Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, February 17, 2017

Four Eyes

I have a secret.
I wore glasses even when I didn't need them.
I've always loved the way the looked - making the face that much more interesting.
Now, that I've {ahem} graduated from loving to needing glasses, I still enjoy the process of choosing the perfect pair; really, just an excuse to shop for accessories really.
Am I right?

I've never bought eyeglasses on-line.
I really didn't think it was possible to get the right pair, in the right size, with the right prescription.
I truly thought everything would just be, well, wrong.
And boy was I ever. {wrong that is}
GlassesUSA.com is on a mission to change this stigma. To show us that you CAN buy eyeglasses without ever leaving your house.
With their Virtual Mirror feature, I simply uploaded a picture of myself to the site and tried away!
I may or may not have tried every pair. And then, let Ava Grace try on all of the sunglasses.
I settled on a smoke grey, almost translucent plastic frame in a size larger than I normally wear - and I am loving them. 
I was able to quickly order my glasses in the size I needed WITH my reader prescription {included at no additional charge!} intact.
And shipping to Canada and the U.S.? 
Always free.
Price points at GlassesUSA.com are significantly lower than anywhere I've shopped and selection is on-point with favourite brands such as RayBan and Muse {which I'm wearing above} available to suit ever style and face.
The site is worth a peek, even if you just play with the virtual mirror.

Disclosure: GlassesUSA.com sent me a pair of glasses at no charge for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions are strictly my own.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Normals

It's been a long road but we're finally feeling somewhat settled.
I'm not really one to get attached to a house but find myself missing things.
Creature of habit type things - like where the garbage is. Or the full-length mirror that I had in the perfect spot between the master bath and the walk-in closet.
I think these things take time.
Time to make the new normal comfortable.

Of all the kids, Julian is definitely taking this the hardest.
Boys are funny. They don't talk very openly - but are oh, so sensitive.
He has shed tears for what was.
He misses his old house. The old neighbourhood.
It breaks my heart.
But I also know, he will get better. 
I've started to see glimpses of it already.

He is in ninth grade.
A tough year for any kid, especially one who ahem has already long ago decided that school was just not his thing.
To say it's been a challenging time is an understatement.
But I continue to try to help my boy the only way I know how.
With the most patience I can muster and with time.
He loves soccer with a passion and plays daily.
Our late bloomer.
I swear he is going to do great things one day.
And not just because he's going to get by on his good looks. 
Isabella is at university, commuting to and from home into the city.
She is taking driving lessons. She has a boyfriend. And a part-time job that she is really enjoying.
She has always been intuitive - far more mature than her age. And a common sense thinker.
She is so beautiful.
I know I shouldn't say that about my own kid but it's just amazing for me to watch her transform.
The best part is she doesn't know it yet.

And then there's my little Ava. A pure joy.
A gift from God.
Sent here, likely, to save her mother.
She is my best friend. My constant sidekick. And the reason I see the light on dark days.
Although she is only in first grade, she is wise beyond her years.
Strangers tell me so all the time.
Others tell me she has been here before.
It used to freak me out but now? Now I know they're right.

As 2017 moves forward and January turns into February, I am committing to really being there for my kids and trying to squeeze in at least a little solo time with each of them.
Putting away devices and having a bath with Ava is a new ritual. And board games? Who knew how much fun they could be.
Julian and I like to leave early sometimes when I drop just him off to school - I get coffee, he gets some frozen concoction and for just a few moments, he talks to me.
For this, I will gladly lose sleep.
And Isabella? We have our Wednesday evenings. The younger two are with daddy and we get to catch up. Which usually means we eat. We shop. Or, we eat AND shop.

I feel lucky. Blessed even.
2017, bring it.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

What Ava Wore : My little Yogi

We were blessed to be able to attend a local event in honour of Jordana's Rainbows - a little girl who lost her life at the age of 10 to an aggressive form of childhood cancer, DIPG.
BlissOm was one of the key sponsors and held an incredible group yoga session that was nothing shy of moving.
To see her family there pushed me over the edge but I got through it.
Mostly because I had my little yogi by my side.
She gives me strength. Just like I'm sure little angel Jordana gave and gives her own mom strength.
And hope, that one day they will be together again. 

Onzie "Namaste" T-Shirt | Moto Jacket {Winners - option}| Onzie Pebble Track Leggings | Skechers "Flutter Up" Shoes
Ava, quite obviously, had no fun at all taking these photos following our class.
She's decided that yoga is her thing.
I'm in.

Use code AVA15 to save 15% off your regular price purchase on-line or in-store at UgoSporty.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What We Wore : UgoSporty

My Isabella and I recently spent some time checking out at a new local athleisure store in the area.
I don't think either of us knew how much workout wear had evolved.
UgoSporty amazed us with it's selection - including hard-to-find collections by Vimmia, Varley, Alo Yoga and Koral to name but a few.
Super chic sports bras and leggings that could easily take you to the gym or to lunch and beyond.
Gone are the simple black yoga pants of old, replaced with colours and prints that make you want to say namaste.
Even if it's just to look fabulous doing it.

On Isabella: Varley beth crop  | Varley palms compression tight
On mama: Varley radford crop top | Varley biknell legging
The store prides itself on carrying high-end lines in sizes that can accomodate EVERYbody.
Personalized service and an incredibly welcoming environment seal the deal.
Visit UgoSporty locally in Vaughan or shop online at www.ugosporty.com
Use code AVA15 to save 15% your regular price purchase.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Skincare Savers

Sunday nights are for pampering around these parts.
It usually includes a bath, with or without Ava, might include a mani/pedi and a mask of some sort and often, ends with a fun chick-flick.
Just thinking about it makes me long for the weekend.

Canadian living, especially in the winter months, can be super tough on your skin.
As the years ahem progress, I find I am always on the look-out for products that are geared towards moisturizing. The more, the better.
This winter, albeit mild, has been no different.
I continue to rely on a few tried and true favourites but have added some fun new finds to the mix -
Remember this post?
The Conture skin toning system, which I have been using diligently since early November, makes my skin feel tighter, more toned in problem areas, {read below the chin} and overall, smoother in appearance.
I'm hoping that with continued use, a few stubborn dark spots will continue to lighten up.
So easy to use, and takes just a few moments a day.
Best part? It's painless.

Avene Micellar Water | MUAC Mandelic Acid Toner | MUAC mandelic acid peel | Conture Toning System |
Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer | fresh sugar lip scrub | Laneige multiberry yogurt repairing mask 
I've gotten pretty good at using this wee tool - moving it around my entire face as it gently suctions.
Morning + night with a focus on a few key areas including a stubborn bit of melasma on my forehead and the outer edge of my entire face.
The tool is quiet and stays charged forever!
Used with the skincare system contained, it allows the skin to be moist while using and provides a follow up moisturizer to use when done.
I've been letting that soak in and then applying my tried and true basic moisturizer with SPF 15 in the mornings underneath my makeup.
In the evening, once everything comes off, I repeat and then do any additional treatments including a good lip scrub and facial peel a few times a week.
My skin is literally as smooth as a baby's....well, you get the picture.

If you would like to try the Conture system, use code AVAGRACE25 to save 25% on your purchase.
And, while you're at it treat yourself to the laneige mask - {I linked to a fun sampler pack} it smells divine and works just as well to make your skin feel super plump and nourished.
Truth be told though? I want to eat it.

Take care of your skin, it's the only one you've got.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Christmas 2017 In Pictures

I do realize that I'm a little late to this party but this year, being so different from other years, I figure, I can shake things up a little bit.

First Christmas in our new house.
First |Christmas since the separation.
First |Christmas with Calvin the kitty.
 A year of firsts.
I plan to continue those into 2017.

Wishing you + yours all the best in the New Year 2017!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Starting the New Year off right with HelloFresh

Come dinnertime each evening, especially in the winter, I feel as though I just don't have it in me.
Trying to be creative in the kitchen is tough enough with 3 picky eaters let alone having to do it after you've gotten up in the dark. 
Worked all day.
 And come home after dusk.

When our first Family Plan box from HelloFresh was delivered, and we were able to lift said box to the kitchen, I was intrigued.
Inside, we found 3 smaller boxes each containing all of the pre-measured, farm fresh ingredients necessary to create 3 different recipes. And I mean all of the ingredients.
From vegetables to all necessary spices and everything in between.
Where possible to maintain freshness, produce was ALREADY cut up including onions...yay! and ready for use. Garlic? Already cleaned and separated it's own little baggie.
One of the recipes called for honey - it came along in packages not unlike to-go ketchup. 
Underneath, in an ice-packed filled area, were any perishable items including chicken, steak and dairy products.

Ava and I decided to try the seared steak first as she and her brother are big red meat lovers.
I had to share a photo of the sustainable beef contained.
In my own mothers words, "so beautiful, you could practically eat it raw".
All recipes are low to moderate in difficulty - and very detailed.
Ava read the instructions aloud while I prepped the dish - reserving some of the steak minus all of the fixings in case anyone felt like being difficult on this particular evening. Ahem.

Not bad for this unseasoned chef, huh?
Honestly, I've learned to use items in combinations I would never have thought of including, a sour cream, lime juice and cilantro combination which makes THE most incredible fajita topping.
We loved the fact that there was little to no waste.

I shared my experience including a guided tour of a few of the boxes with my girlfriends all of whom thought the idea was absolutely brilliant! 
A fun way to break up the monotony of the same old, same old dinners.

Check out all of the details on how the program works here.
If you agree, I highly recommend giving HelloFresh a try - use code AVAGRACE60 to get $30 off each of your first 2 boxes.
Delivery is always free.

Happy Cooking! 
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