May 25, 2018 – Flower Clocks and Frankfort (OOTD #291)

You ever have one of those experiences where you think something exists, but you aren’t positive if it’s real or if you imagined it?

For me, that was this flower clock in Frankfort, Kentucky. I thought I remembered reading about it a long time ago while doing research into things to do in Kentucky (spoiler alert: there’s not a lot), but no one I ever mentioned it to knew what I was talking about.

It was never something I cared enough about to Google to confirm its existence, so for many years, I pretty much just forgot about it. I figured I’d made it up, or otherwise, it was somewhere other than Kentucky, and since I never had any reason to go to Frankfort, I never bothered to search for it.

That was until I began my internship in Frankfort — now, I’m there every week, so the mysterious elusive flower clock was on my mind again. I figured, maybe I’d come across it one day, or otherwise, go searching for it sometime after work — you know, not really something I would actively search for or think about, but if it happened to be convenient to check out sometime, I would.

Interestingly, it wasn’t even me who found it. It was my dad. He came to pick me up from work, and I asked him to take some OOTD pictures for me before we left for home. I suggested some potted flowers outside of the Capitol building to serve as the background, but my dad said he had something better in mind. We got out of the car, walked about two minutes away from the Capitol building, and…

There it was! The mystical flower clock of my dreams!

Truth be told, it wasn’t that great. It’s pretty, don’t get me wrong, but there were a lot less…flowers than I thought there would be. There were really only one kind of purple ones concentrated around the middle. It was cooler as a giant raised clock than as a floral arrangement.

Mostly, though, I was just excited to find out that the flower clock was real. Now, on to prove the existence of Sasquatch.

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!

Jacket & skirt: Forever21

Top: H&M

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

April 28, 2018 – Chi-Town Chinatown (OOTD #275)

Guys look! I finally made it into Chicago!

I can’t believe I’ve been at Notre Dame all year, basically an hour and a half away from the third largest city in the US, and it’s taken me eight months to finally go.

There’s a train station about fifteen minutes away from campus that could get me into the city easily, but getting off of campus is a huge hassle without a car. Heck, it would probably even be a hassle with a car. The Notre Dame bubble has not diminished at all since I’ve been here.

I actually had an opportunity to go to Chicago way back in December with a friend of mine who was going to see the Nutcracker with her Russian literature class. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I could take the time out of my day to go at the time (which I know now is a dumb excuse — there’s always time to go do fun things and ignore your responsibilities), so I missed out.

This time, though, when I heard that the Taiwanese Student Association was planning a Chinatown trip, I made sure I had room in my schedule to go. I lost a little extra sleep that weekend doing homework at late hours, but it was totally worth it.

What surprised me most about the Chicago Chinatown was how different it was from the New York version — while New York’s Chinatown is pretty much a gimmicky tourist destination, Chicago’s is a real diaspora neighborhood. The stores sold real Chinese food and products and not just the knockoff Rolexes you see in New York. It felt so much more welcoming and so much less sinister.

It was also fun because I got to interact with some people I never had before. None of my friends were able to go, so I ended up hanging out with some juniors and seniors, who were pretty cool and didn’t at all seem to mind that I was just a freshman. They were some of the first upperclassmen I’ve been able to interact with beyond surface level all year, so that was neat.

My favorite part of the whole trip was probably getting to purchase this money plant tree. As you probably know by now, I love plants, so getting new ones is fun. She actually sadly toppled over just today after a strong gust of wind from an open window pushed her off the window sill, causing several of her branches to break. I used a chopstick as a makeshift splint, so hopefully the branches will scar over and heal.

Oh well. For now, enjoy these photos of me and my pre-topple plant.

Since we all had work to do back home, we decided to make the hour and a half long drive back in time for dinner. I’d actually stayed up pretty late the night before, so I ended up napping almost all of the way back, which was great. By six when we arrived on campus, I was refreshed and ready to pull an all-nighter making up for all the work I had neglected due to being gone all day.

All night I worked though, I didn’t regret my decision to go. It was some of the best fun I’ve had all year, definitely worth the lost sleep and sanity.

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!

Jacket: thrifted

Turtleneck: thrifted

Leggings: The LOFT (

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