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!

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!

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bodysuit

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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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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.

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife
I knew for my two week trip through Rajasthan that the perfect book to read would be The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. I had already read this book while living in India–and the sequel too, The Feast of Roses. Both are so beautiful depicting the life of Mehrunnisa and the love story–no triumph might be a better word–she experienced with the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. All the descriptions of life in the harem, behind those intricate laced walls, depict women as quite powerful, especially Mehrunnisa. She set her sights on her conquest and didn’t stop until him and her goal were captured. Mehrunnisa was the the last empress of the Mughal Empire, and she was Jahangir’s last and twentieth wife. For an exciting, political, cultural, and romantic story that transports the reader to a sultry and mysterious place and enchanting time in Indian history both of Sundarresan’s books, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses, are definitely worth reading. I love them both and feel like a MaharAnnie myself while reading them–especially while traveling through magical Rajasthan where all the history happened.

How do you choose books for when you travel? Can you recommend a book to me?

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

*This post has been linked up to #iwillwearwhatilike.

Reminiscing 


I feel like reminiscing….Was it really two months ago when I was trapesing around Rajasthan, India. I want to take a moment to relive that trip. It’s funny: I’m at an educational conference this weekend  where the world becomes quite small and one’s experiences get shared. I am always so proud to say that I lived in Mumbai–or rather Bombay as I prefer to call it. Those five years from from 2004-2009 have made such an impact in my life: so much so that I feel part Indian inside. Without getting too religious, I had an interesting conversation with my daughter recently. She was telling me that I had to give God (the Catholic one) all my devotion. She claimed it wasn’t possible to go halvies with Ganesha and Jesus. I simply listened; I didn’t attempt to argue with a 13 year old. But, I definitely don’t agree. Does that make me pagan? We’re saving this question for my mom–the lady who was a nun for five years and can get quite philosophical just like her granddaughter. The point is, how could I not have many gods after witnessing 20 years of different cultures and religions? This summer will mark 20 years married, 20 years overseas. After six countries and so much travel all over the world, I’ve got all sorts of ways of praying and many deities that receive those prayers. I think this is ok. Hopefully, one day, my daughter may think the same. One thing for sure that is a commonality that I find amongst all the religions I know of is Confucius’ Golden Rule: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.” With this rambling reminiscing I’ll end by wishing you a great day and an even better weekend!

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Blushing MaharAnnie

Blushing MaharAnnie 8One of the best outfits is pairing winter with spring. That’s what the weather was like in India, and soon around the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll all be pulling out our cutoffs to pair with our blushing sweaters. I promised this week on the blog would be filled with this blushing pink color, and I’ve held to it. First I paired leather and lace in the blush tones on Monday; then on Wednesday I styled my holiday velvet blush dress with a denim tuxedo. Now here’s another round of pics where I play the part of a blushing MaharAnnie. Oh, the palaces in Rajasthan–they just don’t quit! They’re everyhwere, and I am not kidding. Here, I matched my setting and tried to emulate one of my favorite style influencers, Shalice Noel. She’s been forever taking her baggy sweaters and pulling them to one side. I told her I’d give it a try, and I have to say, I like the effect very much. So did my Instagram followers when I did the same in an every day life pic found here. When I asked Shalice if she simply just stretched out the neck of the sweater and pulled it to the side, she said, “Yep!” Give it a try….

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Wanna Be Blushing Too?

I found some very pretty (and rather economical) options for you if you two would like to be a blushing rani!

Blushing MaharAnnie 3

Blushing MaharAnnie 6

PS Here’s a link to my blushing velvet sandals if you would like those too! (They are only $25 USD!)

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

Forever MaharAnnie (And Ways for You to be a Princess Too!)

MaharAnnie 15This week has been MaharAnnie week. But, if I’m honest, I don’t really need to be in an idealic location like Rajasthan to believe I’m a princess. Basically it’s a mindset for me. I mean, I’m not overly spoiled, but my husband and my family treat me very well. I am definitely a clothes horse, but I don’t have luxurious labeled items (except for my Louis Vuitton bag!) I don’t own a car, I live in a very small apartment, and I’m a teacher. Yet, I still try to live a decadent life. Today, with another set of pictures where I played the royal part, I wanted to share some of the ways I like to imagine I’m a princess in my daily life. It really comes down to some very simple things:

  • I love a bath. Bubbles make it even better. I like to light a candle, pour a glass of wine, and treat myself to a little alone time in the tub. I usually either read or listen to a book. My bath routine takes no longer than 30 minutes, but it makes me feel special.
  • I grab my iPad and a soda water. I pile the pillows high on my bed and surround myself with comfort. My furry blanket is ready at my feet, and again a candle is lit. Then, I just surf the Internet. I look at blogs, I window shop online, I binge watch The Affair (btw, when will Netflix update season 3?!), and now I’ve started to find some fun YouTube channels. Alternatively, and again, I’ll immerse myself in a good book. But, the key here is my bed. I love my bed. I adore the horizontal position. After work, it’s safe to bet, that either a bath or a cozy lie in bed have occurred. Either one of these activities helps me unwind.
  • Another little luxury, that a real royal would have done for her, is doing my nails. They are continually in awful shape. They split and crack (so if you have a solution to my issues, please let me know), yet taking the time to give myself a manicure makes me feel good. It’s like a personal splurge, similar to the bath. In fact, it often takes place during the luxury mentioned up above on my bed. I don’t really care that my nails aren’t worthy of polish, but the act of polishing them makes me feel like a proper princess.
  • For most people, shopping may be torture; for me, it is a day of bliss! The funny thing is, I don’t even need to purchase all that much. But walking around, and window shopping, and checking out new alleys filled with different shops…oh the thrill! And if I have $1000 HKD ($128 USD) in my wallet, all the better! Again, a princess, nor queen, is usually after a good deal, but this MaharAnnie is!
  • A proper princess would never do this as all her meals are made for her, but, when I want to feel extra special, I cook. Planning the meal, purchasing the ingredients, chopping it all up, and then making the meal for my family, are a joy for me. I don’t do it enough. But, when I do, I feel awfully special.
  • What do you do to feel special?

    These are six little ways that make my simple life feel a little more royal. I am no princess or queen, but in my mind I am a MaharAnnie. What do you do in your daily life that makes you feel more special?

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    MaharAnnie 14

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*Aside from Rawla Narlai, there is another stop that we always insist on for any trip to Rajasthan: the town is Udaipur and the haveli to stay at is Amet Haveli–another spot to completely and utterly feel like a proper princess!