New Year’s Eve Ideas & Tips for a Fresh Start

The holidays are at an end, but we’ve got one last weekend of celebrating to do before 2017 officially starts. Whether you’re on the lookout for a few fresh ideas to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the family, trying to get a jump on your New Year’s resolutions or just searching for a few ways to spruce up your house for the new season, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of these LTD articles and start planning for a fantastic year!


What to Eat for a Lucky New Year

New Year: What to Eat for a Lucky New Year
When the holidays come to an end, we have an entire new year to start planning for. Although some people think of it as just another day, we allow ourselves to use New Year’s to wipe the slate clean and focus on the positive. Luckily, there are a few things to eat to bring us good fortune. Here’s what to eat for a lucky year!

New Year: Ideas for a Lucky New Year with the Family
Having kids changes the way we do everything! They bring joy to every event, but each event requires a bit of adjusting, including how we spend the holidays. If you have younger kids, you’re probably spending New Year’s Eve at home. But you can still celebrate! Here are a few ideas for a lucky new year with the family.

New Year: Ideas for Bedroom Decor to Start the New Year

New Year: Ideas for Bedroom Decor to Start the Year Fresh
Starting the New Year is exciting, but by summer all those resolutions will inevitably fall back onto the list for next year. Set yourself up for success from the start by redecorating and reorganizing your life to reflect your goals. The bedroom is where you start and end the day. Transform it before your tackle your goals for 2017.

4 New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Sleep Better
The New Year means a new you! Getting more sleep, as well as getting better sleep might be at the very top of your resolution list, but sticking to that resolution requires you to make some additional changes as well. If you’re serious about sleeping better, check out these 4 New Year’s resolutions to get the job done in 2017.

New Year, New Kitchen: Tips for a Kitchen Makeover

New Year, New Kitchen: Tips for a Kitchen Makeover
Your kitchen is the place where your family eats, where friends gather and where memories are made on a daily basis. Whether your kitchen is overdue for a little facelift or ready for a major makeover, these tips will help you brainstorm ideas and start planning. Renovate, redesign and redecorate your kitchen this year!

5 Favorite Favorite New Year’s Eve Movies

With New Year’s Eve just a couple days away, we’re all thinking about how we should change our ways to start the new year right! But some of us are better at watching others get a fresh start than actually making resolutions for ourselves. So along that vein, we put together our list of favorite New Year’s Eve movies to inspire you for a new beginning.

When Harry Met Sally The “You’re the one for me” speech Harry gives Sally on New Year’s Eve is a hard speech to forget. Being on the receiving end of “When you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” is the perfect way to start a new year — especially after 8 years of friendship. But it’s not just about New Year’s Eve; it is the perfect romantic comedy that no other rom-com can match — and one that even men like.

Trading Places Trading Places is an example of Eddie Murphy at his best as a hustler turned millionaire. It’s all part of a game two wealthy men play on another wealthy man played by Dan Aykroyd. The two wealthy men reconfigure Aykroyd’s life so that he doesn’t exist, and put Murphy in his place. New Year, New Life with a lot of laughs and twists in between.

Bridget Jones’s Diary Poor Bridget. She just can’t seem to get much right in life. She’s perpetually trying to improve herself, basically making New Year’s resolutions every day of the year. She lost her man, lost her job and tries to pick herself up again only to be pummeled by life one more time — but that one more time opened up doors to a brand new life, vastly different from the previous ones and full of things to celebrate.

Waiting to Exhale People and relationships are constantly renewing themselves — sometimes it’s pleasant and sometimes it’s down right ugly and Waiting to Exhale is a perfect example of that. It’s about four women that are in different places in their lives. But it’s all about change and improving ourselves whether we want to or not.

Ghostbusters II After their initial success, the Ghostbusters fall on pretty hard times and, basically abandon their ghost-exterminating business for other opportunities — including performing at children’s birthday parties. But, like we get a fresh start every January 1, the Ghostbusters get a second chance at saving their city from evildoers beyond the grave. It’s a silly movie about redemption, but Bill Murray is still funny 26 years later.

Happy New Year from LTD Commodities! Whether you go out to a party or stay home and watch movies to ring in the new year, we wish you well for the year to come.

Holiday Spirit: 10 Unique New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World

 

New-Year In the United States, the new year is one of our favorite days to celebrate! We watch the ball drop in Times Square, make resolutions and eat different food for good luck. But other cultures and countries have very different customs for ringing in the new year. Here are 10 unique New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.

Ecuador Everyone cobbles together paper dummies — similar to scarecrows — to represent all the  bad luck and disappointment of the last year. At the stroke of midnight, everyone sets their dummies on fire in the streets.

Scotland The first person to cross the threshold on New Year’s Day is thought to be the bringer of good luck for the coming year. This is called “first footing.”

Denmark They save their chipped and otherwise unwanted  dishes to throw at the doors of friends. Whether or not this determines your luck for the year is uncertain, but the pile of broken dishes you have at your doorstep on the last day of the year is a measure of how many friends you have.

New-YearGermany They look to lead to determine one’s fortune in the new year. They pour molten lead into cold water where it takes shape — a heart for marriage, circles or spheres for good luck and the shape of an anchor for bad luck — and predicts what your year will bring.

South America New, colorful underwear for the new year is a must. If you want love, wear red underwear. If it’s financial success, yellow underwear is what you need. For peace, stick to white underwear.

Switzerland They drop dollops of whipped cream on the floor and leave it there. It’s thought to bring good fortune for the next 365 days.

Peru Outside of Lima, they have their very own fight club. Everyone has a fist fight to get rid of any resentments over the last year and start the new year with a clean slate.

Greece To bring wealth and success for the coming year, it’s customary to crack open a pomegranate on your doorstep before entering your home on New Year’s Day.

Belgium On New Year’s Day, children craft special letters to their parents. It’s something like a Valentine — they create a collage of angels, cherubs and roses — and then read the letters out loud to their parents.

Japan Don’t be alarmed when the temple bells don’t stop ringing! That’s 108 chimes from the Buddhist temples. Each ring represents temptations to resist in order to achieve peace of mind.

Every day is a good day for a party at LTD! Whether you’re celebrating the new year or you’re celebrating your birthday, look to LTD for ideas and products to make your party memorable.New-Year

Halloween: Curious Facts About Candy Corn

candy-cornOur first big holiday of the season is here! Halloween brings with it so many traditions — carving pumpkins, dressing up as ghosts and goblins, and — every kid’s favorite part — candy! While most of the candy we enjoy is made up of chocolate, candy corn is the one candy that’s solely associated with Halloween. It’s an interesting way for sugar to take shape with a unique texture you don’t find in other candy. So we did a little research on these little nuggets of sugar to give you these curious facts about candy corn.

Farm Fowl Food Candy corn was first produced in the late 1800s, but it wasn’t always known as “candy corn.” The original name it was marketed with was “Chicken Feed.” On the farm, chicken feed sometimes contains corn kernels, so it wasn’t far off the mark where naming is concerned, but it might not be the most appetizing of titles for the general population. But farmers were into it and the original packaging included a rooster in the logo to help it sell. 

Pastry Particulars Aside from the shape and sugar, what draws people to candy corn is the texture. It’s not quite hard but it’s not quite soft and it has a creamy quality to it. We owe all that to fondant — it’s sugar and water heated together until the mixture is moldable. Fondant is used by pastry chefs to make elaborate cakes that look like sculptures — things you can’t do with regular buttercream frosting.

candy-cornSecret Ingredient Like the name suggests, candy corn is typically made from corn syrup. However, Brach’s Candy is the biggest producer of candy corn and it’s not corn syrup that makes it sweet and chewy, rather, it’s honey.

Meat Eaters Only Vegans steer clear of our favorite corn confection from Brach’s because of the honey which is not a vegan food. But vegans and vegetarians won’t find another candy corn brand to bend to their dietary restrictions because it contains marshmallow. Marshmallow is made with gelatin which is, basically, boiled down animal cartilage. Don’t get too grossed out — it’s in a lot of processed foods we eat every day, but it’s on the list of things vegans and vegetarians consider off-limits.

Bug Luster Most candy corn has a sheen to it — and that sheen allegedly comes from shellac. Shellac is what you think it is, it’s a resin mixed with alcohol to make wood finish and finger polish shimmer. What you might not know is that it’s secreted from a bug found in India and Thailand. It’s actually used in a lot of glazes we eat and things use every day. But if you’re vegan, this is another reason you can’t eat Halloween’s most popular candy.candy-corn

Mixing It Up If you’re a candy corn enthusiast, you’ve had it in just about every shape and color like pumpkins and hay for Halloween or bunnies and chicks for Easter. But it Canada, you might find candy corn in colors and flavors you wouldn’t expect! Imagine candy corn in purple with the flavor of a blackberry cobbler. Yep, that’s how they do candy corn in Canada.

At LTD Commodities, we’re excited about all the treats ahead of us! From bags of candy corn for Halloween to holiday cookies between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we can’t wait for all the holiday excitement!

Celebrate Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day

calendarIt’s two weeks into the new year. How are your resolutions going? If you are like most people, they are not going well. Only 8 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions manage to keep them, and most resolutions don’t make it past 2 weeks. So you are not alone if you are stumbling. It is so common, there’s even a day to celebrate it—Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day on January 17. Sometimes, a little failure can be a good thing. Here are 5 reasons it’s healthy to ditch your resolutions for Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day.

They Are Unrealistic And Vague It is easy to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to resolutions. Sadly, these tend to set us up for failure rather than inspire us to achieve greatness. For instance, it would be wonderful if a couch potato transforms himself into a marathon runner. But, the chances of that happening in the real world in a short amount of time are not good. If you do not quickly achieve that lofty goal, you may get discouraged and quit. Likewise, many of us resolve to “be healthier”. Without specific targets, like “eating 5 veggies a day” or “go to gym twice a week”, you may not make it. Research shows that the more specific you make your goal, the more likely you are to succeed. So, get rid of the resolutions to “be nicer” and travel to the moon and try for smaller, specific things you can accomplish.

plannerYou Do Not Have A Plan Having goals is essential to self-improvement, but you need to figure out the steps to that goal to be a success. Remember that couch potato who wants to run a marathon? He has amended his resolution to “running in a local 5K event”. However, he still does not know the way to train for that goal. Without a plan, he cannot hit even this modest target. Take a look at your resolutions, and toss ones that you do not have a plan to accomplish. It’s far better to use your time to concentrate on attainable goals with simple steps than to stress over objectives that are hazy.

Results Will Vary Beware of differences between expected results and actual accomplishments. You may think that a smaller waistline or quitting caffeine will change your life, but you may be wrong. While these may make you healthier, they may not turn you into an entirely new person. It can be easy to slide back into old habits when you discover the new ones will not solve all of your problems. Take a moment to think about what you really want to change in your life and why. If the resolutions you made won’t get you there, abandon them for better goals.

exercise-outfitYou Set Too Many Resolutions You only have one supply of willpower. If you made more than one resolution, this precious resource is going to be used up quickly. A study by Stanford University found that the more goals people make, the less likely they were to achieve them. It is normal to have several things you want to change in your life, but if you try to tackle too many at once, you will spread yourself thin. Pick one important resolution to work on and drop the rest.

Resolutions Do Not Work As we said in the opening paragraph, only 8 percent of the people who make New Year’s resolutions manage to keep them. The remaining 92 percent fail. Why? Well, resolutions are based on what you think you should be doing, not on what you want to do. There is a big element of peer pressure and living up to other people’s expectations in New Year’s resolutions. That is not a recipe for long-term happiness. If you really do not want to follow through on the resolution, scrap it. Then, you will have more time and brainpower to spend on things you really want to achieve.

Making positive changes is an excellent idea, but New Year’s resolutions are not the right tools to do it. Ditch your 2015 resolutions and find more effective ways to start living the life you want. Who knows—once the pressure of the resolutions is gone, you may begin to make some progress!

Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

NYEIt’s that time — time to say goodbye to 2014 and start fresh for 2015. As rituals go, millions of people blow horns, wear crazy hats and throw sparkling confetti and turn to Times Square as the ball drops at midnight. But there are plenty of places to be to make your New Year’s Eve memorable. Here are 7 of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve that are not Times Square.

Las Vegas If you need glitter and glamour without the freezing temperatures, take a quick trip to Las Vegas! On New Year’s Eve the Strip is shut down to traffic for a block party to rival Times Square. 300,000 people turn out every year to see live bands and a spectacular fireworks display you can only see in the desert. If you do make it to Vegas for New Year’s Eve, you may get a rare glimpse of snow in Sin City — there may be a few snow showers this week.

Los Angeles Los Angeles is home to celebrity A-listers which means exclusive and expensive New Year’s Eve celebrations. But there’s an option for people like us — New Year’s Eve at Grand Park. The event is free to the public with streets shut-down around the park so revelers can walk around to enjoy live music, art and plenty of food.

champagneNew Orleans If you can’t make it to Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve is the next best way to experience the Big Easy. The city puts on a rowdy party you can only find in New Orleans. In the heart of the French Quarter, instead of a ball, they drop a fleur de lis to countdown to 2015 with a 15-minute fireworks display over the Mississippi River. The party doesn’t stop at midnight — Bourbon Street bars are packed well into the new year.

Disney World For family-friendly festivities, Disney World puts on a great party for all ages. The park stays open until 1:00 am so families can take in all the performances and live entertainment starting with a Main Street Electrical Parade at 6:30.  There’s a sparkling fireworks display at midnight and hot chocolate and cookies are served until 1:30 am.

NYEAustin They do family-friendly New Year’s Eve in Texas if you can’t make it to Disney World. Austin’s New Year (ANY) is a way to ring in 2015 with art and culture. The event is interactive, but there is plenty of music and film for breaks between  making art and walking through glow-in-the-dark mazes. The festivities conclude with a fireworks display at 10pm. If you need to get wild, Sixth Street has enough bars with live music to keep revelers entertained until midnight.

Savannah Cute, coastal and friendly, Savannah hosts a street party to ring in the new year for everyone to enjoy. It’s free to the public with live music and a fireworks display. If street parties don’t appeal to you, there are riverboat cruises and dinner theater to entertain you in the remaining hours of 2014. If that’s still not exciting enough for you, you can do the annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day and jump into cold ocean water to start off your 2015.

Miami Miami boasts of putting on the biggest New Year’s Eve party south of Times Square — as it should. With the temperatures hovering around 75℉, it’s hard not to enjoy January 1st. Miami is known for its nightlife, so they do no less than dazzling for New Year’s Eve. Dancing downtown starts at 8pm and they kick it up a notch with a fireworks over Biscayne Bay at midnight.