Sunday, December 25, 2016

An Abundant Life - Business As Pleasure

It's Christmas Day today, and when I started to think about what to write about on such an important day in the Christian calendar, an idea came to me after talking with one of my favorite business and public relations gurus that I could write about how to do business in a Christian way and how that model can actually bring success and enjoyment and fulfillment. I'm not going to write much - the model is very simple. It begins with one of the basics, sometimes referred to as The Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You. If you can get that one down, everything else will basically fall into place. It seems simple enough, but for many reasons, some simple and some more complex, some people seem to get hung up on that one. They'll tell stories and exaggerate, take credit for other people's ideas, manipulate, coerce, and downright lie, cheat and steal in order to save face, make money, and be successful in the world's eyes. The trouble is, that sooner or later the truth starts to come out, either leaking slowly or by leaps and bounds, and then in order to keep the cover on the not so savory parts, they'll  dig themselves deeper and deeper until there's no way out. The easiest way to make sure you don't ever get that far is to just ask yourself a simple question before taking any action - is this something that I'd want someone else to do to me? If the answer is no, then don't do it, simple as that.

I'm not going to pretend that I am a saint - I know I'm not and God does too, so I'm not fooling anybody. I've had my times when I've made choices out of fear or ignorance or plain old selfishness that have caused harm. But when God got ahold of me and started to turn my life around, I started to understand that those choices ultimately only hurt myself. In the end I was left with the results of the bad choices I'd made, and I've learned that one of the most important things to remember is to be accountable for your own actions. It works both ways - if you want the credit for the wonderful things you do, accept that sometimes you're going to make mistakes and own up to those too. God is always merciful, and kind, and ready to help us clean up the messes we've made, but we've got to get to the point where we accept the responsibility for things we have done or not done that we should have.

Along with doing unto others and being accountable goes another piece of the puzzle, which is to give credit where's it's due - for some reason this is another place where people get stuck. What good does it do for me if I take credit for someone else's work, pretend that I did everything by myself, or put  my name at the top of the kiosk without thanking anyone else for the work that they did right along with me? Sure, in the moment it might feel like you're looking like a rock star, but where would Mick Jagger be without the Rolling Stones? Don't get me wrong, I love Mick Jagger and I think he's amazing, but without the rest of the band, he'd be strutting around all alone.

It seems in these days of the internet and social media, there are some areas that people need some friendly reminders. People ask me all the time how I've grown my Instagram account so quickly and organically and why there is so much genuine conversational and meaningful traffic. My answer is always that God is the one who is doing it, and that's true. I don't post anything without checking in with the Main Office as a friend of mine calls our Father in Heaven, and I know at the end of the day and at every moment of it that I am accountable to the One who is in charge. Sure I can do whatever I want to do, God always gives us free will and free choice, but I've found that when I exercise my free will without checking in I'm sunk, and when I do check in I'm sailing.

There's an acronym that is used in children's and youth programs called THINK that goes like this:

Before You Say It, THINK

Is it True - T
Is it Helpful - H
Is it Inspiring - I
Is it Necessary - N
Is it Kind - K


A simple idea and one to keep in mind on the internet or off.

I'll leave you with a few images, because I think pictures can speak many more words than I can write by myself. And I'll ask you to think honestly about what these photographs would look like if I had done everything by myself. The truth is that they wouldn't exist - the places would look empty, the person in them drab, and in some cases the actual photograph wouldn't exist because it was taken by someone else. So my next question is, what good could possibly come from me taking credit for everything? I'd be left all alone in an empty room, looking very unappealing, and there would be no record of anything I'd done because no one would want to photograph it for me, let alone look at it. So have a look, and let me know what you think - isn't it better to be grateful for the gifts of others, to celebrate them and to give credit where it's due? It makes the world a much more colorful and abundant place, and when we do unto others, it always comes back to us a hundred fold.

An Apartment Filled With Treasures
From Treasured Friends, Designers And Small Business Owners

Photographs Taken By Designer, Artist And Photographer Eugene Galles

Dress By Jean Paul Knott, Jewelry By Krt Williams

Dress By Zac Posen


Jannie Susan

Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Abundant Life - A Perfect Palate

A few weeks ago when I wrote about Cheese+Wine Hoboken, I had wanted to include something about the Wine Manager there. I had heard about Steve Donigan through the grapevine - that he was not only an expert with expert taste, but that he was a very nice person too. At the time when I wrote about the store, I had not yet had a chance to really meet him - for a while he was traveling and discovering new wines to bring to our tables, and though he was back on the night of one of the events I attended, he stepped aside and let others take the stage. The other day I had the opportunity I had been waiting for, and I was able to spend some time talking to the master himself. It was a wonderful conversation, bringing me back in time to my own memories of some of the most wonderful places in New York, and I now know a bit more about just why Steve has the wonderful reputation he does. Starting from an early age he was around fine food and wine, learning from some of the best in the business, and when he moved to New York, he continued his hands on education working first with Kevin Zraly at Cellar In The Sky at the top of One World Trade and then with Bobby Flay at his legendary first restaurant Mesa Grill. According to Robert Parker, "Kevin Zraly is the finest wine educator I have known," and Steve echoes that feeling both in his praise of him and in the way he both reveres fine wine and wishes to share his love and knowledge with others. You can find him at Cheese+Wine Hoboken to help with all of your wine and spirit needs, and he is also available for private parties and public events. Visit with him to make your next dinner or party, event or gala opening a truly memorable one.

Steve Donigan at Cheese+Wine Hoboken
720 Monroe Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
For Wine And Spirit Tastings At
Private Parties And Events You Can Also Contact Steve Directly

Discussing Selections With Ben Forsee of Bradley Alan Imports
One Of The Finest Importers Of The Finest Of Wines


Jannie Susan

Sunday, December 11, 2016

An Abundant Life - Shining Stars

In the first few months after I was born again, I was on the subway one night going home and some people got on the A train at 42nd Street and sat right next to me on either side. I was sitting in a corner seat in a fairly empty car, and I couldn't figure out why these two people who were obviously friends who wanted to talk to each other, would sit right next to me, practically surrounding me, and have their conversation. They were talking about modeling and photographers and an event they had just gone to, and I heard the voice of God tell me to tell them what was in my bag. I had just picked up some photographs a friend had taken of me to help me try to find some modeling work. Around that time I had gone through some major setbacks in my business, and my friend who is an amazing photographer had offered to help me by taking some photos and sharing them with his contacts in the fashion industry. When he had called me to invite me to have a photo shoot courtesy of him, I was newly born again, and though I said yes, when I got off the phone I had to ask God if it was really all right that I go. After all, that was a part of my old life, and models didn't really seem to go at all with God. But God said to go ahead and have fun and feel like a princess for a day because I needed it after what I had been going through, and it was with His okay that I found myself on the subway that night with modeling photos in my bag. The people next to me kept talking about this great event they had been to and other events they were planning, and God kept telling me to tell them about my photos, and though I felt like an idiot, the voice of God won out and I introduced myself. It turned out that they were both fashion photographers and that the event they had been to was for a group called Paradox, which was part of an international organization called Models For Christ. Christians in the fashion industry, doing God's work around the world and spreading His love - what a paradox, right?

We don't always think of fashion as being able to heal, but before I was born again and met those two photographers, I had the opportunity to work with a haute couture designer and I discovered that fashion at its best can help us to learn to find our own unique and beautiful way to be. I met a young man through Instagram who is talented and creative and who is doing wonderful work as a model and with fashion and photography. I asked him if he would send me photos and information about himself, and what he sent me was so wonderful that I have put it here with only a few minor edits. Meet my guest blogger this week, Zash/Flash. Follow him on Instagram @blvckzash and watch a rising star.

About My Life

I am Zash
my age is 17 (15/1999/9)
I am a student In UAE.
So here is my picture how I was before and how I started learning what is life, and find my talent.

So here I am in this picture, my age was 15, I was a decent, calm, and respectful boy. At this age I was bullied very badly, other boys made fun of my mustache, meanwhile I was 15, but I wasn't having any idea what to do, I was scared, and upset at that time, but after I shifted from that school and place, I found a friend. He had the same life as mine, but was brave-hearted.
He gave me advice to shave my mustache and keep my hair long, then I changed. We both started shopping, eating, camping, taking pictures, mostly did everything. I had so much fun with him. But when I turned 16 some boys did not like to see us having fun, they were jealous, they made many rumors about us both and put a distance between us, so he got upset and broke our friendship.

I loved him as my own brother, as my own blood, but people don't see that.

So here's my picture and having no friends at that time. I took this picture by keeping the phone on stairs, I had no friends to take the picture. I lived very emotionally, like I've lost my brother. I felt very bad because of what happened, but I tried to be strong and I moved on.

And here I am at the age of 17. I started taking selfies, pictures by giving some poses, and that's the age where I have learned what I am able to do, and that's the gift which I have been given from God. I was lucky to discover my gift, because some people don't ever try to find out why they are on this earth, and never aim to discover their gift.

Here was my first pose. I had party at my school and everyone liked my outfit, my hairstyle, and everything. They asked for advice and asked many, many questions - how did I change? how did you get this outfit? do you have Instagram? many questions. I felt different, so different.

Here was my first picture, with DSLR and wearing name brand clothes and shoes. At that moment one guy advised me to make an Instagram account. He said "you are talented bro." I was so happy. I thanked God for this lovely gift.

Here I was completely into my talent. I loved modeling, and taking pictures, and buying so many stylish clothes.

And here I am, having a good look with style. So my friends, never ever lose faith. Trust in God, he is the one who can help you, not anyone else.
Thank You.

Hi Jannie. I wish you might understand my life. I didn't write completely, I skipped some parts, but that's what actually happened with me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Editor's Note: All I can say is beautiful :)

Beauty Around Town

There's a new gallery in Jersey City Heights, and its owners are angels. I met one of them, Matt Schmidt, in Hoboken at Urban Consign & Design, another wonderful place that I wrote about a few weeks ago, and was invited to attend the closing night party for their show of the works of Timothy David Lang. I had seen the gallery space and had been wanting to visit, because even from the outside it looked simply wonderful, and I was so impressed by my first visit that I am going to stop by whenever I can. They are currently hosting a Holiday Art Mini-mart, with remaining hours today and next weekend from 11am-4pm. I stopped by yesterday and everything was so wonderful I wished I could have bought everything there. With over 100 pieces of original artwork by over 40 participating artists and all artwork under $120, there's room for holiday and personal shopping for every budget. I guarantee you'll enjoy your time there, because the owners are so lovely and the space so inviting, and the art and design inspiring to the fullest. Owner and Director Kristin J. DeAngelis has a passion for helping artists be seen and shown, and for sharing art with the community. Get on their mailing list and be a part of something beautiful.

Owner And Director Kristin J. DeAngelis Gracing The Space At
107 Bowers Gallery & ArtSpace
107 Bowers Street
 Jersey City, New Jersey
Owners Kristin J. DeAngelis and Matt Schmidt
Currently Hosting The Holiday Art Mini-mart
Remaining Dates: Sunday December 11th & 18th And Saturday December 17th 11am-4pm 
Shown Here With The Work Of Timothy David Lang

Meeting Of Beautiful Minds

I've written about Cork Wine & Spirits and Christina Andersen Floral Design here before at different times, so when Christina Andersen told me she would be at Cork, I knew I wanted to be there. The wine selection and the owners of Cork are truly delightful, and Christina Andersen has such a wealth of beauty in her storehouse, that I knew the day would be a lovely one, and when I arrived and saw that other artisans and designers were there as well, my cup ran over into bliss. Stop by for some holiday cheer and be blessed with inspiration and beauty. You'll find so much to delight that your season will be a merry one.

Holiday Treats At Cork Wine & Spirits
1450 Washington Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
Contact The Store and Individual Artists and Designers
For Availability And Store Hours

Christina Andersen Floral Design

India Hicks
Fiona Connel Independent Ambassador

Fego Gioielli
Statement & Custom Jewelry Design


Jannie Susan