Ava Grace's Closet

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Gift Guide : For Her

So, here's the thing.
I think the perfect gift is always one that you would really, really like to have, but would never buy for yourself.
Let's face it - every single one of us doesn't really need anything.
But damn, doesn't the Christmas season make it so hard to not want everything?
Plus a great blanket or the perfect pj's never hurt anyone.



1. I'm still hooked on these Olivia Burton watches. They're just so darn pretty! And, the price is definitely right. Find it here, $168.

2. I may or may not have more blankets than the next girl. But, it truly is the perfect gift. And, on cold winter nights? It just keeps on giving. Kennebunk, $54.

3. OK, now how did this get in here? If you're looking to splurge, this might just be it. It's the perfect simple, wear with everything, black calfskin bag - in a structure that's new and fresh. Plus, Balenciaga. I mean, who are we kidding. $2400.

4. Chanel anything is virtually untouchable, I get it. But why not treat her to this super cool shaped hand cream. Any girl would love to slip this out of her purse. And trust me, no one is buying this for herself. Chanel, $67.

5. Don't tell my Izzy but I think I finally found the perfect robe for her. We've been on the hunt for a while and this one sums her up plus, since she won't speak to anyone until at least noon, it can do the talking for her. Privledge, $89.

6. Please, please tell me you have smelled any of the Maison Margiela Replica fragrances? I am obsessed. Not only are the bottles too cool for school but the scents are so different with super fun names to match. This one, aptly called Lazy Sunday Morning is the perfect light fragrance for a day spent indoors. My favourite. Sephora, $150.

7. And last but not least. I have seen this baby everywhere this Christmas season. At $500+ it's not cheap but apparently it is is the $#*%! I cannot say I speak from experience however, I have had a ton of my blogger friends give it a go and the reviews are all nothing short of rave. Dyson, $499.

I'll have you know that I have unofficially started Christmas shopping.
My annual goal of having it all done by December 1st? Epic fail. 
But that's ok - somehow, I always manage to have it all under the tree by the 24th.
#gome

Happy Monday.
xo

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 : For Him

Apparently, the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner.
I've been in a blur of family.work.sleep..repeat I must say, it just kinda crept up on me this year. 
But, no matter how hard I try, I just can't get away from Christmas shopping.
The list gets shorter but somehow, more expensive. Anyone else?
Today, I'm sharing my picks for the men in your life. 
Bonus points for gifts that are really for you, like the first one.
Ahem.


1. Tell me this doesn't look like the coziest hoodie you've ever seen. Men + velour = not so sure but I'm thinking it's worth a try. If it doesn't work out, see last line above. I mean really, it's the gift that just keeps on giving. Available at Bloomingdales, here, $80. {25% off now for f+f event}

2. My dad is obsessed with Sudoku. OBSESSED. When I'm picking up Ava after work, I often find him at the kitchen table solving a puzzle. I think he would love this wooden version that you can play again + again. Find it here, $18.

3. My nephew came to visit this past weekend following an afternoon of Christmas shopping. He smelled ridiculously good - and this Valentino Intense cologne is what he was wearing. Think clean, woodsy and modern. Also, rockstud bottle? YES PLEASE. Available here, $90.

4. The older I get, the more I like things from the past. I recently dug out a bunch of my old records and honestly, what a trip. It really does bring you back to a time when things were so much simpler - I think this is the perfect gift for any say, 35+ something or anyone who actually knows that at one point in time, we actually used to buy physical music. What? What?
Find it here, $80.

5. I almost {key word almost} forgot about Acca Kappa since their store in Etobicoke closed down. Good news! All of the product is still available on-line through their site. 
This is a long-time favourite of mine; the quality and the smell (!) is incredible. 
Try the hand cream for your powder room. Trust me, you'll thank me. 
For him, this might be a nice addition. Available on-line, here. $38.

6. I have been a longtime fan of Canadian line Matt and Nat; all vegan with simplistic styles that are always right. This messenger bag is perfection non? And the price won't break the bank. Plus, they literally last forever. Available here, $220.

7. OK, so here's something. These Salvatore Ferragamo gancini slides would make the perfect addition to his travel wardrobe - PLUS, it would mean he would actually need to travel somewhere. PLUS, it would have to be warm. PLUS, he would need company.
So really, yet again, it's a gift for you diguised as a gift for him. 
And really, aren't those the best kind? Find them here, $195.

So tell me, have you started your Christmas shopping yet?
I'm a no.
#sigh

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nineteen : Dear Izzy

 Dear Izzy,
Funny how we call you that.
When I chose your name, I envisioned calling you Bella.
Not sure we've ever called you that - even once.
You were Isabella.
My first born.
My heart.
And today, as you turn 19, you're just Izzy.

Isabella.
I want so many things for you.
But most of all, I want you to be whoever you want to be.
Just like my mother before you allowed me to be exactly what I wanted.
Never judging.
Even when I did the craziest stuff imaginable.
I know I made her insane most days.
Today - I realize that her reactions were those of unconditional love.
The same type of love I have for you my beautiful girl.


You are me.
More than the others.
I know everyone tells you that - but Izzy, you are far more.
You pick up where I left off and do better.
Pushing yourself harder than I ever did.
Without any prompting from anyone.
No matter how many times I tell you to go easy on yourself.
You just continue to be the best that you can be.
Often at the expense of yourself.

You care so much about what is right.
Just.
And are sensitive. And kind. And thoughtful.
I like to think you learned some of this from me.
I hope I instilled in you that giving is so much sweeter than receiving.
That not everyone will appreciate your efforts - and that those need to be done for no one but yourself.
That speaking your mind and sharing your wisdom should never not be an option.
That you are beautiful on the outside but far, far more beautiful on the inside.
And that the right boy will care about that far more than how you present yourself to the world.

I have done many of the things you are doing before you.
And made many of the same mistakes.
Some days, the toughest part of being your mother is not warning you enough about those.
Not always catching you before you fall.
And days where even I can't stop the tears - of heartbreak or of frustration.
Know that I have cried a river before you.
And if I could, would take each of your tears as my own.

Your smile lights up a room little girl.
And my wish for you, on this day, and every day is that your smiles outweigh your sadness.
That your heart is always full.
And that you are always treated - by everyone - the way you DESERVE to be treated.


No one will ever love you like I do.
My baby girl.
Then, today, always.

xo
mama


Friday, September 15, 2017

Learning through the Process

Be warned.
This is a very personal post and one that has been burning inside me for some time.
It may not be what you have come to expect from this little space.
But I am different than I was before.
The softness than once was has somehow hardened - I believe pain can do that to a person.
The realizing that things you once thought were - are not. And will never be.

If you have read this post - you will know where I am at now.
When you decide to leave a marriage, I don't think you realize what the true outcome will eventually be.
I know I did not.
I did not think that a family that I knew for over 20 years would not offer a single ounce of support. Ever. Not a one.
You see, I never even got one single phone call to see how I was/am coping.
And that is ok.
But not to see how I am doing with 3 children in tow?
Unforgiveable.
They forget.
They forget all of the celebrations put together so lovingly.
The early morning conversations following a night of babysitting.
The support when they suffered similiarly.
The struggle of drug abuse and an auntie who stepped in big time and loved on that boy like he was my very own.
They forget.
It makes you question why you did things.
And though I did everything with an open heart - I wonder today if perhaps I should have held back.
Been not as true to myself as I was.

Friends you thought you had?
You may not.
My lifelong friend - one who has been a big part of my life since I was a mere three years old?
She has yet to see me a single time since hearing the news of our separation and pending divorce.
It has been a year and a half.
Is life really that busy?
Or do you truly just not give a shit?
Funny enough. She is a religious person.
I do not understand a religion that does not encourage support. Acceptance. And love.
I'm sorry.
No God would do that.
 And the father of my children?
That is all he has become.
He has thrown words like arrows.
Painful.
And doubts not only everything I say.
But everything I do.
Funny - it was more than good for 18+ years.
Now, apparently, I have become not just a different person.
But a different mother.
I pray for him.
For he knows not what he does.

I encourage you.
Take a good hard look at who is in your life.
Who will be there when the champagne isn't flowing - when you are not running around the kitchen like a mad woman trying to please everyone.
Really look.
Because life can surprise you.
And you might learn - you never really knew them at all.

Rant over.
It's Friday.
Thank God.
xo

Big love to my support system.
You are my six.
M.B.P.V.L.A.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back To School : Looking Back

Yesterday's first day back to school had me feeling all kinds of nostalgic.
So cliche but true - they grow up far too quickly.
It's like just yesterday Isabella was starting second grade like our Ava Grace.
Not headed into her second year of university.
Surely it can't be true?
My Julian starts 10th grade today.
He got an extra day of summer break thanks to school policy entitling just ninth graders to begin on day 1.
He soaked up every last moment of summer.
and tested my patience along the way. ahem.

For this mama, and every mama, a look back.
Oh - to have each of them this tiny again. Just for one day.
SK Graduation
 
First Grade
 
Eight Grade Graduation
SK Graduation
Fifth Grade
Eighth Grade Graduation
Tenth Grade
High School Graduation {Lauren : you made the blog!}
 
First Day of Preschool
JK Graduation
Senior Kindergarten
Hope everyone's first day went off without a hitch.
A little routine never hurt anyone.
Kinda loving it already.
Except for lunches. Lunches I'm hating.

xo

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Road Tripping with Canadian Tire

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Ah, summer in Toronto.
When the warm weather finally came, we began furiously making our way through our Summer Bucket List.
Well, Ava's Summer Bucket List...
At quick glance, you can probably guess which ones I may or may not have added.
I have a funny feeling that we may just get to hers first -
A few weekends ago, we crossed a long-awaited road trip adventure off our list! 
I have forever wanted to walk through a lavender field in Provence; sadly, France is just not in the cards this year.
So, instead, we decided to pack up the car and head north west of the city to a local lavender field.
Terre Bleu really is like a little piece of heaven close to home.
And there also may or may not be a new outlet mall nearby. ahem.

In preparation for the event, we had yet another to-do list to cross off - this time, a prep list of sorts to ensure we were ready to go:
1. Decide on outfits that will look cute in instagram photos
2. Pack a light lunch + snacks
3. Charge the "good" camera
4. Change the oil in the car which may or may not be very slightly overdue
5. Buy new books + small toys for car ride
Our one-stop shop for all things auto is, and has always been, Canadian Tire.
A true Canadian institution.
From coolers {another item to add to my list!} to bug spray to snacks, they've got us covered.
Since I'm planning on doing a lot of driving during the rest of the summer, I purchased the Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil for my oil change - it is my usual brand AND the one recommended by the kind folks at Canadian Tire. (the number one oil in Mexico and South America - who knew?)
#winning
Priced super competitively and one of the best on the markets - it helps my truck perform well regardless of how many miles we drive. And drive. And drive.
With a fuel-saving additive that helps promote durability and keep the oil fresh as well as a heat-activated viscosity improver AND anti-wear additive - all of which kick in to maintain the oil's thickness and extend your engine life.
Quaker State oil gives you more durability and more honesty at a price that won't break the bank.
Canadian Tire makes road tripping easy.
And we still managed to look pretty darn good doing it.
If I do say so myself.



 
 

Did you road trip anywhere this summer?
Tell us, what's on your bucket list?

xo

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CampaignHashtag #CollectiveBias

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.
#crazycoffeechick
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.
#allthehearteyes




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.
Thinks.
Truly incredible.
I tell her everyday how amazing she is.
And to never, ever change.
Not for anyone.

Me?
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.
Peace.

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

Happy Friday.
xo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...