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Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July Berry Cheesecake!

I found this recipe on Pinterest two years ago when I was looking for something to bring to my boyfriends' family gathering for the 4th of July. I think the original blog it came from was moved or deactivated so I'm really glad I saved the recipe because I can no longer find it online!

This recipe makes you look like you went to a lot of trouble to make something with a gorgeous presentation when in actuality, it's incredibly simple. And those are just the types of recipes I like!

I'm sorry the pictures aren't that great, I took them before I started blogging just to document my first time making a cheesecake! haha :)

Linking up!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NYX HD Concealer

I was tired of using a concealer that was slightly too dark so I picked up the NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in CW 02. 

It actually turned out to be slightly too light for me, of course, but I decided to keep it anyway. It has a doe foot applicator, which I was happy with because it made for an easier application than the squeeze tube one I had been using. It has a creamy texture and is not too heavy or oily feeling. It's pretty pigmented, as most NYX products are, and it blended out well.

I know you can tell there's a complaint coming, so here it is...it didn't last long at all before it was empty. It was about $6, which isn't bad for a concealer, but I would expect it to last longer than 3 weeks max. It has .11 oz (3g) of product and that actually isn't a lot. Don't let the packaging fool you- just because it looks big, doesn't mean it's full of product!

Overall, I do think it's a nice concealer. It's pigmented, easy to apply and there is a large color range. I might buy it again in the future and just get a different shade, we'll see!

My concealer hunt will continue I suppose. Have you tried this one? What should I try next?

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Navy and White All Over: Striped Maxi

I told you guys I was going home to visit my family for the weekend and it never fails that when I go out of town I always overpack! I brought 2 extra pairs of shoes I didn't wear, my curling iron and straightener, neither of which I used and several outfits I didn't touch.

One reason I brought too many outfits is because when I saw this navy blue striped maxi skirt hanging up at my moms I asked her if I could wear it the next day. I love maxi dresses and maxi skirts because they look so elegant and like you put effort into your appearance even if you didn't and you got dressed 5 minutes before you had to leave the house!

I also borrowed this navy top from my mom, which I also loved. It's a faux-wrap top with a cowl neck and is so flattering!

As for shoes, I just wore my nude flip flops because I was feeling really fancy and wanted to stick with something basic.

Top- New York & Company
Skirt- Loft Outlet
Shoes- Lauren Conrad- Kohls
Watch- Michael Kors
Sunglasses- Michael Kors

What's your go-to outfit for summer?

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Face Mask Friday: Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar

You might remember this post that I did back in February where I mentioned this face mask. I picked it up on a whim because charcoal has started to become a trendy skincare ingredient and I thought I'd give it a shot.

As you can see on the packaging, it has charcoal and black sugar. The idea is that the charcoal helps absorb the oil and other impurities without over-drying your skin and then the black sugar exfoliates dulling skin cells for "softness and clarity."

To use it, you apply it to your face and leave it on for 5-7 minutes. Then, you massage it for 1-2 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

I will say, it's totally weird putting black chunky stuff on your skin. However, after you let it sit for a minute, you'll start to feel this warming sensation, which I assume is the charcoal activating and it's actually really pleasant! The sugar is a great ingredient for exfoliating and after I rinse it off, my skin feels tight (not in a dry way) and SO super soft.

Overall, I think this product works really well. For the most part, the ingredients are all pretty natural sounding and contains several different fruit extracts, the product isn't tested on animals and it's inexpensive!

I've never actually seen the full sized product in a store, but they do make it so I'll leave you that link on amazon, here. Other than that, this brand in general is pretty easy to find, so I'd say go out and definitely give it a shot- especially if you suffer with oily skin in the summer like I do!

Our Giveaway ends today at 10:00 am eastern so enter if you haven't!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge: Cookie Pie Recipe

My boyfriend and I were feeling like we wanted something sweet, so we were going to make our usual light chocolate chip cookies (check out the recipe, here). Those are really yummy, but I wanted to try something different...I pulled up my handy dandy Pinterest page and saw a recipe for a cookie pie and said, "Why can't we make something fun like this??" My boyfriend said, "We can, let's do it!" so we ran to the store for candy and this is our final result! It totally hit the spot! It tasted very good, was soft, but dense at the same time and had lots of chocolatey goodness that we were craving.

We changed the original recipe a little because we tried to make it as "healthy" as possible. We also only used chocolate chips and M&Ms, but you can add lots of goodies to it for variety!

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted (We used half of 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt and the other 1/2 butter)
1 large egg (We measured out enough egg white to equal one large egg)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar (We used Truvia)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt, optional and to taste (We left this out)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
about 1/2 cup M&Ms, divided (I used regular, but any type will work)
A few pieces of any other candy you want to add (rolos, peanut butter cups, or any other bite-sized candy bar)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish very well with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power. (We did not melt or heat up the yogurt at all; just melted the butter and mixed them together)
3. Wait before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
6. Add about 1/4 cup M&Ms and stir to combine; reserve remainder.
7. Smooth batter into prepared pie dish.
8. Evenly add the remaining M&Ms to the top of the batter, as well as the other candies of your choice. Push them down so the top is flush with the batter.
10. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools.  The pie is meant to be slightly underbaked with crispy edges. 

For the recipe this is adapted from check out Averie Cooks. Hers is adorable because she used Valentine's and Easter candies that are so pretty!

Don't forget to enter our Giveaway!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Giveaway Details!

Hey there, friends! I just wanted to do a quick post for you guys to give you the details of the giveaway Becky from Made in the Shade Blog and I are hosting!

-- It begins tomorrow (June 17th) at 8:00am and runs through Friday (June 20th) at 10:00 am (eastern).

--To enter: follow us on Instagram (links are below) and regram the photo you see here when we post it using the hashtag #beckyivygiveaway. Easy as that!

--The giveaway is only open to the continental U.S. 

--There will be 2 winners (see prizes above)

 --Winners will be randomly chosen Friday by 12:00 and announced by us

I hope you guys enter and good luck!!

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Sunflower Girl & Giveaway!

One of my favorite things to do is wander around historic downtown areas, even better if I've never been there and it's a new adventure! That's what we did this particular Saturday and I had so much fun walking down the cobblestone streets by the quaint little shops with my sunflowers!  This weekend my boyfriend and I are taking a mini-road trip home to my parents house for the weekend! What do you guys like to do on the weekends?

Denim Jacket- Loft Outlet
Striped Top- Rue 21 (very old)
Maxi Skirt- Pac Sun (2 years ago)
Headpieces- My Shop
Lip Color- Revlon Lip Butter in Cherry Tart

Let's just get to the good stuff! Don't act like you weren't thinking it! Becky from Made in the Shade and I found out that we're both bloggers that recently opened  our own Etsy shops and we decided to collaborate (gotta love it) and host an Instagram giveaway! Be sure to follow both of us on Instagram below for the details that are to come!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Introducing my Etsy Jewelry Shop!


*drum roll*


Okay, so I don't know if it's exactly drum roll worthy or anything, but I just wanted to tell you guys that I finally opened my Etsy shop!

It's been in the works since December of last year so I'm really excited that I've actually done it. I absolutely love making things and being creative and since last August this blog has really been my creative outlet. I felt like I wanted to take it to the next level and make tangible things that I could hold (or wear in this case ;) and know that I actually made it! 

So what is Iris Coterie Designs and who is Iris Coterie?

The idea behind my little shop is lightweight, easy to wear, easy to mix, match and stack jewelry and headbands. I wanted everything to be fun and slightly edgy so you can style these pieces no matter where your personal style falls on the spectrum. 
As far as Iris Coterie, it's not a who, but a what (that line totally just made me want to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas). Iris Coterie is a couple of ideas that I felt a connection with...I'll explain. First off, my mom considered naming me Iris, so that name as always been in the back of my mind, but more importantly, I used the name Iris in my shop name because of its meaning in relation to film.  You guys know that I have a degree in film and one thing you learn very early on in film school is what the iris of the camera is and how it operates. Basically, the iris is what controls the amount of light you're letting in the lens. The iris opens and closes and the more open it is, the more light you're letting in, the smaller the opening and the less light you're letting in. Even though it's slightly cheesy ,I've found this to be a great metaphor for life- the more positivity and "light" you let into your life, the brighter and happier it will be and the same is true vice versa. 
A coterie is a group of people with common interests or tastes and I thought that was so fitting for our fun blogging community :)

And there you have it!
Last but not least, please come by and check out my shop and follow my ICD twitter and Instagram pages! I have quite a few more things to add to my shop and my Twitter and Instagram pages are in the early stages so I'd love to see you guys over there! Links are below and in the sidebar :)

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Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm baaaack! Where I've been and Motivation Chat

Hello, friends!

It's been 12 days since I've posted anything here and I feel so out of the loop! There is no big important reason as to why I've been gone, basically I just wasn't feeling inspired or motivated. I think the typical reason this happens to bloggers is because we feel like we've run out of ideas to write about in terms of content, but for me, I have posts in my drafts and several things waiting in the queue, so to speak, that need to be photographed...I just haven't felt like it and it was stemming from my layout/design. 

My layout has been the same since I started my blog back in August of last year. Sure, I changed it from black, white and baby pink to black, white and fuchsia, and might have changed a couple fonts, but it was seriously time for a makeover. I wasn't feeling like I really wanted to keep adding content to a space I wasn't happy with when I looked at it and was uninspiring. I found a blogger that designs custom layouts and even had ideas in mind of what to tell her I wanted, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay for it to happen! I wanted to learn to do it myself, and felt like I should learn, not rely on someone else to do it for me and to stay in the dark about how these things work. I don't mean to offend anyone who has done that and in the future I may still have it done, I just enjoy designing and wanted to expand my knowledge base and not "Ooooo and aweeee" over cool designs and wonder how they did it.

So, hopefully you guys consider my new layout and design an improvement like I do! I'm really pleased with it, and no, it isn't perfect, there is still room for more improvement, but I'm so proud that I taught myself (a small fraction) of Photoshop and html and was able to follow basic instructions on things I didn't already know to create it.

I was really happy with my last design for SO long, but just as the quote says, progress is impossible without change. I feel like I made so much progress this past week that I've been working on this whole design...I needed to make it more streamlined, more professional and a little more fun. As a bonus, I also learned so much so I was able to make progress with my own skills.

I don't plan on being gone for that long again any time soon! I just didn't want to keep posting here while my page was "under construction." Overall, I'm feeling much more motivated and excited to get going again and I can't wait to get back to it!

Let me know what you guys think about my new look!

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