Little Green Lives

Family lifestyle blog with a hint of green

5 ways busy Moms can help save the worlds Rainforests.

sam Jennings1 Comment

As busy moms, there are so many things which demand our time and attention. If you’re like me you might be thinking there’s nothing you can do in your day-to-day here to help protect precious rainforests and orangutans 5,000 miles away. But there are things we can do. And I want to share with you 5 super easy ways you can help preserve the forests of our planet

Baby-led Weaning- helping babies to love good food from the first bite, great for babies and the environment.

sam Jennings4 Comments

I feel very passionate about encouraging kids to enjoy healthy whole foods. So when considering the options, baby-led weaning was a natural choice for us. We used this method exclusively and very successfully with all three kiddies when they showed signs of readiness at six-months old.

I’m not a ‘nutritionist’, but a Midwife/Mummy. I’ve researched this technique extensively and have previously hosted BLW workshops. Here is my very honest account of the Baby-led weaning process.

New years resolution - Recognise how special the simple moments are in each day.

sam Jennings6 Comments

A new year, a new you, new resolutions, new dreams, new resolve!

 Yet surviving a regular day raising little people can already feel like a huge achievement. No need to add any grand life changing ambitions/resolutions into the mix. So, what if this year you didn’t make any elaborate resolutions? .Why don’t we give ourselves a break from all that and commit only to focus on a few simple achievable things: embracing the present, self acceptance and seeking more enjoyment from the ordinary moments.

12 easy ways for busy mums to go green this Christmas.

sam JenningsComment

There are so many easy ways you can make a difference for the planet. Your actions might even inspire others around you. It’s during the run-up to Christmas that we all grapple with bouts of intense consumerism. So let’s make conscious decisions, be mindful and make good choices. Along with your 12 days of Christmas, here are 12 ways you can help make a positive environmental impact this Christmas...and beyond

Why Making New Mom Friends Can Feel A Lot Like Dating.

sam Jennings9 Comments

Seeking out and creating opportunities to make new friends when your energy levels and, often, your confidence are low can be near impossible.  But we all need to find our tribe! The people who sustain us, inspire us, love us for who we are. We all need our network, our best friends, it’s kind of imperative to surviving the early parenting years.

Making new mom friends can feel like a dating scenario in that we are looking for 'the one'. With all the effort and disappointment along the way as you try to find them. That one Mummy friend who will change your life.

 

7 life changing days for Little Green lives.

sam Jennings17 Comments

In the last seven days two wonderful things have happened to the Little Green Lives family. Our life changing week started on Saturday the 15th of July in the Midwifery birthing centre,  birthing our beautiful baby daughter Wren.  We feel incredibly blessed to be a family of six, with two sons and two daughters. Just a week later our dream of becoming home owners finally came true, we collected the keys and walked through the front door together, the start of a new rural lifestyle and finally a place to put down roots.

Fulfilling our dreams often doesn't come easy, (this has certainly been the case for us) but sometimes the harder you have to work to achieve a goal the more satisfying it is once accomplished. I believe it's healthy to have dreams, they keep us motivated, help us to overcome challenges in pursuit of them, help us to focus our energies and, honestly, when did a little day dreaming ever hurt anyone? 

I love this quote

‘Dreams are unrealistic, impractical, demanding and absolutely essential to living a rich and fulfilled life - Ralph Marston.

For me i've had the same dream for our little family for a long time. If I enjoy a quiet moment and close my eyes I can be right there in amongst it,  I can visualise the scene, feel the emotion it creates inside me.

Let me take you there.

My dream for our little family

The windows are wide open, a cool morning breeze entering the house.

Old magnificent trees, flower beds full of colour and texture, fields of wildflowers, daises and fox gloves visible from every window. The rooms are drenched in sunshine. The kitchen is infused with the smell of freshly baked bread and warm banana muffins.

Photo inspiration by Anna Louise of Experimental Vintage

Photo inspiration by Anna Louise of Experimental Vintage

Open wooden kitchen shelves are home to my thrifted and vintage treasures. Lines of mason jars, full of bulk ingredients, seeds and grains, lentils and beans, occupy the counter-tops. My wicker basket sits on the old kitchen table, full of the mornings freshly picked harvest from the vegetable garden, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and mint for a morning brew of tea.

No noise but children's laughter and the compelling tones of a chorus of morning bird song.

The walls are white,  rooms inhabited by wooden vintage furniture, neutral and earthy tones, a home alive with houseplants and succulents. Our hand collected treasures from our travels around the world decorate the walls, memories a plenty hanging from tiny hooks.

Photo inspiration by Anna Louise of  Experimental Vinatge

Photo inspiration by Anna Louise of Experimental Vinatge

The kids are playing outside, barefoot in the dirt, under a canopy of trees. There are chickens to feed, vegetables and herbs to water, a day of mothering, gardening and baking lies ahead. 

My sweet new baby drunk on breast milk sleeps peacefully in my sling, a soft cheek resting on my chest. My love sipping his first coffee of the day , observing this peaceful scene from a comfortable chair, with a gaze of pure love and happiness.

This scene is perfection for me.

On Saturday we received the keys to our very first home and spent most of the day enjoying it, watering our new garden, watching bunnies run through the trees, and sitting on the back porch being mesmerized by our new view. We still cant quite believe its actually ours.

 

Its going to be a project (huge amounts of hard work, vision and patience are required) to create our cozy nest, put down roots, make memories and explore every inch of our new 10 acre back garden. 

So looking forward to showing you our new home and sharing with you our journey over the next year. The furnishing of the different rooms, sharing pictures of the works in progress, creating a vegetable and herb garden, making paths through an unexplored six acre forest, making our new house our home and journeying towards being sustainable.

Its time to take this Mummy out of the city and begin a simple rural life,  surrounded by nature, living close to the land, soaking up happiness with our little brood under the sun, with dirt under our finger nails, beside the campsfire under a star filled sky. Wish us luck.

I would Love to hear about your dreams, please feel free to share them. Sharing dreams can often feel like you are taking one step closer to achieving them.

Please follow along with our journey on Instagram

Thanks for popping in. 

Sam

Exciting news for Little Green Lives - Baby number 4

LIFEsam Jennings6 Comments

Yes the picture is correct, we are expecting Baby number 4 in July!!!! Even just saying those words now makes me want to do a little happy dance around the kitchen.

I have been so excited to share this post and these pictures with you for weeks. Me and my good friend Stephanie from Magnolia Coasts Photography actually set up this pic back in January, in freezing cold Toronto, if you're thinking the kiddies do look a bit chilly.

www.littlegreenlives/index.php/life

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Overcoming self-doubt: I did it, and you can too

LIFEsam Jennings14 Comments
Little Green Lives Self-doubt
Little Green Lives Self-doubt

Ever wanted something so desperately, believed in it so passionately, but making it happen, taking that gigantic leap, completely terrified you? You’ve worked so hard, you know it’s within reach, the finish line’s just right there but you’re paralyzed with fear down the home stretch. Maybe it’s a new project or business venture, perhaps a diet or a lifestyle change?

I’ve been there. That was me during the 12 months prior to launching ‘Little Green Lives’.

Pushing the ‘Publish’ button one month ago after months of self-doubt was a huge personal accomplishment. I came close to giving up so many times. Ifs, ands and buts consumed me. I was overwhelmed by frustration and a lack of productivity due to major sleep deprivation. I desperately wanted to be a good mum and good blogger, it just didn’t seem possible to do both.

My head spun with ideas and possibilities but as a busy mum, progress was grindingly slow.

Daily I questioned myself about the value of my content. My passion for our family to live and enjoy a simpler, greener life propelled me. But could I write and photograph well enough for others to feel that passion?

Did I have value to contribute to people’s lives? Why would anyone be interested in anything I have to say?

Somehow the past five years of being a stay at home mummy eroded my self-confidence. In my little world I cook, clean, play, grow vegetables and nurture my little people. I feel happy, secure and successful…but communicating my ideas, sharing them with the adult-world made me feel vulnerable.

Overcoming self-doubt

In the face of failure, on the brink of giving up, the words “you got this mama” spoken from someone outside my inner circle pushed me to do some much-needed self-analysis.

My qualifications to blog are limited. My niche is our simple daily lives, my life as a wife and mummy, and my previous adventures as a single woman travelling the world. I set out to write about subjects I’m passionate about, our ordinary moments and that's the secret. This is EVERYTHING. It’s what makes me and the blog unique. My voice, my take on the world.

All I needed to do was suppress fear and sharpen that voice.

Little Green Lives Self-doubt
Little Green Lives Self-doubt

4 Strategies to overcome self-doubt

Here’s what I did (...and still do):

1) Re-define how to measure success.

To avoid failure I re-define success. Does it bring me joy? Have I inspired even one person to try something new and evoke a positive change in lifestyle? Have I learned new skills, met new people? If yes, I’ve been successful. And one month into the blog it’s been an incredible ride.

2) Risk failure to risk success.

 Forget about what everyone else might think of you. Be true to yourself (your blog, your business). Don’t worry how you will be perceived, that holds you back.

3) Just leap, and correct my path on the fly.

Perfection can be the enemy of the good. To begin learning and growing on your journey to success you need to put it out there – whatever it is.

4) Identify and nurture my biggest fans.

In a social media business obsessed with quantifiable results it can be easy to lose your positivity and energy. But these are relationships - close friends, family, new connections to kindred spirits - so the key is quality rather than quantity in terms of interactions to keep you feeling encouraged and confident.

Little Green Lives Self-Doubt
Little Green Lives Self-Doubt

One month on, how’s it going?

When people ask, my reply is ‘I’m just kinda finding my feet, but I love it’. I no longer feel compelled to validate it with numbers. I’m enjoying it, people are responding positively, therefore to me the blog is successful.

It’s been a steep and exhausting learning curve.  Trying hard to find a rhythm to make it sustainable, ensuring it enhances our lives rather than stresses us out. I set myself limits in terms of social media time so I can stay fully present in our lives. I'm learning to prioritize, adjust my expectations and maximize my limited time and energy.

So, what’s your dream? You gonna take the leap? If it fills you with motivation, if it consumes you, you should. It’s definitely worth fighting for.

You got this mama.

Love to hear about your dreams/projects, what you’re scared of? What’s holding you back from fulfilling your dreams? I’d love to read your stories/comments below.

Why not follow along on Instagram to hear about our daily adventures.

Thanks for popping in

Sam

Thanks to my good friend Katia Taylor Photography for these pictures.

How to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and marriage intact

LIFEsam Jennings12 Comments
Little Green Lives- Surving early parenting years with marriage intact
Little Green Lives- Surving early parenting years with marriage intact

Photo by Nolan Dubeau

‘A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other’ by Dave Willis

I texted Jonathan this quote one morning last week after a particularly gruelling night.

Maybe the scene sounds familiar:

You're woken up every 1-2 hours by your youngest child. Your bed has become a revolving door of little bodies, an onslaught of bony elbows and knees all night long. Drunk on sleeplessness, you intermittently argue with your husband about your children’s ‘inability’ to sleep, and fiercely compete for who is the most exhausted.

Our nights have been so bad at times we decided to strike a deal -  let's not discuss by day what was said to each other by night.

Being parents to young children is all consuming and life changing. Often no aspect of the life you once had is recognizable. After meeting all the needs of our children it’s easy to have nothing left in the tank to fulfill the emotional and physical needs of our partners, or indeed ourselves. 

There is little space for spontaneity. Date nights have to be planned weeks in advance. Sex is a matter of endurance (because you’re so bloody exhausted all the time), requiring careful logistical consideration as there are often multiple children wandering the halls.

Communication - prior to children - resembled active listening. But now that’s dissolved into three-word conversations because you’re constantly interrupted. After 9pm you can barely string a sentence together due to complete exhaustion, let alone stimulate each other with something intelligent to say.

Gone are the days of eager anticipation to see each other of an evening. The moment J walks in the door now he’s met head-on with the expectations: what do I need him to do to help me with the kids

Little Green Lives _ surviving the early parenting years
Little Green Lives _ surviving the early parenting years

Photo by Martina Bacigalupo

I love this picture of J and I in the Congo, working on a Fistula Surgery Campaign (before kids). A young dynamic couple in love, passionate about their work and wanting to change the world.

Four years of marriage later, Jonathan and I have added three children to our family and moved homes and continents multiple times. From the sweltering heat of city life in Delhi, India, to the polar ice vortex of a Canadian Winter. And in doing so, we left we our support structures behind.

How to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and your marriage intact. ‘A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other’ by Dave Willis. I texted Jonathan this quote one morning last week after a particularly gruelling night. Maybe the scene sounds familiar: Your woken up every 1-2 hours by your youngest child. Your bed has become a revolving door of little bodies, an onslaught of bony elbows and knees all night long. Drunk on sleeplessness, you intermittently argue with your husband about your children’s ‘inability’ to sleep, and fiercely compete for who is the most exhausted. Our nights have been so bad at times we decided to strike a deal - let's not discuss by day what was said to each other by night. Being parents to young children is all consuming and life changing. Often no aspect of the life you once had is recognizable. After meeting all the needs of our children it’s easy to have nothing left in the tank to fulfill the emotional and physical needs of our partners, or indeed ourselves. There is little space for spontaneity. Date nights have to be planned weeks in advance. Sex is a matter of endurance (because you’re so bloody exhausted all the time), requiring careful logistical consideration as there are often multiple children wandering the halls. Communication - prior to children - resembled active listening. But now that’s dissolved into three-word conversations because you’re constantly interrupted. After 9pm you can barely string a sentence together due to complete exhaustion, let alone stimulate each other with something intelligent to say. Gone are the days of eager anticipation to see each other of an evening. The moment J walks in the door now he’s met head-on with the expectations: what do I need him to do to help me with the kids? I love this picture of J and I in the Congo, working on a Fistula Surgery Campaign. A young dynamic couple in love, passionate about their work and wanting to change the world. In just four years of marriage Jonathan and I added three children to our family and moved homes and continents multiple times (effin crazy). From the sweltering heat of city life in Delhi, India, to the polar ice vortex of a Canadian winter. And in doing so, we left we our support structures behind. It has been exceptionally challenging. When this beautiful picture was taken just before our 3rd baby was born, instead of it being a time of excitement and anticipation our relationship was actually close to breaking point. The busy demands of a young family, Jonathan’s stressful work schedule and no doubt my raging pregnancy hormones had taken their toll. It took all the strength and commitment we had (plus a little marriage counselling) to get us back on track. But we made it. Now 18 months on, and on the brink of another big transition/adventure, we are actually stronger than ever. I was inspired to write this post to share our experiences and the strategies we now use to help nurture our relationship. And also because - if you’re struggling at the moment - it does help to know you’re not alone. 7 ways to help you to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and your marriage intact (when sleep, sex and quality time together can be distant memories.) 1. Re-energise We all need time and space to re-energise so we can function as people and be good parents and partners. Treat each other to a lie-in when possible (you know how amazing it feels when it's your turn) or better still, a few hours off. To be a good lover we need to feel good about ourselves. Motivating and encouraging each other to eat better and exercise more. Feeling good from the inside out for ourselves and each other. 2. Keep things simple Work on making your lives simpler. Less stress benefits everyone. Use the weekends to rest and regroup rather than overdoing it socialising. 3. Reconnect Choose a moment during each day when you reconnect, sit down, and enjoy an uninterrupted conversation, a glass of wine, a time to touch base. 4. Appreciating each other more Being more appreciative and thankful. You both work hard, be it in the home or office. Recognise each other’s efforts. Find small ways to be appreciative. 5. Spending quality time together Set aside one night a week as date night. Banish all the electronic devices and do something you both love. For us it's cooking. Pick a new recipe plus a good bottle of wine, cook up a storm, date night perfection and no baby sitter required. 6. Work as a team Parenting requires teamwork. Laugh in the face of it TOGETHER. Have each other’s backs. Consistency is the key. Continue to communicate, rather than retreat. 7. Get a babysitter Enjoy a date outside the home. It feels so good to head out for an evening or on a sunny weekend afternoon. We splurge, it’s a survival tactic. For three hours every Sunday afternoon. The key to surviving the early parenting years is to nurture (and invest in) a strong, happy, healthy relationship. Love to hear your thoughts about the early parenting years - what tips can you share for keeping things on track? Thanks for popping in
How to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and your marriage intact. ‘A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other’ by Dave Willis. I texted Jonathan this quote one morning last week after a particularly gruelling night. Maybe the scene sounds familiar: Your woken up every 1-2 hours by your youngest child. Your bed has become a revolving door of little bodies, an onslaught of bony elbows and knees all night long. Drunk on sleeplessness, you intermittently argue with your husband about your children’s ‘inability’ to sleep, and fiercely compete for who is the most exhausted. Our nights have been so bad at times we decided to strike a deal - let's not discuss by day what was said to each other by night. Being parents to young children is all consuming and life changing. Often no aspect of the life you once had is recognizable. After meeting all the needs of our children it’s easy to have nothing left in the tank to fulfill the emotional and physical needs of our partners, or indeed ourselves. There is little space for spontaneity. Date nights have to be planned weeks in advance. Sex is a matter of endurance (because you’re so bloody exhausted all the time), requiring careful logistical consideration as there are often multiple children wandering the halls. Communication - prior to children - resembled active listening. But now that’s dissolved into three-word conversations because you’re constantly interrupted. After 9pm you can barely string a sentence together due to complete exhaustion, let alone stimulate each other with something intelligent to say. Gone are the days of eager anticipation to see each other of an evening. The moment J walks in the door now he’s met head-on with the expectations: what do I need him to do to help me with the kids? I love this picture of J and I in the Congo, working on a Fistula Surgery Campaign. A young dynamic couple in love, passionate about their work and wanting to change the world. In just four years of marriage Jonathan and I added three children to our family and moved homes and continents multiple times (effin crazy). From the sweltering heat of city life in Delhi, India, to the polar ice vortex of a Canadian winter. And in doing so, we left we our support structures behind. It has been exceptionally challenging. When this beautiful picture was taken just before our 3rd baby was born, instead of it being a time of excitement and anticipation our relationship was actually close to breaking point. The busy demands of a young family, Jonathan’s stressful work schedule and no doubt my raging pregnancy hormones had taken their toll. It took all the strength and commitment we had (plus a little marriage counselling) to get us back on track. But we made it. Now 18 months on, and on the brink of another big transition/adventure, we are actually stronger than ever. I was inspired to write this post to share our experiences and the strategies we now use to help nurture our relationship. And also because - if you’re struggling at the moment - it does help to know you’re not alone. 7 ways to help you to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and your marriage intact (when sleep, sex and quality time together can be distant memories.) 1. Re-energise We all need time and space to re-energise so we can function as people and be good parents and partners. Treat each other to a lie-in when possible (you know how amazing it feels when it's your turn) or better still, a few hours off. To be a good lover we need to feel good about ourselves. Motivating and encouraging each other to eat better and exercise more. Feeling good from the inside out for ourselves and each other. 2. Keep things simple Work on making your lives simpler. Less stress benefits everyone. Use the weekends to rest and regroup rather than overdoing it socialising. 3. Reconnect Choose a moment during each day when you reconnect, sit down, and enjoy an uninterrupted conversation, a glass of wine, a time to touch base. 4. Appreciating each other more Being more appreciative and thankful. You both work hard, be it in the home or office. Recognise each other’s efforts. Find small ways to be appreciative. 5. Spending quality time together Set aside one night a week as date night. Banish all the electronic devices and do something you both love. For us it's cooking. Pick a new recipe plus a good bottle of wine, cook up a storm, date night perfection and no baby sitter required. 6. Work as a team Parenting requires teamwork. Laugh in the face of it TOGETHER. Have each other’s backs. Consistency is the key. Continue to communicate, rather than retreat. 7. Get a babysitter Enjoy a date outside the home. It feels so good to head out for an evening or on a sunny weekend afternoon. We splurge, it’s a survival tactic. For three hours every Sunday afternoon. The key to surviving the early parenting years is to nurture (and invest in) a strong, happy, healthy relationship. Love to hear your thoughts about the early parenting years - what tips can you share for keeping things on track? Thanks for popping in

Photo by Magnolia Coasts Photography

It has been exceptionally challenging. When this beautiful picture was taken just before our 3rd baby was born, instead of it being a time of excitement and anticipation our relationship was actually close to breaking point. The busy demands of a young family, Jonathan’s stressful work schedule and no doubt my raging pregnancy hormones had taken their toll

It took all the strength and commitment we had (plus a little marriage counselling) to get us back on track. But we made it. Now 18 months on, and on the brink of another big transition/adventure, we are actually stronger than ever.

I was inspired to write this post to share our experiences and the strategies we now use to help nurture our relationship. And also because - if you’re struggling at the moment - it does help to know you’re not alone.

7  ways to help you to survive the early parenting years with your sanity and your marriage intact (when sleep, sex and quality time together can be distant memories.

  1. Re-energise

We all need time and space to re-energise so we can function as people and be good parents and partners. Treat each other to a lie-in when possible (you know how amazing it feels when it's your turn) or better still, a few hours off.

To be a good lover we need to feel good about ourselves. Motivating and encouraging each other to eat better and exercise more. Feeling good from the inside out for ourselves and each other.

2.Keep things simple

Work on making your lives simpler. Less stress benefits everyone. Use the weekends to rest and regroup rather than overdoing it socialising

  1. Reconnect

Choose a moment during each day when you reconnect, sit down, and enjoy an uninterrupted conversation, a glass of wine, a time to touch base.

  1. Appreciating each other more

Being more appreciative and thankful. You both work hard, be it in the home or office. Recognise each other’s efforts. Find small ways to be appreciative.

  1. Spending quality time together

Set aside one night a week as date night. Banish all the electronic devices and do something you both love. For us it's cooking. Pick a new recipe plus a good bottle of wine, cook up a storm, date night perfection and no baby sitter required.

  1. Work as a team

Parenting requires teamwork. Laugh in the face of it TOGETHER. Have each other’s backs. Consistency is the key. Continue to communicate, rather than retreat.

  1. Get a babysitter

Enjoy a date outside the home. It feels so good to head out for an evening or on a sunny weekend afternoon. We splurge, it’s a survival tactic. For three hours every Sunday afternoon.

The key to surviving the early parenting years is to nurture (and invest in) a strong, happy, healthy relationship. (because being together forever is everything).

Love to hear your thoughts about the early parenting years - what tips can you share for keeping things on track? 

To read about our little love story check out this post

Thanks for popping in

Sam

Five quick, easy and exceedingly healthy recipes to wow your friends at playdates; perfect for school lunches too.

LOVE FOODsam Jennings9 Comments
Banana-muffin-3-1-of-1.jpg
Little green lives healthy recipes for playdates - Banana muffins

Little green lives healthy recipes for playdates - Banana muffins

Mmm…what to bake for this morning’s gathering of mummy friends and little people at snack time? Warm banana muffins with crisp crumble topping? Granola bars packed with tri- colour seeds? Or my crew’s favourite - date and coconut cookies?

Despite the morning chaos I try to make a little homemade something before we all leave the house. I love that Theo goes off to school with something warm in his lunch box and Jonathan has a healthy treat to enjoy with his morning coffee in the office.

How does 1 chaotic morning + 3 busy kids = homemade goodies for the road? Here’s the secret:

  1. Tackle only the recipes with dry ingredients you can pre-mix ahead of time

  2. Super quick prep time 10 mins or less.

  3. Maximum one mixing bowl only required (minimal washing up for me is key). Nothing worse than returning home at lunch time to a sink full of dirty dishes.

We take 30 minutes on Sunday nights with a G&T (or two) and fill six or eight mason jars with the dry ingredients for the week’s snacks of choice. Using this strategy, I can make granola bars in less than five minutes!

So if you have a playdate planned, or a school trip, this week you’re going to be ‘that mummy’. (the one in the group known for showing up with warm delicious baked goods).

Five quick, easy and exceedingly healthy recipes to wow your friends at playdates; perfect for school lunches too.

Sure to leave the little people licking their lips and begging for more, and your favourite big people thinking you’re a rock star mummy

1)Vegan Banana Crumb Muffins from Minimalist Baker

Totally delicious. We’ll never tire of these.

If you don’t already follow The Minimalist Baker I HIGHLY recommend you go check out her amazing blog and Instagram feed. All her recipes are plant-based and GF. But most importantly for a busy mum they meet all the above criteria. If you’re not vegan, use real eggs instead of ‘flax eggs’.

Little green lives healthy recipes - Banana muffins

Little green lives healthy recipes - Banana muffins

2)  The Original Glo Bar from Oh She Glows.

Great for on the go. Crammed full of healthy oats and seeds.

To be school safe, sub the peanut butter out for sunflower butter. Isla is not a big fan of large seeds so I take an extra second to grind them in our coffee grinder. Oh She Glows is an amazing blog, series of cook books and now even an app.

Little green lives -Glo bars- Oh she glows - healthy snacks

Little green lives -Glo bars- Oh she glows - healthy snacks

3)      2 Ingredient cookies from Wholefood simply 

This blog is crammed full of great recipes, where the ingredients and methods used are simple without compromising on taste. These tasty cookies could not be easier, seriously only 2 ingredients and they taste so good.

4) Black Bean Brownies by Chocolate Covered Katie

It is still simply amazing to me that these can be so healthy and crammed full of protein yet still be totally delicious. If you’re a chocolate lover this is a recipe you are going to fall in love with.

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

I just couldn't resist sharing a few extra pics here as Indi came to join me while I was photographing these brownies.

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

Little Green Lives - Healthy recipes Black bean brownie

5)      Vegan Pumpkin Apple Muffins from Minimalist baker

Its that time of year, fridges are full of apples fresh from sunny mornings spent in orchards. These muffins are so delicious, the perfect taste of fall and always a crowd pleaser.

Enjoy, would love to hear about which recipes you try and which ones you enjoy the most. Please feel free to share below your favourite kiddies snack recipes.

Thanks for popping in

Sam

The guy in the white tee-shirt: our little love story.

LIFEsam Jennings14 Comments
Little green lives, our love story

Little green lives, our love story

Hi there! Welcome to Little Green Lives.

My name is Sam and I’m the author of this site. I’m a passionate Mum, Midwife and green-living enthusiast. I created Little Green Lives to help busy mums live simpler, healthier and greener lives.  

Living a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or time-consuming. Little Green Lives is a place where you can come for tips, ideas and inspiration. I want to help you to make informed choices and choose what works best for your family without judgement! We’re all just busy mom’s trying to do our best.

Let's get to know each other.

Before we start this journey together I want to share something with you:

Our little love story

Have you ever experienced the feeling you should be doing something else? Even though it seemed impossible and the sacrifice would be immense? That was me. I even left paradise to do it.

Seven years ago I left a beautiful sun-drenched tropical island and the love of my life (or so I thought). I was heartbroken.

You know that chest-crushing feeling like you can’t breathe? That was me. It was a long flight from Honolulu for the poor guy who sat next to me as I cried almost endlessly all the way back to my home in  London, England.

I made the unimaginable decision to leave the life of other people’s dreams: a life of relaxation and self-indulgence among nature’s most beautiful elements. I lived where tropical rainforests met turquoise waters alive with neon fish and green sea turtles.

Don’t get me wrong…I appreciated the beauty and the magical feeling of being in love. But as I sat on the white powdery beaches, I couldn’t help but find myself distracted by a desire to fulfil a lifelong dream.

Just days later I was back in London, my heart still raw, but my sadness tempered by excitement. I boarded another plane with only a backpack of possessions - Uganda bound.

After seven hours aboard another Boeing 747 (Heathrow to Kampala) followed by a long drive north to Gulu, my dream of working as a midwife with Doctors Without Borders / Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) was becoming reality.

I looked out the dusty windows in the back of a white Land Cruiser. My stomach churned. There were women carrying babies on their backs, bundles of firewood on their heads and worldly possessions in cloth bags. Naked children ran beside our car. Donkeys, goats and feral dogs wandered in desperate search of a meal.

Little green lives, our love story . MSF Cars

Little green lives, our love story . MSF Cars

I was en-route to a large camp for internally displaced people near Gulu, to a hospital awaiting my skills and fellow team members awaiting my company.

“Welcome to Lalogi camp,” said a tanned, ruggedly handsome guy with an American accent. He offered me a hand as I climbed down from the truck. He wore a dirty, white MSF tee-shirt and a killer smile.

Excited, terrified and still heartbroken I gave that guy my hand and climbed down into a blur of 24-hour shifts in a hot, overcrowded maternity ward. I experienced the highs of saving lives, the lows and devastation of losing some. Every day I learned so much about life and humanity.

With fellow Ugandan midwives as my mentors and students we provided pre-natal care to thousands of women and delivered hundreds of beautiful babies. Side by side with my team we worked through the night by torchlight, because every woman’s experience and life was important.

Little green lives, our love story. Uganda maternity ward

Little green lives, our love story. Uganda maternity ward

So what about the “love of my life” ?

In the early weeks I was awaiting a call or email saying "come back to me, I made a mistake letting you leave, I love you." My heart ached for it.

It never came. Life went on.

It became easier. My heart filled with the most incredible joy and satisfaction I’d ever felt. It healed and I grew stronger than ever. I gave myself to my new life.

And this new life had other plans for me: that long haired guy who opened the back of the MSF Land Cruiser and offered me his hand as I stepped down, and held a torch for me while I saved lives in the middle of the night, is now the TRUE love of my life.

That guy is the man I eat my oatmeal with every morning now, Daddy to my three beautiful children.

Little green lives, our love story. J with Indi

Little green lives, our love story. J with Indi

We have travelled and worked together in other Doctors Without Borders projects. We've lived and worked in Congolese conflict zones and Nairobi slums, and in incredible India. We raced across Delhi chaos in a cab when I was in labour with our daughter. Together we've navigated parenthood these last four years.

You’d think a seven-year-journey, fulfilling a dream, experiencing birth with incredible women across the world would be some of the most challenging and exhilarating moments of my life…

But it’s becoming a mother that has been the hardest—yet most blissful—emotional roller coaster I’ve experienced.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

My experiences working with MSF just reconfirmed to me how precious life is.  How fortunate we are to have clean water, a bed to sleep in and a safe home in which to raise our family. I feel a big responsibility to this beautiful world and want to do all that I can to protect it so that our children can enjoy its beauties during their lifetime. That’s why every day I strive to live a waste-less life, and do whatever I can to care for the environment—and teach my children to do the same.

The start of a new journey

So that’s why I’ve embarked on this new adventure: ‘Little Green Lives’ - a lifestyle blog with a hint of green.

Little Green Lives is the journey of our little family of five: committed to a greener lifestyle, a more minimalist existence, finding Quality in our day-to-day, and embracing our natural world with bare feet and dirty hands.

Here you’ll find inspiration and ideas that are achievable – for even the busiest mums who, like me, are determined to make informed lifestyle choices and aren’t afraid of a little adventure.

So excited that you're here.

Want to get to know us better come check out my About me page or follow us on Instagram.

Thanks for popping in

Sam

Five easy tips to a stronger immune system, increased energy and a healthy glow from the inside out

LOVE FOODsam Jennings4 Comments
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Little green lives 5 steps to better health You know the feeling: when a five-minute shower feels like a visit to the spa. (No kids in sight or ear shot.) Or when that cup of HOT tea at nap time feels like high tea at the Ritz. Everyday simplicities can feel like indulgent, healthy luxuries for us busy mums.

That glorious alone time just to focus on our own needs is heaven—even if it’s just momentarily.

I used to think being healthy and fit was complicated, time consuming and expensive. Not for the likes of us sleep-deprived busy mums, something to shoot for maybe 10 years from now.

But I've since learned that it’s actually the little things I do for myself each day that help me survive these crazy years. (With my body, health and sanity intact). In order to be a strong, healthy and happy mummy to my little people I need to invest in myself…and teach my little people that taking care of yourself is important.

Several months ago I hit rock bottom physically. I got sick several times back-to-back and needed antibiotics. I took this as a sign. My body was screaming, “Ok. I’m in need of some time and attention here!”

 So I took action and you can too.

Try these five easy, totally achievable tips throughout your day for seven days. Trust me, your tired body will feel the difference.

Nurture yourself in five minute blocks during the day. Steal moments while the kids are happily playing alone, during nap time, or with a baby on the hip. Five minutes is all it takes: you can boost your immune system, eliminate toxins, rehydrate and energize your body.

**I’ve included links to some of my favourite tips and recipes and shared what works for me. But I recommend you choose your personal preferences by using the ingredients you have/use/love, and consider any dietary requirements and allergies.**

Let’s do this!

Here are

Five ways busy mums can boost their health in under five minutes:  enjoying stronger immune systems, increased energy and a healthy glow from the inside out.

1) Start the day with a hot tonic

Hot tonics can restore and invigorate the body, promoting general health and well-being. Morning drinks lay the groundwork for the day. The right ones eliminate toxins, strengthen our immune systems and give us a little kick-start of energy. Tonics can be prepped fresh in the morning or made ahead of time. (It stays fresh for about a week).  Everyday I drink the Master tonic featured in this amazing  Superfresh Recipe book By Jennifer Houston. Take a glass of hot water and add your favourite ingredients.

 Little green lives - Five easy tips to a stronger immune system

Sip it and:

  • Feel the warmth of the fresh ginger, waking up your tired ass, giving you energy for the day ahead, expelling toxins and enhancing blood flow.
  • Let the fresh lemon/orange juice give you a super vitamin C boost to your immune system and help your body absorb iron.
  • Add a few leaves of fresh basil to help you feel calm and focussed, a clove or two of garlic (nature’s antibiotic) to ward of any germs.
  • Tip in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help eliminate toxins.
  • Stir in honey/maple syrup for a touch of sweetness

 2) Kick ass with a killer breakfast

Pack school lunches. Get the kids dressed. Make a dash for the door with the crew in tow at 8 a.m. It’s super easy to run out of time to eat breakfast in the craziness of the morning routine. But this meal is so very important for the body. It sets blood sugar levels for the day so you avoid that mid-morning slump. Here's three energy-packed ideas to start the day on the right foot:

  1. A bowl of porridge made with steel cut oats (delicious with chai and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, blueberries, with a drizzle of maple syrup).
  2. Home-made granola. My favourite recipe is the Almond Joy granola from Minimalist baker with fresh fruit and yogurt
  3. A smoothie. In one delicious drink you can nail your five fruits/veg for the day. (Also a nutritious snack to have anytime during the day). Use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have, with a milk, yogurt or juice base.

 Little green lives - Five easy tips to a stronger immune system

 

 My favourite ingredients are:

  • Bananas - nature’s powerhouses, packed with healthy carbohydrates and potassium to restore electrolyte balance (freeze a big batch without the peel so you never run out)
  • Kale - crammed full of vitamin A and C and calcium and iron
  • Spinach - magnesium and iron-rich, helping you to relax
  • Chia seeds - full of Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which reduce free radical damage to the skin, plus contain high levels of calcium
  • Blueberries - great antioxidant. Low in calories high in nutrients

3) Pack mummy snacks

Snacks aren’t just for the kiddos! Take five minutes to pack yourself some snacks. This reduces the need to buy (unhealthy) nibbles on the run. Arm yourself with foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It also doesn’t hurt to have a fun container: I love my planet box.

Some easy and healthy snack-on-the-go ideas:

  • Try making a big batch of humus, cut sticks of veggies to use throughout the week
  • Fresh/dry fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Homemade granola bars. These are our absolute favourites from Oh She Glows.

 Little green lives - Five easy tips to a stronger immune system

 

4) Hydrate!

This one is easy and takes nearly NO time at all. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle on hand. Something of the non-spill variety. As busy mums we never seem to drink enough water. Keeping hydrated is also extra-important for breastfeeding mums to ensure a good milk supply and better energy levels and alertness. Not to mention, water also helps keep skin looking good.

Challenge yourself to drink 2 litres a day and notice the difference!

5) Fuel up with an energy-charged lunch

You aced breakfast now let’s focus on lunch.

If you can prep this ahead of time or have leftovers ready to eat all the better:

Make salad in a jar for you and your partner the evening before. Washed salad can be stored in glass for several days. Add protein to feel fuller longer and help beat the mid-afternoon energy slump. I’m vegan so in my case tofu, beans, chic peas, or nuts…for omnivores try your choice of meat.

The key is to have something already prepared. If you can grab something quick you won't be so tempted to eat your toddler’s peanut butter toast crusts.

Soups that are high in protein and veggies are another quick and tasty lunchtime alternative. Make a big batch and freeze the extras.

 A lunchtime favourite in our household is homemade hummus. we make a big batch ahead of time and put it into a few small tubs in our fridge. My husband takes some to work, and I snack on the rest whenever I find myself with a free hand or two.

Mama you got this. 

You’re five easy steps away from feeling fabulous.

Why not give it a try? I’d love to hear how it goes!

Fancy more great tips and recipe suggestions come follow on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Thanks for popping in

Sam