Since last we spoke


Since last year, a lot has changed. Hudson is now 7 (almost 8).  And in March of 2016 we lost our beloved Starsky to cancer :(. That was a tough one for us all, Starsky was only 10 and still had so much life in him, we miss him every day. He was buried in the family pet cemetery with his favorite toys.

In June of 2016 we got another pup named Rocket ( aptly named for sure). rocket was obtained through a rescue called REAL Rottweilers.Much to our surprise……Rocket was not the Rot mix we thought he was, turns out he is mostly hound dog with a bit of Shepard and Dobie mixed in.


He is smaller than Starsky was, but solid as a rock and the biggest lover 🙂

My husbands business is in an upswing , which is wonderful and I started a side Business which is so far doing pretty well.

My dad moved out of my child hood home in January into a safer place, that was a rough one for me,I felt as though my whole foundation shifted. That was the house that made me, and now someone else lives there, but it stopped being home when my mother died, and the neighborhood was getting really bad. dad is in a much safer place now and I think we are all sleeping better at night now.

Also My father decided to sell his condo this year, as sad as I am about that, the upkeep was getting way too expensive, so expensive that when he offered it to us, even we didn’t want to take it. So this weekend we will make our final trip to the Gatlinburg TN area. Im sad but really excited to make some good memories, this is going to be a fabulous summer!


Here we are again…..

Wow, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? Looking back I can’t believe it has only been a year since my last post ( feels like at least 2). But I felt that it was time to come back, over the past several months I had this little nagging voice inside my head (find a place to write). I tried a traditional journal, and that didn’t work so well, mainly because I really hate the physical act of writing.(Blame modern technology).

So, why did I leave? Well at some point as my blog grew, I felt more and more pressured to give it a direction, did I want it to be a design blog? Fashion blog? DIY? I tried everything and while some ideas worked in the short term, nothing really had enough steam to take off.

So here is what Joie De Vivre is now, a personal blog, as it was always meant to be. I have chronicled me and my husbands life since we got married in 2007. This blog has seen everything. it is a living testament of my life.

I wanted to continue that tradition. So here I am, back again, stripped down and ready to share our lives adventures.if you read this blog, great! Thank you! If no one reads it, it’s fine, I am not after followers, I am just after keeping a ledger on my memories the good the bad and the crazy.

Thanks for being along on the ride!

This is our summer 2015

Fireworks with friends, Sunshine ( occasionally) ,Playing outside, outdoor movies, sugar highs and ice cream headaches.

This is our summer 🙂

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Bubble Snakes!

We are usually running all over Gods green earth in the summer evenings, between t-ball and play dates and Birthdays ect. We rarely get the chance to just chill out at home.

Last night was one of those rare evenings we didn’t have any plans, so I made sure I was loaded with activities that we could try.

I had pinned a DIY for bubble snakes a few weeks ago and was hoping that it wouldn’t be a pinterest fail.

Much to my surprise it actually was pretty easy and really worked!


You can find out directions here:

We coudlnt really get the “rainbow effect” to happen but we sure did have fun blowing long snakes!!




Hudson also realized that if you take the sock off and just dip the open part of the cut bottle in the bubble solution, you get really BIG bubbles!


I have to give this project credit, it actually had him pretty excited and involved for at least an hour ( hey that’s record time in this house)

I love doing stuff like this with him, he just gets so excited!

Have fun!

That time I traveled to a foreign land… Missouri.

When I was younger, I had always dreamed of visiting places like Paris, India, Norway and Australia. When I got into college, I had an opportunity to travel to France, but unfortunately the money that I had saved for my trip, had to be used to fix my broken down car :/

Traveling internationally never seemed to be in the cards for me. My husband doesn’t fly, so I may never be able to visit these countries. But I work with what I have, and every time I travel for work, I treat it as though I am going to foreign country, because honestly, it IS foreign……to me!

Recently I traveled for the second time to Kansas City Missouri.

Here are some basic facts:

KC is known for it’s BBQ but it’s also know as the City of Fountains.

KC is literally called the Center of America, because it really is in the center of the USA

KC is right on the border of Missouri and Kansas

KC’s traditional candy is called Cherry Mash, a ball of cherry flavored fondant covered in nuts and milk chocolate. I had never seen these before traveling here, but apparently they are big in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota and Missouri.


Every time I go here I just enjoy it so much, mainly because it’s a slower way of life, more relaxed and OMG the food.

After my training class I took off in my rented Camaro and just drove off path, before I knew it, I hit open green rolling farmland.

One Black Camaro , for me??? Yes Please!!

I aimlessly drove for a few miles, the sun starting to go down over the hills, the warm breeze in my face and Neko Case blaring from my radio. I was in heaven and for just a little while I felt peace. I even pulled over for a few minutes, turned off the car and the radio and lowered the windows to listen to the silence of the fields, all i heard were birds chirping and the breeze rustling through the corn fields.

sun going down over the fields


At that moment, I wasn’t in a foreign land, I was in America, right into the heart and soul of America.

On the way back I stopped to see the KC Mormon Temple. Now no, I am not Mormon, but I have always been fascinated with their beautiful buildings. I mentioned to a friend that the last time I was visiting that I saw the building fromt he highway on the way to my hotel, I told her this time I would stop and take photos.


There is something pretty magestic about these buildings, and when I got out of the car to view this one, I honestly felt a bit intimidated, ecspecially since there isnt anything else around it for miles. It basically has its own exit off of the highway.

I also did my fair share of shopping, hitting up two places in one day, Country Club Plaza in downtown KC and Zona Rosa Mall in North KC.

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CHUYS Mexican Restaurant on the Country Club Shopping Strip


Chuys has some of the best tacos ever, I have no idea why they don’t exist in Northeast Ohio!


The last time I visited I had true KC BBQ, something called “Burnt Ends” which is basically what it sounds like, burnt ends of beef or pork covered in BBQ sauce.

This time I went to a micro brewery and had a Bruschetta Salad

Granite City Brewery at Zona Rosa
my most epic bruschetta salad, garlic breath for DAYYYZZZZ

Grilled chicken mixed with greens, olives, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar and tons of garlic. I don’t think i have had a better salad in my life.

Zona Rosa shopping center also has this old phone booth full of books, read below to see what it’s all about! Pretty cool idea!

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Now lets get to where I stayed!

I stayed at the Ameristar Casino, I’m not a gambler at all but it’s the recommended place to stay for my company so……

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The hotel is HUGE and gorgeous inside, with ceilings painted to make it look like you are outside, a few restaurants and a little gift shop.Here are some photos below:

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Of course I also had my fair share of sweets, Delicious carrot cake and a tasty mint cupcake that couldn’t even finish! Eaten in bed of course 😉 ( on separate days obviously)



Mornings were truly wonderful, i had breakfast both days at the Falcon Bakery in the hotel, mmmmm fresh baked rye bread!




and lets not forget early morning yoga, in my banana shorts, in front of a window with THIS view.


two days later I had finish my training classes and was ready to return back to my boys whom I missed so very much.


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Two planes and a one hour layover later, I got back home at 1:30 am Saturday.

Exhausted and fully ready to hug and kiss all over my guys :)))

I’m not who I used to be

 See that red haired girl in the photo above? The one with the big smile and Betty Page tshirt? That was yours truly about 13 years ago……and now I am completely different.

This photo was taken at the Jersey Shore while I was visiting some friends. I had always wanted to see the Jersey Shore and I really was excited to be there, hanging out with new people and  just enjoying life. At that time, I also kept an online journal called ” ame eclaire.

A couple of weeks ago , I decided to see if my old journal was still active, I went to live journal and sure enough it was. About 15 minutes into reading it, I almost wished I hadn’t . Hindsight is truly 20/20 until you look back on something like this and realize how different you were. As much as my memory wants to convince me everything was splendid and puppies and rainbows, the truth was, I was completely miserable.

In my journal I wrote about my relationships that weren’t working (about a gazillion of them). Tension between my parents and I . Joblessness , you name it

Now anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not the most prolific person on earth. My writing far proceeds many of my blogger friends. But the stuff I wrote back then? Good lord, and if you think I share a lot NOW….. Well trust me it’s nothing compared to things I divulged back then. 

As I began reading, I literally wanted to smack my former self, I was just a mess lol.

 But if you really study that girl, really hard….you’ll see that she was doing the best she could with what she had to work with. And yes don’t get me wrong, I had good times too. But seeing all that , brought up old feelings, I could feel my heartbreak and despair. I wanted to go back and tell that girl that it was going to be ok, that things weren’t going to be like this forever, that she would soon meet a good guy named Bill, and her whole life would evolve.

It’s amazing how when your in it you can’t really see the forest for the trees, but how eventually it all works out, and if I hadn’t gone through those rough times, I wouldn’t be where I am now.


What’s in a car?

when I ask ,what’s in a car? I don’t mean actual items like , your purse, crumbled Cheerios in the back seat or even your gym bag that you never use ( although the intentions are always there). 

I am talking about the sentimental value of your vehicle. A lot of people lease and change cars about two times a year. But in my family, we buy our cars, which generally means a new car will see about ten years of wear and tear before we trade it in.

Recently, I traded in my beloved Lacrosse. I remember the day I bought it. The husband and I found it by accident when we weren’t even looking for a Buick. It was old stock, brand new, from the previous year, fully loaded floor model in bright sapphire blue! This car had everything, leather, retractable sunroof, 6 cd changer and car seats that would make you feel like you peed your pants on a cold day lol. It was my very first NEW car, and the dealership was going to knock 5 k off of it so they could move it. I was in heaven. 

Through the next ten years, that car carried me through a lot. 

It faithfully took us to the doctor when we found out we were pregnant, and to multiple rehab appointments when my hips gave out and I just wanted to have the baby already. It took me to the hospital the morning of my c section , nervous and nauseous. It took our new family home a week later, when We were, new proud scared shitless parents.

And let’s not forget all those drives in the metro parks to calm the baby.

It carried my worried anxious body every few days to go see my mother in the hospital. And then my broken heart back home the night she died.

It drove me to visit my ailing grandmother and a few weeks later when she passed away.

It was there for Hudson’s first day of school, and my first day in my new position at work. 

And two trips down to Tennessee for family vacations.

It was always there, always waiting. It was good to me and I was good to it.

But over the past few months, it began to show its age, a wheel bearing here, a brake pad there, rusting breaklines, broken air conditioning. Until one day in the middle of the road, it overheated and quit on me, a broken water pump. Three hundred dollars and a lot of thinking later, I realized it was time to let her go.


I had a harder time leaving this car than I had previous cars. This one was special.

My hubby ended up finding a beautiful new Impala for me, practically the same color, leather interior and a way huge moon roof. I am in love with it, and I know it will carry me through more important parts of my life , just as the one previously did.

After nearly five hours of negotiations, we got it for a mostly fair price( unfortunately with car dealers, I have learned that no one ever TRULY wins :/


But in the end I feel I came out pretty good 🙂

Here is to another ten years with a great car, I look forward to making new memories good and bad.