductions? For starters, use online services like TurboTax. It makes filing extremely seamless. Here is a list of deductions that you should look into and take full advantage of:

1. Home Office Tax Deduction

The eligibility rules for claiming a home office vary, but remote workers and self-employed filers make sure you claim this break. You are also eligible to write off expenses that are associated with the portion of your home where you exclusively conduct business. These expenses include rent, utilities, insurance, and housekeeping.

2. Business Expenses

If you drive for Uber on the weekends or rent out your house on Airbnb, you could qualify as a business owner and should be filing a Schedule C tax form. As a general rule, freelancers can write off business-related expenses but they have to be necessary.

3. Student Loan Interest Paid

You can deduct up to $ 2,500 of student loan interest per return, per year. You can claim the student loan interest tax deduction as an adjustment to income. You don’t need to itemize deductions to claim it. Go to your student loan provider to access the forms and upload them on TurboTax.

4. Moving Expenses

Don’t be fooled. The moving expense deduction is no longer available in tax years 2018 – 2025 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) but there are some exceptions to the rule. If you moved to a new location because of work and are a member of the military, you may qualify to use IRS Form 3903 to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return.

5. Claim your Dependents

New tax laws allow you to claim a dependent credit, either $ 500 or $ 2,000 depending on the status of the dependent.

Don’t be late and remember if you need to file an extension, you can do so here.

The post The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Strike a Pose! Celebrate Kourtney Kardashian’s Upcoming Birthday by Taking a Peek at Her Best Looks

Kourtney Kardashian, amfAR Gala New York 2019Kourtney Kardashian is one chic lady!
In fact, thanks to her former girl-boss days at DASH and her many magazine covers, the oldest Kardashian has earned a fashionista title in her own…

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5 Tips To Hire the Best Roofing Replacement Contractor

After a severe storm, filing an insurance claim to repair or replace your roof can be challenging. The goal is to repair or replace your roof as quickly as possible, but care should still be taken to find the most reliable and trustworthy roofing contractor for your project. This helps ensure that your home is restored to its original condition as quickly as possible.

At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 80 percent of homeowners found a contractor for the job through referrals. But it’s important to properly vet and research contractors before choosing your perfect fit, even if a friend or a family member personally vouched for them.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while you make the pick.

Understand Your Roofing Needs

A trusted contractor will be able to assess, identify, and explain potential improvements or upgrades to your home’s roofing. The type of roof you plan to have installed on your home makes a big difference in how it performs, what it looks like, and how long it will last. While you may want to repair or replace your roof with your existing shingle type, this is a good time to evaluate roof types.

Homeowners have multiple roofing materials available to them today with varying lifespans. Aside from their longevity, the different roofing materials each have their own characteristics—both positive and negative—that can have a significant impact on your investment.

Aim for the Most Reliable Roofing Contractor

To ensure a swift repair or replacement, a reliable contractor is key. There’s a lot to consider under the umbrella of reliability. In recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your roofing project.

Here are some things you can do to ensure you find the best roofing contractor.

Ask for Referrals

A strong majority of homeowners approach all home improvement projects by first gathering referrals. Some of the most common approaches are:

Vet Your Options

One of the most important parts of your search is vetting different contractors and comparing their work.

  • Request quotes from three to four contractors in your area.
  • Visit the website of each contractor.
    • Is it updated and professional looking?
  • Explore the customer reviews for each contractor.
    • Are they mostly positive? Consider negative reviews and responses.

Talk to Your Favorites

Once you have a short list of your top choices, get them on the phone. A trustworthy contractor will appreciate an opportunity to discuss your project further, and a conversation allows you to get to know them. While you know best what you want to learn in the conversation, here are some questions we recommend you ask:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much experience do you have with roofing repair or installation?
  • What is your project estimate?
  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • Can you provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?

Meet the Finalists

Meet in-person with your top contractors to review project-specific details and expectations. You can use Modernize’s free worksheet for homeowners to compare contractors. Be sure to bring up the following with each contractor:

  • Ask to see proof of insurance, which should provide their insurance company name, policy number, and policy limits.
  • Discuss who will manage warranty details and responsibility.
  • Make sure to get a fixed price before signing a contract.

Don’t Wait Until Your Roof Needs To Be Replaced

You certainly don’t need to wait for an emergency before creating a meaningful relationship with your local roofing contractor.

If you have a trusted contractor who has perhaps offered you an assessment of your roof or helped you learn the needs of your home, you will have less work to do when an emergency does arrive. It is always preferable to meet professionals and discuss the advantages of shingle types on your own time instead of under the stress of an emergency.

The right time to find a reliable contractor is now.

Be Aware of Warning Signs and Avoid Hidden Costs

As with contractors for any home improvement, some are not honest professionals. Before choosing your contractor for a fast roofing repair or replacement, be sure you can trust them and that their estimate is transparent and complete.

The best way to avoid scams is to choose a local, trusted contractor—someone whose reputation and reliability are central to their success. You can confirm this by checking their physical business address and validating their licensing.

Here are additional warning signs that can protect your roof replacement budget:

  • Avoid contractors who request the entire project cost, or large cash deposit, up front.
  • Avoid anyone who pressures you to sign a contract immediately.
  • Be wary of any outliers in your quotes. All estimates should be relatively similar unless the material type is significantly different.

When it comes to a roof replacement project, there are some hidden costs homeowners could be surprised with down the line. The best way to avoid these is to ask the contractor about them. Here is Modernize’s full review of the possible hidden costs in roof replacements.

Evaluate Roofing Contractor Quotes the Right Way

The best contractor is not always the cheapest contractor. And the best roof replacement quote isn’t always the lowest.

A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing. It’s important to understand your roofing estimates and why quotes may vary from each other. Before comparing your own set of estimates, see our guide Evaluating Contractors’ Roofing Replacement Quotes.

Comparing contractors is easy and effective with our free worksheet to help homeowners find the best roof replacement contractor.

No matter what you use to determine who will replace or repair your roof, it’s important you keep in mind that saving money today could cost you much more money later if the repair isn’t completed correctly. Quality, especially when it comes to your home, is a lifelong investment.

The post 5 Tips To Hire the Best Roofing Replacement Contractor appeared first on Modernize.

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Countries with the best music festivals


Music festivals are a staple event for any fun-seeker and big-time dancer looking to boogie the night away. Unlike concerts or live gigs at venues, music festivals tend to give a spectacular once in a lifetime experience for those listening and watching to the artist right there and then – with thousands of happy people around you – even if you are in a muddy field.

There are hundreds of exceptional music festivals all around the world – from dance to pop, from rock to hip-hop. There’s plenty out there. We want to give you a guide of some of the countries that are considered to have some of the best. Get your wellies and shades ready!

USA

The Best Festivals: Coachella, Burning Man

Woodstock festival held in the Catskill Mountains in 1969 was highly-regarded as a pivotal moment in the world’s popular music industry. After this, the United States had a lot to live up to. We’ve not been disappointed though. Coachella, CA attracts thousands of festival-goers each year with its glamorous celebrity-spotting vibes and its annual lineup of the world’s best pop, rock, and dance artists. Also Burning Man, NV continues to become more and more popular with mainstream visitors for its unique focus on the arts community, peace & harmony and self-expression.

Burning Man

UK

Best Festivals: Reading & Leeds, Glastonbury

The UK caters to international interests, hosting a wide variety of music festivals. There seems to be an annual event created for nearly every type of musical genre. Some of the best festivals include Reading & Leeds which continue to draw in crowds to its rock and alternative line up, while Glastonbury is often regarded as the best festival in the world, having hosted some of the most prestigious international acts – Dolly Parton, David Bowie, Beyonce, Oasis. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world with a capacity exceeding 175’000.

Spain

Best festivals: Primavera Sounds, Benicassim International Festival

Spain is the perfect location for the best summer festival. With its sunny Mediterranean climate, festival-goers are attracted to Spain’s musical festivals for their mix of chilled vacation vibes and their top lineup headliners. Benicassim continues to be one of the best festivals on the International circuit, hosting the best names in pop, rock, and electronica, while Primavera Sounds is also notably popular with festival-goers for its laid-back take on the best urban artists in pop, rock, and underground dance music.

Belgium

Best festivals: Tomorrowland, Pukkelpop

Belgium festivals are the place to be for travelers and those interested in soaking up some European culture. The country attracts festival-goers for its extravagant theming and immersive experiences. Tomorrowland has become one of the largest music festivals in the world, hosting the best international names in electronic dance music. It’s even reached such great popularity that it has other spinoff festivals – TomorrowWorld in the US, Tomorrowland Brasil and Tomorrowland Winter located in the French Alps. Pukkelpop is another award-winning music festival located in Belgium, attracting festival-goers all across the globe for its eclectic host of genres – dance, pop, rock, alternative, hip-hop, heavy metal, and so much more.

Tomorrowland

Music festivals bring their crowds together lovingly as one like no other type of event can. There are truly some remarkable festivals out there with an appeal for everyone. So find the right one for you. You’re certainly invited, come along! Remember to bring your dancing shoes.

The post Countries with the best music festivals appeared first on Worldation.

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Best Hair Products For Men & More

The difficulty in finding a hair product that is best for your hair is the sheer flood products on the market. You can find anything from one dollar products to others that cost several hundred dollars but just because one thing is more expensive, it doesn’t mean it is automatically better for you. Secondly, just because a hair product works well for your friend, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you simply because you may have very thick greasy hair when your friend has thin and dry hair.

How To Choose The Right Hair Product For Your Hair Type

Sven Raphael Schneider's unstyled hair
Sven Raphael Schneider’s unstyled hair

Analyze Your Hair Type

Hair types can be straight, wavy, curly, or kinky, all of which can be thin or thick. For example, I have coarse, thick, and voluminous hair that is quite dry so I need a product that tames my hair without drying it out. As a kid, I had curls and if I let my hair grow, it definitely becomes more wavy. For me, I always use hair products with an extreme hold, otherwise, my hair just does whatever it wants. On the other hand, if you have thin, sparse, or straight hair, you do not want a product without a hold, otherwise, it’s weighing your hair down. 

Frankly, it’s best to talk to your barber or to your hairstylist because they have more experience and they can tell you what kind of hair you got.

James Dean's signature hairstyle.
James Dean’s signature hairstyle.

Decide On The Style You Want

Basically, that means what do you want your hair to look like. Do you want to have beach hair that is wavy and stands up? Do you want something that I have that is relatively stiff and very neat and gentlemanly? Do you want your hair to be flexible or loose or just very much in place? do you want a matte and textured look? or do you want a smooth and shiny look? Should be obvious or should be subtle? These are all questions that you have to answer for yourself. Again, it pays to talk to your stylist and look at different photos and see what you like and dislike.

Take A Stylist’s Advice With A Grain Of Salt

As I mentioned before, a stylist knows your hair, they have a good comparison, they’ve tried different things, and they know what works for a certain type of hair and what doesn’t. On the flip side, they have a serious conflict of interest simply because if you think about your haircut right, doing your haircut takes them 30, 40, or 50 minutes. Now, by selling you a product, they can make twice as much or maybe even more money just by selling that product in an additional two minutes. Therefore, stylists aren’t really objective about what they’re selling you. Chances are they want to sell you something that is ideal for your hair that they have right there at the store.

In some salons and barbershops, they are trying to tell you that the products they have from a certain brand are different than if you buy them at Costco for example, however, there is no evidence that suggests that the J. Crew product you buy at your barbershop is any different than the one you buy at your drugstore.

Your regular stylist can help you out when it comes to your hair
Your regular stylist can help you out when it comes to your hair

In general, anything related to hair is a very high margin product so always keep it in mind when you buy something. Also, don’t be afraid to question and ask your stylist about specifics. The sales pitch may go like this, “This product has much higher quality ingredients that are much more concentrated without any filler materials, also it only uses essential oils and leaves out all the bad chemicals”. Good questions to ask are:

  • Why is this product the better quality?
  • Why is this one ingredient better than the others?
  • Which chemicals exactly are left out?
  • What is the concentration in this product?

If they can’t answer those questions or if they are not willing to tell you to answer them later and do some research, it’s nothing more but an empty sales pitch.

Assorted Hair Products For Men
Assorted Hair Products For Men

Different Types Of Hair Products

Pomade, gel, wax, styling cream, putty, clay, sea salt spray, paste, and last but not least, hair spray. So the big question is what do they do and what are they best for? Here is where the problem begins.

These are not trademarked or defined terms and every brand may use them slightly differently. So for one brand, pomade is kind of a wax based product with fat that you smear in your hair; for others, it’s completely waxless, water soluble, and just different altogether. Because of that, it’s very difficult for you, as a consumer, to do an apples-to-apples comparison simply based on the type of product you have. Yes, a spray is a spray but some may be aerosol sprays, others may be a pump spray which can be hugely different in their effect on your hair.

So what should you do instead? I suggest you look at the characteristics of each hair product which is hold, body, and shine. Every hair product will have different strengths in different areas and this is what matters most to your hair. With hold, I mean, how long does a specific product hold that hairstyle throughout the day no matter it’s really sunny, windy, or rainy? With body, I mean how much volume does a hair product add to your hair? By shine, I mean how reflective is your hair going to be in terms of light? Do you want it to sparkle or do you want it to be very matte? Now, even though I just said every hair product type is slightly different, we still try to create an infographic that fits 95% of the hair products out there and you can find it on our website here.

Evaluate The Ingredients Of Hair Products

As with pretty much anything, as a consumer, you have to be educated so you can cut through the marketing speech and make sure you get the best value product for your hair. Now you may wonder how do I do that? I have no clue about hair, where do I start making an informed decision? Honestly, the best place for information on hair products that I found is the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Yes, that is a mouthful but guess what? This wasn’t made by marketers but by scientists hence the tongue breaker name. Even though the name suggests, it just covers cosmetics, it covers hair products as well and has overall more than 70,000 products that were analyzed in detail. All you have to do is type in your product brand and the product name and then it will show you if it contains any hazardous materials, what the composition is, and also if there are other products that are may be related but better.

Personally to me, it was reveling even just typing in big brands like Jack Black, or J Crew, Paul Mitchell, or Redken and realizing that these brands that are always praised as something really special are maybe not quite as good as you thought they were. Overall, it gave me a much better idea of what kind of stuff I put in my hair whether it makes sense for the hair type I have and the style I’m going for and what other products are out there that are much better.

Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

Experiment With Different Hair Products

I really urge you to experiment with different hair products. Yes, the database can really help you to narrow things down to a certain group of products but and ultimately, you still have to wear it in your hair and decide if it’s something you want or if the look is just not right. No matter if you buy online or the retail store, chances are you’ll just have to invest some money to get some of the products. Very rarely are you allowed to return products that you’ve already used but it may make sense to ask beforehand what the return policy is with specific retailers. Of course, if they allow you to return things, chances are their prices are gonna be a little higher because they have to beat that cost. Now, if you buy a product from your stylist, you have the chance to just try it out in your hair maybe after a haircut without having to buy it so that’s a great opportunity to test things out without having to spend extra money.

Our Favorite Hair Products

göt2b Spiking Gel for Thick, Textured Hair

side view, Sven Raphael Schneider's styled disconnected udnercut
Sven Raphael Schneider’s styled disconnected undercut with göt2b Spiking Glue hair gel

Gentleman’s Gazette founder Sven Raphael Schneider, tried pomade for a while until he realized he suffered from pomade acne. However, he has very thick, stubborn hair and so he was looking for an alternative product that allowed him to create a nice look with a part that would keep his hair in place.

After experimenting for over 6 months, it turned out that the water-soluble spiking glue gel from göt2b was the only gel strong enough to keep his hair in place. Interestingly, other göt2b products did not work for him at all. He has been using the gel in the yellow tube for nearly 10 years, and his hair looks great. Even better, göt2b Spiking Glue is cheap and since it is made by Henkel, it should be available around the globe.

Groom & Clean for Thin, Straight Hair

Preston Wearing Groom & Clean
Preston Wearing Groom & Clean

Though not as well known as Brylcreem, Groom & Clean is a classic product from the 1950’s that is still a great product for men today, and it’s the favorite of GG Producer Preston Schleuter. Unlike it’s more famous cousins, pomade and Brylcreem, it contains no wax and is therefore easy to wash out in a single washing. Groom & Clean is an emulsion of water and mineral oil that also contains lanolin, a naturally derived oil, for moisture and hold. It has a pleasant but minimal scent fades quickly after application. developed in the late 50’s; easily touched up with a wet comb

It feels like a slightly tacky lotion and with a small amount, it will provide you with a light hold that is pliable all day long, or with larger amounts will result in a high shine with a medium to strong hold. It’s extremely versatile and is easily washed out without any sweat or tears. Long hair or short, Groom & Clean is well worth trying – and it’s inexpensive to boot.

CONCLUSION

I urge you to check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. That is really the first step and if you go down that path, you’ll have to invest a few hours but you’ll be armed with more information and you know exactly what’s good for your hair and what is not.


Gentleman’s Gazette

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The best life insurance companies in 2019

term life insurance policy

Looking for the best life insurance? Simple is better when it comes to life insurance, and buying level term insurance from a trustworthy company is just about as simple as you can get.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what term life insurance is and who needs it. We’ll also cover which companies money expert Clark Howard recommends you buy it from and how to research and identify the best term life insurance companies on your own.

A look at the best term life insurance companies

Do you have a family or someone else who depends on you financially? Life insurance is meant to replace your income when you’re gone.

Too often, people overlook this important financial safety net. Don’t be one of them. We know life insurance can seem dry and hard to understand, but we’ll do our best to explain it in simple, actionable terms.

Fortunately, the cost of term life insurance has been dropping for a while.

“Life insurance has gotten much cheaper over the years, in part because people are living longer,” Clark says. “Add into the mix the Internet, which has made it ultra-easy to compare prices when shopping for life insurance. The result is that term life insurance costs have dropped by two-thirds in the last 15 years. That’s a great deal!”

Best life insurance companies: Table of contents

What is level term life insurance?

woman with question mark on head

Life insurance may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be!

Let’s break down some terms in the phrase “level term life insurance,” which is the kind of life insurance Clark recommends.

The “term” part here means you buy insurance for a set number of years depending on your age and your family’s needs. Typically, that means for periods of 20 or 30 years to protect your young children as you raise them into adulthood.

The “level” part means the premium remains the same for that number of years.

Remember the only purpose for life insurance is to replace your income (or your spouse’s) for your family if you die.

Pretty simple, right?

Who needs life insurance?

Two hidden home costs every prospective buyer should know about

Let’s answer this question with a couple of illustrations.

Say, for example, you have young kids and you want to provide financial security for them until they are adults. In this case, you might want to buy a 20-year term policy.

Or, let’s say you’re 35 and it’s just you and your spouse. You may want to provide for the remainder of your spouse’s life in the event of your death. In that case, you’d probably want a 30-year term policy.

You may not need a life insurance policy at all if there aren’t children in the picture.

“If you have no dependents at all, you don’t need to buy any life insurance,” Clark says. “And don’t ever buy insurance on children. A three-year-old doesn’t earn a salary, so there’s no need to replace his or her income.”

Clark Howard’s picks for term life insurance

Now that you know how Clark feels about life insurance, you might wonder who he’d buy it from.

Clark has long sung the praises of two insurers in particular — USAA and Amica Mutual — when it comes to term life insurance.

1. USAA

USAA logo

USAA is a diversified financial services company with offerings that include banking, investing and insurance.

Here’s the key thing to know about USAA: The services it offers are only available to those in the military or who are affiliated with the military through direct family ties.

2. Amica Mutual

amica mutual logo

What can you do if you or anyone in your family never served in the military but you still want a great company for term life insurance? Clark recommends checking out Amica Mutual, which is open to anyone. Amica is often acknowledged in the industry as an equal to USAA.

In fact, Clark believes so strongly in USAA and Amica that he listed them both as top picks on his lists of the best auto insurance companies and best home insurance companies.

3. Haven Life

Haven Life logo

Haven Life is one of a handful of insurers that issues term life insurance policies with no medical exam.

When you go through Haven, select qualified applicants (up to age 45) can finalize coverage online without the need to have a physical exam or a blood test like you would with other insurers.

Certain candidates, however, may still need to pass medical underwriting, depending on a variety of factors.

Term life insurance companies ranked by stability

It goes without saying that you need to make smart choices when you’re buying insurance.

Clark recommends buying only from companies that are rated A++ or A+ by A.M. Best — the highest possible ratings from one of the top companies when it comes to measuring the long-term financial strength of different insurers.

“Anything less than an A+ — even an A — is unacceptable. Don’t be tempted by low premiums when you’re shopping around,” Clark says. “Stick with insurers of top strength, even if you have to pay more for it.”

You can visit AMBest.com to get started researching your insurance company of choice. Free registration is required to use the site.

We’ve pulled up some ratings of popular life insurers below:

Insurance company Coverage underwritten by A.M. Best rating
Amica Mutual (self) A+
USAA (self) A++
Haven Life Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company A++
State Farm (self) A++
Prudential (self) A+
Mutual of Omaha Group (self) A+
Globe Life (self) A+
John Hancock (self) A+

Understanding an insurance company’s financial strength is of the utmost importance. You want to make sure a company you’re buying a policy from today will be around for the long haul when your family needs them.

Once you’ve got the financial stability piece of the puzzle figured out, then you’re really just shopping for coverage based on cost. Clark says that you should aim to buy 6 to 10 times your annual income in coverage.

“All else being equal, buy life insurance by cost,” Consumer Reports notes. “Shop for the lowest rates using an online broker with ties to many insurers, not just a few.”

Fortunately, shopping for term life insurance is easy on the Internet. You can comparison shop for quotes at any of a number of sites like:

Final thought

A lot of people shy away from buying life insurance simply because they don’t understand it. But buying term life insurance can be simple and affordable.

Remember, if you’ve got children or other financial dependents, you need life insurance!

More insurance stories on Clark.com

The post The best life insurance companies in 2019 appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Best travel accounts on Instagram


Does anyone else find themselves scrolling through Instagram for inspiration on what to wear, what to eat and where to go? We are always struck with intense wanderlust when we see beautiful beaches, colorful cities or mystical mountains, and it feels so much more natural to look through social media for our next vacation idea than to check out an old fashioned brochure! So, if you need some travel inspo, here are the best accounts on Instagram for travel.

ExpertVagabond (@ExpertVagabond)

Proving that it’s never too late to start traveling, Marr Karsten had never even left the US when he quit his job as a freelance photographer in 2010. He then spent the next seven years traveling all over the world, covering over 50 countries from Tanzania to Italy and Hawaii to Russia. Although he has since gotten married and very recently had a baby (in Poland where he and his fellow photographer wife were traveling), he still spends half of the year traveling, so there is still plenty of content to give you itchy feet!

Photo: @ExpertVagabond

Wander Reds (@WanderReds)

One thing we love about Alvaro is his ambition! He wants to become the youngest Spaniard to visit all 197 countries of the world, and he’s not too far off it. His captions are captivating, asking questions of his audience about things such as their dream jobs or whether it’s better to travel solo or with others. There is so much more to this account than just beautiful photography. Alvaro is an absolute inspiration as he started off juggling his travel plans with a 9-5 job (relatable right?!) although eventually, he was able to quit and travel full time (the dream).

The Road Les Traveled (@lesleyannemurphy)

If you recognize Lesley, it may be because she was a contestant on the ABC show, the Bachelor, however now she is a full-time travel blogger and yoga lover. She has over 407,000 followers who love to follow her luxury adventures to far off tropical paradises or staying in quirky accommodation. Although a lot of what she does might be out of reach for the average Joe, there is still plenty that is obtainable.

Photo: @lesleyannemurphy

Alex Strohl (@Alexstrohl)

With one of the largest followings on Instagram (2 million at the time of writing), there’s no way we couldn’t include Alex and his breathtaking photography of the adventures he goes on. From his home in Montana to Iceland, Portugal, and beyond, the vibrant colors of his shots will have you reaching for your credit card! Alex’s travel photography is so good that it actually been used in Vanity Fair and Land Rover campaigns.

Next time you find yourself wondering where to book next, hopefully, these Instagram adventurers will inspire you a little. Instead of visiting the same beach every year, try somewhere a bit off the beaten path and really enjoy a new experience. Of course, nothing is stopping you becoming the next big travel influencer online, so get booking those trips and snapping those candids!

The post Best travel accounts on Instagram appeared first on Worldation.

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Best LA restaurants to spot celebrities


Let’s face it, when we visit LA there are two things we want to happen: to spot celebrities going about their lives, and to be discovered by a movie director and to become a celebrity in our own right. We can’t help you with the latter, but we do have some hot tips on the best LA restaurants to go celeb spotting!

Gracias Madre

This vegan heaven is always swamped with paparazzi outside, as the inside of this stunning white space is full of celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Jessica Alba, and Selena Gomez, drinking gorgeous craft cocktails and enjoying organic Mexican food.

Gracias Madre

Catch LA

This Insta-worthy restaurant is the West Hollywood version of a super hip NYC eatery and celebrities love it! IF you are lucky enough to get in (they are very picky and tend only to take the elite, rich or famous!) you might be eating sustainable sushi alongside the Beckhams, Paris Hilton or Mariah Carey!

Urth Caffe

A popular LA establishment with several locations, you can enjoy a healthy meal using sustainable ingredients while you spy on the stars. Be sure to visit the one at Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood for the best chance of seeing celebrities such as Katy Perry, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Lana Del Rey.

The Restaurant at the Chateau Marmont

Food is secondary at this country club, as the focus is certainly more on the famous clientele and the drama they cause. In fact, right back in the ‘30s, stars such as Clark Gable and F. Scott Fitzgerald regularly engaged in debauchery and now you can spot celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears!

The Polo Lounge

Back in the day, guests to the Polo Lounge included Marilyn Monroe and the Rat Pack, so if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for us! Now you are likely to spot Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio to name just three! Even without the celeb sightings, it’s a fantastic place to visit, with a beautiful sunny patio space, and jazz music to enjoy as you eat.

The Polo Lounge

Musso and Frank Grill

If you want the chance to spot Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage or Mila Kunis as well as enjoy a stiff martini and a medium-rare steak, then the Musso and Frank Grill is the perfect place! Charlie Chaplin and the Warner brothers themselves were regular visitors to this iconic establishment and the dark, noir vibes make you feel as though you could be in a movie. This has an entirely different atmosphere to many of the other restaurants which are all about light, airy modern looks, so it’s certainly worth a visit.

If you are lucky enough to spot your favorite star having food, remember to be respectful. Some celebs dont mind being asked for autographs or selfies, but most people wouldn’t like to be interrupted if they were in the middle of a meal with their family. Always be polite and kind and don’t just shove your phone at them and demand a picture. Happy spotting!

The post Best LA restaurants to spot celebrities appeared first on Worldation.

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5 Tips to Hire the Best Siding Contractor

Adding new siding to your home can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal and resale value while protecting your home from the elements. Home siding comes in an array of materials that offer varying benefits, all at various price points.

At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 80 percent of homeowners found a contractor for the job through referrals. But it’s important to properly vet and research contractors before choosing your perfect fit, even if a friend or a family member personally vouched for them.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while you make th