Morning Commute Playlist

I’m slowly but surely becoming a morning person, y’all. I look forward to cozying up with my cup of coffee to slowly wake up each day. Since I have not yet mastered the 6 o’clock wake up time, my morning routine typically continues during my commute as well. As a result, I’ve realized that my morning commute playlist has helped turn the drive to work into a novelty in my day. Rather than defaulting to auto-pilot mode in the morning, I now look forward to and truly enjoy my drive. As we step into a new week, I’m sharing my playlist with you this morning!

my morning commute playlist - kyla mary

Rhyme and Reason by Alexandra Wolf Photography 

Simply click here and listen on Spotify. Happy Monday, y’all!

What songs would you include in a morning commute playlist? Share your favorites below and I might add them to my list!



Makeup Products I’ve Used for 3+ Years

I went through a makeup phase from my senior year of high school through the first two years of my twenties. With much thanks to the era of Youtube beauty videos, I used to make frequent trips to Target, Ulta, and Sephora to add to my ever-increasing collection of makeup products. I tried all kinds of products in an effort to find my favorites, spending a fortune in the process. This expensive habit became burdensome as I settled into my first full-time job and had to be out the door by seven. As a result, I saw the value of having an uncomplicated makeup routine that requires very little decision making in the morning.

Kyla Mary - Makeup Products I've Used for 3+ Years

via Parris Chic Boutique

Rather than continuing the search for new makeup products, there are several I’ve continued to purchase year after year since then. I combine a balance of drugstore products with their higher-end counterparts. This gives me the look I like while still honoring my budget. I prefer to invest in high-end products for my face and eyeshadow and cut costs by buying drugstore for lips, mascara, and liner. This works well for me because the latter tend to need to be replaced more often anyway. The following makeup products are the pieces I would purchase if given $100 to start my makeup collection from scratch, with the addition of a drugstore mascara like this one.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
The price tag on this foundation might seem outrageous to some, but it’s quite reasonable compared to others on the market. I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my face with this foundation. It blends beautifully into the skin and stays put all day, even in the heat of summer. I first bought this before an August trip to NYC and my face still looked decent at the end of a 98-degree day spent walking around the city. Using since August 2013

Bare Escentuals All Over Face Color in Warmth
I started using this product when I was seventeen and have never turned back. I learned how to apply it through the DVD that came with the starter collection, and in true Throwback Thursday fashion I found the clip here. Warmth can be used year-round, using a light application in the winter and building the intensity as needed in the summer. Using since May 2009

Mac Paint Pot in Painterly
I first purchased this to replace my stronger eye primer, as I go without eyeshadow most days. I have fairly thin eyelids and prefer to balance out the darkness of the little capillaries that show through. This product is very versatile, as it can be worn beneath shadow or entirely on its own. I recently replaced this product with a slightly more yellow shade, Soft Ochre, and am equally pleased with the result. Using since January 2013

Loreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eye Liner in Earthen Rock Brown
To this day, I don’t know how to properly apply eyeliner pencil. I’ve tried many times but find it to be fussy and uneven. This has been my go-to liquid liner since high school when my dear friend Amanda sung its praises. I was frustrated with how easily other eyeliners would smudge off throughout the day. She explained that this stays on until you wash it off. Y’all, that’s the truth! The only downside to this liner is that I never see it in brown at Target or Ulta. Even so, it’s easy to order through Amazon as needed. Using since December 2009

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Adore and Honey
Much like eyeliner, I don’t like fussy products. I used to strictly wear lipgloss but shied away because I don’t like the sticky feeling. I tried lipsticks but didn’t like how drying they felt or the way they have to be reapplied often. Enter the Kissable Balm Stain. These are well-pigmented, add a bit of moisture, and leave a pretty stain behind as they wear off. I almost exclusively use Adore on my lips but would like to try other lip products at some point. In the meantime, the soft classic red works great for me! Using since October 2012

What are your go-to makeup products? Share in the comments below!

Our Relaxed Approach to Wedding Planning

With less than three months left until our wedding, I am often asked how the planning process is going for us. The question is often coupled with the assumption that our life must be incredibly busy or stressful right now. Since this has been happening more and more frequently, I’ve realized that we are an unusually relaxed engaged couple. We haven’t been stressed, our hours aren’t predominantly filled with wedding talk, and we aren’t terribly busy with planning all the time. We’re having fun planning our wedding, but it hasn’t consumed our life. Today I’m sharing our relaxed approach to wedding planning in hopes that it will help other couples enjoy this sweet season too.

Rebecca Rose Creative by Nancy Ray Photography

Wedding planning seems to have a reputation of being stressful, but your experience doesn’t have to be that way. Taking a tactful approach with wedding planning can help eliminate the stress, chaos, and pressure experienced by a majority of couples. A wedding is an incredibly special day that deserves intentionality and a great amount of thought. However, I want to fill these precious months of engagement with joyfulness, free of stress. If you’re planning a wedding, the same can be true for you, too!

Focus on the foundational elements first
Establish the foundational pieces of your wedding first: set a date, decide what kind of venue you prefer, and draw up a preliminary guest list from the start. This will help guide the rest of your decisions going forward, so it helps to be clear on the big components early on.

Cast vision together as a couple
Dream together as a couple about the kind of day you’d like to have. It’s common for brides to begin planning a wedding with all the ideas they’ve always dreamed of on their own. In the days of Pinterest, it’s easy to enter engagement with a handful of your own grandiose ideas. Instead of pulling from only your ideas, stop and ask your groom what he wants, too. When Dillon and I started seriously dating, I deleted my existing wedding Pinterest board because I wanted to have a clean slate to work with if we ever became engaged. This proved to be such a helpful way to work together as a team from day one!

Be organized and proactive
Start an organizational system early and refer back to it often. We have two tools that have been essential throughout our planning process: the Joyful Wedding Planner, and Aisle Planner. The Joyful Wedding Planner is a beautifully designed a three-ring binder planner. This has been perfect for putting pen to paper and organizing important lists. Aisle Planner has been a great tool for virtually organizing our details. It allows us to add planning partners, such as our moms and my maids of honor, making the delegation of tasks easy.

Have you ever played a role in planning a wedding? What helped you most in the process?

Read our monthly planning progress posts to see what we’ve been up to month-by-month: JanuaryFebruaryMarch.