LTD Essentials: Summer Snack Showcase

The summer season has always been home to some of the best snack foods. Whether we’re trying to beat the heat at the pool, watching a ball game or attending a Memorial Day barbecue, great food seems pretty easy to find. But just like any other season, a few of the best treats are only made available for a short span of months. Check out our summer snack showcase to make sure you get your fill before the season ends.

Microwave-Popcorn-Maker

Unmatched Movie Snack
There will be plenty of blockbuster movies this summer, but if you want to kick back with a film in your own home, check out this Microwave Popcorn Maker. Pop and serve the scrumptious snack in the silicone box and enjoy healthier popcorn without excessive oil. Pour ¼ cup of kernels into the popper, secure the lid and microwave for 3-4 minutes. Great for flavored popcorn as well. Makes approx. 4-6 cups. Dishwasher safe.

Retro-Hot-Dog-Steamer

Stadium Experience at Home
As long as you’re recreating the cinema experience at home, why not do the same with your favorite ball park snack? The Retro Hot Dog Steamer cooks perfect hot dogs in just 5-7 minutes. Equipped with a hot dog drawer and built-in bun steaming tray, all you need to do is add water to the base and watch it steam up to 8 hot dogs and 4 buns all at once. Instructions and recipe booklet included. On/off switch. ETL-listed.

Expandable-Hot-Cold-Food-Carriers

Packing for Parties
Summertime is party season. Barbecues, picnics and more get us gathering outside with our best kitchen creations. Keep your dishes ready to serve with the Expandable Hot/Cold Food Carrier. The base level has an insulated lining that holds in heat and can also shield cold dishes from the sun. Unzip the top to expand the carrier and create a second compartment for a room temperature dish. Has built-in handles for carrying.

Birthday-Baking-Fun

Special Treats for a Special Day
Summer might be filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood block parties, but just like any other season there are birthdays to celebrate. Add a personal touch to a loved one’s special day with Birthday Baking Fun. The 12-Pc. Silicone Baking Cup Set eliminates the need for paper liners. The brightly-colored cups come in a variety of different sizes to fit your needs. Dishwasher, freezer, microwave and oven safe.

Dump-and-Bake-Desserts-Cookbook

Cherry on Top
Sometimes all the summer events can be a little exhausting, especially if you’re planning to cook for every event on your social calendar. The recipes in this Dump & Bake Desserts Cookbook only require one pan! There’s no need to use extra bowls or an electric mixer. All you have to do is dump in all the ingredients, stir and bake. Make delicious tarts, pies, cookies, bars and cakes for your summer events. Softcover, 64 pages.

Summer Design Tips: How to Inspire Tech-Free Creativity

kids-playing-video-games

We’re on the brink of summer break. Very soon kids will be spending mornings in the family room instead of study hall, claiming territory at the kitchen table instead of the cafeteria. Being at home means being tempted by technology. A few lazy days can morph into a month, two months…before they know it, all the projects they were hoping to get done before the next school year must be crammed into a tight schedule. It can be pretty difficult to separate kids from the technology they use every day, but there are times when they would benefit from putting down their phones or stepping away from the TV to get serious about their creative ideas and summer projects. Learn how to inspire tech-free creativity with these easy design tips.

Natural light is a natural ally.
Even with advances in screen technology, natural light is still one of the biggest enemies when it comes to a user-friendly experience. Everything from smartphones to laptops can be negatively affected by too much sunlight, so giving light the freedom to filter into the living or family room is a simple way to mark any major area as a tech-free zone. In addition to deterring the use of screens, natural light is fantastic for a variety of creative activities. Let your kids set up an easel by the window, fill a room with activity books and games, or clear out sun-drenched areas for physical activities like yoga or for bigger craft projects.

teenager-reading

Bookcases, bookshelves and…well, books.
There’s no better way to define a space than by packing it with the contents you’d like the space to be used for. Despite the steady interest in e-readers, print books remain more than relevant. Young generations still prefer the feeling of flipping through physical pages. Students in high school or college continue to buy print books with good reason. Designating a room for quiet activities like reading is as easy as providing comfy seating and stocking shelves with the titles that will get your kids excited about spending quality time inside.

All eyes on…wait, where’s the TV?
Ever since the TV burst onto the household scene, the layout for family space has shifted to accommodate the magical box. With furniture gravitating toward the big screen, it’s almost impossible to use the TV room for anything but prime time programming and binge-watching. But people looking to make a change rightly wonder how to arrange their room if they take out the TV. Previously used focal points include the fireplace, piano and wall art. Another option is to arrange seating around a coffee table to help cultivate conversation.

No matter what kind of space you want to encourage for your kids’ summer break, The Lakeside Collection is ready to decorate. Accent natural light in your living room with our selection of window treatments, stock up that bookshelf with titles for all ages, and get a few statement pieces to change your room’s focal point.

LTD Essentials: Productive Rainy Day Activities

Right now most of us are experiencing our fair share of rainy days. As our gardens bask under overcast skies and soak up everything from sprinkling showers to torrential downpours, we’re busy shaking off our umbrellas and preparing for a day indoors. But there are benefits to being stuck inside on a rainy day. Here are a few productive rainy day activities to transform those gloomy hours into time well spent.

Zumba-Gold-Live-It-Up-2-DVD-Set

Focus on Fitness
If you’re stuck inside, use your morning to fit in a refreshing workout. The Zumba Gold Live It Up 2-DVD Set is a fun dance-fitness program that makes working out feel like a party. It features upbeat Latin and world rhythms, with easy-to-follow dance steps that let you exercise at your own pace. The first DVD gets you moving to salsa, flamenco, and includes interviews with nutrition experts. The second DVD features different cardio endurance and balance exercises with warm-up and cool-down routines.

19-Inch-Angle-Level-Tool

Plan a DIY Project
A rainy day is an opportunity to get work done around the house, especially some of the projects you’ve been putting off. The 19” Angle Level Tool is perfect for completing a variety of DIY projects. Each arm features a 19” ruler, one with storage for two metal prongs that serve as a compass and the other for a contractor pencil. It precisely determines angles between 0 and 270 degrees, with two bubble levels for horizontal and vertical alignment. Great for home repairs, installations, hanging pictures and more!

Magnetic-Accessories-for-Tool-Chests

Tidy Up the Garage
Being cooped up in your garage on a rainy afternoon is great if you’ve been meaning to get organized. With Magnetic Accessories for Tool Chests, you can make your tools and accessories easier to find. The vinyl Magnetix Toolbox ID Labels won’t damage your tool chest like ordinary sticker labels. The Set of 2 Shelves are equipped with powerful magnets on the back, strong enough to support heavy contents and easy to move when you need the extra storage space.

Set-of-Two-20-Photo-Collages

Creative Collage
If spring showers got you trapped inside, use the time to create a piece of home décor your family will love. Set of Two 20-Photo Wall Collages make it easy to display and protect your most precious photos. Each collage holds 10 horizontal and 10 vertical 4” x 6” photos in plastic sleeves, giving you the freedom to switch out photos as many times as you want. It’s made of sturdy PVC and has an attractive header with a sentimental word or phrase. Reinforced eyelets make them easy to hang almost anywhere in your house.

Taste-of-Home-Easy-Weeknight-Dinners

Good Family Food
One of the best places to spend your rainy day is in the kitchen, especially if you’re in the mood to try out a brand new family recipe. Taste of Home Easy Weeknight Dinners offers you a simple and delicious recipe for every weeknight of the year, from Crumb-Coated Ranch Chicken to BBQ Meat Loaf Minis. Make meals using the oven, grill, slow cooker or stovetop. Sections include: 30 Minutes to Dinner, 5 Simple Ingredients, No-Fuss Slow Cooker, Leave it in the Oven and more! Photos with each recipe. 352 pages.

Gadgets to Keep Your Backyard Pest Free

Spring is making itself known with all the blooming trees, chirping birds and sunshine. But, like with most things, you have to take the good with the bad. In the case of spring, pests are the bad — especially in the garden. With that in mind, we put together a list of gadgets to keep your yard pest free.

patio-egg

Deter mosquitoes and other biting insects the easy and safe way with the ceramic Patio Egg Pest Diffuser. The egg uses a DEET-free formula of essential oils to keep bugs away. The fragrance diffuses through the porous egg into the surrounding area, darkening the egg as it absorbs oil. The pleasant floral scent will “hatch” within 24 hours and be effective continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Protects up to 200 sq. ft. for up to 4 months. Hang it with the included plant-fiber net or set it on a flat surface.

solar-repellentThe cordless Mosquito Repellent Solar Light creates a mosquito-free zone. While most lights attract bugs, this weather-resistant Mosquito Repellant Solar Light repels them! Emitting sonic waves designed to repel bugs, this solar light also creates a warm, inviting glow on a porch, deck or patio. On/off switch. 4-1/2″ sq. x 3-1/4″H. Plastic and metal.

bug-zapperThe lantern-look Solar Bug Zapper attracts and kills mosquitoes and other insects. Held within the metal frame, the zapper is harmless to humans and pets. An integrated solar panel charges during the day to automatically activate the zapper at night. Hang it by the hook or simply stand it on your porch, patio or a table. Butterfly, 10″ x 4-1/2″ sq. Star, 10″ x 5-1/2″ x 4-3/4″. Both measurements include the 3-1/4″ handle.

wasp trapsEnjoy the outdoors without fear of wasps with this Set of 2 Wasp Traps. All you need is water and sugar, no dangerous chemicals involved. Each trap has 3 entry funnels that attract wasps from all directions. It lures the wasps in, but they can’t find the way out. Hang them up or set them on the table. The durable trap can be used again and again. 3-3/8″ dia. x 5-1/8″H, each. Polypropylene.

repellentKeep away bothersome mosquitoes without annoying smells with Mosquito-Ex Natural Repellent. This all-natural product is nontoxic and can safely be used around people and pets. The active ingredient is 100% lavender in a gel base. It’s so natural that you can use the residue cake as a lavender bar soap. The 8.8-oz. tub lasts for 4 to 6 weeks and protects up to 200 sq. ft.

Kidding Around: The History of April Fool’s Day

April Fool's DayEvery April 1, we’re all on guard, expecting someone to try to make a fool of us somehow. The tradition goes back centuries and it’s carried out all over the world, but few of us know how it all started. So we did a little digging and here’s what we found out about the history of April Fool’s Day.

Citizen Con In 13th century England, a road was declared public property when a king stepped on it. When word spread to a small town that the king was coming, the town refused to let him in in order to maintain control of the main road. The king’s minions were sent to the town to sort the visit, and when they arrived, the townspeople pretended to be insane so the king would not drop by. The king fell for it, but was alerted to the trick and declared the town too foolish to punish, hence April Fool’s Day.

Open pages of a calendar with date numbers visibleCalendar Confusion Some believe April Fool’s Day started when it Pope Gregory XIII’s calendar – now referred to as  Gregorian Calendar — went into effect. In 1582, Pope Gregory decided to reform the Julian Calendar moving April 1 back to January 1. Most people followed the new calendar, but the news of the calendar change moved slowly so some people continued to celebrate New Year’s Day in April. Considered fools for missing the holiday celebrated four months before that, they became targets of pranks and tricks.

Chaucer Chicanery Or not.Another theory goes back to the 14th century and links it to a book — Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales. In Nun’s Priest Tale is set on the date March 32 – March having only 31 days, the text would translate to April 1. The main character is tricked by a fox and so April Fool’s Day was born.

Weather Wiles Another believable theory is related to spring. Because it’s so close to the vernal equinox, the thought is people are fooled by Mother Nature’s unpredictable weather. And she has certainly made fools of us this year.

April foolGullible Guppies In France, fish hatched in early April – a bait and hook were an easy lure for the young fish who were easily caught. To mark this time of year, people play pranks on other people – the ones who are tricked are referred to as poisson d’avril (April Fish) – a fish that’s easily caught or a gullible human being. So if you ever see someone in France on April first with a fish taped to their back, they have been marked for the whole world to see that someone fooled them.

Fool or be fooled on April 1st, while we don’t know exactly why we do it, it makes for a fun way to welcome spring – even if Mother Nature keeps tricking us with the occasional spring snowfall.

Hop to It: DIY Easter decor ideas

Easter’s on its way! If you haven’t put up your decor yet, you still have a little bit of time to craft some Easter charm! We have a few ideas to get you started. Here are 5 DIY Easter decor ideas.

Bunny-BuntingBunny Bunting Clean and Scentsible has a few ideas for making bunny bunting, but this one with the pom-pom tails is our favorite! The tails are easy to make with a skein of yarn. Wrap the yarn around your fingers, tie a piece around the middle of your yarn circle to create two loops, and then cut the ends of the loops to fray and you have a bunny tail! Glue that to bunny cutouts and they’re ready to hang!

Jelly-bean-treeJelly Bean Tree This might be the most delicious looking tree your kids have ever seen! Unfortunately, this Crafty Sisters project isn’t quite edible, but it is very easy to make! Basically, collect a few nice looking twigs and branches from the back yard and prune them. Then, select your favorite jelly beans and hot glue them to the branches. When they’re all cooled and dried, it’ll look like your branches are budding with jelly beans!

Tiny-pinatasPiñata Eggs It’s not quite Cinco de Mayo, but that’s not stopping Oh Happy Day from making Easter a fiesta with these tiny piñatas! She use tiny balloons to act as her Easter eggs and applied the same method for making big piñatas to these little egg-shaped ones using papier mache and crepe paper. It’s a fun little craft to keep the kids busy on a Saturday afternoon and the house decorated for Easter Sunday dinner.


Egg-terrariums
Easter Egg Terrariums If you’ve got little ones, this may be the Easter decor idea that can distract them from their Easter candy! This one comes from The House That Lars Built — and what a fun spring project to get the kids excited about the new season. She used real dirt and real moss, but for flowers that would last, she crafted cute little paper cutouts. They’re so cute and so easy, your kids can make some for themselves and a few extras to give away as gifts for the holiday or use them as favors/place settings for your Easter dinner!

carrot-centerpiecesCarrot Centerpieces Bunnies and flowers are what spring is all about! For an Easter centerpiece, carrots mask the spring flower stems to add a little indirect Easter Bunny flair. Love Grows Wild came up with this simple idea for your holiday dinner table. All you need are flowers, carrots and a good vase. Easter decor doesn’t get much easier than that!

LTD Commodities can help you make every holiday happy! From inspiration for your DIY Easter decor to cooking gadgets for your Memorial Day cookout, look to LTD to make every day more delightful.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Spring

Next week we welcome spring and we’re working hard to contain our excitement! While we’re gearing up for all the fun activities that come with the season change, we picked out a few items we think you might like. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Spring.

cardiThe Women’s Set of 2 Cardigan Wraps is a stylish addition to your wardrobe. Layer these comfortable cardigans over any tank top or dress for a flattering outfit. Each sweater features 3/4-length sleeves and an open front with extra long fabric for a draped effect. The front extensions can also be tied for a classic shawl look. Cotton. Machine care. Imported.

seedballzNo digging or tilling required! Just place each Drop & Grow SeedBallz in the soil. Loaded with seeds, each ball grows clusters of flowers. Do not bury deep; keep moist. Store SeedBallz in a dry, cool place. Each set comes with 8 SeedBallz. They are hand-rolled by individuals with developmental disabilities in the USA. Grow flowers easily in the garden or containers with these “truffle-like” clay balls.

butterfly-basketsAdd rustic decoration and storage to your home with Fabric-Lined Storage Baskets. Each wire basket has a removable polyester liner. Set of 2 Butterfly Baskets features beautiful butterfly accents and looks great on a countertop or table. The 3-Tier Storage Basket (11-5/8″ dia. x 32-1/2″H) is perfect for setting out fresh fruits, vegetables and more. Steel. Liners are machine wash.

paisely-lunch-toteThe zippered compartment of a Collapsible Insulated Tote Basket keeps drinks and snacks cool for picnics and sporting events. The handles fold down for easy storage. 18-3/8″W x 11-1/4″D x 16″H with handles up. Polyester, metal and polypropylene. Imported.sumo-bop

More fun than bumper cars or a pillow fight, this Sumo Bumper Bopper has a fun, kid-friendly design. Kids will love to bop, sock and bump in this inflatable bopper. Handles on the side give kids extra stability. Repair patch included. Made of heavy-duty vinyl for rugged durability. Inflated, 31-1/2″ dia. x 16-1/2″. Colors vary, so please let us choose for you. For ages 4 and up.

Spring Spirit: Garden DIY Walkway Ideas

Working with wheelbarrow in the gardenWith spring heading our way, we’re looking for different ideas to help make our gardens one-of-a-kind. The plants and flowers are easy, but creating a garden experience is what we’re after now. A DIY garden walkway is one way we can make our garden more user-friendly. Here are 5 garden DIY walkway ideas we think you might like.

Wooden Walkway Wooden pallets can be upcycled into many useful items around the house. In the garden, a dismantled pallet gives you the slabs to lay down for a flat and sturdy path. You don’t have to be a master woodworker, but you should know how to use a saw at the very least. The wood can be cut so it’s all a uniform length or you can get creative and stagger planks at different lengths to give it a unique style.
garden-walk
Timber Traipsing 
Laying down little slices of wood can turn an unused bit of land into an adorable path. Celebration Generation takes you through each step of the process — clearing out the space, lining it properly and then placing each of the slices of wood along the path. It actually looks nice as a regular dirt path, but the wood makes it look classy.

Uncommon Concrete DIY stepping stones are surprisingly easy to make. You can use just about anything as a mold for your ready-to-mix concrete. A cake pan, pizza box, shoe box — you can make it any shape you want and you can make it as fancy as you want, too! Break old dishes to make a mosaic or use glass craft beads to add color and character. The hardest part about making the stones yourself is waiting for the concrete to dry.
wine-bottle-wayWine Bottle Way
Upcycling wine bottles to make a path is one of the more popular ways to add character to your garden. VertAustin does a quick tutorial on using wine bottles as garden edging, but the idea could easily be expanded to line a garden path. If you’re good at cutting glass, the bottoms of wine bottles can also be transformed into tiles to smoothe out a dirt path.

Passage of Pop Bottle Caps A more labor-intensive way to give your garden walkway character is to apply bottle caps (plastic or metal work) to the tiling idea. It would take quite a while to collect them and lay them all out, but if bottle caps are something you happen to set aside for no good reason, this may be a way to put them to good use.

However you decide to build your garden, LTD Commodities has more products and ideas to make your garden just right. From garden stakes to bird feeders, we have what you need to make your garden brighter.

Countdown to Spring: Garden Gadgets You Didn’t Know You Needed

We are less than a week away from spring and we are eager to start digging in the garden! That means we have loads of fun new things to make your garden more beautiful. Here are 5 garden gadgets you didn’t know you needed.

pocket-planterGrow a vertical garden on a wall, fence or balcony with this Pocket Planter! The 6-pocket hanging planter provides the perfect base for a stunning outdoor display. No assembly or back-breaking work needed. Two metal grommets on the sewn-in hanging strip allow you to attach it to masonry, wood, metal or drywall. Simply fill the pockets with soil, add seeds or seedlings, water and enjoy. Durable and weather resistant. 22″W x 27″L. Plastic.

mobile-vegetable-garden

 

Grow your own garden-fresh veggies with this Mobile Vegetable Patch. This mobile, self-watering planter with trellis makes home growing easy. Two wheels and a handle allow you to find the perfect sunny patch in your yard. It holds up to 10 gallons of potting soil and includes an extra-large 3-gallon water storage zone with a self-watering pot. Sectional trellis panels can be added as plants grow, and it will support growth up to 3 feet high. Durable polypropylene planter measures 51″ x 29-1/4″ x 13-5/8″ with trellis attached.

grow-bags

With Gardeners’ Grow Bags, you don’t have to dig to have a beautiful, healthy garden. Their durable, compact design is ideal for balconies, patios, decks, apartments and condos, and they fold for storage. Drainage holes allow excess water to escape. An incredible value, the Set of 100 Grow Bags (2-1/4″W x 2-1/2″D x 5-1/8″H, each) features fluted sides that stand upright when filled. Use them for bedding plants, tree seedlings, veggies and more. The Potato Planter (14″ dia. x 18″H) is designed to grow your own fresh produce. Simply fill the bag with soil and add 3-5 seed potato plants. When the potatoes are ready to harvest, pull the flap down in the front and pick your own homegrown potatoes. The bag has carry handles, so you can move it even when it’s full. Polyethylene.

garden-scooterSit comfortably while tending to your garden on a Garden Scooter. Wheels allow you to easily move it from one area of your yard to another. Store your tools below the seat for quick access. 18-1/2″W x 19-1/4″D x 12-3/4″H. Weight capacity, 300 lbs. Plastic and steel. Some assembly required; assembly hardware included.

garden-tongs

Make planting quick and easy with a Set of 2 Plantongs Hand Tools. This innovative garden tool is actually 2 tools in 1. One end is a spade for digging the hole and preparing the soil for a bedding plant. On the other end are tongs, specially designed for removing the plant from most standard plastic trays and dropping it into the hole. It reduces transplant shock by not damaging the plant or the root ball. 3-3/4″W x 3-1/2″D x 10-1/2″H, each. Plastic.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for the Time Change

The seasons are changing and so is the time! This weekend we adjust our clocks for Daylight Saving Time. To honor the yearly ritual, we put together a list of our favorite time pieces. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for the Time Change.

charm-watchLeather Charm Bracelet Watch is a fashionable piece that works with all your casual outfits. A Victorian-style border accents the watch face. The multi-layered, adjustable leather bracelet has a single wing-shaped pendant and wooden beads. 1″W x 9″L. Metal and waxed cord.

motorcycle-lightA great addition to any space, this Vintage Table Clock features a retro design. Requires 1 “AA” battery. Motorcycle Light, 6″W x 5-3/4″D x 11″H. Square with Handle, 8″W x 2-3/4″D x 9-3/4″H. Propellers, 12-3/4″W x 10-1/4″D x 10″H. Metal.

thre-in-one-clockSleek and stylish in a silver frame, this 3-In-1 Clock is actually an indoor weather station for your wall. The thermometer monitors the room’s temperature from -4 to 124°F; the quartz clock, with a step second hand and numerals from 5 to 60, displays the precise time; and the hygrometer records the relative humidity. Requires 1 “AA” battery. 8-1/4″W x 1-3/4″D x 11-1/4″H. Plastic and glass. Ready to hang.

college-clock

Wake up to your school’s fight song with a Collegiate Fight Song Alarm Clock! Instead of waking you with an annoying buzzing sound, this clock plays the familiar rousing song and flashes lights to the rhythm of the music. The face of the clock features your school’s logo. Has glow-in-the-dark hands and a 4-minute snooze button on top. On/off switch. Requires 2 “AA” batteries. 5-1/4″W x 3″D x 4-1/2″H. Plastic.

disney-watchHelp your little girl learn how to tell time with a Girls’ Disney Time Teacher Watch. Her favorite Disney character will make wearing this watch so much fun. The watch has labeled “Hour” and “Minute” hands and a sweep second hand. The frame of the watch face is marked in 5-minute increments to help her learn how to tell time all on her own. Includes button-cell battery. Quartz movement. Watch face, 1-1/4″ dia. Plastic strap, 8-1/4″L with 7 holes for adjusting the fit. Metal case.