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    Client news: Bone Brewhouse continues to brew up good things

     

    I’ve been lucky enough to work with  Doug and Kevin, the foodies, entrepreneurs, and visionaries behind Bone Brewhouse since 2016. They got their start in the food world many years ago, working for some of the biggest and most well-known food brands in North America. While they learned a ton, it eventually became tough to ignore their entrepreneurial instincts and longing to create healthy, flavorful, functional foods they could proudly stand behind.

    Since those early days, they’ve launched many delicious, better-for-you food and beverage brands including Kiju Organic juices and iced teas (also a Pollen client till they sold the company), meal kits, burgers, and more.

    So why bone broth?

    They call it “liquid gold” for good reason. It’s the finest marriage of food and function that they’ve come across in their many years in the business. It heals. It restores. It nourishes. It’s flavorful. Bone broth perfectly aligns with their values and philosophy. They believed so strongly in the benefits that they launched and haven’t looked back since.

    The great news is, they’ve made their tasty brews even more convenient for you to enjoy with their new collection of instant bone broth. Just like their oh-so-delicious classic broths, their instant broths are made from slow-simmered bones. But with the instant version, you also get more delicious flavors, more protein, and more nutritional benefits!

    Available in the US and in Canada.  Sip, sip hooray!

    Is there a more beloved symbol of Canada than maple syrup?

     

    We think not! We’re crazy about our sweetest national treasure and cannot wait to share our unique creation with you. Perfect as a hostess gift…or any kind of gift!

    Pure Sappiness maple syrup is lovingly handcrafted by our friends at the Wagler family farm in Wellesley Ontario, where maple syrup has been a passion and a tradition for generations. For our syrup, we purposely chose a dark variety made from sap drawn late in the season. Why? Because we just love its rich, distinctive flavour and colour – without the excessive sweetness of lighter varieties.

    No artificial flavours, no dyes, no preservatives, and no sugar added. Just pure, natural, maple syrupy goodness. Mmmm…

    Why we love it?*

    Well, who doesn’t love maple syrup? We add it to everything! To baking, drizzled over fish, added to our fav salad dressing, and, of course, coffee… as far as we’re concerned, it’s the perfect straight-from-nature sweetener. A little goes a long way, but when it comes to pancakes or crepes, it’s kinda fun to pour it on. Oh, and did we mention the packaging is super cute, too?

    Currently selling by the case of 12! Interested? Please reach out  to  christine@pollennation.ca

    * Made in the farm’s federally inspected facility and subject to the highest standards for food safety in Canada.

    A pause for The Shop Around the Corner

     

     

    When we launched The Shop, it was to celebrate the simple things in life.. just like the list above. And this is still true to this day.

    But, like our namesake featured in the movie “She’s Got Mail”,  Pollen’s The Shop Around the Corner is closing its (virtual) doors….at least for the time being. Let’s call it a “pause” for a proper rethink.

    When COVID hit we tried a pivot, but the reality is, the thinking behind the site only made sense in a pre-COVID world.

    Not to worry though, we’re still taking direct orders for simple, practical, and positively perfect purposeful things. So reach out if you’re in need of a case of divine Pure Sappiness maple syrup,  or a fabulous housewarming, grief, corporate, or just-because gift. We’ll help you create something wonderful.

    Read our original launch post below.

    …..

    Shopping isn’t what it used to be. Where we used to go to the mall and just pick up anything we felt like – mostly guilt-free, or at least until our credit card bills arrived – shopping just seems a lot more loaded now. Instead of just thinking about the cost, we care more about everything involved with everything we buy. Is it ethically sourced? What kind of carbon footprint does it leave? Are we supporting local businesses? Is it a healthy choice for my family? Between Marie Kondo, Greta Thunberg and thousands of online reviews fighting for space in our heads, plus our own unique preferences of course, is it any wonder that shopping has changed? 

    But here’s the good thing: shopping has changed. Not only do we have more choices than ever, but we can influence change through what we buy. We can make informed decisions and shop more thoughtfully than ever before – making the products we choose not only better for us but better for our planet, too.

    This company started in a very organic way. Like everybody else, we wanted to buy the best products for our families but we also wanted our everyday purchases to make a difference. We loved the idea of supporting great Canadian businesses and imagined a world where our purchases could also help raise funds for the organizations we cared about. As avid shoppers and moms, this seemed like a no-brainer. Thus, the Shop Around the Corner was born. 

    Like so many right now, we’re now having to rethink our business a bit. The Shop Around the Corner’s launch was, well, just around the corner, when COVID-19 hit and flipped the world upside down. While our original focus was on fundraising for schools (which are currently closed, as every homeschooling parent currently knows all too well), we’re still committed to giving back. We hope you’ll shop for you and your loved ones knowing that a percentage of every purchase will go to support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. We’re also featuring several products from local businesses we love so you can support local shop owners.while you’re at it.

     

    Still haven’t yet picked up something for Mom? We’ve got you. We’re last-minute types, too. Simply order by this Saturday at noon for guaranteed local Mother’s Day delivery. (While quantities last.) If you live in KW, Cambridge and Guelph, please use code “Local2020” for free shipping with a $30 minimum order. We offer Knock & Drop delivery ❤️

     

    As this journey unfolds, we’ll be sharing stories about some of The Shop Around the Corner’s products and why they’ve become absolute go-to’s for our families. We’ll profile the makers and why we believe in them, we’ll highlight some of our best product hacks, and we might even share a recipe or two – no spoilers but one of our faves involves popcorn, butter and maple syrup. The best. Oh, and did we mention coffee? We’re moms – we have to mention coffee.

    And with that, The Shop Around the Corner is officially open. for. business.

    Stay safe. Be well. Excited to have you join our little tribe.

    xo Christine

    Introducing The Art of Woo

    The Art of Woo by Teddy Payne

     

    St. Jacobs, January 15, 2014 – In a world that is increasingly losing touch with the basic courtesies, a new book helps people connect with kindness, civility and small gestures.

    “You must really like women, not just want them. Women will warm to men whom they sense like them and respect their unique qualities.”

    This is just one of many insights of Stratford, Ontario artist and author Edward (Teddy) Payne in The Art of Woo: A Gentleman’s Guide to Courting, a delightfully illustrated and instructive coffee-table book. Teddy has led a storied life of adventure, love, war and peace in the pursuit of personal excellence. Now in his 80s, he draws from his experiences and reflections on the nature of relationships between men and women, and encapsulates them in this new book.

    The Art of Woo is essential for today’s young men coming-of-age, soon-to-be grooms and those men – and women – who appreciate a glimpse into the gentility that defined past generations. More than that, it is for those who appreciate and wish to instil within themselves a glimmer of the courtesy, respectfulness and manners of the men and women we used to call “gentle”.

    “I’d like to be thought of as someone who has tried to do things right or make them better, whether it was on a ship at sea during the War or in the waterless desert and bush of Africa or – for that matter – in the daily cut and thrust of everyday life in the modern city,” says Teddy. “I’ve learned a lot from these experiences and hope that my legacy will be a more cheerful, considerate place.”

    Wooing can be defined as: to seek the affection of love of someone, usually a woman; court, and is an art that seems to have lost its lustre in today’s hustle and bustle world.

    Publisher Christine Guy, owner and Creative Director of Pollen Inc, says, “The Art of Woo is also about more than man-woman relationships. It’s about the practice of treating others with respect. Wooing, like respect and politeness, takes practice.”

    To illustrate this, The Art of Woo offers readers 39 tips, including:

    • On Grooming and Manners: Never ever say “you know” or “like” repeatedly. It’s exceedingly irritating as well as juvenile in the extreme
    • On Meeting and Greeting: Do not curse in an ugly way. It’s acceptable if it’s done humorously, but be careful – very careful – not to offend
    • On Bedding: Don’t try “it” on too soon. Women hate to be rushed, especially in such matters. Take it nice and easy; it’s going to be over much too soon anyway, especially for her

    Canadian icon Christopher Plummer has called the book “charming” and readers will quickly understand why when they see Teddy’s collection of illustrated witticisms and his lessons learned from a lifetime in the practice of “woo”.

    For more information, please contact:
    Christine Guy
    Pollen Inc.
    P: 519.221.9946
    E: christine@pollennation.ca

    The Art of Woo was published by Pollen Inc.; cultivating the arts, good manners and the simple things in life.

    Purchase The Art of Woo: A Gentleman’s Guide to Courting at:

    Fanfare Books

    92 Ontario St
    Stratford, ON, N5A 3H2
    519-271-1010

    Available in-store and via email at fanfare@cyg.net.
    Ships worldwide.

    First time in 20 years…

    I was considered an artsy kid. I danced, I sang, and I did art. Art was particularly special to me — I could spend hours in my room drawing. I always thought I would somehow have art in my life, but I gave it up back in my early 20s for what I thought was the right reason: I lacked talent!

    Yes, I could draw. But I couldn’t create anything I thought “special”. Truth is, I was scared. I ached at the prospect of someone looking at my work and dissecting its imperfections, which I was sure were many. So I walked away.

    Recently, I found myself drawn to some inexplicable need to create something with my own two hands but I wasn’t exactly sure what that was. A milestone birthday under my belt — I suppose I thought that I’d better get to it now or risk missing my window. But what to do, what to do…

    Over the past year I have worked with a life coach, been channelled, taken an art therapy workshop — all in an attempt to figure out how to inspire some creativity in my life, beyond what I do for clients. I realized one day that I was surrounded by many wonderful artists including Scott McKowen, Teddy Payne and Janet Hill, and a long time friend, Norah Borden (all making a living from their art, I might add) but I was sitting on the sidelines. So, after a lot of soul searching, I decided to just do it. I picked up some paint, a small easel, and a canvas and after agonizing about it, I finally started.

    So, here is my first attempt at painting in over 20 years! First time with oils. (It’s not exactly finished, but I needed a break from it.) While I’m still terrified to have people critique my work, I send this out into the virtual universe as a symbol of letting go. That, and I have the “comments” section turned off so I don’t have to find out what you think. Whoever “you” are.

    I call this painting “boy with dandelion”. (Boy = Benjamin, my son)

    Boy with dandelion

    Boy with Dandelion, August 2012, Christine Guy

    Kiju Organic has a brand new website

    Over the past few months, my team (thank you to Paul, Jon, Sacha, Tina, Harp, Charles and Crystal), and I have been working away at a project close to our hearts: the new and improved Kiju Organic website. We’ve edited copy, trimmed out the unnecessary bits, improved the navigation, updated the plugins, and redesigned the look, all the while, working closely with our clever client, Kevin! We think it’s lean, clean, and of course, green!

    If you’re not already a friend of Kiju Organic on Facebook, a follower on Twitter, or a consumer of the lovely organic juices and organic iced teas, get a move on. No excuses. Here’s how to find kiju.

    Shakespeare meets Fellini

    Twenty-four years! That’s how long Montreal’s Repercussion Theatre has been taking Shakespeare-in-the-Park on the road. Unlike most “Park Shakespeare” productions,  this one packs up after each performance and pops back up in a new park nearly every night over its 3-week run.

    Scene from Fellini's 8 1/2

    Preparations are well underway for this year’s sure-to-be-fabulous production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – rehearsals start in early June, with a talented young crop of actors. The next William Shatner, perhaps? You never know.

    I am most excited to see how the set design and costumes will add an Italian, “Fellini-esque” feel to the production, drawing inspiration from movies such as La Strada and 8 ½, without ignoring Shakespeare’s Elizabethan influences!

    Maybe I’m a little biased (my husband is taking on co-director duties this year), but I’m pretty sure that this production will deliver a little bit of circus, a lot of passion and a whole bunch of fun! Best of all, admission is FREE! (Of course, please give what you can as a donation!)

    Frankly, we need to support the arts and our artists! If you only knew what the average actor makes during a typical theatre run, you’d want to give them a big hug, say “I’m sorry”, and then invite them over for dinner!

    Artefacts, then and now

    I remember spending countless hours shopping with my mom when I was a child. Typically, we’d end up in some off-the-beaten-path town, like Bayfield, Elora, Aberfoyle or St. Jacobs, rummaging through bins of bobbles and prints at antique stores and outdoor flea markets.

    During one of our excursions, I entered the world of Artefacts Salvage & Design and was struck by the many textures and extraordinary beauty of all things old – the cracked paint, the intricate designs.

    Over the past 20-odd years I’ve visited and purchased many a  beautiful piece from Artefacts, including this shelf (pictured below) made from a cornice picked from a building in Detroit (if memory serves me) . A little sanding and new paint, et voila!

    Vintage ShelfI feel like I’ve grown up with this company, in more ways than one. Not only is it still one of my favourite shops, but they are also a client. And they, like me, are celebrating a milestone year, this year.

     

    Congratulations on 25 years in business, Scott and Chris of Artefacts.
    Read more: Artefacts in The Record

    End of an era? Viruses now targetting Macs!

    Today I received an email from a friend telling me that an attachment I sent wiped out her printer drivers, causing a bit of techie mayhem. “I’m on a Mac,” I cried out silently. But before I could respond she wrote,  “I know, you’re on a Mac! But supposedly they’re targetting Macs these days.

    (Who are “they”? Errrr.)

    So without skipping a beat I downloaded some virus-scan software, scanned my files, and voila, two infected files (now quarantined)!

    End of an era? Are we no longer safe?

    Voter: free to good home

    This election had everyone fired up, didn’t it? It was kind of exciting! The dramatic tension, the unknown, the heated debates… But sadly, I found myself voting strategically rather than passionately. Alas, I’m a voter without a home.

    So, what’s my problem? If I may channel Goldilocks for a moment.

    I find one party too cold, another too hot, and the party that should be juuuust right, well, isn’t?

    What I want is for my party to see both sides of the argument. Don’t just discount arts and culture. Help find innovative, inspiring ways to help the arts become more self-sufficient – through partnerships with corporations and business. And don’t just ignore our country’s need to cut costs, drive business, protect, and position itself on the world’s stage. Come on guys, you’re smart. You’ve got resources. Why are you all missing the boat? You’ve got a huge opportunity to listen to the voices, eliminate barriers, solve problems, and have citizens of this country love YOU, without having to give up your party’s raison d’être.

    Poor Elizabeth May – who I think is a pretty smart cookie – just trying to be heard in this quagmire. Oy!

    Well, you know what they say? Don’t complain unless you’re ready to do something about it. So what if? What if I wanted to become Prime Minister?