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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: 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

Entertaining, Food, Travel, Travel Abroad

Breakfast in Paris

Bonjour! On a recent Saturday, L'Husband and I pulled together an easy, simple petit déjeuner français. One of the most overwhelming things about the pandemic and quarantine for me is not knowing when and if life as we know if will ever go back to normal. Being stuck at home, feeling like I cannot go… Continue reading Breakfast in Paris

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