February 1, 2020 – Never Bored in Bordeaux (OOTD #605)

I took my first short day trip outside of Paris the weekend after classes began.

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wait, this isn’t a bourbon distillery

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Normally, I wouldn’t opt to do a ton of traveling right after I’d arrived in a new city (remember — I’d arrived in Paris just two weeks prior), but my Welcome Programme friends wanted to travel, and I wanted to make sure I kept up my ties with them. The first few weeks in a new location/school are a critical period — I don’t normally adhere to a FOMO (fear of missing out) mindset,  but when I’m trying to make and keep new friends, I find it’s often best to take people up on as many invitations as possible.

Sometimes though, that can be exhausting. In the case of this Bordeaux trip, it meant getting on a night bus at 10pm on a Friday night after I’d just finished the first week of classes so that I could arrive at 6am Saturday morning in Bordeaux. This was my first experience traveling via night bus — and not my last. Keep that in mind for later.

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place de quoi?

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The morning in Bordeaux was spent walking around the actual city center with a free walking tour (interestingly, I believe it was with the same walking tours group as I took a tour with in Jerusalem? Small world). My friends and I got lunch at an Italian pizza place in the afternoon, and then we hopped on a bus for a winery tour — the actual main attraction of Bordeaux.

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sip, sip, hooray

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I’ve gone on many bourbon distillery tours in my life, but I believe this was only second time (the first one being in Frascati, just outside of Rome) at a winery. I’ll be honest — I’m not super interested in the actual process of manufacturing or bottling wine. I’m mostly just there for the free tasting at the end and the pretty locations for photos. That I will say winery tours seem to be better at than distillery tours — the pretty locations for photo-taking. French châteaux in the countryside are admittedly a little more romantic than what Kentucky has to offer.

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never bored in bordeaux

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In the evening, we left Bordeaux via the fast train, so at least we didn’t have another 12 hour bus ride to top off an already exhausting day. I made it back to my apartment in Paris before the last Metro on Ligne 4 left for Porte d’Orléans at 10pm.

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in my element 🌱

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I didn’t get a ton of work done that day, but since it was the very beginning of the year, there wasn’t much to do anyway. As they say, “less study, more abroad.”

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 semester abroad in France. 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: Free’p’star Paris (thrifted)

Sweater: H&M

Blouse: H&M

Skirt: Pitaya

January 25, 2020 – Bus Tour de France (OOTD #602)

I really wouldn’t say that a tour bus is the best way to experience Paris.

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i just can’t place it

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I almost didn’t even go because even before I took the bus tour, I was pretty certain that it wasn’t the sort of thing for me. I was also absolutely exhausted from the night before — Friday had been the last day of the Welcome Programme (well, technically, the bus tour was the final event, but it was optional), and I was out late the previous evening at a club.

What ultimately convinced me to go was that I figured that, as a bus tour, I could sit there and look out the window most of the time. I love long train rides, and I thought, if nothing else, a bus tour of Paris would allow me to see some of the tourist sites without moving my feet. I just needed a big sun hat and plastic sunglasses and I could be a proper Asian tourist lady.

What I didn’t count on with this tour, though, was that the bus was mostly just a vessel for us to get from site to site — from there, there was actually quite a bit of walking. It was hardly a hike — honestly, I walked more on my first day in Paris and in Versailles — but I think when combined with how tired I was from the previous day (and the whole week in general), it ended up being a lot.

My social battery was also running out. I’m truly still shocked that I managed to be so extroverted during the whole of Welcome Weekend. I went to almost event, I accepted every invitation, I made an effort to be friendly and outgoing even after I was semi-comfortable in my established group of friends. I don’t normally subscribe to fomo — that is, the “fear of missing out” — but this time, I did.

And I’m glad I did. Though by the end of the week, that bus tour (followed by going to a café with friends later in the afternoon, and then going to a friend’s apartment after that, and then to dinner that night with even more friends) was absolutely draining, I think it was necessary. Compared to my semester in Washington DC, where I ended up regretting turning down a few early invitations because it meant it took me a bit longer to establish a group of friends, I started the semester in Paris with a pretty strong group. I mean, I’m sure there was also luck involved — sometimes, groups just don’t clique and there’s nothing you can do about it — but, given how my time in Paris was ultimately cut short, I’m so grateful that I spent as much time as I could early on with such a great group of people.

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 semester abroad in the Paris, France. 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: A vintage shop in Budapest  (thrifted)

Sweater: Forever21

Skirt: Pitaya

June 16, 2019 – Ruined (OOTD #519)

Well if you close your eyes / do you almost feel like you’ve been here before? 

Pompeii was one of those places that I knew I wanted to visit as soon as I learned I had gotten the internship in Rome. Everything I’d heard from friends who’d been to Italy before was that it was somewhere I needed to go — and that furthermore, if I didn’t go now, I might never have a chance, as it’s not the most well-preserved site.

After spending the previous day in Naples and liking but not loving it, I decided to take the one-hour train on to Pompeii.

So was it everything I dreamed?

Actually, not really. Admission was steep, and that didn’t even cover the cost of a tour — and so I didn’t get a tour. As it turns out, that’s not a wise idea. It’s a huge space that’s easy to get lost in, and if you can’t read the signs in Italian, there’s not much to indicate what you’re actually looking at. Thankfully, I was there alongside a set of friends who spoke Italian and a set of friends who’d studied Classics and Latin in university, and so together, they were able to piece together what we saw. Without them, though, I would have been completely clueless.

Despite being a history major, if I’m honest, ancient Roman history is just not my wheelhouse. I like modern history — anything post-French Revolution is exciting to me (though 19th century imperialism can be a little dry.) In terms of history, cities like Budapest or Prague or Berlin are the most fascinating to me. I appreciate visiting places like Pompeii and Rome because I appreciate their history — but while I appreciate their history, it doesn’t inspire me like other histories do.

The best part of Pompeii was probably its most morbid element — the casts of dead bodies in their final positions before their owners succumbed to the smoke and ash. I’m not going to post any pictures here because it may be disturbing to some, but I would highly recommend a Google search of the plaster bodies of Pompeii. Through the plaster casts, you get a sense of what these people’s last moments were like before they died. It’s creepy and humbling.

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

Shorts: PacSun

May 27, 2019 – Meander (OOTD #509)

Wandering around Rome without a plan for what to do or where to go is a great idea, in theory.

Rome is full of cool sites — the Colosseum, the Vatican, Palatino, the Spanish Steps — which are easily accessible and easily visible from within the city itself. That’s what, if you ask me, is the best part about Rome: its main attractions are right there in the city, and they’re not too far from each other. You could, with a lot of stamina, take an entire day and simply walk from site to site.

Here’s the worst part about Rome — if you’re not in the cool section where all the ancient ruins and tourist attractions are, it’s not a very pretty city. If you’re in one of the less attractive neighborhoods, you can walk for quite some time without seeing anything other than trash, uneven pavement, and stray cats.

When I went out for a walk on the morning of May 27, however, I didn’t know this. I didn’t think I needed a game plan or direction for walking Rome; I just thought I could start walking and I would run into the Trevi Fountain. I of course, was wrong. I didn’t see the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon or the Roman Forum. In fact, I basically walked in the opposite direction of all of those things.

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oh no, i’m ruined

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Here’s what I did find: a man on a motorcycle who honked at me as he went by. Muddy pavement. A homeless person yelling at an umbrella. Strips of the road where the sidewalk just…inexplicably decided to not exist anymore. And the Baths of Caracalla, which, admittedly, were cool to see from a distance, though not worth the entrance fee to get in.

So yeah, my Spidey Sense didn’t exactly lead me in the right direction. Sometimes your spontaneous, anyway-the-wind-blows type adventure goes well, and sometimes all it leads you to is a homeless man with an umbrella. You win some, and you lose some.

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

Jeans: Hollister

 

July 11, 2018 – Monkeying Around (OOTD #328)

I’m back in Kathmandu again!

Yep, after about two straight weeks of intense classes and discussion, we’re finally off the hook. The last lecturer of the Madrasa Discourses summer intensive will be teaching exclusively in Urdu, which none of us Notre Dame students can understand, so we were allowed to go off on a little field trip on our own for the day.

The first stop for us (well, the second stop — we got pizza at a mall beforehand) was a design house where some other Notre Dame students were interning for the summer. They gave us a tour of the facilities, introduced us to the workers there, and showed us the prototypes they were working for for sale in fair trade shops.

It was neat, but a little slow. I’m totally here for the mission of fair trade — ensuring fair wages for workers, providing jobs for women who need them, etc. — but a tour of a factory is still just a tour of a factory.

Besides, I was pretty excited for what we’d be seeing next — the Swayambhunath Monkey Temple.

And yes, I did just have to Google the spelling of that.

Swayambhunath is arguably the most famous tourist site in Kathmandu, up there with Boudhanath, another Buddhist stupa. It’s 365 steps to the top (though we just drove up most of them), and along the way, as the name suggests, you get to meet some wild monkeys.

Wild monkeys are kind of scary! I guess that should be kind of obvious, based on the “wild” bit. And it’s not that I was expecting them to act like puppies and be all cute and ask for petting, but I figured, you know, since they’re in a tourist area, they’d be pretty used to tourists walking up and taking photos.

I guess not.

There are no terrifying stories of monkeys that attempted to attack me or anything like that, but I did get hissed at a few times from a distance. Key here is “from a distance.” After my first experience getting hissed at, I decided to keep far away from the monkeys.

But what about the stupa at the top of the steps? How did that stack up?

Pretty well! You know how I’d been complaining a bit over the last few days that seeing all of the temples and shrines was beginning to grow old? Not this one. Swayambhunath was decidedly spectacular — a big gold pillar into the sky surrounded by billowing prayer flags and spinning prayer wheels. There’s nothing boring about that.

It also helps that I got some of the best views of Kathmandu that I had seen ever from the top of the Swayambhunath stupa. I know I’ve spoken extensively about all the spectacular mountain views I saw in Nepal, but this cityscape could give all of them a run for their money in the “best Nepal views” competition.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. 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: Pitaya

Skirt: vintage (thrifted)

June 15, 2018 – Let’s Go Down to the Tennis Court (OOTD #303)

…and talk it out like yeah?

IMG_0605.jpeg

I absolutely had to Google the lyrics to that (“Tennis Court” by Lorde, by the way) because I haven’t heard that song since like, 2014 when I was a freshman in high school. Freshman me probably would have been ashamed that I didn’t remember it, but what can I say? It’s been years since “Tennis Court” frequented pop radio, and it’s been even more years since I regularly listen to pop radio.IMG_0591.jpeg

I had a brief Lorde phase after “Royals” came out when I would listen to the whole of Pure Heroine almost everyday while I did my Algebra II homework; it was a good studying album. I still really like a few of the songs, like “Love Club” and “Buzzcut Season,” and leave them in my Apple Music’s shuffle rotation. Melodrama was also a solid album, and also made for good studying music.

I’ve always wanted to do a proper tennis court photoshoot, but this impromptu one that mom did for me as we walked the dog through the park will have to do for now, at least until I’m back in the US. You’ll have to excuse the slightly messy hair texture — like I said, I was out walking the dog with my mom, and it was pretty warm out.IMG_0604.jpegIMG_0609.jpeg

I keep a Pinterest board for Instagram ideas, where I’ve seen a lot of really cute tennis court fashion photography that really cleverly uses the vibrant colors of the court as a background. Maybe once I get back to the US, I’ll drag Amanda out and make her take pictures with me.IMG_0596.jpeg

In more exciting news, I arrived in Nepal a few hours ago! In else exciting news, I won’t go into much detail with the Nepal adventures now because I’m sure I’ll have a full blog dedicated to that later this month. Rest assured, after 27 hours of traveling, I made it!IMG_0587.jpeg

The jet lag is beginning to kick in though, so I think I ought to try to get some sleep. It’s about 5:30 AM here, and while I got a little sleep earlier in the night, it really wasn’t as much as I should have gotten. Whoops.

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: Target

Top: Pitaya

Jeans: American Eagle 9thr

February 28, 2018 – Greetings from Sunny South Bend (OOTD #234)

You know how yesterday’s post was all about dressing for the weather you want, not the weather you have? 

I think it actually worked! I’m pretty sure yesterday’s Hawaiian shirt brought today’s (well, er…February 28’s), warmer temperatures. I think it made it all the way up to the 50s — which, by South Bend standards, is worth of a short sleeve-shirt and bare legs.

Seeing as it was so beautiful and sunny out, my friends and I decided to go out by the St. Mary’s lake and take some pictures all together. And here’s the best part — I didn’t have to propose the idea!

I don’t know about you guys who are also fashion bloggers, but I can start feeling a little guilty about constantly asking people to do my pictures for me. I know it’s probably a little irrational, since it’s not like it’s really a huge inconvenience to anyone, but I’m always afraid someone will get fed up of me constantly asking them to support my narcissistic hobby.

It reminds me of having to for rides after school in high school and always feeling guilty that I had to ask for help when I should’ve been able to drive on my own. Similarly, having a fashion blog is a pretty self-interested hobby, so I feel like I should be able to maintain it by myself, and to ask for help is being a nuisance to other people.

Anyway, my point is, I love it when someone asks me to take pictures of them or with them — really, just as long as someone else proposes the idea, I love it. It’s nice to be behind the camera every once in a while, so I feel like I can pay back the people who have helped me so many times.

Actually, I have thought about doing something at the end of this school year for the people who have consistently taken photos for this blog. I don’t have a ton of money, so I don’t think I could pay for dinner or anything like that, but I may bake cookies or something small like that. It’s the gesture that counts, right?

It was definitely nice to take a break from all of my studying to go outside by the lake and enjoy the weather, though. At the time of writing this, I have three papers and one project still to go (down one paper and one exam from yesterday!), so wish me luck! Spring break is just around the corner, and then, I can bother my parents for pictures and feel slightly less guilty because me being a nuisance to them is nothing new!

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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Pitaya

Skirt: Forever21

February 15, 2018 – What A Waste Of Lovely Night (OOTD #228)

Meilin Scanish, back at it again with the late night art building photos.

This time, I’m in an empty classroom with my camera balanced atop a stack of chairs. I find just keep getting more and more creative as I get more desperate for photos for this blog.

Ideally, one of these days, I’m going to have a professional photographer friend who knows my routine for taking photos every day, and I won’t have to feel awkward about asking people every day to indulge my narcissistic hobby. Maybe it’ll be someone I pay after I become rich and famous, maybe it’ll just a friend who understands and supports this little project of mine.

Maybe it’ll just be my dad after I fail out of college and move into my parents’ basement for the rest of eternity.

I’m kidding of course, but it is kind of getting obnoxious having to go to the art building, Riley, every other night to stake out an empty classroom or studio so I can take my own pictures. I mean, I’m grateful that I’ve found Riley and have managed to set up a system for myself for how to still get pictures if my scheduled lunchtime photographer friend falls through, but you know – it’s not ideal.

Now that I’ve found my watch’s remote camera feature, I’ve been playing around a lot more with doing my own photos in more unique locations than the outsides of the same buildings I tend to feature over and over here. I won’t spoil any of these new locations – not that there’s really anything super dramatic – but I’m still really excited to get to show off something other than doors in the next few posts I’ve got planned here.

In other news, I’ve been pulling a lot of late nights these last few days as midterms season grows closer and closer, so I apologize if some of these blogs have been posted at late or unusual times. As much as I love this little project of mine, school and its various responsibilities have to come first.

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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Pitaya

Tights: Hot Topic

January 22, 2018 – Little Miss Grey Cloud (OOTD #207)

“On this grey Indiana day, you look so bright and colorful!” Shouted my friend, MaryKate, as she passed me on the way to class.

“Thanks!” I responded. “It totally matches my personality, how I feel on the inside, and is not at all ironic!”

If I actually dressed for how I felt every day, I probably would look like this – head to toe black, edgy hair color, sunglasses to avoid eye contact with people. But, as days like this one illustrate, I sometimes like to dress differently from how I actually regard myself. It switches things up, keeps things fresh, and prevents people from making generalizations about me too quickly.

That’s not to say I’m uncomfortable or somehow less genuine than usual when I dress brightly and colorfully – it’s just a different outfit, after all. The way I see it, fashion should be used for whatever you feel like doing with it, and, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, it doesn’t always have to be about self-expression. Sometimes it’s more about self-creation – with each unique outfit, creating new identity, slipping out of yesterday’s personality and into some new character each morning.

In a roundabout way, maybe that is a form of self-expression – an expression that fashion can be both a reflection of your identity and a costume to try out different versions of your identity with. It’s a mirrored shield.

That, or maybe I’ve just too much time reading my philosophy textbook, and I’m trying to turn this into my next essay. This should at least be worth a little extra credit though, right?

Thanks for reading, and 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!

Coat: Target

Sweater: Forever21 (thrifted)

Skirt: Pitaya

December 4, 2017 – A Not Ugly Christmas Sweater (OOTD #174)

When did the ugly Christmas sweater become a trend, anyway?

I feel like it’s been within my lifetime, but that’s admittedly been pretty short so far, so I’m not sure. I remember being embarrassed as a kid to have to wear oversized, holiday-themed sweaters – I thought they made me look like my grandmother (no offense to my grandmother  – a truly fabulous, fashionable woman).

But sometime within the last few years it seems, weird, vintage-y sweaters seem to have come back into style. I myself can attest to this – I have about seven Goodwill Christmas sweaters proudly stored in my closet, all waiting until December when they can finally be worn after sitting in storage for the rest of the year.

Maybe that’s why I go out of my way to wear as many Christmas-themd outfits as I can in the weeks leading up to two the holiday – I’ve got all these amazing sweaters that I’ve collected over the years, but I have to keep them stored away in my closet for eleven out of the twelve months. It seems unfair.

This, however, is not one of Goodwill Christmas sweaters – it’s still a Christmas sweater, sure, but it was one that I bought for about $50 at Abercrombie rather than $5 at a secondhand store. Overpriced? Yeah, especially for the fact that it’s only in season for a small portion of the year.

All the more reason to make a point to wear it whenever I can during the holiday season, right? Got to make make the most of that $50 impulse buy.

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!

Sweater: Abercrombie

Skirt: Pitaya