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

Family, Parenting, Wellness

Postpartum Depression and My Cry for Help

Bonjour! October is Depression Awareness Month. While I typically focus on food, fun, and family on Joie de Vivre, I also like to write about self-care and wellness. As I’ve learned over the years dealing with my own anxiety, and especially after pregnancy and giving birth, caring for mental health is just as important and… Continue reading Postpartum Depression and My Cry for Help

Family, Parenting, Wellness

Baby Blues: I’m Not Sad, I’m Tired

Bonjour! October is Depression Awareness Month, so amid posts on recipes for Halloween candy bark and Halloween decorations, I would like to share my experience with the baby blues and postpartum anxiety. As I’ve learned over the years trying to deal with my own anxiety issues, and especially after pregnancy and giving birth, caring for… Continue reading Baby Blues: I’m Not Sad, I’m Tired

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

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

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

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

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)

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… Continue reading Joyful Living Mission Statement

Food, Organic, Recipes, Wellness

Recipe: Ginger-Lemon-Honey Tea for Seasonal Allergies (Repost)

Bonjour! In honor of the first day of spring (yay!), today's post shares a simple homeopathic recipe for soothing seasonal allergies: organic ginger-lemon-honey tea. Since they're predicting the 2022 allergy season will be a doozy, we'll all need some extra self-care. I'm planning ahead so a sore throat and runny nose won't diminish my usual… Continue reading Recipe: Ginger-Lemon-Honey Tea for Seasonal Allergies (Repost)

Family, Pregnancy, Wellness

Self-Care Tips for Pregnancy

Bonjour! To put it mildly, the world is going to hell in a hand basket. It’s been a long two (plus) years during the pandemic. And it’s okay to feel drained (emotionally, physically, grammatically) and take a relaxation moment to rest and restore. Building off some 2021 musings on self-care, today's post shares some tips… Continue reading Self-Care Tips for Pregnancy

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?

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Berry-Yogurt Parfait

Bonjour! New year, new me, and I’m excited to try some new recipes! Today's post shares my recipe for a mixed berry and yogurt parfait, perfect for breakfast, snack, or le dessert (mmm). Check out more of my recipes here (including some that are even a little healthy, FODMAP-friendly for IBS, and organic!) Since pregnancy… Continue reading Recipe: Berry-Yogurt Parfait

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

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

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

Food

International Food Finds at Walmart

Bonjour! I love to travel in Europe and look forward to doing so one day … in the far and distant future (though I did fly recently, le yikes!). Travel opens the mind, changes the routine, and introduces new ideas and ways of doing things. And the food! In the meantime, I enjoy incorporating what… Continue reading International Food Finds at Walmart

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

Travel, U.S Travel

Road Trip, Day 1: Vermont to Pennsylvania

Bonjour! After more than a year at home, L'Husband and I are on the move. Our first trip since moving to Vermont in Fall 2019 turned out to be a road trip back to central Illinois. Sadly, Le Chien did not join us, and we drove out over two days with an overnight stop in… Continue reading Road Trip, Day 1: Vermont to Pennsylvania

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

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Semi-Homemade Almond Danish

Bonjour! I love to bake from scratch (sometimes), but I also like to take the semi-homemade route (most of the time). Today’s post shares a recipe for almond Danish using pre-made almond paste and puff pastry... because making paste and pastry from scratch is a lot of work (le sigh) and perfectly tasty ingredients already… Continue reading Recipe: Semi-Homemade Almond Danish

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Irish Soda Quick Bread

Bonjour! It's been awhile since I baked, and I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and have some fun. As St. Patrick's Day approaches, I'm feeling inspired to try my hand at Irish soda bread. I tried this traditional in Ireland when I visited in 2017 (and met Winnie!). The bread should pair nicely… Continue reading Recipe: Irish Soda Quick Bread

Wellness

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

Wellness

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

Wellness

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

Wellness

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

Wellness

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

Wellness

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

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

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Christmas Chili

Bonjour! Happy Festivus! The holidays season is upon us. My family celebrates Christmas, and every year we kick off the celebration the day after Thanksgiving by making a big batch of chili and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. ("Don't throw me down, Clark!") Today's post shares my secret family recipe for chili, a dish I… Continue reading Recipe: Christmas Chili

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Halloween Candy Bark

Bonjour! 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 of the holiday saison, it's a great excuse to eat lots of candy corn and… Continue reading Recipe: Halloween Candy Bark

Food

A Day Without Gluten

Bonjour! One way I try to manage inflammation in my gut, due to IBS, and skin, due to rosacea, is through a low-gluten or gluten-free diet. Based on the results of a blood test, I do not have celiac disease, so I can eat some gluten. But because I frequently experience stomach upset or hot… Continue reading A Day Without Gluten

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Gluten-Free Brownie Muffins

Bonjour! Sometimes, one just feels like baking and eating an entire try of brownies, perhaps when it's gray and chilly and blustery. Perhaps when the United States is mere weeks away from a contentious presidential election. Perhaps when the coronavirus pandemic, voter suppression, census shenanigans, and Supreme Court tomfoolery crush our souls (le sigh). I… Continue reading Recipe: Gluten-Free Brownie Muffins

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Bonjour! Happy October! Fall has officially arrived in Vermont, which means it's time to make an annual batch of applesauce, mmm. Today's post shares how I simplify what can be a laborious (peeling, coring, chopping so many apples. So. Many. Apples.) and time-consuming (simmering the sauce for hours on the stove) process. My secret weapons?… Continue reading Recipe: Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Easy Summer Mocktail

Bonjour! This is an easy, breezy post on what will hopefully be an easy, breezy summer Thursday. It’s been a long summer in the middle of a very long year, and we all need a little break. What better to accompany a break from work or chores or news or pandemic worries (le sigh) than… Continue reading Recipe: Easy Summer Mocktail

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Gluten-Free Quick Bread

Bonjour! This past Saturday morning, I woke up with the urge to bake. No, quarantine is not getting to me - I am a lifelong baker and have been helping L'Husband learn to bake. Maybe it was the drizzly, gray morning, surely invigorated by the tantalizing vanilla scent of fresh baked goods. Maybe it was… Continue reading Recipe: Gluten-Free Quick Bread

Food, Recipes

Recipe: Tomato Soup and Quesadillas

"Soup's not a meal!" - Kenny Bania, Seinfeld Bonjour! The disruption of daily life by the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to “shelter in place” or “stay home, stay safe,” as we call it in the United States, and I’m noticing chatter online about how to prepare easy meals at home. I recently wrote about… Continue reading Recipe: Tomato Soup and Quesadillas

Food, Organic, Recipes

Recipe: Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

"I took your idea and I made it better." - Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation Bonjour! For a recent Oktoberfest shindig with Ma Famille, I decided to experiment with a new applesauce recipe. I've made applesauce in a Dutch oven on the stove, but never before in the slow cooker, and never before with a… Continue reading Recipe: Slow Cooker Applesauce with Secret Ingredient

Food, Organic, Recipes

Recipe: Chicken Power Salad

"I stand behind my decision to avoid salad and other disgusting things." - Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation Bonjour! I recently wrote about my experience with IBS and experimenting with a low-FODMAP diet. Planning a day's worth of FODMAP-friendly meals can be challenging, and I tend to eat the same things over and over (and… Continue reading Recipe: Chicken Power Salad

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!