No Sunroom, No Problem: How to Create a Sun Space

Sun-Room-Chair

During the warm summer months, most of us want to get out in the sunshine as much as possible. One of the best ways to enjoy the seemingly endless string of sunny days is relaxing on your favorite chair in the sunroom. Yet, for most homes, having a room specifically designed for soaking up sun, heating purposes or to grow plants in the proper light is a bonus, a luxury, something that could be added on to the house, but with a lofty price tag. Fortunately, if your windows face the right way, you can turn any ordinary room into a relaxing sun sanctuary. Here are a few easy do-it-yourself tips on how to create a sun space in your home.

East and West-Facing Windows
Windows facing east or west are usually the best for seeing the sun. If you prefer to enjoy your sun space in the morning, try to find a room with windows facing east. If you’ll be doing your relaxing in the afternoon, try to locate a room with windows facing west. It’s also worth noting that windows facing north are least likely to get the most sun, while windows facing south often receive a strong portion of sunlight throughout the day.

Clear-blue-sky

Optimizing the Windows You Have
Once you have your orientation figured out, it’s time to start crafting your sun space. Because you won’t be adding any windows, you’ll need to optimize the windows you already have to draw in the most rays. Glass can easily be obstructed by dirt and dust, which can take a major toll on the amount of sunlight and warmth you can usher into your room, so the very first step is to thoroughly clean all your windows inside and out.

Carving Out Your Mini Room
In order to make a sun space, you’ll have to sacrifice some square footage. The best way to make your sun space feel like its own room is to create a partition between the larger room and the space near the window. This can easily be done with a freestanding bookshelf or partition. If you really want to make your room feel like a sunroom, you could decorate the walls with repurposed windows or add a vintage door as a divider.

green-plant-in-a-modern-home

Filling It with Furniture
At last your room is divided and starting to feel like an entirely new space. Now it needs some furniture. In the spirit of the sunroom, adding some comfortable seating to relax and bask in the sunlight is a must. With comfortable seating, you could spend time in your sun space doing a variety of activities. Add a small table and a couple chairs to create a sunny café-style lounge, and don’t forget to add some plants and flowers to soak up all the super bright, nutritious sunlight funneling through your clean, clear window panes.

Whether you’re looking for some new furniture to create your partition, in need of some cleaning supplies to scrub your windows or anxious to add some colorful plants to your home, LTD Commodities is the place for you. Check out our selection of gardening essentials, cleaning accessories and outdoor summer furniture.

Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Easter

The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising — that means Easter is on its way! We’re excited for the Easter Bunny’s arrival and we want to be prepared so we picked out a few items to welcome him that we think you’ll like. Here is this week’s Lakeside Selection: Product Picks for Easter.

storytime-bunny

Kids will love watching and listening to this Animated Easter Storytime Bunny tell the classic tale of Peter Rabbit. His mouth moves as he “reads” the words. Squeeze the musical note on his foot to start and stop the story. Requires 3 “AA” batteries. Approx. 9-3/4″H. Polyester and plastic. For ages 2 and up.

lighted-chickLighted Geo Mesh Bunny or Chick makes a cute decoration for Easter and the spring season. It features 15 white lights intertwined in the mesh that makes up its glittered body. Requires 3 “AA” batteries. Bunny, 20″ x 12″ x 3″. Chick, 18-1/2″ x 16″ x 3″. Polyester, foam and metal. Comes ready to hang.

bunny-cake-standWelcome the joy of spring with this collection of delightful critters, eye-catching designs and bright colors.  Display appetizers, snacks and more on the Bunny Cake Plate (10-1/2″ dia. x 3-1/4″H). The Treat Jar (6-1/2″W x 10-1/4″D x 12-1/2″H) gives you quick access to a cookie or piece of candy. The Salt & Pepper Shakers (approx. 1-3/4″ x 2-1/2″ x 3-7/8″, each) are a practical addition to your dining area. Serveware and kitchenware, dolomite. All serveware and kitchenware, dishwasher safe. A Pastel Tablecloth adds beautiful colors for cheery table settings. Cotton. Machine care. Our exclusive 3-Pc. Easter Garland Set features 6 ft. of garland held on either side by 2 sand-weighted polyester bunnies (approx. 11-3/8″H, each). Add a pop of color to your walls the Bunny Ribbon Wreath (13-1/2″W x 24″L) with its wire frame that easily folds for storage. Polyester and metal. Ready to hang. All fabric items, imported.

inspirational-sculpturesBring a fresh, uplifting look to your decor with this Inspirational Word Sculpture. The word is spelled out in block letters and detailed with stitch lines, vines and 3-D birds. A coordinating sentiment is inscribed on one of the letters. Looks great on a table, shelf or mantel. Approx. 9-3/4″W x 5″H. Cold cast ceramic.

 

flower-towerCreate a breathtaking display of beautiful blossoms with this Flower Tower Freestanding Planter. It has room for 30 plants you purchase from your local nursery. An 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. 9-3/4″ dia. x 33-3/4″H. Recycled polypropylene. Easy assembly required.

Learn About Butterflies Day: Fun Facts About Butterflies

ButterflyThe days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising and birds are singing the sweet songs of spring! Pretty soon we’ll start seeing butterflies fluttering around the trees and flowers and,  since, March 14 is also dedicated as Learn About Butterflies Day, we dug up few fun facts about butterflies to get you excited about the season.

Eating and Drinking According to the San Diego Zoo, there are a few ways butterflies get their nutrients. Before they transform from from caterpillar to butterfly, they eat leaves to survive. After they go through metamorphosis and change from a squirmy insect to a beautiful flying bug, they only sip on liquids — juice from fruit, nectar from flowers and sap from trees. Those things give butterflies most of what they need, but they don’t provide minerals, so male butterflies sip water from mud puddles — it’s called “puddling.” They share those nutrients they get from puddles with females during the mating process.

ButterflyAfter mating, when butterflies are ready to lay their eggs, they scope out leaves and plants by tasting them with their feet! If they find leaves tasty enough for their offspring, they’ll lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars will eat the leaves on which they are born and the life cycle begins again.

Flying While we usually just see butterflies fluttering from flower to flower without urgency, they can fly quite fast. Most butterflies fly about 5 to 12 miles an hour, but some skipper butterflies can reach speeds of up to 35 miles an hour! Skippers are a little bit different from other butterflies — you can tell them by their antennae; they look like little crochet hooks.

But butterflies can’t fly all the time — they are ruled by the weather — which isn’t a surprise since we usually only see them during the spring and summer. Temperature is very important in their travels. They don’t take off if the air temperature is less than 55℉ and if their body temperature is less than 85℉.

ButterflyLifespan Butterfly life span varies. The brimstone butterfly lives the longest with an average of 9 to 10 months, but some species live only a week or two. But that is over-simplifying the complicated lives of butterflies. There are many things to consider when calculating the lifespan of a butterfly: how long they’re in the larval (egg) and pupal (cocoon) stages, hibernation, and weather conditions. Butterflies and Moths of North America goes into detail about how long butterflies live.

Defense There are many ways butterflies protect themselves from predators. As caterpillars, they either roll themselves up in leaves or burrow into fruit or wood to hide — some even make themselves look like twigs. As winged adults, they can hide the brightly colored side of their wings and show only the dull side to make them less visible. Some butterflies can even disguise themselves as dead leaves. The more beautiful butterflies — like the Monarch — don’t taste very good to predators — of course one has to die for a predator to learn its lesson, but the death of one beautiful butterfly means many more will survive.

We’re excited about all the life spring brings to our gardens! Butterflies, flowers and birds — we’re working on making homes for them in our yards and The Lakeside Collection has dozens of products and ideas to make your garden attractive for all your favorite critters.

6 Easy to Grow Flowers for Plant a Flower Day

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

March 12 is Plant a Flower Day! Most of the country is still either covered with snow or the ground is too cold to start gardening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start your planting — you’ll just have to start your seeds indoors and transfer them to your flower beds when it’s a little warmer. Of course you’ll have to figure out what you want to plant. We’ve put together a list of 6 easy to grow flowers for Plant a Flower Day so everyone can plant something no matter how green your thumb is.

Sunflowers One of the most impressive flowers to grow from seeds is the the sunflower. They’re generally drought tolerant but require a lot of direct sunlight. They also grow to be quite tall — some can reach heights of 16 feet — so they’ll need plenty of space when they’re transferred to their outdoor home.

sweet-pea

Sweet Pea

Sweet Peas Sweet peas are great because they germinate fast and they bloom early so you can get a little instant gratification in your garden as soon as the sun starts shining. They grow best in cooler temperatures, so you want to start them as early as possible before they shy away from the heat of the summer. They also need a trellis to climb.

Columbine

Columbine

Columbine Columbine are easy to grow, but they’re not made for every climate. They thrive in cooler environments with a lot of sunlight — which is probably why it’s Colorado’s state flower. They can grow in warmer climates, but it’s best to plant them in spots with a little bit of shade so they don’t get too hot.

blanket-flowers

Blanket Flowers

Blanket Flower Blanket flowers have a faint resemblance to daisies — they can add sweetness to any garden. They’re native to Mexico which means they like loose, sandy soil and, after a moist germination period, they like a dry, hot, sunny climate which means they’re drought-tolerant. They also bloom all summer long so you’re guaranteed constant color in your garden.

Veronica

Veronica

Veronica Veronica seeds love sunny spots and can grow well in many types of soil. They bloom all summer long making them a favorite for birds, bees and butterflies! The average germination time is two to four weeks, so right now is a good time to start those inside. By the time it’s shorts weather, you’ll have beautiful blue blossoms in your garden.

Nigella

Nigella

Nigella Nigella flowers are also known as Love in a Mist, which, you will see when they bloom, is an appropriate title. They’re cute little blue flowers framed by whispy fronds similar to fennel. They’re also hardy plants, so they will be around quite a while after you plant them. Their flowering time is relatively short, but when they’re not blooming they have great seed pods that are great filler for dried flower arrangements.

The Lakeside Collection can help you get your garden started! We have outdoor decor and garden ideas to make your every summer minute count.

6 Personalized Presents to Fit Just About Anyone on Your List

Coming up with the people to put on your holiday gift list is easy; making those gifts unique is a different kind of task. We’ve come up with a few items to make each of your gifts exceptional and personal. Here are 6 personalized presents to fit just about anyone on your list.

Personalized-pet-furniture-coverFor the Furry Friend The Personalized Pet Furniture Covers gives a dog or cat owner peace of mind when the pets jump on the couch. The furniture cover protects upholstered sofas, couches and chairs from soil, pet hair and scratches with the personal touch of their beloved pet’s name. The quilted, throw-style cover fits almost any size and style chair, loveseat or sofa.

Personalized-sleeping-bagIndividual Nap Sack This Personalized Sleeping Bag is perfect for sleepovers, camping trips or hanging out in the living room!  Soft and warm, it is sure to keep them nice and cozy. Rolls up and easily fits in the included carrying tote making it convenient for traveling and adding a name to be stitched in makes it practical and personal.

Personalized-pendantPersonal Pendants For your spiritual loved ones, have their names added to the Personalized Cross Pendant for a unique and unforgettable present. The shimmering yet subtle pendant has a cutout cross that can be worn every day or on special occasions.

Adorable Dolls Make this holiday extra special for the little girl in your life with a Personalized Holiday Rag Doll. She’ll love playing with this adorable rag doll with her name or her favorite name embroidered on to the doll’s dress! Dressed in a holiday romper, this doll will make Christmas morning one your little girl won’t want to forget.

Personalized-babyPersonal Pajamas Personalized Infant Long Johns are a cute gift that will keep them cozy. These charming long johns are perfect for taking naps or crawling around the house on Christmas! Personalize the back flap with a name or a cute phrase like “Baby’s First Christmas” to make the season memorable.

Personalized-sibling-tshirtCollectively Cute This Personalized Sibling T-Shirt is a perfect gift for a new big sister or brother, as well as for the new addition to the family! Personalize each with either “little,” “middle” or “big” and the child’s name. It looks adorable and makes a great photo op when siblings wear these shirts together.

The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of other gifts to choose from. Whether you want to make your gift personal or you want to make it practical, we have gifts to suit any personality.

4 Ways to Use Cranberries

CranberriesIt’s November and here at The Lakeside Collection we’re excited about the holidays! While we’re whittling down our gift lists, food and decor are coming together simultaneously — and some of those items are interchangeable, for instance: the cranberry. When they’re ripe, they’re the deep red we think of for holiday decor and winter warmth. They are also native to North America and, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, the Pilgrims learned how to use cranberries for food, dyes and medicine from Native Americans — which may be why we see them on our Thanksgiving tables every year. Cranberries are versatile and festive little fruits. Here are 4 ways to use cranberries this holiday season:

Cranberry Sauce If you have only served cranberries from a can for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you don’t know what you’re missing with homemade cranberry sauce — and it’s just as easy as opening a can.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice.

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let bubble (about 5 minutes). When the cranberries have popped, remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool. This recipe can be made days ahead of your dinner and it can easily be doubled, tripled or cut in half.

Stringing cranberries and popcornGarland Cranberries are very hearty. If you buy them fresh, they can sit in your refrigerator for months after the holidays without spoiling. This makes them great for garland. In addition to the cranberries, all you need are dental floss and a sewing needle. They’re easy to make: tie a big knot at the end of the floss, thread the needle and string the cranberries together. The garland can be as short or long as you want to add holiday flair — use them to decorate the tree, dress up the mantle or brighten the bannister. If you want to add contrast, add popcorn to the mix — alternate between a piece of popcorn and a cranberry. If you’re doing this as a project with kids, don’t let them eat the cranberries. Though they are beautiful little fruits, raw cranberries are extremely tart.

Floating Candles Cranberries float. Putting them in a bowl with water isn’t like putting other fruit — like grapes — in a bowl of water. Though they seem very dense, they sit on the surface of water just like a raft. This makes them the perfect accompaniment to floating candles. All you need are hurricanes or clear glass containers, cranberries and floating candles. Fill the container (about half-way) with water, add a handful of cranberries and then arrange the candle in the cranberries. The cranberries should last about a week. If you have bigger candles you want to use, you can use the cranberries as a base to hold the candle without the water.

Cranberry Bread The holidays mean family will be visiting or you will be visiting family with lots of meals — including breakfast. This a an easy quick bread that’s great for breakfast that’s not too sweet and goes well with coffee (it can also be made into muffins).

Bread:156989366

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Crumble topping (optional):

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 TB cold butter, cubed
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. For the bread, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Combine the egg and milk and add to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moist but still lumpy. Gently stir in butter (do not over mix — it should still be lumpy). Fold in cranberries and nuts

For the crumble topping, combine all the ingredients and mix well. You can mash it with a fork, but it works best if you use your hands. It should resemble crumbly, wet sand when you’re done.

mini-loaf-pansGrease loaf pans — 9 ½” x 5 ½” loaf pans work great, but you can also use min-loaf pans. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness and turn if one side is browning faster than the other. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

With its luscious red exterior and tart, juicy interior, the cranberry is certainly the fruit of the holiday season. With all its flavor and beauty, it’s hard to get sick of the cranberry — but they’re only harvest in the fall so use them whenever and wherever you can now!

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

The weekend is here and it’s time to unwind with a little shopping. We’re keeping it simple this weekend and it shows in our shopping cart. Here’s the Lakeside Selection: our choice of favorite items for the week.

butterfly-string-lights

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.

giant-sunflower

Huge and bright! Giant Sunflower Wall Decor brings cheer indoors and out. The brilliant yellow petals of this large piece of art will enhance the decor of your home. Ideal for a garden wall or patio.

lady-bug-zapper

This Solar Bug Zapper is a decorative piece that looks great while it eliminates all kinds of flying pests. Equipped with a solar panel and an LED light, it is a zapper you can put almost anywhere. It can stand on its metal legs in any sunny spot in your yard. The Bee and Ladybug can be wall mounted with the included hardware. The part that zaps the bugs is well protected by metal, so curious little fingers won’t be harmed.

hematite-rings

MagneHealth Stretch Hematite Ring offers all kinds of potential benefits along with a fashionable addition to your jewelry. This magnetic ring may help with everything from increased energy and focus to an easing of various aches and pains, appetite suppression, and greater overall emotional balance. The elastic inner portion of the ring allows for a comfortable fit, even on swollen fingers or arthritic knuckles. The coated hematite gem has a pearl-like look, and the crystal rondelle accents and silver-plated beads add to its elegant style.

 

Ways a Tray Can Simplify Your Life

Glass-watering-stakesA tray is just a slab of wood with a couple of handles attached to it, but it has so many uses. As a tool for the kitchen or a decorative piece in the living room, a tray adds value to your home. Here are ways a tray can simplify your life in any room of the house.

In-house Green House

On their own, plants add a little life to a room, but together, you create a decorative piece to put on display with a tray. While you create a small exhibit for your plants with a tray as the canvas, it also acts as a receptacle for excess water to give you the benefit of having a plant in the house without the mess.

Entryway

Winter snow or summer rain, a tray for wet boots and shoes in the entryway is a cute way to keep the outdoor elements off your floor. It’s an elegant method of corralling water, dirt and mud around entryways so outside mess doesn’t get tracked into the rest of your home. It saves time on cleaning and floors from damage.

Kitchen

A big party or big pans, a delicately decorated tray makes clean up a little less wet. Use a cute tray to trap water under a dish drying rack. Water pools in the tray rather than on the counter while you tidy up. Delightful designs make clean up less dreary and your counter tops dry.

Living Room

No need for a curio cabinet with a tray for display. Tucked away on a bookshelf or on display on a side table, show off objects you love to collect on a tray. Whether they’re pottery bowls, candlesticks or little jars of sea shells, trays perfectly showcase knickknacks neatly.

Bedroom/Bathroom

Reclaim your counter space and put products in their place with a tray as a vanity organizer in your  bathroom or bedroom. Whether you have countless colors of nail polish or a ton of tubes of hair gel, keep it classy by sorting them with a serving tray. A tray creates a visual flow your products can’t quite pull off on their own.

A tray is a versatile houseware; they’re not just for serving tea and cookies. For living room tablescapes or bathroom organization, wicker or leather, there are many ways to be creative with a tray.

Lakeside Collection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

It’s Friday and it’s time to have fun flipping through the catalog! We’ve picked out the items we love — we think you’ll love them, too. Here is the Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week.

Gnome-garden

Create an enchanting oasis with a Fairy or Gnome Garden Kit. Add the pieces to a container or a corner of a flower bed, select a few plants, and soon you will have a mini garden. Perfect indoors and outside. Adjustable fence can be bent to accommodate gardens or containers of varying shapes.

Parachute

Have more fun at family reunions and kids’ birthday parties with this 10-Foot Outdoor Activity Parachute. There are over 100 great games children can play with these parachutes–including bouncing balls on top or lifting it and running underneath. Promotes cooperation, builds muscles and develops perceptual, cognitive, motor and academic skills. Features 12 evenly spaced handles and a carry bag.

Knot-front-dress

Women’s Knot Front Dress is a flattering outfit for all occasions. The knot and empire waist creates a slim look. The front of the skirt has a graceful overlay. Change your accessories to make this dress casual or more formal.

Towel-Apron

Baby’s Bathe ‘n Wrap Apron Towel is the ultimate shower gift! Extra-large bath towel offers peace of mind to anyone bathing a baby or a toddler. The apron portion allows a mother to wear the towel while keeping her hands free. She then can quickly and safely wrap her child up in one smooth motion. The hood portion of the towel is perfectly placed to fit on the baby’s head. Made of soft cotton and polyester, it’s gentle and absorbent with a tight weave. Order several so you will always have one on hand. Cute embroidery decorates the towel.

Magazine-side-table

Don’t let magazines, newspapers and books overrun your tables and counters. Deluxe Magazine Side Table is an attractive way to end the clutter. Wooden table has a roomy top surface, an open shelf and a bottom shelf with a removable magazine rack. There’s also a pullout drawer with a drink coaster and a place for a remote to make it the perfect table to keep next to your favorite easy chair. The rack keeps periodicals and books easy to find, but it’s simple to take out if you want added space in the bottom shelf.

Pinteresting Picks for March

Hooray for the last day of March! We’re super excited for the change of seasons, and, judging from what Pinterest shows us, our customers are excited for warm weather, too.

Here’s our list of the products most pinned for the month — our Pinteresting Picks for March.

Sidewalk-designerThis Designer kit and 50-Ct. Chalk set brings back memories of hours on the sidewalk and days inside crafting. The Magic Art™ Spiral Sidewalk Design Kit lets kids go beyond the hum-drum hopscotch to create amazing designs on the concrete on the backyard patio or in the front on the driveway.  The wheel stencils help create clever  patterns that will keep kids occupied for hours on sunny days. The Bucket of Chalk features thick bright sticks of pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple and white all in a plastic tub.tipsy-tower

Here’s a new twist on the vertical garden — the Tipsy Tower Plant Stand is an easy and creative way to give height to your garden using your own planters.  It works by sliding the down the bar at an angle, allowing each pot to rest slightly on the one below it, creating a fun, gravity-defying look. 4-Ft. tower can be used in 4 different configurations as the upright tower rod is actually 2 pieces. It’s designed to accommodate 4 or more pots. 2-Ft. tower can be used in 2 different configurations and is designed to accommodate 3 to 5 pots.stove-top-cover

With warm weather on the horizon, there won’t be as much use for the stove top this summer — but the space shouldn’t go to waste! This Wooden Stove Top Cover goes right over the burners giving you more surface area for working with food, cookbooks or whatever you don’t have room for on your counter tops. It’s easy to take off and put back on using the handles.Sliding-bathroom-storage

Everyone has spring cleaning on the brain and one of our more popular Pinteresting Picks helps keep the bathroom tidy. 2-shelf Sliding Bathroom Storage unit makes use of space by adding a shelf to your cabinet while also making access easy by allowing you to slide the shelves in and out as you need. It lets you add more stuff without adding to the clutter.