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How to be the “Hostess with the Mostest” This Holiday Season!

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and food! For some families, this is the only time of the year that they will have all of their family under one roof, so it is safe to say that it is one of the most important times of the year for many households. However, along with the cheer and excitement that accompany the grand events, stress can pry its way into the days and weeks prior to hosting. As a family-owned company, we care about the gathering aspect of the holiday season here at Shurm Homes. We want to make sure that your energy and focus can be on your time with loved ones, rather than worrying about preparation. We have compiled a list of suggestions and reminders to help you ease into the holidays! Organize the Food: How much pie is too much pie? You may find out if you skip this step! If your guests are all bringing dishes to the meal, you may want to set up a system for assigning dishes. You, as the host, can either do this on your own by reaching out to guests individually… OR you can use a program such as Sign-Up Genius. You can put all of the food items into the program and send a link to your guests. This serves two great purposes: 1.) It allows you to make sure all food items will be present at the meal 2.) It allows your guests to see what food items have already been chosen by someone else, so you don’t have too many of the same items. Don’t forget that some of your guests may have dietary restrictions! Ask this in advance so that you are inclusive as possible—No one wants to only eat salad at a holiday feast! Clean That Kitchen: One thing that throws a lot of people off when it comes to hosting a big family meal, is just how jam-packed your kitchen will be with people and food. When you clean and organize your kitchen in preparation for a large gathering, make sure that you are cleaning every surface with a disinfectant. Every inch of your available counter and island space may be used to hold food. Make sure your normal counter décor, and unnecessary appliances are off of your counter and put away in a space that will not disrupt your meal preparation. Make sure that all cookware that may be needed is cleaned, and in a convenient location. Wash and dry all of your dishes prior to hosting—Your sink will be full by the end of the day, so create the space now! Make sure that you sweep and mop a day prior, so that your floor is safe and not slippery! Make a Plan for the Food: Cooking takes time. Make sure that you make the most of your kitchen appliances by planning the order of dishes and cooking! If you built a home with us, you may remember speaking to our Designer about appliance packages. Did you take advantage of our convection microwaves, or our double ovens? Now is the time to put them to use! Prior to beginning the cooking process, make sure that you have a plan of action for which ovens and microwaves to use, and when. A double-oven can allow you to cook a large item like turkey or ham all day, while simultaneously cooking the sides. A convection microwave, paired with the double oven, can be a great help in warming and heating the food as you set the table! Cooking is already a time-consuming and attention-consuming process without the added element of scheduling the food preparation as you go. Some items like crock-pot recipes, turkey and ham will likely take longer to cook. Make sure that you are well-aware of how much time each item you need to make will take. Get ahead of the undue stress by mapping out your cooking ahead of time. Create Your Gathering Space: Make sure you have your space set aside for your guests to eat. Whether you already have a table for dinner, or you need to set one up, you don’t want to make decisions about your gathering-place at the last minute. Due to high-demand, you may find it difficult to find foldable chairs and tables close to the holiday season. Everyone who forgot to plan beforehand will be scorching the earth to find those last available sets of tables and chairs. Don’t leave any room for worry—plan your space ahead of time! Create the Boundaries That You Need: The last piece of advice that we have may seem obvious, but it is extremely important, and isn’t always easy. You are inviting your friends and family into YOUR space. A home is a very special place, and your family and friends should respect that. Since you are hosting, if you need your friends and family to wait until a certain time to come over, or safely leave at a certain time, make sure to create a clear boundary ahead of time so that everyone knows the plan. You want to have the best time possible, and that can not be done if you feel uncomfortable. It is best, and easiest to set the expectation early. So, whether your holiday is going to happen in a small window, or is going to run from sun-up to sun-down, make sure you let everyone know the plan! If you find yourself hoping to change something about your space to enhance your hosting experience next year, now is the perfect time to start talking to someone at Shurm Homes about building in time for next years’ celebration! Whether you host this year and want more counterspace, better appliances, or more outdoor space, OR if you are a guest with aspirations of having a place to host at next year, Shurm Homes can help you create the space of your dreams! From everyone here at Shurm Homes, have a happy, healthy and safe Holiday Season!

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Weekend fun for the active family near two of our favorite communities!

This weekend our Director of Sales and Marketing, Jennifer Jinnette, set out to explore some of the best activities for the active family in and around two of our communities. First up was Pocahontas State Park, which is located less than 10 miles from Pennwood Estates, now selling its final phase. It was a beautiful day for kayaking, so my family and I loaded up our kayaks and drove out to this 12.68 square mile State Park. We happened to go on free parking day, but parking normally is around $7. While there are a multitude of activities to enjoy in Pocahontas State Park, on this day we focused solely on kayaking. You can bring your own kayaks or rent them there, as well as paddle boats. The sky was blue and the air was fresh and clean. We saw wildlife such as cranes, egrets, and fish jumping out of the water, plus a multitude of various size turtles sunning themselves on this gorgeous day. There’s plenty to do at Pocahontas State Park for the avid fisher, biker, hiker, runner, and so much more. While closed for the season, the pool looked like a lot of fun featuring large slides. The restroom facilities were clean and the park was well marked. We will definitely be back to explore this park more! On Sunday, we spent the afternoon enjoying one of Brickshires' many amenities, golf! Plenty of people, from right here in our community or from Richmond and Williamsburg and beyond come to Providence Forge to play a round on our award winning Curtis Strange designed course. One of the great things about living in Brickshire is ALL of the amenities right at your doorstep, including golf for those who want to play! On this particular day we only played 9 holes, but you can play 9, 18, 27 or 36! You will find residents forming their own tournaments and comradery forged by neighbors who become friends. When you're done playing golf, come to the clubhouse for a nice dinner, enjoy live music on the lawn Friday nights, or just a quiet night at home on one of our peaceful homesites. For more information on these communities, or any of our Richmond area developments, visit our website -

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What it's like to call Brickshire home...

When you're looking for the perfect community to call home, what are the main things you're looking for? Lot size? Amenities? Curb appeal? For me, when I was moving to Virginia from North Carolina in 2016, I was looking for the perfect community for my only child to grow up in. Amenities, space to play, new friends, beautiful homes, all while trying to get the best bang for my buck. I found all of that and more in Brickshire. Nestled along I-64 in between Richmond and Williamsburg in New Kent County, Brickshire features gorgeously constructed homes on over 1200 acres of rolling hills and woods. When shopping for a new home 5 years ago, I visited communities from Richmond to Williamsburg. None gave me the sense of home like Brickshire did. From driving past the entrance sign perfectly landscaped all year long, passing by the amenities including swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center and jogging trails, and seeing beautiful homes of various architecture and design, I knew from the moment that I first visited Brickshire that I wanted to call it home. We enjoyed a fun last few weeks of summer when we moved here, and while I was happy with our choice, our first Halloween really solidified that this was the perfect place for us. The kids aren't the only ones who get into the Halloween fun! From "You've Been Booed" secret front porch drops leading up to the day, to adult only parties at the owners clubhouse, Brickshire residents love to celebrate! But we don't stop at Halloween! Christmas light competitions, Hanukkah parties, New Years Eve celebrations, socially distanced COVID Easter Parades, the list goes on and on! Santa even makes a special stop at the clubhouse on a firetruck to greet all of the neighborhood kids (and some of the big kids too). Don't forget about physical fitness! One of the best things about living in Brickshire is how active you can be! From a 24 hour fitness center, to miles of walking trails, Brickshire is the perfect place to walk, jog, bike, blade, play basketball, soccer, kickball, tennis, pickleball, golf... really the list goes on and on. We even have an annual 5K that benefits New Kent County Schools! Not only has living in Brickshire been amazing, but choosing a location that is in between two wonderful cities has opened up opportunities for work, play, and recreation! You're only 30 minutes from downtown Richmond and Williamsburg! Explore the sites of the Historic Triangle; visit Jamestown, Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens or Water Country USA to your east. Or, go west and enjoy the magnificent food, drinks, and outdoor activities that surround the James River in downtown Richmond. Want to stay closer to home? New Kent County is home to 4 wineries, a brewery, golf courses galore (including our very own Brickshire Golf Course), Colonial Downs/Rosies, and plenty of restaurants! We are so excited to be able to bring our collection of gorgeous homes and 20+ years of experience to Brickshire. With several homes about to close and more under construction, our homes in Brickshire are quickly becoming a favorite. We have 7 homesites currently available to choose your floorplan and build on. Click here to view our floorplans and learn more about Shurm Homes in Brickshire! Need something quicker? Our Potomac and Cordova will be ready late 2021! Ready to learn more? Contact us at or call us at 804-552-3858.

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