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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: 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

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

Entertaining, Food

Le French Picnic

Bonjour! My love for French language and culture often inspires me to create a taste of France chez moi. I was lucky about to visit Paris in 2006, after I graduated from the University of Alabama, and still dream of visiting again one day (le sigh). In the meantime, I find ways to recreate elements… Continue reading Le French Picnic

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

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

Food, Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Baking

Bonjour! I've spent a lot of time at home over the last four months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. Despite the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, we are… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Baking

Entertaining, Food

A French Dinner Party at Home

"Those French! They hate us, they smoke, they have a whole relationship with dairy products I don't understand." - Meg Ryan, French Kiss Bonjour! Though I am staying at home now per order of the Vermont governor in response to the pandemic, I am finding ways to stay positive and connected, help local businesses, have… Continue reading A French Dinner Party at Home

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

Food

Low-FODMAP Diet for IBS

"I don't mean to brag, but I have irritable bowel syndrome." - Jeremy Jamm, Parks & Recreation Bonjour! During the past five years since my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diagnosis, I have experimented with ways to manage my persistent mal à l'estomac through diet. While my gastroenterologist at the time prescribed an omeprazole to treat… Continue reading Low-FODMAP Diet for IBS

Food, Organic, Recipes

Recipe: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Treats

"I’d say I'm about one cookie away from being happy." - Snoopy Bonjour! Baking and cooking are two activities that enhance my personal joie de vivre. Since I became a dog mom, I have always wanted to experiment with baking dog treats, but have been too skeptical to try. In fact, Le Chien's favorite word… Continue reading Recipe: Pumpkin-Peanut Butter Dog Treats