Happy September my dear lovies! How was your Labor Day weekend? It started out 100 degrees on Saturday then was 60 degrees by Monday. So your typical Chicago weekend.
But there was much more fun to be had than staring at the thermometer this weekend.
Yes, folks, I had myself a fun little adventure on Sunday.
I got out of the house without the kids.
With my friend Rebecca.
For 9 hours.
Heaven. Pure. Heaven.
And it gets better: we went shopping!!!!
So there is this flea market here in the Chicago area that is held in the town of St. Charles at the Kane County Fairgrounds the first weekend of the month. I had been years ago when I was carrying Annie (so 12 years ago!) but it was cold and rainy that day and I didn’t end up staying too long. For years I had heard so many people say that you gotta go to this thing!
So Rebecca and I got out our calendars this summer and planned it out.
Here are some of the highlights:
They were asking 12 dollars a jar….. no, thank you.
These were made from what looked to be old ceiling tiles. Think farmhouse ceiling tiles with metal artwork. Pretty cool. These were between 15 and 20 dollars.
This booth was a favorite but their prices were a little too high.
Loved her name.
Loved this basket but 28 dollars??? Yeah, not what I wanted to spend. It was still there at the end of the day but by then I had already found a much cheaper replacement. Rebecca, however, loved another basket in this booth for 18 dollars. It was gone when we came back.
The above was all part of a cool little shop set up in one of the animal barns at the flea market.
It was two shops in one from a little town south of here. I asked if I could take pictures for my blog and they were more than happy to be featured.
Loved this color!
And that mirror?? Swoon!
This was a cute shop and loved the name…..
I also loved her “merchandising” like using the metal tub to hold these items….
loved the chicken wire……..
… but 49 dollars for a chalkboard? Yeah, no.
Urban Farm girl needs to stop her suburban pricing. We walked by this shop at the end of the day and nothing, not one thing had sold.
I told Rebecca that it would look nice above the bed.
Love me some boots with a skirt.
I take a bad picture. I do.
Really, I am much better looking in person.
Rebecca didn’t like her face in this one. I couldn’t see because I didn’t have my real glasses on but she has never taken a bad picture in the 17 years we have been friends.
This is a great one of her. Me? Notsomuch.
How could I have lost 20 pounds and STILL have a double chin??
It was so much fun to spend the day with one of my most favorite females on the planet and gab, joke around, budget our money, people watch and just bond as we females do.
So here are some tips for shopping a flea market that we learned the hard or easy way depending on how you look at it:
1- do not bring your kids
Don’t even be tempted. We did not miss being asked to go to the potty 15 times (the portapotties were few and far between, I think we only saw one the entire day), or complain that they were hungry 10 times (the food was even more sporadic, we left the fairgrounds to go to Red Robin) or ask to buy something from every single shop there (there was junk galore just screaming for your child’s attention and your wallet’s attention too).
Keep the little ones at home.
It will save your money and your sanity.
2- do not have a schedule as far as time
Plan to be gone the whole day.
We left the house at 8 and didn’t get home until almost 5.
If you feel rushed, you may end up spending more than you wanted to.
3-go on the last day of the flea market
The vendors do not want to pack up their stuff all over again and take it back home so they are more willing to make a deal with you.
Yes, if you go on the first day you will get the pick of the litter but they won’t budge on the price.
4- do not buy from the front of the flea market until you have shopped the back end
The front booths were WAY overpriced.
Mason jars for 12 dollars each??
And they were all still there when we left 20 minutes before they closed.
There were mason jars all over for under 1 buck so pace yourself and do not rush to buy when you first walk in.
5- leave and come back
We left to go eat lunch, have downtime, gab and think about what we wanted to get.
So we got our hand stamped and left.
Parking was free so we could come and go as we pleased.
It also helped us to put things in perspective as far as price goes.
6- bring cash and set a budget
We did see lots of vendors taking checks and even credit cards.
My advice- don’t be tempted.
I would have spend a lot more if I knew I could write a check or put it on a credit card but I knew that I would stick to my budget if I only used cash.
And I did.
I even left with 25 dollars left over!
At first, I admit I was a little scared of doing this.
But by the end of the day?
I was a pro!
We had separately made wish lists of what we wanted to get.
Mine had things like an old window, shutters, vintage knobs, plates and a mirror on it.
So when I found a vendor who had this one shutter that I thought was perfect?
I offered him 20 for his 25 dollar shutters.
Nope, he wasn’t gonna budge so I said goodbye and kept looking.
When I found similar shutters a few rows away for 25,
I offered her 20.
She countered with 22 and I countered with 21.
She laughed and said,” are you from that pickers show??”
She also said I was cute so I immediately loved her and almost gave her the 22 she asked for.
So I got it for 21 and I haggled like the pros!!
So much fun and so worth it!
8- go with a wish list
It’s like going grocery shopping without a list.
You will buy crap you did not need.
9- if you really want it, get it
Rebecca learned the hard way.
This basket she loved was 18 and I know the lady would have given it to her for 15 but we just hemmed and hawed and when we returned.
It was gone.
So if you like it, I mean really really really like it AND it is on your wish list AND it is within your budget, get it.
So here are my finds:
Plastic number 4!!! Pure glee!!! I think I am going to frame this. Cost=$2
Old locker basket that I am using for magazines
An old shutter from a farmhouse in Wisconsin. I am thinking of painting it but letting the old color show through and using it to display photos and Christmas cards!
It looks a lot shorter in this picture because I cut off the top while taking the picture but it is tall.
Cost- $21.00 after haggling.
An old window that I am not sure what I am going to do with.
I will have to look at Pinterest for some inspiration!
But this was the deal of the day.
Every window I saw was 25 and up but this guy was 7 bucks!!
Cute flower pin for my denim jacket!
They were $8.50 each but I asked if we could get 2 for 15.00 and they said yes.
So Rebecca has one in gray and I have one in white.
The website link is here
for this and their other adorable items.
Next one is in October….will I see you there?