get carey-ed away

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How To Series...Creating a Cozy Bedroom

So...I'm taking a quick break from blogging an actual story and writing another post in the "How to Series"...and what better room to "cozy" up going into the cold winter months than your bedroom. Of course everyone has a different budget, space, and style to work with and all of those must be taken into consideration. So while I use my personal space as an intent is for you to use the tips to "cozy up" and reinvent your bedroom.
the pictures are a little dark, they were all taken late night...when I had time to do it :)
As I've mentioned before I am not living in my dream house, yet...but I'm a firm believer that you can make any house a home by using your own personal touch to make it a comfortable place to live.  At the moment our bedroom is on the third floor in a finished attic, a space that definitely has some
built in character, again not all character I would build into my dream space, but some details that I could work with. Some spaces require you being creative in adding character, and then some have so much you have to figure out how to make it all work.
...and excuse the plastic on the windows...those windows are cute but drafty :)

I am not an expert...I would say "projects" are a hobby that I enjoy when I have time to pursue them. I enjoy browsing websites, magazines and watching the occasional late night HGTV show, mostly to collect ideas for that eventual dream house, but after taking a peek I've noticed a few key elements that seem to be a common thread in creating a cozy bedroom. So here it goes...

1. EMBRACE MINIMALISM- this may seem hypocritical when you see some of my pictures...because my bedroom is quite full. But in general, free it of clutter, not just the floor, but the walls too. Choose one or two pieces of art and apply a "less" is more approach to furnishing also. Bigger rooms can handle larger scale furniture, but if you have a small space, scaling down the size and pieces of furniture will make the room seem larger.
the space under your bed can be great for storage. in  this case
with this bed frame the area is exposed, so i used
cute boxes, etc.

2. PLUSHNESS PLUNGE- plush bedding is key. There is nothing better than sinking into a cozy, comfortable bed. Spring and summer are great times to purchase down comforters and feather beds on sale. I personally like to mix and match bedding as well and am a big fan of pillows, even if you do have to move them at night (I know most guys don't understand this, but they'll get over it). If you purchase a comforter that you can cover with a duvet, you can change the duvet to give it a different look very easily.

3. NOTEWORTHY NIGHT STAND- having a place to rest your glass of water or favorite book is key to your overall comfort and relaxation. There's a plethora of items you could actually use to create a night stand...actual nightstands (could refurbish one with a coat of paint), stools, old chest, vintage suitcases stacked, small chest of drawers, etc.

4. LET THERE BE LIGHT- natural sunlight is amazing during the day, but dimmed mood lighting is essential at night. You could replace your switch with a dimmer, or using lamps is also a great way to add subtle light at night.
this lamp was cute...but by adding a few buttons
now it's "me" :)

5. SCENT-SATIONAL- candles add a warm glow and pleasant scent. You could also use linen sprays (lavender is a great choice) to keep sheets fresh.

6. TAKE A SEAT- if you have the space, having a small side chair, a bench or ottoman is convenient when putting on socks and shoes etc. If there is room, creating a sitting area for reading, relaxing (downside...a place to throw clothes) can be a nice addition to a bedroom.

7. USE ACCESSORIES THAT TELL A STORY- personalize your space with "baubles", but not junk (in my mind there is a difference :), that personalize the room to you and your personality. Look for lamps, vases, books, pictures frames etc. that add some fun.

8. WARM UP THE HARDWOOD- if you have hardwood floors, rugs are essential in a bedroom. As you can see I've used a variety of different rugs and carpets, which help to divide the room considering it is used as a "closet" as well, plus it keeps your toes from freezing especially in the winter months :)
china closet turned armoire

sewing storage turned into accessory storage!
9. TID-BITS- you can totally change and update the look of a dresser by painting it or by simply changing the hardware. Get creative with how you use your furniture. I have a china closet that was given to me that was meant to hold dishes, but instead for now it hold clothes and jewelry :) I also found an old piece that I believe was used for storing sewing supplies, but I "reinvented" it and now use it to store jewelry and clutches.

10. ENJOY- whether you like the more matchy- match approach or the random eclectic style...there are truly simple fixes/touches you can add to your space to make it cozy and a place to actually relax and enjoy.
i love perfume...and i equally love the bottles!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"The Adventures of Dot & Hazel"

To be honest, this summer was kind of a blur.  I didn't write or record some of my "stories" when I should have, while they were fresh in my memory, but now onto shorter nights and cooler days I figured I would try to "catch up" while sitting at my desk by the crackling fire.

On August 4th, my day began with the "Adventures of Dot & Hazel" it's not a book or reality series, it probably could be...but it was the chance to chauffeur my Grammy and her bff around town through all the "traffic", considering the bustling metropolis that Lancaster is,  to do some shopping.

Dorothy Louise, or as most know her...Dot, is my Grammy.  She's quite the lady, and well because she's my Grammy I've had the privilege of knowing her my entire life :) When I was born we only lived about 500 yards down the street, and today her and Pappy live with my parents in the "North Wing" as we like to call it.  So she's always been close by, and not just in physical proximity, but in my heart too. She is what every kid would want in a "Grammy".  She put in a swimming pool...just for us, gave us piles of Christmas presents every year, brought M&M's in little containers to church for us every Sunday, always took us school shopping, had the best attic in the world to sleep in and most importantly always loved us and supported us from the minute we started breathing to today 33 years later. Grammy is an entrepreneur at heart, and cutting edge in every way. YEARS ago she started a workout facility in her basement. Let me assure you  that was WAY before working out was even common, especially among women, and today in 2011 she has a Facebook profile...hello!  She keeps everything, including receipts from 1960 and has a list of every expense from my mother's wedding. And let's not forget that when she bought a farm, subdivided it into lots, and was required to put two roads in...the first road was named none other than, CAREY DRIVE, after her firstborn granddaughter, me :) In my opinion, she is a living legend.

And then there is Hazel...who is Grammy's best friend.  I, of course, don't know Hazel as well because she's not my Grammy...but anyone that is Grammy's friend is my friend.  Considering that Grammy and Hazel met over 40 years ago...Hazel has been a part of my life as long as I can remember as well. I do have fond memories of visiting her at the A&P grocery store, where she worked in the deli for YEARS, and was mighty good at handing out samples to hungry children :) But as far as their history... they met while selling Tupperware and told me that although there were a bunch of ladies that they worked with they seemed to just "click" and have been "besties" every since :)  And they weren't just your average, run of mill, Tupperware saleswomen that happened to become best friends...they were butt-kicking, hardworking, sales skyrocketing Tupperware divas that both earned 2-3 complimentary station wagons, while working with Tupperware based on their excellent sales performance.  And if you met them, you wouldn't be surprised. They still have that spark in their eye, a smile on their face, and a spirit that speaks, "I can get things done".  Let me prove my point...

My adventure with them was on a hot summer day during a week that Hazel and her husband Johnny came from North Carolina for a visit.  The day after our little shopping hiatus, Grammy and Hazel participated in "CORN DAY" (a day where you husk, desilk, and prepare hundreds of ears of corn to be frozen) from dawn till dusk. But back to our shopping day... they arrived at my house around 10 am. Grammy was willing to drive that far because she could take all back roads, but driving on Route 30? Oh, just forget it.  In her world, it's practically the Audubon.  As they rolled out of the Buick, I sensed right away they were ready for action.  When you are dressed in capris and out...the shopping is going to get down right crazy. And while I didn't participate in the sneaker wearing, I did put on a pair of flats in preparation to keep up with my older, more wiser, shopping buddies and made sure to have the trunk completely emptied. 

We hopped in my car and cruised a few miles down the road.  Today's shopping tour was headed to the Christmas Tree Shop, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and of course Costco. Much to my surprise Kohl's was not on the destination list, but that was only because there weren't any 30%off  coupons to be used and plus they both agreed that they were too old to buy more clothes.  Now that didn't stop them the day before...haha...but today's shopping list did not include any new attire. 

We made out well at Christmas Tree Shop...I mean you could be looking for absolutely NOTHING and still find a minimum of $75.00 worth of merchandise to buy. Why do I say $75.00? Oh, totally from first hand experience. I don't know that I've ever left that store spending less.  Of course Grammy bought a pillow chair that Hazel scolded her for immediately upon putting it in her cart, because she had one just like it that she had just given to Goodwill.  Goodness gracious, she could have saved herself a whole $12.00 if she would have known she would have used it.  

Hazel & Dot (Grammy)

I could have predicted exactly how this lunch would go...and sure enough it went just as I thought.  They both ordered Pepsi...they could be the "poster children" for Pepsi and the game of Dominoes. Surely both would be more popular after their endorsement.  Grammy asked Hazel what she was ordering, and Hazel asked Grammy what she had decided on.  In the end they did what best friends, especially ones that were raised by parents who were products of the "Great Depression" do, and that's each order a bowl of soup and split a sandwich. We chatted and laughed and I got a refresher course on how they met and became the best of friends.  As I sat there and thought about each of them, their lives and their friendship I realized that true friends absolutely know the value of simple memories. Their friendship had never been based on extravagant experiences, but those of real life...where you need real friends. It was based not on one BIG thing, but on a million little things.  Of course they fought over the bill, I knew there was definitely NO POINT in me even offering to chip in...and to tell you the truth I kind of forget who won that battle...I think it was Hazel, but only because Grammy had paid for yesterdays lunch :)

Our last stop was Costco...the superstore phenomenon. The place that is constantly busy, sells everything from sausage to stereos, locks up their diapers and formula, makes you show ID to purchase, and sells the cheapest, tastiest frozen yogurt on earth.  Oh, and don't let me forget a special feature at our Lancaster Costco location...private horse and buggy tie-up post for our Amish Costco customers.  It's amazing how they fit those 2 ton bags of...well anything, in those buggies.  Grammy and Hazel love shopping for food, it's a hobby, it's an art form to them.  They figure out the best deals, the price per ounce, and know secrets like how to pick the pasta salad from the very back of the refrigerated case because THAT would be the freshest. Makes sense...but who had time to think about these things? Not I...not until my brief tutorial from the grocery connoisseurs. Upon arrival they decided only one cart was necessary, but about half way through our Costco journey they decided they both needed something to lean on while walking, so naturally they shared.  Hazel on the left side of the cart handle and Grammy on the right.  It was the perfect picture of friendship...if it had been used in one of those inspirational pictures series, the quote would have read, "Friends that push a cart, will never part".

...and that about wrapped up the shopping adventure. But I was left with more than a few purchases from the Christmas Tree Shop and a belly full of potato soup...I was reminded that when you find a friend that you "click" with...keep things "clicking" no matter how old, how many miles separate you, or how much life may try to get in the way.  Because as Robert Brault says, "Most of us don't need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with." 

Oh, how true...oh, how sweet...oh, what a gift a friend really is.  Thank you Grammy and Hazel for living out true friendship. I love you both.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Natural Highs & Simple Pleasures...

Years ago in my parents basement I set up a study space. The walls were unfinished, the floors were bare, but I spent hours in that little cave, studying, writing papers, and believe it or not composing some of my first e-mails...isn't that crazy? Dial- up...what a nightmare. I covered the walls with pictures, quotes, cards, and I distinctly remember having a list posted that I made called "Natural Highs". I wish I still had that list, because I wonder if many of the things listed would be the same today. As I was driving today, pondering on "life" I remembered making that list...and decided to sit down and sketch out a new one. This time on a blog, not handwritten on a piece of paper :) I assume many of the "Natural Highs", or maybe you prefer the term "Simple Pleasures", will mirror those of yesteryear, but some will be new additions...considering they didn't exist in my world years ago, and of course some will be from first hand experience, and some will be in anticipation of the those things that are yet to come.
I know this won't be all inclusive...that's impossible, because truly life is the gift that keeps on giving, and of course I would love to hear some of yours too :)
Sunrises. Sunsets. The ocean. A kiss on the top of your head. Christmas, and it's true meaning. Candles. Sweet Tea. A toasty fire. Tubing downstream. Driving with the windows down. Hoodies. Snowfall. Looking at old pictures. Being silly. Laughing. Crying because you're so happy. Watching someone sleep. Waterfalls. Having your hair washed. Heated seats. Pizza. An unexpected card. Warm towels from the dryer. New sneakers. Running in the rain. Songs that bring back memories. Smiling at a stranger. A child's enthusiastic greeting. Costco. Reading a good book. Sitting out under the stars. Beach cottages. Coffee. Crossing things off your list. The perfect pair of jeans. Hot showers. Winks. Coming home. Down comforters. Random acts of kindness. Laughing. Unconditional love. Handwritten letters. Thunderstorms. Forgiveness. Clean sheets. Being told your beautiful. The Fray. A good sweat. Traveling. Jumping in puddles. Convertibles. Cookies right out of the oven. Family. Old friends. New friends. A perfect parking spot. Fine dining. Quaint shops. Hitting snooze. An unexpected visit. English muffins with lots of butter. Singing in the shower. Car washes. Accomplishing. Fresh flowers. A gentle stroke on your face. Seeing new places. Chocolate. Strawberries. Chocolate covered strawberries. Babies. Picnics. Reruns. Boating. A little black dress. To know you are not alone. A suntan. Waking up with a smile on your face. Bubble baths. "Heart to hearts". Being organized. Driving fast. Jumping in leaves. Candlelight. A chilly breeze. Eating a spoon of peanut butter. Fresh mulch. That "look" in someone's eyes. Family dinner. Farmers markets. Soft pajamas. Finding money in your pocket. Going to bed knowing you don't have to get up at any certain time. Long walks. Learning something new. Long hugs where you can feel something more than just the hug. Going to dad and mom's. Knowing God is in control. People watching. Celebrating the success of others. Good memories. Giving anonymously. Old journals. Cuddling up. Christmas Eve. Finding the perfect gift. Going out for breakfast. Making something "old", "new". New York City. Music that makes you tear up. Snow angels. iphone. Random "bump-ins". A bowl of your favorite cereal. Grammy's mashed potatoes and homemade noodles. A familiar voice. Being a big sister. Keeping your promises. Being real. Having no regrets. Dry cleaning. Disney World. Going harder than you thought you could. Men's cologne. Flower gardens. Inside jokes. Picnics. Hot Air Balloons. Decorating. The smell of leather. A good deal. Baseball hats. Compliments. Afternoon naps. Broadway shows. A slow kiss. The smell of a baby. Blueberry pancakes with hot syrrup. Chandeliers. Fresh highlights. Uggs. Fresh squeezed orange juice. Children laughing. Birthday parties. Having a friend that when together silence isn't awkward. Dimples. The perfect outfit. Roses. Loving people more than they thought possible. Costume jewelry. Slippers. Windowboxes. Cashmere. Porch swings...
and I could go on, and on, and on...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ode to the Fair...

It's know how I know?  The Lampeter Fair was held this week.  Honestly,  I have not visited the fair for years, but now living just a few miles down the road on "the" Lampeter Road itself, I thought it was only appropriate as a full fledged Lampeter "local" to support the cause and take a trip down memory lane all at the same time. 

The picture at the top I actually took for the
school newspaper, at the New Holland Fair :) and
that's me in the my high waisted trousers :)

The fair was always a highlight of our return to high school in the fall.  You bundled up in your well planned outfit that you had thought through during 7th period study hall, and as a freshman had your mom drop you off, or as a senior tried to snag a ride with the boy that had your heart a fluttering. You went to see your friends, period. Not the cows, not the tractors, not the fair queens...well and maybe to eat a funnel cake or two (after hockey practice or a cross country race you could handle such a high caloric intake) Sometimes you even ran into a teacher who you only casually acknowledged because you weren't even sure it was them considering they were in jeans a sweatshirt and not standing behind an overhead projector reviewing Geometry quiz answers. 

Remember how I mentioned hockey practice? 
That's me #21...
I chuckled as I thought about how so many things were the same and yet everything was different. 15 years later, I parked my own car, that I drove by myself and over donated for parking because the lady was either lying or brilliant in saying she didn't have change for a twenty.  I hadn't spent more than about 5 minutes deciding what to throw on, and who was I kidding as a gal that's 17 weeks pregnant my main goal was to get my hands on a bowl of chicken corn soup and a chocolate milkshake, and so I  made my way through mushy fields towards the bright lights and the familiar fair smells of funnel cakes and pig stalls.    
My BFF from the past that I ran into...well that's her
and I shaving our legs together :)

I knew the fair would not be without familiar faces, some from the past, some from the present and 5 minutes upon my arrival I ran into the gal I sat beside for both years of homeroom in middle school.  We didn't exchange news about what was happening in sections G-71 or B-74...but I commented on her kids and she asked as everyone does how growing a human was going.  And of course after honestly telling her I had felt perfect since the get go...I got the common response of any woman that has ever experienced perpetual nausea during their pregnancy..."I hate you"...I mean she tagged on "just sayin" afterwards...but we all know that's just code for "I know I shouldn't be saying this right now, but it's how I really feel, but if I say just sayin it makes it seem more kosher".  I understood of course, it hadn't been the first time I had felt the "hate" after sharing my pleasant experience thus far.  The blast from the past continued when I saw my BFF from middle school searching for a place to sit to feed her army of children (4 with one on a way to be exact) You go girl!  It was was one of the first times I did that thing where you try to explain to the "kids" how you knew each other when we were "their age".  Of course they are clueless and could care less...but it just feels as though it's something you must explain. Eventually her parents arrived as well, which only added to the hugs and reminiscing.  Later I bumped into faces from the present, Robin and Ginny...the gals from my hair salon, and then my pastor and his wife who were once students in the same hallways as me back in those high school days.  I never dreamed, and I'm sure they didn't either at the time, that I'd be seeing them on Sunday at church as a member of their congregation...haha! 

 Although the food concessions looked more like a mosh pit than a food line I knew the homemade soup and milkshake would be worth the wait, but it's not an easy task to eat soup and hold a milkshake all while standing so I politely smiled at a very large, unhappy looking older woman that seemed very content to have the bench all to herself, in hopes she would let me squeeze a cheek beside her. And truth be told, one cheek is about all I managed to get on with the space she so kindly made for me. But it was a place to sit and as I proceeded to burn my tongue on the soup I sat back and watched.  Yep, things change, and then in some ways they will always be the same...

Groups of boys gathered while 2 or 3 girls approached just praying they would give them the time of day...this is one of those things that will never change.  Boys that age...they try to act like the are more into their friends...all the while hoping their Justin Beiber do and their Abercrombie gear is looking fly, although it was feathered hair and rolled jeans back about 15 years ago.  Of course then there are the high schoolers who are now officially "going out" least until homecoming is over and are sucking face around the corner of the produce tent (true story...I happened upon one of these last night)  And at the fair you of course have the plethora of adults...the mom sportin' the nine west heeled boots that are sinking further every second, her flowered headband and plaid poncho...all while pushing her daughter her all time best "accessory" in a matching outfit... to the other gal also pushing a stroller but wearing a belly shirt, jeans and smoking a cigarette. You then see  the cool dads that are sporting Abercrombie too and looking for their mini-me's and the ones that broke out their old FFA jacket and over sized belt buckle in support of their 3 year old that had entered the tractor racing contest. 
My senior picture, circa 1996

But because I wasn't going to a party later, or spending the night at a friends...I decided by 8:00 to call it a night and head home, not without a flood of good memories, good food, and just a good feeling that every phase of life is precious.  As I exited through the last tent I was approached by a vendor. It topped off the entire night.  She asked, "Do you still live at home...or do you happen to pay an electric bill?"  I started laughing...and she looked a little perplexed. I didn't' bother to explain my chuckles, I just gave her the answer she was looking for, "Yes".  I don't know that I'll use her electric "dealeo"...but I certainly will take her question as a compliment. Nope, I'm not a student living at home. I'm a pregnant 33 year old lady that married one of the boys I followed at the fair 15 years ago and just managed to look a little younger after slathering my $200 face cream on before arriving and wearing a baseball cap that night. 

Only in Lancaster County. Only during fair season...yep, it's officially FALL :)

...and 15 years later...a few more lines...but a lot more wise :)