Ava Grace's Closet

Friday, September 15, 2017

Learning through the Process

Be warned.
This is a very personal post and one that has been burning inside me for some time.
It may not be what you have come to expect from this little space.
But I am different than I was before.
The softness than once was has somehow hardened - I believe pain can do that to a person.
The realizing that things you once thought were - are not. And will never be.

If you have read this post - you will know where I am at now.
When you decide to leave a marriage, I don't think you realize what the true outcome will eventually be.
I know I did not.
I did not think that a family that I knew for over 20 years would not offer a single ounce of support. Ever. Not a one.
You see, I never even got one single phone call to see how I was/am coping.
And that is ok.
But not to see how I am doing with 3 children in tow?
They forget.
They forget all of the celebrations put together so lovingly.
The early morning conversations following a night of babysitting.
The support when they suffered similiarly.
The struggle of drug abuse and an auntie who stepped in big time and loved on that boy like he was my very own.
They forget.
It makes you question why you did things.
And though I did everything with an open heart - I wonder today if perhaps I should have held back.
Been not as true to myself as I was.

Friends you thought you had?
You may not.
My lifelong friend - one who has been a big part of my life since I was a mere three years old?
She has yet to see me a single time since hearing the news of our separation and pending divorce.
It has been a year and a half.
Is life really that busy?
Or do you truly just not give a shit?
Funny enough. She is a religious person.
I do not understand a religion that does not encourage support. Acceptance. And love.
I'm sorry.
No God would do that.
 And the father of my children?
That is all he has become.
He has thrown words like arrows.
And doubts not only everything I say.
But everything I do.
Funny - it was more than good for 18+ years.
Now, apparently, I have become not just a different person.
But a different mother.
I pray for him.
For he knows not what he does.

I encourage you.
Take a good hard look at who is in your life.
Who will be there when the champagne isn't flowing - when you are not running around the kitchen like a mad woman trying to please everyone.
Really look.
Because life can surprise you.
And you might learn - you never really knew them at all.

Rant over.
It's Friday.
Thank God.

Big love to my support system.
You are my six.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back To School : Looking Back

Yesterday's first day back to school had me feeling all kinds of nostalgic.
So cliche but true - they grow up far too quickly.
It's like just yesterday Isabella was starting second grade like our Ava Grace.
Not headed into her second year of university.
Surely it can't be true?
My Julian starts 10th grade today.
He got an extra day of summer break thanks to school policy entitling just ninth graders to begin on day 1.
He soaked up every last moment of summer.
and tested my patience along the way. ahem.

For this mama, and every mama, a look back.
Oh - to have each of them this tiny again. Just for one day.
SK Graduation
First Grade
Eight Grade Graduation
SK Graduation
Fifth Grade
Eighth Grade Graduation
Tenth Grade
High School Graduation {Lauren : you made the blog!}
First Day of Preschool
JK Graduation
Senior Kindergarten
Hope everyone's first day went off without a hitch.
A little routine never hurt anyone.
Kinda loving it already.
Except for lunches. Lunches I'm hating.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Road Tripping with Canadian Tire

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Ah, summer in Toronto.
When the warm weather finally came, we began furiously making our way through our Summer Bucket List.
Well, Ava's Summer Bucket List...
At quick glance, you can probably guess which ones I may or may not have added.
I have a funny feeling that we may just get to hers first -
A few weekends ago, we crossed a long-awaited road trip adventure off our list! 
I have forever wanted to walk through a lavender field in Provence; sadly, France is just not in the cards this year.
So, instead, we decided to pack up the car and head north west of the city to a local lavender field.
Terre Bleu really is like a little piece of heaven close to home.
And there also may or may not be a new outlet mall nearby. ahem.

In preparation for the event, we had yet another to-do list to cross off - this time, a prep list of sorts to ensure we were ready to go:
1. Decide on outfits that will look cute in instagram photos
2. Pack a light lunch + snacks
3. Charge the "good" camera
4. Change the oil in the car which may or may not be very slightly overdue
5. Buy new books + small toys for car ride
Our one-stop shop for all things auto is, and has always been, Canadian Tire.
A true Canadian institution.
From coolers {another item to add to my list!} to bug spray to snacks, they've got us covered.
Since I'm planning on doing a lot of driving during the rest of the summer, I purchased the Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil for my oil change - it is my usual brand AND the one recommended by the kind folks at Canadian Tire. (the number one oil in Mexico and South America - who knew?)
Priced super competitively and one of the best on the markets - it helps my truck perform well regardless of how many miles we drive. And drive. And drive.
With a fuel-saving additive that helps promote durability and keep the oil fresh as well as a heat-activated viscosity improver AND anti-wear additive - all of which kick in to maintain the oil's thickness and extend your engine life.
Quaker State oil gives you more durability and more honesty at a price that won't break the bank.
Canadian Tire makes road tripping easy.
And we still managed to look pretty darn good doing it.
If I do say so myself.


Did you road trip anywhere this summer?
Tell us, what's on your bucket list?


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CampaignHashtag #CollectiveBias

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Coffee Date

The last time we sat down for coffee was last January.
This is not ok.
I take mine with one sugar, one milk + one cream these days in case you were wondering.
And usually, it's the best part of my day.
Often thinking about it as I lay down to sleep.
Life has been a whirlwind to say the least - I struggle to keep up most days.
Other days, are perfect.
Much like the ones spent in St. Lucia a short few weeks ago.

Ava Grace finishes a 2 week dance camp program today.
She's such a different kid than my other two.
Walked right in on the first day - no fear. By lunchtime, she owned the place.
I got to see their "camp end" performance yesterday and she giggled the entire time.
So proud.
I'm hoping she wants to continue the learning and start dance this fall.
Good for the soul.

She keeps me on my toes everyday.
You just never know what she is going to say next.
Like this past weekend when she woke up on Saturday, got herself ready and proclaimed 'I'm having a really good hair today.".
Really kiddo?
You are SEVEN.

Julian starts 10th grade next month.
I still picture him as a little guy in his crib - standing up and smiling at me when I walked into his room.
The cliche is true. They grow up so fast.
And while each day feels long at times; the years are short.
I do miss the days where I knew exactly where he was at all times.
When I was his favourite no matter what.
And when he didn't talk back.

I have had a really difficult year with him.
One of the hardest in my life.
He, of all of the kids, is taking the separation and pending divorce the worst.
He just wants his family back together.
Misses his old house.
Just doesn't get why this had to happen.
He has done things that are too painful for me to talk about just yet.
For now, today, he is good.
We have many late night conversations him and I. Have grown very close through all of the pain.
And for that I am thankful.
I love him something fierce.
My heart literally aches when I look at him. 
Please say a prayer for my sweet boy - for strength. For guidance.
His heart is good.

My Isabella has had a ridiculously busy summer.
Between doing an additional course downtown to working an almost full time job in a local real-estate agency plus her seemingly never-ending social life this girl is BUSY.
Her boyfriend of one year goes back to school in London this weekend.
I anticipate lots of tears.
From her and me.
It is incredible to look at your child and see yourself.
And this kid is all me.
I'm not talking about her appearance - it's her soul. Her sensitivity. How quickly she can be brought to tears when speaking about things that are important to her.
The way she sleeps.
Truly incredible.
I tell her everyday how amazing she is.
And to never, ever change.
Not for anyone.

I am probably the happiest I have been in a very long time.
I feel like a caged bird that was set free.
I love being able to do what I want, when I want.
To not have to worry about pleasing anyone.
Or what to make for dinner.
My heart is very full.
And I have truly special relationships in my life that would never have been had this not happened.
I am excited for what the future will bring.
But for now, I have the most important thing in the world.

Thanks for stopping by our little blog.
I know posting has been sporadic but I love this little space.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Week in St. Lucia

At long last, I've gone through the ridiculous amount of photographs we took during our recent girl's only trip to St. Lucia.
Know that it wasn't meant to be a girl's only trip.
Also know that my Julian refused to join us regardless of how many times I begged asked.
This destination has been on my own bucket list for some time.
Visions of the pitons had intrigued me for years - The Bachelor didn't help.
Let me tell you, St. Lucia is not close.
From Toronto, it a 5-hour flight followed by a minimum 1 hour and 30 minute shuttle to your hotel.
I will also tell you that is worth every.last.minute


We lazed on the beach.
We swam in the pool for hours. We couldn't get our little bathing beauty out of said pool.
We took a cruise to Soufrière where we visited a botanical garden and the infamous mud baths.
We drank far, FAR too many fruity frozen drinks.
We ate.
We foam partied.
We danced.
We carnivaled.
And best of all?
We created memories to last a lifetime.
Feeling blessed.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What She Wore : The Satin Jumpsuit

Coming soon - a full post on our incredible girls-only trip to St. Lucia.
But for now, we're sharing just one of the beautiful looks we brought along care of one of our favourite shops {and blog sponsors!} Magnolia Boutique.
This satin jumpsuit really is a vacationers dream.
Takes up next to no room in your suitcase, is low maintenance {a quick steam and it was ready to go!} and it is perfect for keeping you looking polished in hotter than hot weather.

"Everly" Satin Jumpsuit c/o Magnolia Boutique | shoes - J. Crew | sunglasses - Ray Ban
Isabella is wearing a size medium although a small would have been fine as well.
She slipped on a pair of perfect gold slides, minimal jewellery + was ready for dinner.
I may or may not have worn it the next evening.

Shop it here. And check out all of Magnolia Boutiques other pretties while you're at.
Do you follow us on instagram?
See more of this look + more on our page.

Happy Thursday indeed.

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! 

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