Joyful Living

Joyful Living Mission Statement, Revisited

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." – Pablo Picasso Bonjour! I founded Joie de Vivre in 2019 to celebrate joyful living everyday. Joie de vivre is a a French phrase meaning “joy in living.” I write about ways to incorporate simplicity and pleasure… Continue reading Joyful Living Mission Statement, Revisited

Joyful Living

The Perfect Day

Bonjour! Today, I will not read or listen to the news. I will not look at my calendar, or my day planner. I will not worry about how much I weigh, or how I look. I will not check work email. I will not even think about laundry. I will not let my stomach/back/headache stop… Continue reading The Perfect Day

Joyful Living

My Happy at Home Basket

Bonjour! I spend a lot of time at home by choice - I’m a natural-born homebody - and by necessity - the COVID-19 pandemic has me (mostly) sheltering in place with a newborn, a dachshund, and my reentry anxiety cranked up to eleven. I’ve always loved being at and making a home. When I was… Continue reading My Happy at Home Basket

Joyful Living, Wellness

How to Make Air Freshener with Essential Oil

Bonjour! Part of my commitment to joyful living and an organic and eco-friendly lifestyle includes using household products sans synthetic fragrances, such as laundry detergent or bath soap. Today’s post shares how make your very own air freshener with essential oils. Making your own room spray is eco-friendly and better for the air quality in… Continue reading How to Make Air Freshener with Essential Oil

Joyful Living, Wellness

Positive Daily Affirmations

Bonjour! During my pregnancy, I thought a lot about how to have a more positive mental attitude as part of my commitment to joyful living. I realized my bad habits of centering negative thoughts and vibes was not only dragging me down and holding me back from living my best life, but sending bad energy… Continue reading Positive Daily Affirmations

Joyful Living

Joyful Living Mission Statement

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”– Pablo Picasso Bonjour! I founded Joie de Vivre in 2019 to celebrate joyful living everyday. Joie de vivre is a a French phrase meaning “joy in living.” I write about ways to incorporate simplicity and pleasure to… Continue reading Joyful Living Mission Statement

Decorating, Family, Pregnancy

Yes, Our Nursery Has a Snoopy Theme

Bonjour! Let me start by saying that I love Peanuts and Snoopy. Always have, always will. Snoopy is essential to adding joy to my life. Thus, it should not shock those of you who know this about me that the nursery for le bébé will have a Snoopy theme. And L’Husband gets it. He knows… Continue reading Yes, Our Nursery Has a Snoopy Theme

Joyful Living

What Is Joyful Living?

Bonjour! I started Joie de Vivre - a French phrase meaning “joy in living” - in 2019 so I could write about some of my favorite things, from food and travel to ways to incorporate simple pleasures to make everyday living more joyful. Over the years, my priorities and focus have evolved to include caring… Continue reading What Is Joyful Living?

Joyful Living, Organic, Wellness

2022 Goals: Sustainable, Organic, Mindful

Bonjour! It’s the beginning of a new year and I’m feeling (oddly) invigorated. Languishing in a fugue state during the last two years of the pandemic (le sigh) makes me crave a fresh start, eager to embrace life again. A few things precipitated this unexpected but exciting turn to new positive outlook: Settling in to… Continue reading 2022 Goals: Sustainable, Organic, Mindful

Joyful Living

2022 Plans for the Blog

Bonjour! Happy New Year! Bonne Année! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a refresh. It’s been a long two years of pandemic and political tragedies (a long, long two years; le sigh) and I need a new, more positive outlook (and some extra self-care). One way I’m getting to reset button it… Continue reading 2022 Plans for the Blog

Joyful Living

2021 Blog Year in Review

Bonjour! 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… Continue reading 2021 Blog Year in Review

Dachshund Love, Decorating, Family, Joyful Living

Merry Christmas from Joie de Vivre

Bonjour! Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Joie de Vivre! I hope you and your loved ones have a fun, safe, and healthy holiday and new year. In this time of giving and gratitude, remember to give to and be grateful for yourself too. Le Chien lounging on Christmas morning. This year, L’Husband and I… Continue reading Merry Christmas from Joie de Vivre

Entertaining, Food, Joyful Living

A Cozy Hygge Night

Bonjour! We're officially in the throes of the holiday season, which has me hankering to decorate, bake, make chili, and wrap gifts. The holidays are a festive time but also a portent of the gray, cold winter to come (at least in the Midwest of the United States), which has me planning ahead to make… Continue reading A Cozy Hygge Night

Decorating, Joyful Living

Halloween Decorating to the Max

Bonjour! Fall is officially here - though it's 85 and sunny in the middle of October here in central Illinois (le yikes!). Regardless, I am in hardcore decorating mode (see, e.g., a recent birthday party for a naughty dachshund), elevating my paltry, generic fall decorations (a few leaves here, a miniature pumpkin or apple-cider candle… Continue reading Halloween Decorating to the Max

Dachshund Love, Decorating, Entertaining, Family, Food, Joyful Living

Oktoberfest Birthday for a Dachshund

Guten Tag! We're continuing the German takeover of Joie de Vivre to celebrate my love of all things deutsch, from Brotzeit to breakfast to Orangina. (And you can even find some German treats at Wal-Mart, le score!) Oktoberfest season is upon us, and what better way to usher in fall than with a German Oktoberfest-themed… Continue reading Oktoberfest Birthday for a Dachshund

Joyful Living

Late Summer Garden

Bonjour! As we approach the end of August, yards are starting to look a little crispy and gardens a little shaggy. But many flowers are still blooming and the trees still have leaves, so I try to enjoy what splendor of the summer season remains. I come from a long matrilineal line of green thumbs… Continue reading Late Summer Garden

Dachshund Love, Family, Joyful Living

A Dachshund Explores a New House

Bonjour! I’m finally getting back into a writing groove after a busy month settling into a new home in a new state after a whirlwind of house hunting. (Check out our road trip from Vermont to Illinois here and here! I even flew on an actual airplane!) And I’m going to level with you, dear… Continue reading A Dachshund Explores a New House

Joyful Living

Camping Out in a New House

Bonjour! Y'all, it has just been forever since I wrote anything for Joie de Vivre! In the last month, L'Husband started a new job, we drove halfway across the country with Le Chien, and we moved into our new home in Illinois. It's been a lot of unpacking, organizing, cleaning, decorating, and yard work .… Continue reading Camping Out in a New House

Dachshund Love, Family, Joyful Living

To Bathe a Dachshund

Bonjour! Once summertime rolls around, L'Husband and I take on the task of bathing Le Chien ourselves. It's lovely to get outside and splash around in the sunshine, and the whole process takes less than fifteen minutes. Le Chien is not a huge fan of water (le shock) but a few extra treats go a… Continue reading To Bathe a Dachshund

Joyful Living

Discoveries While House Hunting

Bonjour! A year of quarantine gave me lots of time to think about what I want in my life and how I want to spend my time. I learned, together with L’Husband, that our family’s life truly starts at home. We like to bake and cook, garden and take walks, watch movies and YouTube videos… Continue reading Discoveries While House Hunting

Joyful Living

How to be Eco-Friendly at Home

Bonjour! One of the mantras of my childhood - in addition to the D.A.R.E. message “Say no to drugs” - was reduce, reuse, recycle. (Hey, it was the Nineties!) In honor of Earth Day, today’s post shares tips for easy, eco-friendly updates for your daily routine at home or at work. These new habits are… Continue reading How to be Eco-Friendly at Home

Joyful Living

Oh Bernie, My Bernie

Bonjour! Happy Inauguration Day! It was a bright day in America, a wonderful day to focus on hope and unity and to welcome the future. After four years of discord and division, of hatred and hauteur (le sigh), we can truly start to heal and enact meaningful change for racial justice, the pandemic and economy,… Continue reading Oh Bernie, My Bernie

Decorating, Joyful Living

A Cozy Vermont Winter

Bonjour! As January trundles on, and we sit in the United States watching and waiting to see how representative democracy will respond to the president inciting an insurrection, I’m doing one thing I can to stay sane: Decorating. While I have put the Christmas decorations away, the tree remains. With its charming twinkle lights and… Continue reading A Cozy Vermont Winter

Joyful Living

2020 to 2021: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Bonjour! Happy New Year from Joie de Vivre! I can’t believe 2020 is over and we have a fresh start, a blank slate in front of us. I haven’t felt the turnover of the year this keenly since the 1999-2000 calendar flip, another unique moment in my lifetime. Only now, the stakes feel much higher:… Continue reading 2020 to 2021: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Decorating, Joyful Living

Holiday Decorating Extravaganza, Part Deux

Bonjour! It's the most wonderful time of the year! As we struggle toward the end of a very long and very scary year, I am trying to stay positive and spread some holiday cheer. Yes, I am eagerly anticipating the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the transfer of power in the White House. Being… Continue reading Holiday Decorating Extravaganza, Part Deux

Decorating, Joyful Living

Holiday Decorating Extravaganza

Bonjour! I don't know about you, but I've been planning my holiday decorating for over a month, or at least since Halloween. Since we are not exactly going in and out of each other's homes right now (le sigh), today's post is a guided virtual tour of how we're getting festive. But before you do… Continue reading Holiday Decorating Extravaganza

Joyful Living

Post-Election Blues

Bonjour! As excited as I am about the result of the 2020 presidential election, I admit to feeling some post-election blues. I was so nervous about the showdown between president-elect Biden and Trump that I ran high on adrenaline and anxiety in the weeks running up to election day. Now that day (okay, fine, election… Continue reading Post-Election Blues

Joyful Living

Election 2020: We Got This!

Bonjour! As I write this, the United States waits with bated breath for the results of the presidential election. The world is watching. Stress, tension, anxiety . . . These feelings have taken on a new dimension and meaning for me, and for many others as well. And if I hear the words “unprecedented” and… Continue reading Election 2020: We Got This!

Joyful Living

Closet Organization

Bonjour! As summer rolls into fall, I’ve spent some time switching my closet over to my fall and winter wardrobe (which is not as fancy as it sounds). This changeover also gave me the opportunity to reorganize and clean out some closets, one thing that brings me great pleasure. This post shares some of my… Continue reading Closet Organization

Joyful Living

Spa Day at Home

Bonjour! I've spent a lot of time at home over the last six months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home. And despite the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, we are trying to stay positive… Continue reading Spa Day at Home

Dachshund Love, Family, Joyful Living

Happy National Dog Day

Bonjour! In honor of National Dog Day, today’s post celebrates Le Chien with some recent pictures. Oh, dachshund shenanigans! A Dachshund a Day “Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor.” - E.B. White Adolf Eberle, The Proud Dachshund, ca. 1843-1914 / Wikimedia Commons I loved… Continue reading Happy National Dog Day

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Gardening

Bonjour! Sometimes, on a Thursday morning, you just need some flowers. I've spent a lot of time at home over the last almost six months. Mon Chéri, Le Chien, and I are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. We are also trying to stay positive… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Gardening

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art (Update)

Bonjour! Please forgive the re-post, but some of content shared in my original post is no longer available (see Author Update below). As I have been sharing, I've spent a lot of time at home over the last five months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art (Update)

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art

Bonjour! As I have been sharing, I've spent a lot of time at home over the last five months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. Despite the uncertainty and stress… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art

Joyful Living, Travel, Travel Abroad

The Pleasure Principle (and Paris)

Bonjour! A weekend morning is the perfect time to relax over a lingering breakfast (and bake!). As part of my commitment to joyful living and simple pleasures, I am trying to incorporate moments of quietude and pleasure instead of just rushing to do work and chores when I wake up. Being ever eager to accomplish… Continue reading The Pleasure Principle (and Paris)

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Bunnies in the Backyard

Bonjour! As I wrote recently, I've spent a lot of time at home over the last four months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. Despite the uncertainty and stress of… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Bunnies in the Backyard

Decorating, Joyful Living

Happy Independence Day from Joie de Vivre

Bonjour! During this Fourth of July holiday weekend, I’m ruminating on what it means to be independent and free, values deeply rooted in American history and culture. To me, independence is the ability to live unfettered by external control or influence. Freedom is the ability to live free from oppression or restraint. Both understandings make… Continue reading Happy Independence Day from Joie de Vivre

Joyful Living

Personalized Stationery Wardrobe

Bonjour! As part of my commitment to joyful living, I love writing letters and sending mail. It is chic and charmant, and also creates an authentic connection with the recipient. Writing notes is a great way to help during the pandemic by keeping in touch with friends and family. Making Correspondence Personal "Letter writing allows… Continue reading Personalized Stationery Wardrobe

Food, Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Baking

Bonjour! I've spent a lot of time at home over the last four months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. Despite the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, we are… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Baking

Joyful Living

How Do I Help? Update

Bonjour! I wrote my first post on helping during the pandemic a couple of months ago. Things were still new, scary, and overwhelming, and I thought it was important to focus on positive ways to help in the community: stay home, donate, support local businesses, and find reliable information. This post re-shares what we can… Continue reading How Do I Help? Update

Joyful Living

How to Be an Ally and Advocate

Bonjour! I've been thinking a lot lately about racism, sexism, and homophobia in American society. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery once again throw into sharp relief the racial divide in the United States and the undeniable fact that our toxic culture places less value on certain lives than others,… Continue reading How to Be an Ally and Advocate

Joyful Living

Happy First Anniversary, Joie de Vivre!

Bonjour! This post celebrates Joie de Vivre’s first anniversary. I started this blog one year ago this week, just shy of my 35th birthday. To celebrate, Joie de Vivre has a fresh look. I updated some style, design, and layout elements and created dedicated pages for food, travel, joyful living, and work. I'm also experimenting… Continue reading Happy First Anniversary, Joie de Vivre!

How I Work Project

How I Work #9: Christiane in Germany

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #9  introduces Christiane Scheller, 36, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Scherzinger Pumpen in Furtwangen, Germany. Chris writes, “I was responsible for all marketing activities including the organisation of trade shows and events, print media, online marketing, and corporate communication strategies.” She… Continue reading How I Work #9: Christiane in Germany

How I Work Project

How I Work #8: Ryan in Alabama

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #8 introduces Ryan Green, 36, a Field Curriculum Consultant for Medtronic based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a member of product launch core teams and leads global training and education. For fun, Ryan loves to run and read, and also tipple the odd gin… Continue reading How I Work #8: Ryan in Alabama

Joyful Living

Happy Memorial Day from Joie de Vivre

Bonjour! This is a short post to say happy Memorial Day! I hope you had a nice holiday weekend and were able to relax and enjoy. I also want to thank you for following Joie de Vivre and supporting my writing. I appreciate you! This morning, I considered this quotation from William Henry Channing, a… Continue reading Happy Memorial Day from Joie de Vivre

How I Work Project

How I Work #7: Ayanna in Tokyo

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #7 introduces Ayanna Coleman, 32, who currently lives in Tokyo and runs her own business efficiency and marketing consultancy, Quill Shift. Ayanna writes, “I’m a business efficiency and marketing consultant. I work with new entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits who know their passion and… Continue reading How I Work #7: Ayanna in Tokyo

How I Work Project

How I Work #6: Kelly in Vermont

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #6 introduces Kelly Flynn, 41, an attorney in Weybridge, Vermont. After sixteen years, she is transitioning from corporate to advocacy work. Kelly enjoys hiking in the snow (“I’m terrified of snakes, so warm weather woods are out of the question”) and baking (“I won… Continue reading How I Work #6: Kelly in Vermont

How I Work Project

How I Work #5: Dianah in Turkey

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #5 introduces Dianah Kacunguzi, 35, a PhD candidate at the iSchool at the University of Illinois. Her dissertation research focuses on heritage informatics and she has also taught courses both at the graduate and undergraduate level. Dianah currently lives in Ankara, Turkey with her… Continue reading How I Work #5: Dianah in Turkey

How I Work Project

How I Work #4: Sheramy in Vermont

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #4 introduces Sheramy Tsai, 42, of South Burlington, Vermont. She is a bachelor’s prepared registered nurse who has practiced in many fields, most recently school nursing. Sher describes her job as “Registered Nurse/ Nurse Manager/ Writer/ Producer/ Mom.” Sher writes, “In addition to being… Continue reading How I Work #4: Sheramy in Vermont

How I Work Project

How I Work #3: Winnie in Amsterdam

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #3 introduces Winnie Schats, 56, an information specialist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute from Zaandam, a suburb of Amsterdam. Winnie manages the NCI scientific information service alongside two (soon to be three) other colleagues. Her role focuses on managing the publication and data repository,… Continue reading How I Work #3: Winnie in Amsterdam

How I Work Project

How I Work #2: Kelly in Chicago

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #2 introduces Kelly Rokosz, 35, a single stay-at-home mom and educator in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. A former primary grade classroom teacher, Kelly is currently homeschooling her son, 6, who would be in kindergarten, and daughter, almost 4. Kelly is the site coordinator for the… Continue reading How I Work #2: Kelly in Chicago

How I Work Project

How I Work #1: Margaret in Australia

Welcome to How I Work! This series on Joie de Vivre highlights how women around the world are adjusting, coping, and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. It features professionals living in Australia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and the United States (from Detroit and Chicago to Alabama and Vermont). How I Work #1… Continue reading How I Work #1: Margaret in Australia

How I Work Project

Introducing the How I Work Project

Bienvenue to How I Work! This new series on Joie de Vivre highlights how women around the world are adjusting, coping, and working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Each post features the insights and experiences of a different female professional in locations across the globe. Whether full-time or part-time, entry-level or retired, a student… Continue reading Introducing the How I Work Project

Joyful Living

Global Pandemic: How Do I Help?

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something." - Barack Obama Bonjour! The state of the world with coronavirus has me thinking. Thinking about my own life, thinking about the lives of others, thinking about the future of work, economics, and health. I am lucky. Almost every morning, I… Continue reading Global Pandemic: How Do I Help?

Dachshund Love, Family, Joyful Living

Moving into a New Home, with Dachshund

"Friendship is better because friends help you move, they drive you to the airport. Boyfriends just . . . Love you and marry you." - Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation Bonjour! I hope this post finds you safe healthy during this time of coronavirus. I am adjusting to the new normal of working from home, cooking… Continue reading Moving into a New Home, with Dachshund

Joyful Living

CARES Act Information

Bonjour! I hope you are all safe and healthy. I'm feeling overwhelmed and impotent, wondering what I can do to help during the coronavirus crisis. Today's post shares some information from my accountant and my own research about the newly enacted economic relief law in the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security… Continue reading CARES Act Information

Joyful Living, Travel

Ultimate Travel Packing List

"He who would travel happily must travel light." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Bonjour! I love to travel and enjoy planning trips, organizing what I will need to take, and sharing what I've learned about the process (through beaucoup de trial and error) over the years. As 2019 draws to a close, I'm beginning to think… Continue reading Ultimate Travel Packing List

Joyful Living

How to Work from Home

"We have to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. But work has to come third." - Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation Bonjour! After a hiatus from the blog, during which I prepared and sat for the Vermont bar exam (as fun as it sounds), I am excited to be writing again on… Continue reading How to Work from Home

Joyful Living

Welcome to Joie de Vivre!

Bonjour! Welcome to Joie de Vivre! I am excited to write my first post and share a little bit about myself with you. My name is Katie Chamberlain and I love to write, travel, cook, and organize. I am also an ardent linguist and Francophile. Despite my nerd-like tendencies (I have a law degree and… Continue reading Welcome to Joie de Vivre!