Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday Favourites : Surviving Winter in Toronto

This has been one of the coldest winters on record here in Toronto - or definitely for as long as I can remember. And, maybe it's just me, but the older I get? The LESS I can handle the cold. or excessive heat for that matter. My skin has suffered a lot this year - and I won't even get started on my nasal passages and how ridiculously dry they've been. (please know that I had a central humidifier installed last year - ahem. I digress) 

Alas, I've had to come up with a save your skin solution and I must admit, it's improved as the seemingly never-ending winter continues. And now, with Spring on the horizon, I think I've finally mastered my approach - leave it to me to figure that out just as the warmer weather approaches.

Here is my current regime. Some of these products have been on my must-have list for some time (and I'll tell you, I'm not very product loyal so if it's here? It is GOOD)

On the daily, both morning + night, I use this mix of high and low priced products. I combine The Ordinary Moisturizer {$7.70 for 100ml} with SkinMedica Lytera Pigment Brightening Serum {$154}. My skin stays supple AND the latter has worked wonders on pigmentation spots on my forehead and below my cheeks.

For my lips, my tried + true Skinceuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair {$38.00}. I actually won this on a blog giveaway and it has lasted FOREVER. Anyone who tries it, loves it. To be blunt, nothing else works consistently. Except for this. Full stop.

For my body, which is in DESPERATE need of some colour, I have been super faithful to Body Blur by Vita Liberata {$50.00}. It isn't cheap. and I likely go through about 4 of these a year. That said, it provides the most amazing glow - and is super natural looking. I love this product and recommend it to anyone who will listen.

If you came to my office today, you would find this bottle of Avene Thermal Spring Water {$10.00} on it. Always. I spray throughout the day and it not only refreshes and softens my skin but it gets bonus points for keeping me awake when the day drags! #truth

And last, but certainly not least, my base line-up du jour. I'm using the highly-recommended (by every single who's who in make up) Jouer Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer {$22.00} which I am absolutely loving. I apply this first with a large flat brush followed by an application of The Ordinary Serum Foundation {$8.00!!} using my beauty blender. DO NOT get discouraged by the low price point - this has lovely sheer coverage but somehow hides imperfections as well. Definitely a new favourite that I will be re-purchasing. (that almost never happens!)

So - tell me, any other skin saving secrets I might be missing?
Is it cold where you live?


Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Favourites : Klorane Mango Ritual

If you follow along with us on instagram you would have seen by now that my Isabella is newly BLONDE. Very, very blonde.
And if you know a thing or two about being this blonde, you will know that it is extremely important to care for the colour properly.
And by properly, I'm talking lots AND LOTS of conditioning. Treatments. And care.
We were recently introduced to the new Klorane Mango Butter hair care products and we are smitten.

Made in France with concentrated and cold-pressed ingredients that extract a highly nourishing butter - the product not only smells incredible but it leaves the hair feeling soft and nourished but not weighed down.
An eco-responsible brand, I feel good about introducing it to my girls.
The highly, highly addictive smell is an added bonus.

With the ridiculously cold winter we've been experiencing in Toronto - these products are just what the doctor ordered to keep our hair in check.
I've been partial to rubbing the leave-in cream onto my ends on the daily. #addicted
Available locally at Shoppers Drug Mart and throughout the US at your favourite beauty retailers.

How do you manage your hair in the colder months?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What She Wore : Visigo Sport

So, if you're like most, your New Year's resolutions may or may not have included getting more active.
We, like most, try our best - but the weather here in Toronto? It is really taking a toll on any chance of getting outside.
So, we brought it inside - and my Isabella played the part in her so ready for Spring active wear from Chinese brand Visigo Sport  


top - c/o Visigo Sport || shorts - c/o Visigo Sport 
 Make no mistake.
This line is quality extraordinaire.
With fabrics from Italy and a unique mesh ventilation process - definitely worth a second look.
From their website:

VISIGO is an active wear designer brand.
We come from China.
High-performance fashion active wear, designed for fitness and yoga.
Made with Italian fabrics, the seamless welding and unique ventilation mesh process, makes the line more comfortable.
Whether you are rushing into your office, rushing to break your personal best on a 5K run,
or sweating at the gym, VISIGO is your second skin!
In my humble opinion, if you look and feel good while working out - it truly can motivate you.
And what better reward for keeping up with your fitness goals than shopping for new active wear?
I say none.

Have you been keeping up with your fitness goals this year?
Also - can Spring be far away? #sigh

Friday, February 8, 2019

Priority: ME

Today's post is sponsored by Juvederm.

If you, like me, rarely find time for yourself? Put your hands up.

If you, like me, have a never-ending to do list that rarely includes any "me time"? Put your hands up.

If you, like me, put your children in front of yourself ALWAYS? Put your hands up.

And if you, like me, wonder when exactly you went from 28 to {ahem} 48? Put your hands WAY up.

Today I made myself a priority.
Today I put aside my busy life and focused on making myself feel great.
Today I put myself first and did something that I feel good about.
And today? Today I refuse to feel guilty about it.
Can I get an AMEN?

I'm not sure I ever gave much thought to whether or not I would age gracefully.
To be honest, I'm not sure I ever thought I would age at all.
Somehow I would defy this process. 
In the midst of raising 3 children, working full-time and getting nowhere near enough sleep?
I would surely become the next Benjamin Button.
Alas, this was not to be.
And I, like you, began to investigate.
What could I do that was more than a face cream but not as invasive {or expensive} as surgery?
What had little to no down-time and could leave me looking refreshed but still like myself?
All roads led me to cosmetic injectables.
And those roads led me to Juvederm.

Not only is Juvederm the number one doctor-recommended facial filler here in Canada but worldwide, having been used in over 32 million treatments. The line provides a suite of products that can be used alone - or in conjunction depending on the look you are trying to achieve.  AND, it contains lidocaine, a painkiller that aids with any discomfort both during and after treatment.
SOLD. Results can last up to 24 months (!).

On treatment day, I travelled to Dermetics, located in Burlington, and one of the fastest growing dermatology clinics in Ontario.

With two globally known doctors on-site, I knew I was in great hands. For my initial consultation, I met with a registered nurse who guided me through not only what the process would be, but also, how I felt about what I was about to do.

We spoke at length about what I have been doing with my skin to date AND what I hoped to achieve with regards to the injections.

The goal was still me, only better.
I hoped to look softened and well rested.

She told me about the importance of sunscreen and how, in fact, it remains the single most important thing you can do for your skin.
I was SO glad to already be on board that train!
We took a series of "before" photos and before long, it was time to meet with Dr. Rosen.
The doctor was nothing shy of gracious and a true professional. He took time to get to know me - my goals for treatment and how I felt about about the outcome he proposed. He too touted the virtues of sunscreen (!) before thoroughly explaining the procedure while allowing me to use a mirror that he guided me with.

We agreed on natural but better. He would soften the marionette lines on either side of my lower nose area towards my mouth. Add volume to the sides of my forehead and in the hollows of my eyes. And a little extra in the side cheekbone area which would provide a "lifted affect" overall.
He then drew all of this on my face {so.much.fun} and prepared the product that would be used.

During the treatment, which I would equate to a little stronger than a pinch, he made sure I was comfortable and provided step by step commentary. 
Which I love. 

When I was halfway done {read: half of my face was complete} he allowed me to see the difference.


I could literally see one side raised higher than the other. Just uncanny.
photos above taken 4 weeks post-procedure
Once the entire treatment was complete, I left with a concise list of what to expect and what to do if I felt any discomfort. I experienced a slight headache that day - used one regular strength Tylenol - and by the evening, felt completely fine. The results are immediate.

And I began to immediately get compliments from colleagues and family asking what I was doing differently. I looked well-rested. And, refreshed.

I love my results.
Have you tried facial fillers? I would love to hear about your experience.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Coffee Date

It's about that time I think -
With January behind us still not sure where it went I thought I would sit down to coffee with all of you.
I take mine with milk, cream + sugar. Just one. 
And I'm probably wearing black leggings, a cozy turtleneck and my ugg boots.
Because it has been FREEZING in Toronto.
I prefer a seat by the fire if one is available.
Please and thank you.
Is it just me or the older you get, the quicker time goes?
I feel like school just started for the kids and here we are - staring at March Break.
And then back at it for a few more months.
And BOOM - Summer.
I'm not sure I like this.

My Isabella is almost done 3rd year of university.
I feel the same way about this as I do the above - I swear we were visiting schools trying to decide where she might go, like, yesterday. 
She's doing very well and has decided on a marketing major with a minor  in psychology and personally, I still think she should go that route.
I still remember so vividly how good she was with dealing with Julian when he was struggling so badly.
More patient than I was some days.
It really was touching to watch -
Alas, who ever agrees with their mother??

If you follow along with us on instagram you'll already have seen her new look.
I swear it's like looking into a mirror of myself all those years ago.
Except her colour is exactly the right shade and mine, well, wasn't.  
 Ms. Ava Grace is eight and three-quarters and still the same always happy ALWAYS TALKING little girl.
Albeit, her shoe size is that of a woman's.
And she seemingly outgrows all of her clothing each week.
I call her my little giraffe. Long legs and the tallest child in her grade.
She probably hates that.
I'm sure Cindy Crawford did too.
She is so inquisitive - always asking questions about everything.
All I can say is thank goodness for google since I don't know about you, but I know exactly nothing about the land formation of northern Canada or any land formation really. 
She's a fan of macarons, youtube anything and dancing more than she walks.
I hope that pure joy never changes.
My Julian is doing world's better.
And I feel it's all owed to never giving up on him and providing pure, unconditional love.
I assure you, this isn't always easy. He is miserable in the morning, in the evening and sometimes in between.

But some days, some days are so good.
He comes up to my room just to say hello.
To give me a kiss.
Or to tell me he loves me.
He is by far the most sensitive of the three.
Sometimes brought to tears just by talking about the mortality of my mother - his nana.
He recently lost a friend in a horrible car accident and I find his memorial card next to his bedside each morning.
It has taught me a lot about who he truly is.
And he is truly good.
Also, I'm not sure when but he's become a little man seemingly overnight.
He loves to call himself the "man of the house". Hysterical really since he does exactly nothing to earn that title other than leave his clothes everywhere and eat out the refrigerator on the daily. 
I'm still trying to hold it all together.
Be there for my children while trying to maintain my sanity and squeeze in a bit of me time every once in a while.
I've worked hard on tightening up my circle.
Keeping only those I truly know have my best intentions at heart in it.
And nurturing the relationships I know are present for the right reasons.
Like this one who loves all of us unconditionally and doesn't want for much other than our love back.
And food.
Ms. Sofie also wants lots of that.
Happy Wednesday indeed.

Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 Christmas Gift Guide : Stocking Stuffers

I think stockings may be my very favourite part of all.
I love the creative element of choosing fun, inexpensive items that make Christmas morning all the more merry.
Here's a few of the things I'll be including this year -
1. I'm sure this little cutie is on every kid's wishlist this year. Ava currently has the monkey but is ALL about this perfectly pink unicorn. Fingerlings, $14.99

2. I love the packaging of these disc shaped soaps and the colours are so lovely - you almost want to eat them non? Bonus points for the slim rectangular box that would fit perfectly in my any stocking. Anthropologie, $26

3. I personally own the Luna Foreo and love this tool for getting ever last little bit of make up off at the end of the day. This less expensive, smaller version is a perfect first sonic device
if you've never tried one. Luna Play Plus$59

4. If I had a dollar for everytime I'm searching for a bobby pin or hair tie; I would be a very rich woman. This box by Pretty Useful Tools {on sale!} is perfection $17.50

5. This sweet little hair clip by Lucky Juju is just too sweet. Plus it reminds me of my friend Valerie's little Juju - who isn't so little anymore. $8

6. Every good instagrammer needs a selfie light, am I right? Chapter's Indigo might just make the very best, most perfectly boxed assortment of stocking stuffers out there. If you're local, definitely check them out. Pssst - they're all 30% off right now. $14

7. NO stocking is complete without candy and these new giftable bento boxes by Sugarfina are clever and delicious. This is "you had me at tequila" and would be perfect for the man in your life. $39

Happy Stuffing!

see previous gift guides here, here + here

Friday, December 7, 2018

2018 Christmas Gift Guide : For The Littles

Christmas really is all about the littles.
Watching my own children's eyes light up on Christmas Eve - barely able to make it through dinner because of the pure excitement of what's to come - this is what it's all about.
As they get older, I try to hold onto tradition.
Chocolate advent calendars.
Pajamas always.
Plus a few other ideas I might have up my sleeve.

1. Tell me this is not the cutest little thing you ever saw? TELL ME. Ava and I attended a super fun media preview last month and she was nothing shy of enamored with these little bundles of light aptly called Sunny Bunnies (ps - this is Iris).
Yes, she bounces AND she light ups. Available exclusively at Walmart. $9.94

2. I couldn't resist including the coziest slippers ever by Ugg on this list and if yours is like mine, she loves herself some cozy. This shade is perfect for the little girl in your life although they're equally adorable in the tried and true Ugg beige. $59.95

3. I'm all about robes at Christmastime and this one by Tucker + Tate SO fits the bill. What little boy wouldn't want to look like a snowman this season? Exactly, none. Also available in the cutest unicorn version. $45

4. For the little footballer on your list, this ball by Tangle might just be the coolest thing I saw this year. The more you throw or kick it, the brighter it glows. Bedtime may never be the same. $24.99

5. When I was a kid, I always wanted a sleeping bag. The problem you see, is we never went camping. Plus, I'm not sure my mother even knew what a sleeping bag was - bless her heart. These are available at FAO Schwarz (now at The Bay!!)  and I thing the boy and girl versions are both equally fabulous, n'est pas? $85

6. Another fun new toy of 2018 (we saw it, we tried it) is Tic Tac Tongue by Yulu. With masks that had us looking like we had lizard tongues, laughs were had all around. Board games always have a way of bringing the entire family together. $14

7. This might be the most annoying toy I'll buy this Christmas but that won't stop this girl. Each of my kiddos had one and loved it. Ava will be no exception, of that I am sure. FAO Schwarz, $14

Just call me Clause.
Ms. Clause.
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