Saturday Musings + Coffee – Lex Vegas

It’s pretty sure I’ve only heard anyone refer to Lexington, KY as “Lex Vegas” like once total in my time living here, but I like it and I’ve been using it ever since.

This was my first full weekend here back home, since I spent the weekend after I moved out visiting Chicago. It was fairly quiet, though not boring — just how I like it.

I spent the Saturday morning visiting some local yard sales with my mother, which is something that never fails to amuse me. I don’t have to buy anything at all to have fun; I just like the hunt. It’s the same way with thrift stores. There’s something really enjoyable about picking through other people’s junk and feeling like you need to wash your hands after examining some dusty old appliances.

This time though, I did find some nice things to buy. I got a parsley plant (yay more plants!), some pots, and a few band shirts. Not that those were anything that I actually needed, and not that they would’ve been expensive to buy new, but getting them used meant it was only like $3 total.

In the afternoon, I got to see Amanda, whom I hadn’t seen since spring break in March. We got lunch, got some cute photos (stay tuned for those in the upcoming days!), got coffee, walked around the park, and in the evening, watched a movie in and ordered Chinese.

Again, it was quiet, but not boring. It was wild not having any homework to distract me from enjoying myself. During the school year, it’s not like I don’t ever go out and do fun things, but I do always have responsibilities (namely homework) to worry about the whole time I’m out. No summer homework = no homework stress, and that’s something I can definitely appreciate.

Saturday Musings + Plants – Derby Day

It seems that people outside of Kentucky don’t really do anything for the Derby.

At least, no one really does anything at Notre Dame. I think I saw that there was one Derby-themed darty somewhere, but I was in class, and darties aren’t really my scene anyway.  I have heard of a few people who were traveling into Louisville to actually attend, but I can’t imagine that it’s many.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting —  I mean, Kentucky people hardly do anything for the Derby, so it’s not like Indiana people were going to do any more. I’m just sitting here by myself streaming it on my laptop in the student center while I work on some essays. Or at least pretend to work on some essays.

For the record, I’m rooting for Firenze Fire, mostly just because he shares the name of a Harry Potter character. He’s almost certainly going to lose — but that’s okay, because I’m not putting any money on it.

Anyway, here’s a little update on my plant collection! My roommate and I have a little jungle growing in our dorm. I won’t go through every single plant here, especially since you saw a lot of them the last time I went on a plant photoshoot spree, but here are a few new ones:

First up is this money plant I got in Chinatown in Chicago. I was between buying her, a bonsai tree, or a bamboo plant in the little tourist shop, but I went for the money plant because it looked like it was in the best health for the cost. I’m a little sad it’s not a Pilea peperomioides, the kind of money plant with sand dollar shaped leaves, but I’m happy with this Pachira aquatica instead. If it brings me money like it’s supposed to, I’ll be satisfied.

This tiger’s jaw succulent is also a new one. I got him from an event my dorm was holding where everyone got to take and pot a succulent. Definitely the best dorm event all year. I wish they’d had even more succulents so I could’ve taken more — inevitably, a lot of the people who took succulents are going to kill them or otherwise neglect them, which is unfortunate because I would love to take them in and care for them. Oh well.

Speaking of neglecting plants. here are some four o’ clocks I grew from seeds I got for free at a “sustainability fair” some club was putting on. I didn’t expect them all to germinate, and so quickly, so I planted the seeds in way too small a pot. Once the seedlings are a little more mature, I’ll give some away so that the ones I have can thrive.

The rest of these plants are old, but have made important new developments. My African violets sprouted flowers, my baby saguaro cactus has grown hairy, and my sunflowers seedlings have gotten taller!

On a more somber note, whatever kind of plants were growing alongside my saguaro seedling are pretty much all dead. I’m just disappointed that none of them will ever get big enough for me to figure out what these little guys were supposed to be. They started growing around the same time as the saguaro did, making me think they sprouted from the cactus seed mix I planted, but they sure don’t look like cacti. No idea what they are.

I love being a plant mom. It’s like having being a real mom, but you don’t have to talk to your kids.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! 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!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – It’s Sunday

T-minus one week of classes to go, and am I ready for them? Nope!

It’s fine — I have a lot of late nights ahead of me, and a lot of pages of writing to get through. If blogging has taught me one thing, though, it’s how to put words on a page in order to fill space when I have nothing interesting to say, so I should be set.

You know what’s not set? My schedule for next semester. I have the absolute last time slot for sophomores in my university, which means I am probably not going to get into all of the classes I want. I did have a really good registration time last semester, so I can’t complain too much — but that doesn’t mean I won’t still, especially if I don’t make it into a few classes that I am particularly keen on getting into.

Scheduling classes is such a stressful process — your college career, and by extension, your actual career, is dependent upon it, which could be bad in the long run if you can’t get into the courses you need. For me, trying to do two majors and possibly two minors, the classes I manage to get into for next semester could have a big impact on my ability to actually achieve those goals.

And yet instead of trying to get my life together and actually prepare for course registration, I have spent a large portion of my day looking into study abroad programs for my junior year, like the degenerate with time management issues I am. I mean, why prepare for the important thing I have to do tomorrow when I could prepare for the important thing that doesn’t become relevant to me for another year?

You’d think with all of the time management games I played as a kid, like Diner Dash and Sally’s Salon, I would actually be better at holding myself to a schedule now. But alas — here I am at 11 o’ clock writing a blog detailing my woes, instead of actually doing the work I need to do for tomorrow.

Guess it’s time to get on that then. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Late Starts

Guys, I woke up at 2:30 pm today.

Part of me really loves late starts to the day, and another really part of me really hates the fact that it means I never get anything done. I’m probably going to wind up with a really late night now doing the work I didn’t do during this morning…but it’s fine. I work better late at night anyway!

Or at least…that’s what I like to tell myself.

It’s Moms’ Weekend currently for my dorm, but unfortunately, my mother’s not here. It’s okay — we both decided it wasn’t really going to work out for this weekend, especially with my schedule, and especially given the fact that she’s going to be on campus in a month to help me move out.

Besides, even though my mother’s not here, other people’s mothers are here, which means I’ve been treated to like three free meals in the last few days. I feel kind of badly continuously going out to eat and not paying but like…free food. I’m not going to say no to that ever.

In other news, the baby cactus I mentioned in my last Saturday Musings post is doing well! He grew his first a little spine, and I am a proud mother. I’ll keep you updated on his progress — probably less because anyone other than me is interested, and more because I’m just really excited about plants right now.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Plants – No Coffee Today

I’m a plant person now.

I started this Saturday Musings series with the intent of getting to post blogs with content other than outfits, and I’m definitely liking this format. Still, it gets tiresome posting photos of my laptop, planner, and a cup of coffee – sometimes, I want to switch it up, you know? So today, instead of my coffee,  I thought I would photograph my plants.

I love my plants. I was not at all a plant person before I came to school, but my roommate, Mariana, was. Seeing her with all of her plants made me want to get into gardening, so over the last few months, I’ve been accumulating more and more.

This prickly pear cactus was my first plant. I’ve had him for at least a year now, since before I came to school. My mother mainly took care of him at home, and she did a good job. He’s a lot bigger now than when I first got him from Home Depot, and he’s grown a lot over the time I’ve had him at school too.

My next plant was this African violet. I got her just before spring break, when I went to the local farmers’ market with my dorm. She was struggling there for a while, but I think I’ve finally got her in a good place now that I’ve put her in a bigger, better-draining pot. She currently has three buds, so I’m hoping I might get some flowers soon.

My chicks-and-hens succulent is next. This little guy came first from my grandmother’s garden, and then my parents’. He’s a hearty little dude — he had no problem flying with me in a plastic bag on my way back to school after spring break. I’m wondering if he might sprout some baby succulents soon.

Then, I have some plants that I’ve been growing from seeds. First up are these tiny oregano seeds that I grew from a kit I got at Walmart. I’m not sure how long it’ll take for them to mature, but they’re looking very good for being only being a few weeks old.

I also have been trying to grow some cacti from seeds. So far, all I’ve got is this little red sprout. I also have a bunch of these weird little sprouts in the same pot where I planted my cactus seeds, but I don’t think they’re cacti. I don’t know what they are. Any ideas?

Then, I have some sunflower seedings. I didn’t really intent to throw these, but they accidentally got sowed along with my cactus seeds, and they started sprouting. I don’t really have any place for them at home, and I can’t keep growing them in this tiny teacup, but I’m not ready to throw them away yet.

These two succulents are new too. They were in the dining hall for decoration during the Easter buffet, so I snatched them up because I figured they were probably just going to be thrown away away after. I’m not sure what kinds of succulents they are, but they’re looking really good for being store bought.

This spider plant is my most recent acquisition.  I took him as a clipping from a mature spider plant in the art building, and I’m trying to get him to root. I’ll let you know what goes on there.

And that’s all the plants I’ve got right now! They’re so much fun to care for and watch grow. Do you have any plants? If so, let me know what kind in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Look at me! Doing more beauty posts and using my blog as a platform for testing and reviews products!

The thing I love best about doing Influenster reviews is that I feel no pressure to have an opinion, one way or the other, about the products I receive. While I do try to always provide my own opinions and thoughts for the other complimentary products I’ve received for promotional purposes on this blog, it would be a lie to say I don’t still feel some pressure to emphasize the positives over the negatives. With Influenster, since the products are being sent to me via a third party rather than from the brand itself with the stipulation that my only role is to review the product, that pressure is gone.

This is my second Influenster VoxBox (the first one being the L’Oreal Color Crave Hair Makeup and Semi-Permanent Hair Color), and with my experience so far, I’d definitely be happy to get more of these in the mail. They come packaged so cutely in these colorful boxes, and they always provide helpful instructions for what to do once you’ve received the box. If you’d ever like for me to review Influenster as a service for bloggers on LEDJ, leave me a comment below and let me know!

Anyway, the product I got from Influenster this time around was a little stick concealer from BareMinerals from their Bare Pro line, which claims to have 16 hour coverage. I received color 05, which seemed like a pretty good fit for my light-medium skin with neutral undertones.

Now to be honest with you, I don’t typically wear concealer. I much prefer to simply use a BB cream all over my skin, and then dab it on in a little more concentration on problem areas. If I do wear concealer, it’s probably because I’m running late to class and I don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, and I just want to cover up some pimples. Very rarely do I ever do concealer and BB cream/foundation — only special occasions.

So the look I’m sporting here is, in truth, more makeup than I typically wear. I have on both a very light coverage BB cream and the concealer over top of a couple of pimples and scars scars I have on my temples and cheeks, as well as a little discoloration beside my nose. Otherwise, I don’t really have any huge problem areas right now (bless), so I didn’t need to wear it anywhere else.

I was pleasantly surprised with the blendability of the concealer, as its texture is harder and more chalky than some of the other stick concealers I’ve used, like the Revlon Photoready concealer. A few dabs with my ring finger, and it smoothed right in.

I think a large part of the easy blending is just how well this product matched my skin — I don’t typically find products that match me perfectly, as things tend to either look too pink or too yellow, but this concealer really fit my neutral undertones. Especially since I didn’t get to test this product in the store and selected it based off of some sample images I saw on the Internet, I got pretty lucky.

As for its claims of 16 hour wear, I did not get to test this, and I honestly don’t really care to. Who wears makeup for 16 hours straight? It’s not something that’s currently a part of my lifestyle, so whether it wears for 16 hours or not is truthfully not important to me as a consumer. Its staying power did seem pretty solid though for the full 12ish hours that I wore it — nothing spectacular or life-changing, but still serviceable.

Summary:

Pros:

  • Perfect color match (for me, an Asian with light-medium, neutral undertone skin wearing 05)
  • Blends easily
  • Paraben, sulfate and phthalate-free
  • Wears well (for an average 12-ish hour day)

Cons:

  • Costly at $25
  • Still not completely “all-natural” — though what really is?
  • Average to above-average quality

In the end, I liked the product. It’s no Holy Grail for me, but I found it delightfully average, and even a little above average in terms of color matching. Is it worth it for the $25 price tag, when you could get another perfectly serviceable drugstore concealer (Revlon Photoready and the Sonia Kashuk quads are two of my favorites) for half the price? That I guess depends on your views of BareMinerals’ ingredients — they do claim that this concealer is paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free, and that its natural ingredients (though not all natural — there are definitely some chemical-y ingredients that I have never heard of on the label) “nourish” the skin, so if that’s something you care about, maybe it’s worth it for you.

Have you tried the BareMinerals Bare Pro Concealer? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite concealers? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Art Rat

Fun fact: I’ve been in Subway since noon today. It is now 6PM.

Honestly, I don’t even mind. It smells like bread, it doesn’t feel isolating like the library does, and I’ve gotten some good work done. I mean, I haven’t made nearly the dent in my work I probably should have, but I also didn’t totally waste my existence, so I call it a win.

I’m on my second iced coffee now, and I can feel it. I’ve gone to the bathroom way too many times in the last six hours, and my fingers are a little jittery even as I’m typing here. It’s probably time to lay off.

I’ve spend a lot of my afternoon working on my sketches for my next art project in my Drawing class. This is so far my favorite one. The project calls us to draw inspiration from another artist, so I chose James Jean, the guy who designed the cover art for my favorite album, My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade. That’s probably the most emo reason I’ve ever decided to do an art project, which is saying something because a lot of my high school art looked pretty emo.

In the meantime, some of my other homework has kind of fallen by the wayside, as I accidentally ended up paying way more attention to my art than the other things I should have been doing. Oh well. That’s what Sundays are for.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – It’s Not Saturday and There’s No Coffee

Happy Sunday from me and my empty coffee mug!

You know, I do rather like to do these Saturday Musings blogs because they keep things interesting and more diverse than if I just did OOTD posts (plus that would be a lot of OOTDs to do), but sometimes, I don’t actually drink any coffee on Saturdays.

For example, yesterday, I swear I was so busy packing and going grocery shopping with my parents and then going to dinner with my friends, I don’t think I had time to really sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee. I didn’t even time to post this blog on Saturday like I was supposed to, haha.

Anyway, 24 hours, and it’s back to school again.

These breaks seem to go by so quickly — to be cliché, I swear it was just yesterday that I was flying home from Midway (after having sat in the airport for three hours, of course).

My spring break wasn’t the most dynamic experience I’ve ever had, but it was pretty relaxing, and think that’s what I needed. I got some good sleep (including sleeping for nearly an entire day on Monday!) and ate some food that wasn’t from the dining hall, and I was pretty satisfied with that. Going to the beach might’ve been fun, but that also would’ve been exhausting, and I was already pretty exhausted come midterms week.

Plus, I don’t much like the sand. It’s coarse…and it gets everywhere

Anyway, looks like my flight back to Chicago is about to board, so I ought to go. Can you believe that I actually got here at a normal time and only had to wait a very reasonable one hour at the airport this time around? Wild.

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Ready For Takeoff

This is like, my third time flying home through Midway airport from Notre Dame, and every time, I forget that there’s a one hour time difference between South Bend and Chicago.

My flight’s at 1:45, and so, not realizing the time difference, I figured I’d get the 8AM bus from campus, get to the airport around 11AM, and have plenty of time to make it through security and find my gate.

Welp, I do have plenty of time, because I actually arrived at the airport at 10AM local time, and then realized I had pretty much three hours to kill before I would even need to think about boarding.

Better early than late though, I guess. I hate the process of getting through security and all of that, but once I’m actually in the airport, I find it fine. Midway’s not my favorite ammenties-wise, but it’s significantly better than that one time I flew through Atlanta, got stuck for nearly two days, and had a battle with a cockroach in the bathroom at midnight. 

Anyway, I’ve been chilling here for a while, trying to muster up the energy to write this blog — or better yet, get caught up on some reading for class. Traveling kind of sucks the motivation to do productive things out of me, though, so mostly I’ve just been sitting at the gate and looking at baby animal GIFs on Reddit.

I’ve almost made it — a few more hours and I’ll be back in Louisville, which isn’t quite home but it’s close enough. Assuming my plane doesn’t get delayed and I don’t do anything stupid, it should be smooth sailing (flying?) from here.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Let’s Gogh

Shoutout to Google for always being there for me when I need some kind of dumb pun to title one of these blogs with.

Getting back into art again after having pretty much done none at all during the entirety of last semester hasn’t been quite as easy as I had hoped. I wouldn’t really say it’s been difficult, by any means, but there is a little bit of extra thinking I’ve had to do when I draw. How would I accurately portray that? How do I get these two lines to be symmetrical? That sort of thing.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m considering a minor in studio art, and I think I’m going to keep with that intention for now, assuming I do alright grades-wise in this drawing class I’m in now.

I guess my biggest complaint about the class I’m in now is that there’s very little creativity in the work we’re doing. It’s an introductory course, so we’re starting with the basics – still lives, color wheels, gesture sketches, the like. The thing is, I was doing still lives and color wheels and gesture sketches way back in early high school and middle school – which isn’t to say I don’t still have a lot to learn about how to draw accurately, but I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that without having to draw the same apple again five times.

In one of our most recent sketchbook assignments, we were tasked with using colored pencils to portray simple objects in unnatural colors, which I found to be a lot of fun in that it offered a chance for more creativity than usual. Hopefully, as the class goes on, we’ll have more opportunities like this.

In the mean time, I’m just going to do my best to stop working in the art building so late into the night that I fall asleep there and have to be woken up by the cleaning lady who comes in at 7AM. That happened once, and it was quite awkward.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!