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

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

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

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

Eco-Friendly Hacks for 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 Eco-Friendly Hacks for Home

Joyful Living, Work

Yoga Tips for the (Home) Office

Bonjour! As we come up on one year of quarantine and staying at home, I'm thinking about ways to incorporate yoga tips into my work routine. I tend to sit rigid at my desk, hunched a the computer, without taking enough breaks to stand up, shake it off, and make time for self-care. Today's post… Continue reading Yoga Tips for the (Home) Office

Joyful Living

Daily Mindfulness

Bonjour! “Mindfulness” is a popular word to throw around but a difficult one to understand, let alone put into practice in daily life. It is the notion of being present, and therein lies the challenge: what does “being” present even mean? The Buddha teaches us not to dwell on the past, not to worry about the future,… Continue reading Daily Mindfulness

Joyful Living

4 Ways to Relax Today

“Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax.” – Mark Black Bonjour! If you’re like me, you value feeling “productive” – start one more project, fold one more load of laundry, send one more email. As fulfilling as being productive seems, it has some disturbing side effects: racing thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, and… Continue reading 4 Ways to Relax Today

Joyful Living

4 Restorative Yoga Poses

Bonjour! Today is World Yoga Day! The goals for most yoga practices are to undo tension, rest, breathe, and release chronic muscular holding. As I loved to remind my yoga students, softness is not weakness! Rather, the point of yoga is to open a channel of energy, find release, and allow positive change to manifest.… Continue reading 4 Restorative Yoga Poses

Joyful Living

5 Easy Meditations for Relaxation

Bonjour! This year, I am trying to focus more on self-care and not let winter get me (too) down. Part of my journey to yoga practice and yoga teaching was meditation. I never really got into meditation because it requires a level of patience and persistence my hyper-nervous monkey brain lacks (le sigh). That is,… Continue reading 5 Easy Meditations for Relaxation

Joyful Living

Self-Care in the New Year

Bonjour! If I learned anything in 2020, it was to let myself slow down and rest without feeling guilty for not being "productive." Shaking off the shackles of the "law school" mentality, which equates success with how much money you make and how many hours you work (le sigh), has been a years-long struggle. As… Continue reading Self-Care in the New Year

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

Joyful Living

A Cozy 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 Winter

Joyful Living

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 Looking Back, Looking Ahead

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

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