Math Geeks Unite! (the smartest post ever!)

So… Pie Day, or I guess it is spelled “Pi Day”, is something I never celebrated ever… until I got married. Then I learned how important and fun Pi Day could be… joking…

Why is Pi day so awesome? What is Pi? I’m going to have my Math-y Husband be a guest and tell you why!

Hello humans, my wife tells me I have to explain why Pi is awesome. One could write a book on why Pi is amazing. Oh wait, they already have (see this or this or this or this). Now technically Pi is just a letter of the Greek alphabet and can be used to represent any quantity (and sometimes is in math courses), but the number approximated as 3.14159265359*… is universally represented by this letter. Hence, when someone refers to Pi (not pie) without further clarification they are usually referring to this number. But what IS it ? Simply stated, it is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. That is boring. A much more interesting question is this: WHY do we care? Because it has been historically very difficult to calculate with accuracy. The Greeks were obsessed with trying to calculate it and the great Archimedes nearly discovered Calculus in his pursuit to calculate pi (this was nearly 2,000 years before it was finally discovered  by Newton and Leibniz!!!!). Pi is also irrational (legend has it that the man who proved that irrationals existed was murdered by Pythagoras’ secretive mathematical society who were displeased with his findings… and yes, this is the same Pythagoras we read about in high school when we learn Pythagoras’ Theorem). Pi is also transcendental and is one of the first numbers proven to be so (this is also a mind blowing concept btw). It was not until Pi was proven to be transcendental in 1882 that the famous three unsolved Greek problems were finally demonstrated to be impossible… 2000 years after they were first posed! Pi also plays a role in one of the most beautiful mathematical formulas ever discovered (I understand that this is a subjective claim, but just look at it! It contains some of the most fascinating and most written about numbers [Pi, e, i, 0, and 1] all in one elegant formula!). 

*= I understand that one may go about caviling and claim that there are other numbers which could be abbreviated as 3.14159265359… other than Pi and, hence, my claim that “THE number approximated as 3.14159265359… is universally represented by this letter…” is too broad of a statement. I agree that it should be reworded to eliminate this ambiguity. But this does bring up another good poi

Holy cow… this is a craft blog… not a mathlete’s personal diary! I should have warned you if I had known… just read the part about a math club murdering some other dude. I told him to write a math blog for himself… wow… sorry!

So, super cool eh? (Sarcastic… hehe) Well my husband was in the craziness of graduate school and work so he didn’t tell me for sure if he wanted to celebrate. He was so busy and so exhausted. Anyway, that night right before the amazing moment… he decided he needed to celebrate because this pie day was extra special… why? I had no clue but let me hand over my computer to Nathan again… But I will limit him to one sentence… maybe two. No run-ons. (You’re very welcome).

Ok, first of all, I barely even began to scratch the surface of why Pi is cool, but I only have one more sentence after this and – since I am not allowed any run-ons – I can only recommend you read books on it. Now, this last Pi day (March 14, 2015) was special because the date could be written as 3/14/15, which are the first numbers in the infinite sequence that is Pi, allowing one to also include the time of day to extend out further into the sequence than would normally be possible in other years.

A pie? I had no Gluten Free ready anything to make a pie and it was only 12 minutes till the “magic” moment. So we made a giant, no-bake cookie. Which was fast, easy and Gluten Free. I got the recipe from here. It was easy and tasted good. Remember to use GF oats!


Last minute gluten free pie day! Done!

Party on you Math nerds… 🙂

A presto!



New Year’s Resolutions

Ever make a list of everything you want to do or get done or improve on for the next year? Well, I sort of do that. I like to make a mental list. But one thing I wanted to do was to mend a few items of clothing. I have been a bit lazy when it comes to reattaching buttons and such things.

My husband has this sweater he got from his parents a few years ago. He loves it but it had a rip in the seam. It has always intimidated me since the fabric wasn’t cotton and it wasn’t a cheap sweater for me to just “try my best” on. Well, after consulting with my mom about how to sew it up I decided better a little flawed and him wearing it than him not wearing his beloved sweater at all for fear of it tearing worse.


Ok, see that little hole? It is really just a seam that wasn’t sewn well so the delicate, swishy fabric ripped. It’s not really noticable but my husband is a little fanatical in the best sense of the word. He was so worried that if he wore it he would ruin his sweater.


Ok, and I apologize for the dark pictures. What I did was grab the seam from the inside of the sweater and grabbed the seam until I was sure that I had also enclose the ripped seam completely. I then pinned it in place. I sewed it using a straight stitch in black thread. I made sure I went over the area a few times. In short, I basically made a new seam there enclosing the rip.


No one is the wiser. My husband wore it to work the very next day with his shirt and tie. He looked quite dashing. Awesome.

Now, I had these pajama pants I loved also from my husband’s parents that same Christmas… that was an unfortunate Christmas when it came to seam issues for us.. haha! I had a rip on the seam as well.


Same idea as the sweater. I flipped my pants inside out. Grabbed the seam and redid the hem to enclose the seam. I made sure I pinned it so things didn’t slip and I also made sure I backstitched a few times. I made it the strongest seam on those pants.




Now, I feel like I can wear these cute pj pants again! Yay!

This year, I hope that I will stay on-top of my mending pile. When I sewed these two suckers up I also had 5 buttons for jackets and pants to fix and a slew of other things just waiting to be fixed. I can’t be so lazy.

Mend my family’s clothes before I have a dreaded “mending pile”: one of my New Year’s resolutions.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2015 is the best year yet for you!

A Presto!


Merry Christmas to All —

Merry Christmas Everyone! I love Christmastime. I love well decorated Christmas trees. I love getting presents. I love giving presents. I love those little chocolate star-shaped Christmas candies. I love seeing my kids rip wrapping paper off of everyone’s gifts. I love the excitement of snow and the fear of the Grinch. I love the smells of cookies baking. And how can one not be happy when you hear Perry Como sing a classic Christmas song. I think it’s a very magical time of the year… especially for little kids.

I also believe that Christmas is more than ‘ribbons and bows’. I believe it is a day set aside from all the other 364 days of the year to remember one person. Christmas is here to remember Christ. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m all about the decorating, presents and desserts. I also let my kids believe in Santa with their entire wishful little hearts. But, I have made sure that my Elliana and eventually my little Finnley will know the story of Christmas.

Teaching a toddler about Christmas isn’t the easiest task in the world. But I have found that my Elli learns by playing. My husband and I got our kids the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Playset and it has been so fun playing with Elli. Watching her pretend that the angel is telling the shepherds about the “gigantic-fire-star” and to see her interpretation of Jesus being a colicky baby. Maybe he was? Either way she is beginning to learn. At Christmas last year she wanted Jesus to have a cake and I’m sure today we are blowing out candles on Jesus’s cake because to her, being young, that’s what birthday’s are about and if that’s what makes Christ’s birth meaningful to her – we will have a cake for him every year.

Thomas S. Monson, who is president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “Often our efforts at Christmastime result in our feeling stressed out, wrung out, and worn out during a time we should feel the simple joys of commemorating the birth of our Savior.”

Who among us isn’t guilty of just that. Really, I was starting to be stressed out about Christmas in early November. Moving across the country again, not having what I perceived as a perfect Christmas for my kids, gift giving for countless people, Nathan starting school again, obligations… I was overwhelmed.

Take a step back today and remember Christ. That little baby laying there in your nativity’s manger scene saved us all. That’s amazing. So go be with those you love and have a piece of cake for little baby Jesus. He did more for you than anyone ever can or will.

Merry Christmas.



Cute little Australian Dress

Good day Mate! … or however Australians say hello. I wanted to make Elli a dress for Christmas. I always use my pillow case dress as a fall back but I wanted to do something else. And I’m totally swamped with packing, moving, and gifts from “Santa”. I found this great tutorial on this blog. It’s super cute and super versatile. She even shares her pattern (sizes from 12-24months to 4T). The tutorial is very easy to understand and follow even if you are just a newbie to your sewing machine.


I made this one in a 4T for my Elliana. And of course since it’s the Christmas season I had to make one that is more festive!


I’ll post a picture of her in them later. Since these are from “Santa” I can’t show her yet. She’d remember and is too smart.

A Presto!




Santa’s Workshop

Well, since we make our kids’ gifts from Santa then as you can imagine my sewing machine has been busy. I made these cute Dino toys here.


I am also making matching PJ pants. You can see a tutorial here. It should be cute. I made three pairs. Two for my kiddos and one for my husband’s cousin’s son. They are super cute with little snowmen in old-fashioned trucks.



A Presto!


Tip #394

Just a random quick tip. Since we are driving across part of the United States I decided to share a little tip that we do with our baby’s toys while in the car. I keep a few toys up by me. But just handing Finn a toy when he’s bored is really basically pointless. He will just throw it.

So, what I do is I use a binkey clip and clip it onto his carseat. Then when I change out toys I just clip them in. This way he can play with them, eat them, throw them… but they are never lost or out of reach. Here is a picture of the pacifier clip we use.


I felt like an absolute genius when I figured this out in Wyoming one time… I celebrated in the gas station parking lot. You have to celebrate little victories when you have two little kids in the car for hours on end… right?

Enjoy your travels this Christmas season!

A Presto!


Dresser Repurposed

For Christmas last year my siblings all drew names for gift exchange. And it turned out that I got my brother-in-law Adam and my husband got Jessie, Adam’s wife. So instead of spending our budget of $40 per person individually we decided to get them something together making a budget $80. Well they love to cook. My brother-in-law is a chef and my sister is pretty intense about that whole culinary arts deal. They are both good at cooking and my sister is a great baker and cake decorator. However, they live in this dinky apartment in downtown Minneapolis with a kitchen as big as a small bathroom. They live in a sweet neighborhood but it comes at a price… like most cities, downtown living – although trendy – is spendy. My husband and I decided to give them more counter space and storage space for the vast amount of cookware and the other stuff people who are good at cooking use…


We decided to make them a kitchen island… but they had no room so it really lives in their “dining room” which they just us as an extension of their kitchen. They are house hunting so hopefully their little island will move with them but if not that’s ok too.


When we came up with this idea I already had my eyes set on a dresser in my parent’s basement which my mom uses for her sewing supplies… even though she doesn’t sew… so… we asked if we could have it. We got the dresser for free. We went to Home Depot because their motto “let’s do this” totally inspires us. As a side note I am totally a sucker for marketing. Anyway, we got chalk board paint and an “oops” gallon of teal paint for $6 and we spent $2 on the white drawer pulls. The dresser was painted white so we didn’t have to prep our surfaces (meaning we didn’t need to sand it or prime it).




My husband went ahead and while I watched and probably micromanaged he demolished the bottom two drawers and pulled out the top drawer. I painted the dresser (3 coats) and finished by painting 5 coats of the chalk board paint for the top. Since I painted the entire drawer (even the runners) my husband waxed them so the drawer would slip easily in and out. He attached the drawer pulls and a white hook on the side of the dresser we found at Home Depot for $1. My husband then took a bottom of a drawer and cut it and nailed it into place to turn the hole in the bottom of the dresser into a shelf.


At this point we had spent a whole $10 of our $80 budget. Then I headed off to my favorite store, TJ Maxx. I found five canisters that were white with chalkboard labels and orange lids. Super cute. I was totally jealous that I was not buying this for myself… I found an orange spoon on clearance. I found a coordinating set of dish towels, a black plastic basket/bin, and an orange oven mitt. One of the canisters was missing it’s lid so I asked for a discount and got that canister 1/2 price. A win for the budget for sure! We actually didn’t spend our entire $80 budget but I was having a baby in a few weeks and was done with this project. It was really cute. My husband and I both really liked how it turned out and my sister and her husband love it. It gives them so much more counter space to work on. I think it has actually more than doubled their counter space… they have a really small kitchen.


Anyways, in the end we gave a great gift, spent a lot less money than it looked like we did, and made two chefs happier. It just goes to show you don’t need to be super skilled or talented to make a sweet kitchen island out of an old dresser. If we can do it – anyone can!

P.S. Sorry for the messy garage. We actually had several projects going at once. And my husband apologizes for the terrible pink walls in the other photos. We stored it in my parent’s house, actually in my old room from high school. It looks much better in my sister’s normal-colored apartment.

A Presto!