Sunday Musings – November 2019 Bullet Journal Spread

Following up on my successful bout of October bullet journalling, I finished my November bullet journal on time!

I was, however, less successful at posting the blog about my November bullet journal spread on time. It’s January 2020 now, and this is the blog from November 2019, which ideally would have been posted before the month even began. Oops.

I know a lot of bullet journal bloggers and YouTubers like to post their monthly spreads in the week before the new month begins so that other people can get inspiration from their designs as they’re working on their own journals, but I like to show mine off after it’s already been completed. I like to doodle in the calendar as events come up and fully fill out my habit and mood trackers; otherwise, it seems so plain and colorless.

My November spread was themed on jewel-tones and fall fashion. In DC, took until about early November for things to start cooling off, and once it started, it didn’t take long for me to bust out all of my fall and winter layers. I mean, let’s be honest — I was already dressing in fall and winter layers in the dying days of summer, but at least by November, I was comfortable wearing them.

So in honor of my excitement for the coming of fall, I decided to theme my bullet journal around fall fashion. Each of my doodles for my mood tracker represented a different article of fall clothing (hat, scarf, coat, boots, etc.), and my cover spread was meant to represent a closet full of jewel-toned fall clothes. The way I imagined it, you should feel like you’re walking into an Ann Taylor LOFT store in late October.

Not everything I drew was necessarily a piece I own, but they were meant to look like something I would like to own. Some of the doodles were based on accessories/clothes I own, though — for example, the green and tan bag hanging on the clothing rack for the cover spread is actually a messenger bag that I own, which you can see here in the last photo from this old post. The green rain boots are also actually a real possession of mine. Can you spot the others?

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!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip  and Copic Brush Tip

November 27, 2019 – Familiar Faces (OOTD #586)

The day before Thanksgiving, I asked off from work so that my good friend, Mariana, could visit me in DC.

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i failed geography

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Brookings’ Thanksgiving holiday was only Thursday through Friday, but no one was going to be in on Wednesday anyway, so I simply took off. As it turned out, my roommate from freshman and sophomore year, Mariana, was going to be driving into Baltimore for the holiday, and she offered to meet me for a day in DC before she headed the rest of the way home.

Just as was the case when Jane came and visited a few weeks previous, it was so refreshing to see a friendly face from somewhere other than the DC  cohort. Don’t get me wrong, by late November, I was really starting to feel comfortable with my group of friends and beginning to really enjoy life in the city. But even the friends I did make I had really only known for about two months; in comparison, Mariana I’ve known for two years and Jane I’ve known for nine.

Mariana, like me, is a big fan of plants, so naturally I had to take her to the Smithsonian Botanic Garden. It was my second time there (the first time being with Jane), but it was still just as magical. It’s maybe not quite as spectacular as the University of Copenhagen Botanic Gardens that I saw with Anna over the summer (that one had butterflies), but I loved it all the same.img_1388

Afterwards, we wandered around the National Mall a bit, got lunch at a vegan restaurant, visited a small Christmas market (nothing compared to the one in Munich, but still very cute), and then decided to visit the National Portrait Gallery, something that had been on my bucket list since day one.

And I’m glad I went! I love portraiture; I think in another life, I would have wanted to be a portrait artist for 19th century aristocracy and have exhibitions at art salons and hang around and drink wine and smoke all day. People have always been my favorite subjects to draw. I was a touch disappointed that they didn’t have all of the official Presidential portraits (I guess they hang in all different places — some are in the Presidential Libraries, some are in the White House, etc.), but it was a really neat place anyway.

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My favorite’s is Jimmy Carter’s — one look and you can tell that it’s from the late 70s. The beige aesthetic paired with the retro gadgets on his desk (I think it’s a pager? Or an intercom?) immediately gives it away. But rather than looking tacky or dated, it looks vintage and cool. If I’m ever President, my portrait had better be as cool as his.

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 in Washington, DC. 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!


Turtleneck: Express

Skirt: Forever21

Jacket: Forever21

 

November 9, 2019 – A Long Time Coming (OOTD #577)

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that it took me a while to start having fun in DC.

And that’s true. I spent the first two months doing pretty much nothing but going to work, coming home, going to class, and then repeating the next day. Up until November, I wasn’t really doing anything to take advantage of my residence in DC.

But, as I also mentioned in that earlier blog post, once I did start having fun, I really went for it. Apparently, turning 21 made all the difference.

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About a week after my 21st birthday, my best friend, Jane came and visited. Jane has been a good friend of mine since I was 11 years-old, and she’s the only person I still keep in contact with from my old Louisville days. She and I met through a mutual friend in choir in 6th grade, and, though we weren’t necessarily super close in 6th grade, she somehow wound up as the only person from Louisville who kept up with texting me after I moved to Lexington.

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It’s kind of like my friendship with Amanda — Amanda and I were also not super close in high school when we actually saw each other every day. It was only once we went to university and moved to different cities that we became good friends. Wonder why that happens?

I’m a little surprised Jane hasn’t appeared more on this blog, given how often I go back to Louisville or up to Cincinnati. I guess it’s because I usually only see her for lunch or something short like that, so there’s never really time to take pictures worth making a blog out of. The last time I saw her in person, it was March 2019, and we just got lunch together in Cincinnati as I passed by on my way home for spring break. It was such a short trip, she didn’t even appear in any pictures. Then, I saw her in January 2019, and I was sick as a dog after having come home from Vichy, France — definitely not in any shape to take pictures for a blog.

The last time she actually appeared in pictures on my blog was the summer after I graduated high school. I visited her in Louisville for a few days just two weeks before I began at Notre Dame. We went to the mall, broke into my old elementary school, and ate doughnuts.

This time, Jane came and visited me in Washington DC over Veterans’ Day weekend. I had off from work that Monday, and so we had the whole long weekend to spend together from Friday night to Monday night.

And it was just as much fun as always! It was nice getting to be the hostess for once instead of the guest; I feel like most of the time when I see Jane, it’s me visiting her rather than the other way around because she lives in the more interesting city than I do (no offense, Lexington). Since I was spending the semester in DC, which is, for once, a cool city, I got to take her around to all of the cool places.

On Saturday, we went to the Smithsonian Botanic Gardens, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Wharf. Excluding my first week or two in DC when I went on a couple of back-to-back school trips to the monuments on the Mall, this was my first time in DC actually getting to go around and see some of the touristy sites. It’s funny how, when you live somewhere, you don’t actually get to see some of its famous sites unless you put in extra effort to go to them. The same thing happened to me in Rome over the summer.

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 in Washington, DC. 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!


Coat: A vintage shop in Budapest

Dress: thrifted (Buffalo Exchange)

Thursday Musings – October 2019 Bullet Journal Spread

I think this may be my first time actually completing a whole month’s worth of bullet journal pages?

I believe the closest I’ve ever come before was April 2019 — and I never even posted pictures of that particular spread! Let me know in the comments if that’s something you would like to see; maybe I can do a retrospective or something featuring bullet journal designs that never made it onto my blog!

Apart from this month and last April, though, I often fail to even come close to completing all of the pages in a bullet journal monthly spread. What gets me every time are the habit tracker and mood tracker pages — they’re deceptively difficult to keep up with! You wouldn’t think filling in a square in the grid every time I go for a run would be hard, but apparently, it is, because my habit and mood trackers are almost never up to date. And they almost never get completed.

And that’s why it’s so exciting to have finally almost finished everything that I drew out for myself for October! In comparison, last October, I didn’t even draw up a bullet journal spread — I just pasted it in from a sheet of Halloween-themed stickers that my parents bought me. And despite cutting that corner and getting a fall break (which I didn’t get this year in DC) to work on bullet journaling, I still didn’t get everything filled out — hence, the gap in bullet journal posts on this blog from September 2018 to January 2019.

But I’ve been on the grind for all of September and October, and I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I love bullet journaling as a way to keep my life organized in the present, to provide a record of past events in my life for the future, and to give me an avenue to practice my art skills even if I haven’t been in an art class for over a year. To be honest, I don’t know if I can rightfully say I have a better quality of life when I keep up with my journaling…but it makes me feel put together even if I’m not.

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!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip  and Copic Brush Tip

Sunday Musings – September 2019 Bullet Journal Spread (in October…)

Oof, it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted one of these. 

Look, I’ve been busy. I’ve been to seven different countries and three different continents in the time since I last posted a “Weekly Musings” or a bullet journal post. I finished my sophomore year, finished an internship in South Bend, finished an internship in Rome, finished a research trip to Israel-Palestine, and made it halfway through an internship in Washington DC.

And it’s not like you missed out on much in my bullet journaling. I did a spread from April, and it actually turned out quite nicely, but I haven’t done a spread since then. Maybe I’ll post the April one a little down the line — a sort-of bullet journal #throwbackthursday, perhaps?

These bullet journal spreads just take so much time! I love doing them, but I need to sit down and devote a solid five or six hours to getting everything drawn. The reality is, they’re never really done until the month is well-over. And sometimes they’re never fully-done — you may notice that my mood tracker was never filled in for several days towards the end of the month, for example.

That’s what I love though. Because I can’t draw everything at once, I have to work on it a little bit at a time, especially with the mood tracker doodles. It’s not a daily thing, but it certainly is an every-several-days-or-maybe-once-a-week thing. It gives me a way to keep up with my drawing, even if it’s only drawing simple line illustrations.

The only part that I really try to do all at once in one sitting is the month cover page (the part that says “September” with the big drawing of the Washington DC Metro map). The cover page sets the theme and color scheme for the rest of the pages, so I have to complete it first. Ideally, I’d have it done before the month actually begins.

Well, ideally, I would have posted this blog before the end of September, so you can tell where my ideals get me.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy looking at my bullet journal spread, even if the month it’s about has come and gone. I rather like how the Washington DC public transport theme played out, especially on the cover page. The color scheme isn’t as strong with this one (I tried to do like, a red-white-and-blue thing, but it was hard), and I ran out of Washington DC doodles for my mood tracker and I had to resort to random Americana imagery, but I’m still satisfied with the overall product.

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!


Bullet Journal Supplies (with Amazon links)

Bullet journal: The Scribbles that Matter Pro, A5, 

Pens: Pilot Frixion 

Markers: Prismacolor Brush Tip  and Copic Brush Tip

 

June 9, 2019 – Go Green (OOTD #515)

Wow, have I told you how much I like plants?

I mean, I only kept a small greenhouse in my dorm room both years at Notre Dame, attended a botany class for fun my fall semester of sophomore year, and stole a spider plant from the art building because I thought I could propagate it into a new plant (spoiler alert: I did, and it’s doing fabulously).

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bugging out 🦋

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For real, plants are just such an important lifestyle choice for me. Some people like to cook, some people like to work out, some people like to read Bible verses every night before they go to bed — I like to take care of indoor plants. They’re like children or pets, but without the emotional responsibility.

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does this staircase make me look taller

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Though, if I’m honest, I do form something of a bond with my plants. I don’t name them like some of my friends do, but I become intimately familiar with their likes and dislikes. This one likes full sun. This one likes the shade. This one needs to be watered with coffee every week in order to keep its acidity levels up. Each plant is its own individual scientific experiment; over time, I’ve learned to methodically alter one independent variable at a time in order to yield the best results.

In the absence of science lab classes now that I’m a full-time humanities major, it’s the only practice of the scientific method I really have left in my daily life. It reminds me of when I was a kid and science classes were fun, before a string of lousy science teachers in high school discouraged me from continuing to pursue the practice.

If I’m ever at a point in my life where things aren’t working out and I need a drastic change, though, I would still consider one field in scientific research: botany. I would absolutely consider dropping everything I’ve studied in history and politics and international relations and completely shift gears to get my PhD in botany. Maybe some years down the road, if I’m tired and burnt out on law and ready to become one of those adults who switches careers in their middle ages, I’ll do it.

On one condition — I think I’d want to work and do research in a botanical garden, like this one in Copenhagen. I could spend hours in the greenhouses there — and Anna and I did. Honestly, I think it was one of my favorite things that I saw in all of Europe this summer, and I got to see a lot of cool stuff. There are botanical gardens everywhere; I don’t think there was anything special about this one in Copenhagen that made it different from ones in other cities. The fact that it was still one of my favorite things that I saw (and honestly, maybe my absolute favorite thing from all of Copenhagen) really goes to show how much I adore looking at plants.

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!


Dress: Vintage (thrift — Brick Lane Market)

Jacket: Thrift (Clothes Mentor)

 

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