Archives for November 2015

Style Stories No. 7 and Some Thanks to Blogger Friends

blogger friends

As an American this past Thanksgiving weekend is always pretty special. It’s a time to spend with family and friends; most importantly it’s especially a time to give thanks. So for this week’s link up I thought I do just that–give thanks for my blogging community and the blogger friends I’ve made in the last few years. There’s way more blogger friends to mention than this, and the list below is not in any order, but I’ll give it a try and mention a couple of influential individuals that have helped me attempt to become a better blogger.

I’m thankful for Not Dressed as Lamb. I remember first buying a space for advertising on Catherine’s blog in 2013. Then, shortly after, I reached out to her by email asking for advice on a couple of things. Catherine was so responsive plus supportive; it wasn’t long until we had become blogging buds with her serving as my role model always. Because Catherine is so good at building community, I will always turn to her, follow her blogging tips, and continue to learn for her. She’s professional, kind, and of course very stylish!

I’m also thankful for Sylvia from 40 Plus Style. Sylvia is also quite supportive of so many bloggers. She does an especially good job at highlighting stylish women that are over 40. I myself have been highlighted a couple of times by her for my Instagram posts and also I’ve conducted a style interview with her. Each time she highlights me results in a squeal of delight!

Sheela Goh is another blogger where our friendship just kind of happened. I can’t remember all the details, but I think it had to do with a comment I made on one of her post depicting style through the ages. I loved it and thought it was so collaborative highlighting style through the different age groups, but because she’s in her 40s and I’m also in my 40s, I knew I could never participate. Then, a little bit after, Sheela started The Fab 40s (stay tuned for tomorrow’s post!). Since the beginning of this series, Sheela and I have now become good buds–we even Whatsapp each other which is so fun. If we lived in the same city, I can only imagine the mischief we’d be up to!

Samantha from Fake Fabulous is another friend I’ve made. I wrote about her a couple of Style Stories back. I’m just so inspired by her style. She’s bold and bright and causes me to rethink my own style. I always thought I was kind of quirky until I met her. I’m actually not as bold as I thought I was….But it’s all good because I’m learning from Sam and being forever inspired. Samantha is another blogging buddy that I just know we’d have too much fun if we lived in the same locale.

I’m a Norbyah is one of my own local blogging buddies but actually also more than that. While we both have the passion for fashion, we also work together, so we’re colleagues. I’m exposed to Norbyah’s amazing style on a daily basis! Lately it’s been so fun to help one another out by taking pictures for each other. While Gigi is a great photographer, Norbyah, as a fellow blogger, knows exactly what to get without me having to direct. Also, in knowing Norbyah, I’m becoming more aware of my fast fashion ways, trying to scale back, and embracing more secondhand and vintage items. In fact, a couple of my winter wardrobe pieces have come from her closet. I can’t wait to showcase this beautiful red dress I scored!

Another local blogger that has helped me out tremendously is Geneva from A Pair and A Spare. At one point I saw on her blog that she was offering a blogging session. I immediately signed up! Because of her busy travel schedule, something came up, but that meant I could have two one-on-one sessions. Yay to that! Geneva’s feedback was invaluable giving ideas where to focus and and where to not. In fact, there’s been a shift since last November when she advised me on my pics. Ever since that first session, I’ve been using Adobe Lightroom instead of actions on Photoshop. This might not all make sense, but her tips were definitely listened to–and hopefully my readers like the pics better too….!

Have you heard of Be Frassy? Well if you haven’t that is surprising because Audrey is pretty big league. And, guess what? I think it’d be safe to call us friends–well at least via the long distance through online channels. Somehow, through my commenting, she’s appreciated me–I think anyway, especially since she’s always responsive and quite a hoot to boot. I feel like I know someone famous, but really she’s the most down-to-earth blogger. She’s kind, creative, and extremely beautiful. I like to visit her blog in doses, especially when I need inspiration. She’s a pro for sure. I first found her via Catherine of Not Dressed of Lamb. Then Audrey introduced me to the following blogger friend…

Vanisha from A Life Unstyled is perhaps one of the sweetest bloggers out there. She’s pure and authentic, living an un-styled life that is gorgeous. Somehow, we struck up a connection online–especially when we made the Hong Kong connection. She and her husband got married in Hong Kong. I was all excited that I’d get to meet her in an upcoming visit, but her next visit will have to wait. She’s pregnant! So instead we will be celebrating the miracle baby! (Vanisha had been told that this wasn’t possible, but! Yay! She can!! I’m so ecstatic for Vanisha. Our meeting can definitely wait.)

One last friendship that I’d like to mention is the one I have with Daffny. Daffny is the author of A Vintage Nerd. For awhile on my Instagram I encouraged anyone to contact me for free style consulting. Daffny took me up on it! While my role has been to help Daffny out, I don’t think she realizes that she’s helping me too. I want to do more with personal styling, so while I don’t know if I’m any good, she’s giving me great experience. This might be selfish of me, but in the meantime I’ve made one more connection with a fantastic blogger. Daffny is super sytlish and definitely a pro on vintage. Her expertise on vintage cinema is extraordinary, and her blog posts on the subject are some of the most thorough I’ve seen.

I want to repeat something: this initial list doesn’t include everyone who helps to make me a better blogger. There are a ton more blogger friends out there to thank like Greetje, Jacqueline, and Anna–to name just a few, but I plan to highlight more of them in my next roundup.

After you’re finished linking up, maybe you can tell me who out there makes you blog better…

Style Stories Link Up:

Target Holiday Outfit and Gift Guide

Holiday Outfit from Target

Don’t worry: I will get to the gift guide from Target. But first things first–and that happens to be what am I going to wear for Christmas Eve!! We will be celebrating at my sister’s new house. It’s is utterly chic, and our Christmas celebration will be too. To my delight she has declared it a fancy affair, so I’m all about that. I feel determined to wear plaid dressed up, so to that end let me explain the above outfit details:

1. It’s all about THIS SKIRT! It’s long yet tailored and perfectly chic. The waistband cinches in the back to make a nice poofy bow. I can recall one of my dressmaking shenanigans where I tried to design a similar skirt–but this one is so much better. It is pricey at $80–Target’s prices are usually lower. BUT, this is THE holiday skirt. The cost per wear is going to surpass it’s heftier price tag.

2. OR 3. Now, I checked the plaid shirts in both the women’s and men’s section, but like usual, I also checked the kids’ section. From experience, I already know that the boys plaid shirts from Target are awesome: great, crisp cotton. So I found a typical Christmas plaid version OR a fun bright red one. Which one do you prefer?

4. These bow gloves are adorable and not limited to just Christmas Eve.

5. This ruby statement necklace would work with either shirt adding just a bit of glamour to the rather casual top.

6. OR 7. If I go with the Christmas plaid shirt, I’ll opt for the red and black statement earrings. On the other hand, these red and blue baubles would look great with the fun bright red plaid shirt.

8. OR 9. If I’m realistic, the lower heeled, knee-high boot is more practical for me and my hip recuperation, but in my dream world I would totally rock the pointy, stiletto heeled, sock bootie….

My Holiday Outfit from Target:

If I go with the Christmas plaid shirt with matching earrings and the knee-high boots the total is USD $207. If I opt for the red plaid shirt and high-heeled sock booties my total would be $197. To knock $50 off this outfit I could perhaps do without the statement necklace and simply go for just a pair of statement earrings as those are both only $8 dollars each!

Now on to the Pressies:

Target Gift Guide 1

Target Gift Guide 2

Target Gift Guide 3

*1. For the cute cook, some cute bowls

2. For the baker, a really nice kitchen tool

*3. For the coffee coniesseur, an instant espresso machine

4. For the elegant host, some gold flat wear

5. For the wine lover, a pretty bottle of wine

6. To help the wine lover, pretty, holiday stem wear 

7. For the lounger, a fuzzy pair of slippers 

**8. For the Christmas lover, a pine scented candle

9. For the recycler, a candle in a jar to be later re-used

*10. For the cozy craver, a faux fur throw

11. For the nail artist, a 12 pack of e.l.f. colors

12. For the makeup pro, nice, gold brushes

*13. For the true fashionista, a DK fashion book

*14. For the family, the two hour toy

15. For the make believer, a sweet doll house

16. For the engineer, a robot

*I’ve put an asterisk by those items on my actual Christmas list–helps the husby out! 

**I’ve already purchased 4 of these candles! I’ll keep some for myself and give the others as hostess gifts. 

More Paisley Pants

Paisley Pants 8
Just this past Sunday I shared the love of a pair of my paisley pants, but they aren’t the only pair of paisley pants that I covet. This pair, with it’s slouchy pant and expandable waistline, is way more suitable for a Thanksgiving meal. The only problem with these utterly cozy, pajama like pants, is the hem on them. See, a while ago, these pants were dried when they shouldn’t have been so, they’re a bit short on me. I haven’t given up though: rather, I tuck the pant leg into boots and let them blouse pirate style. The colors in them are too glorious to withdraw from my wardrobe–basically every color in my wardrobe is present: black, browns and blues, even some cranberry red is present. So, I’m keeping them, along with my other paisley pants, until something completely drastic happens to them!

Paisley Pants 5

Paisley Pants 9

Paisley Pants 7.5

Some Outfit Details:

Earrings and Paisley Pants–Forever 21
Gilet–Firefly Clothing (this is another piece given to me as part of my brand ambassadorship. There will be more of this vest. Just you wait!!)
Denim Shirt--Gap
Boots–Old West

An Outtake to Make You Laugh:

Gigi always manages to catch some goofy pics–this time around I thought I’d share one!

Paisley Pants 3

Shop for Paisley Pants:

Because I’m such a fan of paisley pants, I went out window shopping for you–just in case you’d also like a pair! And in the meantime found a few I think I might purchase–like the pair from Boohoo for $8! Or the red and black DSquared pair. (By the way, some of these prices are HK$ instead of USD. If it looks like a lot of $$$ it’s probably HKD.)

*This post has been linked up to What I Wore.

17th Links á la Mode

Links á la ModeUsually my outfit posts don’t make it into IFB’s Links á la Mode. It’s ok; I’m not too bothered by it. I just keep trying. Last week I put a lot of work into my 4 X 4 Snake Print, so I gave it a shot and submitted it to the Links á la Mode. Guess what!? IFB chose one of my style posts!! Yes, I will say, I’m pretty excited about this!

Links à la Mode, November 19

Style Stories Link Up No. 6 and My Paisley Pants

Paisley Pants 1

The Kremb de la Kremb Style Stories Link Up is back this week, and for my own style story I’m sharing the story of these crazy paisley pants! I’ve had this pair of paisley pants since Vincent was born–that means they’re 14 years old! Sometimes I’ve thought about getting rid of them, but then, they’ve been through so much history: I cannot. These pants were purchased on Margarita Island in Venezuela. It’s a duty free spot, so we’d head over there on the weekends for sun, surf, and shopping! These pants are on the smaller side for me, so they always serve as a good measurement; if I fit in them, I’m in ok shape. (They’re a tad bit tight here–time to get to work!) I wear these pants without fail for each Thanksgiving. They’re my Thanksgiving pants; since it’s November, they’ve been pulled out. In fact, around the purchase of these pants, we had one lucky Thanksgiving where we were able to spend it in Savannah, Georgia with the entire Freuen clan. Also I associate these paisley pants with my wonderful family and friends I have in Mumbai, India. I wore these nostalgic trousers during a weekend of coping with the horror of the Mumbai terrorist attacks up in Lonavla–while this was a tragic experience the closeness of those special to me is held close in my heart. With so many memories attached to the wild pants, it’s no shock that I pull them out each and every year!

Paisley Pants 6

Paisley Pants 3

Paisley Pants 4

Paisley Pants 5

Thank you Norbyah for these pics taken in Stanley Market.

Your Turn! What Style Stories are You Sharing These Days?

This post has been linked up to What I Wore, #iwillwearwhatilike.

What’s My Too Bold?

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 8
What’s my too bold? Every individual has an interpretation of what’s too bold for themselves. Take lipstick…it’s an every day, routinely worn accessory for me. I pretty much feel a little naked if I’m not wearing any lipstick. For another though, a bright lip might be completely intimidating. This is the conversation that started between bold dresser Samantha of Fake and Fabulous and me. I was suprised when she admitted that a bright lipstick was something she wasn’t comfortable wearing. On the other hand, I am in awe with the colorful boldness in which Samantha wears her clothes. In fact, I’ve been awestruck! Watching post after post of Samantha in amazingly vivacious colors, it is no wonder that I have been inspired by her style. I always thought of myself as a somewhat bold dresser, but I’m actually kind of mild, maybe even muted. Therefore, for a while now, I’ve been contemplating how I could dress more boldly. Could I do it? The best way to try seemed to be to start with a pair of blue tights–Samantha Fake and Fabulous Style!

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 2
I knew I wanted to incorporate some bold colored tights. I saw this mock shirt at Zara, and thought to myself, “Samantha would totally rock this!” So I picked it up for a mere HK$100. It seemed like the piece to get me started on Fake Fabulous style. I loved the multiple blue stripes with the mustard yellow streak–my suede mini doesn’t get enough wear, so I was excited to pair the two together. I also love any excuse to wear my blue suede boots! Next up, purchasing the blue tights. Luckily blue legs were easy enough to find in anyone of Hong Kong’s side alleyways with a lady street market.

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 3With a starting point established I added my cutoff jean jacket and a bright blue beanie to match the tights. Somehow adding these two items settled me a bit. Beforehand, I really felt like me legs were screaming, “Look at me! I’m blue!”

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 4Not being too sure if maybe it was the tightness of my shirt that made me self conscious, I swapped out the striped mock turtleneck and replaced it with the top from the co-ord that I wore to the first day of school. I feel this boxy cut actually looks better on my top heavy frame.

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 5Maybe it was the skirt? Too bold? This question makes me chuckle as that’s the point right? Go for bold! The black skirt with this top does look better–more put together. Now the blue suede boots are all wrong, and I didn’t want to give up on them. I think my fringe, knee-high black boots would have made this outfit a winner. Next time…

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 9In the end, it was the second look that I think accomplishes me being bold but still feeling comfortable. Somehow the denim vest calms things down for me while the beanie compliments the bright blue tights. Without those two additions, I really felt way too bold. In fact, when I was seen by a colleague on the way to shooting these pictures with Norbyah, I blushed and made excuses for having such bright blue legs–granted at this point I was still in tennis shoes and not hobbling along in my blue suede booties. Regardless, the way I feel has and will always greatly effect how I dress. If I don’t feel confident in something, I’m not going to rock it.

So….will I dress this boldly? I don’t know. But Samantha, thank you for providing me with examples of bold dressing. I love, no adore your style. You make me want to wear more bold clothing. I see your posts, and I feel inspired. I can try to be more bold, and I will–as long as I feel good at the same time. Everyone’s bold is different, yet being bold is an important move toward self confidence.

Ann Krembs Too Bold Kremb de la Kremb 6

Pictures by I’m a Norbyah in Stanley Market

*Now I know why you don’t wear bright lipstick. Samantha, your boldness is elsewhere. Speaking of which, I almost left the house with an orange lippy for this shoot, but then rapidly took it off and went for a natural lip instead.

This post has been linked up to What I Wore, #Passion4Fashion and #iwillwearwhatilike.

Trousers Under a Dress

Trousers Under a Dress
Last year at this time, I wore this exact outfit to a Thanksgiving celebration. The colors of the shift dress are pretty perfect for Turkey Day! The only issue with this dress is the hemline–it does fall a little short on me. While tights work just fine underneath, I prefer to wear a bit of a cropped and flared black pant. Somehow this type of underings (I know this is not a word, but I’ve seen it made up like this before, so I’m using it!) provides a bit more sophistication in my eye than tights would. The other time that I wore this Missoni-ish dress was to my 40th birthday brunch. I can remember at that time pairing it with fleece lined tights since Beijing is so, so very cold in February!

Do you ever wear trousers under a dress? It’s super comfortable and something I highly recommend.

Trousers Under a Dress

Trousers Under a Dress

Trousers Under a Dress

Pictures by I’m a Norbyah

Some Outfit Details

Shift and Necklace–Forever 21
Cropped Leggings–Vince
Handbag–Target (so long ago–I got three: one for me and one for each of my sisters!)
Shoes–TJ Maxx

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it’s coming up. That means Christmas is around the corner. Help me out please and answer this question, k?

Yay or Nay to Kremb de la Kremb Gift Guides?

It’s almost Christmas which means it’s time to start shopping! Do you want Kremb de la Kremb gift guides like last year?

Yes, please! Oh, please! They’re so helpful.
Nah, not necessary. I’ve got all my gifts set.

Poll Maker

This post has been linked up to #Passion4Fashion.

16th Links á la Mode

Like last time, when I have a post that I think we’ll make it into the Links á la Mode on Independent Fashion Bloggers, I submit it. Since I rarely voice my opinions on this blog, I thought I should submit Monday’s post about how strongly I believe in saying “please” and “thank you.” Well, it was chosen! Please and thank you very much IFB. You guys are the best and have created such a dynamic blogging community!

LALM_11.12.15Links à la Mode, November 12

4 X 4 of Snake Print : The Perfect Print for Warm Weathered Autumns

4X4 Snake PrintI will never complain about the weather in Hong Kong; it is quite lovely all year long. Some people find the humid months to be stifling, yet I actually enjoy them–just another reason to visit any one of Hong Kong’s lovely beaches. Our weather will cool down, but it will just take a while. In the meantime, I love seasonal style and fashion: I enjoy the shift and anticiation. In fact, just this last weekend I switched out my wardrobes pulling out winter skirts and trousers to replace the more vibrant summer colored clothing items. The fabrics of my seasonal wardrboes matter. I’m not ready for wool or even cashmere. I sweatshirt is pushing it. Yet, I want to look autumnal. Enter snake print. Snake print is the PERFECT print for autumnal dressing. It’s got the muted colors, and it looks warm. Snake pring is the perfect November fall look without suffering through any additional heat waves. The other totally amazing quality of snake print is it’s timelessness. Some of the items below are new from this season while there’s one top in my wardrobe that dates back to 2000 where I picked it up in Saudi Arabia. Basically, add some snake print to your wardrobe–you can’t go wrong!

Here, I’ll show you four pics each of four different snake print variations:

Snake Print Shorts

Snake Shorts 1.1
These shorts from Zara are my newest addition to my snake print collection. I picked them up at zara. Shorts, in a luxe, wintery texture are the perfect fall look for Hong Kong. While we’re still having weather in the 28s/80s, shorts are an excellent option. Just choose muted, fall-like colors and textures.

Snake Shorts 4.4
For accessories I went simple since I’m wearing a mock neck top. I chose my snake eye earrings and kept it at that.

Snake Shorts 2.2
A short sleeve mock turtleneck is a great option. They’re not hot. In fact, once you hit the AC of most buildings you’ll be happy for this layer. This top looks wintery, but it’s not.

Snake Shorts 5.5
Autumn and the coming cooler months scream for texture, so at no cost to my temperature I added fringe black boots and my ostrich feather bag. Again, everything here my look warm, but my temp was not!

Snake Print Pants

Snake Pants 3Another great option to own is a pair of lightweight snake print trousers. I purchased these with a great friend named Sandy during one of our shopping day dates in Beijing–Zara always being a stop. I love how I can go into a Zara, see a type of pant, grab the large, and always be assured that it fits. Odd, but true.

Snake Pants 5Being the sucker for graphic tees, I was smitten with this “Hola” one. (“Hello” in Spanish!) To make this outfit appear more fall-ish, I simply wrapped a denim shirt around my waste. No, I really never had the need to wear it, but sometimes the tied-shirt-around-the-waist serves just as much as an accessory than anything.

Snake Pants 2

Snake Pants 6
This was an outfit I wore on a city day hence the kicks and a simple crossover bag. Again, I rely on the texture of fringe to add some more autumnal style to this look.

Snake Top

Snake Top 2
Here’s a top I’ve had forever! Since my days in Saudi Arabia to be exact which was back in 1999-2001! It’s really been the perfect fitting top that shows absolutely no wear. I will probably never get rid of it–is this jinxing myself with a stain of some sort!?

Snake Top 3
Snake print needs snake accessories, no?!

Snake Top 4
To both dress up this snake print top and add some fall-like touches, I added a leather jacket for my shoulders and a pair of sock booties. No tights are needed yet, but a full, flared midi skirt is weather appropriate even in the 80s. It’s still a skirt, so it’s airy, yet it’s a length that’s more suited for colder temps–even if we don’t have them.

Snake Top 5
My photographer (whom shall not be named for this particular set of shots–read teenage son) informed me my hair was WAY Justin Beiber. He caught me trying to fix it. Yes, I will admit it: I’m in a really weird hair stage. Not sure what is going on!

Snake Dress

Snake Dress 1
Oh this dress! I do love it!! Even though it is quite short I compensated the amount of seen skin with my over-the-knee boots. See here’s the thing: not much skin is actually showing–only like four inches. This feels totally safe and not provocative in the least.

Snake Dress 4
This was the snake print dress that I randomly picked up at a garage sale encounter while visiting the Jakarta Krembs. It was a “Stop the car!” moment.

Snake Dress 3
I added some over-the-top chain earrings that actually kind of match the sway of my hair’s waves. I think these will be on repeat….

Snake Dress 2
Psyche! I was wearing shorts underneath that short dress all along!

4 x 4 Snake Print

So, there you have it: four different yet at the same time similar interpretations of snake print and how it can be used to look autumnal yet still be comfortable in a warm weathered climate.

What do you think? Does snake print work for you? Will you be trying out snake print this season?

Stay tuned for a shopping post on snake print later this week….

And for more snake looks that will offer style inspiration you can visit these snake-y posts: Balinese Snake, Snake Camo, Snake Fashion Fixation, and S-s-s-snake.

*This post has been linked up to #iwillwearwhatilike twice, Turning Heads, #Passion4Fridays twice, Style Saturday, and What I Wore.

In English, Make Sure You Say “Please” and “Thank You”

Please and Thank You 4
When I saw this “please and thank you” graphic tee, I had to have it. I don’t usually get too opinionated here on Kremb de la Kremb–which is quite the opposite in my real life; if you know me personally, you know I am always full of opinions in person. Usually I play it safer here on the blog, but in this post, I plan to say something bold: in English, “please” and “thank you” are two really important words. (I say in English because across the world in different languages you won’t always find a translation for “please” or “thank you.”) As a librarian, I work in a service industry, so I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to hear these two words used. As a mom, these are the two words I consistently remind my two children to use when they leave our home. Personally I try to use both of these words–everywhere. Using “please” acknowledges that someone will be doing something for me, and obviously, using “thank you” demonstrates my appreciation. Yet, not everyone uses these words which makes me wonder why….Is it upbringing? Is it education? Is it cultural? Is it entitlement? Or is it just plain rudeness? At any rate, I thought I would share my two simple rules for saying “please” and “thank you” in an attempt to help out my mini, manner revolution.

Rule #1:

If you want something from someone, say “please.”

Rule #2:

If you get something (for example an actual item or service) from an individual, say “thank you.”

Don’t forget please and thank you:

Here’s a list of some random, some special people I thought of that throughout my day today deserved a “please” and “thank you.” Consider your day…are you handing out these two words as often as you should?

  • The taxi driver who takes me to work
  • The barrista who makes my coffee
  • Any cashier checkers I encounter in the day
  • My colleagues
  • Any email recipients
  • The students I interact with throughout the day
  • The bus driver who takes me home
  • My housekeeper for helping with our home
  • My kids when I ask them to help me with dinner
  • My husband for his help with the dishes
  • Any social media comments and blog commenters–hey, will that be you!?

Are there any manners that you feel strongly about? What are they?

Please and Thank You 2

Please and Thank You 3

Please and Thank You 10

Please and Thank You 5

Thank you to I’m a Norbyah for taking these pictures.

Some Outfit Details:

Graphic Tee–H&M
Sweatshirt–Forever 21
Black Cape and Patent Flats–Forever 21

*This post has been linked up to Turning Heads, #iwillwearwhatilike, Style Saturday, and #Passion4Fashion.