Flashback Friday: Building a Raised Garden & a Mini Getaway

I've been doing more packing and waiting around for utility inspections than I care to share here. So, I thought I would do a flashback today. Thanks to Pinterest, our DIY raised garden is the most popular post we've done. You can check out how we built ours (for under $200) here.

DIY Raised Garden

We did manage to sneak away last weekend to Chicago for a few days. We took Amtrak (about a 5 hour ride) from STL to Chicago's Union Station. It was our first time on the train and we loved it. We were both able to kick back, drink some wine, and enjoy the view. (It beats only me one of us getting to do that if we drive).

Cruising along
Springfield, Ill

As all good mini-vacas should, our Chicago to-do list mostly consisted of food we had to eat. As you can see, we take this very seriously...

Gino's East
Fist sized t-rav at Gino's East
The second best sandwich of his life.

We also did a TON of walking.Which, unfortunately, didn't counteract all of the pastrami, Italian beef sandwiches, deep dish pizza, toasted raviolis, crab balls and french macaroons that I consumed. And beer. I just kept telling myself that the next couple weeks of packing, moving a crap-ton of heavy boxes and lifting furniture will just melt those Chicago carbs away!

The bean.

Chicago from Navy Pier


On the Move...Again!

After a nearly 12 month slumber, I'm excited to bring the Vanilla Bean blog back to life. It's been a crazy-busy year for us. We started new endeavors that had us constantly creating, building, painting, sewing, and selling. However, our future plans are going to put a screeching halt to most of that work. (More on that below). I get cranky bitchy if I don't have a creative outlet. And, quite frankly, I miss the VB blog.

So, here we are. To bring you up to speed, here's where we stand today...

We're moving! Again. Back in 2009, we made the move to a larger house. While we love this current house, we're in a different frame of mind now. What we didn't quite think about back then is that more house = more of everything. More cleaning. More yardwork. More bills. More rooms we don't actually use.

Last summer we tentatively made the decision to move. We started stalking the community we wanted to move to. During the winter, we made some updates we knew had to be done. We made a deposit on a lot to build on. On April 21st, we had an open house (and the first time we let any prospective buyers in). Two hours later we were under contract!

I just recently came across the term "right sizing." I like it so much better then "down sizing" -- which is depressing to me. Our current house isn't right for us. The one we'll move into in October is.

Eventually, we'll be going from 5 bedrooms to two. A much smaller backyard. And moving to a close-knit community where we can walk to the local market, pool, shops and dining. (I'll share more on where we've decided to move soon!)

Right not, we're waiting to close on our house. Once we hand over the keys, we hope to start building (a 3.5-4 month process). While we build, we've found a tiny one-bedroom apartment. We lucked out and got one within walking distance to where we are building. We'll be able to watch the entire process. Start enjoying our new neighbors and community. And, when it comes to finally moving in, going from a one bedroom to two bedroom won't be such a shock. Here's a peek at where we'll be in the next few months:

As you can see, there's no room to build tables. Little room to paint and sew (Although, I'll be doing as much as I can). But, it's where we'll make all of the design and decorating plans for our new house. I cannot wait! And, since we'll have no yard work and little upkeep, we'll be doing alot more cooking to keep busy.

Stay tuned for an exciting summer and fall!