Monday, August 15, 2016

birthday fun ~ and a tour of gorgeous houses

 Just one thing I love about summer is being out and about, enjoying the beautiful weather and dining outdoors. Last Wednesday, the 10th of August was my birthday. Me and my mom celebrated the weekend before that with lunch at a lovely restaurant on a nearby lake. (Ignore my stringy, limp hair - the humidity does a number on my tresses!) Aren't those big, puffy clouds fantastic? 

On the actual day of my birthday, Brian and I went to a Coach outlet store, as my present from he and my mom was a new purse! I picked out a classic black purse that can be carried with short handles or worn as a crossbody. I needed a new black purse and I've been a fan of Coach since I was a teenager, as they've always been quality handbags that last for many years.

 I chose a Thai restaurant for my birthday dinner - the ending to a perfect day.

This past weekend, we went to our happy place - Evanston. We hit our favorite vintage store, had lunch at a fantastic Mediterranean restaurant and took a walk in the park along Lake Michigan.

 Right next to the park is a block of multi-million dollar homes on the lake. I snapped a few pictures to share.

 Loved the terra cotta roof on this house that was under construction.

Isn't the house itself gorgeous? Wonder what's in that tower with the three windows in front?

Several of the homes were covered in ivy, but very neatly trimmed around the windows. Every yard was professionally manicured. 

Something we noticed was there wasn't a soul in sight. No one out in their yard, no kids playing, no one working in their garage. Maybe they all hang out in their back yards because it's more private? 

 Love the entrance to this house ~ and check out the unique stone driveway to the right.

Close-up of the driveway.

This was my favorite house on our walk, though we were trying to figure out why an air conditioning unit was on the roof! (See the block on the top left?)

 I zoomed in for a close-up of what looks like a four season room on the front of the house...

Even the entrance to this home is enchanting. 

We then headed back to our humble home (we definitely don't have a manicured lawn and that's just fine with us - we both actually like yard work!) and to watch our little town's annual fireworks over the lake. We avoid the massive crowds and watch them from our back yard.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Loved the entrance to the home. "Happy Birthday, Melanie."

  2. Sounds like a wonderful birthday! Love your new purse! Handbags are one of my weaknesses! Enjoy!

  3. Happy Birthday, Melanie. I love your new bag. The homes are gorgeous. It's nice to dream, isn't it? I'm with you, though, I do like doing my own yard work!

  4. Happy Birthday! I've lived in Charleston, IL for the past 10 years & enjoy reading your blog.

  5. Happy Birthday Sweet Friend! Love the purse. I have become a huge fan of the cross-body bags. Your hands are free and you never have to set them down to get into them. In my lifetime, I have walked off and left so many purses in dressing rooms, shopping carts, restaurants . . . and totally panicked. I don't think I will even buy another bag that I can't hang across my body:)

  6. Looks like you had a lovely birthday! Thanks for taking us on a walk with you to see the gorgeous homes near the lake. Kind of glad I don't have that stone driveway though. How do you keep the weeds at bay?! :(

  7. It looks like you had a wonderful bday. I love Thai food too.

    Some of those homes are probably not lived in but for a few weeks at a time. Homes like that here in my area look like ghost towns most of the year. They throw parties during the winter.

    I weed wacked yesterday, and mowed today. :-) Still much to do, but I'm waiting for cooler weather.

    Enjoy the rest of your week ~ FlowerLady

  8. Happy Birthday !! It looks as if it was a wonderful one, full of fun and great food, which is making me very hungry right now, lol...time to get my dinner though it's not anything like yours : )

  9. Happy Birthday! Never been to Evanston but what gorgeous homes. Like you and Brian we love to do yard work even though its been hard in this hot weather.... I love Thai food and an making Vietnamese Pulled Pork this weekend for a party we'll be at...oh so good.

  10. A belated Happy Birthday!

    My college roommate was from Evanston and she told me about the amazing houses.

  11. You're practically a birthday twin to my husband but he does have quite a head start in years on you. Happy Birthday, Melanie! Your day sounds perfect and the photo of you and your mom is darling.

    Love you new black bag and WOW, what a neighborhood! I would have stopped and gawked for ages at these. Don't you love those roofs, and the ivy on the turret? I have always wished there was such a position as House Inspector that I could have and march up to a house with my clipboard and say, House Inspector here, and go in and gawk for hours.

  12. Happy belated birthday, Melanie! Love those houses, but oh that blouse you're wearing with the openings on shoulders... I want it! ;) You look beautiful in it... and I do love your hair too... it speaks of summer days and cold showers and freshly wash hair smelling of flowers and herbs...

    Enjoy each moments... (love that pic of you and your mom too... she looks so young, I thought she was a friend when I first saw the pic) ;)

    Hugs to you!


  13. Happy Birthday again, my friend. You and your mom are beauties! So glad you made it to Evanston again, I know how much you and Brian love it there. Those homes are awesome. Sometimes the backyards are more elaborate and of course, relaxing than the fronts. That is very much how it is at the lake. We drive down the street and the homes are quite busy. When we pass by on our boat---Wow!

    I love your new purse. It will last you forever! :)



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