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

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

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, 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

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

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?

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

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

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

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