the places I visit on the island paradise where I live

Having left Ohio in 1981, I have been moving south ever since. First to Florida, then for the last 17 years, I have lived on the island of Cozumel with my husband and two dogs. Expat, designer, writer, photographer ... all my passions with a Mexican twist!

Dec 6, 2015

Facebook Updates from The Magic of Design

Chair we now have 3 in stock at 30% off


The last thing I want to make this blog is an advertisement for our business. But sometimes I think people really do want to know if there is an easier way to shop. I have found over the last few years that most clients prefer to look at stuff online. In fact, many would like to order online. Truthfully though, most or our clients really want to sit in and see the upholstery, feel the fabrics and see the wood finishes.

A beautiful oak cabinet in stock now 50% off

But it is great to get to see what we are stocking. Now we have our inventory on our Facebook page each month. I will be updating the December inventory over the next few days. We have sold so much the last week, that I have to go back and do it again. Here is a link to The Magic of Design photo albums. Just look for the current month and locate what we have in inventory. Things change fast, so once in a while something might be sold. I do my best to keep it current.

So please stop by our Facebook page and give us a like! Happy holidays Cozumel!



Nov 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving



Well here we are again. Another year goes by. Another Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday of the year, or I guess I should say it was my favorite holiday growing up.

I miss the gathering of my mom's family. Grandma made the turkey and stuffing. She also made her famous spaghetti and cheese, like a macaroni and cheese but with thin vermicelli. My mom usually made a pork roast, as my dad didn't like turkey much. Sitting around the table of my grandmother's house with family and always a few strangers that my grandmother invited for the holiday.

They are all gone now. My grandma, my mom and dad, my brother Bobby moved away thirty years ago and never came back. My Aunt Peggy died two years ago now. The ones who are left are scattered between Ohio, Florida, England and California. 


Liz and me


Here are a few photos of when our family was together in August of 2013. Miss you guys!


my cousin Julie's family
So tonight my husband and I will celebrate with my friend DeLea. We have lots to be thankful for. But I still do miss those big affairs each year, with the steamy kitchen and loud chatter and all that love. Most of all, I miss you mom!


Sep 13, 2015

Luh's Line: Our New Mayan Accessories & Furniture

B'ALAM WAY spirit jaguar accessory
Our trip to the Yucatan Peninsula and the beaches proved to be super successful. We also had fun with our family. It had been a long time since I spent any time in Merida. The beach was a bust! The house we rented had no water, no hot water, ants and lots of mosquitoes. We only stayed two nights and moved on to the Hyatt.

Prototype of a new root table style


But we got to do what we set out to do, which was find new suppliers of furniture and accesorries. I wanted to start a line of more eco-friendly, green furniture that can stand the heat and humidity we have here. Where better to find it than in the jungles of the Mayan world?

Another prototype of an outdoor chair


Along with finding some wonderful things, we also got to meet some wonderful people. The small pueblos around the Yucatan Peninsula have the warmest and kindest people I have ever met. It is quite amusing for us to converse, as Spanish is a second language for me and also for them. Their first language is Maya.

Aug 24, 2015

Mayan Languages Being Preserved

From the book "Where the Wild Things Are"
I joined a new group recently, Yucatan Expat Life, and the first week that I received their roundup, or newsletter - there was an article on translating the book, "Where the Wild Things Are" in to a Mayan language.

I found that really exciting. I remember touring Guatemala years ago, and our guide explained that in school the children are required to learn Spanish, English and their own Mayan language for the area in which they live. I thought that was fascinating and so valid.

In the Yucatan, many of the older generation still speak Mayan. My mother-in-law, who is 100% descended from Spaniards but grew up in Telchac and Merida, speaks Mayan. My husband knows a little but not a lot. He speaks Spanish as a first language, then English, Italian, French and German. 

The information on the translation of the book can be found here. So happy to see this happening! Hopefully this will be a trend and they will begin to teach the Mayan languages in school, so they will not be lost.

Aug 1, 2015

Cozumel View: Got to Love It

View from Palmar Condos 8th Floor 
This was our view today from the 8th floor of a Cozumel condo while my husband, Moises, took measures for blinds. It just doesn't get much better than this. 

A few days ago, I had to travel to Playa del Carmen. Whenever I sit outside on the ferry, watching Cozumel get smaller and smaller, I reminisce of the times I toiled first in a cubicle, then in a small office and later in a large office with windows - at the design firm. Guaranteed my view never looked like this.

When I worked in South Florida at the design firm, for years we were not even allowed to wear pant suits, only skirts or dresses. I always wanted a job where I could wear jeans. Now I even wear shorts some days. I love my job. :)

Jul 17, 2015

Sea Walls on Cozumel Island



Really psyched about the sea walls, murals for oceans that is being sponsored by Pangeaseed here on Cozumel Island for the next ten days. Murals are being painted by some pretty famous street artists "to save our seas by public art and activism."

I already know a few places they have started and plan to stop and photograph them. I did notice one artist has started and appears to have the name of a restaurant in his wall art. I really hope it isn't so, as that seems like such a sell out. Will let you know tomorrow when I go by. We already have enough advertisements here. Hoping for something new and fresh.

May 19, 2015

Our 10 Year Anniversary: The Magic of Design

Thank you to our clients on our ten year anniversary

To all our wonderful clients,
It has been ten years since The Magic of Design opened their doors at the humble Swiss chalet home at the corner of 10 and 11. In 2007, we moved to our current location and we expanded the showroom in 2008. We have seen many changes both in our business and on Cozumel.

The Magic of Design store January 2012

We survived Hurricane Wilma and the H1N1 scare and the global economy crisis. In recent years, the biggest challenge I see for the island is the number of people who have arrived to live here full-time. Our basic services sometimes seem stretched thin. We even have "traffic" now on Cozumel. Yes, we aren't Playa del Carmen or Cancun, thankfully - but it still presents challenges.

Store April 2012

We at The Magic of Design have learned lessons over the last ten years. We have learned how to organize our truck deliveries and import orders better to save money, so that we don’t need to charge more. We also introduced a few lines of furniture this year from Mexico, including Acor Muebles and accessories from both Ajijic and Saltillo. Hopefully, over the years we have improved our service and the way we do things. Looking back over the last ten years, I am amazed at all the changes in our business. But some things remain the same, our dedication to each of our clients.

One of our favorite condo projects

We have installed thousands of homes and condos with furniture, but we remember your name. We care when you have a grandchild or get a new puppy. We answer questions about the furniture we sell. We go above and beyond the warranty offered by our manufacturers. We are here for the long haul.

Another favorite

So I would like to take this time, our ten year anniversary, to say thanks. Thanks for being our clients. Thanks for remembering us for both your furniture needs and the holiday cards we receive. Thanks for calling us up and going to dinner with us once in a while.

New accessories coming soon

Cozumel is a small, home town community and many of us know each other well. We are proud to be part of such a wonderful place. I named it Mexican Mayberry back in 1997 when I started coming here to dive. I don’t regret moving here and starting such a wonderful business. There have been challenges but great opportunities as well. So thank you to all our wonderful clients, both old and new!

To celebrate our tenth anniversary, we will have 50% off on all mattresses and box springs in-stock, 50% off of selected lamps and all decorative pillows and throws. All in-stock furniture will be 30% off for this month of May.
Best regards,
Luh, Moises and staff
The Magic of Design Furniture & Interior Design
“Creating magic in your home”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themagicofdesigncozumel

Apr 28, 2015

Happy Birthday to The Magic of Design



Camembert cheese from Normandy, France


A post on Facebook got me walking down Memory Lane. We got to chatting about cheese, and I mentioned the best cheese I ever had was in Normandy, France. A Camembert so fresh and without preservatives, it had a 30 day expiration, not the 6 month or one year we are used to on the imported stuff. In fact I photographed it before I ate it.

Our discussion was about food stores and how we don't really have a gourmet store similar to what Moises and I had back in 2001. I shouldn't say it was gourmet, but we did carry many of the things that I missed from the states. The timing was wrong as we opened the week before 9/11 and we lost a bit of money. We had vanilla coffee and bagels with cream cheese and lox. The bagels were baked every week in Cancun. We sold sandwiches and tried to sell towels and sheets and upholstery fabrics. Almost nobody was on the island, so we enticed the dive masters with bagel sandwiches and Dr. Pepper. It was a tough way to make money, and I breathed a sigh of relief when we closed. But truly, I learned so much that helped me with my next venture, The Magic of Design Furniture & Interior Design.


Crazy accessory from our store downstairs in 2011

So it got me thinking about the history of our store. How many people remember that we opened another store downstairs for three months back in 2011? I got in a huge order of accessories from a crazy company in Guadalajara. They sent us everything but what we ordered, and one of the accessories is shown here. It was a person sized tea pitcher and serving cups. It stood 6 feet tall. I remember selling it to a very special client.



our store a few years back


Our first two years were spent in the Swiss chalet house at 10 and 11, back in 2005 to 2007. Trying to locate photos of that store are proving to be difficult, but I bet if I check some of those old disks I will find them. 



Client's new condo 2012


Here are a few more recent posts of our store over the last few years! Ten years we have been in business! Wow, time flies.




















Mar 22, 2015

Great Beach Day at Playa Azul

Playa Azul Beach Club on Cozumel
 Today we spent a beach day at Playa Azul with our Godchild and two of our lovely nieces. The water was clear, the weather gorgeous and the company was oh so fun.
Moises and Bella sending greetings from the ocean
We had drinks and some tasty dishes ... including coconut shrimp, quesadillas with chicken, lime soup and the little one had fish fingers and fries. What a great way to spend a Sunday!

The lovely ladies!


Here is addtional information on the Playa Azul Beach Club. You won't be disappointed. I highly recommend Playa Azul Beach Club for a relaxed afternoon with family or friends. Speaking of friends, I ran in to some of the Mermaids. It was great to see you ladies!

Last but not least I can't resist this one of our future soccer champ!

our future women's soccer champion



Feb 24, 2015

Tow Truck Adventure

Moises riding in the car on the tow truck
Sometimes life is just about going with the flow. We got back from Guadalajara after a quick weekend trip to see my family in California. The trip to California was great. I was so happy to see my nieces and my brother, spend some time with my niece's husband, Nick ... and best of all, meet little Nicky, who is now about a month old.


Our precious great nephew Nicholas


But returning home was another matter. I took the red eye all the way to Cozumel via Houston, leaving LAX at midnight and arriving on Cozumel at noon. By the time I cleared customs and immigrations it was 1pm. It left me enough time to take a shower and then we were back on the ferry to Playa on the 4pm boat. We needed to get out of dodge before the Carnaval parade started, as we had a flight from Cancun at 6am the next morning to go to the Guadalajara Expo furniture show.


Glass bowl from Guadalajara Expo


We overnighted in Cancun and were in Guadalajara by 11am the next day. We spent four days at the furniture show, which I will report on later. We arrived back home on Sunday and I got sick. So last night I found myself at the doctor's office. I had parked at the parking lot across from Clinica San Miguel. After being checked out and getting my prescriptions for a throat infection, I jumped in my car and it wouldn't start.

No problem, Moises and I decided when he came for me. Sure it was the battery, we got up at 8am today and bought a new one. Only problem was it wasn't the battery. It was the starter, so to get the car from the parking lot to the VW dealership required a tow truck. Now the guy we know at the dealership's eyes just got wide when we asked where we could find a tow truck. He had no idea, so we asked around.


Tow truck arriving at the VW dealership


I was told we had two options. Use the service from the taxistas or ask permission to use the tow truck from the Municipio. We went with the taxista service and couldn't have been happier. The price was only $400 pesos, plus we gave the driver a tip. He was great.

Funniest part was watching Moises riding along in the car on the tow truck. Here are a few shots. He said it was better than being in the Carnaval Parade.




Final destination 


And if you ever need tow service, I highly recommend the taxista service. Cell number 987 105 9574 Marvin Flores.



Jan 11, 2015

Where Do I Go From Here?

Me, Moises and Jimena on our Transatlantic Cruise in April 2014
2015 is going to be my year of reflection, probably has something to do with the fact that I will turn 60 this year. How did I get so old? Secondly, I ask myself ... where do I go from here?


Cruise on Eurodam May 2011
I guess I need to back up four years. I started this blog in August of 2011, after taking an online blogging course with Zora O'Neill. First came Gargoyles & Graffiti blog, about my travels, and all the wonderful architectural features I find along the way. But I also wanted a blog that chronicled my life and work on the island of Cozumel. That is how Design in Cozumel was born. 

Our Godchild's Baptism

I have blogged about babies being born and being Baptized, coffee filters arriving at the grocery store and where pregnant ladies can park their car at Mega. I've blogged about the crowds at the license plates bureau next to our store. I've blogged about The Magic of Design Furniture & Interior Design, our store and sales we've had, quality of our furniture and the models we've done in the past. 

Amber when pregnant with Mila

I've blogged about the traditions we have here ... Carnaval each year, Iron Man and one of my favorites, the season of quinceaƱeras, when 15 year old girls have their coming out parties. 

In April, I will begin my 15th year here on the island of Cozumel. What will I do? Where will I go from here? Care to guess?

Young girl celebrating her 15th birthday

Jan 1, 2015

Reflections and New Beginnings


One thing I am certain of is I am not perfect. We all know that none of us are. But the one New Year's resolution I want to make this year is to be more clear of my intentions and hope others can do the same. I will try my best to approach each new hurdle or situation with an open mind. Really a tough one for me.

I never really understand where somebody else is coming from at any given moment. I have unkind words or a horrible email from family, and immediately I get angry. But after a few days revisiting the issue over and over again, I realize that most of what makes me upset or hurt is not really about me, but more about them. This is the kind of stuff I know but seldom practice.

So I approach this new year with a new lesson. Take what I can get and leave the rest. Enjoy my friends and my accomplishments. Take it one day at a time and don't take life so seriously. All the crap will still be here tomorrow. Relax, enjoy and understand that we all have problems. Often when another person is unkind or judgmental, the best thing to do is to let go and let God.

That is my wisdom for 2015! Happy New Year. Feliz 2015!