holidays

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

by Shea Homes Colorado on 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 to call upon the collective wisdom of the Shea Homes Surviving the Holidays Pinterest board.

Here are some highlights: 
Let’s start with a few general ideas for calming. These 10 ways to instantly de-stress will remind you to chill in your spare moments by perhaps sipping a mug of green tea for its theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Or by lighting a lavender candle before bedtime, which is proven to aid in drowsiness.

De-Stress

And speaking of sleep, consider stretching before you turn out the light. Here are some specific stretch techniques, including 10 yoga poses you can do in bed, plus some hip-opening stretches perfect for those of us who sit in an office all day.

Stretching Techniques

Being sick during the holidays is the worst. So ward off trouble with these five tips for staying healthy, including drinking lots of water to counteract all the dehydrating schnapps and spiked eggnog. Also, try scheduling your workout before your parties (after putting in all that hard work, you’ll be less inclined to overindulge.)

Staying Healthy

The holidays can be stressful financially, too. Counteract all the spending with these suggestions for cutting costs.  Taking advantage of seasonal sales at the grocery store is just one example.

Cost Cutting

Entertaining can bring its own set of challenges, from planning guest lists and menus to making sure you have enough stemware. These dinner party tips include the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken along with suggestions for wine glasses, party games, and more. And should your guests stay for the weekend, here are eight ideas for keeping everyone happy.

Dinner Party

With all the activities and busyness, kids can pick up on the stressful vibe. Slow down and try meditating with your kids with these step-by-step instructions for getting zen. If your children tend to get frazzled by the sensory overload of the season, check out these coping mechanisms. And finally, if you’re traveling with little ones, you’re entitled to call in for reinforcements. These tips for traveling on airplanes with kids suggest 20 travel activities and a bag of surprises to keep them engaged, as well as bringing along a pair of pajamas to induce sleepiness.

Travel With Kids

For more information on our Shea Homes Collections and what we’re up to at the Colorado division, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Google+ and YouTube, and get inspired with us on Pinterest.

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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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