Creativity Crusader // Lauren C. Carlisle

Happy Fall Y’all!

This month marks the fifth – yes, that’s right, the FIFTH year of celebrating creativity on the blog! I loved doing these creativity crusader posts, but my time for blogging has been slim. I’ve wanted to bring back specifically this series and the Creative Home Series all year, but finding time to squeeze in writing the posts has been a struggle!! However, it is SO important to me that we take time to celebrate the creativity around us all the time… so I decided to just carve out some time, suck it up and get-r-dun.


To kick it off, I’d like to introduce you to someone VERY special. I can honestly say I can no longer remember what our family was like without her. I remember the first time I met her – albeit with a raised eyebrow because she was wearing my baby brother’s tie. I reported to my mom that I thought there was something going on with Drew, my little brother by four years, and this cute little brunette who was very nice and wearing his tie at a band party he and his roommates had. Hmmmmm…we thought.


Lauren CopCar a.k.a. my sister-in-law, a.k.a. Mommy to my nieces, a.k.a. the main blogger for The Olive Shoe, creative parent extraordinaire, gardener, Halloween-costume-sewing mama, cowboy candy making lady, loyal friend, high school teacher turned pre-school teacher has been sharing creative ideas, searching for inspiration to share with you folks, and celebrating creativity for about the last several years on The Olive Shoe Blog. Sometimes she curates a berjillion ideas to inspire. Sometimes she shares a project she did with her girls or husband or friends or preschoolers. Sometimes she shares some really raw, bravely honest thoughts about the ups and downs of parenting. Whatever she shares, it’s always creative, always well-thought-out, and always a creative addition to our curated collection of ideas here on the blog.


I know you can go read about her on her “ABOUT” page, but I thought – what more appropriate way to celebrate the blog’s 5th birthday than celebrating our own creativity crusader, Lauren! So meet Lauren CopCar. She’s a cool chick. She rocked her husband’s shirt on Hollywood Blvd. when we were in LA for BlogHer a couple of summers ago. We got separated the next summer in Disney World – and I had her phone – and it was pouring down rain, and THANKFULLY we were able to find each other again. She can cook, juggle a 4 and 5 year old, her husband, her life, a job, and finding time to blog for The Olive Shoe. She’s fun and fabulous and as loyal a friend as they come. I adore my baby brother, and I’m so glad he married someone I can call a sister. She is truly family.


What is your name?

Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle

How old are you (if you are ok with sharing…totally optional)?

33 next month

If anyone wants to wish her Happy Birthday, it’s November 10. 🙂

P.S. Her anniversary is on October 29, too…just in case you want to wish her happy anniversary…

In what city & state do you live?

Tallahassee, FL

Lauren grew up outside of Philly in Pennsylvania, with easy access to NYC via a 45 min train ride. She came to Clemson University for college which is where she met my brother. They moved to Tally a few years ago when his job was transferred to company HQ, and the move has been a great fit for their family even though I miss them terribly!! Her exposure to both northern and southern culture as well as her open-mindedness to all cultures has made her a very interesting and well-rounded human being!


Do you consider yourself to be creative?

Yes, I think I do a good job of adding creativity to my life – from parenting to creating art I try to always do things in an innovative and efficient way. 

What toys or activities were you drawn to as a child?

I was a total tom-boy – so anything outside was what I wanted to do. Mostly playing tackle football or roller hockey with the boys.


What inspires you?

Depends on the day but really I try to take inspirations from my surroundings. Nature, my students, my children, family, art – doesn’t matter I try to gather as much information and inspiration from all around me. I don’t want to miss out because I am not being observant – it is amazing the things I have learned by living my life this way. 


What do you do for a living?

Preschool teacher – specifically I work on sensory activities on the playground. 

She’s also a full time mom to irish-twin girls, which is it’s own “career”!!!

Here’s one of her latest projects: a sensory walkway at the school where she works. See more about it in this blog post.


Are you formally educated or self-taught? (or both)?

I have a BS in High School Social Studies and many things I have done are self-taught like gardening and sewing. 

How do you get un-stuck if you’re in a creative rut?

I listen to loud music and make lists of all around me. Usually from the random list it becomes more streamlined and I can gather ideas from that.

How do you feel about your organization and time management skills?

Being on time is so important to me. It is so important to me that I am often the first one to any event or appointment. For me I find one of the most disrespectful thing someone can do is to be late or not meet a deadline. There for I go out of my way to manage my life and make proper arrangements for my children, work etc… in order to make sure that I do not fall behind. 

Do you have a routine?

Yes. I can not live in chaos. I pretty much have a set schedule everyday during the week and for one day on the weekends. I do try to give myself one day a week without a set schedule in order to give myself some free time if life allows. 


How do you deal with stress?

I box or go to the gym. Being physical is the best way for me to work out my frustrations.

If you have more to do than can fit in a typical day, do you get up earlier or stay up later?

I definitely get up earlier. I am a morning person and really struggle if I don’t get enough sleep. 

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Spend time with family, go to the gym, visit with friends, write for The Olive Shoe.

…or by refinishing old china cabinets like this one. See her post about it HERE.


What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger self?

Hug your family a little tighter, and don’t ever not trust your gut!

And just for fun…

Favorite color?


Describe yourself in one word.


The last thing you ate was…

Sweet potatoes

A favorite quote you want to share?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away” -Maya Angelou 

Do you have any party tricks?

I am pretty good at most games.

She is….and pretty much anything else she does. ❤


Stay tuned next month! New crusaders are coming… so what MAKES a creativity crusader?

Crusaders can be any age and in any profession.

  • Creativity crusaders are passionate about what they do for a living or as one or more hobbies.

  • Creativity crusaders infuse creativity into daily life.

  • Creativity crusaders champion the cause for creativity in some corner of the world.

  • Creativity crusaders inspires others to be creative, think creatively and live a creative life.

I love celebrating people! If you would like to suggest a creativity crusader you know, please email me your suggestion, a little bit about the crusader and a couple of photos to I always love meeting new, creative, people!

Previously featured crusaders:

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse


Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online shop or pop by the new office – on the “porch” at Smoore Designs at 2710 N. Main Street, Anderson, South Carolina.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Goods is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2018 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Other popular posts by LAC:


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