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

March 9, 2019 – A Slytherin in Cincinnati (OOTD #468)

A big shout out to Cincinnati for being grey and rainy the day I wanted to take pictures of its skyline.

I don’t go into Cincinnati much, despite the fact that it’s the closest (major?) city to me in Lexington, beside Louisville. I actually go into Louisville way more, as my grandmother lives there and it’s where I grew up. Cincinnati is just a place that sort-of exists on the edge of my consciousness, one of those places I recognize exists but I hardly ever think about it.

One of my best friends, Jane, actually lives in Cincinnati, though, so it’s slowly becoming more relevant to me. I stopped by her apartment to visit last winter after I came home from Qatar/France, though unfortunately, I was too sick to really do anything. All I really felt well enough to do when I visited her last was lay in bed and sleep, so I wanted to make it up to her with another short visit.

As it turned out, on my way back to Lexington from Notre Dame, my flight went through Cincinnati. Instead of just driving home after I got in, my parents and I decided to meet my friend for lunch.

I still want to go back and visit Jane properly again sometime so we can actually spend more than an hour together while I’m not spaced out on cold medicine. Maybe I’ll visit her this summer, if I’m able to make space between my various travel experiences — and if I’m not too exhausted in the space between my various travel experiences.

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!


Hat and Scarf: Harry Potter store

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted, Foxhouse Vintage)

Sweater: American Eagle

Jeans: Abercrombie (thrifted)

 

REVIEW: L’Oreal EverPure Repair & Defend Hair Care

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Hey look, it’s another Influenster VoxBox review.

Influenster seems to like sending me haircare products. I’m pretty sure that one of the very first products they ever sent me back when I first signed up was some purple hair dye from Clairol. Maybe they recognize how damaged it is after I bleached the hell out of it in high school. And then again right before sophomore year of college.

I’ve written extensively on my life as a blonde Asian, but a huge part of that life is trying to keep my hair from falling out again like it did at the beginning of freshman year, resulting in a pixie cut that made me look like Arya Stark when she was masquerading as a boy. I’m still trying to grow my hair back again. I’m glad that phase of my life is over — in terms of hair, I consider myself more of a Daenerys than an Arya.

Now that I’m in the process of growing my hair back again, while maintaining the bleach blonde color, I’m on the constant lookout for products that will both keep my hair healthy and protect its color. The L’Oreal EverPure Repair and Defend shampoo and conditioner set promises to do just that.

So after testing it out for a few weeks, do I think it lives up to its promises?

Eh…well enough, I guess. Ultimately, I don’t think I’ll be making a permanent switch of my normal routine of Clairol Shimmer Lights and Aussie Three Minute Miracle.

The thing is, with my bleach blonde hair, I don’t need my shampoo to “lock in” the color of a dye that’s been put on top of my hair; I need it to add a toning shade to prevent it from getting brassy. I don’t actually dye my hair — that is, I don’t put dye on top of it. I bleach it, and then I tone it, which is a different from dyeing.

I think this product is meant to prevent dye from fading, which is not something I struggle with because my hair has not been dyed. That’s why I like the Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo — it’s a deep purple, so when I layer it on top of my base color of a yellowish bleach blonde color, it neutralizes the yellows and makes it look like a more natural ash blonde. Complimentary colors and all that jazz.

The conditioner is alright, but nothing special. I do find that my hair seems to be getting greasier faster than usual in the time I’ve been using this product, but that could also be the change of season. I do find it questionable though that a regular conditioner that’s meant for daily use makes my hair greasier faster than the deep conditioner I normally use; it seems like if anything, the L’Oreal conditioner should be lighter and make my hair less greasy than the Aussie one.

I appreciate that I had the chance to try these products, and maybe they could work for someone with different hair. Like I said, if you actually dye your hair and want to prevent fading, then perhaps this product is for you. But for me, whose concerns are not so much fading but rather toning, I just don’t think I was the right person this time. Sorry Influenster.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite shampoos and conditioners for color-damaged hair? Let me know your thoughts 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!

 

 

May 12, 2018 – Chicagoing (OOTD #282)

I finally made it into the city!IMG_0498.jpeg

Actually, this is my second time making it in since the beginning of the school year — my first time was a few weeks ago with the Taiwanese Student Association on a field trip to Chinatown. Chinatown’s sort of on the outskirts of the city though, so this was my first time making it into the heart of things.IMG_0517.jpeg

I’ve been to Chicago a few times before as a kid, but it’s been a really long time, and honestly all I remember about my previous trips is that I popped my ears on the elevator up to the Sears Tower, which ended up aggravating an ear infection that  I didn’t know I had.  IMG_0534.jpeg

This time, though, I got to see some of the touristy things I’ve been wanting to see for the whole year I’ve been at Notre Dame, an hour and a half away — the Bean, the Art Institute, Navy Pier, and basically just the city in general.IMG_0539.jpeg

I love cities, and I wish Notre Dame could be moved just a little further north so that we could have easier access to Chicago. As it is though, I’m a two hour train ride away from anything, which makes going into the city not really worth it most of the time. To be honest, though, a ten minute Uber drive into South Bend isn’t really worth it either. IMG_0530.jpegIMG_0548.JPG

As this was my first time in Chicago for a long time, it was in many ways, kind of like my first time. I had something of an idea of what it’d be like, since I know what cities are like, but each city has its own unique identity and feeling when you’re there. My personal favorite is New York, though I rather like Philadelphia as well.IMG_0508.jpeg

IMG_0502.jpegI don’t know, I didn’t love Chicago. I loved the Art Institute, and the Bean was very cool (and I appreciate the sense of humor of Chicagoans to be able to turn the Bean into a meme), but I didn’t love the atmosphere in the same way I love the atmosphere of New York. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is cool, but I don’t think I could see myself being one of those people who live in the suburbs and identify themselves to other Chicagoans by what neighborhood they’re from.IMG_0557.JPG

IMG_0558.JPGBesides, I heard way too many nasally Chicago accents at Notre Dame. I almost adopted one myself there for a while. I don’t think I could handle being surrounded by them 24/7 — no offense to you people with Chicago accents out there.IMG_0567.JPG

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!IMG_0520.jpeg

Top: Akira

Jacket: The art classroom after it had been sitting there unclaimed all semester

Jeans: Hollister

May 8, 2018 – Not Oscar de la Renta, Sadly (OOTD #280)

Get it? Because Oscar de la Renta is an expensive designer and my shirt says “Oscar?”

In my last post about this shirt about a year ago, I talked about its origins and the reasons why I owned a work shirt that labeled me as Oscar of S.B Cox Demolition and Construction Services, even though I don’t know anyone named Oscar and I am (obviously) not Oscar myself. If you’d like to read more about that, definitely go check that out.

These photos were, believe it or not, taken at 3:50AM in the morning. I think I look quite decent for so early, though.

The story here is that I was working on a paper late at night in the library after having had a late start that morning (or rather…a late start in the afternoon. Pretty sure I didn’t start doing anything productive until like 3PM ). As often happens with me, I fell asleep while working, and only woke up from my uncomfortable slumber at a 9th floor library desk at 3:00AM.

I’ve done this a few times before, and it’s really not my favorite. I have nothing against working late at the library, but sleeping at the desks is awful. It’s definitely not something I ever do intentionally.

Normally, I would have taken waking up with a back ache on the ninth floor of the library in the middle of the night as a cue to head home, but I still looked cute from the day, so I decided to stop by the art building and do some pictures really quickly first.

I was pretty tired at the point, so I didn’t hang around any longer like I usually do. It was cold, I was sleepy, and I had an exam the next morning (don’t worry — it was an easy one, so staying up late didn’t hurt me much). Hooray for good study habits!

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!

Shirt and skirt: thrifted

May 7, 2018 – On The First Day of Finals (OOTD #280)

My university gave to me…a week full of anxiety!

I hope I haven’t used that as an opening/blog title before. I know I definitely used it as a caption last year around Christmastime at winter finals, but I don’t think I’ve used it in a real blog. Apologies if I have.

Anyway, these shots are from the first day of finals week for spring semester, and I must say — this set was definitely worse than last. Last semester, I had a nice balance of papers and exams, and the only major term paper I had was due before finals even began, so I had plenty of time to prepare and even relax a little before dipping for the semester.

Not so much this time — I had plenty of stuff due before finals week, and then even more due during finals week. It was no fun.

I may look sunny and cheery here, but I definitely was not on that Monday. I had nothing due that day, and no exams to sit for, but an obscene amount of work to do. I spent all day in the basement of the student center, which is about as soul sucking as any location at ND is.

Add on the fact that everyone there was also preparing for finals, and it was even more soul sucking than usual.

I ended up hanging out in the basement for 9 hours. I am never doing that again. I was with a friend, so I kind of felt pressured to sit there in that booth for hour after hour, but like I said, it was awful. I like to move around a lot while I work and take breaks to stretch my legs, but I pretty much just sat there the whole time. I got some good work done, but it honestly wasn’t worth the headache.

#neveragain

jacket: Ralph Lauren

Top: H&M

Shorts: H&M

May 6, 2018 – Notre Dome (OOTD #279)

More Dome pics!

What’s Notre Dame without the Dome, anyway? Are you even a Notre Dame student if you don’t take an obscene amount of photos in front of Main Building?

I think just about every ND student gets these same shots of their friends and them in front of the Golden Dome at some point. It’s a pretty standard shot; I’m pretty sure a month (maybe even a week) doesn’t go by where I don’t come across some Dome pictures on my feed from some friend or some friend of a friend.

For as many pretty buildings as there are on Notre Dame’s campus, you’d think people would get a little more creative with their cute friend Instagram pics — but they don’t. It’s the Dome or nothing.

I guess my friends and I are no different then — so here are my Dome pics (well, the second set). Call me generic.

I did get some fun shots inside of the math building though in front of this globe, which I
never knew existed because I never went into the math building once because I never had to take a math class (hooray for getting a 5 on AP Calculus!).

Apparently I should have gone into the math building though, because it has this super cool globe room (I have no idea what the architectural term would be for this room — like, a big open foyer with a tall ceiling but in the middle of the building? Is there a word for that?). Apparently all of my friends had seen it already (because they had classes in the math building and so they passed a lot), but like I said, I’d never seen it before.

I got excited to see something new, at any rate, which made me think — how many other cool rooms are there throughout campus that I just haven’t seen because I haven’t had a reason to go into them? I guess that’s a mystery to solve over my next three years.

In the meantime, though, it’s good to be at the end of the school year. Those unseen buildings and rooms shall have to be explored another time.

Anyway, 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!

Shirt: Zara

Dress: American Eagle

May 2, 2018 – Suddenly Spring (OOTD #278)

I had expressed back in mid April when the temperatures in South Bend were still hitting freezing (freezing! In April!) that I was afraid I might completely miss the spring flowers at Notre Dame, but thankfully, I was wrong!

I’ve never seen foliage come back to life so quickly! Back in Kentucky, the coming of spring is a slow process — first, you have a couple of warm days in early March to get you excited; then, the first trees begin showing buds; then, finally, the home/garden stores start opening up their greenhouse sections and you know that spring is in full swing. The whole process takes about a month.

In South Bend, though, spring came in about a week. One week, it was cold, rainy, and freezing; the next, the flowers were blooming and we were hitting 60 consistently.

It’s been a jarring transition, but one I don’t wholly mind making. I loved winter in South Bend, even with the cold and the snow, but I’m glad it’s still over. I want my winter to end in mid-March (you know, the whole “in like a lion” proverb), not mid-April.

To celebrate the start of spring (and the last full day of classes!), I wore my springiest outfit. It reminded me of something Southern and preppy, like what I might wear back in Kentucky. There’s not a lot of Southern prep going on at Notre Dame, for better or for worse. While it’s not my favorite style ever, I don’t mind it every now and again.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer

Shirt: Altar’d State

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Lex Vegas

It’s pretty sure I’ve only heard anyone refer to Lexington, KY as “Lex Vegas” like once total in my time living here, but I like it and I’ve been using it ever since.

This was my first full weekend here back home, since I spent the weekend after I moved out visiting Chicago. It was fairly quiet, though not boring — just how I like it.

I spent the Saturday morning visiting some local yard sales with my mother, which is something that never fails to amuse me. I don’t have to buy anything at all to have fun; I just like the hunt. It’s the same way with thrift stores. There’s something really enjoyable about picking through other people’s junk and feeling like you need to wash your hands after examining some dusty old appliances.

This time though, I did find some nice things to buy. I got a parsley plant (yay more plants!), some pots, and a few band shirts. Not that those were anything that I actually needed, and not that they would’ve been expensive to buy new, but getting them used meant it was only like $3 total.

In the afternoon, I got to see Amanda, whom I hadn’t seen since spring break in March. We got lunch, got some cute photos (stay tuned for those in the upcoming days!), got coffee, walked around the park, and in the evening, watched a movie in and ordered Chinese.

Again, it was quiet, but not boring. It was wild not having any homework to distract me from enjoying myself. During the school year, it’s not like I don’t ever go out and do fun things, but I do always have responsibilities (namely homework) to worry about the whole time I’m out. No summer homework = no homework stress, and that’s something I can definitely appreciate.

May 1, 2018 – Pop Punkish (OOTD #277)

One of these days, I’m going to accidentally miscount these OOTD numbers and I’ll never notice because I never check.

I love fashion because I can go from feminine and soft one day to punkish the next. I don’t really have any claim to the title of a real punk person, but I like the aesthetic.

I’m pop punk, if you will — an easily digestible and more mainstream version of the real culture.

For as much as I like my punkish fashion and my pop punk music, I’ve never really gotten into a real punk scene. Maybe it’s because there really wasn’t one in Kentucky — and there certainly isn’t one at Catholic School ™. If I was ever to shave my half of my head and participate properly in the punk renewal of the 2010s, I’d probably have to move to London where I’d feel less alone about it.

Besides, I have no tattoos. Can you really be punk without tattoos covering at least one of your appendages?

I can’t imagine having a sleeve of tattoos at Notre Dame. Not that it’s against a dress code or anything — there is none — but I would certainly be alone in that fashion statement. I’ve complained about this before, but Notre Dame students are about as vanilla as it gets, which is interesting, given how much money a lot of their families have. If they wanted to dress more interestingly, they certainly have the resources to do so, but you don’t really see anyone flaunting it in that way.

High school fashion is, in my opinion, still where it’s at. You get a nice mix of neon-haired emo kids along with the Lilly Pulitzer-wearing preps (did I just say “prep” to designate a  culture? Is this 2006 MySpace?). It’s a good, diverse environment for creative expression.

Of course, most people still just wear yoga pants and sweaters everyday…but I can’t blame them. The diversity of cultures in public school (at least in mine) was nice, but that was about it. My school was also freezing 99% of the time, and you never knew which teachers were going to be sticklers about dress code, so dressing up wasn’t always the most practical option.

Anyway, 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: River Island

Pink top: Forever21

Skirt: 

Boots: Doc Marten