March 10, 2019 – Grocery Store Florist (OOTD #469)

A long, long time ago, I applied for a job at this grocery store florist. They didn’t hire me.

It amazes me sometimes how sixteen year-old kids go out and find jobs sometimes, and that’s coming from someone who was once a sixteen year-old kid who found a job.

My first job was actually at the same grocery store chain as this florist, though I worked at a different location. I was a bagger/cart-getter/bathroom-cleaner. It wasn’t a fun job.

I won’t mention the name of the grocery store chain in case one day I want to try to get a job in their corporate department (or alternatively, after I drop out of school and all that’s left for me is to go back and try to get a job as a bagger), so let’s call it something totally made-up — like Shmoger. 

I applied for a lot of jobs the summer I was 16 — none of which I got interviews for except this one at Shmoger. That’s the worst part about applying for jobs — the fact that no one seems to want to message you to let you know the status of your application. At least with university applications, you can get rejected from every school you apply to, but they properly reject you. They give you a date they’ll have their decision by, and then they tell you their decision on that date. With jobs, they just ghost you, like a bad Tinder match.

The Shmoger I worked at was going through some renovations when I began working there, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason they hired me. I had no real experience (not even babysitting) and no references besides my parents, so they must have been desperate.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really even want the job that badly. I just took it because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do when you turn 16. Now that I’m at a wealthy university and have wealthy friends, I realize that that’s not the case for people with money and connections, but at the time, pretty much everyone I knew had a crappy job in retail or food or service.

Looking back, I do appreciate the perspective that my crappy barely-above-minimum wage job offered me about the world — how hard it is to get a job if you don’t have a lot of experience or connections or education, how entitled both customers and fellow employees can be, how exhausting it is to do (even slightly) labor-intensive work , how difficult it is to make any actual money working minimum wage and barely getting any hours because you’ve just stared. It helped me to recognize how privileged I am to not have to work jobs like that in order to get by, and how difficult it is to move past that situation if that’s where you’re presently stuck. I ultimately ended up quitting when my junior year began (one of the only things I’ve truly quit for the last several years) because it was too much to do on top of schoolwork. Ironically, I quit the weekend before the big reopening after the renovations were all finished — something for which my boss yelled at me when I sent in my resignation via text.

I can’t imagine trying to work a spiritually and financially thankless job like that while trying to get the education required to get a better job. Getting an education can be spiritually and financially thankless enough on its own sometimes.

I think my second-most important realization at my Shmoger job was how horrible people are who leave their grocery carts out in the middle of the parking lot, especially at night. Please bring them to the corral — or better yet, back up to the front of the store! Some poor kid on cart-duty will thank you.

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: Forever21

Jacket: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Skirt: Hollister

Shoes: Target

Monday Musings + Coffee – Long, Short Weekend

Huh, somehow, I wound up doing another Musings + Coffee post on a Monday.

This weekend has been crazy, so you’ll have to excuse my lack of blogging. In the last 72 hours, I have experienced — in no particular order — a concert, a dead car battery, 24,000 steps worth of Chicago, and a missed mandatory class. Once I get to the OOTD posts from these last few days, I’ll go into more detail, but suffice to say, I’ve been busy.

Somehow, though, it seems I managed to fit in some flatlay photography for one of these posts. Keyword — some. This isn’t the most cohesive set of photos I’ve ever posted on this blog (save the first two, which are clearly from the same set of my bullet journal), but I like them all for their individual merits. And I did indeed get some really good photos this weekend; it’s just that they’re unrelated. I hope you can forgive me.

Apart from the bullet journal photos, I’ve also got this from picture from my plant class that I thought turned out really well. Our homework is to go out and collect and identify plant samples — how cool is that? It’s probably one of my favorite classes at the moment because it’s low-stress, it’s a subject that interests me, and it’s fun. Compare that to my Russian Lit class, which is high-stress, not interesting, and not much fun, and it’s easy to see how an outdoors botany class would speak to me for this semester.

Plus, I like plants. I’ll have to give you guys an update on my dorm plants soon — since I’m in a new dorm room this year, I guess you’ll have to see the updated configuration. We had some tragic losses (RIP my rose moss seedlings), but we’ve also had some new additions to the family.

The weekend concluded with this really lovely sunset over the Golden Dome, which I had the pleasure of watching out a library window. Sort-of. I wasn’t actually able to secure a coveted window seat myself to watch the whole thing, but I walked by the window multiple times so I could catch it — probably thoroughly annoying the person who was actually sitting by the window in the process.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. 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!

Monday Musings + Coffee – Rebranding

This is it — Saturday Musings + Coffee is no more!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t be trusted to keep up with consistent slice-of-life flatlay posts. Believe it or not, I find flatlay photography much more difficult than fashion photography. For me, at least, it takes a lot more effort to hunt down enough cutesy “little things,” and then a good clean background (there are surprisingly few white tables at Notre Dame) for a flatlay post than the effort to put on a cute outfit and get someone to take a picture of it. I’m going to put on clothes anyway, so it doesn’t take much more to take some photos of the outfit, but I have to go out of my way to do flatlay pictures. Believe me, my life is never as well-organized or simplistic as these photos portray.

But don’t worry — I’m not getting rid of the Musings + Coffee lifestyle posts. I don’t think I can keep up with weekly Saturday posts, but I do want to continue the spirit of them. That’s why today’s post is called “Monday Musings” — because it’s Monday, and I’ve decided I don’t want to be restricted to an arbitrary weekly blog post system that revolves around one day. From now on, I’ll do Musings + Coffee posts when I feel like it, regardless of the day of the week.

What a novel concept.

Speaking of novel concepts, happy September! I can’t believe August is already over — this time last month, I was still living in Kentucky with my parents and going to work in Frankfort. Now I’m back in school, and life moves at a completely different pace and rhythm.

As for September’s bullet journal spread, I decided to focus it around Notre Dame fall football (with some Charlie Brown characters thrown in for added flavor), since we’ve got three home games this month. Honestly, the constant football is kind-of exhausting. Love thee Notre Dame and stuff, but I’ll be pretty relieved when I can finally have a Saturday to rest and just do homework.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one. 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!

August 18, 2018 – Not Quite An Ivy League (OOTD #350)

Day 374: the locals are getting suspicious. I believe they’re beginning to realize that i am not, in fact, a piece of ivy.

There’s nothing like sitting yourself down in a patch of ivy in the math building’s courtyard for the sake of your fashion blog. Thankfully, there were no classes going on, so I was at little risk of getting “caught” taking photos by myself, but it was still a little awkward, nonetheless.

If there’s anything this blog has taught me, it’s how to ignore how awkward it feels taking pictures in public. Here’s my secret: I just don’t think about it.

I know, that’s horrible advice — just don’t be nervous, and you won’t have anxiety! Just don’t be sad, and you won’t have depression! In this case, though, and probably this case only, it works for me. If I can ignore how uncomfortable I feel by focusing on acting like I’m confident and self-assured taking photos in public, I find that my actual anxiety lowers as a result.

But in general, what I like best is taking photos away from the curious (sometimes judgmental) glances of strangers. That’s why this ivy garden worked so well. It was just me and the plants, and as you know, I love me some plants. 

In an ideal world, humanity would have somehow developed a technology to make plants sentient, and I’d just have the plants take pictures for me instead of people. I guess if the plants were sentient then they could still be judgmental…I guess this plan’s a bit flawed.

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!

Sweater: thrifted

Top: thrifted

Shorts: Forever21

July 29, 2018 – Flowers, Always and Always (OOTD #338)

I’m pretty sure that’s an Oscar Wilde quote — don’t quote me on that, though.

One of the most enjoyable bits of going out with my family is trying to find the best locations for photos — it’s great because my dad actually enjoys photography, and I enjoy taking pictures of myself for this blog. Unlike when I’m out with friends, and I feel a little awkward asking for them to constantly take pictures of me, my dad’s a pretty nonjudgmental dude, or at least he acts like it, so there’s no awkwardness.

With the discomfort of asking for photos out of the way, I’m free to fully enjoy hunting for good locations and lighting. I think my dad enjoys it too.

On this day, we happened upon a lovely garden, which we agreed would make for an excellent fashion photography background. I’m a sucker for plants, as you probably know by now.

I’m personally not as into outdoor plants as I am their indoor counterparts — there’s just something about the unique circumstance of indoor plants, that they exist inside despite not occurring there naturally, that fascinates me. I can appreciate a good outdoor garden though, especially if it’s colorful like this one.

My favorite part I think were these hanging basket flowers that were set up against a fence, creating something of a wall of flowers. I’m going to have to keep that in mind for something to try once I have a house of my own.

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: Anthropologie

Skirt: Forever21

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 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

 

 

May 25, 2018 – Flower Clocks and Frankfort (OOTD #291)

You ever have one of those experiences where you think something exists, but you aren’t positive if it’s real or if you imagined it?

For me, that was this flower clock in Frankfort, Kentucky. I thought I remembered reading about it a long time ago while doing research into things to do in Kentucky (spoiler alert: there’s not a lot), but no one I ever mentioned it to knew what I was talking about.

It was never something I cared enough about to Google to confirm its existence, so for many years, I pretty much just forgot about it. I figured I’d made it up, or otherwise, it was somewhere other than Kentucky, and since I never had any reason to go to Frankfort, I never bothered to search for it.

That was until I began my internship in Frankfort — now, I’m there every week, so the mysterious elusive flower clock was on my mind again. I figured, maybe I’d come across it one day, or otherwise, go searching for it sometime after work — you know, not really something I would actively search for or think about, but if it happened to be convenient to check out sometime, I would.

Interestingly, it wasn’t even me who found it. It was my dad. He came to pick me up from work, and I asked him to take some OOTD pictures for me before we left for home. I suggested some potted flowers outside of the Capitol building to serve as the background, but my dad said he had something better in mind. We got out of the car, walked about two minutes away from the Capitol building, and…

There it was! The mystical flower clock of my dreams!

Truth be told, it wasn’t that great. It’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but there were a lot less…flowers than I thought there would be. There were really only one kind of purple ones concentrated around the middle. It was cooler as a giant raised clock than as a floral arrangement.

Mostly, though, I was just excited to find out that the flower clock was real. Now, on to prove the existence of Sasquatch.

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 & skirt: Forever21

Top: H&M

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!

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Late Starts

Guys, I woke up at 2:30 pm today.

Part of me really loves late starts to the day, and another really part of me really hates the fact that it means I never get anything done. I’m probably going to wind up with a really late night now doing the work I didn’t do during this morning…but it’s fine. I work better late at night anyway!

Or at least…that’s what I like to tell myself.

It’s Moms’ Weekend currently for my dorm, but unfortunately, my mother’s not here. It’s okay — we both decided it wasn’t really going to work out for this weekend, especially with my schedule, and especially given the fact that she’s going to be on campus in a month to help me move out.

Besides, even though my mother’s not here, other people’s mothers are here, which means I’ve been treated to like three free meals in the last few days. I feel kind of badly continuously going out to eat and not paying but like…free food. I’m not going to say no to that ever.

In other news, the baby cactus I mentioned in my last Saturday Musings post is doing well! He grew his first a little spine, and I am a proud mother. I’ll keep you updated on his progress — probably less because anyone other than me is interested, and more because I’m just really excited about plants right now.

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!