Ava Grace's Closet

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?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spring Cleaning with Church and Dwight + A Giveaway!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Time for Spring Cleaning - I'm actually not kidding.
There is something about starting the season with a fresh, clean space that I have always loved.

My own mother, a self-proclaimed clean freak, always took on the toughest chores before each new season.
Moving furniture, including all of the household appliances, {who does that?} and making sure everything was just so.
The {ahem} older I get, I find I am following in her footsteps - well, to a degree.
I am by no means as crazy as she was, but I do enjoy a clean space - open windows for fresh air and airing out all of our linens as soon as the weather permits.

I do a closet switch each season as well - tucking cold weather sweaters away to make room for t-shirts and tanks.
Lighter blend pants and skirts.
And yes, I do this x4. My kids are used to it and often start the task themselves - it's a great way of ensuring that too-small items are donated on an ongoing basis.
Unworn items are purged.
Plus it makes room for more shopping. 

My friends at Church and Dwight want to get you started on the task with a selection of spring cleaning essentials.
All of these are products I use personally and can't say enough about.
This one is open to Canadian residents only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell me. What do you do to get your home ready for the Spring?

Good Luck

Friday, May 19, 2017

What Ava Wore: Je L'aime Paris

I have a secret.
I've never actually been to Paris.
But I already know that I love it.
Ava feels the same.

"Paris" dress - c/o Limeapple | denim jacket {not current} - Gap Kids {option} | sneakers - Gap Kids
 The "Paris" dress by Limeapple has quickly become a favourite - cute and oh.so comfortable.
Simple dressing, even for the littles, has a certain je ne sais quoi.
Add a pair of slip-on sneakers and the perfect little denim jacket and you are ready for a day of exploring and balloon chasing.
Sadly, not in Paris...yet.

Happy Thursday.

Monday, May 15, 2017

On Mother's Day : Things My Mama Taught Me

 My mother was the original fashionista in our family.
Her closet is still a virtual who's who of now vintage fashion - and lucky for me, she passed on her knowledge {and love!} of the subject early on.

An immigrant from Croatia - they started their journey towards Canada via Germany.
My mother tells me she would spend countless hours window shopping in the streets of Germany; wishing she could afford to buy herself something. Anything.
But money those days was scarce.
My brother remained in the homeland so dollars were saved and sent - anything extra was put away to ensure they could visit him as often as possible.
A sacrifice towards what would eventually be a better life for them and for him.

Years later, when they were already settled in Toronto, she could finally afford a little luxury.
And by luxury, I mean a little something for herself here and there.
This usually meant a piece from Holt Renfrew - likely on sale - but still, at the time, the most expensive store in the mall.
Likewise, she always dressed my brother and I in the best of everything - to her, quality equated value. 
And for herself, the same rang true.
She didn't have a lot but what she had was always the best she could afford.

My mother taught me that fashion would always come back around.
And thankfully, she kept those pieces she knew would make a comeback.
That quality always prevailed over quantity. 
No fast fashion for her.
That if you were going to buy something - let it be something of substance.
Or don't buy it at all.
And opinionated? Wow. Is Was she ever.

Here are a few additional thoughts from The Book Of  Mama Milka, in no particular order:
 Long hair has no place on a woman once she reaches middle age.
Ditto for red lipstick and long nails.
The kitten heel will always prevail. Stilettos always did and always will get her talking.
If you are going to have a face lift, don't forget about your neck.
Your hands? They will always tell your age.
Show off as much skin as you want in your youth. THAT is your time.

oh, mama.
You were almost always right.
i love you.

PS - I am really excited about these photos as I found photographs of my mother and I together very scarce.
I'm committing to taking more.
Note: the dress she is wearing is over 50 years old. Also note, I took it home.

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