Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Coffee Date

The last time we sat down for coffee was last January.
This is not ok.
I take mine with one sugar, one milk + one cream these days in case you were wondering.
And usually, it's the best part of my day.
Often thinking about it as I lay down to sleep.
Life has been a whirlwind to say the least - I struggle to keep up most days.
Other days, are perfect.
Much like the ones spent in St. Lucia a short few weeks ago.

Ava Grace finishes a 2 week dance camp program today.
She's such a different kid than my other two.
Walked right in on the first day - no fear. By lunchtime, she owned the place.
I got to see their "camp end" performance yesterday and she giggled the entire time.
So proud.
I'm hoping she wants to continue the learning and start dance this fall.
Good for the soul.

She keeps me on my toes everyday.
You just never know what she is going to say next.
Like this past weekend when she woke up on Saturday, got herself ready and proclaimed 'I'm having a really good hair today.".
Really kiddo?
You are SEVEN.

Julian starts 10th grade next month.
I still picture him as a little guy in his crib - standing up and smiling at me when I walked into his room.
The cliche is true. They grow up so fast.
And while each day feels long at times; the years are short.
I do miss the days where I knew exactly where he was at all times.
When I was his favourite no matter what.
And when he didn't talk back.

I have had a really difficult year with him.
One of the hardest in my life.
He, of all of the kids, is taking the separation and pending divorce the worst.
He just wants his family back together.
Misses his old house.
Just doesn't get why this had to happen.
He has done things that are too painful for me to talk about just yet.
For now, today, he is good.
We have many late night conversations him and I. Have grown very close through all of the pain.
And for that I am thankful.
I love him something fierce.
My heart literally aches when I look at him. 
Please say a prayer for my sweet boy - for strength. For guidance.
His heart is good.

My Isabella has had a ridiculously busy summer.
Between doing an additional course downtown to working an almost full time job in a local real-estate agency plus her seemingly never-ending social life this girl is BUSY.
Her boyfriend of one year goes back to school in London this weekend.
I anticipate lots of tears.
From her and me.
It is incredible to look at your child and see yourself.
And this kid is all me.
I'm not talking about her appearance - it's her soul. Her sensitivity. How quickly she can be brought to tears when speaking about things that are important to her.
The way she sleeps.
Truly incredible.
I tell her everyday how amazing she is.
And to never, ever change.
Not for anyone.

I am probably the happiest I have been in a very long time.
I feel like a caged bird that was set free.
I love being able to do what I want, when I want.
To not have to worry about pleasing anyone.
Or what to make for dinner.
My heart is very full.
And I have truly special relationships in my life that would never have been had this not happened.
I am excited for what the future will bring.
But for now, I have the most important thing in the world.

Thanks for stopping by our little blog.
I know posting has been sporadic but I love this little space.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Week in St. Lucia

At long last, I've gone through the ridiculous amount of photographs we took during our recent girl's only trip to St. Lucia.
Know that it wasn't meant to be a girl's only trip.
Also know that my Julian refused to join us regardless of how many times I begged asked.
This destination has been on my own bucket list for some time.
Visions of the pitons had intrigued me for years - The Bachelor didn't help.
Let me tell you, St. Lucia is not close.
From Toronto, it a 5-hour flight followed by a minimum 1 hour and 30 minute shuttle to your hotel.
I will also tell you that is worth every.last.minute


We lazed on the beach.
We swam in the pool for hours. We couldn't get our little bathing beauty out of said pool.
We took a cruise to Soufrière where we visited a botanical garden and the infamous mud baths.
We drank far, FAR too many fruity frozen drinks.
We ate.
We foam partied.
We danced.
We carnivaled.
And best of all?
We created memories to last a lifetime.
Feeling blessed.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What She Wore : The Satin Jumpsuit

Coming soon - a full post on our incredible girls-only trip to St. Lucia.
But for now, we're sharing just one of the beautiful looks we brought along care of one of our favourite shops {and blog sponsors!} Magnolia Boutique.
This satin jumpsuit really is a vacationers dream.
Takes up next to no room in your suitcase, is low maintenance {a quick steam and it was ready to go!} and it is perfect for keeping you looking polished in hotter than hot weather.

"Everly" Satin Jumpsuit c/o Magnolia Boutique | shoes - J. Crew | sunglasses - Ray Ban
Isabella is wearing a size medium although a small would have been fine as well.
She slipped on a pair of perfect gold slides, minimal jewellery + was ready for dinner.
I may or may not have worn it the next evening.

Shop it here. And check out all of Magnolia Boutiques other pretties while you're at.
Do you follow us on instagram?
See more of this look + more on our page.

Happy Thursday indeed.

Friday, June 30, 2017

What I Wore : Peachy Keen

So here's something.
This entire outfit {minus bag + shoes} is under $50. Canadian.
Further proof that my theory = a good quality handbag and shoes make an outfit.
A cute J. Crew necklace doesn't hurt either. 

top - H+M | cigarette pants - H+M | belt - Joe Fresh | shoes - Calvin Klein | handbag - Michael Kors Collection |
sunglasses - Forever 21 | jewels - J. Crew 
Fast fashion is fleeting - 
But, I just can't resist when a fun new colour like this peachy keen one comes along.

Wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What Ava Wore : Sunday Best

In case you don't guess it from looking at these photos, Ava's new very favourite thing to do?
Her make up.
I often find her playing with her big sis' collection - eyeshadow on her eyelids and under her eyes.
Like any little diva, she obviously chooses THE brightest pink lipstick she can find.
Quickly smudging it on before I catch her doing so.
Today, I let her keep it on.
Likely why she agreed to pose for these photos. And also why she looks so ridiculously happy in them.

dress - Gap Kids | sandals - Michael Kors

Honestly, this one keeps me laughing every single day.
And also wishing her clothes came in adult size just as often.

And speaking of adorable girl's clothing that I wish came in adult sizes - LimeApple's annual Clearance Sale (with 50% off sale items!) begins tomorrow through Canada Day - July 1st. Definitely worth a peek!
Happy Thursday indeed.

Monday, June 19, 2017

On Father's Day : A Letter to My Dad

Dear Daddy,
Today is Father's Day. And while I know we should celebrate those we love every day, today just gives us all that extra reason to love on you.
Yesterday, I told the kids that we would go and see you first thing in the morning. Two teenagers - and no one complained about waking up early.
Because, you see, you reap what you sow.
And you, you sow only goodness. And love. 
They know innately how much you love them.
As did I.

 I hear my own birth story often.
You at home, waiting for news. {how crazy is that?!}
I envision you pacing but you were likely not. #toomanymovies
When the doctor called, he said "you have a beautiful little girl" albeit in croatian.
You screamed with joy through the phone. Letting out a huge whoop!
Apparently, it was the talk of the hospital.
I don't think dads were very vocal those days.

From the time I was just a little girl, I knew I had a special place with you.
You were a protector. Often protecting me from my own mother when she was upset with me for this or that.
Some would say that you were not the head of the household - they would be sorta right.
Mom ruled that roost.
But when it came to me? You always stood up to her.
I remember the time when I wanted roller skates SO badly. 
She insisted they were far too dangerous.
You bought them for me anyway.
Later, when I fell and almost killed myself? 
You picked me up - and we both planned out what we would say to mom to cover up.
It didn't go so well. 

Years later, my first boyfriend.
God...that was so hard for you.
It was like YOU were uncomfortable in your own house rather than he being nervous meeting you.
You liked him.
Often talking sports - 
I know we spent far too much time together.
That I got caught up and ridiculous.
First love has a way of making you crazy.
And when I decided to leave home in a fit of stupid anger? I broke your heart.
I will never forget how you cried. Asking me how I could do this to you.
I came back a short few months later.
But to this day, will never forgive myself for hurting you the way I did.
It remains one of the things I am most regretful of.

When cancer struck you some years ago, prostate, you were more afraid than anyone I had ever seen.
You weren't quite ready to give up.
And felt it best they just remove the whole damn thing for fear of it ever returning.
I was by your side through it all of course.
Know that we called you a big 'ol chicken behind your back. 
Because you were.
The operation was a huge success and you were up and urinating faster than anyone the doctor had seen before.
I swear it was because you just wanted to get the heck out of there.
I was probably right.

Today, you love my children more than you love yourself.
I suspect, more than you have ever loved anyone.
If Ava, God forbid, even mentions she wants this or that - a package of a specific gum, a hoola hoop - it is ALWAYS there by the time I pick her up.
Not sure how you do that.
On that note, you have been picking Ava up from school every day - personally, I think it has saved you.
Because we all fight that depression and anxiety demon.
And a lack of feeling true purpose often makes it worse.
I am glad I was able to give you that purpose.
And you do it with so much joy.
Daddy, saying I love you is not enough.
You are the first man I ever loved - and no one else could ever come close.
They wouldn't dare.
You are one of a kind.
The best of the best.
I truly don't know what I would do without you.
Even though I sense you preparing me all the time.

Volim te puno.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Beauty Faves

It has been 30+ degrees in Toronto these last few days.
Feeling like summer? 
You betcha!
Come summertime, my beauty routine focuses on three key things:
1. Simplicity
2. Looking tan without actually tanning
3. Dewy, sparkly, shine-y

And here, I share with you, my go-to's. 
Two of which I may or may not have received free from Sephora as this year's birthday gift. 
4. Things I got for free.
1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in "Paaarty". This gives the best colour - an almost sunny glow on the cheeks. And, as it claims to, lasts all day. #gotitfree
2. VitaLiberata's new "10 Minute Tan". I was already a huge fan of their products - last year, I used "Body Blur" the entire summer to enhance my colour and keep it even-toned through September. No risk of colour transfer and just the faintest hint of self-tan smell = best.thing.ever
After applying for just 10 minutes (!), I showered, went to bed and woke up with the perfect glow.
3. Hands down my favourite highlighter. Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in "Champagne Pop" {I know, I know - tell you something you didn't already know} is a cult-favourite for good reason. LOVE.
4. I have finally found a hair elastic that can hold my mane in place {no easy feat}, doesn't cause a bump/line AND most imporantly, doesn't give me a headache. Find these, by Invisibobble at Nordstrom.
5. Summer means less is more. Especially when it comes to foundation. On days where I don't have to work, I almost always use either a tinted moisturizer or this anti-aging BB cream by Marcelle. Find it at your local drugstore.  
6. My signature fragrance, for about as long as I can remember has been Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana. This one {I believe was just released} called "eau intense" is on my must-try list. 
7. Tarte Tartiest Quick Dry Lip Paint in "Birthday Suit". Definitely my new favourite - I have been using this one non-stop. And definitely plan on picking up a few other shades. And the other formulation. #alsogotitfree

What's on your summer beauty list?
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