Lifestyle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Taking Photos in a Mall Starbucks

My friend, Jane, giggled at me the whole time I was taking the photos for today's blog.

I've gotten used to taking photos in public – you put on your sunglasses so you don't have to make eye contact with anyone, and then pretend no one's judging you. It was weird at first, and I used to purposefully avoid public places for my photos, but I'm immune to the embarrassment now.

So it's funny when I hang out with friends who aren't used to my constant photo taking because they usually look confused and awkward when I whip out my Canon in the middle of a restaurant and start taking pictures of my coffee. Which is funny, you know, since we teenagers have no problem taking photos with our phones to post to our Snapchat stories – but pull out a real camera, and *Heath Ledger voice* everybody loses their minds!

To relieve Jane of her embarrassment (and also to get to a spot with better lighting), I scooted over to an empty table a few feet away to snap my photos for my Saturday Musings post today.

I dunno, there's just something really cute about a nice flatlay with some sparkly things, coffee, and a plain white background, and it makes for a really lovely Instagram post to break up all the OOTD photos. It makes the uncomfortable stares in public places all worth it.

Plus, since I suffer no embarrassment anymore from public photo taking, it's funny to watch my friends cringe and look like they don't know what to do when I start arranging all of my accessories on a table and snapping pictures.

Anyway, that’s it for today! 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.

Lifestyle · Outfits

July 28, 2017 – Liebster Award (And Also OOTD #76)

Fun fact: when I first typed “Liebster” here, it autocorrected to “lobster.”

I’d take a lobster award though, if it meant getting to eat some lobster. That stuff’s tasty.

3and3quarters.net_.png

So here it is, my first blogging award for L’ensemble du jour! I was nominated by the lovely Anya W, of Anya’s Journey, and the fabulous Joanna, of Jersey Fabulous. Being relatively new to the blogging sphere, I wasn’t really sure what a “Liebster” award could possibly mean, so I consulted the all-knowing Google and discovered that “liebster” has German origins and means something along the lines of “kindest” or “sweetheart.” Apparently, it’s a pretty common award, not unlike a chain email, that circulates among us bloggers often.In addition, I’ve also got an OOTD post for you, so we’re hitting two birds with one stone.

THE RULES OF THE LIEBSTER AWARD

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  3. Nominate at least 5 bloggers, but no more than 11 who deserve the award
  4. Tell those bloggers you nominated them
  5. Create 11 original questions for the nominees to answer.

MY 11 QUESTIONS FROM ANYA’S JOURNEY

  • Where are you from?

I was born in Hunan, China, but I was adopted by American parents when I was just 8 months old. I feel kind of badly; sometimes Chinese people will ask me about living in China, or try to speak to me in Mandarin – you know, as a way to connect – and I always have to tell them I really don’t remember anything about my life there.

  • What made you start your blog?

It came out of a desire to document all of my outfits. I used to keep a little photo album on my phone of all the different outfits I’d wear in a week to school, and one day, my dad suggested that I take the fashion photos I was already taking and share them online…and here we are.

  • How would you describe yourself in a few words?

Introspective, pretentious, happily self-depricating

  • What’s your favourite dessert? 

To be honest, I’m not much of a dessert person – I’d much rather just eat seconds of whatever meal I was having! But I do rather have a soft spot for good ice cream, particularly buttermilk flavor.

  • If you could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would it be?

New York City, no question.

  • What’s your current favourite TV show? 

You’re gonna laugh, but I’m kinda loving the new My Little Pony series. I grew up with the pandering, early 2000s versions, so it’s nice to see that they’ve updated the franchise to be more modern and mature.

  • What’s a goal you wish to achieve in the next few years?

Graduate from college with some good friends and good grades.

  • What’s your favourite makeup product?

Hm…probably my Skin79 Super+ Hot Pink BB Cream. I’ve been using this product for 5 years – since I was 13 – and I keep coming back to it. It can be built from light to medium coverage without ever looking cakey and can even be stippled in concentrated areas to make a concealer. I love this thing, so much so that I’ve pretty much stopped wearing foundation.

  • What are 3 things that have made you happy today?

I picked flowers and put them in a little mason jar, my skin looked nice, and I did some doodling at work.

  • What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

When people play videos or games in public and don’t silence their phones or use earbuds

  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Night owl. I’m most productive at 2AM, when everyone is asleep and it’s nice and quiet.

MY NOMINEES

I nominate anyone reading this who would like to participate in this award! If you do choose to answer the questions I’ve posed, please link to me, lensembledujour.wordpress.com, so I can read your answers!

Here are a few blogs that I have been loving

Brownkittycat

Honey Lemon Chai

Goldhände

Peculiar Porter

Missmaichi

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO THE NOMINEES

  1. What do you like best about blogging?
  2. What’s your favorite article of clothing in your wardrobe?
  3. What’s your favorite song, and what memories do you associate with it?
  4. Where all have you traveled in the world? What’s been your favorite place to visit?
  5. What’s the last thing you ate? Was it any good?
  6. What’s the last concert you went to? Or, if you haven’t been to a concert, who would you most like to see?
  7. Coffee or tea?
  8. What’s your favorite school subject?
  9. What’s your favorite word?
  10. What’s your family’s heritage?
  11. Have you got any pets? If so, what are their names? If not, would you like any?

Looks like that’s it for today, so 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!

Top: HotTopic

Pants: The LOFT

Headband: Altar’d State

Choker: Madewell

Lifestyle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – I Have 15 Minutes to Write This Blog

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've done one of these, huh?

Yes, while I wish I could keep up with these Saturday Musings posts a little better, I often have to go to work early on Saturday mornings, making writing these posts a little difficult. I don't exactly have the time to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and reflect upon my life or whatever when I'm rushing out the door to beat the morning traffic, and I definitely don't have the time to write a blog about it.

Thankfully though, there are these wonderful things called afternoons, which come after mornings, and it's just as acceptable to enjoy coffee at 2:00pm as it is at 8:00am.

So that's what I did today. My mother and I were meeting with a former coworker at Starbucks to chat, so I thought I'd bring along my camera to take some artsy photos of my iced coffee and do one of these posts.

If it weren't the summer, and if it weren't too hot to drink a hot coffee, you can bet that's what I would be drinking. I'm not really into all of the cold coffee concoctions. I feel like to have a cold coffee, you really need for it to be sweet and dessert-like, but I'm not really into sweet coffees – I always take mine black. But sadly, I don't have the guts to drink a black cold-brew; I've tried and I'm sorry, it's just disgusting.

My compromise then is a lightly sweetened vanilla iced coffee – less caloric and less sweet than say, a frappuccino (not ashamed to say I Googled how to spell that), but still less disgusting than a plain cold brew. But like I said, at the end of the day, I like a hot, black coffee, and the fact that I cannot drink those on summer afternoons is just another reason why I am not a summer person.

And it looks like my fifteen minutes is nearly up! I started this blog at 4:45, and I have a friend coming at 5:00, so this post was something of a little exercise to see how long I could stay focused and write when I was under a time limit. It's not the longest, most in-depth post ever, but it's something, right?

Anyway, that’s it for today. 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.

Lifestyle · Outfits

July 23, 2017 – I Got Your Picture, I’m Coming With You (OOTD #73)

…dear Maria, count me in…

All Time Low is one of my favorite bands, so when I got to see them in concert on Sunday, you can say I was just a little hyped. I did my hair and makeup up all nice, took a few selfies, and then I hopped in the car with my friend Amanda (the same one I did London with), and prepared myself for the 3 hour-long drive up to Columbus, Ohio.

About an hour and a half into the drive, we hit our first issue – a traffic buildup just outside of Cincinnati. Thankfully, I was using Waze, which was able to give us another route around the the traffic, but we still lost about a half an hour. And we had to drive through Covington, Kentucky, one of the sketchiest places I've had the misfortune of driving through (it's right up there with Camden, New Jersey – my dad's hometown), where I glimpsed more shirtless old men than I have ever cared to have seen.

Anyway, we finally made it to the venue, Express Live, where we were greeted by a pleasant surprise – it was a pretty small venue! That's always a good thing for concerts because it means, in a free admission seating arrangement like we had, you're more likely to be able to get up close to the stage.

On the other hand, being a smaller venue, there was no kind of overhead coverage to protect the audience from the weather. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, but of course, it rained.And rained and rained and rained. It began right after the second opening act left the stage. Amanda and I had moved down into the pit and were standing there in the drizzle kicking ourselves over not bringing in our raincoats (and we couldn't go back and get them either – no re-entry) when the rain began to pick up, as it does in storms. We spent about 15 minutes running around, trying desperately to find some place where we could take shelter – there was literally nothing like, anywhere, not even a merch tent – before we finally found a bathroom that we could hide in.

And that's where we stood for the entirety of the third opening act, smushed up against the bodies of other soaking wet and miserable girls, shuffling around every once in a while when someone needed to get to the toilet, and listening to muffled sounds of the band through the brick.

Finally, about 40 minutes later, the rain let up. But by then my hair and makeup was pretty much ruined, so much so that I even considered not bothering to do photos today. I really loved my outfit though, so I forced Amanda to get some shots as quickly as she possibly could while trying to keep as much of the camera as possible under her rain poncho.It was all a very interesting experience, not unlike the adventure we had in the Atlanta airport (which, might I add, is abbreviated ATL – the same way as All Time Low…suspicious…). As for the All Time Low itself? They were great! Definitely a band I would go to see again, no question. Getting to hear songs I love like "Missing You" and "Weightless" in person was lovely and well-worth getting soaked just an hour prior.

Looks like that's it for today, so 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!

Top: Unknown (thrifted)

Shorts: Abercrombie

 

Lifestyle · Outfits

June 27, 2017 – Reggae and Calypso (OOTD #53)

…won’t you save me, San Francisco?

Had a great night last night with my friend Amanda at a Train concert in Cincinnati.

Admittedly, Train isn’t my favorite band on the planet. I like them well enough, and a couple of their songs – I’m thinking “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” and “Save Me San Francisco” – have been in rotation on my iTunes and Spotify playlists for years, but mostly, I wasn’t too familiar with their work. I actually had to create a playlist of their setlist the day before the concert so I could study up on their library more, since I wanted to be able to sing along at least to the courses of the songs I didn’t know.

But I love concerts, and I will happily drop all of my spending money to go see them, regardless of how much I know about the band. There’s something really spectacular about being in a room full of people connected by music, and whether I love the music or not, I love the vibe.

My first concert, Demi Lovato, was back when I was in fourth grade, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I even remember the outfit I wore to see Demi Lovato – black boots, denim skirt, green henley, denim vest, white jacket, green scarf, straw fedora-like hat. Tacky and awkward as it sounds, I remember feeling really fashionable for 2008, and I actually remember getting a lot of compliments.

Not wanting to be passed up by my fourth grade self, I had to put together an outfit worthy of a summer concert. I feel like Train has an almost country vibe to their music, and I wanted to reference that in my look. But I don’t really have any country-looking clothes, and regardless, I’m not really a country person, so I went for a boho summer festival look instead. Close enough…ish?

But for real, I do like my outfit today. I spent forever trying to find a bralette that layered nicely under the high neck of my tank top (as it turned out, a high neck bralette was perfect for the job), and I layered a sheer kimono on top for “warmth.” Or maybe just fashion. I don’t know, practicality and aesthetic run together in my head sometimes.

I topped it all off with a layered choker and a gold headband, and I felt like I was almost cool enough to stand in the parking lot of Coachella and direct traffic. Almost. Hey 

That’s it for today! 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 and shorts: H&M

Kimono: Hollister

Bralette: Aerie

Headband: Altar’d State

 

 

 

Lifestyle · Outfits

June 26, 2017 – A Blog Is Never Late, Nor Is It Early (OOTD #52)

…it arrives precisely when it means to.


Welp, I suck, and I missed out on posting yesterday. I did still get the photos – don’t you worry – but I didn’t get a chance to sit down and actually type out the corresponding blog post.

Ah well, it happens.

In my defense, my reasoning for not getting around to posting a blog is fairly solid. I worked 2-6, and after I got off, I went out immediately to meet with a friend who was visiting from South Carolina. She was probably one of the first friends that I made when I first moved here in seventh grade – in fact, she was probably the first person to invite me, the “new kid,” to do anything with her. I still have the old diary entry where I wrote about how excited I was that someone from my new school had finally invited me to hang out – lol!


Anyway, Kirstie moved our sophomore year, but she still comes to Kentucky to visit us sometimes. So after work, I met up with her and two of her other old friends – Zach and Adrian – for pizza, and we chatted and did some catching up. It’s funny – the three of us who still live in Kentucky don’t necessarily belong to the same crowd while in school, but we always manage to get along really well when Kirstie invites us all to hang out.


Over pizza, Kirstie was discussing my hair (I dyed it blonde about a year after she moved, so she hadn’t seen it in person before!), and Adrian, who had been relatively quiet otherwise, suddenly interjected “So do you think I could go blonde?”


At first, we all think he’s joking – Adrian, this big mixed-race football player dude, wants to go blonde? But he’s serious. And he wants me to do it.


So, flashfoward two hours, and I’m standing in Adrian’s bathroom, rubber gloves on, mixing up a batch of L’Oreal Quick Blue bleach that we got from Sally Beauty Supply about 15 minutes before they closed while Kirstie and Zach cheer me on. It’s hot, the chemicals are burning my eyeballs, and I’m terrified I’ll mess up and ruin his beautiful caramel curls, but there’s no backing out now.


And you know what? It turned out okay. Not perfect, mind you – I started running out of bleach towards the back of his head, so it’s definitely lighter in the front than in the back (call it ombré, maybe?), but I think I did okay for a person who has only ever bleached her own hair before. Plus, Adrian liked it (or at least he acted like he did!), so that’s all that really matters.


Summer 2017 has been an adventure to say the least.


In other news, one week, and I’ll be on the plane to London! I’m so excited to be going – and I’m positive at least half of my excitement can be attributed to not having to work for basically two weeks. The other half is probably because there are so many wonderful Instagram opportunities and beautiful backgrounds for my OOTD posts!

That’s it for today! 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: Forever21

Sweater: Altar’d State

Lifestyle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – I Made a Cake!

Baking is one of my all time favorite hobbies.


It all started the summer after my freshman year – it was probably the week before school started again, and I was so bored. Back then, I was too young to work, and too young to drive, so I basically spent every day stuck at home by myself, which, though peaceful and relaxing, was hardly exciting.


Anyway, I had just started to learn to cook things from scratch (on account of the Food Network being one of the only good channels on at 2pm on a weekday), and I was looking for a new recipe to try on Pinterest. Lo and behold, as I was searching through the #food tags, I came across one of those beautiful cake designs from a baking blog.

 I remember thinking it was beautiful  but that there as no way I could possibly do it myself. Still, I followed the link through to check the directions, and they seemed doable – mix some ingredients together into cake batter, separate into tins, tint them different shades of pink, and then coat with icing. Seemed simple enough.

In a sense, I guess, it was. I completed the cake, and though some sides were definitely more attractive than others, it wasn’t a far shot from the image I saw on Pinterest. Plus, it was a ton of fun following the directions and having them turn out into a beautiful, tasty creation.

 Flash forward to today, and I’ve made cake baking a little hobby of mine. It still takes me almost a half day to complete one, start to finish, so I usually only do it a couple times of year  – during winter break, summer break, and maybe fall or spring break.

 

Today’s cake, which I mentioned baking back a few days ago , was inspired by a recipe on The Cake Blog. Their version was arguably more beautiful than mine, and I kinda wish I’d made mine tall like theirs, but I think mine has a creative spin to it. In addition to the birch “bark,” which circles the cake, made from Ghirardelli melting squares, I melted some extra candy and swirled it around on some parchment paper to create the flourishes on top. I really do love working with chocolate; it’s really easy to shape into forms to make pretty, if delicate, designs.

J As for the cake itself,  it’s a walnut and cinnamon flavor with buttercream frosting. I didn’t try to be creative with that; I find that while in cooking, they’re plenty of room to add your own flair, in baking, it’s more of an exact science.

 Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ve got some work to do (always) if I’m going to have some time to celebrate Father’s Day tomorrow. 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

Lifestyle

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Preparing for Work

I thought I’d add a new series to my blog, in addition to my typical OOTD posts. These posts, which I’m titling Saturday Musings + Coffee, will simply be a way for me to let out some of the thoughts I have in the morning while I sit and sip some coffee. It’ll be more about lifestyle than anything else, but I might throw some fashion in there too. I don’t know, we’ll see!

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a pretty stiff neck after having slept on the couch.


I didn’t mean to, of course – I just happened to do it after falling asleep watching some television with my parents, and I apparently just stayed there all night. I woke up this morning wearing the same slightly sweaty t-shirt and shorts I walked the dog in last night. Gross.

The other problem with that is that I didn’t charge my phone at all, which I usually do overnight with a cord by my bed while I sleep. Thus, I woke up this morning to a completely dead phone, that I’m somehow hoping will charge itself to 100% in an hour and a half before I have to go into work.

I’m doing an eight-hour shift today, by the way, so wish me luck! My job involves being on my feet a lot, which is something I simultaneously love and hate. Love, because I hate sitting for so long, and hate, because it gets exhausting after about the three-hour mark. No idea what eight hours is going to do to me!


I did go running this morning, which I’m hoping will give me a little extra energy this morning. I like to go either in the morning, before I’ve eaten anything, or in the late evening, after all my food has settled. Otherwise, I often wind up cramping and not being able to run as far as fast, and I’m fairly confident it’s to do with the food I eat. I hadn’t been able to go for the last few days because I found myself so exhausted after work, but today, since I didn’t have to go in to the store until later, I had a chance to get my excercuse in beforehand. 

Anyway, it’s about time I get going to shower and dress for my day. Again, please wish me luck on this long day of work! I hope I won’t need it, but, better safe than sorry. I really enjoyed doing this little blog in the morning to help organize my thoughts, and I hope you enjoyed reading it!