May 12, 2018 – Chicagoing (OOTD #282)

I finally made it into the city!IMG_0498.jpeg

Actually, this is my second time making it in since the beginning of the school year — my first time was a few weeks ago with the Taiwanese Student Association on a field trip to Chinatown. Chinatown’s sort of on the outskirts of the city though, so this was my first time making it into the heart of things.IMG_0517.jpeg

I’ve been to Chicago a few times before as a kid, but it’s been a really long time, and honestly all I remember about my previous trips is that I popped my ears on the elevator up to the Sears Tower, which ended up aggravating an ear infection that  I didn’t know I had.  IMG_0534.jpeg

This time, though, I got to see some of the touristy things I’ve been wanting to see for the whole year I’ve been at Notre Dame, an hour and a half away — the Bean, the Art Institute, Navy Pier, and basically just the city in general.IMG_0539.jpeg

I love cities, and I wish Notre Dame could be moved just a little further north so that we could have easier access to Chicago. As it is though, I’m a two hour train ride away from anything, which makes going into the city not really worth it most of the time. To be honest, though, a ten minute Uber drive into South Bend isn’t really worth it either. IMG_0530.jpegIMG_0548.JPG

As this was my first time in Chicago for a long time, it was in many ways, kind of like my first time. I had something of an idea of what it’d be like, since I know what cities are like, but each city has its own unique identity and feeling when you’re there. My personal favorite is New York, though I rather like Philadelphia as well.IMG_0508.jpeg

IMG_0502.jpegI don’t know, I didn’t love Chicago. I loved the Art Institute, and the Bean was very cool (and I appreciate the sense of humor of Chicagoans to be able to turn the Bean into a meme), but I didn’t love the atmosphere in the same way I love the atmosphere of New York. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is cool, but I don’t think I could see myself being one of those people who live in the suburbs and identify themselves to other Chicagoans by what neighborhood they’re from.IMG_0557.JPG

IMG_0558.JPGBesides, I heard way too many nasally Chicago accents at Notre Dame. I almost adopted one myself there for a while. I don’t think I could handle being surrounded by them 24/7 — no offense to you people with Chicago accents out there.IMG_0567.JPG

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!IMG_0520.jpeg

Top: Akira

Jacket: The art classroom after it had been sitting there unclaimed all semester

Jeans: Hollister

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

October 20, 2017 – Last Day of Fall Break (OOTD #140)

Fall break went too fast.

I guess all breaks go quickly, but this one seems to be particularly speedy. I guess it was because I was so busy – carving pumpkins, going shopping, catching up with my friends, and studying for some exams that are due after break is over. It was a good busy though, except for the maybe the studying part. That was significantly less fun.

I spent most of Friday lazing around in my pajamas – in fact, I spend most of any day over fall break when I didn’t have any reason not go outside in my pajamas. I also didn’t once exercise, and I took every opportunity I was offered to eat junk food. Ramen, pasta, french fries – you name it, and I probably felt no need to deny myself it.

I like to think I’m usually a pretty healthy person, so I decided to take a few cheat days during the holiday. Or…okay, it was more like a cheat week. It was probably bad, and I probably should’ve have done it with such vigor but I had fun.

So what was so special about Friday that I decided to put real clothes on?

A Goodwill trip, that’s what! I love Goodwill because I love hunting for thrift clothes, so I never pass up on an opportunity to go out to one. My mother hates Goodwill – she thinks it’s dirty and disorganized – but my father and I love it. Or at least, I love it. I think my dad just loves me.

I didn’t find anything too exciting there – I was hoping for something retro and 90s trendy, like what they sell at  Urban Outfitters for $100, but n such luck. I did find a cute tank top, though, which was pretty cool.

Afterwards, my parents and I went out to dinner at a barbecue place, and I cried a little on the inside because I still had to finish packing all of my crap to return to Notre Dame. With the exception of that packing bit, it was a very nice last day of fall break in Lexington.

Poncho: Altar’d State

Boots: Target

October 19, 2017 – My Inner Emo Kid (OOTD #139)

How many times have I described myself as something of an emo kid, here on this blog?

Plenty, it seems. And the thing is, I’m not even a proper emo kid – not at least, in the sense that emo kids existed in the early 2000s. I don’t even know if the “emo” subculture exists anymore; I’m pretty sure they were replaced by hipsters as the predominant “alternative” crowd sometime around 2012-2013.

When emo kids were a thing – say, back in 2006 – I was just eight years old, and Hot Topic was the scariest store in the mall to me. It played loud music, had scary masks in the window at Halloween, and had dim lighting that made the entrance look more like the entrance to a dungeon than a clothing store.

It wasn’t until I was about 14 that I actually started listening to some of the music that they played in Hot Topic and experimenting with an “edgier” dark style. It started with Fall Out Boy and some black sweaters, eventually evolving into My Chemical Romance and leather jackets, and finally, Bring Me the Horizon and Doc Martens. I never had a full-on emo phase – no fringe haircuts, studded belts, or rawr XD text messages (at least, when I was 14…I probably experimented with a “rawr XD” or an “lol so randomz” message when I was 11)  – but I did like to dress in all-black every once in a while.

The decision to dye my hair blonde when I was 17 actually came, in some part, from my love of My Chemical Romance music. I wanted to look like Gerard Way circa the Black Parade era (and also Elsa). I instead wound up with an orangey honey color – I didn’t wind up with truly white hair until about a year later, and even then, it was impossible to maintain, haha.

So impossible, that I decided the other day to chop it off. The ends were just looking too scraggly and awful – just have a look at my last blog with blonde hair if you don’t believe me. And since I was chopping it off, I figured I would go for another change while I was at it – dying it grey.

The dye I used, if you’re curious, is the Ion Semi-Permanent color in Titanium. It was quite easy, actually: all I did was whip up a 1:1 mixture of conditioner and dye and then paint it on my already bleached hair. I didn’t add any more bleach to my hair than what was already there, since I didn’t want to damage it further, so I’ve still got my black roots.

So, with my newly grey hair and my outfit that made me look like a Hot Topic model (well, a short Hot Topic model), I went out to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant with my family to celebrate my birthday. In actuality, my birthday’s not until November 1, but since I’m going to be back at school by then, my family wanted to celebrate it early.

I’m not sure exactly what my grandmother thought about going to lunch with her grey-haired, Doc Martens-wearing teenage granddaughter, but I don’t think she minded too much. And if she did, well it’s because *whiny voice* she just doesn’t understand, right?

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!

Dress: Forever21

Jacket: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

Also, if you’re curious about how my father’s and my pumpkin display from this year turned out, here it is!

October 17, 2017 – The Most October Day (OOTD #138)

This is it folks: the day I finally got to do all of the stereotypical American fall things I’ve been prattling on about for the last month.

Last year, my senior year of high school, my father and I went out to a local orchard for an afternoon to pick pumpkins. As it turned out, we didn’t pick any pumpkins – by the time we went, I guess it was too late into the season and all of the good pumpkins were gone – but we did have a lot of fun wandering around, picking apples, and going through the corn maze.

Thus, being a sap for anything nostalgic, even if it’s only from a year ago, I requested that, when I went back for fall break, my father and I go back to the same orchard.

It was a rather different experience this time, though – we went on a Tuesday, when all of the Fayette County schools were still in session and all of the kids were stuck in classrooms doing work (heh, suckers), whereas last year, we went on a weekend, when it was super busy and crawling with children. Thus, it was pretty nice to be there when it was fairly quiet – I got to climb up on the jungle gym since there were no kids there, which was pretty sweet, and there was no line for the hay ride out to the pumpkin patch or the corn maze, which was also pretty sweet.

The best part of any farm adventure, in my opinion, is eating a caramel apple. I rambled on about my love of caramel apples for a while in a blog from a few days ago, so I’m not going to do that here, but allow me to say: a caramel apple from a farm is the best caramel apple you can get.

Also, if you don’t eat your caramel apples with nuts, I don’t know what you are (unless you have a peanut allergy – then it’s acceptable).

I don’t necessarily know how Kentucky farms compare to farms in Idaho or New York (or really anywhere else in the US, or the world), but if I had to make an overarching generalization based on little evidence and/or experience, I would have to say that Kentucky farms are the best in the world. There are hills, for one, which I know you don’t get in some parts of the Midwest (South Bend Indiana, I’m looking at you), and chances are, if you’re heading out to a  farm in Kentucky in October, it’s probably still warm enough to go without a jacket.

I must say though – latitudes further North do have better leaf colors in October. I do suppose that would be one gripe about my farm adventure, that there wasn’t much color in the trees other than green and a touch of brown. It’s really odd, coming back to Kentucky after having been in Indiana, as the weather is so different, despite only being one state over.

This year, my father and I did manage to find some decently-sized, attractive, and carvable pumpkins at the orchard, so I will be sure to show you guys what our Jack-o-Lanterns turn out looking like as soon as we get them done. We also found some apples, a bale of hay, an abandoned flag football belt, and the joy of…something, I don’t know, I was trying to come up with a charming and insightful, but I’m not good at that. All I can do is point to my own inadequacies and hope people laugh.

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!

Vest: Altar’d State

Sweater: Target

Shirt: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

August 2, 2017 – The Blog Post of 1000 Outfits (OOTD #80)

I’m going to apologize for two things here: 1) not posting a blog for a few days, and 2) returning to posting blogs with an obscenely picture-heavy post with about four separate outfits in it.

The four separate outfit thing is less directly my fault though – my dad and I went canoeing for the first part of the day, so I had the outfit I wore for that, then the bathing suit I wore underneath for when we stopped and swam in the river, then the outfit I changed into afterwards since my first outfit was wet and dirty, then the dress I changed into when my friend, Jane, and I went out to dinner.

So you see, the costume changes were all necessary to the day and totally not all due to me simply being an excessive person who likes excuses to change her outfit. What, you think I’d start a fashion blog and actually enjoy putting together outfits?

Pshaw.

Anyway, my dad and I started out day at about 5:00 AM with a two-hour drive out to Milltown, IN in order to catch an 8:45 bus down to the Blue River for canoeing. This – canoeing on the Blue River –  is a tradition we’ve had since I was a kid, maybe third grade or so. It used to be that we’d go along with some of my friends and their dads, in sort-of a daddy-daughter thing, but over the years, people moved away, and the tradition sort of died off.

In truth, we hadn’t even done it for years ourselves. But, with me going off to college in a few weeks, we thought it would be a nice time to bring it back.

And I’m glad we did. Canoeing is a low-key kind of fun; there’s not a ton of screaming and laughing, and conversation’s quite difficult since you’re sitting one in front of another, but it’s a nice way to simply enjoy each other’s company. The part of the Blue River that we canoed (didn’t know that was a word) down was really pretty, and there were a couple of banks where we stopped to walk around the woods and wade in the river as a break from sitting.

Also, the sunglasses are back! Thank goodness. I wasn’t about to wear eye makeup while canoeing and swimming, and I also wasn’t about to be doing pictures without either eye makeup or my sunglasses.

About three and a half hours later, around 12 noon, we reached the end of our trip. From there, I took on my second costume change of the day (the first being changing from my canoeing clothes into my bathing suit while still on the river), changing one dirty, wet top for a clean, dry one.

We then stopped in Louisville in the Bardstown Rd. area (very cute and hipster, by the way – almost like a little Shoreditch) for lunch, and, though I didn’t intend to take any more pictures, I couldn’t resist when I saw this big beautiful wall with a colorful mural on it. Then, I ate a popsicle, and I thought that would make for a good shot too…you see now why this is such a picture-heavy post?

Up next, I met up with my friend, Jane, who lives in Louisville. Jane and I became friends in 6th grade, and a year later, I moved away to Lexington. Regardless, we’ve stayed friends through texting and social media (and before texting and social media were huge, emailing and IMing), and we visit each other a few times a year.

That leads to my next costume change of the day – a beautiful pale pink maxi dress Jane bought in France and gave to me since it didn’t fit her anymore. We were going out to dinner that night, and I thought, you know, why not change out of my slightly ratty canoeing/Bardstown Rd clothes and into this new dress?

Thankfully, that fourth time was also the last time I needed to change clothes for the day…unless you count the pajamas I changed into at Jane’s house. I guess that would’ve made for five? Oops.

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!

Shirt 1: Forever21

Shorts: Forever21

Coat: North Face

Shirt 2: Hollister

Dress: Unknown (gifted)

July 30, 2017 – Yay Adoption (OOTD #78)

Odd title, I know, but I mean it – yay for adoption!

On Sunday, my parents and I went out for lunch in celebration of Gotcha Day – the day my parents "got" me from China.

I don't believe I've mentioned this before, but I was adopted from Hunan, China when I was a few months old. I mean, I guess you probably could've figured that – it is a white dude who's in my Father's Day photos - but I haven't discussed it formally. Not that I personally think there's much to discuss; it's not like I remember anything about China or my birth parents, and I've always considered myself much more American than Chinese, or even Chinese-American.

So in general, my adopted-ness plays very little role in my everyday life. The exception of course is Gotcha Day, my family's little celebration of, basically, the fact that we are a family. We usually go out to eat, and my parents get me a little gift; it's not unlike a mini birthday party. My grandmother sometimes joins us too. It's just a nice little way for us to bond, and of course, a nice little excuse for us to eat out.

This year, we ate out at Bella Notte, one of my favorite restaurants in all of Lexington. I adore Italian, and this is probably the best Italian I've ever had outside of Little Italy in New York. Everything tastes so fresh and flavorful, the décor is stylish and charming, and I don't even feel badly about eating the pasta with heavy cream sauce – it's that good. My dad and I always get the family-size Penne Gorgonzola to share, and we can nearly finish it off.

After lunch, we went out and did some shopping for my dorm room. There wasn't a lot we could get, since I haven't seen my room yet and don't really know how much space I've got, but I did pick out some nice sheets and a duvet cover. I'll have to do a Saturday Musings + Coffee post about it sometime and show it all off to you guys; I'm definitely excited about it all!

I know this is kind of a short post, but I think I'm going to end it here. Thanks again to my parents for being super cool and also making it so that I didn't spend the rest of my life in a Chinese orphanage!

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!

Top: Unknown (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

Scarf: American Eagle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – I Have 15 Minutes to Write This Blog

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've done one of these, huh?

Yes, while I wish I could keep up with these Saturday Musings posts a little better, I often have to go to work early on Saturday mornings, making writing these posts a little difficult. I don't exactly have the time to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and reflect upon my life or whatever when I'm rushing out the door to beat the morning traffic, and I definitely don't have the time to write a blog about it.

Thankfully though, there are these wonderful things called afternoons, which come after mornings, and it's just as acceptable to enjoy coffee at 2:00pm as it is at 8:00am.

So that's what I did today. My mother and I were meeting with a former coworker at Starbucks to chat, so I thought I'd bring along my camera to take some artsy photos of my iced coffee and do one of these posts.

If it weren't the summer, and if it weren't too hot to drink a hot coffee, you can bet that's what I would be drinking. I'm not really into all of the cold coffee concoctions. I feel like to have a cold coffee, you really need for it to be sweet and dessert-like, but I'm not really into sweet coffees – I always take mine black. But sadly, I don't have the guts to drink a black cold-brew; I've tried and I'm sorry, it's just disgusting.

My compromise then is a lightly sweetened vanilla iced coffee – less caloric and less sweet than say, a frappuccino (not ashamed to say I Googled how to spell that), but still less disgusting than a plain cold brew. But like I said, at the end of the day, I like a hot, black coffee, and the fact that I cannot drink those on summer afternoons is just another reason why I am not a summer person.

And it looks like my fifteen minutes is nearly up! I started this blog at 4:45, and I have a friend coming at 5:00, so this post was something of a little exercise to see how long I could stay focused and write when I was under a time limit. It's not the longest, most in-depth post ever, but it's something, right?

Anyway, that’s it for today. 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.

July 16, 2017 – Back in the USA (OOTD #68)

After a harrowing experience in the Atlanta airport involving 22 hours, sleeping on a chair, and an epic showdown against a cockroach named Jonny, I'm finally back in Lexington.

It's definitely a relief. London and the approximately 240 hours I spent there were wonderful, but 22 hours in a dirty, ugly airport such as ATL is enough to make anyone miss home and its cockroach-free bathrooms.

My first day back, my mother had a picnic that she'd organized along with her work friends, so my father and I stopped by for a few hours. I was exhausted and cranky, not to mention generally bitter that it's a solid 10 degrees hotter and feels 100% more humid here in Kentucky than it was in London, so perhaps I was not the best company for anyone there, but it was still nice to get out of the house. The hot dogs were pretty decent too.

Plus, the picnic was held at a really beautiful location. The church we were at, Walnut Hill, was constructed back in 1801 on land donated by Mary Todd Lincoln's grandfather (wife of the famous Abraham), and there was this awesome old cemetery around back with graves dating back to the late 18th century. Nothing as old as some of the stuff I saw in London, but still probably one of the oldest buildings in the state, and arguably just as cool (and this church doesn't charge 20 pounds for admission! cough cough, St. Paul's Cathedral)

Neither my father nor I are particularly sociable people, so when we got bored of staring at the people talking, we wandered off to explore some of the church's grounds. I got my photos for my outfits in in this beautiful little courtyard area, and my dad and I made a sport of trying to find the oldest gravestone in the cemetery, made low-key dangerous by the high grass and my idiot decision to wear wedges.

I guess that's it for today. Not a very eventful blog post, I know, but I hardly did anything other than sit at home, jet lag-heavy eyes trying to stay open while my whole body tried to tell them it should be six hours later. It wasn't too bad though – much better than when I returned from China after my trip in third grade. I think I had to take two or three days of school off to recover from that.

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!

Top: Liz Claiborne (thrifted)

Skirt: Vintage

 

June 18, 2017 – Father’s Day Fashion (OOTD #46)

Sorry for the late post, but it’s been a busy day.


It’s Father’s Day here in the US, and my family likes to celebrate by taking a day to spend out doing some things of my dad’s choosing. He opted to get lunch at a new(ish) restaurant in the Summit called Ted’s Montana Grill, and we walked around and window shopped for a while.


We also invited my grandmother (my father’s mother) into town to join us, making it a nice little family outing. I actually shared my lunch with her – it was a half chicken, and neither of us could eat the whole thing. 


I wish I had gotten a picture of the thing – it was so good! Best chicken in my life? Well, no. But pretty solid. I did get a picture of our appetizer, some homemade chips, so you can look at that instead and pretend I was a good blogger who actually documented what she ate like she was supposed to.


On a more serious note, I do rather like Father’s Day – not just because I love excuses to go out to eat, but because I rather love my father too. He takes a lot of pictures for this blog for me (including almost all of the ones for today!) and does all of the proper fatherly duties very well. I must give him something of a shoutout – he’s pretty cool.


In addition to my father, I also love my outfit from today. I layered a sheer, lacy top underneath my sleeveless dress to create a really interesting, unique look. I particularly liked the mixture of the velvet texture of the dress with the sheer top. For accessories, I added my trusty black sun hat, which seems to make any outfit look more chic and trendy. 


I also added some cute rings – I got this little bird one in New York, actually, at a street market. Only $10. The little sales lady said it was sterling silver, and my fingers haven’t turned green yet, so I guess I’ve got to believe her.


And that’s all, folks! A huge thank you to all of you for helping me reach over 200 followers! I couldn’t do it without you (obviously…)!

Dress: Kohl’s…I think. I honestly can’t remember and the tag doesn’t help!

Shirt: Altar’d State