holidays

Holiday Outings in the Desert

by Shea Homes Arizona on December 15, 2017

Holiday Outings in the DesertThe holidays are here and that means there are festivities all around the Valley for the whole family to enjoy. We put together a list of some of the events taking place this month and into the New Year. Shea Homes® wishes you peace, and joy this holiday season!

Las Noches de las Luminarias

Through December 30, 2017

Stroll the pathways of the Desert Botanical Garden as it glows with over 8,000 hand-lit Luminaria bags. Don’t miss out on a warm cup of cider or cocoa with the family as you walk the elegant garden trails. For more information, visit: https://www.dbg.org/events/las-noches-de-las-luminarias-0

ZooLights

Through January 14, 2018

See the animals come to life through lighted displays at the Phoenix Zoo. Walk the park while looking at the glimmering lights while trying to spot dinosaurs in the desert. Ride the camels and the carousel, too. For more fun, visit: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/event-items/zoolights/.

Ballet Arizona’s The Nutcracker

Through December 24, 2017

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the magic of The Nutcracker as it illuminates the stage at the Phoenix Symphony with more than 150 performers. Truly a holiday tradition. For more information, visit: http://balletaz.org/performance/the-nutcracker-2017/

Lights of the World Lantern Festival

Through January 2, 2018

Explore the Arizona State Fairgrounds as it fills with Chinese traditional lanterns, state-of-the-art technology, and lights galore. Enjoy the culture, cuisine, and entertainment for the whole family. For more information, visit: https://lightsoftheworldus.com/

Christmas at the Princess

Through December 31, 2017

Skate and twirl around in the ice skating rink, and enjoy the resort’s holiday-themed spectacle. Spot the lights on more than 100 trees, the 14-foot poinsettias, the large-scale toy soldiers, and more. For more information, visit: http://www.fairmont.com/scottsdale/promotions/christmas-at-the-princess/

Christmas in Color

Through December 30, 2017

Lights and holiday music! Stay warm and cozy in your car as you make your way through this Christmas tunnel at Goodyear Ballpark. It is truly a Willy Wonka–like attraction that will wrap you in a magical display of animated lights, giant candy canes, snowmen, and holiday creatures. For more information, visit: http://christmasincolor.net/

Glendale Glitters

Through January 6, 2018

Year after year Glendale Glitters dazzles the crowds every Friday and Saturday night of the holiday season with concerts, food, horse- drawn carriages, and twinkling lights decorating all of downtown. For more information, visit: https://www.glendaleaz.com/glitters/

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How to Add Hygge to Your Home

by Shea Homes Northern California on December 14, 2017

 

Winter is the perfect time to make your home more hyggeligt. Hygge, pronounced HOO-gah, is a Danish word that is associated with happiness, coziness, comfort, contentment and, of course, home. It does not have a direct translation in English, but this idea and lifestyle is assumed to be part of the reason that Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, if not the happiest.

Could you use a little more hygge in your home? Shea Homes® has some simple ideas to get you started!

Hygge Cozy

Dim the lights. Lighting is a key staple of hygge, and it is said that the best lighting is in the hour before sunset. You can recreate this lighting anytime by turning down the lights, or turning some of them off altogether. You can also substitute candles or holiday lights for overhead lighting.

Use that fireplace. While fireplaces are beautiful to look at even when staged or un-used, we think the best way to change the ambiance of a room is to light the fireplace. Not only does it provide cozy heat, it also helps to provide a soft lighting that always makes us feel more relaxed.

Grab a cup of coffee. Snuggling up with a soft blanket and a cup of coffee (or tea) will definitely help with that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Make some stew. One of the best ways to get warm and cozy on a cold winter day is to make some soup or stew. While buying stew may be easier, making this meal at home will also spread elegant smells throughout your house. And bonus hygge points to you if the stew is made for or by a loved one!

Then enjoy it with friends. Spending time with those you cherish is thought to be another staple of hygge. In Denmark, small, close-knit groups of friends gather together for coffee or alcoholic beverages to enjoy a hyggelig time. Although it is suggested in Danish culture that these small groups must contain only close friends, in the United States we tend to enjoy making new friends, along with getting together with our long-time pals.

Put on fuzzy slippers or hand-knitted socks. What is more cozy than having something warm and soft cradling your feet? Don’t knit? No problem – you can purchase hand-made socks at local markets, or online. Although, if they are made for you by a loved one – you are likely to feel extra hygge.

Ready to learn more about Hygge? Read The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking, the founder and chief executive of the Happiness Institute, a think tank based in Copenhagen dedicated to exploring why some societies are happier than others.

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Valentine’s Day is the holiday to celebrate and appreciate those who fill your heart every day. Many of us express this sentiment with fancy dinner reservations and spa appointments, but there is another way to show you care. This year, avoid the hubbub of the holiday and plan on enjoying a Valentine’s night at home. To help you get ready, we’ve compiled a list of at-home date ideas that are simple yet festive, no matter if you’re celebrating by yourself, with a special someone, or with the whole family! After all, our homes hold a piece of our hearts, so what better place to spend the holiday of love? hold a piece of our hearts, so what better place to spend the holiday of love?

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Get into the Spooky Spirit this Halloween Season

by Shea Homes on October 25, 2016

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There are two extremes when it comes to holiday decorating. On one end, we have the folks that had every eave decked out in fake spider webs, walkways lined with gravestones and pumpkins adorning every table or doorstep available by the time the moon rose on October 1st. On the flip-side, there are some busy people whose mantles remain frightfully bare.

No matter what camp you find yourself in, the tips, tricks and free Halloween downloads below can help you take your current holiday décor to a frightful new height.

Witchy Workspace Digital Wallpapers

If you’re a Halloween fanatic, your décor will likely spill out from your home into your workstation. Take a look at our two desktop wallpapers below and decide which gets you into the Halloween spirit most. Save the image and replace your computer’s background. Like both? You can use one this week and one the next!

“Get it Ghoul!” Computer Wallpaper

For those days you ghouls and boys need a little extra motivation to make it to the weekend.

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“Treat Yourself” Computer Wallpaper

Because after hitting that deadline or just getting through a Monday unscathed, you deserve to celebrate!!

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Mobile Wallpaper

Don’t find yourself tied to a desktop or laptop too often? Never fear, we have versions of these wallpapers for your mobile devices as well!

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Hallowed Home Printables

With Halloween being the unofficial-official kick-off to the holiday season, putting up and taking down décor for a multitude of occasions can be overwhelming during an already jam-packed time of year. One of our favorite “easy” solutions for this is to dedicate a picture frame in your home where you can easily swap holiday-themed printables in and out. Whether you place the frame on a shelf, mantle or hang it on a wall, you can easily save your favorite designs in the back of the frame to rotate through each season. Take a look at Pinterest for printable options for other holidays like Thanksgiving or Fourth of July.

“Home is Where the Heart is” Printable

A classic saying with a Halloween twist!

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“Welcome to our BOO-tiful Home” Printable

This welcome sign fits perfectly in an entryway or strung from your front door.

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Simply Sweet Treat Tags

Fill up small bags with treats and attach these printable tags for classroom giveaways or for a sweet surprise for the guests in your home.

 

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Poppin’ Pumpkins

With your digital devices, home and gifts covered for Halloween, that just leaves one last detail. The pièce de résistance, the jack-o-lantern. Pinterest, again, offers tons of printable templates if you want to try your hand at an intricate design, but, if you’re looking for a few other options, consider the following.

Go “Old-School”

A perfect solution for younger participants, or those wanting to relive their younger days is to simply draw a face onto a pumpkin and get to carving. Grab a permanent marker, pumpkin, large metal spoon, and carving device. Carve a circle around the stem (pro-tip, also carve out a notch so you can easily remember how to put the “lid” back on), then proceed to remove all of the pumpkin “guts.” Be sure to scrape down the inner sides of the pumpkin, this helps to keep the gourd from rotting too fast. Then, start drawing a silly or spooky face onto your pumpkin with the permanent marker. Once you have your drawing ready to go, use your carving knife and get to work!

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Painted Pumpkins

If you’re planning on putting out pumpkins sooner than a few days before Halloween, we recommend holding off on the carving for a bit. Once carved, Jack-o-Lanterns last little more than a week, if that. Instead, grab some paint, stickers and any other fun items you find at a craft store and keep your decorating to the outside of the pumpkin. This will make your masterpiece last much longer.

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Fake it!

Looking for something you can use year after year? Head to your local craft store and pick up a plastic pumpkin. Make sure to look for the somewhat heavy-duty plastic models so they will withstand getting packed up and put in the attic or garage. Then, you can use metallic paint and glitter to make some eye-catching, reusable decorations.

What Halloween decorations does your family bring out year after year? Share in the comments below.

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Surviving the Holidays 101

December 19, 2015

  It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Right? Right??? That’s what we all hope for, but sometimes the reality of gift-giving, shopping, entertaining, traveling, and hyper-inflated expectations can lead to major stress. And feeling stressed can, well, add to the stress of what’s supposed to be such a joyful time. We invite you […]

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10 Tips for Hosting Your First Holiday Party

December 3, 2015

  The holidays are the best time of year, but they can also be the most stressful, especially if you’re hosting a family get-together for the first time! Never fear, it just takes a little practice… but some awesome tips from us doesn’t hurt either! Keep on reading below to find out how you can […]

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Set the stage (and table) for Thanksgiving

November 16, 2015

  For many, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. Free from the pressure of gift-giving, it is simply a joyful gathering of friends and family. Great food and conversation, and maybe a college football game to aid the digestion. Priceless. Because Thanksgiving is such a lovely, all-day indoor affair, why not add to the ambiance with […]

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The Dream Kitchens of Stepping Stone

December 17, 2014

  This time of year, the kitchen becomes even more of a focal point. A well-designed kitchen makes the holidays even more festive, effortlessly drawing people together to chat while snapping green beans, oohing and aahing over the roasting turkey, or sharing wine and cheese before the big meal ahead. And when the kitchen is […]

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