Summer Break

On Saturday, I’ll be sleeping here!

Yesterday was the last day of school for the 2016-2017 school year. Summer has started for the kids, and mine begins on Friday when we fly to Spokane, Washington. And, this time around, I really am going to take a summer break! Where I go, to Spirit Lake, Idaho, there is no solid, strong Internet connection. Last year, I ended up spending too much money just to get connected (sometimes $10 a day!). I’m not going to bother with staying connected; rather I’m going to unplug and take a proper summer break. It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion–I mean I am normally so connected online, so I am aware this is going to be difficult for me. But, I can do it! The one thing I am most looking forward to is reading. I plan to read a book a week: that means I have the potential to read seven books! Usually, I go to bed looking at my Instagram feed only to wake up and look at the same feed. I used to enjoy reading in bed, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do! The other thing I plan to do is write…. like in a notebook the old fashion way. I wanna see what thoughts and feelings come about from disconnecting. This break feels very liberating; lately the struggle seems to real to try to get likes and follows. I feel proud of my loyal Kremb de la Kremb blog readers, yet on Instagram it constantly feels like a losing battle, so I am hoping I won’t miss it. I do have a few blogging collaborations that I won’t abandon, so you can rely on a post with my Ping Pong Piece ladies on June and July 20th. Also, for the last Monday of each month I will post with The Fab 40s. Finally, my new collaboration, Shopping with Debbie will also happen–especially now that we can shopt together in the States. Other than those posts though, I’ll be taking a summer break. I’ll have my camera with me and my creative DIY mind, so plan on returning to Kremb de la Kremb mid August when I’ll be back to posting regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some blog posts you might enjoy from Kremb de la Kremb’s previous summers:

Twinning with Kevin last summer during a sunset in La Jolla.

I’m hoping during our California trip this summer, Kevin and I have time to ride bikes along the coastline.

Don’t worry: I’m packing some sequins for my trip to California again!

Last summer we had such fun in San Diego with Kevin’s folks.
We always have a great time on the trips we take with them. Always!!

I can hardly wait for time with these two beautiful sisters of mine!

I will definitely be getting my DIY on with this cutie!

I’m looking forward to seeing the other Ann Marie Krembs. That’s right we share the exact same name.
Getting together with her, her boys, and all the Krembs is always such fun.
We will have a special time this summer celebrating Kevin’s folks 50th wedding anniversary!

I’m not sure who all will be visiting this summer, but I would certainly welcome a surprise visit from these two!

I’ll definitely be sporting my Idaho uniform!

I’m seriously hoping my left knee doesn’t have me needing an emergency replacement
in August like I needed with my hip last August….

Hey! Have a great summer, and I’ll be back to regular posting after my summer break!

Only Black Swimsuits For Me From Now On

Ok, it’s June 1st which means summer along with swimsuit season is here. I’ve decided from now on, it’s only black swimsuits for me. I’m 45 years old, and I’ve definitely got a mom bod–which is all good–but it does mean I have the appropriate amount of cellulite and sag. (I will admit right now to using the smoothing tool in a couple of these pictures. I’m ok with using this tool. If you’re not, that’s ok too. Back to only black swimsuits….) For me, now, with the body I’ve got, wearing only black swimsuits just seems appropriate. Granted I love color, but I just feel safer in a black suit. Every time I travel, I tend to pack only black swimsuits, and I’ve got plenty of options since recently that’s the only type of suit I buy. But, to be fair, there are so many cool black suits out there. I don’t feel like I can go wrong with this choice. During our spring break trip, I asked Kevin to take pictures of me in each of the black suits I brought. I feel daring to share them with you, but it’s a good challenge for me to undertake. I’m not a famous blogger with an amazing body; in fact, I think I might be just like you. A midlife woman who shows age but feels comfortable in my own skin. I want to feel and look good in my swimsuit just like the next gal. My way of doing this is to wear only black swimsuits–they’re slimming (kind of), they’re better at showing off a tan, and they don’t stand out too much. Done. Comfortable and confident while baring all!

The Cap Sleeve Black Swimsuit


When I found this suit, I felt like I had to have it–even though it’s way more money than I usually spend on a swimsuit. It just seemed like the perfect scuba diving swimsuit. There would be no worries about straps falling down under the wetsuit. And I was right. This suit is very comfortable. I love that it serves as a bodysuit too if I’d like. It looks like a tee from the front–but surprise. There’s a whole in the back! I plan to wear this swimsuit and a pair of cutoffs to our end of year school party tomorrow. I feel like I’ll be very comfortable–especially amongst my colleagues while in a swimsuit!

The Rash Guard Black Swimsuit

I love wearing a rash guard, and this one is perfect since it allows me to tan my stomach at the same time as protecting my chest. I got it at Forever 21 a couple of years ago. This is a mismatched suit, but the bottoms are also from Forever 21 from even longer ago. With mesh being so on trend right now, I especially like wearing this suit. I have to be careful though: once I got a little polka dot type tan because I didn’t wear enough spf on my shoulders. Yes, it was funny looking! While the short sleeve, cropped version of this rash guard is long gone, Forever 21 does have a long mesh sleeve, long shirt rash guard available for only $17.90. And yes, I’ll probably be getting it!

The Supportive Black Swimsuit

Yep. That’s my scar. It’s quite big. Luckily I can never really see it
otherwise I think I’d be quite self conscious about it! Out of sight, out of mind right?

When shopping for swimsuits on ASOS, there’s an option to click on “fuller bust.” That’s how I found this swimsuit, and it fits so well plus it’s only $25. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so nice not to be popping out of a suit! I don’t usually have success with one pieces, but because I was able to plug in my exact bra size, this black swimsuit fits. I especially love how from the back it looks like it could be a two piece, but from the front, it’s definitely a one piece. I definitely recommend this suit to fuller busted women.

The Retro Black Swimsuit

There’s a very famous Australian DIY blogger based here in Hong Kong that I adore. Her name is Geneva, and she writes A Pair and a Spare. (I often attempt her DIY projects–stay tuned for a pair of deconstructed jeans coming soon!) Recently, she made a top similar to this suit here. Because she is also busty, I wanted to give it a shot. So when I found this suit over on Shein for only $12 it was worth giving this style a try. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. This suit is as supportive as wearing a sports bra, but it’s way more vavoomba! Paired with the high waisted bottom, it almost seems like a one piece. I love wearing this suit. It’s conservative, but then again, not!

*Even though I have plenty of black swimsuits, I have a few more coming for this summer season. I’m eager to try the one shoulder style, so I have this one piece with a stomach cut out coming from Shein (again, only $12!) and this strappy version from Zaful plus a one shoulder bikini top from Forever 21.

Do you have a swimsuit style, color, or even approach to swimsuit season?
Do share! We can always use tips and tricks to feel our most confident selves while donning our swimsuits in the summer.

And the Fam–Reading!

In an attempt to lessen my vulnerability here in this post, I’ve included my lovely family also in swimsuits reading on the beach during our wonderful spring break. Oh! We had such fun–as proven here by this underwater post!

A Mesh Dress and Instagram Friends


Last week I had a bit of a tantrum about Instagram. While the tantrum is still present, here’s the truth: I do wake up, open up my Instagram, scroll through the feed, and find style inspiration. This happens often, and it was definitely the case when I went to wear this mesh dress. I saw this picture of @cindyscurry, and I instantly knew what I was going to wear to work/school that day. (The last time I’d worn this dress it wasn’t so work appropriate!) Here’s what I’d like to say about Instagram: I have made some really neat connections and even friends from this social network. Yes, I get down about my numbers and wish I had both more likes and followers, but aside from statistics, I have proof. I’ve made girlfriends (and a few male friends too) around the world from Instagram. I need to make sure I don’t forget about that!! I started to make a list of all the friends I’ve made in order to share them here, but it’s way too long, and it would break my heart if I accidentally forgot one of you. Needless to say, despite low numbers, I do love the #instafriends I have made. You rock. And, you help me get dressed in the morning! So, thank you very much not only your friendship but your style inspiration too.

I got this polkadot mesh dress at Shein for only $12. It’s a fun one because it has to be layered–there are a ton more ways to wear this dress, and I’m ready to figure them out!

We are Open Water Certified


The family are making the blog today because this past spring break we did something really incredible: the four of us became open water certified scuba divers. Wow! The sea is so incredibly–literally and figuratively–breathtaking so thank goodness for that tank on our backs. Scuba diving used to be something Kevin and I had both said the “n” word to (never). Basically we remembered our ninny days of snorkeling in Saudi Arabia, and the thought of going under water for up to 50 minutes at a time was terrifying. But then, Interim came along. (That’s the high school trip that Vincent went on this year during March.) One of the options he mentioned interest in was a scuba trip, and we said, “No way!” Kevin and I thought to ourselves: if he’s going scuba diving, we’re also going scuba diving. Well, we kept to our word! For spring break we went back to Bohol, Philippines, (we went out first year in Hong Kong in 21013 for spring break), but this time we got open water certified with Alex at Tropical Divers. This is an understament: it was amazing!!

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Being a Mother


I’m not sure what’s going on with me, but I’ve been thinking a ton lately about being a mother. I mean, I’ve been a mom for 16 years now, and I have never been one to overthink it; I just do it. But, with Vincent turning 15 this past Sunday, for some reason I’ve been thinking about it a ton these days. Here’s the main thought that goes through my head: I only have three more years with Vincent under my roof. I have limited time wherein my reach might meet him. It’s not like I believe I can make him a certain way, but my time of influence with my son is definitely fleeting. I recently took a personality test. One of the questions focused on the character trait of intelligence verses kindness. I most definitely, strongly answered that I want my children to be kind over smart. I’ve always felt that. Now with three years to go, I’m bustlin’ my mommy buns to make sure I can raise a gentlemen. These have been my thoughts on being a mother lately. But there’s more….


Thinking about being a mother has always left me in thoughts about how I am being a daughter. I’m guilty of not being very good. I should write home more, call home more, reach out more. Over the weekend Kevin made a phone call home to his mom. First I thought, “Gosh, I hope my son calls home when he does move away.” Then, I was left with such guilt because I don’t call home very often. So being a mother has left me realizing I need to be a daughter–a good one. Ironically, yes it is Mother’s Day this weekend, but all these overly deep thoughts on mothering, they are being brought on by the two men in my life. My husband who is very dear to his mum all the time, and my son whom I hope very much takes after his father. And as for me, I need to do better and reach out to my mom–Mother’s Day or not!!


These pictures were taken during our spring break trip to Bohol, Philippines, and there’s really no correlation between these pictures and my thoughts on being a mother. Yet, in the above picture, I especially feel like I look so much like my mom. It’s like I’m identical to her or something. And then lately, the way I interact with strangers, wanting to know more about them and reaching out to make connections with people, I’m reminded again of my mother. She’s just like that making friends with the cashier at the super market or the seat neighbor on a plane. I’m a lot like my mom–both in looks and demeanor. It’s time I embrace these similarities and take pride in them especially since I admire my mom—A LOT!


(By the way…. since I attempt to fashiong blog over here on Kremb de la Kremb, I’ll offer some details on what I’m wearing. This $15 dress was perfect for sunsets on the beach. I highly recommend it because for the price, it’s a real winner–plus wearing white after a day in the sun is always a complimentary look. I was quite happy with this lippy (Cannes lip matte by NYX) that I brought–again it was the perfect shade for after a day in the sun. Finally, my earrings were a total score in one of my favorite shops in the New Delhi airport. I went back to get them because I couldn’t stop thinking about them. They remind me of something Kelly Framel, The Glamourai, would wear, and she’s just the coolest of all cool. And finally, because all the best flip flops are found in beach markets, the pair I’m wearing were picked up in Bohol’s little beach town. There’s my style update for this memorable sunset night!)

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

A Must Stop in Rajasthan: Rawla Narlai

Rawla Narlia 1There is one place we always tell travelers to India that they must go: Rajasthan and in particular, Rawla Narlai. Rawla Narlai is a heritage hotel in the village of Narlai, and it is the old hunting lodge of the king of Jodhpur. (In fact, while we were there, the owner of the lodge, who is considered the king of Narlai, came by for a visit. See below for evidence.) It is rare to make a hotel an actual destination, but there are so many magical experiences at this hotel that make it worth a vital addition to any Rajasthan tour. First, it’s location is perfect: it’s situated between two other must visit cities, Udaipur and Jodhpur. Car is the mode of travel in this area, so any way to break up the trip is gratefully accepted. When you arrive to Rawla Narlai, you really feel like you’ve stumbled onto an old, Mogul home. Everything about this heritage hotel is serene: the lush landscape, the quintessential rooms, luxe sitting areas everywhere you look, and impeccable treatment by the hotel staff. Ask for Lala. He will take you on a village tour at dusk, and you’ll have a chance to really see how Rajasthani folk live. If you want those silver anklets that the village women wear, he’ll take you to the local silversmith (I haven’t taken mine off yet!). The moment we arrived, humble Lala even remembered us and still had the picture of him carrying Gigi all around when she was just a little toddler. When we were deciding where to travel in India for our three week tour, returning to this magical spot is what steered our vacation to Rajasthan. I love Rawla Narlai–so much! I hope one day to mimic a courtyard just like their’s and spend my days reading and drink nimbu pani (sweet lime water)!

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Rawla Narlai
Village Narlai, Rajasthan, India
Tel : + 91 2934 260443
Fax : +91 2934 260596
Email : crs@rawlanarlai.com

*Aside of the dusk tour through the village, there are other options in this countryside stay. But I’ll leave that for a later post….

A Mini-Me Post to Start 2017

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It’s 2017! Actually for a while now, and this is a very delayed first post for the new year. Despite many attempts to post on Kremb de la Kremb, the wifi was never quite strong enough, but our return family trip to India was beyond amazing. I can’t wait to share more of that in the near future….

Posting problems aside, I am very, very happy to have this mini me post be the first of the Kremb de la Kremb new year. Yes, this blog is an attempt at a style blog, but my family does come first, and therefore deserves the first post of the 2017 year. Back in late November, the four of us–our two mini-mes (I have looked up the plural of mini-me and it is mini-mes) went up to the Peak in Hong Kong for a walk (my first with the new hip which was one of my goals) to take our Christmas picture. This was the Christmas picture that was supposed to be sent out in December as a Christmas card, but hey, the picture of the four of us together was an awful picture that wouldn’t work, but these pictures did! (The Christmas card will now be a New Year from a picture chosen from one of the many family pics taken from our trip to India…)

I call reference to mini-me of this first post of 2017 because I’ll be honest: I think each one of our kids is a little mini-me of each of us. Gigi definitely has my facial structure, freckle complexion, and Freuen nose. Yet, Gigi’s eyes are all Krembs–seriously, she’s actually a mini-me of the other Ann Krembs, Kevin’s sister. There are pictures of the other Ann at 13, and it’s seriously hard to tell the two of them apart. Meanwhile, Vincent is a total mini-me of Kevin; I mean they seem identical. But while Gigi’s eyes are all Krembs, Vincent’s face my be Krembs but his eyes and eyebrows are all Freuen. See, each of our kiddos are each a mini-me of each of us. How lucky are we?! I have to admit seeing myself (and Kevin) in each of my kids is such a wonderful pleasure. What else is a pleasure is when these two cute and handsome teenagers allow me to post them on the blog. It’s a special moment when they give me the yeah. So here are the four of us, playing around in an exercise park up on the Peak of Hong Kong. Enjoy! And happy, happy belated new year!

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Meet Pinky, My New (and very improved) Hip!

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This Friday will mark 8 weeks with my new hip. I’m pretty much at a loss of words. I will be so bold as to say my new hip is miraculous. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to walk normally, that to be 8 weeks post a hip replacement and walking without crutches, without a limp, well it is astounding to me. How can this be? To say I am elated would be an understatement. Yes, I am young at 44 to have an artificial hip, but wow, this one already works so much better than the one I was struggling with for far too long. I still have a long way to go. I need to build up the muscles in my legs and around the hip to stabilize this new joint. But, I can walk again, like actually walk. I can take a stroll with my family, and I can even foresee maybe going on a hike with them at some point. That was one of the main goals for replacing the arthritic one–to just be able to walk normally again, and I can. I have even started to go on walks for exercise–as shown from these happy pictures here. Oh! It feels so good!! And this is only 8 weeks post op. Yes, I will remain the steady tortoise in this race–I mean recovery, but already I am so, so, so very happy with my new hip. Pinky (that’s how I lovingly refer to it), you’re a winner, and I’m pretty happy with you. You can stay!

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It has been a really long time since I bought exercise gear–like forever. I still have the original–but perhaps now out of style–Lulu Lemon boot cut, yoga pant. I splurged on those pants and the black Lulu Lemon hoodie back in 2009. With Pinky causing a smile and a desire to get out and walk, I treated myself to some new workout clothes. Yes, these are not the ever-so-standard black version; rather I’m thinking of sunset days in San Diego where the palm trees streak all the promenades. Leggings, fun, overly bright ones, are having a moment, so I’m going to celebrate walking with the whimsical variety. Oh, I got this sports bra too, and it is surprisingly very supportive for my 36Ds! (Just get a size large.)

*Thanks for capturing these pictures I’m a Norbyah–even though I’m in leggings!

Gigi is a Young Lady

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Gigi is 13 today. It’s cliché to say this, but it really does feel like yesterday when she was my little cuddle bunny born in Venezuela. Yes, she was a bit tremenda as an infant, crying her way through a colic stage, but she was always and still is so close to me. I used to pat my chest, and she would climb atop me and we would sleep just like that. To this day, we snuggle most nights, Kevin leading her to her own bed after we’ve fallen into an entangled sleep. I’ve already wondered how I will handle her departure for college six short years away. I suppose this mental prep starting now will hopefully ease the heartbreak. I also sometimes wonder if it’s natural to feel so close to my daughter–should I be more distant offering her more space as she becomes a young woman. Then I remind myself to quit worrying and let the natural closeness we have continue. If we cuddle in another 13 years when she’s 26 , I will not be surprised.

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Of course being close to someone exceeds physical touch. The two of us, most likely similarily to other mother-daughter teams, can read one another so well. Gigi always knows how I’m feeling and can offer me wisdom to alter my state. I’m not quite sure how she’s always been able to have a wise-soul philosophy about her; her emotional intelligence and intuition have always been beyond her years. She reads people and know instinctively how they might be feeling in any given situation.

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There are so many ways that I look up to my 13 year old girl. Again, can that be normal? Oh, who cares!? She is really quite amazing. Gigi is kind and thoughtful–attributes I admire and try to be in my own daily life. She’s creative with an imagination that helps her soar. Her athletic abilities amaze me–to see her run is to feel free. Then her gumption to just give anything her all is quite aspirational–an example, dropping in on skate ramp this past weekend. Finally, Gigi’s just fun: her giggle and smile are always and forever will be contagious.

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Gigi is 13 and becoming a young lady before Kevin and my eyes. The sporty tomboy is still ever present, but there is a feminity also maturing in our daughter. She recently started cotillion–etiquette classes where the students learn to dance and socialise in a formal setting. On this first night, she appeared angelic, and yes, she brought mist to Kevin’s eyes when he witnessed his daughter as a young lady, a beautiful one at that. The very best part of Gigi’s beauty is she is also so very pretty on the inside as well. My mom always told me “Beauty is as beauty does.” I’ve never had to say this to Gigi–she just is.

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Happy Birthday Dear Gigi! I love you so much!!

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And this girl’s got a sense of humor! I love that she doesn’t take herself too seriously! Gigi, you’re a hoot and so fun to be with.

Seal Rock in La Jolla

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It’s hard to believe school has started for the Krembs family and August is just about to end. Summer in Hong Kong is gratefully still going strong, so trips to the beach will continue on into October, maybe even November. Meanwhile, I am reminiscing about how our summer started in La Jolla, San Diego. The last time (and first actually) I had been to San Diego was as a junior in high school. For this trip to southern California, it was so very fun to start out with just Kevin. We had three nights all to ourselves; it had been years since we’d gotten away like that. Then, three days later Kevin’s folks joined us with our two kiddos. We have such fun traveling with his mom and dad, and while this is going to sound very spoiled, starting our summer vacation out with a little trip away to somewhere new sets us up for an amazing summer as a family!

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There are so many highlights to visiting San Diego. One of our top activites included a trip to Seal Rock. The seals are just with in reach perching and sheltered on their rocks. Meanwhile, out at sea, the waves are ginormous and the surfers are crazily going about catching them! I mean, whoa! I’d be totally scared of running into the rocks or even more scarily being taken out to sea. The surfers on the other hand were apparently not phased. My other top activity was biking: we biked around Coronado, along Pacific Beach, and all around La Jolla. It was such fun to hop on a cruiser and, well, do just that–cruise!

Seal Rock at La Jolla
We really do have the best time traveling with Alex and Jane. We’ve taken road trips with them as well as gone camping with these two. They’ve always come to visit us wherever we’ve lived, and we’ve also taken trips abroad–one of our favorites being a trip to Greece. A lot of times couples have other couples that they travel so seamlessly with; I never would have guessed it would be with my in-laws, but we truly have the best times together. I find it to be so valuable for our kiddos too. Living overseas obviously means we aren’t around for the entire year. That’s why quality time definitely has to outweigh quantity times. Luckily this is the case with Jane and Alex!

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I have so many layers on in these pictures: underneath that DIY patched denim shirt is a sweatshirt and a long sleeved shirt. It is very important to wear layers while visiting San Diego–it’s a gloriously hot/cold place especially in June. One minute the sun was out, the next the wind was howling. At all times it was comfortable–just so long as I had my layers. (I get cold easily!)

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These two….Alex has always been called The Wild Zuper and now his son is definitely Wild Zuper Junior!

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Finally, here are the kiddos: Gigi and Vincent. What fun memories were had during this first summer trip to La Jolla, San Diego in June of 2016!

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