Joyful Living

Oh Bernie, My Bernie

Bonjour! Happy Inauguration Day! It was a bright day in America, a wonderful day to focus on hope and unity and to welcome the future. After four years of discord and division, of hatred and hauteur (le sigh), we can truly start to heal and enact meaningful change for racial justice, the pandemic and economy,… Continue reading Oh Bernie, My Bernie

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: 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

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

Joyful Living

Post-Election Blues

Bonjour! As excited as I am about the result of the 2020 presidential election, I admit to feeling some post-election blues. I was so nervous about the showdown between president-elect Biden and Trump that I ran high on adrenaline and anxiety in the weeks running up to election day. Now that day (okay, fine, election… Continue reading Post-Election Blues

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, 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

Entertaining, Food

Le French Picnic Chez Moi

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 Chez Moi

Joyful Living

Spa Day at Home

Bonjour! I've spent a lot of time at home over the last six 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. And despite the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, we are trying to stay positive… Continue reading Spa Day at Home

Travel, U.S Travel

Vermont Staycation Hike

Bonjour! This week, Mon Chéri and I are on vacation. Though we are not leaving Vermont and barely leaving the house, our staycation has been très quiet and relaxing. We're baking, taking Le Chien for extra walks, and waiting for Borgen to finally come on Netflix. On Vacation While Staying Home “There is nothing like… Continue reading Vermont Staycation Hike

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

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Gardening

Bonjour! Sometimes, on a Thursday morning, you just need some flowers. I've spent a lot of time at home over the last almost six months. Mon Chéri, Le Chien, and I are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home in our home office spaces. We are also trying to stay positive… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Gardening

Joyful Living, Wellness

Quarantine Scenes: Yoga

Bonjour! As I wrote recently, I'm spending a lot of time at home and enjoying extra family time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are adjusting to our new home in Vermont and working from home. And despite the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, we are trying to stay positive and also trying new… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Yoga

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art (Update)

Bonjour! Please forgive the re-post, but some of content shared in my original post is no longer available (see Author Update below). As I have been sharing, I've spent a lot of time at home over the last five months and had the pleasure of spending extra time with L'Husband and Le Chien. We are… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art (Update)

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art

Bonjour! As I have been sharing, I've spent a lot of time at home over the last five 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… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Outdoor Folk Art

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

Joyful Living, Travel, Travel Abroad

The Pleasure Principle (and Paris)

Bonjour! A weekend morning is the perfect time to relax over a lingering breakfast (and bake!). As part of my commitment to joyful living and simple pleasures, I am trying to incorporate moments of quietude and pleasure instead of just rushing to do work and chores when I wake up. Being ever eager to accomplish… Continue reading The Pleasure Principle (and 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

Joyful Living

Quarantine Scenes: Bunnies in the Backyard

Bonjour! As I wrote recently, 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… Continue reading Quarantine Scenes: Bunnies in the Backyard

Joyful Living

Personalized Stationery Wardrobe

Bonjour! As part of my commitment to joyful living, I love writing letters and sending mail. It is chic and charmant, and also creates an authentic connection with the recipient. Writing notes is a great way to help during the pandemic by keeping in touch with friends and family. Making Correspondence Personal "Letter writing allows… Continue reading Personalized Stationery Wardrobe

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

Joyful Living

How Do I Help? Update

Bonjour! I wrote my first post on helping during the pandemic a couple of months ago. Things were still new, scary, and overwhelming, and I thought it was important to focus on positive ways to help in the community: stay home, donate, support local businesses, and find reliable information. This post re-shares what we can… Continue reading How Do I Help? Update

Food, Organic, Recipes, Wellness

Recipe: Ginger-Lemon-Honey Tea for Seasonal Allergies

Bonjour! Though it's the middle of June, spring has barely arrived in Vermont, and pollen is everywhere. My nose is dripping, my throat is scratchy and sore, and my eyes are bloodshot and itchy, zut alors. I used to just pop a Claritin or Sudafed and drag myself through the rest of my day in… Continue reading Recipe: Ginger-Lemon-Honey Tea for Seasonal Allergies

Joyful Living

Happy First Anniversary, Joie de Vivre!

Bonjour! This post celebrates Joie de Vivre’s first anniversary. I started this blog one year ago this week, just shy of my 35th birthday. To celebrate, Joie de Vivre has a fresh look. I updated some style, design, and layout elements and created dedicated pages for food, travel, joyful living, and work. I'm also experimenting… Continue reading Happy First Anniversary, Joie de Vivre!

How I Work Project

How I Work #9: Christiane in Germany

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #9  introduces Christiane Scheller, 36, the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Scherzinger Pumpen in Furtwangen, Germany. Chris writes, “I was responsible for all marketing activities including the organisation of trade shows and events, print media, online marketing, and corporate communication strategies.” She… Continue reading How I Work #9: Christiane in Germany

Entertaining, Food

German Brotzeit for Dinner

Guten Tag! It’s German week here on Joie de Vivre! Today’s post shares the delights of Brotzeit, a simple picnic meal that’s easy to prepare and enjoy at home. Later this week, How I Work will feature my dear German friend, Christiane, who introduced me to Brotzeit and Orangina. What Is Brotzeit? A German dachshund… Continue reading German Brotzeit for Dinner

How I Work Project

How I Work #8: Ryan in Alabama

Welcome to another installment of How I Work! How I Work #8 introduces Ryan Green, 36, a Field Curriculum Consultant for Medtronic based in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a member of product launch core teams and leads global training and education. For fun, Ryan loves to run and read, and also tipple the odd gin… Continue reading How I Work #8: Ryan in Alabama