The Ill’s of Parabens in Your Beauty Products

December 29, 2011 in Beauty

handlotion

For a long time, I didn’t know what parabens were. I also didn’t know that many of the beauty products that I was using on a daily basis contained them. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics. They are also used as fragrance ingredients, but consumers won’t find that listed on the label. You see, many fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets so manufacturers are not required to disclose chemicals in the list of ingredients. An estimated 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics contain parabens. So, why are they so bad you ask? Parabens easily penetrate the skin – especially when applied directly through a lotion or perfume. Parabens can mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and have been detected in human breast cancer tissues – suggesting a possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancers. Unfortunately, there are no regulations banning the use of parabens in cosmetics in Canada. Restricting parabens is enforced internationally. The European Union has restricted the use of parabens in cosmetic products. With that being said, I’m very happy and proud to inform you that ZERO of our products at Upper Canada Soap contain parabens. We’re very cognizant of what ingredients are used when creating a lotion, wash or soap. Our products are clean, safe and are produced with one goal in mind – to help you live a better life. We’re with you everyday through lip balms, lotions and soaps and that is why only
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3 Delicious Holiday Baked Goods Recipes

December 22, 2011 in Life

almond-puffs

Every year, I arrive at my friend’s Christmas party with either a fruit platter or a bottle of wine. It’s not that I’m in love with fruit or wine – it’s because I don’t think that I have time to bake a delicious holiday treat for my pals. However, my amazing colleague, Lynda, has provided us with three ho-ho-wholly-these-are-delicious recipes!   Chocolate Maccaroons           Put in saucepan:         1/2 cup butter or margarine     1 cup white sugar       1/2 cup milk                     Gently boil above for 1 minute while stirring.   Remove from heat.         Add:           6 tablespoons cocoa       1/2 tsp vanilla       3  cups quick oats       1 cup unsweetened coconut                 Mix well. Drop from spoon on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Cool, further shape into balls if desired.     Keep in cool place in sealed container.     9/13 Pan Shortbread           1 LB  butter           1 cup icing sugar         4.5 – 5 cups all purpose flour                       Blend until dough clumps in your hand. Press into 9×13 baking pan.    Poke /mark with fork, and sprinkle lightly with fruit sugar.     Bake at 350 for
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Recipe: Soba Noodles with Broccoli and Black Beans

December 14, 2011 in Life

Thanks to Toronto’s Fresh City Farms, we’re able to share this delicious and healthy quick 30-minute recipe! Between the soba, broccoli, and black beans, you’ve got your carbs, veggies, and protein covered. Feel free to add in any other vegetables you’ve got – kale, carrots, red peppers – just reduce the broccoli and mushrooms slightly so that there’s enough of this delicious sauce to coat the noodles. If you’ve still got some daikon radish lying about, then slice it up into ¼ inch thick rounds or half-moons and add them at the very last minute.   Ingredients: 2 tbsp sesame oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 red onions, thinly sliced 1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or 1 tbsp white vinegar with 1 tsp sugar) 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 head broccoli, rinsed 1½ cups cooked or 1 can (14 oz) black beans 1 cup vegetable stock or water ¼ cup tahini ¼ cup finely chopped coriander 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice 8 oz soba noodles Optional garnishes: cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, cashews, lime wedges Directions: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook garlic and onions for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in mushrooms, vinegar, cumin, ½ tsp of the salt, and pepper; cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Fill bottom of a steamer pot with two inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a boil,
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Top 3 Holiday Chick Flicks

December 8, 2011 in Life

The holidays just aren’t the holidays without the films. What’s better than a hot cup of cocoa and a Christmas film that mixes in serendipitous meet cutes, cheesy romantic lines, witty banter and the fact that love does exist (does it really? Seriously? I’m not bitter.) this holiday season? With that being said, I’ve asked the Marketing Ladies at Upper Canada Soap what their favourite holiday chick flicks were … and this is what I got!  1. The Holiday  Everyone at Upper Canada Soap loves “The Holiday.” I certainly do. It’s a heart felt and funny film about two ladies (Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) who live worlds a part. After being fed up with love and all of the things that come with it (mostly drama), they exchange homes and start a “new life” over the Christmas holidays. Kate Winslet’s character ends up in LA with Jack Black as a love interest; and Cameron Diaz ends up in Surrey, England with JUDE LAW (swoonsies) as a love interest.  Best line: “Why does it bug you so much that I can’t cry?!”  – Cameron Diaz to her ex-boyfriend.   2. Love Actually     “Love Actually” was second on the list. It’s a film that follows the lives of eight very different couples as they deal with their love lives a month before Christmas in London, England. It also so happens that everyone is connected in one way or another. I love when this happens. It’s a feel good film with memorable romantic
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5 Merry Must Haves from Upper Canada Soap

December 5, 2011 in Beauty

hostess

No more fighting through crowds of holiday shoppers to find the perfect gift.  We’re here to put your mind at ease and to help you shop from the comforts of your own home! You can find everything you need for everyone on your list in our fabulous online store: www.uppercanadasoap.com. Here are our Top 5 Merry Must Haves. Gift Sets ($60 and up) There are three fabulous gift sets to pick from: “Hostess with the Mostess,” “Girl Who Loves Bling” and “Sweet Obsessed.” Swarovski Crystal Razor ($20) Dazzle everyone on your list with these gorgeous Swarovski Crystal Razors. Naturally Body Butter Balm Stick ($12)  The Naturally Body Butter Balm stick is on Oprah’s Top 13 List of the best multi-tasking beauty products. Perfect for the woman on the go! Peek-a-Tweeze ($13) Talked about in Chatelaine, the Peek-A-Tweeze is a discreet, lighted tweezer. Your beauty lover will absolutely love this gift. Golden Maple Sugar Bubble Bath ($12)  Give a relaxing gift this holiday season. Our Golden Maple Sugar Bubble Bath has been described as liquid gold. For more great gift ideas, click here.