Recent Posts

Friday, July 22, 2016

If you're new here, let me catch you up:

At the end of last year, we sold our townhouse and bought a one-story home in a semi-rural town about 10 miles away that was stuck in the 90's - and not in a cool, trendy way.

It's the ultimate project house: every single room in this house needs help.

It's not that old (it was built in 1999) so things were in fairly good condition when we bought it. The colors, though! Oh my word. Let's just say my main living area was mauve and sage green and weird 90's design choices (like: no window sills. In the whole house).

You can see all our Farmhouse projects I have done do far but for now let's focus on my living room...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summertime is one of my favorite times of year.  The world is green (at least where I live), it is warm, and fruit and vegetables are readily available.  

I love making smoothies in the summer, but am always a little rankled by how expensive the frozen fruit is.  Adding fresh fruit doesn't give you the same cold quality, and adding ice waters your smoothie down, so I always prefer to use at least one kind of frozen fruit. 

A few weeks ago, I realized that I could buy extremely cheap, in-season, fresh fruit that would freeze terrifically and easily for a fraction of the cost of most pre-frozen fruit.  

It will take you about 10 minutes over two days, and a shelf in the freezer.  It can't get much easier that this.  

You can use the frozen fruit in ice creams, smoothie bowls and smoothies.  They are a perfect staple for your cool summer treats!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Do you have lots of great summer plans that involve extended playtime in the sun? In Oregon, the summer is one of the few times we can enjoy that giant fireball in the sky so after 9 months of rain, most of us are eager to goble up every last ray. Can you relate?

Now let me ask you this:

Do you have a summer sun protection plan for you and your kids? 

I'm not talking about "toxic death cream" as one popular blogger recently put it. I'm talking about a comprehensive plan - ways to keep your skin safe that include sunscreen but doesn't rely solely on sunscreen. No? Don't worry. I've got your back!

Today I'm partnering with EWG Sun Safety to talk about the best, non-toxic, healthiest ways to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors this summer - sunburn and sketchy ingredient free!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

My friend Leah is working on a campaign to help make some real differences in the lives of families on SNAP (AKA "Food Stamps") by asking the USDA to make food stamps capable of purchasing food online.

Here's why:
  • 74% (or more) of people below the poverty line (read: the people on food stamps) have access to the internet - but only 30% of them have access to a car. 
  • 23.5 MILLION people live in a "Food Desert" - they might live hours from a SNAP approved grocery store. 
  • If you are on food stamps, don't have a car and live in a "food desert" your options for using your SNAP benefits (food stamps) include convenience stores and fast food restaurants even if you actually want to buy healthy food.
Accepting food stamps online would change that!

Have you ever complained about seeing someone on food stamps spend their money on Mountain Dew and beef jerky?

Here's the truth: Sometimes that is all they have access to.

Why this matters

Since this campaign started two days ago, Leah has received a lot of notes asking why she wants to help stupid, lazy people. 

Here is the truth: Almost all of of us are just one serious illness or one lay off away for needing this support ourselves. 

I know people with masters degrees who have been on food stamps who got there because they had a sudden emergency illness - that even with health insurance - crippled them financially and destroyed their ability to work.

I know people who have been on food stamps who were making a very good, middle class salary and then were suddenly laid off. They had been living paycheck to paycheck (like SO MANY of us are) and suddenly their income disappeared. They got unemployment but it wasn't enough. Food Stamps helped them feed their family until Dad got a new job and they got back on their feet. 

Access Matters

Question: What happens when you have access to Food Stamps, but don't own a car and live in a "food desert"?

Answer: You most likely buy food at convenience stores and gas stations. Because even if you want to eat healthy food, you don't have access to it.

Confession: Living in a food desert didn't make a lot of sense to me until recently. I lived one mile from a grocery store that I could walk to. I owned a car. 

Then I moved to a food desert. 

The options for food in my town are: McDonald's, Subway, a run down Mexican food restaurant, a small cafe, a convenience store and two gas stations. The closest grocery store to my house is 6.4 miles away. 

Which doesn't sound like a big deal unless you don't have a car. I live in an area without access to public transit. If I didn't have a car, I would need to walk at least four miles to get to an area where I could get on a bus.

Now, I am not on food stamps. But I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be a single mother on food stamps in my town - and all of the towns like it across America. How would I get to the grocery store with my kid? If I couldn't get to the grocery store with my kid, what would I do? Use all our food stamps on junk food at the gas station two blocks away? I'd like to hope not.

Buying food online levels the playing field

If you could use food stamps online, you would have access to healthy food at competitive prices. Having the food delivered straight to your house would mean you wouldn't have to rent a car, beg a friend for a ride or walk for a mile or more to get to an area where you could ride a bus.

It would mean you wouldn't have to settle for convenience store foods. 

It would mean that you could feed your family healthy food that would support their health.

It's 2016. You can do EVERYTHING online. Except use your food stamps to buy healthy food.

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. You can also find her recipes featured in The Non-GMO Cookbook as well as in periodicals like Urban Farm Magazine. Her goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun!
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Keeping your own chicken flock can be a very rewarding experience as chickens are funny as well as useful. If you want to keep your own chicken flock, this practical advice on how to raise baby chicks will get you off to the right start!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I was very strawberry adverse when I was a kid.  I think it was the little, crunchy seeds.  My mom used to tell me it was okay, because she didn't like strawberries as a kid either, and now they are her favorite fruit.  

Fast forward 15 years and my mom was right: I love them.  I am not sure they are my favorite fruit, but they are up there. Especially when you combine them with an almond shortbread and ice cream.  These are delicious!  They look super fancy when you serve them to guests and (huge bonus) they are gluten free!

Choose the juiciest, best strawberries (see the guide for choosing great strawberries), and get your summertime dessert on!  


Monday, June 20, 2016

If you have a vegetable garden, or even a few pots of edibles, one of the best parts about summer is being able to step out the door and snip or pick fresh produce for meals. Salads, especially, are one of those staple main or side dishes that are perfect on hot days when you don’t feel like cooking.

Today I have a great guest post for you from Tara Nolan, the author of Raised Bed Revolution. She is going to teach you how easy it is to turn an old table or desk into  a funky cool raised bed for growing your own salad!


One of the projects that I knew I wanted to build for Raised Bed Revolution was a salad table. I’d seen one in a DIY book years earlier and loved the simplicity of building a basic structure for one type of crop. Lettuces and other greens can grow in a pretty shallow environment, so I though I would search for a set of four funky table legs and then build an easy DIY wooden tray to secure on top of them. I found sets of two and three legs, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find four in the same style.

So, I adjusted my plan and started looking for tables. I found one with a top that was unattached. I nodded as the antique seller tried to tell me how easy it would be to nail back in place, but I knew I didn’t need that tabletop. When I got the table home, I tossed it aside and got to work on my salad table. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I'm sure I'm not the only mom who gets to the end of the school year and feels kind of liberated. I mean, yes, now I have to figure out what to do with my kids for 30 more hours a week than during the school year. BUT I get to be the one in charge of the schedule now - no more being a slave to the clock and the demands of school hours, clubs, teams, etc. Whew!

The slower pace of summer is a great time to get back to the basics of some great health habits that are easy to forget when things get crazy. Here are five healthy habits that are super easy to implement but that your body will thank you for!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Last summer, my family spent seven weeks in France.  While we were there, we ate a number of meals from farmer's markets that lined the rivers.  They had wonderful, fresh produce that we thoroughly enjoyed, but the most delicious thing we ate from the markets were the strawberries.  They were so ripe, juicy and definitely the best strawberries I have ever tasted.  

My parents came over for a visit while we were there, and my mom commented that she had never had a strawberry that was so red all the way through.  They were heaven on earth.  

Due to the way large growing operations grow, manage and pick strawberries, you probably won't find such fresh and luscious strawberries at your local large chain grocery store. Instead, head to your local farmer's market, farm or produce stand to find the ripest, juiciest berries this summer.

Regardless of where you shop for berries, here are my best tips for choosing the most delicious, juicy strawberries, and storing them so they stay fresh as long as possible.  


Friday, June 3, 2016

The school year is almost over! The weather is (finally) cooperating! It's time for all of us to get outside and start thinking about hosting an outdoor party. Probably not together in one huge group, because there are too many of us for my backyard, but we could all do it simultaneously and it would be just as fun. I did some looking recently and found a lot of easy, creative DIY projects and recipes that will help us pull off the ultimate outdoor get-together. It's all here--decorations, games, food--so kick back and start planning.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Have you made a fairy garden yet? You can check out the fairy garden I made last year, here. This year, I'm upping my fairy garden game and I made my own fairy house. But not just any house. This house is made from recycled materials AND it's solar powered! The solar powered roof collects sunlight during the day - and then at night, the windows will glow! Sweet!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Have you ever needed to have a party for your gluten free, grain free, dairy free, processed food free friend or family member and had NO IDEA what to do? Or maybe you're the one with dietary restrictions and you are tired of not having dessert. Whether you or a friend is a vegan, paleo, or gluten free, you can still make a fun "cake" that everyone will enjoy. It has the added perk of being no-bake, which means no heating up your home during the summer!

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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.