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

December 31, 2018 – Le Réveillon (OOTD #432)

I don’t believe I ever imagined spending New Year’s Eve in Vichy.

I mean, I always assumed I’d make it to France one day — I mean, it’s such a huge tourist destination, and it’s an easy place for English-speakers to travel to. Besides, I speak un peu de français — pas très bien, mai j’essaie. 

But I always figured I’d go in the summer for vacation, and that I’d see Paris like all of the other American tourists. This small spa town had never really been on my radar, at least until Notre Dame offered me funding to visit.

Let me give you a little context — Notre Dame has a ton of money, and they like to give it to students who can do things that will reflect well upon the university, so that they can then make more money. I, as a student with little money who seems to end up surrendering any money I do make right back to Notre Dame, am happy to take advantage of any opportunity Notre Dame has to give me money to go do something academic.

I heard from (of all people) my Russian literature professor that the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures was offering grants to students to go abroad during the winter break to do an intensive language study, and I figured there was no harm in applying. Lo and behold, they gave me $3,000 to go to France for a week, enroll myself in some language courses, and stay with a host family.

And so that’s what I did. But of course, the trip was not without some difficulties — including one really big one that hit me the moment I got off the airplane in Clermont-Ferrand. Air France had left my bags in Paris, and, having basically just arrived in a new country where I only sort-of spoke the language, I was at a loss for what to do.

Thankfully, my host mother, who met me at the airport, was able to help. Naturally, she spoke flawless French, and I was able to communicate to her with my rudimentary conversation skills what had happened. I’m so grateful that she was there — I’ve never lost bags before, and I wouldn’t have even known what to do had it happened back in the US.

Unfortunately, I was forced to sleep in the same clothes as I had worn to the airport (which were also the same clothes I had worn all day for my last day in Qatar), as well as attend my first day of classes in that outfit. By the time my host mother texted me in the afternoon to tell me that my bags had been delivered to the house, I was pretty sick of that outfit.

Because of the holiday, classes were shortened to a half day. Since I hadn’t been there for very long, I’d had no time to make friends with whom I could spend my afternoon. The school offered some cultural excursions for new students, and, with nothing else to do and still a little afraid of going out on my own, I figured I’d take advantage of the programming.

Monday’s trip was a walking tour of Vichy. It was just me and another student, a Swiss high school student whose French was superior to mine. It was a little awkward, but I’m glad I got someone to show me around a little. It’s not like Vichy is a huge town; in fact, it’s quite small. It doesn’t really have a huge tourist presence, except for its spas and natural springs, and so I don’t know how else I would’ve learned about its history and culture.

In the evening, I returned to my host family’s house for New Year’s Eve dinner. That was the longest dinner of my entire life. 

I’m not speaking figuratively — I think it literally took four and a half hours from start to finish. By the end, I was exhausted, anxious from having strangers question me about my life in French (which would have been intimidating even in English), slightly intoxicated from all of the alcohol that people kept offering me, and absolutely stuffed from the four-course meal.

And it was a delicious meal! And the people were wonderfully kind — there were even some young adults about my age who were able to speak in English a little bit! Even if it was a little stressful in the moment, it was an important to have had that experience, I think. It was something of a trial by fire in French culture — there was nowhere to hide, so I just had to sit there and try to use my French as much as possible, and pray that I didn’t accidentally say something offensive. Call it exposure therapy.

By the time I went to bed at 3 AM local time (who knows what time my body thought it was), I was worn out. I mean, I’d basically been spending the last two weeks worn out, either from traveling or from studying for finals, so it wasn’t anything new. But what was new, at least compared to the kind of exhaustion that finals inflicted, was that the exhaustion felt rewarding. Sure, I was tired — but I was tired because I spent all day in a new culture, speaking a different language for longer than I ever had before and trying to make the most of my immersion experience. It was a good tired.

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!

Sweater: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Skirt: Abercrombie

December 25, 2018 – School Is Cool (OOTD #427)

Merry Christmas!

Okay, don’t worry — even though this blog post features the outfit from Christmas Day 2018, I won’t be talking about Christmas too much, notably because I barely did anything Christmas related on my first full day in Doha, Qatar.

It barely even felt like Christmas, but I was okay with that. My family and I celebrated Christmas the day before I departed on my two-week journey, and I got to see the Christmas Market in Munich on Christmas Eve, so I felt like I got a pretty comprehensive Christmas experience, even though I wasn’t home for the actual holiday. I was surprised — I thought I was going to be upset being away from my family, and I suppose I was a little bit, but there were so many things on my mind for that day that I forgot all about Christmas.

What was on my mind? Well, the perhaps most pressing was fact that I was in the Middle East for a conference on the conciliation of traditional Islamic scholarship and modernity. It was my first day, so I was nervous, but I had an advantage — I had participated in the same conference before in the summer with the same students.

My time in Qatar was essentially a continuation of my time in Nepal, which meant it came with some of the same struggles and same joys of Nepal’s conference. The biggest struggle with this project is that I didn’t actually know much about Islamic theology and modernity. The conference wasn’t really meant for me — it was meant for a cohort of about 40 Masters and PhD-level scholars from India and Pakistan. I was there along with the Notre Dame professor who organized the project in order to participate in the peacebuilding and interfaith dialogue aspect of the project — in essence, to offer an American Christian’s perspective on some of the topics discussed.

It’s hard though to offer your perspective when you don’t have a clear perspective. Some of the presentations could get kind of complex — like, historical analyses of concepts of human dignity or women’s rights in Islamic law. I don’t know much about Islamic law — and while I have some general stances on human dignity and women’s rights, I’m still no expert. It makes trying to participate in the discussions difficult because I’m not the intended audience.

And so, as was the case in Nepal, I believed my role in this project took place outside of the classroom, especially interacting with my old friends and trying to make new ones. I don’t like formal discussions — I much prefer informal ones where I don’t feel the pressure of a professor watching me and expecting me to contribute in one way or another. I don’t know how the conference organizers felt about my preference for extracurricular conversations, but they decided to bring me along again regardless. I guess they didn’t hate me in Nepal too much.

It was really cool to see some of my old friends from Nepal again, especially considering when I left them last summer, I thought I would probably never get to see them again. I hadn’t known I would have a chance to meet them again for another conference, and I doubted I would ever visit their home countries of India or Pakistan for a visit.

But then again, I doubted I’d ever get to see Doha, Qatar, and yet there I was, attending a conference at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Education City. That’s where these photos were taken.

Life is full of surprises — like how beautiful the HBK campus was. Seriously, Notre Dame is lovely, and the collegiate gothic style is neat and all, but HBK was really something else. It was modern, clean, and high-tech — the opposite of Notre Dame’s traditional Catholic aesthetic. Some parts of Notre Dame, like the crappy dorms, make it hard to tell how much money the school really has. HBK was the opposite — everything, from the modern architecture to the water feature incorporated throughout the building to the rooftop terrace with verses of the Quran onto the windowpanes — oozed money.

To close off the day, the other American students and I traveled out to a local church for a Christmas mass. I’ve never been to Christmas mass before, given how I’m not Catholic and all, and I’ve definitely never been to Christmas mass in an Islamic country. Interestingly, it wasn’t all that different from a regular mass service in the US. Just like in mass at Notre Dame, there was a lot of singing, and kneeling, and repeating verses, and I fell asleep during the homily. I guess some things don’t get more exciting, even when they’re in a foreign culture.

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!

Top: The LOFT

Pants: J. Crew

December 24, 2018 – Christmas Eve in Germany (OOTD #426)

Spending Christmas Eve in Germany was not in my life plans about a month ago.

A month ago, I had assumed I’d be spending my winter break split between Qatar and France — Qatar for a conference on Islamic theology and peacebuilding funded by my university, and then France to immerse myself in French language and culture for a week, also funded by my university. If I was going to wind up in any other countries along the way, I figured they’d just be short layovers not really worthy mentioning — kind of like the time I was technically in Abu Dhabi for two hours for a layover during my flight to Nepal.

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frohe weihnachten aus münchen

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But, as it turned out, once my flights were organized by the conference coordinator, I got an extra long layover in Munich, Germany, on my flight to Doha, Qatar on December 23 — a whole seven hours! Initially, I figured I’d just hang out and explore the airport. I’ve heard good things about the Munich airport.

Remembering the fun I was able to have in Bucktown, Chicago during my long layover in O’Hare on my flight home from Nepal, I began to wonder though if maybe I’d be able to do the same for Munich. I’m not the most comfortable traveling by myself to foreign countries, though I don’t know if anyone ever really is, but I’ve been getting more confidence over the last few years, especially having traveled to London and Nepal semi-independently.

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merry christmas from munich with much love

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After doing some research (namely consulting the TripAdvisor forums), I decided to go for it and try to see the city during the seven-hour layover. There was another Notre Dame girl going to the same conference who wound up on the same flight from Philly to Munich, and after telling her my plan, she agreed to go too. Neither of us had ever seen Germany and neither of us spoke German, but we figured we could function for a few hours.

I departed Kentucky midday, and then I had a medium-length layover in Philadelphia. From there, it was a nine-ish hour flight — at which point, we arrived in Munich at about 9:00 AM local time.

Immigration was a piece of cake — the officer only asked how long I’d be there, and then he sent us on our way. From there, we purchased the less than 20 USD train tickets to Marienplatz, as the TripAdvisor forums suggested.

If there was anything I loved about Germany, it was the S-Bahn train. The New York Subway, the London Underground, the Chicago L — none of those public transport systems have anything on this German train. It was clean, quiet, modern, and perhaps most surprisingly for me — perfectly on time. There was even a screen where you could see estimated arrival times for each stop, and how those ETAs changed based on how long loading and unloading took each stop. The future is now, I guess.

When we stepped out into Marienplatz, the town square, I admittedly didn’t know what to expect. I’ve hardly ever studied German language or culture, and I was too lazy to do much studying up before I went. I had almost no preconceived notions of what a German city should look like — but rest assured, I was not disappointed.

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pretty! buildings!

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I saw a lot of different things over winter break — the colorful Doha skyline, sand dunes in the Middle East, gothic churches in France, a spring of supposedly magical healing water — but I don’t think anything had quite the same effect on me as seeing Marienplatz all decorated for the Christmas Eve Market. For context, the second you walk out from the Marienplatz S-Bahn stop onto the street, the first thing you see is the massive Rockefeller Center-sized Christmas tree in front of the spectacular gothic-style New Town Hall.

Coming from the US, and a relatively small US city at that, I don’t get to see much that even vaguely resembles Marienplatz very often. Notre Dame’s campus has some cool collegiate gothic architecture, and I do love God Quad with the basilica and the Golden Dome, but Notre Dame can’t compete with the feel a real European city. Everything there is so old — even stuff that technically isn’t that old, like the New Town Hall (which actually was only built in the 19th century), feels old.

One of my favorite things about travel is the ability to get a feel for a city — the facial expressions of locals as they walk through crowded train platforms, the ambient sounds as you maneuver through the town square, the kind of birds that nest in the crevices of buildings. If I had to describe Munich from my short visit, it was quaint. London, or what I saw of it in 2017, felt old, but somehow, Munich felt older. Munich felt a little quieter, a little friendlier — distinctively different from the sense of frustrated energy that exists in a massive city like New York or London. And I love the frustrated energy of New York and London — in fact, I’d love to be a frustrated, energetic New Yorker one day — but I also appreciated the slower pace of Munich.

In the end, my friend and I didn’t do much more than walk around. We did end up getting hungry and wander into a random restaurant, where I had the most German encounter of my trip: I tried to order water to drink, and instead I was given beer. I mean, I have nothing against drinking beer in Germany — in fact, that seems to be probably a pretty good place to do it — but I was still kind of surprised when I thought I was just getting water. It was good though. And what was even better was that it ended up being free, for some reason? Don’t know what happened there, but no complaints from me.

I was a little worried about getting back in time for our flight, but I shouldn’t have been. The train ran just as beautifully as it did on the way there, and immigration was once again a simple interaction. From there, it was another six hour flight in order to make it to Qatar. I got in at around 11 at night local time, and I didn’t stumble into my hotel until around 1:30. But more on that later.

To check out my full Munich adventures, I highly recommend checking out my Instagram story highlights from that day!

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!

Top: The LOFT

Pants: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

Scarf: My mother’s closet

 

December 19, 2018 – Mall Rat (OOTD #425)

Okay, this is basically the last of my late Christmas posts — I promise. It’s back to regular posts after this.

I’m not a very productive person during school breaks, especially at the beginning. I owe it to needing to recuperate after I spend four months not taking caring of myself and spending the majority of my time running on caffeine. School breaks are for sleeping in late, staying in my pajamas, and barely moving.

Then of course, that wears off — I can’t be a sleepy coach potato all day every day, as much as I wish I could. After a few days, it gets old, and I need to start getting up and doing something.

The Wednesday after the start of break, I had an interview for a summer internship. While I was a little resentful that I’d been forced to crawl out of bed before noon and put on real clothes for the first time since finals week, and I was even more reluctant to go talk to people I’d never met before for a stressful job interview, I did appreciate that I was finally given something to do. It’s good to have a little motivation.

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merry christmas eve eve

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And it’s even better to have some momentum to start the day. I don’t like anxiety, but I must say, having an anxiety-inducing interview at 10 in the morning is a great way to shake the lethargy and wake yourself up in the morning.

After I recovered emotionally from my interview, I was ready for a full day of being a functional adult.  I got lunch with my parents, went shopping with my dad, and got pictures for my blog — like I said, it was my most productive day since finals had ended.

What can I say? It’s hard being a college student on winter break with absolutely nothing to do. But it’s admittedly harder being a college student during the school semester with way too many things to do — someday, I like to think I’ll find the perfect balance between being an unproductive blob and an stressed workaholic.

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. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket, shirt, and pants: Banana Republic

 

 

December 16, 2018 – Christmas in January (OOTD #424)

Oops, so I’m a loser and I fell behind with my blogs.

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how’s this for a christmas aesthetic

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In my defense, I’ve been traveling pretty much nonstop for the last three weeks. It makes writing blogs a little complicated. But life is back to normal now, for better or for worse, and that means I should be back to regular blog-writing.

These photos were taken after I finally made it home after my 24 hour travel nightmare where I got stuck in Indianapolis overnight. I like to think that you can’t tell that from the pictures, though, that I’d spent the last day stressed and exhausted — makeup and a good iPhone camera can do wonders.

After I got home, my parents and I went out to this little Christmas shop not far from our home to pick out our Christmas tree. Picking a Christmas tree has always been one of my favorite family traditions — but I feel like that’s true for most people who pick out a real tree. No offense if you’re an artificial tree person, but real trees are obviously superior.

Most people talk about how they love the scent of a Christmas tree, but for me, it’s the concept of having a living (or once-living) plant sitting in your living room. Christmas trees are like, the ultimate houseplant — they don’t need sun, they don’t get leggy if you don’t give their pot a quarter-turn each day, and they don’t get overwatered. They’re so easy to take care of because you don’t have to keep them alive — you just have to keep them from dying too soon.

As much as I love Christmas trees, though, I do put a limit on when it’s appropriate to put them up. I have a friend who puts up her (artificial) tree on Halloween night, and that’s definitely way too early in my opinion. I stick to a strict Christmas schedule — I begin listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, I don’t put up decorations until after the first of December, and I don’t bake cookies until a week before Christmas Eve.

Now, if only I could stick to such a strict schedule for my blog posts…

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. 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)

December 15, 2018 – Rerouted (OOTD #423)

Welp, that didn’t’t go as planned.

My semester had ended, I’d finished up all of my finals, and I thought I knew for certain what all of my grades were going to be.There shouldn’t have been anything else left to worry about — everything was supposed to be set for me to make it home by 7PM on Saturday night.

So why then did I not make it back until 10AM the following morning?

That’s an excellent question, and one I’m still asking myself. See, I was supposed to have two flights — one from Chicago Midway at 10AM to Atlanta, and another from Atlanta to Lexington at 5PM that would have gotten me home by early evening. Why not just one direct flight from Chicago to Lexington? Because money, that’s why — I basically always fly as cheaply as possible.

Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea this time, however, because after I made it to Atlanta, all of my troubles began. I shouldn’t have been surprised because I hate the Atlanta airport — the last time I was there, I got trapped for two days after a bad storm in the Southwest trapped the entire airport full of people, meaning that Amanda and I, as two sorry idiots who flew standby, were stuck there until two spots finally opened up for a flight to Lexington. This time, I made it out of Atlanta alive and on time, but my flight didn’t reach my destination. Instead, it got rerouted to Indianapolis 15 miles away from our destination.

Apparently, the runway lights were out or something. I don’t manage airports, so I can’t claim to know how everything works, but it strikes me that that’s not an issue that you should allow to happen. Anyway, my flight couldn’t land, and so they flew us all to Indianapolis at 10PM at night, three hours after we were supposed to have landed in Kentucky.

In Indianapolis, they made us sit there for an hour before they finally decided to cancel the flight, at which point, they shoved us all into the airport with some hotel vouchers. Unfortunately, the troubles didn’t end there.

They put us in a (crappy) hotel about 10 miles away from the airport. I felt so badly for the hotel staff — they clearly were not prepared for an airplane-load of people to show up at 10PM at night. They only had one shuttle, and the shuttle could only take 10 people at a time, which sucked for the airplane full of people who were stuck waiting out in the cold as the shuttle made the 30 minute trip back and forth from the airport to the hotel. Then, of course, when I finally made it to the hotel at about 11PM at night, the poor lone person standing there at the desk was still struggling to make it through the line of people waiting to get rooms.

I don’t think I made it up to my room until about midnight — and at that point, I only had five hours until it was time to get up again and catch the shuttle to get back to the airport for my 7:30AM flight. Resigned to my sad fate, I took some pictures of my outfit (because I figured this was too good of a story to not give it a proper blog post treatment — and also because I liked this outfit), and got a few hours of shut-eye before dragging myself back to the airport.

Thankfully, though, our flight departed on time, and I finally made it back home. It was over 12 hours later than I was supposed to be — and basically 24 hours after I departed from school on Saturday morning. Can you believe that? It took me 24 hours to make it from Chicago to Lexington, which, by plane, should have taken two hours — four if you count the bus ride from campus to Midway.

I don’t think it was my worst travel debacle, but it’s up there. Maybe #2, after the other Atlanta tragedy that I mentioned earlier. I do love to fly, don’t get me wrong — but I don’t love it when I get stranded at airports and bus stops and creepy hotels for 12 hours at a time.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as a world traveler. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Thrifted

Sweater: Thrifted

Shirt: J.Crew

DressAmerican Eagle

December 14, 2019 – Hiss, Hiss (OOTD #422)

 Harry Potter seems to be a recurring theme in this blog.

Maybe it has to do with how part of the reason why I came to Notre Dame was South Dining Hall, which looks like the Great Hall from the Harry Potter films. Maybe it has to do with all of the collegiate gothic architecture, which makes me feel like I go to school in a castle.

Or at least, I feel like I go to school in a castle until I actually go inside the buildings. Then I see the facilities that haven’t been updated since Bill Clinton was president, the cockroaches that live in my room, and the brown water in DeBart, and the illusion dies pretty quickly. Hogwarts probably has its problems — a lake monster, an evil tree, a prankster ghost — but I doubt they have mold like us.

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hiss hiss bish

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Granted, I’m not convinced the art building isn’t haunted by a ghost itself, as well.

Don’t get me wrong — Notre Dame has the money to fix this stuff. They’ll just spend it on everything else they consider more important first: a new practice facility for the football team, perhaps.

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wow, you guessed it — i’m a gryffindor

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Anyway, back to Harry Potter: I love to bust out my Slytherin scarf whenever I can, especially around Christmastime, because I appreciate it as a more subtle way to show off some nerd pride. Nerd pride? Harry Potter is so mainstream I wonder if it even counts as nerdy anymore.

I feel like wearing Hogwarts House-themed attire out in public counts as nerdy though. I got a nerdy-looking guy in Au Bon Pain to tell me he liked my scarf (after like, three awkward attempts to get my attention) so I suppose it caters to that crowd.

Hiss, hiss, I guess. #slytherinpride

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: Forever21

Sweater: H&M

Skirt: Forever21

December 11, 2018 – The Best Time to Wear a Christmas Sweater (OOTD #421)

…is all the time!

This is one of my favorite sweaters in my wardrobe, and yet I only get to wear it a few times a year!

That’s the sad thing about Christmas sweaters. They’re so fun to have around for the month of December, and then they’re basically useless the rest of the year. Leave it to capitalism to force us to buy stuff that we only need once or twice a year. Gotta love it.

In truth though, Christmas sweaters are one commercial aspect of Christmas I can definitely buy into (get it?) I mean, the really authentic ones you need to buy secondhand anyway, so it’s not that awful for the environment, or for your wallet. I’m happy to reuse other people’s old crap in the name of the Christmas spirit.

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i think yule like this one

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These photos were taken shortly after I took my very first final about two weeks ago. It doesn’t feel like two weeks ago. It was the hardest one I had — Russian literature — and afterwards, I was just about dead. I actually had one more to go in the afternoon, but it was one that I was significantly less worried for. After I finished up my Russian lit final, I dragged myself to the math building to do pictures. I looked too cute to just let the outfit pass without Internet recognition, you know?

I’m a firm believer in the “dress well, test well” principle, unless I’m exhausted and I wind up sprinting to my exam in my pajamas. Those are the two testing modes I have — completely put together, made-up, and refreshed, or stumbling, sleep-deprived mess. At any rate, for this first final at least, I managed to keep it together. Sort of — I still made an A- on the stupid thing, and in the class. RIP my 4.0, 2017-2018. She will be missed.

My exam location wasn’t far from the math building, so after I finished up, I strolled over to get some stairwell photos. I had gotten some pics in the math building earlier in the month, so I knew there were some cool locations, and I was not disappointed by this staircase and its fabulous lighting. Might be my favorite one on campus now — even beating out this one, which I’ve used many, many times.

Unfortunately, though, I think I’ve just about exhausted my photo locations in the math building — I’ve done the hallways, the foyer, the stairwell, and the secret garden now, and I’m running out of pretty places. Onto bigger and better buildings, I guess?

Anyway, it’s 10PM right now in Doha, Qatar as I write this, and Christmas Day is just now drawing to a close. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you guys reading this, wherever you are and whatever time it is. Thanks for another great year with this silly little blog of mine.

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)

December 7, 2018 – A 20th Century Christmas (OOTD #419)

There nothing that “20th century” about this outfit except maybe the hat — and the hat’s not even mine!

For this post, my friends and I decided to all go out and take a family Christmas photo together. We had initially thought we’d make a Christmas card to send out to our families, but then we remembered how much work that would take and how stressed we were with our finals, and we decided just to take the picture without worrying about the card.

And I’m pretty satisfied with the result! We did them right before we exchanged secret Santa gifts, so we were all feeling festive.

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a six chick christmas

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I do wish I had an ugly Christmas sweater so I could have matched my friends a little better. I have a lot of Christmas sweaters — check them out here and here and here — but none  of them are ugly. Like, really ugly and wacky. They’re almost all too…cute?

Ugly Christmas sweaters are all super trendy, and while I’m normally hesitant to buy into trends, but I like this one. There’s something fun about purposefully being ugly — that is, as long as it’s authentically ugly. I’m not so much a fan of ugly Christmas sweaters that people just buy at Walmart. There’s no fun in that! You’ve got to go out and actually find something in a secondhand shop — or if you’re super crafty, make something.

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#sleigh, girl, sleigh.

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That’s why I love the ugly Christmas sweater market my school holds in late November. I didn’t actually buy anything this year because they raised their prices, and I don’t really feel justified spending $20 on an old ugly sweater I could get for a lot less money at a Goodwill, but I like the idea. I hope that perhaps next year I can find an ugly sweater that makes the $20 price tag worth it.

Or better yet, maybe I’ll find something at a vintage shop or a Goodwill the next time I’m home. I love the hunt that a secondhand store entails — it’s even more of  a hunt than my school’s secondhand Christmas sweater market!

Anyway, Merry Christmas from everyone here in my dorm room at Notre Dame! I don’t know for certain that they actually want to wish my readers happy holidays, but I assume they do. They’re nice people. They probably want you all to have a nice 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: Thrifted

Sweater: Abercrombie (thrifted)

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

Hat: borrowed from a friend