Blog

Find Your Holiday Spirit In Lancaster

In Lancaster Holiday Spirit is Around Every Corner

Christmas Tree In Lancaster Holiday Spirit is Around Every Corner
 
Need to get away and take a break during the madness of the holiday season? Why no slow down and reconnect with the reason for the season? Let us help you find your holiday spirit in Lancaster? With tours, train rides & live theatre you are sure to find your holiday spirit in Lancaster County. 

Tours:

Authentic Bed & Breakfast Belsnickle Tour. December 2 & 3, 20 bed and breakfasts open their doors to let you see their holiday finery.  Each inn will have a “hidden” Belsnickle. Find him and enter into a drawing for a stay at one of our inns valued at up to $325. Each inn will offer a signature cookie. Start your cookie recipe collection with the recipe cards at each inn.

Honeybrook Community Church hosts a live Nativity each year. Allow an hour to walk through the 7 scenes of the Nativity and enjoy the provided refreshments. This event is free.  The website is not updated for 2017 yet, but it appears that the live Nativity is the second weekend of December.

 

Train Rides:

Strasburg Railroad has a couple of Christmas train ride options.

  1. Take the Christmas Tree Train to Leaman Place Grove where you choose a pre-cut tree. Your tree will be delivered to the station on the train’s flatcar.
  2. Take a ride with Santa when you climb aboard the Santa Express.

Don’t forget about the shows.

Lancaster is well known for its amazing live theatre. You can see anything from bible stories to crazy comedies and all are sure to have you talking over breakfast the next day. A sampling of what’s available.

Magic Lantern Christmas Show – Classic Christmas stories, poems, and much more will fill you with the Christmas spirit. Your Showman will take you on this wonderful trip through the joys and heartfelt emotions of the Holiday Season as he presents iconic stories and poems like The Night Before Christmas, with stunning visual images, heartfelt music and legendary storytelling.  Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm.

Guess Who Is Coming to Dinner – All Nancy wants is for her two families to get to know each other over Christmas dinner. Nancy invites both her grown children and her new boyfriend’s. Will anyone show up for the turkey dinner? And if they do show up, will there be peace on earth good will, or will the police arrive to cart them off to lock-up? It’s Christmas at Rainbow, what could go wrong?

White Christmas – Based on the beloved movie, veterans Bob and Phil are a successful song and dance team when they meet a sister duo and follow them to an inn in Vermont. They discover it’s owned by their old General who fell on hard times, so they decide to put on a show to save the inn and their General’s future.  Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

A Christmas Story – It’s not sugarplums dancing in Ralphie’s head; it’s a Red Ryder air rifle! On a desperate quest to prove to his mother, teacher and even Santa that he is Snow Sceneresponsible enough to be the proud owner of this Christmas wish, Ralphie isn’t going to let any opposition stop him from getting what he wants, including the schoolyard bullies! Bundled with your favorite film moments, fans will rejoice as they relive the triple-dog-dare flag pole incident, the worst Christmas present ever (pink bunny pajamas) and the FRA-GEE-LAY top prize (leg lamp). A Christmas Story, The Musical hits the bullseye for holiday family fun!  Fulton Theatre

Home for the Holidays – Inspired by warm memories of family Christmases, Home for the Holidays celebrates the joys and merriment of spending the holidays with the ones we love. This show takes place on a festive Christmas Eve and features many beloved traditions. American Music Theatre.

Get Your Holiday Shop On.

Kitchen Kettle Village is open until 9pm on Fridays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you can do some late shopping.  Don’t forget that the Corner Coffee Shop offers live music on both Friday and Saturday nights. 

A weekend get away to Lancaster might be just what you need to get you feeling the holiday spirit again.

Fall Table Linens

So, one of the best parts of owning a bed and breakfast is decorating.  I’m still working on nailing down my style and hopefully at some point the B&B will reflect something that is more me.  But for now, I’m working with what I can and that’s the breakfast table.  I love dishes and setting a pretty table.   I’ve been lucky enough to add 3 sets of china to the ‘Wall of China’ located in the office/gift shop at Carriage Corner.  With that in mind, I’ve been working on making seasonally appropriate decor and this first is our new Fall Table Linens.

This Fall, I decide that I needed some fall themed table linens.  If you’ve stayed at Carriage Corner, you might know my personal hobbies are knitting and sewing.  While I haven’t made any of the quilts on the beds, I do have a tiny bit of quilting knowledge and a small stash of quilting cottons and an embroidery machine.  With that in mind, I took myself to my fabric stash and pulled fabric with pumpkins in mind.   It took a while, but I made some pumpkin placemats.  For details on how they were made – you can visit the post on my personal blog:  gMarieSews.

Earlier this week, they made their breakfast debut:

Fall Table Linens

I expect these will get loads of use between now and Thanksgiving.  The flip side of these napkins are one fabric, the new napkins work with this side:

Fall Table Linens

It’s Been One Year!

So – I hear Barenaked Ladies in my head when I typed the title.  And, in all honesty, it’s hasn’t quite been one year.  But it’s close.  As I’m writing this post, it’s been one year since we sold our house in Seattle and started the long drive cross-country.  The last year has been quite the adventure and learning curve. There have been ups and downs and many, many wonderful guests over our first year!  I thought I’d do a quick recap of our first year at Carriage Corner:

Lessons Learned:

  • Serve breakfast in courses;
  • Make just a bit more than you think you need;
  • It’s best to plate breakfast;
  • Never serve bacon if there is more than 2 rooms booked;
  • Keep bread on hand at all time;
  • Never run out of eggs;
  • Try new ideas out on the family first;
  • Use the ‘good’ china – what are you saving it for?;
  • Someone will always want a room if I go to knit night – so go to knit night;
  • Walking the dogs before breakfast makes for a better day; and
  • Learn to enjoy the downtime.

    Carriage Corner Year in Review

    The best *UP* of all

Ups:

  • Eleanor’s birth and being close enough to drop everything and be there;
  • Guests!  We have the most wonderful guests.  I’m enjoying the relationships we are building;
  • Spending the day working with my spouse;
  • Redoing the guests rooms to reflect our personalities;
  • Mud Sales; and
  • Hosting 2 sewing retreats.

Downs:

  • Saying goodbye to Beauregard James (I’ve included a video of him eating lettuce – that boy);
  • Spending the day working with my spouse (ha ha!);
  • Attending the mud sales (hubby can’t keep his arm down at the auction!); and
  • Learning to enjoy the downtime – next year will be better.

What’s Happening October?

CarriageCornerFall

October is right around the corner with it’s cooler temperatures and show-off trees.  We pretty regularly take the dogs up to Chambers Lake and I’m pretty sure you can find something similar to this lake view there.  Chambers lake is a short drive from Carriage Corner and will take you through some hilly farmland before you arrive at the lake.  On your way back, you’ll want to stop at Hilltop Garden, Whitehorse Antiques and possibly the Whitehorse luncheonette – if you’re hungry.

Or take a scenic drive toward the south and end up at Cherry Crest Farms to tour the corn maze.  Bring a flashlight and plan on getting through the flashlight maze.  Cherry Crest is open until 10p on Fridays and Saturdays through October – making it a good option for once the shops for the night.

KitchenKettleVillageEvents

Kitchen Kettle Village is 3 blocks away – that’s close enough to walk and not have to deal with traffic and parking.  The Village is much bigger than it appears and there is enough to keep you busy all day.  There is always something happening at Kitchen Kettle – but a few of the things that caught my eye?  On October 19:  Sip & Plant Succulent  Pumpkin Centerpieces; and on October 28:  Harry Potter Party!

On your walk to the Village, don’t forget to stop at Sweet Shenanigans Cupcakery – she’s making her Fall Flavors and they are fabulous!

If theater is your thing – there are loads to choose from.  Check out the updated Area Attractions page to see what’s currently playing.

We look forward to being your resting spot for all your Fall Adventures in Intercourse!  Give us a call to book your room – 7177683059.

 

Holy Cannoli

One of my favorite parts of this job is making breakfast.  I have always loved entertaining and feeding people.  There’s just something special about it – ya know?

But – I get bored with making the same thing all the time.  Truthfully, what might be a wonderful meal for 2 or 4 guests doesn’t always work well if there is more than that.  And vis a versa.  For example – a pan of baked french toast feeds 12 people quite easily – but I would never make that if there were only 4 guests – too much waste.  And I love making buttermilk waffles for 4 guests – but don’t make them if we have more than that.  Clear as mud right?  So – with that being said – I’m always on the look out for new ideas to make for guests – either big or small groups.

I would say that 85% of the accounts that Carriage Corner follows on Instagram are other bed and breakfast.  One day while scrolling through my feed, I found a picture of Three Sisters Cottages breakfast.  Three Sisters is in Jefferson, Texas.  I mean – YUMM! This looks amazing – I have to figure out how to make this.

 

So – first I googled.  Then I talked with Italian guests.  Then I played.  My version is a stuffed french toast.  It’s a tiny bit labor intensive, but honestly not bad.  I would make this for a full house.  My recipe will make 12 rolls, and I serve 2 per person.  You milage may very 🙂

Cannoli filling:

  • 1 Cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 contain marscapone cheese
  • 2T sugar
  • 2t powdered vanilla
  • shy 1/2 cup dark chocolate mini chocolate chips
  • zest from 2 oranges

Mix all ingredients together until fluffy, set aside.

French Toast:

Cut the crusts off 12 slices of good quality whole grain bread.  Using a rolling pin, roll the bread out as thin as you can.  Place a heaping spoonful of cannoli filling on each slice of bread and roll up.  This works best if your bread is large enough to roll onto itself.

Egg Wash:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1t light vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Whip all ingredients together.  Roll the stuffed bread in the egg wash and then transfer to a hot griddle.  Roll the french toast while cooking to brown all sides.  Plate and then dust with powdered sugar.  I serve this with orange slices and sausage.  It’s really very good.  Trust me – that’s lots of food – we generally start this meal with granola parfaits.

The Kindness of Guests

For a long time I have wanted a treadle sewing machine.  I think they are beautiful and the fact that I enjoy sewing adds to the beauty of them – for me anyway.

The Bird-in-Hand mud sale happens in late June each year.  This mud sale looked like a good one.  Jay loves going to these auctions and it’s fun for an afternoon.  But you have to be quick about what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.  I managed to pick up a sled for a great price which will be piled high with wrapped gifts as part of the holiday decor, but that’s another post . . . this post is about the treadle.  See, we were in the furniture tent and the sewing machines started coming up.  Like I said, I have always wanted one – but it wasn’t what we were looking for and I wasn’t sure I had a place to put it.  So when the first machine came up and sold for something like $12 I could have kicked myself.  I wasn’t quick enough.  Jay finally ended up winning the bid for a cabinet without a machine.  That cabinet was in rough shape!

We just happened to have guests sitting in the swing and gazebo when Jay was unloading the items he bought at the mud sale.  R – helped him move some of the furniture and put it into the house.  Well, come to find out R has a small collection of sewing machines and people regularly give him treadles and other sewing machines.  Many of them they have put into a museum.  When R came to stay again in August, they brought a beautiful light colored treadle cabinet and a machine that would fit in it – that only needed a belt to work.

One day last week – I said to Jay, maybe you can move the base from our machine into the cabinet from the machine that R brought us.  I’d like to swap that table out for our guest book.  It feels like a piece of me in the guest common areas now.  It’s smaller than the table that was in the same spot previously, but I like this *sew* much better.  Sadly, the machine doesn’t fit into this cabinet – not without loads of modifications, but someday, we’ll have a working treadle in this spot.

For now – this will do just fine.

View from the front door

Log Cabin Room Update

Hello lovely guests and visitors to Carriage Corner!  As you may be aware, Jay and I purchased Carriage Corner in Mid-October 2016.  We were full of dreams, plans and recipe ideas.  Some of them we’ve used and some still need attending to.  But, I thought today I’d take a minute and give you a tour of Log Cabin.  This room was previously called Plum or One.  If you’re curious you can read the why of the room names here.

One of the things that was really important to us was to make the rooms feel lighter, brighter and comfortable.  While we hope that you won’t spend all of your time in your room, if that’s what you choose to do, we want you to be comfortable doing so.

Log Cabin’s face lift started with a new sign on the door welcoming you into the room.  Next, we took everything out – including the desk and electric baseboard heater.  We shampooed the carpets, re-calked the sink, showers & toilet and installed new shower heads.  Then the painting started.  Everything was painted.  Then, we started putting it back together.  Seating area set up with a large chair and half, electric fireplace (for heat or ambiance) and a flat screen television with cable.    Also, free wireless internet is offered throughout the bed and breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After figuring out where the bed and chair needed to go, we added a darling little electric fireplace and put the new flat screen television on top of it.  I’m really looking forward to decorating this little fireplace for the holiday – I think it might get some stockings.  Quite possibly, a tiny tree will go where the fan is currently and I know there will be some twinkle lights added to the room.

The final addition to the room was a beautiful pink and green log cabin quilt that was purchased at the Farmersville Mud Sale in March.

We’ve added some of our personal items to the rooms – the Norman Rockwell plates and a few other things.

Everytime we finished a room – it became ‘my favorite.’  I still love Log Cabin.  The layout of the room, the space you get with the couch, fireplace and television.  Guests seem to really enjoy this room.

If you promise not to laugh, I’ll even share a little video tour I’ve done of the room.  That’s my voice and you’ll hear me when you call to book your room.  We are looking forward to meeting you and helping you have exactly the type of get away you are hoping for while visiting Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I hope you enjoyed this tour of our Log Cabin Room.  The just over 1 minute video is too long to upload here, but it can be found on YouTube.

 

 

Sew Camp #2 – Recap

Better Late Than Never – Right?

In all honesty, I’ve been putting off doing this recap because I don’t have a ton of photos – and I ran out of the ‘swag’ that was in the attendees gift bags.  Then I remembered that S2 had taken a lovely photo and I asked to use hers.

FabricMart Spoils

The 2nd Sew Camp was as wonderful as the first.  We were very lucky in that the only guests at the B&B were sew camp attendees and that meant I could really focus my attention on sewing and spending time with the Sew Camp Attendees.  We had 3 ladies who booked into the B&B for the entire Sew Camp and 2 ladies who joined us for Saturday only.    As Sew Camp does, we started Friday with breakfast and pastries before heading out to FabricMart.  Everyone purchased fabric and at least one piece of that newly purchased fabric got sewn up over the weekend.  Friday dinner was a happy hour, with lots of little finger foods, but it’s been suggested we have more of a cocktail hour next time.  You can always bring your own adult beverages, we are just limited in what we can serve – just FYI.

C stitching her machine knit sweater together – this was completed over the weekend

 

S1 and the front of her Charlie Caftan from her FabricMart purchase

Saturday morning had at least one of the ladies in the sewing room bright and early – before breakfast even.  Which is absolutely fine!  She grabbed her coffee and headed into the sewing space to get a head start on her project.  See, B brought a very involved, couture jacket to work on and she was doing tons of handstitching.  I think it was late Saturday before she started basting things together.  H arrived around 11a and S arrived just before noon.  Once we got everyone set up – it was time to take a short break and have some lunch.  Then people went back to sewing, knitting and conversing.  C – had finished the back of her sweater and was getting started on the front.  A few of ladies took a break and run out to Rumspringa to sample some beer.  Saturday dinner was a baked pasta loaded with sausage and cheese, served with a salad.  We skipped desert.  Several of the ladies stayed up quite late sewing – again, that’s the plus of being at a retreat you can sew as long as you want – stopping only for food.  Sunday was more of the same.

Sunday, there was more sewing.  S & B stayed for lunch which included an amazing blueberry buckle that B made.  It was so yummy!

As is always the case, I really enjoyed spending the weekend with like minded crafty ladies.  I found sound of C’s knitting machine incredibly soothing.  I loved watching B’s progress on her jacket and can’t wait until I catch a glimpse of it on Instagram.  Meeting S and her husband felt like we had reconnected with old friends – I wish they were just a little bit closer so we could get together more often – but I’m hoping she’ll come to the next Sew Camp and the menfolk can go off on beer tour.  Just this past Tuesday, I was in New York at the #nysewcialhour and it was great to catch up with C & S and find out that S finished her Charlie caftan and it was perfect for her recent vacation!

Simplicity 8419 Donated by Simplicity Pattern Group

This time around – I decided that maybe we should have some ‘swag’ to give out to all attendees.  I started by reaching out to Simplicity Pattern Group and Cashmerette.  Both of these fabulous companies offered up goodies to be given to our group of lovely ladies.  Simplicity sent a box with 2 current patterns – New Look 6517 (I can’t wait to make those floaty pants) and Simplicity 8419 (I might have bought a sheer polka dot fabric for View C at FabricMart) and Cashmerette offered a coupon code good on PDF pattern purchases which was incredibly generous.  I made little thread catcher bags from a pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts using up stashed quilting cottons and a fun decorative stitch on my machine; I also made donut pincushions.  Jay threw some beautiful hardwood cutting blocks into the mix.  I had asked him to make these from the scraps of wood left over from making shoulder stands  and the multi-point pressing tools, because the little green mat that came with my buttonhole and eyelet cutter set was ruined and I needed something to cut on.  We had 2 door prizes – Saturday we gave away a shoulder stand which S2 won and Sunday we gave away a multi-point tool that S won.

If you are thinking about attending a future Sew Camp the details can be found on the Sew Camp tab and the dates for 2018 have been set – March 23-25, 2018 and September 21 – 23, 2018.  I’m thinking about making something for the goodie bags that will be the same every time.  Originally I was thinking about the donut pincushions, but in different colors each time, but now I’m not sure.  How about a few patterns weights that keep getting added to?  What are your thoughts?

Fresh Really is Best

All layered up

I never really knew how easy it was to make granola. Seriously, everyone has their own favorite recipe for granola – you can do a search without finding 15 pages of recipes. Just take a look at pinterest – you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway – I’ve been asked a time or two for the granola recipe I serve here at Carriage Corner. This recipe originated from a friend of mine and was individualized Christmas gifts for the girls for years. Now I make it every 2 weeks or so and don’t add any dried fruit. Here’s the basic recipe:

 

CC’s Basic Granola Recipe:

Dry Ingredients poured into the mixing bowl

6 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2T water
2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Mix liquid in microwave safe dish and then microwave for 1 minute. Pour over oat mixture.
Mix well. Spread out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 300* for 25 – 35 minutes stirring several times.
Remove from over, add 1 cup raising and let cool.

This is how I’ve adapted the recipe for the Bed and Breakfast.

Carriage Corner’s Breakfast Granola:

spread out on a cookie sheet

6 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups chopped unsalted mixed nuts
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2T water
1 1/2T vanilla

once baked – it will continue to darken as it cools.

Mix and bake as above, stirring every 10 minutes or so. When it comes out of the oven – don’t touch it! Letting the granola cool off without adding dried fruit or mixing it up helps it to create clumps.

This is a good, basic starter granola recipe. Play with it. Mix things up – swap things out. What else could you use for sweetener besides honey? Maple Syrup? What is your favorite fruit and nut combo? Blueberries & Almonds? Peaches & Pecans? Raisins & Cashews? You can now make any flavor granola you like. When you make a batch – let me know what flavors you used. Enjoy!

Best Available Price

Quite often when answering the phone, the caller will say:  “what’s your best room rate?”

Sample Breakfast 2This always flabbergasts me and leaves me stuttering. I mean why would you think that we’d just have a hidden ‘best’ rate.  The answer is – our best room rate is posted right here on our website, under the rooms tab.  The price is right there – there isn’t a range, we don’t charge more because it’s the weekend or there is some event happening in town.  See, we don’t think it’s fair to reward people who want to get away at the last minute by reducing the room rate, nor do we think it’s fair to punish the people who plan ahead for their vacation and pay a higher rate because they didn’t wait in hope the the rate would go down.

We’ve also researched the prices around town for other B&Bs as well as the local hotels and our prices are right in line with what everyone else is charging.  We aren’t the least expensive, but we also aren’t the most expensive.  For this first season, we’ve also taken away the 2 night minimum on weekends.

Jay & I thought long and hard about this when we set our rates. The room rate is the room rate, it’s not higher at the weekend; it’s not lower during the week; we don’t offer a break if you stay 1 night vs 4. We do offer a referral discount and a repeat guest discount and rarely, I’ll post specials on facebook or have some sort of special on our website. But by and large – our best rate is the one you see by booking direct. So please, give us a call I’m happy to book your room and get your vacation started. 717.768.3059.

Oh and the price always includes a full breakfast, which changes daily.  The also have freshly baked cookies, snacks, fresh fruit and beverages available.

So, we hope you’ll give us a chance.