November 27, 2019 – Familiar Faces (OOTD #586)

The day before Thanksgiving, I asked off from work so that my good friend, Mariana, could visit me in DC.

Brookings’ Thanksgiving holiday was only Thursday through Friday, but no one was going to be in on Wednesday anyway, so I simply took off. As it turned out, my roommate from freshman and sophomore year, Mariana, was going to be driving into Baltimore for the holiday, and she offered to meet me for a day in DC before she headed the rest of the way home.

Just as was the case when Jane came and visited a few weeks previous, it was so refreshing to see a friendly face from somewhere other than the DC  cohort. Don’t get me wrong, by late November, I was really starting to feel comfortable with my group of friends and beginning to really enjoy life in the city. But even the friends I did make I had really only known for about two months; in comparison, Mariana I’ve known for two years and Jane I’ve known for nine.

Mariana, like me, is a big fan of plants, so naturally I had to take her to the Smithsonian Botanic Garden. It was my second time there (the first time being with Jane), but it was still just as magical. It’s maybe not quite as spectacular as the University of Copenhagen Botanic Gardens that I saw with Anna over the summer (that one had butterflies), but I loved it all the same.img_1388

Afterwards, we wandered around the National Mall a bit, got lunch at a vegan restaurant, visited a small Christmas market (nothing compared to the one in Munich, but still very cute), and then decided to visit the National Portrait Gallery, something that had been on my bucket list since day one.

And I’m glad I went! I love portraiture; I think in another life, I would have wanted to be a portrait artist for 19th century aristocracy and have exhibitions at art salons and hang around and drink wine and smoke all day. People have always been my favorite subjects to draw. I was a touch disappointed that they didn’t have all of the official Presidential portraits (I guess they hang in all different places — some are in the Presidential Libraries, some are in the White House, etc.), but it was a really neat place anyway.

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My favorite’s is Jimmy Carter’s — one look and you can tell that it’s from the late 70s. The beige aesthetic paired with the retro gadgets on his desk (I think it’s a pager? Or an intercom?) immediately gives it away. But rather than looking tacky or dated, it looks vintage and cool. If I’m ever President, my portrait had better be as cool as his.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Turtleneck: Express

Skirt: Forever21

Jacket: Forever21

 

November 23, 2019 – Rainy Days (OOTD #585)

Apparently, even a light drizzle can make your photos blurry.

I took my phone out onto the terrace to take some pictures of my outfit, and I realized that it was raining. Not a real rain, not a downpour — just a flight mist that makes the air feel wet. Whatever, I thought to myself as I set my phone up on a lawn chair and prepared to take pictures of my outfit, my phone is waterproof now and it’s not even rainy enough for my hair to really get wet. 

Turns out I shouldn’t have been quite so flippant, I guess. The drizzle kept getting on my camera lens no matter how much I wiped it off, making this whole set of photos slightly blurry. Don’t worry, I didn’t have any issues beyond blurry photos (no water damage, thank goodness — I’d had enough issues with breaking my laptop and losing my glasses in that same week), but I was a touch annoyed that I couldn’t get anything better than these. This was a cute outfit.

I’ve taken to wearing this coat more and more often on days when it’s chilly but not freezing out — I think it’s become my new favorite mid-weight jacket. I bought it this summer while in Budapest, but it wasn’t until this fall that it actually started getting wear. I love it so much — it makes me feel like a whimsical 18th century pirate or maybe a French revolutionary. And I get compliments whenever I wear it. I think it dresses up just about every outfit I pair it with. It sure beats the ratty white coat I used to wear all the time back in fall semester freshman year. I wonder whatever happened to that?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Jacket: A vintage shop in Budapest

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

 

November 22, 2019 – Drunken Noodles (OOTD #584)

At about T-minus two weeks before the end of the semester, my friends and I made a pact to try to sample as many DC restaurants as possible.

We’d been making money from our internships all semester and saving up our stipends, and we realized that we had enough leftover to splurge on some nice meals. None of us were from big cities; we weren’t used to living around a huge variety of food in walking  distance, and so we wanted to take advantage of it before we had to leave.

I’ve described this a bit before, but it seems that when you live in a city (as opposed to just visiting it as a tourist), it’s harder to convince yourself to go out and see things or eat out. When you live there, you’re focused on just living — going to work or school or whatever. Most nights, I’d just come home and eat some ramen that I boiled in a pot with some chopped green onion. I had the ability to go out to eat all semester, but I almost never did.

Hence the pact to try as many restaurants as possible before I left. Obviously, I couldn’t go out every night (I had class from 6:30-9:30 every Tuesday and Thursday, which complicated things), but on the nights that I could, I’d do a quick Google search for restaurants and pick the first one that interested me.

I imagine that’s what being rich is like — just finding some recommendations on TripAdvisor and then going for it. How much longer until I get to do that every day?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Jacket: Ann Taylor (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

Blouse: Abercrombie

Skirt: J. Crew (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

 

November 21, 2019 – Last Seen (OOTD #583)

Two items of mine made their final appearance on November 21 before being lost forever — these glasses and my MacBook Pro.

That’s actually not quite an accurate statement in regards to the glasses. Their actual last appearance before I lost them forever was Monday, November 25. I don’t have any pictures of myself while wearing them after November 21, though, so I’m lumping them in with the laptop’s disappearance date.

The laptop was dead for about a week before I caved and brought it to the Apple Store. On Saturday, November 16, I took it with me to a café to do some studying with friends, where I ordered a “deconstructed sushi roll bowl.” It was rather tasty — so much so, that I decided to put the leftover bowl in my bag.

That was my fatal mistake. When I opened my bag later that day, I realized that the soy sauce from the bowl had leaked out over everything — including my laptop. I then made a second fatal mistake — trying to turn it on.

Rather than letting it rest to dry out, I immediately tried to turn it on. And it did, for about ten minutes. Then the screen went black, and it never came back.

I gave it a few days, but it became increasingly clear that it was toast. In defeat, I brought it to the Apple Store in Carnegie Library to send off for repairs, which is actually where some of these photos were taken. The rest were taken nearby with CityCenterDC’s Christmas trees.

As for the glasses, I didn’t lose those until a few days later — and even then, I didn’t realize they were missing for a few more days still. This is their last photographic appearance. More on that later.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Jacket: Forever21

Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Trousers: Express

November 19, 2019 – Coffee Breaks (OOTD #582)

Starting around early November, I became a coffee break person.

I think it stemmed from the way that starting around early November, I became a fun person again. Once I became more comfortable in the city and with my internship at Brookings, I became more willing to explore the city on my own, and so I started spending more time checking out different coffee shops.

I actually became friends with two of the girls I met in DC through coffee shop outings — I think every weekend starting in early November, we’d choose a random new coffee shop to visit for the afternoon to study. Since I was getting paid, I didn’t mind the expense of buying coffee so much, and it felt really good to get away from my stuffy windowless apartment and my cubicle at work.

I think my favorite coffee shop in DC was Tryst, in the Adams Morgan area. I’ll admit, I didn’t go terribly often because it was about a 30 minute walk away and there were no metro lines that ran in that direction, but the two times I did go, I loved it. And the thing was, the coffee and the food weren’t even necessarily all that spectacular. What I loved was the atmosphere. It was open late (1AM on weekends) and located in an area with a lot of bars, so you’d get all sorts of colorful people coming in that you could watch while you worked. They didn’t have Wifi on the weekends (boo), but if I used my mobile hotspot, I was fine.

The other two places I really liked were The Coffee Bar, which was in walking distance of my workplace, and Pitango Gelato, also in Adams Morgan. The Coffee Bar had one of the best iced lattés I’ve ever had (seriously — it was life-changing), and Pitango Gelato had an amazing leek soup (didn’t end up trying the gelato though, so I can’t speak to that).

I think trying different coffee shops ended up being my favorite part about living in DC for the semester. I don’t know, I don’t tend to do a lot of restaurant exploration when I’m traveling otherwise — especially if I don’t speak the language of the country I’m in — and so it was nice being in a city in the US were I was completely comfortable just walking into any random café or restaurant by myself. It was also nice because I didn’t have to go by myself since my friends and I made it into a weekly thing. It made me feel more like someone who actually lived there rather than just a visitor.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Jacket: The LOFT (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

Dress: The LOFT (thrift, Clothes Mentor)

November 18, 2019 – Can’t Somebody Open Up A Window? (OOTD #581)

The best part of the Brookings Library was that I could open the windows.

I didn’t realize until after I’d lived in an apartment with limited natural light and un-openable windows for three months that I really value the ability to get fresh air indoors.   In my entire apartment building, which I don’t believe had been updated since 1990 when it was built by the University of California, I don’t think there was one openable window.

At first, I hardly noticed — it’s not like I open every window I come across. And for weeks, it was too hot in DC to want to let any hot air in at all.

But think about it — when you do want to open a window, however rarely that may be, you really want to open it. Maybe you burned something in the kitchen and you want to let the smoke out before it sets the alarm off. Maybe your neighbor’s plumbing overflowed and you currently have sewage seeping into your living room carpet (that actually happened to me and my roommate twice). Or maybe you’re just feeling bothered and anxious and you know that some fresh air would make you feel better. Not being able to open a window in any of those situations ends up being quite a nuisance.

So I couldn’t open the windows in my apartment, and I couldn’t open the windows in any of the student lounges or study spaces (not that most of them even had windows), and there were no windows to be found in the cubicle where I worked. Thus, when I found that I could open the windows of the Brookings Library, I knew I had found my favorite study space.

I say that, but funnily enough, this is actually my last blog post from the Brookings Library — or Brookings itself. I still had about three more weeks of my internship to go, but I sort-of ran out of locations to use for backgrounds, and so I saw no need to continue taking pictures there. Besides, I started going out more and doing things outside of work and school. Who needs to open up a window to let fresh air in when you can walk out the door and into the fresh air itself?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Jacket: Thrift (Goodwill)

Sweater: Thrift (Goodwill)

Trousers: Banana Republic Sloan

November 15, 2019 – Black Out (OOTD #580)

A few years ago, I would have considered an all-black outfit to be so edgy.

I don’t think it was until my freshman year of high school that I started wearing all-black clothes. In middle school, that was too “alternative” for me — black was for funerals or business suits. Besides, the stores I mostly shopped at — Abercrombie and Hollister — didn’t sell black. Black wasn’t a cool color for teenage girls back in 2012; you were supposed to wear navy and grey and burgundy and maybe a little bit of off-white or army green. If you weren’t dressing like a) a rich kid at a prep school or b) a California beach bum, you were doing something wrong.

And then, when I entered high school, black suddenly became a cool color. Maybe it had to do with how those Victoria’s Secret PINK leggings had became widely accepted for wear as pants. Remember when that was a whole debate — whether leggings should be considered pants? Now, no one really thinks twice about it. My mother, who used to complain when I wore leggings as pants, now wears leggings herself when she walks the dog or goes to the grocery store.

By my freshman year of high school in 2013, every girl in school was wearing black Victoria’s Secret leggings, and once those had fully replaced blue jeans as go-to bottoms for everyday wear, it was only a matter of time before black became acceptable for tops too.

I know that sounds silly — how can a basic neutral color like black have ever been out-of-style? The thing was, it wasn’t really. I don’t think Seventeen or Teen Vogue were running articles in 2010-2013 about how black was a socially unacceptable color to wear. But it just wasn’t anywhere to be found in the shops that middle school girls like me frequented. Unless you were shopping at Hot Topic (and only emo weirdos shopped there), you wouldn’t find much black. Your Abercrombie cardigan with a big embroidered moose on your left shoulder wouldn’t come in black. Your Hollister floral skirt with an elastic waistband wouldn’t come in black. It just wasn’t a thing.

We’ve come a long way since 2013. Wearing all black is no longer an indication that you’re an edgy teenager — or at least, it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, it’s just a stylistic choice with no particular meaning.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: Express

Skirt: Zara (thrifted, Poshmark)

November 11, 2019 – Georgetown Getaway (OOTD #579)

Georgetown really is a getaway in relation to DC.

It’s the strangest experience. You’re walking along, through the concrete jungle of downtown DC (or is it more of a concrete forest? I’m not sure “jungle” is quite the right word, when you compare it to the proper concrete jungle, New York City), and suddenly, it all disappears — the tall buildings, the streetlights, the concrete sidewalks, all gone. You go over a bridge that reaches over a busy highway, walk past a nature preserve, and suddenly, you’re in the 18th century.

Georgetown reminds me of the more modern parts of Williamsburg. I visited there once as a kid, and I remember it being one of my favorite trips, and honestly probably part of the reason why I became a history major. It was like Disneyworld, but for colonial America. I was like a little girl seeing Elsa for the first time, except Elsa for me was a lady in an 18th century dress churning butter.

Georgetown feels worlds away from downtown DC, and yet it’s literally just a footbridge away from the main city. It’s got colorful little buildings, brick sidewalks, and narrow paths. It’s also got the Potomac River, which is always a nice view.

I wish its quaint appearance carried over into its shops and restaurants. However, as a consequence of its proximity to Georgetown University and general heritage of a rich white people neighborhood, its shops and restaurants are all rather high-end — as the kids say, boujee. It looks like a neighborhood where you’d find thrift shops and used book stores, but instead, it’s all J. Crew and Kate Spade and Moleskine.

My issues with its gentrified status aside, Georgetown is still a really nice place to walk around. I like bringing guests there because it’s normally a place they haven’t been before and a place they didn’t expect to exist in Washington DC. If you haven’t been, I’d definitely recommend you check it out.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Dress: Express

Coat: A vintage shop in Budapest

November 10, 2019 – Memory, All Alone in the Moonlight (OOTD #578)

The next day of Jane’s visit, we went to the Pentagon City shopping mall.

It was funny; for the first hour we were there, I had this funny feeling that I had been there before. But that couldn’t be — I knew for certain that I had never come this way while I was living in DC, had never even gotten off at the Pentagon City stop. I visited the Pentagon itself, sure, on a class trip earlier that semester, but I simply passed by Pentagon City without so much as a glance.

As we walked around and shopped (including spending $200 on Express clothes for a sponsored Instagram post — thanks, Express!), I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been there before. There was something about it that looked familiar, but I couldn’t place it.

It wasn’t until I looked up at the ceiling that I realized why I felt like I had been there before — it was because I had, but not during this semester in DC. No, I was here back when I was in 5th grade on a trip with my parents to see New York City and Washington DC. I hadn’t been able to recognize the mall until I glanced upwards and saw the distinctive geometric shape of the four floors reaching up to the glass sky.

Funny how memories like that work —  I wonder how many other times I’ve gotten the feeling that I’ve recognized someone or someplace but I haven’t been able to place them because I was overlooking a particular detail that would have reminded me of who/what they were? There are probably people and places we’ve been that we’ve completely forgotten, that we’ll never be able to remember again on our own unless something triggers the memory — and even then, there may be some memories that can never be triggered again. Like, you can’t disprove that those memories exist because you can’t remember them…but they’re probably there.

There, make that your sequel to Inside Out, Pixar.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Blouse: Express

Trousers: Express

Headband: Express

November 9, 2019 – A Long Time Coming (OOTD #577)

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that it took me a while to start having fun in DC.

And that’s true. I spent the first two months doing pretty much nothing but going to work, coming home, going to class, and then repeating the next day. Up until November, I wasn’t really doing anything to take advantage of my residence in DC.

But, as I also mentioned in that earlier blog post, once I did start having fun, I really went for it. Apparently, turning 21 made all the difference.

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About a week after my 21st birthday, my best friend, Jane came and visited. Jane has been a good friend of mine since I was 11 years-old, and she’s the only person I still keep in contact with from my old Louisville days. She and I met through a mutual friend in choir in 6th grade, and, though we weren’t necessarily super close in 6th grade, she somehow wound up as the only person from Louisville who kept up with texting me after I moved to Lexington.

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It’s kind of like my friendship with Amanda — Amanda and I were also not super close in high school when we actually saw each other every day. It was only once we went to university and moved to different cities that we became good friends. Wonder why that happens?

I’m a little surprised Jane hasn’t appeared more on this blog, given how often I go back to Louisville or up to Cincinnati. I guess it’s because I usually only see her for lunch or something short like that, so there’s never really time to take pictures worth making a blog out of. The last time I saw her in person, it was March 2019, and we just got lunch together in Cincinnati as I passed by on my way home for spring break. It was such a short trip, she didn’t even appear in any pictures. Then, I saw her in January 2019, and I was sick as a dog after having come home from Vichy, France — definitely not in any shape to take pictures for a blog.

The last time she actually appeared in pictures on my blog was the summer after I graduated high school. I visited her in Louisville for a few days just two weeks before I began at Notre Dame. We went to the mall, broke into my old elementary school, and ate doughnuts.

This time, Jane came and visited me in Washington DC over Veterans’ Day weekend. I had off from work that Monday, and so we had the whole long weekend to spend together from Friday night to Monday night.

And it was just as much fun as always! It was nice getting to be the hostess for once instead of the guest; I feel like most of the time when I see Jane, it’s me visiting her rather than the other way around because she lives in the more interesting city than I do (no offense, Lexington). Since I was spending the semester in DC, which is, for once, a cool city, I got to take her around to all of the cool places.

On Saturday, we went to the Smithsonian Botanic Gardens, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Wharf. Excluding my first week or two in DC when I went on a couple of back-to-back school trips to the monuments on the Mall, this was my first time in DC actually getting to go around and see some of the touristy sites. It’s funny how, when you live somewhere, you don’t actually get to see some of its famous sites unless you put in extra effort to go to them. The same thing happened to me in Rome over the summer.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Coat: A vintage shop in Budapest

Dress: thrifted (Buffalo Exchange)