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!

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!

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!

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!


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!

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!

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.

September 12, 2017 – False Step (OOTD #110)

You know, looking back at these photos, I’m not sure what I think of the shoes with the top.

Maybe it’s the pictures. I swear, in person, the yellow of the boots went much better with the yellow in the shirt. Or at least, I thought it did. Maybe I just walked around all day looking awkward and mismatched. I’m sure everyone stared and thought I was a freak – in fact, I should probably just drop out of school now, since I don’t see any way I could possibly recover from this terrible faux pas.

Luckily, most of my photos from Tuesday didn’t show my feet, so we don’t have to worry about that too much.

Anyway, things here in South Bend have slowly been beginning to feel more and more like autumn – and I’m very happy about that. I passed a batch of trees with a few orange leaves on them today, and I was so excited I had to post it to my Snapchat story. That’s real test of a millennial’s enthusiasm – did it make into onto their story?

I hope there’s somewhere on campus or nearby that I can get a pumpkin. I don’t think autumn exists without pumpkins, and I fully intend to decorate my dorm with as many of them as I can fit. I don’t even feel the need to carve them (here at Notre Dame, at least – I’ll definitely carve one when I go home to Kentucky for fall break); I just like their presence. They’re like the big round orange patron saints of the October-November season.

My birthday actually falls in the fall (ba-dum tshhh), so I have a particular affinity for the season. My favorite season, though, is definitely winter – but maybe that’s just because I’m used to mild Kentucky winters. Will I still enjoy winter after I’ve experienced my first one in South Bend, which ranks among the snowiest towns in the US?

I feel like I will, but maybe I’m being overly optimistic. I hear that in the parts of the Midwest, like Chicago, the snow never melts in the winter – it just gets dirty and turns to slush and then freezes into a grey ice that is then covered by a new layer of snow.

But personally, I feel like that’s preferable to the general lack of snow that Kentucky has. I’ve never even experienced a white Christmas before – what a depraved, unfortunate creature I must be.

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!

Sweater-jacket thingFrancesca’s

Top: H&M

Choker: Francesca’s

July 3, 2017 – [insert all-black attire proverb here] (OOTD #57)

All black everything? Black like my soul? There are so many choices – all so cliché, yet all so relatable.

Black is such a comfortable, easy-to-wear color; I almost have to stop myself from wearing it so often for fear of coming off as goth. Nothing wrong with goth, of course – but as I’ve said before, I don’t like to pigeon-hole myself into a single style.

But yeah, if I were to choose a style to go with 100% of the time, goth might be one of them. My Chemical Romance was a favorite band of mine my sophomore year. Still is a favorite band of mine, actually…

Anyway, today’s outfit – I like to think of it as pseudo-nu-goth, not unlike my “not quite” pastel grunge look from a month ago. I absolutely adore the look of a true nu-goth – the fishnet stockings, layered chokers, elegant but intimidating makeup, and of course, black everything – but the fact of the matter is, I simply don’t have the pieces to do a full Pinterest-worthy nu-goth outfit. So in the absence of the proper pieces, I like to innovate. I’ve got a black circle skirt on here – simple enough – and a black sweater with some interesting cutouts at the shoulder and detailing on the neckline. Throw in a layered choker, and I’ve got something that, while not perfect, achieves the look I want without me having to spend a fortune on pieces I can’t wear in other outfits.

Sadly though, my fabulous pseudo-nu-goth outfit was seen by very few today. I spent most of  my time at home, as my biggest concern today was packing – I haven’t done anything yet, and I leave for London tomorrow. Ah well, I packed for New York the night before – I can pack for London the same way!

Tomorrow I’m headed off to London! Sorry, I just had to repeat that to myself because I can scarcely believe it. I’m so excited, yet also a bit stressed. I’ve only flown by myself once before, and it wasn’t international. I actually have flown internationally before, but it was years ago, when I visited China in third grade. And I had my parents with me that time to tell me what to do.

I’ll leave you with this charming photo of my room, mid-packing session. It looks like a hurricane hit it, and yet, it’s just me. It’s kind of bad, but a large part of packing is putting together and laying out the outfits, and for me, that’s a very messy process.

That’s it for today! 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!

Sweater: Francesca’s

Skirt: Forever21

June 20, 2017 – All The Trends! (OOTD #48)

I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t feel the need to follow trends.


Like I said, like to think of myself – I’m not necessarily always that way. Case in point – today’s outfit, which covers three trends all in one – an off-the-shoulder top, loose shorts, and a choker. Clearly, I belong in an issue of Seventeen, or perhaps an ad for Forever21.


(Actually, unlike a lot of days, today’s outfit features nothing from Forever21!)


There’s really nothing wrong with being trendy: it’s just that following trends means there’s less room for original thought and creativity. And that’s something I value quite a lot in fashion – I would much rather wear something that makes people go “that’s different” than “that’s boring.”


But being original takes effort, and being trendy does not (though it does take a lot more money…), and today, I was rather lacking in the effort department. I woke up a bit late, and I had to rush to get ready for a lunch date with a friend, so trendy it was.


One of the nice things about trends is that they come in all varieties, and these varieties are very easily mixed and matched. Today, for example, I mixed the off-the-shoulder trend with the loose, boho-ish shorts trend with the choker trend. It made for a very simple, stylish outfit that required very little thought on my part and still looked very good in the end. That is something you risk when going with more unusual outfits – you may put all this thought and effort into creating interesting layers or silhouettes, and you can still just wind up looking weird.


Also, about today’s lunch date – my friend and I used it to discuss things we wanted to do in London, when we visit in early July. So I figured I would ask you guys, anyone who’s visited London or lives there or just feels like offering an opinion, what should we make sure we do while we’re there? We don’t necessarily feel the need to do the super-touristy things and would actually really love to go for something a little more off the beaten path, so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below!

That’s it for today! 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

Shirt: Hollister

Pants: Francesca’s

Band-aid with little fish on it: UK Hospital