Create Your Happy | Quarantine Style

Wow! It has been a LONG time since I have written a blog post. As I am sure is the case with most people, this time has been scary, maddening and overwhelming. At first, I was grateful for the extra time with my family – despite all the cancelled trips. But then seeing my children suffering, my shortened temper, and the despair in our community I decided to take matters into my own hands. I realized that the way we were dealing with the quarantine wasn’t good for any of us. I made the change to choose to do something that made me happy. I chose to encourage my children to do things that made them happy. I encouraged my husband to do things that made him happy. It wasn’t an overnight fix – but it certainly made the days quicken, kept us safe, and mostly made for a much happier environment. I understand that creating your own happiness doesn’t look the same for everyone – but here is what saved our family during these trying times. 

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{Our family at the beach – Beach time is the best time}

Working OutsideI am so thankful I live in a place where I can be outside a majority of the year. Being outside gives me so much happiness, so it was important for us to be outside as much as possible during this quarantine time. We have spent SO much time at the beach, which is always cleansing for the family and me, but I felt like we needed something more.  It started with us planting a vegetable garden to help with any possible food shortages. I also planted a small flower garden so I could continue to have fresh flowers in the home. Then my eldest daughter wanted to help create her own garden. So she and my husband created a nursery that she has been taking on the full responsibility of taking care of them. It was wonderful seeing them work together in something that they both loved. Then I continued to walk daily to help me clear my head when it was getting hard with the children. I also created a planting rack which really gives me joy. I get to watch small plants grow to maturity. It is so bright and happy. Being outside and working with the plants has really helped me to feel productive and brings so much positivity in my life.

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{Early stages of our garden}

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{Viv and her nursery that she started with her father}

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{Our new planting rack – full of happiness}

Healing Powers of Food – As I have written about before – being in the kitchen has such healing powers for me. It reminds me of traditions, family and most importantly love. We started by trying to help out our local food industry community – knowing times were tough – we ordered at least one meal a week. We made sure to order extras for leftovers and hoped this would help some of our favorite places stay afloat. I also began to explore new recipes like many people during this time. I made pretzels, whoopie pies, breads, grapefruit curd, etc… But the thing I learned that I am most proud of is how to make pasta with my father and children. My family has some Italian heritage and I grew up with my dad making sauce and sometimes fresh pasta every Sunday. Now  I know how to make the sauce, but making the pasta wasn’t something I had done before. My father showed me how it was done – and it has been so amazing to share the process with my children. Being in the kitchen, sharing food and love of food with people has really brought me a lot of joy during this hard time. 

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{Homemade pretzels recipie found here}

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{Homemade whoopie pies – recipe found here}

{Teaching Noli how to make homemade pasta}

Connecting with Loved Ones – Although we have done several things as a family unit and in solitude to create happiness – nothing was more beneficial to our family than to communicate with our family and friends. For weeks my eldest daughter cried every night because she missed school so much. She missed her friends, teacher, and her routine. It was heartbreaking – because I also was feeling like she did. We talked, we did video calls, we wrote letters – but little of that was helping. So we created buckets of fun to share with our dear family friends. They included chalk, bubbles, homemade pretzels, and homemade grapefruit curd. It was so fun to drop them off at each house and see the families full of happiness. It was great to see friends from a safe distance even if it was just to say hello. Then after 3 months of quarantine, we decided to make a quick trip to see our family members who were also struggling. The ability to see them really revitalized the soul. In addition to seeing family, we also chose to see two other families in order to gain some normalcy and socialization for our children. Again this really helped with  all the depressing feelings we were having about missing events, trips, school, and other special activities. Without this ability to maintain some kind of socialization, our family would be in a much darker place today. 

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{Celebrating my cousin’s 21st Birthday}

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{Visitng family in Myrtle Beach}

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{Learning to make sauce with my Dad}

Fresh air, food, and socialization has really been healing for my family and me. Although it seems we are far from quarantine being over – I am glad that I have already begun the practice of creating my happiness during this time. I know that some days these things won’t work – and it is totally ok to have a bad day. However, the ability to be able to look towards something positive can turn a day full of despair into something happy and creative. I look forward to sharing with you more things that have helped create happiness for our family. Please remember to stay safe and to wear your mask! 

Lauren Cop is a part-time SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor ciao_laurencop_sig-01of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she teaches at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Goods | Create Your Happy is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved. Lauren is the owner and artist behind The Olive Shoe Paperie and Goods. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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