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Prestige Or Drugstore: Which Is Better?

prestige skincare brands

I’m a strong advocate for quality of quantity, or in the case, price. Its a question that has stood the test of time. Which is better, high end skin care and cosmetics or drug store? Today, we end that discussion.

I’ve worked at a high end beauty store before and considered myself a beauty sob. However, I’ve recently opened my mid up to new possibilities and I have a few great experiences with both.

To really understand why people stick their nose up at drugstore brands. Back in the day, people thought the products were watered down and the cleansers were weak and ineffective. However, just like makeup has improved so has the case for many skincare brands both prestige and drugstore.

In the beauty world, there are really only two types of products. Prestige & drugstore.

prestige skin care brands

What Are Prestige Products?

The prestige products are basically higher end, “designer” products. You can only get them in specialty, or department stores. Once they go to the target they’re no longer considered prestige.

I remember when I discovered there was no difference between a prestige brand and drug store, I was working at a high-end retail store and we carried Carol’s Daughter I loved the brand. One day I came in and they were taking down the display, When I inquired to why the just told me it was because the brand was no longer considered prestige because it was being sold at Target.

Read: Natural Beauty: Create Your Own Super Hydrating Avocado Hair Mask

At the time I thought they must have changed something. I reluctantly went to Target and bought the same product and there wasn’t anything different. It was just because it wasn’t exclusive.

prestige brands

What Does That Mean?

It doesn’t matter if you get something Sephora, Dillard’s, CVS, or Amazon. If the product is good, it’s good! Don’t question it unless its for ethical reasons. Now I go back and forth, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like using higher end stuff, it’s mainly aesthetically pleasing. As far as working better there is no difference you just have to find what works best for you and that’s what you use.

What do you think?

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Cockroach Milk: The Grossest and Best Thing For You

Photo: Science

When it comes to wellness the last thing that you think is cockroaches would be good for you. Well, you’re in for a shock cockroach milk is the latest health drink that has the biggest benefit on your health.

What Is Cockroach?

As the name suggests it’s milk that comes from a cockroach. Not just any cockroach that you see just crawling around but from the Hawaiian Pacific Beetle that has protein crystals and amino acids. (Insider)

How Do They Get The Milk?

According to, the milk is crystallized inside the embryos guts. They would put the filter paper in the brood sac for the embryos and after a while, you take it out and you’ll have the milk.

Cockroach Milk


How is it Superfood?

The protein crystals are a complete food they have protein, fats, and sugars, as well all the amino acids we need to have our bodies performing at peak efficiency. Its also time released protein so it keeps you fuller longer and very calorie dense.

Is It Safe?

From my research, not really. There’s simply not enough research to know if those crystals are toxic so for now, we’ll have to wait.

I don’t know if mentally I’m ready to see roach milk in Trader Joe’s but I would try a very little bit of it if they didn’t tell me what it was .I’d probably gag once I knew. Would you try it?

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Why You Need To Keep A Journal By Your Bed

Our minds are amazing things. They have the ability to not only control our bodies and everything we do. So when it comes to dreams they really me something. 

Just think about it, your mind knows more about you then you. All your suppressed feelings and thoughts are all hidden in your mind even things you “forget” they are stored away. 

 Your dreams are stories your mind gives you hints to what you’re subconsciously feeling and thinking. That’s why I’m a strong advocate for sleep journaling. 

When you waking up from a dream it’s a good idea to take 5 minutes to write it down. Write it down and see if you notice any patterns. For example, if you keep having a dream about bullying kids you might have some subconscious feelings about bullying you had in your childhood. 

Or if you keep waking up with the thought of work or the errands you have to do in the morning. That might be a sign of a stressful life,  our your work is too controlling of your life. 

However, you might not realize this if you don’t really pay attention to it. Let’s be real when you wake up from a dream you think about it for a moment then you go on about your day unless it was really bad dream.

It’s good to think and write down your feelings when you first start out your day and pay attention to your feelings when they happened. It’s all about mindfulness you have to take time and realize how you feel and register it. 

READ; How To Be More Mindful In Your Life

Keeping a journal about your feelings and about feelings more so about your dreams to keep records of your thoughts just to notice any patterns and really get a chance to think through them. Your subconscious mind can open up so many windows and reveal so much more about you then you could ever know. 

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Creating A Compost In A Small Apartment

I’ve always been interested in composting. Partly because I garden and I would love to have a instant source of soil and I feel a little guilty throwing out my scraps after I’m done cooking. In my head I’m like “but can’t I just regrow these?” When no I can not. So I’m thinking what can I do? Compost, duh.

What is compost?

Compost is an organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. It’s a process that recycles organic materials and waste products and produces a soil conditioner.

This soil is so jam packed with nutrients its perfect for gardening and making your plant babies grow!

But…What’s in my compost?

Dirt mainly and worms. Red worm and red wigglers are the best because they love the compost environment. Maybe some other bugs may wonder through.

Kitchen scraps like vegetables and fruit. You don’t want to add chicken bones, or meat because of the smell and hygienic reasons in general.

How do I do it?

So, to start you’ll need a clay pot or plastic bin. You can find it at almost any gardening store.

Poke holes in it for ventilation and allow water to drain. Make sure to place a tray underneath to catch it all.

Be sure to keep the compost in a cool sunny place inside or outside your place.


On to the fun part, getting your hands dirty.

Cut strips of news paper and soak them in water. Use half the strips to coat the bottom of the bin pour soil on top and add the worms. How many worms depends on how big the container is.

Now you may insert the scraps such as egg shells, fruits, vegetables, paper, tea bags, coffee,filters, cardboard and leaves.


Do not add plastic, animal waste, citrus, meat, bones, or dairy.

🤔Remember 🤔 Everytime you add some compost you add a layer of soak paper strips.

If you want to accelerate the decomposition you can turn the compost every few weeks.

You can add more soil if it’s getting dry, but it’s not necessary. It does however keep the black flies and fruit flies at bay while accelerating the decomposition process. You only need a little bit think 1 1/2 handfuls.

Happy Composting! Let me know of you have any questions or concerns in the comments or my Instagram & Twitter @off4thandgraham

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How To Hygge Your Space

Fall is cozy weather. I always want to get super cozy with my place when it’s cold out because I like it warm and cozy when it’s cold and bitter outside. I’ve gotten it down to a science to how to get the coziest house or apartment (whatever you have) and just go to town.

I’ll share my tips with you….

Get some Pillows of various textures and fabrics. It’s pleasing to the eye and it’s nice to get to get a different feel everytime you turn and move.

Of course, Throw Blankets are a MUST HAVE! My favorite is the plush blankets or fleece because they hold the most heat. You could always get one of those big beautiful knit blankets but, they’re better to lay on rather than curl up with.

A Heater or a Portable Fireplace. You could get either but I prefer the fireplace it’s prettier and it’s more a  comforting heat rather than just a regular heat. It’s also a good investment since you don’t have to worry about cranking up the thermostat.

Plush Robes or just Robes of any kind. You should always have a robe that is cozy and nice. One that you break out for those cold days when it’s raining and you’re looking out your window thanking God you’re not out in that. You’re in your cozy robe about to binge watch Netflix.

Slippers or fuzzy socks. My feet are always cold, even if it’s 80 degrees out my feet will be cold. When I need a nice warm hug I put on my fuzzy socks or slippers and it’s beautiful.

You, of course, need a cozy Lux Pajamas. It could be a chemise, PJ Set, or just a sleep shirt. Whatever is comfortable for you, you do you. I typically wear a sleep shirt because me and blankets + pants don’t work for me.

The final touches are nice Scented Candles like vanilla or cinnamon, and hot cocoa, tea, or coffee. Just to make you warm inside.

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Habits Of Highly Successful Sleepers

I’m a horrible sleeper like it’ll be 2 am and I’ll be wide awake laying in the darkness just up. I’ll wake up the next day after falling asleep at 4 am and be exhausted, my friends who are great sleepers just laugh it off. I guess they don’t understand why I can not sleep. Who can blame them? They’ll fall asleep in minutes, I simply can’t. So I asked How the hell do you guys fall asleep so easily? Here’s what they told me.

..:: My Friends on…How To Fall Asleep ::..

” I have a set bedtime. I go to bed at 11:30 pm every night no exceptions. I can’t risk messing up my internal clock and being thrown off forever!” – Adam,31

“Soft music is key! I turn on whale noises or sounds of the tropics and silently meditate for a few minutes before I know it, it’s morning” – Ashley, 26

“Once I do my nightly routines I’m never up much longer after that, it just feels weird to do things after I shower, wash my face and tie up my hair. That’s like my signal to my brain its bedtime and I need to go to sleep.” – Kara, 27

“I always have a cup of tea. That always knocks me out” – Tavia, 23

“I take melatonin, only when it’s getting late and I can’t sleep. I’m usually out in the next hour.” – David, 25

“Just masturbate, even better have sex! It’s easy, fun, and effective.” – Angie, 34

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#GetYourLife: How To Start Intermediate Fasting

“Please note I’m not a health care professional, I’m hardly a fitness blogger. This is simply how I got ready.”


So you want to stat intermediate fasting huh? Well, so did I but I had no idea what it was, or really how to do it. I did a lot of research and got an app to help me stick to it and I’ll explain all of that in this article.

What is intermediate fasting?

Basically, it’s giving your self a certain amount of time to eat and then fasting, like creating an eating pattern. For example when you ake up in the morning and you skip breakfast and don’t eat until 12 pm “lunchtime”. Then you eat dinner and close the kitchen at 8 pm repeating the same pattern every day. You can also move the times to fit your needs but this time is used for example purposes.

My eating times change every day and then there are days where I don’t eat for an entire day. I’m on a specialized diet because I want to lose weight quickly so I can stick to it. I’m an instant gratification girl when it comes to dieting if I don’t see results quickly I quit.

But how did I get ready?


I spoke to my doctor first.

I asked her pretty bluntly if I needed to lose weight. I recently gained a lot of weight and I liked it but it’s getting a bit too much. I didn’t know how much weight I really needed to lose so I spoke to my doctor, only about 20 pounds, totally doable. She recommended the I try diet an exercise just an overall healthy lifestyle change and I agreed.

I started meal prepping and eating smaller meals.

I looked into smaller healthier meals I could eat. I don’t like reheating breakfast or really eating breakfast unless I have a taste for it. I also wanted to eat more greens so I prepped meals that had a lot of veggies in them. Since I could eat at certain times I wanted to make sure they were the healthiest meals and low calories.

I started drinking more water and tea.

I got a reusable water bottle and instead of taking sips to just wet my throat I would try drinking the entire bottle and then refill it. The water, of course, fills you up and it got my body rehydrated it also got me used to filling up on water and not food.  Tea is also a good appetite suppressant and it’s relaxing.

I practiced Self Hypnosis

I meditated on it. I practiced self-hypnosis to prepare myself for the lifestyle change. It’s a lifestyle change something that I want to do long term. Not fasting for a full day but closing the kitchen at 8 pm so my food can fully digest before I go to bed. I’m used to snacking at 12 am if I’m hungry, or just bored so it has to be dedicated.


To help me along because I’m not the best at tracking time I use an app called body fast. It helps you keep track of your fasting times or when you can and cannot eat. You can select different plans to fit your needs as well as customize your times when you can eat. I recommend it (they’re not paying me) if you need help to keep track of times. You can do the coach if you like but you don’t have to I don’t and it still works great.

I’ve been intermediate fasting for about a week or so now and the swelling has gone down in my belly, it’s looking a lot flatter, as well as my face. My metabolism has sped up a little and did I say I don’t get bloated as much? I like it, it’s not as easy as it sounds especially when you’re up late and see all those food commercials but it’s worth it.

Would you try it or if you’ve done it before what are some of your tips on fasting?


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3 Must-Haves For A Perfect RoadTrip

The rush of a road trip is always exciting! Thinking of a nice relaxing drive to the beach, the lake or just visiting a new town is just fun, however, the packing and planning are not.

Let’s be honest when the trip is a weekend thing or going to a place you’ve never been to it’s easy to get a little flustered. Not to worry, I’ve been road tripping from the age of 5. My parents loved to travel to visit family and friends in different parts of the US and sometimes we had to get ready to get on the road literally in hours! Here are some of my must-haves for a successful road trip.

…:::Have A PlayList Ready:::…

Nothing’s worst (or more dangerous) than having to search for music while driving so have a playlist prepared in advanced. If you don’t have time for a playlist listen to some stories on Youtube. This has honestly been one of my go-to things lately while driving. It’s fun to just get lost in a story especially if you have to drive a while.


…::: Comfortable Clothes:::…

This should really go without saying but try to avoid restricting clothing while driving. I had to drive 4 hours back home in denim shorts and I felt so much more constricted then when I wore my jersey dress on the way down, the drive felt much faster too. My favorite go-to travel outfit is a pair of graphic leggings, a V neck tee and maybe a jacket, if not I’m throwing on a tee shirt dress!  As far as shoes nice flats or slides are perfect for driving and not constricting as some sneakers can be.,


…:::Directions And Rest Stops:::…

I know there’s google maps and you always rely on them and it’s done you good for years. But there’s nothing worse than driving through the mountains and hearing “GPS signal lost”.  OR seeing that gas light come on and not having a predestined place to stop in the middle of nowhere also taking your eyes off the road to look for one on google isn’t good either. So take it back to the 90’s if you’re on a long drive and print out the directions or set up your GPS to work offline. Also plan out your stops so you don’t have to worry about running out of gas or being annoyed by the ” I gotta pee’ in the back seat, just stop and fill up even if you’re not on E and make sure everyone is fully drained before you get back on the road.


The Extras…

We all know at the end of the day it’s all about having fun! Keep the mood up with good snacks and nice but limited energizing drinks, and anything else you might need. I like to take long drives with a neck pillow because I lean and I need my neck to be comfortable.

Don’t forget to have fun while it’s still nice and easy to drive out guys I love road trips you get to see the countryside and make fun stops along the way and possibly make a friend or two and the local watering hole, just be safe!

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#GetYourLife: Time For Hibernation

Every fall or so I like to reset myself. Whether I’m taking time for my mental or physical health.

This is hibernation is for both. Like I said in a previous post my mental health has been tested, you guys. I’m looking sleep and I’m getting angry a lot more which I don’t like. Physically, I just like to eat and lounge around and I’m starting to look like it. So I’m starting a diet and workout plan.

I like to do overhauls of my life, where I clean out my life. Like I get a chance to refresh and make any tweaks I feel necessary.

..:: So here’s the plan::…

Month 1

I start with a dietary cleanse. I like to start off with my diet because it sets the pace. When you eat better you feel better and when you feel better you’re more motivated to stick to any lifestyle changes you make. Also, you’ll see your work out results faster.


Month 1.5-2

After my diet is in check I get physical I start my work out schedule hard. I like to do 6 days a week going from hard to light. I then once I get in my groove I lighten up to just do a 3 day week mid intensity.

Now that we got the physical and diet down we go to mental. I get into my nightly meditation to calm my mind and get my chakras in check.

Month 3

I then get my life reorganized schedule out my life rework my wardrobe and plan out my next year and goals. Then my hibernation is over, I’m birth a new and ready to take on the world.


Want to join my journey? I’ll be documenting here and telling my process. Please join me with any tips you have I look forward to hearing from you.


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How To Cure Your Brown Thumb

Brown thumb (/broun/ Thəm ): The inability or lack of skill in gardening or growing plants, such that they in up dying or not growing at all. 

I recently had a friend over and was admiring my garden and she had mentioned that she kills almost every plant that she’s had. I admittedly didn’t always have a green thumb I had two plants that I killed I don’t remember what they were, but I did know they hardly got any light and I didn’t water them. I put them out in direct sunlight and they literally fried. So it’s a learned skill, you can grow plants you just need some easy to care for plants of steal to practice and learn with. Don’t give up though having a garden in the house is a great way to relieve stress, some even purify the air, and not to mention it’s great decor.

Since my deadly encounter, I was discouraged to buy any other plants thinking I couldn’t do it. Then I was looking for a hobby to get in to and took a quiz online (yes, really) and it told me to try a succulent farm. One succulent turned in to two and then a bamboo plant, now I have 11 plants in growing. Here’s how I got my babies growing

..::Read the plant card::.. 

Every plant that you buy should come with one of these, if not google them and look up their basic care tips. I do this every time, Those sticks tell you not only if the plant is high maintenance it also lets you know if it’s indoor or outdoor plants which you kind of need to know and you’ll know if you can give it the care it needs.

Read : Create Your Own Urban Jungle 


..::Grab an app::.. 

Complete disclosure, I don’t always remember to water my plants and absolutely no idea on fertilization or misting. I got an app on my phone that reminds me to fertilize the plant, mist, and water the plants. There’s plenty on the market the one that I use it called Koubachi. I just enter in the plant’s name then calibrate it basically you just tell the system when the soil gets dry and it’ll have the plant on a watering schedule. When it’s time to water, fertilize or mist you’ll get notification from the app and it also tells how to water the plant because different plants need different amounts.

..::Be ready for pests::..

I had gotten a plant that had a bad spider mite infestation and I had no idea, I thought it was dying on me until I saw literally a trail of them. You’ll have to get some time of pest control there are also natural remedies to get rid of pests, also most times if you keep the leaves moisturized the pests die off. Most of the time you’ll be fine, but I when I didn’t know I thought I just couldn’t keep a big plant (it was my first palm) and I got discouraged so just letting you know it’s not always you.

That’s pretty much it. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be in your own jungle soon and it will be beautiful.