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.

June 26, 2018 – Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? (OOTD #314)

Okay, but you feel me, right? I definitely look like I’m a muppet from Sesame Street in this outfit.

There’s something about the lime green and yellow combo that reminds me of Big Bird or Bernie or one of the various characters — I guess it’s something of a childlike color scheme, and that’s why it’s calling to mind thoughts of Sesame Street. The fact that I’m wearing basically a jumper with tights and loafers as well…should’ve just put my hair in pigtails and I would’ve had the preschooler look down, huh?

This was my last day before I departed for Nepal, which meant basically that I spent the entire time packing.

I have friends who are excellent at that — they make a list of everything they need, they start packing things weeks in advance, and by the night before they travel, they’re all set to go. Then there’s me.

I’m not the worst, I have to say. I do begin my packing like…a day or two before I leave. Still, I usually wind up frantically putting outfits together and filling travel bottles of shampoo very late at night before I have to go, trying to keep my eyes open and just generally regretting my life choices.

When I had to leave for college, I actually didn’t begin packing until about three days before I had to go — big mistake. Packing for college was probably one of the most stressful experiences of my last few years, and mostly because I left it to the absolute last second. It was also stressful because I was you know, packing for my freshman year of college and that conceptually was scary.

Leaving for Nepal on my own is also conceptually kind of scary. I’ve only traveled on my own domestically before; any international travel has always been with a friend or family. I’m going from Lexington to Chicago to Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu over the course of about 30 hours, and while Kathmandu is very exciting, going through security repeatedly and navigating terminals is not.

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!

Dress: Vintage (thrift)

Top: H&M

Leggings: AMIClubwear

June 26, 2018 – Sock Story (OOTD #313)

Check out these cool socks.

I actually got them against my mother’s wishes (what a rebel, I know) — she thought they were ugly and had no stylistic purpose, but I thoroughly disagreed. It was an impulse buy, one of those things that just sit in bins by the checkout counter in order to lure you into spending a few extra dollars. but as impulse buys go, I think it was a good one.

The couple of times I’ve worn these socks, they always manage to tie the outfit together in ways I would not expect. They’re really quite magical.

Imagine, if you can, this outfit without the red socks. Or don’t, and just take my word when I say that the outfit wasn’t really working without them.

So I was standing there in my room, skirt, top, and jacket already on, and I wasn’t feeling it. The proportions were off, the vibe wasn’t right, and I knew I needed to add something to tie everything together. After briefly considering a necklace, thigh-high socks, or tights, I thought I would try my red ankle socks.

And obviously, given the title of this blog and all of the photos you’ve seen thus far, it worked! The red socks turned an otherwise “off” outfit into something I believe is actually quite fashionable. Funny, sometimes, how something as small as some socks can really tie an entire outfit together.

There’s more to the story about this outfit, though — this was worn two days before I left for Nepal, and I really wanted to wear something distinctively fun, something that I couldn’t wear in the more conservative context of the Islamic theology conference I’ll be attending. There, I’ll be restricted to wearing loose-fitting and more professional clothes, which is fine and all, but I really wanted to wear something a little more exciting before I had to start wearing button-downs and culottes everyday.

I don’t know, but I feel like this carpetbag-pattered skirt, band tee, and velvet socks achieved that goal. Hopefully it’ll tide me over until I return to the US and I can be fun again.

Besides, these are my “rebel” socks, that I got despite what my mother advised. What could be more fun than that?

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

Top: Hot Topic

Jacket: thrifted

Skirt: Forever21

Socks: DSW

June 25, 2018 – Plants, Plants, Plants (OOTD #312)

Hey guys, have I told you I like plants?

You might have gotten a sense of it over time — the Saturday Musings + Plants posts, the frequent use of plants as a background, the incorporation of cut flowers into flatlays and even some OOTDs.

I’ll spare you the full story about how my plant obsession began, since I’ve already detailed it in blogs here before. The short version is that when I began college, I had one cactus. Now, I have probably 20 or 30 cacti, succulents, and leafy plants.

Anyway, now that I’m a plant person, I find that just seeing plants while I’m out is very exciting. I’ll look at plants in nurseries, plants in other people’s gardens. in florist shops, in malls — if there are plants, I’m probably checking them out and trying to figure out what kind it is and if it’s being cared for well.

If there are succulents, I’m also probably trying to see if there are any leaves that have fallen that I can try to propagate! Now, I never break leaves off of living plants — that would be like stealing — but if something has fallen already, I see no problem with taking them. They’d probably have just been thrown away anyway.

So pro tip: if you want some new succulents but don’t want to pay for them, take some leaves from a home and garden store and propagate them into baby plants!

That’s what I was doing here in these photos: checking to see if there were any leaves to steal. I have a little tray of propagating succulents sitting in my windowsill that I’ve gathered from Kroger and Home Depot, so I didn’t really need any more, but I love to look. It’s the same feeling I get as when I shop at Goodwill, like the joy of the hunt or whatever.

I also got some shots with the bright yellow door of the grocery store, simply because I liked the color. I’m afraid I don’t have an entire blog’s worth of a story for that though.

 

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

Top: Thrifted

Pants: The LOFT

June 23, 2018 – Color Scheming (OOTD #310)

As those of you who follow my Instagram might know, I am very careful about maintaining a particular color order of my posts.

This is how it works — I post nine photos, usually three each day (or at least, the goal), that all have a very strong color story of a particular color. These nine photos form a square on my feed, allowing that entire block of pictures to be perceived as that color when someone scrolls through my profile. I go in rainbow order order, i.e, I post a block of nine bluish photos, followed by nine greenish photos, and so on.

Here’s what’s great: it makes my feed appear very colorful, and transitions from one color to another is fairly easy because I always know the order of what should come next. 

Here’s what’s not great:  certain colors are much harder than others to get nine photos that all work together. For example, green is a very easy color scheme — I just have to get photos that incorporate a lot of foliage or grass. On the other hand, pink or purple is very difficult, as there is not much in the natural world or the manmade that is predominantly pink and purple.

So when I do come across a pink wall or a big purple bush, I get excited because it means I have good content for my Instagram feed. That’s where today’s outfit comes in.

I had worn this outfit to my internship in Frankfort, not really putting any thought into it beyond the fact that I wanted something nice to wear because I had a naturalization ceremony to attend. Actually, I felt a little underdressed for the ceremony, like I should have worn something a little nicer than a cardigan and trousers — but that’s not important to the story.

The point is, the outfit I chose to wear had nothing to do really with my whole Instagram color scheme strategy. I hadn’t even been sure I would do outfit photography that day, since it’s not like it was a special outfit or a special occasion. 

My mind was changed though, when my parents and I decided to go to Red Robin for dinner that night, and i came across this pinkish-purple wall. My otherwise uninteresting outfit then became the perfect subject for the background, as the colors worked well together. 

But actually, I’m beginning now to question whether I ought to continue with this color scheme Instagram plan. It’s a lot of work to organize, and results in me doing things like I did with this outfit where I am forced to restrict myself to particular colors and backgrounds. I feel like there has to be a better way to create a coherent, visually appealing feed without limiting my creativity in this way, you know? 

If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I know a lot of my readers are bloggers themselves, so I’d love it if you could share your Instagram organization strategies with me in the comments. 

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: The LOFT

Top: Forever21

Pants: J Crew

June 22, 2018 – Uncomfortable But Cute, I Guess (OOTD #309)

After wearing distinctively blue outfits for a week, it was time for a change.

I don’t often have a lot of time while I’m getting ready for work in the mornings, meaning that outfits are often picked out as I’m running out the door. Usually, they turn out fine.

And this one did too! Mostly…there is the part where my entire midriff is showing, which is pretty inappropriate for work.

See, because I was leaving in a hurry, I didn’t have time to check and see if the jeans were high-waisted enough to cover up stomach to where my top cut off. They weren’t. In fact, they were rather low rise, meaning a lot of my stomach was on display.

Mostly, I just left my jacket buttoned all day (thank goodness I had that) in order to show less skin, but I was still a little self conscious.

Ideally, a crop top should only reveal the top half of your ribs, above your belly button. That’s no concrete rule — wear whatever you want — but generally I believe that’s what’s most flattering. I mean, if you have rock solid abs, that’s a different story, but for me, I’m only comfortable with crop tops if I have high waisted bottoms on.

I made it all day though without getting fired and without dying of discomfort, though, so I guess that’s a win. You probably won’t catch me wearing this top and these pants together again, even though I don’t think they looked bad. Just too uncomfortable.

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: Zara

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

June 21, 2018 – Second Chances (OOTD #308)

This was almost the last time I wore this dress.

I’ve had it for a few years, and I was just starting to feel tired of it. You know that feeling? When it’s like you’ve worn a certain piece in all the ways it can be worn, and even if it’s not horribly out of style or ill-fitting, you’re just not interested in keeping it around any more? 

Maybe you haven’t had that experience. I do have a lot an obscene amount of clothes, which means I’m privileged enough to be in a place where I am able to give away clothes simply when I don’t like them any more. I’m spoiled that way; I don’t have to keep clothes out of necessity. I have enough that I’m able to discard things without feeling any detrimental consequences — which I’m very grateful for.

Anyway, this dress is a few years old, and I’ve just never loved it. It comes from the children’s section of J. Crew (what? I’m petite and I can fit into some of the bigger kids’ clothes, and they’re so much cheaper than their adult counterparts!), so the fit is a little more “juvenile.” I thought the pattern and the style were appropriate for an adult woman like myself, though, so I went ahead and bought it.

Still, I just never really managed to get the dress to live up to my expectations of what it should be or how it should look, and even when I was getting dressed the morning of June 21, I just wasn’t feeling it. I resolved to make it the last time I wore the dress, and then I would give up and just get rid of it. 

But then, when I wore this outfit, the craziest thing happened — strangers started complimenting me on my dress! This dress, which I was literally about to give away to Goodwill, was a huge hit. 

Despite the nice things people said to me, I still don’t see what they saw. I don’t hate this dress at all, in fact, I think it’s perfectly fine, but I’m still not sure it’s something I want to keep  in my wardrobe, especially with all of the clothes I already own that I like better. The compliments I got were nice, to the point that I’ve been deterred, at least temporarily, from giving the dress away. 

I don’t know, what do you guys think? Do you like the dress? Should I keep it? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

Dress: J. Crew

Top: Altar’d State