Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, October 21, 2016

Favourites : Hold Me Company

I have been on the hunt for the perfect make up bag for as long as I can remember.
I needed something sturdy, large enough to fit lots of product for travel and ideally, something that stayed clean or wiped clean easily.
No easy task.
Enter the Hold Me Company.

As pretty as they are functional, these bags fit everything I need and then some.
With large compartments that can house product along with an entirely separate area for make up brushes - it is organization at it's finest.
Bonus points for the dark, rich velvet fabric that wipes down easily.
Extra bonus points for the interior plastic lining that is both pretty {I chose the Ruby Woo print - love!} and impossible to get dirty.
Probably my biggest pet peeve with make up bags of past.

From the website:
The inspiration for the Hold Me Bag came from my personal search for "that one bag" which would hold and organize my cosmetics and brushes, keep everything at a glance, and help save time with my daily make-up routine. After trying many different kinds of makeup bags, it didn't seem like "that bag" was out there, so I decided to create one.

Hold Me bags are modeled after the vintage schoolgirl bookbags of old with a fun design that is super functional.
I may or may not have let it double as an evening bag on a recent work trip. 
It stores everything I need in style, and then some.
The perfect hold everything make up bag.

Enter below for the chance to win your own!
ARV $95.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Eighteen years ago today, I became a mother for the first time.
It was and remains, the single best thing that ever happened to me.
It changed me profoundly - made me realize in that exact moment, what my purpose was.
Before that, everything else seems so unimportant.

When Isabella was born, she was so alert.
Staring right into my eyes curiously wondering who the heck I was.
I felt as though my own eyes were staring back at me - I felt oddly at peace and complete.
Not knowing then that two more would later come along.
I loved her and do with everything I was. Right to the core of me -
I had never known a love like that existed.

The sleepless nights that followed and there were six months worth of them were all worth it.
Those moments in the dark where I would nurse her were among the best moments of my life.
I could stare at her for hours.
And did.
I spent countless hours dressing her, changing here and photographing her.
Much like I would her brother and sister later on.
She was a beautiful child.
I would often get stopped and told how much she resembled a young Shirley Temple - a similiar head of golden curls graced my little girl.

As she grew up, she became a shy, sweet soul.
Never speaking out in class - remembered to this day as the child who rarely spoke.
She later blossomed but some of those characteristics remain.
She shy's easily. Is not one who enjoys being the centre of attention. May not be the first to speak up.
But she is wise beyond her years.
A veracious reader always.
And a very logical thinker.

Today, on the morning of her 18th birthday, I watched her sleep open-mouthed and still can't imagine where the years have gone.
How my little curly haired girl became a woman.
Today she can vote.
Today she can buy a lottery ticket and plans to.
Tomorrow, she'll take on the world.
I am ridiculously proud of her.
For who she is, and for who she will become.

I love you more than anything my sweet Izzy.
Don't ever change.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Ready with Caryl Baker Visage

As the days get cooler, I am a firm believer in embracing change.
Change in your wardrobe.
Your routine.
And even in your choice of makeup - deeper, darker shades for fall are a transitional favourite of mine.
Sharing this look using products from Caryl Baker Visage's limited edition ENCHANTED collection to show you {and myself!} that we shouldn't be afraid of changing it up.
Even if it is only temporarily.

on eyes - "Zephyr", "Ambrosia" "Mist" c/o Caryl Baker Visage
face - "Hydralift" Foundation in Warm Beige + "Delicate" Blush c/o Caryl Baker Visage
lips - "Twig" c/o Caryl Baker Visage 

I also used a new product on my eyelids, before applying shadow. Find it here - the "shadow magnet" preps the delicate eye area making it smooth AND ensuring your shadow lasts all day.
Which it did.

Tell me, do you change up your makeup routine for the cooler months?
Give dark lips a go.
Amazing how different you feel.
Even if it is only temporarily.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mean Girls

I woke up with a post in me today.
And the feeling that I had to put pen to paper so to speak.
After posting about our Ava Grace on instagram late yesterday - and sharing some of the woes of starting a new school in first grade; I was overwhelmed by the response and kindness of so many mamas.
Mamas, who like me, had been there.

We moved Ava to a new school in my parent's neighbourhood to ease the burden of having to put her into a before and after school program. She loves to hang out with her nana and papa after school and honestly, I think it all but saved my father.
Being retired, keeping busy is what makes him happiest - having a sense of purpose and getting to spend extra quality time with his youngest granddaughter is a bonus.

I expected the first few days to be difficult.
I watched her tentatively approach other children on the playground - she is much braver than I ever was. Much braver than her older brother and sister ever were.
She did it again and again until she finally gave up.
Tears welled up in her eyes and she purposefully strode back to where I was standing at the fence holding back my own tears.

As the days progressed, I felt relieved in knowing that there was a "buddy system" in place whereby no child is left alone during recess or lunch break.
I thought things were getting better.
And daily, I would ask her who she played with. Who her favourite girls might be. What was the most fun part of her day.
And while it seemed ok, she still didn't like this new school.

Last night, we had our usual before bed conversation and she opened up about going onto the playground with another little girl. 
She followed her towards two grade two girls who were playing whatever game it is that grade two girls play.
Her friend began to play along and then, the older two told Ava she could not.
They proceeded to tell her to "go away".
And she did.
My heart was broken.

The image of my beautiful, kind, fun, I love everyone child getting excluded. Shunned. And told to leave? 
It is just too much for my sensitive mama heart to handle.
I know it happens. 
I get it. I've been there myself.
But, seriously, who is teaching children of 6 or 7 to be so mean?
What happened to kindness?

Today, Wednesday, is my day to pick up Ava from school.
I am considering having her point them out. 
I know I shouldn't. I know I'm not "supposed to".
But sometimes? Sometimes the mama bear just needs to come out and make things right.
Wish me luck.

Friday, September 30, 2016

What Ava Wore :: Transitional

It was like one day was summer and we were in shorts.
And the next day, we had to frantically search for our winter jackets.
You gotta love the change of seasons in Toronto.
Here's what Ava wore to get through that dreaded in-between period.

dress - 7 for all Mankind | boots - Doc Martens "jiffy" 
Who doesn't love a soft denim dress with boots?
This girl does.

Happy Fall indeed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Simplifying Life with Walmart PickUp

We recently had the opportunity to experience the new Walmart PickUp service and we are HOOKED.
Every step along the way was simple and with the upcoming Back to School season upon us, I need every bit of simple I can get.

Ordering is a breeze using the online tool at Walmart.ca - items are categorized for ease and finding everything I needed was quick and easy.
I submitted an order for my standard weekly grocery list in about 10 minutes - this list is then saved and easily accessed for future use should you wish to re-order the same items.
I also remembered that Isabella need deodorant and I needed nail polish remover - revisiting my order, I was able to add these items saving me a second trip to the drugstore.
(You can place an order for SAME DAY pick up until 1:30am! How great is that?)
Once complete, a postal code look up tool lets you know which of the local stores is closest to you or, if you prefer, you can pick up at say, a store near your workplace, near your caregivers etc.
Pick ups are scheduled with a 2 hour window making it super convenient AND their are designated parking spots at each of the participating locations so that you never waste time searching for parking.

When you arrive, a convenient sign at each stop directs you to call a number and advise the team of your arrival.
They asked for my first name and which spot number I was in.
Within a couple of minutes, a delivery person came out with my groceries.
I admit, I did get out of the vehicle, (although unnecessary in future) to check out how the items were separated and packaged.
Each grocery type (dry goods, frozen foods, dairy) had a colour-coded bin - items were bagged (no charge for plastic bags!) and quickly loaded into my trunk. 
I was impressed to learn that all of my goods were NEVER touched by anyone else as they are chosen and packaged at a central warehouse and then shipped to the store of my choosing.
Frozen goods REMAINED frozen.
Milk was fresh and cool.
I was one happy mama.

I signed off for my order and was told EXACTLY how long it took to complete the entire transaction as my delivery person glanced at her stopwatch.
In my case, 1 minute and 48 seconds to be precise.
I was thanked profusely for using the service and assured, that oh yes, I would be back.
She was right.

Local friends, I encourage you to give Walmart Pick Up a try, visit the site at walmart.ca and use coupon code SEPT7 to save $10 off your first order.
Happy Shopping indeed. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I Wore : Fringed

Melanie Lyne has been a Canadian fashion staple since 1983.
Recently, I had the opportunity to re-visit the brand - spending time in one of their locations checking out their new fall line.
So many fabulous choices at price-points that won't break the bank.
With autumn quickly approaching, their selection of incredible fall sweaters, cozy capes and coats have me excited about the cooler months ahead.

sunglasses - Forever XXInecklace - J. Crew |tape yarn fringe sweater - c/o Melanie Lyne
elephant skin leggings - c/o Melanie Lyne | handbag - Rebecca Minkoffbooties - Dune London
Be sure to visit Melanie Lyne here {always free shipping with your purchase of $175+!} or at your local mall across Canada.
Happy Fall Shopping indeed.

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