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!

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  • Cindy

    I love these pictures of you. The beach backdrop is perfect with that flowy dress – sorry Kev! You look awesome. I’m loving your new hair style. My focus word for 2018 is fearless. I want to be fearless in my outfits and pictures. Sometimes I feel I’m too conservative. I started last year by wearing a big tulle skirt to a holiday party! I love your blog and following you. I have learned (since I’m new to IG posts and blogging) not to worry about the number of followers, etc. I’m having fun and expressing myself, so my goal is to not get wrapped up in followers or the lack of. Thanks for sharing your focus word and thoughts. xo Cindy

    • Fearless. What a great word!! What’s funny is I would totally consider you fearless in your style. You try anything. And it always looks great!

      I’m so happy to have gotten to know you through this online capacity Cindy. Thank you so much for always being so supportive. It means the world to me!

      Here’s to an awesome 2018 for the both of us.

      Love, Ann

  • Rozanne Swift

    A thought-provoking post, I love the idea of a focus word and, coincidentally, mine would be “creativity” too, so I am very interested, as a long-time reader, to see where your creativity will lead you in the future. I find your style very fresh and inspiring, so I like the outfit posts, but travel and an insight into life in Hong Kong would be fascinating. An exciting year of new possibilities lies ahead!

    • Oh good Rozanne. I am happy to read your comment on three accounts: one, that you are a long time reader; two, that you appreciate my style! And three, that you are open to different posts that may include a mixture of style and travel. Yay!!

      Thank you so much for your connection.

      Love, Ann

  • Will do Ian. I’ve missed you–if you can believe it!! Ann(iemal!) (That’s the nickname my bro-in-law calls me. ;P)

  • Thank you so much Lisa! I miss you an awful lot. We might have to create some sort of texting correspondence or something. I could use more of you in my life–that’s for sure. Once a year at Luna doesn’t cut it. You are so dear to me. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018 for you as well! Love, Ann

  • This is so interesting Ann. I took a couple of weeks off the social media/blog/internet hampster wheel too. I was just writing the same thing on my blog that I want it to be more than just outfits b/c there is so much more interesting things inside my head than just fashion. Do you really feel there’s a shift in blog readership? Or that blogs are losing their appeal? I hadn’t heard that but I did read that we influencers are posting 1/3 less posts on Instagram. I’m looking forward to your travel posts and showing us life in Hong Kong. And I actually like the dress!

    • Hi Julia,

      The break off social media is so nice isn’t it? I kinda want to do it again!

      I think I should have been more clear–bigger bloggers have been complaining about Instagram. The algorithm set at present isn’t working for anyone–big or small. For the life of me I cannot gain any followers. I need to stop caring about gaining and simply appreciate the ones I have–like you! Also, I’m sick of the hashtag game. It doesn’t really work for me. I remember recently reading on someone’s story of a very big blogger something to the likes of “I can’t believe I’m so addicted to this app when it’s just cr*p!” She has 100K followers, so even she’s complaining. That’s what I’m referring to. Many of us are glued to it–including me, and I just want to not care about the number, but that’s a very hard thing to do. Simply put, Instagram has become a popularity contest. I don’t want to feel like I’m in 8th grade anymore. This morning I actually thought about deleting it from my phone–especially since when I wake up and go to bed I could be READING instead! I am a librarian after all. Hahaha!

      This Saturday I’m planning on heading to a really cool area of town to take my shots instead of my regular old neighborhood. It’s an area of town that’s received a graffiti wall makeover. It’s so cool!

      Thank you about the dress. I’ll look for a new one…. Haha. I listened to Kevin on this one–since he never speaks up!

      Thank you Julia. Here’s to a great 2018! And maybe a new platform that benefits us all…

      Love, Ann

  • Judy Gramith

    I’ve always found a long, white, lacy, cotton dress like this to be romantic and lovely. Sweeping along in a dress like this on a sandy seaside location is a perfect image to complete that romantic vibe. I think you look beautiful Ann! Do you think kevin would like it better if it was short and black? 🙂
    You’ve weathered a rocky journey in 2017 Ann! You have continued to move forward and remained positive, hopeful and tough in your resolve to take back your health and comfortable mobility. I admire your strength and encourage you to maintain that healthy attitude.
    I like the idea of a one word focus a lot! I’ve got to ponder this for awhile.
    Glad your back Ann!

    • Who knows!? With Kevin that is…. I think it was the bodice part. I think it was just too matronly or something. Anyway, I obliged. I rarely do except for when he gets cringey. For example, he hates it when I wear bangs/fringe. I did it anyway. Last time I had bangs he eventually asked me to grow them out. I think that day is around the corner! But truly he rarely ever asks anything of me, so every now and then I’ll listen to him. Hahah!

      Yes, the last few years with this bum hip and bum knee have been rocky. Touch wood, but maybe the light is at the end of the tunnel right now? I feel like I may have just jinxed myself! At any rate, I can’t go wrong with trying to get stronger. Plus, this speed walking–granted it’s only been three nights at about 7 minutes each jaunt–has been amazing. I’m slowly, slowly building up….

      Let me know if/when you get a focus word. I think yours is definitely support–you offer so much to many of us bloggers!

      Happy 2018!

      Love, Ann

  • CA_Powell

    I LOVE your hair like this!
    Totally understand your focus on strength…I just had a meniscus repair and it’s made me realize that I need to build up strength in my hips, so my knees aren’t put under so much strain. It’s a totally new thing for me to think about, but there’s nothing like struggling to walk when you are only in your 50’s, to make you change!
    Look forward to continuing to follow you in 2018!

    • Oh no! I hope your recovery goes well! One exercise–that you are probably already doing–is that clam like extension you can do while lying on your side. I find that if I keep up with that exercise, my hips stay stronger. Do you know the one I’m talking about? Here’s a quick little vid demonstrating what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7RyKQV4XhE

      All the best with your recovery. Thank you so much for following along my journey!

      Love, Ann

  • señora allnut

    you look fabulous and your smile and attitude are a joy to see!, and I’m so glad that you’re keeping sharing your creativity in the blog!
    Lovely to see you!

    • Thank you so much! Your support and encouragement is always so appreciated!

      Love, Ann

  • Mia Shanks Davidson

    I gave up the scale years ago Ann. Focus on getting strong, happy and healthy without worrying about numbers.

    • Yes, yes, yes. I’m tempted to get rid of my scale. I haven’t stepped on it for months. I can tell just by knowing my body when I’m up and down. Oh, and then there’s also the multiple sizes in my closet! Hahah!

      Mia, you are always so strong. I admire that you are able to be a runner. I don’t ever foresee that in my cards, BUT, this (brisk) walking. Oh, if I can get that in I’m going to be so happy. Already I’ve gone three nights in a row! That’s something even if it’s only seven minutes at present. It feels so good to swing my arms.

      How’s the ski mountain? I’m going to text you to see…. 😀

      Thanks for commenting Mia. Big hug for 2018. I can’t wait to see you this summer!

      Love, Ann

  • Thank you Maite! A x