The Best Lotion for Dry, Shriveled, Disgusting Hands (and Cute Babies)

My hands look about 100 years old. I never bother to paint my nails or wear fancy rings because I fear any embellishment would simply draw more attention to my flimsy nails and ragged cuticles. I’m also not particularly invested in keeping my hand-skin unblemished and supple. Though my day job includes tapping out stories on a computer and talking about writing in a classroom, by the look of my hands, you’d think I’d been toiling out in the fields. I’m always washing a dish, digging in the garden, or tiling my shower.

Me, tiling my shower, a crazed look in my eye. Also, mortar is murder for the skin.

Check Out My New Blog: Never Adopter

I’ve been busy the last couple weeks setting up my new blog: Never Adopter. According to the tagline, “I don’t believe in cellphones, the internet, or technology.” I rant against cellphones (but decide to get one), get nostalgic for cassette tapes, and otherwise try to adapt to twenty-first century life. Check it out, post a comment, and like Never Adopter on Facebook! I’ll get back to my regular Green Baby Guide posts next week!

Valentine’s Day Heart-shaped Scones

I am too lazy to come up with my own Valentine’s Day recipes this year, so I have decided to outsource it. Check out Gluten-free Gourmand’s gluten-free heart shaped scones with raspberry jam:

Aren’t these adorable? If you aren’t on a gluten-free diet, you can just substitute regular flour for the gluten-free flour and leave out the xanthan gum.

Also, you can make these Valentine’s Day treats without a heart-shaped cookie cutter, which is convenient for some people. I happen to have at least four different heart-shaped cookie cutters in my collection. Would it really crowd the kitchen too much to splurge on a nesting cookie cutter set?

It’s Time for Babies to Wear Their Hearts on Their Diapers

It’s that time of year again. Romance is in the air. What better way to celebrate the day of love than to shower your little cupid with heart-themed diapers and onesies? Yeah, it’s a stretch, but I can never resist an opportunity to find the latest holiday-themed baby bling. Here’s what’s hot for Valentine’s Babies of 2013:


Charlie Banana Red Petit Coeur on Hot Pink ($21.88)

Baby Leggings Hot Pink Ruffles with White Hearts ($6.96)

Bumpkins Keith Haring Grande Diaper Bag Heart ($21.68)

Okay, this is actually a really cool diaper bag! Year round!

Ju-Ju-Be Mighty Be Diaper Bag Sweet Hearts ($45.87)

Be My Valentine Baby Leggings ($6.98)

Do You Still Use Your Drop-side Crib? (And do you have an immobilizer kit?)

We recently got a question from a reader about her drop-side crib:

I have a drop-side crib made in 2004, and the manufacturer does not offer an adaptor kit. I tried to access a link on your website for a kit available online ($10), but it could not display the page. Could you give me the website you have listed?
I searched around, and sure enough, it didn’t seem like anyone was selling a crib immobilizer kit that would work for any crib. All the articles I found said to check with the crib’s manufacturer. If your crib’s manufacturer doesn’t offer one, what are you to do? It’s currently illegal to buy or sell drop-side cribs. We’ve heard people weigh in with different perspectives: Some continue to use their drop-side cribs, others destroy their old drop-sides and buy new cribs for their second children.

Picky Eaters: Born or Bred?

I never thought I’d be the mother of a picky eater. What imbued me with such confidence? Why, I wouldn’t allow it! I’d feed my child normal, adult foods and she would eat them, too. If she whined about it, too bad. I didn’t want to turn food into a power-play, and I didn’t want to have the kind of child who survived on Saltines and gummy worms.

I remember reading a magazine article about a mother who used to be some sort of gourmet city-slicker. Pre-kids, she and her husband would frequent all of the hottest restaurants and try all the newest food fads. She loved food—she was a food writer, for god’s sake! Two kids later, she was eating hot dogs every single night. That will never happen to me, I said to myself. I won’t allow it! NEVER!

Our Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to Manda, Jasmine, and Kat for winning the gluten-free flours of their choice from our Gluten-free Gourmand Giveaway! Your flours should be arriving shortly.

flours from the Gluten Free Gourmand


And congratulations to Alix, who won the wooden toy assortment from our Papa Don’s Toys Giveaway. Alix, I emailed you!

Thank you to the Gluten-free Gourmand and Papa Don’s Toys for sponsoring our giveaways!

Giveaway! Win an adorable wooden baby toy from Papa Don’s

I like to imagine Diana and Garth of Papa Don’s sitting in a snug little cabin next to a wood stove, whittling toys by hand. Their cabin looks like something out of Hansel and Gretel, with a thatched roof and gingerbread walls, protected by gigantic firs and pines. When they’ve polished up one of their hardwood toys–a wobble pull puppy, for example–a team of elves swoops it from their snug little Oregon cabin and delivers it to a deserving young child.

The amazing thing about my story is that it’s all true. I mean, maybe not the part about the gingerbread or the elves, but Diana and Garth really do live in the coastal forests of Oregon, crafting their heirloom-quality toys out of locally-harvested alder. “We make them with joy and hope that they bring countless hours of delight to the children in your life,” they say about their products.

Black Friday Giveaway: Win Gluten-free Flours from Gluten-free Gourmand

When company founder Gina Kelley (my sister!) started eating a strict gluten-free diet six years ago, all she really wanted was a good scone.  After a year of trial and error – and baking scones once a week or more – her No. 1 All-purpose Flour was born. She added more flours and baking mixes to her collection, and earlier this year she opened her flour production company:

Here we are in 2005. Why 2005? Because for some reason I could not find a more recent photo of the two of us. Back then, Gina (left) was contemplating joining the Gluten-free Lifestyle.

Feeding My Family for $129.99: Little Lessons in Frugality

As someone who publicly admits to being cheap to sometimes ridiculous extremes, I wondered if I would learn any new tricks for saving money on grocery shopping during my month of cheap eating. It seems like every time you read an article about saving on food, you hear the same things over and over: use coupons, plan menus, buy in bulk . . . zzz. I’ve posted about some of my unconventional money-saving techniques here on the Green Baby Guide. Here’s my article on Saving Money on Organic Groceries that contains most of my tried and true tips.

During my month of super cheap eating, I got to put most of my old tips to the test. I also learned a few new things. Many of them might be obvious to you but new to me. And some are kind of specific to my situation and the way I eat. But here we go!