When I was a little girl, my Mom made extra money as an antique dealer. She and her best friend Kim would spend their weekends rifling through flea markets and auctions to resell items in their own booths. As such, I spent a lot of my time as a child wandering behind my Mom and Kim at those flea markets and auctions. I found myself bored, but at the same time fascinated by everything around me. I always looked at jewelry, trying to find that precious gem full of luck and wonder that would bring me the same. My mom has since stopped her antique selling but our love for flea markets hasn’t gone away, but grown to craft fairs too. So on the weekend, we hope in the Jeep in go to any shows within driving distance to our home in CT.
Today was the first day of the Hudson Valley Hullaballoo in Kingston, NY. The drive was about an hour and a half, but it went by fast with all the talking and laughing that my mom, my sister, and I did. No music, just us and the road. When we got there, we did our usual first lap, where we just look and survey each row. Our second lap is where the wallets come out and we start doing our serious shopping.
What I love most about these events, however, is talking to the vendors and letting them exert their passion. It is amazing to see these people’s face’s light up with pride about what they made. Their stories are always fun and inspiring. I love supporting them and making them feel good about what they are doing, the world needs more people like them.
A breakdown of my loot:
1.Vanilla Infused Maple Syrup by Tree Juice:
During our second lap at the show, this was the first booth we went to. The man behind the table was warm and inviting when he asked us if we wanted to try some maple syrup, and thus began our first sampling of the day. With our little wooden spoons in hand, we have pumped a small drop of each maple syrup flavor. Each one was better than the one before it, and all were amazing. As a huge vanilla fan, I couldn’t resist the vanilla flavor, especially after he told me there is a whole vanilla bean in each bottle. SOLD. It is sweet but not overwhelming with the warm undertones of vanilla underneath the initial maple flavor. I will DOUSE this on my morning waffles, or even in my coffee per his suggestion. This tall bottle was $12. The happiness that I got from this booth was not just in the syrup, though.
“Where is your accent from?” My mom asked the man in the ‘syrupaholic’ tee shirt as he bagged up our good.
“I am a brit,” he said with a smile.
“So is my husband,” Mom said with an even bigger smile, and added, “what brought you here?” Then sauntered over his wife, who told us that they met while working at a summer camp, and the rest was history. LOVEEE THEM. Goals.
2.Hot Sauce by Poor Devil Pepper Company:
After our first taste of delicious food, we were ready for more. Approaching the hot sauce table, we were welcomed in by a burly man with a thick beard to try some of the stuff with tortilla chips. Our first taste was of the Green Gypsy, which is a jalapeno based sauce and was SUPER hot, but awesome. Our second was the Kali Curry, which had a nice hint of garlic and spice with its heat. Both were amazing, so we snagged them both at $7 a bottle. The man encouraged me to take a sticker, which of course I did, even though I have no idea where I’ll put it. The hot sauce is going straight into my Dad’s Christmas stocking, a great gift!
3.Truffle Salt by Rockerbox:
I’m telling you the food at these things, is NO joke. When I approached the Rockerbox booth, I noticed a huge bowl of popcorn and helped myself to some as the woman behind the table helped another customer. One lick of a kernel and I rudely interrupted them with, “WOW WHAT IS THIS?” Luckily for me, she laughed and told me it was popcorn made with extra virgin olive oil and her Truffle Salt. After getting some into the mouths of my mom and sister, we were sold. The Truffle Salt was all we got, but I was super intrigued by the rest of her spices and smelled a ton of them, including an Everything Bagel blend, and a Ranch mix. She said she makes them herself by taking fresh veggies (like garlic cloves or something) and grinding them up into powder. I will for sure be checking out her website for more stuff.
4.Sipping Chocolate by Fruition Chocolate:
You have to seriously hold me back when it comes to chocolate, I LIVE on it. So when I saw the Fruition Chocolate booth, you know I was there sampling everything. She had nice chocolates, like dark chocolate sea salt and bourbon, but at $12 a bar, I wasn’t that into it. I was however in the market for hot chocolate, and at $5 a bag, I could handle it. The orange spice smells just like Terry’s chocolate orange, and if you don’t know what that is please stop reading and find one. The mint smelled like fresh mint, not like gum. I cannot wait to try them!
5.Honey Lip Scrub by Hudson Naturals:
The woman behind the booth at Hudson Naturals is literally the very reason we went to Hullabaloo today. We saw her last month at Terrain in Westport, CT for their pop-up of the Phoenicia Flea Market and she told us about the Hullaballoo! She has this amazing body butter that we got while we were at Terrain (I got lavender, Mom got geranium) that is SO smooth and makes you even smoother. I was excited to see her because I have been in the market for a lip scrub, as I have heard it is good to scrub your lips before applying matte lipstick, which I am so obsessed with. She had me try this Honey one, and I loved the sweet smell and the instant smoothness of my lips. $7, sold!
6.Red Wine by Hetta:
When we approached the Hetta booth, we thought it was more maple syrup. As we got closer, I noticed the man behind the booth had a hot plate and was serving samples from a sauce pan…whut? He poured me some, and I had it on my lips, still not knowing what it was. When it hit my tongue, I was ecstatic to realize that it was WINE. HOT WINE and it was awesome. I am usually not a red wine person, I hate the bitterness of it and the way it makes my teeth look red after one sip. But this stuff doesn’t have any bitterness and if it makes my teeth black as dirt I don’t give a sh*, it’s worth it. He told me it could drink cold too but it is made to comfort you with warmth from the inside. The bottle was only $20, so I got one for myself and my Mom got one as a hostess gift for a party she is attending tonight. Amazing, HIGHLY recommend.
7.‘Local’ Lip Balm by Tess & James:
Tess and James had great candles but I was drawn to the lip balm because of the name, Local. I am a local girl in CT and take huge pride in that. The lip balm has a really nice orange/clove scent and its pair ‘weekender’ was a cool mint. I honestly wish I got both and a candle, but I am super happy with my lip balm purchase. Only $5.
8.Black Current Jam by Maya’s Jams:
I was initially drawn to this booth for the concentrated syrups she had. As we sampled a few, she told us that everything is homemade by her, her mom, and her grandmother. I love a good family business. The blueberry black currant jam has a sweet taste from the blueberry but kind of robust flavor from the black currant and makes for a great combo. While I really wanted a syrup, they were $20 for a small bottle, so I went with the jam instead at $8 and I am so happy I did.
9.Pumpkin Pie Pine Cone Fire Starter by Bird’s Creations:
My mom got to this table before me, and when I appeared next to me she gave me the run down on the product.
“You put this in the fireplace and it will smell like pumpkin spice, it’s only $5!” Enough said. She also had a ‘very vanilla’ candle, that I am literally about to order online, it smelled amazing.
10.Buttons by Matthew Pleva:
Since I am no longer in middle school going through my emo phase, I have no need for buttons. However, Matthew’s buttons were so intricate and cool, I had to check them out. What he told me was that he drew each of them by hand, fit the size of each button. With the details on each one, it really is incredible. He also had a few pairs of earrings that he made by hand that was 3D, amazing. My sister got two of the buttons, drawn to them by their message and details, and price $2 each.
11. Canvas Zip Pouch by Pipi Cucu:
This booth was the girliest and prettiest of all, with a boss-babe vibe. That basically sums me up, so I instantly was drawn to Pipi Cucu. I chatted with the woman behind the booth briefly about her cool bags and she mentioned that she hand makes them by hand. They can be used for organizing in your bag (ideal for the nanny life) or for makeup. I have had the same makeup bag since the 7th grade, but after seeing these, I might be making a switch. None of the bags she had really spoke to me, but she mentioned she had more on her website. With that, I went straight to her Etsy shop and ordered a canvas bag that says ‘My Squad Eats Hay’. The oldest of my nanny kids rides horses, and she is going to LOVE that bag for Christmas. $25
So that’s the scoop on the loot! I had an amazing time at the Hudson Valley Hullaballoo. Next week, I am heading to the 2nd Annual Basilica Farm Flea, so stayed tuned for another post!