Category Archives: Home

It’s Party time!

It’s my favorite time of the year! It’s the beginning of All things Holiday– from gatherings of friends to wrapping presents, I enjoy every moment. As the years go by, the kids grow up, and the nest gets emptier, I long for the simpler days of having everyone in the same home 365 days a year. But alas, they are growing up and leaving the comforts of home. Side note for you long time customers– Do you remember little Catherine as she would assist with your purchases, that lovely smile and warm personality? Well, that little girl is going to be 23 early in the New Year and will have her MBA by May. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??

I digress. But all this change means a change in our Holiday gatherings, and that means new ideas for you! So, grab a glass of wine or water and let’s talk through some of my tried and true traditions and some of the new ideas I am looking forward to trying.

This year, Thanksgiving revolves around some interesting travel schedules as we look forward to honoring our past in the ‘warmer than I am accustomed to’ Tampa area. The kids are flying in from their respective state universities and are super excited about the first item on our Traditions List– the Annual Turkey Trot. The different city comes with a change to the cause, this year our donation goes to cancer survivors. It feels like the right way to honor my sister as she finishes up her chemo and the All-clear on her cancer! Yay Diane– she is a Rock Star!  After the run we will be filling our bellies with the traditional egg souffle aka egg bake that I make every year. This year I may even bring back the famed Monkey Bread.

As another little change, my sister is Hosting this year. I think this is a tribute to her strength…and the fact that she has a larger dining room than I do. But, I’ll still be pulling out all the stops with this year’s table– beginning with a lovely tray filled with stems and some great new pumpkins that we added this year, the awesome new scents from Ella B candles, my tiered cake plate collection on the credenza that will hold all of those fabulous desserts and pies. YUM. And yes, I really will bring all these things to her home…it’s just how I roll. No need to have her do something she doesn’t love as much as I do. Oh, and yes, my kids will ask if that is really necessary!

Adding to our new traditions, the men in our group are golfing as part of this year’s Turkey celebration. That will give us ladies some time to reconnect as we whip up some of our favorite dishes. No fear, though, there is a clubhouse complete with pool and tennis if we decide to get out of the hot kitchen (how weird is that to say??)  Otherwise, the wine gets opened shortly after noon and some even gets added to the recipes.

What’s on the menu this year? Tried and true recipes to be certain: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy. Newer traditions: roasted Brussel sprouts with pancetta and garlic. Catherine made an amazing upside-down Apple tart last year; I am hoping she brings that recipe home.

But, no matter what we eat, what house we eat it in, or even what state, the best thing about the holidays is being with my loved ones and doing what I love (see: bringing all those decorations for the table).

If you’re looking for a little Holiday inspiration, come stop by the store and see us! We have a cornucopia’s worth of decorations and ideas for you to see.

Is Fall your Restart Season?

For many of us, Fall has become our New Year. It is the start of the school year, of football, soccer, and swim season. It is the time of bonfires and apple picking, sitting in front of a warm fire with a giant plate of comfort food. This is the time when we gather our friends, our families, and share meals and make memories before the temperatures drop and leaving the house becomes that much harder.

It is also a time to refresh, reevaluate, and redesign our homes and our lives. ­It is a time to figure out what the season means to you.

For me, this is the time of year to embrace the scents and sounds of the season. The crackling of the fire, the warm smells of pumpkin and cinnamon that fill our store. I also love to bring the colors and smells of fall into my own home with our seasonal stems and sprays.

I have to admit, though, it is going to happen a little later in the Tampa house. It is a bit harder to think of chilly autumn nights when it is 90 degrees outside! However, I’m pulling the storage bins out as I type, feeling my way through decorating for fall in Florida. I guess that’s what my restart is this season. On the other hand, I know exactly what Christmas will look like — stay tuned!

What does the beginning of this new season mean to you?

Maybe fall means baking with your kids or grandkids. Well, then you’ll want to join me as I try out a few new recipes from my favorite cookbooks, including “What Katie Ate”. Sidenote: If you don’t follow Katie Quinn Davies on Instagram, you really should! Her photography, food styling and recipes- everything she does is amazing. @katie_quinn_d

If fall means lounging with a good book on a “Sunday sofa” or the “Nappin’ Couch,” well, you’ll be happy to know that is exactly what we call our sofa that made the trek to the Tampa house…and there isn’t a golf match or football game that I can’t manage to dose off during! Blasphemy- I KNOW!

Here in Tampa, I am making my way through so many refreshing new “starts” to this “cooler” season, meeting new people, exploring new places and making our home feel fresh for this season we call Fall. I hope that you also get to take an afternoon or an entire weekend to make your home as “Re-freshed” as you are able. And don’t forget to take some photos and share them with us, we would love to see what you have done in your home.

If you’re looking for a refresh on your home this season, now is the time to wrap up those projects (before the wrapping is all taken up by Christmas presents). The team at Y&M makes it so easy to tidy up and sort out all the rooms in your home.

Whatever this season means to you, whatever way you choose to welcome these cooler days and nights, the team at Yours & Meyn and Home by Yours & Meyn has a full fall event schedule to help you make the most of your time AND have some fun along the way.

We hope to see you soon at one of our exciting October events! Happy Fall y’all!

 

Mom’s are people too

May is the month we celebrate a very special person or persons in our lives…MOM. We all have a mom, she may be a Heavenly mom, an out of the picture mom, a mom that you couldn’t live one hour of the day without kind of mom- no matter how you live life with your mom- she is special. For me, this will be my second Mother’s Day without my mom and there isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t thought of. May also marks the 18th year since the passing of my dad- he too was a super special man. So, I thought I would share some of the things that each of these special people taught me in life.

Stubbornness- Yep, got that from both! Although, sometimes being stubborn also means being strong. Strong enough to weather the storms of life, the ups and downs of owning a business, the ins and outs of relationships, the ability to wake up every day and say TODAY is going to be GREAT! No matter what.

Love- They both taught me that as well. We weren’t a mushy, huggy, lovey every day kind of family, but we felt love and lived with love in our home. Everyone knew they were loved- and even liked- everyday. The special times playing in the yard with my whole family- all 7 of us- Thanksgiving football “games” in the back yard- those were great times with much laughter and love.

Laughter- Ditto. Both again. Sure, we got yelled at- after all 5 kids 9 and under at one point had to break down any parent. I am sure there were many days when my mom wanted to push us all out the door and lock them tight! Actually, she probably did! Another of my favorite childhood memories was being allowed to stay out until dark- and most of the time we were laughing and hanging out with the pals in Pennsylvania! As I recently sorted through a few photos (thank you Jenni and Diane for going through the rest) from my mom- there were so many where she was smiling, and my mom had a beautiful smile! I like to think that I got my smile from her- although my dad had an awesome smile as well (think Elvis Presley)

Cooking- It’s funny because my mom always said that she doesn’t know how we all learned to cook since she didn’t know how. Well, she may not have known how when she first got married in 1957, but by the time we were all in sports and activities we were all being fed well! Recently, I made her ‘special’ frosting for the rest of my siblings- I didn’t realize that they had not been making this frosting for the last 20+ years as I had (yes it has something to do with the ingredients) but my husband, kids and I can’t imagine a birthday without ‘Grandma’s Frosting’. Also, did I mention that one of my brothers is a chef?? See mom, you really did teach us the value and ability to cook. It’s something that I treasure and share with anyone that will allow me to do for them.

Homes- My parents both taught me the value of owning, building, living and designing a home. My dad was in the homebuilding business and he shared that love and industry with all of us. Some of us finance them, some of us design them, some build them, and we all share special moments in them. My mom always kept a tidy home and designed elements of our homes over the years as her budget allowed (just like all of us). I had the privilege of designing the last home she lived in as her health was declining. That opportunity allowed me to get to spend important time with her visiting both as a ‘client’ and as her daughter. For that, I will always be thankful.

For YOU- my mom and dad shared the love of family, friends and business relationships that turned into friendships for as long as I can remember- I have had the honor of those same relationships here at Y&M for 9 years! Yes, 9 years this month. I hope that you will come celebrate with us at our 9 is Fine Anniversary Celebration on (appropriately) May 9th! I look forward to thanking you for all that you have shared with me.

 

NEWNESS IS IN THE AIR!

April this year seems to be bringing even more newness for some of us- from the snowy cold days of Dec, Jan, February and even March- we are looking for NEW & fresh! Spring seems to be arriving just a touch later than usual and I for one am ready for the grass to turn green- I got a few days on the slopes- so now I am ready for it! There seems to be so much happening in our lives these days that it’s sometimes hard to take that “moment” and watch the coming of Spring.

What is on your spring agenda? Are you wrapping up that much needed warm weather vacation? Are you awaiting the purchase or sale of a new home? Are you living the sacrificial Lenten season and awaiting the Risen Lord? Maybe you are doing all of this and more. I know that this is the time of year we all start to spend more time outside, freshening up our yards as well as preparing our homes for the season and the fun summer events that we have penned in the calendar.

As I left a client home this morning, I noticed the crocus and daffodils sprouting reminding me of the days ahead when I get to play in the yard. This season, I have another project on the list that will really let me “dig into” my love of landscaping and updating the look of another older home from the outside in…stay tuned as I get going on this project.

As for my other seasonal activities, I leave “my’ teenage years behind as my youngest hits the “20” milestone, my other graduates from college- HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??- my husband will embark on a new adventure, we will begin the 10th year here at YOURS & MEYN, we will host our annual Ladies Night Out, and the team and I will continue to beautify homes each and every day here at the store and in your homes.

It’s Spring! Let’s share it together- we look forward to greeting you at the store!

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.