In case you don’t follow me on Instagram (you should!), I spent pretty much my entire weekend at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, and it was oh so heavenly! Between buying goodies and ogling more goodies and meeting great people, this is one weekend that is going to inspire me for a long time to come.
First, this is definitely not our usual country fair, although there was still plenty of fried goodness to be had if you wanted it. It was held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, which is HUGE, but the merchandise was really relegated to the barns at one end of the fairgrounds. So, less walking, more shopping! Drew and I went with LM on Friday just to enjoy a day off and walk around, and we were completely overwhelmed by the number of vendors, the quality of all the products and the amount of stuff you can dig through.
I usually think my aesthetic leans towards a simple modern look (excluding children’s toys), but after just a few hours at the fair, I was a total convert for rustic/industrial/shabby chic, even chicken decor (there was a beautiful red rooster pallet sign).
You better believe I bought a few of these awesome typeface drawers, knowing my love for typography. And good thing I snagged a few, because they were all gone by Saturday morning!
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The whole family also went on Saturday so I could meet some awesome women at a Hometalk meetup (find me on Hometalk). We got to chat with Country Living’s Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Barrett, met Hometalk’s Miriam Illions and networked with some local bloggers. In case you’re wondering, I went to the meetup alone. The husband took the kids to look at the 4-H animals.
I have to admit, it was a bit awkward at first, not knowing anyone and not wanting to stand around looking completely out of place, even if I was wearing my Hometalk blogger badge. I still have to overcome this shyness and force myself to go up to someone and introduce myself. I know I talk a lot and can jabber away for hours given the right circumstances, but randomly walking up to someone and putting on a confident cheerful face is something else entirely. Itt’s just a tiny moment in time, an introduction, but it’s a moment I have to push through, and once that’s over, then the rest becomes so much easier. Just talking. Though sometimes in a lull, I wonder if I talk too much or what sort of impression I might be making – am I too silly? Too sarcastic? Do I talk too much about myself or my kids? Am I repeating myself?
Plus, as I stand for a casual photo I’m thinking – Suck in! No flabby arms! Don’t slouch! Gosh, I’m so incredibly self-conscious in these situations, and I know maybe I shouldn’t be and that I should be completely comfortable in my own skin and that people will like me for just being me, but just being me while meeting people for the first time just isn’t the same as being me with my best buddies. Duh, right? This is not the time for flannel pajamas!
So as much fun as I had talking to a group of wonderful bloggers, learning a lot, and making great contacts, I did breathe a small sigh of relief once I was out of the so-called spotlight and back to being just an anonymous girl dragging her family to the next great find, like this vintage suitcase that we strapped to our stroller because we didn’t want to go all the way back to the bag check pavilion. Whatever works!
And then on Day 3…wait, did I say three? Why yes. Drew and I went Sunday too, without the kids, so we could pick up the gigantic table we purchased the day before.
This was actually the display table for one of the booths. The vendor lady had a great booth setup and when we stopped to look, Drew pointed at a console table and said “nice table”. I think I said something like “uh huh” thinking that’s the last thing we need in our house. Then we both noticed the main table she was using in the booth and how there was a small price sticker attached to it. Really, EVERYTHING is for sale here. We both agreed it was “a nice table” – you know, totally non-commital, and started talking to the seller about it. She said the price could be negotiable and we said we’d think about it.
After wandering through all the barns, and going to the Hometalk thing, we circled back to the lady to look at the table again. By this time, we were pretty much in love with the weathered wood planks and the vintage hairpin legs (not pictured). I did a bit of bargaining and before I knew what was happening, we were trying to figure out how to get this monstrosity home. Since we had kids, we couldn’t take the table that day, and since she still needed it for her display, she asked if she could use “our” table until the end of Day 3. So back we went on Sunday afternoon to pick up our table, as well as enjoy a little peace and quiet at a now much emptier fair.
I took advantage of the lack of people to meet and chat with Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash & Cari, and we bought some paint to start putting together Drew’s attic office, now that mine is finished.
All in all, I had a blast! My husband may not admit it, but I think he enjoyed himself too.
Plus, now I have a collection of goodies to play with, so you’ll be seeing more of my fair finds in the coming weeks!