by Jessica Giles & Cori Santucci | April 1, 2020

10 Florida-Inspired Ways to Pass the Time in Quarantine

Looking for creative ways to fill your shelter-in-place days? Here are a few ideas, from crazy Netflix documentaries to soothing bath soaks.

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It seems social distancing will be the new normal for a while, and if you’re like us, then you’ve already color-coordinated your closet, run around the block 12 times and rewatched all of Grey’s Anatomy. So we’ve rounded up 10 Florida-inspired things, from unbelievable new Netflix shows to cozy blankets for your shelter-in-place snoozes, that will keep the cabin fever at bay. 

1. WHIP UP SOMETHING SWEET WITH CALLI MARIE BAKES ($35)

Photography by Wade Austin Ellis

Use your extra time at home to experiment with some new recipes in the kitchen. Need some inspiration for your next stress baking session? Jacksonville baker Calli Marie’s cookbook is filled with indulgent recipes from decadent cakes to simple coffee shop pastries sure to remind you of your favorite local spot. Reminder: Calories don’t count in quarantine.

2. LISTEN TO THE “MCMILLIONS” PODCAST FOR A TRUE-CRIME FIX (LISTEN FOR FREE)

Do you remember the days of peeling off Monopoly pieces from greasy McDonald’s fry boxes hoping you’d score millions? This fascinating podcast reveals that your efforts were all for naught, because the entire McDonald’s Monopoly game was rigged by an ex-cop who sold winning game pieces for hefty kickbacks. Home base for this McMassive scam? Jacksonville, Florida. In tandem with the new HBO series, the “McMillions” podcast tells the story of how one man scammed the golden arches out of $24 million and how the Jacksonville FBI bureau took him down. Listen online, on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.

3. WATCH THE WILD TIGER KING DOCUSERIES (STREAM IT ON NETFLIX)

Tiger King
Photography courtesy of Netflix

Murder, big cats and scandal make this seven-episode docuseries completely binge-worthy. Enter the bonkers world of Joe Exotic, a self-proclaimed “gay, gun toting cowboy” who runs a big cat park in Oklahoma. The true-crime series delves into his explosive feud with Carole Baskin, owner of the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, and a supposed murder-for-hire plot. It’s difficult to put this stranger-than-fiction story into words, so you’ll just have to watch it to see what all the hype is about.

4. SHARPEN YOUR SKILLS WITH AN ASHLEY WOODSON BAILEY PUZZLE ($16)

What’s more soothing than sliding that final piece of a puzzle into place? Not only do these double-sided jigsaw puzzle from Jacksonville artist Ashley Woodson Bailey provide some much-needed indoor entertainment, they’re also so stunning you might consider framing them when you’re done! With 500 pieces and a different image on each side, once you think you’re finished, you can unlock another mind-bender.

5. STAY HAPPY & HEALTHY WITH FLORIDA SUNSHINE SOAP ($6)

Sunshine state soap
Photography by Reiven Andersson and Charlotte Pearson

In case you haven’t heard, you should be washing your hands A LOT right now. This fun, citrus-scented, sunshine-themed soap from Orlando-based Basin will soothe dry hands and anxious minds. All of their soaps are made without animal testing and are free of alcohol, paraben and mineral oil. Add a little slice of sunshine to your self-care routine.

6. SOAK AWAY YOUR WORRIES WITH AN OCEAN BREEZE BATH BOMB ($6)

Leave the chaos of this virus-ridden world at your bathroom door by pampering yourself with a hot bath courtesy of Naples Soap Company. Sink into the tub with this handmade bath bomb to reduce stress and cure some beachless blues. With the salty, fresh scent and blue hues of the soak, it’s almost like you’re watching the sunset on Sanibel Island.

7. GET REACQUAINTED WITH SNAIL MAIL & SEND A CARD FROM SAGEBRUSHED ($5)

Photography by Allie Nute of Verb House Creative

Writing letters is a great way to stay connected while social distancing. Let your friends and family know you’re thinking of them with this precious puppy encouragement card from Sagebrushed. Illustrator Maggie Sage Shaffer draws inspiration from her own inner circle in Tampa to create these whimsical designs in the hopes that they’ll cheer up your loved ones, too.

8. ENJOY AN AT-HOME HAPPY HOUR WITH KEY LIMEN WINE ($22)

Just because you can’t leave your house for happy hour doesn’t mean you have to skip it altogether. This crisp, refreshing wine, handcrafted in St. Petersburg at family-owned Florida Orange Groves Winery, pairs perfectly with afternoon sunshine and a plate of Florida seafood. Made with real Florida Key limes harvested at their peak, this semisweet wine has snagged several awards, to no one’s surprise. Have another favorite vintner? Check local package stores and wine shops for delivery options.

9. MEDITATE ON THE GOOD THINGS WITH A GRATITUDE JOURNAL (PRINT FOR FREE)

Photography courtesy of Jenna Alexander

It’s easy to dwell on all of the negative things happening, but science shows that focusing on what we’re grateful for can help us feel happier and healthier—two things we could all use a little more of right now. St. Augustine artist Jenna Alexander designed this simple-yet-stunning gratitude journal that you can print out for free to help you stay positive. 

10. CURL UP WITH A COMFY TURKISH COTTON BLANKET ($65)

Up the coziness of your quarantine naps with this uber-soft blanket made with Turkish cotton. This gorgeous geometric black-and-cream throw from Caco & Kai is inspired by the duo’s time in Africa, although now they call the Sunshine State home. The best part about snuggling up with a Caco & Kai blanket? Five percent of every purchase goes toward the Morning Star Children’s Home orphanage in Kenya.

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