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.)

Charlie’s Angels and Some Cabin Candids

Charlie's Angels 2
I just spent a fabulous weekend with my sisters! And style wise, I think I have finally figured something out: while I will always try to be urban chic like my sister Julie (she’s in the middle) and flowy feminine like my sister Mary (she’s on the right), it’s time I just start accepting that I always go for a little cross between sporty, glam, and boho. Basically, we are Charlie’s Angels! This isn’t to say they’re personal styles will not stop completely influencing me, but I do need to simply embrace what I am and continue to celebrate what they are. Right! Earlier on this day, I had called dress up night out at the lake–basically because I wanted an excuse to pull out my black sequin shorts. In turn to this night’s dressing requirements you can completely see how each of us interpreted what is referred to as “Dress-up Night at the Lake.”

Charlie's Angels 1

Charlie's Angels 4
It’s hard to capture a picture of Julie–she’s a bit camera shy, but I think I still was able to capture her beauty. I don’t know why since she’s strikingly beautiful.

Charlie's Angels 5

Charlie's Angels 3
Mary is hilarious! Here in this shot she’s calling out to all the boys, “Oh, don’t worry about me! I’ll get all the chairs!” As you can see she’s super strong! And in our family of five kids, she’s always been known as “The Pretty One.”

Some Cabin Candids

Cabin Candids 6
A post out at the Kremb de la Kremb Cabin wouldn’t be complete without some summer cabin candids. Unfortunately I did not get everyone from the family in this session, but there’s still time. Here Maeve and Elle are “cheek to cheek.” A photo term Julie and I were used to taking when we were young girls–we still all take the “cheek to cheek.”

Cabin Candids 8
My goddaughter graduated from high school this year. She’s so beautiful! You probably recognize Elle from all the pics from her visit to Hong Kong.

Cabin Candids 9

Cabin Candids 4
I captured two candids of Vincent. Yes, he is definitely a young man now.

Cabin Candids 5

Cabin Candids 1
And to end this post, I got two candids of some of the men in the fam. Here’s we’ve got Mathew, Julie’s husband. He’s always so smiley! And another husby in the mix, my smiley eyed guy referred to fondly as KevStar.

Cabin Candids 3

End of the School Year

End of the School Year 7
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.

348a-ca04-82b8-84c6
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.

End of the School Year 2

End of the School Year 6
Kevin and I struck a prom pose–but why not!

End of the School Year 4
These two! They’ve got a really neat bond.

End of the School Year 5

End of the School Year 1
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.

End of the School Year 8
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!

March Instagram @KrembdelaKremb: Vol. 15

Instagram @KrembdelaKremb

For some reason, I usually kind of dread March; I find it to be such a long month. After all the hoopla of February, March definitely drags on as that transitional month from winter to spring for me. However, March of 2016 was different! For one, Easter fell in March this year, so Spring Break came early! Going on vacation during a long month makes the time fly for sure! Also the weather continued to be dreary in Hong Kong, but since I don’t mind rain, it was fine by me. It’s just the cold temps that can bring me down. Again, nothing that a vacation in Malaysia can’t fix! I know–I am one lucky gal!!

Follow @KrembdelaKremb on Instagram!
  1. For some reason, this post was super well liked–which was good because it was my call to invite people to work with me to help them with their style. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, but would like help with your personal style, here’s my address to give me a ring: annkrembs at krembdelakremb dot com.
  2. That sewing machine that Kevin got me for my birthday in Feb….well I used it! I made my first skirt. Whew! Difficult. I have my work cut out for me–literally!!
  3. During a week in March, I posted four times about Louella Odié (one, two, three, and four). I love working with this local, mom-daughter team. They’re handbags are so chic and their printed scarves are pretty cute too! At work, I received a nice treat to conduct my work: an iPad Pro. It’s seriously a dream to work on!
  4. Another DIY project I made this month was a pair of splattered booties. This is the perfect way to bring some life to a ratty old pair of shoes.
  5. Family pics seem to becoming more rare these days with both a tween and teen in the house. It makes sense; they have their own digital identities that they’d like to create. Easter Sunday was my free pass, and you betcha! I took it!!
  6. Oooh, this was a good one! I rarely, I mean really never, read a book of 700 pages. This one though, ooh! It was so good, and I was intrigued the whole way. Here’s what I’ll say about it: The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is like an adult version of Harry Potter and Twilight intermixed. I might even read the next one, Shadow of Night. And when the TV series comes along, I will for sure be watching!
  7. Here’s a jungle pic from Mulu National Park in Borneo, Malaysia*. Look closely–the big palm leaves are made of little, small leaves. #mothernatureisbeautiful
  8. While traveling throughout Borneo, we had to take 8 total flights* around the island. It felt kinda crazy, but it’s what had to be done. For one of the legs, we had to stop in a larger town (Miri) to go through immigration because the final destination (Mulu) didn’t have anything other than a landing strip at its airport. (The pic is from that landing strip!)
  9. A really good adventure trip ends with a little beach time*! Awwww, thank you Shangri La at Rasa Ria!

*I highly recommend the trip we just took through Borneo, Malaysia. It included time in a rainforest, jungle, and beach. For information on this trip’s itinerary, please ask, and I’ll pass on what KevStar had planned for us. It was an amazing trip!

February’s Instagram @KrembdelaKremb: Vol. 14

February Insta Collage

February is always a favorite month for me: we celebrated Chinese New Year with a vacation to Thailand, lots of love on the 14th, and my 44th (!) birthday on February 21st. These recap Insta posts are becoming more of a keepsake for me if truth be told. I enjoy looking back on the month, seeing what the highlights were. One other thing to celebrate in Feb on my Instagram is I finally, after trying for some time, made it to 2000 followers!

1. Right when I get to Thailand, I always take my obligatory #tuktukselfie. These selfie pics always tend to get the most likes! Crazy colors and crazy hair prompt a double click!!

2. Chinese New Year is definitely a fun time of year in Hong Kong. For our entire school’s library staff, we hosted a party at a local Chinese restaurant. We brought our own decorations and set the table just as we’d like. We included laisee packets for everyone and played a fun round of White Elephants with the presents displayed on the table. (I won a new MAC lippy! Girl About the Town is a fabulous cross of red and pink.)

3. Vacation always offers the best time to sink into a good book. The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee was especially good since it was based on two things I’ve very acquainted with: being an expat and Hong Kong. Another super cool thing about reading this book was when I tagged the author, she wrote me back! How cool is that?

4. “I love KK!” It is true!! I love this t-shirt that Kevin brought back for me from a trip to Kota Kinabalu. I wore it recently for a fun date night with my KevStar.

5. A style story of serendipity explains my new-to-me and doubly loved moto jacket.

6. My hardly fake but totally fabulous Scottish friend gave me these socks for my birthday. Samantha, from Fake Fabulous, is my very, very sweet style sister. She’s also a feb b-day girl too AND not to mention a total inspiration for me.

7. Another great book I read during February was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Wow! What a rollercoaster of a book and such an unusual yet special romance. Tragedies get to me, and this one was oh, so good!

8. I’m sure you’ve seen this blanket scarf before–I know I have plenty! Because this scarf seems like it’s become a bit redundant, but I still love, I tried wearing it sarong-like. I think it totally worked!

9. I finally got back to a little DIY and embellished my bleached out denim jacket. This was an easy project: grab an item that needs a little life, create cut-out patches, pin and sew them on. Now I have a revamped jacket that I’ve already worn more in the last month than in the last two years!