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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Middlebury Block Party on August 2, 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

Susan Shashok
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Countdown to Vermont Gran Fondo 2017

Countdown to Vermont Gran Fondo 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!

Susan Shashok
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From pedal to metal, bike shop to tool shop.

From pedal to metal, bike shop to tool shop.

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.

Susan Shashok
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Vermont Gran Fondo is coming!

Vermont Gran Fondo is coming!

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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Susan Shashok
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Cold & Flu Season - Susan's best product advice

Cold & Flu Season - Susan's best product advice

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.

 

Susan Shashok
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Did you ever ride a penny-farthing (high wheel)?

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

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

Susan Shashok
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Dangerous chemical, Triclosan is banned in soaps - but it's still out there.

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

 

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!

Susan Shashok
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Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Harvest Festival

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Harvest Festival

 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

Susan Shashok
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Valley Voice Article

Valley Voice Article

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.”

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Susan Shashok
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