September 20, 2017 – Wake Me Up When…You Get the Point (OOTD #116)

…when September ends?

I do hope you got the point, at least. If not, then you weren’t a proper emo kid from the early 2000s. Actually, I wasn’t even an emo kid in the early 2000s…I was just a kid. What is my point here?

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” is a good song, I couldn’t think of a better blog title, and it would have been a crime to let September pass without referencing it once in this blog.

September, for a long time, has been one of my least favorite months. Even as a kid, I kind-of despised it – September meant that awkward period after the end of summer break when you were stuck going to school in the sweltering heat, you hadn’t yet established who your best friends for the year were to be yet, you didn’t have a feel for how difficult your teachers and classes would be, and all the stores start putting out their Halloween decorations even though it’s not nearly cold enough to feel like “fall”  yet. Even into high school, the same pattern of awkwardness and anxiety stuck around. For my senior year in particular, September was stressful because I was trying to get all my Common App college applications done in time for the November 1 early action deadline.

But guess what? For the first time in years, I don’t hate September. I don’t know what is is, but for some reason, the perpetual background anxiety I would feel for the entire month hasn’t reared its head. Maybe it’s because I’m so busy adjusting to college life that I haven’t had the time to feel sorry for myself? I’m not sure.

In fact, September’s been…almost nice?

At any rate, I enjoy not hating September for once. I hope I don’t end up hating October in its place now, lol. October is too lovely of a month to hate.

In celebration of my lack of hatred for September and of the start of fall, I went for a fall-like outfit. And by fall-like, I mean I just wore an orange dress and brown shoes. There have been, perhaps, less obvious interpretations of the standard “fall outfit,” but that’s for the Project Runway designers to think up, not me. Hey, I could have been wearing leaves and pumpkins, but I’ve got a touch more subtlety than that.

Also, I’m bitter, because the choker I’m wearing here broke when I took off. It was one of my favorites too. You’d think being from Madewell and costing like $15 it would last a little longer than a few months.

To quote the joke that both my mother and my friend Amanda made when I sent them a picture of the broken clasp: “…guess it wasn’t…made well!?!?”

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. 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: Forever21

Sweater: Altar’d State

Choker: Not made well

September 2, 2017 – Irish Intrigue (OOTD #102)

Funny – these photos come from last Saturday, during my experience at my first home football game at Notre Dame, and at the time of me writing this, I’m preparing for my second home football game.

No lie – I can even hear the band practicing from outside my dorm room window right now. They’re playing the fight song, of all things.

Anyway, last Saturday was my first ND football game experience – as well as my first tailgating experience (bar that one time I went with a friend to a UK football game), my first midnight drummer’s circle experience, my first crowd pushups experience, as well as a whole slew of other Notre Dame football tradition experiences.

It was also my first time with the Shirt. What’s “the Shirt?” What makes it so special that it gets its own capital S? I’m still figuring that out myself. The Shirt, from, from what I can gather, is a tradition for the Notre Dame student section for their home football games. We all buy this same shirt that we’re supposed to wear on football days. Most – but not all – students wore it, making for a pretty cool sense of unity for us all. Even I, a freshman with pretty much no ties to Notre Dame other than I’ve been going here for a few weeks now, felt like I was a part of some huge many-faced beast. But like…a nice beast. As long as you’re a part of it.

Some of my reading said that we’re not supposed to wear the Shirt outside of football games (at least until the end of the football season), but I’ve seen plenty of kids wearing the Shirt on regular weekdays. Does that mean those kids are just idiot freshmen who don’t know what they’re doing, or was my writing wrong? I dunno. I myself am an idiot freshman.

Since this post is being written a week after the game took place, it should come as no surprise to you that ND won. In fact, there wasn’t really even much of a doubt that we would win during the game itself – I don’t think we ever lost our lead against Temple. It was actually kind of a boring game, looking at it as just a game. As an experience though, as a fan in the stands for the first time, it was a ton of fun! I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s game against Georgia.

Maybe not looking forward to wearing The Shirt again though – I don’t think I’ve done laundry since last week. Lol.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. 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: ND Bookstore

Skirt: Forever21

Choker: Madewell

August 31, 2017 – It’s Casual (OOTD #100)

I can’t believe I’ve never used that as a blog title before.

For real – blog titles are hard, and I’m not very good about being creative with them. Thus, my titles are usually some sort of dumb reference to pop culture that’ll probably be irrelevant within a few months, but mean that I don’t have to come up with anything intelligent on my own.

I spend most of my waking existence as a college student trying to fake being intelligent in class, so I figure this blog is a place where I can be myself, yeah? And  “myself” really just means being lazy and un-creative most of the time, lol.

Case in point – Thursday’s outfit. It was pretty much as simple as it gets – a white t-shirt and jeans. Granted, I like to think there was a little creativity in there, as layering the green barrette underneath and matching the suede choker to the suede shoes took some thought, but I’d be lying if I said I thought it was a masterpiece.

It’s not, and that’s okay! Not every outfit is a winner, and I’m happy so long as none of them are absolute losers. I’ve even already had some girls from my dorm start telling me that I “look nice everyday,” which is usually my goal when I move to a new place and have to establish myself as a fashion-conscious person. Gaining a reputation for being stylish is all about wearing consistently thoughtful outfits, while every once in a while throwing in a truly artistic one to remind people that you take fashion seriously, and every once in a while, having a dud because nobody’s perfect.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. 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!

Top: Target

Bralette: Aerie

Choker: Madewell

Jeans: J. Crew (thrifted)

 

July 13, 2017 – Goodbye London (OOTD #67)

It was our final day in London, and, not to be cliché but it was rather bittersweet.

In one sense, I’m glad to be going home, back to a country where the restrooms are free, my cords work in the outlets, and air conditioning is abundant, but of course, it’s also rather sad going back to normal reality. I’m going to have to return to work in a few days, start packing for school, coordinate dorm decorations with my new roommates – things I’ve been putting off thinking about since I’ve been here in London.

We started off our day in the same way as always – a crumpet, some coffee, and fresh fruit. Sue, our host, has been so lovely about letting us stay with her, even getting to know our breakfast preferences and having them set out for us on the table every day when we wake up. It's because of her we've even been able to come on this trip – like seriously, is a broke college kid going to be able to afford a hotel in London for two weeks? No.

We brought her some chocolates when we first arrived as a hostess gift, but Amanda and I both felt like we needed to do something more. She suggested that I do a little drawing of her and her daughters, so over the last few nights, I've been working on doing this little doodle. It's nothing special, but people like getting art, and I like doing it.

After the unfortunate fires that went through Camden Lock just a day before we had been planning to go (we were going to go right after we did Shoreditch, but we found out that morning that there had been some bad fires in that part of town), we didn't think we were going to be able to get there during our time in London, but thankfully, they managed to contain the fires enough that we could still see parts of the area and market.

Camden Town was cool, but I don't know – I might've liked Shoreditch and its market better. Perhaps that was partially because we didn't get to see all of Camden Lock due to the fires, but mostly, I just liked how colorful and artistic Shoreditch was. Camden has its own quirky personality – there were some really awesome goth and alternative fashion stores that I could've spent hours in – and I loved the canal (I think it's a canal?) that runs through the area, but it just didn't quite have the same soul to it.

After spending plenty of money on street food, Amanda and I headed back over to West End for another show – this time, we got tickets for Les Mis, a personal favorite for both of us. By then, both our phones were in the single digits in terms of battery, and we were desperately trying to conserve their failing energies while still using their GPS's to navigate the unfamiliar area. We actually might've spent more time walking around that area and looking in the shops, but once we found the Queen's Theatre, we were too afraid to stray very far in fear of our phones dying and having no way to navigate ourselves back!

For real though, Les Mis was excellent. I've been a fan ever since I watched the DVD recording of the 25th anniversary Royal Albert Hall concert (which I still argue is one of the best casts ever – with the exception of Nick Jonas as Marius), and I know almost every song by heart, including the odd ones, like "Confrontation" and "The Thénardier Waltz of Treachery." It was wonderful finally getting to see the show live in-person. The cast did a lovely job, and even with our terrible upper circle seats, I was drawn into the world the staging and sets created.

After the show, we walked back to the Tottenham Court station and took our final Cambridge-bound train back to Broxbourne, and from there, our final overpriced cab (7 pounds! For literally a five minute ride!) back to the house.

London's been amazing, and [insert clichés about never forgetting the adventures I've had, being grateful for the opportunity to travel, yadayadayada]. I joke, but I do mean it. I've had a lot of fun out here, and I'm sad to be going back.

That’s it for today! 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!

(Don't let the sun go down on me, amirite?)

Top: Pitaya

Shorts: Abercrombie

Choker: Madewell

July 12, 2017 – Cambridge, CANbridge, CAN’Tbridge (OOTD #66)

That was a dumb title, I know.

But hey, those are just a staple at this point at L’ensemble du jour. What is a blog post without a stupid, kind-of-but-mostly-not clever title?

By day 7, Amanda and I were growing tired of London. Its newness had worn off, and we were running out of neighborhoods and boroughs we wanted to see. Sue offered to take us out to see Windsor, but the admission prices were sort-of steep, and we are poor college kids who are only here in London by some rather lucky circumstances. Thus, we decided to take our Oyster cards and take a little day trip out to Cambridge.

You’ll notice I said “take our Oyster cards out to Cambridge,” and if you’re a London local, you’ll know that doesn’t work – Oyster cards only work on zones 1-9 throughout the Greater London area. But we are not London locals, and we did not know that wouldn’t work, so we wound up an hour and a half later at a platform in Cambridge with no way to swipe out to get into the actual town.


We had two options at that point – take the train out to the closest station where our Oyster card would allow us to swipe out, so we could buy tickets (which happened to be Broxbourne, the station we began at – and the station that I just mentioned was an hour and a half away) or find a railway worker, admit our mistake, and pay the penalty fee.

We opted for the former.

We hopped back on the Liverpool St train and prepared ourselves for a very long, very sad journey all the way back to Broxbourne. Thankfully, as luck, or perhaps God, would have it, we didn’t have to go all the way back to Broxbourne – the first stop the Liverpool train made was this little town called Shelford, which had a ticket dispenser machine right there on the platform.

In the end, it was probably only a 30 minute detour, but it felt much, much longer. It some ways, it was a happy mistake though – by using our Oyster cards to swipe out at Broxbourne, riding the train to Shelford, and then buying tickets for a ride from Shelford to Cambridge, we only had to pay about three pounds for the whole journey rather than the twenty-something it would have cost to ride from Broxbourne to Cambridge.

Finally in Cambridge, we were in desperate need of some refreshment, so we stopped in a Caffè Nero, the English equivalent of Starbucks. We got some well-deserved coffee, charged our phones, and rested up a bit before embarking on the 30 minute trek all the way out to central Cambridge.

Cambridge was a really beautiful town. It wasn’t exactly a small countryside village, but it almost felt like it; it was so different from the bustle of London. People were riding their bikes everywhere, the roads were uneven cobblestone, and I kept getting weird glances from the much more conservatively dressed locals because I was wearing a crop top.

We had wanted to go punting tour on the river in Cambridge, but unfortunately, we missed out on the final tour of the day due to some big group that was coming in later in the day. It was a bit disappointing, not being able to take this one actual guided tour we’d scheduled, but we still got to see the town and the school, so it was okay. We walked around some more, stopped in a pub where I got bangers and mash (very, very good by the way – but very, very heavy), and then got a rather overpriced Uber back to the station.

That’s it for today! 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!

Top: Aerie

Skirt: Street vendor in New York

Choker: Madewell