Archive for the 'Giveaways' Category

Happy National Play-Doh Day

National Play-Doh Day

Sept. 16 is National Play-Doh Day

There are certain must-haves for every mother of small children. When you have an infant, I highly recommend Gripe Water to settle upset tummies and a Swaddle Designs swaddling blanket for hours of sleep. Once you get past the baby-stage, you only need two things to make a child happy: sidewalk chalk and Play-Doh. And in honor of this year’s National Play-Doh Day on September 16, I am happy to share my favorite Play-Doh memories:

  • The smell of a freshly cracked can of Play-Doh takes me back to my childhood. I always volunteer to be the official Play-Doh-canopener of our family.
  • When I was a little girl, I would sit at the kitchen table with my grandma and cousin creating Play-Doh art. Then we played a game where we had to guess what each other had created, and the first person to guess won a point! I can vividly remember trying to make my creations more interesting and challenging to stump my fellow artists.
  • Once my husband and I had a child who discovered Trick-or-Treating, our family decided to hand out mini Play-Doh cans at Halloween instead of candy. The best part is that the neighborhood parents were thrilled for a break in the candyfest, and the kids were equally excited for a unique Halloween treat.
  • AND, those mini-cans were perfect dining companions for visiting restaurants with a youngster. We would fasten a disposable placemat to the table, hand her a can of Play-Doh and let the kid create. She was entertained, and we were able to enjoy a meal.
  • Of course, the best memories I have are the recent ones with my young daughter. We have spent hours playing ice cream shop with Play-Doh. Did you know that pink Play-Doh makes the best “ice cream” flavor. Bonus points for silver “sprinkles.”
  • My favorite memory? Play-Doh comes with endless imagination, giggles and smiles.

Thankfully, the fine folks at Play-Doh want everyone to celebrate today’s holiday, so I have a Twirl-n-Top Pizza Shop to award one lucky reader! Just share your favorite Play-Doh creation in the comments section below, and one winner will be selected at random on Friday 09/23.  To be eligible, you must have a non-P.O. box shipping address and live in the Continental United States.  And if you don’t win, you can buy one HERE.

– LTV Mom

The words, opinions and thoughts represented in this post are mine, and I did not receive compensation for writing this post. The giveaway prize is provided by Hasbro.

Photo Credits: Hasbro

My German Chocolate Cake “Throwdown”

Bobby Flay's "Throwdown"

Bobby Flay

I made birthday cupcakes for my husband’s office just after we moved to California 16 years ago. My husband requested German chocolate cupcakes, which is one of my favorites desserts. I happened to be very busy at work at the time, so I opted for (gasp!) store-bought frosting. The cupcakes tasted horrible, so I made an emergency call to my mom asking for Grandma’s recipe for German chocolate cake frosting. And the rest, as they say, is history.

My grandma passed down the best coconut-pecan frosting, the technical name for German chocolate cake frosting, ever. I have since made it dozens of times for my friends in California, happily sharing a nugget of my German-Czech-Midwestern upbringing.

Now for my dirty little secret: I have always used a cake mix. I know, it’s embarrassing. I simply thought the frosting was so delicious the actual cake could never hold a candle, so there was no need to bother. And then, I saw the light…

On a typical Sunday night, I was watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. But this episode was especially intriguing. Bobby was on the war-path to make the best German chocolate cake ever, and he wanted to beat the famous “Make My Cake” bakery in Harlem, New York City. Bobby’s Throwdown was my inspiration to create the ultimate cake to support my grandma’s coconut-pecan frosting.

Since that episode aired, I have been on a mission to make a cake that can hold a candle to my grandma’s delicious frosting. Once I have that magical recipe figured out, I’ll write again, but I doubt I will ever share my grandma’s recipe for the frosting. It’s just that good.

In honor of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, the title of famous show and his new cookbook, I am giving away a copy of the cookbook to one lucky reader. Write a comment below to be entered to win the prize. Share your favorite German chocolate cake recipe to be entered twice. The good folks at the Food Network will mail a copy to you, and you can cook more than 100 recipes from his shows, from meatloaf to matzo ball soup. Deadline for entry is November 12, 2010; entries from the U.S. and Canada only. Make sure you leave an email address, so I can notify the winner.

Good luck and happy cooking!

– LTV Mom

About Bobby Flay’s Throwdown: Are you ready? Every week on Throwdown!, celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay goes head-to-head with cooks who have staked their claim as masters of an iconic dish—buffalo wingschicken cacciatore, or sticky buns, for example—even though he may never have cooked these things before. The results are always entertaining—and delicious. In his first-ever cookbook collaboration with Food Network, Bobby shares the recipes and fun from his popular show.

The ultimate companion cookbook to one of America ’s favorite food shows, Bobby Flay’s Throwdownlets home cooks and fans in on the action, featuring favorite Throwdownmoments and behind-the-scenes peeks alongside beautiful, all-new color food photography created just for this book. So if Bobby Flay ever strolls into your backyard asking “Are you ready for a Throwdown?” you definitely will be! Get your copy today at

Photo Credit: Food Network

Note: The prize is provided by Food Network. I volunteered to write this post, without compensation. The words are mine and unedited.

Activeion: I finally have my “Green Machine”

Activeion: My Green Machine

Activeion: My Green Machine

When I was a little girl, I really wanted a Green Machine to ride around the block with my friends. Do  you remember those funky tricycle-like toys?  I had a Big Wheel that I rode for hours and hours, but those Green Machines looked so darn cool.  Alas, I never got one.

However, a few weeks ago I attended an event with Bill Nye the Science Guy who introduced me to a new kind of Green Machine… and this one is pretty cool too. It’s also environmentally friendly and my four-year-old loves to play with it. I am talking about the Activeion (pronounced Active-Ion) cleaning solution.

Those of you who know me can stop laughing now.  I am not the uber-domestic type and I rarely (never?) talk about cleaning products. (After all, I hired a house-cleaner as soon as I could afford one, and I would lose my mind without her!)  But, I am going to tell you about this particular cleaning product since I believe in its benefits and  purpose.

After both fathers died of cancer within seven short months,  my husband and I decided to do whatever we can to create a clean and green home for our family.  We no longer cook with a microwave, we use chemical-free laundry detergent, we wash with plant-based soaps and shampoos, and we eat organic food whenever possible.  We have tried some “green” cleaning supplies… some good, and some not-so-good. Needless to say, when the folks at Activeion invited the moms from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog to discover a healthier way to clean our homes, we were all ears.

Now, what I am about to tell you will blow your mind. The Activeion will clean your home, and practically eliminate germs and bacteria, using tap water. Of course, it took someone like Bill Nye to explain how it works.  My husband (who, along with Bill, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering) was in love with the concept.  Here’s what I heard:

You fill the container with normal tap water, blah blah blah, electric charges flow through the water, blah blah blah, water grabs dirt, blah blah blah, water grabs germs, blah blah blah, windows are clean without streaks, blah blah blah, your house is clean without chemicals.”

I was sold. Of course, I took an Activeion home and “played” with it. (It lights up green when you use it!) I cleaned everything from my windows to my car to my toothbrush holder. Everything is clean, and there is not a chemical in sight.

So, there’s my pitch. I highly recommend you visit the Activeion Web site and check out the video that explains how it works.  (Trust me, Bill Nye does a much better job than LTV Mom!)

ALSO, amazingly enough, the team at Activeion is giving an Activeion cleaner to one lucky LTV Mom reader!  Please go to the comment section and share your best tip for keeping a clean and green home!  I will draw one lucky winner at random on Monday, June 23.  Yep, one week to share and enter.

You also can click HERE to order an Activeion, and you too can have your very own green machine!

– LTV Mom

LTV Dad, Bill Nye, LTV Mom

LTV Dad, Bill Nye, LTV Mom

Celebrate National Reading Month and Win a LeapFrog TAG Prize Pack

Leapfrog's 1 Million Reading Hours Pledge


Even though I blog about mindless television and working too much, I truly love and cherish reading.  I read magazines and newspapers daily, devour books when I can, and read to my four-year-old daughter daily. Equally important, I am the proud sister of a public high-school teacher and her principal husband.  Therefore, I jumped at the chance to work with LeapFrog to promote reading across the country.

The good folks at LeapFrog are working with the National Education Association (NEA) to promote National Reading Month which is held in March. LeapFrog and the NEA created the Leapfrog 1 Million Reading Hours campaign to encourage families to spend more time reading together, with the national goal of reading for 1 million hours this month.  Here’s how you can help us reach our goal.

If your family is like ours, you already spend time reading to your child daily. This month, we want everyone to pledge reading at least 10 minutes every day to help achieve our goal of reaching 1 million reading hours, all to underscore the importance of shared reading time with your family. You can pledge to read to your child for 10, 20 or 30 minutes each day, and you’ll receive a printable certificate, reading calendar and coupons good for discounts on LeapFrog products at your favorite retailer or online at Amazon.

Leapfrog, showing dedication to the cause, is offering one lucky LTV Mom reader a LeapFrog TAG Reading System with 5 amazing TAG books along with an expanded-memory LeapFrog TAG Reading System with 10 books to donate to your local library. My family has a TAG Reading System, and we love it.  It would be an honor to share this gift with you.  Here’s how you can enter:

  • Visit the 1 Million Reading Hours site and pledge to read at least 10 minutes a day to your child.
  • Return to LTV Mom and leave a comment below telling me how much time you pledged to read each day.
  • I will randomly select from everyone who left a comment, and Leapfrog will send one winner the LeapFrog Prize pack, along with the donation for your local library.

If you want to increase your chances to win, you also can enter the following ways:

  • Blog about the LTV Mom giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your post on this site.
  • Follow me on Twitter (@StacyLibby) and leave a comment on LTV Mom with your Twitter handle.
  • Add LTV Mom to your blogroll and leave a comment with the URL of your blog.

Leave a separate comment for each entry and make sure at least one of your entries contains a valid e-mail address so I can find you.  This giveaway will be live until March 31, 2009. I will randomly select the winner from all the comments on April 1.

I admire and respect LeapFrog’s efforts to work with its community to promote reading. And I really can’t believe the generosity toward LTV Mom readers.  Happy reading!

– LTV Mom