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*

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!

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 Mini-Me Post to Start 2017

Mini-me 1
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!

Mini-me 2

Mini-me 3

Mini-me 4

Mini-me 5

Mini-me 6

Mini-me 7

Mini-me 8

Mini-me 9

Mini-me 10

Mini-me 11

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

new hip-4
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!

new hip-3

new hip-5

new hip-1

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!

Seal Rock in La Jolla

Seal Rock in La Jolla 6
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!

Seal Rock in La Jolla 10
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!

Seal Rock in La Jolla 9

Seal Rock in La Jolla 3
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!)

Seal Rock in La Jolla 5

Seal Rock in La Jolla 7

Seal Rock in La Jolla 8
These two….Alex has always been called The Wild Zuper and now his son is definitely Wild Zuper Junior!

Seal Rock in La Jolla 1
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!

Seal Rock in La Jolla 2

Krembs Family (Semi) Cabin Candids

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 9

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:

Krembs Family Candids 7

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!

Krembs Family Candids 4
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!

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 8
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.

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 3
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!!

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 6
Teenagers–or the strange kiddos that are now becoming men in our family that we just don’t recognize!

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 1
Seamus and Gigi could pass as brother and sister, don’t you think?

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 2
Auntie Annie Squared!

Krembs Family Cabin Candids 5
And of course one last Krembs Family picture. Let’s go wild!!

Panoramas and Cabin Candids with Rusty and Ted

Rusty and Ted
I can’t say Rusty is our oldest friend–that’s not correct, but he is the friend that Kevin and I have shared for the longest amount of time. We met Rusty exactly five days after getting married when we arrived with him for both of our first posts overseas in El Salvador. That means Rusty has been a friend of ours for 19 years! Now with Ted as his partner and fiancé (Rusty proposed this last November), Ted has also become our good friend. They were with us this past weekend. Even though the weather was bad, with plenty of sleepy rainy mornings, we had a great time playing ladder ball, barbecuing plenty of flat irons, and returning to poker games or campfires at night.

Panorama Ted
These panoramas are a no-brainer, but we’d never done them before. What fun!! Here Ted is contemplating Ted and below Gigi and Ted pointing with some oohin and awing.

Panorama Gigi and Ted

Panorama Ann
I managed to get an #ootd in plus some smooches.

Panorama Kissing

On to the boat for some true cabin candids…

Gigi Wakeboarding
Gigi wakeboarding and her broad, toothy smile after.

Gigi

Vincent Wakeboarding
Vincent is so strong now behind the boat. He’s now at that age when you can feel him pulling the boat back. That equals man. Yikes!

Vincent Krembs

Annie 2
I had to pose with my tied scarf. While these little bandanas are half for fashion they are fully for warmth. I slept with one around my neck last night. They serve as a make shift turtleneck.

Annie 1

Kevin Krembs Lake
I love catching a candid of Kevin driving the boat–there will be some more. And even though we don’t actually see sun set, we receive glorious sunsets all the same.

Sunset
The next round of visitors arrive on Wednesday. I’ll try to catch some candids of Kevin’s family during their visit to the Kremb de la Kremb cabin to post next week. Stay tuned for some more pics from our trip to San Diego later on this week. And as for a little DIY–I do have something up my sleeve there as well.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer ’16. Have you joined the Snapchat craze. I have….it turns my day to day life into a reality show! Hahha! No but really, if you’d like to follow what happens out here at the Kremb de la Kremb Cabin, follow me on Snapchat–I’ll let you guess the username. *wink wink* (Ok, it’s krembdelakremb.)