May 11, 2018 – Love Thee, Notre Dame (OOTD #281)

That’s it! I’m done with this year of school!IMG_0489.jpeg

It was overall, a good year. I made friends, I got decent grades, I wasn’t consumed by some kind of illness, and that’s honestly all I could ask for. I hesitate to call it “the best year of my life,” or anything ridiculously positive like that, but I think I could definitely say freshman year of college was way better than any year of high school. IMG_0480.jpeg

I wasn’t sure if I was really going to like it at Notre Dame — whether the classes would be too difficult, whether I’d be able to find my way around, whether I’d end up failing out and coming home after my first semester — but I did like it. I didn’t like all of it — I didn’t like all of my professors, and I didn’t like having to be vegetarian on Fridays during Lent — but on the whole, everything was mostly good.IMG_0475.jpeg

On Friday, my last day, pretty much all I had to do was hand in my final Philosophy paper and pack up and get out. I did have a few loose ends to tie up though as well.

I baked some vegan cookies and gave them out to all of my friends who’d done pictures for me at some time during the year as a means of thanking them for always being willing to help me out. I went to Starbucks and spent the last of my Flex Dollars on some mugs. I went to the bookstore and returned my rental textbooks. Basically, anything I should have done a week previously but didn’t because I was stressing out about my finals, I did on the last day.IMG_0492.jpeg

Packing was no fun, but at least I had my parents to come help. I got a portion of it finished up on Thursday night, but I still had the majority to finish up on Saturday. The car was very full when we were done, but we did manage to get everything secured in there — including my plants! They all came home with me, and are doing just fine. IMG_0482

Oh! And I did my photos in the hall of the Main Building. That’s not a place I ever really am during a normal day, so it’s never a place I have the opportunity to do pictures. Since my parents were there, I was able to ask them to come in for the special location, since they wanted to see around campus anyway and I knew I wasn’t inconveniencing them.

But that’s it for Notre Dame posts until August! It was a good year, and I’m very glad I was still able to keep up my blog even with school. I hope you enjoyed reading about my life as much as I enjoyed writing about it. I’m glad to get a break, though. Having a chill(ish) summer at home will be good for me.IMG_0458.jpeg

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!

Shirt: thrifted

Jeans: Hot Topic (thrifted)

May 8, 2018 – Not Oscar de la Renta, Sadly (OOTD #280)

Get it? Because Oscar de la Renta is an expensive designer and my shirt says “Oscar?”

In my last post about this shirt about a year ago, I talked about its origins and the reasons why I owned a work shirt that labeled me as Oscar of S.B Cox Demolition and Construction Services, even though I don’t know anyone named Oscar and I am (obviously) not Oscar myself. If you’d like to read more about that, definitely go check that out.

These photos were, believe it or not, taken at 3:50AM in the morning. I think I look quite decent for so early, though.

The story here is that I was working on a paper late at night in the library after having had a late start that morning (or rather…a late start in the afternoon. Pretty sure I didn’t start doing anything productive until like 3PM ). As often happens with me, I fell asleep while working, and only woke up from my uncomfortable slumber at a 9th floor library desk at 3:00AM.

I’ve done this a few times before, and it’s really not my favorite. I have nothing against working late at the library, but sleeping at the desks is awful. It’s definitely not something I ever do intentionally.

Normally, I would have taken waking up with a back ache on the ninth floor of the library in the middle of the night as a cue to head home, but I still looked cute from the day, so I decided to stop by the art building and do some pictures really quickly first.

I was pretty tired at the point, so I didn’t hang around any longer like I usually do. It was cold, I was sleepy, and I had an exam the next morning (don’t worry — it was an easy one, so staying up late didn’t hurt me much). Hooray for good study habits!

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!

Shirt and skirt: thrifted

May 7, 2018 – On The First Day of Finals (OOTD #280)

My university gave to me…a week full of anxiety!

I hope I haven’t used that as an opening/blog title before. I know I definitely used it as a caption last year around Christmastime at winter finals, but I don’t think I’ve used it in a real blog. Apologies if I have.

Anyway, these shots are from the first day of finals week for spring semester, and I must say — this set was definitely worse than last. Last semester, I had a nice balance of papers and exams, and the only major term paper I had was due before finals even began, so I had plenty of time to prepare and even relax a little before dipping for the semester.

Not so much this time — I had plenty of stuff due before finals week, and then even more due during finals week. It was no fun.

I may look sunny and cheery here, but I definitely was not on that Monday. I had nothing due that day, and no exams to sit for, but an obscene amount of work to do. I spent all day in the basement of the student center, which is about as soul sucking as any location at ND is.

Add on the fact that everyone there was also preparing for finals, and it was even more soul sucking than usual.

I ended up hanging out in the basement for 9 hours. I am never doing that again. I was with a friend, so I kind of felt pressured to sit there in that booth for hour after hour, but like I said, it was awful. I like to move around a lot while I work and take breaks to stretch my legs, but I pretty much just sat there the whole time. I got some good work done, but it honestly wasn’t worth the headache.

#neveragain

jacket: Ralph Lauren

Top: H&M

Shorts: H&M

May 6, 2018 – Notre Dome (OOTD #279)

More Dome pics!

What’s Notre Dame without the Dome, anyway? Are you even a Notre Dame student if you don’t take an obscene amount of photos in front of Main Building?

I think just about every ND student gets these same shots of their friends and them in front of the Golden Dome at some point. It’s a pretty standard shot; I’m pretty sure a month (maybe even a week) doesn’t go by where I don’t come across some Dome pictures on my feed from some friend or some friend of a friend.

For as many pretty buildings as there are on Notre Dame’s campus, you’d think people would get a little more creative with their cute friend Instagram pics — but they don’t. It’s the Dome or nothing.

I guess my friends and I are no different then — so here are my Dome pics (well, the second set). Call me generic.

I did get some fun shots inside of the math building though in front of this globe, which I
never knew existed because I never went into the math building once because I never had to take a math class (hooray for getting a 5 on AP Calculus!).

Apparently I should have gone into the math building though, because it has this super cool globe room (I have no idea what the architectural term would be for this room — like, a big open foyer with a tall ceiling but in the middle of the building? Is there a word for that?). Apparently all of my friends had seen it already (because they had classes in the math building and so they passed a lot), but like I said, I’d never seen it before.

I got excited to see something new, at any rate, which made me think — how many other cool rooms are there throughout campus that I just haven’t seen because I haven’t had a reason to go into them? I guess that’s a mystery to solve over my next three years.

In the meantime, though, it’s good to be at the end of the school year. Those unseen buildings and rooms shall have to be explored another time.

Anyway, 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!

Shirt: Zara

Dress: American Eagle

May 2, 2018 – Suddenly Spring (OOTD #278)

I had expressed back in mid April when the temperatures in South Bend were still hitting freezing (freezing! In April!) that I was afraid I might completely miss the spring flowers at Notre Dame, but thankfully, I was wrong!

I’ve never seen foliage come back to life so quickly! Back in Kentucky, the coming of spring is a slow process — first, you have a couple of warm days in early March to get you excited; then, the first trees begin showing buds; then, finally, the home/garden stores start opening up their greenhouse sections and you know that spring is in full swing. The whole process takes about a month.

In South Bend, though, spring came in about a week. One week, it was cold, rainy, and freezing; the next, the flowers were blooming and we were hitting 60 consistently.

It’s been a jarring transition, but one I don’t wholly mind making. I loved winter in South Bend, even with the cold and the snow, but I’m glad it’s still over. I want my winter to end in mid-March (you know, the whole “in like a lion” proverb), not mid-April.

To celebrate the start of spring (and the last full day of classes!), I wore my springiest outfit. It reminded me of something Southern and preppy, like what I might wear back in Kentucky. There’s not a lot of Southern prep going on at Notre Dame, for better or for worse. While it’s not my favorite style ever, I don’t mind it every now and again.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer

Shirt: Altar’d State

May 1, 2018 – Pop Punkish (OOTD #277)

One of these days, I’m going to accidentally miscount these OOTD numbers and I’ll never notice because I never check.

I love fashion because I can go from feminine and soft one day to punkish the next. I don’t really have any claim to the title of a real punk person, but I like the aesthetic.

I’m pop punk, if you will — an easily digestible and more mainstream version of the real culture.

For as much as I like my punkish fashion and my pop punk music, I’ve never really gotten into a real punk scene. Maybe it’s because there really wasn’t one in Kentucky — and there certainly isn’t one at Catholic School ™. If I was ever to shave my half of my head and participate properly in the punk renewal of the 2010s, I’d probably have to move to London where I’d feel less alone about it.

Besides, I have no tattoos. Can you really be punk without tattoos covering at least one of your appendages?

I can’t imagine having a sleeve of tattoos at Notre Dame. Not that it’s against a dress code or anything — there is none — but I would certainly be alone in that fashion statement. I’ve complained about this before, but Notre Dame students are about as vanilla as it gets, which is interesting, given how much money a lot of their families have. If they wanted to dress more interestingly, they certainly have the resources to do so, but you don’t really see anyone flaunting it in that way.

High school fashion is, in my opinion, still where it’s at. You get a nice mix of neon-haired emo kids along with the Lilly Pulitzer-wearing preps (did I just say “prep” to designate a  culture? Is this 2006 MySpace?). It’s a good, diverse environment for creative expression.

Of course, most people still just wear yoga pants and sweaters everyday…but I can’t blame them. The diversity of cultures in public school (at least in mine) was nice, but that was about it. My school was also freezing 99% of the time, and you never knew which teachers were going to be sticklers about dress code, so dressing up wasn’t always the most practical option.

Anyway, 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: River Island

Pink top: Forever21

Skirt: 

Boots: Doc Marten

April 30, 2018 – Spring Is Sprung (OOTD #276)

Pardon the week-long hiatus, but it looks like I’m back now!

It was a long long finals season, but it’s finally all over now. I’m back in Kentucky, which is nice for now (the 90 degree weather isn’t but home is), and I’ll be here for most of the summer.

The great part is that now that school’s over, I don’t have any homework to keep me busy 24/7! I’ll have a job, sure, but once I clock out, I’m out, unlike classes, which never really end.

For as exhausting as my freshman year was, it also was a lot of fun. I mean, I didn’t drop out and I didn’t end up transferring to a different school, so I consider that a success. I didn’t fail any classes either — something I had been mentally preparing myself for the entire time but I never really had to worry about it. Granted, I didn’t have to take any classes that people often fail, like Organic Chemistry or Calculus (I served my time with those classes in high school and it was miserable enough), but I’m pleased with myself anyway.

It’ll be nice, I think, to not be a freshman anymore. I have some friends who are bemoaning not being the youngest ones on campus anymore because you lose some of the sympathy, but I’m glad for it. As a freshman, you’re always doing dumb things that make you stand out but that you don’t realize you’re doing until you’re a senior.

I know I definitely did some of those dumb things — I mean, every one did. That’s what being a freshman is about.

Like I said, though, I’m excited to finally get to be a sophomore and get a little seniority going. Sophomore year is also when I get to start working a little more closely with my major, which is great. No offense to my university requirement classes like Microbes and Man or Elementary Astronomy, but they weren’t really my cup of tea. Doesn’t look like I’m switching my major any time soon.

Anyway, 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: unknown

Skirt: Hollister

April 28, 2018 – Chi-Town Chinatown (OOTD #275)

Guys look! I finally made it into Chicago!

I can’t believe I’ve been at Notre Dame all year, basically an hour and a half away from the third largest city in the US, and it’s taken me eight months to finally go.

There’s a train station about fifteen minutes away from campus that could get me into the city easily, but getting off of campus is a huge hassle without a car. Heck, it would probably even be a hassle with a car. The Notre Dame bubble has not diminished at all since I’ve been here.

I actually had an opportunity to go to Chicago way back in December with a friend of mine who was going to see the Nutcracker with her Russian literature class. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I could take the time out of my day to go at the time (which I know now is a dumb excuse — there’s always time to go do fun things and ignore your responsibilities), so I missed out.

This time, though, when I heard that the Taiwanese Student Association was planning a Chinatown trip, I made sure I had room in my schedule to go. I lost a little extra sleep that weekend doing homework at late hours, but it was totally worth it.

What surprised me most about the Chicago Chinatown was how different it was from the New York version — while New York’s Chinatown is pretty much a gimmicky tourist destination, Chicago’s is a real diaspora neighborhood. The stores sold real Chinese food and products and not just the knockoff Rolexes you see in New York. It felt so much more welcoming and so much less sinister.

It was also fun because I got to interact with some people I never had before. None of my friends were able to go, so I ended up hanging out with some juniors and seniors, who were pretty cool and didn’t at all seem to mind that I was just a freshman. They were some of the first upperclassmen I’ve been able to interact with beyond surface level all year, so that was neat.

My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to purchase this money plant tree. As you probably know by now, I love plants, so getting new ones is fun. She actually sadly toppled over just today after a strong gust of wind from an open window pushed her off the window sill, causing several of her branches to break. I used a chopstick as a makeshift splint, so hopefully the branches will scar over and heal.

Oh well. For now, enjoy these photos of me and my pre-topple plant.

Since we all had work to do back home, we decided to make the hour and a half long drive back in time for dinner. I’d actually stayed up pretty late the night before, so I ended up napping almost all of the way back, which was great. By six when we arrived on campus, I was refreshed and ready to pull an all-nighter making up for all the work I had neglected due to being gone all day.

All night I worked though, I didn’t regret my decision to go. It was some of the best fun I’ve had all year, definitely worth the lost sleep and sanity.

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: thrifted

Turtleneck: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT (

Saturday Musings + Plants – Derby Day

It seems that people outside of Kentucky don’t really do anything for the Derby.

At least, no one really does anything at Notre Dame. I think I saw that there was one Derby-themed darty somewhere, but I was in class, and darties aren’t really my scene anyway.  I have heard of a few people who were traveling into Louisville to actually attend, but I can’t imagine that it’s many.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting —  I mean, Kentucky people hardly do anything for the Derby, so it’s not like Indiana people were going to do any more. I’m just sitting here by myself streaming it on my laptop in the student center while I work on some essays. Or at least pretend to work on some essays.

For the record, I’m rooting for Firenze Fire, mostly just because he shares the name of a Harry Potter character. He’s almost certainly going to lose — but that’s okay, because I’m not putting any money on it.

Anyway, here’s a little update on my plant collection! My roommate and I have a little jungle growing in our dorm. I won’t go through every single plant here, especially since you saw a lot of them the last time I went on a plant photoshoot spree, but here are a few new ones:

First up is this money plant I got in Chinatown in Chicago. I was between buying her, a bonsai tree, or a bamboo plant in the little tourist shop, but I went for the money plant because it looked like it was in the best health for the cost. I’m a little sad it’s not a Pilea peperomioides, the kind of money plant with sand dollar shaped leaves, but I’m happy with this Pachira aquatica instead. If it brings me money like it’s supposed to, I’ll be satisfied.

This tiger’s jaw succulent is also a new one. I got him from an event my dorm was holding where everyone got to take and pot a succulent. Definitely the best dorm event all year. I wish they’d had even more succulents so I could’ve taken more — inevitably, a lot of the people who took succulents are going to kill them or otherwise neglect them, which is unfortunate because I would love to take them in and care for them. Oh well.

Speaking of neglecting plants. here are some four o’ clocks I grew from seeds I got for free at a “sustainability fair” some club was putting on. I didn’t expect them all to germinate, and so quickly, so I planted the seeds in way too small a pot. Once the seedlings are a little more mature, I’ll give some away so that the ones I have can thrive.

The rest of these plants are old, but have made important new developments. My African violets sprouted flowers, my baby saguaro cactus has grown hairy, and my sunflowers seedlings have gotten taller!

On a more somber note, whatever kind of plants were growing alongside my saguaro seedling are pretty much all dead. I’m just disappointed that none of them will ever get big enough for me to figure out what these little guys were supposed to be. They started growing around the same time as the saguaro did, making me think they sprouted from the cactus seed mix I planted, but they sure don’t look like cacti. No idea what they are.

I love being a plant mom. It’s like having being a real mom, but you don’t have to talk to your kids.

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!

April 27, 2018 – Holy Holi, Batman (OOTD #274)

What’s this? Haven’t I already done an OOTD post for April 27?

That would be correct! I have. This, then, is part 2 — the sequel, if you will.

April 27 was a massively busy day for me, but all in a good way. It was one of the last days of classes, meaning that a lot of my remaining schoolwork wasn’t due until finals week and could theoretically be put off until later.  Needless to say, I took advantage of this.

It was also a Friday, which, this semester,  I ended at about 2pm, meaning most of my afternoon was pretty open.The first thing I did after my classes let out was get a new ID card to replace the one I lost a week ago. I’m still surprised it never turned up. Meanwhile, my missing shoes are also still MIA.

There was a “sustainability festival” going on on South Quad, and since it was a beautiful day, I decided to stop by. My decision was also influenced by the fact that they were offering free plant seeds, which, if you’ve been following my slow descent into plant madness over the last few months, you’ll know I was very excited for. I now have a pot of 4 o’ clocks in my dorm room waiting to sprout.

After that, some student organization (can’t remember which, oops) was putting on their version of the Indian Festival of Colors, Holi. That’s were all of my pictures here are from, and why I decided to bother with a part 2 to my April 27 blog. They were too nice to just throw at the tail end of another OOTD or Saturday Musings post.

Later that evening, there were some food trucks on South Quad offering free food, so you know I was all over that. And later still, the Chainsmokers were giving a concert in the Joyce Center that I got last-second tickets for from a kid who was no longer able to go. Being totally honest, the concert was probably one of the lamest I’ve ever been to (they barely sang! They had practically no instruments! I mean I know that’s how EDM works but I guess I’m just not a fan), but it was also cheap, so I can’t totally complain.

It was a very nice way to wrap up the school year. I mean, it wasn’t a true wrap up — I still had half a week of classes and an entire week of finals still to stagger through — but I was able to pretend for an afternoon that I was at college for the purpose of having fun.

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!