Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spending Time Together

Recently I was working on an article about making our homes more welcoming for guests, and I shared some of the things that I have done to make our new home welcoming for friends. I wanted to share more of that experience with you, to “open my home” to you- so to speak- and share what I do to bring friends and family together.

With any new adventure such as a new home or just a change of season like FALL it reminds me that it’s time to come inside and make our home ready for the winter months ahead and guests! And we are fortunate enough to have had several grace our home, from traveling college students to siblings it’s been a fun summer of welcoming folks into our home. So, what makes my home that special place for our family and friends to gather? Is it the warm people that greet them at the door, the wow factor as they walk into your kitchen greeted by the scent of fresh baked goods, or is it the little touches that say- ‘Home is important to us and we are glad to share it with you’. I’d like to think it is all of it that makes our guests remember their time spent with us- well, there won’t be baked good necessarily, but there will be good food.

Here are a few more fresh ideas that I have implemented into making our home ‘guest ready’-

Nothing says ‘Welcome’ like a Fresh set of new bed linens and towels. Simple right. Moving makes it easy to look at your linens and decide ‘is that tattered towel worth spending money to move’? Even if you aren’t moving, Fall is the perfect time to spruce up the linen closet with a fresh eye and purge your old, worn out linens. If you missed our linen event at the store this Spring, you don’t know the benefits of investing in good natural quality fabrics and the long-term savings they allow…but we can share that information with you in store.

A new home also makes it easy to re-think how you ‘live’ in a kitchen. I planned my kitchen around someone else’s design so I really had to work through the layout as it wasn’t how I would have designed it. My challenge, as with any kitchen layout design, is to process how you live in your home. I wanted to make my kitchen work well for not just us, but guests as well. Making sure coffee mugs are where they should be is a VERY welcoming touch for guests. Again, it’s FALL and that makes it the perfect time to re-think your kitchen layout, and the accessories that make it functional and fashionable.

Lastly, welcoming guests means have comfy places for them to ‘sit a spell’ and visit! Whether that is a comfortable counter stool, a quiet chair for reading or a rooftop deck, each of those spaces needs to have a few key elements to make your guests ready to kick back and enjoy your company. I like to have a drink table (for both coffee and wine) easily accessible in any sitting area, as well as a comfortable stool for hanging in the kitchen. I recently had to replace my stools and found some great new styles and designs. Lighting is hugely important in any space, and guest spaces are no different. Lamps for reading in bed or in a chair, overhead lighting for tasks, ambient lighting for gathering areas help make a house feel welcoming for your guests.

When our guests come walking through our doors, we see our homes through their eyes and sometimes I don’t like what I see! So, let’s make this our reminder to start our preparations early, so when everyone starts to arrive, we get to do what really is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of any visit. Spending Time Together.

Will you forgive me?

It has been a long spring and summer and I thought I’d take this moment to fill you in on some of the details that surround the “talk” of my life.  This is not a pity party, this is a WOW- maybe I can do more with my life, career, businesses, homes and family (I know some of you that are close to me are shaking your heads at that thought). But really, I may be a highly functioning multi-tasker or maybe I love being busy, creative, thought-provoking. Maybe I need to just slow down and enjoy every moment of the fact that I have a life that takes me from the sea to the prairies to the mountains almost every month…hmmm, how do I ask forgiveness and explain this:

My husband, love him to death, took a new position in Tampa- don’t love that- but it’s a great opportunity for him, in March. Yep, sold the house, bought a town home, moved us out, moved us in, moved 2 kids in and out of college apartments/houses, started a remodeling project on my pied-a-terre (Not in France but that’s okay) so that I have a place to land when I am being a ‘travel for her career’ women- cause let’s face it- I am an empty nester and I should be able to have a business, a life, a husband and so much more. The kids love that their mom works and sometimes plays. I am not suggesting that I can “do it all” because really can anyone really ‘do it all’? No.

Here is the thing…I need you, my customers/friends to know that I am here- in Illinois and Colorado and I am staying. You haven’t seen me a lot but that’s where I need the forgiveness, I need to know that you understand that I didn’t predict or anticipate any of this and If you’d said to me on Feb 23rd, ‘You are going to: 1. Buy a home in another state 2. Move out of one family home and 2 college apartments 3. Move into storage 4. Set up temporary housing for you AND one for your husband 5. Move your 2 college students into new places (in 2 separate states) 6. Move back into one home 7. Remodel another home 8. Move into said remodel 9. Drive cross country 3 times to make sure everyone has the vehicles and ‘stuff’ they need and #10. Finally get to be with your husband for 2.5 weeks for the first time in 4 months…YOU would have told me to throw up my arms and QUIT because no one should be willing or able to do all of that. (PS. Did I mention we had a college graduation in all of that as well?)

Well, I don’t quit! I just ask that you come in and say HI- because I would love to see you again. And see me is exactly what you will be doing. I will be in the Illinois and Colorado stores seeing you again for 2 weeks every month. I am saving all that boring office paperwork for the time I am in Tampa. Like I said, I don’t want sympathy, I just thought I would share where and what I have been doing for the last 4 months. And here is the thing- I have the privilege of being able to make 2 houses into homes and that is exactly what I love to do!

So, let’s reconnect. Let’s share a glass and make your home as special as you. Because no one actually wants to do what I’ve done these last months without a bright light at the end of the tunnel.

And YOU ARE MY BRIGHT LIGHT!

Please stop by and see me at Mingle with Mary on August 15th from 5-7pm- I’m looking forward to it!

THE SUMMER OF CHANGE

Okay. Not going to lie. This blog has been difficult to start. See, we sold our home. The one that we spent 2 years renovating, the one that was our blood, sweat and tears, the one that made me smile every time I walked through the doors. Yes, that one. Here is the thing, I do love change- so even though I am sad about it, I am also very excited because that means…I am on to a new project! This project won’t be nearly as extensive as our previous home, however it does involve some inside and outside updates. So here we go- Welcome to Summer. Right?

Speaking of outside and summer- what are your plans? Will you be hanging out with Team Y&M at the first Main Beach Concert in the Park? That’s right- some of the team is going to be at the beach bringing Home décor ideas to you! We are very happy to sponsor the concert and to see you as we spread the word locally about what we do at Yours & Meyn, Simply Designed. If you aren’t able to join us in June, don’t worry we will be back in July and August as well. If you prefer the indoors while learning about the outdoors you can join us for our 2nd Annual Picnics, Patios and Prosecco event on June 13th. This well attended event has brought many of our customers up close with their inner-INA (Garten) as they set the perfect table-scapes for their summer dinners, beach concerts and Ravinia picnics.

As for me, I will be updating a new patio space so that I, too, can get back to some summer fun. In the meantime, I am still cooking with friends and family in some different spaces and locations, but still cooking! As a matter of fact, my daughter and I shared a lovely ‘hotel’ picnic- no cooking required- just last evening as we get her settled into her new digs for the summer in beautiful Boulder Colorado. My husband and I will be celebrating Father’s Day in Tampa hanging out along the Riverwalk and then cooking out on the balcony. And I have an extensive menu planned while I teach a friend how I make my pork carnitas for the upcoming weeks. I’ll be sure to share some of those moments on our Instagram and Facebook pages soon.

Whatever your summer brings I hope you enjoy every last drop of sunshine with all that are near and dear to you! That is what life is all about.

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!

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!

CHANGE IS GOOD

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.

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.