Country Living Fair with Hometalk

#CLFair GoodiesI had an amazing opportunity to attend the annual Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, courtesy of Hometalk.com, a few weeks ago. I had been cooking non-stop for my family’s new GAPS diet for days and it was great to be out in the sun, walking around the Duchess County Fairground at my favorite country fair. I really needed some fresh air and the lovely town of Rhinebeck, NY made it that much more relaxing.

Country Living and Hometalk

Just to give you a little background info… I don’t subscribe to many print magazines. I don’t have time to read them and I want to be paper-less as much as possible. But one of the few print mags that I DO look forward to finding in my mailbox every month is Country Living. Truth to be told. They do have a digital version but I rather flip through the pages, get close to the beautiful pictures for this mag. I read it cover to cover, instantly, when I bring it in from the mailbox. It’s filled with crafting with vintage ephemera, decorating with recycled goodies, upcycling furniture, farm-chic renovations, recipes, DIY’s, and so much more! And they hold three fairs; Rhinebeck, NY, Atlanta GA, and Columbus OH every year.

I literally squealed (more like, yelled “YAHOO!!”) in delight when HomeTalk.com emailed to let me know that they are sending me TWO (!!) VIP tickets to the fair in Rhinebeck, NY. It’s only less than 90 minutes away and I ALWAYS wanted to go but never had anyone to go with nor had the time. But this year, I went with my daughter who was home from college and we had a blast!

Just in case you are wondering what Hometalk is about, check out the badge on the sidebar on the right. Hometalk has amazing collections of “How-To’s” from talented bloggers and businesses that share their renovation ideas and tips. I’ve shared a few of my own there and I’ve gotten a great response from members. Check it out. You’ll find anything you want to create or fix or renovate on the website.

Thanks Hometalk for sending me to the fair and organizing for us to meet the wonderful staff, including the lovely Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Hardage Barrett of Country Living Magazine!!

And here are some of the wonderful vintage, shabby chic, and very eco-friendly stuff I saw at the fair . I wish I was renovating my house or a barn before I went. I totally could have furnished it with awesome stuff from the fair.

Country Living Fair with Hometalk

With Hometalk bloggers and Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Hardage Barrett (second person from the right) of Country Living Magazine.hometalk bloggers at CLFair by ecokarenChatting with Rachel. Yes, we were on first name basis.chatting with Rachel Hardage Barrett ecokarenIt was a beautiful day for a fair. The shady trees made welcome respite spots from the hot sun but the barns that held the stalls of goodies were cool so it made shopping very pleasant. Bandanas made perfect country decor and country music added a little hop to my steps. And of course, ice cream farm stand had one of the longest line.Country Living Fair by ecokarenThere were rows of barns and barns that were filled with stalls and booths of vintage and country style goodies. I could have spent a few more days there!Barn at CLFairOrganic soaps from Wildwood smelled amazing. Don’t you just love these scales? I think my mom has a few of those luggage pieces. She could have been a vendor!CLFair Collage #1 ecokaren This cool “Repurpose” vendor is no other than “Cash & Cari” host Cari Cucksey from HGTV. She had an amazing booth – more like a stage! Don’t you love these floating chairs and umbrellas? CLFairRepurposeHere is Cary Cucksey demonstrating her line of paints.CLFairHGTVI almost died when I looked at this hand sewn quilt. That would take me a life time to finish. I was too embarrassed to even ask what the prices were. More well travelled luggage. Reminders of time past on clock faces.#CLFair Collage#2 ecokarenWhen we got hungry, we found a nice tented area for dining. Leave it to Country Living Magazine to decorate the outdoor dining tables. No splintering picnic tables here. Nope. These already nice tables were covered in oil cloth (fancy prints too, I might add) and rustic centerpieces with fresh flowers. It was a great place to reapply my sunscreen and rest a bit and refuel. (I love the new burlap tote Hometalk gave me to hold all the goodies I bought! Smart idea to provide us with a bag to haul our stuff!)CLFairlunchtable In addition to your typical fair foods (actually, there were much less fried foods and no bacon ice cream either), there was, wait for it……100% Grass Fed Beef burger stand! I decided to have their reuben with sauerkraut on Rye bread and it. was. to. die. for. And it was only $9! A typical burger would have been $8! It was out of this world!CLFairlunchAfter our lunch break, we headed over to use the ladies room and I was tickled ‘green’ to see this sign. I know. I’m a dork.CLFair4 by ecokarenWe saw some more goodies but there were some questionable vintage and some that were like …… just….junk. I’m sorry but this car didn’t appeal to me.CLFair22Or this rusty tricycle. These brought “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” sentiment to a whole another level.CLFair24Anyway, we were pretty tired and hot by the end of the day and decided to call it quits but dreaded walking all the way back to our parked car across the other end of the parking lot. Then, we saw this sign from Ford! Eureka! We were saved! We were offered to be driven to our parked car in Ford’s C-Max! Booyah! Of course, we hopped right in!
CLFair5 ecokarenA very nice young man drove us to our car while explaining how one full tank gets over 650 MPG, about regenerative braking, and all the other cool energy efficient features.  He knew his stuff! And how smart is Ford for being at the right place at the right time to greet all the tired fair attendees. Nice marketing job Ford!
CLFairFordAnd …. get this……the car PARKED ITSELF! Whoa! That was really cool. My daughter drooled afterwards and said, she’s saving her money to buy this car as her first car. Right. CLFairFord Cmax ecokarenIt was a great ending to a nice day. My feet were happy and my mind was full of creative thoughts.

If you haven’t been to Country Living Fair, check out their schedule for the rest of the year here and go. It’s a great time for everyone in the family to be had….although, I did hear one husband grumbling to his wife behind me, “At least a state fair as live animals….”. Yea. This is NOT that kind of country fair dude. Although there were a few animals, there are no livestock shows or pie contests. Just good ole’ country goodies to peruse and buy.

Thanks again Hometalk for sending me!

Click HERE to view more goodies from Country Living Fair.

Disclaimer: I was given two VIP tickets to the Country Living Fair (valued at $32) to attend the fair. I was not compensated to write this post nor to promote any products. Hometalk did give me the nice tote though. All opinions are my own.

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