May 30, 2019 – Vineyards and Vino (OOTD #510)

I never expected to see the day when Notre Dame would pay for me to taste wine.

While in Rome for my internship, another Notre Dame study abroad program was going on. I actually lived really close to the Notre Dame building — like within a five minute walking distance — but I didn’t interact with the other ND kids much. They had their classes, and I had my work, so there wasn’t necessarily a lot of opportunity for us to overlap.

On some afternoons though, the ND study abroad program would have extracurricular, “cultural enrichment” activities, which interns like me were invited to participate in for free.

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take me home, country roads

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Most of the time, these were short classes, such as a crash course Italian lesson or a brief lecture on Italian politics, but sometimes, they’d be actual field trips. One day, we visited the Jewish ghetto, and another, we visited Cinecittà Studios. And one day, probably the most exciting of our field trips, we visited a winery in Frascati.

Up until I went to Italy, I wasn’t a huge wine person. In fact, I wasn’t a huge drinking person in general (and I’m still not). With the exception of the time that I attended a New Year’s Eve party at my host family’s home in France , I’d never really had more than one drink at a time. Rome changed that.

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For one, every night at dinner, I was offered wine, whether I wanted it or not. To be honest, most of the time, I did not  — but I took it more often than I wanted because it seemed that everyone around me, especially the Italians, were drinking. It seemed rude not to. I was there for a cultural experience, and drinking is inextricably woven into the Italian culture.

And over time, I found that I liked it. Does anyone really like alcohol the first time they try it? I’m inclined to say no. It’s not really the taste you’re after; it’s the effect.

Though at the wine tasting in Frascati, I have to say, I found myself going after the taste more than I ever had bothered to before. I can’t describe it to you; I don’t know enough about wine to discuss flavors. One tasted like “red” and the other tasted like “white.” They tasted a lot better than any of the other reds or whites I’d ever had before, however — not that I have much to compare them to. An authentic Italian winery’s own homemade wine isn’t really on the same level as something out of a box at a dorm party. Maybe that’s why I’d never liked wine before; I had never had good wine.

But when in Rome, do as the Romans do, as they say. And the Romans like to drink.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. 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: FreePeople

Skirt: Express (thrifted)

May 17, 2019 – Roman Holiday (OOTD #502)

I’ve actually never seen Roman Holiday.

I’ve actually never seen a lot of classic films, as I’m not a big movie-goer. I don’t like sitting in place for so long focused on a single thing; I guess it’s the Gez Z kid in me. Movie theaters are the worst. Siting in a dark room for three hours without your room and nothing to do but watch a screen? No thanks.

I do wish I’d studied up a little more on Italian cinema (or Hollywood cinema that depicts Italy) before I came here, because now I’m realizing that I don’t know all of the cultural references that I should. Everything I know about Italy in movies comes from The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Paolo and Lizzie driving around the Colosseum on a Vespa? An iconic moment in cinematic history. “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of?” Anthem of a generation.

Prepare for more interesting Roman backgrounds for my OOTD blogs in later posts, but this was just a single day after I’d arrived. I hadn’t even unpacked all of my clothes yet, let alone wandered around the city looking for good photography locations. These shots were just from the garden at the student center where I stayed. A judgmental nun might have watched me set up and balance my iPhone on a bench and pose for the camera, but I’m pretty shameless about it at this point.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this summer. 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: Free People

Jeans: American Eagle

April 8, 2019 – Arts and Crafts (OOTD #490)

I don’t know what this room is.

Sometimes, I wind up wandering around classroom buildings at night. Normally, it’s because I happened to be in the building before night fell, and then by the time it starts to get dark and empty, I just decide to hang around. Maybe it’s too cold outside to justify walking all the way back to my dorm. Maybe I know my roommates will be around, and I just want some silence to do some work.

Regardless of what the reason is for me being there, once the building in question clears, I like to wander around. There’s no one to tell me I can’t and no one to judge me when I try to open a locked door.

Sometimes, I bump into weird rooms like this. Like…what is this? An elementary school art studio?

You can’t see everything here, but this was a truly bizarre room. It had standard classroom fare — tables, chairs, computers. It also had slightly unconventional classroom fare — bean bags and white boards on wheels. Then, it had really unconventional classroom fare —  like enough Play-Dough, Post-It notes, and Legos to supply an army.

And I have no idea what they’re for! It’s not like it’s a classroom meant for aspiring elementary school teachers, it’s not an art studio, and it’s not even for engineers who are trying to think creatively with Play-Dough and Legos. It’s just…there.

I’m not convinced I didn’t stumble into the Room of Requirement. It gave me what I required, right? I got a place to take some pictures, which is all I really want in life.

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: AMIClubwear

Dress: Urban Outfitters

Turtleneck: Free People

March 27, 2019 – Pink and Red (OOTD #483)

A few years ago, I never would have tried to mix pink and red.

It’s one of those color combinations that can go really horribly wrong if you don’t do it well — think a bad homemade Valentine’s card crafted by a seven year-old. It has a tendency to look overly-girly and juvenile.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last two years of keeping a fashion blog and trying to come up with new and creative outfits each day, it’s that rules are ridiculous and meant to be broken. Or rather, they’re decent guidelines, but they shouldn’t be held to all of the time.

Just like my recent realization that I can wear yellow despite being Asian and believing for years that yellow would never work with my skin tone, I’ve also realized that I can do whatever I want with what I wear. You shouldn’t wear black and brown together? Watch me. You can’t have a round face and get a pixie cut? Sounds fake. 

It doesn’t always work though — there’s been a handful of fashion choices that I’ve made and then published blogs on that I realize now were mistakes. So um…don’t always follow the rules kids, but sometimes do.

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


Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: FreePeople

Trousers: J. Crew

March 18, 2019 – Archie (OOTD #475)

“Archie” (pronounced Ark-KEE)  is the Notre Dame nickname for architecture students.

Notre Dame’s got four major colleges for its undergraduates — Arts and Letters (the best college, hands-down), Science, Engineering, and Architecture. Architecture is by far the smallest program, and as a consequence, they’re also a very closely-knit community. Their degree actually takes five years instead of the normal four, and one of their five years is spent abroad in Rome. Because of how close the architecture students are and because of how few of them there are, they’ve got their own name — the archies.

The reason I’ve named this blog post after the archies is because these pictures were taken in the new architecture building. Bond Hall, the old architecture building, is being repurposed for offices, and the architecture students now have this new one for their classes and studio space.

The new building has gotten mixed reviews, at least as I’ve heard from the architecture students. It’s kind of got a weird shape that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of ND’s gothic style. It’s also way off on a somewhat distant part of campus, which I imagine is pretty annoying since they have to take all of their classes there. For reference, it took me a solid 15 minutes (and probably more like 20 if it were icy or I had a lot of books to carry) to walk there from my dorm, which is fairly centrally-located.

I see why there are complaints, but I do rather like the inside. There’s a lot of natural light, which not every building has (I’m looking at you, O’Shag), and I think they did a good job of mixing the austerity of an academic building a warm, homey color palette.

That’s coming from me, though, a person who knows nothing about architecture or interior design. To my untrained eye, it’s a nice building to be in. And good for pictures, which is what’s important to me.


Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Free People

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

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 1, 2019 – Dear Axel (OOTD #433)

I hope Axel doesn’t read this.

Alright, so after my exhausting New Year’s Eve party experience, I slept in until about noon on January 1. Classes were canceled, and so there was nothing in particular that I had to do that day. I took lunch with my host family and their daughter, and we chatted about what Kentucky was famous for. Turns out, they were familiar with KFC and bluegrass music — which I guess, while not my favorite, aren’t the absolute worst things for Europeans to know you state by.

After our two hour meal, I excused myself (for some reason, they wouldn’t leave the table until I said something about needing to go — which was a little annoying, because I was afraid I was somehow forcing them to clean up before they really wanted to). I told them I was going to go for a walk, which was absolutely true.

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bonjour 👋

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What I left out was that I was going for a walk to meet up with some guy from around town whom I matched with on Tinder.

Alright, so here’s the point where I hope Axel doesn’t read this — I wasn’t necessarily looking for anything romantically in him, and I don’t know if he was hoping that I was. I just wanted someone to show me around town, and in his bio, he mentioned that he was really good at English. I’d been speaking French almost nonstop for three days, and the opportunity to hold a conversation in my native tongue seemed relaxing.

So I met up with Axel, who was a bit awkward, but an overall harmless dude. I asked him to show me around, which was a little hard since it seemed like everything was closed for the holiday. But overall, he was a pretty easy guy to talk to — I definitely dominated the conversation, perhaps because I was better at English and perhaps because I was just overall the less awkward of the two of us.

Of the two or three Tinder dates I’ve ever been on, I don’t think I’d rank it much higher or lower than any of the others. I mean, the fact that it was in France made it pretty cool — that was definitely a much more interesting location than the time I got coffee with someone in the Subway of the Student Center.

What was unfortunate, however, was that after Axel and I parted ways, I somehow lost my glasses. Somehow, in between taking those first pictures at the school at this last picture in the park, my glasses disappeared. My first guess is that they just fell out of my pocket at some point was we were walking along, meaning that there’s no chance that I’m going to get them back.

My second guess, though, is that Axel stole them. Why would my Tinder date steal my glasses? I don’t know. But Axel, if you happen to read this — which I kind of hope you don’t — I’d really like my glasses back s’il te plaît. Je dois voir, et il n’est pas probable que nous nous reverrons déja. Tu peux rendre mes lunettes maintenant. 

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: Hollister

Top: Thrifted (flea market)

Turtleneck: Free People

Pants: Banana Republic

October 12, 2018 – I’m Coming Home (OOTD #390)

I love the last day of school before I get to head home.

I don’t know, there’s just something exciting about the process of getting myself from one place to another — I like transportation, and the knowledge that I’m an independent adult now who can travel by herself.

I’m not so much a fan of travel when I’m leaving home, but going home? I don’t know if there’s a better feeling in the world.

So after my long Wednesday, October 10, I only had to make it through October 11 and then October 12 until the first half of Fall Semester 2018 was finally over. My Thursday-Friday schedule is usually a little calmer than my Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday schedule, so it wasn’t so bad surviving through the end of the week.

By 12:30 on Friday afternoon, I was home free. All that was left to do was pack my bags, get in the car, and drift off into oblivion until I made it to the airport.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t so simple as that. I found a girl who was driving to Midway Airport at 4:30 in the afternoon, which should have given me plenty of time to get from Notre Dame to Chicago in time for my flight. What we didn’t account for, though, was that traffic would be bad with all of the students trying to leave at once (plus tourists coming in for a home game). By the time we actually left campus, it was more like 5:30.

Furthermore, we didn’t account for how difficult it would be to find parking once we got to the airport. It wasn’t my car, so it wasn’t really my problem to navigate, but the girl who drove and her friend in the passenger seat sure had a hard time finding where their parking reservation was. It also ended up costing them like $80 to park for the week. Poor kids.

They were also running super late for their flight. It departed at 8:00pm, and we didn’t even make it to the parking lot until 7:30. Thankfully, we had the world’s coolest airport shuttle driver ever. This man drove over a line of cones and sped the whole way to get them to their terminal on time.

Me, though? I still had plenty of time. My flight didn’t leave until 9:30 in the evening, so I was still there an hour and a half early. It wasn’t exactly the most relaxing trip to the airport ever, but I still made it on time.

Even with all of the setbacks, I can’t say I disliked my travel home. It was still travel home, and the destination was what was important. And in the end, I made it home.

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!

Jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters

Top: Free People

September 13, 2018 – The Secret Garden (OOTD #374)

It still counts as secret if most people knew it existed, but I didn’t know about it for a whole year, right?

This little spot (which I’ve actually included in a blog before!) is the courtyard garden in the Hayes-Healey building. It’s really cute — and it’s only accessible from within the building, which adds to the mysterious quality. Seriously, like I said, I didn’t even know it existed for 99% of my freshman year. I’d heard whispers of a garden in the mathematics building, but since I had no math classes (shout-out to my AP Calculus teachers in high school, who allowed me to get a 5 and not take any math in college), I never had a reason to go and look.

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the ivy leagues are overrated

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Finally, at the end of my freshman year, some friends and I were trying to get some cute group pictures before summer break, and someone suggested the Hayes-Healey garden. It was actually all locked up when we tried to go, but we ended up getting some pictures with the giant globe in the building — another feature I never knew Notre Dame had.

I like how Notre Dame — a school that is notably not a part of the Ivy Leagues — has a hidden ivy garden. As the guy from the Incredibles would say, “Coincidence? I think not!”

It’s actually probably a total coincidence. The Ivy Leagues are overrated anyway — it’s not like Columbia was my dream or anything…

I’m at a total loss for how to end this blog today, so I Googled a joke for you — “How many Harvard students does it take to change a lightbulb?”

“One. He holds the lightbulb still, and the whole world revolves around him.”

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!

Top: Free People

Jacket: Forever21

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

September 6, 2018 – Lucky the Leprechaun (OOTD #367)

This just in: I’m going to be Notre Dame’s first female and first Asian leprechaun!

Ok, maybe not — but I kind of look like I could be here, no? All day I felt like I should’ve been step dancing and leading people on quests for pots of gold.

Honestly, I don’t know why it took me so long to think to pair this jacket and these pants. Lord knows I’ve had them both for long enough. I think I was concerned that they’d be too matchy-matchy, but as it turns out, they’re just the right amount of matching.

All day, when I didn’t feel like a leprechaun, I felt like some powerful boss lady-type character. Which ideally, I would feel like all the time, every day, but…you know. I’ll take what I can get.

If you noticed, these pictures were taken back in Como, a location I’ve often lauded for its beautiful afternoon lighting in the stairwell. It’s not a particularly dynamic background, but it is worth it every once in a while for the lighting. As long as I can dodge the afternoon traffic of students using the stairs to get to class, that is. There’s nothing worse than standing there, taking pictures of yourself in a classroom building just to have a student walk by trying to get to class. Like, who do they think they are, walking around like they have any right to go to class when an artist is at work?

It’s only two weeks now until fall break, which means it’s only two weeks until I’m halfway through my first semester of sophomore year. Not to be cliché, but I feel like it just started. I’ve been ridiculously busy, so the time seems to go too quickly. Maybe it’s the leprechaun magic.

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: Forever21

Top: Free People

Pants: Banana Republic