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!

Just What the Doctor Ordered

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Oh wow! I can’t believe it’s already October 18, and I have only posted on Kremb de la Kremb one other time this month back on October 3rd. I guess I needed to take a break–just what the doctor ordered! There was a time with this blog that I was posting every single day, Monday through Friday by 6:30 am (look at my archives for 2014 and 2015 for proof!). I can’t believe how I did that! Then, after some time of doing that, I just couldn’t keep up. I switched to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this time posting in the evenings; the kids did their homework while I blogged. Now, goodness, looks as if I’m lucky if I write a post once a week. But, you know what? I’m forgiving myself. I do have a full time day job and a family to care for. As much as I dream of the Kremb de la Kremb blog and brand being my job, the reality is it isn’t. And just recently, while away on a family vacation, I could have used the luxurious time to catch up, but again, I didn’t. Instead I watched the kids surf, I took long walks with my husband on the beach, and I read a book–because that’s what one should do on a vacation, right? Something has shifted in me since I’ve received Pinky, my artificial hip. I’m feeling more relaxed and less pressured. Oh, I’ll keep blogging for sure: I adore the creativity this blog allows me. But I need to apologize to you my reader because unfortunately I cannot promise a guaranteed schedule any longer. I want to write when inspired and not when forced; therefore I recommend signing up right here to the right in my sidebar for an email notification when you’d like to know if there’s a new post over here on Kremb de la Kremb. Oh, by the way, I can give you advance heads up that there will be one on Thursday! Wink wink. After some relaxation, my creative mind is working–just what the doctor ordered!

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*These pictures were shot on a beautiful Phuket beach called Kata. We stayed at a lovely little hotel called The Boathouse, one I totally recommend. Visiting this beach during August, September, and October is perfect for surfers. Yes, we had some drizzles here and there along with plenty of sun, but rain on a beach is still quite lovely!

Ballerina Wannabe and What It Did To Me

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If I were to describe myself, one characteristic comes to mind: I’m happy-go-lucky. I’m a positive person with my glass half full. I prefer to have fun, be spontaneous, and laugh. I have always been proud of my maiden name, Freuen, which in the German language is a reflexive verb meaning “to be happy!” My mom told me once, when I had grown-up, that she worried about me as a young woman because of my go-for-it attitude. She was right to worry; I have many a story to depict my shenanigans–and they didn’t end once I “grew up!”

Another characteristic to describe me would be my fierce independence. I don’t ask for much help, and not many people really, really know me. I prefer the airy fairy, happy smiling version of myself. I’m also confident–obviously; I’m writing and posting myself all over the Internet. I’m no Kardashian by any means, but I do have pics floating around these interwebs of me in my swimsuit. What what!? Crazy I know! However, just because I appear confident does not mean I don’t have insecurities, but I’ll save that for another post. Today, I’m talking about something else….

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The two characteristics mentioned above have kept me tight lipped about something–something major. I’ve been in pain, big time pain, for a while now. I don’t mention it much, but I’m beginning to. Basically, I don’t like to cause anyone trouble, and I don’t want to ever sound like a whiner. That’s why I’m always so upbeat here on this blog, and that’s why in person not many people have known what I’ve been going through. I can’t quite figure out why I’m divulging now, but it could have to do with not wanting to keep up appearances any longer. I can’t. I just can’t do it anymore.

This by no means is an indication that I won’t be posting all my stylish attempts, posting selfies, posting my favorite lipsticks, and posting pics of more and more of the tennis shoes I’m buying to replace my heels. But, there’s going to be a shift in how I write here. I want to write more honestly. If I have an opinion–even if it’s negative, I plan to start sharing it. If I lose a follower or two, so be it. I’ve had some serious struggles, and I really can’t keep them to myself any longer.

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I’ll start with the most recent update that can’t be avoided. I replaced my right hip. It was so utterly painful I could not bare it any longer. The details of this past year from the initial hip operation on August 28, 2015, are so many, both before and after, but suffice it to say that by the middle of April of this last year, I finally had to seek help. I am not in any way embarrassed by this. In fact, I’ll most likely speak more about mental health. To start, if you feel depressed for any such reason, it is ok, and it is even more ok to go get help. The chronic pain I was experiencing was taking my mind, and luckily with guidance I was able to start thinking rationally again. It had been a while…

I still have a very long road of recovery ahead of me. This is it though–there is no other measure I can take now that my organic hip is gone. I am hopeful however, and I am fully motivated. I have amazing family support from my two kiddos and definitely from my super star husband. My employee has granted me the time off to recuperate, and I feel very lucky for this. But this is it: I have to make the most and best of my situation. Again, luckily with the positive attitude that permeates my life, I will make it through this.

How did I get here? Well, that’s the thing, we aren’t suppose to look back. But when you’re at the doc, he’ll want to know what you’ve done. All I was able to say was how active I was. I was an athlete at one time in my life. I used to play volleyball and was a cheerleader in high school. As an adult, I ran, skied, stretched with yoga, and hiked. And ultimately, my whole life, I have always been very, overly flexible, AND I have always been a show off. So, I was the girl that was doing the Chinese splits, touching my stomach down to the floor, and then pulling my legs through to lay flat on my stomach. I was the young girl that held my legs high over my head in a raised, extended leg kick begging my mom to let me dance. I wanted to be a ballerina, a gymnast, a dancer. Oh, I wanted it so bad! When I described all these things to the doc, especially the desire to be a dancer–not ever properly trained, he named all of these reasons as the cause for the degeneration in my hip. My right hip was filled total osteoarthritis, and it was progressing at a rapid rate! The pictures made it look like a white, over grown forest. I don’t regret any of it: I’ve always been a ballerina wannabe. And I still am if truth be told. I love to dance. It makes me happy. And as stated before, I like to do things that make me smile–only those things.

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But let’s be real. Or I should say I’m going to be real. I’m going to try. Guaranteed I’ll still be smiling because that’s just me. I prefer to be happy. So, here’s to me and here’s to finding happiness with my new hip. I am hopeful to become strong again. I am hopeful that I will be able to walk again. That is really the only thing I want–oh, and to dance!

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It’d be a shame not to include pictures of this sweet little lady (who happens to be my photographer!). She fills me with such happiness. Her tenderness in caring for me is beyond precious. I have to stop myself for feeling bad for my kids. I think, “They don’t deserve to see their mom in such pain.” It breaks my heart how many tears they have witnessed. But this Gigi, she’s always there, always consoling me. Always helping me to feel good again. I think I need to borrow her tee, don’t you!?

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*These photos were taken out at Spirit Lake during the summer BEFORE I got my hip replacement on August 5, 2016. Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to stretch like that top pic again…

*Also, this post has been linked to the #iwillwearwhatilike and Sheela Writes link up.

Blog Terms: A Little Blogging Edu

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This collage is from the post where I announced Kremb de la Kremb was going to be taking a little shift–towards more of my fashion wonderings and wanderings.

Do you feel clueless about some blog terms? I realize that blogs and blogging have some pretty funny terminology. I sometimes throw out words like RSS or link ups or affiliate links, and sometimes I bet some of my readers might be like, What is she talking about!? It must be the educator in me, but I want to help. In this post, I’ve tried to pin down some basic blog terms that might help explain a little about the blogging world. If I missed any, please ask away in the comment section.

Blog

A blog is basically a web site the logs daily–hence the word blog taken from the “b” in web to log. Blogs are web journals and each time there is a new article or entry it’s called a post. There are all sorts of blogs: tech, cooking, lifestyle, and fashion blogs to name just a few. There are also vlogs–can you guess that that is? Video + log = vlog. Mainly, a blog is a website where an individual will attempt to report about something of interest to them. Sometimes blogs have gotten so big that turn into webazines which is like a magazine but you guessed it, on the web.

Post

Each time an article is written on a blog it is called a post. It a blog post could also be referred to as an entry, like an entry in a journal since a blog is a web log. When a new article or entry is up on a blog it may be referred to as posted–since it is now up and visible for all to read.

RSS Feed

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I’ve been trying real hard to increase my Bloglovin’ RSS feed, but as you can see it’s slow movin’. That’s ok! Feel free to like Kremb de la Kremb on Bloglovin’ if that’s how you keep track of blogs. Or you can copy this into your reader: http://www.KrembdelaKremb.com.

The amount of articles (or posts) posted on a blog may vary. Some writers post once or twice a week while others might post multiple times a day. (I try to post once a day Monday through Friday–usually in the morning. Although some days I don’t quite make it….) Since new posts, or in other words articles or entries, are posted to the blog when the writer decides, some people want to know when this happens. Rather than visiting each blog that one reads daily just to check to see if there’s a new article, each blog has an RSS. This RSS is a link that can be added to a reader. Basically what this means is that you can take a link from the blog you like and place it in a reader. The reader then gets updated when there’s a new article on the blog you like to read. Say there are five blogs you like to read. If you put those blogs’ RSS links into your reader, all you have to do is check your reader each day–not go out to all the blogs. Some people prefer to read their blogs in this way. It’s like have a newspaper with a page for each blog you read rather than going to five separate newspaper stands to get your articles. Does that help make sense? A lot of people use a very popular reader called Bloglovin’ to read their blogs. You can add my Kremb de la Kremb RSS feed to your Bloglovin’ list and see my posts each day.

Comments

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Lately, my Work Outfit posts that I’ve been writing on Fridays have generated a good amount of comments!

Most blog posts will have the option to comment at the end of them. This is a way for the writer to get feedback, start a conversation, or connect with the readers of the blog. Not many people comment on this blog which is ok. A comment in person works just as well!

Affiliate Links

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Interestingly enough, this post of me dressing down sequin pants did really well with affiliate sales.

For a while now I’ve been using affiliate links. This means I’m using a company that will give me a (small) commission if any of the items I link to from a post are purchased. Affiliate links are awesome because they give bloggers a way to monetize their sites. I like to consider it like I’m my Auntie Paddy but through the web. She used to be the very best sales lady at Nordstrom while I was growing up. I loved how good she was at her job. I hope to do the same by helping you shop through Kremb de la Kremb. (You just have to let me know if you want anything–you could tell me in the comments;)

Link Ups

I’ve been trying real hard to garner an audience for Kremb de la Kremb. (By the way, one way to do this is if you, my reader, would like to share this page. Posting it on Facebook always works; so does word of mouth;) One way to get Kremb de la Kremb out there is through link ups. A link up is when a fellow blogger will host a way of linking other bloggers on his or her site. I submit my link, among many others, and then I’m broadcasted on that site. These link ups are a super thoughtful and collabrative way for all of us to gain more of an audience.

Are there any other blog terms you’d like to know about? Please don’t hesitate to ask me either in the comments or by simply emailing me (ann at krembdelakremb dot com).

*This blog post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts.

Jakarta Blogger Roundup

JakartaBloggerRoundupBannerWhenever traveling I find one of the best sources for getting the very best out of the destination is from the bloggers of the area. Right now my family is in Jakarta visiting the Krembs: Brian and Jen and their two kids Anthony and Henry. We had such a great weekend with them (stay tuned for a Krembs’ weekend recap tomorrow), but now with Brian and Jen at work today, we’re on our own. Aside from their advice, here are the Jakarta bloggers I turned to in planning out our day:

1.Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.19.01 AMThe Diplomatic Wife chronicles a trailing spouse of a diplomat to Berlin, Manilla, and Jakarta. The DiploWife as she calls herself, left her job in marketing to embark and support his husband’s profession. In turn the DiploWife writes with tons of tips and experiences on how to get the best out of expat life. I really, really like this site and will most likely continue reading this blog outside of learning about Jakarta.

2.DucklingandSwan

Amelia is the author of Duckling to Swan. First, Amelia was in Seoul, Korea for five years, and now she is in Jakarta. Duckling to Swan is a blog about life and style–including a love of nail polish! There are tons of travel posts around Indonesia, so if you’re looking for an intimate and luxurious place to stay, you should look on Amelia’s blog.

3.GlistersandBlistersMichelle is a photographer and stylist. Glisters and Blisters has always been Michelle’s spot on the Internets to share her passions. In 2011 she was awarded Blogger of the Year at the Elle Style Awards. There are some pretty awesome fashion photos to be found on G&B!

4.HotChocoloateMintDiana Rikasari is adorable! She is the creator of Hot Chocolate & Mint. While I couldn’t find an about page for her, I can learn this just by scrolling through her posts: she’s got quirky, bright colored style that I love, and she’s extremely upbeat and determined to put a smile on her readers’ faces. I love this blog and have a feeling I’ll be revisiting it once I return to HK because I just love how dang cute she is!

5.MummynistaThe Mummynista would definitely be considered a Sassy Mama! She’s created a portal filled with all sorts of goodies for living in Jakarta–for advice on hiring helpers, to reviews of gynaecologists, to spa and restaurant reviews. If you are a mom in Jakarta, I have a feeling you would seek out the sound tips and opinions of the Mummynista daily.

6.Myrrh GoldframeMyrrh Goldframe is the fashion on goings of Lauretha. She’s got great edgy outfit posts. I can relate to her matching of outfits to scenery. You can really tell she cares just about as much about the location of her outfit posts as she does the actual outfit. I like that. She also adds a collage at the end of almost all her posts giving her readers a chance to shop the looks. Lauretha is also a DJ which adds another dimension to her site.

7.WanderbitesWanderbites is a site filled with “stories of food, travel, culinary hits & misses.” If you want to choose where to eat in Jakarta, you should definitely use this site as a reference point. The photography is beautiful and the reviews are extensive. Street food reviews are also included. Plus there are even posts filled with tips on how to become a better food photographer–yes, I have bookmarked this section of the blog to revisit as I sometimes take food photos here on Kremb de la Kremb!