5 Simple Ways to Indulge Yourself for Valentine’s Day

Valentines-DayTraditionally, Valentine’s Day is for sweethearts — it feels good to do something nice for our loved ones, but sometimes we need to do something for ourselves, too. We deserve it! So while you’re planning a sweet day for your sweetie, don’t forget to take care of yourself. here are 5 simple ways to indulge yourself for Valentine’s Day.

Girl, Interrupted We go, go, go seven days a week — it’s time for you to stop and take a breather. If you haven’t tried it, meditation is good for shutting out the day-to-day noise and give your brain a break for ten minutes. It may seem a little new age-y, but it helps you focus on the present, reduces stress and cuts down on negative feelings. No one wants to feel angry and anxious on Valentine’s Day!

cozy-catShaggy Snuggles Cats and dogs welcome us home and make our homes a little more loving, but cuddling up with your pets has health benefits, too. The American Heart Association claims they can do your body good by lowering your risk of heart diseases as well as your cholesterol. Dogs and cats are worth all the work and upkeep just for their love, but keeping us healthy is a pretty big bonus.

Embarrassing Indulgences Read the tabloids. Find out who’s wearing what to the Oscars. Listen to boy bands, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift. Dance and get silly. Watch romantic comedies and get lost in the boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-chases-girl-and-wins-her-back-with-a sugary-sweet-fairy-tale-ending. Do the things no one else knows you like to do (and that you’re a little embarrassed about).

Get Your Hands Dirty Crafting and artistic challenges are not only fun, they also have psychological benefits. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, making art helps people focus on positive experiences and increases self-worth. Not only will you be creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake, but you’ll feel better about yourself while you’re making it.

ChocolateSweet Sensations We love chocolate. It’s the treat of all treats! Not only does it taste awesome, but, if you get the dark chocolate, it’s good for your health, too! Chocolate has antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of heart disease — among other benefits. While you’re losing yourself in that sweet, velvety chocolate bar, you’re also undoing any damage you might have done with that bag of potato chips.

While you’re planning Valentine’s Day, take a little time treat yourself. Remember that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

Valentines-DayWe know Valentine’s Day for its hearts, flowers and chocolate, but there’s more to it than just gifts and candy. It had a long and rich history of love centuries before greeting cards became an industry. Here’s a brief history of Valentine’s Day.

The Man Behind the Holiday Valentine’s Day has a long history, but the popular theory traces it back to Saint Valentine.  He was a Roman bishop who performed marriages for soldiers and their sweethearts when it was forbidden. The good deed did not go unpunished — he was jailed for the act, but it was in his jail cell that the valentine as we know it was born. He sent a letter to his jailer’s daughter signed “from your Valentine.”

Valentines-DayA Day of Love Several hundred years later is when the idea of love wrapped itself around Valentine’s Day. The poet known for the The Canterbury Tales — Geoffrey Chaucer — wrote a poem in the 1300s called Parliament of Fowls in which he made a direct connection between Valentine’s Day and love:

“For this was on Saint Valentine’s day, // When every fowl comes there his mate to take, // Of every species that men know, I say, // And then so huge a crowd did they make, // That earth and sea, and tree, and every lake // Was so full, that there was scarcely space // For me to stand, so full was all the place.”

Valentines as We Know Them Those heart-covered cards we give every year have roots in late 18th century England. The Young Man’s Valentine Writer was created with little rhymes and cute couplets for people who weren’t able to express their love in words. These cards were popular, but another 40 years passed before these valentines were massed produced and the Royal Mail Service made sending cards affordable to commoners with the Penny Post.

Valentines-DayModern Day Fun Facts Though most kids hand out valentines to their classmates, they are not included in the 145 million cards sent for Valentine’s Day each year in the United States. It’s second only to Christmas for the most cards sent to honor a holiday, according to According to the Greeting Card Association. But going beyond the card, people didn’t start giving gifts for Valentine’s Day until the 1900s and even then, diamonds didn’t become a popular gift for the holiday until the 1980s.

Whether it’s jewelry or a stuffed animal you want to give your sweetheart, shop LTD Commodities for gifts and ideas as unique as your valentine.

Valentine’s Day: 5 Ways to Show Your Dog a Little Love

puppyEverywhere you turn, our winter landscape is peppered with hearts and cupids to remind us to show a little love. For Valentine’s Day, that love doesn’t have to be romantic love — we can express our affection for everyone we care about — including our cuddly canines. If you’re looking for ideas to show your pup appreciation, here are 5 ways to show your dog a little love.

Dog Doctor We know we need to go to the dentist and the doctor regularly — even when we feel OK — just to make sure everything is working properly and to maintain good health. Our furry friends need the same kind of healing attention, particularly since our pups can’t tell us if they’re stomach is upset or they have aches and pains. Vets see all types of animals every day so they can hear, see and feel the things that are off that pet owners can’t. A trip to the vet once a year as the Humane Society recommends may save you money with preventive care and save your pup undue pain.gnawsome

Husky Hound Just like humans, to stay healthy between doctor visits, dogs need to eat right and get lots of exercise. Your vet should be able to tell you just how much and what kind of food your dog should be eating to maintain a healthy weight. At home, just do your duty by letting your pup get the kind of running in that he wants to do. If you have a dog that isn’t into exercise, don’t force him to take long walks — do as much as necessary and use treats as incentives to get him to walk a little bit longer. If that doesn’t work, try engaging him in activities he likes — maybe he just wants to play tug of war; that’s ok as long as he gets in some activity. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to prevent health problems like heart disease and arthritis.

Canine Comforts We all love a little pampering and so do our pups! Indulge your dog in a few cuddly items to keep him warm on a winter day. A cushioned pet bed keeps him comfortable and a new toy keeps him company. Dogs are known to get attached to things the way humans do — letting them do that with their special toys is just a way we show them we care.

pup-padDog Dousing We don’t like to be dirty. Daily showers are a habit humans don’t want to give up. Dogs feel the need to be clean, too. Even though they’re equipped to clean themselves, it’s good to give them help every once in awhile to get rid of matted fur, dead skin and anything lurking in their coats that they picked up outside. Taking him to the groomer is an efficient way to get your dog clean. Groomers are trained to handle dogs when they’re uncomfortable and you don’t have a mess to clean up at home. However, doing it yourself is fine if you know what you’re getting into. Either way you do it, The American Society to the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) recommends getting your dog cleaned up every three months.

Frolicking Fidos By nature, dogs like to be around other dogs — they’re pack animals. Setting up playdates with other dogs and going regularly to the dog park where his friends are shows him your love by letting him do the things he loves. Not only that, but getting him out playing with other dogs and people helps him socialize and learn to behave outside the home.

Anyway you show your pup love this Valentine’s Day, let LTD Commodities help! We have ideas and products to make your dog feel special every day of the year.

Items We Adore: Product Picks for Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air! If you haven’t seen any hearts and cupids popping up, you will soon! Valentine’s Day is approaching and, though it’s a day typically dedicated to romance, we can show our love for our family, our homes and ourselves on February 14. So with that in mind, we put together a list of products filled with love that we think you’ll like. Here are this week’s Items We Adore: Product Picks for Valentine’s Day.heart-wreath

Country Hearts Wreath or Garland is the perfect finishing touch for your country home. Both pieces are made of grapevine branches accented with gingham bows, red and cream polyfoam berries and wooden cutouts bearing words of love. Garland, approx. 60″. Wreath, 15″ x 14-1/2″.street-scene

NEW! Add a personalized touch to this street scene wall art to create the perfect gift for an engagement, wedding or anniversary! The romantic black and white image by artist Scott Kennedy features the couple’s names as part of the artwork. The lovers’ embrace and the red heart work together to create a sweet scene. It’s a special gift that can also be ordered with your name and that of your significant other to hang in your own home. Maximum of 15 letters per name. Wooden block mount is a contemporary and frameless way to display a print. Comes ready to hang.heart-charm-bracelet

NEW! Give a gift you know she’ll cherish with a Personalized Five Hearts Name Bracelet. The beautiful bracelet is designed to be engraved with the names of her loved ones. One side of each heart-shaped charm features a single name (up to 9 characters), and the other side contains a list of all the names on the bracelet. Every bracelet comes with 5 charms. If you don’t have 5 names, the front of the extra hearts will be left blank. The bracelet has a hook clasp. Bracelet, 7-1/2″L. Charms, 3/8″ dia., each. Metal.heart-candle-box

 

Wooden Tea Light Candle Box lights up a table or shelf with country sensibility. Each of the 4 glass tea light cups has its own compartment in the box. Light from the flame shines through the themed cutout. Decorative rope handles and a distressed finish add an extra rustic touch. Box, 13-7/8″ x 4″ x 3-1/2″. Candle cups, 3-1/8″ x 2-3/4″ dia., each.heart-gloves

These Kids’ Fleece Text Gloves with Zipper Pocket keep hands warm while operating a touch screen. A zipper pocket on top of each glove is great for holding important items like a house key, money or a note for school. A special fabric on the tip of the thumbs and index fingers is what makes it possible to use a mobile phone or tablet. One size fits most. Polyester. Imported.

 

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.

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

Happy Valentine?s Day! The day of love is here, so how could we not focus on our favorite fun and romantic items today? We really hope that you aren?t scrambling for gifts and ideas this morning, because you should already have everything wrapped and ready for a big night ahead! Here are some of the great items we?re using today for a romantic evening, or gifting to our loved ones tonight.

owl always love you!Give a Hoot Sentiment Wall Art

We all know that owls are adorable, and these cute sentiment?wall art?pieces are a great gift for your significant other, your kids, or your fun-loving parents. We love these as gifts for ourselves too! Choose from ?Owl Always Love You,? and ?I Love You To The Moon and Back.?

Marla Rae Wedding Frames

This creative Love Frame is a great gift for the newlywed couple still trying to frame a few of their wedding pictures! It?s a really unique way to display any 8×10 photo?at home. We really love this one as a gift for your sweetheart no matter how long you?ve been married. You can choose from the sign language LOVE or the hands making a heart for whichever fits your home best.

Kitchen Krumblers Apple Cinnamon Dessert Candles

What better way to set the mood than by turning off the overhead lights and lighting a few scented candles? We love the soft glow of the flickering candlelight and the amazing scents available with the Kitchen Krumblers Dessert Candles! Who needs to make cinnamon apple pie when you?ve got casino online these amazing candles?

Simmering Fragrance Chips and Warmer

Not into the whole flickering candlelight thing? Many of us have young kids and pets wandering around the house, so an open flame just isn?t going to cut it! You can still have the beautiful scent of candles for a romantic evening without the actual flame with these simmering fragrance chips and warmer! You can even trick your loved ones into thinking you?ve baked oatmeal cookies with their Oatmeal Cookie scent!

LOVE Sheets Sets

Seasonal sheets are such a fun way to spruce up the bedroom, and we are digging these adorable LOVE sheets sets for young girls this February! Pair it with an ombre pink comforter, or even a white duvet to keep the pink a little more muted. Fun and funky!

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes Beauty Sets

We love these adorable Peace, Love, & Cupcakes sets of lip-glosses, shower gels, or body mists for the young girls in our lives. These beauty sets are our go-to gifts for nieces and daughters this Valentine?s Day, and we?ve even seen girls split them up to pair with a Valentine?s Day card for all their female friends. You can get a single pack, or grab the whole bunch!

If you see something here you love – you can always order it to give as a late gift, or pack it away for next year”s Valentine”s Day!

Popular Pins: LTD?s Favorite Pins From January

It?s that time again ? the Pinterest Pins roundup! While we spend time recovering from the holidays and reinventing our live with New Year?s Resolutions, many pinners already have their eye on Valentine?s Day and spring-related items. We?ve got a list of many favorite and popular pins from January, just in time for the month of love!

Gourmet Valentine?s Day Apples

apples vday

Starting off with a bang, these Gourmet Valentine?s Day Apples are a great gift for loved ones, family members, kids, and even coworkers this Valentine?s Day! Let your kids bring them to school for their teacher ? the absolute perfect gift. These Granny Smith apples are coated in caramel and then dipped in either fudge or white chocolate and decorated with icing and sprinkles. They?re the perfect balance between healthy and sugary for adult Valentine?s Day treats, and they?re only going to grow in popularity between now and February 14th, so be sure to check them out now!

 

 

Handprint Heart Charms

charm

Are these adorable or what? These great handprint heart charms for a charm bracelet are popular as Valentine?s Day gifts for kids, and they?re available with all twelve birthstones to match your child?s birth month. You can also let them choose the gemstone based on their favorite colors instead of by their birth month. It?s a great way to let your kids know you?re thinking about them all day long ? and that they?re your TRUE Valentines! We?ve got all options in stock over at LTD Commodities, so check them out today!

 

 

 

Sleep Tite ? Sheet Sets

sheetsTaking a break from the Valentine?s Day pins, these Sleep Tite sheet sets are very popular for when you?re making the switch from warm fleece and flannel sheets to cool and comfortable materials for spring. These unique sheets are made to fit any mattress and stay in place no matter how much you toss and turn throughout the night. The 300-thread count and silky smooth material makes for the perfect lightweight sheet set that will stay put all night long! They?re great for both thick pillow tops and thin, firm mattresses. Just like our pinners, you?ll love these comfortable, practical sheets ? in four sizes and three colors!

How to Send the Perfect Gift from LTD

send-a-giftGift giving can be easy for some in your life and with others; it can be quite the challenge. Shopping with LTD, we have made it easy for all! Not only as you view our vast selection of items online, you can mark your favorites to go back to when you are ready to submit your order.

Need help to prepare for shopping? Here are some handy tips to get you going.

Make a list of names
Put the hardest person to buy for on the top of the list. This way you will get the toughest gift out of the way and the rest of your gift buying will be smooth sailing.

Determine a price range
If you have a price limit in a group you are buying for, stick with it. Sticking with the agreed price range will make the exchange fair.

List any favorite hobbies
Hobbies can include teams, colors, and collectable items that you know each person likes. This will make your time shopping fun and easy.

Personality has it
Do they like to travel or would they rather enjoy time off at home? These are a few of the things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect gift.

Shopping for kids
If shopping for a child, be sure to find out what may be allowable or not with the parents first and then find out the child’s online slots likes or dislikes.

Fun with family
For those goofy family members or the ones that seem to have it all, there are always unique items to choose from in our catalogs.You’ll find the perfect fit in no time!

This-is-a-giftYour gift item(s) selected and you are ready to send.  We can make shipping for you easy as well.  As you check out, you can select “This is a Gift” box and even send a very special message to your gift recipient. There are 140 character spaces allowed to enter your personal message. Send that special thought or make it short and sweet. Either way, a gift is a special thing from a special someone and that someone is you!

Image Credit: friscomaids.net

The Real Story of Santa Claus

Santa-ClausDid you believe in Santa Claus when you were a child? Yes?

OK, how about now? As an intelligent and well-educated adult, do you believe in Santa Claus now? Certainly not, you say?

In that case, you might be interested to know that the younger version of yourself – the version filled with the wonder and magic of Christmas, and blessed with the wonderful innocence of childhood – that version of you was correct. And the current version of yourself – the wise and worldly version that knows there’s really no such thing as Christmas magic – that version of you is wrong.

Because in fact, there really is a Santa Claus – or at least there was.

A Man Morphs Into a Myth
Santa is a man of numerous names. One of those names you’ve probably heard many times – jolly old Saint Nicholas. That version of Santa Claus is quite real, because there really was a Saint Nicholas. And he helped to inspire the modern-day myth of Santa Claus.
Nicholas was born into a wealthy family late in the third century A.D. in the Greek colony of Patara. He became a bishop of the church in Patera, where he served until his death in the middle 4th century A.D.

But there’s a legend associated with Nicholas that eventually led to his canonization as a saint. And it also led to the modern-day character of Santa Claus.

The Birth of Santa Claus
Nicholas inherited great wealth from his parents. As a young man he gave away much of that wealth, but there are different versions of just how he did that.

According to one version, Nicholas encountered a man who was down on his luck. The poor man had been wiped out financially, and as a result he was unable to provide a dowry for his three daughters.

But Nicholas came to the rescue. By the dark of night, Nicholas crept up to an open window of the man’s house, and tossed 3 bags of gold inside – a bag for each daughter.
And as one popular version of the story recounts, each bag of gold happened to land in a stocking or a shoe arranged along the fireplace mantle – the root of the Christmas tradition of stuffing stockings with gifts.

Saint Nicholas Becomes Jolly Old St. Nick
As so often happens, the passage of time magnified the legend of Nicholas. He became known worldwide as a protector of children and a giver of gifts. In time, a day was set aside in many regions to honor him: St. Nicholas day. Much of the world celebrates this day in early December, and marks the occasion with the tradition of giving gifts to children.
For many centuries, the Dutch have celebrated St. Nicholas day on December 5. According to long-standing legend, it’s on this day that St. Nicholas re-appears and bestows gifts upon all well-behaved children.

And the Dutch name for St. Nicolas? Sinterklass – known to you as Santa Claus…

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus…
Parents of young children often struggle with the concept and legend of Santa Claus. After all, most parents wish to be honest and forthright with their children.

But Santa Claus is such an integral part of the magic of Christmas, particularly for young children. And few parents wish to rob a child of that all too brief and fleeting window of innocent, trusting belief in a kind and benevolent legend.

So if your child climbs upon your knee one day this Christmas season, and asks with hopeful eyes whether Santa is real – just think of Nicholas, who became St. Nicholas, who became Sinterklass, who became Santa Claus, and answer: “Yes, child, there really is a Santa Claus.”

Jason Woodward is Director of eCommerce for ChristmasDesigners.com, a leading supplier of both indoor and outdoor LED Christmas lights and decoration products. Christmas Designers caters to all Christmas enthusiasts, including private homeowners and professional installation contractors. You can also find Jason on Google+

Image Credit: pintaw.com

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