Taste of Fall: Oktoberfest Traditions & Apple Cider Tips

With most of us busy preparing for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole season of autumn activities to enjoy. From exploring the local orchard with the family to enjoying your local Oktoberfest, now is the time to delight in the cool, crisp weather and rediscover the unique taste of fall.


Oktoberfest Traditions and Useful Tips for Newcomers
Oktoberfest has become very popular in the United States. Festivals large and small have been celebrating the German tradition for many years. Most of these festivals have taken on lives of their own. You don’t have to fly all the way to Munich to experience an authentic Oktoberfest. Learn about the original event, traditions and get the tips you need to walk the grounds like an expert with these Oktoberfest facts, figures and advice.


Apple Picking: A Beginner’s Guide to Homemade Cider
There’s a huge difference between the apple cider you get from the store and the handcrafted version you can make in your own home. Despite what many people believe, it’s not that difficult to make a high-quality apple cider that tastes even better than any store brand. All you need to learn are the simple techniques to begin a fun tradition during the harvest season, some basic recipes you can tweak with your own touches.


A Brief History of Oktoberfest
Fall is packed with festivals and celebrations all around the world. While Halloween is the holiday kids look forward to, Oktoberfest is one for the adults. Beer comes to mind when we think of Oktoberfest, but it’s about much more than just large steins full of suds. If you’re attending your local Oktoberfest this year and want to learn a little more about its rich history, check out this brief summary of how it started and spread worldwide.

Story Time: Fun Children’s Books for All Kinds of Readers

Encouraging kids to read is one of the best things we can do for them as parents. Getting them hooked on good books is essentially guaranteed to help develop their young minds. Not only will reading assist them when it comes to getting ahead in the classroom, it will also inspire their creativity and give them a healthy way to relax outside of school. Whether you’re looking for a classic story to read to your kids at bedtime or want to stock up on children’s books for Christmas, LTD has something for everyone on our bookshelves.

The Classics

Children’s Must-Have Classic Picture Books
Create lasting memories with your child by reading Children’s Must-Have Classic Picture Books together. Each book is a true classic, and has been entertaining and inspiring generations of children and adults.

Dr. Seuss® Learning Library Books
Each Dr. Seuss Learning Library Book teaches kids about a different subject. The books were inspired by the fun artwork and spirit of the original Dr. Seuss tales, educating young readers with memorable stories.

Bedtime Stories

Set of 5 Children’s Storybooks
Inspire a lifetime appreciation for books and share special story time with your child reading the Set of 5 Children’s Storybooks. Each story teaches kids about love and the importance of family using fun tales.

365 Stories and Rhymes Treasury Books
365 Stories and Rhymes Treasury Books is a wonderful addition to your child’s bookshelf. Enjoy a different story each day of the year with a beautifully illustrated compilation featuring classic and brand new rhymes.

Favorite Characters

Licensed Look & Find® Books
Keep your child engaged for hours with a Licensed Look & Find Book. As they search for items, they will be able to join their favorite characters on an adventure. It also encourages the development of matching skills.

Licensed Book & Figure Sets
With the Licensed Book & Figure Set, your kid can act out stories with some of their favorite characters from movies or television. Each set comes with a hardcover storybook, 12 plastic figurines and a giant play mat.

Books with Extras

Giraffes Can’t Dance Book & Plush
The Giraffes Can’t Dance Book & Plush shows kids that everyone is a little different, and each person has to find their own music to dance to. The fun-filled book comes with a cute plush of Gerald the Clumsy Giraffe.

Licensed Books & Plush
Bring the story to life with the interactive Licensed Book & Plush. The easy-to-flip, 6-page board book has a bunch of full-color illustrations, plays 3 different sounds from the story and comes with a licensed plush toy.

Young Adult Novels

Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys 4-Book Box Set
Follow along as teen-aged sleuths solve mysteries in these Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys 4-Book Box Sets. Each set includes 4 softcover books in a convenient slipcase, every book full of suspense and fun twists.

Harry Potter 7-Book Box Set
Experience the entire magical world of Harry Potter in this collectible 7-book box set. Perfect for longtime fans of the series or new readers, the set gives you all seven best-selling novels in a slipcase for storage.

Activity Books

The Big Book of Search & Find®
Challenging and fun, The Big Book of Search & Find will sharpen your kid’s observational skills. It features more than two-hundred busy, colorful pages that are brimming with amusing things to discover and solve.

Set of 5 Activity Books for Kids
Keep your child entertained for hours with this Set of 5 Activity Books for Kids. They can search for specific items in the pictures, find the differences between the pictures and enjoy a number of other fun activities.

Reading Advice to Kick Off National Book Month

Despite the popular belief that less and less Americans are reading books, research shows that the number of adults who claim to have read at least one book in the previous calendar year remains pretty steady. The surprising thing is that the younger generations, particularly millennials, make up the highest percentage of readers, and the preference for print books continues to stand up strong against e-books and audio books. Whether you’re an avid bookworm looking to pass on the love of reading to your kid or hoping to dust off the bookshelf and start turning pages, kick off National Book Month with this constructive LTD reading advice.


6 Types of Books for Non-Readers
Reading for pleasure isn’t something everyone does, but there are benefits of reading just a little bit every day. It increases blood flow to the brain, encourages analytical thinking, and improves our attention spans. Many people don’t read if they don’t have to for a variety of reasons, but there are several ways to get them to crack open a book. Here are six different types of books non-readers will be able to enjoy this month.


Storytime: Tips for Reading with Your Kids
It’s never too late to start reading to your child. Across every demographic, a surprising number of parents don’t read to their children on a regular basis. The earlier you start the better, but even if you haven’t been reinforcing your kid’s interest in reading, there’s still plenty of time to catch up. Check out these fun tips for reading to your kids in a way that will inspire a lifetime of proper reading habits and an interest in books.


Tips for Finding Holiday Reading Time
It’s hard to avoid the chaos of the holidays. All the parties and presents make it hard to find time for yourself and get in that much-needed reading time. Sometimes you need to escape into your favorite novel to calm your mind or kick back by the fireplace with an interesting read during the holidays. If you’re having trouble working in time for a book, take a quick look at these four tips for finding reading time during the holidays.

Fall Franchise Favorites You Can Only Find Online

There are some exciting events happening this fall. Harry Potter fans will be whisked away to the wizarding world in an entirely new way with Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Star Wars diehards will be able to experience a new chapter in the epic franchise with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Cubs fans might just get to see their beloved MLB team shrug off the pressure, beat the odds and make it to the World Series. Celebrate and prepare for all the big events this fall with these franchise favorites you can only find online.

Explore the Magical World of Harry Potter
Read up before the premier of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them on Nov. 18th.harry-potter-7-book-box-setfantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

Harry Potter 7-Book Box Set
Experience the entire magical world of Harry Potter in this collectible 7-book box set. Perfect for longtime fans of the series or new readers, it includes all seven best-selling novels. Comes in a slipcase for giving.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them comes straight from the library at Hogwarts. Almost every wizard owns one. Now you can too! Learn what Puffskeins eat, why not to leave milk out for a Knarl and more!

Expand Your Star Wars Super-Fan Collection
Add to your Star Wars collection or surprise a new fan of the classic franchise.star-wars-the-force-awakens-throwstar-wars-jelly-belly-gifts

Star Wars™ The Force Awakens Throw
Celebrate the latest sequel of the classic film saga with a Star Wars The Force Awakens Throw. This woven throw captures images of the new villain, Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers and more in a cozy tapestry construction.

Star Wars® Jelly Belly® Gifts
The Dispenser holds up to 23 oz. of Jelly Belly treats and includes a 1-oz. bag of Jelly Belly candies to get you started. The Gift Bag is filled with 7.5 oz. of Jelly Belly candies. Includes a gift tag area for gift-giving.

Get Ready for the Playoffs with MLB Gear
Cheer on the Cubs as they try to get back to the World Series for the first time since 1945.cubs-earrings-and-pendant-setcubs-license-plate-frames

Cubs™ Earrings and Pendant Set
Support the Cubbies during the playoffs with the stylish Cubs Earring and Pendant Set. Each piece features a full-color disk with the Cubs’ logo. Wear both the necklace and earrings, or mix and match on game day.

Cubs™ License Plate Frames
Support the Cubs on their playoff journey with Cubs License Plate Frame. It features a metallic blue border with “Chicago Cubs” in raised lettering, and has two pre-drilled holes for easily mounting it to you vehicle.

Halloween Countdown: Helping You Put Your Plans in Action

It’s hard to believe Halloween is less than a month away. Early October is when neighborhoods start to get into the holiday spirit, turning front yards into spooky graveyards and front porches into haunted Halloween tributes. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to start the timer on your Halloween countdown. From conjuring up your perfect costume to decorating your home for fright night, LTD has you covered with these fun tips and tricks.


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween
In an age where greeting cards and retailers seem to be the experts on holidays, it’s natural to wonder how or why the celebrated days of the year even started in the first place, not to mention why certain traditions are passed down year-after-year. Check out these five things you may not have known about Halloween.


Halloween Makeup Advice to Bring Your Costume to Life
Makeup makes it possible to add unique details to your Halloween costume that will help give you an edge over store-bought solutions. And knowing how to use makeup for your kid’s costume will help them stand out while trick-or-treating. Assemble a makeup kit and learn some tricks with these Halloween makeup tips.


Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Ghosts, goblins and ghouls are preparing for their favorite night of the year. Halloween is here! Costumes, candy and pumpkins occupy our minds as the holiday approaches. While we have a special safety plan in place for the kids, we also need a plan for our pets. Here are some Halloween pet safety tips to think about.


5 Must-Haves for Creating a Hair-Raising Halloween Room
Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like trying to find new and unique ways to transform a warm and welcoming home into an eerie abode. If you want to add some serious scare into your Halloween decor, take a quick look at these key elements that will help ensure an authentic, blood-curdling ambiance.


Halloween Trick-or-Treating Alternatives
Candy and costume-wearing is what Halloween is all about! But trick-or-treating isn’t always a reasonable activity: the weather isn’t always perfect, kids might not be the right age, and safety can be a concern. There are ways to celebrate Halloween without going door-to-door. Here are five alternatives to trick-or-treating.

Wine Accessories: A Toast to Glasses, Totes and Gift Ideas

Whether you are transporting a delicious bottle of your host’s favorite wine to a dinner party, looking for the perfect gift for a housewarming or just in need of some wine accessories, LTD has you covered with some stylish tabletop ideas, elegant storage for gift-givers on the go and must-haves for casual wine enthusiasts.

Stylish Wine-Tasting Transport

The Luxury Insulated Wine Clutch is the perfect way to conceal and carry a bottle of wine to a wine-tasting or dinner party. Fully lined with thermal insulation, it has the appearance of a fashionable handbag. It also includes a stainless steel corkscrew in the outside zippered pocket. Holds a standard 750ml bottle of wine.

The Cozy Winter Wine Parka adds a pop of color and style to your table setting, and it’s the perfect gift for a fellow wine enthusiast. Designed to resemble a fashionable winter coat, it’s a fun way to wrap a wine bottle. The polyester design features a faux fur trim and has a zip closure to keep the wine covered and protected.

Wonderfully Unique Wine Glasses

This fun Mary Phillips Wine Glass is perfect for a girl’s night in, casual wine-tasting or a night cap. Each has a signature quote in a bright color palette on the side that any wine enthusiast will enjoy. The perfect gift for an avid wine drinker or a good friend who enjoys the occasional glass, it features a generous 12-oz. design.

The Set of 4 Retro Aluminum Wine Glasses allow you to keep the drinks flowing at your next gathering. An outdoor entertaining must-have or a fun twist for a wine tasting, each glass features a durable construction. The large, 21-ounce aluminum glasses are naturally cool, and they can even be pre-chilled in the freezer.

Tabletop Accessories

Defend your table surfaces from stains in a stylish way with the 5-Pc. Mosaic Monogram Coaster Set. Each coaster is designed with a unique-mosaic glass letter, set against a botanical vignette. The cork base keeps each coaster in place. Stack the durable, cold cast ceramic coasters in the compact holder when not in use.

Celebrate the winter season and the Christmas festivities with the Holiday Wine Bottle & Glass Holder. Its delightfully cheerful face sits atop a spiral body and fits perfectly around a standard bottle of wine. The two arms on the sides hold your wine glasses. When not in use, the arms are removable for simple storage.

Wine Storage Tips to Keep Your Favorites Fresh

Humans have been enjoying and perfecting wine for thousands of years. Techniques have improved. The technology has advanced. Nearly every facet of the wine experience is better at this moment than it was the moment before. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Still, Americans drink more wine than any other nation in the world, and when it comes to basic wine guidelines such as wine storage, most of us are making a few of the same mistakes time and time again. Even though the wine we pick up at the store has been perfected, we have to do our part to make sure we’ll enjoy it. Improve on your experience with these wine storage tips.


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
What’s the deal with wine cellars? Well, the whole point is to keep wine isolated, covered in darkness and completely still. Will such a thing as the occasional vibration inside a fridge or the sunlight glaring through the backseat window on your drive home ruin that precious purchase from the supermarket? Nope. It won’t. And if you’re not a regular wine drinker you probably won’t notice. But if you’re saving the nice bottle of wine in your home for a special occasion or just want to make sure you’re not causing any damage, it’s important to know that wine is sensitive to light, particularly direct sunlight and UV rays, even the fluorescent lights in the kitchen. Many bottles are designed to block these culprits, but they won’t stop it all, especially over long periods of time. Most light fixtures in your home won’t do much damage, but as a general rule, try to put the wine you want to preserve in a dark place where it won’t be disturbed  to get the most out of each bottle.


The Perfect Bottle Position
Ever wonder why wine bottles are typically seen being stored on their sides with the cork facing out, or why some wine racks are designed to hold bottles upside down? It turns out wine isn’t just susceptible to light or movement–it can also be spoiled by being stored in an incorrect position. Even though you picked it off the shelf at the store from an upright position, that’s not how you should store it at home. The reason bottles are set on their sides is because the liquid in the bottle needs to stay right up against the cork to seal it properly and prevent oxygen from sneaking inside. This is also a key thing to keep in mind when shopping for your wine at the store. Most stores will stock their wine upright, and sometimes it’s hard to tell how long the bottle has been standing there. This method is okay for a short period of time, but isn’t ideal for long-term storage.

Tips on Temperature & Timing
Blanketed in darkness like a vampire–check. Tipped on its side to keep oxygen out–check. Anything else that might ruin your wine? Of course there is. Temperature, humidity and timing are the final things on our list. First, the temperature where you store your wine needs to be consistent. For aging purposes, it’s ideal for wine to be stored between 55°F and 75°F, but most experts advise not to store wine above 75°F. And for the casual wine enthusiast, it’s more important to keep wine refrigerated at a steady temp than fuss too much about the exact degree. If you can control the humidity in your storage area, try to keep it above 60% to prevent corks from drying out. And as far as aging your wine, make sure you’re storing wine that will be able to improve over time. Many wines produced commercially in the US actually will not improve with age, so if you’re going to make the effort with your storage techniques, research your specific wine for details.


After You’ve Opened It
So far we’ve gone over how to store the wine you’ve picked up from the store and plan to put away for that special occasion or how to preserve the wine you received as a gift. But the storage rules change for wine that you’ve already opened, and let’s face it, for most of us, we’re not picking up wine just to tuck it away in the basement. We want to pop the cork and enjoy it that night or during the upcoming weekend. But once the party is over, there might still be some wine swooshing around the bottle. If you don’t want to toss it out then you need to know how to store it and how long you can store it. Generally for white wine you can just push the cork in tight and pop the bottle on its side in the fridge. This will keep the wine away from a lot of light while maintaining the temperature. However, once you open a bottle, there’s almost no place to put it that will preserve it for more than three to five days. This goes for red wine as well, but unlike a white wine, red wine doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Just tighten the cork and arrange it on its side in a dark setting.

LTD Commodities has all kinds of accessories for the wine enthusiast, including wine totes to make sure a favorite vintage is protected during transport, glasses for wine tasting parties or cork holders for decoration.

Fall Entertaining: Wine, Etiquette and Thanksgiving Ideas

When it comes to fall entertaining, the season is known best for Thanksgiving. There are many different fall entertaining opportunities leading up to Thanksgiving. From wine tastings, to dinner table etiquette for kids and a few healthy Thanksgiving ideas to help you start brainstorming for your menu, LTD has suggestions to get your party moving in the right direction, prevent holiday problems and make your turkey day special.


How to Host a Wine Tasting Party at Home
Wine-tasting can be tailored for any season, but it’s absolutely perfect for late summer and early autumn. As with any party, there are plenty of things to check off your list before you begin sending out the invites. From choosing your wine to pairing it with food, find out how to host your party with this home wine-tasting guide.


Tips to Prevent Kids from Playing with Toys at the Dinner Table
Holiday gatherings and larger family dinners make it harder for hosts to keep track of what’s going on at the kids’ table. Preventing kids from playing with toys at the table or developing good etiquette starts with their habits, but it can be helped with a couple tricks. Learn how to deal with toys with this table etiquette guide.


Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
What if I told you that you could create an eating experience that is lighter on calories but still delivers on the flavors we all desire for Thanksgiving? Some of us cringe at the idea of changing our traditional menus, but when it comes to our health, it’s worth it. Here are some healthy holiday cooking tips that will totally satisfy.

Find the Perfect Pumpkin for Your Home this Fall

Pumpkins are the perfect fall decoration because they can be used for the entire harvest season, from early weeks leading up to Halloween to the scary holiday itself and all the way to Thanksgiving. LTD has a pretty big assortment of pumpkins for all your autumn needs. Discover the perfect pumpkin for your home this fall.

Warm Fall Welcome
Greet your guests with these fashionable front porch pumpkins for fall.

Country Lighted Welcome Pumpkin
The perfect way to greet guests throughout fall, this stylish pumpkin has stars, a warm welcome and a rustic look. The LED light inside simulates real candlelight without the danger of an open flame.
Metal Polka Dot Pumpkins
Add a unique addition to your outdoor harvest decor. Metal tabs attach the leaves to the pumpkin, and the scroll-work stem doubles as a hanger so you can display each pumpkin from a hook.
Harvest Porch Decor Pumpkins
These cool wooden pumpkins bring a fresh design to your front porch. They’re connected and feature three different designs and sizes for decorating porch steps and more.

Interior Accents
Celebrate the autumn season throughout your home with fresh interior accents.

Set of 3 Harvest Pumpkins
Each pumpkin in this set is inscribed with a different phrase that’s perfect for fall. Its rustic, wood-carved look is accented with colorful leaves decorating the front and top of each.
Pumpkin Spice Mason Jar Candle
Fill any room with a delightful aroma using this pumpkin spice candle. The 12-oz. Mason jar is packed with a wonderful scent. Its metal top keeps the candle fresh when not in use.
Festive Burlap Pumpkin Set
Place this festive set of pumpkins among your fall decorations for an enchanting look. To bring them to life, simply fill them with dry leaves or newspaper and tie them up with the jute cords.

Happy Halloween
Don’t forget about pumpkins for one of the best holidays of the year!

Lighted Halloween Scenes
Welcome trick-or-treaters and party guests with a fun lighted scene for Halloween. It’s the perfect decorative prop for your covered porch or front entryway. The pumpkin eyes light up in purple.
Set of 3 LED Trick or Treat Pumpkins
Dress up your home with a traditional accent this Halloween using these trick-or-treat pumpkins. They have a classic phrase, cutout star shapes and amber light that shines through the cutout stars.
Halloween Decor
Celebrate the season with spooky Halloween decor like the Set of 3 Pumpkins. The tabletop style pumpkins spell out “BOO’ and feature an overall black design that’s perfect for Halloween.

Halloween Home Decorating, Fictional Facts & Football Fun

Halloween is almost here! There’s so much to get done on our to-do lists, but there’s also a lot of fun to look forward to. Check out some of these Halloween home decorating tips to help you spruce up your home with the entire holiday season in mind, learn about the origins of a couple of the most famous fictional Halloween characters and prepare for a fun, frightening night of NFL football with these interesting articles from LTD.


How to Transition Your Home from Halloween to Harvest to Holiday
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together. Anyone can get exhausted trying to plan out new decorations month after month. However, there are ways to make the transition easier so you can focus on other important holiday preparations. Switching from Halloween to Harvest to Christmas doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out these time-saving transition tips before your start shopping for seasonal decorations.


Villa Diodati: The Origins of Frankenstein, Vampires & Gothic Horror
It’s been exactly 200 years since Lord Byron, John William Polidori, Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley spent a fateful summer near Lake Geneva in Switzerland, crafting ghost and horror stories as a way to get through a stretch of rainy days. Two centuries have passed since a simple writing challenge between friends changed the world of horror fiction forever. Learn about the origins of Frankenstein, the modern Vampire and more.


Haunting Losses: The History of NFL Games on Halloween
This year Halloween falls on a Monday, meaning many Halloween parties will be featuring the game of the week. Halloween is a treat for those who don’t mind enduring a few tricks from kids they’re ignoring on 4th quarter third-and-tens. There’s been more than a handful of NFL games played on Halloween night. We’ve assembled the most haunting losses from Halloween match-ups in this historical fright night-NFL recap.