My Name is Asher Lev: A Book with an Outfit

I started a book club this year amongst the high school teachers I work with. It’s been a successful little club with the typical book club characteristics. One special perk though is I buy the book for all the teachers: sometimes they know what’s coming while other times I surprise them with a title. Recently, we had an author visitor, Julia Golding, and we read her super YA title called Dragonfly. Oh, it was so good–properly adventurous and romantic all at once. I loved it!! The special treat for our book club was meeting with this famous, UK author. By the end of the meeting, a big question was asked of her: what’s her favorite book? Her answer had me thrilled as it’s one of my favorite books as well–My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. It was decided; My Name is Asher Lev would be our summer read.

I first read My Name is Asher Lev during my freshman year of high school. To this day it has left me with such memories. Because it has always been a book I recommend to other readers, I decided to read it once again as an adult. The second time through I still loved it. Now this summer when I read it for a third time, I know I will enjoy it all over again.

Take a moment to check out my turquoise mascara! It is very reminiscent to turquoise lined eyes from my freshmen yearbook picture. Once I went into 9th grade, Mom allowed me to start wearing makeup. Finally! And well, I was heavy with the liner for a while! Hahah. To this day I love a little blue and now turquoise mascara. Love it!

A large component of this book is the spiritual conflict that Asher experiences. He’s a born and raised Hasidic Jew with very strong parental expectations to follow his religion closely. Yet, Asher is also a prodigy with an extreme talent for painting–and the subject matter that he cannot resist happens to be crucifixes. This definitely poses a problem for Asher and his devout parents. I don’t have extreme pressures to be Roman Catholic, but I will always recall the disdain I received from my mother for wearing a Hindu Lord Ganesha. After she visited me us India for over six weeks, I think she was able to relate to my appreciation and love for this Hindu god. Because of all the worldly experiences I’ve had, I can’t help but incorporate many faiths into my spirituality–Ganesha being one of my gods right alongside Jesus.

This book also brings back many sartorial memories: like those red patched jeans from Jill Kramp that I’d give anything to still own to this day. Those Levi’s were perfect and the only evidence I have of them is my senior picture. In attempt to be artsy fartsy, I wore my DIY painter jeans that were made with my adorable niece Maeve last summer.

The other item now found in my wardrobe that was ever present back in the late 80s were my penny loafers. Oh, that right foot penny loafer; may it rest at sea at the bottom of Coeur d’Alene. We were on board my father’s new purchase (spurned on my teenage bout of rebellion the night before–but that’s another story!). He had just bought a very big cruiser boat. We had just finished looking at it, when we all departed. I was the last to come off the boat, and as I was stepping on the the dock, the ladder I was holding on to started falling backward. Yes, I fell in to the frigid April lake waters. My dad grasped me by his army jacket that I wore without fail. As he was pulling me out, I felt my right penny loafer slip off, and I couldn’t retrieve it as best I tried. Now as an adult, I have a new pair of penny loafers that I love because of the first pair I owned. RIP right penny loafer shoe from 1988!

Gosh, I wish I still had my dad’s army jacket it too. It was so RAD–literally it was. It had a few medal pins on it plus the writing of his name and number. This is another item like the red patched jeans that I don’t recall giving away yet to this day wonder why I would do so. The “RAD” tee was an obvious choice for this homage to my late 1980s high school years. It was a word I consistently used then; it’s a word I so frequently (and nerdily so) use to this day. From penny loafers to painted jeans, to being rad and falling in frigid lake water in my dad’s waterlogged army jacket, it’s comforting to know I can pull out special items reminiscent of my high school days. It’s as if nothing has changed, but then everything has. And now, with my third reading of My Name is Asher Lev this summer, I wonder how I will interpret it one more time. One thing is for sure: I know I will enjoy it all over again because it is an amazing book!

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.

What’s Your Emoji?

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Do you have an emoji? That emoji that you always use, that one that perfectly depicts how you feel? That emoji that you use in the text to your sister or the one included in your Instagram comments. That emoji that you connect with because it feels like yours. Well, I do! I have an emoji that I always use: it’s the emoji winking with a tongue sticking out! For me, it’s the trickster yellow face, the joking one. There’s that winking eye laughing, “Hahahhaa!” but also sticking a tongue out like, “I’m so silly!” For some reason I absolutely love this emoji and totally relate to it. In fact, I just recently (and finally) made my bitmoji, and when it came to what I would have my character wear, I chose a t-shirt with the winking eye and tongue sticking out. So, of course, when I saw this adorable, glittery, little crossover bag–in the girls department mind you–at J.Crew, I had to have it even though it wouldn’t arrive for months later since it was on backorder (It’s in stock now if you’re interested, and there are a ton of other cute options. Don’t be afraid of the girls department!). Oh this bag! And this emoji!! I love them both. Enough said.

Now, what’s your emoji? I’m dying to know!! (Insert winking emoji with tongue sticking out!!)

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*This post has been linked up to Not Dressed As Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike.

The Sun is Also a Star: A Book with an Outfit

I’ve made a conscious decision to post at least one book in one of my outfit posts a month. Last month it was The Twentieth Wife. This month it’s The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon. Oh, this author! She is absolutely amazing. First, I was enthralled with Everything Everything–which I hear has now been made into a movie, but we all know the book will remain better. Then, because I adored reading Everything Everything, I couldn’t wait for The Sun is Also a Star to get back into the library. I even put a hold on the title. And, oh, it did not disappoint. Both books are totally different, but the way Yoon writes completely grabs and sucks the reader in. I know I’m reading an amazing book when it becomes both my home and school reading material. I especially know I’m reading a good book when I purposely tag along to be left behind in a park to read while Kevin hikes and Gigi has basketball. That was the case on this Saturday when I finally finished The Sun is Also a Star. Is it enough just to tell you to read Nicola Yoon? Or do you want a synopsis? Ok, fine. Keep reading….

I love a story with multiple narrations which The Sun is Also a Star has. Natasha is a 16 year old illegal immigrant from Jamaica who will be deported within the day. She’s also a realist believing in scientific fact. Daniel is a sentimental Korean American who cries if he ever sees anyone crying. He’s also aware that he aspires to be a poet, but with Korean parents, they already have his plan of life outlined. These two individuals’ paths cross–more than once, and every time they cross, fireworks both implode and explode. Along with their narrations little factual tidbits are included from facts about African hair wigs to side stories of other characters. Basically, I never wanted to put this book down; rather I wanted to keep reading, learn more about the characters, and hope for an impossible happy ending…

PS Nicola Yoon, I sure hope you’ll want to come to Hong Kong when I invite you for next school year!

The Bird is Back!

Bird Sweater

I had to have this birdie sweater for spring. It’s so cute and dainty.

There is this bird that migrates through Hong Kong about this time of year. Oh, I love this bird. It has a call that increases with intensity in both noise and volume. He (or maybe she–I do not know) starts his call, and then it keeps getting louder and fiercer, and it’s as if he is calling out to me. I know–I’m making it sound orgasmic or something, but this bird! I love it. Ironically, I don’t even know what this bird looks like nor do I know it’s name. I just know when this birdie comes back to town, the weather is about to change; Spring is on its way. At least this was the case yesterday with a bright blue sky and a temperate sun warming us up from the rain and gloom of the weekend. Mind you, today, as I’m writing this post, we are back to misty skies, but hey! The bird is back, he’s here, and I do love him so! With March 21st just yesterday and the birdie calling to me morning and night, Spring really is around the corner.

For you, what is your signal that Spring is on its way? Is it a bird, a special flower, a unique smell? What is it?

Update down below on the Bird!

Bird Sweater

Bird Sweater

Bird Sweater

Bird Sweater

Bird Sweater

One of my very kind readers, Jude, sent me a couple of emails this morning with some attempts at capturing the bird I described. While her videos attempts didn’t come close, it was this article that nailed it. Many people are irritated by this bird, but I adore him! He’s called an Asian Koel–or in other words a cuckoo bird. Here’s a sample of his call (mind you it varies in pitch). When I hear him, I feel like he’s calling just to me: Annie, get up, get UP, GET UP! Or, Annie, I love you, I love YOU, I LOVE YOU! Me and this birdie….we gotta thing!!

Rug Lane Markets

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These totally hot Isabel Marant booots. They’re the sexiest shoes I own!

If you’ve been following along on my Insta Stories, you will have now been able to presume that the Kremb de la Kremb Closet has received a serious cleaning! On March 5th, this coming Sunday, Rug Lane will be hosting its 2nd market. While I attended the last one in the fall, I’ll be selling at this one. I’ve purchased my clothing rack, and I’ve seriously cleared out my closet. In this post I’m highlight just 20 of the things that will be up for grabs. Feel free to multiply this number by 10–maybe even more because currently I have four suitcases full of Kremb de la Kremb Style to sell.

I hope to see you at the Rug Lane Markets, Vol. 2 from 12-5, this Sunday at 19 Old Bailey Street in Central. Tickets to attend are being sold for $40HKD on Ticketflap; at the door the entrance fee will be $50. They’ll be drinks and nibbles and tons of people like me selling their wares. Last time I went, I did very well. For those of you in Hong Kong missing the second-hand experience, this is definitely an event for you. I hope to see you there this Sunday!

PS For those of you who cannot attend, please do let me know if there’s anything you’ve seen of mine that you like. I am very generous to my readers!!

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Clockenflap Style Story

clockenflap-4I had such a blast at my very first Clockenflap festival. I was so excited about going that I kind of forgot about how much I would enjoy preparing what I would wear to such an event. Then, once I was actually getting ready to attend, I realized I needed first and foremost to remain warm, but with layers because I was sure to get hot from dancing. I decided for each day I’d wear my army jacket–I scored this Banana Republic piece at one of Get Redressed’s pop-up shops. This second-hand layer had barely been worn–until this weekend. I wore the heck out of it!! And with that here are my style stories and experiences from my very first and very fabulous Clockenflap–a festival I will definitely be attending each and every year from here on out while I live in Hong Kong.

Clockenflap, Opening Night

clockenflap-5We had a beautiful day off after a Thanksgiving dinner with the other HK Krembs when all of a sudden it was time for Kevin and I to head into town for the festival’s opening. I tried not to go through too many clothing options as I am often apt to do. I knew I wanted to wear my pretty embroidered jeans and in the end I just paired an army green shirt to subtly layer underneath the army green jacket. (Yes, green has seriously reentered my life!) It’s said in order to keep warm, keep your head covered; well I brought my cream, cashmere beret that fit into one of the pockets. I didn’t actually need to wear it, but having it reassured me if I were to get cold. For this night I felt I had dressed for the festival perfectly. It’s actually the only time I did….

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Clockenflop in Tons of Rain

clockenflap-3I really don’t know what I was thinking on this day. Seriously. I wanted to be funky but casual cool at the same time. I wanted comfortable shoes, but this option was awful. See, it rained so hard on Saturday. It wasn’t just a splattering of rain here and there; it was a full day of torrential rain. I was freezing! Tights were actually a pretty sound option because my pant legs didn’t get drenched, and the sweatshirt definitely kept me cozy. But my feet were sopping; there were literally squishy puddles coming out of each step! The jacket served as a nice layer, but it was obviously not waterproof. We put in a good amount of time on Saturday, but in the end, we bailed. We just couldn’t put up with anymore rain. (There was so much rain, the only shots I got were on the bus ride home!) I’ll call this look my wet dog look. Ick!

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Clockenflap, Last Day

clockenflap-2Because I had been so cold the day before, I over layered on the last day. I did not need the sweater. It was tied around my waist the entire time. Otherwise, for this day I was set. But, it was on this day, that all the cool people were out. I do not look remotely cool! I look like I’m from the Pacific Northwest–not a bad thing, because it’s true: that’s where I’m from. But, if I was going for a hip vibe here, I have to admit there’s nothing hip about this layered, super cozy, outfit. Next year… well I’ve already started planning!

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clockenflap-1Now Gigi, she’s effortlessly cool in her sweatshirt and sleek joggers. She’s just a hipster without even trying!

Paisley Style Stories

paisley-6A while ago I wrote about my childhood objection to green–since then, I’ve been wearing the color on repeat. (I even picked up two new shades of green eyeliner from H&M’s new makeup line. Have you seen their colors?! Amazing!!) Around the same time that I was growing a distaste for anything forest green, I meanwhile began my strong affection toward all things paisley. My mom was dabbling, and making a serious profession at the time, of interior design. She had books and books of wallpaper. Oh, they were lovely–and large. It was then that I remember turning to pages of this mango type, very intricate print falling in love with it. When I asked my mom what it was, she told my 7th grade self that it was paisley. Awwww….Love at first site. It was two years later when I got my first job in 9th grade (other than babysitting) and saved all my money up for anything paisley printed from Benetton–remember all their gorgeous items? Then the sister line came along called Stefanel. I couldn’t wait for Christmas and the outfits my stylish Santa would bring me. To this day, I really can’t say no to anything paisley–as demonstrated by what I wore this week. Here are four days–some good, some not so good, that I wore for my four day work week. I thought I’d bring back my Style Stories. (In the comments, please let me know if I should keep up this series or not.)

Monday’s Paisley

paisley-5I woke up on Monday, like many Mondays, and just wanted to wear pajamas. Enter, silky, wide legged paisley pants. I felt so comfortable all day, and that comfort led to a very productive Monday–a rarity for me! I’m always very slow moving on Mondays, aren’t you? Also, I was excited to break in my new very inexpensive silver runner find from the weekend. Throw on a jean jacket and I was perfectly cozy on our first cold Hong Kong day.

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Tuesday’s Paisley

paisley-1I felt so rockin’ cool on this day! Wearing torn up jeans under a shift just feels cool. Plus I have a mesh henley that added a really nice layer to keep me warm–yes, it is starting to cool down in Hong Kong! Then, there are these shoes. Love. Love so much. These shoes are everything to me: comfortable with a three inch heel. If you read this blog, you know it’s been a very, very, very long time since I’ve been able to get away with a heel. (Yes, I’m admitting to posing in heels for style posts–they don’t ever actually get worn-worn.)

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Wednesday’s Paisley

paisley-11While I like the paisley bomber, and I adore these slouchy joggers, together they don’t work on my figure–at least in my opinion. These joggers need slouchy on top. I must remember this for our trip to India as I plan on wearing these pants every other day. I have them in black and bought another pair of green–just because I love them that much. But, this outfit, it doesn’t do it for me. Oh, and the could shoulder top, it’s in the give away pile. I need to embrace my round shoulders, and this style does nothing for them.

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Thursday’s Paisley

paisley-10Even a fashion blogger has an off day. This outfit is hideous! I can’t believe I’m even posting it. I need to put this skirt away and keep it for no-tights. Not sure if I know how to pull off blue tights. I remember trying last winter and feeling funny then too. I will have to ask and turn to my good friend Samantha of Fake Fabulous to figure out how to style these blueberry legs!

Paisley Style Stories

It’s been a while since I wrote my style stories from the week. What do you think? Keep it up or don’t bother. Please leave me a comment so I know.

Biking in Coronado, San Diego–Wear Layers!

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San Diego is beautiful! Kevin and I are having such fun. We’ve discovered an easy way to see all the neat neighborhoods. Biking in Coronado and along Pacific Beach’s promenade has been a cinch for me; I would have never been able to walk the amount of all that we’ve seen, but on a bike, I moving around like a dream. And hey, maybe I’m even getting some exercise! Now I know when I get to Spirit Lake. The kids and grandparents arrive this afternoon–I did miss them, but this little get away has been amazing! We need to do it more often.

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In Coronado, start your tour at Holland’s Bicycles. They are so friendly there, rent great bikes, and recommend a really good tour. We followed their map–with slight deviations–and ended up seeing the whole island (it’s technically not an island, but they call it as such).

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In San Diego, the weather is so pleasant, but when traveling it’s always a good idea to wear layers. Underneath my crochet sweater, I also had a tank on plus I carried a denim shirt for when the wind hit. I did go through all three layers–happily.

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Out at the ferry wharf in Coronado there are tons of fisherman. Of course, Chatty Annie, I took the time to ask all about the fishing out there. Mario called it a science!

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Here’s my funny outtake when there were fish jumping all around me!

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Jungle Love with Louella Odié in Borneo, Malaysia

Jungle Love Louella Odié Bag

*Ammendment to this post: When I went to return the bag to Louella Odié, they gave it to me!! Yay! I love it. Their bags are the epitome of luxe in my opinion, so I am thrilled to own this one. It’s like no other bag I have. Thank you Louella Odié!

During our most recent travels during March’s spring break, Louella Odié loaned my a bag–a stunning, totally gorgeous bag! This is the Green Jungle Bag. The beautiful jungle canvas print has lovely tobacco leather casing. There’s a hidden outer pocket within that leather panel, and on the bottom there are golden studs to protect the surface. It’s a nice and roomy tote–perfect for traveling. And it’s so luxe, so it was the best bag for me when we stayed a night or two at a five star hotel! In this post, I’ve styled it three ways: for the hotel lobby, the resort, and the pool. Take a look at this Louella Odié Jungle Bag in the Borneo Jungle of Malaysia!

*Similar to my last travels with Louella Odié, they are still offering the 15% discount code with KREMBDELAKREMB at the checkout.

The Lobby

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I mixed the Green Jungle Bag with some equally jungle-y trousers. Why not? Patterns on patterns are completely acceptable. I even through in some leopard print shoes into the mix. And off the shoulder during a vacation is the perfect style!

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The Resort

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When I saw this romper at Forever 21, I knew it would be the perfect outfit for our jungle trip. It comes off a bit Top Gun pilot–which I like. Plus, this dark army green pulls out that dark shade in the leaves of the Louella Odié Green Jungle Bag. This romper is surprisingly comfortable and the hassle for undoing a few buttons to use the restroom is worth it if I feel really good in an outfit!

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The Pool

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Here’s another off the shoulder number in white and yet another romper. With an elastic top this one is super easy to take off and on–which is a necessity poolside as a coverup. Plus, this romper has an elegant look to it even though it’s quite casual making this romper a great travel piece especially paired with the Jungle Bag.

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Matching the Bag

This bag is stunning! At least in my opinion. How would you style it? Do you ever match your outfits to the bag? Or do you always match the bag to the outfit? I’m just curious. I can go either way. Sometimes the bag is the best feature–kind of like this Green Jungle Bag.

*Remember: any Louella Odié bag is 15% with the code KREMBDELAKREMB.

*This post has been linked up to #iwillwearwhatilike twice and the Project Sister Act.