September 1, 2018 – Fall Football (OOTD #363)

Here we are, the first home game of the year!

It’s hard to believe that’s been a year since my very first home game at Notre Dame. I remember when I first wrote about that — how I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, and how I thought that the fanfare surrounding a football game was a little hard to comprehend.

And you know what? I still find it hard to comprehend. I wholeheartedly participate in the fanfare, but admittedly, I don’t truly understand it anymore than I did this time last year. No matter how many games I go to, how many iterations of “The Shirt” I buy, how many times I watch Rudy on the field — it’s still just a game of football to me.

They’re fun games of football, though. I sometimes resent how they take up literally an entire day, with the tailgating, band concerts, and parties on top of the already four-plus hour long game, but I go each time without fail. Except that one time I missed the USC game because I lost my ticket after a harrowing Greyhound bus ride, which apparently ended up being the best game of the year.

I’ll actually be missing another game this year too, but this time, intentionally. I’m going to see Fall Out Boy in Chicago with my friend Amanda, and I consider that more way important than going to see Notre Dame inevitably beat Ball State on a rainy day.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though — I’m supposed to be talking about the first home game.

It’s always a challenge to find an interesting way to wear “The Shirt,” which all students (and a good portion of fans) wear to the first home game of the year. The thing is, it’s just a generic shirt. Sometimes the print on it is cool (this year it wasn’t really), but in terms of the actual cut and fit of the Shirt itself…it’s a t-shirt. And if it’s hot out, like it was in early September, you don’t really want to do anything but wear it on its own with a pair of shorts.

I’m a fashion blogger, though, and I’m not about to just wear it with a pair of shorts. No, I had to add a scarf, a skirt, and thigh-high socks. I then of course proceeded to sweat all day and regret my commitment to fashion.

Notre Dame beat Michigan though, so maybe it was worth it. #MuckFichigan, amirite?

(No offense to the Michigan fans out there. I didn’t actually know we had a rivalry with Michigan until this game so…there’s no bad blood for me)

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 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: Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore

Skirt: Abercrombie

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!

September 30, 2017 – The Fighting Asian (OOTD #125)

Look! It’s a Friday blog and it’s going up on time because I didn’t take an four hour nap after classes were over!

Last Saturday was the first game day we’ve had at home for a few weeks, so as you might guess, people were pretty excited – even me, The Social Recluse ™ herself. I still haven’t figured out tailgating, or post-victory partying, or even apparently what things you’re allowed to bring into the dumb stadium (fun fact: metal water bottles are a no), but I like to think I’ve figured out game day fashion.

If nothing else, at the very least I can now show up to a game dressed like a proper Notre Dame fan, I can say the correct chants, and I can sway and sing the Alma Mater at the end. Still haven’t tried crowd pushups though. Guess that’s the next thing to cross off the list.

Another thing to cross off the to-do list should probably also be “find more ND apparel,” because I’m running out of ways to wear the same two shirts. I have this scarf now, which changes things up a bit, but I’m always happy to buy more clothes.

Whoa, a fashion blogger who likes to buy clothes, what a novel idea.

One of the nice things about Notre Dame is that we have a wide range of school colors to choose from. Our official colors are blue and gold, but green is often thrown in there because we’re the Fighting Irish (hence the title, the Fighting Asian). Thus, when making football day outfits, I have a whole range of appropriate blues to choose from, from a bright royal blue to navy, a whole range of gold-tones, from metallic gold to tan to yellow, and a range of greens, from dark emerald to a bright leprechaun shade.

The only downside to that is that the student section doesn’t usually look very cohesive (the exception being the first home game, when we all wear The Shirt), because you have  people dressed in a whole rainbow of variations on the same three colors. And as far as I know, we never have something like a “Blackout” or a “Whiteout”  (well, how could we, considering that we don’t have black or white in our color scheme at all – but you know what I mean), so I guess the ND section is doomed to look like a mishmash of colors. Not that I mind – it’s more fun to have the variation, if you ask me.

Notre Dame also gets kudos for having a very easy color palette to work with. Navy and camel? That’s a classic combination; you can’t mess it up. Unlike other schools I looked at (*cough cough* a hideous orange and black for Princeton), Notre Dame colors are  highly versatile and yet still consistently classy. Plus, we have some really good sports teams, so it’s actually worth it to go out to games decked out in the school colors.

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!

Turtleneck: Forever21

Skirt: J. Crew

Scarf: Notre Dame bookstore

September 29, 2017 – Feeling Witchy (OOTD #124)

Wow, okay, I love this dress.

If I remember correctly, I purchased it from Altar’d State  in one of their after-Christmas-Thanksgiving-Independence Day sales. Actually, I think I found it in a lone size medium first, misplaced in the size small section. I really liked it, but I knew it wouldn’t fit, so I sadly put it back – only to find the same dress in a size small misplaced in the size medium section. Isn’t it nice how life turns out sometimes?

My only complaint is that it’s not the most versatile dress in my wardrobe – I can really only wear it by itself. Sure, I can add accessories – different shoes, different jewelry, etc. – but due to its billowy structure, I can’t really layer it under or over any shirts or jackets. This makes making outfits out of it very simple, but at the same time, kind-of boring.

Not to repeat myself for the 3432nd time, but I really like layering. 

Though it’s not the most versatile in its wearability, I do find it very versatile for different seasons and styles. In the summer and spring, it makes for a nice boho gypsy look, with tousled hair and tons of jewelry. In the fall and winter, it can lean for a more witchy, boho goth look, with boots and tights.

In this styling, I didn’t fully commit to either the summer or the fall version of this dress – kind of like how the weather here hasn’t committed to summer or fall yet. The hair screams summer music festival; the boots scream fall festival.

A more snobbish fashion devotee may call that inconsistency; I call it versatility.

You know what else I love? This photo location outside of SDH with nice red flowers. I’ve used it once before, so I’m trying not to overuse it, but it’s just such a lovely backdrop. The plants both frame the photo nicely and add a pop of color against the plain brick, and I wish there were more photo locations like this on campus.

I’ll close this blog with a picture of some of my friends and me at an Applebee’s off campus. One of my friend’s parents were visiting for a football game, so they offered to take us all out for a meal. Better than the food itself and even the company I ate with was getting off campus – ND is kind of in the middle of nowhere, and unless you have a car, you’re kind-of stranded on campus. It was nice to remember that there’s a world outside of here.

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!

Dress: Altar’d State

September 28, 2017 – #Artsy (OOTD #123)

I’d just like to let you know that as I’m sitting here writing this blog, I’m listening to a YouTube video called “the music of memes,” so that’s where the money my parents are spending on my tuition is going.

Anyway, other than getting distracted and wasting my life on the Internet, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently reading. I think that’s about the only kind of homework I receive anymore. I can’t decide if I like this development or not – in one sense, it’s nice not never having to pull out my hair over math problems or chemistry formulas. In other sense, it’s kind of quiet and boring spending so much time in isolation looking at words on a page.

What I probably miss most deeply though is having an art class. I wanted to be placed in one this semester, but it didn’t work out into my schedule. At first, I didn’t think I would even notice the absence – in fact, at the end of high school, I felt like I was getting kind-of burnt out on art classes, and that I needed a break from them.

But alas, I was wrong. Without question, I need art in my life. I mean, it’s not like I’m dying or anything, and it’s also not like I am completely without it either –  I do like to doodle a little in boring lecture classes – but I can definitely feel its absence.

Notre Dame’s a lovely school, full of brilliant and talented people, but for whatever reason, it’s kind-of lacking in art kids. I discussed this issue a little in a previous blog, in which I was the most goth kid on campus by simply wearing all-black and Wednesday Adams braids, so I’ll save you the repetition here. Let’s just say that, while I’m very happy here and wouldn’t change a thing about that, I am the teensiest bit jealous of my friends who went to large state schools where the arts programs are more prominent. 

It’s alright, though. I’ll make it into my art class next semester, and then I’ll have to find more things to complain about to fill space for these blogs. If you couldn’t tell by the My Chemical Romance t-shirt and billowy burgundy scarf, I consider myself quite the tortured soul. 

(Erm…that was meant to be sarcastic, by the way. I assume you could probably tell that, but like, just in case…)

Anyway, my video about the music of memes is over, so I guess I ought to get back to work now. 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: Forever21

Shirt: Hot Topic

September 27, 2017 – Waiting On My Growth Spurt (OOTD #122)

It is no secret – I am very short.

I’m not going to bother telling you my actual height, but suffice to say – it’s not a very big number. I’m still waiting on my miracle growth spurt to push me up into the six foot range, but something tells me I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Actually, as a kid, I never thought I was going to be short my whole life. My parents were both pretty tall, so I figured I’d grow up and eventually be of equal height to them. The problem with that logic, though? They’re white, and I’m Asian: I was adopted. And unfortunately, when you’re adopted, you don’t get any share of your parents’ genes, including their genes for height.

So alas, whomever my Asian parents were, they did not offer me any genes for height. Even with heels, I’m just barely pushing “average petite” height – without heels, I’m on the more extreme end of the short spectrum.

RIP my burgeoning career as a runway model.

Where am I going with this? I’m really not sure. Maybe I was thinking I looked I little short (ba-dum tshhhhh…) in the photos for today’s post, likely due to the way the billowy blouse is too long next to my pants, making my legs look shorter.

Eh, whatever. The colors look lovely next to each other – bright and vibrant and classy  – so I can deal with some awkward proportions. Besides, that’s what sitting poses are for! No one can tell if you’re short or not.

In other news, fall break is in a little more than two weeks, and I’m slowly becoming excited to go home. Notre Dame is wonderful, especially now that the leaves are beginning to turn, but it’ll be nice to sleep in my own bed. I want to do nothing/be a social recluse at home rather than doing nothing/being a social recluse at school.

I didn’t think there was any conceivable way I could possibly miss Kentucky, but yet…here I am, missing Kentucky. I even, in a strange way, miss the Southern accent. It used to annoy me, but I’ve gone without hearing one for so long, that it’s like I’m developing an affinity for it.

Also, if I hear one more Midwesterner call soda “pop,” I’m going to lose it.

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!

Shirt: Altar’d State

Pants: The LOFT

September 26, 2017 – Vaguely 60s (OOTD #121)

I love vintage-inspired fashion.

Take a little glance through the “vintage” tag here on this blog and you’ll see – there’s no shortage of old clothes in my wardrobe. I love the exhilaration of a hunt for a good piece in the bargain bin of a second-hand shop; alternatively, I also love the feeling of walking into a trendy vintage shop full of high-end designer items. There are so many ways to enjoy vintage clothing; there’s no “one” way of doing vintage.

Unlike, say, trendy fashion, in which there is usually has a very clear and defined method of wearing the trend, vintage fashion throws the rules out the window. You can do whatever you want, as long as you make it work.

And how does one make it work? My preference is to pair them with contemporary pieces to create a remixed look that’s stylish without being too basic. Current trends tend to borrow from history, so, given the right vintage piece, it’s no trouble at all to make it look modern.

Take this outfit, for example. This dress comes from the greatest vintage fashion market I’ve ever seen – the Brick Lane Market in Shoreditch, London. I talked about it extensively on the blog from day that I visited there, and I have been talking about it extensively ever since. I’m pretty sure I’m going to still be talking about it when I’m on my deathbed.

Anyway, the dress is vintage, but the styling is not. My bag, thigh-high socks, sunglasses, and shoes are all contemporary, and thus, the outfit doesn’t come off as a 60s costume.

For extra flair, I went for the closest thing to a 60s-inspired Bridgette Bardot ponytail that I could get without a curling iron and without teasing my hair. In other words – it was a pretty sad excuse for a Bridgette Bardot ponytail, but it’s the best I could do. Do I get my participation medal now?

TL; DR: Vintage pieces are such a great way to stand out from the standard fashion trends, while still being stylish. I like them and you should too.

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!

Dress: Vintage

September 23, 2017 – How Do You Like Them Apples? (OOTD #120)

You know…I have absolutely no idea what that references.

Obviously, I’m sitting here in front of a computer, so I could totally look it up and solve the mystery (well, the mystery to me anyway), but I don’t really feel like it. It kind of spoils the magic of the thing. Ignorance is bliss, as they say…though I’m pretty sure that’s not how that saying usually is usually meant…

Anyway, I’m back with the photos that I wasn’t able to post on Friday! For a more detailed description of the conundrum, you can read my post from a few days ago, but the short version is that I had to post my outfit from September 25 before my outfit from September 23 because I hadn’t received the Sept 23 photos from the photographer yet. That’s all behind us now, though – on to the description of my apple-picking adventures.

As I mentioned in the Saturday Musings + Coffee post from September 23, I went out with a group of girls from my residence hall to pick apples at a local farm. And you know what? It was absolutely heavenly.

Okay…well…maybe it not. It was swelteringly hot, and that kind of ruined the “heavenly” effect, but it was still a lot of fun, especially considering that September 23 was actually the second day of fall. And what better place to spend the beginning of fall than a farm?

Maybe a farm with air conditioning, but that’s beside the point.

It wasn’t a huge farm, not like the kinds I’m used to in Kentucky, but it was charming anyway. As far as I could tell, they had a couple of rows of apple trees, some grape vines, and maybe some other fruits that weren’t currently in season. No pumpkin patch, corn maze, or hay rides, unfortunately. Guess I’ll have to wait for fall break when I’m back in Lexington for that.

But what they did have in abundance were good photo-taking opportunities, and you can bet that I took advantage of as many of those as possible. My roommate, Mariana (in the orange dress next to me in the second photo below) had her DSLR camera with her, meaning I was bothering her every three minutes to take pictures of me. I think she was perhaps more interested in taking pictures of the scenery and the plants…but she was still willing to indulge my narcissism every once in a while, and for that I’m grateful.

I’ll be sure to get her a nice Christmas present or something.

I wish we could have spent longer there, but sadly, the sun was getting higher in the sky and it was getting hotter with every passing minute. Honestly, you can probably even see the beads of sweat on my face in some of these photos. It’s okay though – it just makes me all the more excited for fall weather and for the chance to go home and do even more fall weather things.

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: Lilly Pulitzer

Top: ASOS

Shorts: PacSun

Photo creds: Mariana and her lovely DSLR camera

Saturday Musings + Coffee – First Pumpkin Spice of the Season

Call me basic, but there’s nothing more I love in the fall season than a good pumpkin spice coffee.

I distinctly remember the first time I ever got one – I was a freshman in high school, and I had just started using Twitter. I had followed one of those “Basic White Girl” humor accounts, and I started seeing a lot of mentions to the mythical pumpkin spice latte. At that time, I wasn’t a huge coffee drinker, but I liked it well enough, so, one day when I was out with my parents in early fall, hitting up some neighborhood yard sales, I decided to stop in Starbucks and give one a shot.

I even remember what I was wearing – an oversized knit sweater from Hollister, black leggings, and Uggs – that was how earth-shattering of an experience drinking this coffee was for me.

The thing is, I didn’t even like it that much. Like, it was good enough, but in terms of decadent Starbucks coffees, I still think their Christmastime salted caramel latte is 10 times better.

I think what was such a big deal to me, was that it was one of my first experiences buying into an image. I didn’t necessarily like the pumpkin spice lattes themselves, but I did like the image of a Starbucks-guzzling, PINK yoga pants-wearing, messy bun-sporting basic teenage girl. Maybe it had something to do with being a freshman in high school who was still enchanted with the concept of being in high school.

At any rate, pumpkin spice lattes have since become a staple in my fall lifestyle. I still don’t love them, but I like to have one or two before Thanksgiving rolls around.

Today, I had my first one of the season – though actually, it wasn’t a real latte…it was just a pumpkin spice-flavored black coffee from a café at Notre Dame called Waddick’s. It wasn’t quite as good as the legendary Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, but it it was half the price of  Starbucks, so it worked for me.

You know what else works for me? White backgrounds for photos. Seriously, I love them, so much so that I walked a whole extra 10 minutes after I got my coffee to the library so I could sit at a white table and take pictures of it. On the way, I picked some flower petals to add some color to my photos, and I had a nice little photoshoot right there in the library foyer. Call me extra.

Anyway, it’s probably time for me to get back to work now. We’ve got a home game tonight at five, which means that my entire evening is basically going to be consumed by football. You’d think my professors would let up on homework for football weekends, considering that this is a huge football school…but no.

Two weeks to fall break. I can do this.

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.