The top news headlines on current events from Msn2U.com Msn2U.com Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:41:18 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Cottage-Style Details /cottage-style-details/ /cottage-style-details/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:41:18 +0000 admin /?p=753 Sit a Spell
A covered stoop provides a quiet spot for reading or greeting neighbors. A grass green outdoor chair hints of the vibrant colors inside. Birdhouses, birdbaths, and plenty of flowering plants embrace the Callaway Gardens aesthetic.

Featured here: Outdoor furniture by Smith & Hawken

Related Links
Callaway Gardens Product Resource Guide

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Our 6 Favorite Cottages /our-6-favorite-cottages/ /our-6-favorite-cottages/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:40:23 +0000 admin /?p=750 Favorite Cottages
Winonna Park
From Southern Living

Open, flowing spaces characterize the interiors of Winonna Park. At left, a wall with a unique double-side fireplace separates the living and dining rooms while providing a focal point in both spaces. Focal points, such as fireplaces, draw the eye towards the part of a room you’d like to emphasize. When working with open interiors like these, it’s important to anchor the space with well-placed, larger pieces of furniture, such as the comfy cream chair shown here. The wooden coffee table and area rug further define the living area.

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5 Chair Makeovers /5-chair-makeovers/ /5-chair-makeovers/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:39:39 +0000 admin /?p=747 Revamp and Reuse
Style Editor Heather Chadduck picked up two high-backed Queen Anne-style wing chairs at a yard sale for $25 each. “I couldn’t pass up a pair of slender, stylish wingbacks,” she says.

Next »Signature Touch

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3 Ways to Entertain With Style /3-ways-to-entertain-with-style/ /3-ways-to-entertain-with-style/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:38:47 +0000 admin /?p=744 Old World Chic
Heather Chadduck
Style Editor

Recipe for Success: “I like to have sit-down dinner parties with several courses. It’s a treat for my guests to waited on — no one my age does that anymore. I always try to invite new people into my group of friends. It makes for good conversation, then guests settle in and hang out.”

Recipe for Disaster: “Don’t serve something you’ve never made before. I tried to branch out and make roasted red pepper soup once, but I put too many peppers in the blender and the lid flew off. People were walking through the door and I was wiping soup off the walls.”

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Create a Stylish Entryway /create-a-stylish-entryway/ /create-a-stylish-entryway/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:37:53 +0000 admin /?p=741 Before: Bland and Boring
“If a home’s entry is an indication of its owner’s personality, then I would have been mistaken as a complete bore,” says homeowner Beaty Coleman. The two hand-me-down chairs with faded fabric and a wimpy mirror flanked by discolored prints were anything but inviting. Plus, there was no place to drop keys or hang a coat.

The bell jar light fixture was the only thing that Beaty and Cottage Living Decorating Editor Fran Keenan decided to keep. The armchairs got slipcovers and were moved to the dining room, the chest now makes a great bedside table with plenty of storage, and the mirror and prints went to the attic to be reincarnated later

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Travel Insurance /travel-insurance/ /travel-insurance/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:35:41 +0000 admin /?p=739 Untoward incidents, accidents and diseases could not be ruled out while traveling. Before embarking on your journey, make sure that you have travel insurance to take care of you and your family if something goes wrong while vacationing.

Travel insurance
Nearly every prominent insurance company offers travel insurance policies. While travel insurance is of utmost necessity while traveling abroad, you can even consider purchasing an insurance policy while vacationing within your country.

Risks covered by travel insurance
Depending upon the nature of your trip, select a travel insurance plan that covers most of the risks, you might face in your trip.

Medical expenses
This is by large the most important risk that is covered by all travel insurance plans. A good travel insurance policy should cover cost of hospitalization, physician's fees, ambulance services and diagnostic testing costs. However, insurance companies will bear the medical expenses only up to a maximum number of days or up to a maximum amount, which ever is less. Read the offer document carefully, before purchasing a travel insurance policy.

Checked baggage loss and delay
Travelers could receive compensations for loss of checked in baggage. Delay in arrival of checked in baggage, which is a common problem faced by international travelers, is compensated by travel insurance policies. You can receive compensation for purchasing emergency personal items at a reasonable cost.

Loss of passport
No overseas traveler hopes to lose his/her passport while traveling abroad. However, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your passport, your insurance company will bear the cost incurred in obtaining a new/duplicate passport.

Other risks
Other equally important risks that should be covered by a good travel insurance plan include trip delay, trip cancellation, personal accident, medical evacuation and repatriation, accidental death or injury, legal assistance and overseas funeral. Even personal liability, in which compensation is paid to a third party for damages or injury caused involuntarily by the traveler, should be covered by a good travel insurance plan.

A standard travel insurance policy usually covers trips from 7 days up to 180 days. However, most insurance companies allow travelers to extend the policy online.

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Gold ETF – Investing In Paper Gold /gold-etf-%e2%80%93-investing-in-paper-gold/ /gold-etf-%e2%80%93-investing-in-paper-gold/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:35:13 +0000 admin /?p=737 With the skyrocketing price of gold, gold Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) has become a sought after investment option. Investors investing in gold ETF are not required to hoard gold in the physical form. These are similar to open-ended mutual funds in which the fund manager will collect funds from the investors to buy and sell the yellow metal. Gold ETFs are traded in major stock exchanges of the world such as New York, London, Paris Zurich and Mumbai.

Just as holding bonds, your holdings will be denoted in units. Usually the price of one unit of gold ETF is equal to the price of 1 gram of gold. However, in some gold ETF schemes, one unit is equivalent to ½ gram of gold. The price of each unit will depend on the prevailing international price of standard gold bullion of 0.995 purity. This is a passive investment. The fund manager of your Gold ETF scheme will track the price of gold bullion. The return from gold ETF is similar to the return you expect to attain by investing in equal amount of physical gold or gold bullions.

Gold ETF advantages
Unlike purchasing physical gold, while buying gold ETFs you need not worry about the purity of the metal. There is no cost of storage. Moreover, gold ETF owners need not pay wealth task. Cost of holding gold ETFs are same as the cost involved in holding mutual funds. There is no standard pricing system to determine the price of physical gold. However, price of gold ETFs are linked to international gold price. It is easy to sell gold ETFs. Investors could redeem the units or sell them in secondary markets.

Least risk is involved in gold ETF investments. Compared to investment in bonds and equity, gold ETFs are least volatile. You should invest in gold ETFs only if you are looking for a long-term return. However, gold ETFs are not suitable for investors seeking for high rate of return and short term profits. To reduce the volatility of your portfolio, you can consider investing 5 to 10 percent of your funds in gold ETFs.

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Credit Card Debt Management /credit-card-debt-management/ /credit-card-debt-management/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:34:48 +0000 admin /?p=734 Managing credit card debt is not as difficult as it appears to be. With some prudent financial management, you can easily manage your credit card debt without falling into a debt trap.

Credit card debt management
Use credit card only when necessary
It is advisable to use credit card only when there is no other available options for payment. Overspending could mount your credit card loans. Avoid using credit cards for making small purchases. Use it only for making bigger purchases, when you do not have enough cash or savings in your bank account to cover the entire cost.

Pay more than the minimum monthly due
You’ll be forced to stay in debt for a long period if you pay only the minimum payment amount each month. To reduce the debt burden, it is always advisable to pay more than the minimum due amount. Even if you can’t manage to pay the excess amount, don’t miss paying the minimum monthly payment. Your credit card debt burden will rise further, if you avoid paying your minimum monthly dues.

Choose the right credit card
Before selecting a credit card, check the interest rate that will apply to the credit. Also, keep track of changes in the interest rate that will apply to your outstanding credit. Read your monthly credit card statement to see changes in interest rate, if any, on your outstanding debt. Moreover, credit card debts often entail hidden fees. Hidden feeds include annual usage fee, late payment fees, tax on interest, fees for cash back withdrawal etc. Instead of using several credit cards, try to use not more than two credit cards. Try to use credit cards with lower credit limit.

Your monthly budget
A carefully designed monthly budget could help you to manage your credit card debt. Make a list of all the credit card payments you have to make that month. List your outstanding debts in a tabular format. Give equal important to all types of outstanding credits, big or small. If you pay only the bigger credits and ignore the smaller ones, within a short term your credit card debt will become unmanageable.

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Importance of Pregnancy Insurance /importance-of-pregnancy-insurance/ /importance-of-pregnancy-insurance/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:33:53 +0000 admin /?p=731 In developing countries, very few pregnant women have maternity insurance coverage. In developed countries such as US, about 13 percent pregnant women are uninsured. Lack of a pregnancy insurance policy could severely impair prenatal health care. According to statistics, 57 percent pregnant women without maternity health insurance begin their prenatal health check up from the second trimester of pregnancy.

Benefits of pregnancy insurance
Although, maternity insurance is included in the health benefits provided by organizations, often the employee is forced to pay extra to cover the cost of maternity benefits. It is always advisable to include maternity health benefits in a health insurance policy, especially if you are a young woman planning a family.

Maternity insurance coverage
Maternity insurance usually provides a number of benefits. It covers medical expenses including physician's fee, hospitalization charges and charges for diagnostic and lab tests. In addition, maternity insurance might even cover cost of dental care, eye care, costs of alternative medicines and prescription medicines including costs of prenatal vitamins and supplements.

It is always advisable to buy a pregnancy insurance policy before conception. Most health insurance policies that cover maternity benefits or exclusive maternity insurance policies often contain a pre-existing condition clause that will not fund costs of prenatal health care and delivery if a woman is pregnant when she buys the pregnancy insurance policy. In such a circumstance, you can opt for a government-funded program that safeguards the health of women. However, state run programs usually fund pregnancy health care costs of low-income women.

During pregnancy, you would require a number of diagnostic and lab works. Check whether the diagnostic and lab works are covered by the maternity insurance policy. Check whether the insurance policy will cover the entire cost of tests, or whether there is a maximum limit or a specific percentage of the total prenatal cost, which will be funded by the insurance company.

Sometimes to avail the service of the insurance company you must choose physicians from their preferred network. Such health insurance providers with in-network physicians are known as Preferred Provider Organization. However, if your preferred physicians are not included in the in-network physician list of the insurance agency, you can opt for Health Maintenance Organizations that enable you to choose any physician of your choice.

Although it is always safe to opt for in-hospital deliveries and specialized doctors, if you could not manage to pay the higher premium demanded by insurance companies to cover advanced medical costs, you can buy a cheaper maternity insurance policy that covers midwives, birth centers, home births and alternative medicine.

Some pregnancy insurance policies even cover the cost of postnatal care. The amount of coverage is directly related to delivery, whether complications develop after birth or if surgeries are required. Usually first one or two postnatal checkups are covered by pregnancy insurance policies.

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Best Antioxidant Foods /best-antioxidant-foods/ /best-antioxidant-foods/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 00:32:29 +0000 admin /?p=728 All living creatures need oxygen to survive. However, the air that we inhale to stay alive can trigger health problems by producing reactive oxygen species or free radicals in the body. Oxygen is an extremely reactive element. It can easily combine with other substances, causing oxidation reactions. Free radicals, produced during oxidation, are unstable molecules, which trigger a series of reactions in the body. Free radicals are associated with cardiovascular diseases, cancers, premature aging and numerous ailments.

By inhibiting oxidation of molecules, antioxidants prevent formation of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants usually act as reducing agents. By oxidizing themselves, antioxidants terminate the chain reactions triggered by oxidation.

Popular antioxidants
Popular antioxidant substances found in nature include vitamins A, C and E, selenium, carotenoids including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene and polyphenols including flavonoids.

Best antioxidant foods
The best anti-oxidant foods are the ones containing one or more of the antioxidant substances mentioned above.

Best vitamin A foods
Foods rich in antioxidant vitamin A include carrot, liver, spinach, sweet potato, leafy green vegetables, winter squash and red bell peppers.

Best vitamin C foods
The best sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, guava, mango, papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, tomato, kiwifruit and cantaloupe.

Best sources of vitamin E
Seeds, nuts, whole grains, olives, spinach, leafy green vegetables, berries and papaya are the best sources of vitamin E.

Best sources of selenium
Selenium rich foods include organ meat, fish, shellfish, mushroom and barley.

Best sources of carotenoid
Lycopene is found in large amounts in tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruits. Lutein is present in leafy green vegetables, corn, zucchini, peas and eggs. Beta-carotenes are precursors of vitamin A. They are found in carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy green vegetables.

Best sources of polyphenols
Polyphenols are found in red wine, chocolate, green tea, olive oil, bee pollen, berries such as blueberry, blackberry raspberry, cranberry, bilberry, acai and goji barry, cherries, grapes, apples, onion, celery, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes.

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