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. 

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!

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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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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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.

Thursday is the New Friday

This Thursday is the new Friday. At least for me. My summer has been a paradox of emotions. On the one hand it’s been so fun to reconnect with family and make  new memories. On the other hand, my hip pain has gotten to such a drastic point, that I must take action. This decision isn’t made all on my own: I have an amazing husband who helps and supports me so much, and my two kids are there to give me the love and attention that they as children should be receiving–not their mom! Just recently the pain got to such an excruciating point, that we made an appointment for my hip replacement this September 2nd. Than, as if it was a miraculous night, the office wrote to say there was an opening this Friday, August 5th. Yet that was the day I was traveling back to Hong Kong with the kids. However, my husband’s nickname isn’t KevStar Travels for nothin’! He managed to switch our tickets home for Wednesday. So, yes Thursday is the new Friday–I leave for Hong Kong today on Wednesday, arrive on Thursday evening, and check into the hospital on Friday morning. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I am so excited to get this hip out of me and start to get the old, yet youthful and active, Annie back. Perhaps this post might give some insight into Kremb de la Kremb’s low activity level these days.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some little items that make my 14 hour flight a little more bearable….

Krembs Family (Semi) Cabin Candids

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During the summer when we have such fun reconnecting with our families, I try to make sure and take pics while we’re all together. It wasn’t until the very last moment with the Krembs Family that I realized I hadn’t brought my camera out, and there were 14 out of the 18 of us. (Unfortunately Brian and Jen Krembs were not able to make this weekend–maybe next summer at their place!! Hint hint!) Kevin set up my new lightweight tripod and did the running back and forth with the timer ready to make the portrait–remember when that was the way and not the extended selfie stick? (I still remain that the selfie stick is basically a personal tripod. You can read my rant here!) We had a great time with all the Krembs as seen by the following shots:

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Here are Kevin’s folks: lovely Jane and funny Alex. I love them like my own parents–in fact it was during this weekend that I called Jane “Mom” instead of “Jane.” For both of us it felt very nice. They’ll be back this Sunday–with a new family member, but I’ll save the surprise for another round of Cabin Candids!

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Here’s Corky and his family. Cork and his wife Sally live in Hong Kong, so we feel especially lucky to see them and our cousins Alex, Lauren, and Sofia all year long!

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This is the other Ann Marie Krembs. Oh we have a lot of fun having the same name. These are her two boys Conor and Seamus.

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There’s the Kremb de la Kremb Krembs! Love this photo of us in front of our cabin–maybe it will be seen again as our Christmas card this year!!

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Teenagers–or the strange kiddos that are now becoming men in our family that we just don’t recognize!

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Seamus and Gigi could pass as brother and sister, don’t you think?

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Auntie Annie Squared!

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And of course one last Krembs Family picture. Let’s go wild!!

End of the School Year

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Oh my! The end of the school year! I’ve packed…I’ve finished school…we celebrated Kevin’s birthday and Vincent’s end to his primary education…and now, I’m ready for summer! The end of the school year is always such an incredible whirlwind. It’s good, but when I scramble out of it, I always feel a bit wiped. Kevin too. The kids maybe. But now, we have summer. Awwwww. Deep breath! And big grins. And a flight to catch in a few moments. The itinerary is as such: first stop Seattle. We fly out today on Saturday but we land earlier on Saturday than when we left! I know–crazy!! Time zones….Then, on Sunday, tomorrow kind of, Kevin and I fly to San Diego while he attends a middle school leadership conference and I play tag along/plus one/ wifey! (We haven’t had this sort of get away in over ten years–gasp!) The kids stay with Grammy and Babaji and then all them join us in San Diego on Wednesday. A highlight of our summer is always the little side trip we get to take with Kevin’s folks. They have always been our best travel companions, and we’ve rented a beach house in La Jolla. All of us can’t wait–stay tuned on Instagram. After our trip to San Diego, we fly back to Seattle for just one day there and then we hit Spokane, Washington on Tuesday, June 28th. From then on out, it’s Spirit Lake, Idaho BabAy! Oh, that porch bed is calling me. Before all that though, I’m posting these pics to celebrate the end of this school year.

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Here’s Vinnie’s 8th grade picture found in the Oriental, HKIS 2016 year book. He’s changing before our eyes these days growing into a young man.
The child’s face in him has been left behind.

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Kevin and I struck a prom pose–but why not!

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These two! They’ve got a really neat bond.

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I was happy to capture this candid shot. Vincent turned to his friend while in line to receive his certificate to shake his buddy Henry’s hand. Vincent has made some really good friends in his four years here at HKIS. What’s hard is having to say goodbye to a few of them. Luckily, I just have a feeling he will see them again.

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A special occasion calls for a special dress. Come July 24th, this dress will have been in my closet for 19 years. I wore this dress to our rehearsal dinner the night before we got married in 1997. It’s a keeper! As is Kevie!!

How will you be celebrating your summer? Do you have a reunion? Family trip? I hope you have a great summer and a chance to catch your breath. I know all the Kremb de la Kremb clan will be doing just that!