Archives for February 2014

Date Night: Café Gray Deluxe & Posto Pubblico

Last week, Kevin took me out to dinner–on a date! It was such fun that I’ve decided it’s something for us to do at least once a month. And to get us to really actually commit to going out on a date night, I plan to blog about it. In this way I’ll be both storing the memories away here on Kremb de la Kremb plus I’ll be sharing places to go out in Hong Kong. I love this city so much–the opportunities continue to be endless!

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First up on our Date Night was Café Gray Deluxe. Oooooh, it was magnificent! To get there we went through Pacific Place, up to the J.W. Marriot, and out the door to the left to The Upper House. The Upper House is a hotel that shares the building with the J.W. Marriot–or I should say has the top floors of the building. Once inside we went to the 49th floor, stepped outside, and gushed! Immediately I was drawn to the cozy fireplace elegantly lit in what seemed to be a library room at the end of a long hall. I do declare: lighting is everything. Once inside the actual bar all you can do is admire the skyline of Hong Kong. There are windows everyhwere, and you are basically up in the towers (even in the bathrooms!). The menu was decadent. I usually opt for a nice glass of red wine, but for this café, a cocktail seemed so much more appropriate! I went for the Hong Kong High Ball, and it did not disappoint nor did Kevin’s Sydney Sour. Upon leaving we noticed the open kitchen which garners a second visit perhaps for dinner….

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For dinner we headed to Elgin Street and found the quaint ristorante Posto Pubblico. Oh what a wonderful meal! First our waitress, Olda, was a delight. She was originally from Goa, India and then Mumbai and even our old neighborhood Bandra, so that alone brought back tons fond memories for us. Immediately upon sitting down, a plate with delicious parma ham, super salty pecorino cheese, and a ratatouile of sorts was set before us. We ordered our wine and tried their famous buratta cheese–made in house. It was both rich and decadent. The reader board displayed a seafood special, so that was a no brainer for Kevin while I went with a delicious farfalle pasta with sausage made in-house made and peas. It was extraordinary! We took our time eating, and Olga knew just when to clear our plates and bring the next item. When all was finished, they even brought us one more complimentary plate of cookies. Plus as we exited we were treated with a shot of grappa! The meal was divine, AND we will be back–and not just for a date night.

Do you have any suggestions for our next date night!?

Makeup Memories and VDL

VDL6.jpgI woke up the other morning in a dreamy makeup memory. It was so wonderful. It was that time in the morning between the wakeup and going back to sleep when I half dream, half think. Anyway, I was having thoughts of being a little girl and wanting to play in my mom’s makeup which was a big no-no. Every now and then, she’d let me which was such a delight. Then, as I grew older, now called the tween years, she would sometimes make my cheeks a bit rosier with blush. Oh, I loved Christmas and Easter just for the pink cheeks I’d get to wear. Finally when I turned thirteen and did become a teenager, I was allowed to wear mascara! By freshmen year, a blue eyeliner pencil was included, and I can even remember my favorite shade of Wet ‘n Wild lipstick: 513, it was a pinky coral color. Or was it 523? At any rate, it had a clear top with a black base with the white cursive lettering of “Wet n Wild” running up the side. This dream I woke up to reminded me I’ve always loved makeup! Somethings never change….

You can imagine my excitement when shortly after this dream I was contacted by Loic at VDL Cosmetics. He invited me to a breakfast where I’d be able to sample a plethora of makeup! VDL is a Korean makeup line that prides itself in super pigmented makeup. This I like! The lipsticks were so creamy and bright, and the eye shadows seriously made a rainbow of color. I thank my new friend Ana for recommending my invite. Not only did I get to sample awesome, pigment filled makeup, but Ana, who is a makeup artist, taught me how to wear both a cat eye plus a new trend cropping up on Asian models: a red lid! (You read that correctly, lid–not lip!) During this colorful morning I also got to hang out with Marion of Marion Tessier Photography–she got the pic of me trying out the bright red lid. I was surprised by how much I liked it and plan to sport it again soon.

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VDL Cosmetics will be in Hong Kong! If you would like to get in on this new product that’s just arriving to Hong Kong, come to Harbour City, Kiosk #9A this Saturday from 5:00-7:00 pm!

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42 Facts

1. It’s true: 42 years ago today I was born! This is also what happened on February 21st, 1972.

2. I’m the oldest of five siblings: me, then Julie, Adrian, Mary, then Nicholas.

3. I can touch my nose with my tongue!
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4. I’m a pisces plus a rat.

5. I’ve lived in 8 countries: USA, Italy, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, India, China, and now Hong Kong.
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6. And I’ve lived in 6 States: California, Arizona, Washington, New Mexico, Montana (does a month count? I had intended for longer until I tore my ACL skiing!), and Idaho. Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 6.31.43 PM

7. I was a cheerleader in high school–yes, I could have been in it for the skirt! cheerleadingskirtlarge

8. In college I was in a sorority, Delta Gamma.

9. I’m a perfect European size 37 in shoes–for some reason 6 1/2 often seems too tight, and a 7 is usually too big. (In fact these new shoes in size 6 1/2 are kind of hurting me. I hope they stretch out!)

10. Except for a volunteer year in New Mexico, I’ve never taught as a certified teacher in the States.

11. I can speak Spanish. One time in my Miami, I received one of the best compliments of my life: a lady thought I was from Argentina!

12. I’m definitely a blue girl. Some variation of blue is always my favorite. My favorite blue color is that teal, peacock, midnight blue color. Peacock-Blue-Y351-

13. The longest place I’ve lived, aside from my parent’s home as a kid, is Mumbai, India.

14. My grade school was All Saints Catholic School, I went to Gonzaga Prep High School, University of Washington is where I graduated from, I spent my junior year of college in Florence through Gonzaga University, my masters is from Whitworth University, my librarianship is from U of W (again), and I am currently enrolled as a student with the London College of Style.

15. My first outfit purchase was when I was 10 years old. I saved and saved for a pair of cobalt blue running type shorts (this silky running kind that opened on the side–just like the ones popular today!) with a cobalt blue and white striped tee. Oh, I felt so cool in that outfit! This first purchase was made at Lamonts! (Those readers on the South Hill of Spokane, Washington might know what I’m talking about!!)
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16. Lucky Magazine is my all time favorite mag. I have been reading it since it’s first edition in December of 2000. Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 6.08.55 AM

17. My life motto (given to me in Choroni from Rusty McCarty) is “If you think you are, you are!”

18. I fell in love with my husband in Italy, yet Kevin is not Italian.

19. I believe all of us Freuens are successful and for happiness in each of us. One of my siblings is a doctor, one is a counselor, one a printmaker and art teacher, another an interior designer and photographer, and I’m an international educator serving as a librarian.

20. I was an average student in school with a GPA of 3.32 in the end I think–something like that.

21. I’ve had seven operations: one extra bone removed from my left ankle, an ACL repair on m left knee, two clean outs on the same knee, one on the right knee, and two C-sections. I know I’ll have at least one more when I decide to have my right hip replaced.

22. My eyes change color according to what I’m wearing: either green or blue, but mostly they’re grey now.

23. I had LASIK eye surgery in El Salvador. I highly recommend doing that to each and everyone of you that needs it!

24. I’m afraid of train tracks.

25. I love Pringles–once you pop, you can’t stop! That would be my junk food of choice [if].
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26. On the other hand, I like to eat a square of very dark chocolate as my dessert after dinner. This is not junk food! darkchocolate1

27. My 13 year old heart throb was Tom Cruise. (But, he kind of ruined it for me on Oprah’s couch.) Top-Gun

27.  I love reading Shakespeare. shakespeare_nvl

28. I think being a librarian has got to be the best job in an entire school.

29. Today my idol is Sofia Vegara. Sofia-Vergara-posed-leopard-skirt-spread-Cosmopolitan-June-2013-issue

30. When I believe in reincarnation, I want to come back Italian. Flag-Italy

31. I’d say my very first crush was Jimmy Branson. I blew him a kiss in first grade.

32. My name is Ann which means grace which is pretty ironic since I’m a total klutz!

33. From the University of Washington, I majored in English literature with a minor in the Italian language.

34. If I ever ask you to guess between the numbers 1-10, I will always pick 5. (Same goes for 100; I’ll pick 50.)

35. I always touch wood. 81267117

36. I never put my bag on the floor–the $$$ goes. This is something I picked up from Katia in El Salvador.

37. I am a Roman Catholic Hindu. Our family Gods being both Jesus and Lord Ganesha, yet we are open for more….GanesahandJesus.jpg

38. I love my godmother, Auntie Paddy, with a special heart. I hope to be as good a godmother to my goddaughter, Elle. 1238745_614401401916197_1426696293_n

39. It doesn’t seem like it, but I’m actually quite insecure. I often care too much about what others think. I work hard at stopping this.

40. Yes, I like to shop, but I also take out for every time something goes in. Also, I’m super thrifty although I’m trying really hard to go with quality instead.

41. I definitely prefer gold over silver.

42. I hope to have more professions after being a librarian, yet I don’t know what it is yet….maybe fashion blogger/personal stylist!

Keeping Warm with Double Tights

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Black Leggings Under with Cream Tights Over

At the onset of Chinese New Year, Hong Kong had amazing, sunny weather that brought us to the beach. Then, all of a sudden, it all changed. Granted, we don’t have much to complain about in terms of weather, but for all of us used to Hong Kong’s usual temps, it has been amazingly cold. We are all freezing! One way I attempt to stay warm through the day is by doubling up my tights. Here’s a work week of samples:

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Grey Nylons Under with Orange Tights Over

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Navy Leggings Under with Silver Tights Over plus Plaid Knee Highs

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Navy Leggings Under with Maroon Tights Over
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Black Nylons Under with Black and Nude Over-the-Knee Tights Over

And then sometimes you’re happy to have double tights because you get an hour into the day and get a major run, ok tear!

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Navy Leggings Under with Nude Sparkly Nylons Over

Summer Fun in Winter

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One thing is for sure about Hong Kong winters: they are totally unpredictable! One moment you’re enjoying some summer fun in winter with the sun on the beach, and the next your bundled up with multiple layers. These pics were taken during the beginning of Chinese New Year when the weather was absolutely glorious. All eleven of us Krembs (the four Krembs, plus the four other Krembs in HK, the in-laws visiting, and my visiting niece) went for an afternoon down at Big Wave Bay. Kevin and the kids surfed while the rest of us relaxed on the beach. For the afternoon, I mixed my new white embroidered cover up from Thailand with my biker boots from Beijing. I had to be careful as the waves almost swallowed me up. Kevin seems to be a natural on the board as you’ll see below in the last pic. Stay tuned for the next post up this week which will cover quite the contrary–doubling up on tights to keep warm!
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Some Outfit Details
Flowered Bobby Pins from HM–similar DIY
Gold Hoops, one from Saudi, one from India, now with Julie for her 40th birthday–similar here
Lips–Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious
White Mirrored Raybans
White Embroidered Top from Thailand–Similar options found on Etsy here
Buckled Boots from Ho Hai, Beijing–Similar here

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Leopard Love–Sometimes the Annie-mal in Me Comes Out!

Leopard Love
It’s no secret that I’ve got a little leopard love. The last time I experimented with this print it was a bit electric colorful try. This time around I’m almost fully animal–or like my brother-in-law sometimes calls me, Annie-mal! (I actually love this nickname!!) While admittedly all of this animal love in one outfit might seem a little over-the-top, I think it actually kind of works. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you have something in your life that makes you smile when you put it all on–for me, it’s definitely my leopard love.
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Some Outfit Details with Leopard Love:

Lippy–NARS Heat Wave
Sunglasses, Earrings, Sweatshirt, and Skirt–Forever 21
Purse–Jaspal
Booties–Lab 

Photos by Elle

*This post has been linked up to #iwillwearwhatilike.

Big Buddha Round 2

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It’s been a while since I posted an adventure in Hong Kong here on Kremb de la Kremb, and visiting the Big Buddha for the second time seems like the perfect touristy post. While Elle was here we did all sorts of touristy things: markets, hikes, beaches (she tried out surfing for the first time), Disney, and the Big Buddha. There’s something so majestic about this Lantau landmark. It beckons my camera every time. The pictures and awe might be the same as the first visit, but guaranteed, we’ll be back again. It’s just that amazing!

Ice Cream
It’s true: usually ice cream is the treat at the end. It just so happens at the Big Buddha it’s best to start with the I.C.!

Strike a pose
Elle striking a pose.

Stairway to Buddha
A nice smile before the climb….

Goddesses
The Goddesses are as beautiful as the Buddha himself.

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He looks good from every angle.

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Gigi
Gigi’s smile is contagious!

Vincent
There’s an inside joke going on here. You’ll have to ask him what he’s saying…

Kawaii
Kiddos gettin’ all Kawaii!

Siblings

Another mystery–we’ll never know what was really going on, but we can get a pretty good idea!

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More smiles before the trip down.

Another Buddha
We chanced upon the movement of this god.

Chinese Architecture
Blue Skies

Incense Burning
Now that’s some large incense!
He looks good from every angle.
Big Buddha He looks good from every angle.
Buddha amidst all the international flags.

Colorful Fans

I swear! These twirlies were moving real fast!

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Haha! No photo! Gotcha!!

I’m Easy

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It’s about this time a year when my husband says, “So it’s your birthday soon. What do you want this year? And it’s Valentine’s Day too…” I think I always say just about the same thing which makes me think I am actually probably the easiest person to shop for ever. I love just about anything and everything. Just for him though, I’ve made this little board to help him out–although it looks similar to this one and this one. He could never go wrong with jewellery, lipstick, smell goods, dark chocolate, my perfume, and of course a Chanel quilted bag.  (A birthday girl can dream right?!)

P.S. As I write this post, my Valentine just got a sneak preview for us to go see Her! I can’t wait to see this movie. I’ve got a date this Friday!! See, I’m easy!

Up Above
Hamsa Earrings
Gold Chain
Jungle Red, NARS Lipstick
Voluspa Goji & Torocco Orange
Chanel Handbag
Narciso Rodriquez Her
Godiva Chocolates

One More Sweatshirt

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At some point I’ll need to stop with the comfy sweatshirts, but while they’re around and a serious trend, I’m embracing them! Elle–along with all the trendsetters at my school, inspired me to get one more sweatshirt. It’s a pretty cute in black and white with the bold HKIS plus it’s so cozy and thick. With this sweatshirt, the best part for Elle and me was playing this game: we tried creating acronyms for HKIS. Of course it stands for Hong Kong International School but it could be “Hershey Kisses Instantly Satisfy” or “Hot Kicks In Spokane.” Our favorite though was “Hong Kong Is Sexy!” That was our winner. I am pretty sure with Elle’s experience at HKIS for the month of Jan when asked what it stands for, she will simply and proudly say it stands for “Hong Kong International School.”
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Beanie Silhouette

Jabra Headphones

Some Outfit Details
LipsStila Beso
Wireless Headphones–c/o Jabra (I won these awesome headphones via Shut Up, I Love that Shirt on You. Taylor had posted a contest to submit a song for a traveling playlist; I suggested “On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson and won! Thank you Jabra and Taylor!! )
Beanie–Girls department H&M
Earrings–Temple Street Market, Honk Kong
Sweatshirt–Booster Shop at HKIS
Pants–other options here
Fox Clutch
Salvation Army, Hong Kong
Studded ConverseDIY here and seen also seen here

All photos by Gigi

Stanley Market Road

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This is my new street address, Stanley Market Road, and I LOVE IT! I haven’t taken a moment to catch my breath since we’ve moved in and reflect on how much I love my new home. (My parents arrived moments after the move-in date, then Elle arrived, and now Kevin’s folks are here–yes, come visit!) Granted living in Chung Hom Kok was also very nice, but living on the main promenade of Stanley is so much better. The throngs of people that come on the weekends don’t phase me and the thousands of folks that have just passed through for Chinese New Year didn’t bothered me a bit. Of course it makes sense for them to visit this little market on the south side of the island. There are sidewalk cafés lining the promenade, both a plaza and a market filled with any shopper’s delights, plus the sea just sparkling alongside it all day long.  Meanwhile, I just sit at my 3rd floor window on the roundabout and watch people waving to those that catch my eye. Even though it’s super busy here, any time we want to leave we are going against traffic, so we can always easily catch a bus or simply remain with the masses and enjoy this stunning little neighborhood–my neighborhood on Stanley Market Road.
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*This man managed to make me feel special. For some reason he wanted a picture with me. Am I famous? Why yes!!

Some Outfit Details
Sunglasses, Shirt, Sweatshirt, and Skater SkirtForever 21
Tights–local market
Treaded Boots–Ada Shop, #261, Island Beverely

Other Stylings
Sweatshirt
Boots

Photos by Elle