Entertaining, Food, Joyful Living

Come at Me, Winter: It’s Hygge Time

Bonjour! It’s officially autumn. The leaves changing colors. I got out my thick socks from Vermont, my cuddly blanket from Germany, and my hot chocolate mug. (What, you don’t have a dedicated hot chocolate mug? Mais pourquoi?) This time of year always has me hankering to decorate, bake, make chili, and wrap gifts. But while… Continue reading Come at Me, Winter: It’s Hygge Time

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Halloween Candy Bark (Repost)

Bonjour! Today’s post reshares my recipe for Halloween candy bark, originally published in fall 2020. Enjoy! As summer slides into fall, leaves change color, and Halloween approaches, I start to anticipate all the fun planning, decorating, baking, and gift wrapping I get to do in the coming months. Not only is Halloween the official kickoff… Continue reading Recipe: Halloween Candy Bark (Repost)

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

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Apple Fritter Cake with Maple Icing

Bonjour! The change of summer to autumn always has me looking forward to seeing the leaves change colors, decorating with pumpkins, and wearing flannel anything. Today’s post features a simple recipe for a tasty apple fritter cake with maple icing - just in time for fall! I love apple fritters and had fun tinkering this… Continue reading Recipe: Apple Fritter Cake with Maple Icing

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

Dachshund Love, Family

Happy National Dog Day!

Bonjour! It’s National Dog Day! I’m excited to spend some extra time cuddling with and doting on Le Chien, my michevious miniature dachshund. Belly rubs and new toys are in order. Maybe I’ll even bake some special dog treats! L’Husband and I got the hound almost five years ago, when he was eight weeks old.… Continue reading Happy National Dog Day!

Family, Parenting

Adventures in Babywearing

Bonjour! There are lots of fun things about motherhood and parenting that I expected, like newborn snuggles and tiny clothes and feeling like a whole new person while at the same time feeling exactly the same. And right now, at twelve weeks old, I love watching Le Bébé discover the joy of playing with his… Continue reading Adventures in Babywearing

Dachshund Love, Family

Having a New Baby Is Exhausting… for the Dog

Bonjour! The hound is exhausted. He’s knackered. He’s spent. Why, you ask? Dear reader, Le Chien has a new baby. And bébés are a lot of work. There’s the feeding (and inspecting used bottles for remnants of formula). There’s the diaper change (and wondering why the tiny human is so wiggly and stinky). There’s bath… Continue reading Having a New Baby Is Exhausting… for the Dog

Family, Parenting

How to Clean a Baby Bottle in 800 Simple Steps

Bonjour! As I recently explored in a post about how Le Chien adjusted to having a little brother, having a new bébé changes everything. It turns out tiny humans need a lot of stuff. Wait; allow me to rephrase. Tiny humans need A Lot of Stuff and It’s All Impossible to Put Together. Fewer things… Continue reading How to Clean a Baby Bottle in 800 Simple Steps

Dachshund Love, Family

A Dachshund and His Baby

Bonjour! Having a bébé changes everything, not least of all for a family pet that’s used to being center of l’attention. Not only do the parent or parents have to learn how to take care of le nouvel ajout, but any animals also have to adjust to new sights, sounds, smells, and routines. I stuck… Continue reading A Dachshund and His Baby

Family, Pregnancy, Wellness

Pregnancy Survival Kit

Bonjour! Spoiler alert: Being pregnant is gross. Naturellement, I was thrilled to actually be pregnant and experience the magic and mystery of having a healthy bébé growing inside of me. But I was also exhausted and generally uncomfortable, what with ongoing morning sickness and nosebleeds and charley horses and insomnia, to name but a few… Continue reading Pregnancy Survival Kit

Family, Parenting, Pregnancy

Unexpected Postpartum Pleasures

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”Coco Chanel Bonjour! Now that the tiny human is here, I am in full recovery mode from pregnancy and childbirth. I expected many aspects of self-care in the fourth trimester, such as healing stitches, resetting hormones, and baby blues-slash-crying (oh, the crying). I also greatly… Continue reading Unexpected Postpartum Pleasures

Family, Parenting

Hot Mom Summer Has Begun!

Bonjour! The tiny human is here! Le Bébé was born on a certain day weighing a certain number of pounds and ounces and measuring a certain number of inches! Sidebar: For now, I’m loathe to share online the personal identifying information of a minor child with no agency to manage their own privacy. For more… Continue reading Hot Mom Summer Has Begun!

Family, Pregnancy

What I Need My Partner to Say to Me During Labor & Delivery

Bonjour! One of the reasons I knew my spouse was The One was his sense of humor. L'Husband is funny and lighthearted, a classic class clown and jokey jokemaker, which suits his easygoing personality and balances my tendency to be a little Uptight. C’est vrai: At least fifty percent of our conversations are based on… Continue reading What I Need My Partner to Say to Me During Labor & Delivery

Family, Parenting, Pregnancy

The Quest for Gender-Neutral, Organic Baby Clothes

Bonjour! As part of nesting and preparing the home for le bébé, I’ve been shopping for maternity clothes and decorating a nursery. I've also readied my hospital bag and found a car seat and other baby gear (who knew tiny humans need so many accoutrements?). And I’ve been searching for some gender-neutral baby clothes to… Continue reading The Quest for Gender-Neutral, Organic Baby Clothes

Entertaining, Family, Food, Pregnancy

A Gender-Neutral Baby Shower

Bonjour! I recently had the pleasure and good fortune of seeing a small group of friends and family at my bébé shower. After two-plus years of COVID and feeling like I’ve been pregnant forever (okay, eight months), it was my first real party, and I was so excited and thankful to bring people together and… Continue reading A Gender-Neutral Baby Shower

Dachshund Love, Family, Pregnancy

The Dog Is Suspicious of My Baby Bump

Bonjour! It's dachshund takeover week at Joie de Vivre! This week's blog post is brought to you by Le Chien, miniature dachshund extraordinaire, who has noticed some, erm, "changes" around la maison during my pregnancy. Check out these tips for introducing your dachshund (or any other suspicious pet) to a new bébé! ~~~ Something is… Continue reading The Dog Is Suspicious of My Baby Bump

Dachshund Love, Family

A Trip to the Emergency Vet

Bonjour! This past January, I had the unenviable experience of taking Le Chien to the emergency vet. Things happened very quickly. The little fellow started looking a bit peaky mid-afternoon, just a little tired really, and then proceeded to slink behind the family room couch to vomit twice. And then twice more. After Round One,… Continue reading A Trip to the Emergency Vet

Family, Parenting, Pregnancy, Wellness

The Problem with Mommy Drinking Culture

Bonjour! When my friend, Ryan, was pregnant with her second child in 2018, I flew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (my home at the time) to Birmingham, Alabama (the state where I grew up) to attend her baby sprinkle. It was lovely to visit one of my former home states, to see daffodils blooming in February, and… Continue reading The Problem with Mommy Drinking Culture

Dachshund Love, Family, Pregnancy

A Dachshund-Approved Car Seat (and More Baby Gear)

Bonjour! One of the pleasures of pregnancy has been le nesting (cleaning! organizing! shopping!) and preparing the nursery for le bébé. And wearing stretchy maternity pants. And napping. And eating snacks. But I digress. Once L'Husband and I knew we were good and pregnant after fertility treatment and the first trimester, we were comfortable investing… Continue reading A Dachshund-Approved Car Seat (and More Baby Gear)

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

Family, Pregnancy

The Untold Glory of Maternity Pants

Bonjour! Let me tell you, dear reader, that pregnancy is a journey, full of surprises, challenges, and excitement. The learning curve for me was très steep; I’ve never been pregnant before and knew little about what it entailed except maybe “morning sickness” and some sort of rumor about “labor and delivery.” After years of thinking… Continue reading The Untold Glory of Maternity Pants

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

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

Travel, U.S Travel

Christmas in Chicago

Bonjour! To celebrate many things - namely, being young and being alive - L’Husband and I recently spent the night in Chicago. In addition to the large, real concerns of the pandemic, political turmoil, and social strife (le sigh), it’s been a busy year for ma famille, from selling a home in Vermont to purchasing… Continue reading Christmas in Chicago

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

Entertaining, Food, Organic

Easy Holiday Appetizer: Honey Goat Cheese and Fancy Crackers

Bonjour! As the holidays approach, I get Very Excited about the coming season of gift-giving, decorating, and extra treats (edible and otherwise). And, as per usual, I am limiting les excursions out and about due to the persistence of the pandemic and my own (mild to moderate) reentry anxiety (vaccine booster notwithstanding). So entertaining à… Continue reading Easy Holiday Appetizer: Honey Goat Cheese and Fancy Crackers

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Halloween “Dirt Cup” Dessert

Bonjour! As I posted recently, I love to decorate my house, especially for the holidays. Just in time for Halloween, today's post shares a simple and tasty dessert inspired by the spookiest season. Hold on to your hats, because this dessert is easy, it's sweet, and it's fun! Les Ingrédients 1 box chocolate pudding mix1… Continue reading Recipe: Halloween “Dirt Cup” Dessert

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

Food

German Breakfast Box

Guten Tag! It’s time for another German takeover (the good kind… too soon?) here at Joie de Vivre. Thanks to a long-standing friendship with one of meine Lieblingsfreundin, Christiane, I love German food and culture, including a Brotzeit spread for dinner and making my own Orangina. And since I'm not travelling much (i.e., at all… Continue reading German Breakfast Box

Food, Travel, U.S Travel

Pancakes by Clinton Lake

Bonjour! As summer winds down and I settle in to my new home and work routine, I'm trying to take quiet moments for simple pleasures where I can find them. I love being outside in nature, especially by the water (how I miss Lake Champlain in Vermont!), so when my aunt invited L'Husband et moi… Continue reading Pancakes by Clinton Lake

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

Travel, U.S Travel

Road Trip, Day 2: Pennsylvania to Illinois

Bonjour! After more than a year holed up at home, L’Husband and I venturing forth and driving from Vermont to Illinois. A recent post recapped some of the highlights of Day One of the drive from Vermont to Pennsylvania. Today's post continues the fun and covers Day Two of the drive from Pennsylvania to our destination of… Continue reading Road Trip, Day 2: Pennsylvania to Illinois

Food, Travel, U.S Travel

Campfire Picnic on Lake Champlain

Bonjour! It’s starting to feel like spring in Vermont, and I’m eagerly anticipating warmer weather, more sunshine, and a visit to le lac (and my COVID-19 vaccine). Today's post shares some pictures from a campfire picnic on the shores of Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vermont, a fun way to get outside with family and… Continue reading Campfire Picnic on Lake Champlain

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Greek Green Beans

Bonjour! As the weather turns chilly, gray, and rainy, the scarves and wool socks come out. Le Chien resists wearing his coat and attempts to flee when he sees it (le sigh). And I start I to crave comfort food, which for me tends toward warm or carby delights like biscuits. Or meatloaf. Or chili.… Continue reading Recipe: Greek Green Beans

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

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

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

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!