...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I hope you don’t mind if I eke out one more post from our recent vacation. It’s dark and cold here so I’ve been living vicariously through the vacation photos on my phone. I thought maybe you would like to do the same. Photo dump, anyone?

rosemary beach post office

As I’ve mentioned before, we stayed in Seacrest which is sandwiched between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. We spent most of our time biking and walking around Rosemary and I was so inspired by the architecture which you can read more about here. Seriously, have you ever seen a cuter post office?

rosemary beach house

rosemary beach house

No house is just like the other but there is an underlying vibe that keeps things feeling harmonious. I was especially drawn to the exterior material choices: wood siding, cedar shingle, stucco. And the windows. THE WINDOWS.

rosemary beach garage door

rosemary beach driveway gate

rosemary beach gate

There were so many good door and gate moments, too. I nearly wrecked my bike rubbernecking. Steve and I spent ten minutes ogling the galvanized downspout on that green garage. I loved the unique silhouettes of the gates. The attention to detail is incredible.

rosemary beach modern porch

rosemary beach traditional porch

There was a juxtaposition of modern and traditional that kept things interesting. I noticed something new and different on every bike ride – even if it was an area we had passed through before. For a design nerd like me, it was sensory overload. In a good way, of course.

rosemary beach hidden lantern

rosemary beach hidden lantern

rosemary beach hidden lantern

One of our favorite places to visit was The Hidden Lantern Bookstore in downtown Rosemary. It’s part bookstore, part art gallery, and it’s gorgeous yet homey. There’s a big, comfy sofa and plenty of cushy chairs which make it difficult to leave! I noticed a trio of paper lanterns covered in “scales” cut from book pages. The featured artist was Rae Broyles. Her work is amazing.

I discovered this new book on display and wouldn’t shut up about it because when in Rome… Steve secretly bought a signed copy on the last day and gifted it to me for my birthday. He’s the best.

We ate dinner out a few nights. Since the kids were with us, our options were a bit limited but we really enjoyed Cowgirl Kitchen (get the smoked tuna dip and shrimp & grits) and La Cocina (get the fish tacos and lobster quesadilla plus a margarita). Both were family-friendly and delicious.

alys beach

On one of the cooler days, we biked to Alys Beach just to gawk. Alys Beach is one of those unattainable places that makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong in my life. Ha! The homes are opulent, beautiful and crazy pricey. Here’s a little Alys Beach trivia for you: The community is centered around Lake Marilyn. Interestingly, the lake was an afterthought. It was added in 2005 in response to a need for an irrigation reservoir. Overhead, the lake’s contours resemble those of a curvaceous woman. Hence, the name Lake Marilyn was born.

lays beach house

This was the only house small enough to fit in my viewfinder!

alys beach pool

This is just a sliver of the pool area. There are private cabanas with a lap pool on one side and woodland preserves on the other. Stunning.

alys beach horse sculpture

We stumbled upon these horse sculptures constructed of driftwood. The kids loved them.

alys beach window

alys beach door

More window and door moments. Can you EVEN? Most of the homes are centered around interior, private courtyards that feature fountains and pools. We could hear water trickling beyond the doors. It was so dreamy.

The boys and I hit up Charlie’s Donuts for breakfast one morning. We really wanted to try George’s and Fonville Press but, alas, they didn’t happen this trip. Next time! Who’s with me?

Okay, I think I can make it through winter now ;)

P.S. – The #HolidayHostess event continues this week with Jennifer from Dear Lillie. Her recently re-painted kitchen looks cozy.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

12.15.14 / Made Me Smile

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

We put up our tree last week. Cheetah was verrrry interested in it before we added lights and (unbreakable) ornaments. She disappeared into the tree once and we had to pull her out but, since adding the decorations, she seems to have lost interest other than batting around a few ornaments on the lowest branches. Just in case, we anchored the tree to the mantel with fishing line ;) WE ARE THOSE PEOPLE.

More happenings…

*Coolest open house ever.

*So much potential.

*DIY corner shelves. (Way to go, Alison!)

*A reader from Estonia contacted me this week. It piqued my interest and I did some reading up on the area. Now I want to visit! Have you ever been? This beach villa looks amazing and this old town home in Tallinn looks so cozy.

british standard kitchen via Remodelista

*Kitchen love.

*One mama’s thoughts.

*Someone gifted me an Amazon gift card for my birthday. I bought this book and have been devouring every word and image. I’m kind of sad I only have a few pages left to read.

Have a great one!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Alexis Hamilton

12.07.14 / Made Me Smile

star light, star bright

It really felt like winter here this week: cold, gray, gloomy. The early dusk doesn’t help. The star lights in our front window help a little. Reading helps a lot. I’ve been looking through our vacation pictures all week and I can’t decide if it’s torture or therapy. I think it’s about time to start planning next year’s vacation ;)

More therapy…

*The holy grail of the Beat Generation has been found!

*Grace’s mission statement is spot on. Two thumbs up for the part about making mistakes.

*A garage turned rental.

*Did you see this amazing house with its sneaky shortcut from the kids’ bedrooms to the main living space? So fun!

owens + davis

*Love all the vintage textiles and statement lighting in this house tour.

*Sometimes, for fun, I search “Austin” on Houzz just to see what comes up.

*The bathroom is coming along!

Keep on the sunny side, my friends.

P.S. – You can check out my #HolidayHostess sale over on Joss & Main for two more days!

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Owens + Davis

A few ideas for the homebodies in your life who enjoy nothing more than an evening spent at home surrounded by creature comforts…

cozy home


1 – Mongolian faux fur pillow / vintage kilim pillow cover – Pillows = cozy. Mix tactile textures with playful patterns for maximum effect.

2 – Smell My Nuts mason jar candle – A candle with a scents of humor. (Sorry, had to.)

3 – plaid flannel sheets – Because cold sheets are the worst.

4 – square photo holder – Display photos of favorite people, furry friends and dreamy places.

5 – wood & white ceramic planter – Just add a succulent and call it a day.

6 – vegetable-dyed Baluch rug – Happy feet, happy home.

7 – peshtemal towel – We made the switch from terrycloth to peshtemal two years ago and haven’t looked back. They have so many uses!

8 – teardrop lamp – You’re going to need some mood lighting.

9 – macrame wall hanging – Walls need love too.

Keep it cozy, folks.

Pssst…If you haven’t had a chance to check out the #HolidayHostess sale over on Joss & Main, there are some larger pieces to cozy up your home, too.

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking