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.

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i’ve been spotted

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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.

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you’re the 🍎 of my 👁

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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.

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some quality fall moodboard content

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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

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

August 5, 2018 – That Was Rewarding (OOTD #342)

After a long hard day of cleaning the house, my family decided to go out and reward ourselves with a bit of ice cream!

You know, I’m admittedly not even a huge ice cream person, but I just love the concept of it. I think it has something to do with this Arthur book I had as a kid where Arthur goes out and treats DW to ice cream after she proves to him how good she is at spelling. Isn’t it funny how dumb little things like that can permanently change your worldviews?

For example, I don’t really enjoy ice cream in cones. I find them messy, unnecessary, and just generally add on calories that I don’t need when I could enjoy the ice cream just as much out of a bowl. But I’m a sucker for the aesthetic of ice cream in a cone — an aesthetic that I first came to know thanks to that Arthur book.

I’m also a sucker for the cute photos I can get with ice cream in a cone that I just can’t get with ice cream in a bowl. I’m one hundred percent one of those people who will research the most Instagrammable restaurants in a city I’m visiting just so I can get something cute for my feed. Call me shallow.

If you’re wondering, the flavor of the ice cream here is Kentucky Blackberry Buttermilk, and it’s one of my favorite flavors of all time. I don’t get tired of it; I order it every time I come to this particular local ice cream shop. Rather than being super sweet like a lot of ice creams, its flavor comes from its creaminess. 10/10 would recommend.

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: boutique at a flea market

Shorts: PacSun

August 3, 2018 – To Market, To Market (OOTD #340)

I didn’t actually buy or really do anything at this market.

I do some blog writing for a local real estate company about local life (check it out here, if you’d like!), which means I often come across events that I hadn’t been aware of before that I then like to go check out.

Lexington’s not a big city, and not a particularly exciting one (unless you’re really into University of Kentucky athletics ), but it is nonetheless a city. There are parking garages and everything. Sometimes, cool stuff happens, but it’s usually in small doses, like this market my father and I went to.

It was in a cute part of town that I’m not often around —  one of those areas that was once kind of run-down, but has since become gentrified and chic.

Like I said, I didn’t buy anything, but it was good to walk around and get some exercise. I’d been sitting all day at a business expo for my internship, handing out pens and telling people to remember to register to vote. Seeing the hipsters with pink hair buying their craft beer was a welcome change from the boring people in suits.

Easily the most exciting bit of the market was this guy with a bright yellow car with a giant bubble machine. There were no bubbles at the business expo.

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: J. Crew (thrifted)

Pants: Banana Republic

July 24, 2018 – Nightlife (OOTD #336)

You wouldn’t believe it, but guess where I went back to — that’s right, a parking garage.

Once again, I was with my friend Amanda, and once again, we were on the hunt for a particular building in downtown Lexington with an Instagrammable view from its roof that many of our friends had taken pictures at. We’d gone looking for it many times before (check them out here and here and here), but every time, we’d come up empty-handed. This time was no different — though we found another parking garage with a different, though still Instagrammable, view.

This parking garage had a color changing light display on its exterior side, with parts of the light still showing through on the inside. The light was dim, and it was dark out, but I still feel like I got some interesting shots. It’s got something of an edgy, underground (ironic, given the fact that it’s a parking garage roof) vibe to it — a little different I think from the kinds of shots I usually get.

One of these days, I’d love to do a full nighttime photo shoot — get a nice camera with a good flash, find some glamorous looking night life, and go to town. Until then, though, some neon parking garage lights and my iPhone flash will have to do.

Inspired by the good luck we had with this one parking garage, Amanda and I decided to do a little more exploring of nighttime Lexington locations. We came across some street art, another rooftop, and a stairwell that made for what I think are a pretty decent first foray into nighttime photography.

I complain sometimes that Lexington is boring and that there’s nothing to do, but I have to say it has its charms. Sometimes, I just have to go to a colorfully lit parking garage to see them

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: a boutique in Nepal

Skirt: a boutique in Nepal

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 22, 2018 – Fore! (OOTD #334)

I…I don’t actually know what “fore” means.

So my home town had the pleasure of hosting a PGA golf tournament a little bit ago, and my father and I had the pleasure of going. I don’t know a lot about golf, and while he’s definitely more knowledgeable than me, I’m not sure he’d call himself a huge fan either. We had a friend who offered us his tickets though, so why not go?

Here’s why not to go — when we showed up at the parking lot to take the shuttle over to the course, we were told that due to thunderstorms in the area, play had been postponed.

We waited around for a while, but after a brief fakeout, where we were actually allowed onto the shuttle, and made it all the way to the course before being told play had been suspended again and that we had to go back, we gave up.

Clearly, based on these photos though, we did make it — four hours after we had originally intended upon getting there. Eventually though, the thunderstorms stopped long enough for my dad and I to get to the course and watch a little golf.

Like I said though, I don’t know a lot about golf — don’t even really know what “fore” means, that is, beyond the four hours it took for my dad and I to get to the course. I do know that all of the times I’ve played mini golf, I have never hit a golf ball as hard as some of those professional golfers did.

It was a shame about all the rain, really. It scared most of the spectators away, so we never got to see the tournament in full swing, with all the fans walking around and yelling ”get it in the hole” and whatever it is golf fans do.

I did get to walk around a muddy golf course for a few hours, so that’s something. It was hardly a day to be “fore”-gotten.

Dress: a boutique in Nepal

July 20, 2018 – Stateside (OOTD #333)

Here I am, back in the USA!

Yep, after three weeks in Nepal, I’m back home stateside — good ol’ Lex Vegas.

After the 30+ hour trip back home, involving one traumatic experience trying to navigate the Kathmandu airport, one $15 smoothie accidentally purchased in Abu Dhabi because I didn’t check the exchange rates, and one day trip to Bucktown, Chicago, I finally got to crash in my own bed on Wednesday night. I took a few days off of work to recuperate, and then I went back to work on Friday.

So far, the only thing that has been an issue trying to get used to again are the pedestrian traffic laws. In Nepal, you just walk whenever it’s clear — there are no street lights or crosswalks to help you, you just go. And sometimes, you go even if it’s not clear, and you pray no one hits you. I have definitely walked in front of a few cars and jaywalked a few times since I’ve been home.

Otherwise, it’s not been so bad. I missed some of the amenities of Western society, that’s for sure — the outlets in public places, the air conditioning, the lack of mosquitos literally everywhere. I do rather miss getting to go for afternoon adventures into the city — I don’t get those here in Suburbia.

But you know what I do get? My dad to take ugly pictures of me! Like this.