Simply Balisha

Simply Balisha

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An Outing

The winter had been long and it was time for a trip to Merlin's and The Other Side in Oregon, Illinois. There were just the three of us today talking, nonstop, as we drove along the Rock River on our way to Oregon. We pulled into the parking lot at The Other Side...a boutique that is part of Merlin's gift and greenhouse. Spring was in the air and we had to hang on for dear the wind was so strong. As we opened the door....fragrances of potpourri, candles, and free samples of coffee hit us.We spent quite a lot of time in this shop. They were featuring one and get the 2nd at 50% off. There were scarves hanging everywhere
The store had been just decorated for spring. It was decorated in sections of color. A blue area, greens, pinks etc. Other merchandise was mixed in. Purses, blouses, shawls, hats, glitzy flip flops,beautiful  baby things, flower arrangements, jewelry, and a gourmet section. I was dizzy....wondering what to look at first. We shopped till we dropped and then meandered across the street to Merlin's. Inside the greenhouse, were rows of Easter flowers, lilies, geraniums, pansies, hydrangeas, and other beautiful flowers. A sea of pastels in front of us. We saw a preview of what's to come this summer. Some hanging planters of burlap with holes and in each hole an impatien. Soon these will be huge balls of impatiens.

Out in the gift shop were so many Easter things. Bunnies were everywhere. Kitchen items and flower arrangements, things hanging from the ceiling.  Wind chimes, fountains, statuary and so much more.

Then back to the greenhouse to get another whiff of spring. I loved the selection of geraniums. They had flowers the size of the palm of my hand. Huge, big geraniums for summer. So many shades of pinks.

 After spending a lot of time (and a little money) we said our good byes and went over to Conover Square to look around at the shops and eat lunch. We ate at Conover Coffee and Chocolates. We each had a basket with a 1\2 was tuna, one egg salad, and one chicken salad. A cup of broccoli soup for each of us along with a flavored coffee...I had raspberry iced tea. We decided to treat ourselves to a little dessert....I had a Meyer's Lemon Truffle with dark chocolate...yum.  We left Conover Square and stopped at the best $ store there is. We got a few things there and went to the resale shop a couple of doors down the street. I got two tiered plates for candies and cookies. I have been wanting one of these for quite a while...funny, I found two that I couldn't do without. I have many ideas for using these. One is milk glass and the other is clear glass. As we left the store, we vowed that we would come again soon. On the way home, we stopped at the drug store that has a great gift dept. and shopped for Easter candy and paper plates. It was a fun day...I'm, so glad to have these women friends.We don't see each other often enough and when we do get together...we pick up just like we had seen each other just the other day. Non stop chatting and laughing. A nice day out.


  1. What a lovely way to spend the day...strolling through bunches of beautiful flowers and other goodies.

  2. What fun!!! I am so ready to go to the garden shop/green house across the street!!! A bit too early though--so I am looking at their website and printing out pictures of the annuals I want to get. That's got to be good enough for right now.

  3. My favorite kind of store - and your lunch sounds yummy - especially the dessert :-)

  4. This shop is to die for. There is so much to see that you really can't see everything at one time. Thankfully, it's close enough that I can go most anytime. Our lunch was simple and sometimes thats the best.They put enough in a half sandwich that I'd hate to see a whole one. We all love broccoli soup and really enjoyed it.
    Have a nice Easter everyone....Balisha