January 13, 2012

Short Story + New Blog Site

salad2Hello everyone! Yesterday was a doozy. We had a long list of things that needed to get done, and on top of that a doctor's appointment and a trip to Target to get a new rocking chair (the chair is heaven but the drive to Target is over an hour for us). Needless to say we were stretched to full capacity. Then somewhere in the middle of all the craziness that is our life right now I realized that my blog was not working. I thought I would give it some time and it would come back to life. You know... like blogger was down or something? Hours later still nothing. I eventually realized, and a lot too late, that I had let my domain registration expire and would have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to get it back. After getting over the initial anger and frustration of that discovery I was then informed that I actually could not buy it back even if I wanted to because some one else already bought it. Yes, that's right! Someone had "janereactionblog.com" on back order. They were just waiting for me to get so distracted having a baby that I never saw the email notifying me that my registration was up, so they could swoop in and snatch it up. Who would have thought? I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. Well anyway, now if you go to the old blog site you will see some really nice Japanese characters and some flowers? Some one tell me how things like this happen?!


I decided to do what I wanted to do a few months ago - which is combine my blog and my design site into one. I have been hesitant to do this for many reasons but the main reason is because I didn't really want perspective clients to see so much of my personal life. I especially didn't want anyone to know that I had a baby because I have found that for some people that means you all of the sudden can't work as hard. But, I finally feel pretty confident that when people hire me they really are hiring ME! They want me to design something for them, not just some random girl in the middle of the pacific ocean. My clients often turn into friends and people that I stay in touch with long after the project is over. I have totally embraced the fact that I have a life aside from working and I love that my clients respect that. So if you are still following me on my little blog journey after 4 years thank you!! and you can continue to follow along at www.janereaction.com.

So now you are probably wondering why the picture of a salad? Well, I am doing a little guest post for blogging friend Damaris Palmer over on Kitchen Corners this weekend and I would love if you stopped by over there and checked it out.

January 11, 2012

Hopelessly Addicted To Instagram - Impossibles Pizza Truck

We love stopping by the Impossibles Pizza truck, getting a huge slice of pizza and then it eating while watching the big waves on the North Shore. This was Henry's first time as Sunset Beach and I think he rather enjoyed himself.

January 10, 2012

2 Cent Tuesday #6: Staying Organized


I often get asked how I manage to remember everything. I have always been a tidy person and a list maker but when I started taking on multiple projects at once and trying to live my life and take care of a family I had to take it to a whole new level. I was constantly cleaning, checking my to do lists and buying more and more space saving containers. Now that there is a newborn in the mix I have had to throw some of this out of the window and not be so "type A" about things like making the bed every morning, doing the dishes as soon as they are put in the sink and getting projects done lightyears ahead of time. However there are three life saving tools in my work life that I simply cannot live without and that have actually helped me at this time when I have needed it the most. These are my tried and true organizational tools that also keep me motivated and inspired.

TeuxDeux is my number one, hands down, most favorite organizational tool. It is an online to-do list that spans days and months and years. It was created by the genius designer Tina Roth Eisenberg behind the blog Swiss Miss - so you know it is beautiful. I saved this site as my homepage so that every time I open a new window it pops up and reminds me what is going on in the week. It also has an app for your iPhone.

#2. Filing
On the first day in my graphic design program they taught us the importance of keeping your files organized. This is a skill that when mastered will make your work load seem a million tons lighter. It is also a skill that when neglected will leave you very unhappy, stressed and behind on your deadlines. Everyone needs to find their own method for doing this but here is mine - I have several main folders on my desktop. The left side of the monitor belongs to me and the right side belongs to my husband. God only knows what husband does with his side, I surely can't make sense of it. As for my side I have a column of folders labeled Pictures, Design Past, Blog, Personal and Etsy. Then I have a second column for my current projects. A folder for each project. When a project is complete I go through it, delete any unnecessary remaining files and throw it in the Design Past file. To stay on top of it there are files within files within files. It also helps to get a good labeling system down so when you go back to look for something you have an idea of what to type in your search bar. Labeling with dates is always helpful but I have found that very specific and descriptive labels are the most helpful for me.

#3. Pin Boards
These days Pinterest has made it really easy for us to spot something on the internet that inspires us, grab it and put it up on our own little digital pin board. But what about all of that great stuff that you find out in the real world? Business cards, maps, take-out menus, brochures? I used to have a drawer full of little envelopes and paper bags which were full of stickers, postcards, stamps, sketches, magazine clippings, notes from friends... and more. I swore one day I would use these things for something, or that I would be inspired by it somehow. The problem was it all got lost in the clutter and eventually thrown away. After I put it in that drawer I never saw it again. Then one day I got out the trusty old pin board and started hanging it up where I could see it. It changed my life. Of course I am a bit type A about this as well and everything has to be hung perfectly straight with a clear thumb tack (haha I really am a weirdo), but the organized mess that is my pin board helps me remember the things I found that week that truly inspired me and that I want to some how incorporate into a certain project.

I hope these little tips help. I know for me they sure made a world of difference. So, here's to a new year full of organization, happy little messes. This year I am going to learn to let go of that type A personality but cling to the few methods that save me from my madness.

January 6, 2012

Hopelessly Addicted To Instagram - Buddhist Temple Trip

This week the weather was a little dreary here in Hawaii so we decided to go explore the Buddhist Temple in Kaneohe. We had fun walking around the grounds and looking at all the little treasures in the gift shop. I also felt pretty good about the whole outing because it was one of the first days in a while that I have actually gotten myself completely ready for the day. Note the self portrait front and center?

January 5, 2012

Look For Less #5: MADEWELL

I have seriously loved putting these together. I love shopping but just don't have all of the money in the world so it is fun for me to find styles that I like and see how I can put it together using what I already have on hand plus maybe a little something new that doesn't break the bank. Also, isn't that braid in the top photo to die for? Wish my hair could do that!

January 4, 2012

Mommy Guest Post #2


I am excited to introduce to you today's guest blogger - my one and only sister. She is one of my best friends and has been such a great example to me of motherhood over the last five years (her oldest turned five this month). Today she is sharing some recipes she uses to feed herself while taking care of her little ones. My sister is HEALTHY! She runs, she bikes, she climbs and she recently took up CrossFit , needles to say her body blows my mind! Here is what she has to share with us -

I am only able to remember the weeks after my two babies were born in a blur. It all seems like one day chock full of super emotions. It was amazing and exhausting all at the same time. The second time around I managed to learn that taking care of myself was as important as taking care of the two little people depending on me night and day. To me rest, water and good food were key to my emotional and physical well being. They are also the things that help get the milk flowing. Here are a couple of good food snack ideas that are ideal for moms. These can be made ahead of time and pulled out of the fridge any time a nourishing boost is needed. These are whole food snack ideas full of complex carbs and protein. No simple carbs here.

Simple carbs which are plentiful in processed foods cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash leaving you sleepy (sleepier!). Some examples of simple carbs: bagel, sugary cereal, white bread, crackers, cookies etc. Complex carbs and protein paired together gives you longer lasting energy and helps you feel full longer because they take longer to digest. Also, they have not had their fiber stripped away aʼla simple carbs. And donʼt we love our fiber?! Some examples of complex carbs: whole grains (oats, quinoa etc.) veggies, fruit, etc.

Recipe no. 1 - Egg Cupcakes

I use whatever veggies I have on hand for these, though I always include the spinach.

Ingredients: 12-18 eggs

3-4 cups fresh spinach

1 red pepper

1/2 onion

1 small zucchini

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375. Put washed veggies in food processor and pulse until they are chopped into small pieces. Be careful not to liquify the spinach which will turn into green froth if prcessed too long. Crack your eggs into a large bowl and whisk until mixed well, add salt and pepper, then stir the veggies into the eggs. Grease a cupcake pan well, I use coconut oil but you can use whatever you have on hand. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop egg mixture into the cupcake pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes, remove from oven and place on cooling rack.I serve these with a slice of avocado on top. You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.


Check out my sister and her super cute family Christmas Card!

Recipe No. 2 - Blackberry Almond Parfait

This one is so simple but delicious. This will make one serving but could easily be made bigger and split into multiple servings. The measurements are not super important but I have included them here just to make it easy.

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (i like fage or the costco brand)

1/2 cup washed blackberries or any other fresh berry

12 almonds

mix and eat!

January 3, 2012

2 Cent Tuesday #5: Set Goals (New Years Resolutions)

No one gets anywhere in life (you can read also business, romance, relationships, etc.) without making a plan and setting some goals. Last year (2011) my friend Katie and I made a bagua map to start our year out. You start by dividing a square into 9 parts and then according to the categories in the bagua map set goals for the new year. Last year I didn't feel like sharing my goals as a lot of them were more personal. This year I feel like being a little less cryptic and sharing a goal or two with you. Each link is the images' source followed by my goal. (Note - I didn't really follow the map very well, I set my goals first and then made a map around that). You too can make a map for your new year, or your business, or your marriage and display it prominently where it can serve as a visual reminder to you throughout the year. I chose to display mine on my desktop so I can constantly remember to stay on task and what my real priorities are.
1. Spiritual - Read more. Read for fun, but also read scripture. Specifically read scriptures as a family.
2. Work - Continue to develop web site and share more projects on design site. This one is hard because it is so important to keep your design portfolio current but it is so hard to find the time! I have quite a few projects that I have completed but just haven't formatted for my design site.
3. Motherhood - Get baby on a sleep schedule. Before Henry came into the world I swore I wouldn't be one of those moms with a rigid schedule. I owned the book Baby Wise but didn't think twice about reading it. Now, I see how important it is for my sanity and for baby's good health that I get him on a good schedule. I have since read Baby Wise and have started Henry on a routine (I don't do the whole cry yourself to sleep thing though - that might work for some people but it hurts my ears and my heart). Anyway, so far it is working out GREAT!
4. Health - Eat better. Stop having a Chocolate Oreo shake before bed every night. Lose my baby weight and get back to where I was before I got pregnant. Work out. (I think I could make a whole map revolving around this one goal)
5. Marriage - Something about this image makes me want to run to Conor and hold him forever. I want to be more supportive. I think I'm pretty supportive but sometimes when things don't go according to "the plan" I get a little stressed out and shut down. I need to roll with the punches a bit better. Also, when Conor gets home everyday I want to stop what I am doing, look at him, say hello! and kiss him on the mouth. No more of this staring straight at the computer like a zombie and saying, "heeeyyy...."
6. Creative - Think longer and harder on my design work. Streamline designs and make them more cohesive. Don't worry if you don't know what I'm talking about here. I don't really know what I'm talking about. Basically, make my work better than it ever has been before. Don't settle for good.
7. Worry Less - worry less, worry less, worry less. I need to worry less.
8. Family - Have family night every Monday. Plan a simple activity to do with husband and baby. Turn everything and everyone else off and enjoy the two people I love the most.
9. Start Business - I am going to stay a bit vague on this one. I think I have a pretty good idea and I really want to develop it into something bigger but I'm not ready to share just yet. Hopefully someday soon!

January 1, 2012


Lately I am really into instagram. My username is erinjane85 - find me! It is THE single most entertaining thing I can do while nursing. I know, I know... everyone is sick of hearing about me nursing. But, that is my life these days. This week however, we did manage to go to the beach, watch daddy surf, eat sushi to celebrate the new year and baby turned 1 month old! Wow, the time went by so fast!!

December 29, 2011

Henry Fox: A Birth Story

It's taken me a long time to figure out how I want to write about the birth of my son. I'm still not sure I have it right. It was an extremely intense, personal and sacred experience and the mere relaying of details just doesn't do it justice. And I can't for the life of me figure out how I want to portray myself or the experience - so I am just going to write it as it happened. This is the story of how I brought our little baby in to this world as I remember it. No added drama, no sugar coating it. It was hard, painful and beautiful all at the same time.

Conor and I prepared for the birth of our son for months before he was born. Early on in the pregnancy we both decided that we wanted a natural child birth in a birthing center. We did our research, watched all of those baby birthing documentaries on Netflix that try to convince you giving birth in an open field is safer than with a doctor in a hospital, and attended a 4 hour birthing class once a week for two months. The birthing class was probably the most helpful thing we could have done to prepare us for every possible birthing scenario. When we were done with our class I felt confident in myself and my body.*

The day before Henry was born I drove an hour down to the hospital in Kailua to have a weekly check up. My midwife checked my cervix, stripped my membranes (because I was over due) and determined that I was dilated to a 3 and could probably go into labor that night or sometime before the end of the week. She asked if I wanted to schedule an appointment to be induced and I said I would rather wait it out and let it come naturally. I have heard that when giving birth with out an epidural the last thing you want to do is mess with pitocin. It supposedly makes your contractions come on stronger and faster than they would without. Before I was about to leave she decided to check the baby's movement and fluids just to make sure everything was alright. The baby's heart rate and movement looked great but my fluids were very low. After discussing it with my midwife we decided that any risks associated with being induced were not as great as the risk of low fluid levels. She told me I could come back any time that evening to have my baby. I was excited and nervous and couldn't wait to tell Conor that we were about to become parents.


As I walked out of the hospital I called Conor on the phone and asked him if he wanted to become a daddy that night. He said of course! As I drove back up the coast to our home Conor busied himself by packing us some lunch and our hospital bags. I remember that drive very well. I turned the radio off and sang out load to myself the whole way home. Everything looked so beautiful. I was so excited! I remember noticing things about the island that I had never noticed in all of my years living here. The sun was bright and the water was so blue. It was amazing. I was about to become a mother!

We got to the hospital around 3 pm and I got hooked up to the pitocin and settled in to my bed. Conor and I watched some TV and played scrabble. The contractions started coming right away but I did not become uncomfortable for hours. I spent time walking and bouncing on the birthing ball. I remember thinking, either this birthing stuff isn't as painful as everyone makes it out to be or I am just really good at this. My dear friend and nurse Bethany kept telling me, "You still look too comfortable, we better kick up the pit a little bit more." Finally around 8 I started to feel the pain, but I apparently still looked "too comfortable" and kept getting my pitocin bumped up. I decided that maybe it was time to act a little more put out. Apparently I'm not a very good actor because I got the pit bumped up a few more times. Around 10 it finally became pretty unbearable and I decided it was time to get in the whirl pool. I stayed in there for what seemed like forever. Conor sat next to me and let me squeeze his hand with every contraction and told me how good I was doing and that he loved me so much. The contractions finally became so painful that I threw up. I had to get out of the whirl pool... I was shaking uncontrollably. I warmed up and got the pain back under control and crawled back in the bath.

This is about the time I became a zombie. I remember falling asleep in between contractions. Like I mean dead asleep. I was exhausted. It is the strangest feeling to wake up every other minute in a warm bath to the most intense pain and then fall completely asleep again. Every time I woke up I was just a little confused at what was going on. I don't really remember how long all of these different stages lasted but it felt like this went on for hours. Finally I had had enough. I looked Conor square in the eye and told him I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't remember the word "drugs" or "epidural" so I calmly but firmly told him to "Go get me the medicines now." I remember him looking like he was about to laugh which only made me more serious and insistent. He told me it was too late, that I was already there, all I needed to do was push him out. I told him he was a liar and then I started to beg. I remember saying "Puuuuhhh-leeeeeeeeeezzzzz!!!" I could hear the awkward way I was breaking the word "please" in to two long syllables and recognized my little girl voice - I sounded exactly like I did when I was 5 and wasn't getting what I wanted. I felt sorry for my little girl self and thought about crying.


Then something in my mind snapped. It occurred to me suddenly that if I didn't get out of that tub soon I wouldn't be able to get myself out at all. I gathered every last bit of strength that I had, walked myself over to the bed and resolved to get that baby out. Bethany checked me and told me I could start pushing. I pushed as hard as I thought I could. Apparently it wasn't enough. I had to push harder and curl my body around the pain. I remember with every push I closed my eyes tight and saw white lightning pain shooting through my head. It was both insanely uncomfortable and amazing at the same time. I pushed for about 30 minutes. On the last push my midwife told me to stop pushing mid push. Apparently I figured out how to push harder than they had anticipated. Baby Henry came rushing out despite my effort to hold back. I tore quite a bit which was not part of my birth plan (but luckily that's the worst thing that happened during the whole delivery).

Henry was immediately placed on my chest. I cried. I cried because I was tired, and because I was hurt. And then I cried because I was so in love with this warm little body and dark little eyes just staring up at me in wonder. We just looked at each other, me and him. Conor cut the chord (which we have pictures of but will keep private because someone unwittingly displayed her vagina very clearly in the background). I held Henry for a little over an hour while the nurses finished up and took his vitals. Conor and I just stared at him the whole time. They took him from me to do some last little tests and to clean him up. I took and shower and got ready for bed. Then the three of us snuggled down into my bed and fell asleep as a family.


In the days that followed I couldn't believe what I had done. I was both proud of myself and scared of my strength. It still baffles me that I just walked myself in to that birthing center, laid myself down on that bed, endured everything that I did and then walked myself right out. Our bodies are truly amazing and I am a lot stronger than I think. I also feel very blessed that the delivery went as smoothly and as quickly as it did.

*Note - In hindsight I feel that I was way more prepared for labor and delivery than actually taking care of a baby. If I could go back and do anything over again I would have taken more classes on nursing and infant care - just a thought for anyone who is preparing for birth. After a month of being a mommy I would say labor and delivery was definitely the easiest part. Do not be afraid of it. Prepare for it, but do not be afraid.

December 28, 2011

Mommy Guest Post

Hello everyone! I planned on posting this Wednesday morning but it seems that some maintenance work will be done on our building (for the 3rd time this week) and we will have no power for at least 6 hours in the morning! Lovely! So, I am posting Tuesday night instead. Anyway, as you can probably guess I am really in to being a mom right now... which means my blog is really into motherhood as well. You can expect more "mommy" posts to be popping up on my blog from now on. I do hope to get back in to my little routine of "2 cent Tuesdays" and "Look for Less" but I am still getting the hang of being a first time mom. So I thought I would ask friend Brit Mann (lovely girl and talented photographer) to share her favorite baby products with us. Here are her tried and true recommendations:

Its important to me that baby products are as natural yet effective as possible, designed well (I'm a photographer and can't help but think about how things will look in photos), and affordable. These are my tried and true favorites.

1. These diapers are biodegradable, free of everything yucky (Juniper had a terrible doctor-diagnosed chemical burn from Pampers SENSITIVE diapers when she was a newborn!), the BEST for not leeking or having blowouts (I've even had non-hippy friends agree), and are by far the best designed diapers out there. I love that there are never any tacky cartoon characters on my baby's butt when I take photos of her running around half naked!

2. I did a comparison between all of the chlorine/dye/fragrance free wipes and these were by far the best. They are so moist and yummy smelling and one of the most affordable. Every time one of my friends borrow a wipe they want to switch over. Tip: save a couple refillable hard plastic Huggies wipes cases to fill with your Earths Best wipes because the EB basically come in plastic baggies.

3. Boudreaux's ALL NATURAL Butt Paste - My pediatrician recommended this diaper cream and after comparing some other natural brands, I decided this was my favorite.

4. Episencial Sunscreen This is one of the few sunscreens that are safe to use on babies less than 6 months old.

5. When Juniper was a couple weeks old I bought more of these so I could have one for each day of the week. They are essential. Easily my favorite baby product and the first thing I recommend when people ask what should they buy for a baby shower. The bamboo muslin is the softest but they are all wonderful.

6. Puj Tub - We live in a tiny apartment by the beach and we don't have any room for a big plastic baby tub, so we bought this because it hangs flat behind our bathroom door. We always made the bathroom nice and steamy and then plugged the sink to make a nice warm bath for baby. We used it right up until the time she was big enough to bathe in the normal bathroom tub.

7. Mustela newborn shampoo - This is the best thing for cradle cap and it smells like heaven.

8. Gerber organic onesies - Although we don't (can't) buy everything organic, these onesies are definitely worth it. They are so much softer and nicer quality than other onesies, and when babies are too little to go out much its kind of nice to just let them hang out in comfy onesies instead of elaborate uncomfortable outfits. The sizes are ridiculous though. Don't buy the newborn unless you have a preemie, usually its best to buy a size or two bigger.

9. Having a playmat that isn't ugly is important since baby is going to do lots of tummy time and its going to sit out on your floor a lot.

10. Cute drying rack for the kitchen counter

11. Bumbo or Bebe Pod in a neutral color so you can use it for your next child regardless of their gender.

Other things we loved: our Bugaboo stroller with the bassinet attachment, our Moby Wrap baby carrier, a good changing table station, a comfy rocking chair (one thats big enough for daddy to feel comfortable), a co-sleeper, a sound machine and good baby monitor

December 27, 2011

Scenes From Our Holiday

holidayHope your holiday was warm and bright. We had a lovely time with my parents, a delicious Christmas Eve dinner, and lots of presents!