What's Trending - News, updates & Info

Middlebury Block Party on August 2, 2017 August 07 2017

I had so much fun doing a pop-up store in Middlebury Mountaineer last week! It was celebrating downtown Middlebury stores weathering the train bridges construction for three weeks. 

I gave away a ton of free samples and met many excited customers.Thank you Steve Atocha, BMP and my Middlebury Community!

Susan at Middlebury Mountaineer Pop up at Middlebury Mountaineer

Caroline's Dream pop up store


Adventure Dinner 2017 - Orchard July 11 2017

Adventure Dinners  Adventure Dinners  Adventure Dinners  

I am so proud to partner again with Adventure Dinners! July 15th event - SOLD OUT

Adventure Dinners are speakeasy-style gatherings in unexpected places. We collaborate with other Vermont makers and local food producers to create dining experiences unlike any other. Be prepared to be on your toes; RSVP to a dinner and you'll get the exact starting location texted 24 hours before the event. 

 Adventure Dinners are organized and hosted by Stonecutter Spirits, a craft distillery focused on the art of aging gin and whiskey in Middlebury, VT


Countdown to Vermont Gran Fondo 2017 June 28 2017

Vt gran fondo

 

Three days until free samples of my chamois cream go out for all 370+ participants in the gift bags. Come say hi to myself & riding buddy, Dennis as we navigate the piccolo course. See you at the after party!


From pedal to metal, bike shop to tool shop. June 21 2017

My Super Skin Salve has earned it's place among any tools in your tool box. Watch your fingers (it can't grow new ones) but it can get your skin back on track after injury, abrasions and exposure to harsh chemicals.


Vermont Gran Fondo is coming! June 18 2017

Written by Addison County Chamber of Commerce  - June 14, 2017


Middlebury, Vermont—For the first time in its four years of welcoming riders from around the globe to Addison County’s world-class cycling routes, the Vermont Gran Fondo will invite cyclists to literally ride into the event’s après-ride party.

Woodchuck Cider House at 1321 Exchange Street in Middlebury will be the staging ground for the Fondo’s start and finish on Saturday, July 1—and, from 2 to 7 p.m., the site of live music, farm-sourced food, and craft-brewed beverages.

Vermont Gran Fondo

As part of the event’s registration fee, Vermont Gran Fondo registrants will receive tokens to redeem for food and drink. But friends and family, are welcome to join them and, if they’d like to share in what’s available, pay cash.

Food purveyors will include the internationally inspired tacos of Caja Madera Food Truck; the pan-Asian delicacies of Thai at Home; homegrown pies from the NOFA-VT Pizza Oven; and the farm-to-spoon sweetness of LuLu Ice Cream.

In addition to hosting and Gran Fondo founding sponsor Woodchuck Cider, two other local establishments, Lincoln Peak Vineyard (wine) and the Drop-In Brewery (beer), will be vending. Non-alcoholic drinks will be available too.

Shane Murley and his six-piece band will provide music in support of the mellow, cool-down vibe.

Riders who want to scrub up before enjoying the après-ride party can take a complimentary shower until 5:30 p.m. at Vermont Sun Fitness Center, just a few pedal strokes away at 812 Exchange Street. And a hose in front of the Cider House will be available for cleaning bikes post-ride.

Registration fees are $125 for the Gran route; $115 for either of two Medio routes (difficile and facile); $80 for the Piccolo route—but rates will increase on June 16th to $140, $130, $85 respectively. In addition to après-ride food and drink, participants receive professional ride-day photography, SAG and mechanical support en route, well-stocked rest stops, and a Klean Kanteen stainless steel cup. Riders who upload their climb times to Strava will also have a chance to win KOM and QOM honors.

A gran fondo is a one-day bicycle event, first popularized in Europe, that emphasizes participation over competition. It’s typically characterized by a festive atmosphere, camaraderie, and post-ride food and drink.

For more information and to register, go to www.VermontGranFondo.com.

Event Sponsors

The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without founding sponsors bMighty2 and the Addison Independent; and event sponsors Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Caroline’s Dream, DrinkMaple, Frog Hollow Bikes, Hammer Nutrition, November Bicycles, RAD Innovations, Schneider & Palcsik Injury Lawyers, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Vermont Coffee Company, Vermont Ski+Ride Magazine, Vermont Sports Magazine, Vermont Sun Fitness Center, and Woodchuck Hard Cider and the. Support is also provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

About the Vermont Gran Fondo Organizers

The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Cycle Addison County, Inc., which is chartered to support cycling in the region through programming, education, infrastructure and equipment. Its members include cycling enthusiasts and athletically inclined tourism and business development representatives.

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Cold & Flu Season - Susan's best product advice February 22 2017

I don't receive any free samples or affiliate $ for these products. It's just taking apeek into my medicine cabinet!
Wild Branch Foods Elderberry Syrup
  1. Wild Branch Foods Elderberry Syrup  This is what I reach for first and don't put down until the cold is done. It breaks up stubborn, thick congestion (or helps keep it from forming if you use it early enough) and is a great immune booster. Bonus - It tastes good which always wins points with kids and husbands. Made down the road in Charlotte, VT. 

Thayers

  1. Thayers Lozenges. These are made from slippery elm bark which works with mucus membranes found all over your body (throat, stomach, intestines). This means they soothe a sore throat without the sour stomach side effect from too many throat lozenges and it corrects diarrhea quickly. They come in plain, cherry, maple or tangerine (my favorite). I also gave these to my older son in the car to prevent car sickness when he was a little dude.

 

  1. Crystal Garden Herbs Bath Salts  Soothes achy muscles and breaks up the gunk at the same time in a lovely smelling bath. What's not to like?

 

 

Susan's Chest Rub Recipe:
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
 Apply liberally to chest (front and back) 2-3 times a day when congestion and cough are a problem. Discard whatever you don't use and start with a fresh batch each time.

 


Did you ever ride a penny-farthing (high wheel)? December 22 2016

This past summer, the Sheldon Museum here in Middlebury hosted a superb collection of antique bicycles. I was able to capture some fun moments when a group of riders brought their high wheels to ride in the area. Here are some warm up spins through the roundabout. Note the interesting ratchet pedaling system for the bike in the second video.

Below the videos are two fuzzy pictures of me, up on the first bike. I didn't ride it, but it was fun to sit on the seat. My legs were too short to reach both pedals anyway!

 

 

penny-farthing 
high wheel


Five excerpts from an article featuring some of my beeswax suppliers, working hard to keep their bees healthy. November 05 2016

County's bees healthier than in many parts of U.S.; pesticides still a problem

By Gaen Murphree - read full article here: Addison County Independent

BeeGuy2533.jpg

DESPITE A NATIONWIDE decline in honeybee numbers because of increased use of chemicals, parasites and global warming, Andrew Munkres of Lemonfair Honeyworks said Vermont bees are generally doing OK because beekeepers are getting smarter. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

_________

 Addison County is a good place to be a bee compared to many other parts of the country, local beekeepers report. And that’s a good thing.

“Roughly one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees,” according to Cornwall beekeeper Andrew Munkres.

Nevertheless, honey bees and other pollinators here continue to face serious challenges from parasites, from climate change, and most especially from an increased presence of pesticides and other toxins in crops and in the environment.

Given honeybees’ critical role in creating our food, understanding how to reverse this trend is important to ordinary folks and dedicated beekeepers alike.

“Even though we’re having some troubles, it’s far, far worse in a lot of the country,” said New Haven beekeeper Kirk Webster, whose business is called Champlain Valley Bees and Queens. “I hear that all the time from my customers (in other states).

_________

 “The real problem is that the chemical and seed companies are putting all these chemicals on seed coatings. And they went and got the seed coatings classified as ‘treated articles’ ... so that they wouldn’t be regulated by state and federal pesticide authorities.”

As Mraz described it, seed companies coat corn and soybean seed to prevent a range of disease and insect problems, but don’t offer farmers the option to purchase untreated seed or seed treated for pests and diseases likely to be encountered in their particular area.

“They’re using a prophylactic seed treatment, same chemicals used in Texas as used in Vermont as used in California, Nevada — it doesn’t matter where you are. A third to half of those chemicals ... we don’t even have the pests for them probably,” said Mraz.

__________

Webster noted that he now tries to keep his bee yards clear of corn and soy fields.

“A few years ago was the one time I was really sure something had poisoned the bees,” said Webster. “I had one location that was right next to a great big cornfield, sort of wrapped around two sides of it. And the prevailing wind just blew right across there from the field right onto the bee yard all the time. And for two years in a row those bees all just went downhill and fell apart right in early June, which is usually when they’re building up to their peak.”

Webster would like to see more emphasis on organic farming.

Beekeepers know how important local farming is to their operations and emphasize a cooperative approach in figuring out how to help bees.

Still, Mraz, who runs one of the state’s largest apiaries, with hives in Addison, Chittenden and Franklin counties, notices that his Chittenden County bees and bees in places where there’s pastures and haying but less corn and soybean production tend to do better in recent years.

__________

 Webster was an early pioneer in not treating bees chemically to kill the mites, but instead breeding in mite-resistant Russian bee strains to fight the plague. He feels that the mites aren’t so much a problem in his apiary. Mraz uses an organic treatment and breeding to combat mites.

Munkres, who runs Lemonfair Honeyworks, also uses what he calls the “Darwin approach” to control mites through breeding in a number of different mite-resistant strains. He likens many of the chemical mite treatments to chemotherapy — the treatments destroy the mites but weaken the bees.

_______

 Mraz encouraged Addison County residents to create safe havens for bees — even just planting a little bee balm and then sitting back to enjoy the show when pollinators come buzzing.

“I think awareness is crucial. Awareness that there’s problems and anything you can do in your own garden or yard to help pollinators is crucial. To give them a safe environment and safe forage where they can thrive.

“Bees are incredibly adaptable,” Mraz added. “But we’re coming at them faster than they can adapt.”


Apple Pay is coming & I am grateful to a local organization! October 09 2016

Apple Pay is coming! Making it easier to pay online or at special events! 
Apple Pay - Caroline's Dream
_______________________________________________
I love this time of year, abundant gardens, colorful leaves and the crisp air makes it easy for me to be full of gratitude. This fall I am grateful for all the big leaps Caroline's Dream has been taking in 2016.  
The year started off with a $500 Green Energy Grant from ACEDC  that helped purchase Caroline's Cruiser - the bright red cargo bike seen above. It has literally changed the way I do business. Deliveries, picking up supplies, special events and promotions now center around my very special company vehicle.
 I took the time to design a full business plan with the Small Business Development Center (Thank you, Steve Paddock who is retiring this month).  
ACEDC again stepped up to the plate and sponsored Caroline's Dream to receive the first Kiva Zip Loan granted in Addison County, VT. Kiva Zip is a crowd lending platform where regular citizens are assembled to easily and safely loan money to vetted businesses.
I also ventured way out of my comfort zone by telling my business story to Vermont Life Magazine at an ACEDC sponsored pitching event. Doing this event was key in my saying "yes" when WCAX contacted me to film this "Made in Vermont" segment. 
Can you see a theme emerging yet?
I have made lots of big leaps this year and ACEDC has been right there cheering me on and helping me jump higher. My thanks to Executive Director, Robin Scheu (R) and her team, Jennifer Molineaux (Center) and Diane Stockton-Breese (L). 
You have made my year and it isn't over yet!


Dangerous chemical, Triclosan is banned in soaps - but it's still out there. September 17 2016

 

Triclosan Quartz

A banned chemical in anti-bacterial soap is still lurking in practically everything else Americans buy

By Lila MacLellan for Quartz

The US Food and Drug Administration’s recent ban on the chemical triclosan from household antibacterial soaps was a long-overdue victory for public health advocates, worried parents, and vigilant consumers.

Less noticed was the fact that the ban only affects a tiny portion of the products on the market containing the chemical. Triclosan—which in animal studies has been shown to act as a hormone disruptor and raise the risk for all sorts of health and development problems—is still rampant in countless other self-care products in the US, including after-shave, moisturizers, deodorants, body sprays, face masks, dry shampoos, and hand sanitizers, and even a popular toothpaste Americans ingest. It—or one of its chemical cousins—is also often found in “germ-fighting” or “anti-bacterial” versions of just about any type of household product you can imagine: toys, knives, clothing, mouse pads.

Read full Article and learn more about Triclosan in your life!


Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Harvest Festival September 07 2016

 Saturday Sept 17th

Noon - 3 pm

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op

Come join me for music, food & fun at this popular event. I won't be selling products (you can buy inside the store). 

Instead, I will have tester jars open, answer questions and give away free samples of Deodorant and Peppermint Forest Foot Cream


Valley Voice Article August 26 2016

Blending Inspiration, Environmentalism And Social Responsibility In Caroline’s Dream

Tuesday June 14, 2016

By Cookie Steponaitis

 Susan and Caroline's Cruiser

Susan Shashok is like many Vermonters who were raised with a love of the environment and knowledge that handcrafted was best and as a child visited her grandmother and learned an immense amount about medicinal plants and home arts. “My grandmother Caroline was my inspiration,” explained Susan Shashok. “I remember her incredible knowledge of medicinal plants and her beauty regime that included products all from nature.”

Continue reading article


Vermont Farm to Fork Fondo - 2016 July 24 2016

Last Sunday was the Vermont Farm to Fork Fondo where Caroline's Dream set up a vendor booth and I cycled the smaller, 35 mile course. I am very proud to partner with Farm to Fork and gave away 500 Maple Lip Balms to all participants. It was a great day to ride and I am grateful to my events team for working from 5am - 7pm!

The Farm to Fork Fondo series is designed to bring awareness to, support and celebrate this symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farms and beautiful landscapes. All of the funds raised for the Fondo Volunteer Competition is donated to local farms and farm organizations. That means at the end of each Fondo, checks help local farmers with projects like building a new farm stand or creating a new website, and to help local organizations advance their causes like preserving the county's beautiful pastoral open space.


- Susan Shashok

 

 


Don't take my word for it! June 18 2016

Can you hear the screen door squeak as you come in from a long day out in the heat? Gardening, hiking, cycling (go ahead and insert your favorite summer activity here). My products are always waiting to sooth, moisturize and rejuvenate. 

Our product pages have lots of reviews to read. Even better, take a moment and write an online review! 

 
Lip Balm Three Pack

So many good things to say about these lip products! They're handmade/homemade, natural, smooth, not sticky, refreshing, and delicious!! They're affordable and always shipped free!!! Thank you, [Susan], for your wonderful products!!! =) - Sheila

 

Deodorant

I got a stellar performance out of this deodorant, which I ordered last week. I wanted to give it a real run for its money before I reviewed it. I attended the Annual Memorial Day Bolder Boulder 10K Race, as a spectator, in 85 degrees and blistering sun. It was a long walk to the stadium where I sat for two hours enjoying the race. The humid bathroom at the stadium was probably 100 degrees, and I was dripping sweat as I helped my toddler granddaughter use the facilities. Yes, I was drenched. No, I didn't stink of BO. I woke up this morning with too much to do before showering, including taking a 1.5-mile walk outside in the sun. The deodorant from yesterday morning was still going strong. Sorry for the graphic account of the story. I wanted to report that Caroline's Dream Deodorant withstood a real-life challenge. It smells clean, light and fresh. Great job, Susan! Finally, something I can rely on that's all-natural and body-friendly! - Pamela 

 

Let me tell you how much I love this product. I got my husband to set up his video equipment so I could tell the world something important. Was it to let people know about my own small business? No! We made the video so I could let everyone know that this scrub is a fantastic way to take care of your skin. Yay for gentle exfoliation! Yay for all natural ingredients! Yay for Caroline's Dream! - Joanna 


Made in Vermont - WCAX with Gina Bullard May 18 2016

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

EAST MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

Cruising around on her cargo bike, Susan Shashok means business, and she's doing business in a different way.

She makes hand-crafted skin care for her line, Caroline's Dream. Almost all of which is paleo-certified. Huh?

"Your skin is your largest organ, so what you put on it is just as important as what you put inside your body," Shashok said.   to continue reading

 


Cyclocross Magazine IN REVIEW: CAROLINE’S DREAM SKIN CARE LINE May 14 2016

cyclocross magazine review

 

by Daniel Curtain Jr.

With warming spring weather and everyone taking to the outdoors for ever more riding, the activity we all love and the resulting increased sun exposure can take its toll on our skin. Skin care and cycling are common bedfellows, with everything from chamois creams and embrocations to sunscreens and special detergents to clean technical wear.

But what about repairing damaged skin either from exposure to the elements or the inevitable tumble riders tend to take?

Caroline's Dream has a line of products designed to restore damaged skin. The company is run by Susan Shashok, but takes its name and ethos from Shashok’s grandmother, whose use of medicinal plants and home remedies inspired Shashok.

Click here to continue reading


Gina Bullard from WCAX was here! May 05 2016

Gina Bullard WCAX Made in Vermont
It was a big day here - Gina Bullard from WCAX came to tape a segment of her Made in Vermont Show! Lots of action shots of me making product, a nice interview and some bonus footage of me riding Caroline's Cruiser. So much fun!

Middlebury 5-0 Interview March 31 2016

The owner of Caroline’s Dream, a local handcrafted skincare product
business, and the Director of the Addison County Economic Development
Corporation collaborate in this wonderful show about community-oriented
entrepreneurship and a revolutionary approach to business funding. Susan
talks about her paleo-friendly, locally-rooted business model. She
introduces her Yuba delivery bicycle (a truly magnificent specimen),
partially funded through a Clean-Energy Grant awarded by the ACEDC. These
engrossing and articulate women go on to explain how Caroline’s Dream is
planning to expand through a Kiva Zip loan – an innovative funding
mechanism poised to transform small business lending and the fabric of
economic development.
Recorded 3/24/16.

Cruelty Free List March 31 2016

We made the Cruelty Free List over at Logical Harmony, a great resource for cruelty-free and vegan skincare companies.

As Tashina Coombs, creator of Logical Harmony notes " It’s not an aggregation of information from other sites. Logical Harmony does all it’s own brand research and includes only brands that we can be sure are cruelty free with vegan options. These brands are also contacted on regular basis so that this list can stay fresh and up to date."

Caroline's Dream is NOT vegan (we use beeswax) but we are proud to say that we never test on animals and never buy our ingredients from those who do!


Announcing our Newest Partner! February 19 2016

Little Bellas

 

Little Bellas is a mountain bike organization whose goal is to help young women realize their potential through cycling. They bring together girls ages 7 to 16 with female mentors in programs which use mountain biking as a vehicle to teach the importance of teamwork, goal-setting, and fostering a healthy lifestyle. In weekly summer sessions or multi-day camps, mentors and girls ride together at local trail networks, focusing on improving skills as well as participating in team-building activities across the county in VT, CO, PA, CA, UT, MN & GA. 

Little Bellas

 Susan (from Caroline's Dream) is an elected official for the Town of Middlebury who encourages and mentors others, especially women to recognize their community leadership skills. The Little Bellas program is a perfect partner for health, wellness, cycling and fun for young women! Caroline's Dream is pleased to provide all the program mentors with a year end thank you gift for all of their hard work!

Susan Shashok bike


Love is a beautiful thing January 31 2016

"Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit. 

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.' 

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?' 

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
- The Velveteen Rabbit

Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Check out our Company Vehicle! January 03 2016

Our company vehicle, this amazing Yuba cargo bike has just arrived! It will get a sign and a name - join the voting going on today on Instagram.  Locals will see me riding all over town to pick up supplies, make deliveries and work special events when riding conditions are less wintery!

We encourage health and wellness with all of our products and with the choices we make everyday. Especially with healthy food, exercise and community impacts. I'll ring the ding-a-ling bell for you!

 


Eczema, Psoriasis & Burns, Oh my! November 19 2015


Our creams are really concentrated. What does that really mean? October 12 2015