February 14, 2019 – Valentine Times (OOTD #455)

This is my twentieth Valentine’s Day as a human being on this planet, and allow me to say: it’s a rather overrated holiday.

For adults, at least. As a kid, Valentine’s Day is great: you get to decorate your shoebox for all of your friends to place their cards into, you get candy, and if you’re lucky, maybe your dad takes you out to eat somewhere or your mom makes heart-shaped cookies. As classroom parties go, Valentine’s Day is up there with Christmas and Halloween.

But as an adult, what do you even do? Go out to dinner? You can do that any day of the year — and in fact, it’s almost worse going out on Valentine’s Day due to how busy it is. Regardless of if you have a significant other or not, I feel like Valentine’s Day as an adult is just an excuse to spend more money — not that all holidays aren’t like that in some shape or form, but I think Valentine’s Day is worse.

People generally want to buy Christmas decorations or Easter Bunny chocolates. Does anyone really want to buy candy hearts or overpriced Hallmark cards?

What’s the most strange to me is that adults do not exchange Valentines on Valentine’s Day — something I think they should do. It’s cute, and fun, and cheap. You don’t even have to buy them if you don’t want to; they’re easy to make and probably even nicer when they’re homemade. If exchanging Valentines became a custom for adults like it is for children, I think people would enjoy Valentines Day a lot more.

I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, though, I’d like to make that clear. I don’t like the “I hate Valentine’s Day” mentality, especially when it comes from bitter single people. I’m a single person too. But I like to support my friends who are in healthy and committed relationships and those who aren’t but are currently looking for one. It’s cute and harmless.

Since I generally don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day, one of the things I do like to do is get dressed up. I mean, I get dressed up a lot — but I like to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to get dressed up a little extra.

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thanks for the stuff @trueandco

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Today’s outfit features a lace bodysuit from True&Co. They were kind enough to send me one complimentary to style for my blog, and I’m really surprised with how much I like it!  At first, I wasn’t really sure how I could make a collaboration with a lingerie company work, as LEDJ is more about outerwear than underwear, but I think this makes for a really fun, layered outfit.

They also sent me a bra and panties — which I will not be styling for this blog, unfortunately — but I did still very much like them.

To top it all off, I found some roses in the trashcan of my dorm (I’m sure there’s a really fascinating story there) that I decided to take back with me and set up in a vase in my room. I’ve never gotten flowers for Valentine’s Day before, so it was a pretty exciting find — even if they weren’t met for me. Trashcan roses are still roses.

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: Forever21

Shirt: Banana Republic

Lace Bodysuit: True&Co. Lingerie Stripe and Lace Bodysuit

Jeans: American Eagle

January 30, 2019 – Frostbite Fashion (OOTD #446)

January 30, 2019 was the coldest day I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

This was a part of the Polar Vortex that swept the Midwest, and it hit us pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as it hit Chicago, which is a bit further north, but it was still pretty cold — and by that I mean -40 Fwindchill levels of cold.

It was so cold that they even cancelled classes for us that day, which Notre Dame never does. Class stops for religious holidays only — not even national holidays, so Columbus Day and Labor Day and President’s Day doesn’t count. The fact that they cancelled classes because of the weather means that this was some serious business.

And I guess it was. You probably saw everyone on social media in the Midwest doing that experiment where you throw boiling water into the air and it turns to snow. I can confirm that all of those videos were real — I tried it myself outside of my dorm, and it worked.

Because of how cold it was, I only ventured out of my dorm once that day, and that was to get food. Everything but the dining halls were closed, so there was no reason to brave the cold.

And when I did go out that one time to brave the cold, oh boy was it cold. In Kentucky, the coldest I’ve probably ever experienced is maybe -10 F windchill. This was -40 F — the kind of windchill where you can get frostbite from being outside for more than 10 minutes. I could literally feel the ice crystals forming in my nose and throat each time I breathed in. For the people who live off campus, or who live in dorms that are on the outskirts, frostbite could actually become a concern.

And hence, I stayed inside for the majority of the day. It was actually really nice. It’s so rare that I ever get off from classes. I don’t expect that it will ever happen again while I’m at Notre Dame. This was likely my first and last snow

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Hollister

Boots: Doc Marten

January 29, 2019 – Reiterations (OOTD #445)

Does this outfit look familiar to you?

It does to me. It looks very familiar. It looks like something I’ve already worn before.

Here’s a fun fact — as much as I can, I try not to repeat outfits, where “outfits” are loosely defined as ensembles that I put time and effort into constructing (in other words, not lazy days where I throw on a sweater and leggings and walk out the door). That means even if I really love an outfit (for example, this guy here or this guy here) I won’t wear it again — ever.

Or at least, I won’t wear it again and then blog about it. We’ll see if I ever end up going back on that self-imposed rule, but for now, I’m doing my best to stick to it.

So this outfit isn’t a total violation of the rule, since it’s not actually a repeat of an outfit I’d worn before. It is, however, very reminiscent of another outfit. I added a pair of tights, a scarf, and different shoes, but it’s fundamentally still very similar — my carpetbag skirt  and a form-fitting, tan-ish sweater.

I’m sure I’m just being overly-critical, just like I’m sure that no one out there but me actually remembered the similar outfit from October 23, 2017 that I referenced earlier. It’s okay — someone has to do the job of being overly-critical and remembering all of my outfits from the past two years. It’s a good thing I’m here to do the job.

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

January 24, 2019 – I Like It (OOTD #444)

I really like this outfit.

I don’t know, I just felt like mentioning that. I like most of my outfits — or else I wouldn’t…you know, wear them — but I like this one in particular. I liked it when I wore it, I like it now looking back, and I really like how all of my photos turned out.

This pair of pants was a particularly good purchase. I got them at a Salvation Army near my campus while I was moving in at the beginning of the semester, and I’ve already worn them several times. I actually almost didn’t buy them — as you can see. they’re pretty big on me, and I was concerned about finding a way to wear them that was flattering. I was also concerned about whether I could even find a way to keep them up on my hips in the first place.

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let’s play a game of name that pose

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Thankfully, we’ve got a wonderful little invention called belts, and, by putting the buckle on the smallest setting, I was essentially able to hoist these pants up on my waist. Will I ever be able to buy pants that aren’t a children’s size and have them fit perfectly without modification? The jury’s still out on that one.

This is a fun place to take pictures. It’s right outside of one of the gyms, but ever since the new student center opened last semester, no one comes here anymore. It’s also way far off on the south edge of campus, which means it’s inconvenient for anyone other than people who already live on South Quad.

That inconvenient factor is perfect for me, though, trying to take pictures somewhere outside in a way that’s inconspicuous and won’t have random people staring at me was they go by. Every time I think I’ve completely gotten over my discomfort at taking pictures of myself in public, one puzzled look from some stranger walking by reminds me that no — I’m not really over it.

I’m more over it than I was this time last year, but there’s nothing more awkward than making eye contact with some confused

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!

Long-sleeve top: Zara

Pants: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

January 22, 2019 – Primary Construction (OOTD #442)

You know that big iconic building on Notre Dame’s campus with the golden dome on top? Here’s the inside of it.

You’d think that, being such a prominent feature of Notre Dame culture, that Main Building would be somewhere the students go all the time. It’s even got a (boring) name like Main Building that implies its prominence. But nope — in actuality, I almost never venture inside here.

There are no classrooms, no restaurants, and no study spaces, and so there’s no reason to go. About all of the space in Main Building is devoted to offices, and whatever’s left is for Father Jenkins’s living quarters (probably?), storage space for the Christmas tree, and some questionable murals of Christopher Columbus. In fact, if you have to go to Main Building for a meeting, it implies that something out of the ordinary is going on.

And for me, visiting Main Building on January 22, something out of the ordinary absolutely was going on! I had just received my acceptances to study abroad programs, and I had a few questions to ask of my advisor. As it turned out, her office was in Main Building.

Long story short — this coming fall, I’ll be studying in Washington DC, and in the spring, I’ll be studying in Paris at Sciences-Po. There’s a lot more that went into that meeting with my advisor and my decision-making process, but I’ll spare you the details for now. I know it’s a subject that’s going to come up a lot in the coming months as I start getting ready to go.

Anyway, on my way out from my meeting, I decided to stop by window and get some pictures of my outfit. Going into Main Building is a momentous occasion — I had to get some photographic evidence to preserve for future generations.

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!

Turtleneck: Free People

Sweater: Forever21

Pants: American Eagle

January 21, 2019 – Unintentional Minion (OOTD #441)

I’ll admit it — I thought the Minions from Despicable Me were cool when they first came out.

It’s a little hard to explain, but I’ve got this vague memory of being about 14 years old, scrolling through Pinterest at the height of the Minion craze, probably listening to Happy by Pharell Williams or whatever as cool back in 2013, and thinking that a Minion costume would be cute for Halloween. This was, of course, before I realized that I wasn’t cool enough for Halloween parties, and that I likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to wear a Halloween costume again until I was a junior in high school and actually had friends.

This was also, of course, before I realized how annoying Minions were.

Despicable Me was a good movie, and the Minions were cute side characters. Because that’s what they were meant to be — side characters — and not the obnoxious, Facebook meme-fueling evidence of how out-of-touch corporate America is with young people that the Minions have become. Illumination took something that was cute and funny and killed it by putting it everywhere. Minions were cute when you could buy little yellow Tic-Tacs shaped like them in 2013. They were not cute when they received their own feature-length movie in 2015.

So anyway, that’s all to say that I really didn’t mean to dress like a Minion here. In fact, I didn’t even realize how much like a Minion I looked until one of my friends pointed to me at lunch and said “you look like a Minion!”

To be honest, I was going more for an Arthur the Aardvark vibe with the blue and yellow, but as soon as my friend brought up the Minion comparison, I knew they were right. I looked just like the Minion costumes I saw all those years ago on Pinterest, from the denim dress to the yellow sweater down to the combat boots.

So what can you do when it’s 12 noon on a Monday, you have two more classes still to go, and you look like a Minion?

You own it, and then write a blog post about it later.

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!

Sweater: Forever21 (thrifted)

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

January 15, 2019 – aND We’re Back (OOTD #437)

Get it? aND? Like, with an ND, for Notre Dame?

One of the things Notre Dame kids like to do is replace “nd”s in words with an “ND,” to make it seem like there’s more school spirit. For example: uNDefeated, LoNDon, IrelaND, etc. It’s a pretty easy replacement to make — you just have to paste in that iconic interlocking blue ND symbol where the “nd” would fall in the word, and all of a sudden, you look super clever.

Anyway, after my long two weeks of traveling, I’m finally back stateside. It was a long two weeks of constant activity, followed by a short one week of laying in bed sick for basically seven days straight. After my lazy week (like I said, I was sick and had a cold), I had one final flight — the last in a marathon of traveling where I had at least two flights each weekend for five weekends in a row. I went from Lexington to Atlanta to Chicago, then I took the bus from Midway to South Bend. It took basically an entire day, but at the end of the day, I had my uncleaned and overheated dorm room to welcome me home.

It’s not actually that bad being back. I like to complain, but even though I think I generally enjoy my time spent at home more than my time spent suffering away at school, I’ve managed to get into a routine at this point. It’s all good, for now at least — but you should check back with me right before midterms week and see if my answer has changed.

This was my outfit from my first real day of class — Tuesday, January 15. First days of class when you’re a college student, especially first days of class for the second semester, aren’t super exciting. People do tend to dress up a little more than they might for an average day of class, but it’s not to a significant degree.

I, however, still like putting a decent amount of thought and effort into my first day of class outfits. I want other students and my professors to have a good impression of me, and for them to begin to perceive me as a person who consistently dresses well. I hope that this outfit portrayed that.

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!

Jacket: Tahari (from SaksOffFifth)

Sweater: Forever21

Trousers: Zara

January 2, 2019 – Field Trip in France (OOTD #434)

I’ve decided that my favorite part of France is their half-day Wednesdays.

I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but apparently, many people in France take half-days on Wednesdays. I guess I can’t speak so much for professionals, but in schools at least, this is the case: and since I went to France in order to attend class, one of the things I got to experience were the half-days on Wednesday.

It was lovely.

Honestly, 10/10 would recommend that US schools give this a shot. Being in class all day for five days a week, especially when you’re in high school, is exhausting and depressing. Apparently, Americans work 300 hours on average more than the French per year — and yet we only make a few dollars more per hour.  I’m no expert of labor, but I can tell you that taking off on Wednesday afternoons made me feel rejuvenated and prepared to take on the second half the week.

With my half-day, I decided to go out on a field trip with my program to see Clermont-Ferrand, the largest neighboring city to Vichy. Vichy’s definitely a small spa town, while Clermont-Ferrand felt more like a small city. It’s no Paris or Lyons (I’m sad — I missed the Lyons field trip, as it took place on Saturday, the day I left to return home), but it felt good to get out and see a little more of the country.

Honestly, I think my favorite part of the trip was the bus ride. I love driving through unfamiliar places, especially in new countries (assuming that is, that I’m not the one doing the driving or navigating). I’ve always wanted to see the French countryside. I feel like it’s so often romanticized in French films and media, and so I’m really glad that I finally got to see the rolling hills and farms that France is famous for, even if I didn’t get to walk around them. I even got to see some dormant volcanoes! That’s not something I could say in South Bend.

We went on a short walking tour of Clermont-Ferrand, which, as it turns out, is where Michelin tires are made. We also saw some old churches, including a basilica named Notre Dame. It was neat, but very cold.

What was best about the whole trip, though, was the mall. Vichy didn’t have much going on in terms of affordable shopping — they had a lot of expensive boutiques, but I’m too poor for that. It also didn’t help that I was there during the Christmas-New Year’s season, meaning that a lot of things were closed. Clermont-Ferrand, being a larger community, had plenty more inexpensive shops, all of which were open.

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little town, such a quiet village

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Don’t judge me too hard, but the only two things I ended up buying for myself in France were a top and a pair of trousers from Zara. Zara, of course, is an English brand, and one that even has stores in parts of the US at that. But I’ve never lived in close proximity to a Zara, and so whenever I see one in the wild blue yonder, I like to buy stuff up. It was perhaps not the most French purchase I could have made, but at least it was European.


December 28, 2018 – Group Tours (OOTD #430)

Traveling in a large group is hard.img_1340

Over my last several experiences traveling, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more people you’re with, the more complicated it gets. Trying to coordinate schedules, preferences, budgets: it’s all so much, and in the end, passive aggressive arguments and frustrations always break out.



Being alone is also not ideal either, though — who are you going to get to take your photos? The best travel situation has to be just one other partner.And so for today’s Doha adventures, I gave up on trying to hang out with the group if it didn’t suit me. The previous few days, I had been trying so hard to hang out with as many people as possible, to give everyone my attention who wanted it. But that was exhausting, and in the end, I wasn’t having as much fun as I think I could have been. So I decided to go off and do what I wanted, and if people decided to join me, then I wasn’t going to stop them.

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small person, large city

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Our first stop was the Corniche, which I had seen lit up at night the previous day. I was expecting to be uninterested, as I had already seen it before, but seeing it in the day time really made a difference. Nighttime, with the bright colorful lights, was a little cooler, but I have to say that daytime was a spectacular sight as well — it looked like something out of a futuristic sci-fi film. Plus, I got some cool photos, which is usually my measure for if I  had a good time at a tourist site.


State Grand Mosque was next. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get to go in. We, the American students, were supposed to have been allowed in — but, without hair coverings, the woman at security wouldn’t allow us in as non-Muslims. Instead, we sat outside with a few other Muslim women who decided to keep us company, either in solidarity or disinterest in going in to pray.

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let’s talk mosques

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After that slight disappointment, we moved on to a collection of museums. I don’t really have any photos from here, since in my opinion, there wasn’t much to photograph. One of the museums we saw, the slavery museum, was actually quite fascinating and very well done, but it wasn’t a place for fashion pics, you know?

Then, we went back to the Souq Waqif marketplace for shopping and dinner, making it my third time in three days that I had been there. By now, the Souq’s uniqueness had worn off, and its twisting alleyways and street vendors were no longer novel to me. I devoted myself to a single task — finding a scarf to buy — and avoided distractions as much as possible. With only an hour before we had to meet for dinner, I had to stay focused, or else risk leaving Qatar having withdrawn $40 in Qatari Riyals and having spent none.

The last stop for the night was the Corniche once again, so that those who hadn’t seen it lit up at night before could see it for the first time. For me, having seen the Corniche three times now (once in the day and now twice at night), I was basically a seasoned Dohan (Dohian? Doher?) local. The skyscrapers, with their bright pink and orange and  purple lights, still left me in awe.

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Dress: American Eagle

December 14, 2019 – Hiss, Hiss (OOTD #422)

 Harry Potter seems to be a recurring theme in this blog.

Maybe it has to do with how part of the reason why I came to Notre Dame was South Dining Hall, which looks like the Great Hall from the Harry Potter films. Maybe it has to do with all of the collegiate gothic architecture, which makes me feel like I go to school in a castle.

Or at least, I feel like I go to school in a castle until I actually go inside the buildings. Then I see the facilities that haven’t been updated since Bill Clinton was president, the cockroaches that live in my room, and the brown water in DeBart, and the illusion dies pretty quickly. Hogwarts probably has its problems — a lake monster, an evil tree, a prankster ghost — but I doubt they have mold like us.

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hiss hiss bish

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Granted, I’m not convinced the art building isn’t haunted by a ghost itself, as well.

Don’t get me wrong — Notre Dame has the money to fix this stuff. They’ll just spend it on everything else they consider more important first: a new practice facility for the football team, perhaps.

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wow, you guessed it — i’m a gryffindor

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Anyway, back to Harry Potter: I love to bust out my Slytherin scarf whenever I can, especially around Christmastime, because I appreciate it as a more subtle way to show off some nerd pride. Nerd pride? Harry Potter is so mainstream I wonder if it even counts as nerdy anymore.

I feel like wearing Hogwarts House-themed attire out in public counts as nerdy though. I got a nerdy-looking guy in Au Bon Pain to tell me he liked my scarf (after like, three awkward attempts to get my attention) so I suppose it caters to that crowd.

Hiss, hiss, I guess. #slytherinpride

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!

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater: H&M

Skirt: Forever21