Fun With Paleo


Recipe: Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake has always been a favorite of mind. The sweet, crumbly topping; the excuse to eat cake when it’s not dessert. What more could you love?

Sometimes a new twist on an old classic is just the ticket. This Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake is different enough to make people notice, but traditional enough to still be coffee cake. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, with it’s combination of subtle coffee flavor, wake-me-up citrus and not so much sugar as to make it too sweet.

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake

Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake


    For the Cake:
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder (I like Starbuck's Via)
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1/2 C cold coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 walnut pieces
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 stick butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment and spray with coconut oil
  3. For the topping:
  4. Combine all ingredients and use your fingers to blend in the butter
  5. Try and smoosh the butter so there are different sized crumbs, the largest the size of a lima bean
  6. For the cake:
  7. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl
  8. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl
  9. Whisk the wet ingredients together with the eggs
  10. Pour wet ingredients into the medium bowl with the dry ingredients
  11. Stir until just combined
  12. Pour into the prepared pan
  13. Evenly sprinkle topping and press lightly into the batter
  14. Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The middle might puff up and that is ok.
  15. Cool on a wire rack
  16. When ready to serve, use parchment to transfer the cake to a cutting board
  17. The cake keeps well tightly wrapped up to four days on the counter, a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer


Essentials for the First 24 Hours Postpartum

First 24 Hour Essentials

There are plenty of lists out there for what your newborn baby will need in the first 24 hours, but what about mom? What should every mom have on hand for the first 24 hours after giving birth?  I mean, besides a change of clothes, deodorant and maybe a hairbrush.

As I was preparing to give birth to my second child, I thought a lot about what I wanted to have on hand that first day.  Here is my list of must-haves, and why I think they are essential!

A Gallon of Coconut Water

Ditch the Gatorade and rehydrate with Coconut Water instead.  It is much higher in potassium, a type of electrolyte, and lower in sodium.  Even if you didn’t have Edema (water retention) during pregnancy, you’ll have a lot of water weight to loose soon after.  Sodium can cause you to hold on to that water, leading to higher blood pressure, whereas potassium actually alleviates edema.  And it has more vitamins and nutrients than plain water.

Trail Mix

Especially if you are breastfeeding, you’ll need something to snack on that only requires one hand like Trail Mix.  You’ll also be famished after your marathon birthing session, and sitting down for a big meal might not be on your mind in the first day.  A box of chocolates might be tempting, but having a few nuts in the mix will help you recover more quickly.

Washed and Sliced Fruit

14758107596_52427cd1ea_mLike trail mix, a prepared bowl of fruit is easy to munch on while lying next to your bundle of joy.  It is sweet enough to get your blood sugar back to normal, and helps rehydrate and replenish your system. I also appreciated the distraction of mindless snacking while mentally recovering.  Eating fruit was an activity my zoned mind could handle when I wasn’t sleeping, unlike reading a book or watching tv.

Iron-rich Food

14578394150_fb10c2ce2f_mEspecially if you’ve lost a lot of blood, you’ll want to make sure you replenish your body’s iron to help combat dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms of anemia.  Postpartum Anemia can be a real problem, so you might as well make your first real meal iron rich.  Some women are ready to chow down on a big steak right away, but I opted for Palak Paneer, a spinach and cheese curry.

Adult Diapers

adult-diaperIt might sound like a the punch line to a joke, but I used these during and after my births. If your waters don’t break so much as slowly leak over many hours, you can imagine how handy a pair of adult diapers could be.  I used mine for the first day after giving birth as well, and even stuck an extra pad inside for maximum absorbency and less worry.  The last thing I wanted to do was have to get out of bed to change clothes or sheets because I didn’t change my pad in time.

Chux Pads

chux-padThis might be a 24 hour essential for home birthers, since there isn’t an orderly on hand to clean up, but I suggest it for all moms in the first few days at home.  Unless you are a fan of changing sheets in the middle of the night, I recommend sleeping on a Chux Pad for the first week.  It’s a good backup for your Adult Diaper, and if you don’t douse it with your newly engorged milk makers, your newborn will undoubtedly blowout a diaper or have a massive spit up while lying next to you.

Nipple Cream

nipple-creamAlthough your nipples might feel fine for the first few days, they will get sore; it’s only a matter of time.  I recommend repeated applications of Nipple Cream every time you get a chance in the first days, even if you don’t think you need it.  You will be happy you did.


Smooth Move Teasmooth-move-tea

The first bowel movement after birth can be a scary thing.  I’ve heard some moms say it was worse than pushing!  I prefer Smooth Move Tea to other laxatives because it is delicious. But like other laxatives, you have to take it several hours before it does its magic.

What are your postpartum essentials for the first 24 hours?

Endless Summer Package Review and Giveaway!

Chicago in February might be the last thing that would make a person think of summer, but a little bit of warm weather fun came to our northern Illinois home recently in the form of “The Endless Summer Package” by Idea Village. The package consists of three fun products that definitely bring summer to mind: Hover Ball, Snackeez and Squishy Sand.

Endless Summer Package

Hover Ball

Hover Ball

Hover Ball is by far my favorite of the Endless Summer Package items. It is basically one half of a soccer ball with a smooth, flat bottom. It glides effortlessly across carpeted floors (can be used on hard floors, though doesn’t work quite as well). I have two ball-loving kids and we’ve had a lot of fun playing with this hover ball in our basement.





Snackeez is the first ever 2-in-1 snack/drink cup. There’s an easy to open snack compartment nestled inside a large drink cup with straw. My four-year-old has been carrying this thing around non-stop ever since it arrived and so far she has not spilled any water and on the few occasions I’ve let her put a snack in the snack compartment it has stayed perfectly dry. I can imagine bringing a Snackeez full of ice water and a small snack to the lake or on a road trip.



Squishy Sand

Squishy Sand

Squishy Sand is a lot of fun. It looks like regular sand but because it sticks to itself it’s much easier and more fun to mold and play with and doesn’t make nearly the mess you would expect from having a bunch of sand in the house. My kids managed to get it spread around on the floor eventually, but only after several hours of having it out on the table, being used as a “beach” for various dolls and plastic animals. Squishy Sand is a nice change from the usual play-doh.



Peek-a-Boo Puppy Hat

Another item from Idea Village is the opposite of a summer product, but it has been just as delightful for us. My kids have apparently seen the commercials for Flipeez hats…my neighbors could probably hear their squeals of delight when I surprised them with the blue doggy Flipeez. My 6-yr-old has claimed it as her own and has informed me that the kids at school line up to take turns squeezing the button on the side of the hat to make the dog’s ears open up. Not only is it cute, but our Flipeez is also very warm and well made.


Endless Summer Giveaway!

Win this Endless Summer Package!

To help you get through this long winter, we’ve partnered with Idea Village to give away 5 Endless Summer Packages containing a Hover Ball, Snackeez and Squishy Sand!

You can enter our giveaway up to four times, and the last day of entry is Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015. Entries must be received by midnight, PDT.

Each comment counts as a single entry:

  1. Simply post a comment about what item you think is coolest (squishy sand, hover ball or Snackeez) and you’re entered in our contest
  2. Share any blog post on FB and let us know which one you shared
  3. Follow The Green Baby Guide on Twitter (and tell us about it in another comment)
  4. Like Idea Village on Facebook and let us know in the comments

Remember, each comment you leave (up to four comments) is another entry! Five winners will receive an Endless Summer Package. Open to US residents only.

Teaching tools for social justice



Lately, I have been thinking about how to best teach young children about tolerance and social justice. Their brains are hard-wired to take notice of difference and to generalize and categorize. From what I have seen, kids start to start to pay more attention to gender around age 2 and start noticing differences in race and ethnicity around 3 or 4. It is important that we provide context for those observations. I’m on a quest to find good books that teach children about acceptance of those who are different than they are and taking care of the earth and each other.

So far, I’ve used The Lorax and The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss, and The Big Orange Splot by Manus D. Pinkwater as teaching tools at story time. When we make up stories I try to integrate characters that challenge traditional gender roles, are of different ethnicities and have special needs.  How does your family discuss race and gender? What tools or books do you use? We’d love to know.


And the Waxelene Winner is…

Congratulations to Latanya, our Waxelene winner! And a big thank you to everyone who entered. If you didn’t win this time, check back later this month for another giveaway!

The Petroleum Jelly Alternative

The Petroleum Jelly Alternative

Waxelene is made of Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosemary Oil, and Natural Vitamin E (from soybeans). Not only do they use natural and organic ingredients, but their jars are recyclable glass, the boxes are 100% recycled, and their facility is 100% wind-powered! Find out more about Waxelene on their website.

For those of you interested in buying a tube or jar of Waxelene, you can find a local retailer here. If you’d like to purchase Waxelene while supporting The Green Baby Guide, click on our Amazon Affiliate Link.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

To Spank or Not to Spank

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

Pope Francis has made headlines with his story of a “good father” that chooses to smack his children a bit, but “never in the face so as not to humiliate them”.

I realize that priests are often called upon to give advice to parishioners, but maybe parenting advice is a little out of their purview. Of course, children of his generation were whipped, smacked, and spanked with abandon. Nowadays you can get sent to jail if someone finds out about it, even in the Pope’s home country of Argentina.

Corporal punishment is definitely falling out of favor. Studies suggest that spanking doesn’t correct behavior over the long term, and can erode the trust between children and their parents. It is not, however, illegal in the US. Unless the judge decides the punishment was abuse.  In fact, about 60% of American parents believe in spanking.

If you’re against spanking or would like to enforce discipline without it, there are plenty of books out there that tell you how.

Were you spanked as a child? How do you feel about spanking your own children?

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas and Waxelene Giveaway!

Forget the candy hearts, those are so yesterday! There are plenty of other gift ideas that are bound to bring a smile to your loved one’s face.

Plantable Valentine’s Day Cards

For your Valentine

For your Valentine

These Valentine’s Day cards aren’t just for show. If you plant them in soil, they will turn into flowers! You can get a whole pack to hand out, or a couple just for your sweetheart. Either way, it’s a delightful change from the usual.




Fair Trade Chocolate

Try not to eat it the whole bag at once!

Try not to eat the whole bag at once!

If you’re going to give chocolate, why not make it Fair Trade and Non-GMO? barkTHINS are delicious and come in several different flavors.  I’ve seen the Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt at Costco, or if you’re really in love buy the pack of 6 different varieties (Dark Chocolate Almond; Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed; Dark Chocolate Mint; Dark Chocolate Pretzel; Blueberry Quinoa with Agave; Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut with Almonds)  You can also buy them .



Flowering Plant


Blooms year round!

Flowers are always a safe bet, but why not try something that will outlast the week? A live flowering plant will bloom over and over, reminding your Valentine of your love year round. Trader Joe’s always has a huge selection this time of year, as will any super market.




Waxelene Giveaway!

Win This!

Win This!

To keep your lips kissably soft this Valentine’s Day, we are giving away a tube of Waxelene, a petroleum jelly alternative.

Waxelene is made of Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosemary Oil, and Natural Vitamin E (from soybeans). Not only do they use natural and organic ingredients, but their jars are recyclable glass, the boxes are 100% recycled, and their facility is 100% wind-powered!

You can enter our giveaway up to four times, and the last day of entry is Friday, February 13th, 2015. Entries must be received by midnight, PDT.
Each comment counts as a single entry:

  1. Simply post a comment about the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received and you’re entered in our contest
  2. Share any blog post on FB and let us know which one you shared here in the comments
  3. Follow The Green Baby Guide on Twitter (and tell us about it in another comment)
  4. Visit the Waxelene website, come back and post a comment here on The Green Baby Guide saying what you like best about Waxelene

Remember, each comment you leave (up to four comments) is another entry! The winner will receive a tube of Waxelene. Open to US residents only.

And The DrainWig Winner Is…

Glamor Shot

Glamor Shot

Congratulations to Cindy! She has won herself a package of DrainWigs containing two for the shower and two for the tub.

A big thanks to everyone who entered. We are going to be doing giveaways throughout the year, so please try again next time!

If you didn’t win, and are still hoping to try out this chemical-free hair-clog prevention solution, you can buy your own set using the Promo Code FIZZ5 to get $5 off. That’s just $15 and free shipping!

I know it says to throw the whole thing away, but since we’ll all about being thrifty and reusing, we’re going to try and salvage our DrainWig after it fills up. We’ll let you know how it goes!