National Sunscreen Day: 5 Tips for Using Sunscreen

sunscreenWe have officially entered the season of sunshine! While we bask in the sun’s rays, it can be harmful — even deadly — so we have to take extra precautions when we head outside. May 27th happens to be National Sunscreen Day — in honor of the day, here are 5 tips for using sunscreen.

Check the Expiration Date Sunscreen expires, so check the dates on all of the sunscreen in your cabinets and chuck anything that’s past its prime. Anything that’s old has lost its effectiveness in protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays. Anything open from last season that hasn’t yet expired should also be tossed — it starts to lose its power as soon as it’s opened.

Full Protection For everyday use, an SPF of 15 is recommended, but a higher SPF is recommended for days you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun. For extra protection, check the ingredients — ingredients like zinc sit on top of your skin rather to block all rays to give you full protection (it’s the stuff you used to see life guards and skiers wear on their noses). Also look for sunscreens with “broad protection” — they protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

sunscreenBe Vigilant Apply your sunscreen twenty minutes before you go out to the pool, beach or backyard — or anytime you’re in the sun — and re-apply every two hours even if it’s waterproof. Sun damage happens very quickly and with subtle warnings. If your skin appears to be pink, the damage has already started. That’s when you stop reapplying your sunscreen and start treating your burn. Cool compresses (wet towel or wash cloth) and aloe cool the skin and ease the pain. Black tea bags can also help reduce discomfort.

Slather It On Don’t skimp on the sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using about one teaspoon of sunscreen for every square inch of skin. That’s a lot of sunscreen, but it’s a small price to pay to prevent sun damage and skin cancer.shadesail

Double Sun Protection The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to stay out of it. In the summer when it’s warm and all of our activities are outside, it’s hard to avoid the sun, but you can reduce your sun exposure by staying in the shade. If you don’t have a lot of shade in your backyard, consider putting up a temporary shade sail or portable cabana to give you a break from the sun and still allows you to enjoy being outside. Also consider wearing hats and light, breathable clothing to block out the rays.

We’re so excited that summer is here, but, like with anything, you have to take in the sun with moderation and protect yourself from sun damage as best as you can. Whether you’re heading to the beach for a week or you have a sunny staycation planned, remember to use your sunscreen.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Father’s Day

We’re heating up the grill for Memorial Day — that means summer is on its way with all of its holidays to keep us celebrating right through Labor Day. Next up is Father’s Day and we want you to be ready to honor dad with the right gifts. Here are Items We Adore: Product Picks for Father’s Day.fork-thermometer

Barbecue Aid Great for barbecuing and oven broiling! This Fork Thermometer makes it fast and easy to read the temperature of your food. Indicator lights let you know if the meat is rare, medium or well done. It takes the guesswork out of oven roasting a turkey or grilling steaks and burgers. Stainless steel tips provide accurate results. drill-lighter

Novelty Flares Fire up your grill safely with a Fun Refillable Lighter. Featuring impressive miniature details, it’s a fully functional lighter with a control wheel to adjust the flame. Use it to light a gas or charcoal grill, candles or the fireplace. The Camo Gun has a flame that ignites from the tip of the gun. The Dog lighter has a tip that extends 3-3/8″ from the front collar. The Drill ignites a flame from its 2-1/2″ tip when it’s extended. As a safety feature, these lighters will not ignite until their tips are fully extended. lounge-pants

Laugh & Lounge Relax and laugh in a pair of Men’s Novelty Lounge Pants. These pants are a comfortable choice for a lazy day or an instant hit as a gift. They have 2 pockets and an elastic and drawstring waistband for an easy fit. The fly has a button closure. DIY-book

DIY Guidance Keep your household in working order both inside and out with the handy hints and savvy shortcuts in this 1001 DIY Home Improvement Ideas Book. With 800 full-color photos and hundreds of clear, instructional illustrations, this must-have guide will get you through everything from little projects like cleaning dried spatters in your microwave to the big projects like resurfacing your concrete patio. Includes a recycling directory and index. Car-Phone-Holder

The Right Direction Keep your phone or GPS in sight with this clever visor clip. The device holder has soft gripper arms that expand with a push of a button to secure most devices from 2″ to 4″ wide. You can rotate it 360° to suit your desired viewing angle. Installs in seconds by simply clipping it to most standard visors.

LTD Commodities has gifts and ideas for every holiday and every season. Keep checking back for unique products priced for fun!

Tips for Making the Perfect Burger

hamburgerThis weekend just about everyone across the United States will be pulling out their grills and setting up picnic tables for the Great American Cookout. No Memorial Day cookout is complete without a few burgers on the grill — and we know how to make your burgers stand out for the crowd. Here are 5 tips for making the perfect burger.

Save the Salt When you’re seasoning your meat, leave off the salt. Salt draws water out of meat and when it hits the grill it shrinks up, dries out and crumbles. However, salt is important for flavor — salt your meat when you put it on the grill to add flavor without drying it out.

Add Some Fat Everyone likes a moist, juicy burger and we don’t like to think about it, but it’s the fat that makes it so tasty. But as long as you’re eating burgers, you’re probably not thinking about fat content! To make your burgers as juicy as possible, mix in some olive oil (2TB/pound) or bacon fat. You will not regret this and your guests will be awestruck.

hamburgerWarm Buns When you’re plating your burgers, don’t forget to give those buns a little love — throw them on the grill to warm them up a little bit before you add your patty. It doesn’t seem like much, but a warm bun is the difference between a good burger and a fantastic burger.

Better with Butter Never underestimate the flavor power of butter. Add a pat to your bun just before you place the patty on it. You know how everyone loves bread and butter? Just imagine what everyone will love once they’ve had bread, butter and burger! Once you start, you will never go back to a butterless burger again.

Warm Bath If you’re cooking for a crowd, don’t be shy about cooking your burgers ahead of time — not hours ahead of time, but enough time that you’ll be able to socialize and eat when your guests arrive. To keep your burgers hot, moist and delicious, keep a shallow pan of water on the grill — season it a little bit with beef base and stick your burgers in there when they’re done cooking. When guests are ready to eat, throw a patty on the grill for just a second and serve. The only issue with this is the burgers will all be cooked thoroughly (but not in a well-done, overcooked way), so guests who want a medium-rare burger might be out of luck, but the warm bath will make the burgers tasty enough that no guest will be disappointed.hamburger


Remember that you can’t please everyone all the time, so you may not be able to follow through on every request that comes your way at the grill. But burgers are the crown jewels of every Memorial Day barbecue — you can do them your way and still make it a memorable holiday for everyone!

Last-Minute Memorial Day Camping Ideas

campingYou have a three-day weekend coming up and the weather is just warm enough to sleep outside under the stars! It’s time to go camping and we have 4 last-minute Memorial Day camping ideas.

Backyard Camping If you have kids to entertain this weekend, you may want to take baby steps to get into the camping mood. Start small with a backyard camping trip. Have the kids pack a sleeping bag and backpack with the things they need to survive a night in the backyard and make believe you’re really in the woods. Heat up the grill and make all the things you might eat on a camping trip in the wild — hot dogs, hamburgers, hobo dinners, s’mores — to get them ready for a night of ghost stories.LTD-sleeping-bags

RV Camping If you want to get away from home but need all of the comforts while you’re becoming one with nature, check out RV rentals around town. Once you have one locked down for the weekend, all you have to do is throw your clothes and gear in the camper and off you go on a mildly wild ride for Memorial Day. It’s a great way for families with small children on an outdoor adventure because you have all your amenities with you — beds, kitchen, bathroom. You’ll have all the fun of being in the countryside without all of the inconveniences.

ltd-camping-grillCar Camping For families with kids that are a little bit older, pack up the car and drive off into nature and rough it for a few days. It doesn’t take too much planning if you have the right gear. Sleeping bags, a campfire grill and clothes that can handle a little wear and tear. Use the daylight hours to go hiking or fishing and use the evening for bonding with the family over a campfire dinner.

Overnight Alternatives If you don’t want to commit to an overnight stay in the great outdoors, there are plenty of ways to enjoy nature for your long weekend. Consider packing water and lunches for a day hike. Everyone will get a little bit of exercise while spending time with the family and you’ll still get a breath of fresh air. If hiking is too rigorous an activity, try spending the day on a dock fishing if you’re properly licensed. camping

There are so many ways to spend your holiday weekend — there’s no reason you have to be inside. Any of these ideas will give you the weekend break you need after a long winter at home. Anyway you decide to do it, you’ll have the option of staying close to home in case the weather doesn’t cooperate or you want to join friends and family for a good, old fashioned Memorial Day barbecue.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Wedding Season

ltd-weddingWedding season is starting to pick up — whether you’re going to a wedding or you’re in the wedding, you have a lot of planning and shopping to do! But we have a few ideas to get you started. here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Wedding Season.

wedding-certificate-holderDocument Defense Wedding Certificate Holder These Wedding Keepsakes make memorable gifts for a newly engaged couple. Each piece has a distinct pewter-like finish with elegant script, making it easy to buy all 3 for a matching gift basket. The Album says “Wedding Day” on the bottom and has 2 wedding bands on the top. Holds 72 of your 4″ x 6″ photos inside, and also showcases your favorite 3-1/2″ x 5″ photo on the cover. The Certificate Holder ensures the marriage certificate is always safe and secure. Metal. Use the metal-stemmed Set of 2 Champagne Flutes to toast on your wedding day and anniversary. Each has “Bride” or “Groom” on the glass.wedding-mugs

Ceremonial Sipping This Mr. and Mrs. Mug Set makes a cute wedding gift. Onthe front, the mugs read “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, and the back has an inspirational message. Contrasting scrolls complete the design.

led-balloonsBridal Balloons Add a fantastic glow to your next party with the Set of 12 LED Balloons. This fun set is perfect for any birthday, holiday, office event and more. Glowing LED lights illuminate five different colored balloons for up to 24 hours. Easily fill with helium or air.

wedding-totesCrew Courtesies Wedding Tote and Flip-Flop Set is the perfect gift for members of the wedding party. Use the handy black-and-white tote to carry essential items for the big day. It has ample room for hair styling tools, accessories and more. Includes a magnetic closure. Change into the coordinating pair of flip-flops after a night of dancing.

Sentimental Style  Wooden Personalized Sentiment Wall Plaqueswedding-name add a warm touch to your home. Add a name in bold lettering to the Home sign, then add your marriage date to the bottom line. Main lettering, 12 characters maximum. Bottom line, 4 digits maximum. Add your family’s name on the top line of the Welcome sign and the date of your marriage on the bottom line. Top line has a maximum of 15 characters and the bottom line has a maximum of 4 digits. Proud to be American sign has room for a name up to 15 characters seen over “Family.”

 

5 Salads to Try for National Salad Month

May is National Salad Month — with all of our gardens starting to supply our fruits and vegetables and Memorial Day barbecues to plan, it couldn’t come at a better time! We have a few favorites to serve at home to the family or put together for a spectacular cookout. Here are 5 salads to try for National Salad Month.corn salad

Summer Corn Salad Everyone loves corn in the summer, so we had to include a favorite corn salad. Aside from the corn, avocados and tomatoes, this one includes ingredients you probably already have in your pantry: dried basil, dried parsley and Dijon vinaigrette (which you can whip up yourself or buy ready-made). Check out Everyday Mom’s Meals for the instructions.

quinoa-saladSouthwestern Quinoa Salad Quinoa is all the rage these days — it makes sense because it’s a supergrain. It’s not quite like rice, but it’s a good substitute considering all of the health benefits: high in protein, iron, potassium and fiber. Not only is it healthy, it’s also tasty making it a great addition to your summer salads. Our favorite is the Southwestern Quinoa Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen. Black beans, bell peppers and a light citrus dressing makes a satisfying salad you can serve as a side to your grilled kabab or as a cool meal to take with you to work.

orzo-saladMediterranean Orzo Salad Orzo is a fun addition to salad — particularly if you have young, picky eaters in your family! This salad from Iowa Girl Eats is a simple one, but it’s simply delicious! Cherry tomatoes and parsley brightens the flavors while capers and olives give it a bit of saltiness — to balance it all out, the dressing has a little bit of honey for sweetness. If you want to add a little more freshness, seed and dice a cucumber or green pepper to throw in. Anyway you mix it up, you’re going to love it.

bbq-chicken-saladBBQ Ranch Chopped Chicken Salad Of course we have to include a salad that’s not just a side, but a whole meal! This one comes from Chew Out Loud — and this lady should be proud because this salad is amazing! Barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, cheese? In a salad? Yes, please! As long as you have your grill ready, good romaine lettuce and the right beans and corn, you can add something sensational to your summer menu.

Ramen-SaladCrunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad We’re always on a culinary adventure here at LTD, so we have to include a salad outside our comfort food zone. Under that category you’ll find the Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad from Gimme Some Oven. This isn’t quite like how you ate ramen in college — but it’s as easy to make! All you need is a coleslaw mix, toasted sesame seeds, almonds and ramen, a few extra vegetables to make it green, toss it with dressing and you have a potluck salad everyone will envy.

Now that it’s salad season we can start getting excited about all the fun summer activities we’ve been waiting for since the first snowfall. Check back with LTD for more ideas to make this summer memorable.  

 

 

 

Wildflower Week: Best Places to View Wildflowers

wildflowersApril showers bring May flowers and it’s about time! The second week in May also happens to be National Wildflower Week. We certainly love curating a charming garden to enjoy all summer, but it’s fun to see how Mother Nature has designed her own garden in the wild. Because it’s the wild, you’ll have to plan a trip to witness the colorful flowers at their peak, but sometimes, it’s just a short drive away. Just so you don’t miss out on nature’s glory, here are some of the best places to view wildflowers around the country.

Northeast Monongahela National Forest near Richwood, West Virginia is the home to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area. What makes this area so unique is that it’s made up of bogs where you can see unusual wildflowers. There are boardwalks for visitors to walk on and experience the bogs and view the wildflowers without disturbing them. Guided tours are available on weekends throughout the summer.wildflowers

Southeast In the Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest in Florida, your wildflower experience will likely be a wet experience. In a seven-mile canoe ride you can see dozens of wildflower species that grow along the Juniper Creek — which remains a comfortable 72℉. It’s the wildflower tour for adventurers and those who like to get a little wet!

Midwest A good hike on Ohio’s Wildcat Hollow Trail in the Wayne National Forest takes you through open meadows to see spring beauties and wild geraniums against hillsides and through the forest. Even if you don’t want to get out of the car, you can still view plenty of the colorful flowers from the roadside.

Northwest In Washington, the Tiffany Botanical Area is where you can see sub-alpine flowers like the Indian paintbrush and columbine under the branches of evergreens on a rigorous hike. It’s within the Okanogan National Forest which is hundreds of thousands of acres with dazzling landscapes, so even if you’re not into wildflowers, you’ll find something in the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest that you’ll enjoy.

wildflowersSouthwest Mills Canyon is where you want to go to see wildflowers in the Southwest, but be prepared — it’s far from civilization in the vast grasslands of New Mexico, but worth the worry if you get there after the rainy season in the late summer. There are more than 400 species of flowers to see, but the climate can be tricky — the best time for viewing is during the hottest time of the year, so it’s best to view them in the mornings and evenings to avoid the hot, mid-day sun.

At LTD we love all of what nature brings us in the summer months! Whether you’re going on a road trip to view wildflowers in their natural habitat or you’re creating your own flower heaven at home, look to LTD Commodities for inspiration and products to make your summer more colorful.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Memorial Day

The trees are budding, flowers are blooming and the sun is so bright, we have to wear shades! Summer is so close and we’re excited to kick off the season with a long weekend for Memorial Day. As travel plans are being sorted and cookouts are being organized, you’ll need a few extra items to make your holiday weekend go smoothly. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Memorial Day.mason-jar

Mason Jar Entertaining Collection gives any gathering a hint of country charm. The Set of 4 Mugs includes silvertone lids that screw on the handled jars. In addition to being cute drinkware, they can also be used for food storage and countless craft projects. Fill up the Flatware Caddy with silverware to easily transport it to the dinner table. Three glass jars sit in the black metal rack so you can carry them with one hand. The Beverage Dispenser looks like a giant mason jar with a spigot at the bottom. It comes with a screw-on lid and is perfect for picnics and family gatherings. For cold beverages only. picnic-table-cover

Transform the look of any picnic table with a vibrantly colored 3-Pc. Picnic Table Cover set. It’s great for use on a picnic table in your backyard, forest preserve, parks or public picnic areas. Table cover and seat covers fit standard size picnic tables up to 42″ x 82″ tabletop and 8-1/2″ x 82″ seats. Covers have elastic binding for a custom fit. hammock

Enjoy a break from you hectic life and relax in our Swinging Chair Hammock. Hang it from a tree or on a stand (not included). Made of cotton canvas, it’s held up by ropes on a wood frame. Features a foam-cushioned seat and back for extra comfort. Strong and durable, it holds up to 265 pounds. outdoor-beverage-table

Outdoor Beverage Table is a practical way to hold up to 4 drinks while outdoors. Each 12-oz. can or bottle fits securely into the holder. It’s perfect for the patio, deck, beach, or any outdoor spot. Simple assembly required. Sturdy metal construction.pool-lounge

The triangle design of the Splash and Play Pool Lounge will have you relaxing in comfort. Its raised backrest helps to support your back as you float. Made of sturdy vinyl with safety valves.

Cinco de Mayo Party Essentials

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! Even though the holiday is only celebrated in a few towns in Mexico, Americans like to celebrate the day to honor Mexican culture — much like we use St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate Irish culture. If you’ve never celebrated Cinco de Mayo it can be a raucous affair. To do it right, there are a few things you should include in your celebration. Here are 5 Cinco de Mayo party essentials to make your party spectacular.pinata

Piñatas The piñata is a  favorite Mexican party tradition. It’s a papier-mâiché animal or shape filled with candy and covered in brightly colored crepe paper. The concept is a mesh between western European and Aztec and Mayan traditions that evolved into a religious symbol. Now, it’s mostly used as a game for kids in which a batter is blindfolded and tries to hit the piñata with a stick or bat until it explodes to spill out candy for the kids.

sombreroSombreros The word “sombrero” means “hat” in Spanish, but a Mexican sombrero is unique in that it has a wide brim. It was originally used to shield people from the bright, hot desert sun. Now it’s worn mostly during cultural celebrations and it has been adopted as part of the uniform of mariachi musicians.

mariachiMariachi Music Horns, violins, guitars, and maracas make up the sweet sounds you know as mariachi music. It’s folk music the combines the instruments of the indigenous people of Mexico with the European instruments brought over by the Spanish. It was originally considered rural folk music, but musicians eventually moved to more urban areas where the sound evolved into the music we here at restaurants and plazas now.

margaritasMargaritas (or tequila) The margarita is the preferred beverage of Cinco de Mayo, but its roots are as mixed up as the drink itself. A Tijauna restaurant owner claims he mixed up the drink for an actress who was allergic to all alcoholic beverages except tequila — which she didn’t like. The other origin story is that a Texas socialite came up with the mix as a signature cocktail for her Acapulco vacation home. Either way, the Margarita was born in Mexico and it’s used to celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year.

tacosTacos The Taco is a truly Mexican fare. According to historian Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the taco probably originated among Mexican miners in the 1700s. “Tacos” were little pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder to stick in rocks to excavate iron ore. Pilcher believes this was the model for the modern taco.

Of course you don’t have to have all of these things to make your Cinco de Mayo party a blast, but they sure do help make things festive!

We love holidays here at LTD Commodities! Whether you’re planning a big Cinco de Mayo bash or you’re getting your barbecue set up for a Memorial Day cookout, let LTD Commodities help you make your party memorable with unique products at unbeatable prices.

 

April’s Pinteresting Picks

May is here and there is a lot happening in the weeks to come! Memorial day, weddings and summer! Our Pinterest followers are getting ready for quality outdoor time and spectacular life events. Here are April’s Pinteresting Picks. wedding-photo-frames

Wedding Wishes Cherish a memory of your special day with an elegant Wedding Photo Frame. The silver-gilded and beveled frame comes with a decorative mat. The Now and Then frames create a 2-photo collage with a childhood photo and either a current photo or one from your wedding. Holds two 4″ x 6″ pictures. Happily Ever After features a heartwarming sentiment and a place for a 5″ x 7″ photo of the happy couple. Each frame has a clear acetate panel to protect the pictures.

nfl-garden-mosaicGardening Goals Let everyone know which NFL team you root for with this Mosaic Garden Stone. Use this garden stone as part of a pathway, or as an accent in your landscaping to demonstrate your team pride. Makes a great gift for a true fan!

rail-planterDecor Desire Add some color to your yard and porch with a Rail Planter. The weatherproof plastic planter fits over round or square railings and wood or chain-link fences, up to 2-1/4″ wide. It’s built with a reservoir to hold water for less frequent tending. Two plastic spacers fit into the bottom opening to stabilize and secure the planter onto the railing or fence.

solar-garden-postsElegant Enhancements Put an elegant finishing touch on your home with a Solar Garden Post. This classic accent features a teardrop shape enhanced with scrollwork. The lantern at the top is solar-powered, so it needs no time-consuming installation. Glows with constant white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. On/off switch. A metal ring near the bottom of the Solar Post with Planter holds a 6″ pot.

extension-cord-sealPractical Gadgets Protect outdoor electrical connections for a holiday display or at a job site with a Set of 2 Extension Cord Safety Seals. The case snaps around the point where the cords come together, and a rubber seal keeps out rain, snow and mud. An internal locking safety mechanism holds cords securely together. These cases are a simple solution that will prevent shorting out and eliminate the chore of reconnecting cords that have been accidentally pulled apart.