August 13, 2019 – Interlude (OOTD #546)

Here’s the thing about independent research trips: you don’t have to do research for the whole time.

 

Or maybe you do — I don’t know, I’ve never done one before. Maybe a good researcher would spend all of their time devoted to their work. Alternatively, maybe all research trips are fake and people just go on them to travel to exotic places on their university’s budget. What do I know?

IMG_5407.jpeg

Anyway, after a whole day devoted to working on my research project on the West Bank border graffiti, I decided I deserved a break. I knew I needed to go back to the border and have a closer look at some of the graffiti, but it’s not exactly an easy task. I needed another day or two to research how even I could get back to the area safely on my own, so in the meantime, I decided to do something a little more accessible to the average tourist.

What I ultimately decided to do was visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Museum.

IMG_5427.jpeg

What I show here are not photos of me at Yad Vashem for what I think should be an obvious reason — a memorial to genocide is not the place for fashion photography. Sure, I took pictures while I was there of the exhibits, but the focus was on the exhibit, not me. As much as I like to make things about me, the Holocaust is far beyond the scope of even my narcissism.IMG_5418.jpeg

I did like my outfit though, so instead, I got some pictures with a sculpture and a nice hill overlooking the city in a nearby park.

It was a great museum though, seriously. That’s coming from me — a person who normally finds museums (except for art museums) to be dull and slow. The best part — as is the best part with a lot of museums to tragic events, such as the 9/11 Museum — were the video testimonies from people who lived through it. Diary entries and photographs and personal belongings help embellish the narrative, of course, but only the people who lived the experience can tell the story.IMG_5372.jpeg

They also did a fair job, in my opinion, from keeping the museum historical, rather than making it into it about why Zionism and a national Jewish state need to exist (though they did touch on that in the last room or two). Having just come from Palestine the previous day, I appreciated the dominantly historical approach.

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


Coat: Forever21

Dress: Vintage (thrift, Brick Lane Market)

Blouse: ASOS

 

July 31, 2019 – Off to the Races (OOTD #537)

Disclaimer: This post contains products that were received complimentary from DiscountGlasses.com. All opinions are my own.


Sometimes, I happen upon clothing in the strangest places.

Case in point: I came across these racing silks (the jacket jockeys wear when racing horses) in a bargain bin of a leather goods store’s going-out-of-business sale.

Apparently, they’d been used as a part of store decorations and promotional material during spring meets (aka, around the time of the Kentucky Derby). They also had various Christmas and Halloween decorations in the pile. With the store going out of business, there was no reason for them to keep their horse season decorations, and so they threw them in the bin to get rid of.

I of course wasn’t really in the hunt for racing silks when I entered the leather goods shop — I was looking for leather goods (specifically, for a wallet to replace the one I lost whilst in Rome). I found the wallet first, and as I was waiting for my dad to finish looking around, I came across their bargain bin holiday decorations.

I couldn’t resist the jacket, even though I admit I don’t really need more jackets. It’s just such a fun yet unobtrusive was to represent my Kentucky heritage in fashion. Who needs one of those t-shirts that says “y’all” inside the silhouette of Kentucky when you can have racing silks?

Side note: these are the exact same brand and model of glasses that I lost in France after a Tinder date gone-awry! Long story short, I had just gotten this new pair of glasses from DiscountGlasses.com as a part of a sponsorship, and so I brought them with me on my trip to Vichy, France right after Christmas. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to bring them back from my trip to Vichy, France, as I somehow lost them while I was on a walk in a park with a guy named Axel whom I’d met through Tinder.

I liked them so much that I decided to order a replacement pair. They’re the Westend Argyle Park design, and you can check them out here on DiscountGlasses.com’s website. Maybe you’d also like to bring them with you on your next trip to France.

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


Jacket: Thrifted (a local leather goods store)

Top: H&M

Shorts: American Eagle

Glasses: DiscountGlasses.com (Westend Argyle Park)

July 24, 2019 – Summer Colors, Winter Outfit (OOTD #536)

I’ve talked about this many times before on this blog, but I tend to blatantly disregard the weather when choosing my outfits.

It’s 100 degrees and humid? Time to wear a coat. It’s the middle of winter? That’s the perfect time for shorts! 

This outfit follows the pattern of the former example — it was late July, aka, the hottest time of the year in Kentucky, aka the Devil’s armpit of atmospheric conditions. Naturally, I thought a long coat and skirt was the appropriate response.img_3296

To be fair, the colors work rather well for summer, if you ask me. In aesthetic, it worked  — but not so much in execution.

It’s not like I really had to go out much that day, though. After returning from Rome, I had no other plans for the summer (save another bout of traveling in August), so I had no responsibilities like work to force me to venture out of the air conditioning of my home.img_3308

But I did venture out, if only for a few hours in the evening. My mother and I had to go out and get my father a Father’s Day gift, as I had missed the actual date of the holiday while I was abroad. We went to this cute little outdoor shopping mall in town, and it turned out to be a perfect place to get pictures of my very cute but impractical outfit.

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


Jacket: Thrifted (Goodwill)

Top: Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar)

Skirt: Vintage (thrifted)

Bonus points to me for an entirely thrifted outfit! 

July 18, 2019 – Return to Sender (OOTD #534)

Spongebob narrator voice: Two months later…

Not to be all “going abroad changed me,”  but it definitely made coming home again weird. For one, everything is so far apart here, and there’s no way to get from one place to another without driving a perusal vehicle. What’s up with that?

Yada yada, save the planet, yada yada, need more public transportation options. We’ve been over this.

You’d think that after being away from home for so long, I’d want to stay home for a little while and recuperate from traveling, but I guess not. Just a few days after flying home from London, I was off again — though this time, to a much less exotic locale.

That’s right, I was heading back to South Bend, Indiana!

Why go to South Bend in the middle of summer vacation? Because my friend, Amanda, and I had gotten tickets for a preseason friendly to be played at the Notre Dame Stadium. Ironically, the team we were going to see — Liverpool FC — comes from the country I had just left. What can I say? I’m just such a big fan that I felt the need to follow them all the way back from Europe to the cornfield wasteland of the Midwest.

I’m actually not a huge football (meaning European football, this context) fan, and I don’t know much about the sport. I was mainly only going because Amanda wanted to. Had I known the date of the game would fall just days after my return to the US, I might not have so eagerly agreed to get back to South Bend.

These photos were actually taken in Louisville, the city where I met Amanda in order to make the drive up to together. I had to get my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!) to drive me because I don’t have a car. If only there were a public transportation option, like a train, that ran from Lexington to Louisville…if only I were in Europe again where these systems and structures have been a part of society for decades and driving isn’t such a norm…

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


Top: (thrifted)

Jacket: Forever21

July 15, 2019 – London Layover (OOTD #533)

Best. Layover. Ever.

Here it is — the last blog from my summer European adventure. And what an adventure it was. Fitting that it should end with one last big adventure, right?

Croatia was not actually the last country I visited on this trip — it was actually England. After departing the Zagreb airport at around 1pm in the afternoon (though I’ll mention I arrived at like 7am, on account of my friend’s flight departing earlier than mine), I made it to London Heathrow a little over an hour later.

And then I sat and waited.

My next flight, the one that would take me to Chicago, wasn’t going to leave until the following day at 7am. I had a 16-hour layover to wait out. Thankfully, if my traveling has taught me anything, it’s how to handle long layovers in the airport — and the best way to handle a long layover in the airport is to leave.

 

July 14, 2019 – Castle on the Hill (OOTD #532)

Blog title courtesy of this Ed Sheeran song. 

With the exception of the fact that this castle in these photos was on more of a mountain than a castle, that is a rather fitting song to go with this blog. For full effect, have it playing in the background while you read this.

I’m kidding — don’t do that, that’s corny. Or maybe do, if you like sappy songs and sappy blogs about nostalgia.

Why reference an Ed Sheeran song that I only kind-of sort-of like? Because this is the second-to-last blog covering my two-month summer 2019 adventure in Europe that, thus far in the chronology of this blog, has spanned four countries and nine cities (soon to be five countries — but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s blog for that story), and I’m feeling nostalgic. It was a fun summer. I didn’t want it to end. Now I don’t want to finish writing about, because that means it’s done for good.

On my final day in Croatia, my friend, her cousin and I all hiked up the side of a mountain to where the ruins of Samobor Old Town castle were located. This was somewhere that my friend’s cousin had been trying to get us to go to for the entire week, but for one reason or another — exhaustion, illness, weather — we hadn’t yet made it.

I was actually afraid we might not get to go at all. I like to think of myself as pretty receptive and flexible when it comes to travel experiences, but I don’t know if everyone else is the same way. Someone had mentioned that there might be snakes in the area, and I think my friend was a little nervous to go. I kept mentioning that I was interested in going though, and eventually, she relented.

View this post on Instagram

hvala, sljedeći.

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

And I’m sure glad I pushed for it. Maybe castle ruins aren’t a big deal if you’re from Europe and there are ancient castles everywhere you turn, but as an American from Kentucky who hadn’t seen a castle up until this summer, it’s still very cool.

Croatia is one of the filming locations of Game of Thones, and Samobor Old Town made it obvious why. Where else in the world can you find castle ruins that are just ruined enough to be whimsical but not so ruined to be unattractive? And in the picturesque mountains of a small countryside town?

On the last night in Croatia, we went to dinner with my friend’s family. I was happy to have been invited along, but I’ll admit I felt a little out of place. The whole week, I was afraid I was somehow overstepping my boundaries as a guest and the only non-family person there, even though there was no indication from my friend’s family that they felt that way. If anything, they were too friendly and accommodating — I know I’ll never be able to return the favor in full, so there’s nothing I can do but be grateful that they allowed me to stay with them in Samobor for a week

That night, when I went to bed, I was full of conflicted feelings. In one sense, I was sad to be leaving Europe after I’d had so much fun and become thoroughly enchanted with their public transportation infrastructure; in another, I was glad to finally be heading home after two months away (which had almost immediately followed another two months away at school). In a third sense, I was nervous to have to fly out again the following day for a three flight, 42 hour travel sequence back to the US.

Yes, you read that right — three flights and 42 hours. Tune in next time for the rest of that story.

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


Top: Vintage (thrift, Budapest Ecseri Bazaar)

Jacket: Thrift (ClothesMentor)

Jeans: American Eagle

July 13, 2019 – Eastern Kentucky or Croatia? (OOTD #531)

I think my favorite part of Croatia was just driving through the countryside.

View this post on Instagram

croatia or eastern kentucky?

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

For some potentially explanatory context, I was hardly in a car at all for the entirety for my time in Europe. In Rome, I drove with some friends to a club once and once to the airport shuttle stop when I was about to leave. In Copenhagen and Budapest, I never even had the chance to get in a car if I’d wanted to. In comparison, back in the US, I’m in a car almost everyday, especially when I’m at home with my parents in Kentucky. It’s a little different when I’m on campus at Notre Dame, but for most parts of the US, you need a car to go anywhere, so you tend to spend a lot of time driving around places.

View this post on Instagram

over the castle on the hill

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

So when I got to Croatia and I got to live with my friend’s cousin’s family, that was pretty much the first time I got to drive anywhere in over a month. And since they didn’t really live in the city (but rather, a small town called Samobor outside of Zagreb), we ended up driving a lot.

One day, we drove out about an hour outside of Samobor to a museum in the mountains where they’d found some Neanderthal remains. Being honest, the museum — or the restaurant we went to afterwards — wasn’t the most interesting part of the day. It was the drive through the Croatian countryside.

The Croatian countryside reminds me in a way of Eastern Kentucky. Lots of rolling hills and mountains with houses dotted along the road. It’s quiet and picturesque, though if you ask me, Croatia beats out Eastern Kentucky in the picturesque category. The people of the Croatian countryside are quite different from the people of the Kentuckian countryside, who very often seem to fit their stereotype of being “hillbillies.” It can be a bit hard to categorize Kentucky as picturesque when, among the rolling hills and green mountains, there are people who look like Colonel Sanders was their father.

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


Top: Thrift

Jacket: H&M

Trousers: The LOFT

 

July 11, 2019 – Roadtrip to Another Country (OOTD #530)

I think one of my favorite parts of Europe is how easily you can travel from one country to another.

I guess you could do that too if you lived in New York near the Canadian border. But for the rest of the country, it’s not even that easy to go from one state to another — let alone from one country to the next. Honestly, you can probably get from Croatia to Slovenia than I can get from Kentucky to Ohio.

View this post on Instagram

skunk hair

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

It was about 15 minutes for us to get from the house in Somobor to the Slovenian border. The first Slovenian border, that is — turns out, at some Croatia-Slovenia borders, you can only cross if you’re an EU citizen. As I am not one of those, the border officer wouldn’t let me or my another American friend cross, so we had to drive another 20 minutes to get to another one.

There were really only one and a half reasons that we were bothering to go to Slovenia — the first and more legitimate reason was that my friend’s cousin needed to get a prescription filled that she couldn’t get in Croatia. In other words, you can now add international drug smuggling to my list of crimes.

The other half of a reason was so that I could say that I’ve technically been to Slovenia. It’s not every day that you can visit another a country.

After picking up the medicine, we spent a few hours in a small town called Brežice. Have you ever heard of it?

It’s okay, I hadn’t either. To be honest, there’s probably not really any particular reason to go out of your way to visit Brežice, unless you’re already in the Zagreb area and you just want to see a Slovenian town just across the border. I mean, if you’re willing to drive an extra hour, you could probably just go to Ljubljana, but if you can’t do that, Brežice will do the trick.

View this post on Instagram

not your average pitstop

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

And if you do wind up in Brežice, you should absolutely visit Brežice Castle and the Posavski muzej Brežice. It’s an old castle that’s been turned into a beautiful museum, and, while it can be a little boring at times if you’re not super into Slovenian history, it’s still a nice area to walk around.

We also visited Mokrice Castle, but I can’t really talk much about it because we didn’t stay long. We thought about eating at the restaurant there, and I would have (lunch? At a castle? Doesn’t that sound like fun?), but the others weren’t really feeling it.

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


Top: Vintage (thrifted, Budapest Ecseri Bazaar)

Skirt: Abercrombie

July 6, 2019 – Bizarre Bazaar (OOTD #527)

I can’t believe I didn’t use that as one of my Instagram captions.

View this post on Instagram

young trash that likes looking at old trash

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

As promised from yesterday’s blog about Budapest Central Market, I’m here now to discuss the superior of the two major markets in Budapest: the Ecseri Bazaar.

Being fair, they are two very different markets; it almost doesn’t make sense to compare them. Central Market focuses on food and *some* gifts and trinkets for tourists, while Ecseri is essentially a flea market. Central Market sells things that are brand new, while Ecseri sells things that are secondhand and vintage. Given my track record of buying vintage clothing, guess which one I was drawn to more?

View this post on Instagram

hey macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

I went with my friend, Bilal, and I think he was bored out of his mind. Too bad for him, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I absolutely adore looking at people’s old junk — especially people’s old junk in different countries and cultures. You can learn a lot about the history of a place by visiting a flea market, and Budapest was no exception.

I was tempted by a few pins that featured the classic Soviet hammer and sickle insignia, but there was no way to tell if they were authentic vintage pieces or just made in China reproductions for tourists like me. In the end, I wound up with two blouses and a coat — all for under 20 USD.

View this post on Instagram

yes homo

A post shared by Meilin || L'ensemble du jour (@lensembledujour) on

In the afternoon,  I attended the Budapest Pride Parade alongside my friend and his Central European University friends. Of the various protests/parades/marches I’ve participated in in the last three years, this one may have been the most significant. Here’s the thing: marches are often boring. You walk super slowly, you maybe say a few chants, and you look at the funny signs. Maybe you get a cute picture for Instagram,. You don’t go because you want to have fun; you go because you care about the issue, or at the very least, civil society’s right to protest about their issue.

View this post on Instagram

dude, that’s gay

A post shared by Meilin Scanish (@meilin_scanish) on

This is an overgeneralization, but for the other marches I’ve attended, the marchers wanted an expansion on something that already existed. For example, at the climate change strike in Rome, the students wanted the Italian government to do more than what they were doing to stop the climate crisis. For this march, the marchers wanted something that doesn’t really exist at all in Hungary — LGBTQ rights.

That’s a significant difference, at least for me as a participant. In the latter case — advocating to have something that doesn’t exist — you feel more like a catalyst, like a trailblazer. It’s riskier to say you want something new than to say you want more of something you already have some of. Both are perfectly valid forms of demonstration, but one, to me as an individual, is more personally engaging.

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


Outfit 1:

Top: Forever21

Trousers: Thrifted (Salvation Army)

Outfit 2:

Top: Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar)

Shorts: PacSun