MEET AMERICA: FLORIDA

WordPress is having issues publishing my “enter” spaces, so don’t mind the <carats>.
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Here in Massachusetts, it’s only during our harsh winters that we get a little jealous of Florida.  But it’s summer, baby!  My New England body temp would melt in the Sunshine State.   It takes a warm spirit to be a Floridian; like Jennifer!  Jennifer owns a gorgeous boutique in Tampa, FL where she resides.  She has mastered living an eco-friendly life and can help you master it, too, by reading her blog!  Let’s get the low-down from my fellow east-coaster.
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A:  Jennifer, tell us how living in Florida is different from other states.
 

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J:  Florida is definitely different from any other state as our “winters” are gorgeous and we never have to shovel snow.  Can you go to the beach on Christmas Day anywhere else?  [It] may not be everyone’s idea of Christmas, but I love it!  Florida can also be a very transient state, which definitely attracts the crazy.  You might notice us in the news a lot for ridiculous stories, but what can you do, there is crazy everywhere!
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A:  Oh, I know.  Up here in Mass we have plenty of it!  In your eyes, describe a perfect Florida day.
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217024_593793337306054_857625355_n J:  I love Tampa.  It’s such a sweet little gem!  I live right near Bayshore, which is about a 5 mile walk along the bay where you will always find many people running, riding bikes, walking their pup (you can always catch my pup Tika and I out there) and just enjoying the outdoors.  If you live in Florida, chances are you enjoy the beach.  To be able to head over to St. Pete or Clearwater in 20 minutes and spend my weekend where people from all over the world come to vacation, see our gorgeous beaches and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, is pretty sweet!  It’s a great
vibe here.  I love my city and I love my state. 🙂
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A:  Jennifer, you are such a busy-bee who has a lot going on!  But before we get to that, I’d love to hear about your blog and green outlook on life.
970964_596808917004496_1241705294_nJ:  My blog, Arjuna Boutique, is where I like to share any helpful product and skin care information for my clients and readers.  I am actually hoping to expand [it] to more of a lifestyle blog so I can include skincare tips as well as green lifestyle tips, style tips, etc.  Some people consider my lifestyle “extremely green”, but it is such a part of who I am and so normal for me, that I couldn’t imagine living any other way.  Living a greener and more sustainable lifestyle… gives you time to focus more on what matters in life.  I never get sick, I’m always full of energy and I know that by being conscious of what I consume and how I live will leave a smaller carbon footprint than most.  Some people like to taunt me with the whole “well, the world is going to shit” theory, but what can I say, I’m an optimist.  I live the lifestyle because it makes me feel good internally and externally, not because of what is trendy or hot at the moment. 
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A:  There are more optimists than you think!  We should stick together.  So, I 
have fallen in love with every item in your boutique, tell us how it got started.

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J:  My boutique, 
Arjuna Living, was started when I relocated here to Tampa.  I always knew I would have my own business someday, as I come from a father with an insane work ethic.  [He] is the most successful, self-made man I know.  I’m a busy body [who] actually enjoys working and can’t stand to be bored.  I decide what to bring in [to the boutique] by the style here in Tampa, which is very pretty, flowy, relaxed and beachy.  All the skin care, perfumes, make-up, etc, are always tested by me first and then decided on according to the ingredients, ethics, image and overall philosophy of the company.  My biggest philosophy here is shopping with purpose.  Pretty, meaningful and unique finds for you and your loved ones!
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A:  For curvy ladies, like myself, is Arjuna Boutique thinking of carrying plus sizes?
 
J:  Certainly! Plus sizes are definitely something I have actually started looking into, so stay tuned!
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A:  It’s that time: the most important question in the world.  What’s your favorite movie?
 
J:  My favorite movie is Boondock Saints.  Not only do I love the plot, but you certainly can’t beat the eye candy.  I love bad boys.
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A:  Boondock Saints is also one of my favorites!  (Rocco in particular). Haha!  Jennifer, it’s been a blast.  I wish you the best of luck with your business.
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Don’t forget to check out Arjuna Living and like it on Facebook!
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GEORGIA is right around the corner!
In case you missed them…

The Retail Holiday Season

YAAAWWWNNNN! I’m literally yawning and stretching at my computer because it feels like I just came out of my no-blog-writing hibernation. Before anyone hates on me, I have plenty of excuses–I mean, valid reasons–why I haven’t written in a while.

Reason 1: They upped my hours at work.
Reason 2: I’ve been sick since August (true story)
Reason 3: I’m lazy.

I’m a little rusty, so bear with me.

SO! The inspiration of today’s blog is mostly because I work in retail. (cue sympathetic awww from audience). Yes, I’ve worked in retail for 5 years in total, so anyone who works or shops in department stores knows why the holiday season is hell. Apparently all the CRAZIES come out to buy Christmas presents in October!

Anyway, I’ve decided, as a two-time employee of the month winner, to give some heads-up to anyone that has the cojones to go out shopping on this coming Black Friday. I’m hoping that my pro/con list will shine a little light on why employees will give you some attitude this season…mostly because you’re all CRAZY! NO, I didn’t memorize all of the item numbers of every Elmo product!!!

Sorry–I ranted.

So, “Let’s get the day started!” (quoted as  Katt Williams)

Although a drastically shorter list than the Cons, let’s start with the Pros of Retail’s Holiday Season….

Retail Holiday Season Pros:

  • I get to work more hours. Gimme that sweet, sweet minimum wage overtime so I can pay my piling amounts of bills!
  • Snacks in the break room. I don’t know if it’s out of pity for having to work during the holidays or just because it’s the Christmas spirit, but homemade brownies, cakes and cookies seem to appear on the break room table more often than not.
  • I can get away with more than usual. This is the one time of year when I don’t have to take any crap from anyone. It’s a known fact that the customers are going to be way crazier and more unreasonable than ever. So if I’m rude right back to you, you deserved it. And I can do that if I want because your complaint will not get me fired.
  • …Wow I really ran out of steam for more pros than the previous three. Shorter list than I thought.

Retail Holiday Season Cons:

  • Christmas music in October. I’m all about the holiday tunes, lit candles, hot chocolate and snow, but it’s still warm in October and the leaves didn’t even fall off the trees yet! “Santa Claus is coming to Town” is just a lie at this point.
  • Sales so specific that there is actually no sale at all. Yay, you scored a 20% off coupon!!!!…Too bad it excludes EVERYTHING IN THE STORE. And I have to tell you that the mounds of merchandise in your cart don’t qualify. “Please stop yelling, ma’am–I’m sorry you drove 40 minutes out of your way…well, it’s in the fine print if you would’ve just read it…”
  • Crazed Mothers. News flash: your 11-month-old daughter doesn’t give a crap whether or not you get the pink kitchen set or the yellow one!  She doesn’t even know what colors are yet. I’m so sorry that I didn’t personally order extra pink ones when my telekinesis told me you were on your way.
  • People who think I’m lying when I say: No, I do not have extra coupons. Yes, I am out of that item. That singing Barney is not on sale. NO. Not. on. sale. My manager will tell you no different. remember when I said I didn’t have a coupon 2 minutes ago…that’s still in effect.
  • Rude people who ruin nice people’s time. If you’re really lucky you’ll score a really nice customer! You actually go above and beyond to help them. But then you see a rude woman approaching. You know she’s rude because she’s walking like she has to use the bathroom and her lips are pursed. This is the lady that walks in front of all the people waiting and cuts off Nice Customer mid-sentence with the stupidest question ever to come out of a mouth since Maury.
  • Messy shoppers. Okay, I’m guilty of this one myself. I don’t know what causes this impulse, but shoppers tend to pick an item, go to the opposite side of the store, and then drop it off over there. i.e.: Blankets in the food aisle, ice cream in the shoe department etc.
  • Children. A complaint in itself. If you think children were out of control before, just wait until over-tired, distracted parents go shopping with them. All of the sudden a department store becomes a playground! I had a child almost shove her face in a hot portable radiator because she was unsupervised. The same girl stuck her arm into a packed shelf and proceeded to walk along side it, knocking everything onto the floor. And her brother was riding a bike through the aisles and purposely ramming into his mother’s carriage repeatedly. Yes, injuries have happened.
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So when you go shopping this season, go in with a plan and 2 back-up plans. Remember, stores do run out of things–it’s a fact, and although employees are being paid, that doesn’t mean they’re paid enough to put up with your it’s-a-full-moon craziness. 

Recap in short: leave the kids home, when there’s a line, you have to wait in it just like everyone else, and always read the fine print.

Until next time y’all.

Love,

Your parking space stealer,

Alessandra

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