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

Saturday Musings – Bujo

Today, I realized something that should have been obvious — “bujo” stands for “bullet journaling.

I’ve been seeing the bujo tag on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr for ages to represent images of visually appealing, artistic, and cutesy journal pages. I’ve also been seeing bullet journals all over — which ultimately influenced my decision to purchase one for myself and try to get into it. However, of all of my years of consciously knowing that “bujo” and “bullet journaling” were aesthetic journal trends, I never realized that they were the same thing. Bujo = BUllet JOurnal. Shouldn’t that have even obvious?

In other news, you’ll notice that I’ve brought my Saturday Musings series back! I haven’t done one of these posts since mid-September. I initially took a break because I just felt like I didn’t have any new inspiration for posts — they were getting repetitive, just shots of my coffee and my laptop over and over again. I started the series to give me a break and take the pressure off from the OOTD posts, and yet, I found that the Saturday Musings posts were just putting pressure on me to produce flatly-style pictures even when I had no new ideas.

But now that I’ve gotten into bullet journaling (sort-of — I did kind of fall behind in November and December), I have a new source of inspiration for what I can show off in these Saturday Musings posts. So I’m brining it back — but I’m taking the pressure off of myself to do a post like this every week, and to do them only on Saturdays. Now, these “musings” style posts will come whenever I feel the inspiration for them — be that on a Saturday or no.

Anyway, I finally got around to doing a January bullet journal spread, and so I thought I’d  share it with you today. With all of the traveling I did at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019, I thought this image of the globe would be fitting. But then, of course, after the traveling was all over, it was time to return to university, so I combined the travel imagery with some study inspiration in the form of books. I guess you could say the general theme for the January spread is studying through cultural immersion.

Or maybe there’s no overarching theme — just some aesthetically-pleasing doodles and colors combined into a calendar spread. Going with the theme of minimal commitment and pressure that I’m adopting with my blog, I’m also not putting strict definitions or rules about what my bullet journal has to be. It’ll be whatever it ends up being.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. 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!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip

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

January 30, 2018 – Art Student Aesthetic Squared (OOTD #214)

On Tuesday, I found myself in something of a pickle – I couldn’t find a good opportunity for someone to take pictures for me.

It’s not so much that there weren’t people I could ask – I’m always surrounded by people, so in theory, I could always just ask a random stranger – but I never found myself in a good situation to get a friend to do them for me. My typical Tuesday lunch friend was too busy to meet with me, the people I ate dinner with went too late to get good lighting, and I didn’t really feel comfortable asking someone to go out of their way to help me, so I found myself at 8pm with no outfit photos.

In that case, I decided to take my photos myself. I took my phone, my watch, and a pencil case to prop my phone against, and headed to Riley, the creepy haunted art building.

I actually had some work to do on my still life for my Drawing class, so hangout out at Riley wasn’t just for this blog. When I arrived in the drawing studio, there were still some people there, which forced me to actually focus on my art for a few hours until the people finally left.

At last, once everyone was gone and I was alone in the room – around 10pm – I was able to set up my camera on top of a drawing table, and, using my watch’s remote photo-taking feature (a true lifesaver here) to take what I consider are some decent photos, given the circumstances. I even managed to get a few shots with the depth perception on.

What I love best about these shots is the giant artwork in the background. I actually have no idea what it’s supposed to mean, or what class it was for, but it’s not a doorway or a brick wall, which means it’s totally unique in comparison to what I usually get for my photos at this school. I get some street art vibes here, actually, which, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know if my favorite kind of background.

If I ever find myself in this pickle again, I’ll definitely swing by Riley again late at night to do my pictures. Maybe I’ll even manage to get the Riley ghost in one of my shots one of these nights!

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!

Jacket: Evan Picone

Shirt: J. Crew

Sweater: Abercrombie (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

January 29, 2018 – Art Student Aesthetic (OOTD #213)

I guess I can finally consider myself an “art student.”

I never expected to be able to say that, actually – I thought for certain I was going to be done with art classes after high school.

Not done with art entirely, but certainly done with formal lessons in art a part of graded classes. I always figured I would continue it as a hobby on the side, but I was pretty burnt out by the end of high school of staying up late every night, struggling to compete the numerous art classes I was never able to take the time to develop as much as I would have liked to anyway.

But then it turned out that I missed it. I had hoped Notre Dame would at least have some sort of art club, but for whatever reason, we don’t. The visual arts don’t really have a very strong presence here, which I can kind of understand, given we’re not an art school, but they’re so nonexistent it’s a little bizarre.

They do have a very small art and design department, which, now that I’m attempting to minor in studio art, I suppose I’ve joined. I’m in a beginning drawing class right now, which, while not particularly creatively challenging, is still nice to break up some of my more writing-based academic courses.

So here’s my best attempt at embodying my newfound art student identity – plaid pants, baseball shirt, my “tattoo artist” jacket, and of course, my boyish pixie cut. It’s not the sort of look that would make it onto a “preppy fashion” Pinterest board, but I think it’s interesting nonetheless.

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!

Shirt: Zumiez

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

January 27, 2018 – All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go (OOTD #212)

You think I’m kidding? No – I really did get all dressed up here just so I could take some pictures and then sit in my dorm room the rest of the day trying to convince myself to do homework.

It started off with a very productive morning – I got up at 9:30 (which is fairly early for me for a weekend), then, I worked out and took a much needed shower. At that point, 11:00, I proceeded to spend an obscenely long amount of time on my makeup simply because I could and I was feeling it that morning. Most days, I roll out of bed ten minutes before class is due to start so I barely have time to draw on some eyebrows before I rush out the door, so getting to spend some quality time on my makeup is a luxury.

After making myself look pretty for nothing and no one in particular, I tackled the challenge of trying to find some good lighting and a decent background in my dorm room to snap some selfies. The end result, which I’m pretty proud of, bar the bunk bed background, you can see below.

By afternoon, though, all of my motivational energy from the morning was drained, and I was left with nothing but a dull sense that I probably ought to get some work done and the even stronger sense that I had no desire to get work done whatsoever. As I result, I wound up sitting around in my room for most of the day doing a whole lot of nothing.

In fairness, I did have a rather eventful evening the day prior. My friend, Michaela, and I decided to go to the Max Schneider concert on campus, which, while not as exciting to me as the Wombats, who were there the week before, was still pretty fun.

I wasn’t really familiar with any of his work before we went, but I wound up really liking some of his stuff, for pop music at least. He was an excellent entertainer with a ton of energy, and you couldn’t help but feel his enthusiasm for what he was doing, which was really neat to see. Plus, we arrived early enough that we were able to stand right up next to the barricade, which was an experience I’d never had at a concert before – but one that I’d love to have again, especially if it was for a band that I was really into.

All that excitement though completely wore me out, and now I’ve caught a cold. Since starting university, I swear I’ve gotten sick more times within just two semester than I ever was during the entirety of high school. I also just ran out of NyQuil, so I’ve been trying to cure the virus with cough drops and allergy nose squirts alone. I don’t think it’s working.

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!

Dress: Missguided

Watch This: Wood Watch Review + Giveaway with JORD

Stay tuned for details on how to enter a contest for a $100 gift code for a wooden watch from JORD! 

Welp, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and as usual, I have no one in particular to share it with.

In years past, I’ve usually gone out to eat on a “date” with my dad. This year, as much as I would love to have our usual date night, I’ll be away at school on Valentine’s Day, and we likely won’t be able to do anything together except perhaps talk on the phone. And that’s too bad, but c’est la vie – colleges and distances will do that to people.

Of course, there’s that radical and ridiculous concept that I could actually find a significant other within the next two weeks to go on a romantic date with on Valentine’s Day, but we all know that’s not particularly likely. Besides, I’m pretty content as I am, and I’m not really in the market at the moment. Seeing as Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year (no really – check a calendar) it seems like my only Valentine this year at Notre Dame is going to be Jesus.

Anyway, as I will likely be eating Valentine’s dinner at my university’s ever-glamorous dining hall on a date with myself, I figured I would at the very least treat myself to a gift – a new watch. That’s where JORD comes in.

The folks at JORD were kind enough to send me this beautiful Olive and Acacia wooden watch to try out, and after wearing it for a few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would make for a lovely Valentine’s Day gift – for your significant other, or, if you’re gloriously single like me, for yourself.

My favorite part about my new wooden watch is probably the elegant mechanical movement. The uninhibited view behind the beautiful grained acacia and velvet olive wood case shows a mechanical movement and steel grey ring, effortlessly pairing modernism with the simplicity of natural materials. It’s a dazzling way to show someone you love just how deep that love runs.

And now, for the GIVEAWAY DETAILS! 

JORD Wood Watch Giveaway: How to Enter

You can check out JORD’s women’s and men’s shops over here. If it looks like something you might be interested in getting as a Valentine’s Day gift (or honestly, just for any time of the year) for yourself or for someone else, JORD and I have partnered to create a giveaway for you guys! Follow this link, enter your information, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift code courtesy of JORD! Giveaway ends February 25, 2018.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Disclaimer: This post includes products that were sent complimentary to review and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.


Luxury Wooden Watch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/lensembledujour

January 26, 2018 – Sweaters Forever (OOTD #211)

You know, I think two of my all-time favorite sweaters are Karen Scott ones that I bought at a Goodwill.

This purple one, if it weren’t obvious enough by that lead-in sentence, is one of them. The other one is this oversized navy turtleneck. Neither sweater fits me in the way they were designed to – in fact, I think they’re both mediums, when I am definitely an extra-small – but it’s their oversized-ness that makes me love them so much.

I really don’t know much about the brand, and I’ve never bought anything from this designer new or full-priced, but for used and significantly-discounted, I’m a big fan. They’re just the right kind of oversized-but-not-frumpy, well-made-but-not-overpriced, vintage-but-not-dated that I’m into.

I haven’t been thrifting for a while (read: I haven’t been thrifting since like, two weeks ago when I left home for school) because there’s not really anything close enough to campus to warrant bundling myself up and walking for forty-five minutes to. Granted, we have had some really beautiful weather these last few days in South Bend, and I haven’t had quite as much homework as usual, but it’s not been a huge priority for me. It’s not exactly like I need any more clothing – I mostly just love the hunt for a good bargain.

I’ve always been so amused by the cliché of a rich girl you might see in some preteen drama who turns her nose up at discounted or secondhand items – it seems to me that even if you can afford to buy everything brand new and full price, you’d want to take advantage of a sale if you see one. Maybe that’s my “broke college student” status talking, but I’m pretty sure saving money is in vogue regardless of your economic status.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: thrift

Dress: Kohl’s

Saturday Musings + Coffee – That iPhone Depth Effect

Look, I’m no photographer, but I like to think that my new phone makes me look something like one.

No, this isn’t a sponsored post – though hey, Apple, if you’d like to share some of your massive wealth with me, that’d be neat – I just really legitimately enjoy the camera feature on my iPhone X.

Granted, I never had the iPhone 7, so the jump in technology from 6 to X was more dramatic, but I think regardless I would have noticed the shift in quality. This phone just takes some nice photos – and notice how I said the phone takes nice photos, not me. I know it’s not my artistic vision or technical skill that made these shots look neat.

I’ve actually switched my OOTD photos for this blog from all on my old Canon camera to my new phone, and honestly, I think my new phone does a better job.

I brought it along with me to some concerts I’ve attended recently at my school, including The Wombats (who were truly fantastic, and whom I didn’t realize how much I appreciated until I saw them live) and Max Schneider (whom I didn’t know of before the show but whom I am now interested in), and I’ve managed to capture some fun videos for my Snapchat story. I’d add them here but like…I don’t think you care to see my shaky cam 10 second video clips of college kids screaming what, if you concentrate, sounds like lyrics.

I love a good concert – my summer shenanigans seeing Train, Cage the Elephant, and All Time Low are testaments to that. I’m hoping to see Fall Out Boy next fall, maybe the Wombats again this summer, and maybe hit up Warped Tour for its final run depending on who they get to perform. I’ve been getting spoiled with all of these free shows on campus; I’m going to hope I get a better summer job than Home Depot again if I expect to pay for all of this.

January 23, 2018 – Boyfriend Jeans Instead Of A Boyfriend (OOTD #208)

If you had asked me this time last year if there’s anyway I could’ve seen myself with short brown hair, wearing a motorcycle jacket and boyfriend jeans, I’m not sure I would have believed you.

I guess a large part of my disbelief would have come from the hair – I think the Meilin of January 2017 would have liked to believe she could be long-haired and blonde forever.  It was such a major part of how I defined myself that I even wrote one of my college application essays on it.

I’m not actually blonde though – I’m a brunette – and eventually, the bleach got to be too much for my poor hair follicles. We’ll see how long until I start assaulting my scalp with chemicals again, but for now, the plan is to let my hair rest and grow out for a while.

Just as surprising to my 2017 self would have been the outfit though. Boyfriend jeans and  a motorcycle jacket? Not that I would have had anything against something edgier like that – my little high school emo self was definitely into anything that made me look like a scary teenager – but it was always still within a very feminine vein.

This outfit is much more tomboyish than I ever would have seen myself in before – and I think that’s actually a pretty great thing! I guess this is still more an observation than a passage of judgment, but regardless, I think trying out new styles and expanding on one’s fashion repertoire is always a healthy thing to do.

It’s definitely been for me getting to explore and investigate into this new boyish kind of style that I hadn’t really considered myself open to before. More options the better, right?

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!

Jacket: Hollister

Top: H&M

Jeans: American Eagle