Mackenzie’s First Birthday!

Today we celebrated Mackenzie’s first birthday.  It seems impossible that a year has gone by since she was born.  It feels like no time has passed since that gorgeous, sun-shiny July day exactly one year ago.

When Andrew and I got married, he adopted my family’s dessert-for-breakfast-on-birthdays tradition.  He loves desserts, so it wasn’t hard to convince him that cupcakes for breakfast is a fantastic way to start a birthday. Since then, we haven’t had a single birthday at Chez Janzen without a sickeningly sweet dessert. Today was no exception. We kicked-off birthday festivities with presents and cupcakes. M is a good eater, but she has very particular taste. I don’t give her a lot of sweets or processed food, so she didn’t love the cupcakes. She had several bites, but I think she found them too sweet.

Mackenzie’s love for animals is becoming increasingly marked. We celebrated by taking her to the […]

24 Stateside • World’s. Longest. Vacation.

This weekend, we journeyed stateside for a mini vacation.  A childhood friend tied the knot, and we were privileged to witness her exchange vows with her husband and celebrate with them as they began their life as Mr. and Mrs. Adams.   After we left the wedding, things went awry…
Here’s a confession: I love being on vacation. But I hate going  on vacation. I really, really suck at going on vacation. Just ask anyone who has ever accompanied me through airport security…

A year ago, taking an overnight trip was only some-what emotionally exhausting. I would over pack. Andrew would complain about how many shoes  I planned to take. I would complain that he intended to wear the same shoes with a suit and with shorts the next day (the shoes that don’t match either!).  Andrew would roll his eyes at how much I would fit into my two bags for a weekend. I would sneak extra things […]

By |July 13th, 2014|Family, MOMents, Things That I Love, Travel|2 Comments

Mackenzie is Four Months Old!

I can’t believe it has been four months since our family grew to three.  Each day, Mackenzie seems to have changed and grown so much that I feel the time is slipping through my fingers.  She’s mastering new skills quickly and surprising us with her (albeit unintentional) comic timing.  What a little gem!

Mackenzie’s new favourite thing is growling.  Seriously. This started when we would play talk like a pirate with her. We’d ask, “What do pirates say?” And then demonstrate the correct response: “Arrrrrr.” She seemed to like the arrrrr part of this exercise, so she uses it frequently now, especially if you say it to her first.  In the morning, she’s usually her most talkative, and she likes to have morning growls with her daddy.

Remember how she was struggling to role tummy to back?  She nailed it.  And she figured out she could roll over in the same direction a few […]

By |November 29th, 2013|Family, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents, Things That I Love|2 Comments

It’s Red Cup Season, Again!

The anual release of Starbucks’ red cups is milestone I look for each year.  I celebrate Red Cup Day pretty religiously. At the very least, ritualistically. I buy a ginormous latte and take the time to really think about the time that has passed since the previous year.  I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s important that we urbanites find cyclical markers to remind us of how fleeting each season in our lives can be.

We are no longer people of the land. We’re not engaged with nature the way we once were. Some of us leave the house to commute to work at 7 am, and may not get home again until 6:30. We miss the changing winds, the first real chill in the air, the first falling of the leaves. And then we wake up one morning and the trees are almost barren, frost has formed on […]

By |November 5th, 2013|Musings, Things That I Love|3 Comments

Mama’s Bag of Tricks

Now that I need to get Mackenzie dressed and ready to leave the house as well, I’m looking for ways to save time and money. I’ve found a few great products that are saving me a good bit of time and/or money. There are some of the products that I love…


1. Baby Lips – Lip Balm by Maybelline | $3.96 @ Walmart

I wanted to find a light lip moisturizer with a bit of colour to replace chap stick and lipgloss.  Baby Lips has successfully  replaced both.  I like that it applies like a lipstick, since I can put it on one handed. It wears like a gloss without all the stickyiness that can become a nightmare when a baby is grabbing your hair (envision pink smudges all over my face).  I have a tube of Baby Lips in “Grape Vine,” which is a universally flattering colour. It’s quite similar to one of […]

By |October 16th, 2013|Girl Gab, Things That I Love|2 Comments

The End of an Era

This will be the last blog post I write on Maxwell, my 5-year-old MacBook.  It’s the end of an era. And it’s bittersweet.  My new and shiny MacBook Air will arrive today and Maxwell will cease to be my go-to guy.

As much as I’m thrilled to move on from Maxwell, I’m sort of grieving. Just a little.  Sure, Maxwell burns me if he sits on my lap for too long.  Sure, 20% of the screen is blocked-out with fuzzy gray lines.  Sure, he can’t quite handle a lot of the heavier media software I like to use.  But it’s hard to say goodbye.

Somewhere along the way, I think I started to think of Maxwell as a person, of sorts.  Partly, because we’ve spent so much time together and been through so much.  We’ve done some really cool creative projects together. And we’ve fought through a lot of his quirks […]

By |September 25th, 2013|Musings, Things That I Love|1 Comment

Baby Janzen is a . . .

Right before I went to Kindergarten, my mom took me out for a special lunch.  Going to a nice, sit-down restaurant was a treat for our family, but this was even more special because my mum took me out for lunch.  My dad made a big deal of taking me out for “special days” because he traveled a lot. We’d go see a movie or get McDonald’s milkshakes.  I can’t recall any other time before that day that mum had taken me out for a special day.

Usually mum and I had Pete in tow, and – if anything – we’d stop for a sticky bun at a bakery or a super special McDonald’s.  Never a real, grown-up lunch.  If I remember correctly, I even got to wear my brand new school shoes for the first time. We went to a Chinese restaurant and I ate my first bowl of sweet […]

The Great Snuggie Delusion

There is a pervasive lie seeping through the media, the internet, and Walmart stores everywhere.  And no, this has nothing to do with the current US Presidential Election. It has everything to do with a surprisingly well-known piece of lounge wear:  The Snuggie.

The Snuggie is a thing of legends.  And Bruno Mars songs.  For a long time, I wondered if the Snuggie was just too good to be true.  A blanket you can wear?  Egads! Since 2008, the Snuggie has captured our imaginations and late night TV ad slots.  Since the first time I saw those obnoxiously Caucasian sports fans in the commercial, I knew that I was destined to have a Snuggie of my own.  And I hoped that the trend would catch on enough that I, too, could publicly wear a Snuggie to a sporting event.


By |September 20th, 2012|Musings, Things That I Love|0 Comments

Things I Love #783: Tiny Humans

I’m so thankful to work with incredible children. They teach me more than I could ever teach them.

On Sunday, one of my Grade One kids initiated a group discussion about bullying, friendship, and hard choices. With no prompting from me, he began to talk about the importance of making solid choices, even when it makes you lose friends. Because “you just gots to say ‘we can’t be friends’ if your friend calls you a c-word a-word f-word. You can’t make bad choices like that. And I miss my best friend, but I used the a-word and it felt icky, so now I want a new best friend.”


By |March 23rd, 2012|Things That I Love|0 Comments

Red Cup Season

Tuesday was Red Cup Day in Canada.  By Red Cup Day, I refer to the not-yet-Stat holiday on which Starbucks begins serving winter drinks in festive red cups.  I observe Red Cup Day with a near-religious fervor each year.  Truthfully, I’m not sure why. I know that it’s just a cup of coffee and nothing more.  However, I feel like each Red Cup Day is a milestone. A turn of the page. The beginning of something new.

As urban dwellers, I think we have become so removed from creation that we must look for our own markers to draw us into the cyclical nature of life.  Yes, we see the leaves turn and fall and we feel the need for warmer jackets, but we are no longer entrenched in nature to be a part of the change.  Summer turns to fall before we realize it has happened, and fall turns to […]

By |November 6th, 2011|Musings, Things That I Love, Uncategorized|1 Comment