Joyful Living

2021 Blog Year in Review


I’m sharing this a week later than intended, but I was making rather merry at home last week while on staycation with L’Husband and Le Chien. Better late than never, right? Le wink.

Something about the end of the year makes me nostalgic, from that back-to-school feeling that starts in September (even though I’m lecturing at a university now, not gearing up my backpack and lunchbox for la rentrée), to the crunch of fallen leaves transitioning to sparkling snow underfoot, to the whip of winter wind.

I ruminate on times past, tests and trips taken, boyfriends loved and left, homes decorated and packed. And in ma famille’s new home, I thought about the future, about plans and schemes and opportunities, even during the pandemic (le sigh). Maman always says you have to have something to look forward to.

Ma famille, November 2021

This past Thanksgiving and Christmas, I also thought about what I’m thankful for, a cliché, bien sûr, but what can be an authentic and necessary reflective exercise. I love making lists and checking off to-dos, but reminiscing is not meant to be yet another checklist. It’s a way for me to focus on gratitude and remember not to take anything for granted.

After a 2021 of making moves both personal and professional, I am thankful for my health (achieving pregnancy through in vitro fertilization; managing thyroid disease), my family (a unique and reliable spouse; a sassy dachshund), and my time (a flexible job; the opportunity to swim and see friends new and old; blogging for fun).

Today’s post looks back at Joie de Vivre’s posts in 2021. I make no bones about my preference rester chez moi, pandemic aside, and this past year was no different. Overall, Joie de Vivre celebrates simple pleasures, a hallmark of the French culture and lifestyle. Read on for a recap of some of my favorite articles.

Joyful Living

A fall tablescape for our family hygge night

I started 2021 ready to look ahead: to a new presidential administration, to the end of the pandemic. My focus this year was on moving into a new house in Illinois, enjoying the new yard, and creating a cozy home. I also got back into some yoga and tried to make time for self-care.

For more posts like this, check out my Joyful Living page.


My favorite chef and his sous-chef; licks extra

I enjoy cooking and baking (and also supporting local restaurants by carrying out because preparing twenty-one meals a week can be a lot; le sigh). From baking semi-homemade treats like Halloween dirt cups and almond Danish to cooking traditional Greek dishes like fassolia (green beans and potatoes) and experimenting with gluten-free ingredients, ma famille ate very well in 2021 and I’m looking forward to more culinary adventures in 2022.

For more posts like this, check out my Food page.


A shot from Cornwall toward Middlebury, Vermont, October 2021

While travel in 2021 was limited due to the ongoing pandemic (for the love of god, get vaccinated and wear a mask; le sigh encore), I still did some travelling through food, from breakfast in Paris to dinner in Germany.

And, to be fair, I did fly on an airplane once (much to my chagrin now) and it was a surreal experience; L’Husband and I also drove halfway across the country with Le Chien in tow to house hunt and move from Vermont to Illinois.

For more posts like this, check out my Travel page.

What was good for you in 2021? What are looking forward to in 2022?

Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!

À votre santé,



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