6 Personalized Gifts to Add to Your Holiday List

It’s time to start ticking off names on your holiday gift lists, but where to begin is challenging when you want to make each gift personal and thoughtful. We have some ideas to get you started! Here are 6 personalized gifts to add to your holiday list.

LTD-Personalized-sleeping-bagsPersonal Bedtime You don’t have to worry about sleeping bag mix-ups at slumber parties when kids bring their own Personalized Sleeping Bag! Comfortable and cozy, each child’s name is stitched into the top of the sleeping bag.

LTD-Personalized-dog-welcome-matsPersonal Pups For dog owners, show your love through their pets with a Personalized Dog Breed Doormat. Choose your pup’s breed and put his or her name across the bone on the dog’s collar. Rubber backing keeps it in place indoors or in a covered area outdoors.

LTD-Personalized-phone-casesPersonal Talk Snapping selfies has never been so personal with a Picture Frame Personalized Phone Case. Your loved one can easily swap and change pictures whenever he or she wants making it a one-of-a-kind smartphone case. The outer shell protects the phone from damage, and the inner picture frame adds a personal touch.

LTD-Personalized-PendantsPersonal Charm The Personalized Name Drop Pendant is more than an accessory, it’s jewelry that tells your loved one’s story. For a mom with her children’s names or a grandmother with her grandchildren’s names, the necklace is customized with up to 5 pendants, each with a name up to 9 letters long. The necklace comes on an adjustable 18″ chain with a lobster claw clasp.

LTD-Personalized-Pub-PrintPersonal Victories This is the man-cave must-have for the season: Personalized Framed Sports Pub Print. The framed sign features a favorite NFL team along with your loved one’s own printed customization. Pub marquee features the pub name of your choosing and the proprietor section can be personalized as well.

LTD-Personalized-Family-pajamasPersonal Holidays Christmas morning is one of the more personal family days of the year —  matching Personalized Snowman Pajamas! Each set comes with 39 iron-on letters you can use to personalize the long-sleeved top. Long flannel pants have an all-over snowman print and an elastic waistband for a comfortable fit. These pajamas are perfect for lounging by the fire or opening presents.

We have presents for everyone on your gift list. Whether you want to put your loved one’s name on it or you’re looking for a gag gift, LTD Commodities has hundreds of products for you to choose from this holiday season.

6 Tips to Keep Your Christmas Tree Beautiful

Christmas-TreeWe have just one month until Christmas Eve — it’s time to put your Christmas tree up! You put so much work into making it look joyful with all the tinsel and ornaments, you want it to stay pretty as long as you can. Here are 6 tips to keep your Christmas tree beautiful until the New Year!

Make a Fresh Cut When you go shopping for your tree, keep in mind that the trees at your lot were cut down a few weeks ago and where your tree was cut may be a bit dull and hard for the tree to absorb water. After you haul your tree home saw off a few inches of the trunk before you put it in the tree stand. This helps keep the needles moist and green.

Christmas-TreeWater Immediately Trees are thirsty! A Christmas tree can absorb a gallon of water a day so letting it have that first sip after a week on the tree lot is important to bringing life back to the tree. There’s no need to drill any other hole in the base of the tree to help with water absorption; the outer layer of the tree is very efficient in transporting the water from the trunk to the top branches.

Keep it Cool Keeping the tree away from heat sources is key to keeping it hydrated, but also consider lowering the temperature in the room where you keep your tree to help make it last longer. Keeping it cool will slow down the drying process because the water absorbed by the tree won’t evaporate as quickly. In addition, turning the tree lights off at night and when you’re not at home will keep the temperature around the tree down. 

Keep the Water Pure There’s nothing you can add to water to keep your tree greener or make it last longer. Good, clean water is all it needs.

Christmas-Tree-ornamentsWater Daily Make sure the tree’s trunk is always immersed in water. They drink a lot and they drink fast, so keeping an eye on the water level is important to keeping your tree green through Christmas and into the new year.

Give it Some Sun Think of your Christmas tree as your new house plant. House plants need sunlight to survive and so do Christmas trees! If your tree is in a room where there’s a window, keep the windows open during the day so it can soak up the sun.

Of course you can take the easy way out of caring for a Christmas tree by getting an artificial tree. Whether it’s real or fake, tree trimming is the kickoff to the holiday season; make your decor a delight with LTD Commodities!

 

4 Ways To Say Hello

HelloNovember 21 is World Hello Day. It is a day to celebrate the idea of resolving conflicts should be settled with communication. Since 1973, World Hello Day has been celebrated in 180 countries to encourage people to greet at least 10 other people during the day. While a friendly, face-to-face greeting is the best kind, there are other ways to reach out and say “hello” today. Here are 4 ways to say hello on World Hello Day.

Get Back In Touch An unfortunate thing about our busy lives is that it is so easy to lose touch with the people who are important to us. Thankfully, the Internet makes reaching out to long-lost friends and family simple. Search for old pals and classmates on social media and send them a message to say “hello.” You may be able to start a few friendships all over again!

StationeryWrite A Note While it is thoughtful to send someone an email, a handwritten note is something charming and unexpected. Very few people take the time to create a handwritten letter today, and that gives the rare note even more value. Make them feel special with a personalized greeting on beautiful stationery.

Share A Smile With A Stranger
One of the goals of World Hello Day is for participants to greet at least 10 people. Why not say “hello” to a few people you do not know? They can be people you see on the jogging path every day, the person who mans the tollbooth you drive through, or even a dog. Reach out and witness the power of kindness.

182180717Go International The world has hundreds of languages, and each one has a unique way of saying “hello”. Greet friends with a hearty “guten tag” from Germany or a Polish “dzien dobry”. You also can learn how to say “hello” in sign language.

LTD Commodities has a variety of gifts and mementos to help you say “hello” to everyone in your life. With our incredible values, you can embrace the world while staying within your budget!

5 Ideas to Get Your Bedroom Cozy for Winter

Cozy-BedroomIt seems like the whole country got an early blast of winter this week. We may not be mentally prepared for the arctic chill, but we can get our bedrooms ready for the cold nights ahead. Here are 5 ideas to get your bedroom cozy for winter.

Make Your Bed Every Day According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their beds every day are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep. Your body needs extra energy to keep you warm in the winter. Using all that energy wears us out and if we’re not sleeping well, we can’t perform at our optimal level during waking hours. In addition to great sleep, a bed that’s made looks nice and it’s more inviting after a surviving a cold day than a pile of sheets.

blanketsLayering isn’t Just for Tank Tops If you’re not quite ready to trade in your comforter but you want a little more warmth, rather than turning up the heat, add another blanket. Find a nice fleece or plush blanket to layer between your top sheet and your comforter to add a little bit of weight and insulation for your winter slumbers.

Suitable Surfaces Textures can have a big impact on how you see your room and how you feel in it. Soft and dark textures absorb light and make it warmer. Adding a curtain panel to your ceiling, pile a few plush pillows in dark colors on your bed bed or add a cushy throw rug on the floor to visually and physically warm up the bedroom. Save the smooth and shiny surfaces for summer — they reflect light to make a room cooler.

mattress-padExtra Padding While our mattresses last about seven years, we can give them a boost to make them cozy as they approach their expiration date. A new mattress pad or a feather bed can refresh your bed to make it more comfortable and cushioned when you crawl into your cocoon for the night.

Mood Lighting During warmer months, there isn’t as much demand for mood lighting, but it can be soothing in the bedroom during frigid winters. According to a study published by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, participants reported feeling warmer in a dimly lit room than they felt in a bright room even though the rooms were the same temperature. Even if your thermostat is at the lowest temperature you can handle, having a few LED candles scattered around your room might trick your brain into thinking it’s warmer than it actually is.

Warming up your bedroom for the winter is easy — and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make it welcoming even on the coldest of evenings. With just a few ideas and adjustments, winter nights won’t be so bad.

 

8 Games and Puzzle Gift Ideas

The cold weather has set in and it looks like we’re going to have a long winter. While we’re stuck inside, we’re going to need activities to keep us busy. In honor of Games and Puzzles Week, we have 8 games and puzzle gift ideas to get you, your friends and family through the winter.

games-Farkel-DiceRoll with It The Farkel Game Set with Dice Rolling Tray is a great game to get people together for game night! Farkel is a high point-scoring dice game that has kept players entertained and challenged all night long. For ages 8 and up.

games-disney-scrabbleDisney Has it Covered Disney Jr. Scrabble is the word game that grows with your child’s vocabulary! It’s just like classic Scrabble, but it uses Disney-themed words to build vocabulary. When children develop stronger reading and spelling skills, they can flip the double-sided game board to the other side and play the regular version of Scrabble Jr. For ages 3 and up.

games-nostalgic-puzzlesPuzzles of Yore Go back in time and spend hours piecing together cereal boxes, games or treats we enjoyed as kids with Nostalgic Puzzles. Each puzzles comes with 1,000 pieces that features a collage of familiar favorites from the past. It’s a delightful, calm yet mind-sharpening activity for cold winter days.

Games-Elvis-Puzzle-ShapesTwist on Puzzles Break away from the traditional jigsaw puzzle with a Licensed Shaped Puzzle with Fun Shapes. Each 500-pc. puzzle forms a distinctive shape when completed. Adding to the fun are several pieces that are specially shaped to look like objects related to the larger image.

games-sequence-dice-gameLuck and Strategy Sequence Dice Game is an exciting dice game of luck and strategy for the whole family! The goal is to be the first player or team to make a sequence of 5 chips in a row…up, down, across or diagonally! This entertaining game for friends and family can be played by 2-4 players making it a challenge for couples’ night or family night. For ages 7 and up.

Games-shuffleboardGames of Leisure This 3-In-1 Tabletop Game is all you need for family game night. Play shuffleboard, curling or bowling all on your tabletop! You don’t need to go on a cruise or brave the cold and go to the bowling alley to enjoy a life of leisure games with this set. For ages 5 and up.

games-thomas-kincadePuzzled Movie Scenes A Thomas Kinkade Movie Puzzle lets you piece together memories of The Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind. Created by one of the nation’s greatest artists, this puzzle forms a beautiful piece of art you’ll want to frame when you’re finished. For ages 12 and up.

games-dartsThe Pub Comes to You Licensed Magnetic Dartboard has all the fun of this classic game of skill, without the pub and without the danger! These darts don’t have sharp points, so just about anyone can take a shot at the bullseye. For game night with your adult friends or a night in with the kids, the magnetic dart board promises hours of fun! For ages 3 and up.

It’s not winter yet, but with the temperatures already cold and destined to go down, Games and Puzzles Week couldn’t have come at a better time! You’ll need plenty of indoor activities to survive this winter.

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

It is finally time to get down to some serious holiday shopping. This magical time of year is all about children, and that shows in the variety of toys, clothing, and other delights waiting for you at LTD Commodities. Here are our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

Your little girl will feel like she's caring for a real baby with a La Newborn Real Life 14" Doll Set or Outfits.

Your little girl will feel like she’s caring for a real baby with a La Newborn® Real Life 14″ Doll Set or Outfits.

Add adventure and excitement to their pretend covert operations with the Military Walkie-Talkie Command Center.

Add adventure and excitement to their pretend covert operations with the Military Walkie-Talkie Command Center.

Jelly Belly® Gift Boxes include 10 or 40 different flavors of the world-famous, delicious candy.

Jelly Belly® Gift Boxes include 10 or 40 different flavors of the world-famous, delicious candy.

Your child can save the day with a Rush & Rescue Remote Control Vehicle!

Your child can save the day with a Rush & Rescue™ Remote Control Vehicle!

 

 

5 Tips for Selecting a Christmas Tree

Christmas-TreeThe temperatures are dropping and even though we’re dreading cold weather, we’re excited for the holidays! We’re putting up all of of our holiday decor, but there’s just one thing missing: the Christmas tree. While we’re getting ready to put one up, we thought we’d share 5 tips for selecting a Christmas tree.

Pick a Spot Before you gather the family to pick out a tree, consider where you are going to put the tree and what kind of help you’ll be getting when you take it home. This will determine the size you want to buy. Standard ceilings are 8 ft high, so you want to select a tree that’s 7 ft or smaller. If you have high or vaulted ceilings, you are open to select taller trees, just remember the taller they are, the heavier they are and an average tree can weigh about 80lbs. Quick tip: Remember when you’re choosing a spot for your tree, make sure it’s away from heating vents so they don’t dry out and become a fire hazard.

Pick a Type There are different varieties of evergreen trees with different characteristics you can choose from:

Fir: Typically triangular, dense with branches, dark green needles, and has a prominent spire — Fraser Fir and Douglas Fir are most popular for Christmas trees

Evergreen-TreePine: Bright green, stiff branches — Scots Pine and Virginia Pine are most popular for Christmas trees

Spruce: Waxy, grey-green, triangular shape — Colorado Blue Spruce and White Spruce are most popular for Christmas trees

Inspect It When you’ve decided on the size of the tree you want and you get to the lot, inspect each of the trees you want:

  • Look for insects
  • Make sure the needles are green and flexible — if they are brittle, the tree is dry
  • The base of the tree should have sap on it

Shake It Off Before you leave the tree lot, shake the tree — with a lot of effort — to get rid of the needles that need to be shed. This will save you some aggravation of having a trail of needles to clean up as you carry the tree through your house that you’ll have to clean up as you prepare for the guests to arrive.

Christmas-TreeAvoid Shock After you shake off the needles, store the tree in a shed or garage if you have one. Trees live outside in temperatures much lower than what you have in your home. Keeping them inside spots with cool temperatures will ease them into the warmth of a festive home, and prevent needles from falling off prematurely. Quick tip: water your tree daily to keep it from drying out and the needles from falling off.

Fresh Christmas trees are a lot of work and maintenance. If you don’t have the time or energy for a real Christmas tree, artificial trees are an easy and practical alternative. Either way, start planning now so you have plenty of time to enjoy your tree this holiday season.

4 Ways to Handle Pets During Thanksgiving

Dog-and-CatThanksgiving is for family and friends — and, of course, our pets are part of the family, but with all the people and food, we forget holidays get a little tricky with our animals. Here are a 4 ways to handle pets during Thanksgiving.

Guests vs. Pets When you invite people into your home, you’re also inviting their difficulties. Make sure to tell your guests ahead of time that you have pets so you can address any issues:

Avoiding Allergies If you have a guest who has an allergy to your dog or cat, putting your pet in the next room may not be enough to prevent an allergic reaction. To be polite and cautious consider giving your pets a bath before the big holiday or take them to be groomed. Also, be sure to give your house a good cleaning as well as change your air filters — dander and pet hair land in places we don’t think about and, as pet owners, we don’t really notice. As an extra measure of precaution, stock the medicine cabinet with over-the-counter allergy medication.

petcaveAnimal Animosity As pet owners we can’t imagine why someone doesn’t like dogs or cats — especially your sweet Snowball or friendly Fido — but not everyone wants a furry friend, least of all at the Thanksgiving table. If you have guests who don’t like animals, set up a special room for your dog or cat. Make it cozy with a bed, toys and food and water. This makes guests comfortable as well as your pets.

Dinner Denial With a mountain of food on the table, there’s no place your dog or cat wants to be more than under the table waiting for feast fallout. As much as you would like to give your pet a morsel of holiday goodness, try to refrain — especially if it’s raw. Raw turkey is infamous for carrying salmonella — we know it can make humans very sick, but it can land pets in the emergency room, too. Other foods we think are harmless can cause illness in your pet as well. Food like bread dough can cause an upset stomach and chocolate may result in a trip to the vet. Don’t take any chances with your pets on Thanksgiving. If you feel like they’re being left out of the festivities, get them special treats made for pets.

dog-and-catFeast Fatigue Old friends and family are familiar to you, but new faces may cause excitement for your pet. Before the guests arrive, take your dogs on a walk to get out all of the energy before the dinner madness starts. If your pets get tired out before your hosting duties begin, they’ll be less likely to disrupt dinner or add to the holiday commotion.

We’re with our pets morning, noon and night, so it’s easy to forget they need special attention when guests arrive. Between the holiday shopping and the party preparations, take a little time out to think about your pets for the holiday.

3 Books to Spice Things Up for Cook Something Bold Day

bold-foodWhen you are trying to cook something delicious and healthy every day, it is easy to find yourself in a flavor rut. Cook Something Bold Day marks November 8 as a day to shake things up with zesty ingredients like garlic, hot peppers and saffron. Get started on your culinary journey with these 3 books to spice things up for Cook Something Bold Day.

choppedThe Chopped Cookbook Sometimes cooking something new can be intimidating because it requires exotic ingredients. The Chopped Cookbook shows you ways to unleash the hidden flavors in the food already in your refrigerator and pantry. Transform leftovers into chilled peanut chicken noodle salad. Shake up your taste buds with eggs fried in hot sauce, or a try an American staple with new Louisiana soul with Cajun-spiced burgers. Since this book focuses on common ingredients, you may be able to get cooking without an extra trip to the store.

diners-drive-ins-and-divesDiners, Drive-Ins and Dives On his hit Food Network show, Guy Fieri travels America looking for the most unusual and bold flavors. Bring a bit of his “Flavortown” to your home with the nearly 70 recipes in the all-new Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives cookbook. In addition to fun behind-the-scenes stories from the show, it has lively dishes like braised brisket spiced with coffee and ancho chili powder, green chili stew, and more.

pioneer-womanThe Pioneer Woman Cooks Ree Drummond’s irresistible recipes and wit has made her an Internet superstar and best-selling author. Her up-to-date versions of country favorites include a lot of spicy and savory fare. The Pioneer Woman Cooks features entrees like spicy pulled pork and white chicken enchiladas. If you are just looking for a side or snack, try grilled corn guacamole to add zest to chips.

When you’re trying new recipes, don’t be afraid to add your own spices. Remember that you know how things are supposed to taste and just about every flavor can be adjusted with salt or sugar. Experimenting and being bold is half what makes cooking fun!

National Peanut Butter Month: How to Make Buckeyes

BuckeyesNovember is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month — and it is certainly loved. You can find peanut butter in just about any edible form — cookies, cupcakes, chicken chili, Thai noodles –but since LTD Commodities is in the Midwest, our favorite way to serve peanut butter is as a buckeyes.

BuckeyesIf you don’t know what a buckeye is, it’s a tree. It’s native to the Midwest, but Ohio adopted it as its state tree and The Ohio State University claims it as its mascot (but we don’t have any collegiate allegiances at LTD Commodities). We refer to its seeds as buckeyes — which are very similar to chestnuts, but they’re highly toxic. Buckeye Balls — which are made with peanut butter and chocolate to look like buckeye seeds — are, however, certainly edible and absolutely addictive.

Here’s how to make Buckeyes:buckeye-blanket

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate chips (60% cacao or more)

In a bowl fitted with a stand mixer and paddle attachment or using a hand-mixer , beat together the butter, peanut butter and vanilla on low speed. When the mixture is smooth, start adding the powdered sugar a little bit at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Scoop out about 1¼ TB of the mixture and form a ball with your hands. Set it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Buckeyes

Melt the chocolate using a water bath: on high heat bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce the heat to low and keep the water simmering. Place a kitchen towel over the pan and place a heat-proof bowl on top of the towel. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl to melt. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Buckeyes

Using a toothpick, spear a chilled peanut butter ball and dip it in the melted chocolate leaving a little bit of the peanut butter exposed — this is what makes them look like buckeyes. Return the peanut butter ball (now covered in chocolate) to the cookie sheet and repeat the process with the remaining peanut butter balls. Refrigerate for 15 or 20 minutes.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This recipe makes about 25 peanut butter balls but it can be doubled, tripled or even cut in half.  Buckeyes also travel well for parties and they can be made ahead and frozen.

You don’t have to be from the Ohio or even the Midwest to enjoy a buckeye ball. They’re easy to make, perfect for the holidays and delicious — even a Michigan Wolverine would enjoy a good buckeye ball.