Make-Up Application is NOT “Face Beating”

I’ve been wanting to get this message out for some time now, and like much of my other blog ideas, overthinking turns into a major delay. Sometimes I allow the delay to turn into a complete mind change, and thus fail to post all together. This topic however, seemed to be burning inside me. I felt an urgent need to share. You may not agree with me by the conclusion, and perhaps you’ll think I’m being too deep. Nonetheless, I ask that you at least consider coming into understanding of what I’m attempting to explain.


I do believe my reason to be valid, as to why I will never say “my face is beat” in reference to my make-up being beautiful, and I will never use the term in reference to the beauty cosmetics applied to another woman. If you are one who has grown accustomed to using the term, I do hope after reading this you’ll reconsider the choice of habit.


For some years now I have intentionally been working to put a stop in my use of words that hold original definitions opposite of what I would truly like to convey. You know how we often say things like, “That shoe is bad”, because we think it’s really nice. Or “they’re straight killin’ the game”, when someone is excelling in what they do. I made the choice to refrain, simply because I say I believe my words have power. If I hold this to be true, I found it important to think and talk as if all my words matter.


The first time I learned of the term “beating a face” in reference to applying make-up, was by a make-up artist on her instagram page. I was instantly disturbed, as her caption under a photo of a client read,  “I just beat that face”. It didn’t sit well with me then, and still, every time I hear or read such a statement by a woman, I become bothered.


So I write this to ask: when you make the statement have you ever contemplated the number of women who have actually had their face BEAT by the hands of an abuser? Have you thought about those women who live or lived through domestic violence, and the days where they rely/relied heavily on make-up to cover their scars? The same make-up that one woman may simply apply as an enhancement, numerous victims of domestic violence use to hide wounds from a battle they did not vow to enter. That which they physically hide, doesn’t even amount to wounds that are internal (mental and emotional). Understanding this, not because I’ve been a victim myself, but because I know women who once were, I therefore cannot bring myself to join the masses by partaking in this verbal trend. 


Quite surprised this isn’t being discouraged more broadly. Perhaps it’s not until we have a celebrity domestic dispute highlighted repeatedly on the news, and on our social media timelines, that most remember the issue still exist in far too many lives.


Domestic Violence is a serious matter, and highly prevalent. Here are some statistics:

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.
  • 1 in 4 women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.


I first began writing on this topic in August and for some reason struggled to wrap my thoughts around what I wanted to say. I was determined nonetheless, to finish and post this month without further delay. Well, highly befitting, as October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Having no previous knowledge of this, I took it as a sign, that what I deemed to be delayed, was actually right on time. My desire is to always post for relevance and quality and never quantity. I again passionately believe it’s time for ladies who partake in the utilization of this phrase to reconsider. Remembering the women who wear bruises, and have endured what the term truly means.    



If you are reading and are currently in a abusive relationship, know prayers are going forth on your behalf, and remember help is available. We are praying for your safety, for your courage, your mental, emotional and physical strength. Though we may not know you, we have deep love for YOU.  You have value and purpose in this life beyond your current circumstance.


Love and TWIRLS,

Ashley Jade



Discontentment vs. Contentment

Some of our readers may not be aware, that I (Ashley) made a huge life transition earlier this year. In February, I left my for the most part- comfortable world in Los Angeles, CA to build a life in Metro Detroit, Michigan. I say for the most part comfortable, because I was uncomfortable in a job that was not fulfilling my purpose. I therefore left very willingly! Now in Michigan, becoming a settler in this state has in no way been an overnight story of success. Much of what I have vision for in Michigan, has yet to be established or brought to life. I have also postponed many of my plans for The Iris Rose until I have become more settled in my change. If you’ve been following this blog and our Instagram for the past 7 months you probably have noticed just how important it is for us to encourage a culture that chooses joy. Nonetheless, we understand that joy doesn’t always feel like an option to choose. In addition we’ve been talking a lot about making your dreams realities, but sometimes dreams coming true take a long time, no matter how much you are striving towards them. I am a living witness. Nonetheless, I press and twirl on. 🙂  

I created The Iris Rose knowing that much of what I “preached” I would be living out myself in real time. That’s what truly makes this a community. If you “follow us”, then whether near or far we are doing this life together! We will never share anything that we do not truly believe, having lived it out, or are currently living it out ourselves.  


With that being said, I write all of this in complete transparency. I hope as you read you gain the sense of community we hope to provide through our existence. Though currently seemingly a mere blog floating in the abyss of the world wide web full of additional blogs, our desire for The Iris Rose remains. We hope to be more than a blog, and more like a “place”, for women to receive pleasant reminders and “how to’s” towards embracing their little girl inside, and encouragement to choose joy despite any circumstance.  

Before launching the blog, we set a goal to write one new post per month. Well, you may not have noticed, but we skipped the month of June. Not getting a new blog posted was like skipping my monthly cycle. Because it’s now something that is a part of me and not having the flow of words or inspiration was a sign that something was possibly wrong. Just a few weeks ago I realized that I had been zapped of encouragement for myself, and therefore unable to gather encouraging words to share with others. After moving half-way across the country, and waiting for things to really feel all together, I’ve had days where it seemed as though choosing joy was impossible or at least pointless. After all, on a day where it feels like nothing is together or even coming together doesn’t that give us a permission slip to sulk for a at least a few hours? Is it possible to find joy or choose joy when there seems to be no reason at all? The answer is YES!

Skipping June helped me to do some introspection, I was searching hard for the topic and words to blog but first I had to take sometime to find joy within, instead of seeking joy through day to day experiences. I also had to acknowledge that recently I had began to dwell in discontentment versus being content in my current transition.

After finding fault in my outlook of personal and professional pursuits. I discovered that it’s easier to choose joy when content and easier to be content when consciously choosing joy . It is very easy to complain about our current situations when discontent, instead of being content (not complacent) in every season of our life.

Today I ask you, are you choosing joy, and are you living in

contentment or discontentment?

In discontentment we are unable to appreciate anything about what we currently have, and where we are in life, therefore making it impossible to assess what needs to be done in order for us to create a quality of life different from what we are currently living.

In discontentment we mostly feel empty and unhappy, and are unable to celebrate any of our strides, because we always focus on what we can’t do or what we do not have. Ultimately, this is because in discontentment no thing is ever seen as good enough.   

In contentment however, not only do we find peace, but we are also positioned to learn and grow. This is because, being content allows you to shift your perspective, which develops an aptitude for success in where you want to go and where God is preparing to take you. It is admiring, and being grateful for the present, while working toward and anticipating your desired future.

In contentment you are able to assess your potential, and remind yourself that it’s not about where you are currently, but instead it’s about setting, and achieving goals that will maximize your potential, and facilitate the optimal fulfillment of your purpose.

In doing this, it helps to know and understand your current “season”. You can be at peace and choose joy, whether you are in a season of waiting, resting, mothering, unmarried/married, unemployed/working learning/teaching. Whether you are experiencing feelings of having plenty of time because your schedule isn’t very full, or feelings of not having enough time because your schedule is jam packed.


Identify your season so that you can acknowledge where you are, and then appropriately plan for where you want to be; and whatever your season be content and CHOOSE JOY.


Love and TWIRLS,




Dream Travel Explore

Friend, do you remember those days when the things you imagined seemed less like a pipe dream and more like one that could come true?

Those were the days when four boring walls could easily transform to far off places with just a small prompt from your imagination. We didn’t need all the perfect things in place to envision something in our minds.

For example: how many random objects transformed into a make-believe microphone when your favorite song came on the radio or iPod? That hairbrush worked just fine as I sang along to Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down”. After any awards show, my hairbrush or an empty water bottle were my microphone and all stuffed animals and Barbies became my audience as I pretended to thank everyone who contributed to my Oscar win. On the playground I pretended a mound of mulch was Mt. Kilimanjaro. The things I imagined were just a dress rehearsal. All dreams were in my reach.

Then, life happened, friend. My plans didn’t fall together the way I expected and there were seasons I honestly felt stuck, perhaps even forgotten by God. I saw other people living “the good life” while I only continued to dream about it. My microphones were just hair brushes and water bottles. Mulch just mulch. The pictures of far off places on the walls of my cubicle were reminders of seasons in my life when I placed a priority on my dreams.

However, time seems to be flying by ever so quickly! I feel like I was just 16, but that wasn’t yesterday and I need to make these dreams a priority. At the end of each year, I’d like to sing the following lyrics from one of my favorite One Republic songs:

I…I did it all
I…I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

For me, living involves travel and meeting people with unique stories. Last year, I made a promise to myself to travel more instead of living vicariously through hosts on the Travel Channel and PBS. At some point, I want to experience the amazing food and scenic views for myself. Shortly after I made that promise to myself, a friend sent me a screenshot of a round trip ticket to several popular European destinations for less than $400. All the things I wanted to be in place weren’t. I had responsibilities. I had bills I was trying to pay off. I wanted to be 20 lbs lighter before traveling again.

Could I do it? Could I make it happen? For so long the burden of responsibility was my primary reason for not traveling. After working some overtime, abstaining from fast food and staying out of Target (friend…the struggle!), I made it happen. This past March I found myself in Iceland, which by far, is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Why Iceland? I wanted to experience someplace unique, new to me – someplace that would push me out of my comfort zone. I wanted to breathe in fresh air, behold nature’s beauty with my eyes, and truly feel like I was in another part of the world.

Hello Iceland!


Of course, it’s never too cold for ICE CREAM!!


Iceland was very kind to me. The wide open landscapes and beautiful beaches gave me the space and fresh air I needed to recuperate from a grueling first two months of the year. I was happy that I made the sacrifice of a few conveniences to make it happen.
How about you, friend? What dreams have you allowed to slip away? What are a few things you can begin planning for, to bring those dreams back to life? What steps can you take towards seeing it happen sooner rather than later?

Make your dreams, realities!

Cheering for YOU,


Travel my friends!

Don’t be a Georgia Byrd!

Backpacking/Hiking in Big Sur, CA!


Georgia Byrd is the lead character from the 2006 Queen Latifah film, The Last Holiday.

You may or may not have seen it before, but it gives a good lesson for all women. It truly conveys the importance that we all should intentionally Live for TODAY!

After being mistakenly diagnosed with a terminal illness. Latifah’s character, Georgia Byrd made a conscious decision to joyfully live out her final days on earth. Unbeknownst to her, she was not actually going die, at least not according to the date, and reason she had been told by doctors. Nonetheless, her deepest desires that she for years kept hidden and glued to the pages of her “book of possibilities”, were pursued and made realities. A misdiagnosis caused Georgia to realize she had been waiting to pursue various dreams as if she was promised an eternity of time here on earth.

Last year (2016) various events caused me to ponder life before death, and how it should then be lived. I thought about my personal life, and thought about the lives of others as well. I eventually became consumed with the thoughts of how many non-fictional women (real, living, and breathing, every day women), fail to simply have fun each day. I wondered how many women around the world are actually living their life just like Georgia Byrd. It became a slight concern, to think there are women who may never begin pursuing fun or intentionally choosing joy until they learn their days are numbered, having less time than they ever imagined. There’s a line from the film that truly makes me think… Georgia Byrd says,

“you wait, and wait for something to happen and then you find out you’re going to die”.


Why do we often wait for a thing to happen, instead of making it happen? We often set fun aside, waiting to be had only on Friday or Saturday… or that one week in the Summer, or that one day in December. Or why do ladies especially, so often wait for a significant other to enjoy certain life pleasures, such as traveling the world?

You’ll be surprised to one day find, many of the things that you’ve been waiting to happen, have actually been waiting for YOU! Now, I understand prioritizing, and managing time, but what if we as women chose to responsibly live from day to day, while also intentionally creating moments of fun and living out our dreams?

Georgia Byrd had cooking dreams, entrepreneurial dreams, and travel dreams all waiting to be actualized. Yet fulfillment was delayed simply because she failed to do anything outside of work, church, and home. Are you potentially living the same way? We all must continually choose to LIVE, by realizing it’s okay to deviate from our norm!

It’s okay to change up your wardrobe, add some color, add some flair! Do what you’ve always wanted. Do that very thing you’ve been talking about, whether it’s taking up a new trade, or trying that hairstyle you mentioned to a friend. My dear, it’s time to create actual picture memories of yourself in the places you’ve posted on your vision boards or on Pinterest. Do that thing you’ve enjoyed watching others do… you know, that thing you saw one of your favorite social media celebrities enjoy on instagram? You can enjoy it too!




My way of living through no one else, is making sure I travel! Your goal may be the same, or different. Whatever it may be, whether you’re a student, a stay at home mom, working in retail,  a data entry employee, a top level executive for a big name company, or an entrepreneur. remember you deserve to turn YOUR possibilities into lived realities. Don’t make excuses about not having time, or finances. Also, don’t permit fear to grip you, and don’t allow past disappointments to inhibit you.


Live your life for today, because only YOU can!


Love and TWIRLS,



Below are few pics from past adventures. Have some of your own? Share with us! Post an oldie but goodie and tag us on Instagram. We’d love to see!

camping in the redwood forrest. NO TENTS!

Parasailing in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)

Jet Skiing with a friend in the Canaries!

Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy.

A Trolly Joy Ride!
San Fran, CA

Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice-Don’t hate!

As a child, I was keenly aware that my family unit was a bit different. At school, I noticed most children were picked up by their mom or dad, some even had grandparents who came to school. I only had my mother, who was a hard working single parent trying to make things happen for herself and her child. One of her coworkers convinced her that she should go back to school. How in the world would she be able to take classes and do homework all while raising a child on her own? Thankfully, she was surrounded by a support system that primarily consisted of women to whom she was not related. Women from various academic, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Coworkers and sisters from church came alongside my mother to cheer her on and provide assistance as needed. There were women who had multiple degrees as well as women who hadn’t finished school themselves. There were single parents, grandmas, and wives who all knew the challenges that came with accomplishing anything while fulfilling the role of mother. Unknowingly, these women taught me to cheer on those who may be pursuing things that are similar or totally different from the things I want in my own life.


Perhaps you don’t know anyone in your immediate circle that is pursuing something new or reaching a set goal. However, it’s 2017. We’re all one social media feed away from seeing people living for “the turn up”, doing big things and seemingly having it all. 


I’m almost ashamed to say it, but not long ago I spent 25 minutes trying to take the perfect selfie that showed my slimmer jawline, overlooked my struggling edges (full disclosure) and a blemish I hadn’t covered up with concealer that day. I’d dropped my phone three times, took a picture of my hand at least twice, yet finally emerged with a selfie that looked like I was not only enjoying life, but also was at the top of my game. That photo didn’t show the hard work that went into making it happen just like the other photos we “double tap” or “like” don’t show us all of the hard work, sleepless nights, and grind that went into the things people celebrate in our feeds. 


Social media is flooded with footage of mountain top experiences. Sometimes I find myself discouraged because I know how long I’ve been plugging along at pursuing certain dreams. How did things come together “so quickly” for her? When will it be my turn? Then I remember the tribe of women who spurred my mother on in her pursuit to earn her undergraduate degree and how they all celebrated her when she achieved her goal. Her tribe sincerely embraced a mantra I’d heard many times over the years:


“Rejoice with those who rejoice…”


Five simple words. However, those five words can be a struggle sometimes if we are honest with ourselves. Modern portrayals of women in reality tv depict the exact opposite. So much cattiness. So much hate. So much gossip, when we could instead focus on learning how to root for each other, and encourage one another to move towards achieving our goals.

Let’s change our mindset this year. Perhaps the very thing holding us back is the attitude we have towards others who are seeing their dreams fulfilled. As you pursue your queen size goals, celebrate the good things happening for women and watch how things will begin to come together for you! 

– Brandy Anderson

Maximize Your Roses!

On 1/28/17 ladies gathered to celebrate the launch of The Iris Rose! It was a joyous time from beginning to end! 

On 1/28/17 at All That & MORE Boutique in Culver City, CA.

As a congratulatory gift a friend gave me a bouquet of gorgeous pink roses.

I of course twirled with them. I buried my nose in between their soft petals to smell them. I snapped a few pictures while holding them. Then once I got home, I added water to a vase and placed them inside.

In the recent past, any joy or satisfaction I gained from flowers was only for a brief moment. I’ve never been one to buy them for myself; but If flowers were given to me, I would be completely thrilled by the gift and thought. I would however, forget about them as quickly as I received them.

I may not be the only one, if you cannot immediately relate, I’m sure you can imagine… One day you’re out, and you receive a bouquet of flowers and once you get them home, you find them a vase and a place. Then, before you know it, it’s time to toss them out!

Well, this time I was determined to maximize this gift of roses! My first goal was to TRULY enjoy their presence. I intentionally made myself be aware of the roses each day. I focused into their color, their scent, and even the maze like design their petals seemed to form. I was so determined to admire these roses that when my eyes looked deep within one individual rose, it was as if I could sense a soul.

Next, I wanted to give the roses purpose beyond the vase. Hangin them to dry, pressing them, or making potpourri was too common for me. So instead one day I took 4 stems, rinsed the roses and used the petals for a relaxing bath. For good soaking measure I added lavender epsom salt! 🙂

On their last leg of life, I made one of the quickest and easiest batches of rose water! I simply took the near completely dried roses, rinsed them, and covered the petals with filtered water in a pot. I let them simmer for about 30 minutes. Then with a strainer I poured the rose water into a mason jar, I let it cool, then stored the jar in the refrigerator.

Rose water is amazingly versatile. It can be used as a facial toner, body mist, hair perfume linen freshener, and more! Because I did not actually use a distilling method, I will only use this batch for calming baths and linen freshening.

I guess initially this was a personal challenge and experiment, but the process was thoroughly enjoyable, and the outcome was highly rewarding. If you haven’t done so in the past, I encourage you to maximize your roses from here on out! Whether picked from a garden, received as a gift, or a delightful self purchase, choose to fully experience their richness. 

I now challenge YOU! The soonest you are able, find a rose and explore its characteristics. The next time you have a full bouquet, commit to finding ways that you too can enjoy and benefit from their natural properties. If nothing else, allow the petals to surround you in a hot bath! The petals are sure to boost your mood, while simultaneously calming your body. 

Love and TWIRLS, 

Twirling with my roses!


Admiring the maze like design of the rose petals.


Calming bath with rose petals and lavender epsom salt!



A True Story Pt. 1

It is my hope, that you gain HOPE through a piece of my story, which entails a small picture into the conception of The Iris Rose. Though I was unaware, I now know just about 4 years ago I was walking out a God intended journey to learn a few great life lessons.

Every time I look at pictures from our website photoshoot I start Singing ~ “WE ARE FAM-I-L-Y, I got my cousin and niece with me!”. That’s the foundation, of this beautiful creation, but as the foundation was being laid, there was no song in my heart. There was very little rhythm in my step. Whether those around me noticed or not, I knew the truth that I felt within. I was unhappy, because I was living out what I had neither planned nor desired.

It was September 2013, after living in Scotland, U.K. for one year, I was moving back home to Los Angeles, California. Again, there was no song in my heart. I definitely was not walking around excitedly chanting the famous lyrics of rapper, Notorious B.I.G. “I’m Going-Going, Back-Back to Cali-Cali”. This is because I had zero intentions of returning to California. I was on a mission to move to a new state and city, but since my mission was thwarted I lacked confidence in what might be next. Who has time for plan B’s? I never plan for them.

I had just accomplished attaining a Master of Science degree while living abroad. Still, I was unsatisfied. However, wrapped underneath my indifference and dissatisfaction with life and myself, was a thankful heart for family to which I could return. Truly they were my lifeline. They loved me, celebrated my achievements, and financially supported me through the common new graduate income struggle. They often made me both happy and mad, but gratefully they nonetheless caused me to me feel and not become numb.

Without being aware, we sometimes place the majority, or all of our attention on what we want but have not yet attained, that we miss the favorable good that is already in full bloom. Within three months of my return to the states I obtained a paid full time position with a non-profit organization. It was a huge blessing for sure, as I had friends who were unable to land jobs until 6 months or almost a year later following graduation. Yet, it still did not bring me full satisfaction. In fact, I remember only two things making me content and bringing me pure joy at that time. It wasn’t the recent passport stamps, or hundreds of pictures to prove the exciting times, not the new degree, new job, new car, or the new somewhat of a boyfriend (haha). It was none other than my two flowers Iris and Rose.

2 days after being home, 1st day seeing the girls!


The elation I felt seeing the girls for the first time is indescribable. Every time thereafter, when seeing them I knew nothing else, but the moment I was in. Their tender hugs filled me up when I was close to empty. I always enjoyed their little voices and their adorable pronunciation of words. Their laughter was invigorating, the pitter patter of their feet was delightful. Now you might think, “girl you were having some form of baby fever”. My response is “absolutely NOT”. In fact, I mostly enjoyed their company while their parents were around. After being a nanny throughout most of my college years, the thought of being alone with little children was overwhelming. I was officially on a childcare hiatus!

If it wasn’t baby fever then what was it? Admittedly, I was amused by how the girls were able to freely live. It was as if their freedom, freed me. I remember days where I would think to myself, “if I can see the girls today or this weekend, I know I will feel better”. Some sort of early life crisis a few may have called it… I began wanting them around so I could live like them. I longed for the simple pleasures of a child. When we were together they helped me let down my guard. We ran around, we jumped up and down. We sang, we danced, we rolled on the ground. WE PLAYED! After a while I began to realize that as much as I could teach them, they could actually teach me. As soon as I became aware I started to take note. Surely, their lessons were guiding me in how to be an adult. Just like a parent prepares and teaches a child for days when they may no longer be present. God knew a time would come, and it surely has, where I would not be able to depend upon the girls presence to boost my joy. So nonetheless, I truly believe one of the reasons I was rerouted back to L.A. was for the sake of a different type of schooling.
The return was imperative for me to learn the importance of having occasional child-like fun no matter my chronological age. We must all remember to not take life too serious too often. Take time to enjoy that thing you deem to be fun!

I needed to learn that living Intentionally was not solely regarding goal setting, and goal executing, to reach a determined level of success. It’s actually doing ALL THINGS on purpose. It’s being intentional not with just time working, but also in our time loving. So, phone a friend, sit with a relative. Be intentional while living.

I needed to be reminded it’s totally fine to DREAM, and quite necessary actually. Even if our dreams seem too extravagant it’s fine. When Dreams are God given, the process and journey He takes us through will refine them, by eliminating every ounce of fantasy. So embrace your dreams!

I had to realize that the joy I felt when the girls were around could be mine anytime. This was the beginning of also realizing experiencing joy was actually a choice. People and things are not the source of true joy. The girls simply awakened what I already had inside, but because of frustration from repetitive disappointments I occasionally permitted my joy to be locked away.

I’ll be honest, it’s easier told, than lived… Nonetheless, I’m determined to CHOOSE JOY from here on out.
Not ignoring other emotions that are sometimes necessary, just remembering all other emotions and feelings are temporary, based upon circumstance. Joy on the other hand can be yours to keep!

With Love & Twirls,



“To see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; something previously unseen or unknown”

DISCOVER the significance of our name! The Iris Rose – is a combination of names of two 5 year old biological cousins, IRIS Grace and Chloe Victoria ROSE. At their tender age the girls have served as the inspiration of this new brand and community. Their little lives, gentle hearts, and fun personalities are the foundation to our mission of encouraging women to embrace their femininity, as well as their LITTLE GIRL inside!

DISCOVER is one of the girls favorite things to do! Whether big or small they always gain joy in the simplicity of finding or learning something new! No matter your age, may YOU too find beauty and joy when you take time to DISCOVER. A new place, a new skill, a new friend, or something new about an old friend. There’s so much to see and learn, embrace the little girl-discoverer inside of you.