Online Shopping (for Broke Students)

Online Shopping

No, this is not a post about where to buy broke college students. It’s a compilation of the best places to shop online (for cheap!). College is stressful and time consuming, meaning you feel like you could use some intensive retail therapy, but don’t have the money or time time to shop, even for the things you actually need (I’ve run out of conditioner during finals week, it’s not pretty). Even when you’re not super stressed out, the ability to shop in your pjs is pretty sweet. Save yourself some time and money by checking out a few of these sites!


Amazon is the godfather of online shopping. Need to buy ramen noodles in bulk? Amazon. Broke your headphones? Amazon. Need your specific brand of face wash? Amazon. “Forget” to buy a book for your intro to modern poetry class? Amazon. I’ll let you guess which of those I’ve actually done.


Poshmark allows users to buy (and sell!) new and gently used clothing at a fraction of the cost. They take care of the shipping and transfer all the payments, which makes it super easy to make a few bucks on that dress you only wore once to that alpha apple pie formal, and the top that’s been hanging in your closet, unworn, with the tags still on for way too long. I’ve been using Poshmark for over a year now and have never had any problems.

Use my code WANT_THEN_WEAR when you download the app for $5 off your first purchase!


Redbubble is honestly just such a fun site to browse. Bring on the cheap laptop stickers baby (I wrote a whole post on college students’ obsession with laptop stickers here). This is my go-to for when I have a rough week (aka more than four papers due). And they pretty much always have some type of deal/sale going on. It gives me retail therapy results for less than ten dollars, plus my laptop gets a shiny new accessory. It’s a win-win situation, really.

Right now you can save 20% with the code BDAYUSA !


SheIn has cheap but trendy clothes. But be warned, quality can be a bit of a gamble. That adorable $3 top might be made out of weird or super cheap material. Make sure you read reviews and double check the size chart before ordering!

You also get 15% off your first order when you sign up!

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Adventures in Atlanta

Really Miranda, you went on another vacay? Didn’t you like just get back from California? And aren’t you in the middle of moving?

Lol. The answer to all of those questions is yes… sorta.

Why Atlanta?

I actually hopped on a plane and flew down to Atlanta, Georgia for the weekend just to see my sister sing in, not one, but TWO operas. Clearly I am the slacker of my family. Regardless, this cutie totally killed it in both The Ballad of Baby Doe and Little Women.


Fish, Friends, and Food

Between shows we were able to do a wee bit of sightseeing and exploring. Cara and my mum went to go check out the incredible Georgia Aquarium.


Unfortunately I didn’t go to the aquarium, but I did get to do something way better! My old flatmate, from when I studied abroad in Paris, happens to live in Atlanta.


This pic was taken on top of the Eiffel Tower, and I honestly still can’t believe it’s been a whole year. Fun fact: this is one of exactly three pictures of the two of us because we were each other’s photographers for the majority of the trip, lol. It feels like only yesterday we were meeting up at our favorite cafe (Peonies, it’s literally so cute you should seriously check out their Instagram). We were able to meet up for coffee and some sweet treats, but this time at one of her favorite spots stateside, Relevator Coffee Company.


I’m so glad we were able to catch up. It’s weird when you spend everyday with someone for almost three months, and then it’s over and you don’t know when, or if, you will see them again. It makes me think of all of my college friends, and how after we graduate I might not see them again for a long time. Are you crying yet? Cause I’m definitely not crying… it’s allergies. Shut up. On a different note entirely, Scarlett and I even started planning out another trip together (Europe 2.0?!). So you can start getting hyped to read about it here on the blog!


Yet another cute photo ruined by the shadow of my iPhone, RIP.

Seriously Considering Becoming a Food Blogger

If you’ve read my other posts, you probably know that food is my absolute favorite part of traveling.  I mean there are very few things better than room service at the Ritz.


Alie’s performances ran super late, so pretty much everything was closed and we were starved. So we ordered pretty much every late night munchie one could think of, pizza, wings, ice cream… I mean there are very few things better than room service at the Ritz. Except for, maybe, brunch at the Ritz.


It was Father’s Day weekend, which we celebrated with our grandparents. So naturally, we had to have brunch outside on the veranda. I mean does it get much better than that?


It was a pretty great trip for being so short, and I hope I can head back to Atlanta to explore more of the city!

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Poolside in Pasadena

Life At The Langham

I super lucked out. My mum, the brilliant lawyer that she is, was asked to speak at a conference in sunny Pasadena, California, and she let my baby sister, Cara, and I tag along. The resort we stayed in, The Langham Huntington (what a name), was just truly, unbelievably gorgeous. Like just look at these pictures:


It was like living on a movie set for 5 days. Cara kept saying she could actually live here. I mean they left us complimentary cookies, does it get better than that?

Oh My Foodie

Get hyped up for some truly epic food pics. I was the most extra and stood up in the middle of several restaurants to get these tantalizing shots, so don’t say I never do anything for you. I even dropped my phone in butter once, although maybe that’s more reflective of a lack in coordination.

The breakfast options were all so darn good! Cara’s waffles had a dollop of whipped honey ricotta on top, so I might have stolen a bit. Can you really blame me?

But also look at these beauties. Guys I seriously gained like five lbs on this trip. No joke. I low-key blame the breadbaskets (I have no self control when it comes to carbs).

But I gotta say the best meal of our stay at the Langham Huntington, was by far dinner at The Royce. We had a lovely steak dinner, that I’m honestly still dreaming about. Cara tried truffles for the first time, followed by a religious experience, and then proceeded to have a panic attack due to a misunderstanding about truffle pigs. She thought that the truffles grew on the pigs lol (I can assure you that they do not, the pigs just help people find them).

Sitting Pretty, Poolside

We somehow managed to get the best spots by the pool. The pale Irish girl in me beat out my desire to be tan though #vampireskinforever. Oh well, the poolside view and refreshments made up for my unsuccessful attempt at sun tanning (flashbacks to my attempt at using self tanner).

My mum says if we keep up the poolside lounging, we’ll lose brain cells and turn into the Kardashians. I reminded her that we are nowhere near being tan enough to be a Kardashian.

Getting Our Sport On

I would like to add that I did more than just eat a ridiculous amount of pretty food and get a sunburn. On the front lawn of The Langham, we had a not-so-friendly game of badminton. My mum and I faced off against Cara, who roasted us all with her play-by-play sports commentary.


Even though we didn’t keep score, mum and I crushed it. Don’t listen to Cara, she’s full of lies.

Hotel Room Heaven

I don’t know about you but I love staying in hotels. I mean plush robes, pretty marble bathrooms, giant beds with a million pillows, what more could a girl want? Oh. Did I mention our room had an espresso maker which I took full advantage of?

Also if you’ve read this far, I’m sorry I haven’t posted on the blog for a hot minute. Finals were intense to say the least, and then I had to move all my things from my dorm in Ohio, back to Illinois. But I’m back at it with the witty blogging you know and love! If you have any suggestions for my next post, want to collaborate on something epic, or just want to ask me my favorite flavor of ice cream, feel free to hit up my contact page! I love talking to people (almost as much as I love honey and almond butter ice cream)!

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Why You Should Raid Your Mom’s Closet

Three Solid Reasons:

  1. It’s like shopping for free, which, let’s face it, is basically the dream.
  2. Vintage is so in right now. (Pro tip: don’t call it vintage in front of your mum, she might not appreciate it and accuse you of calling her old)
  3. You might find an amazing, authentic, hot pink, hight cut, low back workout leotard circa the 80s (not pictured because I’m waiting for the perfect 80s themed social so it can truly have it’s moment to shine).

How To Properly Raid Your Mom’s Closet

I’m going to recommend you ask your mom if she has any old clothes from when she was in college, or that she doesn’t wear anymore. I mean, if I just went through my mum’s closet without asking, I’m pretty sure I would not be alive and writing this blog post, but you do you friends. So I asked my mum and she gave me a rather large stack of old tops, dresses, sweaters, skirts, etc. I went through it and decided to keep a few things, and then I listed the rest on Poshmark (shop my closet here). I brought the clothes I kept back to college, and in a moment of boredom my lovely roommate Isabella and I decided to do a little photoshoot to show them off for you. I would like you to know that we were heavily judged for our spontaneous shoot by prospective student tour groups, a girl wearing gloves, a hat, and a winter coat, and two very tan girls. #diditfortheblog


Just to clarify, I am by no means a fashion blogger. I claim to know next to nothing about clothes, or style, or trends. This was just something my roommate and I did for fun, and thought you might enjoy it. I also like to think I’m occasionally funny. Enjoy.

Look #1: Is It Darty Season Yet?

So my mum gave me the knitted tank top. It’s got some pretty cool detailing with the V in the front. I think it looks really cute on Isabella, and could totally see someone wearing it to a darty (“daytime party” for all you non-greeks out there). We paired it with the most stereotypical darty outfit of all time: dirty converse, denim cutoffs, and a flannel tied around the waist. Truly iconic.

Look #2: All The Pastel

I don’t know why but this look kind of reminds me of an Easter egg? Anyway, my mum included this lovely pastel purple sweater in the pile. I decided to go for a I-want-it-to-be-warm-but-it’s-not kind of look by wearing a sweater under a dress. Idk. I pretty much only wear black, so this was outside of my area of expertise.

Look #3: Paris, France Or Oxford, Ohio?

Ah yes. The wonderful fashion blogger trope of making an outfit cool by adding a beret (don’t ask why I own a beret). Isabella and I just felt my mum’s sheer blouse needed this edgy accessory to really take it to the next level. So Parisian of us.

Look #4: The Rock Circa The 90s

Okay so this turtleneck is so soft. I think it might be cashmere. The turtleneck and the gold chain were so of my mum’s go-to pieces in the 90s. Of course I looked to the Rock, a true fashion icon, for styling inspiration.

Look #5: Business Casual

Funny story: So after we photographed this look Isabella said “I look like a secretary trying to sleep with my boss”. Maybe pairing the embroidered blouse with a leather mini skirt and lace up heels was not the move.

Look #6: First Day Of Kindergarten

I look less like I’m on my way to learn about primate ecology and the ethics of ethnology, and more like I just learned how to tie my shoes. The mini backpack really brings the whole look together. The striped top was my mum’s, and I actually really like it, even though it kinda makes me feel like I’m in one of those Where’s Waldo books.

Look #7: Street Style Fashion Blogger

Tyra Banks look out, my roommate is America’s Next Top Model. We paired my mum’s vintage Tommy Hilfiger logo t-shirt with some badass striped black pants and denim jacket. Isabella might just be the edgiest statistics major out there. Brains and beauty friends, she’s got it all.

Look #8: Where’s The Beach?

Clearly my legs have not seen the sun in a hot minute because, dear god, am I pale. My mum gave me this cute little blue and white button-up shirt, and I felt like pretending it wasn’t cold outside, so I paired it with some high-waisted shorts (cue the girl with with gloves, a hat, winter coat, and intense judgement in her eyes). If anyone wants to Venmo me so I can buy a plane ticket to somewhere with sand and palm trees lmk.

Look #9: 1980s Prom Date

I’m not gonna lie this was my fav outfit from the shoot, probably because I got to channel all my favorite 80s movies. That and my mum’s old dress was black, so I was very much in my element. As for her pink suede jacket… I still have mixed feelings.

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Miranda VS Pinterest: boho braid

Boho braiding away my problems…

So I had several papers that I needed to work on over break and let’s just say that I had yet to even pick a topic for one of them. Instead of being a good student and spending my break studying and gathering sources and whatnot, I sat around in my pjs scrolling on the internet. This led to scrolling on Pinterest, which led to me thinking I could do cool things with my hair. In case you were not aware of the level of effort I normally put into my hair, the bar is pretty much on the floor. In a moment of true procrastination and boredom, I decided to try out a fancy-looking-bohemian-braid thing.

The picture that started all this nonsense

The Tools

  • Curling wand
  • Hair band
  • Ice
  • A significant amount of patience/boredom

The Process

Did I take the time and effort to tap on the link and look at the tutorial before diving right in? No. No I did not. Was this a mistake? Probably yes. What follows is the haphazard method with which I attempted to replicate the boho braid. I don’t necessarily recommend you follow along given that I sustained several burns to my hands and the whole process took well over an hour. I’m sure the pin has a link with a much better tutorial. I’m just too lazy to check.

  1. Part your hair sharply to one side. (Starting off strong)
  2. French braid hair.
  3. Realize the braid in the picture is a Dutch braid. (The first of many mistakes)
  4. Undo french braid and try again with a Dutch braid.
  5. Fluff Dutch braid by pulling at it until it looks bigger.
  6. Accidentally undo the braid. (Here we go again)
  7. Re-Dutch braid your hair and fluff more carefully.
  8. Turn on a curling wand and test the temperature by grabbing the hot part followed by screaming a couple different four letter words. (Don’t try this at home kids)
  9. After icing your hand a bit, some pieces of hair in the front out of the braid to make it look more romantic. (aka make it messy)
  10. Curl the end of the braid and any bits of hair that that been pulled/fallen out of it. (Try not to burn any more skin off your fingers pls)
  11. Arrange your curls and braid so the look effortlessly boho. (Then take a million pictures to post on your social because you just spent an hour of your life and you injured yourself several times in the process so obviously the world needs to know about it)

Ta-da! That’s how I did it. Would not recommend you use the same method I did. Shout out to my baby sister Cara for taking five zillion pictures of me so I could post two of them here for you all to enjoy. After which I immediately took out the braid and stuck it in a high pony.

Don’t forget to call me, Miranda, for all you prom/formal hairstyle needs! Just kidding. Please don’t do that. I’ll probably burn you or accidentally dye your hair pink or something. Go see a professional.

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Adventures in Self Tanning

I have never been tan in my life.

Hi there. In case you weren’t aware that I am the palest of the pale, well, now you are. My skin is just a lovely mix of all of my pasty European heritage. If you need proof of paleness, just check out my Instagram. Let me tell you that I have tried to tan just about every summer ever since the early ’00s, but to no avail. The results have always ended up somewhere between embarrassed blush pink and angry lobster red. The best part is that it doesn’t even fade into a tan. It just goes straight back to polar bear in a snow storm.

Why use self tanner?

So I’ve pretty much embraced having Snow White’s skin tone. The whole self tanner adventure was kind of a spontaneous midnight decision, much like many (all) of my so-called adventures. Basically I won a bottle of self tanner as part of a giveaway hosted by my dear friend Adelia and sponsored by Bluetique, and given that it’s spring break and I’m just chillin’ at my mum’s house for a week, I figured now was the time to give it a try. If I turn into a cheeto (not unlike a certain member of the executive branch of the US government), at least I’ll have time to try and exfoliate it all off before I have to go back to the real world, aka college.

Actual picture of me praying for a tan

The Process

Okay so the self tanner I used is called Self Tanning Moisturizer by TanTowel. I’m essentially translucent so I had no idea what color I was going to turn out. I figured it’s more or less a tinted moisturizer, and the bottle says it will really only make you a shade darker, so what’s the worst that could possibly happen? *cue horror movie soundtrack*


Pro tip: do not look up self tanner horror stories before applying self tanner. It makes the whole process unnecessarily stressful. I also read a bunch of tips for using self tanner online, and decided to use a couple.

  1. I tested a teensy bit on my arm to see if I was going to have an allergic reaction. This is always a good idea when first trying out a new product. Thankfully no reaction.
  2. According to the internet, if you exfoliate first, your faux tan will last longer. So I took a long, hot bubble bath followed by a sugar scrub. This was by far my favorite part of the self tanner process. The dorm shower life really makes me miss bubble baths.
  3. The bottle said to apply it in an even layer everywhere. This was the part of the process the internet warned me about. I spent way too long scrolling through pictures of streaky, patchy tans, as well as dark orange hands, knees, and elbows. Yikes! I decided to apply the self tanner in small sections (i.e. shin, thigh, stomach), and obsessively washed my hands between each application, in an attempt to avoid becoming a self tanner horror story myself.
  4. The bottle, and the internet, reccomended I let the self tanner dry completely before dressing, so I watched an episode of New Girl while I waited. Nobody pulls off bangs quite like Zooey Deschanel.
  5. The bottle claimed I’d see results in a few hours. It was past midnight so I went to bed, planning to deal with the repercussions in the morning.

The Results

Well, I’m not an orange, but I’m also not a bronzed goddess. I miraculously ended up with a consistent allover color, and avoided staining my hands too badly. I kind of just look normal from a distance, and a tad bit jaundiced from super close up. Not a success but also not a complete disaster. My only complaint is that I think I chose the wrong self tanner for my skin tone (I have cool undertones, not warm). I’m not saying I will never try self tanner again, but I probably won’t use this particular brand if I do. If you have any tips or recommendations for self tanning, please leave me a comment below or hit up my contact page!

Lol check out this super flattering pic of me reflected in my sunglasses

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Create Your Perfect Study Space

The Perfect Study Space

The perfect study space is optimized for maximum productivity, as well as comfort. It incorporates your favorite things is a way that is not too distracting. The perfect study space is different for everyone, but they all follow the same basic guidelines.


Where you set up your study space is crucial. It seems easiest to just study in your dorm but I recommend you try looking elsewhere. Check out my post College Success Tips (That Actually Worked For Me) for more ideas.

  • outlet – nothing kills a study session quite like a dead laptop
  • comfortable seating – think chair with pillows
  • table/surface – somewhere to spread out all your notes
  • proximity to snacks and caffeine – this is a given
  • window/good lighting – prevents headaches from squinting at your computer screen in the dark
  • quiet/minimal noise – aka far away from your chatty BFF


What You Need

These are suggestions for what to include in your study space, I recommend picking four or five of the following, so your space isn’t too crowded/distracting.

  • candle in your favorite scent – mine is roses, in case you ever wanted to buy me a candle, just putting it out there
  • plant – because if Margo the aloe plant is still alive after I abandoned her for the entirety of winter break, then I can get through another chapter of linguistics
  • coffee/tea – makes your insides all warm and cozy
  • warm blanket – makes your outsides all warm and cozy
  • fuzzy socks – warm and cozy 2.0
  • snacks – I call it food associating, you might call it binge eating, I agree to disagree
  • headphones/chargers – aka the essentials
  • hair tie/clip/headband – necessary when you have long hair like mine that absolutely refuses to behave
  • note pad and pen – there is always something I need to write down so I remember it later

Need more inspiration? Check out my Pinterest page!

After an intense study session I recommend relaxing with a DIY Dorm Spa Day . Self care is so important in preventing burnout, plus you feel all goddess-like afterwards.

Best of luck!

What is your perfect study space? Share it with #memyselfstudyspace !

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