Brimfield & 3 More Tips for Flea Marketing

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Brimfield was a blast as usual, but this trip tested me on a few levels, and I’m here to share some more tips on how to come out of Brimfield with as much ease as possible.

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01 // Prepare for the Big Stuff
If you’re planning on coming home with anything big…bring a cart, wagon, dolly – anything to help aid you. And here is why, you’re not going to want to deal with traffic, and driving over to the area you bought this item, and you’re going to carry it. And hate yourself for doing so. I have been on both ends of the situation of being asked to help a friend carry something heavy, and asking a friend to help me, and it sucked both ways. For the most part it’s doable, but man does it help to have something to take the weight!

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02 // Prep for Weather
Brimfield covers spring, summer and fall, and any weather can happen. This weekend was extreme heat and humidity. Each farmers’ market or flea market will be different, so even if you find out they have areas to fill up or buy water, bring some of your own just in case. Drinks and snacks are always a good idea (and sunscreen!). And since we’re heading into fall, be prepared for some rainy or nippy weather. Throw a reusable bag in your car with extra layers so you can add or subtract as you go.

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03 // Pay Attention to Parking

It seems like a no-brainer, but where you’re parked and where you’re headed can make a big impact on how your day and your purchases go. We mentioned bringing a dolly since you’re not going to want to brave extra traffic, but my biggest tip is try to find the secret ways in and out of these big flea markets. It might not happen the 1st time you go, but pay attention to a map and figure out where you’ve been coming in and out, and how bad the traffic is. If it’s bad, see if there are any side streets that lead to the main strip. We’ve got a prime spot that let’s us miss all traffic in and out of Brimfield (hence why so opposed on getting into the mess to pick anything up from another lot). These areas sometimes have the best prices for marking also, since it’s not the 1st lot you see or settle on.

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I hope these added tips help! Now that we’re heading into fall, you’ll probably be heading out to more flea markets – have you guys been to the Mansfield Drive-in or the Elephant’s Trunk (my next venture!)? They’re the big CT flea markets. Where do you guys do your thrifting?

200th Post!

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We’ve made it to a milestone on our blog again, and we’re even prouder than before! At 100 we linked back to some of our favorite posts, and we’re doin’ it again! In these past few months we’ve managed to create much more original content. Documenting trips, making recipes, and giving some tips & and we’re so glad you all love reading about it!

Here are some of our personal faves from this spring and summer…

Grapefruit Lime Fizzgm_GrapefruitFizz_7

 

Julep DIY Pedi7

 

Old Lymegm_OldLyme_18

 

Mount Monadnock Hikegm_Farm_6

 

Good Ol’ Blueberry Pancakesgm_Pancakes_6

Did you guys see that we made it onto Food 52’s Food Blog Links We Love? Such an honor!

 

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How to Survive and Thrive at a Flea Marketgm_brimfield_8

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Loafgm_lemonpoppyseed_11

 

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5 Tips for Flea Market Shopping

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As you may have noticed, we’re into vintage, thrifting, flea markets, etc., and one of our favorite weekends of the year is Brimfield! It is the largest outdoor antiques show in the country with 5000+ vendors from all over, and we’re in love. Luckily the show has 3 weekends per year so that you can catch your fix in May, July & September, and Christa just got back from Brimfield’s first weekend. Since we’re seasoned shoppers at this point, we thought we might pass some knowledge your way incase you’re just starting out, if the idea of a place this big seems too daunting, or you’re just lookin for some good old tips and tricks.

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1 // Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle 

Haggling can be intimidating if you’re a new-bee or just have a bit of a weak backbone. People at flea markets are super friendly, and are usually pretty eager to sell their goods. So if you see an item priced at $50, but you were really hoping to spend less, low-ball and offer $30. They’ll usually counteroffer with a price you’re more comfortable with. Remember, this is thrifting, you’re not buying a house! It’s okay to take a chance with numbers. *Also, although not all vendors may still be around on Sunday, the ones that are left are looking to clean house before their (sometimes) long journey home – so expect some good deals on Sundays!

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2 // Take Measurements 

If you have certain spaces in mind in your place that you just know needs something, measure the spot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found cool quirky shelves or frames that I didn’t buy because I wasn’t sure if it would fit in the space I needed it for. And if you have a bit of spare room in your purse, bring your own measuring tape so you can do some quick calculations while you’re browsin.

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3 // Have an Idea of What You Want, But Be Flexible 

It can be hard to compromise an item when you have something really specific in mind. Remember that you’re at a flea market where items are unique and have a story to them. If you have a specific style of table in mind, it’s possible that you won’t find it here, but you could find something completely different that also works really well. Know what you like and what will work for your space, but remember to be open minded!

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4 // Pay Attention to Material & Quality Before Buying

This is a biggie. Vendors often jack up prices on items that at the end of the day because it’s “vintage.” But let’s be real, if it looks like a plastic tub, smells like a plastic tub, and feels like a plastic tub, chances are, you’re looking at a really old – sorry, “vintage” – plastic tub. So always be aware that just because it’s at a cool flea market, doesn’t make it a cool or quality item. Be conscious of the materials, and it doesn’t hurt to ask for a back story from your vendor about the item too.

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5 // Take Risks!

The thrifted items in Christa and mine home’s are some of the most interesting – they have character and are one of a kind. As uppity as it may seem, it feels so darn good when someone asks where you bought something, and your response is “it’s thrifted.” The best part of large flea markets like this is you’re going to find people from all over the country with items big and small, weird and quirky, all unique and ready to style. Think about your space and your personal taste, and find some items that will speak to those (even if seems a little scary at times!).

Case in point…this dude below is out there but we saw someone walking around with it later in the afternoon! I wish I could ask what they were going to do with it!

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Have you ever been to Brimfield? Are flea markets your thing? Let us know your experiences with thrifting, and hope to see you out there in July!

(photos by Christa – check out more Brimfield pics on her instagram)

Room Refresh // Eclectic Living Room

If you’re anything like me, every so often the rooms in your pad need a little refreshing. I currently live in a pretty big place with three other ladies, so filling it up has been a bit of a process. This past weekend, we finally decided on teaming up to beautify the place, so we went to Ikea, and had a field day. The trip inspired a new series for G&M on affordable room updates – Room Refresh.

This month’s Room Refresh focuses on living rooms and our first theme is the “Eclectic Collector.” Christa and I are big fans of mixing and matching colors, prints, and textures. When we team up at Goodwill, it’s actually a little frightening for the employees, because we go nuts. The eclectic lady loves jewel tones, mixing organic with industrial, and pattern pattern pattern. In order to keep this all in check, it’s important to balance the looks with plenty of neutrals. Here are some designs to inspire your search:

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These looks are all about finding pieces that speak to you, and just rolling with it. If you’re in the market for a room update and consider yourself a collector of sorts, here are some pieces to kick off your hunt:

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Threshold curtains // succulents // H&M woodgrain box // Threshold pillow // H&M dip dye bowl // West Elm faux fur throw // Ikea lamp shade // Ikea floor lamp // H&M area rug

Do you guys have any particular style for your flat you’d like us to feature? We’d love to hear from you!

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