Saturday Musings + Plants – Derby Day

It seems that people outside of Kentucky don’t really do anything for the Derby.

At least, no one really does anything at Notre Dame. I think I saw that there was one Derby-themed darty somewhere, but I was in class, and darties aren’t really my scene anyway.  I have heard of a few people who were traveling into Louisville to actually attend, but I can’t imagine that it’s many.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting —  I mean, Kentucky people hardly do anything for the Derby, so it’s not like Indiana people were going to do any more. I’m just sitting here by myself streaming it on my laptop in the student center while I work on some essays. Or at least pretend to work on some essays.

For the record, I’m rooting for Firenze Fire, mostly just because he shares the name of a Harry Potter character. He’s almost certainly going to lose — but that’s okay, because I’m not putting any money on it.

Anyway, here’s a little update on my plant collection! My roommate and I have a little jungle growing in our dorm. I won’t go through every single plant here, especially since you saw a lot of them the last time I went on a plant photoshoot spree, but here are a few new ones:

First up is this money plant I got in Chinatown in Chicago. I was between buying her, a bonsai tree, or a bamboo plant in the little tourist shop, but I went for the money plant because it looked like it was in the best health for the cost. I’m a little sad it’s not a Pilea peperomioides, the kind of money plant with sand dollar shaped leaves, but I’m happy with this Pachira aquatica instead. If it brings me money like it’s supposed to, I’ll be satisfied.

This tiger’s jaw succulent is also a new one. I got him from an event my dorm was holding where everyone got to take and pot a succulent. Definitely the best dorm event all year. I wish they’d had even more succulents so I could’ve taken more — inevitably, a lot of the people who took succulents are going to kill them or otherwise neglect them, which is unfortunate because I would love to take them in and care for them. Oh well.

Speaking of neglecting plants. here are some four o’ clocks I grew from seeds I got for free at a “sustainability fair” some club was putting on. I didn’t expect them all to germinate, and so quickly, so I planted the seeds in way too small a pot. Once the seedlings are a little more mature, I’ll give some away so that the ones I have can thrive.

The rest of these plants are old, but have made important new developments. My African violets sprouted flowers, my baby saguaro cactus has grown hairy, and my sunflowers seedlings have gotten taller!

On a more somber note, whatever kind of plants were growing alongside my saguaro seedling are pretty much all dead. I’m just disappointed that none of them will ever get big enough for me to figure out what these little guys were supposed to be. They started growing around the same time as the saguaro did, making me think they sprouted from the cactus seed mix I planted, but they sure don’t look like cacti. No idea what they are.

I love being a plant mom. It’s like having being a real mom, but you don’t have to talk to your kids.

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!

April 27, 2018 – Holy Holi, Batman (OOTD #274)

What’s this? Haven’t I already done an OOTD post for April 27?

That would be correct! I have. This, then, is part 2 — the sequel, if you will.

April 27 was a massively busy day for me, but all in a good way. It was one of the last days of classes, meaning that a lot of my remaining schoolwork wasn’t due until finals week and could theoretically be put off until later.  Needless to say, I took advantage of this.

It was also a Friday, which, this semester,  I ended at about 2pm, meaning most of my afternoon was pretty open.The first thing I did after my classes let out was get a new ID card to replace the one I lost a week ago. I’m still surprised it never turned up. Meanwhile, my missing shoes are also still MIA.

There was a “sustainability festival” going on on South Quad, and since it was a beautiful day, I decided to stop by. My decision was also influenced by the fact that they were offering free plant seeds, which, if you’ve been following my slow descent into plant madness over the last few months, you’ll know I was very excited for. I now have a pot of 4 o’ clocks in my dorm room waiting to sprout.

After that, some student organization (can’t remember which, oops) was putting on their version of the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi. That’s were all of my pictures here are from, and why I decided to bother with a part 2 to my April 27 blog. They were too nice to just throw at the tail end of another OOTD or Saturday Musings post.

Later that evening, there were some food trucks on South Quad offering free food, so you know I was all over that. And later still, the Chainsmokers were giving a concert in the Joyce Center that I got last-second tickets for from a kid who was no longer able to go. Being totally honest, the concert was probably one of the lamest I’ve ever been to (they barely sang! They had practically no instruments! I mean I know that’s how EDM works but I guess I’m just not a fan), but it was also cheap, so I can’t totally complain.

It was a very nice way to wrap up the school year. I mean, it wasn’t a true wrap up — I still had half a week of classes and an entire week of finals still to stagger through — but I was able to pretend for an afternoon that I was at college for the purpose of having 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, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

April 27, 2018 – Equestrian Kentuckian (OOTD #273)

For a person who hasn’t seen a horse in months and who won’t even be in Kentucky in time for the Derby, I sure look like I’m going to go out and work with horses in this outfit.

Horses were always something I took for granted for years — they’re all over Kentucky, probably one of the most common sights in the entire state. Here, at Notre Dame, though the most common sights are white boys in Vineyard Vines in the business school building and giant squirrels. There are no horses here, since the Four Horsemen don’t count.

Not seeing horses everywhere was pretty easy to get used to though, considering I’ve never really been a horse person and can only kind-of sort-of ride. I can do trail rides, but so can pretty much anyone with a little training.

I’m a sad excuse for a Kentuckian.

I do like to pretend I’m an equestrian-minded Kentuckian girl, at least, through my fashion choices. Have these riding boots ever once been used for riding? Nope. But they look like they might, and that’s what counts for me.

Meanwhile, I still haven’t found my missing black shoes , which is absolutely baffling to me, since there’s really no where they should be other than my dorm room. And yet I’ve searched around my dorm room repeatedly to no avail — it seems like, unless they pop up sometime in the next few days, I shall be going home without them. Sad lad. That would mean that I’ve gone through two pairs of black booties during my year here at school, which, while kind of understandable given the fact that they’re my go-to shoes for everyday wear, is still kind of dumb.

Speaking of dumb  — that’s what I am for not doing any work so far today, and for spending hours looking at plant blogs instead of anything productive. Guess I should start on my history paper now that it’s 11pm and I need to be up at 6 tomorrow.

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: Evan Picone (thrifted)

Turtleneck: Free People

Jeans: Hollister (a new, better-fitting pair of white jeans than my old Abercrombie ones!)

March 20, 2018 – Happy Easter (OOTD #250)

What? You mean to tell me that Easter didn’t fall on March 20 this year?

Yeah — so I’ve discussed this before, but I have my daily blogs on a bit of a delay, so as to never wind up having nothing to post just in case I decide not to take OOTD photos one day or in case I don’t get to take photos until late in the day. The issue with that, of course, is that when holidays roll around, I’m never able to post the blog from that particular holiday on the actual day of the holiday.

I guess I could plan my outfits in a way that it looks like I’m celebrating the holiday earlier in the week, and then posting that blog on the actual holiday, but to be honest, that’s too much work for something I don’t really think is worth it.

Anyway, so today (the day I’m posting this blog) is Easter, but the outfit I’m posting is from March. Luckily, this outfit looks pretty festive and spring-like, so I guess it works for an Easter outfit.

The building I’m standing next to is the law school building, which I have interestingly never been into, even though I’m thinking of maybe one day trying to go into law (though I’m not really sure why — talking in front of people is scary). It’s just one of those places where I don’t really feel like I belong in, since I have no classes or anything there, y’know?

It’s my goal to make it into all of Notre Dame’s buildings at some point by the time I’m done here, including the dorms. I’m not really sure how I’m going to manage that, considering I never go to parties and have few friends outside of my dorm. I’m going to figure it out somehow…probably. Maybe.

Anyway, happy Easter! I hope you get to spend the day celebrating somehow with friends and family, and if you’re at The Most Catholic School On Earth ™ like me, I hope you enjoy eating meat and breaking the Lenten fasting thing, even if, like me, you haven’t really kept it anyway. I did swear off dining hall french fries, though, which has done well for my weight. Good for me, I guess?

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!

Sweater: Altar’d State

Shirt: Forever21

Skirt: Rue21

Tights: The LOFT

February 16, 2018 – Oversleeping The New Year (OOTD #227)

Hey, you know how yesterday’s blog post was all about how I had to hang out in the art room super late at night in order to do my pictures?

Yeah, well, that ended up being a regrettable decision the next morning. I was up so late, I ended up totally crashing when I finally made it home. I was so exhausted that I forgot to set an alarm for myself, and none of the usual backups that might wake me up in the case of an alarm failure – like my roommates getting up, the construction going on in the next building – worked wither because I was so knocked.

Ironically, the class I ended up missing that morning was the one I was up so late working for in the first place – Drawing, I woke up at 11:30, and class began at 10:30, so it really wasn’t worth it to walk into studio an hour late.

Instead, I cut my losses. I emailed my professor, asking her what I missed, made myself some coffee, and spent a relaxing morning getting ready for my 12:50 class. What was done was done, you know? Obviously, I understood that I had made a mistake and I shouldn’t let it happen again, but no reason to feel badly about it all day when there was nothing more I could do.

Thankfully, my professor was super chill about it. I didn’t tell her that I overslept, but she didn’t ask any questions and just told me I could do a small group makeup critique with some other students that missed class that Friday.

Friday was also, interestingly Chinese New Year, so maybe I was just blessed with some good luck there by my ancestors.

I mentioned this in the Saturday Musings + Coffee post I did the day after, but I was kind of disappointed with the lack of Chinese New Year programming at my school, even within the Asian American Association or similar cultural groups. Obviously, I don’t expect the whole school to celebrate – in fact, as it was a Friday during Lenten season, there wasn’t even any Kung Pao chicken in the dining hall like usual – but I thought maybe there’d be something.

I’m exaggerating a little – I believe there was some kind of cultural performing arts show the Thursday before, but that cost money to get into and I don’t have that, and then on Sunday, there was a very small event in the student center ballroom with some egg rolls and fried rice. Better than nothing, of course, but I definitely felt that my school that celebrated something as seemingly minor as the Feast of St. Francis with animal-shaped cookies could have had a little more going on for such an important Asian holiday.

To make myself feel better about not getting to celebrate CNY, I wore this oriental-inspired skirt I got back in London as well as my Chinese dragon ring. It’s no qipao, but it’s something, right?

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!

Skirt: River Island

Sweater: Forever21

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