Thanksgiving Decor: Simple Ideas to Decorate for Thanksgiving Without Effort

Polka-Dot-PumpkinWith all the things you have on your Thanksgiving plate, the last thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving decor. However, while you might be trying to avoid Thanksgiving disasters, you don’t want your house to be unadorned when your guests arrive. Here are some simple ideas to decorate for Thanksgiving without effort.

Outside You don’t have to worry about outdoor holiday lights just yet, but giving your outdoor space Thanksgiving and fall accents liven up your home and help welcome guests as they arrive for dinner.

  • Daytime Line your steps with pumpkins — big or small, carved or whole, real or artificial — they give your porch a fall flair. With a leaf wreath, stacks of hay, mums, and strategically places leaves, they make a stunning, end of year display. leaf-wreath
  • After Dark Make your walkway inviting and safe for friends and family with solar garden stakes. Decorative or plain white lights, they illuminate the path to your door with charm. With a yard and porch armed with fall’s bounty guests will be prepared for a festive gathering inside.

Inside When guests enter, you want the fall feel to continue. You don’t have to dress up the entryway for a grand entrance to make it a warm welcome —  a few simple tweaks to your everyday decor can give it an autumnal aura.

  • Living Room Guests don’t sit down at the dinner table as soon as they walk in, but they will want to sit and relax before the food is served. Adding a few fall colors to the living room helps guests unwind before filling up on turkey. Swap out your regular throw pillows for pillows in soft browns or fall designs. On end tables, add warmth with scented candles or vases with fall floral arrangements. For empty or white spaces, add fall leaves — leaf wreaths aren’t just for the front door, they can dress up any wall space. If you’re feeling crafty, you can create a wreath made with felt leaves. pillar-candle
  • Dining Room Decorations for the dining room don’t have to be too elaborate since the focus is on the food, but you still want to add some fall accents. Lovely LED candles give a table and buffet a warm glow without the risks and messy wax of real candles. Line the mantle or top the curio cabinet with simple fall leaf arrangements — now is the time to collect the beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves for extra embellishments! For ideas and tips on how to build great Thanksgiving table decor, check out our article on creating a Thanksgiving Tablescape.

Whether you’re dressing up your dining room for Thanksgiving or you need ideas for Christmas decorations, LTD Commodities has a wide variety of decor to give your home the warm holiday welcome as you usher in winter.

6 Curious Facts About Halloween

trick-or-treaters2Halloween is one reason to look forward to fall — we get dressed up in spooky costumes, go to parties and eat a lot of candy. But the holiday has a rich history… here are six curious facts about Halloween.

Roots What we know as Halloween — the costumes and candy — is very different from how Halloween began. Scholars believe it is rooted in the Gaelic festival to honor the end of summer called “Samhain” (pronounced SAH-win). It was recognized as a time when the boundary between the spiritual world and the mortal world was more fluid. Samhain also coincided with the Christian holiday of All Saints Day which is also referred to as All Hallows Day — Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is a fusion of the Gaelic and Christian holidays.

ghost-cupcakesTreats There are a few possibilities from which we derive trick-or-treating. Originally, according to Gaelic tradition, people would put food and offerings outside their doors to appease the spirits wandering in the mortal world so they would protect villagers’ livestock.  This tradition morphed into a ritual for Scottish kids called “guising.” They dressed up in ragged clothes to blend in with the wandering spirits as they went  door-to-door asking for treats in exchange for a trick they could perform. Similarly, in Britain and Ireland children and poor people went door-to-door to trade singing and saying prayers for the dead for “soul cakes.” It was believed eating the cakes freed souls from Purgatory. The tradition was called “souling.”

Witches Samhain, where Halloween is rooted, is the highest holy day for witches. Witches are known to be ugly, covered in warts — but this wasn’t always what came to mind when witches were mentioned. According to Raven Grimassi, an author and expert on witches, witches were young and beautiful, but Roman poet Horace wanted to change how the public viewed witches so he depicted them in his writing as ugly old hags.

trick-or-treatersBlack Cats Originally, these dark felines were either friends of witches or they were witches, depending on who you ask. Popular belief is witches could would turn into black cats to disguise themselves. However, according to Greek mythology, goddess of the underworld, Hecate, had a black cat who was once human. There are two stories on who that cat was.  It was either formerly a witch with an incontinence problem or a nurse who angered the Greek goddess Eileithyia — in both scenarios, being turned into a cat was a form of punishment, not a form of disguise.

halloween-dog-treatsJack-O-Lantern The origin of the jack-o-lantern also has several explanations. In Somerset, England, kids march through neighborhoods carrying jack-o-lanterns or “punkies” for Punkie Night (the last Thursday in October). Punkies were lanterns carved from turnips with ugly faces chiseled into them — much like American jack-o-lanterns, only smaller. According to English folklore, women would go looking for their husbands in the pubs using the punkies to light their way. When the husbands saw the lanterns, they thought they were the faces of spirits. When the idea spread to the United States, pumpkins were a plentiful fall fruit and much easier to carve than a turnip so the punkie was replaced by the pumpkin.

But where we get the name “jack-o-lantern” is from Irish folklore. According to, a man named Stingy Jack was a trickster and he hoodwinked the devil into promising to not claim his soul when he died. As the legend goes, when Stingy Jack died, God didn’t want such a prankster in heaven, and the devil kept his promise to not take his soul… so he roams Purgatory with a lump of burning coal in a punkie to light his way. From then on, he was known as Jack of the Lantern — and the Irish shortened it to Jack O’Lantern.

batsBats According to Popular Science, the history on the connection between bats and Halloween is murky, but the Samhain festival is at the root of one of the theories. During the festival, there were bonfires which attracted insects that bats eat, so bats were indirectly attracted to the bonfires. Bats are nocturnal, flying mammals — for people to see them out and about was unusual, which feeds the mystery surrounding these creatures and Halloween.

How celebrating Halloween started and how we celebrate it today are very different. Though the reasons and traditions have evolved over the centuries, it remains a favorite fall festivity.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

The fall and winter holidays are not the same without incredible homemade food. Whether you are hosting this year or plan to be a guest, our excellent values will help you prepare your kitchen, take a favorite dish with you, or give a fun hostess gift. Here are our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

A Slow Cooker Carrier is a must-have for holidays, family gatherings and social events.

A Slow Cooker Carrier is a must-have for holidays, family gatherings and social events.

The Cut and Serve Spatula is an all-in-one utensil that lets you work smarter!

The Cut and Serve Spatula is an all-in-one utensil that lets you work smarter!


Wash dishes or clean up your home with a 10-Pc. Terry Kitchen Towel Set.

Wash dishes or clean up your home with a 10-Pc. Terry Kitchen Towel Set.

Metal Monogram Wine Cork Holder looks distinctive empty or when filled with tokens from your favorite wines.

Metal Monogram Wine Cork Holder looks distinctive empty or when filled with tokens from your favorite wines.


4 Breast Cancer Blogs You Should Read

Breast cancer touches the lives of millions of people each year. In 2014, the tally for deaths related to breast cancer is expected to be 40,000 in the United States alone. The good news is, there are survivors and thrivers. They share their experience with the disease, strength during treatment and hope to find a cure. Some of those women touched by breast cancer are spreading awareness by writing about their experiences in blogs. Here are 4 breast cancer blogs you should read. Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She’s now cancer-free and writes about life after cancer and life is still challenging. She’s certainly been knocked down, but not even cancer could keep her from getting back up again. Cancer is only part of her story and anyone can walk away from her writing with a little more wisdom. Jackie is incredibly inspiring. She was diagnosed with breast cancer less than a year ago, sharing her experience with treatment and the ups and downs along the way. Her blog is a bright light in the dark tunnel of cancer — whether she’s talking about her father’s pick-me-up notes she carries with her every day or how her toenail fell off because of cancer treatment, there’s sunshine beneath every word she writes. Kate has been documenting her life with cancer since 2012. She sugarcoats nothing and her writing is real and raw and leads you into the harsh reality of living with cancer — pills, shots, asthma inhalers — being a mother, a daughter, a partner while going through treatment and still gathering the energy to walk to raise money for breast cancer research. The purpose of her blog is not to raise awareness of breast cancer, but she’s being of service by sharing her experience, strength and hope. The odds were against Rachel, but she took action to beat those odds. She tested positive for the BRCA2 gene which, to sum it up, almost guarantees a cancer diagnosis. For years she ignored the idea of having a double mastectomy, but earlier this year, she went through with it and documented every step (with some help from her husband). She had an opportunity to avoid cancer and now she’s giving you the opportunity to read about that experience.

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and these women took “awareness” to a whole new level and pushed it into action. While awareness is a great idea in theory, it’s action that makes a difference. Let them be an example of Breast Cancer Action.


Simple Halloween Decor Ideas

Ghost-Yard-StakesYour house doesn’t have to be a haunted mansion for Halloween — but it’s fun to show Halloween spirit when kids come trick-or-treating. Here are some simple Halloween decor ideas to use without having to go all out.

Yard Even if you don’t have a knack for Halloween decorating, you want your home to be welcoming to trick-or-treaters. Light the walkway to your porch — luminarias are beautiful yet spooky, but if you want the decor without the fire hazard, solar garden stakes work well, too. They don’t have to be Halloween themed — if you use simple lights, you can keep them up through the holidays to give your outdoor decor Christmas cheer.

If putting up headless horsemen or elaborate mummies is intimidating for you, or you don’t want to put in that much effort, consider putting in Halloween-themed yard stakes — they’re all of the Halloween fun and none-of the work.

pumpkin-planterPorch Pumpkins are the quintessential symbol of fall and Halloween, but you don’t have to go through the ritual of carving a pumpkin every Halloween to have a pumpkin on your porch for display. A seasonal display of ceramic pumpkin planters with your favorite fall plants and flowers dresses up your porch without all the seeds and goo that go along with jack-o-lanterns. Ghost bunting or even a Halloween flag or banner draped across the posts of your porch also add a simple and festive Halloween accent.

halloween-door-decorDoor On Halloween night, you’re going to be opening and closing the front door more than any other time of the year. You want it to be approachable for trick-or-treaters, but putting together a scary display is a lot of work for people who aren’t crafty. But you don’t have to be crafty for your door to look nice and festive. A fall wreath or a festive door greeter sends the message your house has Halloween spirit. If you don’t want to put anything directly on your door, holiday porch light covers illuminate your door to give it a festive touch.

pillar-candleIndoor Inside, give your home Halloween accents without transforming the decor by putting out few candles to give it a slightly haunting glow. If you light enough of them, it will look slightly spooky from the outside as well as the inside. If having open flames is a concern, you can get the same effect from LED candles. If candles don’t have quite enough Halloween flair for you, kick it up a notch — Halloween-themed table settings dress up the dining room while lighted Halloween canvas art bedazzles the wall.

It’s easy to make your house Halloween-ready with a few additions here and there without making the decor overwhelming. If you’re planning something more elaborate for a party we have more ideas to create a Halloween experience with food and decor. Whichever route you choose to fill your house with Halloween spirit, LTD Commodities has ideas and products to pull anything off.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

We have reached the point in autumn where we can both look forward to Halloween and start planning for Christmas. Our values help you get ready for holiday entertaining and decorating, and they make sure your young superhero is properly dressed for a round of trick-or-treating. Here are our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

He can be 2 heroes in 1 with the Reversible Superman™/Batman™ Cape.

He can be 2 heroes in 1 with the Reversible Superman™/Batman™ Cape.


Take a room from simple to sophisticated by adding this 3-D Rosette Sherpa Throw.

Take a room from simple to sophisticated by adding this 3-D Rosette Sherpa Throw.


Light up the holidays with or without snow with The Light Flurries™ Outdoor Light Show.

Light up the holidays with or without snow with The Light Flurries™ Outdoor Light Show.

Each 88-Pc. Stainless Steel Flatware Set has service for 12!

Each 88-Pc. Stainless Steel Flatware Set has service for 12!


6 Things to Do to Winterize Your Home

483590383We’re starting to feel the chill of fall and it’s only going to get colder. It’s just a matter of time before it’s time to turn on the heat and pull out the wool sweaters and layer discount bedding to keep warm at night. But our homes need to transition, too. Here are 6 things you need to do to winterize your home to save energy and money.

Insulation It’s easy to forget how much money we can save in heating costs with insulation. You may already have insulation in your walls and attic, but you may be able to add more to reduce energy consumption. has a guide on where your house should be insulated to minimize energy use. If you want to take an extra step toward lower heating bills, you can also use a thermal insulation blanket for your water heater to trap heat and prevent it from escaping too quickly during winter months.

Roof Do a spot check of the rooftop. Check for wear and damage and if there are any missing shingles. Around the chimney, make sure the flashing is intact and that it’s not a source for drafts or leaks.

Clean out gutters and downspouts so they’re free of leaves and debris; with clean gutters, rain and melting snow won’t get trapped on your roof and cause water damage. The downspouts should drain at least five feet from your home’s foundation to prevent water from leaking into your house.

winter-curtainsDoors and Windows Caulking and weather stripping your windows can cut down on energy costs significantly. Alternatively, indoor window insulating kits work very well for the winter to keep cold air out of your home. They require a lot less work than caulking and weather stripping, but plastic may not suit your home décor. Consider heavy drapes or curtains to mask the plastic for the winter months. Plastic insulation doesn’t work for exterior doors; weather stripping at the sides and bottoms of doors is your best bet.

Heating System Before it gets cold, turn on your heat to make sure it’s working properly. If it doesn’t kick on, you can try to figure out what the problem is on your own with a little bit of troubleshooting, but if you’re not confident with your home improvement skills, call a service technician to check it out before it gets cold and he gets busy. If it is working properly, make sure to change your air filter once a month and clean the heating vents.

Plumbing In cold weather climates, frozen pipes are a serious problem. When pipes freeze, they sometimes burst, causing costly damage. It’s not as much of a problem in the middle of the house where it’s generally warm in the winter, but in colder parts of your home like the basement and crawlspaces, insulate your pipes with foam insulation. For exterior pipes and faucets, drain the pipes and shut off the water supply. Automatic sprinkler systems require a professional to drain the underground pipes.

When you travel for the holidays and you turn off your heat, remember to also turn off your water. This might save you from coming home to expensive repairs.

fireplaceChimney and Fireplace Chimneys attract critters during the summer months; make sure squirrels and pigeons haven’t made a home there and it’s clear of any other obstructions. Make sure the flue opens and closes properly. When both of those things are done, make sure your chimney draws out smoke. You can do this by burning a few newspapers to create smoke. If your living room fills with smoke, there’s likely creosote buildup and you’ll need to bring in a professional chimney sweep to clean it out.

Winterizing is a big project. You can save time by having an energy audit done on your home. Though it costs a little bit extra, having a certified professional come in and figure all the leaks and areas you missed may save you a lot of money on energy costs in the long run.

LTD Commodities has everything you need to make your home cute and cozy this winter. From baby toys to quilts to keep you warm, shop LTD Commodities for the best products at the lowest prices.

Halloween Party Food for Adults

Halloween parties aren’t just for kids! Here are some ideas to make adult food into spooky snacks for a haunting Halloween party!

As adults we don’t crave sweets as much as kids, so dips are a go-to party favorite. From our Gooseberry patch 101 Slow Cooker Recipes book, we have a couple of dips you might want to try.

One of our favorites is the Hot Buffalo Dip (Yum!). It takes all the mess out of Buffalo wings but keeps the tastiness intact.

buffalo-dipWhat you need:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup hot wing sauce
  • 2 packages cream cheese (8oz each), cubed and softened
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup blue cheese salad dressing

For serving:

  • 1 bag Corn chips
  • 1 package celery, cleaned and cut into sticks

In a slow cooker, mix the first five ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for three to four hours.

pumpkin-bowlsFor adult Halloween parties, it’s not so much about what you serve at a Halloween party, it’s how you serve it. To dress this up for Halloween, serve this in a pumpkin bowl or make one out of a gourd.

For something a little more spicy, try Creamy Hot Corn Dip served with bread sticks shaped like bones!

What you need:

  • 2 packages cream cheese (8oz each), softened
  • 2 cans corn (15 1/4oz), drained
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 jalapenos, diced

corn-dipCombine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes; stir until smooth. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

For bone shaped bread:

  • 1 can refrigerated breadsticks

Preheat oven as indicated on the packaging. Unroll the dough. Pull the dough apart at the perforations and stretch each piece to make 12 inch ropes. Tie a loose knot at each end of the dough ropes. Bake as directed.


Image Source: Robot B via flickr

(The dough can also be used to wrap around hot dogs or sausage to look like mummies.)

Of course, it’s not a Halloween party if you don’t have at least a few sweets. But, as adults, we don’t need fun size candy bars – we prefer our chocolate in the shape of spiders! These Peanutty Clusters transform into spiders with just a little garnish.

What you need:

  • 2lbs White melting chocolate, chopped
  • 4oz bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 12oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 24oz dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 package black licorice lace, trimmed to 2” pieces or pretzel sticks (for the spider legs)

Peanutty-ClustersCombine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for another hour or until the chocolate is melted, stirring every 15 minutes. When it’s ready, drop chocolate one teaspoon at a time on wax paper. While it’s still warm, stick the licorice pieces or pretzels into the chocolate to look like spider legs. Let stand until set.

Halloween isn’t just about the food — the Halloween decorations have a lot to do with how spooky your snacks are perceived. We have many more ideas for holiday decorating and gifts at where everything is #PricedForFun!

5 Ideas to Celebrate Frugal Fun Day

animal-coin-purseInternational Frugal Fun Day is October 4th! It is a day to remind us that the most entertaining things in life do not come with big price tags. The idea is simple: seek out activities that cost $5 or less. The first Saturday in October is a perfect day for a free stroll to see the fall leaves, a bike ride on a wooded trail, or a walk with your favorite furry friend. It also is a good time to shop for inexpensive gifts. Something small and cute is a wonderful way to let a person know you are thinking of them. Here are some of the best items from LTD Commodities to celebrate Frugal Fun Day.

Animal Coin Purses Coin purses are charming reminders of days before big, bulky wallets. These adorable versions feature animal faces. Each Animal Coin Purse has a kiss-lock closure that even young hands can manage.

Wine Cork Lamp Kit The best frugal gifts are the ones you make yourself. You can transform less than $5 worth of materials into something they will love for years to come. Take a favorite wine bottle and turn it into a lamp. Beads and string can be turned into a bracelet in less than an hour. Giving a little of your time and creativity is what International Frugal Fun Day is all about!

massage-ballPlantar Fasciitis Massage Balls A foot massage is an inexpensive delight that is easy to give. Our massage balls help soothe aching feet anytime and anywhere. Just roll a foot over the knobby ball, and the textured surface stretches and kneads its muscles and tendons. It is an easy way to get relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and everyday foot pain.

Occupational Double-Walled Tumbler Sometimes, just saying “Thank you” is not enough. You want to give a professional in your life a small token of your gratitude. A double-walled tumbler is a fun gift that they can use every day. The bright graphics and thoughtful message make them even better.

star-candleholdersHanging Star Candleholders The best frugal finds are the ones that look expensive. These beautiful, 3-D star candleholders have the appearance of something from an upscale boutique. Since you can display it on the patio or indoors, it is a versatile piece of home décor. Add a tea light candle, or just let the colored glass glow in the natural light.

Whether it is International Frugal Fun Day or just time to start your holiday shopping, LTD Commodities has a wide variety of gifts that will not bust your budget. From bedding to pet toys, LTD has what you want at the price you need.

National Cookie Month: 5 Indulgent Cookie Recipes

October is National Cookie Month and we could not be celebrating something more fun and delicious. We’re all familiar with chocolate chip, oatmeal and peanut butter cookies — but there are so many cookies that go above and beyond the standard. Here are 5 of our favorite, deliciously indulgent cookie recipes.

smores-cookiesS’Mores Stuffed Cookies S’Mores + Cookies = True Love. It’s the campfire treat without the campfire! But with gooey, chocolate yumminess, draped in marshmallow, wrapped in graham cracker goodness you can make at home, why would you ever go camping? This recipe comes from and it couldn’t be more indulgent.

rolo-cookiesRolo Cookies brings us delight and deliciousness in the form of a Rolo wrapped in a cookie. This Rolo Cookies recipe is so easy, it might make you a little resentful you were introduced to it because you’ll make it again and again for any and every occasion – and still show up empty-handed.

cookies-n-creamCookies & Cream Cookies Cookie made from a cookie? Sounds impossible, but takes the idea of indulgent and runs with it (just as the blog title suggests) with the Cookies & Cream Cookies. We put Oreos in everything else, why not return it to its original purpose and make a glorious cookie from an already spectacular cookie? We say “Why not?”

turtle-cookiesInsanely Delicious Turtle Cookies These cookies are appropriately titled Insanely Delicious Turtle Cookies by She gives you the play-by-play on how to make cookies that will bring you to your knees. With chocolate, caramel and pecans, you will never want to get back up again after you make these!

tagalongsTagalongs The list just wouldn’t be complete without a Girl Scout copycat recipe! Girl Scout cookies only come around once a year, so we have to make them ourselves in the off months! Betsy from makes almost all of them, but our favorite is the copycat Tagalong – cookie topped with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate? Yes, please! And more, please!

Now that you have your recipes, it’s time to get baking and perfect your cookies before the holidays roll around! Enjoy National Cookie Month!