Author Archives: Theresa

Do you feel lucky?

I am not a lucky person. I don’t win lotteries, contests, or prizes (well unless you count the set of steak knives from my dad’s company picnic- I was 7). But I do feel FORTUNATE! I have some great friends that humor me by filling my cup and their bellies with many of my home-cooked meals. You see, I love to cook. I designed a hardworking kitchen to make those meals easy to prepare…and when I ask- people show up. It’s awesome.

As we roll into the month of March and we are tired of the snow and cold, I turn to warm meals and time with friends to get me over the “is this winter ever going to end” hump. My kitchen where you will find me most evenings and, on many Sundays, planning my week of meals is where I feel great joy. I was recently asked by a fabulous customer, how I put my meals together for a busy work week.

Here is my top 5 list of what makes my kitchen work well for me.

#5- A well-stocked pantry. I don’t enjoy grocery shopping (my husband Bob does 99% of the grocery shopping- #besthusbandever). And you must have cans of beans, tomatoes, artichokes and many other little “toss in” items.

#4- A stack of white plates and platters. I appreciate restaurant quality products, like the Fortessa brand that we carry at the store. I am not a delicate chef. I don’t want to break every plate I own.  

#3- Rows and rows of cook books- my favorites- What Katie ate, any and all Ina Garten cookbooks and some of the oldest ones- the Joy of cooking, Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens. My sweet girl bought me- Julia Childs- Mastering the art of French cooking for my last birthday! I have not tried one recipe yet…must read the book first. 

#2- An imagination and a willingness to try new things…because never do I follow a recipe exactly.

#1- Hungry friends and family

Some notes about me regarding the above- yes, I read cookbooks like most people read books… I can feed a small army with what is in my pantry and I have been mocked many times for it (I wear it like a badge of honor)…Every kid (and many adults) that come into my house, know that they can walk into that pantry- anytime- and find something to eat… I have never been turned down for providing food to others… In the event of the apocalypse, stop by I’ll be making lots of food! In the meantime, happy eating! 

Love Where You Live

As we enter the month of February, the month of Love, our Downtown Association will begin the soft rollout of our new campaign-LOVE where you LIVE! As my new role of President of the Downtown Crystal Lake Association’s Board of Directors I thought it would be a good time to share why I love where I live.

So, let’s start big- AMERICA- I love the freedoms that our great country stands for, our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so much more. We can voice our opinions and have conversations (typically without angst) that allow lively discussions and interaction with our fellow Americans. I do look forward to some of the current conversations to calm down and allow more respect of both sides of issues.

Illinois- What do I love about Illinois? The people. Have you ever noticed that some of the best people you run into in your travels end up being from Illinois? It seems crazy to me, that I can be thousands of miles away, and run into someone else that has a common thread that draws me to them. Is it the solid- hardworking people of the Midwest that keeps us grounded? I’m not 100% certain but I know that the work ethic and friendliness is something you just can’t beat.

Crystal Lake- The best of the best people. The small city with big hearts, helping hands and amazing sense of community pride. As I begin my next step on the DTCL assoc as board President, I look forward to assisting in the growth of our community events, the organization and the vision that we have set forth over the last several years.

My home- The place that I gather family and friends. I love my home because it is my sanctuary from the busyness of life. My kitchen is my happy place, the place I prepare meals, share laughs and nourish both mind, body and soul. My comfort zone is standing at the island ready to prep for the next meal, whether it’s for an army or just my husband I love every minute of it. I love the history of our home as it gives me a sense of community as well, as I think of the families that have walked its’s halls. Our efforts in preserving this home for the next 100+ years of families gives me a sense of purpose in life, a contribution to the future. I can only hope that the next generation or family feels the same love of history and dedication to preserving it and sharing this amazing property with their friends and families as we have. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to preserve this piece of Crystal Lake history, right here in Illinois in the USA. Yep, I LOVE where I LIVE. I hope you do too.

Welcome 2019!

New Year, New You…do you get tired of hearing that? I’ll be honest, I do. I tend to want to improve myself at other times of the year, say in the Spring when the grass is turning green- that is when things feel fresh and wanting to be turned new. That’s when I decide to really hit the ‘gym’ aka the road. In January, I want to hunker down, make great meals- you know- warm, comfy meals with rich meats, sauces, etc. I want friends and family to stop by on a lazy Sunday after church and share these meals with us. I want the Christmas decorations down, and the new “it” item up…hmmm maybe I do like new after all. Honestly, I do tend to order new furniture or change things up in January- after all the house does look bare after taking the decorations down.  This year, it’s time for new kitchen counter stools and 2 new chairs in the family room- you know the pieces that get sat on every day!  I know you are thinking, ‘oh she probably changes her furniture every year’, but I don’t. Like you, I have a budget, I have kids that have expenses (like college), I must make ends meet…just like you.  This I do know, January is the perfect time to start making those decisions. January is the time to get things ready for the Graduations, the weddings, the summer parties…because when I plan ahead, the plan gets completed right on time…in the Spring when everything is new again.

…and to make my life feel a little easier- this may be the year, I hire a designer from Yours & Meyn, Simply Designed to make my plan a reality. Why didn’t I think of that before??

Holiday Happenings

Well, we certainly began this Holiday Season with a winter wonderland! And 12 inches of snow (here in Illinois) will definitely put me in the mood to celebrate the season with friends and family. As we wrapped up “the big” shopping weekend of the year, I turned my sights to creating that Christmas magic in my own home. I begin every year with a game plan, usually early November, to sketch out or write lists of how I want my mantles, tables, doorways, etc. to look. It gives me a moment to really focus on what the season is about as I make my nativity scene the focal point of my mantle.  This year at the store we brought in more looks and amazingly beautiful stems, ornaments and holiday décor than ever before and I couldn’t wait to grab a few extra pieces for my own home to change things up.  I hope you felt joy-filled as you walked through our doors for the first time this season- I know that I did!  I know I will enjoy every one of those details as we greet friends and family in our home this season as well.

After the decorations are up, there are gatherings to plan, presents to wrap, sidewalks to shovel, candles to be lit as we welcome in the holidays. My family will be spending a few days in Colorado seeing our new store for the first time, gathering with Colorado family members and maybe even getting in a few ski runs before the big festivities of Dec 24th– yes, that’s when we celebrate with family. Traditionally, Christmas Day is for spending time together as a family of 4, eating, watching movies, and staying in our new PJ’s for most of the day (honestly, the best day of my year).

What are your traditions for the holidays? Do you enjoy hosting parties or attending them? Do you set aside one evening to wrap presents or do you wrap them as you purchase them? Do you spend a date night shopping with your significant other or plan a family outing? Whatever your traditions, I hope that you make them merry and bright- and if you need a little inspiration let me and my team help.

As the years go by, and families tend to spread apart across the country, I look forward to gathering as many people as I can, to welcome friends and family into our home and reconnect with one another. To share a meal, a bottle of wine, and a warm fire; it really is the most magical time of the year. Thank you for letting Yours & Meyn be a part of your Holiday season!

I am Thankful. I am Blessed.

I tend to be a glass half full kind of gal, through the ups and downs of life I may dwell for a moment on the down side of a situation, but always shake that off quickly and think of the bright side. We are reminded daily that there are others going through more struggles than us. For this attitude I thank my family.

Many of you know that I didn’t start the year well. My mom’s health declined quickly right at the beginning of the year and she passed on February 14th. There have been some ups and downs since then, but through it all I had a team of friends here at Yours & Meyn and in my life that helped me through every moment.  We all go through struggles in life, but at the end of the day it is the family and friends that surround us that allow us to sit back around a Thanksgiving table and say thank you! Thank you to the people that are there with us in the moment, thank you to the ones that are far away but near to our hearts, and thank you to everyone that has touched our lives daily.

Everyone that has walked through the doors of Yours & Meyn deserves a big THANK YOU, because you are the beautiful people that allow us to do what we do. You share your homes, your visions and your ideas with us- and in turn we’ve (hopefully) made your moments spent with others more complete; whether through our design services, a gift you’ve given or received, or a furniture, accessory or art piece that now graces your home. What we’ve shared with you is a personal relationship and that is what drives me to be better, to grow and to be in those moments.

I am blessed with a team of women that make everyday possible, a family that supports me and dreams with me and a whole host of folks that share wine with me. As we grow here in Illinois, we want to share the news that we will be opening a new location in Louisville Colorado by Mid-November! I am so excited to be able to offer Yours & Meyn to more people who share my love of HOME. I hope that if you find yourself in the Denver/Boulder area, you will find your way “HOME by Yours & Meyn”, the talented staff at our studio will be there to help!


I am currently reading a book- ‘In the Company of Women’ by Grace Bonney- partly because I am interested in understanding why other women have traveled the same path of entrepreneurship as I have, and partly- I am looking for “a Sign”.  (Yes, pastor- a sign!) It may be the same sign that some of you are waiting for- the “what do I do next” sign. Right?

Do you feel it? Do you ponder it? Do you want to take that step forward? Have we prayed, read scripture and does it meet your gifts (plagiarized from the pastor mentioned above)? Do you want a change, or stay the same? All these questions can relate to so many areas of our lives, for me and Yours & Meyn, it’s about growth. For you, it may be about a job change, an empty nest, or a new family member- these are big things…and then there is the home- is it new, is it outdated, do you just want a change? Some say that designers are merely “breeders of discontent” or that our job of being creative just makes dissatisfaction a part of others lives… we couldn’t disagree with these Nay-sayers more. Being creative allows so many beautiful things into the world; through art, design and color we bring awe and imagination to homes and lives.

For those that have other gifts, allowing creative people into their lives allows an opportunity to show a side of themselves that they want to express, but are just not able. To us, we are a gift that just needs to be given…very much like I feel when I get to turn over my bookkeeping into the hands of a professional…or my computer worries into the hands of someone much more qualified than I.

We all go through changes in life. I am a firm believer that CHANGE IS GOOD- So let me and my Team be the ones that help you through the home “stuff”. It is overwhelming, but we do this every day. We’ve got this.

It’s Fall Y’all!

Summer vacations are winding down and the children have headed back to school- Bummer, YAY, Aww! It went too fast, right! It always does, right? But we’ve had picnics, celebrated our freedom, spent time with those we love most and now it’s time to prep the indoors for more fun times ahead!

If you are like me, I want to start cleaning, de-cluttering, and packing away all the “extra” stuff that was gathered around the house this summer. Currently, I am packing up and shipping extra gear to each of my children, which they either forgot or didn’t quite fit into their bags before they headed back to college. I am also revamping spaces and getting them ready to “receive” all the fun new FALL FINDS that have arrived at Yours & Meyn!  Like you, I bring out last year’s items and add a few new things. Honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on much of the new merchandise, but I’ll let you have first dibs! ;- )

If you haven’t thought about your fall or winter updates to your home, now really is the perfect time. The clock is ticking on our upholstery schedule deadlines and our design team’s calendars are filling in fast. Maybe you have looked around your home feeling overwhelmed with details and ideas, not sure where to start, how to start…

Don’t fret- our trained designers understand exactly how to finish a room. At Yours & Meyn, we look forward, especially at this time of year, to focus again on the inside of our home, its design, and how to put a beautiful bow on it just in time for the Holidays. Yes, the Holidays are coming!

Fall is the best time to start making the indoors cozy and gathering with all those you love most! We couldn’t be more excited to help you feel at home this season! Stop by and say hello!

Community and Giving Back

It’s August and we are finishing the final days of preparation on our Service League House walk Home. We are so privileged and honored when we are asked to be a part of such a wonderful event. Not just because we get to help put the finishing touches on another beautiful Crystal Lake residence but because of the wonderful services that the League provides to those in need in our area.

Did you know the Service League of Crystal Lake donates 100% of money raised back to those in our community that need it most?

Giving back to those in need, pulling our community together, finding ways to help others- that is what small towns provide and that is just one area that a small business like Yours & Meyn, Simply Designed can help those around us.  Myself and my staff, serve on many boards, charitable organizations, community outreach programs- it’s a part of what we do as strong business women. We don’t do it because we find ourselves with extra time on our hands, or to promote our talents, but to make sure that we are serving areas of need. However big or small of an impact, we do what we can to help.

We also help with events that raise funds that support our Downtown Association, like the Gazebo Dinner that we help organize. As a side note, at the time of this release there are still tickets available for the Raffle- click here to win an amazing dinner for you and 7 friends!  Did you know that the Downtown Association of Crystal Lake brings to the downtown area more than 4000 people for the Johnny Appleseed Festival and more than 2000 children are able to sit on Santa’s Lap? Yep- this amazing group of business owners, volunteers and our Executive Director bring these 2 and so many more events to the community. Again, helping those around us have joy in their life.

Thank you for supporting us and those around us. Community. It’s who we are.

Celebrating Freedom

It’s July! Summer is in full swing, we are loving the longer days, the sunny days, the warmer days and we are loving the Freedom to enjoy them all. This month we honor our country for the Freedoms that have been fought for, celebrated and lived by all. We honor the men and women that fight for our Freedom still. We celebrate our family time at ball parks, back yards, on the water or in the woods.  We get to celebrate all of this and so much more.

As a business owner and mom, I thank God and our country that I get to be all I want to be because of the Freedom that America represents. Isn’t that an amazing thing?  What are you doing to celebrate the Freedom America represents? As a community, we represent the greater good, and we support the masses and the minority, we work together to help those in need and those that are too young to have their own voice. We will be “parading” down the street saluting those that protect us every day and those that have given their life to fight for our freedom. I hope that you will be out on the streets thanking our community members for their service.

What are we doing? I’ll be gathering up as many family and friends as I can, I’ll be serving up a dose of thanks, with burgers, brats and some good ol’ RED, WHITE and BLUE! This summer, I am keeping it simple and I’m going to sit back and enjoy everyone that gathers together in our yard.

Summer Dining

It’s that time of year when the days are longer, the sun is bright, and we are ready to step outside and enjoy all the beautiful days of summer! I don’t know about you, but for me when the weather is nice I want to be out of the office as soon and as often as possible.  This is when I get to talk about taking our food and entertaining outside- it’s Picnic Time!

Whether your picnic is just out the backdoor, lakeside, ball-game or Ravinia style I want to talk about the simple tricks that will make your summer fun easier and more enjoyable for the hostess in all of us.  First, let’s start with some simple menu tips.

Keep it simple by planning your picnic in advance- I like to make my menu a few days ahead of time and then I break it down into 15 min tasks. I also like to keep things fun and easy by planning one feature focus- for example- my Farro with pesto & mozzarella salad gets placed in small jelly jars for a simple presentation of a side salad. Hint: If you soak your Farro overnight- it only takes 15 mins to cook the next morning- You can finish up the salad after your day at work and place in the jars and you are set to go outside. Another 15 mins task- pack your basket with clean linens, silverware, melamine plates and salt and pepper. I take a few minutes, gather my portable table & chairs, and set everything in one area.

For the balance of my menu, I like to cook extra chicken or other meat with the dinner before, that allows me to throw together a fast and easy “sandwich” the day or night of the picnic- I like to use alternative bread options for my dinners or sometimes I will just skip them altogether. The best picnics also have easy, grab and go items- but nothing processed or packaged in my house- so I will cut up cheese and some meats for snacking, along with nuts and fruit- another 15 min project.  Keep dessert simple by presenting a deconstructed s’more treat. It’s easy and yummy- no fireplace required. Who doesn’t love to nibble on marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers!

Wherever your picnic basket takes you this summer, just remember- these dog days don’t last long so enjoy each one of them with someone special.