...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



I don’t blame you for living vicariously through your phone during a gloomy winter. It looks almost too good to be true. Two thumbs way up!


you are killing me with these pictures!
i have grown up going to seagrove and seaside every year of my life…
i miss it so much. alys and rosemary are so beautiful!
thanks for sharing.


People get to LIVE THEIR LIVES HERE! It is amazing! On my must travel to do list now! Thanks for sharing!


Super lovely—so needing a vacation!
It’s grey here in Chicago today and so I loved my little getaway, looking at your photos!
I’ve only seen pictures, so I’m not sure whether the driftwood horses above are hers, but check out the work by Heather Jansch— her driftwood and bronze horse sculptures are just amazing!



This post couldn’t have come at a better time Dana. This place is ablsolutely dreamy and your capture of it is stunning. Your photography is breathtaking. Just perfect.


Dana, love your posts! Tehy continue to be very personal and based on your experiences. Nowdays, most of the other blogs I read are posting 80% store reviews (they go to the store and take pictures of it) or giveaways and very few posts beased on real experiences or intended to build a community. Note: a couple months ago, I won a copy of the Remodelista Book, but I never got it:-( Maybe you can check with them and see if they shipped to VA?… Thanks!


Oh how I miss this place! We used to vacation in Rosemary all the time, but our friends ended up selling their place. Alas it holds years of sweet memories.




Thanks! Small world, huh?


Oh no! I will look into it! I want you to have that book.


Amazing! They do look similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are her work. Thanks for sharing the link!


I know, right?! Steve and I were dreaming up business ideas for the area thinking we could live there year-round. Maybe one day…


Just spoke with the peeps at Remodelista. Be on the lookout for an email from them! x


I can honestly say I have never wanted to vacation in Florida, but god those gates may have just convinced me. I bet your little printed family book of this vacation will be amazing to stare at.


Rosemary was a beach game-changer for me. The first time we went, we stayed in one of the fancy houses with the private pool (so very cool). Love Cowgirl Kitchen … and George’s is fantastic.


OMGoodness these are some beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing. I love the doors and gates, I definitely have a thing for nice wood. I have had the privilege of working on some incredible homes and I find my self wondering what I am doing wrong as well.