The Savvy Path

    Kristi Marsh

    Kristi Marsh
    Founder of Savvy Women's Alliance & Choose Wiser, Mom of three teens. Breast cancer warrior, speaker, author and eco-health enthusiast. Loves beaches, camping, avocados and making the world a better place.

    Recent Posts

    7 Tips To Clutter Free Living With 'Slob Sister' Pam Young

     

    "It’s no secret that countless families are deluged by household clutter."

    Catchy phrases called out to me as I surfed – zero waste, garbage free, plastic free – each enticing me with the hope that life would become…simpler.  While ‘zero’ and ‘free’ felt heart pounding intimidating a simpler, more joyful, happier life would unfold if I could just… start to declutter the ‘things’ in my life. 

    This I believed as I much of time seems to be a slave to stuff.

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    Open Call for Seven Friendly Volunteers

    Join the Welcome Wagon!

    Next week, Savvy will launch a novel hybrid strategy to connect women, creating the foundation of our association. By harnessing two powerful social tools we will offer an online engagement platform (our revolutionary Savvy Cafe) along with optional traditional communities (our Savvy Chapters.) 

    The success of the Savvy Cafe depends on the momentum generated over the first year.

    Would you like an easy way to be involved and learn at the same time?  

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    Making Veggies Fun: Toddlers To Teens

    Infuse Your Inner Ila

    Carving cucumbers into caterpillars and making sockets for raisin eyes just wasn't cutting it.  I wished to plant genuine-veggie-appreciation in my children but it seemed to be an ongoing battle. It had to be...fun, so I turned to "Ila." 

    “Ila” as the grandkids call her, is my dad’s wife and she has a way of turning every task into a delight. As a stay-at-home mother of three in the 70s, Pam was a self-professed slob and wrote Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise," leading her to appearances on the Today Show, Live with Regis, and Oprah.  Housework became manageable as she infused her mantra, “Make it fun and it will get done.”

    It was time to infuse my inner-Ila to tackle the reputation of veggies. This process had to be fun or it wasn’t going to happen at all. Over time, we found our own path. Here are our favorite four tips-turned-into-good-times from the parenting toolbox. 

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    Four Letters That Define Our Generation: TSCA

    In 2006,  I woke to an unfathomable world of  environmental health science and legislation. My mainstream mama-hood had sharply detoured after the discovery of Stage III breast cancer and what I learned was jaw-dropping. Mind-blowing. I fiercely wanted every woman to have a chance to be aware of what unfolded (and is unfolding) in our lifetime. This week, in our countries Capitol, news will unfold about 'TSCA.'  For a bit of behind-the-headlines prepping, I want to share this story.  Admittedly, the intimate revelations below - an excerpt of Little Changes - aren't a scroll through tip-post. But if there was one gem of content to lose yourself in today, it would be this story. One that defines the framework of our generation -TSCA - and its implications on our right to health. 

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    How Do My Windows Get So Clean?

     
    During the pre-launch phase of my book Little Changes, I focus groups challenged me on one particular character.  “Tell us more about Ted. What did he think? Dish! What is he like?  What did he think of your crazy antics, Kristi?”  Selfishly, my instinctive answer was, “My husband?  He will have to write his own book. This book is about me.”
     
    I suppose it’s only natural. Women wanted to have an idea of how their husbands might react to the changes I was suggesting. I listened to their encouragement but knew in my heart why I hadn’t shared more. Ted is a good man. A very private man. The strong silent type with beautiful integrity and values and I naturally try to respect that. 
    Yet, he does have a rather gregarious-social wife, which must be rather challenging. Especially on days like today, when I want to share with you a husbandly talent Ted does really, really well. And that makes me very, very happy. 
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    But I Really Don't Want to D-I-Y Clean.

    Worth Every Terrifying Moment 

    The last two months of Savvy themed topics were pretty intense!  Not only did you take a leap of faith to subscribe to Savvy during our wee-starting months, but we explored some fascinatingly hot topics like Fragrance and BPA & Cannned Food! At Savvy, our novel and risky approach to the traditional blog features one topic over a full month.  It can be scary at times, but much easier when we take the first steps together. Enter trapeze photo bomb of "someone" who had to be "encouraged' off the ledge due to a paralyzing fear of heights. #puttingmyselfoutthere

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    A Velvety Soft Scrub for Sinks

    If only everything were as easy as placing a romantic classified!  

    "Just got out of long-term toxic-cleaner relationship. I am looking for a new product that doesn’t leave me with a thumping headache or sneezing fit after our encounters. It’s not too much for a girl to ask for, is it? A cleaning product that doesn’t need to be locked in cabinets or used with “adequate ventilation?” I promise I am not needy; a casual weekly rendezvous for a spin around the bathroom sink is fine by me."

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    My Famously Fantastic Simple Weed Killer

    It is a Jungle Out There

    A few summers ago, when lawn services pushed warning flags of caution into suburban lawns (alerting children and animals alike to STAY OFF!) I headed out to pluck and cuss. My fingers and thumb engaged in a weed tug-of-war; with me being determined to prove which of us species was the stronger. Knowing that if I plucked only its little weed-neck, spidery roots would return with a vengeance in a matter of weeks.

    One season, I convinced myself the tiny green plants looked “quaint” growing between the bricks. I told myself I was going for the “cottage-y” look. When I returned from a vacation, my quaint brick décor was 23 inches high. Our home moved right past “cottage-y” and straight into “abandoned lot,” which I’m not sure the neighbors appreciated.

    There must be a better, and better-for-you, option than the herbicides we had sprayed over previous years. Staring at my 100-foot long brick walkway, I tapped my flip-flopped toes. How to make this…fun?

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    My Full Fragrance-Fail Confession

    A Suspiciously Tiny Package

    My daughter skipped toward me swinging a two-toned striped bag.  With a glance, I assessed that nothing from Victoria's Secret, that could fit in that teeny tiny bag, should be in my 13-year old's hands.  I knew Victoria's off-shoot brand, Pink, had imprinted its marketing claws into my daughter's Pinterest page, but she had only 45-minutes with her besties to walk the mall while I scanned for Whole Foods sales. Images raced through my mind of red and lace and less. What could she have purchased with only $15 dollars cash? 

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    Welcome to the Fragrance Revolution

     

    An Ode To Our Olefactory System 

    Sneezer, smeller, sniffer, snotter, snuffer or schnoze; snubbed or pointy, dear lovely nose how we love you so.  An information inferring machine that, with barely a flare of the nostril, can lead us from garage to kitchen on the waft-and-promise of home cooking. You can detect the slightest dab of perfume on a wrist, or the powdery fresh deodorant application during a snuggle. We rely on your keen sense for protection: fresh paint? Don’t touch! Dirty diaper? His turn. Mildew? Time to investigate. The list goes on. Plywood to photocopiers, new couches to new cars. You are constantly sniffing around, and thank goodness, because there is a heck of a difference between old soured milk and a freshly poured glass. Honestly, our taste buds prefer the nose does it's job first. 

    Fragrance is part of the beautiful human experience. Recently, the fragrance experience has twisted into human deception.

    Welcome to the Fragrance Revolution! Révolution de parfum!

     

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    Amazon Will Donate to Savvy through AmazonSmile

    A good book keeps me balanced. 

    Lately I have been stealing outside to my porch for some 2:00 sunshine.  I curl up on a summer's lounge chair, wrapped in a cocoa-and-camel checked flannel jacket and soak in New England's warmth-n-wind. This is my reboot time. I am re-reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable Miracle and loving every stolen minute. How I love her brilliant use of words and her genuine food adventure. I have a serious author crush.  Have you read her  book?  I suggest it for anyone who even slightly loves food. Or eating food. The topic of living for one year off local food creates juicy conversastion for a  book club as well. 

    Speaking of books, Savvy has some great news. 

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    BPA & Canned Food Report | Where to Start, Where to Look

    The Canned Food Dilemma

    Together, we just turned the phrase bisphenol-A (BPA) into a discussionable, do-able topic and shared practical ways to reduce our exposure.  We focused on compelling points everyone in our generation should know:

    Yesterday? The responsibility of reducing exposure rested on our shoulders, the consumer.  This is about to change. 

     Welcome to the BPA Revolution.

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    BPA: The Basics

    The journey toward nontoxic living is akin to standing in the hub of a 10 speed bicycle wheel.  Each degree we turn we see yet another path, another topic, and another area to learn about, sometimes leaving our minds spinning just as fast as that wheel.  No more. We are taking this on together, at a nice pace. 

    The purpose of the Savvy Path is to take a step down one path, one topic a month. We’ll learn what we can, figure out what we need to know, and who we need to support our growth.   (It’s our own getting Savvy version of 99 Bottles of Toxins on the list…“Take one down, pass it around, 98 toxins left on the list…”) 

    For our inaugural, themed month (sound the trumpets) we introduce you to the ubiquitous, Bisphenol A, a.k.a. BPA.

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    I Despised Being "Sergeant No."

    Was I even a good mom today? Did my kids feel any love from me? Did we laugh or talk? 

     I despised being Sergeant No.

    After everything I unearthed during my research, I understood the world did not have my family’s health in its best interest. Constantly trying to shield them was exhausting. Modern parenting felt like pushing a double stroller through the Boston Marathon in a hailstorm while trying to protect the kiddos amidst a constant barrage of pelting, frozen peas.

    I first sensed this dark cloud when Tanner entered preschool. I was delighted for his first taste of independence and ninety minutes in a loving, nurturing environment. However, I silently observed the parent-supplied, non-birthday cupcakes twice the size of his pudgy fist, handed out for 10:00 a.m. snack. As a relatively new mom, I hadn’t found my voice. I kept my opinions to myself and rarely stood up for what I thought. Unspoken mom-pressure kept it that way. Instead, I watched the children’s eager eyes and giddy smiles as the “favorite moms” brought in frosted delights and the disappointment on their faces when I provided sliced apples and pretzel sticks.

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    Not Ready to Embrace Nontoxic Living? That's Cool.

    Are you a little skeptical about 'nontoxic living?'  

    We get it. We used to be, too. We had thoughts like “If the products are on the shelf, they must be safe” and “if this nontoxic living thing is legit, why didn’t I know about it before now?” We used to go into the grocery store and think the organic strawberries were nothing more than a scam for more money. We filled our carts with personal care products and assumed they were safe because, well, why wouldn’t they be!?

     And most of all we would read stuff about nontoxic living and think “this is bizarre, crunchy, woo woo stuff.” And seriously, who has the time for this? Or the money?

    So you know what? It’s not wrong to think like this.

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