August 21, 2019 – Lights, Camera (OOTD #552)

I never cease to be amazed at what a good photographer with a good camera can do.

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I don’t know to what extent you notice this, but the quality of my photographs varies greatly between blog posts based on who is taking the picture and on what device. Some of my best pictures are taken on my current iPhone by my father (who just has a really excellent eye for composition). Some of my worst from the early days of this blog were taken using my laptop webcam balanced on top of some textbooks and empty Cheez-It boxes.

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To be quite honest, these are probably some of my best ever — and the best I’m going to have for quite some time, until I’m either rich and can afford to pay a professional photographer to follow me around or until I make a loyal photographer friend who just enjoys taking my picture every day. Until then, I’ll have to settle for my iPhone and my Apple Watch’s remote camera feature for every day pictures.DSC_6795 copy.jpg

And that’s okay! Honestly, for as much fun as a full photo shoot can be, it’s also kind-of exhausting. I run out of poses and facial expressions after a while. I don’t know how professional models do it.

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These were taken by my friend, Adam Brester, a professional photographer, the same man who did my senior portraits way back in the day. You can even see examples from some of that season on his website! 

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Adam lives in Lexington, but he’s looking at potentially moving soon, so we thought it would be nice to do another session together before I headed to Washington DC and he headed to wherever life takes him next. He was looking for a subject for some portraits that he could add to his portfolio, and I was happy to get some Instagram content in exchange.DSC_6818 copy.jpg

Watching Adam work gives me an increased appreciation for photography as an art form. Of all of the mediums of the visual arts, such as painting or drawing, photography is probably the one I understand the least. Ironically, it is also probably the one that I deal with the most in my everyday life — I don’t paint every day, but I probably take at least one photo each day, whether it’s just a dumb selfie to send to my Snapchat streaks or an OOTD shot for this blog.

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Even if I take pictures every day, I certainly do not do so in the capacity of a “photographer.” Maybe an “artist,” at least in the sense that I consider my outfit stylings to be artistic, and I attempt to use my backgrounds and compositions to complement the artistry of the outfit. But a photographer — one who truly understands light and color and the various settings of the camera to create a desired effect — I certainly am not.

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That’s why watching someone like Adam work is so fascinating. I love watching people do things they’re good at that I am not. I love listening to film critics talk about cinematography, and I love watching musicians learn new pieces. I can’t do those either of those things with any skill, but I think it’s neat that there are people who can and who derive joy from their art. It may not be my art, but I’m glad it’s someone else’s.

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Plus, it was just nice to go out into the city and goof around for the evening. I wasn’t really home in Lexington much over the summer, and the time I did have, I didn’t really spend going out and doing anything. Mostly, I was just sitting at home trying either to get some rest after having returned from traveling or to pack to get ready to go traveling again.DSC_7171 copy.jpg

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this summer. 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!

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Outfit 1: Tomato

Top: H&M

Skirt: Forever21

Outfit 2: Dragon lady

Top: Unknown

Skirt: The LOFT

Outfit 3: Hot dog saleswoman

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted, Foxhouse Vintage)

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: A street vendor in Nepal

August 18, 2019 – Fair Weather Friends (OOTD #551)

Ironically, this post features neither “fair weather” nor any “friends.” It does have kind-of  gross, muggy late-August Kentucky weather and my family, though.

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I consider myself something of an expert in overcoming jet lag — I haven’t struggled with it really since my 2018 trip to Nepal, and that was over a year ago. Perhaps it stems from being a college student and never having a regular sleep schedule to begin with and ignoring my circadian rhythms on the daily.

My trick is to try as much as possible to use my time on the plane ride to get myself into the wake-sleep schedule of whatever my destination is. If I arrive in the morning, I try to stay awake the day/night before so I can sleep on the plane. If I’m arriving in the evening, I try to nap before the plane ride so I can then stay awake for the duration of the plane. The former is typically the easier option — I’m normally stressed before plane rides, so once I’ve finally made it onto the plane, I’m able to relax and get some sleep.

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After I’ve arrived at my destination, it’s then imperative to try to stay awake for the duration of the next full day. This is hard, especially when you’re home alone with nothing to do because there’s nothing to stop you from just crawling back into bed for your fourth nap of the day. The solution, then, is to go out and do something with friends.

Since I don’t have any of those (contrary to what this blog title might suggestion), I went out with my family to a local art fair — one of my favorite summer outing opportunities. I’m typically not big into summer-themed activities, but I must admit I love a good art fair.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this summer. 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: Akira (thrift, my dorm room’s laundry room)

Skirt: A Pull and Bear in Zagreb

July 31, 2019 – Off to the Races (OOTD #537)

Disclaimer: This post contains products that were received complimentary from DiscountGlasses.com. All opinions are my own.


Sometimes, I happen upon clothing in the strangest places.

Case in point: I came across these racing silks (the jacket jockeys wear when racing horses) in a bargain bin of a leather goods store’s going-out-of-business sale.

Apparently, they’d been used as a part of store decorations and promotional material during spring meets (aka, around the time of the Kentucky Derby). They also had various Christmas and Halloween decorations in the pile. With the store going out of business, there was no reason for them to keep their horse season decorations, and so they threw them in the bin to get rid of.

I of course wasn’t really in the hunt for racing silks when I entered the leather goods shop — I was looking for leather goods (specifically, for a wallet to replace the one I lost whilst in Rome). I found the wallet first, and as I was waiting for my dad to finish looking around, I came across their bargain bin holiday decorations.

I couldn’t resist the jacket, even though I admit I don’t really need more jackets. It’s just such a fun yet unobtrusive was to represent my Kentucky heritage in fashion. Who needs one of those t-shirts that says “y’all” inside the silhouette of Kentucky when you can have racing silks?

Side note: these are the exact same brand and model of glasses that I lost in France after a Tinder date gone-awry! Long story short, I had just gotten this new pair of glasses from DiscountGlasses.com as a part of a sponsorship, and so I brought them with me on my trip to Vichy, France right after Christmas. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to bring them back from my trip to Vichy, France, as I somehow lost them while I was on a walk in a park with a guy named Axel whom I’d met through Tinder.

I liked them so much that I decided to order a replacement pair. They’re the Westend Argyle Park design, and you can check them out here on DiscountGlasses.com’s website. Maybe you’d also like to bring them with you on your next trip to France.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life back home this summer. 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: Thrifted (a local leather goods store)

Top: H&M

Shorts: American Eagle

Glasses: DiscountGlasses.com (Westend Argyle Park)

July 24, 2019 – Summer Colors, Winter Outfit (OOTD #536)

I’ve talked about this many times before on this blog, but I tend to blatantly disregard the weather when choosing my outfits.

It’s 100 degrees and humid? Time to wear a coat. It’s the middle of winter? That’s the perfect time for shorts! 

This outfit follows the pattern of the former example — it was late July, aka, the hottest time of the year in Kentucky, aka the Devil’s armpit of atmospheric conditions. Naturally, I thought a long coat and skirt was the appropriate response.img_3296

To be fair, the colors work rather well for summer, if you ask me. In aesthetic, it worked  — but not so much in execution.

It’s not like I really had to go out much that day, though. After returning from Rome, I had no other plans for the summer (save another bout of traveling in August), so I had no responsibilities like work to force me to venture out of the air conditioning of my home.img_3308

But I did venture out, if only for a few hours in the evening. My mother and I had to go out and get my father a Father’s Day gift, as I had missed the actual date of the holiday while I was abroad. We went to this cute little outdoor shopping mall in town, and it turned out to be a perfect place to get pictures of my very cute but impractical outfit.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life back home this summer. 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: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar)

Skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

Bonus points to me for an entirely thrifted outfit! 

March 16, 2019 – Hobby Lobby Challenge (OOTD #473)

Do you remember back a few years ago when the Hobby Lobby Challenge was a thing?

No, it didn’t involve trying to eat something super spicy or otherwise inedible. As Internet “challenges” go, it was actually pretty tame — the point was just to go to a Hobby Lobby and take artsy photos in the floral department. No habanero peppers or Tide Pods required.

I’m not sure my photos quite turned out as professional-looking as the ones that inspired the original hashtag, but I’m happy with how they turned out anyway. They were very spur-of-the-moment pictures — just the sort of thing where I was passing the artificial flowers with my dad while we happened to be in Hobby Lobby, and I asked him to snap some pictures. Thanks Dad.

(This jacket was actually originally his too. So double-thanks, Dad)

One day, I need to go back with a portable circle light and take some really artsy Hobby Lobby floral department photos. I really like how these turned out, and they only took about five minutes to take. Imagine how they’d turn out if we’d had a chance to really get the arrangement and lighting right.

I didn’t even get any funny looks from the Hobby Lobby employees! Maybe they were already pretty used to young Instagrammers trying the Hobby Lobby Challenge. Or maybe they weren’t paid enough to care what was going on in their store — back in my Kroger days, that definitely would have been the case for me.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. 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: Levi’s (thrifted)

Sweater: Abercrombie

Jeans: American Eagle

March 15, 2019 – Axe Crazy (OOTD #472)

It’s not every day that you get to try axe-throwing.

It’s admittedly not something that I even knew was a thing until I went with my dad and his fellow psychologist friends. They were going on an afternoon team-building outing, and I had nothing better to do with the Friday of my spring break, so I tagged along.

Surprise, surprise: I was really bad at it.

Though to be fair, I wasn’t the worst in the group. There were a few people there whom I managed to get more points than. In general, though, I struggled to get the axe to actually sink into the target — I could get it to hit in the right place and with the right force, but the rotation was difficult to master.

Nonetheless, it was really fun! It wasn’t something that I felt that I had to be good at to actually enjoy. Everyone there was learning, so it wasn’t embarrassing that I missed the target on the vast majority of axes that I threw. Unlike, say, ice skating. which I feel that you actually have to have some degree of skill in order to enjoy, axe-throwing can be enjoyed even as a complete novice. There’s something inherently powerful about chucking a sharp object that you can take pleasure in without needing to hit the target.

Naturally, of course, my father not only beat my score, but he beat the rest of the group. He’s talented with random skills like that — axe-throwing, paper napkin football, packing suitcases into car trunks.

But hey, I got some cute photos of myself dressed in my dragon scale viking top holding an axe, so I had fun.

I’m going to include this last photo here because it likely won’t be included in this blog at any other time, and so it only makes sense to place it here, even though it has nothing to do with axe-throwing. After my father and I finished our axe-throwing escapades, I went to an arcade with my friend, Zach. Most of my photos were too dark to warrant posting to Instagram, but I liked the hazy, nostalgic vibe of this one.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. 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 (gifted)

Skirt: Unknown (gifted)

March 13, 2019 – Pegasister (OOTD #470)

Pegasister (noun): Like a brony, but instead of a grown man who likes My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it’s a grown woman.

Allow me to preface this post with this disclaimer — I do not consider myself a Pegasister. I watched the show a lot when I was younger, like middle school-high school age, but not so much anymore. I have never gone to a My Little Pony con, dressed up like a character, or written fan fiction.

That all said, it’s still a really cute show. They do a clever job of subverting a lot of tropes of stereotypically “feminine” shows, while still allowing the show to cater to a young female audience. As children’s programming goes, I think it’s really excellent. It’s the sort of thing I can put on in the background while I’m studying or exercising and just zone out.

Anyway, I bring it up because, of course, this outfit includes a My Little Pony shirt. It’s something cheap I found at Forever21 (or to be more specific, I found and then my parents purchased for me for Christmas). I like it because it plays into a cute 80s retro vibe, while still being a franchise that I genuinely like.

I’ll admit, I do own some clothes for franchises I’m not really that into, just because I like the aesthetic. I’ve got a Pink Floyd tank top despite only really only knowing a few songs, a Nintendo 64 sweater despite never played owned one (though I’ve played ports of N64 titles on other consoles, and Attack on Titan t-shirt despite having never finished the series. Call me a fake fan.

Like I said, though, while I’m not that into the series anymore, I do still like the franchise. It was a big part of my childhood, and to it I owe, in part, my continued interest in fashion. One of the main characters, Rarity, served as the stereotypical fashion-obsessed “girly-girl” of the group, but she was written in an empowering intelligent way. She was a small-business owner and designer, and her character arcs depicted some of the difficulties as a creator of trying to commodify creativity. It’s something that really stuck with me.

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!


Jacket: Adidas (thrifted, Goodwill)

Top: Forever21

Shorts: H&M

 

 

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.

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merry christmas eve eve

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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.

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how’s this for a christmas aesthetic

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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)