Cinco de Mayo: Our Favorite DIY Piñatas

We’re ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here at LTD! It’s a holiday that’s only celebrated in certain parts of Mexico, but Americans have made it into a big day to celebrate everything Mexican and all that we have adopted from Mexican culture. One of the things we adopted is the piñata — the papier-mâiché animals that we bat with a club until it bursts with candy. They’re fun for parties, but they can also be a fun craft — and there are some pretty crafty people out there. We’ve picked out some of our favorite DIY piñatas.

pinata-ice-cream-coneEasy Ice Cream Check out this ice cream cone piñata from Six Sisters Stuff! They always have something cute to contribute to the craft world — and they make it look so easy! This one actually might be. They did the regular papier-mâiché method using balloons and made a paper cone to shape it into our favorite summer treat. The secret to making it look edible (and adorable!) is all in the positioning of the crepe paper.

pinata-strawberrySimple Strawberry Oceans of Notions gets a big high five for this strawberry! It’s amazing how many types of food piñatas you can make with a balloon! Pink and green tissue paper and black construction paper and that ice cream cone becomes a berry! You don’t have to be a super-crafter to make an adorable piñata, you just have to have the right idea.

pinata-angry-birdBasic Bird The right idea for Cindy Derosier was an Angry Bird piñata! What joy her boys must have had at their party with that! The process is so simple and the end product is so clever! We’ll probably be seeing Candy Crush candy hanging from her trees next year!

pinata-captain-americaStraightforward Shield Maureen Wilkinson strayed from using a balloon for her Captain America shield piñata and instead fashioned the shell of the shield from craft board. A couple of circles and a good strip to connect the two is what she used as the base. To make the signature shield she used feathered crepe paper, a little imagination and a lot of patience!

pinata-minionPapier-Mâiché Minion Le Coin de Mel used two balloons to pull together a minion piñata. What she did with them is pretty clever — she tied the two balloon knots together and bridged the gap between them by wrapping it in paper to make one long torso just like they’re drawn! Instead of using crepe paper, she painted her piñata, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make yours with the traditional tissue paper. Either way, it makes a fun party activity for Cinco de Mayo or a birthday party.

LTD Commodities has hundreds of products and ideas to make every holiday this summer a backyard celebration. Check back with us every season for new inspiration for any kind of party.

5 of History’s Most Inspiring Mothers

Mother’s Day is just over a week away — we’re coming up with all sorts of inspiration for our big celebration — brunch, gifts and a lot of quality time. While we are honoring our own moms, there are many mothers throughout history who can be celebrated by everyone. Here are 5 of history’s most inspiring mothers.

Maya-Angelou

Maya Angelou reciting her poem, “On the Pulse of Morning”, at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. The white-haired man seated behind Angelou is Speaker of the House Tom Foley. Source: via Wikipedia, NPR, courtesy of the White House

Maya Angelou It hasn’t quite been a year since author and poet, Maya Angelou, died. She was one of the the first black women to write about her personal life and make it public. She was regarded as a spokesperson for black people and her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, continues to be used in the classroom to talk about race. Angelou won the National Medal of Arts as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony. She served on two presidential committees and was the first poet to read at a presidential inauguration (for President Bill Clinton) since Robert Frost read at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Her son, Guy Johnson, is also a writer. He says he “grew up in her light.”

Corazon-Aquino

Source: Airman Gerald B. Johnson, U.S. Air Force. Public Domain via Wikipedia

Corazon Aquino Corazon Aquino was the 11th president of the Philippines, but the first female president in Asia. She was one of the most important figures in the effort to end the 20-year rule of President Ferdinand Marcos and give way to democracy. Under her administration, congress was restored and limitations were set for the power of the president. She led the Philippines until 1992 when she returned to civilian life. She died from colon cancer in 2009 at age 76. Her son, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, is now president of the Philippines.

marie-curie

Source: Unknown – Christie’s. Public Domain via Wikipedia

Marie Curie Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist who laid the groundwork for radioactivity research (she also coined the term “radioactivity”). She was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize and the first person to win two Nobel Prizes and founded two major medical centers of research in France and Poland. She died in 1934 at the age of 66 from complications from radiation exposure. She had two daughters — Irene Joliot-Curie, who was also a Nobel-Prize-winning scientist and Eve Curie who was a journalist and pianist.

estee-lauder

Source: New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Sauro, Bill, photographer. – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain via Wikipedia

Estée Lauder Estée Lauder was the only woman on Time Magazine’s list of 20 most influential business minds of the 20th century for the work she did with her cosmetics company. She started making skin care products with her uncle who was a chemist and, by selling her products to friends and acquaintances, her business blossomed in the 1930s and it was booming by the 1950s. Believing in what she was doing and hard work is what she said made her successful. She died in 2004 from a heart attack at age 95. Her son, Leonard, is the chairman of the board of Estee Lauder. Her other son, Ronald, is a businessman, philanthropist and political activist.

sandra-day-oconnor

Source: US Government, Public Domain via Wikipedia

Sandra Day O’Connor Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. She served on the court as a moderate conservative from 1981 to 2006 and was considered one of the most powerful women in the world. She continues to hear cases on a part-time basis and is the Honorary Chair for the Board of Directors of the Justice at Stake as well as does speaking engagements. She has three children.

Inspiration for Mother’s Day comes in all forms, and so do celebrations. From Christmas Day to Mother’s Day, LTD Commodities has great products to suit all of your special occasions.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Graduation

The end of the school is getting close! Soon we’ll have new graduates launching new lives going down different paths. We want to send them off prepared for what’s ahead, so we’ve put together a list of things a graduate might need or want as they embark on their next adventure.  Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Graduation.

ramen-cookbookThe perfect college student cookbook! You’ll find 101 recipes inside that all have one common ingredient–Ramen noodles. These noodles are more versatile than you think — they can even be nutritious if they have the right accompaniment! No need to worry about whether your college student will have enough money to have a balanced meal with this cookbook.

photo-albums200-Photo Album with Memos is a lovely way for your graduate to store their high school or college memories!  Organize up to 200 photos, and use the memo area next to each to record the date, place, and people in the picture. Frames on the faux leather cover show off two 2-3/8″ sq. photos and a 1-7/8″ x 5-1/4″ photo. Order several and fill them with photos from graduation to give to your grad’s friends as special gifts.

supplies-organizerOrganization is one of the keys to success as a college student and this mesh organizer gives organization a touch of style your grad’s desk. It can hold your smartphone or MP3 player, too. There are 6 open compartments, including a back section that can hold larger items, such as a notepad. The organizer also includes a pullout drawer.

college-throwsGet your grad excited about starting college with collegiate throw!  The soft construction of this makes it perfect to curl up in while cheering on their new favorite team. It looks great as a wall hanging, too, with vivid graphics highlighted by the team’s name and logo.

Animal-print-luggage3-Pc. Animal Print Luggage set has plenty of storage for the jetsetter or college student. Each bag has a zippered closure for safe storage when traveling. The duffel bag has a 13-1/2″ telescoping handle that collapses into a zippered pouch. It has a single zippered front pocket, 2 carry handles and 2 easy-glide wheels. The double-handled tote has a zippered pocket on front. The toiletry bag fits inside the tote, which fits inside the duffel for compact storage.

Mother’s Day Brunch: Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon-rollsMother’s Day is heading our way and it’s time to start planning how to honor our mothers for the day. Brunch is an American tradition for the holiday, but this year, instead of making reservations for crowded breakfast restaurants, we’re thinking about making our best brunch at home. A brunch favorite for LTD is the cinnamon roll and we have a great recipe to share with you.

This is a fairly standard recipe for cinnamon rolls, but it will make your Mother’s Day spectacular. It might seem difficult because it involves yeast, but it’s worth the effort you put into it and once you try the finished product you will be pleased with yourself that you did it — and so will your mom!cinnamon-rolls

For the Rolls:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk (warmed — about 20 seconds in the microwave is good)
  • 2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 TB unsalted butter, melted, plus ½ TB to coat the dough as it rises
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extractcinnamon-rolls

For the cinnamon spread:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the Icing:

  • cinnamon-rolls1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 TB milk
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a bowl fitted to a stand mixer, add the granulated sugar and milk. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it stand for five minutes. Add the flour, salt and cardamom and mix on medium-low speed using the hook attachment for five minutes. Whisk together the vanilla, egg yolk and 2 TB melted butter (it shouldn’t be hot — you don’t want to scramble the yolk). Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and continued mixing until everything is well-combined.cinnamon-rolls

The dough should be sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl to gently work it on a lightly floured surface to make a ball. Place the remaining melted butter in a medium bowl. Add the dough and roll it in the butter to coat it. Cover the bowl in plastic and let it rise for one hour.cinnamon-rolls

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle. Brush the 3 TB of melted butter over the entire rectangle. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the butter. Roll the dough up so you have a long cylinder.

cinnamon-rollsSlice off pieces (the rolls) about one inch thick. You should get about 12. Brush a 9” cake pan with butter and place the pieces of dough in the pan. There will be space between each of the rolls. Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.

cinnamon-rolls

Pre-heat oven to 325℉.

Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are a golden brown. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, milk and butter to make the icing.cinnamon-rolls

Pour the icing over the rolls while they’re still warm. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and then baked when you’re ready. When the dough is sliced and placed in the pan, cover it and refrigerate it overnight. Remove the pan from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking to bring it up to room temperature.

LTD Commodities has ideas and products to make all your holidays special! If you’re looking for Ideas for a Mother’s Day brunch or gadgets for your Memorial Day cookout, we have what you need to make any day memorable.

cinnamon-rolls

Must Watch Movies for Mother’s Day

steel-magnolias

Image source: IMDB

Mother’s Day is around the corner and from coast to coast people are looking for ways to honor moms. While we’re stumped every year on how to recognize our mothers for all the work they do to make our lives meaningful, Hollywood has done a good job of giving moms credit. There are a few flicks that are heart wrenching and others that are hilarious, but they’re all inspiring. Here are 5 must watch movies for Mother’s Day.

Steel Magnolias Though Steel Magnolias is a movie about a tight-knit group of southern women, one mother’s unwavering determination to protect her daughter is a big piece of what makes Steel Magnolias magical. Painful and funny at the same time, it’s a portrait of how strong a mother has to be from a child’s birth until death.

stepmom

Image source: IMDB

Freaky Friday Whether you’re a Jodie Foster fan or you prefer Lindsay Lohan, a good body-switch movie between a mom and teenage daughter is an exercise in bridging Grand Canyon sized gaps between generations through hilarity. It’s tough for a parent and teenager to see eye-to-eye, but when they spend a day in one another’s shoes, understanding and empathy unfolds between them.

Stepmom One of the more painful experiences (or fears) for a mother is being replaced. But relationships are complicated and they don’t get more complicated than that between a mother and her children’s stepmother. Patience and understanding are tough to come by when two women’s lives are woven together by children, but it’s the love for those kids that forces these two ladies into an unconventional relationship.

Stop-or-my-mom-will-shoots

Image source: IMDB

Terms of Endearment Mother and daughter, love and loss, Terms of Endearment examines the relationship between Aurora and Emma and how it supports every aspect of their lives over a decade. A marriage and several romantic relationships begin and end, but the one constant is Aurora and Emma’s love for each other.

Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot For those who need a lighthearted movie, there’s nothing more whimsical than Estelle Getty playing Sylvester Stallone’s mother. It’s the classic tale of a tough detective whose mom’s love for him is demonstrated by cleaning up after him — at home and on the streets.

From Mother’s Day movie ideas to putting together the perfect brunch for mom, look to LTD Commodities for unique ideas and products to make mom smile year-round.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for National Humor Month

It’s Friday and we’re ready for a good laugh here at LTD! Not only is it the end of the week, but it’s also National Humor Month. In honor of the weekend and National Humor Month, we scoured the catalog for some of our more hilarious items. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for National Humor Month. novelty-koolers

Sip ‘n’ Snicker Show up to the next cookout with one of these Novelty Koolers and you’ll get an instant laugh! This insulated foam kooler has a humorous design that keeps your drink refreshingly cold and your hand warm and dry. It holds 12-oz. cans and bottles. Reusable for hours of entertainment.back-scratchers

Scratch ‘n’ Chuckle Get rid of those hard-to-reach itches and get a good chuckle with a Novelty Back Scratcher! Just imagine what the kids will think when you try to relieve your itch with this! Its offbeat look will appeal to outdoorsmen and its itch-relieving length and hilariousness will appeal to everyone. A realistic cold cast ceramic handle sits on one end of a rustic-finished metal shaft, with the scratcher on the other. The Bear choice has a wood handle. Also makes a great gag gift for the sportsman who can’t get rid of that hunting itch!angry-birds-pajamas

Silly Sleepwear For those guys who refuse to grow up, let them snuggle with their Angry Birds or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in these Men’s Licensed Fleece Lounge Pants! Now their cartoon and video game obsessions will end up in their dream… and keep them cozy all at the same time!panther-pants

Ladies won’t feel left out of silly sleep with these soft and fun Women’s Licensed Footed Pants! They’re a playful update of a childhood favorite! Tiptoe around the house in these comfy loungers with the Pink Panther or the Grinch to protect your feet from the cold.

dog-fleeceCanine Cracks What dog owner isn’t guilty of getting a little silly about their pup? Let them get a little sillier by wrapping them up in canine comfort with a Cozy Dog Breed Fleece Throw! A large, photo-realistic close-up favorite breeds fills the big, soft throw. Fleece construction will keeps a dog lover warm and laughing on a chilly evening.

LTD Commodities has all sorts of gifts for any occasion. Whether you need something practical for your DIY dad on Father’s Day or you need a gag gift for a co-worker’s birthday, shop LTD for hundreds of products price for fun!

 

 

 

6 Trees to Plant in Your Garden

White-Beam

Whitebeam

When we start planning our gardens, our brains take us to all the flowers that decorate our yards and vegetables that fill out our summer menus. The one thing we sometimes overlook are trees to add a little more color and shade for your backyard oasis. Here are 6 trees to plant in your garden.

Whitebeam Whitebeams grow to be about 40 feet tall and are decorated with white blossoms and bright red berries. Not only are whitebeams beautiful, but they work well in gardens because they are very adaptable and can tolerate heat and wind and different types of soil.

Adirondack Crabapple Crabapple trees add a splash of color to any yard or garden, but the Adirondack crabapple is lovely for gardens because they only grow to be about 18 feet high. The delicate white flowers make it a jewel in anyone’s garden crown, but it’s also a very practical tree as it is disease resistant and drought tolerant.

Weeping Birch The weeping birch doesn’t have colorful fruit or blossoms, but its loose, limp branches bring character to a yard. They only reach heights of about 15 feet, so you can almost predict how much shade you’ll get where you plant you weeping birch. The weeping birch needs a lot of sunshine and does well in acid soils.

Judas-Tree

Judas Tree

Judas Tree If there were a tree to illustrate love, it would be the Judas Tree. They’re small with a maximum height of 40 feet so it does well by the garden, but they also decorate the garden with its bright pink blossoms shaped like hearts. To keep Judas Trees lovable, plant them in well-drained soil with full sun or partial shade. One bonus for the Judas Tree is that it’s generally pest-free.

Carolina Silverbell Silverbells are a little bit bigger — they grow to be about 33 feet tall, but the height doesn’t dwarf the impact of their blossoms for which they are named. The tender petals of the white flowers face down like bells. What makes them great for a yard or garden is they are pest-resistant. To keep Carolina silverbells happy, plant them in moist, well-drained acid soil and full sun.

Japanese-Maple

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple The Japanese maple is popular for gardens because they only grow to be about six feet high, but they are also unique looking. The leaves aren’t like regular maple trees — they’re wispy and almost feather-like. Some varieties produce green leaves but others can have deep-red leaves even in the summer. To keep them thriving, plant Japanese maples in a spot with full sun and sandy, well-drained soil.

It’s time to bloom! There are so many plants and accessories to add to your garden — it’s hard to put a limit on your ideas! But LTD Commodities can help you put your gardening ideas into action. From ideas on how to plan a vegetables to products to keep your herbs thriving, shop LTD for everything to get your garden growing.

5 Tips to Save Money as a Maid of Honor

bridesmaidsIt’s the start of wedding season — and if you’ve been given the privilege of taking on the duties of maid of honor, you have a lot of work ahead of you. The work also includes a sizable amount of money to make every step leading up to your friend or relative’s big day. But there are ways to get around going into debt and still make every event special. Here are 5 tips to save money as a maid of honor.

Budget Expectations Let your bride and the bridal party know your budget expectations before planning starts. This may not cut off over-spending before it starts, but it may put everyone on the same page as you coordinate all of your different obligations. If it helps, set aside the money you can use for all of the wedding planning in one account and only withdraw from that account for your wedding expenses. This makes tracking costs easier.

bridesmaidsBook Travel Wisely As soon as you know the dates of the biggest events, start looking into airfares. Fares fluctuate, but there are websites like Kayak that can tell you if you should book now because fares will go up or if you should wait because the fares are expected to go down.

Share The Load As the maid of honor, you’re responsible for making sure things get done, but that doesn’t mean you have to do and pay for everything yourself. Recruit the other bridesmaids to help you decorate, put together menus and coordinate gifts for the shower and bachelorette party. The other ladies will likely want to help out to make all of the events spectacular.

DIY Put on your craft hat and start clipping, gluing and bedazzling. Turn your bachelorette party and bridal shower into a big DIY project. That sash and tiara your bride is wearing for her bachelorette party and all of the favors and food for the shower can be handmade — it’ll save you cash and it will make your efforts all the more appreciated.bridesmaids

Say No The bride is your best friend/sister/cousin and you want her to celebrate exactly the way she wants to, but how she wants to celebrate may not be what you can afford. You’re allowed to say no to things you can’t afford. But when you do say no, be prepared to offer a reasonable alternative to what your bride wants to do.

You’re going to be part of someone’s most memorable day — it doesn’t have to be expensive to be extraordinary. LTD Commodities has gifts and ideas for every occasion — from bridal showers to Christmas dinner, LTD has products priced for fun.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Mother’s Day

We have exactly one month until Mother’s Day — that seems like a lot of time, but when the sun is shining, time can get away from us! We thought we’d help you out with a little gift planning, so we’ve picked out a few items we think mom would like. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Mother’s Day.heart-handprint-charms

Charm Mom Give mom a little something sparkly to carry thoughts of her little ones on a Birthstone Heart Handprint Charm. Heart-shaped charm has an embossed handprint and a sparkling crystal in their month’s birthstone color. It comes with a touching message printed on a card that accompanies the charm. Charm attaches to her own bracelet with a strong, lobster-claw closure. Add a few charms to the Silver Link Bracelet to start a collection of her loved one’s birthstones and her own. The more charms you add, the more meaningful her bracelet becomes.Chopped-cookbook

Feed Mom For the mom who likes to cook, this is a gift for mom and you! With The Chopped Cookbook, the question, “What’s for dinner?” will never stump you again. The cookbook shows you how to shake up weeknight dinners with 188 appetizing possibilities created with the contents of your fridge. It will guide you in making salad dressings, creating pan sauces, reinventing pastas and more.sports-mom

Equip Mom Help mom out by giving her the gift of stylish practicality with this Sports Mom Rhinestone Tote by Lyn Dorf. On each bag, crystal-clear rhinestones spell out either “Baseball”, “Football”, “Basketball” or “Soccer”. Each “M” in “Mom” is formed by clear rhinestones, with colored rhinestones creating a sports ball for the “O”. tower-planter

Grace Mom This is the gift that keeps on giving all summer long for the mom who loves her flowers. She can add her own plants to this freestanding flower tower planter to grow a tower of beautiful flowers. It has room for 30 nursery plants to grow into lush greenery. The internal watering tube distributes water and fertilizer so plants grow evenly in the display. Tower has finger-hole handles on top to easily move it around the deck or patio. Craft-Organizer

Arm Mom These Owl Print Craft Organizers take the clutter out of mom’s creative spaces! Multiple pockets make it easy for her to sort supplies and handles make them easy for mom to carry. The Tote is surrounded by 9 pockets for markers, paintbrushes, scissors and more. The Bin has 6 pockets on each side. Put needles or pens in the 4 thin pockets and scissors or rulers in the 8 wide pockets. Versatile organizers can also be used to tidy up around the house.

LTD Commodities has hundreds more ideas for Mother’s Day and holidays to come. Whether you’re looking for gifts or decor to make your celebration bright, shop LTD for products priced for fun.

Gardening Gadgets You Didn’t Know You Needed

It may not feel like it yet, but it’s spring and we’re moving forward as if it’s warm out! Our gardens are almost ready to go, but they’re going to need upkeep all summer long. To maintain the lush green leaves and violet and pink flower petals, we need a few gadgets — some you might not know about! Here are 5 gardening gadgets you didn’t know you needed.Gardening-stool

Wonder Wheels Wheels make the garden green! Maybe not all wheels, but the ones on the Garden Scooter do! Sit comfortably while tending to your flowers and glide along to weed around your vegetables and say goodbye to the aches and pains from kneeling and squatting!

watering-stakesWorry-Free Watering Save your two-liter soda bottles to keep the soil around your plants moist even when you’re not around to water! The Set of 8 Sunflower Watering Stakes adds a little color and a lot of ease to keeping your plants healthy in the summer heat. Fill a plastic bottle with water, and screw it into the flower on the stake’s top. Then, push the spike into the soil to slowly release water into the ground to keep your flowers and veggies green and thriving. Fun and functional to keep your plants looking good.

Squirrel-FeederFun Feedings Need a little backyard entertainment while improving the lives of your furry friends? This Squirrel-A-Whirl Feeder spins with the squirrels’ weight, letting the little acrobats have some fun while grabbing a bite to eat. Attach corncobs, fruit or peanut butter to the 3 dowels. Keep a snack on hand with the Bag of Corn, which includes 12 ears.

Hose-guidesGarden Guidance Garden guidance comes in the shape of frogs, owls or birds at LTD! These little guys protect delicate plants in your yard as Solar Lighted Hose Guides. Drag your hose through the lawn without worrying about damaging your flowers and veggies. That’s just during the day — at night these charming critters sit atop the stake to guard your lawn with a little light powered by the sun! Light shines through cutouts on the creature’s tummy.

Garden-matEffortless Flowers Need an instant flower garden? Here’s your answer to bringing a garden to life with just the roll of a mat with the 3-Pk. Roll-Out Flower Gardens! Each flower mat is pre-seeded with over 1,000 premium wildflower seeds of many varieties. The mat is 100% biodegradable and can be cut to fit window boxes, pots and various-sized flower beds. Blooms germinate in 10-20 days and grow to be 6″-24″ high.