Sunday, June 25, 2017

An Abundant Life - A Timeless Classic

One of my first jobs was working as a Sales Associate at Lord & Taylor Boston. It was my first year of college, in the days before Lord & Taylor started using a cash register. We wrote everything up on hand-written carbon copy receipts - if I remember there were several sheets to bear down on because one went to the Department Manager, one to the office and one to the customer, and there may have even been more, but my memory may be exaggerating. Whatever the facts were, I do know that we were trained by a Manager who had worked with the company for many years and who had a strict sense of propriety and how we were supposed to represent the quality of the store and the merchandise we were selling. In our teaching, the customer was always right, the hangers on the racks always hung only one way, our job included keeping the department clean and neat and well organized, and we were to always keep in mind that the history we represented was of the highest quality. There was something very elegant about the way we were taught to bag and box the goods we sold - the clothing folded just so, with tissue paper lightly and carefully folded within and around the clothing, protecting but also wrapping a bit, in some ways like a present even when it was something that someone was buying for themselves. The bags and boxes with their single long-stemmed red roses were to me a gift in themselves. No other store had that kind of lovely signature that anyone who saw you walking down the street could recognize immediately even before they were close enough to see the lovely script of the company name. We were told that in the early days, when the earliest managers walked the floors daily, they'd take a white glove and run it over the stair banisters and clothing racks. Although those gentlemen and ladies of days gone by were not doing their daily rounds any more, we were always reminded to keep them in mind as we went about our work.

Times have of course changed, and cash registers have replaced our hand-written receipts, but the same quality and history of elegance keeps me going back to Lord & Taylor to shop and browse the newest fashions. I still have clothing I bought all those years ago - the quality is so genuinely excellent - and some of the newer things I have bought over the years are some of the favorite things I own. Timeless and classic, made for special events and to make every day seem special, the designers and designs are always only the best. When I was invited recently to an event for the Vogue 125th Anniversary that was being celebrated with Karl Lagerfeld Paris, although I had several events that same evening I knew I had to go. Although it meant that I might miss another wonderful place or another wonderful person, Lord & Taylor has such an important place in my heart that being there was where I wanted to be. And the evening was lovely - the Lagerfeld dresses were florals and designs for summery garden party weather, and they served us strawberry lemonade and deliciously bite-sized cupcakes to encourage the flowery mood. And in a fun addition they had Tattly Temporary Tattoos with vintage Vogue prints for fun and stylish up-to-date body art with a beautiful history. I've never wanted a tattoo, because I don't want to do anything that I can't change, so being able to have one that was temporary, and one that was a gorgeous vintage Vogue print, was the perfect fun for me. When I asked how long it would last, they said maybe four days, but mine has been on me for several weeks now and is only just beginning to show signs that it may be time to end it. But even when it is gone, I'll still have the lovely memory of my years in Lord & Taylor, and the lovely event to remind me that there are places where we can still dress up in our finest with the finest designers and fashions to guide us.

Vogue 125th Anniversary Celebration
With Karl Lagerfeld Paris And Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor
424 Fifth Avenue
New York City

Having Fun With My Vintage Vogue Tattly Temporary Tattoo

The Beautiful DJ Stef Nava


Jannie Susan

Sunday, June 18, 2017

An Abundant Life - Beautiful Days

There are places where we can go when we want to be cheered up, and there are places we can go when we're already feeling sunny. The Cliff is one of those places that we can visit in any kind of weather, and find coziness, coolness, warmth, light and life, whatever we need for whatever it is that we're needing. The owner Eva Johannesdottir has created such a lovely and welcoming environment and has worked with local craftspeople, artisans, artists and food purveyors to insure that every bite you eat, every sip of ambrosia you drink and everywhere you sit and look around you is perfection. With coffee she blended to absolute perfection with the help of a local roaster, fish flown in fresh from Iceland by The Fish Dock in Closter, New Jersey, and baked goods, gluten free bread and vegan butter from Om Sweet Home, you can find a bit of paradise in every taste as you look at the beautiful craftsmanship of Jafet Hernandez of JEH Design who created gorgeous floor tiles, the concrete bar top, tables, shelving and lighting; Janet Jeun-Gourley of Spangle Pop who created the artful window decals; Nina Clasen, whose lovely interior design touches of the window cushions and the blue sofa make the beautiful space all the brighter; and Maria Gutierrez and Corinne Vizzacchero, with stunning graphic design. A community space full of community life, The Cliff is one destination where you can see, feel and taste beauty inside and outside, and catch a piece of the sky.

The Cliff
38 Congress Street
Jersey City Heights, New Jersey

Eva Johannesdottir Sharing Her Story

Avocado Toast On Gluten Free Bread From Om Sweet Home

A Perfect Cappucino Made With A Special Blend Created With Care
From A Local Roaster

A Space To Dream

Delights For Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch Or Snacks

Gluten Free, Vegan Baked Goods
From Om Sweet Home

Lovely Shelving From Jafet Hernandez of JEH Design
Who Created Gorgeous Floor Tiles, The Concrete Bar Top, Tables, Shelving And Lighting

A Blue Sofa And Window Cushions From Nina Clasen
Of Casa Clasen Design
Instagram @casaclasen

Beautifully Artful Window Decals
From Janet Jeun-Gourley of Spangle Pop
Compliment The Lovely Graphic Design Of  Maria Gutierrez
And Corinne Vizzacchero


Jannie Susan