August 13, 2019 – Interlude (OOTD #546)

Here’s the thing about independent research trips: you don’t have to do research for the whole time.

 

Or maybe you do — I don’t know, I’ve never done one before. Maybe a good researcher would spend all of their time devoted to their work. Alternatively, maybe all research trips are fake and people just go on them to travel to exotic places on their university’s budget. What do I know?

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Anyway, after a whole day devoted to working on my research project on the West Bank border graffiti, I decided I deserved a break. I knew I needed to go back to the border and have a closer look at some of the graffiti, but it’s not exactly an easy task. I needed another day or two to research how even I could get back to the area safely on my own, so in the meantime, I decided to do something a little more accessible to the average tourist.

What I ultimately decided to do was visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Museum.

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What I show here are not photos of me at Yad Vashem for what I think should be an obvious reason — a memorial to genocide is not the place for fashion photography. Sure, I took pictures while I was there of the exhibits, but the focus was on the exhibit, not me. As much as I like to make things about me, the Holocaust is far beyond the scope of even my narcissism.IMG_5418.jpeg

I did like my outfit though, so instead, I got some pictures with a sculpture and a nice hill overlooking the city in a nearby park.

It was a great museum though, seriously. That’s coming from me — a person who normally finds museums (except for art museums) to be dull and slow. The best part — as is the best part with a lot of museums to tragic events, such as the 9/11 Museum — were the video testimonies from people who lived through it. Diary entries and photographs and personal belongings help embellish the narrative, of course, but only the people who lived the experience can tell the story.IMG_5372.jpeg

They also did a fair job, in my opinion, from keeping the museum historical, rather than making it into it about why Zionism and a national Jewish state need to exist (though they did touch on that in the last room or two). Having just come from Palestine the previous day, I appreciated the dominantly historical approach.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Israel-Palestine this summer. 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: Forever21

Dress: Vintage (thrift, Brick Lane Market)

Blouse: ASOS

 

June 1, 2019 – Friends in Firenze (OOTD #511)

It took me two weeks, but I finally made a small group of friends here in Italy!

You wouldn’t know it from these photos, since they’re not like…present in any of them but this selfie. I mean, I’m not so vain as to force the people I’m with to take a bunch of pictures with me just so that I can prove that I have friends. I’m only vain enough to force the people I’m with to take pictures of me so that I can prove that I’m out and enjoying my life.

To absolutely no one’s surprise at all, the friends I ended up making in Rome were also Notre Dame students. To my genuine surprise though, the people who wound up as my friends were not the study abroad students who lived so close to me near the Colosseum; they were actually the other interns who lived and worked in other places in the city. There was one girl who was a study abroad student, but otherwise, we were all doing independent internships.

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*mrs. puff voice* oh, neptune.

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I’d met them all very briefly back on campus at Notre Dame, but I hadn’t expected that we’d actually bond, given how on our own we were in the city. But maybe that’s why we did bond — because we were relatively on our own, with no means of making social connections. What, you didn’t seriously expect us to go out on our own and meet people, did you?

Rome’s a great city, and I miss it now that I’m gone, but after being there for two weeks, I was craving an opportunity to get out. Frascati, which I visited had visited earlier for a winery tour, hardly counted, as I was barely there half a day. I wanted a real day trip. Turns out, my five newfound friends wanted a day trip too.

Florence (also known in Italian as Firenze) is perhaps the closest major city to Rome, just an hour by the fast train or three hours by the slow train. We chose the slow train because we’re cheap. If you’re richer than me, though, I recommend taking the fast train — I’ve hard it’s quite nice.

Despite its relatively short geographic distance from Rome, Florence feels worlds about from Rome. As I understand from the very little bit of Italian culture and history that I know, Northern Italy and Southern Italy are economically, culturally, and politically separate entities, almost to the point of being separate countries in effect. They’re united by the Italian language, and not much else. Northern Italy is much more like its European neighbors, while Southern Italy is its own separate world.

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duomo? fo-sho

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What’s the point of me mentioning this? Rome and Florence are both considered Central Italy; the North/South divide shouldn’t play into the dynamic between the cities. But it does. At least, to my unknowledgeable and uncultured opinion, it does.

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i’m out of bridge-related puns, sorry

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Florence felt different from Rome. It felt richer and cleaner and quieter and more stereotypically European. Rome is insane — hot, dirty, ancient, and quite possibly falling to pieces. At times, I’ve felt that it’s almost more like Kathmandu, Nepal than other European cities that I’ve visited, such as Munich. Florence seemed to be more put-together. For one, the sidewalks weren’t constantly trying to kill me, like they were in Rome.

I wish I could have stayed in Florence for longer than I did. I feel like there was so much more to explore than I got a chance to see. Sometimes, at the end of a trip, I feel like I’ve exhausted the things to do in a city; Florence was quite the opposite. It’s a place I’d like to go back to one day, if I have the opportunity. One day was not enough.

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made some friends in firenze

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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: ASOS

Skirt: Zara

April 25, 2019 – Closing Walls and Ticking Clocks (OOTD #497)

Blog title courtesy of Coldplay’s classic 2003 piano bop, “Clocks.”

My new favorite late-night building seems to be Jenkins-Nanovic, the location of several of the social science departments, including one of my personal favorites — the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

After my 24-hour card access got revoked from Riley, the art building, on account of not being in an art class anymore, I went on the hunt for a new late-night haunt. I wanted somewhere that I could hang out and feel relatively confident that I had privacy, which is not really the case in the more popular buildings like Hesburgh Library or LaFun. Sometimes it’s nice to have other people around suffering late at night — but sometimes it’s better to be alone to wallow in self-pity.

I’ve always liked J-N during the daytime because of this beautiful foyer room (featured here more prominently), but until spring semester sophomore year, I never spent time in the building after 5pm. As it turns out, it empties out rather early, leaving me alone to study and do work in peace.

And, of course, to wander around and take pictures for my fashion blog when I get distracted.

I also love that this foyer room features those lightbulbs that mimic natural sunlight. When it’s 2AM and you’re struggling to finish a paper that’s due the next day, you use whatever tricks you can in order to stay up. Circadian rhythms be damned — if I can fool my body with some caffeine and fake lightbulbs, I’ll do it.

(That’s horrible life advice, by the way. Please take care of yourselves).


That’s about it for today. 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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com.

Blazer: Banana Republic

Blouse: ASOS

Trousers: Banana Republic

Earrings: A street vendor in Kathmandu, Nepal

February 16, 2019 – Galentine’s Day (OOTD #456)

I’m glad Galentine’s Day has become a thing.

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come to me, children

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In case you’re unaware, Galentine’s Day is the trend where instead of (or in addition to!) a traditional date with a significant other, you go out with your friends. The cynic in me sees is as just another way for restaurants to get us to spend money on Valentine’s Day. The optimist in me appreciates that Valentine’s Day is now becoming more inclusive for people who aren’t in relationships.

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🍳 🥞 ☕️

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So the weekend after Valentine’s Day, my friends and I all piled into a car and headed out to a brunch place. Going out to eat when you’re a poor college student is always such an event, at least for those us who live in the middle of nowhere and don’t have a car. I imagine it’s rather different if you go to school in a city, where there are restaurants everywhere. When you go to school in South Bend, Indiana and there are restaurants nowhere, it’s a different thing.

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wax on, wax off

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I feel like I should mention that our Galentine’s Day actually included two guys as well — Dylan and Jackson, the boyfriends of two of my friends. Galentine’s Day should be for everyone, not just women. It’s like Friendsgiving, but the Valentine’s Day version.

Turns out, the brunch place we went to had some spectacular lighting, which made for some great photos, as you can see here.

And nothing says “Valentine’s Day” quite like an outfit that makes you look like a priest (bishop? cardinal? Sorry, I don’t know my Catholic hierarchy well) from the Spanish Inquisition!

I got this cape from a vintage shop near my home called Street Scene, and to be honest, I’m not convinced it wasn’t actually once owned by a member of the clergy. It looks eerily similar to some of the capes that bishops wear.

I’m not sure if there are rules about wearing old clergy clothes. Are they like American flags, which are supposed to be burned after they’re decommissioned? Do I need to wash it in holy water along with my Tide Pods? Leave me a comment below if you have advice.

That’s about it for today. 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!


Cape: Vintage (thrifted — Street Scene Vintage)

Top: ASOS

 

February 5, 2019 – Year of the Pig (OOTD #450)

It’s a month late, but Happy Lunar New Year!

One of the unfortunate consequences of being about a month behind on my blog posts is that when holidays come around, they almost never get a blog post devoted to them until weeks after they’ve passed. I may take the holiday photos on the date of the actual holiday, but then if I have two weeks of blogs in the queue to be posted, that holiday blog doesn’t get put out until later.

I’m better on my Instagram. Since I don’t make any effort to organize my Instagram chronologically by the date the photos were taken (but rather, by aesthetic) I’m normally pretty decent at keeping up with important dates than I am on my blog. But since I have 9500 followers on my Instagram compared to about 800 here…it makes sense that I’d be more consistent on Instagram.

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell, this was the outfit I wore on Lunar New Year 2019. I didn’t really do much to celebrate, to be honest. Notre Dame doesn’t really do much in the way of multicultural celebrations. They had some nice Chinese food in the dining hall on Friday, including pork bao buns (which I absolutely love ever since I first tried them in Chicago Chinatown last spring), but unfortunately, because of the internship and volunteer work I do on Fridays, I didn’t make it back to campus on time before the dining halls closed.

Actually, I had an interview that day. Two chemistry professors were organizing a fully-funded trip to the Galápagos Islands, and after I submitted my essay, I was contacted for an interview.

Long story short: I got into the program! That was definitely not something I was expecting, especially without an extensive background studying the natural sciences. But I suppose they were looking for students from a variety of backgrounds — and in this case, I fit the bill.

That’s about it for today. 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!


Jacket: Kohl’s

Blouse: ASOS

Skirt: Banana Republic Sloan Skinny-Fit Pant

January 16, 2019 – New Year, Same Location (OOTD #438)

It’s back to the staircases, I guess.

So far, I’ve barely asked anyone to take pictures for me — I’ve been doing them all by myself. It’s a little more difficult, but I think the result comes out looking nicer, at least some of the times. Nothing against my friends who’ve done my pictures for me in the past, but often, I think I kind of like my own pictures better. Don’t at me.

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oh, i think i hear the dinner bell ringing

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The one kind of annoying thing with doing my own pictures is that I have to find a place where my phone will sit in order to use the remote camera feature on watch to actually snap the picture. Given that restriction, I often end up using the same locations over and over — not that I didn’t do that when my friends took my pictures, anyway.

I don’t know how many times I’ve complained about the limited locations on campus for outfit photography on this blog, and so I’ll try to resist making the same complaint again. Just know that I get tired of using the same staircases and doorways as backgrounds for my outfits, okay?

It does feel kind of good to be back somewhere and know that I’ll be here for months, especially after weeks of moving around constantly. I never thought I would appreciate how quiet and uninteresting northern Indiana is, and how you can hardly travel anywhere from here. But here I am — appreciating how quiet and uninteresting and isolated South Bend is.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I like to travel, and that I don’t mind moving around constantly. I do however, like to have a home base that I can return to. I don’t know if I could handle living out of a suitcase forever; I’d at least like to have a place to call my own with some friends and some plants and a cat that I can come back to after the travels are over.

We’ll see how long it takes for me to start complaining about how I’m bored of staying in one place at university. For now, like I said, I appreciate it after the traveling I did for winter break, but I suspect that I’m going to start craving travel again after a month.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my travels. 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: ASOS

Skirt: Vintage (flea market)

 

January 3, 2019 – Les Grands Parcs de Vichy (OOTD #435)

I’ll be honest with you: I’m not even sure if these photos feature Les grands parcs de Vichy. 

I tagged them that way on Instagram because they were one of the first locations to pop up when I searched, and I thought the name made sense. I mean, I was in a park, and I was in Vichy — so why would’t I be in one of les grands parcs? 

That’s often how things go when I try to tag locations on Instagram. Half of the time, I don’t really know where I am — I just rely on Instagram to tell me. My FBI agent is probably stalking me through my Instagram location or Snap Map — unluckily for him (or her), I never really go anywhere that interesting.

These photos were taken rather hastily in a one-hour stroll around town that I had in between getting out of classes for the day and meeting up with my Australian friends to play ping-pong.

Australian friends? Ping-pong?

Allow me to explain: as I mentioned in my last post, I made friends with a group of Australian teenagers during our field trip to Clermont-Ferrand. They were a bit younger than me, but not by much. They thought my American accent was cool (which no one has said to me ever), and we got along well because we all spoke English. In fact, to my surprise, there were very few other native English-speakers at the school while I was there — there was an old British man named Patrick, and I’m not sure there was anyone else other than me and the Australians.

Anyway, the Australians had some special programming since they were there with a school group, and they invited me along with them. I was afraid of seeming like a creepy adult (since technically, I was the oldest one there even though we were all only a few years apart), but I don’t think they thought about it that way. They invited me to join them, after all.

And so I added ping-pong to my list of things that I did while in France. We set up in a rec center attached to the school and played for a few hours — it probably wasn’t the most exciting way to spend an afternoon in France, but I’d been doing plenty of exciting things over the last several days, including touring a new city, going on a Tinder date, and celebrating New Year’s Eve with my host family. It was fun to be able to relax a little bit in an English-speaking environment.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my travels. 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!

November 22, 2018 – Christmas on Thanksgiving (OOTD #412)

I like holidays where I get to dress up.

I almost always have — I remember distinctly the excitement when I was a kid of getting to pick out the dress I would wear for the  Christmas or Easter at church. I’d also often change all of the clothes on my dolls to be similarly festive.

No offense to the holidays that don’t involve getting dressed up — like 4th of July or Labor Day — but a holiday to me is only as fun as the outfits I get to wear.

Christmas takes the cake thanks to Christmas sweaters and red-and-green motifs, but I think Halloween might be a close second. I don’t typically do weeks-worth of holiday-themed outfits for Halloween like I do for Christmas (though I will make an effort to go for fall-themed outfits, at least in October)

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merry christmas? more like merry crisis

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Thanksgiving, the day these photos were taken, can also be fun. Since Thanksgiving involves a big meal with family, I like to get dressed up, even if we don’t go out anywhere and do anything that exciting. Thanksgiving is always fun too, because it marks the division in my mind between fall and winter — between pre-Christmas and Christmas.

In fact, I even make Thanksgiving my marker for when I’ll allow myself to start listening to my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Midnight on Black Friday, I bust them out and start jamming to my personal favorites, like Fall Out Boy’s “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.” 

Thanksgiving also makes a great opportunity to mix pieces that could lean Christmas-y or fall-ish. This outfit would look at home on a Christmas tree farm or an apple orchard, no?

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

Top: ASOS

Skirt: J. Crew

August 28, 2018 – It’s A-Me (OOTD #359)

It’s a-me, Mario!

Get it? I’m standing on top of a manhole cover and wearing overalls, which means that the only possible explanation must be that I’ve suddenly transformed into Mario.

Hey, I wouldn’t be opposed to living Mario’s life. It would seem to me that he’s probably got one of the cushiest jobs of all of the video game characters — I mean, he spends most of his time hosting parties or driving go karts or playing golf. It’s probably only 10% of his time that’s spent actually traversing the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Peach; the rest of his life is pretty chill.

Plus, Mario doesn’t have a ton of exams and papers coming up within the next week or two. I guess it must get kind of tiresome to hear me always complaining about the homework I have to do, but…well, I guess it’s time to get used to it.

The semester’s a quarter of the way done, which means if any of my professors were kind of enough to go easy for the beginning of the year, they’re toughening up now, sadly. I don’t know why they thought it was a good idea to give me so much to do in such a concentrated period of time, but they did.

On the positive side, the semester’s a quarter of the way done! I know it’s not good to think of life in terms of when something will finally be over, but that’s how it is for me in school at least. I could never become a teacher or a professor — not only do I lack the patience to teach people, but I’m just not a fan of school as an institution. I’m glad there are teachers and professors out there who like school enough to stay after they’ve graduated; it’s not the life for me, though.

Mushroom Kingdom, here I come!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home 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!

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: ASOS

July 8, 2018 – Getting Edgy (OOTD #325)

I bet my mother about had a heart attack when she saw these photos.

As much as I generally don’t mind heights and don’t mind climbing to the top of slightly sketchy perches, I would not have actually done so if it were actually as dangerous as these photos make it look. While my friends did once tell me I was probably the most likely person they knew to die while trying to get a selfie, I do actually care somewhat for my physical wellbeing.

So rest assured, I’m actually safer here than I look — there’s a ledge not far below the rock I’m sitting atop, and then the cliff below. It was still pretty scary looking down though.

So why am sitting on a rock in the mountains, seemingly perched on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley? Believe it or not, I did not actually climb all the way up here just for a rock and some pretty views — it was actually a temple to the Hindu goddess Kali that I had in mind.

One of the very first excursions I went on while in Nepal was to the “1000 steps temple,” which I never actually ended up reaching on account of the sun going down and our legs getting tired. Instead, about 250 steps up, we stopped to see to pay a visit to the giant gold Buddha, and then, satisfied with what we had seen, turned around and went back.

This time, we decided to go the rest of the way and finally see what was at the top of those 1000 steps. It was literally about 45 minutes of climbing, but finally, the steps ended and we were greeted with the infamous 1000 steps temple.

And you know what? It was pretty lame. I’ve seen plenty of religious structures so far while I’ve been in Nepal — mosques, stupas, temples, shrines — and pretty much all of them have been exciting experiences for me in one way or another, either because of the architecture of the buildings themselves or the beauty of the rituals performed there.

The Kali temple, however, was no architectural marvel, and there were few people there to actually observe doing anything. In fact, I think the only people we saw there were tourists.

In fairness, we were unable to visit part of the actual structure due to damage that had been caused by a bad earthquake a few years back, so perhaps that would

If the temple itself was relatively uninteresting, the views we saw there at the top of that mountain were the exact opposite. Nepal, and in particular, the Kathmandu Valley, is full of spectacular mountain views. I’m actually surprised I’m not tired of them by now with how often I see them. The sight of the cloudy hills never gets old, though.