Tuesday, May 17, 2011

An Interview With...Mano Verde

To unpathed waters, undreamed shores.
William Shakespeare

Hello all!

This post I have been looking forward to for some time and I am happy to share with you all.
I have always been on the lookout for products which stand out and carry a great philosophy with their products, and Mano Verde is one such example. Not only are their products eco-friendly (even their ecopots' pots are biodegradable!) but are artfully designed and fun for anyone who has ever wanted to dabble in a bit of gardening or for those who are already long time gardeners!
(Photo: Mano Verde)

Their Box Gardens and Ecopots are so convenient for those living in the city as they don't take up much space and yet visually it will provide that extra liveliness on the home front!
The 'Box Gardens' range from culinary herbs, flowers, veggies and berries, healthy shoots, to micro salads.
The 'Ecopots' range from garden trees, indoor trees, to organic trios.
Lastly, the 'Ecotins' range from ecospices, ecoseeds, and ecoteas.
(Photo: Mano Verde)

I had the immense pleasure to conduct an interview with the lovely pair behind Mano Verde: Greg and Tamara.

How do you begin your day?

Tamara: A quick shower, a cup of tea and cereal while trying to keep my sanity intact getting our two monkeys ( 5 year old Emma and 3 year old Max) hugged, kissed, fed, clothed, and tickled. Then it's out the door to school, then daycare and work.

Greg: With a hug and a kiss from my family.

Favourite quote?

Tamara: "We'll eat you up, we love you so." - from Where The Wild Things Are

Greg: "All you need is love."- The Beatles

What are some of the inspirations behind Mano Verde?

We both love gardening- or more specifically, creating and bringing something to life. The winter lasts far too long here (in Montreal) and the lack of greenery here is depressing.
Together, we wanted to create a business based on the idea of providing a garden that no matter how small- everyone can live through the same experience. To have a bit of green... a bit of life indoors all year long, particularly during the winter, as well as for anyone who doesn't have a backyard or a balcony.
We wanted to offer kits in various forms that are well designed, modern, fun, inexpensive, and functional. The fact that are kits are environmentally-friendly and educational are additional factors which drive us.

What do you like to do when you have time to yourself?

Tamara: Time to myself...now that's something that doesn't happen often. However, when the chance arises, you can find me gardening in the summertime, sewing or knitting- my recent obsession is designing patterns to be printed on fabric.

Greg: Playing with my kids or realizing ideas I have in my mind (woodworking, building, etc).

Three things you can't live without:

Tamara: My family, creative visual stimulation, sunshine.

Greg: Love, food, music, add a bit of water to take a dip.

Complete this sentence: Love is...

Tamara: ... the one thing that when it's missing, makes life seem almost pointless.

Greg: ... ma raison d'ĂȘtre, my motivation.

So what are you waiting for? As Mano Verde says: plant a seed, grow life!

Mano Verde's products are available all across the country. Anyone living in Quebec can find it in numerous locations in Renaud Bray as well as Jardin Botanique
Personally, I have come across their products in popular shops as Indigo and in gift stores down on Little Italy- make sure to check out garden centres as well!
For a location near you, feel free to contact them at info@manoverde.ca

(Photo: Mano Verde)

They have also been super kind and amazing as to send me one of their fantastic ecopots so that I can personally grow one! It was one of their exotic trees and it's a Flame Tree. I am so excited to get started on it- I will let you know about it's progress along the way!

Joie de vivre,


Friday, May 6, 2011

On Places, Loves, and Things

One way to get the most out of life is
to look upon it as an adventure.
William Feather

(Photo: Messia)

Hello all!
Wow just this past week alone have been crazy eventful. As part of the list of destination I plan on going to throughout the summer, the first one up was Niagara Falls! The following are photos I took.

Stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where Marilyn Monroe once stayed in when filming "Niagara"- I was definitely trying to channel her spirit when I was going up the stairway amidst a grand chandelier, knowing that she walked down these stairs and halls at one point.

Strolling along the streets when there wasn't a throng of tourists bustling at you from every side was a breath of fresh air. Although there were times where it rained, it didn't stop my friend and I to enjoy many of the fun attractions such as the Sky Wheel!

You could see the whole world from the top of the Sky Wheel, watching the Falls gradually rising from it's peak, looking down at the people that looked as small as bugs.

Dropped by this placed called Pop and Lolly's- I really shouldn't have as I found myself wanting to sample everything there- it was sugar heaven.

My friend had the craving for a Candy Apple, which eventually had an influence over me- the best part was that I custom made my Candy Apple- caramel with a layer of white chocolate and dark chocolate swirls. My friend and I probably looked like a silly pair sitting on a bench happily eating away our Candy Apples like two kids. It was so worth it.

(Photo by me)
My friend and I passed by this landscape while on a drive. I love these tucked-away places. On the opposite shore of the lake stood a Lake House. It was really quite lovely.

Went to see 30 Seconds to Mars a couple of days ago. It was amazing. Seeing Jared Leto live was definitely worthwhile (he looked good as ever!). The way he interacted with us the fans, bringing people onstage, jumping into the crowd-brought us one step closer to his world. What a memorable evening. I love how their songs are so honest and it frees your mind to believe that anything is possible and to also speak your mind.

I absolutely love this radio from Cath Kidston! It's charming, it's wonderful, and I can definitely see myself brining this along for the champagne picnics being planned throughout this season.

When I say picnics, it's of the loving and no-holding-back-on-all-things-goody-kinds. The kinds where friends and I will take our bikes and bring all of this to the Toronto Islands and hang out by the beach. It's one of those all day affairs.

I've always been such a lover of perfume, where currently I wear Dior's "J'adore", Chanel's "Coco Mademoiselle", and Kate Spade's "Twirl"- I wear them according to how my mood or occasion a day brings. I also love to collect the bottles and put them on a silver tray. I hope to eventually put them in a lovely glass cabinet.

Love this Dior ad with the beautiful Marion Cotillard.

I love this. I need to do this in my lifetime.


I was unbearably excited when I found out that the 'One Day' trailer had been released. I mentioned in a previous post how much the book left an incredible mark on what it's like to have loved and lost, on friendships and relationships- I cannot wait to see this.


As the weather gets warmer and when I'm on the road to the different kinds of destinations I've been, I find myself listening to Bluegrass. Alison Krauss & Union Station is definitely one of the albums I've listened to more than a couple of times- and their new album is definitely a favorite. From "Paper Airplanes", "Sinking Stone", "My Love Follows You Where You Go"- all elicit this feeling of a warm breeze down my neck as I walk among fields as the sun beings to set.

This book caught my eye while I was in a bookstore, and as I can be deemed as a fellow Janeite - I didn't mind reading books reflecting works of Austen. In this novel, Lily dreams of living in novels (as much as we all do to some degree!) and there is truth in the summary of the novel where it says she squeezed herself into undersized relationships all her life, hoping one might grow as large as those found in the Jane Austen novels she loves.

As summer starts, she goes off to England to take part of a Jane Austen literary festival. Along the way comes challenges and the exploration of what it means to change and be happy.
What I especially loved about this novel was that Lily envisions her version of Jane Austen following her around, doing endearing little acts like writing lists or falling off a stack of books when hearing something shocking.

(Photo: MamaBakasi)
In a sense, I feel a stir of good change coming to my shores this summer. Sinking myself into the world of Jane Austen as I begin reading all her books (with times that would consist of reading with amiable companions) I have a small feeling that her words will carry an influence to such a degree in my life than I can ever estimate. I think I need her more than ever throughout these significant and memorable days.

Joie de vivre,



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