Environmentally & Socially Responsible Event Planning * Consulting * Staffing * Catering

What our clients say about us...

  • “You have extraordinary attention to detail. You took care of the little things (like the place setting utensil twine and the food platter you sent up to the girls’ room) that we didn’t even think about. We’d be able to tell future clients to feel confident that everything will be taken of with style, even the things they may not have thought of beforehand.” – John, on his wedding

Monday, November 29, 2010

I think the Construction God is happy

Construction was going on DIRECTLY OUTSIDE our bedroom window in the park across the street. Nothing sings the praises of the Construction God Backhoeus than a jackhammer breaking old cold concrete at 8am.

Julie & Julia = Rolo + Inspiration = Actually blogging again

So, I sat down and watched a bit of "Julie & Julia", the recent movie about a blogger and her connection with Julia Child. Her blogging got me thinking in that Japanese sort of healthy envy "iie-nahhh" (sp?) that begs the question "Why the heck am I NOT writing more on my blog. Its easy to say that I'm just too darn busy building a thriving triple-bottom line company. But I'd be kidding myself because the inspiration has been rather fleeting lately!

It wasn't until I looked at the movie that I revisited the question of the main reason why I write this blog. For a while I've had some "cover answers" but I guess I might as well go into them ON the blog instead of talking about it in my head and word of mouth. What really inspired me and got me thinking is the way Julie Powell wrote her blog and compared it to Simplicity. How could a blog about an entrepreneur and his company's exploits to make a difference be something intimate and enjoyable to a wider audience and not just friends family and in industry people? (Heck I don't even know what people think of this. I'm always surprised when people tell me the actually READ it.) Its a funny thing because I feel I want to be positive, not bitch and at the same time be professional. I guess the best way is to continue to be honest.

It seems to me people write blogs for various reasons and I will humbly admit that the quiet little star in me was disappointed in the traffic I receive for the blog. However the altruistic side of me steps in says "HEY thats not the point!"

I write this blog for several reasons some of which can be a bit hoaky but here they are:

1.) For myself - Its a reminder of how far Simplicity has come and is continuing to slowly but surely thrive in what it has set out to do. (soapbox enabled) This is to be a socially and environmentally responsible catering company designed from the ground up to make a difference. (soapbox disabled)

2.) For you - my reader. This includes our clients, supporters and staff. I also secretly hope somewhere out there there IS a fellow entrepreneur who is reading this and thinking. "Crap, its fricking hard to start your own business. I don't know how I'm suppose to pull this shit off and stay sane."

3.) Because its organic. Unlike a website, websites are polished advertising driven, sites that can be a glossy cover. I feel its nice to strip it down and show what makes this growing organization great. It's people. Doing really cool things. I do believe its easier to change and adapt this blog than a fixed website.

Meh. Anyhow, its a Monday and things are off to a good start. Several of our old clients are booking us for Christmas parties and we're actually booking well into June. It's a wonderful thing to see. We also have a new mega-client. I just hope that we can actually settle the vendor pay issue.

(Mental note to self - mega corporations are really hard to adapt and be flexible.)

I also finally managed to extract all the photos from John and Emily's wedding our staff volunteer photographer took. Sadly, huge files are so hard to edit and work with! It took me 3 previous attempts before Picasa nearly had an aneurysm trying to digest the 15 to 17 meg photos. In the end I had to finally copy them group by group.

Also thinking about having a 4 course dinner party at the house soon. Its a tiny place but it sure is cozy. If I'm lucky I'll even update you all on the other events that Simplicity has been doing. (Crosses fingers enabled)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Entrepreneur Tip: Practice Safe USB'ing

Curse you FedEx Kinkos and your sloppy Anti-Malware procedures.  My biz USB key with my portable work now has key-logging malware and other crap that I don't want on it.

So folks, if you happen to use a USB key and plugged it into a public computer, and your PC starts acting funny, check your little baby for malware by clicking on

1.) TOOLS drop down menu
3.) Click on VIEW tab
4.) (Scroll down to "Show Hidden Files and Folders" Make sure that is checked off!
5.) Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)"

Then root around in your User Folder in "Documents and Settings" You may find some random and unfamiliar *.scr and *.exe files that are sucking up system resources.

These are nasty little things that I picked up from my forays to Kinkos to print material. I only noticed them after I get back home and noticed the office comp starting to act weird.

Oh and if you don't know what to look for, ask someone you trust who knows what their doing and can spot malware.

THANKS Kinkos! (At this point I'm considering putting a condom on my USB key.)

Thankfully Google allows me to mail stuff to myself. God knows what key logger software is on their Kinkos comps...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Social Responsibility by Community Involvement: The BICYCLE Program

In my humble opinion it is quite easy to say that you are a triple-bottom line company and not be able to show proof that you practice what you preach. Well here is proof!

Here is a fitting example of how building a company that is socially responsible and being directly involved in the community really works seemlessly. But first a bit of back story!

Recently I have had the fantastic opportunity to be involved in a program called BICYCLE (Bicycle Initiative for Cabbagetown Youth Centre. Learn. Engage) and have been filling in the role of Volunteer Administrator and Event Organizer. In part of this Simplicity has been involved by helping organize a community Bike Clinic, co-ordinating with several other organizations. (More on this later!)

Last Saturday it seems I ended up being on camera during the Toronto Sun's visit to the BICYCLE shop. Article Link (HERE).  Either way I am quite happy to be part of BICYCLE and happen to be in the newspapers, and quite content to be in the background I have to say though the quotes they chose makes me feel like I sound like some sort of Bike Engineer.

Oh well, keep an eye out for our upcoming post which will show the photos of the recent Bike Clinic!