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.

St. Patrick’s Day: Fun Facts About Leprechauns

leprechaunIt’s finally March — the snow hasn’t melted yet but, luckily, we still have St. Patrick’s Day to distract us until the sun starts to shine. It’s a holiday with religious roots but it’s also adopted quirky symbols to help celebrate the day — particularly leprechauns. They’re mythical creatures with peculiar behaviors. Here are 5 fun facts about leprechauns.

Cobblers What you may know about leprechauns is that they’re cobblers (not the kind of cobblers you eat!) — they make shoes by trade. This is why you can track them by the sound of their tiny hammers — they’re always tapping away to put together shoes. What you may not know is that they make shoes because they are unstoppable dancers and they wear out their shoes so quickly making shoes themselves was the obvious solution to being shoeless. They’re also very good musicians — they have a talent for tickling the strings of a celtic harp, blowing a tin whistle or playing a fiddle.

leprechaunCousins Leprechauns are not known to be charming — they’re moody little creatures, but it’s nothing compared to their cousins, the lurichauns. Lurichauns are similar in stature, but instead of making shoes, they make trouble. They’re heavy drinkers and hideout in wine cellars — if a wine cellar owner has a lurichuan in his cellar, he can expect many messes and misfortune.

Granting Wishes According to legend, leprechauns squirrel away they’re boot bucks scattered across the Irish countryside or in little pots at the end of rainbows. It is believed that if a human catches a leprechaun he’ll get the leprechaun’s pot of gold or three wishes in exchange for the leprechaun’s freedom — but leprechauns are tricksters and they almost always outsmart their captors. In fact, leprechauns are where the term “Luck of the Irish “ comes from. Folklore holds the story of an Irishman caught a leprechaun who granted him three wishes. For the first two wished, he asked to be the richest man on a tropical island. When he arrived, the island was deserted and he had to use his remaining wish to get back to Ireland. Seems there’s nothing lucky about the luck of the Irish. 

Lady Leprechauns There are no female leprechauns. There are two possible explanations for this: 1) Leprechauns are part of the fairy kingdom. When a child is born as a girl, it is considered a fairy; boys are leprechauns. 2) According to The History of Fairies by Carolyn White, they are possibly the male offspring of fairies considered to be repulsive.leprechaun

Protected by Law According to IrishCentral.com leprechauns are considered endangered species and is now protected under the European Habitats Directive. Leprechauns are one of the draws to the community tourists who contribute to the economy. Since 2011, the law has shielded the flora, fauna and heritage of the leprechauns from those who might monkey with their habitat.

Whether leprechauns exist or not is important on St. Patrick’s Day, but celebrating the mystical tricksters is part of the fun of March. Set a trap, come up with your three wishes and prepare to be outsmarted!

 

Pinteresting Picks For February

New looks for the home are on the minds of LTD Commodities’ Pinterest followers. This month’s most popular pins are of unique accents that personalize a room in minutes. Create a spot for your beloved pet with a decorative gate, and get a start on this year’s outdoor renovation with a charming solar planter. Here are the Pinteresting Picks for February.

Store and display ticket stubs from movies, concerts, sporting events and more with a Ticket Memento Storage Box.

Store and display ticket stubs from movies, concerts, sporting events and more with a Ticket Memento Storage Box.

Show family pride or personalize any space with a Monogram Wall Hanging.

Show family pride or personalize any space with a Monogram Wall Hanging.

Protect your furry friend and keep your furniture safe with a Fashionable Expanding Wooden Pet Gate.

Protect your furry friend and keep your furniture safe with a Fashionable Expanding Wooden Pet Gate.

Put an elegant finishing touch on your home with a Solar Garden Post.

Put an elegant finishing touch on your home with a Solar Garden Post.

6 Ideas for Upcycling Your Old Sweaters

Less than a month until spring and we’re ready for the new season — even if the cold weather isn’t ready to go quite yet. Spring cleaning is underway and the first things to go — as soon as the weather permits — is that big bag of sweaters. But before you decide to give send them off to the thrift store, consider getting a little more use out of them in another form. Here are 6 ideas for upcycling your old sweaters.

sweater-blanketBlanket While your sweaters may be taking up too much closet space, you can never have too many blankets! Right now is the perfect time to get started on projects to get ready for next winter. Seamstress Erin has an excellent, detailed tutorial on how you can spin your old sweaters into a new throw!

sweater-bootsLeg Warmers Here’s an easy-peasy way to make use of that sweater you desperately want to replace: leg warmers! The Farmer’s Nest has a super-cute, super-easy, fashion-forward tutorial to take the sleeves of your sweater to add flair to your boots. With the weather ahead, you might be able to use these now for your rain boots! And, as a bonus, she has a quick how-to on using the rest of the sweater to make a throw pillow cover.

dgfev online casino size-medium” src=”http://blog.ltdcommodities.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/sweater-mittens-300×227.jpg” alt=”sweater-mittens” width=”300″ height=”227″ />Mittens Here’s a favorite for LTD — because we’re in Chicago, our winters are brutal and there are never enough mittens or gloves to keep up with the cold weather. The Renegade Seamstress gives stitch-by-stitch instructions on making super-snug mittens out of that favorite sweater you don’t want to let go of… but have to give up. Armed with this pattern, you will never run out of mittens!

sweater-bagShoulder Bag Get ready to start crossing off people on your Christmas list now! With an old sweater, you can make a stylish shoulder bag that costs little to nothing to make with an old sweater. Sweet Grace takes you through the steps to create a one-of-a-kind bag that so awesome you’ll want to keep it for yourself, but it’s a secret you’ll want to share. The trick to what makes this idea so fashionable is that it’s felted. That means, if you want to make this exact bag, the sweater you use has to be made of 100% wool (this one is alpaca wool).

sweater-heartsSweethearts Of course your upcycled sweaters don’t necessarily have to be wearable. Jess from If Only They Would Nap made her old sweaters into adorable felted hearts. She hangs them from a branch, but there are other ways you can use them: wedding shower or party favors, stocking or Easter basket stuffers, bunting for Valentine’s Day, or everyday decor.

sweater-slippersSlippers Here’s another idea to get started on for next winter: slippers! Kat at We Can Re-Do It put together an easy, step-by-step tutorial magically transform a striped sweater into adorable striped slippers. Comfy and cozy for cold nights — these will come in handy especially if next winter is anything like this winter or last winter!

Upcycling sweaters is just one of the things we’re thinking about here at LTD! Keep checking back on our blog and the website for more products and ideas to get your home projects started.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts to Get You Through February

Winter is winding down and we’re warming up thinking about spring and all of the fun holidays that come with it. While we’re stuck indoors for a few more weeks, we’re all about crafting for spring! With St. Patrick’s Day and spring on their way, we’re thinking green… here are a few of the crafts we’re using for inspiration.

shamrock-braceletPlayful Pipe Cleaners When life hands you green pipe cleaners, make shamrocks! Lacy from Catholic Icing twists and shapes pipe cleaners to make adorable favors to hand out on St. Patrick’s Day. To take it a step further, turn the shamrocks into something wearable! Beinglds.blogspot.com has a sweet step-by-step on how to make shamrock bracelets with those pipe cleaners. With these awesome accessories, no one will get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.

3-d-shamrock3-D Magic If you got a lot of practice cutting out hearts for Valentine’s Day, you’re primed for a fun and easy shamrock craft! Crafty Morning came up with a simple way for children to craft paper into a piece of 3-D art! All you need are green construction paper, glue, scissors and a paper mount for your masterpiece.

shamrock-menShamrock Whimsy If the idea of spring has you feeling a little whimsical, help your little ones change toilet paper rolls online casinos into little shamrock men! This will keep their hands and brains concentrated on carving shamrocks out of green construction paper to dress up the cardboard tubes for playful decor on St. Patrick’s day. Follow Sweet and Lovely Crafts detailed instructions for a craft-filled afternoon.

pot-o-gold-hatPot-O-Gold This is probably the most fun craft-turned-party-favor you’ll find for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a leprechaun hat that doubles as a pot of gold! A few plastic food containers, paint, construction paper, and a bag of chocolate gold coins will make you look like a crafting hero and entertainer extraordinaire. For a tutorial, check out Paper Plate and Plane’s blog.

shamrock-votiveSt. Patrick”s Day Glow Extra jars or upcycled glass candle holders can be the object of a delightful St. Patrick’s Day craft! With craft glue and green tissue paper, your shamrocks will give your St. Patrick’s Day decor a warm glow! Mess for Less takes you through each step to make these simple yet classy crafts that children will love to make.

felt-shamrockPinch Protection For easy pinch-protection, a felt shamrock is the go-to embellishment for any outfit! This is another craft that will make use of your heart-making skills. Splendid Amy guides you through a few snips, a couple of stitches and the tiniest bit of hot glue to make the sweetest shamrock to put on a hat, a headband or to wear as a pin! This craft will have you counting down the days to March 17!

shamrock-cardShamrock Salutations For faraway Irish friends, send some shamrock salutations with homemade cards! A heart rubber stamp, glue, glitter, and paint turns a simple piece of paper into a St. Patrick’s Day keepsake for loved ones you want to reach out to on March 17. Child Made Tutorials lays out all of the instructions on how to make a heart into shamrock as well as shows you the sparkling finished product.

Love Your Pet Day

dog-loveFebruary 20 is National Love Your Pet Day! Whether you share your life with a cat, dog, hamster, or another critter, it is a perfect time to express your affection for them. Go for a long walk, spend some extra time playing, or give them a lot of cuddles today. To help inspire you, here are 20 fantastic quotes that will make you want to hug your pet.

  1. “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”—Anatole France
  2. “Time spent with cats is never wasted.”—Sigmund Freud
  3. “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”—Groucho Marx
  4. Pet-love“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”—Winston Churchill
  5. “Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”—George Eliot
  6. “I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.”—Neil Gaiman
  7. “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.”—Colette
  8. “Happiness is a warm puppy.”—Charles Schultz
  9. “If you don’t have a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you. But there may be something wrong with your life.”—Vincent Van Gogh
  10. “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.”—Mark Twain
  11. “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”—Mark Twain
  12. “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”—Jean Cocteau
  13. “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”—James Herriot
  14. “Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.”—Nick Trout
  15. Kitten“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”—Leonardo da Vinci
  16. “The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic.”—Henry Ward Beecher
  17. “I can’t imagine God not allowing my dog into heaven.”—Rick Warren
  18. “I’ve met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”—Hippolyte Taine
  19. “I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”—Gilda Radner
  20. “A dog is one of the few things in life that is as it seems.”—Mark J. Asher

Chinese New Year: Year of the Goat

baby-goat February 19 marks the Chinese New Year. 2015 is the year of the goat — what that means might be a mystery to you, but we’ll break it down for you. Here is what the year of the goat means:

Aside from 2015, according to the Chinese zodiac, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, and 2003 are all years of the goat. That means if you were born in one of those years, you share certain characteristics similar to other people in that sign.

People born under the sign of the goat are considered to be calm, gentle and humble. They are comfortable being alone and are introspective. Though they don’t like to lead, they are good workers and fast learners with a strong sense of creativity.

Because of their calm demeanor, goats don’t have many health problems. However, their health is determined by a content state of mind and heart. Their health can quickly decline when they are unhappy. For 2015, goats should take extra precaution as goats are accident-prone this year.

Though goats like high-quality goods, they are not extravagant. However, for goats, 2015 will be a bumpy year financially. Goats should be careful with spending and investing as there will be unexpected expenses.

The year’s outlook isn’t spectacular for goats except in romance where there may be changes — finding love or ending a relationship will keep things interesting and test your emotions, but it won’t last for long.

According to China Highlights, goats can manage 2015 with a little luck:

  • 78776644Lucky colors: brown, red and purple
  • Lucky flowers: carnations, primroses
  • Lucky numbers: 2, 7
  • Lucky days: the 7th and 30th of any month

And what goats need to steer clear of are:

  • Unlucky colors: green, blue and black
  • Unlucky numbers: 6, 8

The Chinese zodiac isn’t something we all believe in and, in case you’re a non-believer, there’s one thing we can convince you of: goats are cute. Just click on the link and the year of the goat might get a little brighter for you.

 

Random Act of Kindness Day

February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day — it’s a day set aside for people to be kind to strangers. According to an article published in Psychology Today, when someone does a kind deed it for someone else it makes both people feel good. It’s a great idea in theory, but you have to do it right. Paying for someone’s latte may only push that person to buy someone else a latte and the act of kindness loses its meaning. We’ve come up with a few random acts of kindness you’ll feel good performing — and you don’t need to spend a lot (or any) money.

  1. garbageTake your neighbor’s garbage to the curb while you’re taking yours. It’s an easy task that no one wants to do — your neighbors will appreciate the gesture.
  2. Offer to go to the grocery store for an elderly neighbor. Going to the grocery store is just a chore for the young and strong — as an elderly person, it can be a struggle. What takes you 20 minutes could take them an hour. Not only are you doing a difficult chore for that person, you’re also giving them time to do other activities.
  3. Help a parent struggling with a stroller. Whether it’s single dad or a mom out on her own for the day, taking care of kids alone can be tough. Even the smallest gesture can make a huge difference in that person’s day.
  4. Help someone who looks lost with directions. The gratitude they’ll feel is immeasurable.
  5. waitressBe a generous tipper. The service industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Waiting tables is a tough job — it’s physical labor and also requires someone to be sharp. And with all that work, they don’t get health insurance, paid vacation, sick days or bonuses. A big tip could mean a lot more than just getting their bills paid.
  6. Send a thank-you note to someone who has improved your life. Take a few minutes to write out how much someone means to you — for someone to hear that you’re grateful that you know him or her is priceless.
  7. Take an hour of your week to spend time with the elderly at a nursing home. Taking time to talk to elderly people could make their day, week or month.
  8. Leave a kind note for your mail carrier or garbage collector. They’re part of what makes our community run — they deserve a little gratitude.
  9. Send a care package to soldiers. Whether they’re on a tour or they’ve just returned, a gift from a stranger to thank them for their service isn’t something they get from every American.
  10. dog-poundTake a bag of pet food, toys or pet beds to your local animal shelter. Homeless dogs and cats need food and comfort. Every little bit of kindness helps keep them from going hungry. If you have extra time, stop in to give a few pets some love.

Being kind isn’t hard — if someone’s having a bad day or a bad year a kind deed from a stranger may be a small action that has a big impact. Start looking out for ways to be kind every day, not just Random Acts of Kindness Day.

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

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family and great values from LTD! Our customers are making Valentine’s Day a family affair, and it shows in our most popular items of the week. Teens will love little gifts like an animal print frame, and all ages will be proud to wear a sophisticated pendant that comes with a message of devotion. Decorate your kitchen for the holiday, and spend some time at home with a nostalgic puzzle. Here are the Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.

Animal Print Frame and Box Gift Set stores your trinkets and displays a special photo in leopard and zebra prints with rhinestone accents.

Animal Print Frame and Box Gift Set stores your trinkets and displays a special photo in leopard and zebra prints with rhinestone accents.

This Love Pendant Gift-Boxed Set is the perfect way to show someone how special they are to you.

This Love Pendant Gift-Boxed Set is the perfect way to show someone how special they are to you.

Holiday Kitchen Coordinates add festive cheer while you cook and clean.

Holiday Kitchen Coordinates add festive cheer while you cook and clean.

Inspire new memories while piecing together the good old days with these 1,000-Pc. Nostalgic Puzzles.

Inspire new memories while piecing together the good old days with these 1,000-Pc. Nostalgic Puzzles.

National Cherry Month: Cherry Cobbler

cherry-cobbler

We know you’re mind is on Valentine’s Day right now, but February also happens to be  National Cherry Month! And we love cherries at LTD.They’re not in season — they have a short growing season that lasts just the month of June. To celebrate cherries, we’re going to share our favorite, easy cherry recipe: Cherry Cobbler.cherry-cobbler

Cherry Cobbler

Cherries:

  • 3 14.5 oz cans cherries in water (tart or sweet cherries both work)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

cherry-cobblerCombine all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for ten minutes. Set aside.

Topping:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TB  sugar
  • cherry-cobbler1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • cherry-cobbler1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 TB cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk

cherry-cobblerWhisk together the dry ingredients. Add the butter. Mix and squeeze the butter in the flour mixture until it looks like chunky sand (the butter pieces should be the size of small peas). With a fork, gently stir in the buttermilk. Mix until it’s just combined. It should be lumpy.Pour the cherry mixture into an 8”x8” casserole dish or a 9” pie plate or divide them among two ramekins. And drop scoops of the topping on top of the cherries. Bake for about 20 minutes or the cherries are bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Cherry cobbler is so easy to make and so easy going down, we had to share the recipe with you! Happy National Cherry Month and enjoy your cobbler!

cherry-cobbler