Archives for February 2015

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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!