February 14, 2018 – Ash Valentines (OOTD #227)

Valentine’s Day this year felt more like Ash Wednesday than Valentine’s Day.

Maybe that’s because it was Ash Wednesday as well – a fact that I normally would not have paid much attention to at all, seeing as I’m not Catholic. But, seeing as I now go to Catholic school and everything here is so deep in its own Catholicism that there’s a crucifix in every classroom, it was hard to miss.

Perhaps the most prominent sign of the start of Lent season here, other than the kids walking around with ashes on their foreheads, was that the dining hall was completely meat-free on Wednesday, and will be meat-free every Friday now until the end of Lent.

The Friday bit doesn’t so much annoy me (okay, it does sort of annoy me, but not too strongly), but the general lack of any Valentines-themed food at the dining hall on actual Valentines Day was kind of strange, especially considering this is a place that went all-out with themed desserts for holidays like Halloween, the feast of St. Francis (is that a holiday?), and pretty much any home football game last season.

The overall vibe of campus was also definitely more somber than usually, which I guess was a result of the Ash Wednesday thing. Like I said, I’m not Catholic, but I can appreciate some of the traditions. Still, it was weird that people weren’t more celebratory about Valentine’s Day here, and I’m not sure if that was as a result of it being Ash Wednesday or if that’s just not a thing college kids care about.

Personally, it’s a holiday I really enjoy, even if I don’t really do anything to celebrate it anymore. I like seeing couples together, and I like to see the lengths that people will go to to show their love for one another. I guess I’ve just bought into the commercial aspect of it all, but I think that can still be fun.

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: H&M

Skirt: Forever21

February 13, 2018 – Fat Tuesday (OOTD #226)

I have never once lived somewhere where Mardi Gras was a big deal.

I wish I could say I have though — it seems like such a cool holiday, at least from what I see on television and in movies like The Princess and the Frog. I have a friend who’s at LSU who went into New Orleans for the parade, and from what I saw on her Snap stories from that holiday weekend, it looked like a ton of fun.

I did go into New Orleans once a long time ago, when I was a little kid. I think my family and I were ultimately going into Florida, but we decided to stop in New Orleans for a few days to look around. I don’t remember much of what we did on that trip, as I was still on the younger side, but a few things sick out in my memory.

I think the most memorable things were the voodoo shops peppered around the city because they absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t even look at their window displays. I think it was more the visuals, like little shrunken head trinkets, that scared me more so than the actual concept of voodoo magic.

Unfortunately, as fear is such a strong emotion, that’s mainly what I remember about New Orleans. Voodoo shops, of course, were not the only things we saw there – I remember a pretty cool Mardi Gras museum with a lot of pretty dresses from the various Mardi Gras queens, I remember getting alligator jerky somewhere in a park near water, and I remember eating some really bomb cajun food on our first night there.

Like I said, one of the days, I would really love to go into New Orleans for Mardi Gras and experience it again now that I’m adult. If anything, I’m sure the voodoo shops will fascinate me even more than ever now that I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the macabre. In the meantime, I can at least sport my purple hair with a green shirt on Mardi Gras and pretend I’m festive while stuck here in South Bend.

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: The LOFT

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Gung Hay Fat Choy

It was surprisingly difficult to find out the best way to say “happy Chinese New Year” in Chinese.

First, you have to sort through the different spellings in Mandarin and Cantonese, and then you have to figure out what’s the most appropriate way of saying “happy new year,” depending on whether you want to wish someone prosperity or good luck or any other number of well-wishes.

I opted for “gung hay fat choy” for this blog post’s title because I figured that would be what was what most Americans would know, but I went for a more “authentically Chinese” 新年快乐 (meaning literally “happy new year”) for my Instagram post.

Back home, my parents and I would always celebrate my heritage by going out to eat at a Chinese restaurant (and an authentic one, at that – none of that take out Panda Express stuff), but here, there wasn’t even really anything to do. They didn’t even have any Chinese food offered at the dining hall, which I thought was pretty sad considering they’d served cajun food just a few days ago on Mardi Gras.

Granted, it is lenten season, which, seeing as this is Catholic School ™, is something that is taken very seriously, to the point that they don’t serve any meat on Fridays at all. It sucks.

There’s a small celebration going on in the ballroom of the student center tomorrow, which I’m definitely going to try to go to, but somehow I doubt it’s going to be a huge deal. Maybe I’ll at least get some good fried rice out of it – it’s not Peking Duck, but it’s better than nothing.

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!

December 30, 2017 – Resolutionless (OOTD #189)

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I guess this will be the last blog I publish before 2018. In that case, I hope you have a lovely time partying tonight or whatever it is you’re doing, and I hope you start of 2018 right, whatever that means for you.

My New Year’s Eve will consist of eating an obscenely unhealthy pasta dish I found on Pinterest, and watching old Disney Channel movies with my friends. I’ve got no parties to go to, or else I’d have a more exciting, glittery outfit to show you. As it is, I do have this fun Hollister sweater I found at Goodwill for $4; it may not be glittery enough to pop champagne in, but it’s fuzzy enough to keep warm.

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions; I personally feel there’s no need to designate certain goals for yourself at this arbitrary time when you could be striving for improvement at any time during the rest of the year. If I were to set one, though, I guess I should post more and more consistently to this blog.

In fairness, it’s far from my main priority – I do have to put school first – but I definitely could do better. I feel like I’ve got to give myself a little credit, though: 500+ followers on WordPress and 6000+ on Instagram over the course of a few months isn’t half bad. If nothing more, this is a hobby I enjoy, and I enjoy that some of you like to follow along with my hobby.

Anyway, here’s to hoping you have a wonderful 2018, and that you succeed in whatever your resolutions may be. And if you’re like me, and you consider the concept of resolutions that you probably won’t keep inhibitory to progress, then I hope you enjoy not making resolutions and moving on with your life like normal!

Sweater: Hollister (thrifted)

Skirt: Zara (thrifted)

Shirt: the LOFT (thrifted)

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

December 24, 2017 – Festive Fashion (OOTD #184)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 14

Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s still valid to say “merry” to Christmas Eve, right? I know Christmas Eve isn’t typically as festive as Christmas, but it still warrants a solid “merry,” yeah?

Christmas Eve doesn’t really entail anything very exciting for me and my family – for example, today, we did some last-minute shopping, I wrapped the last of my gifts, and I signed some Christmas cards. I know some people who get all dressed up, and party with all of their extended family, but I don’t know the last time I had a Christmas Eve that I like…actually had to go out and do anything significant?

I like it this way though, don’t get me wrong! Christmas Eve is a relaxing day for me, and I’m always down for a relaxing day.

As fashions go, you may have noticed that I’m once again wearing my green Slytherin scarf. I don’t know about you, but to me, the Harry Potter films – in particular, the first, third, and fourth ones – have a definite Christmas vibe to them, no? The first one’s got that awesome Great Hall Christmas scene of Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts, the third one’s got some really lovely snow scenes in Hogsmeade, and the fourth one has the Yule Ball (though to be honest….that’s about all the fourth film’s got going for it, in my opinion).

Plus, green is a nice Christmas color, and this is the only green scarf I own, so…

If you’re looking for my true pick for best unconventional Christmas film, it’s got to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m pretty sure it’s just because I first watched the films (and read the books!) during the Christmas season of my freshman year of high school. Those are some great films. The Hobbit’s (the films, at least) got nothing on the original trilogy.

Anyway, I should probably be heading to bed soon. Don’t want to sleep in too late and miss out on Christmas, amirite?

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!

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Forever21

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Happy almost-Christmas!

It’s two days until Christmas, and things are finally beginning to look like it at my household. I’ve baked some cookies, a cake, we put up our tree, my dad and I put up our outdoor lights – we’ve got just about all of the traditional Christmas stuff done.

I’ve still got quite a bit of wrapping to do, and even a few more gifts to buy, but I’m not too concerned. The gifts I need to buy aren’t due until after Christmas, and the wrapping can be done later tonight while I watch some Christmas specials on television.

It’s weird not being in school – I at once seem to have so much to do and nothing to do at all. For example, I stayed in bed until like 1PM today, like a proper lazy teenager, but after I finally got up, my dad and I managed to get some legitimate work done on the outdoor decorations. I’ll probably stay up late again tonight – I’ve got some Christmas cards to sign and address, the wrapping to do, and maybe even some blogging – and then wake up late tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to make it through the most recent Harry Potter book – The Cursed Child. I don’t know, does it even count as a book? Is it even officially canon? I actually bought it like, a year ago, but I only made it about halfway through the first act before I gave up on how contrived and corny the plot seemed.

I’m coming across much of the same issue now, trying to read it again – the plot does seem a little silly, and the characters are, for lack of a better term, out-of-character. Maybe it would’ve been better had I seen the actual stage play.

Have any of you read Cursed Child yet? What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below.

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!

December 15, 2017 – A Long Day (OOTD #183)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 13

Fun fact: by the time these photos were taken at about 4 in the afternoon on December 15, I had been up for over 24 hours.

Well, nearly. See, it all started at 6 AM, December 14. Why was I up that early, you ask? I had my final final, that morning at 8 AM, and I wanted to get up early enough so that I could relax (sort of), have some coffee, and get ready before I made the ten minute walk to the building where my exam was held.

This was the final I was most worried about too – Theology. I had an A in the class, but I needed an 87 on the final to keep that grade, so I needed to make sure I actually did well. Thankfully, the exam went well (well enough… I forgot to memorize the quotes I was supposed to by Nestorius and Cyril, but…y’know – you can’t win them all), and by 10 AM, I was finished with my first semester of college.

Then, I managed to sneak in an hour-long nap in my room before my roommates came in and we had to clean up our dorm before we left.

After that…well, I didn’t do much. I really had no reason to be awake – I had a bit of remaining work to do, I guess, and some blogging to work on, but I probably should’ve napped so I could be up in time for my 4 AM bus to Midway Airport.

Should’ve. Instead, I stayed up all night with some of my friends were also waiting to catch buses to catch plains that Saturday after classes ended. It was kind-of a weird night…

Anyway, I wound up on that 4AM bus with only one hour of sleep under my belt. I managed to get another hour of sleep whilst on that 4AM bus, and by 6AM-ish, I was sitting at my gate at Midway Airport. My plane, though, didn’t leave until 9AM, so I just kind-of sat there bleary-eyed for three hours watching the people go by and thinking about how I wanted to nap but I didn’t really want to in the middle of an airport.

Time-skip ahead a few hours, and I was standing in front of my grandmother’s house in Louisville at 4PM taking my photos with only three hours of sleep over the course of 34 hours – one hour after my Theo final, one hour on the 4AM bus to Midway, and one hour on the plane from Chicago to Louisville.

It’s great being home though, and it’s great being done with my first semester of school. It was worth a very long day of being awake.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as an idiot college student. 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: H&M

Shirt: Forever21

Turtleneck: The LOFT

Pants: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

December 14 , 2017 – I Heart Santa (OOTD #182)

I would not necessarily have bought this sweater for myself.

I do rather like it though, and I’m glad I own it nonetheless. It was a gift I received from a Secret Santa exchange that my friends and I at Notre Dame decided to do. I suggested as a part of my wishlist that my Secret Santa should get me an ugly Christmas sweater, and this is what she came up with.

I’m not typically a fan of words on clothing, especially when those words declare, for me, my adoration for something else (as it is in this case, Santa). I’d rather just tell people I love Santa myself rather than having my sweater do it for me, y’know?

In fact, I don’t really love Santa. I mean, Saint Nicholas, the actual dude who devoted his life to giving to the poor, is actually pretty cool, but Santa, the old white guy who sneaks into people’s houses at night and leaves them presents? Sounds suspicious.

In fact, I was pretty young when I stopped believing in Santa. Of the mythical lies that parents tell their kids, Santa was the last one to go for me – the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny went first – but I had given up on him by kindergarten/first grade.

Interestingly, though, I continued to believe in flying reindeer for a little longer. Even after I had stopped putting cookies out for Santa (or at least, believing that when I put the cookies out, Santa ate them), I went out with my Dad on Christmas Eve to sprinkle “reindeer food” on the grass. I’m pretty sure it was just a mix of glitter and flour, but it was cool to me, regardless.

So no, I cannot say I particularly love the myth of Santa. Reindeer on the other hand? I’m still not convinced they can’t fly.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as an idiot college student. 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: Free People

Sweater: Thrifted

Skirt: Forever21

SaveSaveSaveSave

December 13, 2017 – A Summer Dress in Winter (OOTD #181)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 11

It’s odd, you know, I feel like this dress has the perfect Christmas pattern – it’s literally a mix of red and green flora, with a touch of a classic paisley design. The dress itself, however, is much more of a warm-weather textile, meaning of course, that I was pretty cold wearing it out in the 15 degree Northern Indiana air.

There’s something about the snow, though, that makes things feel warmer. Is it the sun reflecting off the white snow that adds a touch of heat? Is it the way that I just tend to wear a warm coat more often when I go outside in the snow than when it’s just chilly out, and so I feel warmer even though it isn’t really and it’s all in my head? I’m not sure.

Yet there’s just something about a layer of literal frozen water sitting atop the grass that makes me feel warmer, and like I can wear weather-inappropriate clothing outside. Anyone else feel the same?

It also helps that when I wore this outfit, I only had to go outside like once all day, and that was for my 8 AM French final. It was kind of miserable going out at 7:30AM for a 15 minute walk to the classroom in the 15 degree cold, but after that, I just relaxed in my warm room and procrastinated from studying for my Theology final.

The climate control in my room is absolutely horrid, but I must say – it’s always warm. That is a terrible reality in the summer, when staying in the room is the equivalent of staying in the fires of hell, but for now, when it’s actually cold out, it’s nice to be able to come home to a cozy room.

The…benefits of living in a nearly 100 year old dorm with nothing but one shabby radiator for two rooms?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as an idiot college student. 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: Abercrombie

Sweater: The LOFT