Angkor Wat: Day 2

One day at Angkor Wat doesn’t suffice. In fact, Vincent and Kevin went back a third day on mountain bikes just to cruise around. Unfortunately on our second visit to Angkor Wat Gigi wasn’t feeling well–at all. She was such a trooper, continuing on, but by the fourth temple, she lost it. Literally. We had managed to see three though which was plenty for me. I immediately returned back to the hotel with my sick little Gig while the fellas stayed on. Momentarily, I got sick approximately 8 hours later. It was a nasty but quick flu–thank goodness. But boy, Gigi was such a trooper. In any of these pics you will notice how pale and non Gigi-like she was.

See that hole in the middle–that’s where the bamboo pole would go. In this way two people were able to take either side of the bamboo pole and transport the bricks that were used to build these temples. Amazing, huh?

This is a regular market scene. It actually could be anywhere in Southeast Asia!

We had two really great tuk tuk drivers both days. They were so sweet with us. There was this older guy, and then a younger one that I really wish I had captured. I guess I must go back….

See how totally ill Gigi looks. She couldn’t even smile her real self into the occasion. I felt so bad after she got so sick!

Again, it just isn’t the real Gig.

Gigi isn’t the only photographer in the family. When Gigi allows Vincent to borrow hers, he takes some pretty good shots too. Hmmm, his birthday is in May…

Once I sweated my way through this cute blouse with just a touch of yellow–yes, you will see me trying to attempt this spring! I bought myself an “I <3 Cambodia" tee which after this trip is completely true! Again, we will be back....

This is Kevin’s blogger pose. Pretty good eh?

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Dog! Happy Chinese New Year!! Remarkably, one of the best things from living overseas (for over 20 years!) has been experiencing all the wonderful festivals and holidays around the world. With three years in Beijing and our sixth year in Hong Kong, we’re on our 9th CNY! It’s such a fun holiday too. First the house gets cleaned and household becomes orderly. What’s not to like about some spring cleaning!? The holiday celebrates new beginnings, so it’s best to start off in a clean way–so to speak. Good health and wealth are the wishes for every year–basically everyone desires a good year. I can agree with that. Family time is the most important; the eldest in a family hosts everyone. Games and candies are out for everyone to enjoy–a majohng table is always going somewhere in the house. (I learned last year and experienced some serious beginner’s luck!) Finally lai see, red packets, are shared. The youngest receive the red envelopes filled with money. These special packets are wide spread since usually someone is usually still the youngest until they are the patriarch and matriarch. There’s usually an aunt or uncle out there though that might still be older than grandma and grandpa–I say this because a recent older taxi driver told us he still gets packets! He was definitely in his late 60s, maybe even 70. Regardless of the money, Chinese New Year is a very special holiday. Happy Year of the Dog!!

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Yes to red! It’s an auspicious color for the Chinese, so it’s seen everywhere. I do a lot of shopping after the Christmas and New Year sales. When I saw a table of berets at Niko and … (a super hip Japanese clothing and home store–the Japanese are amazing marketers, click the link), I wasn’t sure which color to go with. There was grey and black, a khaki version, and then a red one on the table that when I put on said, “Go with me!” I couldn’t resist this bright beret, and happily I’m wearing the heck out of it (also seen here in Lan Kwai Fong). This year’s Hong Kong winter has been cold enough for some sort of head topper each day, and I’ll go ahead and admit I’m enjoying all the hat wearing!

Chinese New Year

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year?
Kung Hei Fat Choy!

PS I’m realizing now that this would have been the perfect post to highlight my pooch, Rani! I’ll save that one for another time…

Elegant Elephants

Our Christmas day this past 2017 was completely magical: we spent the entire day with some very elegant elephants! Elephants have long been a favorite animal in the Krembs’ family, so spending Christmas day with them was an extremely cool gift. The other amazing part of Christmas 2017 was being with my sister’s family. In the photo above you will the four Krembs, my sister and her family with husband and three kids, her mother-in-law, and her husband’s brother plus cousin and his wife. We were a party of 13! The night before we had all exchanged gifts via a Secret Santa. To say it was fun to be with everyone is an understatement. Because we live overseas, we often spend Christmas with just the four of us; this Christmas was especially unique and one that we will all remember forever–especially Christmas day with these elegant elephants!

This blog started as a family blog back in 2006! It’s evolved since then, yet I wanted to share a memory from way back. Here’s a picture of the kiddos as toddlers. Vincent naturally took care of his younger sister. I don’t have any pictures from our elephant experience from that first trip to Goa, India, so I’ll share the story here: we took our first Indian beach trip during our first break of our first year. We had just come from the beach party country of Venezuela. We often went to Margarita Island where the rum was flowing and the tanga (thong bikinis) were jiggling to the salsa music on the beach. As we sat on the very quiet beach of Goa, India, we felt an intense longing for the chaos of Venezuelan beaches. It was then in our self-pity, that I looked way off into the distance, and I saw a real dark, large blob. The blob kept coming closer and closer, and we had now idea what it was. Form finally began to take shape, and we realized an elephant was coming toward us! As we sat there on the beach with two toddlers aside us we watched this elegant elephant pass by. It was remarkable to say the least. Vinnie and I got up, held hands, and followed this gigantic beast. We were in awe. We never considered the Indian beaches boring after that, and Vincent and I rode many elephants together during our stay in the beautiful country of India. When we had to choose a partner for Thailand, I instantly asked Vincent if he’d ride with me.

I love the calm of my sister in these two pictures; look at the reverence she expresses in her hand gestures. I think it’s ok if I share that Julie was a bit scared, but she made it through, and in the end I think she found the elephants to be magical.

If by chance you visit Chiang Mai, Thailand, may I recommend Woody’s Elephants to you. They really care for their elephants. Each elephant has his own mahout, and as a witness those fellas really love their elephant. Also, lunch was amazing!

This is Tim and Marina. It was so fun to travel with these two. They gobbled up the culture with such a zest for life–same with Carol below. We feel quite special to have family extend beyond blood! (Stay tuned for more pictures with Carol; she traveled to Cambodia with us at the end of Christmas vacation.)

The first thing they did at Woody’s Elephants was write all of our names on our hand in Thai. This says “Annie” and “Elle.” We were kind of shocked how similar our two names looked….

Have you met an elephant before?
What did you think?

I Love Hong Kong: Wan Chai

I’ve been missing out on something, something with a whole lot of potential: Hong Kong! So many times I find an interesting wall and then use that as my backdrop. Well, there’s so much more to this city than it’s cool, grungy walls. For this reason, I’m starting a new series today called “I love Hong Kong”–which is so completely true. Pretty much every weekend we venture out into the city, and I always dress up, so I’ve decided to share the neighborhoods I love in this great, bustling, and actually very tiny island city.

My “I Love Hong Kong” series starts with a neighborhood called Wan Chai. Historically it was known as the spot for the sailors to go to when they came to port. Sadly a red light district still exists, but it’s easy to avoid that area. An extremely great book to detail this part of Hong Kong is a story called The World of Suzie Wong by Richard Mason.

Basically there’s this very busy street called Queen’s Road that runs through the northern part of the island. When you’re on Queen’s Road East you can pretty much head north toward the waterfront onto any one of the alleys and find bustling markets and funky store fronts. Now that the neighborhood has experienced gentrification in multiple places, the café, restaurant, and bar options are super fun to explore. The tram runs through Wan Chai, and there’s an MTR stop as well. It’s one of our favorite neighborhoods to explore because there’s something always new–or often quite old, to stumble upon.

This bamboo…it’s actually scaffolding. Yes, the Hong Kongers use bamboo that scales stories and stories upward into the sky, and the bamboo creates the scaffolding. Next time I’m out and about, I’ll make sure to take a building covered in scaffolding.

Yes, sequin mini skirts are great for New Years Eve, but in my opinion they’re also great for Saturdays around the town. Why not! I feel like life, even little daily, mundane Saturdays can be elevated with a little sparkle. I don’t relegate my sequin options to special events. Rather, I like to make a day strolling out and about in the city a special day. Why not make the best of the best, right?!

By chance we have found our optical store in Wan Chai. They are the sweetest folks in this little store. Part of this past Saturday’s venture was to get my prescription updated. Awww, I can see again! I’ve been needing to purchase new contacts, and the world is now visible to me again–thanks to the gentlemen at Wing Kwong Optical (Shop IC, G/F, Newman House; 35-45 Johnston Road; Wan Chai, Hong Kong).

I’m always happy touring around with Gigi!

I love Hong Kong!
Shall I continue with more posts like this highlighting the city I call home?

Merry Christmas (from last year!)

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas with pictures that were meant to be sent out last year… I had the best intentions of sending out a New Year card then a Chinese New Year Card, then maybe just a card, and well, there never was a card! These are a few of the family pictures we took during our trip to India last Christmas. Oh, it was such a fabulous trip! We started in Bombay meeting up with old friends which was so special. Then the magic started happening once we got to Rajasthan. These first two pics were taken on Christmas Eve in Udaipur.

A trip to Rajasthan wouldn’t be complete without a little safari action. We actually saw a snow leopard on this excursion. It was wicked cool! The animal just sat perched up there on his rock, chillin’. It was quite a sight. And typical of an India excursion, we stopped for chai and biscuits.

Another magical moment to be had in Rajasthan is staying in an old havelli. This havelli was ancient–very rustic too, but it was a very cool experience.

Finally, our trip was completed in Jodhpur’s Red Fort where we zip lined across the canyons. It was a phenomenal experience, one that won’t be forgotten!

Our family is very blessed. Kevin and I have somehow created this life full of travel. It’s exciting and fun, and we all have a really good time together. Now, today we start our three week vacation for winter break. We’ll be spending our time in Thailand–with my sister and her family!! We can hardly wait! It’s going to be so fun to share our special Thai times with our family members!

Merry Merry Christmas from the Krembs!

What I Really Wore to the Christmas Party

Christmas party

Goodness, I’m sure you’re wondering what I wore to my Christmas party. This is always such a busy time of year, and unfortunately my blog is getting the brunt of it being ignored and all. I do apologize for that that. On Friday I posted two Christmas party outfits, and guess what!? I went with neither. Instead, I pulled out my sparkly holiday dress, and I wore this to the Christmas party. I felt very cute and upbeat. The only drawback that bothered me was the nylons I chose–they were not sheer enough. Also, the lights at the venue were on full brightness, so I kind of wish I would have chosen different sneakers. Oh well… I did feel good though which in turn helped me to have a much better time than last year’s Christmas party. Isn’t it funny how what we wear can have such an effect on how we feel–at least it does for me.

Christmas party

This Christmas party frock was picked up in Bali of all places. Crazy I know, but when we went a few Christmases ago, there was a fantastic mall where I picked up this smashing number for under $15 USD. I had never been into a New Look store, but I can tell you I liked it. Do you have New Look where you live? It’s a South African brand that was new to me. Although we don’t have a New Look in HK, they do deliver here, so that’s more good NEWS!!

Christmas party

Christmas party

Christmas party

What will you be wearing to your Christmas party?
The next Christmas party I attend will be in the jungle of Chang Mai. We head to Thailand this Saturday! I can hardly wait. My sister and her family will be joining us, so it is sure to be a very, very special Christmas this year! And definitely filled with more Christmas parties…. I’ll make sure to keep you updated, but the best place to follow along the fun will be on my Instagram account.

This post has been linked to Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

What to Wear to the Christmas Party?

For this year’s Christmas party I am determined to LOVE my outfit. Last year, I went to my school’s Christmas party, and I hated, absolutely hated what I was wearing. This may sound silly, but not being comfortable and confident in what I was wearing had an impact on my attendance. I didn’t have as much fun, I never really felt at ease, and I was preoccupied with my personal distaste for what I was wearing. This time around, I’m determined to love what I’m wearing to tonight’s Christmas party. I know if I’m comfortable and feel good, I will in turn have a much better time. I’ve put together two very different looks; I thought I’d ask for your help….Which outfit do you think I should wear to tonight’s Christmas party?

Option A: Christmas Plaid w/ a Sequin Mini

Here’s the thing about a night out for me: I can’t wear heels. Yes, you may see them every now and again here on Kremb de la Kremb, but it’s usually for a styled post–like Wednesday. I wore my sparkly black booties, yet I would be able to wear those for a four hour plus night. I just can’t do it–yet! (Never say never right!?) So, footwear comes first, and it might as well be gold. I also want to be dressy and of course Christmas-y. So, here I’ve taken my favorite Christmas plaid shirt and paired it with a blush sequin skirt. I think this outfit incorporates just enough glam while assuring comfort at the Christmas party.

This little reindeer ring comes out at Christmas time. When I spotted it at a swap, I scooped it up, knowing it would join the other holiday baubles in my holiday wear box.

Option B: Black Velvet Suit w/ a Sequin Top

I repeatedly state how half of my holiday wear box is filled with items picked up after the holiday season. This is the case here: the black velvet suit I had my eye on all winter at Zara but only bought it once it was on sale. The same went for the H&M top and was a lucky find. It was just one piece randomly left behind, and I snatched it as fast as I could. For sure I feel much better in this bright pink lip color which makes me make a mental note that those dark burgundy colors don’t work as well on me. Again, I chose comfy footwear; these are my winking kids’ shoes from the girl department at Target. It’s guaranteed I’d be comfortable wearing these sparkly shoes all night. Tennis with a suit reminds me of Ellen–if she can pull it off, maybe I can too.

Aren’t these earrings perfect for this top? Ironically they are also from H&M but just this season. It’s as if the two were made for one another, but there’s about three years in between….

What should I wear to the Christmas Party?

I’d like you to help me decide. Which outfit do you prefer? The more casual with the Christmas plaid blinged up with some sequins? Or do you prefer the black velvet suit with over the top sparkles? Please help me get dressed for my Christmas party tonight!

(This post has been linked to Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.)

What should I wear to my Christmas Party?

Christmas Plaid with Sequin Skirt
Black Velvet Suit with Sequin Top

Quiz Maker

This post has been linked to Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

This post has been linked to Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

This post has been linked to Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

#BOPO in a Bodycon

This post today might get a little rambly, but I’m ok with that. I hope you will be too….

Today I’m talking about #bopo in a bodycon. #BOPO? What’s that? I wondered the same thing until I figured it out and now I love the hashtag: #bopo stands for body positive. Now this is definitely a hashtag I can support. I have plenty of things I don’t like about my body, but instead I’d rather be #bodypositive and embrace all the bits that make me me. I will admit to feeling body conscious at times; therefore I do all I can to be body positive instead. To that end, being #bopo in a bodycon never crossed my mind. This would be a style of dress I would typically avoid!

But every now and then, I like to give myself imaginary style challenges. Or rather, I open up my holiday box of clothing for the holiday season and find that the forest green dress I purchased the season before at the end of season sales is a bodycon. I thought this green dress was going to be more on the shift side of dresses–not the bodycon variety! Eeek! Sometimes using the dressing room is a good idea… Well, regardless, my challenge was set out for me: how could I style this dress? I gave myself a style challeng: let’s say I was told I had to wear a bodycon dress for Thanksgiving. My first reaction would be, “NO WAY!” Why would one ever choose to wear a body con during a feast? I certainly wouldn’t. But on the other hand, I’m aware that I did buy this dress for the holiday season. Let’s see what I could do with it….while keeping in mind my full intention of being #bopo in a bodycon.

The first thing to do in order to feel good in this form fitting dress would be to highlight some curves while disguising others. I pulled out my sparkly tee for this. This top is doing a few things for me: it’s boxy and hits right at my hips, so it covers my upper curves while highlighting my hippy ones. Since it’s short sleeved, it follows that turtleneck sleeve trend too showing a bit of the green sleeve. I chose my mid calf cowboy boots (that deserve their own paragraph momentarily), and also chose my new Zara holiday clutch that I had to gift myself. Sometimes Santa’s Elf (me!) helps out before the season starts!!

Let’s talk about these ancient but oh so lovely cowboy boots. First the color, cognac, is beautiful. The style is half cowboy, half classy with such an extreme point. The heel is a perfect height in the Goldilocks way–not to small, not too large but just right–especially for my Pinky hip. These shoes were bought because of one of my Fashion Fixations. (There have been so many and they are always very important so capital letters have been used to form a proper noun.) We were living in Venezuela, and often on the weekends we would head to Margarita Island to do one of two things: I would shop and Kevin would wind surf. Margarita Island was duty free, so the prices were great! I walked into Bershka, and low and behold there was the chicest lil’ boho gal I’d seen in a while. She was Shakira’s doppelgänger with this paisley funky dress and these boots. I purchased both, but the boots required some tracking down. Then, I wore her outfit on repeat. The dress I have sadly since gotten rid of but the boots, they’re still with me, and I believe they will be for many more years. My mom actually has a similar pair that I have always coveted–I guess these are my version of her boots. Fashion Fixation fixed times two! I don’t wear these boots often, but when I do, I always feel special. Style Stories…another proper noun that has been attributed to those items in my closet that have become so important simply based on the story behind them.

Now onto Thanksgiving, the one holiday that makes me really, really miss home. It’s the American holiday that I’ve never properly celebrated while living overseas. Yes, I gather with friends, sometimes on the fourth Thursday of the month, sometimes on the Friday. Some Thanksgivings have been celebrated by a purchased roasted turkey; other turkey days have had pizzas on the grill serve as the main course. Sometimes the day is celebrated on a Friday with the main event being the tree going up. Every year we do celebrate family in some way and always Grandma Soogie’s Cinnamon Rolls are made. The one thing that has never happened though is me roasting a turkey. I’ve never done that. But, I’ve always had this burning desire to at least give it a shot one day in my life. Today is that day. I am roasting my first ever turkey. I’m going to stuff it too. I made the pecan pie last night. Kevin has prepared the cinnamon rolls. Vincent will be in charge of the potatoes; Gigi’s making the cranberry sauce. I’ll make the green beans too. And with all this foot, we’re having a proper Thanksgiving feast! Tonight!!

I think I’ll take pictures and report back on how it all goes! I may even wear the tight green dress and feel #bopo in a bodycon!!

Happy Thanksgiving! What makes your celebration special?

The Style Stories that Broke the Blogger’s Back!

Style Stories
Oh, it’s so silly! But these flat lays seen here in this Style Stories post, well, I ended up in the hospital because of them! That sounds awfully dramatic, so I’ll back up. I brought back my Style Stories two weeks ago with this post. I had such fun making the flat lays that I decided to do it again last week. To make these (somewhat silly yet extremely, creative outlets for me) I lay my soft white blanket on the floor in my living room, smooth it out, and place items on top of the blanket. I often go up and down getting things just right–the lipstick might not be perfectly straight, there may be a ruffle in the clothing, or an earring isn’t laying upright. Basically, there’s a lot of bending, smoothing, and straightening out involved. Oh and then, I climb up onto a chair and take a shot from overhead. This is all basic stuff–it’s not high risk, or it least it shouldn’t be. But, for me it is.

By the last flat lay on this Wednesday night, something had happened. Something felt extremely off. I hobbled off to Vincent’s bedroom, laid on his bed, and asked for the usual massage he’ll give my back that resuscitates me back to normal. This time that didn’t happen. All of a sudden I was completely stuck–stuck on his bed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t moves my arms let alone my legs. It was scary. Really scary! Finally Kevin lifted me up, Gigi got my crutches, and somehow I made it to my bed. Fast forward to some meds, rest in bed, a visit to the doctor, and a request for an MRI on Friday afternoon. Yet, it happened again: on Friday morning around 9 am, I froze up again and couldn’t move. And this time I got quite hysterical–both in emotions and in pain. I was losing my mind, yet Kevin, rational thank goodness, got me to the hospital. I ended up getting that MRI, and it showed two tears in my L4 and L5 lumbar discs. The doctor said this was good because I did not need surgery, but on the other hand it was bad because those tears were SCREAMING! Yes, they were!!

On Saturday, I had an epidural procedure where he injected my spine in those two spots plus gave me six other shots. I didn’t care; I was out thank goodness! By Sunday I was discharged and brought home with the request to lay low for the following week. This part was so frustrating, but necessary! I had just had a great two first days of school with the students. The year was starting well, really well. I was present, excited, and ready to go! Forget that last August and even the August before that I’d been out. I was starting off on the right foot. But then….not so fast: Kevin called it my threepeat! This August and this start to the year also has had its challenges.

But enough of all this! Let’s get to the flat lays!
(And back to work on Monday–I’m ready!)

Monday

Style Stories
I start every first day of school in an lbd–usually this one actually. I usually style it with gold as seen here. (I can’t believe I used to wear heels. Kinda breaks my heart! And, my hair was sooooo long!!) Rather than go with gold like I usually do, I went with silver and turquoise. Since I pretty much only wear tennis shoes, I opted for my Old Skools. Love them–they’re just as good as heels!

Old Skool VansBasically I copied my daughter with these. I can’t count how many pairs she’s been through. I thought it was about time I joined her in the Old Skool look!

Black Fringe EarringsOne day last spring I went earring shopping on Zaful. I bought about five pairs, and the total maybe came to $20. They have an insanely awesome selection of earrings. Hey, now that it’s almost fall, maybe it’s time for me to go shopping again. I think I can spare 20 bucks!

*A note on the belt–This belt was too small for me when I bought it, but I was determined to have it, so I figured out how to make it bigger. I went to a local craft store and bought some black canvas belting to match the width of the belt. I asked my local tailor to take of the belt buckle, add three inches, and then put the belt buckle back on. Presto! The extra inches are covered by the other side of the belt, and the belt now fits me. There’s always a way to make a belt bigger–usually right by the belt buckle!

Tuesday

Style Stories

For the second day of school, we get all the students. I wanted to look nice yet of course demonstrate my sporty style too, so I paired my dress with my ballerina tennis shoes.

Who What Wear Snake DressWho What Wear in my opinion is rockin’ it at Targé. I mean everything they create has been so cute. All summer long I wore this romper; now for fall I’ve got this cute dress (it comes in plain black and also a cute poppy floral print). I’m hoping it becomes a repeat for me too!

Mixing Two Lippies: Pink Me Up and White GoldAgain, I went with my metallic lippy, but I only wanted

Wednesday

Style Stories

I went super, super bright with my florescent shift on Wednesday. Again, I think I was just trying to set the tone that I am a zany dresser. Shock ’em now so to speak! This spring there were two cute ladies shopping in Zara when I spotted this shift. It was one of those moments where I went, grabbed a large, and purchased it. I just knew it was going to work for me, and it does–especially when I pair it with turquoise mascara and a hot pink lip!

Hot Pink Metallic LippyThis is for sure the brightest lipstick I own, and I LOVE IT! Plus not only is it bright, but it is also metallic. Like the last Style Stories post, I’ve got a thing for metallic lippy right now and this one ROCKS!!

Black Fringe EarringsThis was the second day I wore these earrings. They match a ton, and at only $3.72 I’ve definitely outdone my cost per wear!!

So, I only made it through three outfits last week.

And this week there were no outfits to report except for Wednesday’s Typhoon Hato getup. (I love that sweatshirt by the way!) But when I return to work on Monday, I think I’ll be continuing my tendency to wear dresses with tennis shoes. I like this vibe. It feels good–dress up sporty style! And, if I try to make flat lays again, I promise to try to use the kitchen table instead. Less bending over!

Typhoon Hato

Today was a typhoon day: Typhoon Hato came and rocked Hong Kong–especially the south side where we live. These typhoons that hit Asia can be quite devastating. Luckily the infrastructure of Hong Kong is so strong that Hong Kong will be back to running within the next day or two. Some places in the world have snow days; here in HK, we have typhoon days. So, to be honest, it was nice to have a day home with the family with nowhere to go, nowhere to be. Basically we were stuck with one another, and it wasn’t so bad. At times we were quite scared–like early in the morning when the storm turned to a T10 and we could actually feel our house swaying. We were a bit scared, but we had one another. Kevin reassured us that buildings are meant to sway–even though it is definitely an odd feeling in the midst of it. By one in the afternoon, we finally ventured out together. The wind was still blowing, but not too intensely, there were spurts of rain, but not heavy, and the waves were really coming in, but we were careful. Yes, we were cooped up today, yet no, it wasn’t such a bad thing! We do hope Hong Kong recovers quickly from Typhoon Hato. Most likely school will be back on tomorrow…

You can pick up my cute Gucci-esque sweatshirt from Forever 21 and here’s a link for my 80s Reeboks.

I’m a complete sucker for anything that says “Créme de la Créme. I basically can’t say no–and for obvious reason! *wink wink*