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*

The Spirit Lake Legend

There is no doubt that Spirit Lake is a magical place for our family. Every summer, blog posts are created in this beautiful setting. I’ve shared cabin candids, the layout and rooms of the place, parades and park parties. Spirit Lake is a place we anticipate the very second we leave. It’s kind of like Christmas. Once it’s over, you can’t wait for the next year’s. 

I speak of the magic, yet Spirt Lake actually does have a legend: the legend of two Native Americans complete love for one another. It’s a Romeo and Juliet version; the two destined love ones will be separated by an arranged marriage. To be together eternally, they jump off a cliff into the waters never to appear again. Legend has it that there spirits may be seen out on the lake rowing in a canoe when the moon is full. 

One day, I went up to the town’s park and took some time to admire the legend. Spirit Lake Park on Main Street is a beautiful sight. It’s also used quite frequently. We don’t take our kids to run around up there anymore, but when they were young, we often let them run free. Now we use it as a place to picnic. It’s so perfectly kept with it gorgeous flowers and green everywhere. Each time we visit we take moment to appreciate The Indian Maid and her Brave. Love is in the air for sure in this picture perfect park.

Here is The Indian Maid, Hya Pam, which translates to Fearless Running Water. She’s accompanied with her love, The Brave also known as Hasht-Eel-Am-Hoom, or Shining Eagle. You can sense their desperate sadness and powerful love in this portrait of the two lovers. 



This simple outfit may be copied easily. The dress, which is super comfortable, can be dressed up or down. I wore this dress to my in-law’ 50th wedding anniversary party. I felt perfectly dressed up, yet casual at the same time. The dress in only $24.99, and it’s still available at Forever 21. The shoes are also from Forever 21–my go to spot even though I’m in my 40s. I like to call the place Forever 41!! Anyway, these shoes are so comfy plus cute–it’s exciting for me to branch out from my regular tennis shoe wearing. With the shoes costing $19.90 this easy outfit comes in at less than $50! I like that: looking cute for not much. It can be done! Please let me know if you’d ever need help. 

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics
Recently I’ve been reintroduced to water aerobics. I used to take weekly classes back when I lived in Saudi Arabia, but that was ages ago. My mother-in-law goes to her water aerobics’ classes religiously each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. No matter what she leave to make her class by 9 am. For my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary, we spent a lovely weekend in beautiful Suncadia, Washington. One of the mornings, Jane and I attended a water aerobics class. From that hour in the pool I became hooked all over again. I ordered myself some water weights and water gloves and have started jumping in the water to workout. I shouldn’t really call it working out–it’s too fun! But, I definitely get sore and can feel the benefits of “lifting” weights in the water. Luckily this habit continue to form since I live near beaches and the school where I work has a pool. Water aerobics is low, low, low impact–something my joints completely appreciate! It’s safe to say thanks to Jane I think I’ll be religiously joining her habit of moving about in the water at least three times a week!

Do you enjoy water aerobics?
I’m included some links and resources down below.

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics Resources

POPSUGAR Fitness–Popsugar has a great set of videos with in and out of water examples. String these together for a great 30 minute workout.

24 Popular Water Workouts–Over on Youtube someone has already compiled these 24 workouts. With a waterproof phone case and a tripod, there’s at least 60 minutes to go from here.

Water Aerobics Diagram–Army Real has a super diagram with easy to read directions. I’m thinking I’ll print this out and then laminate it. This resource will be perfect poolside.

Pinterest Pool Workouts–Have a hey day with all the options found on this Pinterest page….

Get TrainedAquastrength offers online training to become a certified instructor. Hmmmmm, I might look further into this one!

Water Aerobics Equipment



Do you have any tips or tricks for water aerobics?
Do share. I’m just a beginner. But oh, it feels so good to get in the water and move about!

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)!

Rawla Narlia 2

Rawla Narlai 4

Rawla Narlia 3

Rawla Narlai 5

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….