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.

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)