Jude Landry Store

Monday, January 30, 2012

Project Pinterest Play Kitchen

This was the kitchen the girls have been using for the last 3 years. A co-worker kindly gave it to me before Joan was born and it's gotten lots of use. 
It was time for an upgrade, though.

We cashed it in for this little beauty.

I saw these adorable play kitchens repurposed from old night stands and entertainment centers floating around Pinterest and I decided the girls needed one. So one day while I was browsing our local discount store, Dirt Cheap, I found these two bathroom storage cabinets that I knew would be perfect for the job (except that some pieces were missing or damaged... it's cool, though, we made it work). I thought the 2-door cabinet would be deep enough for both a stove and a sink, but it was thinner than I realized. So we had to order a 2-cube organizer from Target to have room for a sink. 

Once the pieces were put together, Jude drilled new holes for the hinges so that the oven door would open correctly and he added new hardware (we splurged for something nice and modern).

Then he finally put that wedding registry gift to use (the unopened jigsaw), and created a hole for the sink and plopped down a silver bowl.

And remember that poker chip? We fit it into the base of the P-trap, drilled a hole through it, screwed the P-trap back on and made it into a faucet. I hope I won't be missing that poker chip. It's worth 30 minutes of free babysitting from the babysitting coop I'm in. The way I figure it, this kitchen better occupy my girls for at least 30 minutes, so it should all even out.

Then we got to painting. We used paint we already had from our kitchen island and their school desk. Jude did an excellent job with the microwave, stovetop, and oven.

I love that the cabinet already had a shelf that we use to separate fridge from freezer.

I painted a green tote that we already had white and sewed the curtains and dishtowel.

I only painted the important part of the tote. It was a bit tedious.

We drilled a dowel rod that we already had in from the sides and hung a curtain that hides the sink bowl and their pantry items.

Jude's designing some kitchen art to hang above the stove and sink, but I couldn't wait to post these pictures any longer, so I'll show you that when it's done.

The girls love it and look adorable playing house. But seeing all of their cheap plastic food and plates next to this new modern kitchen really makes me want to run out and buy all new wooden play food and pots. But I won't. Not now anyways.

It was fun working on this with Jude and we completed it fairly inexpensively, at least for what this would cost if sold in stores.  Here's the run-down:
Dirt Cheap fridge: $13
Dirt Cheap oven/microwave: $12
Target 2-cube organizer: $20
Faucet knobs: $5
Cup hooks:$1
Stovetop knobs: $2 (I bought plain wooden ones and painted them white)
P-trap faucet: $6
Fabric: $5
Fridge/Microwave/Drawer/Oven hardware: $13 (we could have made this less, but we couldn't help ourselves)
Sink Bowl:$3
Total: $80 (plus some tax which I didn't include to make it sound cheaper...)

Now I just need to get Jude on board with the next Project Pinterest, a bookshelf from this pallet I found on the side of the road.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Well said, Kaitlin

You should go read what Kaitlin wrote, it's very good.

I won't waste anymore of your time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I like the bandwagon. It's scenic.

I bought a pair of TOMS. (Yeah, I'm two years late on that one.)

I joined Pinterest. (I'm not that late, right?)

We started watching Downton Abbey. (But the threat of SOPA is really making that difficult.)

Need more randomness for your Thursday? What does a poker chip and a P-trap have in common?
You'll have to stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making things makes life better: Birthday Gifts

Jude designed these images for Charlie's birthday, cut them into squares and I decoupaged them onto wooden blocks to create a block puzzle.

I got the original Garanimals blocks at Wal-Mart for like $5 and then sanded down whatever they painted first, then I painted the sides red and yellow. You'd be fine with plain wooden blocks from Hobby Lobby, if you've got one... 

Evvy's the head of Quality Control

Will had a Cars 2 themed birthday party, so I created Sally's Cozy Cone Motel from the first movie so that Will could park his hot wheels safely overnight. I did a version of this. Good luck finding solid cones, though. I had to special order them from a nice old man in Columbus (long story). But if you've got a Target, I'm sure you'll be fine...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To the Mothers of Picky Eaters

First, let's clarify.

If your child turns their nose up at the plate of broccoli in front of them, they're not picky.
If you can manage to get them to try said broccoli, they're not picky.

If your child leaves the crust of their PB&J untouched, they're not picky.
If they prefer their veggies raw, but not cooked, or maybe cooked and not raw, they're not picky.

If they'll eat dinner served in the shape of a monster or princess crown, they're not picky.
If they finish the spoonfuls of green beans on their plate because they helped you "cook" them, they're not picky.

If your child think food is delicious when you drop it into their mouth from up high, they're not picky.
If they only like to eat with toothpicks, chopsticks, or grilling tongs, they're not picky.

Being picky is different.

It's complaining about the temperature of the water in a sippy cup.
It's refusing to eat a popsicle because, surely, it has fruit in it.
It's turning down chocolate milk because hot chocolate is better.
It's the inability to finish half of a PB&J because the crusts are still on.
It's not being able to eat the same exact meal two days in a row, even though it was great the first time.
It's requesting a particular meal and by the time it's ready, it doesn't look good anymore.
It's only liking mac and cheese if it's made with a packet of powder.
It's hating the grilled cheese and PB&J sandwiches from the kid's menu.

So, to the mothers of picky eaters, I'll be toasting to you tonight (as long as the waiter brings my red at room temperature).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We have fun. But I'm too lazy.

Normally, for the We have fun post, I'd put a montage of random photos and videos up for you guys. But frankly, I don't feel like it.

But this should do, right?

Now, excuse me while I go update my facebook profile pic.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


"Momma, these are for the poor people, who are sick... and lonely... and not comfy."

"Momma, on Tuesday, my throat will hurt really bad."
"Oh really?"
"Yeah, and I'm gonna have to go to the doctor's office."
"And what's he gonna say?"
"That I have to have a throat connection."

"Hey Mom! Papa made me hot chocolate!"
"Aw, isn't he just the nicest papa ever?
"And who's the nicest Momma ever...?"
"Um, Mrs. Carmen."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If it's not too late,

check out our Christmas vacation photos by clicking here
Need a sneak peek?

The girls got the furniture and doll family from the extended fam later, but until then, the Nativity Scene was working out just fine. Didn't know Jesus' stable had solar panels, did ya?

It's a pillow pet!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The St. Joe Stalkers

We stood in the large gathering space after Mass, waiting for Fr. John to finish greeting people so that we could introduce ourselves as new parishioners. We had just moved into our new house the day before and had seven family members joining us in the pew that morning. 

But as I waited for Fr. John to be free, I could tell we were being watched. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a couple that wasn't talking to anyone, but they also weren't leaving. Not sure what to do, we kept waiting. A full head of curly brown hair just popped over and hesitantly spoke. "Are you guys new?"

The excitement on their faces when they learned we were new, recently married, and had a toddler was a relief for us - it's a little daunting starting over in a new place without any friends, especially good Catholic ones and we were just as excited to meet them as they were us. It didn't freak us out in the slightest to have them creeping behind us and being so bold. Probably because we're just as creepy and have stalked a few people in our younger days, too. (Remember when we stalked you, McGraws, after mass at Epiphany and then again at the Sweet Corn Blues Festival and you introduced us to the Gesterlings, who introduced us to the Herrs, who introduced us to Bonnie... and so the story goes? Good things happen when you stalk people... well, holy people.)

We never did get to talk to Fr. John that day. But it doesn't really matter.

Because Kaitlin and Ted (and eventually sweet baby Hannah) became close, close friends of ours. They challenged us, supported us, laughed with us, and cried with us. Their friendship has been one of the greatest blessings we've received while living in Starkville and we will miss them deeply. Ted's new job in Tallahassee starts in two days and as I type, they are caravanning to their new home. 

It still seems surreal to me, though. I'm not sad yet - I wasn't even sad when we ended the night last night playing Bohnanza over an enormous bowl of heavily salted popcorn. Maybe it's because I'm in denial, or maybe it's because they'll never really be that far from us. I'll always remember them this way, and it makes me happy, not sad:

So, Kaitlin and Ted, we wish you well.
May God continue to fill your lives with joy and happiness,
and may He bless you with amazing friends in Tallahassee,
as you have been to us, here in Starkville.

Just stay after mass this Sunday. I'm sure something will work out, you big stalkers.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why I sew.

Ever since I was young, I've always needed a creative outlet: singing, playing guitar, painting, crafting, writing, and taking photos. Sewing is just an extension of that.

But when I was talking to Jude recently about how much I love sewing, I got to over-analyzing (something I'm also really great at...) and I discovered some pretty deep stuff.

If you're really close to me, you might describe me as a pessimist. I may disguise it with humor and sarcasm, but the message is the same - everything's falling a part, there's no use - no hope. It is what it is and I'm aggravated by it. I'm impatient and want results as soon as possible. I also get easily overwhelmed with lots of information and I'd rather someone else just tell me what to do to get it right.

But when I sew, I become a different person, a better version of Alisha. 

Suddenly, I see the possibilities in things and I'm hopeful. I picture what they can be transformed into. An old holy t-shirt is now an adorable ruffle at the bottom of a dress. Everything can be saved and made into something beautiful. I am patient and calm in the midst of a challenge, a problem, or a mistake. I don't doubt myself the way I would in real life.

And even though I occasionally scan the internet for inspirations and tutorials, most of the stuff I do just comes to me. Sometimes, though, when I do find a tutorial that I want to do, I don't even read their directions - I just start and keep trying until it works. I trust that I'll figure it out on my own.

Let's be honest, I'll probably never be as ecofriendly as most of my friends here - they're pretty intense about their organic farming, naturally medicating, personal chicken-coop owning, and responsible consuming. But repurposing stuff makes me feel like I'm doing my part, too (which happens to be way easier than farming, I hear).

And I have to say, I enjoy the recognition. I like knowing that what I've done is tangibly valuable and desired by others. No one is raving about the mac 'n cheese with carrot puree I just made (especially not Joan) but people dig the owls. And they'll buy them.

So now, when filling out a silly questionnaire, I can finally answer "yes," I have a hobby: sewing. But it's so much more than that.