Summer Break

On Saturday, I’ll be sleeping here!

Yesterday was the last day of school for the 2016-2017 school year. Summer has started for the kids, and mine begins on Friday when we fly to Spokane, Washington. And, this time around, I really am going to take a summer break! Where I go, to Spirit Lake, Idaho, there is no solid, strong Internet connection. Last year, I ended up spending too much money just to get connected (sometimes $10 a day!). I’m not going to bother with staying connected; rather I’m going to unplug and take a proper summer break. It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion–I mean I am normally so connected online, so I am aware this is going to be difficult for me. But, I can do it! The one thing I am most looking forward to is reading. I plan to read a book a week: that means I have the potential to read seven books! Usually, I go to bed looking at my Instagram feed only to wake up and look at the same feed. I used to enjoy reading in bed, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do! The other thing I plan to do is write…. like in a notebook the old fashion way. I wanna see what thoughts and feelings come about from disconnecting. This break feels very liberating; lately the struggle seems to real to try to get likes and follows. I feel proud of my loyal Kremb de la Kremb blog readers, yet on Instagram it constantly feels like a losing battle, so I am hoping I won’t miss it. I do have a few blogging collaborations that I won’t abandon, so you can rely on a post with my Ping Pong Piece ladies on June and July 20th. Also, for the last Monday of each month I will post with The Fab 40s. Finally, my new collaboration, Shopping with Debbie will also happen–especially now that we can shopt together in the States. Other than those posts though, I’ll be taking a summer break. I’ll have my camera with me and my creative DIY mind, so plan on returning to Kremb de la Kremb mid August when I’ll be back to posting regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some blog posts you might enjoy from Kremb de la Kremb’s previous summers:

Twinning with Kevin last summer during a sunset in La Jolla.

I’m hoping during our California trip this summer, Kevin and I have time to ride bikes along the coastline.

Don’t worry: I’m packing some sequins for my trip to California again!

Last summer we had such fun in San Diego with Kevin’s folks.
We always have a great time on the trips we take with them. Always!!

I can hardly wait for time with these two beautiful sisters of mine!

I will definitely be getting my DIY on with this cutie!

I’m looking forward to seeing the other Ann Marie Krembs. That’s right we share the exact same name.
Getting together with her, her boys, and all the Krembs is always such fun.
We will have a special time this summer celebrating Kevin’s folks 50th wedding anniversary!

I’m not sure who all will be visiting this summer, but I would certainly welcome a surprise visit from these two!

I’ll definitely be sporting my Idaho uniform!

I’m seriously hoping my left knee doesn’t have me needing an emergency replacement
in August like I needed with my hip last August….

Hey! Have a great summer, and I’ll be back to regular posting after my summer break!

Shopping Patience

I do believe I have incredible shopping patience. I coveted this beautiful sequin skirt all winter long, but I could never get myself to splurge. It seemed quite expensive. Then, the fact that H&M didn’t have my size kind of helped–although there’s always ways of finding my size if my fashion fixation is strong enough. I just could never get myself to pay the full price, and at H&M I usually don’t because I know at the end of the season, their sales will be major! Case in point this beautiful sequin skirt. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor twice a week for almost two months now. His office just happens to be across the street from Hong Kong’s flagship H&M. I cannot NOT go in–especially when the red “SALE” flags are hoisted everywhere. I went straight to the skirts, and whadya know. There were three more sequin skirts, and a size 10 was waiting for me! I was thrilled, and obviously very impressed by my shopping patience. I paid 1/3 of the first asking price. Now it was definitely within my budget. I love it when my fashion fixations come true due to my shopping patience!

Do you splurge or do you wait for the sales?

Earrings and Skirt (It’s still available online!), H&M | Tee, Cotton On |
Waist Bag, Forever 21 | Velvet Sneakers, Steve Madden

Shopping with Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust

I’m a part of two really great collaborations each month: on the 20th I always post a Ping Pong Piece with Anna and Sam plus a guest blogger on a piece that is probably found in everyone’s closet. On the last Monday of every month, I also always post with The Fab 40s, six other 40 plus fashion bloggers and one guest. One of us chooses a theme, and we dress around with that in mind. For example I chose our last month’s post where we all wore our favorite colors, and I invited Catherine from Not Dressed As Lamb to join us.

I love both of these collaborations, yet I had been searching for one more. I’m a total shopper; I love to shop–both on the street, in the malls, amongst the markets and of course also online. In past cities where I’ve lived, I’ve always had a girlfriend to go shopping with. Here in Hong Kong, I have yet to find that gf. Meanwhile, I’ve been making many great friendships online with other like minded people–in fact that’s how the above two collaborations came about. I have met none of these women in real life, yet I feel close to them through our mutual interest. We all support one another. In terms of finding a shopping buddy, I knew it had to be with someone with whom I had a similar style: enter Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust. Debbie is a school teacher like me, but also, she has a deep love of style, clothing, and fashion. There are so many times when I see one of her outfits, and I think to myself: I would totally wear that. Debbie, like me is a shopper. When I mentioned this idea of online shopping together with her, she immediately said yes!

So in this post, here I am shopping with Debbie. We actually used the direct messaging service through Instagram. I’d screen shot some items; then she’d screen shot some items. In the end, we finally decided upon this Shein striped shirt. I’ve been working with Shein, and the graciously sent me this shirt for free. Meanwhile, Debbie’s never came–Shein warehouse issues…. (I think these warehouse issues have affected many of us!) So, I sent her this shirt, and it’s now hers–no sense in sending it back to Hong Kong! This collaboration has been in the works for quite some time, but I loved shopping with Debbie! I hope we do it again–what do you say Deb!?

Debbie from Fashion Fairy Dust

I wonder if Debbie intentionally styled this striped shirt under this plaid slip dress. I’ve already commented on this dress before telling her how much I loved it. I think it was with this dress where I told her I felt like we were style sisters. We’ve both got a bit of boho mixed in with funk. She’s also very sporty–see the sneakers! (I need to replace my Adidas sneaks actually–maybe these are the ones….) I love that she paired this top with red plaid. I also like that she took care of the unflattering flare of the top by simply covering it up. Debbie, I could totally see myself wearing this exact outfit! Do you want to go shopping with me again? I sure hope so!

I met Debbie via Instagram. Follow her here: @fashionfairydust
and read her blog here: Fashion Fairy Dust.

Me, Kremb de la Kremb


I went simple with black and white. These pictures were taken some time ago. I had just scored the pleather A-line skirt at one of HM’s crazy sales. I swear: do not shop at HM unless the item is on sale. So many scores!! I tried emulating the stripe with a little stripe sock and also matched the sheen of the skirt with my shiny black sneakers. With all this black and white, I felt I needed a little color so I opted for my Zara Girls fuschia snake crossover bag. This bag compliments the pink lippy too. My final touch was some stripey type black and white (with a little blue) statement earrings. I’m loving all the cool earrings out there right now. I can’t seem to hold back!

Will You Try a Bodysuit?

bodysuit
There are a few things coming back from the 80s, and I plan to give them a try. I don’t adhere to avoiding clothing items the second time around. Instead, I’m all for it! Heck, I still have some items from the 80 and 90s, so it’s all a win in my opinion! Bodysuits are one of the items that are having a comeback. I still have my two Madonna for H&M ballerina bodysuits from years ago. As of yet, I’ve currently collected 3 more–this embroidered, mesh black one being the second to make the blog. (The first one was this 3/4 sleeve one paired with my silver joggers.) If you plan to tuck something in, then by all means finding that desired item in a bodysuit is the way to go; they stay forever tucked–obviously. For someone busty like myself I have to admit that I like how they flatten my otherwise full figured top half. I’m not sure how it happens, but I sure don’t mind appearing less busty than I already am! The other bodysuit that will be featured next is the one shoulder version I just picked up at Forever 21. (Yes, the one in this post is also from Forever 21–which is already sold out, but this cream one is way prettier anyway!) These pics were taken during out spring break trip where I paired this bodysuit with one of my favorite pair of cutoffs: my Harley Davidsons.

Will you try a bodysuit this summer?

I’ve chosen a bunch that I love at the end of this post. And this one is on its way–the one shoulder sleeve bodysuit. I love it. I first saw it on @JessBobess and have been wanting to copy this exact look ever since! Such a simple outfit but oh so very cool!

bodysuit

bodysuit

bodysuit

bodysuit

I’ve gone BODYSUIT shopping for you!

Now, since this is a trend, in my opinion it’s best to start at a lower price point. If by chance you fall in love with wearing a bodysuit and want higher quality, then go searching at Revolve, Shopbop, or Nordies. Until then, I chose some perfectly cute ones from Forever 21. In fact three of the bodysuits below are in my shopping basket!

Which bodysuit are you going to try?

Only Black Swimsuits For Me From Now On

Ok, it’s June 1st which means summer along with swimsuit season is here. I’ve decided from now on, it’s only black swimsuits for me. I’m 45 years old, and I’ve definitely got a mom bod–which is all good–but it does mean I have the appropriate amount of cellulite and sag. (I will admit right now to using the smoothing tool in a couple of these pictures. I’m ok with using this tool. If you’re not, that’s ok too. Back to only black swimsuits….) For me, now, with the body I’ve got, wearing only black swimsuits just seems appropriate. Granted I love color, but I just feel safer in a black suit. Every time I travel, I tend to pack only black swimsuits, and I’ve got plenty of options since recently that’s the only type of suit I buy. But, to be fair, there are so many cool black suits out there. I don’t feel like I can go wrong with this choice. During our spring break trip, I asked Kevin to take pictures of me in each of the black suits I brought. I feel daring to share them with you, but it’s a good challenge for me to undertake. I’m not a famous blogger with an amazing body; in fact, I think I might be just like you. A midlife woman who shows age but feels comfortable in my own skin. I want to feel and look good in my swimsuit just like the next gal. My way of doing this is to wear only black swimsuits–they’re slimming (kind of), they’re better at showing off a tan, and they don’t stand out too much. Done. Comfortable and confident while baring all!

The Cap Sleeve Black Swimsuit


When I found this suit, I felt like I had to have it–even though it’s way more money than I usually spend on a swimsuit. It just seemed like the perfect scuba diving swimsuit. There would be no worries about straps falling down under the wetsuit. And I was right. This suit is very comfortable. I love that it serves as a bodysuit too if I’d like. It looks like a tee from the front–but surprise. There’s a whole in the back! I plan to wear this swimsuit and a pair of cutoffs to our end of year school party tomorrow. I feel like I’ll be very comfortable–especially amongst my colleagues while in a swimsuit!

The Rash Guard Black Swimsuit

I love wearing a rash guard, and this one is perfect since it allows me to tan my stomach at the same time as protecting my chest. I got it at Forever 21 a couple of years ago. This is a mismatched suit, but the bottoms are also from Forever 21 from even longer ago. With mesh being so on trend right now, I especially like wearing this suit. I have to be careful though: once I got a little polka dot type tan because I didn’t wear enough spf on my shoulders. Yes, it was funny looking! While the short sleeve, cropped version of this rash guard is long gone, Forever 21 does have a long mesh sleeve, long shirt rash guard available for only $17.90. And yes, I’ll probably be getting it!

The Supportive Black Swimsuit

Yep. That’s my scar. It’s quite big. Luckily I can never really see it
otherwise I think I’d be quite self conscious about it! Out of sight, out of mind right?

When shopping for swimsuits on ASOS, there’s an option to click on “fuller bust.” That’s how I found this swimsuit, and it fits so well plus it’s only $25. I couldn’t believe it. It’s so nice not to be popping out of a suit! I don’t usually have success with one pieces, but because I was able to plug in my exact bra size, this black swimsuit fits. I especially love how from the back it looks like it could be a two piece, but from the front, it’s definitely a one piece. I definitely recommend this suit to fuller busted women.

The Retro Black Swimsuit

There’s a very famous Australian DIY blogger based here in Hong Kong that I adore. Her name is Geneva, and she writes A Pair and a Spare. (I often attempt her DIY projects–stay tuned for a pair of deconstructed jeans coming soon!) Recently, she made a top similar to this suit here. Because she is also busty, I wanted to give it a shot. So when I found this suit over on Shein for only $12 it was worth giving this style a try. Wow! I couldn’t believe it. This suit is as supportive as wearing a sports bra, but it’s way more vavoomba! Paired with the high waisted bottom, it almost seems like a one piece. I love wearing this suit. It’s conservative, but then again, not!

*Even though I have plenty of black swimsuits, I have a few more coming for this summer season. I’m eager to try the one shoulder style, so I have this one piece with a stomach cut out coming from Shein (again, only $12!) and this strappy version from Zaful plus a one shoulder bikini top from Forever 21.

Do you have a swimsuit style, color, or even approach to swimsuit season?
Do share! We can always use tips and tricks to feel our most confident selves while donning our swimsuits in the summer.

And the Fam–Reading!

In an attempt to lessen my vulnerability here in this post, I’ve included my lovely family also in swimsuits reading on the beach during our wonderful spring break. Oh! We had such fun–as proven here by this underwater post!

We are Open Water Certified


The family are making the blog today because this past spring break we did something really incredible: the four of us became open water certified scuba divers. Wow! The sea is so incredibly–literally and figuratively–breathtaking so thank goodness for that tank on our backs. Scuba diving used to be something Kevin and I had both said the “n” word to (never). Basically we remembered our ninny days of snorkeling in Saudi Arabia, and the thought of going under water for up to 50 minutes at a time was terrifying. But then, Interim came along. (That’s the high school trip that Vincent went on this year during March.) One of the options he mentioned interest in was a scuba trip, and we said, “No way!” Kevin and I thought to ourselves: if he’s going scuba diving, we’re also going scuba diving. Well, we kept to our word! For spring break we went back to Bohol, Philippines, (we went out first year in Hong Kong in 21013 for spring break), but this time we got open water certified with Alex at Tropical Divers. This is an understament: it was amazing!!

[Read more…]

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.

Kremb de la Kremb Designs


Wouldn’t it be amazing to be an actual designer? I can remember when I read my first Vogue magazine… I was probably about 14 years old, and I would draw pictures from what I saw. Aside from daydreams of becoming a designer, I also had thoughts of working for the actual magazine. These thoughts were only in my head; they never escaped my lips. I was a small town girl, the oldest of five kids. There were expectations of me to go to college, but for what I was never really sure. A job in the fashion industry remained as a silent dream, and luckily I found another passion in literature. I wouldn’t have known how to articulate those fashion whims even if I had tried. I don’t have any regrets–my path of life has been extremely wonderful, and it has been with my literature degree that I was then able to become a teacher. With Kevin by my side we’ve accomplished one of our joint dreams which is living abroad. And now at 45 years old, I feel so fortunate to be embracing some of those old, younger self dreams that I only thought of with wonder.

This past Saturday Kremb de la Kremb designed (again) for the high school fashion show. (The first time was two years ago with five formal dresses.) This time around I made ten embellished bandana kerchiefs. I have enough jewellery to fill a treasure chest, so I simply adorned the scarves with costume jewellery that wasn’t being worn. My tailor Yee helped to hand sew them on. Now, tomorrow night, I’ll attempt to sell them with a spring shopping party at my home with three other ladies. Sue will be showcasing her jewellery line, Maria will be sharing her dresses (or frocks!), and Lauren will bring along the Louella Odié handbags she and her mother create. I’ll share my bandanas and I’ll also introduce Younique makeup to the guests. If you are one of my Hong Kong readers, and you would like to join us tomorrow night, please feel free to come on over. Here’s the evite; we’d love to shop with us at this Spring Shopping Party!

*By the way, I designed this jean jacket. I’d love to make more. All you have to do is ask, and I’ll tailor make one just for you.

Oversized Denim and Summer


Once one vacation is over, I instantly start thinking of the next….And the next vacation is summer–which this outfit reminds me of. Basically, oversized denim is my summer uniform. We’ll reach our cabin by June this summer, so I’ll be layering in oversized denim and lots of cozy sweatshirts. Then later on in the summer, Kevin and I will drop Vincent off at a baseball camp in California which then allows us to have a little private getaway! With Gigi staying with her cousins, Kevin and I will cruise up the coast from LA to San Jose–in a convertible! I can’t wait!! This is our little adventure to celebrate 20 years married this July 25th. Other family fun includes a Krembs’ reunion in the middle of Washington State to celebrate my in-laws 50th reunion. Isn’t that cool?! They’ve been married for 5-0 years!! Oh, I forgot to mention what will kick off our summer: the Lawn Mower Races on Spirit Lake Main Street! Yes, I’ll be wearing this outfit for sure because it will be time for me to fit into that rugged Idaho look.

Athleisure: Silver Joggers and a Unitard


Now that the knee topic at hand is off my chest, let’s take a look at my last athleisure outfit–and yes, it involves a bit of my chest!! I picked up this new, tags still on it, unitard at the Rug Lane Swap that I participated in last month. After 4 weeks of the bone broth diet, I tried the unitard on and found I rather liked it! This outfit, with the sexy low cut of the unitard paired with my sleek silver joggers made for a great Friday night date night with Kevin. And yes, of course I wore tennis shoes. I told you; it’s my thing! Now, what I do want to stress is that I now fit back into this bra. It’s miraculous because usually my cleavage merges in to form a mushy line, but with this bra, it perfectly separates me. I like! Because this is so rare for me to find in a bra!! And, this summer, I plan to stock up on more of this wonderous bra (now avaiable at Walmart or Amazon). And while we’re speaking of bras, I’d like to share me secret: I order ten from Bare Necessities with free shipping, try them all on in the comfort of my bathroom, and then take advantage of the free return shipping. Five out of the ten were winners! And the comfort of trying them on at home is worth that trip to the post office. I swear!

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