Entries in Personal (151)

Friday
Apr112014

Donut Craze + Winner Announced

I'm a huge fan of the donut. HUGE. I have a favorite donut joint in every city I visit. I have a pinterest board just for donuts. I often fantasize about opening a food truck with my best friends and serving only the prettiest, yummiest donuts. It would be called.... Donuts.

While in Portland a few weeks ago I went to Blue Star. It wasn't my first time having their donuts, I remembered the last time I went to Portland I tried a couple of donuts. They were great. But all donuts are great.  This last time was my first time trying the Blueberry Bourbon Basil Donut. It was amazing! I have thought about it at least twice a day since I had it... and dreamt about it once. I finally hunted down the glaze recipe tonight and plan on trying to make my own this weekend. Wish me luck... or else everyone at my house is going to be very un-happy. When mama isn't happy, NO ONE IS HAPPY! ;)

Also the winner of the Winter Water Factory $100 gift card giveaway is Meg! - "I love summer rompers & the tanks, all of the patterns are so cute but I especially love the high seas one :) Thanks for the great giveaway, fingers crossed!" Meg - please send me your contact information (erinjane85 (at) gmail (dot) com) so that we can get you your gift card! 

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! We are so excited to be partnering with more fun, creative companies like Winter Water Factory! Be on the look out for more giveaways like these! 

Saturday
Apr052014

Winter Water Factory + Giveaway

The boys and I just got back from our 2 week vacation to Portland. I grew in a small town just outside of Portland so I consider the North West my stomping grounds. We go back often to visit family and friends. I love it there. I love it there so much I often wonder why we don't live there!? The first week we were there it was absolutely beautiful! After living in Dallas for the past year I am always surprised at how the beauty of a place can really take my breath away. Literally, it will catch me so off guard that I feel like I might cry. (Dear Dallas, you are so good to us but you aren't the prettiest place we have ever lived. Sorry. I love you for other reasons.) Then, the second week we were there it rained. Constantly. And then I remembered why I don't live there. I love the sun. I often think of myself as someone who follows the sun wherever it goes. I am drawn to it, hence the move to Hawaii the minute I graduated from high school. (and Dallas, that is why I like you most, you are nothing if not sunny!)

I love that in Dallas I can take my kids to the park everyday. Or play in the back yard while our funny little chickens cluck around us. Yesterday we stayed at the park all afternoon. I just let Henry run around with his little friends while I lay on a blanket with some other mommy friends talking about our day. When we got home I put Wayne in his crib and got Henry a few books to look at while I made dinner. The sun shining in their window was perfect so I decided to snap a few pictures.  I want to remember days like this forever. I spend a lot of time wondering why I am in the place I am - physically, emotionally, spiritually. How did I get here? What am I supposed to learn from this? But yesterday afternoon I didn't wonder at all. The warm sun beaming in the window, the grass stains on Henry's little gray pants and the smell of my warm baby content in his crib reassured me I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

The boys are wearing Winter Water Factory clothing in these photos. Have you heard of them? Their cute little spring line is out and has the cutest prints and patterns for girls and boys. To celebrate their new line we are giving away a $100 gift card to their store. To enter the giveaway like their Facebook page or their Instagram feed and then leave a comment here letting me know which item (or item(s)) you would buy with the gift card! Only one entry per person. The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on Friday the 11th by the end of the day.

Monday
Mar102014

CH CH CH Changes

I still exist! We have had a lot going on over here lately and I just haven't had time to blog. Not a bit. A lot of changes, traveling, working and adjusting have been happening. I'm excited to announce that another website I designed will be launching soon! A very editorial/magazine type site with inspiration for women JUST LIKE ME!! It's a site that I am going to probably be checking everyday! So stay tuned for that! The project was so much fun to work on and of course the group of women that I have been designing for are phenomenal! I love creating mood boards with my clients! (See above) 

There have been some major changes going on over at Verily as well. With the editorial team deciding that it would be best for the magazine to become an online only platform I have taken a huge step back. I loved working with print and editorial/layout design. Working with Verily on a print magazine was definitely a great experience and world changing as far as being inspired by intelligent, creative women! I will still be involved in the overall art direction of Verily but I am now focusing more of my time and attention on my freelance work/business. Working for yourself can be tricky so I am eager/excited/nervous about investing a lot more energy in to Jane Reaction! This year I am taking on more clients than ever before but still keeping my studio small enough to provide that personal, unique, one on one design experience. 

And finally, after encouraging Conor to quit his (really nice, awesome, flexible) job at his real estate investment firm - he finally did it! Now he is crossing off real estate goals of his own! I'm proud of him but adjusting to the new schedule of him being gone a LOT more. Every time I start to feel discouraged with all of the change and chaos going on I start singing David Bowie's Changes! and I feel like I can handle it all over again! 

 

Changes by David Bowie on Grooveshark

Friday
Jan102014

2014 Goals + Winner Announced

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 

Every year I like to put together a little post about my new years goals using some of my favorite pins from Pinterest from the last year. It is just my way of getting my goals out there and creating something beautiful that I can look at that will hopefully remind and inspire me to work towards my goals. I have to admit I don't think I accomplished half of my goals from last year... This year I decided to take a different approach. I only set 3 really big goals and then the rest are just fun/easy to achieve goals - things like sign Henry up for swimming lessons and make more ice cream! Duh! of course!

I also heard recently that instead of setting a bunch of goals and working towards them and trying to achieve them no matter what - we should first really consider how we want to feel about ourselves and then set goals accordingly. So instead of setting goals to earn a lot of money  we should set a goal to feel successful or financially stable. Then really examine what that means to us. I personally struggle with anxiety and worry a lot. More than I'd like.  This year I want to FEEL peaceful, and calm. For all of 2013 I was cynical and scrutinized my religion and my beliefs to death. It was exhausting. At the end of the day all I felt was doubt and fear. This year I just simply want to be still and know. I don't want to be perfect or overly zealous about religion but I do want to feel peace - and for me that means trusting that a higher power is guiding my path. I want my children to also feel peace and comfort and know that even when things aren't going right they can always find love and acceptance at home. I just want to trust that things work out the way they are supposed to. It seems really scary to me but I am going to work on it. 

And (drum roll please) I am really excited to announce the winner of the 4moms RockaRoo swing! I let Conor do the honors of randomly selecting a number ... and the winner is!! MICHELE RODOCKER. You will be emailed and notified soon! 4moms will be sending you a brand new RockaRoo swing in the mail! Congrats! 

Monday
Jan062014

Family Photos 2014

We recently had a very quick mini photo session with friend Heather Hawkins (who is amazing if you are in Dallas and looking for a photographer!) It was pretty fun to just quickly capture our little family on a sunny Tuesday morning. I will treasure these photos of me with my little boys forever! For our holiday card I had the top photo printed on heavy paper with "Happy New Year!" written across the top. I filled each envelope with large confetti and mailed them out a few days after Christmas. It was quick, easy and so much less stressful than trying to send out a Christmas card. New Years cards are the new Christmas card. Happy new year everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the first MONDAY of the year!! 

Wednesday
Jan012014

Hello 2014

So I know this photo op might be a bit over done but I'm still not over writing out the new year with sparklers on a slow timer. In fact I didn't feel like the new year had really begun until I did it. So, sorry, I'm not sorry.

So now here we are in 2014. I've been thinking a lot about the start to this new year. I've been thinking about it since November actually - planning my New Year's resolutions and getting really determined to accomplish just about anything. I thought a lot about what a really successful year looks like - lots of money is earned and saved, huge trips are planned and taken, less time is spent stressing over the little things and on and on... and as I planned my New Year's goals I couldn't get that beautifully designed quote that I saw a million times on Pinterest out of my head. You know the one about doing something "amazing" with your "one wild and precious life"... and I started to feel overwhelmed. I felt as though I somehow need to make 2014 the most exciting and astonishing year ever. And just as soon as I thought I might have figured out how I am going to do that I saw another quote (again on Pinterest) about not only living the "length of your life" but also "the width".... WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? I mean I know what it is supposed to mean, but what does it really look like? Do you start the feel the pressure too? Like you might be wasting your life if you're not flitting off to some new country every day and buying your dream home and working to the point of exhaustion? Are those the things I need to do to feel like I have successfully lived a full life?

And then I take stock of everything good in my life - and at the center of it all, the thing I am most proud of is my home. It's a comfortable home I created with my best friend. And we filled it with two of the most amazing little boys you have ever seen in your life. Their smile's take my breath away every single day. And I think that that has got to be the "width". If loving them like crazy is what I spend every last second of my one wild and precious life doing it will be a success. And I will say at the end of it all that I have really lived. 

I do have a few new year's resolutions for 2014. Goals that I can actually cross of my list at the end of the year if I have accomplished them. But my real goal this year is to just love. Love the people in my life the length and the width and back again. 

Wednesday
Nov272013

Uh... Bobots!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Hope you are all preparing to have the best Thanksgiving ever! I know I sure am. Henry's birthday falls on the first of December so we have a lot to celebrate over here. I am getting ready to throw him a tiny little robot party at our house after Thanksgiving is over. He came up with the theme himself. Bobots of course. He is obsessed.

There are a few things that can throw a toddler for a loop: daylight savings time, a new sibling, being ridiculously sick for a week straight... And oh yeah! All three of those things happened to Henry in the same week. Poor kid. He is having the hardest time sleeping after that evil tri-fecta hit him square in the face. He has never (and I mean NEVER NEVER NEVER) been a good sleeper but that just really did a number on him. 

I've tried everything. Singing to him for hours, rocking him, laying by him, begging him... and some other tactics that I'm not so proud of (yelling, threatening time out...etc. all of those fool moves that never really get you anywhere and just make you feel like a crappy person). Nothing works. Sometimes he naps but usually he doesn't. Sometimes he sleeps at night but usually he gets up at 4 in the morning and wants to play. It's been rough.

But... what I wanted to say about his birthday and stuff is that in the moments when I remember to just breathe and try to just love the crap out of him sans nap - we end up laying next to each other in his bed cheek to cheek and I ask him serious questions and listen to his answers - 

Me: "Henry, what is your favorite thing?"

Him: pauses for a long time while licking his lips... "Bobots!"

Me: "Oh really?! Why do you love Robots so much?"

Him: pauses again for a long time... "Uh... buts!"

Me: "You love their buttons?"

Him: "Yeah!" 

Me: "What else is your favorite?"

Him: he takes forever to think of his answers... "izza"

Me: "You love Pizza? Do you want a bobot izza party this year?"

Him: "Yeeeeaaaahhh!!"

The conversation continues and we end up talking about all sorts of things: elephants, babies, daddy, hats, motorcycles... and he is particularly fond of "gurrrs" aka monsters. The conversations make me laugh and melt my heart. He really is just trying to be the best little 2 year old there ever was but he just doesn't know how to sleep. And I have to forgive him for that. Sleep eludes the best of us sometimes, especially when there is so much in the world to discover and be curious about. So this year I am so excited to celebrate my little guy's birthday! Especially because I think his mind is going to be blown by the robot cookies, huge balloons and lots and lots and lots of cheese pizza... oh and I may or may not be attempting to make a life-size Henry-Bot. He's going to flip out! I can't wait! I hope he always stays this curious and passionate about life. It's what makes him so great! and although I could seriously use a nap I wouldn't have him any other way! 

Happy Birthday! Love you, my little Henny!!

 

Tuesday
Nov192013

Thanksgiving 2013!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I LOVE Thanksgiving! Who am I kidding? I love every holiday!! If you know me you know I am an over celebrater (sorry, not sorry). This Thanksgiving we will be dining with friends and their little ones, and I am really excited about it. I have such fond memories of Thanksgiving as a child - we lived far from family so we always celebrated with our family friends. We would eat till we couldn't sit up straight anymore and then that night all of the kids went out to a movie. When we got home there were millions of pies to eat! It was the best day ever. 

This year we are planning on taking a couple of pies to share, a favorite main dish, my mom's famous baked brie cheese and, of course, green bean casserole (upon Conor's request). I am super excited to order a pie from Emporium Pies to share with our friends. If you live in the Dallas area you should check this little pie shop out! It is so cute and the pies are amazing! I thought about making one myself but I thought the novelty of one of their pies would make the day a little more fun (at least for me! Less cooking/dishes = happy mama!) Hope everyone has a great holiday!!

Saturday
Nov092013

Wayne Norman Riley: Birth Story

Wayne Norman Riley was born October 28th 2013 at 12:51 am. It was a crazy whirlwind week before and after and I have barely been able to get my mind around it all. The week leading up to Wayne's birth I was super anxious. My midwife assured me that I would not make it to my due date (October 22) because I was dilated to a 3 at 37 weeks - so I was anxiously awaiting his arrival long before he came. As my due date came and went I became even more anxious. If you have ever gone past your due date I'm sure you know what I am talking about. If you haven't ever had the pleasure let me tell you that it can drive you completely insane. It feels like your entire world has come to a complete halt and no one else has slowed a bit. I prayed and begged the universe to just let him come out. I desperately wanted to hold my baby in my arms and take care of him. I did everything I had heard of to induce labor - walking for miles, clary sage oil, pineapple, spicy food, sex, more walking... nothing worked. I was dilated to a 3 for 3 weeks and never made any progress. 

Then Henry got sick. Really sick. Throwing up, diarrhea... it was the worst. Then Conor got sick. Then I got sick. We were all throwing up and not eating anything. All of the sudden, I didn't want the baby to come out anymore. I didn't want to bring a newborn baby home to a germ infested house. I didn't want to go in to labor after not eating all day and being dehydrated. At about 10:30 pm, as I lay in bed praying that the baby would hold off for a few more days, Henry ran in crying for his mama covered in throw up. I stripped him, got him in the tub and as I sat next to him on the tile floor picking chunks of food out of his hair I felt the contractions start up. They were strong and fast immediately. 

Conor woke up his sweet mother and told her I was in labor. She took over cleaning up Henry as Conor got us ready to go to the birth center. It was 11:20 pm when we called the midwife. She told us she would meet us at the birth center at midnight. I got my running shoes on and somehow managed to get myself in the car. Conor had to pull over several times on the way there so I could throw up all over the side of the road. We reached the birth center at 12:03 am. I breathed through several contractions as I walked up the front steps. As I walked through the front door Tracy (our midwife) said she wanted to check me - sometimes when your sick you can have some pretty painful contractions but not actually be in labor... when she said that I wanted to head butt her. If this was not labor then I was a monkey's uncle! She checked me and I was at a 6. I immediately crawled in to the tub where I planned on spending the rest of the night in labor. I pressed my forehead into the side of the tub as hard as I could while trying to breath through the contraction. After about 30 minutes Tracy asked me if I wanted to push. I told her I wanted to but only because I wanted it to be over with already. I didn't think I was actually ready to push... and then I couldn't help myself. My body started to push, I had no control. And then it really started to hurt. I think there is always a point during labor where you say to yourself, I just can't do this. I'm just not strong enough. My body is too small and too weak to do this. And then you realize you have no choice in the matter at all. Your body is going to do it whether you like it or not. And do it I did. It's the craziest rush of adrenaline you'll ever get in your life.

Conor knelt down over the tub and caught Wayne and placed him on my chest. When they told me the birth time was 12:51 I was so confused. I lost all track of time and could have sworn I was in labor for longer than that. Conor cut the umbilical chord and helped me onto the bed. They stitched me up as Conor and I drooled over our new perfect little miracle. I couldn't stop telling Wayne how perfect he was. After about an hour I took a shower and got cleaned up. We settled in to the bed and took a nap for about 2 hours. We were home by 6:30 that morning. 

Henry continued to be sick for several more days. Just when we thought he was over it he would throw up again. It was a nightmare. Trying to keep everything sanitized so the baby didn't get sick, trying to comfort a sick toddler while nursing and taking care of a baby - it was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I was so worried and emotional and tired. Something had to give or I was going to lose my mind. Finally after 7 days of throwing up Henry got better. Wayne never got what we all had and things are finally starting to feel normal. It's funny what having a new baby can do to you. I have cried tears of joy everyday since he was born. I am so thankful for my little family and for all of the joy my babes bring and will bring in to my life. I know I am so lucky to be their mom and as hard and scary as it is I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. 

Above: Wayne in his new MamaRoo Swing. When we had Henry out in Hawaii we had absolutely no room for anything other than a crib. With Wayne we still have a very minimalistic approach to baby gear but a swing is by far my new favorite baby accessory. 

Friday
Jul122013

Thinking I'm Worth It

Things have been fast paced and hectic around here. Working on Verily has been a tremendous learning experience. It has forced me to learn and stretch and grow in more ways than one. My communication style is different, my time management strategies have changed and over the course of the last 4 months I have gotten a little better at my job (if I do say so myself!). I have failed a few times. I have stressed out to the max. I have cried and gotten angry, but the satisfaction of working with this team has been really rewarding and I wouldn't change it for anything.

While in design school I thought the hieght of my career would be when a stranger asked me to design their wedding invitation. I thought that if someone I didn't even know wanted me to do their wedding announcement that meant that I had really made it. Out of school and a few "stranger" wedding invites later I decided my new dream job was to create logos and brand indentities for small creative businesses... once that came and went my goal was to do some design work for a magazine. After doing some design work for Kinfolk magazine I saw the oppertunity to help build Verily's visual identity from the ground up. When Verily eventually asked me to be their full time art director I was shocked. How did I get here? In school I never would have admitted this - but working for a magazine like Bon Appetite was my wildest dream job. I would never have said that out loud to anyone because I didn't think I was good enough to even dream of that. Instead I set my eyes on wedding invites. Not that there is anything wrong with wedding invites! I still love doing them from time to time but I think I vastly underestimated myself. Now I look at myself and think, "Hey! I'm a lot closer to my wildest dreams than I ever thought I would come! How did that happen?" Now, I know that Bon Appetite is not beating down my door or anything but I don't feel as foolish day dreaming of that occupation anymore. I did hesitate divulging that dream here on my blog just now but maybe it's not as ridiculous as I think it is? Maybe I should give myself a little more credit? Maybe we all should? I have been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg (don't sell yourself short, go all the way to the top of your field and don't look back, be a leader!) while simultaniously gobbling up everything Brené Brown says (you know? be vulnerable? dare greatly? take risks? bla bla bla?) The combination of the two women has made me think maybe we all sell ourselves a little a lot short. Maybe I am a lot more capable and worthy and powerful than I give myself credit for. I like looking at my life that way. 

Things with Verily are sometimes up in the air. It is a new magazine and just getting started. I have a baby on the way and I wonder how I am going to get my work done or if I will even have work to do. I've taken some big risks - freelancing, working for a new magazine, having kids young and in the middle of navigating my career path, encouraging my husband to leave a secure job to persue something he loves... It's all a huge crap shoot and I worry endlessly about it. But for the first time in a while I'm actually really excited about what might happen. I am aware that there could be failure along the way... no, scratch that... I fully expect failure, but I'm not as afriad of it as I used to be. I'm embracing it. So, all of this just to say that I am happy with where I'm at right now. I'm excited for Verily Magazine and hope that it continues to do well. I can't wait for baby #2 and the mess that comes with being a new mom all over again. I'm happy to just be me. Even with all of my imperfections and short comings. And I'm totally not afraid to admit that I day dream of bigger and better things than I have right now. And I think I might actually be worthy of "it". All of it

And guess what? I think you are probably worthy of it all too! What are your goals? Dreams? If you knew you could do anything and not fail what would it be? 

(Above photos taken by friend Cassie Pyle. She did all of the watercolor spreads that seperate each section in this issue and I just loved how they turned out!)