Carriage Corner

We’re Getting Green-er All the Time

So, if you’ve stayed at Carriage Corner anytime since mid-October, 2016 you know we are originally from Seattle.  Which means we are tree hugging hippies!    Okay, not really, but we are very environmentally conscious, always have been.  Since day one, we’ve been changing what we could to keep Carriage Corner Going Green.  So, imagine my surprise when we got here and found out the local garbage company didn’t offer recycling.  ::thehorror::

So, for the past 15 months, we’ve done everything we could continue going green and help reduce our carbon foot print, including:

Cloth Napkins - the environmentally friendly option

  • We compost as much as we can and use that beautiful, rich soil in our gardens;
  • We keep the thermostats set low in both the summer and the winter;
  • We added energy efficient fireplaces in all of the guest rooms;
  • We’ve eliminated the need for auxiliary window air conditioning units in the guest rooms;
  • We updated the washer and dryer to more energy efficient models;
  • We changed all the shower heads to be more water friendly;
  • We stock refillable, environmentally friendly luxury bath products in all of our guest rooms;
  • We keep a britta pitcher full in the fridge at all times and encourage guests to fill their water bottles; and
  • We’ve been loading up the recycling to recycle it ourselves.

For Christmas 2017, we got the best gift ever!  A garbage company that wasn’t servicing our area expanded.  They now service our area – so no more taking the recycling in ourselves.  Now, we just take it to the curb and they pick it up!

What does this mean for you, our guests?  Nothing really.  The garbage is all sorted for you – so all you need to do is what you have been.  But we’ve also added garbage can in the garage specifically for recycling if you want go green and take care of it yourself.

What other things do we do that benefit our guests, the environment and keep us moving forward on the going green path?

Vintage Finds available - yard art rather than landfil?

  • Indoor lights in public spaces are on timers; outdoor floodlights are on motion sensors
  • Use LED bulbs
  • Grow our own herbs, edible flowers and small vegetable garden
  • planted loads of fruits – figs, raspberries, strawberries & kiwi, researching the hardiest varieties for the area
  • Freeze or preserve food so it doesn’t go to waste
  • Recycle large glass bottles into craft projects – herb planters and candles to name a few
  • Shop at and support locally owned retailers
  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Re-use furniture – all of our antiques have been lovingly used by other generations
  • Donate to Goodwill and utilize services such as Craigslist and Freecycle. See and
  • Take re-usable bags to the grocery store
  • Pay bills online and receive e-statements
  • UL-certified power strips provided in guest rooms where needed
  • Windows and screens kept in good working order so we can open them on days when the temperatures are moderate
  • Guest rooms are individually cooled, therefore eliminating the need to cool rooms that are not in use
  • Ask guests to partner with us in our green efforts by re-using towels and sheets
  • We are currently looking into installing a rain barrel to collect runoff water for outdoor watering
  • Cloth napkins are used at the breakfast table

quilt line drying - doesn't get much greener than thatOur Green efforts continue as we find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly.  My personal favorite is using the clothesline – which I do with our personal laundry but am a bit hesitant to do with Carriage Corner’s laundry.  I’m worried about allergies and line dried sheets and towels.  So talk to me – how do you feel about freshly laundered linens blowing in the breeze?


#BookDirect with Carriage Corner

Gazebo at night

Wanna Get Away?  #BookDirect

So, you’re thinking about getting away – maybe for a weekend or even longer.  Or maybe you have to travel for business.  When you’re searching for a place to stay – whether it’s a bed and breakfast, a hotel or a guest house, where do you start your search?  Google? Bing? Yahoo?  #BookDirect for the best deal.

Here’s the scoop, it really doesn’t matter how you find the place you want to stay.  Most likely you will see the same results or very, very similar results everywhere you look. Why?

Expedia, Bookingdotcom, Tripadviser, AirBnB, Travelocity, the list goes on are all fighting for your lodging dollars. Why?

They make their money by charging a commission to the hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses that are listed on their websites. So the more rooms you (the guest)  book through Expedia, booking, travelocity, etc. the more money they make.

As a consumer, what does this mean for you when you book through one of these travel agencies?

  1. Best price?
  2. Wide variety?
  3. Easy to book and cancel?
  4. That’s what their ads all say, but are you sure?

Hotels, bed and breakfasts and Guest Houses want you to know that you will be getting the best lodging, in your ideal location at the best price by booking directly with the property.

#BookDirect. What does that mean for you? I can only speak for Carriage Corner, but these generally apply across the board:

  1. you will get the lowest available rates;
  2. you get perks, like loyalty nights with us and extras, like freshly baked cookies on arrival;
  3. special offers;
  4. your dietary concerns with be honored; and
  5. you will actually be communicating with us – the people who will check you in and fix your food.

#BookDirect Search ResultsSo, you’ve done your search and found your ideal place.  Now what?  #BookDirect  

You can make a reservation right where you are or #BookDirect with your ideal place by going to their website.  

Once you’ve found your ideal accommodation, simply type the name of the bed and breakfast, hotel or guest house into the search box to find THEIR website. Sounds easy enough, right?  However, what you will find is a list with the name of the hotel but with a link to expedia, bookingdotcom,etc.

Scroll down below all of those ads to find the name of the hotel. There may even be more places listed who do not use the travel sites.  And, if we’re doing things right, well, hopefully, we’ll be at the top of the list.

Why should you care?

Book on a travel site and you are their customer.  Need to cancel? It can be a challenge because the travel site is the middle man.  Our cancellation policy with the travel sites is basically – no cancellation.  Their policies are very limited and their options don’t align well with what we offer to our guests.  Want a refund? Well, you’re going to have to deal with the travel agency.  Change dates? if you can find your reservation, you might be able to change your dates.  But, if you are my guest, all you have to do is give me a call, send a text or email and if the dates are available, they’ll get moved.

#BookDirect with a property and you are their customer. Any changes are easily handled because you are their guest. You will find a place that values your business and wants you to return again and again.

What Is A Mud Sale?

vintage lawn game purchased at the Farmersville Mud SaleThis is a question we get asked often – what is a mud sale?  Are they selling mud?

The answer is no, they are not selling mud.  But you may be up to your knees in mud while attending one.

Mud Sales

A mud sale is basically a community fundraiser that supports the fire department.  In Lancaster County many of the fire departments are volunteer.  Over the years, they have figured out what does and doesn’t work to generate funds to support the fire department.  Mud Sales are the Giant Dahlia Quilt purchased at the Strasburg Mud Salething!  Because the mud sales start at the end of the Winter and many of the items are being auction off in the field, the fields can get quite muddy – hence the name.  Pro Tip:  Pack your wellies.

What Can You Buy at a Mud Sale?

I think a better question would be – what can’t you buy?  You can buy hand quilted Amish Quilts; furniture; buggies; horses; outdoor furniture; architectural elements and all manner of crafty items – from birdhouses to wooden flowers.   Pro Tip:  Know what you are looking for.

Beautiful wood swing purchased at the Strasburg Mud Sale


At each of the mud sales we attended last year – the Ladies Auxiliary was set up and selling food – coffee, water, donuts, and corn chowder to name a few of the items readily available.  Also, there were several food trucks on the premises so you don’t have to leave when you get hungry.

Things to Know

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about attending the Mud Sales last year and what we learned.  Hopefully it will help you too.  The Mud Sales 

Vintage sled and old cast iron pot bellied stove purchased at the Gordonville Mud Sale

Are Coming!


I posted the schedule through March on our Area Attractions page.

Book Your Stay

When you book your stay for one of the mud sales – let us know in the comments that’s what you’re coming in for.  We are offering a ‘grab & go’ breakfast for the people who want to get a jump start on the day.

We love going to the Mud Sales and look forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing your treasures!

Fire & Ice Festival

13th Annual Fire & Ice Festival

Fire & Ice Festival 2017


It’s not too early to make plans to shake off your cabin fever and attend the Fire & Ice Festival.  2018 is the thirteenth annual Fire & Ice Festival.  The schedule works out so that you can check into your room at Carriage Corner and then head over to Lititz to watch the ice being carved into amazing sculptures.  Last year (2017) we had both of our girls with us and our grand daughter too, the weather was a balmy 70 degrees and the ice was melting – fast!  There is no danger of that happening this year – so pack your long johns and layer up!

Once you’ve had your fill of watching the ice being carved, why not head over to Appalachian Brewing Company for dinner?  This is one of our favorite places to go.  The service is always excellent.  They have a good appetizer menu and we enjoy the beer.  After dinner, take the scenic drive back to Carriage Corner where you can enjoy fresh cookies and a cup of coffee in front of either the gas flame fire in the common room or the electric fire in your guest room.


Fire & Ice Festival - Ice Throne

Krystle, Eleanor & Jessica

After enjoying our filling hot breakfast – head back over the Lititz to wander around and see the finished ice sculptures.  Stand in line to sit in the ice throne (we’re looking forward to getting years of photos of Eleanor in the Ice Throne).

Options for lunch are plentiful:

  • eat at one of the many food trucks at the park;
  • enjoy the chili cook-off (the fire); or
  • stop into a local cafe.

Don’t forget there is also a carnival at Warwick High School from 11a – 3p.

The Fire is the Chili Cook – Off:

So, we’ve talked about the Ice, but what is the Fire part of the Fire & Ice Festival you ask?  Well, that would be the chili.  There is a chili cookoff that included chili from 20 different local chefs.  You do need an admission button to sample the chili at the chili cook off.  Buttons are $10 and should be purchased in advance at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill.

This year’s Fire & Ice Festival starts on Friday, February 16, 2018 – so plan to celebrate your Valentine in style with a beautiful weekend away, a fun festival that supports the local community and some good food.  Call 717-768-3059 to book your room now!  We can’t wait to meet you and hear about your weekend at the festival.  Maybe we’ll bump into you while we’re waiting to get Eleanor’s 2018 Ice Throne photo!

What Are You Interested in Reading?

Happy 2018!!

Carriage Corner Blog Posts

Lancaster County B&B Blogs

We have our first full year behind us and are looking forward to the next one.  With that in mind, I’m interested in knowing what you are looking for in a Lancaster County B&B Blogs.  Do you read them?  Or do you just look at the room pictures, click the book now button and either make your reservation or move on?

I thought I would take this opportunity to ask you  – our guests – past, present and potential – what it is you’d like to see on this blog?  Are you looking for 5 fun things to do on Friday Night in Intercourse?  Or maybe you want to be kept up to date on the Mud Sale Schedule?  I can do more of that.

I’ve been doing some research.  And by research – I mean reading other Lancaster County B&B Blogs!  There are a couple that I’ve come across that end each blog post with a sales pitch – they detail a room and tell you why you’d like that one.  I don’t care for that format – seems a bit pushy and I’ve never been the ‘hard sales’ type.  But maybe you like that.   There are couple that I’ve come across that post so sporadically, you’d never think to go look for a new post.  I’m trying to post weekly and let you know via our facebook page when the post is live.  Finally – there are the B&B Blogs that share funny stories about guests, but absolutely nothing personal about themselves.  Again – not my favorite – I’d rather share something about us and build a sense of community.

I’ve been trying to utilize the following monthly format:

  • upcoming events;
  • something crafty (that’s for me);
  • 5 best things; and
  • a recipe

But what I’d really like to know is this:

  • Are you reading the blog – what are you looking for?
  • What frequency do you want to see blog posts?
  • Are you interested in the crafts or recipes or only the upcoming events and 5 best places for ice cream posts?

Talk back to me – please.  I really do want to know.

The Mud Sales Are Coming!

Furniture finds at the Mud Sales

We bought this beautiful piece of furniture which now holds the coffee and snacks

Do you know about the Mud Sales?

Mud Sales are a Lancaster County “Thing” and a pretty big thing too.  Every weekend from the end of February straight through to early April there is a mud sale somewhere in Lancaster County.  Each community fire department has a mud sale where people bring items to auction off.  Think high end garage sale – you can find antiques, hand-made quilts, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, sewing machines, buggies, food and even horses!  If you are looking for it – it can be found at a Lancaster County Mud Sale!

Tips to help you enjoy the Mud Sales

Last year was our first year in Lancaster County and our first experience at Mud Sales.  We have some tips:

  • Go early – either the day before or prior to the start of the sale to get your bidder number and have a little look around
  • Know your spending limits – mud sales are auctions and it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all
  • Have a shopping list in mind – if you only need a sled to decorate for the holidays – look at the sleds and not the swings 🙂
More Mud Sale finds you can't live without

I loved this set of metal wash bins

Schedule of the February and March Mud Sales

I’ve put an asterisk* by the sales we attended.

  • Strasburg Spring Mud Sale* – February 24, 2018
  • Bart Township Mud Sale – March 3, 2018
  • Gordonville Spring Mud Sale* – March 10, 2018
  • Airville Fire Co. Spring Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • West Earl Fire Company Mud Sale – March 17, 2018
  • Farmersville Mud Sale* – March 22, 2018
  • Gap Fire Company Mud Sale – March 24, 2018

Honestly – Farmersville was our favorite of the bunch.  It was smaller and in the evening.  But Strasburg was amazing and Gordonville is huge and very well known.


Short video of a Mud Sale Auction

Tips for attending:


  • Dress warmly – you never know what the weather will be
  • Bring your checkbook – most of the fire departments will take a personal check and many will add a surcharge for using a credit card
  • Stay someplace where you can get a good hot breakfast to keep you going all day.  We will be offering a hearty grab and go hot breakfast during mud sale season
  • Book your room early – the mud sales are very popular and people come from far away to attend.  Last year we met people from New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky during the mud sales.

Holiday Table

Holiday Dishes at Carriage CornerAs I set the holiday table again – I think about tablescapes and how to make the table really visually interesting.  For me – simple is better.  I find if I try to do too much – it all goes south pretty quickly.  So, some pretty placemats and a beautiful napkin along with sparkling china and the table is ready to go.  But – I really, really needed some holiday china to really set the perfect holiday table.

My love of beautiful china runs deep.  If you’ve ever stayed with us – you may have noticed the wall of china in the office.  There are 7 sets of china in the office and 2 more in the kitchen.  In all honesty – they all get used and rotated through pretty regularly.  That being said, I’m pretty sure I’ve acquired the last set of china that I’m going to for some time.  My latest purchase was the holiday china –  I searched and searched and searched finally settling on Pfaltzgraff Winterberry.  See, while I’ve wanted holiday dishes for a long time – I didn’t want something that screamed Christmas, I actually wanted something that could be used from Thanksgiving through February – if I wanted.

These dishes are just the ticket for a beautiful holiday table that can be dressed up or down.  They come in many different shapes – round, oval and square.  You can get plates with sayings on them or pictures in the middle – like is shown here.  You’ll see what I ended up with a little bit further down in the post.

Along with the plates – I also added some new green placemats and napkins and red placemats to the cupboard that holds those things.  The red placemats work really wellWhite China with tree napkins make a beautiful Holiday Table with the tree napkins that I made last year for our holiday table.  I’ve also added some beautiful red fruit bowls.  We’ll used the dishes and placemats right through until February – but the napkins will be retired at the end of December for another year.

If you are interested in knowing how I made the napkins – hop on over to my personal blog for the details.

We look forward to having you join us at our holiday table and have a couple of special offers going on to help entice you to do so.  During the month of December, book a 2-night stay and receive 25% off your stay – you can either book directly (use code Happy Holidays) or give us a jingle at 717-768-3059 and we’ll be happy to make the reservation for you.  We also have our Winter Rates in effect from January through March – some exclusions apply (like holiday weekends).  There is no code necessary, the rates have already been adjusted.  Finally, did you know that we sell gift certificates?  These can be purchased in any amount or for a specific weekend – again – give us a call and we’ll take care of getting the gift certificate right.


Square Winterberry plates with ruby red bowls make a holiday table that's good through February


Christmas Candy That Will Make You A Hero

Most people spend a day or more making Christmas Cookies – but in our house we make Christmas Candy.  It’s all gluten free and everyone can sample and enjoy it.  And because both of the recipes for Christmas Candy that I’m sharing contain almonds – they’re basically totally healthy – right?

My warning to you with the Burnt Sugar Almonds is this:  Beware of Traditions That You Start.

Years ago, I stumbled upon the recipe for Burnt Sugar Almonds over at Pioneer Woman.  That year, I made about 4 cups of Almonds – I packed them up pretty and gave them to the neighbors with their Christmas Cards.  The next year, I made about 10 cups of almonds and gave them away to my co-workers.  The third year, I wanted to do something different – but everyone wanted to almonds – with the exception of last year (our first year in Pennsylvania) I’ve made close to 20 cups of almonds annually since that third year.  They aren’t hard to make – but if you don’t want to be making them year after year – don’t start 😉

In our house, we find Burnt Sugar Almonds to be like potato chips – bet you can’t eat just one.  This is how I make mine:

sugared almonds

I think – you should be able to click on the recipe and print it.  At least I hope so.  I also want to share the Lavender Lemon Bark that I made for the Belsnickle Tour.  We had almost 200 people through the Bed and Breakfast last weekend and it was so much fun.  Meeting new people, finding out what they were doing for the holidays and sharing our home and Christmas Candy.

Lavender Lemon Christmas Candy

So – I’m going to try and make all the recipes printable from now on.   During our downtime this year – I’ll go back and edit the previous recipes.  I’d love your feed back on the layout of the recipes.

If you make either of these recipes – I’d love to hear how they turned out.  Happy Holidays everyone.

5 Things to Do in Intercourse on a December Friday

Looking for things to do on a Friday night in Intercourse?  This little town can be a little sleepy.  Most of the year the sidewalks roll up around 6p, sometimes even earlier.  BUT during December – Intercourse comes alive on a Friday Night.  Here’s a quick list of 5 things to do on any given Friday in December:

Friday Night knitting in Intercourse - yarns


  1.  Shop at Kitchen Kettle – Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Kitchen Kettle Stays open until 9pm on Fridays.  Giving you more time to stroll through the Village and find that perfect gift.
  2. Drop into Lancaster Yarn Shop – they really are your LocalYarnShop even if you aren’t local.  On Fridays during December there is Open Knitting – working on holiday projects and need some time away from the family to get them done?  Now’s the time.  This is a wonderful group of women who are incredibly warm, inviting and helpful.  You’ll find all the support you need to complete your project in time.
  3. Head over to the Corner Coffee Shop – between 7-9p the Corner Coffee Shop has live music.  If the weather is nice, the performance will be outside on their patio which is decorated for holidays.
  4. Do a little Christmas Shopping at The Treasure Place – this is truly one of my favorite shops in Intercourse.  If you’ve stayed with us – you’ve most likely seen my ‘collection’ of farm animal paintings – well, they all came from The Treasure Place.  I adore their re-purposed furniture and am constantly inspired by their room displays.  AND
  5. Work on a holiday puzzle at Carriage Corner Bed & Breakfast.  During the month of December the puzzle will have a holiday theme to it.




So Grateful for You, Our Guests

Today, on Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Jay & I wanted to take a moment and share with you just how grateful we are for you – our Guests.

Without you coming to stay with us, sharing your stories and your vacation time with us – well we couldn’t do this.  We know you have many choices on where you spend your hard earned dollars and your precious vacation time and we truly do appreciate you choosing to stay with us.  Our lives are richer because of you.

Thank you.  We look forward to seeing you again in the coming year.  Hearing about your life, your kids and grandkids and your travels.

Happy Thanksgiving and may the upcoming Holiday Season fill you with peace, joy and much love ~~ Jay & Gaylen