link love {9.30.13}

Happy Monday, friends! Did you have a good weekend?

After a whirlwind week with lots of visitors, we finally just settled down and relaxed this weekend. I totally skipped Friday Favorites, but I did catch up on lots of reading so I wanted to share a few fun things I discovered…

Link love from

I never knew the story behind one of my favorite children’s book {or heard the author sing the words!}

Feeling a bit voyeuristic but it’s hard to pass up this dating experiment

I thought this BHG color quiz was fun & I got Sea Glass as my color. What about you?

Fall weekends really remind me of college campuses

And these photos gave me a case of wanderlust

Fall weddings on the books? Put some heart {and DIY love} into their gift.

I’ll be back later this week with lots more engagement photo session inspiration and advice!

Listening to: Marc Broussard – Save Me

the latest sunshine

It’s been awhile since I shared anything in my “Little Bit of Sunshine” series so I thought I’d cover just a few random things I’m loving lately.

Have you seen Bill Cunningham New York?

Bill Cunningham New York - a must see documentary

It’s a documentary film about Bill, a legendary street fashion photographer who has worked for Details magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, and most notably The New York Times, capturing decades worth of New York fashion. He’s a fascinating person who has committed his life to his craft and there is no one who does it quite like him. The film came out in 2011 {I must’ve been living under a rock!} but with a whopping 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, you don’t have to take my word for how amazing it is. If you haven’t seen it, fire up that Netflix membership {it’s streaming free!} and watch it TONIGHT.

I can almost guarantee you’ll be obsessed with his current work afterwards.

On a completely separate note, I’ve been thinking about canceling my Birchbox subscription for a few months. It was fun for awhile, but I realized I wasn’t always getting products that I was dying to try out right away — and where’s the fun in getting things that sit on your dresser for 3 weeks?

But, my September box was a pleasant surprise. The first thing I pulled out was the new Ruffian nail polish in Fox Hunt. It’s a fun, bold color but totally works for fall. Ruffian is actually the fashion line that made the mini-moon manicure famous on the runway.

Ruffian Nail Polish in Fox Hunt

Clearly, I did not attempt that fancy manicure yet. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of application, coverage, and shine. It didn’t have a hint of chipping in the 4 days I wore it {then I treated myself to a salon manicure}. I’m definitely tempted to try out some of their other colors or maybe get daring and order the stickers that help you create the moon manicure.

And last but not least, my absolute favorite new music is Bastille’s album Bad Blood. It doesn’t sound like anything else on the radio and their accents are also swoon-worthy. I listened to an interview with them on Sirius XM and they discussed their pronunciation of “floors” vs “flaws” at length.

Bastille "Bad Blood" - a must listen album

Start with “These Streets” and keep cycling through the whole album. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Listening to: Bastille – These Streets

you make me wanna say I do

All these months I’ve been blogging about our wedding, I’ve been keeping something pretty major from you… our engagement photos! You might’ve caught a sneak peek of them when I wrote about our DIY save the dates but that’s it! I never told you anything more or showed you the real, full-frame versions. I promise it wasn’t intentional!

In lieu of any wedding photos {they’re coming, I swear!}, here’s a look back at our engagement photo session — hope you enjoy a little photo overload.

Our engagement photos by Amy Moore Photography |

We got engaged after a picture-perfect day spent at my favorite place on earth, Higgins Beach. It’s the beach where I’ve spent weeks every summer since I was a tiny baby and I would not miss a summer there. So, once we decided on a 2-year engagement, it was clear we’d capture our engagement photos at Higgins, as well.

Our engagement photos by Amy Moore Photography |

I am so lucky that my sister just happens to be an incredible photographer {she’s also a pretty great sister and MOH, too!} and she shot all of these for us — it was actually a 3-part session. We would go to the beach for the day, then rush home to shower and get dolled up and then head out to various locations just before dusk when the lighting was perfect.

Our engagement photos by Amy Moore Photography | jessalayne.comThere are at least 30 other shots that I love equally as much as these, but I tried to pare down so as to not totally overwhelm you! I’ll also be back soon talking about planning for engagement photo shoots.

Surprisingly a LOT goes into something like this — everything from outfit selections for both you and your man, location scouting, props and posing. It’s worth taking the time to properly organize.

While you wait for my tips, you can always check out my Pinterest board for some inspiration.

Our engagement photos by Amy Moore Photography |

All photos by Amy Moore Photography.

now and later ~ designing a serene bedroom

I mentioned a little while ago that the decorating itch hit me pretty bad. I think it was the few weeks of downtime following a busy summer of wedding projects, but I was ready to get creative around the house.

While we all probably have dreams of a total room {or house!} revamp, that can be hard when you’re living in apartment with limited design options {like painting} and are trying to keep to a budget. But, knowing the itch was one I needed to scratch, I allowed myself one pretty major update in our bedroom this month — I finally ordered a vanity, which I’ve been wishin’ & hopin’ for since January.

It’s actually a desk from Target’s Threshold line {still obsessed!} but was the perfect width and length to fit in the corner of our bedroom.

Target Threshold Console desk as a vanity | jessalayne.comvia

Traditionally, a vanity is a place you can sit and literally get dressed or at least apply make-up and jewelry. But, depending on the purpose you want it to serve, desks, sofa tables, entry way tables, and so much more can double as a multi-tasking vanity. So, if you’re considering adding a vanity to one of your spaces, keep in mind all the options you have during your search process! Or, if you’re feeling particularly handy, some are so simple you could DIY them!

Various Types of Vanities |


  • Safavieh gray console table
  • Lachlan sofa table – a knock-off of the ever-classic Parsons desk
  • Threshold desk
  • PB Teen traditional vanity

Having a higher desk versus a low side table has taken some getting used to, but ultimately, I’m loving the way it’s helping complete our bedroom. Plus, it’s fun to style a larger table top {pictures coming soon!} and it has an amazing amount of storage in the low but wide drawer {tip: I’m using old Birchbox boxes to group like items inside the drawer}.

But what’s the “later” I referenced in the title of this post, you ask? Well, I’ve dreamed up an entirely new bedroom — one that may or may not use this fabulous new vanity that I purchased {it’s fun for now, but don’t we all love changing things up?}.

Keeping in mind the size of your typical city bedroom {read: 11×11 ft}, I like the idea of using light, airy colors and making great use of window(s) to help a small room feel bigger. Some hints of metal, a few pops of color, a great mirror to reflect that light and some personal elements like black & white wedding photos will help give this otherwise neutral room, a personality.

Serene and sophisticated bedroom inspiration | by


A dark, cozy bedroom could be fun, too, though. Maybe I’ll dream that up and let you guys decide which direction we go in long term!

Listening to: Ellie Goulding – Burn

lim-sane shopping {phillip lim for target}

Like any good fashion-involved but budget-conscious girl, I’ve purchased a few designer collaboration items from Target in the past, most notably a Prabal Gurung tank and cardigan and a few of the FEED bags from this summer — the tote is now my #1 go-to reusable bag and the small velcro pouches are perfect for travel.

Selections from the Prabal Gurung for Target line

I did not participate in the madness that was Missoni for Target. And for both of these other collaborations, I leisurely made my way to the store days after the launch and chose from what was left.

But, for 3.1 Phillip Lim last weekend, I did things a little differently and found it to be a pretty fascinating fashion and social media experiment — I was shocked even by the way I reacted to the hype — so I thought I’d share my experience.

I’d read several articles, reviewed the lookbook and had a sense for the pieces I’d be most interested in but wasn’t particularly set on stalking the Target site just to nab one of them. I don’t usually like to fight the crowds, especially when it’s an online mob you can’t predict. But, as 9:45pm MT / 11:45pm EST approached on Saturday evening, I found myself signing on to Twitter just to see what chatter was happening {and okay, maybe I wanted one of those bags more than I’d like to admit}. Well, I got suckered in for a full 90 minutes. I just could not pull myself away from the #PhillipLimforTarget feed.

Target has handled each collaboration differently, so there was no guarantee the entire thing would go live at midnight EST, but boy did those tweeters believe it should and would happen. The main landing page went live first with a few of the featured items clickable — and buy-able! The Twitter stream went crazy with fashionistas and bloggers sharing links and announcing #itshere! Shortly thereafter, someone shared a link to another Phillip Lim item that wasn’t on the main page, but had somehow gone live. Interestingly, the link didn’t work for everyone and when changing just one number at the end of the link, some fans started discovering even more live products.

This is when I grabbed my techno-savvy, app-developing husband who tried to crack the code. Guys, we were so into this, we were trying to find Target’s hidden pattern in the releases and the numbers in the URLs. Crazy, I tell you — but oddly enough, we were having fun working as a team. Even if we were working as a team to indulge my shopping habit. What a silly, married life we’re leading!

When all was said and done, we called it a night around 11:30pm MT / 1:30am EST and had already placed two Phillip Lim orders {their free shipping over $50 policy did not help the impulse buying}.

Phillip Lim for Target purchases by JessAlayne.comSadly, the bags still had not gone live online so T-man agreed to head out to a Target around 9am the next morning {just an hour after it opened}. But — in a twist of fate, which I took to mean I absolutely needed one of those bags, I naturally awoke around 7am MT. At that hour on a Sunday, I would typically let myself doze for another hour but this time, I grabbed my phone and loaded up the Target app.

To my surprise, TWO of the bags I just shared on Friday were still available — and even better, were online exclusives! I swiftly added them to my bag but started having buyers remorse and went back to browse. Just minutes later, I went to check out and one bag was SOLD OUT {gasp!}. That free shipping came back to haunt me, and I let myself order the first bag, a purple bucket tote.

I kicked myself for a few minutes that I missed out on the absolutely perfect classic, black carry-on bag. In a last ditch effort, I attempted to add it to my cart again — and it worked! At $44.99, I was just under the free shipping limit, so that was the one shipment I’ll be paying for {out of an embarrassing four orders}.

Phillip Lim for target bags I purchased

Before you think I’m a total nutcase who doesn’t know the meaning of a budget, I absolutely do not plan to keep all of the things I ordered. I’ll be the first to admit I was swept up in the hype, exclusivity, and limited availability of the collection. On the other hand, I’m excited to review them — and possibly offer a few for sale now that ALL of the items I bought are sold out online {and some with only limited availability in stores}.

So tell me, did you shop the 3.1 Phillip Lim launch? Did you get the pieces you were hoping for? And what do you think about Target’s next collaboration coming in February? I, for one, hope to avoid the hype next time around!

Listening to: Incubus – Are You In?

august 17th, 2013

It’s been one month since our wedding.

I can hardly believe it – it seems like ages ago we were stressing, preparing, and getting primped and primed for literally the best day of our lives. The best day ever.

It was a blast! We not only got married and committed our lives to each other but we threw one amaaaazing party {verified by many close family and friends}. It was unforgettable — and made even more unforgettable by the work of our videographer, Tim at Studio 94.

I thought in honor of our one month-iversary {SO a thing!} I would share our wedding recap video. I hope you love it and get to live in the joy of our wedding day for even a few short minutes today.

Jessica & Tommy ~ Wedding Day Recap from Studio 94 on Vimeo.

We’re patiently awaiting our professional photos and can’t wait to share more of the setting, events, and little details with you. For now, here’s a bit more about all the vendors we used:

{Venue} Shadow Lawn in High Falls, NY
{Church} St. Mary’s Catholic Church
{Photographers} Friends of the MOH ~ Alene Pierro & Prisca Edwards
{Videographer} Studio 94
{Catering} Terrapin
{Band} The Redeemers
{Flowers} Flower Nest
{Cake} Homestyle Desserts Bakery
{Wedding Dress} Allure
{Grooms & Groomsmen Attire} J Crew
{Bridesmaids Attire} Various sources