Head to Toe Zara

Sometimes the shopping gods shine down and something magical will happen like head to toe Zara all at once! I didn’t mean to dress in head to toe Zara, but it just kind of happened–all of it, each and every single piece, was discounted! Here’s how it all came together: I’ll start with the blazer that I picked up last year at Zara’s huge sale after the holidays. The black and white tweed look was just starting to resurface and become popular. I wore this jacket a ton last winter. Next up are these cowboy-esque, black studded, little booties I scored at a Ruglane swap. Granted they are a size larger than what I wear, but at $20 and never having been worn, it was worth the investment score. The toe is so pointy I don’t think a 37 would have fit me anyway; plus I add some insoles and I’m good to go. These are my first regulary, daily shoes I’ve been able to wear that have a bit of a heel! Oh, have I missed my heels! Let’s move on to the skirt–I scooped it up immediately during this year’s after the holiday sales. Could it have been a leftover from last winter? It sure looks like it; the fabric is exactly the same as the jacket. Lucky me! I now have a suit!! Last but not least are my accessories: I picked up the earrings for the holiday season, and the circular backpack was another score from the recent sales. There I am in head to toe Zara without even thinking twice about it!

Has this sort of serendipity ever happened to you with a brand?

The boys let me include them in this post. Like father like son. (Gigi is not shown as she was my photographer.)

Dior Inspired

Dior Inspired

There are so many items I would like to discuss in this post. I’ll start off by being Dior inspired. There’s a taxi stand down in Central, Hong Kong where the line usually takes at least 20 minutes to get a taxi. It’s no problem; the people watching is always good in Central, HK. Plus, there are luxury brands every which way you look. Recently, Jennifer Lawrence in her stunning Dior campaign, simply stared down at me from the beautiful advertisement overhead. I was completely mesmerized. I spent my time in that line staring at every detail of her look; once in my taxi, I spent the entire ride online continuing my Dior inspired search. How could I have that hat? (Never! I can’t even imagine the price tag!!) There’s a scarf under the hat…could I pull that off? I definitely have plenty of scarves. Could I dress like these images? I’ve got lots of bohemian clothes. Would I need to make anything? Or were all the items already sitting in my closet. The very next day, completely Jennifer Lawrence and Dior inspired, I set out to create the look that I’d studied and fell in love with the night before.

Dior Inspired

Dior Inspired

Dior Inspired

I wore this exact outfit to work. I received a couple of “Howdy cowboy,” comments, but other than that, I feel very safe in expressing my creativity through the way I dress. This safety makes me feel very lucky that I have freedom in what I can wear to work every day. Sure their are guidelines I should follow–the same ones the kids have to from the school handbook. But other than that I can experiment and create different looks daily. What a luxury! If I want to wear jeans on Friday, there’s no problem; meanwhile the day before I can be all Dior inspired and feel like J. Law. There’s an ulterior motive to dressing creatively as well. Who knows if my influence reaches far, but I like to hope that maybe I dare students to express themselves. Oh, we’ve got plenty of Lulu Lemon clones, but there are some keen teens out there with some pretty great style to share.

Dior Inspired

I’m pretty lucky about something else: I have a partner in crime at work. Norbyah is also a blogger and a style chameleon like me. Every now and then, we text one another in the morning to see if we’d like to shoot our looks. Recently on a reoccurring Instagram rut, she nudge me on, reminding me that I dress for myself. I blog for myself too. Instagram and its record of my daily outfits of the day are for me–no one else. Luckily she brought me back to my focus word: creativity. I love getting dressed; it makes me feel creative. Taking it one step further, I love to share my creativity–hence this blog and the whole Kremb de la Kremb package. Every now and then, it’s nice to have a friend that’s supportive and reminds me about what I love. So thanks to Norbyah, my fashion work buddy who’s so creative: she’s the gal I want to see every day just to see what she’s wearing!

Dior Inspired

Dior Inspired

How about you?

Are you free to express yourself through your clothing? Do you have a buddy who helps to motivate your creativity? And have you seen the real campaign that created this Dior inspired post? It’s amazing!

Sailing, Takes Me Away….

My brother-in-law sailed my sister to me. It’s very extravagant sounding, but it’s the truth. I was sitting on Railay Beach in Thailand with my family. The sun was beginning its set. Meanwhile, texts were being exchanged between the two of us: “Can you see that cruise boat?” she texted. “I think you just passed us,” I wrote back. It was very, very surreal. And then, before we knew it, my niece and nephew were headed toward us on a dingy boat. We waded out to them in the low tide as Vincent pushed them in to us because the current was too strong for their oars. Once in the dingy’s motor got revving, we sped out to their catamaran sailboat. I hopped off and into my sister’s arms. It was a magical reunion–one I will not forget.

My sister’s husband’s family are sailors. Julie is a sailor–she has been since she dating Matthew at 15. Sadly Matthew’s father is gone, but his legacy of sailing, sailing around the world lives on. It was so spectacular to witness this gift that Mike and Carol Collins’ have given their family. Sailing is dynamic, adventurous, and very fun. I had to keep from squealing at times so as not to be disruptive. Both Vincent and Kevin were able to get involved helping with the sails. It definitely took the expertise of the captain, Matt, and his able crew to get us to our destination. Meanwhile, I was completely awed. It was very special for me to witness how and why sailing is so vital to my sister and her family. It was a unifying task of all involved–even for someone like me who simply just took pictures.

Not all of the sail is frenetic. There are bouts of calm filled with lazy lounges on the decks, gossip amongst the girls, and dips off the deck into the blue waters. Sailing in Thailand is magnificently beautiful with the colors changing before one’s eyes. It’s always sparkly–either from the sun rays filtering through to make diamonds on the water or the blue sky intensifying the turquoise sea water. Of course, the song, the favorite family song, “Sailing, Takes Me Away….” was on full blast and smiles were plastered on everyone’s faces.


Here we all were in the blue waters of Thailand as a Krembs/Collins family sailing away! Oh, it was pure magic!!

Thank you Carol/Frammie/Benny for sharing your family’s love of sailing with my family.

Have you ever been sailing?
What do you think of it? I’ve always thought it to be a thrilling experience ever since my dad took my sister and me as little girls–but that’s a whole other story for another day…

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Wow what a break! I’ve missed writing here on the blog, but it was very nice to disconnect and simply focus my energies on spending time with my family. (There will be plenty of upcoming content from my trip to Thailand with my sister’s family and my own, so stay tuned–for real this time!) It’s beyond January 1st, so this is not a resolution post, but I would be remiss if I didn’t look back on 2017. Also, I have some positive thoughts on making 2018 a very special year….

In 2017, my accomplishments didn’t have to do with this blog as much as with my physical well-being and health. I still have a very long way to go in that I am still never quite pain free, yet, I have made such progress in certain areas which make me feel so much better about my current state. I am now just about a year and a half post my hip replacement, and this afternoon Pinky (my pink hip) and I went for a brisk walk. Granted it was a short one, but I did it: I walked quickly, pumping my arms in a long stride. Oh, it felt so good! I can’t quite articulate the pleasure of that quick little walk. And I can’t wait to take another one tomorrow. Walking, as a form of physical release, is such an important activity, and if it could become part of my daily life, I would be oh so happy!

Also in the past three months (well before my holiday to Thailand anyway!), I’ve been able to work with a trainer, Ian from Primal Fitness. Oh, I take such baby steps at the gym, but with visit I feel like I’m making progress. In fact in this picture, my leg actually looks very strong. It could be the angle, but that’s the biggest I’ve seen my hamstring in ages. I mean, there is an actual hamstring there. Believe me! I’ve never really had one of those!! (I’ve got my dad’s legs–knees and hips to be precise, which have all been replaced on him. Eek! Let’s hope I can work hard to be strong and avoid replacing anything else as long as I can!)

Something strange has happened with this very different focus on health: granted I will always probably want to lose a little weight, but right now, I care more about being strong. This is so new for me. Before I’ve always wanted to weigh a certain number, but since I’ve been working with Ian, I actually haven’t been stepping on the scale. Now, (and this is a bit contrary to my previous statement) I do need to make sure to hit the gym again because I for sure gained a few lbs from all the mango sticky rice in Thailand, but more importantly than any weight gain, I do not want to lose the muscles I’ve worked so hard for. I plan on hitting the gym tomorrow!

When I look forward to 2018, there’s another number I want to care less about, and that’s the number game of blogging and social media. I’m not the only blogger out there making this griping, whining statement. Even those with enormous numbers are feeling a shift in readership and followers. For this reason, I want to make a commitment to you, the person who is coming here and reading this. Even if it’s one person, that’s all a writer needs: one reader. Granted, I’d love for tons of comments and likes, but I’m not going to focus on that. I have some amazing readers, and you are one of them. I have virtually met some really neat women–even some men–from blogging on Kremb de la Kremb. This connection, this is what I plan to focus on during 2018.

I recently read a post by a gal who really inspires me: Geneva from A Pair and a Spare wrote about creating a focus word for the year rather than a resolution. This resonated so well with me; I don’t want to make one more goal. Rather, I want to incorporate a concept the entire year through that I believe will keep me happy. That word, this concept is creativity. The main reason I keep returning to Kremb de la Kremb is because it keeps me creative. As a blog I’m really not sure where Kremb de la Kremb is going….sometimes I am unsure of all the fashion posts. They are really fun, but perhaps there is more to finding or rather exploring my niché. I mean, I live in Hong Kong, and it is so vibrant. Plus, I travel so much. I feel like there might be more stories for me to share alongside my love of fashion. We’ll see…. And that’s the beauty of having a focus word; as long as I remain true to my creative spirit, I will be golden in 2018. Here’s to a great year for you, my reader, and to Kremb de la Kremb as I continue to create and evolve.

Don’t worry! I have to comment on this outfit. The jeans, well you’ve seen them before and you’ll see them again. They’re my trusty Wranglers that have recently received reinforcement in the crotch. The haircut is new–I got bangs! The color… well, it’s also a bit more bleachy than before which I attribute to Thailand’s sun. The puca necklace was a purchase on Railay beach after I saw a cool looking chic with something similar. And finally, this dress, well, it was left behind! Yes, it’s true. My dear husband, he took these pictures, and he was cringing the entire time. I thought this dress was pretty special, but he could not stand it. Now Kevin is very tolerant of my (at times) eccentric ways, so when he doesn’t like something, I bow down and just let it go. So, someone in Railay scored a new dress! I hope they enjoy it as much as I did on this sunset photoshoot taken on Railay Beach, Thailand.

What do you think of having a focus word?
What would yours be–if you feel like sharing?

Here’s to a wonderful 2018!

Merry Christmas (from last year!)

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas with pictures that were meant to be sent out last year… I had the best intentions of sending out a New Year card then a Chinese New Year Card, then maybe just a card, and well, there never was a card! These are a few of the family pictures we took during our trip to India last Christmas. Oh, it was such a fabulous trip! We started in Bombay meeting up with old friends which was so special. Then the magic started happening once we got to Rajasthan. These first two pics were taken on Christmas Eve in Udaipur.

A trip to Rajasthan wouldn’t be complete without a little safari action. We actually saw a snow leopard on this excursion. It was wicked cool! The animal just sat perched up there on his rock, chillin’. It was quite a sight. And typical of an India excursion, we stopped for chai and biscuits.

Another magical moment to be had in Rajasthan is staying in an old havelli. This havelli was ancient–very rustic too, but it was a very cool experience.

Finally, our trip was completed in Jodhpur’s Red Fort where we zip lined across the canyons. It was a phenomenal experience, one that won’t be forgotten!

Our family is very blessed. Kevin and I have somehow created this life full of travel. It’s exciting and fun, and we all have a really good time together. Now, today we start our three week vacation for winter break. We’ll be spending our time in Thailand–with my sister and her family!! We can hardly wait! It’s going to be so fun to share our special Thai times with our family members!

Merry Merry Christmas from the Krembs!

Is Leopard Print Too Bold for You? Not me! Day 2

Maybe for some leopard print is just too bold. It is pretty wild–op, probably not the best word choice. Yet for others, they claim leopard print to be a neutral, going with everything. I spoke to a blond who gave me her thoughts on leopard print. She said, “I feel trashy in leopard print. That’s why I don’t wear red lipstick either.” As she told me this, I was wearing both! Does hair color play into wearing this pattern? Blonds don’t wear it; brunettes do. I don’t think so. The case of my two nieces has the blond embracing it and the brunette not so much. Yet, the brunette is bold in other ways: pixie cut and pink hair to name a few (here’s an example!). I really want to get to the bottom of this query. Why do some wear leopard print and others do not?

Have you come up with any ideas for me yet?

leopar

These are definitely bold leopard print joggers. They’re on the brighter, bigger side of the print as opposed to yesterday’s more muted sweater. Because I wanted to wear these pants as a neutral, I chose a basic tee–my California Republic with the brown bear and little touches of red. Hints of red obviously led to a (metallic) red lippy (this one is my favorite right now). Leopard and red lipstick pair very well. This was the exact outfit I wore to the Ruglane Markets, so of course I needed comfortable tennis shoes to get me through the day. In addition, both my hands needed to be free hence the waist belt bag.

leopard print

leopard print

leopard print

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

Are You a Leopard? Leopard Print Day 1

Leopard Print

Are you a leopard? I mean not the actual animal, but the type of person that will wear leopard print. I definitely am. My sister Julie and my mom are definitely not. My other sister Mary sometimes is a leopard print person. When I look at my two nieces, Elle is not, but Maeve totally is. Gigi my daughter is not, while my mother-in-law in color is a leopard person. I can’t say what it is that makes a person a leopard or not…it has me completely stumped. Please weigh in, and help me. I’ll be exploring this theme all week long with a leopard print post Monday through Friday. Let’s start first by completing my little anonymous survey at the end of this post.

Leopard Print

I’d say this is pretty mild leopard. (Here’s the US link to this sweater, and here is the HK link.) This sweater is super cozy with extra big sleeves and a front panel of leopard. Lately, I like to pair big with big, so I wore this sweater with my oversized Levi’s. (Here are two great places on Etsy to get your Levi’s on: Fair Season and Hunted Finds.) For an extra little touch of leopard, I added my leopard crossover bag. Am I a leopard! Oh yes!! Most definitely!!

Leopard Print

What about you?

Are you a leopard?

Yes, I totally wear leopard print!
No, you’ll never find me in leopard print.
Sometimes, but it has to be very subtle.

created with Poll Maker

I can’t wait to see your answers!!

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

Happy Mid Autumn Festival

Happy Mid Autumn Festival!! Definitely one of the perks of living overseas is experiencing and celebrating local holidays and festivals. Since we’ve lived in Asia for over 8 years now, we’ve been able to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival. When we lived in Beijing, where these pictures were taken, we took our first trip to the Philippines. Since that trip in 2009 we’ve been back many, many times—once to last spring to become open water certified scuba divers. Now during this week off, we’re in El Nido, Palawan which is also in the Philippines. I plan to take lots of pictures but until then check out this Google image search!

Another perk of living overseas is friends made around the world. Last weekend when Vincent had a tournament in Beijing, it was a no brainer for one to take a quick flight up there and stay with my good friends Sandy and Tom—friends made while living in India. Our world as international educators just gets smaller and smaller. It’s pretty amazing.

For example take this small world story: while I was up in Beijing to watch Vincent’s baseball tournament, my sister-in-law sent a picture of ISB and posted it on our family WhatsApp thread. She asked if the picture looked familiar; little did she know Vincent and I were there at the International School of Beijing at the same time as her! Jen and Kevin’s brother Brian Krembs are also international educators and work at Jakarta International School. Jen was at ISB for an art conference. Right in the midst of cheering on Vincent, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was my sis-in-law. What a small world!

Let me talk a bit about this fab leather jacket. I bought a jacket just like this one at a swap from Jasmine of Dress Me Blog Me and the designer and founder of Raven and Rose. Well, the jacket I bought was made of PU which seems to always deteriorate in Hong Kong’s weather. Emma, our helper who worked with us when we first moved to Hong Kong, is from Indonesia. It’s wonderful that every now and then our doorbell will ring and it’ll be Emma with her husband and little baby coming over for a visit. I love it; not many people just drop by anymore, so we’re always happy to receive a visit from Emma and her family. On one such visit, she told me about a man from her village in Indonesia who makes really nice leather jackets. I race to my closet, grabbed my PU one, and said goodbye to that old but loved piece. Here’s the same exact coat but now made in real leather. I love it! And the price for this custom made jacket is a sin! It was only $115!! I just might have to send away for more, very soft, very well made leather goods.

If and when I see special tennis shoes, I pounce. Granted, this entire outfit is quite sporadic—colourful tweed sneakers, black and white tweed shoes, a bright top, and leopard scarf tied on my wrist, a waist belt bag, and a leather jacket. Oh, I forgot to mention fringe earrings and studded sunnies! More is more right?! At least to me. Despite all that’s going on, I felt very comfortable in this outfit. I feel like somehow it all works—right?! Hahah!


Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

This week I will only be publishing this post. I’ve heard the Wi-Fi is super bad where I’m going in the Philippines, so I saving myself the pressure of figuing out my Internet connection. But, rest assured, I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures!

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

Favorites from The Fab 40s

This was the first post. We styled the Pantone color of the year: marsala with denim.
(Look how short my hair was!)

On Kremb de la Kremb since March of 2015, every single last Monday of the month has been dedicated to a post from The Fab 40s. For two and half years there have been a group of us–in our 40s–coming together to share in our love of styling clothes. We would take turns choosing a theme. When it was our turn, we’d invite a fellow 40-something blogger. It will sound odd to read that we became friends, but we all did–in that virtual way that friends are made today in 2017. Some members came and left; it was natural for life’s events to take us in other directions. At present we’ve stopped posting, but I don’t thing The Fab 40s are done. We’ll be back…. Because I enjoyed these last Monday posts so much, I thought I’d highlight a favorite pic from each of The Fab 40s’ members. Enjoy!

The Fab 40s as Princesses

Sheela was our leader. She’s the one who created our concept and got us started. This was my most favorite styling of Sheela’s; the theme was princess, and she definitely played the Belle here in her beautiful rose gown. Ironically this is the one picture where we can’t see yet another pair of Sheela’s fabulous heels!

The Fab 40s in Marsala with Denim

I always felt a special bond with Dawn Lucy as she’s also a teacher. We were all extremely sad when she turned 50. But, we hope she started a Fab 50s group–that way we can join her in the upcoming years!

The Fab 40s in Faux Fur

One of my favorite color combos is when navy and black are paired perfectly together,
so this was an obvious pic of Jane. Her style is so urban chic–always!

The Fab 40s in Holiday Wear

Sequin joggers–yes please! Sequin joggers with a sequin blazer–double yes please.
This stunning combo was obviously my favorite look of Dixie’s.

The Fab 40s in Hats

All of us always looked forward to how Samantha would style the themes. She’s unique, and quirky,
but always classy and chic all at the same time. That’s how her personality is too. She’s a no
nonsense woman that I really look to for style inspiration as well as friendship. (By the way,
I gave her this skirt, and I love how she style it. I never even saw the blues
in the skirt before seeing her style it in this way!)

The Fab 40s in Our Favorite Colors

The best thing about getting to know Jennie was seeing both her style and blog evolve from post to post. She just kept getting better and better! I chose this picture of her in her favorite color. Again, she surprised me because I would have never guessed that these greens were her favorite color; I thought she was a pink or purple girl,
but that is probably because she wears that hair color so well!

The Fab 40s in Formal During the Day

Out of all The Fab 40s, I could always picture myself in whatever Diane wore. Take this outfit for example:
I want it all. I love pairing sequins with something casual like cutoffs and sneakers. Seriously though,
she was always my style sister all the way!

The Fab 40s as Villains

For one of our posts we had to style a villian. I love that Veronica chose an
Angelina Jolie character just like me. I also always appreciate how fierce Vero is!

The Fab 40s in All White

Not many woman can pull off a bodycon white dress, but we could always rely on feminine, voluptuous Mary to rock another hot dress. I’d love to go through Mary’s dress collection. It’s immense from what we could all see!

Do you already miss The Fab 40s like me?
Hopefully we can get back together real soon….

(I think next month, on the last Monday of October, I’ll go through and choose my favorite looks from collaborating with The Fab 40s.)

Summer is Over

Summer is Over

I do love how a summer in the sun increases my freckle count!
Not my wrinkle count so much, but oh, I love the sun!

It’s always on Labor Day Weekend that most people feel that summer is over. For us, over here in Hong Kong, being back and in school already for a month, Labor Day is always a sure indication that indeed summer is over! Year after year at this time, I have this intense longing to experience American Labor Day. For example, this time around, my entire family back home is all together. I don’t often pine for a life in the States; I feel so fulfilled with my international life, yet, there are certain times of the year, Labor Day being one of them, that homesickness does set in. The are a few other times it always happens: Thanksgiving and Christmas for sure, the long month of March, maybe my birthday, but always most definitely Labor Day feels the strongest. It must be because we’ve just ended the summer, and the longing for that life we have during summer is just a short month away. The irony falls with the weather: summer is most definitely over here in Hong Kong! They typhoon rains are here for hopefully not much longer. By the end of September and for sure by October, we’ll be hitting the best beach weather Hong Kong gets. Sartorially speaking, I’ll be in shorts for another few months to come meanwhile trying to wear them in a fall type manner. One thing is for sure; summer is over, yet my matching of the white top and cutoff shorts–well that’s just my uniform continuing!

Summer is Over

Summer is Over

Summer is Over

Summer is Over

Summer is Over

What does the end of summer mean to you?

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