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?

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

Cover-Up: Ping Pong Post No. 5

I was so happy when Anna called a cover-up for July’s Ping Pong Piece; it’s pretty much all you’ll find me in this summer out at Spirit Lake. Although my version of a cover-up is a little different: it’s a very old white fisherman sweater. It’s been a very breezy summer, so while I am in a suit, I need something to keep me a little bit warm–especially if we go out in the boat. To me a cover-up is usually white. I am not sure why, but I usually gravitate towards a white sweater or sweatshirt, white men’s shirt, or white, lacy number. Once you’ll see down below, a couple of my friends agree….

Anna from Anna’s Island Style

Anna mentioned her age somewhere recently–it might have been on an Instagram image…yep here it is! I don’t know why but I am surprised Anna is 59. She’s so lithe and fit and I’m going to go ahead and say it, very sexy in her bikini and Marilyn Monroe-esque dress. It’s such a fun and flirty cover-up, in white! And, the best part about it is she picked up this ASOS number for only $5 at a thrift shop. Score!!

Mary Murnane

Anna invited Mary Murnane this month. I’m always enamoured by how classy Mary is. She’s just the epitome of classy chic. Her style is so tailored and basically, well suited! It was this post of Mary’s when I fell in love with her. I’ve always wanted to just wear a blazer–with nothing underneath. I still haven’t been able to master this look but it is definitely on my sartorial bucket list. Here Mary surprised me: she’s still very class of course, but she’s also quite angelic, don’t you think!?

Samantha from Fake Fabulous

I can totally relate to Sam’s cover-up here. While yes, I am experiencing warmer weather out at Spirit Lake, the moment I hit the Pacific Coast, out come all my layers. Layers on a 20 degrees Celsius beach are absolutely necessary. Of course we can always count on Samantha to be bright and cheery in any circumstance. It’s just her way! And I love it!!

And me, Kremb de la Kremb

If by chance it gets hot enough for me to shed the sweater, I’ll then replace the upper cover-up with a bottom one, and it’s usually a pair of my cut-offs. Ever since I was a preteen heading to the lake with my family, I’ve always maintained that something should be covered–either my top half or my bottom half. It’s been my suit wearing habit for as long as I can remember.

What’s your favorite type of cover-up?

Off the Shoulder with No Shorts?!

Flower in short hair
Of course I brought my off the shoulder men’s shirt to wear as a cover up during last week’s beach to Thailand. And of course on the last day when I finally got around to taking some pics–basically right before we left–it started to pour! But, oh rain feels so good. (I love the rain. It’s odd but true; I think it has to do with university days in Seattle…) Now for the real question: would I really wear this top without a pair of shorts underneath?! That’s the real fun of these long shirts that could almost pose as a super short dress. What do you think? Shorts underneath or no?

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Style Story: A Week’s Worth of Cover-ups

What a wonderful week! There are two great perks of being an international educator: one, vacation time! Because we’re on a school year calendar, we are always welcomed by holiday time. It is a definite perk! The other benefit is living overseas in places like Asia where the travel opportunities are plenty. This is our third family trip to Boracay, and I don’t think it will be the last. Yes, I feel lucky! And, yes my outfit all week long consisted of a swimsuit and a cover-up. Not bad, not bad at all! (No scores necessary because I felt great all day long, and I’m not prepared to judge myself in a swimming costume. Yikes!!)

Monday’s Cover-up

I started out the week in my favorite cover-up–a black little romper with an open back from Zara. Unfortunately after this day of wear, I threw the cute cover-up in the bin. It was so threadbare it was done. I’ll be on the lookout for something similar, but I think I’ll be lucky to find it again.

Tuesday’s Cover-up

Tuesday started with a rash guard. I find them great to wear in the sun, but in the water they’re so heavy they weigh me down. The sun is hot here in Boracay. By 2:00 in the afternoon, right after lunch, people retreat to the shade, indoors, or shopping. You can guess which one I did. Yep, that’s right–shopping!

Wednesday’s Cover-up

When I found this cover-up from Tuesday it was a sure buy. It was only a US $4 purchase, so it was a no brainer. Plus, it’s as if my mom drew the artistic faces and eyes on this shirt. Seriously, this reminds me so much of my mom’s doodles! It’s cotton and comfortable too.

Thursday’s Cover-up

I also found this crocheted black cover-up in the same shop as Wednesday’s cover-up. It’s a great little beach shop called Happy Planet if you’re ever in Boracay. There’s three shops strategically placed throughout Boracay’s beach market, so you’re bound to find something at each of them. I thought I might feel self conscious in this cover-up but I didn’t at all. It wasn’t hot either. For an afternoon at Puca Beach it was the perfect cover-up; I actually never took it off.

Friday’s Cover-up

Here’s a mesh number that I also picked up on this trip. Yes, I stocked up on cover-ups here in Boracay. But, let’s face it: the beach is the best place to get cover-ups. And now, I’m set! I like this one since I LOVE wearing white at the beach. It’s so nice next to a tan, and on my last day here, a tan was absolutely inevitable.

This week’s style story in a week of cover-ups was a nice deviation from work outfits. Shall I bring the work outfits back next week?

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!

*Unfortunately there are no shopping links this week. Three out of the five of these cover-ups are from the beach and the first one is very old Zara. Shop for similar rash guards and lace cover-ups on those two past posts.

*This post has been linked up to Visible Monday, Throw Back Thursday, What I Wore, Passion4Fashion, Let It Shine, Fab Favorites, Brilliant Blog Posts, and Monday Mingle.

Kurta-ing the Issue

KURTASI love wearing a kurta as a cover-up. They’re the perfect length to cover the bum plus they usually have little side slits that kind of expose the leg. They’re always breezey and comfy for the beach. And they always come in such beautiful patterns and prints. Following are my favorite four:

PaisleyKurtaThis coral paisley kurta from Zara has the sweetest story behind it. My mom was visiting us in Beijing. On one of our outings the two of us were shopping in a Zara. My mom had this kurta in her hand and was just about to check-out at the cashier when she kindly said, “Did you want anything?” This immediately brought me back to my childhood! I said, “Yes! Actually I kind of want to get the same kurta.” She encouraged me to go see if they had another one. They did, so now my mom and I are matching!

FlowerKurtaThe story behind this one is not as exciting. It is also from Zara. I had seen it on a fashion blogger I follow (Peace Love Shea) in several different posts (like this one), and I just fell in love with it. The moment I saw it in a Zara for myself, I snatched it up without hesitation. It’s in the softest cotton too!

IndianKurtaThis is my oldest kurta and the one I wear sparingly as I don’t want to wear too thin. It’s from my time living in India, so it’s the real mccoy–from Hill Road in Bandra no less. The embroidery on it is exquisite. Each visit to India I look for something similar but the cut on this one cannot seem to be replaced.

SnakeKurtaHere’s my newest addition from my time in Bali. This one isn’t exactly a kurta, but it’s very close. It might verge on more of the kaftan style–which is a first for me. Regardless it’s airy and soft and the snake print makes me feel sexy!

Shop for Kurta Cover-ups

Big Wave Bay

BigWaveBay1This last weekend Hong Kong celebrated Mid Autumn Festival plus the city prepared for what was supposed to be its largest storm of the year. Luckily on Sunday evening as Typhoon Usagi was approaching Hong Kong it shifted north therefore diverting us. The upcoming typhoon didn’t stop us from visiting Big Wave Bay Beach on Saturday. There were by far the largest waves I’ve ever seen out there: they were HUGE! And the surfers were out!
BigWaveBay7For me white tunic cover-ups are quintessentially the best beach wear. I love them and have a hard time resisting yet one more. Recently I dyed my old white cover-up shirt, so when I found this long, flowing chiffon style, I couldn’t resist. It’s perfect for a sea breeze. (I found a similar chiffon crepe style here.)