New Year New Ideas

This time of year it’s time for me to start “de-cluttering”…..and before de-cluttering and taking down the Christmas décor I try to get ideas for minor changes I might make as I pack up Christmas and bring back regular life.

I love my decorating magazines….Romantic Homes Magazine has been my motivation for almost ten years….along with House Beautiful and Traditional Home magazines.  I know it’s “old school” to not just go on Pinterest….but I love the glossy pages and keep the issues that motivate me.

Romantic Homes Magazine introduced me to Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic style along with motivating me to take my first trip to Round Top.  That lead to Annie Sloan chalk paint projects and vintage upholstery along with every bed having at least one set of Shabby Chic sheets, extra long bed ruffles to hide roll out boxes under beds and dozens of pillows that I lust and love. It also made me fall in love with Amie and Jolie Sikes, the Junk Gypsy girls!  I’d always loved Mary Englebreit but Rachel Ashwell, Annie Sloan and the Junk Gypsy’s were like Mary on steroids!  I have a red and turquoise bedroom AND an all white iron trundle bed in the second bedroom AND a pink leopard bedroom as the third bedroom….all motivated by these magazines and these super chicks!

House Beautiful Magazine motivated me to put a wall of different sized mirrors in my entryway.  I loved reading about Todd Romero, a San Antonio born decorator now based in New York, and his famous quote “Good Design is Editing” in the April 2016 issue….which has become my mantra and drives my husband crazy as I add and replace different items though out the house to get the “perfect” look.”

Country Decorating Ideas issue 154 “French Country Style” motivated me to get rid of my huge formal dining table and order a custom made 30 inch wide farm table from Bassett Furniture…but keep the Queen Anne chairs that were part of that dining room set and shabby chic them with Annie Sloan paint in different colors.

Traditional Home magazine motivated me to add plaid to my Christmas décor and confirmed that it was okay to have a second tree….but in the guest bedroom so our neighbors could see the lights from the street and our grandkids could sleep in a room during the holidays with a huge tree and shining lights as their nightlight.

The Cottage Journal, Christmas Cottage issue, motivated me to put a small wreath on a cabinet door and decorate the fireplace mantel with white and gold decorations.

Flea Market Décor motivated me to buy a red sled for the front porch Christmas décor and own multiple wreaths….one for the front gate, one for the front door, one on the fireplace mantel, one on the silver deer head, one on a cabinet and one on the backyard gate to the park….I might have gotten carried away.

Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate Christmas 2010 has incredible recipes for Tamale Pie, Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies, Layered Fiesta Salad and Cranberry Margaritas….and I am considering all these for our Fiesta 2017 party.

So as I go through my magazines to get motivated to pack up Christmas I will gather new ideas for replacing the items I put away…..and get ready for Fiesta…my second favorite time of the year.  Fiesta is San Antonio’s party of the year for 2 weeks….”I ain’t gonna resta until after Fiesta” will be my motto!

Christmas Miracle



On Christmas Day an old friend of ours died.  She spent several days cooking for the big family gathering that occurs at her home each Christmas Day, ate dinner, sat down to relax and never woke up.

She was the queen of her family….always in charge of family gatherings and taking care of stray kids for others over the years…including raising several children that weren’t her own.  I was very sad when I saw the text the day after Christmas….and immediately had my husband cook up a big container of King Ranch Chicken Enchiladas while I caught us up on work so we could head out to her house.

I had managed to bake up several dozen cookies on Christmas Day between our early Christmas celebration with a cousin and the late Christmas celebration with my Mom and brothers even though we didn’t need any additional cookies….but now I was glad I had taken the time to bake because they were needed.  I had bought a plate surrounded by hearts with a Queens crown at the center several weeks before not knowing who or why I was buying it….but I knew it was perfect for the plate of cookies as Gail was the Queen of her household and Queen of the family gatherings.

We drove up to a busy house with enough food for the crowd that had gathered and with heavy hearts we drove away wondering why God had chosen Christmas Day to take Gail home.

I waited until the day after to call my Mom, who is 87 years old, to tell her John’s sister had died on Christmas Day at only 65.  When I told her the story her response was, “How lucky she was….to have died surrounded by her family”.   When I hung up the phone I realized Mom was right….Gail died surrounded by her family on one of the most important days of the year after spending her time making sure everything was perfect for them and was able to eat the beautiful meal she had spent days preparing.   I forgot about feeling sad….Mom had put it into perspective.  No horrible car wreck, no long months or years of being sick….a beautiful celebration on Christmas Day surrounded by her family.


RIP Elizabeth Gail Frazier.

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