Saturday Musings + Coffee – Lex Vegas

It’s pretty sure I’ve only heard anyone refer to Lexington, KY as “Lex Vegas” like once total in my time living here, but I like it and I’ve been using it ever since.

This was my first full weekend here back home, since I spent the weekend after I moved out visiting Chicago. It was fairly quiet, though not boring — just how I like it.

I spent the Saturday morning visiting some local yard sales with my mother, which is something that never fails to amuse me. I don’t have to buy anything at all to have fun; I just like the hunt. It’s the same way with thrift stores. There’s something really enjoyable about picking through other people’s junk and feeling like you need to wash your hands after examining some dusty old appliances.

This time though, I did find some nice things to buy. I got a parsley plant (yay more plants!), some pots, and a few band shirts. Not that those were anything that I actually needed, and not that they would’ve been expensive to buy new, but getting them used meant it was only like $3 total.

In the afternoon, I got to see Amanda, whom I hadn’t seen since spring break in March. We got lunch, got some cute photos (stay tuned for those in the upcoming days!), got coffee, walked around the park, and in the evening, watched a movie in and ordered Chinese.

Again, it was quiet, but not boring. It was wild not having any homework to distract me from enjoying myself. During the school year, it’s not like I don’t ever go out and do fun things, but I do always have responsibilities (namely homework) to worry about the whole time I’m out. No summer homework = no homework stress, and that’s something I can definitely appreciate.

April 28, 2018 – Chi-Town Chinatown (OOTD #275)

Guys look! I finally made it into Chicago!

I can’t believe I’ve been at Notre Dame all year, basically an hour and a half away from the third largest city in the US, and it’s taken me eight months to finally go.

There’s a train station about fifteen minutes away from campus that could get me into the city easily, but getting off of campus is a huge hassle without a car. Heck, it would probably even be a hassle with a car. The Notre Dame bubble has not diminished at all since I’ve been here.

I actually had an opportunity to go to Chicago way back in December with a friend of mine who was going to see the Nutcracker with her Russian literature class. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I could take the time out of my day to go at the time (which I know now is a dumb excuse — there’s always time to go do fun things and ignore your responsibilities), so I missed out.

This time, though, when I heard that the Taiwanese Student Association was planning a Chinatown trip, I made sure I had room in my schedule to go. I lost a little extra sleep that weekend doing homework at late hours, but it was totally worth it.

What surprised me most about the Chicago Chinatown was how different it was from the New York version — while New York’s Chinatown is pretty much a gimmicky tourist destination, Chicago’s is a real diaspora neighborhood. The stores sold real Chinese food and products and not just the knockoff Rolexes you see in New York. It felt so much more welcoming and so much less sinister.

It was also fun because I got to interact with some people I never had before. None of my friends were able to go, so I ended up hanging out with some juniors and seniors, who were pretty cool and didn’t at all seem to mind that I was just a freshman. They were some of the first upperclassmen I’ve been able to interact with beyond surface level all year, so that was neat.

My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to purchase this money plant tree. As you probably know by now, I love plants, so getting new ones is fun. She actually sadly toppled over just today after a strong gust of wind from an open window pushed her off the window sill, causing several of her branches to break. I used a chopstick as a makeshift splint, so hopefully the branches will scar over and heal.

Oh well. For now, enjoy these photos of me and my pre-topple plant.

Since we all had work to do back home, we decided to make the hour and a half long drive back in time for dinner. I’d actually stayed up pretty late the night before, so I ended up napping almost all of the way back, which was great. By six when we arrived on campus, I was refreshed and ready to pull an all-nighter making up for all the work I had neglected due to being gone all day.

All night I worked though, I didn’t regret my decision to go. It was some of the best fun I’ve had all year, definitely worth the lost sleep and sanity.

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: thrifted

Turtleneck: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT (

April 6, 2018 – Formal Fashion (OOTD #261)

My parents said I wouldn’t have to deal with formals after my high school prom — they were wrong.

Granted, my dorm formal wasn’t nearly the level of formality my high school prom was   — for that, I had a big ball gown, and a corsage, and did all of the regular cheesy high school prom stuff. For my dorm formal, I just took a shower and did nicer makeup than usual, which, come to think of it, was probably all I needed to have done for my high school prom in order to have a good time and would have left me significantly less stressed.

I was kind of concerned about how my dorm formal was going to go, as I’m not much of a partier to begin with and a lot of my friends were bringing dates while I was not, but it turned out pretty fun. It really was basically just like a high school dance, except there were no teachers to pat you down for alcohol when you first came in.

The theme was technically masquerade, but I don’t really know of anyone who kept up with that beyond taking a few cute pictures with masks beforehand. I mean, that’s what  I did. I definitely did not keep the mask that’s perched atop my head in some of these photos on all night — in fact I think I left it on a table somewhere and lost it. Oops.

In the end, I’m definitely glad I paid the $5 and went. I had been considering staying in, since, like I said, I don’t usually party and I was concerned my more party-enthused friends would find me boring to be around, but I managed to have fun, even though it wasn’t really an environment I typically hang out in. Whether or not I was boring to be around isn’t something I can really speak to, but I think I made for a good fake extrovert, at least for the night.

Plus, I got an excuse to wear this gorgeous vintage dress I got from a flea market over winter break for $8! It’s not really something I can just wear out and about, so I was waiting for the perfect occasion to wear it — and I think this was it. I looked very nice among the gold balloon decorations of the ballroom, if I do say so myself.

Honestly, wearing the pretty dress made all of the socializing-in-a-public-place woes worth it for me. If any of my friends or family is reading this, keep that in mind: if ever you need to coax me out of the house, promise me that you’ll take pictures of me in pretty clothes against a pretty background and I’ll probably crawl out of my cave.

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!

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

February 28, 2018 – Greetings from Sunny South Bend (OOTD #234)

You know how yesterday’s post was all about dressing for the weather you want, not the weather you have? 

I think it actually worked! I’m pretty sure yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt brought today’s (well, er…February 28’s), warmer temperatures. I think it made it all the way up to the 50s — which, by South Bend standards, is worth of a short sleeve-shirt and bare legs.

Seeing as it was so beautiful and sunny out, my friends and I decided to go out by the St. Mary’s lake and take some pictures all together. And here’s the best part — I didn’t have to propose the idea!

I don’t know about you guys who are also fashion bloggers, but I can start feeling a little guilty about constantly asking people to do my pictures for me. I know it’s probably a little irrational, since it’s not like it’s really a huge inconvenience to anyone, but I’m always afraid someone will get fed up of me constantly asking them to support my narcissistic hobby.

It reminds me of having to for rides after school in high school and always feeling guilty that I had to ask for help when I should’ve been able to drive on my own. Similarly, having a fashion blog is a pretty self-interested hobby, so I feel like I should be able to maintain it by myself, and to ask for help is being a nuisance to other people.

Anyway, my point is, I love it when someone asks me to take pictures of them or with them — really, just as long as someone else proposes the idea, I love it. It’s nice to be behind the camera every once in a while, so I feel like I can pay back the people who have helped me so many times.

Actually, I have thought about doing something at the end of this school year for the people who have consistently taken photos for this blog. I don’t have a ton of money, so I don’t think I could pay for dinner or anything like that, but I may bake cookies or something small like that. It’s the gesture that counts, right?

It was definitely nice to take a break from all of my studying to go outside by the lake and enjoy the weather, though. At the time of writing this, I have three papers and one project still to go (down one paper and one exam from yesterday!), so wish me luck! Spring break is just around the corner, and then, I can bother my parents for pictures and feel slightly less guilty because me being a nuisance to them is nothing new!

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!

Shirt: Pitaya

Skirt: Forever21

February 23, 2018 – Change of Plans (OOTD #232)

Alright, so story time: I had a sponsored post to do for this outfit, and while (spoiler alert) it worked out, I wasn’t initially sure if it would.

So I’m a part of this app called Popular Pays, which helps connect bloggers with brands for paid collaborations (side note – Pop Pays is probably one of my favorite apps for finding collaborations, maybe I’ll write a blog on that one day). Through Pop Pays, I came across an opportunity to promote a contest Journey’s shoes is currently running by posting a picture of me and a friend in Converse.

Simple enough, right?

Not so much – first, I had to find a friend who owned Converse who’d be willing to appear in this set of pictures with me, and then I had to find another friend willing to take the actual pictures. Then, I had to coordinate a time for us to meet, all while trying to not sound demanding and remaining completely gracious to them for helping me in such a way.

It took me three tries to finally make it to the friend who actually appears next to me in these pictures, Emma. I first tried my roommate, Mariana, but she didn’t own Converse that she considered “nice” enough – which would not have at all bothered me, but I didn’t want to push. The next person I tried, Anna, actually initially agreed, but out schedules didn’t match up for a time to meet.

By this time, it was late afternoon/early evening, and I began to fear that I had gotten all cute and dressed up for nothing (well, not nothing – but not for the purpose I had originally intended). Finally, in desperation and with the light fading, I texted in the group message of my friends in my residence hall to see if anyone had a pair of Converse and could meet me in five minutes.

I didn’t expect it to work – but then it did! Emma just so happened to see the text, and was happy to help me out. I felt a little badly for how suddenly it all happened, but if she minded the short notice or the strange request. she didn’t let on.

That’s a good friend for you though. I guess that’s what Journey’s was trying to get at with their contest!

If you’re interesting in checking out more details on that contest, check out my Instagram post here and follow the directions listed in the caption! 

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: Anthropologie

Jeans: Hollister

December 25, 2017 – No More Christmas Captions (OOTD #185)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 15

My goodness, do you even know how hard it was to keep making up Christmas/holiday-related titles for these blogs and my Instagram posts?

It was hard, okay? I mean, honestly, I wound up with one blog so-cleverly titled “Candy Cane Costume.” Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. I’ve had some lame blog titles before, but that one was, to me, particularly lame. Like, I couldn’t have even titled it “Candy Cane Couture,” and made it sound a little classier?

Speaking of fashion, this, I admit, was not the outfit I actually wore today on Christmas day. Rather, I wore this when my friend Amanda and I went hiking the other day at a nearby woodsy area. In fact, I don’t even have curly grey hair any more…but more on that in tomorrow’s post. I may have a new haircut to show off.

The thing, though, is that I just don’t usually get dressed up on Christmas day; I’m lucky if I even make it out of my pajamas, especially if my family doesn’t go out. I mentioned this in yesterday’s blog, but my family doesn’t really do much exciting on Christmas – we don’t really have visitors, we don’t go to midnight mass, we don’t have a big fancy dinner.

We do usually have my grandmother over, but my mother was sick, so we had to postpone that meeting. It’s alright though – we had a fun Christmas anyway, and we’ll see my grandmother some other time.

Anyway, I’d like to wish anyone reading this a very merry Christmas (or, as it’s likely this won’t be published until late Christmas day or even the day after, a very merry December 26t)! And thanks to everyone who’s kept up with this blog since I started it a few months ago. It means a lot.

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!

Coat: Juicy Couture

Sweater: American Eagle

Shirt: Forever21

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Snow Joke

Get it? Because it’s a pun on “no joke” which is in itself a joke about snow…?

I really, really should not be allowed on the Internet to make terrible jokes like this – I’m just going to end up embarrassing my grandkids when they look back on the Internet archives to see what their grandmother was doing when she was a young adult.

Anyway, we here in northern Indiana, like a large chunk of the US, got a nice helping of snow last night! While not technically the first snowfall (that was actually Thursday), this is the first time we’ve had enough snow to actually do anything with, you know?

And what anything did I do with the snow? This morning, my friends and I took advantage of the fresh wintery coating to head outside and build a little snowman on South Quad. Here he is, sporting my gloves, scarf, and hat. Honestly, he wears them better than I do – I should probably just give up this blog and let him run it from now on.

After that, I sat in my dorm, drank some coffee, and did pretty much nothing for the rest of the day. I’ve got an essay to write, three finals to study for, and a concert tonight, and I have pretty much made no progress on any of these things! In fairness, I was pretty productive yesterday night…so that makes up for it, right?

I really do think it’s this wonderful snowy atmosphere that’s got me so easily distracted. I mean, sure, I can be easily distracted on any day, regardless of the weather, but today’s been especially bad. I just want to stand by a window, watch the snow fall, and listen to Christmas music, yo. This studying nonsense is cramping my style.

And with that cringey statement, I’m going to go before I embarrass myself further. Wish me luck on my work!

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!

November 26, 2017 – Greyhound Adventures Part 3 (OOTD #168)

Why, oh why, can’t I avoid the travesty that is the Greyhound bus system?

I fully understand that the bus drivers and workers for Greyhound are likely underpaid and have to deal with grumpy, frustrated people all day, so it’s very difficult for them to maintain the will to be friendly…but, my goodness, it certainly makes it difficult for me to enjoy bus trips.

On Sunday, it was time for me to head back to Notre Dame, so I grabbed breakfast with some friends, and then hitched a ride with my friend, Amanda, back up to Indianapolis, where she goes to school. From there, I took a Greyhound back to South Bend. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well…it was. Objectively, nothing went wrong. With the exception of my bus being about 30 minutes late dropping me off at South Bend, everything went as planned, and I made it back to school at a decent time.

That’s objectively speaking though – subjectively, it was a harrowing and stress ulcer-inducing experience.

I love Amanda, don’t get me wrong. We got trapped at the Atlanta airport for two days together; how could we not be friends? But her driving…I don’t know if she obeyed the speed limit once.

In one sense, who does? I’m probably consistently going five or ten over, depending on the road, which is pretty normal. Amanda, however, drives her Prius like she’s racing in the Indianapolis 5000. Her average speed while we were on the interstate might have been 100; I don’t actually know, I had to force myself to not look at the speedometer out of fear of what the number was.

But she got me to the Greyhound station, and no one died, and for that, I’m grateful. I mean, I‘ve totaled a car before myself, so in a sense, she’s a safer driver than me.

The Greyhound station was also one of the sketchiest places I’ve been in my entire life, which didn’t do much for my unhealthily high anxiety levels.

Like I said though, everything turned out alright in the end, so perhaps I was worried for nothing. I mean, if a lion suddenly jumped out from one of the overfilled trashcans at the Greyhound station and attacked me, my sympathetic nervous system would have been prepared, but there were no lions, as far as I know.

Unless the Detroit Lions were perhaps playing the Colts that day? I was right next to the football stadium; it’s possible.

Sweater: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

November 20, 2017 – Sendoff to Fall (OOTD #164)

Welp, it looks like this may be it – the final explicitly fall-themed outfit on LEDJ until next year.

I could be wrong – I know I still have a few sets of OOTDs from my Thanksgiving break, and one or two of those may have involved some fall colors, but I do believe this is the last grossly “fall” (I mean, really, look at the pattern on this dress – does that say “spring” to you?) outfit I’m going to post here for a while!

As far as I’m concerned, now that Thanksgiving is over (well, it is at the time of me writing this blog – it was still a few days away on November 20, the day these photos are from), it’s Christmas season! And that is definitely something I’m excited for.

I’ve already busted out the Christmas playlists and everything. I know it’s not likely that I’ll really be 100% onto the Christmas bandwagon until finals are over (because school and obligations are tragically more important than any festive cheer…), but I still like to start getting prepared early.

So start expecting the Christmas sweater outfits at any point from here on out. I’ve packed my bags full of them, and I’m taking several back with me to South Bend now that Thanksgiving break’s over. I’m a firm believer in the sanctity of Thanksgiving, but you could say I’m even more so for the sanctity of Christmas, literally and figuratively.

Anyway, I’ve been writing this blog from the inside of a dark Greyhound traveling from Indianapolis to South Bend, and people are starting to look annoyed that I’ve got my bright little phone screen out while they’re trying to sleep. Guess I should go.

Allow me to leave you with this cute photo that some of my friends and I took under the dome before we all left for break.

October 28, 2017 – The Frozen Irish (OOTD #147)

Get it? ‘Cause it was cold?

(I’m not funny, sorry.)

I was so hideously underdressed for this football game, like…wow. Never making that mistake again.

30 degrees Fahrenheit is much too cold to go without a coat for three and a half hours – even if you’re wearing two sweaters, a jacket, and a scarf, even if you’re crammed into a stadium with thousands and thousands of people, even if you wear a hat and pull your scarf over your mouth and nose and put on sunglasses to block the air.

The fact that I’m already acting like a miserable wimp about the weather and it’s only FALL makes me low-key terrified for the winter. Winter has always been my favorite season, but something tells me that one winter in Chicago may make me change my mind.

I was talking to one of my friend’s parents at a tailgate about how cold it was and they mentioned that one year, while they were at Notre Dame, they came back to campus after winter break to temperatures 40 BELOW. I didn’t even know such temperatures existed anywhere in the continental US. The coldest I’ve ever seen in 10 below, and when we had temperatures like that in Kentucky, they closed school.

In better news though, Notre Dame won the game! That’s always fun. It feels like that one time in my junior year of high school our basketball time won the state championship, but on a larger scale. I’ve never been a huge college football person, but I may be becoming one.

Notre Dame may take away my will to live the wintertime, but at least they have the kindness to replace it with an interest in collegiate sports.

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Jacket: Chaps

Pants: Banana Republic

Boots: LL Bean