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?

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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

November 3, 2017 – In Which Dental Hygiene Is My Aesthetic: Bianco Smile Whitening Powder Review (and OOTD #151)

Today’s post will be a little different than usual – in addition to my typical OOTD discussion and sarcastic humor, I’ve got a review for you too!

The lovely folks at Bianco Smile were kind enough to send me a package with their Activated Charcoal Whitening Powder to try and review, and I was just so excited about the fact that someone on the Internet noticed me, that I couldn’t say no. Admittedly, I’m no teeth expert – in fact, the last time I went to the dentist, I got rather passionately criticized for not flossing. But I suppose that’s why there’s a several billion dollar dental hygiene industry out there – because idiots like me don’t care for their teeth like they ought to, and then need to buy things to try to fix them.

The product came packaged in a cute little black box with the instructions labeled on all four sides – 1)Dip ya brush, 2) Scrub ’em, 3) (Smile). I rather a fan of the simple, all-black look; it was very fashionable, like something I wouldn’t mind having sat out on my bathroom counter.

As the instructions suggest, powder itself is actually rather simple to use – simply dip your wet brush into the powder, and then scrub your teeth just as you would with toothpaste. And indeed, the experience was rather like just brushing my teeth as I would any regular day, the primary difference being the texture of the powder (for lack of a better word – powdery), and how I looked when using the product.

To be honest, you’re probably not going to look pretty while brushing your teeth – in fact, you’ll probably look like you’ve just eaten a bunch of blueberries and now their guts have coated your teeth – but that’s alright, because you’ll look pretty afterwards.

I’ve compiled here some photos of my teeth over the last few days using the product:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

The verdict: I rather liked this product! I really don’t know anything about charcoal whitening powders, so I can’t compare it to any other similar products, but for my first experience using a whitening charcoal powder, it was overall quite positive.

Perhaps I’m just seeing things, and perhaps it’s simply the result of wearing red lipstick in the final photo (which does tend to make your teeth look whiter), but I do believe my teeth looked a touch whiter after a few days of using the product. I definitely think I will continue to use it – maybe not every day, but perhaps in rotation with my regular toothpaste.

My only complaint is that it’s not exactly the cleanest product ever – there was definitely some black powder left over on the sink after I was done brushing, but it was super easy to wipe up and left no stain.

You can check out the product over on Bianco Smile’s website here, if it looks like something you might be interested in purchasing. Use code MEILIN20 for 20% off at checkout!

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!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Dress: Pitaya

August 30, 2017 – Overslept and Overdressed (OOTD #99)

I experienced yet another college “first” on Wednesday – oversleeping an alarm.

Thankfully, it didn’t end up having any bearing on my actual day – I still made it to class on time, got to work out for a little in the morning, and had enough time to get dressed and make myself look presentable. Still, I was definitely in a more rushed mode than usual, if the fact that I wore leggings is any indication.

Wednesdays are one of my more busy days – I have two classes back-to-back that begin at 9:30 and end at 11:30, followed by few hours break, followed up a lecture at 2:00 that ends at 3:15. It’s not bad – certainly less strenuous than high school – but it’s still a far cry from my Friday schedule, which begins at 9:30 and ends at 11:30, meaning my weekend begins before noon even hits.

This particular Wednesday though, I didn’t have as much of an opportunity to rest as usual, as I ended up working on a paper in the library with a friend from the time my second class ended to when my third began (allowing for a little break for lunch), meaning I didn’t get back to my dorm until late in the afternoon. Then, I had a little time to work on some reading and homework before I had to head back out again at 7:00, taking dinner by myself before heading out for a club meeting that lasted basically until 10:00.

But so far, I’m liking college more than high school. There’s more homework but fewer classes, which (right now) is something I appreciate. Granted, I’ve also fallen asleep while doing homework several times now, which has been super fun, but at least it’s been while sitting in a bean bag. Honestly, the bean bag may be more comfortable than my bunk bed.

As for today’s outfit, you might notice it’s not entirely different from one I posted rather early on in my blog-writing career (you know, which began a whopping four months ago). I wasn’t a huge fan with how it turned out, though, in terms of pictures, as that was from a time when I was still taking my own pictures by setting up my iPhone with a timer. Thus, I decided to remix it, taking what I did rather enjoy about the outfit – the combination of a simple black pair of leggings with the bright, colorful top – adding some new elements – the navy blazer – and then photographing it with an actual camera.

Was that my actual thought process? Or maybe I was just lazy this morning and unconsciously chose an outfit that resembled one I had worn before because I was lacking in creativity…you decide. 😉

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!

Jacket: Chaps

Top: Pitaya

August 15, 2017 – See You Kentucky, It’s Been Weird (OOTD #87)

But it’s been a good weird…I think?

It’s hard to believe it, but before long, I’ll be beginning classes at Notre Dame. By August 18, I’ll be in South Bend, IN, by August 19, I’ll be moved into my dorm, and by August 22,  I’ll be starting my first class.

Not to be cliché (but I am being cliché, and that’s totally fine with me here), but I feel like the time between the start of senior year and now has just flown by. How does that work – time seeming to move so quickly in retrospect but pass so slowly as it’s happening?

It’s hard to imagine myself as a college student, living in a dorm room with 3 other people, sharing a bathroom with like 15, and a campus with 10,000. So I’m not going to – not yet. There will be time for me to worry about my classes and my rooming situation and making friends, but now is the time for denial.

So nope, I’m not really leaving Kentucky, and these balloons aren’t really for my going away, and I didn’t wear this outfit because I wanted to look nice for going out to get ice cream with Amanda and Zach for the last time. It’s just a normal summer day in Lexington – hanging out with friends, being a little festive, and being extra fashionable.

For real though, I do rather like this outfit – I think the delicate white lace top looks particularly nice with the white wrap skirt and my white hair. Maybe I’m biased, being both the creator and the wearer of the outfit, but I like to think I’m honest with myself regarding how I look. I know when an ensemble looks good, and I know when it doesn’t, and I try not to act like things are any different.

The balloons, of course, add a nice touch. My mother brought them home “for me” – actually, she got them for a picnic she’s having at work, but I decided to pretend they were mine. Surprisingly, it’s not easy posing with balloons in photos, as any even slight breeze means they’re floating in front of your face or off in some other awkward location. I’m glad they were there though – added a nice pop of color to the shots.

Welp, guess that’s it for today! I’ll see you in the next blog post, when I’ll definitely still be living in Lexington, and I’ll definitely still be with all my friends, and I’ll definitely still be enjoying a lazy summer! Nothing out of the ordinary going on here!

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: Altar’d State

Skirt: Pitaya

 

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