March 10, 2019 – Grocery Store Florist (OOTD #469)

A long, long time ago, I applied for a job at this grocery store florist. They didn’t hire me.

It amazes me sometimes how sixteen year-old kids go out and find jobs sometimes, and that’s coming from someone who was once a sixteen year-old kid who found a job.

My first job was actually at the same grocery store chain as this florist, though I worked at a different location. I was a bagger/cart-getter/bathroom-cleaner. It wasn’t a fun job.

I won’t mention the name of the grocery store chain in case one day I want to try to get a job in their corporate department (or alternatively, after I drop out of school and all that’s left for me is to go back and try to get a job as a bagger), so let’s call it something totally made-up — like Shmoger. 

I applied for a lot of jobs the summer I was 16 — none of which I got interviews for except this one at Shmoger. That’s the worst part about applying for jobs — the fact that no one seems to want to message you to let you know the status of your application. At least with university applications, you can get rejected from every school you apply to, but they properly reject you. They give you a date they’ll have their decision by, and then they tell you their decision on that date. With jobs, they just ghost you, like a bad Tinder match.

The Shmoger I worked at was going through some renovations when I began working there, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason they hired me. I had no real experience (not even babysitting) and no references besides my parents, so they must have been desperate.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really even want the job that badly. I just took it because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do when you turn 16. Now that I’m at a wealthy university and have wealthy friends, I realize that that’s not the case for people with money and connections, but at the time, pretty much everyone I knew had a crappy job in retail or food or service.

Looking back, I do appreciate the perspective that my crappy barely-above-minimum wage job offered me about the world — how hard it is to get a job if you don’t have a lot of experience or connections or education, how entitled both customers and fellow employees can be, how exhausting it is to do (even slightly) labor-intensive work , how difficult it is to make any actual money working minimum wage and barely getting any hours because you’ve just stared. It helped me to recognize how privileged I am to not have to work jobs like that in order to get by, and how difficult it is to move past that situation if that’s where you’re presently stuck. I ultimately ended up quitting when my junior year began (one of the only things I’ve truly quit for the last several years) because it was too much to do on top of schoolwork. Ironically, I quit the weekend before the big reopening after the renovations were all finished — something for which my boss yelled at me when I sent in my resignation via text.

I can’t imagine trying to work a spiritually and financially thankless job like that while trying to get the education required to get a better job. Getting an education can be spiritually and financially thankless enough on its own sometimes.

I think my second-most important realization at my Shmoger job was how horrible people are who leave their grocery carts out in the middle of the parking lot, especially at night. Please bring them to the corral — or better yet, back up to the front of the store! Some poor kid on cart-duty will thank you.

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


Sweater: Forever21

Jacket: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Skirt: Hollister

Shoes: Target

March 2, 2019 – Markets and Mixups (#463)

It’s been nearly a year since I last went to the South Bend Farmers’ Market.

It’s honestly one of my favorite places to go in South Bend. I mean, farmers’ markets in general are cool, and though I don’t have a lot of other ones that I’ve been to to compare it to, but I think the South Bend Farmers’ Market is something special. For one, it has its own little building by the river, and so vendors are able to actually have permanent booths and displays year-round.

It also feels more like a flea market more than a farmers’ market — and that’s a good thing! I like flea markets. There are vendors who sell more than just produce — they have vintage books, houseplants, homemade jewelry, and eclectic goods of that nature. It’s my favorite kind of market (excepting, perhaps, a vintage market or an art fair).

Unfortunately, I don’t get to go often. It’s not really within walking or biking distance to campus (and let’s be honest — campus is basically the only thing in walking distance to campus), and so I only ever go when someone else drives me. It was Dads’ Weekend for my dorm, and so one of my friends’ dads offered to take anyone who wanted to go to the market one Saturday morning. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity. Any chance I get to leave campus (especially with an adult who will pay for my food), I take.

img_3651

Now, I don’t really feel any deep resentment for what I’m about to describe next — I’m sure my friend’s dad didn’t mean to do it. Granted, I don’t think people typically mean to do it, unless they’re purposefully trying to be assholes, but I haven’t really had to deal with that since my 9th grade Civics teacher, who was all kinds of problematic anyway. Nonetheless, it gets under my skin.

While we were loitering around, waiting for my friend to finish looking at a display of organic tea, he asked me how I liked Vietnam.

In case anyone here doesn’t know, I’m not from Vietnam. I’m from China, actually but my other Asian roommate, Lan Anh, is Vietnamese. He’d confused the two of us, something that seems to happen quite often. You can see Lan Anh in this batch of pictures, so you can decide if we really look a like or not, but I’m of the opinion that we don’t. Not enough to justify people constantly confusing us.

For one, she has dark hair and mine is bleach blonde. Like, you’d think that would make things easy for people. How many blonde Asians do you see a day?

What made the difference for me with my friend’s dad — why I’m perturbed but not really with him directly — was how apologetic he was afterwards. I could tell he felt badly, and that he recognized why his mistaking me for Lan Anh implied more than just that he was bad with names. I mind that he confused us, of course — I’m really tired of the all Asians look the same thing — but I appreciate that he was able to acknowledge his mistake. That’s all I want out of people . It’s okay if someone confuses Asian faces or names once or twice — we’re a minority, and people will be less attuned to facial differences if they don’t see us much — but I hope that they make an effort to do better afterwards. There are people I’ve known who have never bothered with that second step — with doing better after they make the initial mistake — and that’s what’s discouraging.

On a side note, I saw Pete Buttigieg and his husband at the breakfast café we went to. I didn’t go up and say hi because I didn’t want to bother him, but it’s cool to see a presidential candidate out and about living life like a normal person.

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


Top: Forever21

Jacket: Hollister

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)

January 30, 2019 – Frostbite Fashion (OOTD #446)

January 30, 2019 was the coldest day I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.

This was a part of the Polar Vortex that swept the Midwest, and it hit us pretty hard. Maybe not as hard as it hit Chicago, which is a bit further north, but it was still pretty cold — and by that I mean -40 Fwindchill levels of cold.

It was so cold that they even cancelled classes for us that day, which Notre Dame never does. Class stops for religious holidays only — not even national holidays, so Columbus Day and Labor Day and President’s Day doesn’t count. The fact that they cancelled classes because of the weather means that this was some serious business.

And I guess it was. You probably saw everyone on social media in the Midwest doing that experiment where you throw boiling water into the air and it turns to snow. I can confirm that all of those videos were real — I tried it myself outside of my dorm, and it worked.

Because of how cold it was, I only ventured out of my dorm once that day, and that was to get food. Everything but the dining halls were closed, so there was no reason to brave the cold.

And when I did go out that one time to brave the cold, oh boy was it cold. In Kentucky, the coldest I’ve probably ever experienced is maybe -10 F windchill. This was -40 F — the kind of windchill where you can get frostbite from being outside for more than 10 minutes. I could literally feel the ice crystals forming in my nose and throat each time I breathed in. For the people who live off campus, or who live in dorms that are on the outskirts, frostbite could actually become a concern.

And hence, I stayed inside for the majority of the day. It was actually really nice. It’s so rare that I ever get off from classes. I don’t expect that it will ever happen again while I’m at Notre Dame. This was likely my first and last snow

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


Sweater: Forever21

Jeans: Hollister

Boots: Doc Marten

January 17, 2019 – Bratz Dolls and Drama Teachers (OOTD #439)

Today’s outfit inspiration: my Bratz dolls and the drama teacher from High School Musical.

Alright, let me explain: The Bratz inspiration comes from the lipliner. I’m admittedly new to the whole lipliner game, since I didn’t join in back in 2015 or whatever when Kylie Jenner first came to prominence. I’ve been experimenting a little with my lipliner though for daily use, and in general, I like the look. I may have gone a little overboard with this look, though.

Oh well. It’s not a makeup blog.

Where does the drama teacher from High School Musical  have to do with it, then? That’s what the scarf and leather jacket combo reminds me of. I don’t honestly know if there’s a way to wear an untied scarf like this without looking a little pretentious — or like a priest — and in tandem, the overall look is definitely reminiscent of an underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming.

But you know, like….the fashionable version?

Sometimes I forget that the point of this blog is to convince other people to like my fashion choices, because I’ll get caught up in weird descriptions like “underpaid music teacher in a public high school that’s trying to cut its arts programming. ” For me, fashion is all about creating an aesthetic, and an aesthetic needs an inspiration. That inspiration isn’t always inherently fashionable, because if it were, there would be no challenge and no enjoyment, for me at least.

Inspiration comes from anywhere, I guess, including children’s’ dolls and films from 2006.

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


Top: Abercrombie

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Abercrombie (wow, I must be a model for middle school fashion circa 2012)

 

October 30, 2018 – Pre-Halloween (OOTD #400)

The day? Halloween. The socks? Spooky.

View this post on Instagram

the day? halloween. the socks? spooky.

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

I know I’m really behind with these OOTD posts (it being late November and I’m just now posting a blog for Halloween) but I’m hoping to get a little more caught up soon. I haven’t been taking pictures necessarily every day recently in anticipation of catching up, so hopefully, if I keep on posting blogs everyday, I’ll eventually get a little less behind.

Anyway, I know this is late, but happy Halloween! I have two Halloween-themed outfits for you: this one and tomorrow’s. Like last year’s Halloween outfits, the October 30 outfit is colorful and features the ghost socks and the October 31 outfit is black and sparkly. The black sparkly one will be tomorrow’s post.

I’ve had these socks for ages, since maybe 6th grade. I think my mother got them for me from Target. I didn’t wear them much back then because I thought they looked too childish, but now that I’m older, I realize that I was being stupid. These are lovely socks.

It’s not like I have a lot of other Halloween pieces to wear, anyway. Everyone has Christmas sweaters but no one has Halloween sweaters. Since I don’t really go out and get dressed up anymore, I’ve got to celebrate Halloween with some kind of festive fashion, even if I can’t do a costume and trick or treating anymore.

I really do miss trick or treating. Now, all anyone my age does is go out and party. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I wish we could party and trick or treat. I don’t miss the candy, but I miss going out and walking around at night and seeing all the decorations.

Notre Dame doesn’t decorate for Halloween. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to, but with all that gothic architecture…it’s definitely a missed opportunity. Can you imagine a giant spiderweb draped across Touchdown Jesus? Seriously Father Jenkins…get on that.

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: Hollister

Top: Hot Topic

Skirt: Forever21

Socks: Target

October 23, 2018 – Tree Hugger (OOTD #396)

I’m really liking this particular tree.

View this post on Instagram

make like a tree and go dormant

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

It’s fall, and I gotta take advantage of all of the fall colors for my Instagram. Thankfully, Notre Dame is good for getting fall colors. I guess it’s that Midwestern air that makes things colder than it should be earlier than it should be.

Hence, all of the posts featuring trees lately.

It’s not like there’s a lot else to take pictures with, and these trees wouldn’t make a worthwhile background if not for their colors. No offense to trees.

I always wonder how those fashion bloggers who get beautiful, interestingly-composed shots every day do it. I mean, I’m sure living in a beautiful city like New York or Paris, where there’s a lot of interesting architecture to work with, helps. But it’s not like you can just go out every day to a new location to get your pictures. I don’t know, maybe when you have a million followers and being an Instagrammer is your whole life, you can afford to do that.

I guess all I need is an artistic photographer friend and a city with an unlimited supply of visually interesting backgrounds. And maybe a million followers on Instagram.

I’m on my way, though. I’m nearly to 10,000. Just got to multiply that number by 100. Seeing as it’s taken me nearly two years to make it to 10,000, I should have my million followers in 200 years!

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: Zara

Top: Anthropologie

Jeans: Hollister

September 19, 2018 – Sock Feet (OOTD #379)

It is no secret at this point that I am a sock person.

Not only did I once write a whole blog post about how I thought a pair of socks made an entire outfit work, but I am also one of those weird people who wears socks to bed. And at just about all times of the day. Basically, unless it’s summer and I have sandals on, I probably have socks on too.

I usually don’t go for thigh high socks and shorts because I think it looks a little too stripper-ish, but like…I had a jacket on here? So it was more conservative?

How does that work anyway? I technically have more clothes on with the socks than I would have without the socks, but the socks make the whole outfit look more sexual. Whoever decided socks were sexy is dumb. I just want to wear my socks without being judged.

All the more reason to wear the socks, though, right? It’s time to #FreeTheSocks from their reputation.

At any rate, I think the world needs more people who wear socks. I’ve seen the feet of kids in the library who think they can take their shoes off without anyone noticing. They are wrong — people notice, and no one thinks your bare feet are cool.

Plus, in socks, you can slide around the house on the hardwood! What else could you want from your fashion choices?

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Hollister

Shorts: Hollister

Socks: Target

Top: Thrifted

September 8, 2018 – Lake Effect Kid (OOTD #369)

In case you’re wondering, the title is a reference to a Fall Out Boy song that is an absolute bop, and that I absolutely recommend that you check out.

As is the case with most of my travel-related blogs, this one might be a long one, so brace yourself. Today’s post sees Amanda and me going into Chicago for a nice day out in a big city, away from schoolwork and more importantly, away from campus.

Getting to the point where we were actually in the city though took more work than it should have. When we bought out tickets way back in the fall of last year (can you believe that? I had these tickets for basically a year) I figured we’d just get the train into the city in the morning and then be back to South Bend when it was over. What I didn’t consider was that the train would stop service to South Bend at 9pm, way before my concert was due to end.

Since we couldn’t get the train, and that was the only line that services South Bend, we ended up having to get an AirBnB and staying the night in Chicago. Thankfully, it wasn’t overly expensive, but it was a cost I wasn’t accounting for.

But after we solved our transportation issue, we had very few problems for the rest of that day. Note: that day. The next day was a completely different story, and I’ll tell it tomorrow.

View this post on Instagram

took an L

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

Anyway, after we made it into the city, we stopped for a bite to eat in Nando’s (our first since we’d been in London over a year before), and then checked into our BnB. From three, we ditched the car and took the L (gotta love public transportation) off to Millennium Station.

Amanda wanted to see the Bean, and I wanted to see Navy Pier — basically, we were just big fat tourists for the afternoon. We might as well have thrown in the Art Institute and the Sears Tower (is that what it’s still called?) and done the whole experience.

The Bean was just that — the Bean, and exactly the same Bean as I had seen a few months prior. I must say, though, Millennium Park is certainly pretty. I don’t really think the Bean is all that, but the park is a nice stop.

Navy Pier was totally new to me, though. I feel like I must have been at some point when I was younger, but I can’t remember it. There was about an eight year gap in my life in which I didn’t see Chicago at all (which, when you think about it, is a little under half of my entire life), so my memories of it are either very distant, or very recent.

We were too cheap to pay for a ferris wheel ride (we’d learnt our lesson from the last time we wound up in a fair) or really to do anything other than look around and take photos, but I was glad to have finally seen the famed Navy Pier. Plus, we got some really dope photos next to Lake Michigan.

On a slight side note, you want to know something wild that I saw? An ad for my hometown, Lexington KY! Here I was, 400 miles away from Lexington, and still it followed me. You can never forget where you come from, I guess?

Finally, our last stop of the night was Wrigley Field, the location of the concert we were attending. And what concert was that, you may ask? Why, Fall Out Boy, of course — one of my all-time favorite bands. I had a really intense emo phase in high school, where Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Panic! at the Disco, and Twenty One Pilots were my favorite bands. Granted, they’re still kind of my favorite bands — and if MCR ever decided to reunite, you can bet I would be spending my life savings to go.

The concert was a blast, though I rather wish they would have played more of their older songs. I knew they wouldn’t, that they’d mostly play post-hiatus stuff because that’s what’s more popular, but I was still a little sad I didn’t get to hear more of their rock-centric early 2000’s discography.

What was most surprising about the day, like I said, was that very little went wrong. We didn’t miss a single train, we hit little traffic, the tolls weren’t awful, and we never got lost. As travels go, everything went about as perfectly as possible.

But that was Saturday. Sunday is another story.

To be continued…

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters

Jacket: Hollister

September 4, 2018 – Finalities and Fatalities OOTD #365)

Oh man, am I behind with the dates of these blogs.

One of these days, I’ll get caught up a reasonable amount on these blogs, and I’ll only have a week-long delay on them. One of these days, I’ll also have my life together enough to not post a blog at 11:30PM on a Thursday night, and instead post it at a reasonable time of the day.

As the kids say these days, “it be like that sometimes.”

My so-called “Hell Week” is finally over, and while my sleep schedule and general mental health definitely took a hit, I’m hoping that my GPA didn’t. Okay, I know it did but I’m hoping that the hit wasn’t too hard.

One of the most stressful aspects of a college course versus a high school one is that you often do not have any idea of what your grade will be until it’s posted after finals. With how much finals can be worth and with so few graded assessments over the course of a year, one failed exam can tank your grade for the whole semester. Which is lousy.

But I can’t do anything about the exams and papers I’ve handed now — they’re over, and all I can do is wait for my grades. If they’re bad, I’ll just have to try harder next time.

I got a nap for the first time in ages today, and it felt fabulous. Meanwhile, that means that I’ve got a lot of work to do now since I was unconscious all afternoon, but I think it was worth it. Typically, I’m of the belief that rest is for when the work is done, but it turns out that work is never done in college — so I guess I should either never rest, or come up with a new work-rest philosophy.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Forever21

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans: Hollister

August 31, 2018 – Living on a Prayer (OOTD #362)

What, is this the third day in a row I’ve taken photos at Bond Hall?

I’m not really sure what’s up with that; it hasn’t exactly been intentional. Believe it or not, I actually do my best to get a variety of locations for this blog. It’s a little hard when I live on a college campus and never leave though, y’know? There are only so many gothic-style tan brick buildings here.

If it makes you feel better, I didn’t exclusively take photos at Bond, though — I also went out to the basilica! There’s some variety for you.

One of these days, I almost want to go inside the basilica and take pictures. I think that toes the line of disrespectful though…which is too bad, because it’s really lovely inside of there. It’s a beautiful, quiet space, and I wouldn’t want to disturb it with a photo shoot but…well, it would make for some lovely photos. Maybe the next time my parents come to visit campus, if we can find a time when no one else is inside, I can sneak a few pictures. I think God will forgive me.

Also contrary to the norm here at L’ensemble du jour, I didn’t take photos exclusively by myself. I’ve got friends today! Or maybe they’re just people I paid to model with me…

Just kidding, I don’t have the money to pay people to model for me. I hardly have the money to afford the photo storage on WordPress. Or like, my tuition.

All the more reason to go to the basilica, right? I’ll just pray for more money — as an educated intellectual who attends the most prestigious Catholic university in the world, I can say with certainty that that is how prayer works.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at home at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Zara

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans: Hollister