Archives for October 2014

Happy Halloween


Picture by Thomas Price of Teaspoon Photography

Happy Halloween! This year my awesome library  team took inspiration from Jessica Quirk of What I Wore. We went with her simple version of a the Wicked With of the West. It’s so easy–which (insert wicked laugh!) we like. Last year we were all Zorros–again super easy. When a costume includes wearing all black, it’s usually a no brainer as most closets contain plenty of this absence of color. Here all we had to add was add some green makeup paint and a hat! We look pretty good I think! Happy Halloween from the HKIS HS Librarians!



*This post has been linked up to Not Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike.

Halloween Roundup

HalloweenRoundupTomorrow is Halloween! For a kid, Halloween is a pretty fantastic holiday–you get to pose as someone other than yourself, walk around and ask for candy to your heart’s content, return home exhausted but ready to organize, trade, and sample your abundance of goods. I have wonderful memories of Halloween from growing up. My mom would often intricately paint our faces causing oohs and ahhs from the neighboring houses. This tended to be the easiest costume as it meant we could keep warm in the cold Spokane falls–sometimes it would even snow! My cousins Kelly and Peter would always join in our brigade turning us into a bustling pack. This is my fondest Halloween memory: my mom wouldn’t just pass out candy the conventional way. Rather, she’d get all dressed up as the scariest hobo around. She’d perch herself in the corner of our large entryway balcony. Placed on this mysterious form of a human being would be the largest bowl of candy to be found. There was always a note in the bowl that read: TAKE ONE ONLY! Right when those young adventurous punks were ready to negate the sign’s request and take a handful, my mom’s hand would reach out and snatch the kid. Oh, the screams! I remember their were several heart-attacked fathers as well.

In the spirit of Halloween I’ve created this roundup of fun Halloween ideas for the festivities tomorrow:


Fashion Fixation: Bold Booties

Lately, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of wearing a pretty basic outfit with say a pair of black slacks and white top, but then on the bottom adding a complete element of surprise: a bold bootie! Keep it casual with a pair of boyfriend jeans, a white tea, and a black blazer. The boots would also look good with bare legs and a pencil skirt. Imagine a camel wool coat to cover this ensemble in the winter. Basically the point with these colorful booties is to create an outfit wear they stand out.

  1. Forest Green Bootie
  2. Leopard Bootie
  3. Snakeskin Bootie
  4. Blue Suede Bootie
  5. Gold Bootie
  6. Red Wedge Bootie
  7. Bright Yellow Bootie
  8. Shearling Bootie
  9. Purple Bootie


Haircut5 I finally did it! I got a haircut! I’ve been wanting to chop my hair for some time now waffling between should I or not. Silly. Just go for what I want. I did feel like I had pretty long hair, but recently, I’ve been wanting stylish hair. This first step will just be the beginning. I’m headed towards a tight cut, but I might as well have some fun along the way. Here’s a take at all the looks I’m thinking of as I finally get to the pixie. (This was the look I was after, so this is probably the next cut since I’m not quite there.) Now I just have to figure out how to pace myself and enjoy each step along the way.

I was so excited to find a new hairdresser–especially one that I totally trust. This is Aman from Head Touch in Stanley. She is so sweet but most importantly she was cautious and meticulous in not cutting too much right away. She’s a listener and she speaks great English. I will definitely becoming close to Aman in my upcoming hair ventures. I recommend booking her or any of other stylists at this little salon in Stanley. It was bustling during my whole time there. (Call 2682-9928 for an appointment or venture down the stairs by Ellis Jeweller and you’ll find it right there on the right.)

Special thanks to my dear friend Caron who was the supportive spirit I needed to take the cut! You’re the best Caron!!



I love a skirt with twirl! Swish around and the entire garment moves on without you. When I found this skirt at a second hand store here in HK, I instantly swapped it up. It’s dressy and a little formal, yet wearing it with a tied white shirt dresses it down. When I wear this black and white combo with an added bit of sass, I instantly feel confident. With a simple twirl, I feel polished with a bit of flare–op, no pun intended!





Some Outfit Details
(Many of the items in this outfit are either tailor made, second hand or found in a market. I’ve gone to find similar items at ASOS–they are having a HUGE sale with 70% off plus 10% when you use the code 10MORE.)
Sunglasses–Tom Ford
Necklaces–The pearl one is from Ben at Jardine’s Bazaar and the silver one is from Mary via Dhaka, Bangladesh. I went to ASOS and found some similar pearl options: 1, 2, and 3. For the tribal one, Forever 21 has a good option.
Earrings–Double pearl DIY made from this Wander & Hunt DIY Kit. (Or you could also purchase these ones ready made.)
Lips–Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 402 thanks to the recommendation of Priscilla I’Anson.
White Shirt–Tailor made–I highly recommend investing in a tailor made white shirt! There’s nothing like having this basic made to your exact dimensions. Here’s a pretty good ready made version.
Black Twirly Skirt–I got this from Me & George, but this skirt is an excellent alternative.
Snake Crossover Bag–ASOS, sold out but similar
Sandals–Staccato via a Swap and Shop HK, but here are some similar ones.

Day Date: Shanghai Eats

Shanghai EatsMy trip to Shanghai to visit my sister was fast and furious plus fabulously fun. Basically I had all day with Mary on Saturday and we spent it either eating or shopping. Each café, restaurant, or bar we went to was really good. I would go back again and actually plan to when we all go visit Mary for Thanksgiving weekend. Yes! We get to spend Thanksgiving with family! If you find yourself in Shanghai, here are four great places to try:

BakerandSpiceCollageWe started our day out at Baker & Spice. The almond croissant was perfection and the healthy bar reminded me of my good friend Caron’s rusk. The cappuccino was dry just the way I like it–and believe it should be. This breakfast tided us over while we shopped in the French Concession during the morning.

Gastronomica CollageFor lunch we walked past D.O.C. Gastronomia, got to the corner, and then turned back. D.O.C. Gastronomia was that tempting! A packed restaurant is always a good sign, and the food we saw in the window drew us back. We were so glad to have had our lunch here: it was beyond delicious. We copied our neighboring table and ordered the burrata salad and then tossed it on our focaccia. Salad on top of a pizza is seriously the way to go. Also, we tried a piadina which is a sandwhich toasted in the wood fire oven. It was such smokey goodness. And yes, we were completely stuffed!

GlamourBarCollageBefore we walked into the Glamour Bar, we tried to freshen ourselves up after shopping all afternoon. We tried our best, but it’s a pretty fancy place. Everything about the experience at the Glamour Bar is chic: the drinks, the decor, the view, the whole vibe. After one decadent drink, we felt glamourized and made our way to our dinner reservation.

Lost Heaven CollageOur meal at Lost Heaven was made with culinary expertise–as it always is. The menu is based on food from the Yunnan province which means the food is filled with tons of spices. Each dish was a treat to our palette. Nothing was too spicy but rather a perfect compliment of bursting flavors.

I’ll most likely be visiting these excellent eateries when I go back to Shanghain in November:

Bakery & Spice
195 Anfu Lu
Tel: 5404 2733
Rm118 Shanghai Center, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu
Tel: 6289 8875
LG1-16 Shanghai ifc mall, 8 Century Ave
Tel: 3393 9981
L137 Pudong Kerry Parkside, 1378 Huamu Lu
Tel: 5015 2375
150 Grand Gateway Mall, 1 Hong Qiao Lu
Tel: 5423 1225
B127-129 K11 Mall, 300 Huaihai Lu
Tel: 6312 3361
152-153, 571 Yun Le Road
Tel: 5441 2916

D.O.C. Gastronomia
5 Dongping Rd
(Near Hengshan Rd)
Shanghai, China
Tel: 6473 9394

The Glamour Bar
Address: 6/F, No.5 The Bund ( corner of Guangdong Lu )
Tel: (86-21) 6329 3751

Lost Heaven
French Concession
Address: No 38,Gaoyou Road,Shanghai
Postal Code: 200031
Tel: 021-64335126
Fax: 021-64338574
The Bund
Address: No 17,Yan’an Dong Road,Shanghai
Postal Code: 200002
Tel: 021-63300967
Fax: 021-63300979
And there’s one in Beijing!
Address: No 23,Qian Men Dong Da Jie,Beijing
Postal Code: 100006
Tel: 010-85162698
Fax: 010-85162678

An Essay: The Selfie Stick Stigma

SelfieStick7SetFeatureSelfies (or should I say #selfies?) are a part of our life in 2014. The act of taking a picture of oneself may fade out, but for the time being the pictures are here, and they are happening by the second. (In a twelve hour time period, the selfie hashtag in Instagram increased by 292,588 posts.) I am totally guilty in regards to taking pictures of myself, better yet my feet in a pool or beach, or even my silly outfits of the day (using the hashtag #ootd). I know it’s frowned upon in some circles, laughed upon in others, encouraged in still more. We’re in a time period of self promotion, self celebration, self fullness, self, self, self! While it is all very self-centered, I can honestly say my postings of myself are efforts of sharing and connecting with others. I don’t live near my family; many of my friends live around the world. When I post pics of me it’s as if I’m able to connect with others. For the first time in my overseas life, I’m able to share what I’m doing through social media. For me, this is special and gives me a chance to let others into my life in a pictorial sort of way. If we think of all this selfishness as an attempt at sharing ourselves, does it make it better? Does it make it ok?

The very idea that I have wanted to purchase a selfie stick has sent my family into a tizzy. The other three of them think that stick is pathetic, and they have admitted that they will be embarrassed for me to have one. But why? Is the self timer on a camera attached to a tripod any different? If I want to take a family picture in the middle of a hike, isn’t it ok that I should want to be in it. I don’t have to bother another passenger on the Star Ferry to take our family picture. I can take all the outfit of the day pics I want without having to embarrass my kids by taking the pic on the way to school–I could just take it myself and be the cause of my own embarrassment. Since I am going to take pictures, why wouldn’t I want to take advantage of the newest gadget out there that increases the ease and usage of picture taking. When cool things arrive that better my performance in the kitchen, I buy them–like that apple cutter that cuts your apple into slices with a press of the hand or that plastic tube that takes off the garlic skin. This is called technology folks–“the application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose.”

Well, the fam is going to have to be red in the face when I pull out my selfie stick because I got one. And I already love it! First, a cool connection was made from the man who sold it to me. He gave me a great price, we talked, he showed me how to use it, and in the end he gave me a piece of his artwork (that is to bring me good fortune!). Then with a guest over for dinner, I was able to pull it out and join in a picture with both my daughter and her teacher–I wouldn’t have been included in the picture otherwise since it was just the three of us. Although, I suppose I could have used an old fashioned camera. I could have set the camera up on the counter, posed all of us in front of it, and used my remote control. But, come on! Of course pictures are now taken with smart phones. It’s a fact. And now pictures can be taken with smartphones on selfie sticks. It’s ok. I feel absolutely no stigma about it–and neither should you!


(All images in this post were taken via a smartphone and a selfie stick–except for the top one. That one is with a smartphone via a hand.)

Costume Roundup


Dressing as Zorro is just about the easiest costume around. Don all your black clothes with a pair of black boots. Add a black hat and black cape. Then simply take an old black tshirt, cut two eye holes, and wrap it around your eyes. Andale! Zorro!!

Well, we all have a little over a week before Halloween. It’s right about this time in my family when we start thinking about what costume we’ll sport for October 31. There’s one costume requirement: ease–nothing too difficult or elaborate in the Kremb de la Kremb house. To help find the easiest costume out there, I’ve rounded up a few places on the web offering a whole slew of options.

Popsugar has 101 different ideas. The cool thing about this collection is it’s comprised of in-real-life scenarios–no models or studio pics here–rather personal selfies uploaded most likely various social networks. My two favorites are the four gals dressed as bath puffs and the simple white t-shirt saying “Error 404: Costume Not Found.”

Buzzfeed collected 51 cheap and easy costumes. Buzzfeed also has 30 Unexpected Halloween Costumes you can DIY. I love these two artistic options: Van Gogh and Pop Art. (Buzzfeed is the king of all compilations. Too see some over-the-top cute babies in costume, link here!)

Babble has 22 brilliant and pretty fashionable ideas. They’ve even highlighted one of my favorite fashion bloggers Jessica Quirk of What I Wore in her Dorothy Costume and her Hamburgler Costume. (Jessica creates great costumes; here’s her Wicked Witch.

For fellow fashionistas out there, these two roundups are pretty fun. Marie Clare has 10 pop culture type costumes that you could create from items in your closet. And Fashionista has 10 fashion themed costumes from dressing as Bill Cunningham to sporting Gangnam Style

Don’t forget to rely on Martha…she’s got 46 Kids Costumes, 35 Homemade Costumes, 20 No Sew Costumes, and 6 Evil Queen Makeup Ideas. (I’ve actually done this makeup on myself before during a Teen Read Week as seen below.)


To create this Evil Queen look, I followed these easy steps found on Martha Stewart.

*This post has been linked up to Not Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike.

DIY: Nail Maintenance

Nail MaintenanceUnfortunately I do not have strong, healthy nails. Rather they peel and split down the middle. When this happens it can be painful, but there are four things I do to combat the state of my weak nails. First, I find that my nails are best protected when they are polished. (I’ve been on a white kick for a long time now–I think it seems to be the best nail color!)

1.When I spend some time on my nail maintenance, I take off my nail polish with Malava Nail Polish Remover Pads. There is no acetone in them, so my nails are not left feeling brittle.

Mavala2. Then I use LCN Nail Hardener. This transparent turquoise treatment dries super quick and just seems to help my nails from peeling as much.

LCN3. For the best natural looking polish, I use Valmy 28. I have about four more bottles stocked of this perfect natural paint. Mary Kelly would always get it for me along with the Zanoria sun lotion on her past trips to Venezuela. Luckily, with a little research, I have found that Valmy is online!! They still have Brillo 28!! (As an aside, the story behind finding this perfect color is worth mentioning. While living in Caracas Kevin and I were purchasing some flight tickets about at the Tamanaco Hotel when I couldn’t help but ask the attendant about her gorgeous nails. “Oh these!? This is just Valmy 28. You can get it next door at Farmatodo for a buck!” That I did!!)

Valmy284. On a trip to Japan I conducted one of my international drugstore hauls. Because my nails are always so weak, I tried out this Nail Treatment cream by Nail*Nail. It works! It has helped my nails become stronger. Luckily one of my colleagues is from Japan, so it’s easy for me to ask her to pick up this Japanese prodcut. You can order it here though.


Some Product Details
Malava Nail Polish Remover Pads
LCN Nail Hardener
Valmy Brillo 28
Nail*Nail Nail Treatment

All My Faves

All My Faves 6It’s pretty true: my hashtags about getting dressed for work and liking it are for real. I do indeed like to get dressed each morning; I always have and I always will. I think this pleasure first started in high school. Now working in a high school again, the inspirations occurs daily. Recently, I wore this exact outfit to work, and I have to admit. It was a great day! Everything I was wearing I liked–no loved! It was all my faves. My sister Julie gave me the striped cropped shirt. Immediately this summer when I told her I tried to get it at HM but it was sold out, she gave it to me–kinda like the Shirt Off My Back all over again! The pants I cropped with inspiration from Friend in Fashion and this Instagram pic on her feed. I’ve been looking for leopard heels forever now, and I finally found a pair of kitten heels at this random skywalk little shop in Central. Finally, the search is over. The bag–oh, it’s my luxury handbag! I splurged after a rigorous professional end of school year in June. I’ve always wanted a Louis Vuitton, and after the intense year I completed, I treated myself with the gains. I love this bag! My own little Speedy! Sometimes with the love of getting dressed, I end up just absolutely loving everything about my outfit. It’s on these days that I feel auspicious. I could handle anything. With all my faves on I walk taller, and I carry a bit of a strut. Do you have any outfits that do this for you? Just curious….

All My Faves 5

All My Faves 3

All My Faves 1

(Do you see at the top of my head where my hair is ally windy on the left? That’s our apartment window right there at the start of the Stanley promenade!)

Some Outfit Details
Top–H&M (sold out so from my sister Julie) (similar)
Gold Chain and Choker–Zara (similar)
Pearl Earrings–DIY from Wander and Hunt (similar)
Pearl Drop Necklace–Underground Market at Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (similar)
Pants–Banana Republic but hemmed to be cropped (similar)
Shoes–Leopard Kitten Heels from random Central store (similar)
Bag–Louis Vuitton Speedy 35
Lipstick–Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #402