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

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

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

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

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

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

View this post on Instagram

merry christmas eve eve

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

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

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

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

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

Jacket, shirt, and pants: Banana Republic

 

 

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

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

View this post on Instagram

how’s this for a christmas aesthetic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweater: thrifted (Goodwill)

November 23, 2018 – Beginning To Look A Lot Like… (OOTD #413)

…Christmas! This blog will start like fall and end like Christmas.

The day after Christmas — Black Friday — is officially the day I start listening to Christmas music. It’s been a tradition of mine since back in middle school, when Black Friday actually meant something, and my dad and I would go out shopping late at night/early in the morning. Once the clock struck midnight, I’d get out my iPod (or iPhone, depending on what year it was) and start listening to Christmas music.

Anyway, Black Friday doesn’t really mean much anymore, since it seems the sales aren’t even that great anymore, and — the worse offense — stores don’t even hold weird late night hours. That was the fun of the whole experience! It was so cool getting to wake up at 2AM to go shopping at 3, and then get breakfast on the way home when it was all over.

That era of Black Friday shopping seems to be over, sadly. I still like to go out, but usually just in the afternoon. I still like seeing the crowds. For as much of an introvert as I am, I like navigating crowds, assuming I don’t have to wait in long lines.

This set of photos was taken by my father while we were at the mall, and they’ll likely be the last set of fall-themed pics I post this year on this blog. From this point on, I’ll be making an effort to do Christmas- and winter-themed outfits.

View this post on Instagram

hey thanks for the pic @zdhall2699

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

Like these Christmas- and winter-themed pics here! Yep, these are all from the same day, just later at night. Some friends and I went out driving to check out the neighborhood’s Christmas decorations, and this house always goes all out. They went so all out that some photography seemed to be in order.

Shout out to my buddy Zach for getting these. He did a pretty good job, admittedly. Art students, am I right?

Jacket: Forever21

Sweater/skirt set: Vintage (Thrifted — Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Doc Marten

November 22, 2018 – Christmas on Thanksgiving (OOTD #412)

I like holidays where I get to dress up.

I almost always have — I remember distinctly the excitement when I was a kid of getting to pick out the dress I would wear for the  Christmas or Easter at church. I’d also often change all of the clothes on my dolls to be similarly festive.

No offense to the holidays that don’t involve getting dressed up — like 4th of July or Labor Day — but a holiday to me is only as fun as the outfits I get to wear.

Christmas takes the cake thanks to Christmas sweaters and red-and-green motifs, but I think Halloween might be a close second. I don’t typically do weeks-worth of holiday-themed outfits for Halloween like I do for Christmas (though I will make an effort to go for fall-themed outfits, at least in October)

View this post on Instagram

merry christmas? more like merry crisis

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

Thanksgiving, the day these photos were taken, can also be fun. Since Thanksgiving involves a big meal with family, I like to get dressed up, even if we don’t go out anywhere and do anything that exciting. Thanksgiving is always fun too, because it marks the division in my mind between fall and winter — between pre-Christmas and Christmas.

In fact, I even make Thanksgiving my marker for when I’ll allow myself to start listening to my Christmas playlists on Apple Music. Midnight on Black Friday, I bust them out and start jamming to my personal favorites, like Fall Out Boy’s “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out.” 

Thanksgiving also makes a great opportunity to mix pieces that could lean Christmas-y or fall-ish. This outfit would look at home on a Christmas tree farm or an apple orchard, no?

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!

Top: ASOS

Skirt: J. Crew

November 21, 2018 – Short Girl, Tall Grass (OOTD #411)

I love to get pictures in this spot at the park by my home.

If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve used this location for photos many times — here and here, for example. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the photos from the two linked blogs are definitively summer- and winter-themed. It makes sense then that this one is so fall-themed, right?

There’s something about standing in the tall grass that makes a photo look adventurous and whimsical. Throw a dramatic filter on top of that, and you’ve got a background worth a Lord of the Rings elf cosplay.

Realistically, though, I suppose I’m more of a hobbit than an elf. I’m short, lazy, and like to eat. Just call me a Baggins.

I suppose I also like the tall grass because there is no tall grass on Notre Dame’s campus. Why would there be? It’s a university campus, where everything, including the landscaping, is always neat and manicured. You hardly even see leaves on the ground in the fall.

So when I go to a park that has more “natural”-looking landscaping, even if it is only a little patch of unmowed grass around a small wetland, it’s a welcome sight. It’s little things like that that I hardly notice that I miss when I’m at school, but that I realize I really appreciate when I go home.

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!

Dress: Target

Sweater: Vintage (thrifted: Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Target

October 18, 2018 – Autumnal (OOTD #394)

And here comes my annual Boyd Orchard trip blog.

Every year, my dad and I go out to this particular farm in Central KY to pick pumpkins and do stereotypical American fall things. It’s always a great opportunity for photos — in part, because the location lends itself well to a fall Instagram aesthetic, and in part, because my dad’s there, and he always takes great photos.

This year, we also got my mother and dog to come along! It was a true family outing. The only member of the gang missing was my cat, Mushu.

(That’s my mother’s hand in the photo)

These photos turned out even better than last year’s, in my opinion. Last year, I got some good pictures, but my hair was the worst looking that I think it’s ever been. It was right before I decided to cut it and dye it grey (for the first time), and it was in a truly sorry state. A year and a half of bleaching it blonde did not leave my ends very intact-looking.

View this post on Instagram

i’ve been spotted

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

This year, I was smart enough to get my fall break haircut in before I went out for my orchard adventure. Check out those intact hair strands.

We didn’t end up picking any pumpkins this time because we didn’t think we’d get the time to carve them, but we did get plenty of apples. We also did the hayride, got apple cider, caramel apples, took photos in the pumpkin patch (even if there were none left to pick) — all of the fall things.

View this post on Instagram

you’re the 🍎 of my 👁

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

It’s little outings like this that I really miss when I’m stuck at school. I miss the outside world, even if it’s just a farm with some produce. Notre Dame is a great little compact world, but campus feels small without pumpkins or apple trees. All we’ve got are sycamores and oaks and the occasional ginkgo. Shoutout to my botany class for teaching me that.

View this post on Instagram

some quality fall moodboard content

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

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: Forever21

Sweater:thrifted

Pants: The LOFT

October 15, 2018 – The Continuing Adventures of Fall Break (OOTD #393)

Fun fact: these photos happen to have been taken at the same Mexican restaurant as the photos from this post. 

Fun fact #2: these photos were also taken right after I got a haircut, which is the same as what happened after that same post.

Haircuts for me take a ridiculously long time. For one, I’m not just getting my hair cut — I’m also getting it bleached and colored. Even when I’m just having my roots done, it can take a long time to apply, then a long time to sit as I wait for it to have an effect, and then another long time to wash out. And then, an even longer time as I wait for the whole process to start over for a second time, since my hair is so dark that it requires two rounds of bleach in order to lighten it to blonde.

Haircuts are basically a whole-day affair. It’s worth it, and it’s so much better having it done than trying to do it on my own, but I can basically count on doing nothing else all day but sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television.

So after my exhausting day of sitting in the stylist’s chair and watching afternoon television, it makes sense that I should reward myself for a job well done — hence the Mexican restaurant afterwards. I have to rejuvenate myself with nachos after working so hard all day.

Everyone criticizes my generation of being lazy, but I disagree — it’s hard work being a full-time student for three months straight. You never get to escape school. You live there, so it dominates every moment of your time on campus. Getting to go home, away from school, and indulge in sitting in a hair salon for an entire day without anything to do — that’s what break is made for.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Forever12

Sweater: American Eagle

October 14, 2018 – The Marvelous Ms. Meilin (OOTD #392)

I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime, and let me say — it’s got a great visual style.

Actually, by “I’ve been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” I mean, I’ve seen the first episode. I’m not very good at actually watching television shows. I usually tend to begin them and then never find the time to continue them, even if I enjoy the first episode. 

With The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel though, I think I may actually continue  watching. Not only was the plot interesting, but like I said, the 1950s aesthetic was really gorgeous. 

I’m a sucker for historical fashion (being a history major, and all), and I’m always happy to incorporate some vintage pieces into my wardrobe. Case in point: this outfit.

I don’t know what era this dress actually comes from, but I could imagine it as something from the 50s. I know it’s not — it’s Don von Furstenburg, who didn’t come to popularity until the mid-70s — but with my coat, I feel like it evokes a late-50s vibe anyway. 

IMG_7758.jpg

Speaking of vintage, this coat is also practically vintage, at least in terms of my ownership of it. It’s probably the piece in my wardrobe that’s been in my possession the longest. If I remember correctly, I’ve had it since third grade — and even then, I bought it used off of a friend’s older sister. Who knows how old it really is.

View this post on Instagram

just some colorFALL leaves

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

It was too big for me for several years, and by the time I grew into it, I’d stopped growing altogether. Hence, I still keep it in my wardrobe for days like these when it just really ties together an outfit. It doesn’t happen often, but when I do need it, I’m grateful that I have it. 

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg (vintage)

Coat: Rothschild (thrifted) 

August 12, 2018 – Urban Exploration (OOTD #344)

Alternative title: A work in progress.

This is absolutely one of my favorite parts of Lexington.

It’s, once again, one of those old run-down industrial parts of town that’s since become a chic, gentrified district. That’s not to say that gentrification is always a good thing — but sometimes, it’s just nice to see a dilapidated area get an update.

In the case of distillery district, it was once, well, a distillery. Apparently, it had been abandoned for some time, but within the last few years, the whole complex has been updated to include a bunch of different local restaurants (with accordingly gentrified menus and prices, of course).

Not the entire area has been updated yet though, so, after popping by an ice cream shop in the area for a Notre Dame back-to-school event, I got to explore bit.

It’s still not quite the urban exploration experience that makes for popular abandoned buildings tours, but it’s something. I do like a little bit of adventure and the occasional abandoned building, but this is about as close as I’m going to get anytime soon to breaking into a real abandoned building. This was more the small concrete framework of a little house (shack? hut?) about 10 feet away from a popular bar, and an actual abandoned building that I just walked the perimeter of.

The other cool part about walking around an active construction site was that I got to get some pictures with the equipment in the background. There’s nothing like big machinery in the background to make you look like an edgy, urban, hip teen.

And nothing screams “edgy” quite like my purple penny loafers and lacy t-shirt, right? I’m practically Tumblr famous already.

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!

Top: Thrifted

Shorts: Francesca’s