A Very Merry Middlebury

Middlebury Mountaineer Pop Up Shop

Join me at Middlebury Mountaineer

for Midd Night Stroll  Dec 6th + 13th

5pm-8pm

Pop Up Shop will have:

  • Lip Balms
  • Lip Balm Three Packs (in gift bag)
  • Lip Balm Pocket + Balm Special
  • Large Creams
  • Travel Creams
  • Caroline's Samplers (4 travel creams in gift bag)

LOCALS - You are welcome to PRE-order other items not listed and I will have them ready for you on your chosen evening. Email susan@carolinesdream.com, or call/text (802) 388-5458. Enjoy both the event discount and my free gift with every purchase.

 

Dec 6th:

Middlebury Mountaineer will be hosting a Darn Tough Sock Sale, 15% off Patagonia clothing, a raffle to win a free pair of Blundstone Boots ($185 value), beer tastings from Drop In Brewery. 

Dec 13th: 

Middlebury Mountaineer will be hosting a Darn Tough Sock Sale, free gift with purchase of Kari Traa Baselayers + Prana Clothing, raffle to win a free pair of Glerups Wool Slippers ($135 value), beer tastings from Drop In Brewery. 

Susan Shashok
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Community Benefits

Susan

I wanted a wool poncho for this coming winter but I do not knit. I saw quite a few online but they were expensive and not the styles or colors that I wanted. I shyly asked one of my friends to take on the project and she said yes! I was only too happy to pay for supplies and her time to get exactly what I desired.

Win-win is how business consultants would describe such a situation but I think of it more in terms of a healthy community. We all have talents and skills to offer our friends and family and there is no reason to reinvent the wheel everyday. I certainly didn't need to learn to knit to get my new poncho. 

I have a few customers who like to make their own skincare and I encourage them to do so. It takes alchemy and precision to successfully mix oil and water to make a moisture cream. So satisfying to get it right! But they don't always have the time to make their own and I am glad that they turn to me to fill in the gaps. 

I love that my skills go towards taking care of a large community of people - all of you! It is important to me that these products nurture both you and your skin. I know you deserve that in these busy times and I work hard everyday to make the best skincare possible. 

It is my pleasure to offer my skills in our community!

Susan

Susan Shashok
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Outdoor Adventure Skincare is official!

The new labels arrived on Friday so my mineral based sunscreen is ready for it's close up. Mineral based sunscreen - zero waste options | Caroline's Dream

All the ingredients have their own natural sun screening properties but it's the non-nano zinc oxide that takes it to the next level. Non-nano means the particles are large enough that they do not penetrate the skin surface. This maximizes the sun blocking factor and you won't have any zinc oxide inside your body at the end of the day. 

I had this formula officially tested for an SPF rating and water resistance a few years ago. This was before I learned that an SPF labelled product can only be sold if it was manufactured in a certified drug manufacturing facility. It's a shame to hold back a great sunscreen so I am making it available without listing the SPF.

 

mineral based sunscreen | Caroline's Dream

 Applying  

 

mineral based sunscreen | Caroline's Dream

After rubbing into skin (I left my hand bare)

For my 2 hour or less bike rides, I only apply before I go. For longer rides, I apply before and then reapply a thin layer while I snack at approx 2 hour intervals. As you can see from the photos above, a whitish layer which is the zinc oxide is moisturizing and protecting skin. It does a great job with my tattoo's red ink which is extra sensitive to fading in the sun.

Susan Shashok
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Zero Waste Changes

Zero waste living means aiming to reduce landfill bound trash to the bare minimum. Limiting plastics use because it has a short recycling life compared to glass and metal. 
zero waste
I have been using canvas bags for shopping and buying in bulk or from local farms as much as possible for 22+ years. My family composts food waste and the dried herbs left from infusions. I am careful where I source my ingredients and recycle clean packaging whenever possible. But I recognize that I can do so much more and will be stepping up my Zero Waste choices for Caroline's Dream over the next year.
Packaging
I will be phasing in metal lids replacing the black plastic lids on the amber glass jars. Metal is sturdier (if you drop the jar, the lids will dent but not break easily like the plastics do) and everyone can reuse or recycle them easily. 
You will notice more zero waste options such as upcoming sunscreen will have a choice for customers of a plastic twist tube or metal tin. 
sunscreen | Caroline;s Dream  Sunscreen | Caroline's Dream
Shipping
I have replaced the plastic "FRAGILE" stickers with a rubber stamp. Far less plastic in the waste stream and a little fun a the same time (see pic below).
Fragile photo

I already use brown paper packing materials but will be phasing in paper tape to replace the plastic kind.
_______________
If you have any ideas or suggestions for more changes, please let me know!
Susan Shashok
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About Sun Sticks

I am a pale person who has used sun care with questionable ingredients. These products irritated my already sensitive skin by leaving sticky residues or stripping it before a burn could even happen. Yeah, I've had a lot of sunburns.  

.Sunburn  photo | Caroline's Dream

A few years ago I carefully formulated a sunscreen with coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils, beeswax and zinc oxide powder. I sent it off to be tested for an official SPF rating/ water resistance and was very pleased with it's performance. Then, I learned that SPF labelled products can only be sold if manufactured in a certified drug manufacturing facility. It was a crushing blow to my plans to make a healthy and effective sunscreen. I shelved the whole project and walked away for a while.

This year I am making and selling it without any SPF rating on the label. You'll find it in my limited edition collection with a functional but basic container and label. This gives me time to decide on the perfect packaging and appropriate label. Feedback from customers will directly shape these choices. You won't find an SPF listed but you can enjoy all the benefits anyway. 

beach photo | Caroline's Dream

Shop Sun Sticks

So let me tell you a bit about my sun sticks and you take it from there. The sun is your friend but cover clothing, a nice hat and reapplying protection throughout the day are wise things to include in any outdoor adventures.

All the ingredients included in my formula have their own natural sun screening properties but it's the non-nano zinc oxide that takes it to the next level. Non-nano means the particles are large enough that they do not penetrate the skin surface. This maximizes the sun blocking factor and you won't have any zinc oxide inside your body at the end of the day. 

Susan bike riding photo | Caroline's Dream

For my 2 hour or less bike rides, I only apply before I go. For longer rides, I apply before and then reapply while I snack at approximately 2 hour intervals. It will add a whitish layer to your skin which doesn't bother me but remember, I am a very pale person! My skin loves all the added moisturizing the stick provides and my tattoo is staying sharp and colorful. 

If you are already burned because of another company's product, you'll want some Super Skin Salve

Please feel free to ask me questions anytime.

Susan Shashok
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Maple Fest 2018 has arrived!

maple syrup photo | Caroline's Dream
Every year I celebrate maple sugaring season here in Vermont by giving customers
15% OFF their orders for one whole week.
mmmm... maple
maple leaf photo | Caroline's Dream
Enter code: MAPLE2018 upon checkout
or click on one of the photos above and the code will load automatically after you shop.
Susan Shashok
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you really make all the products yourself?

A: Absolutely. Caroline's Dream is a one woman operation. I do all the formulations, production, shipping/delivery & marketing. I have been known to ask friends and family over to help me put on labels during the holidays but otherwise, it's all me. 

The one exception: I don't sew the lip balm pockets, they are designed & made by my sister Mary!

Production photo| Caroline's Dream

Q: What do you mean when you say your products are really concentrated?

A: You can use less of my skincare in comparison to big commercial brands. Only a small amount of my creams are needed to cover a large area of your skin or two swipes of deodorant per armpit... you get the idea. Caroline's Dream products last longer so they are good for your budget and are far more effective.

 Botanical Face Cleanser photo | Caroline's Dream

Q: What is up with the statement on the shipping note cards about shipping creams in cold temperatures?

A: When creams are shipped or stored in sub-zero temperatures, the coconut oil can solidify to form small harmless beads. These are a temperature reaction and will smooth out easily into your skin upon application. Keep in mind, it might not happen but is a possibility if temperatures are below zero for weeks in New England winters.

I hate when anything interferes with the smooth texture of my creams but I am not willing to add artificial emulsifiers that would then be absorbed by your skin to overcome a few weeks of cold weather.

 Product photo | Caroline's Dream

Q: I am not sure which cream to choose for my skin. Should I get a Caroline's Sampler?

A: A Caroline's Sampler has a travel size jar of each of my face & body creams plus a foot cream. It is a great way to discover your favorite cream and the sampler is much less expensive then buying the jars separately. I like to reward the adventurous spirits.

Caroline's Sampler photo

Susan Shashok
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More about Caroline

Customers love that my business is named after my grandmother, Caroline. She is not of myth or legend but a real woman that should never be confused with being ordinary. She was the daughter of two celebrated artists: William known for his magazine cover art and illustrations, an mother Grace for her seed catalog illustrations.

    

 

In my eyes, Caroline's talent shone in everyday items such as the quilts and crochet work she made for her family. I have four of her quilts and enough Christmas tree ornaments to decorate several trees at a time! She kept her three children and their respective families well supplied over the years. I remember one summer she crocheted an entire fashion line for Barbie & Ken dolls. I also witnessed her joy in sharing her skills with the people she loved. 

 

Caroline Nortenheim quilt

 

Caroline's large garden had a supply of fresh veggies on hand throughout the summer. I remember the abundance of herbs and flowers marked the season in planting, growth and harvest. Her homemade waffles with honey were my favorite whenever we visited. Bread dough was continually rising, baking or being eaten somewhere in her house. She read often from floor to ceiling bookshelves that were absolutely stuffed with books. I will note her passion for soap operas, leather moccasins and wild, Hawaiian print fabrics. She was not one to hide who she was from the world.

 

Caroline and my Grandfather, Ed were world travelers who enjoyed visiting our national parks. I got to enjoy a few local adventures in their Volkswagon pop up van (pic is a van similar to theirs). They owned a hunting cabin in northwestern PA that had the coldest, most delicious water I have ever tasted and an outhouse that made me cry more than once because of the spiders lurking inside. 

Sadly, Caroline died when I was still a teenager but her work ethic and pride in handcrafting was the inspiration to start my company. She was a strong advocate in learning to value both beauty and function. I wish she could have seen my business in action but I have no doubt she would see shades of herself in the path I have chosen.

Susan Shashok
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When I get sick.

Sick

 

When I don't feel well, over the counter remedies don't help because of my autoimmune thyroid disease. A thyroid malfunction can make my immune system attack the rest of my body and cause inflammation, pain, plus a host of other uncomfortable conditions. Immune stimulants like Echinacea and Zinc make the reaction even worse.

I approach being sick in a different way, see if you want to try any of my suggestions.

 1. Stay home and rest. So simple and so hard for many of us to accomplish. It's why sick days were created, if you've got 'em, use 'em. Bonus - your co-workers will thank you for not exposing them to your crud and having to listen to you sniffle, sneeze or cough all day. 

2. Aches & chills? Take an epsom salt bath. 1-2 Cups of epsom salts per full, very warm bath tub. Add a few drops of essential oils: Lavender for relaxing and soothing sore muscles and joints. Eucalyptus and/ or Rosemary to break up phlem and breathe easier.

3. Stay in your jammies, take lots of naps. Hydrate with lots of water, teas and bone broth (I keep some in the freezer). 

4. Sore throat or cough? Gargle with warm salted water several times a day. It makes a huge difference. Soups, bananas and applesauce go down easily when throats are swollen or irritated.

5. What kind of teas? Glad you asked.

Chamomile or Hibiscus, Lemon juice or a few slices of peeled Ginger Root with Honey, Decaf Black or Green (don't forget - go take a nap) 

6. Feeling over the worst part but not really yourself yet? Short walks and gentle yoga poses can help get you up and moving. Then take another nap!

Susan Shashok
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Why function is just as important as beauty.

Beeswax | Caroline's Dream

Great skincare products are supposed to nourish your skin, supporting and increasing your health in a functional way. Not just temporarily plumping, stretching or hiding skin that is dry, aging or damaged. I carefully choose base oils, herbs and essential oils that each play a valuable part in my formulas. No harsh chemicals, preservatives, fillers or concealers here, we don't need them!  Let your own beautiful skin have the spotlight.

Great skincare doesn't have to cost $200 per half ounce. I have been criticized for not charging more for my products. Yeah, I could compete equally with high end lines but I want mine to be accessible to everyday people. It's about integrity, I would never prey on people's desire to look and feel better about themselves. We both deserve better than that narrow way of looking at the world. 

I had to increase prices for a few items in 2018. Not my favorite thing to do but the cost of travel sized glass jars and some of the essential oils skyrocketed. I changed prices only on the items affected. I am firm in my mission to source only quality ingredients, not cheap fillers and handcraft each batch. 

Susan Shashok | Caroline's Dream

Handcrafted products means I am tied to every aspect of production, sales and customer interaction. Do I love sourcing the best ingredients, making a batch of cream extra smooth or writing personal notes in each order that goes out? Absolutely! I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Susan Shashok
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What does Certified Paleo mean?

 
I proudly display the Certified Paleo logo on my website. It shows which products have been confirmed to be FREE of grains, legumes, dairy, artificial colors, artificial preservatives and flavor enhancers by the Paleo Foundation.

 Sweet Almond Oil | Caroline's Dream
  You may have heard people talking about 'eating like a caveman' but I think of Paleo  as being thoughtful about what whole foods to eat. Foods restricted by the Paleo diet are common allergens. Many people sensitive to these allergens find they feel better and have more energy while eating a Paleo diet.

  Skincare isn't exactly on the menu, but our skin is the largest organ in the body and what we put on our skin can be just as important and what we consume. You don't have to be on a Paleo diet to use my skincare line, but I am sure you can appreciate that it has been certified to be free of all kinds of artificial junk. Followers of the Paleo diet? I have your back and understand your desire to seek out products that reflect the extra care you take in living your life. 
  I have been eating Paleo for several years and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (an autoimmune thyroid disease) in 2016. It has been a difficult learning curve, but I am managing my Hashimoto's by following a strict Autoimmune Protocol diet ever since. When I don't follow the diet, my body reacts with pain and inflammation for days or weeks.
 
  Everyone has their challenges, luckily mine can be addressed with good food, exercise, downtime and of course, wonderful skincare to keep my skin hydrated and happy. - Susan
Susan Shashok
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What makes Caroline's Dream lip balms so nice to use?

Lip Balms | Caroline's Dream

 

First of all, your lips deserve to feel soft and supple without having to constantly reapply product. The big manufacturers encourage lip balm addictions. How?

Did you know that one of the most popular drug store lip balms contains three ingredients that are acids? It performs a mild skin peel every time it is applied. That is why your lips feel so soft then quickly dries out and feels tender. So you reapply and the cycle continues again and again.

My lip balms are excellent at doing their job, which is to moisturize your lips without feeling greasy. You will only need to apply a few times over an entire day because it is not stripping away any layers. Instead, it is healing dry areas and keeping your lips ready for a day at the beach, that big presentation at work or welcoming your sweetie home.

The highlight ingredient is calendula oil which I make by hand. Organic calendula flowers are steeped in extra virgin olive oil for hours over low heat, stirring frequently so the flowers impart their healing properties into the oil. 

Calendula has a long history of soothing and healing dry, irritated skin. It is safe yet powerful, gentle yet effective and my favorite herb to use. Its beautiful golden color assures me that it is making every batch of lip balm you use - very special.

I source only the finest ingredients and treat them with care during production to maximize their effectiveness. Local Vemont beeswax, expeller pressed almond oil and organic essential oils.

Enjoy - Susan

Susan Shashok
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