March 9, 2018 – Feed Me and Call Me Pretty – (OOTD #242)

Home is where the heart is, and the way to my heart is through my stomach.

The first meal after leaving university for break is my favorite.

I admit, Notre Dame has a pretty good dining hall. I’ve heard my friends at over universities talk about the food they’re served, and on the whole, I think I’ve got it good, excluding maybe meatless Fridays during Lent.

However, no matter how passably edible (and occasionally legitimately tasty) the food is at school, it almost never matches up to real food from home or a restaurant. That’s why on the hour and a half long drive from the Louisville to Lexington, I relish the opportunity to eat some real, freshly cooked food that hasn’t been sitting under a heat lamp for hours.

As it turned out, the Saturday I went home, my dad and I passed a popular chain restaurant while traveling back after he’d picked me up from the airport, and we agreed to stop in for dinner. Interestingly, The OOTD shots I got outside of the restaurant are very reminiscent of the shots outside of a different restaurant I got on the drive back to Lexington for fall break. Thankfully, my hair looks a lot better here.

To be honest, the mashed potatoes and chicken I ordered there were far from the best things I’d ever eaten – but they sure tasted like it after eight weeks of the same menu over and over again.  In a way, I’m glad campus is so isolated because that way, I’m not tempted much to ever go out and spend money on food, because Lord knows I would.

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: Forever21

Shirt: ASOS

Pants: The LOFT

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Ready For Takeoff

This is like, my third time flying home through Midway airport from Notre Dame, and every time, I forget that there’s a one hour time difference between South Bend and Chicago.

My flight’s at 1:45, and so, not realizing the time difference, I figured I’d get the 8AM bus from campus, get to the airport around 11AM, and have plenty of time to make it through security and find my gate.

Welp, I do have plenty of time, because I actually arrived at the airport at 10AM local time, and then realized I had pretty much three hours to kill before I would even need to think about boarding.

Better early than late though, I guess. I hate the process of getting through security and all of that, but once I’m actually in the airport, I find it fine. Midway’s not my favorite ammenties-wise, but it’s significantly better than that one time I flew through Atlanta, got stuck for nearly two days, and had a battle with a cockroach in the bathroom at midnight. 

Anyway, I’ve been chilling here for a while, trying to muster up the energy to write this blog — or better yet, get caught up on some reading for class. Traveling kind of sucks the motivation to do productive things out of me, though, so mostly I’ve just been sitting at the gate and looking at baby animal GIFs on Reddit.

I’ve almost made it — a few more hours and I’ll be back in Louisville, which isn’t quite home but it’s close enough. Assuming my plane doesn’t get delayed and I don’t do anything stupid, it should be smooth sailing (flying?) from here.

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!

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

December 15, 2017 – A Long Day (OOTD #183)

Christmas Outfits Challenge 2017: Day 13

Fun fact: by the time these photos were taken at about 4 in the afternoon on December 15, I had been up for over 24 hours.

Well, nearly. See, it all started at 6 AM, December 14. Why was I up that early, you ask? I had my final final, that morning at 8 AM, and I wanted to get up early enough so that I could relax (sort of), have some coffee, and get ready before I made the ten minute walk to the building where my exam was held.

This was the final I was most worried about too – Theology. I had an A in the class, but I needed an 87 on the final to keep that grade, so I needed to make sure I actually did well. Thankfully, the exam went well (well enough… I forgot to memorize the quotes I was supposed to by Nestorius and Cyril, but…y’know – you can’t win them all), and by 10 AM, I was finished with my first semester of college.

Then, I managed to sneak in an hour-long nap in my room before my roommates came in and we had to clean up our dorm before we left.

After that…well, I didn’t do much. I really had no reason to be awake – I had a bit of remaining work to do, I guess, and some blogging to work on, but I probably should’ve napped so I could be up in time for my 4 AM bus to Midway Airport.

Should’ve. Instead, I stayed up all night with some of my friends were also waiting to catch buses to catch plains that Saturday after classes ended. It was kind-of a weird night…

Anyway, I wound up on that 4AM bus with only one hour of sleep under my belt. I managed to get another hour of sleep whilst on that 4AM bus, and by 6AM-ish, I was sitting at my gate at Midway Airport. My plane, though, didn’t leave until 9AM, so I just kind-of sat there bleary-eyed for three hours watching the people go by and thinking about how I wanted to nap but I didn’t really want to in the middle of an airport.

Time-skip ahead a few hours, and I was standing in front of my grandmother’s house in Louisville at 4PM taking my photos with only three hours of sleep over the course of 34 hours – one hour after my Theo final, one hour on the 4AM bus to Midway, and one hour on the plane from Chicago to Louisville.

It’s great being home though, and it’s great being done with my first semester of school. It was worth a very long day of being awake.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life as an idiot college student. 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: H&M

Shirt: Forever21

Turtleneck: The LOFT

Pants: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

November 26, 2017 – Greyhound Adventures Part 3 (OOTD #168)

Why, oh why, can’t I avoid the travesty that is the Greyhound bus system?

I fully understand that the bus drivers and workers for Greyhound are likely underpaid and have to deal with grumpy, frustrated people all day, so it’s very difficult for them to maintain the will to be friendly…but, my goodness, it certainly makes it difficult for me to enjoy bus trips.

On Sunday, it was time for me to head back to Notre Dame, so I grabbed breakfast with some friends, and then hitched a ride with my friend, Amanda, back up to Indianapolis, where she goes to school. From there, I took a Greyhound back to South Bend. Seems pretty simple, right?

Well…it was. Objectively, nothing went wrong. With the exception of my bus being about 30 minutes late dropping me off at South Bend, everything went as planned, and I made it back to school at a decent time.

That’s objectively speaking though – subjectively, it was a harrowing and stress ulcer-inducing experience.

I love Amanda, don’t get me wrong. We got trapped at the Atlanta airport for two days together; how could we not be friends? But her driving…I don’t know if she obeyed the speed limit once.

In one sense, who does? I’m probably consistently going five or ten over, depending on the road, which is pretty normal. Amanda, however, drives her Prius like she’s racing in the Indianapolis 5000. Her average speed while we were on the interstate might have been 100; I don’t actually know, I had to force myself to not look at the speedometer out of fear of what the number was.

But she got me to the Greyhound station, and no one died, and for that, I’m grateful. I mean, I‘ve totaled a car before myself, so in a sense, she’s a safer driver than me.

The Greyhound station was also one of the sketchiest places I’ve been in my entire life, which didn’t do much for my unhealthily high anxiety levels.

Like I said though, everything turned out alright in the end, so perhaps I was worried for nothing. I mean, if a lion suddenly jumped out from one of the overfilled trashcans at the Greyhound station and attacked me, my sympathetic nervous system would have been prepared, but there were no lions, as far as I know.

Unless the Detroit Lions were perhaps playing the Colts that day? I was right next to the football stadium; it’s possible.

Sweater: Forever21

Boots: Doc Marten

November 21, 2017 – Southern Soccer Mom Style (OOTD #165)

Christmas in July? More like…July in Christmas.

Yesterday’s outfit was the sendoff to fall, so logically, it follows that today’s outfit should be a sendoff to summer. Since, obviously, summer comes after fall, and summer didn’t end like, three months ago.

No, the real reason behind why this outfit is so summery (and also kind of like a rich Southern PTA-attending mother) is because on this day, I was heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I knew I wasn’t going to have much use of a neon Lilly Pulitzer jacket and a when it’s 20 below in South Bend, Indiana. So, to save space in my suitcase, I just wore them home, and then I left them there.

And in their place, I brought all 8000 of my Christmas sweaters.

Sure, it looked a little weird dressing so out of season, and sure, I looked more like I was going Memorial Day shopping than getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I don’t mind. It also looked a little weird to have my short grey hair and black Hot Topic earrings that I forgot to take out (and which you can’t see here – probably for the best) paired with such a preppy outfit, but when has that ever stopped me?

It’s uh…eclectic, not erratic, yeah?

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

Dress: Vintage (thrifted)

October 21, 2017 – You Had a Bad Day (OOTD #141)

You’re taking one down…The Meilin of these photos did not have a fun day.

You might not have guessed that from the way I’m smiling here – I look rather cheery, don’t I? That’s because I was about to go eat a Five Guys burger and fries, and I love that restaurant. Saturday was also the last day of my cheat week, so that burger was going to be the last ones I’d have for a while.

I was also happy because I had just found a really cute place to take my OOTD photos, despite being far from home and not knowing where I was. Finding a good background for your OOTD photos is kind of a tossup when you’re on the road – sometimes, you can find some really nice restaurants with beautiful flowers and colorful exteriors, and sometimes, there’s nothing but the dirty brick wall of a Taco Bell. this time, I was lucky, as there was a spa with these really pretty lion decorations just around the corner from the restaurant we were stopping at.

Unfortunately, my day went rather downhill after my burger and fries. In these photos, I  was in the process of heading back to school, and I was about a third of the way there. This first third simply involved sitting in a car, writing my Saturday Musings + Coffee post, and dreaming about how exciting the ND vs USC was going to be when I finally arrived on campus. More on that travesty later.

The last two thirds of the journey involved sitting on the Greyhound bus and waiting for it to pull into the South Bend airport. If you’ve never taken a Greyhound, let me tell you – they are uncomfortable, some of the people are sketchy, and it takes forever to get where you want to go. But they’re cheap and they get you there, and that’s ultimately what matters.

Finally, after having sat in my parents’ car, the bus, and an Uber for a combined length of about eight hours of travel, I finally made it back to campus. I lugged my two giant suitcases back to my dorm, touched up my makeup, and prepared to head out to the stadium.

BUT ALAS, it was not meant to be, for, as I was just about to go out the door, I realized that I couldn’t find the email with my tickets. I searched my Gmail, my computer’s email app, and my phone’s email app using every combination of the words “football” and “tickets” possible, but to no avail. After about 30 minutes of searching and bitterly listening to the cheers of the people who were actually there in the stadium, I gave up, and decided to spend my evening putting away the clothes I had packed.

Thankfully, a few days later, I was able to get my remaining tickets re-emailed to me from the ND tickets office, so I’ll still be able to go to the rest of the games this season. Still, I’m kinda bitter I missed this particular game – apparently it was a really good one.

Ah well, next time.

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

Sweater: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

Jeans: Hollister

October 17, 2017 – The Most October Day (OOTD #138)

This is it folks: the day I finally got to do all of the stereotypical American fall things I’ve been prattling on about for the last month.

Last year, my senior year of high school, my father and I went out to a local orchard for an afternoon to pick pumpkins. As it turned out, we didn’t pick any pumpkins – by the time we went, I guess it was too late into the season and all of the good pumpkins were gone – but we did have a lot of fun wandering around, picking apples, and going through the corn maze.

Thus, being a sap for anything nostalgic, even if it’s only from a year ago, I requested that, when I went back for fall break, my father and I go back to the same orchard.

It was a rather different experience this time, though – we went on a Tuesday, when all of the Fayette County schools were still in session and all of the kids were stuck in classrooms doing work (heh, suckers), whereas last year, we went on a weekend, when it was super busy and crawling with children. Thus, it was pretty nice to be there when it was fairly quiet – I got to climb up on the jungle gym since there were no kids there, which was pretty sweet, and there was no line for the hay ride out to the pumpkin patch or the corn maze, which was also pretty sweet.

The best part of any farm adventure, in my opinion, is eating a caramel apple. I rambled on about my love of caramel apples for a while in a blog from a few days ago, so I’m not going to do that here, but allow me to say: a caramel apple from a farm is the best caramel apple you can get.

Also, if you don’t eat your caramel apples with nuts, I don’t know what you are (unless you have a peanut allergy – then it’s acceptable).

I don’t necessarily know how Kentucky farms compare to farms in Idaho or New York (or really anywhere else in the US, or the world), but if I had to make an overarching generalization based on little evidence and/or experience, I would have to say that Kentucky farms are the best in the world. There are hills, for one, which I know you don’t get in some parts of the Midwest (South Bend Indiana, I’m looking at you), and chances are, if you’re heading out to a  farm in Kentucky in October, it’s probably still warm enough to go without a jacket.

I must say though – latitudes further North do have better leaf colors in October. I do suppose that would be one gripe about my farm adventure, that there wasn’t much color in the trees other than green and a touch of brown. It’s really odd, coming back to Kentucky after having been in Indiana, as the weather is so different, despite only being one state over.

This year, my father and I did manage to find some decently-sized, attractive, and carvable pumpkins at the orchard, so I will be sure to show you guys what our Jack-o-Lanterns turn out looking like as soon as we get them done. We also found some apples, a bale of hay, an abandoned flag football belt, and the joy of…something, I don’t know, I was trying to come up with a charming and insightful, but I’m not good at that. All I can do is point to my own inadequacies and hope people laugh.

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!

Vest: Altar’d State

Sweater: Target

Shirt: American Eagle

Boots: LL Bean

Saturday Musings + Coffee – On the Road Again

I like, actually don’t know a single lyric to that entire song except for what I wrote in the title – “on the road again.”

It something a tired and delirious Amanda would sing in the Atlanta airport any time we had to run from one terminal to another in an attempt to make it onto a plane from the standby list. I was too tired and delirious myself to question it – I’m not even sure it was a real song, now that I think of it, maybe she was just expressing her frustrations through song.

Welp, I’m frustrated and on the road again, so it struck me as a sensible blog title. Frustrated? I don’t know if that’s quite the right word…it’s more like, mildly annoyed. See, I’ve got another Greyhound bus to take today, and I was not so much a fan of the last one I had to take, and this time, I don’t even have home to look forward to at the end of the road.

Granted, I do have the Notre Dame game against the University of Southern California to look forward to, and that’ll be neat, but it’s much more exciting for me to get to sleep in my own bed than to get to stand for three hours in a football stadium with a bunch of *not at all intoxicated* college kids.

So you’ll have to pardon my particularly unglamorous coffee lifestyle photos today – it was a particularly unglamorous morning.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame.

October 13, 2017 – Friday the 13th (OOTD #135)

**spOoKy vibes**

It’s not even a spooky outfit here – I left my glittery spider tights and my ghost socks at home – but it was a spooky day.

What made it spooky, you ask? I took a Greyhound from South Bend to Dayton, Ohio, and that was quite creepy. Not necessarily the worst experience of my life, but um…far from great.

I’m no stranger to public transport, but I’m no connoisseur either – I am, you’ll remember, from Kentucky, and we don’t exactly have any subways or trains here. Plenty of horses, but sadly, you can’t just hop onto one of those and ride off to the mall.

Thus, pretty much all of the transport you do in KY is by car, which, for me, a car-less individual who is a pretty lousy driver at any rate, is far from ideal. I do believe Lexington has a public bus system, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s actually used it.

The entirety of my experience riding public buses comes from the school bus, which I suffered on regularly from age 11 to age 17, a bus or two from North Jersey into NYC, and a tour bus in Beijing. A Greyhound was an entirely new experience for me – all I’d heard about them came from Billy Joel’s lyric “taking a Greyhound / on the Hudson River Line” in “New York State of Mind,” and the La La Land lyric “I left him at a Greyhound station / west of Santa Fe” from “Another Day of Sun.”

And how was the experience? Ehhhh…it might have been better if the driver weren’t the rudest person I’d met in my life (though I can’t blame him, a job as a Greyhound driver must suck), and if I’d not sat next to an extremely obese woman for the first leg of the journey (though I can’t blame her either, it’s not her fault I chose to sit next her), but all in all – it was alright. I napped. I watched Treehouse of Horror episodes. I looked at memes on Twitter. It was pretty dull and the only sketchy thing that happened was that one time that the bus driver threatened to kick this one guy off the bus for…reasons? I don’t really know actually; I was pretty engrossed in Treehouse of Horror VI.

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 sweater shrug thing: Forever21

Top: H&M

Bralette: Aerie

Jeans; Abercrombie