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, 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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

Dachshund Love, Family, Travel

Dachshund Staycation with Nana and Papa

Guten Tag! Welcome to the official Dachshund Takeover of Joie de Vivre! Because my puppy parents abandoned me for Two Weeks to gallivant from Vermont to Illinois, I am taking over today’s post. I won’t be ignored. I am the center of attention. And why, you may ask, did my dog mom abandon me so… Continue reading Dachshund Staycation with Nana and Papa

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

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