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.

June 2, 2018 – Closure (OOTD #296)

This is it — two years after I wrote my very first blog ever on a real estate team’s website about the Red River Gorge area in Kentucky, I finally get to visit it.

Summer, 2016. 17-year old Meilin was beginning her second job (the first one being a grocery bagger at Kroger when I was 16) at a real estate company as their blogger. The idea was that by writing blogs about local events in Central Kentucky, I could draw more traffic to the site, and by extension, more clients to the realtors.

On my first day, my boss suggested I try a blog about the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge national forest area in Kentucky. I didn’t really know much about the area, but I did some research (thank you, TripAdvisor) and came up with the “Top 5 Things To Do In Red River Gorge In June.” It wasn’t revolutionary, but it was well(ish) written, and was my first experience realizing that I liked blogging.

I’d link to it, but sadly, since I left, most of my old blogs were purged from the website. It’s okay, you’re not missing much.

Despite writing my first blog over Red River Gorge, at the time of writing it, I had no memory of ever being there. I knew it existed, and I knew I had gone before as a little kid, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Any memories I had of actually being at the Gorge were hazy and faded. After completing the blog though, I decided to put it on my list of things to do while in Kentucky — a list that’s admittedly not super long.

Anyway, I ended up going to the Gorge hiking trails last summer with my dad, but on our trip, we never made it to Natural Bridge, which is arguably the main attraction to the whole national forest area.

Finally though, two years later, I got to see it with Amanda! Or at least, got to see it as an adult who could actually remember the experience instead of a child who was bitter that her parents were forcing her to go out and hike instead of sitting in the car and play video games, which is pretty much what happened the last time I was at Natural Bridge.

And now that I have my closure, consider this blog closed. Bye!

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!

Top: ASOS

Shorts: Francesca’s

March 9, 2018 – Feed Me and Call Me Pretty – (OOTD #242)

Home is where the heart is, and the way to my heart is through my stomach.

The first meal after leaving university for break is my favorite.

I admit, Notre Dame has a pretty good dining hall. I’ve heard my friends at over universities talk about the food they’re served, and on the whole, I think I’ve got it good, excluding maybe meatless Fridays during Lent.

However, no matter how passably edible (and occasionally legitimately tasty) the food is at school, it almost never matches up to real food from home or a restaurant. That’s why on the hour and a half long drive from the Louisville to Lexington, I relish the opportunity to eat some real, freshly cooked food that hasn’t been sitting under a heat lamp for hours.

As it turned out, the Saturday I went home, my dad and I passed a popular chain restaurant while traveling back after he’d picked me up from the airport, and we agreed to stop in for dinner. Interestingly, The OOTD shots I got outside of the restaurant are very reminiscent of the shots outside of a different restaurant I got on the drive back to Lexington for fall break. Thankfully, my hair looks a lot better here.

To be honest, the mashed potatoes and chicken I ordered there were far from the best things I’d ever eaten – but they sure tasted like it after eight weeks of the same menu over and over again.  In a way, I’m glad campus is so isolated because that way, I’m not tempted much to ever go out and spend money on food, because Lord knows I would.

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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com

Jacket: Forever21

Shirt: ASOS

Pants: The LOFT

February 22, 2018 – Midterm Misery (OOTD #231)

Up next on Meilin Explores the Art Building at Night: an art history seminar classroom!

The evening I did these photos, I was at work on a paper of application, so I popped in this empty classroom for some peace and quiet. To my delight, the room had this fun print hung on the wall, making it the perfect place for my OOTD photos.

If anyone actually knows what this piece is or what’s supposed to be going on, please tell me in the comments below. I feel like it’s probably something super metaphorical, but I can’t really even make out what’s supposed to be happening in the scene, let alone what everyone is supposed to represent.

Anyway, despite not having any idea what this piece is, it’s art, and that’s enough to satisfy me. It’s also a fairly colorless background, which I appreciate for the sake of the aesthetics of my Instagram – I like to have some more plain photos to intersperse with more colorful ones to maintain a sense of balance.

Midterms are in full-swing here at school, which is admittedly not making my existence very enjoyable. I’m pretty sure after I finished my photos and the homework I was doing for this post last Wednesday, I laid my coat out on the floor and took a nap. I say “pretty sure” because I’ve been falling asleep in strange places with increasing frequency these last few days, and it’s getting difficult to distinguish between one late night and another.

It goes without saying that I’m excited for spring break to just chill and relax and catch up on my sleep. I’m just going home, which sounds unexciting, but that’s what I’m grateful for. How do the college kids who go out partying at Panama Beach or Tijuana or wherever do it? At the risk of sounding dorky, I can barely manage to occasionally drag myself out of my room to go out one night over the weekend. I can’t imagine going somewhere and partying for an entire week, and then immediately returning to schoolwork. When do you rest?

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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: thrifted

Undershirt: ASOS

Pants: J. Crew (thrifted)

September 23, 2017 – How Do You Like Them Apples? (OOTD #120)

You know…I have absolutely no idea what that references.

Obviously, I’m sitting here in front of a computer, so I could totally look it up and solve the mystery (well, the mystery to me anyway), but I don’t really feel like it. It kind of spoils the magic of the thing. Ignorance is bliss, as they say…though I’m pretty sure that’s not how that saying usually is usually meant…

Anyway, I’m back with the photos that I wasn’t able to post on Friday! For a more detailed description of the conundrum, you can read my post from a few days ago, but the short version is that I had to post my outfit from September 25 before my outfit from September 23 because I hadn’t received the Sept 23 photos from the photographer yet. That’s all behind us now, though – on to the description of my apple-picking adventures.

As I mentioned in the Saturday Musings + Coffee post from September 23, I went out with a group of girls from my residence hall to pick apples at a local farm. And you know what? It was absolutely heavenly.

Okay…well…maybe it not. It was swelteringly hot, and that kind of ruined the “heavenly” effect, but it was still a lot of fun, especially considering that September 23 was actually the second day of fall. And what better place to spend the beginning of fall than a farm?

Maybe a farm with air conditioning, but that’s beside the point.

It wasn’t a huge farm, not like the kinds I’m used to in Kentucky, but it was charming anyway. As far as I could tell, they had a couple of rows of apple trees, some grape vines, and maybe some other fruits that weren’t currently in season. No pumpkin patch, corn maze, or hay rides, unfortunately. Guess I’ll have to wait for fall break when I’m back in Lexington for that.

But what they did have in abundance were good photo-taking opportunities, and you can bet that I took advantage of as many of those as possible. My roommate, Mariana (in the orange dress next to me in the second photo below) had her DSLR camera with her, meaning I was bothering her every three minutes to take pictures of me. I think she was perhaps more interested in taking pictures of the scenery and the plants…but she was still willing to indulge my narcissism every once in a while, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ll be sure to get her a nice Christmas present or something.

I wish we could have spent longer there, but sadly, the sun was getting higher in the sky and it was getting hotter with every passing minute. Honestly, you can probably even see the beads of sweat on my face in some of these photos. It’s okay though – it just makes me all the more excited for fall weather and for the chance to go home and do even more fall weather things.

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

Jacket: Lilly Pulitzer

Top: ASOS

Shorts: PacSun

Photo creds: Mariana and her lovely DSLR camera

August 20, 2017 – The Blog Post Of Posing With My Hand On My Sunglasses (OOTD #90)

Look, posing for photos is hard.

The best poses are dynamic, but dynamic poses draw attention, which is not always what I want, especially when I’m doing my best to fly under the radar at my new school and not make too much a fool of myself. That’s why I wound up with a ton of photos with my hand on my sunglasses today – it’s a simple pose isn’t embarrassing. I’m already a freshman, which is just about the dorkiest thing to be; I don’t also want to be a dorky freshman posing dramatically for photos in front of my class buildings.

But I can’t help it – the buildings here at Notre Dame are so pretty. I want to pose with all of them and take photos, strange though that may be. Maybe things will change once I’ve gone inside some of these buildings and begin to associate them with the stresses of school, but for now, I’m still in awe of the beauty of this place.

Today was the day my parents – all the parents, really – left. I love those guys, and I’m unspeakably appreciative of all they’ve done for me, so it was far from easy to say goodbye. I did though, and so did they, with very minimal fanfare involved. That was the best way, I think – prolonging things would have served no purpose.

On another note, with my parents went their photography skills and non-judgmental nature, so for a few hours there, I had absolutely no means of doing my pictures for my blog post. Thankfully, one of my three roommates has been cool enough to agree to do my OOTD photos for now, at least until I can hunt down someone else who’s willing to do it consistently and long-term.

Also thankfully, this awesome roommate has some pretty  sweet camera skills – and an iPhone 7 that takes those cool portraits with the blurry backgrounds. I’ve always wanted to do those things!

But for real, I can’t keep bothering my roommate to take pictures of me everyday – she’s busy and I’m sure she doesn’t want to be bothered to do work for my blog when I’m not paying her. I’m considering now buying a tripod and a remote and trying to do photos on my own? I’ve heard of some fashion bloggers who do that.

Do you have any suggestions for what I should do about taking my pictures? Are any of you fashion bloggers who take their own photos – and if so, what’s your technique? I’ll take any advice you can give me!

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!

Blouse: ASOS

Sweater: Unknown (thrifted)

Skirt: Forever21