Black Friday Kinda Bugs Me

I normally don’t rant over here on Kremb de la Kremb. And I am most definitely opinionated about this topic, but I have to say it: Black Friday kinda bugs me. Cyber Monday too–both which are turning into weekends and weeks. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good sale. Most of my clothing is discounted, secondhand, or already cheap. But the hype around Black Friday just irks me. First, I’ve never really understood the day not living in the States for the last twenty years, yet I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. On my Instagram feed it’s evident that Black Friday is a global event: just to name a few, bloggers from Hong Kong, Spain, and the UK are pushing their Black Friday choices. I did it once–I chose a bunch of stuff for people to shop from in hopes that I’d benefit from the affiliate links, but it failed. I don’t know what bugs me more… is it the constant push from every which way I look, OR the fact that my influence doesn’t count for much? Is it because the day–that isn’t even a holiday–over powers the American holiday of Thanksgiving? I’m a consumer; there’s no doubt about that! But the rampant push to buy, buy, buy is so excessive. What about the actual act of giving? And before we go to give, shouldn’t we (Americans anyway) take a moment to be thankful for all our gifts? Rather than preparing for all that we can buy the very next day. Ya, Black Friday, it just kinda bugs me!

Hmmm, let’s take a moment to monetize this Black Friday outfit….the cold shoulder top was ordered for about $12 bucks from ASOS where they offer free international shipping all year long! The black pants are my FAVORITE! (And I will push them by providing a link.) I bought them in two sizes–in hopes of losing some weight and fitting into the smaller size eventually. These trousers are a part of the Who What Wear line (which is such a great line!) from Target–again free shipping was provided when purchased this summer. These pants are the most expensive item I’m wearing at $29.99. The shoes were bought on crazy sale for maybe $8 from my neighborhood HM that I can see from my living room window. Finally, the pièce de résistance is my new floral black jean jacket that I most recently picked up at the Rug Lane Markets: the brand new tags from Monki were still in tact, but I paid $100 HKD for it (that’s $12.82 in US dollars). I guess I wanted to take the time to total up the sum of my outfit–$63 US dollars–to prove that sales and deals happen all year long. I don’t need a day or week like Black Friday to be an economical shopper. I only buy good deals.

What do you think about Black Friday?
Do you shop during this sale? Or are you like me and a bargain shopper all year long? Or maybe you like Black Friday because otherwise you pay full price. Tell me your thoughts in the comments….

#BOPO in a Bodycon

This post today might get a little rambly, but I’m ok with that. I hope you will be too….

Today I’m talking about #bopo in a bodycon. #BOPO? What’s that? I wondered the same thing until I figured it out and now I love the hashtag: #bopo stands for body positive. Now this is definitely a hashtag I can support. I have plenty of things I don’t like about my body, but instead I’d rather be #bodypositive and embrace all the bits that make me me. I will admit to feeling body conscious at times; therefore I do all I can to be body positive instead. To that end, being #bopo in a bodycon never crossed my mind. This would be a style of dress I would typically avoid!

But every now and then, I like to give myself imaginary style challenges. Or rather, I open up my holiday box of clothing for the holiday season and find that the forest green dress I purchased the season before at the end of season sales is a bodycon. I thought this green dress was going to be more on the shift side of dresses–not the bodycon variety! Eeek! Sometimes using the dressing room is a good idea… Well, regardless, my challenge was set out for me: how could I style this dress? I gave myself a style challeng: let’s say I was told I had to wear a bodycon dress for Thanksgiving. My first reaction would be, “NO WAY!” Why would one ever choose to wear a body con during a feast? I certainly wouldn’t. But on the other hand, I’m aware that I did buy this dress for the holiday season. Let’s see what I could do with it….while keeping in mind my full intention of being #bopo in a bodycon.

The first thing to do in order to feel good in this form fitting dress would be to highlight some curves while disguising others. I pulled out my sparkly tee for this. This top is doing a few things for me: it’s boxy and hits right at my hips, so it covers my upper curves while highlighting my hippy ones. Since it’s short sleeved, it follows that turtleneck sleeve trend too showing a bit of the green sleeve. I chose my mid calf cowboy boots (that deserve their own paragraph momentarily), and also chose my new Zara holiday clutch that I had to gift myself. Sometimes Santa’s Elf (me!) helps out before the season starts!!

Let’s talk about these ancient but oh so lovely cowboy boots. First the color, cognac, is beautiful. The style is half cowboy, half classy with such an extreme point. The heel is a perfect height in the Goldilocks way–not to small, not too large but just right–especially for my Pinky hip. These shoes were bought because of one of my Fashion Fixations. (There have been so many and they are always very important so capital letters have been used to form a proper noun.) We were living in Venezuela, and often on the weekends we would head to Margarita Island to do one of two things: I would shop and Kevin would wind surf. Margarita Island was duty free, so the prices were great! I walked into Bershka, and low and behold there was the chicest lil’ boho gal I’d seen in a while. She was Shakira’s doppelgänger with this paisley funky dress and these boots. I purchased both, but the boots required some tracking down. Then, I wore her outfit on repeat. The dress I have sadly since gotten rid of but the boots, they’re still with me, and I believe they will be for many more years. My mom actually has a similar pair that I have always coveted–I guess these are my version of her boots. Fashion Fixation fixed times two! I don’t wear these boots often, but when I do, I always feel special. Style Stories…another proper noun that has been attributed to those items in my closet that have become so important simply based on the story behind them.

Now onto Thanksgiving, the one holiday that makes me really, really miss home. It’s the American holiday that I’ve never properly celebrated while living overseas. Yes, I gather with friends, sometimes on the fourth Thursday of the month, sometimes on the Friday. Some Thanksgivings have been celebrated by a purchased roasted turkey; other turkey days have had pizzas on the grill serve as the main course. Sometimes the day is celebrated on a Friday with the main event being the tree going up. Every year we do celebrate family in some way and always Grandma Soogie’s Cinnamon Rolls are made. The one thing that has never happened though is me roasting a turkey. I’ve never done that. But, I’ve always had this burning desire to at least give it a shot one day in my life. Today is that day. I am roasting my first ever turkey. I’m going to stuff it too. I made the pecan pie last night. Kevin has prepared the cinnamon rolls. Vincent will be in charge of the potatoes; Gigi’s making the cranberry sauce. I’ll make the green beans too. And with all this foot, we’re having a proper Thanksgiving feast! Tonight!!

I think I’ll take pictures and report back on how it all goes! I may even wear the tight green dress and feel #bopo in a bodycon!!

Happy Thanksgiving! What makes your celebration special?

What’s with all the t-shirts?

t-shirts

I’ve got a new man in my life: Coach Ian! He’s amazing!! Listen, working with me and all my ailments takes a very patient individual, and Ian is definitely that. He’s also very kind, knowledgable, and motivating–even though I will never like the ropes. (I know you should never use the word “never,” but I’m pretty positive I’ll always detest the battling ropes.) Every time I hit Gym, (I also refer to the gym as Gym, giving the place a name), Ian is always fascinated by my t-shirts. I have a lot of them! Finally, the other day he asked me: “What’s with all the t-shirts?” I had to explain because he’s right. I do indeed have a lot of t-shirts. Let me explain why….

t-shirts

As mentioned on Wednesday, I wear tennis shoes pretty much ever single day. (These booties I picked up at the last Rug Lane Market have become a new exception wearing them about once a week.) Because I wear so many sports shoes, my style has definitely experienced a shift; I incorporate fun t-shirts as often as I can. Basically I collect both: cute tennis shoes and quirky t-shirts. Then I wear the two with my skirts and trousers–I’ve even been known to pair my t-shirts with sequin skirts or sequin joggers! It’s a style that’s evolved, and it works for me. Looking and more importantly feeling fashionable make me happy, and when I’m happy, I am definitely confident. Above all, looking and feeling confident is a woman’s very best accessory. I will forever believe in this. So, I have a lot of t-shirts, and I also have a lot of tennis shoes, but I embrace and style them as if they’re designer goods!

t-shirts

There’s another something style wise that I have been embracing lately. I wonder if you have noticed…. I’ve been wearing just one statement earring these days–always in my left ear. I have diamond studs in the other two earring holes, but I save my left ear for the major earring. With my asymmetrical bob, I enjoy showing off just one earring. Sometimes I even wear the pair in my two earring holes on my left ear as seen in Wednesday’s red racing stripes.

t-shirts

t-shirts

t-shirts

Do you wear a lot of t-shirts?
Here’s to fun, quirky t-shirts. I love ’em!! And here’s to my new Coach Ian!!

*I’ve linked this post with Jess’ Turning Heads Tuesday, Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike, and Samantha’s #fakeittuntilyoumakeit.

Style Stories: Forever 21, Oversize Me!

Oversize me! Sometimes I just want to wear oversize everything. It’s so comfy. It’s definitely on the sloppier side, but oh, it’s so cozy. Like this sweater for example, in a very soft chenile, is way too big–I almost got the medium but then was like no I want large! And these pants, very brand new at the time are way too long (curently they are in the drawer to take to the tailor), but at the time, these long flowy pants were so comfortable. Even it if doesn’t look good, sometimes I just want to oversize everything–even big honkin’ huge hoops!

Wherever I travel, I always love trying out a new to me Forever 21. Some of my best purchases have been in Forever 21s around the world. Imagine my excitement when the mall right near our layover spot had a Forever 21! I went twice: once at the beginning and once at the end. This particular outfit came from the Forever 21 in Clark, Philippines. It was a descent size. It was kind of like the Baby Bear in Goldilocks. It wasn’t too big or too small; it was just right. I spent enough money at this Forever 21 that they divided my bill up, so I now have several of these Forever 21 totes lying around the house now. That’s ok. They make for the perfect lunch or gym bag.

Some of my favorite Forever 21s include those that I would shop at while living in India. India now has several Forever 21s alongside an online site, but while we were living there it did not. Every trip we took away from India I would check to see if the location had a Forever 21. The first one I ran into was during a trip to Malaysia; the Forever 21 in Kuala Lumpur is great! I can remember Kevin taking the toddlers and letting me have some alone time in my favorite store. That seems to still be the case. He knows I can’t refuse a Forever 21. The other Forever 21 that stands out in my mind and is probably my favorite is the one in Bangkok at Central World. This one is HUGE, but, it’s all on one floor which makes it awesome. It’s filled with little rooms that I can tackle one at a time and till I’m through. When I can divide and conquer like that, it makes the fitting room experience all the more manageable. Can you remember those burnt orange leather shorts? I have gone through two pairs they are that good. The final little Forever 21 I do adore is the one back home in Spokane. It’s out at the Valley Mall, and basically to get to my cabin you have to pass it. Sooooo….that leads to many a spontaneous trip just to grab a lil’ somethin’ somethin’!

Do you have a favorite, go-to store?
Do share what it is. Maybe I would like it too….

In Clark Philippines we stayed at one of the cheesiest hotels we’ve stayed at yet. There was a night club on the roof–where these shots were taken–complete with a pool and jacuzzi tub at the bar. In the middle of the pool stood a raised DJ. Here I was photobombed by one of the other tourists there for a fun night.

Style Stories No. 17: 2 Slogans I Can’t Refuse

slogans

There are definitely two slogans I can never say no to: anything book related, I always snatch up. I have more than one tee that says “The Book Was Better!” Today, being at the end of Teen Read Week, I’m wearing a shirt that says, “I’d rather be reading.” On Monday for our professional development day, I wore a tee that said, “Reading is sexy.” (That one is probably my favorite, but I need to remember not to wear that one to my doctors’ appointments!! Haha!)

slogans

slogans

The other slogan I can’t say no to is an obvious one: Créme de la Créme. Granted it is not Kremb de la Kremb, but it’s close, right? I just love it when I see items saying this French statement, and I always purchase them–even this Zoe Karssen sweatshirt that broke my bank. But, I had to have it, and it has now definitely outlived its cost per wear. Would you like a blast from the past? Check out some of the ways I’ve styled this sweatshirt all the way back starting in 2013!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Then, I’ve got my most recent Créme de la Créme tee featured here during one of our typhoons this fall. And then of course there’s the one that I made on Zazzle–now that’s the real Kremb de la Kremb!

slogans

Are there any slogans that you just have to have?

PS Funny enough the last time I featured this skirt, I was rollerblading. Yes, you read that right! ROLLERBLADING!

*This post has been linked to Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike and Samantha’s #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

Style Stories No. 16: Dresses with Sneakers

Dresses with Sneakers

I’ve learned a few lessons since the last time I tried out my style stories. Remember, I broke my back last time?! Hahah, not really, but kinda sorta. Anyway, since that time, I’ve been working hard at Gym (I’ve given the fitness room a name), trying to strengthen my back. The other thing I’ve done is move my flat lays to the bed, so I don’t have to lean over so far. Also, I’m using a ladder instead of climbing up on a chair. I will not be discourage! I will persevere!! Ha.

Recently I witnessed one of my blogger friends, Sam over at Fake and Fabulous, create a capsule wardrobe. I have tried this, but I have found it doesn’t really work that well for me. I want all my options. Instead I do something different: I set out with a theme in mind for the week. Here’s an example of a complete week in which I wore a dress with sneakers every single day. Setting a theme does a couple of things for me: obviously, first it gives me focus when I get dressed each morning. In fact, with a theme in mind, I often have a few days planned out. Second, when I dress with a theme like dresses with sneakers, I’m really able to evaluate whether or not the dress I wear is working for me. If it isn’t, I’ll give it away. If it worked, and I felt good, it can go in the drawer to be put away and cycled through. If it felt really, really good, the dress will go back into the wardrobe for one more wear before it gets stored away. (This makes me realize there’s an entire post waiting to be written about how I handle tight, small storage spaces with a mammoth, oversized collection of clothes….)

Dresses with Sneakers

The accessories I wear are another item that get decided for the week–they are usually the auspicious jewellery I’ll wear for the entire week. I’m very superstitious about my jewellery thinking it’s going to protect, heal, guard, help, give me super powers, you get the idea. It’s sill really, but I’ll save that for another post… For this week I chose my rose gold evil eye (purchased in Shanghai with my sister Mary), my gold Sanskrit good health pendant (a recent purchase on Etsy from Azaggi), and my gold AMK monogram letters (another purchase made with my sister Mary during a different trip to Shanghai–if you look closely there’s an A, M, and K. She got the one with an M and W!) Just for an example I changed up my jewellery again this week: I’ve gone with just a simple silver hamsa hand. Each week my necklaces and rings shift in a very whimsical way but always with the intention to protect or stir special memories. Like I said, I’ll elaborate more later.

Sanskrit Good Health PendantI pay too much attention to trends. I always have. I’m not ashamed of it nor will I ever stop. It’s just a part of me. Hence, when I started seeing round, simple pendants popping up in abundance on my Instagram feed, I felt ready to get my own–but it had to be my own. Remember that week of bedrest after my back broke because of this post? Well, I found my pendant: it’s a Sanskrit circle of perfection meaning “good health.” I’ll be surprised if I ever take it off! Yes, I’m auspicious about the jewellery I wear. I always have been, always will be.

The Evil Eye Necklace–Speaking of auspicious jewellery… I need to dedicate an entire post to the evil eye and my connection with it. Suffice it to say that there is one on my body at all times–either my ears, neck, wrist, fingers, or ankle. I will for sure have one on. Now, this one was purchased in such a great little boutique in a very HUGE Shanghai market. I’ll never be able to find another one just like it. But for you, my dear readers, I have entered the Etsy vortex and found 11 evil eye necklaces that I would be willing to drop bank on just to own just one more evil eye….It’s my good wishes Etsy gift to you!!

| 1 | 2| 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |

*I’m curious….if you looked at all my Etsy evil eye shopping, which one catches your eye! Hehehe! Get it!?

Dresses with Sneakers: Monday

Dresses with Sneakers

Navy Polkadot Dress–I love how sometimes when you walk into H&M everything is either $50HKD ($6USD) or $100HKD ($12USD). In situations like that it’s almost like shopping at a charity shop, but the items are brand spanking new. This $6 dress was a no brainer. I don’t think I even tried it on.

Ruffle Socks–I can’t stop buying cute socks! First, my sneaker collection is enormous. Once I started wearing only sneakers, I’ve wanted plenty of options. Now, I need the cute socks to wear with the cute sneakers. These, plus all the other ruffly ones I one, are total winners!

Dresses with Sneakers: Tuesday

Dresses with Sneakers

Striped Zara Dress (US Link)–I paired this dress in this post to highlight my DIY acid wash jean jacket. I loved how sporty yet chic I felt in the ensemble. Total winner. Basically, those flatlays that broke the blogger’s back–well they broke the bank too! That week off on bed rest I took a little online trip to Zara and bought three very cute dresses. The socks I wore with this short shift are not shown, but I paired the red high tops with white fishnets. It was an outfit that felt pretty darn good.

Dresses with Sneakers: Wednesday

Dresses with Sneakers

Zara Plaid Dress (US Link)–Here’s another Zara dress from my bedrest splurge. I just couldn’t resist the plaid. I mean, I love plaid! Now, it’s a very blousy, bag like dress, so to fix that I tied a jean jacket around my waist all day. To pull out the red, I wore red tassel earrings, and to pull out the navy, I wore my navy gum soled shoes. Again, this outfit felt great! There’s nothing like feeling good in what you’re wearing. This equates to confidence–our very best accessory.

Dresses with Sneakers: Thursday

Dresses with Sneakers

Zara Floral DressThis is the final Zara dress–again, I love it. It’s bright and fun and just feels magical to wear–hence the pairing of my magical sneakers. I mean how perfect: rainbow sneakers to match the rainbow dress.

Magical Rainbow Sneakers(US Link)–I bought these fun sneakers online from Forever 21–where they’re sold out, but don’t you worry! Rocket Dog, the brand that makes them, still has them. If you want a fun sneaker, that will elevate anything you’re wearing (check out the orange bodysuit set), get these sneakers. They seriously ROCK!

Dresses with Sneakers: Friday

Dresses with Sneakers

Velvet Crush DressThis drees was only $12!! I am not kidding. There’s this rather random online shop called Shein. I think they must have Zara’s designs or something; they are always selling Zara items, but once the clothing arrives there is never a label present. It’s like a “Made in China” thing. Maybe? I don’t know. I do know that I often see Zara items over there on Shein–like this velvet crush dress that is still available in all sizes for only $12USD!

So, that was a week of dresses with sneakers!
Up next I’m thinking of planning out a total bohemian week. What do you think? Yay or nay for the Style Stories and my flat lays….?

*This post has been linked up to Catherine’s #iwillwearwhatilike and #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

Bodysuits Over 40 X 3

Bodysuits Over 40

Over the summer, it seemed like every time I entered a Forever 21, I walked out with yet another bodysuit. When I posted these bodysuits on my Instagram account (1, 2, 3, and 4), I was surprised by how many people don’t wear them. Since most of my followers are in their “mature” years–haha! That sounds so funny! But basically I found that not many women wear bodysuits over 40. This made me wonder why not, AND it also made me want to set out to give an example of how I wear bodysuits over 40. Since I live in Hong Kong and we still have shorts in our wardrobe, I’ve paired my bodysuits with that said item; however for each of these stylings, a pair of the pant version of shorts could easily be swapped out.

Bodysuits Over 40–The Off-the-Shoulder Flouncy Version

Bodysuits Over 40

This flouncy, off the shoulder version is very comfortable. I don’t feel immodest in the least. I hate a strapless bra just like the next heavy chested woman, so I simply wear a very supportive bra but just loosen the straps and slide them to the side. This offers support whereas I have yet to find a strapless bra that does the job! This bodysuit is subtle in it’s color, yet upon a closer look it’s got a metallic sheen–so no, probably not so subtle! Yet, paired with some fun printed Bermuda shorts, this fancy bodysuit is instantly made more casual. Also, anything paired with flip flops is definitely on the cas side.

Bodysuits Over 40

Bodysuits Over 40

*This exact silvery bodysuit isn’t available anymore, but I found a dark grey, mauve, or taupe flounce version all at Forever 21 where the price is $11 bucks for the grey one and $28 for the taupe and mauve version. Please note: you can be 41 to shop at Forever 21!! I’ve been shopping there for YEARS….my age has never stopped me.

Bodysuits Over 40–The Cutout Bright Version

Bodysuits Over 40
Whoa! This one is a shocker!! Both in color and in style. Yet, again, there is some modesty in this cutout–it’s just a sneak of skin. And for something so bold, I went with my go-to staple that always makes me comfortable: my cutoffs. So yes, it’s bright, and yes, it shows a bit of skin, but pairing it with something I’m comfortable in plus something wild and fun like rainbow soled sneakers doesn’t make the top so outrageous. At least this is my thinking. Am I wrong? Ya, maybe I’m wrong! But, I can tell you this: when I wore this bodysuit out at my cabin, all my sisters, including sister-in-laws, commented on how much they loved this body suit! The moral of the story–if you’re going to wear something edgy, wear your confidence first and foremost.

Bodysuits Over 40

Bodysuits Over 40

Bodysuits Over 40

*Sadly for you, the bright colored bodysuit at Forever 21 is unavailable, BUT you could get it in a simple yet sexy black color.

Bodysuits Over 40–The Cutout Bright Version

Bodysuits Over 40

Ok, ok, I know this bodysuit is mesh which does indeed make it a tad bit see through, but here’s the thing: I paired it with bucket waist black shorts and a black bra. This did two things: first a bucket waist rides up high on the waist, so I wasn’t actually showing that much skin. A bucket waist is an excellent style of short or pant to wear with a body suit because of how high it comes up. The black bra again blended in so well that it was hardly noticeable that the bodysuit was see through. At least those were my thoughts….

Bodysuits Over 40

Bodysuits Over 40

Bodysuits Over 40

*Unfortunately, this tank version isn’t available at Forever 21 anymore, but it does come in a long sleeve version that is equally as cute!

There you have it. Three bodysuits over 40.
What do you think? Have I convinced you to give it a go?

*What I’m about to say is TMI (too much information), but it has to be addressed. Usually it seems that people don’t like bodysuits because of the snaps down below. But, hey if something’s cute, why the heck not! Anyway, there are two solutions: one, just tuck the body suit in. There is no rule that says that it has to be snapped! Also, many bodysuits these days don’t come with a button snap release anymore. You know how when you’re swimming and you can’t be bothered to pull down your wet suit? So you just slide the crotch of your suit over? Well, at least I do this. I’m skilled enough at this manoeuvre that it works with my bodysuits as well. I told you it was TMI!!

**This post has been linked up to Not Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike and Fake Fabulous’ #fakeituntilyoumakeit.

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!

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.