5 Ideas to Get Your Bedroom Cozy for Winter

Cozy-BedroomIt seems like the whole country got an early blast of winter this week. We may not be mentally prepared for the arctic chill, but we can get our bedrooms ready for the cold nights ahead. Here are 5 ideas to get your bedroom cozy for winter.

Make Your Bed Every Day According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their beds every day are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep. Your body needs extra energy to keep you warm in the winter. Using all that energy wears us out and if we’re not sleeping well, we can’t perform at our optimal level during waking hours. In addition to great sleep, a bed that’s made looks nice and it’s more inviting after a surviving a cold day than a pile of sheets.

blanketsLayering isn’t Just for Tank Tops If you’re not quite ready to trade in your comforter but you want a little more warmth, rather than turning up the heat, add another blanket. Find a nice fleece or plush blanket to layer between your top sheet and your comforter to add a little bit of weight and insulation for your winter slumbers.

Suitable Surfaces Textures can have a big impact on how you see your room and how you feel in it. Soft and dark textures absorb light and make it warmer. Adding a curtain panel to your ceiling, pile a few plush pillows in dark colors on your bed bed or add a cushy throw rug on the floor to visually and physically warm up the bedroom. Save the smooth and shiny surfaces for summer — they reflect light to make a room cooler.

mattress-padExtra Padding While our mattresses last about seven years, we can give them a boost to make them cozy as they approach their expiration date. A new mattress pad or a feather bed can refresh your bed to make it more comfortable and cushioned when you crawl into your cocoon for the night.

Mood Lighting During warmer months, there isn’t as much demand for mood lighting, but it can be soothing in the bedroom during frigid winters. According to a study published by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, participants reported feeling warmer in a dimly lit room than they felt in a bright room even though the rooms were the same temperature. Even if your thermostat is at the lowest temperature you can handle, having a few LED candles scattered around your room might trick your brain into thinking it’s warmer than it actually is.

Warming up your bedroom for the winter is easy — and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make it welcoming even on the coldest of evenings. With just a few ideas and adjustments, winter nights won’t be so bad.

 

5 Tips for Selecting a Christmas Tree

Christmas-TreeThe temperatures are dropping and even though we’re dreading cold weather, we’re excited for the holidays! We’re putting up all of of our holiday decor, but there’s just one thing missing: the Christmas tree. While we’re getting ready to put one up, we thought we’d share 5 tips for selecting a Christmas tree.

Pick a Spot Before you gather the family to pick out a tree, consider where you are going to put the tree and what kind of help you’ll be getting when you take it home. This will determine the size you want to buy. Standard ceilings are 8 ft high, so you want to select a tree that’s 7 ft or smaller. If you have high or vaulted ceilings, you are open to select taller trees, just remember the taller they are, the heavier they are and an average tree can weigh about 80lbs. Quick tip: Remember when you’re choosing a spot for your tree, make sure it’s away from heating vents so they don’t dry out and become a fire hazard.

Pick a Type There are different varieties of evergreen trees with different characteristics you can choose from:

Fir: Typically triangular, dense with branches, dark green needles, and has a prominent spire — Fraser Fir and Douglas Fir are most popular for Christmas trees

Evergreen-TreePine: Bright green, stiff branches — Scots Pine and Virginia Pine are most popular for Christmas trees

Spruce: Waxy, grey-green, triangular shape — Colorado Blue Spruce and White Spruce are most popular for Christmas trees

Inspect It When you’ve decided on the size of the tree you want and you get to the lot, inspect each of the trees you want:

  • Look for insects
  • Make sure the needles are green and flexible — if they are brittle, the tree is dry
  • The base of the tree should have sap on it

Shake It Off Before you leave the tree lot, shake the tree — with a lot of effort — to get rid of the needles that need to be shed. This will save you some aggravation of having a trail of needles to clean up as you carry the tree through your house that you’ll have to clean up as you prepare for the guests to arrive.

Christmas-TreeAvoid Shock After you shake off the needles, store the tree in a shed or garage if you have one. Trees live outside in temperatures much lower than what you have in your home. Keeping them inside spots with cool temperatures will ease them into the warmth of a festive home, and prevent needles from falling off prematurely. Quick tip: water your tree daily to keep it from drying out and the needles from falling off.

Fresh Christmas trees are a lot of work and maintenance. If you don’t have the time or energy for a real Christmas tree, artificial trees are an easy and practical alternative. Either way, start planning now so you have plenty of time to enjoy your tree this holiday season.

Thanksgiving Decor: Simple Ideas to Decorate for Thanksgiving Without Effort

Polka-Dot-PumpkinWith all the things you have on your Thanksgiving plate, the last thing on your mind is the Thanksgiving decor. However, while you might be trying to avoid Thanksgiving disasters, you don’t want your house to be unadorned when your guests arrive. Here are some simple ideas to decorate for Thanksgiving without effort.

Outside You don’t have to worry about outdoor holiday lights just yet, but giving your outdoor space Thanksgiving and fall accents liven up your home and help welcome guests as they arrive for dinner.

  • Daytime Line your steps with pumpkins — big or small, carved or whole, real or artificial — they give your porch a fall flair. With a leaf wreath, stacks of hay, mums, and strategically places leaves, they make a stunning, end of year display. leaf-wreath
  • After Dark Make your walkway inviting and safe for friends and family with solar garden stakes. Decorative or plain white lights, they illuminate the path to your door with charm. With a yard and porch armed with fall’s bounty guests will be prepared for a festive gathering inside.

Inside When guests enter, you want the fall feel to continue. You don’t have to dress up the entryway for a grand entrance to make it a warm welcome —  a few simple tweaks to your everyday decor can give it an autumnal aura.

  • Living Room Guests don’t sit down at the dinner table as soon as they walk in, but they will want to sit and relax before the food is served. Adding a few fall colors to the living room helps guests unwind before filling up on turkey. Swap out your regular throw pillows for pillows in soft browns or fall designs. On end tables, add warmth with scented candles or vases with fall floral arrangements. For empty or white spaces, add fall leaves — leaf wreaths aren’t just for the front door, they can dress up any wall space. If you’re feeling crafty, you can create a wreath made with felt leaves. pillar-candle
  • Dining Room Decorations for the dining room don’t have to be too elaborate since the focus is on the food, but you still want to add some fall accents. Lovely LED candles give a table and buffet a warm glow without the risks and messy wax of real candles. Line the mantle or top the curio cabinet with simple fall leaf arrangements — now is the time to collect the beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves for extra embellishments! For ideas and tips on how to build great Thanksgiving table decor, check out our article on creating a Thanksgiving Tablescape.

Whether you’re dressing up your dining room for Thanksgiving or you need ideas for Christmas decorations, LTD Commodities has a wide variety of decor to give your home the warm holiday welcome as you usher in winter.

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

The fall and winter holidays are not the same without incredible homemade food. Whether you are hosting this year or plan to be a guest, our excellent values will help you prepare your kitchen, take a favorite dish with you, or give a fun hostess gift. Here are our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

A Slow Cooker Carrier is a must-have for holidays, family gatherings and social events.

A Slow Cooker Carrier is a must-have for holidays, family gatherings and social events.

The Cut and Serve Spatula is an all-in-one utensil that lets you work smarter!

The Cut and Serve Spatula is an all-in-one utensil that lets you work smarter!

 

Wash dishes or clean up your home with a 10-Pc. Terry Kitchen Towel Set.

Wash dishes or clean up your home with a 10-Pc. Terry Kitchen Towel Set.

Metal Monogram Wine Cork Holder looks distinctive empty or when filled with tokens from your favorite wines.

Metal Monogram Wine Cork Holder looks distinctive empty or when filled with tokens from your favorite wines.

 

6 Things to Do to Winterize Your Home

483590383We’re starting to feel the chill of fall and it’s only going to get colder. It’s just a matter of time before it’s time to turn on the heat and pull out the wool sweaters and layer discount bedding to keep warm at night. But our homes need to transition, too. Here are 6 things you need to do to winterize your home to save energy and money.

Insulation It’s easy to forget how much money we can save in heating costs with insulation. You may already have insulation in your walls and attic, but you may be able to add more to reduce energy consumption.  Energy.gov has a guide on where your house should be insulated to minimize energy use. If you want to take an extra step toward lower heating bills, you can also use a thermal insulation blanket for your water heater to trap heat and prevent it from escaping too quickly during winter months.

Roof Do a spot check of the rooftop. Check for wear and damage and if there are any missing shingles. Around the chimney, make sure the flashing is intact and that it’s not a source for drafts or leaks.

Clean out gutters and downspouts so they’re free of leaves and debris; with clean gutters, rain and melting snow won’t get trapped on your roof and cause water damage. The downspouts should drain at least five feet from your home’s foundation to prevent water from leaking into your house.

winter-curtainsDoors and Windows Caulking and weather stripping your windows can cut down on energy costs significantly. Alternatively, indoor window insulating kits work very well for the winter to keep cold air out of your home. They require a lot less work than caulking and weather stripping, but plastic may not suit your home décor. Consider heavy drapes or curtains to mask the plastic for the winter months. Plastic insulation doesn’t work for exterior doors; weather stripping at the sides and bottoms of doors is your best bet.

Heating System Before it gets cold, turn on your heat to make sure it’s working properly. If it doesn’t kick on, you can try to figure out what the problem is on your own with a little bit of troubleshooting, but if you’re not confident with your home improvement skills, call a service technician to check it out before it gets cold and he gets busy. If it is working properly, make sure to change your air filter once a month and clean the heating vents.

Plumbing In cold weather climates, frozen pipes are a serious problem. When pipes freeze, they sometimes burst, causing costly damage. It’s not as much of a problem in the middle of the house where it’s generally warm in the winter, but in colder parts of your home like the basement and crawlspaces, insulate your pipes with foam insulation. For exterior pipes and faucets, drain the pipes and shut off the water supply. Automatic sprinkler systems require a professional to drain the underground pipes.

When you travel for the holidays and you turn off your heat, remember to also turn off your water. This might save you from coming home to expensive repairs.

fireplaceChimney and Fireplace Chimneys attract critters during the summer months; make sure squirrels and pigeons haven’t made a home there and it’s clear of any other obstructions. Make sure the flue opens and closes properly. When both of those things are done, make sure your chimney draws out smoke. You can do this by burning a few newspapers to create smoke. If your living room fills with smoke, there’s likely creosote buildup and you’ll need to bring in a professional chimney sweep to clean it out.

Winterizing is a big project. You can save time by having an energy audit done on your home. Though it costs a little bit extra, having a certified professional come in and figure all the leaks and areas you missed may save you a lot of money on energy costs in the long run.

LTD Commodities has everything you need to make your home cute and cozy this winter. From baby toys to quilts to keep you warm, shop LTD Commodities for the best products at the lowest prices.

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

Fall is a perfect time to gather friends for the big game or get back in touch with neighbors. Make your favorite casserole, desserts, and hot dips and toast to the beauty of the season. Here are the Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

Celebrate your team with this NFL Framed Super Bowl Collectible.

Celebrate your team with this NFL Framed Super Bowl Collectible.

Go from oven to tabletop with this Set of 3 Handled Bakers. This 3-pc. set features half-loop handles on each side for easy lifting and nests for storage.

Go from oven to tabletop with this Set of 3 Handled Bakers. This 3-pc. set features half-loop handles on each side for easy lifting and nests for storage.

Share your favorite drink with a little countrified flair with this Set of 4 Mason Jar Shot Glasses.

Share your favorite drink with a little countrified flair with this Set of 4 Mason Jar Shot Glasses.

48-Pc. Boxed Greeting Card Set is an upscale card collection for a fraction of the price you'd expect to pay.

48-Pc. Boxed Greeting Card Set is an upscale card collection for a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay.

Football Season: 4 Man Cave Essentials

mancaveEveryone needs a place to call their own, and that includes the man of the house. The man cave creates a space where he can relax and do as he pleases without fear of interference from the ladies. It is a place where he can enjoy an adult beverage, yell at the TV, play games, and hang out with the guys. It can be the basement, attic, a rehabilitated office, or a shed. A man cave does not need to be fancy, but here are a few things a fully functional “mantuary” needs. Here are 4 man cave essentials.

mancaveSeating The main point of a man cave is to create a comfortable place to relax. That requires plenty of seating. No man cave is complete without at least one recliner. Nothing makes a guy feel like the master of his domain like putting his feet up. Take the recliner one step further with a reclining sofa or sectional that provides seating for visitors. If your man cave has a bar, stools are mandatory. Beanbag chairs are classics, and you can opt for sofa-sized ones or special designs that convert to guest beds.

Refrigeration Since no one wants to constantly run back and forth to the kitchen for drinks and snacks, the man cave needs a place to keep them chilled. It can be as simple as an old refrigerator or mini fridge appropriated for the room. If beer is your beverage of choice, try a fridge with a built-in tap . There even are appliances specifically designed to hold and cool a keg, as well as dispense beer. DIY kits help you convert a fridge to a drink dispenser. Keep your drinks and food even closer at hand with a coffee table with a built-in cooler.

Entertainment The crown jewel of any man cave is its entertainment system. Often, the entire point of establishing a man cave is to have a place to host game day parties or to watch favorite movies and TV shows. A flat screen TV, as large as you can afford and the room can hold, and a DVD player are absolute musts. Include a game console for days when nothing is on. Don’t forget tables and equipment for other pastimes, like pool, foosball, darts, and poker.

mancaveDécor The thing that really sets the man cave apart from the rest of the house is its décor. It is a spot where a man can escape from the pastels, floral prints, and matching furniture that fills most homes. A sign on or near the door should make it clear visitors are entering a male sanctuary. Look for one with the logo of your favorite team, or get a personalized one with your name. Beer-themed decorations are very popular, but do not limit yourself to that. Show off your sports memorabilia, or transform the space into a tribute to your favorite pop culture icons. Do not forget posters from your favorite movie. A man cave with an attached bathroom is the ultimate in luxury. If you are so blessed, make sure to extend the décor into the bath.

 

Pinteresting Picks for August

While the weather still is warm, there is no doubt that autumn is creeping into the air. Fall is a time of change, and our fans on Pinterest definitely have the transition from warm days outside to cool evenings indoors on their minds. They are thinking of cozy lounge wear, treasured artwork and more. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for August.

Stylish Women's Camo Cargo Sweatpants are cute and fun! They're great for everyday wear or a casual night out.

Stylish Women’s Camo Cargo Sweatpants are cute and fun! They’re great for everyday wear or a casual night out.

Forget magnets on the refrigerator and use Easy Change Artwork Frames to give your child's artwork the attention it deserves.

Forget magnets on the refrigerator and use Easy Change Artwork Frames to give your child’s artwork the attention it deserves.

Protect outdoor electrical connections for a holiday display or at a job site with a Set of 2 Extension Cord Safety Seals.

Protect outdoor electrical connections for a holiday display or at a job site with a Set of 2 Extension Cord Safety Seals.

Enjoy pleasant accent lighting with the timeless look of an Enduring Candle Jar.

Enjoy pleasant accent lighting with the timeless look of an Enduring Candle Jar.

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks of the Week

As the week finally comes to an end, we are looking forward to spending some time with friends and family—including the furry kind! Having pets in your home is a delight, but it does require some extra organization for toys, not to mention ways to keep them relaxed and happy. It’s likely those fuzzy little guys will insist on climbing up on the sofa and bed with you, so don’t forget to grab a throw the two of you can snuggle up in together. Enjoy hanging out with your pets with our Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks of the Week.

Sherpa-Covered Pet Steps are designed for small and aging cats and dogs. They ensure that your best friend can still join you on the sofa or bed if he has hip dysplasia, arthritis, other joint problems, or if he simply has short legs.

Sherpa-Covered Pet Steps are designed for small and aging cats and dogs. They ensure that your best friend can still join you on the sofa or bed if he has hip dysplasia, arthritis, other joint problems, or if he simply has short legs.

 

Wrap yourself up in comfort as you sit down for your favorite show with a Popular TV Show Fleece Throw.

Wrap yourself up in comfort as you sit down for your favorite show with a Popular TV Show Fleece Throw.

Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls is a handsome way to store your best friend's favorite food.

Pet Food Cabinet with Bowls is a handsome way to store your best friend’s favorite food.

AKC Calmcoat is the easy-to-wear anti-anxiety and calming coat for your dog.

AKC Calmcoat(TM) is the easy-to-wear anti-anxiety and calming coat for your dog.

 

This Oversized Utility Tote will be your go-to bag for carrying nearly everything!

This Oversized Utility Tote will be your go-to bag for carrying nearly everything!

Who We Are Following

The Internet is exploding with new slants and twists to simplify and enhance our lives. We’re on Pinterest, Twitter and the blogosphere, watching for what’s trending, what’s useful and what we think you might like. Here’s our list of who we are following:

theidearoomAt  theidearoom.com, Amy, as a science teacher turned-DIYer-blogger-crafter, shares fun projects to inspire even the craftiest of people. She has tips on everything from dealing with a child’s temper tantrum to creating a DIY vertical flower bed. For June, our favorite was her 30 day photo challenge post. Inspiring indeed.

Every-MileEverymilesamemory.com chronicles Pat and Cindy Bonish’s travels in their RV. They’ve been on the road for the last two or so years, living, loving and taking pictures of all the places they’ve seen around this beautiful country of ours. Their story is inspiring and their pictures are enviable. Their latest adventure was to Cedar Key, Florida; check it out and you won’t be able to trade in your house keys for RV keys fast enough.

Pinterest

PinterestJen Simpson  pins and pinspires. Her boards vary – she throws a “pet-shaming” board in between her breakfast recipe and home improvement boards and you might even find a board dedicated solely to Valentine’s Day wallpaper. However unpredictable her pinning ideas are, the inspiration is always consistent.

Mandy Naranjo is full of tricks and tips to share and we’re so glad she shares them with us on Pinterest. She’s not short on ideas for what to do with a box full of buttons or what teens can do with their extra energy. DIY and crafts are what on Mandy’s mind and, you know, great minds think alike.

TwitterTwitter

@craftaholicanon If you have a DIY or craft question, @craftaholicanon will answer it. Really. Just tweet her – she’s standing by with a response or she’ll find someone who can give you the answer. In addition to answers, she also offers craft tutorials, creative ideas for the family and holidays.

@allthingsthrift tweets from every angle to keep things affordable whether you’re making holiday decorations yourself or you need a new blueberry recipe. Hair tutorials, DIY day bed pallet projects and a July 4th wreath are all on @allthingsthrift’s Twitter feed this month.

Pinners, tweeters and bloggers – there are a lot out there with great ideas; these are just a few we think are worth following.