Vintage Finds at Main Street Market Event

A couple weekends ago hubby and I attended the Main Street Market event in Rockford, Illinois. I knew some of the vendors that were going to be there so figured it'd be a fun outing. The weather was perfect and hubby was a good sport ... especially since it was also his birthday!  He's a keeper, don't you think? We saw a mix of vintage finds and newer items like the country style signs.   Main Street Market was held at the Midway Village … [Read more...]

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Last year we were supposed to paint the outside of our house. Guess what? It didn't get done. I was training for a marathon and just didn't have the energy or desire to tackle it. Now I have plantar fasciitis and can't run for the time being so no excuses this year. We have to get the house painted ... talk about chippy, shabby chic!  The paint is now falling off the house in small pieces! Yeah, it's pretty bad. I will never put vinyl siding on … [Read more...]

Woodstock, Illinois ~ The Real Groundhog Day Movie Location

If you've seen the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray, you might think it was filmed in Punxsatawney, PA. But truth be told, the movie was filmed just a few towns north of where I live in Woodstock, Illinois. I've heard that the movie makers passed through Woodstock on the way to film the Blue Brothers and made a mental note of the idyllic town for a future film. Hubby and I recently made the trip to Woodstock on a pretty, snowy day. This … [Read more...]

Cute Houses in my Hometown

Today I'm excited to share with you a smattering of cute houses in my hometown. Not my birth town in Illinois, but the town where I currently live and blog. Many of you know that I live where the suburbs of Chicago meet the country farm fields ... thus the  name of my blog, Town and Country Living. We enjoy the best of both worlds here. Travel to the east and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Chicago. Travel to the west and relish the idyllic … [Read more...]

Country Living Fair in Ohio Village – Part Two

Last week I shared photos and highlights from the Country Living Fair held at the Ohio Village in Columbus. Needless to say, I took lots of photos and decided to divide them into two blog posts. This round of photos is centered on the historic buildings that you'll find at the Village. Most had period furnishings inside and one had a docent. The buildings created a perfect backdrop for the Country Living Fair. The first historic home we stumbled … [Read more...]

Historic Galena: Little Brick Houses

One of my favorite weekend trips is a visit to historic Galena, Illinois. Even Midwest Living magazine has featured it on many occasions. Home of Ulysses S. Grant, Galena's main street is a shopping mecca of boutiques, antique stores, and many restaurants. But what I love most about Galena is its rolling hills and historic architecture. Brick homes abound in Galena. My uncle used to live here before retiring to Arizona. He lived in one of the … [Read more...]

Running Down River Lane

This summer I'm helping my daughter Bridget train for her first half marathon, which is 13.1 miles long. We meet on the bike trail by the Fox River every Sunday for the weekly "long run," adding another mile each week. Part of the trail is under construction and the detour takes us down River Lane in Geneva, Illinois. I grew up in Geneva and have been down this street hundreds of times, but while running it occurred to me to take some photos of … [Read more...]

More Historic Homes in Sycamore, Illinois

A little over a week ago my hubby and I took a little jaunt over to Sycamore to take a walk in the historic district. I took too many pictures to share in one post, so this is part two of some beautiful homes in the Land of Lincoln. (You can view the first post here.) A blue exterior and wrap-around porch paints a charming slice of Americana. Another roomy porch shows off unique half-moon cut-outs in the railing. A gorgeous brick home with … [Read more...]

The Historic Streets of Sycamore, Illinois

Savannah, Georgia has some of the most amazing residential architecture in the United States, so beautiful that General Sherman didn't have the heart to burn it down during the Civil War. Travel quite a bit north to a cozy, Yankee town just 60 miles west of the heart of Chicago, whose gracious homes remind me of many found in that historic painted lady of Savannah. Won't you join me for a walk around Sycamore ... Sycamore is the quintessential … [Read more...]

Historic Homes in the Valley

If you can't tell by now, I love old homes! I grew up in a typical, suburban 1950's quad level (a twist on the tri-level) and when I grew up, I knew I wanted something different. My first house as an adult was a bungalow-type Sears catalog home built in the early 1900s. As soon as I stepped in the front door with the realtor, I knew it was "the one." Our second house was new construction and I hated it. Not that new homes aren't nice ... it just … [Read more...]

Flirtatious Front Doors

Do you have a flirtatious front door? Does it entice passers-by to "come hither" for a visit? Or, is it more like mine and gives a cold shoulder? This will be changing soon when we paint our home's exterior this summer, but for now, have a look at some flirtatious front doors in the 'hood. Love the contrast of the red lantern by the green door. A beautiful transom crowning an old red door. Pretty pansies, pussywillows, and … [Read more...]

Cozy Cottages in Batavia

Since my teens I've had a passionate love affair with old houses. Doesn't matter if they're large or small ... I love 'em all. When I was first married my mom and I would go for walks in historic districts, looking at the homes and sharing ideas on how we'd transform them if we lived there. Now mom is too old for long walks, so hubby has taken her place on these architectural outings. This past weekend was unusually warm in the Chicago 'burbs, so … [Read more...]

Fox Valley Tour of Homes

Old houses tug at my heart strings ... they offer quirky character not found in homes built today. You know, things like creaky stairs, floors that a marble can roll across without a push from the finger, drafty doors ... stuff like that. But more importantly, old homes offer the charm of imperfection only found after many years of love and living. And so, when I need a pick-me-up, I can always count on the beautiful, historic homes of the Fox … [Read more...]