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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This post brought to you by Schneider Electric . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Creative Green Living.
Our farmhouse makeover hit a bit of a hang up this year. All for good reasons, fortunately, but it was a hang up nonetheless. You see, I've always wanted to write a book so when an editor at Skyhorse Publishers asked if I would be interested in writing a cookbook about smoothie bowls I was so excited to get on board (psst, you can order your copy here!). Great for me. Unfortunate for my house. 

Let's just keep the fact that I have lived here for a year now and I still don't have my baseboards installed between you and me, ok? 

One of the things on my very. very. long upgrade list was to get a better thermostat. The thermostat that came with the house was probably extra fancy in the 90's but was not nearly as responsive or easy to use as I wanted it to be. So when Schneider Electric asked if I would be interested in working with them and trying their Wiser Air thermostat in my home I was game!

Wiser Air

The Wiser Air thermostat is available on Amazon (you support this site when you use that link) as well as the Microsoft Store, New Egg, Best Buy and Home Depot. It comes in both black and white and unlike my old clunky thermostat from the 90's, it's smart.

In this case, that means it is capable of learning your schedule and preferences and adjusting its behavior automatically to balance comfort with saving energy (and money!). It has an easy to use smart phone app that can control it as well as a Windows app for use from your windows tablet or computer (it's the only smart thermostat on the market that can say that!)

Set Up

When shopping for smarter thermostats in the past, I got really overwhelmed with the installation instructions - some thermostats even require an electrician to get involved. Luckily, Wiser Air was surprisingly easy to install - no professional help needed!

Please note: This is an overview of the installation process and not intended to be a step-by-step guide. For actual installation instructions of a Wiser Air unit, please see the print instructions or their helpful website for simple installation and setup directions and FAQ.

After turning off the power to your HVAC system (safety first!), Wiser Air has you start by taking a photo of your current thermostat wire set up so you can refer back to it later. 
Then you attach the easy-to-use labels to each wire to help minimize any confusion about what goes where. 
You can either mount the adorable little square unit directly to the wall or if you are like me and upgrading from a dinosaur unit that was big and ugly and left an ugly hole (ahem), you can install the backplate to go with it and cover up any wall damage, paint lines, etc.
Once that's installed you follow the directions to put all the wires in their correct spots. We did have a little confusion with the paper directions regarding the "jumper" portion but luckily Wiser Air has an extremely helpful website and after consulting that, we were no longer confused and finished the install right up.

Using Wiser Air

While you do set some initial parameters for it, the Wiser Air thermostat is a bit like a pet and needs some training and feedback for the first week or so that you are using it - and any time after that if you become uncomfortable with the temperature.

All you have to do it push the up or down arrow to tell it if you are too cold or too warm. You can also tell it to do a "comfort boost" where it will blast warm or cold air for fifteen minutes without changing the self-learned program. You can do that either right on the unit or from the app.

When Wiser Air is working, it will put out a colored, pulsing glow. Blue is for cooling, yellow is for heating and green means the Eco IQ software is working to save energy.

Overall, it's been really easy to use and I'm excited to compare our energy bill from last winter to the bill from this winter (info from my electric company was not yet available at time of writing - I'll keep you updated, though!).

If you're interested in a Wiser Air thermostat, pick it up on Amazon or go here to purchase.

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle expert and mom of two boys. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living,  she is also the author of two e-books including the best-selling beverage cookbook, Infused: Recipes for Herb & Fruit Infused Water, Tea and More and the forthcoming cookbook (spring 2017), Beautiful Smoothie BowlsYou can also find her recipes featured in periodicals like Urban Farm Magazine. Her goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun! Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living community group.
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Friday, November 18, 2016

This post is brought to you by Cost Plus World Market.

I had the best Italian grandmother. One of the things my grandma excelled at was making holidays special. She was amazing in the kitchen and often made way more food than we needed. While Grandma was great at cooking all the best traditional Italian foods, she also wasn't afraid to experiment with new recipes.

One of my favorite updated Christmas recipes is Panettone French Toast. Panettone is a traditional Italian bread filled with raisins, candied orange peel and other fruits and it is delicious. This year, Cost Plus World Market asked me to partner with them to show off the recipe - so it's up over on the official World Market blog this week!

When you are in World Market stocking up on great Christmas items this month, be sure to pick up one of the huge variety of panettones they have so that you can make this recipe for your family. They'll be glad you did! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

This adorable snow globe soap pump is the perfect way to add an unexpected dash of Christmas to the kitchen or bathroom sinks in your home. Throughout the year I keep most of the decor in my home fairly neutral and then swap out accessories like this for different holidays. It makes me smile every time I go to use the kitchen sink!

Bonus: You need ZERO crafting skills to pull off this project!

Monday, November 14, 2016

I made this sign for a friend's daughter after she saw and loved the "Be Creative" sign I made for my office last year. The quote from Cinderella's mom and the words on this sign: Be Kind were what started echoing through my mind following the chaos that came with the results of the 2016 presidential election. These are good words to remember for everyone all year but they seem extra appropriate now.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

The world is split in to two kinds of people, those who like Brussels sprouts, and those who don’t!  I must say, I am truly in the like camp, and I think more people would join me if they cooked their sprouts this way!

I think most of us have eaten those over-cooked Brussels sprouts, boiled for too long and all of their colour lost. They just sit on the plate, all pale green and mushy. Well, it’s time to make Brussels sprouts the star of your thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes!

I’ve gone for some classic seasonal flavours to make the sprouts sing-maple syrup and bacon-so that they will compliment your main meal. They are pan fried before being cooked in the oven, so they keep their beautiful colours and remain firm. When pan frying the batches, be sure to add seasoning, as this will help give that lovely salty sweet finish.

Just a handful of ingredients and 45 minutes to make (includes prep AND bake time) these sprouts are easy peasy.  You can also make these the day before you want to serve them, just keep them covered in the fridge and slowly heat back up in a saucepan.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I love giving healthy personal care products for quick and easy Christmas gifts. Using staples that you already have in your kitchen and some yummy essential oils, you can create a great DIY sugar scrub that will exfoliate dead skin and smell delicious at the same time! One of the best parts about this project is that you do not have to be crafty to pull it off!

The "Candy Cane" essential oil blend from Rocky Mountain Oils is blend of peppermint, orange, lavender and vanilla essential oils that smells like peppermint candy! Using it together with the "Blend of Vanilla" smooths it out and help wake you up in the shower and start your day in an awesome mood.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The start of autumn yanks me back to reality really fast.  Almost overnight, my leisurely dinner preparations from the summer evaporate and our evening meal has to be on the table by 5:30PM. After that, its the baby's bedtime at 6, then homework, church activities and household chores to finish up before bedtime. I keep a few quick, easy recipes around to make for these busy nights, and this one is a recent favorite.  

I use a prepared pesto, but everything else is fresh and it combines in a delightfully satisfying way! This is definitely a recipe to add to your repertoire of quick meals.  


Sunday, October 9, 2016

If you need a way to add some green to the inside of your home, succulents are a great way to do it! Make these adorable planters out of recycled cans, burlap and lace and in just a few minutes you'll be ready with your own console table-worthy creation!

Costa Farms partnered with me on this post and provided these great succulents from their desert escape collection. Look for Costa Farms succulents at your local Home Depot and Lowe's stores.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall flavors are some of my favorite.  I love crisp apples, sweet butternut squash, the early winter greens and of course, pumpkin.  This fabulous pumpkin milkshake is vegan and refined sugar free due to the maple syrup.  It is delicious with just a hint of decadence.  Perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike!  We couldn't get enough of it in our house, and likely your family will love it, too!  


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My husband is allergic to dust. I, on the other hand, am allergic to dusting.

Ok, I'm not really allergic to dusting. 

But here is the truth: I have two kids, two dogs, and a bunch of chickens to keep alive. I have a business to run and a book to finish writing and dusting the house all the time is, well, it's just not my priority. 

Also? Have you ever noticed that sometimes you "dust" and what you really did was just make all the dust that was resting on your things airborne? Yeah. That's not a helpful thing (ahem, dust allergy).

That's where these life hacks come in. I cannot promise all your dust will magically disappear. But I can tell you that half the dust battle is keeping dust from accumulating in the first place - or at least keeping it from accumulating so fast - and these hacks will help!


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I've talked before about my large glass jar collection. Not only are glass jars great for holding leftovers, but they make a great craft medium as well. (see all my projects using glass jars here!).

For this project, you can transform empty glass jars into lacey votive candle holders in less than 15 minutes with just a handful of supplies.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Do you ever feel like your kids could use more outdoor time? It's easy to get stuck in a routine where indoor play becomes your norm. I had already been thinking I wanted to arrange a playground playdate with some of our friends and their kids to help get everyone outdoors when CLIF Kid emailed me. They want to encourage boys and girls to get more outside time. I love their products and I love this message so of course I said I would partner with them to bring you this post!

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to My posts may contain affiliate links to products on Amazon. Thank you for supporting Creative Green Living.
Carissa's Creativity Space ( became Creative Green Living in February 2013. As such the watermarks on many of our old posts may reflect the previous site name.