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. Ma famille, November 2021 Something about the end of the year makes me nostalgic, from that back-to-school feeling that starts in… Continue reading 2021 Blog Year in Review

Joyful Living

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

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

Food

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

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 Halloween “Dirt Cup” Dessert

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, Travel

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

Pancakes by the 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 the 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

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

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

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

Food

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 Semi-Homemade Almond Danish

Food

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 Irish Soda Quick Bread

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

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

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