Fall Dressing: In El Nido, Palawan

We just had the most fabulous trip to El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. Our time was spent island hopping or scuba diving. Again, the beauty of this region is breathtaking. Up above water is a delight, and then down below amongst the coral and sea life there is an amazing other world. It’s so fun that we have this common activity of scuba diving together. Perhaps investing in underwater camera gear might make my Christmas list. With out pictures it’s really hard to describe. The closest I can come is by saying it’s like Avatar underneath in the open water!

Since this trip took place during our Mid Autumn Festival break, I did pack with fall dressing on my mind. I figured my black embroidered, see through tunic would make for the perfect cover up. (It was last featured here paired over jeans on a trip through KL.) I have my black scuba swimsuit on underneath that’s basically like a sleeveless tee onesie with an open back. It’s the best swimsuit for diving. I added Puka shell anklets the moment I arrived to the Philippines. (Did you know there is an actual beach called Puka beach over on Boracay?) I painted both my nails and toe nails in a gold metallic color to mimic the sand and wore sandy colored sunnies the entire trip. Finally, I just went with three silver, same sized hoops for the entire time, so I didn’t have to worry about accessorizing and my silver Karma necklace.

I do have to give some honest feedback on El Nido, Palawan: the scenery, nature, and underwater experience is beyond magical. It is breathtaking location. However, the accommodations at present don’t match the place. Of course there are plenty of 5 star options that will break the bank big time when traveling as a family of four. Hence, pretty budget places are the only options. The Krembs, with KevStar Travels as are organizer, have become pretty spoiled. It wasn’t difficult but staying in a place that wasn’t our usual standard plush experience was humbling I guess I’d say. Vincent saw a live rat skitter across at one point, and Gigi and I had to tell the staff twice to remove the dead rat from the front office area. The staff at our place pretty much just hung around the front office on their phones all day sucking up the already very poor wifi connection. For this reason, it’s the first time I cannot recommend where we stayed during this vacation. I’ll refrain from naming the hotel, but I will let the manager know regardless. I figure everyone wants to improve somehow, right? We cannot improve without feedback, and feedback can always be given constructively. I’ll do my best to convey the good (cute, cheery, clean rooms) and the bad (as mentioned above). In the meantime, I hope the town of El Nido catches up to its jack pot. They are sitting on a gold mine of beauty, so hopefully eventually there will be options for all travelers–including the mid range one like ourselves.

Finally the weather was perfect. It was never too sunny nor too rainy. Basically there was just tons and tons of weather. Once we were stuck on our boat in the middle of a major lightning and thunder storm, but the day had started out with such sun. Another time we started our dive with sun and finished with major rain. I love experiencing weather like that. Plus it’s way better on the skin. (For my tan I just used this: Nkd Skn Pre Shower Gradual Tan Lotion. It works like a charm!)

Have you been to the Philippines? What’s your favorite spot?

Spirit Lake in Hong Kong

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

When I stopped in to see Bob at Thunder Ridge on Main Street of Spirit Lake this summer, he told me how great it was for his shop to be featured on Kremb de la Kremb last summer. That made me feel so good, and of course I volunteered to highlight this little t-shirt/gift shop from Spirit Lake again. Yet, this time, I wanted to put a new spin on it: I figured I should bring my Spirit Lake tee to Hong Kong and show it off here in the metropolitan town where I live. The two places found could not be more more opposite–and not just geographically speaking! I wore it just the other day when the whole family took a trip to Causeway Bay for some errands mixed in with bowling and finishing with dinner. This time around I paired my fashion forward tee (heehee!) with some sequin shorts–why not darling!? I don’t have any problem wearing sequin for a casual day; in fact I like to think wearing sequin on a casual day elevates my entire day’s experience. I feel this way often–as seen here, here, here, and here! There are two vital things to know about my style: I’m going to be comfortable but I’m also going to feel great! That means pairing things like Spirit Lake t-shirts and Old Skool Vans with short black, sparkly, sequin shorts! Why not Darling!? I have t-shirts that stay out at Spirit Lake and some that stay here in Hong Kong. I’m glad I brought this Thunder Ridge tee back with me. What do you think of Spirit Lake in Hong Kong Bob? Doesn’t it suit HK!!?

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

Spirit-Lake-in-HK

Do you save sequin items for only fancy events?
Or do you wear them casually like me?

The Spirit Lake Legend

There is no doubt that Spirit Lake is a magical place for our family. Every summer, blog posts are created in this beautiful setting. I’ve shared cabin candids, the layout and rooms of the place, parades and park parties. Spirit Lake is a place we anticipate the very second we leave. It’s kind of like Christmas. Once it’s over, you can’t wait for the next year’s. 

I speak of the magic, yet Spirt Lake actually does have a legend: the legend of two Native Americans complete love for one another. It’s a Romeo and Juliet version; the two destined love ones will be separated by an arranged marriage. To be together eternally, they jump off a cliff into the waters never to appear again. Legend has it that there spirits may be seen out on the lake rowing in a canoe when the moon is full. 

One day, I went up to the town’s park and took some time to admire the legend. Spirit Lake Park on Main Street is a beautiful sight. It’s also used quite frequently. We don’t take our kids to run around up there anymore, but when they were young, we often let them run free. Now we use it as a place to picnic. It’s so perfectly kept with it gorgeous flowers and green everywhere. Each time we visit we take moment to appreciate The Indian Maid and her Brave. Love is in the air for sure in this picture perfect park.

Here is The Indian Maid, Hya Pam, which translates to Fearless Running Water. She’s accompanied with her love, The Brave also known as Hasht-Eel-Am-Hoom, or Shining Eagle. You can sense their desperate sadness and powerful love in this portrait of the two lovers. 



This simple outfit may be copied easily. The dress, which is super comfortable, can be dressed up or down. I wore this dress to my in-law’ 50th wedding anniversary party. I felt perfectly dressed up, yet casual at the same time. The dress in only $24.99, and it’s still available at Forever 21. The shoes are also from Forever 21–my go to spot even though I’m in my 40s. I like to call the place Forever 41!! Anyway, these shoes are so comfy plus cute–it’s exciting for me to branch out from my regular tennis shoe wearing. With the shoes costing $19.90 this easy outfit comes in at less than $50! I like that: looking cute for not much. It can be done! Please let me know if you’d ever need help. 

California Dreaming

Kevin and I had such an amazing trip through California this summer! We rented a convertible (white GTE Mustang) and drove north from La up the coast. We stopped in five places: Venice Beach, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. (I’ll make sure to link the places I recommend at the end of this post.) This summer Kevin and celebrated 20 years being married. We can now make that statement in which more than half of our life has been together. Incredible!! And wonderful all at the same time. I do love the life we have created, and I feel very blessed (as cliché as that word is, it’s true) to be with Kevin Krembs.

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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!!

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