Cooking with summer’s fresh produce

Chef Cathy Vogt recently held a Summer Taco Cooking Party at Watergrasshill Bed and Breakfast in New Paltz, NY. Attendees learned how to chop, pan sear, season and work with local ingredients to create a delicious meal. I participated in this hands-on cooking class. My task was to make 2 salsas, tomato-pepper and mango salsa. We all worked as teams and shared a delicious meal of Summer Squash & Basil Soup, Pan Seared Chili Lime Cod, Spicy Mushroom Walnut Taco filling, fruit salsa, guacamole, crunchy vegetable slaw. The food was fresh and flavorful. Read more

Let’s Clear the Air

Smudging is a multi-cultural ritual that clears the energy of a person, place or thing. It can be done regularly or when needed. Let’s keep it simple, break it down and clear the air.

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Trends in window treatments

When it comes to window treatments, personal taste, style of home and privacy are considerations for selection. As a professional stager, I’m usually suggesting my clients remove heavy window treatments and layers of coverage before listing their home for sale. Why? Those layers hide the architectural features of the home.  Read more

Keeping a cool house on hot days

Question: What are some active and passive ways to keep your house cool in the summer?

As temperatures rise during the summer months, keeping cool becomes a priority. Air conditioning is ideal, but not all homes have it. When my former house was being building in the late 80’s, we added central air with multiple zones and the builder thought we were crazy. Crazy or not, it is a necessity in my life and well worth the investment. In my new house, which is 3 levels with one zone, I’m getting adjusted and finding ways to cool my house. Here a few of my tips followed by shared tips from readers.

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Hudson Valley Vendors at the County Living Fair

The annual Country Living Fair was held in Rhinebeck, NY, on May 31-June 2, 2019, at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. The Fair brings the magazine’s content to life and gives readers access to a unique shopping experience. The fair features 200+ vendors from more than 30 states and draws more than 20,000 visitors from across the country. Vendors include: antiques sellers, food purveyors, artists, furniture makers, crafters, and more.

Guests had the chance to meet Country Living editors and special guests; attend cooking, crafting, and DIY demonstrations and book signings; sample locally sourced, artisanal food; and participate in Make & Take Workshops.

Here are a few local vendors we met at Country Living Fair. Find them locally year round and follow them on Social Media where they share their finds.


Image of Hamilton and Adams booth at the County Living Fair in the Hudson Valley
Hamilton and Adams, Kingston, NY: A modern day haberdashery. Photo Credit: Andrew Romulo, A Day In The Life Photos

Hamilton and Adams

32 John Street, Kingston, NY 12401


A modern day haberdashery featuring Men’s casual clothing, gifts, skin care and uniquely curated locally inspired curiosities. A nice selection of NY themed items featuring: “Upstate and Chill”.


Image of Two Sparrows Homestead booth at the County Living Fair in the Hudson Valley
Two Sparrows Homestead, Newburgh, NY: Artisan gifts with weekly DIY classes. Photo Credit: Andrew Romulo, A Day In The Life Photos


Two Sparrows Homestead

165 South Plank Road, Suite 3, Newburgh, NY

Two sisters, Danielle Kugler and Lisa Pisani, provide a unique gift shop featuring artisan handmade gifts with DIY workshops held weekly.


Image of Top Shelf Jewelry booth at the County Living Fair in the Hudson Valley
Top Shelf Jewelry, Ellenville, NY: Owner/Designer Barbara Hoff and her son, Sklyer Hoff at their booth at the Country Living Fair.
Photo Credit: Andrew Romulo, A Day In The Life Photos


Top Shelf Jewelry

206 Canal Street, Ellenville, NY

Barbara Hoff, designer and owner, of Top Shelf has been a wholesale jewelry manufacturer in Ellenville for 42 years. They sell to ‘Free People’ and National Gallery of Art. She restored the old O&W Train Station for their factory and now has a retail space which developed into a woman’s boutique filled with clothing, gifts, antiques and of course, jewelry.



Image of Old Wood and Rust booth at the County Living Fair in the Hudson Valley
Old Wood and Rust, Warwick, NY & Newburgh Vintage Emporium: Bill Rieschl at the Country Living Fair
Photo Credit: Andrew Romulo, A Day In The Life Photos

Old Wood and Rust

Bill Rieschl, Warwick, NY and dealer at Newburgh Vintage Emporium

Old Wood and Rust specializes in farm/harvest tables made from reclaimed wood as well as architectural salvage, vintage industrial and other unique finds. Contact them via Facebook and Instagram.



Image of Unshattered booth at the County Living Fair in the Hudson Valley
UnShattered, Hopewell Junction, NY: Beautifully handcrafted handbags by women who are winning their fight with addiction.
Photo Credit: Andrew Romulo, A Day In The Life Photos


1064 Route 82, Hopewell Junction, NY

From pieces, made whole. Handcrafted handbags made from repurposed materials by woman who are winning their fight with addiction.


Claudia Jacobs is professional stager, decorator and owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Newburgh. Visit or call 294-8993. Send questions and photos to


Tips, Tricks and Life Hacks

Don’t know how to do something? You can get the answer by using Google, social media, ask friends or ask your mama. Here are some tips you may find helpful. Read more

Reclaimed Wood Adds Texture and Warmth to Walls

A few years ago I featured Stikwood in this newspaper column after seeing the product at the Architectural Digest Home and Design Show. In a high-tech world, people are craving more natural elements inside. Stikwood makes the high-design trend of bringing the outside in more accessible.  Read more

Thinking Outside the Gift Box

Happy Mother’s Day! I associate this weekend with flowers and planting. Maybe not this year with the chilly weather, but it is usually safe to plant flowers on Mother’s Day weekend. Gift me a live plant to put outside or a hanging basket and I’m a happy woman. Flowers just seem to brighten any day.

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Accent the Positive and Focus on What You Love

This Spring Real Estate Market, I find myself repeating the same instructions during pre-listing staging consultations. Homeowners have their own decorating style making every house unique. Besides personal taste, how people live and maintain their house makes a big difference when preparing a house for sale. Read more

Landscape with good bones

Attractive landscapes need good bones. Look around your neighborhood to notice what this means. The hardscape of good-looking properties is well designed and developed with natural landscape to enhance it.

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