Archive for the ‘Life at the Rose Cottage’ Category

Part 3: Wrap Up The Flu And The Coughing Too

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

We were all on a powerful deadline when our early December bout with the flu landed. Chicago’s One of A Kind Show and Sale was days away and it’s a biggie for us. It’s a massive investment in time and resources and we have to be able to sell, sell, sell to the crowd of 75,000 attendees over a period of four days to recoup our dollars. And selling means on our feet 10 hours a day and talking, talking, talking.

Katie S - in store display w annie

 

It was time to call in Katie Speh from our local Southtown Health Food Store. We love our doctors: integrative, chiropractic and TCM – but when it comes to OTC remedies and the smarts to know what to grab, we always turn to Katie Mahler Speh for the best there is. (more…)

Part 2: The Flu Is A Miserable Experience, But This Helps

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

If you see Oscillococcinum on the shelf at a pharmacy or your local drug store, grab a box or two. It addresses flu symptoms, which you’ll have plenty of, and it eases things up a great deal.

oscillococcinum

Though I hadn’t had the flu in forever, I knew enough to jump on Ocillococinum as soon as I felt the first tickle in my nose and body ache in early December. The tiny little glass vials of homeopathic pellets work wonders. If you take them fast enough. When you can find them. (more…)

Part 1: Ideally, Don’t Get The Flu

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

Okay, I thought I was invincible. The great thing about using functional medicine to stop autoimmune disease in its tracks is you rarely get sick. Really, I haven’t had the flu or a head cold or an upper respiratory infection or even a sore throat is so many years that I didn’t remember what to do. When I got all of the above. All at the same time. This year.

Grain free, sugar free, soy free, dairy free. You know how we roll here at the Rose Cottage. That’s why you never invite us to your home for dinner. Right? Well, this year that many years-long discipline failed us. When the flu rolled in. And we hadn’t made a plan.

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Ruthie’s Favorite Words

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

by Mary Duggan

ruthie mary annie kitchen

Annie and I were crying through tears as this picture was taken. Our final moments with Ruthie in her kitchen, moments before her move to Florida.

If you’ve been following along with the story behind our little business for awhile now, then you probably remember reading about our dear friend and neighbor, Ruth McNeill-Opyt.

We grew up in a big old corner farmhouse on one end of a long block in a tree-lined historic district on the South Side of Chicago. Ruthie lived in her tidy little dollhouse Georgian at the other end of that same long street. The very street where we, as sisters, still live and work to this day. Ruthie raised her 3 children at one end of the block; our mom raised her eleven at the other end. And while their lives did not cross often, they both held each other in very high esteem. Ruthie, a Protestant, used to say that she upheld one end of the block while our mother, a Catholic, upheld the other. Each of them referenced the other as always waving and having such a wonderful smile as they zipped past each other in cars filled with kids. A passing that lasted for decades.

When Clare was a little girl, she used to stop at Ruthie’s (more…)

Dissing DEET Part Two: Keep your sunblock separate.

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

 

Peanut butter and jelly, Fred and Ginger, tea and sympathy – okay, some things go really well together. Bug repellent and sun block? Not so smart. We know it sounds convenient and maybe more comfortable when you’re fighting the summer stickies; but really – don’t do it.

 

For critically different reasons, the CDC and the Sisters both say keep ’em separate. In essence, the CDC’s advice against combination products is actually advice against DEET, and here’s why.

 

no-deet

 

The CDC is opposed to combination products because they are recommending the use of bug repellent products containing DEET. They know that DEET is dangerous so they want it applied rarely (once or max twice a day) and sparingly (e.g. never on the face) – the complete opposite of sunblock which calls for heavy application and frequent reapplication and for sure, it needs to go on your face.

 

The CDC and other reputable scientists are very concerned that when using a DEET-based combination product the DEET interacts with the sunblock formulation, making the DEET even more toxic at the same time that it reduces the effectiveness of the sunblock! See what we mean about it sounds great; but it really isn’t.

 

stings 5 on rock in woods - 1

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Dissing DEET is easy and important.

Friday, July 8th, 2016

by Mary Duggan

ZIKA has everyone scared. And hopefully/probably heeding advice from the CDC. Most certainly women who are pregnant, women who might get pregnant, parents of kids and anyone who is in any way immune compromised. (My personal at-risk category.)

Michael Beach, deputy incident manager for the CDC’s Zika response team, advises:

“If you are going outside, wear mosquito repellent. It needs to be the same as putting on sunscreen or brushing your teeth.”

Great advice, I think. Because the Aedes aegypti means business. In fact, additional CDC directives even advise wearing bug repellent indoors all day long because this mosquito is as likely to be hanging out underneath your bed as in your yard. So saying yes to hours and hours of wearing bug repellent is our new reality. And important for protecting the health of you, your unborn child or your children.

But not if your bug repellent contains DEET. Not when healthy alternatives exist. And not when those alternatives are even more effective than DEET. (more…)

Enough With the Pink, Let’s Think

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Just when I thought the Pink Campaign couldn’t get any worse, it has. Here in Chicago, Advocate Health Care has created a 16-foot tall, 1500 pound, hot pink underwire bra sculpture and they are taking it, and their “Stories of the Girls” campaign, on the road for the month of October. Brace yourself, it may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you. If it comes to my neighborhood I will be there to take a selfie with THE BRA and then I will share it with you. I will be in the forefront making a negative hand gesture (no, not that finger) – a thumbs down actually – and posting it to my facebook page. Thumbs down Advocate. I refuse to take the bait. You are not warming my heart; but you are most certainly making my blood boil.

bra chicago

The “Get a Mammogram Every Year” squad will be there to counsel you when you go to see the bra.

Here it is October and like so many women I have my hands full (more…)

An End of Summer Launch

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Today is our summer intern Talie’s last day with the Sisters and Clare is baking a low-sugar/gluten-free coconut and almond cake to mark the occasion. Oh yeah, our Talie is a lucky girl. We do things up big here at the deodorant factory.

Almond Cake with berries

If I remember college at all, I know about six weeks into dorm food Talie will be remembering this healthy treat fondly.

Talie has been a tremendous help to us and has balanced the fine art of packages out the door, with data bank updates and Quick Books input. No matter the strange summer weather, she has carried sunshine in the door each and every morning with her sweet and gentle nature. She is the product of what used to be known as “good home training.” Does anyone even call it that anymore? Those intangibles of yes, please and no, thank you and so much more. She is opinionated and well-spoken and a credit to the superb school she has attended. It’s no surprise that Sarah Lawrence has snagged her for their graduating class of 2018. (more…)

I like SKINNY POP so much I called and told ’em so!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

I know you are sick to tears hearing about my new anti-inflammatory diet. But please, bear with me. This is not a tale of me having to let go of my beloved snack – popcorn – but just for awhile. This is a simple and heartfelt congratulations to a fellow Chicagoland start-up.

But first, in addition to sharing with you that I have a leaky gut, I also have to confess another trait- I have a jealous heart. I watch all the rapid-fire growth and big investors and IPOs happening daily in the tech community here and I think, what are we doing wrong with our tortoise of an enterprise? It’s true, I covet their collective success. And I begrudge their youth and all the press they get. I resent their communal digs in the Merchandise Mart and I know its wrong to do so. My sisters always tell me so. But I am not jealous of Skinny Pop.

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune reported the big news that Skinny Pop, creators of the amazing healthy alternative to Chicago’s famed Garrett’s Popcorn, has garnered big investment bucks. Already in more than 25,000 locations, this can only mean big growth for this special organization. But why you are reading about this in a Duggan Sister blog post? Because the Sisters love enchanting businesses and Skinny Pop has so enchanted us. Here’s the brief back story. (more…)

On Losing My Mind and Losing Robin

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Mary DugganBy Mary Duggan

Robin William’s death from suicide was announced the morning following my big brain meltdown. One of the dearest hearts and most amazing brains had come undone and the loss left me shaking my fist at the talking heads and the grieving friends and colleagues. It is not, I raged, that suicide needs to be viewed with compassion because it is an expression of mental illness. It is because, I screamed to my tiny little forum of two sisters, it is the final and fatal expression of a sick brain improperly treated by a medical community that just doesn’t get it. It is a brain disease – not a mental illness – and it will continue until we move beyond the psychotropic inadequacies of the pharmaceutical industry and re-connect our brains to our bodies and feed them. (more…)