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Naperville, Pretty Houses and Resale Shop Plates

Naperville Houses and Resale Shop

From October, 2011:

Last week I attended the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago (or Schaumburg to be more specific).

After it was over, I gave myself the gift of an extra day and a half in the Windy City, because I love that place.

On Sunday afternoon, I hit up IKEA and then took a drive down by Wrigley Field and onto Lake Shore Drive.

It was a fabulous, fall, drive-with-the-windows-down-and-the-sunroof-open kind of day. People were out walking dogs and pushing baby strollers. It was the kind of day you wish you could bottle up.

On Monday, an equally gorgeous day, I made the short trip to Naperville, IL.

Have you ever been to Naperville?

Naperville Library

It’s adorable. Charm times 1000.

I had been in town about ten minutes when I sent my husband a text asking: “Can we move to Naperville?”

I was thinking maybe we could live in this house.

Naperville Blue House

Or this one.

Naperville Stone House

Or, oh my, this one.

Naperville yellow house

After I was done house stalking, I had deep dish pizza at Giordanos’s, and then started shopping the tree-lined, downtown streets.

Naperville Street

Eventually I happened on the Serendipity Resale Shop, which is just as charming as it sounds. It benefits Little Friends, an organization serving children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Just inside the door I spotted one of my weaknesses: a table full of dishes. Twelve plates in a pattern I love were among them. There were four each of three different sizes.

With the name of the store in mind, I decided that this was indeed serendipitous, so I took the eight larger plates to the counter, with plans to buy them and carry them home on the plane.

That’s when this nice lady – a fellow shopper – insisted that I couldn’t leave the four smaller plates behind.

Resale Shop Plates

And the sweet ladies who run the shop agreed and told me I could have them for half price.

Well, come on, what was I going to do?

As they were ringing me up, I spotted a small, framed print that had been marked down to $30 and was now half off of that.

I added it to my pile.

And then I refused to look any more. Because that shop had some seriously neat stuff and I was still only a foot inside the door.

Once I had paid for my purchases and the cute ladies (who are volunteers and only work on Mondays) had wrapped them up, it became obvious to me that carrying them onto the plane was going to be inconvenient.

And when I say inconvenient, I mean impossible.

They. Were. Heavy.

Plan B was to find someplace where I could ship them home. The rental car GPS directed me to a nearby UPS store and I carried in my packages.

My first clue that I may not have completely thought this through was when the guy at the counter told me it would be $25-$30 just to pack up my stuff.

While he was doing that, I had time to reflect on the fact that, not only were the dishes heavy, but with all the bubble wrap and packing peanuts the guy was pulling out, they were going to be bulky too.

Heavy + bulky = expensive to ship.

The UPS bill came to $78.07. For $42 worth of dishes and a $15 picture.

Cost of purchases: $58.99
Cost to ship them home: $78.07


Now I went to business school, so I realized that this wasn’t a very good deal. But I was already too far in.

I mean, who returns things to the Serendipity Resale Shop?

And besides, I loved those plates.

So I handed over my card and went to McDonald’s to get a Diet Coke, glad that UPS was now in charge of my purchases and I wouldn’t be wrestling them through O’Hare security and into an overhead bin.

I went home to KC, got back to my life, and had nearly forgotten about the whole thing. But a few days later this arrived.

Picture and Plate

Christmas in October!

And in case you were wondering, the irony that I engaged in this transaction immediately after attending the Financial Blogger Conference isn’t lost on me.

But I’m no match for perfect fall days, pretty houses, and nice ladies with plates in resale shops.


  1. I love the rabbit design on the plate! I would have bought them too!

    1. Right, Sue?? How could you leave them behind? 😉

  2. Your “gift” made me chuckle. That IS the trouble with buying things while on a trip! I visited Naperville in 2005 and have never forgotten its charm. So, so beautiful!

    1. Isn’t it the best, Laura?

  3. I feel your need! Blue and White china snags me every time, although over the years I’ve tempered my acquiring. Flow Blue has always been my weakness, and Canton. My house isn’t big enough for all my thoughts and uses for the pieces I’ve collected over the years!

    Way back in the 80’s, I hand carried an antique clock wrapped in a vintage quilt purchased at an antique flea market on the flight home from New Hampshire to Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Try THAT today. Just found your blog. Love it! Makes me want to write one.

  4. Saw this story about Naperville on your sidebar and had to check it out. I live just west of Naperville and have also blogged about the historic homes here. Love your story of how you spent so much money on shipping after attending a financial conference! LOL. If you’re ever back in Chicago, you should make time to visit Geneva, which isn’t too far from Naperville. You’ll enjoy shopping Historic Third Street in Geneva, which is where I grew up. 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks for the tip. I was actually in Chicago earlier this week. LOL I’m posting about it tomorrow. I’ll make a mental note about Geneva, since we get to Chicago now and again, living in KC. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Mary Jo McGovern says:

    Glad you love my hometown! We love it too and would welcome you as our neighbor,

    1. Lucky you! Such a charming place to live.

  6. Hi Julie,
    As Jennifer said, you definitely have to stop by Geneva next trip out, it’s the best! We have adorable shops and historic charm and it’s a small town. I live in the next town over,(Batavia). This is a charming area filled with history.

    1. Michelle, thanks for the comment. I’m definitely putting Geneva on my list for when I’m up that way again. Sounds like a charming area!

  7. Just discovered your blog, Enjoyed reading and can understand why the plates were a “must have”

  8. LOL…you are funny! Great plates and picture! And I agree with the above comments about visiting Geneva. Our former neighbors moved there and it’s wonderful. And I’m putting Naperville on MY list!

  9. Of course I’m a house stalker! If not, would I be dropping by to”peek through your windows,again?!” Love your blog, Julie, and I too agree a stop in Geneva will be worth your while. Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to check out the Little Traveler and The Hi Hat ResaleShop, but I am warning you about the sweet little ladies there,too!

  10. LOL, that is funny, especially given the topic of your conference! Sounds like something I might do, reasoning that the bargain made the shipping worth it. Excellent pricing for the Bordallo. I have a platter that matches the smaller bunny plates.

  11. Naperville is pretentious and crowded. So many other west suburban towns with beautiful older homes, cute shops and restaurants.

  12. Tami Sarlo says:

    Hi Julie,
    I live in Chicago too. The next time you are here, you’ve GOT to go to Long Grove. They have Apple Fest, Chocolate Fest, Strawberry Fest, an Easter Egg Hunt, and lots of little stores you’ll just LOVE!! Check it out at longgrove.org.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation, Tami!

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