May 5, 2019 – Golden Days and Golden Domes (OOTD #498)

Ironically, these shots were actually taken at quite the opposite of “golden hour” — it was late morning, meaning that the sun was almost but not yet directly overhead. Aside from high noon lighting, late morning and early afternoon lighting are both some of my least-favorite to work with.

Luckily, these shots turned out great anyway! I owe that more to a pretty dress, a pretty background, pretty makeup, and pretty friends than the light, though. They go a long way, especially together.

As has become tradition among my friends and me, before the last week of school (and the associated final exams), we headed to the golden dome for a photoshoot. I’m not sure exactly how we got to doing this — or how much longer we’ll continue to do it — but since freshman year, we’ve commemorated the end of a year with a friendship photo session. We also did it at the end of last semester, around Christmastime.

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Maybe we’re a bunch of self-obsessed young adults addicted to social media (I mean, I can’t speak for my friends, but I know that’s how I’d self-identify), but it’s nice to have some good group shots with your friends. Not only is it perfect for the obligatory end-of-the-year sentimental retrospect Instagram post, but it’s the sort of thing you can put into a picture frame or hang up on your photo board.

Are candid shots probably more authentic and a better representation of how you and your friends behave together on a daily basis? Sure. But a semi-staged photoshoot where you all get dressed up and recruit someone’s boyfriend to take your picture in front of iconic campus imagery is a good way to capture the group at its most poised — even if it’s not a very poised group.

So this is my last blog post of sophomore year! There’s one still to come that was taken in South Bend before I had fully moved out, but this is the last one from while classes were still going on. I didn’t bother with pictures during finals week, especially since I knew I already so behind with posting these things.

Thanks so much for sticking with me throughout this whole year — from ND’s undefeated football season to study abroad applications to Qatar to France to the Women’s March to the Polar Vortex. I can’t wait to share my summer adventures with you!

Up next: Rome, Italy!

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.


Dress: Francesca’s

 

March 25, 2019 – Twirly (OOTD #481)

There’s no shortage of stained glass at Notre Dame — but there is a shortage of stained glass that’s in a place where I can take pictures of it.

For one, a lot of it is in high places, where I can’t reach to stand to take a picture with it. For another, it’s usually inside a church or chapel — and there seems to be something weird to me about taking a picture in a place of worship, even if it’s completely empty and I’m the only one there. I have used an ND chapel for pictures once before on this blog, but to be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about it.

I don’t, however, have any issue taking photos outside of churches or other places of worship — just check out this Buddhist temple in Nepal, this mosque in Qatar, or this church in England that have all been featured on my blog. The ND basilica has shown up here once or twice as well. The architecture of these places of worship is meant to be admired — and as long as I keep my fashion photography on the outside, where no table-flipping Jesus can get mad at me for turning a church into a marketplace, I feel okay with myself.

And so that’s where these photos come from — the outside of a chapel within one of Notre Dame’s buildings. It’s not the most stunning chapel on campus, nor is it the most stunning exterior architecture or stained glass, but you have to admit that it goes nicely with my outfit.

I even figured I’d give the dress a bit of a twirl, which I almost never do because of a) how difficult it can be to get a good shot and b) how ridiculous it looks to passers-by. I’m already stood outside of a chapel in a classroom building taking pictures of my outfit — I don’t need to look any sillier.

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


Dress: Francesca’s

Bralette: Aerie

October 5, 2018 – Elementary, My Dear (OOTD #388)

I was honestly shocked that I’ve never used that blog title before.

I feel I’ve made most of the popular English culture references at this point, but as it turns out, I haven’t made this reference yet (though I came rather close here). I surprise myself a little everyday.

Today’s blog title is inspired by my roommate, who, upon seeing this outfit, declared that I looked like an elementary school teacher. Interestingly, this is the same roommate who said the other day that my outfit made me look like I was getting ready for Oktoberfest.

In both cases, I can’t really argue with her. While elementary school teacher wasn’t really my goal with this outfit, I’m not against the look either. I know for a fact that realistically, I would be a terrible elementary school teacher, so seeing as I will never be one, I’m happy to dress up like one.

I’m not sure how many elementary school teachers would match leopard print and plaid, but more power to those who do.

Actually, for a few years as a kid, I wanted to teach second or third grade. I don’t know why, though. I don’t remember being any good with younger kids when I was a kid, and I don’t remember being particularly interested in teaching people things either. Honestly, I think I just thought it would be an easy job that would still allow me to have summer vacations. I know now, of course, that teaching is actually quite difficult (and quite underpaid) — and hence, I will never teach, even for the summer vacation.

But maybe if I continue to impersonate an elementary school teacher with loafers, plaid, and tea-length skirts, I’ll get summer vacations anyway, even if I don’t go into education. Worth a shot, right?

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!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Top: Francesca’s

Skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

August 14, 2018 – Back in the Bend (OOTD #346)

It’s as the title says: I’m back in South Bend!

Being honest, I don’t know if I’d really say I’ve missed it. The Notre Dame-South Bend relationship has probably been one of my least favorite things about studying at Notre Dame, and as much as I love Notre Dame, that’s one complaint I really can’t ignore.

Notre Dame is very much isolated from the South Bend community, and South Bend, honestly, feels rather isolated from the rest of the world. South Bend’s one of those Rust Belt cities that peaked about 50 years ago and has been on a decline ever since, and while you can definitely see some fruits of the attempts to revitalize it, it’s going to be quite a long time until it’s back to its former glory — if it ever gets there.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, is quite the opposite — modern, growing, and, well, very wealthy. The disconnect between the social conditions at ND and in South Bend make it such that I feel like the students have a hard time comprehending the struggles of  the people of South Bend, and the people of South Bend tend to see Notre Dame students as nothing but rich white kids who will leave in four years having done little to contribute to the local community. In fact, Notre Dame, being such a large campus, technically has its own postal code separate from South Bend — which I believe perfectly sums up the dynamic between Notre Dame and South Bend.

Anyway, the Notre Dame-South Bend relationship aside, I have missed a lot of other things about being on campus — my friends, the Starbucks in LaFun, the creepy classrooms of the Riley art building at night. I’m not sure how I feel about classes and the schoolwork bit yet, though. I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to homework.

But I have a few days before I have to start worrying about that, so the next week I can concern myself with getting settled and moved in. And part of that “getting settled” experience, I have decided, should be exploring South Bend a bit — because I don’t want to be one of those Notre Dame kids who leaves in four years with their stupidly expensive diploma without acknowledging the community outside of the Notre Dame bubble.

So after arriving in South Bend in the afternoon, my parents and I did some shopping, got dinner, and walked around the path next to the St. Joseph River. It’s not much, but it’s still more than I did for most of my whole freshman year in South Bend. It’s a start.

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 in Kentucky. 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: A boutique in Louisville

Shorts:  Francesca’s

August 12, 2018 – Urban Exploration (OOTD #344)

Alternative title: A work in progress.

This is absolutely one of my favorite parts of Lexington.

It’s, once again, one of those old run-down industrial parts of town that’s since become a chic, gentrified district. That’s not to say that gentrification is always a good thing — but sometimes, it’s just nice to see a dilapidated area get an update.

In the case of distillery district, it was once, well, a distillery. Apparently, it had been abandoned for some time, but within the last few years, the whole complex has been updated to include a bunch of different local restaurants (with accordingly gentrified menus and prices, of course).

Not the entire area has been updated yet though, so, after popping by an ice cream shop in the area for a Notre Dame back-to-school event, I got to explore bit.

It’s still not quite the urban exploration experience that makes for popular abandoned buildings tours, but it’s something. I do like a little bit of adventure and the occasional abandoned building, but this is about as close as I’m going to get anytime soon to breaking into a real abandoned building. This was more the small concrete framework of a little house (shack? hut?) about 10 feet away from a popular bar, and an actual abandoned building that I just walked the perimeter of.

The other cool part about walking around an active construction site was that I got to get some pictures with the equipment in the background. There’s nothing like big machinery in the background to make you look like an edgy, urban, hip teen.

And nothing screams “edgy” quite like my purple penny loafers and lacy t-shirt, right? I’m practically Tumblr famous already.

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 in Kentucky. 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: Thrifted

Shorts: Francesca’s

June 17, 2018 – Dad Day 2K18 (OOTD #305)

It feels weird publishing this Father’s Day blog two weeks after it’s passed, but you know, it happens.

For Dad Day this year, we went out to Louisville to hang out with my grandmother (my father’s mother), get lunch, and otherwise, just chill. It was a very typically Scanish day, involving moderately-priced sit-down food, my grandmother trying to overfeed us, and sitting around and gossiping about my various cousins whom I don’t really know.

We ended up going to Macaroni Grill, if only because the place my dad originally wanted to go was closed. I was happy enough — Macaroni Grill had a pretty bright yellow wall that worked well for taking pictures with, which the other restaurant didn’t.

Not that taking OOTD pretty photos is the most important factor in deterring where to eat for a Father’s Day lunch! I mean, it was his choice, or, I guess, second-choice. I’m just very glad that his second-choice made for a prettier background that his first would have.

Macaroni Grill was my favorite restaurant as a kid, but to be honest, it really didn’t live up to my childhood memories. For one, my favorite old dish, the Pasta Milano, is no longer there, which basically means that Macaroni Grill is dead to me now. There are just better pasta restaurants in the world, you know?

I debated whether or not I should conclude this blog with a “my dad is great!” Father’s Day kind of spiel, but it seems weird to do so since Father’s Day was so long ago. My dad is great though, so I guess the point still stands. And if you’re reading this Dad, hi! I hope you’re doing a good job of keeping my plants alive while I’m gone.

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: Altar’d State

Top: Express (thrifted)

Shorts: Francesca’s

Dad: South Jersey

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 19, 2018 – It’s Still Not Spring (OOTD #249)

I’m still operating here until the assumption that if I dress like it’s spring, eventually it’ll come.

You can’t even tell me my logic is wrong, here. Eventually, spring will come. Will my fashion cause it to arrive any sooner? Maybe not, but it’ll come all the same, and it’ll be exciting.

I’m particularly interested to see what campus will be like with all of the flowers in bloom. I haven’t been on Notre Dame’s campus in the springtime since I first visited way back in my junior year of high school, and from what I remember, it’s very pretty. I think that’s part of the reason why I came here.

Another reason why I came was because I thought the Catholic identity was really cool — even though I’m not Catholic myself. As an outsider, I always thought the various prayers and chants were cool in a mystical, kind of creepy way, but now that I’m used to them, the appeal is wearing off.

I’m particularly tired of these meatless Fridays and the fasting leading up to Easter. While I appreciate the meaning behind it and the dedication involved, I like meat (and just like, food in general) too much to really care to participate in it myself. That’s made particularly difficult when the dining halls are barely open and when they are, they serve bread and soup.

Basically, I’m just really excited for Easter and the end of Lenten season. Catch me stuffing myself with food and chocolate eggs.

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!

Blouse: Francesca’s

Pants: thrifted (they’re actually old riding pants! Fun fact)

January 5, 2018 – Welcome To The Matrix (OOTD #194)

Red pill or blue pill?

I actually didn’t much like the Matrix films; the first one was alright, had some good action scenes, but the ones afterwards were so bloated and wordy that I think I fell asleep halfway through the second one and I skipped the last one. To be honest, I can’t actually remember which pill was the one you’re supposed to take to go back to normal life and which one takes you to the Matrix – talk about a fake fan.

If nothing else, the Matrix series certainly had style though, in a leather duster coat and sunglasses kind of way. And I feel like this outfit is definitely something of a Matrix-y style – for good or for ill.

For good in the sense that it has that post-apocoyptic cyberpunk feel, which was honestly probably the best part of the Matrix films, and for ill in the sense that I feel like my haircut plus this jacket plus the shades gives off a 90s vibe.

Is it retro or just dated? Honestly, I’m not sure.

At any rate, it is all black, and I do love an all-black outfit. I think I’m trying to make up for having worn so many colorful outfits during Christmastime; I can only do so much color during the cold months at once, you know? I’ll bring out my bright colors again come spring.

Thanks for reading, and 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!

Jacket: thrifted

Sweater: Francesca’s

November 14, 2017 – Cherry Blossoms (OOTD #159)

Happy 8PM on a Sunday night, I’m presently standing in the basement of a building I didn’t know existed, typing this blog on my phone because I forgot to do it earlier, and waiting in line for food.

It’s pretty nice, actually – my residence hall has a “Friendsgiving” event, where all the residents, freshmen through seniors, come together with dishes they’ve prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving.

What’s not as nice is that, as a freshman, I get last pick of the food.

I mean, I can’t really complain, because I know I’ll eventually be a senior and get first pick, but I’m pretty hungry and lines are not the friend of a hungry Meilin. I hope there’s still plenty of food left by the time I make it up there – there’s a shrimp dish that looks particularly good, and I’d be a little more than hurt if I didn’t at least get to taste some of it.

Since coming to college, I’ve gotten really spoiled with being able to eat pretty much whenever I want to without waiting, assuming I go to the dining hall at a decent time (there are certain periods that are busy where’s you do have to wait in lines). The whole “waiting for food to cook” notion isn’t something I’ve come across for a while.

Regardless of how long into the afternoon I’ll have to wait before dinner is served, I’m still very excited for Thanksgiving! The food they’ve got for us for Howard Friendsgiving looks good, but it’s nothing compared to my mother’s cooking.

For that matter, it’s nothing compared to my or my grandmother’s cooking, as we both contribute pretty fairly to the Thanksgiving meal. My dad on the other hand…he does a nice job setting the table and turning on the grill.