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3 Ways to Avoid Increased Insurance Rates Due to Your New Job

By Daniel Wesley

Congratulations on your new position! But before you pop that champagne, take a moment to consider how this new job could affect your insurance rates.

You might be asking yourself, “Why should I be worrying about insurance at a time like this?” In my mother’s early days as a realtor, she would’ve asked the same question. She would use her personal vehicle to take potential buyers to see properties. This all changed when she got her new car insured and her premiums skyrocketed — all for doing a nice favor for her customers.

My mother was lucky and changed her situation before it hurt her wallet. Follow in her footsteps, and take the following three tips to heart. They’ll help you keep your hard-earned cash where it belongs — in the bank. 

1. Think Like an Insurance Company
Once you’re offered a position, make an in-depth analysis of the job description. Look at what’s required of your personal resources (like your car).

When driving customers became her routine, my mother never expected her insurance to go up. She wasn’t thinking about mileage or what might happen if she got into an accident with customers in the car.

After sitting down with her provider to discuss a new policy, she learned the nightmarish cost she could’ve incurred and made an immediate change.

Her provider asked four simple questions:

  • What do you do for work?
  • How many miles do you drive to get to and from your job?
  • Do you use your personal vehicle for employment-related purposes?
  • Will any nonemployees be passengers in this vehicle during work-related trips?

The answers to these questions could have doomed her insurance rate — and resulted in her buyers traveling separately to her properties.

2. Negotiate Terms Without Bringing Up the Benjamins
When interviewing for a position, remember to ask questions, but try to frame your inquiries in a way that presents concerns in a more broad and general sense.

When seeking employment from a company that might affect your premiums, ask questions like:

  • Will I be expected to carry certain insurance policies as part of my employment?
  • Does the company offer full insurance benefits?
  • What exactly is included under “full benefits”?

If it turns out that key benefits — like car insurance — aren’t included, ask if reimbursement is available or if those expenses can be built into your pay rate.

Specific dollar amounts are typically a turnoff to potential employers, but by sticking to general questions, you’ll likely be seen as having responsible forethought — a quality that may help you win the job.

3. Document Expenses
Even if you’ve already accepted a position with potentially damaging effects on your insurance, you still have options!

The key is to be diligent, keeping track of overall day-to-day mileage and gas expenses. Take note of small, noticeable changes to your car’s performance and well-being. With careful documentation, you may be able to save on maintenance and upkeep — particularly by catching minor issues early that have the potential to become larger, more expensive issues later.

After leaving the damaging position, go back to your insurance provider and ask that your rate be reevaluated to reflect your change in circumstances. Your rate should drop significantly. Once your employment and lifestyle changes are factored into the remaining time left on the previously prorated amount, you may even receive a refund!

Now that you’ve carefully assessed your options and are prepared to thwart potential increases to your insurance, go ahead and pop that champagne. It’s a new job, and there’s much to celebrate! 

Quote.com was founded by Daniel Wesley to serve as the online expert in all things quote. He is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Living Space Tidy — Even With a Busy Schedule

Many of us lead busy, hectic lives, whether we’re staying at our home base or traveling between hotel rooms or corporate housing. With all that insanity going on around you, it’s easy to let little things go — like the basics of a neat and tidy living space.

But there’s no excuse for turning every dirty dinner plate into a petri dish. Whether you’re at home or on the road, you can keep your space decently clean no matter how busy you are.

All it takes is a plan.

Get Into a Routine

Chores are always easier to accomplish when you’re working on autopilot. This is where a routine comes in. You don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth to spend thinking about when you’re going to wash dishes, do laundry, or straighten up. But these are important tasks. A clean, comfortable living environment can help you keep your sanity — even when your schedule gets crazy.

I suggest the “right away” routine: cleaning up every mess immediately after it’s made. This will keep your space near tip-top shape with less time spent. Here are the major points of the plan:

  • When you get up in the morning, straighten the bed. You don’t need hospital corners; just smooth everything out. You’ll be glad you did when you come home bleary-eyed from yet another cross-country work trip.
  • When you finish dinner, rinse the dishes straight away, and put them in the dishwasher. Those three minutes will be much better than the 30 minutes you’d spend on them if you let them pile up.
  • When you’re done lounging (scarce as those opportunities may be), pick up after yourself right away.
  • Do laundry at a time that you can stick to every week, such as first thing Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon during football.
  • Make a habit of always putting your clothes away according to the same system, such as white shirts on the left, black shirts on the right, colored shirts in between. You won’t have to search in the morning for the outfit you want because you’ll know exactly where it is.

This plan will help keep your home a relaxing place to return to instead of a hotbed of chores and stress.

Keep It Up on the Road

You don’t have to give up your routines and sense of home just because you’re traveling, especially if you’re in furnished or corporate housing. Assuming the place is spotless when you first move in, it should be a breeze to keep it that way.

You should still straighten the bed in the morning and put the dishes away. And because you’re acting like it’s home, move the furniture around. Just because the room came that way doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Put up pictures of your friends and family. The homier your living space feels, the more motivated you’ll feel to keep it ship-shape.

Then, when you do get home, you’ll arrive to that same sense of tidy and clean, and you’ll still have those effortless habits to help you maintain your new, spotless life.

David Adams is the founder of HomeSuite, an online marketplace for temporary furnished housing that uses technology, data, and customer service to provide the best possible experience for tenants and landlords. Connect with David on Twitter.

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Searching for the Perfect Place: 5 Tips for Vetting Your Next Home

Searching for a new home requires some serious diligence. Pictures on some websites can be misleading, and nobody wants to sign a lease only to discover that their dream apartment overlooks the train tracks and is already populated by a family of rats.

Ideally, you can either visit the unit in person or have access to high-quality photos from the property. Only those who come fully prepared can land the best deals. Write yourself a little checklist of what details you should be looking for when viewing a new place. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Check out the neighborhood.

Before you’ve even stepped through the door, you should already be judging. Does the neighborhood have the kind of bars and restaurants you like? Are there great parks and shops? Is it safe? Is it noisy?

Everything can seem rosy on a Saturday afternoon, but it may not be so nice coming home late on a Friday night. Be sure to check out your neighborhood at all times of the day — talk to the neighbors, too. Ask them candid questions about the area.

2. Inspect, inspect, inspect.

You’ve done your research online. You know how many bedrooms there are, and you’ve looked over the floor plan, but you don’t really know anything until you spend some time in the apartment. Don’t let the broker sweet-talk or distract you.

Ask questions and pay attention to detail. Is the paint peeling? Are the amenities new, or are they likely to break soon? You’ll want to minimize the number of calls you’d have to make to the property manager after moving in, just in case he’s the type who never answers the phone.

Check everything, from the light switches to the faucets to the toilet. Do you get cellphone reception? How’s the view? Where are the power outlets? There’s no use packing your wide-screen television only to find that there’s no place to plug it in. Every potential problem can waste you time and money.

3. Learn what’s included.

With rents in cities like San Francisco already sky-high, you need to know what you get for your rent check. Does it cover utilities, or will you be paying extra for water, garbage removal, and heating? Is there access to laundry? That great deal might not seem so great when you discover that every bag of garbage costs another $10.

4. Test your commute.

Most people view apartments during the weekend, but this is the worst time to get a sense of your potential commute. It could take 15 minutes at 2 p.m. on a Saturday, but the same commute might take more than an hour at 8 a.m. on a Monday — and even longer when you just want to get home at quitting time on Friday.

If you plan to drive, you’ll need to check parking, too. Will you have a designated spot in a garage, or will you be reliant on street parking? Finding a space in some parts of town can be harder than finding the Ark of the Covenant in that warehouse at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and the costs of parking meters can really add up.

5. Take photos and notes.

Don’t just see with your eyes; see with your smartphone. Taking photos of flaws will help when negotiating your lease or discussing the security deposit.

Write down any concerns you have, as well as any repairs you find necessary. You’ll be glad you remembered the crack in your bedroom window once winter rolls around.

Don’t feel pressured to rush your decision. If you’re moving in with a roommate, sit down and have a frank discussion about how you see life in the apartment. Compare notes. Who gets the master bedroom? How are you allocating closet space? Do you both feel at home?

Unless your situation is more temporary, you’ll likely be spending at least a year of your life in your new place, and you don’t want to be miserable. Practice due diligence up front and you’ll save time, money, and hassle.

David Adams is the founder of HomeSuite, an online marketplace for temporary furnished housing that uses technology, data, and customer service to provide the best possible experience for tenants and landlords. Connect with David on Twitter.

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Talking With Your Daughter About Cancer Could Be the Most Important Conversation You Ever Have

You’ve bandaged her skinned knees, taught her how to ride a bike, proofread her English papers, and been her shoulder to cry on. You’ve held her hand after surgery, hung pictures in her new apartment, and listened.

Being the parent of a daughter is full of opportunities to nurture, love, and care. It’s about being there, offering advice, sharing moments, and preparing her for the future. As she ages and becomes a parent herself, there’s another critical role to play: You can talk with her about the risks of gynecological cancers.

Early Detection and Prevention

There are reliable early detection tests for two significant cancers seen in women — breast and cervical. Breast cancer awareness campaigns have encouraged women to get routine mammograms, and most women approaching 50 make it part of their annual routines.

Thanks to the Pap smear, the cervical cancer death rate has decreased by more than 50 percent. With the development of the human papillomavirus vaccine, which protects against the most common sexually transmitted virus in America, those numbers should continue to fall.

Unfortunately, there aren’t preventative screenings for ovarian and endometrial cancers. Endometrial cancer is the most common of all gynecological cancers, affecting almost 55,000 women this year. Ovarian is the eighth most common cancer, with roughly 20,000 cases each year.

Symptoms and Risks

The biggest risk factor for endometrial cancer is obesity. Fat takes cholesterol and turns it into estrogen; endometrial cancer occurs when there’s a surplus of estrogen. Managing weight is crucial for avoiding it.

Ovarian cancer used to be termed “the silent killer” because it was originally believed to cause no symptoms. However, a 2007 study linked abdominal bloating, fatigue, lower back pain, and feeling full quickly to ovarian cancer. Although these are common symptoms among other medical issues, studies show that when suddenly experienced together 10 or more times a month, they can be symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Luckily, studies show that taking oral contraceptives for five or more years reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 50 percent. Having gynecological surgery can also lower the chances by more than two-thirds and a hysterectomy by as much as one-third. Finally, recent data suggests that removing fallopian tubes completely minimizes the chance of contracting ovarian cancer.

Family History

Genetics can play an important role in gynecological cancers. Most of these cases are inherited mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which significantly increases the chance of getting both breast and ovarian cancer.

Since 2013, Angelina Jolie has been vocal about how carrying a mutation in her BRCA1 gene has affected her life. She serves as a model for women about what it looks like to take charge of your health.

Another common genetic mutation is called Lynch syndrome — a group of genetic mutations and mismatched repair genes that are present in the DNA and increase the family’s risk of colon, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

Because these and other genetic abnormalities boost the risk of getting ovarian and other cancers, it’s critical to share your family health history with your daughter. These mutations can come from either the mother’s or the father’s side of the family. For health histories raising a red flag, a certain blood test can assess the risk. Women are encouraged to consult with their doctors about next steps.

With so many factors, it can be hard to keep up. But taking time to have a candid conversation with your daughter about cancer could be the most important conversation you ever have. After all, parenthood never ends. It lasts a lifetime.

Valerie Palmieri is the president and CEO of Vermillion. She brings to Vermillion more than 30 years of experience in the diagnostic laboratory industry, serving in numerous sales, operations, and executive leadership positions for both laboratory service and consulting organizations.

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How to Protect Your Wife from ‘The Silent Killer’

Between jobs, kids, household chores, pets, and daily activities, most wives tend to be so busy taking care of everyone else’s needs that they forget about taking care of their own. That’s why it’s important for you, as the husband, to pay close attention to your wife and watch for warning signs that could indicate a serious (but often overlooked) health problem — ovarian cancer.

The Silent Killer

Ovarian cancer is currently ranked as the fifth deadliest cancer in women, accounting for 14,270 deaths in the U.S. just last year. This type of cancer begins in a woman’s ovaries — the reproductive glands found only in females — but can spread throughout her other reproductive organs and body as it progresses.

Today, approximately 85 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at later stages, leaving survival rates somewhere between 15 and 30 percent. These delayed diagnoses are due in large part to symptoms being overlooked or confused with other health issues, which is why the disease is commonly referred to as “The Silent Killer.” However, if ovarian cancer is caught in an early stage, it’s highly curable, with survival rates at about 90 percent.

Recognizing the symptoms of ovarian cancer is often the first step to early detection. Here are six symptoms to watch for that could indicate a larger problem:

  • If she becomes easily fatigued
  • If she complains of bloating/abdominal swelling
  • If she feels full quickly while eating or loses her appetite
  • If she suffers from back/pelvic pain or pressure
  • If she suddenly loses weight
  • If she experiences changes in bowel and urination habits

Investing in Your Wife’s Well-Being

If the onset of these symptoms is recent (or they occur 10 or more times a month), your wife should seek medical attention immediately. Aside from watching for those specific symptoms, here are three ways you can advocate for her health:

1. Understand her family history. If your wife has any family history of ovarian, breast, colon, or uterine cancer, she’s already at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Talk to her about looking into genetic testing or counseling to help her better understand her health risk and preventative options.

2. Be direct but supportive. If you notice any red flags, immediately speak to your wife about your concerns. Explain what you’ve observed and suggest she make an appointment with her gynecologist. If she seems reluctant, offer to accompany her. You can even suggest that you both make appointments to get full health evaluations.

3. Ensure she’s getting full, proper care. If you or your wife is concerned about ovarian cancer, skip the consultation with her primary care physician and go straight to a gynecologist — he or she will have more specialized training in recognizing and treating ovarian cancer. At the appointment, make sure someone directly inquires about the possibility of ovarian cancer being the cause of her symptoms.

Your wife is undoubtedly a busy woman who’s probably used to putting her needs — and her health — last. But don’t let her ignore symptoms that could indicate a serious problem. Advocate for your wife by knowing the red flags of ovarian cancer and by speaking up if you suspect there’s a concern.

Dr. Judy Wolf is the chief medical officer at Vermillion, Inc. She received her medical degree from the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine, and her clinical and research interests are in gynecologic cancers — specifically ovarian cancer.

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How Going Green at Home Will Save You Money

Living in a non-energy efficient home isn’t fun. Temperature fluctuations make you shiver all day and sweat all night, your electric bills fly through the roof, and you could even be endangering the livelihood of your loved ones — especially if you have young children or elderly family members living with you.

Thanks to government regulations, home builders are now required to put thousands of additional dollars into new construction to make sure houses are ENERGY STAR-certified. In other words, new homes are required to be eco-friendly, safe, and easier on your wallet.

Even if you aren’t on the market for a new home, many of the green features being added to new construction can be applied to the home you currently live in.

Green Is Good for Everyone

“Going green” is often associated with being more expensive, but when it comes to your home, the money you spend today will pay off in the long run.

For example, installing energy-efficient windows could save you $400 a year. Low-flow sinks, toilets, and showers could save you another $100, and installing a programmable thermostat could cut an additional $150. These small changes alone can put at least $650 back into your pocket annually.

Aside from financial benefits, having a green home provides peace of mind. You’ll sleep better knowing you’re doing your part in saving the environment. Your mind will be at ease when you’re laying your child down to sleep, confident your house will maintain a consistent temperature throughout the night.

Green Tweaks You Should Make to Your Home

Here are three green features that will turn your home into an oasis of energy efficiency:

  • Thermal enclosure system: The average home has a half-mile worth of cracks, holes, and gaps in it. That’s why your air conditioner runs nonstop and you’re still sweating. A thermal enclosure system involves installing high-performance windows and new insulation and sealing up cracks.
     
  • High-efficiency appliances: Upgrading your heating and cooling equipment and installing a programmable thermostat will save you hundreds of dollars every year — and you’ll stop cringing every time the air kicks on because you’ll know it’s not draining your wallet. For appliances that run 24/7 — like your refrigerator — it only makes sense to have those that are both eco- and wallet-friendly. ENERGY STAR-certified appliances use upward of 40 percent less energy than their non-green counterparts.
     
  • Water management system: By ensuring precipitation and other moisture are properly routed away from your house, you’ll protect your roof, walls, and foundation from water damage and mold. In the end, your home will last longer, and the air you and your loved ones breathe will be cleaner.

If you’re not sure where to begin on your quest to green living, consider conducting an energy audit to identify where you need the most help. There are some awesome thermal imaging cameras out there that can help you identify your hot (and cold) spots. If you’re the DIY type, purchase some Nelson Energy Seal, plug your leakiest areas, and see the impact it has on your monthly bills.

As the trend to turn your house green continues to grow, chances are that more and more energy-efficient options will emerge in the coming years. Don’t let the immediate costs intimidate you; it won’t take long for your long-term savings to outweigh your short-term investments. At the end of the day, your home will be safer, more comfortable, and more eco-friendly — and you get the added bonus of saving a little money in the process.

An entrepreneur at heart, CEO Mike Kalis leads the team at Marketplace Homes, a Detroit-based brokerage that specializes in new construction sales and property management. Marketplace has sold more than $1.5 billion in new construction homes, gained a controlling interest in more than 2,000 single-family properties, and been a four-time Inc. 5000 list awardee. 

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7 Simple Steps to Planning a Spontaneous Adventure

When it comes to heading out on an adventure, people tend to go about it one of two ways: They either fly by the seat of their pants, or they micromanage every detail.

While neither option is inherently wrong, they both have their drawbacks. On one extreme, you spend all of your time planning your next steps and very little time actually enjoying the moment. At the other extreme, you find yourself wandering aimlessly around a foreign land, not knowing where to go and missing out on must-see attractions.

The best option is to combine the two: Plan ahead just enough to have a general idea of your path, but leave room for flexibility and adjustments. This is a backpacker’s mentality, and in my opinion, it’s the absolute best way to travel the globe. 

Think Like a Backpacker
People assume that traveling like a backpacker is something reserved for college kids on summer break. But when it comes to injecting a bit of structured spontaneity into a trip, it can be useful no matter who you are.

A backpacker’s mentality goes beyond spontaneity, though; it’s also a great way to travel light and travel safely. Many lovely destinations get a bad rap for being dangerous, violent places where Americans will surely get kidnapped. When I announced that I was going to Colombia, for instance, everyone I told declared that it was unsafe drug territory, and they feared for my life.

These great places are only as dangerous as you make them. If you go around wearing a three-carat diamond, carrying a fancy handbag, or otherwise flaunting your wealth, you’re making yourself a prime target for crime. But when you travel like a backpacker, all you really have to worry about is petty crime.

Check your ego, and leave your gaudy accessories at home. When you’re dressed down, everyone in these supposedly dangerous places will assume that you’re a budget traveler. Harassing you would be a waste of time.

After adopting the right mentality, here are seven additional steps you should take to enjoy a spontaneous getaway:

1.Only book major transportation ahead of time.
When planning a recent trip throughout Africa, I knew there were specific places I wanted to see, but I didn’t book any transportation or lodging at those places until I arrived on the continent. Having an idea of my path kept me on track, but not having a rigid timeframe allowed for flexibility. If I ended up loving a certain city, I knew I’d have the ability to extend my stay and not feel bound to a specific schedule.

2.Research the money situation.
What are your exchange options? Will you be needing mostly cash, or are credit cards a viable option where you’re going? Consider bringing a money belt — it looks like a typical belt, but it has a zippered pocket hidden inside of it.

3.Don’t over-pack.
You probably only need to pack seven days’ worth of clothes. Plan where you’ll do laundry ahead of time, and save money by using a local laundromat rather than a hotel service. If worse comes to worst, you can always buy more clothes while you’re there.

4.Abandon cheap things.
When I traveled to Colombia, I brought a cheap blow-up paddleboard to use on the Amazon and the Caribbean. Instead of lugging the wet and dirty thing home with me, I left it behind for someone else to use. Identify inexpensive things you can leave behind to make your travels even easier.

5.Make copies of everything.
Make sure you have duplicates of your license, passport, ID card, and anything else important. Carry both digital and paper versions of them. I travel with two wallets — one has my license and a credit card, and the other contains my backup ID and a second credit card. I keep the backups hidden in a suitcase pocket.

6.Use backpacker buses.
Backpacker buses are a relatively new form of transportation that cost next to nothing to ride. You don’t even need to be a backpacker to ride them. Look into whether your destinations have these great buses.

7.Talk to other travelers.
Don’t simply ask about where you currently are; ask them about where they’ve been. Pick their brains and take their advice. They may suggest somewhere amazing that’s totally off the beaten path.

In the end, thinking like a backpacker and keeping your plans loose will take you to the most exciting, unpredictable, and memorable places while keeping you safe and saving you money.

It’s all about flexibility: The more wiggle room you can work into your trip, the more opportunity you’ll have for adventure.

Stephan Aarstol is the CEO and founder of Tower Paddle Boards, an online, manufacturer-direct brand in stand up paddle boarding. The San Diego Business Journal named Tower Paddle Boards the "Fastest Growing Private Company in San Diego 2014.” The company was also invested in by Mark Cuban on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” named one of the show's “Top 10 Success Stories” by Entrepreneur, and featured by PEOPLE Magazine as one of “Shark Tank’s Biggest Winners.” Stephan is an entrepreneurial thought leader and online marketing expert, and he welcomes anyone to reach out to him on Google+.

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Why Millennials Should Pay Attention to Health Tech Today

From 3D-printed limbs to regenerated organs to tiny robots that detect diseases, the world of health technology is changing at an impressive pace. The development of new technologies is constantly underway to reverse the aging process and extend human lives.

Thanks to medicine, sports technology, and surgical developments, human bodies physically last longer than ever before. Doctors are able to achieve breakthroughs today that once were considered science fiction, and these technologies will only continue to improve — if they’re given the support they need.

Combatting the Technology Gap

Medical technology has the potential to extend lives and enhance productivity. Thus, younger generations need to pay attention to health technology developments now.

However, the gap between technology and research continues to widen, and this gap renders valuable research inapplicable to people due to nonexistent or inadequately developed technology.

Lack of interest, funding, and public awareness for these new advancements among younger generations could jeopardize opportunities to solve problems and make breakthroughs in the medical and healthcare fields. In turn, the scarce supply of health technology could lead to a chain reaction of unattended health conditions and uncontrolled inflation. And if we fail to identify and address certain health concerns early, new problems could arise before a viable solution ever surfaces.

Millennials, however, can move the industry forward and have a responsibility to do so — not just for themselves, but also for future generations.

Millennials Are the Answer to Advancing Health Technology

Millennials have the skills and manpower to combat the technology gap and help usher in viable solutions. Here’s why they’re the generation for the job:

·  They are intuitive with technology. Millennials have an advantage when it comes to reforming the traditional healthcare system: knowledge of technology acquired from a young age. Data analysis, mobile health applications, and telemedicine technologies can improve traditional medicine practices.

· They have the means to visualize concepts and enhance understanding. Developments in imaging and display systems can impact healthcare. Fast-processing computers, graphic design, 3D printing, and other advanced tools can teach complicated concepts involved in biotech and healthcare technology. Millennials’ ability to use these tools can boost other groups’ understanding of these ideas.

·  They are expert communicators. Millennials live in an era of communication transparency in which everything can easily be found online. Millennials are skilled at spreading information to wide audiences and can therefore expertly share the word about new healthcare advances.

The Millennial generation is considered the generation of impact. Thus, they can contribute greatly to the growth of health technology. If the generation invests financially in new technologies, advocates for R&D funding in legislation, and participates in the health tech fields, the threatening technology gap will surely shrink.

Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International, a California- and Beijing-based intellectual property management company specializing in applied health systems. He also leads Skingenix, which specializes in skin organ regeneration and the research and development of botanical drug products.

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What You Need to Know Before You Put a Ring on It

When you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, the only thing standing between them and popping the question is that engagement ring. Have you ever thought about why engagement rings are given? Or how to choose one stone when there are so many options available? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Some History
Ancient Egyptians introduced the ring as a sign of engagement and, in 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with the first engagement ring ever to have diamonds. Fast forward to 1886 when, “Tiffany & Co. introduces the ‘Tiffany setting,’ a six-prong ring designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance by raising it up from the band,” noted Reader’s Digest author Kelly Bare. It was only thanks to DeBeers’ campaign “A Diamond is Forever” in 1948, that diamond engagement rings became a lasting part our culture. 

Speaking of cultures, different ones have different customs when it comes to getting engaged. Jessica Schiffer, former writer of Harper’s Bazaar and current editor of Who What Wear, writes, “Brides in RussiaGermanyNorway, and India wear engagement rings on their right hands instead of their left. In Chile, both men and women receive engagement rings, which they wear on their right hands. Once they’re married, they move them to their left hands. ” In the United States, rings, being a circle shape, represent endless love placed on our fourth finger, the only finger containing a vein that leads straight to the heart. 

Tips for Picking the Right Ring
Engagement rings can be customized in various ways. Everyone knows to pay attention to the four C’s when buying: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Clarity refers to the amount of blemishes in the diamond, color refers to the diamond’s grading system, and carat caters to so many couple’s favorite: size. Cut means the shape and finish of the stone.

When proposing, consider whether or not your special someone is going to love a round, princess, cushion, asscher, marquise, oval, radiant, pear, emerald, or heart cut. If she wants something a little more traditional, you might look at the first three cuts; if they have unique style, they may love the last cuts mentioned. Still stuck? It sometimes helps to ask your future fiancé’s friend or family members for advice.

Looking for some more fun facts about engagement rings? Jeweler AG & Sons has created a great infographic which we’ve posted below. AG & Sons is a family run business with branches in UK, Canada and India. Visit their website for unique designs at affordable prices. 

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View Tulsa: The Hidden Gem for Startups

When it comes to location, there’s an understandable temptation for entrepreneurs to follow the standard path. Like aspiring actors heading to Hollywood or stockbrokers to Wall Street, Silicon Valley seems like the place to be when trying to hit it big with your startup.
 
But one of the beautiful things about today’s entrepreneurship is that you can start a business virtually anywhere. In fact, while a Silicon Valley address may look nice on a business card, it can be much more advantageous to try a less-trafficked location — one that encourages new business rather than one already filled with establishment players.
 
One of the best locations for a new startup won’t be on many entrepreneurs’ radars, but it should be. Ranked as the second best city to start a business in 2015, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is pulsating with optimism for the future. While the city’s oil economy has begun to change over the past few years, the city continues to grow — thanks, in part, to investors seeking new areas of expansion for the city’s burgeoning tech economy.
 
Tulsa may not be marked with a big X on the startup treasure map, but that doesn’t make it any less of a find. Consider some of the opportunities for tech startups in this hidden gem of the Midwest:
 

1. The Energy: Despite what some may think, low gas prices haven’t forced the oil capital of the world’s energy companies to their knees. On the contrary, the rise of natural gas was the spark that made a flame and infused Tulsa with loads of energy. For the entrepreneur, this means benefitting from the nation’s lowest energy costs, as well as a cornucopia of opportunities to support growing businesses in the energy sector.

 

2. The Money: While Silicon Valley is home to many angel investors, there are plenty of opportunities for financial backing in Tulsa. Investors abound, both public and private, as do affordable loans offered by the local government. Even better, Oklahoma has a Small Employer Quality Jobs Program, which offers financial incentives for businesses that move to or expand within the state.

 

It’s important to remember, too, that investors who don’t live in Oklahoma aren’t confined within the borders of California. If they see an opportunity, theyll invest, regardless of where a business is located.

 

3. The Savings: Luckily, all those loans and investments won’t be used on cost-of-living expenses. On average, Tulsa residents pay only half of what San Francisco residents pay. When you’re running a small business, those savings can be the difference between success and bankruptcy.

 

4. Putting the “Art” Back in Startup: While there are plenty of business reasons to move your startup to Tulsa, there are creative ones as well. Tulsa knows this and makes a concerted effort to support the arts and exciting startups. This is perhaps best illustrated in 36 Degrees North, Tulsa’s new basecamp for entrepreneurs that’s located in the Brady Arts District.

 
It’s true that Tulsa doesn’t exactly have the eye-catching hipster buzz of Silicon Valley. But if you’re making business decisions based on buzz, you’re probably heading down a dangerous path. What Tulsa offers is ample opportunity and encouragement from the local economy.

 

And who knows? Maybe it will be your startup that puts Tulsa on the map as the Silicon Valley of the future.

 

Per Bylund is assistant professor of entrepreneurship and Records-Johnston professor of free enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University. His areas of research are entrepreneurship, management, and economic organization. Connect with him on Twitter.

 

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Find the Right Reading Glasses for Your Face Shape

If you've shopped for dozens of reading glasses only to end up hating them all, you're not alone. There are millions of people just like you in the world who own way too many pairs that are completely wrong for their features.

To make your life easier, we've compiled some of the hottest reading glasses on the market today. Plus, we've provided some guidelines for specific face shapes.

Heart Face Shape

Your forehead is wide and your face angles inward to your chin, and you probably have chiseled features. 

The Deluxe Wayfarer is a perfect fit because of its wide lenses and boxlike frame. When you purchase this design on Amazon, you get two pairs for the price of one.


If you're a fan of variety, you can nab five pairs of Gamma Ray Readers for $13.99. They're a bit more angular than Wayfarers and more colorful to boot. 

For Ray-Ban fans, you can't go wrong with the RX5154. While this style isn't as wide as the above styles, its angular lines are a perfect fit for the heart shaped face.

Round Face Shape

Your face is equal in both length and width — you have full cheeks and a rounded chin. One of the biggest challenges you face is finding a pair of glasses that doesn't make your face appear rounder.

The Prada PR 16MV is perfect because of its rectangular design and fine lines. Rectangular eyewear is the perfect solution.

Another great fit for your face is this frameless rectangular design by Gama Ray Flexlite

Oval Face Shape

Your face is more narrow than your forehead, and you have high cheekbones. 

The Ray-Ban RX5184 Wayfarer is ideal because its both wide and rectangular, with shorter frames. While oval shaped faces tend to appear longer than other face shapes, these reading glasses provide a stylish contrast.

The Ray-Ban RX5169 is also a fan favorite. They offer perfect symmetry and don't overpower your delicate features. 


 

Square Face Shape

Your jaw line is defined and your forehead is wide.  You'll look great with lenses that offer a contrast — meaning rounded lenses are best.

These steep-angled glasses with curves, Gamma Ray Readers, are an exciting prospect. 


And finally, these unique clear Wayfarer Reading Glasses also give square face shapes what they need to shine.Their long lenses and clear frames are both unique and stylish.

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WOMEN: How to Enjoy More Pleasure with Your Partner

If you have a hard time having an orgasm with your man, you aren’t alone. According to SOGC.Org, “only about a third of women experience orgasm during intercourse. A third can reach orgasm with intercourse but need extra stimulation. A third never achieve orgasm during intercourse but can by manual and oral stimulation.”

It wasn’t until studies in the 1960s that humanity really started studying the art of the orgasm. Prior to the 60s, it was assumed that only “mature” women were able to have orgasms with intercourse; however, this was deemed a complete fallacy when studies were finally conducted.

Thankfully, we now live in an age where women are more open about their experiences and frustrations with sex. Also, it appears that a growing number of men are willing to become involved with this discussion and are seeking innovative ways to pleasure their partners.

If you’ve found yourself staring at the ceiling wondering when your time of pleasure will arrive, you may want to consider giving a simple adult toy a try. Enter the good ole silver bullet. It’s not overly kinky, bulky, or difficult to use — which is why it’s been a favorite for decades.

colt silver bullet

The secret to success with this simple toy is to stimulate the clitoris before, during and/or after intercouse. Everyone is different, so you’ve got to find out what works best for you.

After doing a bit of research, we discovered that women love this device so much it tends to wear out over time. This is why Colt offers multi-packs.

We understand this is a touchy topic, but for your own sanity and enjoyment, it’s important you know there is a solution that works nearly every time. Yay for that!

You may also want to consider the following for your enjoyment:

Best Cordless Massager Wand

10 Speed Massager 

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Will Your Pets Be Protected When Disaster Strikes?

Most of us know standard protocol in the case of an emergency, yet we rarely think of our pets even though they are an important part of the family. The thought of anything happening to them, especially when we could have taken steps to prevent it, is unbearable.  Here are some simple, easy tips so you know what to do if your furry friends are ever in danger! 

It is best to stay calm and keep your pet calm as well. According to Harrison Forbes, “The key to keeping your pet calm is to think of an imaginary electric cord from you to your pet; all your emotions transmit straight to them. If you transmit a calm and confident exterior, your pet will follow suit. When our pets are hit with new situations that they aren’t used to, they look to us and how we react to determine if a situation is safe. It is genetic wiring—they learn by interpreting body language and vibes from their mothers. If she is tense or scared they assume the situation must be bad, but if she is calm everything is okay.”

Make sure your pet has identification. Collars can work for more than just a dog and a cat; pigs, ferrets, and hamsters will all be able to use them as well since they come in different sizes. Identification should have the rightful owner’s name, address, and phone number so a finder may easily get in touch. Microchipping is even better. 

Below are some colorful collars that will look great on your pet this summer!

 

Keep an emergency pet supply kit. Make sure it includes extra food, water, easily-accessible bowls, medical records, a photo of each of your pets, medicine/prescriptions, leashes, protective outerwear, booties, and a fire resistant blanket. Pet experts at North Shore Animal League America say, “Pet owners should keep an emergency pet supply kit on hand at all times.” Each of these items can help give your pet protection when things go wrong!

 

Here are some travel bowls that would be perfect for cool water bottles to fill:


If you must evacuate your building or home, know where your pet likes to hide and have a carrier ready. A carrier will help your pet leave the premises protected from dangerous outside forces; you can also transport them in an easy and fast manner.

The roomy carrier below allows your pet much room, and offers carrying options that are comfortable for you.


 

Remember to keep pets as comfortable as possible in different weather, just like we love to be! Sweaters and booties are wonderful for all types of weather. Booties, especially, can keep their feet from burning on the pavement or freezing in the snow!

These booties are likely to keep your pet’s feet warm, dry, and free from injury.


Speaking of weather, prepare for the burns in case he’s exposed to extreme heat ahead of time. “Pets who have recently received short haircuts may become sunburn victims and are as susceptible to heat stress as dogs who haven’t had their fur trimmed,” says Jennifer Warner Jacobsen, Director of Shelter Outreach. “In fact, your pet’s hair has insulating characteristics to help protect him from the heat — that summer trim should be long, not short.” Also look into creams that help protect a pet’s skin in the heat. 

This ointment will provide healing in the event that your pet gets cut or burned:


In extreme heat, this sunscreen may protect your pet from sunburned skin underneath his or her fur:


 

Our pets are the friendly, cuddly faces we come home to. They make us feel comforted on a bad day and give us companionship when we need it. Help ensure that your pet will always be safe and happy, especially when unexpected dangers occur! We may not think of safety precautions daily, but in a life-threatening moment, planning ahead for our pets can make all the difference.

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Today’s Hot Deals: FREE Amazon Prime Video, $120 TV Bundle & Ice Cream!

The summer is a great time to land deals on the hottest products on the market. This is why we've compiled a few items that we think you should know about.

First and foremost, let's start with something that is completely free.

Amazon Prime Video FREE 30-Day Trial

For a limited time, you can enjoy all the movies and TV you can consume for zero dollars. Go ahead and binge watch without feeling guilty. 

Hisense 32-Inch 720p LED TV with Fire TV Stick

You can enjoy this puppy for a mere $120. It's perfect for the kitchen, in an office or bedroom, or in any other space that you want to be entertained. 

It comes with a Fire TV Stick that connects to the TV's HDMI port. You can then enjoy more than 4,000 channels, apps, and games including access to over 250,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO NOW, Hulu, and more.

Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker

And finally, the summer wouldn't be right without freshly made ice cream. Cuisinart has dropped the price of its Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker to $77.89


Keep your eyes peeled for more "Deals of the Day" and "Deals of the Week" posts in the coming days, weeks and months. Also, please note that we may receive a commission for some of the products we share.

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