Lunch on the Go: How to Plan the Perfect Meals during the Week

Lunch-on-the-goWe live in a fast past world where time is something we don’t have a lot of. Between work, family and any extra activities it can be hard to sit down at lunch let alone have the time to make one before running out the door. Bringing a lunch can lead to eating healthier and leave you feeling more productive throughout the day.  Here are some great tips for lunch when you are on the go.

Menu
The first thing you need to do is plan what types of food you would like to eat at lunch. If you work at an office, you may want to avoid messy food to reduce the risk of spilling. Many of us end up eating lunch while we are continuing to task so finger foods may be a great option. Keep lunch in mind when you are also planning dinner. An easy solution is to make enough at dinnertime to have leftovers for lunch. After you have your menu, it’s time to shop!

Shop
When you are shopping for your completed lunch menu, keep an eye out for additional items that may fit in your planned meals. Fruit and nuts are a great addition and can also be a healthy mid-day snack. Though it is tempting to buy the pre-packaged already portioned items to save time, it is cheaper to buy in bulk and split the portions up yourself.

Prepare
The most important thing to do for a successful lunch on the go is to prepare them ahead of time. If you are running late in the morning or have a busy scheduled at night, you will have a peace of mind that your lunch is done and ready to go. Cut up or separate anything that needs to be portioned out and place in separate containers. This way when you are putting your lunch together the hard part is done and all you have to go is grab a container to drop in your lunch for the day.

Store
If you’re worried that some of the food you just prepared might go bad, just freeze them! There are many foods that you can freeze once they are prepared. These foods will thaw out by lunch and still be cold and crisp. Peanut butter and sliced lunch meat sandwiches are great to freeze. Any additional ingredients such as lettuce and tomatoes can be packed separately to keep them fresh. Just add them to your sandwich base at lunch and you have a delicious meal in minutes.

Fruits and vegetables are perfect to freeze for lunch. If you love to add toppings and dips just freeze those along with your fruits and veggies in a separate container. They will thaw out and be ready to eat by lunchtime and you will have a healthy meal to keep you going for the rest of the day.

Do you have any tips for planning the perfect meal? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.

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5 Holiday Decorations to Keep Throughout Winter

The term “winter wonderland” is often heard around Christmas but in actuality could be used throughout the cold months of winter. Every year you work hard to decoration the entire house for Christmas. It can be disheartening it only lasts for a month after all the time and effort dedicated to creating a magical atmosphere in your home. Within all the red, green and Santas, there are probably some items that you can keep after Christmas. Here are some home decor pieces you can enjoy all winter long.

 

snowflake-throw

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Snowflakes
Though we usually think of a white Christmas during the holidays, December is not the only month we see these beautiful flakes fall. Snowflakes on bedding, throws, dishes and other home décor items are welcome to stay as long as snow is on the ground. If your snow filled items are red, try not to pair it with green. This way it won’t feel like Christmas in your home but more like a wintery wonderland.

 

 

 

 

snowman

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Snowmen,penguins and polar bears oh my!
Many pieces of home décor come as snowmen or adorable animals. These cute wintery figures are always happy to fill your home as long as they are not promoting Christmas. If your penguin is wearing a Santa hat or your snowman is decorating a Christmas tree it will make your home feel like Christmas. Keep the pieces that have a winter feel but cannot be obviously tied back to the holiday.

 

 

 

 

Winter in the Country
Stars and pine cones are typically found among holiday décor items. These items can be stuck in the wreath or wrapped in Christmas colors. If you have some of these iconic pieces in your holiday collection, don’t put them away yet! Look at the décor closely and determine if you can remove any additional decorations that resemble Christmas and reuse with a winter theme.

 

 

 

 

Winter-garland

Image Credit: ltdcommodities.com

Garland
Pre-lit is popular for Christmas trees and even for garland. An easy way to use your garland throughout the winter is to remove any lighting and add pine cones or snow decorations. The beautiful garland you had on your mantel can be easily transformed into a winter staple.

 

 

 

 

 

Blue-green-white-ornaments

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Ornaments
After you take your ornaments off the tree you normally would put them away for next year–but wait! Those cool colored ornaments aren’t done yet! Ornaments in tones of blue and white are perfect to adding to your winter wonderland décor. Add them to a snowy wreath or stack them on a plate for a beautiful center piece. To add a little additional color, a cool cucumber green can keep the winter theme while adding a pop of color.

 

 

 

 

With just a little organization and effort the money and time you spend to decoration your home for the holidays can be stretched throughout the entire winter season. You may buy a few extra items to complete a look, but most likely you will find many decorations you already have to redecorate your home after the holidays.

Do you have some decorating tips? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.

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

The holidays are a busy time between family, parties and preparing for them all. With all the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to sit down and find time for yourself. Even though the holidays are a time for giving and celebrating with others, it is important to remember to treat yourself. Give yourself a little down time you should feel recharged and ready to tackle the day’s tasks. This week we are sharing great products to treat yourself with and give you a reason to take a time out.

6-bin-storageIt’s really easy to buy fabulous items for everyone on your list and forget about yourself. While you are out shopping for your loved ones, don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself. A fun but functional item that we adore is this 6-Bin Storage Unit. This is a great piece to treat yourself. These six bins help you store your favorite items while keeping you organized. The storage unit is slender so it will fit into small spaces without any trouble. The feet are plastic protected so your floor will stay scratch free. Choose from a zebra print with a black frame, natural with a bronze frame or purple with a white frame. Speaking of treating yourself, we suggest a few items to relax all the holiday stress away.

pink-armorYou spend a lot of time preparing meals and putting up decorations which can wreck your nails. Give your nails some TLC with Pink Armor Nail Gel. This quick fix not only helps to repair your nails but also strengthens and protects them. The protein-rich karatin gel restores your nails to their original beauty and makes them the envy of the holiday party. Take out the time for a manicure and coat your nails with Pink Armor for a high gloss finish to make your manicure look professional and your nails feeling great.

Womens-nightshirtWhen you are thinking about relaxing at home, what is the one thing you want first? Jammies of course! Before you turn on the big game grab a NFL Nightshirt. This comfy shirt can be worn alone when the weather is warm or with leggings to help keep you warm when the weather turns cold. The nightshirt comes in a NFL themed can which then converts into a bank for the loose change you find in the couch while curled up rooting for your team.

Feather-bedThe perfect end to a day is a full night’s sleep. With errands to run and families to keep up with it can be hard. Pamper yourself with an All- Natural Featherbed and you will be sleeping in no time. This featherbed will make you feel as if you are sleeping on a cloud. You will wake up refreshed and ready for the day’s challenges!

It can be easy to get burnt out when the busiest time of the year arrives. Take some time out for yourself and enjoy the holiday season with ease.

Have you bought something from us lately? What is your favorite LTD product of the moment? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Home Staging Tips and Tricks to Help Sell Your House

Sell-your-homeIs your home currently on the market or will be soon? There are certain home staging tips that will help you to make your residence as attractive to prospective home-buyers as possible. Read the simple tricks listed below and learn what you can do to make your home easier to sell.

1. Remove all clutter

• First and foremost, get rid of clutter. This includes removing excess items in your home that might make rooms look smaller and too busy. Do not leave newspapers or magazines lying around, keep your floors free of toys and other items, and organize closets and drawers.

• You might want to remove pieces of furniture that are not absolutely necessary to have in your rooms. An excess of furniture will make your home appear crowded and also smaller in size.

2. Freshen rooms with paint

A fresh coat of paint on the walls can do a great deal to create a more appealing look. Keep your walls neutral, avoiding bright, vibrant colors that might not be to everyone’s taste.

3. Use flowers to your advantage

You would be surprised how much a bouquet of flowers can brighten up a room. A simple arrangement placed in various locations throughout your home will add a bit of color and make the rooms more inviting and appealing.

4. Turn on lights

When potential home-buyers come to visit and view your home, be certain to turn on the lights. You do not want your rooms to appear dim, dark and dreary. You might also want to increase the wattage of existing light bulbs so that your home will show to advantage.

5. Clean up the bathrooms

• Do not let prospective buyers see your bathrooms in dirty condition. Clean the tiles, floor, shower, tub and sink. You will also need to remember not to leave items on your vanity that will make your bathroom appear cluttered, especially if it is small in size to begin with.

• Your master bath should be attractive to both men and women, with the use of neutral colors on the walls and nothing that will allow the room to appear as though it is geared toward one gender over the other.

6. Refinish dated kitchen cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are dated, you do not need to have the entire room redone. You can refinish your kitchen cabinets and/or replace the doors to give the room an entirely new look. You might also want to put new hardware on the doors, dressing up your kitchen even more.

7. Remember curb appeal

Your house needs to look attractive on the outside to invite prospective buyers inside. Your lawn should be well maintained, and power-washing walkways, driveways and decks certainly will not hurt, either. You can refinish your front door or even replace it completely if it has seen better days.

Simple staging tricks can do their part to make your house attractive and inviting to visitors who may well want to make it their home.

Claire Atkinson writes for www.kanetix.ca, a mortgage comparison website that has more tips for homeowners.

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Replace Appliances with More Efficient Models and Save Money

Save-energyDo you rely on old, outdated appliances in your home that use old technologies, that don’t advantage of newer developments in the areas of efficiency and energy savings? If so, you are probably spending a lot more money on energy every year than you need to be spending. Simply replacing your appliances could cut back significantly on your energy consumption every day. Even more than this, new appliances will obviously be more reliable and more convenient to use.

When you decide to replace your appliance, you should do some research and find out which models are the most efficient. Not only should you do research on the different models, but you should also explore any possible rebate programs that you could take advantage of. In an effort to encourage increased efficiency, many government programs have been put in place to reward consumers who invest in ultra-efficient products. You might be surprised to learn that your new appliance qualifies you for a hefty rebate or a tax rebate that will save you quite a bit of money.

Efficiency Ratings

The first thing you should look for when you are on the market for efficient appliances is the Energy Star label. Energy Star is a designation established by the Department of Environmental Protection that attests to the efficiency of a piece of equipment. A great resource for information on Energy Star products is the Energy Star website. This site will direct you to products that have been thoroughly tested and proven to show savings in terms of energy consumption.

Another source of information on the efficiency of a particular appliance is the Energy Guide label. This is an indicator that is supposed to be placed on every new appliance available on the market that shows how that appliance compares to other similar options in how efficiently it uses energy.

Size

If you are aiming for optimal efficiency in your home, you should put as much consideration into the size of the appliance you by as you put into what sorts of energy ratings it has received. Your home will be most efficient when you are using machines that are of the appropriate size for your needs. You will waste a great deal of money on energy if your air conditioner, refrigerator, or water heater is just too big for your home, and also you will pay too much on such a piece of equipment- enough that you would need to rely on www.mypaydaylender.co.uk or a similar service for financing.

Natural Gas vs. Electricity

In general, appliances that runs on natural gas use up less energy than those which run on electricity. By opting for natural gas over electricity, you can reduce your dependence on expensive energy produced at power plants, the production of which generally involves enormous environmental consequences.

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10 Cookware Items You Need for the Holidays

holiday-cookingIf you have ever cooked a holiday meal, you know exactly how much work it is. There are so many important items needed to complete the perfect family feast. If it is your first time taking on this mammoth meal it can seem like an overwhelming task. There are some important pieces of cookware that should make your list of kitchen items to ensure your feast goes on without a hitch.

1. Griddle up
One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is visiting family. Some family members travel just to be with you on special holidays –meaning more mouths to feed. Make your mornings easy with a griddle. Make eggs, bacon and pancakes in a jiffy for all your hungry family members. This will free up the oven for other dishes that take longer to prepare.

2. Armed with Spatulas
One of the greatest items to have in the kitchen is a spatula. This handy item helps you prepare multiple dishes and can be cleaned in a snap. Whether you need to mix, flip or turn, there is a spatula for it. Be sure you have a few choices before starting your cooking marathon and they will stick with you until the finish!

3. A cut above the rest
When preparing a big meal it is common to be multitasking or even to call in recruits to help cut, slice, and dice. Save your dishes and counter tops by having more than one cutting board. By having a few you can assign tasks and boards without scrambling to find a safe surface. This can lighten your workload while giving you a peace of mind.

4. Pot of gold
Don’t forget the need for all those delicious side dishes. Whether you making corn or mashed potatoes every cook needs a pot or two to get these started while the main course is cooking. Multitask and cook up dishes side by side to have ready when the main course is done.

5. Pan out
Sometimes you need to think outside the box when preparing your kitchen arsenal for the holidays. A frying pan is important because you never know when you will need to crisp something up at the last minute or even precook some veggies before they go in the oven.

6. Roast with the most
The highlight of every meal starts with a roasting pan. Whether you are cooking turkey, ham, duck or a Christmas goose, this pan will help your main course cook evenly. You’ll be presenting a main course of perfection.

7. Slow cooker
With so many dishes to prepare, the slow cooker can be your best friend. Just add all your ingredients and the cooker does all the work! Once your entrée is done, your slow cooker will keep it toasty warm until you are ready to serve.

8. Measure up with the best
Don’t be caught without measuring cups when you are preparing your famous desserts. Every baker knows how important it is to measure properly. To create melt in your mouth creations everyone is counting on, you’ll need the perfect amounts of ingredients. Keep in mind you need measuring cups for liquids and dry ingredients.

9. That’s how the cookie crumbles
Don’t forget dessert! After a fabulous meal your guests will look for treats to satisfy their sweet tooth. Always keep cookie sheets available so you can whip up some delightful frosted sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies for everyone to enjoy.

10. Oh my Pie
Last but not least, it’s important to have a pie pan. Whether you bake a pie from scratch or are an artist at semi-homemade, there is nothing like a fresh baked pie to impress your guests.

With these cookware items in your kitchen, you will be able to create any dish for the holidays that will knock your guest’s socks off.

Do you have some cookware tips? Share your favorite tips in the comments below.

Image Credit: thesavvyshopperblog.com

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

If you have kids, you have probably heard of the word “tween”. Tween refers to kids in the age range of ten to twelve years old. They aren’t quite a teenager yet but they hate to be called kids. They love the latest trends and are always looking for the hottest new item to make their own statement. This week we have the hot items tweens adore.

Animal-print-throw

Animal Prints are big right now.  Anything from zebra to cheetah are always a pleaser. Even a country cow print can make your tween go wild. These Plush Animal Print Sherpa Throws will keep your tween warm and fashionable. They will adore the trendy pink tiger or cow print. Perfect for sleep overs or a movie night when. These machine washable throws are easy to take care of so they can go everywhere with your tween.

Air-chairWhen kids become tweens they want to revamp their room and reinvent their style. A great way to add a trendy touch is with this Multi-Max Air Chair. These chairs come in bright vivid colors that make a statement in any tween’s room. The chair can fold out to an air bed to make sleepovers easy. No need to buy an extra air mattress for your family camping trip. This durable chair will fit perfectly in a tent. Take it on road trips to grandparents and also makes the perfect holiday gift.

Gel-PensIf you have a tween, you know they love bright colors and anything to make them stand out from the crowd. One of the popular ways kids create color is with a simple pen. Make homework and projects fun with a 52-Pc. Gel Pen set. This fun set comes with a metal carrying case for easy transportation. Keep the set at home or bring it to school to complete work with style.

BFF-BraceletFriendship bracelets have been around for years but today’s youth have put their own twist on a classic. Still braided with great colors but instead of thin string they beefed up the bracelets to make bigger and better ones. This BFF Chunky Cord Bracelet Kit comes with a foam wheel to make creating bracelets easy and 24 satin cords. Tweens can make six bracelets to wear and share with their best friends.

Trends for tweens are changing all the time and it can be hard to keep it up. Between hot fashion trends, the coolest toys and fun games, be sure to keep connect with Lakeside. We have are always up on trends and hot new items that tweens and teens love.

Have you bought something from us lately? What is your favorite LTD product of the moment? Let us know in the comments below.

 

6 Styling Tips for Cocktail Dresses

Dress-shoppingA cocktail dress is just one of the most important things that a woman needs to have. Whether it is to be worn to a party, a wedding reception or any other important function you just need to have a cocktail dress. At times it might be daunting to go out there to shop for cocktail dresses. The variety of them out there might make it quite hard to choose the right one. Some people might just be vexed to the old designs while others might jump to the latest fashions without really considering if the style is good for them or not. As such, one needs to have the tips to follow while shopping out for these items.

1. Highlights your best features
Many people do not always know what to look out for when getting a cocktail dress. One of the things you need to consider is what the dress highlights. You need to go for one that will bring out the best part of your body rather than one that will make you feel insecure. For instance a cocktail dress that ends just near the knees give a more modest look for your legs while one with low neckline will highlight the bust.

2.  Accessorize
Many people have quite a notion that wearing the accessories that match your dress is the best ways to accessorize. That is not really the case, you may want to choose a contrasting color to compliment rather than match. Some accessories might be too flashy that they totally change the look of the dress. You must always be aware with the number of colors the dress can be worn with, whether it can be worn with gold or silver jewelry and even the type of shoes that can be worn with the dress.

3. Dress length
It is quite important to watch out for the length of the cocktail dress you select. There is a variety of dresses ranging from the knee height, ankle height and many more. Your length is the greatest determinant of the type of dress you should look for. If you need one that will give you an illusion of height, then a good choice can be empire waistline.

4. Show off your figure
One of the best cocktail dresses that can greatly highlight once body shape is the little blacks A line dress. This dress can fit perfectly on a variety body shapes and be able to easily highlight them. The dress can very well fit into one figure and hide or highlight some of the problematic parts of the body, which are the hips and the stomach.

5. Wear it more than once
Things have changed and now you can wear a cocktail dress not only to the party, but to other formal functions and even during the day. This can be done very easily by trying to show off only part of the dress. For instance you can put on the dress with a cardigan or some casual blazer. As long as you select a cocktail dress that is versatile. Such a dress can be worn in every other function by just pairing it up with the right accessories like handbags, jewelry and make up.

6. Control on the dress
One thing that is very important is that you need to wear the cloth, but not the cloth to “wear you” this is to say that you need a dress that compliments your complexion. It is necessary that the cocktail dress you select perfectly matches your hair color and skin tone.

In a nutshell, by paying attention to color, cut, and style you will find the perfect dress for your event. The room will be breathless upon your entrance and you will be the belle of the ball.

This post has been written by Anne Smith. She loves to write about Fashion. She recommends dressfirst.com for providing best collection of evening dresses 2013.

Image Credit: blog.stylevise.com

How to Send the Perfect Gift from LTD

send-a-giftGift giving can be easy for some in your life and with others; it can be quite the challenge. Shopping with LTD, we have made it easy for all! Not only as you view our vast selection of items online, you can mark your favorites to go back to when you are ready to submit your order.

Need help to prepare for shopping? Here are some handy tips to get you going.

Make a list of names
Put the hardest person to buy for on the top of the list. This way you will get the toughest gift out of the way and the rest of your gift buying will be smooth sailing.

Determine a price range
If you have a price limit in a group you are buying for, stick with it. Sticking with the agreed price range will make the exchange fair.

List any favorite hobbies
Hobbies can include teams, colors, and collectable items that you know each person likes. This will make your time shopping fun and easy.

Personality has it
Do they like to travel or would they rather enjoy time off at home? These are a few of the things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect gift.

Shopping for kids
If shopping for a child, be sure to find out what may be allowable or not with the parents first and then find out the child’s likes or dislikes.

Fun with family
For those goofy family members or the ones that seem to have it all, there are always unique items to choose from in our catalogs.You’ll find the perfect fit in no time!

This-is-a-giftYour gift item(s) selected and you are ready to send.  We can make shipping for you easy as well.  As you check out, you can select “This is a Gift” box and even send a very special message to your gift recipient. There are 140 character spaces allowed to enter your personal message. Send that special thought or make it short and sweet. Either way, a gift is a special thing from a special someone and that someone is you!

Image Credit: friscomaids.net