February 13, 2018 – Fat Tuesday (OOTD #226)

I have never once lived somewhere where Mardi Gras was a big deal.

I wish I could say I have though — it seems like such a cool holiday, at least from what I see on television and in movies like The Princess and the Frog. I have a friend who’s at LSU who went into New Orleans for the parade, and from what I saw on her Snap stories from that holiday weekend, it looked like a ton of fun.

I did go into New Orleans once a long time ago, when I was a little kid. I think my family and I were ultimately going into Florida, but we decided to stop in New Orleans for a few days to look around. I don’t remember much of what we did on that trip, as I was still on the younger side, but a few things sick out in my memory.

I think the most memorable things were the voodoo shops peppered around the city because they absolutely terrified me. I couldn’t even look at their window displays. I think it was more the visuals, like little shrunken head trinkets, that scared me more so than the actual concept of voodoo magic.

Unfortunately, as fear is such a strong emotion, that’s mainly what I remember about New Orleans. Voodoo shops, of course, were not the only things we saw there – I remember a pretty cool Mardi Gras museum with a lot of pretty dresses from the various Mardi Gras queens, I remember getting alligator jerky somewhere in a park near water, and I remember eating some really bomb cajun food on our first night there.

Like I said, one of the days, I would really love to go into New Orleans for Mardi Gras and experience it again now that I’m adult. If anything, I’m sure the voodoo shops will fascinate me even more than ever now that I’ve developed a greater appreciation for the macabre. In the meantime, I can at least sport my purple hair with a green shirt on Mardi Gras and pretend I’m festive while stuck here in South Bend.

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!

Jacket: The LOFT

Shirt: Banana Republic

Skirt: Zara

February 6, 2018 – The Little Things (OOTD #220)

I love the way my shirt collar just barely peeks above the top of my sweater here; it’s a nice detail.

It’s just noticeable enough to make a difference in my outfit – that little touch of asymmetrical balance takes an outfit that’s pretty unexciting by itself and gives it more dimension.

I think the stripes also really help to elevate things, adding some pattern into an all-solid outfit. And then the way that the stripes run against the lines of my knit sweater…I don’t know guys, I’m just proud of myself on this one.

What I’m not so proud of is the way that I nearly wiped out in the solid 12 inches of snow  on the ground before I took these pictures. I got my friend to stand on the sidewalk with the camera, and I was just going to hop really quickly into the snow bank, get my shots, and then hop back out again.

What happened instead was that my foot got stuck in the strap of my backpack that I had tossed on the ground nearing that instead of a quick, clean jump into the snow, I ended up hopping around wildly, kicking up snow and flailing my arms in an attempt to regain my balance. Of course, this happened nearby a fairly busy sidewalk right outside of the dining hall at lunchtime so there would plenty of people who got to witness my blunder.

I kind of laughed it off, but I’m still kind of embarrassed. What is it that they say? She is beauty, she is grace…she’s about to fall on her stupid face? 

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Abercrombie

Sweater: unknown (gift)

Pants: The LOFT

Boots: LL Bean

February 4, 2018 – Fly Eagles Fly (OOTD #219)

I never thought it would happen, but here we are – the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl!

I admit, I wasn’t following them very closely at the beginning of the season (I was more preoccupied with Notre Dame’s football performance), but by Thanksgiving, I was watching every game. It helps that by Thanksgiving, Notre Dame was pretty much out of the consideration for the playoffs so…I was able to focus more of my energy onto the Eagles.

Still, I never expected them to make it so far. I’ve seen them come close a couple of times, especially  when I was a younger kid, but every time, I’ve been disappointed. I remember a particularly heartbreaking playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals when I was about nine, causing me to question if, like my father, I could perhaps wait 50 years and never see them win to the Super Bowl.

But now that’s all changed – it’s 2018, Year of the Dog, and the underdog Eagles of just won Super Bowl 52, hopefully the first of many!

I watched the Super Bowl in the lounge of my dorm, which was a little less than ideal – it was noisy and crowded, the food wasn’t nearly as good as what my mother makes for football parties, and my family wasn’t there with me. I don’t know, I don’t get homesick much, but I would have really liked to have been at home with the people who fostered my love for the Eagles when the Super Bowl win finally happened.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Hollister

Leggings: Forever21

Jersey: NFL (thrifted)

February 3, 2018 – Rose Gold (OOTD #218)

I don’t believe I’ve ever shown my dorm room on here.

Well…tada! Here it is: plain white walls, some command hooks, a radiator, and that’s all.

No, of course, my room is significantly more decorated than that – we’ve got four people living in here together. This white wall is probably the emptiest and cleanest part of the entire quad.

These shots were done in the middle of middle of the night with my phone set up against a bean bag, much like I did with these shots in an empty art room when I was unable to find anyone to do pictures for me one day.

Why did I feel the need to do these pictures at such an odd hour? It all has to do with that little faint hint of pink color in my hair. That’s the result of the Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup that was sent to me by Influenster to review.

So it was late at night on Friday, and I had the room to myself. After I finished my homework for the evening (well…my homework’s really never finished – I just eventually give up on it or pass out from exhaustion), I decided to get to work testing my product and writing my review.

I fixed my hair all nice and pretty, did my makeup, and took some selfies for my review. And then I thought – why stop there? Might as well get some OOTD photos out of this too. It’s not often that I take the time to make up my face, so when I do, I need photographic evidence to prove it actually happened, you know?

By now, it was pretty late at night – too late to reasonably ask someone to do my pictures for me. But thankfully, there was this beautifully plain white wall in my room, so I set up my phone camera and my Apple watch’s remote photo-taking features, and I had at it.

So that’s the story of the outfit I wore and photographed in the middle of the night just so that the makeup and hair look I had put together didn’t go to waste. Was it more effort than it was worth? …maybe. But at least I got a funny story to write about in this blog post.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Vintage (thrifted)

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

February 2, 2018 – Ducking Around (OOTD #217)

I call this my duck sweater because it’s fluffy and yellow like a duckling.

It also sheds all over the place like a baby bird, which is a bit of a downside.

I have a lot of nicknames for certain articles of clothing in my wardrobe – there’s my Sherlock Holmes jacket, my dragon slayer shirt, my Southern soccer mom jacket, just to name a few. I have a pretty sentimental connection to my clothes (I’m just waiting for the day when I make it onto one of those hoarding television shows), so I guess it makes sense that I would start nicknaming them like stuffed animals.

Anyway, in this outfit, I paired my duck sweater with my yellow rainbows, which made for particularly duck-like results. I don’t know, maybe it’s something in the way there’s a high contrast between the dark of my jacket and pants and the brightness of the yellow tones.

I suppose the duck-centric thinking I’m doing might also be due to the fact that the dorm I’m standing near, Howard Hall, has the mascot of a duck. It’s admittedly pretty lame in comparison to some of the other hall mascots, like the Keenan Knights, but it’s also not as bad as the PDubb Purple Weasels (seriously – purple weasels.)

I’ll leave you with this – a super cute photo of me looking behind myself to try to see if anyone’s walking by who would ruin my pictures.

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

Jacket: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT

Sweater: Forever21

January 30, 2018 – Art Student Aesthetic Squared (OOTD #214)

On Tuesday, I found myself in something of a pickle – I couldn’t find a good opportunity for someone to take pictures for me.

It’s not so much that there weren’t people I could ask – I’m always surrounded by people, so in theory, I could always just ask a random stranger – but I never found myself in a good situation to get a friend to do them for me. My typical Tuesday lunch friend was too busy to meet with me, the people I ate dinner with went too late to get good lighting, and I didn’t really feel comfortable asking someone to go out of their way to help me, so I found myself at 8pm with no outfit photos.

In that case, I decided to take my photos myself. I took my phone, my watch, and a pencil case to prop my phone against, and headed to Riley, the creepy haunted art building.

I actually had some work to do on my still life for my Drawing class, so hangout out at Riley wasn’t just for this blog. When I arrived in the drawing studio, there were still some people there, which forced me to actually focus on my art for a few hours until the people finally left.

At last, once everyone was gone and I was alone in the room – around 10pm – I was able to set up my camera on top of a drawing table, and, using my watch’s remote photo-taking feature (a true lifesaver here) to take what I consider are some decent photos, given the circumstances. I even managed to get a few shots with the depth perception on.

What I love best about these shots is the giant artwork in the background. I actually have no idea what it’s supposed to mean, or what class it was for, but it’s not a doorway or a brick wall, which means it’s totally unique in comparison to what I usually get for my photos at this school. I get some street art vibes here, actually, which, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know if my favorite kind of background.

If I ever find myself in this pickle again, I’ll definitely swing by Riley again late at night to do my pictures. Maybe I’ll even manage to get the Riley ghost in one of my shots one of these nights!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Evan Picone

Shirt: J. Crew

Sweater: Abercrombie (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

January 29, 2018 – Art Student Aesthetic (OOTD #213)

I guess I can finally consider myself an “art student.”

I never expected to be able to say that, actually – I thought for certain I was going to be done with art classes after high school.

Not done with art entirely, but certainly done with formal lessons in art a part of graded classes. I always figured I would continue it as a hobby on the side, but I was pretty burnt out by the end of high school of staying up late every night, struggling to compete the numerous art classes I was never able to take the time to develop as much as I would have liked to anyway.

But then it turned out that I missed it. I had hoped Notre Dame would at least have some sort of art club, but for whatever reason, we don’t. The visual arts don’t really have a very strong presence here, which I can kind of understand, given we’re not an art school, but they’re so nonexistent it’s a little bizarre.

They do have a very small art and design department, which, now that I’m attempting to minor in studio art, I suppose I’ve joined. I’m in a beginning drawing class right now, which, while not particularly creatively challenging, is still nice to break up some of my more writing-based academic courses.

So here’s my best attempt at embodying my newfound art student identity – plaid pants, baseball shirt, my “tattoo artist” jacket, and of course, my boyish pixie cut. It’s not the sort of look that would make it onto a “preppy fashion” Pinterest board, but I think it’s interesting nonetheless.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Zumiez

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Pants: The LOFT

January 16, 2018 – Golden Hour at the Golden Dome (OOTD #203)

Okay, so I’m technically not standing at or near the Dome here, but whatever.

As much as I appreciate the Dome for being iconic and a huge staple of campus and what the outside world imagines when they think of us, it’s kind-of weird taking photos in front of it, you know? It makes you look like an outsider to your own school, even though  I’m definitely a student here and I literal pass Main Building (super creative name, right? Our big famous building with the iconic golden dome atop it is literally just called “main building”) every day.

Instead, I take photos in front of boring locations like South Dining Hall or my own dorm building because I literally have no where else to go and it’s totally not at all awkward when people pass me posing in the middle of the sidewalk on their way to get food.

This lighting though? Amirite?

Last semester, I found myself usually forcing very kindly requesting that my friends take pictures for this blog after lunch every day, with some exceptions when I had to beg someone to take time out of their probably busy schedule and meet me somewhere to do them. This semester, or at least this semester as it’s played out so far, has turned out that I’m meeting people for dinner more often than lunch, meaning my photos have got to be done before sunset.

Today’s shots were taken pretty much literally at sunset – golden hour. It’s a little more orangey than I typically go for, but beggars can’t be choosers, so I take whatever I can get. Regardless, I do rather like the peachy, glow effect. It reminds me of the warmth of the sun that I haven’t seen since I left Kentucky and came back to the frozen cornfields of Indiana.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: vintage

Sweater: thrifted

Jeans: Abercrombie

Scarf: the LOFT

January 15, 2018 – Amelia Earhart, The Sequel (OOTD #202)

So this was a thing that happened.

A little context: my mother has a friend who’s a big Notre Dame basketball fan, actually so much so that he used to play for the team. He was headed up to Notre Dame over the weekend for the game Saturday against North Carolina, and he offered me a ride back with him.

What was fun,  though, was that he offered me a ride in an airplane. And not just a normal commercial plane – a private one, flown by his friend, a pilot.

Due to the snowy weather, our basketball fan friend decided not to go on Saturday, but he still very kindly offered to allow me to fly with his pilot friend up to South Bend on Sunday, just in time for the start of classes.

I’ve never flown in a private plane before – though I expect not many people can say they have. I did once get upgraded to first class on an international flight to London, but that’s as lavish as it’s ever gotten. I’m usually just lucky if I don’t get called out of like at the TSA security check for something stupid like having my phone in my pocket.

In many ways, the private flying experience was much nicer than flying commercially – no lines to wait in, no security checks, no accidentally going over the weight limit for your bags and having to frantically repack them in the airport. It also got me there much faster, as I didn’t have to fly to Chicago and then catch the several hour-long bus back to school. Going directly, I got from home in Lexington to campus in South Bend in like two hours.

I wouldn’t necessarily say it was super comfortable though. It was a very small plane, and with my parents and bags along for the ride, it ended up being pretty cramped. There was also no in-flight entertainment, bags of peanuts, or WiFi – it was much like a car ride.

We did get some really lovely views of the passing landscapes. It was all white and snowy, and at some point (though I don’t really know when), it transitioned from the hills of Kentucky to the flat farmlands of Indiana, which was interesting to see.

It was definitely bittersweet when we landed in South Bend because I expect I’ll never be able to afford to fly privately again.

Unless, of course, I somehow wind up fabulously rich and famous – which I suppose could still happen. 19 years and it hasn’t yet, but I still have time. I think?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Jacket: Altar’d State

Leggings: The LOFT

Boots: LL Bean

January 11, 2018 – Looks like Kentucky (OOTD #199)

When you think of Kentucky, what do you think of?

Probably some mix of horse farms, hillbillies, bourbon, coal mines, and bluegrass bands. Maybe throw in some University of Kentucky/Louisville sports for good measure?

I wouldn’t disagree with any of those descriptions, but for me, Kentucky is best represented by its small towns, which are usually less exciting than the stereotypical image- coal-mining hillbillies riding horses and drinking bourbon while bluegrass music plays in the background – would suggest.

Admittedly, I’ve never lived in a small Kentucky town, so I can’t really speak to their character, but I do like to visit them sometimes for little day trips to get out of the city. There’s usually not a lot to do, maybe some antique shops, a café, and if you’re lucky, historical site of some famous settlement or battleground or birthplace.

A few days before I went back to school, my parents and I went out to Harrodsburg and Danville KY to pass an afternoon. Like most small towns, there wasn’t a lot to do in either place, but that was sort of the point.

In Harrodsburg, there was an old pioneer settlement that had been converted into a park that we visited for an hour or two and where I did my photos. Being winter, it was pretty empty. The most exciting bit was honestly a cat that was roaming around and some friendly sheep that let us pet them.

Second most exciting was probably this cool old tree just outside the park. If I’d been wearing something other than a mini pencil skirt (which, interestingly, was ruined in the wash immediately after this trip) I would’ve climbed it more extensively because it was honestly one of the most perfect climbing-type trees I’d ever seen – knotty, twisty, and with thick branches in all the right places.

In Danville, about 20 minutes drive from Harrodsburg, we saw an old dollhouse museum, an antique shop, and got dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I don’t have any pictures from that part of the trip because the sun had started going down and the lighting made it so it wasn’t worth the effort, but it was more of the same: old buildings and old trees and old back roads.

I am not and will likely never be a country girl, but every once in a while, it’s nice.