November 21, 2018 – Short Girl, Tall Grass (OOTD #411)

I love to get pictures in this spot at the park by my home.

If you’ve been keeping track, I’ve used this location for photos many times — here and here, for example. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the photos from the two linked blogs are definitively summer- and winter-themed. It makes sense then that this one is so fall-themed, right?

There’s something about standing in the tall grass that makes a photo look adventurous and whimsical. Throw a dramatic filter on top of that, and you’ve got a background worth a Lord of the Rings elf cosplay.

Realistically, though, I suppose I’m more of a hobbit than an elf. I’m short, lazy, and like to eat. Just call me a Baggins.

I suppose I also like the tall grass because there is no tall grass on Notre Dame’s campus. Why would there be? It’s a university campus, where everything, including the landscaping, is always neat and manicured. You hardly even see leaves on the ground in the fall.

So when I go to a park that has more “natural”-looking landscaping, even if it is only a little patch of unmowed grass around a small wetland, it’s a welcome sight. It’s little things like that that I hardly notice that I miss when I’m at school, but that I realize I really appreciate when I go home.

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. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Target

Sweater: Vintage (thrifted: Street Scene Vintage)

Shoes: Target

November 14, 2018 – Darker Days (OOTD #408)

Really not a fan of this whole time change thing.

I know I’m not the only one to say this, but really — what’s the point of daylight savings anymore? Contrary to Thomas Jefferson’s vision, we are not a nation of independent farmers, and we haven’t been for well over a hundred years. I’m open to the idea that there are many professions out there still that rely upon the sun to determine their hours, but their numbers are comparatively few to what they used to be. I feel like we could scrap daylight savings and still function pretty well as a society.

I like the extra hour of sleep that I get in November, but I don’t like how dark it gets and so early. I took a nap today at 5pm, and when I woke up at 7:30pm, it was pitch black. It made me wonder if I’d accidentally slept for too long and it was now like, midnight.

Additionally, I volunteer at the homeless shelter in the evenings, and I take the bus to get there. Before the time change, I had no problem walking to the stop after my shift ended at 6pm, but now that it’s dark so early, I feel a little less safe walking through that part of town at night.

Perhaps the worst offense to me, though, is how the time difference affects my ability to get OOTD pics in the evening. I used to rely upon getting dinner with friends at 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays as my opportunity to ask someone to get pictures for me. Up until daylight savings, this worked perfectly for me. Now though, I wind up with dark pics like this — not bad, per se, especially with editing, but not really what I’m going for either. I’m a fashion blog, I want people to see my clothes. It’s difficult to do that when the only light in a photo is a street lamp and my iPhone flash.

Is #firstworldproblems still a thing? If it’s not, it should be. It’s consistently relevant to my life.

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 PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Forever21

Skirt: The LOFT

Hat: Target

October 30, 2018 – Pre-Halloween (OOTD #400)

The day? Halloween. The socks? Spooky.

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the day? halloween. the socks? spooky.

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I know I’m really behind with these OOTD posts (it being late November and I’m just now posting a blog for Halloween) but I’m hoping to get a little more caught up soon. I haven’t been taking pictures necessarily every day recently in anticipation of catching up, so hopefully, if I keep on posting blogs everyday, I’ll eventually get a little less behind.

Anyway, I know this is late, but happy Halloween! I have two Halloween-themed outfits for you: this one and tomorrow’s. Like last year’s Halloween outfits, the October 30 outfit is colorful and features the ghost socks and the October 31 outfit is black and sparkly. The black sparkly one will be tomorrow’s post.

I’ve had these socks for ages, since maybe 6th grade. I think my mother got them for me from Target. I didn’t wear them much back then because I thought they looked too childish, but now that I’m older, I realize that I was being stupid. These are lovely socks.

It’s not like I have a lot of other Halloween pieces to wear, anyway. Everyone has Christmas sweaters but no one has Halloween sweaters. Since I don’t really go out and get dressed up anymore, I’ve got to celebrate Halloween with some kind of festive fashion, even if I can’t do a costume and trick or treating anymore.

I really do miss trick or treating. Now, all anyone my age does is go out and party. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I wish we could party and trick or treat. I don’t miss the candy, but I miss going out and walking around at night and seeing all the decorations.

Notre Dame doesn’t decorate for Halloween. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to, but with all that gothic architecture…it’s definitely a missed opportunity. Can you imagine a giant spiderweb draped across Touchdown Jesus? Seriously Father Jenkins…get on that.

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. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Hollister

Top: Hot Topic

Skirt: Forever21

Socks: Target

September 17, 2018 – Transition Fashion (OOTD #377)

It feels weird tagging this with “fall” when it looks so much like a summer outfit.

I guess the colors are kind-of fall. Otherwise though, my bare shoulders and bare legs give away how warm it was.

South Bend weather is weird — it goes from boiling hot to freezing cold within a few days, and then back again. I don’t mind, actually, except for the fact that the sudden transition dries my skin out really badly. It’s just a little weird trying to figure out how to dress.

The sudden transitions are excellent for making the leaves change colors, though, or so I’ve heard. I don’t understand the science behind it, but apparently, warm days and cold nights make for beautiful fall colors.

This is my favorite time of year in South Bend. The summers are too humid, the winters are too long, and the springs are too short, but the falls are legitimately amazing. For all of the times I’ve complained about the Midwest — the accents, the wind, the miles and miles of cornfields — I do love the autumn season.

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: Target

Skirt: Target

August 24, 2018 – Upon the Football Field (OOTD #357)

Whoops, looks like I did that thing again where I accidentally posted my blogs out of order.

It’s a rare occurrence (sarcasm), but sometimes, I do make mistakes with this whole blogging thing — skipping posts, posting things out of order, not posting for days on end, etc. Thankfully, due to the fact that I am a 99.9% perfect creature, these mistakes are relatively rare. This just happens to be part of that .1% of times where I’m flawed.

Of course, I’m kidding — I make loads of mistakes with blogging. It’s a hobby of mine, not a profession, so I don’t feel the need to apply my normal perfectionistic eye to every post. My following is relatively small, so there’s no one there to see if I fail — which is just the right kind of low pressure environment that I love.

The tl;dr of it all — I posted August 26’s blog before August 24’s. Sue me.

August 24 was actually a pretty fun day. Classes had just begun, I wasn’t swimming in homework like I feel like I am now, and I could kind of just enjoy being on a college campus without the stress of actual college. It was the first Friday of the school year, and, as is tradition, there was a showing of the film Rudy on the football field.

I mostly just went for the opportunity to take photos on the football field. I mean, I’ve seen Rudy before — I even saw it last year as a part of the same Friday Flicks series. I can see Rudy whenever I want, but this is is the only time during the year where I’m actually able to walk out onto the football field. Honestly, maybe it’s just the rarity of the opportunity that makes it exciting for me. Otherwise, it’s just a football field.

Don’t let anyone know that I think it’s just a football field though — I don’t need the Notre Dame secret police catching me and getting me expelled. Rumor has it, Father Jenkins has ears everywhere.

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 Potre Lame. 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: Target

Bralette: Aerie

Pants: American Eagle

July 8, 2018 – Getting Edgy (OOTD #325)

I bet my mother about had a heart attack when she saw these photos.

As much as I generally don’t mind heights and don’t mind climbing to the top of slightly sketchy perches, I would not have actually done so if it were actually as dangerous as these photos make it look. While my friends did once tell me I was probably the most likely person they knew to die while trying to get a selfie, I do actually care somewhat for my physical wellbeing.

So rest assured, I’m actually safer here than I look — there’s a ledge not far below the rock I’m sitting atop, and then the cliff below. It was still pretty scary looking down though.

So why am sitting on a rock in the mountains, seemingly perched on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley? Believe it or not, I did not actually climb all the way up here just for a rock and some pretty views — it was actually a temple to the Hindu goddess Kali that I had in mind.

One of the very first excursions I went on while in Nepal was to the “1000 steps temple,” which I never actually ended up reaching on account of the sun going down and our legs getting tired. Instead, about 250 steps up, we stopped to see to pay a visit to the giant gold Buddha, and then, satisfied with what we had seen, turned around and went back.

This time, we decided to go the rest of the way and finally see what was at the top of those 1000 steps. It was literally about 45 minutes of climbing, but finally, the steps ended and we were greeted with the infamous 1000 steps temple.

And you know what? It was pretty lame. I’ve seen plenty of religious structures so far while I’ve been in Nepal — mosques, stupas, temples, shrines — and pretty much all of them have been exciting experiences for me in one way or another, either because of the architecture of the buildings themselves or the beauty of the rituals performed there.

The Kali temple, however, was no architectural marvel, and there were few people there to actually observe doing anything. In fact, I think the only people we saw there were tourists.

In fairness, we were unable to visit part of the actual structure due to damage that had been caused by a bad earthquake a few years back, so perhaps that would

If the temple itself was relatively uninteresting, the views we saw there at the top of that mountain were the exact opposite. Nepal, and in particular, the Kathmandu Valley, is full of spectacular mountain views. I’m actually surprised I’m not tired of them by now with how often I see them. The sight of the cloudy hills never gets old, though.

June 28, 2018 – Departures (OOTD #315)

This is it, guys! I’m out of the country!

After months of anticipation, I’m finally headed off to Kathmandu, Nepal in order to attend an Islamic theology and interfaith dialogue conference.

I guess I haven’t ever fully given the story of how or why I’m going to Nepal, so let’s go back a little allow me to explain. I’m a part of the International Peace Studies program at Notre Dame, and a part of that is getting a listserv email every week of announcements that I mostly don’t care about. In fact, very rarely do I actually read the Peace Studies emails because I get so many emails from various departments and clubs at Notre Dame that it’s impossible to read them all.

But for some reason, one day back in late February, I decided to actually read an email, and a particular headline caught my eye — “Spend two weeks in Nepal this summer!” Spend two weeks in a foreign country? Sounds like fun, I thought.

I wasn’t really clear on what on earth I’d actually be doing, to be honest — at first, all I was primarily interested in was the opportunity to travel. I figured if I also had the opportunity to learn something or contribute to a research project that would add to my peace studies experience, that would be great too.

So I submitted my application, got an interview (which, by the way, was low-key the best interview I’ve given in my life — you can check out the OOTD from it there), and was somehow actually accepted to the program.

Then it was time to actually figure out more clearly what I would be doing in Nepal, so I could more clearly explain to people who asked the purpose (beyond being a tourist) of my trip.

I guess that sounds bad — shouldn’t I have been more clear on what I was doing before I accepted the trip to Nepal? The truth was, I tried very hard to understand the project, but  even after reading the application several times, asking questions during my interview, and reading about Madrasa Discourses on their website, I still wasn’t clear.

What I’ve gathered at this point is that I’m to attend workshops alongside madrasa-educated South Asian and African grad students on topics like philosophy, theology, feminism, and peacebuilding. My purpose will be to contribute to these students’ discussions and offer the American perspective — not necessarily to assert that it is necessarily correct, but to offer it for them to mill over. Through these discussions, I believe the head professor, Dr. Ebrahim Moosa (a madrasa-educated man himself) hopes to contribute to these scholars’ understandings about Islam and modernity, helping to strike a balance between their traditional religious beliefs and the contemporary beliefs of 21st century society.

But anyway, that’s for me to see when I get to Nepal. Until then, my focus is getting from airport to airport without missing any flights. More travel updates to come!

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: Banana Republic

Pants: Target

June 15, 2018 – Let’s Go Down to the Tennis Court (OOTD #303)

…and talk it out like yeah?

IMG_0605.jpeg

I absolutely had to Google the lyrics to that (“Tennis Court” by Lorde, by the way) because I haven’t heard that song since like, 2014 when I was a freshman in high school. Freshman me probably would have been ashamed that I didn’t remember it, but what can I say? It’s been years since “Tennis Court” frequented pop radio, and it’s been even more years since I regularly listen to pop radio.IMG_0591.jpeg

I had a brief Lorde phase after “Royals” came out when I would listen to the whole of Pure Heroine almost everyday while I did my Algebra II homework; it was a good studying album. I still really like a few of the songs, like “Love Club” and “Buzzcut Season,” and leave them in my Apple Music’s shuffle rotation. Melodrama was also a solid album, and also made for good studying music.

I’ve always wanted to do a proper tennis court photoshoot, but this impromptu one that mom did for me as we walked the dog through the park will have to do for now, at least until I’m back in the US. You’ll have to excuse the slightly messy hair texture — like I said, I was out walking the dog with my mom, and it was pretty warm out.IMG_0604.jpegIMG_0609.jpeg

I keep a Pinterest board for Instagram ideas, where I’ve seen a lot of really cute tennis court fashion photography that really cleverly uses the vibrant colors of the court as a background. Maybe once I get back to the US, I’ll drag Amanda out and make her take pictures with me.IMG_0596.jpeg

In more exciting news, I arrived in Nepal a few hours ago! In else exciting news, I won’t go into much detail with the Nepal adventures now because I’m sure I’ll have a full blog dedicated to that later this month. Rest assured, after 27 hours of traveling, I made it!IMG_0587.jpeg

The jet lag is beginning to kick in though, so I think I ought to try to get some sleep. It’s about 5:30 AM here, and while I got a little sleep earlier in the night, it really wasn’t as much as I should have gotten. Whoops.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Sweater: Target

Top: Pitaya

Jeans: American Eagle 9thr

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

March 30, 2018 – This Isn’t Chicago (OOTD #258)

As much as I’ve complained about Catholic school’s somewhat restrictive practices, especially during gLent, I must say I do appreciate things like getting off for Easter Break.

I’ve always gone to public school, so Easter weekend or Good Friday have never warranted a break from school. Actually, I do have this vague memory of, back when I lived in Louisville, there being a vote in the school board about whether we should have off for Oaks Day (a big horse race at Churchill Downs right before the Derby) or Good Friday, and they chose Oaks.

So it was a treat to get off a few days for Easter. A lot of my friends went home, but it didn’t really seem like it was going to be worth the time and money for me to fly back to Kentucky, so I just hung out on campus.

My original plan was to try to go into Chicago — there’s a train that goes in every two hours from the South Bend Airport for only $12, and the trip is only about two hours (one hour if you account for the time difference!). I thought it would be a fun little weekend getaway to a real city and a way to get away from the Notre Dame bubble.

I didn’t want to go alone though, and I didn’t have any friends who were willing or able to join me. Sadly, it looks like I am not going to make it into Chicago until perhaps after the semester is over — so I’m looking at maybe trying to go for a day when my parents come in to help me move out. Parents: if you’re reading this, which I know you are, you should take note of that 😜

Instead of getting out of town for Easter Break, I had a friend suggest a trip to the Mishawaka Mall, only about 20 minutes by bus away from campus. It wasn’t Chicago like I’d hoped, but it was off campus — and that’s really what I was craving.

It turned into a little bit of an adventure when we wound up taking the wrong bus and going to downtown South Bend instead of Mishawka and getting stranded at the bus station for 30 minutes until another bus could take us the other direction. It was fun though because it was something other than Notre Dame.

I got my pictures done at the mall nearby the Easter Bunny setup. Why is there no Easter Bunny in these shots then? Because this is actually the opposite side of the setup — the Easter Bunny is sitting in a chair directly opposite where I’m standing here. I didn’t have the time to wait in line or the money to pay to get my picture done with a guy in a fur suit, so I figured I’d cheat a little and still use the same background.

Anyway, I’ve got an exam to study for for tomorrow, so it’s time for me to wrap this up. That’s 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, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Dress: Vintage (thrift)

Top: Target

Hat: Kohl’s (I think? I’ve had this guy for ages — since I was maybe 10. One of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe anyway!)