DIY Raised Garden Bed

After a nearly three-month home project lull and two week vacation, we jumped right back into DIY projects. Well, some of us may have been dragged -- but let's not point fingers.

First up: a raised garden for the backyard. This is a progression from our playground garden of last year that consisted of herbs, tomatoes and peppers. We had the following cut at Home Depot:

2 10-foot lengths of 2x8 boards
2 3-foot lengths of 2x8 boards
4 12-inch 4x4 posts

We adapted ours after the one found here at Sunset.com. You can find detailed instructions there or use my highly technical explanation below.

Secure boards and posts together to make a big rectangle with short, stubby legs.
See -- that wasn't so hard, was it?
Dig holes to fit the four posts. This photo may or may not be upside down.
Place the legs in the holes.
Fill with approx. 12 bags of soil. Make sure you have someone strong like Mr. VB to carry all those bags. They are heavy!
Plant way too much fruit, veggies and herbs for your little space.

Total cost of the project (with lumber, soil, truck rental and plants) was just under $200. But, think of the cash we'll save on eggplant, squash, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, brussel sprouts, basil, oregano, rosemary, and strawberries. Have you seen the price of a strawberry lately? And, don't even get me started on tomatoes.


New Updates! Vanilla Bean Breaks the Silence

It's hard to believe it has been three months since we last spoke. I'm sorry for giving you the silent treatment!

How have you been?

What have you been up to?

While I haven't been blogging -- things have been busy around Vanilla Bean. Don't get me wrong...some things are still the same. Master bedroom progress has not moved since February. But, we've still been occupied with projects around the house, cooking and lounging around many other things.

Let's take a look...

 Mr. VB was busy this winter, building a bar in the basement.

It's called The Alaskan and is the new hotspot in our subdivision (as you can tell from the photo below).
It even has its own Facebook page!

He took it a step further and made his first batch of homemade brew this spring.

The first batch of Hollandbush Lager was delicious...and I am eagerly awaiting the next batch. (Once we get through the first one!)

We also kept the VB kitchen hopping. We roasted some garlic.

On Jan. 1, I started Weight Watchers in preparation for our spring vacation.
I lost 20 pounds and gained a new wardrobe!

Thank you Jennifer Hudson and Skinny Taste for the inspiration and recipes!

Then, Mr. VB and I took to the seas for a Transatlantic cruise!

I'll post more pics later, but we visited Florence, Barcelona, Pisa, the Azores, Cartegena and Saint Tropez.

We ate delicious food....

Drank unforgettable caramel macchiatos... 

Took a moment to think about all the delicious food (and wine) we were enjoying...

Then, got right back out there and had some more!

I can't wait to show you the beautiful outdoor market in Barcelona and the new outdoor project we are working on at the house. We'll talk more soon!