Grey Tunic–PPP No. 5

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Whenever I get a parcel from either Anna or Samantha, I get the thrill of receiving a gift. I never know what will be inside for the upcoming Ping Pong Post. The three of us are on our fifth round of styling a shared item, and unfortunately the thrill for me was lost on this one. I can remember being shockingly disappointed by this piece. I don’t say this to offend Anna who bought it for all of us to style in a charity shop; it was just a piece that I would never in a million years wear. I had no idea what to do with this grey tunic: it was rather sheer and very stiff. It was way too long for my frame and in a cut that would do nothing for my figure. To top all this off, it was in a color reminiscent of my grey days in Beijing–a color I have avoided since living there from 2209-2012. And, it had a Mandarin collar–another style that I have always avoided while living in Asia unless I’m wearing the traditional qípáo also known as a chenongsam.

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I let this piece sit for a bit. It sat and sat, and then I created a story for myself–a style story. An often weekend event in Hong Kong is a junk boat trip. A group of people head out on these old teak wooden boats for a day of fun and sun on the water. I imagined I was heading out on a junk trip with my tote in hand and my coveted jean shorts on. I took this grey tunic and turned it into a piece of fabric. Once I imagined it was a scarf and started tying it around me like a cover-up, I felt like I was onto something I would actually wear. It was tricky, but I folded the collar under at my chest, and I tied the sleeves at the back. This first tie covered up my bandeau to my bikini top. Then I tucked the back, long tail into the front. I still had the wings of the front of the tunic, so I tied those at my lower back. Basically, I made myself a tube top: now this would be something I would wear. I added my flower tie belt that that matched the black lined flowers on my grey scarf–presto, no longer was it a grey tunic. Because I’d be on a boat, I went for my Teva sandals. I was ready for a day out on the water; too bad it was all made up!

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Let’s see what the other ladies did….

Anna from Anna’s Island Style

Anna really got each of us on this piece–intentionally. She managed to make the tunic look dressy yet summer casual. I love how she played up the color as metalic rather than plain old grey. Look how the top actually shimmers in the sun along with her sparkly necklace. Her silver pumps paired with the cropped, fresh, white jeans is perfect–too bad she forgot the matching silver clutch beside the tripod. I’ve done that before too Anna!


Samantha of Fake Fabulous

Samantha is known for her vibrancy with color. I love how she added both lilac and blue to turn this dull grey tunic into something colorful. And with legs for days, adding those black skinny jeans proves she’s got an enviable figure. I love how Samantha looks in skinny jeans; she can seriously rock this style! Of course the other thing Sam is known for is a little quirk–which I love, so her fun sandals and interesting accessories are the perfect compliment to this styling.


Phew! We all did it!! Next month I promise to be more conventional! We have a piece from Samantha to style…

Aside from following Anna and Samantha on their blogs, make sure you are also following along their Instagram handles: @annaislandstyle and @fakefabulous. And don’t forget about me @krembdelakremb.

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What would have you done with this grey tunic? Please share–I’m curious!

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Krembs Family (Semi) Cabin Candids

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During the summer when we have such fun reconnecting with our families, I try to make sure and take pics while we’re all together. It wasn’t until the very last moment with the Krembs Family that I realized I hadn’t brought my camera out, and there were 14 out of the 18 of us. (Unfortunately Brian and Jen Krembs were not able to make this weekend–maybe next summer at their place!! Hint hint!) Kevin set up my new lightweight tripod and did the running back and forth with the timer ready to make the portrait–remember when that was the way and not the extended selfie stick? (I still remain that the selfie stick is basically a personal tripod. You can read my rant here!) We had a great time with all the Krembs as seen by the following shots:

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Here are Kevin’s folks: lovely Jane and funny Alex. I love them like my own parents–in fact it was during this weekend that I called Jane “Mom” instead of “Jane.” For both of us it felt very nice. They’ll be back this Sunday–with a new family member, but I’ll save the surprise for another round of Cabin Candids!

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Here’s Corky and his family. Cork and his wife Sally live in Hong Kong, so we feel especially lucky to see them and our cousins Alex, Lauren, and Sofia all year long!

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This is the other Ann Marie Krembs. Oh we have a lot of fun having the same name. These are her two boys Conor and Seamus.

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There’s the Kremb de la Kremb Krembs! Love this photo of us in front of our cabin–maybe it will be seen again as our Christmas card this year!!

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Teenagers–or the strange kiddos that are now becoming men in our family that we just don’t recognize!

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Seamus and Gigi could pass as brother and sister, don’t you think?

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Auntie Annie Squared!

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And of course one last Krembs Family picture. Let’s go wild!!

Get Your Bomber Jacket Ready!

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It’s time to get your bomber jacket! They seem to be all the rage, so you’ll want to get one for the upcoming season. I know it’s hardly time to think about fall, but I actually did wear this bomber jacket at the start of the summer during our trip to San Diego. San Diego has a chill at night and this “A” piece served me perfectly: “A” for awesome, “A” for Annie! The other style point I’d like to make–similar to one of June’s posts–is the fact that I’m still and will always be trying to dress up my necessity of wearing sports shoes. Despite the sequins paired with Teva sandals, I like to think I am sporty chic. Remember, it’s all in the attitude. If I think I am, I am. If I think I can pull off something sparkly short shorts with sports shoes, it will happen! And to be hones, I did feel especially great during this particular night out with Kevin in San Diego’s Gaslamp District.

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I haven’t forgotten to include the blooper: isn’t my hand here hilarious!? Well, I sure think so!!

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Two questions: will you wear a bomber jacket? And do you pair fancy with casual?

*This is just the first of my bomber jacket collection. I’ve got three….checkout Boohoo for great options plus prices!

Panoramas and Cabin Candids with Rusty and Ted

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I can’t say Rusty is our oldest friend–that’s not correct, but he is the friend that Kevin and I have shared for the longest amount of time. We met Rusty exactly five days after getting married when we arrived with him for both of our first posts overseas in El Salvador. That means Rusty has been a friend of ours for 19 years! Now with Ted as his partner and fiancé (Rusty proposed this last November), Ted has also become our good friend. They were with us this past weekend. Even though the weather was bad, with plenty of sleepy rainy mornings, we had a great time playing ladder ball, barbecuing plenty of flat irons, and returning to poker games or campfires at night.

Panorama Ted
These panoramas are a no-brainer, but we’d never done them before. What fun!! Here Ted is contemplating Ted and below Gigi and Ted pointing with some oohin and awing.

Panorama Gigi and Ted

Panorama Ann
I managed to get an #ootd in plus some smooches.

Panorama Kissing

On to the boat for some true cabin candids…

Gigi Wakeboarding
Gigi wakeboarding and her broad, toothy smile after.


Vincent Wakeboarding
Vincent is so strong now behind the boat. He’s now at that age when you can feel him pulling the boat back. That equals man. Yikes!

Vincent Krembs

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I had to pose with my tied scarf. While these little bandanas are half for fashion they are fully for warmth. I slept with one around my neck last night. They serve as a make shift turtleneck.

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Kevin Krembs Lake
I love catching a candid of Kevin driving the boat–there will be some more. And even though we don’t actually see sun set, we receive glorious sunsets all the same.

The next round of visitors arrive on Wednesday. I’ll try to catch some candids of Kevin’s family during their visit to the Kremb de la Kremb cabin to post next week. Stay tuned for some more pics from our trip to San Diego later on this week. And as for a little DIY–I do have something up my sleeve there as well.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer ’16. Have you joined the Snapchat craze. I have….it turns my day to day life into a reality show! Hahha! No but really, if you’d like to follow what happens out here at the Kremb de la Kremb Cabin, follow me on Snapchat–I’ll let you guess the username. *wink wink* (Ok, it’s krembdelakremb.)

Sunsets in La Jolla

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The sea is magical to me, and the sunsets that accompany it, well, I stop to experience them when I’m anywhere near water. Water and the sunset, they keep me happy. On our recent start to Summer ’16, we had some amazing sunsets in La Jolla, San Diego. It’s rare that Kevin and I leave the kids, but this summer we did for three nights before they came down to join us in San Diego with their grandparents. We had such a good time. The last time we did this was nine years ago, but now we’re only about six years away from being an empty nest (YIKES!), so the nights away were cherished but probably won’t happen again any time soon. It’s ok though: we’re a tight little traveling family that usually accompanies one another everywhere we go. Of course it was quite nice to have a little alone time with my husband; we’ll be celebrating 19 years this July 25–as well as 19 years overseas! Yes indeed, time flies (when you’re having fun;)!

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My cute fishy Louella Odié bag made it to California!
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My hair goals have been achieved! I’ve got my husband’s hair. Back when we first fell in love in 1993, there’s a picture of the two of us in our similar long locks. We could pass as siblings instead of lovers!

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Here’s my blooper pic! The waves were crashing–hard! I was afraid of being pommeled a couple of times!

Charlie’s Angels and Some Cabin Candids

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I just spent a fabulous weekend with my sisters! And style wise, I think I have finally figured something out: while I will always try to be urban chic like my sister Julie (she’s in the middle) and flowy feminine like my sister Mary (she’s on the right), it’s time I just start accepting that I always go for a little cross between sporty, glam, and boho. Basically, we are Charlie’s Angels! This isn’t to say they’re personal styles will not stop completely influencing me, but I do need to simply embrace what I am and continue to celebrate what they are. Right! Earlier on this day, I had called dress up night out at the lake–basically because I wanted an excuse to pull out my black sequin shorts. In turn to this night’s dressing requirements you can completely see how each of us interpreted what is referred to as “Dress-up Night at the Lake.”

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It’s hard to capture a picture of Julie–she’s a bit camera shy, but I think I still was able to capture her beauty. I don’t know why since she’s strikingly beautiful.

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Mary is hilarious! Here in this shot she’s calling out to all the boys, “Oh, don’t worry about me! I’ll get all the chairs!” As you can see she’s super strong! And in our family of five kids, she’s always been known as “The Pretty One.”

Some Cabin Candids

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A post out at the Kremb de la Kremb Cabin wouldn’t be complete without some summer cabin candids. Unfortunately I did not get everyone from the family in this session, but there’s still time. Here Maeve and Elle are “cheek to cheek.” A photo term Julie and I were used to taking when we were young girls–we still all take the “cheek to cheek.”

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My goddaughter graduated from high school this year. She’s so beautiful! You probably recognize Elle from all the pics from her visit to Hong Kong.

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I captured two candids of Vincent. Yes, he is definitely a young man now.

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And to end this post, I got two candids of some of the men in the fam. Here’s we’ve got Mathew, Julie’s husband. He’s always so smiley! And another husby in the mix, my smiley eyed guy referred to fondly as KevStar.

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The Travel LBD

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Summer ’16 is here and with it TRAVEL–one of the parts of my life that I cherish most and work hard to achieve. Here, I’m in the Seattle Airport in what I’d like to consider the perfect travel LBD (little black dress). I have two guidelines for what I wear when I travel: I want to look good but also remain comfortable. I am an economy class traveler, but you never know if you’ll get bumped. Plus, I like to pretend that I am a first class traveler, so I might as well look the part! Black is always the easiest color to travel in, and if you can find a comfortable travel LBD than you’re golden. I picked up this off the shoulder with spaghetti straps at this rinky dink boutique in the Gaslamp District in San Diego. It was one of those stores where everything was $17.99. Of course I went in, and since Kevin gave me about 5 minutes max to look around, this is what I walked out with. Surprise surprise! I love it and it fits me just fine. But how can something flowy with no shape not fit? Right? Anyway, to travel I added some statement earrings alongside all my anklets that I seem to be collection this summer. Because comfort is also one of those travel guidelines I wore my ever so walkable Teva flat forms. Finally, another super purchase while in San Diego was this awesome, light weight black backpack from Urban Outfitters. I love it when I not only find the perfect travel LBD but also the perfect travel LBB (little black bag)!

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I have an expensive habit at always stopping at Fireworks in the Seattle Airport. I’ve picked up such special, little intricate necklaces from there. You all know I’m auspicious about my jewellery, so when I found this simple evil eye, hanging on an oxidized black chain, I was smitten. I also picked up this ring that resembles the ring that my sister kind of took from me. It’s ok. We have that agreement, so now I have one too!

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The Pearl Jam exhibit in SeaTac is exceptional. I had fun checking out all the graphic art for this iconic 90s and current band.

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My photographer was pooped by the time we took off. I love how she can sleep anywhere and also shakes in her sleep. She’s skatin’ in those dreams of hers!

The Fab 40s in Formal During the Day

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You’re going to see a lot of sequins during this round of The Fab 40s. We are all wearing formal during the day. This is something I’m quite used to. Since I’m on a total sneaker/casual shoe kick, I try to figure out ways to dress up this look. In fact you can see me wearing my sneakers at Christmas with satin joggers and a sequins top, here with an off the shoulder DIY dress, or here with my sequin pants. I’m no stranger to this concept especially since I adore dressing up and miss my high heels so much. I guess you could say I really believe that “Life is a party; dress like it!” Therefore I’ve had to create a new style concept that will not be hindered by comfortable shoes. And now, I’ve got six other ladies to take style cues from. Just you wait and see. But first, here’s my take with my new and ever so comfortable flatform (read two inch high heel!) Teva sandals. (I’m waiting for my pair in white to arrive….)

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Samantha from Fake Fabulous

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Samantha, our pro pattern mixer, rocked her look in this elegant skirt paired with all things casual. I am realizing in my collection of skirts I am missing some polka dots! And I am sure Jennie is also coveting this piece. Sam, I love your gutties. (Did I get it right!?)

Vale of Fashion and Cookies

Wow! Vale from Fashion and Cookies is our guest this round. And WOW! She looks so fantastic. If I could pull this look off in the day time, I would be giving myself some high fives. Vale, is Italian–does that help explain? I highly recommend visiting her site; you will instantly get addicted to her chic style. Plus, she writes a bilingual blog in both Italian and English, so if you speak either of those languages, you’ll always understand!

Diane from Fashion on the 4th Floor

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Ummmm, Diane, I’ll keep it simple and just say I’ll be copying this look. I love it. It’s summer time, and I now live in my cutoffs, so I especially adore and relate to this entire look. Can you send that top over when you’re done with it?!

Jennie from A Pocketful of Polka Dots

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Jennie, it’s so fun to see your style evolving with each of our collaborative posts. You’re preppy self is turning a bit rocker? Do you agree!? I love it. You’re showing us all an edginess lately that I haven’t witnessed before. Also, I’m kicking myself: I should have bought those snake slip-ons that I saw ions ago. Super Jennie!

Mary of Curlybyrdie Chirps

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Holy smokes Mary! And you’re opting for a fabulous skirt this time around. (Mary is usually our dress wearer.) Mary, you’ve probably heard this before, but your curves are to die for! I love this skirt, and it fits you amazingly. You look smashing Mary!

Sheela Writes

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Sheela, I love your pants. I even have a similar pair! But I think yours are just a little fancier and way more cool with the jogger vibe going on. And Sheela, how, oh how do you manage in your heels? I am in awe, a little jealous, and just in complete awe how you can wear shoes as fabulous as you do!

And me, Kremb de la Kremb

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For me, and my comfy shoe wearing ways, I’m letting my hemline creep up and up. And why not!? To avoid the muffin top, I’ve concealed it with a waistbag (fanny pack if you like!). To increase the look of a waist I side tied my tee OR I tied my bomber around my waist–two ways of cinching in a waist. And the shoes, well they feel like heels, so they add an instant pep to my step. I’m in love with these Teva flat forms and will be wearing them all summer long!

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I got the thumbs up from my photographer!!

DIY Shirt Hack X 2

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Why wear clothing the way it’s intended? Sometimes it’s fun to mix it up! Here, I show you a DIY shirt hack in two ways: as a skirt or as a bandeau top. Both of these styles are super easy–all you need is a long sleeved button down shirt for these two DIY shirt hacks.

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DIY Shirt Hack #1

For this first style, simply button up your shirt around you waist. I leave the last three to four buttons unbuttoned. Tuck in the shoulders and tie the sleeves together.

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Once the shirt is tied, I tuck in any extra bits that are sticking out. It’s that easy!

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DIY Shirt Hack #2

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For the second DIY shirt hack, button it up again but this time, leave your arms out. Again I left about four buttons unbuttoned. For this one, I needed a little help with someone tying the shirt’s sleeves behind my back.

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I let the shoulder area create a little bustle in the back.

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Biking in Coronado, San Diego–Wear Layers!

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San Diego is beautiful! Kevin and I are having such fun. We’ve discovered an easy way to see all the neat neighborhoods. Biking in Coronado and along Pacific Beach’s promenade has been a cinch for me; I would have never been able to walk the amount of all that we’ve seen, but on a bike, I moving around like a dream. And hey, maybe I’m even getting some exercise! Now I know when I get to Spirit Lake. The kids and grandparents arrive this afternoon–I did miss them, but this little get away has been amazing! We need to do it more often.

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In Coronado, start your tour at Holland’s Bicycles. They are so friendly there, rent great bikes, and recommend a really good tour. We followed their map–with slight deviations–and ended up seeing the whole island (it’s technically not an island, but they call it as such).

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In San Diego, the weather is so pleasant, but when traveling it’s always a good idea to wear layers. Underneath my crochet sweater, I also had a tank on plus I carried a denim shirt for when the wind hit. I did go through all three layers–happily.

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Out at the ferry wharf in Coronado there are tons of fisherman. Of course, Chatty Annie, I took the time to ask all about the fishing out there. Mario called it a science!

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Here’s my funny outtake when there were fish jumping all around me!

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