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.

Best Weekend Getaways

Weekend-GetawaySummers are for vacations, but even during the summer it’s hard to take time off from work; when you want to go away it has to be a weekend retreat. Here are some of the best places around the country for weekend getaways when you don’t have time for a vacation.

California About five hours north of Los Angeles and two hours south of San Francisco, is the easy-going town of Carmel. It’s good for shopping, a stroll and enjoying time away from home. For outdoor serenity, Point Lobos is just to the south where you can take in California’s cliffs and beaches with a hike or whale watching.

Texas Not far from the Texas State Capital of Austin is the tiny town of Bastrop. It sits between the Colorado River — where you can kayak, canoe or paddle board – and the Bastrop State Park – where you can camp and hike. But Bastrop’s charm doesn’t end in the outdoors. The Deep in the Heart Art Foundry hosts tours (by appointment) where you can see how massive metal monuments are made. For entertainment, the Bastrop Opera House holds weekly musical performances and plays.

Weekend-GetawayFlorida For architecture enthusiasts, Lakeland is at the top of the bucket list of places to visit. Just east of Tampa, it’s the home to the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world – he designed the Florida Southern College campus. In addition to architecture, golf is also an attraction; it’s home to courses to accommodate players at all skill levels. There is also a festival for almost every month of the year.

Ohio Northwest of Cincinnati is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Hocking Hills State Park is a recreational area where you can camp or stay in a cabin to enjoy Ohio’s nature at its finest. Discovery hikes are held periodically but there are plenty of biking and hiking trails to explore on your own and find mystical waterfalls, deep, dark caves and cliffs of insanity.

Pennsylvania West of Philadelphia and north of Baltimore, the Pennsylvania Amish settled for a “plain” lifestyle. You can experience the plain lifestyle by touring the countryside in a horse and buggy and explore what life was like before cars and manufacturing. If you’re looking for something more bustling, “America’s Coolest Small Town” – Littitz, Pennsylvania – is in the heart of Lancaster County. There are bakeries, parks and museums to enjoy without having to put in too much effort.

Weekend-GetawayYou don’t have to go far to get away, but sometimes a weekend trip is just the refresher we need when we can’t fit in a vacation.

 

5 Summer Cocktail Ideas for Lounging on Hammock Day

hammock-1July 22nd is Hammock Day — which is perfect for the middle of July because all we want to do is lounge in a hammock and sip a cold cocktail. So we came up with a list of fun and easy cocktails to drink on Hammock Day.

CocktailsTea with a Kick

Peachy Hard Iced Tea 

  • 1/3 cup peach liqueur
  • ¼ cup TB spiced rum
  • 1/4 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/8 cup vodka
  • 1 cup sweet tea
  • Lemon wedges

Combine the first four ingredients and pour over two glasses of ice. Stir in tea. Squeeze in lemon to taste. Makes about 4 servings.

Citrus with Spice

Moscow Mule

  • ¾ cup vodka
  • Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • 3 cups ginger beer

Combine vodka and lime juice in a shaker with ice and shake it up. Pour over four glasses of ice and top with ginger beer and gently stir. Garnish with lime slices. Makes about 4 servings.

Cocktails-2

 

Berry with a Bang

Berry Shandy

  • 3/4 cup blackberries or raspberries, muddled
  • 4 bottles light beer (a lager like a pilsner is best)
  • 1 (12-oz.) container frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 TB blackberry or raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup vodka

Stir together ingredients. Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon slices. Makes about 6 servings.

Melon with Marvel

Watermelon Sangria

  • 1 small watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 750ml bottle white wine (dry is best – a sauvignon blanc or a white Burgundy would be ideal)
  • ¾ cup vodka
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • ½ cup simple syrup

In a blender, puree watermelon into a juice and strain through a sieve or a cheese cloth to remove chunks. Combine the strained juice with remaining ingredients and refrigerate for two hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over ice. Makes about 7 servings.

You don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the day in a hammock, but if you have a hammock, this is a reminder to get out there and enjoy it while the weather is lovely.

Happy Hammock Day!

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.

Cure for the Mondays: Sophia Petrillo

 

Sophia

Image source: Roberto Garcia Fadon via Flickr

It’s Monday. It’s hard to get back into the swing of the work week, so let’s not yet. Here’s our cure for the Mondays: Sophia Petrillo. Let’s warm up our brains with the musings of our favorite Golden Girl.

On Being Old

-“When I turn my hearing-aid up to ten, I can hear a canary break wind in Lauderdale!”

-“I sleep like a log! I never have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I go in the morning. Every morning, like clockwork, at 7am – I p**. Unfortunately I don’t wake up ’till 8.”

-“I’m an old white woman. I’m not supposed to have color.”

-“I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know.”

-[On retirement homes] “Do you know what they do? They set off the fire alarm in a retirement home. Who can rush? Half the people have walkers. The other half can’t get out of their chairs. They got bells going off like crazy. Do you know what that does to hearts that only beat a few times a week? It’s not pretty.”

Image Source: Alan Light via Flickr

Image Source: Alan Light via Flickr

On Being Cranky

-“There’s just something I don’t like about him. I can’t put my finger on it, but if I did, I’d have to wash it.”

-[On her late husband Sal] “May he rest in peace till I get there.”

-“You didn’t ask me for my opinion, but I’m old, so I’m giving it anyway.”

-“Why do blessings wear disguises? If I were a blessing, I’d run around naked.”

-“There’s nothing to fear but fear itself… And of course the bogeyman.”

Sophia was sometimes wise, mostly witty and always hilarious. Even when you have the Mondays, Sophia is good for a chuckle.

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.

Fried Chicken Day: Best Places for Fried Chicken

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day… Everyone has a different idea of how it should be done, but there isn’t a wrong way to do fried chicken. Here are some of the best places for fried chicken around the country.

Texas In Texas, Houston’s Barbecue Inn takes the top spot for fried chicken. It’s been in business for almost 70 years and everything is old-school – it’s the type of place where kale is used as a garnish, not in a salad and the only other green you might find on your plate is a side of creamy cole slaw. But you’re not going for the vegetables, you’re going for the fried-to-order chicken that is worth the wait.

Florida Jumbo’s Restaurant in Miami serves up crispy fried chicken every minute of every day. The food is consistent and it should be – just about everyone who works there has been there for decades with an extensive menu to match; you don’t have to stop with the fried food (conch and shrimp are also favorites), you can get everything from a chicken liver omelette to sweet and tasty fried plantains.

fried-chicken

Image Source: Robyn Lee via Flickr

Pennsylvania Good ‘n’ Plenty in Smoketown not only gives you home-style fried chicken, they also serve it to you home-style – which means you might be seated next to a stranger, sharing a pitcher of iced tea, eating all you want for one price. But if you want to try the fried chicken, you have to keep up with their menu – it’s on a weekly rotation.

Ohio At Mya’s Fried Chicken in Columbus they keep it simple; they have to because they’re working out of a truck – and only on the weekend. Chicken, biscuits and a few sides are what’s on the menu, but do you really need more? Not in Ohio.

Fried-Chicken

Image Source: Maigochan via Flickr

California In Los Angeles, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is a classic spot to get breakfast any time. They serve just about every part of the chicken next to waffles, biscuits or potatoes smothered in gravy. But if you’re craving chicken and waffles while you’re in LA, be prepared to wait; the lines there are legendary.

Wherever you are on July 6th, there’s bound to be a great fried chicken place near you. Do yourself a favor and order a few drumsticks for the occasion; you won’t regret it.

Pinteresting Picks for June

It’s the last day of June and summer is in full-swing — we can tell just by looking at our Pinterest boards. We looked at our most pinned products — they’re all very different, but there’s definitely a summer theme to the selections. Here is our list of Pinteresting Picks for June.

Splish-Splash

Your kids will jump at the chance to make waves in this Banzai Splish Splash Pool. Overflowing with nearly 8 feet of fun, this inflatable water playground gives toddlers a cool retreat from the heat. Six activity stations include a rainbow canopy, whale slide, water-spraying starfish stacker, baby dolphin rider, clamshell sprinkler and water-spraying pool rim. Simply attach to your garden hose and let the fun begin.

 

Gnome-Tree

Solar Gnome Tree House will put a smile on the face of everyone who sees it. This whimsical garden accent features windows that light up using the power of the sun. Turns on automatically at dusk.

 

Smores-Grill-Rack

Prepare everyone’s favorite campfire treat on the grill with this S’mores Grill Rack. The stainless steel platform holds graham crackers and chocolate on top, while the sides can hold marshmallows on two of the four included skewers.

 

Body-Pillows

A 52″ Bright Body Pillow is a fun and comfortable addition to your bedroom. Cradle it for extra support while sleeping on your side. Lean back onto it when reading or watching TV. Works as a decorative pillow for your bed as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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.