Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get to Know Pure Green - Michelle Carangi

In today's edition of Get to Know Pure Green, the last of the week, we're introducing you to Michelle, PGM's Style Director. Michelle is a true sweetheart, and self-professed design fiend.  You'll love her style... read on to get to know her a little bit better.

Hi Michelle! Please Introduce Yourself
Hi everyone, my name is Michelle from Montreal and I'm the Style Director at Pure Green Magazine and in case you haven't heard, I live for design. I started in the realm of fine arts and illustration, turned to web and graphic design and now also find myself in a very happy place writing and blogging about interior design at Holley & Gill My motto, as they say, is to always follow your passion wherever it leads you and I have been lucky enough to have found that sweet spot in Pure Green Magazine, where I can share this design passion with you.

What has been your proudest moment?
I think my proudest moments have come in many forms. I've conquered my fear of driving by getting my driver's license only last year (!), I've ridden on a plane alone on three separate trips even with my fear of flying and I finally let go of several insecurities when I became a Mum to my two little ones in order to be able to provide them with everything that they deserve. I used call myself a creature of habit, yet over the last few years as I've gotten older, I've found a confidence which has allowed me to push my boundaries more than they ever have been and it is in these instances that I feel at my most proud. 

Coffee or Tea?

In the morning, I am definitely a coffee person. The promise of a new day with a warm coffee in my hands brings me nothing but excitement and happiness. With my British husband and heritage however, tea is just as important in our family. It is a total comfort drink for me.

Best way to spend a weekend?
With my family. Friday nights to us have officially been christened as 'Family Movie Night' and because our two children are both under the age of five, an animated film is always the movie of choice. This might mean watching Madagascar or Toy Story for the hundredth time, but because we lead busy and often frantic lives, my husband and I will simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the view with some popcorn in hand.

What does living green mean to you?

I believe that living green is acknowledging every single choice, big or small, that you make on a daily basis that will undoubtedly improve our environment. Every time I place an item into our recycling bin, choose an organic product or simply turn off the lights, I feel a sense that these conscious decisions I've just made are what my children and this planet will be able to benefit from.

2. Virginia Johnson Luggage Sack: Beklina
3. Key West Platform Heel: Olsen Haus

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sneak Peek! PGM at Corriander Girl

Alison & I {Celine, EIC}
PGM's recent photo shoot with Alison of Coriander Girl was a true delight.  Alison was full of energy and charm.  Little did we know that in a previous life she was an actress, so she was a pleasure to photograph, animated and easy-going.  Honestly, we can't say enough good things about this lovely girl and her charming shop, Coriander Girl, a flower shop in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood that focuses on locally sourced, sustainable flowers and vintage goods.  Her style is loose and organic, totally unique.  While we could go on, you'll have to wait until our next issue to get the whole story!  For now, get a peek from the behind the scenes of Pure Green Magazine with Celine, Editor, and Erin, resident photographer - her skill is amazing.  Watching her work and then seeing the finished product is a treat! You will flip when you see the finished product of this shoot. And we can't wait to share!

Sometimes you have to get into a tight spot to get the perfect shot.
Making sure it's just right.
Alison looking lovely!
The perfect vantage point.

Be sure to keep up with our updates leading up to the launch of our new issue, coming May 24.  Still to come this week: Get to Know Michelle, Style Editor, and enter to win in a giveaway contest!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Get to know PURE GREEN - Erin Monett

In today's edition of Get to Know Pure Green, we meet photographer and friend, Erin Monett! If you love Erin's work as much as we all do here at Pure Green Magazine, be sure to read on and find out what inspires her, and why she still wishes she had more pictures!

Hi Erin, please introduce yourself. 
I've been shooting professionally for 11 years. After primarily shooting weddings, I've recently branched out into commercial photography and I love every minute of it! I was born and raised in Brampton Ontario, and my husband Brad (of 5 years) and I moved to Huntsville, Ontario, in April 2006.  It took a while to adapt to a slower-paced lifestyle but now that we've settled in this gorgeous cottage country, we hope to never move! We share a love for business, animals, and God's country. People consider me an activist in many areas including animal rights, environmental, and poverty. I'm just passionate about education, awareness, and ultimately doing what is right. I guess that makes me an activist!?

Why did you get into Photography? What inspires you?
I've always been "artistic" even as a young child. When I took Art and Art History at University of Toronto, I focused on painting, sculpture, etc in hopes of becoming an art teacher. I minored in photography and eventually it completely took over! Almost immediately I naturally knew the ins and outs of creating the perfect black and white photograph in the dark room. I began to shoot weddings for friends while still in university. Here I am, 11 years later, and I never stop learning. What drives me is the realization that I've captured that moment, frozen in time, never to be duplicated, only remembered through my photographs. Memories are powerful and so important in my life.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
If I could travel back in time I would go back to my childhood years spent in Florida with my grandfather. I was 9 when he passed away and it's hard to remember him. Every once and a while I see him in my family members, but I would give anything to remember my one on one time with him. See, memories are important to me! I wish I had more pictures....

Best book you've ever read?
Honestly, I'm not a big reader. But the book I most enjoyed was Marley and Me. Better than the movie!

What does living green mean to you?
Living green boils down to respect.  Respect for one's health and quality of life, and respect for all the earth and creation. I believe we've only been given one planet. As far as I'm concerned we have (and continue to) mess it up. It's our moral obligation to take ownership and make that wrong, right again. Everyone can learn to live a little greener! Make educated decisions about what you are feeding your children, pouring down your drain, and financially supporting in your purchases.

1. Coyuchi Organic Cotton Bedding,
2. Big Dipper Pure Beeswax Pillars,
3. Cascata Rain Barrel with Crown Planter,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Unveiling the new Pure Green Logo!

Hi there! Anile here from Girlfriday, honoured to be the newly minted design director for Pure Green! I’m thrilled to be unveiling the new Pure Green Magazine logo to you on the Pure Green blog today!

When I first met Céline back in January, I had already spent some time getting to know her by email and by perusing the pages of Pure Green’s first four issues; I felt that I had gathered a good sense of her values and priorities, and I was really impressed by her hard work and dedication. Finally meeting her in person was a real delight because on a personal level she is vibrant, enthusiastic, and an absolute sweetheart!

Over the past few months the ideas have been flowing a mile a minute - together with Céline, Michelle Carangi, Bess Callard and Marie-Eve Best, I have been privy to some amazing teamwork. We’re all dedicated to maintaining the integrity of Pure Green while boosting it to the next level. With that in mind, I developed an identity that was deserving of Pure Green.

My branding process involved getting to know Céline and Pure Green Magazine, getting to know the people that love Pure Green, and getting to know what it means to live a Pure Green life. I prepared a set of questions to get to know Pure Green’s history and objectives, and as an added bonus I got to meet Céline in person. I looked at other magazines and publications (both in print and online) and determined what worked and what didn’t. I word-played, sketched, and brainstormed to my heart’s content. Following the necessary weeding-out process, I presented Céline with a total of three choices and we settled on this little charmer – modern, clean with a touch of vintage, confident lettering with a hint of softness, and a textured bookmark to remind readers to come back again and again – Pure Green is, after all, a resource and guide to all things stylish and eco!

This example shows versions of the logo in black and white, but as you’ll see with Pure Green’s Twitter profile, and in the days to come, we will be pushing the logo in various colour and layout directions to really take advantage of its flexibility. We’re currently working on the new look for the magazine and I couldn’t be more excited. We can’t wait to share it with you!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get to Know Pure Green!

In our last post you read all about our re-launch plans... we're all just so excited!!! We thought it may be fun for you to get to know us all a little bit better while you anticipate the launch of our new issue (May 24), sporting our great new look!  You'll get to know each of our permanent team members and editors, from what is their favourite colour, candy, moment, to what inspires them, and finally, what's caught their eye this Spring. First up is me, Céline MacKay, Editor in Chief and founder of Pure Green Magazine.  

You are...? 
I've lived my 28 years here and there, but mostly in Hunstville, Ontario, in a region otherwise known as Muskoka, surrounded by lakes and nature.  My childhood and surroundings have played a big part in sculpting and fostering my passion for the environment.  I love colour and beauty which has driven me to create Pure Green Magazine, as I knew that there must be others like me who want to be eco but must do it in style!! I live in a small, 1950's bungalow, which my husband and I have painstakingly renovated and made our own, using nearly 100% vintage and upcycled items.  I have a dog, Rusty, who is like my child.  I take him everywhere! And a horse too... her name's Annie.  You may have seen her in Issue 2...

What will you always remember? 
Spending the entire day with my first horse, Rapscallion, Rap for short, basking in the sunshine.  I used to sit on him bareback, letting him graze, while I literally laid down on his back and suntanned. Crazy! I would never do that now... it's kind of dangerous! But I will never forget him.

If you could eat anything... 
It would probably be spaghetti, with my husband's homemade sauce, or maybe samosa's, which I make, or maybe sweet potato pancakes, or maybe mango, or bread, or cheese... can you tell I love food?  Hahaha!!!

Best way to spend a lazy Sunday? 
On the couch, snuggled with my dog, my husband, a great book, a steaming cup of coffee, and absolutely NOTHING else to do!

What does living green mean to you?  
Many things... I try not to define living green too much as I feel that it's really a lifestyle or a state of mind rather than a specific thing.  Having a healthy respect for nature is paramount... every time I take the dog for a walk in the woods near my home I'm in awe. It just fills me with so much love!!  But truly, I think each person needs to find their own definition of living green. That's the only way it will be meaningful to you, as well as easy!  With regards to interiors, I love exploring ways to re-use things.  A good coat of paint and some imagination can go a long way.  It's also important to me to source products that are non-toxic and healthy.

1. Responsibly Made Plastic Rug by Pappelina
2. Briar Owl Silver Wallpaper by Abigail Edwards, made using non-toxic, water based ink.
3. Fair Trade Panama Hat by Pachacuti

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pure Green Living Magazine: An Update

Dearest Reader -
These past few months we've been literally bursting at the seams with excitement - we've been working on a little secret, and the time has finally come to share it with you!  Pure Green Magazine (PGM) is a true passion - a labour of love, and we want nothing more than for it to be as wonderful as possible.  We've grown by leaps and bounds and felt that we needed to reflect that in the pages of PGM.  This past winter, Celine, founder and editor, teamed up with Michelle Carangi, Anile Prakash, Bess Callard and Marie-Eve Best.  You may remember our post about meeting in January.  That discussion, besides making wonderful new friends, was very fruitful indeed! Hours passed and time flew, and before we knew it we'd hatched a little plan.  In short, PGM is about to get a facelift.  Nothing too drastic - we'll still be the Pure Green you know and love.  But, have we got a treat in store for you!  A brand new logo and look - we want to make sure you always recognize the pages of PGM and will be able to look forward to your favourite column, issue after issue.  We're introducing some more new faces and columns and a new website and blog, among other things.  We've been busy bees, but there is still much to do, everything must be perfect, and good things come with time... as such, we'd like to announce that our next issue, our Summer issue, will come out this May, 24, 2011.  I know it's been a little while since your last PGM fix, so fret not, we've kept that in mind too!  Over the next couple of weeks we've got tons of fun stuff planned... you'll get to know Pure Green a little better with interviews and fun stuff with each of our permanent contributors.  We've got giveaways galore to celebrate how excited we are!!  And, not to mention, SNEAK PEEKS!!!

What can you expect in our next issue?  Well, we've had more than a few requests for tips on gardening, and you're going to get them!!  How about flowers?  Do you like them? We certainly do!!!  From great products, fabulous green homes, delectable recipes and more, it'll all be there.  

So stay with us, dear reader, for it's because of you that PGM is so special. We appreciate your patience.  Truly.  It will be worth it.  Trust us!!!

Next Week on the Pure Green blog:
Get to Know Pure Green with Celine & Erin
We'll share our New Logo (hmmm, yes we did let it slip in the feature pic above, but wait, there's more)
Our first Sneak Peek: Flowers with Coriander Girl

The Dominican... continued

I had promised more from my trip... I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to get it up.  I've had a WHIRLWIND week, with so much good stuff happening!  I'm excited and overwhelmed all at the same time... like when you don't know which way is up but life is SO good!!!  Of course, we all have challenges and setbacks, but it's just nice when the stars align every once in a while.
Anyway, back to DR.  My experience there was nice - the beach was lovely and relaxing, as you have seen.  But, anytime I travel somewhere I like to see as much of the country and culture as I can. In all likelihood, I'll never be back there again, so why miss the opportunity, right? Well, on this trip we planned two day trips, one of which was to the capitol, Santo Domingo.  Founded by Christopher Columbus, the first city in the New World, you can imagine Dominicans are pretty proud of it.  And understandably.  Our tour consisted mostly of listening to a guide talk about Columbus monuments and buildings in five different languages, for the WHOLE day.  Wowza.  But, along the way, we were exposed to a little of the city. I was saddened and shocked by what I saw.  And I don't mean to be negative to the Dominicans, but I've been lucky and traveled  some, and this was the worst I'd seen.  Poverty, yes.  This I have seen, and it is sad.  Stray animals... this is often seen, and surprisingly the dogs/cats I saw looked pretty healthy, but the horses... oi, that was another story.  One of the horse's I saw go by pulling a carriage made me cry (I may address this later, I can't decide).  And the GARBAGE.  It was everywhere, covering every surface, with the exception of the very small Old City, which is where these photos are taken.  Santo Domingo is coastal and the beaches are not safe to swim, they are so polluted. What was so striking about this was that our 5-Star resort was pristine - a microcosm of paradise amongst all of this.  And most travelers probably never see it.  They may not realize how dire the situation is, and that if we want to enjoy the world's beautiful, tropical beaches, something's got to change.  Here's an example of what I mean: on the beach at our resort, each day it is raked, by hand. They have a staff of people that pick up garbage all day, and they fumigate the beach (ewww, this bothered me) with pesticides so bugs and wasps wouldn't bother you.  1 kilometer off the beach and the roads and are strewn with garbage, as far as the eye can see.  So, I've been thinking about the small things you can do on a vacation like this to be a little more eco friendly.  Read On.

The original military fortress of Columbus' day.
Tip One: The single most striking thing is the amount of PLASTIC you use on these trips.  Let's be honest: all-inclusive resorts involve a good deal of, shall we say, indulging.  And on the beach, that drink comes in a disposable, plastic cup. Bring a travel mug. The bartenders happily fill them, you get a bigger drink that stays cooler, and you can re-use it.  I calculated that the average person uses 8-20 cups per day!!!! This is made even more important by the fact that the Dominican doesn't recycle.

The first cathedral built outside of Europe. It took 20 years to build in the 16th century.
Tip Two: You can't drink the water from the tap in the Dominican. BUT, restaurants are required to have filtered water. So bring a large, 1L water bottle (I have one made of steel that can take a beating, and hence survive many, many vacations) and ask for it to be filled at the restaurants at each meal.  This will save the gazillions of plastic water bottles that you would otherwise have used. Again, which they don't recycle.

The nave of the Cathedral.
Tip Three: most resorts now have a policy that if you make your bed and hang your towels up, they will not change them for new ones.  I'm sure you can imagine how much laundry a resort like that will do in a day, oh the water and energy they will use!!  If you must have fresh ones, at least cut it back to once in the week.  The same goes for your beach/pool towel. Rather than exchange it for a new one each day, hang it on your balcony at the end of your beach day. It will be ready for use tomorrow.

Tip Four:  Wear a non-toxic, biodegradable sunscreen.  Not only is this for your benefit...whatever you put in your skin is in your blood in 30 seconds, don't get me started on parabens!! ;-)... it's also for the benefit of the fishies in the ocean!!!  I don't know if you've ever noticed, but some sunscreens will literally create a surface skim of oily, weird stuff on the water! Not nice.  I'm sure the accumulation of thousands of guests swimming in the ocean several times per day has an effect.

The courtyard of Christopher Columbus' palace.  
Tip Five: That's it. No more tips.  I can think of more, but I don't want to overwhelm you or sound "preachy". Mostly, I just want people to think about the bigger picture, and do what they can because they want to.  So, above all, enjoy and appreciate your vacation if you get to go.  Relax, snooze, detox, whatever.  That appreciation will foster the desire to preserve, so you can come back and swim in the ocean again.  So, what do you think?  If you have any travel tips to add please do so! Leave a comment and share!

A man selling his wares.

Jonathan is struggling a little (read: bored!!!) with the narrative, repeated in five different languages!!! 

Christopher Columbus' palace. Amazing really - it's very old, yet practically pristine.  Inside still has some original furniture!
Thank's for reading everyone!

Still to come today: exciting news about Pure Green Magazine, and an update on our next issue.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Over the Ocean...

This past week I took a little break. A much needed break.  Jonathan and I, along with Erin {you know her as the stellar girl behind the camera in Pure Green Mag} and her husband Brad packed our things and made our way south.  To the Dominican Republic.  Now, normally all-inclusives are not my style, but after a few months of being over-worked and under-slept {but LOVING every minute of it} a beach chair with my name on it for an entire week sounded pretty good.  I had toyed with the idea of a special feature in the next issue of Pure Green Mag, but I decided against it.  Namely because I was hard-pressed to find ANYTHING green about DR. So, I thought I would break it down a little on the Pure Green blog.  Today I'm sharing beach pics.   I'm envisioning the white sand instead of the white SNOW I'm looking at now.  From sunhats to tocques... it's amazing really, when you think about it, to travel and experience such extremes in the matter of a few hours.  The beach {and good company} were the best part of the trip.  We spent long lazy days... it was wonderful.

Jonathan enjoying a good book and some rays.

And me, enjoying an equally good book and blissfully unaware.

This is Erin.  She's awesome.

Me again, basking in every last drop of sunshine on our last day.

A little B&W series that I couldn't resist adding.

All photos were shot by Erin Monett of EverImages using an iPhone.  Follow here on twitter or facebook, or see her work in Pure Green Magazine.

Tomorrow I'll share some pics from some our day trips, along with some tips on travelling green in the Caribbean. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Tomorrow I am going somewhere that looks a little like this.... I'm climbing aboard an airplane and jetsetting away, for one week.  It's been a while, and I need it.  I'll be going with Pure Green Mag's photographer, Erin Monett.  Perhaps, just maybe, there'll be a little surprise feature in our next issue.  Wishing you all an amazing week,

In the meantime, get a little fix from these fantastic blogs {and great friends of PureGreen Mag}

{vintages} Red Hen

Love this monochromatic collection from The Old Red Hen vintage.


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