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

August 16, 2018 – Stereotypical College Partygoer (OOTD #348)

Welp, I caved and I did it: I bought a denim skirt.

While I don’t know if I can link you to a specific example, I know I have written about my disdain for the denim skirt trend before. It’s nothing against the denim skirt as a concept — in fact, I love the look of a denim miniskirt, and the first few times I saw someone wear one last year when the trend had just picked up steam, I was a huge fan. But that’s the problem — the trend picked up steam, and a lot of it. Too much of it.

It could also be the fact that I live on a college campus, and I’m surrounded by a bunch of 20-somehting females who want something cute (read: sexy) but simple to wear when they’re going out to parties. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; people can do what they want while wearing what they want. I just get tired of seeing the same outfits over and over again.

Here’s how to make an outfit for going out in if you’re a Notre Dame girl: combine a denim skirt, an off-the-shoulder top (a tube top if you’re feeling spicy), a lot of highlighter, and mix with a few Mike’s Hard Lemonades. As a standalone concept, that’s not bad — but every single ND girl seems to wear a similar thing every Friday/Saturday night.

Anyway, I finally caved though and bought myself a denim skirt. While I kind-of resent its overuse as a party staple, like I said, I do like it as a standalone piece. I found it at a local Salvation Army, and for the price, I couldn’t resist. My hope is that I’ll be able to wear it in a more creative way than just with an Urban Outfitters tube top…but we’ll see. No promises — I am a Notre Dame girl after all, and the peer pressure may be too much to resist.

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 in Kentucky. 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!

Skirt: Thrifted

Top: H&M

Jacket: Hollister (fun fact: I got this on Black Friday all the way back when I was in middle school, and it still fits!)

July 23, 2018 – Meilin The Tomato (OOTD #335)

For whatever reason, I feel like this outfit looks particularly tomato-like.

I definitely get a ketchup impression from the jacket, with perhaps more like vine-ripened tomato vibes from the blouse, especially when paired with the greenery behind me.

Or perhaps I’m simply hungry — I guess that could influence how I see the the outfit. I am rather craving some pizza.

The transition back into work life has been easier than I expected. I guess since I was still actively taking classes and working in Nepal, it wasn’t too bad getting back into a regular 9-5 schedule. Still, packing boxes and doing inventory in the haunted basement of the Kentucky Capitol building is significantly less exciting than you know, wandering about Dhulikhel and stumbling upon ancient temples.

While my work life at home is certainly inferior to what I had going for me in Nepal, I do appreciate some things about being back home — being able to trust that tap water won’t make me sick, eating American food, walking the dog with my mother in the evenings. I am also glad to be able to go outside without being attacked by mosquitoes; I’m still trying to recover from the bug bites and the resulting scars I got in Nepal.

In fact, the other day, I had a dentist appointment, and the first thing the technician said when I sat down was not “have you been brushing?” or even “have you been having any problems with your teeth lately?” but instead “wow, what happened to your legs?” Even she thought I looked like I had some kind of horrible skin condition — and it wasn’t even her job to examine my skin!

It’s fine, I’ll be back in dry, bug-less South Bend soon enough, and there will be plenty of time for my mosquito scars to heal over. Maybe if I’m lucky, they’ll be gone in time for next summer, so I can move back to Kentucky and get even more all over again!

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 in Kentucky. 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: Yellowcake Shop

Top: Altar’d State

Jeans: Hollister

July 13, 2018 – Big Day in the Big City (OOTD #330)

Namaste!

It’s hard to believe, but this was almost my last day with the Madrasa Discourses summer intensive.

The official last day is July 14, but that’s going to be devoted to discussion and reflection (so basically, classroom stuff), and I don’t really expect that there will be much in the way of blog-worthy material. July 13, on the other hand, was very much blog worthy.

The day began early with what else but filming for an NBC documentary short about what we’ve been doing these last two weeks in Nepal, and the mission of the Madrasa Discourses founder, Professor Moosa. Filming mostly just involved sitting there and pretending to be attentive while Professor Moosa pretended to lecture us, as well as a few shots of us sitting around and pretending to talk to each other.

Hopefully though, some of the footage of me — even if it’s only an elbow —  will be used for the actual television spot, which will be aired during the commercial break of one of ND’s upcoming football games this September. It’ll be my elbow/shoulder/half an eyebrow’s fifteen minutes of fame!

For the filming, we went up to the rooftop of the lodge, which, for whatever reason, I’d never actually been to before. And what a shame too, because it was quite a spectacular sight from above. I know I’ve talked extensively about the beautiful mountain views in Nepal — so much so that I’m probably beginning to sound like a broken record — but it’s honestly one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever seen.

With such beautiful views, and with the end of the program drawing so near, everyone decided it was a great opportunity for group photos.

It’s something of a sad thought, but I guess I’ll probably never see some of these people again. They live in Pakistan, or India, or South Africa, and being realistic, when am I ever going to be able to visit those countries? Or if I ever can, would we even remember each other enough to get together? I made some really fantastic friends over these last two weeks though. If ever there was a group with whom I would want to share two weeks in a foreign country with, it was these guys — even if we’re likely to never meet again.

After filming, it was time for a final group field trip into Kathmandu. This time, we went into Pashupati, a Hindu spiritual site, and Boudhanath, another Buddhist stupa.

Pashupatinath was cool, even if it did suffer a little from “Just Another Ancient Temple” Syndrome, which I’ve mentioned a little before on this blog to describe the rapid exhaustion of the novelty surrounding the old religious buildings in Nepal. It’s fabulous and fascinating and completely different from anything in the US — but it’s pretty similar to a lot of what’s in Nepal. At some point, an ancient temple is just another ancient temple.

Pashupatinath had cremations though, so that was very different. And some naked little boys swimming in the river next to the cremation site. No photos, don’t worry.

While we were at Pashupatinath, one of the Indian guys saw me eyeing one of the marigold flower chains, and he offered to buy me one. I was a little hesitant, since I thought the marigold chains were meant for the Hindus visiting the temple, but he seemed to think it was okay. Maybe I acted a little inappropriately but…they were flower necklaces. I love plants. How was I supposed to refuse wearable plants?

After Pashupatinath, we went to Boudhanath, which, next to Swayambhunath (lots of        -aths, huh?), is probably the most recognizable tourist site in Kathmandu. It was also, to my untrained eye, really similar to Swayambhunath (Seriously though — it was another big round structure with a pointy golden Buddha at the top).

Boudhanath was probably the most spectacular of the manmade features I saw in Nepal, simply because it was so massive. Like I said, it was pretty similar to Swayambhunath in terms of architecture, but it felt so much bigger. You could probably jog circles around Boudhanath and get a pretty good workout.

I didn’t do that though — instead, I went into a coffee shop and chilled for a while. It had been a long day, and I was anxious to get off my feet. And I think most people in my group were too, because the coffee shop was a very popular place to go.

Normally, I hate tour groups, but this one hasn’t been so bad. I guess for one, it’s not really a tour group — not in the sense my senior year New York trip was — but also, since literally everyone here is an adult, we’ve been given a lot of freedom to kind of just do whatever we want. Still, that doesn’t mean the schedule didn’t get absolutely overwhelming at times, and even if there was an opportunity to rest, it was usually at the expense of doing something fun. I can’t imagine trying to travel to Kathmandu alone though, without anyone from the area and without being able to speak the language.  Honestly, I feel like going with the group of adult male and female South Asians, who were at least slightly familiar with the language and culture of the area, was the best way to go short of actually having a local Nepali friend to show me around.

I have a few more days in Kathmandu still before it’s time to fly home, but it’s just another girl and me traveling alone. Boudhanath was a nice way to close out my time with the whole group, though. Nothing like a massive Buddhist stupa to serve as a backdrop for parting ways with your new Muslim friends.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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: Hollister

Skirt: Some market in New York City

April 30, 2018 – Spring Is Sprung (OOTD #276)

Pardon the week-long hiatus, but it looks like I’m back now!

It was a long long finals season, but it’s finally all over now. I’m back in Kentucky, which is nice for now (the 90 degree weather isn’t but home is), and I’ll be here for most of the summer.

The great part is that now that school’s over, I don’t have any homework to keep me busy 24/7! I’ll have a job, sure, but once I clock out, I’m out, unlike classes, which never really end.

For as exhausting as my freshman year was, it also was a lot of fun. I mean, I didn’t drop out and I didn’t end up transferring to a different school, so I consider that a success. I didn’t fail any classes either — something I had been mentally preparing myself for the entire time but I never really had to worry about it. Granted, I didn’t have to take any classes that people often fail, like Organic Chemistry or Calculus (I served my time with those classes in high school and it was miserable enough), but I’m pleased with myself anyway.

It’ll be nice, I think, to not be a freshman anymore. I have some friends who are bemoaning not being the youngest ones on campus anymore because you lose some of the sympathy, but I’m glad for it. As a freshman, you’re always doing dumb things that make you stand out but that you don’t realize you’re doing until you’re a senior.

I know I definitely did some of those dumb things — I mean, every one did. That’s what being a freshman is about.

Like I said, though, I’m excited to finally get to be a sophomore and get a little seniority going. Sophomore year is also when I get to start working a little more closely with my major, which is great. No offense to my university requirement classes like Microbes and Man or Elementary Astronomy, but they weren’t really my cup of tea. Doesn’t look like I’m switching my major any time soon.

Anyway, 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: unknown

Skirt: Hollister

April 25, 2018 – All Denim Everything (OOTD #271)

Actually, don’t do that — all denim everything is a very bad idea.

A little denim-on-denim can be acceptable though — it’s a trend that I am personally quite a fan of. It allows me to wear my denim jackets with something other than leggings, which I feel like I wear a little too often.

This jacket is another item I got from AMIClubwear, and I’m just as much a fan of it as I was the dress/leggings combo I posted about a few days ago. The pinstripe/embroidery combo makes me feel trendy — not that I really needed any help with that, given the trendiness of the denim-on-denim look.

In other news, you know the pair of black booties I pair with basically every outfit I wear? I can’t find them for the life of me. They disappeared sometime about two weeks ago, and haven’t shown up since. It’s the strangest thing — it’s not like I take my shoes off anywhere but in my dorm room, so I have no idea where they could be.

Since I don’t have my go-to shoes, I’ve been trying to make my outfits around the other shoes I have in my wardrobe here at ND — which actually isn’t much. I mean, there are al\The remaining shoes I have are also kind of uncomfortable for walking around campus in, so I’m hoping that my black booties show up soon.

We’re in the home stretch of classes, and by extension, the whole school year. It’s also been like 70 degrees consistently for the last few days, which makes it super difficult to actually focus on my work. Not that I’m a super outdoorsy type — but it seems depressing to be cooped up inside the library when I could be outside enjoying the weather.

Speaking of schoolwork, I should probably be getting back to that. I have a few papers and projects due in the next few days, and then a big exam to start studying for so…whoop. On the plus side, I got a nice nap this afternoon so I should be good to stay up and get some work done.

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: AMIClubwear

Top: H&M

Jeans: Hollister

April 19, 2018 – Happy One Year! (OOTD #268)

Can you believe it’s been one whole year since I started this blog?

I certainly can’t. I’ve come a long way since my very first post here. When I began LEDJ, I meant it as a hobby I would play around with every once in a while. I didn’t really mean to commit to it every day (not that I’m always perfect at the everyday posting schedule — I do try though), and at best, I figured I’d do it for a few months over the summer and give up once I made it to college and had more important things to worry about.

Surprisingly though, I’ve managed to keep it up! Like I said, I’ve gone several days — even a week or two — without posting, but otherwise, I usually manage to put something out there every day.

How do I stay motivated? Part of it is simply that I enjoy this — forget the fact that I get free stuff from sponsorships (rarely — but it’s nonetheless super exciting!), forget the kind and lovely comments I get on my Instagram posts and blogs — and still, I just like to write. I always have, and it’s nice to have an avenue for more casual writing since most of the stuff I do for school is very formal and academic.

Blogging is also a really great way for me to keep a record of my outfits and how I felt when I wore them — in a way, it’s basically like journaling. In fact, it’s kind of strange because it’s almost like having my diary out there on the Internet for anyone to read — including people who actually know me. It’s always a little weird to have my parents mention something I wrote about in a blog but that I didn’t tell them otherwise.

It would be wrong for me to talk about this blog without also mentioning my gratitude for anyone who’s ever give me a view, a like, a comment, a retweet, or a follow. You guys are part of what makes this blog worth it, which keeps me motivated even after I’ve had a long hard day of schoolwork.

One of these days when I’m not a poor college student, assuming I’m still going at this, I’ll do one of those nice giveaways that I see other bloggers do for anniversaries. I wish I had the resources to participate in those sorts of things, but I don’t right now.

I would however be happy to offer shout outs to anyone who leaves a comment here on an upcoming blog! I know it’s not much, and I’m not a huge blogger, but maybe it can help direct a little traffic to your corner of the Internet.

Again, happy first birthday for LEDJ, and here’s to many more to come!

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: Lilly Pulitzer (you might notice it’s the same one featured in the April 19 blog of last year, the very first post I dd for this blog!) 

Shirt: J Crew (thrifted)

Jeans: Hollister