Style Story: #InStyleColor

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I’ve lost count on how many Style Stories I’ve written now–it might be over a dozen by now. This series started out because I wanted to clean out my closet. I have so many clothes! I get attached to them: almost every item in my wardrobe has some sort of story behind it. In these posts that are published on Fridays, I’ve included weeks worth of work outfits and travel outfits. It was when I read InStyle’s April issue that I got the idea of dressing with a theme in mind. I’ve participated in style challenges through Instagram and have always found them rewarding. Prescribed outfits makes getting dressed in the morning easier. Therefore, I gave myself an #InStyleColor challenge. InStyle highlighted Pantone’s ten colors of the year, and I set out to wear each color to work for ten days. Here’s how it played out:

Pantone Colors: Strawberry Ice

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When I looked at my closet for this very unusual shade of pink, I had a few options, but none of them seemed just write. A couple of nice flowy skirts were a bit too coral, and then I had a sweater that I’ll most likely be getting rid of because it does nothing for me. (This Style Story series continues to help me with my 2015 closet goals!) Then, I was like duh! I have this great dress that has actually been featured here on a post called Lost Feather. Yes, this dress is definitely a sundress with spaghetti straps no less, but I have a quick fix for that: just add a layer! For this outfit I added my cutoff sleeveless denim jacket. The only problem…I was cold all day. I didn’t realize that the even though we’ve got sun in HK, it’s still a bit chilly. It’s deliciously brisk outside, so I knew to layer for the rest of the week. The sad part about this outfit is that the little booties that I love so much are done. They’re vegan, and I just wore them out too much on my trip to Lijiang. Both toes are scuffed. I might be able to paint them or find some fake plastic to cover them up–we’ll see because they are most definitely my favorite pair of boots that I own!

Some Stawberry Ice

The loft is fulling embracing this color! They have many “strawberry ice items.” For summer I chose a similar dress, tunic, and shorts. There’s also a Wet’n Wild lip gloss, Hanky Panky panties, plus a perfume in this color of the year!


Pantone Colors: Classic Blue

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So, after being freezing the day before, I went with a ton more layers on this day. The blouse is like water, and the jeans are nicely tailored, straight legged, and full. The last time I wore this top on the blog was during summer ferry rides to the San Juan Islands. (Boy, my hair was long!) What you don’t see in the picture is the short sleeve white sweater AND the sleeveless white blazer that I wore to keep me warm. I knew I’d be wearing jeans to work–and not on a Friday–but I thought I dressed them work appropriate. I felt very classy and put together in this outfit, and I love being able to wear my blue suede booties. The outfit took me into town after school. I always like to feel stylish when walking the downtown streets of Hong Kong, and in this outfit I did! Plus, I’ll take any excuse to bust out my bright blue mascara! (And if you’re daring, go for it. Get some!!)

Classic + Blue = Jeans

The best way to wear classic blue is in a structured pair of blue jeans. High waisted cuts are an excellent option. I know it sounds crazy, but the higher the waist the more sucked in the gut. Would you rather cut the post baby pooch in the middle or over it? For me, I want to not cut into it at all but rather hold it all in. This style of jean does that for you. (I also found a similar top to my watery tie dye tunic;)


Pantone Colors: Aquamarine

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Now, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to buy anything for this personal color challenge I’ve created for myself. BUT, I have two great skirts boasting aquamarine, but I had nothing on top. Since I was in town the night before….well I popped into Forever 21, put my aquamarine radar on, and found this top. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even have to try all items on in that shop. I know I’m always an L, and I could just tell this blouse would work. I was pleasantly surprised in the morning that it totally worked. I did not know that this is a great color for me! I have greenish, bluish eyes depending on what I wear. This top pulled out the blue which surprised me! Also, while paging through my spring fashion mags, I kept seeing lovely images of models with over-the-top bright aquamarine eyeliner. Well, never one to miss the chance for a little OTT, I went for it. And I had such a fun day knowing my eyes were a little brighter!

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Swimsuit Season is Near

Aquamarine has me thinking about water… which has me thinking about the beach… which has me thinking about summer… which has me thinking about swimsuits…These all have aquamarine writtenn all over them!


Pantone Colors: Toasted Almond

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I’ve been wanting to pull out this beautiful kimono for awhile now. It made it in my suitcase for my recent trip to Yunnan, but it didn’t make the Style Story since it obviously isn’t very warm. These pants did though. Even though they’re like sweats in the style, I think the material dresses them up a bit. Wow, are they comfortable! Every now and then a little slouchy slouch makes me feel cool. I picked up this tee during my travels as well, BUT in looking at this pic I think it’s a little too boobie for me. I do have large breasts, and usually don’t try to flaunt them, but it appears like I am in this top. I will probably get rid of it, but first I’ll try it out with another bra. I loved how how the tee seemed to perfectly compliment the kimono though….I’ll give it some thought.

You Can Do No Wrong In a Kimono

Yes, kimonos are a super hot trend right now, but you really can do know wrong in wearing one. They are long and flowy and so they do two things really well: they elongate and they conceal. I have two longer ones, and one shorter one: I can honestly say I feel great wearing one! Embrace this trend. Trust me! (The first kimono looks just like mine from Zara.;)


Pantone Colors: Lucite Green

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My mom does a wonderful job of having Christmas in June for us the moment we make it to Spokane, Washington in the summers. We all look forward to this immediate hour when we descend to the basement where there’s a little tree that she’s put up with superbly decorated gifts. They’re bursting with ribbons and bows and in Christmas paper. It’s really quite a special treat. Anyway, one summer for Christmas in June my mom gave me this lovely top. I especially adore it because I would have never picked it out for myself, but it is really cute. (At least I think so.) Being a Friday I took the liberty to wear my skinny white jeans. Of course I brought along my sleeveless white blazer as a layer for the AC. (The temperature has warmed up. It’s Friday, and we might be able to go to the beach this weekend!)

Smokin’ Lucite

Lucite is such an unusual color–it’s definitely not mint green or bright like aquamarine. Rather this color has a smokiness to it that’s almost grey. In finding lucite green options to add to your wardrobe, I realize my blouse would look great paired with my grey, snow leopard jeans. Next time…


Week One Reflection

This personal #instylecolor challenge has been fun! I think holding myself to some sort of challenge has got to be the best way to dress. I end up planning the night before–or even a couple of days in advance. I also coordinate outfits in different ways than how I usually have in the past really mixing up my wardrobe. There wasn’t one piece of clothing I wanted to get rid of except for maybe the boobie tee on Thursday. Unfortunately I need to find a new pair of brown little summer booties as the pair from Monday are done. So sad. They’re my fave. Out of all the colored outfits, I’d say aquamarine was my favorite. I felt really pretty on this day. I also felt quite chic in blue.

Second Week

Definitely getting dressed with a color scheme in mind saves time in the morning. It’s almost–not quite–but similar to having a uniform. I like this idea of restriction each morning as it guides me and means I’m more efficient in what is usually pretty chaotic mornings.

Pantone Colors: Scuba Blue

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Usually, this is the skirt I pull out for rollerblading. Scuba blue is a difficult color to pin down, so I’m not quite sure if I got it exactly. Both my blue items here are from China but picked up at different times. I love how they totally compliment each other but then not almost not all at the same time. Regardless, I was determined to wear them together. Somehow I think it kind of works. The over-the-top-ness in me won here! Plus orange and blue work so well together. To reign in the color I paired this look with my bright white clogs. I’m happy to be pulling out some shoes for sandal season. Again, wearing all blue calls for blue mascara? Of course!

Blue Mascara For You


Pantone Colors: Custard

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I don’t really own any custard. I searched and searched my closet, but was left feeling meh. Custard is different from off white and cream, even vanilla cream. It’s on the verge of yellow but more gold. I really didn’t think I had anything, but then, I thought of this swimsuit coverup! Yes, try it out for school, but with out the bikini! I had a couple of different pencil skirts to pair with this shawl. In the end I went with this floral navy version from Zara. It’s getting quite pilled and I should probably get rid of it, but I really like it. There are even little birdies on it. When does something become too worn? I covered up the pill makrs. Does that work? I think it does. If I don’t wear it again in the next six months, I’ll give it away, but I think I can cover up it’s wear–literally this time with a coverup! Also, since I’ve been on such a blue mascara kick I went with it again today, but this time I went with Covergirl which provides more of a soft navy blue instead of NYX which gives me a bright, bright blue eye. I’m really on to something here…

Custard Anyone?


Pantone Colors: Marsala

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I was having a brain block with this day. The only thing marsala that kept coming to my mind within my wardrobe was my marsala sequin shift dress from Christmas and later one for my first Fab 40s post. It’s like that’s all I could think of. And I was trying to figure out how I could get away with a sequins dress as work. Luckily at the last minute I remembered this floral skirt I had! Then from there, I just went all pattern crazy like I love to do. Florals, polka dots, leopard? Yes, yes, and YES! I felt super great on this day. This is an example of my hip, funky, and eclectic style!

Marsala Stained Lips

Get deep color lips but without the wine! While I’m usually a bold lip wearer in bright oranges, reds, and pinks, every now and then I love the look of wine stained lips. Here are a few of my favorites:


Pantone Colors: Tangerine

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This was a no brainer for me. I immediately thought of this bright dress which I hadn’t worn to school yet. I knew I wouldn’t want to wear the blue pumps all day, so I did struggle with what shoes to wear. In the end, I went with my simple Vans in an effort to dress the look down a bit. For warmth I chose my denim jacket and for accessories, I added blue. There are two things I love to wear and I will take any opportunity to do so: my eyeball earrings and blue mascara. One thing has been for sure during this #instylecolor challenge. I love wearing blue mascara. I’m wondering if it should become my “thing.” It definitely adds some pep to my day, and I love receiving compliments which are frequent when your eyes stand out. Have I convinced you yet to try colored masacara? Go for it! (Another color to try for brown and greenish eyes is purple. Just try it!)

Peel a Tangerine

Who doesn’t love the smell of tangerines? They’re so fragrant; just peeling them is enough to make a room smell good. Here are some great products that take advantage of that exquisite burst of flavor.


Pantone Colors: Grey

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The colr grey reminds me of Beijing. When we lived in Beijing we hadn’t lived through a winter in many, many years–15 to be exact. I remember being so cold, and the sky and weather being so grey, that I basically embraced the color. It somehow helped to deal with the harsh climate. For glacial grey, I went with an all monochromatic look: the light grey sweater was actually another one of my Christmas in June gifts from my mother. The sandals are similar to Tuesdays; I have a pair of bronze and silver. I’ll also take any excuse to wear my anklets. Ankles like to be dressed up too!

Dress Up Your Ankles

Typically, Indian women wear an anklet on each ankle. I like to do the same, so I always purchase anklets in a pair. I also usually slip my puca shell anklets on whenever I go to the beach. Here are a few options to try.

Having a theme for each day seriously helps me get dressed. I am for sure doing this again next week. What theme would you like to see? I have some ideas: black but in spring-like way, pencil skirts, or making clothes work appropriate. What do you think? What theme would you like to see?

*This post has been linked up to Fashion Friday.

Adventure Travel in Yunnan: Lijiang and Shangrila, China

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We made it to Yunnan! Usually, our family trips consist of idyllic beaches found around Asia: for example this year we went to Bali in October and December and then Boracay in February. Beach trips are just easy; everyone’s happy. But, sometimes it’s important for the four of us to venture out of our comfort zone, and we did just that with this trip to Yunnan Province in China. Specifically we travelled to Lijiang and then later spontaneously went to Shangrila. Oh! It was such a fantastic adventure. Despite being terribly cold, we just embraced the entire experience. There were temples to see and monasteries to visit. We rode both bikes and horses. We hiked snow capped mountains and meandered through cobblestone villages. We toured hard in the day only to return to a wonderful hotel rooftop to relax layered up before dinner. We ate all sorts of Chinese food, and then finally, right when we needed it most, we found a wonderful Western establishment in Shangrila named Compass (once there ask for the cutie below in the animal hat named Eileen). We slept well on top of electric blankets that kept us warm and a fire with embers smouldering all night. The kids drummed, we listened to glasses of wine, and over meals we played a Chinese poker game called Big 2. The trip was jam-packed yet rewarding all the same. We had such an amazing time that I would highly recommend this trip to other families. Down below (after all the pictures) I’ve included more particular details. Seriously, take this trip! It was adventure travel at its best, and the Yunnan and its people are truly spectacular.

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Adventure Travel to Yunnan

Getting There:
It’s a little tricky. The main city you want to fly into is Kunming. From there, you can choose to travel to Lijiang, Dali, or Shangrila. We chose Lijiang and then drove 4 hours to Shangrila. Tiger Leaping Gorge is on the way from Lijiang to Shangrila which makes for a nice little pit stop. Basically with Kunming as the port of entry you have three charming towns (well, cities with old towns) to choose from.

Best Time to Travel:
This is a super busy place! It wasn’t too bad when we went, but it would be best to avoid traveling to the Yunnan during Chinese holidays. Also, to escape the crowds of Lijiang Old Town, we stayed in Shuhe Old Town. Shuhe is referred to as what Lijiang used to be like before it became so popular and built up.

Staying There:
We stayed in Shuhe instead of Lijiang and it was perfect. In fact we never actually went to the Lijiang’s Old Town because we Shuhe totally sufficed. We stayed at Lijiang New Huifeng Resort Hotel. Kevin had to call for our booking, and after the initial contact, an email correspondence ensued. Patti is the (only) individual at this establishment that speaks English. Giver her a call: +158 8756 9046. I would highly recommend the room we stayed in for a family with older kids: the kids had a loft upstairs with two large twin beds. Kevin and I had a gorgeous king that was so cozy next to the sitting room complete with a fireplace. The entryway had an outdoor tub that was used daily. This room was our perfect haven! Plus, we spent many later afternoons on the rooftop.

Biking:
There’s a ton to do in these old villages. Biking is a very common activity. We rented bikes one morning and one afternoon. There are bike rental vendors all over; they’re scattered about Shuhe’s alleyway corners. We easily biked to another little village called Baisha. It’s was a cinch navigating there.

Horseback Riding:
There was another hotel in Shuhe that we referred to often since this establishment caters to English speaking visitors. It’s called the The Bivou–it is lovely. Even if you don’t stay there, stop by. We almost switched to this hotel, but in the end our room at Huifeng was better where our family suite had a fireplace! Go to this little hotel immediately. They all speak English and will totally help you sort out your itinerary–even if you are not staying with them. We booked our horseback riding trip with them that included a (very random) boat excursion on a (super shallow) lake. (We will forever chuckle about that weird boat ride–think Venetian oars but your driver taking over because the little Chinese woman doesn’t know how to work the boat!) The horses are small little beings with a thick, shaggy fur. We rode up a a hill for about an hour and then worked our way back down. At the end, we stopped at a local’s home and enjoyed an experience of hot pot. It was actually very tasty! Again, The Bivou organized this for us. You can see all their itinerary plans here. On our final night in China, we arranged to eat here, and enjoyed such an amazing Yunnan cooked meal. It was reminiscent of our dinner with Pei in Beijing. Again, we highly recommend this cute little boutique/adventure hotel.

Jade Mountain:
One day we went to the jagged mountain you can see in the distance. It’s called Jade Mountain. Basically, we simply booked a driver. We had such a good driver that he knew exactly where to drop us and for what. It’s a very controlled expedition, so you can’t just drive in and look around. There are tickets to pick up and lines to enter. In the end we abandoned the main site because the line for the bus that would take us to the gandola was going to be over an hour. It all seemed a little pointless in the freezing cold. We created a back up fast! Alternatively we took a gandola up to the backside of the mountain where things were less populated. It was still so lovely, and luckily I had rented a red, long, puffer coat, so I was fine. Our advice for Jade Mountain would be to take the path less beaten. It’s all beautiful and majestic, so there’s no need to wait around for hours anywhere. Also, we saw the show–it was good. In hindsight, I would have seen the show after sightseeing, but timing wise a later show wasn’t an option for us. Definitely make a trip to Jade Mountain, but don’t be afraid of trying out alternatives field different from the norm.

Tiger Leaping Gorge:
We weren’t planning on venturing to Shangrila, but we had enough during the trip to deviate away from Lijiang, and I’m so glad we did. Shangrila is a four hour car ride away, and we split it with a stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge. We had ordered an extra pizza from the night before and brought that for a picnic. There are many steps to take down to the water, but it’s worth it. The views are so extraordinary you hardly notice an increased hearth rate on the way back up. There are a couple of different options for accessing this gorge; we simply chose the drive up one; it was the perfect pit stop.

Shangrila:
It’s so very sad, but in the winter of January 2014, the Shangrila Old Town burned to the ground. This almost stopped us from visiting, but slowly and surely they are building the old town back up. We stayed at . It was very nice with a super spacious room. I did not appreciate the smoking that may occur in the common courtyard, but smoking in China is everywhere! Aside from this inconvenience, the room was huge and very, very cozy–which was needed since it was FREEZING there. This is where we had snow!

If I could have my way, I’d stay at one of the Songstam Hotels–there’s one right in the monastery village and another a short kilometer walk away. Whow! Decadence!! But unfortunately this luxury boutique hotel was out of our price range. Instead we had a lovely meal at the one that looks down on the Songzanlin Monastery. It was delicious!

Best Restaurant in Shangrila:
Another completely pleasant option in Shangrila is Compass. If you do not decide to stay there, you will definitely end up eating there. The food is soooooo good! They are by far the best restaurant in town with fresh baked goods daily. We had three meals there. We just kept going back. Plus, everyone at the Compass speaks English which was a nice relief as it’s hard to come by English speaking in Yunnan Province. (Don’t get me wrong. We got by, but it’s definitely part of the adventure!) We were able to plan our time in Shangrila thanks to Eileen who is a baker at Compass. She’s such a cutie. Tell her hello!

Activities There:
Aside from strolling around the town being built up, there is a gorgeous temple right in the center of the Old Town. Also, though, a trip must be made out to Songzanlin Monastery. Wow! What a site!! And what was so neat about it was the monks just going about their business despite tourists traipsing around their home. I really enjoyed this excursion–even though it was snowing and I was freezing my buns off. The kids too loved it!! Everyone took a turn with the camera.

Kremb de la Kremb says “Go to Yunnan!”

Our family thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Yunnan Province. If you are planning on going and have any questiosn, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask me. I’d be happy to help you out! Go!! It was phenomenal!!

My Silver Rings

silver ringsI have three silver rings that are as special to me as any amount of gold or diamonds. When I travel, I often slip them on so as to not draw any attention to myself. I’ve learned some lessons a long the way in regards to what I should wear, and generally, depending on where we’re traveling, I like to just blend in–not the norm for me usually, I know! A similar scenario happened when we lived in San Salvador, El Salvador. We had just been married and had begun our international life of teaching overseas. This volatile place (at the time) was somewhere that I did not want to draw attention to myself. I remember it taking a while to get used to visible guns and guards everywhere. I was so proud of my new wedding ring and band, yet against the striking poverty of the country, I often found myself pushing my humble diamond into the palm of my hand.

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It was at this time in El Salvador, just freshly married, that I started wearing the little promise ring that Kevin had given me when I left for New Mexico after university. He stayed on in Spokane to finish school while I moved down to teach 3rd grade on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation. This little token was his way of saying, Yes, we’re together even though we’re miles apart. (Yes, I still have the actually letter we wrote as this was pre email days!) It’s a very simple ring comprising of two slim bands joined together–representing us. It’s a sweet token, one that I adore wearing. Wow, it’s a 20 year old ring by now! At the time, back in El Salvador as a newlywed, both Kevin and I didn’t mind locking up our wedding rings saving them to wear later in life once we felt safe.

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In the meantime, my new husband needed a ring–to show he was married! It so happened on our very first trip to Antigua, Guatemala that we stumbled upon a silversmith on our first jaunt through this charming town. We stopped and ordered our new rings fashioned similarly to the original promise ring yet bigger. By the time the artisan was finished, we had my original baby size promise ring, a mama size version for me, and a papa size for Kevin. Actually our good friend Rusty got the real baby version–he had one made for his toe–unfortunately Rusty has since lost that toe ring, but he did wear it for many, many years. Since living in El Salvador, Kevin has returned to wearing his gold wedding band. And me? Well, every now and then I put away the gold again to wear all three rings detailed to you in this story. I wear the original thin one plus the one for me from Antigua stacked on my lefthand ring finger, and I wear Kevin’s on my righthand ring finger. I love how shiny they continue to become with their extensive wear, and as cheesy as it sounds, with each wear, these three rings just keep gettin’ more love!

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts.

Rooftop Dancing to the Drums

Rooftop Portrait
Rooftop dancing to the kids drumming was a late afternoon activity for us pretty much each day during our recent adventure travel to Lijiang, China. We had an awesome little room at such a sweet quaint hotel. It had an open loft with two large twin beds for the kids up above. In the main area was a nice, huge king bed for the folks–us! There was also room for a sitting area plus the coziest wood oven fireplace one could desire in this hearty, cold locale. To top it off, our room had a little entry way with an outdoor tub–I couldn’t take enough baths. We quickly created an afternoon routine: we’d arrive home and Gigi and I would take a hot bath. Vincent would assemble and light a fire. Kevin would pour us a glass of wine. Then, just at dusk, we would head up to the rooftop terrace. Cards were an option, but mostly the kids would just jam out on their drums. It was the perfect way to unwind from the day. For a family traveling to Lijiang, China, I definitely recommend staying at the Lijiang New Huifeng Resort Hotel. There are two establishments by this owner in the little village north of Lijiang called Shuhe. We recommend the one on the edge of Shuhe village; the other one is right near the pub street in Shuhe. For under $100 US a night, we had an amazing family room that suited us just perfectly. Unfortunately there is no website for this hotel, but here are the reviews on Tripadvisor; Kevin booked by calling the hotel directly. Immediately ask for Patti–she (and only she) speaks English. Ask for the family room with the loft and fireplace: +158 8756 9046.

Kids Drumming

Fringe Blanket Sweater

Girl Drumming

Fringe Wrap Sweater

Some Outfit Details

Fringe Blanket Wrap Sweater: Boutique in Shuhe Old Town–when I saw this sweater hanging in a shop high up on the wall, I made a bee-line straight to it. I named my price in my head, and the vendor met me readily. I think I payed under $20 US for it. Of course I was drawn to it: colorful and fringe. What’s not to love!!
Evil Eye Necklace: TJ Maxx
White Blouse: HM
Black Leggings: Vince
Studded Booties: Target

Fringe Sweaters

The best part about this sweater is that it feels like I’m wearing a blanket. Now, of course I am not able to provide you with exactly this same sweater since I found it in a Chinese village, but I did go shopping around and found some fringe worthy blanket alternatives. I know for the summer, I actually need warmth, so this one is coming to the cabin with me. My summer in the Northwest always starts on the colder side, so if I can have summer worthy sweaters, I’ll be set. And sweaters that wrap around me like a blanket….I can just imagine sitting by the campfire now!

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts.

The Fab 40s in Jumpsuits

jumpsuitsJumpsuits were the chosen theme for this month’s collab with The Fab 40s. Last month we all wore marsala in our own way–I chose the sequin Christmas shift I picked up in Bali over our winter holidays. With jumpsuits having a serious moment this spring, I chose it as our theme. I’ve always loved a jumpsuit–especially this oldie but goodie I picked up in Bangkok. For this month it’s been fun to see how the other Fab 40s would style this theme plus I’ve really enjoyed getting to know these great ladies. I’m astounded by some of the really great friendships I am making via connections made online. I think this ability to make relationships from afar is really special, and I’m enjoying meeting and connecting with so many great people around the world! Now, enough of that… go check out how each of us styles a jumpsuit.

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Jane of Midlife Fashion
I love how Jane’s look is utterly classy yet the jacket adds a bit of boho. And her shoes compliment the pattern on the jacket perfectly. While I haven’t tried Jane’s jumpsuit on, it just looks super comfortable!

Outfit Details:

Jumpsuit: Wallis
Jacket: Mango
Necklace: bought in Majorca
Bracelets: Ashiana
Shoes: New Look

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Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun
Dawn’s jumpsuit is actually pretty boho, so I love how she brought in some classiness with the jacket. I also admire that her jumpsuit is also from Forever 41–op I meant 21! Then look how she added a nude shoe; this totally compliments the whole look.

Outfit Details:

Jumpsuit: Forever 21
Jacket: H&M
Bag: Carlos Santana
Shoes: Michael Shannon
Necklace: Kohls

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Dixie of Inside Outer Style
I might have to say I like this styling of a jumpsuit best…can you guess why? Yep, simple–denim paired with leopard. Ahh, such a perfect combo. Plus, the denim is so dressy even though denim is usually associated with casualness.

Outfit Details:

Jumpsuit: Zara
Shoes: Vince Camuto
Belt: Jcrew
Cutch: Thrifted
Necklace: Mango
Sunnies: Betsy Johnson

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Sheela from Sheela Writes
I love Sheela’s jumpsuit! It’s so fun and wild. It looks super comfortable. I can envision summer nights in this cute jumpsuit. While I haven’t met Sheela in person, I think I gravitate towards her style choices so much because she reminds me of my good friend Weda: bright colors and fun patterns are Sheela’s friend just like Weda’s.

Outfit Details:

Jumpsuit: Indie label
Shoes: Wild Diva
Rings: Poshmark
Palm Cuff: Jenny Bird

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And Me!
For my styling, I went with this super comfy faux denim–is there such a thing?–jumpsuit. (Upon looking it up it actually called a mineral wash…) It’s like indigo t-shirt material, and it’s beyond cozy. This jumpsuit is definitely coming to the cabin with me this summer. I just went with my simple suede cowboy boots and gold. When I’m not sure how to accessorize, I usually resort to gold. Easy peasy! (Ironically the last time I styled a jumpsuit, I also accessorised with gold!)

My photos by Gigi

Outfit Details:

Outfit Details
Sunnies: Target
Earrings: Topshop
Necklace: market in Rishikesh
Jumpsuit: Forever 21 (And it’s still available!)
Clutch: market in Boracay
Boots: Steve Madden

*This post has been linked up to Visible Monday, Passion 4 Fashion, What I Wore, Fab Favorites, Throw Back Thursday, and Brilliant Blog Posts.

*This post has been linked up to Monday Mingle, What I Wore, Style Sessions, Throw Back Thursday, and Brilliant Blog Posts.

Style Story: I Lose All Style When Cold

Well….this past trip to Lijiang, China was absolutely fantastic! Don’t get me wrong. But in terms of being stylish, this is one of my least successful Style Stories. I thought I had packed well, but in the end I was just freezing most of the time, scraping together all my layers just to stay warm. It had been a long time since I’d seen snow–which was really fun, but during the whole trip I kept thinking about my long white puffer coat in storage back at home. I also couldn’t believe I didn’t pack my favorite, most comfortable boots! They are super warm, like crazy warm, they are comfortable–like walking on pillows, and they’re stylish too. Anyway, there were a couple of cute days/moments, and then there were a few more where I couldn’t believe what I was wearing, but I just didn’t care at the same time. We were traveling together as a family experiencing new and exciting adventures. These Style Stories are very vain; I realize that. But, these reflections on my style are enlightening me to how much I really do care about what I wear. For me and my day, if I feel like I’m dressed well, I think I actually walk differently. I feel better. I feel confident. During this trip, there were more days when I just felt really cold!

Day 1: Travel Day, 5/5

Travel in BlackThe week started out stylistically strong. I traveled in all black. Wearing all black makes me feel sleek and comfy all at once. It’s a no nonsense look and so easy to throw together. I had plenty of layers to add or take off. I wore my Vince leggings with my black lace kimono. I threw on my studded black booties, and I felt ready to go–literally! This was a good day.

Day 2: Biking, 3/5

Boyfriend Jean ShortsI was definitely comfortable in this outfit, but maybe a little too cozy. This is probably too much information, but I didn’t shower this morning waiting till after we exerted ourselves with exercise. We hadn’t quite settled into the hotel room that would be ours for the stay, so I didn’t want to mess with my suitcase. Anyway, I love these boyfriend jeans that I cutoff into shorts. For biking it wasn’t too bad of an outfit, but then we did bike to a village and walked around; it was then that I wished I looked a little cuter and not so laid back. I know… funny and silly, but just the way I am.

Day 2: After A Nice Hot Bath, 4/5

Cozy CasualsAhhh, I felt so cozy in this outfit. There’s something about my grey, oversized cashmere sweater that I just adore. It’s like a blankie! The pants are also quite comfortable even if they aren’t that flattering. I was very happy to have this blanket scarf; I definitely used it. It’s a special scarf to me–the gals in my library gave it to me as a gift last school year. I was like, How’d you know I’d been wanting this blanket scarf!? Anyway, in this outfit we had just moved into our glorious room with a fire and bath and both had just been enjoyed. I may not look it, in wrinkles and all, but I felt like I was radiating!

Day 3: Horseback Riding, 5/5

Horse Back RidingSince we were going horseback riding, I definitely got into it. You can’t see them, but I have my little brown booties on. To provide warmth, I wore my furry white sweater (with a few layers underneath!) which I kept on all day. For cowboy accents I wore both jeans and my sleeveless jean jacket. I had a fun scarf on as well with bright colors and my favorite, cheetah. I was feeling pretty cowgirl chic on this day.

And Kevin, well, he was just so excited to wear his zipper pants. You see, these are not only pants: zip off the bottom half and Kevin’s in shorts. Of course, I can’t stand these pants for obvious reason, but Kevin, oh he loves them! I even got a pretty good pose from him as you can see below:

Zipper PantsHe definitely gets a 5/5, don’t you think!?

Day 4: A Visit to Jade Mountain, 2/5

Long Red PufferIt starts to go all down hill from here! I pulled out all the layers here: long johns under the pants, Seahawks official player socks, heat technology under cashmere under cashmere under my own coat, and then the red puffer. That red puffer coat….it’s a rental! It’s so cold at this mountain that you can actually rent a coat. I did not think twice! Oh, and I’m wearing three scarves! Did I say it was cold?

Day 5: A Travel Day with Stops Along the Way, 2/3

Never Travel In SweatsThis was by far my low in the style sense, but I was super comfy. I usually only wear sweats around the house or to exercise. By this point however, I just wanted to be warm, and since I was in all black, I thought, Oh well! I would normally never wear something like this to travel in, so I did feel a little weird, but on the other hand it was kind of liberating to throw style out the window. For a day anyway…And look at those kiddos! They’re so cute, but in shorts!! WAAAT!??

Day 6: Shangrila and Buddhist Monastery, 1/5

Wrap CoatOk, this was by far the coldest day! I was FREEZING! And we were seeing such a neat place, but I tell ya, I was not into it at times because I just felt so cold. There were no options to rent puffer coats at this site either–that probably would have helped. The outfit is nothing to mention: it’s just as many layers that I could put on. On this day I was especially mad that I hadn’t packed my own puffer coat or the best boots ever. However once it did stop snowing and a peep of the sun came out, I did start to enjoy myself a bit more as seen in this couple’s capture below–but see, even Kevin is cold!

The Krembs

Day 8: Another Travel Day, 5/5

Fringe Wrap SweaterThat boho vibe that I just love and magnate towards was in Lijiang’s alleyways full force. On the first day there I picked up this colorful wrap/fringe sweater. It was one of those moments where it caught my eye in a little shop, I entered the store, I mentally named the price I’d pay in my head, the lady met that price, and I walked out with it being mine. I love it when that happens! This was another travel day by car, and I tried to dress it up a bit more this time. Yes, I have on many, many layers, but I felt waaaaaay better than the other travel day in my sweats. (Stay tuned for a rooftop post with this sweater;)

Day 9: Travel Day Home: 3/5

TravelingColdThis was a tricky day to dress for. I knew ultimately we’d end up in Hong Kong, so I wanted some layers underneath. But, again, at the start of the day I was too cold; I should have worn that wrap coat that I love so much. A good friend gave it to me as a hand-me-down which makes it not only a stylish and warm piece but a sentimental one too. Luckily after the first flight it started to warm up, and bit by bit the layers came off. And I wanted them too because I love this tee: Be you! What a great message. I’ll try…

So….this week’s Style Story wasn’t my best, but that’s ok! Once you see next Thursday’s travel post, what I was wearing doesn’t actually really matter. We had an amazing time together as a family traveling through Lijiang and Shangrila County in China. We usually travel to beaches, so this adventure travel trip was really fun just like last year’s trip through Yangshuo, China.

For sure come back to next Friday’s Style Story. It will be 10 days of outfits in Pantone’s Colors for the year–and a return to lipstick. Oh, I missed lipstick that was replaced by lip balm on this trip.

*This post has been linked up to Fashion Friday, Brilliant Blog Posts, What I Wore, and Whims Wednesday.

*I didn’t include any shopping links this time around since it wasn’t such a stylish Style Story!

I Can’t Get Enough Bags!

bagsOn my most recent trip to Lijiang, China, I made a self discovery: I love bags! I really can’t get enough of them. I already own so many bags: clutches and totes, embroidered and beaded, straw and leather. Yet, when I’m traveling and in the markets of a destination, I am just drawn to all the bags like a bear to honey. It’s really odd; I know I don’t need another one, but then, I’m just taken with them! They’re always so intricate and unique. The bags of a locale demonstrate the artisans of that spot. They’re like special pieces of eye candy for me that I must take home. Some women have a caving for shoes, maybe others makeup–for me it’s definitely bags. My bags are overspilling yet; I have way too many of them. But, I can guarantee, I’ll find a few more! Some people collect charms from their travels and others magnets. I’ve come to the conclusion mine is bags!

Do you have item in your closet that is just overflowing? What can you NOT say no to?

By the way, I couldn’t actually decide on one of these bags, so I have four. Now that I’ve chosen two, that means there are two extra–for you! I’m giving away two of these lovely embroidered, fringed, AND beaded bags! All you have to do is introduce me to two new people on my Instagram feed @krembdelakremb by tagging them on this picture. Who do you think I should follow? I’d like to know of two people in your Instagram feed that you’d think I’d like. Tag two friends, and you might just win one of these bags!

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Whims Wednesday, Style Sessions, Monday Mingle, Let It Shine, and Passion 4 Fashion.

A Meandering Spring Jacket Through the Streets of Lijiang

spring jacket
We just finished an adventure trip through Lijiang, China. On one afternoon, when the sun was just right, Gigi, the Spring Jacket, and I went out exploring. There’s something magical about neighborhood China and all the ornate wood embellishments with red garnishes in the form of either lanterns or banners. Some walls are depicted with calligraphy style painted scenes. Red carts match the buildings and are just sitting there waiting for a passerby to try an imaginary ride. What fun! And what beauty! Plus, this spring jacket that I scored towards the end of this winter has been waiting for the perfect time to bust it out. I think it matches the perfectly quaint Lijiang alleyways perfectly. Don’t you?

spring jacket

spring jacket

Spring Jacket

spring jacket

Some Outfit Details:

Earrings: Silver ball hoops from a Beijing market

Sunnies: Shenzhen market

Spring Jacket and Long Sleeve Tee: Forever 21 and the jacket is still available!

Jeans: H&M from ages ago. I had to have them! But unfortunately it wasn’t until after I tried them on and left the store that I knew I wanted them. It was this pair of jeans that taught me (well for the most part!), that when I like something, especially when traveling, just GET THEM. You see, I tried these on in Paris back in 2009. I didn’t buy them at the time I spotted them from that particular H&M branch, but in turn made the whole family traipse around Paris stopping at each H&M branch until I finally re-found them to ultimately purchase. Yes, I get a fashion fixation and it hurts. It hurst the whole family!

Fringe Crossover Bag: Zara Girls (some of my best little crossover bags are from the girls’ section at Zara. Always check it out!)

Booties: very, very old from Forever 21. I love them! I wish they still had them, but unfortunately, they’re long gone. They’ve come back before, so I always keep a look out….

*This post has been linked up to Fashion Friday, What I WoreBrilliant Blog Posts, Whims Wednesday, Style Sessions, Monday Mingle, Let It Shine, and Passion 4 Fashion.

Back to the Beach and My Five Beach Basics

Beach Basics
We’re back to the beaches in Hong Kong. This past weekend was our first return; we went to Big Wave Bay. For this spring and summer my beach basics haven’t changed much. I’m still sportin’ denim cutoffs with a white top, but now I’m adding a couple of changes: rose gold sunnies, a frosty, nude lip, and white flip flops. I’m especially loving the white flip flops; in the past I always just wore black, but I’m ready to switch to a bright crisp white. The cheaper the pair the better. This whole combo is definitely going to highlight a tan! And a tan Ann is a happy Ann. (I know it’s so bad, so I do use a strong SPF on the beach now and tan towels before and after.)

Beach Basics

Beach BasicsUsually I pack a tote filled with way to much for the beach, but lately, less has been more for me. I pack a clutch, like this cute fishy one from Louella Odié, and I bring my iPhone with headphones for an audiobook, my print book, and little journal with pencil, my Neutrogena SPF 70 Face and Body Bar, and my sunnies. It all fits! And that’s all I need.

Beach Basics

Beach Basics

Get My Beach Basics!

1. Rose Gold Sunnies

(The pair from Asos is in HK$–not US$.)

2. Frosty, Nude Lips

The lipstic I’m wearing is Topshop’s Mercurial (but only the red came up in the picture). Also, Saint by Topshop is another great nude.

3. White Top

I went to Forever 21 and shopped for “cotton white tops.” They always have the best boho tops ever and forever!!

4. Denim Cutoffs

I’m wearing Anine Bing’s but they’re sold out. I have the last pair in this list called the Jimmy Jimmy by Paige, and they also fit really well.

5. White Flip Flops

(The black pair from Old Navy also come in white and a ton of other colors too–but white is the best.)

What are your beach basics? I’d love to know. Maybe I need to add something…

*This post has been linked up to Fashion Friday, Brilliant Blog Posts, What I Wore, Let It Shine, Throw Back Thursday, Monday Mingle, Fab Favorites, and Passion 4 Fashion.

Describing My Style

HipFunkyEclecticThe other day a good friend of mine was telling me about something she read about style. She read a blog post about being able to name one’s style in five words. This really got me thinking. Can I name my style in five words? There are a ton of adjectives to describe my style, so I needed to figure out how to narrow my description down. This pondering left me with three questions that I asked myself when it comes to my personal style and then answered them:

1. Is there one word that comes to my mind when I think about my style?
First off, the one word that comes to my mind is “HIP.” I always want to be hip–meaning to date or even ahead of the times. By no means does this equate to hipster for me–that I am not. I’m too nerdy, too over-the-top to be that sort of hip. I mean the kind of hip that likes to try new things and be the first to wear culottes for example. (I’ve had this black pair of culottes since around 2005! Yes, it might be time to get a new pair, but they work. Re-dying clothing makes black clothes last even longer!) I don’t mind experimenting. I love being the person to try out a new trend and in turn encourage others to do so. I can recall getting together a petition together in high school so all the girls could wear their winter shorts with tights. The trend took off, and before we all knew it we were all wearing winter shorts breaking the school dress code!

2. Is there a common thread to my style–something that can always be spotted?
This past week’s style story really led me to a common thread that always happens when I go to get dressed. Perhaps the best word is funky–I’m not sure. But you can bet to every outfit something bold will be happening. Whether it’s a pattern or a bright colour, I have to add a little funk to my outfit. Without something to draw attention to the outfit, I feel bored. I love subtle dressers too. Like both of my sisters are so classy and chic; I attempt to dress like them, but then I add a bold red lip or something leopard to the look. There’s no subtlety to either of those sartorial choices. I just can’t help it though. I love plaid and paisley. I crave the little quirky item that makes my outfit look different. Heck, I’m a librarian after all–we’re notorious for our funkiness!

3. Is there an explanation to my style?
It’s pretty obvious from this blog and many of the things I write about that the story behind my clothing is just as important as anything else. For this reason, I’d say I’m very eclectic. In my life I also love to travel, so it’s pretty typical of me to pick up special items along the way. I love that on each trip I come home with a collection of intricate, artistic bags or clutches specific to the destination (stay tuned for a giveaway next week!). I love having one of my items be from my time long ago in Saudi Arabia when I used to shop in these amazing discount stores with last season’s looks. I love that my culottes mentioned above are from a budget store called Shopko, that I’ve had them before culottes were even cool, and I’ve re-dyed them to make them last all the longer. I value the history behind any item way more than the actual brand. This storytelling type of dressing is very eclectic just like me!

My Style

So, I guess I’d like to believe I’m a HIP and FUNKY, ECLECTIC dresser. Hmmm, my style kind of sounds like a bag lady–but that’s me!

Do these three questions help you narrow down your style? How do you describe it?

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Let It Shine, Throw Back Thursday, Monday Mingle, Fab Favorites, and Passion 4 Fashion.