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.

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.

Plant a Flower Day: Easy Flowers to Grow

March 12 is Plant a Flower Day — and just in time! It’s still a little early, but you can see a lot of little flowers sprouting already! But even if you’re in a part of the country where the ground is too cold for planting, you can start your planting indoors. Either way, we put together a list of easy flowers to grow in the spirit of Plant a Flower Day.Nigella flower

Nigella Nigella flowers are also known as Love in a Mist, which, you will see when they bloom, is an appropriate title. They’re cute little blue flowers framed by whispy fronds similar to fennel. They’re also hardy plants, so they will be around quite a while after you plant them. Their flowering time is relatively short, but when they’re not blooming they have great seed pods that are great filler for dried flower arrangements.Coltivazione di girasoli in un campo umbro

Sunflowers Sunflowers One of the most impressive flowers to grow from seeds is the the sunflower. They’re generally drought tolerant but require a lot of direct sunlight. They also grow to be quite tall — some can reach heights of 16 feet — so they’ll need plenty of space when they’re transferred to their outdoor home.Ehrenpreis / Veronica

Veronica Veronica Veronica seeds love sunny spots and can grow well in many types of soil. They bloom all summer long making them a favorite for birds, bees and butterflies! The average germination time is two to four weeks, so right now is a good time to start those inside. By the time it’s shorts weather, you’ll have beautiful blue blossoms in your garden.Natural Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea Sweet Peas Sweet peas are great because they germinate fast and they bloom early so you can get a little instant gratification in your garden as soon as the sun starts shining. They grow best in cooler temperatures, so you want to start them as early as possible before they shy away from the heat of the summer. They also need a trellis to climb.Gaillardia or blanket flowers and wasp visit flowers to obtain nectar

Blanket Flowers Blanket Flower Blanket flowers have a faint resemblance to daisies — they can add sweetness to any garden. They’re native to Mexico which means they like loose, sandy soil and, after a moist germination period, they like a dry, hot, sunny climate which means they’re drought-tolerant. They also bloom all summer long so you’re guaranteed constant color in your garden.Columbine flowerColumbine Columbine Columbine are easy to grow, but they’re not made for every climate. They thrive in cooler environments with a lot of sunlight — which is probably why it’s Colorado’s state flower. They can grow in warmer climates, but it’s best to plant them in spots with a little bit of shade so they don’t get too hot.

LTD Commodities can help you get your garden started! We have outdoor decor and garden ideas to make your every summer minute count.

 

Easter: Our Favorite Ways to Make Easter Eggs Unique

Hippity hoppity, Easter’s on it’s way! It’s time to put up your Easter decor, plan Easter dinner and think about how you can make your Easter eggs memorable. No one will scoff at traditionally dyed eggs, but there are dozens of ways to make them a little more original. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make Easter eggs unique.

minion-eggsDecorating for Beginners You don’t have to decorate real eggs to have a belly-tickling result! These minions were created by Tidbits & Twine for a Despicable Me-themed birthday party, but we thought they were too fun not to include them in our Easter baskets! All they are, are hollow plastic eggs with the tops and bottoms mixed up in yellow and blue with googly eyes glued on and embellished with a black marker. They’re adorable and perfect for holding Easter candies.bunny-silhouettes

Cottontail Contours Speaking of markers and “easy,” Cutesy Crafts boils down egg decorating to a sticker and a few dots. It’s such a simple idea — even tiny hands can create works of art with this method. Just stick the bunny sticker on an egg and start dabbing around the edges of the sticker until you have dense constellations of dots. When the ink is dry, just peel off the sticker and you have delightful bunny silhouettes with almost no mess!  blue-marble

Little Blue Marbles Here’s a project for more mature Easter egg dyers: marbled indigo eggs. Alice and Lois did a fabulous step-by-step on how to turn plain old white eggs into marbled eggs of glory using only water and fingernail polish! As a warning, rubber gloves are suggested as this method can get quite messy.  water-color-easter-eggs

O’Keefe Ovum Here are eggs worthy of a spot on the mantle! Dream a Little Bigger made these eggs. They may take a little more time and concentration, but the result is something even Georgia O’Keefe might envy. These require a few drops of food coloring, paintbrushes and a thin black marker if you want to add the fancy outlines (but they still look cute without the outlines). This is your chance (or your kids’!) to get really creative with your eggs!  frozen-eggs

Elsa Eggs We saved the most complicated for last. A Pumpkin and a Princess came up with these eggs fit for a princess — they aredefinitely not for the crafting-faint-of-heart! Pearl paint, glitter, rhinestones and a lot of patience is what you need to create your own Frozen egg masterpiece. Though it’s a big undertaking, everyone can agree the effort put forth is worth it for all the oooooohs and awwwws.   

LTD Commodities has ideas and products to make every holiday magical! Whether you need ideas for dying awesome eggs for Easter or you’re looking for unique 4th of July decor, look to LTD to make all your holidays sparkle.

Pinteresting Picks for February

Spring is near and our Pinterest followers are super excited about it! They’ve got their eyes on all things green and flowery! At least those are the things they’re pinning most. And since we think you’ll what they like, we put together a list of their favorite items. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for February.

decorative-solar-stakes

Decorative Solar Stake creates an amazing light display. After soaking up the sun all day, the lantern automatically turns on at dusk. The white light will glow for up to 8 hours on a full charge. Colorful 3-D blooms and a garden critter complete the stake’s fun look. On/off switch. Approx. 4-3/4″W x 4-1/2″D x 20″H, including the 4″ stake. Plastic and metal. Easy, tool-free assembly required.

mason-jar-candlesFreshen up your home and decor with this Fresh ‘n’ Fruity Mason Jar Candle. The paraffin and soy wax blend candle is scented in a fun fragrance. Its colored glass jar is decorated with a flower charm tied with jute ribbon. The metal lid has a coordinating design. 12 oz. Burn time, approx. 100 hours.realistic-planters

Place detailed Realistic Planters in your garden or on your patio for a nice display. Order a Small (approx. 6-3/4″ dia. x 4-1/2″H) and Large (approx. 8-1/8″ dia. x 5-3/8″H) in the same design for a coordinated landscape. The Barrels feature decorative rope handles. Cement.

wall-art-setWith one picture separated on multiple canvases, the 5-Pc. Canvas Wall Art Set hangs like a window into a serene landscape. The graduated canvases may be arranged in order, from short to tall to short, to tell the entire story of the scene. Overall, the five together are 39-1/2″ wide and 19-3/4″ tall, creating a substantial piece of art. Canvas wrapped over wooden frames. Hanging hardware included.

pajamasThis Women’s Light and Airy Sleep Set is made with a comfortable, lightweight fabric that’s perfect for lounging. The sleeveless top’s high-low hem is accented in flowing chiffon with chiffon around the scoop neckline and armholes, too. The loose-fitting pants have an elastic waistband for extra comfort. Polyester and rayon. Machine care. Imported.

 

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Spring Decor

We’re just a few short weeks and many degrees from spring, but we are ready for a green welcome! And when that change hits, we want to be armed with the right decor. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Spring Decor.

magnolia

Add visual interest to any room with this beautiful Jeweled Flower Wall Art. This large, 3-D wall sculpture is constructed of shaped metal petals and acrylic gems. The open design lets the background wall color show through. You can also hang it outdoors on a covered porch or patio. Sunflower, 16-5/8″ dia. Chrysanthemum, 17-1/4″ dia. Magnolia, 19″ dia. Assembly required; assembly hardware included. Hook on back for hanging.

sculptures

Freshen up your home decor with this Inspirational Word Sculpture. The word is spelled out in block letters detailed with stitch lines, vines and 3-D birds. A coordinating sentiment is inscribed on one of the letters to bring an uplifting element to your decor. Looks great on a table, shelf or mantel. Approx. 9-3/4″W x 5″H. Cold cast ceramic.

spring-tea-light

Create a colorful focal point or centerpiece with a Tea Light Candle Garden Set. It comes with 3 spring-inspired candleholders, a coordinating tray and accent stones. Add your own tea lights to the graduated pillars to complete the look. Wooden, glass and metal.burlap-flowers2

Fill your home with bright flowers year ’round with this Set of 3 Burlap Wildflower Stems. This faux floral set decorates any room with classic country style. Each wire stem is bendable, letting you create a natural looking arrangement. You get 3 stems, which are 4-1/2″ dia. x 34″H, each. Metal.

blue-quilt

The 3-Pc. Quilt & Sham Set adds a fresh layer of comfort to your bedroom. Each piece features elegant scalloped edges, a patchwork or floral print on one side and a coordinating pattern on the reverse side. King set includes king-sized shams. Full/Queen quilt, 86″ sq. King quilt, 102″W x 86″L. Polyester shell and fill. Machine care. Imported.

St. Patrick’s Day: A Brief History

St-Patricks-DayGetting ready for St. Patrick’s Day involves draping yourself in green and drowning yourself in green beer — but it wasn’t always this way. The day we take to honor Irish heritage has a colorful past with details not many people know about here. Here’s a brief history of St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick St. Patrick was born in the fourth century. By the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders from his Roman Britain home. It was while he was held captive that he was allegedly told by God  he was to flee (by boat) to Britain. It was then that he joined the church and studied to be a priest. He became a bishop by 432 a.d. and by then St. Patrick was called back to Ireland for Christian missionary work in Irish communities. Part of that work was teaching Irish people about the Holy Trinity — which, it is believed, he used a shamrock to explain it. On March 17, 461 a.d. St. Patrick died and was buried at Downpatrick.st-patricks-day

Serpent Story One story associated with St. Patrick is that he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland with his flute.  There’s no truth in the story, but some believe it was told as a metaphor: St. Patrick converted Irish pagans to Christianity and drove the “evil” (snakes) from Ireland.


Blue Over Green 
In the early years of celebration, St. Patrick’s Day was associated with the color blue—not green. Sky blue was part of St. Patrick’s Order established in 1783. According to ABC News, sky blue was assigned to differentiate from the Order of the Garter (dark blue) and the Order of the Thistle (green). Green came into the picture slowly because of his use of the shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity. By 1798, during the Irish rebellion, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on March 17th in hopes of catching public attention. After this statement, green became the dominant color associated with the holiday.

Irish Feasts and U.S Influence In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in the ninth and tenth centuries with a feast, but it wasn’t declared a national holiday until 1903. By the 1970’s Ireland started celebrating the holiday on a much larger scale, but it was the Americans who really made it a big holiday across the world. Irish-American history expert Timothy Meagher a told National Geographic the reason for such a strong American-Irish impact on the holiday, “It becomes a way to honor the saint but also to confirm ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity.”Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage

My Goodness, My Guinness! If you think it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a pint of Guinness you aren’t alone. According to the brand, 13 million pints are consumed around the world on March 17th. This is double the average daily consumption which is around 5.5 million. According to Guinness, Guinness is one of the customs and traditions Irish immigrants brought to the United States.  

We celebrate any holiday we can at LTD Commodities! Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or the 4th of July, we have unique products at unbeatable prices to make your celebration spectacular.