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??
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 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 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.
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.
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.
As I write this, my 21-year-old daughter is at a car race in Alabama with her Team – Her Team of mechanical engineers…and I wonder – What in the world led this young woman to be so motivated to become an engineer in the Automotive world?? Well, although she isn’t actually employed yet, she is working in an industry that she finds very exciting and thought provoking and she says – I have been surrounded by strong women in my life, from teachers to family and friends and they have achieved all kinds of amazing things and I just want to set my own path.
As we celebrate Moms everywhere this month, I salute All Strong Women that have set their own path to become motivators to your children, siblings, and friends. It’s an amazing privilege to be a woman. We have been given talents and strengths that are too numerous to count and yet we are soft and tender. We are powerhouses that run businesses AND families. We really do “bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan” and we are beautiful as we do it. How great are women!
Sure, some days we don’t feel like getting out of bed, let alone wrangle with the laundry, the dog or the husband, but we do – and we do it bravely. So, here’s to you – The beautiful and brave, the strong and successful, the wonderful Women of the world. Take a moment and celebrate YOU- and all your amazingness.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” – Unknown
And this is the month to fall in love with your home and everyone in it. I love February- we are one step closer to spring- and yet we still get snow! (Yes, I prefer snow to rain). It is also the month when I take the doldrums of my own home décor and start refreshing for spring. What are some of my quick fixes for my home? Well, I am still taking down Winter décor, so I generally will re-do my mantle with a bit of winter and a bit of spring- a hope-filled mantle is what I like to call it- moss on my stag horns with my winter twigs is just the trick!
I also refresh the dining table tray vignette (see our 3-T’s for some added inspiration) and my foyer greeting table. In addition, I like to start changing out some candles with some green orbs or topiary’s- it’s a wonderful way to make my home feel like spring is coming.
This year, I am refreshing a wall in my main family space with a new color (color? TBD) along with some fresh new spring pillows- just what I need to greet family and friends. What will I be serving for our friends this spring? Well for me it will be a few new recipes from the new cookbooks that I have snagged from my recent buying trip- don’t worry there are plenty left for you to choose from at Y&M. I am so excited to have found a new distributor of some amazing new books to add to the store collection and your home collection. I also was able to meet a wonderful new friend, Gayle, while buying.
Lastly, February is the month of love and we love a generous heart- We hope you will consider donating to the Have a Heart Food drive through participating downtown retailers. Bring your donations to Yours & Meyn and we will reward you in a loving way. All donations directly benefit the Crystal Lake Food Pantry. Thank you in advance for your kindness.
Happy Love Month. Mary