8 Movies for Backyard Movie Night

Movies-In-The-Park

Image source: Bryan Fountain via Flickr

There are only a few weeks left in which we can enjoy our backyards at night. Make the most of it by hosting a backyard movie night before school starts again. Here are some of the best family-friendly movies for backyard movie night.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Sardines are the only source of food for the town of Swallow Falls when it falls victim to an economic crisis. A failed inventor, Flint Lockwood, is determined to turn the town around by building a machine that changes water into food. When the machine malfunctions and sends it into the atmosphere, it causes cloudbursts of culinary delights, saving the town from a lifetime of sardines. But the town’s leaders go from grateful to greedy, causing a food super-storm that, without Flint’s intervention, would destroy the world. With cheeseburgers falling from the sky, Flint’s mission is to disable his greatest invention and save the planet.

The Wiz Young Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow and a girlish Diana Ross as Dorothy ease on down the yellow brick road in this 1970s classic take on the Wizard of Oz. Lost in the Land of Oz, a thankless Dorothy goes on a mission to find the Wiz who, she is told, has the power to send her back to Harlem. Through a fanciful trip to the Emerald City, Dorothy learns to be grateful with the help of the characters she meets on her way.

E.T. E.T. is the heartwarming story of a friendship between a boy and an alien accidentally left on earth by his family. The boy, Elliott takes in the alien, E.T. while they secretly try to figure out how to get E.T. back to his home planet. But their mission is derailed when government agents discover E.T. and take him in for testing. The real adventure begins when they try to escape the grips of the government to get E.T. home before the agents figure out they’re gone. E.T. promises to bring tears to your eyes and vows to turn on your heartlight.

Movies-In-The-Park

Image source: Tommy Low via Flickr

Toy Story Toy Story is the story you imagine when you’re a kid – toys come to life when you’re not in the room. In this story, Woody is by far Andy’s favorite toy, but when Andy gets a new action figure, Buzz Lightyear, jealousy and resentment sends both Woody and Buzz out the window and into the real world. Buzz and Woody, fighting the dangers of the outside, struggle to get along as they try to get back to the safety of Andy’s home.

Back to the Future Marty McFly, is sent back to the 1950s in a time machine his friend (and crazy scientist), Doc, builds. Arriving in the same place he left, but in a different decade, Marty gets mixed up in his teenage parents’ lives and accidentally throws history — as he knows it – off course. Marty must go back to the future, but not without fixing the past and getting his parents together.

The Sandlot The new kid in town, Scotty Smalls, makes friends and learns how to play baseball with the kids from the Sandlot. But when they play with the wrong ball – a ball signed by baseball legend Babe Ruth – they knock it out of the sandlot and into the yard of a vicious dog known as The Beast. Facing his fears, Scotty is determined to get the ball back.

Movies-In-The-Park

Image source: Aaron Molina via Flickr

Ghostbusters When New York City seems to be taken over by spirits of the dead, a group of outcast scientists take it upon themselves to capture and cage these spirits as Ghostbusters. With doubt cast over the Ghostbusters, city officials unlock the ghost holding cell and unleash a firestorm of otherworldly chaos. To get the ghosts back under control, they must face an ancient evil god and, as this evil god would have it, their own demons.

There’s only one month left before Labor Day weekend; as you’re savoring the days, throw in a backyard movie night to make the most of your warm summer nights.

5 Gadgets You Didn’t Know You Needed

Even the best of homemakers could use some help around the kitchen. Here at LTD we’re always on the look out for tools to shave off prep time in the kitchen. Here are 5 kitchen gadgets you didn’t know you needed.

Every-last-drop-funnel

Every Last Drop Funnel helps you utilize every ounce in a bottle. It holds a bottle upside down until the product drips out into the saucepot. Keep it in the kitchen for condiments or use the included suction cups to cling it to a shower wall for shampoo and conditioner.

ice-cube-tray-lid

All ice cube trays should come with a lid! Not only does the lid snap on so you don’t spill water on your walk from the sink to the freezer, but it also protects your ice from things being spilled in the freezer.

folding-cutting-boards

These are no ordinary color-coded cutting boards – they also fold! This makes for convenient, space-saving storage, but it also minimizes mess by bending in a v-shape so you can add an ingredient to your recipe without spilling or having to scoop it. The colors also act as a code so you can cut your raw meat and fish on a separate board than your vegetables while you prepare meals.

Refrigerator-magnet-Measuring-Converter

A refrigerator magnet is a quick measurement conversion guide where you need it when you need it. The recipe divider allows you to shrink or expand your recipe and the measurement magnet gives you equivalents in cups, fluid ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons, and milliliters.

Batter-dispenser

The Batter Dispenser takes the challenge out of making perfect cupcakes, pancakes and muffins. The 4-cup dispenser drops a uniform amount in the muffin tin or on the griddle with just a squeeze of the handle. As a bonus, it’s designed to stand upright on the counter and the cover allows you to keep unused batter for later.

 

 

 

 

 

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks of the Week

As the bustle of summer activities winds down, it is almost time to start getting children ready for the new school year. This is the perfect moment for moms and dads to take a breath, relax a little, and prepare for the coming rush. Treat yourself to something you need or something fun with our Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks for the Week.

This Laminator is perfect for the home or office! With the ability to laminate documents up to 9-1/2" wide, this device will quickly become a valuable resource.

This Laminator is perfect for the home or office! With the ability to laminate documents up to 9-1/2″ wide, this device will quickly become a valuable resource.

These Plaid Quilts or Shams will add country charm to your bedroom.

These Plaid Quilts or Shams will add country charm to your bedroom.

Wireless Key Finder locates your keys so you won't have to go searching for them.

Wireless Key Finder locates your keys so you won’t have to go searching for them.

Embroidered Open Front Cardigan is a wonderful layering piece for your wardrobe.

Embroidered Open Front Cardigan is a wonderful layering piece for your wardrobe.

A wonderful gift for mothers and grandmothers, a Mother's Birthstone Necklace or Charms helps celebrate her family with a birthstone charm for the month in which each child was born.

A wonderful gift for mothers and grandmothers, a Mother’s Birthstone Necklace or Charms helps celebrate her family with a birthstone charm for the month in which each child was born.

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks for the Week

While everyone loves the sun and outdoor activities that summer has to offer, there are some days that are just too hot to handle. Climbing temperatures help us appreciate the modern comforts of the indoors, like air conditioning and ice makers.  Get your home ready for some chilling out with our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

With a Set of 2 Insulated Sueded Curtains, you'll enjoy the luxurious look of suede, plus money-saving insulation in 4 decorator colors.

With a Set of 2 Insulated Sueded Curtains, you’ll enjoy the luxurious look of suede, plus money-saving insulation in 4 decorator colors.

Put an end to your search for those hard-to-find Extra-Long Nonslip Floor Runners.

Put an end to your search for those hard-to-find Extra-Long Nonslip Floor Runners.

Go casual with the comfort and style of this Women's Soft Knit Weekend Tunic.

Go casual with the comfort and style of this Women’s Soft Knit Weekend Tunic.

Stay cooler and sleep better with the Cool Pillow Pad.

Stay cooler and sleep better with the Cool Pillow Pad.

Lighten the load on laundry day with a funny yet functional Laundry Room Wall Hanging.

Lighten the load on laundry day with a funny yet functional Laundry Room Wall Hanging.

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks for the Week

Getting organized often seems like a daunting, as well as expensive, task. However, just a few quick changes can make your life more efficient, freeing up more time to relax with a pitcher of lemonade or iced tea. LTD’s Product Picks of the Week get you started without breaking your budget.

Slim-can-and-spice-racks

Get maximum kitchen storage in a minimum amount of space with the wooden Slim Can and Spice Rack.

Brick-or-siding-clips

Use these Brick or Siding Clips as an easy and simple way to decorate vinyl sided or brick walled homes.

2-pc-quilted-auto-organizer-sets

Keep everything a driver needs at hand with a 2-Pc. Quilted Auto Organizer Set.

set-of-2-silicone-counter-gap-covers

Prevent spills and dust collection in hard-to-reach places with a Set of 2 Silicone Counter Gap Covers.

Shatter-resistant-pitcher

The ergonomic design of the Shatter-Resistant Pitcher makes it easy for anyone to pour themselves a drink.

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks for the Week

Summer is a wonderful time to give your home a new look. Whether you fill your weekends with DIY projects or just want to add a little color to a room, improving your space has never been simpler. Start out with LTD’s Product Picks for the Week, and you will be done in no time!

metal-wall-decor-with-mirrors

Hang this Metal Wall Decor with Mirrors vertically or horizontally to make a bold statement in any room.

self-adhesive-window-privacy-film

Self-Adhesive Window Privacy Film gives you seclusion and still allows light to shine through.

3-pc-figurine-sets

The slim characters of these 3-Pc. Figurine Sets create a charming grouping on a shelf or table.

sets-of-2-electric-or-gas-burner-covers

A Set of 2 Electric or Gas Burner Covers provides additional counter space in a busy kitchen.

moose-lodge-comforter-set

Create a rustic feel fit for a log cabin in the woods with this Moose Lodge Comforter Set.

 

 

 

 

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

It’s Friday and it’s time to take a break to shop. It’s an easy breezy kind of day kind of day so those are the items we’re thinking about buying: things to make our lives easy and a little breezy. Here are the items we adore; LTD’s Product Picks for the Week:

Sheer-curtains

Indoor/Outdoor Sheer Curtain is a gorgeous way to provide some privacy and protection from the sun without blocking your view. The hanging loops are fabric-magic tabs that wrap around any rod and secure the curtain with a contemporary look. Lightweight fabric blows beautifully in the breeze. Water repellent and mildew resistant. 54″ wide. Polyester. Machine wash. Imported.

bug-zapper-butterfly

The lantern-look Solar Bug Zapper attracts and kills mosquitoes and other insects. Held within the metal frame, the zapper is harmless to humans and pets. An integrated solar panel charges during the day to automatically activate the zapper at night. Hang it by the hook or simply stand it on your porch, patio or a table. Butterfly, 10″ x 4-1/2″ sq. Star, 10″ x 5-1/2″ x 4-3/4″. Both measurements include the 3-1/4″ handle.

plus-size-smock

Brightly colored print and flattering style makes this Plus-Size Smocked Sundress a must-have for your summer wardrobe. Wear it over a swimsuit or as a casual dress for a stroll on any sunny day. Wide straps and cotton construction allow for comfortable all-day wear, while the smocked bodice complements your figure. Lengths are 41″, 41-1/2″ and 42″. Machine care. Imported.

solar-garden-post

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. Some assembly required; assembly hardware included. 29″ x 13-3/4″. Metal and polypropylene.

Concealer-pins

A Set of 3 Concealer Pins lets you choose how little or how much you want to show. They’re the perfect solution to make all your tops appropriate for any occasion. Just push the pin through the fabric and secure the clutch to achieve the desired neckline. Pretty pins look like jewelry so they’ll complement any outfit. You can even use them to secure scarfs or shawls. Small enough to carry in your purse so it’s always there when you need it. 1/2″ x 3/8″ dia., each. Plastic and metal.

 

Behind the Scenes: LTD’s Set Stylist

Raymond.christmas.treeThere are a lot of steps to putting together a catalog. From finding the right product to taking the photo, there are many people hard at work to make it all happen. One person who has a strong hand in putting our catalog is our set stylist, Raymond. Here’s a look behind the scenes with Raymond.

At LTD Commodities, we do almost all of our own catalog photography at our studio here in Bannockburn, IL outside of Chicago – that’s where Raymond works. He works mostly with garden products – string lights for a patio, a garden gnome or a stepping stone — but he works in a pet product every once in a while. Today, they’re taking photos of cat products.

Basically, when you see a product in the catalog, it’s Raymond’s job to dress up the scene so a photographer can take a picture. His scenes are based on the ideas of the buyer – the person who found the product to sell through the catalog – and he makes the ideas a reality. Raymond has a background in painting so he’s very visual and can see how things work for a photograph other people can’t see.

raymondiwthcats5The photographer sets up a product at the right angle; Raymond then puts together a scene around the product to “create a narrative.” He says one of the keys to making his job fun is having the right chemistry with his photographer. “Sometimes we don’t even need to talk,” Raymond explains.

“Every page has to tell a story,” he says as he puts a cat tower in the middle of a square of carpet next to a beige couch and a window. He creates the illusion that the cats are playing in a living room even though we’re in the middle of a big, airy studio.

“I have to set up a balance,” he illustrates, adding teal pillows to the couch and a plant in the corner to add contrast and make the picture “pop off the page”.

Then, they bring in the cats; kittens, to be more precise. It’s beyond the call of duty, but Raymond helps the cats look like they’re playing. They’re semi-professionals, so they’re used to being cute, but sometimes they need coaxing out of their corners with a few feathers. As an animal lover, when the cats come in, it’s one of Raymond’s more enjoyable days.

Sweet Couple Garden Statue

Sweet Couple Garden Statue

On other days, Raymond might be found putting together a scene in a tiny garden – which is one of his favorites. “I get to make a little fantasy world,” he confesses. He’s responsible for the scene of the sweet frog couple garden statue in our catalog right now.

From fairy gardens to cat towers, there’s certainly a lot of diversity in Raymond’s work. “I can’t say it’s ever boring.”

Raymond playing with an arctic fox in LTD's photography studio.

Raymond playing with an arctic fox in LTD’s photography studio.

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

It’s getaway day! We’re fantasizing about what we’re going to do with our days off… and we picked out some items that are inspiring how we should spend the weekend. Here are LTD’s product picks for the week.

solar-lighted-ballon-stakes

Add a splash of color to your yard with this playful Set of 2 Solar-Lighted Balloon Stakes that are fun for kids and adults! Group them in your garden and make it look like you’re having a party every day. They look like real balloons, but are made of durable, all-weather plastic. The curved “string” stake creates the illusion that the balloon is actually floating. The solar panel is concealed within the balloon, which twists open for access to the on/off switch. Glows with a constant white light for up to 8 hours on a full charge. 

adjustable-angle-table

Adjustable Angle Table is the ultimate bedside table. It replaces bulky nightstands at a fraction of the price! You can adjust the height and angle and swivel it to any position you need. Its roomy surface provides a convenient place for your remote, book, tablet and beverage, while its sturdy metal base rests on the floor or slides under your mattress. It can swivel 360° and lock into place at any desired angle. A ledge on either side keeps items from slipping and sliding even when the table is at an angled position. Can be used on any bed including bunk beds, water beds, RV beds and dorm room beds. 

Galvanized-serving-tray

Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces are durable and bring a bit of rustic, down-on-the-farm flavor to your table. The round Handled Serving Tray  has wood handles secured with riveted construction. Use it to bring everything from main courses to sweet desserts to your dining area. The Salt & Pepper Napkin Holderprovides a double storage function with a built-in tray to hold your own salt and pepper shakers and a large main section to hold your napkins. Molded metal designs will last for years!

camping-survival-tool

10-In-1 Camping Survival Tool packs 10 vital functions into a single device. It’s great for camping, hunting and fishing, or to keep handy in your vehicle or work area. When closed, the thermometer, hygrometer, compass, flashlight and whistle are all easily put to use. Open it and the reflector, bubble level, removable ruler and magnifier are at your fingertips. The flint and flint blade are in a stay-dry compartment. A removable wrist strap keeps this essential tool close at hand. 
Features:
Thermometer
Hygrometer
Reflector
Compass
Bubble level
Magnifier
Ruler
LED flashlight
Whistle
Flint and flint blade

rustic-faucet-garden-decor

The weathered look of the Rustic Faucet Garden Decor will give your outdoors a special charm. The old-fashioned bronze-colored faucet design makes the pieces perfect for plants and garden accessories. Scrollwork accents add to the overall appeal. Slight assembly required; assembly hardware included. 

Edible Gardens: 5 Plots to go from the Garden to the Table

Winter is finally starting to wane and it?s time to think about what we want in your garden.?A fun way to do that is to plan your garden around what you want to eat. It?s a simple idea and you?ll know exactly what to do with your vegetables once they?re harvested. Here are five edible gardens with vegetables that grow well together and taste great together, too.

American Garden:

What goes better with your barbecued chicken and ribs than creamy cole slaw? Not only is that grill in the backyard but so are the main ingredients for your slaw. All you need from the garden are cabbage, carrots and onions. The rest you can pick up from the store.

FYI:

  • Carrots and Cabbage are both biennial plants and fall crops can be easily stored during colder months.
  • Onions are harvested in late summer and can also be stored during winter months.

Mexican Garden:

Chips and salsa are a great no-cook snack that you can eat throughout the summer. Salsa is best when it?s made fresh, but imagine if the ingredients — tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantro — were picked from out your back door ? it can?t get more delicious or easier than that. The recipe for salsa or pico de gallo is straightforward and if you add a mashed avocado and a couple of squeezes of lemon to the mix, you?ve got guacamole.

FYI:

  • Harvest cilantro weekly to keep the leaves growing and fresh.
  • Both tomatoes and jalapenos should be staked.
  • Tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro all work well as potted plants.

Italian Garden:

One of the best possible ways to taste fresh basil is in a caprese salad. It?s simple and tomatoes and basil love to grow together; they?re also the base for a margherita pizza. The recipe is easy (there?s no shame in using a store-bought crust!)? and if you have the other ingredients (onion, garlic, parsley and oregano) on hand or in the garden, you?ll be serving up Italian food all summer long.

FYI:

  • Basil is an annual and grows best in warm weather and should be harvested if temperatures are expected to dip below 40?F.
  • Tomato plants can handle temperatures as low as 30?F, but a frost could kill a tomato plant, so keep an eye on the forecast.

French Garden:

If you?re feeling a little French, you don?t have to go to Paris to get fresh?ratatouille. Though there is?debate?on how to make authentic ratatouille, it can certainly be made on the stove top so you don?t heat up the entire kitchen during hot summer months.

FYI:

  • Zucchini (or squash), eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers all grow very well in hot weather.
  • Stagger your seedling start dates ? start eggplant seedlings six weeks before your last frost date and give zucchini just a two week head start ? will help you synchronize your harvest times and you can get your first summer dinner planned.

Spanish Garden:

For a cool soup in the summer, a cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, onions will deliver a good gazpacho. It requires little more than fresh vegetables and a good blender. And, if you?re feeling dangerous, you can steal a jalapeno from your pico de gallo garden to spice up your soup.

FYI:

  • Cucumbers should be picked every other day or so. Cucumbers left on the vine too long will make it harder for the plant to produce more cucumbers.
  • Both cucumbers and peppers love the sun and are thirsty ?– as are onions ? but water moderately and cover the soil around the plants with mulch to keep the moisture in.

Quick tip: Remember that most plants will probably need to be started indoors if you?re starting with a seed? and they shouldn?t be planted in the ground until after the last frost.

I have more ideas to share at LTD Commodities. Click here to find out more about me and the garden products I can?t do without.