6 Trees to Plant in Your Garden

White-Beam

Whitebeam

When we start planning our gardens, our brains take us to all the flowers that decorate our yards and vegetables that fill out our summer menus. The one thing we sometimes overlook are trees to add a little more color and shade for your backyard oasis. Here are 6 trees to plant in your garden.

Whitebeam Whitebeams grow to be about 40 feet tall and are decorated with white blossoms and bright red berries. Not only are whitebeams beautiful, but they work well in gardens because they are very adaptable and can tolerate heat and wind and different types of soil.

Adirondack Crabapple Crabapple trees add a splash of color to any yard or garden, but the Adirondack crabapple is lovely for gardens because they only grow to be about 18 feet high. The delicate white flowers make it a jewel in anyone’s garden crown, but it’s also a very practical tree as it is disease resistant and drought tolerant.

Weeping Birch The weeping birch doesn’t have colorful fruit or blossoms, but its loose, limp branches bring character to a yard. They only reach heights of about 15 feet, so you can almost predict how much shade you’ll get where you plant you weeping birch. The weeping birch needs a lot of sunshine and does well in acid soils.

Judas-Tree

Judas Tree

Judas Tree If there were a tree to illustrate love, it would be the Judas Tree. They’re small with a maximum height of 40 feet so it does well by the garden, but they also decorate the garden with its bright pink blossoms shaped like hearts. To keep Judas Trees lovable, plant them in well-drained soil with full sun or partial shade. One bonus for the Judas Tree is that it’s generally pest-free.

Carolina Silverbell Silverbells are a little bit bigger — they grow to be about 33 feet tall, but the height doesn’t dwarf the impact of their blossoms for which they are named. The tender petals of the white flowers face down like bells. What makes them great for a yard or garden is they are pest-resistant. To keep Carolina silverbells happy, plant them in moist, well-drained acid soil and full sun.

Japanese-Maple

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple The Japanese maple is popular for gardens because they only grow to be about six feet high, but they are also unique looking. The leaves aren’t like regular maple trees — they’re wispy and almost feather-like. Some varieties produce green leaves but others can have deep-red leaves even in the summer. To keep them thriving, plant Japanese maples in a spot with full sun and sandy, well-drained soil.

It’s time to bloom! There are so many plants and accessories to add to your garden — it’s hard to put a limit on your ideas! But LTD Commodities can help you put your gardening ideas into action. From ideas on how to plan a vegetables to products to keep your herbs thriving, shop LTD for everything to get your garden growing.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Mother’s Day

We have exactly one month until Mother’s Day — that seems like a lot of time, but when the sun is shining, time can get away from us! We thought we’d help you out with a little gift planning, so we’ve picked out a few items we think mom would like. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Mother’s Day.heart-handprint-charms

Charm Mom Give mom a little something sparkly to carry thoughts of her little ones on a Birthstone Heart Handprint Charm. Heart-shaped charm has an embossed handprint and a sparkling crystal in their month’s birthstone color. It comes with a touching message printed on a card that accompanies the charm. Charm attaches to her own bracelet with a strong, lobster-claw closure. Add a few charms to the Silver Link Bracelet to start a collection of her loved one’s birthstones and her own. The more charms you add, the more meaningful her bracelet becomes.Chopped-cookbook

Feed Mom For the mom who likes to cook, this is a gift for mom and you! With The Chopped Cookbook, the question, “What’s for dinner?” will never stump you again. The cookbook shows you how to shake up weeknight dinners with 188 appetizing possibilities created with the contents of your fridge. It will guide you in making salad dressings, creating pan sauces, reinventing pastas and more.sports-mom

Equip Mom Help mom out by giving her the gift of stylish practicality with this Sports Mom Rhinestone Tote by Lyn Dorf. On each bag, crystal-clear rhinestones spell out either “Baseball”, “Football”, “Basketball” or “Soccer”. Each “M” in “Mom” is formed by clear rhinestones, with colored rhinestones creating a sports ball for the “O”. tower-planter

Grace Mom This is the gift that keeps on giving all summer long for the mom who loves her flowers. She can add her own plants to this freestanding flower tower planter to grow a tower of beautiful flowers. It has room for 30 nursery plants to grow into lush greenery. The internal watering tube distributes water and fertilizer so plants grow evenly in the display. Tower has finger-hole handles on top to easily move it around the deck or patio. Craft-Organizer

Arm Mom These Owl Print Craft Organizers take the clutter out of mom’s creative spaces! Multiple pockets make it easy for her to sort supplies and handles make them easy for mom to carry. The Tote is surrounded by 9 pockets for markers, paintbrushes, scissors and more. The Bin has 6 pockets on each side. Put needles or pens in the 4 thin pockets and scissors or rulers in the 8 wide pockets. Versatile organizers can also be used to tidy up around the house.

LTD Commodities has hundreds more ideas for Mother’s Day and holidays to come. Whether you’re looking for gifts or decor to make your celebration bright, shop LTD for products priced for fun.

7 Interesting Rules and Traditions of the Masters

golfPeople from all over the country are flocking to Augusta, Georgia to witness one of the most prestigious sports tournaments in the nation. The Masters golf tournament begins this week at Augusta National Golf Club. The tournament has been around for nearly a century and most of the rituals and practices have remained unchanged in that time. Some of those customs are a bit quirky — so quirky, we have to share them. Here are 7 interesting rules and traditions of the Masters.

No Electronics This is one of the newer rules, but it’s strictly enforced. No cell phones, tablets, walkie-talkies or anything that makes noise or buzzes is allowed on the course. Cameras are allowed on the grounds, but only during practice rounds. But that doesn’t mean the Masters hasn’t adapted with the times — it does have its own smartphone app.

golfPrim & Proper Reporting Sportscasters who are selected must stick to strict reporting of the tournament — no sugar-coating, off-beat metaphors or colorful language is accepted. In fact, if a sportscaster deviates at all from straight-reporting, he will be removed from his position. In 1966, Jack Whitaker was banned from announcing at the Masters for five years for referring to a crowd as a “mob.” Nearly 30 years later, tournament officials were as strict with Gary McCord when he likened the 17th green to a smooth bikini wax. He was also banned for five years.

Patrons There are no spectators or fans at the Masters, only “patrons.” It kind of makes sense to elevate the name of a spectator since the badges (not tickets) are nearly impossible to come by. Patrons who already have badges renew them each year and then they’re passed down from generation to generation — the club has not sold a new badge in almost five decades. The club kept waiting lists for brief periods, but the people who want badges each year outnumber the badges the club can provide.

Keep It Classy Patrons are scolded for any number of reasons — leaning too far back, bare feet, running, taking someone’s spot or lawn chair in the patron viewing area. If you go to the tournament, your behavior should match your behavior at church.

golfMembership Membership at Augusta National is different than being a patron. It’s very exclusive — members are senators, billionaires, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies — not your everyday golfers. But it’s that way by design — membership is only granted with an invitation. How to get that invitation is anyone’s guess, but it helps to be aloof. Bill Gates did not make his desire to be a member a secret — in the 1990s, he hobnobbed and golfed with those who have pull, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the club extended an invitation. And, up until a few years ago, it was an all-male club. The first female members — former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore — were admitted in 2012.

Green Jackets The Masters is known for the green jacket that is awarded to the winner every year, and even that comes with rules. The winner can take it off the club grounds, but he has to return it within the year. After that, he can wear it whenever he wants as long as it’s worn on club grounds.

LTD Commodities loves sports for all seasons. Whether it’s watching a golf tournament or an NFL game or playing a pick-up game of basketball, LTD has products for playing on the field or watching from the sidelines.

Items We Adore: Garden Product Picks

The first day of spring is here! We can already see some of the buds poking up from the ground and we can’t wait to get our hands dirty in the garden! This week we’re looking at all the things we need to make our gardens perfect — and we’ve made a list of a few of our faves! Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Garden Product Picks.

solar-orb

This futuristic Solar Orb Mobile is an interesting element for your outdoor decor. The shimmering orbs automatically light up at dusk. They’re surrounded by spinning rings. A solar panel at the top provides the power for the lights.

 

vertical-planter

Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will love this Polanter Vertical Planter. It’s easy to use, can be hung anywhere and needs less watering than hanging baskets and flower pouches. Use for flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and more. 

wrought-iron-trellis

The Set of 2 Wrought Iron Garden Trellises displays your climbing plants in an especially attractive way. The freestanding trellises, topped with a decorative finial, add a dramatic accent to your yard. Encourage climbing roses, ivy or other flowers and shrubs to cover the heavy-gauge, rustic-finished bars. 

watering-stakes

Maintain your plants indoors and out with a Set of 3 Glass Watering Stakes. Fill these clear, decorative figurines with water, then stake them in any potted plant. The watering stake drips water into the dirt, so your plant is always perfectly watered. 

Wind-bell-tree

Twisted Garden Bell Tree enhances your garden with unique style and sound. It has 6 spiral wires adorned with multicolored acrylic beads and bells at the tips. When the wind blows, the bells create beautiful, harmonic sounds.

Last Minute St. Patrick’s Day Treats

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! If you don’t have everything together, don’t worry — there are shortcuts for everything, even a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Since we like to keep things simple at LTD, easy St. Patrick’s Day treats is what we’re working on today. Here are 5 Last Minute St. Patrick’s Day Treats to try.

Rice-krispy-shamrockShamrock Rice Krispy Treats I Heart Naptime won us over with these Shamrock Rice Krispy Treats! It doesn’t get much easier than melting butter and marshmallows to mix with green food coloring. If you’re doing this last minute, the hardest part about it might be finding a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter.

green-velvet-cupcakesGreen Velvet Cupcakes If you made red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day, making green velvet cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day should be a snap! Christi at Love From the Oven takes you through the cupcakes, step-by-step. The only obstacle you might encounter is deciding if you want to make a cake, cupcakes or mini-cupcakes!

Shamrock-cupcakeShamrock Cupcakes How cute are these shamrock cupcakes? Leigh is behind Easy Cake Decorating – and she certainly makes these cupcakes look easy AND adorable. Apparently, all it takes to make these sweet treats is a bag of marbles!  And, of course, you need a steady hand, but they’ll impress anyone as long as they taste as great as they look.

leprechaun-barkLeprechaun Bark Paint Chips & Frosting really knows how to keep St. Patrick’s Day simple, delicious and clever! All you have to do is melt chocolate — it practically makes itself. The only thing hard about making leprechaun bark is waiting for it to cool before breaking off a piece to eat!

Mint-crinkle-cookiesMint Crinkle Cookies Jen’s Favorite Cookies for March is the mint crinkle — and boy are they easy! They don’t require any decorating to be cute — with just 6 ingredients and 20 minutes, you’ll be ready for St. Patrick’s Day with your new favorite green treats!

We have ideas and products for every holiday at LTD! Check back for Easter and Mother’s Day for more great items and inspiration to plan for your holiday.

Items We Adore: Easter Product Picks

Hippity hoppity Easter’s on it’s way! The snow is almost melted and we’re so excited for the new season and all of the holidays that come with it! Easter is just a few weeks away and we’ve got our catalogs open to our favorite items for the celebration. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Easter Product Picks.

bunny-stakes

Welcome spring with cheerful Easter Garden Decor. Line a path with the Set of 3 Solar Lighted Bunny Stakes. Each bunny glows with white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge.

easter-necklaces

Any little girl will look absolutely adorable wearing this Bunny Necklace. The bunny pendant is set with a colored gemstone and dangles from a silvertone cable link chain with a spring ring closure. Comes in a fuzzy bunny gift box that she can use for storing it.

easter-door-bunny

Celebrate the Easter season with a Lighted Geo Mesh Bunny or Chick. It features 15 white lights intertwined in the mesh that makes up its glittered body.

Easter-easy-bulbs

Fill your garden with 50-Pack Easy-to-Grow Bulbs for an assortment of beautiful flowers that will bloom year after year. Each pack includes 50 easy-to-plant perennial bulbs.

easter-books

Kids can pet the soft furs and skins of adorable animals in a Set of 2 Touch & Feel Children’s Books. Your child will enjoy the brightly illustrated pages, delightful stories and 7 interactive touch and feel panels of each hardcover boardbook.

Dessert for Any Holiday: Key Lime Pie

Key-Lime-PieSaturday is March 14 — to math nerds, this is known as Pi Day (as in 3.14 — the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). And, as you may know, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on March 17th. Here at LTD, we wanted to do something to celebrate both holidays (we love holidays here!). What we came up with is also one of our favorite desserts — Key lime pie. Though it’s not pi, it is a perfect circle and it’s not a traditional Irish dessert (surprisingly, there aren’t very many), it’s green-ish. The one thing we can definitely claim is that it’s delicious.

There are many ways to make a key lime pie. Everyone seems to have an idea on how it should be done, so there’s not really a wrong way to make it, but there are a few things it has to include: a graham cracker crust, lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. As the name suggests, it originated in Key West, Florida and it’s the official dessert of the state of Florida. As the legend has it, Florida’s first millionaire, William Curry, had a cook who created the Key lime pie. Her name was Aunt Sally, but some people believe she adapted it from what fishermen made on their boats. This was in the early 20th century when they didn’t have refrigeration on boats so they relied on canned milk (sweetened condensed milk) and the egg yolks didn’t require cooking (the acid in the lime juice cooks the eggs, but most people don’t feel safe doing that now). And, of course, they’re made with Key limes which are no longer plentiful in Florida — the ones we get at the store are usually grown in Mexico (they are a bit more tart than our regular limes and much, much smaller, but regular limes are a reasonable substitute — plus, they’re easier to work with than Key limes and they’re less expensive).The idea that fishermen made it on board a vessel makes perfect sense — but we’re not here to make sense, we’re here to make Key lime pie!

Key Lime Pie

Crust:

  • 12 graham crackers (one regular packet plus three more)
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (optional)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup Key lime juice (regular lime juice is fine — freshly squeezed is best)

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Key-Lime-Pie

To make the crust, crush the graham crackers into a powder. You can do this by pulsing them in a food processor or by putting them in a sealable plastic bag and hammering them with a wooden mallet. Mix the crumbs with the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix it with your hands until you have what looks and feels like wet sand. In a 9” pie plate, press the mixture into the bottom and along the sides. Use a measuring cup to press it tightly and make it dense so it doesn’t crumble. You don’t have to make a lip around the edges — it will fall away when you serve it — but it doesn’t hurt to have it there. Bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Key-Lime-Pie

 

Place the egg yolks and lime zest in a bowl fitted to a stand mixer. Using the whip attachment, mix the ingredients on high until the yolks are creamy — 4 or 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the condensed milk and sour cream and continue mixing until everything is well-combined — occasionally scraping down the sides. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the lime juice. When it’s combined, pour the mixture into the cooled graham cracker crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and the pie is set — the top should be smooth with no cracks. Let cool completely on a wire rack. After about an hour, refrigerate (it’s best served cold). It’s good by itself, but a dollop of whipped cream doesn’t hurt!

 

Alternatively, you can use this recipe for mini Key lime pies — this can be made into two 4” pies or if you want to go tiny, you can use a mini muffin tin (which is great for parties!)

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or honoring Pi Day, LTD Commodities has ideas and products to make your holiday special!

 

Key-Lime-Pie

Spring Cleaning: 6 Things You Should Not Store in the Garage

garageThe countdown to spring is on — and that means we’re clearing out our houses of winter clutter. We’ll be scouring our homes from top to bottom and clearing out every nook and cranny. Inevitably, what we don’t throw out, we’ll want to store until fall and some of it will end up in the garage. But there are some things that don’t belong there. Here are 6 things you should not store in the garage.

Books, Paper Files, Photo Albums There are many reasons not to store anything made of paper in the garage. Unless you have climate control in your garage, the fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels can wilt your precious papers. In addition to environmental conditions, pests are another factor to protect your goods from. Termites and silverfish live on paper and they have easy access to the garage anytime the door is open and through cracks when the door is closed. When it comes to paper goods, if it’s worth keeping, it’s worth keeping indoors.

food-storageFood and Fridge Keeping an extra refrigerator stocked with food in the garage is only efficient in the fall and winter — during spring and summer when the temperatures are high, your refrigerator has to work hard to keep your perishables cold and preserved. If you do have a refrigerator in the garage, you might be storing canned goods as well which are also affected by extreme temperatures. To keep food efficiently safe, keep it in the kitchen.

Paint Storing Paint in the garage seems logical — that’s where you put lots of your home improvement tools and materials — but it’s not very good for your paint. Water-based paint can freeze and when it thaws, it’s useless. In heat, it deteriorates quickly. If you are certain you’ll use it again, it’s best stored in a spot in the house where you can control the temperature. If you don’t know if you’ll use it, it’s best to dispose of it by letting it dry out completely and then tossing it in the garbage.

Propane By definition, propane is a fire hazard — we use it to heat up our grills — so you want to be careful with where you store it. With a hot environment, there’s a risk that the relief valve can open and let out the propane unexpectedly making it dangerous if it’s in an enclosed space and, according to the National Fire Protection Agency, it’s against fire safety code. Propane tanks should always be stored outside.electronics

Electronics Dust, moisture and extreme temperatures don’t mix with electronics. Any one of those things can damage something with wires. If it’s something you want to keep, keep it inside. If you plan on donating it, take it to the donation center immediately.

Cloth or Fabric If you’re planning to donate clothes or extra bedding, try taking it to the thrift store sooner rather than later. Fabric likes to absorb moisture and retain it which makes it an excellent breeding ground for mildew. Pests also love to eat natural fibers which create unsightly holes in clothes. In wetter months or moist climates, keeping fabric in the garage for too long may make it useless once it gets to the donation center.

 

 

Items We Adore: St. Patrick’s Day Product Picks

March is shaping up to fit the old saying “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” Of course we don’t know how the end of the month will be yet, but we can plan for the middle regardless of the weather. St. Patrick’s Day can help us survive the snow (or at least forget about it for a day) — and this week, we’re getting ready for it with our favorite holiday products. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: St. Patrick’s Day Product Picks:

Garden-Gnome

Gnome with Interchangeable Holiday Hats wears a festive green jacket and carries a lantern. Display him bald with a frog on his head, add a leprechaun hat for St. Patrick’s Day or whichever season you’re celebrating!

Spring-Florals-Swag

Give your guests an Irish welcome with Spring Floral Swag. It features colorful blossoms and foliage cascading down from a themed image. For use indoors or on a front door protected by a storm door.

Irish-Cooking-Recipe-Book

Indulge in delicious meals from the Emerald Isle with the Irish Cooking Recipe Book. It features over 75 sensational recipes for everyday family meals and special occasions. Learn how to cook classic dishes, tasty pub fare, hearty breakfasts, main-dish soups, homemade breads and more. You’ll find plenty of recipes to help you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or any day.

Inspirational-Irish-Bracelet

The Inspirational Irish Bracelet is a thoughtful gift of friendship she can wear year ’round. Various green, white, pearl, clear and silver beads make up the band with a dangling Celtic knot heart charm. Three large beads read “Friendship”, “Laughter” and “Love.” The gift box has a card inscribed with a heartfelt poem.

Personalized-Irish-Plaques

The Personalized Irish Plaque proudly puts your heritage on display. This charming wall decor features fun and traditional sentiments along with your family name. The wooden plaque is adorned with Celtic symbols, shamrocks and vibrant shades of green. Choices of two Irish Pub Signs, Irish Blessings, or Irish Family Wishes

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt

ShamrockCelebrating St. Patrick’s Day is fairly simple: you eat corned beef and cabbage and drink plenty of Guinness. But putting together something for the kids takes a little more creativity. This year, in additions to treats, our big idea for little ones is a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt! Here are a few items we think would be fun for kids to find for the holiday to honor Irish heritage.

For this scavenger hunt, the obvious goal is to find the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Because leprechauns are sneaky little creatures, they’re excellent at hiding their treasures. The clues they leave behind will be clever so your kids will have to think like leprechauns to find their riches.

Shamrocks Of course you don’t have to use real shamrocks for this — you can cut them out of green paper or craft something subtle to throw your kids off. If you have a shamrock hole punch, you can make shamrock paper trail or use it to punch tiny shamrocks out of kale to make them seem authentic.

Leprechaun Pipe Leprechauns always have a pipe hanging out of their mouths. Look for toy bubble pipes at the dollar store and hide it so it looks like your little leprechaun left it behind. It works as a clue and a fun prize!

HarpIrish Harps and Tin Whistles Leprechauns are talented musicians — they love to play tin whistles and Irish harps. You can craft simple harps or check your craft store for miniatures. You can also check for miniature tin whistles, but a recorder would work, too — they’re very inexpensive and they make a super starter-instrument.

Tiny Shoes and Tiny Hammers Leprechauns are cobblers by trade and they wear out their shoes by dancing — tiny shoes should definitely be on your scavenger hunt list. You might want to scour your kids’ doll collection for these! They shouldn’t be too hard to find, but tiny hammers might. Use a kitchen mallet or a wooden mallet if you’re short on tiny hammers — a regular hammer would also work if you feel OK about your kids handling adult tools.

Pot of Gold A pot of gold is the obvious choice for the big prize. You can hide chocolate gold coins separately from the pot of gold — leprechauns are known to hide bits of their gold scattered about the countryside. Leading to the pot of gold, you can try hiding Skittles for clues — drop them like bread crumbs to lead them to the pot of gold — it’s about as close as you can get to finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Chocolate-Gold-CoinLastly, no scavenger hunt is fun without good riddles to try to piece together to find your next clue. Not all of us are clever enough to come up with multiple riddles for one game. Luckily, the internet provides us with unlimited resources for creating poems with just a few clicks. To write your clues, use a riddle generator. But since this is a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt, you might try making your clues into Limericks as they, allegedly, originated in Limerick, Ireland. There is also a Limerick generator to help you with that.


St. Patrick’s Day isn’t all about boiled vegetables and beer — it can be fun for the whole family! LTD Commodities has ideas and products for entertaining all ages and all holidays. Keep checking back for inspiration for every season.