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Schell Brothers Dream Team: Dan Matta

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Schell Brothers’ VP of Warranty Service Dan Matta has been with the company since the beginning, and he’s worn many hats throughout his sixteen years here. I sat down with Dan to hear all about his journey from an on-site laborer working in Schell communities to his current role, and how he’s believed in the company vision since day one.

Q: How did you start working for Schell Brothers?
A: I was actually a Health and Physical Education teacher for 3 years, and decided that I didn’t want to teach forever. I had signed up for a real estate class right before I became friends with Chris Schell through lifeguarding at Rehoboth Beach. We were talking at a party and Chris said he was looking for energetic and smart people to join his new, young company. I had a non-traditional interview with him where we drove through some communities, and a week later I was hired as Schell Brothers’ twelfth employee! I ultimately decided to take the job because I believed in Chris and the vision he had.

Q: How many years have you been here?
A:
I started in November 2003, so I’m in my sixteenth year.

Q: As the company has grown, how has your role changed? 
A: I’ve had a lot of different roles here at Schell, starting as a laborer and then eventually an assistant superintendent, assistant project manager, project manager, and now my current position as VP of Warranty. I’ve spent time in the field learning about construction and then project management. When I was a project manager for Echelon custom homes, I started taking over the warranty of our homes with clients. Chris recognized that and asked me to take over warranty for the entire company. 

Q: What does your day-to-day look like?
A: Warranty operations and customer service for our homeowners is my priority, which includes ensuring that post-settlement operations are running as smoothly as possible. I also go into our communities to meet with homeowners so that I can better understand concerns or challenging situations they may have. What I really love about my job is helping homeowners and hearing the feedback they have. Anything they share with me can help my team to grow, which is a positive!

Q: What do you believe is the key to Schell Brothers’ success?
A: Our team members and the passion we all have to make our homeowners and each other happy. We’ve built an environment that we want to work in. That passion and the culture that we embrace goes into our day-to-day operations here and truly does lead to happiness.

Q: Have you always been the resident Schell Brothers motivator? 
A: Yes. I’m someone who tries to view everything in a positive light. I love getting my team hyped up and motivated, because I think we should all bring an energy and excitement to what we do each day. I also like to remind everyone of the “why” – why we do what we do every day at Schell Brothers. And the answer is our company mission: to bring happiness to ourselves and our homeowners.

5 Reasons to Buy a Beach Home in Coastal Delaware

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

The list of reasons to live at the Delaware beaches is seemingly endless; but the reasons to buy a beach home here are all the more compelling. From the fiscal perks right down to the simple joys of beach living, purchasing a beach home in coastal Delaware is an excellent (and savvy) decision!

1. It’s a Great Investment. While real estate markets, like most other economic indicators, ebb and flow, beach homes are proven to retain their value extremely well over time. Think about it…there are only 26 miles of Atlantic coastline in Delaware, a finite amount of area where homes can be built. And as long as the ocean is right next door, this land and these homes are going to remain highly sought-after. While homes in this area cost more to purchase initially, they are proven to be a fantastic investment over time.

2. Rental Income. If you’re not living in the home full-time, then you’re looking at a nearly certain second income by renting the property out to tourists when you’re not using it. The rental amount, in southern Delaware or in any coastal area, will vary according to the time of year. You’ll most likely be able to charge a higher amount for weekly rentals in the summer of course; however the shoulder seasons of spring and fall have become increasingly popular for visitors to vacation at the Delaware beaches.

3. Head Start on Retirement. It’s no secret that southern Delaware has become a mecca for retirees in recent years, leading to the birth of the term “Florida of the North.” Our awesome tax benefits have certainly enhanced the number of people who want to end up in Delaware. Even if you’re not yet retired from your career, why not buy your dream home now so it’s waiting for you when you are finally ready?

4. Unscheduled Vacations. If you have a home at the beach and don’t live there year-round, you’ve got a ready-made home base anytime you feel like getting away! You can vacation with family and friends, without a reservation, for a short weekend or extended amount of time. And vacation gear (think beach chairs, towels, umbrellas, the kiddo’s sand toys) can be stored at your place so there’s no need to carry it back and forth from your primary residence.

5. Health Benefits. Okay, so this one is a little more difficult to quantify as it’s more of a state of mind than an opinion based on hard facts. But how often have you visited the beach, smelled that pure salt air, felt the cool ocean breeze on your face and just automatically felt better? It’s easy to feel at peace when you’re close to the water, and that often leads to mental and physical benefits that are far-reaching.

The Schell Scoop: Our Dream Vacations

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Despite the cold days of March, our minds have been wandering to sunshine and those quintessential warm spring days that make us downright happy. This is the time of year that many people hop on a plane for a tropical getaway to make it through the last couple weeks of winter.

Well, we’re not jetting off to any tropical locales here at Schell Brothers; in fact, we’re hard at work getting ready for a busy spring/summer season! But we can still dream, right? I asked a few members on our team to tell me about their dream vacations. Their answers will have you wanting to throw a few more pennies in that travel piggy bank!

Caitlin, Graphic Designer

“My dream vacation is going to become a reality in April! My husband and I are taking a late honeymoon to Greece. We’ll get to see the ruins, go sailing and hiking, and try all kinds of food. But as long as we’re dreaming big, I would also love to go to Bora Bora some day and stay in one of those amazing bungalows and explore the island.”


Ann-Margaret, Administrative Assistant

“For my dream vacation, I would pack up a VW Vanagon and head west with my boys.  No timeline or set agenda; just the three of us meandering our way across the USA, hitting up roadside attractions state by state and visiting friends and family along the way. I think it’s really important for my boys to experience all our beautiful country has to offer.  Toss in a couple nights’ stay in a teepee, treehouse, tiny house or yurt and most definitely a night or two at the Ritz for mom. LOL – I never said I was committed to sleeping in the VW!”


Steve, Innovation Team

“My dream vacation, and one that I try to embark on at least yearly, is hiking in the Virginia mountains of Skyline Drive. The serenity of nature, the steep ascents, the brilliant vistas and the vastness of it all calms and moves me. It’s the perfect mix of woodsy peace with physical challenge, especially in the spring.”


Grace, Community Sales Manager

“My dream vacation is to visit the seven natural wonders of the world in a whirlwind adventure! When I first saw the Pixar movie “Up,” I cried like everyone else. However, what really spoke to me was my connection to the character Ellie. I have always had the heart of an adventurer ever since I was a little girl. I find the world a truly beautiful phenomenon and I love learning everything I can about the place we are lucky enough to call home. As Ellie once said, adventure is out there!”


Tyler, Warranty Service

“My dream vacation would be to take my girlfriend, Maddie, and myself to Bora Bora. It’s a beautiful island and romantic private paradise all in one. Bora Bora offers the standard island atmosphere along with exotic sea adventures.”


5 Ways to LOVE your Home this Valentine’s Day

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Every year on Valentine’s Day, we all try to show a little more love – love for that special someone, family, friends, or for the million-and-one little things we take for granted. We ramp up the number of hugs we give and double the amount of “love you!” texts. We even go out and buy those corny stuffed animals and mushy cards to help say the things we should be saying all year long.

But people aren’t the only ones who deserve love this Valentine’s Day. I say we spend the day showing some love and attention to our homes! Our sweet homes are arguably one of the things we take for granted most of all, even though it’s the haven where our favorite memories are made and our families learn and grow day in and day out. A home – your home – is a special place. So give it a little extra love in these 5 ways:

Happiness: Is there a snug nook in your home where you especially enjoy reading a good book? Or maybe you can’t get enough of the sun shining through those large windows in your great room each morning. You love cooking Sunday dinner in your gourmet white kitchen. Wherever your happy place is, take a few moments to truly savor it, and appreciate the little things that are waiting for you to come home each day!

Get Personal: No one actually lives in a home that’s straight out of a magazine. Well, most of us anyway. Take the time to really make your home feel like a reflection of you and your family, instead of a stranger’s Pinterest board. Buy the piece of art you’ve been eyeing. Order the couch you can’t wait to nap on. Get started on that bright accent wall to give your room pizzazz. The most beautiful homes are those that are well-lived-in. It never goes out of style.

Calm Down: Everyone has that one place where they’re completely at peace; and for most us, that’s somewhere at home. Your home should be your sanctuary from rainy days and all the stresses of life. So breathe deeply, put on some good music, and just relax. Destress and feel the serenity of home to re-charge, so you can rock it again tomorrow!

Organize: Anyone who says they function better in chaos and clutter is just fooling themselves. The research is there, the science has been proven, and organized spaces make for a happier home. I’m not saying there can’t be one messy closet or junk drawer to hide a bit of disorder; but as a good rule of thumb, declutter to destress. Your home – and your sanity – will thank you.

Appreciation: They say home is where the heart is, and you certainly won’t hear any argument from me on that. I’m quite a homebody myself, and cherish the times when I can host family and friends there. Home is a place where we can draw inspiration and also mourn our toughest losses. But I think we can all sometimes take it for granted, and forget the fact that not everyone is as lucky as we are. Because no matter what kind of day we’ve had, our homes keep us safe, warm and healthy. And that’s surely something to be grateful for!

Valentine’s Day is the perfect yearly reminder to show love. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the people and things we adore most, and to acknowledge anything we may take for granted. My challenge for you this Valentine’s Day is to find happiness at home – it loves you more than you know!

Get to Know…The Estates at Reddenwood

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

The Estates at Reddenwood is Schell Brothers’ newest community located in Milton, Delaware. I sat down with my fellow Schell employee who lives in this already-established community to get all of the details on life in Reddenwood.

After growing up in a small town, he loves quaint and friendly Milton and has truly enjoyed living there for the past three years. Read on to hear more about this picturesque and secluded community that is just a short drive away from local towns of Lewes, Rehoboth, Georgetown and Milford!

What makes The Estates at Reddenwood a unique community? There are wooded lots that are 3/4 acres, which makes these homesites the largest that Schell Brothers offers in Delaware. This allows each home to have a private feel while still being part of a close-knit community.  

For someone who has never visited Milton before, how would you describe the area? There’s a definite small-town feel to Milton, but still so much to see and do there if we don’t want to drive into Lewes or Rehoboth in summer traffic. It’s home to Dogfish Head brewery and tasting room, which is only 3 minutes from my house! There are several shops and great restaurants right in downtown Milton, and my wife loves coffee from the little coffee shop there. There’s also Milton Memorial Park downtown, and we can drop our kayaks in the water at the dock there to head down the Broadkill River.  

How about things to do nearby? Where are your favorite places to:

Dine? Po’ Boys Creole Restaurant, The Backyard, and Irish Eyes (which we especially love for a cold beer and outdoor dining)

Spend time outdoors? We love to kayak on the Broadkill, and go to parades and events in downtown Milton as well as the farmers’ market.  

Describe The Estates at Reddenwood in 3 words: Stress-free, quiet, secluded  

If you could pick a favorite floor plan, which would it be and why? The Cassidy, because it offers one-floor open living with an optional basement.  

Let’s talk industry trends – what are people looking for in a new home right now? Open living spaces, which Schell definitely offers in their floor plans, and outdoor living. Reddenwood in particular is ideal for outdoor living, and an expansive courtyard could easily be added on the large lots here.  

In your opinion, what sets a Schell home apart from other builders? The energy efficiency of their homes. My utility bills are drastically cheaper since moving into my Schell home. In addition, they are well-insulated and well-built all around.  

Final thoughts? We really enjoy the quietness and privacy of our home in Reddenwood, while still being able to easily get to all the fun that Lewes and Rehoboth offer!

4 Reasons We Love Milton

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Sweet Serenity

Whether you’re looking to explore a new place on one of these chilly off-season days or you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Lewes and Rehoboth in the thick of summer, Milton is the ideal spot. This small town boasts a completely different feel from its neighboring beach towns, one that makes you feel instantly at home. Walk the streets and bridges of the adorable downtown area nestled on the Broadkill River to experience the best of both worlds – shopping and dining amongst the beauty of nature.

The Shopping

What stands out most when browsing the unique shops of Milton is its business owners, who are especially warm and friendly and always take a moment to say hello and chat. Stop by and see Hillary, owner of Nest Spa & Skincare Boutique, for a cozy girls’ day retreat. This boutique offers more than just spa services, with its large selection of Farmhouse Fresh skincare products and other charming gifts. Just down the street, The Mercantile at Milton is perfect for the avid antique shopper. You can easily spend an hour (or more) perusing two floors of antiques to find that vintage piece of jewelry, furniture or décor that you’ve been hunting. Right next door is 302 Bicycles, where you can grab a rental (by the hour, day or week) to see Milton on wheels. They also carry new bicycles and accessories, plus do tune-ups and other repairs. Stop by the Little Brick Cakery to order a custom cake for your next celebration or special event. We’ll be surprised if you make it out the door without one of their delectable cupcakes, which takes us to yet another reason we love Milton – the fabulous dining options!

The Dining

The Suburban Farmhouse is just the right spot for a morning cup of Joe and pastry or an afternoon pick-me-up! Serving breakfast and lunch, this café has ample seating nooks for you to sit and relax, plus an assortment of home décor and giftable items. Head to Cantina Ultima just a few steps away for bold dishes fueled by Latin inspiration. We promise their cocktail list will not disappoint, with margaritas, local brews and more! And we would be remiss to talk about Milton without mentioning our friends at Dogfish Head. You can’t leave town without stopping by the Tasting Room to try what’s on tap, take a brewery tour or grab a snack from the Kitchen. Dogfish Head alone could qualify as a reason we love Milton! Just outside of town is The Backyard, serving up delicious bites for all three meals of the day. We love the avocado fries with sriracha aioli for a starter and the famous Yardbird for a hearty lunch or dinner. And you can’t leave without trying one of their tempting cookies; there’s so many to choose from that sometimes we even have two!

Fresh brewed coffee in various flavors at The Suburban Farmhouse

Proximity to Nature

Scenic Milton Memorial Park is located in the heart of the downtown area. Stroll the path overlooking the water, drop your line in to catch a fish, let the kiddos play, climb and swing, or see a summer concert! You can also launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board right in the park and paddle down the Broadkill to the Edward H. McCabe Nature Preserve. Once docked at the preserve, enjoy 3 miles of hiking trails that show off wetland habitats. Another picturesque spot that you won’t want to miss on your way out of Milton is Wagamons Pond. The glass-like water and brightly colored trees will leave you with a sense of calm for your trip home. And who knows? You just may want to stay in Milton!

Milton Memorial Park

Introducing…the Schell Scoop!

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

We love our happy, fun-loving, innovative team here at Schell Brothers…so much so that we want YOU to hear what they have to say too! I’m grateful every day to work with these inspiring individuals, and can’t wait to share a bit of that with all of you in the Schell Scoop – a blog series in which several of our awesome employees will give thoughts or answers on a specific topic for each post. In the first one, we’re appropriately focusing on the New Year. Six team members were asked to think of one word that they want to define their 2019. And the answers are pretty remarkable. Read on to meet our team and see what they’re manifesting in the New Year!


Jamie Hudson, Director of Sales
“My word for 2019 is Spark. I believe in having a ‘spark,’ a passion for life and for the people around you who make you feel fulfilled and alive. That energy is contagious in the best possible way.”

Tyler Reinhart, Warranty Representative
Infinite. – I’m getting married this year, building my new home, and celebrating my one year anniversary with Schell Brothers! The possibilities are infinite!”

Renee DeLeo, Executive Assistant
“One word to describe my 2019: Groundbreaking. This is going to be a groundbreaking year in my life because it will be full of many firsts and new adventures. The biggest ones include my wife and I’s first wedding anniversary and moving into our new home! I have no words to describe how pumped I am for the year ahead!”

Patrick Gallagher, Video Marketing Specialist
Experience. I aim to experience new things – new places, new food, new adventures, new music. I also want to gain more experience professionally, perfecting old skills and taking on new ones.”

Amanda King, CAD Team Member
Determination. – For me this is the year of determination. I am determined to work really hard. I am determined to inspire others to do better. I am determined to achieve my goals above and beyond what I anticipate. I am determined to not allow failure to discourage me and to keep on trying harder.”

John DiStefano, Construction Manager
“My word for this New Year is Healthy. It’s time for me to make a lifestyle change and start eating healthy and working out regularly. Sometimes all of that gets put to the side when life gets busy with a young family and work. But it will undoubtedly make me feel better while increasing my happiness… Let’s go!”

 

How to (Actually) Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

We’re a week into the new year, and you’re probably killing yourself attempting to exercise every day, eat super healthy, save money, and try new things, right? You can take solace in the fact that we’re all in the same boat this time of year, as we try to come off the sugar high of the holidays and get some order back in our lives. Many of us, at least here on the Schell team, have similar goals for the year ahead. So why not break down the most popular and tackle them together?

Exercise more.
This may be the most common New Year’s resolution out there, as we aim to get fit for warmer months ahead. (Hurry up spring; we’re waiting for ya!) But if you start off 2019 thinking that you’ll exercise every day, or some unlikely number of times per week, you may end up disappointing yourself and getting discouraged. Instead, come up with a reasonable schedule of when work-outs will fit into your life. If hitting the gym two times each week is what fits into your busy schedule, but you stick to it and actually go those two times, then you have fulfilled your starting goal. You’ll feel like a boss for doing what you said and can increase your fitness goal from there!

Eat healthy.
All things in moderation, right? Just like with exercise, if you go to the extreme and say that you will eat no sugar or carbs, you’ll likely be going crazy by January 15. Find a healthy eating plan that fits your lifestyle. Starting off slow, like cutting your sugar intake at first, rather than making drastic changes to your eating all at once is way more likely to help you be successful in this goal. Eating, and being healthy overall for that matter, should be a sustainable part of your life, and not just a fleeting resolution!

Travel.
Those of us who live here in coastal Delaware are lucky to be in close proximity to so many awesome weekend getaway spots. Whether you have three days to get out of town or just one, take advantage of the time you have to keep this fun resolution. And use the colder months to plan and save for travels that are farther away. This strategy will get you to that place you’ve really been dreaming of, without breaking the bank and allowing you to see some beautiful spots closer to home.

Practice gratitude.
Here at Schell Brothers, we strive to maintain an attitude of gratitude. We’ve found that being thankful for what we have and each other, and actually showing it, keeps us a pretty happy bunch. But we know that some days can be tough, right? Maybe you’re having a stressful day at work and coming down with that winter cold everyone is getting. There is always something to be grateful for though – even if it’s just that delicious cup of coffee that’s keeping you warm! Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to get yourself in the mindset of practicing gratitude in your daily life. Start by writing down three things you’re thankful for each day. You can even keep a mobile version in your phone if you’re always on the go!

No matter what your resolutions are for 2019, reflecting on why you made each of them in the first place will give you motivation to keep going through the year. Getting your goals down on paper and having a realistic plan to achieve each is also key. We know you can do it; and we’re right there with you! Cheers to making this year the best one yet.

Introducing At Home Magazine

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Our team is bursting with excitement over the premier issue of At Home with Schell Brothers. What a way to start off the New Year! And we can’t wait to share this beautiful magazine with you if you haven’t seen it yet. At Home will be published twice a year to include an inside look at some of our communities and model homes, words from homeowners and employees, design and decorating tips, unique features in each issue, and SO much more! You can also expect to see a sampling of local restaurants, shops and experts from coastal Delaware.

For our premier issue cover, we teamed up with designer and owner of Floral Inspirations in Lewes, Ken Norman. He adorned the front door of the Whimbrel model at Saddle Ridge with all things green and wintry, pine cones and metallics, plus offered some holiday décor pointers. We were also lucky enough to work with Lion and Meg Gardner from Blue Moon in Rehoboth. Their savory recipes for both food and cocktails in our “Let’s Get Fizzy” feature show you how to get festive at home this New Year’s Eve. But don’t worry; they also dished on all the best local spots to celebrate if you’d rather head out to ring in 2019!

Take a look at what else you can find on the pages of the Winter 2018/2019 issue:

Dos & Don’ts of Decorating with one of our resident designers, Matty Adler. He explains just how to incorporate your most-loved pieces into the design of your home by creating balance and a space that fits your unique lifestyle.

Neighbors, featuring the first homeowners to ever settle in our Independence community. Alvin and Harriett Smith choose happiness every single day, and sure do love one another and their life at Indy!

Community Minded for a day-in-the-life at Coastal Club. Homeowners share in their own words what they love most about living in Delaware’s Community of the Year.

This Is Us for a closer look into the family life of a Schell employee. (Or in this case, two!) Meet Schell power couple Frank and Karen Ryan, plus their handsome sons and adorable pup.

Weekender for a fun road-trip idea when you want to head out of town. Lititz, Pennsylvania is the perfect winter getaway for its Fire & Ice Festival, delicious restaurants and charming history.

These staples, plus a few more, will be in every issue of At Home. And we’re already hard at work to bring you compelling features and local highlights in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue! Pick up your copy of At Home with Schell Brothers at any one of our model homes. Follow us on Instagram @athomewithschell and send your thoughts to AtHome@schellbrothers.com.

All I want for Christmas…is to give Kudos!

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

We love the holidays here at Schell Brothers – so much so that we hang a stocking for each and every employee, decorate all around our desks with lights and ornaments, and even listen to Christmas radio over the loudspeaker in the office. But what truly makes the season is spending it with our families and friends. (That, and eating cookies until we pop!) And we’re especially happy that some of our homeowners have shared in our tradition of giving Kudos this month, something we hope you continue the whole year through! In our last Kudos List post, we’re featuring the sweet Cox family from Coastal Club. Meet Ryan and Alexandra, and read on to see what they’re most grateful for during this magical time of year!

Is there a neighbor in your community who you’d like to give Kudos? 
Our house got struck by lightning over the summer while Ryan was out of town. I texted Ron across the street, who came running over right away. He then called Jamie, who’s an electrician, who called Eddie, a fireman. Ron’s wife Paula took care of our daughter so I could be present for our awesome neighbors to take a survey of the damage and make sure the roof wasn’t on fire.  Within ten minutes I had all the support I needed, new switch panels, and assuredly cool walls. I was so grateful to have the community that we do!

If you had to choose one thing in your Schell home to give Kudos to, what would it be?
We love our finished basement! We went back and forth on whether we should finish it, and in the end we are very glad we did.  We spend so much fun family time down there and it is a cozy retreat after a long day. We even added a Murphy bed to make it a private space for our guests.

And let’s give Kudos to your favorite local spot!
We really enjoy going to Canalfront Park in Lewes. It has a playground for our daughter and beautiful nautical sites to take in while we’re there. It instantly reminds us to take a moment to slow down and appreciate our surroundings. We are very fortunate to live here!

Tell us about a holiday tradition that you carry out each year in your home.
We have a collection of ornaments from around the world that Ryan has gathered on his military missions or we have brought home from our travels together. Ryan was deployed for our first Christmas together, so the entire year we developed our collection and decorated a Charleston palmetto tree in the summer before he left. Since then, we have continued to accumulate ornaments from cities around the U.S. and countries across Europe and the Middle East, and each year we reminisce on the places we’ve traveled.

And of course we have to ask – what’s your favorite holiday food?
A new favorite holiday food is the loaf of tiramisu Ryan has made for Christmas the last few years. We learned the first year not to put full-caff espresso on top!

Learn more about Project Kudos and easily send your family and friends electronic Kudos stickers!

The most wonderful time of the year…to give Kudos!

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities

Two more of our happy and festive homeowners are making a Kudos List this holiday season. Barry and Karen Stiefel from the Peninsula share who and what they’re most thankful for, and the new tradition they started to celebrate Hanukkah. We’re sure grateful for wonderful homeowners like these two, who continue to stay in touch and live each day with gratitude and joy!

Is there a neighbor in your community who you’d like to give Kudos? 

We live in a community of transplants, people just like us who moved to coastal Delaware for the next chapter. As exciting as that prospect was for us, leaving our lifelong friends behind was, quite frankly, petrifying. We needn’t have worried though, because as things turned out we’ve met and bonded with so many remarkable people in the Peninsula. For that alone we are grateful, but what we didn’t expect was to find Diane and Andy Perrella, our neighbors a couple of houses down. Over the course of a few years, we have grown so close that when Diane and Karen go anywhere together, they often hear the refrain, “Are you two sisters?” And Andy and I argue just like brothers!

If you had to choose one thing in your Schell home or the Peninsula to give Kudos to, what would it be?

The windows! Having been to various different homes visiting neighbors, it’s clear to us that windows seem to define a Schell home. Schell offers so many unique styles and sizes of home with one thing in common: just about every corner of the house is bright, sunny and cheerful! Living in the Peninsula, it’s the late afternoon/early evening when you come to appreciate the view outside…and it’s all about the sunsets!

A breathtaking Peninsula sunset

There’s so much to love about where we live, but for Karen and me it doesn’t get much better than the sunsets. It’s a true “National Geographic” grab-your-camera moment as the sky becomes a confluence of blood red and deep purple. When we saw our first sunset here we thought we were lucky to catch things just right, but gradually the Peninsula began to reveal one of its defining characteristics…those sunsets are a regular occurrence. And we love watching from our house through those wonderful windows.

And let’s give Kudos to your favorite local spot!

Oh that’s easy – Lewes Beach on a July Saturday around 3PM. We love to sit back with friends and, of course, enjoy a cold beverage or two. Then around 4:30, a couple of us go over to Agave to put our names on that two-hour wait list and head back to the beach to chill. We’ll get a text around 6:00 that our table is ready and take off for a great dinner…perfection!

Tell us about a holiday tradition that you carry out each year in your home. 

Having just finished celebrating the eight nights of Hanukkah, Karen came up with an idea that we hope to establish as an annual tradition with Jewish friends we’ve met in the Peninsula. Each of the eight nights of Hanukkah we light a candle in an eight-branched candleholder called a menorah, progressing to the last night when all eight candles are lit. For the most part Jewish families purchase, acquire or inherit a menorah over the years and in that regard they become very personal. Karen’s idea was to invite friends to each bring their own menorah to our home where we had a very moving communal lighting, each family lighting all eight candles in their menorah at the same time. None of us had ever been part of a ceremonial lighting in this way, making it a special moment we hope to repeat every year.

And of course we have to ask – what’s your favorite holiday food?

Aside from the lighting of candles each of the eight nights, Hanukkah is about eating Latkes, potato pancakes made from recipes that are usually passed down through the family.

Learn more about Project Kudos and easily send your family and friends electronic Kudos stickers!

(From left) Karen and Barry, with neighbors and close friends Diane and Andy Perrella

Make a Kudos List…and check it twice!

By Nicole Irvin, in All Communities
Whether we admit it or not, we all have a few things in mind we’d love to see under the tree this year. The excitement of Christmas seems to find kids of all ages, and we’re sure thrilled for the season at Schell Brothers! But this year we thought, why not make a different kind of list? Instead of considering all the things we’d like to receive, what if we listed each and every person we’re grateful for? In this year’s season of giving, we’re challenging you to make a Kudos List rather than a Christmas List. That’s right; give love and spread positivity to the fabulous people in your life by telling them just how awesome they are through giving Kudos!
Through the rest of this month, we’ll be sharing some of our cheery homeowners’ Kudos Lists. First up is Eric and Micheale Smith, who settled in Tidewater Landing this year. Read on to see who they’re most thankful for and how they celebrate the holidays!

Is there a neighbor in your community who you’d like to give Kudos? 
We feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful neighbors that I can’t pick just one! After a recent surgery, we had neighbors stop by to bring cards, flowers, and offer rides to appointments. A big thank you to the Trussells and the Morrisons!

If you had to choose one thing in your Schell home or Tidewater Landing to give Kudos to, what would it be?
The beautiful wooded lots and sounds of nature are such a treasure at Tidewater. The tree-lined nature path leads straight to Love Creek. We step outside our front door and are surrounded by nature and all of its beauty.

And let’s give Kudos to your favorite local spot! 
Our favorite spot to celebrate is Amuse restaurant in Rehoboth. Chef Hari Cameron is a James Beard nominee several times over, and he often comes out to greet his guests. The food is creative, amazing, and delicious! Our favorite dessert is the deconstructed Cracker Jack with popcorn flavored ice cream.
 
What is a holiday tradition that you’re excited to start in your new home this year?
This year we will be hosting the Smith Family Reunion at our home in Tidewater Landing. The reunion first started in 1946 when all 5 Smith brothers, who served in combat during WWII, returned home safely. The close family of 4 sisters and 5 brothers started this annual tradition on the second Saturday in December and never missed a year. Sadly, the last remaining sister passed away in January, but the large extended family will be gathering at our home to carry on the Smith family tradition!

And of course we saved the best for last – what’s your favorite holiday food?
My favorite holiday food is my mom’s turkey stuffing recipe. She wrote down the recipe for me when I made my first holiday meal at age 19, and I pull that recipe out every year. Everything about the taste and smell of this stuffing brings back fond memories and it wouldn’t be the holidays without it.
Learn more about Project Kudos and easily send your family and friends electronic Kudos stickers!