Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Favourites : Ritzy Rollerz

One unicorned Ms. Ava Grace almost lost her mind when she got her hands on Tomy's new Ritzy Rollerz® collectible girls toys.
Can't say I blame her.
What little girl isn't all about adorable, customizable and collectible anything?
Each ritzy roller is unique - some with real flowing hair, others with shiny chrome or fur. And each one comes with surprise charms that allow you to customize their wheels and make them truly your own.
When you're not swapping charms, they can be stored in a trunk-like compartment on the back of each one for safekeeping.
Read: no one is stepping on or vacuuming them up. #amen

There are two play sets available, including the Heelz on Wheelz version pictured below. It not only comes with it's own Ritzy Roller® but also with an additional 16 charms; each cuter than the next.
There is a full closet on board with ample storage.
Ramps and decorating opportunities galore.
And of course, a mirror so that your creation can check itself out when you're done.
Heelz on Wheelz Shoe Shop Playset | Ritzy Rollerz® 2-pack

Ritzy Rollerz® are available on Amazon and at Toys R Us Canada nationwide.
Pricing ranges from $11.99 - $29.99

Seeing your kiddo this happy?
That's free. 
Disclosure: This toy was provided to us at no charge in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts are our own.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Birthday Girl

I'm almost one month late with this post but I couldn't pass up the chance to celebrate this year and all the good that came.
It's funny - how when you're a kid, you think anything over say, twenty-five is old.
And now, now that I just turned forty nine? I think the best years of my life are still ahead of me.
In the spirit of sharing the joy that is 49.
Here are 49 things you never really wanted to know about me.
1. I was named for my brother's grade school crush.
2. I love pickles on my tuna sandwich. So what about it?
3. I would never survive in the wilderness.
4. If I could hang out with one celebrity, alive or dead, it would be Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. I know that's two. It's my birthday.
5. The most gracious celebrity I've ever met was Olivia Palermo. Love, love.
6. Diet coke is my vice. With lemon + lots of ice.
7. I don't eat seafood.
8. Sleeping is pretty much my favourite thing to do.
9. I hate tights.
10. They used to call me Pac Man Queen as a kid. Yes, I was that good.
11. I never pass up dessert.
12. Bath over a shower, always.
13. I love the feel of fresh, crisp sheets.
14. I own far, far too many pairs of jeans. And black pants.
15. I can speak, read and write in 2 languages other than english.
16. I hate camping.
17. My favourite colour is baby blue.
18. I'm not a dog person.
19. I will never wear unmatched underclothes or nail/toe polish. Like ever.
20. Ocean over pool.
21. I love coffee. Although I didn't start drinking it until my early 30's.
22. I can cook. Baking not so much.
23. I was born in Toronto.
24. I think a lot about what happens when we die.
25. The day I became a mother for the first time was the best day of my life.
26. I love puzzles. Like really love.
27. I was team Angelina.
28. I believe you should invest in good shoes, good handbags + good sunglasses. The rest is negotiable.
29. I love to write.
30. The best place I've ever been to is St. Barth's.
31. I talk a lot. A LOT.
32. I especially love talking to random strangers. My kids not so much.
33. In another life, I would have been a personal shopper.
34. I love the smell of gasoline.
35. I sometimes think about my morning coffee as I'm falling asleep. See #21.
36. If my house caught on fire and I could only save one possession - I would choose photos.
37. I prefer red licorice.
38. Italian food is my favourite.
39. I wear a size 7.5 shoe
40. If I could have one talent, it would be drawing.
41. I believe women should try to compliment each other whenever they can.
42. I was ridiculously sick when I was pregnant.
43. Peanut butter and chocolate is my favourite combination.
44. I have worn Dolce + Gabbana's Light Blue for as long as I can remember.
45. I could look at old photos for hours. Anyone's. I love the stories behind the pictures. See #36.
46. I am pro choice.
47. I wear my watch on my right arm.
48. I love a good deal. And refuse to pay full price for just about anything. Except #28.
49. The only time I have ever been envious of another woman was seeing pregnant girls after my first was born. True story.

This year, among many things, I learned that the best things in life are indeed free.
That seeing my children happy makes me happiest of all.
That if you let yourself, you can regain faith in humanity. And find that there are still incredible people out there that you have yet to meet.
I learned that sometimes, you need to let go.
That there are people in your life that are not worth holding onto.
And that the older I get, the less I care what people think.
That is everything.

Happy Birthday to me.

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.
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