12.27.2017

WE ARE MOVING TO....


We are moving to...

FRANCE!!!!! 

AND.....we leave on Friday. Yes, that's 2 days away. AH! And I haven't even started to pack. Holy crap. I can't believe I am saying this. It still feels like I'm talking about someone else when I say it. It feels like its been a LONG time coming but here it is! I'm writing a blog post about the fact that we are moving to France. So crazy. 

We can't wait to share this journey with you. It's going to be one heck of a time. Hopefully full of travel, adventure and learning! So I hope you stay tuned to see what we get up to. If you aren't already, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@aandreaclare) and on youtube (Subscribe HERE) where we post vlogs, travel videos and anything else I get up to. 

Generally when you break this kind of news, lots of questions follow. Our friends and family had lots for us when we first told them we were heading out again. A lot of my co-workers had lots to ask as well, so I figured many of you might be curious about a few of the details. So in addition to the big announcement, I'm going to answer a few of the most common questions we got when we told  people we were moving to France. I'll keep it short and sweet - but here we go!

(If you prefer this kind of thing in video format, there is a video on the same questions down below - if you want to check it out :) OR click HERE to watch it)


Why France?

We are moving to France because Ken got into a really great school to do his MBA. It wasn't because we specifically chose France, it's simply where the school is located. When we started to discuss the idea of travelling for his MBA, Europe and the UK appealed to us much more than anything in Canada or the United States. London and France were the two spots with the best schools, so that's where he applied. We hadn't lived in France yet - so we went for it! We figure we are young, don't have children or animals and didn't have a problem selling everything we own - so it was now or never.


Where in France?

The school is called INSEAD and is located south east (about 45 mins by train) from Paris. It's called Fontainebleau.  It's a TINY TINY town with a ton of charm. It's known for his beautiful chateau in the centre of the city.


Where are you living now?

We decided to leave our Vancouver apartment mid December and move in with my mom in the suburbs. We love staying at my moms and wanted the extra family time over Christmas before we left on our big adventure. I don't know how many son in laws love living with their mother and law - but Ken is one of them. He LOVES it here. We couldn't get him out of our apartment and moved into moms fast enough! We are staying here about 2 weeks before our flight and are loving every minute of it :)


When do you leave?

We head out on December 29th and are flying into Paris.  We will be staying in Paris for New Years before making our way to our new home. We will certainly be documenting all of that on my Instagram -(@aandreaclare) - so make sure you are following along!


Will you be working in France?

No, I won't. Currently I have another Leave of Absence from my job (same thing I did when we lived in London). As a nurse, I would have to get registered and take exams before I could even apply for a job. It's a bit of a nightmare. So for now, I won't be working. I'll be keeping myself busy with the blog, my youtube channel, taking french language classes and baking classes! Ken is super excited about the baking classes - haha.


How long will you be living there?

The program Ken is in is a condensed (and super intense) 1 year MBA program. There is a break in the middle for job hunting and internships, which might take us out of France for a short while, but we will be living in France for most of the year.


What was the process like? Visas, language exams, moving...

STRESSFUL! Oh lord! One we knew Ken had been accepted into the program - we started looking for accommodation right away. We emailed about 13 different places and only 1 was still available. This was within about a day of finding out Ken was accepted. We did managed to snag the 1 place that was still available - thankfully! It's a tiny little flat very close to the city centre. It's perfect! I can't wait to see it for the first time. Once we had that in place, Ken began studying for his language exams. He had tutors, watched french news and french movies. I was constantly testing him and having him translate things. Everyday at work I would be waiting for the text to come though to say that he passed. I was having a hard time concentrating! Especially because all this was happening just a few short weeks before we were planning to be moving to my moms place - and we weren't sure if we were going to be able to go yet! Thankfully Ken passed the French exams and we were able to apply for our visas. The visas were also a bit tricky because he was in and out of the country (London, New York, Toronto) for business meetings. So we had to wait until he was going to be home for 10 days straight while his passport was in with the French consulate. It was all a very tight timeline. Once we got a go ahead on that - I was able to let my work know that we were likely to be leaving (assuming my visa went though ok), give notice on our apartment, sell everything we owned, and move into my moms! So although we knew he has been accepted into the school before our wedding in July, we weren't actually certain we were going FOR SURE until a few weeks ago! It's been a roller coaster not knowing if we were leaving the country or not but we are SO happy it's all come together.


Do you speak French? Does Ken speak French?

Although I took French in high school and I can make my way through a menu - I wouldn't say I speak French at all. However, because Ken had to get though both oral and written French exams before we were officially going, he is pretty darn good at it. I would consider him nearly fluent but he would never say that - haha. I do plan to take french lessons during our time there and I HOPE that eventually we will be able to hold a simple conversation in French or even get through a dinner in French - Wishful thinking? I hope not!


Do you have an apartment there?

YES! We do! As I mentioned above, I started to sweat when we couldn't find a single thing! But thankfully our place came up - we signed the contact and we will be there in the new year :) We will be sharing the place initially on my Instagram (@aandreaclare) if your interested in seeing the first few sneak peeks of our new home :)


Are you nervous?

YES! Super nervous. We are moving to a country we have only been to a few times, I don't speak the language and I have never been to the town I'm moving to! It's madness! But super exciting all at the same time. We also have no idea where in the world we will be living after the program so we are truly flying my the seat of our pants right now. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is certain. It feels a bit like free falling at the moment but we wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait! 

I hope you guys are excited to follow along on this adventure! As I said many times - Instagram is the place to follow us for the first few weeks. We will be sharing our travels there, our time in Paris, arriving in our new town and our new apartment! It will all be over there before anything makes it to the blog.  So I will see you over there! 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:


Xo, Andrea

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12.23.2017

PINK SUEDE BIKER JACKET

how to style pink suede



At last! I feel like I can go back to my normal self of over sharing! The secret is out! Or at least almost! We will share the second half of our secret very very soon! If you don't know what I'm talking about, make sure to check out my last post HERE, where we share a huge, huge announcement! 

Onto something a little less exciting today, haha! This pink suede jacket! It has quickly become one of my go to jackets that I constantly reach for. Mainly because it is SO comfy. I can't tell you how often I want to wear my leather jacket but don't simply because I find it restricts my reach and flexibity in my arms! Especially if I'm shopping or on the go all day - I just can't be bothered with stiff arms! This pink one honestly wears like a comfy sweater. It's made of a scuba like material, but is suede on the outside. I had a hard time choosing which colour I wanted because it's only $27! Even though we are moving and I shouldn't be buying anything, I'm seriously tempted to purchase this similar one in green and the tan version as well :)

how to wear pink suede
affordable biker jacket
fashion trend
simple makeup

Shop all the options here:



Xo, Andrea


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12.21.2017

MOVING INTO MY MOMS + RECENT THINGS

sweater dress

Sweater dress - Sold out - Similar option HERE - $30!



Phew! It's been a whirl wind few weeks! But we are officially out of our apartment (other than our mattress - haha). It always amazes me how much stuff comes out of one apartment that we've only been in for a year and a half! I really thought we have lived fairly minimally (considering I'm a bit of a shopaholic) but it took days and days to get it all organized and out! If you watch our vlogs, you'll see in our up doing moving vlog that a lot of our move was done by me because Ken has been in and out of the country so much. I get infinite back scratches and massages in return, so it's all good - haha. But it was tough! It felt like it took us 3 weeks to move! But at last, we are here in my moms insanely comfortable home with the little puppy and we couldn't be happier. That's right, even Ken is loving being at his mother and laws house. He couldn't wait to get here! 

Anyways, now that we have managed to clear a few boxes and our room looks more like a bedroom than a storage room - I thought I'd share a little of our new little space :) I'm the type of person that feels totally bogged down around mess, so I spent hours on end getting us organized over the weekend. The other stuff left to organize is...surprise, surprise....Kens clothes. He has chosen to leave them in a pile in the corner of our room as you can see in the pictures below :) Wonderful. But, it's coming along!

andreaclare
moving aboard
designer handbags
winter style

Between the tail end of my cold and the nonstop unpacking, I hadn't left the house in about 2 days. Ken is always eager to get me out of the house when that happens, so we bundled up and headed out for a walk yesterday evening. In true Andi and Ken fashion, we ended up popping into the local pub for a pint of beer to warm up before we headed back home :)

stylish in the snow

Aside from being busy with the move, I have also been on the wedding dress hunt! Even though my day has come and gone, it's super fun to be in these shops! So much eye candy! We are currently looking for my best buddies dress :) We think we may have found it but haven't said "YES!" just yet.


Never thought we'd get this pictures! Finally, an empty apartment! Sad to say goodbye to this beautiful place but ready to move onto our next adventure.


We made sure to take mom to one of the most magical places on earth while we were still living close by. The Vancouver Christmas Market! We've made two visits already this year and could certainly be convinced to go again. I just love it there :)

Xo, Andrea


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12.19.2017

I HAVE A HUGE SECRET TO TELL YOU...

moving aboard

It'd hard to believe that today is the day that I can say this out loud! Or in text I suppose...

Ken and I have had something up our sleeves for about 5 months! Plotting, planning, organizing, STUDYING! And at last, we can reveal what we have been up to. About 5 days before our wedding, we found out that Ken was accepted to a really amazing business school! One of the best in the world! (I married a genius!) And it's in Europe! It still feels hard to believe, but we are picking up and leaving Canada again! It was only a year and half ago that we landed back on home ground from London! So lets just say mom isn't exaclty pleased, haha!

We recently sold almost everything we own, moved out of our apartment, moved in my moms place and I'm on another leave from work for at least a year. SO CRAZY! Another adventure! We are SO excited. AND we leave right after Christmas! Less than two weeks until we fly to our new country and see our new apartment for the first time in a town that I've never been to. Let me tell you - it's hard to pick an apartment to live in when you've never been to the town!

I'll be honest, it wasn't all fun and games getting here. I think I lost about half my hair from stressing out the last 5 months. Ken had to complete language exams (both written and oral), get through the visa process, organize our apartment and living situation in Europe - there were lots of glitches along the way. We certainly had a few days where I really thought it wasn't going to happen.

I filmed a video over the weekend outlining our story and process in a bit more detail. You can watch by clicking the video below or clicking HERE :)

It feels so good to get this out in the open! I've had a hard time blogging, creating videos, even instagramming because this has been consuming my thoughts and somehow it felt unauthentic to be posting about anything other than our move! But I'm back in action and I can't wait to share more of our adventure both here and on my youtube channel. We actually vlogged throughout December (delayed vlogmas?) to document our move and the excitement! So make sure to subscribe to my channel HERE to see when those go live :)

WOOHOOO!!!!

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12.13.2017

FALL/WINTER LOOKBOOK



Morning! It took Ken and I forever to get this video together! The rain we had in November was crazy! But at last, it's here! I hope you enjoy! Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel HERE so you don't miss future uploads. I don't post the same content here as I do on my youtube channel, so subscribe so you don't miss a beat!

Xo, Andrea
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12.11.2017

OUR FALL DECOR


Just incase you missed it over on my youtube channel, I recently shared our fall decor!  I filmed this several weeks ago, before the Christmas madness began. In the video you get a mini tour of our place and little touches of decor we have added for the season :) Click the video below to watch the whole thing or follow the link HERE



Xo, Andrea
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12.09.2017

SORRY + UPDATES

NATURAL blonde hair

My oh my! It's been VERY quiet over here and on social media in general. SORRY! I really didn't mean to disappear for so long but my brain has been at max capacity lately.  Ken and I have been working on making something happen for months now and now that things are wrapping up, we can't wait to share! I'm so excited to tell you what we've been up to and when I do, you'll understand why I disappeared from the blog/youtube world for a while there. So long story short - I'm sorry! But you'll understand why VERY soon!

Since I haven't been keeping up with my over sharing here on the blog and Instagram, I thought I'd put together a little update post of a few things that have changed over the last few weeks.

First off - My hair! I've grown out my bangs (they were driving me crazy and were too much work - Tata bangs!) and I had my highlights done yesterday too. It was long over due since I hadn't been to see my hairdresser since before the wedding! The roots were out of control. I went for a very natural soft blonde so that my roots aren't too noticeable. Because lets be honest, it'll probably be another 6 months before I get back there. We also chopped off a few inches. Another hair note - I have been shedding like CRAZY! I'm talking clumps of hair that come out when I shower or brush it. It's freakin' me out! I think it's stress related so I'm hoping once the dust settles, my hair will thicken up again.

weekend casual
beautiful wedding photos

This one is embarrassing to admit, but I only JUST printed physical copies of a few of our photos. Let me remind you - we were married in July - so thats 5 months with no printed photos - terrible! I am so in love with them but it was one of those things we just never got around to doing. At some point we want to have our favourites in a hard cover book, but at this rate, who knows when that'll happen. Does anyone have any good companies to print from? I've heard you can do it through Apple, and another company called The Mix Book.....?

andreaclare wedding
neutral wedding
gucci soho disco handbag

I sure am one lucky girl! Last week I purchased the Gucci Soho Disco handbag! I had a bunch of gift certificates to use up and had also worked an overtime shift to make it happen :) I know it is a SUPER popular bag and really basic, but that's what is great about it! It's so simple and goes with everything - no flashy logos or prints - just simple and understated. It fits a ton of stuff in it and is really comfortable to wear. The leather is so smooth and really easy to get in and out of. So far, I love it :)

flannel engagement photos
Vancouver engagement

I attempted to take a few engagement photos of my best friend and her fiancĂ©! I say attempted because this was back in mid November when we had almost nothing but rain for the whole month.  We did our best to escape the rain to get a few shots but each time we hopped out of the car, the rain would pick up again. We eventually snapped these and a few others in the rain just so we didn't come home empty handed. It wasn't easy with the dark grey day and sideways rain (I was holding an umbrella over myself while snapping photos) but we tried! 

fuji mirrorless camera

I finally committed to a mirrorless camera! I stuck with the Fuji xt20 and have been loving it. Super easy to use, light weight and even pretty! Ken loves it too because its much easier to carry around,  focuses and snaps a lot quicker than my DSLR. This makes it a lot easier to convince him to help me with photos every once and a while :)

away carry on

We recently purchased the hyped up Away luggage. We went with the navy colour and purchased the carry on, medium and large size. So far they have only been on one trip but Ken loved it! I also love that they stack into one other for storage. The portable charger on the carry on is a pretty cool feature too.

away carry on luggage
skincare vitamin C

I don't know why but I've just recently come to the realization that I'm starting to look old! Especially in the last year or so, I've noticed a significant change in my skins texture and elasticity. I definitely need to start drinking more water but until I develop that habit - I'm going to test out as much skin care as my wallet can afford - haha. I recently started using this Vitamin C collagen serum by Quantum Hydrox at night.  I just use the smallest amount under my nighttime moisturizer. I've only used it a few times so I can't say I see any notable changed just yet. However, the lady at the counter said that this one is a high quality pure form of the vitamin which mean most of it is absorbed and put to get use. A lot of vitamin C products out there have fillers in them and therefore don't absorb in the skin which means you aren't getting your bang for your buck. This one was quite pricey but I'm hoping my skin will thank me for it :)


Another reason I've been so MIA lately. Ken has been on the road ALOT in the last month. In November he was in New York for a week. Then was home for a few days, then flew to Toronto, then back home long enough to sort out this big project I was mentioning earlier. This week he has been in London and might have to fly back to Toronto again next week! PHEW! Once I can tell you whats been going on behind the scenes, you'll understand why all this travel has been mental.

bookshelf decor

If anyone is still out there reading and following, THANK YOU! I read and follow a lot of bloggers myself so I know how annoying it can be when there is nothing new and they just disappear. I'M SORRY! I'm terrible. But I promise it'll all be worth it :) Stay tuned - things are about to get really really good.

Xo, Andrea

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