Choose Wiser Retreat: Home Eco-Momics 101

Be Awakened. Be Inspired.

Be Pampered.

Begin Your Journey.



Dedham, Massachusetts

April 13th, 2013

9:30 – 4:30

Finally! Looking to understand how what we purchase, eat, use, and surround ourselves with can influence our beautiful bodies? This perfect introductory bootcamp workshop was created for you. What will you do at this “choice makeover”?

  • Learn how to find better-for-you products affordably.
  • Purge your home of products that have health risks.
  • Dine on chef designed meals (local and organic where possible, of course!)
  • And mingle among an all-star cast of speakers (and real life characters from Little Changes!)
At this Choose Wiser workshop, you will learn among rockstar women, each a leading expert in her area, waiting to compassionately share her knowledge with you. That’s not all! While you gather ‘how-tos’ in our educational workshops, let us spoil you with exquisite food and the luxuries of the historic MIT Endicott House.

The best part of all?? I have been handcrafting a lavish goodie bag for all participants with products and samples that value over $100!  So far I can share with you Dr. Bronners, Beauty Counter, EarthMamaAngelBaby, Happy Mama, Herban Lifestyle and Snack Taxi have donated with many, many more arriving soon! (I LOVE to spoil you!)

Read Full Agenda Here

Saturday April 13th

9:00 – 9:30      Registration open! Start by enjoying continental breakfast as we kick off the day.

Welcome and Opening by Kristi Marsh of Choose Wiser.

Going Through ‘The Change’ (not what you think!) with Pam Young of

We get it. Change can be hard. Disheartening. Overwhelming. And sometimes lonely. But not here. Not with Choose Wiser and not with the Queen of making anything fun and getting it done! From organizing homes, to becoming financially stable, to losing weight, Pam Young has rallied thousands as a best selling author and web presence.  Who better to prepare us for a weekend of learning but Pam Young? She will rev our engines to take on possibly the hardest challenge of our generation:  a healthy home. 

Clean Naked?! with Audra Conklin of Audra’s Cleaning, formerly Modern Mermaids.

 What are the questions you should ask when finding cleaning products as a consumer? What are the ingredients to look for (or avoid)? Audra Conklin will passionately share with us her journey and challenges of growing one of the best cleaning product lines available, and her insight in the business.

Lunch with Keynote:

What Does the Future Look Like? with Mia Davis, former organizing director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and co-founder of Beauty Counter.

Very few people have the heart, passion and experience that Mia Davis has. Directly involved in the heart of the environmental health movement for the last seven years, Mia Davis shares how we are truly surfing a thin edge of a very powerful wave, the behind the scenes of the cogs of change, and what is in store for our future.

A Beautiful You  with Karen Roche of Be Green Bath and Body

Complicated skin and body care products labels could stop a girl in her tracks and make her run the other way! Is it true that it isn’t the price that makes a quality skin care product? We need to know the truth – this is our faces we are talking about! Karen will show us how simple it really can be to ask the right questions and look for key indicators that a product line is right for you and your family.

 How to Flirt with a Farmer?

Poultry, beef, pork, eggs and milk all have better for you choices! Let’s talk about how to go organic while being a budget friendly consumer. From choices within grocery stores, to the questions to ask when we do the dance to find ourselves a local farmer.  This workshop alone could be the winning piece to launch your family on its journey. You will never want to go back to your conventional ways.

Wagons Ho! Pioneer Girls  closing and distribution of goodie bags with Kristi Marsh of Choose Wiser

You are officially a Pioneer Girl now. It’s time to pack our wagons and head off into the sunset. But not without a warm inspirational wish from Kristi Marsh and the Goodie Bag Presentation!

4:30 Goodbyes!

Meet Your Speakers

Alphabetical by Last Name

 Audra Conklin, Founder Audra’s Cleaning Products

Audra Conklin of Audra’s Products formerly Modern Mermaids, has combined a communications degree with a license in holistic spa therapies to become a knowledgeable and passionate speaker in the “anti-chemical” movement. Audra has worked for natural skin care companies such as AVEDA and Nature’s Gate and has enjoyed the opportunity educating hundreds of people in spas and venues like Whole Foods Markets around the country. It was a simple transition to teach about the impact of chemicals in our environment and the importance of the mission on which her company is built. Would you like to make Audra smile? Be sure to ask her about her baby parakeet when you meet her.



Mia Davis, cofounder BeautyCounter, formerly of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Mia Davis is a change agent. For nearly a decade, she has worked with companies to decrease or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals and wasteful materials. As the former co-director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the National Workgroup for Safe Markets, she increased consciousness in the cosmetics and re-usable plastics industries. Her work helped to achieve major public health victories, including companies committing to remove specific carcinogens from baby shampoo and BPA from baby bottles and water bottles. Mia has organized thousands of people to vote with their dollars and urge companies to improve their practices, and she has written several important papers, including Pastel Injustice: The Corporate Use of Pinkwashing for Profit. Since January 2012, she has been working with a team of social entrepreneurs to launch BeautyCounter, a skin care and cosmetics company that will make safe and chic products that women can trust and enjoy, launching Winter 2013.

Mia believes that people have the right to safe, clean, healthy environments and products, and that learning about environmental health should be empowering and fun. She lives in Boston with her husband and animals.


Kristi Marsh, Founder and Force behind and author of Little Changes

Diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at age thirty-six and with three young children at home, Kristi started on a quest to eliminate harmful chemicals from her life and environment. Now a proponent for environmental health, Kristi’s passion is to share her knowledge and journey with others. “So many people are reluctant to make changes in their lives because they think it’s going to be expensive or time consuming. But making little changes over time in the products we smother on our skin, foods we devour, and surroundings in which we immerse ourselves, doesn’t have to be difficult.”

Kristi founded Choose Wiser, an organization dedicated to educating people about the interaction between environmental toxins and their health. A true pioneer empowering and encouraging women to raise the bar on the products they purchase, Kristi encourages Everyday Me’s to be health-savvy about what they bring into their homes.


Karen Roche, Founder of Be Green Bath and Body

On a quest to find a way to nourish her 40 something skin safely, Karen Roche discovered her passion and founded Be Green Bath and Body, a company that creates toxin-free skincare products using simple ingredients from real plants and bees. She believes that real, simple and affordable skincare is possible. Under Karen’s leadership, Be Green Bath and Body, a signor of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, became one of only 322 companies to achieve the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Champion Status. Her products are highly rated on Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep cosmetics database. She happily divulges all ingredients and encourages other companies to do the same.

Karen graduated from Boston College and was a CPA and financial systems analyst in her previous life before allowing her inner entrepreneur and creative spirit to bubble to the surface. Now she’s happy to pay someone to prepare her taxes so she can enjoy the journey of being a business owner and mom to 3 daughters. When not cooking up new products or figuring out what to write on her Facebook fan page, Karen enjoys taking Muay Thai kickboxing classes with her husband and spending time with the families’ newly rescued Shih Tzu, Macy, who seems to love her safe, homemade shampoo! You can contact Karen at and visit her website at



Pam Young,  Founder of  Make It Fun and It Will Get

Pam Young is co-author of the best-selling book Sidetracked Home Executives: from Pigpen to Paradise, which has sold more than a million and a half copies and is still in book stores after three decades. Pam has appeared on hundreds of television shows including The Today Show, Live with Regis, CBS Morning Show and Oprah. She has spoken to thousands of clubs, churches and conventions.S he believes humor and a lighthearted spirit are great teachers and when we make it fun, it will get done.P am has developed a program to teach you how to get hold of your inner kiddy so you can get organized once and for all.



Logistics and Questions

Where is the Endicott House?

The MIT- Endicott House is in a town called Dedham, just outside of Boston. It is about 35 minutes from Boston Logan Airport and about one hour from TF Green Airport in Rhode Island.  80 Haven St. Dedham, MA

Traveling to attend?

Friday night accommodations are available at MIT Endicott House for $140.00.  Please contact them for additional reservations.

What should I do to prepare?

If you have read Little Changes, then you are ready for this retreat. This retreat isn’t designed for Green Goddesses,  Eco-Divas or Activist Extraordinaire (although there will be a few speaking). If you brush up on your Little Changes copy you will be all set to jump in.

So, if this is a green type thing, should I leave my makeup at home?

You be YOU. This is a no-judgement zone and I won’t judge your mascara if you don’t judge my lipstick! If you are a barefaced beauty naturally, then go for it. This event is about the Everyday-Me’s having a place to learn, not becoming someone you are not.

The one personal care products advice is to be fragrance free wherever we can.  Many in attendance have sensitivities to ingredients in fragrances and we will be mindful.

Check back before the event as we may add to this list!

What should I wear?

The workshops are casual. Whatever you feel comfortable sitting and moving around in will do.

April in Boston?

You name it. We could have the remnants of a freak late March snowstorm. Or constant rain. Or, we could have a blissful spring weekend with crocus and tulips budding around us. Be sure to scan the weather before arriving for practical packing.

What if weather interferes with the weekend?

If Boston area is declared a state of emergency, the retreat will be postponed until Fall of 2013.

The Full Fairytale Package

  • All workshops and events from 9:00 am registration to 4:30 pm goodbyes.
  • Chef designed meals on Saturday include continental breakfast, refreshments and luncheon. All food is local or organic based on seasonability of items.
  • Gift bag of goodies valued at over $100.

$199.00  plus applicable state and local tax

Traveling into town? Friday night rooms are available for $140.00