January 2015

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As part of our #ReadWithYourChild campaign, book drive and raffle to develop strong, young readers who are passionate about learning, we are excited to share ten fun and interactive ways to make reading with your child an effective and enjoyable experience.

  1. Bring the characters within your favorite books to life by creating distinct voices for each of them. Use tone, volume and pace when speaking to express emotion.
  2. Take breaks from reading word-for-word to pay attention to illustrations. Ask your child questions about what is happening in the picture, who is in the picture and to share details such as colors, sizes and shapes from the image. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”- Chinese Proverb
  3. Connect what you are reading to the world around you. For example, read books about nature at the park and/or books about animals at the zoo. This will allow your child to make a connection between the book’s description of the object(s) and the physical object(s) itself.
  4. Use nonverbal communication while reading to express ideas. Hand motions and body movements act as great visuals to help your child understand and remember the story. For instance, if a character in the story is running, you and your child can hold your arms in the shape of a right angle and swing them forward and back as if you were jogging.
  5. Sing! Pick a tune from one of your child’s or your own favorite nursery rhymes and turn the story you are reading into a song; the melody and repetition will help your child learn the material and retain it.
  6. Most little ones have one book that they could read all day long and still love with all of their heart. With all of this repetition, your child is likely to have parts of the book memorized. Use this as a tool to get them involved in the reading process and to build their confidence. Start by reading the first part of the sentence and then pause at the part your child knows to let them fill in the blank.
  7. Sit down with your kiddo to read, but just listen. Let your child use their imagination to tell the story from start to finish on their own.
  8. Make reading a family affair by encouraging all members of the family to read with your kiddo(s). This will allow everyone to express their personality, share their favorite books and learn from one another.
  9. Kids are like sponges, they will soak up everything they see you say and do. Set a positive example by making time for yourself to read daily and by keeping reading material throughout the house.
  10. Engage with the community and discover new reads by attending story-time programs at your local library or bookstore.

There’s still time to donate books for our book drive and get entered into a raffle to win 1 of 6 Amazon gift cards. Click here for all the details!

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Show Winter Blahs the Door: FREE Winter Activities!

by Shea Homes Colorado on January 30, 2015


If winter seems to be stretching on a bit too long for your taste, maybe it’s time to shake up your routine. And don’t worry about breaking those “spend less” resolutions just yet, as all of the boredom-busting suggestions below cost absolutely nothing.

Free Day at Four Mile Historic Park-Feb. 6, noon-4pm
Travel back to 1859 at this Denver landmark, where you’ll pan for gold, tour the city’s oldest structure, meet many farm animals, and enjoy a snapshot of frontier life. Learn more.










Denver Mint-Every Monday through Thursday, 8am-3:30pm
Take a free, 45-minute guided tour to learn about the history of the United States Mint and the craftsmanship required at all stages of the minting process, from original designs and sculptures to the actual striking of the coins. And don’t miss the gift shop for unique memorabilia. Reservations required.
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5 Party Tips that Make all the Difference

by Shea Homes on January 28, 2015

5-party-tips-to-make-a-differenceThe Sunday of all Sundays is finally almost here! Competition is heating up with the possibility of sweet victory or tragic defeat in the air.  The Big Game takes on many meanings; for die-hard football fans, this is the moment they have been waiting for all year – cheering, superstitious rituals, high-fives, tribal-like chants, money won, money lost and so on. For the more casual viewer, the big game is an excuse to throw a party for family and friends, eat sinfully delicious game food, and sneak in a drink (or two) before 5pm! Whether your guests are football fanatics or are tuning in to catch the commercials, we’re sharing five party tips to satisfy all ends of the fan spectrum.

1) DIY decorations that score!

Get your game face on with DIY decor that scores big on savings. Give your home a classy, yet sporty look with easy-to-make football inspired triangle garlands like these:

For garlands with letters, you can opt to practice good sportsmanship with a neutral message like “The Big Game” or crank up the competition with team names: “Go _______!”

Football party snack boxes serve as a festive decoration, but also function as bowls for popcorn, chips, crackers and other snacks. Guests can sit back on the couch with their snack box and munch away without the burden of reaching across the table (or more importantly, spilling on your upholstery!). If you run out of time to make all the boxes yourself, buy some brown paper bags and provide markers for guests to decorate their own! Not to mention, DIY snack boxes make an easy and fun arts & craft activity to keep the little ones busy during the game.

Our last decorating tip can be summed up in three words – Astroturf, Astroturf, Astroturf! Astroturf is cost effective, convenient (just pick it up at your local hardware store), and can function as drink coozies, coasters and even a table runner. Who would have thought?


2) Tips for guests who could care less about football

If you’re not a football fanatic, etiquette tip #1 is to downplay your lack of interest in the game (tweet this!)– no one likes a party pooper! Game day offers plenty of peripheral perks to keep everyone entertained (commercials, anyone?). As the game progresses, the die-hards naturally divide from the party goers, so in the spirit of the game, pick a team (no judgment if your decision is based on the color of the uniforms)! When the competition gets too heated for you, the kitchen is always a safe gathering spot for those seeking relaxed conversation and a break from the intensity of the game. Because food always becomes the main draw at any party, prepare a dish or two that stands out from the football finger food – like these quinoa stuffed peppers we found on Cooking Quinoa. Your guests who need a football distraction will thank you!


If you are worried about being bored or isolated from all the sports talk, bring a friend. The more the merrier!


3) Games to get everyone in the competitive spirit

It’s always fun to heighten the excitement of the game with some friendly competition off the field. The classic betting pool is a simple way to raise the stakes and get everyone invested in the outcome of the game. If throwing down money isn’t your thing, consider betting chores or favors!

Game day commercials are always a party hit. Create numbered commercial rating cards for guests to rate commercials in real time and stir up the chatter, or try a game of commercial bingo. We’ve created bingo cards here for you to print out!

Big-Game-Commercial-Bingo(click here to download and print bingo cards)

If planning ahead is not your thing, create an ad hoc game. Pick a word like “football” or “referee” that guests are not allowed to say throughout the game. If they do, create a penalty, such as wearing the opposing team’s jersey!


4) Easy game day recipes

As the game goes on, guests will need to take out their nervousness and excitement by munching on snacks. When entertaining guests, the typical hostess-with-the-mostess might opt for more glamorous gourmet, but on football Sunday, finger food is completely suitable and almost expected.

Game day guacamole is a sure way to score a touchdown with your guests – especially with this recipe from Gimme Some Oven. Let your culinary creativity shine by turning your guacamole staple into a stadium inspired dip station!


There are several ways to prepare your game day grub ahead of time as well. Crockpot chili and jalapeno poppers are always crowd favorites!

Finally, dessert always sweetens a victory…or defeat. We love the idea of this cupcake and beer pairing (just remember to label which cupcakes are for the adults)!


5) Last but not least – stock up with plenty of beverages!

If you ignore all other tips, stick to #5 to ensure your guests a great time no matter what by providing an abundance of brews.  Create a self-serve drink station by filling a silver trough with bottles of beer and wine, in addition to plenty of soda and water.

As long as it’s filled, even a cooler full of drinks will suffice!

Your party should have a relaxed and welcoming feel, so your guests feel at home in your home.  The number one tip when it comes to THE football Sunday of football Sundays is to keep it casual and have fun! Because like football….

How are you celebrating? Leave us a comment with your party tips!

Throwing parties and fun get togethers is always a great time, especially in a home you can call your own.  If you’re interested in owning a new home, come learn more about the variety of new homes from Shea Homes in these following locations:


Bay Area, CA
Central Coast, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
Palm Springs, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Diego, CA


Seattle, WA
Las Vegas, NV
Phoenix, AZ
Houston TX
Denver, CO


Central Florida
Northern Virginia
Charlotte, NC
Greensboro, NC
York-Lancaster, SC



Open Houses with a Charity Twist!

by Kayla Kody on January 27, 2015

Shea Homes Charlotte Charity Donations

What’s better than a Catered Open House? A Catered Open House that Benefits Charity!

Shea Homes of Charlotte’s two Rowan County neighborhoods, Miller’s Grove and Castlebrooke Farms, hosted open houses last Saturday. Everyone was invited to tour the models and move-in ready homes in both neighborhoods while they enjoyed catered food.

While we were happy to feed our guests, we asked them to “pay it forward”. We encouraged anyone who wanted to join to bring sustainable food pantry items to donate to Rowan Helping Ministries. The charity group fights local hunger and will serve over 95,000 meals alone this year. In return, each person that brought an item to donate at our event was entered into a drawing for a chance to win two Charlotte Hornets tickets.

Shea Homes of Charlotte was thrilled with the results, we received an entire trunkload of food! (pictured above)  Melissa Mullinix, the Builder Representative in both Castlebrooke Farms and Miller’s Grove,  commented: “I was very impressed with the outpouring of donations to help feed local families in need. We love being part of Rowan County and were very happy to help raise awareness for this charity, while also getting the word out about our available homes.” Here at Shea Homes of Charlotte we can’t resist getting involved in charity and we were happy to blend an open house with a great cause!


Villas Fill Niche For Carefree Luxury Living At BackCountry

January 26, 2015
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  The Whispering Wind Collection by Shea Homes is a collection of exceptional detached villas offering upscale, yet uncomplicated, living. Base-priced from $549,900* with 2,457 – 3,475-square feet of living space, each villa in this distinct collection includes a fabulous kitchen and master bedroom, formal dining room, generous great room, and serene outdoor retreat while […]

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Four Seasons at Discovery Park in BackCountry

January 23, 2015

  Unlike other Colorado neighborhoods, BackCountry offers its residents an awe-inspiring natural backdrop for enjoying the beauty of all four seasons. Panoramic mountain views let you marvel at each year’s dramatic snow buildup and melt-off, as well as the greening up and autumn vibrancy of the 467-acre South Rim area and 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area […]

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Colina Grand Opening Celebration at Waterstone

January 22, 2015

Join us on Saturday, February 7th from 10am to 2pm as we open the doors to 3 new designer Colina model homes! Family-friendly snacks and fun will be provided. RSVP on Facebook for sneak peek photos inside the homes, and more details about the event. Colina at Waterstone is a refreshing discovery. Nearby, you’ll enjoy Benicia’s small town […]

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Shea Homes of Charlotte Receives Best of Houzz 2015

January 21, 2015

Shea Homes of Charlotte Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award! Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World. We have been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. We were chosen by the more than […]

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Revolutionary New Designs by Shea Homes at Colliers Hill

January 19, 2015
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  How does a homebuilder dare to be different? Shea Homes dares to be different by offering buyers something they have never seen before. In October of this year Shea Homes debuted its revolutionary new Shea3D™ brand to rave reviews in the new community of Colliers Hill in Erie.  By providing every customer with a […]

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Best resolution ever? More fun.

January 16, 2015

  While there’s nothing wrong with losing weight, saving money, and writing the Great American Novel in 2015, be sure to add some entertainment to your resolution list. A little balance just might make those other goals easier to reach. Kick off the brainstorming with these ideas. Happy New Year! National Western Stock Show – […]

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