Summer Fun: Pool Games

swimming-poolMaking it to the pool every day is one of the best parts of summer! But after a few weeks, even swimming under the sun can get a little stale. To mix things up, try weaving a few fun games into your pool routine to refresh your kids’ love of water. Here are 4 pool games to try.

Greased Watermelon This one is good for older kids who can easily pick up a watermelon. What you do is take a scoop of petroleum jelly and rub it all over a medium-sized watermelon — be careful! It’s meant to be slippery. When it’s grease and ready to go, toss it in the pool. Then, on a count of three, everyone jumps in the pool to go after the watermelon. The person who can put it on dry land is the winner. (Quick note: this one should be done in a private pool — you don’t want to get petroleum jelly and watermelon in your neighborhood pool)

swimming-poolBobbing Heads This game is similar to whack-a-mole — only the moles are swimmers bobbing in and out of the water and instead of whacking them with a soft mallet, the “it” person tries to bounce a beach ball off their heads before they go back under water. Once a person has been tagged by a beach ball, he is out. The last one tagged can choose the next “it” person.

Under the Radar For this one, you’ll need several clear, plastic water bottles with lids. Fill each bottle with water making sure there are no air bubbles. Divide players into teams, leaving one person to be the submarine to shoot off the torpedoes (the plastic water bottles). Have all the players on the edge of the pool turn away while the submarine tosses the torpedoes into the water. After the last bottle goes under water, blow a whistle to signal the other players to get in the water to collect as many bottles as they can for their team. The team with the most bottles wins.

swimming-poolSubmarine Races This one is for more experienced swimmers. Divide the swimmers into two groups — one half goes to one end of the pool and the other half goes to the other side. Select an “it” person to stand in the middle of the pool. Select another person to be the referee. The referee signals the swimmers from one side of the pool to swim across — but they have to do it without being tagged by the “it” person. If a person is tagged he joins the “it” person in the middle of the pool. Repeat this until there’s only one free swimmer left — that person is it for the next round.

In or out of the pool, we’re celebrating summer here at LTD! From outdoor parties to water toys, we have what you need to make this summer a blast.

Midsummer Boredom Fixes

summerIt’s midsummer — we’re at a point where kids need a break from the pool even if we don’t want them to take one. They’re still still young enough that they need a little prompting to do something other than watch TV and play Minecraft. We can’t always be there to entertain them, but we can help them entertain themselves. Here are a few ideas to put in the “I’m bored jar.”

Creative Cardboard This idea takes a lot of creativity — it can keep your kids’ minds and bodies moving for hours. Give them each a cardboard box with one instruction: what can you do with a cardboard box? They can make forts, a cat house, a doll bed, small castle, play musical instruments — list goes on and on. Let them really use their imaginations to create something original or let them use the internet for inspiration — either way, they won’t get bored.

Summer Memories  Have them make a summer scrap book. You may have to get some of your vacation or 4th of July photos printed, but if you set them up with some glitter and glue, they can put it together in an afternoon. Have them add to it every day — use flowers they picked on a nature walk, an interesting shell they picked up at the beach or a ticket stub from the baseball game dad took them to. It’s an activity to keep them thinking purposefully until the first day of school.

scrapbookBaubles & Beads Homemade jewelry of any kind is fun for kids to make. There’s something about making something wearable that it very satisfying for kids. It can be as simple as beading safety pins to decorate their sneakers or as complicated as making beads out of paper and then stringing them together to wear as part of their fall wardrobe.

Start a Band You don’t have to be a piano prodigy or a guitar guru to be able to make music! Use water glasses filled at different levels to tap and make tunes. Or they can fill plastic containers with dried beans or rice to make a rattle. If you have a few paper plates, add some bells to create a tambourine. If your kids are really serious about making an instrument to play again and again, they can always make a cigar box guitar to strum until you break down and buy them a real one.

summerSeek Science Try simple science activities to open your kids’ minds and wow them with how we stumble across science in everything we do. Fill a jar with green water and stick a white carnation in it. The kids can watch as the flower drinks the water to turn its petals green. For something a little more active, make carbon dioxide by mixing baking soda and vinegar — they can turn it into a rocket-launching project. Or for a fun and functional activity, have them make geodes — the Feels Like Home Blog has a great tutorial for the all-day project.

LTD Commodities is all about making the most of every moment! We have products and ideas that makes every day fun for you and your family no matter what season it is.

4th if July: Fireworks Safety Tips

fireworksThe 4th of July is here! Across the country, friends and family are gathering to celebrate our independence with food, fun and fireworks. That’s exactly what our Founding Fathers wanted us to do on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. But with all the fun and fireworks comes a bit of danger. Here are 5 fireworks safety tips to keep in mind while you’re celebrating our nation’s birthday.

Be Aware of the Law The laws around fireworks are different in each state. There are reasons for that — some have to do with safety, others have to do with land preservation but both are there for protection. Before you flick your lighter or strike a match, make sure you’re complying with local laws. It keeps the community peaceful and you won’t have to worry about police crashing your party.

fireworksDress Appropriately If you’re working with fire, you have to work defensively. Make sure you’re not wearing loose clothing that can catch fire if the wind changes direction. Keep your skin and feet covered to avoid any close encounters with a flame or hot coal. The damage from burns largely depends on how much exposure you had to a flame or coal and having a layer between you and the flame may reduce your exposure time.  What you choose to wear could be the difference between a superficial burn and a blistering burn.

Water Within Reach Make sure you have a fire extinguisher (and know how to use it) available before you start setting off fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby with a supply close enough that you can refill easily and quickly.

Use Common Sense You have to keep your eye on live fireworks at all times. This means give each explosive your undivided attention by lighting fireworks one at a time. Because you are the keeper of the fireworks, use protective eye wear to shield your eyes from rogue sparks. While your eyes are on the fireworks, make sure children don’t get their hands on any flammable items. Fireworks are dangerous by themselves, in the wrong hands they can be deadly.

fireworksBe an Observer The best way to prevent injury is to stay away from the fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks caused more than 17,000 fires in 2011 that resulted in $32 million in damages. In 2013, fireworks caused more than 11,000 injuries — some from what we think of as “safe” fireworks like sparklers. There are hundreds of thousands of fireworks shows that are put on by professionals across the country. It’s much less dangerous for you to let the professionals do what they do best and enjoy the sparkling sky from a distance.

LTD Commodities wants you to have a fun and safe 4th of July! Put safety first for your celebrations and everyone will have a memorable holiday.

June Pinteresting Picks

Summer entertaining and organizing — that’s what are on the minds of our Pinterest followers this month! From kitchen cleanup to outdoor decor, here are the June Pinteresting Picks.countertop-gap

Cleanup Magic Prevent spills and dust collection in hard-to-reach places with a Set of 2 Silicone Counter Gap Covers. Use these covers to bridge the gap between stove and counter, washer and dryer, desk and printer stand and more. Durable silicone won’t warp or melt. Won’t scuff or scratch. 21″W x 2-1/4″D x 1/2″H, each. Can be cut to shorter lengths if necessary. Dishwasher safe.

solar-garden-postsLight Delights 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.

grill-toppersGrillin’ Goodies Keep small or delicate pieces of food from falling into the flames with a Grill Topper. Perforated lines on the bottom create a pattern that allows heat to circulate around the food. Handles let you carry it from the grill with ease. 15-3/4″W x 11-3/4″L x 1-1/4″H. Metal. Dishwasher safe.

beerziclesChill Out Enjoy a cold beer that stays cold down to the last drop with the 3-Pk. Beerzicles. This beer cooler chills your drinks from the inside to keep every sip as cold as the first. Just throw it in the freezer, then insert it into a beer bottle. Fits most major brands. 1″ dia. x 8-1/8″L. Polypropylene.

cell-phone-charging-stationSort & Charge Protect your phone as it charges with this Deluxe Smartphone Charging Station. Designed for versatility, it has 3 standard outlets, so you can keep other appliances plugged in along with your charger, or charge up to 3 additional devices at once. Plus, there are 2 USB ports built into the station for phones and devices that require a USB adapter. The sides of the station pull out to cradle 2 phones or devices charging at the same time. Surge-protected charger means your phones and devices won’t be damaged by sudden power surges or outages. 4-1/2″ sq. x 2″. 8-3/4″ x 4-1/2″ x 2″, with cradles extended. Plastic and metal.

Whatever the season and whatever the need, LTD Commodities has a variety of products to suit any occasion! Shop LTD for awesome products at unbelievable prices.

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

The 4th of July is next week and we’re getting ready for fireworks, fun and a backyard party! As we tick off items on our party checklist, we thought we’d share our favorite products to help you plan your backyard party as well. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week for Product Picks for a Backyard Party.string-lights

Add a Twinkle Perfect for use all year ’round, 80-Light Solar String Lights charge during the day to light up at night. They automatically turn on at dusk and stay lit for up to 8 hours on a full charge. Select steady-on or blinking mode. Illuminate shrubs, gazebos, archways and more outdoors. Comes with a separate solar panel and hardware to mount it on a wall or stake it in the ground.

hello-kittyAdd Some Comfort Your child will love sitting in this Licensed Kids’ Chair featuring an image of their favorite character. It’s just their size and ideal for everything from picnics to playrooms. It has a durable steel frame and a convenient cup holder on the armrest. Portable polyester chair opens and folds easily and can be taken anywhere in its coordinating storage bag.

 

shadesailAdd Some Shade Block out 90% of the sun’s light with the heavy-duty, weather-resistant fabric of this 10-Ft. Shade Sail. Featuring a unique triangular shape, this sail offers protection from harmful UV rays. It provides shade for conversation spots, swimming pools or kids’ play areas, with take-along convenience. Made of high-density polyethylene with reinforced webbing, it protects from the sun while allowing cooling air circulation.

grill-topperMake it Flavorful Keep small or delicate pieces of food from falling into the flames with a Grill Topper. Perforated lines on the bottom create a pattern that allows heat to circulate around the food. Handles let you carry it from the grill with ease.

 

fire-starterAdd a Scent Fire & Spice Fragranced Firestarters are the fast, safe and easy way to start a fire while giving off a wonderful scent. Simply break off a pod and place it in your fireplace or fire pit, place wood around the pod and light one corner of the pod. It eliminates the need for kindling or paper when starting a fire indoors or out.

We have ideas and products to make the most of every season here at LTD! From inspiration for backyard summer parties to planning Thanksgiving dinner, look to LTD for awesome products at even better prices.

Baseball’s Most Memorable Moments (For Fans and Non-Fans)

There are few things, if any, more American than baseball. The official game itself dates back to 1845 — and since then, it’s created memories and traditions share by millions across generations from coast to coast. But there are moments from the game that just about everyone remembers. Here are some of baseball’s most memorable moments even non-baseball fans remember and cherish.

July 10, 2001 Cal Ripken, baseball’s Iron Man breaks Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. It was during the 2001 All-Star game — his final appearance for the annual series. It wasn’t the only record he broke at that game — at the time, he also became the oldest player to hit a home run (he was a little more than a month away from turning 41). He was also named MVP of the All-Star Game for the second time.

October 24, 2002 If you don’t remember J.T. Snow rescuing a bat boy during the 2002 World Series, you will now. Snow was playing for the San Francisco Giants against the Anaheim Angels. As Snow was on his way home to score off a triple, he scooped up 3-year-old Darren Baker (son of Giants’ manager, Dusty Baker) off home plate — where he was nearly clobbered in a baseball collision. It’s a spectacular act of quick thinking, fast acting and tear jerking.

October 14, 2003 For Chicago Cubs fans, this is a painful memory, but a memory that will last a lifetime. In Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Cubs and the Florida Marlins, the Cubs and fans were confident about heading to the World Series for the first time since 1945. After more than a half-century of heartbreak, the Cubs were up 3-0 in the eighth inning. That’s when the Marlins hit a foul ball. As many baseball fans do, Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached out to catch it though it was in reach of the left fielder, Moises Alou. Bartman deflected the ball out of the grasp of Alou and, subsequently, the Marlins scored eight runs in that game and won the series. Cubs fans were unforgiving of Bartman who has stayed out of the public eye since 2003 despite numerous requests for interviews.

October 27, 2004 It was a long wait for the Red Sox, but in 2004, not only did they make it to the World Series, but they also won it, crushing the Curse of the Bambino. It was the first World Series win for the Red Sox since 1918. As luck would have it, the Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore  movie, Fever Pitch — about a Red Sox obsessed fan — was filmed during the series. The unexpected win forced a re-write for the film so it could be included.

July 1, 1992 Of course we can’t leave out our favorite fictional moment in baseball. If you’ve never heard Tom Hanks (as Jimmy Dugan) shout “There’s no crying in baseball!” it might be time to watch A League of Their Own. It’s the one baseball quote men and women, baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike remember and chuckle to on any given day.

At LTD, we celebrate all of our country’s greatest treasures! But you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate the American thrill of baseball — there is so much history and cultural relationships with the game it’s easy to see why it’s our national pastime and a reason to look forward to summer games.

Fascinating Facts About the 4th of July

old-gloryThe 4th of July comes and goes every year with as much pomp and circumstance as any American can muster. We’ve been celebrating our independence for more than 200 years and the holiday is more than just cookouts and fireworks. Here are 7 fascinating facts about the 4th of July.

Old Glory According to the Census Bureau, in 2013, we exported $781,000 worth of American flags — most of that money came from the Dominican Republic.

Property in Exchange for Happiness According to Jim Cullen in his book The American Dream: A short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation, Thomas Jefferson borrowed some, if not all, of the ideas he wrote in the Constitution. Most notably, the phrase “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was altered from John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government which called for “life, liberty and the pursuit of property.”

Expansion The United States has grown considerably in the last 239 years. In July of 1776, the United States was home to about 2.5 million people. Today, the US and World Population Clock estimates that more than 321 million people live in the United States.

liberty-bellTap into America According to USHistory.org. the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia was rung on July 8, 1776 for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Less than 100 years later, it chimed for the last time to commemorate George Washington’s birthday — the cracks were getting too big for it to be a functional bell. Now, every July 4, it’s gently tapped 13 times (for the 13 original colonies) to set off bell ringing across the country to honor our independence.

Life and Death Calvin Coolidge is the only President of the United States to share his birthday with the country. However, three Presidents — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — died on July 4. The first two were Founding Fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Unofficial Holiday For nearly 100 years, Independence Day was an unofficial holiday. In 1870, Congress made it a holiday for federal employees — but they were not paid to observe our nation’s birth. Almost 70 years later, it became a paid federal holiday.

4th-hot-dogFestive Food July is National Hot Dog Month for a very good reason. According to  the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, July 4 revelers will consume about 150 million hot dogs — last year, 61 of those frankfurters went to Joey Chestnut, the winner of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, NY.

The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays here at LTD Commodities, but we celebrate every holiday and every season with tips, ideas and products to make them memorable.

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

It’s hot, hot, hot! And so are the savings here at LTD! This week we’re thinking about grilling and going to the beach and e’ve selected a few things we think are useful for our favorite summer activities. Here are our Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week for Sizzling Summer Savings.beer-holster

Keep It Close Carry your beer around in personalized style with the Monogram Beer Holster. It keeps a 12-oz. bottle or can of beer right where it belongs…at your fingertips. Perfect for backyard BBQs and tailgating! Two snaps at the top allow you to loop it over your belt for quick and easy attachment. Any guy who loves to drink beer will love this — whether or not he likes to grill! terry-cover-up

Keep it Covered A Women’s All-American Terry Cover-Up is perfect for the beach or pool. The terry fabric is absorbent and comfortable. Slip into it after a dip in the water. You can even wear it as a casual outfit. The Terry Tank Dress has a shift dress silhouette with a relaxed fit and 2 side pockets. The Zip-Front Hooded Terry Cover-Up has a full-size hood, 4″ side slits and 2 front pockets. Day or night, it’s the dress summer calls for!

melting-mug

Keep It Sweet Heat up butter, sauces, chocolate and more in a Silicone Microwave Melting Jug. Crafted of heat-resistant material, it’s easy to use and clean. Soft jug is grippable so it won’t slip. Easy-pour spout prevents messes, and the lid allows you to refrigerate unused portions. Summertime treats have never been so sweet!

solo-cup

Keep It Cool Get noticed at your next party with a Novelty Kooler. 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. It’s the practical party favor — it’s reusable for hours of entertainment.

cowl-neck-topKeep It Cute Instantly update your wardrobe with a Women’s Cowl-Neck Duet Top. This lightweight, short-sleeved shirt comes with an attached camisole to provide full coverage and a flattering fit. Bright stripes make it perfect for summer evenings.

LTD Commodities has ideas and products to make every season more fun! From Christmas cocktail parties to summer road trips, shop LTD for great products and unbeatable prices.

American As Apple Pie: Types of Apple Pies to Serve for 4th of July

apple-pieThe 4th of July is just a few weeks away and we’re getting pumped the way only Americans can get excited! We’re draping our houses in patriotic decor and headed to baseball games to be as American as we can be. And of course there aren’t many things as American as apple pie — and it’s at the top of our 4th of July menus. But there are a few ways you can go about making apple pie. Here’s what you have to choose from:

Double-Crust A double-crust apple pie is what we think of when we talk about the All-American Apple Pie. It is, perhaps, the most difficult type of apple pie to make. What’s complicated about it is the top crust. It tends to puff up in the oven. While the crust expands from the steam, the apples shrink as they cook and the water evaporates. One trick to solve this problem is to cook the filling in a saucepan (and let it cool) before pouring it into the bottom crust in your pie pan. The top crust should settle nicely on the cooked apples so there isn’t a big air bubble when you serve your pie.

Lattice Top A lattice top apple pie is the most elegant-looking variety of our favorite confection. Basically, you form the dough into a lattice like you’d find around the foundation of your porch. It takes a bit of time and concentration to do it well, but all it is is dough cut into strips that are woven across the top of the pie and baked. The trick to make it pretty is to make your strips of dough the same size by cutting a strip of dough and tracing the rest of your strips using the first strip as your guide. You can make a lattice with as many or as few strips as you prefer. Wide or narrow, they both make beautiful pies.apple-pie

Dutch A Dutch apple pie is apple crisp inside a pie crust. It’s very difficult to mess up — place your apples (cooked or raw) along with the sugar and cornstarch into the bottom crust and top it with an oat, butter and sugar crumble topping. If you make only double-crust or lattice top pies, a Dutch apple pie might feel like cheating, but it’s just as worthy of your 4th of July table as the other pies.

Galette Apple galettes are both easy and elegant if you’re a master of making the slightly disheveled look purposely stylish. Galettes are free-form pies. The crust is laid out flat on a sheet pan — it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle — the filling is spooned into the middle (don’t pile it too high) and the edges are neatly folded in to look sort of like a fruit pizza. The result is rustic looking with the all-American flavor you expect from an apple pie.

Apple Brown Betty An apple brown betty is a cross between bread pudding and apple pie and just as tasty as both! Rather than a pie crust, you stir together cubed bread, diced apples, brown sugar, and butter. It’s a delicious dish and it doesn’t take 3 hours to make the way a double-crust pie does.apple-pie

LTD Commodities has recipes, ideas and products to celebrate any holiday and any season. From deviled eggs to accompany your grilled goodies to outdoor decor to make your barbecue memorable, shop LTD for products priced for fun.

Father’s Day: Our Favorite Daddy Blogs

fathers-dayAt LTD we love to keep up with all the mommy blogs — there’s a lot of good information, clever crafts and helpful tips that make running a household easier. But this weekend is Father’s Day, so we thought we’d shine a light on our internet dads! Here are some of our favorite daddy blogs that keep us informed and entertained.

DoubleTroubleDaddyDouble Trouble Daddy Double Trouble Daddy is the father of adorable twins. He has his work cut out for him and he shares his trials and triumphs through pictures, reviews and the occasional recipe. Packed with funny anecdotes, this daddy will keep you reading for hours.

sleepyparentsSleepy Parents Don’t be fooled by the name — this daddy blogger just wants to give credit due to his wife and mother of their four boys! They have more experience with children than most — as biological parents, adoptive parents and foster parents. With all the work they’ve done to achieve happy family status, dad share his tips, reviews and experiences to make us all better parents.

sunshinedadSunshine Dad Sunshine Dad is actually the dad who does it all! He’s the father of four, gardener, DIYer, product reviewer, and party planner. On top of all that, he shares his adventures both past and present but all with the goal of being a good dad. He contributes his knowledge to the world via the internet so we can all be good parents, too.

PlaidDadBlogPlaid Dad At Plaid Dad, Christian and Aaron focus on faith, family, food, and fun. They’re homeschoolers and share their wisdom on raising well-rounded kids to become extraordinary adults, but they add a little irreverence mixed in with helpful hints on making it as a dad.

rookie-dadThe Rookie Dad The Rookie Dad is the perfect combination of sweet and practical. In his post about his 4-year-old’s hermit crab, he gives a painfully charming account about explaining the death of a pet and the regret of not letting his son stroke a cat at the pet store. His stories are filled with lessons and supplemented with ideas and tips for making the most of fatherhood.

At LTD we celebrate every holiday and every season. From ideas for creating the perfect Father’s Day camping trip to decorating the Christmas tree, shop LTD for great products priced for fun.