Beautiful Bali: My Accessory Haul {Last Instalment, I Promise!}

Beautiful BaliAhh, Beautiful Bali! (I promise; this is the last instalment from our trip to Beautiful Bali over our most recent Christmas holiday. Perhaps it will be a while until we return to this glorious island….) In this final post depicting our trip I’d like to highlight the eclectic baubles I picked set amidst the beauty of Bali’s nature. The necklaces and earrings I picked up were all very bohemian–perfect for the hippy dippy librarian in me. The clutches, well they were exquisite, and I was proud to stop at just three: snake, beaded, and cloth. The tropical notebook seemed like the perfect finale to the trip: a gorgeous flowered journal for my next beach trip (coming up in February for Chinese New Year!). Shopping in Beautiful Bali was easy–as you can see! What souvenirs do you bring home from your travels? I find that accessories will stay with me forever!

Beautiful Bali

Other Beautiful Bali Posts:

To see our other Beautiful Bali posts visit here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 plus here for Christmas in Bali. Also, here are some outfit posts from Bali: Balinese Snake, Black Kimono, and Going for RAD. Finally make sure to go river rafting in Bali and eat at Motel Mexicola. (Oh, and here’s a blast from the past: Bali with the Bello’s in 2010!!!)

Spanx Me Baby! The Pros and Cons to Women’s Shapewear


Corset Advertisement from 1886 in the Public Domain

Recently I found an awesome mommy/fashion blogger based out of New York: Jennifer Connelly of Two Pumps in a Purse. I love her writing style just as much as her fashion sense. She’s quirky and cute and a fellow lover of the red lippy and leopard print. Yes, we’re destined to be friends. Recently, Jennifer wrote a post about the undergarment girdle: To Spanx or Not to Spanx. Her post reminded me of the bicycle short girdles I used to wear in Beijing to not only hold me in but also keep me warm. With her prod, I have set out to revisit the girdle. I went out and bought a couple of varieties and have come to a few conclusion. With every pro there is a con and vice versa:

1. Pro: My pants are fitting me more smoothly.

Con: No matter what fitting you decide on, there will be a cutoff point. They are meant to hold you in, but unless you are in a total sausage casing there most likely will be a line where they start and end. (I’m considering compression tights as an option…)

2. Pro: I feel petite. I feel tight. I feel sucked in.

Con: Notice all the “feelings.” Regardless, skin and pouches are what they are. The girdle doesn’t make me a size smaller or anything. That’d be too good to be true!

3. Pro: I’m aware! Because I’m being held in I am naturally holding myself more upright. I consistently think about contracting my core–giving myself a subtle abdominal workout ALL. DAY. LONG! My posture is more erect. I am embracing the tight panties as a signal to be more astute with my posturing and abdominal muscles. This is a good thing.

Con: Holding in all day can get a little tiring. It is definitely not cozy feeling. Sweats at the end of the day are a definite treat!

4. Pro: I’m doubly aware. Meal times are a little different when your gut is being held in. I think twice about my meals while sitting down to eat them. I reach more often for cups of tea. As I hold in my gut and think of being tight, I’m distracted by any food cravings.

Con: It is a little uncomfortable, but this con is minor as compared to eating less. The discomfort here is a win-win!

5. Pro: Everything is snug. This provides warmth. (I’m not sure how I’d feel about all this snugness during HK’s summers!) For now, during our chill, I find the girdle cozy–in a keeping warm sort of way, not this is so comfy, cozy way.

Con: Since I tried some versions of the girdle that are more like boy shorts/panties, I always feel like my undies are riding up my butt. I’m used to wearing a thong, so I’m also a little worried about the VPL (visible panty line). This is all overrode by the smoothness of the whole rest of the region–namely my gut!

Ladies, I’ve gone SPANX shopping for you:

First off, you need to know that Bare Necesseties (the king on the Internets for all women’s under items) is having a huge sale! All clearance items are 70% off plus there’s an additional 25% off with the code “NEW25″. Check out Bare Necesseties. You’ll be amazed at what we have to help us hold it all in and up and out and….Ok, that’s enough!

Do you already wear shapewear? Do you have a style or brand to recommend? Or does the thought of all this control topping make you cringe!?

PS Don’t you worry: I’m in my sweats as I write this, but once I get ready for work, I’ll by Spanx-ing it baby!

Motel Mexicola–Bali’s Best Mexican Restaurant in Seminyak

Motel MexicolaMotel Mexicola is indeed the quintessential Mexican experience–even though it’s islands away! Walking inside we all felt transported to a different land even though we were still on the island of Bali. After seeing several of my favorite bloggers (yes Geneva and Shea, I’m talking about you) tote the same message of how awesome Motel Mexicola is I knew it would be a great place to meet up with our dear friend, David. This would be the second time in a month that we would be fortunate to meet up with him–the first being a spontaneous, chance encounter in the streets of Shanghai. See, that’s how small the world is. We can stumble upon folks we know in Shanghai at a street-side café and then meet up a month later in Bali for Mexican. I feel lucky for so many reasons with travel and good friends being one of them. Kevin and I started this international ride 18 years ago, yet we never would have guessed all the opportunities this lifestyle has given us. We met David while working together in Mumbai, India where we became fast and good friends. Since then there have been visits made out to the cabin and other visits of ours to see David in Kuala Lumpur. So of course we made it possible for a meal together when we were all spending our Christmases in beautiful Bali. Embracing this small world is such fun. David, where should we meet up next?!

Motel Mexicola is just as cool as I had heard about. It’s so funky eclectic with bright lighting and religious relics everywhere. The food was delicious and the staff super friendly. At one point we joined in the cha-cha train that scurried the perimeter. The portion sizes were nice and small too which I prefer as it lets the taste buds experience more. This stylish haunt is definitely one to hit up no matter the drive–the food and experience are that good! Viva Motel Mexicola in Bali!

Mexicola Collage

Mexicola Collage

Mexicola Collage

David, happy belated birthday! We had such fun with you!! For more travel posts from beautiful Bali click here. And for updates on Kremb de la Kremb follow on Bloglovin’.

Ya, I’m Over-the-Top

over-the-topYep, over-the-top! That’s me!! I’ve always been and always will be. I can actually pinpoint an exact moment from high school that reinforces being over-the-top. It was from one of my first dances. I was going to a semi-formal dance with Brian Carney. I designed my own dress, and it was colorful. Actually it was more of a two piece suit: the skirt was black with bright polka dots and the top was a royal blue, buttoned up jacket to match, and of course since it was the ’80s the sleeves were obviously very, very poofy! Following this dance were many more fanciful dresses to designed, but I’ll save that for another story… My point is that I am and most have always been over-the-top. I don’t mind; it’s just the way I am. However, I will say that I do try to contain my over-the-top-ness. As I will detail below. But first, let’s just admire this totally, utterly over-the-top outfit with a Chewbacca coat (insert sound here) paired with some Dallas Cowgirl worthy, high fringe boots, shall we!?




Ok, Ok, I’m not that over-the-top!

Let’s be honest–or at least I’ll try to be. I probably would not wear both this very furry coat with a pair of over-the-top fringe boots, but I would wear them individually as a statement piece to stand out on their own. For example, to let the boots do the shining, I’d wear just a simple, cream fisherman sweater. It’s casual and very low key letting the focal point of the outfit be the fantastic boots. See! Not so over-the-top. On to the jacket….




This jacket is so over-the-top!

I’ll be honest: this jacket is a wild mess! I have a really good friend who makes the Chewbacca sound any time I wear (or even talk about) this coat. Yes Sandy, I’m writing about you, and I can hear you Chewbacca-ing! I think half the fun of this jacket is that guttural sound that happens in my mind when I wear it. To attempt to tame this jacket (is that possible with something so wild!?), I swapped out the over-the top-boots for some simple, brown booties that are barely noticeable. I’ll let the coat do all the work!



You want over-the-top? Here’s the jacket for you!

Or maybe you just want over-the-top boots…

Some More Outfit Details:

Sunnies: I borrowed from Gigi
Earrings: gold hoops from Kevin to replace these ones I gave to Julie for her 40th
Jacket: Target
Denim Shirt, Fisherman Sweater, and Brown Booties: Forever 21
Jeans: Zara
Fringe Boots: Isabel Marant

Do you have an item in your closet that you feel is over-the-top? You want to wear it but don’t know how? Ask me…I’d love to help you out!

*I’ve linked up this post to other bloggers: Rachel the Hat, Style Elixir’s Style Session and Fab FavoritesNot Dead Yet Style, The Pleated Poppy, and Still Being Molly. Thanks Ladies! If you found your way here, make sure to follow Kremb de la Kremb on Bloglovin’!

Style Story: Work Outfits Monday Through Friday

Wow! This practice of getting a pic of my work outfits each day is proving to be so beneficial. I am seriously cleaning out my closet! For example, Wednesday’s outfit, MEH! It all needs to go despite any sentimental value. Thank goodness I had a stellar necklace on that day. And Friday’s outfit, well you’d think this 40 something-year-old would get her styling straight during those delicate times of the month. So posting these work outfits is proving to be valuable. While I don’t recommend that you post your own pics for the whole world to see if you’re not comfortable, I do highly recommend getting a shot of yourself in your work outfits because it’s really helping my closet. If anything, I’m really starting to see what actually looks good on me in an every day sort of way all because of posting pictures these work outfits.

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River Rafting in Bali

river rafting River rafting in Bali was sensational! On one of the days during our four day stint in Ubud over our Christmas holiday trip to Bali, we went river rafting. It was the first time for the kids, and the river couldn’t have been more spectacular. I am not kidding when I say we took over 1000 stair steps down to the water, but the sore calves the next day were worth it. (And luckily the return climb back up was only around 300 stairs!) The river ran in this deep, lush green gorge. It was narrow and rocky with amazing walls of vegetation on either side. The only wildlife we saw were monkeys–which is a treat. The river rafting wasn’t dangerous, but it was just thrilling enough for some hoots and hollers. We held on tight in many different spots. In one calm spell we were able to jump the boat so to say and float down the very refreshing river. Even though the sun was out we were shaded by the green walls on either side. All in all, river rafting was a hit for us–we’re scheming for our next chance!

River Rafting in Bali:

If you are traveling to Ubud Bali, I definitely would recommend taking a half day to go river rafting. We were super impressed with Bali Adventure Tours. Aside from a little miscommunication regarding our pickup, everything was top notch from the lunch to the locker room experience to the bus ride. Our guide was awesome–as were all the guides, and the whole outfit including the facilities, equipment, and process were top notch. River rafting while in Bali is a must, and I recommend going with Bali Adventure Tours.

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When I Come Back, I Wanna Be Italian

BlackBlazerI always joke that when I get reincarnated and come back to this world I wanna come back Italian. There’s just something about Italians that has always intrigued me. This seed was most likely implanted in the fourth grade Annie (around 1982) when Silvana from Florence, Italy babysat us while my mom and dad were out of town. Silvana was gorgeous! She had these huge almond eyes, her skin color was unlike anything I’d ever seen–especially in the Northwest town of Spokane, Washington, and her accent, well it was just dreamy. She had simple style with a white shirt, blue jeans, and a sharp black blazer. Her hair was wavy and flowing , and she smelled divine. Oh, Silvana, I wanted to be her!

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My Favorite 40+ Fashion Blogger

NotDressedAsLambThere’s no shortage of fashion bloggers out there, and if you look to the right at my blogroll, you’ll see that I read plenty, with the list growing. Sometimes though, favorites happen–especially when connections are made. Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb is one such blogger. She’s pretty phenomenal is so many ways. While I completely adore her spunky and simultaneously classy style, it’s her kindness that shines through. Here niche is definitely being a 40+ blogger, yet half of the content on Not Dressed As Lamb is dedicated to helping other bloggers. Catherine offers proof that paying it forward garners success. Every time I’ve reached out to her, and there have been many times, she always gets back to me and promptly to boot. Basically, when it comes to Not Dressed As Lamb, I take every single one of her cues, tips, and tricks, and use them. Thank you Catherine! Both your lovely style and kind heart are inspirational!

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I’m Finally a Skater Girl

Skating4It’s true! I can finally call myself a skater! Gigi gave me Rollerblades for Christmas, and I’m just so excited to be a skater again. My dream of skateboarding has been distracted with these blades and it’s just as well for my physical well-being. I was doomed to crash and burn! I get home from school, put on a skater skirt, and hit the boardwalk of Stanley. Now, it is true: I actually put on a skater skirt to go skating. It makes me feel like a super special skater even though I’m really just mediocre–but it’s fun!

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8th Links á la Mode

For the new year, I’ve decided to restructure things a bit on the blog–basically giving myself direction as I write each day. On Tuesdays, I want to try to connect to others in some way, and to start this last Tuesday I wrote a gift guide for my four really good Indian girlfriends who are celebrating their birthdays this January. Links á la Mode from IFB liked it and chose to feature it this last week. This is my 8th time being chosen! (Look at these other posts that have made it: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1.)


Real Style Essentials

What do you really need for good style? The answer could be, “More clothes.” But we know better. It’s about knowing what you wear. It’s about finding your self, not your clothing self, but your real self. It’s about taking care of yourself. It’s about feeling good in your own skin. This week’s roundup is about the real essentials you need to be stylish. Whether it be your skin, what’s under that skin, or what you’re wearing to cover it.

Links à la Mode: January 15th