October 29, 2012

A Casual Vacancy

Props to J.K. Rowling for that amazing title which I am shamelessly repurposing for this post. Be warned that this post has nothing to do with her new book, but rather the state of my blog these last two weeks. I just decided to take some time away, without any warning (sorry, blog friends). I don't know if any of you have ever experienced the feeling I had a couple weeks ago- a feeling of being just a little too concerned with something that isn't as high a priority as, say, your family or taking time to just rest. Instead of really savoring life's sweet moments, I was perched- phone in hand- to get the right picture at the right moment. Life happens so quickly and I want to be paying attention. Today, the three of us went to the library and Miles and I went to the children's section while Parker went to pay his fines (I swear someday he's going to have a plaque or some sort of small monument built in his honor for the amount of money he's paid to the library!). I took a few photos, put my phone away, and a minute later Miles slowly got up and stood on his own. I'm so, so glad I didn't miss that.

Life is such a constant balance of give and take, and after this refreshing time-out I'm less afraid to just step back and find my equilibrium. 

Here are some photos from while I was away- you can tell from Miles's outfits how the temperature was fluctuating on any given day. Such fickle weather!

The loves of my life.

He loves riding in the cart!
Safe and sound (asleep) in his dad's arms.

Ten months old!

Someone loves the library!
Date night at the Far Western!
PS Follow me on Instagram @ joiedev and see the photos that don't make it onto the blog!
Happy Monday!

October 16, 2012

Faux Fall

I was looking at my little collection of fall denim today and had a pleasant realization- I love getting a good deal! I've only spent around $60 for five pair of jeans that would've cost over $700 retail. They're all great quality and beautiful to wear but the real moral of the story is that I will never be able to buy a pair of full-price J Brand jeans now that I got an amazing pair at the thrift store for $3.95. It just won't happen.
The weather this week has been near ninety degrees- where did fall go? My sisters, Miles, and I made the best of this summer- I hate even typing that out- weather by heading to the beach. We loaded the stroller with the diaper bag, water bottles, and Cheerios but quickly regretted that decision when we tried to navigate the soft sand with what clearly is not an all-terrain stroller. Krystal held Miles while Krystine and I carried the stroller to the hard-packed sand close to the water. Quite a workout! Once we were at the shore, the girls collected sand dollars while I tried to convince Miles that it was okay for his feet to get wet. We had a great time!
Beautiful Pismo Beach
I love this photo of my sisters and me even though it's not the best quality!

My sweet baby

Once again I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday. Here are the details on my outfit:

Sunnies: Chanel
Top: American Rag
Jeans: Earnest Sewn

Happy Wednesday!

Like Me On Facebook Blog Hop!

I'm happy to be co-hosting the Like Me on Facebook blog hop today with The Naptime Review! There are so many great bloggers out there who also have great Facebook and Twitter accounts. I hope you will find some fantastic new blog friends this week!

Welcome to Like Me on Facebook

The Naptime Review

This is a link up designed for bloggers who want to increase their facebook likes and share their facebook pages with others. PLEASE DON'T LINK UP YOUR BLOG.

Come back for Mom's Monday Mingle to link up your blog!

Please TWEET about the hop!


**It doesn't count if likes come from personal pages
***Please comment on facebook pages so we can make sure to RETURN follows.
Thank you!

1. Please follow ALL of the hosts on facebook and twitter. They are 1-6 on the list.
2. Like as many facebook pages as you can. Just don't put your name into the list hoping to gain followers. Visit pages and say hi! Leave your facebook page so they can return the follow.

3. Please grab the blog hop button from my right side bar and provide a backlink. Together we can help each other grow!
Would you like to learn how you can be a co-host?
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October 15, 2012

Our Week (In a Nutshell)

I am not a morning person, but Miles seems to think I am. As I wake up and groggily toss my blankets aside, I can't help but smile as I walk into his room to excited shouts of, "Mama mama!" and the sight of a bright-eyed and smiling baby boy standing up in his crib to greet me. Parker and I take turns letting each other sleep in- which now means until nine at the latest- and it's a delicious luxury. This view isn't bad at all, though:

When I was pregnant, I told myself I would do my best not to fall prey to a house full of gargantuan baby gear that lights up and makes noise. We've done pretty well, but of course that jumper is the thing Miles loves best (on loan from my sweet friend Morgan). Oh, how the mighty have fallen. (Ivanka Trump has a baby and her apartment still manages to look very chic- which closets is she hiding her daughter's stuff in?)

This last week, we've had some glorious fall weather. Cool winds, beautiful clouds, and even a little bit of rain. Too bad the weather forecast for the coming week shows the temperature reaching almost ninety degrees! I was almost fooled.

Miles and I drove to Pismo Beach to visit the Carter's outlet and enjoyed some fresh grilled salmon from Splash Cafe afterward. We ate our lunch facing the ocean and Miles was fascinated by the seagull waiting nearby, perched to swoop down on any stray tidbits.

On Saturday, we went to cheer on my sisters at their soccer games. Miles held out as long as he could, but he fell asleep in the Ergo during the second game. I love when he falls asleep on me- it is the sweetest thing. After he woke up, my brother held him and was showing him a soccer ball when Miles started kicking it without any prompting! Who knows, he may be the next Oliver Kahn!

I have to say, Miles is one mobile little guy right now. He can hardly stay still! After we got back from an afternoon run, I laid down in the grass (quite out of breath) and watched Miles crawl back and forth across the lawn. He's growing up so quickly!

Thanks to all of you who entered the October giveaway- I've announced a winner on the post. I'd also like to thank my amazing VIP sponsors who contributed such great prizes. Head over to my sidebar and visit their blogs!

Happy Monday!

October 11, 2012


Tonight I decided to have a little DIY spa night after Miles went to bed, which was a bit trickier to organize than I originally anticipated since my sweet little baby has decided to just not go to sleep tonight. Parker was so amazing/SuperHusband status and took over when he got home from work. The fact that this spur-of-the-moment decision to R&R just so happened to coincide with my new TestTube goodies (side note on the TestTube: way better than Birchbox, which I cancelled). has nothing to do with it. Okay okay, so I just wanted to try all my new samples. Result: I feel pretty and clean and not at all like I got vommed on earlier, which totally happened.

I've been kind of on a spa kick since forever last week, when I got to go get a Dermaplane facial with an awesome Groupon (50% off, holla!). Let me just say that I didn't know that "Dermaplane" was code for "try and relax while letting a complete stranger run a blade over your face with little goggles over your eyes so you can't see". Maybe I'm being a little dramatic- it didn't hurt at all and the parts before and after the blade were almost coma-inducing. I also nearly had a really embarrassing moment when I was supposed to change  into the spa gown and realized I had no idea how to put the darn thing on. I totally had it on like a cape before having a SATC flashback and got it fixed just before the aesthetician came into the room. Whew. I really almost made a fool out of myself there! Glad I didn't tell anyone.

Have a great Thursday and take some time to relax!
Don't forget to enter October's group giveaway!

October 10, 2012

October Giveaway: Getting In The Mood (For Fall!)

My sisters didn't have school today, so we all decided to head over to our local park and get some fresh air. Miles is such an adventurous spirit- he wants to be on the move, looking and pointing and babbling along the way. I love seeing his personality shine through more and more as each month passes, and wearing Miles as we walked under beautiful trees and near squirrels was a delight because I can see how much he enjoyed exploring the park snuggled up close to me. I couldn't be happier that he's a mama's boy. Here are some photos of our day:

My favorite little sisters/photographers/fashionistas-in-the-making

My outfit for WIWW (linking up with The Pleated Poppy):
Knit beanie: Urban Outfitters
Sunnies: Chanel
Sweater: The Limited
Jeans: Paige Denim
Shoes: Sven clogs

{photo credit}
I am in love with fall, people- the fall crispness that I've begun to feel in the air the last few days is nothing short of magical, as far as I'm concerned. Even though I live on the beautiful Pacific coast with all its bright sunny days, I thrive on overcast days, rain, and fog. This is the time of the year I feel most comfortable and full of anticipation for some of my favorite days between now and the start of spring: my birthday, the holidays, Miles's birthday, and our wedding anniversary.

Maybe you're a summery soul, or maybe you're just in love with fall as I am. Either way, this month's giveaway is an assortment of treats (no tricks here!) to get you in the mood for fall. My lovely sponsors are getting in on the festivities as well- take a look at what we've got going on this month!

This month's winner will receive:

A set of four J.R. Watkins naturally-based foaming hand soaps from their new line (see my review)
A wonderfully batty greeting card from
A 200x300 ad space for two months from
  Oh So Amelia
15 days of in-post footer ad space from
  Jellibean Journals
A $12 giftcard to Starbucks from
A free Blogger template from
  The Family Darr
A $10 giftcard to Starbucks from
  The Jack Chronicles 

The rules are simple: you must follow Joie de V via GFC and enter via Rafflecopter below! The giveaway will end at on Monday at 12:01 a.m. EST. Good luck!

October 9, 2012

Review: J.R. Watkins Foaming Hand Soap

I was so excited when the team at J.R. Watkins asked me to review their new line of foaming hand soaps. I'm all for naturally-based products that smell great, and with four different scents to choose from- Aloe + Green Tea, Coastal Breeze, Grapefruit, and Juicy Sweet Apple- there's something for everyone! I asked my family to try them out as well and we all pretty much had the same thoughts. We loved how soft our hands were after using the soap and the scents were great; my sisters thought Juicy Sweet Apple was by far their favorite, with Grapefruit coming in at a close second. My mom liked Coastal Breeze, and my favorite is the Aloe + Green Tea (the same scent I wrote about here, which we use for our dish soap). The packaging is a little bulky, but that is my only complaint. I really appreciate a company that puts a priority on using biodegradable materials and more natural ingredients while avoiding dyes and parabens. It's a great balance and I definitely think you should give them a try!

J.R. Watkins has kindly offered to give away a set of this new line of foaming hand soaps to a lucky reader- check back tomorrow for a chance to win these and more in this month's giveaway!