Items We Adore: Product Picks for Father’s Day

We’re heating up the grill for Memorial Day — that means summer is on its way with all of its holidays to keep us celebrating right through Labor Day. Next up is Father’s Day and we want you to be ready to honor dad with the right gifts. Here are Items We Adore: Product Picks for Father’s Day.fork-thermometer

Barbecue Aid Great for barbecuing and oven broiling! This Fork Thermometer makes it fast and easy to read the temperature of your food. Indicator lights let you know if the meat is rare, medium or well done. It takes the guesswork out of oven roasting a turkey or grilling steaks and burgers. Stainless steel tips provide accurate results. drill-lighter

Novelty Flares Fire up your grill safely with a Fun Refillable Lighter. Featuring impressive miniature details, it’s a fully functional lighter with a control wheel to adjust the flame. Use it to light a gas or charcoal grill, candles or the fireplace. The Camo Gun has a flame that ignites from the tip of the gun. The Dog lighter has a tip that extends 3-3/8″ from the front collar. The Drill ignites a flame from its 2-1/2″ tip when it’s extended. As a safety feature, these lighters will not ignite until their tips are fully extended. lounge-pants

Laugh & Lounge Relax and laugh in a pair of Men’s Novelty Lounge Pants. These pants are a comfortable choice for a lazy day or an instant hit as a gift. They have 2 pockets and an elastic and drawstring waistband for an easy fit. The fly has a button closure. DIY-book

DIY Guidance Keep your household in working order both inside and out with the handy hints and savvy shortcuts in this 1001 DIY Home Improvement Ideas Book. With 800 full-color photos and hundreds of clear, instructional illustrations, this must-have guide will get you through everything from little projects like cleaning dried spatters in your microwave to the big projects like resurfacing your concrete patio. Includes a recycling directory and index. Car-Phone-Holder

The Right Direction Keep your phone or GPS in sight with this clever visor clip. The device holder has soft gripper arms that expand with a push of a button to secure most devices from 2″ to 4″ wide. You can rotate it 360° to suit your desired viewing angle. Installs in seconds by simply clipping it to most standard visors.

LTD Commodities has gifts and ideas for every holiday and every season. Keep checking back for unique products priced for fun!

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.

Pinteresting Picks for January

Home organization definitely was on the minds of the followers of the LTD Commodities Pinterest boards this month. From a space-saving way to store your mops and brooms to creative ways to keep office supplies handy, LTD has dozens of ways to make your world less cluttered. Speed up your morning with a bathroom shelf with compartments for hair care supplies, accessories, and cosmetics. Store your kitchenware safely with our practical and pretty pan separators. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for January.

Mount the unique Store 'N' Slide™ in the pantry, laundry room, workshop or garage to store 5 long-handled items such as brooms, mops and dusters.

Mount the unique Store ‘N’ Slide™ in the pantry, laundry room, workshop or garage to store 5 long-handled items such as brooms, mops and dusters.

This Desktop Organizer keeps your office supplies close at hand and ready to use.

This Desktop Organizer keeps your office supplies close at hand and ready to use.

Avoid scratches and other damage caused by stacking kitchenware with this Set of 14 Felt Pan Separators.

Avoid scratches and other damage caused by stacking kitchenware with this Set of 14 Felt Pan Separators.

This wooden Ready-to-Go Vanity Shelf adds attractive storage and organization.

This wooden Ready-to-Go Vanity Shelf adds attractive storage and organization.

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

Spring is the perfect time to shake things up around your home. Whether you are looking for a big change in the living room or just some new bedding, LTD Commodities has what you need to refresh your space. Try some blackout patio curtains that look great while they help you control the amount of light in the room. Sink caddies organize your kitchen or bath, and you can add comfort to any floor with a runner designed to fit in a corner. Here are the Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week.


Big Pine Lodge Collection will give your home that rustic cabin appeal.

Big Pine Lodge Collection will give your home that rustic cabin appeal.

At 112" wide, this Blackout Patio Curtain covers a patio door or a pair of French doors.

At 112″ wide, this Blackout Patio Curtain covers a patio door or a pair of French doors.

68" x 68" Berber Corner Runners add texture and flair to every area of your home.

68″ x 68″ Berber Corner Runners add texture and flair to every area of your home.

Keep kitchen sponges and scrubbers close at hand with this Set of 2 Sink Caddies.

Keep kitchen sponges and scrubbers close at hand with this Set of 2 Sink Caddies.

6 Things to Do to Winterize Your Home

483590383We’re starting to feel the chill of fall and it’s only going to get colder. It’s just a matter of time before it’s time to turn on the heat and pull out the wool sweaters and layer discount bedding to keep warm at night. But our homes need to transition, too. Here are 6 things you need to do to winterize your home to save energy and money.

Insulation It’s easy to forget how much money we can save in heating costs with insulation. You may already have insulation in your walls and attic, but you may be able to add more to reduce energy consumption. has a guide on where your house should be insulated to minimize energy use. If you want to take an extra step toward lower heating bills, you can also use a thermal insulation blanket for your water heater to trap heat and prevent it from escaping too quickly during winter months.

Roof Do a spot check of the rooftop. Check for wear and damage and if there are any missing shingles. Around the chimney, make sure the flashing is intact and that it’s not a source for drafts or leaks.

Clean out gutters and downspouts so they’re free of leaves and debris; with clean gutters, rain and melting snow won’t get trapped on your roof and cause water damage. The downspouts should drain at least five feet from your home’s foundation to prevent water from leaking into your house.

winter-curtainsDoors and Windows Caulking and weather stripping your windows can cut down on energy costs significantly. Alternatively, indoor window insulating kits work very well for the winter to keep cold air out of your home. They require a lot less work than caulking and weather stripping, but plastic may not suit your home décor. Consider heavy drapes or curtains to mask the plastic for the winter months. Plastic insulation doesn’t work for exterior doors; weather stripping at the sides and bottoms of doors is your best bet.

Heating System Before it gets cold, turn on your heat to make sure it’s working properly. If it doesn’t kick on, you can try to figure out what the problem is on your own with a little bit of troubleshooting, but if you’re not confident with your home improvement skills, call a service technician to check it out before it gets cold and he gets busy. If it is working properly, make sure to change your air filter once a month and clean the heating vents.

Plumbing In cold weather climates, frozen pipes are a serious problem. When pipes freeze, they sometimes burst, causing costly damage. It’s not as much of a problem in the middle of the house where it’s generally warm in the winter, but in colder parts of your home like the basement and crawlspaces, insulate your pipes with foam insulation. For exterior pipes and faucets, drain the pipes and shut off the water supply. Automatic sprinkler systems require a professional to drain the underground pipes.

When you travel for the holidays and you turn off your heat, remember to also turn off your water. This might save you from coming home to expensive repairs.

fireplaceChimney and Fireplace Chimneys attract critters during the summer months; make sure squirrels and pigeons haven’t made a home there and it’s clear of any other obstructions. Make sure the flue opens and closes properly. When both of those things are done, make sure your chimney draws out smoke. You can do this by burning a few newspapers to create smoke. If your living room fills with smoke, there’s likely creosote buildup and you’ll need to bring in a professional chimney sweep to clean it out.

Winterizing is a big project. You can save time by having an energy audit done on your home. Though it costs a little bit extra, having a certified professional come in and figure all the leaks and areas you missed may save you a lot of money on energy costs in the long run.

LTD Commodities has everything you need to make your home cute and cozy this winter. From baby toys to quilts to keep you warm, shop LTD Commodities for the best products at the lowest prices.

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.


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


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


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


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


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

Items We Adore: LTD Product Picks for the Week

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


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


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


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


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


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





Do It Yourself Kitchens: How to Install Your Own Granite Countertop


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Granite countertops are a luxurious and functional addition to any kitchen or bath. In the past, installing granite was a job for the pros, with custom fabrication and installation costs running to thousands of dollars. Now, however, several companies offer do?it yourself granite countertop kits that you can install yourself, achieving professional results at a fraction of the cost. This step-by-step installation guide will help you get?expert results with your granite countertops.

Measure and Order Your Countertops

Before you start, make sure your cabinets are level, and securely anchored to the floor and walls. If your walls aren’t square, you’ll need to make allowances in your measurements. Use craft paper to make an exact template of your countertops, including lines for the sink and any other custom cutouts you need. Be sure to include a one to one and a half-inch overhang for the edges facing the cabinets. Select your granite color, and place your order based on your template.

Prepare Your Cabinets for the Granite

You’ll need to install a ? inch sheet of plywood on your cabinet tops to support the weight of the granite. Cut the plywood so that it lies even with the edge of the cabinet face; you do not want any overhang. Make sure wood is square and level. Screw the plywood in place using pilot holes?to prevent cracking the wood.

Working with the Granite Slabs

Find a safe place to store the granite slabs upright while you work, and find a partner to help?granite is very heavy and breakable. Carefully set the granite in place to make sure the pieces fit properly. Trace the sink hole and any other custom cuts onto the plywood sub-counter. Remove the granite, and use a drill to create a pilot hole in the marked sink cutout. Using a jigsaw, cut out from the pilot hole to create a hole for the sink. Drop in and install the sink.

Replace the Granite and Prepare to Glue

Place the granite slabs on the counter, and press any seams tightly together. Fine-tune the leveling, since all the seams must be absolutely level before gluing. Use 1-1/2 inch screws beneath the plywood to make minute adjustments to the height of the granite, and measure continuously until the seams are smooth and level.

Glue the Granite in Place

Have your helpers lift the granite up, and apply silicone around the edges of the plywood using one-inch dollops every six to 12 inches around the perimeter. Lay a bead of caulk around the outer edge of the sink, and another bead on top of the sink to seal the granite side. Lower the granite slabs into place and make sure they are level and the seams are tightly matched.

Glue the Seams

Tape around either side of the seams with blue painter’s tape. Choose at least three colors to match the granite, and mix a little of each into separate dollops of resin. Mix with a putty knife, continually checking the resin color against the granite. When you have three satisfactory shades, add hardener to a mixture of three percent hardener and 97 percent resin. Using your putty knife, work quickly to dab and smooth the resin into the seams; you will only have about five minutes before the resin starts to harden. Start with the medium-hued shade, and then add dabs of the lighter color, using the darkest color last until you have a natural-looking match.

Finishing Touches

Immediately remove the tape so it doesn’t dry into the resin. After about an hour, smooth out the seams using a seam stone. Rub the stone in small circles using firm, steady pressure until the seams are sleek and smooth. Wipe the countertops down with warm soapy water to remove any grit. Protect your investment with a stone care system like Rock Doctor.

Use only granite-friendly cleaning products, and don’t expose your countertops to extreme temperatures. Granite countertops are a beautiful, durable way to update your home.


Growing a Garden: Six Steps to Eating Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

With all the interest in healthier eating, many people want to grow?fruits and vegetables in their own backyards. Having your own supply at your fingertips can help you save money and increase your cooking options; you can also make tending your garden into a family activity. Although it may sound daunting, starting your own garden isn’t that difficult.

Here are some good vegetable and fruit selections for the first-time backyard gardener.

Salad Greens

LettuceGrowing your own salad greens like lettuce, spinach, arugula, mustard green, or kale doesn’t require a garden plot; you can grow a nice selection of greens in containers, pots, or window boxes, too. Using a quality potting mix is important. Greens grow well from seeds, and many garden shops offer seeds with a mix of greens for variety. Most will require some fertilizer when the plants are 4-6 inches tall. Since these are rapid-growing plants, you can often start harvesting leaves a few weeks after planting. Salad green plants can produce from spring until fall, giving your tasty salads for most of the year.


New gardeners love tomatoes, but they’re popular with gardeners in many places where the citizens are health-conscious like Rancho Mission Viejo. There are many versions of slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to choose from. Tomato plants can grow in containers like salad greens or in your yard but do need full sunlight and plenty of water. Seeds or transplants both can be used to start your tomatoes; as they grow, fertilizer, mulching, and staking can help your tomatoes reach their potential.

To control the plant growth and lower the risk of fungus, you’ll need to prune lower leaves and branches. The ripe tomatoes should be harvested twice a week during warm weather.


Radish A less common choice for your first garden would be the radish. These root vegetables are easy to grow and grow very fast in a few weeks. These can grow in containers or in a garden plot; however, they do thrive in cool seasons so you should plant them in the spring and fall. A lot of sunlight is key for these plants. Without it, they’ll grow bigger leaves and fewer vegetables. Radishes will deteriorate if they’re harvested in a timely fashion; you can also take the radish greens for salads, as well.

Green Beans

Green beans are also popular for the first-time gardener. Some beans grow as vines and will need a support system while others may grow as a bush. Green beans also grow during the warm months and need full sunlight and significant amounts of water. When the plants bloom, there will be bees and other insects to help with the pollination. During this time, you should avoid using too much pesticide that might interfere with this process. Green beans can be harvested between 50 and 80 days after planting.


StrawberriesAnother fruit that can work for the home gardener is the?strawberry. ?These are spreading plants that send out runners that can take up a lot of space. However, you can grow them in confined spaces like hanging containers, boxes, or pots. No matter where you plant them, you have to make sure they can get full sunlight. If you use a portable container, you can move the plant around to maximize sun exposure or protect from harsh weather. Strawberry plants can produce fruit for several years.


Safe choices for your first garden are herbs like basil, rosemary, coriander, or dill. Many herbs are easy to grow and can be used in a number of dishes and even with your new vegetables. Herbs can be grown in pots, containers, or in your garden plot. Most herbs need to be in areas with good drainage because they don’t grow well in wet soil. You can plant several types of herbs in the same garden; however, some like mint will overgrow your garden.

Of course, your location will influence what items you can grow. But if you take care of your growing garden ? no matter your location ? you can be eating as well as any community. To improve your health and give your kitchen a kick, start your own garden.

Top 10 Candle Uses You’ve Never Heard Of

candleCandles have been a part of society practically since the dawn of civilization. In the past, they were used to light homes, but most people only use them now for adding a nice decorative touch to a room. However, they still serve several great purposes. In fact, candles have some very surprising uses. Here are ten candle uses you may not have ever considered.

1. Make Labels Watertight

If you?re out of clear plastic tape and need to mail a package, reach for a candle to make the label watertight. Simply run the candle over the label and the transferred wax will protect the ink and prevent smearing.

2. Spill-Proof Recipe Cards

You need your recipe cards out when cooking, but you don?t want them to get ruined. Make them spill-proof by rubbing a candle over the recipe. Splashes and spills will wipe right off the dried wax.

3. Eliminate Odors

As candles burn, the flame can burn off fumes and odors in the home. It won?t get rid of the source of unpleasant scents, but it will make your home smell nice again. Consider putting a candle in the bathroom. Use one in the kitchen if you?re burned a dish. Smokers often burn candles to help with the cigarette smell. You can even use a candle when you?re cutting onions to stop the onion fumes from making you cry.

4. Smooth Operating Wood Frames

Wood windows and dressers that stick are a serious inconvenience, but a candle has the cure you need. Rub the candle over the areas where the wood pieces move. The wax coats the wood and allows it to move smoothly. This is an age-old method for dealing with sticking drawers, and it still works.

5. Invisible Ink Projects

Let the kids have some fun with secret messages. Using a white candle, they can draw an image or message. The recipient can then cover the paper with watercolor paint to reveal the hidden information.

6. Banish Wood Dents

Dents in wood furniture are an eyesore, but you don?t have to live with them. Rub the wax candle over the dent and let the wax fill in the space. It effectively fills the dent without any stripping, sanding or refinishing required.

7. Fix Shoelaces

Shoelaces that are missing the plastic caps on the ends will continue to fray and come apart. However, you can stop the trend by dipping the ends in melted candle wax. You?ll have to repeat this process as the wax wears off over time, but it?s cheaper and faster than replacing the laces.

8. Zipper Repair

If you have a zipper that?s sticking, then a candle can help you. Metal zippers can start to bind, but all they really need is some lubrication. With the zipper open, rub the candle along the teeth and then see how much more smoothly it operates.

9. Stop the Squeak

If you have a squeaky door, then you might reach for an oily lubrication. However, a candle will work just as well. All you have to do is rub the candle over the hinges to coat the surface and quiet the noise.

10. Hold Pens and Pencils

If you have a decorative candle that needs a more functional use, turn it into a pen and pencil holder. Just put holes in the sides and along the top to easily slide your pens into place.?Candles are still an important part of our lives. While they aren?t typically used as task lighting anymore, they?re still an important tool that can be used in several other ways. From holding pens and fixing zippers to invisible ink and waterproofing labels, you?ll find that candles can help you out around the home in several ways.

Kathy Cameron is a work from home mom. She often writes about great DIY home tips. Here are her tips about various use of candles.